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Alpha Bitch / Literature

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  • Cinderella's evil stepsisters could well have been the Ur-Example.
  • Carmelita Spats in A Series of Unfortunate Events.
  • A Game of Thrones: Sansa Stark starts out as one among the girls of Winterfell, as the highest ranking and most beautiful girl in the castle and favoured by their teacher Septa Mordane. She and her Beta Bitch, the lower-born Jeyne Poole, bully Sansa's little sister Arya for being unladylike and ugly. Sansa's behavior only gets worse after she's betrothed to the Crown Prince and expects to become Queen. Averted after war breaks out and she becomes a prisoner of the royal family and loses all her friends and loyal household servants, though she does become a much kinder person because of it.
    Arya's thoughts: To her sister and sister’s friends and all the rest, she had just been Arya Horseface.
    • However, this all comes out in a chapter from Arya's POV. The truth, as always, is vulnerable to POV. In the embroidery lesson scene, Sansa is actually genuinely trying to help Arya with her embroidery, and tries to cover for Arya with Septa Mordane, but Arya doesn't pick up on this (probably because she's only nine at the time). Sansa's behavior at the Capital comes directly from her direwolf Lady, implied to be magically connected to Sansa's soul, being killed by their father Ned on the way to King's Landing. This is a direct result of Arya's improper and unwise behavior—no one seems to have told her that noble girls don't play with smallfolk for good reason, not because they're 'lesser' but because they will always be blamed for anything bad happening. Arya directly attacks Crown Prince Joffrey, then so does her own direwolf. Sansa's Lady is killed as recompense to the Royal family, and the common boy Arya was playing with is murdered. It only gets worse when they get to King's Landing: Arya gets her longed-for sword fighting lessons, while Sansa, who as the betrothed of the Crown Prince is in a very precarious position (as later events prove) is dismissed and ignored whenever she brings her very real misgivings and worries to both Ned and Septa Mordane.
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  • Aria of the Sea has Elliana Nautilus, a noble acknowledged as the best in her class (but the oldest, meaning she doesn't put in enough effort to advance to her proper class) at the School of Royal Dancers. She skates by on her beauty, status and minimal effort, especially since her red hair grants her a resemblance to the Sea Maid, the kingdom's goddess, and she treats the commoner student Cerinthe Gale with contempt. Her bullying and spiteful tricks only worsen when Cerinthe outshines her in class, and although she does love dancing enough to ask Cerinthe for help with coming up with her own choreography for an assignment (as Elliana doesn't know how to create her own dances), when Cerinthe is cast in a major ballet role Elliana assumed would be hers, she retaliates by presenting Cerinthe's choreography (a tribute to the Sea Maid) as her own.
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  • Anya Risdell in Broken Love Series does her very best to belittle and bully the heroine, who is her romantic rival. When the verbal attacks fail she conspires to have her kidnapped.
  • One of the rare male examples of this trope is Eheca, a pipiltin (noble) companion and rival of Quetza in the Aztec Calmécac, in the novel El Conquistador.
  • The Gemma Doyle trilogy: at first, it seems like this will be Felicity's designated role, but she and Gemma wind up bestest buddies. The role is instead taken by Cecily Temple, who is jealous that the aforementioned event happened.
  • Monique de Pelouse in "The Finishing School Series'' has the attitude down to pat. The instructors at the school try to curb these tendencies but fail to have much success. She has a minion in the form of Fille Fatale Preshea.
  • Shay in Fish In A Tree takes great joy in bringing down Ally's mood every chance she gets.
  • Aurelia in Feliks, Net & Nika. She's probably the richest kid in school, has her Girl Posse and mocks people for being not slim enough, or not fashionable enough or not rich enough. She picks up at Nika immediately, but Nika fights back rather hard (not physically, of course).
  • Nellie Oleson from the Little House on the Prairie series thinks that she's one. In reality, she's nowhere near as Alpha as she'd like to be. Nellie first appeared in the 1937 book On the Banks of Plum Creek.
  • Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution includes a short story that features Callie: an alpha bitch who was forced to leave her old life and throw in with a pack of psychic terrorists. She's not terribly thrilled about it.
  • Older Than Radio: Amy's rivals, April Snow and May Chester, of Little Women.
  • As the Chalet School series is about a girls' school, it's no surprise that there's a good few Alpha Bitches around.
    • Betty Wynne-Davies becomes one by the time of Highland Twins at the Chalet School, due to breaking away from former best friend Elizabeth Arnett and taking a level in bitchiness as a result.
    • In the Switzerland part of the series, there's Jack Lambert, particularly in Jane and the Chalet School. She has her own clique and as a result, new girl Jane Carew is alienated by her form as a result of Jack's bullying.
    • A milder example is Lysbet Alsen in Two Sams at the Chalet School, who takes an instant dislike to Samaris Davies due to her actually wanting to pull her finger out and do well, rather than slacking off like the rest of the form. Similarly, there's Eilunedd Vaughan in Peggy of the Chalet School, who is not pleased about Peggy being Head Girl and makes trouble for her.
  • Ethel Hallow from The Worst Witch. In a slight twist, Ethel demonstrates many Cool Loser qualities such as always being top of the class and excelling at everything. In any other story she'd likely be the Cool Loser. But she's hated because she knows she's the best at everything and rubs it in their faces, as well as frequently ratting the other girls out to the teachers. The TV series gives her a rich father and stresses that she has only one friend (who even pulls off a Heel–Face Turn towards the end).
  • Animorphs:
    • Rachel is seen as this by people who don't know her. The truth is rather scarier.
    • Played straight with Taylor, a voluntary Human-Controller. She used to be the most beautiful and popular girl at her school, until a fire left her crippled and hideous. Desperate to regain the life she had, Taylor agrees to voluntary infestation in exchange for the Yeerks using their advanced technology to make her a Cyborg and restore her beauty. Though it's not her assignment at all, the Yeerk who infests her falls in love with Taylor's life and willingly plays it out after the infestation.
  • Harry Potter has quite a few:
    • Pansy Parkinson seems to be one. You don't see much of her, but she acts snotty whenever she shows up and dotes on her boyfriend Draco Malfoy. Also, she is mentioned to have a Girl Posse, and all the "good" female characters hate her with a passion. The author seems to really dislike her and she doesn't even marry Draco in the end. J. K. Rowling has stated that she embodied every girl who was mean to Rowling in school.
    • Romilda Vane, Harry's Stalker with a Crush from the sixth book, also had some Alpha Bitch tendencies, possessing her own Girl Posse and telling Harry that he didn't have to hang out with kids as "uncool" as Neville and Luna. Unusually, she is fourteen, younger than Harry, when the Alpha Bitch is normally older than or the same age as the protagonist.
    • Draco Malfoy is possibly a male Alpha Bitch, gaining some Jerk Jock traits. He's blond, rich, snobbish, presumed evil, bought his way onto the Slytherin Quidditch team, and comes complete with two other boys flanking his sides at all times — though Crabbe and Goyle aren't the stereotypically slightly less pretty posse members. Plus, he dates Pansy, as mentioned above.
    • Possibly Olive Hornby, the girl who teased Moaning Myrtle about her glasses. But there no way to know for sure. It could have been friendly teasing which Myrtle took the wrong way — it would certainly be in-character for her.
  • Elena Gilbert and Caroline Forbes from The Vampire Diaries. However, Elena was only this during the beginning of the series. Elena started off as a selfish, vain, proud, icy, and spoiled individual. However, as the series progresses she becomes a significantly better person mostly after meeting Stefan. Elena becomes more of a Lovable Alpha Bitch. Caroline, on the other hand, never really changes from this.
  • Stephen King's book Carrie, as well as the film adaptations:
    • Christine "Chris" Hargensen, Carrie's nemesis. She gets banned from the senior prom when, after gym class in the locker room, she and her friends pull an exceptionally cruel prank on Carrie by pelting her with tampons and other feminine hygiene items while chanting "plug it up!" (Carrie was having her first period at the time, and was under the impression that she was bleeding to death.) Chris then tops herself by rigging the ballots for Prom King and Queen so that Carrie and her prom date win, then dumping a bucket of pig's blood on her head when she takes the stage. This finally drives Carrie over the edge, causing her to use her telekinetic powers to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, of which Chris is one of many victims. Nancy Allen, who played her in the 1976 adaptation, actually didn't realize she was playing an Alpha Bitch until she saw the finished film, assuming that Chris and her boyfriend/accomplice Billy (played by a young John Travolta, who felt the same way) were comic relief characters.
      • The book takes her cruelty to the point of juvenile delinquency. In the book, it's revealed that Chris had been sent to detention seventy-three times over the years, twenty of them for bullying, and that she skipped most of them. In addition, during Junior High, she had once put a firecracker into a girl's shoe and nearly blew off two of her toes. The principal actually tells Chris's father outright that they could easily have Chris thrown in prison for some of her actions. Her boyfriend Billy is himself a greaser delinquent, and their relationship is quite abusive on both ends.
    • Averted by Sue Snell, who gets her boyfriend to take Carrie to the prom not to set her up for humiliation, but to genuinely atone for what she did. Though some viewers of the first film (who hadn't read the book) thought Sue was in on the prank.
  • Lara from Cherie Bennett's Life In The Fat Lane is a weird example: she starts out much like Cher from Clueless — the rich, shallow and naïve, but sweet (and supposedly intelligent) homecoming queen. Then she (suddenly) gets fat and becomes a social outcast (her immediate descent into self-loathing upon gaining the first ten pounds had nothing to do with it...). Enter at least two examples played straight...but wait—here's a girl who's at very least In with the In Crowd, but is sweet to everyone, even fat people... but wait—she's actually obnoxious and condescending and just trying to play the role of ideal homecoming queen.
  • Massie Block, the main character of The Clique series of novels. She can be spoiled sometimes.
  • Lana is a more cliched version of this in the books The Princess Diaries, as well as being a Devil in Plain Sight. Mia often retaliates. Later in the series, though, Lana extends the olive branch to Mia, and her friend Trisha enters Mia's group of friends. She becomes much more a Lovable Alpha Bitch after this as she still retains a couple Jerkass tendencies.
  • From His Majesty's Dragon: Miss Montagu, who snubbed Will Laurence at his parents' house when he stopped by on the way to the training grounds, was only a mild Alpha Bitch... until at the end of the book, when she "revealed" (Laurence had already heard), during the celebrations, that Laurence's childhood sweetheart had gotten married.
  • Lila Fowler in the Sweet Valley High series.
  • Holly and Heather Mayflower of the DRAMA! series by Paul Ruditis.
  • The Baby-Sitters Club:
    • Cokie Mason is a middle school version.
    • Cokie's friend Grace.
    • Shawna Riverson also, though she didn't appear as often.
    • In the Little Sister spinoff, Pamela Harding.
  • ...and so is Heather Fox from the Canterwood Crest series.
  • Mercedes Lackey's Jinx High has the Alpha Bitch from hell: she's actually a two-hundred-year old, bodysnatching witch who enforces her will with mental control and fatal "accidents".
  • Subverted in 13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher. Hannah says that Courtney Crimsen could have been this, but instead spends her time making it seem like she is a genuinely nice person.
  • Lavinia of A Little Princess.
  • Hatsumomo of Memoirs of a Geisha.
  • Hattie from Ella Enchanted. She not only messes around with Ella's life, but orders her to hand over the necklace that her mother used to wear simply because she fancied it, and she also steals Ella's breakfast after claiming that it's "too rich for her". She also orders Ella not to eat anything for days and because of her curse, Ella is starved almost to collapsing.
  • Clarissa from the Bloody Jack series. Also overlaps with Rich Bitch. She gets better in the later books though.
  • Discworld:
    • Diamanda from Lords and Ladies and Annagramma from the Tiffany Aching books start out as near-carbon copies of each other. Both exhibit the Alpha Bitch tendency to surround herself with envious admirers who aren't as good-looking, and then treat those girls like dirt.
  • Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl, arguably more so in the books than in the TV series. On the show, she's just a Rich Bitch with an Unlimited Wardrobe; in the books, her behavior actually borders on sociopathic/bipolar/just plain crazy.
  • Carleen Lovejoy dominates the school and antagonizes the narrator in Richard Peck's A Year Down Yonder.
  • Jeanine Bryant in Replica is replaced later by Simone Cussack.
  • Aspeth Montgomery in Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld.
  • In Aaron Allston's Galatea in 2-D, Roger falls into some paintings he made as a teenager and find his hopeless crush in high school, crazy about him but as shallow as she had ever been. (He notes that she had grown up when he met her at the reunion.)
  • Constanza Grayfoot from Midnighters is the fashion-obsessed queen of the school who struts about with her girl posse and dreams of being an actress in L.A. She's part Native American, not blonde, and is more harmlessly superficial than actually evil, but instead of reading like an interesting variation on the trope, she reads like a watered-down copy of Cordelia Chase. She is, however, different from most Alpha Bitches in that she is genuinely nice to and supportive of Jess, including slapping a boy who tried to sexually assault her and giving her advice about her relationship with Jonathan.
  • Twilight
    • Lauren Mallory is apparently supposed to be a Alpha Bitch. However, this is something of an Informed Flaw. She has the usual indicators of being blonde and popular, but all she ever does is get jealous of Bella (at least according to Bella herself) and complain about her behind her back. If anything, it's Bella herself who has more of the Alpha Bitch qualities since she looks down on everyone else.
    • Rosalie Hale of the Cullen clan is actually more of a Lovable Alpha Bitch. The same could be said for Leah Clearwater, though most of that is unintentional, and she's under a huge pile of stress that is in no way her fault.
    • Rosalie Hale is redeemed in Eclipse, where she reveals her tragic backstory (she always wanted children, but could never have one because she is a vampire, and her fiance and his friends gang-raped her and killed her to cover it up), and starts fawning over Bella and her child. While Leah makes good in Breaking Dawn, when she and her brother Seth are the first wolves to join Jacob in protecting the Cullens from Sam and the pack.
  • Kelly Peters in Zilpha Keatley Snyder's The Changeling. A spun-sugar nightmare with a cute face and golden curls. It makes more sense to walk into an operating buzz saw than to have anything to do with her. Most of these types are Karma Houdini, but Kelly actually gets taken down a notch or two (not much) toward the end of the book.
  • Sandra "Sandi" Mitchell from The Bailey Game. She's pretty and popular, but she's also arrogant and vain and leads her group of friends in ostracising the main characters.
  • Cheyenne Martin from Private.
  • The titular character from Lauren Kate's The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove.
  • Also from Lauren Kate, Chloe King in Unforgiven. Her father is a rich media mogul, she is good-looking, well-dressed, surrounded by Girl Posse composed of members of her pop group, she leads several school clubs and is a candidate for prom queen. And in a moment of sincerity, she claims that people generally do not like her - they are just afraid of her. One interesting twist - she's black (although the author generally does not stress the fact).
  • In the Amber Brown books, Hannah Burton. Generally regarded as the prettiest girl in Amber's class, she seems to dislike Amber for no good reason (though possibly simply because she finds her silly). She takes every opportunity to tease her and otherwise make snide comments at her and is generally just thoroughly unpleasant even though Amber has never really done anything to her at all, other than sometimes complain about her to her friends and parents because of the things she's done. It all comes to a head in Amber Brown Horses Around when the two are forced to share a tent with several other girls at summer camp. Amber gets so tired of Hannah's mean behavior and apparent pranks that she teams with the other girls to plan an elaborate prank of her own, which blows up terribly when Hannah twists her ankle after trying to run when hearing a spooky voice on a tape played as part of the prank. After this, it transpires that Hannah was not responsible for the pranks that Amber thought she was, though everyone still agrees that Hannah has been awful to Amber ever since they got to camp. In order to keep things harmonious at camp, the two decide to start making an effort to try not to be so mean to each other and take the time to think about how their behaviors and words effect each other and it seems at the end of the story that even if they could never be friends, they could possibly at least reach the point of becoming frenemies.
  • In The Gods Are Bastards, these have twice turned up out of the blue to harass one of the main characters. This is not generally a good idea.
  • In Uprooted, Agnieszka the woodcutter's daughter runs into these when she goes to the capital. Primarily it's a young noblewoman named Alicja who mocks her through loud, sarcastic "compliments" which Agnieszka initially doesn't recognize (people in her village were very straightforward). When she does, she uses minor magic to turn it on Alicja but is disgusted when all of Alicja's "friends" congratulate her. Agnieszka concludes that Alicja is more pitiable than anything, being raised as a snake in a nest of vipers.
  • Mackenzie Hollister from Dork Diaries. The most popular girl at her school, she is quite cruel to the main character Nikki and goes out of her way to humiliate her.
  • The Truth of Rock and Roll: Mona Southton. It doesn't work out well for her.
  • Mia St. Claire from Gossip from the Girls Room.
  • Tales of the Frog Princess Emma's ancestor Princess Hazel turns out to be this: a powerful nature witch, and beautiful, blonde, and delicate as a flower, she's also bossy, mean, selfish, and only cares about herself. It's also hinted that she threatens her parents with her new magical powers.
    • Emma's mom Queen Chartreuse is also this, especially in the Prequel Salamander Spell. Also blonde and beautiful, she's at best unpleasant and at worst outright antagonistic to her daughter and her sister, although she does love them.
  • The third book in James Patterson's Middle School series, My Brother Is A Big Fat Liar, (co-authored by Lisa Papademetriou) features a trio of snobs known as The Princess Patrol. They are described by the book's protagonist, Georgia Khatchadorian, as "girls that wear the latest fashions, have radiant skin and glowing hair that smells like strawberries." They are led by the alpha bitch, Missy Trillin who receives two well-deserved comeuppances.
  • In The Secret Place, a boy from a boys' school is found dead on the grounds of a nearby school for girls. Naturally, the investigators also encounter the resident Alpha Bitch. In addition to the usual bullying of less popular girls she also is so jealous she threatens the girl with whom her ex boyfriend hooked up with getting her expelled from school if she doesn't stay away from him. Going so far to tell the girls' friends that she will hold them responsible for making sure her order is complied with.
  • The nonfiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman describes the lives of modern teenage girls. Wiseman discusses in great length the politics of girl cliques and how the "queen bees" stay in charge of them. One chapter is entitled "Mean Girls", and the movie Mean Girls was loosely adapted from this book.
  • Danya and her Girl Posse in Parrotfish enjoy picking on Grady for being transgender. Danya goes as far as telling him that if she was in his place she'd kill herself. She gets suspended after she tries to prank Grady. He learns about the prank and pranks her instead.
  • Star Darlings has Vivica, who is mean to everyone in the main cast, heads an Opposing Sports Team band, and eventually joins forces with the main villain out of a desire to be appreciated. She eventually has an Ignored Epiphany, temporarily remembering how happy she was at the start of the school year before deciding nothing's changed and she still needs to bring the Star Darlings down. Canceled books would have given her a more sympathetic role, as The Hero Sage would leave her behind on Earth and slowly turn into a Dark Starling as a result, with Vivica forgiving her to free her from corruption.
  • Chrysanthemum has Victoria, and her two friends, Jo and Rita, who all pick on the titular character because of her long name.
  • In Princess Academy, Katar appears to be one at first. She is rude, cold, and arrogant, picks on Miri constantly, has a Girl Posse in Bena and Liana, and is one of the smartest students at the academy. But it turns out that because of her cold attitude, the other girls actually don't like or respect her at all. During the final exam, when everyone has to answer a question from the teacher in turn, the girls secretly give each other answers using quarry-speech (a kind of telepathy), but when Katar can't answer her question, nobody gives her any help except Miri. Indeed, later that night, the other girls vote for Miri to be academy princess instead of her, because of how she helped them in the exam.
  • Family Skeleton Mysteries: Book 3 had a quartet of them. They were a group of high school girls who made a game of viciously trolling anyone they could online, and operated under the name "The Devil's Divas." And there's emphasis on vicious, like posting homophobic and anti-Semitic slurs, and going as far as telling a girl in a wheelchair that her mother should've aborted her. One of them bullied a girl so badly she killed herself, and then years later when she tried to atone for her actions, she confessed to the girl's sister... who then murdered her not because of her sister's death, but because her sister's death messed up her college dissertation's completion. To further drive the point home, none of them actually believed the bile they spread, as one was Jewish and another bisexual. Luckily, at least one person knew better than to listen to their comments - they tried to harass Madison at one point, but gave up when she ignored them.
  • Jessica in Time Out Of Time acts this way towards Timothy at school. In reality, she's really nice.
  • The Winnie Years: Gail and Malena are popular girls who are nasty to others. Mindy also qualifies; she exerts power over other girls by forming a secret club in which she and her best friend choose girls with the "right" style to join them in being mean to others.
  • In How To Be Comfortable In Your Own Feathers, Hummingbird is mean to the other birds for not being able to flutter like her and she's the most popular bird in school.
  • The Anderssons:
    • Karin and Ragnhild lead the bullying against Rebecka in "Drömmar av glas". Both of them also come from prestigious local families (Karin's father is a merchant; Ragnhild's father is a priest), which makes it easy for them to taunt a less fortunate underdog.
    • Monica is the school nemesis to Rebecka's daughter Cecilia in "Spränga gränser". Her father is rich and clearly spoils her rotten, which makes her feel that she has the right to taunt Cecilia for having working class parents.
  • Rogue: When Kiara tries to sit at the popular kids' table, Melanie Prince-Parker pushes her tray to the floor, ruining her lunch. Kiara loses her temper and smashes the tray into Melanie's face, giving her a bloody nose and getting herself expelled.


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