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Bratty Teenage Daughter

"Drama's a major food group for teenage girls."

Think everyone in a Dom Com with two X chromosomes is closer to Earth? Think again. You haven't met the Bratty Teenage Daughter. A standard member of the Dysfunctional Family, the Bratty Teenage Daughter is a natural offspring of the Bumbling Dad and his level-headed wife.

The Bratty Teenage Daughter is a whiny, self-involved girl at That Age. She obsesses over the latest fashions and is incredibly boy crazy, often more so than her parents think. If she ever dates, expect her father to instantly turn into an Overprotective Dad. Basically, she will either go around acting like a Drama Queen and wangsting up over every minor little thing ("My life is over!") or else she'll just roll her eyes exasperatedly at the "wacky" hijinks the rest of the family gets up to, often becoming a bit of a sullen killjoy in the process.

Her most valued personal possession is the phone. She talks (or texts) endlessly on it with her friends, and breaks down when she's without it. In older media, this will lead to a confrontation with Mom where she tells her to stop tying up the phone lines. Today, these confrontations are likely to revolve around cellphone bills, or the loss of phone privileges as a punishment.

The natural enemies of the Bratty Teenage Daughter are assorted Annoying Younger Siblings and anything else that upsets the status quo of her little world as she sits in her room listening on her headphones to the latest music from that hot pop star she has a huge crush on. She will be more averse to the Horrible Camping Trip than any other member of the family, and she will inevitably act as a City Mouse on such a trip, continuously complaining about breaking her nails or how much she would rather be at the mall.

She tends to be a supporting character, with the show's focus usually only being put on her in the event of a Very Special Episode about drugs, underaged sex, etc. Often (but by no means always) an Alpha Bitch or The Brainless Beauty. If she's not, expect her to hide it carefully since smart people are never cool at that age. Is usually one of the sisters caught up in The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry. She can easily become The Scrappy if she's whiny and grating enough.

If the teenage daughter is the show's protagonist, she probably won't be this character, or at least, not as extreme a version. May sometimes have a brother in the Dumbass Teenage Son.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • One travel-related commercial featured a family with a seemingly somewhat quieter version of this trope, with the mother marveling at how her daughter was actually smiling for once because she was having so much fun on vacation.

    Anime & Manga 

    Comics 
  • Stargirl of the Justice Society of America starts out this way in her original comic, Stars and STRIPE. Being a superhero (and being on the oldest superhero team) helps her mature.
  • Paige Fox of FoxTrot.
  • Luann DeGroot of Luann.
  • Holly of Stone Soup
  • Toshi in Crossing Midnight. Her twin brother Kai thinks to himself that because she can't feel physical pain, she tries to get herself into trouble so she can feel pain, to feel human.
  • Jingle Belle who is the daughter of Santa Claus.

    Films — Live Action 
  • Cher Horowitz from Clueless is a good example of the smarter (if still shallow and naive) version and is also unusual in being the actual protagonist. She's also sweeter and more considerate than the usual example in several ways, in that she's constantly fretting about her father's stress levels and need to have a proper breakfast, and reaches out to make friends with the awkward and unfashionable newcomer to the school (for pretty shallow reasons at the time, but still).
  • Luke Skywalker in Star Wars comes off as a male version at first, although it's pretty understandable (his foster aunt and uncle forbidding him to pursue his dream of attending the Imperial Academy and becoming a pilot like his father). He does whine and moan quite a bit throughout A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, although by Return of the Jedi this behavior has completely disappeared. And through it all, he looks pretty sympathetic compared to Jerk with a Heart of Gold Han Solo.
    • And Luke, even at his most sulky and brattish, has nothing on his father at that age...
  • The teenage daughters of the protagonist in Dan in Real Life, who spend the entire movie whining and sulking about, in one case, not being allowed to drive the car, and in the other, being separated for a few days from the boy who is kind of their boyfriend. While their behaviour is kind of bratty, the girls do have bigger underlying issues and sympathetic reasons that were later revealed Mom's dead, Dad is super overprotective.
  • Walt's granddaughter Ashley in Gran Torino.
  • Cassie Munro (played by teen pop singer JoJo) in RV.
  • Sarah Gopnik from A Serious Man qualifies, thanks to her vanity and frequently obnoxious attitudes.
  • This is deconstructed in the Film Noir Mildred Pierce. Fiercely protective mother Mildred tries to do anything to please her daughter Veda, who is an unappreciative brat. Mildred ends up ruining her own life just to try to get love back from her daughter.
  • Ellen Grape from What's Eating Gilbert Grape?.
  • Audrey Griswald was very much this in National Lampoon European Vacation. During practically all of this movie, all she does is whine about her missing her boyfriend and her weight.
  • Sarah from Labyrinth begins the film acting like a complete spoiled brat who blames every problem she has on her stepmother and half brother. The events of the film mature her.
    • Also a subtle deconstruction. She's a spoiled brat with a roomful of toys and pitches fits, but her parents are emotionally unavailable at best and passive-aggressively snide at worst; her outbursts are obvious cries for attention. The movie ends with Sarah learning to turn inward for comfort, without losing perspective in the real world.
  • Lalita's youngest sister Lakhi in Bride and Prejudice.
  • Philippe's daughter from the 2011 French comedy Intouchables.
  • The teenaged daughter in the 1962 atomic-war drama Panic In Year Zero, who characterizes the global thermonuclear war that has just devastated her hometown and killed all her friends and extended family with a whine of "This whole thing is a bore, such a drag!"

    Literature 
  • Claudia starts out this way in A Thread of Grace. She grows out of it.
  • Cleo, the title character's older sister in Amelia's Notebook. Along with having awful table manners, too, from Amelia's point of view, at least.
  • Lucy Pennykettle from The Last Dragon Chronicles has turned into this by the time of The Fire Eternal, and there are few remnants of the Cheerful Child from the preceding books.
  • Ephraim Kishon's daughter in his satirical short stories.
  • Thea in Halvgudene is this to the point of almost being an Emo Teen, while her father doesn't mind, her siblings and the bullies at her school does...
  • The members of The Baby-Sitters Club each show at least a few aspects of the trope from time to time.
  • As one of the two main protagonists of Galaxy of Fear, thirteen-year-old Tash Arranda doesn't display much of this - her family lived on Alderaan and she's had to step up to look after her little brother, plus she's constantly being dragged into danger. With everything going on she has to be focused on surviving, what's left of her family, and, when there's time, The Force. However, there are a few hints of the trope now and then - at the start of Planet Plague things are pretty quiet, and she locks herself into a refresher to study new pimples in the mirror and angst over them, thinking "They were as noticeable as orbital beacons." In The Brain Spiders her efforts to be "adult" cause her little brother to sigh "Teenagers!"
  • Clary Fray from The Mortal Instruments is often almost insanely self-absorbed. Even though she is unconcerned about things like popularity, she can be rather spectacularly heedless of other people's feelings, tends to jump into dangerous situations without thinking about it and will do whatever she wants even if it literally results in endangering the entire world. Luke calls her out on it one time, when she tries to blindly Portal to Idris and she is shocked because he has never chastised her before.
    • Isabelle Lightwood also has some shades of this.
  • Dolores Haze in Lolita towards her mother and later to her stepfather Humbert Humbert. Or so he'd have us believe. Humbert is so self-absorbed he fails to realise that much of this is Dolores lashing out at his nightly sexual abuse and daily control of every aspect of her life.
  • The three younger Bennet sisters in Pride and Prejudice are this, in their own different ways. Lydia is selfish, materialistic and cares nothing about the consequences of her actions or the trouble she caused for her family. What's worse is that she won't acknowledge her actions were damaging or wrong and this is helped along by her mother who has a similar personality type. Kitty is a milder version of Lydia and thankfully changes once Lydia isn't there to reinforce her old habits. Mary takes every opportunity to show herself off as intelligent and moral since she is the least attractive out of her sisters. Like Kitty, she is forced to socialize more when her sisters are married off and she feels better about herself when she is no longer compared to her prettier sisters.

    Live Action TV 
  • Astor from Dexter... just... wow. Although she does have a Freudian Excuse that gets worse as the series goes on. Also Deb in some flashbacks.
  • Rae from My Mad Fat Diary falls into this stereotype in some of her interactions with her mum.
  • Kelly Bundy of Married... with Children started off as just this character, but later became The Brainless Beauty as well.
  • Meadow during the first few seasons of The Sopranos. Of course, what teenage girl or boy ''wouldn't'' be a little bratty with parents like Tony and Carmela?
  • Bridget Hennessy of 8 Simple Rules. Kerry gets her moments too.
  • Hilary Banks of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
  • Mallory Keaton from Family Ties.
  • Claire Kyle from My Wife and Kids.
  • Carly Shay from iCarly. Spencer on the other hand, whilst he's an adult male... he will act like this whenever Carly has to take on the Team Mom role.
  • Janey Harper from My Family.
  • Subverted by Maeby from Arrested Development. Her parents assume that she's just a moody teenager and make it a point not to question her motives or activities. In reality, she's secretly a high-ranking executive at a movie studio and tends to make out with two of her cousins. Of course, it turns out she's not related to either of them.
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Colin Mochrie, as a news anchor, once had his teenage daughter (played by that week's female guest) appear on the news, and she was so comically immature that he responded, "Well, that was an experiment that went awry."
  • Nadira, Ransik's Dark Magical Girl daughter in Power Rangers Time Force. Who actually becomes the Morality Pet for her father, during the Grand Finale: when he finds one of his attacks injured her by accident, he has a Heel-Face Turn.
    • Power Rangers Ninja Storm similarly had Marah and Kapri, Lothor's Bratty Teenage Nieces. They're only related by marriage, but it's apparently enough for Cam, Lothor's nephew, to consider them "cousins" and give them a second chance in the season finale.
  • Charlene Sinclair from Dinosaurs.
  • Dawn Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer often borders on this trope, but a lot of it is understandable given what happens to her in season five. She grows out of it the last season. Buffy herself fit this trope on more than a few occasions.
  • Carmen from The George Lopez Show fits this trope to a T, especially the Very Special Episode part.
  • Alex from Wizards of Waverly Place and Megan of Drake & Josh count but only if "bordering on supervillain" is allowed.
  • Zoe from Eureka at first, eventually turning into a Deadpan Snarker and possibly Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Haley from Modern Family.
  • My Super Sweet Sixteen is full of them.
  • Emily Lightman from Lie to Me is usually an aversion of this trope, but bringing a boy home during school hours and complaining that "It's just sex" when her father figures it out suggests she's moving toward this.
  • Alexis Castle in Castle is a delightful inversion of this trope, being consistently both one of the most well-adjusted, mature, and down-to-earth members of Richard Castle's entire family. She does have her moments, but they're usually triggered by her father's immaturity(-stroke-overprotectiveness) rather than the other way round.
    • It's at times hinted that Beckett went through one of these stages as a teenage girl; the advice she often gives to Castle whenever he raises an issue he's having with Alexis often seem to come from the perspective of someone who knows first-hand exactly what a Bratty Teenage Daughter can be like. The death of her mother appears to have put a rather brutal end to it, however.
  • No Ordinary Family: Telepathic Daphne starts out as this, but thanks to some Character Development, she is becoming less so.
  • Hillary from The War At Home
  • Lily Finnerty from Grounded For Life
  • Kath and Kim's Kim was this when she was a teenager... and in her late 20s, she still acts like it, though with less emphasis on boys (she's too busy moping over husband Brett.)
  • Victorious' Trina Vega. Complete with It's All About Me attitude.
  • Lucy from Single Father, justifiably so as she is lashing out in the wake of her mother's death.
  • Scarlett from SLiDE, who gets called out on it by her father. A lot.
  • Lindsey Willows from CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Like the time she hitchhiked downtown and got chewed out for it by her mother, Catherine.
  • Sophie Stagner of Burn Notice is a prime example of this, at least during most of her one episode.
  • Juliet Martin from Ringer.
  • Dana Brody from Homeland, although she becomes a more sympathetic character as the series progresses.
  • Becky Conner from Roseanne went through a really bratty period during her teen years.
  • Angie, Clara's charge from Doctor Who is constantly doing the You're Not My Father thing, even though Clara isn't her stepmother or even dating their father.
  • I Hate My Teenage Daughter: Both daughters are Jerkass Alpha Bitches who remind their mothers of the kind of girls they hated in high school, hence the title.
  • In later episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond, Allie Barone begins to manifest this trope, giving Ray another parental headache. Especially shocking as the series has followed Allie from the ages of six through fourteen and she has grown up with the show and her TV parents.
  • Mad Men: Roger Sterling's daughter Margaret in the early seasons: she has numerous fits about how little attention Roger gives her, and about him marrying Jane, which is a fair point but she acts like a child about it (Mona isn't nearly as bothered by it as Margaret). Also, by Season 6, Sally Draper fits the bill, mouthing off to Betty and going on a Model United Nations trip to Manhattan basically to hang out with boys unsupervised (albeit she takes the actual MUNing more seriously than her committee partner, who hasn't done any research and is there only for the boys).

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 
  • Summer Mighty of Everyday Heroes shows a bit of attitude here with a Curse Cut Short.
  • Inverted in Sluggy Freelance with Katie Zalia.
    Mrs. Zalia: How you've grown, Katie. My baby's a teenager already! And as a teenager you're supposed to be depressed and giving me the silent treatment!
    Katie: Ohhhh, yeah, sorry.
    Mrs. Zalia: I mean, aren't you embarrassed by everything going on in this house? "What if my friends found out" and stuff?
    Katie: Embarrassed? My mixed up family is the coolest ever! Yeah, it makes me a little weird at school... but nobody bugs me or I'd just have Oasis kill 'em!
    Mrs. Zalia: ''*gasps* '
    Katie: Mom, I'm kidding. Mom, I know you're sad and depressed, but if you'd just talk to me...
    Mrs. Zalia: You wouldn't understand! *slams door*
  • Jeri Keene in PreTeena is a classic of they type. Eleven year old Teena shows occasional signs of teetering on the cusp of pre-teenage brattiness.
  • Wendi Colt from Wootlabs - a humanoid lizard construct who, despite only being two years old, has all the markers of adolescent attitude.

    Web Original 
  • Though we never actually see her parents, Cheerleader from Teen Girl Squad definitely fits the bill.
  • MacKenzieheartsu in her vlog. It turned out she was just acting and it was some Viral Marketing for Domino's Pizza.
  • It turns out that The Nostalgia Chick was like this, screaming and stomping up to her room when she didn't get her way.

    Western Animation 


Antagonistic OffspringSon of Trope, Daughter of IndexDaddy's Girl
All Periods Are PMSTeenage TropesCarload Of Cool Kids
Accentuate the NegativeComplaining IndexCan't Take Criticism
Bratty Half-PintYoungstersThe Bully
Boobs of SteelAlways FemaleBrawn Hilda
Bratty Half-PintScrappy IndexBroken Base
Bratty Half-PintCharacter Flaw IndexBridezilla
The Nostalgia ChickImageSource/InternetOver-the-Shoulder Carry
Brainwashed and CrazyAdministrivia/No Real Life Examples, Please!Bread and Circuses

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