Shared Family Quirks
Appearance isn't the only thing that family members can share. Much of the time, family members tend to act similarly, either by having similar habits, taking similar actions when faced with similar decisions, or otherwise having certain quirks indicative of the family. While their overall personalities can be entirely different, individual habits can still be shared between them. This has the scientific justification of learned behavior in immediate families, since a young, impressionable child is very likely to be watching when a parent or sibing is doing something, so the child will be likely to imitate that behavior. In several works, this can actually be Foreshadowing a reveal that two characters are related when certain habits are shared between them. Subtrope to Like Father, Like Son. Compare It Runs in the Family.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- One Piece: Even before Garp was revealed as Luffy's grandfather, they both showed a Bunny-Ears Lawyer mentality, being more concerned with eating most of the time and often being absent-minded. Ace was very much the same despite being adopted; his relative maturity is somewhat of a recent development and a result of being Luffy's primary caretaker, but even so, he shares many traits with his brother and grandfather, the most prominent being that he's a bottomless pit as well and prone to random fits of narcolepsy, even more so than they are.
- In Naruto the Ninja Families share their powers and inclinations for some reason. Naruto's mother Kushina was a female version of Naruto.
- In the short-lived manga Takama-ga-hara hero Yamato has a Childhood Friend, Mizuho, who's kind of obsessed with being a good match for him by getting stronger. In the penultimate chapter, we see that she has four sisters who are equally obsessed with Yamato's four brothers, each with the age-appropriate counterpart.
- Bleach: Siblings Byakuya and Rukia Kuchiki have the same drawing skills and artistic perspective; their drawings are awful but they both think their artwork is superb. Part of the joke is that they're siblings by adoption but share the kind of quirks that might crop up in blood relatives.
- A weird example in Neon Genesis Evangelion includes this not with a regular relative, but an Artificial Human and the person who donated the human portions of her DNA. Personality wise, they are not very similar, with the donor being an ambitious, yet charming Well-Intentioned Extremist Mad Scientist who was raised in and heavily involved with a conspiracy, and the "clone" being a stoic, yet socially inept Kuu Dere Warrior Poet Child Soldier, but apparently, their way of wringing out their dust cloths is similar enough to freak out the donor's biological son. Interestingly, they do that similar thing in vastly different contexts - The mad scientist would have been so wealthy that she had no need to clean anything herself unless she enjoyed housewifely activities, while the clone was simply on cleaning duty at school, but isn't shown to be particularly cleanly in her home appartment.
- A straighter example would be a scene where Rei, the clone girl, is shown reading an advanced biology book, implying that she's inherited her donor's aptitude for it.
- Rei also has the "nurture" version of this going on, given that her stoic mannerisms, much of her body language and her tendency to fold her hands when seated are noticeably copied off the man who more or less raised her.
- In Dragon Ball Z both of Goku's sons share his love for food, nature, helping others, and pure heart. Gohan is more mature and serious while Goten is like Goku as a child except with some social skills. They all also have powerful tempers that flare up when their love ones are in danger.
- Wolverine has this with his biological son Daken, but especially his Opposite-Sex Clone/genetically engineered daughter, Laura. They all share the same mutations (Healing Factor, Super Senses, Wolverine Claws), Daken takes Logan's skill with the ladies Up to Eleven (and even further by also having skills with men) thanks to his manipulative nature and pheromones, and even without the effects of the Trigger Scent, Laura inherited his temper.
- Most of Brainiac's descendants are varying degrees of unsocial and think very highly of themselves and their intellects. (The pre-Crisis Brainiac 5 was an earnestly nice guy, and much less prone to pride than other Brainiacs.)
- In The Great Alicorn Hunt Fluttershy's parents and brother share her coat/mane colors, soft voice, and introverted demeanor. Like her, they are also surprisingly talented: her brother is skilled at martial arts, her father is a cloud sculptor/architect who developed the principles of cloud hydroponics, and her mother is a gardener in Cloudsdale. Yes, Fluttershy's mother grows plants on clouds.
- At the end of Maverick, Annabelle tells how she figured out that Zane Cooper is Maverick's father; that they both draw their guns the same way, kiss the same way, and both sing the same incredible wrong words to "Amazing Grace."
Both Mavericks: Do not!
- In one scene in Back to the Future, Marty facepalms at a diner in disbelief that he's in the past, and the camera pans to his future father, George, who is facepalming the exact same way.
- In The Darjeeling Limited one of the Brothers has a quirky way of planning breakfast by semi-arbitrarily assigning different cereals to each brother. When they encounter their mother, the audience sees that he picked this quirk up from her.
- In the movie What a Girl Wants, Daphne and her absent father Henry put jam on their toast before folding it in half and eating it in the exact same way. They also both have a thing for Coco Pops.
- Forrest Gump: At the end, both young Forrest and older Forrest bend their head in the exactly same way.
- In Halloweentown, Kalabar and Kal both flirt by presenting their intended with a rose—and, for added similarity, the respective girls are a mother and daughter.
- In the final movie, Gwen knows that Marnie will do her laundry on Wednesday because she did laundry on Wednesday when she was in college. Huh.
- In Frozen, Anna and Elsa, as sisters, happen to share a number of things:
- At the coronation ball, when Elsa asks Anna, "What is that amazing smell?", they both simultaneously sniff the air and happily sigh "Chocolate!" before giggling.
- On a sadder note, when mourning their parents at the end of "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?", we see both sisters sitting on the opposite sides of the same door, hugging their knees in the exact same fashion.
- A Goofy Movie: Max appears to have inherited his father's Signature Laugh (Ah-hyuk), something he's incredibly embarrassed about, especially after it slips out in front of Roxanne, a girl he has crush on. In the end, she reveals to him that hearing him laugh was why she began to like him in the first place.
- Luis, Jorge and Carmelo from The Book of Life, shared a running Sanchez trait of handicapping oneself when fighting bulls because "fighting otherwise is for cowards". Jorge also shares Manolo's love and talent for music.
- The Hamadas from Big Hero 6 are all snarky in their own way.
- In A Brother's Price, the grandmothers of the Whistler clan were spies. While this certainly influenced how the grandchildren were brought up, the kids also share an enthusiasm for the work, and promptly report to Jerin what their newly arrived guests have in their luggage. Jerin chides them for going through their guest's things (and is told not to worry, because "they won't be able to tell"), but is later seen happily playing "break the code" with his sisters. The society at large considers this trope an obvious truth; with one family telling Eldest Whistler that they would have adopted a spare Whistler kid (as the Whistlers are disciplined and hard-working), but the only kids up for adoption were from "bad" families.
- In the Nero Wolfe novella Before I Die, the client, Dazy Perrit, has a daughter, but he has kept her existence and identity a secret to protect her from his enemies. He hires Wolfe to, among other things, break her of a habit she has of shrugging just like her mother did, which he fears has, or will reveal her parentage.
- Jane Austen liked this trope:
- Emma: Mr Woodhouse and his older daughter Isabella, Mrs John Knightley, are both of fragile constitution and very anxious, yet very kind-hearted. They are very particular about their (and everybody else's) health and they couldn't do without their family doctors. They also deeply love their family and they respect their old friends and acquaintances. Oh, and both Mr Woodhouse and Mrs John Knightley are very fond of gruel which often serves as their Comfort Food.
- Pride and Prejudice:
- Both Mr Bennet and his daughter Elizabeth love making fun of silly people.
- Lydia and to a lesser extent Kitty take after their mother: they are loud, silly and generally embarrassing.
- Sense and Sensibility:
- Mrs Dashwood and her younger daughter Marianne are both very romantic and have deep feelings (that especially Marianne exaggerates), to the point that it's rather self-harming.
- Fanny Dashwood is envious, greedy and mean. Her mother, Mrs Ferrars, is even more so, yet they are both sure they are perfectly lovely. Quite the evil variant of the trope.
- Mrs Jennings and her daughter Charlotte behaviour would fall into this category as well. They both loved fun, however, it was sometimes very inappropriate.
- In Inheritance Cycle, Ajihad realizes that Murtagh is Morzan's son because their voices are apparently identical.
- In Harry Potter, Harry and his father have the same Patronus (a stag). They are also both avid Quidditch players, though Harry joins the team before learning that and the two play different positions.
- At one point, Ron uses the old-fashioned term "scarlet woman" and, when Hermione laughs, mutters that that's what his mother usually calls people like that.
- During an argument with Fred and George, Ginny strikes a pose so much like Mrs. Weasley that Harry is surprised that the twins aren't cowed by it.
- Comes up a lot in short stories by Edgar Allan Poe, such as "William Wilson" and "The Fall of the House of Usher".
- In Doctor Sleep, Abra has a way of wiping her lips with one hand that readers of The Shining will find familiar. Turns out she gets it from maternal grandfather Jack Torrance, who died long before she was born.
- In Vampire Academy, Rose notes that Victor Dashkov and his teenaged daughter Natalie share the tendency of rambling when they speak.
Live Action TV
- Friends did this a few times.
- As Ross and Monica were siblings they were revealed to have some weird shared obsessions from their childhood, including quiz shows, the Osmonds, a dance routine that they won a school talent show by performing and the "Gellar Family Cup" awarded after family sports matches.
- When Phoebe meets her long-lost biological mother she discovers that they both use the made up word "floopy". The mother then plays with this by pointing out her love of pizza as another sign that they must be related.
- One Midsomer Murders has Barnaby figure out two women are related when both use the same bizarre expression despite not living near each other, just in time to save the Asshole Victim.
- On Monk, all of Kevin Dorfman's relatives are big talkers.
- In Once Upon a Time, Mary Margaret (Snow White), her daughter Emma, and Emma's son Henry all share a taste for cinnamon sprinkled on top of their hot chocolate. This helps to "prove" that they're all related even though Mary Margaret has no memory of it and Emma doesn't believe it.
- Murdoch Mysteries: A visiting Mountie, Sargeant Jasper Linney, starts upstaging Detective Murdoch in the areas where he usually excels. They share ideas on how to investigate the case and at one point, they are seen walking side by side, with their hands joined behind their back and deep in thought. It turns out that Murdoch and Linney are half-brothers.
- In the Doctor Who episode "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship", a running joke is that "it's all about the pockets" in Rory's family. His dad, Brian, always carries a trowel and Rory himself always carries a medical kit scavenged from his various adventures with the Doctor.
- Meta-example in Stargate Atlantis: When Martin Gero (one of the writer/producers) saw David Hewlett's sister Kate in a play, he likes her acting so much that he wanted to put her in the show. However, he notes in the commentary for her first episode that she has "Hewlett-isms" so she could only play a relative of McKay. In their episodes together, the siblings shared traits are quite apparent as well.
- In the TV series Men in Trees an older man and a younger man who are friends realize that they are father-and-son when the younger one sneezes; they both sneeze in sevens.
- Metal Gear Solid 3 reveals that Naked Snake/Big Boss had an affinity for cardboard boxes like his son/clone Solid Snake. According to the cardboard box trophy for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Liquid Snake, Big Boss's other clone/son, shares this affinity for cardboard. We have yet to hear as to whether or not Solidus, the third brother, shares in the familial corrugated joy.
- In Pokémon Platinum, your rival (Canon Name: Barry), is always in a rush and is rather impatient. This is shared with his father, Tower Tycoon Palmer, who runs into the player just like his son does.
- In Star Ocean: The Second Story, Claude has a habit of rating the party's performance on a scale of one to ten after a battle. Ilia Silvestri also displayed this quirk back in the first game, which supports the theory that she's his mother.
- Claude also uses a few of Ilia's Killer Moves.
- Cat Poke is about a child named Molly who likes to poke her pet cats in the butt. At the end, we find out her mom also like to poke butts. So she pokes Molly's.
- In MOTHER 1, you find Lloyd, your second party member, hiding in a trash can on the roof of his school from bullies. Later on, in the swamp, you find a character who claims to be Lloyd's father. Hiding in a trash can.
- In Tales of Symphonia, Lloyd and his father both dislike tomatoes.
- The MGS example above is parodied in The Last Days of FOXHOUND when Liquid is almost convinced by a voice coming from a cardboard board box, but then lampshades how ridiculous it would be to have a cardboard box be a useful disguise. Of course, when Big Boss takes control of Liquid's Body, however, he uses it as he always did, regardless of Liquid's snarkery.
- The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! — Being genetically identical with very different backgrounds, Molly and Golly are an object lesson in "nature vs. nurture." While their personalities are quite different, they still are both superhumanly intelligent, terribly naive, emotionally vulnerable, superhumanly fast, and have enormous appetites.
- Susan and Diane of El Goonish Shive show similar Neat Freak tendencies. This, combined with their similar appearance foreshadows the fact that they are identical twins Separated at Birth.
- In the Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure movie, this is how Buster figures out that Scamp is Tramp's son despite the former's denial. They both scratch in exactly the same way.
- In The Magic School Bus, both Carlos and his dad are frequent victims of the First Name Ultimatum as a result of constant bad puns. Both of Arnold's parents share his apprehension about field trips.
- In The Weekenders, Tino and his father share the same nervousness and Girly Scream. Tino also seems to have inherited his mother's snarkiness.
Tino's Mum: It's like a cloning experiment Gone Horribly Right.
- On South Park, both Stan and his mother pinch their noses when they see something stupid.
- The Simpsons: Both Lisa and Bart Simpson have said their father's Catchphrase "d'oh" on certain occasions. Lisa also inherited her mothers "Disgruntled groan" when her dad or brother are doing one of their stupid routines.
- In a Peanuts Christmas short that frequently plays on TV alongside A Charlie Brown Christmas, after Linus has to deal with Sally calling him "My sweet baboo", he watches as Charlie Brown signs a Christmas card to the Little Red Haired Girl, "Your Sweet Baboo, Charlie Brown". Charlie Brown then tells Linus, "It's a family expression."
- Ancient Romans were believers in this enough that it affected elections.
- Research has shown that identical twins often turn out to have minor quirks in common even when they weren't even raised together; One example had the two sisters walk into a shop indepedently of each other and buy the same outfit; Another had the men turning out to have opposite, but similarly extreme political views and an uncanny tendency to sneeze in elevators. Even things like left-handedness and sense of humor have been shown to be partially influenced by genetics, so this definitely does have some basis in reality. A quirk might just result from it being the most comfortable way to use a particular variation of bones and muscles.