Britain Is Only London, London Gangsters are the British criminals we know best. The London Gangster is a hard man in a sharp suit with a fondness for Cluster F Bombs and Country Matters. He'll tend to prefer roughing people up with his bare hands to using guns (gun control being very strict in the UK), but Cold-Blooded Torture isn't at all out of the question and the really nasty ones in fiction have a tendency to be Knife Nuts. He speaks in a working class East London, Cockney or South London accent, and his dense slang may feature a little Yiddish.note The Don of a London gang is usually a Shout-Out to the Kray twins, a pair of famous British gangsters in the 50s and 60s. He's a Self-Made Man and/or Nouveau Riche who's fiercely proud of having worked his way up from the gutter — even if that "work" involved scaring other people into giving him money. He's charismatic and generous when you're on his good side and a terrifying psychopath when you aren't. Occasionally a particularly transparent Shout-Out to the Krays will go as far as featuring tropes from their lives, like Big Bad Duumvirate, Siblings in Crime, Creepy Twins, Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas, and Gayngster. As you might have gathered, the Kray twins are iconic in the UK — Britain's answer to Al Capone. We almost never see gangsters from Oop North, despite Manchester and Liverpool having considerable levels of organised crime in real life. The Yardies, however (Afro-Caribbean gangs, originally from Jamaica) are bound to get a mention.
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- Parodied in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century: 1969, which features several fictional London gang bosses, all of whom were based on Ronnie Kray.
- Warren Ellis' Switchblade Honey stars a deliberate Expy of Ray Winstone's London Gangster as captain of a starship.
- The Coopers in Hellblazer. The gay brother (Norman) is almost harmless, Harry is the Krays Turned Up to Eleven and the demonically possessed Creepy Child Little Ronnie...Yikes! Their rivals are an Irish gang and a bunch of yardies.
- Later on in the series, Terry Greaves.
- Parodied with the Axe Crazy "Big Vern" in Viz, who ends every strip by massacring everyone around him through a paranoid misunderstanding, and blowing his own brains out so "the bastard cozzers" won't get him.
- Alistair Harper from V for Vendetta fits most of the stereotypes (superficially charming, Knife Nut, has no problem torturing people), despite being audibly Scottish.
- The works of Guy Ritchie are overflowing with London Gangsters. Often they have Kray-clones as the Big Bad, such as Brick Top in Snatch., Hatchet Harry in Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels (which does at least include Scouse burglars and upper-class drug dealers as well), and Bald of Evil hard man "Miami Vice" in spinoff series Lock, Stock....
- Bob Hoskins as Harold Shand in The Long Good Friday. He actually got a letter of congratulations from Ronnie Kray for his portrayal.
- Michael Caine in Get Carter plays a London Gangster who returns home Oop North for a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. The film is slightly atypical for showing English organized crime outside of London, but the locals are clearly no match for Jack Carter.
- Michael Caine in Mona Lisa.
- The real life brothers Martin and Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet portrayed the infamous doppelgangsters in perhaps their most famous biopic, The Krays.
- Most of the characters in The Football Factory, who partake in anti-social behaviour towards rival fans of their favourite soccer teams, with leaders that act like they're The Mafia.
- The next major open Kray Twins biopic was Legend (2015), with Tom Hardy playing both Ronnie and Reggie.
- Ralph Fiennes plays a foul-mouthed London Gangster in In Bruges. Interestingly, his two subordinates are Irish.
- Many characters in Layer Cake, with the notable exception of Daniel Craig's character, who takes a lot of crap for not being as "manly" as the rest of them. It's deconstructed - XXXX specifically states that he hates the standard stereotype, ' loud, attention-seeking, wannabe gangsters'. The standard example, known as the Duke, causes the entire plot of stealing drugs from war criminals and saying he's working for XXXX's boss because he's a fucking idiot! And things quickly go down the drain for XXXX the second they run into each other. It will also get you killed in the end, as the Duke, Jimmy and Crazy Larry all found out the hard way.
- Gary Oldman (and several others) in The Firm, about rival football firms (semi-organised gangs of Football Hooligans).
- This character is Ray Winstone's bread and butter:
- In The Departed, he plays a London Gangster in Boston.
- In Ripley's Game, he is presented as an uncouth thug with pretensions to class who is pretty much the Butt Monkey of John Malkovich's Diabolical Mastermind take on Tom Ripley.
- In Sexy Beast, he plays a former London Gangster who doesn't want to come back for One Last Job.
- In 44 Inch Chest, he plays a gone-to-seed tough guy clearly going through some kind of crisis of masculinity in reaction to his wife's infidelity. His crew meanwhile are egging him on to take revenge on her lover, who they've kidnapped and tied up in his living room, and they're watching carefully to see if he's still got what it takes. Other variations on the trope include John Hurt as a Dirty Old Man and Ian McShane as a quietly menacing Gayngster.
- Vic Dakin in Villain.
- Much of the cast of Gangster No. 1.
- The main characters of Nuns on the Run want to leave their gang after their new boss turns out to be too much like this.
- Despite being an arty hallucinogenic Mind Screw, Performance has been praised as a very realistic depiction of the London Gangster at work. Some of the minor parts were allegedly played by the real thing. (The main gangster character was played by James Fox, very Against Type.)
- Fanty and Mingo, the twin smugglers from the beginning of Serenity.
- Darryl in Cockneys vs. Zombies is apparently a retired example, although between his prosthetic leg and the fact that he's outlived all his former "associates", his threats fall a bit flat now.
Live Action TV
- 'The Firm' in EastEnders was based on this, and directly named after the Krays' gang. EastEnders also features Tough Cockney Twins Phil and Grant Mitchell, (although they aren't affiliated with the proper gangsters) as well as the more obviously Kray-namesaked Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell.
- The Piranha brothers from Monty Python's Flying Circus, who are a deliberate spoof (with surprisingly little exaggeration) of the Kray twins.
- Not to mention their nemesis, Police Inspector Harry "Snapper" Organs — in turn a spoof of Insp. Leonard "Nipper" Read, who brought the real-life Kray brothers to justice.
- The Piranhas' beloved habit of nailing people to furniture (or vice versa) was the Pythons' humorous but understated take on the real exploits of the Richardson brothers and their not-too-merry men. Yes, they really did nail people to the floor (as a prelude to what would follow), and it was not quite as amusing as in the Pythons' version.
- A regular feature of The Sweeney.
- "Genial" Harry Grout from Porridge
- On The Bill, set as it is in an East London police station, you can't throw a truncheon without hitting a London Gangster. One episode from 1995, "Mitigating Circumstances", featured Ray Winstone playing the London Gangster of the episode.
- Most of the characters in Macbeth On The Estate, a modernisation of Macbeth into a gangster story with most of the original script. In particular, Duncan, a gang boss played by Mr Winstone himself.
- The Driscoll Brothers in Only Fools and Horses and The Green Green Grass.
- Also Freddie The Frog.
- Comedy Duo Hale and Pace's "Da Management".
- Badger from Firefly is a London Gangster IN SPACE! Complete with East London accent, bowler hat and dreadlocky Yardies. More of a cheeky Cockney sparrow than the usual scary psychopath, though.
- In Leverage, one of Sophie's recurring personae is a London Gangster; admittedly, a female version.
- The second series of ITV drama Whitechapel is all about London Gangsters as the apparent sons of Ronnie Kray, Jimmy and Johnny, attempt to take over the criminal underworld.
- Saturday Night Live: Don' You Go Rounin' Roun to Re Ro' is a can't-miss London gangster film, if you like movies you cannot understand.
- Featured occasionally in Hustle, they are often portrayed as bumbling, such as Dexter Gold, the crooked gold-merchant who despite being referred to as "one of The Chaps", is utterly unthreatening, incompetent and even sets himself up for a second con. Typically, the truly brutal psycho-killers are foreigners. The earlier seasons had the more traditional East End villains who despite appearances of being rich and respectable, used brutal violence to get where they are. The cast however do go out of their way to avoid being on the receiving end of even the less threatening gangsters radars.
- The 8th CHERUB book, Mad Dogs featured this nearly exactly. The Afro-Caribbean gang (primarily from Jamaica) called "The Slasher Boys" fighting a gang war against the titular Mad Dogs (fronted by a Football Club).
- Most of the novels of Martina Cole.
- Harry Stark in Jake Arnott's The Long Firm.
- A family of these show up as allies of Nate Garrett in the first book of the The Hellequin Chronicles, with the father being a Pint-Sized Powerhouse who plays the traditional Affably Evil variant to the hilt, while his wife is equally friendly and, when required to be, terrifying.
- These show up whenever someone from Time Scout goes downtime to Victorian London.
- Joe Spork, the protagonist of Nick Harkaway's novel Angelmaker is the son of Mathew "Tommy Gun" Spork, an infamous one of these. Early in the novel, Joe muses about the likelihood of there being makeshift graves and pig farms that his father had a hand in.
- Rob Toshack, in Shadow Police book 1.
- An episode of The Magnus Archives centres on one who turns to supernatural means to seek revenge on a fellow criminal who double-crossed him.
- The stereotypical mob family in Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, creatively named "The Family". Though, this could be a subversion, since they act more like an Italian mafioso family than a British one.
- Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 is filled with these types, including Albert and Archie Crisp, a suspiciously familiar Big Bad Duumvirate of Cockney twins.
- The Getaway series features plenty of these, as well as The Yardies and the triads. The PSP-exclusive spin-off Gangs of London along with the traditional London gangsters, also contains some more exotic examples for a London setting, including Italian, Turkish, Russian and Chinese gangs.
- In Batman: Arkham City, the Penguin has been re-imagined as a Guy-Ritchie-ish English gangster with a thick East End accent and brutal means of enforcement. If you read his backstory you will learn that he comes from a prominent American family, but was sent to England for his education. Unfortunately he preferred hanging out with the rough crowd in seedy parts of the town over school.
- Delvin Mallory in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, one of the senior members of the Thieves Guild, has a voice fitting one of these and he oversees distribution for "more personal" Guild jobs.
- Billy Kane of Fatal Fury is an expatriate Englishman working as The Dragon to an American crime boss, so he fits the trope at least in spirit if not to the letter.
- Terrence of KateModern, in his earlier 'gangster' persona.
- In The Boondocks episode "The Fundraiser", after Riley starts an illegitimate chocolate bar business, he gets harassed by the World's Ultimate Chocolate company, which turns out to be a British crime syndicate that sells chocolate bars like they were drugs. In the climax, the WUC get into a deadly shootout with the Mafia and the FBI.
- There's also this shout out from the episode: