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Hybrids Are a Crapshoot

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"I didn't inherit the carnivore or herbivore sense of taste. None of it. When it comes to vegetables, eggs, and vitamins, it doesn't matter how much I try to amplify their taste. For a hybrid like me, everything tastes like sand."
Melon, Beastars

A sort of middle ground between Hybrid-Overkill Avoidance and Oxymoronic Being. Hybrids are a thing that exists in the setting, but they can often have gruesome or otherwise disadvantageous results, though not quite to the point where their very existence is a contradiction.

This is Truth in Television. Two different species of animals can sometimes produce offspring if they're similar enough (such as a mule, a cross between a horse and a donkey, or a liger, a lion-tiger hybrid). However, their offspring will by definition be infertile. The traditional definition of "species" is a set of organisms that are similar enough that they can produce offspring which are themselves capable of reproduction.note 

This trope comes in three flavors:

  1. The hybrid suffers from some kind of health defect as a result of being a hybrid. Hybrids where their two halves' physical attributes clash in such a way that the result is grotesque also fall into this category.
  2. The hybrid is a danger to themselves or others as a result of being a hybrid.
  3. Some combination of the above.

See also Half-Breed Discrimination. Contrast Hybrid Power. Frequently overlaps with Body Horror. Also sometimes used as a source of Black Comedy if the hybrid is malformed enough.

Even though this is a commonly observed phenomenon in the real world, all of the versions that actually happen are really quite similar. So, to avoid lots and lots of redundant examples, No Real Life Examples, Please!. Fictional portrayals of a real-life example (i.e., an infertile mule) are allowed.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Beastars:
    • Leano is half wolf and half Komodo dragon. As an adult, she was slowly turned into a grotesque patchwork of fur and scales over the course of years which drove her to suicide.
    • Carnivore/herbivore hybrids are born without sex drives and with a dangerously low appetite, and tend to use pain and violence to simulate those things.
  • Delicious in Dungeon: Marcille is revealed to be the daughter of an elf mother and a human father. As a result, her physical and mental development as a child didn’t happen steadily or synchronously, and she’s unlikely to have children of her own, but on the other hand her health is more robust than any human and her lifespan is expected to exceed even the Long-Lived elves. Laios compares her, somewhat insensitively, to a mule: sterile but superior to either parent. However, that “superiority” is exactly what Marcille fears — if she can outlive elves, that means she’s going to outlive all her loved ones, too.
  • Eureka Seven Ao: Ao, the son of Renton, a human, and Eureka, a Coralian, was effectively banished to an alternate universe due to the high amount of trapar in the first series. It was the only way they could save Ao since it proved fatal to human-Coralian hybrids, which is how Renton and Eureka's first child died. This is one of the reasons it's the Contested Sequel and a frequent Fanon Discontinuity.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Shou Tucker is notorious for his creation of human-animal chimeras. The military considers them failures due to their lack of ability and shoddy creation causing them physical pain.
    • Tucker used his wife to create a talking chimera by fusing her with an unknown animal. He then passed his creation off as a standard animal hybrid and gained recognition for creating the first chimera capable of speech. However, her suffering was so horrible she would only say "I want to die" and refused to eat until her death.
    • He later fuses his daughter, Nina, and her dog, Alexander, to make another talking chimera in hopes of retaining his license as a State Alchemist. He's quickly discovered and arrested, and Scar performs a Mercy Kill on Nina, knowing there is no way to reverse what Tucker has done and that Nina will only suffer.
  • Hunter × Hunter: Chimera Ants, as their name implies, are amalgamations created from the genes of whatever the Queen consumes. Ants made from humans are especially strong, intelligent, and have the potential to use Nen, making them formidable opponents. However, they also inherit a sense of individuality and can regain Past-Life Memories, causing many of them to rebel in favor of their own personal projects and desires, leading to the hive's self-destruction and the Queen's death. This is also ultimately what threw a wrench into the plans of the Chimera Ant King, as his ant and human sides were conflicting with each other too much to keep him focused on his conquest despite the Royal Guards' best efforts.
  • Karin: Half-vampires are mentioned to be sterile. This is much to the dismay of ones like Yuriya, who resents her hybrid nature because of this problem and feeling that she is flawed as both a vampire and a human.
  • My Hero Academia: Dabi inherited a much stronger version of his father's fire powers. However, he inherited his mother's constitution, making him resistant to ice but weak to heat. So every time he uses his powers, he risks severely injuring himself, and when we first meet him, much of his flesh is falling off.
  • Tokyo Ghoul: Hybrids between humans and ghouls can be either primarily human, called half-humans, or primarily ghoul, called one-eyed ghouls. Half-humans have enhanced physical abilities at the cost of accelerated aging, with no half-humans surviving past their thirties. One-eyed ghouls are a lot rarer and fare a lot better, being physically identical to full ghouls aside from having only one kakugan and capable of growing stronger than regular ghouls without the strain from which half-humans suffer.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: To weaken Kaiba's Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon, Yugi fused it with his Mammoth Graveyard. Being fused with a Zombie-type caused Blue-Eyes Ultimate to lose ATK every turn by being rotted from the inside. By the time Yugi was ready to destroy it, Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon was just a pile of goop in the vague shape of a Dragon.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): In this Godzilla MonsterVerse fanfiction, it turns out that Ghidorah's DNA doesn't mix well with human DNA. Initial experiments which fuse Ghidorah's DNA to humans end up creating a chaotic Undead Abomination before the process is refined to create the Zmeyevich. Even Monster X, which is technically created by a Ghidorah head doing the merging himself rather than relying on human experiments, is initially a Body Horror-crippled monstrosity with the inverted form of Power Incontinence (it gets better).
  • My Abominable Monster Classmates Can't Be This Cute!: Not only does the process by which Salem turns her abducted students into hybrids in the Pools of Annihilation kill some of the children outright, but it's almost unheard of for those who survive to have all their body parts still intact afterwards. Ruby has a right arm transplanted from an Apathy, Yang has a right arm fashioned from two Beringels plus small holes in the sides of her face, May has only one eye, Wesson has a Death Stalker attached to his back like a transplant, etc. Weiss and Cardin (before the latter got mutilated and stitched back together) are the only two hybrids who survived Grimmification with all their body parts still attached.
  • There exists a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanverse titled "The Miracleverse" with one of the Fan-Created Offspring being a child of Spike (Dragon) and Rarity (Pony), named Miracle. Miracle is extremely sickly and weak, and the doctors weren't even sure if she would survive birth. Averted with the other hybrid children, including the centaur/pony offspring of Iron Will and Fluttershy, and the Dragonequus/Alicorn offspring of Celestia and Discord, which are healthy enough (although this may be likely due to other factors).
  • In The Twilight Man, the different physiology between normal humans and the Pillar Men's race means that not only are hybrids extremely rare, but they are born Delicate and Sickly and rarely reach to adulthood. Mary Joestar, the daughter of an English lady and a nightman, was quite frail before her death saving her infant son Jonathan from a carriage accident. The same can't be said for their mixed-ancestry descendants, who have the strength of both races without much in their weakness.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Jurassic World: The Indominus rex is a genetically modified dinosaur that combines the DNA of multiple species. It is stronger and more violent than other dinosaurs and even kills for sport (although being raised alone while having the raptor's social instincts didn't help).
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom The Indoraptor is the I. Rex taken to obscene levels. Possibly one of the most dangerous dinosaurs in the franchise, it relentlessly chases and stalks its prey throughout the entire last third of the movie, while being more sadistic and intelligent then the Indominus.
  • Species. Sil is the product of genetic combination of human and alien DNA. She is a Half-Human Hybrid Shapeshifter whose base form is Body Horror. She is compelled to mate with human males (and then kill them) in order to reproduce.
  • Splice: The entire premise. Clive and Elsa create Dren from a hybrid of many different DNA strands, making her a humanoid with gills, wings, and a prehensile tail, but her human side makes her emotionally unpredictable. And that's before she undergoes a spontaneous sex change into a male form (foreshadowed by a similar transformation in an earlier test subject), and rapes Elsa. At the end, having learned apparently nothing from the experience, a visibly pregnant Elsa agrees to be paid by her company to carry her pregnancy to term.

  • Animorphs: While stressed out from his father remarrying (kinda hard to tell his dad that his wife is a) still alive, and b) the host body to the leader of an Alien Invasion), Marco ends up morphing two animals at once, none of which are remotely useful and even horrific to look at (gorilla-trout, spider-skunk, and poodle-polar bear).
  • Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere: Elves can live upwards of a thousand years, so they age and mature slowly. Half-elves, elf-human hybrids, age mentally at the same rate as elves but physically at the same rate as humans, so most half-elves never develop beyond the mental capacity of children. The few exceptions are more akin to child geniuses than adults.
  • Soon I Will Be Invincible: Damsel is the daughter of a superpowered human and a Green-Skinned Space Babe. They weren't at all biologically compatible — she was the product of years of lab work and needs medication to stay alive.
  • Sunshine: People with both human sorcery and demonic ancestry have at least a 90% chance of going violently, irredeemably insane, and might manifest powerful Wrong Context Magic on top. Families with strong magical bloodlines tend to inbreed in order to avoid having a child with an unknown demonic partblood.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Farscape, major character Scorpius (Big Bad in Seasons 2 and 3, Ex-Big Bad Token Evil Teammate in Season 4) is an experimentally produced hybrid of Sebacean (Human Aliens) and Scarran (Draconic Humanoid). He is a Genius Bruiser, but suffers from assorted painful health problems from the conflicts between his ancestral species - the worst is that he is unable to control his own body temperature and is in danger of dying from heatstroke whenever he exerts himself. As a result, he has to wear a scary-looking coolant suit, which includes a heat sink that is driven through the side of his skull and into his cranial cavity.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise: Zigzagged in a two-part story arc towards the end of the series. A baby is created from the DNA of Trip (a human) and T'Pol (a Vulcan) such as that she's essentially their daughter even though T'Pol was never pregnant. Throughout the episodes, the baby has a fever and high white blood cell count which ultimately kills her, and other characters wonder if it's because humans and Vulcans have incompatible chromosomes. As it turns out, however, the baby was just created imperfectly; humans and Vulcans are indeed capable of safely interbreeding. As we well know.
  • Pops up in Taken. A couple of the human/alien hybrids are too human to use any sort of alien powers and others are too strong for their human side, burning out or dying young.
  • The X-Files: Scully's daughter, Emily, is an alien-human hybrid. She develops a rare form of anemia and dies at the end of her two-episode arc.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • The Myrmecoleon (a literal ant-lion) starves to death shortly after it is born, due to neither of its halves being able to digest the other's food.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dark Sun: The Mul are a magically-created hybrid race that have the stature of a human and the fortitude of a Dwarf. Although they are popular in the arenas and the slave pits, they are completely sterile and more often than not kill their own mother during childbirth.
  • Leviathan: The Tempest: Hybrids are required to take one or more Genetic Conditions to represent the side effects of their inhuman heritage, these can be anything from sterility to having a fish-tail instead of legs. Lahmassu (Hybrids who derive their inhuman ancestry from only a single Strain of Leviathan) are somewhat more stable and take fewer conditions.
  • While it's seemingly blanketly impossible in the new, in The Old World Of Darkness it is technically possible, if very hard, to make a werecreature-vampire. However, it's a very bad idea. The exact result depends on the breed, but the best case scenario is "psychologically broken abomination". The less good results include "feral monster in constant frenzy", "being that spontaneously bursts into flames in 24 hours or even immediately" or, perhaps worst of all, "fully conscious rotting corpse".
  • In the Chronicles of Darkness, if a spirit eats spirits of radically different nature (a wolf spirit eating car spirits, for example) it risks becoming a magath, a twisted creature that tries to embody two incompatible concepts simultaneously.

  • Beast Wars: Uprising: The Triple-Threat Masters, a combination of Headmaster, Targetmaster and Powermaster technology which results in a Cybertronian with greatly boosted intelligence, firepower and fuel economy. The downside is that the process drained years off a mech's life. Since one of the two Cybertronians who underwent it was Galvatron, nobody was going to complain that much.

    Video Games 
  • Dragon Ball Fighter Z has Android 21, an android created from the cells of multiple fighters like Cell. However, due to being partially made from the cells of Majin Buu, 21 is left with an insatiable hunger that when combined with her growth potential, makes her a danger to the entire universe.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic Ashan: The wizards of the Silver Cities have conducted various experiments into artificially creating Half Human Hybrids and Mix-and-Match Critters, with varying degrees of success. One of the most notable failed experiments are the Lamasu, sphinx-like hybrids of human and manticore, who have no immunity to the manticore venom in their own bodies - as a result, their bodies are highly unstable and almost all of them die within a short time of being born.
  • Pokémon Sword and Shield: The Galarian fossil Pokemon (Dracovish, Arctovish, Dracozolt, and Arctozolt) are Mix-and-Match Critters that Came Back Wrong because they were created by combining incompatible fossil parts of various extinct Pokemon. As a result, their Pokedex entries suffer from a massive case of Unreliable Narrator as it tries to claim what their lives have been in their current states, and their merged body parts have unpleasant side effects to their overall health (like Dracovish having difficulty breathing and Arctozolt perpetually shivering from constant cold exposure).
  • Trials of Mana: Two of the protagonists, Kevin and Charlotte, are Half-Human Hybrids, with Kevin being part Beast Man and Charlotte being a half-elf. Their genetics give them significant abilities (impressive strength for Kevin, and Child Prodigy magical abilities for Charlotte), but it also seems to have affected both of their mental development, with Kevin talking extremely informally and often lapsing into Beige Prose, and Charlotte talking in Elmuh Fudd Syndwome and having both the body and mindset of a child despite being chronologically fifteen.
  • Warcraft:
    • After conquering the ogres, the Old Horde bred with them to produce a race that were meant to have the strength of the ogres but the intelligence of the orcs. The resulting race, the Mok'Nathal, were tougher than orcs but not as tough as ogres, and proved far too stubborn to control.
    • One of Nefarian's failed experiments with dragon blood produced Maloriak, a fusion between a kidnapped human alchemist and a dragonspawn. The process rendered Maloriak a bumbling idiot and failed to grant him any useful draconic abilities.

  • El Goonish Shive: Vlad is a hybrid of several bats, owls, hawks, at least one leopard, a uryuom, and a human created via Bizarre Alien Reproduction. The scientists who created him wanted a subject with a wide range of DNA to draw from for Voluntary Shapeshifting. They thought the uryuom DNA would be enough to stabilize it given that uryuoms are natural shapeshifters. However, Vlad's first attempt at shapeshifting nearly killed him and caused immense pain, so he was effectively Shapeshifter Mode Locked into a monstrous hybrid form unless he wanted to risk death again.

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10:
    • In one episode of the original series, Ben accidentally removes the faceplate from the Omnitrix, which results in his aliens being fused together, often with disastrous results, such as a combination of Fourarms and Stinkfly that is much weaker than Fourarms but too heavy to fly.
    • As a result of an accident with the Omnitrix, Kevin ends up trapped in a bizarre hybrid body combining 10 different alien species. He has some of their superpowers, but they're all 'diluted' and weaker than they should be, making him a Master of None compared to the 'pure' alien forms that Ben can transform into.
    • Averted with human/alien hybrids. Humans' superpower in the Ben 10 universe is adaptability (both physical and mental), which tends to translate into negating whatever weaknesses an alien may have when humans have kids with them.
    • Also averted with the version of Ben 10,000 seen in Ben 10: Omniverse who uses the Biomnitrix, a pair of twin Omnitricies, allowing Ben to transform into hybrids of two of his two alien forms, which is implied to be an upgrade given that he exclusively uses these hybrids in all his appearances. Perhaps justified by the fact that, unlike with the OS Omnitrix malfunction, the Biomnitrix allows Ben to choose the two aliens he combines, allowing him to pick aliens whose strengths compliment each other, whereas the glitch merged two aliens randomly, when their traits are not necessarily so compatible.
  • Boy Girl Dog Cat Mouse Cheese: The episode "Cat Confessions" has Mouse revealing that he secretly tried to create a being from the DNA of all the siblings designed to be the perfect family unit. It was a failure, with the resulting abomination inheriting all of their worst traits instead.
  • D.N.Ace: The episode "Tropic Blunder" has Ace deciding to create a Scrammer partially made from a sample of one of Huxley's genetically-engineered plants despite Mendel's warning that doing so would be a bad idea. Sure enough, the created Scrammer has an uncontrollable Ax-Crazy demeanor and causes chaos all over town with the protagonists trying to figure out a way to stop it.
  • Family Guy:
    • In one cutaway gag, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy have children which are suffering abominations begging for death.
    • The episode "Stewie Is Enceinte" features Stewie giving birth to dog/human hybrids (courtesy of him artificially impregnating himself using Brian's DNA). The resultant hybrids have multiple health issues and genetic abnormalities, such as having a loose bone structure and being deaf.
  • Grossology:
    • The two-part episode "Pinkeye’s Revenge" has Roger Pinkeye inadvertently making a clone of Abby that is also part rat due to contamination of the sample. While the clone proves to be just as skilled and intelligent as the original, the rat DNA gradually starts taking over, mutating her into a giant feral rat.
    • The episode "Fangs a Lot" features Slitherbuddies, genetically modified snake-like animals created to be the perfect pet by Professor Skinner from the DNA of reptiles like snakes, lizards, and turtles. However, they eventually all metamorphose into giant insatiably hungry monsters that terrorize the town, with Skinner never having bothered to study his creation's lifecycle because he was too focused on the money to be made from them.
  • The Legend of Korra: When a human has their body possessed by a spirit in Beginnings, they tend to have their bodies permanently mutated into being partially human and partially taking on the appearance of whatever spirit possessed them.
  • Mixels: One possible result of Mixels performing their species' Fusion Dance are "Murps". They are wonky amalgamations of whatever Mixels happen to be in the combination, have their own personalities instead of a Mixel taking the lead, and have out-of-control and destructive powers. Most of the time, the powers are a detriment to either the environment or the Murp itself.
  • Rick and Morty: The episode "Ricksy Business" introduces Abradolf Lincler, an entity created by Rick from the DNA of Adolf Hitler and Abraham Lincoln in an attempt to make a morally neutral super leader. It didn't work as planned, as Lincler turned out to be an awkward being of ambiguous moral standings, or in his own words, "an abomination tortured by the duality of his own being."
  • South Park: The episode "Douche and Turd" has a PETA member conceiving a child with an ostrich. Said child is hideously malformed and begging for someone to kill it.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Thousands of years ago, the Homeworld Gems experimented with the remains of shattered Crystal Gems to create artificial Fusions also known as Gem Mutants. Unlike naturally occurring Fusions, these Gems have no cognitive functioning and typically appear as randomly conjoined masses of limbs. On top of that, they are often either almost incapable of much or violent and dangerous.
    • The Cluster is a gigantic, artificial Fusion in the Earth's core created by Yellow Diamond. However, it requires thousands of years until it can emerge and take form, at which point it would be big enough to destroy the Earth. Unlike the other Gem Mutants, the Cluster displays some ability to think and reason as it complies with Steven's request to bubble itself and refuses to fully take form to wreck the Earth. However, it can take partial form as a somewhat grotesque arm.
    • Downplayed with Steven himself, a Gem-human hybrid. He lacks the same control the Gems have over his powers and does not age like a regular human. In Steven Universe: Future, it's learned that Steven's body produces the Gem equivalent of cortisol, and due to his PTSD, this causes his powers to go dangerously haywire.


Video Example(s):



The product of a Scarran crossbreeding program on Sebaceans, Scorpius has to go to extreme lengths to manage his body's conflicting thermal requirements.

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