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Stepsiblings (sometimes abbreviated informally as stepsibs)[1] is the generic term for stepsisters and stepbrothers. Step-siblings are usually regarded as connected only by law and/or social norms, and are not necessarily genetically related – unless they are also half-siblings or another kind of blood relative. Technically, a step-sibling can be related to a stepbrother or stepsister only if they are born before their biological parents are divorced or widowed, and a remarriage occurs, involving one biological parent of each step-sibling.


In many fairy tales, the central character has a stepmother, after whom their stepsiblings take.[citation needed] In Cinderella, the ugly sisters are the main character's stepsisters. Mother Hulda also features wicked stepsisters, but Kate Crackernuts loving stepsisters.[2]

Many romance novels feature heroes who are the stepbrother of the heroine. The step-relationship generally stems from a marriage when the hero and heroine are at least in their adolescence.

Some family films and television sitcoms feature a blended nuclear family including siblings as the center premise. In many cases, the step-family is large and full of children causing situations such as sibling rivalry, rooming, falling in love, and getting along amongst the children as popular plotlines. This premise dates back as far as the 1968 film Yours, Mine and Ours. This film gave way to a classic family television sitcom about a blended family known as The Brady Bunch. Some contemporary family sitcoms have made the blended family sitcom more popular with the TGIF show Step by Step bringing about other shows such as Aliens in the Family, Life with Derek, Drake & Josh, and the short-lived NBC family sitcom Something So Right. The Life of Riley is a 2009 British comedy television series, shown on BBC One & BBC HD. It focuses on the lives of a blended family. Kevin and Kell is a comic strip that focuses on a blended family. The Disney Channel animated series Phineas and Ferb also prominently features a blended family, chosen by co-creator Jeff "Swampy" Marsh in part due to its underuse in children's programming, and his personal experiences growing up in such a family.[3]


  1. ^ MMeyer, Robert (2001). The Child Clinician's Handbook. p. 515.
  2. ^ The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales, p. 230
  3. ^ Bond, Paul (7 June 2009). "Q&A: Dan Povenmire". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2009-08-26.

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of stepsibling at Wiktionary
  • The dictionary definition of stepsib at Wiktionary
  • The dictionary definition of stepsister at Wiktionary
  • The dictionary definition of stepsis at Wiktionary
  • The dictionary definition of stepbrother at Wiktionary
  • The dictionary definition of stepbro at Wiktionary