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Animated

  • The Lion King:
    • Nuka from The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. The scrawny, barely a mane growing lion voiced by Andy Dick. Little cub Kovu gets picked over him to take on Scar's heritage note  and gets treated unfairly by the lionesses. This makes his death even more tragic, when he chases Simba up a dam, proclaiming he's doing it for his mother, and that this'd be his moment of glory, with a mad driven look in his eyes. Just before the footing gives away from underneath him, and he ends up crushed by a bunch of logs. His mother for the first time in the movie shows she actually does care and frantically tries to dig him out. He ends with a whimper. "Sorry... I tried..." A deleted storyboard set continues with Nuka saying "I got your attention now..." and then expiring.
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    • It's implied that Scar was this to Mufasa growing up. Considering that according to The Lion King: Six New Adventures his original name was "Taka", which means "trash" in Swahili, and his brother's name means "king", it's not hard to tell who was their favourite.
  • The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea has Ursula's sister Morgana, who at one point yells "It was always 'Ursula this' and 'Ursula that' and 'Why can't you be more like your sister URSULA?'!" And when she achieves virtually complete control over the oceans, she howls at the skies, "WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE NOW, MA?!" Freud would have a field day.
  • Igor serves this to his mentor Dr. Glickenstein. Did we mention he bullies Igor for no good reason?
  • Cinderella: Cinderella is a very early example as the original story dates back hundreds of years. And Cinderella more or less is the poster child for this. As her stepmother treats her like shit and uses her as her personal slave, while her two daughters are spoiled brats who get everything they want.
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  • In The Boss Baby, this is what Tim fears becoming following the arrival of the Boss Baby; it's what the Boss Baby fears babies will become to puppies if Francis E. Francis's plan succeeds. In the end, Tim's act of kindness in inviting the Boss Baby back into his family inspires the Boss Baby to do something that ratchets love for both babies and puppies, as well as several other things, up to 999% before quitting Baby Corp and allowing himself to be born as a normal baby so that he can join Tim's family.

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Live-Action

  • Doing Time on Maple Drive: Tim Carter (Jim Carrey in an early dramatic role!) is this due to his failure to work out at military school, and has taken to drinking as a result of his parents' callousness.
  • The mother in Crossroads quite blatantly tells her high school graduate daughter, whom she abandoned years earlier, that she was a mistake and that she never wanted to have her. She is remarried and has two sons.
  • In Dead Poets Society, Todd is strongly implied to be The Unfavorite.
  • In Ever After, Danielle gets the short end of the stick because she was the biological daughter of her deceased father. And before his death, it probably didn't help that he said "I love you" to Danielle and didn't say it to the stepmother, only increasing her jealousy of Danielle. Interestingly, the same thing happens to Jacqueline, who isn't as beautiful as her elder sister or as cruel and snobbish, being more down-to-earth and kinder.
    • Jacqueline lampshades her own status as the unfavorite of the stepsisters when she predicts that if Danielle wasn't around, she'd be the one treated as a servant. Sure enough, when Danielle falls ill, the stepmother orders Jacqueline to do her chores. Jacqueline is not pleased.
  • Langdon Shaw in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them where his father prefers Langdon's brother Henry Shaw Jr. over him.
  • The Goonies. Played for laughs in how Mama favors Francis over Jake.
    Jake: You always take his side, Mama. You always liked him better than me.
    Mama: (Smacks Jake) That's right!
    • Still Jake is not the real Unfavorite, as he's not chained in the basement like Sloth.
  • Kevin McCallister in Home Alone seems to be this, as most of his relatives either ignore him, bully him, or regularly accuse him of being a troublemaker.
    • In the sequel, this is shown to be compounded by Buzz being a Manipulative Bastard as well as a bully.
  • Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham actually manages to play this trope compassionately without vilifying the parents for it. This is arguably attributable to the fact that the Unfavorite in this case is mostly so by default, rather than actually being unloved or undervalued.
  • Albert in The King's Speech was this as a child, due to his stuttering. But this becomes subverted as when they became older, his older brother preferred a more carefree frivolous lifestyle while Albert was The Dutiful Son. His father George does approve of the adult Albert (though still frustrated by his speech impediment) and his last words were that Albert would be a better king than his brother, even though he didn't say it to Albert directly.
  • The Lord of the Rings, especially the third movie, hits this trope pretty hard for Faramir. It's text, not subtext, in his father's dialogue. While Faramir is a grown character and, logically, "should've gotten over it by now," Denethor's scathing treatment of him makes it almost impossible for anyone not to sympathize. This factor, combined with a couple of scenes present in the Extended Editions, helps explain why Faramir initially decided to capture Frodo and the Ring, which is the opposite of how he behaves in the novels. It's also notable that the favorite, Boromir, actually admires and defends his younger brother, and is fed up with their father just as much as Faramir is.
  • A League of Their Own provides the quote at the top. Kit's perception of being the unfavorite makes her very willing to apply for the all-women baseball league because, as she says, here 'she is nothing'. The only scene that shows this unfavoritism, though, is when her mother reprimands Kit for yelling (talking rather loudly) in the kitchen with Dotty, when her father's trying to listen to the radio in the living room. The rest of the movie focuses more on the relationship between the two sisters and Kit's inferiority complex compared to her older, prettier, happily married sister.
  • In Mystic Pizza, while Kat is looked on favorably because she's smart enough to go to Yale, and industrious enough that she's working several jobs in order to pay for it, her sister Daisy is seen as the screw-up and as a slut. Lampshaded by Daisy.
    Kat's such a good girl. Where did we go wrong with Daisy?
  • Much of the plot of Ordinary People revolves around Conrad (Timothy Hutton) being disfavored by his mother Beth (Mary Tyler Moore), who preferred his older brother, Buck.
  • Tonny from Pusher 2 is this compared to his father's other son and his kid half-brother.
  • Gordie in Stand by Me, whose parents never forgave him for being the one to survive. However, a flashback indicates that even when his older brother was alive, his father took very little interest in him; said brother seems to have been the only one who ever really paid any attention to Gordie.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Loki performs a Face–Heel Turn because he believes that his father, Odin, has always favored his brother Thor. The actual reason Odin chose Thor to succeed the throne of Asgard is that Loki is adopted from the race of enemies. Therefore Loki would not be Odin's heir or wield Mjolnir, even though Odin hoped he would rule Jötunheim as an ally. Loki also didn't fit the ideals of Asgard and probably reminded Odin of Hela, his eldest child gone astray, so while Odin considered him his son, he found it hard to connect. In his madness, Loki views Odin's disapproval of the genocide he tried to commit in his name in Thor as the final confirmation that he will never be enough, and by allowing himself to fall into the abyss attempts suicide. In Thor: The Dark World, Odin tells Loki that his birthright was to die as a child, sentences him to life imprisonment for his crimes on Earth, and forbids him to see his mother Frigga ever again and even to attend her funeral. Loki escapes and places an Identity Amnesia spell on Odin, sending him to a retirement home on Earth. In Thor: Ragnarok, some of Odin's final words are expressing his love for both his sons. Loki struggles to hold back tears, and shortly before his own death in Avengers: Infinity War calls himself "Odinson" for the first time since Thor.
      • Really Hela Odin's eldest daughter, is The Un-Favorite as while Odin forgave Thor and Loki's misdeeds, he locked Hela away with his magic for her warmongering sadism and only released her when he died.
    • Thanos doesn’t even bother denying that he considers Nebula the worst of his adoptive children. All of his kids were subjected to Tough Love and Training from Hell, but Nebula got the worst of it by far, to the point it sometimes crossed into outright torture. Just for comparison, when Gamora turned against Thanos, Thanos all but forgave her and never stopped loving her. When Nebula did the same? The next onscreen interaction between them had Thanos horrifically torture her and then later hatefully spit that the only reason he didn’t kill her was that it would’ve been “a waste of spare parts”. In Avengers: Endgame Thanos changes his attitude towards Nebula, explicitly regretting his treatment of her when she vouches for his honesty in front of the Avengers- before Thor cuts his head off. 2014 Thanos also treated 2014 Nebula better stroking her head and actually becoming concerned when 2014 Nebula "disappears" before the Final Battle.
  • In Tower of Terror, Abigail feels this way toward her sister Sally, since everyone was going to something for her on Abigail's birthday. That thing was going to be Abigail's surprise birthday party.
  • As the movie Walk the Line showed, Johnny never could quite match up to his dutiful dead brother in his dad's eyes.
  • Welcome to the Dollhouse has Dawn. She's punished constantly by her parents, especially when younger sister Missy (the apple of their eye) constantly baits her.
  • In Willard, despite being the strongest of the rats, Ben can never get the same level of affection as Socrates. After he decides to stop taking it, Willard directly states, "I hate you."
  • Multi-generational one in The Wolverine. Shingen claims Ichiro never considered him a worthy son, instead favoring his granddaughter, Shingen's daughter Mariko. Whether he is telling the truth or not, however, is left up to the viewer. Given subsequent revelations about his father, he might also have simply been mistaken; Viper implies that Ichiro chose Mariko as his successor because she'd be easier to manipulate than Shingen.
  • In Romeo Must Die, who's the unfavorite is very unclear. Po is the one who ended up going to America with their father Ch'u, while Han went to prison in order to help him escape. However, Ch'u has Po killed when he was about to compromise a major business deal. It's implied that Ch'u has always preferred Han, in spite of the fact that Han rejected him by becoming a police officer, and largely only cares for his brother.
  • In The Patsy, Pat is filled with unrequited love for her sister Grace's boyfriend Tony. Tony has no idea, and Grace for her part is also attracted to another man.
  • Preston from Blank Check is this to his father, who favors his older brothers for going into business for themselves. Preston is twelve.
  • Cloud Atlas: Robert Frobisher is this to his parents, who much prefer his older brother who died in World War I. Frobisher isn't too fond of his Mater and Pater either.
  • In Crooked House, Aristide passed over his eldest son Philip and gave control of his business empire to his younger son Roger, despite Roger being totally unsuited for the position.
  • In keeping with the Cain and Abel theme of Husk, Farmer Comstock definitely favours his son Alex over his other son Corey: in part due to Alex's willingness and talent in slaughtering animals, to drive the analogy home further. This favoritism eventually drives Corey into a jealous rage where he murders his brother and turns him into a scarecrow.
  • In Madea's Family Reunion, Victoria Breaux favors and pampers her younger daughter, Lisa, and despises her older daughter, Vanessa. This is because Vanessa's father was a musician who dumped her and left her broke, while Lisa's father was a rich man who gave her a luxurious lifestyle. However, the film makes it clear that Victoria's favoritism didn't do Lisa any favors; while Victoria favors her, she also controls her entire life, which has left her unable to fight for herself, and has been stealing from her trust fund for years, leaving it virtually empty. She also pushed Lisa to marry Carlos, the very banker who's been helping her steal from the trust fund, because he's rich and he'd be able to keep them in luxury, despite the fact that he's horribly abusive.

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