Nepotism Babies Are Everywhere

Nepotism babies: the internet’s latest obsession surrounding celebrities


Emily Nguyen

“Nepotism baby”: A newly coined phrase catapults its way into the lives of young people, clearing way for mixed feelings, and allowing for the debunking of Hollywood and meritocracy, all while becoming the topic of an internet trend.

Emily Nguyen, Reporter

Any social media connoisseur will tell you that trends and fads come and go. Gossip on the internet comes rushing onto feeds quickly, and fades even quicker.

The lives of millennials and Gen-Z can seemingly change with one button and a tweet. So, what’s one of the internet’s latest obsessions? Two words, nepotism babies.

The phrase “nepotism baby” can roughly be traced back to Feb. 20, 2022, when Twitter user @MeriemIsTired tweeted, “Wait I just found out that the actress that plays Lexie is a nepotism baby omg [crying emoji] her mom is Leslie Mann and her dad is a movie director lol.”

The tweet, which received over 3,900 likes and 2,300 quote tweets refers to actress Maude Apatow, who portrays the character Lexi Howard in HBO’s “Euphoria,” being a nepotism baby.

Soon, the tweet spread and was subsequently mocked by Twitter users, with many asking how the post could leave Apatow’s genre-leading movie director father, Judd Apatow unnamed.

In an attempt to poke fun at the original tweet, many Twitter users took to using the post as a template, inserting their own nepotism baby in place of Apatow.

These parody tweets, some of which gained more than double the amount of likes and retweets garnered by the original, used the now template-tweet to call out names like Liza Minnelli, Zoë Kravitz, Sofia Coppola, Queen Elizabeth II, Cronuts (croissants and donuts) and even Jesus Christ as nepotism babies.

On top of rising to meme stardom, the tweet, of course, coined and catapulted a new term into young people’s lives, “nepotism baby.”

The term nepotism baby refers to a child or relative of a celebrity whose rise to success can be attributed to the fact that their parent, or relative was, at some point, famous. In more real-world, non-celebrity circumstances, a nepotism baby may be related to someone who has a job in a position of power, likely with many connections.

Often shortened to “nepo baby,” the internet-dominating phrase simply combines the words, nepotism, which is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “favoritism (as in appointment to a job) based on kinship,” and baby.

As one digs deeper and deeper into the celebrity nepotism baby rabbit hole, one begins to realize that practically half of Hollywood is comprised of nepotism babies.

Recognizable names like Drew Barrymore, George Clooney, Gwyneth Paltrow and Mia Farrow are all nepotism babies that have outshined their parents’ stardom and built their own names.

New York Magazine released its December 2022 issue, deeming 2022 the year of the nepo baby. (via the New York Magazine)

The New York Magazine recently released their December issue titled “The Year of the Nepo Baby” which depicted various nepotism babies as actual babies.

Their cover, which only fueled young peoples’ new fixation, featured John David Washington, Dakota Johnson, Jack Quaid, Maude Apatow, Zoë Kravitz, Ben Platt, Lily-Rose Depp and Maya Hawke (among a plethora of other names within the magazine).

Unsurprisingly, there are even nepotistic family trees that with their nepo baby branches technically count as “nepo-families.”

The most well-known nepo-families in the show-biz department include the Coppolas (Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia Coppola, and yes, Nick Cage), the Chaplins (where Charlie Chaplin is everyone’s grandpa), and of course, arguably the most famous, famous family, the Kardashian-Jenners with their ongoing reality TV show that still accumulate attention 15 years after it first aired.

So, what’s the big deal? If nepotism babies are basically everywhere, why is Gen-Z and the greater part of the internet obsessed with them? Do we hate them, love them, what is happening?

Despite the fun Twitter users must have had declaring Jesus Christ as a nepo baby or the innocent thrill one might have got from knowing what celebrity was related to who, there’s one hard truth behind the popularity of this social media topic.

Nepotism babies remind us that life isn’t fair, in and out of Hollywood.

The existence of nepotism babies exposes the importance of connections and how not just anyone who works hard, or has talent can make it in show business, or any line of work for that matter.

Many live under the self-built umbrella that is meritocracy, firmly believing that elbow grease, a little sweat, and raw talent is all you need to succeed in life even though we live in a society where nepotism has thrived, since practically forever, and will continue to thrive for all of time.

The phrase, nepotism baby, is just another way of helping people realize their false sense and belief in meritocracy, working by uniting the many who have had to witness common injustices, such as a friend benefiting from nepotism and receiving the upper hand.

Nepotism babies have already gained some negative attention due to what they may represent for regular, everyday people.

”Nepotism babies are harmful to people who are actually talented and have had to work a lot harder to get into the same positions,” freshman and social media frequent Keena Boschert stated.

Nepotism babies are harmful to people who are actually talented and have had to work a lot harder to get into the same positions,

— Keena Boschert (9)

Some may associate the new term with entitled, privileged and untalented young people who have had their high position in society handed to them.

While this certainly may be true for some prominent young celebrities in Hollywood, the phrase nepotism baby does not describe a single type of person.

Not all nepotism babies are talented and hardworking, but many of them are.

Moreover, parentage is not something a child can control, and no nepotism baby asked to be born as one.

“The current conversation about nepo babies is just designed to try to diminish, denigrate, and hurt,” commented Jamie Lee Curtis, star of the horror classic “Halloween,” and whose mother, Janet Leigh famously starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” in the description of an Instagram post.

“It’s curious how we immediately make assumptions and snide remarks that someone related to someone else who is famous in their field for their art, would somehow have no talent whatsoever,” Curtis further stated.

Whether you hate them, love them, or don’t care, it is important to realize that nepotism babies don’t really matter in the grand scheme of real life or even the actual world or topic of nepotism.

The reality of the nepotism rampant in our society is that we can’t really do anything about it or the injustices it has caused.

All we can do is be aware of where we stand in the world, the current positions we hold, and of course, talk about it, which is likely what the internet will do until the next new “thing” in the coming weeks.