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->'''Skeeter''': Shoot me, Gonzo!\\
'''Scooter''': Me first, I'm older!\\
'''Skeeter''': Only by a minute!
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/MuppetBabies''

Twins often argue, among themselves or with others, about the respect they are due because of age, even though the difference is minuscule. In the most common form, Alice will attempt to give her side leverage by saying that she is oldest, which will cause Bob to retort "Yeah, by five minutes" and therefore defuse such an argument. If it fails to defuse it, it can easily spiral into an ArgumentOfContradictions, since neither side will generally have any actual proof.

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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', Hiashi Hyuga was born seconds before Hizashi. The difference is especially crucial in the Hyuga clan, as Hiashi grew up to become head of the clan, while Hizashi was made into a branch house member and expected to obey Hiashi [[spoiler:and give his life to protect him... or so Neji thought]], under threat of his cursed seal activating and causing him pain or killing him.
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED'': [[spoiler: When Cagalli tells Athrun she's glad to have Kira for a little brother, he teasingly asks her if he might not be her big brother instead. She grumpily insists that she was born first. Of course, given the [[GattacaBabies circumstances of Kira's gestation]], he wasn't technically "born" at all, making things extremely murky no matter which way you view it]].
* {{Inverted|Trope}} in ''Manga/LuckyStar''. Tsukasa tells Kagami it's good she's older, because it would be bad for an older sister to need so much help with schoolwork from the younger. Kagami tells her [[BokeAndTsukkomiRoutine it's bad anyway]].
* Despite being twins, Unsui of ''Manga/{{Eyeshield 21}}'' is referred to as the "elder brother" quite often. It's partially because he acts the part, often taking responsibility for his "younger brother's" actions, despite the fact that they're the same age. Agon could be seen as an extreme (and violent) version of the AnnoyingYoungerSibling trope.
* In ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'', the Numbers cyborgs type numbers do not represent their actual birth order; Sette (Type VII), is the youngest of them, while Dieci (Type X) is older than several others. As a result, Quattro (Type IV) is annoyed that Cinque (Type V) being technically older due to being born first, and refers to her as she would a younger sibling. In ''Audioplay/StrikerSSoundStageX'' and ''Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaViVid'', [[spoiler:Nove]] is somewhat unwilling to accept that she's [[spoiler:Subaru]]'s ''younger'' sister after her adoption.
* Vash and Knives' screwed-up relationship in ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'' contains shades of this. Since no one was actually watching when they were born and their mother couldn't talk even if she hadn't apparently suffered DeathByChildbirth, they don't know who's older. They're also theoretically speaking English, even though they're actually speaking Japanese, and since the normal Japanese words for brother require knowledge of birth order they use the vague and slightly standoffish term 'kyoudai,' or 'sibling' most of the time. Knives appears to have appointed himself older in a lot of their interactions, but when they were kids this role (in the manga) very slightly defaulted to Vash, and he has the responsibility to 'take care of Knives.'
** Their arguments about whether to kill off the human race etc. all boil down partly to a debate about which twin has more authority over the other. Being psychotic and incapable of self-doubt has given Knives [[KnightTemplarBigBrother the more forceful personality]], but Vash is at bottom tougher. It never actually is settled; [[spoiler: even after Vash wins the clash of philosophies and Knives accepts his loss, he takes up a 'watching over you' role while he waits to die that [[BigBrotherInstinct suits an elder brother better]].]]
** Anime Knives is pretty definitely finagling the elder role from the start, though, although they do still use 'kyoudai.' Vash even seems to have accepted his authority for a couple of years after the Fall, before flipping out that Knives is still on his KillAllHumans kick, shooting him in the leg, and running. This has led to a split understanding in the fanbase.
* Liza and Tate from the ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' anime have this dynamic, with Tate suffering a bit of an inferiority complex considering how Liza holds her seniority (and the fact that she continuously pummels him in battles) over him.
* Zigzagged in ''Manga/CastleTownDandelion''. Played straight with Shu and Kanade in Episodes 6A and 10B, where Shu has to remind Kanade that he's the older twin between them, despite they're just 30 minutes apart. Averted with Misaki and Haruka, as Haruka has no problem calling Misaki his older sister, and also had to correct others that said that Haruka was the older sibling.
* Illya and Chloe have this dynamic in ''Manga/FateKaleidLinerPrismaIllya''. As they're both different aspects of the same person, the arguments stem from how each of them defines which of them is older. Chloe is mentally older, but she has only had a seperate physical existence for a short time. In practice, Chloe usually the more mature one, but will allow Illya to act like the elder in order to soothe her pride.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Widget and Sludge in the 2009 ''WesternAnimation/AstroBoy'' film.
--> "By ninety seconds!"
* PlayedWith in ''Disney/MeetTheRobinsons,'' when thirteen-year-old Wilbur tries to pull this on twelve-year-old Lewis. Of course, as a time traveler, Wilbur technically won't even be born for seventeen years. More to the point, [[spoiler:[[KidFromTheFuture Lewis is his father]]]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Used in the movie ''Hangman's Curse''.
* Variant: the French musical ''Les Demoiselles de Rochefort'' has the younger twin calling the other "old girl," leading the other to reply:
-->'''Solange''': Just because I was born fifteen minutes earlier doesn't mean you can call me "old girl!"
* The seniority of rank example also occurs in the 1964 film ''Film/{{Zulu}}'', between Lieutenant Chard and Lieutenant Bromhead. This [[WildMassGuessing might have been]] the origin for the ''[[Series/StarTrekVoyager Voyager]]'' example.
* Variation: A deleted scene from ''Film/TheBoondockSaints'' includes the main characters trying to get their mother to tell them which of them is older, presumably so they will then be able to use this trope. Eventually she tells them, "The one with the bigger cock!"
* In ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'', the Maximoff twins have a moment like this. Pietro normally follows Wanda's lead, but when she tells him to do something he doesn't agree with (namely, to help the people of Sokovia rather than protect her), he complies but jokingly reminds her that he's twelve minutes older.
* In ''Film/ACinderellaStory'', the ugly stepsisters argue about this...and everything else.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/SweetValleyHigh'': "Elizabeth was 4 minutes older than Jessica, but sometimes it felt more like 4 years..."
* ''Discworld/ThiefOfTime'': When the Auditors of Reality obtain bodies they begin to argue about who incarnated first because "seniority is seniority".
* Averted in the ''Series/StarTrek'' novel ''Probe'', which features Romulan twins Jaina and Dejan. Dejan likes to refer to Jaina as his "Little Sister" despite the fact that she's actually the older twin. Jaina doesn't seem to mind, despite the fact that according that that book, being the older of a set of twins is [[SeriousBusiness a very big deal in Romulan culture]].
* In Creator/PeterDavid's ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Star Trek: TNG]]'' novel "Vendetta", Picard's old Academy classmate Morgan Korsmo tries to give him orders because he got his captain's pips a few weeks before Picard.
* ''Literature/XWingSeries'': The "promoted two minutes earlier is still seniority" variant was used in Creator/AaronAllston's '' Wraith Squadron'' novel.
* ''Literature/{{Percy Jackson|and the Olympians}}'': Done with Apollo and Artemis.
-->'''Artemis''': I'm fine, Apollo. And I am not your little sister.\\
'''Apollo''': Hey, I was born first.\\
'''Artemis''': We're twins! How many millennia do we have to argueŚ
** This becomes even more absurd when you realize that, in most versions of [[Myth/ClassicalMythology the source material]], it was ''Artemis'' who was born first, and helped her mother deliver Apollo, no less. Myth/ClassicalMythology is weird.
* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'', ''The Horse and His Boy''. King Loon explains that Prince Cor, rather than his twin brother Prince Corin, is first in line to succession, because he's the elder by 20 minutes. [[InvertedTrope Corin is quite happy about this while Cor is not.]]
* Literature/TheBible: Jacob and Esau squabbling over who is the rightful heir. Esau ends up giving it to Jacob for a "mess of pottage" (lentil soup).
* Averted in Heinlein's Literature/{{The Rolling Stones}}, where the twins Castor and Pollux jokingly address one another as "Grandpa" and "Junior".
* ''Sea Legs'': a children's novel by Alex Shearer has a twist on this trope. Eric and Clive are twins, though not identical ones, and Clive is perfectly willing to admit that he was born second but only, he insists, because Eric shoved him out of the way when they were being born. [[spoiler:At the end of the novel, the midwife who was there when Eric and Clive were born pays a visit and reveals that she had gotten them mixed up, that it was actually Clive who was born first. Becoming the eldest changes Clive's perspective on life.]]
* PlayedWith in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}:'' when [[PuppeteerParasite Yeerk]] twins are born, one is somehow designated "primary" and the other "lesser," which is basically built-in ParentalFavoritism (except not actually by the parents, [[DeathByChildbirth since they die giving birth]]). [[BigBad Visser Three]] is a twin, and always got opportunities for advancement over his brother. Esplin-9466 Lesser responded by becoming rich and powerful in human society [[BreadMilkEggsSquick and also becoming a cannibalistic serial killer]].
* ''Literature/JourneyToChaos'': Forge Enaz insists that he is older than his twin Sister, Annala, despite their mother telling him that neither is older than the other every time it comes up. He still acts like Annala's big brother because of his BigBrotherInstinct.
* It's one of the many, ''many'' things about which the eponymous twins bicker in Creator/BeverlyCleary's book ''Literature/MitchAndAmy.'' Amy is the elder twin by ten minutes, and she occasionally likes to rub it in her brother's face that he will never be older than she is.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody'': Zack is ten minutes older than Cody and he has no problems making sure his brother remembers that fact.
* A rare non-sibling example found in ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'': Paris tried to order Torres to do something. Torres refuses on the grounds that they're the same rank, so Paris plays the seniority card. Torres immediately points out that he only has about a week over her. (Paris also points out that he's a bridge officer and she isn't.)
* Data and Lore in ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', androids created with the same physical template, both argue that seniority gives them precedence. (Lore had lied and said Data was the older twin.)
* And a rare non-twin example: On ''Series/{{Soap}}'', there is an exchange between Jessica and Mary where they're trying to decide which one is the older sister. They definitely remember that they're a year apart, but each one seems to think that they're the younger one. (Remember, they're at a point in their lives where younger is better -- both of them are grandmothers by the end of the show's run.)
* On ''Series/AllTogetherNow'', Anna comments on how she is fifteen minutes older than Thomas and wonders if she kicked him in the head on the way out.
* An episode of ''Series/PairOfKings'' plays with this; Brady claims to be the older twin, prompting Boomer to go to an oracle to find proof.
* Larry, Darryl, and Darryl from ''Series/{{Newhart}}'' spent an episode competing for leadership based on varying accounts of which one was born first.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:MythologyAndReligion]]
* In TheBible, the twin sons Esau and Jacob are beloved of their parents. Esau is the firstborn and set to inherit; but depending on whose interpretation you accept,[[note]]There is a Jewish-Christian interpretation favouring Jacob, and an Islamic one favouring Esau[[/note]] he either sold his birthright to his brother for a pittance, or else was cheated out of it by a conniving sibling. In an earlier instance, the Bible tells us that a prudent midwife seeing the mother is having twins will take care to tie a red thread to the wrist of the firstborn, to establish his seniority. In Genesis 38, this leads to the strange case of Pharez and Zarah - where the sibling war seemingly began in the womb. And an extra-Biblical legend suggests Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve, were twin brothers. look at the rivalry ''they'' had.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* In ''ComicStrip/HiAndLois'', Ditto overpowers twin sister Dot to take the last cookie. He justifies feeling entitled to the cookie by pointing out, "I'm older. I was born five minutes before you." In the last panel, Dot grumbles, "He probably elbowed me out of the way then too."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* Used at the beginning of the Peabody-winning drama "Bonhoeffer: The Cost of Freedom."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', where Sabin affectionately calls his twin Edgar "big brother", the imprecision of which is Lampshaded by the other characters. Further toyed with in that Sabin, due to his years of training in the wilderness, is way bigger physically than his pampered royal brother.
* Dante and Vergil in ''Franchise/DevilMayCry''. Vergil is the slightly older twin brother... [[AloofBigBrother and acts like it.]]
* Yuri and Chelink in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChronicles: Ring of Fates'' have this argument constantly, with Chelinka insisting that Meeth told her she's a couple minutes older.
* In ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin'', Stella is older than Loretta and tends to take on a larger share of authority and responsibility. At the end of the game, [[spoiler:while Stella tells her father that it was an older sister's duty to bear the responsibility, he tells her not to overdo her role before passing on. When Stella collapses sobbing, Loretta tells her that she will become stronger so she can take more of the burden and Stella will not have to suffer as much]].
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', Koume and Kotake have a moment within an argument, compounded by the fact that one of them misrepresents her own age ''to her own twin''.
* In ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes'', we find out that [[spoiler:Travis and Henry are twin brothers]]; however, it is not discussed until the sequel (in an overly long answering machine message) that [[spoiler:Henry]] is supposedly the older twin, something [[spoiler:Travis]] is quick to make a snarky remark on:
-->'''[[spoiler:Travis]]''': Big brother? How do you know I didn't pop out first?\\
'''[[spoiler:Henry]]''': [[TheTapeKnewYouWouldSayThat You're prob'ly spoutin' off about which one of us popped out first]].
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'': Twins Cash and Carrie try to use this on each other. The problem is, since they were both adopted, neither knows who the older sibling is.
* Completely [[AvertedTrope averted]] in ''Franchise/SuperMarioBrothers'' Whenever he's not a HeroicMime like his brother, Luigi is more than happy to address Mario as "Big bro" or something similar. Particularly noticeable in ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'''s epilogue, where it's the very first thing you read.
* ''FatalFrame 2'' doesn't have a squabble among the twins themselves, but confusion over which is older is a major plot point. Technically speaking, Mayu is the elder twin, and Mio refers to her as "onee-chan", as one would expect from the younger sister. The ritual the two have gotten pulled into by the ghosts of the Lost Village dictates that the elder twin strangles the younger as part of the sacrifice. [[spoiler:It turns out that All God's Village subscribed to an old belief that the elder twin was the one who was born ''later'', as a good elder sibling would let their younger sibling go first to make sure they're okay. The twist ending then is that it is Mio who ends up strangling Mayu.]]
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffectAndromeda'', if the player opts for the female PlayerCharacter, she mentions in the prologue that she never lets her brother forget the fact that he's a minute younger.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[Creator/LauraBailey Vex]] and [[Creator/LiamOBrien Vax]] from ''WebVideo/CriticalRole'' have this debate - or rather, Vex's player Creator/LauraBailey did, when someone asked for the twins'[[note]] The characters are twins because Liam and Laura share a birthday. With this in mind, it's possible that Vax is canonically older because Liam is older by five years.[[/note]] ages on [[https://twitter.com/laurabaileyvo/status/634087917212667904 Twitter]]:
-->'''Laura''': Vax is ancient. Vex is young and spry and smells of elderflowers.
* In the ''WebVideo/SuperMarioLogan'' episode, "Cody's Sister!", Cody is revealed to be twelve seconds older than his twin sister, Katy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/ThreeTwoOnePenguins'': Jason notes that Michelle is only 5 minutes older and holds out his hand to indicate "5" only to [[LampshadeHanging realize that as a cartoon]] he only has [[FourFingeredHands four digits per hand.]]
* Hank Venture mentioned that he and Dean were about 4 minutes apart in ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers''. How true this is is debatable, since they're clones and may well have been activated at exactly the same time.
* Lampshaded in a ''WesternAnimation/SpaceGhost'' episode:
-->'''Jan''': Jace, we're twins. You're only two minutes older than me.\\
'''Jace''': A guy can learn a lot in two minutes!
* Inverted in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', when Selma laments Patty's good fortune in being "two minutes younger" and thus presumably more desirable to men than Selma herself.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'': Lil is 2 minutes older than Phil, continued to come up in arguments in ''All Grown Up''.
** {{Inverted}} in the Passover special, when each tries to claim that the other is the firstborn child who will be "[[NeverSayDie taken away]]" (before being told that they're both safe from the plague).
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', Dr. Director's [[EvilTwin evil (fraternal) twin]] is four minutes older, and blames his megomaniacal ambitions on the fact she didn't defer to him as a kid.
-->'''Gemini''': Four minutes, four years, the point is I am the older brother and she never respected that!
** Avoided by Kim's twin brothers, strangely enough.
* Scooter and his sister Skeeter arguing above, over who gets filmed by a camera the kids are playing with in ''WesternAnimation/MuppetBabies''.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'' "The Malicious Mr. Mind!" Mary Marvel argues that Billy Batson is only older than her in superhero form, otherwise she's older than him by three seconds. (This must have been quite difficult on the late Mrs. Batson.)
* In ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'', Blossom always takes charges and generally acts older than her sisters, Buttercup has typically the behaviour of the somewhat overlooked middle-child, and Bubbles acts like the baby of the three. In spite of the fact that there is no age-gap between them at all.
* ''WesternAnimation/SevenLittleMonsters'': One frequently asserts authority (or at least attempts to) by saying she's the oldest. Someone (usually Four) almost always snarks that she's only the oldest by a few seconds. One's typical response is, "And oh what a difference those few seconds make."
* In ''WesternAnimation/TalesFromTheCryptkeeper,'' PrinceCharming is NoHeroToHisValet like ''whoa.'' Who is his valet? His "younger" brother, who is actually a twin but doesn't get the inheritance or status due to not being the first one to pop out. "Ten seconds! Ten ''lousy seconds!!''" is his CatchPhrase, usually uttered when his bro does something Jerkass-ish (which is often.) He refuses to call him Prince Charming, as well - the prince's real name is Chuck.
* According to the ''WesternAnimation/CampLazlo'' episode, "Irreconcilable Dungferences", Skip is three seconds older than Chip, while Chip is three seconds smarter than Skip.
* Mabel and Dipper in ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls''. She often remarks that "you'll get it when you're older" due to being older than Dipper by five minutes, according to WordOfGod. It often drives him nuts, since "Dipper Vs. Manliness" proves that he wants to grow up and become a man because he hates being a wimpy 12-year old.
** In one episode Mabel tries this, and Dipper angrily responds that they're twins. "Girls mature faster," she says smugly, which is especially ironic [[CloudCuckooLander in their]] [[CloudCuckoolandersMinder case]].
** Further WordOfGod (albeit of the off-the-cuff variety: "you just witnessed canon being born") has it that [[spoiler:Ford is older than Stan by fifteen minutes and that this accounts for his superiority complex with regard to their relationship.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SofiaTheFirst'': Amber is seven minutes older than her twin brother James. This is rarely brought up.
* According to ''WesternAnimation/DragonTales'', Wheezie is the elder of the two-headed dragon Zak and Wheezie, Wheezie having poked her head out of their egg three seconds earlier.
* In ''WesternAnimation/MayaAndMiguel'', the titular characters are fraternal twins, and Miguel is the elder of the two.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'', Tommy Tibble is two minutes older than his twin brother, Timmy. This was first brought up in the Season 15 episode, "Whistling in the Wind", and later became the plot point of the Season 18 episode, "Two Minutes".
* In the ''WesternAnimation/TheLoudHouse'' episode, "[[Recap/TheLoudHouseS1E9OvernightSuccessTiesThatBind Ties That Bind]]", when the twins, Lola and Lana are trying to decide who gets to use the bathroom first, it is revealed that Lana is two minutes older than Lola.
* PlayedForDrama in ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama:'' Amy uses her slight age difference to justify being [[BigBrotherBully cruel and domineering]] to her twin sister, Sammy, claiming that she's just an inferior knockoff.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* An interview with the band Music/TokioHotel, which includes identical twins:
-->'''Interviewer''': Now I notice in the [CD] liner notes, I think Tom, you say "my younger brother"?\\
'''Tom Kaulitz''': Yeah, I'm 10 minutes older!\\
'''Bill Kaulitz''': Yeah, he's so proud of it! So, please. 10 minutes? ''Oh wow''.
* Twins born close to midnight but far enough apart to be on different dates have the additional bragging rights of being born a day earlier even if that was technically minutes earlier, often leading to {{discuss|edTrope}}ion of this trope from both the media and the parents.
** A San Diego couples daughter Jaelyn was born on New Year's Eve, in the very last minute of 2015, whilst her twin brother Luis was born in the first few minutes of New Year's Day.
** In Arizona couple's first son, Sawyer, arrived on New Year's Eve at 23:50, and his twin brother Everett held on until 12:01 on New Year's Day. When asked about this trope their father speculated that Sawyer would probably tease Everett over being older.
** When 2000 drew to a close, several twins were [[http://www.cbsnews.com/news/twins-from-different-centuries/ reported]] across the world to have been born on opposite sides of midnight. It's quite extraordinary indeed to be able to state your twin sibling was technically born in a different year, century and millennia than you were.
* In Japanese, there are no words directly corresponding to 'sister' and 'brother'. Instead there are separate words for 'younger brother', 'younger sister', 'older brother' and 'older sister'. This means twins are constantly revealing their birth order in normal conversation. Whether they squabble over it is up to the twins.
[[/folder]]
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