Families of Choice

From Fanlore
(Redirected from Found Family)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Tropes and genres
Synonym(s)Chosen Family, Found Family, Surrogate Family, Made Family
Related tropes/genresTeam as Family
See alsoEnsemble, Team, Nakama
Related articles on Fanlore.

Families of Choice, also sometimes called found family, is a trope often associated with ensembles or team-based canons.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

As a trope, families of choice has been explicitly requested for exchanges, including Yuletide, Purimgifts, and Festivids. It has also been used as a title for several fanworks.[4][5]

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.[6]

"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".[7][8]

Examples of Families

Fandoms where families of choice are often incorporated into fanworks include:

Examples of Works



  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Families of Choice by Tigriswolf, posted 18 Jan 2013. Accessed 14 Feb 2013.
  5. ^ Families of Choice by Zvi, posted 24 Dec 2003. Accessed 14 Feb 2013.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Fandom Problems
  8. ^ "Introducing the phrase “found family” to fandom spaces was a mistake" by partywithponies on Tumblr
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Avengers Family tag on AO3
  12. ^ Bat Family tag on AO3
  13. ^ Pack Family tag on AO3
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ 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.