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Infant Sibling Jealousy

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A child character dislikes their younger sibling

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
Pichu-kun on Mar 8th 2016 at 7:42:28 PM
Last Edited By:
Pichu-kun on Feb 28th 2018 at 5:35:07 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

In stories aimed at children in particular, it is a common plot for the child characters to dislike it when their parents have a new child. Reasons for this differ from being jealous of all the attention the new baby is getting, being worried about falling into Middle Child Syndrome, or disliking how noisy and messy babies are.

Rarely however does this train of thought last past young childhood though. The dynamic almost never becomes of the Cain and Abel sort once they're older, though a Sibling Rivalry is common. The character might end up with shades of a Big Brother Bully but overall they are shown to love their sibling. There is frequently an aesop where the kid learns to love their sibling, or simply they grow out of it.

Compare to Dislikes the New Guy.


Examples:

Advertising

  • One car commercial features a little girl who likes having everything her way and to herself, such as her parent's car. She doesn't take it well to the news that she'll soon be an older sister.

Anime & Manga

  • Fullmetal Alchemist: In a manga-only short, it's shown that Edward disliked Alphonse when they were infants. As a toddler, Ed thought their mother loved the baby more than him. It wasn't until his father told him otherwise that Ed became the very caring brother we know today.

Film — Live Action

  • Zig-zagged in Stuart Little. Stuart's brother is happy that his parents are adopting a kid, however he is upset when his new sibling turns out to be an anthropomorphic mouse. He takes some time to warm up to Stuart.
  • The Little Rascals episode "Bouncing Babies" has Wheezer get a baby sister that cries and fusses too much. Wheezer's friend Farina suggests taking the infant to the hospital and trade it in for a goat, which is precisely what Wheezer does. After learning an important Aesop, Wheezer undoes the exchange.
  • Happens in The Addams Family Values. Wednesday and Pugsley believe that, in the Addams Family, when a new child is born, one of the old children has to die, which simply isn't true (well, not anymore). Despite this, they spend a lot of time seemingly trying to murder their new baby brother. Then again, this being the Addams family, that may just be how they show affection.

Literature

  • Sherlock Holmes: In "The Sussex Vampire", Holmes investigates claims of a man's wife sucking the blood from her own newborn's neck. The real culprit was the man's first son Jack, who hated his stepbrother for the attention it was taking away from him, and for not being deformed like he was. The mother was sucking out the poison from the blowgun darts Jack had used to try to murder the baby .
  • In The Berenstain Bears and Baby Makes Five, Honey Bear is born, and Mama, Papa, and Brother spend all of their time with her, making Sister feel largely ignored. Sister also becomes bad-tempered, to the point where when she had a school assignment to draw a picture of her family, she deliberately left Honey out of the picture. The Bear family then shows Sister home movies of when she was a baby, which makes her realize that she used to be just like Honey. This causes Sister to change her attitude towards Honey, to the point of drawing a new family picture that includes her.
  • In Julius, the Baby of the World, Lily was originally thrilled to be a big sister when her Mom was pregnant with her baby brother, Julius. Following Julius' birth, she took on a more hostile personality towards him. She did not like having to share her bedroom with him, and hoped her parents would send him away. She even tried scaring him, making him disappear, and pretending he didn't exist, all of which sent her to the uncooperative chair. When Lily's parents throw a party in Julius' honor, Lily's cousin Garland acts the same way towards Julius that Lily did, which causes Lily to change her attitude towards Julius for good and defend him.
  • It's mentioned off-hand in A Series of Unfortunate Events that Klaus disliked Sunny at first. He grew to like her within 6 weeks of her birth.
  • In the book Stupid Baby, the bunny Simon gets a brother who he thinks is stupid.

Live-Action TV

  • Charlie in Good Luck Charlie constantly asked that her baby brother Toby be left somewhere, thrown away, or ignored him as much as she could get a way with. Gabe felt the same way about her, and each older sibling of the Duncan household felt the same way about their immediate younger sibling.

Newspaper Comics

  • For Better or for Worse has young Michael learn to dislike his younger sister Elizabeth, who tends to be invasive and a crybaby. Not helping is that their mother, Ellie, tends to side with her in most disputes. Mike even has a nickname for Elizabeth: E. Lizard Breath. They grow out of it, especially when the newest rugrat April arrives.
  • Baby Blues has older sister Zoe dismayed that her infant brother Hamlet has taken away much of her face time with her parents. Wanda, of course, must be more careful with the infant, while Darryl no longer focuses solely on his "little princess," rather he marvels at having a son, a "chip off the ol' block." The antagonism eases once Wren is born.

Video Games

  • In The Sims 4, while it is possible for them to be happy about it, there are also two potential negative moodlets that children and teens can get from meeting a new sibling. There's a sad "New Sibling..." moodlet and an angry "Unwanted Sibling" moodlet.

Puppet Shows

  • In the The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss episode, "Lester Leaps In", Sarah Hall-Small becomes jealous of her new little brother, Paul, because of how much time her parents spend with him, and how they hardly pay attention to her anymore. Whenever they do, it's usually to remind her to be considerate of him, such as not playing her big bass thumper bumper too loud when he's trying to sleep. Sarah eventually gets the idea of acting like a baby herself to get her parents' attention, until her parents tell her that they'll always love both her and Paul equally. Upon hearing this, Sarah changes her attitude about Paul and promises him that she'll be the best big sister ever.
  • In the Sesame Street 3-part episode, "Three Bears and a New Baby", Baby Bear has mixed feelings about his baby sister, Curly. While he is excited about being a big brother, and even gives Curly her name, he worries that their fairy tale, The Three Bears, will never be the same again. Baby Bear's first night with Curly doesn't go over too well, due to how much attention their parents give her, and this also interferes with his bedtime routine. Papa Bear tells Baby Bear that he will always love both him and Curly equally, and will find a way to have time for them both.
  • In the Wimzie's House episode, "Babies Have It Made", Wimzie is jealous of her baby brother, Bo, because he doesn't get scolded for his actions due to not knowing any better, and their parents and grandmother have to do everything for him. This makes Wimzie wish that she were a baby herself during her naptime. Wimzie then has a dream that makes her experience what it's like to be a baby, and she finds out it isn't as fun as she thought it would be, due to her friends and family not understanding her, and having to eat baby food instead of pizza. When she awakens from her dream, she realizes the advantages of being a five-year-old kid and changes her attitude towards Bo, even going as far as defending him when Jonas objects to her hugging him.

Web Animation

Webcomics

  • Age of Bronze: Deiphobus really does not like that Paris is revealed to be his long-lost brother, especially after he'd beaten all the royal children (himself included) at the games. That Paris continues to gain honor and glory (and the most beautiful woman in the world), further cementing his place as second in line to the throne (after Hector) doesn't help at all.
  • Yet Another Fantasygamer Comic: When it's revealed the baron's son Lucas and the blacksmith's (half-orc) son Glon were Switched at Birth, Lucas does not take it well at all, even if Lucas eventually succeeds the baron and Glon stays in the Black Mountain. Both eventually get much better, and become true Bash Brothers in time.

Western Animation

  • A variation occurs in Jem. Flashbacks shows that Jerrica and Kimber disliked their foster sisters, Shana and Aja, when they met as children. They, however, became best friends within a year and by the time they're adults they're in a band together. The series treats them more like friends than sisters, though the comic reboot makes it clear that they're sisters.
  • Rugrats:
    • Tommy doesn't get along with his newborn brother at first in The Rugrats Movie. Tommy hates how much noise Dil makes and feels his parents are neglecting him to focus on his brother. Tommy and his friends trying to send Dil back to the hospital is how they end up lost in a forest. By the end of the film Tommy realizes how much he loves Dil and his Big Brother Instinct often appears in the series itself.
    • Angelica freaks out at the news that her mother is pregnant, to the point where she has nightmares about having a baby brother. Subverted, however, when it turns out that her mother had false pregnancy symptoms.
  • It's been depicted in The Simpsons that Bart was jealous of Lisa until Lisa's first word was "Bart".
  • In the Arthur episode, "D.W.'s Baby", D.W., who was at first, thrilled to have a new baby sister, quickly grew tired of having Kate around the house, due to her constant crying at night and stinky diapers. She tried to get Kate in trouble by blaming her for things she or somebody else did, and even tried to sell her at a Garage Sale for 50 cents. When she runs away to Grandma Thora's house, Thora reminds D.W. that when Kate grows up, she'll have a mom, dad, and brother, but no sister to take care of her. This quickly convinces D.W. to go back to her house and be the best big sister ever to Kate.
  • In the Dinosaur Train episode, "Tank's Baby Brother", Tank the Triceratops gets a new baby brother, Tuck. Tank dislikes all the attention Tuck gets from his friends and family, and feels largely ignored. Buddy and Tiny soon realize how upset Tank feels and decide to play with him to cheer him up. When Tuck says his first word, "Tank", Tank quickly warms up to him.
  • In one episode of Caillou, the titular character is not happy to see that his new sister, Rosie, is getting more attention from the family than him. This infamously leads Caillou to pinch Rosie at some point in the episode.

Feedback: 32 replies

Mar 10th 2016 at 3:50:16 AM

Can result in Sibling Rivalry.

There are other sibling-related tropes on that page that could be mentioned in this proposal's Description.

Mar 9th 2016 at 1:21:16 AM

Sherlock Holmes: In "The Sussex Vampire", Holmes investigates claims of a man's wife sucking the blood from her own newborn's neck. The real culprit was the man's first son Jack, who hated his stepbrother for the attention it was taking away from him, and for not being deformed like he was. The mother was sucking out the poison from the blowgun darts Jack had used to try to murder the baby .

Jul 19th 2016 at 9:46:01 AM

Charlie in Good Luck Charlie constantly asked that her baby brother Toby be left some where, thrown away or ignored him as much as she could get a way with. Game felt the same way about her, and each older sibling of the Duncan household felt the same way about their immediate younger sibling.

Jul 19th 2016 at 11:01:05 AM

Newspaper Comics

  • For Better Or For Worse has young Michael learn to dislike his younger sister Elizabeth, who tends to be invasive and a crybaby. Not helping is that their mother, Ellie, tends to side with her in most disputes. Mike even has a nickname for Elizabeth: E. Lizard Breath. They grow out of it, especially when the newest rugrat April arrives.
  • Baby Blues has older sister Zoe dismayed that her infant brother Hamlet has taken away much of her face time with her parents. Wanda, of course, must be more careful with the infant, while Darryl no longer focuses solely on his "little princess," rather he marvels at having a son, a "chip off the ol' block." The antagonism eases once Wren is born.

Jul 19th 2016 at 5:33:44 PM

Literature

  • In The Berenstain Bears and Baby Makes Five, Honey Bear is born, and Mama, Papa, and Brother spend all of their time with her, making Sister feel largely ignored. Sister also becomes bad-tempered, to the point where when she had a school assignment to draw a picture of her family, she deliberately left Honey out of the picture. The Bear family then shows Sister home movies of when she was a baby, which makes her realize that she used to be just like Honey. This causes Sister to change her attitude towards Honey, to the point of drawing a new family picture that includes her.

Puppet Shows

  • In the The Wubbulous World Of Dr Seuss episode, "Lester Leaps In", Sarah Hall-Small becomes jealous of her new little brother, Paul, because of how much time her parents spend with him, and how they hardly pay attention to her anymore. Whenever they do, it's usually to remind her to be considerate of him, such as not playing her big bass thumper bumper too loud when he's trying to sleep. Sarah eventually gets the idea of acting like a baby herself to get her parents' attention, until her parents tell her that they'll always love both her and Paul equally. Upon hearing this, Sarah changes her attitude about Paul and promises him that she'll be the best big sister ever.

Western Animation

  • In the Arthur episode, "D.W.'s Baby", D.W., who was at first, thrilled to have a new baby sister, quickly grew tired of having Kate around the house, due to her constant crying at night and stinky diapers. She tried to get Kate in trouble by blaming her for things she or somebody else did, and even tried to sell her at a Garage Sale for 50 cents. When she runs away to Grandma Thora's house, Thora reminds D.W. that when Kate grows up, she'll have a mom, dad, and brother, but no sister to take care of her. This quickly convinces D.W. to go back to her house and be the best big sister ever to Kate.

Jul 19th 2016 at 9:09:12 PM

Is this specific to young ppl examples or can this trope appear in all ages? Being jealous of younger siblings seems to be pretty common and old, all the way to the biblical Cain and Abel.

Jul 19th 2016 at 9:09:15 PM

Is this specific to young ppl examples or can this trope appear in all ages? Being jealous of younger siblings seems to be pretty common and old, all the way to the biblical Cain and Abel.

Jul 19th 2016 at 10:00:21 PM

^ Cain And Abel is different. This trope is specifically about new siblings, hich means most examples are young.

Jul 20th 2016 at 4:39:47 PM

^ well, what about adopting an adult as a new sibling to another adult? ;)

Jul 20th 2016 at 5:00:00 PM

^ Like I said, most examples are young kids. Not all. Some parents have adult children when they have a new one, for example.

Jul 22nd 2016 at 12:20:25 PM

Puppet Shows

  • In the Sesame Street 3-part episode, "Three Bears and a New Baby", Baby Bear has mixed feelings about his baby sister, Curly. While he is excited about being a big brother, and even gives Curly her name, he worries that their fairy tale, The Three Bears, will never be the same again. Baby Bear's first night with Curly doesn't go over too well, due to how much attention their parents give her, and this also interferes with his bedtime routine. Papa Bear tells Baby Bear that he will always love both him and Curly equally, and will find a way to have time for them both.

  • In the Wimzies House episode, "Babies Have It Made", Wimzie is jealous of her baby brother, Bo, because he doesn't get scolded for his actions due to not knowing any better, and their parents and grandmother have to do everything for him. This makes Wimzie wish that she were a baby herself during her naptime. Wimzie then has a dream that makes her experience what it's like to be a baby, and she finds out it isn't as fun as she thought it would be, due to her friends and family not understanding her, and having to eat baby food instead of pizza. When she awakens from her dream, she realizes the advantages of being a five-year-old kid and changes her attitude towards Bo, even going as far as defending him when Jonas objects to her hugging him.

Jul 22nd 2016 at 6:30:50 PM

Live Action TV

  • The Little Rascals episode "Bouncing Babies" has Wheezer get a baby sister that cries and fusses too much. Wheezer's friend Farina suggests taking the infant to the hospital and trade it in for a goat, which is precisely what Wheezer does. After learning an important Aesop, Wheezer undoes the exchange.

Jul 27th 2016 at 8:56:58 AM

Western Animation

  • In the Dinosaur Train episode, "Tank's Baby Brother", Tank the Triceratops gets a new baby brother, Tuck. Tank dislikes all the attention Tuck gets from his friends and family, and feels largely ignored. Buddy and Tiny soon realize how upset Tank feels and decide to play with him to cheer him up. When Tuck says his first word, "Tank", Tank quickly warms up to him.

Jul 27th 2016 at 9:49:44 AM

  • Age Of Bronze: Deiphobus really does not like that Paris is revealed to be his long-lost brother, especially after he'd beaten all the royal children (himself included) at the games. That Paris continues to gain honor and glory (and the most beautiful woman in the world), further cementing his place as second in line to the throne (after Hector) doesn't help at all.
  • Yet Another Fantasygamer Comic: When it's revealed the baron's son Lucas and the blacksmith's (half-orc) son Glon were Switched At Birth, Lucas does not take it well at all, even if Lucas eventually succeeds the baron and Glon stays in the Black Mountain. Both eventually get much better, and become true Bash Brothers in time.

Sep 8th 2016 at 12:19:31 PM

Web Animation

Dec 4th 2016 at 3:16:43 PM

Literature

  • In Julius, the Baby of the World, Lily was originally thrilled to be a big sister when her Mom was pregnant with her baby brother, Julius. Following Julius' birth, she took on a more hostile personality towards him. She did not like having to share her bedroom with him, and hoped her parents would send him away. She even tried scaring him, making him disappear, and pretending he didn't exist, all of which sent her to the uncooperative chair. When Lily's parents throw a party in Julius' honor, Lily's cousin Garland acts the same way towards Julius that Lily did, which causes Lily to change her attitude towards Julius for good and defend him.

Dec 5th 2016 at 7:21:42 PM

  • In Lady And The Tramp, the evil cats make it look like Lady is acting this way towards her owners' new baby.

Dec 7th 2016 at 6:17:24 PM

I would change the title to Envious Older Sibling to make things more simple.

Mar 31st 2017 at 3:52:06 AM

^ Because this mostly involves newer infant siblings.

Mar 31st 2017 at 3:55:27 AM

  • Happens in The Addams Family Values. Wednesday and Pugsley believe that, in the Addams Family, when a new child is born, one of the old children has to die, which simply isn't true (well, not anymore). Despite this, they spend a lot of time seemingly trying to murder their new baby brother. Then again, this being the Addams family, that may just be how they show affection.

Nov 20th 2017 at 11:36:52 AM

  • In one episode of Caillou, the titular character is not happy to see that his new sister, Rosie, is getting more attention from the family than him. This infamously leads Caillou to pinch Rosie at some point in the episode.

Nov 22nd 2017 at 9:37:53 PM

  • In the book Stupid Baby, the bunny Simon gets a brother who he thinks is stupid.

Dec 15th 2017 at 9:54:31 AM

I think a good image for this article would be this one, from the The Simpsons episode, "Lisa's First Word", and the caption for it could be, "I hate you.", but if anybody has any other ideas, I'd like to see them.

Jan 11th 2018 at 10:47:21 AM

Films Animated

  • In The Boss Baby, Tim is envious of the attention his baby brother receives, and suspicious when the infant acts odd around him. Tim soon finds out that Boss Baby is on a mission to discover why babies are losing their market share of love, and originally agrees to help him for the sole purpose of wanting him out of his life. Over the course of the movie, Tim and Boss Baby bond with each other, and by the end, when they finally achieve their goals, they realize how much they miss each other and agree to officially become brothers.

Jan 12th 2018 at 1:31:08 AM

Maybe the trope name should be Jealous Of The Infant Sibling, to emphasize the sibling is a baby?

Jan 12th 2018 at 3:26:43 PM

Other than the title, any reason why this isn't ready for launch?

Jan 14th 2018 at 12:18:23 PM

A video game example:

  • In The Sims 4, there are two potential negative moodlets that children can get from meeting a new sibling. There's a sad "New Sibling..." moodlet and an angry "Unwanted Sibling" moodlet.

EDIT: Added! I also gave a hat. It looks good, my only complaint being that it could use a more interesting title.

Jan 14th 2018 at 12:41:33 PM

The current name is not awful though, so I'm okay with it getting launched under this name.

Jan 14th 2018 at 10:47:29 PM

The title is a bit clunky... how about Infant Sibling Jealousy or Infant Sibling Envy?

Have a hat otherwise, as this is launch-ready even if the title isn't changed.

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