"Just because she's rich, doesn't mean she doesn't have problems."
If a character is under the age of about 20 or so and the parents have a lot of money, it's very likely the character has these problems:
- A noticeable shortage of close friends, for various reasons. They could be a Rich Bitch or Jerk Jock, or at least mistaken for one. The character may be leery of friendship overtures because these have turned out to be attempts to take advantage of their wealth. Then there are the rich parents of the rich kid to consider. It could be that parental pressure is toward the character becoming remote and icy because that what worked for them, all that caste and class nonsense. Politician's and tycoon's kids often have anti-kidnapping barriers around them that friendlies have just as hard a time getting through as do the unfriendlies.
- Some form of Parental Abandonment. Mom and Dad will be either a) dead, b) never around, c) inattentive and uncaring, d) inhumanly demanding to the exclusion of actual parenting, or e) some combination of the above. There are seldom siblings around to fill in the gaps.
This one-two punch serves up a lonely kid, one with resources. Unhappy kid + money = trouble, more often than not.
Contrast Spoiled Sweet
, whose parents are not distant, Heartwarming Orphan
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Anime and Manga
- Keisaku Satou in Shakugan no Shana. He's not a totally straight example (as he does have a friend in Eita), but otherwise he fits. He's rich as hell, bored and slightly depressed with it, and feels like he has no purpose. Then Margery Daw enters his life, and he falls for her, and unlike Eita, who eventually decides to gracefully decline further service to her mission as a Flame Haze, he still helps her for no benefit to himself, mostly because her presence in his life is removing the "Lonely" from the trope title. In fact, even after she catches on and tries to tell him her Dark and Troubled Past to keep him at arms length, it only draws him closer to her. And in the light novels and the third season of the anime, she eventually breaks down and they become an Official Couple
- Fujioka Yukari from Billionaire Girl is a self made example. She's an 18 year old day trader who has successfully amassed a 170 billion yen fortune, but feels ashamed of her Otaku passion for the business and pretends to be a normal university student, as well as having difficulty making friends because of her wealth.
- Karen of Yes! Precure 5. Her parents are always traveling abroad, and she doesn't even get to see them in the Christmas Episode, despite that being the only time they come home. She does have one friend, Komachi, but manages to isolate herself anyway by being resolutely determined not to open up to her or anyone else.
- Karen's Futari wa Pretty Cure predecessor, Honoka, has a nearly identical backstory, but it takes long enough for the series to get into her head that it's hard to say whether she actually fits the trope.
- Minto Aizawa from Tokyo Mew Mew, who initially Jumped at the Call but refused the built-in gang of True Companions out of snobbery. She gets better, though, especially when Zakuro shows up and her fangirl side kicks in.
- Christopher "Chris" Thorndyke in Sonic X - or at least, the show's writers try to play him as this, but it doesn't really hit home when he does actually have some genuine human friends and his grandfather is almost always at home even if his parents (who definitely love him) aren't. This parents are both horribly neglectful and smothering in the first two seasons; rarely seeing their son for more than a few hours at a time before having the disappear for some reason but at the same time demanding to know where Chris is at all times and conducting a world search if he's missing for more any period of time. They do apparently get better at the end of the second season.
- Aversion: Mihama Chiyo out of Azumanga Daioh is shown as by far the richest of the girls, and has other reasons that she'd be isolated ... and is of course one of the happiest and most well-liked of her class. Not insanely happy, but generally cheerful. Granted, the audience never sees her parents, but they're never implied to be gone, just offscreen.
- Her dad seems to enjoy his life as an extradimensional talking cat secret agent who may or may not be Santa Claus◊.
- Extra points for Great Teacher Onizuka. Nanako's parents started out poor and nice and became less pleasant as they got rich. The protagonist solves the family problem without bankrupting them, however. With a sledgehammer.
- A number of characters including Urumi and Miyabi fit the bill as well. While their parents aren't gone except Urumi, who doesn't know her father as anything more than a sperm donor, they're emotionally detached from them to the point they act out. Granted they have more issues than just this trope, but GTO prefers a cornucopia of issues for its characters.
- Another one of the minor characters that Onizuka helps is the son of a Yakuza boss who has become a Hikkiko Mori because he didn't want to be ostracized by his peers because of his dad. (Later, he gets over it, and uses the fact that Daddy is in the Yakuza as a leverage point against bullies.)
- Occurs in the backstory of Lucy Heartfilia in Fairy Tail. After her mother's death, she was raised by the staff of her family's manor, as her father had no time for her. This eventually led to her running away from home and joining the eponymous guild after living on the road for a year.
- Murasaki Kujoin from Kure-nai is born into a very rich family, but at the cost of being locked away from the outside world for the rest of her life to eventually bear her older brother's children.
- Kaito Doumoto of Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch is popular at school and has an Instant Fanclub, and hides his lonely brooding behind the mask of a carefree joker instead of a standoffish loner like most of these examples. His parents died in a storm at sea, leaving him with a vast amount of money, and he doesn't like to talk about it. It's only Lucia's perseverance and his growing suspicion that she might be the mermaid he's looking for that allows him to eventually open up to her.
- Mawata Awayuki from the anime Prétear is a subversion of sorts, in that at first she seems to be lonely for no particular reason: her family is with her, but she distances herself from them; she is popular at school, but doesn't seem to have close friends. It's only later in the series that the real reasons for her loneliness are revealed — not only she was quite affected by her father's demise when she was a little girl, she just doesn't think people can understand her true feelings, and so is unwilling to open up to anyone. Of course, her issues remain unnoticed long enough to turn into a real problem, when the Big Bad seizes her and turns her into a Dark Magical Girl.
- Tianzi from Code Geass. Being the figurehead Empress of China meant that she was like a bird in a Gilded Cage, except the cage was the Imperial Palace and she couldn't properly rule over her country, which was oppressed by her Evil Chancellors (who also wanted to either marry her off to a much older man or get her killed and replaced. Still, she had a devoted protector in The Ace of the series whom she once saved from execution, so...
- The entire main cast of the anime Special A qualifies thanks to various relationship traumas during their childhood.
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED's Ace Pilot and Big Brother Mentor Mu La Flaga was one of these as a child, courtesy of being rejected and disowned by his father, who had himself cloned in order to produce a more worthy heir. Also, Flay Alster starts as one of them, as her father George is an important politician whom she barely gets to see and her mother died when she was a little girl.
- Ai Shinozaki, the Ojou from Hell Teacher Nube. Lampshaded when she reveals her loneliness that led her to be possessed by a demon to Makoto and Nuubee and says it's one of the reasons is how she can't make true friends.
- Relena Darlian from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing is quite popular at her high-class school but doesn't seem to have any real friends at first, just admirers and would-be suitors. She seems to be aware of her condition, too, and while she's polite to the other kids she doesn't approach them either. Even her beloved father is (unwillingly) distant due to his extremely demanding job, and while Relena herself understands it she can't help being depressed. At first, her only friend seems to be her grandfatherly butler/chauffeur Pagan... until she meets The Stoic Hitman with a Heart protagonist and her life starts changing.
- Hazuki Fujiwara from Ojamajo Doremi. Her father was a famous movie director and her mother is a popular fashion designer, but as much as they do genuinely care for her, they're so absorbed in their work that Hazuki's more usual companions are her landlady and the other Ojamajos.
- The local Alpha Bitch, Reika Tamaki, also hits this trope to some degree. Her dad spoils her because he doesn't want to make her cry, but that shapes her into a spoiled Alpha Bitch who has a complete emotional meltdown when she starts doubting if her dad really loves her.
- Averted with Onpu Segawa, who, when confronted with an empty house and a cold plate of plastic-wrapped food (on Christmas!) just went out to have fun with the other girls.
- Eri Sawachika from School Rumble is an archetypical example (as well as an archetypical Tsundere, and The Ojou.)
- Nagi Sanzennin from Hayate the Combat Butler pretty much gets hit full force by all aspects of this trope. Her parents are mentioned sometimes, but are practically nonexistent (both of them died when she was little). She's hesitant to even go outside her own house because every time she does, somebody tries to kidnap her for her wealth. Pretty much her only friends are fellow Lonely Rich Kids, the servants she keeps around (including Hayate), and her pet tiger Tama. Athena Tennos is another, specially in her backstory More exactly, when she kicks Hayate out after their fight, but almost immediately falls into despair due to being magically locked in a Gilded Cage-like mansion.
- Amy from IGPX, although later her parents manage to make time for her.
- Himeko Shirogane/Princess from Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z.
- The F4 boys from Hana Yori Dango display this trope in very different ways.
- Domyoji Tsukasa's parents live in New York where their Corporate Empire is headquartered and at the beginning of the plot he states that he hasn't seen them in years. His older sister Tsubaki, who had been largely responsible for his upbringing, leaves Japan to get married sometime before we meet him, leaving him alone in his Big Fancy House, besides the legions of servants whom he regularly abuses. His Parental Abandonment is cited by other characters as his Freudian Excuse for bullying/complete lack of respect for anyone/borderline psychopathic fits of rage. And once we meet his Evil Matriarch mother, well...
- Hanazawa Rui is referred to as having an extremely strict childhood that left him prone to fits of near-catatonia as a child. This was eventually "cured" by The Power of Friendship in the form of his old friend and later girlfriend, Cool Big Sis Shizuka Todou, but it left him emotionally dependent on her.
- Nishikado Sohjirou seems at first to be immune from this, but as more of his home life is revealed, he is shown to have parents who are highly emotionally distant and an older brother who abandoned the family business, leaving him to be The Dutiful Son. This is assumed to be the cause of his inability to develop lasting relationships.
- Mimasaka Akira seems to be the only member immune from this despite that, at least in the j-Drama, his father is a Yakuza boss. In all incarnations, having a childish mother seems to be why he Likes Older Women.
- Sumire Kanzaki in Sakura Taisen. Her father and grandfather were so absorbed into work that she was left emotionally scarred and doubtful about their love for her. Reversed later, when her dad appears and is revealed to be a rather decent guy otherwise and even apologizes to Sumire for not being able to spend more time with her. She forgives him.. However, there's a rich kid who's even more lonely in the group: Vicomtesse Iris Chateaubriand. Her parents were so scared of her enormous Psychic Powers that they locked her away in her fancy bedroom, and her only company were her dolls and teddies until Ayame Fujieda recruited her; Iris became extremely withdrawn and scared of everyone as a consequence, holding on her teddybear Jean-Claude as a Security Blanket. The anime episode where her backstory is revealed and the troupe struggles to give Iris her first birthday party ever is one of the biggest Tear Jerkers in the series.
- In Captain Tsubasa, El Si Pierre is the son of a French nobleman and tycoon who is not willing to have others treating him like a a frail White Prince, like it happened in his early years (some manga panels show young Pierre sitting with his books while the kids around him seem too scared to get close). So, to prove to others that he's just like them and he doesn't want any privileges, Pierre starts practising soccer. Similarly, Mark Owairan is a real Arabian prince who spent several years locked inside his father's palace and discovered soccer only when he went out of his Gilded Cage with his bodyguards and saw a bunch of children playing in the streets. He's so fascinated that he begins training and playing, rising to the top thanks to his own merits and not to his family's influences.
- Tatsuki Iizuka from Hyakko.
- This is Rich Bitch Mayu Miyuki's Freudian Excuse in Ai Yori Aoshi.
- Kunugi-tan from Binchou-tan.
- Kuno from Ranma ˝ could be considered a bizarre variation even though he's rarely sympathetic. He lives in a mansion occupied by no one but his sister Kodachi and only has one unpaid servent (and only in the anime). He's estranged from his dad, behaves in a Outdated fashion, and appears to have no real friends.
- Isabella from Paradise Kiss was raised by her butler, and also had the issues you'd expect from a little Ojou trapped in a little rich boy's body.
- Serge Battour in Kaze to Ki no Uta, who is also a Heartwarming Orphan. His love interest Gilbert is also one of these, but that's the least of his problems.
- In Tona Gura, Nina Isokawa is a sweet but annoying example, and as a result is very devoted to her friends, the Arisakas and Kaguras. Her extreme early-bloomer bustiness freaks Yuuji out, but at no time does he try and exploit her obvious crush on him. Her Genki Girl nature always freaks Marie out.
- Usami from Junjou Romantica, until meeting Hiroki. His mother is shown as highly distant, father more or less not present, and his half-brother constantly jealous of him. Misaki says to him "You've got the typical rich boy complex. Am I right? You grew up with a father who was never home and abandoned his parental responsibilities, while your mother indulged herself in her own hobbies. Thus, in your loneliness, you found companionship in my older brother who was in the same boat. You lived life without ever finding true understanding, and hence you strayed from the right path, but found nothing but more loneliness. And on top of that, you own a red sports car and a longhaired dog named Alexander!" To which Usagi replies, "How did you know?"
- Mikawa Kai of My Bride Is a Mermaid.
- James in Pokémon has this as part of his backstory - he grew up in the lap of luxury, but only had a Growlithe for a friend. He eventually ran away to escape an Arranged Marriage.
- Pokémon Special: Played straight with Platinum, averted with Gold.
- Chise Umenomori from Mayoi Neko Overrun.
- Takiko Okuda aka Genbu no Miko from Fushigi Yuugi Genbu Kaiden. Also Hotohori, as the son of the former Emperor of Konan and his mistress/the local Gold Digger. He later is orphaned and becomes The Emperor himself, which makes him even lonelier - so he latches on the legend of the Suzaku No Miko and falls for Miaka when she treats him as a person and not as the leader of the country.
- Hiroko "Hiro-chan" Kaizuka from Narutaru is particularly a tragic case. Her parents cared more for her grades in school than her emotional well-being (although her bullies wanted to lower her learning curve) and her father cut ties with her only friends. So it's no wonder the girl snapped once they and her bullies broke her and she went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge and kills both her parents and her bullies.
- Sanka Rea of Sankarea has a massive list of problems. It says a lot that dying and coming back as a zombie is an improvement.
- An episode of the first Detective Conan season brings up the kidnapping and murder of a highschool girl named Naoko Takei, who happened to be Shinichi and Ran's classmate. She was the shy and quiet daughter of a Corrupt Corporate Executive, and in one of the dubs Shinichi/Conan literally refers to her as "that poor little rich girl". It turns out Naoko is alive; her captor was her dad's Sexy Secretary Akiko Hanai, who never intended to kill her... but wanted to punish Mr. Takei, who drove her dad to kill himself, her mother, and her little brother Masahito after causing the family's monetary ruin. Takei was actually such a Jerk Ass that he didn't really care for poor Naoko's safety, having given a ransom money that was all fake... which Akiko brutally calls him out on when she tries to kill him and herself as revenge. She even states that she probably would've abandoned the whole plan if he had cared enough to use real money. And in a glorious payback moment, as soon as she was released Naoko ignored her father calling out to her, ran to Akiko and forgave her for everything, leaving Takei with his hands empty.
- Shinichi himself counts to a degree. His parents do love him, but they spend much more time in the USA than in Japan and, until he got shrunk and went to live with the Mouris, they left him alone in their Big Fancy House. Interestingly, this does not induce I Just Want to Have Friends but rather enforced his otaku image; his not-girlfriend Ran Mouri is pretty much Shinichi's Only Friend until he gets shrunk.
- Oz from Pandora Hearts is this in spades.
- Usui from Maid-Sama!.
- Tamaki Suoh from Ouran, who has few friends outside the Club. Double because he's an Heroic Bastard as well. Because of this, his grandmother makes him live in a smaller manor funded by but separate from her and his father, with an army of servants and a nanny, but no real family.
- Tomoko Saeki's Freudian Excuse in DNA˛ is how she's the richest girl at school, but is also desperately lonely. Not helped by how her mother died when she was a child, her dad works abroads, and her boyfriend Ryuuji is a Jerkass.
- Farnese from Berserk. Her older siblings were generations apart, her father was always away on business, and her mother took no role in parenting since she was always out partying. Thus, Farnese developed some, problems (and urges) due to a sense of Parental Abandonment, and would terrorize her servants and kill pets that didn't reach her expectations. This wasn't made any better when she was given a military position whose purpose was to burn people at the stake... Princess Charlotte and Theresia count as well, though Princess Charlotte has fared a bit better since she had one friend in her maid Anna and Theresia was at least okay when Puck came around and cheered her up, until her whole childhood was destroyed. Basically, if you're an aristocratic female in Berserk, your life is going to be an emotional mess.
- Syaoran from Cardcaptor Sakura. While he's more or less well-regarded in his school class, he has very few close friends (barring Meiling from the anime). Tomoyo apparently had some shares of this until Sakura befriended her.
- Yukio Hans Voralberna from Bleach. Doubling as a Cute Psycho.
- Shouko Kirishima from Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu. The reason why she's Yandere for Yuuji is because he's the only person who treated her like a normal girl, whereas everyone was scared to death by her ultra-high social status.
- Takami "Komo" Komoda from Bokurano, specially in the manga. Her father is a highranked military man, so in grade school Komo either was ignored or ostracized by the other kids until Maki Anou came along. As a result, she grew very aloof and slightly emotionally deattached from the world.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid:
- Einhart Stratos is the main descendant of a well-known Ancient Belka royal family and is shown to be utterly alone in her life until she meets Vivio.
- Victoria Dahlgrun, resident Ojou and the descendant of a different Ancient Belka royal family, is shown to only live with her butler like several rich characters. That said, she also has quite a few good friends in the tournament scene and frequently tries to reach out to the loner champion.
- Sabo from One Piece is a partial case. He grew up in a rich noble family and states to his orphan friends that even though he had parents, he felt more lonely than them. However, it was not as much that he was lonely as that he just didn't have someone who cared about him.
- Himekawa from Beelzebub. This is due to the fact that his best friend since kindergarten had betrayed him, and thus he hasn't been able to trust anyone else ever since. He does however seem to be healing now that he has Fire-Forged Friends with the fellow members of the Tohoshinki, Oga, and their respective subordinates. However, he is also most likely more screwed up as well considering the fact that said best friend that betrayed him lied to him about her gender and is apparently in love with him. It also doesn't help that they have an agreement between their families for an Arranged Marriage.
- Sakura no Ichiban!: Before meeting Asami and Misao, Tsukiko was not allowed to go outside and was very sheltered. The "friends" she had then only wanted her wealth.
- Kotoura-san has Haruka, whose family apparently came from a landed gentry family. Although the reason of her loneless was her own telepathic powers, which among others made her friendless and caused both of her parents to disown her.
- Mikogami Hayato from Sekirei was this before becoming an Ashikabi, combining Intelligence Equals Isolation with a huge dose of Parental Abandonment. That he's also a Jerkass doesn't help matters, so he collects a harem of Magical Girlfriends (and boyfriend) to make up for his lack of family or friends.
- In Girls und Panzer, Miho had difficulty making friends as a child because no one else shared her interest in tankery.
- Slightly subverted with Seto Kaiba. Granted, the guy doesn't act or appear friendly, but then again, who would when he had to endure the type of pain Gozaburo inflicted on him as a child? He doesn't have any friends, but he spends more time with his Yugi, his band of misfits, and his kid brother than anyone else.
- Kougyoku in Magi – Labyrinth of Magic is a lonely princess most of the time, with her older brothers busy with affairs of the country, her older sisters married off to foreign countries and she is too timid to talk with the approachable Hakuryuu or Hakuei. Not to mention her status as a bastard child, making many people avoid her.
- Akoya of Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE! has been rich all his life but due to some unpleasant puns regarding his surname and his ability to act like an Upper-Class Twit (assumed to be self-protection against the aforementioned puns) he's been short on friends. He did get better after entering his high school's student council, though.
- Several comic book characters, including but not limited to Bruce Wayne and Charles Xavier. And in Smallville, Lex Luthor. But not Tony Stark, who grew up surrounded by social types and was quite the unrepentant ladies' man once grown to adulthood.
- DC Comics example — Tim Drake, the third Robin, had exactly this kind of 'rich kid abandoned' childhood, at least up until the part where his father died and Bruce Wayne finally adopted him. But even before that, it took 125 issues of his solo title before his father finally noticed that his son was leading a double life, and even then he practically had to be handed the revelation on a silver platter by the plot. And that was after their relationship improved. Initially Tim's parents paid him so little attention that he focused on Batman (who he had seen exactly once, to boot) as a parental substitute.
- Cecilia from Yoko Tsuno, a sheltered and naive Scottish noblewoman who was pretty much locked away in the family castle after the death of her mother.
- Gemini Storm has Julia Hamilton, so lonely she doesn't know anyone who attends her birthday parties.
- Lord Snooty in his first The Beano strip - then he slipped away from Bunkerton Castle and made friends with the Ash Can Alley Gang.
- This was more or less the original premise of the Richie Rich comic books published by Harvey Comics — the covers even referred to him as "The Poor Little Rich Boy." But over the past half-century Richie has acquired so many devoted friends that he doesn't really qualify any more.
- Many Sherlock fics depict the eponymous detective this way when writing about his childhood. It makes some sense, as this version of the Holmes family seems to come from old money, and it works well with Sherlock's Friendless Background. Whether or not Sherlock was actually interested in getting friends during childhood is unknown.
- Tsuruya's backstory in Kyon Big Damn Hero portray her like that. She's afraid to let people close to her because of her family business.
- Blaine in Hunting The Unicorn is shown to be this—though he has the Warblers, Greg, and Kurt, his father is neglectful, his mother is extremely old-fashioned, and his siblings are traveling constantly or studying in California. It's a Cerebus Retcon of his canon portrayal, which turns him into a Love Martyr who goes along with everything Kurt says because he doesn't want yet another person to leave him. Like the first guy he slept with.
- Alfred's backstory in Part Right Half Wrong A Third Crazy. His father was incredibly rich, and also emotionally distant/neglectful to the point of pretty much replying to any of Al's attempts to form a relationship between them with "I don't have time for that shit". He's also implied to not have had any real friends until college, and even then they were more people he got high with than people he actually talked to and/or liked.
- Usagi in the Alternate Universe Fic A Brief History of Histories. After her mother's passing, her father has mainly focused on climbing the political ladder over spending any time with her. On top of this, she's been made painfully aware of the fact that she's not a perfectly poised, model daughter, resulting in her developing a massive Guilt Complex and believing his Parental Neglect is all on her.
- Child Of The Storm technically has Harry, the technically coming in because though he's rich (and doesn't really use it much) he is developing a circle of friends.
- If Im In Love PLEASESHOOTME has sweet, innocent little Veronica Webbs suffering the Parental Abandonment kind.
Films — Animated
- Jenny from Oliver & Company. Her parents were too busy to come home for her birthday, but when Jenny met Oliver and took him in, she perks up.
- Kiara from The Lion King II: Simba's Pride.
- Cecilia in We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story.
- Anna and her older sister Elsa are this in Frozen. Anna and Elsa used to play together all the time, but after Elsa almost kills Anna with her ice magic by accident, Elsa isolates herself from Anna to keep that from happening again. The time during "Do You Want To Build A Snowman" still has Elsa fit the age requirement. Anna spends most of this song alone and desperately trying to reconnect with her sister. It is implied that she doesn't spend as much time with her parents either, since they have to devote extra time to trying to help Elsa control her powers. After their parents die at sea in a freak storm, both girls become this even more at the ages of 15 and 18 respectively, with their only other human contact being the castle servants. Upon her official coronation as queen at 21, Elsa turns into a rich Ineffectual Loner.
- Winnie Portley-Rind from The Boxtrolls seems to have no friends until she meets Eggs, and emotionally-distant parents. This is especially true of her father, who is too obsessed with his Nice Hat and fancy cheeses to pay her any mind at all.
Films — Live-Action
- The cinematic Grand Finale of Our Miss Brooks has Connie Brooks tutor friendless Gary Nolan, a Lonely Rich Kid who's deliberately failing in English so as to spite his neglectful father.
- Justified in The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg, because Karl Heinrich is the crown prince of his kingdom, which means he can't go out and play with the other little boys.
- Eric from The Toy is a lonely kid deep down, but it's hard to notice that since he tries to get attention by acting like a horrible little bastard.
- Ridley in Diary of the Dead.
- The movie version of Richie Rich.
- In the movie Arthur, Arthur Bach has been a Lonely Rich Kid all his life. By the time of the film, he's a middle-aged man and still is a Lonely Rich Kid.
- Lucas in the film of the same name paints himself as this, explaining that his parents are "superficial" people who take no interest in him, don't meet with other parents, and don't want him inviting friends over or giving out his phone number. At the end, one of his friends reveals that he lives in a trailer with an alcoholic father.
- In The Last Emperor, Pu Yi who has the eponymous title cannot leave the Forbidden City despite being curious about the outside world; his tutor R.J. said, "I think the Emperor is the loneliest boy on earth."
- In one of the Eloise movies, Eloise befriends a child at the plaza named Leon, who is actually a prince. He isn't used to having friends because royalty and his father isolated him, so in an effort to keep friends he does not reveal his status to Eloise.
- The film adaptation of Iron Man has Tony Stark, genius billionaire playboy philanthropist. He had a father who—in Tony's opinion—never cared about him; was shipped off to boarding school at an early age; and graduated MIT when he was seventeen. As of the first movie he has exactly two friends (not counting his snarky AI and the Parental Substitute who betrays and tries to kill him).
- Deconstructed in That Championship Season. Phil was this as a kid, and now is almost 40 but he still doesn't know if people like him for who he is or for his money.
- Unlike in the comics, Red Mist from Kick-Ass was played more sympathetically with this trope.
- Add "neglected" and "emotionally abused" to "lonely", and you've got Cameron Frye from Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
- In X-Men: First Class, since Raven is explicitly stated to be Charles' oldest and only friend, that means prior to their meeting, he had difficulty connecting with other children despite growing up in the lap of luxury. X-Men: Days of Future Past elaborates on this a little further by revealing that Xavier was considered to be "crazy" in between the ages of 9 and 12 due to the voices in his head, and was therefore a social pariah among his peers.
- Based on her conversations with Annie, Grace grew up in the lap of luxury with few to no friends.
- Teen Genius Villain Protagonist Artemis Fowl fits this quite well, though his lack of friends seems to be by choice, and his Parental Abandonment is actually remedied as the series goes on. This is played straight in the beginning of the Artemis Fowl series, but increasingly averted as the series progresses. Oh yes, and the reason he was hunting fairies in the first place was to rebuild the lost family fortune, for the expressed purpose of locating his missing father. Which he finally succeeds at in the Arctic Incident.
- Chance the Gardener in Being There is a variation. He was raised by a wealthy man but was forcibly confined to the townhouse all his life due to his mental retardation. So as the story opens, Chance is middle-aged but otherwise he fits the trope: he's attended to by a maid; he spends his days eating, sleeping, tending to a garden, and watching television; and he has no friends. Perhaps luckily, he doesn't know he's not living a normal life. When he's forced to leave the house after the master's death, he winds up befriending and enriching the lives of Eve and Ben Rand, a married couple who also serve as adult versions of this trope.
- In Hating Alison Ashley Erica, already dissatisfied with her middle-class family, is very jealous of the rich new girl, Alison Ashley. It takes her the whole book to realise that maybe having parents who bother to turn up to the school play you are starring in is more important than a fancy house and your own room.
- Lila Fowler of the Sweet Valley High series is normally proud of her status as the richest girl in town and unafraid to flaunt how awesome and cool she is, but she's had her moments of crying over how she hardly ever sees her busy, emotionally distant father and has a Missing Mom and being envious of the Wakefield twins for having the perfect family. She got better when her mom and dad remarried later in the series.
Live Action TV
- Logan Echolls from Veronica Mars.
- Dr. Robert Chase from House.
- Brett Aspinall from Waterloo Road, at least when he was first introduced.
- Lex Luthor from Smallville was one.
- Greg from Dharma and Greg had this kind of childhood.
- As mentioned, most of the F4 from Hana Yori Dango, despite the fact that their mutual friendship would seem to make them immune from the loneliness aspect.
- Olive Snook from Pushing Daisies had this type of childhood.
- This was how Summer Landsdown from Power Rangers RPM was until her butler died in her arms trying to get into the city of Corinth.
- Wes from Power Rangers Time Force also was one of these until he joined the Power Rangers. As well as his Mirai Sentai Timeranger counterpart, Tatsuya.
- Leonard Hofstadter from The Big Bang Theory also had this kind of childhood.
- Sylvester Le Fey and Lady Cutler's son Benjamin, in the Jonathan Creek episode "The Scented Room". His parents were constantly fighting, fired the nanny because she was "spoiling" him, and were so clueless about the concept of "fun" that when he said he wanted a treehouse, they built him one with an elevator so he wouldn't spoil his clothes. When he restores the stolen painting, Maddie suggests to Lady Cutler that he could use her reward money to buy something he really needed ... like a life.
- Friends: Chandler Bing. His parents divorced when he was 9 and left him with the house boys before sending him to boarding school. He also never mentions having any friends from his childhood. As an adult, he has the least contact with his family out of the gang (and considering the Dysfunction Junction that are his True Companions, that's saying a lot.) Interestingly, he's not a Spoiled Brat or Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense at all. In fact he's the nicest, most easy-going of the gang and the most economically savvy as well. His parents probably ignored him too much to spoil him, and the sources of their wealth (erotic writer and drag performer) were a cause for mockery rather than admiration. It may be because of his strained relationship with them that he never turns to them for help, determinedly supports himself and Joey, hates borrowing anything, and works a boring 9-5 office job as different from their flashy, overpaid careers as you can get.
- Elliot Reed from Scrubs. At least she had a Hispanic nanny to give her "cheer-up hugs".
- Really, three out of four members of Gossip Girls Non-Judging Breakfast Club could qualify. Nate might be an arguable case, since his mom seems to at least have been the stay-at-home type (even if she's not exactly Mother Of The Year material). But Blair's father left her to move to France with his gay lover and her mother was absent a lot (and when present, drove Blair to an eating disorder). Chuck's father kind of hated him for having killed his mother.
- Steve Wilde from Running Wilde was a lonely rich kid who grew into a lonely rich adult.
- Martin from the Swedish TV series Ebba och Didrik.
- Stevie Van Lowe on The Parkers had this type of childhood. She frequently says that the help were better parents than her own mom and dad who didn't spend any time with her. She's quite bitter about it and would have been a Rich Bitch if she didn't have her friends and school to fall back on.
- Henry Mills from Once Upon a Time is described by Regina as "not having any friends and being kind of a loner."
- Inverted in H2O: Just Add Water. Rikki Chadwick is a Lonely Poor Kid with rich friends. She hides her home life from them at first because she is ashamed of it.
- Dr. Maura Isles from Rizzoli & Isles.
- Ijuuin Enzan (Eugene Chaud) of Mega Man Battle Network gets this treatment in the third game, where his heartfelt, touching moment at the end was... being allowed to eat with his father. Actually, he rarely mentions any angst over it and, normally, is seemingly himself too busy to care that his father is wrapped up being the CEO of the biggest technology corporation ever, and the game makes it perfectly clear that his lack of friends is due more to his being a combination of The Rival, Aloof Big Brother and Serious Business. Ayanokouji Yaito aka Yai, likewise, seems to have an army of young maids (and her Navi) as her only company and we never see her parents once in three fairly long-running forms of media. She seems well adjusted enough, if a bit bratty and spoiled, and indeed is one of the original True Companions. So there's two aversions, "I can eat with you?" notwithstanding.
- For all her academic and Shadow-fighting prowess, Mitsuru Kirijo of Persona 3 seems to be somewhat cursed socially. She and her father rarely talk, she rarely has any free time whatsoever, she carries the burden of guilt for her grandfather's creation of the Shadow threat, and her sheltered upbringing means she's often lost in everyday situations others take for granted. It's no wonder she collapses after her father is murdered by Ikutsuki.
- Nanjou Kei in Persona — the only person in his household who ever paid attention to him was his butler, Yamaoka who dies while protecting him very early on in the game.
- Flora from the Professor Layton series. Both her rich parents died and she lives at the top of a precarious tower. Said tower is in a village filled with Ridiculously Human Robots, meaning that there's literally no one around who could be her friend. No wonder she's so happy to be adopted by the Professor.
- Luca Milda from Tales of Innocence. The loneliness is more a result of his reserved, introverted personality and not that much of his financial status.
- In contrast, Richard from Tales of Graces is a prince, and is implied to be very lonely. His very first scene begins with him rejecting the kind invitation of children his age, believing that like everyone else, they only want to hurt him. Of course, The Power of Friendship changes him very early.
- Etoile of Rhapsody A Musical Adventure
- Yusuf Amir from Grand Theft Auto IV is a rare adult example. He is rich enough to own a gold plated attack helicopter and live in the lap of disgusting luxury. But one gets the impression that at heart, he is an awkward man who yearns for a good friend and all his antics are his way to show that he is a cool guy.
- In a New Game+ for Eien no Aselia you learn that big bad(ish) Shun was one of these. It explains a lot.
- Prince Lyon from Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. When he met the teenage Eirika and Ephraim, he specifically mentions that he doesn't have friends.
- Similarly, Maribelle from Fire Emblem Awakening had no friends due to her lack of social skills, until Lissa and later Chrom reached out to her.
- Ironically, Chrom might also be one, himself. He has one of the smallest support pools in the game (comparable with Sumia), makes a fool of himself when talking to most women, and his status as Ylisse's Prince/High Exalt after Emmeryn's death means that some of the other Shepherds find him hard to approach — like his prospective consort Olivia, who actually runs away from him when he tries to approach her.
- The Ushiromiya cousins from Umineko no Naku Koro ni mostly avert this: George is a perfectly sociable adult, and Jessica and Battler have plenty of friends − despite a rather tense relationship with their parents, and those parents having issues with their own father.
- However, as far as outright Parental Abandonment is concerned, Ange probably gets the truckload - by the time we meet her, her entire family save one is dead. And said remaining relative, George's Rich Bitch mother Eva, was hardly the best caregiver, due to Bernkastel's intervention and her Silent Scapegoat position. Ange is also very isolated at school; unusually, it's not so much because she's rich (since it's a boarding school for rich girls), but because her classmates don't like her gloomy personality. And to complement it, after said last relative's death, she inherits all of her dead family's fortune, leading to her step-family and her own bodyguard wanting to serve tea to her. And, in the last Episode, we learn that her brother Battler, who she loved the most, had survived the Rokkenjima incident but lost his memories; by the time he got them back (some 10 years later), he could no longer accept his old identity and deliberately refused to meet Ange.
- Maria Ushiromiya is also this, but may be a subversion. She has no human friends not because she's rich but because she's a bit weird. However, if you ask Maria, she's perfectly happy because she has friends like Beatrice and Sakutaro...
- And then there's poor, poor Beatrice Ushiromiya.
- In Katawa Shoujo, Shizune is revealed to be one of these in her route. A combination of her deafness and her Abusive Dad mean that she actually has a very difficult time making friends and forming relationships with other people. One of the main reasons she joins the Student Council was so that she could do things around the school to make people happy so that people would like her but in the end, her own competitiveness and awkwardness end up driving away nearly everyone else on the council, including her cousin Lilly.
- Parodied in this Sluggy Freelance strip.
- Head cheerleader Alexandra King from Cheer. Makes her cling fiercely to to her fellow cheerleaders now and implied to be what made her a bullying Jerk Jock back when she was a boy.
- In Tales of the Questor, Rahan, Quentyn's childhood bully and minor nemesis, is implied to be this, despite his toadies and hangers-on.
- Mia of Domain Tnemrot, whose mother is in a coma, has a father that despises her and a large staff that largely ignore her outside of caring for her basic needs. She ends up forming deep bonds with Dae and Angel, two of her slavesnote because of this, with the two being the larger part of a very small list of people that even care about Mia.
- Niccolo in Boy Aurus due to his father's riches being from organized crime.
- Ashley Madder in Tales Of Gnosis College has a wealthy (and thuggish) Senator for a father who regards her as an ornament to his political career. She seems to have trouble making real friends and acts out.
- Miranda in But I'm a Cat Person, whose Parental Abandonment comes in multiple flavors. As a child, she has a workaholic mother and a Disappeared Dad; as a teenager, she has a Missing Mom and an Archnemesis Dad.
- Hope Avelina of Alone In A Crowd starts out as a young girl living in a spacious mansion, the only child of multimillionaire jet-setting parents. Those parents have all but abandoned her, and when the mansion is sold, she ends up living with Sara and Faith. Hope's backstory starts here.
- Damien from Zoophobia, at least until he meets his current friends, Sahara and Addison.
- What we saw from Jareth's background in Roommates he was a one of these as a child (abusive and neglectful Evil Matriarch winning the custody battle and all), added that his family belongs to the Supernatural Elite.
- Jonas from lonelygirl15. He lives in a big house, which he has all to himself, because his parents vanished at sea. He has no close friends prior to meeting the protagonists, and you get the impression that he's very lonely. He soon joins their circle of friends and becomes both a central character and a love interest for another central character.
- Seiki from Sailor Nothing lost his parents at an early age, and is now pathologically afraid of being alone. He isn't a loner, but otherwise fits the trope to a tee.
- Cassidy Cain in Grandmaster of Theft fits. Her own is self-inflicted by her perfectionism, choosing to spend far more time worrying about self-mastery needed to be a Magnificent Bitch than getting close to many people.
- The Nostalgia Chick grew up in the richer part of Tennessee and got spoiled enough to become a bit of a Gold Digger, but she was also felt isolated and abused.
- The Nostalgia Critic has plenty of money and whines all the time after Christmas because he didn't get one specific pressie out of millions, but his childhood, while over the top, is practically built out of Adult Fear.
- The Autobiography of Jane Eyre: Adele Rochester is an Adorably Precocious Child. Their house is ultra-modern and lavishly decorated, and her father is the CEO of their successful family business; however, Mr Rochester comes with serious issues and Parental Neglect towards Adele. She has her personal tutor, Jane Eyre, and loads of extracurricular courses and activities with some additional private tutors, e.g. for fencing. However, she has no play dates; no teddy bears; crayons are new to her, and no friends of her own age are mentioned. Jane, her new nanny/tutor, says she gets the feeling that Adele is lonely. You think, Jane? Grace Poole does mention that some of Adele's activities are chosen for social reasons. So Adele might have snatched some friends while attending Advanced Marine Zoology or at an Applied Physics boot camp.
- Remy Buxaplenty from The Fairly OddParents counts. In fact, his workaholic and billionaire parents's EXTREME neglection of him is Remy's Freudian Excuse as well as the reason why he's got a fairy godfather in the first place. This is, also, an Alternative Character Interpretation of Trixie Tang.
- In The Simpsons:
- Mr. Burns is shown in flashbacks to have been offered the choice between warm, loving parents or a heartless billionaire. He chose the billionaire, making him a Lonely Rich Kid by choice. Though the only thing he regretted is leaving his teddy Bobo behind.
- In the episode "Burns' Heir," Bart went through the temporary version.
- Whitney Stane from Iron Man: Armored Adventures fits both main types perfectly. She has a terrible relationship with her busy CEO father (commenting she has to now make appointments just to see him) and being an outcast at the school she goes to. The other kids act like she's a Rich Bitch for doing things like eating lunch alone on the roof, but that's only because none of them are willing to befriend her due to who her father is. Her only real friend is Tony Stark, who would often brush her off until he found out just how bad her home life was.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- Mai's dark view of the world and emotional repression are the results of a combination of this, her mother's obsession with etiquette and respectability, and becoming an Unfavorite after her brother Tom Tom is born. One of her few close friends is the horrifically evil Azula. At least, until she turns her back on her. Fortunately, one benefit of a Heel-Face Turn is acquiring lots of new friends.
- Supplementary information indicates that not only was Toph Beifong kept hidden from the world and confined to her parent's estate, but her parents left the bulk of her actual care/interaction to servants. No wonder she sneaked out enough to become defending champion at the local pitfights.
- Zuko. Zuko. Zuko. Zuko. Zuko. Enough said.
- In the Sequel Series The Legend of Korra, Asami Sato. Though never brought up specifically, it's clear she has no friends besides Korra, Mako and Bolin, and it's implied to some extent that she suffers a bit from it. It also makes her similar to Korra herself, who also had no friends growing up besides her polar bear dog.
- Alexis on Legion of Super Heroes is an unapologetically spoiled Rich Bitch celebrity who seems to hate other kids as much as they hate her. Still, she confesses to Superman that she just wants to have friends and be normal, not the richest girl in the galaxy. It turns out she really never learned to take 'no' for an answer, though: When Superman makes it clear he can't just drop everything and spend time with her whenever she wants, she figures the solution is donning a suit of Powered Armor to kill all of Superman's friends in the Legion to eliminate the competition. And then, in the end, she realizes that she doesn't want to be normal after all, and that being a supervillain is her true calling. Er, yay for a happy ending? It's shown on her prison uniform the name Luthor, which explains everything.
- In one episode of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Jimmy changed the past so that his parents became rich, but it turned out they never paid any attention to him once they had money, so he went back to the past and undid the change.
- South Park gives a variant with Token, who went through one episode feeling lonely because he lacked any rich friends to whom he could relate. He eventually realized that the other South Park kids still liked him anyway.
- Jordan Hill from Batman: The Animated Series is the son of Gotham City's mayor, and his dad is so into his politics that he even used the kid's birthday bash as a political reunion. Jordan is so upset that he hides in the truck of the clown that the Hills hired for entertainment... not knowing that said clown was The Joker under a disguise.
- Eric from Dungeons & Dragons is hinted to have been like this in the past. Might explain quite a bit of his behavior, if you look at it closely.
- Eddie from Class of 3000. "A Richer Shade of Blue" pretty much sums it up.
- Hinted at a few times with Gem in Sabrina: The Animated Series. In the Christmas Episode she realises that nobody cared enough to be with her on Christmas Day; when Sabrina trades lives with her, she realises her father is Married to the Job and the mother is never off the phone. Also when Gem loses her money in "Stone Broke," she wonders if she was ever truly happy when she was rich and of course her "friends" flat out abandon her when they find out she has no money. Of course, being Gem, she somehow makes it work.
- Julie Kane in Motorcity is probably this, which may or may not be the reason she joined the Burners. Only three people know she's Kane's daughter (which presumably includes Claire and Tooley).
- In Angels Friends, both Helen and Julia (Raf's newly assigned Earthly Ones) are upset because people only hang out with them because of their wealth.
- Lorenzo in Hey Arnold! was this until Arnold introduced him to the gang. In future episodes he was often seen with Sid.
- Dakota from Total Drama Revenge of the Island, whose Attention Whore attitude is really a cry to be loved.
- Theresa is implied to be this in Class of the Titans; her father is a wealthy workaholic who buys her things and gives her plenty of spending money, but doesn't really spend any time with her, and it's hinted that her mother is dead. She isn't indicated to have any friends outside of the team of heroes, either.
- Barbara "Poor Little Rich Girl" Hutton is the Trope Codifier.
- Christina Onassis, daughter and heiress of the Onassis fortune. Brother died early, mother killed herself, dad married Jackie Kennedy (whom she hated) and later died. In the end, she became a successful businesswoman but her lonely childhood made her an horribly love starved Broken Bird, and died at age 37 because of a pulmonary edema caused by the physical consquences of her former drug abuse.
- Poor Suri Cruise. When she celebrated her fifth birthday, her parents had to invite staff because no other child came.
- Gloria Vanderbilt.
- Doris Duke.
- Every single children of royalty and nobility up to the 1950s, as per the usual childrearing practices of the time. After birth, the baby is immediately fobbed off to an army of nannies, wet nurses, tutors, etc. and you only really met your parents on special occasions. There was a possible exception in the case of King George VI's children, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. King George VI (known familiarly as "Bertie") and his wife, Queen Elizabeth, tried to raise their daughters as normally as possible, and it reportedly crushed the former Prince Albert when his daughters curtsied upon greeting him when he was crowned king. (His elder daughter Elizabeth is of course now known as Queen Elizabeth II.)