Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Middle Children Can Be Very Animated: Part 2

     We continue our salute of those animated characters firmly perched on the middle branches of their family trees. In no particular order, here are the final honorees to earn a spot on the “Smack Dab List of Best Animated Middle Children.” If I missed any, let me know...

KENNY MCCORMICK (Older Brother: Kevin; Younger Sister: Karen)
     Like many Middle Children, Kenny has a habit of acting out. He’s been arrested 4 times -- once for prostitution, when he gave Howard Stern a “hummer” for $10. He’s also committed Proxy Murder -- together with Eric Cartman, they got Sarah Jessica Parker to dress up as a moose and took her into the woods, where she was shot by hunters. His criminal record also includes: copyright infringement, attempted murder, vandalism, assault, filing a false police report (when he lied to the police about his parents abusing him), cannibalism, kidnapping, violation of firearm laws, underage smoking/drug abuse, arson, blackmail, pedophilia, vigilantism, underage sex, indecent exposure, fraud, civil unrest/rioting, and breaking & entering (when he broke into Cartman’s house with Stan Marsh, Butters Stotch, and Timmy Burch, to remove Cartman’s kidney.) Okay, so maybe he’s taken acting out to the extreme.
     Kenny’s ultimate Middle Child attention grab is dying in nearly every episode of the first five seasons of South Park. He has died and come back well over 100 times across the South Park franchise, meeting every fate from being struck by lightning (Ep. 1/Season3), to being eaten by a giant reptilian bird (Ep.14/Season 15) -- yet no one ever seems to remember. In Ep.12/Season 14 he laments, “I go to school the next day, and everyone is just like, ‘Oh, hey Kenny.’ Even if they had seen me get decapitated with their own eyes.” You know you’re a Middle Child when nobody even pays attention to you dying!

DEWEY DUCK (Older Brother: Huey; Younger Brother: Louie)
     Along with his buoyant brothers, Dewey has been making life miserable for his Uncle Donald since their debut in the 1937 comic strip, Donald's Nephews. The second brother hatched, his official birth name is Dewford Deuteronomy Duck. Dewey missed out on being the eldest triplet by a mere three seconds. Instead, he’s the Middle Duck and wants to stand out.
     In the 1987 DuckTales episode “Duck in the Iron Mask” (Ep. 56/Season 1) Dewey is at bat for his Junior Woodchucks team, but the crowd keeps mistaking him for one of his other two brothers. Dewey wants to be his own duck and separate himself from the threesome, so the next morning he sheds his signature blue shirt and appears wearing attention grabbing garb.
     Dewey’s Middle Child issues continue in the 2017 DuckTales reboot. As a way of proving himself, he embarks on dangerous adventures by himself, earning the nickname “The Guts.” Like many Mid Kids, Dewey can be sensitive and insecure. He’s also made it his life's mission to find his long-lost mother, Donald’s sister Della.

CHRIS GRIFFIN (Older Sister: Meg; Younger Brother: Stewie)
     Christopher Cross Griffin was an accident, the result of a broken condom. Peter and Lois filed a lawsuit and were able to buy their house with the proceeds, so it wasn’t a total loss. In “Peter's Daughter” (Ep.7/ Season 6), Lois admits she smoked and drank a lot when she was pregnant with Chris hoping it would terminate the pregnancy. So even before becoming a Middle Child, nobody wanted him around.
     Chris is self-conscious, mostly about his weight. I’m sure being called “Elephant Child” when he was born didn’t help. He has a close relationship with his father, but sometimes thinks he won’t live up to Peter’s expectations, which are pretty low. Chris is uncomfortably attracted to his mother. He even once dated a girl that looked like Lois, figuring the only person who could love him would be someone who could tolerate his father.
      Chris has pretty typical sibling rivalry with Meg. They love each other, even if it’s only because they’re forced to by their mother. Of course, that doesn't include that time in “Lethal Weapons” (Ep.7/Season 3), as seen here. Chris is also often the unwitting guinea pig for Stewie's many experiments.
      Oh, and in “And the Wiener is...” (Ep.3/Season 5) we learn that Chris has an unusually large penis, like most male Middles. Or maybe it’s just me.

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Middle Children need to be heard!