Three successful generations is basically a Power Trio formed by three successive generations that represent the phases of a person's life as they gain experience and maturity.
The three generations consist of:
- The Youth: The young person who has the confidence and intelligence to go wherever in life they want to. The older generations know that they are the future and want to help them make something of themself. They are probably a smart student who know what they want to be when they grow up.
- The Adult: The person who has reached a more stable position in their life. They know how to focus on the present and get things done. The other generations look up to them even while they're still working things out. They are probably working hard to be a Self-Made Man.
- The Elder: The older person who has lived a full life. They now act as head of the family, helping the middle generation guide the next one. They want to keep their past alive through the youngest generation. They are like an active retiree who's as proud as The Patriarch.
There's generally more of a bond between the older and younger generations, but the middle one will always be there to bridge the gap between the grandparent and grandchild characters. Might be able to become a Generational Saga.
This is not Legacy Character where the younger character inherits the success of the older generation. This is where each of the three individuals work in their own way to personally earn their accomplishments. The youth is most likely to succeed, the adult is working on succeeding, and the elder has achieved success.
- Main hero of One Piece, Monkey D. Luffy is on a quest to become The Pirate King, his father Monkey D. Dragon turns out to be a leader of revolutionaries trying to bring down the World Government, while Luffy's grandfather Monkey D. Garp is an (ex) Marine Vice Admiral who is called "The Hero", a main force of said government, which makes their relations inherently antagonistic.
- This is the entire plot of Mobile Suit Gundam AGE. As said in the series' tagline: "Three destinies will make history".
- In Tokyo Ghoul :Re, a darker example of this is present with the three generations of the Washuu Family. Chairman Tsuneyoshi Washuu is the ultimate authority within the CCG, having long ago established his status as the legendary "Demon Tsune". His son, Chief Yoshitoki Washuu, is the current head of daily operations for the organization and supervises many operations and projects. Throwing a wrench into things is the youngest generation, Matsuri Washuu. An ambitious man, he seeks to oust his own father and take over the organization. While the family has led the organization since it's conception, each member is expected to distinguish themselves in the field and uphold the honor of their Badass Family.
- Of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Anakin Skywalker has always dreamed of having the freedom to become a Jedi Knight, Obi-Wan Kenobi is obedient to the Jedi council and makes a stable father figure to Anakin, and Qui-Gon Jinn is insistent that Anakin become a Jedi Knight and fulfill his destiny.
- Family Business has Jessie, who is proud of his criminal past and lifestyle, his son Vito, who now runs a thriving wholesale Twelfth Avenue meat packing warehouse and has left his criminal past behind him, and his grandson Adam, who is in college with a scientific scholarship and seemingly has a bright future ahead of him.
- Arthur Christmas: Steve is the tech-savvy heir apparent to the North Pole, Grandsanta is the retired patriarch who is constantly reminding others of his accomplishments and harping on "the good old days," while the current Santa clearly had a good run, but is now struggling with the decision of whether to step down in favor of his son.
- Rinus de Gier, Henk Grijpstra and the Comissaris in Janwillem van de Wetering's "Amsterdam Cop" novels.
- Miles (the youth), Aral (the adult), and Piotr (the elder) in Vorkosigan Saga.
- By the end of The Westing Game, Turtle's family have become this trope: Windy Windkloppel, who founded a giant paper-products conglomerate under the "Sam Westing" alias, is the Elder; his niece Grace Wexler, the Adult, has become the owner/director of a chain of Chinese restaurants; and T.R. "Turtle" Wexler herself, as the Youth, is building her second fortune in as a stockbroker and businesswoman.
- 7th Heaven has Mary, who has the confidence and ability to want to play in the Women's National Basketball Association someday, Annie, who is the vastly knowledgeable mother, and Annie's mother in law Ruth, who wants to visit the children more than once a year to influence them.
The Colonel: Well, we're lucky to have Annie and Mary. You know, our Mary has enough salt to make jerky.Grandma Ruth: That Annie, she's always been a doer. She's not afraid to get her hands dirty.
- The Reagan family of Blue Bloods features three active members of the NYPD: Jamie, a former law student who joined the force after his brother Joe's death, making him a very well-educated rookie; Danny, an experienced and driven detective whose investigations make up the A-plot of most episodes; and their father Frank, police commissioner and voice of integrity and wisdom within the family. The Reagan family also includes Frank's own father Henry, a retired former police commissioner respected by all, and precocious teenage Nicky who's thinking of becoming a cop herself; thus, it's more a case of Five Successful Generations.
- From Gilmore Girls there's Rory Gilmore, who harbours a long-held dream to study at Harvard University and become a journalist, Lorelai Gilmore, whose legacy is her daughter Rory and the goal of owning her own Inn that she's been working toward for twenty years, and Emily Gilmore, who invests in Rory's education and seeks to bring her into their lifestyle.
- The Most Popular Girls in School: In the van Buren family, the members that share the dynamic are Cameron, Mikayla and their mother, who were/are very popular at school for being head cheerleaders, or because of their family history. Shay misses out because Mackenzie took head cheerleader in elementary school, and is ashamed of it — even though it was through no fault of her own.
- The Simpsons has Lisa, Marge, and Mona Simpson; the girl genius with the world as her oyster; the mother who can do practically anything she sets her mind to; and the grandmother (Lisa's gran, Marge's mother-in-law) who is intelligent, well-travelled, and generally led a full life.
- There is an inversion in the unsuccessful males, Bart, Homer, and Abe; the young boy who's more interested in causing trouble; the father who never bothered to learn anything in youth, and can't advance now; and the grandfather who never made anything of his life.
- DuckTales (2017): Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby are the talented young kids with bright futures and ambitions to be great adventurers. Donald, Launchpad and Della are the adults who have made something of themselves, but are still striving to achieve higher goals - they also suffer the occasional setback now and then. Scrooge and Beakley are elders who have lived their lives to the fullest, and are now passing on their knowledge to the latest generation - Scrooge by taking his great-nephews on adventures, Beakley by training her granddaughter.