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Related Differently in the Adaptation

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Two or more characters belong to the same family in a given story. This story is then adapted into a new work and while these characters are still presented as being related, exactly how they're related differs from the original.

This could be done for a few different reasons. The creators may want to explore a different relationship dynamic between the characters or add a certain plotline that works better if their relation to each other is tweaked, such as by adding Half-Sibling Angst, an Archnemesis Dad, and so forth. Or maybe they want to simplify things by merging multiple characters into one, or trim certain details out of pragmatism if it doesn't affect the plot or characters significantly (for example, it's easier to establish that "Bob is Alice's brother" rather than having to explain he's actually "her second cousin-once-removed who was raised by her parents and so they're Like Brother and Sister anyway"). In the case of some stories, such as myths and legends, it may not even be entirely clear which version of a family tree is correct or regarded as 'canon', so the creators of the adaptation have to choose whichever one they feel fits best.

A subtrope of Adaptation Relationship Overhaul. If the change results in a character moving forwards or backwards a few generations, it could result in an Age Lift too. It may also result in an Adaptation Name Change, especially in regards to surnames. See also Related in the Adaptation, Unrelated in the Adaptation and Promoted to Love Interest.

See Historical Relationship Overhaul for when this happens to real people.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the Berserk prototype Guts was raised by a biological mother who died tragically. In the manga proper Guts had an adoptive mother Shisu instead, who also dies tragically.
  • While still more or less siblings in Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040, Sylia and Mackie are surrogate siblings instead of biological ones thanks to Mackie's Adaptation Species Change into being a Boomer.
  • In the original Cardfight!! Vanguard series, Shin was Misaki's uncle. In the reboot Cardfight!! Vanguard (V Series), an early episode has a flashback where Shin calls Misaki's father "uncle", implying that he and Misaki are cousins now...until the Shinemon arc began and retconned Misaki back as Shin's niece.
  • In The Demon Girl Next Door, Sakura is legally Momo's adopted mother, but socially treated as if they were sisters. In the English dub of its Animated Adaptation, Sakura becomes Momo's sister-in-law.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • In Journey to the West Ox-King aka Bull Demon King is the husband of Princess Iron Fan, in Dragon Ball Chi-Chi, Iron Fan’s expy is Ox King’s daughter instead. Furthermore Sun Wukong was the sworn brother of Ox King in the epic while Son Goku is Ox King’s son-in-law instead with Goku marrying Chi-Chi. Funnily enough in the book Wukong does disguise himself as Princess Iron Fan’s husband to fool her at one point.
    • Dragon Ball GT: after the Time Skip in the final episode, the character Goku Jr., at least in Funimation's English dub, is said to be Pan's grandson. In Japanese, however, he is her great-great grandson, a whole another two generations apart.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: In the manga, all non-human-based homunculi can be compared to being Ed and Al's cousins, as they were created from Father, who is effectively a clone of Hohenheim. However, in the anime Fullmetal Alchemist (2003), they were the product of failed human transmutation, so Sloth, who was made from Trisha, and Envy, who was Hohenheim's son with Dante are the boys' mother and half brother, respectively.
  • Karakuri Circus: The anime skips all references to Masaru being actually unrelated to Sadayoshi by blood just like all of his legitimate siblings.
  • Lyrical Nanoha: In Triangle Heart 3: Sweet Songs Forever, Nanoha and Kyouya are paternal half-siblings, while Miyuki is their first cousin who was adopted into the family. Lyrical Nanoha never makes any reference to this, so they're presumably all full siblings.
  • Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl: In the episode "Cooking Up a Sweet Story!", one-shot characters Abigail and Theresa are grandmother and granddaughter in the original version, but the American dub changes them to aunt and niece.
  • The dub of Shaman King changes Yuan/En from Ren's father to Len's uncle.
  • Tales of Zestiria the X: In the original video game, Princess Alisha Diphda does belong to a branch of the royal family, she's notably low-ranking. In the Anime of the Game, her father is the current ruling monarch of Hyland, and upon his death she becomes queen, meaning she's first in line instead of one of the last.
  • In The Three Musketeers, Constance is Bonacieux's 16-year-old daughter rather than his 20-something-year-old wife.

    Comic Books 
  • Ant-Man: In Marvel Comics 2 and the MCU Hank and Janet have a daughter named Hope. In the 616 universe Nadia (Russian for “Hope”) is still Hank’s daughter but Janet’s adoptive daughter instead with her birth mother being Maria Trovaya, Hank’s long dead first wife, saving Janet from needing to give birth herself. Arguably fitting given Maria was a Identical Stranger to Janet anyway.
  • Aquaman and Ocean Master have always been half-brothers. But in the Silver Age and Post-Crisis, they share the same father, whether Tom Curry or Atlan. Starting Post-Infinite Crisis, every interpretation since has them share the same mother (Atlanna) instead.
  • In DC Comics Bombshells, Supergirl is the result of Homosexual Reproduction through two mothers. One is Alura In-Ze, her mother in regular continuity. The other is Lara Lor-Van, who is usually her aunt by marriage.
  • Heroes Reborn: The Avengers has The Vision as Ultron's older "brother" rather than "son", having been created by Ant-Man before Hank made Ultron.
  • The Mighty Thor: In Norse Mythology, Odin and Loki are blood-brothers. The Marvel version makes Loki Odin's adoptive son instead, with his rivalry with his adoptive brother Thor being a major part of his character.
  • Batman:
    • In the post-Crisis DCU Barbara Gordon was established to be Commissioner Gordon's niece, who was raised by him after Roger and Thelma Gordon died in a car accident, presumably to explain her absence from Batman: Year One, where Jim's family consists of him, his wife Barbara, and the infant James Jr. A later story in Gotham Knights suggested that maybe she was really the daughter of Jim and Thelma, but this never gets resolved. The New 52 returns her to being the daughter of Jim and the elder Barbara.
    • Batman: Zero Year reintroduces Bruce's Uncle Philip, who first appeared in pre-Crisis contintuity, but in this version he's Bruce's maternal uncle Philip Kane, rather than his paternal uncle Philip Wayne.
  • Superman & Batman: Generations:
    • Supergirl in this continuity is Superman's daughter rather than his cousin. This also makes Lois Lane her mother.
    • Because this continuity follows a "characters age in real time" gimmick, Barbara Gordon is Jim Gordon's granddaughter instead of his daughter, acknowledging that she made her debut in the 1960s. She is also therefore Tony Gordon's daughter, rather than his sister as she was on Earth-One.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW): Karai is The Shredder's granddaughter, unlike previous versions where she was his adopted daughter if she was related to him to begin with.
  • In many adaptations of X-Men, Juggernaut and Professor Xavier are changed from step-brothers to half-brothers, including X-Men: Evolution and Deadpool 2.
  • IDW’s take on M.A.S.K. changes the dead relative of Matt Trakker who invented the Masks from his brother to his father.
  • In the original comics, Madelyne Pryor was a clone of Jean Grey. In X-Men: Phoenix – Legacy of Fire Jena and Madelyne Pyre, the respective counterparts for Jean and Pryor, are sisters.
  • Hound: Eva is revealed to be the estranged daughter of Skye when she leads her Kelpies to attack Skye's school. They correspond to Aífe and Scáthach in the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology, where they are sisters at war with each other.

    Fairy Tales 
  • The reason the Wicked Stepmother trope is so omnipresent in fairy tales is that The Brothers Grimm, who collected and published folk tales, wanted to make these accessible and acceptable to a wider audience (including children of their era) and emphasize German family values and so Bowdlerized all Abusive Parents in the stories they collected.
    • "Hansel and Gretel" got this treatment; rather than their biological mother it's their stepmother who plots to abandon them in the forest.
    • Similarly, in some early versions of "Snow White", the evil queen is actually Snow White's biological mother, though later versions had her as Snow White's stepmother, which is by far the most popular iteration.

    Fan Works 
  • The Adopted Josuke AU by Hajnarus has Josuke Higashikata go from the Heroic Bastard of Joesph Joestar to a distant relative of the Joestar family diverging from before Jonathan's father George I. After the death of Josuke's parents, he is adopted by the Kujo family as they were his nearest relatives by both blood and geographic location, making Holly and Jotaro his adopted mother and brother respectively rather than his half-sister and nephew.
  • Aftermath of the Games: It's revealed in the sequel Integration that in this continuity, the pony versions of Celestia and Luna effectively adopted one another rather than being biological siblings.
    "Wait," Twilight said suddenly, "Luna isn't your sister? I mean, not your blood sister?"
    Celestia shook her head. "We were the only family we had for years. We love each other deeply, but there is no blood."
  • All Assorted Animorphs AUs: In "What if they were Avengers?", Jake takes the role of Captain America (a Fish out of Temporal Water), so he's Rachel's "fifth-cousin or great-uncle or whatnot" (as Marco puts it) rather than her cousin.
  • As Fate Would Have It: In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, Yancy makes mention of having two younger siblings throughout your conversations with her. In this fic, they're outright stated to be her adopted siblings rather than being her blood siblings, as implied in the original games.
  • Beautiful Monster: In canon, Charlotte is Angelica's biological mother. Here, she's depicted as her stepmother instead.
  • In The Blooming Lily, Lily is depicted as Leni's daughter born out of a Teen Pregnancy rather than her much younger sister like in canon. This also makes Rita and Lynn Sr. her grandparents and the other Loud siblings her aunts and uncle.
  • By the Sea: A milder example; the characters in this story who were Jango Fett's engineered clones (most of whom he didn't consider to be family) in Star Wars canon are, in this fic, instead his natural-born children, from a union with an OC mermaid named Va'yen. He also "only" has twelve kids, not three million clones. Boba also isn't anything special compared to his older brothers, other than being the youngest of his kids.
  • Date A Live: Altered Timeline: Unlike canon, where Tohka could be considered a daughter to Mio due to being created from a Sephira Crystal, here she's Mio's younger sister.
  • "Day of Doom" is part of a Kim Possible series combining elements of Kim's history with characters from the DC Universe, such as Kim being the last child of Krypton and Ron becoming Batman. During a particular mission, it is revealed that Yori is essentially the equivalent of Talia in this universe, who reveals that she drugged Ron during the search for Sensei so that she could conceive his child, which leads to her admitting that Hanna, who Ron believed was his adopted sister, is actually his and Yori's daughter.
  • DC Alterverse Project: In the Pre-Crisis comics, Betty Kane a.k.a. Bat-Girl was the niece of Kathy Kane, the original Batwoman. Here, Betty is Kathy's daughter.
  • The Desert Storm: In canon and Legends, Korkie Kryze is Satine's nephew. Here, she's Satine's daughter, born out of a Teen Pregnancy caused by Obi-Wan.
  • Originally in Dragon Ball Z, all of the Namekians (who reproduce asexually) on Namek were the children of Grand Elder Guru, who was previously the Sole Survivor of their race. This isn't the case in Dragon Ball Z Abridged, where Elder Moori is the father of Dende and Cargo rather than an older brother who takes care of them.
  • Several examples in The Loud House fanfiction The Edgy House (covered in Peeking Through the Fourth Wall's fourth "After Dark" episode). Subverted though, as it turns out that the whole thing was just Lincoln's version of The Aristocrats joke:
    • Luan in canon is the daughter of Rita and Lynn Sr. In the story though, she's only Rita's stepdaughter because Lynn Sr. cheated and somehow convinced Rita that baby Luan was hers.
    • Lincoln is changed from being the son of Rita and Lynn Sr. to being Rita's son but Lynn Sr.'s stepson, again because Rita cheated. This in turn makes Lincoln and Luan stepsiblings.
    • The twins have gone from being Lori's little sisters to being her daughters from one of the times Lynn Sr. raped her.
    • Lily is canonically Lincoln's sister, but in the story, she's his daughter because he slept with Rita.
  • In Encanto, it's a Fandom-Specific Plot to write fanfics where Bruno is Mirabel's father instead of her uncle:
    • While Mirabel was Julieta and Agustín's daughter in canon, in La polilla y la mariposa, they adopted her after she didn't get her gift. She is actually the daughter of Bruno and his wife Anná.
    • While Mirabel was Bruno's niece in canon, in where the dandylions play, she's his daughter.
    • In ⫚ - His Daughters, The Miracles of the family, while Isabela, Luisa and Mirabel were Julieta and Agustín's daughters with Bruno as their uncle, here Bruno and Maria are their parents.
    • While Félix and Pepa are his parents in canon, Past & Future has Camilo as Bruno's son with Victoria.
    • While Mirabel was Julieta and Agustín's third daughter and Isabela and Luisa's younger sister in canon, in The Seer and His Butterfly she's Bruno's daughter, later to be raised as her Tía Pepa and Tío Félix's daughter when he disappears.
  • In the Devil May Cry canon, Nero is Vergil's son and Dante's nephew. In Fairy May Cry, it's revealed he's the artificial son of Sparda and an unnamed nun of the Order of the Sword, making him Dante's and Vergil's half-brother.
  • JoJo New Universe:
    • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Giorno and the other children of Dio were born while DIO had Jonathan Joestar's body, which made him George II's half-brother and Joseph's uncle. In New Universe, DIO took over George II's body instead, making Joseph their several-decades older half-brother.
    • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Shining Armor is Twilight Sparkle's older brother. In New Universe, he's her 21st century descendant while she grew up in the late 19th century.
  • Downplayed example in Hero Chat and Lady Luck (Miraculous Ladybug), both by the same author. In Miraculous Ladybug, Juleka and Luka Couffaine are twins. In Cornerverse's stories, the two are half-siblings with different fathers, with Luka being two years older than Juleka.
  • In the A Hobbit's Hole (er I mean SMIAL!) series, Frodo is Bilbo's son instead of his cousin/nephew.
  • The Joestar Chronicles: In Jojos Bizarre Adventure, Giorno Giovanni was born when his father DIO had an affair while his head was attached to Jonathan's body, making Giorno Jonathan's biologic son while also considered DIO's child by spirit. In The Joestar Chronicles, Giornata (Giorno) was born as a result of DIO having sex with a woman's corpse he forced Johanna's (female Jonathan) soul into, making him Giornata's biological father and Johanna as her mother spiritually.
  • In the Over the Garden Wall fanfic "A Light for the Lost and the Meek," Wirt and Greg are stepbrothers instead of half-brothers. It's an Age Swap AU, so this explains how Wirt's mom and Greg's dad can be married while Wirt still has a Disappeared Dad of his own. It also shifts their relationship a little, as the two are still adjusting to their new family arrangement.
  • In the Marvel Cinematic Universe fic “Langsyne”, Wanda (having survived Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness) is rescued from Victor von Doom when Doom's ally Magnus realises that he is Wanda’s maternal grandfather (he lost track of her grandmother/his wife back when he went by Erik Lehnsherr), as opposed to the original comics where Erik Lehnsherr is Wanda and Pietro’s father.
  • In Master of the Universe, a Twilight fanfic which later became Fifty Shades of Grey, Rosalie (Kate in Fifty Shades) and Jasper (Ethan in Fifty Shades) are presented as blood siblings, while in Twilight they're adopted siblings who sometimes pretend to be blood related. Seeing as Master of the Universe is a mundane fic where Jasper and Rosalie aren't vampires or part of the Cullen family, there's not much point emphasizing they're adopted siblings because it has no relevance to the plot or characters.
  • Moving In: In The Loud House, all the Loud siblings are biologically related to each other, and Lynn Sr. and Rita have been married for a long time. In this fanfic, the Loud sisters and Lincoln are stepsiblings-to-be who have only recently met each other because Lincoln and Rita moved into the Loud House after the latter and Lynn Sr. got engaged to each other. This also means that Pop-Pop goes from being the Loud siblings' maternal grandfather to only being Lincoln's biological grandfather (who helped Rita raise Lincoln because Lincoln's biological father wants nothing to do with him) since Lincoln is Rita's only biological child in this story.
  • New Tamaran: Donna Troy is the biological daughter of Wonder Woman instead of her adopted younger sister. (Donna's dad is Steve Trevor, thus merging her with Fury of Earth-Two).
  • Pokémon Crossing: Downplayed. Chrissy and Francine (two rabbit villagers) are sisters in the original Animal Crossing series (Francine being the older one). Here, they're still sisters but are now twins.
  • Promises of a Wandering Hero:
    • Motoko and Tsuruko are half-sisters as opposed to full-blood sisters; this is due to the Crimson Red Vermillion that their family has, damaging their family dynamics. Tsuruko's mother lost herself to her demonic blood forcing the sisters' father to kill his wife. As for Motoko's mother, she is implied to have been a Synchronizer who sacrificed herself to bring her husband back from that same brink.
    • Mei and Naru are stepsisters in the Akamatsuverse canon, here they're half-sisters.
  • Queens of Mewni: Due to being written before Seasons 3 and 4 of Star vs. the Forces of Evil and the publication of The Magic Book of Spells making clear the line of succession of the Butterfly family, many relationships got shuffled around. A comparison between the two (relationship to predecessor is in parenthesis):
    • Canon: Soupina-Skywynne (descendant)-Solaria (daughter)-Eclipsa (daughter)-Festivia (impostor daughter)-Dirrhenia and Crescenta (daughters)-Celena (Crescenta's granddaughter)-Comet (granddaughter)-Moon (daughter)-Star (daughter)
    • Queens of Mewni: Dirrhenia and Crescenta-Festivia (Crescenta's legitimate granddaughter)-Skywynne (great-granddaughter)-Soupina (daughter)- Eclipsa (great x 5 granddaughter)-Solaria (great-great-granddaughter)-Celena (great-granddaughter)-Comet (great-granddaugther)-Moon (niece and adopted daughter)-Star (daughter)
  • The Redemption of Harley Quinn: Delia and Deirdre Dennis are Harley's twin daughters, instead of her twin granddaughters like in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
  • RWBY: Destiny of Remnant reimagines Blake as Ghira and Kali's niece instead of their daughter.
  • In the Food Wars! fanfic Shokugeki no Sōma: Nashi Saito de Chīfu, Soma's friend Mayumi is his twin sister since the author needed to give him a sibling but didn't want to invent a whole new character.
  • There's More Magic Out There
    • Juleka and Luka Couffaine are half-siblings rather than full-sibling twins like in canon.
    • Otis Cesaire is Alya and Nora Cesaire's stepfather rather than their biological father, and the twins Ella and Etta are their half-siblings.
    • Nino Lahiffe is a gargoyle created by his parents in an attempt to bring back their dead eldest son.
  • The Secret Biography of Donald Duck: In the series finale of DuckTales, it's revealed that Webby Vanderquack, is actually Scrooge McDuck's Opposite-Sex Clone, which would make her and Donald first cousins. In the fanfic, The Reveal is changed so that Webby is Donald and Kay K's (AKA Pepper) daughter.
  • Downplayed with Naruto in Son of the Sannin, as his biological connection with several characters remains the same but ends up having a more direct familial connection to them.
    • Tsunade is a descendant of the Uzumaki clan, but her exact relationship to Naruto in canon was never made clear. Here, they're adoptive mother and son.
    • Similarly, Karin is also a descendant of the Uzumaki clan, but the fact that she and Naruto would technically be related never comes up. Here, they refer to themselves as cousins and are even more closely related by the time of the epilogue as their spouses are first cousins.
    • Sasuke and Naruto are distant cousins due to the Uzumaki and Uchiha being sibling clans, but the two also end up being related by marriage when Sasuke's cousin Shisui marries Naruto's adoptive sister Shizune.
  • Some of the canon family trees With Pearl and Ruby Glowing have been rearranged, some of them in order to fit the story's timeline.
    • Stan and Ford become Dipper and Mabel's uncles instead of great-uncles.
    • In Coco, Miguel is Coco and Julio's great-grandson and Hector and Imelda's great-great-gradson. In this fic, Coco is Luisa's sister and Miguel's Aunt, and Imelda and Hector are now Miguel's grandparents.
    • Lily Loud becomes Leni's Child by Rape, Rita and Lynn Sr.'s granddaughter, and the other Loud siblings' niece. However, Rita and Lynn Sr. decided that Leni isn't ready to be a mother, so they pretend that Lily is one of the Loud siblings.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Addams Family:
    • In the TV series, Fester is Morticia's uncle, hence why even she and Gomez address him as "Uncle Fester". But in the films, he's Gomez's brother and only an uncle to Pugsley and Wednesday. This was due to Gomez and Fester's dynamic chemistry in the TV series making it hard to believe they were only in-laws. This change remained in future adaptations, even though Fester doesn't seem to share Gomez's Spanish heritage with no indication that he's adopted.
    • There's also Grandmama, who was originally Morticia's mother in the old comic strips, but the adaptations have constantly gone back and forth between making her Morticia's or Gomez's mother, changing her name if necessary (Grandmama Frump if she's Morticia's). This means that in some of the versions where Gomez and Fester are brothers, she becomes Fester's mother too. The musical lampshades this when Morticia complains about Gomez's mother overstaying her welcome, and he replies, "My mother? I thought she was your mother!"
  • In Artemis Fowl, Juliet is Butler's niece instead of his sister. It was probably done because she's Artemis' age in this version, widening the already decades long age gap that they have in the books.
  • Several examples appear in Black Adam (2022):
    • The family member Teth-Adam received his powers from is changed from his nephew to his son.
    • Amon is Adrianna's son rather than her younger brother.
    • Al Pratt is Al Rothstein's uncle, whereas in the comics, he was Rothstein's godfather.
  • In Bride and Prejudice, the original novel's Lady Catherine de Bourgh is changed to Catherine Darcy, mother of William Darcy. In the novel, Fitzwilliam Darcy's parents are both deceased and Lady Catherine is his maternal aunt.
  • Clueless has an unusual case in which the characters are technically no longer related. In Emma (upon which Clueless is loosely based), George Knightley is the brother of Emma's brother-in-law (her sister is married to his brother). In this film, Cher is an only child and the Knightley analog Josh is her ex-stepbrother (her father had since divorced his mother) who hangs around because he still has a good relationship with her dad.
  • Dear Evan Hansen: In the stage show Larry is Connor and Zoe's biological father. In the film, he is their stepfather, which adds a different dimension to his distance from his children.
  • Excalibur: Morgana is Mordred's mother, making her a Composite Character with Morgause. This isn't the first retelling to do this, though it may be the Trope Codifier for later versions.
  • Fantastic Four (2015): In the comics, Sue Storm is the biological daughter of Franklin Storm and biological sister of Johnny Storm. In this film, she was adopted into the Storm family; this is mostly because Michael B. Jordan and Reg E. Cathey, both of whom are black, were cast as Johnny and Franklin, respectively, while Kate Mara, who is white, was cast as Sue. (Josh Trank stated he wanted to cast a black actress as Sue, presumably averting this trope, but the higher-ups vetoed it).
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army never makes clear which one of the royal elven twins is the older. The official Japanese localization straight-up makes Nuada the older one.
  • In the interests of making Beryl a viable love interest for Sir Henry in The Hound of the Baskervilles, she's changed from Stapleton's wife who pretends to be his sister to his actual step-sister.
  • Kim Possible: In the show, "Nana" is Kim's paternal grandmother, making her the mother of James Possible. In the movie, she's changed into Kim's maternal grandmother, making her the mother of Ann Possible instead.
  • In Little Women, Aunt March is the sisters' great-aunt by marriage, whose deceased husband was their father's paternal uncle. In Little Women (2019), she's their father's older sister instead, and a spinster rather than a widow.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe has several examples:
    • Iron Man: With Arno Stark Adapted Out, Tony Stark becomes Howard's biological son instead of his adopted son like the comics. It bears noting that this fact about Tony (and Arno himself) were introduced retroactively, after the MCU had already been established, so it was likely not followed for the sake of brevity.
    • Thor establishes that the title character is now the son of Frigga; in the comics, he is her stepson with his biological mother being Gaia who’s Adapted Out.
    • Black Panther: T'Challa gets this twice-over, as he and Shuri go from paternal half-siblings to having the same mother as well as the same father (in the comics Ramonda is T'Challa's stepmother).
    • In the Thor comics, Hela is usually Loki's daughter or at least his creation. In Thor: Ragnarok she's his long lost sister (or possibly half-sister, it's never stated who her mother is). As Loki was adopted by his parents there's no longer a biological connection between him and Hela, though it adds a biological connection between Hela and Thor, as they share a father.
    • In the comics, Nebula is Thanos' granddaughter, but in the MCU, she is Thanos' adoptive daughter.
    • Black Widow: Alexei Shostakov (Red Guardian) was Natasha Romanoff's ex-husband in the comics; here, due to Natasha's Age Liftnote , Alexeinote  is instead portrayed as her adoptive father... kind of (it was a cover identity for a mission while Natasha was young, but the "family", especially Yelena, felt like it was real).
    • In both the comics and myths Thor’s daughter (Thrúd in Edda, Torunn in Marvel) is biological, in Thor: Love and Thunder his daughter Love is instead adoptive with her biological father Gorr giving her to him before dying. Though as a Casting Gag she’s played by Chris Hemsworth actual daughter.
  • In The Muppet Christmas Carol, Mrs Fozziwig is Fozziwig's mother, rather than his wife, since she's "played" by Emily "Ma" Bear.
  • Olsen-banden: In the original series and its Norwegian Foreign Remake, Benny Frandsen has a brother called Harry. However, the Swedish adaptation Jönssonligan made them cousins instead.
  • An implied example occurs in Ophelia. During an argument with Gertrude, Hamlet's father suggests that his brother Claudius isn't his father's son because their mother had an affair, which may make Claudius and Hamlet Sr. maternal half-brothers. There was never any indication of them being anything but full siblings in Hamlet; it never comes up again in this film so we don't know the truth.
  • The Personal History of David Copperfield: The novel's Betsey Trotwood is David's paternal great-aunt. Here she's explicitly his paternal aunt, as she tells Mr. Dick that David is her brother's son.
  • Rosaline: Tybalt is Juliet's first cousin in the original, but her brother here.
  • In Le Silence de la Mer (2004), the girl is the granddaughter of the main French male character instead of his niece in the original novel.
  • Striptease: In the book, Mordecai is a cousin of Paul Gruber's fiancee Joyce, while in the film, he's Paul's uncle.
  • Stuart Little: In the original book, Stuart is the Littles' biological son...even though his parents are human and he's a mouse (or at least looks like a mouse, which is never explained). The film makes him their adopted son instead, as it's less odd (though everyone is still unperturbed about anthropomorphic mice). It adds a plot in which his adoptive human brother George, who is initially disappointed by Stuart, comes to accept him; family cat Snowbell also temporarily tricks Stuart into leaving the family by pretending to have found Stuart's birth parents (who actually died when he was a baby).
  • X-Men Film Series: According to producer Simon Kinberg Azazel from X-Men: First Class is actually Mystique’s father, rather than her lover/baby daddy (Nightcrawler being their son) like in the comics with his off-screen death in X-Men: Days of Future Past supposedly adding an hidden extra layer of tragedy to when Raven finds out. Given the films’ timeline (as jumbled and inconsistent as it is) it would’ve probably been much simpler and logical to just use the comic version of their relationship, particularly given Mystique joins Azazel‘s team a few decades before Kurt (another devilish looking teleporter) makes his debut in X-Men: Apocalypse as a young man.

  • Ascendance of a Bookworm has this happen in-universe. Elvira often writes stories based on true events, but often changes details for the sake of the real people's privacy (though often not enough to keep people who were actually around from catching on). One such changes consists of changing a Promotion to Parent situation from the real events into an actual parent and child.
  • In the 2019 Godzilla: King of the Monsters film, the focused woman and child on Isla de Mara were apparently mother and son, based on the boy screaming "Mom!" at the woman when he's almost swept away by Rodan's wingbeats. In the novelization, they're instead explicitly grandmother and grandson.
  • Katy: In What Katy Did, the Carr children are full siblings who live with their widowed father and his sister, Izzie, who joined the household after Mrs Carr died. Katy by Jacqueline Wilson, which updates the setting from the 1860s to the 2010s, changes Izzie from Dr Carr's sister to his second wife and also makes her the biological mother of all the children except Katy and Clover, who are the daughters of Dr Carr's first wife. In addition, Elsie is, in this version, Izzie's daughter from a previous relationship, making her Dr Carr's stepdaughter.
  • Knightfall: Kenyon Etchison and his children are the brother, niece, and nephews of their murderer Abattoir in the comic, but are just more of his many cousins in the novel.
  • In Little Women, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy are full biological sisters. In the graphic novel ''Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy" by Rey Terciero and Bre Indigo, which updates the story to the 2010s and gives most of the main characters a Race Lift too, Meg and Jo are stepsisters, Meg being Mr. March's daughter and Jo being Mrs. March's from previous marriages, while Beth and Amy are their half-sisters whom their parents had together.
  • The Mists of Avalon:
    • This story, along with Excalibur a few years earlier, served as a Trope Codifier for the idea that Morgan (Morgaine) is Mordred's mother rather than his aunt; in earlier versions of the Arthurian Legend, it's Morgan's sister Morgause instead.
    • Taking it further, Morgause is Morgaine's aunt in this series (in other words, Igraine's sister rather than her daughter), who fosters Mordred. Yvain also appears, but is Morgaine's foster son rather than her biological offspring.
    • Lancelot is the biological son of Vivian (The Lady of the Lake) rather than being adopted.
  • In the first Red Dwarf novel, Lister still has twin sons in the future named Jim and Bexley, but the person who looked just like him who gets killed in a future echo is Bexley's son, while in the original episode, it was Bexley himself.
  • The Rise of Skywalker reveals that Rey is the paternal granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine. However, the novelization The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition states that Palpatine's "son" is actually a clone, so while there's still shared DNA between them, Rey technically isn't his real granddaughter (genetically she could be considered his daughter). The movie doesn't mention this and there she is specifically referred to as Palpatine's "granddaughter", so it's unclear which version is canon. note 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrowverse:
    • Arrow:
      • Mia Dearden is reworked from Oliver Queen's adopted daughter into two different characters: Thea Queen, his maternal half-sister, and Mia Queen, his biological daughter.
      • John Diggle, the Arrowverse version of John Stewart, is Roy Stewart's adopted son instead of grandson.
      • Kazumi Adachi is Emiko Queen's mother instead of great-grandmother.
    • The Flash (2014):
      • Wally West is Iris' long-lost brother rather than her nephew like he is in the comics.
      • Thanks to being a Composite Character with their respective mother and father, the siblings known as the Tornado Twins, XS and Impulse are Barry and Iris's children instead of grandchildren. This also changed XS and Impulse's own relationship as they're now siblings, not cousins as in the comics.
    • In Superman & Lois, Nat is Steel's daughter instead of his niece.
  • Camelot depicts Morgan and Arthur as paternal half-siblings fathered by Uther, with Igraine being Morgan's hated stepmother. In the original legends, Igraine is the mother of both of them and Morgan was fathered by Gorlois. This drives much of the conflict in the series, as Morgan never knew Arthur existed until after Uther's death and believes she should be the rightful heir as Uther's firstborn.
  • Cursed: Traditionally Arthur and Morgana are maternal half-siblings. Here they appear to be full siblings or at least share the same father. Igraine is also mentioned as being their grandmother, rather than their mother, and Ector is their uncle-by-marriage rather than Arthur's adoptive father.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Lady Alys Karstark was the daughter of Lord Rickard Karstark in A Song of Ice and Fire, but in the show she's his granddaughter instead, being the daughter and heir of Rickard's Canon Foreigner son Harrald Karstark.
    • Maester Aemon was the great-uncle of Mad King Aerys and by extension, the great-great-uncle of Rhaegar, Viserys and Daenerys in the book. The show removes a generation and makes him into the Mad King's uncle, and by extension, Daenerys and her brothers' great-uncle.
    • As previously mentioned, an entire generation of the Targaryen family is omitted from the show, making King Aegon V the father of King Aerys II, instead of his grandfather. This also means Princess Rhaelle Targaryen, the grandmother of Robert, Stannis, and Renly, has been Adapted Out. As a result, the Baratheon brothers are no longer the second cousins of Daenerys, Rhaegar, and Viserys.
    • Partly because of the Age Lift and narrative convenience, King Jaehaerys II is not the father of Aerys II; rather, it is King Aegon V, the star of Tales of Dunk and Egg, who is the father of the Mad King and grandfather to Daenerys, rather than her great-grandfather.
  • The Great: In real-life history, Peter the Great was Aunt Elizabeth's father and Peter III's grandfather. The show compresses things by about a generation; Peter the Great is now brother-in-law to Aunt Elizabeth and father to Peter III.
  • The Haunting of Bly Manor: In The Turn of the Screw, siblings Flora and Miles are under the guardianship of their uncle after their parents died. In this adaptation it's revealed that Flora is in fact her 'uncle's' biological daughter, as he had an affair with his sister-in-law. He never tells her this out guilt and respect for his brother, who figured out the truth but still regarded Flora as his daughter.
  • In Hawkeye (2021), Armand Duquesne is Jack Duquesne's uncle instead of his father.
  • In the 1968 TV film of Heidi, Alm Uncle is Heidi's maternal grandfather instead of paternal, making Aunt Dete his estranged daughter instead of just an in-law. Meanwhile, Herr Sessemann becomes Heidi's paternal uncle and Klara her cousin, when in the book they're not related.
  • Iron Fist (2017): Ward Meachum is the son of Harold Meachum in the series, whereas in the comics he was his brother.
  • Legend of the Seeker:
    • In the Sword of Truth books, Darken Rahl turns out to be Richard's father. In the TV series, they're revealed to be half-brothers, giving them a Cain and Abel dynamic.
    • This in turn results in Panis Rahl being Richard's father, rather than his grandfather. Panis is also the father of Jennsen Rahl, making her Richard's full sister and Darken's half-sister, whereas in the books Darken is her father and Richard is her half-brother by a different mother.
  • The Legend of Xiao Chuo: Historically Yelü Jing was Emperor Shizong's cousin. In the series they're brothers.
  • In Luke Cage (2016), Season 2's Arc Villain, John McIver/Bushmaster is reimagined as the son of Quincy McIver; in the comics Quincy was John's younger brother and the second Bushmaster.
  • Merlin (2008):
    • Morgana and Arthur are revealed as paternal half-siblings. In the Arthurian legends, they're usually maternal half-siblings. Interestingly, the series does still feature Gorlois, Morgana's legendary father - Morgana believed he was her father for much of her life, not knowing Uther secretly had an affair with her mother. This partly explains why Uther took on Morgana as his ward after her parents died, though it also results in Morgana resenting Uther more than ever for never acknowledging her as his child. It also drives her ambition to become Queen of Camelot eventually, because the way she sees it she has just as much right to rule as Arthur.
    • Morgause is still Morgana's sister, but they're maternal half-sisters rather than full sisters and Morgause has no biological connection to Arthur here. Upon learning her sister has a claim to the throne, Morgause plots to make Morgana queen to get rid of Uther and undo his Ban on Magic.
  • Moribito: In the live-action drama, Tugum is the third son of the Mikado by the Second Queen rather than by the Third Queen, making him full brothers with Chagum.
  • In the original Orphan Black, the protagonist's adoptive mother turns out to be her biological daughter due to her being the clone of the latter's mother. In the Japanese remake Orphan Black: 7 Genes, she's her maternal aunt instead due to the protagonist's surrogate mother in the original now being her biological one (itself an example of this trope) and the adoptive one's sister.
  • Poirot:
    • In The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Mrs. Inglethorp is John and Lawrence's birth mother rather than stepmother (for the sake of Pragmatic Adaptation, since she is a full-fledged Parental Substitute to them in the book).
    • In The Murder on the Links, Jack Renauld is Paul Renauld's adopted stepson rather than son. Their relationship is way, way colder than in the book.
  • Power Rangers
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch: In the original comics, Aunt Hilda and Aunt Zelda were Honorary Aunts to Sabrina: technically, they were really her mothers, since they accidentally created her by magic. In the sitcom, however, they're her actual paternal aunts. This change was subsequently retconned into the comics too, and carried over to Sabrina: The Animated Series and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
  • The Sandman: In the comic book, Unity Kincaid is the mother of Miranda, who is the mother of Rose Walker. The TV version stretches out the timeline (the main storyline gets a Setting Update from the 1990s to the 2020s, but Unity's childhood can't be shifted because it's pinned to historical events in the 1910s) and adds an extra generation: Miranda is Unity's granddaughter, and Rose is Unity's great-granddaughter.
  • Sechs Auf Einen Streich:
  • Hawk and Dove were brothers in the comics, but in Titans, they're half-brothers with different fathers due to Dove getting a Race Lift. Despite this, they're still just as close as they were in the comics.
  • The Umbrella Academy (2019): Both show and comics focus on seven adopted siblings; the show removes the detail that Luther and Number Five are specifically biological twins.
  • The Witcher (2019): Combined with slight Adaptational Backstory Change in the case of Yennefer and her father. In the books, Yennefer was raised by both her biological parents and gained her quarter-elf heritage through her mother. In the series, Yennefer reveals the man who raised her was her stepfather; her biological father was a half-elf who was killed during the Great Cleansing and it's from him rather than her mother that she gets her elf heritage. In both cases Yenn's father figures treated her poorly and she disowns them (book Yen's father beat her and abandoned her; show Yen's stepfather also abuses her and sells her off for less than a pig, declaring she's no daughter of his).

    Myths & Religion 
  • Arthurian Legend:
    • In the earliest legends, Mordred was Arthur's nephew, the son of his half-sister Morgause/Anna and her husband, Lot. Later legends more famously made Arthur his father due to a case of Surprise Incest.
    • A lot of modern works confuse things further by switching Morgause out for her more famous sister, Morgan(a) le Fay.
    • Moriaen makes the title character the child of Percival's brother Aglovale and a Moorish princess. The author opens with a note saying that s/he found other versions where Percival himself is the father, but chose to ignore them because Percival is usually portrayed as Celibate Hero.
  • One theory to explain why Classical Mythology is so full of incest is that the gods concerned weren't originally related, but as the Greek civilization grew, its religion syncretized foreign gods and attributed their myths to the Olympians (e.g. if one religion had their unrelated thunder god and fertility goddess have children, the Greek version took that relationship and applied it to Zeus and his sister Demeter). Similarly, the original Zeus might not have been quite the memetic horndog he is today had it not been for every local thunder god's sexual escapade or hero's paternity being attributed to him alone. Sometimes, the myths themselves don't agree on how a character is related—for instance, Hephaestus is always Hera's son, but his conception varies; was he born to her and Zeus? Did she birth him on her own to spite Zeus for birthing Athena on his own? Did she produce him with the help of a woman instead?

    Tabletop Games 
  • Later versions of Candy Land changed Queen Frostine to Princess Frostine, thus changing her relationship with King Kandy and Princess Lolly from wife and mother, respectively, to daughter and sister.

  • The 1999 revised script of Annie Get Your Gun changes Winnie Tate from Dolly Tate's daughter, as she was in the original 1946 version, to her much younger sister over whom she has custody. (Other versions of the script from the decades in-between usually had Winnie Adapted Out.)
  • Some adaptations of Hamlet suggest that Claudius is Hamlet's true biological father rather than being his uncle, which is certainly a possibility depending upon whether Claudius and Gertrude were having an affair and if so, how long it was going on. In the original play, Claudius does refer to Hamlet as his "son"; he's likely referring to the fact Hamlet is his stepson via his marriage to Gertrude, though some adaptations take this literally to add yet more angst and drama to the story.
  • In Romeo and Juliet, Tybalt is Juliet's cousin. In West Side Story, their counterparts Bernardo and Maria are brother and sister.

    Video Games 
  • God of War Ragnarök: In Norse Mythology Fenrir and Jormungandr were Loki's sons, in the form of a giant wolf and sea serpent for unexplained reasons. In this game Atreus, aka Loki, creates them using soul magic. Jormungandr by putting the soul of a dead giant into a soulless snake, while Fenrir was his pet wolf until he died and Atreus put his soul into Garm, another titanic wolf from Norse Myth.
  • Hades: In Classical Mythology, Persephone is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, who are brother and sister, and is married to their brother Hades. In the game's version of this family tree, Zeus and Demeter are foster-siblings and Persephone is the daughter of Demeter and a mortal, significantly toning down the incest in her relationship with Hades.
  • Nasuverse: In the majority of Arthurian legends, Morgan is treated as the half-sister of King Arthur and the daughter of Igraine and Tintagel. In Fate/Grand Order, It is revealed that Morgan was the daughter of both Igraine and Uther Pendragom while they were married, making her Altria's legitimate sister. It is also revealed that Morgan is a Composite Character of Viviane/Nimue, making Lancelot her adoptive child (at least with her Nimue personality) rather than a crush at most.
  • NieR: In the Replicant version, the original Japanese version, the titular protagonist is Yonah's brother, while in the Gestalt version, which till the remake was the only version in the West, he's Yonah's father. The designs, of course, were changed accordingly to each version, with Brother Nier having a much more feminine, lithe design, while Father Nier is much more typically masculine and is a muscular Walking Shirtless Scene. This was mostly done because it was believed that the Western audience would have appreciated an older and more mature protagonist.
  • In Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Rick Mason is the older brother of Phin Mason/Tinkerer — who is the male Phineas Mason in the comics, and Rick's father.

    Web Animation 
  • In Sam & Mickey's stop-motion Barbie parody series, it's revealed that Barbie's four "sisters"—Skipper, Stacie, Chelsea (originally Kelly), and Krissy—are actually her children by Ken. Mattel makes her pretend they're her sisters to better her image.

  • Arthur, King of Time and Space retells the Arthurian legends in multiple alternate timelines, with some characters having different relationships in different timelines.
    • Mordred is usually Arthur's son, but in the base medieval setting his mother is Arthur's scheming half-sister Morgause, Morgan in the space arc, and Guinevere in the modern setting.
    • Galahad's mother in the modern arc is also Guinevere, though his biological father's still Lancelot.
    • In the medieval setting (and possibly the space setting) Nimue is Merlin's lover as well as his apprentice, while in the modern arc she's his foster daughter and in the Western timeline they never met.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • The original Beetlejuice movie makes it clear than Delia is Lydia's stepmother - whatever happened to Lydia's biological mother (Charles Deetz's previous wife) is never made clear. However, this is never mentioned in the animated series, which depicts Delia and Lydia's relationship as if they were actually mother and daughter (assuming that Lydia addressing Delia as "Mom" instead of by her given name isn't simply due to being on better terms with her than in the film).
  • DuckTales:
    • In the original series, Webby Vanderquack is the granddaughter of Scrooge McDuck's housekeeper, Bentina Beakley. In the series finale of the 2017 reboot, however, it's revealed that Beakley isn't Webby's biological grandmother — she rescued an infant Webby from the F.O.W.L. laboratory where she was created and effectively adopted her, causing Webby much angst when she finds out she'd been lied to her whole life. On that note, it also turns out that she was created from Scrooge's DNA, meaning that he's her biological father rather than an Honorary Uncle.
    • This pertains to the Beagle family, relative to both the original Barks comics and the 1987 series, concerning Matilda "Ma" Beagle. In the former, Grandpappy Beagle is the patriarch of the family while in the show he'd replaced by Ma Beagle; in the 2017 reboot, a flashback reveals that he's her grandfather instead and thus the great-grandfather of the current generation of Beagles. Additionally, several of 1987!Ma's sons are reimagined as Grandpappy's sons instead, making them her uncles (and one possibly her father); granted 2017!Ma still has over two dozen sons revealed
  • Martin Mystery: In the original comics, Martin and Diana are an engaged couple, with them marrying later on in the series. In the animated series, the two are step-siblings.
  • Most Masters of the Universe continuities depict Teela as the Sorceress' daughter. In He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2021), Teela is her reincarnation.
  • Pac-Man: Junior Pac-Man (or rather, PJ) reappears in the second season, but rather than being Pac-Man's son, he's Pac-Man's nephew, leaving Baby Pac-Man as Pac-Man and Pepper's only child. This was most likely done to avert or downplay the Remember the New Guy? factor inherent in suddenly introducing an older sibling one season in.
  • Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Karai is once again Oroku Saki's daughter but this time she's his biological offspring, as opposed to being adopted like previous incarnations of the character.
  • In the original 1991 version of Rugrats, Buster and Edwin Carmichael were Susie's older brothers. In the 2021 reboot, Lucy and Randy don't appear to have any children other than Susie, and when Buster and Edwin do appear in Season 2's "Baby Talk", they are depicted as Susie's cousins.
  • Silver Surfer: The Animated Series: Mentor is stated to be Thanos' brother rather than his father like in the comics. This was apparently due to a typographical error that nobody caught until it was too late.
  • Strawberry Shortcake: In the 2003 series, Apple Dumplin' is Strawberry's younger sister, but in Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Bitty Adventures, she's Strawberry's cousin instead.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: In GoLion, Old Witch Honerva is the mother of Emperor Daibazaal and the paternal grandmother of Crown Prince Sincline. The reboot depicts her as the wife of Emperor Zarkon (counterpart of Daibazaal) and the mother of Prince Lotor (counterpart of Sincline).
  • Young Justice (2010):
    • Tara Markov's comics counterpart is an illegitimate child of the king of Markovia and half-sister to princes Brion and Gregor. Here she is their full-blooded sister and a member of the royal family. This changes the circumstances and implications of her disappearance: her comics counterpart disappeared to avoid scandal and became a mercenary; in the show, she's a princess whose kidnapping is a major incident.
    • Ma'alefa'ak is the code name of M'gann's brother M'Comm, making him Martian Manhunter's nephew. In the comics, he's J'onn's Evil Twin and "Ma'alefa'ak" is his actual name.