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Big Brother Instinct / Live-Action TV

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  • Bryce Larkin is this for Chuck, even though Chuck has pointed out that they were born in the same year. Bryce goes so far as to barge uninvited into the office of one of his professors — who happens to be part of the CIA — to tell him to leave Chuck alone.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Robb gives a disapproving look when his younger sister Sansa is attracted to JerkAss Joffrey Baratheon in "Winter is Coming". He stands his ground against three outlaws to protect his younger brother Bran in "A Golden Crown". Later, Robb breaks his stoic demeanor when confronting Rickard Karstark for murdering two young captive squires, yelling, "They were BOYS!" when Karstark tries to justify it. Robb personally executes Lord Karstark shortly afterward.
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    • Jon is very protective of his younger half-siblings:
      • Before their family is separated early in Season 1, Jon gives his youngest sister Arya a present — her first sword Needle, which she treasures and is the only possession she keeps with her throughout the series.
      • His Big Brother Instinct for his siblings is the reason his younger brother Bran is convinced not to go to Jon, despite wanting to reunite, because he knows that Jon would do everything to protect him and keep him from going further north on an important mission to seek the three-eyed raven.
      • When Jon is reunited with his younger sister Sansa (making them the first of the Stark children to be able to reunite since Season 1), Jon's protectiveness of Sansa and his urge to save their little brother Rickon are two of his main driving forces in Season 6. Upon their reunion, Jon immediately hugs Sansa and makes it clear he'll protect her no matter what. When he finds out his brother Rickon is being held captive by sadist Ramsay Bolton and about the horrible things Ramsay wants to do to Sansa, Jon decides to take up arms against the Boltons. In the Battle for Winterfell, Jon reaffirms his promise to protect Sansa from Ramsay and desperately tries to save Rickon from Ramsay — but Ramsay murders Rickon right in front of Jon — and when Jon finally catches up to Ramsay, he nearly beats him to death right on the spot.
      • In Season 7, when Littlefinger goes all Creepy Uncle on Sansa, Jon vows to kill Littlefinger if Littlefinger touches her. Later, Jon wants to return home to Winterfell right away when he learns Arya and Bran have returned, concerned for the safety of Arya, Bran, and Sansa as he also learns the Night King is getting closer. He spares Theon — who betrayed the Starks — because Theon saved Sansa.
      • Jon also takes on this role for his best friend Sam and later, Olly, who are both his Watch brothers.
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    • Despite being the youngest of the Stark children, Rickon reveals in "The Rains of Castamere" that he sees it as his job to protect his crippled brother Bran. Rickon is distraught when Bran sends him, his direwolf Shaggydog, and Osha to the Umbers for their protection while Bran himself goes north of the Wall. Rickon has an especially close bond with Bran because Bran and Rickon have remained together throughout all their struggles up to this point. Their father, mother, elder brothers, and sisters all had to leave Winterfell — and Rickon being parted from Bran clearly hurts him.
    • When Sansa Stark learns Ramsay has her brother Rickon, she is even more determined to take Winterfell back from Ramsay so she and Jon can save their little brother, prevent Ramsay's other atrocious threats, and take back their home for their family. She even displays shades of this towards her older brother Jon. Sansa purposefully dresses Jon in Stark clothes to make people properly respect him in Season 6 and does what she can to see him safe.
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    • In the backstory of the series, Ned's big brother Brandon rode right into the Red Keep to demand a duel with Prince Rhaegar after Ned and Brandon's younger sister Lyanna was abducted. Unfortunately, the Mad King had Brandon arrested and executed.
    • Ned Stark is ready to go through Kingsguards, one being known as the best swordsman of his time, to save his sister Lyanna. He would even drop the Honor Before Reason and have his men gang up on his opponent, though he is a bit shocked by Reed stabbing Dayne in the back (but he gets over it quickly). Eventually, out of love for his sister, he lies to the whole world that he fathered a bastard solely to protect his nephew Jon, and honour her dying wish.
    • Gendry steps up to protect Arya almost immediately.
    • Jaime Lannister is protective of his little brother Tyrion and is the only one in their family to consistently defend him from the abuses of their father, sister, and society. This even extended to setting up the Meet Cute with Tysha, which is part of why the two of them get along so well (in the book, Tyrion explicitly narrates that his Undying Loyalty to Jaime is in thanks for giving him a taste of love). Jaime's violent ambush of Ned Stark is motivated by hearing that Tyrion has been abducted by Ned's wife Catelyn. Cersei and Oberyn both mention Jaime defending Tyrion even as a child, and he is the only major figure to publicly support Tyrion's innocence during Season 4 and it's implied that he would have dueled on his behalf if he had both hands. This culminates in Jaime defying both his father Tywin and sister Cersei by arranging with Varys to free Tyrion prior to Tyrion's execution, giving one final, loving hug before they part ways.
    • Meera Reed is fiercely protective of her little brother Jojen and and is deeply depressed when he is killed at the end of Season 4.
    • Jojen Reed is the younger child but the minute Karl and Karl's fellow mutineers threaten to hurt and rape his sister, Jojen gets very, very scary.
    • The only person that Bronn helps without having to be paid is Podrick Payne.
    • Aemon felt this way about Egg (his nickname for his younger brother, Aegon V) all his life. When he plays with Little Sam, Aegon remembers little Egg and their youth together.
      Aemon: Egg, I dreamed that I was old.
    • Tyrion Lannister has this towards most younger characters who are in similarly disadvantaged situations to his own. Just watch him talk to Sansa, Podrick, or Bran. He runs the gamut from cool older brother to protector, and even seems to be trying to correct Joffrey until the little pissant becomes a lost cause. He also does this a bit with Daenerys once he bonds with her over the fact both their fathers were terrible people.
    • The dragons clearly love each other like the brothers they are. After being unshackled by Tyrion in Season 6, the first thing Viserion and Rhaegal do is cuddle together. When Viserion is fatally wounded, Rhaegal desperately attempts a Diving Save, and both he and Drogon are audibly distressed and are later heard mourning him with the draconic equivalent of a Death Wail.
    • Despite everything, Yara does make it clear over the course of the seasons that she does, in fact, care for her little brother. When Balon leaves Theon to die at the hands of the Boltons, Yara opts to go rogue and run a rescue mission. Though it amounts to little in the end, it does a lot to cast her in a better light.
  • Orphan Black:
    • Felix is this for his foster sister Sarah. He can make fun of Sarah as much as he wants, but if there's anything or anyone who is threatening her, he will do anything to keep her safe. He's also determined to make sure she's never alone when she needs someone. When they were in the hospital and had just found out Sarah's young daughter Kira was going to be okay, Felix wrapped his arms around her in a bear hug and kissed her head repeatedly.
    • Sarah is this for Felix too. She is pissed when Alison points her gun at Felix.
  • In Smallville, while they are about the same age, Clark tends to have this towards Chloe. Very much justified given the first three guys she tries to date (not counting Clark himself) all tried to kill her (Sean in Cool, Justin in Crush, Ian in Dichotic). Also because he is Superman and she is an ordinary girl who isn't even particularly good in combat.
    • Even when they are adults and after Chloe had her first marriage, this behavior persisted. In Escape, when Clark finds out Oliver and Chloe are sleeping together, he says that she has been through a lot, and that Oliver should never take her for granted. Ollie then reminds Clark that Chloe is a grown woman at this point, and that she can handle herself, and that in any case he'd never hurt her. It all works out, and Ollie/Chloe and Clark/Lois become the two OfficialCouples of the show, and — rather adorably — also become avid Shippers on Deck for each other.
    • With being six years older, and coupled with his Lonely Rich Kid past, Lex Luthor very frequently felt this way towards Clark Kent in the early seasons of the series. Even going as far as to sometimes dip into Berserk Button territory whenever the young farm boy was threatened or harmed.
  • Stranger Things
    • Jonathan may be a antisocial loner but he still loves younger brother Will dearly and give him comfort during their parents’s messy break up. Jonathan spends half of the first season looking for his brother and beat the shit of Steve when he dared to mock Will’s disappearance potential death. In the second Jonathan is distraught over the fact they have to essentially torture Will with heat to get the Eldritch Abomination out of him, in fact Jonathan refuses outright to hurt his baby brother at all.
    • Once he takes a few levels in kindness Steve becomes the big brother baby sitter for the kid squad protecting them from the lesser Demogorgans with a baseball bat and generally plays Team Dad. Steve is particularly Big Brother Mentor to Dustin in Season 2 and 3.
    • Similarly Nancy once she stops being shallow invokes this expressing her concern for younger brother Mike serval times and in most heart warming moment cheers Dustin up during prom by dancing with him after some bitchy girls reduce him to tears.
    • Kali wants to be this to Eleven but ends up being just a corrupting bad influence rather than a Cool Big Sis.
    • Averted with Billy and Max, to say the latter treats his step sister like shit would be a Understatement.
  • On the Syfy show Dark Matter, this is most of the crews reaction to Five, the youngest member of the Raza and is treated like such. Two and Six's Big Brother/Sister Instinct is immediate whereas Three's is gradual and much more reluctant.
  • On White Collar, Peter and Mozzie both have a very strong big brother instinct when it comes to Neal. The problem is, they almost always have different ideas about what actually constitutes looking out for him, which adds an extra layer of heartwarming to their park bench meetings in "Withdrawal". They're both so worried about Neal that they actually make an effort to get along with each other and try to figure out the best way to help him deal with Kate's death.
  • Simon & Simon: Brothers Rick and A.J. both exhibit this trope. Although Rick is older, he and A.J. are both protective of each other, as shown in almost any episode.
  • iCarly Spencer in regards to Carly and Gibby to his little brother Guppy.
  • The Colbert Report: Stephen Colbert has admitted he sees Jon Stewart as something of an older brother figure in Real Life. It's one of the few Real Life traits that bleed through into the characters' lives, most recently in the Mêlée à Trois crossover with Conan O'Brien, which Stewart only got involved in because he was protecting Colbert. Indeed, this is one of many examples of Stewart only getting involved in situations in order to defend Colbert, ranging from comedic examples (assisting Colbert in his dance-off with O'Brien, being his back up in his fight with Jimmy Fallon, etc.) to more serious issues (defending Colbert's choice to testify before Congress).
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Spike takes pains to keep Buffy's sister Dawn from harm in a few episodes, when Buffy or the Scoobies are unavailable to do so.
    • Buffy herself is a female version to her sister Dawn. She'd rather risk the world then allow Dawn to be killed.
  • Face and Murdock show this for each other quite a bit. Murdock is older than Face, but they both have their share of 'big brother' moments when it comes to looking out for each other.
    • Also, B.A., towards both of them. He's allowed to verbally abuse them and threaten them with physical violence on a regular basis, but if anyone else tries it...
      • A little odd in his case, seeing as, when you do some figuring, B.A. may actually be younger than Murdock, and possibly younger than/the same age as Face. He's still protective of them. But he'll never admit that he likes either of them, especially not Murdock.
  • Angel: Played for laughs in an episode, when Angel and Doyle deliberately act in an over-protective fashion towards a prospective boyfriend of Cordelia's in order to mess with her.
    • Angel actually is a big brother, and his evil alter ego Angelus killed his little sister.
    • Everyone seems to get this really bad for Fred. Well, except for her love interests. They kinda got something worse...
  • Firefly is a show that brothers and sisters over the world can watch together and feel happy, warm feelings for each other.
    • Simon rescued his little sister River from a bad place, and is very protective of her — very much so. River, in turn, doesn't take kindly to those who mess with Simon, at one point threatening to kill Jayne with her brain following Ariel, and later tearing apart a whole cargo bay full of Reavers in the Big Damn Movie for shooting him. The Tams have an Undying Loyalty to each other, providing a lot of touching scenes.
    • Captain Mal Reynolds extends something like this to his entire crew, but particularly Kaylee, whom he even refers to as mei-mei or "little sister" a couple of times.
    • Inara is also very willing to play the Big Sister role. "Mei-mei" is most commonly used by her towards other (usually younger) female characters.
    • Everybody in the crew is violently protective of their lovable mechanic Kaylee.
  • Everwood has a lot of that:
    • Bright starts off being a bully in the pilot, but later on in the same episode it's revealed he cares a lot about his younger sister and her comatose boyfriend. That's also expanded throughout the first season, to the point that his friendship with Ephram stems from his desire to keep her sister happy.
    • Ephram was protective of much younger Delia. Though quite realistically, they occasionally bickered.
    • Dr Abbott also became sort of a father figure to his sister after their father died (even though they were both already adults).
  • Gossip Girl: Chuck and Serena with Eric, Dan with Jenny (especially on the pilot). Lily's sister also counts.
  • Jane Lynch's character in Glee: pure evil, except for her ill sister.
    • Finn has developed this for Kurt, especially since their parents got married. The exchange between him and Burt when Kurt decides to come back to McKinley says it all:
    Burt: Keep an eye on your brother.
    Finn: Way ahead of you.
    • All the guys for Kurt. They teamed up on Karofsky once (with Puck staying out only because he was on probation) and offered to form a Secret Service perimeter around him when it was revealed that Karofsky, who had previously threatened Kurt's life, would be coming back to school.
  • Justin, from Wizards of Waverly Place, always fixes Alex's mistakes and saves her from impending doom. She even admits that she always expects him to do so.
  • Subverted in the Cold Case episode "Shuffle, Ball Change". The victim's brother was simultaneously protective and fond of his younger brother, yet he derided his ambitions to be a dancer and ultimately murdered him in a fit of jealous rage over his impending success (along with grief over his own failure as a wrestler).
  • In Oz, Ryan O'Reily is very protective of his younger brother, Cyril. Also Cyril, to a kind of smaller degree.
  • Dean and Sam Winchester, of Supernatural. This is a show that's actually about being brothers. (The bromance being fashionable this decade.)
    • Dean Winchester is absolutely insane on this point. 'Take care of Sammy' has been his entire life's motto. He dies for him; he sells his soul to Hell for him; he keeps going back for him no matter how screwed up things get between them or what Sam is dragged into; he takes him back no matter what... And honestly, the way the show is written, the latter two there seem to cost him more than the first. Especially seasons four and six, during which Sam is slipping into the dark side and walking around without his soul, respectively.
      • In Season 7, Dean acquires more "younger sibling" figures in the forms of Charlie and Kevin, relationships that extend into Season 8 and, by the looks of the trailers, Season 9. His devotion to them still isn't anything compared to that towards Sam, but these relationships are ironically healthier. And, of course, it's really sweet watching him "train" them, whether that be by taking them to get tattoos or helping them buy FBI costumes.
    • Sam turns it back on Dean pretty hard, himself. Even in Season One he completely flew off the handle when Dean looked to die, and season three was all about saving Dean to him, and he lost it once Dean went to Hell.
      • And he overpowered Satan for Dean in the Season 5 finale. Sure it saved the world, but it wasn't the world he thought about. But he's actually four years younger, and Dean practically raised him.
    • The angel Castiel gets adopted as an unofficial third Winchester brother some time in Season 5.note  Because he is young to the world and they are young to being and lack power, the 'big brother' role swaps back and forth a lot, and sometimes Dean and Cas are both big-brothering one another in the same scene. Though Dean never turns the Sam-level obsessiveness on Cas.
      • The evil thing doing an overwrite of Dean's mind and body in 7.06 complained that he "doesn't have relationships, no, he has applications for sainthood," which is just that raging protectiveness and self-sacrifice is the only setting he has for people he cares about. Which isn't to say he can't be a raging dick to these same people, because he can, but Big Brother's Privilege.
      • Actually that was referring to Dean tending to put the people he cares about on a pedestal and thus taking it pretty hard when they (inevitably) fail to live up to those expectations (most notably in Season 2 with John, Sam in Season 4, and Castiel in Season 6).
  • In NUMB3RS, Don Eppes was always Charlie's protector and on the few occasions when criminals come after Charlie, Don becomes a Papa Wolf and decides that It's Personal. Don also shows concern that Charlie will be affected by the grim aspects of law enforcement and feels a little awkward accepting help that might conflict with Charlie's career as a professor.
    • From about Season 2 onwards, he starts to show elements of this towards his entire team. This is even how he begins relating to Liz Warner after their relationship ends (she doesn't seem to mind). Nikki and Charlie even allude to it during "The Fifth Man" while Don is recovering from a line-of-duty injury.
      Nikki: I guess we both got a little cocky,huh? You with your math, and, well, with me it's a constant state. It's usually Don who has to protect me from myself.
      Charlie: He's been doing that for me my whole life.
  • Bill Scully Jr. of The X-Files has a Big Brother Instinct for his youngest sister Dana, though he can be a jerk about it and doesn't always bother to get all the facts before lashing out at people he sees have "wronged" Mulder. Poor Mulder. (Though, given that the other Scully sister, Melissa, was murdered by someone gunning for Dana because of the life Mulder has drawn Dana into, it's understandable.)
  • In Criminal Minds Derek Morgan definitely acts like this towards Spencer Reid, especially if he's in danger/threatened with his life. "I'm gonna get this guy's head on a pike" says it all. It's pretty funny, considering that he's the youngest in his family with two older sisters.
    • Derek's just the most obvious. All of the characters have this towards Reid. Emily in particular joins Morgan in this, with her Older Sister-like relationship with Reid. For evidence, just look at her taking a beating in "Minimal Loss" to save Reid from getting shot, and this line from "Amplification":
    • Hotch, of all people, also has this. He considers his team a part of his family and will protect them at all costs. He even looks after his own little brother.
  • Heroes: Nathan Petrelli to his little (26-year-old) brother, Peter. Sometimes... When it comes down to it, it's clear that he loves his brother. (After Peter saved him from dying, Nathan tells him flat-out he wouldn't have done the same .)
    • Peter towards his niece, Claire. Usually.
  • In Can You Hear My Heart?, Joon Ha goes so far as to abandon his biological family to take care of a boy with a hearing disability.
  • We could be sure that Hassan from Over There was like this when Colonel Roye threatened him about his sister so he could tell him where the stingers are.
  • One from Power Rangers. Vida, the Pink Mystic Force Ranger, is already a pretty aggressive character. But threaten (or otherwise belittle) her sister Madison, and it doesn't matter whether you're an enemy or a colleague. Vida will tear you in half.
  • Barbara Havers of Inspector Lynley is a cranky, foul-mouthed junk food addict who can't seem to work well with anyone in the police force except her partner Thomas Lynley. On the other hand, she is incredibly good with children and will go to any lengths to protect them.
  • Are You Afraid of the Dark? features several big brothers in various stories that would do anything for their younger siblings:
    • "The Tale of the 13th Floor" — Billy for Karen, despite the latter being adopted.
    • "The Tale of the Shiny Red Bicycle" — Mike for Ben.
    • "The Tale of the Quicksilver" — Aaron for Doug.
    • "The Tale of the Hatching" — Augie for Jasmine.
  • Bones: Booth and Brennan toward their psychologist, Sweets. His old mentor flat-out states in one episode that Sweets — raised in an abusive home, adopted by a loving older couple who then died when Sweets was in his late teens or early 20s — is subconsciously seeking to build a surrogate family with the pair.
    • This is shown off nicely in a single line from Booth in the eighth season finale:
    Booth: Sweets does not die today
    • There's also Booth and his younger brother Jared. Booth was willing to give up a massive RICO case which would have given him a promotion, a raise and a trip to Hawaii just to get Jared off on a drunk driving charge. He was also very dubious of Jared's love interest and actually did a background check on her.
  • Lois & Clark: The titular couple to Jimmy Olsen.
  • ER: Many of the older staff toward Carter, but particularly Greene and Benton — the latter to the point of being a Papa Wolf.
  • The Vampire Diaries: When the tomb vampires kidnap and torture Stefan, his brother Damon massacres every vampire in the house.
    • Elena is insanely protective of her younger brother Jeremy, particularly after their parents die, then Jenna dies, and by the end of season 3 so does Alaric. To Elena, Jeremy's all that she has left, her only family, which is why he's so protective towards him, despite him being seventeen by season 4. It's no wonder that when Jeremy is killed by Katherine, she completely snaps.
      • The awesome moment when Elena utters these six words. "Stay the hell away from my brother."
    • Moving over to the spin-off, we learn just how insane Klaus is about protecting Rebekah... he has killed every single man she ever loved out of pure spite, thinking they're not good enough for his sister (althought some fans have other explanations for that behaviour). Elijah's protective too, just quite less psychotic while doing so.
  • Prison Break: Linc toward Michael, and Michael — though the younger brother — to Linc.
  • "The Walking Dead": Merle has this regarding his younger brother, Daryl, who is also his Morality Pet.
  • In Wonderfalls, much though Jaye finds her family irritating, she has a very strong Little Sister Instinct. In one episode, after a guy punches her brother (played by the rather tall Lee Pace), Jaye (played by the decidedly smaller Caroline Dhavernas) manages to lay out the guy with a single punch.
    Jaye: You don't screw with my family.
  • Warehouse 13: Both Pete and Myka, towards Claudia. Just try watching "Breakdown," and not awwwing a little. For her part, in Claudia's introductory episode, she breaks right into the freaking Warehouse and kidnaps one of the main characters in order to force him to help her rescue her brother Joshua, who was zapped into an interdimensional space (and not, as initially thought, killed) twelve years prior.
    • When Steve Jinks joins the team, he also becomes a big brother figure to Claudia, as well as becoming her best friend. They both go to extraordinary efforts to protect one another.
  • Farscape: Crichton towards Chiana.
  • Leverage: Eliot is clearly starting to feel this way about Parker, although he doesn't like it and would never admit it. When a fake psychic caused her to break down in tears and run away, Elliot had to be restrained from killing the man. He also is this with Hardison, though they are quite hostile to each other
  • Sherlock
    • Mycroft watches over Sherlock, despite the brothers' aloof relationship. This is one of the few times where Big Brother Is Watching is quite literal.
    Mycroft: 'I worry about him. Constantly'; 'Your loss would break my heart.'
  • The Elementary version of Mycroft is the same. In fact, it's this protectiveness of Sherlock that leads Mycroft to resume his espionage career with MI6. Because if he didn't and help them track down a dangerous French gang, they were going to press treason charges against Sherlock for unwittingly aiding a terrorist plot. It's also the inherent danger of this that forces Mycroft to fake his death because if any of his enemies discovers the brothers' relation, Sherlock (and by extension, Joan) would be in extreme danger.
  • On Boy Meets World Eric shows this toward Cory intermittently, such as when he protect Cory from a bully.
  • In Merlin (2008), Arthur and the rest of the knights seem to be developing this for Merlin during Season 4. All of them were horrified when Merlin nearly died saving Arthur from the Dorocha and then warmly welcomed him back when he recovered. This protectiveness is a little misplaced since he could easily take on all of them with his powers!
    • Though they don't know it, they also protect him when he (rarely) needs it like when the Dorocha took his powers away. Look closely when they're exploring the abandoned village in 4x01. They're in a circle formation, casually placing Merlin in the center.
    • Merlin is also quite protective of Gwen, but then, so is everyone. It's been said before on this site: Seriously, don't mess with Gwen. It's a bad idea.
  • In Blue Bloods, Danny is this with both Erin and Jamie, but especially with Jamie, since his gut instinct in crisis situations seems to be making sure his "kid" is safe.
  • In Wishbone Sam see a team mate being picked on so she takes him under her wing and teaches him to play better.
  • In The Big Valley, Nick, Heath, and especially Jarrod are very protective towards Audra. There are good examples of this in first season episodes "The Midas Man" and "Last Train to the Fair".
  • In Family Matters Eddie occasionally had this relationship with Laura. When one of her boyfriends started a rumor that they slept together, Eddie angrily grabbed him and pinned him to the wall.
  • Good Times. For all his goofy, idiotic behavior and his constant teasing of Thelma and Michael, JJ proved over and over again that the best way to set off his Berserk Button was to harm either one of them.
  • In JAG, Bud Roberts is this with his little brother Mikey. Also Harm is this with his Russian half-brother Sergei.
  • Subverted horrifically in one episode from The Twilight Zone (2002). A lonely little girl bonds with her babysitters, who she sees as friends or sister-figures. The latest one realizes that her doll collection appears to be coming alive to attack the girl, and spends the episode fighting them to save her. It then turns out that the dolls were all the previous babysitters, who the girl transformed because she was upset that they "abandoned" her when her parents came home. The current babysitter promptly freaks out and tries to explain the concept of "hired caretaker" to the girl, and is turned into a doll herself for her troubles.
  • Sheldon acts this way to his twin sister Missy in The Big Bang Theory, however, it's subverted in that he doesn't do this so much for her sake, but because he concluded that in her loins lies the potential building blocks to create another remarkable genius like him. When Missy finds out his reasoning, she Groin Attacks him.
  • Matthew develops this towards Tom in Season 3 of Downton Abbey.
  • Hank a.k.a Dr. Henry Lawson is always watching out for his little brother, Evan, in Royal Pains. After their mum passed away when they were very young, their father took off, leaving them to take care of each other. So Hank raised his little bro. We see an example of a protective Hank in Season 4 Episode 2 Imperfect Storm, whereby he goes into full-panic mode searching for Evan after a firework explosion. They're both also quick to develop this for Emma, their 17-year-old half-sister who arrives in Season 6.
  • In Psych, Shawn is seen several times threatening anyone who messes with his best friend (whom he sees as a brother), Gus — as he said in the finale of the Yin/Yang trilogy when Gus was being threatened, "You kill him, I kill you."
  • The Middle consists of three siblings — Axl the oldest, Sue in the middle, and Brick the youngest. While Axl shows more affection towards his little brother, Brick, he's more emotionally closed off when it comes to his little sister, Sue. He taunts her, treats her with disdain, teases her to no end and belittles her very existence (he never tells anyone in his school that he has a sister), but when it comes down to it, Axl shows a softer, comforting side of him when it really counts. Examples would be in episodes like The Block Party (where he gives Sue his old Jersey because he felt bad for her not making ball girl), and The Paper Route (where he gives her a little pep talk after her boyfriend dumbs her for another girl, and invites her to come watch his game to cheer her up, awww!).
  • Surprisingly, this showed up in Scrubs, with J.D.'s normally antagonistic older brother standing up for J.D. against Dr. Cox:
    Dan: "I just wanted to say a few things to you, Perry. I've never been much of a good example to my brother... Johnny will never look up to me, but when I see you two together he hangs on every word you say as if it's his entire world. If you ever let him down, you'll answer to me."
  • Tony Stonem in Skins starts off the series as a manipulative, cruel borderline Villain Protagonist. The one exception is his sister Effy. Her near-death experience at the end of Season 1 causes his Heel Realization.
  • On Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Agron is this for his younger brother Duro. Sadly, it does not help.
  • Charmed: Prue and Piper both fit somewhere between this and Team Mom, with Prue definitely being closer to the motherly aspect. Piper takes up Prue's role after the latter's death, though once Phoebe and Paige get a bit older, she shifts more into Big Brother Instinct, which is very noticeable whenever one or both of the two youngest Halliwells get hurt. (The situation in "Y Tu Mummy Tambien" being a good example.)
  • The Musketeers to D'Artagnan. Especially in Episode 4 when someone made a threatening move towards D'Artagnan, Porthos immediately stepped between them and warned the other man to not go there if he enjoyed breathing. And from the Death Glare that Athos was giving in the background, he wouldn't have let that man go near D'Artagnan, either.
  • The 100: Bellamy is incredibly protective of his younger sister Octavia. He's been responsible for her safety since literally the minute she was born. Bellamy follows her down to Earth on what almost everyone believes is a suicide mission, figuring that, if the atmosphere wasn't toxic, Octavia would need his protection to survive in Earth's wilderness. If the atmosphere was toxic, Bellamy didn't want her to die alone. At the start of the series, Octavia seems to be the only person he cares about, though he quickly becomes less single-minded and becomes protective of quite a few more characters in addition to Octavia. Even when Octavia becomes the brutal and hard 'Blodreina' (Red Queen), goes off the rails in Season 5, and nearly has Bellamy executed in the fighting pits, Bellamy stills finds a part of himself will always remain protective of Octavia.
  • Jerome from House of Anubis has this for Piper. While he initially dreaded her coming to the school, as she's an Annoying Younger Sibling who picked up on his own manipulative skills, he does truly love her, shown in scenes such as when he panicked when Rufus threatened her.
  • In Gotham, this is one of Selina Kyle's defining traits. In her second episode, she tries to comfort a scared kid by telling him to "go for the eyes" if he's messed with by the villains of the week. She's the only friend Ivy Pepper has. When she meets Bruce Wayne, she tries to help him learn how to fight and roof-hop, as well as tries to protect him from the assassins sent after her and from Silver St. Cloud, who was sent to manipulate him. She kills Reggie after he threatens Bruce. When she encounters her old friend Bridget Pike, she offers her shelter in her own safe place, tries to help her friend get money to escape town, and is prepared to throw down with Bridget's abusive "brothers" to rescue her friend. For all her rough exterior, her Big Sister Instinct has made her one of the more compassionate characters on the show.
  • Underground
    • Noah is Henry's surrogate older brother and he'll do whatever he can to get him to freedom. When Henry dies in a Heroic Sacrifice to save the other runaways, Noah doesn't take it well at all.
    • Sam and Rosalee will do anything to shield their baby brother James from the harsh realities of slavery. Both of them have taken whippings in his place on two separate occasions. Sam even offers up his life savings (and getting any money at all when you're a slave is quite a feat) to buy James' freedom. That particular subplot ends horribly.
  • Dark Oracle Lance is this towards Cally.
  • Million Yen Women: Minami, the oldest of the women, is protective of Midori, the youngest, and helps her grow out of her Extreme Doormat personality.
  • The Great British Bake Off: Mel and Sue are fiercely protective of the contestants, to the extent of ensuring that no footage of them overtly crying, angry, upset, etc. ever gets aired by swooping in front of the cameras and either physically blocking the contestants from view or swearing loudly and eloquently to render the footage useless.
  • Charlie Matheson is this to her little brother Danny on Revolution
  • Tom Paris takes this attitude towards Harry Kim in the pilot episode of Star Trek: Voyager, first by stopping Quark from swindling him on DS9 and then by volunteering to be on the rescue team when he's abducted by the Caretaker. That being said, Tom also admits that he looks up to Harry for his moral fiber and overall optimism.
  • Prison Break is built of this trope. Michael is so convinced of half-brother Lincoln's innocence that he covers himself in full-body tattoos and commits a crime to be assigned to Link's prison to break him out.
  • The Other Two has hot-mess siblings Brooke and Carey looking after their superstar little brother when they can. Unlike the many hangers-on around Chase, Brooke and Carey love their brother and are very protective of him, often intervening when Chase is put in situations that he's not old enough to be in.
  • Schitt's Creek: Alexis often brags about her wild adventures and kidnappings, but her older brother David reveals that he was often home alone worrying about her safety.
  • Knots Landing:
    • Throughout the second season, the only one in which they were both regular characters, Sid's Big Brother Instinct towards Abby (who is fourteen years younger than him) often blinds him to her faults and/or leads him to make excuses for her behaviour.
    • Also in Season Two, Sid's son Eric is very kind and considerate towards his younger brother Michael after he is diagnosed with ADHD. Their older sister Diana, not so much.
  • Miami Vice: When they were kids, Crockett's older brother Jake used to defend him from bullies.


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