Related in the Adaptation

In a work, 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

Anime and Manga

Comic Books
  • 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 Ultimate Marvel universe, M'Baku the Man-Ape is Black Panther's older brother.
  • 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 version of the New Gods:
    • 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 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.
  • Inverted in Justice League United, where Adam Strange's wife Alanna is an Earth human with no more connection to Rann than he has, rather than the Rannian chief scientist's daughter.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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.

Film
  • 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.
  • A variation of this trope. In the TV series of The Addams Family, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • In Once Upon a Time, Gerda is the mother of Elsa and Anna, and the original Snow Queen is her sister Ingrid.
  • 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.
  • Ingmar Bergman's film of The Magic Flute makes Sarastro Pamina's father.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
      • 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.
  • In Hercules, the title character is the legit son of Zeus and Hera.

Live-Action TV
  • The remake of Hawaii Five-O made Chin Ho and Kono cousins.
  • 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.
    • Yao Fei and Shado are re-imagined as father and daughter. The comic book counterparts have never even met.
    • Unique example with Nyssa Raatko. In both the comics and the show, she's the biological daughter of Ra's Al-Ghul, but while she is estranged from her father and uses her mother's maiden name in the comics, the show's version of Nyssa is still close to her dad and uses the last name Al-Ghul.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Flash (2014):
    • In the Flash 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.
    • It also 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's relationship adds a Like Brother and Sister bond to this plus Barry sees her father Joe as a Parental Substitute.
    • Ronnie Raymond and Caitlin Snow are engaged throughout the first season and then married as of the season finale. In the Firestorm comics, they're enemies.
  • 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.
  • Legends of Tomorrow, a Spin-Off of both Arrow and The Flash (2014), will feature 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.
  • 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.

Puppet Shows

Theater
  • In the stage musical of Disney's The Little Mermaid, Triton and Ursula are siblings. (This was part of Disney's original concept for the movie, but it was dropped in development.)
  • In Seussical, JoJo is an Ascended Extra and the Mayor of Whoville's son, a move which was repeated in the Horton Hears a Who! film (see above).

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.
  • In Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch, Shinji is Enchantra's son.
  • 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.)
  • The 2002 He-Man series 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 Heel-Face Turn and helped the ponies defeat Tirek.
  • In 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.
  • Winx Club:
    • The Mermaid Queen and her daughter who Aisha helps to gain her Enchantix become Aisha's aunt and cousin in the Nickelodeon dub. How a fairy is related to mermaids is never divulged.