Follow TV Tropes


Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling

Go To

"Pichu's brother doesn't want him to get hurt. He's the smart brother."
Narrator, describing the Pichu Brothers in the Pokémon short, "Pikachu and Pichu"

In media, there's a tendency for siblings to be portrayed as opposites. Enter the Foolish Sibling and the Responsible Sibling.

In this trope there will be one sibling who is foolish, usually acting melodramatically and prone to doing irresponsible and impulsive things. They may be louder, more outgoing and usually more popular (or at least try to be), and desiring attention, especially from the opposite sex. Usually, they don't have outright bad intentions, they just don't understand that anything they do can have consequences for themselves or other people. Alternatively, they may just be a Horrible Judge of Character and get involved with the wrong people on a regular basis; they refuse to believe their "friends" could be anything but pure of heart, despite obvious evidence to the contrary. Their antics will be their undoing, getting them into trouble for which there is no one but themselves to blame. The Foolish Sibling may be a Bratty Teenage Daughter, Alpha Bitch, Fille Fatale, Childish Older Sibling, The Casanova, Manchild, NEET, or The Ingenue.


The other sibling is usually the elder of the two and will follow all the rules about how one is supposed to act and behave, being an exemplary version of a Proper Lady or The Dutiful Son. They're often more of a parental figure in the other sibling's life, even if their actual parents are still present. They might be quieter or plainer, though usually they are only quiet or plain by comparison to their obnoxious other sibling, and doesn't qualify as a Shrinking Violet or The Quiet One at all. They're almost undoubtedly smarter though and may be portrayed as a Bookworm, or just very concerned about rules, social and moral. Generally, the responsible sibling will try to steer their foolish sibling to the right path, taking it on themselves to look after the kid and make attempts to curb the other sibling's behavior. This seldom works, however, at least not until the end, when the foolish sibling gets their comeuppance or realizes the error of their ways.


They may serve as a Betty and Veronica pair. The responsible sibling is the one who will submit to an Arranged Marriage, which may be a Perfectly Arranged Marriage and is generally happier than the foolish love match of the foolish sibling.

A subtrope of Sibling Yin-Yang. Usually involves An Aesop about the right way to act, that is to say, be more like the responsible sibling and not the foolish sibling (although the responsible sibling may learn a lesson about "loosening up" and "having fun"). And while the responsible sibling is usually the elder of the two, the roles can be switched, with the younger sibling being the responsible one. Another possibility is a middle child being the responsible one to his or her older and younger siblings. Also compare Slobs vs. Snobs, Right Way/Wrong Way Pair, The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry, and Cain and Abel.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Inverted in Aruosumente. It's flamboyant, chatty and seemingly carefree Lante who takes responsibility when the serious, quiet Dante acts on an impulse and goes off the hook, sometimes even attacking people at random.
  • In Asteroid in Love, the Kinohata sisters Mira and Misa follow this dynamic. Mira is an energetic Genki Girl who is known to be not particularly intelligent, while Misa is a composed Cool Big Sis who has a Teen Genius reputation.
  • Bloom Into You has the Nanami sisters, Touko and Mio. At the time of Mio's death, Mio was a highly respected Student Council President, while Touko was a shy girl with mediocre grades and few friends, making them come off as a downplayed version. In fact, it's the opposite. While Touko strived to improve herself and eventually achieved all the success Mio had, she learned that Mio was a slacker who delegated most of the work to her fellow student council members, including having them do her summer homework.
  • Rowdy, underachieving delinquent Romio and strict, no-nonsense prefect Airu from Boarding School Juliet.
  • In Bokurano, Daichi's uncle Kengo is the responsible sibling while Daichi's father is the foolish one. The latter disappeared, leaving his young children to fend for themselves, while the former is a businessman who employs Daichi and offered to take in the four kids.
  • In Brave10, Yukimura is the foolish sibling to Nobuyuki's responsible one, as Nobuyuki is very orthodox and straightforward, while Yukimura is the lazy, playful chessmaster.
  • In Charlotte, there's the Kurobane sisters. Misa, the eldest sister, was the Foolish sibling, since her reckless thrill-seeking ways got herself killed, and she remembers causing problems for her parents. Yusa, the younger sister, is the Responsible, being an Idol Singer who's far nicer and more level-headed, causing Misa to say that Yusa was quite unlike her in that regard.
  • Dragonball Z: Goten is nice, but carefree and naive, while his older brother Gohan is intelligent and responsible. Justified by the age gap between them and Gohan's murderous childhood before Goten was born.
  • Gundam: Played with in Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, where Judau is usually seen skipping school and doing things with his friends while his younger sister Leina is bugging him to get an education. However, it's actually reversed: the things Judau is doing with his friends is hard work in the junkyard, and he skips school to keep up this job so that he can save enough money for Leina to get a good education. Leina tends to ignore this and focus on the present, while Judau's thinking long-term.
  • Ebisu-san and Hotei-san has the two Ebisu sisters, the younger of which is half of the eponymous couple. The elder sister is the foolish one, being quite lazy when it comes to cleaning and even forcing Mayo to take care of Hana. The younger sister, on the other hand, is responsible, being a highly efficient worker who balances her job with caring for her niece.
  • Inuyasha:
    • Kagome isn't flighty per se, but often forgets to bring her homework to class, only for Sota to pick up the slack. Then again, considering she's spending most of her time in the Feudal Era, she can hardly be blamed for losing focus on her supposed off days.
    • The titular Inuyasha and Sesshomaru also exhibit this. While Inuyasha is brash, crude, and free of responsibilities, Sesshomaru is calculating and elegant.
  • In It's Tough Being Neeko, there's the Niito sisters. Nemuko, aka Neeko, is the Foolish sibling, being a NEET with crippling social anxiety. Her much younger sister Imoko is a high schooler who's willing and able to work part time having gotten a job at a place that rejected Neeko.
  • Yui and Ui from K-On! epitomize this trope. While Yui tends to be irresponsible at best, Ui cooks, cleans house, and even helps her older sister with her homework.
  • Kirby: Right Back at Ya! has the responsible Tiff and the foolish Tuff. Tiff is quite intelligent, while Tuff is not too bright and tends to act before thinking.
  • In Laid-Back Camp, Nadeshiko is an energetic ditz, while her sister Sakura is a taciturn Cool Big Sis.
  • In Lucky Star, Kagami is studious and level-headed while Tsukasa is more naive and childish.
  • Played for Drama in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Reflection, where Kyrie's inability to be like her more level-headed and responsible older sister Amitie causes her to develop an inferiority complex and leaves her open to Iris' manipulations.
  • Naruto:
    • People expected the First and Second Hokage to be serious, loyal, responsible people. Only the younger fits this description on a normal day. His older brother instead thinks it's a good idea to teach a toddler how to gamble. Yes, the First was responsible for Tsunade's gambling addiction. It also counts as Hilarious in Hindsight, since Fanon usually depicts them in reverse positions. Hashirama was often depicted as the responsible one, and more compassionate than his younger brother, who was often depicted as a playboy who has a notable percentage of descendants everywhere. The only part that stuck in Canon was Hashirama being the more compassionate one.
    • Sakon and Ukon fit, Ukon's favorite phrase even being "wise older brother, foolish younger brother." Ukon seemed to be the more pragmatic of the two, while Sakon was more sadistic in liking to drag things out.
    • Kinkaku and Ginkaku, for what little panel time they had, may fit as well. They are half-siblings or fraternal twins. Kinkaku is bigger and seems to be the more observant and pragmatic one in battle. He's also rather stoic in the manga. Ginkaku is the louder of the two, and more prone to smirking and losing his cool. He's the one that ends up being taken down first, and according to Kakuzu, it's not the first time, since Kinkaku is known to rage when it happens.
  • No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! has Tomoko and Tomoki. Tomoko is the older sister and tends to laze about and play games. Her younger brother Tomoki is more serious about his studying, calmer and even helps around the house without being asked, even making his own lunch for school. Lampshaded by their mother, who thinks Tomoko should be the responsible sibling because she's older.
  • Yuuya and Yamato from Nukoduke qualify despite not being siblings. Yuuya is a loafer who frequently runs away from his class chores and causes a lot of trouble for his school mates. Yamato is the student council Vice President who must constantly remind his friend to pull his act together. Other characters regard the two as brothers (as they grew up together) and generally consider Yamato as Yuuya's guardian.
  • In A Place Further than the Universe, there's the Tamaki sisters- Mari (aka "Kimari") and Rin. Mari, the older one, can be fairly childish and immature, even going off to Antarctica after forging her mother's signature on the permission form. By contrast, her younger sister Rin is far more serious and responsible and helps talk Kimari into only packing what she needs for her trip.
  • Pokémon Omega Ruby Crimson Passion & Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Indigo Wisdom is a manga starring Polar Opposite Twins Alpha and Omega. The younger twin Alpha has Tsurime Eyes, is more serious, and is more calmer. The older twin Omega has Tareme Eyes, is goofier, and is more hot-headed.
  • Played with in The Rising of the Shield Hero. Naofumi was originally the Foolish elder brother due to his poor grades and otaku lifestyle, so his parents forced the younger brother to become the Responsible son. The stress of meeting their expectations drove him to adopt Yankee culture, becoming the Foolish brother, only for Naofumi to play Responsible by helping him blow off the accumulated stress with galge games. Afterward, the younger brother returned to being Responsible while Naofumi became Foolish.
  • In Sailor Moon, the main character Usagi is ditzy, fun-loving and lazy, while her younger brother Shingo is much smarter and more responsible.
  • Sorcerer Hunters has brothers Carrot and Marron. Carrot is a shameless skirt-chaser who tends to be lazy until the prospect of hooking up with an attractive woman comes along; then he charges headlong into danger. His younger brother, Marron, is thoughtful and considerate and takes his job as a hunter seriously.

    Comic Books 
  • Charles Soule's Daredevil has responsible Sam and foolish Hannah. Sam works bad hours doing a crappy job in order to support the two while Hannah goes out clubbing.
  • The main characters of Exorsisters, Kate and Cate Harrow. Cate is very mature and responsible, while Kate is a Hard-Drinking Party Girl. The twist is they actually aren't sisters, Kate is Cate's soul- Cate's mom made a Deal with the Devil and lost her own soul, but gave up Cate's to save herself. By the time Cate got her soul back, it was sufficiently different from her to become its own person, Kate.
  • In Witchblade the main character Sara Pezzini is the responsible sibling to Julie Pezzini's foolish sibling. Sara is a cop while Julie has got into trouble, and has even gone to jail for dealings drugs.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Lila is the elder more snarky and much more responsible sibling to her sister Eve. The elder Brown sister has lost sleep trying to keep her sister's idiocy from getting her chucked in prison, and Eve was willing to sell government secrets to an Axis spy because she was embarrassed at the possibility he might publicly reveal she'd gone on a date with him.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In Bearskin, the youngest daughter responsibly accepts the man to whom her father had promised one of his daughters after her two sisters scornfully rejected him; for one thing, she notes that True Beauty Is on the Inside and the man had kindly rescued her father, a total stranger.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Fledgling Year, Corin is the straitlaced, responsible twin and Cor is the impulsive, insensitive one (tendencies which were hinted at in the original canon, and are explored and developed in much more depth in this fic).
  • Played with Highly Questionable Decisions and Satsuki and her two younger sisters, Ryuuko and Nui. By the account of being older, Satsuki tends to more responsible and is the Only Sane Woman when it comes to dealing with the latter two, especially Ryuuko with Jerkass and reckless tendencies and Nui with her innocence. However, at times, she did demonstrate herself to be Not So Above It All (if Ragyo listing of dos and don'ts is a clue).
  • We have this in Kill la Kill AU with Satsuki and her sisters, Ryuuko and Nui. Satsuki tends to be the more responsible one, often trying to steer her sisters in the right direction, regardless if they like her to or not, and it upsets her when they don't listen to her, while the latter two tends to do what they want, whenever they want to and sometimes it comes back to bite them.
  • The Rose and the Crown has the Gerard siblings: dour, dutiful, upright and responsible Etienne and foolish, feckless, debt-ridden but charming and funny Lucien.
  • A played with example in Secret Sunshine, where Ryuuko is the responsible sibling to Satsuki's foolish, as the latter left her child to be raised by Ryuuko, forcing her to be more responsible to care for her niece, while Satsuki, for some reason, didn't want to deal with the responsibilities. To really emphasize this, Satsuki was mentioned to be living her life "like normal" (going out with friends, for example), while Ryuuko was mostly left to stay at home with Kiko. Not surprisingly, Ryuuko is pretty resentful towards Satsuki for that.
  • Tales of the Undiscovered Swords:
    • Hatsuzakura Thinks Like a Romance Novel often without regard to what others feel about the matter, while his older brother Shokudaikiri is decidedly tired of his antics.
    • Kasen may be blatantly playing favorites with his brothers, but it's not that his concern for Sasanoyuki doesn't have ground – the latter robotically follows objectives at the expense of his own well-being more than once, leading Kasen to use his captain authority to order him to take care of himself at one point.
    • From the get-go, Hinata is painted as a Leeroy Jenkins who is very insecure about being The Generic Guy, while his older brother Juzumaru is more firm, grounded and worries about his safety.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Big Hero 6, Hiro is the Foolish sibling to Tadashi's Responsible. Hiro would rather spend his time bot-fighting since he graduated from high school early, while Tadashi regularly attends college and wishs Hiro would do something more productive with his intelligence. At the beginning of the film, Tadashi rescues Hiro when Yama and his goons were going to beat him up.
  • Soraya and Parvana from The Breadwinner. The first we see of Parvana is her moping over her family needing to sell her nice dress, and the first we see of Soraya is her criticizing Parvana for slacking in her chores. Later on, Parvana disguises herself as a boy to support her family, walks through a possibly mined tank graveyard, gets punched for trying to bribe a prison guard, and hits the Talib who had her father taken away in the face with a brick. Soraya, meanwhile, cooks, cleans, and helps take care of her toddler brother, as well as emotionally supporting her mother and grudgingly accepting her Arranged Marriage.
  • Frozen:
    • Played with in Frozen. At the start of the story, Anna is the Foolish sibling, being a sheltered princess who is willing to marry Prince Hans, a man she's only just met, while Elsa is the Responsible future queen. This sort of dynamic is explored in the "A Sister More Like Me" picture book, which also shows the sisters accepting each other's differences. As the film goes on, though, Elsa's determination to isolate herself makes her come off as more foolish, while Anna ends up becoming more responsible as she braves danger to get Elsa back.
    • In Frozen II, Anna and Elsa's dynamic from "Frozen Fever" is carried over with Elsa continuing to be overconfident and reckless and Anna acting as her voice of reason and caution.
  • In The Incredibles, Dash is the foolish sibling to Violet's responsible sibling. Dash is stubborn, hyperactive, and acts out against having to hide his powers. Violet is quiet, doesn't cause trouble unless provoked, and knows when it's their time to save their parents.
  • Lilo and Nani of Lilo & Stitch. Lilo is a wild, irresponsible kid who constantly causes trouble, while Nani is a hard-working person who wants Lilo to grow up happy and safe. This is slightly deconstructed - 19-year-old Nani acts responsibly because she was forced to grow up fast after their parents died and she was promoted to parent; while Lilo is only six, still suffers from residual trauma caused by the parents' death, and some of her antics are a result of being bullied by other children since she doesn't fit in. Lilo is also almost taken away by social services because of several unfortunate events caused by her (and Stitch's) antics.
  • The Lion King: This dynamic between dangerously childish Scar and wise and just Mufasa escalating badly is what kicks off The Hero's Journey.
  • The first part of The Prince of Egypt showed this dynamic, with Ramses as the responsible sibling and Moses the foolish one. Future Pharaoh Rameses is terrified of disappointing his father, while Moses tries to get him to lighten up.
    Moses: You know what your problem is, Rameses?
    Rameses: What?
    Moses: You care too much.
    Rameses: (smiling) And your problem is, you don't care at all.
  • In Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Jefferson Davis (Miles' father), and his younger brother Aaron. They used to "tag" buildings in their youth but drifted apart when Jefferson became a police officer, while Aaron stayed the way he was and at some point went to work for the Kingpin as The Prowler.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Brother, this is more or less the dynamic between the Bagrov brothers. Danila is the responsible one, Viktor is the foolish one (despite Viktor being older).
  • In Double Harness, Valerie is irresponsible, callous, and selfish while Joan is level headed, frank, and reasonable.
  • In Four Brothers, Jeremiah and Jack are far more responsible and rational than their more impulsive and hot-headed brothers, Bobby and Angel.
  • In Sisters (2015) Kate and Maura perfectly fit this trope. It's shown that this is a problem for both though, Kate is constantly getting fired and her own daughter doesn't want to live with her, while Maura never gets to enjoy anything because she was worried about everyone else.
  • In Sucker Punch it's not known if Sweet Pea and Rocket are related in real life - but they are sisters in Baby Doll's fantasy world. Sweet Pea is the forward-thinking responsible older sibling, while Rocket is said to have been the foolish one who had trouble at home with their parents.
  • Sunshine Cleaning - Rose is the hard-working, responsible older sister. Norah is the lazy, rebellious younger sister.
  • Interestingly, prior to shit getting real in Thor, Loki and Thor. Loki- though younger- was the bookish, reasonable, responsible brother who was implied to regularly attempt to talk sense to a Thor who was childish, reckless, and volatile. However, it's played with throughout the film. Thor's time on Midgard as a mortal mellows him out and he matures into The Wise Prince, while Loki's insecurities lead him to attempt a plot that backfires horribly on him and begins his path to self-destruction and villainy.
  • Troy: Hector is The Dutiful Son and Happily Married to Andromache; Paris is more impulsive and has no wish to settle down with one woman before he meets Helen.
  • W. portrays George W. Bush as the foolish sibling to his more responsible younger brother Jeb. As a result, Bush falls under the impression that his parents favor Jeb over him and spends much of his adult life trying to gain his father's respect.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse: Scott is the rebel of the Summers brothers, while Alex, being older, is the more responsible one.

  • Justified in Angel in the Whirlwind: the eldest child of a Commonwealth of Tyre noble is groomed as the heir and the next few are typically married off for political reasons, but younger children are essentially free to do whatever they like. One of Kat Falcone's older siblings became an irresponsible party girl and scandal magnet, but Kat joined the Navy instead.
  • Goosebumps has a good number of these duos.
    • Welcome To Dead House: Amanda is the much more patient and sensible sibling while her brother, Josh is the impatient, bratty one who's extremely stubborn.
    • One Day At Horrorland: Lizzie states that she's the calm one of the family while her brother, Luke, is the hyperactive sibling who enjoys pinching people.
    • Deep Trouble: Billy's the one with the overactive imagination to his sister Sheena's more serious, non-imaginative demeanor.
    • Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes: Joe is the one who often jokes around, whereas his sister, Mindy, is much more organized to a point where she suffers Super OCD.
    • The Curse of Camp Cold Lake: Sarah Maas, the protagonist, is the socially awkward girl who has meltdowns over minuscule problems such as a bunk under an open window to her younger brother Aaron, who is much more social and level-headed.
    • Night of the Living Dummy II: A rare moment in which the protagonist isn't one of these. Sara, the older sister, is the responsible one, as she takes her talent as an artist very seriously, while Jed, the younger brother, is an obnoxious jerk who often shares practical jokes in Family Sharing Night. Amy, the protagonist and middle child, is in-between, as while she doesn't do as well in academic studies as her sister and even lazes around from her own schoolwork, she isn't nearly as much of a goof-off as her brother at the same time.
  • Jane Austen:
    • Emma: Downplayed. Sisters Emma and Isabella are caring individuals dedicated to helping their loved ones, and so both are Responsible in that regard. However, although she's still a loving mother and adoring wife, Isabella is not as clever and capable as Emma. Emma has her own failings, but despite her inability to successfully matchmake, she is - as Mr Knightley observes - much more clever and level-headed than her anxious, hypochondriac sister Isabella. Emma is the mistress of her father's house and has been taking care of everything with ease since she was twelve, making her the overall more responsible one.
    • Mansfield Park: Tom is the eldest son and Sir Thomas' heir, but he's very irresponsible and reckless — for example, he's lost some considerable fortune to gambling. The younger son Edmund is very responsible and reasonable, and would be in fact an ideal master of the estate; he chooses to become a clergyman. Tom gets seriously ill as a result of his life and he's determined to be better.
    • Persuasion: Anne Elliot is the Responsible Sibling, kind and intelligent, while her younger sister Mary is always whining, playing sick, and generally very unreasonable.
    • Pride and Prejudice: The younger sisters, Kitty and especially Lydia, are the Foolish sisters, while Jane and Elizabeth are the Responsible sisters. Spoofing this trope is Mary Bennet, the middle sister, who thinks herself Responsible; it's true that she improves her mind with much reading and practices pianoforte, but she lacks genuine wisdom or even compassion, making a fool of herself in the meantime.
    • Sense and Sensibility has three pairs:
      • Responsible Elinor and foolish Marianne, albeit the "foolish" daughter is portrayed fairly sympathetically. It's even reflected in the title (when you realize that "sensibility" meant to Austen something like what "sensitivity" means in modern-day English). Elinor is reliable and calm, while Marianne is overly romantic and exaggerates her feelings.
      • Lucy Steele may be Book Dumb, but she's a clever, focused social climber who knows how to keep a secret. Her older sister Anne is an airhead.
      • Edward Ferrars is sensible, well-mannered, and well-educated. His brother Robert is a self-absorbed fop.
  • Older Than Dirt, The Bible: The stories of Cain and Abel and Jacob and Esau, in the Old Testament; Jesus relates the story of the Prodigal Son to illustrate the difficulties of forgiveness.
    • The examples of Cain and Abel, and Jacob and Esau, are complicated in that in both cases, Esau and Cain are both presented as hard-working sons, if Hot-Blooded and not spiritually inclined. Cain and Abel work equally hard, but Abel's gifts happen to please God more, which makes Cain jealous. Jacob actually tricks his way into getting his father's inheritance (helped by his mother), but God blesses him and his line anyway. This might be a theme in the Bible — sometimes, God's grace just can't be accounted for by personal virtue.
    • In the parable of the Prodigal Son, the younger son asks for his inheritance all at once, and promptly leaves home and has a rousing good time. It's only when he's destitute and ruined that he thinks to come home, and beg for work, if nothing else, on his father's land. His father welcomes him back with feasting and praise. However, the older, Responsible sibling is understandably upset — he's worked hard for years and has never received this kind of recognition. The father says that the eldest son has always been beloved, and could always ask for anything; but now that the prodigal son has returned, he will be welcomed as if he were back from the dead.
    • Martha and Mary from the Gospel of Luke; Jesus arrives at their home and Martha busies herself preparing everything for him while Mary sits at Jesus' feet and listens to his teaching. Martha asks Jesus to have Mary come help her, but Jesus calmly rebuffs her by saying that Martha is worrying over small things while Mary is eager to listen to the word of God, thus being the more responsible of the two.
  • A Brother's Price has lucky, silly Odelia and the more conflicted, struggling-with-responsibility Ren. At some point they are noted to be suffering from the same old trauma inflicted by their now-dead husband Keifer, and each surviving sister has reacted in a different way, all of them somewhere along these lines.
  • Thomas Mann's novel Buddenbrooks contains a deconstruction: Thomas is a responsible businessman and an important personage in the community, while his brother Christian is a wastrel who spends his money on drink, women and the theatre. Subverted in that Tom secretly finds his life empty and unfulfilling, while Christian is content with his life regardless of his diminished position in society (though not so much with Tom's treatment of him).
  • Throughout Caraval, Scarlett is always cautious and nervous about doing anything reckless, while her younger sister Tella is more impulsive.
  • Agatha Christie:
    • In The ABC Murders Betty Barnard is a notorious flirt and enjoys having parties with any men who's willing to take her there (much to her boyfriend's displeasure). Her older sister Megan is a lot more sensible and down-to-earth.
    • Lancelot and Percival Fortescue in A Pocket Full of Rye. In Lance's words: "I blew my pocket money, he saved his. I had disreputable but entertaining friends, Percy made what he called 'worthwhile contacts.'"
    • After the Funeral gives us Richard Abernathie, a responsible businessman who raised his younger siblings, at least as compared to his brother Timothy (a self-absorbed hypochondriac) and his sister Cora (a 50-year-old Enfant Terrible). There were also four other siblings, but they were dead before the story started and aren't described enough to know how they fit into this trope.
  • The City Of Brass: Crown Prince Muntadhir is a laid-back hedonist, while his younger brother Alizayd is serious, bookish, and devoutly religious. However, Ali is completely unprepared for court life, while Muntadhir reveals himself to be much more clever and serious about his responsibilities than he lets on.
  • Discworld:
    • In Witches Abroad we discover that Granny Weatherwax wanted to be the irresponsible evil one; but because her elder sister, Lilly, beat her to the punch on that, she felt forced to be the responsible good one. When both sisters are witches, you can see how this complicates family relationships.
    • In Unseen Academicals, Glenda and Juliet, who aren't actually sisters but grew up together, have this kind of relationship, with Glenda getting Juliet a job in the Night Kitchen, and then mostly having to do it for her. Subverted when Glenda realises a) that part of the reason Juliet isn't responsible is that Glenda never gave her a chance to be, and b) that maybe doing something that Glenda would consider very irresponsible is in fact a perfectly valid decision if you're the sort of person who wants to do something like that.
  • In Dragon Bones, Erdrick is always worried about the consequences of the foolish things his brother Beckram tends to do. Erdrick himself is rather shy and likes reading.
  • After they lost their parents six months before Galaxy of Fear, initially Tash and Zak were not this way. Tash withdrew from the world and didn't want to do anything. However, she saw that her brother was becoming a reckless, careless daredevil and felt she needed to be out there looking out for him. It's not to say that they always follow this trope, but Tash usually is the more thoughtful one. In The Brain Spiders Tash is so caught up in trying to be independent and an adult that she does foolish things, while her younger brother wants to be more careful; he's aware of this dynamics flip and complains about it.
  • The whole entire concept of Goofus and Gallant is about two twin brothers, one who acts as the not-so-nice Anti-Role Model in a particular situation, and one who acts in the correct way.
  • In Guns of the Dawn, the Marshwic family has Mary and Emily, who tend towards the serious, and Alice, who is interested in balls and dresses despite the family not really having the money to support that kind of lifestyle anymore. It's played with a bit, though, in that Alice's determination to lead a properly aristocratic social life is revealed to be partly motivated by her belief that a good marriage is the only way to alleviate the financial troubles that keep the others so glum. On the other hand, her good motivations don't make her any smarter, as proven when she runs away to meet someone who turns out to be a ransom-seeking outlaw.
  • Played with, and ultimately deconstructed in Harry Potter:
    • Everyone in the Wizard world thinks that the highly-accomplished Chessmaster Albus Dumbledore is the Responsible Sibling while his younger brother Aberforth — a bartender who "practiced inappropriate charms on a goat" — is the Foolish Sibling. But in their youth, as we learn in Deathly Hallows, it was a different story. Albus was intensely aware of his genius and his great potential, and bitterly resented having to take care of his brother and their mentally ill sister. Aberforth, who was Book Dumb but down-to-earth, wanted to ditch his formal education and care for Ariana, but Albus put his foot down, certain that he knew what was best. In other words, the traits that made Albus such a force for good in the world as an adult did him and those around him great harm in his youth. Albus himself believes Aberforth is the better man, calling him "my rough, unlettered, and far more admirable brother."
    • Zigzagged with the Weasley siblings. During the first three books, Percy tries to act as the Responsible Sibling, doing his best to look after Ron and Ginny (and to a lesser extent, for Harry), while also trying to keep Fred and George in line. The twins might come off as the Foolish ones given that they're always planning mischief and getting into trouble, but after Percy graduates and starts working for the Ministry of Magic, he lets his ambitions get to his head, to the point that it blinds him to how corrupt the ministry actually is, and he breaks his ties with his family after having a fight with their father, while Fred and George firmly stand by them. (Percy returns to the family three years later though.)
  • Kyle and Ian from The Host. Maggie and Jeb are a subversion in that Maggie comes across as rather level-headed while Jeb comes across as somewhat crazy yet Maggie is the foolish one as she lets pride and stubbornness rule out basic logic while Jeb is the responsible one who views things from all angles and is quick on his feet.
  • Stanley and Thomas from Insupu - Stanley is the older, responsible brother, who borders on the Comically Serious. Thomas is the silly, Fun Personified younger brother, and the island's resident Plucky Comic Relief.
  • Sergeant Sinter and her sister Kisswhere in the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Kisswhere is all innocent beauty and wild seduction and lives on Favors for the Sexy and Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!. She joined the army on a whim because she'd made too many enemies among the women of her tribe and figured she could just desert or sleep her way up should she get bored. Sinter, on the other hand, is the reliable and practical one with a case of Honor Before Reason as far as Kisswhere is concerned. She followed Kisswhere to the army so she could make sure her sister would not get herself into trouble. Her entire life consists of cleaning up after Kisswhere and she admits to chafing under that yoke.
  • Zig-zagged with Isabelle and Vianne in The Nightingale (Kristin Hannah). It's obvious that Vianne sees it this way. Early on in the narrative, Isabelle is painted in an extremely impulsive and unsympathetic light. It comes to a boiling point when Isabelle hides an actively hunted Allied airman in a cellar under Vianne's barn. Vianne is spitting nails as she leaves Isabelle down there, threatening to report her to the Nazis herself if Isabelle ever comes near the house again. By the end of the book, Vianne is in awe of Isabelle's courage and strength as The Nightingale, and deeply ashamed of her earlier threats to her own sister.
  • Plato discussed a version of the Greek myth of Prometheus ("forethought") in which his foolish, absent-minded brother Epimetheus ("afterthought") completely bolloxed everything when the two brothers were given the job of creating humans and animals. With humanity almost ruined by Epimetheus, Prometheus had to steal fire and give it to humans to prevent our extinction. From Hesiod comes the story that Epimetheus enthusiastically received Pandora from the gods, despite all of Prometheus's warnings that she would be a blight upon humanity. He was right, she was. This is the Ur-Example in Western Literature. Given an Alternative Character Interpretation in The Water Babies, which portrays Prometheus as an arrogant jerkass and points out that, in the end, Epimetheus had Pandora and (since it was left in the box) he had hope, while Prometheus was chained to a mountain with a vulture pecking out his liver.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Deconstructed. with Jaime and Cersei Lannister. Cersei actually resents being the responsible one, neglecting her own needs for the good of the family. As she gets closer to the Iron Throne, she loses people who can counsel and guide her (Jaime, Tyrion, Tywin, Kevan, and even Pycelle) and her disregard for the needs of others eventually gets her dethroned. Jaime, on the other hand, learns that sticking too much to his family's credo of not caring what the "sheep" might say will get him in trouble.
    • Of House Baratheon, Robert is a drunken spendthrift hunter who'd rather spend his time womanizing than doing his job as king, while Renly is a charismatic intellectual administrator, and Stannis is a no-nonsense, logical, duty-bound Determinator. While Robert is a great warrior, Stannis played major roles in his campaigns, essentially winning the Greyjoy Rebellion by smashing the Iron Fleet at Fair Isle and then suppressing Old Wyk, the largest of the Iron Islands.
  • Sweet Valley High: Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield are Polar Opposite Twins and Elizabeth is the smart, level-headed, ambitious one while Jessica is an impulsive and superficial drama queen. Usually these are the roles, at least; in some books, they get reversed, such as when Elizabeth undergoes a temporary personality change after having been in a coma.
  • In Doctrine of Labyrinths, Mildmay is shrewd and streetwise with plenty of practical skills, while his brother Felix (despite being a powerful wizard with an extensive education) is volatile, self-destructive, and lacking in common sense. Mildmay often remarks that Felix can't be trusted to cross the street unattended without calamity ensuing. He's barely exaggerating. On the one occasion their roles were reversed and Mildmay's temporary illness meant Felix had to act as his caretaker for a while, Felix immediately resorted to prostitution, despite having other viable options resulting in him being badly hurt and inadvertently triggering off a national disaster (long story).
    • Stephen and Shannon Teverius are a less extreme version, with Stephen being the steady, calculating one who takes his duties very seriously, and Shannon being a vain, impulsive fop whose bratty behavior is a constant headache to those around him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 8 Simple Rules has two Foolish siblings - Lovable Alpha Bitch Bridget and scheming Rory. Middle child Kerry is the rule-abiding bookworm who takes on the Responsible role.
  • All My Children: Julia Santos is the Foolish sister to her older Responsible sister Maria, a doctor. True to form, it turns out that Maria is actually tired of the pressure to be perfect, to the point of being a Stepford Smiler, while most of Julia's reckless behavior is clearly a cry for attention from her parents; the fact that they have three other siblings only adds to it.
  • Arrested Development's family tree is a bit too large to fit nicely into this trope, but GOB and Michael qualify, at least to outward appearance. George Sr. comments on it at one point:
    "[Michael] and GOB were like those biblical brothers, Gallant and, um... Goofeth"
  • Arrow has the Lance sisters, Sara and Laurel. Sara was the Foolish party girl and Laurel was the Responsible, studious pre-law. In the present day, this seems to have reversed as separate Break the Cutie moments forced Sara to mature and Laurel into a spiral of drugs and alcohol.
  • Better Call Saul has the lawyer brothers of Jimmy and Chuck McGill. Jimmy is a former con-man who has spent his life trying to cut corners, while Chuck is a successful and responsible partner at a prestigious law firm. Jimmy's efforts to become responsible and earn his brother's respect are a major source of motivation for him in the early seasons. A major source of conflict in the show comes from the fact that Chuck always resented Jimmy for being their parents' favorite despite all the trouble Jimmy got into and cannot accept that Jimmy is becoming a respectable lawyer so he sabotages Jimmy at every turn. At the same time, Chuck's mental illness is turning him into the Foolish one while Jimmy is forced to become the Responsible one trying to take care of Chuck. Neither of them can deal with the role reversal and they act out in self-destructive ways, culminating in Chuck killing himself just to spite Jimmy.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Sheldon Cooper appears to be the Responsible (a genius who works as a theoretical physicist) while his siblings, George Jr. (aka. Georgie) and Missy, are supposedly Foolish (described by their mother Mary as "dumb as soup", though this is a bit of an overstatement). The prequel Spin-Off Young Sheldon seems to confirm this, making Sheldon appear to be the hard-working Child Prodigy in contrast to his lazy Book Dumb siblings. However, season 11 episode "The Sibling Realignment" reveals that the true responsible sibling is Georgie. After George Sr. passed away, Georgie had to take care of Mary and Missy because all the money was going to Sheldon, who was in college at the time, and Sheldon was never told any of this. Georgie also became a Self-Made Man with his chain of tire stores called "Dr. Tire," while Sheldon's science career was at a dead end until the series finale. Missy, however, firmly remains the least successful and least responsible of the three, working as a restaurant hostess and separated from her husband while pregnant with her second child.
  • In Birds of a Feather, sensible well-to-do Tracey is the Responsible Sibling to Sharon, who doesn't care much about Tracey's carefully bolstered "respectability" and sometimes engages in petty crime. (However, "foolish" may not be the right word; Tracey's under no illusions about her husband being a career criminal, for instance, whereas Sharon, at least initially, refuses to believe that her "perfect" life could possibly be based on the proceeds of armed robbery).
  • Bob Hearts Abishola: Bob is the responsible sibling to his younger twin siblings Douglas and Christina. Bob is the responsible, hardworking president of MaxDot Theraputic Hosiery. Douglas and Christina are, in their mother's words "useless potheads." This is perhaps somewhat justified as Bob is twelve years older than his twin siblings and when their father died, he had to drop out of college to help take care of them and take over as president of his parents' sock company.
  • The Booth brothers in Bones. Seeley is the older more responsible one who feels obligated to get Jared out of trouble. It’s apparently not uncommon in abused siblings for this to happen. The older becomes the protector and the younger rebels and gets in trouble.
  • Charmed - out of the three Halliwells, eldest sister Prue is the Responsible sibling who had to become a surrogate mother to the others after theirs was killed. Phoebe the youngest is the Foolish - rebellious as a teenager and still quick to bend the rules as an adult. Poor Piper was stuck right in the middle.
  • CSI: NY has three sets:
    • Flack the responsible cop and his younger sister, Sam, who's a (now-recovering) alcoholic and can't seem to hold a steady job.
    • Danny, who took the responsible route and avoided gangs by going into law enforcement, as opposed to his older brother, Louie, who joined The Tanglewood Boys.
    • Chief Carver, who adopts his wayward sister's kids after she abandons them for a life of drugs and prostitution.
  • The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance: Brea comes off as irresponsible to Seladon who scoffs at all the time she spends reading and not actually dedicating herself to her duties as a princess. However, her lust for knowledge ends up helping her realize the Skesis are not the benevolent rulers everyone believes them to be and get the upper hand in certain situations due to what she read.
  • The Deuce: Frankie Martino is a degenerate gambler while Vincent Martino is an entrepreneur. Both get in bed with the mob, but Vincent does so cautiously and reluctantly, while Frankie does so enthusiastically.
  • On ER, Dr. Susan Lewis is the responsible one - that title is your first clue - and her drug-addicted sister is the foolish one. Despite, or maybe because of this, Susan is The Un-Favourite.
  • Responsible, high-achieving, conservative-dressing Alex and Foolish, more interested in dating rather than school Mallory in Family Ties
  • Firefly: While we have few indications as to River Tam's level of responsibility before the Academy, her fractured sanity at the time of the TV show, compared to Simon's level-headed caretaker role., make them a fairly good fit.
  • Flashpoint has a somewhat understated case with Sam Braddock and his sister Natalie. Sam very much plays the "responsible sibling" half straight, but while he clearly sees Natalie as the foolish one, she's not really that bad; the only really foolish thing about her is that she's too trusting. Apart from that, she's at worst a little impulsive, and she indicates that she recognizes this and is actively trying to do better.
  • Subverted in Frasier — both Niles and Frasier are firmly convinced that they are the responsible brother and the other is the foolish one. In reality, they are both a mixture of foolishness and responsibility, each of them having weaknesses exactly where the other has strengths, which perpetuates this running argument.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Brandon was much more reckless than Ned or Benjen, despite having been groomed to succeed his father, Lord Rickard. Indeed Baelish states that in the end, Ned was the more impressive specimen of the two.
    • Cersei considers herself the responsible one.
      Cersei: [to Tyrion] I don't care what you think! You've never taken it seriously; you haven't, Jaime hasn't! It's all fallen on me.
    • Of House Baratheon, Robert is a drunken spendthrift hunter who'd rather spend his time womanizing than doing his job as king, while Renly is a charismatic intellectual administrator, and Stannis is a no-nonsense, logical, duty-bound Determinator. While Robert is a great warrior, Stannis played major roles in his campaigns, essentially winning the Greyjoy Rebellion by smashing the Iron Fleet at Fair Isle and then suppressing Old Wyk, the largest of the Iron Islands. In the books, Stannis served on the King's Small Council in the books and largely worked as Jon Arryn's Number Two in keeping the realm intact. And of the two Baratheon siblings at King's Landing, one has never failed to attend to important matters and takes part in shaping the future of the realm... and the other is Robert. The king largely dismisses Renly as a Yes-Man, although Renly is shown to be ashamed and embarrassed by Robert's neglect and mismanagement of the kingdom.
  • In Good Luck Charlie, Teddy is the responsible sibling to both PJ and Gabe's foolish siblings. While Teddy is both wise and responsible, PJ is far more immature and airheaded than his younger sister, and while he's much less of a troublemaker than their younger brother, PJ is far more careless than them both.
  • House of Anubis plays around with this a bit. Patricia seems like she'd be the more down to Earth one, being the Deadpan Snarker and a bit more responsible than her rather emotional friends, while Piper seems like she'd be the naive and foolish one; However, when they actually interact, Patricia's impulsive and mischievous nature becomes much more obvious in comparison to her much calmer, nicer sister, making Piper the responsible on and Patricia the foolish one.
  • How I Met Your Mother has:
    • Ted (responsible) and Heather (foolish) Mosby, which forms one episode's plot when Ted is skeptical of Heather's claims that she's grown up, seeing as how the last time she tried to clean up her act, she sold Ted's belongings to buy Nine Inch Nails tickets in Spain on the day of her admissions interview at NYU.
    • Also, there's Barney (foolish) and James (responsible) Stinson, who have a different sort of development — they used to both be foolish (compulsive manwhoresnote  who were constantly getting into trouble), and Barney feels abandoned when James matures and gets engaged. Oddly enough, it seems like Barney and James have switched places in season 9. Now Barney is the one who is settling down and getting married (to Robin) while James has cheated on his husband (repeatedly), leading to the end of their marriage and for James to seemingly return to the promiscuous lifestyle he left behind years ago.
  • In Law & Order: Special Victims Unit:
    • Detective Amanda Rollins is the Sensible sibling, having become a successful detective in the Special Victims Unit of the New York Police Department. Her younger sister, Kim, is the Foolish sister, being a veritable Manchild who has seemingly no impulse control whatsoever, doing and saying whatever she wants, whenever she wants, not caring about the consequences that will result or the effects her actions have on others, even her sister. This takes on a darker than usual cast in two ways. Firstly, her behavior also leads to her engaging in rampant substance abuse and to be devoted to a Bastard Boyfriend. Secondly, Kim resents her sister for being more successful and respected than her (although, ironically, their mother is more like Kim and definitely favors Kim), which she considers as fair rationale for exploiting and manipulating her sister. She sets Amanda up to murder her abusive boyfriend for her when she gets sick of him, an act that would also result in a big insurance payout — which she forged Amanda's name to qualify for, and when she is caught on video-tape confessing with this, she skips town along with all of her sister's possessions — literally: the only things Amanda has left is her fridge, an ice tray, and Kim's goodbye note. In later seasons, Kim is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and finally gets proper treatment, leading her to finally settle down and become more responsible.
    • Similarly, Olivia and her half-brother Simon. Unlike Kim, Simon generally means well, but he's immature and impulsive to the point of reckless, enough to have gotten him in trouble with the law more than once. In his second-to-last appearance, Olivia tells him point-blank that he needs to grow up.
    • Fin's son Ken and his half-brother Darius are a particularly extreme version. Ken is a college student (in his first few seasons) who becomes a social worker and spends his free time volunteering with LGBT organizations and homeless youth; as of season 17, he's also married and about to become a father. By contrast, Darius has a long criminal record and is eventually revealed to have brutally raped and murdered his girlfriend, and also killed her infant son. By the end, even Ken doesn't want anything to do with Darius.
    • Elliot Stabler's kids have elements of this: oldest daughter Maureen, though not perfect, is a generally well-adjusted teenager and serious student, while Kathleen spends her teen years getting into increasing levels of trouble, culminating in an arrest for burglary and trespassing. She settles down once she's diagnosed with bipolar disorder and begins receiving treatment, but then Richard becomes the problem child, at least for one episode. (Fans also speculate that youngest daughter Elizabeth probably falls into the category of "responsible sibling" because they figure that if she was giving Elliot trouble, it would at least be mentioned and probably feature on the show at least once).
  • A rather dark take appears in The League of Gentlemen with Pop's two put-upon sons Al and Richie. Richie is the foolish one and it leads to him being disowned by his own father for a very small screw-up (getting a few chocolate bars stolen). Al the ostensibly responsible one, has been actually conditioned to be subservient to his father and deludedly worship him which leads to Pop ruining his life even further.
  • Madam Secretary: Done twice in the McCord family.
    • Between Elizabeth McCord and her brother, Liz has a strong marriage and manages to balance her family with her career as Secretary of State. Her brother's marriage is on the rocks due to him being Married to the Job (as an aid worker in conflict zones, but still).
    • Among Liz and Henry's children, the middle sibling Alison is a peer mediator at her school and a model student, whereas her older sister Stevie dropped out of college and her younger brother Jason clashes with his parents politically and got expelled from their Quaker school for punching out a bully. Also inverted between Alison and Stevie in "Standoff" when Stevie initially helps sneak Alison's boyfriend past the security detail to get back at their mother, but then changes her mind and takes him home rather than let Alison and the boyfriend have Their First Time upstairs.
  • It's worth noting that the middle child often falls into this role as well in Sitcoms. A notable example of this are Malcolm in the Middle and its eponymous Malcolm, who is much more responsible than Dewey (although Dewey is only about six years old at the beginning of the series) and, well... just plain smarter than Reese. Interestingly, later on, the roles are shifted. Dewey becomes more responsible and down to earth while Malcolm becomes more and more cynical and pessimistic. Francis, who got sent away to military school because of his behaviour, actually gets his crap together, has a happy marriage and a good job.
  • The Mentalist: In Red All Over Xander Harrington, was a hard-working, decisive businessman, and a good husband and father, while his younger brother Ed is a No Respect Guy playboy who knocked up their stepmother, lets himself be used by a woman who planted a bomb in the family's house and is never given any responsibility in the Family Business.
  • Midnight Caller:
    • Devon King inherited a near-bankrupt radio station when she was twenty-one and had it turning a profit in three years. Her brother Jimmy was an incompetent businessman and an alcoholic who died in a drunk driving accident.
    • Jack Killian is a responsible citizen with no criminal record who has been working since he got out of high school. His brother Frankie is a small-time thief who spent time in prison. His sister Katie clearly has borderline personality disorder; she has a long history of short-lived relationships that failed because she rushed into them too quickly, then freaked out when her boyfriend wanted to slow down.
  • In Murdoch Mysteries, Dr. Julia Ogden's sister Ruby is introduced when she is revealed to be a magician's assistant to Harry Houdini, much to Julia's chagrin. While Julia has become a doctor and a coroner in Toronto, Ruby has gotten into popular journalism and travels the world, becoming romantically involved with the married H.G. Wells at one point. The two sisters sometimes bicker over their differences, with Julia making remarks about her sister's tendency to spend time with sultans and such. Ruby retaliates at one point by calling her sister "Jules" (an old childhood nickname Julia no longer likes) and lamenting her sister being a stick-in-the-mud, particularly critiquing the slow-motion courtship between her and William.
  • Explored in My Name Is Earl with Earl evolving over the course of the show from being one of a pair of idiot siblings to being a responsible one and taking care of his brother Randy who remains the foolish one. At one point Earl has a minor Heroic BSoD when he realises he has become the guy everyone looks to for answers and help.
  • Ode to Joy:
    • Qu Xiao Xiao is a businesswoman who successfully controls her company, while Qu Lian Jie is a playboy who wastes his father's money and makes bad financial decisions.
    • Fan Sheng Mei constantly works and pursues rich men in order to support her family. Her brother, meanwhile, relies on Fan Sheng Mei's money and effort to get him a job and house and doesn't appreciate her efforts.
  • Outnumbered has stressed, mother-of-three Sue (Responsible) and undependable, new age Angela (Foolish). To a lesser degree, Sue's sons fit too, with serious, quiet Jake (Responsible) and erratic, compulsive liar Ben (Foolish).
  • The Patty Duke Show: Impulsive, boy-crazy, Zany Scheme-prone Patty Lane (Foolish) and demure, cultured, sensible "identical cousin" Cathy Lane (Responsible).
  • Political Animals: Elaine's twin sons T.J. and Douglas, respectively. T.J. is the hard-partying and promiscuous sibling, whose main "work" shown during the series is trying to start a nightclub...which he can't fund without a loan begged from family members. Douglas, on the other hand, is busy with a political career as his mother's right-hand man (and formerly her presidential campaign manager), about to marry, and spends most of his time-solving problems of the rest of his dysfunctional family.
  • Power Rangers:
  • Power Rangers Mystic Force: Madison is the responsible one to her brash sister, Vida.
    Madison: Don't look at me. I'm the sister with the common sense.
  • Queen Sugar has the Bordelon siblings: Ralph Angel, an ex-con who still engages in illegal activity and needs to find a job, is the foolish sibling. Charley, the wealthy sports manager, and Nova, the truth-seeking journalist, are the responsible siblings. Deconstructed because Ralph Angel is fully aware of this dynamic and finds it chafing. He considers his sisters' attempts to help him patronizing and doesn't think they have much faith in him.
  • The Ranch: Colt is Foolish, Rooster is Responsible, at least at first. Colt left the ranch to pursue (and screw up) a semi-pro football career, while Rooster stayed to work on the ranch. Beau, however, points out that they're both Man Children who spend more time drinking and chasing women than they do working.
  • Saved by the Bell has Rod Belding, who is the foolish to Principal Richard Belding's responsible, being way too relaxed with the rules and then blowing off the kids for a field trip at the last minute for a date. Richard proves how much better a person he is by agreeing to take his brother's place to lead the trip.
  • On Schitt's Creek both David and Alexis are shown to have some major gaps in their common sense thanks to their spoiled upbringing, but David is the far more self-aware, book-smart and responsible of the two. In the past, he often worried about his sister when she was off on her wild adventures and it fell to him to send her passports and colored contact lenses.
  • The premise of the series Simon & Simon involved two brothers who worked as private detectives. Rick was a blue-collar Vietnam veteran (Marine Corps, no less) who drank considerably and had unsavory friends. The younger brother A.J. was the white-collar half of the duo. He attended university during the Vietnam era and often scolded his brother. Rick was supposed to be streetwise, carefree and unflappable, while A.J. was straight-laced, anxious, and upwardly mobile, given to fretting about retaining his P.I.'s license.
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Family", we're introduced to Captain Picard's older brother Robert, who attributes his bitter, jealous, and bullying behavior from their youth to this trope, claiming himself to have always been The Dutiful Son while Jean-Luc "broke every rule [their] father made and got away with it."
  • In The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Cody is Responsible and Zack is Foolish. Although uniquely for this trope, Cody is Not So Above It All many times and gets into plenty of antics with Zack. Often willingly.
  • Played with in Supernatural. While, law-abiding, educated, responsible, empathetic Sam seems to be the Responsible Sibling to Dean's loud, boorish, womanizing, devil-may-care Foolish Sibling, Sam is also the Black Sheep of the family who butted heads with his father constantly while Dean is loyal and devoted to his family to the point that it's a character flaw. It seems that Sam was given more freedom and innocence as a kid while Dean was forced to be his brother's caretaker and his dad's loyal soldier. However, Sam takes far more responsibility for his - and other people's - mistakes than Dean does. While Dean's sense of responsibility is mostly limited to his family, Sam's extends to the world in general.
  • An interesting variation is used in That '70s Show, with Eric, a nerdy stoner, being much more responsible and level headed than his slutty and ditzy older sister, Laurie.
  • Unhappily Ever After: Older son Ryan is foolish, middle child Tiffany is responsible. Ryan went to High School on the Five Year Plan, Tiffany got a full scholarship to an Ivy League school. Both ended up going to a local community college for a year.
  • In Victorious, Tori Vega, though not above getting involved in wacky hijinks, is usually more sensible and down to earth than her deluded, self-obsessed older sister Trina.
  • Vida: Lyn is the foolish sibling, Emma is the responsible sibling. Lyn causes trouble wherever she goes, such as starting an affair with Johnny and going on a thousand dollar shopping spree just to cheer herself up. Emma, on the other hand, is hard-nosed and prudent to a fault, driving everyone nuts with her high expectations.
  • Ryan and Kristen from Wilfred seem to fit their respective tropes at first. Ryan is unemployed and spends his days getting high and doing Jenna's busy work while Kristen is a successful doctor. But up close, they are the opposite. Ryan wrestles with his conscience and always does the right thing, for better or worst. Kristen, on the other hand, makes bad decisions when it comes to her personal life. She wrecks her marriage after she has an affair with a married man and mothers a bastard she rightfully names Joffrey.
  • Wynonna Earp gives us the Earp siblings. Big sister Wynonna is the town pariah who slept with half her high school, had several stints in juvie, and skipped town to ride with a biker gang as soon as she was able. She starts the series in complete denial about being The Chosen One who must end the family curse and stop demons from terrorizing Purgatory. Meanwhile, Waverly is the town darling, a top student, and has dedicated her life to figuring out how to break the curse because she won't abandon her hometown. The fact that, despite all this, Wynonna is still The Chosen One gets under Waverly's skin a little.

  • In the first opera from The Ring of the Nibelung cycle, Fasolt and Fafner are this during their first appearance, with Fasolt being the gullible and emotional brother, and Fafner the calculating and rational one. However, the situation quickly slips straight into Cain and Abel.


  • Rabbit Hole: Becca is the responsible wife and mother. Her sister Izzy is a wild child that gets into bar fights after having sex with another woman's boyfriend—and gets knocked up by said other woman's boyfriend.

    Video Games 
  • Crash Bandicoot: Crash, the resident Cloud Cuckoolander, is the foolish older brother to Coco, who's smarter and has more common sense (although not without a few antics of her own).
  • Lyndon and Edlin of Diablo III were close brothers who chose different paths when they grew up. Lyndon became a scoundrel and started running with the Thieves' Guild more to amuse himself than anything. Edlin became a city guard with a wife and children.
  • Maya and Meena from Dragon Quest IV. Maya is a lot less serious than her fastidious sister and loves to gamble.
  • In Ensemble Stars!, the Aoi twins seem like a clear-cut case of this, with Hinata being a hyper-enthusiastic, Perpetual Smiler Genki Boy and Yuuta being much more thoughtful and reserved, but it's twisted a little in that Hinata is much more into their idol duties and so is sometimes the one pushing Yuuta (who worries about being defined entirely by his brother) into practicing more.
  • Artoirel and Emmanellain de Fortemps from the Heavensward expansion of Final Fantasy XIV are Responsible and Foolish, respectively. Both of them show signs of childish behavior, but Artoirel is the heir to the noble Fortemps family legacy and thus The Dutiful Son, while self-centered Emmanellain is more or less a Lazy Bum Upper-Class Twit.
  • In Fire Emblem Awakening, Lucina, who's Chrom's Kid from the Future, is a serious and mature girl compared to any of the second generation units who can wind up as her siblings- Male Morgan, Cynthia, Kjelle, Brady or Inigonote - with each of them being significantly more eccentric in their own ways.
  • Felicia and Flora from Fire Emblem Fates are Foolish and Responsible, respectively, but both of them also show a bit of the opposite trait as well. Felicia is Foolish in that she's quite incompetent as a maid, being clumsy and terrible at cooking. Flora is Responsible, being the much more competent maid and cook.
  • In Fire Emblem Gaiden, Delthea is the foolish sibling to her older brother Luthier's responsible sibling, being Brilliant, but Lazy where he is hardworking.
  • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Hilda is a rather lazy young noblewoman, while her older brother Holst is an accomplished warrior and commander who is responsible for defending the Leicester Alliance from Almyra. It's played with a bit in that part of the reason why Hilda is lazy in her belief that she'll never measure up to Holst.
  • Despite being equally talented at fighting, Kim Dong-Hwan and Kim Jae-Hoon, Kim Kaphwan's sons from Garou: Mark of the Wolves, are this, with Dong-Hwan being the Foolish one (a lazy slacker who prefers the Korean nightlife to strict training) and Jae-Hoon being the Responsible one (taking more after his dad in both looks and dedication, to the point of actually inheriting his Hou'ou Kyaku).
  • Technically, they're cousins, but Grand Theft Auto IV's Roman Bellic plays foolish gambling addict to Niko's responsible contract killer.
  • inFAMOUS: Second Son: Delsin (Foolish) and Reggie (Responsible) Rowe. Delsin is an unemployed delinquent, and Reggie is the country Sheriff who expresses much embarrassment at having to keep arresting his younger brother. Though Delsin starts becoming more responsible after unlocking his Conduit abilities.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has Impa and Purah. Impa is a very serious and responsible woman who always helps out and explains things to Link in a straightforward manner, while Purah is a very perky woman who decided to test a newly-designed Fountain of Youth rune on herself without doing any safer preemptive tests first and who frequently treats Link in a very teasing and mischievous manner.
  • While not exactly foolish, Daniel from Life Is Strange 2 is considerably more carefree and reckless than his older brother Sean. Which is not ideal, considering how Daniel is the one with telekinesis.
  • Mega Man Battle Network has the foolish sibling be Lan/Netto Hikari, who likes to sleep in and neglect his studies, and Megaman/Rockman.EXE aka Hub/Saito as the responsible sibling who has to be his brother's alarm clock and personal nanny at times.
  • Claus and Lucas from Mother 3. The former is the foolish one, and the latter the responsible one, which shows the most strongly in how they react to their mother's death. Claus goes off to get revenge, while Lucas obediently remains at home and indirectly spills the beans on where his brother went via a Suspiciously Specific Denial.
  • Subverted with Kannon and Seishi Bosatsu from Namu Amida Butsu! -UTENA- – they bear the personalities associated with this trope with Kannon a kind but strict Team Mom and Seishi a Manchild who engages in Big Brother Worship, but Kannon spoils Seishi rotten and Seishi is nice and sweet enough to never take advantage of his brother's trust or become a spoiled brat.
  • Miwako (responsible) and Yumi (foolish) Shimizu from the Nancy Drew game Shadow at the Water's Edge. Though also a bit of an inversion— Miwako's prudence renders her very apprehensive and unwilling to help Nancy with the mystery, instead attempting to discourage her from continuing, while Yumi is actively helping her, albeit in a very cryptic, indirect manner.
  • Dōjo and Oguna in Onmyōji. Dōjo is a Spoiled Brat who doesn't hesitate to insult even her older brother when he tries to reason with her, even though he always puts up with it. According to Oguna's in-game autobiography, there was a time when Dōjo was lost eight times in a single month.
  • The Stamatin twins in Pathologic. Petr is a co-dependent alcoholic shut-in, and Andrei (while spending most of his time in the twyrine den coming up with ways to screw with people, and therefore not responsible in any traditional sense of the word) is a dangerous man with a strong force of will, and considers it his personal mission in life to protect his brother from the outside world. In particular, professionally. They work together as architects - Petr designs avant-garde buildings that break the laws of reality and Andrei does the civil engineering necessary to erect them.
  • Persona:
    • Partially lampshaded in Persona 3. When Ken Amada joins the team, Junpei assumes a Big Brother Mentor role. Yukari mentions something to the effect that Junpei's is like the foolish sibling, while Ken's the responsible and mature one.
    • In Persona 4, Ryotaro Dojima was apparently the foolish sibling to the main character's mother, since he's implied to have been a bit of a troublemaker when he was young, such as earning himself a thrashing from his father by riding around on a bike.
    • Persona 5:
      • Eiko and her brother. Eiko is a somewhat poor student who ends up falling in love with a manipulative host and nearly getting sold off if not for Makoto's intervention. Meanwhile, her brother is apparently quite talented, and that fact, along with their parents' favoring him helps cause Eiko's issues.
      • Youji Isshiki and his sister Wakaba. Wakaba was highly eccentric but was also an exceptional cognitive psience researcher and a loving mother to Futaba. Meanwhile, Youji is fairly wasteful with money, thus causing him to extort money out of Sojiro, who'd taken Futaba in after hearing about Youji abusing her.
      • Kazuya Makigami, a petty thief and Mementos target, and his more studious younger brother Naoya, whom Kazuya bullies.
  • Solatorobo gives us Red and Chocolat. He's somewhat Hot-Blooded and is the one who actually fights, while she is Mission Control and manages the team's financial issues. In this case, the responsible sibling is only 13, while the foolish one is 17.
  • In Stardew Valley, Haley is the Foolish to Emily's Responsible. Despite her outgoing attitude, Emily is the more mature of the two and works part-time in Gus' bar, while Haley seems very childish for her age, throwing tantrums at the thought of being forced to do household chores and mostly just loitering about.
  • Downplayed with Polar Opposite Twins Jade and Floyd in Twisted Wonderland. While initial character profiles and in-game introductions establish Jade as calm and mature and Floyd as a Brilliant, but Lazy hedonist, it soon becomes clear that Jade enjoys chaos and their Slasher Smile Creepy Twins shtick as much as Floyd does, and indulges much of Floyd's behaviour due to wanting his twin's happiness more than anything.
  • Played with in Undertale, where Papyrus appears to be an ambition-minded skeleton dedicated to serving the royal guard, while Sans only seems interested in pranks and loafing. The reality is that Papyrus' attempts to be serious and mature makes him come across as quite (unintentionally) goofy and, as it turns out, he doesn't have a single mean bone in his body, and as such he's incapable of actually hurting anyone, meaning he is not really cut out for bodyguard work. Meanwhile, Sans secretly spends a lot of his time trying to keep his brother happy and is quite cynical and melancholic beneath his goofy surface, and he hides his own problems to not worry his brother. And if the player behaves evilly enough, he is eventually driven to attempt to kill them, and unlike his brother he will not show any mercy.
  • In the prologue of Until Dawn, Beth is strongly implied to be the responsible sibling, compared to her twin sister Hannah whom Beth calls "naive", even to her older brother Josh, who was seen passed out drunk.
  • Played with in Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines with Voermann twins—the responsible Therese and the foolish Jeanette. And by "played with", we mean that they are actually two extremely split personalities inhabiting the same body; they are actually Malkavians and this is how their madness manifests itself.

    Visual Novels 
  • Played with in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney with the Gavin brothers. Kristoph is a defense attorney known as "The Coolest Defense in the West" for his calm demeanor, has an excellent win record, and is generally unflappable. Younger brother Klavier is a wild-card prosecutor who flirts while in the courtroom and is the lead singer of his very own rock band outside it. Kristoph is also the Big Bad of the game, and Klavier one of your best allies in bringing him to justice.
  • In Beyond Eden, Oscar Edenic is the dutiful first son responsible for managing his family's household and fortunes, while Edward Edenic is the wild third son who was expelled from school for an unknown incident and seems content to spend his days gambling and practicing shooting. Their conflicts are manipulated and exploited by Villain Protagonist Alex Wake in multiple routes.
  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc has Mondo and Daiya Owada. While calling a biker gang leader "responsible" would be a bit of a stretch, Daiya was the glue that kept the Crazy Diamonds together, and ultimately sacrificed himself to save his brother, entrusting him with the gang. Mondo, for all his Hot-Blooded and manly attitude, was deeply insecure, which was why he challenged his brother to a race, leading to Daiya's death, and why he later killed Chihiro in a fit of rage, making him come off as the foolish one.
  • In Marco and the Galaxy Dragon, Tera Isezaki is eccentric, proud, and fond of flaunting her family’s vast wealth in various ways. Her younger sister Rakka, by contrast, is humble, down-to-earth, and acts as the family’s self-appointed Minister of Finance to keep Tera from blowing their money on dubious purchases from Galaxy Auction.

    Web Animation 
  • DSBT InsaniT: Bill is the Foolish Sibling, and Whitney is the Responsible Sibling. Bill is bombastic and will charge right into confrontation. Whitney will try and approach confrontation nice and easy and will Take a Third Option if possible.
  • In the Go Animate "Character gets grounded" videos, a lot of the troublemakers have this dynamic with their siblings. It's worth pointing out that these are simply the most common dynamics between these characters in the grounded videos, and some videos have been known to reverse the characters' dynamics or even have both be Foolish:
  • Ichabod and Calamity in No Evil, with Ichabod as the studious, neurotic one (Responsible) and Calamity as Brilliant, but Lazy (Foolish).
  • Trick Moon: Prince is the responsible one, but as he is trapped he has to rely on his foolish siblings Trickshot and Pocket. Despite his obsession with looking "cool", Trickshot takes his job more seriously than Pocket, grabbing her when she stops to save her game after Mage steals the Moonstone.

  • Adventurers! has Karashi (responsible) and Mizuna (foolish). Both were trained as ninjas, and Mizuna was actually a prodigy, but she misunderstood all the favorable comparisons to Karashi, fled, and joined Khrima. When the sisters duel, Mizuna throws a sudden childish fit upon realizing that Karashi broke one of her earrings, with the comic's title sarcastically urging the reader to guess which one was the older sister. Upon her Heel–Face Turn, Mizuna is shown to still be impatient while training.
  • Cucumber Quest has the Brother–Sister Team of Cucumber and Almond. Cucumber is a bookworm who would rather hide the Artifact of Doom and end the quest to save the world before it's even necessary. Almond is so excited for said quest that she invokes You Can't Thwart Stage One.
  • Elon and Myari of Ears for Elves, oh so much; they fit the opening paragraphs of this page to a T. Older brother Elon is cautious and methodical where Genki Girl Myari is impulsive and excitable.
  • General Protection Fault has the Barker brothers. Jason "Fooker" Barker's the Foolish one, being The Slacker, and a recovering alcoholic who barely got into college and got held back several times. Justin Barker went to a military academy and was an aspiring secret agent until Jason unwittingly ended up taking the opportunity from him. The Oshiro siblings also qualify, as Ki is mature and responsible, while Yoshi is extremely intelligent, but also an Insufferable Genius with a knack for getting himself into trouble.
  • Nebula has older sister Earth as a naive Genki Girl, with her younger sister Venus being a pragmatic and more mature Deadpan Snarker.
  • Julie is mostly the responsible sibling and Angelika is mostly the foolish sibling in Our Little Adventure.
  • In Pacificators, we have Larima and Taffe. It's not quite so straightforward, though; Larima is The Ditz and Genki Girl who loves being a Pacificator, and takes her duty seriously. Taffe is The Stoic and The Lancer, but she never wanted to be a Pacificator in the first place.
  • Rowan Fitzpatrick in Rhapsodies is much more grounded than her manic, hyperactive, Ditzy Genius brother, Brian. This is the main reason she's the office manager in their financial consulting firm.
  • Anna and Susan from Sire make up both halves of the Jekyll & Hyde-Child, thusly one sister is rational, calm and reasonable and the other is completely and utterly without inhibition.
  • In Suihira, Hadima, the protagonist's elder sister, is the responsible future queen in a Perfectly Arranged Marriage. The protagonist, Wahida, acts like a Royal Brat before running away on a Mission from God, which is conveniently bestowed on her days before her own wedding.
  • In The Veligent, Kade is the more laid back sibling, while his brother is the more serious and responsible one.

    Web Original 
  • In Petscop: according to their descriptions, Roneth is the responsible to Toneth's foolish because he learns from the latter's mistakes and doesn't need to be watched all the time (implying Toneth does need to be watched all the time).

    Web Video 
  • Aaron has two brothers, Chris and Adam. Adam was a drunken wreck in his teen years, making him the Foolish sibling. Chris is well-adjusted and living away from home, making him the Responsible one.
  • The Cry of Mann:
    • Berry is the responsible sibling, to Jouglat and Jack's foolish sibling. While she works hard trying to keep the family from falling apart and tries to act as a moral compass of sorts, Jouglat goes crazy due to his warr obsession, and Jack spirals out of control due to his obsession with his art.
    • While they're not actually blood-related, they're practically sisters, and they share this dynamic. Mabel's the responsible one, who tries to protect both herself and Ashes from the soldiers, whom she doesn't trust or care for. Even after she falls for Glintz-Terry, she refuses to take action and thinks of herself as being naive. Ashes is the foolish one, who chooses to flirt with soldier Durkin and shows no fear when dealing with the other soldiers, a mentality that Mabel chastises as being too foolish and dangerous.
  • The Nostalgia Critic and The Other Guy. Also slightly played with, as The Other Guy is proud to reveal that he controls the Critic like a puppet-master. As they do a lot of videos as themselves reviewing modern movies, Doug and Rob will play this dynamic too. Doug's usually the ditzy, slightly crazy Wide-Eyed Idealist, while Rob is more cynical and can smack Doug down when he gets too far.
  • SuperMarioLogan:
    • In the "Bowser Junior's First Grade!" story arc, Emily Coleman, who is one of the few students who has some common sense and maturity, serves as the responsible sibling to her crazy brother, Patrick's foolish sibling.
    • In "Chef Pee Pee's Family", Chef Pee Pee and his unnamed sister serve as the responsible siblings to their sister, Stacy's foolish sibling. In particular, Stacy spends most of her time cheering the same word: "Queef", much to their annoyance.
    • In "The Koopalings! Part 2", Junior, Iggy, Roy, Larry, and Ludwig are the responsible siblings, while Wendy, Morton, and Lemmy are the foolish ones. In particular, Wendy smashed a dish over a spot she missed, and later cut the couch in half with a chainsaw which led to Mario and Bowser getting evicted from their apartment, Lemmy broke a table with a cannonball from Bowser's clown car, and Morton smashed another table with a hammer, with Junior trying to stop them all the while.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time, in the episode "Jermaine", reveals that Finn and Jake had this with their other brother Jermaine. He believes Finn and Jake were the Foolish ones, getting to live an easy life while he stayed behind to protect their father's home and treasures from the demons who want them back. However, it's Deconstructed. Jake calms his brother down and Jermaine realizes that he "built his own cage." He kept himself at home due to misplaced beliefs while Finn and Jake applied the lessons their father taught them and kept a lot of evil at bay and saving Ooo. Jermaine eventually lets the home burn down before going off on his own path.
  • In The Angry Beavers, Daggett is the hyperactive and temperamental foolish sibling, while Norbert is the more level-headed and laid back responsible sibling. However, there are times where the roles are switched with Daggett being more laid back and Norbert being more neurotic.
  • Archer: Ray Gilette is the Responsible Sibling to his brother Randy's Foolish. Ray has a steady career as a spy and is usually one of the most competent members of the agency. Randy on the other hand is an illegal drug farmer who's too lazy to get a legitimate job at the nearby coal mine.
  • In Arthur, D.W. is the foolish sibling whenever she throws temper tantrums and/or generally annoys her titular older brother. Arthur is the responsible sibling, as he is more mature and level-headed than D.W. is and often has to put up with her behavior. However, there are a few instances where the roles are reversed, such as "Arthur the Wrecker" and "Arthur's Knee", wherein Arthur will want to do something he wants against his parents' wishes, and will have to work out a deal with D.W. to keep her from telling on him.
  • As Told by Ginger:
    • In the Foutley family, Ginger is the sensible and capable Responsible. Carl is the scheming, mischievous Foolish.
    • Swapped around for their respective best friends in the Bishop family; older sister and wannabe social climber Dodie is the Foolish. Hoodsey is the straight man to Carl, making him the Responsible.
    • In the Gripplings, Courtney is more air-headed and oblivious to make her the Foolish sibling. Blake is a little more grounded, making him the Responsible.
  • Camp Lazlo has a mild example with Loon twins Dave and Ping-Pong. While both think similarly, have the same sarcastic wit and act almost the same, Dave is a little more sensitive and easily impressionable than his brother.
  • CatDog: The eponymous twins. Cat is the intelligent and responsible brother who takes care of the chores and the bills while Dog is ditzy, naive and carefree.
  • Daria:
    • The title character is the calm and intellectual Responsible to Quinn's shallow and bratty Foolish.
    • Jane is the responsible one compared to Trent. When the two of them had to get the "naming gazebo" fixed, Jane was the one earning the money while Trent's job was to hire a work crew and get them working on it. Jane earns more than the necessary amount and when she later finds Trent and the workers napping, it took Jane threatening to withhold payment to get them working. Trent knows she's the responsible one and when Jane decides to go to college, he gets upset and calls her a sellout. He later reveals that he's worried she might completely abandon him like their other siblings and their house is kinda scary without her.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: Dexter and Dee Dee. Dexter being the smart one, and Dee Dee being downright stupid and foolish. Then again, there are those moments that Dexter does something completely boneheaded and Dee Dee's Flighty nature ends up being the only thing that defuses the situation. (Granted, sometimes it makes it worse...) She has also shown several times to be responsible when she needs to be. Dee Dee IS a good older sister after all.
  • Donald (Responsible) and Della (Foolish) in DuckTales (2017) has this dynamic. Della has a great love for adventure and is often too reckless for her own good while Donald is more cautious and overprotective. This would lead to Della impulsively stealing the experimental ship The Spear of Selene and took it into space with tragic consequences for her and her family, leaving her stranded in space and her children without a mom, something Donald rightfully calls her out on. Also when she does return home, Della remains irresponsible and has no clue how to raise her children whereas Donald is experienced and seen as responsible as a parental figure for the triplets.
  • Gravity Falls:
    • Mabel, a hyperactive, fun-loving Genki Girl, takes on the role of the foolish sibling; while Dipper, who is studious and cautious, is the responsible one.
    • "A Tale of Two Stans" suggests that this was also the case for Grunkle Stanley Pines and his twin brother, Grunkle Stanford Pines. Such a relationship is deconstructed, however; our Stan's constant tomfoolery combined with Ford's work ethic, caused a rift to form between the two. It is played with around as Ford has shades of an Absent-Minded Professor, showing an astounding lack of foresight with his dangerous experiments upon arriving at Gravity Falls (which led to more than few problems later on) and fell prey to Bill's silver tongue while Stan's rough life made him Street Smart and gave him a sense of responsibility and as such he has the safety of Dipper and Mabel foremost in his mind.
  • Kimber and her older sister Jerrica from Jem. Jerrica is well-organized and responsible workaholic of a businesswoman. The teenager Kimber often doesn't think ahead, gets aggravated easily, and thinks with her heart a bit too easily.
  • Subverted on Johnny Test. While Johnny is the younger sibling who tends to get into scrapes, and his older twin sisters are bookish and brilliant, they perform experiments on him, which in real life would result in someone calling the authorities.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • Mako and Bolin. The two of them grew up on the streets, but while the stoic and reserved Mako is dedicated to winning the probending tournament and the purse that comes with it, Bolin is a casual lady's man who loves to have fun. Then again, Bolin proves that he can be serious too, taking up the team leadership in "The Spirit of Competition," for example. "The Revelation" seems to imply that he realizes this dynamic exists and is trying to change it (by getting a job), but unfortunately he kind of screwed that one up.
    • Katara notes that Kya and Bumi were the foolish siblings to the Tenzin's responsible sibling. Tenzin and his siblings argue - well into middle-age - about who was responsible and who wasn't.
    • In season 3, we find out Lin has a half-sister named Suyin. As teens, Lin was the responsible one, becoming a cop like her mom, and Suyin was the foolish, skipping school and hanging out with gangsters. She's calmed down since then—starting her own family and even founding a city—but is still laidback compared to Lin.
  • Les Sisters: The titular sisters. Marine, the younger sister, is impulsive, fun-loving and somewhat naive while Wendy, the older sister, is more level-headed and intelligent. Somewhat justified in that Marine is only seven while Wendy is a teen.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Downplayed with Celestia and Luna. While both are responsible rulers, Celestia (responsible) is regal, kind, and gentile, whereas Luna (foolish) is stern, playful, and a bit short-tempered. In "A Royal Problem", their roles are reversed.
    • Applejack the Team Mom and hard worker of Sweet Apple Acres is the Responsible sibling. Apple Bloom is the youngest, over-enthusiastic and prone to youthful mistakes - therefore the Foolish sibling. Big Macintosh doesn't fit into this scheme, although in "Applebuck Season" he serves as the Responsible Sibling to the Responsible Sibling.
    • Pinkie Pie is the walking definition of Cloud Cuckoo Lander, making her the Foolish sibling. Maud Pie, despite being an Emotionless Girl, is grounded and level-headed - making her the Responsible.
  • The Owl House: "Covention" introduces Eda's sister Lilith. Whereas Eda is an outlaw witch and petty criminal (Foolish), Lilith is the powerful and dignified leader of the Emperor's Coven, the elite soldiers of the ruler of the Boiling Isles (Responsible).
  • Rocket Power has the arrogant and impulsive Otto (foolish) and the pragmatic and more level-headed Reggie (responsible).
  • The Simpsons: Bart and Lisa are extreme versions. Bart is the foolish sibling, as he is a Book Dumb and mischievous troublemaker, while Lisa is the responsible one, as she is very studious, well-behaved, and respectful.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "Gone With a Trace", we are introduced to the Martez sisters. Older sister Rafa, while determined to be a provider, cuts deals with shady figures even if it means getting involved in illegal activities. Younger sister Trace, meanwhile, is just trying to stay afloat long enough to get her ship operational and make a better living among the stars. However, "Deal No Deal" reveals that Trace isn't a completely straight example, as she is extremely naïve about life beyond the area of the Coruscant underworld in which she lives.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Teenage brother Ronaldo Fryman is a self-promoting Conspiracy Theorist who slacks off at the Family Business, while his preteen brother Peedee is an anxious, Adorably Precocious Child who covers for him. Lampshaded by their father in "Political Power:"
      Mr. Fryman: Without power, I can't take care of my family! (motions to Peedee) Well, this one's fine, (jerks thumb at Ronaldo) but he can't take care of himself!
    • There's also the twin sisters Jenny and Kiki Pizza. In "Kiki's Pizza Delivery Service," Jenny often pushes her pizza delivery route on Kiki to go hang out with her friends, but Steven convinces Kiki to confront Jenny about it and the two sort things out.
    • While they're not technically siblings, Rose being Amethyst's Parental Substitute makes it fitting that Amethyst has this dynamic with Rose's actual child Steven: Steven is a well-meaning, compassionate person who looks out for the people around him (Responsible) while Amethyst is a destructive hell-raiser (Foolish). Even more so in that Rose is actually Pink Diamond, and Amethyst was made for Pink.
    • Zig-Zagging Trope between Blue Diamond and Yellow Diamond in the present day during Steven's trial. While Blue does act like a depressed NEET, at the very least she's insistent on continuing "Rose's" trial properly because she wants the truth. Yellow, on the other hand, while she's determined to keep her forces in line, treats the trial like a Kangaroo Court.
    • Pink Diamond, being young and impetuous, was the foolish sibling to the responsible Yellow and Blue. After Pink's Heel–Face Turn, the roles are reversed.
  • In the Thomas the Tank Engine episode, "Hasty Hannah", Henrietta is the responsible sibling to her sister Hannah's foolish sibling. Henrietta treats Toby with respect and knows that tramway coaches are not built for high speeds, while Hannah demands the engine pulling her go faster and faster, even if it means going past closing crossing gates and other engines at switches, and leads to her coming apart.
  • In the Tiny Toon Adventures episodes "Take Elmyra Please" and "Grandma's Dead", Elmyra acts as the foolish sibling to her little brother Duncan's responsible sibling. Elmyra wants to pursue an acting career but has mistaken a pair of criminals for a pair of TV executives, whilst Duncan wants to be a superhero and often protects Elmyra from dangers to which she is otherwise oblivious.
  • Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race has the Sibling Team of Emma and Kitty. Kitty is the Foolish Sibling, being a scatterbrained and fun-loving Genki Girl, while Emma is the Responsible Sibling, being very serious and goal-focused. However, the two start to show they are Not So Different as the race goes on, as Emma's romance with Noah causes her to lose her focus and Kitty starts to become the responsible one; ultimately, it leads to the pair gaining a deeper sense of respect for each other.
  • Wat and his brother in Wat's Pig. Wat was raised as a peasant and so knows how to take care of himself. His brother, now the king, has never worked a day in his life, and it's a bit of a shock to him when he has to.
  • We Bare Bears has the titular three adopted bear brothers, with the older Grizzly and Panda as the foolish siblings to the younger Ice Bear as the responsible sibling. Even though all three love to have fun and making connections with people, Grizzly and Panda's Manchild behavior sterns from having little sense of adult responsibility due to their lack of parental guidance. Ice Bear is generally the one looking out for them and providing for the bears, having developed an early sense of responsibility as a cub and becoming Wise Beyond Their Years thanks to having a Parental Substitute imposing this onto him.
    • Between Grizz and Panda, Panda is the more resposnible one, cautious to a fault and always wary of Grizz's Zany Schemes; in We Bare Bears: The Movie, it's Panda who calls out Grizz as an irresponsible big brother whose actions have only gotten them in trouble.

Video Example(s):


inFAMOUS: Second Son

Delsin and Reggie Rowe respectively.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / FoolishSiblingResponsibleSibling

Media sources:

Main / FoolishSiblingResponsibleSibling