Follow TV Tropes


Spartan Sibling

Go To

You have a little sibling. Especially a sister. The kid is wronged somehow. What do you do?

Do you deal with the offender in a calm, civil manner?

Or failing that, perhaps you are a little upset, yet you keep control over your emotions, and keep yourself as restrained as you can?

Or do you congratulate the offender, the offender's friends, anyone connected to the offender for keeping your little sibling or son in line?


If you choose the last, then congratulations! You are a Spartan Family Member. Unlike the Knight Templar Big Brother or Parent, the Spartan Family Member has absolutely no regard for their young one's well-being. For example, say the Spartan Sibling brother got hurt in a fight. Rather than tending to their wounds, they will be given a simple roll of bandages to patch himself up and let him heal himself or rub salt in their wounds (maybe literally) by giving them verbal abuse stating how it wouldn't have happened if they were stronger. If anyone has mistreated their children, they will be glad to side with the other side over their child/sibling as they feel "The kid deserved what they got" and the only remedy they offer to their child is "Toughen up, the world's a harsh place".

The Spartan Family Member is also prevalent in stories where only one can survive or uphold the family honour. This creates a dog eat dog style environment between almost every member of the family and anything that can get rid of their sibling's stake in the pot is perfectly acceptable.


They often see all forms of competition as a litmus test of survival (ranging from fighting to just cleaning the house), so if you are perceived to be the weakest link, your parents will treat you as an unwanted child and your siblings will mock your inferiority. Doing well will earn praise from your parents and scorn from your siblings. This naturally builds up resentment and a begrudging respect by all sides.

This does not mean they will be glad to see family members die in a horrible way. To them, their children didn't die because they are weak but because sometimes in life, there are just some things one cannot overcome by being the best in the family.



    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Code Geass, the Emperor of Brittania couldn't care less what happens to his children, so long as, when all is said and done, one of them is strong enough to rule in his stead. Ultimately, it's his disregard for their well-being that sets the entire plot in motion.
    • And subverted as it's revealed that he did care about his children...two of them, at any rate. Along with their mother, Marianne, whose brutal assassination he apparently laughed off. In truth, Emperor Charles and his wife-slash-accomplice Marianne are Knight Templar Parents and Well Intentioned Extremists who engineered everything so that Lelouch and his sister would be protected. Unfortunately, they never guessed that Lelouch would chafe and rebel against their idea of "protection", as well as their plan to create a utopia by eradicating free will.
    • Pretty obvious with the others in the family too. Lelouch's other sisters (not Euphie, Cornelia, or Nunnally) were pretty quick to sic the guards on him after Lelouch claims he killed Charles simply going by his words and Schneizel just uses ( or tries to) Lelouch and Nunnally as means to an end for his own agenda.
  • The Nishizumi family of Girls und Panzer has strict standards, especially for their younger daughter, Miho. Maho, Miho's older sister, is a subversion, since her goal is to enable Miho to live freely from the responsibilities of being heiress.
  • Chifuyu does this with Ichika to make sure he isn't a meek man and was taught to stand up for himself.
  • Naruto: Several of the characters had Spartan family members, most notably Hinata.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The King's Speech, when Albert was young, his father encouraged his brothers to pick on him for his stuttering, thinking that it would make it go away. Values Dissonance is involved here since, until the later part of the 20th century, this was fairly standard parenting in all families.
  • The Sith in Star Wars lives by this concept of training padawans, if it doesn't kill their students, then it makes them stronger, and if it kills them, they are too weak to be Sith anyways.

  • Family dynamics among the members of House Greyjoy in A Song of Ice and Fire appear to work this way: Balon and his brothers don't get along too well and Theon has few fond memories of his dead old brothers.

    Live-Action Television 
  • In Supernatural, Sam and Dean are raised by their father, John, as soldiers. When a 9-year-old Sam says he is afraid of the things in his closet, his father gives him a .45. Yet their father is willing to suffer the torments of hell to save Dean and gives Dean the mission of saving Sam.

    Video Games 
  • In Shinobi (2002), Hotsuma and Moritsune became this after realizing that they have to fight each to the death one day.

    Western Animation