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Stronger Sibling

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"When it comes to Gensokyan sisters, in general the younger one is "broken"."
ZUN, Touhou Project

In most games, if the Big Bad has a sibling, he or she will be even stronger than the Big Bad themselves. Mostly these appear as Superbosses, but in some cases they may serve as a plot twist. This is a natural consequence of the Sorting Algorithm of Evil; if you find yourself fighting a bad guy's relative later on, that relative will necessarily be tougher in order to keep pace with your increased skills.

Not to be confused with the Cain half of Cain and Abel. Also, many of these are big spoilers, so read with caution.

See also Always Someone Better, Aloof Big Brother. You might find them Avenging the Villain.

Some examples are:

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     Anime and Manga  
  • A Dragon Ball Z Non-Serial Movie is based on Freeza's stronger older brother Cooler showing up on Earth to kill Goku for killing his brother. (Goku hadn't actually killed Freeza, but Cooler didn't know that.) Ironically, Frieza gets revived much later on and becomes the stronger sibling again, though Cooler still beats him in savviness and having a Super Mode that doesn't bleed stamina like a punctured water balloon.
  • Zigzagged with the Elric brothers in Fullmetal Alchemist; the younger brother Alphonse has been always physically stronger than his brother Edward in combat, even before he became a suit of Animated Armor. On the other hand, Edward is the better alchemist and uses it in battle, too.
  • For the majority of Inuyasha, the titular character is weaker than his half-brother and full-blooded demon Sesshomaru.
  • An Anti-Hero example, Nanami from Katanagatari is by leagues stronger than her brother Shichika. When she was younger, her father refused to train her in the Kyoutoryuu style, not because she was a girl, not because she was always sick, but because she's far too strong for him.
  • Inverted in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, where Destinys Rey Za Burrel is the younger, less insane "sibling" of SEEDs Rau Le Creuset. Where Le Creuset was the Big Bad and sought the destruction of the human race, Rey's a Well-Intentioned Extremist who believes Utopia Justifies the Means, acts as The Dragon to new Big Bad Gilbert Durandal, and isn't nearly the physical threat that Le Creuset was.
  • A heroic example in One Piece; Sanji's siblings, Reiju, Ichiji, Niji, and Yonji, are all genetically modified warriors who have special abilities of their own, and have a metallic outer skeleton that makes them harder to hit because they were all experimented on by their father, Judge. As children, the Vinsmoke boys made sure to lord their superiority over Sanji by verbally and physically abusing him whenever they get the chance, while Reiju pretended to laughs at his torment yet was ultimately responsible for helping Sanji get to East Blue by using her enhanced strength to free him from the dungeons. Ironically, Sanji became the stronger sibling during his time with the Straw Hats, to the point where he could fly without the aid of Germa 66's technology. He would've beaten his asshole family members into submission had Judge not pulled a trump card and blackmailed Sanji into submission in return for not sending assassins after Baratie. Later, karma bites them in the ass when Sanji saves them all from being executed by Big Mom's family despite having every reason to abandon them, leaving the Vinsmokes indebted to the family "failure".
  • The Gorgon Sisters from Soul Eater and Soul Eater Not!. Medusa, Arachne, and Shaula are savvy, manipulative, experimenting, animal themed, hot witches who each held the title of the lead antagonist at different periods and otherwise act to one-up each other, the good guys and even more villainous factions.

     Fan Works  
  • Played with in Getting Back on Your Hooves. Trixie's elder sister Checker Monarch is far more dangerous than she is due to being a Sociopath and exceptionally skilled with the power she has, but Trixie has more sheer power than her.
  • In the Pony POV Series:
    • Discord is revealed to be the youngest of the Draconequi, and his elder sister Strife is a much better fighter than he is and his older brother Destruction has used a nuke as an opening attack. At present, however, Discord is the strongest of the siblings because he ate Destruction and an Avatar of his father Havoc.
    • It's revealed that Chrysalis is technically siblings with Makarov (Pandora created both of them), and Makarov was a Reality Warper.
  • There is a popular meme going around the internet (including several well-edited videos) about Jiren from Dragonball Super having a much stronger older brother known as 'El Hermano' (as the meme started among Spanish-speaking fans).
  • White Sheep (RWBY): When Team RYBN finally defeats "Hentacle," they are congratulating themselves on taking down an enemy that has hounded them for months. Then they start to wonder if it was too easy. And this Hentacle seems smaller and more feminine than the one they knew... cue the real Hentacle, the female one's big brother, bashing through the wall in an Unstoppable Rage. He nearly kills the entire team, and is only stopped because Ruby's Silver Eyes activate earlier than in canon, knocking him out of his rage and allowing him to retreat.
  • In Natural Selection, Ryuko and Nui are this to Satsuki. Thanks to both of them being Life Fiber hybrids of different varieties, they both far exceed Satsuki in overall physical capacity without even trying. In Ryuko's case, Satsuki could only get as far as she could in their battle by using a false Kamui, running on sheer willpower, and tactically exploiting Ryuko's weaknesses, and she still lost.

     Films — Live-Action  


    Live-Action TV 
  • Genseishin Justiriser: After the heroes defeat Kaiser Hades, they discover he has an older brother who is much more powerful than him, commands a bigger army than he does, and has now decided to try his own hand at invading Earth.
  • The villain of a Kamen Rider Build Direct-to-DVD movie is Killbas, the even more Ax-Crazy and Sadistic older brother of series Big Bad Evolto.
  • Kamen Rider Saber: After serving as the second Arc Villain, Reika's older brother Ryoga steps in to help her out. Although it's zig-zagged in that, while Ryoga is technically stronger than Reika, his strategy in battle most of the time is just to lean heavily on his Time Master abilities and Attack! Attack! Attack!, which leads to things not going his way once the heroes figure out how his powers work. By contrast, Reika is much more of a Combat Pragmatist who's able to improvise, so she usually fares better in combat.

     Video Games  
  • Abyss Crossing: The True World is ruled by twin goddesses, and of the two, Kuro is much stronger than Siro in combat due to being the Goddess of Destruction.
  • In a case of Adaptational Badass, Dante of DmC: Devil May Cry is the Brawn to his brother Vergil's Brains, who is also stated to be weaker than him.
  • Played for laughs in EarthBound. In Deep Darkness, there's an enemy called the Manly Fish. There's a stronger, rarer enemy called the Manly Fish's Brother.
  • Final Fantasy XI: After defeating Archduke Kam'lanaut halfway through the Rise of the Zilart missions, you find out that his comparatively pint-sized brother Eald'narche is really his big brother and serves as the Final Boss at the end of the mission set.
  • A variation with a different relative. In LocoRoco 2, the final boss of the main game isn't the Big Bad of the first game, Bon Mucho — it's his mother, Majoline.
  • The Elder Princess Shroob in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. Whereas the younger princess fights atop a tripod-mounted throne and resorts to magical attacks when knocked off of it, the elder is a hulking brute who is quite content to simply shoulder tackle her enemies before transforming into a gigantic tentacled monster for the final battle.
  • In Mother 3, Claus is the Mysterious Masked Man, and proves to be much stronger than your entire party.
  • Overwatch: Zigzagged with Hanzo and Genji. Hanzo was Genji's Always Someone Better growing up and nearly killed him in a duel in their youth. When they meet as adults and duel again, Genji, now a cyborg, manages to defeat his brother. However, it is implied that even with his cybernetic enhancements, the only reason Genji stood a chance is because Hanzo vowed to never wield a sword again after (seemingly) murdering his brother, and so now uses a bow, which he is less effective with.
  • Hooktail in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door actually has two other siblings. Gloomtail, who is her brother and is basically a Palette Swap. Bonetail is the eldest of the group and is an undead dragon lurking in the Bonus Dungeon.
    • Bonetail is actually the Big Bad's pet, and is a lot more difficult to beat than the Big Bad is.
  • Rick and Nick Bruiser in Super Punch-Out.
  • Of Resident Evil – Code: Veronica's Ashford twins, Alexia is the smarter and tougher one as well as the Big Bad in their game of appearance. Before she wakes up from a deep freeze, you're led to believe she's actually dead after finding out that whenever you see her beforehand it was her brother, at first the primary antagonist, impersonating her, so her arrival does serve as a turn.
    • Resident Evil 5 also does this with strong implications that there's another Wesker that's more clever and less hammy than the one we all know. Check the files in chapter 6-2 and Lost in Nightmares, it's sad indeed.
  • Death and Schirach from Romancing SaGa. Death is the most powerful physically and controls Necromantic magic, and Schirach has the most powerful magic of the Trio of Dark Gods. However, if you power up the Big Bad to its fullest then the point is rendered moot.
  • In Rosenkreuz Stilette, Zorne Sepperin is the adoptive older sister of Iris Sepperin, the real Big Bad who has inherited Rosenkreuz's godly powers.
  • Touhou Project has several examples when it comes to pairs of characters who are sisters. In most cases, it's the younger sister who's the stronger one.
  • Undertale: Sans is much stronger and smarter than Papyrus, on the rare occasion when Sans decides to stop bumming around the house and actually do anything. One such occasion being, if the player decides to go for a full genocide run...
  • Kirby inverts this with the painter sisters: the first one introduced, Drawcia, is the Big Bad of Kirby: Canvas Curse; the second sister, Paintra, is a regular boss, and the third sister, Vividria, is a mid-boss. Drawcia not only is the strongest, but apparently she also is aware of the player's existence, something her sisters aren't.

Alternative Title(s): Big Bads Bigger Brother, Big Bads Big Brother