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Royal Brat

"You, sir, are the most uncharming prince I have ever met! In fact, the only thing royal about you is that you are a royal pain!"

In which great power and low wisdom are combined. A royal brat is often, but not necessarily always, young, but he has always been raised in a life of luxury and power. His most prominent features are arrogance, pettiness, and a sense of entitlement. His every whim is catered to, his servants and courtiers live in fear of his temper, and he has no notion what life is like for those less fortunate than him, and doesn't care. His word is worthless, and he's very prone to be fat. A Sub-Trope of It's All About Me.

He does not have to be royal or even blue-bloodedfat businessmen and spoiled rich kids fit the trope as well.

Many evil rulers are like this, and through their petty cruelty drive the heroes to overthrow them. On occasion, they will have a Prince and Pauper adventure or in some other way be confronted with the horrible lives the ordinary population leads; in this case, they will mend their ways. This is more likely the younger they are; young Royal Brats are often the victims of Parental Abandonment or a blind Doting Parent (who has often caused Rich Boredom) and can straighten out if provided with love and discipline. Many a Magical Nanny specializes in it. Older versions who appear in Fairy Tales are prone to Dude, Where's My Respect?, which has a tendency to backfire, badly.

This trope should not be confused with The Caligula, though sometimes they can overlap. Caligulae are insane; these brats are just insensitive. Some child rulers are less immature.

Evil Chancellors and the more malevolent breed of Chessmaster absolutely love the Royal Brat, because manipulating him is, well, child's play. In many cases they will go so far as to murder the present incumbent so as to get a suitably vile little tyke on the throne.

Not to be confused with Well, Excuse Me, Princess!, though they can overlap. Highly prone to be subjected to a Break the Haughty moment.

One of The Oldest Ones in the Book. The king who thinks nothing of imposing the Engagement Challenge or the Impossible Task, and reacting to success with Dude, Where's My Respect?, is a staple of legend and Fairy Tale (and often old enough to have a grown daughter).

A Sub-Trope of Spoiled Brat and Idle Rich.

Compare Prince Charmless. Contrast A Child Shall Lead Them, who is usually the monarch; on the other hand, he may be encouraged to be a Royal Brat by the Evil Chancellor. Contrast Spoiled Sweet, Lonely Rich Kid. See also Aristocrats Are Evil.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Candy Candy: Eliza and Neal Regan. Eliza especially, who makes Candy's life a living hell, because it's fun.
  • Princess, later Queen Mashiro Blanc de Windbloom in Mai-Otome is extremely spoiled and as leader of the country she levels high taxes on her people to fund her extravagant parties and contraction projects. This combined with the fact she would rather blow off her work to mock high school girls gives her a 0% Approval Rating... She learns her lesson after being overthrown and becomes a much better person and ruler when she gets the crown back.
  • Both of the Mendou siblings from Urusei Yatsura. Shuutaro's sister Ryouko, especially. The offspring of a family that outright owns most of Japan and each with their own personal army of servants who do their every wish. Mendo is first introduced to the series proper by hitching a ride to school... in a massive heavy bomber jetplane, out of which he skydives while several jets/helicopters fly in escort.
    • Ryouko takes it farther than her brother. He at least is willing to dress in current clothing and associate with regular people. Ryouko, on the other hand, dresses in kimonos and Victorian dresses while dutifully pulling out grenades and voodoo dolls or putting on a Wounded Gazelle Gambit to mess with her brother and his friends, all while conveying that she never holds grudges. And she gets away with all of it.
  • Wolfram "Little Lord Brat" von Bielefeld from Kyo Kara Maoh. Thankfully, he goes through some serious Character Development over the course of the series and mostly grows out of it.
    • It's actually really sad when you think about it: he's in his eighties, and his skills and maturity are at the point where they are. He grows up more in one year around Yuuri than in the twenty since the war.
  • Princess Vi, from Samurai Pizza Cats.
  • Vegeta, the Prince of all Saiyans from Dragon Ball Z was a Warrior Prince version of this until his Character Development towards the Buu saga.
  • Princess Shoukei from The Twelve Kingdoms. Until her family is killed and she's dragged into the dirt.
  • One Piece: King Wapol of Drum Island is older than most examples of the trope, but his sheer selfishness at the expense of his people puts him squarely in this category. Bonus points for being this way despite having been the son of a responsible and benevolent monarch.
    • Also, the World Nobles. Oh my fucking God, the World Nobles. They're selfish as hell, are loaded enough to buy anything, including slaves, for outrageous prices without even paying attention to it (One of them spent 500 million berries like it was nothing), and have such a high opinion of themselves that they think of regular people as lowly trash. This last to the point that they even wear helmets so as to not breathe the same air as them. So, of course, if it wasn't for the fact that harming them is considered a Suicide Attack they would most likely would have all been killed a long time ago.
  • Earl Tyrant of Final Fantasy: Unlimited combines this with A God Am I.
  • Ciel Phantomhive in the Black Butler series.
  • In the third Naruto movie the team are in charge of protecting a prince and his son who are both super spoiled to the point the mother left them to live the life of a peasant because she couldn't stand how spoiled her husband was, they soon grow out of it when the team saves them.
  • Karl Lichter von Randoll from Future GPX Cyber Formula is this when at his very worst. Being a very skilled racer (he also excels in every sport), he puts down anybody who aren't at his level of skill. He softens up later in the series, even having a sense of chivalry.
  • Scarlett O'Hara (yes, that one) is showcased as this during Steamboy, until we find out that she's also the Lonely Rich Kid suffering from Parental Neglect.
  • Princess Mimina in Nurse Angel Ririka SOS. She aims for Plucky Girl, but she's still bossy, insensitive, and more likely to create conflict than resolve it.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: The anime version of Yutarou.

    Comicbooks 
  • A djinn (or Genie if you wanna be technical) princess from Gold Digger named Madrid was definitely this, causing all sorts of trouble to the Diggers family and their friends through trickery and shapeshifting. However, after escaping after a failed plot, she winds up in Antarctica where two dragons (who are some of the nastiest creatures in the series) were hiding and was viciously tortured and left for dead. The experience left her humbled (to say the least) and her next encounter with Gina was an apology for her misdeeds.
  • Played terrifyingly straight with The Yellow Bastard a.k.a Junior Roark who can even get away with raping and killing children. Well,... get away with it for a little over eight years anyway until he met a detective who takes out both of Junior's weapons. Twice.
  • In one the “Tintin” story In the Land of Black Gold, Our hero has to find and rescue the Emir’s son Abdallah. The little prince is coddled by his father, who lets him get away with abusing his guests, and refers to him in sweet terms like “My little sugarplum”. Naturally, The Prince is a complete brat who demands everyone give him what he wants because “My father’s the Emir, and he’ll cut your head off!!!"
    • In The Red Sea Sharks, Abdallah is sent to Marlinspike for safekeeping during another crisis, where his entourage sets up a bedouin tent in the middle of the living room. This was referenced by a French newspaper when Libyan dictator Muammar Khadaffy set up his bedouin tent at an international conference held in France, earning him the headline: "Abdallah comes to France".
  • Princess Sally Acorn acted as a lighter variant in the earlier comedic issues of Sonic the Hedgehog. As the story tone became darker however, she acted as near anything but. Snively still directly refers to her by this trope at one point however.

    Fairy Tales 
  • Jesper Who Herded the Hares brings the pearls the king demanded to marry the princess. The king doesn't approve of Jesper and starts piling up Impossible Tasks.
  • In Go To I Know Not Where, Bring Back I Know Not What, the king gives the title command to get rid of a husband.
  • In Dapplegrim, the king orders the hero to perform many tasks because his fellow servants falsely claimed he said he could do them, and then in an attempt to keep him from marrying the princess; in the end, he gives in.
  • In "The Grateful Beasts", the king orders Ferko to perform three tasks at the incitement of his brothers; his own daughter the princess argues with him until he imprisons her in a tower. However, the last task is to summon all the wolves in the kingdom, the wolves then proceed to kill all the court, and Ferko frees the princess, marries her, and becomes king.
  • In Esben and the Witch, whenever Esben succeeds in a task, his enemy at court incites the king to give him another.
  • In Jackal or Tiger?, the princess is the Royal Brat; after the hero finds a marvelous anklet, she starts demanding matching pieces, and then finally that the hero marry her. The last is the worst because unbeknownst to her and her father, the hero is actually her half-brother.
  • In Prince Darling, the prince starts out nice, but turns into a Royal Brat as he grows older, especially when he discards the ring that pricked him whenever he was bad. He imprisons his tutor and locks up the shepherdess Celia when she refuses to marry him. He is turned into a monster as punishment, and must work on being good to regain his human form.
  • In Boots Who Made the Princess Say 'That's a Story!', the princess is chronically dishonest.
  • In The Fire-Bird, the Horse of Power, and the Princess Vasilissa, the tsar keeps using the archer's success as a reason to give him more tasks.
  • In The Yellow Dwarf, Princess Toutebelle (meaning "all-fair" in French) is spoiled by her widowed mother due to her being her only living child, and as a result is extremely arrogant and vain. Toutebelle is extremely beautiful and often dressed like a goddess and given constant attention by the royal court, and has turned down twenty different suitors for not being good enough for her. Her Break the Haughty moment, when she realizes her true love, comes too late and ends tragically.
  • In King Thrushbeard, the princess is arrogant, rude and extremely proud. She has to learn modesty the harsh way and finally gets to marry the suitor she liked at the beginning of the story, but to whom she nevertheless couldn't say anything nice nor simply polite.
  • The princess in The Swineherd is incredibly materialistic and turns down the hero because he gives her natural gifts (a nightingale and a rose). The hero disguises himself as a swineherd. He creates a musical pot to impress the princess. She gives a hundred kisses to him in exchange for it. The princess' father casts her out due to her foolishness, and the swineherd reveals himself to be a prince and tells her that she does not deserve him.

    Fanfiction 
  • In Heroes And Villains, Buffy retains her pre-Slayer personality as she she moves to Sunnydale and begins her adventures there, and proceeds to put Cordelia to shame in terms of Conceit, Arrogance, and Pettiness. Despite her self-absorbed nature, and need to control everyone and everything around her, she's still Buffy at heart, and therefore manages to charm a number of her fellow students. Especially Faith.

    Films — Animated 
  • The evil stepsisters in Cinderella and the older sisters in Jean Cocteau's film of Beauty and the Beast.
    • In Disney's sequels, Drusilla (the brunette stepsister) remains a Royal Brat, but Anastasia (the redheaded sister) is portrayed more sympathetically.
  • Also from Disney, the eponymous Beast from Beauty and the Beast was like this at first when his inhospitality to an old beggar woman resulted in him being cursed. Ten years later, he's still selfish and arrogant, and it takes Belle's intervention to have him starting to change.
  • Another example from Disney is Kuzco, the Jerk Ass protagonist of The Emperor's New Groove before much needed Character Development.
  • Brent from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. The making of book explicitly states that he's used to being treated like royalty, thanks to his celebrity status as the mascot for Baby Brent Sardines. Over the course of the film, he is stripped of his status, but manages to find a new purpose in life.
  • Prince Naveen in The Princess and the Frog had gotten to the point that even his PARENTS didn't want to deal with him, before hopping around in the Bayou and the love of a good woman/frog changed his life. He's nicer than most Royal Brats, though, with elements of Sheltered Aristocrat.
  • Hildegard from The Princess and the Pea.
  • Another Disney example is The Lion King, when Simba had thought being a king meant that he could do whatever he wanted. But he mellows out when he gets older. Scar, on the other hand...his line of "I'm the king; I can do whatever I want!" shows that Simba had managed to avoid becoming what his uncle was.
  • Barbie And The Secret Door has Malucia, a bratty princess who wants all of the magic for herself.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The older daughter from Ever After: A Cinderella Story is an excellent version, even throwing tantrums when she doesn't get what she wants. Thankfully, her younger sister is more sympathetic and is a sort of Snark Knight.
    • Prince Henry is a male version, to some extent. After he gets taken down a peg with an AWESOME speech from Leonardo da Vinci (yes, that one), he gets better.
  • The principal's daughter in the Bratz movie (the "Bratz" are the Four Girl Ensemble), who rules the school's cliques with an iron fist and strives to keep them isolated from each other for ...some reason. She is so self-absorbed she throws a second Super Sweet Sixteen party for herself.
  • In Thor, Thor is most definitely one of these at the start of the film, leading to his banishment to Earth after his pride and ego nearly started another war with the Frost Giants. After being stripped of his powers and sent to Earth, Thor loses his Boisterous Bruiser ways, comes to learn the value of patience and restraint, as well as some much needed humility, leading him to evolve into the Wise Prince.
  • Prince Tarn from Red Sonja. Despite his obnoxious behavior, his retainer Falkon maintains Undying Loyalty to him throughout the whole film, and is willing to protect his charge with his life; no explanation is given as to why Falkon has such loyalty. (At the end of the movie, Tarn starts to learn honor from watching both his servant and Sonja and nearly makes a Heroic Sacrifice to save them, but fortunately, he survives.)

    Literature 
  • David Wingrove's Chung Kuo series of novels has Wang Sau-leyan, a son of the T'ang of City Africa, and also Ebert, heir to the GenSyn CEO.
  • In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000 novel Brothers of the Snake, the Princess Royal objects to the Space Marines who took her car. When a bodyguard who points out that, after all, they are Space Marines, she slaps him hard enough to knock him over. Then she tries to compel the Marines to escort her. (At which point an Inquisitor intervenes, and she runs off screaming.)
    • She also tries to shoot the Sergeant with a mini-lasgun built into her ring. The marine's response can be summed up as "Did you really just do that?"
  • Lavinia in A Little Princess was the most popular and richest student in school before Sara Crewe came along. Naturally, she really disliked Sara and when Sara lost her fortune and became a servant, Lavinia wasted no time in taking her tormenting of Sara up a notch.
  • Colin Craven from The Secret Garden. He's referred to a few times as "the Rajah" because of the way he orders the servants around. Mostly he's just spoiled and cranky because he thinks he's going to die and his father doesn't pay any attention to him. He finally snaps out of it when he meets Mary Lennox— not so much because of The Power of Friendship as because she's the first person he's ever met who dares to stand up to him, being just as spoiled herself. Her mother neglected her, and the servants' only concern was to keep her quiet and out of the way.
  • In Edgar Rice Burroughs's John Carter of Mars:
  • In Edgar Rice Burroughs's The Land of Hidden Men, the Leper King Lodivarman. He takes many women into his harem and is angry that he has never succeeded in giving any of them his leprosy. And his promise to free the hero is worthless. Fortunately, the hero can cure his "leprosy", having deduced that it was really an allergic reaction to his favorite food.
  • Calchas in Teresa Edgerton's Green Lion trilogy. His mother, the Princess Diaspad, knew that the worst revenge she could take against his biological father— a man raised in a culture that is deeply sentimental, particularly about children and family life— would be to raise his firstborn son as a warped creature, even though the father didn't know for sure that the boy was his.
  • Ella's stepsisters Hattie and Olive in Ella Enchanted.
  • Princess Violet in Wizard's First Rule is this taken to the extreme. As she enters the story, she's just starting to have people executed, and later on partakes in torturing the protagonist and threatening to have his love interest raped to death. Then he kicks her in the face. A few books later, she is taught to cast curses through magical drawings. Cut to a Little Miss Badass coming to visit; Well... Who's that on the drawing? Oh, that's right, it's me. (draws a few lines) Well, Violet, now it's you. Cut to Sound-Only Death.
  • In Stephen King's The Eyes of the Dragon, Prince Thomas is somewhat similar to a Royal Brat, although he's not as personally vile as some of the other examples here; he's just depressed, confused, alcoholic (at the age of twelve), and a puppet monarch for the villainous Flagg.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • 13 year old Joffrey Baratheon, the Worst of His Name, King of the Vandals and the Rippers and the Worst Men, who was very nearly the Trope Namer, whose picture adorns the Royal Brat page. He starts out as "merely" a spoiled and arrogant brat, but later reveals himself to be a thorough psychopath through and through. He was like this since childhood. He once was told that a pregnant cat had kittens inside her, so he killed the cat and proudly presented the kitten fetuses to his father. His father, Robert Baratheon, beat the shit out him for it, but his mother didn't really give a fuck, implying that his behavior was encouraged by her (in the show, Cersei gets Character Development by admitting to Tyrion that she has always tried to control her son but is unsuccessful and has basically just given up even trying). Joffrey also tried to have Bran killed in his sleep when he overheard his father drunkenly saying Bran would be better off dead, as an attempt to impress his father. Thankfully, his siblings Tommen and Myrcella didn't take after him.
    • He came by it honestly: flashbacks to Cersei as a child show that she was one herself. Which probably explains why she saw absolutely no problem with the show-and-tell project her son produced. It's implied that, even before the tender age of 13, she'd thrown her friend down a well to die or at least watched her die, had already enjoyed watching servants get whipped in punishment for various transgressions (some of which may have been imagined) and had enjoyed physically bullying Tyrion at every chance she got and all this all while already practising her charming way with words — as well as having instigated the sexual experiments with Jaime in a manner which may even have had a little coercion involved, at first. What a pleasant little girl who grew up to be... well... a Psychopathic Womanchild.
    • Lord Robert Arryn is a marginal example. He is an extremely young, sickly (he's implied to be epileptic) and sheltered boy with a particular interest in watching people "fly" by being thrown off a cliff. However he doesn't really understand the consequences of his actions, being 6 years old, and doesn't seem to be knowingly malicious.
    • Viserys Targaryen is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, living in exile. Like Joffrey, he is cruel and vindictive, treating everyone around him like his subjects, regardless of the fact that he's 1) in Essos, where his title is meaningless, and 2) dependent entirely on their goodwill for his survival. The Dothraki call him the "cart king" for his insistence on being carried around in a litter. He doesn't realize that he's being insulted, because in Dothraki culture carts are only used by the elderly and infirm, who are unable to ride a horse.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Horus Heresy novel False Gods, Petronella Vivar shamelessly uses her connections to get herself appointed as Horus's remembrancer, and is relentlessly demanding of her servants; in particular, she recounts with no shame that Maggard's vocal chords have been destroyed to prevent him speaking in an unfitting manner before her, exploits Maggard as a Sex Slave, and when Maggard's defense of her wins him the respect of soldiers, is bitterly resentful and regards it as inappropriate.
  • Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter, through his family being from a long line of pureblooded wizards. Fortunately for him, he does grow out of it, though it nearly gets him killed in the process.
  • The Grand Duke Wilfred from Dr. Seuss's The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.
  • In Harry Turtledove's Tales of the Fox series, most of the Gods are this way, since no one is powerful enough to discipline them. Ferdulf, the demimortal son of an extremely impulsive wine god, grows up with nearly-godlike power among ordinary mortals and is even brattier than his father.
  • In the first Heralds of Valdemar book, Arrows of the Queen, Princess Elspeth is such an example of this—complete with Evil Nursemaid—that she is even called the Royal Brat by the other characters. Elspeth's issues were a serious plot point (for those responsible as well as the distraught Queen) because in Valdemar, if the heir doesn't have a pure enough heart, they can't be Chosen by a Companion, and the law forbids anyone not Chosen from ruling the country. She gets better though.
  • Played with with Roshaun from Young Wizards— he starts out as the stereotypical arrogant entitled princeling, but later it's revealed that his people hate his family as much as they need them, and he's been a target for assassination for his whole life, not to mention required to die to save the planet if crisis comes.
  • Prince Roger in the March Upcountry series, by John Ringo and David Weber — he gets better by about halfway through the first trilogy, surprising everyone who previously underestimated him.
  • Prince Horace in The Whipping Boy. He forces his whipping boy Jemmy to run away with him in a fit of pique, and when the two of them get into trouble, he sulks and insists on his own way even when it undermines Jemmy's attempts to save his life. To be fair, when it's his turn to get whipped, he unexpectedly stays strong through the experience.
  • Ugugg in Lewis Carroll's Sylvie and Bruno
    "You ca'n't guess what my present is!" said Uggug, who had taken the butter-dish from the table, and was standing behind her, with a wicked leer on his face.
    "No, I ca'n't guess," Sylvie said without looking up. She was still examining the Professor's pincushion.
    "It's this!" cried the bad boy, exultingly, as he emptied the dish over her, and then, with a grin of delight at his own cleverness, looked round for applause.
  • Jade, the Duke's daughter, from The Prophecy of the Stones, plays this trope painfully straight.
  • Albert Kirkle, a baron's son, in Beyond the Western Sea. His younger brother Laurence is a Spoiled Sweet.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian:
  • An adult version of this trope exists in Prince John of Ivanhoe. John is frequently referred to in the prose as petty and intemperate (as is the author's wont), and has all his attendants and subjects running in fear of his whims.
  • Prince Bryan in Summers at Castle Auburn.
  • Raymond Trottle in The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson.
  • In Gene Stratton Porter's Freckles, Freckles's grandfather.
    He always had been spoiled, because he was an only son, so he had a title, and a big estate. He would have just his way, no matter about his sweet little wife, or his boys, or anyone.
  • In Gene Stratton Porter's Michael O'Halloran, Minturn's sons after they were effectively brought up by a violently abusive nurse. When Minturn gets evidence that lets him pry them free from their mother, he is quite aware that much will be needed to straight them out.
  • In A Brother's Price, the young princesses, none older than eight, show some signs of this. They aren't cruel, but they're somewhat spoiled and definitely imperious, used to obedience and deference, contemptuous of some things, and highly dismayed when, playing soldiers with Jerin, he doesn't just let them win. It's noted that in this world a good father, not too biddable, is said to raise good children, and the little princesses' father died when they were no older than two. Since Jerin's marrying into the family and can act as their father/husband once they're of age, it's believed they'll grow out of this.
  • In The Name of the Wind, Kvothe acts out this trope to obtain a decent set of clothes in spite of entering the store with no clothes and very little money.
  • In Belisarius Series Eon, prince of Axum played the part of a ostentatious Royal Brat who was Too Important to Walk, and couldn't get enough Sex Slave's as part of his cover in an elaborate intrigue. In real life he was a Modest Royalty, who was kind to servants, and a brave soldier. And all the Sex Slaves gotten for the job were treated compassionately (having been in on the whole thing), and afterwards freed and sent to be handmaidens of the princess they were rescuing except for one that he fell in love with and invited to his home.
  • In Andre Norton's Dread Companion, Kilda's employer is more languid than most, but her attitude is nicely summed up when she informs Kilda that she will have to do, she can't interview any more, as if Kilda could not possibly reject the position. Then she sticks her with the children for the space trip.
  • From Dragon In Distress there is Princess Florinara Tansimasa Qasilava Delagordune, who screams and complains to her father about wanting a dragon, kidnaps one, refuses to give it back, cries when defeated, is annoyed that Sir George and Drafir ignore her crying... Credit where credit’s due, however: she did manage to successfully capture a dragon.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Kennedy, which is lampshaded by Kennedy herself, as she comes from a rich family with multiple mansions. Wait, is she one of those Kennedys?
  • Prince Arthur (to begin with) and Lady Morgana (in recent episodes) from the BBC series Merlin.
    • And Lady Vivian, who was worse than either of them.
  • An episode of Stargate Atlantis has a princess that Sheppard and McKay have to escort to a sort of proving ground where they test that the ancestors favor her (i.e. she has enough of the Ancient Gene to power their defenses). She is polite to princely, handsome Sheppard but an annoying brat to McKay (who isn't a fan of royalty or children, and didn't really help matters), trying to lie about his abuse. Sheppard, having the blessing of being Genre Savvy, doesn't fall for it, but plays along to keep her quiet. Towards the end, however, McKay saves her life (albeit a bit haphazardly) and she starts to like him more than Sheppard.
    • Though the contributing factor to that is that the planet's people don't know about the ATA gene, and when Shepard grabs her supposedly "magic" necklace and uses it to activate a drone machine, she thinks he's usurping the crown.
  • Prince George in the third series of Blackadder— he's more often stupid, but does have bratty moments.
    • As does Queenie in the second series.
      • And Edmund Blackadder himself, his brother and his father in the first.
  • King Charles II's mother in The Power and the Passion complains at one point that she is so poor she is expected to eat all her food off one plate.
  • Many examples from Star Trek: The Original Series including the titular character from the episode "Elaan of Troyius", the title character from "The Squire of Gothos", the higher class citizens from "The Cloud Minders" as well as the Platonians from "Plato's Stepchildren." Not surprising since bringing the high and mighty to heel was a favorite aesop for many TOS episodes.
  • Caesarion on Rome, so much that he blows his cover just by being haughty and gets one of his protectors killed.
    • His uncle Ptolemy was if anything worse for actually being king in Egypt. How much he understood his behavior was evil is debatable, as he was being manipulated by evil advisers, but he was definitely a spoiled brat. And winds up face down in a river as a result. And Caesarion's protector mentioned above is, per Word of God, Not Quite Dead.
  • All four young royals in The Palace qualify, although Richard's Character Development involves gradually growing out of this.
  • In Game of Thrones Joffrey Baratheon (pictured) is the young, blond-haired heir to his kingdom and is betrothed to the beautiful, young, red-haired Sansa Stark (later Margaery Tyrell). Not to be confused with Viserys Targaryen, another blond-haired brat from the same show who whores his sister out to local warrior tribes. Both Viserys and Joffrey are spoiled, vindictive, cruel and cowardly. Joffrey once took his sword to the face of a commoner- the Butcher's son, cutting him on the cheek for no reason. He also had the tongue of a minstrel cut out for writing a popular song about the death of his father. Incest is also a common theme in both families on this show.
  • The teenage King Louis XIV from Young Blades is a benign version of this trope - he is demanding, moody and difficult at times, but he's also a truly hilarious Cloud Cuckoolander who lacks any cruelty or malice.

    Music 
  • Rillianne in the mothy's "Daughter of Evil" series. At least, up until she's thrown out of power and her brother dies.

    Mythology 
  • Two examples from the Greek myth about Heracles:
    • Originally, Heracles was required to perform ten labors. Then the king setting them ruled two of them out and demanded two more.
    • Heracles himself was of Royal Blood (both Divine and Mortal) and killed his lyre teacher, Linos, in a fit of rage, while still a child. While he escaped a charge of murder (claiming that Linos hit him first), he was sent away by his step-father, Amphitryon, to tend flocks. He got a bit better, growing up to become a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Perseus was sent to kill Medusa because the king figured it would get rid of him and let him force Danae to marry him.
  • Gilgamesh in The Epic of Gilgamesh was just awful. He grew up with too much power and nothing that could humble him. And then he just got more powerful. Needless to say, his people found him unbearable. One of his laws was that every bride in the city had to have sex with Gilgamesh before her husband could touch her.
  • Satan, the Prince Of Darkness. A.k.a. The Dawn Prince, Prince of This World, etc.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dragon-Blooded Dynastic children in Exalted can be a particularly scary version of this trope if not well-disciplined growing up (not that all the ones who are always become too terribly much better), due to their innate Elemental Powers. Woe to the poor mortal servants who not only have to deal with childish temper tantrums, but the fact that these Royal Brats can flood your lungs with seawater, lethally poison you with a touch, or simply burn you alive where you stand.

    Theatre 
  • In the opera The Dwarf / The Birthday of the Infanta by Alexander Zemlinsky, the young Spanish princess is given a hideously misshapen dwarf, who has no idea how ugly he looks, as a birthday present. The princess plays with his belief that he is actually a handsome knight, and that she is in love with him. The dwarf is shocked when he, for the first time in his life, sees himself in the mirror, and dies in shame when the princess tells him that she just sees him as a funny plaything. After his death, she casually comments "next time I want a toy without a heart."

    Videogames 
  • Any and all of the preps from Bully.
  • Prince Laharl from Disgaea is a Royal Brat that begins with an entitlement complex the size of the Netherworld itself. He, for example, didn't actually expect to pay for the services of his vassals. Even when Etna finally goaded him into it he resolved to steal the money from someone else, even though he has plenty of money, because, "Nobody touches [his] allowance!" He eventually does shape up a little, mostly because The Lancer made it clear that she was perfectly willing to off him and take his place if he didn't.
    • Rozalin from Disgaea 2 fits this as well, except she's a lot nicer than Laharl. Still quite a brat, but nicer.
  • The Amoral Attorney's Beautiful Daughter Franziska von Karma is a bit of this. She comes from a rich background, considering herself entitled to order around everyone else in the world, and dispenses out whippings without mercy. However, she obviously had to work very hard to become a perfect prosecutor (at thirteen, no less) and probably deserves to be a little smug.
  • Prince Charmles in Dragon Quest VIII fits this to a tee. He gets his comeuppance when it turns out the Hero is a secret heir to the same throne, as his father is the kings elder brother. Plus he actually did the Fetch Quest required to complete the journey to king.
    • There's also a prince in Lyra's Journey, who purposely removes a valve that was keeping the island afloat just because it was fun.
    • Prince Henry from Dragon Quest V is infamous for pulling pranks on servents and local kids and make other people his lackeys. He eventually learns to behave in a hard way. Sadly, his son is just as bad as him when he's firstly introduced as a kid.
  • In Tales of the Abyss princess Natalia L.K. Lanvaldear is a strange combination of this along with Rebellious Princess as even though she ran away against her father the kings orders she still acts rather stuck-up and shallow, for instance ordering Guy to do things even when he is an imperial count and no longer her servant and being more worried about being sweaty then the fact she is no longer of royal blood.
    • Which is nothing compared to how her cousin Luke behaves in the first third of the game. To put it into context, upon arriving in a town polluted by a poisonous gas Natalia immediately rushes to tend to the sick while Luke tells her to stay back because "they're dirty" and "she might catch something". Thankfully, Luke gets much, much better over time, and when balanced against her better qualities, Natalia really wasn't that bad to begin with.
  • Mewt becomes this in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance when he becomes prince of the fantasy Ivalice. Cid makes the laws stronger whenever Mewt wants it, Queen Remedi/his mommy comes whenever he wants her, and has people seeking Marche out for a bounty just so he can stay in the fantasy world forever.
  • Aire, the princess of Horne and one of the party members in Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light is like this before her Character Development: she berates her bodyguard for not rescuing her fast enough, insists that her guest house in Liberte be as comfortable as the castle, and eventually drives Jusqua to leave with her antics.
  • Janus in Divine Divinity. Doesn't help that he got a hold of The Sword of Lies.
  • Imperial Prince Duyare of Vanguard Bandits. He's spoiled as hell, having one of the strongest ATACs on the continent but is a terrible pilot, a squad of elite bodyguards follow him at every turn and are far more threatening despite their inferior ATACs, and his selfishness also foils the plans of his allies and makes it easier on his enemies.
  • Remilia Scarlet from Touhou, though she tries to come across as refined and dignified, according to Word of God she acts like a child most of the time, even being referred by Reimu, in her Extra Stage Route, as 'another bad girl [I] left at the shrine'.
  • Lord Dearche, the Ruler of Darkness from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable: The Gears of Destiny, the result of having the power of a Humanoid Abomination and the maturity of a little child. She only starts acting like an actual ruler after her two retainers perform a Heroic Sacrifice to damage the Eldritch Abomination Big Bad and power-up Lord Dearche.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the Jarl of Whiterun's Daughter is pretty spoiled. She thinks you are a servant, and tells you how to cook her meat. Even one of her brothers calls her out in being self centered.
  • A Dwarf Noble PC in Dragon Age: Origins, being the second child of the dwarven king, can be played this way, with bad behavior ranging from refusing to address dwarves of lower caste directly (forcing his/her Number Two Gorim to relay his/her comments) to ordering a murder or two over a perceived slight. It's also possible to behave a little like this with the Human Noble origin, but as the Human Noble's family keep lacks the Deadly Decadence of the dwarven court and your father is a Reasonable Authority Figure, the most the character can get away with is being a bit whiny and annoying.

    Visual Novels 
  • Sakuya Le Bel Shirogane from Hatoful Boyfriend, complete with French noble blood and being the class president - he wasn't elected, he got the position automatically because his father's donated so much to the school. His otome route involves reaching the point where he realizes that he really does want to pursue the path of music forbidden by his father and leaves, though he's still got a degree of pompous attitude. The BBL route involves extensive Break the Haughty and the revelation that he was never really a Le Bel, and he becomes... somewhat less self-involved.
  • Long Live the Queen's titular Elodie can be this, if she's not well-versed in court manners or refinement. Being childishly blunt and not knowing any better doesn't help any - and if Elodie is rude enough, she can start a civil war, either by upset nobles or upset peasants. There's also a hidden Cruelty stat that's only progressed by certain actions, such as beating your maid because you were clumsy and ran right into her, killing small animals on weekends, executing your family, and so on. Keep it up and you can get a special ending where Togami makes Elodie his evil goon, who goes around, blowing up anyone in her path.
  • Byakuya of Danganronpa believes as the brilliant heir to the Togami fortune, he's the only person that truly matters and other people are simply props to prove his impressiveness and elite status. This eventually leads to a Heel-Face Turn when he's fooled by the misdirection in one Class Trial specifically because his outlook keeps him from even considering the possibility that self-sacrifice or putting another before yourself could be potential motivations. He's still a smug Jerkass, but he decides to give up on the Killing Game and work with the others, realizing that they actually do have worth as people with perspectives different from his own.

    Webcomics 

    Web Originals 
  • Royal example from the Whateley Universe: Prince Jobe Wilkins, son of the supervillain Gizmatic, and heir to the kingdom of Karedonia. A brilliant inventor who invented a new cure for dysentery and tested it on Karedonian convicts because he could. Non-royal examples: Phase's older sister Heather, Phase's enemy Solange, and Traduce who is an important member of the Golden Kids at Whateley Academy and is so unpleasant she can't keep a personal assistant.
  • Ghislaine of New Dawn Academy. It doesn't help that she's a demonic Spoiled Brat who is used to getting away with far worse things.

    Western Animation 
  • LaCienega Boulevardez from The Proud Family is a typical case of this, although people began to do a better job of noticing her way of talking down to them as the series went on.
  • The title character of Tutenstein.
  • Princess Morbucks from Powerpuff Girls is a complete royal brat. She's snobby, rich, and believes things should go her way.
    • Please note Princess is her name, not a title
  • Princess Marie in Adventures of the Gummi Bears. However, she gets into Character Development as she becomes one of Calla's friends when she found out about the Gummi Bears.
  • Prince Zuko for the first couple of seasons of Avatar: The Last Airbender . His sense of entitlement really comes out in the second season, where he goes through a phase of stealing everything in sight, even the ostrich horse belonging to a girl who showed him hospitality and compassion.
    • Also, Azula. It's just that no one who values their life would try to pull a Well, Excuse Me, Princess! on her.
      • Zuko and Azula are odd like that because both of them do work, very hard, and are competent and motivated, and Zuko is intimately familiar with a couple of forms of suffering—but their sense of natural superiority and habit of not taking other people into consideration are very Royal Brat. Of course, Azula knows she's doing it. Zuko had tunnel vision and... was a brat.
    • Toph may count, too. She's not royalty (just rich), and while she does believe in pulling her own weight, she doesn't understand at first that she actually has to help other people too and any help given to her is not out of pity for her blindness.
  • Mike, Lu & Og: Princess Lu. Oh sweet god, Lu.
  • The Earl of Lemongrab from Adventure Time is a mentally challenged, somewhat sympathetic example. He's a nasty, mean, sour-tempered jerk because he's a science experiment gone wrong- there's literally something wrong with his brain. It's highly implied that he was brought up by servants in a castle outside of the kingdom's walls, and he grew up having everything handed to him without a connection to its source- thus, he turned into a spoiled brat. Because of his... eh, issues, to put it gently, he can't read social cues. Oh- and he sends EVERYBODY IN THE KINGDOM TO THE DUNGEON FOR ONE MILLION YEARS!
    • He seemingly grows out of his royal brat status after Princess Bubblegum makes another Lemongrab to keep him company. Unfortunately, by the episode "Too Old", Lemongrab has become a sadistic tyrant over the lemon people and an abusive partner to Lemongrab 2, whom he later cannibalizes.
  • Beezy J. Heinous on Jimmy Two-Shoes. His lifestyle has made him a Lazy Bum.
  • One episode of Aladdin: The Series combines this with Fisher King. At the end, he learns Good Feels Good and sets about trying to improve his kingdom.
  • In Kung Fu Panda Legends Of Awesomeness, Po, Tigress and Mantis have to escort an obnoxiously bratty princess who gets on even Po's nerves. However, Po later learns why she is like that: she is to be sent into horrific slavery where she will likely not survive a year and thus she has nothing to live for or to connect to anyone. Naturally, Po will not stand for that and rescues her.
  • Prince Blueblood of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic apparently never learned basic etiquette (see the page quote). He treats Rarity like trash and refers to Applejack’s food as “Common Carnival fare”.
    • "Hearth's Warming Eve" gives us Princess Platinum, the leader of the unicorn tribe who regularly practiced Fantastic Racism. She flaunted her wealth at every possible occasion and forced her advisor Smart Cookie to carry her across a tiny stream because she didn't want to ruin her ermine cape. She got better, of course. Naturally, she is played by Rarity.
  • Kim Possible: Prince Wally in the episode Royal Pain.
  • Princess Amber was this in the pilot for Sofia the First. (She never truly changes, but does warm up to Sofia and become a Lovable Royal Brat.)
  • Prince Adonis in Hercules series.
  • He's older than most examples of this Trope, but the spoiled King (obviously modeled on Charles Laughton) who Yosemite Sam works for in the Looney Tunes short Shishkabugs qualifies. (This is a rare time that Sam is a victim who really isn't doing anything evil while opposing Bugs.)

    Real Life 
  • Marie Antoinette— certainly in legend, though her history can be debated.
  • Alicia Guastaferro from this episode of Wife Swap. It's debatable how much of her behavior was played up for the camera (and Alicia herself tried to sue ABC for defaming her character, claiming the show ruined her life.) As portrayed in the show however, she comes across as one of the most extreme cases of this trope ever recorded.
  • Edward VI might be considered this. He was nasty enough to his much-older sister Mary in one confrontation that he reduced her to tears, which wasn't hard by that point in her life. Keep in mind that she was in her thirties or forties, and he was a young teenager. He was as fanatically religious as Mary would go on to be known, but he was a Protestant fanatic, and underage. So he didn't get bad press for it from the English historians. He was also known for ripping the wing off of a hunting falconnote . He showed plenty of signs of ending up like Dear Old Dad later in life, with a little of his sister Mary's bad qualities on the side. There's a cruel irony in Henry's obsessive quest to "save" England by siring Edward; his early death was probably in England's best interests. Two legitimate male rulers with near-absolute power retarded the growth of the British constitutional system by a century and a half; three might have been the point of no return.
  • Prince John (of Robin Hood fame) was reputed to be like this. His portrayal in The Lion in Winter is that of a spoiled, block-headed teenager who's a constant, unwitting pawn in his elder brothers' schemes.
    • Considering his older brother's antics historically speaking, this probably ran in the family. Yes this refers to Richard the Lion-Heart.
    • His Disney version is portrayed as a manchild with severe mommy issues, even prone to sucking his thumb.
    • Historically John tried to be practical where Richard had his head in the blood-drenched clouds, but he was a dick and terrible with people.
      • John and Richard's mutual older brother Geoffrey was a real charmer as well.
  • Kaiser William II of World War I fame had this reputation.
    • As did his uncle Edward VII in his days as Prince of Wales, although he eventually grew out of it and ended up a pretty good king. And Edward's great-uncle, George IV (mercilessly caricatured in the third season of Blackadder, also shown rather unsympathetically in The Madness of King George).
  • In modern times, Prince Harry of Wales showed occasional tendencies towards this trope in his teens, but unlike most other examples in this section he grew out of it and joined the army. It could possibly be due to his mother's untimely passing, although he may have had those troubleseeking traits as a child, if that one bit of news footage showing him making faces at the camera through the car window is any indication.
  • Frederick The Great was viewed as this by his stern father, Frederick William I, who put him through a brutal disciplining regime to knock it out of him.


Princely Young ManRich KidsSpoiled Brat
Spoiled BratComplaining IndexUngrateful Bastard
Royal InbreedingRoyalty and Nobility TropesRoyal Decree
Rip Van WinkleFairy Tale TropesRoyal Blood
Spoiled BratYoungstersStaring Kid
Rich BitchThis Index Is a BitchSpoiled Brat
Rescued from the Scrappy HeapScrappy IndexSatellite Love Interest
Spoiled BratSelfishness TropesTaking Advantage of Generosity
Rightly Self-RighteousCharacter Flaw IndexSacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training
Rock Me, Asmodeus!Evil TropesRushmore Refacement
Rich Suitor, Poor SuitorRich PeopleRoyalties Heir
Occult Blue EyesImageSource/Live-Action TVGet Smart
Royal BloodOlder Than DirtRoyal Inbreeding

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