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Adam and Eve Plot

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Too bad science means you’ll both die.
Kyon: Do I have to live in this gray world all alone with her?
Itsuki: Adam and Eve. If you reproduce enough, it'll work out?
Kyon: I'll smack you.

This is a plot where the remainders of a group, especially an entire race, must be protected from extinction. Occasionally, the final two actually do perish, but not before producing offspring who repopulate the species.

This, of course, ignores real population genetics, where a certain minimum number of genetically divergent (i.e. unrelated) individuals are needed in a gene pool to maintain a healthy genetic diversity over the generations. For humans it is an estimated 497 individuals (no joke) although 1,000+ is to be preferred. The general rule of thumb is the "50/500" guideline — that a population founded by 50 genetically diverse humans in isolation would last about 2,000 years before inbreeding did them in, while 500 or more stand a chance of lasting indefinitely so long as all of them reproduce and no major disasters wipe out a significant part of the gene pool during that time (although as with everything else involving genetics, this is a gross oversimplification and varies greatly with the conditions encountered).


Needless to say, you won't find this in direct siblings. More casually, this results in the unspoken implication that said newly propagated species does not have a problem with incest. This rarely comes up.

In particularly heavy-handed scenarios, the two survivors who rebirth their species will actually be named "Adam" and "Eve", or some fairly obvious variations on those names. This is sometimes called a Shaggy God Story.

Literary note: the "Adam and Eve" plot is mentioned (in a bad way) in many articles and books on writing science fiction stories. Apparently it was, for many years, one of the most over-used twist endings in the badly written stories that make up the editors' mountainous "slush pile" of wasted efforts - in fact, many editors would reject stories with this twist on sight.

Usually found coupled with a New Eden in an allusion to the Garden of Eden; if some manner of vehicle or protective capsule is employed, this becomes an Ark or a City in a Bottle. Often the end result of Earth All Along. May overlap with Ancient Astronauts and/or lead to Advanced Ancient Humans. Related to Last of His Kind. Sister trope of Only You Can Repopulate My Race. Not to be confused with Coitus Ensues.


See also Babies Ever After.


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    Comic Books 
  • In a variation, on pre-Crisis Krypton the planet was, according to legend, populated by two Human Alien space travelers named Kryp and Tonn.
    • Which may be why marriage between cousins was legal in Silver Age Krypton as Kal-El creepily mentions to Kara once in a discussion that very lightly hits on this topic (they would be Adam and Eve if they weren't content with letting the species die with them).
    • In another Superman story "The Exile on the Edge of Eternity", taking place in the far future, Superman's descendant, the last human being (possibly the last sentient being) in the whole universe find himself alone on a tropical planet after saving the universe. A female emerges from a beam of light, created from a device he used to restore the cosmos, in the middle of a valley, seemingly answering his lonely prayers.
      A'dam'mkent had found his Eve!
  • Lampshaded on Post-IC Daxam. While the entire Daxamite race descends from Kryptonian explorers and the original, native Aboriginal Daxamite, the whole intermingling is summarized by a single, telltale meeting: a young, male Daxamite inviting a young, sexy Aboriginal Daxamite to join him in "their beutiful new home". Despite speaking nothing but the Language of Love, the couple, and by proxy their two races, elope in the current, Daxamite race.
  • A sinister twist on this plot is given in an EC Comics story about the aftermath of a nuclear war. The male protagonist spends the story searching for other life, wondering if there's anyone left, only to find a woman with whom he suspects he could repopulate the Earth. That is, until he learns that the woman is his sister. What happens next is left to the imagination.
    • There's one story in the short lived Weird Science comic series ("A New Beginning" from issue 22) where a man and a woman from the distant future end up becoming Adam and Eve after their time machine leaves them stranded in the past.
  • In one of the later ElfQuest stories, a small family of trolls find themselves stranded in a country where there are no other trolls. Flash forward a few thousand years and there are lots of trolls running around. Incest is hinted at but never stated outright.
    • For that matter, if we go by the story How Shall I Keep From Singing, it appears that all elves are descendant from a total of eight High Ones (and one wolf). The "no problem with inbreeding" can probably be explained with Recognition weeding out genetic defects.
      • One or two of the prose stories in the Blood of Ten Chiefs anthologies do name other High Ones that don't appear in How Shall I Keep From Singing, although the total population still wasn't very big.
  • Averted in Y: The Last Man: While Yorick wants to do this with his girlfriend Beth, it's pointed out that it would be impossible to do so with just two people. In the end, a combination of Adams, Eves, and cloning help bring the human race back.
  • Xemnu the Titan is an alien who has had this goal since he first appeared in the age of Marvel Monsters. Most of his plans have involved transforming human children into beings like himself, although his most recent plot (in She-Hulk's comic) involved trying it on She-Hulk in order to mate with her.
  • In Brightest Day, the insane and evil D'kay D'razz wants to revive the Green Martian race with Martian Manhunter J'onn J'onzz. Even if the plan weren't horribly flawed, she's infertile and deeply in denial about it.
  • In a magazine cartoon that allows you to recreate the circumstances of the time (even if you know very little about the 60's) the two survivors of an atomic war are a black man and a black woman. The man is saying to the woman "I'm sure Senator Russell would be pleased that the last two people on Earth are not only Americans, but from Georgia!"
  • When Vartox's people were hit with a Sterility Plague, he asked Power Girl to help him breed the next generation. Power Girl points out the flaws in this plan. Eventually, they cure his people's sterility instead.
    Power Girl: You didn't seriously think we could repopulate an entire planet, did you?
    Vartox: Given our stamina and power levels, I had assumed...
    Power Girl: I may have a lot of super-powered body parts, but even us super-heroines have limits.
  • Tank Girl: Apocalypse leads into an Adam and Eve plot, but this is not picked up on in later books.
  • Marvel Comics' 2001: A Space Odyssey issue 7 has a Star Child ('New Seed' in the comics) taking two lovers from their doomed planet to repopulate on another.

    Fan Works 
  • Higher Learning: Shinji and Asuka became this after the Third Impact in the original timeline. A character mentions it several times. The logical consequences do not go unmentioned.
  • The Second Try: Asuka and Shinji discuss this during one of the "flashback" chapters.
  • In Friendship is Physics, Star Swirl the Bearded mentions an unethical experiment he heard about. A male and female child were released into a sealed, artificial environment with no other contact. The two ponies grew up, but while they cared about each other, it never ever occurred to them to mate. The ones in charge of the experiment concluded that the stories of ponykind originating from a single male - female pair were false.
  • In Rocketship Voyager, Chakotay suggests that, instead of trying to travel 70,000 light years back to Earth, they establish a Second Foundation of Man on the other side of the galaxy. Captain Janeway rejects the idea out of hand, pointing out they've barely enough people—even counting the extraterrans on their crew—to establish a viable colony, and no race bank of embryos either (she's even more shocked when Chakotay suggests they find a planet with biologically-compatible aliens). It's suggested her dislike of this idea is based on a previous captain's attempt to force his female crewmembers (including a young Ensign Janeway) to become a Baby Factory for a similar colony, sparking a mutiny that was kicked off by a crewmember called Eve hurling a red globe of firefighting powder at an officer called Adams.

    Film — Animation 
  • Rio, the other Adam and Eve-plotted film of 2011 is about a blue Spix macaw who is sent to Rio in order to mate with the last remaining female of his kind.
    • Later subverted by the sequel which shows an entire flock of blue parrots hiding in the Amazon.
  • The now-canceled Pixar animated film Newt, about the last male and female blue-footed newts on Earth forced to mate to continue the species, even though they don't quite like each other to begin with. It was cancelled to avoid Dueling Movies with the above two.
  • 9 ends with this - sort of. Bonus points for the remaining stitchpunks (9, 7, 3 + 4) forming a sort-of Adam and Eve family, complete with Cain and Abel... but not the trope, thankfully.
  • Subverted in Ice Age 2: The Meltdown: Manny and Ellie think they are the last mammoths on Earth, when in fact a whole colony still exists (later seen in the film). However, the pool is probably very small, seeing as mammoths eventually did go extinct.
  • In Titan A.E., when the hero and heroine find the eponymous ship, onboard are genetic samples for long-destroyed Earth's species. Also, in a way, they are a symbolic "Adam and Eve". However, they do not need to populate the new world, mankind has been scattered across the galaxy and thus, they only need to call humans to the new planet. But who says that they won't anyway?
  • Alpha and Omega initially started with Humphrey and Kate being sent to Idaho to repopulate. Humphrey loved the idea more than Kate did.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Annihilation (2018), the only two survivors of the excursions into the Shimmer, Lena and Kane. The Shimmer is an psychedelic Garden of Eden where they encounter an alien creature which bestows upon them new knowledge (although the knowledge is incomprehensible to human minds). At the end of the film, the Shimmer collapses and, depending on your interpretation, Lena and Kane are the last remnants of the alien's DNA, thus beginning a new species.
  • Lampshaded in Matinee, a film set in the Cuban missile crisis, when the teen protagonists get locked in a nuclear shelter during a bomb scare. Ten Minutes in the Closet Ensues.
    "What if we're the only ones left?"
    "Then we become... Adam and Eve."
  • Jim Henson and Frank Oz's The Dark Crystal has Jen and Kira, who both thought they were the last Gelfling until they met the other. And since Gelflings can now live in peace after the Skeksis and Mystics join bodies, they obviously will end up repopulating the Gelfling species.
  • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home uses the animal version of this trope. This is a bit of a Double Subversion, as the animals actually do go extinct, but Time Travel rectifies the situation by bringing back the tropal two. Also, they aren't being brought forward to breed per se but to convince an alien probe not to destroy Earth. The novelization acknowledges that two (or three) individuals aren't enough to repopulate a species, so 23rd-century scientists are going to clone additional whales from cell samples preserved before the species was wiped out. (It's said that they couldn't have restored the species just by cloning, because humpback whales have enough learned behavior that they wouldn't be able to survive without someone to teach them.)
  • A rather disturbing variant occurs in 28 Days Later. It's left unclear whether the leader of surviving military members at the end of the film actually believes they can repopulate the Earth (or just Britain) with the two female survivors they have left, expects to capture more women, or simply decides to keep them to placate his unit while they wait for the end.
  • This was the twist ending to Mystery Science Theater 3000 alumnus Women of the Prehistoric Planet.
  • The more practical variant (about a dozen Adams and Eves) is brought up in The Matrix sequels when Neo learns that the true purpose of The One is to select 21 women and 7 men who will repopulate Zion after the machines destroy it. The machines know this will work since they've done it five times before.
    • Not to mention that unplugging humans out of the Matrix is their main means of increasing their numbers. Why wait for babies to grow up when there are billions of adults ready to harvest?
  • Planet of the Apes:
    • This was actually the initial plan in the original Planet of the Apes (1968). It was scrapped when the only female crew member was killed in the crash landing. Granted it's implied it would be partially expanded from the usual trope by there being multiple "adams".
    • In Planet of the Apes (2001), all humans on Ashlar (the name of the planet is given in comics) are descended from the crew of the crashed Oberon, which happened over 3000 years before. The ship doesn't look big enough to contain enough humans to sustain a population for that long, especially on a world populated by hostile insectoids and dinosaurs that even the well-organized simians have trouble dealing with.
  • The plot of the second Eddie Murphy Dr. Dolittle film revolves around saving a forest from a logging company by getting the native female of a species of bear on the verge of extinction to mate with the only male bear of the same species that could be found. When Dolittle earlier argues that having an endangered bear in the forest should be enough to protect it, he is told that since there is only the one, the species would die out anyway. By that rationale, even getting another bear to mate should be useless for protecting the forest, since there is no way a single mating pair would be viable for saving the species.
  • Knowing ends with aliens/angels removing a number of child pairings from the doomed Earth in order to allow humanity to survive on another planet. Slightly subverted in that the angels/aliens actually understand genetics and so have taken far more than one 'breeding pair' but the idea is still there.
  • Star Quest II Aliens using humans to breed alien/human hybrid to preserve the former's species in some form. Problem: they only actually get one couple at the end, the others on the spaceship having been killed.
  • Z for Zachariah: Hinted at when John tells Ann they should save up supplies not just for themselves, but also "anyone else". Though she doesn't get what he means, John seems to be thinking they might have a baby some day, and at this point it's left unclear whether anyone else in the world is still alive.
  • The climax of Things to Come involves a young man and woman sent to start life on a new world; the seed of Mankind shot into space from a huge gun.

  • "Man Gave Names To All The Animals" by Bob Dylan from Slow Train Coming is based on Adam naming all the animals in the Garden of Eden. It's rather childlike in nature and has often been called one of Dylan's worst songs in terms of lyrics.
  • "Snake" by PJ Harvey from Rid of Me
    You snake (You snake)
    I ate (I ate)
    A true (A true)
    Belief (Belief)
    Good Lord (Good Lord)
    That fruit's (That's fruit's)
    Inside (Inside)
    Of me (Of me)
    Oh Adam (Oh Ad-)
    Please (-am please)
  • Italian song "Eva" is about a man telling his beloved that when mankind turns mad and decides to destroy itself, he will leave with her in a spaceship, a "Noah's Ark" where he will be Adam and she'll be his small Eve (Eva!).

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Book of Genesis:
    • The trope namer is the story of Adam and Eve. After the first man and woman are created, God's first instructions to them is: "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth".
    • Implied in chapter 4, which identifies three children of Adam and Eve: Cain, Abel, and Seth. After Cain kills Abel, Cain moved east to the land of Nod, where he married someone and had at least one son, Enoch. The identity of Cain's wife is a matter of much debate, along with how he and Seth managed to populate the Earth on their own. Explanations include the following:
      • The Bible is unclear how much time passed before Cain killed Abel, and it is clear that there were other children - both sons and daughters. Daughters are not tracked in the Bible unless they're very, very important. Sons are only tracked if they're relevant to the plot (Adam to Noah to Abraham to David to Jesus). Seth is not born till after Cain and mentioned as a replacement for Abel only because that's the bloodline to Noah. It's actually All There in the Manual, if you can read it in Hebrew. Anyway, the implication is that Cain married one of his sisters, which was considered acceptable because of the necessity to be fruitful and populate the Earth.
      • Assuming the "image of God" applied to their bodies as well as their souls, this would mean their genes would have been perfect and mutation free, at least in the beginning, and incest would not have been a problem until later down the line... like the time of Moses, when the first Biblical laws against incest were established. Not to mention, God's declaration of "very good" at the end of the sixth day translates more closely to "flawless", rather than "above average".
      • An alternative explanation is that chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis are in chronological order instead of different versions of the same events. That is, the people Cain married into were the ones created on the sixth day of creation and a separate creation from Eden and Adam's bloodline. This is part of a concept known as "polygenism."
    • After The Great Flood, humanity is reduced to eight people (Noah, his wife, Noah's three sons and their wives) and all others are descended from this family.
  • Norse Mythology: Several instances are mentioned or implied in the Eddas:
    • When the Aesir kill Ymir, all the giants drown in his blood except one couple, Begelmir and his wife, from whom all later giants are descended (Prose Edda).
    • The first humans are created by Odin and his two brothers as a couple, Ask and Embla. Suspiciously, their names begin with the same letters as Adam and Eve, which could be an allusion to the Book of Genesis (Poetic Edda, Prose Edda).
    • In Ragnarok, all humanity is destined to perish except a single couple, Lif and Lifthrasir, who will repopulate Earth (Poetic Edda, Prose Edda).
  • Averted in the Classical Mythology version of The Flood: one man and one woman are left, however they are asked by the gods to throw earth over their shoulders, and this earth turns into sufficient men and women to actually repopulate the world.
  • Mabinogion Branwen verch Llyr: The Britons invade Ireland and kill everybody except five pregnant women hiding in a cave. The five women bear five sons who repopulate the island. Hence the five provinces of Ireland.

  • In the BBC Radio Drama Earthsearch, the crew of the Challenger end the series by giving up the search for their long-lost home planet Earth, settling instead on the planet "Paradise", which they vow to make "their own Earth" — it's much like their Earth, except that it's two-thirds covered in saltwater oceans, has four seasons, and is the third planet from its sun. Cleverly, throughout the series they had dropped hints that "their Earth" was not the same planet as ours, but then covered them up with Expospeak: for example, the other planets of their solar system have different names from ours, but as soon as this is revealed, it is mentioned offhand that the planets had been renamed. Likewise, we are told that their Earth was the second planet from its sun, but we are told this by a computer which is speculating wildly based on inaccurate information. To keep the Shaggy God Story going, early in Earthsearch 2, the crew loads breeding pairs of animals into a shuttle to wait out a global flood caused by Hostile Terraforming that lasts forty days and nights.
  • From a sci-fi series called "X - 1" (X! Minus! One!): A scientist in Captain Ersatz-East Germany, along with his assistant Alan and beautiful daughter Ava have developed a way to shrink things to subatomic size and are planning to use it to smuggle aid and, eventually, people. Fascist government thugs break into the lab and Alan and Ava are forced to hide in the shrinking machine, which gets turned on either by accident, a plan by the scientist, or because the leader of the fascist thugs demanded a demonstration. Alan and Ava are briefly seen exploring the surface of a planet-sized electron, which they liken to a desert with the central atomic cluster as its sun (I know I fail physics forever and atoms aren't described that way anymore). When the scientist reverses the machine, to his surprise Alan and Ava are gone but a mysterious voice issues in their place, saying that they eventually populated the electron-planet and it was a peaceful and prosperous land for thousands of (atomic) years, and to make sure the peace lasted beyond their deaths they wrote a book of instructions for their descendants. The scientist is incredulous that Alan and Ava are both long-since dead and the parents of a peaceful race; unfortunately I can't recall the fascist thugs' reaction.

    Web Animation 

  • RWBY: One was attempted in the distant backstory. After Salem raised a rebellion against the gods, the gods wiped out all of humanity except for Salem (who they left with Complete Immortality as punishment). Humanity eventually returned, but with only a bare semblance of their old magic; Salem's lover Ozma reincarnated with them, and he still had his magic. He was supposed to redeem humanity and then summon back the gods. Salem and Ozma found each other and raised a family together, and their daughters inherited their full magic. Salem figured that rather than go to all the effort to redeem the weak and depowered humanity, they could just kill them all and replace them with their own children. Ozma was horrified and tried to escape with their daughters in the night, but Salem caught them, and their daughters were killed in the crossfire.

    Web Comics 
  • 8-Bit Theater lampshades the genetic problems of this trope.
  • In Freefall, Florence laments that fourteen individuals do not provide enough genetic diversity for a species to survive, and her main objective in life is to ensure more Bowman's Wolves (at least five hundred) are artificially created before it's too late.
  • Parodied in the Sluggy Freelance storyline "28 Geeks Later," when a budding Zombie Apocalypse has taken over a research facility, with several people trapped inside.
    Soldier: We have to repopulate the Earth!
    Zoe: Say what?!?
    Soldier: Well, we have to repopulate the facility at least. It's the only way we'll outlive them as a species.
    Zoe: Is everybody here on Crazy-Stupid gas or something?
    Soldier: This is no way to start a first date!
    • This is even funnier if you know that Zoe is the Greek version of the name Eve (they both mean "life").
  • In a Faans! story set After the End, Tim and cloned copies of his buddies are all that are left to repopulate the Earth. Much attempt is made for genetic diversity but the kids are naive and eventually a brother falls in love with his half-sister. Of course, Earth is just fine; "Tim" is as much a clone as the others, just with transferred memories.
  • In an abandoned The Order of the Stick storyline in the book "Don't Split The Party", Elan tries to set up Lien and Hinjo to breed a new generation of paladins. Lien and Hinjo are understandably annoyed with this because A) Elan obviously does not understand how paladins are created, B) Hinjo outranks Lien and sees it as a breach in behavior, and C) Lien already has a boyfriend, one that isn't a spoon-fed nobleman.
    • Plus, there were "many" paladins that were away from Azure City the day of the battle (but we don't hear about them much). And many paladins don't work for Azure City.
  • Educomix: When Jessica is in the Garden of Edam, she and Adam are the only humans in existence.
  • Mentioned in Homestuck. Dirk and Roxy are the only two living humans in a post-apocalyptic future, and Roxy, who has a crush on Dirk, entertains fantasies of the two of them repopulating the species together. Unfortunately for her, Dirk seems to be gay. It’s later revealed that repopulating the Earth in this fashion isn’t actually necessary since the ectobiology machines are capable of producing more people, and the new world the kids are supposed to make will already be populated once they create it.
    • Played straighter in Homestuck^2. Ultimate Dirk decides to build an entirely new race on a different planet to play the next Sburb, using his and Rose's genetic codes as the basis (the added irony of both "progenitors" being gay is a bonus for him). Instead of making more humans, they instead use ectobiology to mess with the codes enough so that whatever species results from the process is as far removed from them as possible.

    Western Animation 
  • The very end of Æon Flux's series finale, End Sinister.
  • Adventure Time has a different take on the typical Adam and Eve plot, in the episode "You Made Me!". Lemongrab refers to his creator as "his Glob" (his God.) She spends the whole episode trying to figure out how to help him. At the end of the episode, Princess Bubblegum makes Lemongrab a clone of himself, so he won't be alone. The whole plot is reminiscent of God making Eve for Adam to prevent Adam from being the only one of his kind. The whole episode revolved around existential themes, and the idea of having "the perfect mate" who makes one feel whole. Whether or not the relationship between the two Lemongrabs was romantic or platonic/brotherly love is up to the viewer.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, it's stated that airbenders still existing is important both for the balance of the nations and so the next Avatar has someone to teach them, implying Aang would have to restore the Air Nomads with his descendants. This was lampshaded in a video at the San Diego ComicCon 2008. However, in The Legend of Korra, set 70 years later, we see even if only one parent is an airbender the children still can be: one of Aang's children with Katara (a waterbender) was an airbender, and three of his children with his non-bender wife are airbenders. (No word yet on if his youngest is one, he's only a baby after all.)
    • Beginning in season 3 of Korra, some non-benders start to develop airbending abilities following the spiritual convergence, which neatly sidesteps the mating problem.
  • In the episode of Family Guy "Friends Without Benefits", Meg daydreams that she and a boy she's crushing on are the last two humans after the Earth is destroyed. The boy decides that they should repopulate. And the two of them start making out in their spaceship.
  • Subverted in Futurama, where Leela falls in love with someone she believes to be another cyclops. Even when his personality gets to be too much to bear, Leela feels that she owes it to her species to repopulate. As it turns out, Alcazar was a shape-shifter - who had fooled four other girls. After Fry exposes him, the wedding is called off. Of course, it later turns out that Leela is really a sewer mutant.
    • In the comics, after the Professor teleports Earth's population to the dinosaur age, minus Fry, Bender, Leela and Cubert, the Omicronians show up to salvage the uninhabited Earth, unless our heroes can display one hundred Earthlings, proving Earth still has people. This trope may have been Fry's idea, earning him a slap from Leela.
      Fry: Okay, fine. Then YOU come up with another way for us to repopulate the planet.
    • Leela seems to attract this a lot. Of course, when the Adam in question is Zapp Brannigan...
  • Implied at the end of the Little Einsteins episode "Knock on Wood", where a male ivory-billed woodpecker (a bird that is believed to be extinct in Real Life) finds a the form of a female ivory-billed woodpecker.

Alternative Title(s): Adam And Eve Story


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