Lonely Rich Kid

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"Just because she's rich, doesn't mean she doesn't have problems."
—Tony Stark regarding Whitney Stane, Iron Man: Armored Adventures

"You're such a lucky girl," that's what they always say
Rich and beautiful and bright
They don't get to see what's hidden deep inside

So, I feel all alone

A type of Sour Grapes Trope in which wealthy kids are not allowed to have happy lives without the assistance of the plot, instead being made miserable for no particular reason other than having been born to rich parents. The reason being, of course, to show that it sucks to be rich anyway, by demonstrating how rich kids suffer for various reasons that have nothing in particular to do with being rich. That being said, the easiest way for a writer to justify this one is simple: lots of rich parents got that way because they have no life outside of their career, and this means a rich parent cuts back on time with the family. Plus, rich people are inhumanely cold anyway.

If you're under the age of about 20 or so and your parents have a lot of money, it's very likely that you have both of the following problems:

This one-two punch serves to ensure that you are isolated. Depending on how much of the first point is your own fault, this may make you evil. Most likely, though, you just end up being lonely. (This trope seldom overlaps with Royal Brat.)

Many lonely rich kids claim that they don't want to be treated differently from everybody else, which can annoy fans who wonder how they expect to be treated the same as everybody else when they have money flowing out of their upstairs windows. If they start going around claiming they only have friends because they are rich, they can become The Scrappy.

If you have entered this state during the course of the series, you are probably the victim of An Aesop. The writers probably had "appreciate what you have" or "Be Careful What You Wish For" in mind, but the end result is probably a Warped Aesop along the lines of "money makes people jerks" or something. Don't worry, it'll all be over by the end of the episode.

If you've been this character from the moment you were introduced, however, you're probably stuck. But fear not! If this is you, then you exist for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to eventually become close friends with The Hero. At a minimum, the audience will be assured that you're buddies now and that this makes it all better. You're likely to become one of the True Companions, you stand a reasonably good chance of becoming someone's love interest, and if the Five-Man Band has an opening for a Lancer or Smart Guy, consider yourself promoted.

WARNING: This may require you to become a Fallen Princess. Even if you are Rich in Dollars, Poor In Sense, you will probably be treated sympathetically.

In the event that you are The Hero, that's even better—not only will you get the girl and your very own band of True Companions, but your parental problems will probably be solved as well.

If you're young enough, keep an eye out for the Nanny. Many a Magical Nanny specializes in the Lonely Rich Kid; she will cheer you up and either re-engage your parents in your life or else re-engage your father so well that she becomes your stepmother.

If you'd prefer a more proactive method of escaping this situation, you could always try becoming the Alpha Bitch, although this has been known to fail.

Related to I Just Want to Have Friends as the desire the rich kids want fulfilled

Contrast Spoiled Sweet, whose parents are not distant, Heartwarming Orphan.

Examples of Lonely Rich Kid include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Keisaku Satou in Shakugan no Shana. He's not a totally straight example (as he does have a friend in Eita), but otherwise he fits. He's rich as hell, bored and slightly depressed with it, and feels like he has no purpose. Then Margery Daw enters his life, and he falls for her, and unlike Eita, who eventually decides to gracefully decline further service to her mission as a Flame Haze, he still helps her for no benefit to himself, mostly because her presence in his life is removing the "Lonely" from the trope title. In fact, even after she catches on and tries to tell him her Dark and Troubled Past to keep him at arms length, it only draws him closer to her.
    • And in the light novels and the third season of the anime, she eventually breaks down and they become an Official Couple
  • Karen of Yes! Pretty Cure 5. Her parents are always traveling abroad, and she doesn't even get to see them in the Christmas Episode, despite that being the only time they come home. She does have one friend, Komachi, but manages to isolate herself anyway by being resolutely determined not to open up to her or anyone else.
    • Karen's Futari wa Pretty Cure predecessor, Honoka, has a nearly identical backstory, but it takes long enough for the series to get into her head that it's hard to say whether she actually fits the trope.
  • Minto Aizawa from Tokyo Mew Mew, who initially Jumped At the Call but refused the built-in gang of True Companions out of snobbery. She gets better, though, especially when Zakuro shows up and her Fan Girl side kicks in.
  • Christopher "Chris" Thorndyke in Sonic X, even though his grandfather is around most of the time and he has several friends at school.
  • Aversion: Mihama Chiyo out of Azumanga Daioh is shown as by far the richest of the girls, and has other reasons that she'd be isolated ... and is of course one of the happiest and most well-liked of her class. Not insanely happy, but generally cheerful. Granted, the audience never sees her parents, but they're never implied to be gone, just offscreen.
    • Her dad seems to enjoy his life as an extradimensional talking cat secret agent who may or may not be Santa Claus.
  • Extra points for Great Teacher Onizuka. Nanako's parents started out poor and nice and became less pleasant as they got rich. The protagonist solves the family problem without bankrupting them, however. With a sledgehammer.
    • A number of characters including Urumi and Miyabi fit the bill as well. While their parents aren't gone except Urumi, who doesn't know her father as anything more than a sperm donor, they're emotionally detached from them to the point they act out. Granted they have more issues than just this trope, but GTO prefers a cornucopia of issues for its characters.
  • Murasaki Kujoin from Kure-nai is born into a very rich family, but at the cost of being locked away from the outside world for the rest of her life to eventually bear her older brother's children.
  • Kaito Doumoto of Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch is popular at school and has an Instant Fanclub, and hides his lonely brooding behind the mask of a carefree joker instead of a standoffish loner like most of these examples. His parents died in a storm at sea, leaving him with a vast amount of money, and he doesn't like to talk about it. It's only Lucia's perseverance and his growing suspicion that she might be the mermaid he's looking for that allows him to eventually open up to her.
  • Mawata Awayuki from the anime Prétear is a subversion of sorts, in that at first she seems to be lonely for no particular reason: her family is with her, but she distances herself from them; she is popular at school, but doesn't seem to have close friends. It's only later in the series that the real reasons for her loneliness are revealed—not only she was quite affected by her father's demise when she was a little girl, she just doesn't think people can understand her true feelings, and so is unwilling to open up to anyone. Of course, her issues remain unnoticed long enough to turn into a real problem, when the Big Bad seizes her and turns her into a Dark Magical Girl.
  • Tianzi from Code Geass. Being the figurehead Empress of China meant that she was like a bird in a Gilded Cage, except the cage was the Imperial Palace and she couldn't properly rule over her country, which was oppressed by her Evil Chancellors (who also wanted to either marry her off to a much older man or get her killed and replaced. Still, she had a devoted protector in The Ace of the series whom she once saved from execution, so...
  • Both Ami Mizuno and Rei Hino in Sailor Moon (specially the manga), until they join the Senshi.
  • The entire main cast of the anime Special A qualifies thanks to various relationship traumas during their childhood.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED's Ace Pilot and Big Brother Mentor Mu La Flaga was one of these as a child, courtesy of being rejected and disowned by his father, who had himself cloned in order to produce a more worthy heir. Also, Flay Alster starts as one of them, as her father George is an important politician whom she barely gets to see and her mother died when she was a little girl.
  • Ai Shinozaki, the Tall, Dark and Bishoujo Ojou from Hell Teacher Nube. Lampshaded when she reveals her loneliness that led her to be possessed by a demon to Makoto and Nuubee and says it's one of the reasons is how she can't make true friends.
  • Relena Darlian from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing is quite popular at her high-class school but doesn't seem to have any real friends at first, just admirers and would-be suitors. She seems to be aware of her Lonely Rich Kid condition, too, and while she's polite to the other kids she doesn't approach them either. Even her beloved father is (unwillingly) distant due to his extremely demanding job. At first, her only friend seems to be her grandfatherly butler/chauffeur Pagan... until she meets The Stoic Hitman with a Heart protagonist and her life starts changing.
  • Hazuki Fujiwara from Ojamajo Doremi. Her father is a famous movie director and her mother is a popular fashion designer, but as much as they do genuinely care for her, they're so absorbed in their work that Hazuki's more usual companions are her landlady and the other Ojamajo.
    • The local Alpha Bitch, Reika Tamaki, also hits this trope to some degree. Her dad spoils her because he doesn't want to make her cry, but that shapes her into a spoiled Alpha Bitch who has a complete emotional meltdown when she starts doubting if her dad really loves her.
    • But averted with Onpu Segawa, who, when confronted with an empty house and a cold plate of plastic-wrapped food(on Christmas!) just went out to have fun with the other girls.
  • Eri Sawachika from School Rumble is an archetypical example (as well as an archetypical Tsundere, and The Ojou.)
  • Nagi Sanzennin from Hayate the Combat Butler pretty much gets hit full force by all aspects of this trope. Her parents are mentioned sometimes, but are practically nonexistent (both of them died when she was little). She's hesitant to even go outside her own house because every time she does, somebody tries to kidnap her for her wealth. Pretty much her only friends are fellow Lonely Rich Kids, the servants she keeps around (including Hayate), and her pet tiger Tama.
    • Athena Tennos is another, specially in her backstory More exactly, when she kicks Hayate out after their fight, but almost immediately falls into despair due to being magically locked in a Gilded Cage-like mansion.
  • Amy from IGPX, although later her parents manage to make time for her.
  • Himeko Shirogane/Princess from Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z.
  • The F4 boys from Hana Yori Dango display this trope in very different ways.
  • Sumire Kanzaki in Sakura Taisen. Her father and grandfather were so absorbed into work that she was left emotionally scarred and doubtful about their love for her. Reversed later, when her dad appears and is revealed to be a rather decent guy otherwise and even apologizes to Sumire for not being able to spend more time with her. She forgives him..
    • However, there's a rich kid who's even more lonely in the group: Vicomtesse Iris Chateaubriand. Her parents were so scared of her enormous Psychic Powers that they locked her away in her fancy bedroom, and her only company were her dolls and teddies until Ayame Fujieda recruited her; Iris became extremely withdrawn and scared of everyone as a consequence, holding on her teddybear Jean-Claude as a Security Blanket. The anime episode where her backstory is revealed and the troupe struggles to give Iris her first birthday party ever is one of the biggest Tear Jerkers in the series.
  • In Captain Tsubasa, El Si Pierre is the son of a French nobleman and tycoon who is not willing to have others treating him like a a frail White Prince, like it happened in his early years (some manga panels show young Pierre sitting with his books while the kids around him seem too scared to get close). So, to prove to others that he's just like them and he doesn't want any privileges, Pierre starts practising soccer.
    • Similarly, Mark Owairan is a real Arabian prince who spent several years locked inside his father's palace and discovered soccer only when he went out of his Gilded Cage with his bodyguards and saw a bunch of children playing in the streets. He's so fascinated that he begins training and playing, rising to the top thanks to his own merits and not to his family's influences.
  • Tatsuki Iizuka from Hyakko.
  • This is Rich Bitch Mayu Miyuki's Freudian Excuse in Ai Yori Aoshi.
  • Kunugi-tan from Binchou Tan.
  • Kuno from Ranma ½ could be considered a bizarre variation even though he's rarely sympathetic. He lives in a mansion occupied by no one but his sister Kodachi and only has one unpaid servent (and only in the anime). He's estranged from his dad, behaves in a Outdated fashion, and appears to have no real friends.
  • Isabella from Paradise Kiss was raised by her butler, and also had the issues you'd expect from a little Ojou trapped in a little rich boy's body.
  • The truth is that most to all of the Ushiromiya cousins from Umineko no Naku Koro ni probably could qualify for this - they all (except for George, and even he runs into some issues when he wants to marry Shannon) seem to have rather strained relationships with their parents, who in turn have issues with their own father. However, as far as outright Parental Abandonment is concerned, Ange probably gets the truckload - by the time we meet her, her entire family save one is dead.
    • And said remaining relative, George's Rich Bitch mother Eva, was hardly the best caregiver, due to Bernkastel's intervention and her Silent Scapegoat position. Ange is also very isolated at school; unusually, it's not so much because she's rich (since it's a boarding school for rich girls), but because her classmates don't like her gloomy personality.
  • Serge Battour in Kaze to Ki no Uta, who is also a Heartwarming Orphan. His love interest Gilbert is also one of these, but that's the least of his problems.
  • In Tona Gura, Nina Isokawa is a sweet but annoying example, and as a result is very devoted to her friends, the Arisakas and Kaguras. Her extreme early-bloomer bustiness freaks Yuuji out, but at no time does he try and exploit her obvious crush on him. Her Genki Girl nature always freaks Marie out.
  • Usami from Junjou Romantica, until meeting Hiroki. His mother is shown as highly distant, father more or less not present, and his half-brother constantly jealous of him.
    • Misaki says to him "You've got the typical rich boy complex. Am I right? You grew up with a father who was never home and abandoned his parental responsibilities, while your mother indulged herself in her own hobbies. Thus, in your loneliness, you found companionship in my older brother who was in the same boat. You lived life without ever finding true understanding, and hence you strayed from the right path, but found nothing but more loneliness. And on top of that, you own a red sports car and a longhaired dog named Alexander!" To which Usagi replies, "How did you know?"
  • Mikawa Kai of Seto no Hanayome.
  • James in Pokémon has this as part of his Backstory - he grew up in the lap of luxury, but only had a Growlithe for a friend. He eventually ran away to escape an Arranged Marriage.
  • Chise Umenomori from Mayoi Neko Overrun.
  • Takiko Okuda aka Genbu no Miko from Fushigi Yuugi Genbu Kaiden.
    • Also Hotohori, as the son of the former Emperor of Konan and his mistress/the local Gold Digger. He later is orphaned and becomes The Emperor himself, which makes him even lonelier - so he latches on the legend of the Suzaku No Miko and falls for Miaka when she treats him as a person and not as the leader of the country.
  • Hiroko "Hiro-chan" Kaizuka from Narutaru is particularly a tragic case. Her parents cared more for her grades in school than her emotional well-being (although her bullies wanted to lower her learning curve) and her father cut ties with her only friends. So it's no wonder the girl snapped once they and her bullies broke her and she went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge and kills both her parents and her bullies.
  • Sanka Rea of Sankarea has a massive list of problems. It says a lot that dying and coming back as a zombie is an improvement.
  • An episode of the first Detective Conan season brings up the kidnapping and murder of a highschool girl named Naoko Takei, who happened to be Shinichi and Ran's classmate. She was the shy and quiet daughter of a Corrupt Corporate Executive, and in one of the dubs Shinichi/Conan literally refers to her as "that poor little rich girl". It turns out Naoko is alive; her captor was her dad's Sexy Secretary Akiko Hanai, who never intended to kill her... but wanted to punish Mr. Takei, who drove her dad to kill himself, her mother, and her little brother Masahito after causing the family's monetary ruin. Takei was actually such a Jerkass that he didn't really care for poor Naoko's safety, having given a ransom money that was all fake... which Akiko brutally calls him out on when she tries to kill him and herself as revenge. She even states that she probably would've abandoned the whole plan if he had cared enough to use real money. And in a glorious payback moment, as soon as she was released Naoko ignored her father calling out to her, ran to Akiko and forgave her for everything, leaving Takei with his hands empty.
    • Shinichi himself may count to a degree. His parents do love him, but they spend much more time in the USA than in Japan and, until he got shrunk and went to live with the Mouris, they left him alone in their Big Fancy House.
  • Oz from Pandora Hearts is this in spades.
  • Usui from Kaichou wa Maid-sama.
  • Tamaki from Ouran. Double because he's an Heroic Bastard as well.
  • Tomoko Saeki's Freudian Excuse in DNA² is how she's the richest girl at school, but is also desperately lonely. Not helped by how her mother died when she was a child, her dad works abroads, and her boyfriend Ryuuji is a Jerkass.
  • Farnese from Berserk. Her older siblings were generations apart, her father was always away on business, and her mother took no role in parenting since she was always out partying. Thus, Farnese developed some, problems (and urges) due to a sense of Parental Abandonment, and would terrorize her servants and kill pets that didn't reach her expectations. This wasn't made any better when she was given a military position whose purpose was to burn people at the stake...
  • Syaoran from Cardcaptor Sakura.
  • Yukio from Bleach. Doubling as a Cute Psycho.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Several comic book characters, including but not limited to Bruce Wayne and Charles Xavier.
    • And in Smallville, Lex Luthor.
    • But not Tony Stark, who grew up surrounded by social types and was quite the unrepentant ladies' man once grown to adulthood.
  • DC Comics example—Tim Drake, the third Robin, had exactly this kind of 'rich kid abandoned' childhood, at least up until the part where his father died and Bruce Wayne finally adopted him. But even before that, it took 125 issues of his solo title before his father finally noticed that his son was leading a double life, and even then he practically had to be handed the revelation on a silver platter by the plot.
    • And that was after their relationship improved. Initially Tim's parents paid him so little attention that he focused on Batman (who he had seen exactly once, to boot) as a parental substitute.
  • Cecilia from Yoko Tsuno, a sheltered and naive Scottish noblewoman who was pretty much locked away in the family castle after the death of her mother.
  • Gemini Storm has Julia Hamilton, so lonely she doesn't know anyone who attends her birthday parties.
  • Lord Snooty in his first The Beano strip - then he slipped away from Bunkerton Castle and made friends with the Ash Can Alley Gang.

Fan Works[edit | hide]


Film[edit | hide]

  • Jenny from Oliver and Company. Her parents were too busy to come home for her birthday, but when Jenny met Oliver and took him in, she perks up.
  • Eric from The Toy is a lonely kid deep down, but it's hard to notice that since he tries to get attention by acting like a horrible little bastard.
  • Ridley in Diary of the Dead
  • The movie version of Richie Rich.
  • Jane and Michael Banks in Mary Poppins
  • Kiara from The Lion King 2
  • In the movie Arthur, Arthur Bach is a Lonely Rich Kid despite not physically being a kid.
  • Lucas in the film of the same name paints himself as this, explaining that his parents are "superficial" people who take no interest in him, don't meet with other parents, and don't want him inviting friends over or giving out his phone number. At the end, one of his friends reveals that he lives in a trailer with an alcoholic father.
  • In The Last Emperor, Pu Yi who has the eponymous title cannot leave the Forbidden City despite being curious about the outside world; his tutor R.J. said, "I think the Emperor is the loneliest boy on earth."
  • In one of the Eloise movies, Eloise befriends a child at the plaza named Leon, who is actually a prince. He isn't used to having friends because royalty and his father isolated him, so in an effort to keep friends he does not reveal his status to Eloise.
  • Deconstructed in That Championship Season. Phil was this as a kid, and now is almost 40 but he still doesn't know if people like him for who he is or for his money.
  • Unlike the Complete Monster he was in the comics, Red Mist from Kick-Ass was played more sympathetically with this trope.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Teen Genius Villain Protagonist Artemis Fowl fits this quite well, though his lack of friends seems to be by choice, and his Parental Abandonment is actually remedied as the series goes on.
    • Played straight in the beginning of the Artemis Fowl series, but increasingly averted as the series progresses. Oh yes, and the reason he was hunting fairies in the first place was to rebuild the lost family fortune, for the expressed purpose of locating his missing father. Which he finally succeeds at in the Arctic Incident.
  • Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye.
  • Prince Brat in the novel The Whipping Boy.
  • Chance the Gardener in Being There is a variation. He was raised by a wealthy man but was forcibly confined to the townhouse all his life due to his mental retardation. So as the story opens, Chance is middle-aged but otherwise he fits the trope: he's attended to by a maid; he spends his days eating, sleeping, tending to a garden, and watching television; and he has no friends. Perhaps luckily, the poor guy doesn't know he's not living a normal life. When he's forced to leave the house after the master's death, he winds up befriending and enriching the lives of Eve and Ben Rand, a married couple who also serve as adult versions of this trope.
  • In Hating Alison Ashley Erica, already dissatisfied with her middle-class family, is very jealous of the rich new girl, Alison Ashley. It takes her the whole book to realise that maybe having parents who bother to turn up to the school play you are starring in is more important than a fancy house and your own room.
  • Terisa Morgan in Mordant's Need.
  • Alek, prince of the Austria-Hungary empire in Leviathan.
  • Lila Fowler of the Sweet Valley High series is normally proud of her status as the richest girl in town and unafraid to flaunt how awesome and cool she is, but she's had her moments of crying over how she hardly ever sees her busy, emotionally distant father and has a Missing Mom and being envious of the Wakefield twins for having the perfect family.
  • Hanno Buddenbrook in Thomas Mann's Buddenbrooks.
  • Colin from The Secret Garden.
  • This trope is used a lot in Harry Potter.
    • Harry himself - he's very wealthy, but the tragedy just rolls on and on and on, especially when it comes to Parental Abandonment. Not only do ALL his parental figures end up dead, but his illusions about them are also shattered. Poor Harry's forced to face their past sins and suffer for them even when they don't seem bothered by them at all.
    • Sirius Black - also from a very wealthy family, but clearly had a terrible home life and ended up running away at the age of 16. His Heterosexual Life Partner is murdered when they're still very young and he spends almost his entire adult life in prison for the murder, even though he didn't commit it. And then he dies. Judging from the memories Harry sees, he had a cruel streak and helped his best friend bully other students, and apparently his popularity was primarily based in shallowness and his friendship with James. We also know that he didn't trust Lupin during their years in the Order together, and that no one, including Dumbledore, argued in his defense when he was arrested for James' murder. This implies that James was his only true friend until after he escaped Azkaban. There certainly didn't seem to be anyone else in his life that he could rely on.
      • It's not that no one spoke up in his defence - it's that no one got the chance. Barty Crouch ordered Sirius sent to Azkaban without a trial, so Sirius had no chance to say it was Pettigrew who betrayed them. Dumbledore also probably didn't know Sirius was innocent in the first place - his actions in book 3 imply that Sirius' story was all new to him, and Sirius and the Potters told no one else they switched Secret Keepers. All we know for sure is that Dumbledore first cast the charm that made Sirius the Secret Keeper, but he wasn't necessarily involved in changing the Secret Keeper to Pettigrew.
    • Draco Malfoy - despite being a racist bully, it can't be denied that he gets most of that smugness battered out of him in the later books. Parental abandonment in the form of imprisonment, and he never seems to have any close friends that he considers his equal.
  • Danny Saunders in The Chosen isn't rich but he does have a prestigous father and he is the ultimate in loneliness.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Logan Echolls from Veronica Mars.
  • Dr. Robert Chase from House.
  • Brett Aspinall from Waterloo Road, at least when he was first introduced.
  • Greg from Dharma and Greg had this kind of childhood.
  • As mentioned, most of the F4 from Hana Yori Dango, despite the fact that their mutual friendship would seem to make them immune from the loneliness aspect.
  • Olive Snook from Pushing Daisies had this type of childhood.
  • This was how Summer Landsdown from Power Rangers RPM was until her butler died in her arms trying to get into the city of Corinth.
  • Leonard Hofstadter from The Big Bang Theory also had this kind of childhood.
  • Sylvester Le Fey and Lady Cutler's son Benjamin, in the Jonathan Creek episode "The Scented Room". His parents were constantly fighting, fired the nanny because she was "spoiling" him, and were so clueless about the concept of "fun" that when he said he wanted a treehouse, they built him one with an elevator, so he wouldn't spoil his clothes. When he restores the stolen painting, Maddie suggests to Lady Cutler that he could use her reward money to buy something he really needed ... like a life.
  • Elliot Reed from Scrubs. At least she had a Hispanic nanny to give her "cheer-up hugs"?
  • Really, three out of four members of Gossip Girls Non-Judging Breakfast Club could qualify. Nate might be an arguable case, since at least his mom seems to have been the stay-at-home type even if she's not exactly Mother Of The Year. But Blair's father left her to move to France with his gay lover and her mother was absent a lot (and when present, drove Blair to an eating disorder), and Chuck's father kind of hated him for having killed his mother.
  • Steve Wilde from Running Wilde was not only a lonely rich kid, he grew into a lonely rich adult.
  • Martin from the Swedish TV series Ebba och Didrik.
  • Stevie Van Lowe on The Parkers had this type of childhood. She frequently says that the help were better parents than her own mom and dad who didn't spend any time with her. She's quite bitter about it and would have been a Rich Bitch if she didn't have her friends and school to fall back on.
  • Henry Mills from Once Upon a Time is described by Regina as "not having any friends and being kind of a loner."


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Ijuuin Enzan (Eugene Chaud) of Mega Man Battle Network gets this treatment in the third game, where his heartfelt, touching moment at the end was... being allowed to eat with his father. Actually, he rarely mentions any angst over it and, normally, is seemingly himself too busy to care that his father is wrapped up being the CEO of the biggest technology corporation ever, and the game makes it perfectly clear that his lack of friends is due more to his being a combination of The Rival, Aloof Big Brother and Serious Business. Ayanokouji Yaito aka Yai, likewise, seems to have an army of young maids (and her Navi) as her only company and we never see her parents once in three fairly long-running forms of media. She seems well adjusted enough, if a bit bratty and spoiled, and indeed is one of the original True Companions. So there's two aversions, "I can eat with you?" notwithstanding.
  • For all her academic and Shadow-fighting prowess, Mitsuru Kirijo of Persona 3 seems to be somewhat cursed socially. She and her father rarely talk, she rarely has any free time whatsoever, she takes the burden of guilt for her grandfather's creation of the Shadow threat, and her sheltered upbringing means she's often lost in everyday situations others take for granted. It's no wonder she collapses after her father is murdered by Ikutsuki.
  • Nanjou Kei in Persona—the only person in his household who ever paid attention to him was his butler, Yamaoka who dies while protecting him very early on in the game.
  • Flora from the Professor Layton series. Both her rich parents died and she lives on top of a tower where no one dares to go.
  • Elise in Sonic the Hedgehog less so,but Chris in Sonic X is a particularly annoying and notable example.
  • Luca Milda from Tales of Innocence. The loneliness is more a result of his reserved, introverted personality and not that much of his financial status.
    • In contrast, Richard from Tales of Graces is a prince, and is implied to be very lonely. His very first scene begins with him rejecting the kind invitation of children his age, believing that like everyone else, they only want to hurt him. Of course, The Power of Friendship changes him very early.
  • Etoile of Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure
  • Yusuf Amir from Grand Theft Auto IV is a rare adult example. He is rich enough to own a gold plated attack helicopter and live in the lap of disgusting luxury. But one gets the impression that at heart, he is an awkward man who yearns for a good friend and all his antics are his way to show that he is a cool guy.
  • In a New Game+ for Eien no Aselia you learn that big bad(ish) Shun was one of these. It explains a lot.
  • Prince Lyon from Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. When he met the teenaged Eirika and Ephraim, he specifically mentions that he doesn't have friends.
  • In the Visual Novel Katawa Shoujo Shizune is revealed to be one of these in her route. A combination of her deafness and her Abusive Dad mean that she actually has a very difficult time making friends and forming relationships with other people. One of the main reasons she joins the Student Council was so that she could do things around the school to make people happy so that people would like her but in the end, her own competivness and awkwardness end up driving nearly the everyone else on the council, including her cousin Lilly, away.
  • Yukkuri Panic Escalation has the viewpoint character, Rie.

Web Comic[edit | hide]

  • Parodied in this Sluggy Freelance strip.
  • Head cheerleader Alexandra King from Cheer. Makes her cling fiercely to to her fellow cheerleaders now and implied to be what made her a bullying Jerk Jock back when she was a boy.
  • In Tales of the Questor, Rahan, Quentyn's childhood bully and minor nemesis, is implied to be this, despite his toadies and hangers-on.
  • Mia of Tnemrot is ignored by her father and so isolated the only friend she has is a teenage boy she met the day before. Despite this, she has no problems with sending him into a fight to the death.
  • Niccolo in Boy Aurus due to his father's riches being from organized crime.
  • Ashley Madder in Tales Of Gnosis College has a wealthy (and thuggish) Senator for a father who regards her as an ornament to his political career. She seems to have trouble making real friends and acts out.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Jonas from Lonelygirl15. He lives in a big house, which he has all to himself, because his parents vanished at sea. He has no close friends prior to meeting the protagonists, and you get the impression that he's very lonely. He soon joins their circle of friends and becomes both a central character and a love interest for another central character.
  • Seiki from Sailor Nothing lost his parents at an early age, and is now pathologically afraid of being alone. He isn't a loner, but otherwise fits the trope to a tee.
  • Cassidy Cain in Grandmaster of Theft fits. Her own is self-inflicted by her perfectionism, choosing to spend far more time worrying about self-mastery needed to be a Magnificent Bitch than getting close to many people.
  • The Nostalgia Chick grew up in the richer part of Tennessee and got spoiled enough to become a bit of a Gold Digger, but she was also felt isolated and abused.
  • The Nostalgia Critic has plenty of money and whines all the time after Christmas because he didn't get one specific pressie out of millions, but his childhood, while over the top, is practically built out of Adult Fear.


Music[edit | hide]


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Remy Buxaplenty from The Fairly OddParents counts. In fact, his workaholic and billionaire parents's EXTREME neglection of him is Remy's Freudian Excuse as well as the reason why he's got a fairy godfather in the first place.
  • In The Simpsons, Mr. Burns is shown in flashbacks to have been offered the choice between warm, loving parents or a heartless billionaire. He chose the billionaire, making him a Lonely Rich Kid by choice.
    • In the episode "Burns' Heir," Bart went through the temporary version.
  • Whitney Stane from Iron Man: Armored Adventures fits both main types perfectly. She has a terrible relationship with her busy CEO father (commenting she has to now make appointments just to see him) and being an outcast at the school she goes to. Her only real friend is Tony Stark, who would often brush her off until he found out just how bad her home life was.
  • Mai from Avatar: The Last Airbender, whose dark view of the world and emotional repression are results of a combination of this, her mother's obsession with etiquette and respectability, and becoming an Unfavorite after her brother Tom Tom is born. One of her few close friends is the horrifically evil Azula. At least, until she turns her back on her.
    • Fortunately, one benefit of a Heel Face Turn is acquiring lots of new friends.
    • Supplementary information indicates that not only Toph Beifong was kept hidden from the world and confined to her parent's estate, but her parents left the bulk of her actual care/interaction to servants. No wonder she sneaked out enough to become defending champion at the local pitfights.
    • Zuko. Zuko. Zuko. Zuko. Zuko. Enough said.
  • From Adventure Time, we have Princess Bubbegum's son, Lemongrab. He's royal, lives in a castle (presumably very wealthy), and completely socially isolated. Apparently, Princess Bubblegum stuck him in a place called "Castle Lemongrab" after she made him. He's the result of a science experiment gone wrong, and has more than a few mental and emotional "quirks," to put it nicely. He doesn't have any friends, he's almost always unhappy (unless he's eating a particularly good meal,) and doesn't get along with anybody. Presumably, this is an exceedingly lonely lifestyle that has a very negative effect on him.
  • Alexis on Legion of Super Heroes is an unapologetically spoiled Rich Bitch celebrity who seems to hate other kids as much as they hate her. Still, she confesses to Superman that she just wants to have friends and be normal, not the richest girl in the galaxy. It turns out she really never learned to take 'no' for an answer, though: When Superman makes it clear he can't just drop everything and spend time with her whenever she wants, she figures the solution is donning a suit of Powered Armor to kill all of Superman's friends in the Legion to eliminate the competition. And then, in the end, she realizes that she doesn't want to be normal after all, and that being a supervillain is her true calling. Er, yay for a happy ending? It's shown on her prison uniform the name Luthor.
  • In one episode of Jimmy Neutron, Jimmy changed the past so that his parents became rich, but it turned out they never paid any attention to him once they had money, so he went back to the past and undid the change.
  • In Sonic X, Chris believes himself to be one, despite still having friends and his grandpa around. Such a self-deprecating attitude made him The Scrappy in the fandom.
  • South Park gives a variant with Token, who went through one episode feeling lonely because he lacked any black rich friends he could relate to. He eventually realized that the other South Park kids still liked him anyway.
  • Jordan Hill from Batman the Animated Series is the son of Gotham City's major, and his dad is so into his politics that he even used the kid's birthday bash as a political reunion. Jordan is so upset that he hides in the truck of the clown that the Hills hired for entertainment... not knowing that said clown was than The Joker under a disguise.
  • Eric from Dungeons and Dragons is hinted to have been like this in the past. Might explain quite a bit of his behavior, if you look at it closely.
  • Eddie from Class of 3000. "A Richer Shade of Blue" pretty much sums it up.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Sadly, this can be Truth in Television for some (though certainly not all) children from wealthy families. Think about it - Your parents are affluent or at least upper-middle-class, but the reason they are is because of how hard they work. If they're working almost literally all day, even when they're home, that can sometimes mean they have little time for you/and your sibling(s). Thus, this trope.
  • Barbara "Poor Little Rich Girl" Hutton is the Trope Codifier.
  • Christina Onassis, daughter and heiress of the Onassis fortune. Brother died early, mother killed herself, dad married Jackie Kennedy (whom she hated) and later died. In the end, she became a successful businesswoman but her lonely childhood made her an horribly love starved Broken Bird, and died at age 37 because of drug abuse.
  • Poor Suri Cruise. When she celebrated her fifth birthday, her parents had to invite staff because no other child came.
  • Every single children of royalty and nobility up to the 1950s, as per the usual childrearing practices of the time. After birth, the baby is immediately fobbed off to an army of nannies, wet nurses, tutors, etc. and you only really met your parents on special occasions.