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"Are you at all worried about child labor laws?"

"We promote family values here — almost as often as we promote family members."

A trope often found in situation comedy, it's where the boss (often a somewhat unpleasant one) places a relative or in-law in a position of power. Invariably, the relative will be incompetent or worse. A variation on this trope might be to actually have the relative be the protagonist, and have to earn the respect of his or her subordinates before they can actually accomplish anything meaningful. The trope can also be subverted if the relative is actually competent, in which case the grumbling can quickly subside. It can be averted in cases where nepotism is expected, such as a prince becoming king when his father dies, in which case most people just accept it as the way things are supposed to go.

Very much Truth in Television, and sometimes a way for the relative to get their feet wet in the business, especially if they're being groomed to take over the business when the current owner retires or is otherwise unable to make decisions. Naturally, given how controversial (and rather common) this practice is, please refrain from adding any real-life examples here.

A sub-trope of Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!. Compare Sleeping Their Way to the Top and Royal Favorite. Often goes hand in hand with Ultimate Job Security, though it can be one of the ways for someone to end up in the Wrong Line of Work, if they're incompetent in the field their relative puts them in. The opposite of this trope is Coattail-Riding Relative. When this occurs among RPG players (romantically connected to the GM or otherwise), see Dungeonmaster's Girlfriend. In general, Nepotism may be an expected payback if someone who was Vicariously Ambitious helped get somebody else into a position of power. When an authority figure deliberately tries to avoid this, they're engaging in Anti-Nepotism.

Not to be confused with the trope Nephewism, although the word "nepotism" comes from the Latin word "nepos" which means "nephew" (the term originated from the tendency of Medieval and Renaissance-era churchmen to appoint their "nephews" — who were often their unacknowledged bastard sons — to comfortable sinecures). Also not to be confused with Neopetism.

Fun fact: This trope, when applied to friends instead of relatives, is known as cronyism — after all, "It's not what you know, it's who you know." See also The Power of Friendship


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth manga, Randolph Miller, director of the Seselagi Art Museum, hires his niece Monet Kreskin because she needs a job after graduating college, even though she knows nothing about art. It's actually in large part because she knows nothing about art, and won't be able to tell that he sold the painting "Officers" to pay the museum's debts, replacing it with a fake.
  • Discussed and defied in Action Heroine Cheer Fruits; Misaki Shirogane realizes that Hatsuri Momoi would be the perfect candidate to join the Cheer Fruits, but since their families have a business relationship it would look suspicious if they just let her join no questions asked. The girls hold an audition, but Hatsuri fails because she goes overboard with the pyrotechnics; that night at home her father offers to put a word in with the Shirogane family but she refuses, saying that she has to earn her spot on the team with her own talents.
  • Baccano! has two examples, both of which are played atypically.
    • The first is Ladd Russo who, while definitely not incompetent, is completely off his rocker. His uncle made him a hitman mostly to channel his homicidal urges more efficiently.
    • The second and more serious example is, surprisingly enough, Luck Gandor. While he certainly doesn't seem like someone who got his position from connections alone, careful examination of the evidence (and eventual confirmation in The Slash) would reveal that he's been in the higher ranks of The Mafia since age fifteen or younger, and only because his brothers were in charge. He has quite a bit of a complex over it, and goes to considerable lengths to leave no possible doubt that he's capable.
  • Ren's old teammates in Big Windup! feel that he's in the pitcher position only because he's related to the school board director and that he is incompetent. He's actually a good pitcher, but the team just doesn't co-operate with him.
  • Bleach: When Rukia was adopted by the Kuchiki family, Byakuya, the respected captain of Gotei 13's 6th Division (who adopted Rukia because his dying wife made a Last Request for him to find her sister, making him Rukia's brother-in-law and adoptive brother), pulled some strings to let her graduate from the Shin'o Academy early and arrange an unseated position at the 13th Division for her. He also spoke to the other captains and convinced them not to give Rukia a seated officer position (despite Rukia being skilled enough), in order to keep her from harm's way, although he apparently changes his mind, as Rukia becomes a Lieutenant after the Time Skip and a Captain in the Distant Finale.
    • The lieutenant of Squad 2, Marechiyo Ōmaeda, exploits this, cultivating an Upper-Class Twit persona to make people think that he's only in Thirteen Court Guard Squads because of his noble family's tradition of serving in it. He is genuinely stupid in a lot of ways, but his position as Sui-Feng's lieutenant is well-earned.
  • Case Closed:
    • In the fourth Non-Serial Movie, Captured in her Eyes, one of the suspects was involved in a crime some years back, but wasn't pursued by the police because he was the son of the police superintendent. It's subverted when it turns out that his father never had any hand in protecting him, and in fact was stunned to find out that his son was never investigated in spite of how heavily he was involved. Furthermore, the movie ends with the superintendent making it clear that his son will be prosecuted for the role he did play in the crime (blackmailing the victim).
    • In a filler case, a very rich guy got away with being a middle-class girl's absolutely terrifying Stalker with a Crush because of his rich family. The poor girl realized that the only way to stop him from killing her would be brewing a plan to kill him first. Which she did.
  • City Hunter has Saeko Nogami: she's an extremely competent police officer of her own, but it's implied that she gets away with her non-standard methods and some other stunts of hers (such as hospitalizing six suitors) by virtue of being the eldest daughter of the superintendent general. Her sister Reika was heavily implied to having got back her job as a police officer after quitting thanks to this... Then she quit again, and for good.
  • Code Geass:
    • While several members of the Britannian Imperial Family may be very qualified and competent as soldiers and politicians, there are plenty of others who were less so. But like everything else in this complex story, it cuts both ways — Clovis, for example, had no interest in ruling or warfare. He just wanted to be a painter, but in this family, that wasn't an option.
    • In season 2, the newly restored Princess Nunally was appointed as Viceroy by the emperor, but not because he wanted her to be safe or empowered in any way — it was because Lelouch wouldn't dare launch an attack against her.
  • This trope nearly destroyed The 108 Dragons in Crying Freeman. The former leaders' son was an uncontrollable monster. The granddaughter was even worse.
  • Daimos: Melvi is a Hard Drinking Party Guy who carries a bottle of alcohol wherever he goes. He ruins Richter's plans of starting a guerilla offense against Kazuya Ryuzaki, and gets away with it because he's the nephew of King Olban.
  • Masaki Kirihara, the Hero Antagonist police officer of Darker than Black is the daughter of a high-ranking Japanese politician, and some of her connections and position probably come from him, although she is very competent. In one episode, he draws upon his connections to offer her a promotion to a desk job — it's ambiguous whether this is out of concern for her safety or whether he's trying to have her Kicked Upstairs because he's a member of The Syndicate himself (or possibly both). In any case, she turns him down. By the second season, she's so frustrated by this (and other meddling in the police department) that she quits and barely looks back.
  • The Death Note manga states that Touta Matsuda has relatives in the Police Force, hence why he has a job there despite being more or less well-intentioned, yet incompetent. Until he goes all Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass, that is, such as his profiency with a gun.
  • In Detective School Q, Sakurako Yukihira defies the trope by not only being a Teen Genius in her own right but by hiding the fact that she is the niece of Morihiko Dan aka the director of the prestigious detective school that the members of the cast attend. She explains to Kyuu that, much as she loves and admires her uncle, she doesn't want other students to know their blood bond so she will be able to develop her detective talents in her own right.
  • In The Girl I Want is So Handsome!, some of Rei Miyamoto's teammates gossip about how Rei supposedly is getting special treatment due to being close with Hanna Adachi, the team captain. While Rei and Hanna are close- in fact, they're girlfriends- the accusations seem to be primarily motivated by spite toward Rei's strict approach to training, and there is a legitimate reason why Rei isn't running- she's recovering from an injury.
  • One of Ayumi Himekawa's main motivations in Glass Mask is to actually avert the trope. Both of her parents are veterans in the fields of visual media: her father Mitsugu is a famous film director, her mother Utako is pretty much the other Grand Dame in Japanese acting aside from Chigusa Tsukikage. Ayumi herself is very beautiful and genuinely talented in acting, but she's absolutely determined to not let people even utter the trope in front of her, and prove that she can reach stardom on her own and without any influence coming from her parents.
  • Heat Guy J
    • Daisuke Aurora has his job in part because his older brother is the police chief.
    • Also, on the villains side of the equation, Clair has his position of "Vampire" (Mob Boss) because his father specifically stated it in his will (the other members of The Mafia are not happy about this, partly because Clair is only 19, and partly because he's Ax-Crazy).
  • Hello! Sandybell: Alec was angling for a high position in Longwood Newspapers, working hard to do so. He's infuriated to find out that he's been passed over for the position in favour of Kitty Shearer, who only got it because she comes from wealth and her dad paid off Kern Longwood.
  • Hellsing: Sir Penwood gets his position through Nepotism, and he knows that he's unsuited for the position. But when push comes to shove, he refuses to abandon his post and tells his panicking subordinates to escape and that he can operate the command center himself. His subordinates laugh at his suggestion, stops panicking and get back to their posts, telling him to just sit down and do nothing as usual. He thanks them all for sticking to their duties with him to their end.
  • Jewelpet
    • Jewelpet Twinkle☆: Akari's older sister Monica had help from their mother Marie in getting launched as an idol, as Marie is an editor for a magazine and thus has a lot of connections in the mass media industry. Monica is aware of this trope and tries to break away from it.
    • Jewelpet Kira☆Deco!: Pink doubts her usefulness to the Kira Deco 5 and believes she made it into the team because the scientist who recruited the members is her cousin. This is subverted late in the series when a flashback shows that the scientist chose the members based on how their traits and abilities balanced each other out and considered Pink as seriously as anyone else.
  • Ruthlessly deconstructed in Legend of the Galactic Heroes with the High Nobles during the waning years of the Goldenbaum Dynasty. This has been established systematically due to their blind belief of eugenics, and that they are destined for greatness just for being in the right families. Unlike those who try to do something to earn their rank (I.e., Count Gregor von Mickenberger who became Fleet Admiral and Supreme Command of the Imperial Forces, and the Meidenorf family, who become the few nobles who worked to be the new dynasty’s highest ranked officials), the rest of the nobles do not even try, knowing they’ll just inherit their power eventually, and merely scheme on the side. The end result is a horde of incompetent buffoons when they try to earn real glory via a civil war, where they are crushed effortlessly, and even their own soldiers turn on them when they have the chance.
  • The Zabis all got their positions in Mobile Suit Gundam because their father, Degwin, trusts them more than anyone else. It's played for tragedy in the case of Garma, whose obsession with proving that he deserves his job ultimately gets him killed; Dozle, Kycillia, and Gihren all establish early on that they are fully capable of doing a good job.
    • Garma's characterization gets completely inverted in Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, which makes him play the trope straight. In the anime he wanted to prove that he didn't just get his job because of who his father is; in The Origin, he literally throws a stompy-foot temper tantrum to Daddy and demands to be given an important position so he can show off to Char.
  • Bizarrely enough, this gets referenced in Neon Genesis Evangelion. Since Shinji winds up becoming an accomplished EVA pilot and his father is the supreme commander of NERV, it's inevitable folks might start to look at things a little funny. In one episode, Gendo's superiors at SEELE joke about him having given Unit-01 to his son like it was a new toy, and in the second Rebuild movie, Asuka refers to Shinji as a "Daddy's Boy" who only got the job because he was well-connected. In reality of course, Shinji would give anything to not have to pilot the EVA, and Gendo is the last person to do his son any favors.
    • It's also suggested that accusations of this have shaped Ritsuko Akagi's view of the world since her mother Naoko worked at NERV's predecessor GEHIRN and it's implied she had something to do with Ritsuko gaining a position. To combat this Ritsuko has tried to be as little like her mother as possible, including dyeing her hair, but her breakdown at the end of the series comes about largely because she realizes she failed at this as well including sleeping with (and being heartlessly used by) Gendo just as her mother did.
  • In New Game!, a variation happens. Umiko Ahagon and Nene Sakura are not related and had never met prior to the latter joining the former's company as a debugger, but gradually became friends over the course of their work. Sometime later, Nene applied for a job as a programmer, and Umiko hired her since while Nene didn't have enough skills at the moment, she did have potential. Tsubame "Naru" Narumi, who was hired at the same time, was displeased to hear about the circumstances behind Nene being hired since Naru herself had worked hard and paid her own way through school to prove that she could be a programmer. Naru isn't exactly wrong, but she does come to realize that Nene is more skilled than she gives her credit for.
  • In Nyaruko: Crawling with Love!, Cuuko first shows up working with kidnappers, and then immediately after that case is resolved she gets into the Planetary Defense Organization because her uncle works in HR. Nyarko is pissed for several reasons, but chief among them is that she had to do it the hard way, including taking an annoyingly difficult entrance exam.
  • One Piece: This is implied to be the reason why Spandam ended up being chief of CP9, despite being a General Failure and all-around waste of human life. His father, Spandine, was also chief of CP9, and almost as bad as him, though he was also decidedly more competent and had standards, unlike his son.
  • In Saki Achiga-hen, the Senriyama mahjong team includes the coach Masae Atago's (whose daughters play for another school's team) niece, Hiroko Funakubo, who, unlike many of these examples, is actually quite competent. Masae is pleased when she sees Hiroko doing well, hoping to avoid rumors of nepotism, but Cera, one of Hiroko's teammates, says people will make those rumors anyway.
  • In She Becomes a Tree, Kisaki's Office Lady coworkers spread rumors that she got her job due to knowing one of the president's relatives. Kisaki seems to be quite good at her job, since her tree body parts enable her to work several times as quickly as other employees and other people routinely dump work on her, so the rumors seem to be mainly due to the other women disliking Kisaki for her being a tree/human hybrid.
  • This issue is explored thoroughly in Smile Down the Runway. Sakuma Mii, the head of the novice department where Ikuto is first assigned to when he is hired as a full-time employee in Aphro I dite, is the daughter of the company's main sponsors. She spends most of her time lazing about and passes her actual work to the head designer of the company, and is seen as incompetent by pretty much everyone else. Later, she helps her former private tutor Hazime Yanagida to get a position as a department head in Aphro I dite, and he faces similar criticism from his subordinates. Ikuto is also accused of getting preferential treatment when his colleagues find out that he used to work for Yanagida. However, Yanagida mentions that it's alright to use one's connections to open up new opportunities for themselves, as long as they can prove themselves worthy of the position afterwards. Yanagida certainly proves his worth when his first Capsule Collection results in a resounding success; while Mii, who cannot do the same, loses her position to Ikuto.
  • In at least one incarnation of Tenchi Muyo!, Mihoshi's grandfather is the Grand Marshal of the Galaxy Police. Given that Mihoshi tends to be either a Genius Ditz, The Fool, or a Bunny-Ears Lawyer, and in any case causes massive headaches for the Galaxy Police, one theory amongst fans is that the only reason she was allowed to join, never mind stay employed, is because of this family tie. It doesn't prevent them, in the original OAVs, from sending her to patrol a sector of the galaxy considered a boring backwater... but that ends up blowing up in their faces.
    • As far as the OVAs are concerned, it was revealed in supplementary materials (and implied in the show itself) that Mihoshi was, at one time, actually competent but as a result of a Noodle Incident that nearly killed her, she became the person she is today.
  • Downplayed in UQ Holder!. Shinobu became the Token Human among the Fairyland Hall staff (at an entry-level position) because she was friends with the boss' adopted son.
  • This is how Daigo became a CEO by 27 in ...Virgin Love. The fact that he is extremely competent definitely contributed though.
  • Doujima of Witch Hunter Robin is the daughter of a leader of the STN-J, and acts more like the spoiled, unpleasant version, coming to work late and reading fashion magazines instead of doing her job. She does get nicer over time. And the earlier behavior was sort of Obfuscating Stupidity anyway, as she was a Double Agent sent to observe the actions of Solomon, the witch-hunting organization.
  • In Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle, Relie runs the same academy that her younger sister Philuffy studies at. When Lux, who Philuffy is interested in, becomes a student, Relie does everything she can to make them get together, including making them sleep in the same room. More seriously, she prevents Philuffy from going out on combat missions because of the risk of Philuffy's Half-Human Hybrid status being discovered.

    Comic Books 
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe Scrooge McDuck has been known to hire not only his nephew Donald, but his great-nephews and his brother-in-law's nephews, Gladstone and Fethry, on occasion. This isn't too surprising since his in-laws all live in a once-small farming town where his corporate HQ is located, where he employs basically everyone. They really don't get special treatment, either.
  • Originally, G'nort had been inducted into the Green Lantern Corps, despite being horribly incompetent, thanks to an uncle who had been a famous and influential Lantern. However, later stories retconned the circumstances of his (and by extension, his uncle's) acquisition of a power ring.
  • Iznogoud: As "Scandal in Baghdad" opens, the scandalmonger who offers his services to Iznogoud demonstrates his abilities by sniffing out the fact that the guard on duty got his job through family connections. It quickly emerges that almost all of the palace guards are related to each other somehow, and all got their jobs that way!
  • A non-comedic example occurs in Judge Dredd — when Rico gives Deputy Chief Judge Sinfield's clone, March, a failing grade at the end of his provisional period for being too ruthless, Sinfield responds by sending Rico to oversee the mutant townships in the Cursed Earth.
  • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): Pamela Smuthers brags about getting a position as a wartime singer due to the governor of Texas pulling strings to make sure her marvelous singing talent is heard, only for Etta to point out that said governor is Pamela's father. Pamela doesn't seem to see how that has any bearing on the conversation.
  • Subverted in Lucky Luke: A cavalry colonel's son is randomly affected to his unit and the father is way harder on him than any of his other men (to avoid anyone thinking this trope is in effect). When the son finally calls him out on putting him on cleaning duty for the slightest/imagined infraction and volunteers for a dangerous mission, the father cries tears of joy as he finally made a man out of his boy.
  • In MAD:
    • One article shows what would happen if people practiced Brutal Honesty toward each other. In one example, a company executive apologizes to a female employee for not promoting her, saying that he's giving it to the son of a dear friend of his. The woman pleasantly tells the man that she doesn't mind, since she intends to embezzle from the company.
    • A parody of a nursery rhyme has a congressman give his family members that they're not remotely qualified for- his dim-witted sister answers the telephone, his illiterate mother is a filing clerk and his brother is his right-hand man despite lacking work experience- and pay his father a good salary for just shutting the door.
  • Paperinik New Adventures has Sputhon, a dimwitted low-level Evronian officer, who got a job on the staff of Zotnam, commander of the invasion force of Earth, because, as explained in his character sheet, he's the second cousin of a schoolmate of the Emperor's spore-in-law (on a lateral line). Consider also the fact that Evronians reproduce asexually and don't have families.
  • The Punisher MAX: A North Vietnamese captain in Platoon is only there because his father is a general. Unusually for the trope, he's entirely aware of how out of his depth he is for everything. As such, he is very respectful of his immediate superior, the experienced and highly talented NVA Colonel Le Trong Giap, whose behaviour and thinking he tries to emulate in the end, to poor effect.
  • In Sturmtruppen the Second Lieutenant is so dumb the soldiers wonder how he's still alive, and at one point one of his antics was so embarrassing the Captain flat-out asked him for one reason to not dishonorably discharge him on the spot. A mention the Lieutenant's father was a feldmarshall was enough for him to keep his post.
  • In a Silver Age Tommy Tomorrow story, Tommy's Venusian partner assumes that, as his dad is head of the Venusian Planeteers, that he'll get a cushy assignment. His dad instead puts him on convoy duty to Pluto to punish his son for bragging.
  • Discussed in White Sand, when Praxton notes that his son's lack of serious magic power means that regardless of how hard Kenton tries, Praxton won't be able to promote him to appropriate rank without people accusing him of nepotism.
  • Subverted in the X-Wing Rogue Squadron, when Councilmember Beruss refuses to send aid to Rogue Squadron, despite her nephew Avan being a member.

    Comic Strips 
  • Colonel Escargot's son in Beau Peep. The Colonel goes easy on him in training and expects he'll become a sergeant very quickly.
  • This has happened in Dilbert with the son, wife, and nephew of the Pointy-Haired Boss.
  • Due to the rampant corruption in South Africa, this appears fairly frequently in Madam & Eve:
    • One strip explains that a new R300 million government compound was built on an active volcano because President Zuma hired his unqualified cousin as a consulting geologist. He gave himself a crash-course in geology by watching reruns of The Flintstones.
    • During a morality training class, one student admitted he couldn't decide between awarding a government contract to his brother's construction company or his uncle's construction company.

    Fan Works 
  • Agreement and Disputation: Holmes describes Mycroft's secretary as having procured the job solely because of his uncle's position in the House of Lords. He takes great pleasure in rattling the fellow.
  • All-American Girl (Shinzakura): Celestia, while trying to help her niece DJ reconnect with her biological family and her Equestrian heritage, recruits her husband to a high-profile military posting and offers her brother the previously vacant position of Princess' Hoof (ie, King's Hand). When pressed, she admits to playing nepotism, though not entirely for DJ's sake — she's also trying to combat government infiltration by a group of pony supremacists called the Purehooves.
  • Alysanne, Lady of Winterfell: Myribeth, the leader of the Sunflowers acting troupe, tries to defy it so furiously that she goes straight to the opposite extreme. In order to make sure that she doesn't appear to be coddling or favoring her adopted nephew Brennan, she's constantly yelling at and belittling him at the rehearsals and claiming that he can do nothing right.
  • Anyone Can Become A Hero: Jokingly referred to when Gyro finds out Johnny didn't vote for him for Class President.
    Johnny: Sorry, but I don't support nepotism.
  • As Fate Would Have It: Zig-Zagged Trope with regards to Yancy. On one hand, her own boss and the producer of her own TV show on the Celebrity Channel is none other than her own uncle, Zachary Ruri. On the other hand, it's established that she has genuine talent in Pokemon Contests, singing, hosting, and acting, all of which she learned from her time under Lisia.
  • Discussed in Bait and Switch when Captain Bronok Zell is talking about his ship's apparent Wesley-equivalent.
    Zell: I’ll be along shortly but I have to go deal with something in Main Engineering. This idiot acting ensign Command saddled us with keeps breaking things with his science projects. Would’ve kicked him off months ago but he’s some ambassador’s kid or something so we’re stuck with him.
  • In Entropy, the first and second fics have Supreme Commander Asmos Rose, Amy's mother, actually in charge of GUN. Amy joins at Rouge's recommendation and though she took a callsign (Mjollnir) to separate her civilian and GUN selves, she became a part of a team (the Femme Fatalex.) It's not discussed on how she got the position, but it's plausible that her mother had a hand even if they note that there was notable friction between Amy and her mother.
    • A more obvious example is in the second fic Chaoskampf. As the whole world is nearly destroyed due to the Big Bad, Asmos creates the Rozen Resistance and has several Chiefs of different divisions. We have Asher Rose, Asmos' other daughter and Amy's older sister, as Chief of Medicine and finally, her oldest son, Andrew Rose as Chief of Engineering. The latter is more telling as Milo Prower, who has just as much talent in technology as his little brother, points out:
      Milo: (Talking about how the resistance base was built) We had a lot of help. Andrew is not the perfect engineer, but he's a good designer.
      Sonic: Why weren't you made Chief then?
      Milo: Take a guess...
  • Fallout: Equestria: In the backstory, Princess Celestia saw the Mane Six (and especially Twilight) as something like her children, and tried to keep them out of the war as much as possible, sending them off on diplomatic missions to keep them safe. After she gave up the throne, her sister Luna recruited them to help win the war since she saw them as saviors. That didn't work out either. When Littlepip meets Celestia at the very end, she gives Littlepip a way to escape her Heroic Sacrifice, only for Littlepip to point out that someone still needs to do it, and there's no good reason for it not to be her except that Celestia likes her.
    Celestia: I... I suppose I've always played favorites.
  • This shows up many times in First Try Series:
    • The reason Tetsuo passes Naruto despite hating him for being the Kyuubi and obviously undertrained: if he fails Naruto, he also fails Satoshi, who's his wife's favorite nephew.
    • This is why Kakashi passes Team 7 in Team 7, he wants to teach Naruto but has to pass Sakura and Sasuke. Made bittersweet by Sakura and Sasuke bombing the Bell Test and Naruto (attempting to) deliberately fail it.
    • In Team Tetsuo, rather than Sakura and Sasuke do the Genin Exam and have Naruto, his favorite student, held back another year if they fail, Tetsuo decides to pass them on the spot so he could take them on months-long training trips to whip them into shape to get Naruto to the Suna Chunin Exam. Although in his defence, he was getting the Rookie of the Year and Top Kunoichi, so he assumed that he'd just need to shape them up a bit.
  • In Glee Reprise, one of the things Rachel is trying to avoid with The Reprisals when it comes to Beth — with mixed results.
  • Brought up in Infinity Train: Seeker of Crocus: In Pokémon Journeys: The Series, the advertisements claimed Chloe works for her father... but she never does anything for him at all and sits in the sidelines]]. When Gloria asks why dear old dad doesn't let Chloe do the same work Ash and Goh do, he points out that it would only be seen as nepotism and presumably draw more ire from her classmates who already hate her for what they see is her living a "privileged" life.
  • Defied in the Inquisitor Carrow Chronicles. Fudge is scandalized that due to Carrow's new anti-corruption measures, the son of a pureblood Ministry worker was denied a job after it was proven he wasn't remotely qualified for the job, made a scene and got bodily tossed out of the Ministry. He tries to assure the father his son will get the job, only to be informed the man isn't remotely concerned, since as far as he's concerned his son has proven his worthlessness.
  • It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine), a Harry Potter/Cthulhu Mythos story, has Lily Potter as a preferred form of Nyarlathotep, having been freed by Harry from her prison in the Dursleys' attic. As a bit of trolling, she makes her son her Herald. After making a deal with Daphne Greengrass, then revealing who he is, she asks how he became Nyarlathotep's herald.
    Harry: I ended up the Crawling Chaos's emissary much the same way as anyone gets anywhere in Magical England. Nepotism.
    Lily: Oh, that's a good one, dear! Doubly so because it's true.
  • The Lament Series (ChaoticNeutral): Chloé's Lament revolves around her Wishing to switch lives with Marinette out of the mistaken belief that this will make her the Ladybug heroine in the new reality. When the hat-making contest arrives, Chloé assumes Marinette will enter it just like she did in the original timeline, but Marinette skips it: not only is she Mayor Sabine's daughter, she's friends with Adrien, and wants to avoid even the appearance of abusing her family's connections in this fashion. Chloé promptly has a Villainous Breakdown, as she simply can't comprehend the notion of anyone not wanting to use any advantage they can get.
  • In Origins, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands/Halo Massive Multiplayer Crossover, this is taken to a ridiculous extreme: wealthy parents create an entire new division of their company to give their idiot daughter something to "do" with her life and let her feel like she's accomplished something. Note that while she heads the company on paper and claims its accomplishments as her own, the actual work is done by other (more competent) individuals.
  • Returning has Rose Weasley jokingly suggest this as an explanation for why James and Dominique made the Gryffindor Quidditch team, captained by Dominique's sister Victoire. The team is just under half Weasleys, not counting James Sirius Potter.
  • The Rigel Black Chronicles:
    • Harry's success is earned, but it's sometimes difficult for her to avoid the appearance, or even the accusation, of nepotism.
      • Malcolm Hurst comes across Harry's Blood-Replenishing Potions and is honestly impressed by their quality, before he has any idea who brewed them — but his son is also a good friend of hers. As a result, when Malcolm offers her an internship with the Potions Guild, she draws unfriendly looks and comments from the other interns.
      • Professor Snape is unusually strict with Rigel, even going so far as to assign a detention for a single missed piece of homework, which he would consider unreasonable for any other student. The reason is that he intends to apprentice Rigel, and taking an apprentice from one's own school is strongly frowned upon in the community, so he needs Rigel to be so far beyond reproach that it would seem more strange not to take him on.
    • Caelum Lestrange is apprenticed by Master Whitaker primarily because of a long association with Caelum's parents. Caelum is talented, too, but that was why he was snapped up so quickly. When Harry needles him about it, he promptly retorts that she only gained her internship due to knowing the Aldermaster.
      Harry: Fair enough. I guess we both have good connections.
  • Son of the Sannin: Subverted — Yugao couldn't show any favoritism towards her foster son Haku while acting as the proctor in the Chunin Exam finals for the sake of being impartial and didn't even wish him good luck before his match started despite how much she wanted to. At most, she gives a small smile when he shows off some swordfighting skills that she had a hand in teaching him.
  • Star Wars Vs Warhammer 40 K: Early in Season 2, Padmé Amidala introduces a proposal to the Galactic Senate to reinstate the rank of Supreme Commandernote  and appoint a military officer to replace Chancellor Palpatine as the commander-in-chief so that the Republic can better direct its war effort against the Imperium of Man without continuing to give Palpatine more emergency powers or being hindered by senatorial obstruction. The person that she selects and successfully gets voted to be given this position is none other than Anakin Skywalker, Padmé's secret Jedi husband and the father of her unborn children.
  • Voyages of the Wild Sea Horse: Invoked and defied. Ryoga Hibiki is appointed the role of First Mate of the Kamikaze Pirates precisely because he hates their captain, Ranma Saotome, so Ranma knows he won't ever sugarcoat his feelings or opinions — which makes him more reliable than appointing one of the three girls competing for Ranma's heart. Whilst Ryoga's "hatred" of Ranma is somewhat exaggerated, as he does prove to be a Sarcastic Devotee, their Vitriolic Best Buds relationship does end up making him a surprisingly good First Mate, just as Ranma expected.
  • In Where Talent Goes on Vacation, it's revealed that somehow, Talent High School awarded the Ultimate Tech Support title to two individuals (Ultimate titles usually only go to one person)- Chiyuri Nagato and Yuichi Asakura. Since the former happens to be the daughter of Class 32's homeroom teacher, the latter believes she got it by virtue of nepotism and despises her for it. However, Chiyuri and her mother soon point out that since the elder Nagato wasn't involved in recruiting Chiyuri, so she didn't get the title because of her mother's influence.
  • In Where Talent Goes to Die, it turns out that Talent High School, conceived as a knockoff of Hope's Peak Academy actually turns out to be mainly designed so that the family members of the founders can go to school at a prestigious high school, with Ultimate titles they may not have actually earned, in order to get a leg up in getting into college and finding a job, with the actually talented Ultimates boosting the school's prestige. Mitamura and Iwasawa are implied to be beneficiaries of this practice.
  • Subverted in Wilhuff Tarkin, Hero of the Rebellion with Admiral Motti: while he may be a relative of Grand Moff Tarkin,note  one of the highest leaders of the Empire, he earned his rank and post at a relative young age through success in battle against the Separatists Holdouts and a Tof incursion, and the only help he ever got from Tarkin was command of a gunship before a battle during the Clone Wars where they were short on officers and someone else vouched for him.
  • Witness (Good Neighbors): Several of Shouto's coworkers mistakenly believe that Endeavor coddles his son, giving him cushy assignments and treating him well because he's his successor. Those more aware of what's really going on use this misperception to their advantage while turning a blind eye.

    Films — Animation 
  • Despicable Me: Implied to be why the head of the bank insists they should give more loans to Vector, who is his son. Vector, for all his quirks, is genuinely good at being a villain (he did steal the Great Pyramid of Giza without getting caught), but he's not good at monetizing this skill (considering that he never tried to sell the pyramid, hold it for ransom, or use it to make money any other way), so getting loans legitimately would have been hard for him.
  • In Mulan, Li Shang is determined to prove that this isn't why he was made a captain, despite the general who promoted him being his own father.
  • Ratatouille: Linguini gets a job as a cleaner at Gusteau's because his mother was an old flame of the restaurant's deceased owner, Auguste Gusteau. It's later revealed that Linguini is Gusteau's son, and the restaurant is legally his.
  • Sing 2: The producer of Buster's show demands that his spoiled-rotten daughter be given the lead role, despite the fact that she's a horrible actress. When Buster suggests that she switch to a role more suited to her talents (she is a fantastic singer and dancer), she runs straight to Daddy who shuts down the show and almost kills Buster. Zig-zagged in the end; she does eventually accept the lesser role and does a great job, even in defiance of her father who now forbids her from participating.
  • Top Cat: The Movie: Lou Strickland has no experience in the police but becomes the new Chief of Police after his father-in-law's retirement. It's eventually revealed that Strickland was given the position by a robot posing as the former Chief, who doesn't even have a daughter.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In both the film and book of American Psycho, the protagonist Patrick Bateman works at an investment firm which his father practically owns. It is heavily implied that his job is a complete sinecure; the only remotely work-related activity he's shown to do is scheming to get more prestigious accounts assigned to him. (Presumably they're more prestigious because they actually earn money for the business, which is why Patrick is not let near them). Nevertheless, he feels infinitely superior to his brother, who lives on explicit parental handouts because he earns his own money.
  • Played for Drama in Casino; Sam Rothstein is forced to hire an incompetent idiot in a cushy job because he's the brother-in-law of a powerful local official. Rothstein finally gets sick of the guy's incompetence and justifiably fires him. The brother-in-law amiably agrees that the guy's an idiot, and is willing to compromise on his relative holding a less responsible position, but Rothstein is such a perfectionist he refuses. This results in the official causing trouble for him later on.
  • In the film version of Crazy Rich Asians, this is how Kitty (a bad actress) keeps getting jobs; her boyfriend Alistair is financing the films. Amanda also mentions that was how she got the job as the Youngs' general counsel because she grew up around them.
  • In Deewaar, Ravi finds out at the end of a job interview that the position had already been filled by the General Manager's brother-in-law. Afterwards, he tells one of the others who have come for an interview that unless they have a relative who has a high position in the company, they're wasting their time.
  • Die Another Day: It's pretty obvious that the main reason why Colonel Moon even holds such a high rank in the North Korean military, a position that he then abuses for his own gain, is because his father is a General.
  • In District 9, Wikus' father-in-law denies that this is the reason he promoted Wikus to lead the alien eviction team. However, the trope is played with in that it seemingly hates Wikus, and promoted him with the hope that he would get killed or injured.
  • Initially averted in Gladiator when Marcus Aurelius decides to appoint Maximus as his successor, bypassing his own son Commodus. But Commodus himself enforces the trope rather... forcefully.
  • In both the film and novel of The Green Mile, we have Percy Wetmore, an immature, sadistic jerkass who physically and verbally abuses the inmates and mouths off to his superiors. It's established that Percy's uncle is the state governor, and that's pretty much the only reason why he is in the position he's in and any time the other guards try to punish Percy for his behavior, Percy goes "squealing like a schoolroom sissy" to his relatives. Even though Percy was offered a better paying job at a nearby mental institution, he sticks around at the prison because he likes seeing prisoners die. At least until Eduard Delacroix's death.
  • In the Heart of the Sea: George Pollard, Jr. is chosen over Owen Chase as Captain of the Essex because Pollard is coming from a well-established family and his father is one of the investors.* Marvin's Room: The only reason the inexperienced Bob works at the professional center is because his brother, Dr. Wally, personally hired him.
  • Captain Maitland of Kelly's Heroes is a war profiteer who is never seen to lead his men or even pay attention to anything they say, but he goes unpunished because he's a general's nephew.
  • In the movie The Mask, Stanley Ipkiss vents about the nasty supervisor at his job.
    Ipkiss: BACK OFF, Monkey Boy, before I tell your daddy you're running this place like it's your own personal piggy bank. Or maybe we should call the IRS, and see if we can arrange a little vacation for you at Club FED!
  • In Nativity!, Desmond Poppy is hired as an unqualified teaching assistant at St. Bernadette's School because the Headteacher Pat Bevan just happens to be his Aunt.
  • In The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement a relative is not placed in a position of power, but is hired to build the bathroom in Mia's suite, prompting the queen to remark that "nepotism belongs in the arts, not in plumbing."
  • Referenced but subverted in Project A with the hero's newly-promoted superior, Inspector Hong, getting a position of authority because of his uncle being the Marines' Head of Police. Hong proves them wrong by kicking a ton of ass in the final battle and taking down scores and scores of mooks.
  • The Rocketeer: The protagonist's girlfriend auditions for a theatrical role, only to end up as an extra because the director gave the role to his talentless daughter. Fortunately, the lead actor intervenes after realizing how useless the female lead is. Unfortunately, he's the Big Bad.
  • Sky Riders: The main Greek official's aide is his nephew, although the young man seems competent. After the young man gets blown up by a booby-trap, It's Personal for his uncle.
  • The crew of the Spaceball One is largely composed of assholes. Named Asshole. One is a cross-eyed gunner who got his job from his cross-eyed cousin, who's an officer.
  • Young & Wild: After she's expelled from her school before she can take the entrance exam for college, Daniela instead gets a job at the Evangelical TV station apparently through her parents' connections in the community. There she meets Antonia, the niece of the manager (she's not even Evangelical), so it seems to be a standard practice.

    Game Shows 
  • Partway through Series 7 of Taskmaster, Greg gets accused of favoring Rhod Gilbert due to the duo's long-time friendship. During interviews, Kerry Godliman felt that, while it wasn't deliberate their friendship nevertheless gave Rhod an unfair advantage as he could exploit his connections to Greg's family and household to get an edge, while James made it very clear he was 100% genuine in accusing Greg of this and that it was "very annoying, unfair, irritating, and unfortunate to be around". While Greg doesn't admit to it, he does dock points from Rhod after being accused of "bending a knee to him"note , and declare that's going to "put an end to that shit." Rhod ultimately finishes third overall in the series.

  • The secretary asked "How did you get your big executive job? You've only been here three months!" The young man shrugged and said, "I ran into my father and he took a liking to me."
  • "Young man, let me congratulate you, I don't think we've ever seen anyone rise so high and so fast in our company! To think that three months ago, you joined us as an intern, became a manager two weeks later, and on the board of executives a month after that! I don't mind telling you that your name is at the top of the list to take over as CEO once I retire. Is there anything you'd like to say?" "Thanks, dad."
  • A woman goes to a law firm and says "I got fired from my job, and replaced by the CEO's son, a complete idiot who spends the day harassing female employees and making the others do his work. Can you help me?" "Certainly, ma'am. The law firm of Harris, Harris, Harris, Harris, Harris & Sons has a great deal of experience with nepotism."

  • The Belgariad (and Mallorean) make the whole Tolnedran Empire like this; the current ruling house and its supporters hold most government jobs. It's said that even the customs officers change after dynastic succession. This isn't presented as entirely negative: families in the Empire are so extended and politically active the nepotism is less about giving incompetent family members sinecures as about filling positions with people who can be trusted not to be conspiring against the current imperial family.
  • The Berenstain Bears Big Chapter Books: Variant in The Berenstain Bears and the Great Ant Attack — it's implied that Mayor Honeypot keeps getting reelected not because he's related to a superior, but because he's related to half the bears of Bear Country, which is why they keep voting for him.
  • Appears to be the case in one Classic Singapore Horror Stories tale, "Message in a Bottle". The Villain Protagonist is a high-ranking Admiral of a WW-II era Japanese submarine at age 24... and commands a vessel with a crew of 220. His uncle is the leader of the Japanese Secret Police ruling over Singapore during the war.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot: Greg points out that the evaluators for the basketball tryouts appear to favor their own kids over the other kids.
    Greg: Some of the evaluators had kids who were trying out tonight, so I wonder how fair the scoring really was.
  • Defied in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Michael Wenton-Weakes's mother, who upon becoming his boss has him downsized, then tells him to his face the only special treatment he'll get is her telling him his tie has a stain on it.
  • Discworld:
    • Played with in Making Money — Hubert Turvy is a relative of Topsy Turvy-Lavish, the manager of the bank at the beginning of the novel. The bank has for long been the private toy of the Lavish family, so Topsy passes it on to Moist Von Lipwig, who also keeps Hubert around. The reason it's not a straight example is that rather than being incompetent, Hubert is a genius; he's just nuttier than a fruitcake. May be an inversion since in addition to her own nephew being brilliant, the "rightful" heirs the Lavishes are entirely corrupt, incompetent, and just plain awful. (A gathering of Lavishes requires a very careful seating chart based on who's suing who this week.)
    • Played with in Moving Pictures — when CMOT Dibbler takes over Century of the Fruitbat Moving Pictures, he hires his nephew Soll to deal with actually making the clicks. Soll turns out to be pretty competent, but it's not clear how much Dibbler cared. Reference is made to him hiring other nephews; at one point he says to Victor "I've been like an uncle to you", and Gaspode reflects that he's been like an uncle to most people there because he is. When Detritus is made Vice-President of Throwing Out People Mr Dibbler Doesn't Like The Face Of, he intends to hire his nephew.
  • In Dora Wilk Series, the killer in one of the short stories have been getting scot-free on many crimes and other things because his uncle is one of the leaders of Thorn.
  • In the early Garrett, P.I. novels, the city watch is virtually useless, having degenerated into a sinecure for bureaucrats' freeloading nephews and so forth.
  • Plays a significant role in the Honor Harrington universe.
    • Most of the truly incompetent Manticoran officers are kept on the rolls because of powerful relatives in the aristocracy, although the 20 years of war with Haven tends to thin their ranks significantly. There are also some people who reach high rank faster than normal or end up with plum assignments because of their family connections, who end up proving that they have the skill to go along with the rank nonetheless (Michael Oversteegen is the most obvious example, getting a heavy cruiser — a senior-grade captain's slot — while still a captain jay-gee and then using it to blow four enemy heavy cruisers out of space in a single engagement).
      • Also averted with Michelle Henke, who is a noble in her own right as well as standing in succession to the throne (however distant) and is so terrified of being accused of this that it actually holds back her career quite significantly because the admiralty cannot promote her for her actions without fear that she'll see it as nepotism.
      • Considering how often incompetents are shuffled off to "non-critical" posts and how it inevitably spectacularly blows up in their faces when Haven launches a surprise attack there, one wonders why nobody in the Admiralty has wizened up yet and just start beaching or outright discharging incompetents, politics be damned. Then again, we've already seen how incompetent politicals also get in the way of proper governance. It is acknowledged as the biggest weakness of having a House of Lords.
    • Apparently averted with Haven, amusingly: when you meet their officers, very few get their jobs because of having relatives in high places (although to be fair, after two revolutions the people in the high places change significantly).
    • Stated to be one of the problems facing the Solarian military: most of their senior military leadership gets their positions through having relatives who are also senior military leaders.
    • The Mesan Alignment is the trope's logical conclusion; its leadership is composed of clones or carefully chosen and selected/engineered children of other leaders.
  • In Andrei Belyanin's Inverted City, the protagonist is a well-educated but undisciplined Don Cossack named Ilya Ilovayskiy sent by his widowed mother to serve in his late father's host. Who is in command of the host? Why, Ilya's own first cousin once removed General Ilovayskiy XII (Ilya just calls him "uncle"). Ilya's rank in the host is Khorunzhiy, a junior officer rank corresponding to a Second Lieutenant. Ilya frequently pulls stunts and displays the amount of insubordination that would get another Cossack whipped or kicked out (the first thing he does in the novel is steal his uncle's prized Arab horse and nearly gets the horse and himself killed), yet his uncle feels obligated to forgive his nephew in memory of Ilya's father. Given this, it can be easy to see that Ilya got his officer rank not on his own merits.
  • In Robert Sheckley's "King's Wishes", a genie obtains a position at the royal court due to his father being some council member. A Dumb Jock straight from the university, despite 4,000 other candidates. While he expected some easy assignments, like bringing the king gemstones and girls, it turned out the king wanted things like cooling his chambers, which is much more advanced magic. In the end, his only option was traveling to the twentieth century for air conditioners.
  • Legacy of the Dragokin: According to her critics, the only reason Lydia is a general is that her grandfather is The Emperor. Her soldiers know better.
  • In Memoirs of a Geisha, this was why the Chairman's future son-in-law and heir nearly didn't go through with the marriage to his daughter, because he feared the Chairman might change his mind and leave the company to an illegitimate son instead simply because they were blood-related (as had happened to another company to much scandal). This is what led Sayuri to emigrate to America, because, as she put it, a child raised in America would likely never come back to Japan. (Understandably, she's mum on whether she gave birth to the Chairman's son.)
  • Only the Dead Are Cold-Blooded: Downplayed; it isn't clear to what extent Eisenherz is promoting his niece Elena's career in the Security Force, but he does admit to using his position to ensure she's assigned the most suitable training supervisor. Elena realizes he's pulling strings for her and resents it.
  • One of John Hemry's Paul Sinclair books ("Burden Of Proof") has a rising star officer as the chief suspect after an explosion aboard a spaceship. The problem is that he is the son of a vice admiral and, despite evidence of his incompetence and laziness, pursuing a case against him could potentially wreck the protagonist's career.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire the first chapter is from the viewpoint of a character who's been placed under the command of a teenager of noble blood, who's leading his own ranging despite never having been beyond the Wall before. The Night's Watch seems to be vulnerable to this beyond the cultural belief that nobles are more suitable, because it relies on the aid of others to sustain itself, and a lord is more likely to be helpful if his son is a prominent ranger than a random builder (though this can be justified because the noble has appropriate training from a young age). It's noted that the five youngest Lord Commanders of the Watch have all been close relatives of the Lord of Winterfell, and one of them was ten years old.
  • Super Powereds:
    • The premise of the books is that someone has discovered a way to make "Powereds" (people suffering from Power Incontinence) into Supers, giving them full control of their abilities. The main characters are the first test run of the procedure. They all have far-reaching, dangerous powers, and they were chosen because it was more important that they get their powers under control than the guy who teleports randomly every time he sneezes. The exception is Alice Adair, who simply levitates whenever she gets emotional. While hardly pleasant, she just has to stay inside and she's fine. However, her father is the richest man on the planet and owns a significant stake in the company that is running the procedure, so he insists she be part of the first run. It's implied that he knew she was a Gravity Master, and that if she didn't get her power under control before that part of it manifested, she would start leveling buildings. And then in Year 3, it turns out that Alice's father started the entire project to turn his Powered wife into a Super (who is supposedly dead, but actually in a coma). He put his daughter into the program because she is physiologically the closest person on the planet to his wife, and thus the best test case to see if the process would work on her.
    • A notable aversion in Year 2, when Alice joins the Subtlety class. Professor Pendleton absolutely refuses to show her any kindness or support and constantly tries to convince her to give up, since the class is completely outside of her skill set. Even when she does prove her skills, he threatens to throw her out for cheating. The only reason he doesn't is that cheating is part of the point of the class. The reason this is worth pointing out is that Alice is Pendleton's niece (though she doesn't know it), and in fact the only reason he agreed to teach at all was that she was going to the school.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: A large portion of the population of Barrayar is certain that Miles Vorkosigan only got his positions because of his father the Regent/Prime Minister or his foster brother the Emperor. They are mostly wrong. It was nepotism that got Miles into the Imperial Military Academy, despite him not meeting the physical requirements, and nepotism that kept him in the Imperial Service after the Kyril Island incident.
    • Nepotism as a whole is rampant through the series. Though the efforts of Aral and Gregor have for the most part they have eliminated "Vorish nepotism," a large part of gaining promotion is based on who you know. Barrayar remains a place with a hereditary emperor and hereditary nobility (who are all very much Royals Who Actually Do Something); while Miles as a young man is very sensitive on the issue of nepotism, in one of the later books of the series he wryly notes "the whole Barrayaran Vor system runs on nepotism. It's not a vice for us, it's a lifestyle."
  • Warformed Stormweaver:
    • Cashe accuses Rey of this, that some well-off family refused to accept an F-ranked son and got him shoved into one of the best combat schools. Several weeks later, once she realizes that she accused an orphan of using his family connections, she is mortified.
    • On the other hand, Aria is the niece of the academy's commanding officer. While she did genuinely earn everything on her own, she is still getting special one-on-one time with him on a regular basis. When Rey is brigged and she realizes that Reese will never give him permission for a sparring partner (which will set his training back), she goes over his head to get permission from her uncle.
  • Warrior Cats: It's not uncommon for leaders to appoint their family, significant other, best friend or former apprentice deputy.
    • Ashfur calls shenanigans when Brambleclaw is appointed deputy in Sunset, saying how convenient it is that the Number Two should be the leader's daughter's mate despite the fact that Brambleclaw hasn't had an apprentice yet, which goes against the Warrior Code. Ashfur dismisses the fact that the choice was preordained by StarClan, which supplants the Warrior Code, because Leafpool, the medicine cat, happens to be another daughter of the leader, so she could easily be faking their messages to further the position of her family and cats close to it. His complaints are moot because StarClan really does want Brambleclaw to become deputy, and he soon proves himself to be very capable.
    • Raggedstar names his son Brokentail deputy, leading to disaster as Brokentail murders him to become leader faster, and he proves to be a cruel and bloodthirsty one as he advocates mercilessly training Child Soldiers and driving out the weak to fend for themselves.
    • Crookedstar and Onestar both make their siblings (Oakheart and Ashfoot respectively) their deputies. They are good, but they both die before making it to leader.
    • Firestar defies this when he becomes leader; he wants to make his best friend Graystripe deputy, but he realizes it wouldn't go down very well, as Graystripe is being shunned due to mating with a cat from a rival Clan and briefly joining it. Firestar thus decides to choose the wise and popular Whitestorm. Later when Whitestorm is fatally wounded, he encourages Firestar to choose Graystripe as his successor.
  • X-Wing Series: In Wraith Squadron, Jesmin Ackbar tries out for Wedge Antilles's eponymous special operations unit out of desperation to serve on the front lines. She had previously spent most of her career as a Desk Jockey because no New Republic officer wanted to potentially have to explain her death to her famous uncle, Admiral Ackbar. When the elder Ackbar finds out she's been accepted to the squadron, Jesmin makes him promise to forgive Wedge if anything happens to her.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On The 100, Cage Wallace is both the head of Mount Weather's security and heir apparent to the Hereditary Republic, thanks to being the President's son. When actually given full control of Mount Weather, he tends to screw up royally.
  • An old Bob Saget episode of America's Funniest Home Videos once featured a production video in which the ultimate horror of the workplace was "The Boss's Kid".
  • AlloAllo: Herr Otto Flick, the ruthless, yet incompetent head of the Nouvion Gestapo escapes being sent to the Russian Front only through the happy coincidence that he is the Godson of Heinrich Himmler.
  • Andor: After getting his company taken over and nationalized by the Empire, and himself and all his co-workers fired, Syril Karn is able to get another job through his uncle Harlo.
  • This gets played with on Bad Blood. Mob boss Vito Rosetti got his position because he is the son of the previous Don Nico Rosetti. However, everyone, including Nico, agrees that Vito is the more competent mob boss and is the one primarily responsible for making the Rosetti Family the most powerful mob family in Eastern Canada. Vito always makes a big deal about the importance of family but he actually sidelines his own son Nico Jr and promotes Declan Gardener, a man with no family ties to the Rosetti clan, to be his Number Two. He justifies this by claiming that he is preparing Nico to be the head of a legitimate Rosetti business empire and Declan's loyalty and long service to the Family has made him an honorary Rosetti in Vito's eyes. This all falls apart when Vito goes to prison and an attempt is made on Nico Jr's life. Vito tells Declan that he is just an employee and that Vito would gladly sacrifice him to protect his real son.
  • Extensively played with in Battlestar Galactica. Lee Adama gets accused of this by Kendra Shaw concerning his assignment to command of the Battlestar Pegasus by his Admiral father, which "your daddy just gave to you, like he was tossing you the keys to a new car". However, Adama only appointed him to the post after first going through two senior officers who both died in quick succession. Likewise with Lee becoming President — while Adama was committing something close to a military coup by refusing to recognize Zarek's control of the Colonial government despite being legally entitled to that position, Zarek was an unreliable power-seeker and Lee one of the few people available who he could trust. Baltar also espouses this for sympathy baiting in his political writings when he questions whether the fleet will ever be run by someone whose last name isn't Adama. But while the above examples are justified, Adama senior does have a strong tendency to let Lee, his assumed daughter Kara, and others close to him get away with a lot of crap and spends an inordinate amount of time and manpower to search for Thrace when she is stranded on a planet, even at the expense of fleet security.
  • Best of Friends (1963): Charles' boss at the insurance office is his Uncle Sidney, who wishes he could fire him but can't as he is his nephew.
  • Blue Bloods:
    • In this case, there is no string-pulling (indeed The Patriarch often goes to dramatic lengths to make clear to the public that he is NOT doing this). Rather the Reagan family are brought up with tradition and heroic tales of police work until they each determine to become competent cops on their own account. Frank is actually worried that Danny might have been transferred to Major Case as order to curry favour with him since he worries that Danny is a Cowboy Cop and might not be qualified for the job.
    • Played with in one episode. An officer's name is recommended to him for promotion, which he initially rejects because he's the son of one of the chiefs and the name came recommended by Grandpa Henry. Frank is trying to avoid developing an "old boys club". Then he interviews the officer in question, who to his surprise agrees with him that he shouldn't be promoted because of connections. Frank is so impressed by the officer's humility that, coupled with his favorable record, he gives him the promotion after all.
  • The Borgias is almost centered around this with its depiction Pope Alexander VI and his family (especially Cesare Borgia).
  • Cases of the 1st Department: Ondrej Kavalir is a young intern who works with the 1st department. He is a son of somebody important from the presiding committee, the highest division of the Police. Head of the department likes him because he likes political advantages and loyal people. His colleagues are not too thrilled about young Ondrej because he makes lots of mistakes. He's not absolutely hopeless, but his last mistake is massive and he doesn't join the 1st department permanently. However, he was considered to replace Petr Andel who is a much better and much more experienced policeman.
  • Deputy: Hollister is accused of this for aiding his godson Joseph who thinks the LAPD got it wrong in arresting his friend for murder. Joseph turns out to be right though, and they both deny any nepotism, saying he was just standing with one of his deputies.
  • In one episode of Diagnosis: Murder, the killer is a doctor who wants his son to follow him into the medical profession despite his son's obvious incompetence, to the point that he secretly arranges for his son to be given the answers to one of his medical exams before he sits it, and murders another student who finds out about the cheating and threatens to expose it.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Woman Who Fell to Earth", it's implied to be the reason Karl, who has acrophobia, works as a crane operator, which gives him self-esteem issues as a result. He tells the Doctor it's his dad's company.
  • In The Dukes of Hazzard, Boss Hogg's incompetent sheriff, Roscoe, is his brother-in-law.
  • ER: In the show's later seasons, Dr. Simon Brenner joins the staff and is soon revealed to be the nephew of former Chief of Staff Donald Anspaugh, making him both an example of this and Nephewism. (What's more, nepotism is from the Greek word for. . . nephew). However, despite his Jerkass ways, he never throws his familial connections around and is an excellent physician.
  • An undercurrent to Extraordinary Attorney Woo is how personal connections can both help and hurt.
    • Young-woo was hired because, unbeknownst to her, her father and her boss were classmates in law school. When this becomes public, it causes resentment within the firm and comes close to breaking Young-woo's relationship with her father.
    • Similarly, when Tae Soo-mi offers Young-woo a job at Taesan while not knowing their familial connection, the latter declines as she would face other accusations of nepotism if it came out that they are mother and daughter.
    • Han Seon-young and Tae Soo-mi are powerful women in a male-dominated field but it's acknowledged that they probably wouldn't have achieved that level of success if they hadn't inherited their firms from their fathers.
    • Having seen Young-woo struggle to get hired (she's neurodivergent), Family Man Gwang-ho confesses that he regrets not pursuing a legal career because if he did, he could have hired Young-woo himself and left a firm for her to inherit.
    • Episode 6 touches on this quite a few times:
      • Subverted in the first hearing, where the judge, Soo-yeon, and the prosecutor all discuss their connections with the first. That discussion ends up having no relevance to the plot.
      • Played straight much later on where Soo-yeon uses her connections as the daughter of a judge to enter the judge's chambers and try to plead their case. It works.
    • A female lawyer weaponizes this against a male judge when they learn they're both from the same clan. The judge patronizingly asks for the lawyer's father's generation name, thinking it'll give him the opportunity to talk down to her. However, the lawyer reveals that while she's younger than the judge, she's technically a generation above him, making her a distantly related aunt and forcing him to show her due deference so as not to be seen as a hypocrite by everyone else in the room.
  • In Family Matters, Carl Winslow was more than ready to be Captain, but his superior decides to give the position to his Son. However, instead of an arrogant man, the New Captain is actually a nice guy who values the Carl's opinions on every matter. When Carl manages to defuse a nasty gang war, His new Captain says that he rather go back to his old position (as he was content with it), and have Carl take it, since he's proven he deserves it. Needing no further opinions, Carl was granted the promotion.
  • Game of Thrones: This is usual in Westeros, but Reginald Lannister is a peculiar case that openly annoys his benefactor.
    Reginald: We've worked through the night, my Lord. Perhaps we'd profit from some sleep.
    Tywin: Yes, I think you would, Reginald. And, because you're my cousin, I might even let you wake from that sleep! Go! I'm sure your wife must miss you.
    Reginald: ...My wife's in Lannisport...
    Tywin: Well, then you'd better start riding. (Beat) Go, before I change my mind and send her your head! If your name wasn't Lannister, you'd be scrubbing out pots in the cook's tent. Go.
    • In House of the Dragon, King Viserys tried to appoint his mercurial younger brother Daemon at various Small Council jobs (minister jobs, basically) only for him to suck at them. The final one, Commander of the City Watch, seemingly worked pretty well but then Daemon left the court altogether for his own pursues.
  • In a few episodes of The George Lopez Show, his boss's son works there and doesn't do much of anything. George also gets Max a temporary job there to show him the meaning of hard work.
  • Get Shorty: The incompetent Small Name, Big Ego Yago obviously received and maintains his position as cartel boss Amara's lieutenant by being her nephew.
  • Hacks: Kayla is nice but The Ditz who has no idea how to be anyone's assistant. Jimmy however is stuck with her even when she violated the HR rules as she can't be fired due to her father being the boss, whom she's very close with.
  • Probably the only reason why Hiro hasn't been sacked from his job in Heroes. At least he has the proper excuse of running/teleporting around saving the world.
    • In the Volume 3 episode "The Butterfly Effect", when Angela becomes the head of the Company following Sylar's murder of Bob Bishop, her first act as the new boss is to fire his daughter Elle, telling her point-blank that the only reason they kept her around for so long was because of Bob's influence.
  • Almost a running gag in Hogan's Heroes: low-level officers (captains and lieutenants) are constantly showing up, nominally working under Klink, and pushing him around. Whenever he tries to discipline them, they always turns out to be a general or field marshall's nephew. In one episode, Hogan even disguises a Russian soldier as such an officer. After he's annoyed Klink for a while, Hogan has him "disowned" by his "uncle", and Klink sends him to the Russian Front — where he's been insisting on going all episode.
  • House of Saddam: Saddam Hussein places members of his family in high-positions of power once he becomes President. In an ironic twist, Saddam's predecessor was his own cousin, who had made Saddam his deputy before being overthrown.
  • Is It Legal?: Colin’s only at the firm because his father retired and transferred his partnership to him.
  • This is inverted in season 3 of Justified. The corrupt sheriff and his sister despise each other and he would never contemplate using his position to get her a job. However, on election day it is 'discovered' that she is actually an employee of the county and this violates local anti-nepotism laws. The sheriff is disqualified from running and his opponent becomes the new sheriff. Boyd Crowder bribed the sister and the county clerk to put her name on the payroll list so that Boyd's candidate would win the election.
  • Subverted in Just Shoot Me!: the boss's daughter is the only person in the whole show who is competent.
  • Zig-zagged in Season 17 of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, when the Chief manages to get his son Mike installed as Benson's second-in-command. It's played straight in the sense that the way Mike gets the job is nepotistic — the Chief basically hands the position to Mike, allowing him to bypass the normal interview process and not even giving Benson a choice in the matter — but subverted in the sense that Mike is in fact good at his job (to the point where he likely could have been a viable candidate for the position even without his father's influence), eventually earning the genuine respect of the rest of the unit. An unusual case in that Mike doesn't seek out these favors and in fact doesn't seem particularly thrilled with his father's string-pulling; his father does it of his own accord, often without even asking Mike what he wants.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Isildur gets himself and his two friends Valandil and Ontamo kicked out of the Sail Master's ship for being neglectful. Valandil is rightfully angry at Isildur, because unlike his friend, he does not have noble blood nor a father who is the Captain of Sea Guard with ties everywhere. He accuses Isildur for taking everything for granted especially when he never had to work hard for something in his life.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: The "Conquistador Coffee" sketch presents the sales rep being dressed down by his boss for causing the ruination of the company with his sales campaign ("Conquistador Coffee brings new meaning to the word 'vomit'"). All he can say back is "Sorry, father."
  • On Murphy Brown, the head of the network (played by Gary Marshall) put his nephew (Paul Rubens) in charge of the Show Within a Show FYI.
  • One sketch on Not the Nine O'Clock News saw a football team manager called onto the red carpet for a dressing down by a representative of the board over the team's dismal performance, which turned out to be a result of ridiculously rampant nepotism- every single player on the team was related to the manager, including his 81-year old mother playing on the left wing and his dog as goalkeeper. When the board representative sarcastically exclaimed that he was surprised the manager wasn't playing his cat, the manager defensively claimed it had a groin strain. At the end, the board representative told the manager that they'd decided to give him one last chance to win in order to preserve his job, in response to which the manager appreciatively thanked his uncle.
  • Used in the Season 7 premiere of The Office which is actually named "Nepotism", in which Michael Scott hires his nephew Luke as the new office assistant due to having been estranged from him and his mother (Michael's half-sister). However, Luke is an apathetic and horrible assistant who messes up everything (even simple things as buying coffee or ice cream) and uses his laser pointer to annoy the staff members during a meeting, which eventually leads to Michael spanking him, at which point he runs off and quits.
  • In Other Space the crew of the UMP Cruiser has some issues with this: the crew members Stewart picks are his childhood best friend and the girl he has a crush on, while their science officer is the son of a UMP executive and bluntly states that he's there because of nepotism and does not want to be there. Even the ship's computer was designed to deal cards and is partially there to add the names of their sponsors to their first contact message. Stewart's sister Karen may have also been placed there because of their relationship — specifically that they were hoping she wouldn't attempt a coup against the captain if it was her brother (she does). That's five out of seven crew members, not counting the stowaway.
  • Our Miss Brooks:
    • In the episode "Cafeteria Strike", Mr. Conklin hires Mr. Turnbull, his unemployed brother-in-law, as the school chef. His cooking is so bad the students at Madison High School boycott the cafeteria.
    • In "New Gym Instructor", Miss Brooks is given the opportunity to choose the new gym instructor. Mr. Conklin tries to get Miss Brooks to choose his brother, Sam Conklin.
    • In "Twins at School", Mr. Conklin tries to get Miss Brooks fired so he can hire his sister in her place.
  • Back in the early days of Parks and Recreation, during an interview Leslie mentions her mother is a big political figure in Pawnee and helped her with her job interview...and then immediately tells the reporters it wasn't Nepotism. But Characterization Marches On and Leslie showed the real reason she has her job.
    • In a later episode, Ben is trying to be a tougher boss to his interns in Washington D.C., then learns the hard truth about politics:
      Ben: Ellis is Congressman Murray’s nephew, Nathaniel is related to Donald Rumsfeld, and Britney’s dad is Ben Bernanke’s dentist. Every single one of these twerps is seriously connected. So, new plan: instead of firing them, I am going to kiss their asses like crazy.
  • Power Rangers Beast Morphers: Implied at one point. General Burke is leader of Grid Battleforce, and his children, Ben and Betty, are security officers (and assistants in pretty much any department that needs them). On learning of the relationship, Zoey comments that "That explains a lot." The Rangers don't mind though, because, despite the siblings' periodic bumbling, they're genuinely nice people, honest in their desires to help out, and competent in the field when push comes to shove.
    • Subverted with Ravi. His mother is the Commander for Grid Battleforce but shows no favortisim and treats him like the rest of her staff.
  • Punky Brewster has a part-time job as a server at her foster father's restaurant Punky's Place during seasons three and four of her eponymous sitcom.
  • Radio Enfer: When Jean-Lou asks Carl how to get a job, the latter tells him to bring a CV to whichever company he wants to work for. Jean-Lou then asks what they will do with the CV, to which Carl jokingly replies that they usually throw it to the garbage and hire the boss' children.
  • The Sopranos:
    • Zig-Zagged by Chris. He isn't totally incompetent and his status as Tony's cousin/"nephew" doesn't exempt him from hazing like random strip searches and having to buy everyone's meals. However, he rises up the ranks much faster than he probably would on his own merits, and is allowed far more free passes and second chances than Tony would ordinarily grant. Played straight when Tony privately tells Chris that he plans to eventually make Chris his Underboss rather than any of his longer serving and more qualified soldiers solely because he is “blood”.
    • Subverted by Jackie Junior, who feels that since he is the son of a legendary mafioso, he is entitled to be a powerful and respected mob boss. Nobody takes him seriously, Tony actively prevents him from getting involved in anything, and his attempts to be a badass criminal end up getting him killed.
    • "Little Carmine" Lupertazzi is a straight example, he really isn't cut out for the mafia, and likely wouldn't have ended up with the kind of money and influence he has if it weren't for his dad.
    • Subverted by Bobby 'Bacala' Baccalieri. He marries Tony's sister, but his rise from Junior's flunky to #3 in the family is accompanied by him revealing himself to be much more competent and reliable than his initial appearances indicated.
  • The Spy: Ma'azi is a rather trivial and untalented man, but his uncle is a powerful Syrian general, so he has more authority than his rank would suggest.
  • Stath Lets Flats: Michael and Eagle is owned and managed by Vasos, who keeps his children, Stath and Sophie, on the payroll despite their incompetence.
  • Succession focuses on a family-owned media empire. The patriarch is a skilled and ruthless businessman, but he's given his pampered and rather incompetent children high-ranking positions in the company that they're obviously not qualified for.
  • One episode of The Thin Blue Line has Grim wanting to join a secret society called the "Todgers". He proudly rattles off a list of why he thinks they are better than the Freemasons, including better costumes and ceremonies — until Fowler chips in with "... and better nepotism."
  • Veep eventually reveals how the incompetent, unlikable Jonah Ryan got a job in the White House: His uncle basically controls all the politics in New Hampshire.
  • On Vegas Ralph Lamb is appointed as the new sheriff of Las Vegas and immediately hires his brother and son as deputies despite them having no policing experience. He is taking on the Mob and he needs deputies he can trust explicitly. He does get called out on this a few times by other law enforcement officials.
  • The Wheel of Time (2021): Liandrin accused Siuan of favoring Moiraine as she'd been with the Blue Ajah alongside her before being raised to Amyrlin. This is doubtless why they keep the fact they're lovers a secret, since it would only make this worse.
  • The Wire: This is a big part of the show's thesis on why systems on both sides of the law don't work very well.
    • D'Angelo Barksdale is a softie and not really cut out for the game. However, his kinship as Avon Barksdale's nephew gives him great leeway.
    • The dangerously incompetent Roland Pryzbylewski owes his police career to being the son-in-law of the influential Major Stan Valchek. He's prone to overreacting and panicking when out in the field, which causes all sorts of problems in his career that Valchek can't erase. Sadly, Prez is actually quite competent when analyzing data and working the paper trail. If he'd relied on his own devices to pursue a career based on his strengths rather than accept a handout from his father-in-law, he's probably have made a great analyst for the FBI or CIA.
    • Proposition Joe has a big problem with this, his nephew Cheese being a major, but not the worst, example. His organization is not depicted in much detail but it is suggested he suffers from being Surrounded by Idiots.
      Sergei: Family cannot be helped.
      Joe: Who you tellin'? I got motherfucking nephews and in-laws fucking all my shit up all the time, and it ain't like I can pop a cap in their ass and not hear about it Thanksgiving day. For real, I'm livin' life with some burdensome niggas.
    • Another of Proposition Joe's nephews is Drac, the talkingest motherfucker ever heard on a wiretap. He is so incompetent that he doesn't even speak in drug slang ("COCAINE, NIGGA!"). The Major Crimes Unit even contemplates busting a dealer higher up the chain in hopes that Drac gets promoted. When Burrell asks Daniels why he thinks Drac will get promoted even though he's a knucklehead, Daniels replies, "We do it all the time", which Burrell chuckles at.
    • Frank Sobotka, along with his son Ziggy and nephew Nick. In one scene, Ziggy is cursing out a customer for being impatient. Frank assures the customer he'll square things with the customer's shipping agent, and yells at Ziggy, telling him he's fired. Frank storms off, and Ziggy looks at the customer contemptuously before wandering off as well. La La informs the customer Ziggy is Frank's son, and so the "firing" was just for show.
    • Namond Brice got pushed by his mother De'Londa into street dealing. He coasts on his incarcerated father Wee-Bey's name and street reputation, but everybody realizes he's not cut out to be a player. Everybody, that is, except his own mother, who seems to think Namond could build a street empire the way Wee-Bey did with Stringer and Avon—with disastrous results. Colvin sees potential in Namond and eventually persuades Wee-Bey to give parental custody to him.
  • Despite his father being the deputy director of the FBI, Without a Trace's Martin Fitzgerald makes it clear from the first episode that he neither wants nor expects any special treatment. His supervisor bluntly tells him, "Good, because you're not getting any." Despite this, for the duration of the show, he had to fight accusations of it—it's assumed that the very reason he got such a plum position so soon after graduating from the academy is because of this and for the first few episodes, he overcompensates to prove his mettle—his father's attempts at displaying it—protecting him from an Internal Affairs investigation—and people determined to bring him down to prove that it wasn't happening.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The closer you are to someone higher on the card (specifically those in the main event), the more likely you're going to get a push. Especially when that person is Hulk Hogan.
  • Arguably justified in the territory days as promoters often worry about the revolving door of wrestlers going through their respective promotions, especially if they're the champion. While this likely causes those who benefit from this to be resented by the other wrestlers, they understand that while their success may be due to their relationship with the promoter, at least that promoter can depend on them as he knows they are less likely to leave his promotion for another.
  • Nearly every booker in the history of professional wrestling is guilty of this, at least to some degree. When Dusty Rhodes became booker of WCW back in the early nineties, his son Dustin (aka Goldust) got pushed to the moon, but he at least had talent — Erik Watts, son of Bill Watts, was absolutely terrible but he got pushed at the expense of everyone else. The fans were aware of this and had no issue booing Erik out of the arena. Watts can at least claim he looked the part though,note  something that couldn't be said for Greg Gagne (son of AWA promoter Verne) or George Gulas (son of Memphis promoter Nick), in fact Nick Gulas' insistence on pushing his son is to blame for his territory going under and getting taken over by Jerry Jarrett (father of Jeff, who you can read more about below.)
    • In fact, it's widely believed that the reason Dustin went to WWF after he was fired from WCW (for blading in the infamously bad "King of the Road" match, which he must have known was against company policy) instead of letting Dusty get him rehired again was because he wanted a chance to make a career for himself out of his father's shadow and away from accusations of nepotism. It drove a rift between the two of them for years, but they made up eventually (helped by the fact that Goldust became such an iconic character).
    • Kevin Nash stated in a promo on WCW Monday Nitro that this was part of the reason he and Scott Hall (then known as Vinnie Vegas and The Diamond Studd, respectively) left WCW to go up north and become Diesel and Razor Ramon.
    Nash: "WCW was nothing but a bunch of guys pushing their sons, if you didn't have a dad in the business you couldn't even get an opportunity! Scott Hall was here, I was here, Scott Hall was ready to become a superstar. Hey, I was a little green. But Scott Hall was ready to become a superstar, and you know what you did? He worked here for a year, he proved himself, you cut his salary! So he went elsewhere!"
  • If you're a second- and/or third-generation wrestler, expect a little favoritism. Ric Flair's son David didn't even want to be a wrestler (he wanted to be a state trooper), but the large paychecks WCW was paying him changed his mind. The fans are very vocal about their hatred of this treatment unless the wrestler proves to have actual talent. Special mention must go to The Rock, who debuted as goody-two-shoes Rocky Maivia (grandson of High Chief Peter Maivia) and was absolutely hated. "Die, Rocky, Die!" chants were not uncommon — until Rocky turned heel, joined The Nation of Domination, let himself loose on the mic and became one of the two biggest wrestling superstars in history.
    • Ric's daughter, Charlotte, is even worse than her brother. Not only was she well protected and rarely loss a match throughout her career, she won the Divas Championship within a few months after debuting in the main roster, and from then on, winning more championships than any women in less than ten years. Though she makes up for it with her skills, her constant presence in the main roster tend to halt the push of every other women, earning Charlotte a significant heat. Some fans even nicknamed her "Romona Reigns". Ric is now more or less Persona Non Grata in WWE since the "Plane Ride From Hell" episode of Dark Side of the Ring hit the airwaves (and later signing with AEW won't help),note  and WWE thinks they've found a new female megastar in Rhea Ripley, so Charlotte's run on top might be about finished.
  • TNA is even worse than WCW in this regard, if that was even possible. Though, it was at its absolute worst during the Hulk Hogan/Eric Bischoff era, who, of course, brought in their guys and put the spotlight on them while basically pushing all the homegrown talent down the card. Dixie, a well-known money mark, did nothing to dissuade them and was even guilty of this herself at times, especially when it comes to Vince Russo.
    • It was so apparent that they eventually lampshaded it by debuting Ethan Carter III (NXT's Derrick Bateman), Dixie Carter's (kayfabe) nephew, who was showered with all sorts of attention in the narmiest way possible. Ironically, he's very popular with whatever is left of TNA's dwindling fanbase.
    • TNA owes its very existence to this trope — the promotion was born after WCW folded. Jerry Jarrett created it to not only replace WCW but to also put the spotlight on his son, Jeff Jarrett. Though eventually they lost control of the company to Dixie, and the nepotism became so bad under her rule that even Jeff was sick of it, tried to buy the company back, and when that didn't work, left and started another promotion.note 
    • Then there was Garrett Bischoff. Garrett actually does seem to have talent, but he's still very green and got shilled by every main-eventer in the promotion, which did not endear him to the fans all that much.
    • Brooke Hogan. Despite having no talent as a performer, not even being a wrestler, she got a disproportionate amount of screen-time — her romantic storyline with Bully Ray eventually became the main event angle of TNA, which just screams of nepotism.
  • More recently in the WWE, it's been said Roman Reigns has been getting a Main Event push because of his Anoa'i family ties along with having the look and size Vince loves despite the fans having turned on him by WrestleMania 31. That being said, Roman worked hard to improve in the last year and it became very clear that he does have talent. The problem is that the company still has no idea how to write his character and refused to let him use the one character that worked until it was too late, so people still hate the character despite him being a face. Occasionally, brilliance shines through, though it's muddled up by the company's terrible writing. Eventually, it took The Reveal of him being a cancer survivor in late 2018 and then finally turning heel in late 2020 for him to finally get over with the fans and justify the company's support of him.
    • While Roman finally managed to win the fans over, the same accusations came to be leveled at Nia Jax, distantly related to Roman and The Rock (her father is The Rock's grandfather's first cousin). While she isn't as overpushed as Roman was, the backlash against her is far more vehement as, despite her intimidating size and presence, she's not only a mediocre ring worker, but she's proven to be a dangerous performer, repeatedly injuring other women she has to work with. WWE has been heavily criticized for continuing to employ her despite calls for her to be sent back to developmental for further training at best, or be released at worst, before she cripples someone.note 
  • As with so many other things in wrestling, Vince McMahon is the king of this trope. Not only did he make himself one of the WWE's most prominent villains during the Attitude Eranote , but his children Shane and Stephanie have also had prominent roles as onscreen characters. Like Dusty and Dustin Rhodes above, it's mitigated somewhat by Vince and his kids having genuine charisma and skill at drawing heel heat, and have even wrestled decent matches themselves. It also doesn't hurt that they've had multiple occasions of being Butt Monkeys who suffer from Laser-Guided Karma. However, it did manage to infamously ruin The InVasion Angle when the angle started with Shane buying WCW out from under Vince and Stephanie buying out ECW and the two children teaming up to take on their father, turning the angle from the "WWF vs WCW (and ECW)" story that everyone wanted to see into yet another "McMahon vs McMahon" affair.
    • This also ties in to Triple H and his "Reign of Terror" in the mid-00's, as he just happens to be Stephanie's husband, who just happened to be Head of Creative from roughly 2002 to sometime in the mid 2010s. Triple H was able to parlay said marriage into becoming "Content Director" (in other words, booker) himself in 2022 when Vince was (temporarily) ousted from the company, and was retained in that position when WWE was sold to the parent company of UFC in 2023. Fortunately this appears to be a case of Tropes Are Not Bad: Triple's H marriage to Stephanie and subsequent entrance into Vince's inner circle meant he was able to spend the last 20 years learning how to be a wrestling executive, and so far he's actually done a fantastic job.
  • A milder example cropped up in All Elite Wrestling when they hired Dr. Luther, a bona-fide ring oldie who just entered his 50s, on the basis that he's a very old friend of top star Chris Jericho. The general consensus of the fans is that it's hard to say that Luther has Still Got Itnote  (unlike Jericho, who's having one of the best runs of his career) and his ring work is considered mediocre at best, but since he's not pushed and hangs around the lower card mostly putting over young up-and-comers it's considered a harmless enough case of Jericho doing a favour for an old friend.
  • Played with in regards to Dominik Mysterio. Dominik's been appearing on WWE TV sporadically since he was a child, but didn't start training to become an actual wrestler until 2018. However, because of his father Rey Mysterio, he was allowed to bypass WWE NXT entirely and was immediately given a spot on the main roster once he was competent enough to be watchable in the ring, something that's usually reserved for more experienced wrestlers who were already world-famous, such as Sting or AJ Styles. The only reason this didn't get more complaints is because Dominik was rarely booked strongly, mainly acting as an accessory to his father's storylines. All of this later served as fodder for his Face–Heel Turn, whereupon it became openly acknowledged that for all his talent, the only reason Dominik had a spot in WWE right now instead of working his way up like everyone else was because of Rey's influence, which became a component of his heel character.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The French satirical show Les Guignols de l'Info had a field day mocking President Nicolas Sarkozy's various attempts at putting his son Jean in posts of high responsibility.
  • One of the less blatant examples is Scooter from The Muppet Show, whose uncle owns the theater. He's only a gofer, but still portrayed as fairly naive and incompetent, and still gets his way when he drops his uncle's name. By the second season, he's mostly over it.

  • Our Miss Brooks:
    • In the episode "Cafeteria Strike", Mr. Conklin hires Mr. Turnbull, his unemployed brother-in-law, as the school chef. His cooking is so bad the students at Madison High School boycott the cafeteria.
  • In one of the Storyteller sketches on John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme, he describes how he applied to work a bank, and met with the irascible owner, who immediately gave him a job. And that's how he became a manager at Finnemore and Finnemore.

  • Allegro averts this. Even though Charlie, after becoming a doctor, works under his uncle, Physician-in-Chief Bigby Denby, he isn't portrayed as incompetent and has a conscience that his uncle lacks. (It's worth noting in this context that Oscar Hammerstein II spent most of his early career writing shows for his uncle Arthur.)
  • In Cesare - Il Creatore che ha distrutto, it's just taken for granted that this is how the church works in the early Renaissance. Your father got the pope to make your a cardinal before you're 20? Good — use it to try to make Italy a better place, whatever that means to you. A good bit of the story involves Cesare trying to get Giovanni de'Medici to grow some depth, stop being the golden boy who churns out perfectly pre-packaged answers in class, and use his unique position for good.
  • In City of Angels, Buddy Fidler employs his nephew as a gofer. No wonder he refers to the movie industry as a "business of refuse and nephews."
  • Axel, the main character of Don't Drink the Water, is embarrassingly incompetent at his job and only has it because his dad is the boss. He really is a good guy, he's just in the wrong career.
  • The antagonist of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is the boss's nephew.
  • In the Musical A New Brain, while Gordon is in the hospital, his boss keeps threatening to replace him with the boss's son.

    Video Games 
  • General Knoxx of Borderlands works for "Admiral Mikey", who takes this trope to the logical extreme by being a literal toddler. Hilarity Ensues. Doesn't really help that Knoxx is one of the few antagonists of Borderlands that you (could) have sympathy with. Of course the game itself acknowledges itself as a big joke.
    General Knoxx: I work for children... literally, the admiral is five. Goddamned nepotism. When I asked for orders, he sent me a box filled with melted chocolate and a birthday card made from macaroni.
    • In the sequel, it seems that this trope is probably the reason that Axton was able to stay in the Dahl military as long as he could, as his wife was his commanding officer. Eventually, however, his antics went a mite too far (specifically, leveling a building filled with terrorists, as well as a dignitary he was supposed to protect) and his wife made him go AWOL, as well as more or less divorcing him.
    • In a meta example, head writer Anthony Burch is not above joking that nepotism played a role in his sister Ashly getting the role of Tiny Tina as well as a DLC focused around said character. As Ashley herself once told, he unintentionally created Tiny Tina's characterization based off of his sister, and she ended up being the best audition for the part anyway.
  • Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten: It's all but stated this is how Emizel, son of President Hugo, got his position as the head of the Abaddon assassination task squad. He tries using his father's name and position as a way to gain power and recognition, only for Valvatorez and Fenrich to not only laugh it off, but then defeat him multiple times. After joining the party, Valvatorez eventually gives Emizel a challenge — to step out of his father's shadow and make a name for himself, a task he succeeds at by the end of the game.
  • Fallout: New Vegas:
    • General Lee Oliver of the NCR supposedly got his position through cronyism via his close ties to President Kimball. Naturally, he is an inept commander who is more concerned with his own reputation than the lives of his men.
    • Henry Jamison, the son of a wealthy NCR family, gets the job of running the New Vegas branch of the Crimson Caravan despite being woefully unprepared for the job, and his family ties mean that he can't be fired, so Alice McLafferty tasks the player with convincing Henry to quit. In an interesting twist on this trope, it's revealed that his family didn't arrange for his job out of charity for a relative, but to get him out of the way.
  • Fallout 4 introduces Arthur Maxson, last seen as a child in Fallout 3, the leader of the Commonwealth Brotherhood of Steel, who took over as leader of the Brotherhood when he was still an adolescent. It's strongly implied he only got the position because of his lineage since the Maxsons founded the Brotherhood. He was appointed by the Lost Hills Elders and actually wields less power than them and is implied to be taking orders from them, strongly implying he's actually a Puppet King.
    • In the Institute storyline, the leader of the Institute "Father" eventually promotes the player character as his heir despite the fact that they're potentially not all that qualified due to claiming that they have the capacity for actual leadership rather than simply scientific ability, though the fact that they are actually his biological parent is certainly a major motivation.
  • Fire Emblem Engage: Citrinne, a relative of Brodia's royal family, sometimes fears that she's not up to to her job as her cousin Prince Alcryst's retainer, since she got her position through family connections. As such, her supports with Chloe show that she pushes herself hard in her training in order to be strong enough to protect Alcryst. She also bonds with her fellow retainer Lapis over how each feels as though something is holding them back- for Lapis, it's her humbler origins, while for Citrinne, it's her lack of strength.
  • The player character of Good Job! is the child of the featured company's CEO, and as such is mostly graded on how quickly they get tasks done — regardless of how much damage they cause to the company in the process.
  • Played with in Mass Effect 3. Primarch Victus' son, Lieutenant Victus, a so-so officer, was given a big assignment, disarming a centuries-old turian bomb on Tuchanka, which he screwed up horribly at first. His failure worked both ways: it looked horrible for the Lieutenant for failing his mission, and even worse for his father because he's accused of this trope (promoting someone to a position they're unsuited for is considered to be a failure on the part of the promoter in the Turian Hierarchy).
    • It does end up working out in the end, unusually for this trope.
    • Also it wasn't totally because of nepotism, but actually because his father trusted him to be able to follow orders and keep his mouth shut because their mission was top secret and would really piss the Krogan off if they found out.
  • In Pokémon Ranger, the Go-Rock Quads, admins of the Go-Rock Squad, are the children of the Big Bad. They're not especially incompetent, but at one point you can catch a Commander grumbling about how he'll never get promoted because he's not related to the boss.
  • In Portal 2, Wheatley accuses a work foreman robot of having done this by passing up Wheatley for a promotion in lieu of... an exact copy of himself.
  • It's implied in the StarCraft fluff that General Edmund Duke only got to be in command because the Dukes are one of the Old Families who have tremendous influence on the Confederate government. He himself is a clear example of General Failure (his one great victory in the game is against his own people since he knows all about them).
  • Claude C. Kenny, protagonist of Star Ocean: The Second Story, feels pressure from this, as revealed in flashbacks. Some cadets believe that Claude only got to his position because of his father Ronyx Kenny, a high ranking member of The Federation and one of the heroes of Star Ocean.
  • Suikoden IV features a variant with Snowe Vingerhut. While his father Vincent isn't a member of the Knights of Gaien himself, he is the richest man in Razril, and provides most of the funding for the military outpost (as the mainland has been largely neglecting the area). Vincent uses this to blackmail Commander Glen into giving his son preferential treatment, putting Snowe in leadership positions that he is in no way qualified or prepared for.
  • In Super Lesbian Animal RPG, Javis puts his four "sons" into power as commanding officers of the operation to take over the planet Reverie, despite them being magically created from his life essence only days prior. He proceeds to lampshade this.
    Javis: Some may accuse me of nepotism for putting my four sons in charge, especially when they're mere days old. To that, I say: I do not care!
  • In This Is the Police you play Jack Boyd, the Police Chief of Freeburg who is being forced into retirement because the city's corrupt mayor wants to give the job to one of his relatives. At first it seems like he is going to give the job to his nephew before announcing that his brother-in-law will take over instead.
    • A local businessman contacts you and offers to donate enough money to the police department that you can hire three additional police officers. His only condition is that you hire his nephew as one of the officers. The guy is incompetent and has the lowest skill level possible in the game. You cannot fire him without losing the funding but assigning him to certain tasks might result in him quitting on his own which does not penalize you.
  • In Total War: Warhammer, the High Elf faction has Influence as a secondary resource, representing espionage, backdoor dealings, and the like. Whenever they recruit lords or heroes they can choose to expend Influence to get characters with positive starting traits, or choose not to, in which case they get characters with negative traits like "Indolent" or "Wasteful". In other words, the corrupt High Elf court will invariably pick well-connected incompetents unless the player engages in their own influence-peddling to ensure capable candidates are selected.
  • Tyranny: The Disfavored ranks come from old military families, and while their childhood-enforced training and discipline shows, it's clear that their families intentionally refused to teach them diplomacy and forgiveness; when it comes to purging the Tiers, they do even more damage than the Scarlet Chorus, who will at least give everyone a violent fighting chance to surrender and join the gangs.
  • The final boss of Yakuza 5, Aizawa, makes the valid point that Daigo only got to be Chairman of the Tojo Clan because he was born into a high ranking, well connected family and was personally supported by Kiryu, a previous Chairman who Daigo had been close with since he was a child. However, this is also pretty rich coming from Aizawa, as his whole involvement in the plot stems from his father, the Chairman of the Omi Alliance, trying to accumulate more power to pass to his son upon his impending death, despite Aizawa not being anything special on his own merit.

    Visual Novels 
  • Somewhat deconstructed in Daughter for Dessert with the protagonist letting Amanda make major decisions at the diner. Amanda grew up around the diner, and pretty much saves it with her daring reopening plan. However, Veronica has to remind her at times that she can’t just make any decision she likes.
  • In Gyakuten Kenji 2, this is first implied, then revealed to be the reason as to why Sebastian Debeste, the son of Chief Prosecutor Blaise Debeste, easily became a prosecutor even though he's pretty much incompetent for much of the game. Blaise pulled strings to arrange for Sebastian's academic honors and job. When Blaise reveals this to Sebastian not long before being arrested for murder, this realization breaks Sebastian.
  • Inverted in Melody with the protagonist becoming the title character's manager. The manager-client relationship comes first, and the romantic relationship comes afterward (if at all).
  • Subverted in Shining Song Starnova. While Kamijou may be the eldest son of Golden Calf’s founder, he is repeatedly shown to be a highly competent and hardworking individual entirely deserving of his position as the company’s acting CEO. Not that his competence stops the board of directors from resenting him for the perceived nepotism…

    Web Animation 
  • Helluva Boss: Loona is the receptionist for Immediate Murder Professionals, which is owned and managed by her adoptive father Blitzo. She's flippantly open about how much she hates her job, hardly puts in any effort, and doesn't respect her boss and co-workers, but keeps her position because of Blitzo's affection for her. This is later addressed in "Seeing Stars" when Blitzo is forced to tell her that her poor attitude is driving away customers, and he threatens to replace her if she doesn't improve.

  • Amazing Super Powers has perhaps the most clear-cut depiction.
  • In Demon Fist Grand High Pope Macront says that his nephew Alvin Theodora keeps acing IQ and tactics tests, and assigns him to head the team sent after Rory. In reality he turns out to be a breathtakingly arrogant Know-Nothing Know-It-All.
  • Implied to be common among the Sharen clan in Drowtales, which place great importance on one's lineage and nobility compared to the meritocracy of the upstart Sarghress clan. Nihi'liir and Kio'nel in particular are implied to have only gotten their positions as overseer of a prison and head of a Penal Colony respectively because of their family connections, and both are young enough to lack the experience to effectively run them. Both pay for this with their lives.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Justin was hired at the comic book shop by his uncle out of pity. Subverted, as Justin went out of his way to prove he deserved the position. This is brought up when Justin's friend Grace is applying for a job there. The owner points out she's guaranteed the job if she wants it, states he's not going to interview her, and asks if — as a friend Justin recommended for the job — she wants it. (She takes the point and the job.)
  • In Freefall Mr. Kornada turns out to have gotten his position as Vice President of paper clip distribution from his nephew, Mr. Ishiguro, who gave him a worthless high-ranking job to keep him out of trouble.
  • Kill Six Billion Demons: Solomon David, one of the seven demiurges who rule Creation, plays with this. On the one hand, he gives generations of his sons important places in his kingdom's bureaucracy, where they can administrate entire worlds. On the other hand, he refuses to name any of them his heir, bluntly telling them that none of them are worthy.
    Solomon David: Contemplate these words, counselors: If you desire the crown—why here it is.
  • Schlock Mercenary: Referenced when Breya needs help with something and thinks of her brother (a bonafide genius and Omnidisciplinary Scientist who invented the teraport):
    Jaksmouth: Admiral, one of the tursto's strike teams has captured a wormgate intact. Triniko is doing her best, but right now we need a think-tank of wormhole physicists and engineers to sort out what we're looking at here.
    Breya: We could try to hire my brother away from that company of thugs he's hanging out with.
    Jaksmouth: Right. Sure. You know, that reminds me. I have a good-for-nothing nephew who could use a steady paycheck.
    Breya: Your non-sequitur looks more like a subtle accusation of nepotism.
    Jaksmouth: He's very qualified management material, for sure.
  • In Sluggy Freelance Daedalus, the leader of Hereti Corp, is eventually revealed to be "Dade Hereti", son of the company's founder Dr. Steven Hereti. Mild subversion in that it's implied Dr. Steve did not want Dade taking his position.
  • In Weak Hero, Jared Sun's uncle is the head of school affairs, which explains why Jared gets such good grades even though his intelligence is rather mediocre.

    Web Original 
  • A frequent theme in online reviews of After Earth was pointing out that even if this didn't occur during production of the film, there's enough about this film that makes people think of nepotism that filmgoers were turned off by it.
  • Auto-Tune the News: STRICTLY disallowed in New Orleans. Except for family members. And sexy turtles.
  • The only way a woman has any chance of becoming a Jedi Knight in Adventures in Jedi School is when they are in some way related to a male Jedi already in it, citing Princess Leia and Mara (Luke Skywalker's sister and step-daughter) and Villiane (who's the teacher's sister).
  • Seemingly played straight but actually averted on Battleground (2012) with Jordan who is the son of the candidate's wife. While he believes that he is in a position of importance, he actually doesn't do anything and merely is given an office to keep him out of the way.
  • Briefly touched on in Dragon Ball Z Abridged's Buu Bits when Sharpner points out the hypocrisy of Videl being mad about the Great Saiyaman imposing his form of justice on the city when she does the same thing, just gets away with it because it's her father's city and the police work with her.
    Videl: What does that mean?"
    Sharpner: It means you're my favorite nepo-baby, Videl, and I love you.
  • Featured in Grandmaster of Theft with regards to protagonist and established as one of the ways in which the Elites work. Cassidy dislikes the thought that this as the only reason she'll one day run the Family Business and chooses to work hard to prove that she deserves the position based upon her own talents, not family.
  • Not only is the trope name in the name of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic parody series Nepotism Adventure Series, it got to all of one episode before the topic came up.
    Twilight: I mean, this is why ponies become rulers, right? To help their friends get things they wouldn't have access to without their royal power?
  • Subverted in one Not Always Right story, where a young woman thinks she can get way with not working because her uncle works there. She's fired for not wearing safety equipment, her uncle is sent for, and he promptly agrees with the firing.
  • The Onion: "CEO Worked Way Up From Son Of CEO"
  • According to Todd in the Shadows, this the only reason certain artists, including the aforementioned Willow and Jaden Smith, Rockwell, LMFAO, and Hot Chelle Rae have careers. It's turned into something of a Running Gag in his reviews with him loudly declaring "NEPOTISM!"

    Western Animation 
  • One might think this is how Sterling Archer keeps his job, the abuse Malory heaps on him notwithstanding. It's quickly revealed though that's he's a Bunny-Ears Lawyer when it comes to secret agent work.
  • The Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy cartoon "Talk It Up, Pup" posits that since Doggie Daddy was umpiring a little league baseball game Augie was in and was at bat at the time, that Doggie Daddy shouldn't have called him out on strikes. Augie gives Doggie Daddy the silent treatment for 24 hours, which he's portrayed as deserving.
  • BoJack Horseman's agent, Princess Carolyn, has her intern replaced by Mr. Witherspoon's son, Charlie. He's later promoted after catching a hot bagel for his father, and by season 3, he's taken over the company after his father dies of a stroke.
  • The Flintstones: Double Subverted in "Fred's New Boss". When Fred goes to ask Mr. Slate that he please hire his friend Barney, who has been laid off from his previous job, it doesn't work. It's not until Slate realizes that Barney is his nephew that he gives him a job. And not only that, he promotes him to be the boss!
  • Brad Caslor's 1985 short animated film Get A Job ends with Bob, the main character, receiving a telephone call where he is informed by a prospective employer that his job application was successful and he starts tomorrow. Bob ends the call with "Bye dad"!
  • The main plot of the "Benchwarmer" episode of Hey Arnold! is the basketball Coach Wittenberg's insistence that the other players give all of the most important roles to his son Tucker, even when he was not the best at them or if it meant a less surefire victory. In fact, Arnold gets benched for several games just because he passed the ball to Gerald as Tucker wasn't open, despite the fact that they scored. Thus most of their drilling revolved around learning how to "get the ball to Tucker." It takes Tucker himself calling out his father for putting too much pressure on him to win basketball games to get Coach Wittenberg to stop.
  • In the Miraculous Ladybug episode "Silencer", it's revealed that XY is the son of music producer Bob Roth, who's willing to do anything to help his son stay popular... including hosting a phony music video contest and stealing the winning video for him to use, which kicks off the episode's plot.
  • In the Moral Orel episode "School Pageant" the only reason Junior Christein was cast as Jesus in 'Crooning Jesus' was that he was the nephew of a big-shot Broadway producer that Mr. Armature wanted to suck up to. It didn't work out so well: the town had expected Orel Puppington to get the role, and so were bored throughout the play, and Orel's solo as Judas ("I Hate You Jesus") was the only thing people remembered about it.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "The Saddle Row Review", when Rarity is about to open her new shop in Manehatten, the landlord, Mr. Stripes, forces Rarity to hire his daughter, Plaid Stripes, under the threat of raising her rent.
  • Mentioned offhand in Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars: at one point during the "In the Empire" musical number, Candace goes into a tirade about how she's stuck buying Darth Vader's socks while Gladys in accounting got promoted to commander because she's related to a midlevel Darth, despite not knowing how to even hold a blaster.
  • The Mayor in the Pound Puppies (2010) series tends to do this regarding civil service positions. McLeish is only head of Shelter 17 because he's the Mayor's brother-in-law.
  • Skeleton Warriors: When Grimskull's betrayal is publicly revealed, his brother's refusal to have him executed is perceived as this by the people.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Brother from the Same Planet", the soccer coach selects Nelson to attend Pele's soccer and acting camp, causing Nelson to thank his father.
    • In "Bart Star", Homer coaches Bart's pee-wee football team.
      Homer: Now, just because I'm his father, he will get no special treatment. He calls me coach just like everyone else. Which he'll be doing, as our new starting quarterback!
      • Ironically enough, he began doing this because he began by treating Bart harshly. When he was told he was being too mean, he decided to be more supportive.
    • In another episode, Homer becomes the referee of the local soccer little league. In a unique fashion, it's Lisa who expects preferential treatment, but Homer subverts this by pointing out that while he's the ref, he will not show her special favor.
      Homer: When I put on these shorts, I'm not your father anymore, and judging by how tight they are, I'm never going to be anyone else's either.
    • In "O Brother Where Art Thou?", Homer's half-brother, wealthy auto tycoon Herb Powell, hires Homer to design the car that will break Powell Motors out of its slump. In part, this was because Herb thought Homer was the "average American" who knew what other ordinary Americans wanted in their cars, but Herb also doesn't give Homer any supervision or feedback. The results completely destroy Herb's company and reputation and Herb declares that he has no brother.
    • In "A Milhouse Divided", this is heavily implied to be the only reason why Kirk wasn't fired from the cracker factory, as despite his incompetence by turning one of the leading cracker companies in town into one of the worst, he was still married to Luann. However, once he learns about his daughter divorcing him, Luann's father quickly fires him.
  • In the first episode of Sonic Boom, Amy says she's fine with getting the position of Sonic's sidekick via this.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In one episode, Mr. Krabs gives his daughter Pearl control of the restaurant. She promptly flips the place upside-down and changes the target demographic to vegetarian teenagers, much to SpongeBob's dismay. She was actually making horrible business choices so that her dad would take the restaurant back as she didn't want to run the place.
    • Squidward lampshaded this trope when introducing Pearl at the Krusty Krab's talent show. Patrick found it hilarious.
    • In another episode, SpongeBob vouches for his incompetent cousin Stanley Squarepants as a good worker to get him a job. Mr. Krabs later says something to the effect of "You'd better not have talked me into hiring him just because you're related. Why, if that was the case I'd have hired my three nephews." Cue three smaller versions of Krabs in the room.
  • Steven Universe: Ronaldo believes this is the case in the episode "Rocknaldo". Steven indulges in Ronaldo's desire to be a Crystal Gem, but he snaps when Ronaldo accuses Steven of giving Connie his mother's sword solely because she's his girlfriend, despite the fact that Connie has been training much harder and much longer than Ronaldo.


Video Example(s):


The Van Patten Project

Crow becomes convinced that the Van Patten family is plotting to takeover the entertainment industry via getting cast in B-movies and crummy TV shows. It's a theory so elaborate and researched, he didn't actually think of coming up with a point to it.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / ConspiracyTheorist

Media sources: