Genetics is a mind-boggling thing, no? It’s wild to dwell upon the idea that the 23 chromosomes each that parents kick in when their kid is in utero ultimately decide what that baby will look like. Will they have a prominent nose like their daddy? Or maybe blue eyes like their mama? Only time (and, you know, DNA) will tell.
But part of the miracle of genetics lies in the fact that, due to all of the possible combinations of genes, one set of parents could theoretically produce 64 trillion different children. So, while it’s only natural to expect kids to bear a resemblance to their parents, it’s easy to understand how — every now and then — a kid comes along that kind of makes everyone go, "Oh, that’s… unexpected."
It comes as an even bigger shock when that child’s other siblings could pass for tiny versions of their parents. Ah, the beauty of polygenic traits! When so many genes acting together at once, wonderful variations are bound to occur. And, well, these celebrities and their un-lookalike kids are living proof.
Jessica Alba and Cash Warren
On August 13, 2011, Honest entrepreneur Jessica Alba and husband Cash Warren welcomed another little girl into their growing brood. Haven Garner Warren joined big sis Honor, who, according to Alba, "couldn’t be more excited" about the new sibling. And while the girls have since become peas in a pod, Haven has grown into a beautiful young girl with a look all her own.
There’s no denying Honor — the oldest Warren daughter — heavily favors her father, with a dash of her movie star mama thrown in for good measure. The girls’ baby brother Hayes, born in 2018, appears to take after his oldest sibling. But Haven? Well, for starters, her ginger-hued hair sets her apart from her family.
Per Alba, her middle child was distinctive from the start. "I really only expected my child to look like Honor," Alba told People shortly after Haven’s birth. "When the two of us made such a different-looking kid it was, like, ‘Okay, I guess we can do this too!’ It was a nice little surprise.’"
Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady
There was no way Benjamin Brady wouldn’t wind up adorable. When your dad is New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and your mom is supermodel Gisele Bündchen, the gene deck is definitely stacked in your favor. So there’s no denying that Benjamin —or "Bennie," as his famous parents affectionately call him — is cute as a button.
The mystery lies in the fact that he doesn’t really look like either parent! John, the oldest child in the blended family, equally favors his NFL dad and his mom (Brady’s ex) Bridget Moynahan. The baby of the family, daughter Vivian Lake, is shaping up to be her model mama’s mini-me.
And then there’s Bennie, nestled in the middle. Physically, it would seem the only thing the little guy inherited was his dad’s dark hair. That’s not to say he doesn’t have anything in common with his famous fam, though. Judging by some of Brady’s Instagram post, Bennie might just turn out to be a baller too. Regardless, it’s clear his parents are incredibly proud of him, with Bündchen calling him "the sweetest and most loving boy" and Brady gushing about how much Bennie "brightens our lives."
Nicole Richie and Joel Madden
There’s not a person on the face of the planet who could claim that Nicole Richie and Joel Madden’s daughter, Harlow, doesn’t look like her fashion designer mom — looking at the little girl is like hopping in a time machine and going back to the days of Richie’s youth. So it wouldn’t have been surprising if the couple’s son, Sparrow, followed suit after his birth in 2009 and turned out to be his dad’s doppelganger.
But, really, Sparrow doesn’t really look like his dad or his mom. Unless, of course, you’re counting the kid’s punk rock style! Then you could certainly say he’s his father’s double, and Richie apparently wouldn’t have it any other way. "My son likes to dress like his dad," Richie confirmed to People in 2016, the same year she took to Instagram to give her husband a sweet, dad-centric shout-out.
"Thank you for making me a mommy," she wrote. "Thank you for encouraging our children to be human instead of perfect. And thank you for your unconditional love, patience, & acceptance. I hope our son turns out to be just like you."
Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott
When Finn Davey McDermott was born in 2012, he had plenty of warm hearts to welcome him into the fold. At the time, Tori Spelling and husband Dean McDermott already had son Liam, and daughters Stella and Hattie. And, in 2017, the couple welcomed a fifth child, son Beau. Looking at family pics, you could say McDermott’s genes are pretty darn strong — Liam, Stella, Hattie and baby Beau all bear striking resemblance to their dad.
Then there’s Finn. This adorable little guy with curly bohemian hair could pass for a sibling from an entirely different family. Don’t suggest as much to his mama, though, because it’s clear she holds a special place in her heart for her second-to-youngest. "Finn and I went thru a very traumatic pregnancy together that I think bonded us in a very special way," Spelling explained on Instagram in 2017. "We both made it thru and Finn has always been a Mama’s boy from birth."
Spelling underscored just how one-of-a-kind Finn is in May of 2018, describing him as "an undeniable old soul that far too often does and says things that only your Grandpa Aaron did or said."
Faith Hill and Tim McGraw
Considering their parents are country superstars Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, daughters Gracie, Maggie, and Audrey have managed to maintain an impressively low-profile growing up. However, if you’ve caught a glimpse of the McGraw girls, you likely noticed that middle child Maggie looks a lot like her songbird mama. And Aubrey? Well, she’s a dead ringer for daddy.
But oldest daughter Gracie has a look — and personality — unlike anyone in her family. Despite Gracie and Maggie only being a year apart in age, Hill told Country Countdown USA, "Anybody who has more than one kid knows they’re so different. They’re so individual."
In 2016, Gracie showed off her unique spirit when she began singing alongside McGraw on stage and for his album. If you ask McGraw, though, his oldest doesn’t need much guidance. She’s got the gift! "She’s way more talented than I am, anyway," he told ET in 2016. "She doesn’t need any advice from me. She’s so bubbly and she fills up a room when she walks in. She’s got so much talent and is such a great songwriter, we’re going to hear from her down the road, for sure."
Mariah Carey and now-ex Nick Cannon welcomed twins in 2011 and, naturally, the tots resemble each other. However, one half of the duo, son Moroccan, looks just like his actor dad. Meanwhile, his sister Monroe doesn’t share her brother’s likeness to the pair’s dad at all — or to their songbird mom, for that matter.
It goes without saying, of course, that Monroe is precious. She’s her own little person and co-parents Carey and Cannon both dote on their daughter. For Carey, mother-daughter bonding entails a favorite pastime that the iconic songstress did, in fact, pass down to her daughter: singing! In a video shared to Instagram in August 2017, Monroe performs an off-the-charts adorable duet with her mom of Carey’s classic "Always Be My Baby."
So it’s safe to assume that Monroe got her bold personality from her entertaining parents. And, according to Carey, Moroccan inherited the same charisma. "It’s fun for them. They want to be around it," Carey told E! News in 2016. "They are so funny that they should have their own show because they’re twins and they have like their own little language and it’s hilarious."
With her long, curly, fiery-red tresses, there’s no mistaking Debra Messing — which is why when you see her son Roman (with ex-husband Daniel Zelman), you might not even realize the two are related. The Will & Grace star’s son has sandy blonde hair, for starters, and a decidedly different facial structure than his sitcom mom.
But you better believe that doesn’t keep these two from being the best of buds. Roman is a constant presence on Messing’s social media, where the actress shares snapshots of the pair taking in plays, going to movie screenings, and visiting baby elephants in South Africa.
Per Messing, Roman is "probably the funniest human being" she knows, so maybe he is a chip off the old block. But it’s in the moments when he isn’t making his mom laugh that Roman makes the biggest impression on her. "You’re always learning from other people, and I think the first knee-jerk reaction is to assume you’re not going to learn anything from a child who hasn’t really lived yet, but there’s always things coming out of his mouth that are very profound to me," Messing told HuffPost Live in 2015.
Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Cutter Dykstra
One thing’s for sure: actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler and husband Cutter Dykstra make some beautiful babies. The couple’s adorable brood includes son Beau Kyle Dykstra, who was born in 2013, and little brother Jack Adam Dykstra, born in 2018. Here’s the hitch, though (if you can even call it that) — big bro Beau is the odd little man out, in that he doesn’t necessarily favor Sigler or Dykstra.
Regardless, the kid is super-cute and, it would seem, sweet to boot. In 2016, Sigler opened up to People about being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 20, admitting "it’s still hard to accept." It was actually Beau in large part who inspired her to speak out about her daily battle with the disease. Said Sigler, "I wanted to be an example to him of strength and courage."
Beau sounds like a pretty brave guy himself if Sigler’s fourth birthday post to her little boy is any indication. "Thank you for taking care of your mommy every single day," she wrote on Instagram in 2017. "I love your more than I’ll ever find the words to express."
Chris and Paula Elliott
It’s hard to believe that the man who first endeared himself to audiences in the 1994 cult classic Cabin Boy has a grown daughter — one who, despite not looking at all like her movie star dad, has in at least one way followed in her funny dad’s footsteps. That’s right; Chris Elliott has a kid, and that kid is former SNL regular Abby Elliott Kennedy.
And perhaps the two share such a tight bond (it’s obvious if you spend any time scrolling her Instagram feed) because they understand each other’s worlds so well. When Kennedy left SNL in 2016, she confessed to HollywoodLife that she was grateful for the gig but "happy it’s over."
In the same interview, Kennedy said of her famous father’s one-year stint on the comedic sketch series from 1994 to 1995 that he "did not have a good experience." According to Kennedy, Elliott’s negative experience stemmed from the fact he was already established, so it simply wasn’t a logical move for him.
However, the father-daughter duo has put all of that behind them — leaving them more time to hang out and have fun together.
Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon
You may not have realized it at the time, but you’ve likely seen Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon’s daughter, Sosie Bacon, onscreen before. And, let’s be real, the reason you may not have realized Sosie was the offspring of this high-profile Hollywood couple is that she doesn’t exactly look like either one of them.
However, Sosie certainly takes after her mom and dad in the talent department. The rising star appeared in her mom’s former series, The Closer, as well as Scream: The TV Series, Here and Now, and the much-buzzed-about Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. She even worked alongside her mom behind-the-scenes and dad on-camera when she appeared in the Lifetime movie Story of a Girl. When asked how her parents’ incredible careers have impacted her, Sosie told Us Weekly of what she’s seen that "it’s all inspired me."
For the record, though, Sosie clearly thinks she looks like her dad just as much as she acts like him — in May 2018, she shared a throwback photo of her dad, captioning the pic, "@kevinbacon first headshot or a current photo of me?"