[[caption-width-right:350:Oh look, a WASP nest.]]

The White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, or WASP, is a largely American trope that today is used to describe the stereotypical "white" person in American culture. It originally referred to New Englanders, New Yorkers, and Tidewater Southerners from wealthy backgrounds, but eventually came to be applied as well to inland Southerners, Midwesterners, and Westerners of Anglo-Saxon (English) descent as well, regardless of income level. It also came to be roughly synonymous with "Protestant," so that even Protestant Irish, Dutch and Germans were eventually called [=WASPs=]. "White Protestants" wasn't as snappy a term as WASP, so usage of the term has hung around. The stereotype might even be extended to Catholics or Jews who either intermarry with Protestants or internalize Protestantism as the standard for "normal" Americans.

It became important in the mid-20th Century to point out the features of this group as a social reality. Generally [=WASPs=] were in positions of privilege and power, and could discriminate against those who were not white and not Protestant. Ethnic minorities (which may no longer be minorities in the New Millennium), non-Anglo Europeans, Jews and Catholics in particular suffered discrimination and exclusion. Critics pointed out how [=WASPs=] would see themselves as the 'true normal' of the cultural world. This, ironically, has led to the 'generic and bland' stereotype that so many [=WASPs=] are now desperate to shed.

This can easily be conflated with the [[HollywoodNewEngland Boston Brahmin]], First Families, Secret Masters of the World stereotype. They (the two stereotypes) share a core characterization, but WASP is a straight-up acronym of a demographic label, a thing you might find in a sociology text, not having any of the Old Money, Secret Masters baggage.

Strictly speaking, it is hard to generalize about [=WASPs=]. Since a majority, albeit a slim majority, of Americans are both white and Protestant, [=WASP=] covers a lot of demographic ground. They can be either liberal or conservative politically, and fill any socioeconomic niche. This trope is primarily for figures who meet the most stereotypical WASP criteria: affluent, generic, bland personalities, usually with a little bit of [[BritishStuffiness stuffiness inherited from their British ancestors]] and a preoccupation with keeping up appearances.

Compare and contrast with ChristianityIsCatholic.


* There was an alcohol ad that combined this with PrettyFlyForAWhiteGuy by having a young WASP rapping about his rich lifestyle, called [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTU2He2BIc0 Tea Partay]].

* ComicStrip/FlashGordon, a Yale man and champion polo player.
* TheSpider, Richard Wentworth.
* Radio/TheShadow, Kent Allard aka Lamont Cranston.
* Literature/TheAvenger, Richard Henry Benson.
* [[ComicBook/{{X-Men}} Professor X]], Charles Xavier.
* [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Bruce Wayne AKA Batman]], Robin III Tim Drake, and former Batman expy GreenArrow, Oliver Queen, as well as many similar CrimeFightingWithCash heroes and Batman expies.

* The [[StealthPun Yellowjackets]], Chip and Muffy, in ''WesternAnimation/{{Antz}}''.
* Jessica and her parents in ''TheHotChick''.
* ''MississippiBurning'' used word for word at the [[BlatantLies not]] Klan meeting. This is after said meeting's speaker had repeatedly called the US government things like "atheist, Communist, Jewish, nigger-loving", among other things. Earlier in the movie the speaker had also essentially given a ''detailed explanation'' about why the county was so racist, doing things like the "Jews are all bankers in a moneymaking conspiracy" conspiracy theory and various other crackpot pieces of garbage like that.
* Omega House in ''AnimalHouse''. Delta House too, although they do have their share of ethnics (Polish-American John Blutarski being the most obvious).
* Pretty much everyone on the "snobs" side of ''{{Caddyshack}}''. And in their natural element to boot!
* Most of the characters in ''Film/ThePhiladelphiaStory''.
* Gordon Gekko in ''WallStreet'' tells his protege Bud Fox that he bought himself a seat on the board of the Bronx Zoo because, "One thing you gotta learn about [=WASPs=]: They love animals, but can't stand people."
* William "Bill the Butcher" Cutting in ''GangsOfNewYork'', based on the real life William Poole, leader in the anti-immigrant pro-WASP "Know Nothing" movement.
* In ''Film/ScentOfAWoman'', the very upscale and exclusive prep school Charlie goes to in New England is absolutely packed with rich WASP kids, (''very'' much TruthInTelevision) and they have all the attitude and snobbery that goes along with that.

* Tom and Daisy Buchanan in ''TheGreatGatsby''.
* The Corey family in ''The Rise Of Silas Lapham''.
* ''JohnCarterOfMars''
* Nick Carter, the DimeNovel detective
* David Innes, the hero of the ''Literature/{{Pellucidar}}'' novels of Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs.
* Randolph Carter, the protagonist of Creator/HPLovecraft's ''The Dream Quest Of Unknown Kadath'', ''The Silver Key'', ''Through The Gates Of The Silver Key'', etc.. In fact, pretty much all of Lovecraft's protagonists.
* The brilliant yet sinister amateur detective Philo Vance.
* Patrick Bateman and most of the main characters in ''AmericanPsycho'', especially the core group at Pierce & Pierce (excepting the probably Dutch David Van Patten)
* Sherman [=McCoy=] in ''Literature/TheBonfireoftheVanities''.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Greg Montgomery and his parents, Edward and Kitty from ''Series/DharmaAndGreg''. They know that they're Protestant, but they're not sure which denomination. Edward thinks they're Lutheran. Kitty reminds him that they're Episcopalian.
* Pete Campbell from ''Series/MadMen''.
* Charlotte of ''Series/SexAndTheCity'' was delighted to learn what a wasp was and that she was one.
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'', J.D. and Dr. Cox have a very reserved, patrician patient who sends his wife out of the room for the dirty talk. He confirms, when J.D. asks, that he and his wife are, in fact, wasps. This makes his passionate declaration that when he makes love to his wife, he's closer to her than any other time and only then can he truly express his love for her all the more effective.
* Charles Emerson Winchester III from ''{{Series/Mash}}'', played by David Ogden Stiers with a full-on Boston Brahmin accent. Winchester has occasionally shown distaste for less reputable Catholic ethnicities, in one episode being heartbroken at the news of his sister getting engaged to an Italian, remarking to the (Irish) Catholic Father Mulcahy, "at least she's not marrying an Irishman".
* Emily and Richard Gilmore from ''GilmoreGirls'' (and most of the rest of the Gilmore family) are about as waspy as they come.
* Mulder of ''Series/TheXFiles'' is implied to have grown up this way; his family owned homes in Martha's Vineyard and in Connecticut and his father worked for the government. His parents don't terribly fit the stereotype "WASP" usually seen, but then we don't see much of them at all in terms of personality, so who knows?
* David Webster from ''Series/BandOfBrothers'' comes from a stereotypically WASP family, which sets him apart from most other members of Easy Company, who are of working-class and/or immigrant backgrounds.
* Mayor Randall Winston from ''SpinCity''.
* On ''Series/{{Copper}}'' the Morehouses are rich white Methodists and are a distinct contrast to the rest of the characters who are predominantly poor Irish Catholic immigrants or free blacks.
* Andy Bernard on ''Series/TheOfficeUS'' has all the hallmarks such as a loud fashion sense, privileged upbringing and prestigious education.
* Clark Claxton III from ''Billable Hours''.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The preps in ''VideoGame/{{Bully}}''.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' contained a one-off CutawayGag in which Peter and Chris observe "a wasps' nest". The camera pans out to show that he's observing a WASP family having dinner. Lois's parents, Carter and Babs Pewterschmitt, are about as rich and WASP-y as you can get. One of the many reasons her father hates Peter is because Peter is Irish Catholic. That and he's a poor, fat, drunken, rude, idiotic slob. Later subverted when it is revealed that Lois' mother is Jewish. Carter is then shown treating Babs pretty much exactly the way you would expect him to treat any non-WASP.
* Charles Montgomery Burns from ''TheSimpsons''. Truth be told, different episodes of the show have provided wildly conflicting backstories for him. The episode "Rosebud" even suggested that he was Jewish, the older brother of comedian George Burns (although that was obviously a CutawayGag, and not to be taken seriously). More recently, it's been mentioned (in "The Color Yellow") that he is the son of a Southern slaveholder.
* WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}} brings us Judge Whitey, who only likes the "pore" people who do his pores at the spa, and has declared the other poor a mental illness.
* Jay's parents on ''WesternAnimation/TheCritic'' fit this trope perfectly. There's also Republican, Vice Presidential candidate, [[PunnyName Rich Dullwasp]].

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Creator/BenjaminFranklin.
* John Winthrop, the prototypical Boston Brahmin.
* Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (and Junior, for that matter.)
* Ralph Waldo Emerson.
* HermanMelville.
* Nathaniel Hawthorne.
* J.P. Morgan.
* Henry James.
* Richard Evelyn Byrd, explorer of the Antarctic and FFV.
* Creator/ClarkAshtonSmith.
* Creator/HPLovecraft.
* Creator/KatharineHepburn.
* Eleanor Roosevelt.
* HumphreyBogart.
* Allen Dulles: OSS station chief during WorldWarTwo, CIA director from 1953-1961.
* John P. Marquand, author of ''The Late George Apley''.
* Pat Buchanan is a Catholic, but it can be hard to tell from his writings because he tends to take for granted that Protestantism is America's default sect and would like to see fewer Latino immigrants (because, presumably, they refuse to join the mainstream and "Protestantize" themselves).