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"Her son was tall and proud, with Drogo’s copper skin and her own silver-gold hair, and violet eyes shaped like almonds."

When two or more fictional characters reproduce, a logical next step for many creators is to concoct an appearance for the offspring. One method for reflecting the relationship between the child and their parents is for the creator to make the child resemble both of its parents simultaneously: their body types, hair styles, facial features, and other physical characteristics are patched together to create the child's appearance.

For example, Alice and Bob have a daughter who inherits her mother's freckles and exact hair style, along with her father's eye colour and big feet. Other examples might include a child that has two-toned hair or heterochromia, so that both parents' most recognisable characteristics are represented simultaneously.

As a Sub-Trope of All Genes Are Codominant, real-life genetics may take a back-seat to LEGO Genetics and Artistic License – Biology.

Compare Jacob and Esau, where each child might take after a different parent, Gender Equals Breed, where the child looks like the parent whose gender it shares, and Strong Family Resemblance, where the child's appearance is based on just one parent.

Contrast Random Species Offspring, where the offspring is a different species altogether from their parents, and Hollywood Genetics, where the offspring ends up with physical traits that neither parent has.

See Superpowerful Genetics for superpower heredity, and Half-Human Hybrid when one of the parents isn't human (and the hybrid tends to exhibit both traits of the parents). Fan-Created Offspring frequently strongly take after both parents. Mix-and-Match Man is when an artificial person looks like this.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • An animated advert for a brand of fabric conditioner in Britain is literally this — a family depicted as being made up of sewn patchwork samples from lots of different fabrics, with the kids combining aspects of both parents' ragwork skins.
  • In the Klondike bar commercial "Who's Your Daddy?", a pair of Klondike Original bars have a baby who is a Klondike Krunch bar, who turns out to be the result of the wife cheating on her husband with a Krunch candy bar.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach: Uryu Ishida is a carbon-copy of his father Ryuken (down to wearing the same kind of glasses), except for his black hair and soft eyes. In "Everything but the Rain" flashback arc, it is revealed that both traits are inherited from his late mother, Kanae Katagiri.
  • Hiro Mashima ended up running into a downplayed version of this when he drew the What If? designs for two pairings' potential kids in Fairy Tail.note  Lucy and Natsu's kid has the standard feminine eyes for girls and Lucy's face shape, but her outfit and hairstyle makes her look like an earlier drawing of a Rule 63 Natsu. Gray and Juvia's kid has Gray's hair color, but Juvia's fashion sense. His eyes look like a combination of his parents', though. The kids were eventually canonized in 100 Years the children of the Edolas version of Natsu/Lucy and Gray/Juvia.
  • In Hanamaru Kindergarten, Sakura has blonde hair and her husband has brown hair; their daughter Anzu's hair is blonde in the front and brown in the back.
  • Bizarre canon example from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: Vivio, adopted daughter of Fate and Nanoha, looks like a perfect mix of her mothers' features, especially the face. Her blond hair is darker than Fate's but her eyes are red and green, while Nanoha is indigo. Her hairstyle is also based on Nanoha's. Even stranger is that she's not genetically related to either of them and is in fact a clone of a long dead ruler.
  • In My Hero Academia, the Quirks in Todoroki's family seem to be tied to hair color—his mother is An Ice Person with white hair, his father is a literal Fiery Redhead. Todoroki can produce each power from opposite sides of his body, so, sure enough, he has half red and half white hair. Two of his siblings have white hair flecked with bits of red, implying that they got more ice than fire. The eldest sibling, Touya, was born with his father’s red hair, but his hair gradually turned to his mother’s pure white by the time he was 13; while he had a stronger variation of his father’s quirk, he inherited his mother’s constitution, meaning his ability to handle his flames was very limited.
  • Naruto:
    • During an interview, the author, Masashi Kishimoto said that a child born between a Hyuga and a Uchiha would have a Sharingan in one eye, and a Byakugan in the other.
    • Naruto's canonical children, Boruto and Himawari, are a mix of their parents. Himawari in particular has her mother's black hair and looks but her father's blue eyes and whiskers. Both are supposed to have the Hyuga's signature Prophet Eyes, but Kishimoto forgot to put it. He has indicated that both have the potential to awaken the Byakugan, as well. Since he made the statement, Himawari has awakened hers, while Boruto unknowingly has the Jogan, an eye power which is related to but distinct from the Byakugan.
    • The new Ino-Shika-Cho exhibit this prominently. Shikadai Nara has his father's hair color and hairstyle, but his teal Tsurime Eyes are inherited from his mother. Chocho Akimichi has her father's girth and brown hair, and her mother's dark skin. Inojin Yamanaka looks like a miniature version of Sai except for his blond hair and light blue eyes, both inherited from Ino.
  • In Saint Seiya Omega, Ryuho, the new Dragon Saint and son of Shiryu and Shunrei, mostly takes after his mother in physical appearance, but possesses his father's strong, water-elemental Cosmo (this in spite of initially being ill) and, as pointed out by Libra Genbu, "honest eyes".

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • The Zbeng! comics have a series of books centering on the biographies and possible future of individual characters. A section present in each of the books is the character's potential children with other characters — well, except for the book about Zaafani, where the section deals with the consequences of the males seeing her naked instead. No amount of Brain Bleach can handle that.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Amazing Maurice, a clockwork rat gets married to an alarm clock and has two kids (It Makes Just as Much Sense in Context, really) who look like clockwork rats with bells on their backs.
  • In The Good Dinosaur, protagonist Arlo takes his appearance from both his mother and father.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ends with Babies Ever After for both the main human couple of Hiccup and Astrid and the main dragon couple of Toothless and the Light Fury, and both of them have this:
    • The son of Hiccup and Astrid looks exactly like the child version of Hiccup as seen in the flashbacks during the film, but with Astrid's blond hair. Conversely, their daughter looks very much like a child version of Astrid, but with Hiccup's reddish-brown hair.
    • The three Night Fury—Light Fury babies (called "Night Lights") all sport black and white markings; two have Toothless's green eyes and one has the Light Fury's blue ones.
  • In The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, Melody looks like an ideal blend of her parents: she has Ariel's facial features and Eric's thick eyebrows and color scheme.
  • In Shrek, Dragon and Donkey fall in love. Shrek 2 introduces their children, dragon-donkey hybrids called dronkeys.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Earth's Children:
    • The series features several characters who are of mixed Neanderthal (Clan) and Cro-Magnon (Others) parentage. These "children of mixed spirits" have the combined features of both races, though how the mixture manifests varies between individuals. Typically, they have the high forehead of their Cro-Magnon parent combined with their Neanderthal parent's brow ridges. Their eyes may or may not be capable of producing emotional tears note  and their jaws often have at least a receding chin, even if the jaw itself juts out like that of a Neanderthal. They are thinner than average for a Neanderthal, but may also be more stocky than a Cro-Magnon. Most are capable of verbal speech like their Cro-Magnon parent, but there are those such as Rydag (a "child of mixed spirits" who appears in the third book) who have the limited vocal range of their Neanderthal parent and have to learn sign language in order to communicate. note 
    • Tricie and Ranec's son Ralev takes after both of them physically; he doesn't have Ranec's dark coloring, instead having his mother's paler skin and red hair, but his facial features are very similar to Ranec's. This causes many people to believe Ralev is the "son of Ranec's spirit" (as most characters in the setting don't quite understand how conception works and so have little concept of fatherhood). Upon seeing the little boy, Ayla notes the resemblance and takes it as further proof of her theory both men and women play a role in conception; she later assures Ranec that Ralev is just as much his son as he is Tricie's.
  • Harry Potter is frequently described as looking exactly like his father, but with his mother's eyes.
  • The Hunger Games: In the epilogue of Mockingjay, Katniss Everdeen's and Peeta Mellark's children are described as inheriting a mixture of their parents' traits. The girl has Katniss' black hair and Peeta's blue eyes. The boy has Peeta's blond hair and Katniss' gray eyes.
  • The Last Dogs: Journey's End, the fourth and final book in the series, features Rocky and Gizmo's four puppies: Milo, Blue, Lola, and Chloe. They're a litter of Dorkies (Dachshund/Yorkshire Terrier mix), and while they have black-and-tan fur like both of their parents, they have the same wiry fur as their mother Gizmo and the long body and short legs of their father Rocky.
  • The children's book Pussy Owl: Superbeast by Brigid Brophy is about the offspring of the Owl and the Pussycat from the poem of the same name. Pussy Owl has an owl's body and wings, but a cat's head, back legs and tail. He claims to be a unique species: Strix felix.
  • Re:Zero's Rem IF timeline has Subaru Natsuki's children with Rem look exactly like their parents, but with swapped hair colors. His son Rigel is blue haired like Rem but has his father's sharp eyes and hair style when he was a young man, but his daughter Spica is black haired with her mother's face.
  • The Shadowhunter Chronicles:
    • Jace Herondale has his father Stephen's blond hair and overall look, as well as his mother Céline's gold eyes.
    • Jonathan Morgenstern was supposed to inherit his father Valentine's white-blond hair and mother Jocelyn's green eyes. However, Lilith's demonic blood muddied the latter, causing him to have Black Eyes of Evil instead. In a way, it's an example of this trope, since he considers Lilith his true mother. His eyes return to their original green color shortly before he dies upon being purified by the heavenly fire. Jonathan's son with the Seelie Queen, Ash, has the white-blond hair and green eyes from birth, as well as his faerie mother's pointed ears.
    • Helen and Mark Blackthorn share the same blue-green eyes as their half-siblings (a Blackthorn family trait), but their blond hair and pointed ears are inherited from their faerie mother.
  • In the A Song of Ice and Fire books, Daenerys envisions a grown-up Rhaego (whose name alone is a combination of her older brother "Rhaegar" and "Drogo") as her husband Khal Drogo with Targaryen hair and eyes.
  • Two different variants show up in The Stormlight Archive:
    • Several of the human ethnicities in this setting have signature hair colors, which inherit fractionally. For example, one of the main characters is an Alethi (black hair), who married an Iriali (metallic gold), and their children have mixed gold and black hair.
    • If a lighteyes marries (or more likely, has an affair with) a darkeyes, the child can have one eye of each color. In the Vorin kingdoms, where eye color defines social status, these half-eyes exist in a very odd social position.
  • In Twilight, the daughter of Edward and Bella is said to have features of both her parents; in particular she has Edward's reddish-brown hair and Bella's brown eyes. Edward remarks that he's glad Renesmee has Bella's eyes, as otherwise they would've been lost because Bella's eyes turned red then gold after she became a vampire.
  • A Twisted Tale: Snow White is described as having her father's eyes and her mother's face.
  • This occasionally pops up in Warrior Cats even though it's genetically incorrect for cats most of the time.
  • While My Pretty One Sleeps: Neeve is described as having inherited a fairly even amount of features from both parents; she has her mother's dark curly hair and dark, "sherry-colored" eyes, and her father's pale skin, full lips and rangy build. This applies to personality traits too, with Myles remarking that Neeve has been "either blessed or cursed with a Roman temperament and Irish thin skin" (Myles is Irish-American, Renata was Italian).
  • This is why Sunny from Wings of Fire looks so weird compared to other SandWings. She's half NightWing. She looks like a SandWing but lacks their scorpion-like tail, has a NightWing build, and has the scale pattern of a NightWing.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Late Night with Conan O'Brien had a recurring bit called "If They Mated," in which images of a celebrity couple were combined into Nightmare Fuel. (Often by the end of a segment, they would subvert this by putting ridiculous theoretical couples together and getting silly non-patchwork results — Conan himself plus Scooby-Doo's Daphne, whom he claimed he had a crush on as a kid, resulted in SpongeBob SquarePants.)

    Tabletop Games 
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Shrit is the child of Avance and Emilia. Shrit's hair is a layered combination of Avance and Emilia (white and red, respectively), and has one blue eye (like Avance) and one red eye (like Emilia). He also has the ability to use Rituals like his parents. This makes sense, as Avance and Emilia were last seen in the conclusion of the Duel Terminal storyline (seen in "Sacred Serpent's Wake"), looking off into the distance together as the last survivors of the war. The duo are also featured on several other "Necloth" cards, implying that the Necloth archetype represents the pair's new family after some time has passed.

  • One of the Tamagotchi virtual pet toys, specifically the Tamagotchi m!x, uses this as its primary gimmick (this feature is extended to the later Tamagotchi On as well). If you marry your Tamagotchi with another, it will have a child that has a random mix of features from both of its parents (so, for example, it could have the body of its mother and the facial features of its father).

    Video Games 
  • Dragon Quest V has this. Depending on which of the 2 (3 in the Nintendo DS version) girls the main character marries, the kids will have the mother's hair colour, blue eyes (which depending on depiction all 4 share) and their father's talents and ambitions.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, Seliph basically has his mother's face and his father's hair. His half-sister Julia downplays this, being a mix of her mother and her half-uncle Azel.
    • Downplayed with the second generation characters from Fire Emblem: Awakening. Each one of them is tied to a particular first generation mother, but inherit their hair color from their father. And while some of them resemble their mother, this isn't universally true.
    • The above is reversed for Fire Emblem Fates, with the second generation characters now having a fixed father and inheriting their hair color from their mother. Once again, the degree of resemblance between parent and child varies greatly, with one major exception: Subaki's daughter Caeldori is an Expy of—and dead ringer for—Cordelia of Awakening. In the Revelation route, where it's possible to have inter-kingdom marriages between Hoshido and Nohr, Caeldori can be mothered by Selena, who is actually Severa, Cordelia's daughter. This makes Caeldori look exactly like Cordelia; the dialogue in Caeldori's Support conversations with her mother even changes to have Selena comment on the similarity. Furthermore, the game implies Caeldori to be a (re)incarnation of Cordelia, elevating Identical Granddaughter into My Own Grandma. This is what happens when the previous game establishes it's possible to hop across time and space.
  • In Hades, the very first thing Achilles's codex notes about Zagreus is that "any questions of his parentage are soon resolved" just by looking at him, and it's not wrong. Zagreus is such an even mix of his parents (his father's coloring, his mother's features and hairstyle) that he even winds up with each of their eyes instead of inheriting a pair from one. This is partly why Hades was so adamant about keeping the Olympians from learning of him—it's much more difficult to pretend Persephone never set foot in the Underworld when its crown prince is so clearly her son as much as his own.
  • Kingdom Hearts has a sort of example with Naminé, who is essentially Sora's and Kairi's child, minus the conception part (she is ostensibly Kairi's Nobody, as she is born from her heart, but since Kairi can't become a Heartless, she is born from Sora's body instead). Her overall look is based off of Kairi, but her blonde hair is from Sora.
  • Rune Factory Oceans plays with this by having the child merely inherit the spouse's hair- and eye-color, but otherwise having their own design. Likely because it was the first Rune Factory game to not use portraits for characters, but models.
  • Star Fox Command: One of the possible endings shows Fox and Krystal with a son named Marcus, who's basically the spitting image of his father with his mother's blue fur and lighter green eyes.
  • The Story of Seasons games first did this in Animal Parade. The children would inherit the player character's facial structure, but have the spouse's hair- and eye-color. The games since have zig-zagged in either using this trope (Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns) or averting it by having the child resemble the original appearance of the player character (A New Beginning).
  • The Sims: Toddler, Child, and Teen Sims can be generated in Create-A-Sim with a combination of their parents' traits, rerolling them if you don't like their appearance. With babies who are generated via WooHoo, though, you take what you're given.
  • Tomodachi Life: If two married Miis have a baby, their child will have a mixture of the parents' facial features, skin and hair, even the colors (ie: the mother's eyes, the father's hair color and mouth, etc.). This could extend to makeup features and old grey hair, and it's possible for the baby to get the elements of the opposite gender.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
    • Yang Xiao Long is a physical mix-and-match of her mother and father's (centre-right and centre-left) features, though she seems to take a bit more after her mom. She has Raven's long voluminous hair, facial structure and complexion, and Taiyang's blonde hair colour and idiot lock. Her eyes are lilac, a mix of her father's light blue and her mother's deep red.
    • Downplayed with Ruby. She has her mother Summer's skin tone, hair color, and eye color, but she also inherited her father Taiyang's Idiot Hair.
    • Winter downplays this, predominantly taking after her mother but having her father's dark eyebrows.
  • Played for Laughs in SUPER MARIO - AFTER THE GAME. Mario and Peach's daughter has Peach's blonde hair and Mario's black mustache.

  • Made patently absurd in Brawl in the Family, where Kirby's dream about his and Jigglypuff's marriage comes complete with kids, all of which are mishmashes of Kirby and Jigglypuff. Right down to the appetite, apparently.
  • The three Klownikov children of Cirque Royale, who are 3/4 clown and 1/4th mime, have lavender skin, dark bluish eyes, and fangs (except Red) from their mime genes and red noses and red hair from their clown genes. Their father Kingston is also like this; he has the black hair, purple skin, sharp teeth, and blue eyes of his mime mother, but the red nose and curly hair (and bushy eyebrows, a Klownikov family trait) of his clown father.
  • In El Goonish Shive, the use of Uryuom eggs by two or more non-Uryuoms always results in offspring who, not only look like this by default, also have a Shapeshifting ability to resemble any of their parents.
  • Ennui GO!: Renee and Hiro's son Kazumi has his mother's hair (complete with Idiot Hair) and his father's skin tone and eye color. He also inherited the former's stoicism and the latter's narcolepsy, and rapidly shifts between the two every panel. Later, Len and Noah's daughter Phoebe has her mother's chalky white skin and her father's Black Bead Eyes.
  • In Kevin & Kell:
    • Coney looks like her rabbit father Kevin's family, but has her wolf mother Kell's dietary habits, carnivore teeth, and predator skills.
    • Turvy mostly looks like bat father Fenton, but has hedgehog mother Lindesfarne's quills.
    • Savanna mostly looks like lion mother Leona, but has rhino father Carl's horn (albeit retractable like feline claws) and size (which required her to be born via C-section).
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Elan inherited his outlook (and alignment) from his mother and his love of the dramatic from his father. His Evil Twin Nale gets his outlook from his father and his love of the needlessly complicated from his mother. They both inherited their father's hairstyle and mother's hair color.
    • Haley has her mother's hairstyle and her father's hair color.
    • Pompey's a half-elf, although his parents aren't seen, he has one elf ear and one human ear. In his case, it's pure Rule of Funny.
  • The parents in Roomies! and Dumbing of Age, as described in Willis's notes for Joyce's parents character design:
    You can probably see in them the general design philosophy of how I draw parents. They're almost patient zero for that, being designed second only after Danny's parents some time in 1998. Mr. Brown gets Joyce's eyes and headshape and Mrs. Brown gets Joyce's nose and slightly shorter version of her daughter’s hair (and a more round physique that Joyce is likely to take on as she gets on in years). I always find it helps to give the most distinctive physical characteristics to the opposite-sexed parent and then throw all the other features at the other parent — and few characteristics are more distinctive than Joyce's big blue eyes. I don't want moms to always look like aged-up daughters and dads to always look like aged-up sons. They can be sometimes, though, for lulz.

    Western Animation 
  • In Adventure Time, Jake and Lady Rainicorn eventually have a litter of rainicorn pups that have the same powers as their parents.
  • At the end of Channel Chasers, we are introduced to Tammy and Tommy Turner, Timmy's future kids. Tommy physically resembles Timmy in every way except for his hair (which is black), while Tammy resembles both Trixie and Tootie (her glasses and plaid skirt resemble Tootie's, while her hair style and colour style resemble Trixie's) except for her brown hair.
  • On Gargoyles, Elisa explicitly notes that Angela looks like Demona, but with Goliath's skin and hair color. A few episodes later is revealed that she is, in fact, their biological daughter.
  • Hey Arnold!: Arnold's parents are shown to be a blond-haired father with a normal shaped head, and a red haired mom with an oblong shaped head and round nose. This is a justified case, since blond hair is dominant over red.
  • The title character of Humf is a purple furry thing. His parents are a red furry thing and a blue furry thing. Apparently, furry thing genes mix in the same way as paint.
  • The Distant Finale for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic shows this trope in action with Li'l Cheese, son of Pinkie Pie and Cheese Sandwich. His eyes are green like his father and has the pink hair of his mother. Although his coat is yellow, a color neither of his parents share, it is a "cheesy" color similar to the orange on Cheese Sandwich. Even his cutie mark is a fusion of the two: it's a slice of cheese pie, combining his dad's accordion-like grilled cheese motif and his mom's family name.
  • Kaeloo:
    • In Quack-Quack's Imagine Spot, Kaeloo and Mr. Cat's potential offspring are orange, whiskered tadpoles.
    • Discussed in Episode 148. Stumpy and Mr. Cat wonder what kind of babies Quack Quack (a duck) and Eugly (a rabbit) would have if they got married. They then imagine the results to be freaky hybrids with duck bills and rabbit teeth.
  • The Distant Finale of OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes shows us two teenagers working at Gar's. One of them has Rad's skin color and Enid's hair and emphasis on physical attacks, while the other has Enid's skin tone and Rad's hair and telekinetic powers. According to Word of God, their parentage was meant to be vague, so it's unknown if Rad and Enid actually did hook up and have kids, or if one of them acted as a surrogate for the other.
  • The Owl House:
    • Amity's face is practically identical to her mother's when she was a teenager and even now they still have a pretty Strong Family Resemblance. That said, Amity's natural hair color, eye color, and talent for abomination magic all come from her father.
      • To another extent, Amity's older siblings, Edric and Emira, are this as well. Like their sister, they have Odalia's pale skin and Alador's gold eyes. However, they have natural green hair like their mother's, only darker.
    • Willow has the same face shape as her father, Harvey, while her skin and hair color comes from her other dad, Gilbert.
    • Similarly, Eda and Lilith both look like taller and thinner versions of their mother with their father's hair (or at least they did before Eda went grey and Lilith dyed hers blue). Eda also got their father's eye color while Lilith has their mother's.
    • Luz looks like a younger version of her mother (to the point that a random Hexside student can be heard wondering who "tall Luz" is when seeing Camila for the first time), but with a lighter skin tone and different hair and eye color that came from her father. The resemblance to her father is more obvious when Luz pushes her bangs back.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Just One Bite," Squidward dreams that he marries a Krabby Patty (It Makes Sense in Context). Their kid looks like a Krabby Patty with six tentacles.

    Real Life 
  • Motty, born at Britain's Chester Zoo in 1978, was the only confirmed hybrid of an African and an Asian elephant and had the physical characteristics of both his parent species. His forehead sloped back like that of an African elephant, but he also had the skull domes of an Asian elephant. He had the wrinkled trunk of an African elephant, with a single digit at the end like an Asian elephant. Whereas an Asian elephant's back is humped in the middle and an African's back is humped at the rear, his back had both a central hump and a rear hump. His ears were shaped liked those of an African elephant. He had the long legs of an African elephant, but his toes followed the Asian pattern, with five on his front feet and four on his hind feet. Sadly, Motty died from an infection less than two weeks after he was born, but computer art enthusiast Paul Willison later created these photo manipulations to show how Motty's combined African and Asian traits might have manifested in an adult elephant.


Video Example(s):


Lori's kids

In an Imagine Spot, Lori pictures in her future marrying her boyfriend Bobby and having kids. The children's hairstyles and colors are patterned after combinations of their parents' own.

How well does it match the trope?

2.57 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / PatchworkKids

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