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My Own Grampa

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Nibblonian 1: It's a genetic abnormality which resulted when you went back in time and performed certain actions which made you your own grandfather.
Fry: I did do the nasty in the past-y.
Futurama, "The Why of Fry"

Simply put, a Stable Time Loop where one is his own ancestor. Of course, this implies an Identical Grandson, and an Ontological Paradox which results in a quarter of one's DNA being created from out of nowhere.

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The trope namer is not an example, however. The song I'm My Own Grandpa by Lonzo and Oscar in 1947 is about how the singer's character became his own step-grandfather through complicated marriages. This trope is about being one's own biological ancestor.

If they're just pretending to be their grandchild, then that's My Grandson Myself. See also Kid from the Future, for more time-travel and offspring-related hijinks, and Time-Travel Romance, which could also lead to this trope.

See also Grandfather Paradox.


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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • In the What If? movie Dragon Ball – Episode of Bardock, Bardock is sent back in time to start the legend of the Saiyans. It's probably better to be "My Own Progenitor", though it's physically impossible for Bardock to be the Super Saiyan Vegeta described unless the legend was really muddled.
  • In Hinamatsuri, the time-traveler Mao is implied to be a clone of herself.
  • Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-: Following C!Syaoran and C!Sakura's Heroic Sacrifice, they re-incarnate in the past, meet, marry and then comes the WHAM moment of the story, when they become the parents of R!Syaoran, as the reader drops brain dead at this point. This all makes a weird sort of sense when you take into account that the Big Bad of the story has been making an attempt to rewrite the basic laws of reality, screwing up everything and causing things that should not make sense, or are flat out impossible to happen. When reality snaps back to normal, R!Syaoran becomes a walking paradox and is forced to continue wandering the multiverse as payment for his continued existence.
  • Pierrot Bolneze in Yakitate!! Japan was abandoned at a circus as an infant, but by Kazuma Azuma's history-changing Taima Ja-pan, he goes back to his childhood and ends up saving his mother from Death by Childbirth. When Pierrot comes back to current time, both his parents are alive in this timeline. In this version of reality, he became a clown and was named Pierrot because his parents were so impressed with their old butler, the adult Pierrot from the future who was abandoned and raised in a circus.

    Comic Books 
  • Alan Moore's "Chronocops" strip for 2000 AD sees the time cop narrator arresting his partner, who attempted to marry his own grandmother as a young woman after he suffered a mental breakdown. The narrator himself ends up retiring from the Time Police after this and marries his partner's grandmother himself. His (now former) partner says that he's going to kill him when he gets out of jail.
  • DC One Million has the series antagonist Solaris, an evil artificial intelligence, sending a computer virus back to the 20th century, which is stopped by the Justice League by building a supercomputer to contain it, thus leading to the events that caused the rise of Solaris in the 853rd century in the first place.
  • In the Year Three arc of the Tenth Doctor Doctor Who (Titan) comics, it is strongly implied that the Doctor's contemporary-origin companion Cindy Wu is descended from one of the clones that the Paranestene created from her in ancient China.
  • In a 1952 EC Comics story "Why Papa Left Home" (published in Weird Science #11) a scientist invents a time machine and plans to test it by sending his assistant, Raymond 25 years to the past for two hours. However, due to an accident, Raymond ends up stranded in the past for two years. During this time, he falls in love with a woman, marries her, and they have a son (named Raymond Jr.). When he's brought back to the present, and meets his mother, he realizes that the child he fathered was himself.
  • A bizarre example in MAD's Gasoline Alley parody, where the characters' disjointed aging rates eventually results in the protagonist's wife turning into his daughter, prompting him to exclaim the trope name.
  • Played with, but averted, with the Marvel Comics villains Kang the Conqueror and Doctor Doom. Kang, the Ur-Example of the Conqueror from the Future, was for some time believed to be a future version of Doom, and the two worked together (and double-crossed each other) on many occasions, culminating in the Secret Wars maxiseries, in which Doom had Kang disintegrated by Ultron (he got better with the help of a Reality Warper). Later, however, it was revealed that Kang wasn't really Doom's future incarnation. He was actually either Mister Fantastic's father or distant cousin or some such thing (it's confusing).
    • What complicates it is that Reed Richards' father and Kang are both named Nathaniel Richards, but are completely separate people. We think.
    • That can be explained by the Nathaniel Richards, who is Kang, is named in honor of the creator of the utopian society on Earth he originated from, Reed Richards' father: Nathaniel Richards...who is also a time-traveler.
    • Kang is a bit of a mess. There is another character, more or less a good guy, who's a future version of Kang, and there turns out to be a rather large group of Kangs, from different points of their own timeline or from paralleled realities, that cooperate and occasionally congregate for various purposes, then there's a larger group of Kang-analogs that are clearly Kang but have different faces, different genders, different species...
    • It is supposed to be impossible in the Marvel universe to become our own ancestor because you can't actually travel into your own past, unless you have 'Doomlock', a Magitek means of doing so invented by Doctor Doom. If you try without one, you end up in what will already become a different universe than the one you left (for example, Rachel Summers tried to avert the future she came from, only to eventually find out she had arrived in a different timeline). This is a good thing, as overuse of the Doomlock leads to the Time Crash of Age of Ultron (the comic, not the film) and is revisited as a problem in The Ultimates (2015).
  • In X-Factor, the longstanding question of Shatterstar's relationship with Longshot was finally resolved. Due to a mystical battle, Shatterstar got blasted back to his native dimension Mojoworld, but in the past. The Spineless One scientist Arize used genetic material taken from Shatterstar to create Longshot. At a relative future point in Mojoworld's timeline, Longshot will father a child with the human mutant Dazzler. This child will be Shatterstar. The infant will then be taken even further into the future, to be raised to become a gladiator and living a Stable Time Loop that includes his own involvement in the creation of his "father" and arranging his own upbringing. And we thought Cable and Rachel Summers had messed up origin stories!

    Fan Works 
  • The Futurama fanfic Blame It on the Brain makes greater use of the idea of Fry being his own grandfather. Not only does this give him an immunity to the Brainspawn due to his lack of a delta brainwave, but his self-manifestation gives him a link to the fundamental fabric of the universe, much like the Nibblonians and the Brainspawn, who are essentially inverted versions of each other, although it is left unclear whether the Brainspawn manifested from the Nibblonians or the Nibblonians are the pre-flection of the Brainspawn.
  • Referenced in Kyon: Big Damn Hero, with Kyon recalling someone saying he looked identical to his grandfather at that age. Given how much time-traveling he does...
  • At the end of Light and Dark The Adventures of Dark Yagami, it turns out that Dark is actually his own father.
  • In Memento Vivere, a Final Fantasy X fanfiction, this question seems to rise when Braska starts flirting with Rikku. Although technically they aren’t related by blood...
  • Referenced but averted in "Mr. Bennet Travels Through Time", a Pride and Prejudice fanfic in which the Bennet girls' father is a stranded time-traveler from the future. Shortly after becoming stranded he worries about the prospect of becoming his own ancestor, but in the event he only has daughters, so any Bennets in his own time must be descended from someone else.
  • Averted in the Worm fanfic Recoil where, while a younger Danny Hebert does form a crush on his alt-daughter Taylor (he doesn't know any better), she introduces him to his future wife at the first opportunity. Also subverted, in that Danny's parents were trying to encourage the match.
  • The Ranma ½ fanfic Where I Came From is basically All You Zombies applied to Ranma Saotome, with the reveal that he was both Genma and Nodoka. Genma came about when Nabiki got angry that Ranma and Genma were cured of their Jusenkyo curses thanks to a deal with Cologne, so Nabiki pulled a prank on a drunken Ranma and hypnotized him into believing he was Genma. The hypnotized Ramna uses the Nanban Mirror to go back in time and lives out Genma's life. As for Nodoka, she came out when Cologne thought Genma broke the deal, and so invoked the punishment of undoing the cure, locking him in his cursed form, and erasing any memory of being a male. As Genma was really Ranma, instead of turning to a panda, he was flung back in time, trapped in a body of a young girl with no memories, and given the name Nodoka by the authorities.
  • A Fire Emblem Awakening Crack Fic called Ylissean Bachelor has Lucina claim that she is her own mother. As Robin explains, Chrom's first child will always be Lucina, regardless of who the mother is, meaning that this could be made possible by the mechanics of their game. Luckily for Chrom, Sumia Megaton Punches Lucina out of the studio before he's forced to follow through.
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    Films — Live-Action 
  • Spoofed in Detention. "Ione is pregnant with herself?"
  • Caesar from the original Planet of the Apes series was born when his parents traveled back in time, and he essentially became their distant ancestor as well as the forefather of the ape race.
  • Predestination, the film based on the Heinlein story in the Literature section, except it takes the Mind Screw a few steps further. Got a flow chart? So the time agent is tracking a terrorist, and while doing so recruits a transman who turns out had sex with his female self, who then gave birth to him/herself. Said Time Agent takes the resulting baby to the orphanage to where said transperson was found, THEN is revealed not only to be a future version of the transman, but the terrorist he's tracking is a version of him even FURTHER down the line. No, don't worry, the headache will pass.
  • Stanley sings the Trope Namer song in The Stupids.
  • The title villain of Terminator is the most famous western case, as its travels back in time resulted in it "fathering" its own master Skynet. Technically, it could be said that it simply caused Skynet to develop sooner rather than being the cause of its existence altogether.
    • The first sequel is a more straight-played example, with Skynet being created by people who found a piece of one of Skynet's agents.
  • Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann, where the hero went back in time and became his own great-grandfather.

    Literature 
  • In Book of the New Sun, this is played completely straight, although never spoken plainly, where it is heavily implied that Dorcas is Severian's Grandmother, and Severian is His Own Grandpa, due to the ever-present time travel.
  • The first edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has Dumbledore stating that Voldemort is the "last living ancestor" of Salazar Slytherin. Of course, it was simply a mix-up with "descendant" on J. K. Rowling's part. Some people use "ancestor" in a sense that includes "descendant", but it's best not to for clarity's sake, lest they fall into this trope.
  • Spider Robinson's Have You Heard The One... features a visit to Callahan's Crosstime Saloon by a time-traveling salesman, whose plans are foiled by Philip Jose Farmer's daughter Josie, who mentions that she "thinks she's going to grow up to be Mom."
  • Robert A. Heinlein loves this trope:
    • Played to the extreme in the story —All You Zombies—. The protagonist is a man who is both of his own parents. The story starts with him telling his backstory to a bartender: He was born female, and got pregnant after sleeping with a man. She gave birth via c-section, where it was discovered she was a hermaphrodite with internal male genitalia. Complications during the birth caused her to lose the function of her female genitalia so the doctors swapped them out for the still-functioning male genitalia, and she has been living as a man ever since. The bartender reveals himself as a time traveller working for a secret organization, and offers to take the protagonist back in time so he can save himself from that jerk who knocked him up and then disappeared. It is only after seducing and sleeping with his past female self that he realizes that he was the jerk. Meanwhile, the bartender travels nine months into the future to when the protagonist gives birth to herself, kidnaps the baby, and takes it further into the past to drop it off at an orphanage, thus completing the Stable Time Loop. Because the bartender is the protagonist too, only older, and he wants to ensure his own creation. This twist is simultaneously foreshadowed and lampshaded at the beginning of the story, when "I'm My Own Grandpa" starts playing on the jukebox in the bartender's bar, and the protagonist becomes angry and shuts it off.
    • By His Bootstraps is an example by the same author of the "milder" version described above.
    • Time Enough for Love has a blurb on the back cover that claims this trope occurs, but it couldn't have happened in the novel, nor could it have happened off-stage, since Lazarus's arrival date in the past was after his own birth, quite intentionally (and Maureen is already pregnant with a younger sibling of Lazarus when he arrives). The blurb-writer got a few other details of the book wrong, and probably was working from a grossly simplified synopsis.
  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Zaphod Beeblebrox's father is Zaphod Beeblebrox II, his grandfather is Zaphod Beeblebrox III, etc. When asked why, he says it was an accident involving a time machine and a prophylactic. His great-grandfather takes to referring to him as "Zaphod Beeblebrox the Nothingth" as an insult because of it. Though The Hitchhiker's Guide does state that becoming one's own grandparent through time travel is nothing that a significantly well-adjusted family can't deal with.
  • The Infected is not precisely this, but after a trip through time, Brian does wind up fathering one of his best friends, Scott.
  • Downplayed in The Licanius Trilogy. Davian isn't his own ancestor, but time travel does result in his saving his father's life and introducing his parents to each other.
  • The Man Who Folded Himself, Dan is his own mother and father. How this is possible when time travel to the past forks into an alternate reality is unclear.
  • In a book called The Mirror, a young woman switches bodies/eras with her grandmother, and then lives her life (in other words, she is the one who has the great romance with the grandfather, who is thought by the family to be psychic, who gives birth to her mother...). At the beginning /end of the book, she dies as her grandmother, while her grandmother then lives the rest of her life.
  • Chuck Palahniuk's novel Rant - many of the major characters repeatedly go back in time to become their father, grandfather, great-grandfather, etc. with the theory that this eventually allows for an ascent into godhood via killing yourself since things without beginning have no end.
    • Not only that, the main character himself is his own father father and grandfather entire line of male ancestors. Lots of time travel needed for that.
  • Stanisław Lem’s The Star Diaries of Ijon Tichy feature a spaceship that travels at practically light speed and is packed with time paradoxes, including this one.
  • Robert Silverberg's time-travel novel Up the Line has a character who is trying to sleep with all his female ancestors, except his mother (as he puts it, "I draw the line at abominations"). He's careful not to father any children, he is just seeking to cuckold all of his male ancestors (except his father because sleeping with his own mom would be sick).

    Live-Action TV 
  • Darla sired Liam, later known as Angel, who in turn sired Drusilla. After getting staked early on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Darla is resurrected as a human in the spinoff - but she still has the disease that was killing her before she became a vampire. As a last resort, Lindsey brings in Drusilla to vamp her. On having this "family tree" explained to him, Gunn has this to say:
    "That means the granddaughter remade the grandmother. Man, somehow that weirds me out more than the whole bloodsucking thing."
  • Charmed: Piper Halliwell's past life, P. Baxter, was the great-grandmother of her present life. Points for being biologically possible, as the soul is the same, not the body.
  • Dark (2017) is a show that traffics heavily in bootstrap paradoxes as major plot drivers, though confined at first to the exchange of objects and information. In Season 1, the trope is only flirted with by Mikkel returning to the past to become Jonas' father, though they were not originally relatives. However, Season 2 finally takes it all the way and reveals that Charlotte's young daughter Elisabeth grows up and gives birth to Charlotte, who is kidnapped and taken to the past when she's still a baby. Thus both Elisabeth and Charlotte are their own grandmother, and each is both mother and daughter to the other.
    • In Season 3, it's revealed that the child of Jonas and Martha from Eva's World later will give birth to Tronte from both universes, who will give birth to Ulrich, Mikkel, Magnus, Martha (from both worlds) and Jonas (from Adam's World) making all of them their own ancestors as well as descendants.
  • In The Flipside of Dominick Hide, Dominick, who comes from 2130, travels back in time to London in 1980 in hope of meeting the great-great grandfather he's heard so much about. It turns out to be a journey of self-discovery.
  • Orphan Black has a weird variant without time travel, in which the heroine Sarah turns out to be a clone of her adoptive mother's own mother.
  • Red Dwarf's Lister is his own father, through time-travel shenanigans and other convoluted oddness.
  • In an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Bashir wonders about this when he meets a woman on Kirk's Enterprise whose last name was that of an ancestor's, but it proved not to be true. Played for Laughs when Bashir argues that he must have sex with the woman after she invites him to her quarters, but Miles O'Brien refuses to let him be Distracted by the Sexy.
    Bashir: I can't wait to get back to Deep Space Nine and see your face when you find out that I never existed!
Layered even further by Sisko insisting to the time police that there were no time paradoxes in play earlier in the episode.

    Video Games 
  • Achron: The alien Grekim are able to pull this off in gameplay (see here for directions how). It has little practical use though, so it doesn't happen often.
  • Digimon Tamers: Brave Tamer establishes that a combination of this and Timey-Wimey Ball to Mind Screw levels resulted in the birth of Millenniumon: far in his future as ZeedMillenniumon he released Apocalymon, whose presence came to cause the existence of the Dark Masters. One of the Dark Masters was Mugendramon, who after his appparent death merged with a Chimeramon to form Millenniumon, who would go on to do horrible things, become ZeedMillenniumon, et cetera.
  • A variant shows up in the first Ecco the Dolphin game. While Ecco is in the distant past, he can meet some proto-cetaceans who live on the land. Speaking to them gives them idea to try living in the sea. Thus, while Ecco isn't his own genetic ancestor (it's unlikely he'd have been able to breed with his evolutionary ancestors), he does accidentally set them on the path that leads to modern cetaceans.
  • Caeldori from Fire Emblem Fates is an Expy of Cordelia from Fire Emblem Awakening, but several lines imply Cordelia is actually a reincarnation of Caeldori. Where this trope comes in is that, on the Revelation route, it's possible for Caeldori's mother to be Selena... who is Severa, Cordelia's daughter from Awakening. Time-travel and world-hopping does weird things.
  • Oracle of Tao has a version of this that doesn't involve time travel, but rather a God in Human Form situation, where God impregnates her mother, even though God turns out to be her true form. There are so many things wrong with this.
  • Shadow of Destiny: In this game the protagonist Eike Kusch gains the ability to travel through time.In the second chapter he meets a friend who owns a museum Eckhart Brum whose cat has just had a large litter of kittens.In a later chapter Eike travels to 1902 and meets Eckhart's grandfather Alfred Brum.Alfred has a daughter Sibylla who is lonely and Eike decides to give her kitten.Eike returns to the present and then gives Sibylla one of Eckhart's kittens which will inevitably become its own ancestor.

    Web Animation 

    Webcomics 
  • Darths & Droids wrote many versions of the "Luke, I Am Your Father" scene, with one rejected version following this trope.
  • Homestuck:
    • John, in the present, finds a cloning station which is locked on to four people: his Nanna, Jade's Grandpa, Rose's Mom, and Dave's Bro. He clones all four of them, using paradox slime. The slime from Nanna and Grandpa is mixed together, as is the slime from Mom and Bro. From the Grandpa/Grandma slime, clones of John and Jade are created, as are Rose and Dave from Mom/Bro slime. These clone babies of himself and his friends are sent back in time, to become who they are now. Four "pure" clones babies are also created ... and sent back to become Nanna, Grandpa, Mom and Bro in the first place.
    • This also happened with the trolls, with Karkat performing John's role. In this case, owing to the fact that troll parentage sure is weird, he also created the trolls' famous ancestors, who are actually their decendants. The fact that he was the one who cloned them in the first place means that, by some definitions of parent, he is their collective father.
    • In the post-scratch universe, the kids and their guardians switch places, but presumably keep their old biology. It must be clarified that while the kids and guardians are related in addition to John & Jade and Rose & Dave being sibling pairs, the guardians/post-scratch kids are not related to each other due to being true paradox clones.
    • The simplest way to describe the relationships between the players in Homestuck is that everyone is everyone's grandparent.
  • Irregular Webcomic!: Adam and Jamie from MythBusters attempt to do this. They screw it up by accidentally sleeping with their counterpart's grandmother, becoming each other's grandfather, but incidentally it does make themselves their own great-great-grandfathers. Which, incidentally does prove that this trope can happen, which was the whole reason they attempted this in the first place. Myth confirmed!
  • Subverted in the very NSFW webcomic Oglaf when Oedipus is convinced by his mother Jocasta to impregnate her (and two other versions of Jocasta) with himself. It turns out that he kept his father's "equipment" and used it as a substitute.
  • Wicked Powered: Taken to its natural extreme. The main character was sent back in time twice (once as a woman and once as a man). He arrived in the same time on both occasions. The two instances met, fell in love, got married, and conceived a child. Take a guess as to who this child was. Oh. And the 'aunt' he was living with was actually his pet monkey. And apparently, being your own parents makes you immortal. Or something.

    Web Original 
  • In a Cracked article, this turns out to be the case with a time traveler.
  • The Nostalgia Critic describes The Thief and the Cobbler and Aladdin thus:
    When I hear pop cultural references in a film that takes place in Arabia, I think of Aladdin. But this was being made before Aladdin. Apparently, Disney animators drew influence from this movie when it was being made that helped Aladdin get off the ground. And after that came out, the new producers of this film drew influence from Aladdin. So Aladdin ripped off this, only to have this rip off Aladdin. Basically, the film is a product of animated inbreeding. Suddenly, this is all starting to make more sense, isn't it?
  • One of the members of the SCP Foundation’s O5 council, Joey Tamlin, went 2000 years back in time and kickstarted his entire bloodline. This bloodline being the Brights.

    Western Animation 
  • Averted on Count Duckula, in which the character only claims he's his own father, grandfather, etc. He really means that each time he comes back from the dead, he remembers nothing and is effectively reborn with a fresh personality.
  • The Fairly OddParents has an example. In the Crash Nebula episode, Wanda says that there is an episode where Crash discovers he's his own great grandfather after traveling through time.
  • Family Guy has Stewie taking the place of his ancestor Leonardo da Vinci when he is killed by Bertram and managing to pass his own genes down before freezing himself and taking The Slow Path back.
    • The episode "Peter's Sister" had a cutaway gag showing an alternate ending to Back to the Future where Marty figures that since he's about to fade into oblivion, he might as well have sex with his mother in the past. The result is that in his picture of himself and his parents, they're replaced with an inbred Marty and the "To Be Continued" card is replaced with "To Be Contondered".
  • Futurama provides a well-known example in its protagonist Fry, who unwittingly becomes his own grandfather. It's originally set up as the major plot point in "Roswell That Ends Well", in which Fry travels back in time to 1947 and encounters Enos Fry, whom he thinks is his grandfather — and Fry, extremely paranoid about anything that could remotely cause his grandfather's death (and thus his own erasure from existence), accidentally kills him in a nuclear explosion. Fry starts wondering how he could still exist when his ancestor was killed before he could procreate, when Enos' grieving girlfriend drunkenly propositions him — and Fry accepts, deducing that they must not really be his grandparents. He's half right. While it seems like an interesting gag for that episode, it turns out to be a future plot point, as "the nasty in the past-y" (as they call it) causes differences to Fry's physiology that make him immune to certain forms of mind control. They even planned it from the start, providing a Rewatch Bonus a couple of times, especially once you learn that the Nibblonians deliberately engineered Fry's stint as a Human Popsicle and his "nasty in the past-y" so that he can use his mind control resistance to defeat the Brainspawn and the Dark Ones. The experience also technically makes Fry's dad/son Yancy Fry Sr. his own grandpa, and the characters stop caring much about Temporal Paradoxes after this point knowing what Fry was able to do with few ill effects:
    Farnsworth: Let's just steal the damn dish and get back to our own time!
    Fry: But- but won't that change history?
    Farnsworth: Oh, a lesson on not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa. Let's just get the hell out of here already! Screw history!
  • In the I Am Weasel episode "My Friend, the Smart Banana", Weasel and the banana have an intellectual discussion and conclude that if you travel faster than the speed of light, you become your own grandmother.
  • Brought up in a Robot Chicken sketch where The Force Awakens is announced. Among all of the outlandish ways that it could potentially go wrong, one of them is a plot twist that Luke is his own father. This is accompanied by two Lukes having a lightsaber duel as one of them yells "I'll never join me!"
  • In an episode of Xiaolin Showdown, Dojo warns Omi that by using the Sands of Time, "You can end up becoming your own grandpa." It can't actually happen, as time travel in this series operates on a "change the past you change the future" type deal.

    Real Life 
  • The first Space Shuttle, the Enterprise, was named after the starship Enterprise from Star Trek. In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the Enterprise is revealed to be named after the first reusable spacecraft, which would be the first Space Shuttle - the Enterprise.

Alternative Title(s): My Own Grandpa, I Am My Own Grandfather

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