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Doesn't always have to live in a basement.
"...And then you've got the ones who are just waiting for their parents to die. My one friend is like, 'This'll all be mine one day,' and I'm like, 'What are you talking about? Your mother is only 54. What are you gonna do, poison her?'"

A stereotypical nerd who, despite being a grown adult, still behaves like an adolescent, right down to living with his parents. While the decor of his Poster-Gallery Bedroom is subject to the tastes of the character, be sure there will be a computer to communicate with the outside world. It's always Played for Laughs. More importantly, the subject is Always Male. There is much less stigma against a female character living at home - in the past, women were expected to stay with their parents until they married, men were expected to go out and earn money so they could be breadwinners while being shamed and/or shunned if they didn't do so, and these ideas still endure in many cultures today. This makes the trope a Double Standard against men (but see below).

The guys who are depicted in this condition usually fit into one of the following:

  • Lazy and unwilling to earn a living for himself. (May be a NEET.) If he does have a job, it'll likely either be something on the lower end of the earning ladder (i.e. a Burger Fool, Soul-Sucking Retail Job, or something else along those lines), or he works from home on the computer and so he doesn't need to leave the house, especially if he doesn't have to work from home. Even then, he’ll still be lazy to help around the house even with a job.
  • Childish and requires everything to be done for him by his mom. She still washes and folds his clothes. As well, she yells at him and berates him as if he were still a kid.
  • Can't get any romance (not surprising given he lives at home) and hasn't moved out to start a family.
  • Technically unable to earn a living for himself (i.e. unable to get a career-type job and start his own household).
  • Has No Social Skills, so he is awkward and nerdy in the presence of others. This is even more pronounced around women.

Note that this trope only seems to apply when the character is introduced as an adult living with his parents. On most dom coms, characters who were children when the show premiered often continue to live at home after reaching adulthood, sometimes even moving into the basement to have more personal space. This is because the alternative would be either creating a whole new set for their new home/college dorm and splitting the plot between the parents' and the adult child's activities, or making them into a Drop-In Character who only occasionally appears, which can hurt ratings if the kid is a popular character. An accepted compromise is to just invent a reason (high rents in the city, needs to care for aging parent, etc) why they're still living with their parents, especially since by this point, the sitcom could be in its last few seasons.

In a Four-Temperament Ensemble, he tends to be either choleric if confident, bully others around and treat others like servants or phlegmatic if simply too unmotivated, indifferent, shy or depressed.

Note that living with one's parents is a stigma mainly in the USA and other Anglosphere countries, where working-age adults are expected to live on their own, so this trope shouldn't be applied to characters from cultures where this is the norm. This trope has become much less stigmatizing in Real Life, however, as rising rents and the increasingly precarious nature of work in the "gig economy" and with layoffs, more and more adults back to their parents' homes, and some in the newer generation don't even leave in the first place. And if this article is any indication, this trope could even become discredited at some point in the future. In fact, it may already be that "near future".

For a more serious treatment of this as a social problem, see Hikikomori. Not to be confused with Madwoman in the Attic. Compare The Hermit and The Thing That Would Not Leave. See also Loser Protagonist. Contrast Minor Living Alone.


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  • A Burger King commercial features a winged pig who used to be this but is now finally moving out.
  • This British Dulux paint advert wherein a couple get their thirty something rocker son to move out by... painting his room yellow?
  • An irate man is gathering signatures against an upcoming Star Trek marathon on Sci Fi Channel, ranting how only losers who live in their mother's basements watch this stuff. The old lady he's talking to suggests her son might be interested. "I'll just get him. He's in the basement." Cue an enormous cosplayer dressed as a Klingon warrior emerging from the basement and knocking the man unconscious.
    Old Lady: [in Klingon, subtitled] You do not fight with honor!
    Klingon: Aw, Mom!
  • A female example: this commercial in which the lead singer laments that he and his "dream girl" wife are living in her parents' basement because he didn't check out his wife's poor credit, which is keeping them from getting a home loan—if he had known, he would have been "a happy bachelor with a dog and a yard."

    Anime & Manga 
  • According to the author's note from the third Hetalia: Axis Powers manga volume, Prussia ended up like this.
    Himaruya: Now he lives as a good-for-nothing at Germany's house and as an exclave in Russia!

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • In Emerald Flight Book One: Union Harry and Supergirl help capture a (rather pathetic) Killer Moth imitator while visiting Gotham City.
    Harvey Bullock: Come on, Moth, I'll call your mother for ya. Thirty years old, and you still live in her basement.
  • The roles are reversed in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series where Grandpa shamefully lives in the basement.
  • Nova Shine spends the majority of The Apprentice, the Student, and the Charlatan living in Twilight Sparkle's basement, though it's not played negatively because he has plenty of money and his own house. It's just for convenience's sake, as they are working to rid themselves of nightmares and his home is three hours away.
  • Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space. Dr. Zarkendorf brings this up during his They Called Me Mad! rant. "They called me a nerd—they said I should get out of my mother's basement and get a life!" The alien invader D'Ork of the Thorkoth turns out to have the same issues.
    "For years I plotted in the dark places, awaiting the moment when I would emerge to make your world my own! Then my mother told me to get out of her basement and take a life."
  • Zim the Warlord: Irken Reversion eventually reveals that Zim has been letting former Table-Headed Service Drone Bob live in the basement of his base ever since the two of them survived the ending of the episode "Hobo 13". Skoodge likewise starts living down there when he arrives on Earth during Zim's six-month coma, much to Zim's annoyance (he lets Skoodge stay, he's just irritated Bob allowed him in without Zim's permission first).
  • Viva La Vida: The Todd Squad Headquarters is located in the basement of its leader's mother. Olive thinks of making a snide comment about it but stops herself and says that being snarky to Odd Todd would be something that the Olive of the past would do, and she decides to let the fact go.
  • In Proper Discipline, Jane Read becomes a Gender-Inverted example when she moves in with her father after the Read family home was burned down by her daughter D.W..

    Films — Live-Action 

  • In 8mm, the killer lives with his mom, who is completely oblivious to his problems.
  • Dave's cousin Toby from Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakel who lives in his grandmother's basement and plays video games all day.
  • In Baby Boy, Jody's mom calls him out for being a grown man living at home, until he points out that she never moved out and simply inherited her house from her own mother.
  • In Badly Drawn Roy, Roy continues to live at home because he can't hold down a job despite being in his thirties, which causes friction and arguments between him and his parents as well as running away from the camera. He eventually checks himself into a rehabilitation center because of his depression.
  • Best Player: The male protagonist lives with his parents in spite of being an adult until they decide to sell their house. He must win a video game tournament to be able to buy the place.
  • In Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman, Santiago lives with his mother. While he has a job as a DJ (which his mother disapproves of), the rest of his life seems to revolve around video games, with his ambition being to create the world's most awesome video game.
  • The movie Failure to Launch deals with a group of grown men living with their parents who exhibit stereotypical nerd behavior. Subverted though, in that the "nerdiest" of the group actually owns the home he lives in, and took in his mother because that's what you do when your mother has nowhere else to go. In fact everyone in the group but the main character has some sort of technicality which makes them not really live with their parents, which is used to explain why only said main character is attacked by chipmunks and dolphins.
  • Fanboys: Hutch is a man in his mid-20s who resides in his mom's garage (or "carriage house," as he likes to call it).
    Eric: Your mom said, "Clean up this shithole, or no grilled cheese for a week."
    Hutch: That's emotional blackmail, and you know it!
    Hutch's mom: Screw you!
    Hutch: I will sue you! Renter's rights!
    Hutch's mom: You don't pay rent!
  • Free Guy: One gamer by the name of Revengamin Buttons has an encrypted file in his hideout that shows proof of Life Itself existing in the game's Code. After Guy becomes an internet sensation, he ends up confronting the player, who is shown to be a 22-year old who lives with his mom.
    Buttons: Mom, do you have to vacuum right now? I'm saying my catchphrase! You're ruining it for my viewers, God!
    Button's mom: You're 22 and live in my house, there is no God!
  • Galaxy Quest:
    • Subverted when Jason Nesmith is contacted by the Thermians. He thinks that they're particularly rabid fanboys who have built an exact replica of the Protector in their parents' basement. He's only two-thirds right.
    • Guy Fleegman, whose character played a Red Shirt in the in-movie TV-show, can be spotted in one scene hitting on a young woman who responds with "but you live with your mom!"
  • Manchild Alan from The Hangover films refers to himself as a stay at home son. Even his dad thinks it's ridiculous that his 42-year old son is still living home. He gets his meals served to him in his room by his mother.
  • Subverted early into Harvey. Myrtle Mae complains to her mother how her uncle Elwood does nothing but lounge around the house all day and still lives with his older sister. Veta promptly corrects her that Elwood inherited the entire family fortune so they're the ones living with him.
  • In the beginning of Hot Tub Time Machine, Jacob lives in his uncle Adam's basement and refuses to get a job or do anything with his life.
  • In Jane Wants a Boyfriend, 25-year-old Jane lives with her parents. When her parents move to New Jersey, she moves in with her older sister instead.
  • David from Keep the Change (2017) is an unemployed aspiring filmmaker who lives with his parents.
  • In Lizzie Borden's Revenge, Bobby still lives with his mother, in her basement. He is very defensive about it:
    "I don't live in her basement! I live in a room! That happens to be in her basement."
  • In Mallrats, comic loving slacker Brodie lives in his mother's basement. His girlfriend dumps him for this reason.
  • In Men in Black II, Agents J and K get intel from a conspiracy theorist guy who lives in his mom's attic. They claim to be from his therapy group. They end up convincing him to move out after deneuralizing him.
  • Duane from Most Likely to Murder (2018) lives with his mother and sister, despite working as a realtor. Lowell also lived with his mother before her death.
  • Bart from The Night Clerk (2020) lives with his mom, despite being employed.
  • Subverted in Of Dice and Men. John Francis lives in his mom's basement, but he doesn't have any of the social problems normally associated with the trope, and he's about to move out in order to take a job offer in another town.
  • In The Pallbearer, David Schwimmer still lives in his childhood bedroom.
  • In Pixels, Ludlow, Conspiracy Theorist with No Social Skills, lives in his grandma's basement.
  • In Saturday Night Fever, Tony lives with his parents, even though his mother wants him to move out and become a priest like his older brother Frankie. He does end up moving out eventually to live with Stephanie.
  • Teddy in Save Your Legs! is living in his mate Stavros' garage. Stavros' wife does not approve of this arrangement.
  • Stephen in The Score lives in a Hacker Cave in his mother's basement.
  • Sing Street: Brendan dropped out of college and is reduced to staying in his parents' house.
  • Jeffrey Middleton from Snatched (2017) is a middle-aged shut in who lives with his mother Linda and is too terrified of germs to leave the house.
  • Dale Doback and Brennan Huff from Step Brothers both live with their single parents (Dale with his widowed father and Brennan with his divorced mother). The plot of the film kicks off when Dale's father marries Brennan's mother.
  • At the beginning of The Story of Luke, Luke is an unemployed 25-year-old living with his grandparents. It isn't until his grandmother dies, his grandfather is placed in a nursing home, and Luke is forced to move in with his horribly dysfunctional relatives that he really starts looking for a job.
  • The whole plot of Tanguy involves exasperated parents who try to get their grown son (the title character) to move the hell out so they can have their own lives back. This French film appeared to have hit a chord with the public, as the name "Tanguy" has basically become a generic word for Basement-Dweller in French-speaking countries, where it's not uncommon to hear people complain that their son is a Tanguy.
  • Subverted in Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen by Agent Simmons. When questioned about living with his mother, he states "She lives with me. There's a big difference."
  • Wayne of Wayne's World. In the second movie, he and Garth move into their own place.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse: Peter Maximoff is around 27 years old in 1983, and he still lives in the basement of his mother's house. In his case, it probably has something to do with his Super Speed and petty criminal past making it very hard for him to find a plausible means of self-support; he's very self-deprecating about his situation and jumps at the chance to start attending Xavier's school.
  • Speaking of Tim Allen, his role as Zoom in Zoom: Academy for Superheroes has him meeting his fans and asking how many of them still live in their Mom's basement. All but Chevy Chase raise their hands. This is followed by what the movie's Agony Booth Review refers to as "Awkward Silence Which Is Supposed to Be Funny?"

  • The COVID-19 Pandemic caused a number of jokes to emerge involving basement dwellers pulling a Who's Laughing Now? at the number of people who now had to stay inside their homes, possibly without jobs, and rely on electronic entertainment to stay occupied, or not having noticed that people were staying indoors.

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Bill Walter is a 30+ something man who still lives with his parents (later his grandmother).
  • Gender-Inverted and Subverted in The Help. The big publishing hotshot is disgusted to learn that our heroine lives with her mother. The heroine is actually taking care of her mother as she dies of cancer. Oops.
  • In the Doctor Who Expanded Universe, Fitz's initial circumstances may count as a subversion: he's a single, 27-year-old, immature geek with a lousy job whose 65-year-old widowed mum lived with him before she moved into a sort of insane asylum shortly before he's introduced. She's generally mentally unwell and prone to delusions of being the devil and so on, in addition to being rather sickly and apparently prone to "taking the back off one-armed bandits", and therefore needs him to look after her.
  • Played with in Freakonomics with the chapter titled, "Why Do Drug Dealers Still Live With Their Moms?"
  • Beryl Bainbridge's comic novel Young Adolf expands on the not unproven story that sometime around 1911 or 1912, the young Adolf Hitler travelled to Liverpool, England, and stayed here with his sister and brother-in-law.note  Hitler is expected to stop being an idle waster, get a job, knuckle down and take advantage of the opportunity to learn some English. However, the unemployed failed student carries on taking advantage of others and carries on behaving like an idle entitled drifter. The amusing idea of Hitler speaking English with a Scouse accent is explored, but the picture that emerges is of a parasitical Basement Dweller that won't go away.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist Ignatius J. Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces. He is highly educated but hellbent on avoiding any form of actual work or any new experiences, instead living with his mother (whom he constantly verbally and emotionally abuses). As the book progresses, his mother slowly builds up the courage to force him to get a job, though he manages to fail with spectacular results each and every time.
  • Harry from Scary Godmother is a freeloading werewolf who lives in his mother's basement and surfs the internet all day. Wild About Harry revolves his mother kicking him out of the house. He tries to mooch off of his friends instead of finding an apartment and job.
  • Like a Fish Understands a Tree has George, who is 29 and has Down syndrome. He actually wants to move out and get his own place with his girlfriend, but My Beloved Smother does her best to prevent him from gaining any independence.
  • Morgan from Sanctuary lived with their parents until their mid twenties. Part of the reason they moved into Casswell Park was because they were worried about what would happen to them after their parents died.
  • The Kitchen Daughter: Ginny's ma never let her move out. She said they'd talk about it after Ginny got her college degree, but she was never able to finish her Oral Communications class, which is why she still lives at home at age 26.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Trope Maker is likely William Shatner's "Get a Life" sketch on Saturday Night Live, in which he made reference to how the Star Trek fans should get a life and move out of their parents' basements. That sketch may have single-handedly popularized every Trekkie stereotype.
  • In an episode of Sex and the City, Carrie begins dating someone who still lives with his parents. She is uncertain about it at first, and is concerned he is too financially dependent on his parents. Regardless, the high-rise apartment he lives in is far from being a basement, and his mother is always making snacks for him and Carrie. The episode ends with the mother finding his large bag of weed in the apartment. With a hangdog expression, he lies and says its Carrie's. Instead of defending herself, Carrie goes along with the lie, and leaves the apartment with the weed.
  • Jess dates a guy who still lives with his parents in an episode of New Girl. She is hesitant to it at first, but quickly realises the parents are much more interesting, lively and welcoming than him.
  • There was a series called Get a Life starring Chris Elliott that aired on Fox in the early 90's. Elliott's character was an epitome of this trope, although he lived in an apartment over his parents' garage, rather than in the basement.
    Chris Elliott plays Chris Peterson, a carefree, childlike bachelor who refuses to live the life of an adult. At the age of 30, Chris still lives with his parents and maintains a career delivering newspapers (the St. Paul Pioneer Press), a job that he has held since his youth. He has no driver's license (instead, riding his bicycle wherever he goes). He is depicted as being childish, naïve, gullible, foolish, occasionally irresponsible, and extremely dimwitted. Chris is often the subject of abuse from his friends and family. He is often seen dancing (involving a silly back-and-forth step while swinging his arms) to the piano tune "Alley Cat" by Bent Fabric. His lack of intelligence is exaggerated to absurd levels: at one point, he tries to leave his parents' house but is unable to operate the front door. He also fell out of an airplane after opening the plane's exterior door, believing that it led to the restroom.
  • CSI episode "A Space Oddity" plays the trope ludicrously straight by showing two guys living in a reconstruction of the ship from "Astro Quest" in their mother's attic.
  • Ghostwriter episode "Into The Comics": Manny Gite runs his evil operation from his mother's attic, where he resides.
  • Played with in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. When what's left of the Cardassian resistance movement are on the run on Cardassia, they end up hiding in the basement of the house Garak grew up in; complete with an overbearing mother-figure who feeds them and makes them do chores. Garak shelters there, and if it never definitely says she is his mother, she acts damn close. Still, he certainly is not a shiftless loser. Eventually they realise they can't hide there forever, go out into the streets and start rousing the people to revolt.
  • In Girls, unemployed college graduate 24-year old Hannah still gets room and board from her parents. The show begins right when they cut her off because they fear they can't afford a retirement home if they just keep funding her. Hannah already quits looking for a job after only one failed interview (she did seem rude in the interview to say the least) and instead runs back to her parents asking for money again, which only makes them laugh then get angry and shoo her away. Hannah walks out with $40 her parents left in cash on the table.
    • But then Hannah didn't learn anything from this as she then proceeded to mooch off her friend Marnie for food and rent!
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Xander Harris, who does not enroll in college during the fourth season and lives in his parents' basement, where he pays rent. He gets his own place in season five, about the time he's shown to take charge of his life by getting a permanent job and a steady girlfriend. By season seven, everyone seems to be living in the Summers household, but that's for mutual protection.
    • Also the Nerd Trio of season six, whose evil headquarters is Warren's parents' basement. ("Why can't we have a lair with a view?")
    • Spike in parts of Season 4 and 7. ("I'm chained in a bathtub, drinking pig's blood from a novelty mug!")
  • The Drew Carey Show: Drew had long been living in his parents' house, which he bought from them. When they have to move back in, he's forced to live in the basement. Naturally, he comments on being a 40-year-old man who lives in his parents' basement.
  • Howard from The Big Bang Theory lives in his old bedroom instead of the basement, but otherwise fits this trope to a T. However, he and his family are Jewish, which is one of the cultures where adults living with their parents before they get married is considered normal. Though to be fair, Howard did try moving out of his mother's and he financially can afford to (he's an engineer at CalTech) yet his mother kept guilting him into staying until he married Bernadette in Season 5 and moved into a separate house to start his own family. After his mother's death, Howard and Bernadette move into her house.
  • Frank on 30 Rock lives with his mother and pays her rent. It hasn't been mentioned if he actually lives in her basement. Subverted when he almost moved out to become a lawyer. (Jack put a stop to this after learning that all of Frank's male relatives were lawyers for The Mafia and consequently met bad ends.)
  • NCIS:
    • In one episode, Tony and Ziva interview the web master of a porn site who lives in his mother's basement. He also collects Star Wars toys as "investments" and met the site's owner/performer on his paper route. When Tony asks if his mother knows he's being interviewed by federal agents, the man looks down and admits he told her it's a job interview. Tony doesn't bother to hide his laugh, and Ziva guffaws hysterically.
    • Another, featuring an episode-long, city-wide Big Black Out, starts out with a man in his thirties who's playing a computer game when the Internet connection is suddenly lost. He immediately shouts for his mom, who he apparently lives with.
      Man: Nooooo! Moooom! MOOOOOOM!!!
  • Similar to this, people routinely make fun of the title character of Frasier for living with his father, causing him to make the same reply of "He lives with me!" Except that this is actually the case... Frasier's father moved into Frasier's apartment to be taken care of, not the other way around. Oddly enough, the writers of the show seem to occasionally forget this.
    • In Season 11's "Match Game":
      Charlotte: I am thirty-five years old and I am living with my mother! How pathetic is that?!
      Frasier: Well... I've seen worse.
  • The most extreme example of this is Ted from Scrubs, the pathetically inept sad-sack attorney who not only lives with his mother, but shares a bed with her.
  • In Seinfeld, George lives with his parents during most of season 5 because he can't find a job.
  • Everybody Loves Raymond:
    • Robert Barone is forced to move in with his parents — even though he bought their house from them, and ends up having to give it back to them after he loses his apartment, he's cast as the "loser" because he's a man in his mid-40's living with his parents. The first time he moves out, he ends up in an apartment above the garage of the Jewish versions of Frank and Marie. They even cook his dinner, boss him, and ignore him in order to pay attention to Ray.
    • Then there is Amy's brother Peter, who when first introduced is running a failing comic shop in Pennsylvania but still living in his parents' basement. When Amy and Robert marry, Peter is a Manchild living in the basement and the despair of his parents. They take advantage of his staying in New York as an effective Basement-Dweller first with Robert and Amy, and briefly with Ray and Debra, to clear the basement, emphatically hinting it's time for him to move out. This makes him a problem for the extended Barone family. note 
  • Criminal Minds:
    • The accomplice of the killer from "Extreme Aggressor" has shades of this, since he lived with his grandmother and spent almost all his time in the attic; Morgan, after finding his bedroom, even says "This is a boy's room, not a man's".
    • The UnSubs in "The Wheels on the Bus..." were implied to be this trope for much of their lives, since their parents had abandoned them.
  • On Sci-Fi's Flash Gordon the title character lives with his mother and sometimes worries that he's falling into this trope. Everyone assures him that he's actually rather admirable because he moved back home to help take care of his mother when she was diagnosed with cancer.
  • On My Name Is Earl, Earl tries to make up for poking a hole in his crush/babysitter's condom. He finds the girl, who has married the guy who got her pregnant, and they have an unemployed adult son who dropped out of high school and leeches off his parents. Earl decides to help him truly become an adult. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Bud Bundy in the later seasons of Married... with Children.
    • In one episode Kelly asks Bud to chaperone the sister of a rich guy she's dating, Bud refuses so Kelly sweetens the deal by saying she'll hook him up with her friend Fawn, aka, "Fawn, Fawn let's get it on". Kelly says Fawn owes her a favor for going out with her brother who lives in the attic. Bud agrees to the deal and laughs at the "loser" who lives in his parents' attic, while he goes down to the basement.
    • Kelly herself is also a Basement Dweller of sorts. Several gags imply that she's too stupid to take care of herself and she'll always be dependent on Al and Peg. She also turns into a Butt-Monkey after she graduates from high school, as she's stuck in a series of dead-end jobs, largely fails to make it as an actress and never succeeds at being a Gold Digger.
  • Vinton Harper of Mama's Family, despite being over 40 years old, and a single father of two children, who DO move out when they're old enough. It was explained in the first episode that Vint was living elsewhere originally, but a combination of bad financial management and his wife leaving him meant he could no longer afford his house and returned to Mama's house with his two teenage kids. Vint's second wife, Naomi, lived next door. After they got married during the first season, Naomi sold her house and they were planning to move elsewhere, but she wound up getting scammed out of her money and them having to stay with Mama.
  • Buster Bluth in Arrested Development is a grown man still living with his mother. He is more or less incapable of functioning in the outside world.
  • Big Cat Diaries: Invoked by Saba's characterization of Chui the leopard when she finds he's still living with his mother about a year after they thought he'd have become independent. Obviously, being a leopard, he doesn't show the human-specific features of a Basement-Dweller, but he is living mostly off of his mother's kills when he's old enough to be on his own. Best guess about why? The local male (probably his father) seems to have gone missing and therefore wasn't around to drive him away and mate with his mother. Sadly, his mother Bella was looking kind of skinny from supporting her adult son as well as herself.
  • During a hockey broadcast by The Sports Network in Canada, announcer Gord Miller and commentator Pierre McGuire were talking about ludicrous trade proposals they've read. Miller noted, sarcastically, "there are two types of people who make up proposals - 13-year-olds that live in their mother's basement, and 30-year-olds who live in their mother's basement."
  • Don Pratt from a Mr. Show show sketch. During his commercial, he tells the audience he can get anywhere within a 30-mile radius "anytime she doesn't need the car." Also when calling, "if [Don Pratt's] mother answers, hang up quickly!"
  • Gender-Inverted on Orange Is the New Black, where it is shown that just before being sent to Prison for setting a bomb under her crush's fiancee's car, as well as mail fraud, Lorna Morello was living with her parents in her old bedroom.
  • A rather disturbing variation occurs in Being Human (UK). One episode has a young man who lives with his parents... because he was turned into a vampire while in his late teens and his parents are trying to hide it. They constantly move around so no one notices their son staying the same age and have him feed off of them so he won't attack anyone else. By the time the protagonists meet him, they find his now-elderly father dying, leaving his son on his own for the first time in his life.
  • Double-subversion on Good Eats. There's a 32-year-old (Hollywood Dateless and unemployed) man who's having trouble cooking for himself. He lives on his own in a small apartment, but has his mother come by every morning to fix breakfast (and presumably other meals) for him. Alton and an assistant by the name of Clarence teach him how to make coffee, bacon, eggs, and hash browns. It's also revealed that his mom still does his laundry.
  • The Broad City episode "St. Marks" has a 34-year-old man who lives with his mother after dropping out of graduate school and kills time by pretending to be homeless and robbing people as a "joke."
  • In The Wire, recovering addict Bubbles lives for a time in his sister's basement. Even though he is clean, she won't let him come upstairs because he's stolen her property in the past.
  • Bob Hearts Abishola has Chukwuemeka, the Romantic False Lead competing with Bob for Abishola. He's a handsome pharmacist, but a sexist mama's boy. In fact, his mother Ogeche is the one who introduced Abishola to her son. When Abishola choses Bob, Chukwuemeka tries dating Kemi instead. The first date went awful and Abishola tells Kemi that "There's a reason why a man that handsome still lives with his mother." Kemi keeps seeing Chukwuemeka however, even though Ogeche is doing everything she can to mess things up.
  • iCarly (2021):
    • The first episode reveals that two divorces and a failed startup company forced Freddie to move back in with his mom. His mom doesn’t really mind, much to his chagrin.
    • Nora Dershlit returns in the following episode and is revealed to still be living with her parents. Freddie starts to laugh, until he notices the hypocrisy.
  • Chip from Friends isn't nerdy. In fact, he was considered quite cool back in high school ... which is apparently why he decided to stay that way forever. He still works in a movie theater for the free popcorn, he still rides the same motorbike, and of course, he's still staying with his parents (although he's quick to add that he can stay out as late as he wants).
  • Weird Science: Chett Donnelly doesn't live in the basement and is aggressively macho instead of nerdy, but he otherwise ticks a lot of the boxes. The first episode has him moving back in after giving up being in the Marines, claiming they lost their way but clearly just wanting to mooch off the folks. He only worked a handful of paying jobs throughout the entire series (often under threat of being kicked out) and, for the most part, was content to goof around all day watching TV. He does have something of a social life, dating fairly regularly and having his own hangouts, but even his friendsnote  don't particularly like him. Despite his age, he's far more immature than Wyatt and often acts as a Big Brother Bully towards him out of frustration for having been The Unfavorite for years. It's implied the folks would've kicked Chett out early on if not for the fact that Wyatt is still a minor and they're always away because of work.

  • The main character of Brad Paisley's "Online" lives in such a situation.
    "When I get home, I kiss my Mom and she fixes me a snack / Then I head down to my basement bedroom and fire up my Mac"
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic:
    • "It's All About the Pentiums":
      Hey fella, I bet you're still livin' in your parents' cellar
      Downloadin' pictures of Sarah Michelle Gellar
      And postin' "Me too!" like some brain-dead AOL-er
      I should do the world a favor and cap you like Old Yeller
      You're just about as useless as jpegs to Helen Keller
    • "You're Pitiful" (James Blunt parody):
      You still live with your mom and you're 42!
  • Bif Naked's "Letdown":
    Ain't had a job in about a year. Living down in my parents basement.
  • "Asshole Son" by Bob Rivers, parody of "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden.
  • Played for laughs in Ninja Sex Party's "Welcome to my Parents' House", where a still-at-home Danny tries to make his parents' house sound like the sickest crash pad ever to his date. (Free pizza rolls! Can you believe it?) Interestingly, in the music video, his date is only briefly surprised, then just rolls with it.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Dustin: The strip thoroughly averts this with its main character, who does begin the story returning with his parents and younger sister after graduating, but considers his stay with the folks a "temporary measure", expecting to leave as soon as he gets a stable job.
  • In Mary Worth, Dawn Weston dates Jared, a Star Wars geek who still lives with his mom and her boyfriend. Dawn is surprised at this, despite it being fairly typical for a twentysomething in 2020.
  • Big Nate: The titular character's Uncle Ted is a stereotypical Battlestar Galactica (2003)-obsessed nerd who still lives at Nate's grandparents' house and comes up with multiple excuses as to why he can't work. School Picture Guy is also implied to be one, though he at least has multiple jobs to keep himself afloat.
  • Pivoting: Matt lives in his mom's basement and apparently she won't let him have women over as he tries to hide Jodie when she's down there. Downplayed as he's a handsome Dumb Jock personal trainer instead of a nerd, and it's unclear why he still lives with her.

    Video Games 
  • Toni Cipriani in Grand Theft Auto III is a Mafia boss who still lives with his mom and frequently gets yelled at by her. Not that he's always lived with her; three years before the game he'd been living alone (and far away from Mama) for a while. He just had to move back in at her insistence - she can be very... persuasive. This is also part of the Italian stereotype of men, no matter how independent, tough or respected outside of the home, still are dominated by their mothers.
    • The entire McReary family from GTA IV, all grown, live with their Ma with a single exception. Derek is a fugitive recently returned from Northern Ireland, Gerald is in and out of prison, Packie is a small-time thug, and Kate, wholesome and innocent, keeps their Ma safe. The odd man out, Francis, is a deputy police commissioner.
    • Jimmy De Santa from GTA V is a far better example of this trope since all former examples were not of Anglo-American descent & earning their own living, therefore they get less stigma associated with this trope. He constantly sits up in his room, masturbates, smokes pot and plays video games without making an attempt to get a job or move out.
  • Rowland in The Orion Conspiracy reveals himself as this. He says that he lived with his mother before coming to work at the space station. He is rather childish, immature, lazy, fat, has a chocolate addiction, and is a hypochondriac.
  • Larry Laffer in Leisure Suit Larry lived with his mother until he one day came home and discovered that she had gone traveling and sold the house. Larry was 38 when this happened.
  • Evil Dave in Runescape has constructed his lair in his mother's basement.
  • Your first employee in Youre The Boss says "Thanks for hiring me. You have no idea how much my mom wanted me out of her basement."
  • The main character in Plains Of Fantasy lives in his mother's basement and spends most of his time playing the title MMORPG.
  • The console versions of The Sims have a mission mode called "Get a Life". The very first level has your adult player character living in their mother's house, with the objectives centered around gaining life skills, money and a job so they can move out.
    • The sequel Bustin' Out also features a mission mode in "Bust Out Mode", which also begins at Mom's house, but this time the only objective related to moving out of there is getting a job (the other objectives are things like "use the double speed") and you can move back in anytime (which is handy since some motives never go below 50% there, which is very handy for skilling).
  • In Trauma Team, the victim of the second forensics case, Veronica Cage, was a Gender-Inverted example of this. When she was alive, she lived with her parents and acted like a typical teenage delinquent, having dropped out of high school and staying out long every night, despite being 23 years old. More shockingly, she was also repeatedly beating up her parents! However, the latter is later revealed to have been caused by an Ax-Crazy-inducing virus, rather than her own volition.
  • Clarence's Big Chance: Clarence in the beginning and in the Bad Ending.
  • Rides With Strangers: One of the Strangers Elona can end up riding with is Carol the Dungeon Master, a fat, scruffy-bearded, sketchy-looking guy.
  • SaGa Frontier: Lute's story starts with him being unceremoniously booted out of his mother's house. He soon finds something to occupy his time when a friend of his late father lets him know exactly who killed him.
  • One of the NPCs in OMORI resides in a dimly-lit messy room, has his wall plastered with posters, a shelf full of figurines (that are kept in good condition), regards an anime character as his "betrothed", engages in plenty of online discourse and speaks in pretentious vocabulary. He even gives you a fedora if you beat him in a Clash. The game adequately gives him the name "Creepy Guy".

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner:
    • In the Strong Bad Email "road trip" Strong Bad mocks the sender, reading his signature of "That Guy From That Place" as "Pete From Pete's Parents' Basement".
    • Strong Bad's antivirus software of choice, Edgar the Virus Hunter, is said to be "programmed entirely in mom's basement by Edgar."
    • In the 2008 fan costume commentary, Strong Bad describes a fat guy dressed as a Limozeen member as "Chuzz Palaroncini, still living in the basement of his parents' basement."
  • Minilife TV: Melvin the Ninja is 28 years old and he still lives with his mom.
  • Caillou the Grown Up: Caillou not only still lives with his parents at the age of 22, he is completely incapable of doing adult things like driving a car, cooking a meal, or even tying his own shoes without his parents' help.
  • X-Ray & Vav: X-Ray lives with his mom, playing games, and making her clean his room.

    Web Comics 
  • The Jenkins is about three grown men, who have lived in the basement for a very long time, trying to live on their own, after their parents move to the retirement home.
  • The Council of Three-And-A-Half in Nodwick:
    Bartholomew "Fart-Foot-Mcpoot" Macforte: I'll have you know we haven't used my mother's basement since - be silent!
  • In Narbonic, Dr. Madblood's "Elaborate Underground Base". He later switches to a moonbase, but still does his mom's laundry. After the moonbase was destroyed, he had to move back in.
  • According to Nelson, Frank and Lewis in Full Frontal Nerdity.
  • In Real Life Comics, while camping out in front of a store for a game, a guy, Greg's age, came by to sit in line. He didn't have anything else to do since his Mom's basement was being bug bombed and then he offered to play Yu-Gi-Oh! cards with him.
  • Robbie and Jase in PvP at one point.

    Web Original 
  • Atop the Fourth Wall: Linkara hasn't moved out of his parent's house in 30 years, as his review of Superman v. Terminator reveals. As of the 100th episode, he's finally moved out with his girlfriend Iron Liz to an apartment, and rigged his old home to blow on unauthorized entry.
  • Riley from Less is Morgue is a rare non-male example. Riley has No Social Skills, they're writing a terrible fantasy novel, and they're obsessed with conspiracy theories. They also live in their parents' basement, despite hating them, especially their mother. However, it's justified and deconstructed, as Riley is disabled and thus can't hold down a regular 9-to-5 job, and freelance work doesn't pay that much. They would love to move somewhere else and not live with their emotionally abusive mom, but they can't.
  • Maddison Atkins refers to the people commenting on her videos as basement dwellers.
  • The Spoony Experiment: Until fairly recently, Spoony lived in his parents's basement. He ended one review on an explosive cliffhanger in case the circumstances of his move out rendered him unable to continue filming.
  • In an episode of the Vacuum Consortium, Agamemnon Tiberius Vacuum is seen yelling to his parents upstairs after the credit roll.
  • Geoff from Mother's Basement used to live exactly where the title of his show suggests. Despite not embodying this trope anymore, he keeps up the pretense.
    Narration: I'm Geoff Thew, professional shitbag, signing-off from my mother's basement.
  • Nostalgia Critic:
    • Douchey McNitpick is revealed to live in his mother's basement in "The Next Top 11 Nostalgia Critic Fuck-Ups".
    • A precursor to Douchey: Melvin, self-claimed brother of the Joker, lives with his mother, whom he tries to pass off as his secretary to the audience, but to no avail. He finally admits it later in the video:
      Melvin: I do in fact, live with my mother. I see no shame in it... even though she constantly does.
    • Doug and Rob moved out of their parents's house around the time of The Room review. Then, they had a big and gorgeous. Now, they are married and live in different houses.
  • Similarly, Uncyclopedia articles assume that all the editors and readers must be basement-dwellers.
  • Defied in CinemaSins with a bit of Self-Deprecation:
    Narrator: We don't live in our mother's basements because we don't deserve such luxury. And there are spiders down there.
  • Update is told from the perspective of an unemployed 31-year old man who lives in his parents' trailer.
  • According to Cracked, Valentine Strasser, the former dictator of Sierra Leone, had to live with his mom after being overthrown. And his current situation was so pathetic that the very same government that overthrew him felt the need to request that people stop throwing rocks at him.
  • The dude in Ukinojoe's Great: The Show 4 lives in his girlfriend's basement but only calls her for help. He mainly plays shooting games and is very fat and lazy.

    Western Animation 
  • The image for this article is of Jenkins the Griefer from South Park, as depicted in the episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft". The main thing known about him is that he has played World of Warcraft so much that he's reached a level thought unreachable even by the designers — from which they conclude that he must have absolutely no life at all.
    "...But how do you kill that which has no life?"
  • In Adventure Time, one of Jake and Lady Rainicorn's sons, T.V., is revealed to be this in the episode "Jake Suit". Jake expresses his approval.
  • Frugal Lucre of Kim Possible operates his schemes of world conquest from his mother's basement where he lives. Taken two steps further, when the heroes gain access to his 'lair' not through their usual MO of breaking in through the roof or ventilation shafts, but by knocking on the front door and asking his mother if he was home. When Lucre and the heroes are gearing up to fight in the basement a few moments later, they're interrupted by his mother bringing a tray full of snacks and juice for her son and his "friends".
  • The Fairly OddParents! episode "Big Superhero Wish": The middle-aged writer of the Crimson Chin lives his with his mother and receives a magazine called "Geeks Who Live With Their Mothers Monthly". Not that Denzel Crocker is any better...
  • In Underfist, when Hoss Delgado was going to use explosive weaponry on the bad guys, his mother interrupts and tells the bad guys that Hoss is 48 and he still lives with his mommy.
    Mrs. Delgado: Hoss?
    Hoss: (In a high-pitched voice) Yes? Mommy?
    Mrs. Delgado: You're not pretending I'm dead again because you're 48 and you still live with your mommy, are you?
    Hoss: (Angry and embarrassed) No mommy. (The bad guys laugh hard.)
    Mrs. Delgado: Okay, you play nice now.
    Hoss: Yes mommy. (Fires his cannon at the bad guys creating a huge explosion.)
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Night Of The Huntress": The middle-aged "The Calculator" operates his evil ventures from his mother's basement. When Huntress comes to bust him, his mother is all too pleased that there is a girl here to see him.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: "Operation: M.I.N.I.G.O.L.F." involves The Great Puttinski shrinking down Numbuh Two and challenging him in a mini-golf course complete with models of the world's monuments. The whole course is in his mother's basement. Numbuh Two still wins.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes episode "Substitutes" has Porcupine Pete, who not only has his mom drive him and the other audition rejects around, but also has the best moment of his life ruined by his mother arriving and saying it's his nap time. Although technically Pete and the rest of the Subs are still teenagers so him living with his mom makes more sense, and this may count as a subversion.
  • Coop from Megas XLR makes for a strange non-nerd (albeit very slacker) example. Upon learning that the Monster of the Week intends to destroy his house, he exclaims "My Mom's home! She'll kill me!"
  • Cluemasters from The Batman concocts his evil schemes from his mother's basement.
  • The Simpsons: Comic Book Guy is subject to Geographic Flexibility. Apparently someone thought this would make a worthy gag to have him living in his parent's basement after they'd already established that he lives above his shop (it's one of those business-on-the-first-floor-home-on-the-second-floor buildings common in smalltown USA).
    • Most of the jokes about Seymour Skinner revolve around how he still lives with his beloved smother mother in middle age (although as with Frasier, he insists "she lives with me!"). Given Skinner has a paying job as principal of an elementary school (though he is revealed to only make $25,000 a year in "Skinner's Sense of Snow") while his mother Agnes is frequently shown as quite senile, he has a point.
  • Futurama episode "Where No Fan Has Gone Before": Melllvar hits this trope dead center.
    Melllvar's Mother: Melllvar! Dinner time!
    Melllvar: Aw, but Mom, I'm playing with my collectibles!
    Melllvar's Mother: Now!
    [Melllvar groans and disappears.]
    Fry: All this time we thought he was a powerful super-being, yet he was just a child.
    Melllvar's Mother: He's not a child, he's 34!
  • A villain in WordGirl, Chuck the Evil Sandwich-Making Guy, lives in his mother's basement. (He tried to move into his own lair once, but got too homesick and moved back.)
  • The Venture Bros.: Henchmen #21 briefly lives and operates his own comics supply business out of his mother's house, before being called back by The Monarch.
  • Oz from Fanboy and Chum Chum fits this trope to a T. He's an adult, action figure-collecting, obese comic book nerd who lives with his mother. They technically run a comic book shop together, although in "The Hard Sell" it's revealed they're unable to sell anything due to Oz's infatuation towards the items.
  • In King of the Hill "The Witches of East Arlen", Bobby joins a group of "wizards" who appear to be basement dwellers as the leader Ward who looks middle aged lives in his mother's house.
  • Wade from Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil, while not a nerd but a severe slacker, tells Kick and Gunther that he lived in his step-mom's basement but she kicked him out... Turns out she lived in a trailer and the basement was just a hole in the ground underneath it.
  • In The Legend of Korra Book 3 (Change), one of the new potential Airbender recruits is a 22-year-old man who still lives with his mother. His mom, despite saying that he's "still trying to figure his life out" to try and justify it, is delighted by the idea of Tenzin taking him to the Northern Air Temple, just so she can finally get him out of the house. Three years later, not only does he join Tenzin and the other Airbenders, they also give him a job as a tour guide, and his parents are glad he has a job. However, he's embarrassed to see them at work.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Zephyr Breeze, the younger brother of Fluttershy, tries to reintegrate his parents' home at the beginning of "Flutter Brutter", because he can't find a job. His mom and dad aren't exactly pleased (since he's wholly insufferable) but are too meek to straight-out refuse.
  • Mookie from Atomic Puppet lives in his overbearing scooter-chair-bound mother's basement despite being the former sidekick of Captain Atomic and the rival of Atomic Puppet.
  • Bubble Bass in Spongebob Squarepants is shown to be one, as first seen in the episode, "Moving Bubble Bass". When he gets fed up with his mother interrupting his fantasy talk show and making him do chores, he tricks SpongeBob and Patrick into helping him move his belongings to his grandmother's basement across the street.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: Dennis, Ludo's brother is a grown man who still lives in his parents’ home, and they often complain that he’s not doing anything good with his life, blowing stuff up, and thus becoming a deadbeat like Ludo. Dennis eventually moves out of his parents' home.
  • The Slimer! segments of The Real Ghostbusters gave the gluttonous green ghost an archenemy in Professor Norman Dweeb, an eccentric scientist obsessed with capturing him who is shown several times to still be living with his mother.
  • Trent from Daria is in his early 20s and living in his parents' house with no job, and no formal education (he's not even entirely sure if he graduated high school), has no motive to go and find a job, and if he isn't sleeping, he's rehearsing with his band, Mystik Spyral. Daria, who had a crush on him in the earlier seasons, once expressed that she at the very least hopes his music career pans out because she can't imagine him doing much else. He's definitely a far more sympathetic depiction of this trope however.
  • In the Bob's Burgers episode "Carpe Museum", school guidance counselor Phillip Frond reveals that he still lives with his mother. The museum director, who he's been flirting with the entire episode, immediately loses interest in him when she learns this.
  • Kid Cosmic has Fantos the Amassor. While styling himself as a herald and loyal supporter of Erodius the Planet Killer, he comes off as more of a big Manchild and fanboy, whose "minion" is actually his mom who he still lives with.
  • T.U.F.F. Puppy: The main character Dudley Puppy and leader of D.O.O.M. Verminious Snaptrap are both shown to still live with their mothers (Dudley eventually does get his own place, but it's a treehouse in his mother's backyard, so there isn't much distinction).