Little Big Brother

Mario: Mama always said you were good at growing.
Luigi: That's why I'm the tall one, "little" big brother.
Super Mario World, "Gopher Bash"

How can you tell which sibling is older on sight? Common sense and Captain Obvious say the taller one is older; after all, he (or she) has had more time to grow. But sometimes, due to circumstance or just Rule of Funny, the younger sibling will wind up the taller. Expect hilarity to ensue when people identify the wrong sibling as the elder...

Sometimes happens on Measuring Day. The obvious twin to Big Little Brother.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Fullmetal Alchemist's Alphonse Elric had been taller than his elder brother Edward since childhood, but when he loses his body and is bound into a seven-foot-tall suit of armor, he towers over Ed, who is a hair under five feet (and gets very defensive when this is pointed out). Due to his new metal form, he often gets mistakenly attributed with his brother's title of "Fullmetal Alchemist". At the end of the series, Al's returned body, because of the atrophy it experienced, is now shorter than Ed, who'd since grown considerably. However, when we see Al and Ed as adults in a family photo featuring Ed's family, complete with children, Al is several inches taller than Ed.
  • Fairy Tail: Elfman is the younger brother to Mirajane, but is incredibly protective of her, to the point that it's almost ridiculous.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, the elder Toguro brother is the somewhat-tall, skinny one, while the younger brother is the unstoppable towering wall of muscle.
  • Tomoko of No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular is considerably shorter than her younger brother. Not very unusual given he's only a year younger, but it still highlights her immaturity.
  • Despite being twenty-two and having a younger brother who's twelve, Souichi from Snow White And Seven Dwarfs is much tinier than his brother. In their case, it's not natural—Souichi has de-aged by several years and continues to grow younger, while Souji suffers from a case of Rapid Aging.
  • From Vagabond we have Yoshioka Seijuro, a tiny, pretty boy/playboy samurai who is Heir to the Dojo. Naturally his younger brother Denshichiro is huge, and a stern, intimidating hulk of a man.

  • In Harry Potter Hagrid has a half-brother. Who, unlike Hagrid, is a full giant, so of course he's taller than Hagrid.
  • In The Dresden Files Harry Dresden, at closer to seven than six feet, towers over his older half-brother Thomas, who's a hair above six feet. In Cold Days, Harry realizes that he now looks like the older brother, and that since Thomas is a White Court vampire, he will look more youthful than Harry for the rest of their lives.
    • The Gruffs play with this one. The fairy tales about the Billy Goats Gruff are about these guys, including the "my big brother will get you" shtick, where each older brother is exponentially bigger. The Eldest Gruff is five feet tall and crushed a Denarian out of hand.

    Live Action Television 
  • Supernatural: Sam Winchester is insanely tall (6'4" or 6'5"), while his notoriously protective big brother Dean is several inches shorter (around 6'1"). Sam teases him about it on occasion.
  • In Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, we have the Sneak Brothers, the elder of which is a little red spiked skull, small enough to be held in his "little" brother's hand.
  • Evan R. Lawson is taller than his brother, Hank Lawson, by a few good inches in Royal Pains.
  • Genderflipped in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where Dawn is taller than her older sister Buffy.
  • In Suite Life On Deck Mr. Moseby's little half-brother is a famous basketball player.
  • Matty Levan from Skins is notably shorter than his younger brother Nick; before Nick's centric episode in Series 5, fans thought Matty was the younger brother because of this.

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner: Zig-zagged with the Brothers Strong. Strong Mad, the eldest, is also the tallest. Strong Bad is the middle child, and shortest of the three. The youngest one, Strong Sad, is taller than Strong Bad but not Strong Mad.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Regular Show episode "Don", the eponymous character is introduced as Rigby's hypercompetent brother and an endless source of frustration for him. He has a deeper voice, acts more mature, and looks like a grown man in a raccoon suit. It turns out that Rigby resents him because he's the younger brother, and people have always mistaken him for the older brother because he's been taller than Rigby since they were very young.
  • Kick Buttowski: Shogun Sanchez is shorter than Papercut Peterson.
  • In Escape From Planet Earth Gary is Scorch's older brother, but is noticeably shorter, and scrawnier.

Alternative Title(s):

Little Big Sister