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Cool Uncle
Lots of fictional families seem to have that one uncle that all the kids just love. Most often, he's a young bachelor who has no intention of settling down any time soon, though he may have a girlfriend. He may travel a lot and wow the kids with stories of meeting celebrities and traveling the world (and if so, he always brings back the coolest souvenirs, which he naturally gives away as presents). Or he may be well-off and spoils his sibling's kids whenever they're together.

Regardless, he will often be secretly be envious of the stability and loving home life that his brother or sister enjoys, even as he boasts of his own independence. The uncle may be the Black Sheep of the family. If his nieces and nephews ever lose their parent, he's the one who usually steps in to become a Parental Substitute.

This trope is usually male, but the role will occasionally be taken on by an aunt.

Contrast Evil Uncle and Creepy Uncle.

Examples:

Advertising
  • In a car commercial (forget what brand), a mom & dad drop off their two kids with his brother and tells him "thanks, we really need this," as he has a perplexed look on his face. Cut to the shot of him taking the kids running up and down a big grassy hill, digging in the sand on a beach, then back to the hill. Cut back to the pickup, where the thoroughly exhausted kids are being carried out by the parents, who are remarking how they just can't understand how he always wears them out.

Anime & Manga
  • Main character Yuuta Segawa of Papa no Iukoto o Kikinasai!, whom all three of his nieces admire (one of the girls even has a crush on him), especially when he adopts them.
  • Genjuuro Kazanari from Senki Zesshou Symphogear is Tsubasa's uncle and leader of the 2nd Division Mobile Disaster Response Corps. He's a Badass Normal who punches a BFS and breaks it. Fans call him Akuma.
  • Asuma Sarutobi from Naruto is Konohamaru's uncle.
    • Hiashi Hyuuga may count to Neji, as both of them are friendlier to each other now.
    • Yashamaru was this to Gaara. His assault on Gaara was ordered by Gaara's father to test his son. Yashamaru really loved him.
  • Isshin Kurosaki, once known as the 10th Division Captain Isshin Shiba, from Bleach turns out to be the uncle of (the deceased) Kaien Shiba, Kuukaku Shiba and Ganju Shiba.

Comic Books
  • In the Fantastic Four, Reed and Sue's children consider Johnny to be a cool uncle since he's a superhero that sets himself on fire. Ben also gets this treatment although he's not related.
  • Spider-Man's own uncle Ben was a pretty cool guy since he fought in World War II and shaped Peter into the man he is today.

Fan Fiction
  • In Nexus, Dante is certainly one because it's well...him. Though he would argue that he sees himself as more than just an uncle.

Film

Literature
  • Uncle Press in The Pendragon Adventure will show up at Bobby's doorstep and take him on some cool outing, like a helicopter ride, or tell him about his adventures in some exotic locale.
  • Walker Boh of the Shannara series served this role to Par and Coll Ohmsford, albeit in a more cranky manner than most.
  • Joe in The Book of Joe is a cool uncle. And his brother calls him out on it for being a little too cool/a bad influence.
  • In The Trolls, Aunt Sally is the female version for the kids.
    • Great-Uncle Louis thinks he's a cool uncle, but only Robbie really thinks he is.
  • Nancy and Peggy's Uncle Jim, also known as "Captain Flint", in the Swallows and Amazons series. He lives on a houseboat, owns a Pirate Parrot, and has travelled all over. A great part of the first book revolves around his nieces starting a private war with him, since he's taken up writing and become distant, therefore, in their minds, ceasing to be cool.
  • Discworld: City ruler Lord Havelock Vetinari is the epitome of cool and cunning. But from the novel Night Watch onwards, the character of his only living relative, the aunt alluded to in Guards! Guards!, is opened up a little: it is hinted that Vetinari learnt a lot of his skills from Auntie Bobbie (Lady Roberta de Meserole), who is a political manipulator, a Seamstress where she needs to be, possibly one of only a handful of female Assassins, and a lady of guile, insight, cunning and wisdom. She has certainly raised Havelock in loco parentis after the undetailed death of his parents. A second wise woman in Havelock Vetinari's life, an aunt-like character, has been the vampire Lady Margolotta (although some interpretations hint at a sexual relationship.)
  • In Noel Streafeild's Theatre Shoes, Mose and Lindsey Cohen are both very kind and helpful to their nieces and nephew, Sorrel, Mark, and Holly Forbes. Mose Cohen is a famous comedian, adding to his coolness.
  • In Marcia Martin's Donna Parker: Special Agent, Uncle Roger fills this role. He's the black sheep of the family, and no one in Donna's family had seen him in many years. Donna suspected that he might be an impostor. She was wrong.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Tyrion Lannister loves his niece and nephew Myrcella and Tommen and they love him too. Tyrion tries his best to be this for Joffrey and does what he can to fix Joffrey's mistakes. Tyrion's own aunt Genna, and his uncles Kevan, Tygett and Gerion were also far kinder to him than his own father was.
    • Theon remembers his uncle Aeron being this way in his youth, but upon his return home finds that Aeron has discovered religion sometime in the last ten years and become considerably less fun than the rowdy, drunken womanizer he remembers.
    • There's also Catelyn Stark's uncle Brynden, who is definitely this trope with regards to her and her siblings.
    • Eddard Stark's younger brother Benjen is this to Ned's bastard son though possibly his nephew Jon Snow, as Jon has wanted to join the Night's Watch his entire life. He is also this to a lesser extent to Arya and Sansa Stark, who end up with a very different image of what the Watch is like based on him than reality.
    • Averted with Edmure Tully, who despite having all the personality traits of a Cool Uncle only actually meets one of his nephews and none of his nieces; and even then not until a war is going on and he doesn't have much chance to be one.
  • Subverted with Charlie's Aunt Helen in The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
  • Jaxon Halsing in Summers at Castle Auburn. He travels widely, lives an exciting life, showers his nieces with gifts, and is pretty determined to live and die single, but there are hints he isn't as happy as he appears.
  • Uncle Flynn the ne'er-do-well gambler in humorist Patrick McManus's (fictionalized) stories of his Idaho childhood.
  • Sunny's aunt Chinwe is a female version in Akata Witch. Her sisters, one of them being Sunny's mother, both became doctors. Chinwe was also supposed to become a doctor because that was their father's ambition for them, but instead she became a professional dancer and married an American. Sunny looks up to her aunt because she is the only other person in the family who doesn't quite fit.
  • Harry Potter had Sirius Black and Remus Lupin, neither of whom were actually related but who nevertheless filled the role.

Live-Action TV
  • Everybody Loves Raymond: In one episode, Raymond laments the fact that Robert is always willing and able to play with Raymond's kids when he comes over, never seeming to be too busy or too tired to do so. When Robert discovers this, he explains that he's only able to do it because he only ever sees the kids for an hour or so at most. Raymond, meanwhile, cares for his children effectively all the time, and shouldn't be ashamed that he lacks the energy to "Play Monster" with them all day.
  • Rachel in Friends is delighted when Ross' young son Ben starts calling her his 'Fun Aunt Rachel' and being thrilled to see her.
    • When Phoebe is bummed about having to give up her brother's babies after giving birth to them (as a surrogate), Rachel and Monica cheer her up by telling her that she'll be "cool aunt Phoebe".
  • Beaver and Wally's way cool, sorta whack Uncle Billy in Leave It to Beaver. Just don't take him for granted; he hates that.
  • Family Ties had Uncle Ned, played by Tom Hanks. He was really cool, but he had a drinking problem.
  • Uncle Jesse from Full House.
  • Joss Whedon said that in Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 7, Faith was a Cool Aunt to the Potentials, whereas Buffy was the mom.
  • Peter Petrelli from Heroes, though his interaction with his nephews is limited, his niece Claire definitely looks up to him.
  • Uncle Charlie from Two and a Half Men.
  • Hank Schrader to Walter White Jr. in Breaking Bad.
  • Debra Morgan sometimes plays this role in Dexter.

Music
  • In Jimmy Buffett's song "The Pascagoula Run", he sings about his "black sheep" Uncle Billy, who had made it rich while traveling around the world. When Billy came back home to Mississippi, he immediately went on a 24-hour bar-hopping run to all his old haunts and invited his nephew Jimmy to come along. According to Buffett, this all actually happened back when he was 17.
    Billy pulled in in a Jaguar
    Red convertible '65
    Headed home to Mississippi, he'd been around the world
    That black sheep uncle of mine
    His ship had come in, he was looking to sin
    Singing his own song
    When he yelled from the drive, my heart came alive
    "Jimmy boy come along"

Newspaper Comics
  • For Better or for Worse: Elly's musician brother has made a few appearances, and the kids, Michael and Lizzy, just adore him. Hilarity Ensues when he attempts to take the kids off the parents' hands for a night and he wears himself out trying to get them to bed.
  • Scrooge McDuck may count as this to Huey, Dewey and Louie.

Tabletop Games
  • Call of Cthulhu campaign The Fungi from Yuggoth, adventure "Mountains of the Moon". An NPC named Victor recognizes one Player Character. He was an old friend of the PC's father, and the PC remembers him as "Uncle Victor", a warm, good-hearted man (even though Mom didn't seem to like him).

Video Games

Web Original

Webcomics
  • Subverted with crazy uncle Duncan in The Perry Bible Fellowship here.
  • Rayne in Least I Could Do gets along very well with his niece and is always willing to play with her. He tried to call out his sister on not spending more time with her daughter, but she responded that Rayne has it easier since he doesn't have any of the responsibility that comes with being a parent. Rayne actually acknowledges this.

Western Animation
  • Uncle Iroh was this to Zuko during his childhood in Avatar: The Last Airbender . As a teenager, Zuko initially treats his uncle as more of a buffoon but eventually comes around to accepting Iroh's guidance, which encourages Zuko to reject his father's philosophies and lighten up a bit.
  • In Taz-Mania, Taz and his siblings have an Uncle Drew, whom they adore. Maybe because he's an Expy of Bob Hope.
  • On Daria, Daria's Aunt Amy is a Cool Aunt.
  • Despite his name, Uncle from Jackie Chan Adventures is more of a Badass Grandpa. However Jackie fits the trope quite well. No matter how much Jade gripes, it's shown on multiple occasions how much more freedom Jade has with him than with her traditional parents in China, and how much she idolizes Jackie.
  • Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck's wealthy uncle and Huey, Louie, and Dewey's granduncle. When it comes down to it, the triplets also think the world of "Unca" Donald himself.
    • And Professor Ludwig von Drake, Donald's other uncle, who is a scientist.
  • Scrappy-Doo thinks of Scooby-Doo as a Cool Uncle, despite Scooby's cowardice.
  • On The Simpsons, the titular family has "Uncie Herb."
    • Milhouse also has a cool uncle who took him in when Milhouse thought his parents had died.
  • PB&J Otter has Aunt Nanner, who is a very cool aunt to Peanut, Baby Butter and Jelly. Around the end of the series, she gets married to Redolfo, who is rather cool in his own right. Discussed in one episode where they worry about how boring they must seem compared to all of her adventures. She assures them that coming home to be with them is precisely what she looks forward to while on those adventures.
  • Uncle Grandpa takes this trope to a whole other level. He's a cool uncle and grandpa to everyone in the world.
  • Great Uncle Stan from Gravity Falls is actually the children's great uncle, but he fits this trope to a T anyway: unmarried, knows lots of cool magic tricks and allows them to climb on the roof. Oh yeah, and he's also a wanted criminal. Not the most responsible uncle in the world.


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alternative title(s): Cool Aunt
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