Cool Old Lady
"What we have here, [Moist] told himself, is a Mk1 Feisty Old Lady: Turkey neck, embarrassing sense of humour, a gleeful pleasure in mild cruelty, direct ways of speaking that flirts with rudeness and, more importantly, also flirts with flirting. Likes to think she's no 'lady'. Game for anything that doesn't carry the risk of falling over and with a look in her eye that says 'I can do what I like, because I am old. And I have a soft spot for rascals.' Old ladies like that were hard to fool, but there was no need to."Much like its Spear Counterpart the Cool Old Guy, the Cool Old Lady is a character, much older than the main cast, but for whatever reason they become deeply attached to her. She can be a "hip" grandma that rollerblades, bungee jumps, can speak the teenage slang without it coming across as Totally Radical, an Apron Matron who's gruff but caring, or a Cloudcuckoo Lander who is a joy to have around. Or she could be a kindly old lady who obviously led a very rich life (when she was younger, she bungee jumped, rode a motorcycle, knows the teenage slang of her era but doesn't dare try to incorporate it into her current speech) and regales the cast with saucy stories of her escapades. The fact that she's survived doing all that and lived to that age tells you that you should Never Mess with Granny. If the grandma did all the cool stuff in the past, expect her to be low on the Sorting Algorithm of Mortality; on more dramatic shows, she will die by episode's/story arc's end. Often, she is helping all her new younger friends come to terms with their grief rather while being rather at peace with it herself because she "led a good life." See also My Grandma Can Do Better Than You: For when Grandma is not so cool, and this fact is used to insult someone else by implying they are even worse. Compare Mrs. Claus. Not to be confused with My Old Lady, a film starring Kevin Kline.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Megabaa from Dennou Coil. Hacks the local equivalent of the web, deals in banned software, and can shoot digital beams from her forehead.
- Granny Chiyo and Tsunade (although Tsunade makes herself look young) from Naruto; one is a counselor revered in her village, while the other is the Hokage, leader of Konoha. The former fought one of Akatsuki's strongest members to a standstill (though admittedly beating him only with Plot no Jutsu) while the latter is a world renowned medic, who pretty much wrote the book on combat medicine.
- Maico Kato, one of the Card Professors from Yu-Gi-Oh! R (not to mention one with the skill and nerve to give even Yugi a challenge). Also counts as a Handicapped Badass, seeing as she's wheelchair-bound, her Duel Disk being built into her chair.
- Moto Asagi from Brigadoon: Marin and Melan is very wise and very generous. She adopted a foundling to replace her own lost child, and she cares for an alien robot like he was a member of the family.
- Kaoruko Hanasaki from Heart Catch Pretty Cure, who used to be Cure Flower and is usually there to explain Pretty Cure things to her granddaughter and the other Cures.
- Armed Librarians: The Book of Bantorra has Ireia Kitty, a heavy-set old lady who can kick some serious ass.
- Grandma Hina from Love Hina. She spends most of the series traveling around the world on vacation, but the few times that she does show up, all the tenants stand at attention, absolutely amazed by how cunning and on the ball she is when it comes to making sure things get done. She even sets up a plan to get Keitaro into a bit of trouble. The other girls were reluctant to do it. There's a reason (unexplained as it may be) why she's known as "The Demon of Hinata".
- Gangsta: Big Mama Georgiana, Madame of the brothel Pussy as well as a major member of the Corsica family. She's even kind to Nic.
- A Bride's Story: The male lead's grandmother, Balkirsh, is capable of driving off hostile visitors with a bow and riding a mountain goat up a nearly-vertical cliff to rescue a child.
- Ping Pong: Obaba (Grandmother), who runs the local Ping Pong shop.
- Aunt May, during the Civil War when everyone knew who Peter Parker was and was out to get him, became a downright Bad Ass old lady, even going so far as to appear clueless when the Chameleon impersonated Peter while simultaneously tricking him into thinking he'd been poisoned with cookies full of sleeping pills and knitting a sweater with the word "GOTCHA" in big letters the whole time.
- When Wolverine complains about letting Jarvis have the morning off (with May picking up the slack making breakfast), May grabs his cigar from his hand and extinguishes it in his beer. Wolverine just stares at her for a couple of seconds, then announces he's just going to get doughnuts.
- Ultimate Aunt May is quite the proverbial badass as well, so much so that she chewed J. Jonah Jameson out for being mean to Peter.
- Of course, Blind Al from Deadpool. A witty disabled octogenarian who scares Girl Scouts for a hobby and can hold her own with one of the most dangerous people on the planet?
- Mrs. Anne-Marie Hoag, founder and first director of Damage Control. She hobnobs with Tony Stark, stands up to The Kingpin, beats the living hell out of muggers, has survived multiple hostile takeovers and is best friends with Nick Fury.
- Jon's grandma rarely makes an appearance — but when she does, it's usually by driving through the wall on her motorcycle.
- Jon's elderly Aunt Gussie, who was discharged from the Navy for unnecessary roughness.
- Pansy Yokum from Lil Abner, who can fell a cougar with one punch, smokes a corncob pipe, and dispenses sage advice to the rest of the village.
- Mary Worth: Mary Worth is apparently meant to be portrayed as one, but she usually just comes off as a naggy moral guardian.
- The Middletons has "Gunny Granny", a retired Marine Corps gunnery sergeant with a black belt in martial arts and a love of tackle football (which she coaches).
- Andy's mother in FoxTrot. She seems to excel at everything; among other things, she's such a great cook that Martha Stewart herself is trying to buy one of her recipes, she can match Jason in math skills, shares Paige's love for modern fashion, is just as knowledgeable in sports as Peter, and an article in The New York Times says she's "perfect". Unfortunately, Andy herself has "issues" with her due to feeling inadequate when she's around; her worst case of being a Lethal Chef came from trying to outdo her on Thanksgving. (And as fate would have it, her mother told her that she had gone through the same thing with her mother.)
- Melissa, the proprietor of the Celestial Treasures new age shop in Origin Story is a dyed in the wool hippy. She's also a practicing witch who gives Alex and Louise some helpful advice and points them toward Jennifer Kale.
Films — Animation
- Granny Puckett in Hoodwinked definitely qualifies, being an 'Extreme Sports' ace, and world-class skier. She keeps this secret from Red because she doesn't want Red to worry about her.
- Wilhelmina Packard from both Atlantis The Lost Empire and House of Mouse: a smoking, permanently deadpan old woman who will carry on a casual radio conversation with her friend even in the midst of a Leviathan attack.
- Manolo's grandmother, Anita Sanchez from The Book of Life, a former bullfighter who gives Manolo some good advice.
- Mamma Oddie from The Princess and the Frog, who provides the page image is very much this. Despite being a 197 years blind lady, her powers are strong enough to defeat Dr. Facilier's shadows, that came straight from hell. She has a lot of spunk and personality, can sense things like that Tiana was falling in love with Naveen before her and can use her gumbo to see things that are happening far away.
- The eponymous Triplets of Belleville, ex-vaudeville stars still doing their thing on stage. Also Madame Souza, who is possibly the only Implacable Grandma.
- Mowzer of The Mousehole Cat is a feline version.
Films — Live-Action
- Dame Judi Dench, the third M after Bernard Lee and Robert Brown in the James Bond series.
- Napoleon's Grandmother from Napoleon Dynamite, she sneaks off from "baby-sitting" her grown (late-teens/late twenties or early thirties) grand-children to ride sand dunes on a quad-bike with her friends. Interesting because her grandsons have no idea and are shy and reclusive by nature.
- This gets carried over into the animated series where she's keenly aware that being an old lady grants her permission to say any offensive thing she likes and people will just think she's being a "character".
- Lady Fingers, the female (in the 1930s, no less) poker ace in The Cincinnati Kid.
- The Debt: Although younger than many of the other examples, Rachel (played by Helen Mirren in the American version), in her fifties, is very old for the sort of spy work she's doing.
- Mrs. Henderson in Norbit becomes this towards the end in taking part in the town's revolt against the Latimores, even if she proves to be no match as well.
- Soul Food's Mama Joe definitely counts. Sweet and stern while being non-confrontational. Hell, she doesn't even mind when her daughter sneaks away from the kitchen to have sex with her husband!
- The Tyrannosaurus from Jurassic World has returned after 22 years of absense. Even though her aging is clear, she is still able to kick the I. Rex's ass all around the place. With help from Blue the Velociraptor.
- Ricki And The Flash plays this for drama. The protagonist is a fifty something woman who fronts a rock band. As she abandoned her family to pursue her dreams, she faces constant conflict over not being what society thinks she should be.
- Granny Weatherwax has defeated master vampires, fairy godmothers, and Death himself (in a card game). Her precise age is unknown, but she's definitely an old lady and she's definitely cool.
- Nanny Ogg, Granny's life-long best friend. She's less direct than Granny, but she's willing to walk into the Elf King's home and threaten him to get him to intervene when his Queen is running amok, and she may even be more powerful than Granny.
- Topsy Lavish, nee Turvy, from Making Money — the page quote is the main character (who is a very good judge of character) appraising her.
- Miss Flitworth from Reaper Man, although too straight-laced to be "cool" in the conventional sense, is determined enough to have a certain charm of her own. The fact she's the only person in the series besides Ysabell to have smacked Death and gotten away with it probably helps.
- In Dragon Bones, Aunt Stala is of unspecified age, has grey hair, and is armsmaster of the Blue Guard of castle Hurog. She taught the protagonist, Ward, everything he knows about fighting and strategy, and is a better fighter than both his father and he, who are both known for their fighting skills. (Implicitly, the only reason she got no higher position is because she's a woman.)
- In the Stephanie Plum series, Stephanie's maternal grandmother, Grandma Mazur, drives her rather more conventional daughter up the wall, but nearly every other character thinks she's hilarious (except possibly her son-in-law). We've seen her take on trying to be a bounty hunter, riding a motorcycle, joining a rock band (that also includes a retired hooker and a transvestite), and taking up taxidermy, among other antics. Grandma apparently does not buy into the concept of one's "golden years" being quiet and peaceful. She's partly based on a genuine bounty-hunting grandmother the series' author, Janet Evanovich, met during her research.
- Lampshaded aversion in Little Women: "Some old people keep young at heart in spite of wrinkles and grey hair, can sympathize with children's little cares and joys, make them feel at home, and can hide wise lessons under pleasant plays, giving and receiving friendship in the sweetest way. But Aunt March had not this gift."
- The Jewish grandmother in Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. is a mild example, who gives Margaret presents, takes her places, pays for her summer camp, and only occasionally insists that's she's really Jewish. The Christian grandmother is a rather dowdy old woman, who visits only because she's taking a trip to New York anyway, and makes a point of wearing a huge cross and insisting that Margaret is Christian.
- Sethra Lavode in the Dragaera series, legendary enchantress, legendary general, vampire, holder of an Omniscient Morality License and military nerd. She's about 200,000 years old (the average Dragaeran lives to about 2000), counting the years after her death.
- Most of Elizabeth Moon's works contain a Cool Old Lady:
- Remnant Population is just the story of one making First Contact.
- The Heris Serrano Trilogy has Cecilia de Markos (who, despite being the owner of a space yacht called Sweet Delight, at one point manages to pass herself off as a military spy through sheer nerve, because surely she wouldn't make such a ridiculous claim if it weren't true.
- The Vattas War series has Ky Vatta's aunt Gracie, who is a brilliant strategist, and who smuggles diamonds in her famously inedible fruitcakes.
- Julia from This Perfect Day. Sister of the dictator of a prison island, she subverts his repressive social policies with philanthropy. Then she finances multiple covert strike teams to attack and destroy the supercomputer that rules the rest of the world, supporting the widows and orphans when they fail.
- Gros-Jeanne, the protagonist's grandmother in Brown Girl In the Ring. She's a healer, an expert on herbal and supernatural lore, and not somebody you want to mess with.
- Olenna Tyrell, more commonly known as "The Queen of Thorns," from A Song of Ice and Fire. To the point of personally assassinating one of the series' most odious characters and completely escaping blame.
- Mrs. Bobson from Eliot Fintushel's Breakfast with the Ones You Love. She seems to be a sweet, naive Bing Crosby-loving old lady at first, but it turns out that she knows what the protagonist and her drug-dealing occultist boyfriend have been up to all along. She also turns out to have psychic powers similar to the main character, but she's much more powerful and experienced. She takes down three tough Mafia enforcers singlehandedly and keeps them imprisoned in her basement, and ends up saving the day at the climax of the book by defeating Satan himself. When other characters are surprised by her actions, she implies that she has done many other frightening and astonishing things in the past. However, after the climax, she seems to want to give up being a badass and set up a cozy little family with the main character as a substitute for her deceased daughter.
- Ruth, Thom Creed's precog teammate in Perry Moore's novel Hero.
- Miss Marple always has a story about something really bad happening in her home village to illustrate why she knows who the murderer has to be. She usually recounts these horrific events to the astonishment of her listeners who never dreamed things like that happen in the backwaters of the country.
- Lady Callahan from Lady Slings The Booze dabbles in this but she's a trope in herself. She's also a Madam (but 'free will' is paramount) and one of her 'girls' is a grandmother.
- Thursday Next has two of these. A beloved great-aunt whose favorite hobbies are tormenting telemarketers and helping her husband build devices that defy the laws of physics. Then there's Grannie Next who is a whole different level of trouble on her own. For starters, just which side of the family is she from?
- The grandmother from The Witches, a cigar-smoking retired monster-hunter.
- Nettie's Ma in the Knight and Rogue Series, a swamp dwelling, energetic older woman who helps put Michael back together after he gets dragged through a Trauma Conga Line and volunteers to distract a known killer so the main characters get evidence on him.
- Diana Wynne Jones wrote a couple of examples of this. Both Miss Smith in Dogsbody and Polly's grandmother in Fire and Hemlock prove to be wiser and more sympathetic than other adults. Both are also very effective at getting custody of children in need. Miss Smith has the added bonus of understanding dogs very well, and Polly's grandmother knows folklore that is vital to the story.
- Aunt Zelda from Septimus Heap, being the Keeper of Draggen Island.
- Augusta Longbottom in Harry Potter also meets this trope. She is described as being formidable. She has the skills to back it up. When Dawlish, who is an Auror and said to be elite, went to arrest her, she sent him running with his tail between his legs straight to St Mungo's! Plus, she participated in the Battle of Hogwarts. She is seen running very quickly into the battle. Not to mention Professor McGonagall.
- The title character in Dorothy Gilman's Mrs. Pollifax series. A sweet if somewhat shrewd little old lady who raises flowers, plays bridge, fusses over the grandkids and generally potters around - in between doing courier work for the CIA.
- Fawn's elderly blind Aunt Nattie from The Sharing Knife books embodies this trope in addition to being the only member of the household that understands the misfit only daughter. For that matter, Dag's considerably-more-elderly-but-does-not-look-it Aunt Mari skirts this trope.
- Lady Barbara Booker in Aunt Dimity and the Lost Prince. She declines the use of her title, saying, "I've never been much of a lady." She is openly atheist and spent much of her life travelling wherever she pleased. In her old age, she disregards doctor's orders to be in a room with her books (too dusty) and a fire (too ashy). Inviting Lori and Bree in, she says, "Bung your bags and jackets there and bung your bums anywhere you please." After that, she gives them inside dope on how to enter the Markov house (Mirfield) as well as a master key she persuaded a young Mikhail to steal when they were children.
- Alex's mother, former Olympics gold medalist in basketball, from Heart In Hand. She beats current NHL players soundly at a game of backyard basketball, and is fiercely supportive of Alex when the photograph of him kissing another man is leaked.
- In Heidi, Klara's grandmother who is really young in spirit and greatly respected by everybody. She's wonderful to Klara and Heidi. It was she who convinced Heidi that reading is not as hard as Peter told her and that it can bring her many pleasures.
- Maggie Calloway, in Geoph Essex's Jackrabbit Messiah, is a badass Lady of Adventure from way back who serves as the de facto leader of the heroes. Her reaction when another character points out she's been shot?
"Not for the first time.... For that matter, this isn't even my first hip. I was due for an upgrade."
- There's also Lieutenant Springer: nowhere near as old as Maggie, but a phenomenal badass in her own right.
- The Rainbow Magic series has Mrs. Croft, who gets the girls parts as extras in a movie.
- Imogen Herondale from City of Ashes, her age does not stop her from being an extremely competent Shadowhunter.
- The Dowager Duchess from Lord Peter Wimsey, especially in contrast to her stick-in-the-mud daughter-in-law, Helen, Duchess of Denver. Inspector Parker, her future son-in-law, says of her, "Time and trouble will tame an advanced young woman, but an advanced old woman can't be stopped by Heaven itself."
- Santa Battaglia from A Confederacy of Dunces: Definitely older (she's a grandmother—specifically, she's Patrolman Mancuso's mom), but also extremely vivacious, insisting on remaining active (she bowls, and also dances enthusiastically) and loves herself some strong drink (Early Times bourbon, in a tall glass if you please)—not to mention the matchmaking with her younger friends (setting up Irene Reilly and Claude Robichaux).
- Greasy Sae from The Hunger Games. Katniss likes her enough, and she seems pretty alright, despite her odd choices in cooking ingredients.
- In Tales of the City, there is Anna Madrigal, Mama Bear of 28 Barbary Lane, who hands out free joints to her tenants, is willing to overlook the occasional late rent, and always seems to know how to fix everyone's problems.
- Mrs. Davis on Our Miss Brooks, Miss Brooks' landlady who's a Cordon Bleugh Chef, confidant, blabbermouth, and occasional fortune teller.
- The titular characters of Rosemary And Thyme definitely count. They are wandering gardeners/detectives who are fiercely independent and unafraid to get aggressive when it's needed.
- As Time Goes By has Madge, who sings country music, goes bungee-jumping, protests fox hunting, and plays the drums, all in her early eighties.
- From Battlestar Galactica: President Laura Roslin certainly qualifies. Knowing that a) her job is literally the survival of the human species and b) her knowing she was living on borrowed time for the entire series, Roslin can have all the credit for Cool Old Ladydom she wants.
- Madeline Westen from Burn Notice has moments of these. She made a terrorist hijacker's pilot more terrified of her than he was of his employer.
- Castle: Castle's mother and Alexis' grandmother Martha Rodgers is still leading the good life. She's an actress.
- Noranti becomes one of these in the last season of Farscape. She starts out seeming a bit sinister but really she's just trying to do the right thing. Her coolness mostly stems from her willingness to do crazy things like dance naked (while disguised as a sexy young woman) to distract guards from the rest of the team and her genuine desire to take care of the crew on Moya.
- Edna of Everwood. She even rides a motorbike! Her granddaughter adores her and even moves in for a while, and she acts as a great (grand)mother figure to Delia.
- Estelle Winslow from Family Matters. She manages to use the young people slang of the 1990's without any awkwardness, had a very active sex life (much to her son's chagrin), was physically active, and quite often ended up serving as the voice of reason in the family.
- On Food Network, Ina Garten could be considered one, although she isn't exactly "old," more like middle-aged. Paula Deen counts as a Cool Old Lady too.
- Louise Chatham from H2O: Just Add Water. Especially after admitting to the girls that she was in the original trio of mermaids in the 1950's.
- While a bit of a Magnificent Bastard, Angela Petrelli of Heroes fame has a bit of this. Despite threats of violence, plans blowing up in her face, and other negatives, she very seldom loses her cool. Having precognition for a power tends to do that.
- A very brief one from the Monk episode "Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa Claus". An old lady named Alice DuBois is walking home from work when a thug, who has been waiting for her, steps from the shadows with a knife. She promptly pulls pepper spray out of her purse and shoots it directly into his eyeballs, continuing to spray while he reacts with pain and even tracking his eyes with the spray as he jerks around in agony. Unfortunately, the thug in question works for a gang that needs Alice dead to further their crime scheme. That is solved when Michael Kenworthy, the gang leader, comes up, and bludgeons her to death with a bell.
- Hetty from NCIS: Los Angeles is about four feet tall, into her seventies and runs a team of experts who don't even begin to question who's in charge.
- JAG: Porter Webb, CIA officer Clayton Webb’s mother, a former NSA analyst who is perfectly comfortable with her son’s fake deaths and other cloak and dagger shenanigans.
- The Sarah Jane Adventures:
- Sarah Jane Smith, who still fights the good fight like in the old says traveling with the Doctor, though she's not as old-looking as most characters of this type. She'd be even cooler if she'd stop marching up to villains and telling them she knew what they were up to.
- Former companion Jo Grant made an appearance as a thoroughly cool old lady, having traveled all over the world, experiencing new cultures and fighting more mundane battles against government corruption and such-like.
- There were three during the Tom Baker era: Amelia Ducat in "The Seeds of Doom" (who went undercover into Harrison Chase's mansion to check on the Doctor & Sarah Jane), Mrs. Tyler (no relation to Rose Tyler) in "Image of the Fendahl" (who used her psychic abilities to help the Doctor & Leela), and Amelia Rumford in "The Stones of Blood" (who helped the Doctor against Cessair of Diplos).
- From the Doctor Who Expanded Universe, Dr. Evelyn Smythe (later Evelyn Rossiter). Facing against Six's ego-trips and winning? Give the woman a medal.
- Though she doesn't look it, Jadzia Dax in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is the eighth incarnation of a 350 year old alien. She's a master of hand to hand combat and an expert pilot, drinks and parties hard, likes to brawl with Klingons, snarks and makes dirty jokes a lot. She once destroyed an entire bar, caused a couple of diplomatic incidents, and thinks that spending early mornings having broken bones fixed is a healthy sex life.
"Gentleman, I am 108 years old. I intend for this to an informal hearing. In short, I intend to be here until supper not senility"
- The magistrate who oversees Dax's extradition hearing in the episode "Dax" qualifies too.
- Lwaxanna Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation was a very active for an older lady, but there are some strong evidence that she was acting rather annoying to her own daughter, Captain Picard and Worf.
- Diana Trent in the britcom Waiting for God, played by Stephanie Cole (who was only 50 at the time); she was a photojournalist and a war correspondent for most of her life, spent her 65th birthday hanging from a helicopter, and gives everyone hell in her.
- Dolores Landingham of The West Wing is a fine example. She routinely matches wits with the often extremely witty senior staff and is the only member of the cast never seen to be intimidated by working with the President.
- June from White Collar. Has no problem letting Neal (a conman) live in her house, and occasionally mentions hanging around with the who's who of the 50's social scene.
- Widow Lucas/Ruby's grandmother in Once Upon a Time. In the fairy tale land, she puts a group of enraged villagers and hunters in their places, and she wields a crossbow with efficiency. In Storybrooke, she runs a Breafast in Bed AND a Diner, not to mention appears to like motorcycles and still like cute guys, when she tells Emma "If you won't, I will!" When August offers Emma a ride on his motorcycle.
- Cora Hudson, Mindy's grandmother in Mork and Mindy. Imagine an old lady who loved both rock music and Mork with his lovable silliness, even after she learned he is an alien.
- A possible deconstruction shows up in the Lizzie McGuire episode featuring Gordo's grandmother. He previously remembers her as a conservative woman but she shows up now wearing kimonos, eating sushi and full of fun. Gordo finds this off-putting and wishes for her to be the way she used to be.
- Lizzie's never seen grandmother appears to be this as well. She apparently teaches wind surfing classes, though has horrible taste in sweaters.
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch: Unlike Grandma Lydia who is closer to My Beloved Smother and Great Aunt Irma who is an Evil Matriarch, Great Grandma from "Witch Trash" is a Cool Old Lady.
- Women of all ages come out of the woodwork to help in all sorts of situations in What Would You Do?, a hidden camera show that tests passers-by in many Ripped from the Headlines scenarios, but older women tend to be the most forthright (and awesome) when coming to the defense of others.
- The Flipside Of Dominick Hide: Dominick's Great Aunt Mavis, who is pretty much the reason Dominick sets off in his quest, and is also the one who first recognises the change in him when he starts arguing back over stuff. People in the 22nd Century never argue. At best, they express mild discontent.
- The titular Grace And Frankie. Played by Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.
- "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena" by Jan and Dean. Why is she cool? Because, "parked in her rickety old garage is a brand new shiny red Super Stock Dodge."
- The old lady in the audio samples of Oasis's "Fuckin' in the Bushes." The song contains several samples from Message to Love of contemporary reactions to the Isle of Wight music festival, Britain's version of Woodstock. The old lady enthusiastically supports the festival, saying, "I love it! Room for everybody here. Yes, all are welcome. Yes, indeed. I love them! Fun! Nice! Life! Youth! Beautiful! I'm all for it!"
- Many elder female exalts embody that trope in Tabletop Games/Exalted. A special mention goes to Mnemon. She is the eldest surviving child of the Empress and although she is in the late of her life, she remains one of the most powerful sorceress in Creation, arguably the most powerful individual Dragon-Blooded alive now that the Empress is gone, a skilled politician and manipulator, the head of a Great House, and an extremely clever and cunning person all around. It is hinted many times that there are not many things in the Realm she could not do if she wanted to, including seizing the scarlet throne, but that so many people hate her, oppose her or are shitless scared of her that it would likely drive the Realm to civil war if she did so.
- Madame Leonora Armfeldt from A Little Night Music has numbered kings among her lovers, takes no shit from her grown daughter, and has accumulated a great amount of wealth and snarky wit over the years, both of which she shares with her granddaughter Fredrika. She's the one character who seems to always know what she's doing.
- Berthe, the title character's grandmother in Pippin, gets a great song about enjoying life while you can. It's her only scene, but damn is it awesome.
- EVA "Big Mama" of Metal Gear Solid 4: Even at age 78 she still rides her motorbike like hell and leads her own private army from the front. And she's the only known person who did Big Boss.
- Eileen The Crow of Bloodborne is an old hunter who's in the same age as Gehrman's. Yet she still kicks ass and proves it by hunting other hunters. You can help her to kill Henryk if you want to see her in action, and if you don't, she would use you to make an example of it.
- In the video game version of The Darkness, one of your main contacts is a your 'auntie', a dear old lady who became involved with the Mafia when she fell in love with a young 'Don'. Eventually, her resistance against the current Don, 'Uncle Paulie' becomes too obvious for him to ignore, and he sends a horde of gun-tooting mooks after her. While you are expected to do most of the killing, she's no slouch either, juggling a Hand Cannon with one hand while supporting herself on a cane with the other.
- Wynne, resident Badass Grandma of Dragon Age: Origins, is a kindly old woman who appoints herself Team Mom... and is one of the most powerful mages in the land, who survived a disastrous battle and demon onslaught before joining the party.
- Especially true if you give her the Arcane Warrior specialization and develop her spell list in the areas of Fireball.
- And unfortunately subverted if your actions turn her against the party (you have to make some really evil choices for that to happen): Wynne becomes a laughably easy enemy to dispatch.
- From Mass Effect 2: Matriarch Aethyta, the bartender on Ilium, who is about a millennium old, extremely dirty, and just full of interesting stories. Usually matriarchs serve as honored advisors back on the Asari homeworld. Nobody listened to Aethyta's advice (apparently they "laughed the blue off her ass"), so she left. It's too bad, because the advice (like designing their own mass relays) was remarkably good in hindsight. It also turns out she's Liara's father.
- Like most Asari, she is half-alien. In her case, half- Krogan. Which makes Liara quarter-Krogan, and actually explains quite a lot.
- Also Dr. Chakwas, particularly after a little Serrice Ice Brandy.
- Samara, to some degree. Rather than settle down in her older years, she instead dedicates her life to bringing justice to the galaxy and hunting down her sociopathic murdering daughter. Despite this and her powerful biotics, she's a very peaceful person, never showing even the slightest hint of being angry or unsettled.
- Pokémon Any of the trainer classes depicted as old ladies are examples of this. Special mention goes to Agatha, Bertha and Drasna, who are all members of the Elite Four. (Drasna even uses Dragon types, to boot!)
- The Player Character Tiger Bai from Tradewinds Legends.
- Obaba from Golden Sun: The Lost Age takes time out from nagging her grandson and cooing over her great grandson to pick a fight with the player characters on behalf of her family... and then she finds out that our heroes were in the right, apologizes for the inconvenience (because she can tell her giant seemingly-invincible fire salamander only inconvenienced them), and helps them reforge a legendary artifact. She returns to help you more in Dark Dawn, this time waxing Genre Savvy to her great grandson and then taking over Item Crafting... in a darkened city menaced by superpowered monsters, which she refused to evacuate with everybody else. Forget Too Cool to Live, this lady's just too Crazy Awesome to die!
- In A Witchs Tale, Babayaga helps Liddell out, gives her advice, and sells potions and items.
- Borderlands 2 brings us Grandma Flexington, who looks a lot like her grandson (that is, large and muscular). She plays ECHO sims, keeps rakk as pets, and once wrestled a whale-squid named Blowhole the Apocalypse. She won.
- Telepath Tactics has Scarlet Etolie, a retired mantis knight. She still has a strong sense of duty and honor — at times too strong — and is one of your toughest and most reliable party members despite her gray hair.
- The Continentals: In the steampunk mystery/adventure The Continentals both Dame Victoria Ellesworth Poole is the coolest Gran'Mama in 19th century England. Find it here.
- Post-Scratch Jade Harley from Homestuck counts, as does Nannasprite.
- Mrs. N. the OC Stand-in for James Norrington's mother in Roommates. Trolls / romances immortals (or at least the Erlkönig), gives shovel talks, knows all, sees all, dares all, breaks the fourth wall (OK. That isn't such a big thing here...) and can still appear as the proper Irish lady.
- In Sinfest, she runs a coffeshop and she's real cool.
- Abigail Primrose from The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! She's an ex-schoolteacher, and now Generictown's sweet little old recluse. Most of her best friends are dragons from space and she owns her own Bubblegum Crisis-styled Powered Armor.
- In Without Moonlight Grandma Pelagia is a tough old lady who by virtue of being Basil's grandmother, is a grandmother to all the kids he is protecting too.
- Zukahnaut's Nanma once rubbed elbows with the biggest rock stars in the world. Now she lives without fear in a world that falls further into chaos every day.
- Dr. Collins, may have seem to be a fairly classic granny. But with over 4528 subscribers... Yeah. She was full of good advice to.
- Team GrannyStrike, a knitting circle turned Counter-Strike club. An interview video with a member claims that young people should not play Counter-Strike... because they cheat and use aimbots.
- Elizabeth Carson is in her 70s (but doesn't look it), and is also a part-time superheroine, capable of taking on one of the world's top-ranked supervillains in a fight, and the headmistress of a school for mutants.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has Granny Smith. While she doesn't get much screen time, and has definitely seen better days both mentally and physically, she still plays along with hyperactive foals well, and was apparently quite the Bad Ass in her youth; in "Family Appreciation Day", she relates how she ventured into the Everfree Forest to find Sweet Apple Acres' famous Zap Apples and how, thanks to those apples, the town of Ponyville grew around her family's farm.
- Kim Possible's Nana started as an overprotective granny, until she started kicking Kim's ass in Kung Fu.
- Rock's mother on My Dad The Rock Star presents as a sweet little old lady but is really a hard-rockin' biker chick when she can get away with it.
- Samantha's grandmother on Danny Phantom thinks her parents are a little hard on her, so she lets the girl out when they've grounded her and is usually the first to defend her actions, having been a non-conformist herself during her youth.
- Suga Mama from The Proud Family, a sassy black version of this trope. She even wrestled professional wrestlers.
- Yan Lin in W.I.T.C.H., a former guardian who helps the girls get accustomed to their powers.
- Miss Lilly from Millionaire Dogs. She often rides around on a motorcycle for fun.
- The Simpsons: Homer Simpson's mother, especially in contrast with Homer's father. She's a hippie, educated and cultured, and she bonds with her grandchildren, especially book-smart Lisa who finally feels she is a Simpson.
- Angela Anaconda's grandmother. She's so wild even Angela is unnerved by her...and it's implied that this is Angela's future.
- Rosey from The Jetsons can be seen as a robot version of this trope, especially in her debut episode where she plays football with Elroy and helps Judy do her homework. And clobbers Mr. Spacely with an Upside-down cake.
- Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers had a fondness for this trope, starting with village shaman Mistwalker, who used her knowledge of the local flora and fauna to make an invading gang of criminals very sorry. Second was Arizona McGee, a blowtorch-wielding sculptor who made statues of giant bugs and cold-cocked a crook half her age. Lastly, there was Ariel, Niko's mentor. A cheerful trickster, she turned the tables on Sealed Evil in a Can several times over, culminating in paraphrasing Sun Tzu and blasting it with all she had.
- Granny May from WordGirl. For one thing, she has a big robotic supersuit...
- Doug's Grandma Opal from "Doug on the Wild Side" may have odd taste in fashionable gifts, but she rides a motorcycle (and shows off family photos to a scary, leather-clad biker, who responds in kind), encourages Doug to try sushi, and gives him advice on how to talk to Patti when he's feeling shy. Doug starts out wishing she was more of a Granny Classic, but eventually comes to appreciate her for who she is.
- Aunt Amy in Daria, a splitting older image of the titular character with a more laid back personality. Understandably, she is the most beloved of Daria's relatives and a fan favourite.
- The True Master from the Teen Titans episode "The Quest". (In fact, she seems to have been based, at least partially, on Mr. Miagi from The Karate Kid movies, who clearly fit the Cool Old Guy Trope.)
- About the only thing that changed for Toph between Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra is that she's now 85 and not twelve; her hair, outfit, and personality are all still intact.
Korra: You were tossing me around like a ragdoll...
Toph: I know! And I'm an old lady! Imagine me in my prime... I would have DESTROYED you!
- The late Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the British Queen Mother. During World War II she took to visiting hospitals and soldiers and areas that had been targeted by the Luftwaffe. In the face of criticisms for wearing expensive clothes in such devastated regions, she explained that if the public were to come to see her they would dress their best, so she should do the same. Her clothes had very bright colors and tended to avoid black so as to suggest "a rainbow of hope". During the Blitz she refused to evacuate her daughters or herself from London, noting "The children won't go without me, I won't leave the King, and the King will never leave his country." When Buckingham Palace was bombed, she snarked "I'm glad we've been bombed. It makes me feel I can look the East End in the face". Adolf Hitler is believed to have described her as "the most dangerous woman in Europe". Her awesomeness continued well into the time her daughter (below) began her reign: in one prominent example, when she was the guest of honour at an official luncheon in Ottawa hosted by the wife of then-Prime Minister of Canada Joe Clark, Maureen McTeer—a feminist lawyer (a new thing in the 1970s) who had kept her maiden name—several of the other ladies in attendance made jokes at the hostess' expense and pointedly called her "Mrs Clark;" but the Queen Mother didn't engage in that behaviour, told the (by that point very frazzled) McTeer "don't be bothered by criticism" on the way to the car, and parted by saying, "Good Luck … Ms. McTeer". And throughout her time, the Queen Mum was famous for her good humour about everything.
- Her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, is no slouch, either. She has a YouTube account, for crying out loud. Note that when Barack Obama bought her a new iPod even though she already had one, this wasn't a faux pas (as was often reported); she had previously mentioned that the one she had was outdated and would rather like to keep up with the times. The Queen is also a major fan of Doctor Who, which is suspected as the reason she failed to knight Michael Grade, the BBC controller who cancelled it in the 80s. He is the only BBC controller to not have been knighted. In 1945, she joined the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service, and trained as a driver and mechanic. To this day she retains those very skills that came with her training. That's right, the Queen of England is a Wrench Wench.
- Beatrice Wood, an avant-garde artist at the heart of the Dada movement of the 1910s and 1920s (who also inspired Jeanne Moreau's character in Jules and Jim) continued her artistic career well into the 1990s, branching into new styles as the decades went by, and still created daring work past her 100th birthday.
- Patty Maloney once wrote that children are amazed at someone their size doing adult things: driving a car, wearing makeup and high-heeled shoes, etc.
- Judi Dench is also a classic example, as between takes during the filming of one of the Riddick movies, she asked Vin Diesel for some tips on GMing a D&D campaign for her grandchildren. And she has a great hobby.
- Betty White. She's extremely nice in person and super sassy. She honestly doesn't care what people think, but she seems quite humble too. Seriously. She's really oh so damn freakin' incredibly hilarious!!!
- Mother Jones, a union organizer, described as the "grandmother of all agitators" and the "most dangerous woman in America."
- The Raging Grannies: A bunch of 60+ women who dress up outrageously and sing mildly ribald protest songs on street corners to protest government and corporate corruption and waste.
- Ruth Frith: She's 100-years-old and broke a fricking world shot put record! Also trains five days a week, bench-pressing 80lb weights and practising hammer-throw, javelin and shot put.
- Keiko Fukuda. Growing up at a time when women were expected to marry and become housewives, she dedicated her life to the study of judo and rose through the ranks despite the sexism of the judo establishment. She was the highest-ranked female judoka in history, and was still teaching three classes a week at the time of her death at age 99.
- Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson from the 1990s cooking show Two Fat Ladies were Cool Old Gals, especially Jennifer, who was almost literally doing the show till the day she died. Clarissa's an interesting case, as back in the '60s and '70s she had been a rather attractive barrister—the youngest ever, in fact—as well as a depressed alcoholic who claimed to have had sex with an MP behind the Speaker's chair. That she turned out to be...well...Clarissa in middle age was, if surprising to some, hardly unpredictable.
- Tina Turner and Shirley Bassey — both Bad Ass singers, both looking damn good well into their 70s. And Shirley even covered a Pink song... and it worked. There's a reason why the Propellerheads wrote their song "History Repeating" specifically for her to sing.
- During WW2, the Dutch queen, Wilhelmina, was generally regarded as this among the general populace. To quote: "She was the only man amongst a whole bunch of old tarts." (Freely translated)
- Louise Smith, (born 1916), a pleasant South Carolina grandma. Who was also one of the first NASCAR racers...
- Louise "Spider Woman" Bourgeois, the first female artist to get a major retrospective at MOMA.
- Monica Masuda a.k.a. Krazee Grandma, 71 years old and one of Sweden's most famous breakdancers. Started breakdancing at age 61. See attached.
- Maggie Kuhn. Founded the Gray Panthers Movement (an organization that opposes ageism, as well as addressing other social issues that relate to the elderly) after she was forced to retire on her 65th birthday, was an activist for elder rights until her death at age 89, was extremely progressive about sexuality both in her youth in the 30s and 40s as well as in her old age, and lived in a house with a bunch of young people who got rent discounts for doing chores for her and hanging out with her. Now that's a Cool Old Lady.
- Mimi Rosenthal got her first tattoo at 99, and is celebrating each birthday hence with a new one.
- Millvina Dean. She stood up to BBC for "offending" Titanic victims. From her nursing home.
- Aretha Franklin. She ranked #1 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock and Roll, sang for President Obama... and those are two of the many awesome things she did!
- Cesaria Evora (1941-2011), a.k.a the Barefoot Diva, was a very nice old lady and world-renowned Morna singer, and was not even known by the general public until she was 47.
- Most of the women from the Dutch series Golden Oldies which is about a choir that consists of people over 70 (some of the eldest women even being in their 90s), singing modern day rock music.
- Anne Timson, the little old biddy who beat up six sledgehammer-carrying robbers. With a HANDBAG!
- Roza Rymbaeva, a singer who has been active since the 1970s, looks very good for 53, and appreciates◊ a good Spot of Tea.
- Diahann Carroll. Apparently a lot of the stories her character June on White Collar mentions were inspired by Carroll's real life.
- Ernestine Shepherd. In the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest female bodybuilder at 75 years old. She can bench press 150 pounds, runs ten miles every morning and didn't even start working out until she was 56.
- Pop singer and dancer Minzy of Korean group 2NE1 said she learned to dance from her grandmother.
- Kathryn Joosten by proxy as she played three of the cool old ladies in the Live Action TV section: Mrs. Landingham, Mrs. McCluskey, and the titular Old Lady in "My Old Lady."
- Madga Olivero, an Italian opera diva who made her Met debut at the age of 65 (in Tosca, mind you) and sang in public well up to her nineties.
- Phyllis Diller. She did voice work on both Family Guy and Robot Chicken in her late eighties.
- Jeanne Calment, who holds the record of the oldest person ever, should get into this from living to 122 alone, but that's only the beginning. She took up fencing at the age of 85, and when she was ninety, a lawyer made her an offer to pay her a small amount under the condition that he could move into her apartment when she died (assuming he could get the place for pennies on the dollar.) Not only did she live another thirty years, getting a small fortune out of him (twice the apartment's actual value,) she ended up outliving him.
- Meet Edith Wilma Connor, the world's oldest female bodybuilder: http://in.news.yahoo.com/oldest-female-bodybuilder-loves-pumping-iron-100458393--sector.html She started training for the first time when she was in her sixties in order to compensate for the vast amounts of time she had to spend sitting down because of the software company she ran with her husband (incidentally, the fact that she's a bodybuilder AND the owner of a software company makes Mrs. Connor a Badass Bookworm and Genius Bruiser). Today she's won several competitions and is in the Guinness Book of World Records. Mrs. Connor also wanted to make sure that her family picked up the habit of staying in shape, and she inspired them to join her. She used to train with her son, and now her grandson acts as her trainer. Her great-granddaughter trains alongside her usually, making them all a Badass Family. One day she was at the gym and a trainer was loading some weights onto the machine for her. The trainer's friend saw the heavy amount of weights and, assuming the trainer was loading them for himself, asked the trainer "Red, can you handle that?" The trainer replied "Oh, it's not for me. It's for her."
- Florence Green former waitress, supercentenarian, last known veteran of WW1.
- Similar to Edith above, Johanna Quaas at the age of 86, keeps herself busy in her retirement practicing and performing tumbling in gymnastics competitions.
- Olivia de Havilland, who played Melanie in Gone with the Wind. One can't get much cooler than being one of the last living leading ladies of The Golden Age of Hollywood. Listen to her talk about her favorite film here.
- Gloria Steinem: Feminist activist, founder of Ms. Magazine, Wonder Woman fan. She's still fighting as hard as she ever did for women's right now into her seventies, and if that isn't enough, thanks to her marriage to David Bale (father of Christian Bale), she is now stepmother to Batman.
- 38-year-old Oksana Chusovitina. Now, 38 isn't old... unless you're talking about women's gymnastics. She won her first world championship in 1991, won an Olympic silver for vault in 2008, and won a silver in worlds as recently as 2011, not to mention competing in six Olympic Games (she's currently going for number seven). For the record, in women's gymnastics, being a two-time Olympian is uncommon, and being a three-time Olympian is nearly unheard-of. Oksana Chusovitina had won her first World title before most of her London 2012 competition had even been born. She's not nicknamed "Mama Chuso" for nothing.
- Nina Hartley seems to be on her way to being one of these. She's 54 and still active as a porn star and sex educator.
- June Foray is often called the female Mel Blanc. She's 96 years old and still does the voice of Rocky.
- Annie Nightingale is a rather legendary presenter on BBC's Radio 1 and, as of this writing, is 73 years old. The genre she specializes in? Breakbeats. For example... Just to show how groundbreaking she is, she's been knighted.
- Leni Riefenstahl, the director behind famous Nazi propaganda films such as Triumph of the Will. Her Nazi past aside, she was an active scuba diver and underwater photographer well into her 90s and walked out of a helicopter crash alive at the age of 97.
- Jane Goodall, age 80, has an activism list a mile long, mostly animal rights (She has served on the board of the Nonhuman Rights Project since its founding in 1996), and is famous for her work with chimpanzees. She reportedly found this◊ Gary Larson comic pretty amusing, stark contrast to the Jane Goodall Institute, which tried to lawyer up on him.
- Erin Pizzey, age 76. Created the first battered women's shelter, Chiswick Women's Aid, in London. Worked with what she called "violence prone women" who grew up in violence and conflict and came to accept it as normal to teach them that there was a better way than violence and conflict. Tried to do the same for men (she failed due to not receiving any funding), received death threat, bomb threats, had her family dog shot, but none of these prevented her from speaking about violence prone people and how to actually solve domestic violence which mostly involves dysfunctional people with broken childhoods who revert to the only way of handling relationships they know if they aren't taught a healthier way.
- Marla Gibbs. She didn't become an actress until her forties, but still won viewers' hearts on The Jeffersons and 227. She's 84 years young and still a very active actress to this day.
Cool Old Guy The Utterly and Completely Definitive Guide to Cool Cool People Rebel Against Authority