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[[quoteright:280:[[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/crusty-caretaker_the-simpsons_2992.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:280:“Willie hears ya, Willie don't care!”]]

->''"[=I aM ToRgo. I tAkE CAre of ThE plAce whiLe the MasTeR is aWay.=]"''
-->-- '''Torgo''', ''Film/ManosTheHandsOfFate''

He - [[AlwaysMale and it is always he]] - is a caretaker, janitor, groundskeeper, or better yet, gravekeeper, who is crusty, uncouth, or otherwise lacking in people skills.

Popular in horror, because there's a lot of overlap with TheIgor, SycophanticServant, and TheRenfield.

Then, may also be the OldRetainer, in which case he is often the JerkWithAHeartOfGold. Expect the children of the house to love him despite his rough exterior.

His female counterpart is the CreepyHousekeeper.



[[folder: Commercials ]]

* A TV spot for Verizon Wireless has a creepy motel night clerk inform a guest that there's only one room left, and one he probably won't want anyway: "It's a dead zone. Can't get your calls, your precious e-mails. It's like you don't even exist." When the customer points out that he has the Verizon network, the nonplussed manager ripostes, "Towels are kinda scratchy!" (Cue ScareChord.)
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsxbHveje-I "He stands behind every home he builds."]]


[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Mr. Smitty from ''Franchise/ArchieComics''
* Cain from DC's The House of Mystery. His brother, Abel, who is caretaker of The House of Secrets, may also qualify, though perhaps he's more "chubby" than crusty.
* ''The Caretaker'', who shows up in Comicbook/GhostRider comics (and the movie) and related stories from Creator/MarvelComics. In the books, he fills this trope to a tee. He guards the graveyard that much canon-scariness spills forth from. He's able to defend himself quite ably, often giving the main characters a literal smackdown when they are being stupid and or annoying. Enjoys scaring the naive by taking them through detours past some of the ickier bits of graveyard existence.
* The cemetery caretaker Becca meets when she sneaks in Darkmoor Academy on a dare in ''ComicBook/AllGhoulsSchool'' (who might have been the headmaster in disguise).


[[folder: Film ]]

* [[Film/ManosTheHandsOfFate Torgo]]
** Another ''[[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 MST3K]]'' classic, ''Film/{{Werewolf}}'', had a similar character.
** And Mickey from ''Film/TheScreamingSkull''
** Also present in ''Film/TerrorFromTheYear5000.''
* ''Film/ScaryMovie2'' has one with a deformed hand.
* Riff Raff, Frank N. Furter's "faithful handyman" from ''Film/TheRockyHorrorPictureShow'', lacks in people skills.
* Francesco Dellamorte the Gravekeeper (''Film/CemeteryMan''), while elegantly handsome, is gloomy, socially awkward and misanthropic ("Go away. I have no time for the living"). The only people he tolerates are his mute assistant, an administrative secretary he sometimes telephones and the beautiful woman he [[StalkingIsLove relentlessly pursues]]. Sometimes [[MisanthropeSupreme no-one is lucky]].
* The recent ''Film/NancyDrew'' movie has a creepy one.
* ''Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet'': Freddy Krueger used to work as a janitor at a high school when he was still human and living a double life as a serial killer. Thus his fondness for shaping his nightmare realm like a boiler room.
* In a spot of SelfReferentialHumor, the film ''Film/{{Scream 1996}}'' features a cameo by director Wes Craven as a crusty janitor called Fred, who wears a battered fedora and red/green striped sweater.
* The ''Film/SilentHill'' film features Colin the Janitor, who is transformed into a contorted monster after being pulled into the Otherworld. Is is later strongly implied that he sexually assaulted Alessa prior to her burning.
* The 2002 version of ''Film/DarkWater'' has Kamiya, who doesn't seem to care for Yoshimi's concerns about the damp, leaky patches on her ceiling. The rest of the building seems to be falling into disrepair as well, and the water tank hasn't been cleaned for years (this becomes a relevant plot point). The 2005 [[ForeignRemake remake]] also features a CrustyCaretaker, who is much more of a {{Jerkass}}.
* The strange janitor in ''Famine'' is constantly fingering [[Literature/{{Crash}} the vagina-shaped scar]] on his face.
* The murderous Cropsy in ''Film/TheBurning'' was one in a summer camp who hated kids, and after one burned him badly in a prank gone wrong, hates them even more.
* The graveyard where the wrestling tournament in ''Film/MonsterBrawl'' takes place is overseen by its odd caretaker Cyril, whose warnings about a curse (of the living dead) falls on deaf ears.
* ''Film/PromNight1980'': Mr. Sykes, the janitor of Hamilton High is a weird guy who stares at the girls creepily, and is close at hand when many of the strange events occur.
* In ''Film/CurseOfTheCrimsonAltar'', Elder is the stuttering, seemingly mentally deficient, majordomo of Craxted Lodge; shuffling around the place, and appearing unnervingly behind people.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''Literature/HarryPotter'': Hogwarts has two: Hagrid the groundskeeper ([[TheEeyore good crusty]]) and Filch the caretaker (bad crusty). Interestingly, for [[BanOnMagic two entirely]] [[MuggleBornOfMages different reasons]], they're the only members of staff not to be practising wizards.
** Frank Bryce, in the first chapter of the [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire fourth book]], is this (good crusty) for the old crumbling house of the Riddle family, even though they're all dead. The townsfolk all falsely believe he murdered the Riddles, though he was never charged with the crime.
** Kreacher, the Black family's house-elf, is another example of the bad type. [[spoiler: Until he makes a HeelFaceTurn.]]
* Watson, the Overlook Hotel's maintenance man in Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/TheShining''.
* ''Literature/ColdComfortFarm'' has the dour and cryptic Adam Lambsbreath -- although to be fair, his employers, the Starkadders, are mostly pretty dour and cryptic themselves.
* The ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' has Albert, [[TheGrimReaper Death's]] manservant. Keeps up a haughty demeanor in general, but especially towards young folks.
-->'''Albert:''' It's no good thinking you can appeal to my better nature under this here crusty exterior, 'cos my interior's pretty damn crusty as well.
* ''Literature/TheSecretGarden'' has Ben Weatherstaff, the gardener.
* Joseph in ''Literature/WutheringHeights''.
* The Gardener in Creator/LewisCarroll's ''Literature/SylvieAndBruno''.
* Beetle in ''An Evening at The Larches'' by Harry Hearson and J. C. Trewin is the epitome of Crusty Caretaker. Jusitified, since the entire book is one long parody of thrillers.
* In Shirley Jackson's ''Literature/TheHauntingOfHillHouse'', Mr. Dudley is one of these, while his wife is a CreepyHousekeeper.
* Head gardener Angus [=McAllister=] from Creator/PGWodehouse's ''Literature/BlandingsCastle'' series.
--> Honesty Angus [=McAllister=]'s face had in full measure, and also intelligence; but it was a bit short on sweetness and light.
* Catchpole in ''[[Literature/AuntDimity Aunt Dimity: Snowbound]]''. Also an OldRetainer for the previous owner who can [[MrExposition fill in some of the details of Lucasta [=DeClerke's=] life]].
* In Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TheFourLoves'', he discusses how affection turns on familiarity: the children can love the crusty old gardener and fear the stranger who wants to win their regard.
* Pylum, the Master of Cerements in ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear: City of the Dead''. He's the one person who still loudly believes that the old sacraments must be maintained to prevent the dead from rising... [[spoiler: but actually he lost his faith and is helping a MadScientist create zombies.]]


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/OurMissBrooks'': In "The Loaded Custodians", Mr. Barlow is portrayed as a rather crusty old man.
* Boothby, the groundskeeper of Star Fleet Academy from ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''
** Ned Quint, the groundskeeper in the episode "Sub Rosa" (definitely a tribute to this trope, complete with a Scottish accent that's a wee bit thick).
* In ''{{Series/CSI}}'', it turned out that [[spoiler: the miniature killer]] had been working as the lab's janitor for 6 months.
* One episode of ''Series/ThisIsWonderland'' had an Afghan refugee-turned-janitor, who had post-traumatic stress disorder.
* The janitor from ''{{Series/Scrubs}}'' fits this trope.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': Invoked when the Twelfth Doctor decides to go undercover at Coal Hill School and ends up posing as a caretaker. Much to [[ControlFreak Clara]]'s dismay, his [[PaperThinDisguise "disguise"]] consists only of a scruffier looking coat, but given his [[GrumpyOldMan personality]], he fits the bill perfectly...
* ''Series/FatherBrown'': When a schoolgirl is attacked in "The Cat of Mastigatus", the aggressive, stuttering gardener with metal prostheses on his crippled hands looks a likely suspect, [[spoiler:until he [[AcquittedTooLate turns up dead]].]]


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Dampé the grave keeper from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime''. He's one of the characters with an almost exact {{Expy}} (personality and job as well as model) in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask Majora's Mask]]'', too.
* There's one of these, Saturnin, wandering around Cloux Manor in ''VideoGame/SecretsOfDaVinciTheForbiddenManuscript'', though it's not clear for most of the game whether he's the good kind or the bad kind.


[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* Blockhead from ''Webcomic/TheKingfisher'' is too defiant to be a true {{SycophanticServant}}, but has plenty of crust in his caretaking duties.
* In ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge'', [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/000413c Cutman was originally intended as the gardener.]] Took a veer off into minion territory though.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' has Springfield Elementary's Groundskeeper Willie. He has a crustier, creepier, crazier cousin, Gravedigger Billy, who only showed up in one episode and looked exactly like Willie except with white hair.
* Scruffy ([[CatchPhrase "the janitor"]]) in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}''.
* Crops up quite often in ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo''.
** A good way to pick out the villain half the time, come to think of it.
** Gravedigger Evallo von Meanskrieg [[spoiler:a.k.a the Graveyard Ghoul]] in the ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'' episode "The Gathering Gloom".
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheBeatles'' debut episode "A Hard Day's Night," the boys encounter a figure emerging from a grave at a haunted castle.
-->'''Caretaker:''' Being a caretaker here is a lonely lot.
-->'''John:''' (''relieved'') Caretaker?
-->'''George:''' Then you're not...
-->'''Caretaker:''' One of "them"? Shucks, no. That's just where I keep my office. It's real cool.
-->'''Ringo:''' Cool? It's altogether daft.