What’s the Meaning of ‘Nepo Baby’ & Who Are They?

If you're active on social media, you've probably seen this term floating around

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If you’re active on social media, you’ve probably seen the phrase Nepo Baby floating around. This term has become quite popular, especially on TikTok. But if you’re not familiar with it or want to know more, here’s the deal. The term Nepo Babies,—which is the plural formis short for ‘nepotism baby.’ According to the Real Academia Española, nepotism’ refers to giving preferential treatment or opportunities to family members rather than based on their own skills or qualifications.

So, when people talk about nepo babies, they’re referring to the children of celebrities who have –or might– succeeded in careers similar to those of their wealthy or famous parents, or other well-connected relatives. The idea is that these individuals may have had a leg up in their careers because of their family connections in the industry. Essentially, it’s using family privilege to get ahead.

What is the Origin of the Term ‘Nepo Babies’?

The term gained a lot of popularity in 2022 when people on the internet realized that many celebrities come from well-known families. Especially in Hollywood, where it seems like everyone is somehow connected. While it’s not clear how it all started, some say it began when someone found out that Maude Apatow, one of the main stars of Euphoria, is the daughter of actress Leslie Mann and director Judd Apatow.

Eric Dane, Colman Domingo, Zendaya, Sam Levinson, Hunter Schafer, Jacob Elordi, Sydney Sweeney, Angus Cloud, Maude Apatow, Dominic Fike and Austin Abrams attend HBO’s Euphoria Season 2 Photo Call. Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images.

After that, Nepo Baby started trending on TikTok as users pointed out many other Nepo Babies. Additionally, Vulture released a list of nepo babies that same year and called 2022 ‘The Year of the Nepo Baby’.

However, it’s worth mentioning that this kind of ‘nepotism’ has been around in all sorts of industries for a long time. What’s different now is that younger generations, who are big on equality—like Gen Zare starting to notice and speak out against the ‘special treatment’ these people get and how easily they seem to succeed.

Being a Nepo Baby

Willow Smith’s hit song «Wait a Minute!» is probably familiar to many. Recently, she announced her upcoming album titled Empathogen. However, despite the excitement of releasing such an important project, Will Smith’s youngest daughter admitted to Allure about feeling insecure about being a Nepo Baby.

     A little bit of insecurity has driven me harder because people do think that the only reason I’m successful is because of my parents.”

It’s important to note that, regardless of whether they’re Nepo Babies or not, many of them have managed to succeed without riding on their parents’ fame. It’s their talent that has allowed them to shine or stay in the spotlight. Here are some of the individuals known as Nepo Babies in various sectors of the industry.


Miley Cyrus

As we already know, the singer is the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus. Additionally, one of the greatest country music artists, Dolly Parton, is her godmother.

Vijat Mohindra/Getty Images.

Enrique Iglesias

The singer is the son of the equally renowned Spanish singer, Julio Iglesias, credited as the most successful Spanish-speaking artist in history.

Enrique Iglesias Vs. Julio Iglesias (Getty Images).

Willow Smith & Jaden Smith

As we mentioned before, Willow is the daughter of the famous actor, rapper, and producer Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. She’s really leaned into her music career, while her brother, Jaden Smith, has been busy with both music and acting. One of Jaden’s first big roles was in The Pursuit of Happyness back in 2006, where he acted alongside his dad.

Jaden Smith and Willow Smith attend The 2024 Met Gala Celebrating «Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion» at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2024 in New York City. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s talent is pretty clear, and that’s widely recognized. Even though her parents aren’t artists themselves, it’s interesting to note, as Buzzfeed pointed out, that her dad, Scott Swift, used to be a stockbroker and even gave advice to artists in the music business. Her mom worked in marketing.

Taylor Swift
Getty Images.

Actually, Scott even invested in Big Machine Records, which was Taylor’s first label, and now he runs The Swift Group at Merrill Lynch. But beyond the financial backing, the real support for Taylor probably came from how her parents cheered her on. They always made her feel special and believed she could achieve anything she set her mind to.

Gracie Abrams

Gracie, who has performed with Taylor Swift on her Eras Tour and is also working on a song with her, is the daughter of well-known J.J. Abrams. If you don’t know him, J.J. Abrams wears many hats in the entertainment world. He’s a director, producer, screenwriter, actor, and composer. He’s best known for creating the hit TV series Lost and running the film production company Bad Robot Productions.

Elle King

Singer Elle King, who is behind the 2015 smash hit «Ex’s & Oh’s» is daughter of Rob Schneider.

Elijah Hewson

Elijah, frontman of the band Inhaler, is the son of the legendary leader of the Irish band U2, Bono.


Maude Apatow

Euphoria star (Lexi Howard) is daughter of actress Leslie Mann and director Judd Apatow.

Maya Hawke

She’s the daughter of actors Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke. Maya gained recognition for her role in the series Stranger Things.

Zoë Kravitz

As you might guess from her last name, she’s the daughter of the famous musician and singer Lenny Kravitz, and actress Lisa Bonet. Zoë Kravitz is best known for her role in The Batman (2022) alongside Robert Pattinson. She’s also been into music since she was 16.

Margaret Qualley & Rainey Qualley

Margaret’s older sister, Rainey Qualley, is also an actress and singer.

Timothée Chalamet

Interestingly, Timothée also comes from a family with strong ties to the entertainment industry. His mother, Nicole Flender, used to be an actress and a Broadway dancer. His uncle has directed episodes of well-known shows like «Dawson’s Creek,» «Gilmore Girls,» and «The O.C.,» and his aunt is a writer and producer who’s worked on several popular series.

Lily Collins

It’s now widely known, but for a long time, many were surprised to discover that Lily is the daughter of the famous musician and singer, Phil Collins.

Emma Roberts

The actress is the daughter of actor Eric Roberts, who is also the brother of actress Julia Roberts (her aunt).

Dakota Johnson

Daughter of actress Melanie Griffith and actor, singer, producer and film director Don Johnson.

Jack Quaid

One of the stars of the series The Boys is the son of well-known actors Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan.

Zoey Deutch

You might not know this, but Zoey is the daughter of actress Lea Thompson, known for her role as Lorraine McFly in Back to the Future. She is also the daughter of filmmaker Howard Deutch.

Lily-Rose Depp

Her parents are renowned actor Johnny Depp and French singer, model, and actress Vanessa Paradis. Lily initially pursued a career in modeling, following her mother’s path as a Chanel ambassador. Later on, she ventured into acting, starring in series like The Idol.


Gigi & Bella Hadid

Daughters of Yolanda Hadid, TV personality and former model known for her role on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Hailey Bieber

She’s the daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin, who also happens to be the brother of Alec Baldwin.

Kaia Gerber

Daughter of super model Cindy Crawford and businessman, Rande Gerber.

Lila Grace Moss

Daughter of super model and icon, Kate Moss.

Leni Klum

Daughter of German model, Heidi Klum.

Iris Law

Daughter of English actor Jude Law and actress Sadie Frost. She’s the former face of Burberry Beauty (she booked that at 16).

Paris Brosnan

Son of actor Pierce Brosnan.