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Alone Among Families

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An orphan, an infertile woman (or man), or any other character missing a family has the isolation emphasized by being surrounded by families. This can be a place with many happy families, even solely occupied by such people in defiance of statistics, or the character's being sharp to notice such things.

The family arrangements will naturally parallel those the character feels lacking in: a Lonely Rich Kid sees parents fussing over their only child, a sibling-less orphan sees parents with their children, an only child sees sibling groups, an infertile woman sees parents with newborns, etc.

The romantic equivalent is Alone Among the Couples.

See also Alone in a Crowd, Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere.


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Examples:

    Advertising 
  • Somehow everpresent, or possibly inverted, in commercials for Oncor frozen entrees, which all have more or less the same script:
    Customer: Al, I can't eat all these Oncor Frozen Entrees!
    Al: [a supermarket employee stocking the shelves] That's because Oncor is a two-pound family size entree.
    Customer: But I don't have a family.
    Al: You do now. Mine. We'll be over at 8:30.
    Customer 2: Al, about these Oncor Frozen Entrees...
    Al: Tomorrow night at 6.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Naruto as a boy orphaned by the attack of the Kyuubi on Konoha as backstory, gets one of these moments in volume one.

    Comic Books 
  • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (Marvel): When Snake Eyes returns home from Vietnam, he arrives at the airport, but his family is not there to greet him. Several other soldiers are met by their families, drawn colorfully and larger than life, while Snake Eyes seems to shrink.
  • Robin Series: Prior to Tim's eventual adoption by Bruce Wayne, the fact that Jack Drake was incredibly neglectful was highlighted by Tim's wistfulness about his friends' families on several occasions.

    Films — Animation 
  • A variation of this is seen in Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure where during "Always There", the stray dog Angel, who wishes she had a family, is seen walking down a neighbourhood by herself and observing some dogs who live happily with their owners.
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    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. When Harry is dropped off at the station to get on the Hogwarts Express, he's the only one there all by himself.
  • Ukiah Oregon: Max, a widower, both loves and hates staying over at Ukiah's house, because it reminds him of his own loss.

    Live-Action TV 
  • This was emphasized with Connor in the season 4 finale of Angel, when he takes all the mall people hostage. He talks about it as well, about how he sees all the families while he's alone.
  • In "Afterboom" of Gilmore Girls, Lane feels lonely after she played with her band Hep Alien, and she's alone among happy couples and happy families. Lane is excited and feels like celebrating, but others are otherwise occupied: Gil makes out with his wife, Zach is surrounded by hot female fans, and Brian is with his family who came to see them play. Lane invited her best friend Rory, but she couldn't come. Lane can't even talk to her family because she moved out of her home against her mother's wishes and without her approval.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Pokémon: Card art of the Pokémon Cubone often showcases the Pokémon's orphaned state, such as an image of one crying lonely on a bench while, in the background, several happy human families are shown enjoying their time together.

    Western Animation 
  • X-Men: Evolution: As part of X-23's training, she was forced to hang out by herself in populated urban areas to learn how to blend with the crowds. In the accompanying montage, she is shown sitting completely alone in a bench at a park, angrily observing the other children playing with their parents.

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