This character is the hero's good friend. The hero can fool around with him, go to the bar with him for a drink and talk about some good old man-business with him. Additionally, the character, being older (though mental age matters more than physical age) and wiser than the hero, also acts as a mentor to the hero in times of need or advice.
However, just because the Big Brother Mentor cares about the hero doesn't mean that he won't rebuke him if he gets out of line, and he would even go as far to deal with him physically. He only wants the best out of the hero, but won't hesitate to educate him the hard way if the hero shows reluctance to learn or has a tendency to run headlong into danger. In essence, he's the ideal big brother figure who knows when to get friendly or strict.
, this kind of character is often addressed
using the more informal "Aniki" instead of "Onii-san".
Often, this character is doomed to die
— both to bring the Hero out of the character's shadow, and to give the character an emotional buildup
This is a subtrope of The Obi-Wan
If he and The Hero
are romantically involved, or just have enough Ho Yay
, this can become Lover and Beloved
. Differs from Aloof Big Brother
in that the Big Brother Mentor doesn't have to be a literal
big brother and actually gives a damn about his "little siblings" (Or shows it quite more often than a merely emotionally repressed Aloof Big Brother
). Compare with the Stern Teacher
, tough and strict but loved by everyone. Not to be confused with Draco in Leather Pants
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Anime & Manga
- Due to the nature of its "legacy" focus on characters, these pop up quite often in the DCU:
- Although it's a bit moot now that they're actually brothers, Richard "Dick" Grayson decided early on to take a more active role in the mentoring of the third Robin, Tim Drake, than he did with the second, and the two developed a sibling-like relationship in the process. This was so well-liked by fans that Nightwing writer Chuck Dixon chose to devote what is normally a landmark issue - #25 - of that series not to a major battle or character death, but to Tim and Dick discussing life, Batman, and Dick's seemingly endless parade of hot girlfriends for an entire issue.
- Well they were doing that while blindfolded, fighting bad guys, on a moving train (I kid you not). So I guess that is the equal of talking about sports and girls while tossing the football around if you were raised by Batman.
- Although he initially played the role of the older brother who didn't want to be around the younger one, Wally West eventually grew quite fond of Bart "Impulse / Kid Flash" Allen (who's technically his cousin, once removed).
- Wonder Woman and Donna Troy refer to each other as sisters, although it's been a while since Donna's actually been mentored by Diana. Much like the Batman / Nightwing / Robin relationship above, however, Donna served as an older sister to the second Wonder Girl.
- Damian Wayne also sees Dick Grayson like this, genuinely respecting him and Dick is one of the few people who believes in him and helps steer Damian in the right direction.
- Wolverine to practically any younger female character. Most notably Kid Sidekicks Jubilee and Kitty Pryde. In Wolverine #16, a reporter is going around asking people what they think of Wolverine. Jubilee says he's an amazing big brother. Kitty takes it a little further — she admits that she'll probably never get married because she always compares the guys she meets to Wolverine, and they never measure up.
- Ironically, Gambit is now this to Wolverine's clone/daughter X-23 in her solo self titled series. Although they are on more equal terms than some of the other examples.
- Maid Man and Cyndablock act like this to Empowered, showing her that not all superheroes are assholes. That it's the transvestite and the literal blockhead who actually are nice to her must say something about how much being a low-tier superhero sucks.
Films — Live-Action
- Han Solo to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars.
- Obi-Wan Kenobi to Anakin Skywalker, in the prequel trilogy. You know, before he was old.
- He even refers to Anakin as his brother in Episode III, while Anakin tells him he is like a father to him in Episode II.
- Ken to Ray in In Bruges.
- Marcus and Kyle Reese develop this dynamic in Terminator Salvation.
- Mr White to Mr Orange in Reservoir Dogs
- In Battleship, the main character Alex is a directionless loser who's all but forced into the military by his older brother in the hopes that it'll straighten him out. The older brother is succesful and straightlaced...and his death early on in the movie motivates Alex into becoming a better soldier.
- In From Dusk Til Dawn Seth is this to Richard.
- This is Older Than They Think: In The Bible, when the archangel Raphael took a human form to find and fight the demon Asmodeous, he posed as a young man named Azariah who played this role for young Tobias, the youth who was qualified to marry Sarah, the girl whom Asmodeous lusted after and tormented by killing her husbands right after the wedding.
- For the reader's enlightenment: this story is from the Book of Tobit, which is not considered part of the Bible by either Jews or non-Catholic/Eastern Orthodox Christians. Although it is still considered a useful read.
- Jonathan can be considered this to David. He's at least some years older than David, and guides and protects him; he accepts that Jehovah has chosen David to succeed Saul, and David is devastated when he and Saul die.
- Nico to Cal in the Cal Leandros series.
- Zaknafein to Drizzt in Homeland.
- Harry Potter has Sirius Black, his godfather, and Remus Lupin. Too bad that both of them die.
- In the H.I.V.E. Series, benevolent AI H.I.V.E.mind is this to Otto. He guides Otto, normally an Insufferable Genius, to becoming a more tolerable person. He also serves as The Paragon in book three. Once the two begin Sharing a Body, they actually switch roles, with H.I.V.E.mind acting grateful towards Otto for showing him what it is like to be human, and effectively taking the role of the Hypercompetent Sidekick.
- The Host: Jared Howe to Jamie Stryder.
- Tonda for Krabat, later Krabat for Lobosch. Here We Go Again.
- Joscelin to Imriel in Kushiels Legacy.
- Merry is this to Pippin in The Lord of the Rings.
- Seregil to Alec in Nightrunner, and also Micum and Beka to Alec at times.
- Percy Jackson has Luke Castellan, who looks after Percy when he first arrives in Camp Half-Blood in The Lightning Thief, and even gives him some cool magic items to help in on his very first quest. It's just a shame that the items are cursed to drag Percy down to Tartarus, and that Luke's the titular Lightning Thief, The Dragon to Big Bad Kronos, and one of the main villains of the series.
- Trapped on Draconica: Daniar is this for Erowin; taught her martial arts and tries to keep her away from bad habits like drinking during the day. She's too heavy on the 'stern' and not enough on the 'buddy' for Erowin's tastes.
- Captain Pausert to the three young witches (sort of) in The Witches of Karres.
- Murdock to Face in The A-Team.
- Michael Weston in Burn Notice.
- Simon Tam to River in Firefly. He is kind of a doting big brother but he also has to extend that role far beyond what that would normally imply due to the extreme situation. And he never punches her.
- In Highlander: The Series, Methos falls somewhere between this and a Trickster Mentor to Duncan. The only problem is that Methos has spent hundreds of years avoiding fights and thus is disinclined towards beating a lesson into the overly stubborn and idealistic Duncan, and thus he often has to hope that his points get through Duncan's thick skull on their own merits.
- Duncan was this to Richie before and after the latter became Immortal.
- Kamen Rider Decade - Kaitou, the series' rival Rider, became one of these to Asumu when the cast visited an alternate version of Kamen Rider Hibiki. It crosses over with Morality Pet, since up until then Kaitou had been more interested in acquiring treasure than fighting villains, and only helped out the good guys when he felt he owed them or that there was something in it for him.
- Gleb Zheglov to Vladimir Sharapov in The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed.
- Arthur may believe himself to be this in regard to Merlin. He occasionally gives Merlin well-meant advice regarding women or battle, although he often completely misreads the situation due to his ignorance of Merlin's powers and true identity.
- He becomes one to Mordred in season five, possibly as a Shout-Out to the original myth where they were father and son. And boy does it backfire on him.
- Don Eppes in NUMB3RS
- Del Boy Trotter to his younger brother Rodney in Only Fools and Horses.
- Snafu Shelton to Eugene Sledge in The Pacific.
- RJ in Power Rangers Jungle Fury.
- In The Sarah Jane Adventures: the Doctor is this to Luke, Clyde and Rani in The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith & Death of the Doctor.
- Tom Paris to Harry Kim in Star Trek: Voyager.
- Dean is this to his younger brother Sam in Supernatural.
- Toby Ziegler to Sam Seaborn on The West Wing
- And President Bartlet to Toby.
- Wizards of Waverly Place: Justin. Most notably in the movie.
- Deconstructed in Scrubs with JD. Every time he's in a teaching position he tried his hardest to make his interns/students like him, but usually all it does is cause him to lose authority and respect. This is sharply contrasted with JD's own mentor Dr. Cox, who has a very harsh sink-or-swim approach that is nontheless generally accepted to be great for teaching. Cox even delivers a Wham Line to JD in regards to this.
Cox: "I wanted you to see just how ridiculous you truly are, constantly chasing their approval."
JD: "So I'm supposed to be like you, and just 'rule by fear'? Perry, they hate you."
Cox: "Yes, they do. And sure, I could be a little bit kinder, but that's not going to happen and here's why: We're creating doctors, not kindergarteners"
JD: "They need me."
Cox: "Do they? Because I don't ever remember holding your smooth little doll hand, and you turned out to be not too horrible a doctor."
- Paul in Deus Ex. He will try to encourage the player to use non-lethal tactics, and will chew out the player if he/she chooses to do a take-no-prisoners gameplay.
- Inverted with Hakuoro playing the big brother to Oboro in Utawarerumono. He even uses 'aniki' which gives Hakuoro pause for a moment.
- In Crisis Core, Angeal is this to Zack, who becomes this to Cloud.
- Axel is this to both Roxas and Xion in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.
- Riku also shows examples of this trope to the hero Sora throughout all of the games.
- Chris Redfield to Claire Redfield, literally, in Resident Evil. Or so it's been implied.
- Rei is a roguish variant on this to Ryu and Teepo in Breath of Fire 3, teaching them how to mug people and hunt efficiently. Though he appears to die when Balio and Sunder torch the heroes home, allowing Ryu to begin his adventure, he returns after the Time Skip as an Anti-Hero Lancer to the (now more well-rounded and heroic) Ryu.
- Sasuke from Sengoku Basara acts like this toward his young master Yukimura, being his friend and advisor and protecting him in dangerous situations. He also acts as emotional support and makes sure he toes the line.
- Commander Shepard, the protagonist of Mass Effect, is this to Garrus Vakarian.
- Guy is this to Luke in Tales of the Abyss. He in his own words, "raised [Luke] from a blank slate to a spoiled, selfish kid" and continues to watch out for and offer him advice throughout the game. At one point, he actually DOES punch Luke when Luke says that he will die in Asch's place at the Tower of Rem, and the punch is hard enough to knock Luke flat on the floor.
- Occasionally the line gets blurred between whether Guy is an older brother or surrogate guardian to Luke, given both the little attention and affection Luke's own father, the Duke initially shows towards him, as well as Guy assuming responsibility for shortcomings in Luke's character. Usually this is negligible as Van is a more obvious surrogate guardian.
- In Tales of Symphonia, Lloyd compares Kratos to the big brother he always wishes he had, during one of the sword training scenes. Hilarious in Hindsight.
- Tears to Tiara 2: Of the big sister variety. The goddess Ashtarte mentors Hamil.
- Persona 4 can see the Protagonist acting this way toward Shu, Kanji, and Naoki. The latter two are actually his underclassmen.
- In Fuuin no Tsurugi, Klein saw both Dieck and the dead Prince Mildain as such. In both cases, Klein's supports can potentially have him find his missing "brothers" serving in Roy's army: Dieck left to not cause the Reglay House trouble, while Mildain took the identity of Elphin to evade the noblemen who wanted him dead.
- In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, you can build this link between Ross and Gerik, or between Seth and Franz. Saleh is already this to Ewan.
- In Fire Emblem Awakening, Ricken views Prince Chrom as this ever since he saved his life and protected him from bullies. In one of the DLC's, Libra has a talk with Henry that gives very strong vibes of the trope as well.
- Shu from Arc The Lad functions as this for Elc in the beginning of the second game. Elc handles most things alone, but when he winds up in a jam, he knows where to go for advice and backup.
- Kyousuke from Little Busters! could almost define this: he's only a year older than the other characters, but he has the sense of competence, charisma, and confidence that makes all of the other Little Busters look up to him. Riki even says early on that he has the air of an older brother and that everyone always listens to what he says. And since what he says normally involves bringing everyone along on wild, fun adventures, they're more than happy to. But if he honestly thinks hurting one of them in the short-term will be better for them in the long run, he will definitely do it. Reluctantly, but surely.
- Kogoro Tenzai serves this to Mii Kouryuuji in Project X Zone.
- Goro Daimon is this to Kyo Kusanagi in The King of Fighters. Kensou sorta plays the role to Bao, too, even saving his life when the kid almost pulls an Heroic Sacrifice.
- Both Ralf Jones and Clark Still play the trope in regards to Leona Heidern.
- Ferris is Dutch's Big Brother Mentor in New Prime.
- In Noob, Ystos, the healer of Justice guild's main roster, was quite involved in the Noob guild even before he enrolled his second avatar in it. He averts the We Used to Be Friends situation Arthéon has with the other members of Justice guild, gives them an experienced player's advice when he notices that they're in a dead end and occasionally gives a helping hand. He also happens to be a little younger than most of the guild and the trope in reinforced when it comes to Sparadrap, the Noob guild's own healer who happens to be Ystos' older but not-too-bright brother.
- Danny Phantom fulfills the role to his younger Opposite-Sex Clone, Danielle, constantly protecting her whenever she is threatened.
- Zuko for Aang in the second half of the third season on Avatar: The Last Airbender; made all the sweeter by the (sort of) Luke, I Am Your Father revelation that season.
- Huey, the main character of The Boondocks is an example to his younger brother Riley (and possibly to his Grandfather as well). Considering though that Riley is quite the arrogant Jerk Ass, Huey ends up "educating him the hard way" more often than most Big Brother Mentors.
- Aqualad acts like this to Robin and also Superboy in Young Justice.
- As with the comics example, Nightwing to Robin (Tim Drake) in the second season.
- Superman eventually becomes this to Superboy (but it takes a Hell of a long time for it to happen and when it finally does it's off camera via a time skip).
- The Voltron Force, especially Lance, serve as Big Brother/Big Sister mentors to the cadets in Voltron Force
- In ThunderCats (2011), Tygra acts as an interesting combination of this and the The Rival to Lion-O. While he makes no effort to hide how resentful he is of Lion-O's status as The Chosen One, he's also shown that he'll always have Lion-O's back when he's in trouble and has even given him some support when Lion-O doubted himself.
- In Ninjago, the ninja's are this to Lloyd.
- Edward from Thomas the Tank Engine serves as one to the younger engines who often are in need of advice like Thomas and Percy and to keep them in line like he does with Bill and Ben.
- Thomas plays as one to the younger engines in the later seasons, most especially with Billy.
- Toby was often this in early episodes to Thomas and Percy. After his meekness took over his personality, this trait was downplayed or sometimes even reversed, though still pops up every now and then.
- Anakin to Ahsoka in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Anakin is not super great at the "Jedi may not have attachments" thing, and so the mentor relationship he has with his Padawan quickly acquires this dynamic.
- The relationship between Scootaloo and Rainbow Dash develops into this in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. In the first two seasons, Scootaloo openly admires Rainbow, though Rainbow doesn't take particular notice of her. When a third season episode has Scootaloo confess she wishes Rainbow would become "like a big sister or something", Rainbow agrees to it. Their next spotlight episode shows how this has developed.
- Naturally, the name of the vounteer organizaton Big Brothers is referring to this concept of mentoring (and of course, the Big Brothers are symbolic brothers rather than literal blood kin).