The Annoying Younger Sibling is often used by writers as a balance to the "coolness" of the main protagonist. Typically the opposite sex of the main character.
Little brothers tend to be: dirty, good at sports, noisy, foul-mouthed, always get in trouble with authority, perverted. Usually a Bratty Half-Pint.
Younger sisters are usually: whiny, cry to get what they want, toocurious, go headlong into real danger, ALWAYS have tea parties with dolls and one "real" participant, cheeky, nosy. Likely to be a Bratty Teenage Daughter if female and slightly older.
Alternatively, it may be that the younger sibling in question has none of the above attributes, but incurs the wrath of the main characters in equal measure by being cleverer than they are, or by getting a disproportionate amount of (inevitably positive) attention.
Annoying younger siblings of both genders tend to be tag-alongs, especially when they're not wanted. Typically, there will be something of an age gap between the protagonist and the annoying younger sibling, about three to six years on average. Too much of a gap and the sibling will lack the resources to be annoying enough. Too close and you're into Sibling Rivalry territory instead.
Note that this trope is for younger siblings who are annoying to the other characters, not to the audience.Truth in Television, obviously.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
Shiro Kabuto from Mazinger Z and Great Mazinger was Kouji's little brother. He was a hard-headed, hot-tempered, enthusiastic and nosy tag-along, and a Deadpan Snarker was constantly getting in trouble. Kouji found him annoying every so often, although it also may be because often Shiro seemed more mature than Kouji himself, and often he would point out the stunt his older brother was trying to pull might not be a good idea.
Goro Makiba from UFO Robo Grendizer was also considered like a little pest for his older sister -Hikaru Makiba-. He was poking his nose where it did not belong and making remarks nobody had asked for, mainly about her relationship with The Hero Duke.
Tsukino Shingo from Sailor Moon; he was actually quite tolerable and likable, but like many other extras, he vanished over the show's run. The Annoying Younger Sibling role was taken by Chibi-Usa, who immediately partnered with Shingo to make Usagi's life hell. (posing as the main character's cousin, but actually her Kid from the Future), whose actual involvement in the plot (so much so that she got her own season) made her a little too annoying.
Ryouta Misumi from Futari wa Pretty Cure is... Shingo Tsukino reincarnated or something, considering how he acts towards Nagisa. He even mirrors Shingo's feelings towards his sister's smartass friend Ami, with his own feelings towards Honoka.
Shizuku from Candy Boy initially appears to be quite unpleasant to her older sister Kanade. She becomes less annoying once we see the reason for her behavior, though.
Kyon's sister in Suzumiya Haruhi approaches this sometimes. More often she's just how kids her age are... sometimes a little annoying, sometimes cute.
May's 8 year old brother Max in Pokémon. Naturally, his know-it-all attitude annoys the heck out of Ash and May, but he improves as they go through Hoenn and the Battle Frontier in Kanto. He'd likely be less annoying if he were to show up again with his own Pokemon team.
Hetalia also gives us Belarus, though she's more of an Axe Crazy Younger Sibling.
England may or may not be one of these as well, to Scotland, Wales, and (presumably) Northern Ireland.
Kyoko from Dennou Coil is this through and through, giving her older sister Yasako major headaches throughout the series.
Keiko Sasahara in Genshiken is a teenaged example, her gyaru lifestyle and her pompous attitude standing in stark contrast to that of her much more level-headed otaku brother Kanji. Her personality is also a deliberate subversion of the idealized moe portrayal of younger sisters.
Yan Ming manages to be this for Lan in Half Prince despite being less than a day younger than her.
In Gakuen Babysitters, Hayato Kamitani's annoying younger sibling is Taka, who is loud and boisterous to everyone he talks to, including him. Kamitani often smacks Taka on the head whenever he gets particularly bad in this regard or otherwise misbehaves.
Sorata's little sister Yuuko in Sakurasou No Pet Na Kanojo visited Sorata at a most inopportune time (just when he was waiting for the results of his video game thesis) to pester him with questions regarding school life after some out-of-context conversation with their mother over Sorata's relationship with Mashiro.
Averted in PS238, despite most of the main cast being preteens. Suzie Finster is however a straight example, being younger than the rest of the class. Also, a walking nuclear reactor with an internal body temperature that can melt lead.
From Batman, Tim Drake sees Damian Wayne in regards to this.
A Growing Affection: Hanabi becomes this to Hinata after the former's falling out with Naruto. Kakashi also describes Naruto as this.
Mikey (and his friends) is this to Brand in The Goonies. Their mother charges Brand with keeping an eye on Mikey during the day, which he's none too thrilled about. Mikey and co. escape by tying Brand to a chair and then he has to track them down. Mikey also accidentally steals Andi's First Kiss from Brand. A bit of a subversion as Mikey is the protagonist.
Fudge in Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing by Judy Blume, who also begins as mere sibling but ultimately becomes star of a series.
Dairine of the Young Wizards series serves as Nita's annoying younger sibling, albeit a younger sibling who's annoying because she's actually smarter and stronger than her older sister and eventually even a more powerful wizard.
Clark in Robert A. Heinlein's Podkayne of Mars, younger brother of the title character. A subversion because in the end he's actually much smarter and sophisticated than his older sister (and most adults), and ends up saving her life.
Tiffany Aching's younger brother, Wentworth in The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett. He gets better as he grows older, though.
Several Greek gods act like this in Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Most notably Artemis; although she can't really say her "Annoying brother" is younger; since Apollo is her twin.
Sadie Kane of The Kane Chronicles has to be one of the most annoying younger siblings of all time - and the most dangerous.
Technically she can, because she was born a few minutes before her brother. And immediately midwifed her mother during his birth. ... She was a precocious kid.
Manny of Diary of a Wimpy Kid is practically the human incarnation of this trope. If he lived in any of your families, chances are he wouldn't survive preschool without being the victim of fratricide.
They're not children, but Maedhros and Maglor from The Silmarillion have really annoying younger brothers. Well. Not so much annoying as liable to start a war with everyone, including their own family and supposed allies.
Taken to a whole new level with Briony Tallis in Atonement.
Nearly every Goosebumps protagonist has one. Special mention to Tara from "The Cuckoo Clock of Doom" who is accidentally erased from history by her brother's time-traveling. He realizes that he could theoretically go back and fix things, and maybe he will. Maybe.
Fudge Hatcher of the Tales Of A Fourth Grade Nothing series. He makes more trouble than any character in the series, but almost never gets told off for it. Not even after he ate Peter's turtle on purpose. The worst that could happen would be that he was constipated, it wasn't like he'd die!
The 39 Clues has the (admittedly VERY awesome) Dan Cahill. Even though he can be annoying sometimes, his talents, especially his Photographic Memory can come in handy. NatalieKabra is one to her brother, Ian. While he definitely does care for her, it is said in one of the books that he doesn't "even like Natalie."
Harry Potter: even though Fred and George are older than Ron, they still fill this trope for him. They are the Class Clowns of the entire school, after all. However, they seem to think of Ron as this trope as well. Percy, likewise, thinks the same of every sibling younger than him, with equally mutual feelings.
During the events of The Lost Colony, Artemis Fowl gets transported to a different dimension. When he comes back, he finds out what felt like just a few hours for him, was actually three years in our dimension. He comes back to find his family has expanded in those three years, as he now has two younger twin brothers: Miles and Beckett Fowl. He seems to love them— as much as Artemis can show love, at least— but they do make him feel a little frustrated when he's trying to instruct the three-year-olds in modern languages, and they seem more interested in worms and calling each other "simple-toon."
Galaxy of Fear's protagonists are a thirteen-year-old girl and her twelve year old brother. Mostly they get along well, but when Tash is approaching fourteen and trying to be grown up she finds Zak amazingly annoying.
The three youngest Bennet sisters in Pride and Prejudice. Mary is a Know-Nothing Know-It-All, Kitty is an easily led ditz, and Lydia, the youngest and most annoying of all, is a shallow, air headed brat with no manners and no concern for anyone else.
Poor Anastasia in "Prince Charming" — she has to put up with her spoiled younger brother, Prince Dmitriv. He expects her to rescue him from all the simpering young ladies he has caused to fall in love with him. And then he expects her help when he falls in love.
Live Action TV
I'm Telling!, a kiddie variant of The Newlywed Game that aired on NBC's Saturday morning schedule in 1987-1988; this show lived on pairing older and children and their annoying younger siblings, with many of the questions stylized to play upon this trope (not to mention begin arguments). Bob Eubanks-wannabe Laurie Faso (yep, he was a "he") was the host of this pale clone of the real thing, audiences agreed and it didn't last past one season. The child contestants (all ages 8-16, and stereotypical even by late-1980s standards) HAD to be embarassed when it showed up in reruns on the Family Channel from 1994-1996.
Little House on the Prairie: Carrie Ingalls, the third daughter of Charles and Caroline Ingalls, and in many episodes a thorn in the sides of Mary and Laura. Even though Carrie didn't get the spotlight very often, there were two specific episodes where the spotlight shined on her:
1976's "Little Girl Lost": During a butterfly hunting expedition, she pesters her sisters to the point they want her to go away. She does — almost permanently, when she plummets down a sinkhole that leads into an old mineshaft.
1978's "The Godsister," where Carrie — heartsick for her Pa (after Charles — along with Jonathan Garvey — take jobs on a telephone crew, which will bring service to Walnut Grove) — begins bothering her sisters and Albert (who by now was part of the cast), and also Nellie and Willie Olesen and Andy Garvey to play with her. When they refuse, Carrie invents a "friend" of her own: a girl named Alyssa. This episode featured both Lindsey and Sidney Greenbush (the identical twins that played Carrie) in the roles of Carrie and Alyssa.
The Brady Bunch: While in most episodes the siblings got along, there were a few whose plotlines fit the trope:
"The Tattletale," where Cindy seeks attention by ratting out her siblings. Mike and Carol counsel her several times on her behavior and warn her to stop. In the end, Cindy doesn't want to rat out Tiger when he swipes out a claim voucher that would allow Alice to pick up her stereo. (The subplot saw Alice enter a jingle contest for an electronics store, and she won.)
It is unknown if other more serious instances where Cindy would be expected to tell the truth — i.e., witnessing the mailman behaving inappropriately with one of her sisters — but supresses it for fear of being punished by her parents, were considered for this episode. This episode was filmed in the fall of 1970 and the network likely would have been nervous about airing such a plotline in a family friendly timespot, hence the seemingly awkward subplot using the by-now nearly forgotten Tiger (in his last appearance, after making sporatic appearances over the previous year or so).
"The Teeter-Totter Caper," at the end of 1971, when Bobby and Cindy — already having not been invited to their Aunt Gertrude's wedding — want to help their older siblings but are told to stay out of the way. (The older siblings telling Bobby and Cindy to go away, they're being annoying isn't seen on camera, but it is referenced by the downbeat pair of youngest siblings.) Mike tells the two that perhaps there are times where their help isn't necessarily needed or wanted and they should find something to do, leading to the main plot of the youngest Brady siblings setting out to prove they aren't annoying younger siblings ... by setting out to break a world teeter-tottering record.
"The Big Bet," a 1972 episode where Bobby annoys Greg at every turn. To get him to go away, Greg says in jest that he could do twice as many pull ups as Bobby, not counting on Bobby demanding that he put up or shut up; Bobby eventually backs Greg into a corner by demanding a bet – the loser does whatever the winner says. When Greg loses, Bobby decides to tag along on Greg's big date with Rachel. In addition to acting as a cock block, Bobby annoys Greg (and Rachel) at every turn by making stupid demands and comments at a drive-in movie. One of those demands includes putting up the top of the convertible ("It might rain," declares Bobby) ... and the annoying tyke tearing a hole in the roof when he forgets to put an umbrella away.
"Law and Disorder" — Bobby is named Safety Monitor at school, a position which entrusts students with good behavior records in helping enforce school rules (in essence, the students police themselves). The trope comes into play when he tries to carry over his authority to home, where he spies on his siblings and tells them he plans to tell Mom and Dad. (For instance, he sees Greg come home late for a date, refusing to even let him explain that Greg had waited at home with his date until her parents arrived home; or Alice — a non-sibling, but still — setting out aerosol cans with the rest of the garbage, not even letting her explain that the waste collecter had a new policy on how trash should be sorted.) Mike and Carol eventually find out and counsel Bobby, telling him in no uncertain terms that he had better knock off his behavior.
"You Can't Win Them All," where Cindy — having won her way on a local College Bowl-type game show (modeled into a version for older elementary-school students) — gets an inflated ego and annoys her siblings about being the next big star. Naturally, she gets her comeuppance in the end when she suffers from stage fright.
"Never Too Young," where Cindy (again!) is the annoying pest. This time, having (unknown to Bobby) witnessed a classmate named Millicent (Melissa Sue Anderson, in an early TV role) kiss Bobby on the cheek for defending her at school. Cindy annoys her siblings by singing, "I've got a secret! I've got a secret!"
Michelle from Full House. Stephanie is also this to D.J. at times.
Disney Channel loves this trope, that almost all of its live action shows would at least have one. Examples:
It sort of is and isn't subverted in My Parents Are Aliens. Lucy due to her cleverness and, in particular Josh with his mischievous behaviour, fit the trope quite well for Mel (just as she, with her aggressive and sarcastic attitude, sort of does for them), but there is also Brian, since, despite being their foster-father is able to morph into any one of the siblings at will (though usually only when asked) and can cause "annoying" problems in that sense. Also, since he and Sophie are not from planet Earth, the role of an adult using experience to explain things to a clueless child is generally reversed from the parents to the children throughout.
In the French instructional series French in Action, chocolate-scoffing Marie-Laure, sister to Mireille, fits this trope to a tee. Her major function is to irritate Mireille, while somehow charming everyone else around her.
Nickelodeon's My Brother And Me had the two main characters, Dewey and Alphie, filling this role. Dewey was the annoying sibling to Alphie, and Alphie and Dewey were the annoying siblings to oldest child Melanie.
Kyra on Kenan & Kel, who played this to Kenan and crushed on Kel.
In Young Dracula Vlad fits the trope for Ingrid, just as she, though older, covers the "annoying" bit for him: he doesn't want to be a vampire but is still favoured by his father and she does want to be one but is ignored. Olga, although she is a cousin rather than a sibling of theirs, likewise fits the trope for Ingrid because of her competitive streak.
Vlad's friend Robin Branaugh, due to his semi-gothic persona and obsession with vampires is something of an annoyance to his elder siblings Ian and Paul (and vice versa) and although his sister Chloe is younger, her brothers tend to fit this trope for her since she is generally more mature and academically bright.
Although both characters are adults, Juan is definitely this to Cesare in The Borgias. It doesn't help that Juan gets to be a soldier (as Cesare always wanted to be) and is heir to the family estate while Cesare, though older, and far more competent, has to follow in his father's footsteps by becoming a Cardinal. But on top of that, Juan'sreally, reallyaggravating.
Game Of Thrones. According to his 'confession' before the court at the Vale of Arryn, Tyrion Lannister was this in his younger days.
In Night Trap, there is Danny, Lisa's little brother.
Blanc from Neptunia has to deal with two annoying younger siblings; Ram and Rom.
Ruby in Monsterful: She's really a very classic example... maybe except for the fact that she is also extremely cunning and evil (specially for a 4 years old), she loves to drive her mother Diamond crazy, make her own father cry and torture her older sisters, oddly enough she loves and respects her older brother Onyx. Almost set fire her mother on fire, made her crash and who knows what else. Deep inside she's just a cute little vampire girl, with tons of evil to share!
Timulty in Ozy And Millie is Avery's Annoying Younger Sibling, though he's portrayed much more sympathetically than a lot of these examples, perhaps because Avery has a tendency to be a rather unsympathetic character....
The Cyantian Chronicles: During Akaelae, Darius and little brother Ravon. During Campus Safari, Darius and little sisters Tae and Kea. Inversion: Quinn is older than Collin, but still manages to be an annoying little sister to his levelheaded "older" brother.
Fan favourite Yuri Zahard to her adoptive sister Maschenny in Tower of God. Probably stems from the fact that the two are very alike.
A sort of subversion exists in the form of Monette from Something Positive. It's not played quite straight, in that Monette was adopted (as an adult no less) into the MacIntire family and is not so much obnoxious as a Cloudcuckoolander.
Julia Greenhilt, little sister to Roy from The Order of the Stick, is the bratty teenage version; she's 12 years his junior, but still manages to annoy him by being mouthy, an Attention Whore, and dressing in Stripperiffic clothes. Despite all this, it's clear they really do love each other.
Orange Marmalade has Ma-ri's younger brother, Joseph, a bratty half pint vampire kid who causes her family to move several times by blowing their cover. Doesn't stop Ma-ri from falling into a Pet the Dog moment with him every once in a while. Every once in a long while.
Maybe half the main characters in the webfiction Whateley Universe have an Annoying Younger Sibling who ranges from "pretty normal but wishing he had a superpower too" (Chaka's little brother) through "bratty behavior that accidentally poisons the protagonist" (Tennyo's younger brother) all the way up to "calling out a heavily-armed squad of anti-mutant soldiers and sicking them on protagonist" (Lancer's younger brother).
John, Chris' brother, in Monster Buster Club. He's not bratty so much as overly enthusiastic, what with his always wanting to join the MBC and all that. (The real question is why they don't let him, since he gets along with everyone there and has proven himself useful doing the things they normally do.)
Ed's little sister Sarah from Ed Edd N Eddy. She isn't just annoying but also a bossy, whiny, psychotic, ill-tempered Spoiled Brat.
An interesting case in that the main character of Danny Phantom used this exact trope to get his sister Jasmine aka Jazz to embrace her childhood (she thinks she is an adult in a teen's body) and subsequently get her to see a ghost only visible to children. He rarely at times act this way to Jazz prior to "The Ultimate Enemy", but that's because he's too old to be the typical annoying younger brother.
Matt from Batman Beyond is a major thorn in the side to his big brother Terry, but not as bad as most of the other examples on this page. They do get plenty of cool brotherly moments together to offset the times he acts like a little hellraiser.
Codename Kids Next Door has Numbuh Two's little brother Tommy, who didn't make a good first impression when he caused them all to catch the flu while fighting the Common Cold due to being extremely distracting. He's only gotten worse with him assuming the mantle of "The Tommy", a vigilante adult-fighter that's more or less a Boring Failure Hero.
Also Numbuh 3's younger sister Mushi.
Daggett Beaver of The Angry Beavers, who's technically the younger sibling by several seconds. He means well, but he's impressionable and incredibly high-strung.
Inverted in Dexters Laboratory, where the annoying Dee Dee is actually Dexter's older sister.
Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic became well-intentioned but annoying siblings when they tried to help their older sisters with their work. Sweetie Belle's "help" in "Stare Master" lead to a huge mess in Rarity's workshop, all from Sweetie Belle trying to fetch a spool of ribbon. Likewise, Applebloom's "help" in "Call of the Cutie" forced Applejack to give away a bushel of apples to an annoyed customer.
Max and Ruby seems to be based on this trope. Granted that Ruby is VERY patient and Max is quite equally annoyed by her forcing him to do what she wants most of the time.
Chris to Meg in Family Guy. Stewie can be to both, although it is usually not as big of a deal because he's a baby. For example, Meg was only mildly annoyed when Stewie stole her gifts at her birthday party.
In Phineas And Ferb, Phineas (and to a lesser extend, Ferb) were originally meant to be this to Candace. You can see remnants of this in the first episode, where Phineas is a lot snarkier and goes out of his way to antagonize his sister. But Characterisation Marches On, and now they're much more likely to want to help Candace out than annoy her.
T.J. (The series protagonist) can be this way towards his older sister, Becky, in Recess.
Robbie Hobbie to Holly at times in Holly Hobbie And Friends, though his subplots often involve him having entirely separate adventures with his best friend Kyle.
Joseph Bonaparte had a younger brother; his name was Napoleon. Napoleon kept conquering half the world and tried forking countries over to Joseph to handle, but Joseph just wasn't as talented at the world conquest thing....
He was arguably more talented at trying to be a Nice Guy; sometimes that's more important, though sometimes not so much.
Billy Carter, the alcoholic, slightly racist brother of President Jimmy Carter, seemed born to become tabloid-bait.
Same with Roger Clinton, younger brother of President Bill Clinton.
And you probably once fit into this trope too, if you were the youngest in your family.
And if you were the oldest, no matter how angelic your younger sibling may have been, you probably at some point felt they belonged in this category.
Older siblings can also take the place as annoying. It's not always younger siblings.
Angelina Galgani, younger sister of Saint Gemma Galgani. In her memoirs, Gemma recalls how Angelina and her school friends used to mock her because of her alleged visions, and many years later she was declared unfit to testify in her older sister's canonization process due to accusations of attempting profit from Gemma's reputation (and apparently, her relics.)