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Cool Old Lady

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Not bad for a 197-year old blind lady, huh?

"What we have here, [Moist] told himself, is a Mk1 Feisty Old Lady: Turkey neck, embarrassing sense of humour, a gleeful pleasure in mild cruelty, direct way of speaking that flirts with rudeness and, more importantly, also flirts with flirting. Likes to think she's no 'lady'. Game for anything that doesn't carry the risk of falling over and with a look in her eye that says 'I can do what I like because I am old. And I have a soft spot for rascals.' Old ladies like that were hard to fool, but there was no need to."

Much like its Spear Counterpart the Cool Old Guy, the Cool Old Lady is a character that's much older than the main cast but for whatever reason, they become deeply attached to her. She can be a "hip" grandma that rollerblades, bungee jumps, can speak the teenage slang without it coming across as Totally Radical, an Apron Matron who's gruff but caring, or a Cloudcuckoo Lander who is a joy to have around. Or she could be a kindly old lady who obviously led a very rich life (when she was younger, she bungee jumped, rode a motorcycle, knows the teenage slang of her era but doesn't dare try to incorporate it into her current speech) and regales the cast with saucy stories of her escapades. The fact that she's survived doing all that and lived to that age tells you that you should Never Mess with Granny.


If the grandma did all the cool stuff in the past, expect her to be low on the Sorting Algorithm of Mortality; on more dramatic shows, she will die by episode's/story arc's end. Often, she is helping all her new younger friends come to terms with their grief while being rather at peace with it herself because she "led a good life".

See also My Grandma Can Do Better Than You: For when Grandma is not so cool, and this fact is used to insult someone else by implying they are even worse.

Compare Mrs. Claus. Not to be confused with My Old Lady, a film starring Kevin Kline.



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  • Granny Goodwitch, Sugar Bear's Foil (or rather, would-be Foil) in advertisements for Super Golden Crisp. Sure, he always managed to outwit her, but you have to give a lady credit for coolness when she has a house like this.

    Anime & Manga 
  • A Bride's Story: The male lead's grandmother, Balkirsh, is capable of driving off hostile visitors with a bow and riding a mountain goat up a nearly-vertical cliff to rescue a child.
  • Moto Asagi from Brigadoon: Marin and Melan is very wise and very generous. She adopted a foundling to replace her own lost child, and she cares for an alien robot like he was a member of the family.
  • Megabaa from Den-noh Coil. Hacks the local equivalent of the web, deals in banned software, and can shoot digital beams from her forehead.
  • Fortuneteller Baba from Dragon Ball while her brother Roshi is mostly Dirty Old Man as well as martial artist, Baba is a chill little old witch who rides her crystal ball and helps the Z-Fighters when it comes to spiritual and mystical matters. Baba also can come to and fro from the Mundane Afterlife, having gone to fetch Vegeta after he dies in Buu Saga and in fact she’s the only Earthling in the whole franchise whose never died once. Baba even lives long enough to appear in Dragon Ball Online.
  • Food Wars!: Fumio Daimidou, the housekeeper of Polaris Dormitory, is a pretty chill and permissive Drop-In Landlord, allowing her residents to have parties.
  • Gangsta.: Big Mama Georgiana, Madame of the brothel Pussy as well as a major member of the Corsica family. She's even kind to Nic.
  • Kim Shi-won of Great Pretender is a Korean con woman who's the oldest member of Team Confidence. She smokes, drinks, dyes her hair, wears leather jackets, and is generally the life of the party. She's also pretty good with guns, and is surprisingly athletic.
  • Kaoruko Hanasaki from Heart Catch Pretty Cure, who used to be Cure Flower and is usually there to explain Pretty Cure things to her granddaughter and the other Cures.
  • Before Joseph Joestar was the Cool Old Guy, there was his grandma, Erina Joestar (nee Pendleton) of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, who did not lose the steel of her youth in her old age in Part 2. The first thing we hear of about her is that Joseph is terrified of her learning he lost his temper... again, right after beating two Corrupt Cops (the irony being Lampshaded). Later, she wholeheartedly welcomes his new friend Smokey, who is African-American. Keep in mind that 1) she grew up in Victorian England, and 2) this was 1930s America, neither time period particularly friendly to blacks, showing that she completely averts being a Racist Grandma. Lastly, when Smokey is openly insulted by a rude man in the same restaurant as them, other than a reminder to mind the other customers, she lets Joseph loose on the bastard. In fact, one could argue that she was encouraging Joseph to use his greater strength: his wit.
  • Grandma Hina from Love Hina. She spends most of the series traveling around the world on vacation, but the few times that she does show up, all the tenants stand at attention, absolutely amazed by how cunning and on the ball she is when it comes to making sure things get done. She even sets up a plan to get Keitaro into a bit of trouble. The other girls were reluctant to do it. There's a reason (unexplained as it may be) why she's known as "The Demon of Hinata".
  • Granny Chiyo and Tsunade (although Tsunade makes herself look young) from Naruto; one is a counselor revered in her village, while the other is the Hokage, leader of Konoha. The former fought one of Akatsuki's strongest members to a standstill (though admittedly beating him only with Plot no Jutsu) while the latter is a world-renowned medic, who pretty much wrote the book on combat medicine.
  • In One Piece, Kokoro's a rather lively old woman (outside, at least) with a penchant for alcohol who loves her granddaughter and adoptive sons and drives the Sea Train around Enies Lobby and uses it to tackle and defeat a giant. There’s also Kureha (Chopper’s mentor) a 141 year old doctor whose also a booze hound and is spirited enough to walk around with her midriff showing and act like a woman a many decades younger. Can’t forget Great Staff Officer Tsuru either, a former Vice-Admiral and friend of Luffy’s grandpa Garp whose still powerful enough literally hang Mooks to dry and even the Ax-Crazy Donflamingo (whom she isn’t intimidated by in the slightest) listens to her when she commands him to stop puppeting two marines in front of her.
  • Ping Pong: Obaba (Grandmother), who runs the local Ping Pong shop.
  • Sakae Jinnouchi in Summer Wars reaches through her vast connections in her lifetime in order to make sure people are safe from Love Machine. Beforehand, she pulls a naginata on her adopted son upon the reveal he was the virus's creator and sold it to the US military. The only reason she ends up passing away is that Love Machine hacks into her heart monitor in retaliation.
  • Book of Bantorra has Ireia Kitty, a heavy-set old lady who can kick some serious ass.
  • Maico Kato, one of the Card Professors from Yu-Gi-Oh! R (not to mention one with the skill and nerve to give even Yugi a challenge). Also counts as a Handicapped Badass, seeing as she's wheelchair-bound, her Duel Disk being built into her chair.
  • Genkai from YuYu Hakusho, who serves as the protagonists' mentor and trainer, and even fought with them as the 5th member of their team in the Dark Tournament.

    Comic Books 
  • Damage Control: Mrs. Anne-Marie Hoag, founder and first director of the titular group. She hobnobs with Tony Stark, stands up to The Kingpin, beats the living hell out of muggers, has survived multiple hostile takeovers and is best friends with Nick Fury.
  • Blind Al from Deadpool is a blind, snarky octogenarian who scares Girl Scouts for a hobby and can hold her own trading quips and pranks with one of the most dangerous people on the planet. And her hairstyle looks like soft-swirl ice cream.
  • Lori Lovecraft: While fading actress Danke Schoen is generally regarded as a White-Dwarf Starlet, she maintains enough of her Hard-Drinking Party Girl past that Lori definitely regards her as someone cool to hang with, with Danke's antics even managing to embarrass Ethical Slut Lori
  • Safa, the older lioness in Pride of Baghdad. Despite refusing to leave the zoo with the other lions even as it is being blown to pieces, she casts this aside to save Ali from the monkeys, despite knowing that she will make too many enemies to remain at the zoo by doing so.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Aunt May, during the Civil War when everyone knew who Peter Parker was and was out to get him, became a downright badass old lady, even going so far as to appear clueless when the Chameleon impersonated Peter while simultaneously tricking him into thinking he'd been poisoned with cookies full of sleeping pills and knitting a sweater with the word "GOTCHA" in big letters the whole time.
    • When Wolverine complains about letting Jarvis have the morning off (with May picking up the slack making breakfast), May grabs his cigar right out of his mouth and extinguishes it in his glass of whiskey. Wolverine just stares at her for a couple of seconds, then announces he's just going out to get doughnuts.
    • Ultimate Aunt May is quite the proverbial badass as well, so much so that she chewed J. Jonah Jameson out for being mean to Peter.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: The Holliday College Dean, who seems to be named Strikt but whose students generally call Dean Sourpuss, right to her face. She's old, set in her ways, tough and faster than she looks and is violently protective of her students, even the biggest troublemakers, and will unflinchingly badmouth superheroes, soldiers and US Government officials to their faces if she thinks they've gotten her girls hurt or endangered them while supporting her students following whatever wild dreams they possess.

    Comic Strips 
  • Andy's mother in FoxTrot. She seems to excel at everything; among other things, she's such a great cook that Martha Stewart herself is trying to buy one of her recipes, she can match Jason in math skills, shares Paige's love for modern fashion, is just as knowledgeable in sports as Peter, and an article in The New York Times says she's "perfect". Unfortunately, Andy herself has "issues" with her due to feeling inadequate when she's around; her worst case of being a Lethal Chef came from trying to outdo her on Thanksgiving. (And as fate would have it, her mother told her that she had gone through the same thing with her mother.)
  • Garfield:
    • Jon's grandma rarely makes an appearance — but when she does, it's usually by driving through the wall on her motorcycle.
    • Jon's elderly Aunt Gussie, who was discharged from the Navy for unnecessary roughness.
  • Pansy Yokum from Li'l Abner, who can fell a cougar with one punch, smokes a corncob pipe, and dispenses sage advice to the rest of the village.
  • Mary Worth: The titular character is meant to be portrayed as one, but she may come off as a naggy moral guardian.
  • The Middletons has "Gunny Granny", a retired Marine Corps gunnery sergeant with a black belt in martial arts and a love of tackle football (which she coaches).
  • Peanuts: Charlie Brown's grandmother. On top of being an Open-Minded Parent who listens to Charlie Brown's plights when nobody else does, she was also more than happy to invite Linus, Peppermint Patty, Marcie, and Franklin over to her condo for Thanksgiving when she heard they weren't satisfied with their impromptu dinner.
  • Zits: While playing in a old folks home, Jeremy and Pierce meet a hard-rocking, foulmouthed old lady who plays the drums better than Pierce. Pierce comments that if she was 70 years younger, he'd be dating her.

    Fairy Tales 
  • "The Devil With the Three Golden Hairs": The Devil's grandmother is a nice, kind-hearted, witty old woman who helps the main character fulfill his quest: she turns him into an ant to keep him safe from the Devil, pulls the eponymous hairs from her grandson's head, and gets answers for the questions the main character needs to answer.
  • "Mother Holle": The titular spirit of winter looks like a big-toothed old woman. The main character agrees to stay with her for a while and do her housework, and in return she is treated with great kindness. When she decides she must go back to her house, Frau Holle rewards her hard work and diligence with a huge amount of gold.
    Finally she came to a small house. An old woman was peering out from inside. She had very large teeth, which frightened the girl, and she wanted to run away. But the old woman called out to her, "Don't be afraid, dear child. Stay here with me, and if you do my housework in an orderly fashion, it will go well with you. Only you must take care to make my bed well and shake it diligently until the feathers fly, then it will snow in the world. I am Frau Holle."
    Because the old woman spoke so kindly to her, the girl took heart, agreed, and started in her service. The girl took care of everything to Frau Holle's satisfaction and always shook her featherbed vigorously until the feathers flew about like snowflakes. Therefore she had a good life with her: no angry words, and boiled or roast meat every day.

    Fan Works 
  • Melissa, the proprietor of the Celestial Treasures new age shop in Origin Story is a dyed in the wool hippy. She's also a practicing witch who gives Alex and Louise some helpful advice and points them toward Jennifer Kale.
  • Several examples in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines:
    • Argenta is 68 and a former Sinnoh champion, several times League Conference winner and runner-up in a Sinnoh Grand Festival. She's so skilled even now that she defeats 399 trainers in a tournament using only a Pachirisu.
    • Drasna of the Kalos Elite Four loves cooking and wouldn't mind helping trainers with their Dragon-types when she isn't defeating powerful trainers, that is. She even found herself some time to pose for a swimsuit calendar along with other Gym Leaders and Elite Four trainers.
    • Ultima is an Old Master who teaches starter Pokémon she deems worthy the Ultimate Moves, and always enjoys battling with younger trainers.
  • Violet Kincaid from Roman's Empire is a woman in her late fifties. She's also Vale's dominant mob boss, able to fight three armed men at once on her own, and spends her free time hooking up with attractive young men and women on a regular basis. Even for a world like RWBY, a ruthless mob boss who lives like a playboy is pretty cool. There's a reason Roman looks up to her.
  • Perenelle Flamel in The Parselmouth of Gryffindor appears innocuous, but soon proves she can go toe-to-toe with Barty Crouch Junior in a duel after Crouch kills her husband.
  • The Many Dates of Danny Fenton: Two words: Suga Mama. Unlike Oscar, Suga Mama was more supportive of Penny and Danny's relationship, largely because she senses Danny's basic decency.

    Films — Animation 
  • Wilhelmina Packard from both Atlantis: The Lost Empire and House of Mouse: a smoking, permanently deadpan old woman who will carry on a casual radio conversation with her friend even in the midst of a Leviathan attack.
  • Manolo's grandmother, Anita Sanchez from The Book of Life, a former bullfighter who gives Manolo some good advice.
  • Granny Puckett in Hoodwinked! definitely qualifies, being an "Extreme Sports" ace, and world-class skier. She keeps this secret from Red because she doesn't want Red to worry about her.
  • Tala has a close and supportive relationship with her granddaughter, Moana, and takes it in stride that she's considered the "Village Crazy Lady."
  • Mowzer of The Mousehole Cat is a feline version.
  • Grandmother Fa from Mulan. She fixes her granddaughter with a little bit of luck, gambles, and she has the sarcasm and appreciation of young men to blend in with her teenage counterparts.
  • Mamma Odie from The Princess and the Frog, who provides the page image is very much this. Despite being a 197-year-old blind lady, her powers are strong enough to defeat Dr. Facilier's shadows, that came straight from hell. She has a lot of spunk and personality, can sense things like that Tiana was falling in love with Naveen before her and can use her gumbo to see things that are happening far away.
  • Fiona's mother Queen Lillian in Shrek 2. Despite being shocked by her daughter's new form as well as her husband, she tries her best to accept the situation when she sees how happy they are together, defending them against Fiona's more prejudiced father. In Shrek the Third, she breaks herself, her daughter and her daughter's friends out of prison by bashing through two stone walls... with her head!
    Queen Lillian: Well, you didn’t actually think you got your fighting skills from your father, did you?
  • The eponymous The Triplets of Belleville, ex-vaudeville stars still doing their thing on stage. Also Madame Souza, who is possibly the only Implacable Grandma.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Flemming in The Age of Adaline — made more amusing as she's the protagonist's daughter. She has a very active social life and encourages her mother to live. She's also a massive Deadpan Snarker.
    Adaline: It's not the same when there's no future.
    Flemming: What you talking about? You got nothing but future.
  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: In the film, Borat goes to a synagogue and is greeted by a Holocaust survivor who demonstrates the patience of a saint in the face of his horrendous anti-Semitism and his costume, and she even sits with him and hears out his problems. Sacha Baron Cohen was so honoured to meet her that he dropped character after shooting the scene to let her in on the joke, something he never does with his Troll characters.
  • Mrs. Kwan from The Cat Inthe Hat When she comes over to watch Sally and Conrad while Joan is out, Joan emphasizes that Sally and Conrad are not allowed to watch TV. She promises to not let them do so. As soon as Joan Pulls away, she invites them to watch TV with her agreeing not to tell Joan about it.
“Would you kids like to watch television with me? We don’t have to tell your mother.”
  • Lady Fingers, the female (in the 1930s, no less) poker ace in The Cincinnati Kid.
  • In the film version of Crazy Rich Asians, Nick's grandma zigzags this. She treats Rachel far better than Eleanor and most of the people in the Young family social circle. But even she turns against Rachel after finding out the truth about Rachel's mother. However, later on, she has a Pet the Dog moment with Astrid where she accompanies Astrid to a wedding when Astrid was downcast about her cheating husband.
  • The Debt: Although younger than many of the other examples, Rachel (played by Helen Mirren in the American version), in her fifties, is very old for the sort of spy work she's doing.
  • Elise from Insidious is an elderly psychic woman dedicated to helping people, both living and dead, by contacting spirits and facing off against demons. Not even death can stop her!
  • Dame Judi Dench, the third M after Bernard Lee and Robert Brown in the James Bond series.
  • The Tyrannosaurus from Jurassic World has returned after a 22-year absence. Even though her aging is clear, she is still able to kick the I. rex's ass all around the place. With help from Blue the Velociraptor.
  • Maggie's grandmother from The Last Starfighter is a sassy flirt who spends her days listening to modern rock music on her headphones, and makes Maggie and Alex look stodgy by comparison.
  • The Lavender Hill Mob: One of Holland and Pendlebury's neighbors is a demure-looking older woman whose favorite conversation topic is the plots of the pulp crime novels she reads.
  • Greta, Fletcher's secretary in Liar Liar. She knows the perfect presents to get for Fletcher's son (since Fletcher is too flaky to remember) and despite her kindly old woman appearance, she doesn't take crap from her boss and has an impressive level of sass and snarkery as one would need working with a character played by Jim Carrey.
    Fletcher: I'll give you the raise!
    Greta: Here's your raise! [flips the bird]
  • Napoleon's Grandmother from Napoleon Dynamite, she sneaks off from "babysitting" her grown (late teens/late twenties or early thirties) grand-children to ride sand dunes on a quad-bike with her friends. Interesting because her grandsons have no idea and are shy and reclusive by nature.
    • This gets carried over into the animated series where she's keenly aware that being an old lady grants her permission to say any offensive thing she likes and people will just think she's being a "character".
  • Mrs. Henderson in Norbit becomes this towards the end in taking part in the town's revolt against the Latimores, even if she proves to be no match as well.
  • Ricki and the Flash plays this for drama. The protagonist is a fifty-something woman who fronts a rock band. As she abandoned her family to pursue her dreams, she faces constant conflict over not being what society thinks she should be.
  • Soul Food's Mama Joe definitely counts. Sweet and stern while being non-confrontational. Hell, she doesn't even mind when her daughter sneaks away from the kitchen to have sex with her husband!

  • 2666: Mrs. Bubis, aka Baroness Von Zumpe and one of the few people to know Archimboldi’s real identity.
  • The Anderssons by Solveig Olsson-Hultgren:
    • Ida Sofia is this to her grand-niece Cecilia, who will come and visit her and borrow books from her.
    • Elin will end up being a huge inspiration for her grand-niece Saga. She's also there to help and support Nina, another grand-niece. And she's tough enough to still live at her homestead until she's 100 years old.
  • The Jewish grandmother in Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. is a mild example, who gives Margaret presents, takes her places, pays for her summer camp, and only occasionally insists that's she's really Jewish. The Christian grandmother is a rather dowdy old woman, who visits only because she's taking a trip to New York anyway, and makes a point of wearing a huge cross and insisting that Margaret is Christian.
  • Lady Barbara Booker in Aunt Dimity and the Lost Prince. She declines the use of her title, saying, "I've never been much of a lady." She is openly atheist and spent much of her life travelling wherever she pleased. In her old age, she disregards doctor's orders to be in a room with her books (too dusty) and a fire (too ashy). Inviting Lori and Bree in, she says, "Bung your bags and jackets there and bung your bums anywhere you please." After that, she gives them inside dope on how to enter the Markov house (Mirfield) as well as a master key she persuaded a young Mikhail to steal when they were children.
  • In A Bad Case of Stripes, there's the old woman who helps Camilla. She's the only one who knows the cure for stripes and has dealt with cases in the past.
  • Between Heaven And Earth has Doris, an elderly widow who came to Africa to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Part of what counts her for this trope is that she's nice to DJ and Sarah, and thinking the other porters and Mr. Odogo should be nicer to them.
  • Mrs. Bobson from Eliot Fintushel's Breakfast With The Ones You Love. She seems to be a sweet, naive Bing Crosby-loving old lady at first, but it turns out that she knows what the protagonist and her drug-dealing occultist boyfriend have been up to all along. She also turns out to have psychic powers similar to the main character, but she's much more powerful and experienced. She takes down three tough Mafia enforcers singlehandedly and keeps them imprisoned in her basement, and ends up saving the day at the climax of the book by defeating Satan himself. When other characters are surprised by her actions, she implies that she has done many other frightening and astonishing things in the past. However, after the climax, she seems to want to give up being a badass and set up a cozy little family with the main character as a substitute for her deceased daughter.
  • In R.S. Belcher's The Brotherhood Of The Wheel, Agnes Dee Cottington is a kindly woman in her 80s. She was also a member of the British Intelligence after World War 2 and she saves 19 year old Ava James from Humanoid Abomination Shadow People with a Mauser and some tracer bullets. Agnes has also been, for decades, a thorn in side of Pagan (a supernatural serial killer), henchmen families like the Scodes and their deity, the Horned Man.
  • Gros-Jeanne, the protagonist's grandmother in Brown Girl in the Ring. She's a healer, an expert on herbal and supernatural lore, and not somebody you want to mess with.
  • In book nine of the Captain Underpants series, George thinks his great-grandmother is one even before she accidentally gets superpowers. And after she does, she ends up defeating the villain alongside Harold's grandpa, a Cool Old Guy.
  • Imogen Herondale from City of Ashes, her age does not stop her from being an extremely competent Shadowhunter.
  • Santa Battaglia from A Confederacy of Dunces: Definitely older (she's a grandmother — specifically, she's Patrolman Mancuso's mom), but also extremely vivacious, insisting on remaining active (she bowls, and also dances enthusiastically) and loves herself some strong drink (Early Times bourbon, in a tall glass if you please) — not to mention the matchmaking with her younger friends (setting up Irene Reilly and Claude Robichaux).
  • The Starwife from the Deptford Mice trilogy is the ancient squirrel queen who possesses amazing magical powers. She also has a fiery temper and you do not want to provoke her. Though at times she can seem cruel, her motives are always good.
  • Diana Wynne Jones wrote a couple of examples of this. Both Miss Smith in Dogsbody and Polly's grandmother in Fire and Hemlock prove to be wiser and more sympathetic than other adults. Both are also very effective at getting custody of children in need. Miss Smith has the added bonus of understanding dogs very well, and Polly's grandmother knows folklore that is vital to the story.
  • Discworld:
    • Granny Weatherwax has defeated master vampires, fairy godmothers, and Death himself (in a card game). Her precise age is unknown, but she's definitely an old lady and she's definitely cool.
    • Nanny Ogg, Granny's life-long best friend. She's less direct than Granny, but she's willing to walk into the Elf King's home and threaten him to get him to intervene when his Queen is running amok, and she may even be more powerful than Granny.
    • Topsy Lavish, nee Turvy, from Making Money — the page quote is the main character (who is a very good judge of character) appraising her.
    • Miss Flitworth from Reaper Man, although too straight-laced to be "cool" in the conventional sense, is determined enough to have a certain charm of her own. The fact she's the only person in the series besides Ysabell to have smacked Death and gotten away with it probably helps.
  • Sethra Lavode in the Dragaera series, legendary enchantress, legendary general, vampire, holder of an Omniscient Morality License and military nerd. She's about 200,000 years old (the average Dragaeran lives to about 2000), counting the years after her death.
  • In Dragon Bones, Aunt Stala is of unspecified age, has grey hair, and is armsmaster of the Blue Guard of castle Hurog. She taught the protagonist, Ward, everything he knows about fighting and strategy and is a better fighter than both his father and he, who are both known for their fighting skills. (Implicitly, the only reason she got no higher position is that she's a woman.)
  • Most of Elizabeth Moon's works contain a Cool Old Lady:
  • Gangsta Granny: Zigzagged. At first, Ben finds the granny boring, then he sees her as cool when she talks about having been an international jewel thief. This turns out to be a lie, but she's still pretty cool.
  • Augusta Longbottom in Harry Potter also meets this trope. She is described as being formidable. She has the skills to back it up. When Dawlish, who is an Auror and said to be elite, went to arrest her, she sent him running with his tail between his legs straight to St Mungo's! Plus, she participated in the Battle of Hogwarts. She is seen running very quickly into the battle.
    • Not to mention Professor McGonagall.
  • Alex's mother, former Olympics gold medalist in basketball, from Heart In Hand. She beats current NHL players soundly at a game of backyard basketball and is fiercely supportive of Alex when the photograph of him kissing another man is leaked.
  • In Heidi, Klara's grandmother who is really young in spirit and greatly respected by everybody. She's wonderful to Klara and Heidi. It was she who convinced Heidi that reading is not as hard as Peter told her and that it can bring her many pleasures.
  • There are some in the Heralds of Valdemar series. Tarma and Kethry, the heroines of the Vows and Honor books, get to be this while mentoring Kethry's granddaughter Kerowyn. There's also Need once she's awake, who was an old swordsmith-mage in life. Awake, Need has a cynical Jerkass Façade but cares deeply about people.
  • Ruth, Thom Creed's precog teammate in Perry Moore's novel Hero.
  • Greasy Sae from The Hunger Games. Katniss likes her enough, and she seems pretty alright, despite her odd choices in cooking ingredients.
  • Maggie Calloway, in Geoph Essex's Jackrabbit Messiah, is a badass Lady of Adventure from way back who serves as the de facto leader of the heroes. Her reaction when another character points out she's been shot?
    "Not for the first time...For that matter, this isn't even my first hip. I was due for an upgrade."
    • There's also Lieutenant Springer: nowhere near as old as Maggie, but a phenomenal badass in her own right.
  • Nettie's Ma in the Knight and Rogue Series, a swamp-dwelling energetic older woman who helps put Michael back together after he gets dragged through a Trauma Conga Line and volunteers to distract a known killer so the main characters get evidence on him.
  • Lady Callahan from Lady Slings The Booze dabbles in this but she's a trope in herself. She's also a Madam (but 'free will' is paramount) and one of her 'girls' is a grandmother.
  • Lampshaded aversion in Little Women: "Some old people keep young at heart in spite of wrinkles and grey hair, can sympathize with children's little cares and joys, make them feel at home and can hide wise lessons under pleasant plays, giving and receiving friendship in the sweetest way. But Aunt March had not this gift."
  • Lord Peter Wimsey:
    • The Dowager Duchess, especially in contrast to her stick-in-the-mud daughter-in-law, Helen, Duchess of Denver. Inspector Parker, her future son-in-law, says of her, "Time and trouble will tame an advanced young woman, but an advanced old woman can't be stopped by Heaven itself."
    • We never meet Lady Dormer in "The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club", but everyone who knew her remembers her fondly because she still had the same impulsive, fun-loving personality as when she was a Spirited Young Lady.
  • Annie Jason Masmajean, "Mama Jason" to her family, the protagonist of Mirabile.
  • Miss Marple always has a story about something really bad happening in her home village to illustrate why she knows who the murderer has to be. She usually recounts these horrific events to the astonishment of her listeners who never dreamed things like that happen in the backwaters of the country.
  • The Mouse Watch upgrades Gadget Hackwrench from the Gadgeteer Genius of Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers into the Steve Jobs or Elon Musk of mice, not to mention the creator of the titular Heroes "R" Us team. And while it's uncertain how old she's supposed to be here, when we finally see her she's wearing bifocals.
  • In One Of Us Is Lying, Cooper's grandmother is one of these. Warm, loving and matter-of-fact, it's strongly implied she knew Cooper is gay before he was ready to admit it, encouraging but not forcing him to be honest about it. When the investigation forces him to come out to his family, she's there for him both during and after.
  • The title character in Dorothy Gilman's Mrs. Pollifax series. A sweet if somewhat shrewd little old lady who raises flowers, plays bridge, fusses over the grandkids and generally potters around — in between doing courier work for the CIA.
  • Julia from This Perfect Day. Sister of the dictator of a prison island, she subverts his repressive social policies with philanthropy. Then she finances multiple covert strike teams to attack and destroy the supercomputer that rules the rest of the world, supporting the widows and orphans when they fail.
  • The Rainbow Magic series has Mrs. Croft, who gets the girls parts as extras in a movie.
  • Aunt Zelda from Septimus Heap, being the Keeper of Draggen Island.
  • Fawn's elderly blind Aunt Nattie from The Sharing Knife books embodies this trope in addition to being the only member of the household that understands the misfit only daughter. For that matter, Dag's considerably-more-elderly-but-does-not-look-it Aunt Mari skirts this trope.
  • Rain from Schooled plays it straight with Cap, her grandson. An old hippy, she's instructed him everything from social justice to farming. To everyone else, she's a bit of a subversion. Flora, who grew up in Garland, thought she was a tyrant and resents her for not teaching her about the real world.
  • Olenna Tyrell, more commonly known as "The Queen of Thorns," from A Song of Ice and Fire. To the point of personally assassinating one of the series' most odious characters and completely escaping blame.
  • In the Stephanie Plum series, Stephanie's maternal grandmother, Grandma Mazur, drives her rather more conventional daughter up the wall, but nearly every other character thinks she's hilarious (except possibly her son-in-law). We've seen her take on trying to be a bounty hunter, riding a motorcycle, joining a rock band (that also includes a retired hooker and a transvestite), and taking up taxidermy, among other antics. Grandma apparently does not buy into the concept of one's "golden years" being quiet and peaceful. She's partly based on a genuine bounty-hunting grandmother the series' author, Janet Evanovich, met during her research.
  • In Tales of the City, there is Anna Madrigal, Mama Bear of 28 Barbary Lane, who hands out free joints to her tenants, is willing to overlook the occasional late rent, and always seems to know how to fix everyone's problems.
  • Thursday Next has two of these. A beloved great-aunt whose favorite hobbies are tormenting telemarketers and helping her husband build devices that defy the laws of physics. Then there's Grannie Next who is a whole different level of trouble on her own. For starters, just which side of the family is she from?
  • The grandmother from The Witches, a cigar-smoking retired monster-hunter.
  • In The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, Akka of Kebnekaise -the old female goose-, is a smart and competent leader of her flock. Not to mention she raised an eagle chick when she was younger.

    Live-Action TV 
  • As Time Goes By has Madge, who sings country music, goes bungee-jumping, protests fox hunting, and plays the drums, all in her early eighties.
  • Awkwafina is Nora from Queens has Nora's grandmother, the foundation of the family and the funniest character in the show according to most fans.
  • From Battlestar Galactica: President Laura Roslin certainly qualifies. Knowing that a) her job is literally the survival of the human species and b) her knowing she was living on borrowed time for the entire series, Roslin can have all the credit for Cool Old Ladydom she wants.
  • Better Things: Phyllis, even if she gets on her daughter Sam's nerves frequently, is really laidback, free-spirited and uninhibited. All her granddaughters adore her, even if she embarrasses them sometimes too.
  • The Brokenwood Mysteries: Kindly old lady Jean Marlowe is a fan of classic rock and extreme sports, in addition to her more typical grandmotherly interests like sewing and baking.
  • Madeline Westen from Burn Notice has moments of these. She made a terrorist hijacker's pilot more terrified of her than he was of his employer.
  • Castle: Castle's mother and Alexis' grandmother Martha Rodgers is still leading the good life. She's an actress.
  • Doctor Who:
    • There were three during the Tom Baker era: Amelia Ducat in "The Seeds of Doom" (who went undercover into Harrison Chase's mansion to check on the Doctor & Sarah Jane), Mrs. Tyler (no relation to Rose Tyler) in "Image of the Fendahl" (who used her psychic abilities to help the Doctor & Leela), and Amelia Rumford in "The Stones of Blood" (who helped the Doctor against Cessair of Diplos).
    • From the Expanded Universe, Dr. Evelyn Smythe (later Evelyn Rossiter). Facing against Six's ego-trips and winning? Give the woman a medal.
    • "The Waters of Mars": Captain Adelaide Brooke is a Reasonable Authority Figure who isn't intimidated by the Doctor even when he ends up temporarily going off the deep end.
  • Downton Abbey: Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, can snark with the best of them and tends to have the wisest outlook in the family.
  • Edna of Everwood. She even rides a motorbike! Her granddaughter adores her and even moves in for a while, and she acts as a great (grand)mother figure to Delia.
  • Estelle Winslow from Family Matters. She manages to use the young people slang of the 1990s without any awkwardness, had a very active sex life (much to her son's chagrin), was physically active, and quite often ended up serving as the voice of reason in the family.
  • Noranti becomes one of these in the last season of Farscape. She starts out seeming a bit sinister but really she's just trying to do the right thing. Her coolness mostly stems from her willingness to do crazy things like dance naked (while disguised as a sexy young woman) to distract guards from the rest of the team and her genuine desire to take care of the crew on Moya.
  • The Flipside of Dominick Hide: Dominick's Great Aunt Mavis, who is pretty much the reason Dominick sets off in his quest and is also the one who first recognises the change in him when he starts arguing back over stuff. People in the 22nd Century never argue. At best, they express mild discontent.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Lady Olenna can match wits with the best of them and is fully willing to take the piss out of her own house, although never herself. She later adds a dash of Beware the Nice Ones when she has a hand in the killing of Joffrey. She eventually admits this last part to Jamie, right before she dies from the poison he offers her getting the last laugh on him and Cersei.
    • Septa Mordane was portrayed as stern and stodgy in the books, whereas in the TV show she's a more warmhearted and pleasant person, and more-or-less saved Sansa's life with her little Face Death with Dignity distraction act in "Baelor".
    • Old Nan's excellent storytelling abilities make her this; Bran is particularly entertained by her truly terrifying tales of the White Walkers.
  • At the start of the punch episode of Good Eats, Alton is attending a dry wedding at some church hall, and talking about how most people today think of "punch" as a low-quality mix of cheap juice and ginger ale, with maybe some sherbet, when in actuality it can be much more than that (and that real punch utilizes alcohol.) While he's talking, a little old lady walks up to the punch bowl and pours in an entire bottle of alcohol, and starts handing out cups of her newly-made Gargle Blaster to other wedding guests, including Alton.
  • Double subverted with Celia in Gossip Girl. Serena is excited for Dan to meet her grandmother, but she turns out to be a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. Then when she reappears in Season 2, she has had a Heel Realization and becomes a Shipper on Deck for the two of them.
  • The Great British Bake Off: Mary Berry CBE, the 82-year-old undisputed grand dame of British baking with more than 75 cookbooks to her name. Despite all of which, refuses to put on haughty airs or otherwise intimidate the contestants, instead playing a supportive "everybody's favourite grandma" foil to Paul's terrifyingly perfectionist Science Hero.
  • Louise Chatham from H₂O: Just Add Water. Especially after admitting to the girls that she was in the original trio of mermaids in the 1950s.
  • While a bit of a Magnificent Bastard, Angela Petrelli of Heroes fame has a bit of this. Despite threats of violence, plans blowing up in her face, and other negatives, she very seldom loses her cool. Having precognition for a power tends to do that.
  • Ice Fantasy: Ka Suo's grandmother, who's a more formidable warrior than most immortals half her age and doesn't hesitate to rescue Xing Gui from the Fire Tribe's clutches.
  • The InBESTigators: Ezra's nana (grandmother), when she realized that her visit forced Ezra to put the agency on hold while she stayed in the granny flat (a.k.a. their office), crafted an intricate mystery for the team to solve.
  • JAG: Porter Webb, CIA officer Clayton Webb’s mother, a former NSA analyst who is perfectly comfortable with her son’s fake deaths and other cloak and dagger shenanigans.
  • Lizzie McGuire:
    • A possible deconstruction shows up in the episode featuring Gordo's grandmother. He previously remembers her as a conservative woman but she shows up now wearing kimonos, eating sushi and full of fun. Gordo finds this off-putting and wishes for her to be the way she used to be.
    • Lizzie's never seen grandmother appears to be this as well. She apparently teaches windsurfing classes, though has horrible taste in sweaters.
  • A very brief one from the Monk episode "Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa Claus". An old lady named Alice DuBois is walking home from work when a thug, who has been waiting for her, steps from the shadows with a knife. She promptly pulls pepper spray out of her purse and shoots it directly into his eyeballs, continuing to spray while he reacts with pain and even tracking his eyes with the spray as he jerks around in agony. Unfortunately, the thug in question works for a gang that needs Alice dead to further their crime scheme. That is solved when Michael Kenworthy, the gang leader, comes up and bludgeons her to death with a bell.
  • Cora Hudson, Mindy's grandmother in Mork & Mindy. Imagine an old lady who loved both rock music and Mork with his lovable silliness, even after she learned he is an alien.
  • A recurring act on The Muppet Show is Geri and the Atrics, a band of old ladies that play rock 'n' roll songs.
  • Hetty from NCIS: Los Angeles is about four feet tall, into her seventies and runs a team of experts who don't even begin to question who's in charge.
  • Widow Lucas/Ruby's grandmother in Once Upon a Time. In the fairy tale land, she puts a group of enraged villagers and hunters in their places, and she wields a crossbow with efficiency. In Storybrooke, she runs a Breakfast in Bed AND a Diner, not to mention appears to like motorcycles and still like cute guys, when she tells Emma "If you won't, I will!" When August offers Emma a ride on his motorcycle.
  • Ruby's grandmother in On My Block smokes marijuana, eagerly helps Jamal search for RollerWorld, and helps the kids in their various misadventures.
  • Mrs. Davis on Our Miss Brooks, Miss Brooks' landlady who's a Cordon Bleugh Chef, confidant, blabbermouth, and occasional fortune teller.
  • Poldark: Agatha Poldark is the most brutally honest character on the show and one of the very few characters willing to tell off George Warleggan to his face. At the same time, she always has deep compassion and sage advice for the women of the family, including niece-in-law Elizabeth.
  • The Princess Wei Young: Old Granny Li is over sixty, and one of the few people in the Li household who openly stands up to Chiyun Rou and defends Xin Er.
  • The titular characters of Rosemary & Thyme definitely count. They are wandering gardeners/detectives who are fiercely independent and unafraid to get aggressive when it's needed.
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures:
    • Sarah Jane Smith, who still fights the good fight like in the old says traveling with the Doctor, though she's not as old-looking as most characters of this type. She'd be even cooler if she'd stop marching up to villains and telling them she knew what they were up to.
    • Former companion Jo Grant made an appearance as a thoroughly cool old lady, having traveled all over the world, experiencing new cultures and fighting more mundane battles against government corruption and such-like.
  • Though she doesn't look it, Jadzia Dax in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is the eighth incarnation of a 350-year-old alien. She's a master of hand to hand combat and an expert pilot, drinks and parties hard, likes to brawl with Klingons, snarks and makes dirty jokes a lot. She once destroyed an entire bar, caused a couple of diplomatic incidents, and thinks that spending early mornings having broken bones fixed is a healthy sex life.
    • The magistrate who oversees Dax's extradition hearing in the episode "Dax" qualifies too.
      "Gentleman, I am 108 years old. I intend for this to an informal hearing. In short, I intend to be here until supper not senility."
  • Lwaxanna Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation was very active for an older lady, but there is some strong evidence that she was acting rather annoying to her own daughter, Captain Picard and Worf.
  • Deconstructed in Tucker. Tucker finds his grandmother full of fun, but it's gradually shown that her abuse of Aunt Claire affects the woman so negatively that he realises what a real piece of work she is. Then Claire reprimands him for calling her out — and the two women bond over that. He lampshades the Irony of this.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "The Bewitchin' Pool", Aunt T is a sweet, kind-hearted elderly woman who adores children and is endlessly patient with them. Her realm is a paradise for children such as Sport and Jeb Sharewood whose parents are neglectful and do not deserve them. Although the children have to do chores, they spend a great deal of their time playing and helping Aunt T to make cakes.
  • Claire Meade from Ugly Betty often plays this role, giving Betty and her own children valuable life advice, but she's also shown as a flawed person (The Alcoholic, and she only got acquitted of murder due to temporary insanity). She and Betty seem to have an Intergenerational Odd Friendship.
  • Diana Trent in the Brit Com Waiting for God, played by Stephanie Cole (who was only 50 at the time); she was a photojournalist and a war correspondent for most of her life, spent her 65th birthday hanging from a helicopter and gives everyone hell in her.
  • Dolores Landingham of The West Wing is a fine example. She routinely matches wits with the often extremely witty senior staff and is the only member of the cast never seen to be intimidated by working with the President.
  • Women of all ages come out of the woodwork to help in all sorts of situations in What Would You Do?, a hidden camera show that tests passers-by in many Ripped from the Headlines scenarios, but older women tend to be the most forthright (and awesome) when coming to the defense of others.
  • June from White Collar. Has no problem letting Neal (a conman) live in her house, and occasionally mentions hanging around with the who's who of the 50's social scene.

  • "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena" by Jan and Dean. Why is she cool? Because "parked in her rickety old garage is a brand new shiny red Super Stock Dodge." And while most women her age are slowing down and embracing the role of Granny Classic, she is out there driving fast and living it up.
  • The old lady in the audio samples of Oasis's "Fuckin' in the Bushes." The song contains several samples from Message to Love of contemporary reactions to the Isle of Wight music festival, Britain's version of Woodstock. The old lady enthusiastically supports the festival, saying, "I love it! Room for everybody here. Yes, all are welcome. Yes, indeed. I love them! Fun! Nice! Life! Youth! Beautiful! I'm all for it!"


    Tabletop Games 
  • Many elder female exalts embody that trope in Exalted. A special mention goes to Mnemon. She is the eldest surviving child of the Empress and although she is in the late of her life, she remains one of the most powerful sorceresses in Creation, arguably the most powerful individual Dragon-Blooded alive now that the Empress is gone, a skilled politician and manipulator, the head of a Great House, and an extremely clever and cunning person all around. It is hinted many times that there are not many things in the Realm she could not do if she wanted to, including seizing the scarlet throne, but that so many people hate her, oppose her or are shitless scared of her that it would likely drive the Realm to civil war if she did so.

  • Madame Leonora Armfeldt from A Little Night Music has numbered kings among her lovers, takes no shit from her grown daughter, and has accumulated a great amount of wealth and snarky wit over the years, both of which she shares with her granddaughter Fredrika. She's the one character who seems to always know what she's doing.
  • Berthe, the title character's grandmother in Pippin, gets a great song about enjoying life while you can. It's her only scene, but damn is it awesome.

    Video Games 
  • Eileen the Crow of Bloodborne is an old Hunter who's in the same age range as Retired Hunter Djura. Yet she still kicks ass and proves it by hunting other Hunters. You can help her to kill Henryk if you want to see her in action. She's also one of the very few friendly characters in the game, giving your rookie character a pep talk in your first meeting, saying that it's okay to have fear but that it shouldn't stop you from slaying beasts, and even offers you advice and a gift. Unfortunately, her quest ends badly if you don't help her, as she goes crazy and attacks you instead, putting you on the receiving end of her abilities. Even if you avoid that path and help her, she ends up meeting her match in the Bloody Crow of Cainhurst, who subjects her to an off-screen Curb-Stomp Battle leaving you to pick up the pieces. Good luck! Thankfully, if you do beat the Bloody Crow, Eileen seemingly survives and retires, but not before Passing the Torch to you as the new Hunter of Hunters.
  • Borderlands 2 brings us Grandma Flexington, who looks a lot like her grandson (that is, large and muscular). She plays ECHO sims, keeps rakk as pets, and once wrestled a whale-squid named Blowhole the Apocalypse. She won.
  • In the video game version of The Darkness, one of your main contacts is your 'auntie', a dear old lady who became involved with the Mafia when she fell in love with a young 'Don'. Eventually, her resistance against the current Don, 'Uncle Paulie' becomes too obvious for him to ignore, and he sends a horde of gun-tooting mooks after her. While you are expected to do most of the killing, she's no slouch either, juggling a Hand Cannon with one hand while supporting herself on a cane with the other.
  • Wynne, resident Old Master of Dragon Age: Origins, is a kindly old woman who appoints herself Team Mom... and is one of the most powerful mages in the land, who survived a disastrous battle and demon onslaught before joining the party.
    • Especially true if you give her the Arcane Warrior specialization and develop her spell list in the areas of Fireball.
    • And unfortunately subverted if your actions turn her against the party (you have to make some really evil choices for that to happen): Wynne becomes a laughably easy enemy to dispatch.
  • Evolve has Ida Lennox, a genius engineer whose response to an invasion by gigantic alien monsters was to build a Mini-Mecha and take the fight to them.
  • Far Cry:
  • Obaba from Golden Sun: The Lost Age takes time out from nagging her grandson and cooing over her great grandson to pick a fight with the player characters on behalf of her family... and then she finds out that our heroes were in the right, apologizes for the inconvenience (because she can tell her giant seemingly-invincible fire salamander only inconvenienced them), and helps them reforge a legendary artifact. She returns to help you more in Dark Dawn, taking over Item Crafting... in a darkened city menaced by superpowered monsters, which she refused to evacuate with everybody else. Forget Too Cool to Live, this lady's just too awesome to die!
  • Auntie Poulet from Grand Theft Auto:Vice City is an 86 years old woman who is the leader of the Haitian gang, and uses voodoo magic to put Tommy in a trance in order to work for her. For a series with so few old powerful people, Auntie Poulet really stands out.
  • From Mass Effect 2: Matriarch Aethyta, the bartender on Ilium, who is about a millennium old, extremely dirty, and just full of interesting stories. Usually, matriarchs serve as honored advisors back on the Asari homeworld. Nobody listened to Aethyta's advice (apparently they "laughed the blue off her ass"), so she left. It's too bad because the advice (like designing their own mass relays) was remarkably good in hindsight. It also turns out she's Liara's father.
    • Like most Asari, she is half-alien. In her case, half- Krogan. Which makes Liara quarter-Krogan, and actually explains quite a lot.
    • Also Dr. Chakwas, particularly after a little Serrice Ice Brandy.
    • Samara, to some degree. Rather than settle down in her older years, she instead dedicates her life to bringing justice to the galaxy and hunting down her sociopathic murdering daughter. Despite this and her powerful biotics, she's a very peaceful person, never showing even the slightest hint of being angry or unsettled.
  • EVA "Big Mama" of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots: Even at age 78 she still rides her motorbike like hell and leads her own private army from the front. And she's the only known person who did Big Boss.
  • Ana Amari from Overwatch was not only one of the founding members of the titular organization decades ago, but she's also still fighting well into her 60s alongside her daughter, Pharah. Not even a sniper shot to the eye was able to put her into more than a 10-Minute Retirement. While she's a support hero, her arsenal comes equipped with a sniper rifle that doubles as a Healing Shiv, allowing her to both shoot down enemies and heal her teammates from a distance.
  • Pokémon Any of the trainer classes depicted as old ladies are examples of this. Special mention goes to Agatha, Bertha and Drasna, who are all members of the Elite Four. (Drasna even uses Dragon-types, to boot.
  • Survivor: Fire: Zigzagged for the grandmother. She makes good brownies but lets them burn and accidentally starts the fire. However, she links to a fire safety website at the end of the game.
  • The Player Character Tiger Bai from Tradewinds Legends.
  • Telepath Tactics has Scarlet Etolie, a retired mantis knight. She still has a strong sense of duty and honor — at times too strong — and is one of your toughest and most reliable party members despite her gray hair.
  • In A Witch's Tale, Babayaga helps Liddell out, gives her advice, and sells potions and items.


    Web Original 
  • Dr. Collins, may have seem to be a fairly classic granny. But with over 4528 subscribers... Yeah. She was full of good advice to.
  • Team GrannyStrike, a knitting circle turned Counter-Strike club. An interview video with a member claims that young people should not play Counter-Strike... because they cheat and use aimbots.
  • Food4dogs, a gaming YouTuber specializing in JRPGs, visual novels, and other genres popular with Occidental Otaku. She's shown to be incredibly knowledgeable about the history of various niche game franchises, even though she started gaming much later in life than most.
  • Similarly, there's Shirley Curry AKA "Skyrim Grandma". Bethesda even confirmed they are going to include her as an NPC in the next Elder Scrolls game!
  • Elizabeth Carson is in her 70s (but doesn't look it), and is also a part-time superheroine, capable of taking on one of the world's top-ranked supervillains in a fight, and the headmistress of a school for mutants.
  • RWBY has Maria Calavera, a short lady with mechanical eyes who is a voice of reason, keeps herself calm in terrible situations, offers helpful lessons to the protagonist, flies an airship with expertise, and has a sassy personality that doesn't take crap from anyone. As a bonus, she was the greatest Huntress in all the land prior to being blinded in combat and thus forced to retire\hide.
  • Nancy McGunnel in 17776 was in her seventies when humanity stopped aging. When we first see her, she's playing football. Carrying the ball through the state of Nebraska (which acts as the field). And uses a tornado to gain competitive advantage.
  • Britsune Garden has Queen Lilie, an eccentric and fun-loving corgi gijinka in her 70s who is pretty articulate and active for someone her age, though she is half this trope and half of a Granny Classic note . However, she tends to show this trope's side more, and she has shown that she is fond of modern culture in many ways, including some casual language she spoke in (such as when she uttered "Yeah!").

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers had a fondness for this trope, starting with village shaman Mistwalker, who used her knowledge of the local flora and fauna to make an invading gang of criminals very sorry. Second was Arizona McGee, a blowtorch-wielding sculptor who made statues of giant bugs and cold-cocked a crook half her age. Lastly, there was Ariel, Niko's mentor. A cheerful trickster, she turned the tables on Sealed Evil in a Can several times over, culminating in paraphrasing Sun Tzu and blasting it with all she had.
  • Angela Anaconda's grandmother. She's so wild even Angela is unnerved by her...and it's implied that this is Angela's future.
  • About the only thing that changed for Toph between Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra is that she's now 85 and not twelve; her hair, outfit, and personality are all still intact.
    Korra: You were tossing me around like a ragdoll...
    Toph: I know! And I'm an old lady! Imagine me in my prime... I would have DESTROYED you!
  • Atomic Betty's grandmother Beatrixo, a former Galactic Guardian.
  • Sam's grandmother on Danny Phantom thinks her parents are a little hard on her, so she lets the girl out when they've grounded her and is usually the first to defend her actions, having been a non-conformist herself during her youth. It's no surprise that Sam gets along better with her than her parents.
  • Aunt Amy in Daria, a splitting older image of the titular character with a more laid back personality. Understandably, she is the most beloved of Daria's relatives and a fan favourite.
  • Davey's Grandma in the Davey and Goliath Easter Special "Happy Easter" definitely counts, going as far as to help Davey perfect his baseball skills. No wonder Davey was so depressed when she died later in the episode.
  • In the Dennis the Menace episode, "So Sorry!", Mr. Wilson gets roped into a Sumo wrestling match after he is stripped down to his underwear, due to Dennis getting his clothes wet chasing after a kite that snagged his wallet. Mr. Wilson loses, but when Mrs. Wilson finds out from Dennis, she single-handedly defeats the Sumo Wrestler and wins the championship Sumo wrestling belt.
    Mr. Wilson: I'd better watch myself with her.
  • Doug's Grandma Opal from "Doug on the Wild Side" may have odd taste in fashionable gifts, but she rides a motorcycle (and shows off family photos to a scary, leather-clad biker, who responds in kind), encourages Doug to try sushi, and gives him advice on how to talk to Patti when he's feeling shy. Doug starts out wishing she was more of a Granny Classic but eventually comes to appreciate her for who she is.
  • Arnold's grandmother from Hey Arnold! is a mix of this and Cloudcuckoolander.
  • Rosey from The Jetsons can be seen as a robot version of this trope, especially in her debut episode where she plays football with Elroy and helps Judy do her homework. And clobbers Mr. Spacely with an Upside-down cake.
  • Kim Possible's Nana started as an overprotective granny until she started kicking Kim's ass in Kung Fu.
  • Miss Lilly from Millionaire Dogs. She often rides around on a motorcycle for fun.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: Marinette's paternal grandmother, Gina Dupain, is a Silver Fox Biker Babe who travels the world. It's downplayed at first, as her constant traveling has left her out of touch with what Marinette likes, but it's played straight after they reconcile at the end of her debut episode. Her brief appearance in the season 2 finale pushes her up another level, when she takes part in the fight against Hawk Moth's akuma army.
  • Rock's mother on My Dad the Rock Star presents as a sweet little old lady but is really a hard-rockin' biker chick when she can get away with it.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has Granny Smith. While she doesn't get much screen time and has definitely seen better days both mentally and physically, she still plays along with hyperactive foals well, and was apparently quite the badass in her youth; in "Family Appreciation Day", she relates how she ventured into the Everfree Forest to find Sweet Apple Acres' famous Zap Apples and how, thanks to those apples, the town of Ponyville grew around her family's farm.
    • The comics introduce Professor Inkwell, Celestia's old comrade in arms and Twilight's old magic teacher. She's senile now but even so is still a powerful mage and font of unexpected wisdom, a few years back (when she was still ancient) she was very much the Cool Teacher.
  • Eda the Owl Lady of The Owl House. It's unclear what her actual age is, but her character design and speech style channel Phylis Diller, while being a Lovable Rogue with witchcraft. Luz describes her as, "Magical, sassy, surprisingly foxy for her age."
  • Suga Mama from The Proud Family, a sassy black version of this trope. She even wrestled professional wrestlers.
  • The Simpsons: Homer Simpson's mother, especially in contrast with Homer's father. She's a hippie, educated and cultured, and she bonds with her grandchildren, especially book-smart Lisa who finally feels she is a Simpson.
  • Grand Maul Granny from SpongeBob SquarePants is one of the three members of the Drasticals, and even having a prosthetic hip, she partakes in extreme sports on a regular basis.
  • The True Master from the Teen Titans episode "The Quest". (In fact, she seems to have been based, at least partially, on Mr. Miagi from The Karate Kid movies, who clearly fit the Cool Old Guy Trope.)
  • Yan Lin in W.I.T.C.H., a former guardian who helps the girls get accustomed to their powers.
  • Granny May from WordGirl. For one thing, she has a big robotic supersuit...

    Real Life 
  • The late Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the British Queen Mother. During World War II, she took to visiting hospitals and soldiers and areas that had been targeted by the Luftwaffe. In the face of criticisms for wearing expensive clothes in such devastated regions, she explained that if the public were to come to see her they would dress their best, so she should do the same. Her clothes had very bright colors and tended to avoid black so as to suggest "a rainbow of hope". During the Blitz she refused to evacuate her daughters or herself from London, noting "The children won't go without me, I won't leave the King, and the King will never leave his country." When Buckingham Palace was bombed, she snarked "I'm glad we've been bombed. It makes me feel I can look the East End in the face". Adolf Hitler is believed to have described her as "the most dangerous woman in Europe". Her awesomeness continued well into the time her daughter (below) began her reign: in one prominent example, when she was the guest of honour at an official luncheon in Ottawa hosted by the wife of then-Prime Minister of Canada Joe Clark, Maureen McTeer — a feminist lawyer (a new thing in the 1970s) who had kept her maiden name — several of the other ladies in attendance made jokes at the hostess' expense and pointedly called her "Mrs. Clark"; but the Queen Mother didn't engage in that behaviour, told the (by that point very frazzled) McTeer "don't be bothered by criticism" on the way to the car, and parted by saying, "Good Luck...Ms. McTeer". And throughout her time, the Queen Mum was famous for her good humour about everything.
  • Her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, is no slouch, either. She has a YouTube account, for crying out loud. Note that when Barack Obama bought her a new iPod even though she already had one, this wasn't a faux pas (as was often reported); she had previously mentioned that the one she had was outdated and would rather like to keep up with the times. The Queen is also a major fan of Doctor Who, which is suspected as the reason she failed to knight Michael Grade, the BBC controller who cancelled it in the 80s. He is the only BBC controller to not have been knighted. In 1945, she joined the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service and trained as a driver and mechanic. To this day she retains those very skills that came with her training. That's right, the Queen of England is a Wrench Wench. She has also been known to regularly photobomb people she happens on that are taking pictures, and was once offered the chance to sit upon the Iron Throne, though she turned it down.
  • Beatrice Wood, an avant-garde artist at the heart of the Dada movement of the 1910s and 1920s (who also inspired Jeanne Moreau's character in Jules and Jim) continued her artistic career well into the 1990s, branching into new styles as the decades went by, and still created daring work past her 100th birthday.
  • Patty Maloney once wrote that children are amazed at someone their size doing adult things: driving a car, wearing makeup and high-heeled shoes, etc.
  • Judi Dench is also a classic example, as between takes during the filming of one of the Riddick movies, she asked Vin Diesel for some tips on GMing a D&D campaign for her grandchildren. And she has a great hobby.
  • Betty White. Until the December 2021 stroke that led to her passing on New Year's Eve, less than three weeks before she would have hit 100, she was extremely nice in person and super sassy. She honestly didn't care what people thought, but she seemed quite humble too. Seriously. She was really oh so damn freakin' incredibly hilarious!!!
  • Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the "Notorious RBG" was one of most vocal members of the United States Supreme Court. (However, you wouldn’t get far using flattery.)
  • Mother Jones, a union organizer, described as the "grandmother of all agitators" and the "most dangerous woman in America."
  • The Raging Grannies: A bunch of 60+ women who dress up outrageously and sing mildly ribald protest songs on street corners to protest the government, corporate corruption, and waste.
  • Ruth Frith: She's 100-years-old and broke a fricking world shot put record! Also trains five days a week, bench-pressing 80lb weights and practising hammer-throw, javelin and shot put.
  • Keiko Fukuda. Growing up at a time when women were expected to marry and become housewives, she dedicated her life to the study of judo and rose through the ranks despite the sexism of the judo establishment. She was the highest-ranked female judoka in history and was still teaching three classes a week at the time of her death in 2013 at age 99.
  • Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson from the 1990s cooking show Two Fat Ladies were Cool Old Gals, especially Jennifer, who was almost literally doing the show till the day she died. Clarissa's an interesting case, as back in the '60s and '70s she had been a rather attractive barrister — the youngest ever, in fact — as well as a depressed alcoholic who claimed to have had sex with an MP behind the Speaker's chair. That she turned out to be...well...Clarissa in middle age was, if surprising to some, hardly unpredictable.
  • Tina Turner and Shirley Bassey — both badass singers, both looking damn good into their 80s. And Shirley even covered a Pink song... and it worked. There's a reason why the Propellerheads wrote their song "History Repeating" specifically for her to sing.
  • Up until almost the day of her passing in January 2022, Ronnie Spector displayed a youthful energy, rock and roll attitude and relatively energetic stage presence that defied her elderly age. She was known to cultivate relationships with the younger artists who cited her as an influence, including the punk rock and heavy metal bands she collaborated with, and was active on social media, where she could be commonly found posting in random comment threads and interacting with lay users.
  • During WW2, the Dutch queen Wilhelmina was generally regarded as this among the general populace. To quote: "She was the only man amongst a whole bunch of old tarts." (Freely translated)
  • Louise Smith (1916–2006), a pleasant South Carolina grandma. Who was also one of the first NASCAR racers...
  • Louise "Spider Woman" Bourgeois, the first female artist to get a major retrospective at MOMA.
  • Monica Masuda a.k.a. Krazee Grandma, 71 years old and one of Sweden's most famous breakdancers. Started breakdancing at age 61. See attached.
  • Maggie Kuhn. Founded the Gray Panthers Movement (an organization that opposes ageism, as well as addressing other social issues that relate to the elderly) after she was forced to retire on her 65th birthday, was an activist for elder rights until her death at age 89, was extremely progressive about sexuality both in her youth in the 30s and 40s as well as in her old age, and lived in a house with a bunch of young people who got rent discounts for doing chores for her and hanging out with her. Now that's a Cool Old Lady.
  • Mimi Rosenthal got her first tattoo at 99, and is celebrating each birthday hence with a new one.
  • Millvina Dean. She stood up to BBC for "offending" Titanic victims. From her nursing home.
  • Aretha Franklin. She ranked #1 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock and Roll, sang for President Obama... and those are two of the many awesome things she did!
  • Cesaria Evora (1941-2011), a.k.a the Barefoot Diva, was a very nice old lady and world-renowned Morna singer, and was not even known by the general public until she was 47.
  • Most of the women from the Dutch series Golden Oldies which is about a choir that consists of people over 70 (some of the eldest women even being in their 90s), singing modern day rock music.
  • Anne Timson, the little old biddy who beat up six sledgehammer-carrying robbers. With a HANDBAG!
  • Roza Rymbaeva, a singer who has been active since the 1970s, looks very good for 53, and appreciates a good cup of tea.
  • Diahann Carroll. Apparently, a lot of the stories her character June on White Collar mentions were inspired by Carroll's real life.
  • Ernestine Shepherd. Listed in Guinness World Records as the oldest female bodybuilder at 75 years old. She can bench press 150 pounds, runs ten miles every morning and didn't even start working out until she was 56.
  • Pop singer and dancer Minzy of Korean group 2NE1 said she learned to dance from her grandmother.
  • Kathryn Joosten by proxy as she played three of the cool old ladies in the Live Action TV section: Mrs. Landingham, Mrs. McCluskey, and the titular Old Lady in "My Old Lady."
  • Magda Olivero, an Italian opera diva who made her Met debut at the age of 65 (in Tosca, mind you) and sang in public well up to her nineties.
  • Phyllis Diller. She did voice work on both Family Guy and Robot Chicken in her late eighties.
  • Jeanne Calment, who holds the record of the oldest person ever, should get into this from living to 122 alone, but that's only the beginning. She took up fencing at the age of 85, and when she was ninety, a lawyer made her an offer to pay her a small amount under the condition that he could move into her apartment when she died (assuming he could get the place for pennies on the dollar.) Not only did she live another thirty years, getting a small fortune out of him (twice the apartment's actual value,) she ended up outliving him.
  • Masako Nozawa, voice of Goku in the Japanese dub, is this. She's been voicing the character since his debut in 1986. Considering she's 80 years old and also the amount of screaming the character does as well it's a surprise that she can do the role so well. Hate her Goku or not, you have to have some respect for that.
  • Meet Edith Wilma Connor, the world's oldest female bodybuilder. She started training for the first time when she was in her sixties in order to compensate for the vast amounts of time she had to spend sitting down because of the software company she ran with her husband (incidentally, the fact that she's a bodybuilder AND the owner of a software company makes Mrs. Connor a Badass Bookworm and Genius Bruiser). Today she's won several competitions and is in the Guinness Book of World Records. Mrs. Connor also wanted to make sure that her family picked up the habit of staying in shape, and she inspired them to join her. She used to train with her son, and now her grandson acts as her trainer. Her great-granddaughter trains alongside her usually, making them all a Badass Family. One day she was at the gym and a trainer was loading some weights onto the machine for her. The trainer's friend saw the heavy amount of weights and, assuming the trainer was loading them for himself, asked the trainer "Red, can you handle that?" The trainer replied "Oh, it's not for me. It's for her."
  • Florence Green former waitress, supercentenarian, last known veteran of WW1.
  • Similar to Edith above, Johanna Quaas at the age of 86, keeps herself busy in her retirement practicing and performing tumbling in gymnastics competitions.
  • Olivia de Havilland, who played Melanie in Gone with the Wind. One can't get much cooler than being one of the last living leading ladies of The Golden Age of Hollywood. Listen to her talk about her favorite film here. She passed away in mid-2020, making it all the way to 104 years young.
    • Hilariously, she also sued Feud creator Ryan Murphy over her portrayal in said series not long after hitting the century mark.
  • Gloria Steinem: Feminist activist, founder of Ms. Magazine, Wonder Woman fan. She's still fighting as hard as she ever did for women's rights, now well into her eighties, and if that isn't enough, thanks to her marriage to David Bale (father of Christian Bale), she is now stepmother to Batman.
  • Oksana Chusovitina, 46 when she competed in her record-setting eighth Olympics. Now, 46 isn't old... unless you're talking about women's gymnastics, a sport in which the then 22-year-old Aly Raisman was called "Grandma Aly" by her 2016 USA Olympic teammates without a hint of irony. Chusovitina won her first world championship in 1991, won Olympic silver for vault in 2008, and won silver at Worlds as recently as 2011, not to mention competing in eight Olympics. For the record, in women's gymnastics, being a two-time Olympian is uncommon, and being a three-time Olympian is nearly unheard-of. Oksana Chusovitina had won her first Olympic title before most of her competition in Rio 2016, and all of her competition in Tokyo 2020(21), had even been born. She's not nicknamed "Mama Chuso" for nothing. After Tokyo, she announced her retirement (not for the first time), to great skepticism from the gymternet. The skeptics were proved right when Chuso announced less than three months later that she'd compete in the 2022 Asian Games.
  • Nina Hartley seems to be on her way to being one of these. She's 54 and still active as a porn star and sex educator.
  • June Foray is often called the female Mel Blanc (Chuck Jones even reportedly stated that Mel Blanc is the male June Foray). She died in 2017 at age 99 and at that point, she'd still do the voice of Rocky occasionally, most recently for a GEICO commercial.
    • Not to mention Granny from Sylvester and Tweety. She first played her in 1950 at the age of 33; she last played her in The Looney Tunes Show at age 96!
  • Annie Nightingale is a rather legendary presenter on BBC's Radio 1 and, as of this writing, is 73 years old. The genre she specializes in? Breakbeats. For example... Just to show how groundbreaking she is, she's been knighted.
  • Jane Goodall, born 1934, has an activism list a mile long, mostly animal rights (She has served on the board of the Nonhuman Rights Project since its founding in 1996), and is famous for her work with chimpanzees. She reportedly found this Gary Larson comic pretty amusing, a stark contrast to the Jane Goodall Institute, which tried to lawyer up on him.
  • Erin Pizzey, age 76. Created the first battered women's shelter, Chiswick Women's Aid, in London. Worked with what she called "violence-prone women" who grew up in violence and conflict and came to accept it as normal to teach them that there was a better way than violence and conflict. Tried to do the same for men (she failed due to not receiving any funding), received death threat, bomb threats, had her family dog shot, but none of these prevented her from speaking about violence-prone people and how to actually solve domestic violence which mostly involves dysfunctional people with broken childhoods who revert to the only way of handling relationships they know if they aren't taught a healthier way.
  • Marla Gibbs. She didn't become an actress until her 40s, but still won viewers' hearts on The Jeffersons and 227. She's 90 years young and still a very active actress to this day.
  • Carmen Dell'Orefice, who's in her eighties and still working as the oldest catwalk model.
  • This Japanese lady, Tomoko, who showed her talent as a pole dancer at the Italian edition of Got Talent. She's 70 and she effortlessly performs stunt people half her age would have trouble doing.
  • Any female leader in a matriarchal animal society counts... especially if it's an elephant Mama or Grandma.
  • Maggie Smith is definitely one. A Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire with over 60 years of acting on stage, film, and TV. She's won enough awards to fill her own reasonably-sized Trophy Room, quite modest and quiet, and one of her most famous roles is the foremost Cool Old Lady of Harry Potter.
  • Dame Julie Andrews was famous as a younger woman, but now is well into her eighties and still well-known as one of the classiest actresses alive while still maintaining an active career.
  • Rose Marie of The Dick Van Dyke Show took to Twitter at age 94 to promote her documentary Wait For Your Laugh. She freely shared details about her career and loved responding to fans until her death shortly after Christmas 2017.
  • Cyndi Lauper is entering this realm, which few people even realize. Despite pushing 70, she doesn't look her age at all and her singing voice is still impeccable. She has still maintained her die-hard passionate fanbase with her unique and original sense of style.
  • Alice Barker, who was 102 years old at the time, was a dancer during the Harlem Renaissance.
  • At age 96, Iris Apfel counts. She's an interior designer who's also renowned as The Fashionista for her wildly eclectic style. She and her late husband ran a textile firm and decorated the White House nine times. She even got her own fashion retrospective at The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a feature-length documentary about her.
  • Famed registered nurse and sex educator Sue Johanson, who started her Sunday Night Sex Show on Canadian radio in 1984 and continued in a variety of televised programs and published books until her retirement in 2008 (consider that she was born in 1930). Her public speaking appearances, though now infrequent, have been wildly popular for her sense of humour and her deep knowledge of a wide variety of sexual subjects.
  • Vaudeville legend Sophie Tucker kept performing up until her death in 1966 and never abandoned her risqué humor.
  • First daughter Alice Roosevelt Longworth fell under this umbrella in her life, being a rebellious young woman who smoked cigarettes on top of the White House roof and called a racist driver who insulted her African-American driver a "white son of a bitch". When she hit her 90th birthday in 1974, she was interviewed for an article that mentioned her being part of the Women's Liberation Movement, enjoying the company of young people, admitting to favoring President Nixon's daughter Julie over his other daughter Tricia, wondering what Jackie Onassis saw in her second husband after being married to the handsome Jack, finding President Eisenhower (Julie Nixon's grandfather-in-law) boring, poking fun at her mastectomies, having a needlepoint pillow that said "if you can't say something nice about anyone sit by me", and being a Deadpan Snarker.
  • Marlo Thomas. Longtime women's rights advocates (to the point of requesting that her character Ann Marie on That Girl not be married so not to imply that this is the only goal that a woman should have — and this was in 1971), co-founder of the non-profit organization Ms. Foundation For Women with Gloria Steinem and took over as director of the famous St. Jude's Research Children's Hospital (which was founded by her late father, actor Danny Thomas).
  • American Catholic nun Jean Dolores Schmidt, BVM, known to one and all as Sister Jean. A longtime faculty member of Mundelein College, an all-women's school on Chicago's north side, she was hired by nearby Loyola University Chicago when it absorbed Mundelein in 1991, and three years later added the role of chaplain to the men's basketball team (by which time she was already 75). She eventually retired from teaching, but remained the team chaplain and an at-large student advisor. But she was still pretty much unknown outside the Loyola community until the Ramblers pulled off a first-round upset of Miami (the one in Florida) in the 2018 NCAA tournament. Then they beat Tennessee in the second round... and notched two more wins to make the Final Four for the first time since they won the whole shebang in 1963, by which time she became an international media celebrity. At age 98. And she didn't stop there. In 2021, the Ramblers got to the tournament again, with the now-101-year-old Sister Jean in tow (though not in her normal place on the bench due to COVID-19 protocols).
  • Angela Lansbury is 95 but still rather pretty, and had a pie fight with Emma Thompson.
  • Swedish blogger Dagny Carlsson (1912–2022) took a computing class at the age of 99, and started blogging after turning 100. With a little writing help from her friend, Dagny kept her blog note  active for nearly a decade, right until her passing a few months before turning 110. When asked about the key to a long life, Dagny replied ”…Good genes. And curiosity, you’re getting old when you stop being curious, and you won’t learn anything new then”.
  • No list would be complete without the First Lady to rule all First Ladies, Eleanor Roosevelt. As a spirited, charismatic and generous activist and philanthropist, she helped tremendously in getting her husband elected to four terms as President (although he only lived to serve out three), was instrumental in several beneficial programs and movements including Social Security and making sure that the renowned Tuskegee Airmen were able to serve our country and was well-loved in life and in the decades since her passing. She was so liked in politics and in pop-culture that Harry Truman considered her as his running mate for vice-president and she made an appearance on What's My Line?.


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Helen Marshall

Head of the FBC Operations division, and a member of Trench's inner circle. She's universally recognized as one of the biggest badasses in the Bureau, and is responsible for overseeing the teams that deal with paranatural events. Before becoming part of the FBC, Marshall worked as a CIA agent.

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Main / CoolOldLady

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