"If you're tired of beating around the bush, why not shake the family tree? A hot cousin might fall out."
Romantic/sexual relationships between cousins are a phenomenon that has been more accepted in some cultures than others, as well as in some times more than others. A great many cultures today accept it, including a majority of the industrialized world. Much of the modern U.S.A. considers it completely taboo, so Hilarity Ensues at the very mention of it. People from backwoods areas (especially the Appalachian Mountains) are often the preferred butt of many bad jokes as well as occasional bits of Self Deprecating Humor for the alleged prevalence of Kissing Cousins in their culture. Despite the taboo, cousin marriages are legal in about half the states in the U.S.A., though not as much in the backwoods areas and more in the modern industrialized states, the opposite of what one might expect from hearing all those jokes. Legal or not, these marriages are still not very common due to the lingering cultural taboo.
Most of the origins of this taboo are not inherently religious; the ancient Hebrew patriarchs demonstrably had no problem with cousin marriage at all. (Isaac married Rebekah, his first cousin once removed.) The biggest Christian denomination, the Catholic Church, does allow even first cousins to marry if they ask for a special dispensation. Islamic countries have a lot of marriages between first cousins and may even encourage them in certain situations, while various Eastern religions are not commonly known to have any objections to such marriages either. In the vast majority of the world, cousins are still permitted—though not necessarily encouraged—to marry.
One culture in which it was primarily tabooed was medieval Europe, and that prohibition was not so much to prevent inbreeding as to force people to forge political loyalties and family bonds with other peoples beyond their tribal and dynastic relations; this taboo extended as far as third cousins and included in-laws. In cultures that put a far higher value on tribal and dynastic bonds and were far more violent than modern ones, this was often an effort to mitigate warfare. Royal or noble families who needed to forge alliances in order to end blood feuds often needed a dispensation to marry—as, for instance, Henry VII and Elizabeth of York.
This is also the case in China—in the historical period similar to that of feudal Europe, the nobles were explicitly banned from marrying any person that can trace their paternal lineage to the same historical tribe. This was then extended to all people after the unification of the Chinese empire; people bearing the same surname were forbidden to marry even if they were not related at all. However, cousin with different surnames are allowed, and in many cases encouraged to be paired together to strengthen the alliance between two clans during said period. Remnants of such tradition could still be found in addressing of parents-in-law in some areas in Southern China, where the title could also been used to address one's uncle and aunt.
Thanks to public knowledge of genetics a fairly modern part of the taboo is the perception that this form of inbreeding results in the increased risk of having children with genetic disorders like hemophilia. A recent study in Western Australia discovered that while the chances of defects do rise slightly, the actual numbers aren't high at all (i.e. a 4% chance of birth defects instead a 2% chance, roughly equivalent to the odds of birth defects in children conceived to middle-aged women nearing menopause as compared to those of younger women). Please note, however, that this scientific concern applies only to first cousins: any couples more distantly related are likely to be as genetically dissimilar as any two random individuals out of the population (how many of your third cousins do you even know?). And this doesn't cover an entire family tree doing it for generations like has been seen in certain aristocratic populations.
Expect some strong Values Dissonance between the media from America and other countries, and between certain modern works and works from the nineteenth century and earlier, when the taboo was sometimes non-existent or even inverted. Scholarly debate on why some cultures would forbid cousins, or even specific types of cousins, to marry, while others ignore or even encourage it, rages on, and lies beyond the scope of this wiki.
When cultures insist that Royal Blood is necessary for a monarch's consort, expect to find a lot of Kissing Cousins in the dynastic line. This is likely to be a short route to their dynasty's being Royally Screwed-Up.
According to both Oxford's and Merriam-Webster's Dictionaries, the original definition of kissing cousins is simply a relative known well enough to be given a kiss in greeting.
NOTE: This trope is for cases of actual relationships between cousins. Incestuous subtext goes in Incest Subtext.
No real life examples, please; This is All The Tropes, not Tropes After Dark.
Anime and Manga
- Ayano and Kazuma from Kaze no Stigma are second cousins, with Ayano's father trying to pair them up.
- Elfen Lied has Yuuka and Kouta, complicated by a Love Triangle with a girl who alternates between homicidal and amnesiac.
- In This Ugly Yet Beautiful World, Takeru Takemoto's cousin, Mari Nishino, is in love with him.
- Shiratori Ryushi and Aoba Kozue, the Official Couple in the romantic-comedy Mahoraba, are second cousins.
- In Nerima Daikon Brothers, Hideki has a crush on his cousin Mako, who in turn is attracted to her cousin (and Hideki's brother) Ichiro.
- In Blade of the Immortal, Anotsu Kagehisa's true love is the swordswoman Makie Otonotachibana. Her grandmother was the younger sister of Anotsu's grandfather, which makes them second cousins.
- A lot of Harem Series have a cousin among the haremettes, but they tend not to win:
- Nayuki from Kanon was also an Unlucky Childhood Friend. (She does have her own route in the games, tho.)
- Elise from Canvas2; averts the above rule, as Elise was ultimately Hiroki's choice, in both anime and manga.
- Sakura from Da Capo
- Sayaka from Yoake Mae Yori Ruriiro Na, although the protagonist treats her like and refers to her as his sister. And yes, she has a route in the hentai game.
- Miyuki Takamachi of Triangle Heart 3 ～sweet songs forever～. Both her status as Kyouya's cousin and potential love interest may or may not still be present in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, as one shot in the first season showed signs of her getting jealous when she heard that Kyouya was going to visit his girlfriend, Shinobu.
- Hanamori Pink did a short story called Cherry ♥ Blossom where the main couple were cousins. In fact, it's because they're cousins that they're able to save (the love lives of) their entire school by calling on the powers of their ancestors. It was published with other short manga in Japan, but the only official English translation is as an extra in the last volume of Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch.
- Amusingly when Sailor Moon S was Macekred in its English dub, Cloveryway turned Haruka and Michiru into cousins to try and eliminate the lesbian content. Unfortunately (for them) they didn't remove the subtext successfully, rendering them lesbian kissing cousins. (It's speculated that this may have been a result of Getting Crap Past the Radar.)
- Likewise when Nelvana Macekred Cardcaptor Sakura into Cardcaptors they made two of Sakura's classmates who were clearly fond of each other, with a snarky, cute relationship, into cousins. Whereas they removed the fact that Meiling and Syaoran were cousins by changing Meiling's surname to Rae.
- Sakura and Tomoyo are second cousins, although their mothers, Nadeshiko and Sonomi (respectively), definitely fell into this trope. Or at least Sonomi wished they did.
- In 1/2Prince, Rose kisses Prince in the game. Eventually it's revealed that Rose's player is actually her cousin.
- And by cousin you mean that she's her mother's older sister's husband's uncle's third daughter.
- Several of the couples and/or onesided crushes in Fruits Basket include cousins from the Sohma clan. Kana and Hatori, Kagura and Kyo (VERY reluctant from him), Haru and Rin (and maybe Yuki), Kisa and Hiro, Akito and Shigure.
- Although admittedly these are not first cousins, since it's pretty clear that the Sohma family is a vast one and none of the parents seem to be closely related (as siblings).
- Angel Densetsu subverts this in a Flash Back arc that details how Kitano's parents met. Midori is involved with her cousin and childhood friend, Chuji, who has a one-sided rivalry/obsession with Ryuichiro, and is most definitely Ax Crazy. She insists that Chuji isn't evil, and asks Ryuichiro to defeat him in order to open his eyes. That really won't work, since he is evil now, and even considers Midori as just another easy girl. After he tells Ryuichiro this, Ryuichiro angrily lays him out in one attack, after being repeatedly struck with bronze knuckles and shrugging them off. Midori overhears and realizes the truth, culminating in the more heartwarming relationship between her and Ryuchiro.
- In Narutaru, Shouko Fukuyama has these feelings for her cousin Kyouji. Hell, she has it bad for him; She's about 13 years old and wants to bear his child. She has an It's All Junk hissy fit after being told off by his old crush Jyun. Eventually, Kyouji, who had been comatose for years, dies, and Shouko is all alone... until she sees him after he turned into a..."Virgin Princess" and vows to keep on loving him.
- In the manga Sakura Diaries, the main character Touma's younger cousin, Urara, is constantly trying to sleep with him and keep him away from other women.
- By a similar token, much the same happens in the manga Gakuen Heaven... except there, the cousin isn't the Designated Love Interest and doesn't factor into the series' Betty and Veronica equation at all.
- It's been mentioned in a Code Geass Sound Episode that Suzaku Kururugi was engaged to his cousin Kaguya Sumeragi when they were children. Kaguya later decides that she is married to Zero, Suzaku's mortal enemy. What makes it particularly funny is that Suzaku eventually becomes Zero, though we don't know if Kaguya knows that.
- In one of the earlier cases of Detective Conan, the killer's motive for killing his grandfather, etc, was he fell in love with his cousin, and the older man forbid them to marry. The killer's parents were also cousins, and the patriarch reluctantly agreed their marriage.
- Suzuho in Macademi Wasshoi is Takuto's cousin, and naturally one of the haremettes fighting for his affection.
- Macross/Robotech Minmay and her cousin (no blood relation) Kaifun.
- In Black Butler, Ciel is engaged to his cousin, Elizabeth.
- Which one of the girls in Please Twins! is related to Maiku? In the manga, both of them. The one who isn't his sister turns out to be his cousin. They still get together, and if being cousins is an issue, they never say so.
- In Venus Versus Virus, Sumire's male cousin, Riku, likes her. He's like ten years old, and she's fourteen.
- Sachiko Ogasawara in Maria-Sama Ga Miteru is intending to marry her cousin Suguru after she graduates.
- In a filler episode of Shugo Chara, Amu admits that her cousin Shuu was her first real crush.
- In the Manga of The Familiar of Zero the Prince of Albion, Wales, and the Princess of Tristian Henrietta are cousins who are in a secret affair (Long distance). Their love is unfortunately cut short when Wales is killed.
- Reiji and his cousin Aki go way past just being kissing cousins in Kodomo no Jikan.
- In Mai-Otome 0~S.ifr~, it is revealed that Sifr is the daughter of the King of Windbloom's brother, and it is strongly implied that she eventually marries the King's son, Bruce.
- Masahiko and Shion from Family Compo.
- The protagonist and his second-cousin in Hanayashiki no Juunintachi.
- Marvel superhero Black Bolt, the king of The Inhumans, is married to his cousin Medusa. Sorta justified: due to the limited gene pool of the Inhumans, just about every two-Inhuman marriage involves cousins.
- Mark Millar's post apocalyptic Wolverine story "Old Man Logan" features a future were Hulk and cousin She Hulk have bred and produced inbred offspring. Hulk and She-Hulk are both radioactive too, which probably didn't help...
- While it never happened in mainstream Marvel, the Hulk did come on to her at least once, in the "Basic Instinct" storyline but that was a line Jenn would not cross.
- Superman's future daughter engages in a literal example in a Silver Age Elseworld story taking place in the future. (For those who don't know the Superman mythos, Lucy and Lois are sisters, which makes Lucy and Jimmy's son the cousin of Lois and Clark's daughter. Apparently, that doesn't bother Lola or Jimmy Jr, let alone their parents, happily watching them make out. The issue itself makes no mention of them being cousins, with the main obstacle to their happiness being It's Not You, It's My Enemies. They do live Happily Ever After in the end. As an Elseworld, it doesn't really count, but still... how this got past the radar is a mystery.)
- The Man of Steel himself apparently had such feelings for his cousin Kara ([[Supergirl])]. In that one, Kara tries to find Supes a girlfriend. After many failed attempts, we get the panel above, which seems to make it perfectly clear that the law is the only thing stopping them from pursuing a relationship (maybe they minded a lot less in the 60s?.) Eventually, Kara fixes Supes up with a girl that is nigh identical to herself, but older, and they hit it off. Unfortunately, it turns out yellow sun is her Kryptonite, and he can't leave Earth unprotected, so they must part.
- Also, from the same source as Lex Luthor stealing forty cakes comes Kara and Clark deserving a rest. Maybe it's just hard to make her look unsexy, but... that looks far from innocent, and the repetition, though intended to drill the definition into a kid's mind, really makes it sound like she is saying "We deserve a rest, nudge nudge wink wink," and the big blue boy scout just isn't getting it yet.
- In yet another Silver Age Superman story, Clark has Kara disguise herself as a superheroine from another dimension, and she and Supes proceed to have makeouts (in front of Lois), all to fool some dim alien invasion. She was explictly underage at the time, too. Yeesh.
- The ultimate desire of Marvel Comics superhero Namora has been shown to be her cousin Namor.
- Mad Magazine's Monroe was once visited by his punky Scottish cousin, and they made out a few times. She decided she didn't want to see him anymore because of he was freaky with his "finger-skateboards", but as he said, at least he got to "make oot" that summer.
- In the X Wing Series, Plourr Illo was engaged to her cousin since childhood. In the arc where she returns to her homeworld and takes up the reins, she's shown resisting the idea of marrying him, but since he shows a number of her traits - lots of courage, love of fighting and freedom, disdain for tradition for tradition's sake - she warms up to him. It's never shown whether they actually get married at some point.
- In the Douwe Dabbert story Florin the Loafer, count Justus van Bottericke attempts to force his cousin Gwendoline to marry him, because if she does not, he will lose the rights to his title.
- In Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog comic, Knuckles the Echidna and his girlfriend Julie-Su are actually distant cousins, but neither one is aware of it, and it's not directly acknowledged anywhere in the series.
- Helene and Franz from a story by Wilhelm Busch. Despite him being a Catholic priest.
- Several of Madame D'Aulnoy's Fairy Tale couples are first cousins—a natural consequence of their both having to have Royal Blood and reflecting the royal families of their day. Such as Princess Belle-Etoile and The Bee and the Orange Tree
- One of the funniest scenes in Mean Girls:
Karen: You know who's looking fine tonight? Seth Mosakowski.
- Colin, in The Secret Garden, wants to marry his cousin Mary when they grow up so that they can always be together. Mary is amused but uninterested. Colin's response is a jealous loathing of Dickon, the servant boy who helps them in the titular garden, with whom he suspects Mary of falling in love. In one film adaptation, their mothers are stated to be identical twins, thus making this even iffier genetically, since the offspring of identical twins are genetic half-siblings (assuming the other parents involved to not also be identicals, and to be two different people).
- Mary and Vincent in The Godfather Part III.
- In the Victorian farce The Wrong Box, Michael tries to resist his attraction to his cousin Julia:
Michael: We both know what kissing leads to, and if I may be blunt, our children would be idiots."
- Cruel Intentions 2: The girls in the shower claim to be Kissing Cousins (even though in real life they were played by real-life identical twins, making the scene an almost-crossover with Twin Threesome Fantasy).
- Dar and Kiri in The Beastmaster. It's actually achieved through Fridge Logic; their relationship to each other is never noted at all in the film after the reveal that Dar is the son of Kiri's uncle the King, and they don't see any problems in a romantic relationship by film's end.
- In Tombstone, Doc Holliday tells Wyatt Earp that as a teenager he fell in love with his first cousin; she entered a convent over their affair.
- In Letters to Juliet Sophie (the lead, Amanda Seyfried, also her of the quote from "Mean Girls" above) has just fallen in love with a guy who earlier mentioned he had a girlfriend called Patricia whom he was planning to dump. Then they all turn up to a wedding and he introduces Sophie to...Patricia. Sophie admits her feelings but says it's too late now anyway, because he's clearly back with Patricia. He says no, that's his cousin. Her reaction is to ask, "Your cousin? How is that even legal???" to which he essentially responds, "Actually, that's my cousin Patricia. I broke up with my girlfriend Patricia weeks ago; they're two different girls. But there's only one Sophie in my life."
- Caveat to the above response in-film, the male character in question is British, and cousin marriages are completely legal in the UK.
- In The Yards, Leo, the main character, had a relationship with his cousin Erica when they were younger. There is romantic subplot between the two throughout the movie.
- In Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, Michele lost her virginity to her cousin Barry.
- Bambi and Faline in the original books. The movie adaptation averts this, though some licensed books refer to them as cousins.
- The main character in Barry Lyndon courted his cousin, which was a lot more common in that day.
- The 2009 film The Young Victoria is about the early life of Queen Victoria and her marriage to Prince Albert, her first cousin.
- In The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien, the Elf Maeglin was in love with his first cousin Idril Celebrindal, who is squicked by this, for "the Eldar wedded not with kin so near, nor ever before had any desired to do so." However, there is some debate about this, because depending on which backstory is canon, Galadriel married her first or second cousin, Celeborn.
- Also, Ar-Pharazôn, the last King of Númenor, married his first cousin, Tar-Míriel, against her will.
- In The Lord of the Rings, Aragorn and Arwen are technically cousins. Arwen's father, Elrond, is the brother of Aragorn's great-great-(~50xgreat)-grandfather, Elros.
- Minor example: Arvedui, the ill-fated last king of the North Kingdom of Arnor, married Firiel of the royal family of Gondor, his 23rd cousin 5 times removed. Meaningless in terms of incest/genetics, but meaningful in setting up Arvedui's unsuccessful attempt to claim the throne of Gondor.
- In Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, the main character, Fanny Price and her cousin Edmund Bertram.
- Anne Elliot in Persuasion by Jane Austen is wooed by her cousin (and her older sister wants to marry that same cousin).
- In Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, Colonel Brandon's first love was his cousin Elizabeth, as he confides to Elinor Dashwood.
- In Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Mr. Collins is a cousin of some sort to the Bennet sisters, and comes to their house with the intention of marrying one. Also, Lady Catherine de Bourgh wants her nephew to marry her daughter.
- In the case of Mr. Collins and the Bennet girls, they're probably not first cousins. "Cousin" was a term used for many distant relatives and not necessarily the children of your parents' siblings.
- Even besides the Not Blood Siblings romance in Wuthering Heights, there are, not coincidentally, two subsequent cousin-cousin relationships.
- In 1879, Cyrano and Roxanne from Cyrano De Bergerac are cousins. Although they don't actually end up together, their familial connection is never presented as squicky or an obstacle in their relationship.
- In the 1818 version of Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein and his fiancée, Elizabeth Lavenza, are cousins who also happen to have been raised in the same household. In the 1831 version, Elizabeth was adopted rather than being related to Victor, but the two were still raised as siblings.
- A central part of the plot in One Hundred Years of Solitude is the fact that the founders of the Buendía clan were cousins, and therefore they feared the family would sooner or later breed monsters if they ever in-bred from that point on. Despite all efforts, it happens anyway.
- In Louisa May Alcott's Rose in Bloom, written around the 1860s, the only people that the heroine Rose even considers marrying are three of her seven male cousins, Archie (who falls for Rose's lady-in-waiting Phebe), Charlie "the Handsome" and Mackenzie, aka Mac. After Charlie dies, Rose falls for Mac and marries him.
- In Jo's Boys, and How They Turned Out: A Sequel to "Little Men" by Louisa May Alcott, Jo's teenaged son Teddy mentions he wants "a sweetheart" like all his friends, and that "I asked Josie first"—Meg's daughter and his first cousin. It probably means he wanted her opinion on whether or not he needed a sweetheart, but... he plays her admirer in a School Play, and is the only one who can comfort her when their cousin is Mistaken For Dead.
- Wilkie Collins' heroine in 'The Moonstone' also fails to consider any man but her two cousins as a future husband. Somebody should have taken the girl aside and explained that there are other men in the world... Of course the rules of propriety being what they were it was pretty hard to get to know young men outside the family.
- Though again, this story is set in Britain in the Victorian age. It's perfectly legal to marry your first cousin in the UK, and the taboo certainly isn't as strong as in the US.
- Also, she was completely in love with one of them, even when she thought he'd stolen her most prized possession and had the gall to lie to everyone's face about his guilt. And they do get a very happy ending.
- In the Kushiel's Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey, distant royal cousins (his father is her great-grandfather's brother) Imriel and Sidonie fall for each other. Hard. However, their relatives (and the nation at large) aren't so much annoyed at the idea of relatives marrying so much as they are annoyed that Imriel's mother tried to take over the kingdom (twice, orchestrating an invasion the first time around) and at least some of the populace (mostly the ones still healing the scars from the invasion) thinks Imriel would do the same.
- Mercedes and Ferdinand in The Count of Monte Cristo.
- The protagonist of the novel Kung Fu High School is an example of this.
- In Rebecca the titular dead wife and her cousin, Jack Favell, were lovers. This relationship is presented to further underline Rebecca's depravity.
- The Wilkes and Hamilton families in Gone with the Wind have the tradition of cousins marrying each other. The text makes it clear that multi-generational inbreeding is the main reason for Melly's frail health and physique.
- The 1632 series has fun with this trope. The locals see nothing wrong with cousin marriage. The transplanted Americans are a lot more sensitive about this sort of thing (being from West Virginia, they've heard ALL the jokes).
- In Anne Rice's The Mayfair Witches trilogy, 13-year old Mona Mayfair has an actual list of the male cousins she intends to sleep with and gets a considerable way down it before going on to other things.
- In The Book of Tobit, it's not clear exactly how closely Tobias and Sarah are related, but their marriage is not only allowed but considered obligatory.
Eat and drink and be merry tonight, for no man is more entitled to marry my daughter Sarah than you, brother. Besides, not even I have the right to give her to anyone but you, because you are my closest relative.
- Due to the nomadic, tribal lifestyles of the ancient Israelites, this is true throughout the Bible. Jacob married TWO of his cousins, the sisters Rachel and Leah, and also fathered children by their handmaidens.
- In the young adult book How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, teenage cousins Daisy and Edmond fall passionately in love. Daisy wonders uneasily for a while "if that's the feeling your supposed to have when your cousin touches a perfectly innocent part of your anatomy that's even fully clothed". The book treats their romance sympathetically.
- By the middle of the book, she doesn't care.
- Harry Potter: Sirius and Regulus Black's parents Orion and Walburga were second cousins. Mrs. Black didn't have to change her name when she got married. It's implied that purebloodism leads to frequent inbreeding. Even Teddy Lupin and Victoire Weasley are fourth cousins once removed.
- Also referenced more obviously than the above examples when after Tonks' patronus turns into into a type of canine, Harry wonders if she had been in love with Sirius, her cousin, before he died. It turned out to be Lupin, however.
- To be fair, Tonks' mother is a pureblood and Lupin is a half-blood, meaning that in all likelyhood, they were related, too.
- Let's not forget The Gaunts, accurately described in HP Lexicon as "An ancient, in-bred, pure-blood wizarding family living in slovenly conditions in a shack in Little Hangleton." This is supposedly the main cause of poor Merope's "cross-eyed" appearance.
- Arthur Weasley, on one occasion, explicitly states that almost all, if not actually all, pureblooded wizard families (in Britain seems more likely, but I wouldn't rule out "the world" myself) are in some way related. There's simply so few left that those who haven't started marrying their sisters are going to have to, if they really think blood purity is that important.
- Also referenced more obviously than the above examples when after Tonks' patronus turns into into a type of canine, Harry wonders if she had been in love with Sirius, her cousin, before he died. It turned out to be Lupin, however.
- The corrupt churchman Annias tries to persuade Queen Ehlana to marry her cousin, Prince Lycheas, in the David Eddings Elenium trilogy. She refuses, mostly on the grounds that she can't stand him but also on the grounds that he might actually be her half-brother, given that her father and his mother were a little closer than siblings ought to be. He isn't. Lycheas was actually the son of Annias, which was part of why he was pushing the marriage.
- In the King Arthur trilogy that begins with The Seeing Stone, the narrator is a medieval teenager (named Arthur) whose family circumstances parallel King Arthur's. He and his first cousin Grace are pretty much planning on a betrothal when they find out that Arthur's parents are really his foster parents and that he's actually the son of Grace's father by a peasant woman—so they're half-siblings, not cousins, and any thoughts of marriage have to be dismissed immediately. There's close and then there's too close.
- In Christopher Moore's Fool, Pocket has running on/off affairs with both Goneril and Regan, unaware that they're both his first cousins by way of rape. Probably wouldn't have stopped any of them if they did know, though. He certainly doesn't seem horrified by it when he does find out. In fact he winds up marrying the youngest sister Cordelia. Whether she knows about the family connection or not isn't revealed.
- Skinflick in Josh Bazell's Beat the Reaper is a young mafioso in love with his cousin. The narrator is non-judgmental about this, despite Skinflick's eventual descent into Complete Monster.
- In Tanya Huff's The Enchantment Emporium Gales, a clan of witches usually (though not always) marry their cousins to keep from diluting the magic inherent in their genes and to keep said magic secret. Furthermore because there are far more more female Gales than male the boys usually "make the rounds" of their age group cousins before settling down. This imbalance between the sexes also leads to a lot of "close" relationships between the Gale girls. One of these, between main character Alysha and her cousin Charlie is particularly focused on in the book.
- The Official Couple in Percy Jackson and The Olympians, both being children of the gods, are technically cousins, but this is Handwaved by stating that the gods don't have DNA (and drawing a distinction between dating a child of another god and dating a child of the same god).
- It also make a good deal of sense, given just what pantheon those gods belong to.
- In the novel Middlesex, the protagonist's parents were cousins that eventually fell in love, but what they didn't know was that the father's parents were actually brother and sister, resulting in a rare recessive gene to make their child Calliope (later Cal) born intersexed.
- In Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy, Jude and his cousin Sue fall in love. It's not a problem at all (unlike everything else in the world.)
- In the Iliad Achilles and Patroclus are cousins. Whether or not they were kissing has long been a matter of debate.
- An interesting twist is found in the Alfred, Lord Tennyson poem Lady Clare. The titular earl's daughter is engaged to her cousin, Lord Ronald, much to the delight of her nursemaid...who promptly reveals that Clare is actually her own daughter, whom she substituted for the real Lady Clare, who died in infancy. Ronald, as the next male-line heir, ought to be inheriting everything that Clare's father left to her. Clare, horrified that Ronald would be "kept from his due" and married to a peasant, leaves the castle only to run into a bewildered Ronald. She explains everything, and he shrugs it off and says they'll marry anyway, "and you will still be Lady Clare."
- Tess of the D'Urbervilles is a rather tragic example. Tess' cousin Alec is pretty much obsessed with her and it leads to him raping and impregnating her, and her eventually murdering him. Though, as it turns out, his family merely took the d'Urbervilles name and they're not actually related at all.
- In The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies Flopsy Rabbit is married to her cousin Benjamin Bunny.
- In The 39 Clues, all Cahills are distantly related...
- Owlsight has a brief relationship between Darian and (adoptive) double first cousin Summerdance.
- Illyria by Elizabeth Hand is about the romance between first cousins Maddy and Rogan, whose fathers are twins.
- In Nerve by Dick Francis, the protagonist is hopelessly in love with his cousin. She spends much of the story discouraging the idea, though it turns out the feeling is mutual, and she's beginning to come around toward the end.
- In the Nero Wolfe novel The Red Box, Nero deduces that one of the characters is interested in marrying his cousin. Ultimately, she is revealed as not actually being related.
- In Charmed Life, the first book in the Chrestomanci series, by Diana Wynne Jones, Cat and Gwendolen's parents where first cousins. Chrestomanci explains, that when they decided to marry, it caused their family to make a great fuss. "It is, you see, rather a bad thing for cousins to marry when there's witchcraft in the family."
- In the Knight and Rogue Series Michael has a rather serious crush on Rosamund who is his second or third cousin (it never says the exact relation) and who, since they grew up together, sees him as a brother.
- Elric of Melnibone's betrothed is his cousin Cymoril. He damns himself (and ends up killing her) by accepting the demonic blade Stormbringer to rescue her from her brother Yyrkoon.
- First cousins Richard and Emmeline in Henry De Vere Stacpoole's The Blue Lagoon. Granted, there was a serious shortage of alternate partners.....
- Georgy and Oliver in Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot: Being the Correspondence of Two Young Ladies of Quality Regarding Various Magical Scandals in London and the Country by Caroline Stevermer and Patricia C. Wrede.
- Within the Kencyr race of Chronicles of the Kencyrath, it's not uncommon for cousins to marry repeatedly to increase their Shanir gifts and the author has already indicated that the most likely partner for Jame will be her brother, Torisen. Then again, the Kencyr are also noted to have magical healing powers which seem to clear up some of the recessive disorders. Then again, some of the pureblooded families are also starting to experience some side effects such as one character's whose body repeatedly rejects his teeth so that they rot out of his gums and grow back constantly.
- In the Babar books, the title character eventually married his cousin, Celeste. The Animated Adaptation changed this particular aspect, making the two unrelated and turning their relationship into Childhood Friend Romance instead.
- Camille and Thérèse in Therese Raquin, though their marriage didn't involve much, if any, sexual activity.
- In the Bunduki novels by J. T. Edson, Bunduki and Dawn are adoptive cousins. They end up married.
- Basically being set in a Medieval European Fantasy world, this is prevalent in A Song of Ice and Fire. The most prominent example is Tywin Lannister marrying his cousin Joanna, and there are several other minor examples mentioned.
- Cersei sleeping with Lancel becomes a plot point, thanks to how sensitive that information is (and how easy it is to manipulate Lancel if you're aware of it) and how jealous her incestuous twin brother is.
- In In the Time of The Butterflies, Dede and Jaimito are cousins and her sister Maria Teresa has a brief Love Triangle between her two cousins, brothers Raul and Berto.
Live Action TV
- An episode of Just Shoot Me involved Nina being pursued by a handsome man who, for some unfathomable reason, she has no attraction to. When he mentions he is also from Colby, Kansas, they discover they are cousins. He's completely disgusted and flees, while Nina is relieved that she's not stopped being attracted to men.
- Arrested Development had a recurring storyline about George-Michael's crush on his cousin Maeby who eventually turns out not to be his biological cousin). Furthermore, when these feelings become mutual, Maeby tries to hide from them by dating a boy from her school, who turns out to also be her cousin. Again, not by blood. This was mirrored in two storylines in the final season. The first saw Michael Bluth (played by Jason Bateman) thinking that a prostitute was his long-lost sister and hiring her to work at the company; she thought this was a Pretty Woman situation and started coming on to him. (The prostitute was played by Justine Bateman, who is Jason Bateman's real-life sister.) Then, in the final episode it was revealed that Lindsay was not actually Michael's biological sister. Upon finding out, she decided to act on a crush she had had for years. Additionally, Michael ended up going out with a woman who suffered from mental retardation on account of her parents being cousins. It was a lot funnier and less creepy than this sounds.
- Relatively common in Hispanic Soap Operas. During Venezuelan soap Carita Pintada's pre-premiering the author claimed that the main couple could achieve a happy ending with white wedding and all because they were only third or second grade cousins, coincidentally the closest blood relation allowed to marry according to actual laws.
- For the most (emphasis there) part in Latin America, people consider cousin relationship to be rather incestuous only if they are first cousins, second cousins and onwards are not subject to this taboo.
- Jonathan and Tammy were a popular couple on Guiding Light. However, the first time they slept together Tammy had no idea they were cousins and Jonathan was using her for revenge on his mother. When she did find out, she was angry at him for a long time. (About a couple weeks.)
- This is not uncommon in Soap Operas in general, given the frequency of "true parentage is revealed" storylines that can make previous non-relatives with crushes on each other into cousins. For example, Cassie DiMera and Shawn Brady on Days of Our Lives.
- Then there are people who skirt the edges of this trope by dating their half-siblings' cousins on the other side...
- In the HBO sex-farce-with-a-gimmick series Dream On, Martin and his cousin (played by Helen "Supergirl" Slater) briefly undergo a bout of frustrated desire for each other, which only dies when they notice, when they finally get the time and privacy to indulge themselves, that their feet are too similar. No, I didn't understand it either.
- Thirty Rock has this when Liz Lemon meets a guy that seems perfect for her. At least, until they go back to his place and she notices a picture of her great aunt. They do the math and figure they are 3rd cousins. There's a discussion on how close they would be without it being creepy. He says 5th Cousins. She says Never.
- Liz Lemon Fails Biology Forever. All human beings have common ancestors. That might be the joke, of course.
- That '70s Show had an early episode titled "Eric's Hot Cousin," where said tattle-tale Floridian cousin is not looking like the last time she visited. She blatantly flirts, causing conflicted feelings in Eric. It turns out to be a trick to get him in trouble as revenge for the last time they butted heads.
Red: Eric, do I really have to tell you to stop staring at your cousin?
- In a 3rd Rock from the Sun episode, the aliens went to the family reunion of a family with the last name "Solomon", pretending to be long-lost relatives. Tommy fell in love with his "cousin" and Hilarity Ensued.
- Strong subtext in Season 7 of Smallville regarding super-cousins Clark and Kara. Admittedly, there was an attempt made at averting this trope, when Clark realizes that they're cousins and he pauses for a beat and steps back, but as the season went on, they almost had a Slap Slap Kiss type of relationship for the most part (mostly on Kara's side).
- Stephen Colbert's stalking of his ex-girlfriend Charlene (as in the hit song "Charlene (I'm Right Behind You)") had been a Running Gag for quite a while before it was revealed that they were also cousins.
- In his book, I am America (And So Can You), he says that it's okay to marry your cousin because The Bible doesn't say you can't.
Colbert: Let's see...Leviticus Chapter 18 Verse 12 - "Thou shall not uncover the nakedness of thy father's sister"...blah blah blah "thy mother's sister"...yeech..."of thy father's brother"...man, there were some sick Levites..."of thy daughter-in-law"...fair enough..."of thy brother's wife." Nope! Nothing about cousins.
- Made mention of at least once in the Dukes of Hazzard:
Bo Duke: Daisy Duke, if you wasn't my cousin, I'd marry you!
- On the other hand, in The Film of the Series, the mere suggestion of this by a bar patron causes Bo to flip out and start a brawl.
- George dated his cousin in an episode of Seinfeld in an attempt to get his parents mad after they started neglecting him.
- On The George Lopez Show, Max gets a major crush on his attractive cousin. George made jokes about their mutant offspring (since Max by himself is already dyslexic) to discourage that. The cousin milks him for all he's worth by having him do all her chores.
- In The Big Bang Theory, Howard, while high from marijuana use (It Makes Sense in Context), admits he lost his virginity to his cousin at his uncle's funeral. This admission ends up coming back to bite him in the end of the episode in the form of a Mundane Ghost Story.
- On the Gilmore Girls, Lorelai (and later Rory) is horrified to discover that her paternal grandparents were second cousins. Emily doesn't think it's a big deal, since that was common among upper class family in those days.
- The Nanny had an episode titled "Kissing Cousins" where Fran starts to date a Jewish doctor (played by Jon Stewart) who she thinks is perfect for her. They then meet up at a wedding in their temple, where Fran's mom declares, "Oh, I see you have met your cousin!" This makes them Squick and they stop dating; however it is mentioned again in later episodes.
- In an episode of Friends, Ross and Monica's female cousin comes to visit for the wedding, and ends up staying at Ross' apartment. After a slo-motion Hair Flip, Ross finds he is attracted to her and decides that she is attracted to him too, leading him to try and make a move... Hilarity Ensues.
- The second verse of Weird Al's Avril Lavigne parody "A Complicated Song" has the protagonist alone with his girlfriend for the first time, presumably about to engage in a little Angry White Boy Polka, when:
"Who would have guessed
- Second cousin, why are you so fine?
- Elvis Presley's song Kissing Cousins from the movie of the same name.
- Corb Lund's "Family Reunion" has a line that goes like this: "Cuz one of them I think I mighta dated back in school/ That's alright, in Alberta that's cool".
- Moosebutter has a pastiche of "On My Own" from Les Misérables called "Jon Boy Jon" about a redneck who is in love with his first cousin.
- In Antigone, the eponymous character is engaged to her cousin Haemon. Haemon's father Creon and Antigone's mother Jocasta are brother and sister. It's worth mentioning that he is also her first cousin once removed since Antigone's father is a son of Jocasta's.
- It's easy to miss, but at the end of The Importance of Being Earnest, The Reveal that frees Jack/Ernest to marry Gwendolen also makes them first cousins.
- His last line in the play addresses Gwendolen's mother as "my dear Aunt Augusta." It's not that easy to miss.
- Cyrano and Roxanne in Cyrano De Bergerac
- Alex and Jenny in Aspects of Love.
- Tybalt in Romeo et Juliette: de la Haine a l'Amour (though not the play it's based on) wishes this was the case with him and Juliet.
- In most of the productions anyway. In Hungary it's less "he wishes his cousin returned his romantic love for her" and more "he's so obsessed with her that he thinks all men, including himself, are unworthy of her". There's still some weirdness going on there, though.
- Toyed with in the anime. It seemed that Tybalt would become a Romantic False Lead for Juliet, but we soon see hat he's got no real romantic interest on her and settles on being her Big Brother Mentor instead. And Aloof Big Brother to Romeo, since in this version he double as Juliet's relative and as Lord Montague's Heroic Bastard. (His mother was a high-ranked Capulet lady, who was seduced by Laertes and later fell victim to Death by Childbirth).
- In Brighton Beach Memoirs Eugene has somewhat of a crush on his cousin Nora. However it's not romantic so much as that he's entering puberty and there's a beautiful girl in the house. His older brother Stanley has a similar attraction to her.
- The H-game Gibo features a completely shameless sexual relationship between protagonist Yusuke Yagami and his first cousin Mio. Both parties are the other's Poisonous Friend, as they more or less encourage the other's bastardry, and considering Yusuke is a Villain Protagonist, their relationship is probably the least messed up thing Yusuke is known for. In fact, in some endings, you can wind up practically marrying her, which sends this right into Unholy Matrimony territory.
- As an additional note, their relationship is disturbingly similiar to how Light Yagami and Misa Amane would be if they were related (albeit sex is the point here, not a side bonus).
- As an extension for its love of the sibling version Fire Emblem has plenty of this, several preexisting relationships in 4s 2nd generation take on this form, and by selective pairing of characters in the first generation it is possible to make a vast number of such pairings.
- Two particularly noteworthy incidents in FE4's second generation are the predestined couples of Lana/Faval and Lester/Patty. Because their mothers were identical twins, IS pulled off the impressive feat of doing this and Brother-Sister Incest at the same time.
- It is possible to make Roy and Lilina from the 6th game cousins... by pairing Eliwood with Fiora and Hector with either Florina or Farina in the 7th game (which is a prequel to 6). Since 7 was not released yet (and the pairings involved exist among other possible pairings), the 6th game never makes any mention of the possibility.
- An ill-fated romance between two Kissing Cousins forms part of the plot of the adventure game The Dark Eye.
- Though nothing ever comes of it, Brother in Final Fantasy X-2 has a noticeable (and one-sided) crush on Yuna. Brother's father and Yuna's mother were siblings.
- It should be noted that in The Sims 2 and The Sims 3, the game does not even allow the option for first cousins to be married. (A certain cheat will allow them to have offspring, if the player so chooses). However, more distantly related Sims have the ability to seek romantic interactions with one another (probably because the family tree in the game does not recognize second cousins and beyond).
- At the end of Persona 4, your little cousin Nanako tells you that she wants to marry you when she grows up, and apparently won't take "no" for an answer. If you didn't max the link, her father won't allow it. If you did, he's gonna hold you to it.
- In Bully, the Preppies are the kids of a bunch of inbred rich people. When Gary gets them to attack you with his old trick of insulting them and saying you did it, the "inbred" insult is met with indignation and the phrase "And first cousins is legal anyway!"
- In Jade Empire, it's revealed that Dawn Star is the long lost daughter of Sun Li, the brother of the Emperor. As a result, when a male protagonist forms a ménage à trois with the Princess Silk Fox and Dawn Star, the two ladies are in this kind of relationship.
- In Matches and Matrimony, this is one of the nine paths which the player character can take, if she accepts (or is too weak-willed to refuse) the proposal of her cousin Mr. Collins.
- In Visual Novel Heart De Roommate the main character's nympho older cousin traps him in her room for some education about women. A jump cut later and he's pushed staggering out of her door as she calls out a list of people he might like to try that stuff on. It's arguable that the Values Dissonance actually makes the scene funnier.
- While he's joking for the most part, Umineko no Naku Koro ni's Battler Ushiromiya is not adverse to playing grab-ass with his first cousin Jessica. As for more serious cousin-cousin relationships, the second half of the story suggests that Yasu (who may or may not be Shannon, Kanon, and Beatrice III) is involved with as many as three of her cousins. Who are also her niece/nephews. It's complicated.
- The entire Nanaya clan from Tsukihime, with the exception of Shiki due to his situation. They only breed within the clan to sustain and increase the psychic power within their bloodline.
- In the Girls Love Visual Novel series Sono Hanabira ni Kuchizuke wo, one of the Official Couples, Kaede and Sara are cousins.
- One of the routes in the Visual Novel Aoi Shiro pairs the main character up with her cousin Kaya.
- The H-Game Do You Like Horny Bunnies? also features this option, with one of the main character Yukari's possible romantic interests being his cousin Sae.
- One of the possible love interests for Kyouya in Triangle Hearts 3 Sweet Songs Forever is his cousin Miyuki, who is also his adoptive sister.
- In Templar, Arizona Mose's grandfather want him to "keep the bloodline pure" and tries to browbeat him into taking up with the temple dancers. Mose objects on the grounds that they're his cousins... and underage.
- Referred to in Dead Days. Brown-hair claimed he knew everything, so Blondie tested him out. Brown then stated Blondie's first kiss was with a cousin at a family reunion. His name was Steve.
- Calvin of Charlie Horse provides a handy chart.
- The webcomic Lines And Stripes has a couple like this, but the objection of people isn't so much that they're cousins, but that they're double cousins. The other wiki has an explanation as to why this is a bad idea.
- Rudy and Fiona in Kevin and Kell are technically first cousins, but only by marriage (two marriages actually) so it's okay.
- It is tempting to try shipping their half-siblings Coney and Francis, who actually are biological cousins. Kind of. It's really complicated. Namely, Francis's mother is the human counterpart of Coney's father's sister, who crossed over into this world and turned into a rabbit. Genetically, they're related, though, which is what counts for this trope, I suppose.
- Trigger Star: Saeurkraut and Avacado's idol, Exlax The Mighty. Not only are they cousins, they were lovers.
- In Monster Buster Club, Cathy's big secret is that she kissed her cousin Elton, but only on the cheek, and only on a dare.
- Apparently the motivation for the founding of Shelbyville in The Simpsons. At one point Bart escapes a bunch of Shelbyville kids by pointing and shouting "Look! Somebody's attractive cousin!"
- In the Swedish/British cartoon The Three Friends And Jerry all the main characters are after blonde, very developed Linda, even her cousin Frank. Especially her cousin Frank.
- Invoked in an episode of Totally Spies!. When looking up her relatives in France, Alex wonders what her cousins look like and pictures a handsome guy with Bishie Sparkle.
- When Herve and Nicolas follow the gang to the factory in an episode of "Code Lyoko" Odd and Aelita pretend to have sneaked out of school on a date, despite the fact that Aelita joined the school under the pretense of being Odd's first cousin.
- Actually, it works as a perfect in-universe Fridge Brilliance. It was Fake-Out Make-Out, but Herve and Nicolas will probably read it: "They are kissing? But... They are cousins! Oh... No wonder they are hiding."
- Notably, when Herve report the fact to Sissi, she obviously doesn't believe him and find the concept absurd.
- Actually, it works as a perfect in-universe Fridge Brilliance. It was Fake-Out Make-Out, but Herve and Nicolas will probably read it: "They are kissing? But... They are cousins! Oh... No wonder they are hiding."
- Happens in Lilo & Stitch: The Series, possibly Getting Crap Past the Radar. The experiments refer to each other as "cousins", but some are romantically linked to each other. They're all created by the same person, so they're more like siblings though.
- Scooby Doo and one of his cousins were attracted to one of their cousins. It's less Squicky since they're dogs, and inbreeding is typical.
- That family tree in the page image belongs to King Charles II of Spain, the last of the Habsburg Dynasty, which took it Up to Eleven. That "only 2% increase" thing mentioned at the top assumes the sort of gene pool you get in the general population - with such a history, the child of you and a cousin - or closer - has an overwhelming likelihood of being perfectly normal. If, on the other hand, you only have eight five-times-great grandparents on your mother's side (you should have 64) because for the better part of two hundred years nearly all your ancestors were the children of relatives and went on to marry relatives, and many of the marriages are even closer than cousins (note the number of uncle/niece marriages), you may end up like "Charles the Bewitched." His body and mind were both quite disabled, obvious from birth and ever worsening as he became older until his death at 38. Unsurprisingly, he was far from an effective leader. Many of his relatives were no better off than he, and the family had more stillbirths than peasant families. The dynasty ended with Charles, as he was evidently unable to have children. (To his credit, neither of his wives were related to him.)
- It gets worse. Charles II had an older sister who married their uncle/first cousin and they had a daughter. Their line didn't last too long, though.
- Some geneticists believe that all humans are at least 50th cousins to each other.
- John Adams, the second President of the United States, married Abigail Smith, his third cousin (that is, they shared great-great-grandparents).
- Naoto Kan, former Prime Minister of Japan, is married to his first cousin Nobuko Kan. They have two sons.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States, married Eleanor Roosevelt, his fifth-cousin once removed. Note that Roosevelt was already Eleanor's maiden name.
- American outlaw Jesse James married his first cousin, Zerelda Mimms.
- Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City, married his second cousin Regina Peruggi, whom he had known since childhood.
- German composer Johann Sebastian Bach married his second cousin, Maria Barbara Bach.
- Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg married his first cousin, Nina Hagerup.
- Irish political leader Daniel O'Connell married his third cousin, Mary O'Connell.
- Charles Darwin married his first cousin, Emma Wedgwood.
- Albert Einstein married his first cousin (through his mother) and second cousin (through his father), Elsa Einstein.
- Edgar Allan Poe, at age 27, married his 13-year-old first cousin, Virginia Clemm.
- At age 23, Jerry Lee Lewis married Myra Gale Brown, his 13-year old first cousin once removed, causing a scandal and ruining his career when the news came out. Myra later remarked she could have prevented the loss of her husband's career if "she had kept her mouth shut about their relationship". They were married for 13 years.
- Specifically, at some point soon after they were married, Myra was traveling with Lewis' entourage while on tour. While he and other band members were conducting interviews, a random reporter came up to her and asked her what her relationship to Lewis was; i.e., what was she doing there touring with the band? Having not been instructed to do otherwise, she replied, "Oh, I'm his wife". Reportedly, the reporter stood there shocked for a moment before replying, "You're his what?!" (Of course, in this incident, her quite young age was likely much more obvious to the reporter than her genetic connection to her husband.)
- English author H. G. Wells married his first cousin, Isabel Mary Wells.
- Martin Van Buren, the eighth President of the United States, married his first cousin once removed, Hannah Hoes.
- The French politician Christine Boutin, leader of the Christian Democratic Party, is married to her first cousin, Louis Boutin. They have three children together.
- Chilean stateman and Magnificent Bastard Diego Portales was married to his cousin, Josefina. She was an Ill Girl and died young, which marked his Start of Darkness in a sense.
- Philippine national hero Jose Rizal and his first cousin Leonor Rivera were in love with each other when the latter was just 13 years of age (to the objection of the latter's mother) and he was 19. They maintained contact through coded letters when Rizal went abroad two years later (before which was the last time they ever saw each other in person). After 8 years of corresponding, they were forced apart when Rizal was branded a filibuster by the Spanish Colonial Goverment. The character Maria Clara in Rizal's novel Noli Me Tangere was inspired by Rivera.
- Alexandra Feodorovna was pushed towards marrying her first cousin, Prince Albert Victor, by her grandmother, Queen Victoria, but she rejected him. She ended up marrying her second cousin, Nicholas II of Russia.
- Queen Victoria (as mentioned above) was a big promoter of the cousin marriage; this included her own marriage to her first cousin, Prince Albert. Once their nine children were married off (admittedly all to non-relatives), she arranged several marriages for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren among themselves, as well as into other royal families. This is the reason so many European royals have hemophilia; Victoria was a carrier of the gene, as were her daughters, and one of her sons had the disease. This is also the reason Victoria was known as "the grandmother of Europe."
- In some cultures parallel cousins, the children of the father's brother or the mother's sister, are not allowed to marry.
- This may be more sociological than genetic in nature. Parallel cousin marriages tend to strengthen and isolate clans, where cross-cousin marriages tend to bring clans closer together.
- There's also the fact that there is at least a small chance that your father's brother's child or your mother's sister's child will turn out to actually be your half-sibling (i.e. one of your parents was boning their spouse's sibling). This risk is even greater in societies that encourage more than two generations to live in one house-hold. Barring Brother-Sister Incest, this is unlikely to happen with your father's sister's children.
- In Colonial Latin America, the landowners and rich people married their cousins pretty often to keep the family riches and influence in their inner circle.
- Allegedly, in Finland, there is a saying, "Mitä serkumpi, sen herkumpi," which roughly translates as, "the cousinier, the tastier." Though it may be apocryphal, it may help explain why Finland is so genetically distant from the rest of Europe.
- Of course, this might also have something to do with the fact that no country/culture east of Poland was taken into consideration, which is odd, considering there are at least 4 countries between Poland and Finland nowadays and Finland was part of the Swedish and then the Russian Empire for a long time...
- Spanish has its own version (even made it into a popular verse): "A la prima se le arrima, si está buena se le encima y le das hasta que gima". It roughly translates to "get closer to your cousin, if she's hot you give her more and bang her until she moans".
- A less explicit version is "Entre primo y primo más me arrimo, y si es primo hermano más bacano", or in English, "between cousins I'll get closer, and with a first cousin it's even cooler". Another slightly less explicit saying is "Carne de primo también se come", which can be translated as "cousin's meat is edible too".
- The Middle East has the rather less explicit "there's always your cousin," which is a Stock Phrase told to women having trouble finding a husband. Cousin marriage is perfectly acceptable in the Middle East, where it is used to strengthen family ties and keep property in the family. This even works when the woman doesn't marry her father's brother's son, at least among Muslims: Islamic inheritance laws traditionally entitle female-line descendants to a share of the inheritance (granted, it's half of her brothers' share).
- The Balkan countries have a similar saying: "Between a brother and a sister it's always the sweetest". Some accounts state that cousin incest was very widely practiced as a form of genuine fun rather than love, with the population being surprisingly un-inbred.
- Composer Igor Stravinsky married his first cousin, Katerina Nossenko.
- Russian composer, pianist, and conductor Sergei Rachmaninoff married his cousin, Natalia Satina.
- Famous co-monarchs William III of and Mary II of England were first cousins.
- Scientists have found that the amount of genetic similarity with one's cousin is roughly the same as that of a resident of the same city. Apparently, every major city has specific genetic traits which are more likely within its population.
- Lord Louis Mountbatten had a crush on his cousin, Grand Duchess Maria Nicolaevna of Russia. Maria was murdered alongside her siblings and parents after the Russian revolution, and Mountbatten always mourned for her: until his death in 1979, he always kept a portrait of Maria on his night table.
- American Revolution general Francis Marion married his cousin, Mary Videaux.
- That's as many as four tens. And That's Terrible.
- It turns out they were both adopted; her parents were missionaries and were eaten by their congregation.
- No, dying at 38 wasn't normal in those days. The low averages when it comes to lifespans in the past are due to high infant mortality dragging down the average, creating the illusion that people older than 25 are something invented in the 1900s. Actually, if you managed to clear toddlerhood, you would most likely live to a ripe old age. Charles died quite young, and it's because he was screwed genetically.