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Incestuous Casting

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The rarer and possibly Squickier flipside to Cast Incest, where people who are Real Life Relatives have to play romantic partners. This scenario is more common in community and High School theater productions where there is a limited pool of actors to choose from. While producers may be manipulative and hate-filled they aren't invulnerable to potential Squick reaction from the audience or the cast themselves. It also happens a bit in figure skating for some reason.


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  • In the LatAm (re)dub of Revival of Evangelion, Shinji is voiced by Víctor Ugarte, and due to Executive Meddling, the voice of Rei (Circe Luna) is replaced by one of Victor's sisters, Gaby Ugarte. Which becomes rather awkward during that scene where Shinji enters Rei's room just after she's finished bathing. In-Universe, she is a clone of his mother after all, and sort-of a sister (raised by the same father). So it's not like it was less awkward to begin with.
  • Greg Snegoff and his mother, Alexandra Kenworthy, played couples in the following dubs:
  • In the Brazilian dub of Genma Wars, Gin and his love interest Rei are voiced by brother and sister.
  • The first OVA series of Futari Ecchi has a neighbor couple who are played by the Turba siblings in the German dub.
  • In The Genius Prince's Guide to Raising a Nation Out of Debt (Hey, How About Treason?), Wein Salema Arbalest and his love interest, Ninym Ralei was voiced by siblings Caio and Isabella Guarnieri of brazilian version.
  • A small example occurs in the LatAm dub Pokémon: The Series. During the first 12 seasons, Ash was voiced by Gabriel Ramos, and the season 1 episode "The School of Hard Knocks" shows a rare instance of Ash being attracted to a girl. Said girl, Giselle, is voiced by Ana Lucía Ramos, his older sister.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In short film The Dutch Master, Mira Sorvino has a sex scene with an actor named Rick Pasqualone—her first cousin.
  • In the Hungarian dub of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers (the girl of his dreams) are voiced by brother and sister.
  • In Freaks (1932), the dwarf main characters, who become a couple, were played by siblings Harry and Daisy Earles. To avoid being too uncomfortable, their romance is really downplayed.
  • Also true of the dwarf couple in Putney Swope.
  • Siblings Christopher Khayman Lee and Chyler Leigh kissed in the 1997 movie Kickboxing Academy.
  • The German semi-fictional movie about the eponymous Comedian Harmonists has siblings Meret and Ben Becker playing love interests, including a long and dramatic kiss scene.
  • Manos: The Hands of Fate's infamous ending gets even worse when you remember that The Master and Debbie are played by real-life father and daughter.
  • Hocus Pocus: "The Master" — no, not the same Master as the one in the example above — and his bickering wife are played by brother and sister Garry and Penny Marshall in uncredited roles.
  • In the 1968 anthology film, Spirits of the Dead, Jane Fonda plays a noblewoman who falls in love with her cousin - portrayed by Jane's brother, Peter Fonda.
  • In The Sundowners, Mervyn Johns is a drunk who leers at a character played by his real-life daughter, Glynis Johns.
  • In The Horror of Party Beach, the leads Hank and Elaine are played by brother and sister, resulting in them having no on-screen sexual chemistry.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Dancing with the Stars: Real-life siblings Julianne and Derek Hough have danced romantic numbers together several times.
  • Arrested Development: Justine Bateman, sister of Jason Bateman, plays a prostitute who propositions Jason's character. It's also played with, where Jason's character believes that Justine's character is his sister — which turns out to be false. Funny enough, the original plan was to play the trope straight, but neither of the Batemans were comfortable with that. Appropriately enough, Michael comes out with this line.
  • One Life to Live: Real-life siblings Kristen and Eddie Alderson play unrelated characters. A few years back, a storyline involved Eddie's Matthew having a crush on Kristen's Starr. The boy had to pretend to have a crush on his sister. Gross.
  • Averted on Rumpole of the Bailey: Mrs. Rumpole occasionally accuses Rumpole (played by Leo McKern) of having an affair with Liz Probert, who for Series 5-7 is played by Abigail McKern (Leo's daughter). However, he never actually does anything of the kind.
  • One episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia shows Frank (Danny Devito) in a restaurant openly leering at a waitress played by Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman's real-life daughter.
  • In Parallax, the Martin Dunkly from Ben's World (Kasmir Sas) is frequently hitting on the Melinda (Francoise Sas) from Ben's world (and occasionally the one from Katherine's world, when he mistakes her for the Melinda from Ben's world) and trying to get together with her. The two are brother and sister in real life.
  • Frank Sinatra, Jr., appeared in an episode of Adam-12 as a police officer seeking the affections of an unrelated woman played by his sister Tina Sinatra.
  • Dick and Joyce Van Patten the Diagnosis: Murder episode "Murder at the Telethon". While their characters are divorced, their piano rendition of "Makin' Whoopee" is enough to cue the Brain Bleach.
  • Weird sort-of example from Degrassi: Craig's little sister is played by Alex Steele. Alex is the real-life sister of Cassie Steele, who plays Manny. Thus, some viewers were squicked when Craig and Manny started hooking up. Lampshaded in a season two episode when Craig and Manny have their first date and Craig later says Manny reminds him of his little sister.
  • There was a similar example in Home and Away when Morgan Weaving, the younger sister of regular Samara Weaving, was cast as Lottie Ryan, the love interest of Dexter Walker... who was the younger brother of Samara's character Indigo Walker. The fact that the two sisters' voices are pretty much exactly the same led some fans to complain that Dexter was dating a girl who looked and sounded exactly like his sister, and pretty much every Fan Fic featuring Lottie feels obliged to have someone point this out.
  • And another semi-example from Switched at Birth. Zoey Deutch plays a character who dates Lucas Grabeel, while her real-life mother Lea Thompson plays Grabeel's mother.
  • Another near-example happened in the Spanish sitcom Aida when María León, sister to Paco León who plays the main character Luisma, was given a small recurring part as Luisma's coworker. In one episode, the two characters pretended to have slept together so Luisma's on and off girlfriend would finally break up with him.
  • In NCIS: Los Angeles, Kensi Blye and Marty Deeks have a long-running Belligerent Sexual Tension arc and eventually become a couple. Daniela Ruah (Kensi) is married to the brother of Eric Christian Olsen (Deeks), who also works on the show as Deeks' stunt double.
  • Although they never have sex (at least on camera), Powers Boothe's character on Deadwood often orders the hooker "Tess" to perform degrading sex acts. Tess is played by his real-life daughter, Parisse Boothe.
  • Singer Lily Allen claimed that she turned down a chance to play the sister of Theon Greyjoy, played by her brother, Alfie Allen, in Game of Thrones due to a scene in which Theon fondles his sister before he discovers that they're siblings. Her brother, however, later denied this ever happened.
  • Played with on Schitt's Creek when the character of David is playing spin the bottle and tells his friend he is not "dying to play" given that his sister Alexis is sitting in the circle. This is an in-joke because David is played by Dan Levy and his real-life sister Sarah Levy plays Twyla, who was also sitting in the circle. David doesn't kiss Alexis or Twyla.
  • In the Brazilian dub of Smallville, Clark and Lana were voiced by siblings Peterson Adriano and Fernanda Crispim. They did it again in One Tree Hill, in which Peterson voiced Felix, who had an affair with Brooke, voiced by Fernanda.
  • Brazilian dubs also had a lesbian case in Black Lightning, where Anissa Pierce and Chenoa are sisters Adriana and Mariana Torres.
  • A third Brazilian case: as recalled by Caio Guarnieri when he received his sister Isabella in his YouTube channel, while dubbing a Russian show, Caio was recording a passionate love scene, and then when he recognized the already recorded voice of Isabella, he angrily asked how the dub directors had the guts to cast the two siblings as lovers.
  • In the Latin American dub of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Víctor Ugarte voices Sabrina's love interest Harvey during seasons 2-4. Sabrina herself is voiced from the second season onwards by Víctor's younger sister Xóchitl Ugarte.

    Music Videos 
  • In the video for Britney Spears' debut hit "...Baby One More Time", her love interest is played by her real life cousin, Chad Spears. Admittedly, the "romance" never amounts to anything but suggestive glances across the basketball court and her singing to him briefly, but still, given the number of guys who appear in the video, did they really have to pick the one she was related to to play the part?
  • In the Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney video "Say, Say, Say", Michael's love interest is played by his sister LaToya. (This also almost happened in Michael's "The Way You Make Me Feel" music video.)
  • Both of Pimpinela's members are siblings. In the song Olvídame y pega la vuelta, they portray a couple breaking up.
  • In the music video for "Stuck" by Stacie Orrico, her cheating boyfriend is played by her real-life cousin, actor Trevor Wright. He plays her love interest again in the video for "I Could Be the One".

  • The BBC Radio 4 comedy series Jack and Millie stars siblings Jeremy and Rebecca Front as the eponymous married couple.

  • Barbie and Ken are often regarded as the perfect couple. So long as one doesn't dwell on the fact that the guy who designed the first dolls used his own daughter and son as models.

  • In the Gothenburg concert version of Chess, Freddie's and Florence's actors are brother and sister. Granted, most of what Freddie and Florence do onstage is argue, but still...
  • Historically, Commedia dell'Arte troupes were often families, so the Lovers could be played by brother and sister.
  • Fred Astaire and his sister Adele played romantic roles opposite each other for many years in stage musicals. When his sister, who was more popular, quit to get married he worried his career would be over. Of course, history had another medium for him to become famous in.
  • Sisters Charlotte and Susan Webb Cushman played Romeo and Juliet (respectively) in the 1840s.

    Video Games 
  • Averted in Fire Emblem: Awakening, despite the game mostly allowing you to pair up anyone with just about anyone else within the same generation. Sam Riegel and his sister Eden both voice multiple characters, but Eden voices Sumia, one of the few first-generation characters with a limited husband pool, and Nah, a second-generation character. Both of Sam's characters are first-generation characters not in Sumia's husband pool, so the only way Real-Life Relative can come into play is if they're playing father and time-displaced daughter.

    Web Original 
  • In The Hillywood Show"s Dark Knight video, The Joker and his girl Harley Quinn are played by real-life sisters Hilly and Hanna Hindi. Yes, that's right. The Joker is a Sweet Polly Oliver and she nearly makes out with her sister.
  • In An Akatsuki's Life, the creator of the series, Dante-C, and his sister are voicing Pein and Konan, respectively, who are the Official Couple.
  • Whenever romance happens in The Adventure Zone, this is inevitable, as the players are the McElroy Brothers and their father. Except when the relationship is between two NPCs, when it becomes a case of Griffin Acting for Two. Most notable is the relationship between Taako (Justin's character) and Kravitz (an NPC), whose first date was entirely played out. In the following The The Adventure Zone Zone, the brothers clarified that it made them very uncomfortable to roleplay a romantic relationship with one another, and that, while the relationship between Taako and Kravitz would remain, any further dates would occur off-screen.

    Western Animation 
  • On Family Guy, creator Seth MacFarlane plays Stewie Griffin, while his sister Rachael MacFarlane has played love interest Olivia in a few episodes. Both characters are babies, though, so maybe this is more a meta case of Father, I Want to Marry My Brother?
    • This happens in other episodes occasionally, such as one where Rachael plays a one-episode love interest for his character Quagmire, and another where Stewie flirts with an older woman also voiced by Rachael MacFarlane.
  • On American Dad!, Seth MacFarlane plays both Stan Smith, and his identical body double, Bill, while Rachael MacFarlane plays Stan's daughter Hayley. Bill and Hayley eventually hook up, much to Stan's initial joy, until it becomes gross when he discovers Bill wants to break up with her and tries to replace him for a camping trip, during which Hayley plans to have sex with Bill. (Don't worry, nothing happens.)
  • The Italian dub of Total Drama has Heather and Trent voiced by Monica Ward and her son, Alessandro. They kissed in the episode "Search and Do Not Destroy".
    • In the Hungarian dub, Carrie and Devin are voiced by Zsanett Czeto and her older brother Roland. They started a romantic relationship near the end of the season and kissed in their elimination episode ("Last Tango in Buenos Aires").
    • In Brazil, Crimson and Ennui are voiced by brother (Rafael Rodrigo) and sister (Jessica Marina). "I Love Ridonc and Roll", an episode from the seventh season/ Spin-Off, confirms that Crimson and Ennui have been dating for three years.
  • On Lil' Bush, Lil' Cheney is played by series creator Donick Cary, and Barbara Bush is played by his mother Mara Cary. In one episode Mrs. Bush pulls a Mrs. Robinson on Cheney.
  • In the German dub of Recess, T.J. was played by Robert Stadlober and Spinelli was played by his older sister, Anja Stadlober. Both characters have been implied to have crushes on each other (Confirmed on Spinelli's side), and they kiss in one episode. Averted in the third season onwards when T.J. got a new voice actor.
  • W.I.T.C.H.: Will and her Love Interest-then-later-her-boyfriend Matt are voiced by the Turba siblings in the German dub.
  • Loretta and Mirandos on Miles from Tomorrowland have had some light Ship Tease, eventually resulting in a kiss on the cheek where they both blush. They're voiced by Fiona Bishop and Ivy Bishop, who are sisters in real life.

  • In figure skating, pairs and especially ice dance benefit from strong partnerships, people who have worked together a long time and know each other very well. The easiest way to have been partnered since you were children? Is if you are a brother/sister team. Which is absolutely fine when they're young but can get awkward as adults in high-level competition, since romantic themes are extremely common and popular in ice dance programs. A large percentage of Olympic ice dancers are either married OR siblings.

Fictional examples

  • Oshi no Ko: The Movie Arc has twin siblings Aqua and Ruby cast as their own parents in the movie retelling the events that lead to their mother’s murder.
  • While no attention gets drawn to it, in one episode of Pokémon: The Original Series Misty is forcefully cast as the star of an underwater ballet run by her older sisters. Misty plays a mermaid while her eldest sister, Daisy, plays the prince who is described as the mermaid's true love. Thankfully for the audience, Team Rocket's intervention causes the play to go Off the Rails before the sisters have to engage in any romantic scenes.

    Comic Books 
  • In Y: The Last Man, the protagonist mentions him and his sister being cast as Romeo and Juliet, respectively, in the school play. However, they both decide they want to avert it, and his sister is selfless enough to drop out of the production.
  • During Marvel Comics' Civil War (2006) storyline, Johnny Storm and Susan Storm Richards, brother and sister members of the Fantastic Four, assumed undercover identities as husband and wife. Sue considers it the most disturbing thing she's ever done.
  • A particularly weird Teen Titans story may have been this or an inversion, it was never made clear, but involved No Celebrities Were Harmed versions of Wings and Carpenters, and turned on the reveal that Peter and Laura McCarthy were the same people as Ricky and Cathy Woodworker.

    Fan Works 
  • In Ashes of the Past, when the events of the third movie come around in this timeline, the Unown not only make Molly an Entei "father", but also a Suicune "mother" and a Raikou "older brother". All three are perfect doppelgangers to the Beasts of Ecruteak, even to other Pokémon who can tell the difference between individuals of their species (though when they become real Pokémon, they're made Shiny to differentiate), and the three Beasts of Ecruteak all see themselves as siblings. Suicune admits to being a bit unsettled whenever she sees her own doppelganger being affectionate with her brother's doppelganger.
  • In Kara of Rokyn, Van-Zee and his cousin Kara Zor-El are cast as Kal-El and her love interest Lyla Lerrol respectively in the romance movie "Kal & Lyla". Both are more than a little disturbed about the situation, but Kara tries to not think about it and focus on make their on-screen relationship believable.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The movie musical Royal Wedding is about a brother and sister team who play lovers on stage. Fred Astaire and Jane Powell were of course not related.
  • In High School Musical, it's said that Sharpay and Ryan always got the lead roles in all the productions before Troy and Gabriella, and one character remarks that if Sharpay could find a way to play both Romeo and Juliet, Ryan would be out of a job, so it's safe to assume at least one of these would be a romantic pairing. Even their signature duet in the first film, "What I've Been Looking For", was written for a romantic couple.


    Live-Action TV 
  • The Saturday Night Live sketch "Red Ships of Spain" had the in-show version of Robert Goulet (played by Will Ferrell) starring in a broadway show where Goulet's romantic interest is played by his own daughter. The daughter seems very disturbed about the situation, but Goulet is totally oblivious to the implications.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
    • "The Nightman Cometh": The gang is putting on a musical Charlie wrote and he casts Mac in the lead role. Dennis and Mac end up switching parts forcing Dennis and his sister Dee to play romantic partners. When they express discomfort with this arrangement, Charlie tells them that this is exactly why he casted Mac as the lead in the first place. They end up cutting their romantic kiss down to a firm hug because of it.
    • Also happens in "Making Dennis Reynolds a Murderer", where Dee insists on playing her brother's ex-wife in the reenactment.
  • Used at least twice in Neighbours: Twins Brett and Danni Stark were cast as the romantic leads in a school play, freaking out both of them, and managed to convince the teacher to let Danni swap roles with Libby Kennedy. In another storyline, Anne Wilkinson won a competition that required her and her boyfriend to take part in a photoshoot but her boyfriend Billy wasn't available so her brother Lance was persuaded to stand in. They just about held it together until they were asked to kiss at which point they blurted out the truth.
  • In the Arrested Development episode "Bringing Up Buster", George-Michael Bluth attempts to Invoke this in order to kiss his cousin Maeby as part of the school play. He succeeds at being Incestuously Cast. Unfortunately for him, the cousin he has to kiss is Steve Holt.
  • In Hope & Faith, one episode has the two sisters pretend to be a lesbian couple.
  • Done strangely in Raising Hope where Burt and Virgina (a long-married couple) pretend to be brother and sister, and Virgina pretends to have a crush on their son.
  • Justin and Alex from Wizards of Waverly Place, who are brother and sister, pretend to be married and have three kids in the episode, "Max's Secret Girlfriend".
  • Downplayed on Roseanne, where the title character once got a job as a Mall Santa while her sister, Jackie, played Mrs. Claus.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Conscience of the King", a performance of Macbeth features the title character and Lady Macbeth played by a father and his daughter.
  • On The Other Two, Brooke steps in to dance in her brother's video, only to be horrified that she has to grind in front of him in a skimpy outfit. She doesn't, and she also keeps reminding the other dancers that her brother is only 13-years-old.
  • In the second season of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, EJ belatedly realizes that, since he's been cast as Gaston and his cousin Ashlyn as Belle in their production of Beauty and the Beast, he'll have to spend the play romantically pursuing her. Ashlyn quickly shuts down any conversation on the topic, and we don't see any of those scenes play out in the show proper anyway.

  • Mean Girls: In "Stop", Damien recounts having a fling with the actor who played The Beast in their summer camp production of Beauty and the Beast, and getting jealous of the girl who played his love interest in the following production of Anything Goes. The punchline?
    Four whole weeks
    I trolled and dissed her
    Then I found out
    She was his sister, stop!
    Hashtag obsessed, stop

    Visual Novels 
  • In Ristorante Amore, Liam and Laura are cousins in real life, but Liam's route in the Game Within a Game prologue has Laura falling in love with Liam. The main character points how weird this is.

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, siblings Katara and Sokka are able to visit a school in the Fire Nation by posing as a married couple, Wang and Sapphire Fire. And to add to the subtext, Katara's disguise makes her look heavily pregnant.
  • Doug: Doug got a role in a school play opposite his crush, Patty. Instead, Patty had to drop out for some reason, forcing Doug's sister Judy to take the role. The dramatic kiss scene is thus changed to a kiss on the cheek.
  • Downplayed in the Gravity Falls short "Mabel's Guide to Fashion", where Dipper is called on to briefly play "guy amazed at how good Mabel looks".
  • In The Simpsons episode "Realty Bites", Marge wants to become a real estate agent, so Bart and Lisa help her study for the big test. The kids create a game where they are a married couple looking for a house and Marge is their real estate agent.
    Marge: So, you're married, and you're looking for your house, Mister and Missus...
    Bart: Superman!
    Lisa: Oh! Don't listen to my husband, he's just an idiot. Now, I'm a veterinarian, and I need to keep lots of sick animals in my house! Is that permitted?
    Bart: Not in my damn house!
    Marge: Well, this neighbourhood is zone R3, which allows dogs, cats, phone answering monkeys, and... ohhh... [checks book] I'll never memorize all this!
    Lisa: When I had to learn about the Magna Carta, I made up a song! [singing] In 1215 at Runnymede, do da do da, the nobles and the king agreed, oh da doo da day!
    Bart: We should have lived together first!

  • There is a popular joke about Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. Supposedly there was a production where Prince Gremin and Tatiana were played by siblings, and hilarity ensued when during the performance, as Onegin asked who Tatiana was, Gremin replied "My sister" (instead of "My wife") and Onegin was so shocked that in response he sang "So you are sistered?" (instead of "So you are married?").