"I assure you, I am the black sheep of the family. And while that would normally make me a criminal or a lunatic, in my evil family it makes me noble and decent!"Everyone is familiar with the teenager "going through a phase" or being an out-and-out rebel. Little can equal the shame to a family with a legacy of heroism of a prodigal son or daughter who turns to villainy. Except, there are just as many families with a legacy of evil, so what exactly is a teen rebel supposed to do to rebel against people who are already rebelling? Why, rebel against evil and make a Heel–Face Turn! Much like a Phlebotinum Rebel, Defector from Decadence, and not-strictly-political Cultural Rebel, the White Sheep rebels against their family's values by taking on "traditional" rebellious attitudes. Sometimes, one of two variations are seen: first, is when the character actually struggles to fit in with the evil family and feels bad that they don't. Alternatively, the "Sheep" is still fairly evil, but they rebel by acting like a normal person. Naturally, some White Sheep may "grow out of the phase" and fully embrace their evil roots. Other times, they might discover that Good Feels Good (or that Being Evil Sucks) and make the change permanent. The parents of such a rebellious child may try to "correct" the problem by enrolling them in an Academy of Evil. Contrast Black Sheep, where all inversions of this trope belong. See also Anti Anti Christ, and Only Sane Man; depending on how idealistic the work is, a White Sheep can be the latter. Compare Evil Parents Want Good Kids and Rebellious Rebel. If the evil family show up after the White Sheep has built healthy relationships with good people, they're dealing with the fact that Friends Are Chosen, Family Aren't. If your rebellion is against your entire species, see My Species Doth Protest Too Much.
— General George S. Sternbeater, Bleak Expectations
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- A parodic example. There was a chocolate bar commercial in the 1990s with a father encouraging his adult son to pursue rock stardom, and sharing the chocolate bar allowed the son to confess his true feelings:
SON: I don't want to be a rock star like you wanted, Dad. I want to go to law school.DAD: (Puppy-Dog Eyes)SON: I really want to wear a suit, Dad!
Anime & Manga
- Karin is like this (she's from a vampire family), though the fact that she can't suck blood and walks around in the sunlight may have something to do with it. Her relationships with her family get better when it revealed that she is a special type of vampire who can induce fertility in the normal members of her nearly sterile race. One that comes about whenever the Vampire is in danger of extinction.
- Code Geass:
- Nunally and Euphemia are this to the Britannian royal family. Lelouch is more of a gray sheep who wants to annihilate the rest of the flock.
- Prince Odysseus is this to a lesser extent due to lacking the ambition of his more aggressive siblings and being more Kindhearted Simpleton than ruthless chessmaster.
- D.Gray-Man has an odd example with Nea. Though he rebelled against his family and is hated by number of them he shares their evilness and hatred for regular humans. Road once stated "he is different from us". So he is indeed an outcast in his evil family but he is still very much evil. Purple sheep maybe?
- Fullmetal Alchemist:
- Greed in Fullmetal Alchemist is an Anti-Villain who can't stand the thought of someone other than him ruling everything, so he joins up with the heroes against Father.
- Wrath in the 2003 adaptation starts out as this. When introduced he's a innocent Wild Child. After Envy gets a hold of him and brings back his memories, he warps into a cruel Creepy Child villain before becoming sullen and depressed by Fullmetal Alchemist Conqueror Of Shamballa due to a Trauma Conga Line.
- Killua from Hunter × Hunter comes from a family of very scary assassins and rebels by taking the Hunter's Exam and eventually promising to stop killing people. Bonus point for having white hair in contrast to his black haired brothers.
- Dio from Last Exile is well on his way to being this when his sister catches up to him.
- Itachi Uchiha is the White Sheep of the Uchiha Clan. At first he was the Black Sheep, until it turned out that the Uchiha Clan was harboring generations of hate — a phenomenon later coined as their "Curse of Hatred".
- It turns out he wasn't the only one. Shisui Uchiha actually shared the same views as Itachi and aided him with gaining the Mangekyou Sharingan, meaning he actually did commit suicide.
- Then there's Sasuke, who was the White Sheep because not only was he a child, when it came to everything that happened to the Uchiha Clan before the massacre, he knew nothing about the coup d'etat and was the only one innocent in all of this. He had a lot of missteps as a teenager after learning the truth, but after getting some sense knocked back into him, embodies this as an adult. His daughter Sarada is also poised to follow in his footsteps — her dream is to become Hokage.
- Shisui's White Sheep status was inherited - his father, Kagami Uchiha, was one of the few Uchiha who could have ever been called a friend of the Second Hokage, and was as fiercely loyal to the village as Shisui himself was.
- Obito Uchiha, who would one day become the Big Bad Tobi, was this growing up. While he seemingly succumbed to the Uchiha Clan's Curse of Hatred for most of his adult life, by the end of his life he made a Heel–Face Turn and died believing in the Will of Fire.
- In Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, Nura Rikuo is a decendant of youkai, who are considered to be evil or scary spirits. However Rikuo doesn't want to be like his family and protests by being a White Sheep. That is until he realizes this is a surefire of hurting more people than helping. So he becomes a Gray Sheep by accepting the youkai mantle and uses that power to protect his human friends.
- In Girls und Panzer, Miho Nishizumi is this to her family, given that their style of tankery stresses ruthless determination to winning at tankery regardless of the cost, and she cares more about those she fights alongside. It turns out that Miho's older sister Maho is something of a gray sheep; living up to Shiho's expectations mainly so that Miho will not have to.
- In Fate/Zero, we are introduced to Kariya Matou, Shinji's uncle, who seems to be the only decent human being in the Matou family. Naturally, his family threw him out and considers him a worthless traitor. He joins the Holy Grail War to try to save Sakura from Zouken's plans... but, well, anyone who's played Fate/stay night knows how that must inevitably turn out.
- One Piece:
- Saint Homing and his wife are the nicest World Nobles depicted in the series so far — they went as far as abandoning their status as World Nobles to live a simple life, away from the decadence of Mariejois. Which is why it's downright incomprehensible that they were the ones who spawned Donquixote Doflamingo. Not even Doflamingo's own brother Rocinante (who inherited his parents' kindness) can believe it, as Doflamingo is a monster even by World Noble standards It shows how influentially toxic Marejois is to most of the populace that live there.
- Sabo comes from a family of the ruling class who look down on anyone lower on the social ladder than they are. Frustrated at his family's condescending attitude, he goes to live in the forest and learn to fight alongside Luffy and Ace. Sabo then joins the Revolutionary Army and rises to its second-in-command, making him a direct moral opposite to his brother Stelly, who's become a king allied with the World Government.
- Sanji comes from a family of assassins who have gained such clout that their organization is given the status of its own country. Sanji considers his family's practices absolutely abhorrent and ran away from home. On top of that, his siblings and father dismissed his love of cooking. He would eventually become a sous chef at an acclaimed restaurant, then join the Straw Hat Pirates in protecting the innocent.
- "Marriage Proposal" Lola is considered the Black Sheep by her family a.k.a Big Mom and most of her (Lola's) siblings. However, from the audience's perspective, Lola is the White Sheep.
- Downplayed with Giorno Giovanna from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: He's the only known good guy among the evil Brando family lines that he never meets (He, in fact, looks up to DIO, not realizing his father's deeds). With a help of the Neighbourhood-Friendly Gangsters, Giorno escapes Abusive Parents, grows out of a hate cycle and joins the mafia ironically to become an idealistic hero.
- In Seraph of the End you can see Shinoa Hiragi. She belongs to the influential and respected Hiragi family. In contrast to the others, she is not greedy, arrogant and evil. However, she tends to be a bit cheeky and provocative at times.
- Raven Princess Ashleigh in Scion rebels against her rather evil family by joining an underground movement devoted to freeing the kingdom's genetically-engineered slaves.
- The Flash has the young Eobard Thawne and then, more permanently, his descendant Meloni Thawne. Before becoming Professor Zoom, Eobard was an obsessive fanboy of Barry Allen and dreamed of both meeting him and being him (he was still willing to kill someone to make it possible), though the Thawnes held a centuries-long grudge against the Allens and Flashes in general. Some four or five centuries later, thanks to time travel, Meloni married Barry's son Don.
- The Beagle Boys of the Disney Ducks Comic Universe are such Card Carrying Villains that they are outraged to learn that their cousin 0, who they initially idolized for never going to prison and getting a number, is actually the head chef in a diner, earning an honest living.
- The Runaways are a team of teen superheroes atoning for the crimes of their parents, who were all criminals and supervillains. Minus Alex, of course. This becomes somewhat murkier in their later adventures, as Nico develops something of a ruthless streak and the issues Chase's upbringing gave him become more apparent.
- Toxin from Marvel Comics (particularly Spider-Man). He has the same violent tendencies as his parent Carnage and grandparent Venom, but his host was actually sane and law-abiding and was thus forced into playing Adult With The Leash. Toxin is also a bit more childlike than the other symbiotes.
- The current host of the Venom symbiote is Flash Thompson, who tries to be better than the others, was on the Secret Avengers, is currently on the Thunderbolts, and is set to join the Guardians of the Galaxy.
- In the MAD parody of The Godfather, Vito complains about Michael not doing the same gangster activities as his brothers, and Michael Responds "I'm sorry I turned out to be the white sheep of the family".
- Lucky Luke: Marcel Dalton is a(n honest) banker in Switzerland. The Daltons never really mention him.
- In the Darkwing Duck fanfiction series, Negaverse Chronicles, Bushroot turns out to be this. His family turns out to be the ones in charge of one of the biggest gangs before Negaduck rose to power while he ends up being one of the Friendly Four.
- Pokémon Reset Bloodlines has a group known as "the Seven Brothers of Orre", whose initials go from A to G from the oldest to the youngest, and are notorious criminals, except for the one whose initial is "E". A later chapter strongly hints this is because he was the only one who managed to escape their abusive mother, who by all accounts was even worse than all of them combined.
Films — Animated
- In Mad Monster Party, Dr. Frankenstein intends to name his nephew, Felix, as his successor. Frankenstein specifically refers to Felix's mother as the "white sheep" in their family—she gave up associations with horror and evil, and thus Felix neither knows about nor wants his uncle's inheritance. (Though note that this whole backstory is hard to connect with the ending, which implies that Felix is actually a robot.)
Films — Live-Action
- Billy Costigan in The Departed seeks to become a cop, despite the fact that he comes from a family with a bunch of mob ties. When he refuses to give in to his handler's attempts at intimidating him, they decide to exploit those mob ties to give him credibility as the Reverse Mole.
- Michael Corleone of The Godfather was raised to be the white sheep; he was supposed to begin the family's shift into respectability. Vito expresses regret shortly before his death that he ended up being the one to succeed his father, since he'd wanted him to be a US Senator or a state governor, and Michael reassures him that "we'll get there."
- While details aren't given about their parents, the White Queen in Alice in Wonderland (2010) closely fits this idea. She knows she has crazy running through her genes, and her sister the Red Queen shows how she could act. Thus, she pretends to be Incorruptible Pure Pureness, but you can see her true nature in the loopy Perky Goth that shines through.
- Austin Powers's Scott Evil subverts this. While not as evil as his father, he's not good either. In the first movie, while Dr. Evil wines and dines Austin and Vanessa, Scott suggest they just kill them now.
"What, you're feeding them? Why don't you just kill them?"
- In Corky Romano, the title character comes from a family of The Mafia. However, unlike his father and brothers, all he wants to do is be a vet. Of course, at the end, it's revealed that his brothers have their own issues (one is in the closet and the other is illiterate).
- Greedy: Danny is a subversion. He starts out as being more principled than his greedy relatives who are competing for their old Uncle Joe's fortune. However, the idea of making a fortune gets to his head, and he starts competing as well, shamelessly doing a dance he did as child, and then staging an argument with his moralistic father to declare he likes Uncle Joe more. It is double-subverted when he realizes how far he has sunk, and when he learns that Uncle Joe is broke, he still takes him in anyway.
- Both of Cyril Carter's parents in Carry On Matron are career criminals, and he promised his mother on her deathbed that he would follow his father, Sid, into a life outside the law. However, he doesn't have the stomach for it, and he tells Sid that he has accepted a job in insurance. Sid plays on Cyril's affection for his late mother to persude him to do One Last Job, the birth control pill theft at the centre of the film's plot.
- As of The Force Awakens Luke Skywalker is the only member of his family to ever wield a lightsaber without turning to The Dark Side, as both his father and his nephew fell (though Anakin manages to pull back out as his final act).
- Matilda is about the eponymous girl trying to overcome her family's conduct as they all are rude and dishonest jerks whilst she wants to be a good cultured book-loving girl who doesn't watch television.note
- Sloth in The Goonies. He's mentally disabled and physically deformed, kept chained in the basement, and not even a candidate to be his mama's Un Favorite. More importantly, unlike the rest of his family he's a good guy at heart, opposing them when given the chance.
- Little Nicky: The whole joke with Nicky's character is that he's laughably incompetent at being evil despite being raised as part of a family of demons. It's because his mom was actually an angel.
- Gabriel Syme in G. K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday comes from a family that rebels against everything. By the time he grows up, the only thing left to rebel against is rebellion, so he joins the police to fight the anarchists.
- The younger Magpyres of Carpe Jugulum are quite evil, but they rebel by discarding all of the traditional vampire traits. They dress dowdily and pick the most mundane human names possible, as a pretty clear inversion of rebellious goth teenagers.
- Harry Potter:
- Sirius acts like your typical "bad boy rebel" and is the Black Sheep of his family, but since said family are almost exclusively dark wizards, who are so racist against muggle-borns that they make the Malfoys look tame, he's one of these. Ditto his favorite cousin, Andromeda Black, who marries a Muggle-born. And his younger brother Regulus, who, after discovering what the dark side really looks like, betrays Voldemort by stealing the Slytherin Locket, the Horcrux hidden in the cave, sacrificing his life in the process.
- And to drive the point home, both Sirius and Andromeda have been disowned by the family, their names burnt off the family tree tapestry.
- Agent Pendergast seems to be the only member of his entire family for generations back who didn't turn out criminally insane.
- Elric of Melnibone is the first of both his family and his civilisation to start wondering about things like morality, which is what leads him to give up his place as Emperor and start Walking the Earth.
- Played for Laughs in the Swedish YA novel Omin Hambe i Slättköping; the narrator's best friend comes from a family where everyone is basically a petty criminal - except his oldest brother, who does well in school and goes on to become a priest, which his family sees as a betrayal. However, it turns out he is also an embezzler, and he is welcomed back in the family by his parents, now very proud to have a son who is a whitecollar criminal instead of a petty thief!
- Rumpole of the Bailey: In "Rumpole and the Barrow Boy", one of the Timsons (a large family almost entirely made up of criminals) goes to school, studies, and becomes a financier... and is the one set up to be blamed for financial irregularities at his place of employment by his father-in-law-to-be, who is not happy at finding out about young Timson's family, even though he's never done anything wrong himself.
- Drizzt Do'Urden, everybody's favorite Dual Wielding Chaotic Good drow Defector from Decadence from R.A. Salvatore's The Legend of Drizzt and the Forgotten Realms.
- In Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next books, Lethe Hades, or so we are told, since he hasn't made an appearance. Uses the exact phrase, too.
- Similar to the Godfather example above, Richie Burke of the Sunny Randall series was deliberately kept away from the less legal parts of his family business, which contains several high ranking members of The Irish Mob.
- In Dune, House Harkonnen are known for their cruelty and decadence, but one of them long ago is a good guy, Xavier Harkonnen who was good friends Vorian Atreides, he was considered a traitor when he killed an evil Patriarch Iblis Ginjo who was going to harvest organs on the people of Caladan, and crashed his ship killing them both.
- In fact, the whole reason the Harkonnens are so bad in the time of the original book is because of how everyone else treated them after Xavier killed their beloved Patriarch and later after Xavier's grandson Abulard refused to risk the lives of millions of human slaves that the machines rigged explosives to at the Battle of Corrin. The latter of which got him exiled by Vorian Atreides and started the millenia-spanning feud between the houses of Atreides and Harkonnen.
- The other prequel series has Abulard Rabban, the Baron's own half-brother. Who was good-hearted and kind and so ashamed of the rest of his family that he took his wife's surname. Unfortunately his sons Glossu and Feyd-rautha ended up more like their uncle, and he was killed by Glossu.
- In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth and Jane are the only proper and respectable members of the Bennet family. In fact, the main reason it is so hard for the girls to find husbands is not because of their lack of money but rather because their family is so embarrassing. Their mother's brother and his wife, the Gardiners, are the closest relations they have that actually behave well.
- In George McDonald Fraser's Flashman chronicles, the anti-hero, bully, poltroon, liar, coward, cheat and all-around selfish protagonist is utterly mortified in later life when his oldest son, also Harry Flashman, chooses to enter the priesthood and serve God. Flashman's only consolation is to reflect "well, if the boy's learnt anything at all from me, he'll certainly end up as Archbishop of Canterbury".
- A Song of Ice and Fire:
- Sandor Clegane, compared to his brother Gregor who is known as an unrepentant killing machine, while Sandor is also Blood Knight he has standards of his own. He goes out of his way to protect both Sansa and Arya Stark. However he and his brother are the only two Cleganes who appear in the series,.
- The Freys are one of the most despised Houses in and out-of universe for the Red Wedding. They are a Big, Screwed-Up Family, with Lord Walder Frey having over a hundred descendants. However, Perwyn, Olyvar, and Alesander Frey are described as quite decent, which is why they were sent away before the Red Wedding. Lord Walder's oldest son Ser Stevron Frey was apparently quite decent, but died from a battle wound. Perwyn and Olyvar's full sister Roslin also seems a nice person, she and her husband Edmure Tully genuinely love each other, even though at Edmure's wedding his sister Catelyn, much of their army, and Catelyn's son Robb was killed.
- Michael Oversteegen of the Honor Harrington novels, whose loathing for his generally horrible relatives is truly amazing. He defies family tradition by being a brave, brilliant naval officer and fundamentally decent human being, while virtually all of his numerous cousins are greedy, incompetent, or both.
- In "Betvingade" by Simona Ahrnstedt, Illiana Henriksdotter seems to be the only nice person in her Big, Screwed-Up Family.
- The Suicide Shop is about a Cheerful Child named Alan born into a family of clinical depressants. While the rest of the family run a shop that provides services to help suicidals end their lives, Alan thinks life is wonderful and wants to put a stop to the suicides.
- Deah Draconi of the Black Blade series takes after her mother, which makes her the only person who is a Draconi by blood who isn't evil.
- Many people in Horus Heresy, as within the Legions, the Astartes are closely related by genetics, to the point of considering themselves brothers. While most of them support their treacherous "fathers" and turn against the country and people they were supposed to protect, several, like Nathaniel Garro and Garviel Loken, decide to remain loyal to the Imperium instead. Then there's Barthusa Narek, who's more of a Somewhere-On-The-Greyscale Sheep for the Word Bearers.
- Stand by Me : Chris Chambers is one of these. He comes from "shanty Irish." His dad is an abusive drunk, his oldest brother is in jail for a violent rape, his second oldest brother is a gang bully, and he...busts his ass to get through the college courses and become a lawyer.
- In Worm, Theo Anders is the son of white supremacist supervillains, but he does not share their views, and wants to become a hero, which he eventually does.
- In Run, Bo and Dickinson seem to be the only good people in the Dickinson family. Everyone else we see is either deadbeat, white trash, or involved with drugs.
- The Mortal Instruments has Clary Fray. Her father was a fanatical demon hunter, and the Big Bad of the first trilogy. He was also the founder of a whole group of fanatical demon hunters, including Clary's mother (although she later joined the heroes). And her brother is partly a demon through various experiments, and therefore particularly malignant.
- The books The Heroes of Olympus have Frank Zhang. He is a son of Ares, but he is far nicer and more peaceful than the other children of Ares. His half-siblings are actually not really evil, but rather just aggressive and battling, and he is an exception among them.
- Game of Thrones: All in all, being only a Bolton by marriage, Fat Walda is the most, if not the only decent, person carrying that name in the series so far. That said, she was also presumably one of the few decent Freys before marrying Roose.
- Sam Winchester grew up in a family of con artists and violent vigilantes, living on the road. It was his dream to settle down as a normal person and not fight anymore. Considering that his family consisted of warriors fighting monsters (although they didn't always look into whether those monsters were actually evil or even dangerous), he rebelled to go to school so he could become a lawyer, and his entire life has involved demonic influence; unsurprisingly, he's the Black Sheep as well.
- Castiel counts in a similar fashion. He rebels against Heaven, which would traditionally be a bad thing, but he does it because almost the entire rest of the angels are selfish, petty, manipulative jerks who actively decide to bring on the Apocaplyse, whereas Castiel's rebellion is in order to stop the Apocaplyse and aid humanity. This diminishes his Heaven-given powers and makes him a fugitive from the other angels. So from a human perspective, he's a White Sheep, and from an angelic perspective, he's a Black Sheep. More minor characters Anna and Gabriel also count in this respect.
- Worf from Star Trek:TNG / Deep Space Nine is a Klingon, who are normally enemies/anathema to the Federation; but because he's raised by humans, he becomes a valued Federation officer. However, at the time, Klingons were at the very least on and off allies of the Federation.
- Same with Odo, who turns against his own people to help their enemies, the Federation.
- Token Evil Teammate Garak is probably the straightest example of this trope. He leaves behind his father's business, the Obsidian Order, to help the Federation defeat the Dominion. Although he is reluctant at first, he eventually admits to liking Federation thinking.
- Weyoun's sixth clone falls under this trope as well.
- The Sopranos: Tony Soprano's younger sister, Barbara (Soprano) Giglione. Her husband, Tom Giglione, is a civilian who seems to work in show business; they live in Putnam County, New York, and only visit the Jersey family occasionally. She is the only member of the Soprano family whose life is largely untouched by the mob, and she also seems to be the most well-adjusted of the three (with Tony having a litany of Mommy Issues and Janice being an ex-hippie-turned-manipulative-mob-Evil Matriarch).
- Ebeneezer Blackadder from the Blackadder's Christmas Carol. At the beginning, anyway.
- Joxer from Xena: Warrior Princess comes from a long line of successful warlords, including his two lookalike brothers. He tried, but he just can't get it to work. He called himself the "black sheep" of the family once, and not in a good way. He has a third brother who is a Camp Gay dancer, but he at least is successful at his chosen field. Joxer, on the other hand...
- Vlad on Young Dracula is an example of trying to fit in the evil family. The issue is that vampire kids have a Dangerous 16th Birthday or the like and after that, go through Transhuman Treachery. Vlad wants to avoid this. Interestingly, his Fille Fatale sister Ingrid actually is evil and she's the more rebellious of the two.
- Although her family are Friendly Neighborhood Monsters, Marilyn on The Munsters feels bad about not fitting in and thinks of herself as the ugly one - because she's a normal human and the family are Hollywood monsters who don't look scary to the audience, but terrify people in-series.
- Mary Shannon on In Plain Sight is a U.S. Marshal despite having a bigamist father with a serious gambling problem who has been a fugitive for decades, a lifelong alcoholic mother (now recovering) and a sister who trafficked drugs for her boyfriend, in Mary's house. Slightly subverted in that Mary is hardly a saint herself.
- Michael and his son George Michael are the sanest, nicest, and most ethical members of the Bluth family on Arrested Development though this being the Bluths, being those things is relative. Michael kind of plays with this idea as the family itself considers him a White Sheep (that's why helping it regain its wealth and prestige is his job), and he can be pretty snarky and dickish to his family members whilst usually out for his own glory. His name was deliberately given as an allusion to Michael Corleone, who was similarly designated his family's White Sheep. Both families have a lecherous and impulsive brother (Sonny/GOB) and one who is nice but dim (Fredo/Buster).
- In a strange way, Spike can be seen in this light. He goes from being a badass, feared vampire who has killed two Slayers in the past to a lovestruck, 'neutered' vamp due to his being chipped and falling in love with the third Slayer he went after, Buffy. His love for Buffy leads him to actively seek out the return of his soul for a chance at redemption (or just a chance at a relationship with her). Despite the nature of vampires being Always Chaotic Evil, Spike chooses to fight for good, act heroically, recover his soul, and attempt to sacrifice himself on two occasions (he only dies once, and he doesn't stay dead).
- The argument could be made that Angel also counts; but he was cursed with his soul, rather than seeking it out himself, and when he doesn't have that he's Angelus, one of the most vicious and sadistic vampires ever to live, who isn't likely to act against his nature any time soon, and the last thing Angelus wants is his soul back. Angel, when he has a soul, does fight off the vampire's base instincts for evil, but it's usually clear that the human soul is the part that's ultimately in control at these times.
- Lorne to the rest of his clan, mostly by taking up singing, which is physically painful to the rest of his species.
- The Doctor of Doctor Who. He stole a TARDIS and took his granddaughter with him to escape the stuffy, boring old Time Lords and go and explore the universe. While later he would also go and use his powers and technology for good, directly against his species' laws of non-interference, it took a while; his first appearance had him rather bored by humans and perfectly willing to kidnap or kill them, if push came to shove. By the end of the Tenth Doctor's tenure, however, it is clear that he (along with two other nameless Time Lords) was definitely the white sheep of a truly terrible race.
- This is noted in a Chameleon Circuit song; "I was a teenage rebel, and that stayed the same!"
- Heroes: Peter Petrelli. The Petrelli family are ruthlessly corrupt and ambitious with grand schemes. Peter is the sweet Genre Blind nurse who would rather help people out instead. He's also the family Black Sheep for the exact reason when the Petrelli family's plans are for good as Peter's Genre Blindness will eventually bungle things up.
- The Dukes of Hazzard has Boss Hogg's good twin brother Abraham Lincoln Hogg, whose name is just one of the things that make him an opposite of Jefferson Davis "Boss" Hogg, whose family has other villains. Abe's debut episode was named "Baa, Baa, White Sheep". (In a bit of a twist, however, it's Boss Hogg who wears white, and A.L. Hogg who wears black)
- An episode of Grey's Anatomy depicted a couple of old hippies (Jewish by ethnic roots), whose daughter rebelled against their easy-going permissiveness by embracing all the laws of Orthodox Judaism.
- The problem in the episode was that the girl needed a valve replaced, and the most common one used (in lieu of a human transplant) comes from a pig. The girl freaked out about a "dirty animal" being inside her and wouldn't allow the procedure (even though she's not eating it, so it should still be okay). While there was an alternative (a bovine valve), the surgeon didn't have any experience transplanting one.
- Detective Sgt. Rick Hunter in Hunter comes from a mob family. His family tends to be an embarrassment to him — as is he to them.
- On Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Grant Ward's younger brother Thomas is this for the Ward family. Their older brother Christian forced Grant to throw him down a well and not help him until he'd almost drowned. Grant feels heavy guilt over this. As it turns out, Grant himself turned out to be an associate of HYDRA, and additionally, their parents were also quoted as being "monsters". Thomas actually changed his name and went into hiding to get away from his family, especially Grant.
- The black sheep/ white sheep trope alternates generations in the Givens family on "Justified". Arlo's daddy (Raylan's grandaddy) was a preacher, so Arlo became a career petty criminal. Arlo was a criminal, so Raylan became a lawman. Makes one wonder what the future holds for baby Willa.
- Roseanne has an episode called "White Sheep of the Family." When Darlene returns from college with a $35K job offer, the rest of the family gets mad at her for acting like she's better than they are.
- Rumpole of the Bailey: The episode "Rumpole and the Barrow Boy" deals with a young man who, despite being a member of the Timson clan of South London petty criminals (or, as Rumpole, who handles nearly all their cases, affectionately puts it, "minor villains"), studies, gets into university, graduates, and gets a high-paying finance job in the City, complete with a banker's daughter for a girlfriend and an apartment on the newly-renewed Isle of Dogs. When there are financial irregularities at the firm, it is the young Timson who is accused. Falsely—turns out, it was his girlfriend's father, who framed him after having met the rest of the Timsons and deciding didn't care to have them for in-laws.
- Malcolm in the Middle: Malcolm. His family routinely refers to him as "the good one," in contrast to his brothers. According to Hal, Malcolm's destructive streak is the only thing that keeps him from suspecting that he was switched at birth.
- This is the premise of the 70's Sid & Marty Krofft Productions show Sigmund and the Sea Monsters. The titular Sigmund was kicked out by his family for not wanting to scare people. He's taken in by two human boys and lives in their garage.
- An episode of The Addams Family deals with Pugsley's interest in things like puppies, normal sports and the Boy Scouts (things that any normal kid would like, at least for The '60s mentality) much to his family's outrage as for they —as a Creepy Family that likes everything dark and horrible— this is an extremely bizarre behavior.
- Lena Luthor on Supergirl. Of all the families to be adopted into, she got stuck with Lex Luthor for a sibling and the head of an anti-alien terrorist group for a mother.
- The Addams Family: One of Charles Addams' cartoons had Morticia Addams showing a guest the family portraits; among the horrible, deformed people portrayed was one of a respectable-looking man, whom Morticia explained as "(This one) Daddy always called the lost sheep."
- One The Far Side comic featured the sons of Barnum & Bailey, rebelling against their parents by running away to join corporate America.
- Erick Rowan, being the literal "White Sheep" of the Wyatt Family, actually ended up being the only Wyatt Family member to turn face upon the Family's initial dissolution, joining Team Cena against Team Authority at Survivor Series 2014 (the latter of whom featured his still-heel brother Luke Harper as a member). He's since returned, but he remains the only Wyatt Family member to have been a face.
- Champions adventure The Circle and M.E.T.E.. Megan Pierce rebelled against her evil witch mother and became a superhero.
- Any player character Whateley from Deadlands.
- Candace Allard-Liao, formerly of the Capellan Confederation, later ruler of the St. Ives Compact in the BattleTech Universe. Her father, Maximilian Liao, was rather Axe-Crazy, her little sister Romano took up after her father, and her brother Tormano was more or less disinherited. She happened to fall in love a Federated Commonwealth agent, and defected to them along with her Duchy of St. Ives.
- In the backstory of Ravenloft, Sergei von Zarovich was this among his family, especially compared to his older brother Strahd, who while still a respected ruler was undoubtedly brutal and vicious. Sergei would ultimately be murdered by Strahd after he made a pretty much literal Deal with the Devil out of jealousy that a woman named Tatyana had fallen in love with Sergei and not him, and then Strahd tried to pursue Tatyana, only for her to flee from him and throw herself from the walls of Castle Ravenloft.
- Mortimer Brewster of Arsenic and Old Lace is considered something of a black sheep by his aunts because he's a Deadpan Snarker and irreligious, but the aunts are (good-hearted) murderers and everyone else in the family is crazy and/or evil.
- In The Addams Family, Wednesday believes she's losing some of her dark impulses after falling in love with a normal boy, much to her family's dismay.
Wednesday: I’m being pulled in a new direction/But I think I like it./I think I like it./I'm being pulled in a new direction./Through my painful pursuit/Somehow birdies took root./All the things I detested impossibly cute.
Wednesday (to her "normal" fiance): I'm crazier than you/That's just the overview/So get on board or simply move along.
- Fortunately for die-hard The Addams Family fans, she realizes that she can be in love and still be herself.
- In Electra, Chrysothemis sometimes approaches being the Only Sane Man in her murdering incestuous family.
- Show Within a Show example from Cabaret: the Mama of Don't Tell Mama seems to be the only family member not involved in something seedy, as her daughter is a dancer at a seedy nightclub, her husband is a customer of the nightclub, her brother or brother-in-law is her daughter's agent for the nightclub, her mother or mother-in-law is also a dancer at the nightclub, and her son is involved in something bad enough that her daughter 'will squeal on him' if he squeals on her.
- The Polish play Tango. The protagonist's parents, despite being in their forties or fifties, are still carrying on their teenage rebellion and breaking down "traditional values" in a caricatural way. The son not only thinks it causes nothing but mess and anarchy, but also laments that there's nothing for him to rebel against (including his parents' rebellious lifestyle, which is too devoid of rules and characteristic qualities for that).
- In Champions Online, the character Witchcraft was raised in a family of dark-magic users, but rebelled as a teenager and became the premier 'light' sorceress on the planet. Her twin sister 'Talisman' stayed evil, and is her primary nemesis.
- In Resident Evil 6, Sherry Birkin and Jake Muller are this. Sherry is the daughter of William Birkin from Resident Evil 2, and was infected with the G-Virus. She now works as a government agent trying to save the world. Jake Muller is the son of former Big Bad Albert Wesker, and he ends up helping Sherry. He even goes on his own to fight Bioterrorism in one of the endings.
- In Tekken, Lars Alexandersson (Heihachi's illegitimate son) is the White Sheep of the Mishima family the only wholy good member of his family. Jinpachi (Heihachi's father) wants to be good but Demonic Possession prevents it (instead turning him into a Death Seeker) while Jin Kazama (the latest in the bloodline) does bad things for good reasons (he wants to eliminate the curse of the Devil Gene and destroy the devil that was trying to possess him but to do so he incites a global war and mass amounts of suffering in order to accomplish that). Heihachi and his son Kazuya are unambiguously evil, although Kazuya did not start out that way, while Heihachi became evil after his evil wife tried to murder him.
- Brentilda of Banjo-Kazooie is the only member of Gruntilda's family we ever see that isn't an evil witch with questionable hygiene, instead appearing as some kind of fairy godmother.
- The character Lanky Kong from Donkey Kong 64 is subtly implied to be a Manky Kong (a clan of evil orangutang Kongs, the Black Sheep of the Kong family tree) who has chosen to turn his back on his birth clan's wickedness and mend ties with his fellow Kongs.
- One Finger Death Punch is this to its creator, Silver Dollar Games. The company is most notorious for one-dollar Shovelware on XBLA, but this game has gotten such a positive reaction (it's currently the highest-rated game on Steam, at 99% Positive) that some have theorized the shovelware was done to finance it.
- In Star Wars: The Old Republic Knights of the Fallen Empire, Senya is the only decent and sane member of the imperial family of the Eternal Empire. One of her sons became a tyrannical emperor, her daughter is psychopathic force user who makes Darth Vader look reasonable, and her husband is a galaxy conquering, and soul devouring monster.
- Maria from Sonic the Hedgehog was the only known member of the Robotnik family to not be an evil scientist. She wanted to protect the world. Naturally, she was killed as a child.
- Leopold Rochester from Criminal Case: Mysteries of the Past is pretty much the only upstanding member of the otherwise corrupt family, and he stands against his relatives' attempts to take over Concordia, and helped the Flying Squad discredit his nephew, Malcolm Rochester, who is the family's political spearhead in the city.
- In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, one of the shadow sirens, Vivian makes a Heel–Face Turn after Mario befriends her. Her two sisters are both evil (especially Beldam) and serve the game's Big Bad.
- The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: Dr. McNinja is an interesting case. He comes from a family of ninjas who are not too happy about his decision to be a doctor instead of an assassin. When Doc convinces his family that being a doctor doesn't make him any less of a competent ninja, they come around to respecting him.
- Essentially the premise of Evil Diva is a young demoness rebelling against her devil family by becoming a Magical Girl for the forces of good!
- Girl Genius,
- The Heterodyne Boys, Bill and Barry, are the "white sheep" of a long line of megalomaniacal, vicious, and extremely competent Sparky rulers. Their mother, Teodora Vodenicharoa, raised them outside the Castle and its insane idea of child care. They grew up with a strong sense of right and wrong and heroic spirit, and worked to redeem the family name across the world. This did have a darker side, however—in rejecting everything to do with the Old Heterodynes, they rejected their sentient Castle and army of Jaegers. The Castle couldn't understand why they hated it so much, while the Jaegers could understand, and were very depressed about it.
- Agatha Heterodyne, daughter of Bill, is both another white sheep of the Heterodynes and a white sheep of the Mongfishes, her mother's family. The Mongfishes were all insane megalomaniacs with a disturbing interest in biology, but Agatha has little to do with that side of her family. Furthermore, she's a little bit more gray than her father and uncle. Since she's not desperate to deny the Heterodyne heritage like they were, she is happy to use all the old Heterodyne monsters for good. She loves the Castle and the Jaegers, and even if they find her a little "boring," they're more than happy to fight for her. She also has the Heterodyne boys beat when it comes to not killing people.
Agatha: ...and here I was worried that I wouldn't be any good at this.
Vanamonde: Heh. You have fifty generations of lowered expectations working for you.
Town Elder #1: Two minutes, and she hasn't killed anyone!
Town Elder #2: A new record!
- Violetta is the white sheep of the extended Valois clan. She doesn't want to be a Smoke Knight (spy/bodyguard/assassin), despite the fact that it's been the job of her branch of the family for at least two hundred years, and she jumps at the chance to switch allegiance and serve Agatha instead. Despite Tarvek also being a protagonist, it doesn't change the fact that Violetta is the only one in the family who isn't manipulative and treacherous with plans to conquer the continent.
- In The Order of the Stick, the party is helped at one point by teenaged goblins. Since goblins are Always Chaotic Evil, it puzzles them until Haley, thinking about her past as a gloomy goth teenager, deduces that being Neutral Good is their way of rebelling against their parents.
- In Something*Positive, Vanessa is the only member of her large family who has never had any trouble with the law. Davan consoles her by noting all the church-burners and Klansmen in his ancestry, along with the one law-abiding judge who wouldn't bend for family loyalty. Really, despite the many stories about dysfunctional MacIntyres, Davan's branch of the family is mostly just full of occasionally jerkish Deadpan Snarkers.
- Dominic Deegan: Luna is pretty much the only good person in her family. Her mother tried to drive her to suicide, one of her sisters seduced and enchanted men into getting killed in duels and leaving her their money, another sister was a lawyer, and the third was an assassin-for-hire. Though the lawyer at least had enough ethics to stop short of killing people, and the assassin later reforms after being jailed.
- In Death Note: The Abridged Series (kpts4tv), Light is this when compared to Souichiro and the other Shinigami who intend to invade the earth and enslave humanity and have set Kira up to take the fall.
- Noob: La Quête Légendaire reveals this to be the case for Sparadrap and Ystos, two of the nicest characters that turn out to be the sons of a mafia big wig. Ystos is explicitly this by choice, stating he prefers reading video game magazines to following his family's problems with justice on the news. Sparadrap, being a Man Child and not that smart, may be either locked out of the loop or oblivious.
- Count Duckula is a literal Vegetarian Vampire and not at all ashamed of breaking with the bloody example of his ancestors/previous incarnations. In his case, it's explicitly stated that there was a screwup during the ritual that brought him to unlife.
- In the Darkwing Duck episode "Life, the Negaverse, and Everything", the Gosalyn of Negaduck's alternative universe is a sweet little girl (in contrast to her criminal mastermind guardian), and, more to the point, Tank Muddlefoot, a bullying Black Sheep in the original universe, is in moral rebellion against the evil Muddlefoots of the Negaverse.
- In Batman Beyond, Melanie Walker's family treated her relationship with Terry as teenage rebellion. When she actually completed her Heel–Face Turn, they disowned her. Then Jack joined her when she paid his bail money after their parents left him in jail.
- Señor Senior Junior in Kim Possible. He is fine with being evil, but doesn't understand, for instance, what's with the complex death traps.
- Although notably, this is a much shorter lineage—Junior's father only took evil up as a hobby, so he can afford to act poor in sense because that's what makes it fun.
- What makes him fit the trope is that he'd rather be a pop star or just a wealthy layabout than a villain. He goes along with his father's plans because that's the path of least resistance.
- Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers: Shane Gooseman is the youngest of the Supertroopers, and the others gave him the derisive nickname of "Runt" as a result. He was unwilling to accept needless casualties, questioned his purpose as a living weapon, and developed compassion. The rest of his Supertrooper "family" (with the sole exception of Darkstar) turned out to be everything you'd expect a living weapon to be - amoral, cruel, and bloodthirsty.
- When Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender tries to stop a bunch of fire nation troops from being used as cannon fodder, he gets burned and exiled for his trouble. Later he makes a Heel–Face Turn and teaches the Avatar fire bending
- ThunderCats (2011) has Thundera's Catfolk Rebel Prince Lion-O, introduced as a conventional Black Sheep, a duty-shirking Cloudcuckoolander believer in Lost Technology in a Proud Warrior Race royal family, who inhabits a magical kingdom stuck in Medieval Stasis. Yet as his world is revealed, social stratification, Animal Jingoist Fantastic Racism and Cultural Posturing become more apparent, until it's obvious that Thundera is not The Good Kingdom, but an expansionist Evil Empire. When Lion-O decides to hear out some particularly vitriolic stockaded and enslaved Lizard Folk prisoners-of-war, he's forced to confront the idea that My Species Doth Protest Too Much, and ends up further alienating his father and his subjects as he defends the Lizards from a Vigilante Execution by Angry Mob.
- Several characters in Young Justice fit this trope:
- The first, Artemis Crock, is actually the daughter of Sportsmaster and her mother was a former villain who reformed after getting out of prison. Artemis' sister, Jade, also known as Cheshire works for the League of Shadows.
- Aqualad was an unknowing version of this, since while he didn't know it, his father is Black Manta. He later exploits this fact in order to infiltrate the Light.
- The Scarab zigzags this trope. He starts out fighting against the Reach that created him, then gets put on mode and forced to fight for the Reach, and then gets crashed and goes back to good. He makes it pretty clear in "Intervention" that he was Good All Along, just controlled.
- From Justice League Unlimited, we have Brainiac 5 from the 31st century, dedicated to undoing all his ancestors' work. He even describes himself as a black sheep. Ironically enough, Supergirl ends up dating him, which makes it very awkward when Green Arrow and Green Lantern have to tell Superman who his cousin is dating.
- Beezy J. Heinous from Jimmy Two-Shoes, who is much more interested in hanging out with his friends and eating than in spreading misery like the rest of the Heinouses.
- Zigzagged in Codename: Kids Next Door; Number 86 is one of the good guys - well, technically - and a high ranking member at that. Her father is the villainous Mr. Boss, one of the organization's worst enemies. Oddly enough, she and her dad seem to get along perfectly fine at home.
- Also, Numbah One's dad is actually the founder of the Kids Next Door, which he started to combat his own dad. He's also brother of the series Big Bad, Father.
- In Squidbillies is Cousin Durwood. He went against the family values by... getting an education and living a wholesome life.
- Pacifica Northwest of Gravity Falls develops into one in the second season. After spending the first season as a one-dimensional snobby rival to Mabel, the episode "Northwest Mansion Mystery" make it apparent that she's been conditioned to behave this way by her parents to an outright Pavlovian degree (her father even rings a bell to make her obey). After discovering that her entire family line is full of utterly horrible people, and that she's been groomed her whole life to be just like them, she decides to make an effort to be a better person.
- In Bojack Horseman, Diane's family are all lazy assholes who utterly resent her for trying to make something of herself. There's also Bradley Hitler-Smith, who is a double example, because besides avoiding the destiny implied by his surname, he's also the most well-adjusted former cast member from Horsin' Around.
- The [adult swim] pilot That Crook'd 'Sipp focuses on one intelligent little girl in a family otherwise comprised of dumb rednecks.
- Cedric Sneer in The Raccoons is a noble good-hearted character and the son of the (for the most part) main villain Cyril Sneer (albeit he later became more of an Anti-Villain) and best friend of the show’s heroes and his father’s foes. It is also implied that the Sneer family is made of cruel misers (to the point that Cyril is ashamed of his philanthropist uncle), although this might be Cyirl's version as is never actually shown in-universe.
- Loopy DeLoop, an obscure Hanna-Barbera character from their early days, was a wolf who bucked the trend of wolves being evil. He sought to do good deeds, but since the universal belief is that all wolves are evil, nobody took him seriously.
- In the short, "Concord the Kindly Condor" from the Tiny Toon Adventures episode, "Toons From the Crypt", Concord Condor becomes a veterinarian, spending all his time helping sick and defenseless forest animals, and protecting them from his three mean (and much bigger) older brothers, who want to hunt and eat them and want him to do the same.