From Double Nepo to Semi-Nepo: The nepo baby universe has expanded.

Pop culture in 2023 has been defined by strikes, popstars on stadium tours and 50,000 famous breakups. But, if you cast your mind way back to the New Year, all we could talk about was nepotism.

First, New York Magazine published its already infamous nepo baby magazine cover in December 2022. Features within the edition explained the nepo-verse connections and most importantly, put various celebrity faces on the bodies of babies. Hailey Bieber wore a 'nepo baby' t-shirt. Celebrities gave quotes about whether or not it was a fair label, and some even tried to 'reclaim' the term. 

It was a wild ride that slowed down as we instead turned our attention to the many aforementioned breakups and watching Beyoncé or Taylor on TikTok.

But now as 2023 draws to a close, we must come full circle. There is a new expansive piece from The Guardian, explaining the widening nepo universe. And at this point, Marvel should be scared. And so should the celebs, it seems, as Gen Z are determined to uncover whether anyone's half-brother's aunty's best friend was also a star.

Yes, more nepo discourse after a year of nepo discourse. I promise this one will be fun, and deeply unserious. Jamie Lee Curtis, I love you, but you don't need to wade into this one. It's fine. I promise.

Here are the many corners of Hollywood's nepotism universe.

The Double Nepo.

These are people who have nepotism flying at them from multiple directions, mostly with two parents that are each famous in their own right. These are Top Tier nepos, often with generations of nepo pedigree. They're like the British Royals, but more fun.


Consider Dakota Johnson, daughter of Melanie Griffiths and Don Johnson, and granddaughter of Tippi Hedren, or Riley Keough, granddaughter of actual American King, Elvis Presley. Other Double Nepos include Zoe Kravitz, daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet and Lily Rose Depp, daughter of Vanessa Paradis and Johnny Depp.

Dakota Johnson and Riley Keough. Image: Getty.


Hailey Bieber could be considered a Double Nepo, or even a Triple, if you factor in her father Stephen Baldwin, the entire Baldwin family and her very very famous husband. 

The Semi-Nepo.

This refers to more obscure relations that may have helped someone on their way up, but aren't necessarily powerful enough to land them anything without some hard work too. 

Like, their mum is not Heidi Klum, or their aunty is not Julia Roberts, but they might have a second-uncle high up in a production company or be family friends with a camera person. The New York Magazine piece dubbed them 'Industry Babies'.

This is also usually the category that causes the most debate. 

Is Timothée Chalamet a nepo baby because his uncle directed Leprechaun 2? I mean, that's technically an industry connection. But, and I don't mean this to be rude, does the director of Leprechaun 2 really hold much power? There's almost certainly more power to behold in his brief high school relationship with Lourdes Leon, daughter of Madonna.

Billie Eilish is the daughter of a voice actress, and Phoebe Bridgers' dad built sets. Neither have much to do with their daughter's musical exploits, but do we still count the link?

Let the debate rage on.

Nepo Partners.

Nepo boyfriends. Nepo girlfriends. Nepo partners.

These are the celebs who have undoubtedly experienced a bump in success because of their relationships with more established stars. This does not imply that these people only dated or married who they did for this reason  — just that it's a happy (or unhappy) consequence.


Some people consider Millie Bobby Brown's fiancé Jake Bongiovi a nepo boyfriend, but he's also the son of Jon Bon Jovi, so that would make him a Double Nepo.

Nepo partners can of course become nepo exes: Julia Fox had success before her brief relationship with Kanye West, but she's also provided a masterclass into how to turn something like that into lasting relevance.

Other examples include Scott Disick and Kevin Federline. And, bless his soul, but millions of people know the name Joe Alwyn because of his six-year relationship with Taylor Swift. The relationship even garnered him a Grammy. But fun fact: he's also an actor! 

Nepo Parents.

We're very familiar with analysing celebrity careers based on their famous parents, obviously. But what if it's the children that first rise to fame?

Some nepo parents are also stage parents, meaning they have a direct hand in their children's success and that becomes part of their own personal fame. Think, dare I say it... Kris Jenner.

But others just see the opportunity post-fame, and jump on it. Key examples include the mother of Addison Rae, Sheri Nicole Easterling, who is essentially an influencer in her own right these days. Her split from husband Monty Lopez even garnered its own intense level of interest and gossip, especially when Sheri mashed tongues with a man named Yung Gravy on the 2022 VMAs red carpet.


Yung Gravy and Sheri Nicole Easterling, a.k.a Addison Rae's mother. Image: Getty.

Then there's musician Robert England Grant, Jr., who released his debut album in mid-2023 at age 69. A wonderful achievement and inspo to never give up on your dreams — especially if your daughter is Lana Del Rey.

Nepo Siblings.

Back in the mid-2000s, this was basically a sibling rite of passage. If your brother or sister was famous, you got to have a go too. 


Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears.

Jessica and Ashlee Simpson.

Hilary and Hailie Duff.

Nick and Aaron Carter.

For a real hot minute, there was even Lindsay and Ali Lohan.

Nepo siblings were the backbone of millennial culture in the early 2000s.

It still happens these days, of course. I present just two words: Frankie Grande.

Nepo Pals.

These are people who are famous for being friends with someone famous.

Many fandoms have their own minor league celebrities in this realm: like Taylor Swift's best friend Abigail, or Rihanna's bestie Melissa Forde. The general public don't know who they are, but to certain groups they're very important.

Then there are people like Jordyn Woods and Stassie Karanikolaou, whose friendships with Kylie Jenner especially have catapulted them each to their own successes. Obviously, interest in Jordyn took a really negative turn when she got caught up in one of the 3400 Tristan Thompson cheating scandals, but she also gained a pretty supportive following off the back of that. Stassie met Kylie when they were 13, and you have to imagine being papped together on the reg helped grow her 760,000 YouTube and 11 million Instagram following.

Can you blame them? If any of my friends become famous, I want my name added to this too.

Feature image: Getty.

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