When Breena is pregnant with her youngest child, the ultrasound photos strongly indicate that the baby more closely resembles Tim than Jimmy. After the initial discovery, the trope is largely averted since, as far as the McPalmers are concerned, any child born into their family including those born before the four of them hooked up belongs to all of them and Jimmy and Abby feel zero jealousy at the thought of Breena carrying Tim's baby.
Film The Scarlet Empress: Catherine being the future Catherine the Great. Peter and Catherine hate each other and are never in each other's company. The scene where the child the future Paul I is born comes immediately after the scene where Catherine has sex with a random guard.
Later, a smirking Peter refers to the baby as "an unexpected addition to the family. She comes back pregnant. Genghis insists on recognizing the boy as his own son. The dubious parentage of Genghis's first son, Jochi, cost Jochi a shot at succeeding his father, and played a significant part in the fracturing of the Mongol Empire. Lon Chaney plays a man whose wife was going to run away with another man and then died shortly after childbirth. He raises his "daughter" to be an alcoholic prostitute.
Then the other man shows up, and tells him that his wife never went away with him— the child is his own. The Painted Veil Joseph eventually believes her after the Holy Spirit visits him in a dream to confirm her claim, and goes on to publicly claim the child as his, so it would have a father on Earth.
The Power and the Glory: Tom's suicide comes after he learns that not only is his Trophy Wife Eve cheating on him, but their baby boy is actually his grandson, Eve's son by her lover Tom Jr. Jokes Inverted in this Dumb Blonde joke: The blonde discovers she's pregnant and goes to confront her husband: They do so right through the delivery but the husband shrugs it off saying it doesn't hurt at all. They started the machine at setting 1 and kept increasing it until it was at 10 but he felt nothing.
They return home with the baby to find out that their mailman had dropped dead right on their street. Similarly, a boy lucked out on a phrase that got him anything he wanted - " I know your secret ". Having gotten a new bike from his dad and new baseball mitt from his mom, he decided to try it out on the milkman Finally, despairing, he confesses to his mother, who tells him that while his father was being so unfaithful, she got lonely, and so he could marry any of them.
Lots of variations, including some where it's a young woman who wants to marry. A middle-aged couple had two beautiful daughters but always talked about having a son.
They decided to try one last time for the son they always wanted. The wife got pregnant and delivered a healthy baby boy.
The joyful father rushed to the nursery to see his new son. He was horrified at the ugliest child he had ever seen. He told his wife "There's no way I could be the father of this baby.
Have you been fooling around behind my back? The wife smiled sweetly and replied: Another variation is about an elderly couple who has had 8 sometimes 12 or 13 children: The wife is on her deathbed and calls for her husband, for she wants to confess something to him.
The husband comes, and tell her that he assumes it's about the redheaded boy he always suspected wasn't his. When the father heard the name of this girl, he made it clear that he didn't want his son to marry her, because it turned out he was her father.
This shocked the son, and he went straight to his mother with the problem. The mother scoffed and said: An impoverished aristocrat resigns himself to organizing guided tours of his ancestral castle.
One day, he notices one of the tourists bears a striking resemblance to himself. He goes up to him and asks "I can't help but notice you look very similar Did your parents work here by any chance? Your mother was a chambermaid, no doubt? However, there are rumours about a neighbour family, namely that the younger children were not actually fathered by the frail and feeble father of the family, but the son.
In The Odyssey , Telemachus wonders about this—a doubt that no one else expresses—because he wonders if he is a worthy son of such a father. In Jane Eyre , Mr. Rochester's ward is the daughter of his one-time mistress, who sent him the baby after he had dismissed her when he learned she was unfaithful to him.
She said the child was his; he assures Jane he has his doubts. In Sharon Shinn 's Jenna Starborn, a retelling of Jane Eyre, Everett Ravenbeck also has a ward of unknown paternity born to an erstwhile mistress—he tells the title character that he never had the child DNA-tested, much to her surprise. In Madeleine L'Engle 's The Love Letters, Charlotte fled to Portugal because when she told her husband she was pregnant, he had asked her who the father was when he was.
The Jungle has, as part of Jurgis's Trauma Conga Line , his wife Ona tell him that she was raped by a businessman and she's been going to him for conjugal visits to ensure financial security for the family and also that she is pregnant.
From what is narrated of their miserable bedtime experiences, they are most likely not having sex and if they are, then it is not very often. Therefore, there is the chance that Ona got pregnant from her visits with Connor.
However, Jurgis never makes any comment on the paternity of the child. In Andre Norton 's The Jargoon Pard , Kethan is his uncle's heir because as his sister's son, he is his most reliable kin.
Of course it turns out that Kethan's mother isn't his mother at all so there goes that theory. In Edgar Rice Burroughs 's Beyond Thirty, the British Isles have "retrogressed"—there are tribes that did not have a word for father, and other tribes where they are aware of fatherhood, but practice matrilineality because of this trope.
The heroine tells the hero not who her father is, but whom her mother once told her was her father. It appears that the line of descent is through the women. A man is merely head of his wife's family—that is all.
If she chances to be the oldest female member of the "royal" house, he is king. Very naively the girl explained that there was seldom any doubt as to whom a child's mother was. Inverted in Wicked , in which Elphaba isn't sure if Liir is her son or not, because she'd been unconscious at the time he was born and no one would tell her if she'd given birth during that time or not. Although Played Straight with her sister Nessarose, who her father suspects is not his.
Turns out it's true about Elphaba, too, with a different father than her sister, though. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero's Daughter trilogy there is considerable speculation about Caliban's father. At the end, he has one question, and uses it to confirm what the evidence points too. In reality, Jenna's a foundling, and they must hide her origin. In the Chivalric Romance Octavian, the emperor's wicked mother accuses his wife of infidelity and claims her twin children are not his.
In some forms of the Chivalric Romance The Swan Children, a woman taunts another woman with infidelity because she had given birth to twins; later, she gives birth to seven children at once, and her mother-in-law taunts her with the same "proof" and exposes the children, although she has not been unfaithful.
In Marie de France's Le Fresne, a woman taunts another woman with infidelity after she bears twins; then she bears twins herself, and unable to prove her innocence, exposes one daughter. Montgomery 's A Tangled Web , a woman never named the father of her illegitimate baby. When one couple separated the night of their wedding, some of the speculation was that he confessed to being the father. In Ovid 's Elegy XIII, he invokes Isis and Lucina to save his mistress, Corinna, after an attempted abortion; during the course of it, he admits that the child may not be his.
Jacky invokes this trope in Under The Jolly Roger. She knows she's shortly to be deflowered by Captain Scrogg, so she decides to sleep with Robin. Her reasoning is that if she becomes pregnant, whoever the father is, she'll be able to tell herself it's Robin's baby and be able to love it the way it deserves. It doesn't work, but neither does Captain Scrogg's Attempted Rape , so it all works out.
From the start there is speculation as to whether the father of Isabelle's children is Charlie or her husband in The Thirteenth Tale.
This is the backstory of one of the characters in Mercedes Lackey 's Magic's Promise ; when the kid was born early and looked like neither his mother nor his father but exactly like his maternal uncle, his father assumed the very worst , and took it out on both mother and child.
Particularly awful because there was a way to check; the father just didn't want his suspicions confirmed. The boy was simply born prematurely, and wasn't the uncle's. The father cardinal suspects an egg was laid by an interloper and the mother knows it for her own. Except, of course, her actual egg could have been tipped out of the nest by a brood parasite—avian mothers would not have the certainty of a mammalian one.
Martin 's A Song of Ice and Fire: There is a succession struggle after the current king's death due to this trope His wife Cersei having indulged in Twincest but nonetheless claiming the children are her husband's. Jon Arryn and Ned Stark were both put onto it by the discovery that in past cases where Baratheons and Lannisters have had children together, the children always had black hair rather than the blond hair characteristic of House Lannister. A lesser, but telling, example can be found with another Lannister.
A family tradition with Lannister girls when unhappily married off, perchance? Inverted with Jon Snow. His father, Lord Eddard Stark, raises and loves Jon alongside his trueborn half-siblings at his home castle in Winterfell, openly presenting Jon as his son and providing him with a highborn upbringing but Jon has no idea who his mother is as it has not been revealed to Jon, most characters in the series, or to the readers.
As a result, a number of characters have provided Wild Mass Guesses of their own but none of them line up with the fanon conjecture, and the sole character who can confirm any of these preductions — Howland Reed of Greywater Watch — has yet to appear "on-screen. Jon even looks more like Ned's son than his trueborn sons who all inherited more of their mother Catelyn's features , which is one of the reasons Catelyn resented Jon so much.
Featured in Archmaester Gyldayn's Histories , with Rhaenyra's three eldest sons looking nothing like her likely gay first husband. It's also a key feature of the backstory of the Blackfyre pretenders. Daemon Blackfyre claims that the current king Daeron wasn't the son of the previous King Aegon but of Aegon's brother Aemon; therefore, Daemon the bastard-born but legally legitimized son of Aegon was the rightful heir.
The resulting civil war flared off-and-on for nearly a century.