Related in the Adaptation

In a work of fiction, there are two characters who aren't related in any way. The creator may not have intended for them to be relatives (at least, not at the time, anyway). But when that work is adapted to another form of media, suddenly the people in charge decided to make them relatives. This can be for a variety of reasons including (but not limited to):

  • A pragmatic change to eliminate some exposition; it's easier to introduce Alice and Bob as brother and sister than to introduce Bob as Alice's childhood friend staying at her house while his parents are dead, missing, or off being the Hero of Another Story.
  • The characters have something that makes them very similar (be it superpowers, appearance, motivations, what have you), and thus linking them together makes sense thematically.
  • By making the characters relatives the stakes are raised and there's a more personal connection between them than if they were just friends.
  • Avoiding the Unfortunate Implications of an adult being One of the Kids by making said adult a parent, uncle/aunt or an elder sibling to at least one of the kids they're running around with.
  • Trying to stomp out homosexual undertones in the original work by making the affection characters share familial instead.
  • Adding a twist to a remake of a story that is subject to It Was His Sled.
  • The result of creating a Composite Character.

When it's specifically love interests being turned into family members in the transition, the casting equivalent would be Cast Incest. See also Sibling Switch Squick.

Compare or contrast with Everyone Is Related, where it's done within the original work.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Sailor Moon Cloverway English dub rather infamously made Sailors Uranus and Neptune cousins as something of a lazy fix to cover up the Lesbian flirting between the two so it was appropriate for a '90s kid show. Unfortunately for the Moral Guardians the change made them come across as still being lesbians, but also Kissing Cousins.
  • Likewise when Nelvana Macekred Cardcaptor Sakura into Cardcaptors they made two of Sakura's classmates who were clearly fond of each other, with a snarky, cute relationship, into cousins. Whereas they removed the fact that Meiling and Syaoran were cousins by changing Meiling's surname to Rae.
  • In the first manga of The Legend of Zelda Link and Zelda are half-siblings. Link doesn't realize this and has a crush on Zelda but she only likes him in a familial way. Link is half-elf and an illegitimate child from an earlier romance Zelda's deceased mother had, so he was raised separately from Zelda and does not know of his royal heritage.
  • Inverted in Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z. None of The Powerpuff Girls are related. Professor Utonium also isn't their father, instead having his own son.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT made Linith and Teana (two characters who never even met each other in the original continuity and aren't even the same species) into sisters.
  • In the Italian dub of Attacker You!, itís mentioned You is a cousin of Kozue, the protagonist of Attack No. 1 (an earlier volleyball anime that was successful in Italy), even if the two series are completely unrelated.

    Comic Books 
  • Ultimate Marvel:
    • Ultimate Spider-Man
      • In the main Spider-Man comics the name Spider-Woman has been used by a number of ladies, all of whom have almost nothing do with Spider-Man other than having similar names and powers. In Ultimate Spider-Man Spider-Woman is Peter Parker's Opposite-Sex Clone; in civilian life she goes by the name Jessica Drew, which happens to be the civilian name of the first Spider-Woman in the mainstream Marvel Universe.
      • Inverted with Ben Reilley who is Peter's clone in the main comics (sometimes referred to as his "brother" or identical cousin), but is an unrelated lab assistant in the Ultimate verse.
      • In the Ultimate verse Liz Allan is made a Composite Character and thus is not only the alter ego of Firestar, but The Blob is now her uncle (or father).
    • Also in The Ultimates, M'Baku the Man-Ape is Black Panther's older brother.
    • In Ultimate Fantastic Four, Thanos is the father of Ronan the Accuser.
    • While the Professor Xavier and Moira MacTaggert of the traditional Marvel Universe have had romantic feelings towards each other, they ended up marrying different people. In Ultimate X-Men, they did get married and later divorced. This resulted in their respective spouses (Gabrielle Haller and Joseph MacTaggert) being adapted out, the sons they had being the same character and two cases Adaptation Name Change (Moira's maiden name in the classic universe was Kinross, "MacTaggert" being the result of a very bad marriage and Proteus being named David Xavier).
  • Spider-Man: Chapter One makes Norman Osborn and Sandman cousins to explain their similar looking hair. Became this trope once the book was (very quickly) declared out-of-continuity and simply an alternate reality take on the Spidey mythos.
  • In the first Post-Crisis revamp of Captain Marvel, Shazam! The New Beginning, his arch-nemesis Dr. Sivanna is his step-uncle (making him a Composite Character with Billy's Evil Uncle Ebeneezer) and Uncle Dudley is his real uncle (instead of an honorary one) named Dudley Batson. Both were later Ret Conned.
  • The New 52:
    • In the The Forever People, Serafina (the Gender Flipped version of Serifan from previous continuity) is Vykin the Black's sister. This also entails giving the blond Serifan a Race Lift.
    • In the Villains Month Origins Episode for Darkseid, he was the brother of Avia, and therefore the brother-in-law of Highfather. (Avia herself remains a Posthumous Character.)
    • In the New 52, Billy and his Flashpoint friends are now foster-siblings. Inverted, however, in that he and Mary, former long-lost twins, no longer seem biologically related. (Also, she seems to be older than him.)
    • The New 52 version of Arthur Light (who is not a villain) is married to Kimiyo Hoshi, the heroic Dr Light II in the previous continuity.
  • In Batman '66, the comicbook continuation of the Batman TV show, the Clock King is revealed to be Morris Tetch, brother of the Mad Hatter/Jervis Tetch. This relationship was not alluded to in the show, and does not come from the comics, where the Clock King is William Tockman.
  • DC: Earth One:
    • In Superman: Earth One, General Zod is Jor-El's brother and hence Superman's uncle.
    • Teen Titans: Earth One:
      • Both subverted and inverted with Rita Farr (renamed Rita Markov) who is now Tara Markovís mother although they're still not biologically related, but is no longer Garfield Loganís adopted mother or married to Steve Dayton.
      • Inverted with both Elinore Stone and Slade Wilson who are no longer biologically related to the children that they each raised, Victor Stone and Joseph Wilson respectively.
    • In Wonder Woman: Earth One, it's revealed that Wonder Woman is the daughter of Hercules, who raped her mother Hippolyta.
  • In the Jem cartoon Aja and Shana became Kimber's and Jerrica's foster sisters at a young age but are treated more like close friends. In the IDW comics they make it a point to show that they are all sisters.

    Fan Works 
  • The Harmony's Warriors series does this several times:
    • Rainbow Dash and Trixie are adopted sisters, Rumble and Thunderlane are their brothers, and they're all Celestia's children.
    • Scootaloo is Daring Do's niece.
    • Featherweight is Filthy Rich's son.
    • Apparently Celestia is on Shining Armor and Twilight's family tree. Though this has only been explored briefly, Word of God is that it's an important plot point.
  • Empath: The Luckiest Smurf has Hefty and Handy related to each other as twin brothers, rather than as just friends in most other adaptations of The Smurfs. However, since the franchise has never stated if Papa Smurf getting the Smurfs from the stork and raising them makes them family, it may actualy be an inversion for all other Smurfs instead.
  • Disney High School:
  • Seven Days In Sunny June: This happens to numerous human characters. When Sunset returns to Equestria in book 2, she finds that at least some of these relationships are exclusive to the human versions and not the case with their pony counterparts.
    • Sunset is taken in and pretty much adopted by human Twilight's family.
    • The Spike of this world is human and Twilight's little brother. Octavia is also Twilight's cousin via their fathers.
    • Fiddlesticks is Octavia's cousin via their mothers, while Screwball and Midnight Moondust are sisters, and both are second cousins to Octavia.
    • Rainbow is descended from Commander Hurricane, and Scootaloo is her Happily Adopted little sister. (Explicitly not the case for their pony counterparts, though they have unofficially adopted one another as sisters.) Spitfire is Rainbow's cousin.
    • Angel is Fluttershy's little brother. DISCORD of all people is their Disappeared Dad. Tirek, his former bandmate and still good friend, is Fluttershy's godfather.
    • Crackle is Suri Polomare's half-sister by her father's mistress.
    • Blueblood and Flash Sentry are cousins.
    • Pinkie Pie is the niece of Carrot and Cup Cake (her mother and Cup are sisters). Pony!Pinkie, when she finds out, tells Sunset that her world's Cake family aren't her blood relatives, but she wouldn't mind if they were, since they ARE like a second family to her.
    • Coco Pommel is Fancy Pants' little sister.
  • The Infinite Loops: Many loops have characters being related when they weren't in baseline. This includes MLP loops where Twilight has one or more of her friends as her sibling(s) or child(ren), and at least one loop where Mrs. Cake is a distant cousin to Pinkie, who's very excited (she runs down the street repeatedly screaming "The Cake is a Pie!" when she finds out).
  • It Started With A Look; by zyr1987: Fancy Pants and Fleur de Lis are brother and sister.
  • Ultimate Spider Woman does this to Spider-Man foe the Chameleon and X-Men villain Mystqiue, making them siblings.
  • Pony POV Series:
    • Octavia is Pinkie Pie's sister, though she left the rock farm at an early age to become a musician, which is why they hardly interact.
    • Berry Punch is Cheerilee's sister.
    • Screwball is Filthy Rich's wife and Diamond Tiara's mother. In the fic, she is named Golden Tiara, though some characters call her Screwball as an insult.
  • The Bridge:
    • Pipsqueak and Octavia are cousins.
    • According to the spinoff The Bridge: Humanity's Stand, Marshal Stacker Pentecost adopted Miki Saegusa as well as Mako Mori.
    • Raiga was made a member of Godzilla's species and considered an honorary cousin.
  • Many My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fics depict Amethyst Star/Sparkler as Derpy's daughter and Dinky's sister, even though Derpy and Amethyst look about the same age.
  • In Aftermath Of The Games unlike the pony versions of Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo who are just surrogate sisters, the human Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo here are real sisters.
    • Also, even though no relationship is established between them in canon, here Cinch is revealed to be Fleur's mother.
  • Friendship is Witchcraft:
    • Rainbow Dash is Scootaloo's very distant mother.
    • Rarity and Sweetie Belle are still sisters however aren't blood related, as Sweetie is a robot.
    • Francis (Shining Armor) is Twilight's adopted brother instead of her biological brother. She doesn't see him as a brother, instead she wants to marry him. She does in fact.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash are Childhood Friends. In the fanfic Asylum they are foster sisters.

    Films — Animation 
  • In the original The Snow Queen, Gerda and Kai are very close friends and implied love interests who grew up together. In the 2012 adaptation, they're biological siblings who were separated until right before Kai gets kidnapped.
  • Frozen is also loosely Inspired By The Snow Queen. In the original, Gerda and the Snow Queen are totally unrelated (indeed, the Queen is closer to The Fair Folk); here the Queen (Elsa) and Gerda's equivalent (Anna) are sisters, and their relationship is the main theme of the movie.
  • Meet the Robinsons was based on the William Joyce book A Day With Wilbur Robinson, where the unnamed protagonist meets his friend Wilbur's family. In the film, the protagonist, Lewis, meets Wilbur because Wilbur is his Kid from the Future, a fact not revealed until the third act.
  • In the film of Horton Hears a Who! JoJo is introduced early on as the Mayor of Whoville's oldest child and only son. In the book, JoJo only appears right at the end, which could easily be the first time he and the Mayor have ever met. See also Seussical below.
  • In Hercules, the title character is the legit son of Zeus and Hera.
  • Inverted in How to Train Your Dragon. In the books, Snotlout is Hiccup's cousin, and sees himself as a better choice as heir to the chieftainship. In Dreamworks continuity, there's no suggestion he's in line for the title, although he still sees himself (wrongly) as a better leader than Hiccup.
  • Inverted in Bambi. In the books Faline is Bambi's cousin. To avoid Kissing Cousins this aspect of their relationship is never referenced in the film.
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer:
    • Rudolph has no parents stated in the song. In the Rankin/Bass special he is Donner's son while in Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer The Movie he is Blitzen's son.
    • Comet, Cupid, Dasher, and Blitzen are brothers in Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer The Movie. No such relationship is implied in Twas The Night Before Christmas.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Wizard of Oz turns the Wicked Witches from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz into sisters. Quite a few later adaptations of the book also make this change, with some (such as The Wiz) even turning all four of the witches into sisters.
  • In Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Raiden and Shao Kahn are revealed to be brothers. And later it's revealed that Shinnok is their father. Which isn't canon in the video games, except for the equally non-canon Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.
  • May have been intended in the Transformers film franchise, when Optimus Prime calls his arch-nemesis Megatron "brother", even thought they're robots. Also making this example a sort of Cain and Abel.
  • In Batman & Robin, Batgirl is made Alfred's niece (instead of being Commissioner Gordon's daughter).
  • Kirsty in Hellraiser was originally a neighborhood love interest for Larry/Rory Cotton in the novella The Hellbound Heart. In the movie she becomes his daughter.
  • The Doctor Who film Dr. Who and the Daleks had Susan and Barbara as Dr. Who's granddaughters (with the surname "Who" no less), with Ian being Barbara's boyfriend.
  • The Addams Family: A variation of this trope. In the TV series, Fester is Morticia's uncle. In the films, he's Gomez's brother, thus making him uncle to Pugsley and Wednesday. This is due to Gomez and Fester's dynamic chemistry in the TV series. This change remained in future adaptations.
  • X-Men:
    • Inverted in X-Men: The Last Stand there is no relationship between Xavier and Juggernaut while they are step brothers in the comics (with Juggernaut's hatred of Xavier being his major motivation).
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine makes Sabertooth Wolverine's half-brother (as opposed to simply being another Weapon X experiment). Though it seemed to be Fanon before the movie was filmed, due to Dog (Wolverine's half-brother in the comic) having a resemblance to Sabertooth in the end. This also makes him a Composite Character.
    • In X-Men: First Class, Professor Xavier and Mystique are step siblings, meanwhile there's an inversion with Havok, who in the comics is Cyclops' younger brother, but in the film there is no mention of any relationship.
      • It's eventually clarified in X-Men: Apocalypse that Havok is still Cyclops' brother, but is now the older brother instead of the younger one. Significantly older, in fact, since Havok is already in his 30's when Cyclops is still a teenager. Around the time First Class came out, however, reports said Havok was Cyclops's father in this continuity.
    • Apparently inverted with Banshee and Siryn, who are father and daughter in the comics. Due to Banshee being killed sometime between First Class and Days of Future Past, and Siryn is likely around 10 during X2: X-Men United (taking place in 2003).
  • Inverted in the V.I. Warshawski film, where Bernard "Boom-Boom" Grafaulk, who was V.I.'s cousin in the original books, was changed to a potential love interest. Considering he was the murder victim in both, it didn't get far enough to start getting weird.
  • Most scholars believe that Achilles and Patroclus were lovers (Patroclus definitely was a close friend and mentor to the somewhat younger Achilles), but they were made cousins (and the age and mentor-student relationship reversed) in the 2004 movie Troy, and the insistence on this being the reason for their closeness, (and Achilles' Roaring Rampage of Revenge when Patroclus is killed) bordered on Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?. Cleolinda Jones mocked this change mercilessly in her parody of the film.
    • This example is a subversion however, as Patroclus and Achilles really were (not very closely) related, albeit in a different way from the movie: Patroclus' grandmother Aegina was Achilles' great-grandmother, making Patroclus Achilles' first cousin once removed.
    • In the same movie, Briseis is the cousin of Hector and Paris while in the Iliad, she's not even a Trojan.
  • Ingmar Bergman's film of The Magic Flute makes Sarastro Pamina's father.
  • Inverted in Banlieue 13 as Lola is changed from Leito's sister in the original to his ex-girlfriend in the remake Brick Mansions.
  • In Paddington Bear Mrs Bird was originally the Brown's housekeeper. It would be very unusual for a present day middle class English family to employ a live-in housekeeper, so in Paddington she is described as a relative, though what relationship she has to any of them is never stated.
  • In the Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Inverted in Thor: The Dark World, where Tyr, who is Thor's older brother in the comics, is depicted as just another Asgardian warrior.
    • Likewise, Heimdall and Sif are siblings in the comics (and the original mythology), but while the films never make it explicit that they aren't related in this universe, there's no mention of it either.
    • Due to the X-Men rights being off-limits, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch are not the children of Magneto. Though for what it's worth, them becoming Magneto's kids was a Retcon in the first place, and another Retcon was put in place before the movie debuted to reverse this and establish that it's no longer the case in the comics either.
    • In the comics, Ultron was built by Ant-Man and considers him his father. The MCU hadn't debuted Ant-Man yet, so the relationship was transferred to Iron Man instead, complete with the resulting daddy issues.
    • In Guardians of the Galaxy:
      • In the comics, Gamora is Thanos' adopted daughter and top assassin; and Nebula is an independent space pirate who claims to be his biological granddaughter, but it's left ambiguous as to whether or not this is actually true. In the film, both women are "daughters" of Thanos, and they consider each other surrogate sisters (other "siblings" are also mentioned, but not named or shown).
      • In both the comics and film, Peter Quill is half-human with an alien Disappeared Dad. While the film left the identity of the father open as a Sequel Hook, Word of God has stated that it is not J'Son of Spartax as it is in the comics.
  • Inverted in Kingsman: The Secret Service. The Secret Service has Jack London as Eggsy's uncle, but Jack's film counterpart Harry Hart isn't related to Eggsy in anyway.
  • The G. I. Joe Film Series:
    • Inverted with Heavy Duty and Roadblock, as there aren't any hints of them being cousins.
    • Played straight with Cobra Commander and Baroness being siblings in the movies.
  • In Spectre, we find out that Blofeld is Bond's older stepbrother, and that his entire motivation stems from the belief that their father loved James more.
  • In the Stuart Little book Stuart is the biological son of the Little's, who just happens to somehow look like a mouse and be extremely small like one. The Stuart Little films make him a Happily Adopted mouse.
  • Several characters get connected in flm adaptation of WarCraft:
    • Orgrim Doomhammer and Durotan were originally from different clans, Blackrock and Frostwolf, and their friendship was considered unusual among orcs. Here, Orgrim is a Frostwolf and Durotan's second in command.
    • Taria Wrynn, Llane's wife and Lothar's sister, didn't exist in the original, and so didn't this link between Lothar and Llane.
    • Garona, who was Medivh's lover (see: Fanon Discontinuity) in the original, is implied to be his daughter here.
  • Punisher: War Zone:
    • In its use of characters from both the mainstream books and the MAX series, makes Jigsaw the nephew of Jennifer Cesare's grandfather, Gaitano as Jigsaw didn't appear in the MAX series until the "Girls in White Dresses" arc a few months before the film's release where the Heavy was revealed to be Jigsaw's MAX incarnation.
    • Those Two Bad Guys for Nicolas Cavella, Pittsy and Ink, are father and son.

    Gamebooks 
  • Lone Wolf: In Fire on the Water, Lone Wolf meets separately with both Durenese Lord Axim of Ryme and Viveka the mercenary woman, but there is no hint they could be related. In the Legends of Lone Wolf novelization, those two are father and daughter.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The remake of Hawaii Five-O made Chin Ho and Kono cousins.
  • The Arrowverse:
    • Arrow:
      • Thea Dearden Queen is basically Mia Dearden reinvented as Ollie's sister. Additionally, she turned out to be the biological daughter of Malcolm Merlyn, Green Arrow's Arch-Enemy in the comics, after having an affair with Oliver's mother. For the matter, Walter Steele becomes Oliver and Thea's stepfather while in the comics he's just a minor character.
      • Yao Fei and Shado are re-imagined as father and daughter. The comic book counterparts have never even met.
      • Nyssa Al-Ghul (Nyssa Raatko) was married to Oliver in the show. They are total strangers in the comics.
      • Inverted with the Ravager. She's usually the illegitimate daughter of Slade Wilson. Here, she's merely his Dragon. Justified though, as she's a Composite Character of Isabel Rochev, whom the Ravager's actual civilian identity in this version.
      • Noak Kuttler aka The Calculator, a Birds of Prey villain, becomes the father of Felicity Smoak, a minor Firestorm character.
    • The Flash (2014):
      • The show makes Barry an honorary member of the West family, after they took him in when Barry's mom was murdered and dad was jailed for it. In the comics, Iris West was his girlfriend and later wife; the show makes them Like Brother and Sister instead, plus Barry sees her father Joe as a Parental Substitute. It's clear that the show is moving them towards romance (and other versions of them are shown as married in possible futures, alternate dimensions, and the like), but it's slow going and so far there has never been a time when both of them were emotionally ready to be involved with each other at once.
      • Also involving the West family, Wally West is introduced as the brother/son that Iris and Joe never knew they had, where in the comics he's Iris' nephew. This in turn makes Barry his surrogate brother instead of his uncle or merely his aunt's boyfriend.
      • In the comics, Axel Walker is a Legacy Character inspired by the original Trickster. In the show, he turns out to be the original Trickster's bastard son.
      • Inverted with Eddie Thawne, when compared to his closest comic counterpart Malcolm Thawne: in addition to being a much nicer person, Eddie has no blood relation to Barry Allen, whereas Malcolm was Barry's identical Evil Twin, which along with Impulse, gives Barry familiar ties to his arch-foe, Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash. However, while he's not a blood relative of Barry's, Eddie is still an ancestor to Eobard.
      • Ronnie Raymond and Caitlin Snow are engaged throughout the first season and then married as of the first season finale. In the Firestorm comics, they're enemies as that version of Caitlin is an evil supervillain, Killer Frost.
      • Doctor Light is an Alternate Universe Evil Twin counterpart of Linda Park; in the comics they're completely separate.
      • Similarly, Jay Garrick and Hunter Zolomon are Alternate Universe counterparts of one another, where in the comic they have no such relation. This is a Red Herring; Hunter's counterpart is actually another Hunter Zolomon, aka Zoom, who only used "Jay Garrick" as an alias. The real Jay Garrick is a counterpart to Barry's dad Henry Allen; where, again, they aren't related in the comics.
      • This show has also made references to the 1990 Flash series and implied that it's another Alternate Universe in the Arrowverse. Since John Wesley Shipp plays both the 1990 Barry Allen and the 2014 Henry Allen, it can be assumed they're counterparts of one another and of the 2014 Jay Garrick, as explained above.
    • In a cross-show example, Ronnie Raymond and Felicity Smoak are an inversion. In the comics, she's his Wicked Stepmother. On TV, he's a Recurring Character on The Flash and she's a regular on Arrow, and they've never even met.
    • Legends of Tomorrow:
      • The show features Sara Lance donning the White Canary identity, making the character related to the entire Black Canary family. In the comics, the White Canary is a villain and self-appointed Arch-Enemy of Black Canary.
      • Inverted by Connor Hawke. In the comics, he's Oliver's bastard son and successor as Green Arrow. Here, he's merely someone inspired to take up Oliver's superhero mantle. This is a result of him being turned into a Decomposite Character, as his original status as Oliver's illegitimate son was given to William Clayton in the show. Instead, he's John Diggle's son. If that's the case, then this plays straight with Lyla Michaels, Harbringer from the comics, who is John Diggle's wife.
    • Supergirl (2015) re-imagined Non, one of General Zod's Co-Dragons in the comics, as Supergirl's Evil Uncle through his marriage to her mother's Evil Twin. This also makes him a part of Superman's extended family by default.
  • In the Sky1 adaptation of Going Postal, "Princess", the very young clacks tower operator, becomes the granddaughter of Grand Trunk engineer Mr Pony.
  • The Agatha Christie's Poirot adaptation of the Hercule Poirot novel Cards on the Table adds a mother-daughter relationship between two of the suspects, partly in order to make the older woman's protection of the younger woman more plausible.
    • In the same adaptation of Third Girl, Frances Cary becomes a half-sister of Norma Restarick, whose father left her mother for her teacher, Miss Battersby, with whom he had a relationship.
    • The same adaptation of Appointment with Death makes both Dr. Theodore Gerard and Dame Celia Westholme the actual, biological parents of Jinny Boynton.
  • Freddy Martinez and Cara, best friends in the Goosebumps book Vampire Breath, are said to look like siblings. When it was adapted into a TV episode, they are actually siblings. They learned that they're vampires and Count Nightwing is their grandpa. While in the book, only Fred is a vampire, while Cara becomes a werewolf...
  • True Blood: Tara and Lafayette were not related in The Southern Vampire Mysteries, but in the show, they are cousins.
  • Inverted with Lieutenant Sharon Agathon in Battlestar Galactica (2003). She has the callsign Athena, which makes her the counterpart to Admiral Adama's daughter Lieutenant Athena in Battlestar Galactica (1978), but there's no relationship at all. In fact, this Athena is a copy of the Number Eight model of humanoid Cylon.
    • They do have a pseudo-father/daughter figure bond, however.
    • And Word of God from the showrunners of the Galactica prequel Caprica is that the Eights are based on Admiral Adama's deceased half-sister Tamara. Which, if true, means that she is in fact, like, a niece.
    • Boomer is also an instance of Number Eight in the re-imagined series, so this Lieutenant Boomer and Lieutenant Athena are "identical twins", whereas the original Galactica's Lieutenant Boomer (who was a man) and Lieutenant Athena were completely unrelated.
  • Done multiple times in adapting Super Sentai into Power Rangers:
    • In Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Season 3 introduces Rita Repulsa's family; her brother Rito Revolto and father Master Vile. While Vile's and Rito's counterparts were father and son in Kakuranger, Rita's was part of another series altogether. Megaforce would do something similar, making Goseiger's Big Bad part of the Gokaiger villains' royal family.
    • Inverted in both Lightspeed Rescue and Mystic Force; both GoGoV and Magiranger were Super Family Teams composed of siblings, but none of the core Lightspeed Rangers were relatednote  and family relations of the Mystic Rangers were drastically reduced: the Blue and Pink Rangers were sisters, and only the Red Ranger was related to supporting characters instead of the entire team.
  • While Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rarely makes the distinction whether the turtle brothers are related by adoption or blood, Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation specifically states they're not blood-related to each other or the female Sixth Ranger so that the boys can be Ship Teased with her.
    • Relatedly and Downplayed in Turtles Forever. While there's obviously no blood relation between the turtles and Splinter, the 2003 versions call him "father," to the surprise and confusion of their 1987 counterparts, who call him, "Sensei."
  • The Flash (1990) re-imagined Jay Garrick as Barry Allen's older brother. In the comics, Jay Garrick is merely Barry's predecessor as The Flash.
  • The Walking Dead:
    • The Greene family Zig-Zagged this as the family relationship got shuffled a bit. In the comics, Hershel only had one late wife, while the TV show split them in two. Of his canonical children, only Maggie retained her original status being his child from his first wife. Shawn was only his step-son here, while Arnold became the nephew of his first wife instead. The rest of the canonical children were Adapted Out and was filled/replaced by a daughter named Beth.
    • Another possible remix. In the comics, Tyreese has a daughter named Julie. In the show, he has a younger sister named Sasha with no sign of Julie.
    • Lilly Chambler became related to the Chambler (Chalmers in the comics) family in virtue of being a Composite Character of Lily Caul (her main counterpart) and April Chalmers. This also extends to Lilly's daughter Meghan, Caul's stillborn child in the comics.
  • Happens at several points in Once Upon a Time. Due to the Arc Welding between several different tales, unrelated stories and characters are tied together into the same family.
  • In Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, it's implied that one of Literature/Cinderella's stepsisters became the Red Queen of Wonderland (who later marries the Knave of Hearts, who is actually Will Scarlet).
  • In Jessica Jones, Jessica is the adopted sister of Patsy Walker, a character she has no connection to whatsoever in the comics.
  • In Gotham, Silver St. Cloud is a member of the Dumas Family (a.k.a. the Order of St. Dumas).

    Puppet Shows 

    Theater 

    Video Games 
  • The change to Harvest Moon 64 to Harvest Moon: Back to Nature changed a large portion of the characters families:
    • Karen used to be Sasha's and Gotz's daughter however in Back To Nature her father became Jeff, who was originally Elli's father figure (and love interest). Gotz is now a widower.
    • Stu is Elli's little brother in Back To Nature. Originally he was unrelated.
    • Rick was originally Gray's and Ann's cousin. In Back To Nature he is Popuri's older brother instead, despite still looking related to Ann (they're redheaded while Popuri has pink hair).
  • In the original Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, Big Boss was simply Solid Snake's commanding officer in the former and his nemesis in the latter. When the Metal Gear franchise was later revived with Metal Gear Solid, Solid Snake was revealed to be Big Boss's son, or more specifically a genetically modified clone of him, with one CODEC conversation implying that Big Boss imparted that knowledge to Solid Snake during the events of Metal Gear 2, even though no such scene ever actually occurred. This eventually allowed younger Big Boss to be used as Solid Snake expy in the prequel Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, where he goes under the codename Naked Snake.

    Web Comics 
  • Inverted in Dumbing of Age, which adapts the author's Walkyverse comics into a College AU. In the Walkyverse, Faz turned out to be Amber's half-brother, conceived from her dad's extramarital affair. In Dumbing of Age, Faz is apparently her stepbrother instead.
    • Also sort of inverted with Beef: in the Walkyverse he was Walky's adoptive brother, with the "adoptive" part being a plot twist. In this version Beef only gets a few cameos with no indication that he even knows Walky.

    Western Animation 
  • Young Justice
    • Cheshire becomes the sister of Artemis, and therefore the daughter of the original Huntress and Sportsmaster. This entails Artemis and Huntress getting a Race Lift.
    • Martian Manhunter and Miss Martian are uncle and niece, while they're unrelated in the comics. Word of God confirms that this is true, despite the revelation that Miss Martian is actually a White Martian.
    • Inverted with Ra's Al-Ghul and the Sensei by Word of God. Despite "The Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul" revealing that the Sensei was Ra's's father, Greg Weisman has said that isn't the case on the show.
  • In Martin Mystery the main character and his female partner in paranormal investigating are step siblings. In the comics the show is based off of she's his unrelated Love Interest.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man:
    • In the Spider-Man comics Silver Sable and Silvermane are a completely unrelated mercenary and gangster. In The Spectacular Spider-Man Silver Sable is Silvermane's villainous daughter. Thus her real name was changed from Silver Sablivona to Sable Manfredi.
    • The series also combines this trope with Composite Character. In the comics Uncle Ben's killer is a nameless street thug. In the cartoon he's Black Cat's father The Cat.
    • In the comics, Liz Allan has a step-brother named Mark Raxon with whom she's very close; in this series they're blood siblings with the surname Allan.
  • Spider-Man (1967) had Mary Jane Watson as the niece of Captain Stacy, to whom she was unrelated in the comics. This let her carry some of the role of Gwen Stacy, Spidey's other major love interest in the comics, who wasn't used in the series.
  • Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch:
    • Shinji is Enchantra's son.
    • Enchantra and Della (renamed Spella) are sisters.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Karai in the original Mirage comics was simply Shredder's top agent. In the 2003 cartoon she is his adopted daughter. In the 2012 cartoon she appears to be Shredder's biological daughter, but it's later revealed he kidnapped her in infancy and raised her, but she's actually Splinter's biological daughter (making her the turtles 'step'-sister.)
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002) made Man-At-Arms and Fisto brothers. Also there was some implication (though never confirmed) that either Man-At-Arms or Fisto was Teela's biological father. In the Filmation cartoon Teela was Man-At-Arms' adopted daughter and her biological father was an unnamed soldier who had died years before, while in the original minicomics Teela was a clone of the Sorceress.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Tirek and Scorpan are brothers, while in the original TV special Scorpan was his Dragon. In both cases, Scorpan pulled a HeelĖFace Turn and helped the ponies defeat Tirek.
  • X-Men: Evolution:
    • Xavier and Juggernaut are changed from step-brothers to half-brothers.
    • Inverted with Amanda Sefton. In the comics she's Kurt's adopted sister whom he dates; here they keep the romance but cut out the sibling angle.
  • In the 2014 Rainbow Brite reboot Brian is a descendant of Krys. In the original continuity they co-exist in the same time period, but never meet each other.
  • Word of God is the Koopalings are unrelated to Bowser in Super Mario Bros.. In The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World they are his children.
  • Both G.I. Joe: The Movie and G.I. Joe: Renegades made Lt. Falcon Duke's brother. Though in the former, they were half-brothers.

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