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Don't ask him if he has any wool.
Black Sheep of the Family by J1Hunnit.
Diane Nguyen: My family made my life miserable, and then they never forgave me for leaving.
BoJack Horseman: So, what, you're like the black sheep?
Diane Nguyen: No, Gary's the black sheep. He's adopted. I'm just the member of the family that nobody likes.
BoJack Horseman, "Live Fast, Diane Nguyen"

This page is about the trope. For the 1996 film, go here. For the 2007 film, go here.

The Black Sheep is the one member of a group who does not fit in because they are seen as strange, unique, or undesirable in some way.

A Black Sheep is not just someone who doesn't fit in with their social circle or family — it's someone who rejects their role in the group, either deliberately or not. Or possibly someone whose reputation or morality is at odds with the family reputation/morality because it makes them different from the rest of the group.

Sometimes the Black Sheep is really bad — AKA a criminal. Other times a Black Sheep is just considered rebellious and might be a Cool Big Sis or Cool Uncle. On occasion, they are actually the Defector from Decadence. Often, they are a Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold.

In kids shows, there's a common Aesop where a Black Sheep from one of the kids' families will show up as either a Cool Big Sis (or brother) or a Cool Uncle. Often the Cool Relative will inspire emulation by all the kids in town (sometimes excepting only the kid who is actually related to him). Eventually this emulation gets the kids into trouble. Either the Black Sheep helps the kids out and then delivers the Aesop that they really don't want to be like him, or he reveals himself to be a Jerkass and leaves the kids in their mess (often to be saved by the one kid who didn't emulate the Black Sheep).

Contrast White Sheep, where a family member is an outcast for not engaging in the family's poor behavior. An Oddball in the Series is often called its "black sheep". The Remittance Man is a specific example who mostly appears in The Western; an unwanted scion of a prominent European (usually British) family, sent overseas to make his fortune or to avoid scandal, and paid a regular sum of money (the "remittance") to stay there.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Urd from Ah! My Goddess is an example of the Cool Big Sis, who is also a Black Sheep. Her reputation just doesn't quite fit with the expected behavior of a Goddess (being half-Demon doesn't help).
  • Black Clover has Noelle Silva, the daughter of the Silva family who can't properly control her magic. Due to her lack of mastery over her powers, she is seen as a black sheep by her Badass Family and this trope is made even worse for her since their mother died giving birth to her. Noelle's siblings openly state — to Noelle and to others — that she is a shame and they believe she should have died instead of their mother. At the same time, Noelle can also be the White Sheep, as she is the sole member of her family so far who is not a raging, elitist Jerkass that actively diminishes those of the lower class.
    • The entire squad of Black Bulls (Noelle joins this group) are full of Black Sheep for one reason or another. Putting them together with Asta's Determinator willpower turns the whole squad into a surprisingly-capable Ragtag Bunch of Misfits.
      • Asta: The main character, a Muggle (and Conveniently an Orphan) in a world of wizards until the titular grimoire appeared before him that allowed him to summon Anti-Magic weapons. He still has no magic of his own and is constantly looked down upon because of this.
      • Finral: Passed over for head of his noble family for his much-more-powerful half-brother.
      • Gauche: Had his noble title and wealth stolen and became a common criminal to protect his sister.
      • Luck: Stepford Smiler who apparently wants nothing more than to find powerful wizards to fight...all with a smile. His nickname: "The Cheery Berserker".
      • Magna: Rebellious Spirit from the sticks who raised trouble until the elder of a village suggested a better use for his Playing with Fire.
      • Vanessa: A Shameless Fanservice Girl witch who defected from her mother (and queen) after spending her childhood literally locked in a cage like a bird.
      • Zora: Son of the first commoner to join the Magic Knights. After his father's death and defaming by nobles, he turned Knight Templar and began a vigilante crusade to teach the nobles fear.
      • Henry, the keeper of the squad's base (his magic allows him to rearrange it), was abandoned by his parents because of a condition that renders him a constant magical leech. It's only within the labyrinthine confines of the base that he can keep this condition from affecting anyone else (including his squadmates) too much. The only reason Asta can befriend him is that Asta has no magic to leech.
      • Even Yami, the squad's captain, has Fish out of Water traits because he's not a native of the Clover Kingdom. Also, his affinity is Dark Magic, which creeps other people out.
    • Kirsch Vermillion, vice-captain of the Coral Peacocks, is this for the Vermillion family. While his sister Mimosa is one of the kindest people in the entire kingdom and his cousins Fuegoleon, Mereoleona and Leopold don't care about social status (only talent and determination matter to them), Kirsch is more of a typical Black Clover noble who despises all commoners. Even after he realizes the error of his ways, Kirsch is still the odd one out in the family, because he's also a hammy beauty-obsessed (but highly competent) goofball, while the other Vermillions are very serious-minded.
  • Bleach: Uryuu views his father Ryuuken as the black sheep of their Quincy family because he turned his back on the Quincy legacy to live the life of an ordinary doctor. Uryuu even walked out on his father in disgust and now refuses to live with him, preferring to honour his grandfather's memory instead. Ryuuken is in fact an extremely powerful Quincy master who is withholding his power and encouraging his son to think the worst of him for mysterious reasons. Souken does once imply that Ryuuken's "rebellious" behaviour is due to a Declaration of Protection but Uryuu isn't willing to listen. The final arc reveals that Uryuu's mother and Ichigo's mother were murdered nine years ago in an attack by the Quincy King that should also have killed him, revealing to Yhwach that Uryuu is immune to his power. Unbeknown to Yhwach, Ryuuken knows his secret Achilles' Heel; his method of murdering Quincies leaves behind a magical silver that can negate his unstoppable power; Ryuuken autopsies his own wife to collect the silver, an act that forever destroys his desire to be a Quincy but which allows him to forge a unique arrow that is the only weapon in existence capable of de-powering Yhwach long enough for Yhwach to be killed. The catch is that the arrow must be fired by someone whose future Yhwach is unable to see; the only person capable of doing this is Uryuu, so Ryuuken protects the secret of the arrow for nine years until Uryuu is finally strong enough to use it.
  • Maya is actually revealed to be a black sheep (albeit one still loved by her family) in Episode 4 of Burn Up Excess. She's a Tokyo cop while her family runs a criminal syndicate in Osaka. She's not a White Sheep because she doesn't hold it against them, nor they hold it against her.
  • Cross Ange: Julio of the royal Misurugi family can be considered this, as he not only hates Norma, but wishes to have them all killed, including his sister Ange who he exposes as one, a secret protected from everyone (including Ange herself) by their parents who loved her, and to that effect, has them both killed, takes the throne, and has Ange expelled to Arzenal in hopes of having her killed off, before attempting to kill her along with the rest of the Norma himself. He also turns their younger sister Sylvia, who idolized Ange, against her.
  • In the English dub of Digimon Adventure, Sora, Mimi, and their Digimon get picked up by Sora's older cousin Duane while hitch-hiking. Due to his boorish behaviour and dangerous driving habits, Sora mentions to Mimi those are the reasons why he's the black sheep of her family. note 
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Goku became this in Dragon Ball Z due to massive head trauma that seemed to have rewired his Saiyan brain. While he retains his people's love of combat (to a degree), senseless violence or revenge killing isn't his style. He can also be seen as the White Sheep.
    • In Dragon Ball, Great Demon King Piccolo and his reincarnation are the only known evil Namekians (not counting the non-canon movie villain Lord Slug). The reason is that the original Nameless Namekian was corrupted by the evilness of Earthlings (similar happened to Lord Slug), resulting in that he split himself into a good side and an evil side. Namekians in nature are not evil and are peaceful, even the Warrior class Namekians.
      • In general The Super Namekians (Piccolo, Slug) are this for most Namekians people (who are all related) Drunk with Power they caused great chaos to the normally peaceful planet until the elders banished them with the Dragon Balls leaving the Great Namekians to travel though space aimlessly. Even after saving Namek, Piccolo doesn't feel he belongs there, and says to Gohan that he finds it "boring". He's not as in-your-face about his love of battle as the Saiyans, but it's still very much there.
    • Tarble in Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!, though he's probably not canon now, was this for the royal family being a peaceful non-violent Saiyan while his brother and father are extremely violent, prideful, and battle-hungry. Tarble also married a non-humanoid which is rare for the Saiyans so far, like Goku he can also be seen as the White Sheep.
    • In Dragon Ball Super, Zamasu can be considered this for the Supreme Kais, which previously in the Buu saga had been shown to be a peaceful people but Zamasu on the other hand is a tyrannical narcissistic Sadist.
      • To a lesser extent is Pell, Supreme Kai of Universe 2. He's not malevolent like Zamasu, but he's the only known Blood Knight among the Kais, considering strength to be of overriding importance and actually seeming to enjoy combat even more than his God of Destruction counterpart Heles, a complete inversion of the usual relationship between each universe's gods.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • The titular guild has Laxus, who, after his attempted coup, becomes somewhat sane again... but is kicked out by Makarov and wanders the earth. He still shows up to grudgingly help them when they need him. He gets it from his dad, who went evil and started a dark guild with intentions to destroy Fairy Tail.
    • Gajeel, though this is partly intentional on his and Makarov's part as he is The Mole. He still doesn't fit in with the others after that duty is fulfilled though...
    • Initially, Natsu is portrayed as this because although the whole guild tends to cause huge amounts of collateral damage, Natsu is by far the worst and the most reckless.
  • Fist of the North Star's Jagi is so unlike the other three disciples of Hokuto Shinken, despite being the closest relation-wise to their master (according to the Jagi Gaiden manga, adopted son), that he is not considered among the "three Hokuto brothers." Justified in the sense that he never truly mastered Hokuto Shinken, and in fact spent several years running around doing other things instead of spending time training.
    • To be absolutely fair, the eldest brother Raoh wasn't too much better than Jagi, since he did murder their adoptive father as he broke the 1800-year law of Hokuto by refusing to give up his power to his younger brother, Kenshiro. Similar to Jagi, he didn't spend his time training like Toki and Kenshiro, since Raoh is ridiculously strong without training. The difference is Jagi was pathetic and died a Jerkass, while Raoh is a titan of strength and lamented towards the end as he genuinely cared for his adoptive brothers.
  • In Fruits Basket
    • Kyoko Honda is disowned by her own parents and frowned upon by most of her husband's family, mainly because of her sketchy past as a delinquent. They treat her daughter, Tohru, much the same, even though she's not the least bit rebellious.
    • Kyo Sohma is treated as the pariah of the Sohma clan due to being possessed by the spirit of the Cat, an animal that missed out on becoming part of the Eastern Zodiac. While none of the other Sohmas possessed by Zodiac spirits escape feeling inferior due to their cursed status, Kyo is the most ostracized by far.
  • Inukami!: Keita became this for failing to attract an Inukami during his clan's coming of age ceremony. It's later revealed that Yohko, his sort-of Magical Girlfriend, scared all the others away so, as a Kitsune, she could form a pact with him when he would be desperate enough to accept. Why? When Keita was younger, he gave her some chocolate cake. Since she was forced to live on a mountain for a long time, with Inukami constantly hounding her (as a Kitsune, she is terrified of them), it's understandable why she would do this, even though she did strain Keita's relationship with his family for selfish reasons.
  • The lead from Kaze no Stigma was cast away from his clan for not being able to control fire. He chose to control wind instead. Then they want him to marry back into the family, which both irritates and amuses him greatly.
  • Naruto:
    • Itachi Uchiha is the Black Sheep of the Uchiha clan, being the only one in his family who does not believe that being an Uchiha makes one superior and eventually massacres all but one member of the clan. That last part is because he was the only Uchiha who opposed a planned hostile takeover of Konoha.
    • Later we find out that his best friend and fellow clansman Shisui also opposed the coup, and died trying to stop it. Which left Itachi's massacre the only solution left.
    • And then there's Obito, a Kakashi's dead teammate. He's the only Uchiha ninja shown to not have been an antisocial loner, or an exceptional ninja, which makes the reveal in chapter 599 all the more shocking. Obito is also the only Uchiha outright shown to have unconditional love for someone (Rin) outside his clan, while Sasuke has immense trouble conveying how much he cares for Naruto and Sakura even in Boruto.
  • One Piece:
    • The Nefertari family (Cobra, the late Titi, and Vivi) is descended from one of the ancient 20 kingdoms who formed The World Government, but defected from Mariejois to keep living in their own kingdom. This caused the rulers of the World Government to view them as "traitors", making them another Black Sheep in the eyes of the World Nobles in general. But to readers, they're actually the White Sheep.
    • Since there's the suggestion that those with the "Will of D" are connected, this means Marshall D. Teach, aka "Blackbeard" is the black sheep of the D. family, since he's a Dirty Coward. In contrast, Luffy, Ace, Roger, Saul, Law, and Rouge were good and brave people.
    • Sabo didn't follow his family's tradition of being asshole nobles who lorded their titles and wealth over everyone and was mocked for it by both his family and his adopted brother, Stelly. When he discovered his parents wanted to burn down the Gray Terminal (its people included) because a World Noble was visiting their kingdom, Sabo had enough and ran away from home, never knowing if Luffy and Ace (who also lived in the Gray Terminal) survived until years later. This led to a series of events that got him picked up by Revolutionaries, and he has been staying with them since.
    • Justified with Donquixote Doflamingo, who is this for the Donquixote Family. While his father, mother, younger brother, and their relative Mjosgard discarded their Noble arrogance and became legitimately good human beings, Doflamingo continued acting like a typical World Noble as a child and wouldn't shut up about his former title. This behavior exposed them as former World Nobles, giving the victims of the World Nobles a legitimate reason to cast out and even attack them. The squalid conditions the Donquixote family were forced to live in caused Doffy's mother to die from an illness that could have been prevented with the World Nobles' high-class medicine, leading to deep resentment and hatred that motivated Doffy to blow his father's brains out while Homing was apologizing for his mistakes. After all that, Doflamingo still has learned nothing of his family's ethics, seeing himself above the "commoners" and is openly a Sadist. Even his brother believed that Doflamingo was born evil.
    • In-universe Sanji is seen as this by the Vinsmoke Family, since he is the only male member of the family who doesn't believe Might Makes Right or that Virtue Is A Weakness. He was supposed to be an emotionless weapon like his brothers, thanks to Judge experimenting on him in utero, but his mother, Sora, desperately consumed a dangerous drug to protect her quadruplet sons and reverse their genetic modifications, at the cost of her own life. While Ichiji, Niji, and Yonji have only a shred of empathy left, Sanji was born with his still intact, resulting in him becoming a Supreme Chef who got his strength and powers through natural training and experience instead of using technology and science like his family does. To readers, as well as Sora and his sister, Reiju, Sanji is the White Sheep, and only his father and brothers think otherwise.
    • Lola was this for the Charlotte Family, as she defied the wishes of her mother, Big Mom, to marry Prince Loki of the Elbaf kingdom by running away from home to find her own love. This enraged Big Mom to the point where she took out her rage upon Lola's twin sister Chiffon for looking like her, causing Chiffon to eventually betray her family as well. Praline was initially the Token Good Teammate until she made the decision to run away with the Sun Pirates when they decided to leave Totto Land, and later helped the Straw Hats escape Big Mom's clutches by distracting her sea slugs with song. Pudding is an interesting case - she's Big Mom's favored child, but only because her heritage as a Three-Eyed person would potentially allow her to read poneglyphs (which, as she points out, would be impossible due to being a half-breed). Before that, she was widely mocked, scorned, and abused for having three eyes, which made her a freak in the eyes of her neighbors and even her own family. So while she decided to secretly help Sanji to pay him back for the nice compliments he gave her, she couldn't leave her family behind, and she knows it.
  • Shi ni Aruki has Tokiko to the rest of the Kurosu family. While it seems like she was treated well as a child, with everyone doing their best to dote on her after her adoption, by her teenage years, her detached demeanor, Lack of Empathy, and her Doom Magnet status have led to the only family that did anything more than tolerate her be her recently deceased father who she orchestrated the death of. Outside that, her older sister Miyuki does appear to care for her, readily coming to her defense whenever others try to blame her baby sister for anything, but Tokiko regularly questions how much of that comes from earnest love or a sense of familal duty. At the end of the story, the only thing Tokiko states in her will is that she doesn't want her remains put with the rest of the Kurosu family.
  • Wabisuke is the Jinnouchi's prodigal son in Summer Wars.
  • Kouhei from Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase is the only magic-less Muggle in an entire family of mages. Fortunately, that also means he's immune to all sorts of magic.
  • Aero from 12 Beast gets quite the unfortunate reputation thanks to her black wings. note 
  • YuruYuri: Ohmuro Sakurako is this compared to her sisters Nadeshiko and Hanako. The latter two are well-mannered and studious while Sakurako is lazy, immature, and struggles with school, relying primarily on her best friend Himawari to help her.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: Among the Batfamily, three characters fit at one point or another of canon:
    • Huntress was considered "too extreme" by Batman due to her willingness to use deadly force, and at various points they fought. Eventually they learned to get along passably well. Her efforts to infiltrate the Gotham Mafia and destroy it from within eventually even earned his approval.
    • Stephanie Brown was, at best, a tolerated teen crime-fighter as Spoiler, but she was never accepted or welcomed into the group except by Tim Drake. Batman alternated between ignoring her and actively ordering her to quit (and, on two occasions, training her, including once as Robin) until she assumed the mantle of Batgirl and earned the respect of everybody who previously dismissed her.
    • Jason Todd, since he came Back from the Dead and went on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge, has killed criminals and occasionally opposed the rest of the family, but has sometimes come out to help of his own initiative. Jason has a strong jealously of Dick Grayson who he perceives as Bruce's favorite son, and Tim Drake who he sees as his replacement and whom he's tried to kill on several occasions. Ironically, he's much closer personality-wise to Damian who is Bruce's sole biological child.
    • Most of the Wayne family are decent, but Dr. Hurt aka Thomas Wayne (an ancestor who shares the same name as Bruce's father) was a crazy evil jerk. Bonding to one of Darkseid's superweapons didn't help.
    • Damian Wayne also has these issues, as he's been trained as an assassin during his whole pre-Gotham life, his mother has now disowned him for siding with his dad's point of view, and he didn't even know how to really play until Stephanie dragged him to a moonbounce. Did we mention he's ten? He proved himself to Dick fairly quickly and is in the process of getting his father's acceptance, but Tim still can't forget that this kid tried to kill him once. It's a mixed bag.
    • Jean-Paul Valley was kinda-sorta accepted as a part of the Bat-family after he and Batman teamed up to take down a crazed weapons dealer and actively trained him to get him away from the hold of the System. However, things fell apart when he took over as Batman, as he was doused with Fear Gas by The Scarecrow, leading to the System taking over, went crazy, and ended up having a villain killed. Batman considered him a mistake and would really not want to deal with him.
    • The Gordons have their own, James Gordon Jr. His father is the police commissioner, and his sister is a superhero, but James Jr. kills people for fun. He also tried to kill his mother and Barbara before he was caught by Batman and his father.
  • Captain America's sometime-flame Diamondback has a brother, Cutthroat. Where Diamondback was once a ruthless criminal, her brother remains one, without shame or conscience. She still cares for him, in spite of Cap's belief that a brother who abandons his family (as Cutthroat has done several times) will always choose the easy way out.
  • Sabotage from Chassis is the scion of an old, traditional family from Japan. He scandalised his father by becoming thoroughly Westernised. His father paid for him to move to California to get rid of him. After failing to become an actor, he became an Aero-run racer. After acquiring a reputation as one of the dirtiest racers on the circuit, and an Anglo girlfriend, Sabotage has been disowned by his father. He doesn't care.
  • One Dennis the Menace (UK) strip involves Walter apparently becoming a menace and picking on Dennis. In the end, it turned out it was actually Walter's identical cousin, William, who unlike the rest of the family is a real menace.
  • Parodied by Walden Woods in Dork Tower: his parents are perfectly fine with his homosexuality — it's his Goth LARP gaming hobby that disturbs them.
  • Green Lantern:
    • Larfleeze was born ugly, and his parents couldn't sell him off because they can't legally sell more than six children in their family. Worse, he had been abused by his siblings since he was 10 months old. And this is all before his adult life, in which he ended up in slavery when the Lakadakians invaded his home planet. Keep in mind that Larfleeze likes to spice up his backstory.
    • William Hand is born an inventive genius; developing a penchant for speaking in extremely old clichés later in life. William's family, the Hands, are renowned in Coastville (a suburb of Coast City, California); however, he grows to dislike them early in life. He feels the best way to distance himself from them, especially his three brothers (David, Peter, and Joe), is to start a life of crime. After extensive study, he becomes an expert criminal and evades police at every turn. Eventually, his criminal behavior escalates into becoming a costumed supervillain; dubbing himself "Black Hand" (an inside joke he conceives that refers to his status as the "black sheep" of the Hand family).
  • The Sandman (1989): The Prodigal, aka Destruction of the Endless. Unusually, he's probably the only member of the family that everyone else likes—he's also one of the most affable, rational, and well-adjusted of them...not counting Death. In fact, it's one of the great, unspoken ironies of the series that the most relatable and most empathetic members of the Endless (at least, maybe until Daniel replaces Morpheus as Dream of the Endless) are Death and Destruction.
  • Spider-Man: Karn of the group the Inheritors. The youngest member of a family of energy vampires who include the infamous Morlun, he hesitated in trying to kill the Master Weaver, getting his mother killed. So disgusted in his failure, his father Solus shoved an old-fashioned diving helmet on his head so he nor his family could see what he looked like. This drives him to try to kill as many Spiders as possible in an attempt to prove his worth once more. It doesn't help, though, this his siblings take great joy in trying to Kill Steal his targets.
  • Albrecht Strong of Tom Strong, who was conceived by his mother's rape of an unconscious Tom. He was raised to be a cruel Nazi and represents the Aryan ideal. Just don't call him a "black sheep"; he would die before anyone lumped him in with that "schwarze" family of Tom's. He calls himself the family's "white sheep" instead.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Casey Jones' cousin Sid is considered the black sheep of the Jones family. A petty criminal, his first appearance shows him threatening Casey at gunpoint in order to steal money supposedly hidden in his grandmother's house. Later on, he becomes a member of the Foot Clan. It does not end well for him.
  • Weapon Hex: Strangely enough, Herbert is a Downplayed example of this. Out of him, Sarah, Laura, and Gavrill, he's the only one who never develops a sense of empathy, and he's the only one whose devotion to Mephicthton never falters.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • The Black Sheep does exactly what it says on the tin. A successful hard-working career girl in Ankh-Morpork is not happy at the coming of her favorite uncle, who she knows to be a con-man, grifter, and scrounger. He has also been expelled from their native country for serious criminal offences against the State.
  • Bait and Switch: Captain Kanril Eleya gives the impression that she likes her family but doesn't really fit with them. Her parents are town maintenance workers in a small town and her younger sister's engaged to a vedek,note  whereas Eleya joined the Bajoran Militia and later Starfleet because of Small Town Boredom.
  • Swinging Pendulum: Amongst the cheerful and dark-haired Shiba, the pessimistic and bright-haired Ichigo tends to stick out. He also sucks at Kidou, which happens to be a clan specialty.
  • Gou in Metroid: Kamen Rider Generations, as some of his log entries states that when Chase was reformed, he began considering himself to be this, which drove a wedge between him and the rest of the Special Investigation Unit. Despite that his Face–Heel Turn in the TV series was in fact a charade.
  • A Man of Iron: Antony Stark grates his cousin Ned's sensibilities by his arrogance, vanity, and self-centredness. Tony knows it and gleefully goes out of his way to mock the "proper" Northern way, seeing it as stagnant and unlikable.
  • In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Misty was this to her older sisters and parents, who were more interested in acting, singing, and dancing, while she wanted to follow the footsteps of her late grandmother, the original Cerulean Gym leader.
  • All That Glitters (Othellia): Lampshaded. Erich, one of the nicest members of his large family, left years prior to the start of the story. Anna comments that it sounds like he's the "brown sheep" of the family, with Hans being the black one.
  • Rising of the Sleeping Soldier: While being the Shield Hero sets him apart from the other heroes as is, Alucard is the only one from a world pre-Industrial Revolution, the only one with any battle experience or monster-hunting experience, is the only Caucasian one (as well as the only one not from any iteration of Japan) and is the only non-human (not counting being half-human on his mother's side) among them. Twofer Token Minority wouldn't even begin to cut it.
  • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail: Chloe Cerise feels like she's this since everyone in her family loves Pokémon while she...doesn't. However, this makes her angry at herself as she feels so isolated from everyone else.

    Films — Animated 
  • Manolo Sanchez from The Book of Life. A would-be musician in a family of bullfighters.
  • A literal example with Cardigan the lamb from the 2003 direct-to-video sequel to Charlotte's Web. In the film, Cardigan is the newest animal on the farm but is shunned by the rest of the sheep since he's a black sheep. Notably a group of lambs who laugh at him and call him a "Loser, with a Capital L!". As a result, Wilbur, Aranie, Joy, and Nellie are the only friends Cardigan has. After befriending Wilbur, he becomes open that he prefers the lifestyle of a pig (much to the mockery of the other lambs).
  • Coco: Héctor is this to the Rivera family for seemingly abandoning his family to pursue his musical aspirations.
  • Encanto: Mirabel's uncle Bruno was shunned by the rest of the family because he only seemed to predict bad things with his gift of prophecy. There's even a whole musical number about how much he's hated, "We Don't Talk About Bruno". He's ultimately a good guy whose prophecies end up giving Mirabel a hint towards saving the day.
  • Prince Hans of the Southern Isles from Frozen. Much of his backstory is explained in the Tie-In Novel A Frozen Heart, and it's not good. Being the youngest of 13 sons made him an easy target for his father and eleven of his older brothers (especially Rudi and Runo, who bully Hans the most) to pick on — he's been subjected to extensive emotional and physical abuse from the get-go — in essence, becoming the Extreme Doormat for his family for this reason because he often failed to exceed his father's cruel expectations and hated following their orders. His father, a ruthless man who believed in Social Darwinism and corrupted most of his sons so they'll be molded into his image, deliberately encouraged them to bully him, thinking it'll whip him in line. By the time he leaves for Arendelle, he's been abused so much that he thinks it's normal and doesn't do much to stop their antics, but it only enabled his family to do even more. Ironically, Hans being against the violent methods of his family made him the White Sheep, but his desire to appeal to his father and brothers slowly darkened him into the Tragic Villain he is in the film.
  • Hercules: The moment he appears, Hades immediately kills the party atmosphere and has all his fellow Olympians giving him cold looks of silent contempt. Even his lame pun is met with scowls, but when Zeus makes a similar lame joke about his workaholic nature, the entire pantheon bursts into laughter, while Hades storms out in anger. In essence, the gods dislike him so much that they can't even ignore him, and it's done to show how out-of-touch and estranged he is with them. It's implied that his fellow gods see him for the dead-beat good-for-nothing of the family that he is, from the way that he treats mortals as pawns for his sick amusement.
  • This was how Lilo & Stitch was promoted before the original film came out. The marketing campaign played up Stitch as a Black Sheep-type among Disney's plethora of animated characters, with the image caption on the top of this page being the literal tagline on its theatrical release poster, which had a bunch of Disney characters most reacting with shock or disdain towards him. The "Inter-Stitch-al" teaser trailers showed how he was unlike any Disney character seen before, having him ruin iconic moments from the "Big Four" Disney Renaissance films (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King).
  • The Lion King: Scar is implied to be this in The Lion King. However, this is due to his own attitude, rather than the others' actions. Simba even seems to like him when he was a cub.
    Zazu: There's one in every family, sire—two in mine, actually—and they always manage to ruin special occasions.
    Mufasa: What am I going to do with him?
  • Megamind thinks himself as this, since the other kids wouldn't pick him for dodgeball or let him join in on their fun times, often putting him in time-out. This awakens the Then Let Me Be Evil within him and lets him embrace his black sheep side for a time.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 8 Women: Marcel's sister Pierrette was banned from the family by his wife Gaby due to her bad reputation, as Pierrette is an exotic dancer and prostitute. When Marcel is murdered, she's drawn to the house and suspected of being the culprit due to her secret meetings with him.
  • In Beast (2017), Moll is this in her family, due to the incident that led her being expelled from school. Her sister Polly outright calls Moll "a wild one" early in the film. It's obvious Moll feels she doesn't fit in with her family and their upper-class lifestyle, becoming increasingly rebellious and defiant towards them as the film progresses.
  • Black Sheep (2007) has two brothers who were fifth-generation sheep farmers. The younger one was considered a "Golden Boy natural-born farmer" until a combination of his brother traumatizing him and his dad's death at the same time caused him to develop a sheep phobia and he fled to the city while the older one took over the farm and developed mutant-were-sheep-zombies that are also related to them. The title could refer to any of these.
  • Black Sheep (1996) has Chris Farley's character being a major pain to his politician brother because he's fat, loud, and other words, a Chris Farley character.
  • Emily: Emily Brontë is unlike her ladylike sisters Charlotte and Anne and is openly considered "the strange one" by the villagers because of her difficulty socializing and moodiness. Her brother Branwell has it worse though; he continues to fail at what he puts his mind to and their father considers him a disgrace. Accordingly, Emily is closest to Branwell of her siblings, though everyone else considers him a bad influence.
  • The Bollywood film Sooryavansham, in which Amitabh Bachchan was in a dual role has Heera as the odd one out of his family. While his two older brothers and older sisters are seen as high-achievers by their father, Thakur Bhanupratap Singh coldly regards his youngest son as an idiot who failed to live up to the high expectations he set for his children. But despite being neglected by his family, Heera is very benevolent and obedient, and hopes to earn the respect of his father. His father finally acknowledges him as his son in the end.
  • God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness: Pearce, Dave's brother, is an atheist while Dave and the rest of the pair's family are devout Christians from what the film indicates. He has been estranged from them for many years, ever since he'd voiced doubts about their religion which met with a poor reception (this only pushed Pearce into a total loss of faith). By the end of the film they still haven't reconciled, but it's implied the pair are at least back upon the path to a relationship.
  • In Greedy, Daniel McTeague's father qualifies, having walked away from Uncle Joe (and his money) because he didn't want to get turned into a greedy sycophant like the rest of the family members did. He even points out this reason to Danny when he shows up to call him out on what he'd done to try to get into Uncle Joe's good graces.
  • The Hoodlum: Vincent is the only criminal in his family, with an ever-growing rap sheet. Only his mother believes that there is any good in him.
  • Incendies: Nawal, a Christian Arab from a small Middle Eastern village, gets pregnant with a Muslim refugee, then joins a Muslim terrorist organization and ultimately flees to Canada. When her daughter Jeanne revisits her distant family in the Middle East, they welcome her in, only to immediately shun her when they find out how she's related, telling her that her mother brought shame to their family.
  • Edmund Pevensie in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is regarded as the black sheep of the family — at least for the first half of the film. Notably, the titular Witch manages to turn his doubt about his family accepting him into a betrayal.
  • Joshua in Little Odessa: due to him being a hitman for The Mafiya, he is banished from home by his father.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • After learning of his true origins in Thor, Loki declares that Thor was never his brother and begins Slowly Slipping Into Evil. Initially he continues to refer to Odin and Frigga as his parents, but by The Avengers, he's renounced them as well. It's of interest to note that Loki, at least, seems to have always considered himself a black sheep, even if no one else in his family did. The revelation of his parentage was simply the final push he needed to fully embrace his role as an outsider. Amusingly, when in The Avengers Loki comes to Earth with the intention of opening up a wormhole to bring an extraterrestrial army to Earth, Thor first demands that people speak respectfully of his brother... and then, when reminded of Loki's crimes, weakly replies that, "He's adopted."
    • N'Jobu and his son N'Jadaka aka Erik Killmonger from Black Panther unlike the rest of the Golden Tribe of Wakanda they believe in using their country's power for global revolution to free the black-skinned people of the world from oppression, and while it's a noble goal their methods (particularly Killmonger's) are abhorrent. When Erik seizes the throne, he immediately abuses his power and continues his father's goal planning to use Vibranium Take Over the World before being stopped by his cousin T'challa.
    • Gamora and Nebula are the Black Sheep of the Black Order aka Thanos's children, unlike their adoptive siblings Obsidian Cull, Corvus Glaive, Ebony Maw, and Proxima Midnight; the two sisters do not believe in their adoptive father's lunacy and are the only children to actively defy him. This is extra screwed up as Thanos despite having more loyal children still doted on Gamora the most, which came back to bite him in Avengers: Infinity War. Since Nebula is more Anti-Hero, Gamora can also be seen as the true White Sheep of Thanos' family.
    • An non-humanoid example come from Ultron (the titular antagonist of Avengers 2) who can be considered the Black Sheep of A.I in the MCU especially when compared to Jarvis/Vision, Friday and Karen who are all Benevolent A.I. built by Tony Stark. Ultron unlike his nicer robotic brethren is disgusted by humanity and believes he is doing the right thing by blowing them all to hell, he also has no qualms about destroying fellow artificial intelligence as he wrecked poor Jarvis upon awaking and rips apart his own old bodies to make for better ones with no regard for preservation.
  • Parenthood: Larry is the Black Sheep of the Buckman family for his somewhat rebellious nature. He also has an African-American son from a one-night stand named Cool, but as a father, he's not the best parent out there.

  • Loki from Norse Mythology (and any other characterisation you can think of) pulls huge amounts of mischief in contrast to his much more upstanding family and earns both his horrible fate and black sheep status.
  • Fairy tales are filled with the black sheep characters, who are outsiders within their family but whose misfit tendencies help them succeed later on.
  • There is an old wives tale saying that if the first lamb of the lambing season is born black, it is an omen that the farm will face hardship that year. However, an aversion can come with the views of black lambs by Sussex shepards, who view them as a sign of good things to come due to relative rarity of natural black wool.

  • Accomplishments of the Duke's Daughter: Bern Tashi Armelia is this to the rest of his family. His father, Duke Louis de Armelia is the Prime Minister who holds their country in the face of a succession crisis and weak-willed king. His mother, Merellis Reiser Armelia is the premier socialite and a powerful warrior in her own right. His older sister Iris Lana Armelia is acting Fief Lord, who not only improved their fief's wealth infrastructure but also runs her own company. Whereas Bern backstabbed his sister by siding with the shallow girl whom Iris' fiancee cheated on her for. And completely wasted his time in the prestigious boarding school doing nothing. His family is understandably angry with him for not supporting his sister.
  • A recent version of Alice in Wonderland (2010) has Tweedledee and Tweedledum claim that the Red King is the Black Sheep of the King of Hearts' family. Tweedledee: "Every family has one." Both: "We have two." The implication being that both Tweedles are perfectly aware that they're odd.
  • Georgette Heyer's book Black Sheep has as its hero Miles Calverleigh, who was packed off to India after he tried to elope with an heiress. Upon returning to England twenty years later, he acknowledges that wasn't a good idea, but still doesn't worry about conforming to the rules of propriety.
    Miles: What [my father] worshipped was good ton. I wasn't good ton at all...
  • An inversion is found in Burton's Zoom Zoom Varoom Machine by Dorothy Haas. The entire family are eccentric inventors of one sort or another, except for Little Brother. He's the Black Sheep because he's the only normal one.
  • Prince Almorante in The Chronicles of Magravandias, who is the only dark-haired Malagash in generations. In adulthood, he pulls away from his family, becomes interested in the mystic arts, and dresses — as his mother describes — like "a brigand lord" rather than a prince. He would probably be the best candidate to succeed his father, but he just doesn't have a talent for inspiring strong feelings in people like Bayard or the legitimacy of position that Gastern has.
  • Cobalt Blue: Blaine is the sibling who is most willing to entertain ideas of causing collateral damage in battle, lusts after power, and he is also the only one who was never a Cool Big Bro or Cool Big Sis to Cassie. Fittingly enough, his codename is Cobalt-Black.
  • Temuge in the Conqueror books. While his brothers are all badass warriors, poor Temuge is a rather soft chap who can barely hold a sword. He eventually makes up for it by becoming The Smart Guy.
  • Deltan Escape: Fian is the one history nerd in a family of scientific geniuses. To compound the problem, his father is excessively proud of being descended from Jorgen Eklund, founder of Cioni's Apprentices and the family live on Hercules, the most scientifically-minded in the whole of science-obsessed Delta Sector. He's had to study History in secret, and ends up having to sneak away to start University.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Several members of the extended family — especially Uncle Gary who is explained as having been married at least four times. It gets worse in The Third Wheel when he moves in with Greg and his family.
  • In the Disgaea Novels, Flonne's sister, Ozonne believes in the power of money and rejects the concept of love.
  • Dogs Don't Talk has Keith's sister Monica, who was a rebellious feminist in The '70s and told her mother during a particularly nasty argument about abortion, "You were never a mother to me!" As an adult, she's never invited to any family gatherings besides funerals, and she's the only one of Keith's five siblings Ben hasn't met.
  • A Dr. Ecco puzzle features three heirs to a fortune, Alice, Brad, and Carla. Brad and Carla are stereotypical rich folk but Alice, the self-proclaimed Black Sheep, wears a plastic earring and jeans. The reason she is the black sheep is that she doesn't fit in with her other two siblings.
  • The narrator in the Rudyard Kipling poem "Gentleman-Rankers" describes himself and those in his situation as such:
    We're poor little lambs who've lost our way, baa, baa, baa.
    We're little black sheep who've gone astray, baa!
    We're gentleman-rankers, out on the spree
    Damned from here to eternity
    May God have mercy on such as we! Baa! Yah! Bah!
  • Spartan-II Gray Team from Halo: The Cole Protocol. After being abducted into the SPARTAN-II program, most of the Spartan-II candidates were able to quickly adjust to their new lives as soldiers; cooperation, teamwork, and camaraderie were easily integrated into their minds, and within five months they were fully willing to take on their training. The only exceptions were the three Spartans who would become "Gray Team", who were the most difficult to control during training. These trainees were loners who tried constantly to escape and resisted indoctrination in any way possible. As their escape attempts became increasingly costly, with numerous trainers suffering broken fingers and shattered knee caps and at least one Pelican dropship hijacked and destroyed, the three Spartans were eventually formed into their own team, trained separately from the rest. As such, Gray Team's members are the most independent and individualistic of the Spartan-IIs, trained to operate for long periods with little control or assistance.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Sirius and Andromeda from the Black family. The Black family actually tends to have a few of these in every generation, and they always get blasted off the family tree. Harry himself also starts the series as a Black Sheep — a wizard stuck with a Muggle family.
    • Ron's family is almost all wizards except for one of Molly's distant cousins, who is an accountant: "We don't talk about him much..."
    • The Weasleys also have Percy, a stuck-up, anal-retentive stick-in-the-mud introvert born into a family of humble, friendly, generous extroverts and who never fit in. For all his faults, Percy was mildly mocked by his brothers even prior to cutting off all ties from them. Eventually, he decides to distance himself from the other members of the Weasley clan for political favor. He eventually comes to his senses and reconciles with his family after the Ministry falls under Voldemort's control.
    • Peter Pettigrew, the only Gryffindor alumnus who turned out evil. There are other Gryffindors who are jerkasses (Peter's fellow Marauders were douchebags before they turned a new leaf) or shallow (Cormac McLaggen), but Peter is the only one who is rotten to the core. He also lacks any brave qualities that members usually have, which makes one wonder how he got sorted into the house in the first place.
  • A common thread in the Heralds of Valdemar series. Talia Sensdaughter, Lavan Firestorm, Vanyel Ashkevron, Darian Firkin, to list a few. Many of the main and minor characters are regarded as black sheep at some point in their tales.
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles: Rodger Baskerville, the youngest brother of Sir Charles, was a reprobate in the same line as the infamous Sir Hugo Baskerville (who started the whole legend of the Baskerville Hound). He made England too hot to hold him and fled to South America where it was reported that he died of yellow fever in 1876. His son, also named Rodger, is in the same vein; he returns to England under the name Jack Stapleton and attempts to murder his cousin Henry for the title and land. Rodger is outright cited as a Black Sheep in-text.
  • Jeeves and Wooster: As the one Nice Guy in a Big, Screwed-Up Family, Bertie Wooster doesn't get along well with his relatives. His Aunt Agatha spends a great deal of time unsuccessfully trying to turn him into a credit to the family.
  • In Jane Austen's Love and Freindship, Edward.
    "Augusta (replied the noble Youth) I thought you had a better opinion of me, than to imagine I would so abjectly degrade myself as to consider my Father's Concurrence in any of my Affairs, either of Consequence or concern to me. Tell me, Augusta, tell me with sincerity; did you ever know me consult his inclinations, or follow his Advice in the least trifling Particular, since the age of fifteen?"
    "Edward (replied she) you are surely too diffident in your own praise. Since you were fifteen only! My Dear Brother, since you were five years old, I entirely acquit you of ever having willingly contributed to the Satisfaction of your Father. But still, I am not without apprehensions of your being shortly obliged to degrade yourself in your own eyes by seeking a Support for your Wife in the Generosity of Sir Edward."
  • In the Malazan Book of the Fallen, Hitman with a Heart Rallick Nom stems from the Darujhistan House of Nom, a respectable family with far-flung connections. Why he became an assassin is never explained, but his friend Kruppe calls him a sheep 'the very black of nadir, the Abyss' and thus even worse than his wayward cousin Torvald Nom.
  • "Ordeal of Innocence" by Agatha Christie has Jack Argyle, one of Rachel Argyle's 5 adopted children, who has always been considered a "bad seed" with criminal tendencies. When he was convicted for Rachel's murder, the rest of the family were more than happy to accept that he is guilty.
  • The Poison Apples: Molly Miller would be this in her family. Once her father remarries after his divorce, her little sister gets close to their stepmother and their relationship suffers as a result.
  • Pride and Prejudice: Kitty and Lydia both live this trope in their rebellious behavior as noted by their father. Once Kitty grows out of her deplorable behavior, Lydia remains as the sole black sheep, with her status pushed even further.
  • Retired Witches Mysteries: Brian Fuller's grandfather Abdon is a member of the Grand Council of Witches and (along with Brian's parents, Schadt and Yuriza) a staunch traditionalist. Brian rebelled by attending a regular community college and later allying with (and eventually joining) a coven of witches who are not happy with the council's attempts to meddle in their lives. His family do not approve of this and try to force him back under their control, but Brian insists on making his own way. In book 3, he mentions an uncle who was similar (among other things, he practiced dousing), and his parents never wanted him to visit because they didn't want Brian to follow in his footsteps.
  • Ida, main character of Shaman of the Undead was disliked by her parents because she lacks their powerful magical gift and she doesn't want to participate in the life they pre-planned for her. note  After she runs off and activates her Psychopomp gift, they're never heard from again — either they understood that she's different, or they don't want to have anything to do with her.
  • In The Silmarillion from the House of Fingolfin, Maeglin. His grandfather Fingolfin and Uncles Fingon and Turgon are heroic figures who are all High King of the Noldor. In turn, Turgon's daughter Idril is a decent Princess Classic and her husband Tuor is a great hero, while his mother Aredhel was decent if quite adventurous. Maeglin is a treacherous figure who desires Idril and is the first Elf with such a desire. He betrays Turgon's city of Gondolin to Morgoth leading to Turgon's death. He also tries to 'take' Idril and murder her seven-year-old son Earendil, at which her husband Tuor throws Maeglin from the walls of Gondolin. This villainous nature may be due to Maeglin's father Eol, the sinister Dark Elf, who basically kidnapped Aredhel, kept Maeglin in the forest for the first 80 years of his life, and accidentally killed Maeglin's mother while trying to kill Maeglin, at which Turgon had him executed. This treachery and serving Morgoth marks Maeglin out as someone considered the wickedest Elf, worse than his relatives from the House of Feanor (Fingolfin's older half-brother), as at least they served their House and fought against the Dark Lord.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Brynden Tully received his nickname (the Blackfish) by punning on this and the Tully family's sigil of a trout. However he seems a relatively decent person, just not getting on well with his brother, largely over the fact he never married. When his family is threatened, he immediately goes to help them and reconciles with his brother while the latter is on his deathbed.
    • Euron "Crow's Eye" is the black sheep (squid?) of the Greyjoy family. And in a family that believes in Rape, Pillage, and Burn is a way of life, that takes a fair amount of effort, at least none of the other Greyjoys engaged in kinslaying, Euron is suspected to have murdered his brother Balon so he could usurp rule of the Iron Islands. He later tells his youngest brother Aeron he personally slew two of his half-brothers, and was responsible for Balon's death.
    • Jorah Mormont earned his Black Sheep status when he sold some poachers into slavery in an effort to finance his wife's entertainments. Rather than face his punishment (which would be either execution by his liege lord, or going to serve on the Wall with a bunch of other Black Sheep), he flees the country.
    • Inverted for Perwyn Frey, he is notably one of the very very very few decent members of House Frey and was sent away before the Red Wedding. Same for his full brother Olyvar and one of his half-nephews Alesander, who were also not present at the Red Wedding.
    • Jon Snow of the Stark family, as he is Ned Stark's illegitimate son among his five trueborn half-siblings and has a Missing Mom he wishes he knew. Though Jon is loved by his father Ned, trueborn siblings, and uncle, and he loves them, he is The Un-Favourite to his father's wife, Catelyn, whose treatment contributes to his outsider feelings. Catelyn resents Jon because he is Ned's son by another woman who Ned refuses to identify and — due to Ned's fierce protectiveness of Jon — she fears Ned may have loved Jon's mother more than her. On the other hand, Jon is raised as one of them by Ned as Ned's son and mentored alongside his half-brother Robb (Ned's heir) who Jon shares a close relationship with — rather than being sent away or being completely unacknowledged as some illegitimate children in Westeros are.
      • Arya Stark — Jon's youngest sister and who Jon is very close to — is also this in their family due to her rebellious nature and desire to pursue unladylike pursuits not exactly befitting a highborn lady. Her other siblings generally excel in their expected roles: Robb is set to be Lord of Winterfell, Sansa is a Proper Lady, Bran wants to be Knight, Rickon is the baby and even Jon, though he cannot inherit as he is an illegitimate son, is mentored closely together with Robb by their father. Meanwhile, Arya has difficulty finding an outlet: she has "wolf blood" in her, prefers to go out befriending lowborns rather than stay inside minding her courtesies and excels at masculine skills like sword-fighting, riding, and archery rather than ladylike arts. Catelyn even admits that Arya is "a trial" and, along with the Stark family features she shares with Jon, it's one of the reasons she's closest to fellow misfit Jon.
    Jon: "Skinny little thing that she was, all scraped knees and tangled hair and torn clothes, so fierce and willful. Arya never seemed to fit, no more than he had."
    • The So-Called Coward Samwell Tarly was sent to the Wall by his father because he liked reading more than fighting, and is one of the nicest characters, his father wanting their second son Dickon to become his heir. The Tarlys have a reputation as fierce warriors, especially Randyll Tarly, while Sam is a peaceful and kind person.
  • Isabel Spellman of The Spellman Files. A former juvenile delinquent with a fondness for rearranging her neighbor's yard decorations, even in her thirties she's still drinking heavily, employed by her parents, prone to tunnel vision when it comes to her private investigator job, and not infrequently homeless. And climbing through windows.
  • Spy School: Spy School at Sea reveals that Psycho for Hire Dane Brammage comes from a law-abiding family ashamed of his actions. His parents wanted him to become a pediatrician, and his cousin is a heroic bodyguard.
  • Nancy and Peggy's Cool Uncle Jim Walker, aka "Captain Flint", in the Swallows and Amazons series. Note that while Nancy describes him as "the black sheep of the family", he's actually quite close to his sister and her daughters.
  • Under Suspicion:
    • In All Dressed in White, Henry is the self-professed "black sheep" of the Pierce family; unlike his sisters he never had any interest in getting involved with the family company (specialising in women's undergarments and sportswear) or competing with them for their father's attention. After graduating, he moved to the other side of the country to set up an organic wine business in Seattle. He's also less glamorous and ambitious than the rest of his family; he's noticeably uncomfortable in formal-wear, preferring a more casual look and laid-back lifestyle. Despite this, he and his family do love each other; Henry just prefers not to get involved in the drama.
    • In Every Breath You Take, Tom was considered this to the Wakeling family; his father Kenneth had had a falling out with Bob Wakeling over the family's real estate company, with their estrangement passing down to their offspring. Tom resented his cousins for being born into wealth and privilege, which he was eager to share in. However, Tom wasn't willing to work for it, bouncing from one job to the next and wasting money on partying, while trying to use his family name to get favours. This didn't much endear him to his aunt and cousins, with his aunt especially refusing to let him anywhere near the family's assets. After Virginia died though, Tom managed to clean up his act and mend bridges with his cousins, resulting in him being hired to work for the company and doing well for himself.
  • Warrior Cats: Cloudtail, Firestar's nephew and Brindleface's adopted son, doesn't quite fit into ThunderClan. From day 1 he was looked down upon for being born a kittypet. When he grew older, he became known for his bratty personality and disrespect for the Warrior Code. He's one of the few characters to not believe in StarClan as well. Ironically, Cloudtail is white-furred. His pelt colour is another reason why he's looked down upon though. Most ThunderClan cats are "foresty" colours like grey, orange, or tortoiseshell, with pure-white being very rare.
  • In the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong, Lucas Cortez is without a doubt the Black Sheep of the Cortez family. He's the illegitimate youngest son of the head of a Cabal (mafia corporation) who, despite his father's love and his father's making him his heir, has decided to forsake all the money and prestige his father has in favor of being a lawyer for those that would go against any of the Cabals. His half-brothers have attempted to assassinate him multiple times for his inheritance.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Nate started out as this at the beginning of Six Feet Under and his character arc revolved around learning to balance duty to his family with his desire for continuing independence and freedom of expression. Common to this trope, dutiful Son David feels angry about their recently deceased father's perceived favouritism of Nate.
  • 7th Heaven: Mary Camden became one from the show's fifth season onwards. In a textbook definition of Characterization Marches On, Mary began as a straight-laced, kindhearted, responsible basketball player on the road to stardom before becoming a fickle, unreliable, irresponsible young woman who ultimately alienated her strictly Christian family because of her sudden personality. She was eventually Put on a Bus twice because of her behavior. However, her not being sure of her future at age 18, not holding a job (again at 18), and her smoking and drinking (which she did only once and twice, respectively) kind of makes her Unintentionally Sympathetic.
  • Better Things: Frankie, unlike her mother, sisters and grandmother, rejects feminine norms entirely, always dressing in masculine clothing and initially having really short hair. This leads to speculation by her relatives that she's a trans boy, but this is unconfirmed. By Season 4 she's relaxed this slightly, with her hair a bit longer, but only just.
  • Danny in Bloodline (2015) creates immense conflict in the Rayburn family. He is partially blamed for his sister's death, has had trouble with the law, and is far less sociable than the other Rayburns. In season one, his arrival in town leads to arguments between the siblings about his true intentions. Danny wishes to become a part of the family business again but begins using the company facilities to assist in narcotic importation. He discovers he is not in the family will, and wishes to have this amended by restoring the relationship with his parents. In the season one finale, however, Danny's brother, John Rayburn, drowns and kills him, which sets off the events for the following seasons.
  • Flack’s sister Sam on CSI: NY. He is a detective and comes from a family of cops, while Sam is a recovering alcoholic who had ended up in jail once. She describes herself as the family's black sheep when talking to Flack.
  • In Dallas and its Spin-Off Knots Landing, Gary is the Black Sheep of the Ewing family.
  • In Doctor Who, the reveal of an unknown incarnation of the Doctor is this for violating the principles the Doctor has carried throughout all of his lives, save this offender, who he has disowned, deliberately forgotten and stated as the one who "broke the promise" that comes with calling himself "the Doctor", not even allowed to adopt his alias because the actions he took in this life tarnished its creed—though to hear it from this Black Sheep, it wasn't without reason. Subverted, when it turns out this Doctor actually helped save Gallifrey, and his future incarnations realise he wasn't actually as bad as they believed.
    • The Ninth Doctor counts. Whereas all acknowledged incarnations of the Doctor up until that point have dressed like maniacs and been extremely quirky, the Ninth Doctor suffers from borderline-PTSD and starts out as an angry and bitter man, prone to violent outbursts and rages. He also has one of the shortest runs for any Doctor, with only one season.
  • Louis Stevens from Even Stevens. There's even an episode dedicated to how the Stevens would live if they didn't have Louis in their lives.
  • In For the People, Allison is the only lawyer amongst a family of scientists and mathematicians.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • House Baratheon is primarily known as a family of warriors and Lord Renly is viewed as something of an embarrassment because he is often criticized by his older brothers for being a non-fighter. King Robert is especially disparaging of his youngest sibling's masculinity, calling him a "boy" during their hunting trip because he doesn't consider Renly to be a "real man."
    • The uncontrollable teenage sociopath Joffrey would ordinarily take on the role in contrast to his sweet-natured and well-behaved siblings Tommen and Myrcella, but is never treated like this due to being his mother's decided favourite and because he had too much power for anybody (except perhaps his grandfather Tywin Lannister) to challenge directly. Since he was seen as too weak to hold power, meek, good-hearted Tommen was liked by the adult Lannisters but also treated as a bit of a black sheep.
    • The show is very clever in how it plays with this trope in relation to Tommen. In the earlier seasons, Cersei and her father's preference for a brutal psychopathic maniac (Joffrey) over a kind and sweetly eccentric little boy (who loved to spend his time playing alone with his cats) was used to make the Lannisters seem even more ruthless and unhinged. Then, Tommen comes to power, and it's clear he actually is much too weak and in no way psychologically equipped to make the harsh decisions required of a king and his reign ends up being at least as disastrous as his older brother's.
    • The middle brother Stannis Baratheon fits this trope because, while he is certainly a great warrior like his family members, his family (especially his brothers) is mostly comprised of extroverted, charismatic leaders with the ability to inspire Undying Loyalty in almost anyone. Stannis, on the other hand, stands out as being an introverted, sullen stoic who is mistrusted and disliked by nearly everyone except a bunch of religious extremists who see him as their new messiah and one very loyal smuggler. He is very bitter about this.
    • Tyrion for being a dwarf. His brother Jaime loves Tyrion and Tyrion loves him but their father resents Tyrion for being a dwarf and both their father and sister resent Tyrion because Tyrion's mother died giving birth to him.
    • Jon, to a lesser degree, for being Ned Stark's illegitimate son raised alongside his trueborn siblings in the Stark family — though he takes after his lord father quite a bit and loves and is loved by his father, trueborn siblings, and uncle (but he is Catelyn's Unfavorite for being Ned's illegitimate son).
      • The position of black sheep rotated around the Stark family a lot. Robb, Sansa, and Bran were the definite white sheep, but there was also Arya, who totally refused to adopt traditional female behavioural norms and was prone to asserting her own beliefs and opinions, and foster brother/hostage Theon who never challenged Ned's authority or misbehaved while Ned was looking (most likely because he was too scared to confront Ned directly) but was by far the most destructive, reckless and poorly-behaved when Ned wasn't looking. He also doesn't seem too particularly well-liked among his foster siblings and did and said things that would be completely acceptable in his birth culture (for example, boasting about hypothetical rape and murder) but were totally unacceptable and creepy in the culture of the North. Rickon is too young to be an official black sheep but is characterised as being wild and prone to violence in both the television series and books, so he would have likely taken up this position had his family unit survived long enough.
    • Theon is also this among his birth family, the Greyjoys, as he was raised in a different culture (specifically, under the roof of a hated man who executed/murdered his much more preferred older brothers), though his sister loves him. Interestingly, given that Theon is the only member of his Viking clan who (as an adult, at least) has any real problem with rape and pillage-related murder, he's simultaneously the black sheep and the white sheep.
    • Sam for being the fat, timid, and bookish son of a great warrior. Leads to some pretty horrific child abuse, as his father gives him the option of either being murdered or "voluntarily" joining an extremely deadly military order he would have seemed woefully unequipped to survive because doing so would involve Sam forgoing his right to inherit the headship of his family.
    • Brynden "The Blackfish" Tully gets his nickname after being called the black sheep of a family, whose House sigil is a fish.
  • Garthe Knight of the Knight Rider series, whose morality (or more accurately, his complete lack of morality) is at odds with that of his father, Wilton Knight.
  • In Monk, Natalie is one to her family, the founders of the brand name Davenport Toothpaste. This is clearly seen in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Wedding" where she is on very bad terms with her mother Peggy and father Bobby (even though they dote heavily on Julie). Peggy doesn't even know that Natalie is not a bartender anymore when she tries to have Natalie test a Bloody Mary to see what is wrong (ultimately Randy has to do this role). Peggy also refuses to display Mitch's photos on the piano at home. Also, she doesn't want to believe Monk and Natalie when they try to warn her that her new daughter-in-law Theresa Scott is actually a Black Widow who tried to kill Randy and eventually tries to kill Jonathan, but is stopped in the nick of time. At the end, we see that photos of Natalie are back on the family piano at home, indicating that they've reconciled. In the next episode where Natalie's parents appear, "Mr. Monk Is At Your Service," Monk and Natalie are seen having a friendly lunch with them, which seems to indicate that they are back on good terms.
    • Natalie even uses the trope name to describe herself during a monologue in the novel Mr. Monk in Outer Space as she and Monk are on their way to question Brandon Lorber's widow Veronica in the following paragraph:
      Stottlemeyer and Disher, being poorly paid civil servants, would have been uneasy around so much money and power, which is probably why they opted to let us see Veronica Lorber on our own. I think the captain believed that a black-sheep rich girl and a socially clueless detective would be more effective with the widow Lorber than they would be. Money and influence are kryptonite for people whose livelihoods depend on the whims of politicians.
  • In The Munsters, Marylyn is the only family member to look like a normal person. Especially since she's the only one to have blond hair while the rest of her family has black hair.
  • In New Girl, Jess is forced to bail her sister out of jail in season 3. Her sister Abby (who is rarely mentioned prior to these episodes) is wanted in Canada, repeatedly lies, has a history with drug dealers, and is overall more reckless than Jess. Evident in her scenes on the phone with Jess, their mother Joan has difficulties dealing with Abby's problems. When Abby tries to move in, Jess has to confront her sister about her behaviour.
  • Downplayed in Oz. Kareem Saïd's family has taken his conversion to Islam personally, as both his father and his sister are Christian ministers. However, they clearly still love him and they have a pretty normal relationship.
  • The Palace featured the interesting case of Prince David, the late king's estranged brother. Unfortunately, the program was cancelled after one short series and the character never got to appear onscreen. Apparently he got divorced at some point, then lost his whole estate after his business went bankrupt, a situation precipitated by drug and alcohol problems. There's also a Cryptic Background Reference to "a silly joke at King James's expense" that "incur[red] the wrath of the monarch." (Coincidentally, David's nephew, Prince George, remarks that he saw him once and that he was "like a ghost.")
  • Private Practice has Amelia Shepherd. At her introduction, they call her the black sheep of her family despite being a terrific neurosurgeon. "Wow, Amy Sheppard did good, what kind of family is this that even the black sheep becomes a neurosurgeon?"
  • A 1998 issue of Soap Opera Digest had a feature that discussed each show's creepiest family. A black sheep of each family was mentioned-in this case the member that was a relatively good and normal person compared to the rest of his/her family. The entry on As The World Turns had this (intentionally or not) funny line: "Paul is the only Stenbeck who hasn't, at one time or another, gone crazy and terrorized half the town. Not coincidentally, he's also the only one who's never 'died'".
  • Stargate Atlantis: Sheppard is revealed to be one in "Outcast" when his wealthy father dies and he comes home for the funeral.
  • Star Trek: Picard: Lampshaded by Narek in "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", who's the failure in his Zhat Vash family, which also includes his deceased parents, so he's desperate to prove his worth.
    Narek: I found her, Narissa. Me. The family disgrace, the Zhat Vash washout. I found Seb-Cheneb.
  • In Supernatural, Sam Winchester. He never fit in with his family because of the hunters life. Sam desired normal while John and Dean were hunters at heart.
  • On The Vampire Diaries, Damon Salvatore. He was rebellious and didn't believe in duty and responsibility the way his father and his brother Stefan did.
    • Klaus is an even more extreme example. He was The Un-Favourite to his father Mikael, even before Mikael learned that Klaus was not his biological son. While it's implied that Klaus was always impulsive and difficult, flashbacks show that Mikael punished his son's misdeeds far more cruelly than was necessary.
  • Joxer from Xena: Warrior Princess claims to have been the black sheep of his family. Specifically, his father is a warlord, his mother is a warlord's wife, and his brother is an assassin of renown. He can't compare. Oddly, there's a third brother. Neither brother likes to talk about him. Maybe he's the true black sheep?

  • The John Anderson song "Black Sheep" is about a guy who comes from a rich family who is considered an embarrassment to his family because he preferred to drive a truck for a living, instead of pursuing a more lucrative career.
  • The Austin Lounge Lizards song Gingrich the Newt describes how newts in general are animal paragons of virtue, but Newt Gingrich (the politician) is "the one rotten fruit on the newt family tree".
  • The Bulgarian band Ахат (Ahat) in their single Черната овца (The Black Sheep) quotes the trope verbatim, with the protagonist lamenting "I alone chose this fate for myself, always the black sheep". However, the meaning extends beyond family and into being a Black Sheep in society and life in general.

  • A Bible parable from Jesus presents the prodigal son this way until his return to his father.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Battletech: At least one member of each of the great houses has one or two of these. For House Davion and Steiner, it was Katrina who started the Fedcomm civil war. In House Marik, there was (the real) Thomas Marik, who was the leader of the Word of Blake.
  • Warhammer 40,000 of the Emperor's 20 sons (well, 18- two of them are listed as unknown), 9 of them turned to Chaos for one reason or another. Usually very good ones.
  • Cyberpunk: The Raffen Shiv consist entirely of Nomads who have, for some reason or other been cast out of their families and clans, and banded together for protection and mutual benefit. "Family is everything." is one of the pillars of the Nomad Code, so being cast out requires you to be an exceptionally nasty piece of work. Bringing up the Raffen Shiv is a sure-fire way to start a fight if there are any Nomads within earshot.

  • In Electra, many of the characters view Electra as this but in reality, she is far more like her mother than she'd admit. Chrysothemis is the real Black Sheep (or properly, White Sheep) of the family.
  • The basis for Albus Potter and Scorpius's friendship in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: both are the gossiped-about children of famous fathers, both feel determined to break free of the past's legacy, and both have a well-intentioned troublemaking streak. Additionally, unlike the other members of both sides of his family, who were all sorted into Gryffindor, Albus is a Slytherin.
  • Prince Hal in William Shakespeare's Henry IV spends his time boozing and committing petty crime, but sobers up and becomes worthy of the crown in the course of the play. Unless it was an act the entire time.

    Video Games 
  • Referenced in the Animal Crossing series by Muffy, a literal black sheep who’s favourite saying is “There’s a black sheep in every family”.
  • Assassin's Creed III:
    • Haytham Kenway is one of the few Templars in a long line of Assassins. Not only that, he was a Templar Grand Master who never strayed from his cause unlike Maria Thorpe, who defected and married Altair.
    • Despite being raised in an Assassin compound, Desmond Miles, one of Altair's modern-day descendants, didn't believe their stories and thought his parents were crazy conspiracy theorists. He ran away around the age of sixteen and was living a mundane life before being abducted by Abstergo and discovered everything he was told was real.
  • Kairu from Black Sigil is the adopted son of the duke, but disliked by virtually the entire duchy except his adopted sister and father. Despite presumably being the heir, Kairu gets subjected to a lot of bullying.
  • Ambrose from Clive Barker's Undying was the hellion of the Covenant family, getting into constant fights, stealing, running off to join pirates, murdering his own father with a pool cue and then leaping to his death to avoid arrest.
  • Donkey Kong Country: A minor enemy are evil orangutans called "Manky Kongs", which All There in the Manual reveals are an evil branch of the Kong clan who were cast out for their wicked ways.
  • According to his backstory, as a child, Edward Sallow never quite fit into the humanitarian organization Followers of the Apocalypse due to his own petulance and narcissism. He later grows up to lead a Roman-inspired Legion dedicated to the subjugation and enslavement of the known world.
  • In Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn Reyson is the anomaly of the heron tribe of laguz. Herons, including Reyson's siblings Rafiel and Leanne, are quiet, gentle, and retiring. Reyson, on the other hand, is a demanding, somewhat impatient Jerk with a Heart of Gold who refuses to stand quietly by. At one point he straight-up punches a human man holding him hostage in the nose, despite the fact that herons are frail non-combatants. Justified in-universe, as Reyson was taken in by the rough-and-tumble Hawk laguz tribe after Serenes Forest was destroyed and was highly influenced by its leader, the Blood Knight Tibarn.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses:
    • Miklan is this to House Gautier. He's denied the right to inherit the family because he doesn't have a Crest, so he repeatedly tries to kill his Crest-bearing brother Sylvain, forms a gang of thieves, and steals his family's weapon, the Lance of Ruin. Despite Sylvain's womanizing, he's unquestionably the better man.
    • According to Edelgard, Caspar's older brother is quite irresponsible and unfit to lead House Bergliez.
  • Hard West II: Laughing Deer is the spitting image of all those racist 'Indian' caricatures - because he's a psychotic butcher who was exiled for murdering his chieftain. He joins the protagonists to kill people and rob trains.

    Visual Novels 
  • Edward Edenic from Beyond Eden was expelled from boarding school for an unnamed incident, rebels under oldest brother Oscar's guidance, sneaks out to go gambling at night, and is prone to violence. In contrast, his siblings are the responsible eldest, a quiet middle child, and the angelic youngest brother. Interestingly, Edward is stated in-universe to be closest in personality to his father, a formerly avid hunter who enjoyed violence and competition.
  • Johanna from Double Homework is the complete opposite of her siblings, the protagonist and Tamara: she’s not as smart as they are, she’s not a good skier, and she’s overly nice while the other two engage in ball-busting and Tough Love.
  • As revealed in a bonus novella, the Urashima Woman's midwife in Spirit Hunter: NG was oppressed and disowned by her family due to her inability to have a child, branding her as a 'useless woman' according to their traditions. This caused her obsession with having a child of her own, leading her to steal the Urashima Woman's newborn son.

  • Boudica from The Adventures of Wiglaf and Mordred is the only member of her family who isn't evil. In fact, while the rest of her family plots to take over the world, she is a concert pianist.
  • Ethan from Ctrl+Alt+Del is a twenty-something Manchild who clearly has some sort of disorder and is obsessed with video games to the point of physical addiction and who owns his own game store; his brother is a former football player turned bar owner. Guess whom his family prefers.
    • Though later it turns out his brother got himself in trouble with the Hawaiian mafia and needed Ethan (who was getting married) to bail him out. He saved his brother's life but refused to implicate himself and ruin his wedding day to help with his brother's own failings. His parents then become angry with Ethan for not helping their favourite son.
  • Cursed Princess Club:
    • Frederick’s father and brothers are Manly Men and excel at being popular, successful, and strong, whilst he would rather sit in his room reading books all day. All the men in his family have to undergo mandatory Military Academy training, and Frederick only survived by specializing in administrative support.
    • Subverted with Gwendolyn. The very first episode depicts the doting King Jack waking up his sweet and attractive daughters Maria and Lorena (and son Jamie) before entering the room of his youngest daughter, whose sinister appearance and darkly-lit room full of spiders, rats, and a possum make it seem like she's being set up as the evil, ugly pariah of the family. Yet the moment Jack and Gwendolyn start talking to each other, it quickly becomes clear that their relationship is just as loving as with her more conventionally good-looking siblings, and later episodes show that no one in her family or servantry treat her any differently.
  • Sal is the black sheep of the Walkerton family in Dumbing of Age. Sal believes it's been that way since birth since she came out darker-skinned than her twin brother Walky, while Walky thinks it only happened after Sal was busted robbing two convenience stores.
  • Slightly Damned:
    • Iratu is one to his adopted family. Their father Darius is a kindhearted angel (both figuratively and literally) who took in the three orphaned demons, Buwaro is somewhat naive but is also caring and compassionate, their sister Sakido has done some bad things (most notably maiming then abandoning Buwaro when he was just a toddler) but wants to repent for it and eventually dies in a Heroic Sacrifice getting Buwaro and Rhea out of hell. Iratu on the other hand became a General for hell and now intends to conquer the mortal world, he still loves Darius and Sakido but hates Buwaro and even blames their deaths on him.
    • Kieri comes from a clan of warrior angels but is kind and quiet (unlike most warrior angels we've seen) but would rather not fight.
  • Trying Human: Hue's human emotions and inability to form a psychic connection with his fellow greys leave him horribly lonely and often at odds with his father, EBE1, and his caretaker, Shade.
  • Twisted Tropes: The strip shows a family of Gelatinous Cubes discussing how one of the kids is too round, is smoking and generally doesn't fit in.

    Web Original 
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, the demon lord Omaroch and the merchant Jeremiah both end up being the black sheep of their respective families because they are more virtuous than their scheming family members.
  • Jonas from lonelygirl15 was rejected by his family. Tragically, his parents used to be Resistance just like him before they had their memories erased and were brainwashed by the Order. They now want nothing to do with him.
  • In Nodwick side story "Q4orce", Spawn of Santa has a style... rather different from his dad's.
  • We Are Our Avatars: Yanmie doesn't get along well with the rest of her family because she doesn't like to eat sentient beings.
  • In Pretending to Be People, Keith is the black sheep of the Beans family, to the extent that he changed his name to distance himself from them.

    Western Animation 
  • In the The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius episode, "Clash of the Cousins", most of the Neutron extended family views Jimmy as such, correctly pointing out that, while Jimmy may have saved the day quite often, more often than not, it was one of his inventions that caused the problem in the first place. Subverted by the end when he saves them all and they appreciate him more, especially since he saves them from the new Neutron Black Sheep, Jimmy's cousin Eddie, who is just as intelligent but villainous (and a baby).
  • Arcane: According to Mel, her family considers her this due to not living up to their standards. At first it seems it's due to her not being rich enough (despite being very rich and influential), but later it's revealed it's because her family is from Noxus and is just as warmongering as the average Noxian, and Mel had no interest in that life, preferring to focus more on diplomacy and intrigue.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Iroh is a bit of a Black Sheep because he doesn't seem to care about the throne and ceases to actively serve as a general in the war. Zuko is The Un-Favourite, but not much of a Black Sheep, at least not until he specifically rejected his father.
  • Beetlejuice: Beetlejuice, in the animated adaptation is shown to be this. His parents are hardworking, well-mannered neat freaks, and he has a brother (who appeared in only one episode) who is essentially perfect.
  • In Bojack Horseman, Hollywood writer Diane is described as the figurative black sheep in her working-class Boston family (given her family's behaviors she's closer to a White Sheep). Her adopted brother Gary is the literal/taxonomical black sheep.
  • In Dragons: Race to the Edge, Gruffnut is the Thorston family Black Sheep, which is saying something given the apparent insanity of the rest of the family. Ruffnut, who clearly doesn't like him, says that he's nothing more than a lazy grifter, he's constantly in debt, and he never completed the family Rite of Passage. Tuffnut initially idolizes him (believing his false tales of heroism), until Gruffnut knocks Tuffnut out, dresses as him (counting on his Uncanny Family Resemblance to convince the Riders that's he's Tuffnut), and tries to steal their dragons to collect a bounty to pay off his gambling debts. From that point, even Tuffnut wants nothing to do with him.
  • Cow and Chicken literally have a black sheep in the family. He's actually a nice guy, it's just people tend to assume the worst of him because he's a black sheep. That, and because he has an advanced vocabulary that the other characters write off as another demonstration of how horrible a person he is.
  • Danny Phantom:
    • Jazz deliberately made herself a Black Sheep from her own family, unwilling to partake in their ghost hunting obsessions. She then got Character Development and now appreciates her family's lifestyle, equally joining the bandwagon at the same time, as she learned that ghosts are real.
    • Sam even more so; her dark and dreary Gothic life doesn't quite match with her parents' cheery Stepford-like mannerisms, though we find that she may get this from her grandmother.
  • Daria:
    • Helen's sister Amy, apparently the brainy misfit who deliberately withdrew from the family to avoid getting caught up in the constant sibling rivalry between her two sisters and left home as soon as possible. Unsurprisingly, she's Daria's favorite aunt and there's a strong resemblance between — both physically and in personality.
    • Jane also actually uses the term Black Sheep when talking about her particular branch of the Lane family to Daria when she and Trent have to attend a family reunion.
  • Kim Possible:
    • Shego, who walked out on her annoying heroic brothers to become a villain.
    • In another episode, Drakken mentions that his cousin, Motor Ed, is the Black Sheep of his family. Probably because Drakken himself has thus far managed to hide his own Mad Scientist tendencies from his family.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • Bataar Jr. leaves with his girlfriend Kuvira to go bring balance to the Earth Kingdom, becoming The Dragon to her, against his mother Su's wishes. The rest of the family is enraged at Bataar leaving and his siblings come to despise him, especially when he gleefully helps take their home by force. In the Grand Finale, Su tries one last time to reach out to her son and ask him to come home, and Bataar spits back that Kuvira is his family now. Bataar realizes that Kuvira loves the Earth Empire more than him, and shamefully apologizes to his mother after Kuvira tried to kill him and the others. While Su immediately accepts her son's apology, they both note that the rest of the family will take some time to reconcile with Bataar after his betrayal.
    • Aang and Katara's oldest son, Bumi, a non-bender prior to getting airbending abilities from Harmonic Convergence born into a family of Water and Airbenders. His father, Aang, clearly favored their youngest, Tenzin (granted, he did so because Tenzin would become the last airbender once he died, and he wanted to pass along his knowledge of airbending and their culture before that happened), and Kya was favored by their mother, Katara, both waterbenders. This resulted in him joining the United Forces military, to try and get his father to be proud of him.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic:
    • Pinkie Pie proves to be the black (or in her case, pink) sheep of her family. Her parents are basically the pony equivalent of the Amish, and none of her sisters are exactly fun-loving; Limestone is harsh and abrasive, Maud is an Emotionless Girl, and Marble is The Quiet One. Pinkie, on the other hand, is a Genki Girl who likes nothing more than to throw parties. It's even evident in their designs; the Pie family are all drab earth-toned ponies with straight manes, while Pinkie is bright pink with Quirky Curls. She does get along with her family just fine, but she clearly doesn't share their passion for Rock Farming, having left the family farm to go work in a bakery as a live-in party planner.
    • Fluttershy's brother Zephyr Breeze is a contrast to the rest of the Shy family. Zeph is more extroverted, but also lazy, which was a cover for his lack of confidence in completing things by himself.
  • Heinz Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb could qualify as this. He's divorced, without a job, his mother favors his younger brother, his father thinks of his dog as his son rather than Heinz, and his parents even disowned him. To make matters worse, it's not exactly easy to compete with his younger brother Roger since he's the Mayor of Danville and seen as perfection in human form.
  • Albeit The Simpsons are a flawed bunch, Bart is the major troublemaker and rulebreaker of the family and might be worse if Marge weren't keeping him more or less in line. He refers to himself with the trope name in the episode "Marge Be Not Proud," after he's caught shoplifting.
  • Sheldon J. Plankton in SpongeBob SquarePants is an Evil Genius, while the rest of his family are country bumpkins easily bribed with root beer.
  • In ThunderCats (2011) Rebel Prince Lion-O is a Cloudcuckoolander believer in Lost Technology in a royal family of a Proud Warrior Race who live in a magical kingdom stuck in Medieval Stasis. Though his interests eventually prove prescient, he's also genuinely irresponsible, shirking his duties as crown prince to the point of Culture Blindness, in favor of trawling his kingdom's Black Market and tinkering with Black Box acquisitions. This heavily contributes to his status as The Un-Favourite in his father's eyes and infuriates his adoptive older brother Tygra, who knows that despite his own status as The Dutiful Son, he will never be eligible for the throne.
  • Work It Out Wombats!: Mr. E was the only one in his family who didn't know how to draw a perfect square, to the point where they put his picture of his failed square on the wall alongside everyone else's perfect squares, making him look bad. His status as a black sheep may have resulted in his emotional issues.

    Real Life 
  • Invoked by the Black Sheep Brewery, founded by a member of a respected family in the brewing industry during its Audience-Alienating Era in the early 1990s.
  • By his own admission, Dennis Wilson was this during his childhood.
  • Remittance person were often the black sheep of an upper or middle-class family in Victorian Britain who were sent overseas to a colony and paid to stay away.
  • Quebec broadcast TV network Noovo, back when it was known as TQS, advertised itself as "the black sheep of TV" as self-acknowledgement of its perennial third-place status (behind Radio-Canada and TVA).
  • Birds, as living dinosaurs, are sauropsids, but their endothermy, feathers, and bipedalism set them apart from their otherwise cold-blooded, scaly, four-legged kin.