Massive-Numbered Siblings

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search

Lor: I've got 13 brothers. They have their own [basketball] league.
Tino: I thought you have 14 brothers.

Lor: Huh? Oh, yeah! I forgot to count one of the Dannys.
"My grandmother had nine children, those nine children gave her 40 grandchildren (of which I'm one), and so far we've given her 87 great-grandchildren- NO NO, Don't applaud, it's revolting! We're like a Tumor! Every two years we have to have a family reunion... to Ward against incest"

This is when a family has five or more children under the same roof. The parents will probably be Happily Married and have usually bred like rabbits. Sometimes they are the collective root of The Clan; other times, at least some of the children are from previous relationships. Expect this to be a noisy, rowdy clan as a whole. Also, this family will probably be portrayed in a positive light.

If this trope intersects with the Badass Family trope, be very afraid. But it's more often Played for Laughs.

For some reason, a popular subject for Reality TV shows—probably because this is extremely rare nowadays. In older works, it sometimes just happens in passing. In the same way, older works had tropes like "the seventh son of a seventh son is always some kind of Chosen One", and this wasn't some phenomenon that's extremely rare to begin with, the way it is now.

In older works, this is generally seen as something great - but as said, nowadays it's more a comedy trope. It was also common for the siblings in older works to be all female, with their parents disappointed that they weren't getting the son they wanted no matter how often they tried.

Inexplicably Identical Individuals overlaps with this. Contrast Only Child Syndrome.

Examples of Massive-Numbered Siblings include:

Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • The Wong-Chang-Lee brothers (and sister May) from Daphne in Brilliant Blue are all siblings by one Mother. "I am the son of our mother's 4th Husband...."
  • Brock from Pokémon and his Brocklings. Brock, himself, his younger brother, Forrest, and the others; Salvadore, Yolanda, Tommy, Cindy, Suzie, Timmy, Billy and Tilly, the latter two being toddler-aged twins.
    • In Japanese, the younger 9 all have number-based names.
  • Jushiro Ukitake from Bleach is the eldest of eight children and uses his position as Captain of the 13th Division to support all of them.
  • Baku's family in the anime Onegai My Melody: the sibs actually have numbers as names.
  • Wataru Minakami in Sister Princess discovers that he has twelve sisters that he never knew about before (though some may not really be his sisters).
  • Millie Thompson from Trigun has at least three older sisters, three older brothers, and several younger siblings. The actual number of siblings she has is not very clear, particularly in the anime. At one point she proclaims to Wolfwood she has ten brothers and sisters - and as she drops her pudding to hold her fingers up, he mutters, "Lemme guess, you're the youngest", to which she responds with an astonished, "How did you know?!?" But when she writes a letter to her family, she only counts off six siblings before getting into names, and Meryl implies that the named people are her nieces and nephews.
  • Oz, the demon king of Hell in the manga The Demon Ororon, has seven sons, of whom only four are named: Othello, Oscar, Olga, and the titular Ororon.
  • If you extend this to half-siblings then Code Geass counts. Six of Lelouch's siblings have parts in the story from fairly minor roles (Clovis and Odysseus) to moderate (Cornelia) to quite major (Nunnally, Euphemia and Schneizel). Lelouch was the 11th born and 17th in the line of succession at the time of his mother's death, so he had at least 10 elder siblings at that point, with the possibility of still more being born in the seven years between then and the start of the main story. The exact number of children fathered by Charles Zi Britannia on his 108 wives is never stated, but since Nunnally, Lelouch's full blooded younger sibling, was 87th in line to the throne,[1] so he may have close to or over 100 children.
  • Barron from Bakugan Battle Brawlers certainly qualifies. He's eager to move out of his parents' house because there's no room left.
  • Ringo in Hime Chen! Otogi Chikku Idol Lilpri has 7 younger identical brothers named, interestingly enough, after the days of the week.
  • Even though Ueda from Japan Inc says he has eight siblings, seven of whom are sisters, we only directly meet him.
  • Like the Code Geass example, Ling Yao and May Chang, in Fullmetal Alchemist, are two of fifty children of the Emperor of Xing to his many wives of each clan.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • If you extend this trope to siblings by adoption, if someone was to count up all the "Batkids" you'd realize that Batman has quite a few "kids", even if only four are legally related to him and only one is his biological son. There's been at least five Robins so far, one of which (Stephanie Brown) was also a Batgirl, and five different characters who have held the title of Batgirl at various times in the main continuity. So That's Dick, Barbara, Jason, Helena Bertinelli, Tim, Cassandra, Stephanie, Damian (and Damian's yet to be born clone). Then there's also Jean-Paul, Helena Wayne, Terry, Matt and Maxine, Carrie, Mari Grayson, Bette Kane, Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe and probable several more we don't know about yet. For a loner, Bruce has a lot of "kids."
  • The Guthrie Family in X-Men has 12 kids... several of whom are mutants (Sam, Paige, Jay, Melody (depowered), and Jeb). At least one of the sisters has been explicitly stated to not be a mutant, and was unhappy with it.
  • The entire premise of Dynamo 5 from Image Comics is that the team is made up of half-siblings, the five superpowered illegitimate children of the deceased (and philandering) superhero, Captain Dynamo. The villainess Synergy also turns out to be another of Captain Dynamo's out-of-wedlock children.
  • Lille Skutt in Bamse is a rabbit, and when his childhood is described we are told that he left home early because "rabbits have children often and they have many children" - his parents basically had a new litter, and Lille Skutt was the smallest of septuplets in his litter, so they were running out of space and presumably carrots. (Lille Skutt himself only has one kid, though.)
  • The Destine family from ClanDestine. At least eighteen siblings known for sure, and probably quite a few more. The parents are immortal and have been married for roughly eight hundred years, which might have something to do with it.


Fairy Tales and Folklore[edit | hide]


Film -- Animated[edit | hide]


Film -- Live-Action[edit | hide]


Literature[edit | hide]

  • A lot of Diana Wynne Jones' work feature siblings, but the Dark Lord of Derkholm books have it topped with Derk and Mara having two human children (Blade and Shona), five magically engineered griffins who share their DNA (Kit, Callette, lyddia, Don, and Elda) and in the sequel two Winged Humanoid children.
  • The original book Cheaper By the Dozen, which inspired the various film incarnations, was an autobiographical account of the authors' childhood; their parents had twelve children.
  • There are seven Weasley siblings in Harry Potter: Bill, Charlie, Percy, Fred, George, Ron, and Ginny. When you add that Harry is all but adopted and Hermione spends practically every holiday with them and that both eventually marry into the family...
    • Bill and Charlie have moved out of the house by the time the story starts, and eventually Percy, Fred, and George move out over the course of the books as well. However, since all but Percy become involved in the Order of the Phoenix, they visit a lot as well.
    • It's implied in the first book that having large families may be something of a Weasley tradition. Draco Malfoy notes that his father told him that all Weasleys have red hair "and more children than they can afford."
  • Fëanor and Nerdanel in The Silmarillion have seven sons - the largest recorded number of children for an Elven family: Maedhros, Maglor, Celegorm, Caranthir, Curufin and the twins Amrod and Amras.
  • The Stanton family in The Dark Is Rising. Will is the youngest of twelve, and it's revealed that his parents' first child, Tom, died shortly after birth or was stillborn - which allowed Will to be the seventh son of a seventh son (his dad also had a large family).
  • Mallory's family in The Baby Sitters Club.
  • The author of The Baby-Sitters Club, Ann M. Martin, “loves big families” and has written two novels about another one: Ten Kids, No Pets and Eleven Kids, One Summer.
  • In Discworld, Nanny Ogg is the matriarch of a clan like this, having birthed fifteen children. Then again, by the time she's a main character the Massive-Numbered Siblings have all grown up and moved out, but they still merit a mention.
    • Her children are even more notable because, given Lancre's small size, she's practically given birth to half of it.
  • Also of Discworld: Tiffany Aching has six older siblings and one Annoying Younger Sibling.
  • In Sid Fleischman's McBroom stories, Josh and Melissa McBroom have eleven kids (Will, Jill, Hester, Chester, Peter, Polly, Tim, Tom, Mary, Larry, and Little Clarinda), and it seems at least once a book Mr. McBroom has to do a head-count.
  • Karyn Murphy of The Dresden Files has numerous brothers and at least two sisters. In the Tabletop RPG rulebook, her family is listed as including "unknown number of brothers", with a Footnote Fever from Harry saying that he's pretty sure Mrs. Murphy knows how many sons she has, but he just can't keep track of them all.
    • The Carpenters as well. In the third book Charity gives birth to her... I want to say seventh, but it could be eighth, child. She and Michael probably would have gone on to have even more kids were it not for the events of the book, which rendered her sterile.
  • Probably one of the most humorous parts of L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series is that not only does Anne marry her once sworn enemy Gilbert Blythe, but they go on to have seven children (six living).
    • It really stands out, too, as none of the other main characters have nearly that many children. Diana and Fred have three while Owen and Leslie Ford have two. The only one that comes close is the Meredith family, who have four.
  • Lotte, Love Interest of Young Werther, has eight younger siblings.
  • In the tween novel The Snowbird, the character July explains to protagonist Willanna how he got his name - he had so many older brothers and sisters that by the time he was on the way, his mother had run out of ideas for what to call her children, so his father said to just name the new baby after the month in which he was born. Since July is The Stoic, he takes it in stride.

July: Could have been worse. I could have been born in April.

  • The Cleary family in The Thorn Birds, which was later adapted into the better-known made-for-TV movie, had nine kids. Of them all, only Meggie - the lone daughter - had children of her own, and she had just two.
  • The All of a Kind Family has five daughters, each born two years apart.
    • Followed by a son, Charlie, four or five years later.
  • Jane Austen had six brothers and one sister, so this trope's recurring appearance in her novels is unsurprising:
    • Catherine Moreland of Northanger Abbey has 9 siblings, which puts a not-insignificant financial strain on their father when it comes to planning for their futures, like her brother James' marriage.
    • There are 5 Bennett sisters in Pride and Prejudice... unfortunately with no brother to save them from losing their home to an entailment whenever their father dies.
    • Fanny Price of Mansfield Park is the oldest daughter among 10 siblings (including the deceased Mary), although she lives with her uncle's family from age 10 to age 18. Returning to her dysfunctional childhood home for a season is a living nightmare.
    • Emma Woodhouse's older sister has her fifth child early in Emma.
  • While many of the families in A Song of Ice and Fire are relatively large, Lord Frey's immediate descendents - the ones still living in his castle, at least - are described as such: "Twenty[-one] living sons, thirty-six grandsons, nineteen great-grandsons, and numerous daughters, granddaughters, bastards, and grandbastards." Note that, despite wanting to get rid of them when he can, he still plans on having more.
  • Parodied to death in the Nurse Matilda series. The exact amount of kids the family has is never specified, but the narration almost never names the same kid twice.
  • Implied that this will happen to Geran and Beldaran in the Belgariad. Belgarion is a sorcerer just like his 7000 years old grandfather and is therefore all but immortal. His wife C'Nedra is a Dryad and it is suggested that she could easily live hundreds of years as well. The Voice of Prophecy even takes the time to congratulate Belgarion with the daughters he is still to have.
  • Chronicles of Amber: the first book is even named Nine Princes in Amber.
  • The Heap family in Septimus Heap has 7 children plus one adopted daughter.
  • Alvin Maker of Orson Scott Card's Tales of Alvin Maker series was born, as the title in the first book makes very clear, the seventh son of a seventh son. And there's one more sibling after him.
  • In the second Mary Poppins book, the fifth Banks child is born. (The third and fourth are twins.)
  • It seems that the Dei Santi family in Harriet the Spy has five children.
  • There are six Herdman siblings in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
  • In Bridge to Terabithia, Jesse has two older and two younger sisters.
  • In Astrid Lindgren’s novel Britt-Marie lättar sitt hjärta (Britt-Marie unburdens her heart), the narrator is the second of five children.
  • The title characters of the Five Little Peppers series by Margaret Sidney.
  • In the Bad Girls series by Cynthia Voigt, Margalo has three pairs of siblings: half-siblings, stepsiblings, and ex-stepsiblings who chose to stay with her mother after she and their father divorced.
  • In Cynthia D. Grant’s novel Mary Wolf, the fifth Wolf child is born.
  • The title character of 3 NBs of Julian Drew by James M. Deem lives with his sister, stepsister, stepbrother and half-sister.
  • In Helen Bryan’s novel War Brides, eighteen-year-old Evangeline leaves her four older brothers, and Elsie has seven siblings (including a pair of twins) who separate soon after their introduction.
  • At the end of Heather Quarles’ novel A Door Near Here, Katherine, Douglas, Tracey, and their half-sister Alisa move in with Katherine's, Douglas' and Tracey's father, his wife, and their two young children.
  • By the end of Christiane Rochefort’s novel Children of Heaven or Josyane and the Welfare, Josyane has ten living younger siblings (including two pairs of twins). She knows other large families and says that the Lefranc family has "only" four children.

Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The Brady Bunch is about a blended family of her three daughters and his three sons.
  • Second Noah was a tween series in the nineties about a couple that adopted eight kids.
  • The Huxtables barely qualify, with five.
  • Joey Tribbiani, of course! He is the only male out of eight siblings. His sisters Gina, Tina, Dina, Mary-Angela, Mary-Therese, Veronica and Cookie are revealed in a few episodes that encounter Joey's family.
  • Step by Step is about a blended family of three of his children, three of hers, his nephew and eventually their daughter.
  • Just The Ten Of Us is about a couple with eight children.
  • Jon and Kate Plus Eight: Obviously they have eight kids (one set of twins and one set of sextuplets), and all of them are under the age of ten.
  • The Duggar family's show isn't called 19 Kids and Counting for nothing!
  • And of course, Eight Is Enough
  • The Vasnetsov family in Daddy's Daughters now stands at five daughters and a newborn son.
  • 7th Heaven is a drama about a pastor, his wife, their seven kids, and their dog.
  • In the That '70s Show episode "Stolen Car", Eric says to Kelso "Your parents have seven kids. They won't even notice you're gone!" However, only one of his siblings, Casey, appears in the show.


Radio[edit | hide]

  • One of Garrison Keillor's "News from Lake Wobegon" monologues featured the the Lake Wobegon Whippets baseball team: nine brothers all born "nine months and ten minutes apart."


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • The Dragon Blooded Exalted of the Realm are encouraged to have numerous children because of their hereditary power which is integral to the proper functioning of the state. Combined with their extended lifespans, it's quite possible for ten generations of the same family to be living under one roof (although their exceptional wealth ensures that it's a big roof).
    • Unusually, this is less likely to include parents and their immediate children, partly as these children start a very strenuous program of schooling early in life which also soon takes them away from their parents' home. Family solidarity (in the face of inter-family rivalries) and economic pressures then install them in the household of a slightly more distant branch of their family until they can afford independence (by which time new adolescents will be staying with them).


Theatre[edit | hide]

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Ivalice Alliance features six moogle siblings, which are Montblanc, Sorbet, Horne, Nono, Hurdy and Gurdy.
  • As of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Bowser has eight children.
  • The character generally called 'Mama' in Alive: The Final Evolution was, for reasons that weren't her alien-possession superpower because she only got that a couple of years ago, at least three times older than she looked, and a serial terrible mother. She'd come along and dump a new kid on the half-grown-up ones every so often, but when she appears in the story she's turned into a good mother due to the influence of the alien parasite, and is living with what may just be one of her clutches, five 'children' ranging from nine to nineteen and having nothing in common with one another. These include a shy, bald martial artist with lightning powers, a Wild Child speedster girl in Converse, and a hacker who smokes a lot.
    • According to an omake, some of her children were balding by the time the sylph bought the farm. But that's an omake.
  • Avernum 3 has the Merry siblings, who own general stores across the continent, and who "left home before [their parents] finished."
  • In The Sims 2 a common Want for a Sim with the Family aspiration is to have as many as ten children. This is in a game which limits the number of people living in a house to 8, so at least four of the first batch would have to grow up and move out to make room for more. The Sims 3 has "Surrounded by Family", a relatively tamer Lifetime Goal for Sims with the Family-Oriented and/or Nurturing trait to raise five kids from toddlers to adulthood.
  • Scout from Team Fortress 2 is the youngest of eight boys.


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • Jyrras in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures has six older sisters. And one younger sibling. When the sisters are introduced, their father has a hard time getting their names right.
  • Fawn from Bardsworth has thirty sisters due to the way that fairies reproduce.
  • Jinx of The Whiteboard spends so much time at Doc's shop because he has eight sisters, and he's the middle child.
  • In Drowtales, this is pretty much considered the duty of proper noblewoman. However, it's pretty much acknowledged in-universe that Zala'ess Vel'Sharen takes the prize. Zala's sister Sillice refers to her children, grandchildren, etc. as "an army of your womb", and later on Zala marches with her family, which are said to be 500 strong.[2]
  • As a rabbit, Kevin Dewclaw has a lot of siblings. This is shown when he greets (the original Danielle) as "Sibling number 37".


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • According to the character profiles on the Season 3 DVD, Caboose from Red vs. Blue comes from a family of seventeen siblings. Dialogue in Reconstruction would suggest they're all girls.
  • Thalia's Musings
    • Thalia and her eight sisters make up the Nine Muses.
    • Apollo's son and daughter-in-law, Asclepius and Epione, have nine children.
    • At the end of Volume One, Calliope gives birth to the Corybantes, identical septuplet brothers.
  • Chakona Space gives us the Goldfur / Forestwalker household. 16 cubs, with another on the way.
    • Goldfur fathered 2 (Malena, Lupu), Garrek x Goldfur 2x, Garrek x Malena (Triplets!), Midnight x Forest (Twins), Forest x Midnight, Boyce x Midnight, Boyce x Forest, Kris x Katrina, Kris x Leanna, Leanna x Katrina. Since Goldendale is still living with Goldie and Forest: Dale x Lupu. (Dale x Swiftwalk on the way.)
      • Something of a subversion as many of the cubs don't share more than a single parent, and a few don't share any. But Goldfur and Forest are siblings, and Forest is mated to Leanna, Kris and Trina. And, thanks to a Teleporter Accident, Dale is now Goldfur's accidental twin sister.
    • Neal Foster's 2 different sets of adopted cubs. (With 6 more on the way with his companions / mates, all of which he treats as if he fathered them himself.
  • Jaune Arc from RWBY casually mentions in a V2 episode that he has seven older sisters.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Lor of The Weekenders has so many brothers even she loses track of the exact number ("You can't count them! They keep moving around!"); however, she doesn't have a single sister. To make things worse, their parents seem to have eventually run out of names, as the page quote notes.
  • Noah from Total Drama is the youngest of nine siblings, according to his online bio.
  • The Mighty B! - Gwen, right-hand girl and friend of the Alpha Bitch, Portia Gibbons, has five younger brothers.
  • The Amazing Chan and The Chan Clan. Four girls, six boys. Plus a dog who's treated as an actual family member.
  • Ty Lee from Avatar: The Last Airbender had six sisters. The problem was that they were all nearly identical; Ty Lee ran away from home to avoid becoming part of a "matching set."
  • Although they're only all together for family reunions, the Apple Family on My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic definitely qualifies.
    • But they’re all cousins, not siblings. Still, to produce that many cousins, Granny Smith must’ve had at least ten foals.

Applejack: This here's Apple Fritter, Apple Bumpkin, Red Gala, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Caramel Apple, Apple Strudel, Apple Tart, Baked Apple, Apple Brioche, Apple Cinnamon Crisp... (stops and gasps for breath) ...Big Macintosh, Apple Bloom, aaaaaaaaand, Granny Smith.

  • On Ugly Americans, Grimes has fifteen daughters and, to his displeasure, no sons.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants Plankton is shown to have lots of cousins, possibly millions of them. The catch is they're all hillbillies.
  • Miss Martian of Young Justice (in the TV show/tie-in comics/according to the Young Justice wiki) apparently has 12 sisters, 17 brothers and 300 cousins.
  • On Gargoyles, a whole generation in each clan refers to each other as "rookery siblings," despite not necessarily being biologically related. Angela, for example, refers to having fifteen sisters.
  • In The Simpsons, Cletus Spuckler, the slack-jawed yokel, has many kids. The known named ones are:

Gummy Sue, Tiffany, Andie, Gordon, Lizzie, Jackson, Heather, Cody, Dylan, Dermot, Jacob, Jordan, Taylor, Brittany, Wesley, Rumor, Scout, Cassidy, Zoe, Chloe, Max, Hunter, Rubella Scabies, Kendall, Caitlin, Noah, Sasha, Morgan, Kyra, Ian, Lauren, Q*bert, Condoleezza Marie, Phil, Birthday, Crystal Meth, Dubya, Incest, International Harvester, Jitney, Witney, Mary Wrestlemania, Carl, Stabbed In Jail Spuckler and long lost son Carl Durant.

  • On Daria, the Lanes just qualify with five kids (Summer, Wind, Penny, Trent and Jane). So far Summer is the only one known to have kids of her own, with four.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Truth in Television: Stephen Colbert is the youngest of eleven children and can recite them all in a Motor Mouth: Jimmy-Eddie-Mary-Billy-Margo-Tommy-Jay-Lulu-Paul-Peter-Stephen. Sadly, Paul and Peter (along with his father) died in a plane crash when Stephen was 11.
    • Of course, this applies to a greater or lesser extent to many Catholics of Colbert's generation. In some places and contexts, this is still the case, though not to the extent it would have been a few generations earlier. Unlike the Protestant Quiverfull movement, however, most aren't deliberately having massive amounts of children - just taking the injunctions against artificial birth control and abortion seriously.
  • The Kennedys (also a Catholic family). Joseph P. Kennedy had nine children, including John and Robert, who had eleven.
  • The "Octomom." Octuplets... in addition to the six she already had. In vitro was involved, of course.
  • There's a U.S. religious movement known as Quiverfull, where families try to have as many children as they possibly can in order to develop "an army for Christ".
  • Fred Phelps, the controversial leader of the extremely homophobic Westboro Baptist Church has 13 children. The most well-known is Shirley Phelps-Roper, who has 11. In all, Phelps has 63 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren, most of whom are members of his cult/church.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers defensive player James Harrison has 13 siblings.
  • As mentioned in the Live Action TV folder above, also the Duggar Family and the Gosselin (Jon and Kate Plus Eight) Family.
    • In addition to the Duggar Family, Michelle Duggar is the youngest of seven herself. Frequently featured on 19 Kids and Counting is the Bates family, which has 18 kids.
  • Food Network cook, Sandra Lee, practically raised her five younger siblings after her mother's second divorce, buying groceries, preparing meals, caring for the children, and handling the family's finances by the tender age of eleven.
  • Celine Dion is the youngest of fourteen children.
  • Ronan Farrow, an American freelance journalist, Child Prodigy, and son of director Woody Allen and actress Mia Farrow, is one of fourteen (four biological and ten adopted) children. And that's just on his mother's side.
    • Not too sure how Ronan feels about or regards his father's children with his adopted sister, Soon-Yi Previn.
  • Queen Victoria had 9 children. She's not known as "the Grandmother of Europe" for nothing. One result is that two of her grandsons, Tsar Nicholas II & King George V, looked almost identical.
  • That's nothing. Maria Theresa had sixteen (ten survived to adulthood), and so had her son Leopold.
    • Par for the course in many Royal and Imperial families, as seen with the two examples above. Charlemagne beats them all in the long-run, starting with his 8 sons and some daughters. These children lived to adulthood and many went on to have (varying numbers) of their own children. As a result, a great many in Western Europe can claim some genetic descent from Charles the Great.[3]
  • Sarah Jessica Parker has seven siblings, most of whom also have careers in the entertainment industry.
  • Mark Wahlberg is the youngest of nine children.
  • The Jackson Five
  • The Osmond Family
  • Macaulay Culkin had four brothers and two sisters.
  • Former President John Tyler was the father of fifteen children from two marriages, the most for any President.
  • Historically, Pharaoh Ramses the Great had 110 children. Obviously, this was through numerous women, including three of his own daughters. (Also a sister, but that was par for the course among the royal family.)
  • Johann Sebastian Bach had twenty children, many of whom became successful composers or performers in the family tradition. Granted, he was married twice, and several of them died in infancy, but still.
  • Carlos Mencia is the 17th of 18 children.
  • Charles Darwin was the fifth of six children; his wife Emma the youngest of seven. He himself went on to have nine children, two of whom died in infancy and one who died at the age of ten.
  • Mrs. Vassilet was pregnant twenty-seven times. She had sixty-nine children.
  • Jim Henson and his wife Jane fulfilled the bare minimum for this trope—they had five children, all of whom now work in the puppetry field.
  • Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, the founder of Saudi Arabia had dozens of children (the exact number is unknown) through his 22 wives. His sons have been ruling Saudi Arabia since his death in 1953.
  • Arthur Guiness, founder of the Guiness brewery had 21 children. Ten survived to adulthood.
  • Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien was the 18th of 19 children, of whom 9 survived to adulthood.
  • Benjamin Franklin was the 15th of his father's 17 children.[4]
  • Hector (one of sixteen children) and Sue Badeau, the authors of Are We There Yet?, had twenty-two children, twenty of them by adoption, including a group of six siblings. Three children have died.
  • Wikipedia has an article called List of people with the most children. It also has other articles related to large families:
  • Mega-Family Blogs lists bloggers with seven or more children.


  1. Charles chose the order based on the children's personalities and ability to succeed him, and due to being blind and crippled Nunnally ranked pretty low, which makes the fact that Charles himself made her blind and Nunnally winds up being the Empress at the very end of the series doubly ironic
  2. it's implied that some of those are unrelated retainers and servants, but still...
  3. This, combined with his successful unification of much of Western Europe for the first time since Rome fell (he is listed as Charles I of France, Germany, and the Holy Roman Empire, and his descendants would go on to rule these realms), and the Carolingian Renaissance that would shape much of the culture of Europe during the Middle Ages, earned him the nickname Pater Europae ("The Father of Europe"). Genghis Khan would end up doing the same thing in Asia.
  4. Franklin's father Josiah had two wives, Anne Child and Abiah Folger. He had seven children with Anne and ten with Abiah, of whom Benjamin was the eighth; he was also Josiah's tenth and final son.