Main Cool Big Sis Discussion

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05:08:13 PM Jan 31st 2013
edited by Lullabee
Someone mentioned this in the archived discussion, but could this trope maybe be clarified somewhat? I feel like I know it when I see it, but it's difficult to explain. It's sort of an unserious character, like the Hard-Drinking Party Girl and unlike the Onee-sama. So she might get into funny shenanigans like Marshmallow Hell or act like One of the Kids, but if necessary she can provide some sage advice. She's definitely outgoing and probably physically affectionate. But she might have some hidden angst which she's coping with fairly well, like the Broken Hero, maybe to the point of being a Broken Bird. Even if there hasn't been much trauma in her life, she's probably a bit cynical.

And for some reason, she's not just a direct genderswap of the Big Brother Mentor, maybe because the Big Brother Mentor is a role model of ideal masculinity, while the Cool Big Sis is too much of a Good Bad Girl to teach ideal femininity, and she's just quite a bit sillier than he is. So it's possible to have a character who's a Cool Big Brother without being much of a Big Brother Mentor, maybe because he's more silly than he is a mentor. Or he has a warmer personality. Or he's more flirty.

And the flirtiness thing is a big part of the trope, somehow. Maybe she's there to do more "mature" things that the characters who look up to her are too young and innocent to do. And her flirtiness might be seen as sort of silly.

It seems like it's a bit of a pattern to have her outside of the core cast if they're her "younger siblings". If there's a Masquerade in effect, she's a good candidate for the first person who the protagonists let in on it, because they know she won't flip out about it — the character type seems kind of unflappable about things like that. She might provide Multiple Demographic Appeal, which might tie into the fact she's generally attractive and a bit more sexy than just cute, because it means she can provide Parent Service, or at least "fans who are a couple years too old for this show"-service. Maybe especially in anime, she's kind of well-developed. You know. In the boob department.

Am I getting close here?
  • Is she really always kind of silly?
  • Is she actually just a genderswap of the Big Brother Mentor?
  • The description doesn't seem to mention Multiple Demographic Appeal but that seems like it might be a part of the trope.
  • What does this even mean? It seems like the first clause is just kinda jammed on there:
    If your show is aimed at a younger audience, this young woman (usually in her mid to late teens, sometimes in her early 20's) will be older than the Shorttank and be the girl everyone thinks is hot (if they're nice) or an Alpha Bitch (if they're not).

So, I'm a bit concerned for this trope, because it's definitely something I know when I see, but as it is it's so vague I couldn't blame someone for thinking it's just an older sister who's caring and/or inspires admiration, which some of the examples seem to be. But really that's just a healthy sibling relationship and a couple steps away from People Sit on Chairs, right?
08:25:37 PM Apr 23rd 2012
From the My Little Pony entry: "The rest of the Mane Six and her sister, Princess Luna are in-between the two. " In between WHICH two?
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