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  • Poor Shui Long of Haou Airen. Despite being the most talented of his siblings at the family trade (medicine), he never got his clan's favor and recognization. Which would drive him to later join The Triads and the Tongs.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Due to being not his blood-related child, the head of the Ishtar family treated his adoptive son Rishid like a servant rather than his son.
  • Jun Manjoume of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, disowned by his brothers for his inability to live up to the family name
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  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, due to his recklessness and anger issues, IV suffers from this, as well as a dose of Middle Child Syndrome due to older brother V and younger brother III. As such, their father Tron has taken steps to keep IV Locked Out of the Loop about the family's plans. Tron's frequent belittling of IV's capabilities and lack of care for IV also do not help matters at all.
  • In the Mazinger series, Kenzo Kabuto had two biological sons (Kouji and Shiro) and two adoptive children (Tetsuya and Jun). Although Tetsuya was clearly his favorite, he still showed he cared for Kouji and Shiro. However, he got Jun completely neglected, treating her like a soldier, not making anything about her feelings of abandoment and her inner tensions, and he seldom shown he cared for her. It went so far that, before dying after his Heroic Sacrifice, he pleaded Kouji that he treated Tetsuya like his brother and took care of Shiro...but he did not mention Jun at all. Nonetheless, his attitude drove Jun to think she could not be dependent on someone else and to develop a very strong-willed and self-reliant personality, not to mention a Cool Big Sis bond towards Shiro.
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  • In Gintama, there's Itou, whose negligence resulted in him becoming a puppet for Shinsuke and the antagonist to the Shinsengumi Crisis Arc.
  • Somewhat in the Emma manga. While their mother loves them all dearly, Richard Jones is distant at best to any of his five children (we rarely, if ever, see him interact with his youngest son, Colin) and while there are a few moments to indicate he does care for them, he seems to base his love for his children on how much they behave/don't embarrass him in high society. This means he will inevitably butt heads with his oldest son and heir, William Jones, who doesn't put much care into the rules of high society or much effort into taking over the family business (at least at first). Top this all off with his love affair with the titular Emma, a maid, and you have a recipe for the official Unfavorite of Mr. Richard Jones.
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  • Variation: In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Dark Magical Girl Fate is a clone of Precia Testarossa's deceased daughter, Alicia. Fate has Alicia's memories of Precia being a loving and kind mother, but Precia is abusive to Fate and sees her only as a tool for bringing Alicia back to life. Averted later on by her adoptive mother Lindy, who loves her just as much as she loves her biological son. It's also averted in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT, where Precia is shown to be a Doting Parent to Fate and Alicia.
  • Naruto:
    • Zig-aagged with Sasuke. At first, it appears that Sasuke — while being fairly intelligent and very talented — is constantly being neglected in favor of his genius Aloof Big Brother Itachi, whom his father always praises with, "As expected of my child," while Sasuke is only told by their father to "become more like Itachi." Later, we see that this only applies to his father Fugaku, as his mother Mikoto is shown treating Sasuke with great kindness while the only thing she seems to say to Itachi is, "Do your homework!" So it looks as if each parent favors a different kid. Later in the story, some dissent arises between Itachi and his parents, as Itachi doesn't think too highly of their plan to take over the village and start a world war, and it becomes apparent that his parents care more for his incredible talent than for Itachi as a person. Fugaku soon turns his interest to Sasuke, telling him not to be like Itachi and complains to the rest of the family about his older son. Mikoto states that when they're alone, all she and her husband ever talk about is Sasuke, cementing that Itachi was the actual unfavorite all long. But ultimately, their parents loved them both very much. When Itachi comes to kill them, both Fugaku and Mikoto are shown to be aware of his massive turmoil, and they tell him that they understand his reasons and decisions, offering no resistance as he tearfully executes them. Their only request was that he'd take care of his brother, and Fugaku tells him that despite the differences in beliefs and the paths taken, he was (and always has been) proud of Itachi, no matter what.
    • Gaara, because everyone in his family (and his entire city) is scared of him, or at least of the demon sealed inside him. He was conceived only to be a container for the demon and be a living weapon, and his mother died giving birth to him and his father, the Kazekage, hated him because of this. Subverted in the end, as it turns out that his mother Karura's love for him is what makes his sand protect him and his resurrected father realizes that he does, in fact, love his youngest son.
    • The rather passive Hinata is this compared to her more aggressive sister. Eventually, Hiashi learns to respect both his daughters.
  • Johnny Joestar, from Part 7 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, always lived in the shadow of his elder brother Nicholas, even though he was just as competent a horse jockey as Nicholas. After Nicholas was killed in a horse-riding accident when his horse was spooked by a mouse that resembled a pet Johnny released into the wild instead of kill on his father's instructions, Johnny has a major falling out with his dad, who proclaimed that "God took the wrong son".
  • Seta Sōjirō from Rurouni Kenshin is a particularly tragic example of this trope. So much that his adoptive family (stepmother, half-brothers, younger uncles) try to kill him for being an illegitimate child. He kills them instead.
  • Fruits Basket:
    • Machi Kuragi is such an unfavorite that her parents automatically assume she attempted to kill her little brother, despite her (more or less believable) claim that she was just trying to keep him warm.
    • Kagura is loved by her mother, as well as Yuki (in a way), Hiro, and Kisa, but Momiji and Kyo definitely fell into this trope. As Momiji says, mothers of Zodiac children either become overly protective or reject their child completely.
    • The main character Tohru even gets this from her father's family mainly due to their dislike of her mother, pretty much treating her like dirt when she is alone with them. Only her grandfather likes Tohru and her mother.
    • This is bizarrely inverted with Yuki's family. Ayame is the unfavorite, which means that he was more or less free to do as he wanted, which led to him being a self-centered jerkass in school, but ultimately meant he could move out on his own and start his own business. Yuki was the favorite (at least in the sense that his parents thought him more likely usable to get money and move higher in society), so he was forced to be the already unstable Akito's playmate, was psychologically tortured, implied to have been hit by his mother for trying to avoid it, and was generally so screwed up that he couldn't interact with other people at all.
  • Somewhat averted in Digimon Adventure 02. Ken Ichijouji is revealed to have originally been the butt of this trope, but when his more-liked and more-talented older brother Osamu was killed in a car crash (after Ken thought and wished for that to happen), it began a chain of events that lead to him turning to the dark side, becoming more skilled than his brother ever was (thanks to evil powers), and becoming the series' Big Bad temporarily before joining the team.
    • In Digimon Frontier, it seems that Kouichi was his his father's "Unfavorite" as Koji was taken by his father when he left their mother and divorced and he re-married another woman. This causes feelings of anger, jealousy, and betrayal in Kouichi.
  • Subverted in The Prince of Tennis. Yuuta Fuji feels he's the unfavorite since his middle brother Shuusuke is talented, handsome, and popular at their school, so he leaves and transfers into another school and its dorms. But that genuinely hurts Shuusuke, who really loves and cares for Yuuta and just didn't know what his brother was going through, becoming a huge Stepford Smiler out of the pain he feels upon Yuuta abandoning him. It'll take more than a year to reunite them.
  • Code Geass: Lelouch Lemperouge spends a good portion of his life believing that not only are he and his sister Nunnally their father's unfavorites, but that their mother Marianne was too, since she was the only Imperial Wife to come from common origins. Eventually, he learns that his parents fell in Love at First Sight, and by extension, Lelouch and Nunnally were his favorite children. Furthermore, they both wanted Lelouch to help them with their plan to make the world a better place.
    • Lelouch then turns this around with a tear-driven Calling the Old Man Out speech, declaring that if they actually cared, then they would have retrieved their children from Japan BEFORE starting an all-out war, and that their devotion to their cult plans ended up consuming their sanity and capability to love other people; despite desiring a world where people stopped engaging in countless wars and family back stabbings, they ended up unfavoriting every individual on the planet. Then he indirectly kills them by ordering THE WILL OF EARTH ITSELF with his Geass to stop their plans.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam 00's second season, there's an unfavorite that doesn't even need a family (they got killed by terrorists several years ago) to feel this way. Lyle Dylandy thinks that several of the Celestial Being members expect him to be just like his deceased twin older brother, Neil "Lockon Stratos" Dylandy. While Lyle doesn't and never has hated Neil per se (in fact, he's visiting Neil's grave in his first apparition), he doesn't like like this situation — so after taking up Neil's Lockon mantle, he decides to downplay his own and considerable fighting and piloting skills to make himself look different from him. With some Character Development from both parts in the conflict, Lyle soon starts to gain the appreciation and affection of Neil's True Companions for the person he is.
  • Hell Girl episode 16 features a disturbing twist on this trope. The episode revolves around Yumi and Yuki, a pair of twin girls in a traveling circus — Yuki is praised and doted upon by the ringleader, while Yumi is kept locked in a back room and frequently abused. Initially, the audience is led to believe that Yumi has summoned Enma Ai to exact revenge upon the ringleader, only to find out too late that the real target is Yuki. Ai takes Yuki to hell, then, giving Yumi her chance to be the favorite.
    • Season 3 features a boy who becomes The Unfavorite in his family before the sibling is even born. He ends up sending the baby girl to hell, also before she is even born. The worst part? He assumed that doing this would make his stepmother stop "hating" him and lashing out at him for the tiniest things...and the end of the episode shows the family all laughing together on an outing. In other words, he was right.
  • Zekkyou Gakkyuu has Haru think of herself as this in Make-Believe Sisters. She's a third-grader and gets scolded over small things, whereas her younger sister, Mii, is being pampered and babied and loved. Her parents love both of their daughters and it's shown that Haru was just as heavily pampered, when she was younger, but seems to not remember this so well. Turns out horrible when, during a "Freaky Friday" Flip, Mii-as-Haru throws Haru-as-Mii off the balcony, just as their bodies revert to normal. And her parents saw Haru killing Mii.
  • Played with in Mobile Fighter G Gundam. It's implied that, due to being much younger as well as Book Dumb, Domon felt inferior to his Badass Bookworm older brother Kyouji in the eyes of their father, The Professor Raizou Kasshu. Unlike other cases, though, Dr. Kasshu doesn't show deliberate cruelty towards Domon, who finds another father figure in his martial arts teacher Master Asia and leaves home to train with him... Fast forward 10 years and Domon finds himself with a Broken Pedestal of a mentor, a dead mother, a cryogenically frozen father, and an evil Aloof Big Brother who's become a wanted criminal...
    • Nope; when Raizo thawed out in the final episode, he tells Domon that he's proud of him and always has been, and Domon's being a fighter rather than a scientist like himself or Kyoji was never an issue. And Domon is genuinely happy upon hearing this.
  • Dragonball Z
    • In one special it is revealed that Vegeta has a younger brother, who was exiled from their homeworld because he was too weak to be any good as a fighter (like Goku himself).
    • Frieza's older brother Cooler claims that "Father always spoiled you rotten, you little brat!" (while thinking of Frieza) and said father King Cold never mentions him even in passing in any sort of material, though he seems to handle it pretty well, all things considered.
  • Also played with in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, with Ace Pilot Mu la Flaga. His father Al de Flaga was so peeved with Mu being a normal child instead of a perfect vehicle for his father's ego (and for worse, he was very similar to his mother) that he disowned the boy, practically locked him away, and cloned himself, the result being Rau le Creuset.
    • ...who is himself an Unfavorite due to his short telomeres giving him frail health and a limited lifespan. Adaptations of SEED state that Rau was abandoned by Al de Flaga when he was very young, once Al found out. This is part of why Mu empathizes with him very late in the series.
  • Abo Ozawa in the baseball manga Stripe Blue. His older brother Bantarou is the closing pitcher on a professional team that owes its recent success solely to him. Being that Abo is also a baseball pitcher, he has to work extra hard to stand out, even to his own parents, despite frankly having not very formidable skills.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Shinji gets this so damn much. Even taken by itself, his relationship with his father is defined by Gendo's neglect and a cold-blooded insistence that he pilots a walking death machine under horrible conditions. But aside from that, Gendo has Rei, whom he treats as a surrogate daughter. Shinji and Rei become as good friends as their terrible situation allows, but the fact that his father likes her better clearly bothers him. While Shinji is hard-pressed to get his father to even glance at him, many characters note on how surprisingly caring Gendo is to Rei. Asuka even points out to Rei, "You're Commander Ikari's favorite, aren't you?". In keeping with the typical rules for favorites, Rei bears a close similarity to (and is a clone of and integral in the plan to revive) Gendo's dead wife Yui.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia:
    • Belarus thinks she's The Unfavorite of her older brother Russia because of their older sister Ukraine and Russia's subordinates, the Baltic brothers (Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia). This leaves the girl, well... rather unstable. (Russia does care, but on the other hand he has his own issues and her Big Brother Attraction freaks him out. Not to mention he seems to be personally closer to Ukraine.)
    • Zigzagged with Canada, who mostly is "invisible" next to his brother America, but several times has been approached directly by England instead of America since Canada himself is The Reliable One compared to him.
    • England is said to be hated by his older brothers (Scotland, Wales, and most likely Ireland as well).
    • Roman Empire was a well-intentioned Empire, but cared more openly for North Italy than South Italy; the Chibitalia chapter said that he took Italy with him when he had to run away, but was shown to have left Romano. As a result, while Romano does care for his little brother in a very Tsundere way, he's not exactly happy and his self-esteem problems show... but he isn't necessarily much better than anyone else.
  • George from Paradise Kiss is the illegitimate son of a rich, influential man and a former model. His father pays for his and his mother's expensive lifestyle, but has no actual relationship with them, and his mother is very vocal about how much she resents him because becoming pregnant ruined her modeling career.
  • Definitely Ageha from Papillon Hana To Chou: as an infant, her mother sent her to live with her grandmother in the country because she couldn't stop crying; her twin sister Hana/Kana (the translators kept switching) is popular and glamorous and steals her potential boyfriend; she's even screwed over by her only "friend". No wonder she's almost Driven to Suicide. Fortunately, her relationship with her mom improves dramatically when they finally start talking to each other. Kana/Hana, however, is becoming uneasy with her sister's newfound confidence...
  • Asagi Ayase of Yotsuba&! gets far more than her share of crap from her mother. It's played for laughs, since Asagi tends to retaliate in kind, but at least one flashback has shown she's gotten this treatment for years. The fact that Asagi is like her mother has something to do with it.
  • Moroboshi Ataru from Urusei Yatsura is another only-child example of this trope, played pretty much entirely for laughs.. His parents are constantly lamenting the fact that he was ever born, in his presence. They also wistfully mention how much they wanted a little girl, making Ataru the Unfavorite to a sister who doesn't even exist.
  • Sachiko in With the Light loves both of her children — autistic Hikaru and his unafflicted little sister Kanon — equally; it's her mother-in-law who plays unfavorites. Having Kanon to interact with and a hard time accepting the fact that Hikaru's not going to "get better" and be exactly like "normal" people means that she is more affectionate with the girl.
  • In There, Beyond the Beyond, both of the kingdom's twin princes are named Virid Visette Viridian. The one who would eventually become the "Mad Prince" was left to be abused and forgotten in a cell, while his brother got to be doted on in the palace.
  • InuYasha: Sesshoumaru feels that he's this. After finding out that his brother InuYasha inherited their father's legendary offensive weapon that he had wanted while he was bequeathed the healing sword that he disdained, events conspire to lead him to the realisation that his hard-earned and extremely impressive offensive ability was only given to him so that he could master it for Inuyasha to take from him. This leads him to the conclusion that his father had been grooming Inuyasha to kill him. Getting over his daddy issues and learning that his father actually wanted him to be a Big Brother Mentor is a major part of his Character Development, whereupon he settles for being the Aloof Big Brother type.
  • Subverted with Lina in Slayers, who felt this to her older sister, Luna, both a fighting prodigy and the Knight of Ciefeed — a special human born with a fragment of the world's dragon god within them. While Lina felt that she didn't get enough credit for her magical powers (which naturally exceed beyond most humans) from her family, it wasn't the case, as her father was always supportive of her and Luna was the one who convinced Lina to travel the world in the first place. A portion of this is Word of God from interviews.
    • While it's unknown how Amelia and Gracia/Naga felt toward one another, Amelia feels this way towards her own friends, citing the fact that she's the weakest in the group (in terms of strategic thinking and physically; her magical powers are almost on par with Zelgadis') and more often than not doesn't try to object against the others' (especially Lina, who pushes her around and uses her vast family fortune to pay for meals) wishes or thoughts. While her sermons of misguided justice warrant reactions, the others are apathetic toward her otherwise.
  • Seileiz, eldest of the three heirs to his country in Vampire Game, is also by far his mother's most hated. There are three reasons for this: he's adopted (as are his brothers), he's the Son of a Whore, and he's the illegitimate son of the king. The queen was willing to put up with the first two, but having a reminder of her husband's refusal to sleep with her running around really pissed her off.
  • In Nononono, Nono's brother, Yuuta, is like this. Both of them were trained by their ski-jumper dad to be ski-jumpers, hoping to go to the Olympics. The problem is, Nono is the more talented of the two, but she can't go to the Olympics due to being a girl. Their father kept on pushing Yuuta to be as good as his sister.
  • Reina in Queen's Blade apparently suffers from this early on, being clearly the weakest between the three Vance sisters and not being allowed to leave the palace or do anything with her life. The justification for this later on is that Reina is the Generation Xerox of her mother, who died fighting in Queen's Blade, and her father was being overprotective for that reason.
  • Soul from Soul Eater feels this way in comparison to his older brother, Wes. Since the flashbacks showing this have all either been influenced by the Book of Eibon or the Black Blood, we don't really know how much of this is true. Also, Tsubaki's older brother Masamune cites his perceived Unfavorite status as motivation for becoming a kishin.
  • 3-gatsu no Lion plays with this trope by offering two different perspectives: with and without a narrator. In the series' first chapter where it lacked a narrator, the flashbacks of the protagonist Rei are presented in a way that implies that he was the unfavorite in a family of three children when his successes in shogi are seemingly neglected in favor of caring for one of the other two children. However, later on, when Rei has long since been established as the narrator, the story goes into more detailed flashbacks that reveal the he was actually the favorite who was given more attention than the rest of the children.
  • In Girls und Panzer, Miho is the less favored daughter of Shiho Nishizumi, compared to Shiho's older daughter and heir Maho. Shiho considers Miho a disgrace to the family who does not do tankery the Nishizumi way, berates her for saving her teammates from drowning in a river at the cost of a tournament win, and plans on disowning her after hearing about her becoming captain of the Oarai tankery team. After Miho wins the tournament against Maho, Shiho sighs and begins clapping while smiling, which could indicate a change of heart.
  • Death Note: A minor example. While Soichiro Yagami is adamant that his younger child Sayu couldn't possibly be Kira, he isn't so certain about Light.
  • Alluka from Hunter × Hunter is not even considered a member of the Zoldyck because her ability is too difficult to control and could kill all of them. The only one who loves her is Killua.
    • Milluki is also very disliked for being a Fat Bastard, Otaku, and Hikikomori. However, he is treated much better than his younger sister Alluka.
  • In Rosario + Vampire, there are two of the four Shuzen daughters who are born by Gyokuro. Due to her hatred towards Akasha Bloodriver, she hates Akasha's daughter, Moka, as much as she hates Akasha. She doesn't care for her other stepdaughter, Akua, and she hates even her youngest blood-related daughter, Kokoa. So, Gyokuro's only favorite is Kahlua, her oldest blood-related daughter.
    • Subverted with Akasha's relationship with her daughters. While Moka is definitely her favorite daughter because she's her own, she also loves her three stepdaughters.
    • Among the four Shuzen sisters, Kokoa fits this trope the best. She is less talented and not as beautiful as her three older sisters. Her own mother hates her, and she has three Aloof Big Sisters, with only Moka being the one who respects her. Actually, Kahlua loves Kokoa, too, but Kokoa is so afraid of her that she does not notice that.
    • Just how much does Gyokuro hate Kokoa? She went so far as to put a hit out on Kokoa's life and force Kahlua to carry said hit out.
    • According to Kahlua, Gyokuro loves Kokoa, but this statement is not very believable, since Kahlua is rather too optimistic and Gyokuro never showed any kind of love towards Kokoa.
  • In the 4th volume of "Happy Happy Clover", Kale has a flashback to when he was alot younger. When his mother was pregnant and is expecting a few new rabbits to be born. Kale is worried about being a big brother, and he later thinks that he's not going to get enough attention from his parents once they are born. When Kale's baby brothers finally arrive, he changes his mind after talking with Shallot about the newborn babies.
  • Sand Chronicles's Fuji resents how his parents treat his younger sister Shiika more favourably than him and rarely speak to him unless it's about studying and his duties as the future heir. This is why he's convinced he's the product of his mother's alleged affair, thinking she looks at him with shame. Turns out Shiika's treated better because she's the illegitimate child and their mother feels guilty about it; she treats Shiika well to make up for the unpleasant circumstances of her birth and is colder towards Fuji because she's too scared to directly approach him about it.
  • In Chivalry of a Failed Knight, Ikki is considered the Black Sheep of his clan because of his Rank F Blazer ability and they subscribe to a rather twisted Social Darwinist philosophy that considers Blazer ability to be the only strength that matters. Never mind that Ikki is a Master Swordsman who can and has defeated higher ranked Blazers. When they aren't flat out ignoring his existence, they actively sabotage him to ensure he remains a failure.
  • One Piece: The third son of the Vinsmoke Family is viewed as the Black Sheep because he was apparently unsuited to be a fighter while his three quadruplet brothers were powerful and sociopathic enough to make great warriors. While Vinsmoke Judge loved and spoiled all of his strong children, he abused and neglected the weakest as a failure, eventually rejecting him outright. Said weakest son is none other than Sanji.
  • The Heart of Thomas: Unlike his blonde little sister, Juli Bauernfeind resembles his late father, who was of Greek ancestry. His grandmother treats him poorly because of this; in her eyes, anyone who isn't a "pure German" can do nothing right. As a result, Juli tries his best to appear to others as someone above reproach.
  • Little Busters!: Poor little Cloudcuckoolander Haruka is constantly at odds with her sister, Kanata, but as we learn through the story, Kanata is really just protecting Haruka from their family, a really messed up band of villains who, among other despicable things, forces the eligible daughter to copulate with two fathers to have a higher chance of producing an heir, then taking the infant from the mother right after birth to be raised in the main household by the evil old matriarch, as well as being insular, clannish, ultra-conservative, and abusive. When the mother had twins, and one of the fathers is arrested and branded a criminal, the family set upon a plan to make sure one of the siblings was eligible and tagged the child of the good father, whilst the other would be labeled the child of the criminal (against any logic which would state they would really have no knowledge of who the father was, or even if the two children were conceived by different father's sperm). Kanata ends up able, smart, athletic, and hard-working, while Haruka is lackadaisical, clumsy, mischievous, and a general loser which is completely an act, as a rebellious reaction to the endless abuse at the hands of her family and perceived abuse at the hands of the sister she once trusted. Subsequently, the family turns Haruka into a brutal version of The Unfavorite, beating, torturing, insulting, and criminally abusing her at every turn.
    • It later comes out that Kanata is not immune to the abuse, having been lashed and beaten as well. And it turns out that the criminal father actually was attempting to free the siblings from the clutches of such a vile, demonic family, and was arrested and framed in the attempt to allow the other father and the mother to flee. It also turns out that all of the abuse Kanata heaped upon Haruka was due to the fact that if the family ever thought the siblings were anything but rivals, they would outright murder Haruka, to hell with any logical consequences which would definitely ensue from such a horrific act. So, Kanata kept up the pose of being rivals, accepted the lashing without complaint, and stayed distant, all to protect the twin sister she loved more than anything else in the world.
  • In Touch, Tatsuya is the unfavorite of his brother Kazuya, although it's mostly played for laughs. Their parents tend to be vocal about how proud they're of Kazuya and his achievements and how much of a disappointment Tatsuya is. Tatsuya himself is divided between resenting their treatment and letting them believe whatever they want.
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