Follow TV Tropes


It Runs in the Family

Go To

"You see, insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops."
Mortimer Brewster, Arsenic and Old Lace

A family full of eccentric, weird, sometimes insane relatives. Preferably all of them, but as long as it's the majority of them then it's okay. Commonly, it's all of them except the Only Sane Man or the Black Sheep (or White Sheep, depending on the circumstances).

Someone may observe their... "activities," but when they confront the family about this, the said family will often have no idea that they are considered to be out of the ordinary.

See also Big, Screwed-Up Family. Villainous Lineage is the darker version of this, while Heroic Lineage is the more... well, heroic version. The Professional Wrestling version of the trope is, of course, Wrestling Family. Contrast Turn Out Like His Father. Compare Shared Family Quirks.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Ranma ˝:
    • The Kunos are all totally bonkers.
    • In the manga (the story wasn't converted to the anime), it's revealed that having No Sense of Direction is something that runs in Ryoga's family — his mother and father are just as bad as he is.
  • A Certain Magical Index:
    • Anyone, anyone, who is in any way related to the Kiharas can be easily identified not only as evil scientists but as batshit insane, downright monstrous evil scientists.
    • Apparently Chick Magnet runs in the Kamijou family.
  • Code Geass:
    • Everyone — everyone — on the show arguably goes insane by the end, but the Emperor's line is the most screwy of all, in both mind and manipulation.
    • Lelouch. Charles. Schniezel. Marianne. Euphie, and Nunnally even. They're all well-intentioned extremists bent on taking over the world for the greater good. The only family member who gets sufficient screentime and doesn't count is Cornelia, and she still gets introduced conquering a part of the world. It most definitely runs in the family.
  • Q.E.D.: Touma's family are in general Cloudcuckoolanders and are geniuses in one field or another.
  • Though we've only seen the female half of the Saginomiya family in Hayate the Combat Butler, they're all pretty well Cloudcuckoolanders. Isumi is the closest one to sane, and she barely qualifies as such.
    • Isumi's grandmother mistakes her daughter, Isumi's mother, for Hayate when meeting him for the first time. And the mother thinks she actually is! Even wondering where she went when the grandmother changes paths.
  • Oreimo: Both Kirino and Kyousuke are Tsundere in their own ways. However, both of them clearly get it from their father.
  • Shinichi's father in Case Closed is a mystery writer who doesn't investigate because he's Brilliant, but Lazy. Fellow detective Heiji's father is a well-known police investigator. Haibara's parents are scientists. Ran's parents were highly proficient in martial arts.
  • Inuyasha: Youkai view compassion for humans as eccentricity at best and weakness at worst. Even the great Dog Leader was brought down by his compassion, an "infection" Sesshoumaru blames Inuyasha's human mother for even though Myouga states he was genuinely compassionate. Eventually, even Sesshoumaru succumbs to the family "curse" causing his mother to observe he's turned into his father.
  • For Kakuma Keita in the anime adaptation of Inazuma Eleven, being a Large-Ham Announcer runs in the family. It helps that his father is a professional TV announcer for soccer matches.
  • In The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, Chihiro uses this to explain away resident Idiot Savant Mashiro's behaviour, and did not suspect the latter may have some kind of mental disability.
  • One Piece:
    • Luffy and his father Dragon are the only known people to have declared war upon the World Government and gotten away with it. Completely unrelated to each other. Dragon is also leading an active rebellion.
    • Luffy and his grandfather Garp are distracted by snacks, goofy, tend to fight predominately with punches, and in their first on-screen interaction, both fall asleep at the drop of a hat. Watching them, Nami remarks on the ego that runs in the family.
    • Those who have D as a middle initial have a tendency to Go Out with a Smile, which is called the "Will of D". So far, the only exception is Marshal D "Blackbeard" Teach, which Whitebeard takes to mean that Teach is not a true inheritor of the Will. However, it's unclear just how the various D's are related.
    • All of the introduced members of the Vinsmoke family seem to be perverts with the men being the worst.
  • Baccano!'s Laforet family is a proud family line consisting of Mad Scientists, knife-wielding fanatics, Enfante Terribles and, once Claire finds his way into the bloodline, hypercompetent but insufferably arrogant solipsistic teenage girls. Only one can arguably be considered reasonably sane (Luchino Campanella), and he's a teenage assassin.
  • In Servant × Service, as Yutaka Hasebe's sister Kaoru mentioned, the entire Hasebe family are (1) civil servants and (2) share extreme Brilliant, but Lazy / The Slacker traits. Yutaka, who is at first seen as a loser if not for his Hidden Depths, is indeed the most downplayed in terms of this trait.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid, when Einhart relates what Genetic Memory she has of Wilfried Jeremiah and mentions the part about Reid coming and going for long periods of time, Victoria snarks that Sieglinde seems to have inherited that trait from her ancestors. Victoria also mentions that the Jeremiahs are a nomadic tribe, which helps explain this tendency of theirs.
  • Loz, Yazoo, and Kadaj from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Like their father, they all want to help their mother Jenova in whatever they can. If that includes threatening dormerly Corrupt Corporate Executives, kidnapping children, and summoning a dragon to destroy a city, all the better!
  • Played for Laughs in one chapter of Horimiya when Miyamura ends up getting asked the exact same question by Hori, her father, and her brother in rapid succession. The inside cover of volume 10 shows that they've actually started rubbing off on him due to how much time he spends at their house.
  • In addition to their good manga-drawing skills, the two Nozaki brothers in Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun also appear to have the same poor logic when following manga advice. This is evident when they try to follow Miyako's advice on cutting off the conversation on the bottom corner of the left pagenote  to draw readers in, and they both choose to cut off mid-word. Miyako snarks that reading Nozaki's manga do this correctly and then switching to Mayu's failed attempt at this makes it feel like Nozaki's version was her imagination.
  • Fruits Basket:

    Comic Books 
  • If The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck are any indication, being a tight-fisted penny-pincher must run in the McDuck line. And apparently, Donald Duck gets his famous Hair-Trigger Temper from his parents.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • The "House of M", currently made up of Magneto, Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch, and Polaris (probably), all of them pretty much known for periodically leaving their sanity at home. The third-generation kids may or may not be affected, but so far, they're... mostly doing well. Except for the ones who may or may not have just been a physical manifestation of Wanda's psychosis. Oh, and the one who's currently being treated for an addiction to the Inhumans' Terrigen Mists... which her father got her hooked on after taking a few hits himself.
    • Deadpool, a Sociopathic Hero, hooks up with Shiklah, an evil succubus who's crazier than he is. Both have shown an attraction to one another's violent sides. Their relationship was as stable as one could expect. They can be lovebirds one minute and literally going to war with one another the next while having sex in the middle of that. They have a daughter together sometime in the future. Needless to say, their daughter, Warda is just as violent as both of her parents. She doesn't have a high opinion of Deadpool, held him hostage, and tortured him for years trying to get info on what he'd done with Shiklah, while also causing another war. Deadpool's first child, Ellie, fights against her. While Ellie isn't as crazy as Deadpool or her half-sister, she is not shy about solving problems through violence. Even as a kid, she got into many fights after changing schools, with Deadpool encouraging her to tell teachers about bullies, instead of fighting. But no luck.
  • In All Fall Down, IQ and IQ Squared are both lonely, brilliant, irritable men who find it impossible to talk to each other.
  • Archie Comics: In certain stories, we learn that Archie Andrews' ancestors were just as girl-obsessed and clumsy as he is.
  • Laff-A-Lympics:
    • Dastardly Dalton says so when Dread Baron's brother Dick Dastardly says he never won any "of those Wacky Races".
    • A page in the comics describes the Creeplys as direct descendants of the Gruesomes and states that, like their ancestors, like gloomy weather, ants at picnics, and monster movies where the monster wins and hate rock music.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Evidently, becoming a (well-meaning) Mad Scientist runs in Paula von Gunther's family, as her daughter Gerta ends up accidentally creating a number of superpowered villains as a young scientist on Paradise Island.

    Fan Works 
  • In Chapter 14 of the Superjail! fanfic Extended Stay, it is revealed that the Warden and the Mistress's 4-year old children Matilda and Ethan have grown up to be sadists like them. Combined with Troubling Unchildlike Behavior.
  • This is an assumption if Sayu knew if Light was Kira and continued his work. A couple have Ryuk be her Shinigami, only one or two have Light reincarnated as a Shinigami himself.
  • In Blackkat's Reverse, Sarutobi is quickly persuaded that Uzumaki Kurama really is an Uzumaki, for the good reason he left an unholy amount of trouble in his wake.
  • In Danny Phantom fanfic ResurrectedMemories: One of the earliest hints that Ember is related to the Murray family is the fact that they tend to have an affinity to music with Ember being an Evil Diva prior to a Heel–Face Turn, Mrs. Murray, aka Ember's long-lost little sister being a music teacher and Zoe, Mrs. Murray's older daughter not only having a band she is putting together but also goes to an arts school as a music student.
  • Played for Drama in RWBY: Scars. The Schnees are this way through a combination of Domestic Abuse and genetics. Weiss has schizoaffective disorder and her twin brother Whitley has antisocial personality disorder. Their older sister Winter doesn't seem to suffer from a mental illness, but she has a lot of baggage involving her Abusive Parents. Willow Schnee is an alcoholic who suffers from schizophrenia. She worries whether her kids inherited her mental illness, but her therapist tells her it's more complicated than that.
  • Name-dropped by Feral in running with lightning feet when Wolffe accuses him of being a drama queen. Since Maul enjoys his Big Entrance, Savage tends to slaughter everything in his path and Feral just made a huge scene asking to be killed, it's hard to disagree.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Sanchez family from The Book of Life boasts three main traits.
    • The first is bullfighting. And, as Carmen points out, it is why there are so many Sanchezes in the Land of the Remembered, as they were all killed in the ring.
    • The second is music. Manolo has an ancestor several generations back who wanted to be an opera singer but was pushed into bullfighting. As such, he sympathizes with Manolo and even gets one heck of a solo in the big final battle. (Fittingly, he is voiced by Placido Domingo!)
    • The third is a certain unflinching courage. It could be argued that Manolo got his due to La Muerta's blessing. But his mother, Carmen, on meeting Xibalba, bitchslapped him.
  • Coco: Subverted and played straight. Miguel's family have been well-known shoemakers for nearly a century, but Miguel himself is far more interested in becoming a musician. On the other hand, his great-great-grandfather was a talented musician, with Miguel taking more after him than the other members of his family. The climax and ending of the film reveal that the musical gift was more widely spread than was initially thought, as not only is Mama Imelda, Miguel's great-great-grandmother and the one who instituted the "No Music" policy, an amazing singer, but Miguel's cousins who previously belittled him for his musical interests are also playing instruments at the following year's Día de Muertos.
  • Bill's family in It's Such a Beautiful Day, with examples of mental illness and insanity going back for at least four generations before him. To recapitulate:
    • His great-great-great uncle was a Wild Child who once beat a church organist with a shovel.
    • His great-grandmother had hallucinations of phantoms.
    • His grandmother rubbed severed cat heads on her skull because "the fish are smothering her brain"
    • His great-aunt beat imaginary animals with a hammer.
    • His great uncle was a preacher who grew his mole hairs "to cleanse is soul" and believed a sea monster stole the sheriff's cow.
    • His mother shaved the cat on weekends and forced Bill to wear a heavy coat year-round in order to protect him from "walking pneumonia".
    • His brother Randall suffers from mental retardation and eventually runs into the sea and drowns.
    • Bill himself is the victim of psychotic episodes and eventually suffers from acute amnesia.
  • The eponymous family from the film Meet the Robinsons are all eccentric verging on insane.
  • In Shrek the Third, Lillian displays her fighting skills, using her head to break down the wall so she and her daughter and the others can escape.
    Fiona: [clearly impressed] Mom!
    Lillian: Well, you didn't think you got your fighting skills from your father, did you?
  • In Turning Red, Mei discovers her giant red panda transformation is inherited, and that her mother, grandmother, and other female family members can transform as well.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Averted in Big Game. Oskari wishes that he was as good a hunter as his father and the rest of his family.
  • Havenhurst: Eleanore Mudgett runs an apartment building for recovering addicts, prostitutes, and other such people, and has any who fall back into their vices murdered. This penchant for murder comes from being related to Herman Webster Mudgett.
  • The Family Firefly from House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects.
  • Grandpa's Psycho: Murry's more unhinged qualities may have been passed down through his bloodline. This is because late in the movie, we see Megan have a tea party with her dolls, and Kelly, who at this point is naked, bloody, and chained up in Murry's house. When Lisa stabs a guy, she looks at the blood on her knife with what can best be described as manic glee.
  • The House of Yes only shows four members of the Pascal family but they all have some severe issues. Not to mention that it is hinted that Mrs. Pascal killed her husband, which echoes the climax of the film.
  • The Portokaloses of My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
  • The Merrye clan of Spider Baby or, the Maddest Story Ever Told, who suffer from a degenerative disease that causes them to become murderous, insane cannibals. Played for nervous, squicky laughs.
  • The Whole Truth (2021): Putt likes to sketch, and is very good at it. It's shown late in the movie that his father, Krit, was a painter, indicating where he may have gotten his skills from.

  • Inverted in A Series of Unfortunate Events: the Baudelaire siblings are the only people in their extended family who aren't insane, evil, or completely oblivious.
  • The title family in The Bagthorpe Saga. Tess, Rosie, and William are all somewhat eccentric, and their parents and grandparents might edge into mildly deranged, as might their cousin Daisy... They all (well, except Daisy) believe wholeheartedly in their genius as a family and individually, and take themselves very seriously. In one of the books in the sequence, they try to break as many Guinness World Records in a summer as they can... And in keeping with the trope, Jack and his ally Uncle Parker are the only sane ones people can bear to have anywhere near them. Also Grandpa (though he's less developed as a character).
  • Ghost Girl (2021): Zee's ghost-seeing abilities were inherited from her late mother.
  • Harry Potter:
    • The Weasleys are one big kooky red-headed family who are implied to be quite old and presumably extensive, as females are very rare in their line. There's only one Squib, who Ron reveals to be an accountant.
    • The Black family? Many are completely insane. Sirius claims that if they turned out anybody half-decent they were blasted of the Family Tree.
  • The eponymous Vorkosigans from the Vorkosigan Saga:
    Cordelia: Counts Vorkosigan have come to horrible ends throughout your history. You've been blown up, shot, starved, drowned, burned alive, beheaded, diseased, and demented. The only thing you've never done is die in bed.
    • Count Piotr, the guy Cordelia was talking to and the 10th Count Vorkosigan, was the first to actually accomplish that last one: dying in bed at an advanced age. Miles Vorkosigan (whose own mother explicitly states is not quite sane, if only to cope with the insane amount of expectation and social pressure that have characterized his entire life) has also got a lot of other crazy people in his family tree, especially from the Vorrutyer and Vorbarra branches of the family.
  • Subverted in the Doctor Who Eighth Doctor Adventures novel The Taint: Fitz's maternal relatives are mostly more or less insane. It turns out it's due to alien brain slugs, which the Doctor deals with. It seems, however, that Fitz has a slightly different view of matters, as in one or two later stories, he thinks he's hallucinating and blames it on the craziness that runs in his family, even though he hasn't got a brain slug anymore. Naturally, he's not hallucinating.
  • Agent Pendergast: The Pendergasts have a strong streak of insanity in the family. Sometimes this takes the form of a brilliant, unorthodox approach to investigating crime. More often, it takes the form of finding novel ways to wipe out humanity.
  • The Smedry family of the Alcatraz Series, in addition to having hereditary magical talents, have a reputation for extreme eccentricity.
  • In The Man Who Was Thursday, it's mentioned in passing that Syme grew up in an extremely odd family and eventually got so Bored with Insanity that he rebelled by being as sane as humanly possible. In fact, he's so sane that he's almost too sane, and therefore, in his own way, just as crazy as the rest of them.
  • The Woosters in Jeeves and Wooster are a pretty eccentric bunch in general, and at least one (Henry Wooster) spent his last days "in some sort of a home". For this reason, the "nerve specialist" Roderick Glossop has latched onto Cloudcuckoolander Bertie Wooster as insane and potentially dangerous.
  • Mary Poppins and her relatives each have at least one mystical quirk.
  • The Dresden Files: magic runs in the family. It's a hereditary trait. But getting in trouble with vampires runs in Harry's family. Harry accidentally started a war between the vampires and the UN of Wizards, and his mother bore the bastard child of one. Also, generally getting in trouble with werewolves, wizards, demons, angels, and fae.
  • The Igors (and Igorinas) in the Discworldseries are not so much insane as differently sane. They're definitely eccentric, but they're competent enough surgeons that when an Igor says of another Igor "He has his grandfather's eyes" he's not speaking metaphorically.
  • Roongrat from Marty Pants inherited his mother's general appearance, and penchant for telling lies.
  • A Frozen Heart: In this Tie-In Novel to Disney's Frozen, most of Prince Hans of the Southern Isles' 12 older brothers inherit their father's ruthlessness and Lack of Empathy. Hans himself doesn't start out as one, but the repeated abuse he suffered at the hands of his family's older members, combined with working as the king's gofer all contributed him to adopting his family's Social Darwinist mindset, believing Love Is a Weakness and that it's okay to lie and cheat to get what you want.
  • In The Place Inside the Storm, Tara's parents are both eccentric, and it's implied she inherited her autism from her father. Her younger sister Zoie is the only normal member of the family.
  • The Dinner: Paul suffers from a neurological disorder that makes him prone to violent behavior. Michel's murderous actions make Paul wonder if his son has inherited that disorder, though it's also implied that Michel could simply have been psychologically influenced by Paul outside of genetics.
  • In Experimental Film, Lois realizes she has all the symptoms of Asperger syndrome, which manifested as more severe autism in her son Clark.
    Lois: Don't you see? This is why this happened. Because I'm just like him, except it's all on the inside.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: Connor seems to take after his father Angel in one respect. "A weakness for Slayers. You're definitely his son."
  • Arrested Development is about a family that has no idea how to live conservatively and act like decent human beings....except for Michael Bluth, who the family both counts on to keep them afloat and takes for granted.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: A gift for banter and sarcasm runs deep in Summers women, as shown by Buffy, her sister Dawn and their mother Joyce along with courage, toughness, and great beauty.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Pond family is smaller than most examples but has more wackiness than most small planets. Poor Rory seems to be the Only Sane Mannote , as his wife spent her childhood biting psychiatrists, his daughter is a self-proclaimed psychopath, and his son-in-law puts the "crazy" in Crazy is Cool.
    • In the Big Finish Doctor Who and Gallifrey audios, the Doctor's relatives Brax, Susan, and Alexnote , have a habit of being reckless, independent, highly intelligent, and self-sacrificial. The latter costs poor Alex his life when he is only twenty years old. Special mention goes to Brax for also having a tendency to lie to his friends to keep them safe. Sound familiar?
    • Are you a member of the Lethbridge-Stewart family? Congratulations! You've won a military career and a big box of Nerves of Steel.
  • Gotham: Elijah Van Dahl mentions to his son Oswald (The Penguin) that all the males in their family suffer from violent tendencies and urges him not to give into his demons.
  • Kenny's family in Kenny vs. Spenny are all pure evil. At one point the entire clan comes together to fake Kenny's mom's death and hold a fake funeral and going in mourning just to keep Spenny from winning a footrace.
  • LazyTown's Stephanie is the only character in the show who has bright pink hair. But according to her uncle, it's a trait that runs in the family.
  • Malcolm's family from Malcolm in the Middle fits this perfectly, in a beautifully dysfunctional manner.
  • The Munsters are all members of the Monster Mash and are considered weird...except for human-looking Marilyn—who was considered ugly by the rest of her family (though she shares some of the other members' inhumanness like her very low body temperature).
  • This trope was the name of an episode of Murder, She Wrote featuring Jessica's British cousin Emma (also played by Angela Lansbury); she's just as much a Doom Magnet (and just as much a sleuth) as her cousin.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 has the Forrester family, who are all Mad Scientists. Aside from our main antagonists (Dr. Clayton Forrester, his mother Pearl, and Clayton's daughter Kinga), Season 9 reveals that members of the Forrester family have been conducting similar experiments to the show's premise for centuries.
    • Also, Kinga's assistant Max is the son of Clayton's assistant Frank.
  • The Winchester-Campbells in Supernatural. Hunting, making deals with demons, coming back from the dead...

  • Amanda Palmer's "Runs in the Family" describes people who have inherited various complications and illnesses from their bloodlines and goes on to talk about what the singer believes to have inherited from their family (namely their impulsiveness, traumas, and fear of consequences).
  • The Who, The Real Me:
    I went back to my mother
    I said I'm crazy ma, help me
    She said I know how it feels, son
    'Cause it runs in the family

  • A fairly minor case Played for Laughs in Dino Attack RPG. Sarah Bishop gained particular infamy among the cast when she became the first known person to hate the Brickolinis' pizza (though Pierce might also count, or he may just have eaten a particularly hot one). Sure enough, a few posts later, it turns out her daughter Kate can't stand the taste of Brickolinis' pizza either.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The d'Ambrevilles of Glantri in the Mystara D&D setting are a large and fractious family of wealthy, self-indulgent, scheming, and often magically-gifted weirdos. They were even stranger in the adventure (Chateau d'Ambreville) that introduced them, having been trapped in a bizarre Pocket Dimension for years; many had turned single rooms or suites within their cursed mansion into their own private gardens/laboratories/banquets/whatever and had been physically transformed by curses to have the heads of animals.

  • The Sycamore family from You Can't Take It With You.
  • The Brewster family in Arsenic and Old Lace. The one family member who's not insane, murderous or both is Mortimer. He eventually learns, to his relief, that he's not a blood relative.

    Video Games 
  • Caulder/Stolos's "children" in Advance Wars: Days of Ruin/Dark Conflict. Cyrus is fairly levelheaded, but Penny/Lili and Tabitha/Larissa... not so much.
  • Agent Joule (real name Cosima Bellini) of Agents of Mayhem is the daughter of a fashion industry titan (her mother) and a brilliant weapons engineer (her father). She has inherited both her parents' talents, crafting and optimizing weapons systems like her personal deployable turrets, all while doing it in style. Wrench Wench though she may be, she is no Unkempt Beauty.
  • The Sasaki family of the Metal Gear series have always been some Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains who had some toilet problem of some sort.
  • Mad Father's Cruel Twist Ending is that this is the case with Aya. The titular Mad Father's goal was to turn his daughter into a doll so she never turned out like him, and in the True Ending where he fails, she does precisely that, becoming a doctor who kills patients to steal their body parts.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda reveals that Conrad Verner (obsessive Shepard fanboy) and his tendencies aren't just limited to him. His sister Cassandra is an even bigger nutcase than her brother. Conrad at least worships an actual hero, not a ruthless crime lord.

    Visual Novels 
  • Umineko: When They Cry: The Ushiromiyas. Kinzo is dangerously insane, Eva is a Rich Bitch who goes totally Ax-Crazy in one arc, Rosa is an abusive single mother, and her daughter Maria is an extremely Creepy Child who may give her grandpa a run for the money in the "crazy" department. Natsuhi is downright delusional, and she married into the family. The rest are also neurotic, just less... violently so. Oh, and at least six of Kinzo's descendants have been seen to use magic, if you take the Anti-Mystery perspective. It's more than dysfunctionality and Cute Little Fangs that runs in this family. Even the at least vaguely sane Battler is starting to act like his grandfather.
  • Ace Attorney:
    • The von Karma family. It's subtle, but if you pay attention, Franziska von Karma from the second game onward shares the same poses for her sprites as her father Manfred from the first game. Less subtly, both are prosecutors with obsessions for absolute perfection (and although Franziska eventually gets over it, she does maintain the no-nonsense sense of authority that had come with it).
    • Miles Edgeworth, being a von Karma by adoption, is a good example of this as well in the fourth cases of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations and the first Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth game. His outfit is very similar to Manfred's, and the finger wag is shared by both.

  • The River family from Irregular Elis. A Spanish webcomic about a Badass Family of Superheroes with a lot of Hanna-Barbera influences.
  • In The Fancy Adventures of Jack Cannon, we have seen three members of Jack's family so far: Him, his Mum, and his Dad. Each of them is a badass.
    • Jack can dodge flying knives, grab them from the air, and throw them back at whoever threw them in the first place. He can also punch his way out of the ground.
    • Mom is an ex-agent who beat up Jack's dad when they first met and tried to take him hostage. She randomly throws knives at her son and puts poison in his cereal (among other things) to teach him how to defend himself from attacks both subtle and direct.
    • Dad is an ex-agent who almost beat up Jack's mom when they first met and she tried to take him hostage. He wears Kiss The Cook aprons, yet likes to single-handedly grab foes by the head and throw them at one another.
  • In Girl Genius Spark, which might be better known as Science-Related Memetic Disorder, tends to run in families. It's probably the most apparent in the Heterodynes, a house full of powerful Sparks and vicious warlords who terrorized Europa for centuries.
  • In Undying Happiness, Keisuke's Healing Factor, immunity to pain, and clumsiness appears to be hereditary: his grandmother has it (and laughs off accidentally slicing off the fingers of her left hand) and the Time Skip shows his son Yusuke has it as well.

    Web Originals 

    Western Animation 
  • In DuckTales (2017), adventure runs in the Duck-McDuck family blood. Even before the most obvious example, Scrooge McDuck, easily the most famous and successful adventurer in the last century, there are countless examples hiding in their family tree. The latest generation are no slouches either, the Triplets Uncle Donald was also once a famed adventurer before he settled down to become a father figure. Their mother Della is certainly no slouch either. Adventure in the blood may even extend as far back as the days of the ancient cave ducks, with the implications that in this continuity, Bubba Duck is the original ancestor of the McDuck-Duck family line.
    • Sadly, a temper also seems to run in the blood of the Duck-McDuck family, most prominently of course with Donald Duck's infamous rage, but his sister Della and her son Huey also display quite the rage when properly provoked. And at least one ancestor, Black Donald, apparently had a tantrum so legendary it got golf banned throughout Scotland.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the royal family of the Fire Nation has a tendency to be sociopathic nutjobs. For some odd reason, it only seems to happen to one family member per generation, unfortunately, until the last two generations that one person was the eldest son. Zuko seems to have put a stop to it for good by the time of The Legend of Korra because his Spin-Offspring are well-adjusted, good folks.
  • Gravity Falls: Pretty much the entire Pines family is rather careless about safety when there's adventure in play. Mabel gleefully runs into trouble armed with nothing but her wits and a grappling hook, Dipper's curiosity about the supernatural has gotten him in hot water several times, Stan has an extensive criminal record thanks to years of outrageous get-rich-quick schemes, is persona non grata in multiple states, stole radioactive waste, and once tried to teach a bear to drive, and finally Ford is a Mad Scientist who thinks giving weapons to children is acceptable, though he admits he hasn't been in this dimension for a very long time.
    • As such, the making of fake IDs is also a family thing.
  • Poopeye, Peepeye, Pipeye and Pupeye, Popeye's nephews.
    • Plus Junior from Popeye and Son. He has his father's strength, "tumor arms", and speech impediment.
  • The Simpsons:
    • "Lisa the Simpson" reveals that all Simpson men are born intelligent, but suddenly become idiots at the age of eight.
    • Likewise, both Chief Clancy Wiggum and his son Ralph are among the dumbest characters on the show. Chief Wiggum's father is dead in the present, but what we see of him in flashbacks indicates that low intelligence likely runs in the Wiggum family.
  • South Park. If "Butterballs" is anything to go by, child abuse runs in Butters' family.
    • In "Merry Christmas, Charlie Manson", the boys spend the holidays with Cartman's relatives. Not only are they all as fat as he is, they also have the same whiny voice and jerkass tendencies. (The only exception being Cartman's own mother, who is of average weight and generally nice, whatever her other faults.)
  • Total Drama implies Izzy's family may be like this:
    Izzy: Genius runs in my family. AND psychotherapy!
  • In the Futurama-episode "A Fishful of Dollars," when Leela questions Fry's sanity to Professor Farnsworth, said professor claims that madness runs in their family—given what we do see of Fry's immediate familynote  (particularly Fry's Crazy Survivalist-father) and even of Professor Farnsworth, he could be on to something.
  • In Milo Murphy's Law, the titular character is a direct descendant of Edward Aloysius Murphy Jr. (of whom "Murphy's Law" is named after)—both Milo and his dad, Martin, have a tendency for bizarre and unfortunate things to them and the people around them. But just like the "Simpson Gene" mentioned above, this tendency for bad luck appears to only affect the male descendants of Edward A. Murphy Junior (i.e., Milo has an older sister who doesn't have a tendency for bad luck like her dad and brother do).
  • Ready Jet Go!: It's implied that the craziness of the Propulsions might be a familial trait.
  • The Loud House: The entire Loud family can be seen as a World of Ham in family form. Even Lucy, the gothic quiet one, comes off as a Cold Ham. To a lesser extent, gross sobbing also runs in the Loud family. Lynn Sr. is shown crying like that in various episodes such as "Breaking Dad," "Can't Hardly Wait," and "Schooled", and "Camped!" implies that he got it from his dad Leonard. Lynn Sr.'s eldest daughter Lori also cries like that in episodes like "Save the Date," "The Loudest Mission: Relative Chaos," and "Missed Connection".
    • Inelegant Blubbering also seems to run in the Santiago family, as Lori's boyfriend Bobby is shown sobbing uncontrollably in episodes like "The Loudest Mission: Relative Chaos," "Missed Connection," "Stress Test," "Operation Dad," and "The Bros in the Band." "Teacher's Fret" implies that he got it from his dad Arturo, who breaks down sobbing after his soccer team loses the big game.
    • As for Ocular Gushers, they seem to run in the Casagrande family as well. Frida is shown to be Prone to Tears, sometimes flooding her apartment with her tears. Episodes like "Flight Plan" and "Perro Malo" show that her daughter and three sons also cry Ocular Gushers, and "Rook, Line, and Sinker" shows that her husband cries like that too.

    Real Life 
TV presenter Zoe Ball, now a BBC radio presenter, is the daughter of Seventies childrens' show presenter Johnny Ball.
  • The Durrell family, if youngest son Gerald is to be believed, were all amiably eccentric, with a few downright insane older relatives. See My Family and Other Animals.
  • Left-wing ideologies and a love for the theatre run in the Redgrave family, as seen in Sir Michael Redgrave, his daughters Vanessa Redgrave and Lynn Redgrave, and his son Corin Redgrave. Other members of the Redgrave dynasty include Natasha Richardson, her sister Joely (both Vanessa's daughters), and Jemma Redgrave (Corin's daughter).

  • A rage comic meme had an extremely overweight lady visiting the doctor. The doc tells her "Ma'am, I'm afraid you're morbidly obese." The lady says "I'm sorry, but obesity runs in our family." The doc comes back with "Lady, nobody runs in your family!"