Follow TV Tropes


Aloof Big Brother

Go To
There seems to be a barrier between them.

"'He gave me this note for you,' Josie took a half-torn binder sheet out of her pocket and handed it over. It read: Too busy with work. Sort it out yourself. You're fine—Trust me. F.
'Too busy?' Jim screwed up the note in his hand. 'Wonderful!' He shook his head in bitter frustration. 'Evavich is going to kill me and my brother doesn't care.'"

He's smarter, stronger, faster, more talented, and more refined than The Hero, and — just to add insult to injury — he's probably sexier, too. His only problem seems to be moving his face out of that expression of bored, dignified disdain. And he just happens to be the elder brother of one of the main cast, which often gives them a raging inferiority complex.

Will most likely double as the Ineffectual Loner and Noble Demon, thereby running the risk of becoming an Ensemble Dark Horse. May or may not be evil, strictly speaking, but is almost guaranteed to fight against the protagonists at one point, and spout off Cryptic Conversation to prove how much better informed he is. May or may not be a Stealth Mentor and/or consider his younger siblings annoying. Often an integral part of a mysterious organisation, and may be the Enigmatic Minion or even a Hero Antagonist in that case.

Compare to Always Someone Better, who is also often an older brother, Big Brother Mentor, where the brother is more open as well as a leader, and Big Brother Bully, where the brother is mean towards younger siblings. Contrast Big Brother Instinct, where the older brother instead goes out of his way to look after his younger siblings. A Sub-Trope of The Stoic.

Contrast Cool Big Sis, who is often of the opposite gender and generally has a better relationship with their younger sibling, and Annoying Younger Sibling, a younger sibling who's annoying to their older siblings.


    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 
  • Rokk Krinn (Cosmic Boy) has a distant relationship with his younger brother Pol partially because Rokk left their homeworld to look for work when he was fourteen. In the Pre-Boot continuity, Pol followed Rokk to join the Legion of Super-Heroes and died in a Heroic Sacrifice that made his big brother regret the distance he'd enforced in their relationship.
  • Thor was portrayed this way in the Loki miniseries, in marked contrast to his Silver Age portrayal, wherein he couldn't see all of Loki's flaws through his Big Brother Instinct.
  • In Mother Panic, the titular character's brother is considerably older than her (he was in law school before she was in high school), so the two of them were never really close as siblings.
  • Darkdevil to Spider-Girl, his cousin-slash-genetic-half-sister. They have a complicated family tree.
  • When the tension between them is portrayed from Alex Summers/Havok's point of view, his brother, Scott, aka Cyclops, fits this role to a tee (and considering Scott's famous emotional reserve, isn't exactly surprising); however, since Cyclops is a much more prominent member of the X-Men, Havok usually comes off looking more like his Annoying Younger Sibling instead.

    Fan Works 
  • In the sequel to Child of the Storm it's revealed that Carol, despite her habit of playing Cool Big Sis to younger girls who look in need of it, is this to her younger brothers. The older of the two, Stevie, points this out when she admits that she hadn't noticed that the youngest of the three siblings, Joe junior, was having a bad time. This is somewhat mitigated by the fact that Carol tends to have a lot of problems of her own and has a difficult home life thanks to poor relationships with her parents (she patches things up with her mum. Her dad, not so much), and in the previous year has undergone several PTSD inspiring experiences. She admits that he has a point, and tries to better thereafter. It should also be said that even before that she's kind enough to both of them, albeit distant, and extremely (sometimes violently) protective.
  • In Frozen Hearts (Sakume), most of Hans’ siblings are this, as per canon, with Hugo, Harald, and Helm being noted as the three who treated Hans like he was invisible. Some of them, such as Heins, are a little better than that, but a few, such as Harald, are worse. And this is before they find out what he's done and that he's a political liability.
    Horatio: (to Hans) Did the queen even look at you?
    Hugo: Doubtful. Why pay attention to the runt?
  • A Growing Affection in addition to Itachi, like canon, also has Minato's older brother Gouki. He has trouble answering to Minato as Hokage, and telling Minato how proud he is.
  • Averted in Once Upon a Farmhouse. Sam and Jim Kirk don't see one another often (thanks to Sam being away at a space school) but they are on very good terms.
  • Infinite Stratos: To the Other End of the World: When you have a adopted brother like Kerlongsj who as man, has earned the respect of several Infinite Stratos pilots, including the Brunhilde, you would think that Anaton has a lot of inferior problems. Strangely enough, he and Kerlongsj aren't like that. They have a good relationship and don't seem to be bothered by the huge gaps between them. Kerlongsj knows Anaton will get close to him.
  • Ann the Yellow Ranger in Power Rangers: Shuriken Force to her younger sister, being distant at best and is implied to hate her at worst.
  • In Heimatfront, Marco Nitzschmann (a Gender Flip and name-changed version of Maho Nishizumi in Germany near the end of World War II) initially comes off as somewhat cold toward his younger sister Maria, particularly since he'd rather not have her risk her life on the front lines, where she has no business being.
  • In More Family, More Happiness, Right?, Alberto acts quite cold and harsh towards Giulia.
  • In One Year, Hitomi hardly ever sees her older brother, who, as the eldest child and heir to their wealthy family, has his own responsibilities.
  • TRON: Endgame Scenario: Played with when it comes to Tron and Jet. Technically, they have the same father, which is why Jet considers Tron his older brother. Tron has zero idea what to make of Jet, however, as Programs do not have the same concept of family. This being post-TRON: Legacy there's also all the psychological damage from "Rinzler" to factor in. Furthermore, despite Jet hating his status as a User and doing everything he can to downplay it, the fact he is one is a fact neither one can escape.
  • Tales of the Undiscovered Swords: Sasanoyuki is this to Izuminokami, being clearly superior on the battlefield and is the series' champion in terms of coldness and aloofness. Downplayed in the sequel after Sasanoyuki comes back from kiwame as he's become less stoic (for better or for worse) and the story focuses less on his relationship with his brothers, but the fic features an omake in which he still calmly beats Izuminokami at iai despite the latter's having trained himself in the art.
  • Forum of Thrones: Though they haven't been shown interacting with each other so far, the fact that Carvin just flat out left his little sister Ilish when she needed him the most paints him as this.
  • The exploited version of this trope is subverted in Fixing RWBY. Yang plans on becoming one of these because she wants Ruby to learn how to fend for herself in case something happens to Yang. Her mentor for the year, Yatsuhashi, questions this and says it'd be better if she tried to gain her sister's trust, and vice versa.
  • Purple (She-Ra and the Princesses of Power): Having the most experience being independent of horde Prime's Hive Mind, Hordak unwittingly took on this role for Wrong Hordak/Kadroh and the dozens of clones Entrapta provided sanctuary for. Hordak being... well... Hordak, he is grouchy and reluctant in this role, but he behaves for Entrapta and basic decency for his new family.
  • The Bridge (MLP) subverts this in the case of Godzilla III a.k.a Junior and his "older brother" SpaceGodzilla a.k.a. Xenilla. At first, they are extremely antagonistic, but later on, it's revealed that Xenilla was Good All Along and had been playing the villain role because he thought their relationship unmendable after Xenilla tried to kill their father. He's actually been extremely concerned for his little brother's wellbeing and remorseful for his acting.
  • Downplayed in Numberjacks Advanced; Six certainly loves his younger siblings very much, but is often too busy for them with his training to become a big Numberjack.
  • My Deepest, Darkest Secret: This is the main reason on how Solon got so far in hiding his true heritage, despite him being unable to fib to save his life, as they've been kind of ignorant of him recently.
    • All of the vampires (except Noa and Jino) forget about Solon when Sooha arrived in Decelis. Best shown in My God, What Have We Done?, where Jino worries about leaving Solon alone while they go on a group date with Solon, meanwhile Jaan says that Solon's independent enough to be left alone. However, there's been implications that they were like this even before Sooha.
    • Among the six of them, Jaan is arguably the worst offender. The reason for his behavior was because Solon accidentally clawed Noa when his werewolf half started acting up a few years prior to the story. He crosses to Big Brother Bully territory when at his worst.
  • The Story of Apollo, Daphne and Luca: An Italian Tragedy: Because of his strong crush on Luca who make him oblivious and slightly uncaring towards other people's needs and feelings, Alberto treats Giulia with indifference and mild annoyance and (while accidentally) often makes her feel excluded.

    Films — Animated 
  • Steve from Arthur Christmas is this, being much more of a pragmatic busybody than Arthur, and who spends a good part of the film annoyed with his younger brother's (increasingly drastic) antics.
  • Frozen (2013):
    • Hans claims that three of his twelve brothers pretended he didn't exist for two years.
    • Gender-flipped, justified, and deconstructed with Elsa. Elsa acts distant and aloof to Anna because she's afraid of losing control of her Emotional Powers. Anna is unaware of this, and is left with self-esteem and relationship issues. In the end, Elsa becomes more open once she learns to control her power, which she achieves in no small part because she loves Anna.
  • The Incredibles: Dash Parr doesn't spend any time with his baby brother Jack-Jack in the first movie. In the second movie, he doesn't seem to want anything to do with Jack-Jack, and keeps trying to pawn him off on his big sister Violet. However, through his Character Development in the second movie, he learns to be more protective, caring, and playful to his baby brother.
  • ParaNorman: At the beginning of the film, Courtney is at first uncaring and aloof to her brother Norman and is not above mocking him and trying to prove he's a liar. She still tries to search for him when he is missing and shows genuine concern when it looks like he is in danger. She finally drops being aloof when she realizes his ability to see the dead is real and realizes how much pain he is in for being an outcast, becoming kinder and more supportive to him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Cries and Whispers: Karin is the eldest of three sisters and is as ice-cold to them as to anyone else. She is pretty blatantly ignoring Maria (the youngest sister) for the first hour of the film. She cares for Agnes (the middle sister) in her illness, but it would seem that this is more because she knows she is expected to rather than out of genuine affection. Granted, Karin has a lot of issues in her life, being possibly depressed and suicidal, and she seems to regret and be ashamed by her worst Jerkass moments towards her sisters.
  • Pablo Ramirez in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly seems to be Tuco's older brother and certainly acts that way. When they reunite, Tuco is open and affectionate while Pablo is more distant and impassive.
  • The title character of Francis Ford Coppola's Tetro left his little brother behind for Argentina with a note saying he'd explain it later. When he shows up in Argentina, Tetro continues to be aloof to him. Then it turns out that he's not really his brother...

  • Tom to Jake in Animorphs. Of course, a lot of Tom's behavior can be explained by him having a Yeerk in his brain.
  • In Stephen King's novella The Body, Gordie LaChance's (now-deceased) older brother is depicted in these terms (although not so in The Film of the Book).
  • A Brother's Price Gender Flips this trope, and has Eldest as an unquestionable Cool Big Sis. She's the leader of her generation of the family and wears authority like her Badass Longcoat, coolly unemotional in most cases and enforcing discipline on her younger sisters with less concern for how they feel about it than what is best for the family. Rebellious Corelle, in particular, is at the brunt of her calm displeasure. She's softer and kinder to her little brother Jerin, wanting him to be happy and becoming absolutely enraged when she believes he's been raped, and she becomes slightly less aloof over the course of the story, while always remaining level-headed and dignified.
  • Downplayed in Devils & Thieves. Crowe does love his younger sister, but also doesn't spend a lot of time with her or Jemmie, preferring to focus on leading the Devils' League instead.
  • Subverted in The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, Ginny views Byron as this, and her perfect image of him is being shattered throughout the book. But they are rebuilding their relationship as of The Universe Is Expanding And So Am I.
  • Eric, or Little by Little: After Eric's younger brother Vernon starts attending Roslyn School, Eric becomes embarrassed to be seen with him and acts cold and distant. Without Eric's guidance, Vernon befriends Brigson, the worst bully and troublemaker of the lower forms.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Percy Weasley becomes this in later books after he decides to side with the Ministry against his family, including his siblings. Ironically, his message to Ron in the fifth book, urging him to stop befriending Harry, is meant to be a Big Brother Instinct moment, but Ron views it as this instead.
    • Albus Dumbledore to his younger siblings, Aberforth and Ariana. According to Aberforth, Albus never attempted to understand Ariana's mental instability, and had planned to travel the world after graduation before their mother was killed, forcing him to return to take care of her. Even after that, he saw the responsibility as a burden, and grew closer to his neighbour Gellert Grindelwald than his own siblings. It culminated in a standoff that killed Ariana, after which Albus finally learned his lesson, but by then he was dead to Aberforth (they would ultimately reconcile many years later, though they remained somewhat estranged until Albus' death).
  • Murtagh of the Inheritance Cycle fits this. He is the older, much more powerful brother of Eragon, who is also on the opposite side of the war. The fandoms tend to treat him as an Ensemble Dark Horse.
  • In The Machineries of Empire, Berezan has an older sister who, like him, is a Kel, and a more successful and skilled one than him in pretty much every way. He notes that the only thing more annoying than her smugness about it is the fact that she doesn't seem to be aware that she's being snobbish in the first place.
  • In The Monster Garden, Frankie's older brother David treats her like a stupid little kid when he's not ignoring her. Frankie thinks it's because he feels inferior to their older brothers Ben and Mike, who are both at Cambridge, and needs someone to look down on.
  • Ponyboy from The Outsiders feels that his oldest brother, Darry, is this. Darry is the unofficial leader of their group, as well as one of the strongest and most mature. Darry's strict criticism leads Ponyboy to believe that Darry doesn't like him and that he is only another mouth to feed. However, he is proven wrong when Ponyboy finally realizes that Darry cares very much for him and is only strict on him because he wants the best for his youngest brother.
  • In Patience and Sarah, Patience's brother Edward has always been a distant and strict brother, but she does believe he loves her.
  • Older Than Television: Mycroft in Sherlock Holmes, first appearing in The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter (1893). Not only is he Sherlock's older, richer, and more politically powerful brother, but he's also the only person in the Doyle canon that Sherlock acknowledges as his intellectual superior, and he even Out-SherlockScans Sherlock, though he is too lazy to do detective work like Sherlock does, simply setting him on the right track (sometimes solely with information from the newspaper) as a mental exercise. This trope could be alternately named "The Mycroft".
  • The Sunne in Splendour: The future Richard III has two much older brothers, the extroverted and fun Edward and the stoic, aloof Edmund. Early in the novel, however, it's Edmund who comes to Richard's rescue when Edward is off seducing the boy's nanny. Just as Richard begins to appreciate Edmund, he's tragically murdered.
  • Teen Power Inc.: Sunny has four successful older sisters who are nice enough, but have their own interests and aren't very expressive. In Beware the Gingerbread House, she doubts any of them will care if she leaves town to live with their father (their parents are divorced) and is shocked and touched when they cheer after hearing her story about how she trapped a criminal.
  • Fugil to main character Lux in Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle. Fugil was the first prince while Lux was the seventh, yet unlike the rest of his family, he treated Lux kindly and encouraged him. Then they both rebelled against the family, with Lux defeating the army without killing any of them... only for Fugil to massacre the army, the nobles, and the rest of the royal family. He then called Lux's idealism foolish and disappeared. In the present of the series, he treats Lux (and everyone else) with disdain, and is arguably the strongest Drag-Knight. Played with, given later revelations that Fugil isn't actually part of the family and has actually been supporting Lux the entire time.
  • Galad to Gawyn Trakand in The Wheel of Time. His relationship to his younger half-sister Elayne has elements of this.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 18 to Life: Monica, the oldest of the Bellow family, shows up at times but is mostly off with her own life. Her default attitude regarding her siblings Tom and Wendy tends to be disdain or at least cool reserve. She's attractive, successful and much more confident than either of them.
  • The extended universe of Doctor Who gives us Irving Braxiatel, a brilliant, conniving, charming, and well-dressed Time Lord who also happens to be the Doctor's older brother. Given the number of complex manipulations and strategies he can juggle simultaneously, he is likely as intelligent or even more intelligent than the Doctor himself.
  • Elementary's version of Mycroft is the same and it pisses Sherlock off. Then it turns out Mycroft is an MI6 agent and it's later shown that Mycroft genuinely loves his brother and is extremely protective of him. The sole reason he resumed his espionage career was that if he didn't, Sherlock would have been arrested and tried for treason for unwittingly aiding a terrorist plot.
  • It is retroactively revealed in Frasier that the titular character seemed to have been one of these to Niles during Frasier's nine-year run on Cheers: although Niles wasn't actually mentioned until Frasier premiered, a flashback during Frasier's third season to the time gap between the finale of Cheers and the pilot of Frasier implies Niles was vaguely bitter that Frasier ran off to Boston and abandoned him for at least a decade, subjecting Frasier's presence on Cheers to a mild Cerebus Retcon. Admittedly, it's fairly easy to connect the dots and come to the same conclusion without the implicit support of that flashback — given Frasier and Niles' thick-as-thieves sibling relationship (which was not new Character Development; they were like that since toddler age) as opposed to a more typical friendly-but-separated sibling relationship, Frasier being removed enough to not even mention Niles' existence in front of the cameras for nine years seems bizarrely Out of Character in retrospect (on Frasier, Frasier would probably be hard-pressed to stay away from Niles for nine days).
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Robert Baratheon to Stannis and Renly. He points out to Ned Stark that he loves Ned like a brother, but doesn't love either of his actual brothers. Robert also seems to be the only man in the capital unaware of his brother Renly's Open Secret relationship with Loras Tyrell because he asks his youngest sibling, "Have you ever fucked a Riverlands girl?"
    • Stannis to Renly. However, Stannis has somewhat fond memories of the child Renly used to be. In the books, while their relationship was still strained, Stannis admits to loving Renly after Renly's death. Robert never got along with Stannis either, Stannis says in "The North Remembers" that "I didn't love him. He didn't love me." In the books, Stannis is a bit more ambiguous, stating, "He loved me no more than he had to, nor I him," and later, when Jon says that he loved his brother Robb, Stannis replies that he loved Robert, but the context of the exchange is harsh.
  • Himitsu no Hanazono (2007): Wataru Kataoka is more serious minded than his wacky siblings, and is also the oldest, having to step up as the parent after their dad died. This has resulted in some unforseen consequences, like his younger brother Osamu being too smug and entitled as a result of being coddled.
  • House of the Dragon: Any sisterly feelings Rhaenyra Targaryen may have had for Baelon do not extend to Aegon, Helaena and Aemond, whom she views with a certain degree of contempt and resentment. This is chiefly because she fears that Aegon is going to replace her as heir to the throne (which is eventually realized during The Coup of the Hightowers at the end of Season 1) and she'll be resigned to be married off to some random lord, as well as their existence being a continuing reminder of the growing rift between her and Alicent Hightower (since they're the latter's children).
  • Nathan Petrelli in Heroes. It did help Peter become a better person for it, as Peter claimed that Nathan didn't bring him down, but rather built him up.
  • Monk's brother is smarter, better at spotting small details, and more eccentric.
    • Interestingly, Ambrose seems to think that Adrian is actually stronger and better than him.
  • As with his literary counterpart, Mycroft Holmes of Sherlock is a perfect example of this trope. It drives Sherlock up a wall. There's a reason why he'd prefer to work with John instead of his older brother. His older brother works for the British government and would most likely cause wars in countries. And he's emotionally distant.
  • Alexis/Alex Meade qualifies as such in Ugly Betty. Before her transition was established to be smarter, better looking, and more successful than her brother, Daniel, making him feel inferior. Also, she actively acted against her father and brother in season one.
  • Wilhelm Winter from the German World War II Mini Series Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter is frequently critical and even cold towards his younger brother Friedhelm. The fact that Wilhelm is his commanding officer doesn't really help.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Lion El'Johnson, primarch of the Dark Angels chapter of Space Marines in Warhammer 40,000, was very stoic and a bit of a paranoid and secretive loner to boot. Indeed, he was the oldest of the Primarchs, and was a real no-nonsense guy in contrast to his rival and later best friend, Leman Russ. Many of his character traits were inherited to his chapter, and the Dark Angels tend to work alone to maintain dark secrets spanning all the way to the Horus Heresy. Though this is subverted in that Lion wasn't older than Russ by more than a few days, if at all (since the Primarchs are all transhuman clones of the same guy).

  • Gabe is this to Natalie in Next to Normal — or at least, she perceives him as such based on their mother's favoritism.
    Natalie: Superboy and the invisible girl/Son of steel and daughter of air/He's a hero, a lover, a prince/She's not there.

    Video Games 
  • Backyard Sports has Sally Dobbs, the oldest backyard kid and Team Mom whose nickname is "The Boss". Most of her sayings in the player bios are either bossing her little brother Ronny around or making fun of him for being a little kid. Ronny's stats will decrease if he is put on the same team as Sally; he warns against doing that for a reason.
  • Sho from Battle Arena Toshinden. He was playing the mentor role on his younger brother but then left suddenly. Now he "Goes where the Wind Blows".
  • BlazBlue, plays with this trope a lot with the three main characters. Ragna was originally very close with both of his younger siblings Jin and Saya when they were children, but once Saya grew ill and Jin grew especially needy, he distanced himself from the latter to tend to the former. Naturally, Jin started to resent Saya because of this, making him this trope toward her. Fast forward to the present timeline where Ragna & Jin are adults and their relationship is especially estranged due to their sister being taken from them when they were children. Complicating things is how Noel looks very much like their sister due to being a clone of her, which causes all of their old issues to resurface.
  • Chicory: A Colorful Tale: Downplayed inversion with Clementine. She's spent more time working on art than her older sibling Pizza, but doesn't have any bad feelings about not being the next wielder, even inviting Pizza to participate in their art classes and it's clear the two siblings are on good terms.
  • Magus from Chrono Trigger, despite the fact that he is, ironically, a younger brother to an important character of the series.
  • Yuuya Kizami of Corpse Party has a bad relationship with his older sister, Haruna, particularly when he was a child. A flashback has him insist that if he had a younger sibling, he'd be much better than his sister and brother (who he's implied to not be very fond of, either). Haruna might have been a bit nicer had Yuuya not been so interested in torturing animals. And his entire encounter with Yuka is a good example of why he should never be allowed to have a younger sibling.
  • Dead or Alive's heroine, Kasumi, displays some of this towards her half-sister, Ayane, especially in Dimensions.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, this is technically the case for Alduin, the draconic Beast of the Apocalypse. He is the "firstborn" of Akatosh's (the draconic God of Time and Top God of the Nine Divines pantheon) which includes all other dragons and Dragonborn, and he's by no means a friend to any of them.
    • Alternatively, because of how Elder Scrolls canon works, this may be true for Akatosh re: Alduin and Auri-El re: Akatosh, as Auri-El, Akatosh and Alduin can be seen to represent Past, Present and Future, respectively. To clarify: Auri-El may or may not be dead, but ever since the Middle Dawn probably isn't on speaking terms with Akatosh anymore, while Akatosh sent the Last Dragonborn to gently remind Alduin to tone it down until the end times.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Golbez of Final Fantasy IV is very aloof, mostly due to being Brainwashed and Crazy for most of the game. He's a more conventional example in Dissidia Final Fantasy, in which he's pretty much The Mole and so can't do much more than be a Stealth Mentor without breaking cover.
    • Sephiroth, at least in the Final Fantasy VII prequel Crisis Core, is arrogant and aloof, but still capable of being friendly and considerate, which explains why both Zack and Cloud looked up to Sephiroth and considered him a hero and role model. Unfortunately, this makes Sephiroth's Face–Heel Turn all the more traumatic for both Zack and Cloud during the infamous Nibelheim Incident.
    • Though she's the main character, Lightning of Final Fantasy XIII acts like this towards her younger sister after having a Promotion to Parent. She becomes a tough soldier to protect Serah, but along the way dropped things like friendliness and affection. This leads to some major Parting-Words Regret when Serah says she's been indelibly cursed as a l'Cie.
    • Dycedarg Beoulve of Final Fantasy Tactics initially appears to be an extreme case of this toward his younger half-brother Ramza, while the middle brother, Zalbag, plays the more mild example of the trope. This gets subverted hard. Ultimately, Dycedarg shows himself to truly be a merciless and uncaring man who likely cares nothing for his family beyond what his name and lineage grant him. Zalbag plays the trope more straight, with it in part playing into his Fatal Flaw
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade:
      • Lord Uther of Ostia is slightly like this towards his Hot-Blooded brother, Hector.
      • From the same game, Karel is definitely like this to Karla, though he mellows out after she dies.
    • Also, Innes the Sniper and Tana the Pegasus Knight from Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, although they have a moment in their A support that resolves it.
    • Xander from Fire Emblem Fates plays with this. While he does care about all of his siblings, best shown in his supports with Leo and Camilla, he also admits that he invokes this trope a bit in order to take care of all his princely duties.
      • In the Hoshidan side, Hinoka turns out to be this for Takumi and Sakura. She admits to Azura admits that despite loving both her and her younger siblings, she did not spend a lot of time with them because of her Sky Knight training in order to save the Avatar. In fact, the Supports of the game may quite possibly be the first real bonding time she's ever had with them, and she's genuinely stunned when finding out how angry Takumi is at her for it and how Sakura thinks they're nothing alike. Her love for them is not up to discussion, but she became so focused on training and on the Avatar that she heavily neglected Takumi and Sakura's emotional needs.
    • Saizo is this to his younger twin brother Kaze. In the brothers' supports, it's revealed that Saizo has kept many secrets from Kaze, including the fact that he lost an eye in a failed attempt to avenge their father, although the brothers do become closer. In Kaze's supports with Saizo's ex-girlfriend Kagero, he suggests that Kagero knows Saizo better than he does, lamenting that "I don't think my brother and I are as close as other siblings seem to be."
  • Adelheid Bernstein from The King of Fighters, as a contrast to his little sister Rose, who does all the talking for him. Except... not really. When XIII kicks in, Adel is extremely distressed over Rose's well-being since she has started hiding things from him (like becoming the host of the KOF tournament) and deeply fears that something horrible is behind her change. Since Rose has been brainwashed by Botan from Those Of The Past, he's right.
  • Proto Man/Blues in his original Mega Man (Classic) incarnation.
    • Despite no longer being brothers, Blues/ProtoMan.EXE and his operator fill this role in the Mega Man Battle Network games, arguably more than the original.
  • Mother 3. Claus starts off as the energetic brother (while Lucas, the main character, is the shy and coddled one), but eventually becomes the Aloof Big Brother after he is killed by the Mecha-Drago trying to avenge their mother's death. His body is found by Pigmasks and (because of his ability to use PK Love) he is mechanically altered into becoming a silent, ruthless servant to the Pig King.
  • Persona:
    • The Persona 2 duology plays with this. In Innocent Sin, Tatsuya Suou's older brother Katsuya comes across as a cold-hearted jerk preoccupied with his job. However, Eternal Punishment shows things from Katsuya's point of view, revealing that while he does resent having to sacrifice his own ambitions in order to raise Tatsuya on his own, he still loves his brother dearly.
    • Persona 5 has Sae Niijima, who's been single-handedly raising her younger sister Makoto after their father's death. Sae cares for Makoto, but due to the pressures of her own job as a public prosecutor, is often fairly distant. Sae also harbors various issues of her own, such as blaming her father for getting himself killed and leaving her with the responsibility of raising Makoto, and secretly being jealous of Makoto, to the point where Sae's Shadow becomes the demon of Envy.
  • Elzam V. Branstein in Super Robot Wars Original Generation. This is a subversion: Elzam puts on an aloof facade as part of his whole Necessarily Evil facade his organization is portraying. After he drops it, he turns out to be quite kind and friendly, if a bit stoic.
    • Also, Folka Albark is like this towards Fernando Albark. And on the other hand, Altis Tarl is the Aloof Big Brother for Folka.
    • With how things goes, it is possible that this trope is now being subverted by Axel Almer towards Lamia Loveless. At one point, he mentioned that she never beat him in any sparring match, and is pretty much an all-around more efficient soldier in battle, having been around in the Shadow Mirror way longer than she ever did (thus more experience). Then he saved her from certain death, and as things goes, they're now the only remains from the Shadow Mirror. He may not be her brother, but he pretty much fills in the 'Aloof' part to a tee, thus Axel can be considered Lamia's Aloof Senior Captain.
  • Tales Series:
    • Asch and Van from Tales of the Abyss are both prime examples of this trope; Van is Tear's older brother and Asch is the template Luke was cloned from.
    • Hubert from Tales of Graces actually inverts this perfectly. He has every relevant characteristic: he's serious, aloof, practically emotionless when he's not frustrated with everyone around him, he beats up Asbel in a Duel Boss encounter, and mostly everyone recognizes that he rules Lhant much more efficiently than his brother. A certain bug and his Impossibly Cool Weapon made him a certified fandom badass. When Asbel tries to be nice or tries to repair their relationship, Hubert tends to shoot him icily down. When they do get closer, Hubert frequently gives Asbel advice, on everything from the party's next step to girl trouble. Why is this inverted? Because Hubert is Asbel's younger brother.
    • Kratos from Tales of Symphonia fits this trope to a tee in regards to Lloyd, despite not being his older brother — their relationship eventually evolves into a wholly different type of familial conflict as the truth comes out.
  • The protagonist, Sadwick, in The Whispered World has a big brother who is this combined with Big Brother Bully. He constantly reminds Sadwick of how much better he is at everything.
  • Jin Uzuki of Xenosaga is like this to Shion, though it turns out that he does care a lot about Shion — he just feels that he has to keep his distance.

    Visual Novels 
  • In the Ace Attorney series, Lana Skye is a female version towards her little sister Ema. However, it is revealed that she used to be warm and affectionate and only withdrew into herself and became cold after the SL-9 Incident, due to Gant blackmailing her. She was doing it all for Ema though, and after the truth of SL-9 is revealed, she eventually goes back to her old self.
    • Franziska von Karma also views her adoptive brother Miles Edgeworth as this, saying that he's always gone on ahead by himself while leaving her behind. Despite being exasperated by Franziska's incredibly competitive personality, Edgeworth does care for her, though.
    • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies has Aura Blackquill, the aloof science driven older sister of Simon Blackquill and one of two people who taught him everything he knows. She's also this to Apollo, her adopted little brother.
  • Rin Tohsaka from Fate/stay night. She does not make it very obvious she cares for her younger sister and will retreat to her "we're just strangers" mask when around her. It turns out that Rin had hoped that Sakura, who'd been given up to the Matou family while both were young, was living a peaceful and easy life that Rin couldn't have as a magus, and this admission, combined with Rin nearly dying rather than kill Sakura, helps the sisters reconcile.
  • Sayuri in Kanon was an aloof elder sister to a brother, but meant well; she wanted her brother to grow up like their father, a man of high social standing. Her guilt over that treatment of her brother, plus his early death, caused her to become a Third-Person Person.
    • Kaori treats her ill sister Shiori as if she never existed, as a way to avoid the pain of her eventual death. She gets better.
  • In a sense, Shizune is this to her brother Hideaki in Katawa Shoujo. She is better than him in virtually every way possible (other than the obvious fact that she is deaf and he isn't), and it's rather obvious that relations between them are... tense, to say the least. This only adds more fuel to the conflagration that the utterly dysfunctional Hakamichi family already is.

  • Dominic Deegan's older brother, Jacob, is an excellent example. Although he's definitely not an example of the "more talented" type, because he's nowhere near as clever as he thinks he is and Dominic gets the better of him several times.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Carol is an Aloof Big Sister to Sarah. She has never been shown interacting with Sarah and didn't even recognize her little sister's best friend when she interviewed Susan. She gives Sarah an inferiority complex and as Dan puts it:
    From Sarah's perspective, Carol is in many ways similar to an older, idealized version of herself who has one of her fantasy jobs.
  • Five Nights At Freddy's: Lost Souls: Freddy often comes across as this, due to his strictness and coldness towards his "siblings". Subverted as he feels he has to act that way in order to keep all of them safe.
  • Homestuck has Dave Strider's Bro. With his Flash Step, Unbreakable Katana, Cool Shades, and puppet fetish, Bro seems impossibly cool. However, the only way he seems to communicate with Dave is through cryptic notes, traps, ambushes, beat-downs, and his Demonic Dummy.
    • However, Dave later admits that while he tried to convince himself his Bro was just "stern" or "aloof", he was actually just an immature abusive asshole.
    • In the Post-Scratch world, Dirk Strider has a similar problem with his Bro. Alpha Dave truly is The Ace: a Hollywood celebrity zillionaire entrepreneur freedom fighter. Dirk admires him, but will never meet the man — due to Weird Time Shit, they live over a century apart.
    • Deconstructed in conversation when Dave and Dirk meet. Neither is the other's Bro, but they speak their feelings to one another in a way they could not before. Then they laugh until they cry.
  • Muted: Justified, Silvia is very cold and distant towards her younger twin sister Sophia because Sophia is an abusive Spoiled Brat with absolutely no situational awareness or basic decency.
    Silvia: The painting fell. Everyone is fine.
    Sophia: [indignantly] I'm not fine!!
    Silvia: Shut up.
  • In MYth, Hades is this to his brothers. He's on better terms with Poseidon while Zeus hates him with passion. In A Promise is revealed that Hades willingly made Zeus hate him because "He (Hades) was his (Zeus) weakness".

    Web Original 
  • ATTACK on MIKA: Hirokazu is a cold jerk towards his younger brother Yuuki for constantly clinging to him, and it doesn't help that their parents dote on the latter while forcing the former to put up with him.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Killer is very distant and rather cold towards his twin sister Killdra.
  • Lizzie Bennet is Aloof Big Sister in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries to Lydia. It becomes heartbreaking after a few Played for Laughs moments in episodes when you realize that Lydia is desperately trying to reach out to her, feels probably a bit alone, and doesn't have a close big sister like Lizzie has in Jane to help her deal with the stress.
  • Manga Angel Neko Oka: Aoi thinks her step-brother is an aloof nerd but when he saves her from being blackmailed by her boyfriend, she began to admire him especially when he revealed that he used to be an ex-commando.
  • In-universe, The Other Guy to The Nostalgia Critic. He has a couple of Pet the Dog moments, but mostly he's the "dark overlord that controls [him]" and doesn't care about his problems.

    Western Animation 
  • Norbert of The Angry Beavers started out as one, but as the show progressed, he became less aloof and more self-absorbed.
  • Avatar franchise:
  • In Ed, Edd n Eddy, Eddy's brother until The Movie.
  • Prince Daring Charming vs his younger brother Dexter Charming, in Ever After High. While Daring is confident, handsome, and has all students, male and female, fawning in awe of his greatness, Dexter is awkward, is a lot less perfectly chiseled and coiffured (though he still is good looking in his own right), and is implied to be almost as unpopular as Raven Queen — but not as feared, obviously.
  • Rigby's muscular, cooler, taller, friendlier, smarter brother, Don, from Regular Show actually subverts this since Don is actually the younger brother.
  • Zigzagged in Rick and Morty. Summer Smith goes back and forth on this. Earlier on, she was much closer to being actually aloof and uncaring about Morty. But as the show went on, she's become closer to Morty and cares about him, even if she doesn't always show it.
  • In Steven Universe, the older Diamonds were this to their youngest sister Pink Diamond, treating her as an annoyance and later reducing her to a Puppet King when they believed she couldn't manage her first and only colony on Earth. It got so bad that she faked her own death to become Rose Quartz for good, believing the other Diamonds would lose interest in Earth since she thought they didn't care about her. Then it turned out that her sisters did love her a lot and were heartbroken and enraged over her apparent assassination, with dire consequences for Earth and the Crystal Gems and Steven.
  • In Thunder Cats 2011, Lion-O's older brother, Tygra, is introduced as this: haughty, distant, and Always Someone Better, even disdainful of Lion-O's Wide-Eyed Idealist and Lost Technology studying ways. When Lost Technology proves real and their kingdom falls to invaders, Tygra's mask slowly falls away to reveal a deeply conflicted, resentful Broken Ace.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Aloof Older Brother, Aloof Big Sister


Sarah has no sister

After moving to England, Lynn learns that she has an older half-sister from her father's first marriage, Sarah. Eager to meet her, Lynn bursts into her room the next morning. However, Sarah refuses to consider Lynn a sister.<br><br><br><br>Sarah tells Lynn to get out, but Lynn pleads with her to at least have breakfast together. A maid then ushers Lynn out of Sarah's room.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / AloofBigBrother

Media sources: