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Playing With: Middle Child Syndrome
Basic Trope: The middle child is favoured the least.
  • Straight: Alice and Bob have three children from the oldest: Charlie, Daniel and Ethan. Daniel is neglected the most.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Alice and Bob have seven children from the oldest: Charlie, Daniel, Ethan, Flower, Gerald, Harry and Igor. Flower is neglected the most.
    • Same as above, except only Charlie and Igor get attention. (Igor could be a Magical Seventh Son.)
  • Downplayed: Alice and Bob have three children from the oldest: Charlie, Daniel and Ethan. They treat them with love and care; just that Charlie and Ethan gets more attention than Daniel.
  • Justified:
    • For Charlie, as the oldest, he will be taking on Bob's legacy. For Ethan, as the youngest, he gets to be pampered like the baby. For Daniel, well, he is neither, so naturally, he is neglected the most.
    • Daniel is average but Charlie and Ethan have some combination of:

      A) Charlie and Ethan have learning difficulties.
      B) Charlie and Ethan are gifted.
      C) One of each.
      D) Some other combination that logically results in a necessity of parental attention skewed away from Daniel.

      It's not unfairness - just a fact of life.
  • Inverted: Daniel is pampered and supported the most compared to his other brothers.
  • Subverted: Daniel complained about this and the counselor confronted his parents about it. Alice and Bob claimed otherwise.
  • Double Subverted: ...because they "know" they only have two children, leaving Daniel out.
  • Parodied: Alice and Bob have lots of children. One of them complaints of being the most neglected. He is the one right in the middle of the birth order.
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted:
    • All three children are treated equally; that is, they are all either supported or neglected.
    • None of the characters have more than one sibling.
  • Enforced: The middle child is the main/viewpoint character and it's more dramatic and/or funnier if shit happens to him.
  • Lampshaded: "Sometimes I like being the middle child. I can get away with stuff."
  • Invoked: Daniel makes an effort not to draw attention to himself.
  • Exploited: Daniel got to do a lot of things behind Alice and Bob's back, knowing they wouldn't care about what he is doing anyway.
  • Defied: Alice and Bob both made sure to treat all of their children equally.
  • Discussed: "No, my parents don't abuse or neglect me just become I'm the second child! What a silly notion."
  • Conversed: "There they go again, leaving Daniel out because he's the middle child."
  • Implied: Alice and Bob are shown buying toys and candy for Charlie and Ethan, but never for Daniel.

Back to Middle Child Syndrome

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