Abusing and exploiting the benefits system, frequently while making unflattering (and often racist) remarks about others doing the same thing.
Typically carry around knives, guns, or other weapons as per their countries' weapons control laws (in the sense of how readily available this makes said weapons; don't expect them to obey the law at all).
Basing their opinions on things that they have little knowledge of (which, as previously mentioned, is almost everything worth knowing) on stereotypes and anecdotes of questionable relevance, as well as responding to even the most polite challenges of those opinions with disproportionate hostility and aggression.
A distinct lack of hygiene, both personally and in their homes. Suburban and rural examples are particularly bad with the latter, with lawns covered in garbage, scrap wood, junked appliances, the rusting shells of inoperable vehicles, and various perpetually unfinished projects being a very common sight.
Driving around in a modified car (often mostly cosmetic upgrades) with an obnoxiously loud stereo or exhaust system and poor regard for the rules of the road. Rural examples tend to drive horribly dilapidated trucks with offroad modifications that greatly eclipse the car's book value and are frequently illegal.
Wearing (fake) designer clothing (often of a specific brand) with tacky (and fake) jewelry. Legitimate brands are usually even more tasteless or otherwise unflattering.
Extreme Anti-Intellectualism, often going hand-in-hand with an inadequate formal education. On the rare occasions where they actually are in college or have degrees, they are invariably extremely arrogant and consider themselves to be far more intelligent and knowledgeable than they actually are.
Abuse of the legal system; filing ridiculous lawsuits (usually with the help of a law office whose figurehead advertises on daytime television) in the hope of gaining easy money from a settlement is the most obvious example, but abuse of landlord-tenant laws (the "professional tenant") is another very common practice, especially in states with housing laws that heavily favor tenants.note Massachusetts was particularly notorious for the latter for a long time due to an absence of any sort of requirement that tenants place withheld rent money (which is allowed when landlords fail to make necessary repairs or otherwise fail to provide adequate living conditions) into an escrow account; predictably, this was abused by many a person who wished to live rent-free, as anyone who wished to do so could just stop paying rent, call the housing board when the landlord tried to throw them out and claim that they were withholding rent due to failure to maintain the property to acceptable standards, and then proceed to stonewall them for months (if not years) before finally leaving them with a bunch of attorney's fees, an uncollectible judgment, and utterly ruined property.
A tendency to blow any and all windfall money received on garish, tasteless garbage, as well as having an aggressive "fuck you, got mine, so bootstrap your ass up" attitude towards the less fortunate once they come into said money, regardless of whether they worked for it or not. This also tends to overlap with a conniving nature and exceptional lack of scruples when it comes to acquiring said money, especially when it comes to family matters; when a wealthy relative dies, expect them to come out of the woodwork to contest the will in the hopes of getting a bigger portion, and if they're particularly shameless, there's always funneling the money directly from an elderly relative or fraudulently gaining power of attorney to wrest control of their assets away from them.
Bad parenting, an almost exclusive reliance on corporal punishment for discipline, and a tendency to be overzealous with said discipline to the point of abuse. The children are usually foul-mouthed, ill-tempered, violent, and destructive in return.
Embracing violence as the way to handle all challenges and disputes and viewing more diplomatic approaches as being cowardly. The phrase "talk shit, get hit" effectively summarizes this attitude, and it also coincides with a major unwillingness to even attempt to de-escalate potential disputes in favor of adopting an aggressively confrontational, "take no shit" attitude that very frequently turns what may have been a minor dispute into a knock-down drag-out fistfight.
Perpetually up to their eyebrows in some kind of petty drama...which is usually at least partly (if not entirely) their fault. If someone else did indeed cause the drama, odds are that they did absolutely nothing to keep it from escalating and/or took a needlessly confrontational, "I keeps it real" stance.
Continually going on about how they're going to "get their shit together" while never even attempting to engage in any sort of meaningful effort to better their lives even when circumstances would readily allow for such a thing.
Because of the Unfortunate Implications the stereotypes imply, subversions are almost as common as straight examples, with a snobby or elitist character being established as such by having them accuse a sympathetic character as being one of these.
Various parts of the world have their own individual versions. Indeed, it's an interesting fact of crimino-sociology that nearly every society in the world with urban and youth culture has a certain stratum of "difficult" young people, especially men, which draw attention in popular culture.
The UK has had a number of such stereotypes over the years.
First, there were the "Teddy boys", or Teds, of The Fifties. They wore dressed in a manner inspired in equal parts by Edwardian fashion and zoot suits, and listened to American Rock & Roll and, before that, jazz and skiffle music. Female examples were known as Teddy girls and Judies. They're often cited as Britain's first youth subculture, and they were met with media hysteria like any other; in particular, they were associated with race riots against West Indian communities, and the film Blackboard Jungle was also known for sparking riots by Teddy boys wherever it was screened.
After that, there were the mods and rockers of The Sixties. Mods were defined by an obsession with stylish clothes (tailored suits for the guys, miniskirts and androgynous clothes for the girls), their music of choice was modern jazz, R&B, and soul, their drug of choice was amphetamines, and their vehicles of choice were Vespa and Lambretta motor scooters. Rockers, meanwhile, had many similarities to American greaser culture (see below), replacing the hot rods with motorcycles but otherwise maintaining the choice of fashion and music, to the point where the terms "greaser" and "rocker" are seen as interchangeable in Britain. The rivalry between mods and rockers was heavily hyped by the media at the time, to the point where it was the origin of the term "moral panic", with the media jumping onto fights between the two groups to claim that there was a war going on between them. While both groups had working-class roots, there was also a Slobs Versus Snobs element to their rivalry — rockers saw mods as effeminate and trying to imitate the middle class, while mods saw rockers as crude thugs. (Incidentally, the skinheads, of all people, have their roots in the '60s mod scene.)
Football Hooligans can be found in many countries, but in '80s Britain hooliganism reached moral panic levels and took a heavy toll on the game itself. The name says it all — the defining characteristic of many hooligans was identification with one's favorite football team to the point of tribalism and violence against fans of other teams, with many forming supporters' clubs that were often closer to gangs in their structure and behavior. Hooliganism died down from its '80s peak with the reforms to English football in The Nineties and government crackdowns on the "English disease", though it does still rear its head on occasion.
Finally, we come to the chavs, the modern Lower-Class Loutdu jour. Their preferred fake brand is Burberry, and their slang includes such words as "innit"note "...is it not?", "Safe!"note "Wonderful!", "Sorted!"note "Done!" or "Ah, we no longer need to concern ourselves with this matter.", "mint"note "awesome", "battyman"note Jamaican slang for a gay man, used exclusively in a derogatory context, and "Brap! Brap!"note An onomatopaia for the noise made by a TEC-9, typically combined with a pair of Finger Guns being fired into the air Gangsta Style. Other names (that might be used depending where you are in the UK and may have slightly different criteria) include charva and scally. "Pikey" might also be used to describe them, but was originally a slur directed at Travellers (and may be recognised as such).
Australia and New Zealand have a similar stereotype known as a "bogan", who tend to be more middle class and less inclined towards theft. They are also more likely to self-identify as a bogan. Other regional variants on the term include "chigga" in Tasmania, note named after the suburb of Chigwell, "bevan" in Queensland, "booner" in the Australian Capital Territory, "scozza" or "lexie" in Victoria, and "divo" in New Zealand.
In recent years (largely thanks to the mining boom), the "cashed-up bogan" variant has appeared, combining the stereotypical bogan lifestyle with plenty of money to throw around.
The term 'westie' in Sydney is similar in that it generally means lower class (as the West of Sydney is away from the seaside and isn't as rich as the Eastern suburbs), but a westie will not necessarily follow or refer to the bogan stereotype. This is also found in Melbourne, Brisbane, and Auckland. Inverted with Perth, where it is the east which is more lower class.
A related term is "hoon" (hooligan + goon)note Goon: cheap boxed wine, which refers to irresponsible drivers who speed, drink drive, and do burnouts. Most hoons would probably also qualify as bogans.
Ireland calls them "skangers", but "chav" is becoming more popular.
Similarly to "pikey", "knacker", which is usually directed at Travellers, is now mainly used to describe any example of this trope.
Scotland has "Neds" (which are similar to chavs, although some argue distinct).
Russia has its equivalent in "gopnik"note a term originating from "gop-stop", slang for street mugging. Etymologic principle is the same as for beatniks. Gopniks wear Abibas, Nyke, and Puwa, drink cheap beer, eat sunflower seeds, are obsessed with mobile phones (more often than not acquired by mugging), and are laughably stupid and violent. Some occasionally become full-fledged bros, most of them either grow up or piss off the wrong people and wind up in a gutter somewhere. Particularly stupid ones frequently try to pretend that they are either actual bros or have big-time connections, and they're usually the ones who wind up dead when they run afoul of the real deal.
Japanese Yankees/Yankis would fit. The pop culture portrayal being "violent low-class delinquents given to speaking roughly, wearing tacky fake "brand-name" clothes and jewelry, and driving heavily modified (and also tacky) motorbikes/scooters". See Japanese Delinquents.
America has several types, although they tend to be regionally based. The exact slang used is different, the exact labels might be different, but there's generally a lot of overlap.
The "guido" stereotype (or "guidette" for the girls) in the mid-Atlantic states, which combines most of the above with Italian-American culture and extreme ethnic pride. Music of choice is electronic dance-pop, and the vehicles are likely to be '80s American sports cars (the Camaro IROC is the stereotypical "guido-mobile") or German sport sedans. Personal appearance is a high priority for both the men and the women; the guys are frequently working out, slicking their hair back, and wearing muscle shirts to show off their "guns", the girls dress in club wear, hoop earrings, and high heels and wear massive amounts of makeup, and both sexes are regular customers at tanning salons. One particularly famous guido coined the phrase "gym, tan, laundry" (or simply GTL) to describe this lifestyle. Steroid usage, misogyny, violent homophobia, excessive alcohol consumption and usage of club drugs, and an overwhelming fondness for starting fights are also common behavioral stereotypes, but they aren't quite as thoroughly ingrained in the cultural consciousness.
The less-flattering stereotypes one finds in Boston about Southies can run into this. Like the guido, this stereotype is also ethnically rooted, in this case with Irish-American culture; sympathy for the IRA is the most stereotypical (and infamous) source of Patriotic Fervor.note This was a particularly big problem during The Troubles, as it wasn't uncommon for fundraiser events in particularly Irish parts of Greater Boston to actually be funding terrorism, supplying the Provos with arms and money.
The term "townie" is occasionally used as a more general epithet in New England. While it's technically used to refer to lifelong residents of a particular town or city, it's frequently used as a derogatory epithet to refer to crude, vulgar, loutish, and generally trashy individuals from working-class backgrounds. There's also some overlap with rednecks, but townies are generally distinct enough to be treated as a separate entity. Speaking of...
Rednecks. Let's not forget the rednecks. This stereotype tends to focus more on racism, excessive drinking and drug usage (particularly methamphetamine and, more recently, prescription painkillers), filthy and unkempt appearances and property, and poor taste in women, and less on the tacky clothing (unfashionable, yes, but not tacky). There are other traits that overlap with the "gangsta" stereotype, namely a penchant for violence, open anti-intellectualism that is viewed with pride, lots of illegitimate children, a tendency to milk the welfare system as much as they can, and disproportionate pride in meager accomplishments that are usually just things that they should be doing in the first place.
The black urban equivalent is the gangsta. (That's the polite version; another common term is one that we can't say on this site.) Chris Rock did a famous sketch about this, which remains one of the canonical descriptions of the stereotype — violent, proudly ignorant, prone to crime and having kids out of wedlock, abusing the welfare system, and overly proud of what few accomplishments they have. The embracing of "sovereign citizen" beliefs and tactics has also become increasingly common among them in the past ten or so years.note Amusingly enough, the Posse Comitatus (the original movement that gave rise to the concept of the sovereign citizen) was rooted in white supremacist ideology. The irony of this has not been lost on many of the prosecutors and judges who have had to deal with African-American sovereign citizens.
Juggalos are frequent targets of this stereotype, with most of the more unflattering stereotypes of rednecks (excessive alcohol consumption and drug usage, Destructo-Nookie relationships, using violence to solve disputes, poor parenting, and frequent milking of the benefit system) showing up, along with widespread Pretty Fly for a White Guy tendencies (as the fanbase is mostly white), tacky clothing (band shirts and hoodies for Psychopathic Records artists and their associates, plus Hatchetman pendants), and tacky music (again, largely Psychopathic Records artists along with acts commonly associated with the label, particularly Tech N9ne, Kottonmouth Kings, Potluck, and Hed PE). Faygo, a Detroit-area soft drink, is also common among them, with bottles of it frequently within reach.
There are also "refs", who are generally specific to South Florida, though any area with a heavy Cuban diaspora will do. They are stereotyped as being vapid, overly materialistic, extremely vain, and singlemindedly obsessed with partying and the club life, with tacky attire (lots of tracksuits, wifebeaters, and gold chains) and music (almost always exclusively a mix of Latin pop, reggaeton, and pop-rap) both showing up.
Finally, there are the "bros". While this term is also used to refer to spoiled East Coast frat boys and other college-age upper-middle-class males, the lower-class example takes the form of redneck-ish douchebags from rural and suburban areas who obsess over pickup trucks and SUVs with myriad modifications that are ostensibly for offroad purposes, but seldom actually see any offroad use. Their preferred music is a mixture of pop-country (or "bro country"), aggressive hard rock (usually Nu Metal or Post-Grunge), pop-oriented hip-hop, and in some areas (particularly central California) deathcore, while their choice of TV viewing is largely dominated by UFC, football, and all things "extreme". Tacky clothing tends to focus on MMA or extreme sports-themed brands, like Tapout, Affliction, Fox Racing, and Monster Energy, while "tribal" tattoos are also common; additionally, they tend to be particularly fond of "war arcade" first-person shooters, particularly the Call of Duty series. Their dialect is frequently an indecipherably-slurred mix of "urban" affectation, profanity, and homophobic slurs.
Greaser Delinquents are an older version of this trope most associated with The Fifties. They tended to be Italian, Irish, or Latino and heavily involved in car culture; a Corvette, a Thunderbird, or an old '30s coupe tuned into a "hot rod" was what many greasers aspired to own. Leather jackets, slicked-up pompadours, and blue jeans or black khaki trousers were the defining look, and the music was Rock & Roll or rockabilly. While they've been looked upon with misty-eyed nostalgia for quite some time now, back then they were considered as loutish as any of the other groups on this list, and were the go-to "bad boys" for media of the era.
Israel has "arsim" (male) and "frehot" (female). Aside from standard Lower-Class Lout stuff, they are known for being extremely racist (Israeli Arab Conflict aside, quite a problem in a country where 1/3 of the domestic population are immigrants of some sort), drinking too much (in a country that doesn't drink much), always trying to rip others off for money, being of Mizrahi Jewish or Arab descent, speaking a "low Hebrew" dialect completely unintelligible to more educated parts of society, not being able to speak any English as a consequence of not completing school, calling everyone "bro" or "sister" or "man", ending every clause of every sentence in "like" until ending the sentence with "man", and listening to hip-hop music. They are also the national self-stereotype of Israel.
In Iran, there is the "javat". A typical javat speaks with a peculiar accent, acts tough, and has a silly haircut and baggy clothes.
Mexico has two varieties: the "naco" and the "buchón"note also called "Manguera" (hose) in Baja California.. The first one might be of either gendernote "Naca" would be the term for a female one, is loud, uneducated, unrefined in fashion senses, speak using only Double Entendre and weird puns, watch only soccer matches (or telenovelas if female), and they might or might not be a delinquent, or just poor and pretending that they have money. The other one is almost the same, except that they are Always Male, are smug, cocky, wear tackier clothing and jewelry than the first one, listens to Narcocorridos, and acts as a hammy drug trafficker. The Buchón is more likely to get himself killed for pissing off the real narcs.
Spain has "cani" (male) or "choni" (female, also called "jessi" or "jenni"). Its members sport mohawk-esque haircuts and wear tracksuits with big amounts of golden jewelry. They listen to reggaeton and underground flamenco, and love Soccer, motorcycling, and ocasionally bodybuilding. There is also a branch called "bakala" which focuses in car tuning and electronic music, specially mákina and bakalao (hence the name).
France has both the "beaufs", often lower to middle-class, have "American" given names (Kévin, Brandon, Jessica, Kilian, Jennifer, Jordan etc), and loves cars, sports, crappy pop music, and bad reality shows. There are also the "racailles" or "wesh-wesh", the black and Arab versions of this trope; often delinquents who live in public housing, wear mostly tracksuits and caps, and only listen to rap music.
Germany has the Asis (from Asoziale = asocial ones). They live in large cities like Berlin or Mannheim, are unemployed, love cellphones, brand-clothes, Fastfood, attack dogs, marihuana, private television, and of course Hip-hop. Their hobbies include shoplifting, graffities, protection rackets, happy slapping, and bullying. They speak heavily mangled German with loads and loads of English words (like "Ey tight, isch geh Aldi, dann Bitches abchecken, du Opfer"). They call everybody "Du" (considered disrespectful when used on strangers or one's elders instead of "Sie") and curse a lot with sexual or homosexual words (whilst the "proper" German only curses "shit" or "god"). They give their children American names like Kevin or Britnay or creative names like Kendra-Tiara-Zoe. The phenomenon of creative names in Asis has even its own name,Kevinismus.
Argentina has villeros or wachiturros ("villagers" is the closest to an actual translation in English, and it's used as a derogatory term, wachiturro doesn't have a translation), they're all over Buenos Aires, and a couple of provinces. Most listen to Cumbia Villera music glorifying drug abuse and unsafe sex (or complaining that they want work or better job conditions). Their usual clothes consist of sport clothes, and imitations of these. The haircut for men is shaved on the sides and behind, and usually dyed blond on the top. The girls are similar, but they wear it longer. They usually live in either villas (similar to ghettos) and their usual jobs, if they have one, is selling bootleg products from little stands. If they don't, most are delinquents or prostitutes.
Venezuela round all the lout under the umbrella terms of "Marginal" (a semi-insulting term derived of the euphemism of "zona marginal" to refer to the barrios/shanty towns) and "Malandro" ("thug" is the closest translation) for the more criminally inclined. Generally stereotyped as living insanely cramped, fond of beer and cheap alcohol, listening to whoever is the lowest denominator of music at the time (currently vallenato, reggaeton, and bachata) at a deafening volume, either a devout of Santeria or an "evangélico" (think "Reborn Christian") from some charismatic-cult church, and if they are not thugs or jobless they are buhoneros (street sellers, often of the bed-sheet-on-the-floor variety) or mototaxists. The women wear too tight clothes, have a disturbing trend of getting pregnant at very young ages in the belief that The Baby Trap is a workable strategy (despite themselves and their mothers being proof that it does not work that way) and ending having many kids by several (absent) fathers, being proud of having criminal boyfriends as long as they give them money, and somehow manage to get their hair dyed (or at least bleached) and their nails done. The subcultures associated have changed: in the nineties, the to-go stereotype was a "joldan" who wore basketball attire, had their head shaved or with very short haircuts, owned (or aspired to) a pair of Air Jordan shoes, and spent their free time in their local basketball court and listening underground rap and technomerengue. In the noughties and new tens, the stereotype is the "tuki", whose distinctive appearance and jargon has been imortalized by a meme, listen to reggaeton and an Electronic Music derivative nicknamed "changa tuki", and all are bikers who Drive Like Crazy even for Venezuelan standards. The stereotype is summarily described by the phrase "tener el rancho en la cabeza" (having the shack inside the head), meaning that even when/if they get out of their marginal environment, their bad habits remain with them.
''Warhammer 40000 The Misfits has Sandy Shepherd (know to his friends as "Brother Nasty") a rather amusing example of what happens when one of these gets turned into a genetically enhanced Super Soldier warrior monk. His Brother Sergeant one one occasion remarks:
"I keep half expecting Nasty to come back dragging a sack of loot with him sometimes."
The 2007 reboot of St. Trinian's featured chavs as one of the school's cliques.
Most of characters in Attack the Block are youths in a South London street gang. In the first scene they mug a woman, but get more sympathetic characterization later, when they're saving the world from aliens.
The cast of Kidulthood and its sequel Adulthood (Katy from the first film seems to have been more middle-class, but still behaved this way.)
British horror film F is based around such characters going on a murder and torture spree at a school after being given failing grades by their teacher.
The title character from Don Jon is one of these, a Jersey guido who's addicted to porn.
Way too many Venezuelan movies have at least a malandro character, and at a point it was so common to do movies about thugs that the local cinema got the sterotype of "only having peliculas de Malandros" almost to the point of backlash.
The Cherub Series features quite a few teenagers that display chavlike characteristics.
By Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dudley Dursley has basically turned into one of these. Ironically, his parents have been, throughout the whole series, a terrible example (more like a parody) of the rich end of middle-class.
The Diary of a Chav series.
Shad Ledue in It Can't Happen Here. Even after rising up through the ranks of the Minute Men, his tastes and temperment remain coarse.
The Ewells from To Kill a Mockingbird. Filthy in both hygiene and morals, they live in an extension of the town dump, put only the barest amount of effort in, and treat everybody like garbage.
Jerry Cruncher in A Tale of Two Cities. He's a working-class moron whose abusive relationship with his wife is played for laughs. A Running Gag is his "spiky" hair, which suggests a disheveled appearance. Throughout the story, he's contrasted with the erudite main characters.
Some appear in Unseen Academicals, including Juliet's brothers and Andy's posse. Can't have a book about football without the hooligans, can you?
Townies tend to show up in many of Stephen King's novels, usually as lowlifes who are among the first to get killed off by the villain. Billy Nolan in Carrie and James "Junior" Rennie in Under the Dome are just two examples. Butch Bowers in IT is a particularly vile example, as he's a violent, racist, and abusive psychopath whose son, Henry, was pretty much doomed to follow in his footsteps from birth.
His day-job being doctor at a hospital in a very poor part of London, Theodore Dalrymple's writing is chock full of accounts of the people he treated, many of them for injuries incurred through their own bad decisions.
Onslow, Hyacinth's brother-in-law on Keeping Up Appearances. Obviously, Hyacinth is thrilled. However, while shabby and slovenly, Onslow is friendly and benign—and actuallyreally smart—and deliberately makes a favourable contrast with the snobbish Hyacinth.
Most (though not all) of the characters on My Name Is Earl fit this to some degree or another. Earl's ex-wife Joy particularly stands out.
Big Bud Roberts in JAG is to some extent a retirement aged example of this trope.
In the original version of Survivors, pretty much any character who was lower class before the Death struck the world continues to display this attitude.
Venezuelan TelenovelaPor Estas Calles, given its social theme, has a pretty accurate portrait of barrio life in the early nineties, up to having malandros as important characters. The most popular (and memetic) character was Eudomar Santos, a not-quite thug but not very ethic either character who was very representative of the "shanty-in-the-head" mentality.
Rapper The Streets , aka Mike Skinner is widely considered a chav rapper as his lyrics, rapped in mockney, are about the day to day life of a lower class person. He doesn't preach violence however and wasn't really that bad off.
Lady Sovereign is an English rapper with a 'chav' image.
Plan B got accused of this so much that he wrote a song called "Ill Manors" attacking the stereotypes (inadvertently confirming them).
The entire Grime genre is based around lower class accents.
The club song "Get Up (Rattle)"'s music video features a group of chavs being stalked and killed by a group of ducks.
"Money for Nothing" was about an ignorant, uneducated jackass who Mark Knopfler overheard in a department store, and the lion's share of the lyrics are direct quotes from him.
The Kankers from Ed, Edd n Eddy. Three half-sisters raised by a single mother, living in a trailer park, getting the kicks out of tormenting everybody else and sexually harassing the protagonists, with very little redeeming qualities.
Quite a few residents in South Park, especially in the earlier episodes when the town was much smaller and more conservative. Most notably, Kenny's family.