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Squaring the Love Triangle

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So you have a Love Triangle between Alice, Bob and Charles. However, the tension can't be sustained forever, so finally Alice and Bob confess their love and all is happy. Except for Charles; doesn't he deserve true love? Well, okay, but where can we pull out a love interest on short notice? Alice and Bob's baby! It would be like marrying the best qualities of both.

This Trope is about a love triangle being resolved by involving the offspring of the primary couple.

As this is a Love trope largely focused around endings, beware of spoilers. "All spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware."

Not to be confused with developing the Love Triangle into a Love Dodecahedron. Subtrope of Love Father, Love Son. See also Unequal Pairing, which is likely in these circumstances.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • ½ Prince: With Gui and Lan happily married, Zhuo is left to pine for Lan. Well, a good sixteen years later no more, as he gets (forcefully) engaged to LanLan, their daughter.
  • His and Her Circumstances: Yukino and Arima's eldest daughter, Sakura, falls for Arima's best friend Asaba who has mentioned before that he would marry either, if given the choice.
  • The Yuri manga The Structural Formula of First Love by Shuninta Amano is about a lesbian whose high school love dumped her for a guy, but her daughter from him fell in love with the protagonist, in turn. It wasn't entirely intentional, however.

  • An old EC Comics science fiction story had an astronaut testing a new spaceship. He returns home to find that decades have passed, despite his only having experienced a short time away. His girlfriend, thinking he was dead, married his best friend, and they're both old now. But their daughter is now a beautiful young woman. The hero falls in love with her and they marry.

    Fan Works 
  • Vow of Nudity: Played for drama at the end of the story where Spectra (an orphan) discovers the identity of her dead parents. Unfortunately, the one revealing this to her is a jaded kidnapper her mother didn't pick, and he's decided he'll settle for her daughter...

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Sharknado, protagonist Fin is pursued by his younger employee, Nova, though he clearly is carrying a torch for his ex-wife, April. At the end he and April reconcile (a whole six hours after her boyfriend dies!), and while it's not clear, it seems Nova is going to hook up with their son Matt, who is closer to her age.

  • A variation is seen in The Hunger Games. Peeta's father had been pining for Katniss' mother when they were young, but when she chose Katniss' father, Peeta's father settled for his wife. In the present, Katniss was being courted by Gale, when the organizers of the Hunger Games paired up Peeta and Katniss as a publicity stunt. At the very end, Katniss tells off Gale for coming up with the idea of hiding explosives in care packages that got hundreds killed, including her sister at the end of the revolution, and she goes back to District-12. Years later Katniss and Peeta are having a picnic with their children.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has Littlefinger developing an ever-creepy crush on the daughter of his childhood sweetheart. Please note, however, that is it acknowledged as creepy and not reciprocated.
  • In Anne McCaffrey's Tower and the Hive books, the Rowan/Afra/Jeff triangle gets resolved in favour of Rowan/Jeff, and Afra is subsequently paired with their daughter Damia.
  • In The Twilight Saga, Bella and Edward end up together, but leave poor Jacob alone. Not to worry, when their daughter Renesmee is born he "imprints" upon her, essentially becoming romantically bonded for life with a newborn. It's even suggested that Renesmee was destined to be Jacob's soulmate even before she was born, and the attraction Jacob felt toward Bella resulted from this.

    Live-Action TV 
  • A very weird one occurs in Doctor Who. Amy has Rory and the Doctor as potential love interests, and chooses Rory. The Doctor may or may not have some romantic interest in her, and he also may fancy Rory just a little bit — enough to kiss him once, at least. (Rory, for his part, is completely Amy-sexual.) Amy and Rory have a daughter, who grows up to be the Doctor's future wife River Song. It's severely complicated by the fact that while they are all time travellers, they are not all necessarily travelling in the same direction or at the same speed. The Doctor meets River before he meets Amy and Rory, on the day River dies, and likes her before anyone except River knows who her parents are. River decided, when she was a kid, to grow up together with her parents at the same age as them, never telling them who she was. Oh, and River has another mother — the Doctor's Bond Creature, eternal Love Interest and wife, the TARDIS.
  • Variation in the original V (1983) where Robin Maxwell loved Kyle Bates, but he ended up with her rapidly grown child Elizabeth instead (although there was never a triangle in the first generation).

    Video Games 
  • It is possible for Robin to marry one of the children characters in Fire Emblem: Awakening. Robin's child, Morgan, will then not be available until rather late in the game... but will eventually grow up even stronger than usual, having inherited the stat bonuses of not two, but three original-generation parents.
  • In The Sims, this is a very common player tactic. See two sims you think look cool? Marry one now, have your kids grow up with birthday cake and marry the other.

  • El Goonish Shive: The Nanase/Elliot/Sarah love triangle is resolved by Elliot getting together with Sarah, and Nanase realizing she's a lesbian and hooking up with Elliot's sister/daughter/Opposite-Sex Clone, Ellen.note 

    Western Animation 
  • Bojack Horseman has BoJack attempt to reconnect with an old friend of his only to find out that's she's married with kids. And while even he's not sure if he was actually going to go through with it, he gets dangerously close to having sex with her teenage daughter, essentially destroying the friendship he had for good.
  • On The Cleveland Show, Rallo has a Precocious Crush on his stepbrother Junior's Girl of the Week, Chanel. Eventually we find out that Chanel and her ex-boyfriend have a daughter together, and Rallo is instantly smitten with her instead. Played With, however, because Junior doesn't wind up with Chanel, instead encouraging her to get back together with her ex-boyfriend for the sake of their daughter.
  • Corvax's Evil Plan in Muzzy Comes Back. Since he couldn't get Princess Sylvia in the first movie, he kidnaps her daughter Amanda instead, to raise her as his future wife and queen.