Cousins, Totally Cousins

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"Cousins, totally cousins" is a fannish mockery of Hollywood's attempts to bowdlerize homoerotic subtext or text by claiming it is a familial relationship instead. The original example is the movie Troy, in which Achilles and Patroclus are portrayed as being cousins, despite general consensus of the Iliad's critics being that they were shield mates, Ancient Greek same-sex partners.

Cleolinda's review, Troy in Fifteen Minutes, introduced the phrase:

"And, in conclusion: Cousins. They were totally cousins."[1]

An infamous example comes from Sailor Moon fandom, where the dub of the third season tried to pass off canon lesbian couple Haruka and Michiru as cousins without removing any of the visual cues such as held gazes and hand-touching.[2] This became a running joke among fans.

The phrase has also been altered to other familial relationships between characters that fans find homoerotic, such as "Brothers, totally brothers"[3] regarding Wincest in Supernatural and Petrellicest in Heroes. The original phrase has also made appearances in fandom spaces[4] for Shakespeare's Histories, where pretty much everybody's homoerotic cousins.