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Insanely International Ancestry

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"My dad is from Japanese descent, my mom is from Swedish descent and, through marriages and divorces, a pretty multicultural family — a lot of Spanish speakers in the family."

This trope is when a character is shown to have many, many ancestors that lived in various parts of the world, sometimes in different eras or time periods. This can sometimes be reasonable (Bob has ancestors that lived in Revolution-era France, Victorian Britain, and Roaring Twenties Chicago), or downright ridiculous (Bob also has ancestors from Imperial China, Reconquista-era Spain, pre-colonial Hawaii, etc).

While this trope could just be a fun little detail, it could become a plot point for multiple reasons. The ancestors could have learned special skills passed down through the family, either genetically or through lessons, such as area specific combat skills or language, or have allies that support their family to this day. A current member of the family could be inspired by their family history to try and do good in the world (especially if they happen to be related to someone historically famous.) If the story involves Time Travel, the current member of the family could go back and meet his ancestors.

Note: For examples of this trope to count, a character's ancestry should be exaggerated a bit, with approximately 3 to 4 nationalities and/or cultures in a character's background. Can be related to Heroic Lineage if the ancestors were each awesome in some way, Cast of Snowflakes if each ancestor had a unique look, or Really Gets Around if some of the ancestors were all the offspring of the same person. Compare Multinational Team for a non-family version. Might justify having two names of different ethnicities.

It should be noted that the degree of the trope being either exaggerated or conversely, to an extent, Truth in Television strongly depends on the cultural background of the audience (or the creators'). A mix of several different ancestries is quite plausible in Real Life in societies that a) have been multiethnic for a long time and b) have preserved that multiethnic makeup into the modern era, with reduced cross-cultural barriers and somewhat higher social (and physical, by way of modern transport) mobility. Good examples would be China or the former Soviet Union and its successor states. By means of an example: a character, born in the late 1980s in the waning years of the USSR, who's part Russian, part Georgian and part Tatar on their father's side and part Uzbek, part Korean on their mother's may come across as a shining example of this trope to continental Europeans in particular (who, by and large, are used to nation-states that have been overwhelmingly monoethnic until very recently), but whose background is, if not exactly common, but certainly entirely possible for the former Soviet Union note .


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    Anime And Manga 
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: The Joestar family hopping between countries all across the 20th Century eventually results in this with the later protagonist JoJos having a variable mix of British, American, Japanese, and Italian ancestries, at least in the original continuity.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! involves the Japanese main characters having ancestors in ancient Egypt and some of the spin-offs take it further. Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden Memories gives all of the main characters Egyptian ancestors, and Yu-Gi-Oh! The Duelists of the Roses features the same characters' ancestors during England's Wars of the Roses. Making it even more unlikely is how the ancient characters are part of an Identical Grandson situation, and many of the interactions and plots between ancestors being an example of Generation Xerox.

    Comic Books 
  • Inverted in the comic 7Brothers, which features eight protagonists of just about every ethnicity (European, Asian, Native American, African-American, etc.) all with a common Chinese ancestor: when an Evil Sorcerer went around the world on the treasure fleets, his apprentice seduced the local women as often as he could, leaving them with a child whose descendants his spirit could talk to and help to take down the sorcerer once he escaped his imprisonment.
  • By force of Continuity Drift and Depending on the Writer, Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge's ancestors include two Egyptian pharaohs, various Ancient Roman characters, Native Americans, French noblemen, Italian merchants, Spanish Conquistadors, the Scottish McDuck clan, and more. In the 1970's, a special comic arc that ran over twelve issues in Italy attempted to Justify it by showing how the family line had moved across the world for various reasons, but later writers couldn't keep that timeline straight and by now it raises more questions than it answers note 
  • In the comic book series The Crogan Adventures, a dad often tells his two sons stories about their ancestors, including a pirate, a French Legionnaire, and two brothers on opposite sides of the Revolutionary War.
  • Achille Talon has a similar set-up to the Crogan example, with Talon's ancestors all being spoofs of various historical figure, from a Roman legionnaire to a Christopher Columbus knockoff.

    Fan Works 
  • Fairytales is a long one-shot where all the Disney Princesses, from various countries and time periods, are revealed to be connected by blood or marriage (up through The Princess and the Frog, the newest movie when the story was written). The final section includes Tiana and Naveen's daughter, who would be descended from them all.

  • The Vampire Chronicles: Jesse's Ambiguously Related Aunt Maharet introduces her to distant relatives from all over the world. Justified with the reveal that Maharet is a vampire who's been tracking the genaeology of her descendants for the last six thousand years.
  • Ender's Shadow: Bean is Greek, but is known to have enough Nigerian Igbo ancestry to make him look rather African in Greece. His uncle has a Romanian-sounding surname (Volescu), so he may be of Romanian ancestry, as well.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: the mercenary Brown Ben Plumm boasts to have Braavosi, Dothraki, Ibbenese, Qohorik, Summer Islander, Valyrian, and Westerosi ancestry.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In F Troop, Corporal Agarn seems to have family from all over the world. Those that appeared on the show included a French-Canadian, a Russian and a Mexican.

    Video Games 
  • Desmond Miles, the modern-day protagonist of the first three Assassin's Creed games, has as ancestors a Syrian Arab Muslim member of the Hashashin in Altair ibn La-Ahad in Assassin's Creed, an Italian nobleman from Florence in Ezio Auditore in the Assassin's Creed II trilogy, a half-Mohawk/half-British hunter alternately named Connor or Ratonhnhak√©:ton in Assassin's Creed III, and Connor in turn is descended from the famed Welsh pirate Edward Kenway in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. In fact, having such a dense bloodline of Isu-human DNA from Adam is a large part of what makes him into The Chosen One.
  • Sly Cooper shows that Sly's ancestors lived in Feudal Japan, Ancient Egypt, 13th century England, Ancient Arabia, the Wild West, etc, and even go as far back as the Ice Age.
  • Inverted in Power Instinct series, since the major family from the series, the Goketsuji, are from Japan. For a tournament in which the fighters have to get some heritage from the family as exclusive requirement to enter, there're characters from USA (Keith Wayne, White Buffalo), England (Annie Hamilton), Italy (Angela Belti) and even Arabia (Sahad Asran Ryuto) apart of Japan.


    Western Animation 
  • Goofy: Something especially notable in his comics incarnations is that Goofy has a ridiculously old and spread-out family tree. In almost any given situation where history is brought up, he'll offhandedly mention having a great-great-great-great-grandfather or -uncle from the period and region in question and pop up to his enormous and cluttered attic to fish out yet another centuries-old souvenir that his family stashed there. This eventually got to be something of a classic Running Gag with him. It was eventually deliberately exaggerated in the Italian comic series Goofy's Great-grand-ancestors (I Bis-bis di Pippo), which focused on following en extensive series of Goofy lookalikes through 1800's Paris, Columbus' ships on the way to the Americas, the European Middle Ages, Ancient Rome, China, Greece and Egypt, Babylon, the Stone Age, and eventually culminating in a Precambrian single-celled lifeform that already had Goofy's distinctive ears.
    • "The Goofy Adventure Story", an episode of Walt Disney Presents, was based all around this, presenting clips of earlier Goofy cartoons taking place in different time period and locales as the adventures of Goofy's many ancestors (with two of them being about Goofy's brother Joe).
  • A more down-to-earth Disney example is the Mexican rooster Panchito Pistoles, from The Three Caballeros. From hearing his song about his full name, it seems like the writers tried to cover as much of Latin America as possible in his family background. His paternal grandmother grew up in Lima, Peru, but his father grew up in Ecuador. Meanwhile, his mother was born in Bahia, Brazil (where later the marriage took place). And in the final verses, Panchito says he's "Descended from family in Mexico, Chile, Brazil and a couple in Dallas", so there's even more family stories before settling in Mexico. Apparently, the family really enjoys getting to know the world (or at least the American continent).
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Pinkie Pie and Applejack both have families that span over the Equestrian continent. The Apples have even founded another town: Appleoosa. So widespread are both families that Pinkie might be a legitimate cousin to the apples. As of S7, the Pears are another branch of the Apple clan by marriage. And they're in the equivalent to Canada. This has been used to get help from relatives, learn how different families do things, and as a framing device for other stories.
  • Charlie Dog from Looney Tunes. He is 50% Pointer ("There it is! There it is! There it is!"), 50% Boxer, 50% Setter ("Irish Setter"), 50% Watch Dog, 50% Spitz, 50% Doberman Pincher. But, mostly, he's all Labrador Retriever! And if you doubt his word, get him a Labrador and he'll retrieve it!
    Charlie: Have ya got a labrador?
    Porky: N-no.
    Charlie: Know where ya can get a labrador?
    Porky: N-no.
    Charlie: (leans in with quiet menace) Then shaddup.