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An epic Sibling Rivalry over the heart of... their little sister.

Shipping preferences, based on the Incest Subtext in a story.

Incest is a serious, possibly instinctive taboo among human beings—every known culture has an incest taboo, and every known culture generally finds incest disgusting. (Now, the sticking point and source of Values Dissonance is that while all these cultures agree that incest is wrong, most of them have different ideas of what constitutes incest—but further exploration of this topic is better suited to your anthropology textbook). Anyhow, despite the above, (or perhaps because of it), there is a significant amount of people with this fetish, and this being the Internet, they can't wait to share their Shipping theories with you.

Even with the taboo, they might have an easier job than even the Ho Yay shippers, since normal family members are often so close to each other, both physically and emotionally, that with any other partner, it would be considered erotic by anyone. Just pick up any dialogue between relatives, ignore the obvious intentions, and Ta-da! you have subtext.

This is a subpage for fandom theories. When the same effect is actually invoked in the plot, with a particular scene, that is actual Incest Subtext.

See also Ho Yay Shipping and Foe Yay Shipping for other shipping tropes that are based on fan-speculation, and Incest Is Relative page for a collection of other incest-related tropes.

No real life examples, please; All The Tropes does not care to squick its readers.

Examples of Incest Yay Shipping include:

Anime and Manga

  • The anime for .hack//Legend of the Twilight was notorious for this to the point that it's what a lot of non-fans of the series in general tend to know it for. The manga it was based on, on the other hand, was vague about it at best.
  • The number of ItachixSasuke fans in the Naruto fandom would surprise newbies, and the size of the fandom only seemed to increase when Itachi died. Outside of NejiHina, this is the most popular incest pairing.
  • In Peacemaker Kurogane Tatsunosuke's overprotectiveness over his younger brother Tetsunosuke sometimes causes this.
  • In Touch Yuka Nitta is, at least at first, very protective of her older brother and a bit too concerned at the prospect of him having a love life.
  • Some of the Nations in Axis Powers Hetalia have rather...close relationships with their sibling-Nations. Case in point: Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Or Russia and Belarus, though that's much more explicit. Or China and Korea, which is only slightly less explicit than Belarus-->Russia.
    • Germancest (Germany/Prussia) is a really popular pair, even more popular than canon or plausible couples like Prussia/Hungary, Austria/Hungary or Finland/Sweden. And they didn't even have many scenes together in the animated series. It doesn't help the fact that Prussia's behavior around Germany is borderline on flirting, but this is quite normal anyway, because it's Prussia.
    • Then there are the cases in which they're Not Blood Related, like England and America, or China and Japan.
    • Then there's Norway and Iceland, who really are blood-related. Shipping them together actually increased somewhat after this revelation came out because it attracted shippers who liked the "forbidden" appeal of one of the few truly related pairs to be romantically involved.
  • Pandora Hearts: Gil's younger brother, Vincent, is extremely possessive of him.
  • Vampire Knight had Zero and Ichiru.
    • And the Kuran family has a history of incest, as seen in the current generation between Kaname and Yuuki And many people do ship them.
  • Angel Sanctuary could not be more blatant about Setsuna and Sara, but some see this between Rociel and Alexiel as well.
    • There is a fandom joke that the only pair of siblings in Angel Sanctuary that don't have unresolved sexual tension are Setsuna and Sara because they've resolved their sexual tension. It's Kaori Yuki, what were you expecting?
  • D.Gray-man has Komui and Lenalee Lee. Komui's rather intense sister complex does nothing to disprove this.
  • Agon and Unsui of Eyeshield 21 is THE incest pairing of the fandom. It's not all that hard to see why, Agon is (without a doubt) the most important person in Unsui's life and Agon's a sociopathic playboy and Memetic Molester whose feelings for his brother are left ambiguous.
  • Code Geass. It's just all over the place in that show, it even has its own Brother-Sister Incest page.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has brothers Edward and Alphonse. The 2003 anime is infamous for showing how close the brothers really are, a common saying amongst fans of the relationship is that 'they broke so many taboos already, what's one more?'

Comic Books


  • In Repo! The Genetic Opera, Luigi and Amber. Particularly the bit where she knees him in the groin and licks his ear at the same time.
    • According to their brother Pavi's myspace page, he and Amber are also rather unhealthily close. And a surprising number of fans ship Luigi and Pavi (or "Pavigi").
  • In a director's-cut scene from The Two Towers, a lot of what we'll call Stewardcest fangirls point for evidence to this moment that's very subtle, but oddly difficult to explain otherwise when you notice it: Denethor dismissively comments about his younger son, Faramir, "I know his uses. They are few." Now think about the implications of the word "use." And rewind and look at Boromir's expression again: It's not "Oh, dad, you're so mean," it's embarrassed. Arguably more of an Incest Eep! than an Incest Subtext, depending on just how abusive you think this family is, but ... hoo boy.


  • In Harry Potter, many fans think that Bellatrix and Narcissa fit the bill for this and write extensive fanfics about it. Word of God confirmed that Bellatrix loves Voldemort above all else, some fanfics manage to get around this fact.
    • Fred and George have a veritable library of slash work dedicated to them, even though their actors are disgusted by it all.
    • Ron/Ginny. Ron is quite annoyed by the fact that Ginny dates Dean and he silently interferes between her and Harry at first, but he relents later and becomes more accepting of their relationship.
    • In the film version of The Half-Blood Prince, while Draco is confronting Dumbledore, Bellatrix arrives on the scene, praises her nephew saying "Good boy" and kisses him on his neck!
  • Some Chronicles of Narnia fans insist this about Peter/Susan and Edmund/Lucy in Chronicles of Narnia just for the sake of the considerable amount of fanfics. One of the reasons may be that the first book (and movie) implies they're the only humans that live there, without mentioning the fact that there are other lands around Narnia in which reside other people.
    • In the beginning of Voyage of the Dawn Treader there is this scene where Lucy sees a girl flirting with a boy, then she does the exact same gesture that girl did... in front of Edmund. This results in him frowning confused and asking her what she's doing, to which she widens her eyes and blurts 'nothing' guiltily, giving the impression that she did the gesture intentionally, for ambiguous purposes. The explanation is given later.
    • In the third movie, this troper heard "Edmund!"-"Lucy!" so many times that the Titanic idea constantly popped in her head. The fact that most action takes place on a ship didn't really help much.
    • This case is applied to Peter and Susan as well, due to the actors' chemistry and close friendship that has been interpreted in the wrong way.
    • And there's a whole lot of Peter/Edmund, too.
  • Merry and Pippin are first cousins and are often shipped together by The Lord of the Rings fans. Sometimes Frodo, more distantly related to both of them, is thrown into the mix as well. See Bag Enders's "Random Slashy Interludes" for a prime example.
    • Perhaps one of the most popular pairing in The Silmarillion is Maedhros/Fingon; these two share a grandfather, Finwë. As do Celegorm and Aredhel, also paired rather often. And then the house of Finwë as a whole is very popular and more generally Everyone Is Related.
      • Hell, even in the canon pairings one begins to wonder if Aragorn and Arwen are actually getting off on the fact that Aragorn's ancestry is awesome because it traces to her uncle; Faramir and Eowyn are some kind of cousin, too.
      • During the First Age, there's something of a genetic bottleneck among elves in that only a few families come back to Middle-Earth, and they promptly kill a large number of the same-species mating possibilities who aren't blood kin to them. Even then, the first few non-related pairings among elves tend to go horribly wrong, to the extent that ... well, you start to wonder if Tolkien was taking some kind of revenge on people like Eol who made his back-to-Valinor family trees not fit neatly on one page. Making the author himself a bit of a kissing-cousins shipper.
      • Most fanfic treats the canon Turin/Nienor pairing as tragic, like the book in which they're the title characters—but there's fanfic.
  • Warrior Cats has Hawkfrost/Brambleclaw, which even has its own ship name: Brothershipping. They're actually half-brothers, which is probably the only reason it isn't banned from discussion on Warrior's Wish.
    • The reveal that Firestar and Scourge are half-brothers as well means Altershipping now falls under this trope.
  • Percy Jackson and The Olympians has Percy and Annabeth, who, despite being closely related via their respected parents, Poseidon and Athena, like each other romantically and eventually get together by the end of the series.
    • Some fans even pair Percy and/or Annabeth with their godly relatives and demigod cousins, including Thalia (Zeus' daughter) with Percy, and Annabeth with Luke (Hermes' son). Annabeth also has a crush on Luke early in the series.
    • Especially since Word of God says that even though demigods' parents may be related, demigods themselves, even if they share the same divine parent, can fall in love and have kids with no issues.
  • Havemercy. Oh dear god, this book smacks of it with Rook and Thom. Even worse is that you don't find out they're related for 2/3 of the book and you expect them to break out into angry sex until the revelation.
    • Apparently, the authors' original intention was to have them get together, but they decided against it. YMMV on whether this is a good or bad thing.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events had a small Violet/Klaus fandom that got quite a bit larger after the release of the movie adaptation.

Live Action TV

  • This is referred by the Firefly fandom as "CSI" or "Crazy Space Incest".
  • Justin and Alex in Wizards of Waverly Place - to the point where the pairing is now covered on the show's Analysis page.
  • Quite common in recent Kamen Rider series. Especially Kamen Rider Kiva and its many bathing scenes. However, "Kivacest" typically refers not to Wataru and Otoya despite their epic Time Travel-enabled bath scene (with back scrubbing!) but to Wataru and Taiga, who turns out to be his brother.
  • Some members of the Supernatural fandom, known as Wincest shippers, see this between Sam and Dean Winchester.
  • In Heroes, Maya and Alejandro Herrera are twins who seem to be a little too close to each other; even their powers require physical connection. Also, Maya clearly hated Alejandro's bride, implying jealousy.
    • Peter and Nathan Petrelli are brothers who are extremely close, despite an age difference of at least 13 years. There is a reason they're the most popular slash pairing in the show. Not helping is how friendly Adrian Pasdar and Milo Ventimiglia are in real life.
    • Not to mention that Peter and Claire seem to be closer than one would expect of uncle and niece. This of course is largely due to Milo and Hayden's off-screen relationship.
  • Degrassi the Next Generation always had their fair share of brothers and sisters and occasionally there would be shippers of any Brother-Sister Incest, but season nine provided fraternal twins Declan and Fiona. The subtext between them is sothick that it must be intended by the writers. When Victoria, later revealed to be their cousin, brings up their closeness in the season premiere, she is simply told to shut up without being offered much correction.
  • Dexter and his brother Rudy/Brian.
    • Not to mention his sister Deb. The fact that Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter were married for a time doesn't help.
    • The show runners actually tried to keep the Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter relationship quiet for a while, specifically to avoid this trope. They've clearly changed their minds, though - as of Season 6, Deb lusting after her brother is now canon. And disturbing.
  • Richard and Alexis in Castle. In a recent Halloween episode where it looks like Alexis' long distance relationship is going down the tubes he tells her that some relationships are just fated to not work. When he asks "Did that help?" She says "No. But this does." and proceeds to cuddle with him.
  • Chuck was originally intended to have an extra character in the main cast, a love interest for the titular hero. After it was decided she overcomplicated things, she was cut, and all her important lines given to Chuck's sister. The slightly flirty dialogue, coupled with the siblings' chemistry, made this stand out to more than one fan.
  • When Home and Away revealed that sisters Charlie and Ruby Buckton were actually mother and daughter, one website brilliantly proclaimed that it made shipping them feel even more wrong. They even seem to have acquired their own couple portmanteau, even if it is mostly used in a familial context.
  • In the remake of Hawaii Five-O, Kono's affection and sympathy for her cousin Chin seems to verge on the more than cousinly.
  • Glee gave us Hummelcest between Burt and Kurt Hummel, a rare example of a father/son incest. Considering that they cannot have a scene without declaring their love for each other, it shouldn't be a surprise.
  • There's no Incest Subtext shown between Connor and his parents in the show itself, but there are fans who have written Darla/Connor and Angelus/Connor stories.
    • Yeah but don't forget Angelus taunting Connor about sleeping with the woman who used to change his diapers (closest thing he had to a mother.) "There should be a play."
  • Brother-Sister Incest is all but canon between Cesare and Lucrezia on The Borgias (considering that the real life Lucrezia was rumoured to be in an incestuous relationship with both Cesare and her father Rodrigo, it's pretty much fair game). Cesare is incredibly protective of his little sister, and only shows his softer side to her—claiming to love her more than God (which... is complicated when he's a cardinal of the Catholic church) and she loves him more than she could ever love a husband. Also, both find suspiciously similar Replacement Goldfish after events tear them apart.
  • Frasier fandom has some Frasier/Niles shipping, otherwise known as "Cranecest".
  • Life with Derek fandom give us Derek and Casey aka Dasey, even though they're step-siblings
  • There's a modest but passionate faction of Klaus/Rebekah shippers in The Vampire Diaries's fandom. Joseph Morgan and Claire Holt's chemistry (they're friends offscreen) and certain moments—like the time Rebekah was mistaken for her brother's girlfriend—lend ammunition enough for shippers.


Video Games

  • Alfred and Alexia Ashford in Resident Evil Code: Veronica.
  • A lot in the Fire Emblem series. The king and queen of this trope would be Eltoshan X Lachesis. The Prince and Princess would be Eirika and Ephraim.
    • Really, all but one instance of incest in the series is subtext. The one text example is Alvis/Diadora, also from Geneaology of the Holy War.
  • From FFX-2, we have Yuna and Rikku.
  • Solid Snake and Liquid Snake. It only gets worse once Liquid possesses Ocelot, who had a big gay crush on their father.
  • Gol and Maia are extremely affectionate with one another, talking to each other more like old lovers than brother and sister.
  • Golden Sun, oh Golden Sun. The first and most obvious is Felix and Jenna, who are siblings. Then The Lost Age introduces Karst, who is absolutely obsessed, easily to a Clingy Jealous Yandere degree, with her (late, by that point) older sister Menardi. Fans also like to pair up Alex and Mia, who were confirmed to be cousins by Dark Dawn.
    • A 4koma doujinshi, Golden Sun Gag Battle, has Ivan trying out his new Reveal power on Hama and Feizhi's clothes. To be fair, Gag Battle was published before The Lost Age outed Hama as Ivan's sister.
  • Ace Attorney caters to this trope, but when you think about it, it's not that surprising: there's shippers for Mia/Maya, Lana/Ema, Jake/Neil, Edgeworth/Franziska (although, to be fair, they're not biologically related), and even Apollo/Trucy, all of which have a fair bit of subtext to them. The two incestuous pairings that are by far the most popular in the fandom are Dahlia/Iris, from Trials and Tribulations and Kristoph/Klavier, from Apollo Justice. As always, though, your mileage may vary.
  • In the Touhou fandom, any pair or trio of siblings has a pairing with each other. Oddly, in all cases it is most common to see the younger sibling as dominant or otherwise more active/aggressive than the older one, who, if not submissive, is thus the passive one. Expect any inversions of the relationship to be of an equal or higher degree of Fetish Fuel. Of course, this IS Gensokyo, so we have...
  • Hawke/Bethany has a surprisingly strong following in Dragon Age 2. Isabela and Merrill weren't everyone's cup of tea, and Aveline wasn't a love interest. Cue a large amount of people shipping Hawke with his/her younger sister.
  • In Tales of Symphonia, Kratos and Lloyd seemed awful subtexty to a lot of people. Some of them didn't Abandon Ship after it was revealed that Kratos is actually Lloyd's real father.
  • Toad and Toadette of Super Mario Bros., but it's possible that the fandom doesn't know they're brother and sister.


  • Since Jay Naylor's webcomic Better Days contained actual Twincest, readers have been joking about something similar happening on its sequel Original Life ever since it got started. As of this writing, nothing has ever actually happened, but some dialogue between siblings Thomas and Janie following her arm injury sounds rather... questionable. If the two weren't related, you would know exactly where dialogue like this would lead. And since Naylor has done it before...
    • And early in the series there were definite undertones of BST between Janie and a cousin.

Web Original

  • Lenny and Elizabeth Priestly of Survival of the Fittest v3 are seen by most handlers as having an... interesting relationship, due to Lenny's protectiveness of her. Some handlers also ship Reiko and Reika Ishida (twins), and Rosa, Frankie, and Ilario Fiametta (triplets).

Western Animation

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender always had a significant Azula/Zuko shipper fandom, but the creators surely aren't making it too difficult with such scenes (appropriate music added). They have even (jokingly?) shipped Zuko's alter ego with Azula at a convention. On the flip side, Azula acts that way just about everyone.
  • Yin and Yang from Yin Yang Yo have a lot of this going on, especially since they're, you know, opposites.
  • For a while pairing the title characters of Phineas and Ferb seemed to be the most popular ship, though that's mostly died down since then. Technically they're stepbrothers, but they qualify since they refer to each other as "brothers" and have known each other since they were toddlers. Pairing one of them with their older sister Candace (biological for Phineas) is rarer but still done.
  • Occurs in some segments of the Animaniacs fandom, though probably more because there aren't very many other shipping options.
  • The Amazing Chan and The Chan Clan has almost no fandom and was made long before the internet and Rule34, but Tom still manages to have a few choice moments with Alan and have a dynamic with Anne that sometimes screams "they'd be strongly hinted at as a couple if they weren't siblings".
  • In Rugrats and All Grown Up! some people Ship Chuckie and Kimi together. At least they are only step brother and step sister.
    • Any shipping between the Rugrats is vaguely squicky. Having known each other since they were infants, the Westermarck effect should be in full force.
  • Papa Smurf and Smurfette in The Smurfs, while not biologically related, get constantly shipped together in this fashion. It doesn't really help that Papa Smurf even has that type of interest in Smurfette.
  • Cousins Ben and Gwen from Ben 10.
  • Ninja Turtles get this treatment quite a lot, which is known as "turtlecest" in the fandom. The second animated series an the 2007 CGI movie are probably to blame, since they've introduced a more complicated dynamic between the mighty foursome and, by the rules of shipping, any tension can be interpreted in a sexual way.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Twilight Sparkle and her brother Shining Armor were very close when Twilight was a filly.