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Incest-ant Admirer

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When faced with the taboo topic of incest, most people would be understandably Squicked out. But for some reason, a number of fictional characters tend to have an inappropriate sort of love for family members that they're not really bothered by. For the sake of drama and tension, this sort of love tends to be mutual in order for the creator to find a way to make things interesting.

But, to absolutely no one's surprise, not everyone in Fictionland is perfectly fine with jumping into bed with relatives. This type of character has to fend off the disturbing advances of the younger sibling who wishes to become their spouse, the way too touchy uncle, the hot cousin who loves making them feel uncomfortable, the mother or father who's interested in them in all the wrong ways, or whichever other relative has a depraved opinion of them.


This sort of relationship dynamic can either be used for Black Comedy or Played for Drama. The latter case tends to overlap with Villainous Incest if ever this has contributed to issues caused by a character's past (especially if the creepy relative managed to "have their way with them"). This can also be used as a darker take on a Sibling Yin-Yang or with any Long-Lost Relative reveal involving a villain and hero.

Take note, this does not apply if the object of incestuous affection is unaware of the attraction. The entire point of this is a character who's repulsed by their relative's inappropriate attraction to them. However, it can still apply if the admirer is unaware that they're related.



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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Madelyne Pryor developed this in spades with Nate Grey, the Age of Apocalypse counterpart/half brother of her son, Cable (he was created directly from Scott and Jean's DNA), after he accidentally resurrected her while unconsciously searching for the 616 version of his mother. It didn't help that they looked more or less the same age, and neither recognised the other (Maddie's memories were initially scrambled and she only knew baby Cable), while Nate had only briefly met AoA Jean (their kinship was psychic). It also didn't help that they were written with smouldering sexual tension, the narrative blithely describing them visiting Paris like any other young couple in love. It never explicitly goes anywhere, and Nate backs off hard once he figures out who she is. Maddie, once she gets her memories back...not so much. She began as a textbook Tsundere, and became a textbook Yandere, periodically helping Nate, then trying to kill him, and vice versa, in between playing Murder the Hypotenuse. Despite, or because of all this, it got to the point where going by the letters column, they were the series' Fan-Preferred Couple - and the writers certainly seemed amenable.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Viserys was interested in the Targaryen tradition of Royal Inbreeding and as such, lusted for his sister Daenerys. Dany is clearly uncomfortable about it—not that she has an issue with incest in theory, but Viserys is an abusive piece of shit. Thankfully, they never actually got married due to Dany being wed to Khal Drogo out of necessity.
    • In A Clash of Kings, Asha reunites with her brother Theon (unknowingly on his part) under the guise of a shipwright's wife. Since Asha's fully aware of who he is, she of course, expresses displeasure when he starts fondling her. Fortunately, Theon's attraction to her doesn't last long.
    • Since he's considered her uncle by marriage, Lord Baelish's view of Sansa as a Replacement Goldfish for his first love (who's her mother) can be considered this. Although she initially just suspected it, her suspicions were confirmed when he forcefully kissed her.
  • In Doctrine of Labyrinths, Felix is tormented by his attraction to his long lost half-brother Mildmay, and when Mildmay realizes what's going on he's pretty uncomfortable about it, given that he's neither gay, nor remotely enthused about the idea of committing incest, although he tries to be as non-judgemental as possible. Felix makes a pass at Mildmay on one occasion, even though he knows full-well his feelings are not reciprocated, but it was more a masochistic attempt to get his brother to beat him up than a genuine seduction. Thankfully, he comes to his senses afterward and the two of them ultimately manage to forge a healthier relationship.
    • Diokletian is a potential example. He never got over his love for Methony, so when he meets Felix, her son, who looks uncannily like her he tries to instigate a sexual relationship. Although he's disturbingly laid back about incest, Felix is offended as he wants to be desired on his own account and not because he looks like his dead mom, and he invokes this trope in order to rebuff Diokletian - Methony really got around so there's no way of knowing if Diokletian is actually Felix's father, but he's definitely a potential candidate. Diokletian is sufficiently shamed by this idea to leave Felix alone in future.
  • Donkeyskin and similar fairy tales kick off with a king vowing that he will only marry someone as beautiful as/identical to his dead wife. Many years pass, and he finally realizes that one girl who fits that bill: their daughter. Understandably, the princess is horrified and manages to run away, is put into
  • This factor gets taken Up to Eleven in its Grimmification of a retelling, Deerskin. Here, the king manages to force himself onto his daughter, resulting in her getting pregnant. Though in this retelling, the king's reason for wanting to marry his daughter is slightly different. The princess looks very much like her mother, making his disturbing attraction a case of finding a Replacement Goldfish for his wife.
  • The Silmarillion:
    • Maeglin, who alone among elves lusted after a first cousin (albeit one he hadn't met/known existed until well into adulthood). Obviously being the only elf not turned off by the concept of incest, Idril rejected Maeglin. Still, Maeglin's lust/obsession was so great that he also became the only elf that ever willingly helped Morgoth, destroying Gondolin in an effort to get a romantic rival killed, and trying to murder her 7 year old son. Idril fights back, successfully, and her husband Tuor (an extremely angry Papa Wolf) pitches him off the cliff.
    • Ar-Pharazon, nephew of King Tar-Palantir of Numenor, forced Miriel, his uncle's daughter and heir, to marry him, and in doing so usurped the throne. Granted, here it's not clear if he wanted her or just wanted to be king.
  • In Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, Georgia used to really get along with her cousin James as a kid, and when he visits when they're teenagers, Georgia is happy to repeat some of the childish games (i.e., wrestling, tickle-fighting, etc.) they used to play, seeing it as being for old times' sake. However, James gets the wrong idea and makes multiple attempts to put the moves on her, much to Georgia's disgust.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Just like in the books, Viserys isn't too subtle about his attraction to Daenerys (see Literature for more information).
    • Likewise, same goes for Petyr Baelish's attraction to Sansa, who's his niece through marriage to her aunt.
    • Jon Snow and Daenerys find out that they're actually aunt and nephew after already having fallen in love and consummated it. She wants to continue it, but he is very visibly uncomfortable with it and rejects her every advance without outright saying it.
    • Played With regarding the Greyjoys; when Theon returns to the Iron Islands for the first time since he was a child, he unknowingly hits on and gropes Yara, his sister; she knew who he was and let him do it anyway, even encouraged it, purely so he'd be squicked out when he found out. The first time they interact afterwards, she makes a suggestive comment to gross him out further, but its clear she's not actually attracted to him, and she's portrayed pretty definitively as a lesbian in later seasons.
  • Criminal Minds:
    • In an episode, one UnSub whose victims were daughters of wealthy figures has actually been projecting the image of his older stepsister onto said victims. Garcia finds out by digging through his background that he was in love with the daughter of his mother's second husband and was often overly affectionate with her even though she was clearly uncomfortable. This ended up driving him insane after her death, which caused him to go after young women who resembled her in an attempt to recreate the last moments of her life.
    • There was also an earlier episode where an UnSub was lusting after his adoptive sister, justifying it because they were Not Blood Siblings... only to find out she's actually his mother with the woman he thought to be his mother being his grandmother. The shock at finding out he has been unknowingly wanting to have sex with his mother is what led to him murdering single mothers.
    • One UnSub had a somewhat more sympathetic take on this; after the death of their parents, he was left alone with just his older sister, and as he was heavily bullied she was also his only friend. He wasn't necessarily sexually attracted to her so much as she was the only person he had any positive interaction with, so he became overly attached to their relationship and expressed affection that was more than a little romantic. When locals noticed how affectionate he was to her, it started a rumour he wanted to have sex with her that lead to him being beaten up and driven out of town under the belief he was depraved, which messed him up further. He began starting fires to kill the people who had been responsible for it, and desired to reunite with his sister. For her part, she wasn't as attached to him as he was to her, but she still cared deeply for him and was troubled by the way he had developed.
  • This factors into the resolution of the Agatha Christie's Marple episode "Sleeping Murder," in which a young woman, Gwenda, gradually realizes that as a child, she witnessed the murder of a woman named Helen. It eventually surfaces that Helen was Gwenda's mother, and the killer was Helen's brother, the uncle with whom Gwenda recently reconnected. When Gwenda was a baby, Helen faked her death and moved to India to escape her brother's incestuous overtures, then returned to England after a few years using a fake name; she became her husband's "second" wife. But her brother found her, and when she rebuffed him again, he killed her.
  • Gotham: Alice Tetch had to run away from home and go into hiding because her brother Jervis (aka the supervillain the Mad Hatter), according to her, had "thoughts a brother shouldn't have", and used his hypnotic powers to make her do things she didn't want to. Meanwhile, he's completely in denial about it, and insists that it was mutual.
  • Kings: Andrew Cross, son of the King's brother-in-law and advisor William Cross, is a sociopath who lusts after his aunt Queen Rose. Needless to say, she's terrified of him.
  • Arrested Development:
    • George Michael spends the entirety of the series in love with his first cousin, Maeby, who seemingly sees him more like a brother and is a little creeped out whenever his obvious crush gets a bit too obvious. A Running Gag is his obsession with anything relating to cousin-incest. They do seem to get together years later after finding out they're only cousins by adoption.
    • Meanwhile, George and Lindsay (his dad/her mom) discover that the latter is adopted after having been raised thinking they were twins, and almost immediately she tries to jump into bed with him. She admits she "always" been attracted to him, and interprets several of his past actions (done purely out of familial affection, not romantic attraction) as being proof he felt the same way. He is understandably deeply disturbed by this development.
  • In Twin Peaks, Laura Palmer had been the victim of years of sexual abuse by her father, Leland, before he finally murdered her. He did all of this as a result of Demonic Possession by the sadistic spirit BOB, who feeds on pain and suffering.
    • In the first season finale, Audrey Horne, going undercover at a brothel, is shocked to learn that the owner - whom she is expected to have sex with - is her father, Ben. She is able to hide behind a mask to prevent him recognizing her, and fight off his advances. When Ben finally realizes it was Audrey behind the mask, he is visibly horrified.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Happens a lot in Classical Mythology. One example is the story of how Arion was conceived. Poseidon was pursuing his sister Demeter, who kept fleeing from him. She transformed into a mare in order to escape. Unfortunately, Poseidon managed to transform into a stallion and caught up to her, then raped her. Of course, given other godly couplings, it probabl wasn't the incest she had an issue with...
    • A princess named Myrrha falls in lust with her father, and sleeps with him for nine nights without him knowing her identity. Upon the Bedmate Reveal, he tries to kill her; she runs away and is turned into a myrrh tree, which eventually splits open and pops out a baby. Surprisingly this incestuous child is Adonis, the Worlds Most Beautiful Man.
    • Byblis from The Metamorphoses is in love with her twin Kaunos. When she confessed her feelings, he became (rightfully) disgusted and flees from her; Depending on the Writer, she either kills herself or becomes a nymph, though either way her tears become a stream. There's also a version where Kaunos actually begins the romance between them, but becomes disgusted with himself and flees before they can actually consummate it.
  • In The Bible, Amnon was heavily attracted to his half-sister Tamar. When he managed to get her alone, he tried to coerce her into having sex with him. Tamar protested and he eventually raped her, which would later indirectly cause him to get murdered by Absalom.
  • In Arthurian Legend, the Questing Beast was born from a princess who lusted after her brother. He rebuffed her, so she slept with a demon who claimed that he could make him love her. Instead she got pregnant and, on the demon's prompting, accused the prince of rape. Their father sentenced him to be torn apart by dogs. Before his death the prince prophesied that he would be vindicated when his sister gave birth to a monster that made the same sound as the dogs that were about to kill him.

  • Downplayed (but certainly present as subtext) in John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi, where it's implied that Ferdinand, the title character's twin brother, opposes his sister's marriage not just because she married below her station, but also because he's attracted to her. She's definitely creeped out by the intensity of his opposition.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 
  • Sexy Losers has Kenta's Horny Mom. And, a gender-reversed version of the storyline that takes a turn for the dark...
  • In the Oglaf strip "Jocasta Loves Oedipus", multiple Jocastas (somehow) are attempting to seduce Oedipus, on the logic that the prophecy means he might have to have sex with them in order to be born.

    Web Original 
  • CollegeHumor made a Played for Laughs version of Back to the Future's inverse Oedipus Complex scene, in which Teen Lorraine has sex with Marty in the car and Doc Brown sends back Marty to stop that, only to make it worse every time.
    Teen Lorraine: This feels so wrong... and yet... SO GREAT! [goes over Marty]
  • Dragonball Z Abridged has Bulma hitting on the mysterious half-Saiyan who showed up to dispatch Freiza and warn them about an upcoming threat, not realizing he's her Kid from the Future. To her credit, she's equally horrified upon learning his identity.
    Bulma: Hey, just throwing this out there, you're like really cute.
    Trunks: Well, my mom always said I was a cute kid.
    Bulma: Oh, a Mommy's Boy, huh? I'll be your mommy. *wink*
    Trunks: *internal screaming*

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama: During a trip to the past Fry's grandmother starts hitting on him after her boyfriend Enos, who was presumed to be Fry's grandfather, is killed. Fry is initially squicked out by her advances, but then reasons that Enos can't be his grandfather and thus, she can't be his grandma. The next morning Professor Farnsworth informs him that he was wrong and, as a result, Fry is now his own grandfather.
  • South Park: In the episode "The Brown Noise," the subplot is about Mr. Garrison going home and confront his father about their history of sexual abuse. Namely, the fact that said sexual abuse didn't happen, making Mr. Garrison feels unattractive! Mr. Garrison's mother is also horrified to learn that her husband never raped their son, with the elder Garrison being the Only Sane Man in the family.


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