Families of Choice
|Trope · Genre|
|Synonyms:||Chosen Family, Found Family, Surrogate Family, Made Family|
|Related:||Team as Family|
|See Also:||Ensemble, Team, Nakama|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Families of Choice, also sometimes called found family, is a trope often associated with ensembles or team-based canons. It involves two or more people choosing to treat one another as family in an emotional sense (and sometimes legally as well). Some works incorporating this trope may involve group marriage, but not all. Works where more than two adults are equally involved in the family relationship may be classified as gen or poly by their creators, often based on personal preference and/or whether or not there's a sexual element. Other works using this trope may focus on a single pairing but incorporate multiple children, other relatives, or close friends to form an extended family.
The similar concept of Nakama is explicitly invoked by fans of some Japanese canons. However, "families of choice" is also used by some members of those fandoms, as the two terms do not perfectly overlap in everyone's minds.
"Found Families are Not Nuclear Families"
Some fans of the trope take issue with how some people will assign characters in a found family group typical nuclear roles, especially when they use this as an excuse to call a ship they don't like "incest".
Examples of Families
Fandoms where families of choice are often incorporated into fanworks include:
- The team in The Losers
- The Leverage crew
- Teams (or parts of teams) in several of the Final Fantasy games
- Various combinations of gate teams or the entire command staff in Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis
- The crew of Farscape
- Marvel's Avengers, in movieverse and various incarnations of the team in the comics
- The Guardians in Guardians of the Galaxy
- The Bat Family in DC Comics
- The pack in Teen Wolf
- The Scoobie Gang in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- The crew of the Serenity in Firefly
- The crews of various ships/stations in Star Trek
- Marvel's X-Men, in both movieverses and various incarnations in the comics
- The eponymous guild in Fairy Tail
- The crew in One Piece
- The Mystery Shack Staff in Gravity Falls
- Sam Winchester, Dean Winchester, and Castiel in Supernatural
- Shotaro Hidari, Philip, Akiko Narumi, and Ryu Terui in Kamen Rider W.
- The teams in various seasons of Super Sentai and Power Rangers.
- The Mane Six in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
- The study group in Community (TV series).
- The Wright Anything Agency in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.
- Boybands in popslash (especially in One Direction) and k-pop
- Teams in Haikyuu
- Teams in Kuroko no Basuke
- Dumbledore's Army in Harry Potter
- The Konoha 11 (plus Sasuke, some would argue) in Naruto
- The Gaang in Avatar: The Last Airbender; and Team Avatar in the Legend of Korra
- The Rebellion, the 501 Squadron, and the 212 Battalion, in Star Wars
- Despite being seen as a family, the Cullens in the Twilight Series are not actually related and can be considered a found family.
- Les Amis de l'ABC in Les Mis
- The Samwell hockey team in Check Please!
- The Fellowship in Lord of the Rings
- Iwatobi and Samezuka swim clubs in Free!
- μ's in Love Live!
- The Host Club in Ouran High School Host Club
- The 104th Training Corps in Attack on Titan
- Teams in Yowamushi Pedal
- The Guardians in Rise of the Guardians
- The Team in Inception
- The Barden Bellas in Pitch Perfect
- The Descendants in Descendants
- Steven and the gems in Steven Universe
- The 99th Precinct in Brooklyn 99
- The Islanders in LOST
- The ASBO Five in Misfits
- Team Voltron in Voltron: Legendary Defender
- Rick's group of Survivors in The Walking Dead
- The Lyoko Warriors in Code Lyoko
Examples of Works
- We Go Together, a Star Trek Reboot vid by Such_heights
- Avatar Dance Mix, an Avatar: The Last Airbender AMV by Sholio
- Broken Mirrors, a Daryl Dixon/Carol Peletier The Walking Dead AU fic
- shut up and drive, a Patrick/Mikey/Pete Bandom The Fast and the Furious AU fic by Trojie and uglowian
- Marvel Cinematic Universe:
- Families of Choice tag on AO3
- Shareandsharealike, a Poly community at which some families of choice works can be found
- 14 Valentines Day 11 - Recs: Families of Choice, a recs post by Sansets for Halfamoon
- Found family tag at Gensplosion recs community
- Recs tagged Families of Choice at Fancake
- Recs tagged Team as Family at Fancake
- When bad movies happen to good books "By contrast, the strongest “families” on TV are often families of choice – the friends on Friends, the Scoobies on Buffy, the team on Bones, the CSI’s, the gang on Will and Grace or Seinfeld. These “families’ are bound not by something as boring as genes, but by genuine love and affection, by shared commitment and caring. These families of choice really first cropped up in shows like Mary Tyler Moore." ~comment by Glenda Brown, posted 9 April 2008. Accessed 14 February 2013.
- For example, Team Teyla AU Fest and Team Teyla AU Fest '09, where participants labelled their works alternately OT4 or Gen. Posted 7 May 2008 and 31 May 2009. Accessed 14 Feb 2013.
- X-Men Kink Fill: Desperate Measures "I love fics that explore the idea of families, especially families of choice, and this is such a lovely take on it. " ~comment by Etharel on a Charles Xavier/Erik Lehnsherr fic. Comment posted 26 Aug 2011. Accessed 14 Feb 2013.
- Families of Choice by Tigriswolf, posted 18 Jan 2013. Accessed 14 Feb 2013.
- Families of Choice by Zvi, posted 24 Dec 2003. Accessed 14 Feb 2013.
- Beware, herds of teal deer ahead, comment by Smillaraaq. "Nakama, families-of-choice, and adoption are all frequent elements" - indicating that nakama and families of choice are categorically similar but not identical. Posted 31 August 2010. Accessed 14 February 2013.
- Fandom Problems
- "Introducing the phrase “found family” to fandom spaces was a mistake" by partywithponies on Tumblr
- Review of SGA 3.03 "Reunion" SPOILERS "In true Firefly style, I love that this episode is a struggle between family of origin and family of choice. Try as he might, Ronon can't deny that the Atlantis expedition is family now; he calls them "my people" before they go on the ill-fated op and that's signifcant to me." ~Lunabee 34, posted on 12, Oct 2007. Accessed 14 Feb 2013.
- Fanfic "I really like the setting and the premise, but I'm a sucker for families of choice." ~comment by Jo Graham, posted 1 May 2012. Accessed 14 Feb 2013.
- Avengers Family tag on AO3
- Bat Family tag on AO3
- Pack Family tag on AO3
- Angles and Incest "And there was another great thread about families of choice--which, as many posters noted, is A if not THE theme within the Jossverse. Which could be why there was never any canon Buffy/Xander or Buffy/Willow, and why Oz, Tara, and Anya had to be brought in--so there could be Scooby Exogamy to combat the threat of Scoobycest." ~Executrix, posted 25 Feb 2007. Accessed 14 Feb 2013.
- Rectifying Doubts "She clenched her jaw, thinking of her chosen family. Fairy Tail. The place she could always come home to, where she would find friendship, comfort, honesty, support and trust." ~Moni-neechan, posted 1 Jan 2013. Accessed 14 Feb 2013.