Incest in film and television

Incest in film is precipitated in various mediums.


Incestual families

Incestual siblings

Instances of incest between siblings.

Historical films

Fantasy and horror films

Other films


Incest between half-siblings

Incest between same-sex siblings

Relationship unknown to the characters

Sometimes, two characters do not know about their blood relationship when they enter a sexual or romantic relationship, or one of them knows while the other does not.

Non-consensual incest

Parent/offspring incest

Father/daughter incest

Sexual abuse

Father/son incest

Mother/son incest

Mother/daughter incest

Stepparents/stepchildren incest



The practice of cousin incest remains legal in many US states today as well as many countries, where cousin marriage is allowed.

Aunt/uncle incest


Several kinds of incest on the same show

The 1980s American soap opera Dynasty featured a storyline whereby Fallon Colby and Adam Carrington become attracted to one another, eventually sharing a kiss, not realising that they were in fact sister and brother. Fallon would also go on to marry and divorce two of her cousins, Myles and Jeff Colby.

The FOX television drama House featured two young patients, a husband and wife, who share the same symptoms. Later it is revealed that they are agnate half-siblings and they suffer from hereditary angioedema inherited from their father. (Episode 3x05, "Fools for Love"). In the episode 2x13 "Skin Deep", a teenage supermodel confesses to having an incestuous relationship with her father simply to get what she wants. In the episode 2x14 "Sex Kills", a teenage boy suffering from inappropriate messages admits that his attractive stepmother is coming onto him, turning to Dr. House for prescriptions to kill his sex drive till he graduates and moves out.

In The Simpsons, Springfield's rival town Shelbyville was founded specifically to allow men to marry their cousins because, according to Shelbyville Manhattan, the founder of the city, "they're so attractive". There was also the relationship between Cletus Spuckler and his wife Brandine, who may be siblings, cousins, mother and son, or even father and daughter.

In HBO's Rome, Octavia seduces her brother Octavian in the hopes of learning some of his secrets during pillow-talk, and Octavian is once accused of having an affair with his great uncle, Julius Caesar.

In "CSI", the quadruple-murder episode "Blood Drops" reveals a teenage girl named Tina (Allison Lange) was sexually abused by her father beginning from when she was 6, gave birth at 13 and that her little "sister" Brenda (Dakota Fanning) is really her daughter/half-sister from such abuse. The little girl Brenda is also subjected to being sexually abused by her father/grandfather, prompting Tina to have him murdered. In the episode "Table Stakes", a young wealthy married couple, Patrick and Amanda Haynes (Shawn Christian and Elizabeth Lackey), are discovered to be brother and sister in an incestuous relationship posing under different aliases whilst killing numerous rich socialites for their money. In the season two episode, "Got Murder?", a teenage girl named Nora Easton (Evan Rachel Wood) is a suspect in a woman's murder and harbors a sexual attraction to her own father. This is revealed in a flashback when the father's girlfriend caught Nora with her father in the act of incestuous lovemaking, culminating with the jealous Nora killing the woman with a shovel. Nora even desired to have her father's baby, forcing her body to undergo "false pregnancy". In "Burden Of Proof", a teenaged girl named Jodie Bradley (Sara Paxton) thought to have been "touched" by her stepfather, is actually being victimized to acts of sexual abuse from her own father Russ. When Jodie turned to her innocent stepfather Mike for protection, her father kills him for trying to keep him away from Jodie before finally being arrested by the authorities.

In the CW's "The Big Bang Theory", after his father abandoned him and his mother when he was a little boy, Howard Wolowitz maintained a close yet dysfunctional relationship with his mother, the late Mrs. Wolowitz continually even to his adult years, causing Sheldon and several of his friends to mock Wolowitz's relationship with his mother to be compared to the unresolved Oedipus Complex. In season two, after being stoned from ingesting "magic cookies", Howard confesses to losing his virginity to his cousin Jeannie in the backseat of his uncle's car during his uncle's funeral. In "The Maternal Capacitance", Leonard and Penny both troubled by their loving but one-sided parents get drunk and come close to sleeping together until Leonard compares their encounter to "her not being loved by her father and Leonard not being loved by his mother would lead to their having sex together as a way of making up for the lack of intimacy received from when they were children. Disgusted by Leonard using psychology and noting that he is having sex with his mother and her with her father subconsciously which Leonard is okay with, Penny throws him out of her apartment because of this.

Incestual families

The FOX television drama The X-Files featured an episode, "Home", in which a family in the real Pennsylvania town of Home had pursued incestuous relationships for several generations and, as a result, developed genetic deformities.


British shows

I, Claudius was a 1976 BBC Television adaptation of Robert Graves's I, Claudius and Claudius the God. In it, the sordid lives of the Caesars are detailed, including the historical incestuous relationship between Caligula and his sister Drusilla.

The British soap opera Brookside ran a controversial storyline featuring consensual incestuous sex between the two sibling characters, Nat and Georgia Simpson, in the 1990s.[3]

In "The Killings at Badger's Drift", an episode of the British television series Midsomer Murders, an old woman discovers a brother and sister in an incestuous relationship.

The British soap Family Affairs featured a storyline involving Gavin and Polly Arnold, a brother and sister in a consensual incestuous relationship.

In the Coming Up series for the UK's Channel 4, a woman who is obsessed with breaking social taboos seduces her brother during the 7 July 2005 London bombings. They eventually part ways as they realize they cannot be a normal couple.

American shows

The television series Prison Break (2005) portrays the character Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell (Robert Knepper) as the product of incestuous rape, specifically that of his Down syndrome-afflicted aunt by his father; he was also molested by his father. Siblings President Caroline Reynolds and Terrence Steadman were also incestuous lovers.

In the finale episode of the third season of FX Network's television drama Nip/Tuck, Quentin Costa (Bruno Campos) and Kit McGraw (Rhona Mitra) are exposed as incestuous lovers, of likewise incestuous parents. This discovery comes soon after Quentin is unmasked as the serial killer The Carver, the main antagonist of the third season, along with his accomplice, Kit. In the sixth season, it is Matt Macnamara who has incestuous intercourse with a girl who turns out to be his half-sister.

The television series "The Fosters" depicts an on-again-off-again incestuous relationship between foster/adoptive siblings Brandon Foster and Callie Jacobs-Foster, who fall in love but continually break up for the sake of Callie getting adopted by Brandon's family.

In "True Blood", a woman named Portia whom Bill Compton has a one-night stand with, is discovered to be his long-lost great-great granddaughter. After this discovery, Bill refuses to return anymore of her affections, though Portia argues about the laws regarding incest being legal in some state as well as desiring a romantic incestuous relationship with Bill, prompting Bill to compel Portia to scream and run away from him every time she sees him.

In "Hope & Faith", Faith Fairfield discovers in a court case that the elder man and his stepdaughter testifying against her mother are lovers plotting to put her mother in prison so they could be together. Against judge's orders, Faith exposes the lovers of their plot as well as their incestuous relationship to the court, leaving the old man and his stepdaughter no choice but to confess of their crimes.

In "The Secret Life Of The American Teenager", Adrian Lee meets her stepbrother Max for the first time and the two begin dating upon feeling a connection together. However, her father catches them in the act and forbids them from seeing each other. Also, Ricky Underwood reveals to Amy that both him and his mother were sexually abused by his father, Bob Underwood when he was a child.

In Tales From The Crypt, the second season episode "Four-Sided Triangle" depicts a young, beautiful farm hand (Patricia Arquette) held captive on a farm being abused by her physically disabled mother and sexually harassed by her father, eventually prompting the woman to seek help from a scarecrow she believes to be alive. In the fourth season episode "Seance'", a young woman ignites an incestuous affair with her distant cousin Prescott in her own attempt to swindle money from him and his blind wife.


In the HBO original show Game of Thrones, Jaime and Cersei Lannister share an consensual, incestuous relationship with each other. Their relationship began at a very early age and was known to their mother, while their father only learns of it later in the series. The twins have three children together which are (at least at the beginning of the series) widely regarded has the children of Cersei and her husband Robert Baratheon. The show also holds an abundance of other incestuous instances.

Half-siblings incest

A recent Hollyoaks plot has dealt with incest between two members of the Ashworth family, Rhys Ashworth and his half-sister Beth Clement. They did not know they were half brother and sister when they began seeing each other; upon finding out they were related when their dad died, they tried to halt the relationship, but in the end could not stay away despite Rhys moving into a relationship with Mercedes McQueen and Beth moving into a relationship with Rhys' best friend, Gilly Roach. When Beth is planning to be married to Gilly, they decide they must leave Hollyoaks, as they cannot end their relationship and see no other way to be together.

In British soap opera Emmerdale, characters Ryan and Maisie were in a romantic and sexual relationship until it was revealed that they shared the same father.

In the CBS horror series Harper's Island, it is revealed in the last episode that main characters Abby Mills and Henry Dunn are half siblings, sharing the same mother even though the mother gave Henry up for adoption. Henry learned of this from his biological father and is still in love with Abby. However, when Abby finds out, she calls him sick and wants to leave him.

In the FOX Television series Two and a Half Men, Charlie Harper has a one-night stand with a woman named Gloria, who is revealed to be his and Alan's half sister from when their mother's husband had an affair with another woman.

In the FX original series Sons Of Anarchy, Protagonist Jax Teller and Irish IRA family member Trinity Ashby were developing romantic interest towards each other while Jax and SAMCRO were in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Before they had sex, both of their mothers walked in and were forced to tell them that they are paternal half siblings as a result of an affair between Jax's father and Trinity's mother.

Parent/children incest

Father/daughter incest

In the 2006 episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit named "Taboo", a young woman seduces and is impregnated by her father. The franchise touched again the issue in the 2009 episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent named "Family Values". Paul Devildis develops an incestuous attraction towards his daughter Kathy, which due to his deep religious beliefs makes him believe everyone else as well is attracted to her in a lustful way and therefore sinners. In turn he goes on a killing spree under the belief he is doing God's work.

In Twin Peaks, David Lynch's 1990–91 cult hit, seventeen-year-old Laura Palmer, whose brutal murder causes the events depicted in the series to unfold, has been sexually abused on a regular basis by a demonic entity referred to as Bob, who has taken possession of her father Leland.

In CBS's Numb3rs, episode 12 of season 3 ("Nine Wives") features the discovery of incest in a polygamist fundamentalist cult. A teenage victim, Josephine Kirtland learns that her mother, Emmanueline (played by Anne Dudek) is also her half-sister.

In "21Jump Street", After being asked to help assassinate her father, a pair of undercover cops are prompted to investigate the case of a high school student named Diane Nelson who is discovered to being sexually abused by her widowed father, who is also a high maintenance police officer.

Mother/son incest

The British comedy Green Wing features a mother and son, Joanna and Guy, sleeping together, albeit unknowingly as Guy was abandoned by Joanna as a baby.

In Boardwalk Empire, Gillian Darmody (Gretchen Mol) was a dancer who was raped at the age of 13 and gave birth to Jimmy Darmody, (Michael Pitt). Their relationship is unusually close and a flashback in the second season episode "Under God's Power She Flourishes" reveals that Gillian had seduced Jimmy when he was a student at Princeton, leading to him dropping out and enlisting to fight in World War I.

In the FX series, "American Horror Story: Coven", Kyle has an incestuous relationship with his mother, shown when he is brought home after being resurrected. It is not revealed if the relationship is consented on Kyle's part, and it seems that his mother is incredibly in love with him

In "Smallville", villainess Genevieve Teague and her son Jason Teague are revealed to having an incestuous relationship together. This is discovered by Lionel Luthor who takes pride in mocking their secret relations in comparison to the Oedipus Complex.

In "Animal Kingdom", Janine "Smurf" Cody (Ellen Barkin) is the tough matriarch of the Cody family and J's estranged grandmother, who is protective towards her family. In the television series, she's revealed to maintaining a close relationship with each of her grownup sons and presents a borderline-incestuous love toward them as shown in one episode where she openly ogles her sons shirtless bodies during the family summer car wash.


A recent storyline in the BBC soap EastEnders involves a romance between cousins Lauren and Joey Branning.

In the Seinfeld episode "The Junk Mail" (1997), George dates his cousin Lisa in an attempt to further enrage his parents over their differences.

Other kinds of incest

EastEnders also featured a storyline between Zoe Slater, Kat Slater and Harry Slater. Zoe discovered Kat, who she thought was her sister, is actually her mother who had been sexually abused by her uncle Harry resulting in her becoming pregnant with Zoe.

In the Futurama episode "Roswell that Ends Well" (2001), the crew is sent back in time to the 1940s while watching a supernova occur. With the loss of all guidance systems, their ship crash lands at Roswell, where Philip J. Fry meets his grandfather, Enos. Professor Farnsworth then warns Fry not to interfere with anything lest he disrupt his own timeline. In an attempt to prevent his grandfather's death, however, Fry locks him in a cabin out in the middle of nowhere – which unknown to him is a nuclear test zone (resulting in his grandfather's death). Soon afterward, he quickly becomes entangled in his young grandmother's emotional despair and ends up sleeping with her. He justifies this by thinking that, since he still exists, the people he thought were his grandparents must not have been. The Professor, after discovering the two, then informs Fry that he is his own grandfather. This is a reference to the famous Grandfather Paradox of time travel. A later episode("The Day the Earth Stood Stupid") cites this scenario as the cause for Fry's lack of a cognitive function called the Delta Brain Wave, enabling him to be immune to an invasion of intelligence-absorbing flying Brains.

See also


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