"Lots of middle-class people are running around pretending to be cockney."On one end of the social spectrum, we have the Upper-Class Twit proving that money doesn't make good people. But that doesn't mean a lack of money does the same. Coarse, vulgar, ignorant, violent, theft-prone, disproportionately proud of the few non-contemptible traits that they have to their names (most of which are basic requirements for being considered a decent person), and generally greatly at odds with propriety, they are not exemplary members of society by any stretch of the imagination. This trope deals with the various varieties of lout, hooligan, and delinquent that appear in various media. While these stereotypes are Truth in Television to some degree, it's debatable whether the stereotype comes from Real Life, or said real life examples are imitating the stereotype. A typical Lower-Class Lout is a teenager or young adult (with the occasional Enfant Terrible) who embodies the worst stereotypes of the working class (or middle class). 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 of 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. Types of (or groups often stereotyped as) Lower Class Louts with their own article include:
— Christopher Eccleston on chavs
- Football Hooligans
- Gang Bangers
- Greaser Delinquents
- The Irish Mob
- Japanese Delinquents
- The Quincy Punk
- Scooter-Riding Mod
- White Gang-Bangers
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- 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."
- In Peter Jackson's Adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, all the Orcs have cockney accents.
- The villains in Harry Brown are textbook chavs (although better armed than usual), played as monsters to make them Acceptable Targets for the Vigilante Man protagonist.
- 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 one malandro character. At one point, it was so common to do movies about thugs that the Venezuelan film industry developed the stereotype of "only having peliculas de Malandros" almost to the point of backlash.
- Rebel Wilson seems to have made a career out of playing these kinds of characters in films such as Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect.
- Ditto for Melissa McCarthy, who was also in Bridesmaids (in her Star-Making Role, in fact), and who went on to play some particularly noxious examples in Identity Thief, The Heat, and Tammy.
- All five of the main characters in the New Kids movies take the Dutch equivalent of this and run with it.
- Eggsy from Kingsman: The Secret Service, looks and acts like one of these, but is actually a better person than he appears. Eggsy's stepfather and his gang however fit this trope to a T being violent and crude thugs without any redeeming qualities. Eggsy's friends don't get enough screen time to judge whether they fit or not.
- My Fair Lady is about Eliza Doolittle's transformation from this, an ill mannered cockney flower girl, to a splendid lady worthy of dancing with a prince, under the tutelage of the pompous Professor Higgins. A more traditional example is given in her father, Alfred P., a lazy dustman who happily sponges off anyone he can, to the point where characters will immediately address him with, "Not a brass farthing." When he does get money he immediately spends it on beer. It's also outright stated that he abandoned Eliza early on and is a lousy parent the sporadic times he is in her life. After a conversation, Higgins declares that Alfred is actually a genius and gets him in touch with an American millionaire interested in morality. After the American dies, he leaves Alfred enough money to move himself up to middle class. For Alfred's part he resents this, because it means he now has to marry his common law wife.
- 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 lower end of middle-class who make an special effort to distinguish themselves from the the working 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?
- Stephen King's novels tend to feature lower-class New England townies as stock characters, usually as lowlifes who are among the first to get killed off by the villain. 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. Billy Nolan in Carrie and James "Junior" Rennie in Under the Dome are two more examples.
- 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.
Live Action Television
- The character of Vicky Pollard in Little Britain plays the British chav stereotype for laughs.
- In Doctor Who Cassandra invokes the "snob calling someone a chav" version towards Rose while engaging in Grand Theft Me against her. This does invoke some Fridge Logic, since she was supposed to be of Texan/Alaskan decent, not British.
Cassandra in Rose's body: Oh no! I'm a chav!
- This line got a laugh from an audience of overseas buyers who almost certainly didn't know the word "chav".
- Kelly from Misfits is one of the most realistic examples of a chav, portrayed sympathetically anyway.
- The reality series Scene Stealers had an episode where two goths had to impersonate chavs and they learned all the stereotypes associated with chav behaviour.
- An episode of Bones explored the "Guido" culture, and Brennan herself said she followed the TV "documentary" on them.
- That "documentary" would be reality show Jersey Shore, and the cast seem to be fairly relaxed about being regarded as such.
- The entire premise of Shameless.
- The Timmins family on Neighbours embodied the Australian "bogan" stereotype.
- As do Kath and Kim.
- Onslow, Hyacinth's brother-in-law on Keeping Up Appearances, is a subversion: while shabby and slovenly, Onslow is friendly and benign — and actually really smart — and deliberately makes a favourable contrast with the snobbish Hyacinth.
- The Gang in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, despite the fact that both Dennis and Dee went to the University of Pennsylvania (Dee didn't graduate, though). They're all alcoholic scumbags.
- Dennis and Dee were born into a rich family. But due to the gang's failing business, they are currently broke. They think they're classy and justify it by saying class is something you're born into (ie. people born into money are classy), but clearly they were never classy to begin with.
- Mac is a fundamentalist Christian and a self-loathing homophobe. He used to deal drugs to his classmates. His father was a meth dealer who was in prison though-out his childhood.
- Charlie is the ditziest of the group. It's implied to be because his mom tried to have an abortion while pregnant with him, combined with the various harmful substances he takes.
- Frank invoked this trope because he wanted to live the gang's depraved lifestyle.
- 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.
- Many of the guests on Maury, especially the out-of-control teenage girls, who try to have babies when they're 14, steal hundreds of dollars worth of items (often stuff for their potential babies), beat up people, treat their (almost always single) mothers like garbage, drink, do drugs, curse up a storm, and appear on the show in ridiculously revealing clothing. To make things worse, they often gloat about their trashy behavior.
- Venezuelan Telenovela Por 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.
- Israeli comedienne and actress Orna Banai often played a quintessential frekha named Limor, who later co-hosted a comedy show called Rak beYisrael ('Only in Israel'). Over time, her character became less and less of a frekha and more of an outgoing Cloudcuckoolander.
- Coronation Street being a working class soap has played with this trope every possible way over the past 60 years. Most of the characters have some aspects of it especially the men. Combine it with Jerk with a Heart of Gold and you get a Corrie "Hardman" (Len Fairclough, Jim MacDonald, Peter Barlow) or a a zany schemer give you the "Chancer" (Stan Ogden, Jack Duckworth, Tim Metcalf). Usually the success of these characters depends on how well the character shows their Hidden Depths
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer - in "Band Candy", cursed chocolate reverts responsible adults into addle-minded teen mentalities, including Giles, who goes from Queen's English speaking model of decorum to a consonant-dropping, impulsive, violent hood. Fandom speculates on how much of this he actually was in his youth.
- Laneesha and Latanya from All That fit the ratchet stereotype to a T - rude, shallow, materialistic, violent and aggressive, petty, and generally boorish, shrill, and obnoxious.
- The McQueens in Hollyoaks are a lower-class family known for their criminal, promiscuous, loud and generally disruptive behaviour. Eldest daughter Jacqui had many visual elements of the "chav" stereotype.
- The Welsh group Goldie Lookin Chain use chav personas as their gimmick.
- This was also the image of the boyband Blazin Squad who in reality only lasted a few singles, but nevertheless made quite an impact.
- The Area 7 song "Nobody Likes a Bogan" is based around the Australian "bogan" stereotype.
- 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.
- Dire Straits "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 Kinks - Ray Davies wrote "Prince of the Punks" about a talentless musician who tried one persona after another until he found his niche - "He talks like a Cockney but it's all baloney/He's really middle class and he's just a phony".
- While usually faces, The Briscoes have served as such more than a few times in their career, ironically their most iconic run being in the service of a rich man, Jim Cornette. Otherwise their backwards ignorance is usually Played for Laughs or downplayed in favor of their manliness.
- This is Ann Thraxx's usual gimmick, with a special emphasis on her aversions to hygiene and sanitation.
- There's a game called "Chav: The Knifing".
- Hilariously, the Orks of Warhammer 40,000 are based on this stereotype. As the game was originally developed in Britain in The '80s, Orks were based on British youth culture at the time - Football Hooligans, skinheads, boy racers and thugs in general. One of their war chants is "'Ere We Go!" for crying out loud.
- 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.
- In a similar vein are the Gross sisters in The Proud Family, who bully other kids and harass them for money. They are mostly poor and their mother forces them to do work, but they are still jerks to everyone.
- 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.