Patchwork Kids
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"Her son was tall and proud, with Drogo’s copper skin and her own silver-gold hair, and violet eyes shaped like almonds."

When writing Kid Fic, it's of course necessary to come up with an identity for the child. This can be an interesting and fun experience – different traits from the two parents are passed on in unique and sometimes unexpected ways (some genetic traits even skip a generation!), forming a new, wholly original person.

Of course, certain fans have seemed to miss out on this concept, and as such, make children that simply resemble one, or both, of the parents, with no original or unexpected traits. This may carry over to things like hairstyle (and colour), personality traits, and talents.

Of course, even this is beyond the grasp of certain fans, and thusly, they just begin mashing up traits of the two parents. Now this is where the trope comes into play: Say Alice and Bob just got their freak on, what's the little bundle of joy gonna look like? Like Alice? Bob? A randomly decided combination of both parents through a complex series of gene combinations? Where's the fun in that? What about two-toned hair? Sure! While we're at it, let's add in a different-colored eye from each parent! And why wouldn't Alice and Bob name their child Bolice?

This is a very special form of Artistic License – Biology and LEGO Genetics. And even if you don't worry about that kind of thing, it's still about as unoriginal as a child character can get, especially if they're born of Homosexual Reproduction.

Compare Gender Equals Breed. Subtrope of All Genes Are Codominant. Contrast Random Species Offspring, when the offspring is a different species altogether from their parents, and Hollywood Genetics, when the offspring has physical traits that neither parents have.

Not to related to Patchwork Fic, which is when a fanfic combines characters and/or other elements from different adaptations of the same single story; or to Patchwork Story, which is when a number of short works in the same continuity are edited in order for them to fit together and form a single long work.


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  • An animated advert for a brand of fabric conditioner in Britain is literally this - a family depicted as being made up of sewn patchwork samples from lots of different fabrics, with the kids combining aspects of both parents' ragwork skins.
  • In the Klondike bar commercial "Who's Your Daddy?", a pair of Klondike Original bars have a baby who is a Klondike Krunch bar, who turns out to be the result of the wife cheating on her husband with a Krunch candy bar.

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Hanamaru Kindergarten, Sakura has blonde hair and her husband has brown hair; their daughter Anzu's hair is blonde in the front and brown in the back.
  • Bizarre canon example from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: Vivio, adopted daughter of Fate and Nanoha, looks like a perfect mix of her mothers' features, especially the face. Her blond hair is darker than Fate's but her eyes are red and green, while Nanoha is indigo. Her hairstyle is also based on Nanoha's. Even stranger is that she's not genetically related to either of them and is in fact a clone of a long dead ruler.
  • Naruto:
    • During an interview, the author, Masashi Kishimoto said that a child born between a Hyuga and a Uchiha would have a Sharingan in one eye, and a Byakugan in the other.
    • In canon Shikamaru and Temari's son looks like his dad but has his mother's eyes. Naruto and Hinata's daughter has mostly her mom's looks but has blue eyes like Naruto while their son looks like Naruto but with lighter eyes and a slightly rounder face like his mother; they both have whisker birth-marks as well. Naruto's son originally had lavender eyes in The Last: Naruto the Movie however all other appearances give him his father's eye color. Sasuke's and Sakura's daughter inherited her mother's physical appearance but her father's eye color and hair color.
  • In the Distant Finale of Digimon Adventure 02 the offspring of the Chosen Children who have both parents known look very similar to the parent their gender matches, but with the hair color of the opposite gender parent. The children who only have one of their parents known look similar to that parent in design and hair color.
  • Hiro Mashima ended up running into a downplayed version of this when he drew the What If? designs for two pairings' potential kids in Fairy Tail.note  Lucy and Natsu's kid has the standard feminine eyes for girls and Lucy's face shape, but her outfit and hairstyle makes her look like an earlier drawing of a Rule 63 Natsu. Gray and Juvia's kid has Gray's hair color, but Juvia's fashion sense. His eyes look like a combination of his parents', though.

  • The Zbeng comics have a series of books centering on the biographies and possible future of individual characters. A section present in each of the books is the character's potential children with other characters –- well, except for the book about Zaafani, where the section deals with the consequences of the males seeing her naked instead –- no amount of Brain Bleach can handle that.
  • In the Marvel Comics UK Marvel Bumper Comic strip "Halibut Square," a Funny Animal parody of late-80s-early-90s EastEnders, Michelle is a snail and Dirty Den is a rat. Michelle's baby is a rat's head sticking out of a snail shell. But no-one knows who the father is.
  • Lyra is another She-Hulk, born to the Thundra and Hulk of an Alternate Universe. When Hulked Out (which is often, much like Jen), she's a carbon copy of Thundra but with Hulk's green skin. This is most evident with Lyra's original outfit, which was identical to Thundra's save for a few additional pieces of armor.

    Fan Works 
  • Kingdom Hearts fans have crafted Roxel, the child of Roxas and Axel (both of whom are very male). He has Roxas and Axel's traits smashed together. During the year or so after Kingdom Hearts II came out, he was all over DeviantArt front page; every other day you'd see fan art of him. There are even cosplays of him.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia fanfic Kaitō Kokoro: Two of Kiku's and Feliciano's children pretty much inherit their hair colors and hairstyles.
    "...Sure." The elder sibling took two of them, emerald hues filling with wonder as he took in their sleeping forms. "They're...beautiful." Jade depths turned, glancing upon a boy who had locks styled like the father's, eyes revealing to be the same limpid brown of the mother's as they opened. "So this one's name is Nihon, right?" Those same jade depths switched to the second bundle, the other another boy who had brunet hair like his mother's and the same piercing ebon orbs as his father's. "And this one's name is Ren, right?"
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • There are numerous Sonic/Amy children who are part-blue, part-pink; if children worked this way in The 'Verse, there must have been SOME extensive pure-breeding program in place to keep most characters a single color! Some fans avoid this confusing conclusion by making their child(ren) purple.
    • The Sonic Boom-verse Sonic/Amy fan-child Aurora has her mother's pink fur and her Tuft of Head Fur, but her dad's upright quills.
    • Knuckles/Rouge fan-kids usually have bat wings like their mother but also have echidna traits like Knuckles.
  • Given that most Touhou characters already appear to be mashups of mythological elements and symbols and are defined by them, it's not surprising that most fan-conceived kids turn out like this.
  • One particular fic in the Iron Man/Captain America fandom justifies this by making the child essentially a clone (or a highly engineered child).
  • Some Bolt fanfic has Bolttens spawning half-kitten, half-puppy offspring.
  • It's popular in X-Men fanfics for the mutants' future offspring to have powers that are a combination of their parents' (for instance, a child of Storm and Bishop absorbing energy to fuel his weather control). It's worth noting that there is no precedent for this in the comics. Most second-generation mutants either inherit one parent's powers, develop original ones, or none at all.
    • Although at least Nocturne's powers — very similar to those of her father Nightcrawler — also extend to an attack called "hex bolts" (named in reference to her mother, Scarlet Witch). The physical principle behind it still goes back to Nightcrawler's powers, though.
    • Ruby Summers, the possible future daughter of Scott Summers and Emma Frost, can transform into a diamond that looks red because of her optic blasts that actually look black. In most (non-616) realities where major Marvel heroes have kids, their powers are combinations of their powers. For a very obvious example, Reality-9811 (What If? v2 #114, "What If the Secret Wars never ended?") where EVERY child of two heroes or villains has a form of powers inherited from both parents. e.g. Wasp + Human Torch = Firefly who shrinks, has wings, and flame powers; Hawkeye + She-Hulk = Mustang, who is green, strong and resilient, with inhuman archery skills.
  • Happens very often in Percy Jackson and the Olympians fanfiction. Example:
    • "Holly Athena Jackson is the daughter of Percy and Annabeth. She has strawberry blonde ringlets and green eyes. In case you can't tell, she looks exactly like Annabeth only with Percy's eyes."
    • ... and that's not even getting into all the Percy/Annabeth children with one gray eye and one green eye.
    • ... and that's not even counting the absurd amount of children that have blonde hair with black streaks or green eyes with grey flecks.
  • In Finding Nemo fandom, Dory and Marlin often have "patchwork" offspring, i.e. a clownfish with blue stripes instead of black-and-white, or a blue fish with a few orange scales here and there.
  • Painfully common in Harry Potter fandom. One particularly cliched, Mary Sue-ish example: "Nami Weasley Potter, daughter of Harry and Ginny, is a very beautiful girl. She has black hair and one brown eye and one green eye. She is a famous supermodel."
    • This seems slightly justified in Harry Potter fanfic, because it happened with Harry himself, at least in appearance (he's repeatedly described as looking almost identical to his father, but with his mom's Green Eyes). But that didn't happen with anyone else. Not even the Weasleys. Arthur and Molly, being redheads, obviously have redhead children, but beyond that, don't look like copies. And their children's children seem to be about half and half. (And magical skill seems utterly unrelated to genetics beyond "children of people with magic almost always have magic." Harry didn't inherit his mother's skill in potion-making.)
  • Sailor Moon. Oh, dear god, Sailor Moon. If a kitten died every time a Patchwork Kid was born in Sailor Moon Fan Fiction, there wouldn't be any kittens left. One example is Hotaru and Chibiusa having a child with pink hair with black streaks and violet eyes with a hint of red.
  • Quite common in Tokyo Mew Mew fandom; there's a fic somewhere in the net where Kish and Ichigo have a half-human, half-alien baby. She had green hair with red streaks and amber eyes with brown flecks (Kish has green hair and amber eyes, Ichigo has red hair and brown eyes).
  • Kim Possible:
    • When the parents are Kim and her rival Shego, having children with green skin and red hair, black hair with a red streak, plasma powers, or cutting out Kim's genetics altogether and making them clones of Shego is very common in fanfics.
    • In the fanfic A Small Possibility, Kim and Shego's daughters take after them. Sheki is a mini clone of Shego while Kasy takes after Kim but has Shego's green skin.
  • Cori Falls loves this trope. Jessie and James's kids are not only clones of their parents, but the youngest daughter has her mother's love of sweets and the son wants to be an artist like his father. Jessie herself is a mishmash of her mother and father in both looks and personality.
  • With Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, fans are very fond of giving Simon and Nia's child Nia's eyes. Fan art tends to make fans cry, since Simon and Nia never got a chance to have children.
  • Fans of the Super Smash Bros. series or Nintendo in general have done this with various pairings, most of them from male/male pairings.
  • Happens in The Nightmare Before Christmas fandom quite a bit. These "skeledolls" are a mixture of ragdoll and skeleton and very rarely, if at all, male. Then again, if two undead people can reproduce successfully, why should the fans pay attention to the rest of the biological rules?
  • Patchwork kids are starting to pop up in the Monster Buster Club fandom. An example would be Anneliese and Jake, Cathy and Danny's children. Jake has brown hair and blue eyes while his sister, Anneliese, has brown hair and one blue eye and one green eye. And she has Psychic Powers.
  • In Naruto fandom, Naruto's children always have blond hair, Hinata and Neji's children always have Blank White Eyes, and Sakura's children are mostly pink-haired (especially if they're Sasuke's and the writer doesn't really like him).
  • The Banjo-Kazooie fandom occasionally spawns offspring for the title two, who are a bear and a bird. The result? Half-bird, half-bear offspring (if they don't follow the Gender Equals Breed trope). However, to be honest, they'd be far from the weirdest things in their universe.
  • One inside joke in the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl fandom has it that Volkner is the Patchwork Kid of Cyrus and Cynthia (never mind that Volkner is around the same age as those two...). Well, there IS a time traveling Pokémon...
  • Some people in the Superjail!! fandom tend to give the Warden and the Mistress's bastard children their parents' personalities or unique traits. Sometimes, the children are given gap-teeth like their dad! Or they could simply just wear their parents' clothes, usually with different colors.
  • In Housepets The Series, Peanut and Grape have their own children with a little mystical intervention from Tarot. Grape ends up having five kittens, each looking different. Dayshaun looks like Peanut, Tarot looks like Grape, then Parnok is solid white with a purple tail (which gives Plausible Deniability; the "official" story is that Alcor, another cat, is the "donor"), while Louise and Nutella are both solid dark brown.
  • The Lion King fandom is full of these. The most popular are the presumed cubs of Kiara and Kovu, whom are usually portrayed as color/gender-swapped versions of their parents. Fans have also used this trope in reverse to design canon characters’ parents, such as Scar's and Mufasa's.
  • Empath: The Luckiest Smurf inverts this trope by having Hefty and Handy's father be a Patchwork Parent.
  • The Daria fandom has an interesting example with Veronica, the third Morgendorffer sister who shows up in various Alternate Universe stories. In this case, it's more Patchwork Sibling; she is usually depicted as looking identical to Quinn, but with Daria's glasses and personality.
  • The Greatest Gift tended to go that route with the children of the Mane 6 and their respective partners (where applicable), and if it's not an exact patchwork, it at least makes sense genetically. Barring two Earth ponies somehow producing an alicorn. Given the parents are Reality Warpers, though...
  • Better Off Not Knowing averts this: Hakini is implied to mainly take after P'Li—inheriting the height and the firebending at very least—although something about Zaheer's mugshot (Word of God says it's the cheekbones) seems vaguely familiar to her. As her biological parents have (luckily for her) played no role in her life, it's unlikely that they were the ones to name her.
  • Dante and Lucia's kids in Devil May Cry: Revelations and its mini-sequel Dante's Night at Freddy's don't have a lot of features mentioned, but they are all dark-skinned with white hair, borrowed from both of their parents. Their eldest daughter, Evie, is mentioned to resemble Dante's mother Eva in her adult years.
  • Done in a literal sense in the 9 fandom, what with the characters essentially being living ragdolls. While there are a few exceptions, the majority of fan children will be made with the same fabric and materials as one or both parents. Another common tactic is their name usually being some combination of the parents numbers, though this is done less often as more creative names will be given.
  • Downplayed in Justice Society of Japan; Electra Pendragon is implied to be the daughter of Saber and Gilgamesh from a post-apocalyptic future, so it's fairly reasonable for her to be a red-eyed blonde. On the other hand, her powers are absolutely nothing like the ones either of her parents posses.
  • As listed below under Film, Kermit and Fozzie's father in The Great Muppet Caper is an inversion. Joe Apel's fanart plays it straight by pairing the green-furred, cross-pupiled bear with a brown female frog with Fozzie's eyes (and a polka-dot necktie).
  • It's common in Zootopia fan-works to give Nick and Judy a rabbit/fox hybrid child.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • In the A Song of Ice and Fire books, Daenerys envisions a grown-up Rhaego (whose name alone is a combination of her older brother "Rhaegar" and "Drogo") as her husband Khal Drogo with Targaryen hair and eyes.
  • Harry Potter is frequently described as looking exactly like his father, but with his mother's eye color.
  • This occasionally pops up in Warrior Cats even though it's genetically incorrect for cats most of the time.
  • This is why Sunny from Wings of Fire looks so weird compared to other SandWings. She's half NightWing. She looks like a SandWing but lacks their scorpion-like tail, has a NightWing build, and has the scale pattern of a NightWing.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Late Night with Conan O'Brien had a recurring bit called "If They Mated," in which images of a celebrity couple were combined into Nightmare Fuel. (Often by the end of a segment, they would subvert this by putting ridiculous theoretical couples together and getting silly non-patchwork results –- Conan himself plus Scooby-Doo's Daphne, whom he claimed he had a crush on as a kid, resulted in SpongeBob SquarePants.)

    Tabletop Games 
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Shrit is the child of Avance and Emilia. Shrit's hair is a layered combination of Avance and Emilia (white and red, respectively), and has one blue eye (like Avance) and one red eye (like Emilia). He also has the ability to use Rituals like his parents. This makes sense, as Avance and Emilia were last seen in the conclusion of the Duel Terminal storyline (seen in "Sacred Serpent's Wake"), looking off into the distance together as the last survivors of the war. The duo are also featured on several other "Necloth" cards, implying that the Necloth archetype represents the pair's new family after some time has passed.

    Video Games 
  • Another canon example is Harvest Moon: Animal Parade. Your children will be a mix of you and your spouse—they have your face and features, but your spouse's hair and eye color.
    • Rune Factory Oceans, unlike all of its RF predecessors, does the same thing, likely because it was the first game not to utilize portraits.
  • The Sims: Toddler, Child, and Teen Sims can be generated in Create-A-Sim with a combination of their parents' traits, rerolling them if you don't like their appearance. With babies who are generated via WooHoo, though, you take what you're given.
  • Dragon Quest V has this. Depending on which of the 2 (3 in the Nintendo DS version) girls the main character marries, the kids will have the mother's hair colour, blue eyes (which depending on depiction all 4 share) and their father's talents and ambitions.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Downplayed with the second generation characters from Fire Emblem Awakening. Each one of them is tied to a particular first generation mother, but inherit their hair color from their father. And while some of them resemble their mother, this isn't universally true.
    • The above is reversed for Fire Emblem Fates, with the second generation characters now having a fixed father and inheriting their hair color from their mother. Once again, the degree of resemblance between parent and child varies greatly, with one major exception: Subaki's daughter Caeldori is an Expy of—and dead ringer for—Cordelia of Awakening. In the Revelation route, where it's possible to have inter-kingdom marriages between Hoshido and Nohr, Caeldori can be mothered by Selena, who is actually Severa, Cordelia's daughter. This makes Caeldori look exactly like Cordelia; the dialogue in Caeldori's Support conversations with her mother even changes to have Selena comment on the similarity. Furthermore, the game implies Caeldori to be a (re)incarnation of Cordelia, elevating Identical Granddaughter into My Own Grandma. This is what happens when the previous game establishes it's possible to hop across time and space.

    Web Comics 
  • In The Order of the Stick, Elan inherited his outlook (and alignment) from his mother and his love of the dramatic from his father. His Evil Twin Nale gets his outlook from his father and his love of the needlessly complicated from his mother. They both inherited their father's hairstyle and mother's hair colour.
    • Haley has her mother's hairstyle and her father's hair color.
    • Pompey's a half-elf, although his parents aren't seen, he has one elf ear and one human ear. In his case, it's pure Rule of Funny.
  • The parents in Roomies! and Dumbing of Age, as described in Willis's notes for Joyce's parents character design:
    You can probably see in them the general design philosophy of how I draw parents. They're almost patient zero for that, being designed second only after Danny's parents some time in 1998. Mr. Brown gets Joyce's eyes and headshape and Mrs. Brown gets Joyce's nose and slightly shorter version of her daughter’s hair (and a more round physique that Joyce is likely to take on as she gets on in years). I always find it helps to give the most distinctive physical characteristics to the opposite-sexed parent and then throw all the other features at the other parent — and few characteristics are more distinctive than Joyce's big blue eyes. I don't want moms to always look like aged-up daughters and dads to always look like aged-up sons. They can be sometimes, though, for lulz.
  • Made patently absurd in Brawl in the Family, where Kirby's dream about his and Jigglypuff's marriage comes complete with kids, all of which are mishmashes of Kirby and Jigglypuff. Right down to the appetite, apparently.

    Web Original 
  • Yang Xiao Long of RWBY is a physical mix-and-match of her mother and father's (centre-right and centre-left) features, though she seems to take a bit more after her mom. She has Raven's long voluminous hair, facial structure and complexion, and Taiyang's blonde hair colour and idiot lock. Her eyes are lilac, a mix of her father's light blue and her mother's deep red.

    Western Animation 
  • The title character of Humf is a purple furry thing. His parents are a red furry thing and a blue furry thing. Apparently, furry thing genes mix in the same way as paint.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Just One Bite," Squidward dreams that he marries a Krabby Patty (It Makes Sense in Context). Their kid looks like a Krabby Patty with six tentacles.
  • On Gargoyles, Elisa explicitly notes that Angela looks like Demona, but with Goliath's skin and hair color. A few episodes later is revealed that she is, in fact, their biological daughter.
  • In Quack-Quack's Imagine Spot, Kaeloo and Mr. Cat's potential offspring are orange, whiskered tadpoles.
    • Discussed in Episode 148. Stumpy and Mr. Cat wonder what kind of babies Quack Quack (a duck) and Eugly (a rabbit) would have if they got married. They then imagine the results to be freaky hybrids with duck bills and rabbit teeth.
  • In Adventure Time, Jake and Lady Rainicorn eventually have a litter of rainicorn pups that have the same powers as their parents.
  • Hey Arnold!: Arnold's parents are shown to be a blond-haired father with a normal shaped head, and a red haired mom with an oblong shaped head and round nose. This is a justified case, since blond hair is dominant over red.