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[[caption-width-right:350:Oh look, a WASP nest.]]

The White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, or WASP, is a largely American trope that today is used to describe the stereotypical "white" person in American culture (and mostly upper-middle class, as the term is usually not applied to working-class poor whites associated with DeepSouth stereotypes.... even though they ''technically'' fit the definition). It originally referred to New Englanders, New Yorkers, and Tidewater Southerners from wealthy backgrounds, generally either [[UsefulNotes/AmericanChurches Congregationalist or Anglican/Episcopalian doctrinally]], but eventually came to be applied as well to inland Southerners, Midwesterners, and Westerners of Anglo-Saxon (English) descent as well, regardless of income level or sect. It also came to be roughly synonymous with "Protestant", so that even Protestant Irish, Dutch and Germans were eventually called [=WASPs=]. "White Protestants" wasn't as snappy a term as WASP, so usage of the term has hung around. The stereotype might be extended to upscale (or not) Catholics or Jews who either intermarry with Protestants or internalize Protestantism as the standard for "normal" Americans.

It became important in the mid-20th Century to point out the features of this group as a social reality. Generally [=WASPs=] were in positions of privilege and power, and could discriminate against those who were not white and not Protestant. Ethnic minorities (which may no longer be minorities in the New Millennium), non-Anglo Europeans, Jews and Catholics in particular suffered discrimination and exclusion. Critics pointed out how [=WASPs=] would see themselves as the "true normal" of the cultural world. This, ironically, led to the "generic and bland" stereotype that so many [=WASPs=] are now desperate to shed. It can easily be conflated with the [[HollywoodNewEngland Boston Brahmin]], First Families, Secret Masters of the World stereotype. They (the two stereotypes) share a core characterization, but WASP is a straight-up acronym of a demographic label, a thing you might find in a sociology text, not having any of the OldMoney, Secret Masters baggage.

Strictly speaking, it is hard to generalize about [=WASPs=]. Since a majority, albeit a slim majority, of Americans are both white and Protestant, [=WASP=] covers a lot of demographic ground. They can be either liberal or conservative politically ([[BourgeoisBohemian socially conservative but culturally liberal]] being a frequent combination), and fill any socioeconomic niche. This trope is primarily for figures who meet the most stereotypical WASP criteria: affluent, generic, bland personalities, usually with a little bit of [[BritishStuffiness stuffiness inherited from their British ancestors]] and a preoccupation with keeping up appearances. These days, much of the WASP characteristics can be found ironically enough, in the non-WASP Irish-American community, especially in Boston. Thanks to [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_succession_theory ethnic succession]] with Irish Catholics being the first immigrant waves, they have integrated and assimilated strongly into the WASP hegemony, with UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy's election being a symbol for the acceptance of the Irish Catholic community into the mainstream, and Kennedy being, alongside UsefulNotes/BarackObama, the ''only'' non-WASP President of the United States.[[note]]Sometimes UsefulNotes/MartinVanBuren is also included as a non-WASP president, as he was of Dutch descent and not British ("Anglo-Saxon"). It also helps that he was the only US President to speak English as a second language (Dutch was his first). Others however still feel he qualifies as WASP since he's non-immigrant, and comes from a country and culture that is Protestant and allied to England, so while he may not be Anglo-Saxon, he's still White/Protestant and non-immigrant[[/note]]

UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode had this effect on [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfHollywood classic Hollywood cinema]]. Although written by two Irish Catholics, the Code was enforced mostly by Midwestern Protestants, and the films under its jurisdiction cut according to their biases which in turn reflected the biases of America's conservative ideology of that time. American characters in movies from the 1930s and '40s do tend to [[MonochromeCasting all look and talk the same]], with only minor regional differences. Non-Nordic Americans don't tend to show up - and when they do, [[RaceLift they are "conventionalized" as much as possible]]. Not until the 1950s would the existence of "ethnic" whites be openly acknowledged. Many of the classic Hollywood actors weren't WASP themselves but became WASP to fit in with the values of the time. Hispanic-American Creator/RitaHayworth is a famous example, as are a number of Jewish-origin actors who changed their names to better fit in (Creator/LaurenBacall for instance). This ended in the UsefulNotes/NewHollywood era with ''Film/TheGodfather'' with its Italian-American setting and cast, marking the start of greater on-screen diversity and largely ending the age when actors needed to alter their ethnic make-up or personal names to pass as WASP.

Japanese people might be viewed as the Asian counterpart to this trope, given their stereotypically stern work ethic and obsession with tradition and [[JapanesePoliteness good manners]]; while Chinese people and other Asian nationalities might fill in for Catholics (more colorful, festive, and "spiritual"). And within China, there is a similar divide between Confucianism (middle class and socially conservative) and Daoism (more earthy and countercultural, and roughly akin to some "ethnic" flavors of Catholicism), with Buddhism viewed as exotic and associated with foreigners (so, analogous to Judaism or Islam in the West).

Compare and contrast with ChristianityIsCatholic. See IrishmanAndAJew for a similar ethnic fault line, with Jews (usually) filling the WASP niche. Other associated tropes are UpperClassTwit, RichInDollarsPoorInSense, JerkJock, SeeminglyWholesomeFiftiesGirl, StepfordSmiler, and ValleyGirl. (More positively, they may be associated with TheAllAmericanBoy or the GirlNextDoor.) May be found in EverytownAmerica and {{Suburbia}} (especially the StepfordSuburbia variety). See also UsefulNotes/AmericanAccents for more variations and stereotypes associated with them.

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!!Examples:

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[[folder:Advertising]]
* There was an alcohol ad that combined this with PrettyFlyForAWhiteGuy by having a young WASP rapping about his rich lifestyle, called [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTU2He2BIc0 Tea Partay]].
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[[folder:Comics]]
* ComicStrip/FlashGordon, a Yale man and champion polo player.
%%* TheSpider, Richard Wentworth.
%%* Radio/TheShadow, Kent Allard aka Lamont Cranston.
%%* Literature/TheAvenger, Richard Henry Benson.
* [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Bruce Wayne AKA Batman]] uses an OldMoney WASP persona as [[RichIdiotWithNoDayJob a convenient cover]]. Creator/BillFinger who designed his SecretIdentity wanted him to have Patrician heritage, so he named him after "Mad Anthony" Wayne, a Revolutionary-era war hero (another WASP icon, Marion Morrison would also be renamed after the same figure as Creator/JohnWayne). Incidentally, recent comics, have implied that [[http://jewishweek.timesofisrael.com/i-am-vengeance-i-am-the-night-i-am-jewish/ Batman's mother, Martha Kane, might be Jewish]] so that would mean, that Batman is technically Jewish, albeit Bruce has never quite taken that identity (or for that matter any other identity) in the comics. Both of Batman's creators (like most GoldenAge creators) were Jewish incidentally.
* Creator/MarvelComics managed to avert this by bringing in more diversity and greater social realism in their comics (such as Irish-American heroes: Franchise/SpiderMan, ComicBook/CaptainAmerica and ComicBook/{{Daredevil}}). But they have also played it straight, with [[ComicBook/IronMan Tony Stark]] being originally {{WASP}} as well as [[ComicBook/FantasticFour Reed Richards, Susan and Johnny Storm (Ben Grimm]] being the exception for being Jewish).
* ''ComicBook/{{X-Men}}'' is interesting in that it transitioned from being Marvel's most WASP-y title to its least WASP-y title.
** The original ''X-Men'' group has the patrician Professor X, Charles Xavier, in spite of his Spanish-sounding name[[note]]Marvel names often went with RuleOfCool, witness a poor Roma boy having an aristocratic name like Victor Von Doom as his real name[[/note]]. Also Warren Worthington III, better known as the Angel, a scion of the American aristocracy. Most of the ComicBook/XMen in the early days were largely WASP, including Jean Grey, daughter from a suburban middle-class family of academics, as well as Hank [=McCoy=] with Scott Summers being an orphan from Alaska, and a poor-WASP. Only Bobby Drake averted this, being Irish-American.
** Creator/ChrisClaremont's run with Creator/JohnByrne brought in a much more diverse bunch of X-Men, largely by bringing in individuals from multiple nationalities, such as the German Nightcrawler, the African Ororo Monroe, the openly Jewish Kitty Pryde[=/=]Shadowcat (while also making the famous villain, Magneto, Jewish), the Cajun ComicBook/{{Gambit}} and the Southern Belle Rogue, the Russian Colossus[[note]]Leading a few snarky observers to note that the Mutant Metaphor of [[StartXToStopX combating discrimination and stereotypes is hampered by themselves being a bunch]] of ethnic foreign stereotypes[[/note]]. And of course, the most famous of all X-Men, the Canadian Wolverine. Incidentally, Wolverine's later origins revealed him to be an immortal whose family came from Canada's patrician colonial gentry, complete with the Preppy name of James Howlett. So Wolverine is technically Canadian-WASP but he comes across as an anti-establishment bad boy.
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[[folder:Film]]
* The [[StealthPun Yellowjackets]], Chip and Muffy, in ''WesternAnimation/{{Antz}}'' are a parody. They speak like a New England couple who look down on the two ant protagonists.
%%* Jessica and her parents in ''TheHotChick''.
* Played with in ''Film/MississippiBurning'': The phrase is used word for word at the [[BlatantLies not]] Klan meeting. This is after said meeting's speaker had repeatedly called the US government things like "atheist, Communist, Jewish, nigger-loving", among other things. Earlier in the movie the speaker had also essentially given a ''detailed explanation'' about why the county was so racist, doing things like the "Jews are all bankers in a moneymaking conspiracy" conspiracy theory and various other crackpot pieces of garbage like that. Paradoxically, then, the Klan's attitude here is partly rooted in resentment of wealth, which of course could also be applied to [=WASPs=]; the speaker was obviously arguing in an ethnic/religious vein rather than a class-based one. [[note]] And even there he was on shaky ground, for the core of the Klan was Scots-Irish by blood - a mixture of not just Anglo-Saxon but Scottish, Ulster Irish and Danish/Norwegian blood too. [[/note]]
%%* Omega House in ''Film/AnimalHouse''. Delta House too, although they do have their share of ethnics (Polish-American John Blutarski being the most obvious).
* Pretty much everyone on the "snobs" side of ''Film/{{Caddyshack}}''. And in their natural element (the golf course) to boot!
%%* Most of the characters in ''Film/ThePhiladelphiaStory''.
* Gordon Gekko in ''Film/WallStreet'' tells his protege Bud Fox that he bought himself a seat on the board of the Bronx Zoo because, "One thing you gotta learn about [=WASPs=]: They love animals, but can't stand people."
* William "Bill the Butcher" Cutting in ''Film/GangsOfNewYork'', based on the real life William Poole, leader in the anti-immigrant pro-WASP "Know Nothing" movement. [[WickedCultured His "dignified" WASP exterior is naturally only skin-deep]], making him a PsychoSupporter of more traditional [=WASPs=].
* In ''Film/ScentOfAWoman'', the very upscale and exclusive prep school Charlie goes to in New England is absolutely packed with rich WASP kids, (''very'' much TruthInTelevision) and they have all the attitude and snobbery that goes along with that.
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[[folder:Literature]]
* Tom and Daisy Buchanan in ''Literature/TheGreatGatsby''. They look down on the title character, a Teutonic Midwesterner whose real name is James Gatz.
%%* The Corey family in ''The Rise Of Silas Lapham''.
%%* ''Literature/JohnCarterOfMars''
%%* Nick Carter, the DimeNovel detective
%%* David Innes, the hero of the ''Literature/{{Pellucidar}}'' novels of Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs.
%%* Randolph Carter, the protagonist of Creator/HPLovecraft's ''The Dream Quest Of Unknown Kadath'', ''The Silver Key'', ''Through The Gates Of The Silver Key'', etc.. In fact, pretty much all of Lovecraft's protagonists.
%%* The brilliant yet sinister amateur detective Philo Vance.
%%* Patrick Bateman and most of the main characters in ''Literature/AmericanPsycho'', especially the core group at Pierce & Pierce.
%%* Sherman [=McCoy=] in ''Literature/TheBonfireoftheVanities''.
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[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Greg Montgomery and his parents, Edward and Kitty from ''Series/DharmaAndGreg''. They know that they're Protestant, but they're not sure which denomination. Edward thinks they're Lutheran. Kitty reminds him that they're Episcopalian.
%%* Pete Campbell from ''Series/MadMen''.
* Charlotte of ''Series/SexAndTheCity'' is delighted to learn what a WASP is and that she is one.
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'', J.D. and Dr. Cox have a very reserved, patrician patient who sends his wife out of the room for the dirty talk. He confirms, when J.D. asks, that he and his wife are, in fact, [=WASPs=]. This makes his passionate declaration that when he makes love to his wife, he's closer to her than any other time and only then can he truly express his love for her all the more effective.
* Charles Emerson Winchester III from ''{{Series/Mash}}'', played by David Ogden Stiers with a full-on BostonBrahmin accent. Winchester has occasionally shown distaste for Catholic ethnicities, in one episode being heartbroken at the news of his sister getting engaged to an Italian, remarking to the (Irish) Catholic Father Mulcahy, "at least she's not marrying an Irishman".
%%* Emily and Richard Gilmore from ''Series/GilmoreGirls'' (and most of the rest of the Gilmore family) are about as waspy as they come.
* Mulder of ''Series/TheXFiles'' is implied to have grown up this way; his family owned homes in Martha's Vineyard and in Connecticut and his father worked for the government. His parents don't terribly fit the stereotype "WASP" usually seen, but then we don't see much of them at all in terms of personality, so who knows? His portrayer, David Duchovny, is actually from a mixed Jewish and Scottish background.
* David Webster from ''Series/BandOfBrothers'' comes from a stereotypically WASP family, which sets him apart from most other members of Easy Company, who are of working-class and/or immigrant backgrounds.
%%* Mayor Randall Winston from ''SpinCity''.
* On ''Series/{{Copper}}'' the Morehouses are rich white Methodists and are a distinct contrast to the rest of the characters who are predominantly poor Irish Catholic immigrants or free blacks.
* Andy Bernard on ''Series/TheOfficeUS'' has all the hallmarks such as a loud "preppy" fashion sense, privileged upbringing, and prestigious education (i.e. Cornell).
* {{Bryan Fuller}}'s ''Series/{{Wonderfalls}}'' centers of the Tyler family, which while not explicitly stated to be WASP, demonstrates the culture and interaction style that is associated with them, especially in the pilot.
%%* Clark Claxton III from ''Billable Hours''.
%%* The title character of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' comes from this stock, although ironically she's been portrayed by a Swedish-American (Kristy Swanson) and an Ashkenazi Jew (Creator/SarahMichelleGellar).
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[[folder:Professional Wresting]]
%%* Hunter Hearst Helmsley, AKA Triple H - who in RealLife is a French-Canadian from New Hampshire.
%%* The Spirit Squad - and, by extension, probably former "Nicky" Dolph Ziggler too, even though his name suggests some vague Germanic background.
%%* Randy Orton showed touches of this before his transformation into "The Viper."
%%* Damien Sandow had this as his gimmick before his alliance with TheMiz.
%%* South African wrestler Adam Rose seems to have shed his former hedonistic persona and become more of a "British-y snob" following his FaceHeelTurn, with his Mexican-American girlfriend Rosa Mendes also getting in on the act.
* Chavo Guerrero's suburban, golf-playing alter ego, "Kerwin White."
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* The preps in ''VideoGame/{{Bully}}''. Preppy dress sense, faux-Transatlantic accents, exclusionary attitude, swanky off-campus living, and of course the game is set in a private boarding school.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' contained a one-off CutawayGag in which Peter and Chris observe "a [=WASPs=]' nest". The camera pans out to show that he's observing a WASP family having dinner. Lois's parents, Carter and Babs Pewterschmitt, are about as rich and WASP-y as you can get. One of the many reasons her father hates Peter is because Peter is Irish Catholic. That and he's a poor, fat, drunken, rude, idiotic slob. Later subverted when it is revealed that Lois' mother is Jewish. Carter is then shown treating Babs pretty much exactly the way you would expect him to treat any non-WASP.
** Also, Mr. Bottomtooth, complete with Tidewater/"Posh" accent (though it's distorted by his comically-exaggerated lower jaw).
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''
** Played up in "Scenes From the Class Struggle in Springfield": the Simpson family (who are of French, American Indian and Black descent as well as Anglo-Saxon) trying to work their way into the high society of Marge's "preppy" high-school friend and ultimately deciding that lifestyle isn't for them.
** Charles Montgomery Burns. Truth be told, different episodes of the show have provided wildly conflicting backstories for him. Originally he was from a clan of stuffy New England snobs (Monty himself being a Yale graduate), but then the episode "Rosebud" hinted that he was Jewish, the older brother of comedian George Burns (although that was obviously a CutawayGag, and not to be taken seriously). More recently, it's been mentioned (in "The Color Yellow") that he is the son of a Southern slaveholder.
** Actually averted by the white residents of Springfield much of the time, who are more likely to be ethnically Irish (politicians and cops), Italian [[TheMafia (the mobsters)]], Polish/Russian Jewish (a children's TV clown), vaguely Slavic or Hungarian (the bartender), or of Dutch/German/Scottish/whatever descent and low-income more often than not. The town's founder, Jebediah Springfield, ''could'' be considered the 19th-century frontier variant of this trope: earnest, morally righteous, and stiflingly wholesome. [[note]] And that was just a cover anyway, since he was secretly a Dutch pirate. [[/note]]
** In "The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star", Marge has a brief ImagineSpot of Protestant Heaven being full of these types. In contrast, Catholic Heaven is a lot more ethnic (and lively).
* WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}} brings us Judge Whitey, who only likes the "pore" people who do his pores at the spa, and has declared the poverty a mental illness.
** Ms. Astor from the revival episode "The Mutants are Revolting" is a typical posh, rich, old woman who likes to grant generous donations to those less fortunate than her, but still looks down upon them (such as the sewer mutants).
* Jay's parents on ''WesternAnimation/TheCritic'' fit this trope perfectly. Extremely wealthy, they throw a debutante ball for their daughter where they try to set her up with a boy so [=WASPy=] that he has ''literal'' blue blood. Franklin is too much of a CloudCuckooLander to show many of the character traits beyond a [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locust_Valley_lockjaw Locust Valley lockjaw]] accent and a penchant for alcoholism, but Eleanor has the blatant classism and "proper" demeanor to the point of coldness; she remarks once that she would cry if not for the fact that tear ducts have been bred out of her family. There's also Republican Vice Presidential candidate, [[PunnyName Rich Dullwasp]].
%%* WesternAnimation/{{Antz}} has the wasp couple Chip and Muffy who act like well, [[LiteralPun wasps.]]
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