“Middle Child’s Day” marks a little well-deserved recognition to the middle child of the family, as decades of television have shown us that the oldest child gets the praise and the youngest gets all the attention. Today, in honor of Middle Child’s Day, we’re honoring some of our favorite TV middle children:
1. Jan Brady, "The Brady Bunch"
“Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!,” Jan Brady, the golden-haired middle daughter of “The Brady Bunch,” famously exclaimed. Jan, played by Eve Plumb, was tired of being stuck between her older sister Marcia’s shadow and younger sister Cindy’s cuteness. In the iconic episode that the quote stems from, Jan hides Marcia’s trophies out of jealousy. Full of teenage anxiety, she hated her glasses and bad luck with boys, which caused her to make up a fake boyfriend in another episode. Jan finally got an equal playing field with her sister when she and Marcia had a double wedding that led to a now-forgotten “Brady” spinoff, “The Brady Brides,” but the show was quickly cancelled.
2. Stephanie Tanner, "Full House"
Stephanie Tanner, played by Jodie Sweetin on “Full House,” is another middle child of three blonde sisters. Younger sister to the cool DJ and older sister to adorable Michelle, Stephanie often felt pushed aside. A whole episode was dedicated to the way Stephanie felt that she could never impress her family, while another episode had a young Stephanie driving a car into her Uncle Jesse’s kitchen. Known for her perky personality and for her “how rude” catchphrase, Stephanie often struggled as the middle child, but she always had her teddy bear named Mr. Bear for comfort.
3. Malcolm, “Malcolm in the Middle”
“Malcolm in the Middle” depicts an unusual middle child situation, centering on Malcolm, a gifted young teen tries his best to survive in his quite dysfunctional family. Though he wasn’t technically the middle child, his oldest brother Francis a longtime troublemaker was sent to military school, leaving troublemaker Reese as the oldest brother in the house, along with youngest brother, Dewey, a cute kid who is surprisingly clever for his age Malcolm also has to deal with his parents who sometimes act like children themselves, from his eternally-frazzled mother Lois to his father, Hal, who is simply a kid at heart.
4. Vanessa Huxtable, "The Cosby Show"
While the often-aimless Theo was smack dab in the middle of four sisters, Vanessa Huxtable, played by Tempestt Bledsoe, always seemed like the middle child on “The Cosby Show.” With her college-age sister Sondra out of the house, the free-spirited Denise was soon to follow. That left Theo, Vanessa, and their wide-eyed adorable sister Rudy. While Vanessa’s character was the nosy one who always seemed to get on her siblings’ nerves as she tried to get dirt on them, she always had the best of intentions and they could never stay mad for long.
5. Alex Dunphy, "Modern Family"
Alex Dunphy, always seems to be the smartest person in the room at any Dunphy family gathering. Alex, played by Ariel Winter on Modern Family, is the least understood but probably the most well-adjusted member of the family. Mother Claire is constantly worried about the oldest, Haley, in fear that she will make all the same mistakes she did as a teenager, and the goofy Luke (played by 14-year-old high school grad Nolan Gould), often leaving Alex to fend for herself. Though Alex is changing as she enters high school, she seems to have a pretty good head on her shoulders.
6. Kyra, "Reba"
Kyra was the cynical middle child on the TV series “Reba,” played by Scarlett Pomers. In the grand tradition of Malcolm and Alex, the always-deadpan Kyra seems to be the most sensible one of the family. As the show begins, Kyra is just entering adolescence, while older sister Cheyenne requires more attention when she becomes pregnant. In one, episode Kyra moves in with her dad because she felt she was “in the way” of Cheyenne and the baby to come, but the crimson-haired middle daughter always has a place in our hearts.
Did we leave your fave TV middle sibling off our list? Please leave your suggestions in the comments below!