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What do you get the boy who has everything?
Somebody to share it with.

"I was a rich, only child who got anything I wanted... as long as I behaved... and sat still... and didn't speak unless spoken to..."

If a character is under the age of 21, and their parents have a lot of money, it's very likely the character has these problems:

A noticeable shortage of close friends, for various reasons. They could be a Rich Bitch or Jerk Jock, or at least mistaken for one. The character may be leery of friendship overtures because these have turned out to be attempts to take advantage of their wealth. If they do have plenty of opportunities for friendships with other rich kids, they likely want nothing to do with them, usually loathing them for their arrogance, ignorance, superficiality, and immunity from consequences for their often-atrocious behavior and life choices.

Then there are the wealthy parents of the rich kid to consider. It could be that parental pressure is toward the character becoming remote and icy because that's what worked for them, all that caste and class nonsense. Politicians' and tycoons' kids often have anti-kidnapping protection around them (bodyguards and mandatory travel in a huge, armored SUV, vetting of new pals) that friends have just as hard a time getting through as do the bad guys.

Some form of Parental Abandonment. Mom and Dad will be either a) dead, b) never around as they are traveling world for business or pleasure, c) inattentive and uncaring, as they have far more important things to do (either running their empire or just living a decadent life of debauchery), d) inhumanly demanding for the child to achieve in life to the exclusion of actual parenting, or e) overwhelmed with all the other responsibilities they need to handle or f) some combination of the above.

There are seldom aunts, grandparents, or siblings around to fill in the gaps. In many cases, there are butlers, housemaids, nannies, or au pair teens left to take care of them.

Rich intelligent kid. Wealth and inherited intelligence often go hand in hand and Intelligence Equals Isolation. God help if the lonely rich kid is also intelligent! Even with all their wealth, a rich and intelligent kid feels alien in their world and among their lesser intellectually endowed peers. Their wealth may even exacerbate the situation, turning mere scorn and anti-intellectualism into active hate.

This one-two punch serves up a lonely kid, one with resources. Unhappy kid + lots of money = trouble, more often than not.

Compare/contrast Spoiled Sweet (whose parents are not distant, but they shower them with love and pamper them instead, and they also have an abundance of friends), Spoiled Brat, Lovable Alpha Bitch, and Heartwarming Orphan. May overlap with Disneyland Dad where an often absent parent tries to make up for it by buying their child really nice gifts or paying for trips to fancy or expensive places. Compare Gilded Cage.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Asian Animation 
  • Mechamato: Downplayed for Pian, the Token Rich Student. He has genuine close friends, but he implies that he doesn't see his parents as often as he'd like, since they're often off on some business trip.

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics: In an old rare story, Veronica invites Betty over for a sleepover and flaunts all her wealth to intimidate Betty into giving up trying to compete with her for Archie. It works at first… until Veronica overhears Betty calling her mom and dad to say goodnight with love. Veronica breaks down into tears because her own parents are never home, as they are so constantly traveling Veronica usually doesn’t even know where they are, so she can’t even call them.
  • Batman:
    • Bruce Wayne is portrayed as being one after his parents' death. Before this he was not, as he was friends with Tommy Elliot, Roman Sionis, Harvey Dent and Zatanna Zatarra, the future supervillains Hush, Black Mask and Two Face; and superheroine Zatanna, respectively. He was also loose acquaintances with Kate Kane, the future Batwoman and his cousin, and Oswald Cobblepot, the future Penguin, due to those two being his age and part of the founding families of Gotham. Depending on the Writer the grief and loneliness over Thomas and Maria’s demise was so horrific that little Bruce even considered suicide and it was only due to Alfred’s love and his desire for justice that he didn’t go through with it.
    • Tim Drake, the third Robin, had exactly this kind of 'rich kid abandoned' childhood, at least up until the part where his father died and Bruce Wayne finally adopted him. But even before that, it took 125 issues of his solo title before his father finally noticed that his son was leading a double life, and even then he practically had to be handed the revelation on a silver platter by the plot. And that was after their relationship improved. Initially, Tim's parents paid him so little attention that he focused on Batman (who he had seen exactly once, to boot) as a parental substitute.
  • The Beano: Lord Snooty in his first strip - then he slipped away from Bunkerton Castle and made friends with the Ash Can Alley Gang.
  • Gemini Storm: Julia Hamilton is so lonely she doesn't know anyone who attends her birthday parties.
  • Iron Man: Tony Stark as revealed in flashbacks was a textbook example overlapping with Used to Be a Sweet Kid. Tony as a boy was quiet, introverted, and terribly lonely which was especially not helped by his father Howard’s appalling verbal abuse towards him. In a later comic, adult Tony has a Tear Jerker Journey to the Center of the Mind and finds his child self weeping in the corner of the manor “feeling like he doesn’t exist”. Whether Tony is still like this deep down or he’s gotten over it in the years since is up for debate.
  • Richie Rich: This was more or less the original premise of the comic books published by Harvey Comics — the covers even referred to him as "The Poor Little Rich Boy." But over the past half-century, Richie has acquired so many devoted friends that he doesn't really qualify anymore.
  • Runaways: Played with. On the one hand, Alex Wilder is genuinely lonely, being a black kid from the notoriously white Brentwood neighborhood in LA who'd have no social life if it wasn't for his MMORPG subscription and his family's yearly get-togethers with their friends. On the other hand, as the series goes on, it becomes increasingly clear why he's so lonely - he's a sociopath who has no compunctions about manipulating his childhood friends into attacking and possibly killing their own parents or each other, all so that his own family will survive a planned apocalypse.
  • Spider-Man: Harry Osborn often was shown to have this background before he met Peter Parker.
  • Wolverine: Shockingly, Wolverine (yes that Wolverine) was as Origin reveals this as a boy — back when he was James Howlett. A cold and distant mother and an asshole grandfather along with a seemingly chronic illness all made Logan quite the sad little boy despite the best efforts of his warm father John (later revealed not to be his biological father) and his life only improved when Rose showed up at the estate and he had some The Secret Garden-esque playtime with her and groundskeeper Thomas’s son Dog. Life went drastically downhill for him soon after though with Dog becoming a scumbag who sexually harasses Rose and kills James’s dog Callie after James had reported Dog’s misdeed to his father — all cumulating in Thomas and Dog storming the manor and killing John in cold blood leading to Wolvie popping his claws for the first time.
  • X-Men: Charles Xavier was this as a child. Not helped by the fact his stepfather Kurt was an alcoholic abusive scientist and his stepbrother Cain was a Big Brother Bully. While his life did improve (to a degree) there’s no doubt Charles has kept some of that bitterness and trauma with him into adulthood.
  • Ultimate X-Men: This was actively enforced on Warren Worthington III. He had developed angel-like wings as his mutations, a very visible one that could not be concealed. To prevent public outrage, his rich parents had him closed under lock and key until Charles Xavier offered to adopt him.
  • Yoko Tsuno: Cecilia is a sheltered and naive Scottish noblewoman who was pretty much locked away in the family castle after the death of her mother.

    Comic Strips 
  • Jump Start: Dana was introduced as a down on her luck homeless woman, helped out by Marcy. We find out she's the heir to the richest woman in Philadelphia. She so resented her mother and her lifestyle (which seemed to consist of "Be rich and socially active and expect Dana to be the same"), she pretended to be homeless just to hide from her. The readership took this a Face–Heel Turn.note 

    Fan Works 
  • Qiu Haitang from The Bamboo Scholar never set a foot outside her family's manor and was constantly surrounded by servants and handmaidens cowed into obedience by her Knight Templar Big Brother. She latches on slave brat Xiao Jiu as her playmate because he's the only other child she ever met or saw in her life.
  • Lonnie Machin in Batman: Anarchy for All. He's the son of a board member at Wayne Enterprises and free to spend daddy's money on anything he wants, but his mother died recently, and his father Grant is a workaholic who only bothers to remember he has a son to tell him to get lost. Is it any wonder this kid retreated into a fantasy where he will be discovered and recruited by Batman when his Psycho Psychologist enabled it?
  • Usagi in the Alternate Universe Fic A Brief History of Histories. After her mother's passing, her father has mainly focused on climbing the political ladder over spending any time with her. On top of this, she's been made painfully aware of the fact that she's not a perfectly poised, model daughter, resulting in her developing a massive Guilt Complex and believing his Parental Neglect is all on her.
  • Stacy is one of these in Daria in Morrowind. Though her (Dunmer) family is rich, they aren't well-respected by other Dunmer due to how closely they work with outlanders (and her father seems to be genuinely pro-Empire in his outlook). She doesn't seem to have any real friends until Quinn comes along.
  • Gravity Falls: Deep Woods explores this trope in Quest for the Northwest with Pacifica Northwest (who's already mentioned in the Western Animation folder). It uses the theory that she doesn't have any real friends (outside of Dipper and Mabel). Her parents favor their responsibilities and the maintenance of the family's good name over her. They often drag her at the parades they throw to boost their reputation but force her to only wave at the crowd and look pretty in order to give the impression that their family is perfect; something they later use for commercials.
    Pacifica: "And my parents drag me to these big publicity things where all I'm supposed to do is wave and watch everyone else have fun..."
  • Blaine in Hunting the Unicorn is shown to be this—though he has the Warblers, Greg, and Kurt, his father is neglectful, his mother is extremely old-fashioned, and his siblings are traveling constantly or studying in California. It's a Cerebus Retcon of his canon portrayal, which turns him into a Love Martyr who goes along with everything Kurt says because he doesn't want yet another person to leave him. Like the first guy he slept with.
  • Tsuruya's backstory in Kyon: Big Damn Hero portray her like that. She's afraid to let people close to her because of her family business.
  • A Lonely Girl depicts Trixie Tang as a lonely kid who feels constricted by her "popular girl" image but still pretends to be a bratty rich kid nevertheless. She's stuck hanging out with people that she isn't even sure are her actual friends. It's a mixed bag for Trixie: she hates being around others but at the same time she's lonely and craves attention.
  • Alfred's backstory in Part Right, Half Wrong, a Third Crazy. His father was incredibly rich, and also emotionally distant/neglectful to the point of pretty much replying to any of Al's attempts to form a relationship between them with "I don't have time for that shit". He's also implied to not have had any real friends until college, and even then they were more people he got high with than people he actually talked to and/or liked.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines has a few examples:
    • Gym Leader Luana from the Orange Islands was raised by her rich grandparents after her parents walked out on her. As a kid, the only friends she had were her Pokémon.
    • Tommy Marshall, AKA the Kangaskhan Kid also had shades of this, since his parents, while doing their best to raise him, were often too busy to spend time with him and he didn't seem to have friends his own age.
  • It's shown in the W.I.T.C.H. fanfic Ripples that when Prince Phobos was a child, he had no true friends or courtly companions stimulating enough for him. His mother Weira knew from experience how difficult it is for a member of the Escannor lineage to make genuine friends. Phobos meets Van Rivers (the new identity of Will Vandom who's Trapped in the Past and turned younger) when she's skinny dipping. The bold and apathetic way she acts towards him despite his title both angers and intrigues him. With his mother's permission, he takes Van as a companion, making her his Only Friend.
  • The Silver Raven: Edric and Emira are members of one of the Boiling Isles' wealthiest families, but whatever friends they had were all fakes, only really being interested in them for the benefits of their name. This is something Nero comes to realize in Chapter 19, where he recalls how forced their smiles were when they had to interact with other, snobbier rich kids at a party.

    Films — Animation 
  • Fred from Big Hero 6 is implied to spend his days hanging around with the San Fransokyo Tech students, despite not being a science geek, to make up for how his wealthy parents seldom spend any time with him.
  • Winnie Portley-Rind from The Boxtrolls seems to have no friends until she meets Eggs, and emotionally distant parents. This is especially true of her father, who is too obsessed with his hat and fancy cheeses to pay her any mind at all.
  • Princess Anna and her older sister Princess Elsa in Frozen. Anna and Elsa used to play together all the time, but after a serious accident with Elsa's ice magic, their father decides to close the castle gates isolate Elsa while she's still learning control in order to avoid her falling prey to Burn the Witch!, isolating Anna as well in the process. The memory-wiped Anna, who doesn't realize what's going on, spends most of their childhood alone and desperately trying to reconnect with her sister. It is implied that she doesn't spend as much time with her parents either since they have to devote extra time to trying to help Elsa control her powers. After their parents die at sea in a freak storm, both girls become this even more at the ages of 15 and 18 respectively. Upon her official coronation as queen at 21, Elsa turns into a rich Ineffectual Loner.
  • Prince Lír from The Last Unicorn described himself as "never having any friends" before meeting Schmendrick and Molly Grue.
  • Like everything else, The LEGO Batman Movie parodies and deconstructs Batman's loner status. He's a rich guy (who acts like an angsty teen) who's been alone since his parents were killed. He acts like being alone doesn't bother him, but really he's very lonely and tries to fill that gap with praise from the people of Gotham.
  • Jenny from Oliver & Company. Her parents were too busy to come home for her birthday, but when Jenny met Oliver and took him in, she perks up.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Based on her conversations with Annie, Grace grew up in the lap of luxury with few to no friends.
  • In the movie Arthur (1981), Arthur Bach has been a Lonely Rich Kid all his life. By the time the film begins, he's a middle-aged man and still is a Lonely Rich Kid. The 2011 remake dials his age back to mid-30s due to casting a younger actor, but the trope still applies. The soundtrack album for the 1981 film includes a whole song jumping off of this theme, "Poor Rich Boy".
  • Thomas de Frémont in Dial Code Santa Claus. Raised by his department-store-manager mother who's always busy, his frail grandfather, and his family's housekeepers in a luxurious mansion, he spends most of his free time play-acting an '80s action movie fantasy, and it's implied that the only reason he has any friends is because they all want to play with his expensive toys.
  • In one of the Eloise movies, Eloise befriends a child at the plaza named Leon, who is actually a prince. He isn't used to having friends because royalty and his father isolated him, so in an effort to keep friends he does not reveal his status to Eloise.
  • The Fallout: Implied to be the case with Mia, whose rich parents who leave her alone in their big house most of the time. When Vada asks her who she hangs out with, Mia gives a non-answer, and we don't see any other kind of support system in place for her besides Vada.
  • The Handmaiden: Hideko is miserable as an heiress living on an estate, with no friends, and under the control of her uncle. Her true misery does not stem from being rich itself, but from her uncle's sadistic and torturous control over her life, exploiting her for his own sexual gratification and as a prop in his pornographic industry.
  • Harold of Harold and Maude doesn't seem to have any friends, and his main hobby is staging his own suicide(s). Harold's socialite mother pays little attention to him and sees this hobby as a nuisance rather than the cry for help that it is. Things get better for Harold after he meets Maude.
  • Unlike in the comics, Red Mist from Kick-Ass was played more sympathetically with this trope:
    Dave: Is it me, or do you kinda feel sorry for Chris D'Amico?
    Marty: Yeah. It must be terrible to have a rich Dad and everything you want.
    Dave: The fact that he's always on his own?
  • In The Last Emperor, Pu Yi who has the eponymous title cannot leave the Forbidden City despite being curious about the outside world; his tutor R.J. said, "I think the Emperor is the loneliest boy on earth."
  • Lucas in the film of the same name paints himself as this, explaining that his parents are "superficial" people who take no interest in him, don't meet with other parents, and don't want him inviting friends over or giving out his phone number. In the end, one of his friends reveals that he lives in a trailer with an alcoholic father.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • The film adaptation of Iron Man has Tony Stark, genius billionaire playboy philanthropist. He had a father who — in Tony's opinion — never cared about him; was shipped off to boarding school at an early age, and graduated MIT when he was seventeen. As of the first movie he has exactly two friends (not counting his snarky AI and the Parental Substitute who betrays and tries to kill him).
    • Spider-Man: Far From Home implies that Peter Parker's wealthy classmate "Flash" Thompson does not have a happy home life. At one point he texts his mother to point out that he hasn't heard from her or his father in several days despite being in danger multiple times. When the trip ends he's greeted at the airport by the family chauffeur and is last seen asking if his mother was too busy to come get him.
  • Adam Banks in The Mighty Ducks trilogy, most evident in the first film. Banks had formerly played on the Hawks until late in the regular season because district lines were redrawn only in the previous year and no one noticed Banks should have been on the Ducks until Coach Bombay threatened to have the Hawks forfeit all its remaining games for playing someone ineligible (even after Bombay was fired from his law firm for refusing to compromise by withdrawing his protest) — this made his inclusion onto the Ducks roster rocky at first in a Snobs Vs Slobs way (especially for Jesse Hall), Banks being the only one from a relatively affluent suburb. Banks, for his part, really just wants to play hockey and, with support from Bombay and Charlie, is able to fit into the team by the end.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors: Kristen's mom has a Big Fancy House and a luxurious wardrobe and is pretty dismissive of Kristen and her problems. Kristen also takes a bit of time to bond with the other kids.
  • The cinematic Grand Finale of Our Miss Brooks has Connie Brooks tutor friendless Gary Nolan, a Lonely Rich Kid who's deliberately failing in English so as to spite his neglectful father.
  • The titular character in Richie Rich is a prototypical example.
  • Santa Claus (1959): One of the plots concerns a rich boy who wishes his parents would spend more time with him instead of going off to shmooze at parties.
  • Stoker: India Stoker is extremely rich and lives in a gorgeous house, but has no friends, and is frequently harassed by boys at school. She has a shaky relationship with her mom, to say the least, but she was, at least, close to her dad. And then he died. Somewhat downplayed, in that India doesn't seek the company of others, and mostly seems content with her lot.
  • Justified in The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg, because Karl Heinrich is the crown prince of his kingdom, which means he can't go out and play with the other little boys.
  • Deconstructed in That Championship Season. Phil was this as a kid, and now is almost 40 but he still doesn't know if people like him for who he is or for his money.
  • Eric from The Toy is a lonely kid deep down, but it's hard to notice that since he tries to get attention by acting like a horrible little bastard.
  • In X-Men: First Class, since Raven is explicitly stated to be Charles' oldest and only friend, that means prior to their meeting, he had difficulty connecting with other children despite growing up in the lap of luxury. X-Men: Days of Future Past elaborates on this a little further by revealing that Xavier was considered to be "crazy" in between the ages of 9 and 12 due to the voices in his head, and was, therefore, a social pariah among his peers.

    Literature 
  • Artemis Fowl: The Teen Genius Villain Protagonist fits this quite well, though his lack of friends seems to be by choice, and his Parental Abandonment is actually remedied as the series goes on. This is played straight at the beginning of the Artemis Fowl series but increasingly averted as the series progresses. Oh yes, and the reason he was hunting fairies in the first place was to rebuild the lost family fortune, for the expressed purpose of locating his missing father. Which he finally succeeds at in the Arctic Incident.
  • Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts: Shouko Kirishima. The reason why she's such a strong Yandere for Yuuji is because he's the only person who treated her like a normal girl, whereas everyone was scared to death by her ultra-high social status.
  • Being There: Chance the Gardener is a variation. He was raised by a wealthy man but was forcibly confined to the townhouse all his life due to his mental retardation. So as the story opens, Chance is middle-aged but otherwise, he fits the trope: he's attended to by a maid; he spends his days eating, sleeping, tending to a garden, and watching television; and he has no friends. Perhaps luckily, he doesn't know he's not living a normal life. When he's forced to leave the house after the master's death, he winds up befriending and enriching the lives of Eve and Ben Rand, a married couple who also serve as adult versions of this trope.
  • A Brother's Price: Eldie Porter is five years old and her family is prestigious, but preoccupied with treason; the siblings/aunts closest in age to her are in their teens and not interested. Sometimes she gets to play with her "aunt" Ren's little sisters, but not as often as she'd like. When she's Happily Adopted by the Whistlers she gets to be part of a larger family with more kids around her age, and she's content with it.
  • The Chosen: Danny Saunders isn't rich but he does have a prestigious father and he is the ultimate in loneliness.
  • Circle of Magic: Sandry series starts this way, as her parents' globetrotting ensured that she would have no permanent friends and very few of the people they met could get past the gulf in class to let their kids befriend a clehame.note  She finds True Companions at Winding Circle, but she feels lonely and isolated again in The Will of the Empress because the trip to Namorn is all about her status. That, along with the things that happened in their travels, partly alienates her friends.
  • The Dark Tower: During Jake's original life in New York, his rich parents don't pay much attention to him. They leave him with their employees, like the housekeeper Ms. Shaw, who's the only person he has a real connection with. It's mentioned that Jake has no real friends at school and that girls find him good-looking but are driven away by his "professional" way of talking (inherited from his parents).
  • Dune: Defied. Paul's official biographer points out that a lot of people assume Paul was this. Said biographer points out that while Paul had no friends of the same age because of the security risks involved, he had close and warm relationships with his tutors Thufir Hawat, Duncan Idaho and Gurney Halleck. It is also clearly shown that while Leto and Jessica were not as present as they could have been (they were the ruling couple of a planet, after all), they were very much loving and supportive parents.
  • Ghost Girl (2021): Nellie turns out to be this, being neglected by her family and viewing her dog Max as her only real friend.
  • Haganai: Sena Kashiwazaki. A large part of her loneliness is due to the other girls at school being jealous of her due to her good looks, grades, athleticism, and ample cleavage. As a result, she was often shunned by other girls in group activities, to the point that she had no real friends prior to joining the Neighbors Club.
  • Harry Potter
    • Harry himself qualifies, but in a largely subversive way. He's very wealthy and an orphan, but until he turns 11 and gets his magical reveal, he's completely friendless. This is not due to his wealth - which he never knew about until that point, anyway - but because his cousin Dudley is the school bully. Since he hated Harry and all the other kids would rather not find themselves on the business end of Dudley's fists, no one ever reached out to him. Once Harry ends up among his own kind (wizards), he's a bit confused by how popular he is, but does find very good friends fairly soon.
    • Sirius Black is from a wealthy and prominent Pureblood family, but ended up running away at the age of 16 (his family's obsession with status and inherent cruelty towards others finally broke his patience). His Heterosexual Life-Partner is murdered when they're still very young, and he spends almost his entire adult life in prison for the murder of Peter Pettigrew, even though he didn't commit it. And then he dies. Judging from the memories Harry sees, he had a cruel streak and helped his best friend bully other students, and apparently his popularity was primarily based on his good looks and his friendship with James.
    • Draco Malfoy also comes from a prominent Pureblood family, but his loneliness is much less obvious at first. Appearing as a racist bully and Smug Snake for most of the earlier books, it can't be denied that he gets most of that smugness battered out of him later on: The imprisonment of his father and Draco himself being forced into Voldermort's service under pain of death takes an enormous toll on his mental health, and maintaining his old swagger proves a difficult facade to keep up. There's also the fact that he never seems to have any close friends that he considers his equal. In The Cursed Child Draco reveals to Harry that he always was jealous of Harry's frienship with Ron and Hermione while he has, well, Crabbe and Goyle.
  • Greg Mandel Trilogy: Julia Evans inherits Event Horizon while still a teenager. Her Upgrade Artifact only increases her sense of isolation from her peers, though by the second novel she doesn't have any qualms about playing up this trope to gain the attention of handsome potential boyfriends. She eventually marries master hacker Royan, the only person she identifies with, only to find that as her power, wealth, and reputation grows, he also drifts away from her, regarding himself as a "prince consort" rather than an equal.
  • In Hating Alison Ashley Erica, already dissatisfied with her middle-class family, is very jealous of the rich new girl, Alison Ashley. It takes her the whole book to realise that maybe having parents who bother to turn up to the school play you are starring in is more important than a fancy house and your own room.
  • Madge Undersee in The Hunger Games is the daughter of District 12's mayor, making her much more well-off than her peers, some of whom were starving to death on the streets. Katniss describes that Madge often keeps to herself, and the two of them are somewhat friends because of this.
  • Murasaki Kujoin from Kure-nai is born into a very rich family but at the cost of being locked away from the outside world for the rest of her life to eventually bear her older brother's children.
  • In Little Women Marmie says of Great Aunt March, their grumpy but wealthy aunt...
    "Her blessings became a burden because she had none to share them with"
  • In Metaltown, until meeting Colin, Lena had no friends or social life and was treated as an accessory to her father.
  • Jacob in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. In the beginning, he has exactly one friend, who is quickly proven to be a pretty shitty excuse for a friend. Luckily, once Jacob meets the titular children, things get better for him.
  • L. Frank Baum's Mother Goose in Prose (a book of Adaptation Expansion short stories based on classic Nursery Rhymes, later adapted for TV as Jim Henson's Mother Goose Stores) portrays Little Miss Muffet this way. Her rich banker father and socialite mother give her barely any attention, and her nurse and maidservants won't let her play outside because it's "unladylike" or play with other children because they're her social inferiors. This frustrates her so much that finally she runs away and finds a new "home" on a dairy farm, thinking she'll be happier as a peasant. But as it turns out, Grass is Greener: the farmer and his wife work her to exhaustion making cheese, and when she tries to enjoy some curds and whey while sitting in the grass, a spider scares her. This is the last straw that sends her eagerly back to the comforts of her old life, though fortunately her nurse learns a lesson too and lets her play outside from then on.
  • Raoul de Chagny from The Phantom of the Opera definitely has shades of this, despite his overt Upper-Class Twit flaws. Having been raised by his older siblings and governess he was mentioned to be pretty lonely as a child and thus fell for Christine the moment he saw and heard her sing while vacationing in Perros as a boy and happily rescued her blown away scarf from the sea beginning their dear childhood together. Even as a young adult Raoul believes he can’t live or be happy without Christine in his life despite his social status making life pretty cozy for him compared other characters in the book.
  • Alice in The Poison Apples is the daughter of two famous novelists, grew up in Brooklyn Heights, wears cool clothes, and is described as beautiful but never had any close friends, being the second or third best friend of most of the people at her school. Things only change once she bonds with her classmates Reena and Molly over having a Wicked Stepmother.
  • Simona Ahrnstedt has a few examples. And yeah, they also have to face abuse and parental neglect.
    • Beatrice and Sofia in Överenskommelser have each other and their companion Mary, but that's it.
    • Illiana Henriksdotter in "Betvingade" was unloved by her own parents and seemingly had no friends.
    • Gabriel and his sisters in "De skandalösa" seem to have been in this situation as well. But at least they had each other.
  • Colin from The Secret Garden. The fact that he can't go outside contributes to the problem, as he's an only child, and too rich to play with the servant kids.
  • Keisaku Satou in Shakugan no Shana. He's not a totally straight example (as he does have a friend in Eita), but otherwise, he fits. He's rich as hell, bored and slightly depressed with it, and feels like he has no purpose. Then Margery Daw enters his life, and he falls for her, and unlike Eita, who eventually decides to gracefully decline further service to her mission as a Flame Haze, he still helps her for no benefit to himself, mostly because her presence in his life is removing the "Lonely" from the trope title. In fact, even after she catches on and tries to tell him her Dark and Troubled Past to keep him at arm's length, it only draws him closer to her. And in the light novels and the third season of the anime, she eventually breaks down and they become an Official Couple
  • Susan Sto Helit in Soul Music. Her parents love her and try to show it, but, as Royals Who Actually Do Something, are always away signing treaties, and have developed a fixation that encouraging her to become a Flat-Earth Atheist is a good idea to shield her from her grandfather's world, with the result that she's a bit of a Straw Vulcan and the other girls see her as standoffish. (And then they die in a coach crash.) She has exactly two friends, who are also outsiders, being a dwarf and a troll.
  • In Laura Amy Schlitz's Splendors And Glooms, Clara's life was happier before her brothers and sisters died, but since then, her parents' wealth has let them isolate her in a house engulfed with remembering the dead. She is so lonely she conspires to invite Lizze Rose and Parsefall to tea, despite their being the children who helped the marionette performer at her party.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Shallan's father sheltered her a great deal, she didn't get out much until the events of the story. She had absolutely zero friends when she left home.
  • Lila Fowler of the Sweet Valley High series is normally proud of her status as the richest girl in town and unafraid to flaunt how awesome and cool she is, but she's had her moments of crying over how she hardly ever sees her busy, emotionally distant father and has a Missing Mom and being envious of the Wakefield twins for having the perfect family. She got better when her mom and dad remarried later in the series.
  • Nanaki in Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note is an exaggerated example, as he's supposed to inherit his family fortune on the condition of being cloistered at a Big Fancy House until he reaches majority.
  • Prince Brat in the novel The Whipping Boy combines this trope with Spoiled Brat, acting out for attention because he knows his whipping boy will be punished in his place.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Quite a few in All American; Layla is left at home a lot alone due to her father being away on business most of the time and her mother died before the series' events, Olivia is still on the bottom rung on the social ladder after recovering from her pill addiction, and Asher unintentionally drives people away with his anger.
  • Psychopathic Manchild and budding serial killer Dandy Mott from American Horror Story: Freak Show is one of these, so much so that his mother takes to buying and hiring him friends (including a terrifying Monster Clown), without much success. Given that he murdered one of the few children willing to play with him, it's hard to feel too sorry for him.
  • Daisy Jones of Daisy Jones & The Six is described as having her father's money and her mother's beauty, and yet being completely alone. Her family is unsupportive of her musical ambitions, and even she starts to doubt herself until she meets the Dunnes.
  • Dash & Lily: Dash. He goes to a fancy school with high-class classmates and his father travels frequently with a girlfriend of the week, often leaving him alone in his giant, well-decorated New York City apartment. Unhappy family life aside, Dash himself is something of a loner; following his breakup with Sofia it's implied Boomer is his sole good friend.
  • Friends: Chandler Bing. His parents divorced when he was 9 and left him with the house boys before sending him to boarding school. He also never mentions having any friends from his childhood. As an adult, he has the least contact with his family out of the gang (and considering the Dysfunction Junction that are his True Companions, that's saying a lot.) Interestingly, he's not a Spoiled Brat or Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense at all. In fact, he's the nicest, most easy-going of the gang and the most economically savvy as well. His parents probably ignored him too much to spoil him, and the sources of their wealth (erotic writer and drag performer) were a cause for mockery rather than admiration. It may be because of his strained relationship with them that he never turns to them for help, determinedly supports himself and Joey, hates borrowing anything, and works a boring 9-5 office job as different from their flashy, overpaid careers as you can get.
  • Really, three out of four members of Gossip Girl's Non-Judging Breakfast Club could qualify. Nate might be an arguable case since his mom seems to at least have been the stay-at-home type (even if she's not exactly Mother Of The Year material). But Blair's father left her to move to France with his gay lover and her mother was absent a lot (and when present, drove Blair to an eating disorder). Chuck's father kind of hated him for having killed his mother. Also Serena and her younger brother Eric. Their father abandoned them when Serena was four and their mother was very frequently away, and dated and got married frequently caring more for her significant others than her children. This trope applies very well with Eric because in a deleted scene from the first season after Eric's suicide attempt, he tells Serena that he and his mother moved into the Palace hotel while their home was being renovated and he felt really lonely prompting the suicide attempt.
  • Inverted in H₂O: Just Add Water. Rikki Chadwick is a Lonely Poor Kid with rich friends. She hides her home life from them at first because she is ashamed of it.
  • Sylvester Le Fey and Lady Cutler's son Benjamin, in the Jonathan Creek episode "The Scented Room". His parents were constantly fighting, fired the nanny because she was "spoiling" him, and were so clueless about the concept of "fun" that when he said he wanted a treehouse, they built him one with an elevator so he wouldn't spoil his clothes. When he restores the stolen painting, Maddie suggests to Lady Cutler that he could use her reward money to buy something he really needed ... like a life.
  • On an episode of Kirby Buckets, Kirby befriends a rich boy named Chip Willis, who is the head of the school A/V club. Unfortunately, he's widely seen as a tech geek by the rest of the school and nobody wants to hang out with him. When Kirby reluctantly decides to become Chip's friend in order to get an embarrassing video of him removed from the internet, Chip starts to become very clingy towards him and tries to keep him from being able to spend time with anyone else, even trying and failing to get Fish and Eli expelled from school to get Kirby to himself. and when Chip accidentally reveals he's rich to Kirby, the latter suggests he be more public about his wealth and people will start to admire him.
  • NCIS: Special Agent Tony DiNozzo seems to come from a well-off family, though the details are vague. His mother, whom he was apparently very close to, died when he was a child, and he fell into this trope in a rather tragic way. Due to lack of parental instinct, eccentric business ambitions, serial womanizing, and likely confusion from his own grief, Tony's father became extremely distant. By DiNozzo's own admission, his childhood and adolescence were spent 
"warehoused" in boarding schools and summer camps, half of the time not even knowing where his father was. While this didn't impact his later career success in law enforcement, the lack of parental involvement arguably stunted his emotional growth, as it took many years to finally improve on his juvenile tendencies and reconcile with his father.
  • Ben Gross from Never Have I Ever is revealed to be this, especially in his A Day in the Limelight episode "...been the loneliest boy in the world", which showcases that he has a closer relationship with his housekeeper than his parents, his girlfriend only dates him for his money, and his rivalry with Devi is one of the few positive aspects of his life. The episode culminates with Ben bursting into tears in Nalini's office when he learns that the Vishwakumars have dinner together every night, something Ben has not done with his family for a very long time, leading to Nalini inviting him to dinner.
  • Henry Mills from Once Upon a Time is described by Regina as "not having any friends and being kind of a loner."
  • Stevie Van Lowe on The Parkers had this type of childhood. She frequently says that the help were better parents than her own mom and dad who didn't spend any time with her. She's quite bitter about it and would have been a Rich Bitch if she didn't have her friends and school to fall back on.
  • This was how Summer Landsdown from Power Rangers RPM was until her butler died in her arms trying to get into the city of Corinth.
  • Wes from Power Rangers Time Force also was one of these until he joined the Power Rangers. As well as his Mirai Sentai Timeranger counterpart, Tatsuya.
  • Steve Wilde from Running Wilde was a lonely rich kid who grew into a lonely rich adult.
  • Schitt's Creek: Despite presenting himself as an aloof, hipster gallerist, it becomes clear that David was a lonely, queer and isolated child and adolescent and he himself admits that Stevie is the first Best Friend he has ever had. It doesn't help that his family has a tendency to remind him that he was pigeon-toed, bullied, and otherwise uncool.
  • Elliot Reed from Scrubs. At least she had a Hispanic nanny to give her "cheer-up hugs".
  • A somewhat downplayed example, but Steve Harrington from Stranger Things has shades of this, particularly in the first season.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "The Bewitchin' Pool", Jeb and Sport Sharewood are continually ignored and neglected by their wealthy parents Gil and Gloria, who are too concerned with their own lives and sniping at each other to even notice the children except when they scold them.
  • Yellowjackets: Lottie's father is wealthy enough to charter the plane his daughter's team takes to nationals. Before the flight, a montage shows team members interacting with their families. In contrast, Lottie is seen having breakfast at home, all by herself except for the housekeeper serving the meal.

    Music 

    Theatre 
  • Black Friday: Deep down, Linda Monroe finds herself unsatisfied with her life, even with her high status. However, the trope is inverted in that she doesn't want friendship or to be loved, but would rather settle for being adored by all those around her, which leads to her choice of taking the role of Wiggly's prophet.

    Video Games 
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: The Red Prince was raised in the Forbidden City of the Ancient Empire, enjoying every luxury it had to offer, but was so lonely and isolated that he resorted to summoning demons for companionship.
  • Hope from Final Fantasy XIII. He's from a well-off family, as his father works for the Sanctum, and he's the least connected of the party to the others, since he was caught up in the entire affair completely by accident, while everyone else was connected to the incident in Bodhum. He's reluctant to engage with the other characters given his hatred of Snow, Lightning's intimidating nature, being put off by how friendly Vanille is, and acts shy around Sazh, as well as generally blaming the others for attacking Anima. As a result, he's left on his own at least once.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Prince Lyon from Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. When he met the teenage Eirika and Ephraim, he specifically mentions that he doesn't have friends.
    • Similarly, Maribelle from Fire Emblem: Awakening had no friends due to her lack of social skills, until Lissa and later Chrom reached out to her.
      • Ironically, Chrom might also be one, himself. He has one of the smallest support pools in the game (comparable with Sumia), makes a fool of himself when talking to most women, and his status as Ylisse's Prince/High Exalt after Emmeryn's death means that some of the other Shepherds find him hard to approach — like his prospective consort Olivia, who actually runs away from him when he tries to approach her.
    • Princess Azura from Fire Emblem Fates is naturally introverted, so she would already have had a hard time going out and making friends...and then you learn that she's been ostracized by her peers her entire life for one reason or another, and is desperately lonely as a result. It's no surprise she's so loyal to Corrin, the first friend she's ever actually had.
  • Yusuf Amir from Grand Theft Auto IV is a rare adult example. He is rich enough to own a gold plated attack helicopter and live in the lap of disgusting luxury. But one gets the impression that at heart, he is an awkward man who yearns for a good friend and all of his antics are his way to show that he is a cool guy.
  • Implied in Later Alligator with Skids Valentino. While he never mentions being from a rich family when the player interacts with him, it's clear from the interactions with his older siblings that his side of the family is well off. However, neither they nor their mother seems to pay much attention to him, his father is dead, and he appears to not have many friends, to the point of hanging around an allegedly haunted gazebo in the park in the hopes of finding a ghost who will be friends with him.
  • Eventually, two in Life Is Strange:
    • After being nice to her at every chance you get throughout the game, Victoria Chase is revealed to have some quite heavy social and emotional burdens.
    • After only one or two glimpses into an underlying softness, Nathan Prescott's character is run back near the end of the game rather haphazardly to explain where his mean streak apparently comes from.
  • Ijuuin Enzan (Eugene Chaud) of Mega Man Battle Network gets this treatment in the third game, where his heartfelt, touching moment at the end was...being allowed to eat with his father. Actually, he rarely mentions any angst over it and, normally, is seemingly himself too busy to care that his father is wrapped up being the CEO of the biggest technology corporation ever, and the game makes it perfectly clear that his lack of friends is due more to his being a combination of The Rival, Aloof Big Brother, and Serious Business. Ayanokouji Yaito aka Yai, likewise, seems to have an army of young maids (and her Navi) as her only company and we never see her parents once in three fairly long-running forms of media. She seems well adjusted enough, if a bit bratty and spoiled, and indeed is one of the original True Companions. So there are two aversions, "I can eat with you?" notwithstanding.
  • Overwatch: Ashe grew up as one before she ran away to start a gang, having only her onmic butler B.O.B as a friend. Her lonely childhood was actually one of the reasons she started the Deadlock Rebels to begin with, so that she would be surrounded by people that cared about her and that she cared about in return. This is also why she takes so much offense to Cole "leaving" the gang, even though he didn't really have a choice.
  • Persona:
    • Kei Nanjo in the original Persona — the only person in his wealthy household who ever paid attention to him was his butler Yamaoka, who dies while protecting him very early on in the game.
    • For all her academic and Shadow-fighting prowess, not to mention her family's wealth, Mitsuru Kirijo of Persona 3 seems to be somewhat cursed socially. She and her father rarely talk, she rarely has any free time whatsoever, she carries the burden of guilt for her grandfather's creation of the Shadow threat, and her sheltered upbringing means she's often lost in everyday situations others take for granted. It's no wonder she collapses after her father is murdered by Ikutsuki.
    • Haru Okumura from Persona 5 lives in a Gilded Cage where her father dictates her life down to the letter, and she has trouble trusting others because she realizes that many people are only interested in her for her family's wealth. As such, she's seen as something of an eccentric loner at school.
  • The Rival Nemona in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet mentions her parents were very hands-off and pretty much let her do as she pleased while setting up her older sister to run their company. While she insists her childhood was normal otherwise, the sheer fervor she throws at Pokémon battling, along with the speed at which she attaches herself to the player, implies more of an effect on her than she realizes.
  • Flora from the Professor Layton series. Both her rich parents died and she lives at the top of a precarious tower. Said tower is in a village filled with Ridiculously Human Robots, meaning that there's literally no one around who could be her friend. No wonder she's so happy to be adopted by the Professor.
  • Sumire Kanzaki and Iris Chateaubriand in the Sakura Wars series aren't as extreme about this as their anime counterparts, but they still led fairly lonely lives before they joined the Imperial Combat Revue; Sumire saw little of her busy parents, and Iris spent most of her days locked up in her room with only her stuffed animals for company.
  • Tales Series:
    • In contrast, Richard from Tales of Graces is a prince, and is implied to be very lonely. His very first scene begins with him rejecting the kind invitation of children his age, believing that like everyone else, they only want to hurt him. Of course, The Power of Friendship changes him very early.
    • Luca Milda from Tales of Innocence. The loneliness is more a result of his reserved, introverted personality and not that much of his financial status.
  • Josh in Until Dawn certainly felt this way. He bitterly mentioned his parents hardly spend time with him and "loneliness" comes up a lot in his therapy sessions. And he felt even more isolated after his sisters' disappearance. But there are people like Sam and Chris who care for him, but due to his worsening mental condition and him putting his friends through traumatic "pranks", he ends up driving them away because of his own actions.

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa:
  • Two in Double Homework:
    • Dennis, probably. It’s also probably part of his jealousy towards more social guys, and his resentment toward girls and women.
    • Amy turns out to be this as well. She is extremely isolated due to her royal upbringing, and she goes to summer school in order to learn how normal high school kids learn and live.
  • The Fruit of Grisaia: Yumiko, Makina, and Michiru all suffered from this in one way or another. Yumiko and Michiru had sheltered lives, family problems, and just never developed the proper social skills, while Makina just never had the chance for proper school life because she was hospitalised for 6 years.
  • In Katawa Shoujo, Shizune is revealed to be one of these in her route. A combination of her deafness and her Abusive Dad mean that she actually has a very difficult time making friends and forming relationships with other people. One of the main reasons she joins the Student Council was so that she could do things around the school to make people happy so that people would like her but in the end, her own competitiveness and awkwardness end up driving away nearly everyone else on the council, including her cousin Lilly.
  • In Magical Warrior Diamond Heart, Clover starts out like this, with her older sister being her only friend. Once she joins the Crystal Warriors, though, she ends up making quite a few new ones.
  • In Murder by Numbers (2020), Becky Call's parents don't pay attention to her at all, and a major reason she wants to win a Starshine Award is so they notice her.
  • Both Jumin and V from Mystic Messenger have been best friends since childhood and were each others' only companion growing up, and the only reason that they became friends was that in kindergarten, Jumin crashed the toy car he was driving through V's house, and when he asked what he could do to make up for it, V asked him to be his friend.
  • Ruri Shiromizu of Season of the Sakura has been to over a hundred schools in her life because her snobby mother makes unreasonable demands of every school she goes to and removes Ruri from any school that refuses her demands. This has caused Ruri to close herself off to everyone, as she never knows when she'll have to move schools and leave any friends she's made behind. If Shuji does her very difficult route, she'll finally start to open up and will eventually convince her mother to let her stay where she is.
  • The Ushiromiya cousins from Umineko: When They Cry mostly avert this: George is a perfectly sociable adult, and Jessica and Battler have plenty of friends − despite a rather tense relationship with their parents, and those parents having issues with their own father.
    • However, as far as outright Parental Abandonment is concerned, Ange probably gets the truckload - by the time we meet her, her entire family save one is dead. And said remaining relative, George's Rich Bitch mother Eva, was hardly the best caregiver, due to Bernkastel's intervention and her Silent Scapegoat position. Ange is also very isolated at school; unusually, it's not so much because she's rich (since it's a boarding school for rich girls), but because her classmates don't like her gloomy personality. And to complement it, after said last relative's death, she inherits all of her dead family's fortune, leading to her step-family and her own bodyguard wanting to serve tea to her. And, in the last episode, we learn that her brother Battler, who she loved the most, had survived the Rokkenjima incident but lost his memories; by the time he got them back (some 10 years later), he could no longer accept his old identity and deliberately refused to meet Ange.
    • Maria Ushiromiya is also this but may be a subversion. She has no human friends not because she's rich but because she's a bit weird. However, Maria herself says she's perfectly happy because she has friends like Beatrice and Sakutaro...
    • And then there's poor, poor Beatrice Ushiromiya, who was raised in an immense and luxurious mansion but had no friends because she was the illegitimate child of Kinzo Ushiromiya, who later sexually abused her. In fact, she managed to make one sort of friend the younger Rosa, aka Maria's mother, and unknowingly to her, her half-sister... and then she fell off a cliff and died.

    Web Animation 

    Webcomics 
  • Hope Avelina of Alone In A Crowd starts out as a young girl living in a spacious mansion, the only child of multimillionaire jet-setting parents. Those parents have all but abandoned her, and when the mansion is sold, she ends up living with Sara and Faith. Hope's backstory starts here.
  • Niccolo in Boy Aurus due to his father's riches being from organized crime.
  • Miranda in But I'm a Cat Person, whose Parental Abandonment comes in multiple flavors. As a child, she has a workaholic mother and a Disappeared Dad; as a teenager, she has a Missing Mom and an Archnemesis Dad.
  • Head cheerleader Alexandra King from Cheer!. Makes her cling fiercely to her fellow cheerleaders now and implied to be what made her a bullying Jerk Jock back when she was a boy.
  • Mia of Domain Tnemrot, whose mother is in a coma, has a father that despises her and a large staff that largely ignores her outside of caring for her basic needs. She ends up forming deep bonds with Dae and Angel, two of her slavesnote  because of this, with the two being the larger part of a very small list of people that even care about Mia.
  • In Friendship Is Magic, Applejack comes from a well-off family business. But she refuses to make friends as it's implied the ones she had in the past only did so due to her wealth.
  • Kaiten Mutenmaru: Sick had neglectful parents in Pain and Yamai Solitude, the aristocratic tyrants of Throne, and only one friend in Anne, a kind-hearted commoner his age.
  • What we saw from Jareth's background in Roommates he was a one of these as a child (abusive and neglectful Evil Matriarch winning the custody battle and all), added that his family belongs to the Supernatural Elite.
  • Jamie, from The Settlers. He is the richest kid in town, but he's reclusive and as of the beginning of the story, only has one friend whom he is only shown to text.
  • It is implied that his loneliness is the reason why Vlad, from Bram & Vlad, became friends with vampire-hunter-in-training Bram.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent:
    • A dream showing Emil's pre-Riches to Rags life literally starts with his nanny telling him that his father won't be home for dinner because he has too much work. Emil's reaction heavily implies that it's far from the first time this has happened.
    • Later, the nanny notices Lalli and happily comments that Emil "finally" made a friend, hinting to the Friendless Background aspect of the trope as well.
  • Ashley Madder in Tales Of Gnosis College has a wealthy (and thuggish) Senator for a father who regards her as an ornament to his political career. She seems to have trouble making real friends and acts out.
  • In Tales of the Questor, Rahan, Quentyn's childhood bully and minor nemesis, is implied to be this, despite his toadies and hangers-on.
  • Til Debt Do Us Part: Yejun was adopted by his stepfather, a rich man who wanted a son. However, he never found happiness with his new family, especially after the births of his younger siblings. It hurt him when they acted like he didn't exist, with his own mother introducing his younger brother as the eldest son. In a conversation with his mother late in the story, Subin learns that his mother regretted Yejun's upbringing, but saw it as a way out from their abusive backgrounds. This way, Yejun grows up with resources and can find his own way in life.
  • Tripping Over You: Liam has a hard time making friends, due to being not the most sociable person. This might stem from his father carting him off to boarding school after his mother's death, leading to them being emotionally distant.
  • Damien from Zoophobia, at least until he meets his current friends, Sahara and Addison. Technically, he is the richest (lonely) kid in the universe, as Heaven treats greed as a sin while his father is the current Devil. Naturally, his tutors are well-meaning but have No Social Skills due to the behavior that got them into, or was learned in, Hell.

    Web Original 
  • The Autobiography of Jane Eyre: Adele Rochester is an Adorably Precocious Child. Their house is ultra-modern and lavishly decorated, and her father is the CEO of their successful family business; however, Mr. Rochester comes with serious issues and Parental Neglect towards Adele. She has her personal tutor, Jane Eyre, and loads of extracurricular courses and activities with some additional private tutors, e.g. for fencing. However, she has no playdates; no teddy bears; crayons are new to her, and no friends of her own age are mentioned. Jane, her new nanny/tutor, says she gets the feeling that Adele is lonely. You think, Jane? Grace Poole does mention that some of Adele's activities are chosen for social reasons. So Adele might have snatched some friends while attending Advanced Marine Zoology or at an Applied Physics boot camp.
  • Jonas from lonelygirl15. He lives in a big house, which he has all to himself because his parents vanished at sea. He has no close friends prior to meeting the protagonists, and you get the impression that he's very lonely. He soon joins their circle of friends and becomes both a central character and a love interest for another central character.
  • The Nostalgia Chick grew up in the richer part of Tennessee and got spoiled enough to become a bit of a Gold Digger, but she was also felt isolated and abused.
  • The Nostalgia Critic has plenty of money and whines all the time after Christmas because he didn't get one specific pressie out of millions, though he also had a Hilariously Abusive Childhood.
  • Seiki from Sailor Nothing lost his parents at an early age, and is now pathologically afraid of being alone. He isn't a loner but otherwise fits the trope to a tee.

    Western Animation 
  • In one episode of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, Jimmy changed the past so that his parents accepted an investment offer that would have made them extremely wealthy so that he can afford an outrageously expensive encyclopedia set, but finds that his rich parents have no interest in him (or anyone other than themselves for that matter), so he sets the timeline back to normal.
  • In Angel's Friends, both Helen and Julia (Raf's newly assigned Earthly Ones) are upset because people only hang out with them because of their wealth.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Mai's dark view of the world and emotional repression are the results of a combination of this, her mother's obsession with etiquette and respectability, and becoming an Unfavorite after her brother Tom Tom is born. One of her few close friends is the horrifically evil Azula. At least, until she turns her back on her. Fortunately, one benefit of a Heel–Face Turn is acquiring lots of new friends.
    • Supplementary information indicates that not only was Toph Beifong kept hidden from the world and confined to her parent's estate, but her parents left the bulk of her actual care/interaction to servants. No wonder she sneaked out enough to become defending champion at the local pit fights.
    • Zuko in a nutshell. "Well Done, Son" Guy, check. Missing Mom, check. The Unfavorite, check. Cosmic Plaything, check. The Woobie, check. Enough said. It's this trope that Zuko and Mai fell for each other.
    • In the Sequel Series The Legend of Korra, Asami Sato. Though never brought up specifically, it's clear she has no friends besides Korra, Mako, and Bolin, and it's implied to some extent that she suffers a bit from it. It also makes her similar to Korra herself, who also had no friends growing up beside her polar bear dog.
    • Korra herself wasn't rich in her own right or her family's right, but since the Order of the White Lotus provided for her every need, complete with a Gilded Cage that served as her home and training center, she still qualifies because she was sufficiently sheltered and well-provided-for. She wasn't allowed outside the complex without permission, and the only people she ever interacted with in the complex were her bending masters and sparring partners.
  • Jordan Hill from Batman: The Animated Series is the son of Gotham City's mayor, and his dad is so into his politics that he even used the kid's birthday bash as a political reunion. Jordan is so upset that he hides in the truck of the clown that the Hills hired for entertainment... not knowing that said clown was The Joker under a disguise.
  • Ben 23 in Ben 10: Omniverse lost his Grandpa Max early on in his timeline, and after gaining the Omnitrix used it to immerse himself in fame and fortune to fill the void. As a result, he becomes a Spoiled Brat who's Lonely at the Top until the main Ben and his universe's Azmuth help set him on the right path.
  • Eddie from Class of 3000. "A Richer Shade of Blue" pretty much sums it up.
  • Theresa is implied to be this in Class of the Titans; her father is a wealthy workaholic who buys her things and gives her plenty of spending money but doesn't really spend any time with her, and it's hinted that her mother is dead. She isn't indicated to have any friends outside of the team of heroes, either.
  • Eric from Dungeons & Dragons (1983) is hinted to have been like this in the past. Might explain quite a bit of his behavior, if you look at it closely.
  • The Fairly OddParents!:
  • Pacifica Northwest from Gravity Falls is both a Rich Bitch and an Alpha Bitch, but this seems to be in great part due to her parents (who are way worse in that regard than she is, and that's an accomplishment) actively encouraging her to look down on anyone who is less well-off than she is, as well as pressuring her to be perfect at all times. Judging by how much Pacifica fears them, they might well be outright Abusive Parents as well, which is proven true when we learn that they've used Pavlovian conditioning to make her obey at the sound of a bell, like a dog. While she is popular for her wealth, she does not seem to have any real friends until Dipper and Mabel.
  • Sarah Whitney from Horseland. When she first arrived, everyone assumed she'd be another mean snob like Chloe and Zoey, but they find out she's really friendly and not mean at all.
  • In season 2 of The Hollow, it's revealed that Kai falls into this trope.
  • Grace Monroe from Infinity Train is shown to be raised by very wealthy parents who never spend time with her, and require her to have private ballet tuition, meaning she struggles to make friends with the other girls. Eventually Grace ends up turning the other girls on each other, and stealing from a store, just to get attention.
  • Whitney Stane from Iron Man: Armored Adventures fits both main types perfectly. She has a terrible relationship with her busy CEO father (commenting she has to now make appointments just to see him) and being an outcast at the school she goes to. The other kids act like she's a Rich Bitch for doing things like eating lunch alone on the roof, but that's only because none of them are willing to befriend her due to who her father is. Her only real friend is Tony Stark, who would often brush her off until he found out just how bad her home life was.
  • Pizzazz from Jem is this trope gone horribly, HORRIBLY wrong. A Missing Mother + a Father too busy in his work = an attention-starved little girl who grows into a spoiled, sociopathic, screaming, manipulative, and raging superbitch.
  • Alexis of Legion of Super Heroes (2006) is an unapologetically spoiled Rich Bitch celebrity who seems to hate other kids as much as they hate her. Still, she confesses to Superman that she just wants to have friends and be normal, not the richest girl in the galaxy. It turns out she really never learned to take 'no' for an answer, though: When Superman makes it clear he can't just drop everything and spend time with her whenever she wants, she figures the solution is donning a suit of Powered Armor to kill all of Superman's friends in the Legion to eliminate the competition. And then, in the end, she realizes that she doesn't want to be normal after all and that being a supervillain is her true calling. Er, yay for a happy ending? Her prison uniform shows the name Luthor, which explains everything.
  • Quite common in Miraculous Ladybug, with the kids in question receiving varying degrees of sympathy.
    • Adrien Agreste (who is pictured above) was homeschooled for most of his life, and his father, even after letting him go to school, is an obsessive Control Freak who micromanages his life. Consequently, before he went to public school, he did not have any friends other than Chloé. This causes a bad first impression to everyone in the class since they all hate Chloé. When he finally manages to explain his friendless background to Nino and Marinette, both are moved and befriend him (well, Marinette falls for him). While he makes more friends as the series goes on, his primary social circle is still fairly small.
    • Justified with Chloé Bourgeois, since she's a self-absorbed Jerkass who treats everyone poorly — even her supposed best friend Sabrina (so far, the only known exception is Adrien, and even he has his limits). She's seemingly unaware of this, though, as she firmly believes everyone loves her... until "Malediktator" reveals that Chloé is aware that everyone hates her, and that's one of the reasons she wants to leave Paris with her mother.
    • Downplayed with Lila Rossi, whose mother is busy at the embassy, but she's well-liked at school due to her elaborate Celebrity Lies, managing to mask her true nature from everyone but Marinette and Adrien.
    • "Ikari Gozen" reveals that Kagami Tsurugi also falls into this trope, as she has no friends outside of Adrien, and her mother is also very controlling (case in point; she considers Gabriel Agreste overly lenient towards his son). Finding out about this motivates Marinette, who'd previously been hostile towards Kagami, to reach out to her.
    • "Sole Crusher" introduces Chloé's maternal half-sister Zoé Lee, who was bullied and isolated at her old school, and after moving to Paris is forced to act cruel to fit in with her mother and sister despite being a kind person at heart. Fortunately, Marinette is ultimately able to convince her to be herself, and they become friends.
  • Julie Kane in Motorcity is probably this, which may or may not be the reason she joined the Burners. Only three people know she's Kane's daughter (which presumably includes Claire and Tooley).
  • Amity Blight from The Owl House is a lonely rich kid who is Lonely Among People. Her siblings constantly bully and tease her, her parents are abusive Control Freaks who forced her to end her friendship with Willow simply because the latter was a late bloomer and her Girl Posse was handpicked for her and she doesn't like any of them.
  • Hinted at a few times with Gem in Sabrina: The Animated Series. In the Christmas Episode, she realises that nobody cared enough to be with her on Christmas Day; when Sabrina trades lives with her, she realises her father is Married to the Job and the mother is never off the phone. Also when Gem loses her money in "Stone Broke," she wonders if she was ever truly happy when she was rich and of course her "friends" flat out abandon her when they find out she has no money. Of course, being Gem, she somehow makes it work.
  • In The Simpsons:
    • Mr. Burns is shown in flashbacks to have been offered the choice between warm, loving parents or a heartless billionaire. He chose the billionaire, making him a Lonely Rich Kid by choice. Though the only thing he regretted is leaving his teddy Bobo behind.
    • In the episode "Burns' Heir," Bart Simpson went through the temporary version.
  • South Park gives a variant with Token, who went through one episode feeling lonely because he lacked any rich friends to whom he could relate. He eventually realized that the other South Park kids still liked him anyway.
  • Dakota from Total Drama Revenge of the Island, whose Attention Whore attitude is really a cry to be loved.

    Real Life 
  • Barbara "Poor Little Rich Girl" Hutton is the Trope Codifier.
  • Christina Onassis, daughter and heiress of the Onassis fortune. Her brother Alexander died in 1973 from a plane crash, her mother Tina died of an overdose the following year, her dad Aristotle married Jackie Kennedy (whom she hated) and later died in 1975. In the end, she became a successful businesswoman but her lonely childhood made her a horribly love-starved Broken Bird and she died in 1988 at age 37 from a heart attack caused by acute pulmonary edema stemming from the physical consequences of her former drug abuse.
  • Ayn Rand and Albert Speer were hallmarks of lonely top intelligent and rich children.
  • Every single child of royalty and nobility up to the 1950s, as per the usual childrearing practices of the time. After birth, the baby is immediately fobbed off to an army of nannies, wet nurses, tutors, etc. and you only really met your parents on special occasions. There was a possible exception in the case of King George VI's children, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. King George VI (known familiarly as "Bertie") and his wife Queen Elizabeth tried to raise their daughters as normally as possible, and it reportedly crushed the former Prince Albert when his daughters curtsied upon greeting him when he was crowned king. (His elder daughter Elizabeth is of course now known as Queen Elizabeth II.)
    • Queen Elizabeth II was determined to avoid this trope. She and Prince Philip were very hands-on parents (to the point of changing nappies and bathing their children) and insisted that the children be sent to primary school to get a traditional education rather than being taught privately at home by tutors.
  • Puyi, the last Emperor of China, reigned from childhood and according to tradition was sequestered away in the Forbidden City with nobody but concubines, court officials, and eunuchs for company. One of his tutors in a memoir wrote of him: "I think the Emperor is the loneliest boy on Earth."
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt grew up in an old money New York family. His father was a widower and much older than his mother. He was his parents' only child and his only half-sibling, his brother James, was twenty-eight years older than him. Due to his father being older, he was also a lot younger than most of his cousins. Therefore he grew up mostly around adults and didn’t have any real friends until he started college at Harvard.

 
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Alternative Title(s): Poor Little Rich Kid

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The Snow Maiden

The Snow Maiden lives in an opulent ice palace where animals serve her, but she is terribly lonely and wants to live among humans.

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