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It's always: Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!
Jan Brady, The Brady Bunch

Why wreck my middle-child-always-being-left-out syndrome by including me now?
Lucy Camden, 7th Heaven
Happy birthday, overlooked middle child, happy birthday to me...
Lisa Simpson, The Simpsons

Everyone loves the oldest child because the parents can rely on them, they watch out for their siblings and they're so confidently attractive. Of course the Youngest Child Wins because they're the "baby", but what does that leave the one in the middle?

That's essentially the definition of Middle Child Syndrome, in which a child automatically may become The Unfavorite and/or the Black Sheep/Rebel, specifically because they are the easiest child to overlook, or because they somehow don't fit in with the rest of the family. They're not old enough to be given the responsibilities and privileges of the oldest, and the youngest child took their spot as the spoiled and doted-on "baby" of the family. So what does the leave them? This tends to be more of an issue when there are three children rather than four or more. Oftentimes in media, the middle child ends up becoming more of the Deadpan Snarker or the quirky one for this reason.

Can be somewhat avoided, but not always, if the middle child is special by the virtue of being of an opposite gender, usually a girl (the reverse is less common, and even rarer in settings where women have less/no rights, where the girls are usually just lumped together until they are old enough to marry off), who will receive special attention from the mother while the boys will be mentored by the father.

Truth in Television. It's common to blame or demonize the parents, but in most cases, they simply do not realize the situation, and need it brought up to them. There are also times when the parents do see there is a problem, but do not know how to handle it.

Contrast Only Child Syndrome, which tends to have the opposite effect of too much attention rather than too little.

Examples of Middle Child Syndrome include:

Anime and Manga

  • Downplayed in Ah! My Goddess. Belldandy, the middle sister among the daughters of God, hardly suffers from being a black sheep or unloved, however she does seem to be somewhat left out, as her nature, elegant and refined, is very different from that of Urd and Skuld, who have much more in common with each other than with her, as a result she's always on the outside of their antics, so much so that she feels jealous.
  • This is implied to have been poor Akira Kiyosato's perdition in Rurouni Kenshin. As the second son of a samurai family, he had self-esteem issues plus doubts about his capacity to make his girlfriend Tomoe Yukishiro happy. So he postponed their wedding and went to Edo/Tokyo to get more money and rep... and then he had the horrible luck of working for a guy who was a target of none other than Hitokiri Battousai, who ended up brutally killing both his boss and him...

Comic Books

  • Jason Todd was the second Robin and since coming Back From the Dead certainly seems to live certain aspects of this trope. Specifically, he resents Batman for replacing him with another Robin and because he thinks he was The Unfavorite compared to Dick, the first Robin.

 Jason: But boy, Dick, you sure got game... Guess that's why 'Dad' always loved you best.

    • Lampshaded by Tim, when he refers to Jason as the 'Jan Brady' of the BatFamily:

 Tim: And yes, I know that makes me Cindy.

  • Since Jason being 'disowned' on account of being crazy, Tim has since been put into the middle child role between Dick and Damian Wayne and it only got worse when Bruce died, leaving Dick Grayson as the new Batman and Tim getting replaced by Damian. He's handling it better than Jason, but most of the DCU is of the consensus that Tim needs to get some therapy.
    • This isn't the only reason why Tim needs therapy..
    • The two times that Batman was there and Tim needed a hug, he recieved one. When his father died and when Batman returned from the past, when no other Bat-child got one. Of course, by then Tim really, really needed one.

Fairy Tales

  • In One-Eye, Two-Eyes, and Three-Eyes, a witch had three daughters, each of which had one more eye than the one before. The middle daughter is therefore the one with two eyes and gets abused. Of course, that means she gets to marry the king in the end.

 However, as Two-eyes saw just as other human beings did, her sisters and her mother could not endure her. They said to her, "Thou, with thy two eyes, art no better than the common people; thou dost not belong to us!"


Fan Works



 Geoffrey: No one ever thinks of crown and mentions Geoff, why is that?

King Henry II: Isn't being chancellor power enough?

Geoffrey: It's not the power I feel deprived of; it's the mention I miss. There's no affection for me here; you wouldn't think I'd want that, would you.

  • The TMNT film series saw fit to bring this part of "cool but rude" Raphael into the mainstream. Putting up with "Splinter, Jr." is his least favorite part of being a turtle. And he doesn't even have a utility like being smart, unlike the other middle child, Donny.
  • The eponymous Eve from Eve's Bayou felt like The Unfavorite compared to her older sister and younger brother. This is probably why she developed such a close bond with her aunt Mozelle.
  • Dawn Wiener in Welcome to The Dollhouse. Shunned by her peers and ignored by her family, Dawn pretty much has to fend for herself.
  • In The Darwin Awards movie, the protagonist cites this as being a possible motivating factor for many peoples' Darwin Award moments... including himself.
  • This is a possible contributing factor in Pavi Largo's descent into psychotic narcissism. His elder brother Luigi almost certainly got more attention than him on account of being an angry, murderous psychopath since birth, and his younger sister Amber is the biggest Attention Whore imaginable. The Extended Universe info suggests that Pavi, by contrast, was relatively unremarkable while growing up (aside from having a severe speech impediment, which he eventually learned to cover up by adopting a ridiculous Italian accent) and it was only later that he turned into a deranged, womanising rapist who enjoys cutting women's faces off and grafting them onto his own (horribly scarred) face.


  • This one goes all the way back to What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge (1872). Katy and Clover, the oldest children in the family, are inseparable, as are the three youngest, Dorry, Johnnie and Phil. The one in the middle, Elsie, is too old to play with the younger kids and too young to hang out with the older ones and is accordingly lonely and miserable.
  • Stannis Baratheon from A Song of Ice and Fire, the middle child of the Baratheon brothers and the only humourless Knight Templar of the bunch - both his older brother Robert and his younger brother Renly are instead Boisterous Bruisers. Renly was happy looking up to Robert, but Stannis wanted to move out of his shadow.
  • In Diana Wynne Jones' Howl's Moving Castle (but not the movie), Lettie is actually the prettiest and most ambitious of the three Hatter sisters, but Martha is the youngest child, so she gets sent off to train as a witch, and Sophie, the protagonist, is the oldest, so she's groomed to take over the family business. Lettie is expected to work as an apprenticeship at a pastry shop, where she'll meet some nice man and have lots of children. Also, Martha is Sophie and Lettie's half-sister from their father's second marriage, which "ought to have made Sophie and Lettie into Ugly Sisters", but didn't. As one might expect from a Diana Wynne Jones book, there is a plot twist whereby Lettie and Martha reject their expected roles and switch places and appearances.
  • Fredo of The Godfather has this in spades. Sonny has the brawn, Michael has the brains, and Tom Hagen plays the traditional middle child role of mediating between them. While introducing Kay to his family during the novel's opening sections, Michael acknowledges that Fredo serves almost no purpose in the Corleone family.
    • In the book he's described as being the quintessential Italian Momma's Boy, and he was essentially useless to the family business.
    • In the Mark Winegartener sequel novels, it is implied that a severe case of pneumonia when Fredo was an infant was partially responsible for his behavior issues and/or mild retardation. In addition, he was also a heavily closeted homosexual, which is something of a no-no in Old World Italian values, and compensated by cultivating a reputation as a swinging ladies' man, which also went against his family's conservative upbringing. Following on from this, his "betrayal" in Part II came about because he wanted to start a racket of his own (described in the novels as owning his own cemetery in New Jersey, giving him a piece of all the stonemasonry, flowers, landscaping, etc., that came through, not to mention the obvious benefits of a mobster owning a place to legally hide dead bodies) in order to prove his independence and show that he could be successful and not reliant on his younger brother's largesse. It's also shown that Michael considers Fredo to be the unfavorite of his brothers; Nick Geraci, a Coreleone capo and primary antagonist in the novels, thinks to himself that Fredo's idea has plenty of merit, but that Michael wouldn't give it any consideration just because it was Fredo's.
    • Others outside the immediate Coreleone family, though, consider Fredo to be the most likable. While Sonny had a hairpin trigger, and one always had to be on guard with Tom and Michael for subtle nuances and double meanings, Fredo had the distinction of being both friendly and harmless, the most easily approachable of the Corleones for a drink and casual conversation.
  • Inverted in Jodi Picoult's My Sister's Keeper, where middle child Kate is given the most attention due to her cancer, leaving her older brother Jesse to become a delinquent and her younger sister Anna in question of herself.
  • Samantha in All-American Girl. The younger sister of a beautiful, popular cheerleader and the older sister of a child prodigy genius, she has become the Black Sheep of the family, an artistic loner. Then she becomes the person to get the most attention when she saves the president from an assassination attempt (long story).
  • Inverted in Sense and Sensibility, where the middle child Marianne is her mother's favorite.
    • But played straight elsewhere in the Austenverse; in Pride and Prejudice, there are five sisters. Everyone loves Jane, the eldest, who has the sweetest disposition and prettiest face. Elizabeth, second-eldest, is her father's favorite; Lydia, the youngest, is her mother's. Mary and Kitty, the third and fourth daughters respectively, enjoy no favoritism at all.
  • Invoked in the Deconstructor Fleet fantasy novel Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming, when Azazel decides that the middle son will be the most useful for his purposes because the middle son is the most neglected: The oldest son is the heir, and the youngest son goes on an adventure and thus becomes successful, but the middle son enjoys neither kind of success.
  • The Real Kids Readers book Molly in the Middle deals with Molly, her older sister Tina and younger sister Lucy. Molly's failed attempts to become the oldest, youngest, funniest, loudest, meanest, etc. take up most of the book until she realizes she is the "luckiest" because she doesn't get the disadvantages that come with being the oldest/youngest.
  • Ron Weasley from Harry Potter is constantly overshadowed by his six siblings despite being the second youngest. This changes over the course of the series as he gains credit for his heroics fighting alongside Harry and ultimately probably becomes the most famous member of the Weasley family.
    • As Ron isn't the true middle child, Percy bears some mention. He's sort of the Butt Monkey in earlier books before he turns into a full Jerkass, especially if Fred and George are involved. Everybody admires Bill and Charlie, everybody finds Fred and George fun to be around, Ginny is respected for her ability as a witch (plus she's both the youngest and the only girl) and Ron does get some respect as Harry's best friend and for his later heroics. Percy, on the other hand, gets nothing. Even his boss, Barty Crouch, Sr., calls him by the wrong name to his face! Percy is actually made up to be the favourite in book one, too, but only because he was a prefect.
      • Barty Crouch being unable to remember Percy is "Weasley" and not "Weatherby" is particularly egregious considering he knows his father well, and by name. You have to be pretty forgettable if you're the son of your boss's longtime co-worker and he can't remember your last name.
      • It may well be that Percy is Molly's favorite child, but he's definitely everyone else's least favorite in the family. All of the Weasley kids are smart, and all but Fred and George wound up prefects, so Percy gets no special points for his scholastic abilities but loses them for not being happy-go-lucky, brave and funny like the rest.
  • Greg from Diary of a Wimpy Kid is this trope. How many times do you see Rodrick or Manny (usually Manny) getting the advantage over Greg? Because Rodrick is about 4 years older than Greg (and constantly getting in trouble) and Manny is a baby, they constantly get more attention.
    • Debatably, this is one of the main premises of entire the series, especially the second and third books and movies.
  • The book Half Magic is about four siblings in the 1920s (from oldest to youngest, Jane, Mark, Katharine and Martha) finding a magic nickel that grants wishes by half (like if you wished for an ice-cream sundae, you'd get half an ice-cream sundae, etc.) Since Jane's the oldest, she calls the shots on everything. After Jane, Mark and Martha have already made wishes, gotten themselves into trouble, and figured out how to use the magic charm correctly, Jane pulls an I-get-to-have-the-first-wish after they get back home, and this is what happens:

 Katharine: I don't see why. You always get dibs on first 'cause you're the oldest, and grown-ups always pick Martha, 'cause she's the baby, and Mark has a wonderful double life with all this and being a boy, too! Middle ones never get any privileges at all! Besides, who hasn't had a wish of her own yet? Think back! (Previously, Jane had set a playhouse on fire, Martha had made their cat talk in half-understandable gibberish, and Mark had taken them to a desert.)

  • Abby from The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes has this. Her older twin sisters Eva and Isabel constantly fight and excel in their chosen fields (sport and study, respectively), while her younger brother Alex excels in technological fields, meaning that Abby only gets attention if she goes out of her way to do so — something she doesn't like doing. Not to mention, nobody actually takes any notice of Abby's skill with creative writing.
    • It also turns up in the second book- Eva and Isabel get to go to the school fair by themselves, while Abby has to take Alex with her. Finally, she gets fed up enough to demand that rather than being used as the automatic solution for anything concerning Alex, she gets to ride to the fair with her friends instead. Everyone is very surprised at her demand.
    • She also complains about it while writing about her wish for new rollerblades- Eva and Isabel, as the oldest siblings, get brand new rollerblades, and Alex, as the youngest, also gets new ones as the old ones won't fit. Abby, as the middle child, has to deal with the really shit castoffs.
  • In "Confessions of a Closet Catholic," Justine, known as 'Jussy,' notes that her mother loves her older sister Helena best, her father loves her younger brother Jake best because he is a boy and her mother even loves the French poodle, Bijou, more than her. It is subverted in the end though when her mother tells her that she may understand Helena better because they are alike but she doesn't love her more.
  • In "Oh boy !", Siméon (14 years) is the gifted student, Venise (5 years) is very beautiful, and Morgane (9 years) is "only" a clever girl. People who talk about the fate of the children (they're orphans by the beginning of the book) often forget she exists.
  • In A Mango Shaped Space, a psychiatrist chalks Mia's claims of hearing colors (a real disorder) up to this.
  • Subverted in The Outsiders where Sodapop is well-liked by his brothers and in their little group. However, this status causes him stress because he is the only mediator between Ponyboy and Darry.
  • The Sisters Club played this perfectly straight with the middle sister, Stevie. Her older sister is the actress, and her younger sister is, of course, the cute one.

Live Action TV

  • Stephanie in Full House even had an episode dedicated to her fear that she'd never be as good or loved as her sisters. She has a Imagine Spot where both Donna Jo and Michelle upstage her at everything. (She became an astronaut, went to Mars, and learned to fly. She gets upstaged when DJ went to get the mail and Michelle blinked.) She basically becomes the snarky one in later years to deal with it, like Darlene below.
  • Gary Ewing on Dallas was this in spades. Oldest J.R. was the most like their father and inherited Ewing Oil, Bobby was the most beloved by the family and inherited family ranch Southfork. Gary, who was considered weak by his father, was routinely ignored and when his alcoholism got bad enough in the backstory was effectively cast out of the family. His parents later made amends but still never played any role in the family dynasty.
    • When Jock Ewing died, and the sons met up for the will-reading, J.R. and Bobby each effectively got 50% of the estate while Gary and Jock's illegitimate son Ray just got a lump sum of some money (admittedly millions), but Gary wasn't even allowed access to it unless he could prove he wouldn't squander it.
  • The Brady Bunch: Jan Brady is probably the Trope Codifier. Peter also has moments where he suffers a little ("Cyrano de Brady", for one).
  • Malcolm in the Middle: the eponymous Malcolm had this trope in spades... Except that Lois mistreats all her children and poor Malcolm just got it the worst because she actually cares about his future, due to his high IQ.
      • Also played with, as of Jamie's birth, Reese and Dewey are middle children too, even though only Malcolm gets this treatment.
  • President Bartlet's middle daughter Ellie clearly suffers something like this in The West Wing; she and her father have a difficult relationship, but when pressed Bartlet will angrily deny that he loves one of his children less than the others.
    • Interestingly, he also says that "she's always belonged to Abbey," implying that from his point of view, he's The Unfavorite parent. (They end up having a nice moment at the end of the episode, of course.)
      • Yeah, it seems to depend sort of who you're looking at. Zoey is Jed's favorite, but Ellie is Abbey's. Oldest daughter Liz, married to a guy the family can't stand and a bit of a Stepford Smiler, may in fact be the most neglected by the family.
    • If you take the True Companions of The West Wing to the full nuclear family extent, with President Bartlet and Leo as the parents, Josh is this trope — Toby is the oldest, the best adviser, the only one who's close to being Leo's equal. CJ is the only daughter, whom everyone depends on. Sam is the kind little brother who's always helpful. Charlie is the baby whom every one protects and adores. Set between CJ and Sam, Josh is very much the rambunctious troublemaker who is always being made fun of and scolded. Slightly subverted, however, by the fact that he's actually Leo's favorite.
  • Cory suffers from this every now and then in Boy Meets World. More so early on, before Eric becomes the family screw-up, Morgan falls Out of Focus, and baby Joshua is born.
  • In the beginning of Charmed, Piper suffers from this because Prue was hard working career woman and Phoebe was adventurous. She felt like the peacekeeper and the most normal one. After Prue died, Piper became the oldest and Phoebe became the middle. But, Phoebe still acted like the youngest and Paige acted like the middle child.
    • Averted when their mother visits Piper on her wedding day and says "I always knew you'd be the first to get married. You're the heart of this family, Piper."
  • Darlene from Roseanne was overshadowed by both of her siblings: beautiful and smart Becky, and DJ who was both the baby and the only boy. This largely led to her gothy and cynical demeanor. What subverts this trope, however, is that of the three Connor children, she was the most popular with viewers and had ample screentime as a result.
  • Sue in The Middle. And not just because she has a rather generic name while her siblings are named "Axel" and "Brick"...
  • Kerry in 8 Simple Rules. She feels left out because a)her older sister is popular at school and has more responsibilities that their parents would like her to focus on more, and b)her only younger sibling is also the only son for their parents (their father in particular bonded with him more).
  • Reba presents for this trope Kyra, who's stuck between her older, more popular sister (who has a child of her own, most likely warranting more attention from their parents) and her only younger sibling — the adorable one and only son. Needless to say, she's not happy about this.
  • Addressed in one episode of Life with Derek.
  • Kay Bennett on "Passions" is one. In the shows early years she was always given the shaft by her parents in favor of her newly-discovered cousin Charity Standish and her younger sister Jessica (Noah, the oldest, was away in college.) At one point, her mom uses money Kay saved up for a car and gives it to Charity. She eventually moves out of the house and lives with resident witch Tabitha (who hates the Bennett/Standish family.)
  • Lucy of 7th Heaven says that it's because she's the middle child that she's always left out.
  • Edith Crawley on Downton Abbey, probably has the most extreme case of this seen on television.
  • Randy Taylor on Home Improvement is a male version of Stephanie Tanner and Darlene Conner: a middle child who sometimes feels like an afterthought compared to his popular jock of an older brother and dorky-cute little brother, so he copes by being a smartass. Like Darlene, he was also the most popular of the kids (no doubt due to the explosive popularity of his actor Jonathan Taylor Thomas). The episode "Quibbling Siblings" delved further into this.


  • "What A Crazy World (We're Livin' In)" by skiffle singer Joe Brown plays this trope to the hilt.

Newspaper Comics

  • In For Better or For Worse, Elizabeth feared this after April was born. Ironically, however, it was April who ultimately suffered the most from this, becoming neglected and overlooked because her parents felt ready to 'retire' from being parents — and resented any reminder that they had a daughter who was still dependent on them.
    • There actually is one special in which Elizabeth gets this in spades, from being brushed off to being blamed for April (who was still a toddler at the time) breaking Elly's favourite ornament. When Elizabeth goes sledding and gets lost; a woman named Grace actually inverts this trope by telling her that sometimes, the middle child gets the best because they don't bear the responsibility and and aren't always treated as a baby.
  • Hammie in Baby Blues. See here and here.

Video Games

  • In a way, the second stage of three stage evolution families in Pokémon don't get as much attention as the first and third stage. The first stage is usually a Mascot or Ridiculously Cute Critter, while the final stage has the largest base stat total making it the best choice for actual competitive battling. The second stage in comparison is generally seen as just a stopover before fully evolving.
    • Except for Grovyle; which people often like better than Sceptile (this may be because of the spectacularly Badass Grovyle that is one of the main characters of the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Explorers games). Also Ivysaur but chances are; that was probably because everyone would have complained if Charizard wasn't the tier-three evolution featured in Super Smash Brothers Brawl.
    • Also tends to be avoided in three stage evolutions where one or two of the stages are introduced after the original, in which case the original Pokemon is/are usually the most iconic. Pikachu as compared to Pichu, for example.
  • In Dragon Age II, main character Hawke has two younger siblings: twins Carver (a warrior) and Bethany (a mage). One of them dies early in the game, depending on whether Hawke is a mage or warrior/rogue. Leandra, their mother, reveals that Carver is the older twin, and if he survives, that means both of his siblings are mages and by necessity received more attention from their parents (including a mage father).
    • Even if Hawke isn't a mage, Carver still has a massive chip on his shoulder during the brief time you spend with him, since Hawke is considered a superior fighter.
  • Donald in Magical Diary has this as his major issue. Depending on how the game goes he may decide he's sick of being a screw-up and seek a new identity of his own.
  • Corrin in Fire Emblem Fates is the middle child in both their families, but is widely beloved by all their siblings. Instead, it's the youngest sons Leo of Nohr and Takumi of Hoshido who suffer this. Leo embodies the "feels like an afterthought" aspect, due to Xander and Camilla paying more attention to Corrin and Elise (plus he's an apparently very self-assured Teen Genius, meaning Camilla thinks he can do things on his own), while Takumi embodies the "everyone loves my siblings more, I'm not enough" aspect. Leo can overcome this via supports (and in Birthright by talking to Corrin after they beat him in battle), but Takumi is susceptible to mind control due to the trope and in Conquest, this ultimately leads to his demise.
    • Averted with Boyd in Fire Emblem Tellius. He plays the role of protector to Rolf just as Oscar does, and while Oscar teases him he still treats him like an adult.
    • Also more or less averted by Farina in The Blazing Blade. While she's more outspoken than her responsible and serious older sister Fiora and shy little sister Florina, considering Fiora also acts as a mother figure to her sisters Farina may or may not be a traditional middle child.
    • And mostly averted with Thea from Binding Blade, who instead has a bit of a Big Sister Worship for her older sister/mother figure Juno and is a bit more of a traditional big sister to the youngest of the three, Shanna.
    • Catria seems to have this in New Mystery of the Emblem and in Echoes. One of her talks with Celica implies she doesn't speak up as much as Palla or Est, even when she loves both of them dearly. It gets lampshaded in Fire Emblem: Heroes: her Valentian-inspired alter arrives to the game... and soon Florina mistakes her for Farina.

Web Comics

  • Summer of Moon Over June grew up with three older brothers and three younger brothers. Scientific evidence holds that she probably would have grown up to be a lesbian anyway, but her family situation pushed her into an utter loathing of everything remotely male.
  • Venus Envy has a variation mentioned in the scene where Zoe's brother is forced to talk to her psychiatrist. The psychiatrist theorises that Alex's coming out as Transsexual and becoming Zoe has made her brother feel like he now has a younger sibling instead of an older one, as Zoe now needs more parental care and attention, and her brother can no longer look up to her as an older brother and mentor. The brother vehemently denies this, as "I never looked up to that freak".

Western Animation

  • Animaniacs: Mentioned by Yakko when Wakko was walking down the up Escalator moving staircase
  • While The Powerpuff Girls are triplets and, thus, the same age, Buttercup still falls right into Middle Child Syndrome by being noticeably brattier than Blossom and Bubbles, who in turn behave like an Oldest and Youngest Child respectively.
  • Meg in Family Guy suffers this syndrome (despite being the oldest) and is very lonely and regularly verbally and physically abused by Peter for comedy.
  • Lampshaded in The Simpsons by Lisa: "Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday overlooked middle child, happy birthday to me." In practice, however, she's a subversion: several episodes show her as Homer's Daddy's Girl (He takes her places she likes that he finds boring, helped out with her soccer team, stuff like that). For him, Maggie is more this trope, since there are times he even forgets she exists.

 Marge: We have three kids.

Homer: Marge, the dog doesn't count as a kid.

    • Lampshaded in-universe, when he describes her as "Maggie: the forgotten Simpson."
    • Yet another Maggie example, from "Mother Simpson":

 (Homer is in the Springfield Hall of Records, trying to clarify that he's not dead)

Homer: I don't like your attitude, you water-cooler dictator. What do you have in that secret government file anyway? I have a right to read it.

Bureaucrat: (turns his monitor toward Homer) You sure do.

Homer: (reads) "Wife: Marjorie. Children: Bartholomew, Lisa" — aha! See, this thing is all screwed up! Who the heck is Margaret Simpson?

Bureaucrat: Uh, your youngest daughter.

Homer: (mocking him) "Uh, your youngest daughter."

    • And one more.

 Homer: "I would do anything for Bart and Lisa!"

Social Worker: "And what about Margaret?"

Homer: "Who?"

Marge: "She means Maggie!"

Homer: "Oh. Eh, I got nothing against Maggie."

    • Part of the reason inside and outside the universe may be because Maggie is Not Allowed to Grow Up; so her character is never really allowed to develop beyond "the infant". Although the writers do have some laughs with this, like the time she was shown as an adult. Plus Marge more often than not has to take care of her since, well, she is the baby and needs her mother much more than Bart and Lisa do.
    • Lisa does fit the "doesn't fit in with the family" aspect of this trope quite well, though. Some entire episodes revolve around this fact.
  • Alvin and The Chipmunks: Simon is the middle child, even though Alvin is the most rambunctious he is actually the oldest Simon is smarter and more mature, one episode of the 80's series has Simon feeling he doesn't get as much attention because Alvin is a troublemaker and Theodore is a crybaby, eventually David tells him that he loves them equally but Simon doesn't need as much attention because he's the most mature of them and knows better than they do.
  • In a Daria tie-in book, Jodie's younger sister Rachel seems to have this problem: her older sister is an Extracurricular Enthusiast (unwillingly) and she recently gained a little brother who took away her status as the "baby" of the family.