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Super Breeding Program

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Overlord: You are to be the forefather of a new race, together along with Kar-La, this genetically perfect woman as your mate. As I said, I am experimenting with a new type of android that requires the seed of a specimen such as yourself to produce a new race...superior to these rather slow-witted models.
Spoony: Eww! The androids need Yor's seed?! What kind of sick-ass future is this?

A character or group creates a "superior" being or beings through the good old-fashioned way (i.e. sex — or at least something involving a womb, artificial or not). This can take multiple forms, such as making it multi-generational or including supernatural/technologically augmented parents. This usually is an attempt to make Super Soldiers, but not always.

Social Darwinists, Those Wacky Nazis and Nazi-expies are often the masterminds behind the program, considering the very concept (eugenics, which is a far less fantastic version of this in real life) is basically their ideal. Of course, since breeding to get the desired result is essentially hit-or-miss, expect plenty of discussion of what happens to undesirable results, and the angst that accompanies it.

This shouldn't be confused with Designer Babies, who are artificially created to be better. Though, this is not to say that you can't have Designer Babies as part of the experience. Stalker with a Test Tube is a more individualized Sub-Trope.


See also Superpowerful Genetics and Transhuman. May be the result of crossbreeding two species, creating a bunch of Half-Human Hybrids or Heinz Hybrids. Usually results in Superpowered Mooks. May require a Disposable Superhero Maker. Compare LEGO Genetics and/or Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke. Inevitably creates a Super Prototype. Usually works on the assumption of Evolutionary Levels.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Sumomo Mo Momo Mo, Momoko Kuzuryu tries to sire a child with Koshi Inuzuka, because she thinks, that he could provide the perfect genetic material for children, who could use her family's most powerful techniques.
  • In Sore wa Totsuzen, Unmei no Aite ga ("Suddenly, the Marriage Partner Showed Up"), the Japanese Government carries this via arranging the marriages of their citizens through an agency named "Coupling Center", which uses genetic compatibility as its main matchmaking drive. There is an option to refuse said matches, but so far it hasn't been used in-story.
  • My Hero Academia: Quirk Marriages are common, marriages arranged with the intent of enhancing a particular Quirk down the bloodline. Shoto Todoroki is the result of one of these marriages, and possesses both the fire powers of his father and ice powers of his mother. His three elder siblings got much worse combinations, and were declared failures.
  • In Terra Formars we have Joseph G. Newton. His family is part of a Breeding Cult that seeks mates based entirely on their genetic qualities in order to create the perfect human. They have been doing this for over 500 years and he is the current apex of that practice which gave him Mars Power Ranking #1 despite never using the transformation drug.
  • In Thou Shalt Not Die, to achieve both this trope and helping psychic kids coping with being weapons with no rights, the Japanese government opened a soapland for the boys and orders the workers to collect their sperm.
  • In Genma Wars, the Maoh King develops the habit of breeding with human females in order to produce a powerful heir. It's revealed that he was ordered to do so by the Great Genma King, the god of their race, to engineer endless conflicts by spawning as many half-human children as he could because Dystopia Justifies the Means.
  • Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms: The movie's plot is kicked off when Mezarte kingdom soldiers capture women from a Society of Immortals so they can bear immortal children for the kingdom.

    Comic Books 
  • In The Invaders comic in the Marvel Universe, Adolf Hitler wanted to marry his two most perfect warriors Master Man and Warrior Woman to breed a race of Nazi supermen.
  • This was Mister Sinister's motivation for a long time, seeking to combine the DNA of Jean Grey and Scott Summers. The first time round, he did it the old fashioned way, with a clone of Jean programmed to fall in love with Scott called Madelyn Pryor. It ended badly. It partially succeeded, however, leading to the birth of Cable, who when unimpeded by the Techno-Organic virus, was a genuine threat to Apocalypse and strong enough to hold a floating island in the air while going toe to toe with the Silver Surfer.
    • The Age of Apocalypse version went the artificial route and combined Jean and Scott's DNA, artificially ageing the result, Nate Grey a.k.a. X-Man as a Living Weapon to kill Apocalypse. It worked - Apocalypse was beaten to a pulp and Magneto finished him off. At full power, Nate is a fully fledged Reality Warper, Dimensional Traveller and possibly possessed of Resurrective Immortality (once he died after being infected by an artificial virus and essentially willed himself back to life). In any event, he was capable of becoming an Energy Being at will, stepping outside of time to see the future and accidentally bringing back the dead, something he did at least twice — once, it stuck. The second time, not so much. He also once claimed that he was born to destroy planets. No one contradicted him. More recently, he held off the entirety of the X-Men and Magneto, while carrying on a calm psychic conversation with his mother, then created an entire new plane of existence - the Age of X-Man. Unsurprisingly, he's quite possibly the most powerful mutant in Marvel's publication history, with only Franklin Richards for a peer, to the point where Onslaught used the pair of them as batteries. So, yeah, it worked.
  • In some versions of Spider-Man, Lizard was a reptile-supremacist Mad Scientist. This resulted in some wacky hijinks like cloned dinosaurs or poisoning humans with "instant lizardman" formulae.
    • Sauron (yes, he chose the name intentionally), is much the same, right down to the 'turn people into dinosaurs thing'.
  • The Kree Supreme Intelligence, having realized they had reached a genetic dead end, became fascinated by the Kree-Human qualities of the then Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers). He kidnapped her and planned to mate her with Captain Marvel, but they managed to escape. Ironically, Carol became Ms. Marvel, at least in part, because of her attraction to Captain Marvel. (That was before she learned he was the Kree Captain Mar-Vell, not human.) Dr. Minerva (aka Minn-Erva) later decided to make herself a Kree-Human hybrid and fulfill the Supremor's plans.
  • A group of New Warriors villains called the Folding Circle (as well as one of the Warriors, Silhouette) was formed by a cult of Cambodian sorceresses mating with American G.I.s so their super-powered offspring could fulfill a prophecy.
  • Batman's Ra's Al-Ghul's plans tend to revolve around this in his search for an heir, since his only "worthy" child, Talia Al-Ghul is a woman. So he wants her and Batman to marry to give him a true male heir.
  • Star Trek: Early Voyages: In "Our Dearest Blood", the Rigellians specifically bred the Kaylar as a warrior elite. They are larger than the average humanoid and possess pronounced fangs. They appear to have limited intelligence and can seemingly only say their name, which is typically used as a battle cry.
  • Star Trek: Untold Voyages: In "Worlds Collide", it is revealed that Saavik and the other half-Vulcan, half-Romulan children that Spock found in the ruins of an abandoned Romulan colony almost a year earlier were part of a secret Romulan project to breed hybrids using captured Vulcans. The Romulans hoped to improve their race through selective breeding by exploiting the subtle genetic differences that had developed between Romulans and Vulcans since the two races diverged 2,000 years earlier.

    Fan Works 
  • In Child of the Storm indicates that the Askani get up to a relatively harmless variant of this, looking to maintain their bloodlines of psychics, and have for millennia, occasionally looking for new input into those bloodlines - such as Charles Xavier, who was none too pleased by the idea. Ironically, a family they'd exiled many generations back ended up producing Jean, Maddie, and Harry - the three most powerful psychics ever born.
    • On a much less harmless scale, Doctor Nathaniel Essex is, as per canon, very interested in this.
  • In Game Theory, the TSAB provides incentives for citizens with Rare Skills to have children in order to perpetuate their abilities. Megane conceived Lutecia through artificial insemination in part for this reason.
  • The Bloodline King in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines has one of these, and he forcibly kidnaps people to be used to breed bloodliner children. These include Misty's older sisters.
  • In Wish Carefully, Death Eaters kidnapped a group of women to become the Cabal, to breathe in new life for their inbred bloodlines and ensure magically strong children.
  • In The Hunger Games fanfic Glimmer Of Hope Catos Story, it's custom in Districts 1 and 2 to arrange marriages between Victors to produce better Tributes. Cato's parents Severus and Livia are one such pairing.
  • Son of the Sannin:
    • This is Jiraya's long term plan with Haku. Get him attached enough to the village to want to stay once Zabuza's parole has ended, and then start a family to add another powerful clan to Konoha's ranks.
    • Mei Terumi mentions at one point that she was constantly pressured by her family into having children for this reason (since she is a rare case of having two Bloodline Limits). The author also mentions that this is one of the reasons why they found her Christmas Cake status in canon so ridiculous (the other being that her looks, power, smarts, and influence would have most men fight to the death for the right to be her husband).
  • In the RWBY Crack Fic Ozpin the Eugenicist, the eponymous Eccentric Mentor breeds his students together so as to ensure humanity's future safety against the Grimm. Drugs are involved.
  • In Mandie's New Target, Princess Mandie explains Boudacians became so powerful through this. Since her father is not a Boudacian, her mother married a powerful member of another race so that her child could inherit his best traits. Seeing Danny Phantom in action, Mandie wants him as a lover and to breed supersoldiers. Danny has no desire to be with her and rejects the idea of fathering evil planet conquerors.

    Film — Animated 
  • In Felidae, Claundandus plans to breed cats back to their original, superior form, and eliminates those that would cause a glitch in his plans.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • James Bond:
    • In Moonraker, main villain Hugo Drax plans to do some omnicide, and repopulate the planet Noah’s Ark style with pairs of men and women he has determined to be the best specimens of the human race.
    • A View to a Kill: Big Bad Max Zorin's Freudian Excuse stems from the fact that he's the end result of a eugenics project, in which pregnant women in concentration camps were forcibly overdosed with steroids in an attempt to create the ideal Super Soldier for the Nazis. The few babies that survived grew to become extraordinarily gifted — but also totally sociopathic.
  • The Super Mario Bros. movie's antagonist was trying to create a new breed of soldiers by transforming the denizens of his universe into large mooks with tiny heads.

  • According to Allegiant, people who entered the Bureau's walled off community in Chicago had to agree to have as many children as possible, with the purpose of eventually making "genetically pure" or "genetically healed" humans, known as Divergents.
  • This is played straight in Adam R. Brown's Alterien series. The Alteriens breed with each other to continue their species. The Nano Alteriens will have children who inherit all their abilities despite techincally being half human. Their children also inherit their attractive physical traits, with none falling short of the beautiful faces and physiques of their parents, grandparents, etc.
  • In the Dystopian/science fiction classic Brave New World, a future society where people aren't even allowed to breed on their own, they use uterine replicators to genetically and biologically control the development of the fetus, and have multiple castes of humans, some vastly different in appearance and intelligence, based on what jobs they can have (it's also a form of population control).
  • The Counselors and Kings trilogy tells about the Halruaan tradition of divining for good marriages and the tradition of occasionally arranging the births of antimagical Jordain. The first was generally suspected to be the work of an Ancient Conspiracy breeding the desired talents and preventing undesirable, the second turned out to go much deeper and darker than the public believed.
  • DFZ: Opal was genetically engineered by a dragon using the impressive genes of her mother, crossed with the genes of a powerful mage donor, to make her the most powerful mage on the planet and beautiful to boot. Her parents were extremely disappointed when she came out rather average in the looks department, and Unskilled, but Strong in the magic department. Turns out her incredible power was the exact problem. Every magical education is designed for the average mage, and Opal is orders of magnitude stronger. Nobody ever bothered to teach her how to turn down her power to manageable levels, so every time she tried to use magic it just burst past the limits the spells were designed for and exploded. Eventually she stopped trying to learn.
  • In the Discworld novel Feet of Clay, the Big Bad had been breeding the royal family from behind the scenes for quite some time before they went missing. He takes a strong interest in Captain Carrot, who is almost certainly the long-lost scion of that bloodline.
  • All over the place in Dune, starting from the Bene Gesserit with their Kwisatz Haderach project and their, um, specialists in this area. They got their Kwisatz Haderach, all right. They just didn't expect him to lead an army of Fremen and take over the known universe.
    • The noble houses of the Landsraad, mostly by virtue of being the male side of the Bene Gesserit breeding program (and many of their daughters being recruited into the Bene Gesserit). An unusual case of a hereditary aristocracy that really is genetically superior to most of the general population.
    • The imperial Sardaukar and the Fremen are two Badass Armies from death worlds where they Had to Be Sharp. Leto II creates a "crossbreed army" that surpasses either of them.
  • Robert A. Heinlein:
    • The Howard Families of the Future History series are a breeding project for longevity. Considering Lazarus Long was born about three generations in and is still kicking (and sometimes contributing to the project) after more than two thousand years it seems to be a success.
    • Heinlein's short story Gulf features a secret group of superintelligent humans who are engaged in a number of long term plans, including a breeding program to increase their own numbers as well as become a physically distinct species no longer capable of interbreeding with homo sapiens.
    • In Tunnel in the Sky, a group of high school and college students are stranded on an alien planet when a survival test goes wrong. One of the college students, "Waxie", starts to filibuster that the colony should run on "scientific criteria" and that they're in a position to breed a super-race. During his bid for mayor, the pieces of a shattered clay pot are used his ballots, with the resident smartass declaring "the crackpots are votes for Waxie".
  • In The Irregular at Magic High School, this trope is the reason magician society is so awful. How awful is it? There is a character who's so frail that he can't leave his bed half the time, because he is the product of incest meant to create a magically strong child. Another family-the Yotsuba-is on the brink of ruin because its descendants are so strong that the family elders cannot discipline them effectively.
  • Isaac Asimov's "Kid Stuff": The elf is a Mutant member of its own race, capable of using its Psychic Powers to generate electricity. Once it has shown to the rest of Avalon how its genetics are superior, it plans to breed its children together and develop a race of super-elves.
  • In Larry Niven's Known Space series, the "Teela Brown gene", which makes a human being who possesses it amazingly lucky, is the product of a very long-term breeding program performed in secret by the Pierson's Puppeteers on the entire human race. By the chronologically last story in the series, "Safe At Any Speed", the gene has spread to the point that nearly 90% of all humans in the galaxy are lucky.
  • The Lensman series has the Arisian breeding program, which advances to penultimates in the Arisians' four best candidate species. Although the development of all four species is advanced as a result (with spinoff side benefits for the rest of the galaxy), the Arisians' ultimate goal for their breeding program is to create the ultimate telepathic weapon even though, as a consequence, they will make themselves obsolete as guardians of civilisation - a fate they accept to its logical extreme.
  • The Long Utopia, book four in The Long Earth series, reveals that a group of natural steppers - people who can move between alternate Earths - set one of these up in the 1800s. Pooling their resources, they created a long-term trust that would offer their descendants incentives to meet, marry and have kids (without telling them exactly why).
  • Uruk-hai in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers were a result of Sauron's attempt at breeding orcs that would be more resilient and better suited to function in an organized society.
  • Repairman Jack runs into a villainous example in Bloodline, in which a highly-Tainted man's sons work to fulfill their father's scheme to kidnap and rape their half-sister, then impregnate the daughter of that incestuous rape, all so they can concentrate the demonic Taint in their family and generate a full-blooded q'qr.
  • In Christopher Nuttall's The Royal Sorceress, there's a breeding program for magicians called "The Farms". It is an effort to create Master Magicians (or at least multi-powered magicians), magicians with all magical abilities, instead of just one like other magicians (or the extremely rare magicians with two). There have only been five total Master magicians in history. Female magicians are sent to the farms unwillingly and used as breeding slaves by male magicians, and the resulting offspring are sent to be raised by magician nobles in order to increase the number of magical nobles loyal to Britain. In accordance to Superpowerful Genetics, most of the resulting offspring end up as magicians with a single power, who are actually weaker than their parents.
  • The isolated Dunyain monks of the Second Apocalypse series have adhered to a breeding program for thousands of years to give them nearly superhuman mental and physical abilities. Their genes have become so exaggerated that they only rarely breed true. Insane or deformed children are traditionally discarded.
  • Sword of Truth: It turns out that the Sisters of the Light have one. Hoping to breed more Wizards, who are dying out, the young Wizards training under them are encouraged to sire children with the Sisters of the Light (who are all sorceresses) or the muggle women in the city. In the latter case, they'll pay the mothers a stipend for raising the child. Verna had a daughter with one of the Wizards, Jedediah, who didn't have the gift and thus was given to another family. She kept in contact with her, and thus endured seeing her daughter die of old age as the Palace of the Prophets slows the Sisters' aging so they can live for centuries on end.
  • Taken to perhaps the point of parody in The Tamuli, where the Atan race were originally a subset of Tamuls, who were bred for strength and size. After a thousand years or so, they had become so fearsome that they threatened to kill off themselves over minor feuds, so a system of cultural slavery was introduced, so that every Atan would only take orders from a Tamul official or other duly appointed authority (this mostly boils down to the Atans asking permission to avenge a perceived slight, getting a no, and going back to what they were doing before).
  • In the Tower and the Hive series, there's no formal eugenics going on, but Talent is mostly heritable and strong Talents tend to marry strong Talents (for multiple reasons; among others, in FT&T powerful Talents primarily socialize with each other). This leads to the top spots in FT&T being dominated by a few extended families; one member of such responds to accusations of nepotism by calling it "smart family planning". Earlier in the series, FT&T offered up financial and positional incentives for Talents who had kids together, but it's implied that very few high-level Talents took them up on it, prior to the Rowan and Jeff Raven. (Hence why, by the final novel, 75% of Towers were run by Rowan and Raven's kids and grandkids.)
  • Vorkosigan Saga:
    • In A Civil Campaign, a Barrayaran Count sets up a breeding program using cast-off female eggs and his own sperm in Uterine Replicators to create dozens of his own daughters, not as a bid to create some kind of pure or super race, but to improve the demographics of his county. (He picked daughters because Barrayar's patriarchal laws would give him more control over them, and also because Barrayar had an unbalanced gender ratio and the Count was trying to lure male taxpayers with marriage opportunities.) The wife (who'd already given him a few legitimate children) whose consent he did not have, wasn't very happy about it either. The Imperial government managed to find a culturally acceptable way of discouraging more of this without penalizing the innocent girls: the Count is ordered to provide them—ALL of them—with appropriate dowries.
    • The Cetagandans are a better example of this. The haut, or the highest of their caste are working on a two-track system to create a superior breed of humanity, incorporating useful genes from lesser castes in order to modify themselves. Procreation is accomplished through replicators and negotiated genetic contracts, meaning not only may a set of parents not ever have sex, they might not even meet.
  • In the Wild Cards series, the Takisians have this going on. Thousands of years in the past a small percentage of their population began to develop minor telepathic powers. The telepaths all quickly got together and started a eugenic breeding program that led to a significant increase in their powers, and their becoming a Supernatural Elite over their planet.
  • In The Witcher there's a not-so-Ancient Conspiracy of long-living sorcerers who bred their own uber-mage (by the way, from leftovers of an older Elven program) manipulating a few "interesting" ancestries via arranged marriages, "random" quarrels and love potions. One sorceress who was induced into the secret immediately expressed her opinion on the idea very graphically — by swirling the visual representation of the bloodlines into complete chaos and stating that's how this works outside the official genealogy books. As in Dune, they ended up with something too hot for them to handle — but weren't wise enough to drop it before some got burns.
  • Subverted in the Gentleman Bastard Sequence. You'd expect the Bondsmagi to be the type of sinister organization to have some form of mage-breeding program in place. They don't, for reasons both pragmatic and emotional. The pragmatic reason is that magical ability "does not breed true", and while genetics is barely understood to be a thing in the setting, the implication is that it depends on a huge number of interacting alleles, none of which can be individually correlated to identifiable characteristics. The emotional one is that the Bondsmagi are just as against being bred like cattle as any other free-spirited human, and prefer to be allowed to have children with whoever they damn well please, thankyouverymuch.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Familiars from Dark Angel had been running one of these for millennia.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Sontaran Stratagem"/"The Poison Sky", Luke Rattigan plans this for the students at his academy, all fellow teen geniuses, in order to populate another planet with a "super race" of humans. They're understandably freaked out when he reveals this plan (amongst other equally frightening suggestions...).
  • The Man in the High Castle: Joe Blake discovers in season 2 that he was born as part of the Lebensborn program in 1935 before his mother took him to the United States prior to the war. He initially feels angered and weirded out by this because the older generation of Germans treat them as some sort of destined group. He meets a German girl in Berlin and others who were also part of the same program. In Season 3, Himmler disposes of the Lebensborn by using them as assassins on suicide missions.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series implied this is how Khan and his ilk came about. They were called the "Eugenics Wars", after all. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan retconned it to have been modern genetic engineering.
  • The Psi Corps in Babylon 5, among other things, bred telepaths for psionic ability.
    • The Expanded Universe claims that the telepathy gene is mitochondrial (i.e. passed down from the mother), so a union between a Mundane mother and a telepath father would result in a Mundane child. It's implied that father's genes serve to enhance the child's telepathy if he or she has received the gene from the mother (otherwise, breeding would be pointless). This fact also resulted in many female telepaths keeping their mothers' last name (e.g. the female Alexander line stretches back to the founding of the Psi Corps).
  • In Supernatural, Sam and Dean are the end result of generations of matchmaking by the forces of Heaven and Hell to produce the True Vessels for the Archangels Lucifer and Michael respectively.
  • Taken: In the final episode "Taken", John explains the purpose of the aliens' experiment in crossbreeding over the course of three generations to Charlie, Lisa and Allie. When Sally took him into her house and tended to him in "Beyond the Sky", his long dormant emotions were brought to the surface by this simple act of kindness. The aliens sought to combine their more highly evolved consciousness with the strength and power that humans draw from their emotions. Allie was the end result of their experiment, which John describes as an unqualified success. He tells Lisa that it is Allie's destiny to join the aliens and help them to come to terms with their latent emotions.
  • Logan's Run: In "The Innocent", Rem determines that Lisa's ancestors were test subjects in an experiment into the development of psychokinetic powers conducted by the US government. Her abilities allow her to defend herself from anyone who tries to enter the former test facility in which she lives.
  • Motherland: Fort Salem: Witches are encouraged to have children together through arranged marriages in hopes of them having stronger magic. It is suggested that mixing the bloodline with civilian blood can result in "faint" witches' marks and Raelle mentions that it is generally looked down on to have a civilian father (which she does).
  • Law & Order: SVU: In "[[ Desire]]" Douglas McManus is running one, hoping to increase the IQ of the human race by gathering the sperm samples of men with high intelligence for in-vitro fertilization, as he's convinced that IQs are dropping.

  • Journey into Space: In The Return from Mars, the Talians are dedicated to creating perfect beings. As such, breeding is strictly regulated. Anyone who has a child without permission is exiled from Talia and is forced to join the Sotteers, a group of genetic rejects.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Dragon-Bloods in Exalted tried to keep their blood "pure" by only mating with each other in an earlier time in the setting. This loosened somewhat as the Second Age rolled on, and they started sleeping with mortals, at a corresponding cost to their power. The Dynasty has the purest blood of the Terrestrial Exalted in Creation, since they descend from the Empress (who was either of unusual purity or completely pure-blooded, Depending on the Writer) and keep tighter track of their genealogies.
    • The Lintha also try their hand at this, but since Polyamory is expected of all pure-blooded Lintha, it's a practical impossibility to determine for certain who the real father of any given Lintha was.
      • A few Lintha are also secretly running much more carefully documented breeding programs that are less concerned with the more ideological notions of blood purity that prohibit mating with non-Lintha, as well as being more direct in breeding in some god and demon blood. It's actually having some good returns, but is so dreadfully heretical that their scale has to be kept fairly small, lest it be discovered and everybody involved brutally executed.
  • The Clans of BattleTech have a multi-generational version of this, where only the best of the best warriors are allowed to breed. But they turn out to not be much better than the Inner Sphere's "freeborn" soldiers, especially when it came to strategy.
    • It's a bit of a hit and miss case. The Clans' "Elemental" Power Armor wearing infantry are two and a half metres tall and terrifyingly strong even outside their armour. Clan Mechwarriors are probably better fighters one-on-one than their Inner Sphere counterparts even without the benefit of better equipment, but not by much and hamstrung by a rigid code of honour that their opponents very quickly learned to exploit. Clan Aerospace fighters on the other hand are generally worse than counterparts and more or less considered a complete failure.
    • Ultimately, the Trueborn program was complicated by both Fantastic Racism and Clan politics. It is almost unheard of for even the most skilled of freeborn warriors to have their genes added to their Clan's gene pool; even in the rare instances where exceptions have been made, the warriors in question are still direct descendantsnote  of one or more of the original 800 warriors with which the program began. Similarly, given that only Bloodnamed warriors are included in the breeding program and the politicized nature of Trials of Bloodright, "best" is often synonymous with "most politically connected."
  • Warhammer 40,000's Fabius Bile has long been experimenting with this kind of science, in order to spread his twisted "new men" across the galaxy. Fabius's idea of what constitutes human perfection is not exactly pleasant...
  • Believing in eugenics, the Nazis of Rocket Age have been working on breeding perfect Aryans.
  • In the Nentir Vale setting for Dungeons & Dragons, Thouls were created by the ancient hobgoblin empire as an attempt to engineer a race of Super Soldiers by crossbreeding hobgoblins with trolls and then infecting the resultant hybrids with ghouldom. The resultant creatures were physically superior to their base hobgoblin ancestors, combining the Super Strength and Healing Factor of a troll with the ripping talons and paralytic touch of a ghoul, but the experiment was considered less than a success; thouls turned out to lack the hobgoblin discipline and control, and they were also (by goblinoid standards, at least) extremely slow-breeding.

    Video Games 
  • A major plot point in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War has the Loptyrian cult breeding a new vessel for their dragon of worship, Loptyr to return, via breeding two siblings who are distant descendants of Loptyr's original vessel. They turn out to be the hero's Love Interest and his rival.
  • Fire Emblem Awakening does the same thing as Genealogy of the Holy War with one twist: The Avatar, AKA the player character, is the product of one of these, held by the the Grimleal cult to breed a person who can be the perfect vessel of Grima. And the current leader of the project? The Avatar's biological father, Validar.
  • The Pokémon games have allowed the player to do this since Pokémon Gold and Silver. It's pretty much a requirement if you want to play competitively against other people or even do well at the various battle facilities that are unlocked in the post-game. Each generation of games after Gold and Silver have also made breeding better monsters easier and easier, and allows you to customize the monster with high stats, moves that they can't normally learn, rare abilities and even shiny forms on top of that.
  • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, it is explained that the Tevinter Imperium practices the "arranged marriage" version of this. All social power is held by aristocratic human mages, and they've spent generations inter-marrying to exploit Superpowerful Genetics.
  • A sidequest in Arcanum reveals that this is the origin of the Half-Ogre species. They were actually created by a Government Conspiracy of Gnomes who wanted an obedient and powerful race to serve as bodyguards for them, and to that end, created a horrible breeding program that secretly kidnapped human and elf women, and forcibly impregnated them with Ogre semen. The births were almost invariably fatal for the mother, and the program went through countless of victims who gave birth to sterile hybrids before enough Half-Ogres who could reproduce were born to create a viable gene pool, at which point the whole program was covered up. Attempts were made to impregnate female Ogres with human DNA, but this almost never led to pregnancy. Worse still, the evidence of the conspiracy is stolen, and the player has no way of proving what they found.
  • Beyond: Two Souls: It is revealed that the CIA has been experimenting with selective breeding by pairing up people with limited psychic abilities to see if their powers will be increased in the next generation. Jodie Holmes is a result of this project.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: The Thalmor seek to replace human dominance with elven dominance, so they pillage supplies from their annexed countries, breed like rabbits, and kill any babies they deem 'defective' in a bid for racial purity. And unknown to most of the rank-and-file Thalmor, the Thalmor's high council are planning to make this extremist breeding amount to nothing, as they believe they can reincarnate into perfect unchanging beings by starving the gods of belief and destroying the universe.
  • In Final Fantasy VI, as successful results of Magic infusion experiment, Celes is expected to marry Kefka and bear his children for the Empire. Thankfully the story never went that route.
  • Crusader Kings, due to characters having inheritable genetic traits that can be combined and passed down to their children, has always had this as an option, but Crusader Kings III made it an outright gameplay element. Firstly, the game allows you improve your dynasty's bloodline through the legacies mechanic, making members of your dynasty more likely to pass down favourable traits. Then there's a title called the 'blood-father/mother' you can obtain if you breed forth a character with all three positive traits (intelligence, looks, build), with no negative traits and one of the three at the highest level, which further buffs that character and all their descendants with large bonuses to passing down positive traits, and finally there's the 'Pure-Blooded' trait which makes a character resistant to producing inbred offspring. Obtaining all these goals will require the player to engage in a lot of Royal Inbreeding and outright eugenics, and probably a lot of inbred failures amongst the way.

  • The Dagrenning Program ("Dawn" in several Nordic languages) in Stand Still, Stay Silent is essentially this. Only a small portion of the Icelandic population is born with immunity to The Plague, so getting that number up via enabling non-immune couples to have The Immune children via sperm and egg donations is considered to trump any ethical concerns by most people in the setting. The poster about the program shown to the reader does, however, imply some biases in the "quality" of samples that would definitely be on the dark side of eugenics in modern day. To wit, their "unsuitable" candidate example is an unattractive alcoholic with questionable personal hygiene while their "suitable" candidate is a good-looking and hard-working farmer.
  • Archipelago: The dragons are obsessed with racial purity because only pure-blooded dragons can transform into giant flying fire-breathing monsters and mixed-bloods can't, leading to an inevitable decline. Except this pisses off one of their number when they treat him like a slab of raw meat for raising a family that wasn't pure-blooded, causing him to leave and start the plot when his Deal with the Devil goes horribly wrong, warping both himself and the demon he made a pact with. Not helping the dragons' case is that the mixed-blooded daughter has stable teleportation powers that nobody else possesses.

    Web Original 
  • One theory on Cracked proposes that The Emperor from Star Wars wanted to recruit Luke in order to breed Force-sensitive children.
    • This other Cracked article tells the story of a person born as a product of a eugenic project (but whose results were… very different than expected)
  • In the Furry Web Serial Flight of the Godkin Griffin the Godkindred Kingdom believe that by breeding many different species together they can become gods. Social status is determined by the number of species in one's genealogy.
  • In Metamor City the Psi Collective organizes many of its members into polyamorous "breeding cells" in order to increase their numbers and the power of the next generation. Unfortunately because one man can have children with several women at once many weaker men such as Daniel are forbidden from forming cells while practically every woman with a pulse is encouraged to join one.
  • In Spinnerette, North Korea had a breeding program intended to create more supervillains like Colonel Glass. They kidnapped women who had the Cherenkov-Kirby reaction in their bloodline, impregnated them, and exposed them to radiation. Mecha Maid was one of the children produced, she suspects the radiation caused her ALS.
  • One of the Q&A sessions in If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device had a letter propose one of these after hearing of The Emperor's own creation. Everyone is creeped out by it, even the Custodes.
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-ES-091 is an abandoned town located in southern Chile, the site was part of a eugenic project and strange experiments related to human reproduction apparently were carried out in it. The town was abandoned decades ago, however, there is apparently “something” (possibly supernatural) that continues to influence the animals and humans that enter the area.

    Western Animation 
  • El Seed from The Tick had an ultimate goal of creating an army of super-strong animated plants.
  • Supplemental materials from Avatar: The Last Airbender reveal that Zuko and Azula were the result of this; Fire Lord Azulon set up an arranged marriage between Ozai and the granddaughter of Avatar Roku, Ursa, in the hopes of breeding a superior bloodline of Firebenders. Seeing how Azula was an unnaturally powerful prodigy and Zuko, a late bloomer, eventually became her equal/superior,both being Firebending masters as mere teenagers, it's safe to say it worked.

    Real Life 
  • In Real Life, the eugenics movement is based on a disastrous misunderstanding of genetics combined with classism and racism. The hard truth is that it's just not possible to breed some sort of Ultimate Life Form by selecting for supposedly superior genes. Genetics do not work that way, evolution is not goal oriented or organised along Evolutionary Levels, and no life form is objectively superior to any other. Unfortunately, a lot of people didn't realise this for much of the twentieth century, which led to such unpleasantries as The United States forcibly sterilising around sixty thousand supposed "undesirables" (criminals, poor people, prostitutes, The Mentally Disturbed, etc.), and Nazi Germany massacring millions of its own "undesirables" (including nearly six million Jews) to maintain a supposed Aryan Master Race.
  • The Nazis also had the Lebensborn (Fount of Life) program which encouraged fit "Aryans" to have more children, with public awards and financial incentives. Murder was permitted if a disability was discovered, but otherwise strictly forbidden. They also provided aid to unwed mothers (many of them with children fathered by the SS-even Himmler). Some of these facilities were in occupied countries, aiding children deemed born to "Aryans" from other ethnic groups (such as Norwegians) though many at least had German fathers. Many films and books greatly exaggerated these events, turning it into a coercive, centralized operation. In fact, it was voluntary, with no legal punishment for not having more children (except with regards to murder).
  • Speaking of Germany, the Prussian king Frederick William I was obsessed with tall soldiers and reportedly tried making more by breeding some of his "Potsdam Giants" with tall women.
  • Domestication involves doing this to certain animals. Even if the animal's life cycle can be observed within a human's lifetime, the process still takes decades. Breeding for docility can have very profound effects on the animal's appearance in addition to its behavior. One experiment to breed domestic foxes had them become very similar to domestic dogsnote  (they behaved like puppies well into adulthood, and even gained piebald coats).
    • This experiment with foxes also brought to light an interesting correlation between aggressiveness and ear cartilage formation. The less aggressive the animal was the more its ears became floppy and drooped. The same can be observed in dogs, where the more naturally aggressive a breed is the more erect the ears are.
  • Farming has done this for plants as well. Selective breeding over thousands of years has created fruits, vegetables, and grains that are much larger and more nutritious than their wild counterparts.
  • The irony is in reality this trope is just about the exact opposite of what one would want in a healthy population. The smaller the gene pool, even when narrowed with the intent of promoting benign or desired traits, the higher the chance of disastrous inbreeding combinations that result in mental or physical deformities. Not to mention increased vulnerability to diseases old and new. The fact selective breeding often seeks to promote exterior traits regardless of what consequences appear in the genome only exacerbates this. It's one reason why "purebred" dogs are almost always far less healthy than "mixed bred/mutts", the smaller gene pools can lead to harmful recessive traits cropping up more and more.

Alternative Title(s): Eugenics


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