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Love Father, Love Son

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"Yeah, but Monica, do you really want to be in a relationship where you can actually use the phrase, 'That's not how your dad used to do it'?"
Phoebe, Friends

Love Father, Love Son is a love trope in which a person who can't have the person that they love for one reason or another winds up falling for their progeny (or descendant)—possibly because there's a strong resemblance in looks or personality, or maybe just because. The inversion is that the progeny develops an attraction to the person in unrequited love with their parent (or ancestor). Despite being primarily a love trope, this relationship may as easily be friendly or parental whilst retaining romantic undertones or a constant reminder of the unrequited love.

In mundane settings, this is often preceded by Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder and some manner of Time Skip (the person and their object of attraction were once romantically involved, were separated, then reunited years later) or adultery (the progeny's other parent was being cheated on). In fantastical settings, this is often a result of a Mayfly–December Romance, Human Popsicle or Time Travel. It may involve a Jail Bait Wait (unless the person who settles for the progeny was a younger person that had a Precocious Crush on the progeny's parent).

See also Settle for Sibling, Wife Husbandry, and the Sub-Trope Squaring the Love Triangle. Compare My Grandson, Myself, Identical Grandson and Generation Xerox. Contrast Parental Incest.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Angelic Layer: In the anime version, Oujirou harbored a Precocious Crush for Shuko, Misaki's mother—who is sixteen years his senior—when he was in 5th grade. However, over the course of the series, he ends up falling in love with Misaki.
  • Combined with Reincarnation Romance in Cardcaptor Sakura: Yue was in love with Clow Reed. Clow dies, and Yue is sealed in a book. Later, Clow Reed is reincarnated as Fujitaka Kinomoto, and Yue's alternate form Yukito (and later Yue himself) falls in love with Fujitaka's son Touya. Follow that? (For added madness, Clow had intended for Yukito to fall in love with Fujitaka's daughter, the titular Sakura.)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist (2003): Dante planned to trick/seduce Edward into loving her—by taking over Rose's body—as a replacement for her first love, Ed's father Hohenheim.
  • In Gankutsuou, Dantes and Albert (the son of Dantes' lover Mercedes and his backstabbing best friend) develop a friendly relationship with unrequited romantic undertones. Albert later proclaims that he loves Dantes and kisses him. In the original book these relationships did not exist.
  • His and Her Circumstances: Asaba, a straight male, always had confusing feelings about male lead Arima. At the end of the series, he hooks up with Arima's daughter.
  • Karakuri Circus: Bai Jin has planned to make Angelina and later Éléonore his since they're both identical relatives of his first love, Francine.
  • Played with in Kasane. Habuta was (and still is) in love with Izana, Kasane's late mother, and is now helping Kasane to continue her legacy, which leads to a very intense (but not romantic) relationship between the two. The final chapter has Kasane kiss Habuta, revealing that she loves him romantically, but it is not really clear if he loves her the same way, and Kasane "dies" before anything could happen between the two.
  • In Kodomo no Jikan, this combined with Wife Husbandry and Kissing Cousins, is what Reiji's doing with Rin. He fell in love and was with her mother, but then she died of lung cancer. Now he's raising Rin to replace her.
  • Magi: Labyrinth of Magic: In her quest for power, Gyokuen already killed her first husband to marry his brother; once the latter dies (possibly her doing), we see her flirting a bit with her nephew-turned-stepson, Kouen, presumably to keep her position as queen. It doesn't really work, so she turns to other tactics.
  • In Shimizu Reiko's A Million Pound Love, an 80-year-old millionaire asks a 20-year-old playboy to marry her. She is due to die in a few months and says that he will inherit all her money if he marries her. He agrees, but finds himself falling in love with her. On her deathbed, he discovers that it was not him she fell for, but his grandfather.
  • The vampire Evangeline from the Negima! franchise falls in love with the men of the same family for three generations in a row. In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, it's shown she stalked Nagi Springfield, 15 years later she teaches and develops a crush on his son Negi, and then she gets involved with Negi's grandson (actually clone) Touta in the sequel. Made even more complicated and awkward because Time Travel makes so that Evangeline fell for Touta centuries before she even met Nagi and Negi.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
  • In Otoboku - Maidens Are Falling For Me, the protagonist discovers that his dorm is haunted by a Cute Ghost Girl. A little later, it is revealed that she is the ghost of his late mother's underclassman who was in love with her and is utterly smitten by her son.
  • Sekirei: Kazehana was literally hung over Minato's father for 20 years. She becomes attracted to Minato because of how similar he looks to his father and joins his Battle Harem.
  • The Seven Deadly Sins: Jericho was in love with Ban, but he ignored her because he was in love with Elaine. In the sequel, Four Knights of the Apocalypse, she falls in love with Ban and Elaine's son, Lancelot. She knows this is wrong since he is only a boy, but her feelings are so strong that she betrays her kingdom and joins Camelot for a chance at a world where an adult Lancelot will be her lover.

    Comic Books 
  • The Captain America example below is also in the comics: due to Comic-Book Time, Sharon "Agent 13" Carter was originally said to be the younger sister of Peggy Carter, but she's now her niece.
  • An old EC Comics science fiction tale had an astronaut testing a faster than light spaceship. From his point of view, it works fine. Then he returns home and find that decades have passed. His girlfriend is now an old woman, married to his best friend. He ends up falling in love with their daughter, who is now his age.
  • In Lanfeust Odyssey, Qäm who had a one-sided crush on Lanfeust ends up engaged to Lanfeust's son Glin (The latter is barely younger than his father because of time travel shenanigans)
  • This is supposed to have happened in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, with the British Government being rather scandalised by how quickly Mina took up with Alan Quartermain Jr, after Alan Sr died while they were completely failing to find the Fountain of Youth. Reading between the lines, of course, it's pretty clear that's not what happened at all.
  • The Eagles of Rome: While in Rome, Marcus is a sexual partner for the high-class whore Morphea, but later falls in love with Priscilla, who turns out to be Morphea's daughter. Her husband Lepidus is also one of Morphea's patrons.
  • The Spider-Man: Sins Past storyline infamously reveals that Gwen Stacy slept with Norman Osborn, with whom she secretly had a pair of twins. Though Gwen was primarily Peter's Love Interest, she had dated Norman's son Harry as well.
    • For added squick, Gwen's force-aged daughter then developed a bit of a crush on Peter Parker.
    • Norman Osborn also had an affair with his son's new fiancee (the new Spider villain Menace). He's not a nice person.
  • Ultimate X-Men: Jean hooked up with Jimmy Hudson, Wolverine's son, when he was affiliated with the mutants of Tian. She used to have a Love Triangle with Wolverine and Cyclops, before both died in Ultimatum.
  • Wanted: The Fox used to be the lover of Wesley Gibson's father before his death. She subsequently becomes Wesley's new lover.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): Hercules was enamored with Hippolyta and raped her long in the past and tries to pursue her daughter Diana romantically in the present, even hiding his identity using magic in order to get close to her.

    Fan Works 
  • Fate/Harem Antics: Taiga Fujimura was in love with Kiritsugu Emiya back when he was alive. After his death, she becomes attached to his son Shirou. Her grandfather Raiga says he can tell she now has feelings for Shirou, while she becomes embarrassed and desperately claims that's not true.
  • In the Wayside School series, Dameon was well known for having a crush on his teacher Mrs. Jewls. In the fic Even More Sideways Stories from Wayside School, which is set 20 years in the future, Dameon starts to become attracted to her now grown up daughter Mavis.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Age of Adaline: The ageless Adaline Bowman previously dated William Jones back in the 60's when they were a young couple and in the present day, unintentionally fell in love with his son Ellis Jones.
  • Austin Powers in the first movie falls in love with and marries the daughter of his (married) female assistant from the 1960s, Mrs. Kensington.
  • Bicentennial Man: The Martin household's Robot Butler, Andrew, helped raise Little Miss from a young girl and clearly loves her. She considers marrying him, but chooses another human instead. After her son has grown up to be a lawyer, Andrew leaves on a quest to find other robots like himself. When he returns, he meets her granddaughter, who looks exactly the same to the point that they are played by the same actress, and Andrew convinces her to marry him.
  • In the Captain America (1990) film, after Cap wakes up in contemporary times, he falls in love with the daughter of the girl he was involved with in the 1940s.
  • In Casino Royale (1967), James Bond comes out of retirement, walks into his office, and bumps into Moneypenny. Exclaiming that she hasn't aged a day, he kisses her full on the mouth... only for her to reveal that she's actually Moneypenny's daughter. Bond looks appropriately abashed and keeps his hands off her for the rest of the film.
  • In Fish Tank, Mia and her mother Joanne become involved with the same man— Joanne’s boyfriend Conor.
  • In Drowning Mona, Rona is playing wheel of fortune with both Jeff and Phil Dearly.
  • In the Hercules: The Legendary Journeys movie Hercules and the Circle of Fire, Zeus tries to woo Deianeira, and while she doesn't sleep with him, she admits she was attracted to him. She later marries Zeus' son Hercules.
  • Ilsa, the extraordinarily fortunate villainess in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, gets to sleep with both Doctors Jones. Of course she's only using them but who says she didn't enjoy it?
    Henry Jones: I'm as human as the next man.
    Indiana: I was the next man.
    [awkward silence]
  • Gender-flipped in The Graduate: Ben Braddock has an affair with Mrs. Robinson, before running off with her daughter.
    • The Graduate's sort-of-sequel Rumor Has It ups this even further, after Beau manages to have sexual relationships with three generations of women.
  • In Hook, Peter Pan continues to visit Wendy as she ages. One day he returns to find her an old woman and is distressed that the girl he loved has grown old and forgotten how to fly. She tells him about her own granddaughter, Moira, who is asleep in her old bed. Peter promptly falls in love with Moira and decides to stay and grow up to be with her.
  • This is gender-reversed in some adaptations of the French novel Le Bossu (The Hunchback), though not all of them. In the novel and its two major film adaptations, the hero marries his ward or adopted daughter, the natural daughter of his former love interest, who is herself the widow the man whose death he is avenging. In the 2003 French miniseries Lagardère, the titular character instead winds up with his original love interest after raising her daughter as his own.
  • Life as a House: Alyssa kisses both Sam and his father George. Her reasoning for kissing George is that ever since he dated her mom, she always wanted to know what it would be like to kiss him.
  • Monster's Ball: Not love, but Hank and his son visit the same prostitute in town. The sex itself in both instances is about as mechanical as you can get.
  • In Sharknado, there's at the very least a lot of Ship Tease between Nova and Matt, even though she had been infatuated with his father, Fin, up until meeting him. She's probably closer to Matt in age.
  • The main plot of Something's Gotta Give involves a Dirty Old Man unexpectedly finding love with the mother of his much younger current girlfriend. It's slightly downplayed, since he never actually gets around to having sex with the daughter (not for lack of trying - he suffered a heart attack right before they were about to do the deed).
  • Inverted in Space Truckers (i.e. Love Daughter, Love Mom). John Canyon, the aging trucker, has the hots for the waitress Cindy, who's agreed to marry him if he can take her to Earth to see her mother. As the story progresses, however, Cindy falls for John's new co-pilot Mike, and John decides to step out of the affair, since the youngsters are a better match for each other. In the end they reach Earth... where they meet Cindy's mom, who's been in cryostasis for years due to medical reasons, and as such is only slightly older than Cindy, and just as attractive. She and John immediately hit it off.

  • In Campione!, the ageless witch Lucretia Zola was in a relationship with Godou's grandfather back when he was young and handsome. In the present, she hits on Godou a lot, commenting that he and his grandfather are very similar.
  • How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom: Duke Castor Vargas initially tried to court Excel Walter, but was rejected. He would eventually marry her daughter Accela, and even after divorcing she still loves him.
  • Hybrid X Heart Magias Academy Ataraxia: Grace Synclavia eventually falls in love with Kizuna Hida, but in the final volume, they are separated when the portals between their worlds close. When she learns her subordinate Zelshione had slept with him and bore his son, she decides she will marry the son when he comes of age, reasoning that since she is only 15, the age difference won't be that great.
  • In Back Stage!!, the prequel novel to Love Stage!!, Rei is in love with Seiya, a married man, but ends up with Seiya's son, Shougo. In fact, Shougo is much closer to Rei's age and by the time of the main story they are happily commited.
  • Several examples take place in the works of V. C. Andrews. Notably, Christopher of Flowers in the Attic is implied to have been in love with his own mother before transferring his affections to his sister Cathy; and Philip in the Cutler Series falls in love with Dawn and later becomes obsessed with her daughter Christie after Dawn dies suddenly in a fire. The most extreme example is Tony Tatterton in The Casteel Series, with four generations of women in the same family.
  • In the Jacqueline Wilson novel Amber, Amber mistakenly thinks she got pregnant after a one-night stand, leading her to have a short relationship with her mother's ex-boyfriend Davey who wants to marry her and be a father for the baby (Amber's mother is resentful at this idea.) The relationship ends almost instantly when Amber discovers she was never pregnant.
  • Deerskin, which is based off the fairy tale Donkeyskin, has the heroine's father becoming sexually attracted to her after her mother passes away from an illness.
  • In the Danielle Steel novel Full Circle, a woman falls in love with her best friend's father while they keep vigil over him (he's been shot during a mugging). Though he's actually The Not-Love Interest to her, as she doesn't reciprocate his feelings for her.
  • In John C. Wright's The Golden Oecumene trilogy, Phaethon finds out his wife was trying to make good on a childhood crush on his father Helion, and was originally just trying to use Phaethon to get closer to him. By this time, they've been Happily Married for centuries, though, so it worked out.
  • In Her Fearful Symmetry, Julia has a crush on the married Martin, which he declines. She later goes for his son.
  • A variation occurs in The Hunger Games, where it is revealed that Peeta's father had been pining for Katniss' mother for years, but after she married Katniss' father, Peeta's father settled for his mother. After most of the series is spent teasing a love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale, Katniss ends up with, and has a family with, Peeta.
  • Incarnations of Immortality: The book For Love of Evil reveals that Parry/Satan was in love with Niobe, but failed to win her over. Eventually, he marries Niobe's daughter Orb.
  • In The Judas Tree by Cronin. Somewhat subverted, though; the man is the one who ditched the first girl in order to marry a rich woman. Years later, he comes back and falls for his first love's daughter. It doesn't end well.
  • Judge Dee: One story features a general's son having an affair with one of the general's young concubines, even trying to murder his father and blame a local poet for it, the poet being known for trying to prove the general was a traitor and a coward. The general actually was guilty, having sacrificed part of his army in a secret deal with the enemy, but the murderer was someone else entirely, with nobler motives. The judge outright tells the son to commit suicide, as both the (attempted) patricide and the affair (considered incestuous) is a no-no in T'ang Chinese morality.
  • In Honoré de Balzac's La Comédie Humaine, Eugène de Rastignac has an affair with Goriot's daughter Delphine in Le Père Goriot,but as series goes on he ends up marrying her daughter.
  • In Moon Over Soho, Peter's first clue that Simone isn't what she seems is when he takes her home to meet his mother, who immediately flies into a jealous rage, recognizing a former rival for her husband's affections.
  • A Love Triangle of this variety occurs during the Moirin trilogy where King Daniel marries Jehanne, who his son Thierry was in love with.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: In The Lightning Thief, it is revealed that Medusa is still in love with Poseidon even though their affair happened millennia ago. When she learns Percy is Poseidon's son, she shows attraction to him, then decides to try to turn him to stone so she can keep him forever.
  • In Pollyanna Grows Up, when Pollyanna and Jimmy discover that Mr. Pendleton was in love with Pollyanna's mother, they believe this is his intention, and Pollyanna feels obligated to marry him if he wants her. Fortunately for Jimmy, he doesn't.
  • Played with in The Rise of Kyoshi. Kuruk had feelings for Hei-Ran but never told her, making Kyoshi's relationship with Hei-Ran's daughter Rangi qualify in a bizarre Reincarnation Romance sense.
  • In Jodi Picoult's Second Glance, a man falls in love with a ghost and ends up with her granddaughter.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Littlefinger, who was infatuated with Catelyn Stark, seems to have this for her daughter Sansa.
    • Inverted with the prostitute Shae, Tyrion Lannister's favourite, opportunistically shifting her affections to Tyrion's father Tywin Lannister after Tyrion is tried for alleged regicide.
    • Historically, Lord Lyonel Hightower was in love and eventually got to marry his stepmother Lady Samantha Tarly, who was just two years his senior.
    • Also historically, the infamously lecherous King Aegon IV "The Unworthy" Targaryen had his first sexual experience at age 14 with the noblewoman Falena Stokeworth, who was ten years his elder. Years later, after many more sexual exploits, he took Falena's daughter Jeyne Lothson as a mistress. In-universe, there are salacious (but unconfirmed) rumors that Aegon had slept with both of them at once, or even that he fathered Jeyne himself.
  • Tales from Netheredge has a zig-zagged variation in Bright Flame. Galen falls in love with Rask because he looks like a younger version of Cole, despite not being related to him. But in the finale, Cole mentions that Rask looks like Cole's dead son, and is implied to care about him because of that.
  • The Third Life of Grange Copeland is all over this: Grange was having an affair with Josie, and eventually runs off to the North. Then Josie starts sleeping with Grange's son Brownfield, who also sleeps with Josie's daughter Lorene. Then he marries Josie's niece, Meme, while Grange comes back and marries Josie. The whole family is already completely screwed up, and that's before Brownfield murders Meme.
  • The Japanese novel Thousand Cranes plays this straight when the main character sleeps with his deceased father's ex-lover, then Gender Flips / inverts it when he falls for that woman's daughter, leading to a Did They or Didn't They? situation at the end. (For added fun, his father's other ex-lover is trying to set him up with another, unrelated woman while all this is going on.)
  • Tower and the Hive series by Anne McCaffrey:
    • Afra Lyon can't have the Rowan, so he marries her daughter Damia.
    • Discussed in the book where Afra rejects this accusation by saying that he and Rowan were never meant for each other.
  • Infamously in the Twilight series, Jacob imprints on Bella's daughter while said daughter is still an infant. It's implied in his internal narration that he was only in love with Bella because she would be the mother of his true love, Renesmee.
  • In the Dénouement of Edgar Rice Burroughs's Warlord of Mars, Thuvia's hopeless crush on John Carter is showing every sign of being cured by meeting his son Carthoris. (Things go wrong so that she and he get their own book, Thuvia, Maid of Mars.)
  • An odd, Downplayed variation occurs in Warrior Cats. Cinderpelt develops feelings for Firestar, who is completely unaware of this and only likes her as a friend. Since Cinderpelt knows she has no chance with him, she encourages him to get together with Sandstorm instead. Cinderpelt's reincarnation, Cinderheart, gets together with Lionblaze, who is Firestar's grandson. Neither is aware (initially) that Cinderpelt and Cinderheart are one and the same.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 4400 had Lily and Richard. When Richard was abducted, he was engaged to a woman named Lily. He was returned many years after her death, only to meet fellow abductee Lily—the original's granddaughter. The two fall in love and marry.
  • Erica Kane from All My Children was married to Phillip Brent, but it didn't last because he was still in love with Tara, the mother of his son Charlie. She then took up with Nick Davis, Phillip's biological father. Years later, she was also briefly involved with Charlie Brent. Meanwhile, "Tad The Cad" Martin's most infamous storyline had him sleeping with both Liza Colby and her mother Marian, while Alec McIntyre bedded his mother-in-law Arlene the same night he married her daughter Hayley.
  • On Angel, Cordelia went through seasons of Will They or Won't They? with Angel, only for Angel's suddenly grown son Connor to take an interest in her too. They wind up having a one-night stand, and Cordelia gets pregnant. Played with because Cordelia is secretly possessed by the season's Big Bad, Jasmine, when they had sex, and made creepier because her pregnancy is basically just to give Jasmine a new body, making this Parental Incest, sort-of-maybe, because Jasmine-in-Cordelia slept with Connor in order to make him Jasmine's father.
  • In Arrested Development, Kitty towards Gob.
  • In the French TV series L'amour en héritage, the french painter was in love with Maggie (he was already older than she was), and then she left. He married some other girl, but then he met Maggie's daughter and had an illegitimate child with her. She died and he was left taking care of his daughter.
  • Arrow: Oliver Queen has a one night sand with the villainess Isabel Rochev. It's later revealed that Isabel had an affair with Oliver's late father Robert.
  • The Bold and the Beautiful's Eric and Brooke hooked up when he was comforting her over having been dumped by his son Ridge. Brooke herself eventually bedded TWO of her daughter Bridget's husband's!
  • In Doctor Who, River Song, the Doctor's wife from the future, turns out to be the daughter of his companion Amy Pond withom the Doctor also had mutual attraction though they don't act on it but Amy once snogged him. For added fun, the Doctor also once kissed River's father Rory.
  • In Força de um Desejo it happens with the twist that Esther has loved the son before the father but they have been separated by a misunderstanding, and she ends up marrying Henrique without knowing he's her great love's father.
  • Oregon in Fresh Meat breaks up with her middle-aged professor and starts dating a guy her own age, who turns out to be her professor's son. She tries to avoid revealing to him that she screwed his dad.
  • In Friends:
    • Monica is initially attracted to ex-boyfriend Richard's son, Tom. However, their first kiss ends up reminding her too much of Richard and she finds it creepy. Tom is forced to admit that she's reminding him too much of his mother and is equally freaked out. Needless to say, the relationship doesn't progress very far before it breaks down.
    • In another episode, Rachel's sister Amy announces her engagement to her ex boyfriend's father but only because he's wealthy. Rachel manages to talk her out of it.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Littlefinger plants a kiss on Sansa Stark after her mother Catelyn, his original crush, had died. She gradually wises up to his advances (especially after he has her married off to Ramsay Bolton) and has no intention of further humoring him once she comes into a position of power herself. Additionally, her brother Jon Snow outright threatens to kill him if he gets any funny ideas.
    • Shae, a prostitute with whom Tyrion Lannister falls in love but sends away for her own safety, eventually betrays him and frames him for the murder of his nephew King Joffrey Baratheon before he later finds her in his father Tywin Lannister's bed. Portrayed a bit differently than in the books, since the whole Tyrion-Shae relationship is played up as a romance for the ages as opposed to Tyrion looking for love in the wrong place, with Shae becoming more of a Woman Scorned in this situation than someone driven purely by greed.
  • The Glamorous Imperial Concubine: Fu Ya is an unwilling example. She falls in love with Qi You, then gets betrothed against her will to his father.
  • In Glee, Puck briefly dated Rachel in early episode. Two years later, he hooks up with her mother Shelby, who had just started teaching at McKinley High and is the same woman who adopted his illegitimate daughter with Quinn. Awkward!
  • In Grimm, Captain Sean Renard was in a relationship with the Species Hexenbeast Adalind in Season 1 and later has a daughter with her but it's also revealed that he was in a relationship with Adalind's mother Catherine in the past. In present days, he turns Catherine down when she propositions him.
  • Josh and Reva were Guiding Light's ultimate Super Couple, but that didn't stop her from marrying his father at one point. note 
  • Another telenovela example would be "La Malquerida". The Villain Protagonist, also known as Esteban, falls in love with his own stepdaughter, Acacia, when she returns home as a grown up woman, after being gone for 10 years. He tries to stay away from her since he is married to Acacia's mother, but he gives in when Acacia reciprocates his feelings. So they start a secret affair, in which Esteban goes from being in love with Acacia to becoming Yandere toward her, and finally killing any love rival.
  • Though she didn't know it at the time, Night and Day's Jane Harper with Alex Wells and Josh Alexander.
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • Captain Hook develops a (largely) parental attachment to Baelfire, the child of his dead lover Milah by her husband Rumpelstiltskin. He later falls in love with Baelfire's former lover Emma Swan (who had a child with Baelfire). Yes, it's that kind of series.
    • Season 3 reveals that Snow's father King Leopold years before marrying Regina was once engaged to Regina's mother Cora.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "Last Supper", the immortal Laura/Jade falls in love with the soldier who saved her from government experiments, and 20 years later his then-adult son because he reminded her of his father. He eventually supports their relationship.
  • In the telenovela Pobre Diabla (Argentinian, Venezuelan, Peruvian versions) The Protagonist is a young widow who falls in love with her late husband's son, who is actually of her age. Much of the drama is made from the fact that the guy's mother (who has never got over being dumped the protagonist's husband) forbids such relationship.
  • Inverted in Quantico. In the Flashbacks, Shelby and Caleb have a Friends with Benefits relationship. In the present, Shelby and Clayton, Caleb's father, are having an affair.
  • In Robin Hood, an enemy of Sir Edward's wanted to marry Marian because of her resemblance to her mother, who had rejected him in favour of marrying Edward.
  • In one episode of Roseanne, it comes out that David had an Erotic Dream about Roseanne. Dan doesn't think this is a big deal, and even admits — very reluctantly — that as a teenager he once had a similar dream about Roseanne's mother, Bev. (David, for the record, is mostly freaked out because this is after he's started considering Roseanne a Parental Substitute.)
  • On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Dukat is well-established as a Stalker with a Crush on Kira, but it takes a creepier turn when it's revealed that he kept Kira's mother as a concubine.
  • In Veronica Mars, Logan's deceased girlfriend Lilly had an affair with his father Aaron. The latter murdered her to cover the truth.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess:
    • For most of the series, Ares, the God of War, was obsessed with winning Xena's love. Late in Season 5, Xena and Gabrielle are put in suspended animation, mistaken for dead, and entombed for 25 years. When they wake up, Xena discovers Ares in a relationship with her now grown-up daughter Eve/Livia. In Ares' defense, he had no idea she was Xena's daughter.
    • For most of the series, Gabrielle had some Ship Tease moments with Joxer and kissed him a few times. After waking up 25 years in the future, after Joxer is killed, Gabrielle had a short-lived romance with Joxer's son, Virgil.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • Joseph manages to barely resist an affair with Potiphar's wife. He later marries the daughter of a man named Potipherah, which is similar enough to Potiphar that some believe them to be the same person. (Averted in the Muslim version of this story, where Potiphar's wife is more sympathetic and eventually marries Joseph herself.)
    • One Jewish tradition holds that Potiphar's wife wanted to sleep with Joseph because she knew from divination that they were destined to have descendants together—misunderstanding that those descendants would be through her daughter.
    • Joseph's brother, Judah, unwittingly inverts this trope: he sleeps with his sons' widow, Tamar, while she's disguised as a shrine prostitute because he wouldn't give her his youngest son, Shelah, to marry (as he should have, according to the Levirate marriage laws) because his other two sons died shortly after marrying her. She got pregnant by him through this one-night stand.
    • Genesis also reports that Ruben went and lay with his father's concubine Bilhah earning his father Jacob's curse on his deathbed.
    • In a scheme to take over the throne, Adonijah son of David asked his brother Solomon for permission to marry their father's wife Abishag (with whom David didn't consummate the union). Solomon refused and sentenced Adonijah to death.
    • Absalom, after dethroning his father David, proceeds to have sex with his father's concubines in public under the advise of Ahithophel. Granted, whether the concubines consented at all is questionable at best.
    • Leviticus forbids this kind of relationship, though apparently levirate marriage is an exception. The apostle Paul condemns this, to quote 1st Corinthians 5:1-2 NIV "It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father's wife. (2) And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this?"
  • Classical Mythology:
    • A double example: in the Telegony, Odysseus had a son with Circe, Telegonus, who accidentally kills him. Telegonus then winds up marrying Odysseus' widow, Penelope, while Odysseus and Penelope's son, Telemachus, marries Circe, leading to a Tangled Family Tree.
    • Another legend says that Telemachus marries Nausicaa, a princess who at least had some Ship Tease with Odysseus.
    • On several occasions, Zeus seduced women and men that were descendants from people he had sex with. For example, Zeus had sex with Io which produced both a son and a daughter. Many years later, Zeus had sex with Io's great-great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter, Danae, which produced the hero Perseus. And then later, Zeus had sex with Perseus' granddaughter, Alcmene, which produced the hero Heracles. Zeus also has sex with Io's other descendants Europa and Semele.
    • Demeter, mother of Persephone with her brother Zeus, also slept with Zeus' son Iasion and bore Ploutos and Philomelus. Zeus wasn't amused and killed his son out of anger.
    • Heracles, while still married to Deianira, had a concubine named Iole. When Heracles died, one of his last requests was for Hyllus, his son with Deianira, to marry Iole so that she would be well taken care of. Hyllus obeyed.
    • A legend says that Helen of Troy cheated on Paris with his son Corythus from his first marriage. Paris then killed Corythus after catching them together.
    • Theseus' wife, Phaedra, fell in love with his son Hippolytus. This was a punishment from Aphrodite, who was angry at Hippolytus for being a Celibate Hero. He refused her advances, so she pulled a False Rape Accusation, sometimes paired with suicide. Theseus prayed to Poseidon to punish Hippolytus and Poseidon, apparently not using his preternatural powers to fact-check first, sent a sea monster to spook Hippolytus' horses so that they killed him.
    • Otis and Ephialtes were twin sons of Poseidon. They were also called the Aloadae, after their stepfather Aloeus...who was also a son of Poseidon. Iphimedeia was apparently in love with Poseidon before their marriage, and got pregnant by pouring seawater on herself.
  • Arthurian Legend: Mordred, the bastard son (and nephew) of King Arthur, becomes obsessed with Arthur's queen Guinevere and winds up marrying her while Arthur's away. In the accounts where this was a consensual arrangement, Guinevere is this trope, though there are plenty of accounts where it isn't.
  • Celtic Mythology: Cu Chulainn slept with Scathach while she was training him to fight. He then became the lover of her daughter, Uathach. If that wasn't enough, he then slept with Scathach's sister, Aoife.

  • Elisabeth: Death falls in love with Elisabeth. She rejects him, and years later he has a relationship with her son Rudolf — though whether it's love or manipulation depends on the actor.
  • Agatha Christie's play Go Back For Murder (based on her novel Five Little Pigs) is about a young woman, Carla, who upon coming of age re-opens the investigation on the murder of her father 16 years ago, which was pinned down on her mother Carolina (who has died in prison). The solicitor she goes for help remembers the trial and having a youthful crush on Carolina; by the end of the play, he and Carla get together. (This plot element was not present in the original book, where Carla goes to Poirot instead of the solicitor—as she used to do, Christie wrote Poirot out of the play adaptation.)
  • Judge Turpin from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street started the entire plot by having Benjamin Barker transported for life because he wanted his wife Lucy for himself. After having his way with her and driving her to poison herself, he adopts the Barkers' one-year-old daughter Johanna as his own. Fast forward fifteen years later, where Turpin finds out that Johanna has become every bit as beautiful as her mother was and starts lusting after her as well, to the point where he wants to marry her. Yes, this is every bit as creepy as it sounds.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 

  • In Beauty And The Beast, this is part of Argus/the Beast's Tragic Backstory. Argus is illegitimate, and his lover decided that becoming his father's mistress was a more savvy move than being the wife of a "prince" who would never actually take the throne.
  • In El Goonish Shive Elliot's relationship with Nanase breaks up fairly early on, both because Elliot has feelings for someone else and because Nanase has realized that she's a lesbian. Shortly thereafter, Nanase hooks up with Elliot's sister/daughter/Opposite-Sex Clone, Ellen.
  • In Ennui GO!, this trope is gender-flipped; Noah had a brief fling with Len's mother Sharon (Noah was dating her mostly to get Arcanus trading cards from her) but broke it off sometime before he officially started dating Len. Also, the two never really learned their own connections to Len until "Circuit", when Sharon catches her daughter and Noah in the act. They both recognize each other, accidently revealing their prior relationship to Len, who is not happy about it for a while. Len does eventually get past this.
  • In Girl Genius, Lucrezia Mongfish does this repeatedly, although in her case it's much more related to lust than to love. She at first mistakes the son of one of her former suitors for his father and later plans to seduce him, and is perfectly happy to flirt with the son of her other former partner. All the more complicated for the fact that she's inhabiting her daughter Agatha's body and both the sons have an intense Will They or Won't They? situation with Agatha.
  • A rare gay male version in Artdecade's sci-fi comic Threshold, in which a gigolo had sexual affairs with a corrupt executive and later his son after he died. Justified because in at least the latter instance he was a spy.

    Web Original 
  • A Scotsman in Egypt has The Mistress of Prince Charmless Adam take on a much more capable lover, taking up with the latter's son Robert after his father's death and her fall from grace (Adam taking an actual interest in his wife once she gave him a son combined with the courtesan's fading looks). She makes the mistake of trying to blackmail Robert into killing the heir and raping the prince's wife by threatening to publish evidence that Robert's father and Adam were part of a plot to kill the current king back in their youth... and is murdered by a panicking Robert maybe two minutes after she tells him this.

    Western Animation 
  • On Adventure Time, Tree Trunks invites her first husband to her wedding to Mr. Pig (her fourth husband). The ex winds up making out with Tree Trunks' mother.
  • In American Dad!, Hayley begins dating Stan's CIA body double (yes, the Oedipalness is Lampshaded and actually used for a character arc). Said double eventually tries to pull a Bed Trick on Francine, but Stan comes home before anything can happen.
  • In the fifth season of Archer, the gang travels to a Banana Republic for an arms deal where the country's dictator Gustavo Calderon is married to a beautiful woman but also a Loony Fan of Charlene (the Country singer persona Cheryl had adopted that season). When he declared to love her and offered to divorce his wife, said wife comes in with a gun and tells the dictator "the same I told your father. I will never give you a divorce!"
  • The Cleveland Show:
    • Inverted in one episode, Junior and Donna (a stepson and stepmother) are in a ballroom dancing contest together and he becomes convinced the two of them are in love. Eventually he realizes that, having never been close to his own mother, he was just confused by their growing parent/child feelings. Though to top it off, the episode ends with the implication that he may have a thing for Roberta (Donna's daughter/his stepsister).
    • One episode implies that Donna almost ran off with Cleveland's father Freight Train.
    • In the last episode of the series, Donna's mother Dee Dee hooks Robert, Donna's ex-husband and the father of Rallo and Roberta. Most of the family is understandably unhappy about this.
    • In yet another episode, Rallo has a Precocious Crush on Junior's Girl of the Week. Eventually they learn that she's a teenage mom, and Rallo instantly falls for her daughter instead.
    • Tim the Bear took his wife Arianna from his dad Papa Bear years ago, and apparently she still sleeps with Papa sometimes. Well, they are bears, talking, walking upright, and wearing clothes not withstanding ....

  • Invoked in a Daria tie-in book, where Daria has to write a story for English class, and our orphaned protagonist goes to meet a mysterious nobleman: "Rumor has it that my mother (whom I resemble to an astonishing degree) had spurned his affections years before. But what was his interest in me?" Of course, since Daria is writing this, the protagonist quickly realizes that the nobleman is a vampire, kills him and loots the corpse.
  • Family Guy:
    • Peter is worried that one of Lois' ex-boyfriends is trying to steal her from him. At the end of the episode he confesses to having sex with their daughter, Meg, instead. (Peter doesn't care.)
    • Brian has long had a thing for Lois and once made out with Meg, though he regretted it pretty much immediately. (And Quagmire, of course, has come on to both of them.)
    • In one episode Lois has a fling with Bill Clinton and, to make it up to Peter, offers to let him sleep with any woman he wants. To her utter amazement, he picks her mother. Though the mother is willing, they don't wind up going through with it.
    • In another episode, Peter meets a hundred or so children whom he's fathered through sperm donation; one of them, Larry, is basically a less crude version of Peter and develops a mutual attraction with Lois.
  • Futurama
    • In an Inversion, a night of Pity Sex turned Zapp Brannigan into Leela's Abhorrent Admirer, but a later episode has him go after her mother, Munda, instead. He actually did seem to care about her, but Munda eventually broke it off after seeing what a Jerkass and Manipulative Bastard he could be to other people.
    • When Fry is taken into the far future in a time machine that only goes forward (but is assumed by Leela to have died at a spring break party), Leela marries his nephew's clone when he has grown old enough to resemble him physically, and they have a divorce that causes her to lose the company she was running.
  • In Gargoyles, Goliath used to have a relationship with Demona, who later begins one with Goliath's clone/"son", Thailog. He later tries to replace Demona with Delilah, who was created with a mix of DNA from Demona and Goliath's other Love Interest, Elisa.
  • In one episode of The Pirates of Dark Water, an elderly alchemist reveals that she was Ren's father's ex-girlfriend. She never got over losing Primus to Ren's mother. She later uses a potion to restore her youth and blackmails Ren into marrying her in a crazed attempt to reclaim her past happiness. Sadly, the potion backfires on her — likely because she used a drop of Dark Water to make it — and she suffers Rapid Aging. When Ren tries to apologize for his father jilting her, she absolves him and his father of blame, saying that she was the one who couldn't let go of the past.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Mr. Burns's illegitimate son was the result of a one-night stand with the daughter of his old college crush.
      Burns flashes back to the outdoors of the 25th Yale reunion feast of his Class of 1914. A much younger C.M. Burns sees his unrequited love of his college years, Mimsy Bancroft, a middle-aged woman staring back at Young Burns. Young Burns becomes wide-eyed as the narration goes on. "Of course, by then, Mimsy had her share of wrinkles and a grey hair or two, but my adoring eye saw past those minor imperfections... to her 21-year-old daughter, Lily."
    • In one relatively early episode, Abe had a brief relationship with Marge's mother. Many seasons later he briefly married Marge's sister Selma.
    • Speaking of Burns and the Bouviers, he developed a Villainous Crush on Marge in "Marge Gets a Job" and, in the previously-mentioned episode where Abe dated Marge's mother, was the one who charmed her away from him and nearly wound up marrying her and becoming Marge's stepdad. This is all unconscious on his part as it was a Running Gag at this point in the series that he rarely remembered his encounters with Homer and his family.

    Real Life 
  • Irish poet W.B. Yeats proposed to Maud Gonne multiple times before proposing to her illegitimate daughter Iseult, who also turned him down.
  • Mary Tudor was originally betrothed to her cousin, Holy Emperor Charles V, when he was 22 and she was 6. Perhaps understandably, he married someone else instead. Mary wound up marrying his son, Phillip, who was 11 years younger than her.
  • German poet and writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe proposed to his old love's very young daughter Ulrike. She didn't accept his proposal.
  • Young Wu Zetian was a concubine to Emperor Taizong, who was around 30 years older than her as she was 13 or 14-years-old. After Taizong's death, his son Li Zhi was made emperor and made Wu his concubine. They were much closer in age; Li Zhi was 21 when he called the 25-year-old Wu back to the palace to be his concubine. It was speculated that Wu and Li Zhi had an affair while Wu was Taizong's concubine, as this would explain why Li Zhi decided to bring Wu back to the palace when she was put to a Buddhist nunnery after Taizong's death.
  • Judith of Flanders married her first husband, King Æthelwulf of Wessex, when she was about 14 and he was in his mid-50s. When he died, she married her stepson Æthelbald, who died two years later. Her father told her to Get Thee to a Nunnery, but she later eloped with Baldwin I of Flanders. Baldwin's son Baldwin II married Ælfthryth, daughter of Alfred the Great, who was Judith's first husband Æthelwulf's son by his first wife Osburh (Alfred the Great and Æthelbald were brothers), which means that Ælfthryth was the daughter of Baldwin II's stepbrother through his mother's first marriage, so his stepsister once-removed.
  • Germaine of Foix is a rare exaggerated example. She was married to Ferdinand II of Aragon, the king of Aragon, as his second wife, with around 30 years age gap between them. After Ferdinand's death, the 29-year-old Germaine later had an affair with his grandson, the aforementioned Holy Emperor Charles V, who was then 17.
  • Stratonice, the Queen of the Seleucid Empire, was married to King Seleucus I Nicator. They remained married for quite some time until one day, the prince Antiochus I Soter, Seleucus's son by his first wife, contracted an unknown illness and was said to starve himself. Nobody knew what caused Antiochus's sickness until Seleucus called for a Greek physician, Erasistratus, to evaluate his condition. Erasistratus realized Antiochus was suffering from lovesickness, and his unrequited love for his stepmother Stratonice became evident when Erasistratus noticed Antiochus's pulse quicken when Stratonice walked into the room. Erasistratus suggested to Seleucus that he should forfeit Stratonice and the kingdom to Antiochus in order to make his condition better. Seleucus agreed and Stratonice married Antiochus; by most accounts, they appeared to have a happy marriage.
  • Actress Gloria Grahame married director Nicholas Ray and later married his son Anthony Ray.
  • The rather infamous case of Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, and Soon-Yi Previn. In short: Farrow adopted Soon-Yi (with her then-husband, André Previn). She and Allen dated from 1980 until the early 1990s, during which time they had one child biologically and he adopted two of hers (though not Soon-Yi). Eventually it came out that Allen (then 56) and Soon-Yi (then 19) were having an affair; the two married in 1997. Straddles the line with Wife Husbandry in many people's minds, since the two met when Soon-Yi was a little girl, though Allen claims that they never had a father/daughter relationship.
  • In 733 Yang Yu Huan married Prince Li Mao, son of Emperor Xuanzong and his then-favourite concubine Consort Wu. Four years later Consort Wu died. Xuanzong decided the best way to deal with this was to take Yang Yu Huan as a concubine. He ordered her to become a nun, gave Li Mao a new wife, then made Yang Yu Huan an imperial consort. It ended very badly for poor Yang Yu Huan; in 756 she was made a scapegoat for the An Lushan Rebellion and Xuanzong ordered her execution.
  • Princess Yi Cheng of the Sui dynasty is another exaggerated example: three of her four husbands were her step-sons. First she married Yami Qaghan of the Eastern Turkic Khaganate. He died ten years later, so she married his son Shibi Qaghan. He also died after ten years of marriage, so she married his brother Chuluo Qaghan. He died only a few months after the wedding, so she married his brother Illig Qaghan.
  • Darejan of Kakheti attempted this when she forced her stepson Bagrat to divorce his wife — who was also Darejan's niece, making the whole mess even weirder — and tried to make him marry her instead. Bagrat refused to marry her, so Darejan had him arrested and blinded.
  • Kim Gae-si became the favourite concubine of King Seonjo of Joseon. After Seonjo's death she became the favourite concubine of his son Gwanghae. To help Gwanghae keep the throne she killed his half-brother, who was both her step-son through her first marriage and her brother-in-law through her second. It ended badly for her: Gwanghae was eventually overthrown and Kim Gae-si was beheaded by the new king.