It's that time again. Soon you'll be packing off to your parents' place, for turkey and inquisition. But what's the worst that could happen? Your parents could be aliens, robots, pod-people or evil doppelgangers, according to science fiction and fantasy.

Top image: strip by Rozsdás, based on an idea from Robot Chicken, via Darths and Droids.

Your parents could be evil duplicates

And before you ask, "How would I be able to tell the difference?", consider how dreadful it could be:

What's the worst that can happen when you visit your parents?
In Philip K. Dick's "The Father-Thing," a young boy realizes that his father isn't really his dad any more. He's been replaced by some kind of alien duplicate, and this is one of the most sinister, chilling things that Dick ever wrote. The fake dad looks and sounds like the real thing, until he doesn't: "Ted Walton's face lost all familiarity. Something alien and cold gleamed out, a twisting, wriggling mass. The eyes blurred and receded, as an archaic sheen filmed over them. The ordinary look of a tired, middle-aged husband was gone." Only the other neighborhood kids will believe the truth.

Your parents could be aliens


What's the worst that can happen when you visit your parents?
In My Stepmother Is An Alien, Dan Aykroyd is a scientist who marries a woman (Kim Basinger) who turns out to be an alien who's been sent to Earth to investigate his experiments — and possibly destroy the entire planet. The only one who suspects the truth is the scientist's daughter (Alyson Hannigan), who gets stuck on the ceiling by the weird penis monster in Basinger's purse.

It's also subverted somewhat in the sitcom My Parents Are Aliens, where the secret alien visitors are benign but clueless.

Your real father or mother could be your arch enemy

What's the worst that can happen when you visit your parents?
Just ask Luke Skywalker how much worse this type of family reunion could be. Instead of having some harsh looks while your folks pass the stuffing, and some uncomfortable questions about your love life, you could be getting your hand lopped off and having your dad try to convert you to the dark side.


There are tons more examples of parents who turn out to be evil over at TVTropes, including Soranik Natu finding out Sinestro is her dad, and so on.

Your parents could be monsters or demons


What's the worst that can happen when you visit your parents?
In Reaper, Sam finds out that his parents sold him to the Devil before he was even born. But later, he discovers it's even worse — his father is the Devil. Luckily, it's the charming Ray Wise.

What's the worst case scenario if your dad is the Devil? Probably that he's Al Pacino's Devil in 1997's The Devil's Advocate — Pacino's Devil wants his son (Keanu Reeves!) to have sex with his own half-sister, so the Devil can have an in-bred grandchild — the Antichrist. Also, Pacino gets his son Keanu to go work at his Satanic law firm, defending Satanic cultists, pedophiles and other upstanding members of society.

Additional reporting by Chelsea Lo Pinto and Katharine Trendacosta.