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Shared Family Quirks

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Like mother, like... son.

"What do we do to people we don't like? We punch them! This is...the perfect punching angle! ORAORAORAORA ORA!"
Jotaro Kujo and his daughter Jolyne, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven

Appearance isn't the only thing that family members can share. Much of the time, family members tend to act similarly, either by having similar habits, taking similar actions when faced with similar decisions, or otherwise having certain quirks indicative of the family. While their overall personalities can be entirely different, individual habits can still be shared between them. If one family member has a catchphrase, the others may occasionally make it a Borrowed Catchphrase.

Truth in Television, because children tend to be influenced by their parents and may try to imitate them, so it’s not uncommon to see a child share a few habits and quirks with their parents. This has the scientific justification of learned behavior in immediate families, since a young, impressionable child is very likely to be watching when a parent or sibling is doing something, so the child will likely imitate that behavior.

In several works, this can actually be foreshadowing a reveal that two characters are related when certain habits are shared between them.

Sub-Trope to Like Father, Like Son, and Generation Xerox. Compare It Runs in the Family. Super-Trope to Like Parent, Like Spouse, where family members share the same taste in significant other.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • The Discworld print Death and Company by David Wyatt shows Death, Albert and Susan surrounded by pictures from various Death novels. Behind Susan is a portrait of her mother Ysabell, in exactly the same arms-folded annoyance pose that Susan herself has.

    Comic Books 
  • In Batman (Grant Morrison), Bruce gets a small Verbal Tic, making a -hh- noise, while his only biological son, Damian, makes a similar -tt- noise. The latter remains under other writers, but Batman's tic never really caught on. In DC Rebirth's Justice League, Batman's working a holographic computer before shooing away a curious Jon Kent away with "tt" the way Damian would.
  • Most of Brainiac's descendants are varying degrees of unsocial and think very highly of themselves and their intellects. (The pre-Crisis Brainiac 5 was an earnestly nice guy, and much less prone to pride than other Brainiacs.)
  • Wolverine has this with his biological son Daken, but especially his Opposite-Sex Clone/genetically engineered daughter, Laura. They all share the same mutations (Healing Factor, Super-Senses, Wolverine Claws), Daken takes Logan's skill with the ladies even further by also having skills with men, thanks to his manipulative nature and pheromones, and even without the effects of the Trigger Scent, Laura inherited his temper.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Aristocats: Duchess and her daughter Marie are both refined and manners-conscious.
  • The Hamadas from Big Hero 6 are all snarky in their own way.
  • Luis, Jorge, and Carmelo from The Book of Life, shared a running Sanchez trait of handicapping oneself when fighting bulls because "fighting otherwise is for cowards". Jorge also shares Manolo's love and talent for music.
  • Coco: Miguel shares traits with both his great-great-grandparents. He and his great-great-grandfather both have a tendency to rub their right arm when they're feeling insecure, while he and his great-great-grandmother are both resolutely stubborn (and have the same reaction to performing in front of a crowd - nervousness followed by great confidence).
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox: Played with. They're not blood relatives, as Ash points out, but Mr. Fox and his nephew (by marriage) Kristofferson are both athletic. Also, Ash and his father are both eccentric (or "different" as everyone puts it).
  • In Frozen, Anna and Elsa, as sisters, happen to share a number of things:
    • At the coronation ball, when Elsa asks Anna, "What is that amazing smell?", they both simultaneously sniff the air and happily sigh "Chocolate!" before giggling.
    • On a sadder note, when mourning their parents at the end of "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?", we see both sisters sitting on the opposite sides of the same door, hugging their knees in the exact same fashion.
  • A Goofy Movie: Max appears to have inherited his father's Signature Laugh ("Ah-hyuck!"), something he's incredibly embarrassed about, especially after it slips out in front of Roxanne, a girl he has a crush on. In the end, she reveals to him that hearing him laugh was why she began to like him in the first place.
  • The Jungle Book: Colonel Hathi and his unnamed young son are the only two elephants in the herd who actually enjoy patrolling.
  • In Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure, this is how Buster figures out that Scamp is Tramp's son despite the former's denial. They both scratch in exactly the same way.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: Uncle Aaron jokes that he knew he and Miles were related based on Miles trying to fence hop and falling, but still getting up as if nothing happened. It turns out later in the film that whilst Miles and Aaron really do get on and love each other, there are some significant differences between them — namely, Miles stepping up to becoming the next Spider-Man, whilst Uncle Aaron is actually a Hitman with a Heart.
  • In Tangled Rapunzel does a little half-laugh when she's happy, excited, or nervous and when she is finally reunited with her parents, her mother does exactly the same thing.
  • In Turning Red, Both Mei and her mother have a shared tendency to do sassy hand gestures when being derisive.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In one scene in Back to the Future, Marty facepalms at a diner in disbelief that he's in the past, and the camera pans to his future father, George, who is facepalming the exact same way.
  • In The Darjeeling Limited, one of the brothers has a quirky way of planning breakfast by semi-arbitrarily assigning different cereals to each brother. When they encounter their mother, the audience sees that he picked this quirk up from her.
  • Father of the Bride (1991): George realises that Annie also has a habit of overreacting like him, and also observes to his son-in-law to be Brian that this is something that they share with George's mother and grandfather.
  • Forrest Gump: At the end, both young Forrest and older Forrest bend their head in the exact same way.
  • Halloweentown:
    • Kalabar and Kal both flirt by presenting their intended with a rose — and, for added similarity, the respective girls are a mother and daughter.
    • In Return to Halloweentown, Gwen knows that Marnie will do her laundry on Wednesday because she did laundry on Wednesday when she was in college.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: As seen in Thor: The Dark World, Loki shares a tic with his adoptive mother Frigga: fidgeting with his hands when he's nervous. He also picked up her mischievous smirk.
  • At the end of Maverick, Annabelle tells how she figured out that Zane Cooper is Maverick's father: same height, same build, they both draw their guns the same way, kiss the same way, and both sing the same incredibly wrong words to "Amazing Grace".
    Both Mavericks: Do not!
  • In Mr. Popper's Penguins, both of Mr. Popper's kids say, "OMG!", which their dad makes fun of by mimicking them.
  • Some of the foreshadowing in The Parent Trap (1998) that Hallie and Annie are twins (besides looking exactly alike) are that both are allergic to strawberries and like to eat Oreo cookies with peanut butter. They both point out how the latter isn't common amongst most people they come across.
  • Snow Dogs: Ted's biological father Thunder Jack cracks his neck and likes blue cheese just like Ted.
  • Star Wars:
    • The Prequel Trilogy shows that Luke and Leia got their personalities from their opposite-sex parents. Luke, like their mother Padmé, grows to see the good in Darth Vader and show compassion for everyone. Leia, like their father Anakin, is strong-willed and not as forgiving as well as being quite the snappy snarker.
    • In The Rise of Skywalker, Kylo Ren/Ben Solo imitates his father's tendencies to point at someone to shut them up and smugly shrug.
  • Twins (1988): Julius and Vincent are experimental fraternal twins separated at birth. They are shown simultaneously scratching their butts the same way before they even meet and scratching their ears near the end of the film.
  • In the movie What a Girl Wants, Daphne and her absent father Henry put jam on their toast before folding it in half and eating it in the exact same way. They also both have a thing for Coco Pops cereal.

    Multiple Media 
  • MonsterVerse:
    • Godzilla: King of the Monsters: Madison Russell with her father Mark. They're both Nature Lovers and both seem to have a distinct connection to the Titans (Mothra in particular for Madison, Godzilla for Mark), yet Madison has few to none of her father's unsavory traits: none of his judgmentalism, self-pitying, nor tendency to let his emotions run away with him and fester.
    • Skull Island: Irene says that she's not very good at social interaction with people, and it turns out she's not the only one in her family who's like this. Annie, a Wild Child who has very little common social knowledge, a streak of Brutal Honesty, and wariness of people (albeit justifiably after Irene's party shot at her giant, man-eating Dog and then imprisoned her without explaining themselves); is later revealed to be Irene's long-lost daughter.
    • Monarch: Legacy of Monsters: Multiple-fold with Bill Randa's descendants.
      • Lee says that Bill's son Hiroshi took after his mother Keiko in that he "went after whatever he wanted, and he never let anything get in his way." On the other side, Hiroshi apparently shares his father's tendency to wear his pencils down to nubs.
      • When Hiroshi's son and Bill's grandson Kentaro protests to Lee driving a rental car that isn't his as being against the rules while they're running to escape the Monarch retirement home, Lee snarks, "God, you are your father's son."
  • Whoniverse:
    • Doctor Who:
      • In the episode "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship", a running joke is that "it's all about the pockets" in Rory's family. His dad Brian always carries a trowel, and Rory himself always carries a medical kit scavenged from his various adventures with the Doctor.
      • Amy and Rory's daughter has quite a few traits inherited from both parents. She's shamelessly sexual, snarky, self-deprecating, and has a thing for Roman centurions like her mother, while she's Crazy-Prepared (especially with regards to her profusion of pockets) and calmly badass like her father. Since River Song is their Kid from the Future introduced several years before Amy and Rory, this creates a lot of Fridge Brilliance in hindsight.
    • In the Doctor Who (Titan) Third Doctor miniseries, Tom Osgood from "The Daemons" is shown as needing an asthma inhaler just like his (probably) niece Petronella Osgood in Nu Who.
    • In the Big Finish audios, we meet the Doctor's brother Braxiatel, who like the Doctor is also a born meddler with a manipulative streak who views Time Lord law as a rather amusing relic that should have little to no say in what he actually does; he just prefers to stay on Gallifrey, maintain an illegal art collection and interfere in local politics instead of gadding about across time and space. Indeed, his refusal to do as he was told by the then-President of Gallifrey is why the Doctor lived to embark on their career of gadaboutery in the first place.

  • In Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, both Lucy and daughter Johanna reach for poison in response to Judge Turpin. Lucy did so after he raped her (Johanna was too young at the time to have been aware of this). Johanna seriously considers it when Turpin informs her he's going to marry her, with no interest on his part on whether she's willing.
  • Westeros: An American Musical: Both Eddard Stark and his son Robb Stark have a tendency to be too trusting of other people, which makes them sitting ducks in a cast full of characters with hidden agendas.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Manfred von Karma evidently passed on his traits to his daughter Franziska and adopted son Miles Edgeworth. If you look at each of the three characters' animations and mannerisms, they are variants of all of Manfred's tics. The more noticeable ones are the Finger Wag, the clenching of the sleeve, and the fist-pound on the desk. Miles and Franziska also do a similar bow and curtsy, but Manfred is never shown doing one. Flashbacks in Investigations II show Miles actually picked the last tic up from his late father Gregory, so it was him, not Manfred, who influenced Franziska's bow.
    • Pearl Fey's idle and serious animations feature very similar poses and expressions than those of her half-sisters, Dahlia and Iris. After the Time Skip, she has also taken a few of her cousin Maya's mannerisms, particularly her hand clasp animation.
  • Lucy ~The Eternity She Wished For~ has the protagonist and his father, who share a similar distrust in modern technology (though the protagonist doesn't have it as bad, while the father is an outright Evil Luddite.) Seeing as the protagonist despises his father, having this pointed out to him causes him to seriously reconsider his attitude.

  • In Boy and Dog, all of the males in Rowan's family (Rowan, Zane, and their dad) like to play with toy vehicles.
  • Cirque Royale:
    • Both Quinn and Claudette tug on their hair as an autistic stim when stressed.
    • Both Kingston and Charlie are on the aromantic spectrum; Kingston is demiromantic, while Charlie is acearo.
    • Leo and his father Aries both have Expressive Hair locs that react to their emotions.
  • Susan and Diane of El Goonish Shive show similar Neat Freak tendencies. This, combined with their similar appearance, foreshadows the fact that they are identical cousins. In addition, both start out the story with rather low opinions of men. Susan's dislike is more extreme, believing that All Men Are Perverts and rarely think with their brain, making them the inferior gender. She pretty much wants nothing to do with them. Diane's opinion isn't quite as extreme but she's well aware that there are guys who will do pretty much anything to get into a hot girl's pants and uses this to her advantage, flirting with guys so they'll buy her things. Both of them eventually change their minds, thanks to Character Development, with Susan making some very close male friends, and Diane starting to want a meaningful relationship.
  • Girl Genius:
    • In the novelization, Gil is surprised when Zeetha pinches the bridge of her nose when she's thinking, exactly like his father does. Though he doesn't realize it (and it's only been confirmed by Word of God), she's actually his twin sister.
    • In the side story A Mechanicsburg Solstice Story, the Professoressa notes that her husband, the Storyteller, and his ancestor Oggie share a fondness for Double Entendre. In her words "It is so obvious you're related."
    • While the relationship between Vanamonde von Mekkhan, senechal of Mechanicsburg, and Lumi von Mekkan, student Spark, hasn't been stated, both of them are a bit obsessive about coffee. Vanamonde prefers to work from a coffee shop, has anonymously written a book about coffee preperation, and has the most extreme reaction to Agatha's "perfect" coffee. Lumi freaks out on being told she won't find a coffee shop when Dungeon Crawling and ceases attacking Hector the instant he offers her chocolate-covered coffee beans.
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!: Being genetically identical with very different backgrounds, Molly and Golly are an abject lesson in "nature vs. nurture." While their personalities are quite different, they still are both superhumanly intelligent, terribly naïve, emotionally vulnerable, superhumanly fast, and have enormous appetites.
  • Rather dark example in Lackadaisy. Rocky is friendly, poetic, and reckless, while his cousin Freckle is a Shrinking Violet who would prefer to stay within the law. Unfortunately for all sorts of people, the trait they share is, when under stress, turning into a rampaging Ax-Crazy maniac who laughs all the time.
    While Freckle is gunning down the pig farmers
    Rocky: My cousin.
    Mitzi: He has your laugh.
  • The MGS example in Video Games is parodied in The Last Days of FOXHOUND when Liquid is almost convinced by a voice coming from a cardboard box, but then lampshades how ridiculous it would be to have a cardboard box be a useful disguise. Of course, when Big Boss takes control of Liquid's body, he uses it as he always did, regardless of Liquid's snarkery.
  • In The Order of the Stick, when Elan is reunited with his Disappeared Dad, they both start gushing about what a great story beat it was, prompting Vaarsuvius to comment "Heredity is a cruel mistress". It's later revealed that Elan inherited his father's gift for drama and his mother's basic human decency, and Nale inherited his father's ruthless ambition and his mother's Complexity Addiction.
  • In Pebble and Wren, Pebble and his (their?)note  mother Violet both love whipped cream.
  • In The Petri Dish, both Thaddeus's mother (Betty) and his aunt (Vivian) are very chatty. Betty also shares her son's incompetence with technology, and Thaddeus's late father is said to also have been a scientist.
  • Some characters from Stand Still, Stay Silent share habits with their ancestors from the prologue. The two most obvious cases are Lalli having the same predisposition to motion sickness as his great-grandfather, and Mikkel being a person that is very caring, but also snarks like he breathes, causing him to get fired a lot, things that are all seen in his great-grandmother (and his great-grandfather to a lesser extent).

    Real Life 
  • When Prince William smiles, he holds his mouth a lot like the way his mother Princess Diana did when she smiled.
  • Given that humans learned imitating others, it's implied that the shared quirks between parents and their children is something the latter learned from the former in a subconscious way.


Video Example(s):


Ernie and Ernestine

Ernie discovers the one thing he has in common with his baby cousin.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / SharedFamilyQuirks

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