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Cranky Landlord

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Mr. Shickadance: Ventuuraaa!
Ace Ventura: [whispering] Yes, Satan? [turns around] Oh, I'm sorry, sir. You sounded like someone else.
Mr. Shickadance: Never mind the wisecracks, Ventura. [coughs in Ace's face]...You owe me rent.

The landlord that hates tenants, and he especially hates the hero, whom he considers a no-good scum of the earth.

Similarly to Nosy Neighbor, this character is always on the lookout to catch the hero doing something against the house rules.

Pretty much anything below being a model tenant will earn the landlord's scorn and an infuriated visit to the offending tenant's apartment: making a noise, coming home too late, bringing another person home, etc.

A common trope is that the tenant is late with the house-rent, and has to argue at length with the landlord to be allowed a few days' respite. There are far more female than male examples of this type of character found in fiction.

Compare Cranky Neighbor. Contrast Drop-In Landlord, who is far more comedic and tries to befriend the cast.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kanae from Classicaloid is a rare and benevolent case of a main character fitting this trope. While she doesn't exactly hate her tenants, she's frequently frustrated by their destructive antics and refusal to listen to the house rules. She often demands that the freeloaders pay rent, and threatens to kick them out when she's really pissed. Unsurprisingly, she's the Only Sane Man.
  • The landlady in Crayon Shin-chan. Not unjustified as Shin really is a terror.
  • Dr. Chaos's tenant in Ghost Sweeper Mikami, due to him never really paying his rent. She does have some Pet the Dog moments in the "magic sweeping brooms" episode of the anime.
  • Surprisingly for this trope, the protagonist's landlord in Sekirei actually kicks him out after catching him with a girl in his apartment. Surprising in that it sticks: He's evicted for good and has to find a new home while taking care of his new Magical Girlfriend. However the landlord is nice enough to give him his deposit back, since he was a good tenant until then.
  • Sumi's former landlady in Stepping on Roses qualifies, though not without justification: The gang of adopted children Sumi's brother brings home with him are extremely noisy, and Sumi and her brother are well behind on their rent payments.

    Comic Books 
  • The Disney Ducks Comic Universe has Scrooge to his nephew Donald, forcing him to do a number of ridiculous jobs and chores or be evicted. Justified in that Donald, being often jobless, tends to be behind of months or even years with the rent alongside other debts (stories where Donald manage to pay off all his debts present it as a rare occurrence and have Scrooge surprised by it).
  • Averted in, of all places, Sin City. Dwight and Wallace's landlady was actually pretty sweet and wanted both men to get a nice girlfriend.
  • Spider-Man: Peter Parker's second apartment, the one for much of the 1970s and 1980s, has a nasty landlady named Mamie Muggins. She was cranky, judgmental, and quick to issue threats. Though sometimes she showed a softer side, helping to furnish an apartment or being a protective aunt to her favorite niece.

    Fan Works 
  • In Amazing Fantasy, Peter's landlord, Ditkovich, sends the bill in big sharpie marked, "WHERE'S MY MONEY PARKER!", and generally doesn't seem to have much patience for Peter.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Mr. Shickadance from the Ace Ventura: Pet Detective movie and video game, is a cranky old man who hates animals. Despite his warnings for Ace not to bring any work home, Ace secretly keeps more than a dozen housepets in his room, having trained the animals to hide when the landlord appears.
  • Enid Borden, the foul-mouthed landlady in the 1987 Dragnet movie. The same actress plays a nearly identical character in Nutty Professor II: The Klumps.
  • The Gingerweed Man: The Gingerweed Man's is Mr. Stedenko, a large, angry man to whom Gingy owes a bit of unpaid rent. Barbara manages to get rid of him by appealing to his American jingoism, telling him some of his other tenants are doing something that he doesn't like.
  • In Good Manners, Clara's landlady Dona Amélia is first seen revealed to have stolen Clara's clothes just because she hasn't paid the rent yet, and later on feeds a steak to Joel even though Clara kept telling her that he was allergic to meatnote .
  • Mr. McCleery from The Graduate, who can't stand agitators or men that do indecent things to young women. When Mr. Robinson confronts Ben about his flings with Mrs. Robinson, he threatens to take legal action against Ben if he ever sees Elaine again, which prompts Mr. McCleery to evict Ben from his boarding house.
  • A scene in Kingpin: Roy cannot pay his rent, and his hysterical landlady threatens to call the police. A desperate Roy is forced to play the "I'm sure that we can work something out" card.
  • In Kung Fu Hustle, the landlord isn't cranky at all, while he's the Henpecked Husband to the landlady, who's cranky to most of the tenants.
  • Mrs. Peenman from The Mask. Stanley lives in fear of her, while he also takes revenge whenever he changes into his alter ego, the Mask.
  • Tony Hancock's angry landlady Mrs Cravat in The Rebel, who objects to Hancock's art, especially his sculpture of a naked woman.
    Mrs Cravat: If that's not out of my house, and you with it, I'll call the police and have you evicted! Those are my last words, OUT! All of it! Turning my house into a rubbish dump.
  • In addition to being cranky, the landlord in Repulsion also is a creep who tries to force himself on the heroine.
  • Mr. Ditkovich in the Spider-Man Trilogy movies is usually seen hounding Peter for rent money, and at one point takes all of the money Peter has (because he pulled out the bills from his pocket) before Peter can finish saying that he needs it to purchase some other stuff he needs. He does however prove to be a closet Jerk with a Heart of Gold in the third film as he immediately realizes that something is wrong when a symbiote-infected Peter snaps angrily at him, as he knows Peter is a nice guy and would never act that way unless he was in serious trouble. His name is a reference to Steve Ditko, Spider-Man's co-creator.
  • Mrs. Davis from the live-action Disney film That Darn Cat!!, who also can count as a Nosy Neighbor as she lives downstairs from her tenants, two men whom she suspects of sheltering a woman in their apartment, unaware they are actually bank robbers holding a woman hostage.

  • In Jingo, Fred and Nobby, and later Carrot and Angua, have to investigate an apartment rented to a dead wannabe assassin by a Cranky Landlady. She demands the rent in advance (especially from Nobby, although that's probably a smart move), and tells both Those Two Guys and Carrot "No cooking, no music, no women, no pets." (The last two both present problems for Angua, who has to sneak into the apartment as a werewolf. She doesn't get caught though.)
  • Mrs. Inger in the third book of the Knight and Rogue Series, though she's only present for the first chapter before the cast sneaks out their window in the middle of the night and leave town.
  • Losing Joe's Place: Plotnick the landlord is a haughty Jerkass who is always insulting his tenants and making them pay for damage that is his fault.
  • Migraine: Ken's landlord Sanchez expresses visceral delight at the thought of Ken dying on the streets in the cold of winter.
  • Sam the Cat: Detective:
    • Local apartment owner Horton F. Meany is described as quite a sourpuss. His wrath focuses more on his wrongfully accused employee than his tenants, but he also does any repairs they want bad, cheap, and fast.
    • Casper Gutless owns several apartment buildings, doesn't tolerate tenants being behind on their rent, and dangles the threat of eviction over one shop owner to make him help Gutless with an illegal scheme.

    Live Action TV 
  • Miriam Fry from Agent Carter treats her tenants like they were school girls in a dormitory rather than adults living on their own, the way she strictly controls the schedules of the girls in her boarding house and forbids men higher than the first floor.
  • The Mexican comedy El Chavo del ocho had Señor Barriga ("Mister Belly"), the fat owner of the neighborhood the characters lived in, who would occasionally show up to collect the rent. Despite his gruff appearance, Barriga was actually a nice man—it's just that characters like Chavo and Don Ramon unintentionally provoked his anger almost all the time (and Chavo always hurt him somehow whenever he walked into the neighborhood).
  • The Doctor Who episode "Night Terrors" features a landlord as scary as anything else the Doctor sees that night.
  • The (in)famous Funny or Die video "The Landlord" casts Will Ferrell's daughter, barely past infancy at the time, as one of these to comedic effect.
  • Heroes has the landlord of Mohinder's apartment, who makes a few appearances (including Temporary Online Content answering-machine messages) complaining about noise, late rent, and government spooks, being rude about Matt's weight and calling Mohinder's late father "crazy", and generally being cranky. He even seems to magically appear when he senses property damage.
    "Mr. Suresh, you're late on your rent again. Even-up by Monday or I'm changing the locks."
    "Mr Suresh, I've had a ton of complaints about the noise coming from your apartment last week. I'm warning you 'cos you've been trouble since you moved in, keep it down or I'm kicking you out. If there's any damage it's coming out of your deposit."
  • Horatio Hornblower: In "Loyalty", Mrs Mason is Hornblower's Cranky Landlady. She's nervous when he owns her rent as officers starve on half-pay and is displeased that he goes to to play cards. Even though he actually usually earns some money because he's a mathematical genius and skilled whist player. When he brings his friend Mr Bush, she grunts whether he has money to pay her. Her daughter Maria (not very pretty and on her way to become an Old Maid) is crazy about him, which Mrs Mason doesn't like either, because her husband was a sailor and died at service, and she might be angry at Hornblower because he's not interested in Maria romantically and considers her just a friend.
  • The Monkees had a cranky landlord, Mr. Babbit.
  • In an episode of My Name Is Earl, Earl had one of these back in the day. He found a walkie-talkie that she was able to hear through her hearing aid, and convinced her that he was God, taking advantage of her devout religiosity. As "God", Earl convinced her to be nicer to him, his then-wife, his brother, and their friends. Eventually she became a nun, and Earl had to tell her what he did because it was on the list, thus giving her a Crisis of Faith.
  • Harold Meaker was originally this in Rentaghost, being none too pleased at the idea of having ghosts as tenants, before being forced to take over the firm in later seasons.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Time-travelers Picard and company take up residence in a boarding house in 1890s San Francisco in the "Time's Arrow" two-parter. When their landlady Mrs. Carmichael irately demands the long-overdue rent, Picard distracts her by offering her a role in his "acting troupe's" upcoming play A Midsummer Night's Dream.
  • Mr. Roper was somewhat like this toward Jack Tripper on Three's Company.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985):
    • In "Act Break", Maury Winkler and Harry's obnoxious landlord demands the two months rent that they owe him on their office and threatens to evict them if he doesn't get it soon. He also enjoys mocking them because almost all of their 17 plays closed after one performance.
    • In "The Mind of Simon Foster", the title character's landlord threatens to throw him out of his apartment if he does not pay his overdue rent by the next day. This forces Simon to accept the pawnbroker Mr. Quint's offer to buy his memory of his high school graduation. When Simon pays the $625 that he owes, the landlord proves himself to be corrupt as he illegally demands the next month's rent in advance. He tells Simon that if he goes to the Housing Commission to complain, he could find that his apartment has been given to someone else due to a "clerical error" when he returns.

  • A few Old Master Q strips would have Master Q staying in a rented apartment, only to be constantly nagged or pursued by his landlady on the rent. One strip had Master Q deliberately knowing the rent is due by the end of the month, so he deliberately stayed out late, coming back at two midnight, gloating to himself that the landlady's asleep... only to see the landlady waiting for him after flipping on the lights.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Major League Wrestling has Salina de la Renta, an evil manager who rose up the ranks to become an executive producer. After losing her position she crossed the line by tricking interviewer Alicia Atout into signing an illegal contract that amounted to Atout's slavery. Atout dropped legal charges in exchange for making the land lady pay her rent for four years(among other things).

    Video Games 
  • In Always Sometimes Monsters, your landlord's sick of waiting for you to get your act together and pay your rent. You owe him $500, and if you don't get it together, you're outta there!
  • Carte Blanche's Mrs. Malaki is protagonist Edgar's landlady. She is nosy with regards to a modernist poet perpetually locked in her building's bathroom, pesters Edgar about paying the rent despite the fact that he payed it the previous day, is a widow with a Motor Mouth when talking about her past, and admits that the building's horrible state is the reason she doesn't stay in it.
    Mrs. Malaki: No shouting... No posters... No bringing back women... No bleeding... No drinking... No blasphemy... ...and by the way, the bathroom is at the end of the hallway.
  • Clam Man: Clam Man's landlord is planning to move out, while lying to his tenants by saying he's just going on vacation. To pay for this, he suddenly increases everyone's rent by six times, and he has no sympathy for the fact that Clam Man just lost his job. Although the landlord never appears in person (instead relying on his daughter to tell the tenants about their increased rent), Clam Man describes him as intimidating.
  • Inverted in Fantasy Life. Pam is a motherly figure to the player and even gives the player candy!
  • Randal's Monday: Mr. Marconi just wants his money from Randal, and Randal missing rent seems to be a common occurrence.
  • Your Boyfriend: Don Williams, the player's landlord, spends most of his screen-time with agitation towards tenants delaying their rent.

  • In Dustpit Follies, the landlord will hound the main characters till they pay the rent, even if that means breaking a hole in the roof to drop in.
  • Eulice Deville of Ménage à 3 . When Gary introduces his new roommates, she ignores their pleasantries and shouts, "JOBS!?" She can detect a deadbeat tenant a mile away. She once tracked Gary across the city and found him hiding in a restaurant broom closet. She reacts to Mr. Dithers firing Dagwood yet again with an Evil Laugh.

    Web Original 
  • Gary: Landlord of the Flies: Exaggerated with Gary, whose relationship with his tenants is almost always deeply strained. He viciously insults several of them with little prompting, attempts to prevent them from retrieving their belongings when they leave or are evicted, and steals one tenant's luxury goods while he's in the hospital. Naturally, partway through the blog, it's noted that everyone had moved out of the house after hitting their breaking point with his behavior.

    Western Animation 
  • Bullock's landlord in Batman: The Animated Series hated him, for reasons that were arguably justified, mainly his abrasive nature and the fact that his slovenly habits caused a major vermin problem in the building. The man ended up sending Bullock death threats in an effort to get him to move, coincidentally at the same time that a mobster that Bullock had put away years before was released on parole and tried to get revenge.
  • Egghead Rides Again: At the start of the short, Egghead is jumping around his room in a boarding house, hooping and hollering loudly. The noise he makes irks his landlord so much that he kicks him out.
  • Hey Arnold! has Grandpa Phil. While normally he was either a Cool Old Guy or Cloud Cuckoo Lander, he would often get grumpy at his tenants when their antics annoyed him.
  • Pete is the Cranky Landlord at the House of Mouse. For some reason, he wants Mickey and the gang out of the club and he tries different plans to do it. Of course, he always fails.
  • Mr. Bean: The Animated Series had Ms. Wicket. (Though she did not appear in the live-action series, she was mentioned in the diary.)
  • Thurgood Stubbs, the cranky superintendent of an inner city low-income tenement building, is the main character of The PJs. He has an antagonistic relationship with most of the other tenants, especially Mrs. Avery, who hates his guts.
  • Evictus in The Roman Holidays. His main reason from wanting to evict the Holidays is because they keep a pet lion in their apartment, which is against the terms of their lease.
  • In The Simpsons episode "Behind the Laughter", Homer had a stint on Broadway as the landlord in RENT II, "Mr. Stinchley" (and for extra "evil" points Homer's role required him to dress in a Dastardly Whiplash fashion, mustache, Evil Laugh and all):
    Where is the rent?
    I must have the rent!
    Dollars, dimes and nickels,
    I need them all right now!
    • Inverted in the episode "No Loan Again, Naturally", in which because of Homer's utterly idiotic financial sense they lose their home and Ned Flanders purchases it, making him the Simpsons' landlord. The moment Homer figures out that this means Ned has to do such things as fix the home if the family asks for it, he makes Ned's life utter hell.
  • Clint Clobber was created by Gene Deitch for the Terrytoons studio in the late 1950s. He was superintendent and janitor for the Flamboyant Arms apartments, where anything that could go wrong for him did.

Alternative Title(s): Cranky Landlady