troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Massive Numbered Siblings
aka: Massively Numbered Siblings

Lor: I've got 13 brothers. They have their own [basketball] league.
Tino: I thought you have 14 brothers.
Lor: Huh? Oh, yeah! I forgot to count one of the Dannys.

This is when a family has five or more children under the same roof. The parents will probably be Happily Married and have usually bred like rabbits. Sometimes they are the collective root of The Clan; other times, at least some of the children are from previous relationships. Expect this to be a noisy, rowdy clan as a whole. Also, this family will probably be portrayed in a positive light.

If this trope intersects with the Badass Family trope, be very afraid. But it's more often Played for Laughs.

For some reason, a popular subject for Reality TV shows — probably because this is extremely rare nowadays. In older works and stories, it sometimes just happens in passing. In the same way, older works had tropes like "the seventh son of a seventh son is always some kind of Chosen One", and this wasn't some phenomenon that's extremely rare to begin with, the way it is now.

In older works, this is generally seen as something great, because, in reality, most people had massive numbers of children; this trope indicated not the number of births but the lack of deaths. (One reason you had to so many was that in few families did all survive.) Nowadays it's more a comedy trope. It was also common for the siblings in older works to be all female, with their parents disappointed that they weren't getting the son they wanted no matter how often they tried.

See also The Clan, Big Screwed-Up Family and Tangled Family Tree, likely results of this kind of birthrate lasting more than one generation.

Inexplicably Identical Individuals overlaps with this. Likely to lead to a whole lot of children suffering from Middle Child Syndrome; contrast Only Child Syndrome. See also Magical Seventh Son.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Gundam Wing's Quatre Raberba Winner has 29 sisters. Justified as the sisters are all but stated to be Gattaca Babies.
  • The Wong-Chang-Lee brothers (and sister May) from Daphne in the Brilliant Blue are all siblings by one Mother. "I am the son of our mother's 4th Husband...."
  • Brock from Pokémon and his Brocklings. Brock, himself, his younger brother, Forrest, and the others; Salvadore, Yolanda, Tommy, Cindy, Suzie, Timmy, Billy and Tilly, the latter two being toddler-aged twins.
    • In Japanese, the younger 9 all have number-based names.
  • Jushiro Ukitake from Bleach is the eldest of eight children and uses his position as Captain of the 13th Division to support all of them.
  • Baku's family in the anime Onegai My Melody: the sibs actually have numbers as names.
  • Wataru Minakami in Sister Princess discovers that he has twelve sisters that he never knew about before (though some may not really be his sisters).
  • In Taiyou No Ie, Oda has six sisters.
  • Millie Thompson from Trigun has at least three older sisters, three older brothers, and several younger siblings. The actual number of siblings she has is not very clear, particularly in the anime. At one point she proclaims to Wolfwood she has ten brothers and sisters - and as she drops her pudding to hold her fingers up, he mutters, "Lemme guess, you're the youngest", to which she responds with an astonished, "How did you know?!?" But when she writes a letter to her family, she only counts off six siblings before getting into names, and Meryl implies that the named people are her nieces and nephews.
  • Oz, the demon king of Hell in the manga The Demon Ororon, has seven sons, of whom only four are named: Othello, Oscar, Olga, and the titular Ororon.
  • If you extend this to half-siblings then Code Geass counts. Eight of Lelouch's siblings have parts in the story from minor roles (Guinevere and Carline) to moderate (Odysseus and Clovis) to major (Nunnally, Euphemia, Cornelia and Schneizel). Lelouch was the 11th born and 17th in the line of succession at the time of his mother's death, so he had at least 10 elder siblings at that point, with the possibility of still more being born in the seven years between then and the start of the main story. The exact number of children fathered by Charles Zi Britannia on his 108 wives is never stated, but since Nunnally, Lelouch's full blooded younger sibling, was 87th in line to the thronenote , he may have close to or over 100 children.
  • Barron from Bakugan Battle Brawlers certainly qualifies. He's eager to move out of his parents' house because there's no room left.
  • Ringo in Hime Chen Otogi Chikku Idol Lilpri has seven younger identical brothers named, interestingly enough, after the days of the week. Coincidentally, Ringo is the one that transforms into Snow White.
  • Even though Ueda from Japan Inc says he has eight siblings, seven of whom are sisters, we only directly meet him.
  • Nao Midorikawa/Cure March from Smile Pretty Cure! has five younger siblings. Given how other Pretty Cures tend to either be only children or have a maximum of two siblings, this is quite an achievement.
    • A sixth sibling was born in Episode 42.
  • The Nezu siblings in Gakuen Babysitters amount to six, who all look extremely alike and have a shared theme in their names.
  • In Otomen, Juta has nine other siblings, of which he is the eldest. The primary reason of him moonlighting as a manga author is actually to financially support his siblings, since his parents have wilfully decided to go for a world tour all by themselves.
  • In Ojamajo Doremi, we have Doremi, Aiko and Hazuki's friend Itoko Yamada, a girl with at least five other siblings. There's a Yamada brother/sister in each grade: One's a first-grader, another is a second-grader, and so forth.
  • The character generally called 'Mama' in Alive: The Final Evolution was, for reasons that weren't her alien-possession superpower because she only got that a couple of years ago, at least three times older than she looked, and a serial terrible mother. She'd come along and dump a new kid on the half-grown-up ones every so often, but when she appears in the story she's turned into a good mother due to the influence of the alien parasite, and is living with what may just be one of her clutches, five 'children' ranging from nine to nineteen and having nothing in common with one another. These include a shy, bald martial artist with lightning powers, a Wild Child speedster girl in Converse, and a hacker who smokes a lot.
    • According to an omake, some of her children were balding by the time the sylph bought the farm. But that's an omake.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Ling Yao and Mei Chang's father, the Emperor of Xing, has 43 children.
    • Olivier Mira Armstrong is the eldest of five siblings; little brother Alex, fourth out of the five, is the only brother.
    • At the end of the series, Ed and Winry are the parents of two children, and Word of God says they go on to have several.
  • Lyrical Nanoha has the twelve Numbers, all of them are sisters. Technically, Subaru and Ginga are also counted as well, since they are the prototypes.
    • The Nakajima family has originally Subaru and Ginga as the only children. Later, Genya adopts four of the Numbers (Cinque, Dieci, Nove and Wendi), and then Thoma, the first sonnote . And this family doesn't count the other Numbers sisters in the family, yet.
  • In Berserk, Casca mentioned in her backstory that she was one of six siblings. When you look more deeply into it, her family's situation serves as a deconstruction, as she grew up very poor and her village often suffered from food shortage and death from starvation. As Casca herself mentioned that it was odd that no one in her family starved to death, it begs to question how much longer her family could have survived having to feed eight members, so this might have prompted her parents' decision into selling their youngest girl-child into servitude when a rich noble passes by their village. Of course, her parents' decision is also laced with Fridge Horror, since it turned out that the noble didn't exactly want young Casca as a typical servant.
  • Meow from Space Dandy has six younger siblings back on his home planet of Betelgeuse.
  • In K-On! High School, Nao Okuda is the eldest of five. The last four are quadruplets. Sumire was not expecting this when she went to visit.
  • In Hunter × Hunter, the Zoldyck family has five sons. Illumi, Milluki, Killua, Alluka and Kalluto.
  • In One Piece, all pirates under Whitebeard's command are his adopted sons, and he has over 100 of them. Even pirates from his alliance call him father and he considers him as sons, meaning that he has at least more than 1,000 or 10,000 sons.

    Comic Books 
  • If you extend this trope to siblings by adoption, if someone was to count up all the "Batkids" you'd realize that Batman has quite a few "kids." In Post-Crisis, Pre-New52 continuity, Batman has three adopted sons (Dick, Jason, and Tim), one adopted daughter (Cassandra) and one biological son (Damian). If you count alternate universes, Bruce also has a biological daughter, Helena, who predates all of the above except for Dick. If you count spin-offs, Bruce also two biological sons via genetic theft, Terry and Matt McGinnis. If you count girls he's developed a parental relationship with but is not biologically or legally related to, there's Barbara Gordon, Stephanie Brown, and Harper Row. You can also count Dick Grayson's alternate universe biological daughter, Mar'i Grayson, or Barbara Gordon's protege, Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe, or Batwoman's niece, Bette/Betty Kane, or auxiliary Batfam vigilantes like Helena Bertinelli, Jean-Paul Valley, David Zavimbe, Luke Fox, Kate Kane... basically, you can go all day with this game.
  • The Guthrie Family in X-Men has 12 kids... several of whom are mutants (Sam, Paige, Jay, Melody (depowered), and Jeb). At least one of the sisters has been explicitly stated to not be a mutant, and was unhappy with it.
  • The "retired" (well, sort of) Asgardian warrior Volstagg and his wife have seven children, two of which are adopted Earth boys whose parents were killed in an accident that Thor was indirectly responsible for. (They at first mistook him for Santa Claus, and he quickly became attached to them.)
  • The entire premise of Dynamo 5 from Image Comics is that the team is made up of half-siblings, the five superpowered illegitimate children of the deceased (and philandering) superhero, Captain Dynamo. The villainess Synergy also turns out to be another of Captain Dynamo's out-of-wedlock children.
  • Lille Skutt in Bamse is a rabbit, and when his childhood is described we are told that he left home early because "rabbits have children often and they have many children" - his parents basically had a new litter, and Lille Skutt was the smallest of septuplets in his litter, so they were running out of space and presumably carrots. (Lille Skutt himself only has one kid, though.)
  • The Destine family from ClanDestine. At least eighteen siblings known for sure, and probably quite a few more. The parents are immortal and have been married for roughly eight hundred years, which might have something to do with it.
  • The Ashe family of Princeless has eight kids, with seven daughters and one son. For bonus points all of the girls have names starting with the letter A, and by the time of the story all seven of them are locked up in towers waiting to be rescued by Princes, until Adrienne takes matters into her own hands.

    Fairy Tales and Folklore 
  • There was an old lady who lived in a shoe...
  • "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" were all sisters, who in some versions married twelve brothers.
  • In some versions of "Beauty and the Beast", Beauty has five sisters and six brothers, of whom she is the youngest of all.
  • "The Six Swans" is about a girl trying to save her six brothers, who were transformed into swans.
  • Hans Christian Andersen's "Little Mermaid" has six older sisters, as does Ariel in Disney's The Little Mermaid take on the story.
  • In folklore, this is Aarne-Thompson type 762, otherwise known as "Woman with three hundred and sixty-five children". The stories generally go that a noblewoman is rude to a peasant woman with twins, arguing that the children can't possibly be hers because no one can possibly have two children at the same time, by one husband. The peasant responds that she hopes heaven punishes the noblewoman with as many children as there are days in the year, which leads to her giving birth to 365 children in one day. The children are all baptized, but die by the end of the day.
  • In The Brothers Grimm's The Godfather, the number is not given, however, "A poor man had so many children that he had already asked every one in the world to be godfather, and when still another child was born, no one else was left whom he could invite."

    Fan Works 
  • In Nadra's The Lion King fan theories, Sarabi is born with a twin brother, Aheri, around the same time as her paternal half-siblings, Zira and Jasiri. She also has three younger, maternal half-sisters. What makes this qualify for the trope is that Sarabi has a close familial relationship with all six of her siblings.
    • Interestingly, in a deleted movie concept, Sarabi had at least three sisters, one of which was Nala's mom.
    • Here's another Lion King example. In the long fan webcomic, The Relatives of the King, Scar and Zira have six children together, eight if you count their stillborn son, Chaka and Kovu, whom was adopted.
  • In My Family Before the World, Wolverine and Sabertooth, through the magic of Mpreg, have at least eight children, all of which, with the exception of the youngest one, are boys.
  • Sera the Eevee, one of the main characters in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Reflecting Balance has five older siblings, each one being a different Eeveelution.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Cheaper by the Dozen in all its incarnations — it's in the premise. The writers of the original book (see below) actually came from a twelve-child family, making it Very Loosely Based on a True Story.
  • There are seven children in the von Trapp family before Maria comes along. One would guess that after the movie ends, she probably gives birth to more, since in real life she added three.
  • Yours Mine And Ours has this at its base. A widower with ten children meets and marries a widow with eight children, merging them into a single family with eighteen children. In the original version at least, by the time number nineteen arrives, the eldest moves out.
  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. It's even in the title. The seven were each named after someone (or something, in one case, but you'll call him "Frank" instead of "Frankincense" if you know what's good for you) from The Bible, each using a consecutive letter of the English alphabet. All are adults — at least physically — and live together.
  • Ma And Pa Kettle, and their fifteen children.
  • Dear Lola was about a family of runaways with something like ten kids being raised by one eighteen-year-old.
  • The Charlie Chan films. Seven guys note  and three girls note  This is an in-depth explanation of who's who, and points out a few inconsistencies.
  • Rizzo the Rat notes, in The Muppet Christmas Carol, that he had 1,274 brothers and sisters.
  • In The Fighter, Micky has seven sisters and a brother.
  • Nanny McPhee is about widowed Cedric Brown who has seven children: 11-year old Simon, 10-year old Tora, 9-year old Lily, 8-year old Eric, 7-year old Sebastian, 5-year old Christianna and 1-year old baby Agatha.
    • This is lampshaded both by their Great-Aunt Adele (who complains about how many children there are, and apparently doesn't notice when extra "children" are slipped into the group in the form of the farm animals) and Mrs. Selma Quickly (who believes their father is only interested in one thing from her, so "no wonder there's so many of you!")
  • The protagonist of My Left Foot has 13 siblings.
  • Parodied in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, where the Catholic family has an absurd if not impossible number of kids, because they're not allowed to use birth control.

    Literature 
  • A lot of Diana Wynne Jones's work feature siblings, but the Dark Lord of Derkholm books have it topped with Derk and Mara having two human children (Blade and Shona), five magically engineered griffins who share their DNA (Kit, Callette, Lyddia, Don, and Elda) and in the sequel two Winged Humanoid children.
  • The original book Cheaper by the Dozen, which inspired the various film incarnations, was an autobiographical account of the authors' childhood; their parents had twelve children.
  • Hektor Aplyn-Ahrmahk from Safehold has seven or nine siblings; he's the middle one. When Irys, herself having only two brothers, state this as huge number, he says that most of them are twins. Their mother always wanted to have only four children, it's just that father didn't tell her that twins tend to run in family.
  • There are seven Weasley siblings in Harry Potter: Bill, Charlie, Percy, Fred, George, Ron, and Ginny. When you add that Harry is all but adopted and Hermione spends practically every holiday with them and that both eventually marry into the family...
    • Bill and Charlie have moved out of the house by the time the story starts, and eventually Percy, Fred, and George move out over the course of the books as well. However, since all but Percy become involved in the Order of the Phoenix, they visit a lot.
    • It's implied in the first book that having large families may be something of a Weasley tradition. Draco Malfoy notes that his father told him that all Weasleys have red hair "and more children than they can afford." Word of God says Arthur only has two siblings, though it's unknown how many Weasley cousins there are. When the seven siblings start their own families, though, none have more than three children.
  • Fëanor and Nerdanel in The Silmarillion have seven sons - the largest recorded number of children for an elven family: Maedhros, Maglor, Celegorm, Caranthir, Curufin, and the twins Amrod and Amras.
  • Judging from his many nieces embroiled in engagement snarls, Lord Emsworth, in Blandings Castle, seems to have at least ten or eleven sisters.
  • The Stanton family in The Dark Is Rising. Will is the youngest of nine, and it's revealed that his parents' first child, Tom, died shortly after birth or was stillborn - which allowed Will to be the seventh son of a seventh son (his dad also had a large family).
  • The Baby-Sitters Club:
    • Mallory's family.
    • Also applies to Kristy's blended family.
    • The Barrett-Dewitts are also a blended family example of this trope.
  • In Discworld, Nanny Ogg is the matriarch of a clan like this, having birthed fifteen children. Then again, by the time she's a main character the Massive Numbered Siblings have all grown up and moved out, but they still merit a mention.
    • Her children are even more notable because, given Lancre's small size, she's practically given birth to half of it.
  • Also of Discworld: Tiffany Aching has six older siblings and one Annoying Younger Sibling.
  • In Sid Fleischman's McBroom stories, Josh and Melissa McBroom have eleven kids (Will, Jill, Hester, Chester, Peter, Polly, Tim, Tom, Mary, Larry, and Little Clarinda), and it seems at least once a book Mr. McBroom has to do a head-count.
  • Karyn Murphy of The Dresden Files has numerous brothers and at least two sisters. In the Tabletop RPG rulebook, her family is listed as including "unknown number of brothers", with a footnote from Harry saying that he's pretty sure Mrs. Murphy knows how many sons she has, but he just can't keep track of them all.
    • The Carpenters as well. In the third book Charity gives birth to her... I want to say seventh, but it could be eighth, child. She and Michael probably would have gone on to have even more kids were it not for the events of the book, which rendered her sterile.
  • Probably one of the most humorous parts of L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series is that not only does Anne marry her once sworn enemy Gilbert Blythe, but they go on to have seven children (six living).
    • It really stands out, too, as none of the other main characters have nearly that many children. Diana and Fred have three while Owen and Leslie Ford have two. The only one that comes close is the Meredith family, who have four.
  • Lotte, Love Interest of The Sorrows of Young Werther, has eight younger siblings.
  • In the third book of the Spaceforce series, we learn that though he turned his back on his family many years before, Jay has eleven sisters (and, presumably, no brothers).
  • In the tween novel The Snowbird, the character July explains to protagonist Willanna how he got his name - he had so many older brothers and sisters that by the time he was on the way, his mother had run out of ideas for what to call her children, so his father said to just name the new baby after the month in which he was born. Since July is The Stoic, he takes it in stride.
    July: Could have been worse. I could have been born in April.
  • The Cleary family in The Thorn Birds, which was later adapted into the better-known made-for-TV movie, had nine kids. Of them all, only Meggie - the lone daughter - had children of her own, and she had just two.
  • The All-of-a-Kind Family has five daughters, each born two years apart. Followed by a son, Charlie, four or five years later.
  • Jane Austen had six brothers and one sister, so this trope's recurring appearance in her novels is unsurprising:
    • Catherine Moreland of Northanger Abbey has 9 siblings, which puts a not-insignificant financial strain on their father when it comes to planning for their futures, like her brother James' marriage.
    • There are five Bennet sisters in Pride and Prejudice... unfortunately with no brother to save them from losing their home to an entailment whenever their father dies.
    • Fanny Price of Mansfield Park is the oldest daughter among 10 siblings (including the deceased Mary), although she lives with her uncle's family from age 10 to age 18. Returning to her dysfunctional childhood home for a season is a living nightmare because the family is impoverished and barely genteel.
    • Emma Woodhouse's older sister has her fifth child early in Emma.
  • While many of the families in A Song of Ice and Fire are relatively large, Lord Frey's immediate descendents - the ones still living in his castle, at least - are described as such: "Twenty[-one] living sons, thirty-six grandsons, nineteen great-grandsons, and numerous daughters, granddaughters, bastards, and grandbastards." Note that, despite wanting to get rid of them by marrying them off when he can, he still plans on having more.
  • Parodied to death in the Nurse Matilda series. The exact amount of kids the family has is never specified, but the narration almost never names the same kid twice.
  • Implied that this will happen to Geran and Beldaran in the Belgariad. Belgarion is a sorcerer just like his 7000 years old grandfather and is therefore all but immortal. His wife Ce'Nedra is a Dryad and it is suggested that she could easily live hundreds of years as well. The Voice of Prophecy even takes the time to congratulate Belgarion with the daughters he is still to have (Prophecy clearly states that Geran will be Garion's only son, but says nothing about how many daughters he could potentially have).
  • The Chronicles of Amber: The first book is even named Nine Princes in Amber. And that's not counting the Princesses... Even worse, that's only the known ones. New siblings have a habit of popping up out of nowhere. It's an express option in the RPG.
  • The Heap family in Septimus Heap has 7 children plus one adopted daughter.
  • In Wen Spencer's Tinker, Windwolf was one of ten children. This is very odd among elves.
  • By Wen Spencer, families in A Brother's Price tend to be huge. Jerin Whistler has twenty eight sisters and three brothers, and Mother Eldest is pregnant again. However, due to a rarity of males, family structures in this world are different - he has twelve mothers, all of them sisters born to his ten Whistler grandmothers.
  • In the Galactic Milieu series, the Remillard clan (also, naturally, a Big Screwed-Up Family). Paul Remillard is one of seven siblings, father of six legitimate children and thirty-eight illegitimate. And then his son Marc one-ups him by artificially siring upwards of a hundred children for his Super Breeding Program.
  • Did Dr. Seuss ever tell you of Mrs. McCave? She had twenty-three sons and named them all Dave.
  • Eff of Thirteenth Child is, as the title implies, the thirteenth of fourteen children in her family. Her father also had six brothers and an indeterminate number of sisters, making the previous generation also qualify.
  • In one of the Heralds of Valdemar short stories, the main character is the youngest of twelve children in the royal family (his mother kept having twins and triplets). All of them were Chosen, which is why he rides Circuit rather than being kept to the palace and capital city.
    • In the Collegium Chronicles, Herald Jakyr's parents belonged to a religion that believed in having as many children as possible for the Glory of God. He tells Mags that his parents had so many children that half the time they called them by the wrong names, and that according to the brother he still talks to, they never even noticed when he was Chosen and left. Jakyr ends the conversation by saying that "Just because you can have a quiverful of youngsters, it doesn't mean you should. Or any."
  • In Nerilka's Story, Nerilka's father Lord Holder Tolocamp has nineteen acknowledged children (although The Plague kills four of them at the beginning of the book) and an unspecified number of illegitimate children as well. They're informally known as the Fort Hold Horde. And that was before his first wife was killed by The Plague and he remarries to a mistress of his who is literally young enough to be his daughter.
  • Amy, the title character in The Ordinary Princess, is the seventh daughter of the King and Queen.
  • My Ántonia:
    • Lena Lingard has lots of siblings and as the eldest daughter, she has to take care of them. She's not too thrilled about it and says she doesn't want her own family as a result.
    • Ántonia Shimerda is a natural-born caretaker when it comes to children. She ends up having a family of eleven children, and her eldest daugher Martha has her first baby boy.
  • In the Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms book Fortune's Fool, Prince Sasha is the youngest of seven sons. His betrothed Katya is the youngest of fourteen children to the Sea King. In One Good Knight, the Champion Gina reveals that she has thirteen siblings.
  • There are seven royal children at the beginning of The Kingdom of Little Wounds, and Queen Isabel gets pregnant again after Sophia dies. The number of children falls over the course of the story.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Brady Bunch is about a blended family of her three daughters and his three sons.
  • Boardwalk Empire:
    • Eli has a stereotypical Irish litter, to the point that one of his political cronies gets their names wrong trying to be avuncular.
    • Margaret is one of an Irish family of five; four daughters and a son.
  • Second Noah was a tween series in the nineties about a couple that adopted eight kids.
  • The Huxtables from The Cosby Show barely qualify, with five.
  • Friends Joey Tribbiani, of course! He is the only male out of eight siblings. His sisters Gina, Tina, Dina, Mary-Angela, Mary-Therese, Veronica and Cookie are revealed in a few episodes that encounter Joey's family.
  • Charlene and Carlene had numerous siblings from Designing Women. The Sugarbakers don't qualify but they do have a paternal half-brother named Clayton born in between Julia and Suzanne and the Designing Women spinoff establishes Suzanne has a mentally retarded brother named Jim.
  • Blanche's family from Golden Girls just barely qualifies. On the series we meet her oldest sister Virginia, her younger sister Charmaine and her gay younger brother Clayton. On the spinoff Golden Palace, viewers meet her mentally impaired older brother Tad, whom she never mentioned to her friends. Rose was adopted by the Lindstroms who had eight of their own children.
  • Step by Step is about a blended family of three of his children, three of hers, his nephew and eventually their daughter.
  • Just The Ten Of Us is about a couple with eight children. In an episode where they figured into the show it spun off from, Boner was amazed at this, and figured they were Catholic.
  • Jon And Kate Plus Eight: Obviously they have eight kids (one set of twins and one set of sextuplets), all of whom are under the age of ten.
  • The Duggar family's show isn't called 19 Kids and Counting for nothing!
  • Eight Is Enough
  • The Vasnetsov family in Daddy's Daughters now stands at five daughters and a newborn son.
  • 7th Heaven is a drama about a pastor, his wife, their seven kids, and their dog.
  • In the That '70s Show episode "Stolen Car", Eric says to Kelso "Your parents have seven kids. They won't even notice you're gone!" However, only one of his siblings, Casey, appears in the show.
  • Pierce of Community has 32 "ex-stepchildren" from his seven failed marriages.
  • Played for Laughs in Scrubs with Dr. Stone who has 7 children from his 6 ex-wives. He and his new wife, with whom he has separated, are expecting another child.
  • In Cranford, there are Miss Mary Smith's half-siblings. There is five little Smiths and the eldest is barely seven. Mrs Smith is young and when seen on-screen, she's either chubby or already pregnant again.
  • Parodied by RTL Samstag Nacht, who subtitled Kelly Family, an Irish clan of musician, mentioning some more family members like Otto Kelly, Petra Kelly, Gene Kelly, Grace Kelly, Dr. Helmut Kelly, Kelly von Sinnen...
  • The Fosters has this, largely through fostering/adoption. There's Steph's biological son, Brandon, from a previous marriage; Jesus and Mariana, twins whose mother was a drug user and dealer and their father was never in the picture, and Callie and Jude, half-siblings who ended up in the foster system when their father went to prison for vehicular manslaughter after getting their mother killed while driving drunk. Lena wants a biological child of her own, too, and at one point she remarks that she's the only member of this family that isn't a blood relative of anyone else in the family; said baby would be the sixth. The first attempt at an in vitro pregnancy ended in a miscarriage.
    • Callie gets a bonus one, because upon finding out that Jude's father wasn't actually her biological father as she'd believed for all of her life, she meets her real father—and half-sister. So even without the baby, Callie already has 3 brothers and two sisters.

    Music 
  • The "Kelly Family", an Irish clan with no less than twelve siblings (nine of which in the band) who were quite successful in Germany in The Nineties.
  • The Schmitt Brothers barbershop quartet was composed of four actual brothers who had thirteen siblings.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • 9 Chickweed Lane: Uncle Roger lives up to his name via his eleven children, all identical white-blonde twins or triplets. No wonder he occasionally needs to take a weekend for himself to relax and give his Transparent Closet a break.
  • In Prickly City, Kevin complains about having to fill out the names of his siblings — there isn't enough paper. And he doesn't know their names.
    I'm a rabbit. My parents were rabbits! Do the math!

    Poetry 

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The Dudleys of ECW, a family of half-brothers who had the same father: Dudley, Dances With, Big Dick, Little Snot, Sign Guy, Chubby, Buh-Buh Ray, D-Von and Spike. Only the last three moved on to WWE.

    Radio 
  • One of Garrison Keillor's "News from Lake Wobegon" monologues featured the the Lake Wobegon Whippets baseball team: nine brothers all born "nine months and ten minutes apart."

    Religion and Mythology 
  • The Bible allows polygamy and some men were supposed to have lived for centuries, so you can imagine this came up a lot.
    • Check out the genealogy sections early on. One thing you may notice is that most, if not all, of them say something to the effect that a man had the next step in the line, and had sons and daughters. That's at least five right there for every one who did that.
      • Jewish tradition says that Seth alone had 33 sons and 23 daughters.
    • After the death of Sarah (indeed, after the marriage of Isaac), Abraham went on to father six children by Keturah.
    • Famously, Jacob had twelve sons and one daughter. Granted, these were spread over four women, but one of them had the daughter and half the sons.
    • Gideon had seventy sons by an unknown number of wives/concubines. Ibzan, similarly, had 35 sons and 30 daughters.
    • Jesse had eight sons, at least at the time of the anointing of David, his youngest.
    • Speaking of David, he had at least seventeen children (the six listed as having been born in Hebron were all sons; the list of eleven may be a mixture of sons and daughters).
    • Job had seven sons and three daughters. After they died, he had seven sons and three daughters more.
  • In Classical Mythology, just about every male god had a dozen or more kids if you count all of their illegitimate demigod offspring. However, the all-time winner has to be Oceanus and Tethys, who had 6,000 children together, evenly split between sons and daughters. They were the minor gods of every river in the world.
    • A cross between this and Massive Numbered Cousins: there's a legend of a king who had, depending on the version, fifty or even a hundred daughters. Apparently he really wanted grandkids (particularly very strong sons), because when Hercules visited, he invited him to sleep with all of them in the course of one night. They all got pregnant.
    • The Danaďdes were fifty sisters who were forced to marry their fifty male cousins. (On the wedding night, all but one killed their grooms.)

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Dragon Blooded Exalted of the Realm are encouraged to have numerous children because of their hereditary power which is integral to the proper functioning of the state. Combined with their extended lifespans, it's quite possible for ten generations of the same family to be living under one roof (although their exceptional wealth ensures that it's a big roof).

    Theatre 

    Video Games 
  • Ivalice Alliance features six moogle siblings, which are Montblanc, Sorbet, Horne, Nono, Hurdy and Gurdy.
  • In Super Mario Bros. 3 for the NES, players were introduced to Bowser's seven children. However, in more recent Mario games they have been retconned into simply being high-ranking minions of his, making the 'eighth kid' - Bowser Jr. - his only son.
  • Avernum 3 has the Merry siblings, who own general stores across the continent, and who "left home before [their parents] finished."
  • In The Sims 2 a common Want for a Sim with the Family aspiration is to have as many as ten children. This is in a game which limits the number of people living in a house to 8, so at least four of the first batch would have to grow up and move out to make room for more. The Sims 3 has "Surrounded by Family", a relatively tamer Lifetime Goal for Sims with the Family-Oriented and/or Nurturing trait to raise five kids from toddlers to adulthood.
  • Scout from Team Fortress 2 is the youngest of eight boys.
  • Brom from the Fire Emblem Tellius series reveals in his support conversations with Zihark that he has five sons and three daughters. We only ever meet the youngest daughter Meg, however.
  • In Fire Emblem Awakening, Anna has at least seven sisters, all of whom are completely identical to her and also named Anna.
  • In Scribblenauts Unlimited, Maxwell is revealed to come from a family with forty-one siblings. All of them are brothers, except for Lily.
  • In World of Warcraft, one daily quest for the Mantid faction known as the Klaxxi has the questgiver remark that the monster you killed for him ate his brother, but he points out that he has millions of brothers. This may be an exaggeration, but it's implied that the Mantid birth large numbers of young and send them to fight the pandaren, with the intent of having the strongest come back alive.
  • In The King of Fighters, Goro Daimon has six brothers and sisters. Goro is implied to be the fifth one: "Go" is the Japanese word for "five"
  • In Star Control II, Fwiffo is the youngest child in a family of 18,487. His happiest memory is the time his mother called him by his actual name.
  • In Rune Factory 4, Vishnal has at least five younger siblings. They aren't important enough to get character portraits, though, and generally stay out of town.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, the Human Mage comes from the Amell family. In Dragon Age II, it's revealed that the Mage Warden was one of several children born to Revka Amell, who had to watch every single one of them be taken away by the Circle of Magi because they had magic ability.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • According to the character profiles on the Season 3 DVD, Caboose from Red vs. Blue comes from a family of seventeen siblings. Dialogue in Reconstruction would suggest they're all girls.
  • Thalia's Musings
    • Thalia and her eight sisters make up the Nine Muses.
    • Apollo's son and daughter-in-law, Asclepius and Epione, have nine children.
    • At the end of Volume One, Calliope gives birth to the Corybantes, identical septuplet brothers.
  • Chakona Space:
    • It gives us the Goldfur / Forestwalker household. 16 cubs, with another on the way.
    • Goldfur fathered 2 (Malena, Lupu), Garrek x Goldfur 2x, Garrek x Malena (Triplets!), Midnight x Forest (Twins), Forest x Midnight, Boyce x Midnight, Boyce x Forest, Kris x Katrina, Kris x Leanna, Leanna x Katrina. Since Goldendale is still living with Goldie and Forest: Dale x Lupu. (Dale x Swiftwalk on the way.) As many of the cubs don't share more than a single parent, and a few don't share any. But Goldfur and Forest are siblings, and Forest is mated to Leanna, Kris and Trina. And, thanks to a Teleporter Accident, Dale is now Goldfur's accidental twin sister.
    • Neal Foster's 2 different sets of adopted cubs. (With 6 more on the way with his companions / mates, all of which he treats as if he fathered them himself.

    Western Animation 
  • Lor of The Weekenders has so many brothers that even she loses track of the exact number ("You can't count them! They keep moving around!"); however, she doesn't have a single sister. To make things worse, their parents seem to have eventually run out of names, as the page quote notes.
  • Noah from Total Drama is the youngest of nine siblings, according to his online bio.
  • The Mighty B! - Gwen, right-hand girl and friend of the Alpha Bitch, Portia Gibbons, has five younger brothers.
  • The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan. Four girls note , six boys note . Plus a dog who's treated as an actual family member.
  • Ty Lee from Avatar: The Last Airbender had six sisters. The problem was that they were all nearly identical; Ty Lee ran away from home to avoid becoming part of a "matching set."
  • In The Legend of Korra, Suyin Beifong has four sons and one daughter. Her unmarried, childless sister Lin mumbles that this sounds like a "nightmare." Meanwhile, Tenzin and Pema are just under this trope with two sons and two daughters.
    • When Mako and Bolin get lost in Ba Sing Sei, they wind up running into their father's extended family, which seems to be made up of dozens of people sharing one house. More a case of Massive Numbered Cousins, but it doesn't look like any of their relatives stopped at two or three kids.
  • The Apple Family on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is enormous. Based on the number of cousins Applejack has, Granny Smith must’ve had at least ten foals.
    Applejack: This here's Apple Fritter, Apple Bumpkin, Red Gala, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Caramel Apple, Apple Strudel, Apple Tart, Baked Apple, Apple Brioche, Apple Cinnamon Crisp... (stops and gasps for breath) ...Big Macintosh, Apple Bloom, aaaaaaaaand Granny Smith.
  • On Ugly Americans, Grimes has fifteen daughters and, to his displeasure, no sons.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants Plankton is shown to have lots of cousins, possibly millions of them. The catch is they're all hillbillies.
  • Miss Martian of Young Justice mentions having 12 sisters, and, according to Word of God, 17 brothers and 300 cousins.
    • Robin references the above mentioned Bat-Family in the first episode after being told he was going to be cloned
    Robin: No thanks, Batcave is crowded enough
  • On Gargoyles, a whole generation in each clan refers to each other as "rookery siblings," despite not necessarily being biologically related. Angela, for example, refers to having fifteen sisters.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Cletus Spuckler, the slack-jawed yokel, has many kids. The known named ones are:
      Gummy Sue, Tiffany, Andie, Gordon, Lizzie, Jackson, Heather, Cody, Dylan, Dermot, Jacob, Jordan, Taylor, Brittany, Wesley, Rumor, Scout, Cassidy, Zoe, Chloe, Max, Hunter, Rubella Scabies, Kendall, Caitlin, Noah, Sasha, Morgan, Kyra, Ian, Lauren, Q*bert, Condoleezza Marie, Phil, Birthday, Crystal Meth, Dubya, Incest, International Harvester, Jitney, Witney, Mary WrestleMania, Carl, Stabbed In Jail Spuckler and long lost son Carl Durant.
    • Apu and his wife became parents of a set of octuplets.
  • On Daria, the Lanes just qualify with five kids (Summer, Wind, Penny, Trent and Jane). So far Summer is the only one known to have kids of her own, with four.
  • Wheel Squad: Akim and his several siblings.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Lawrence Fletcher's brother Adrian has six children: three boys named Beckham; two boys named Pele; and one girl named Eliza Beckham Fletcher. Just shows how much Adrian loves The Beautiful Game.
  • In Code Lyoko, Odd has five older sisters. (Louise, Marie, Elizabeth, Pauline, and Adele)
  • In Drawn Together, one Asian boy who's protesting Spawnky's use of Ling-Ling to make shoes says it leaves him no way of making a living for his several dozen brothers and single sister.
  • On Dragon Tales, Cassie, one of the main dragon characters, is noted to have a very large family with 72 brothers and sisters, though only three or four of them are seen outside of a brief appearance in a song number featured as an interstitial.

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television: Stephen Colbert is the youngest of eleven children and can recite them all in a Motor Mouth: Jimmy-Eddie-Mary-Billy-Margo-Tommy-Jay-Lulu-Paul-Peter-Stephen. Sadly, Paul and Peter (along with their father) died in a plane crash when Stephen was 11.
  • It applies to a greater or lesser extent to many Catholics. In some places and contexts, it is still the case, though not to the extent it would have been a few generations earlier. Unlike the Protestant Quiverfull movement, however, most aren't deliberately having massive amounts of children - just taking the injunctions against artificial birth control and abortion seriously.
  • The Kennedys (a Catholic family). Joseph P. Kennedy had nine children, including John and Robert, who had eleven.
  • The "Octomom". Octuplets... in addition to the six she already had. In vitro was involved, of course.
  • There's a U.S. religious movement known as Quiverfull, where families try to have as many children as they possibly can in order to develop "an army for Christ".
  • Fred Phelps, the controversial leader of the extremely homophobic Westboro Baptist Church had 13 children. The most well-known is Shirley Phelps-Roper, who has 11. In all, Phelps had 63 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren, most of whom are members of his cult/church.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers defensive player James Harrison has 13 siblings.
  • The Duggar Family and the Gosselin (Jon And Kate Plus Eight) Family. Michelle Duggar is the youngest of seven herself (husband Bob has one brother, who has one daughter named Amy. Her cousins call her Jamy so she'll fit in). Frequently featured on 19 Kids and Counting is the Bates family, which has 18 kids.
  • Food Network cook Sandra Lee practically raised her five younger siblings after her mother's second divorce, buying groceries, preparing meals, caring for the children, and handling the family's finances by the tender age of eleven.
  • Céline Dion is the youngest of fourteen children.
  • Ronan Farrow, an American freelance journalist, Child Prodigy, and son of director Woody Allen and actress Mia Farrow, is one of fourteen (four biological and ten adopted) children. And that's just on his mother's side.
  • Queen Victoria had 9 children. She's not known as "the Grandmother of Europe" for nothing.
  • Maria Theresa had sixteen children (ten survived to adulthood), and so had her third son Leopold.
  • Philippe, duc d'Orléans, only sibling of Louis XIV, puts up a rather less impressive seven children from two marriages (including one stillborn and two that died in childhood), but what makes this impressive is (1) Massive Numbered Cousins—his surviving children, save one, had lots of kids, who went on to marry most of the Catholic royalty of the Continent, leading historians to call him "the grandfather of Europe" and (2) the fact that he was gay, and everyone knew he was gay, but he still got over his probable distaste for it and actually managed to become "the grandfather of Europe." (As a royal, marrying and having children was required, but rather than simply do the minimum he could have gotten away with—having one or two children and not remarrying after his first wife died—he did his full duty and then some.)
  • Par for the course in many Royal and Imperial families, as seen with the examples above. Charlemagne beats them all in the long-run, starting with his 8 sons and some daughters. These children lived to adulthood and many went on to have (varying numbers) of their own children. As a result, a great many in Western Europe can claim some genetic descent from Charles the Great. note 
  • Sarah Jessica Parker has seven siblings, most of whom also have careers in the entertainment industry.
  • Mark Wahlberg is the youngest of nine children. His older brother Donnie from New Kids on the Block is the eighth one.
  • All of the New Kids on the Block members (save for Danny Wood) came from numerous families. Jonathan and Jordan were the fifth and sixth of six kids, respectively, whereas Joe was the "runt" among nine kids.
  • The Jackson Five
  • The Osmond Family
  • The Kardashians, counting their step-brothers and half-sisters (see Theme Initials) adds up to ten siblings.
  • Macaulay Culkin had four brothers and two sisters.
  • Former President John Tyler was the father of fifteen children from two marriages, the most for any President.
  • Historically, Pharaoh Ramses the Great had 110 children. Obviously, this was through numerous women, including three of his own daughters. (Also a sister, but that was par for the course among the royal family.)
  • Johann Sebastian Bach had twenty children, many of whom became successful composers or performers in the family tradition. Granted, he was married twice, and several of them died in infancy, but still.
  • Carlos Mencia is the 17th of 18 children.
  • Charles Darwin was the fifth of six children; his wife Emma the youngest of seven. He himself went on to have nine children, two of whom died in infancy and one who died at the age of ten.
  • Mrs. Vassilet was pregnant twenty-seven times. She had sixty-nine children.
  • Jim Henson and his wife Jane fulfilled the bare minimum for this trope — they had five children, all of whom now work in the puppetry field.
  • Hanson are the three oldest of seven children, and Taylor is well on his way to this trope with his fifth child.
  • Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, the founder of Saudi Arabia had dozens of children (the exact number is unknown) through his 22 wives. His sons have been ruling Saudi Arabia since his death in 1953.
  • Arthur Guiness, founder of the Guiness brewery had 21 children. Ten survived to adulthood.
  • Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien was the 18th of 19 children, of whom 9 survived to adulthood.
  • Benjamin Franklin was the 15th of his father's 17 children.note 
  • Actor Stellan Skarsgĺrd has eight children. His oldest sons Alexander and Gustaf are following in their father's footsteps.
  • Genghis Khan and his children had such large families that 8% of ALL of Asia can show a direct linage to the Great Khan.
  • The real-life Georg von Trapp had Rupert, Agathe, Maria, Werner, Hedwig, Johanna, and Martina with his first wife Agathe. With his second wife Maria, he had three more children: Rosmarie, Eleonore, and Johannes.


Magpies as PortentsFairy Tale TropesMalicious Slander
Long-Lost RelativeSibling TropesMiddle Child Syndrome
Power TrioImageSource/Live-Action TVCheers

alternative title(s): Massively Numbered Siblings
random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
119767
4