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Drop-In Landlord

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In a series dealing with a character staying in apartment-style housing, a landlord (or building superintendent) is a common sight as a Drop-In Character. The job description entails what one would expect: the upkeep of the building and grounds. Their occupation gives them an excuse to constantly be around despite not being friends with the main character, while their apartment setting can house a slightly more realistic version of Pretty Freeloaders who, naturally, constantly visit the put-upon lead.

The landlord may be The Friend Nobody Likes to the rest of the cast (especially the ones who are always asking about the late rent payment), or they may be the most responsible one there, serving as the Only Sane Man or a mentor figure, as they are usually older than the main cast. The one constant is that their position as the landlord provides an excuse for them to fit into a larger ensemble cast in a friendly manner, although they might play the role of a minor antagonist sometimes. In real life, in many jurisdictions, landlords have to give advanced notice to tenants before they visit their properties.

This trope is most common in Dom Coms, Roommate Coms, and Slice of Life works.

Compare Cute Sports Club Manager, Sensei-chan, and Nerd Nanny, who fulfil a similar role in the story. Contrast Cranky Landlord, a landlord who is outright antagonistic to the main characters.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Chihiro Sengoku in The Pet Girl of Sakurasou. She's also teaching in the school where the tenants study, and known for being excessively lazy—the main plot starts with her dumping the responsibilities of caring her Idiot Savant cousin to one of her tenants, despite knowing the former was under special care before that.
  • Run with the Wind: Tazaki, the eccentric, elderly coach and landlord of the Kansei University Track and Field Dormitory. He used to be a good runner, but nowadays mostly just hangs around the building.
  • Food Wars!: Fumio, the somewhat-frequently-appearing housekeeper of the Polaris dormitory. She's much older than the high school-aged residents and acts as something like a strict mother figure.

    Comic Books 
  • Wonder Woman (1987): After moving out of Julia Kapatelis's home Diana rents a room from an eccentric elderly lady who makes random appearances while Diana is living there. Her appearances are often very odd and not related to the ongoing story, instead providing a bit of comic relief during darker tales.

  • In Tales of the City, Anna Madrigal runs the boarding house where most of the main cast live, and is a frequent presence in their lives in the first few books. She views her tenants as her family, even calling them her "children".
  • Discworld: Due to Ankh-Morpork's "metaphysical housing crisis", several characters live in boarding houses with comical landladies of various types. The most frequently mentioned is Mrs Cake, a spiritualist whose house is open to the vitally challenged and morphologically variable.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun has the Solomons' friendly landlady Mrs Dubcek drop in frequently, usually to flirt with somebody or completely ignore the craziness going on around her.
  • The Basil Brush Show has Mr. Rossiter, who takes his name from Leonard Rossiter, who played a landlord in Rising Damp.
  • Mr. Barriga in El Chavo del ocho is perhaps the most famous example in Latin America. Invariably, whenever he shows up to collect the rent at the neighborhood, he gets hit by El Chavo.
  • The Comeback: In-Universe, Valerie plays Aunt Sassy in the sitcom Room and Bored, who is this to a group of attractive twenty-somethings who are renting her condo, justified as one of them is her niece.
  • In sitcom Josh, the multiple squirming embarrasments of Josh Widdicombe are not helped by the fact his landlord is the socially inept and embarrassing Jack Dee, who knows no boundaries and walks in at the worst possible moments.
  • Bookman on Good Times often showed up looking for some excuse to threaten the Evans family with eviction. Besides the Drop-in Landlord, he was also Butt-Monkey for JJ's insults. Or should it be, Buffalo Butt Monkey?
  • Laverne & Shirley is about the antics of roommates Laverne and Shirley and their close friends, all of whom are young people. Their landlady, Edna Babbish, is a wacky supporting character who eventually becomes more deeply entwined into the girls' life by marrying Laverne's father.
  • Moi...Et L'Autre, being about the daily shenanigans of Dominique and Denise, has their apartment's landlord, Mr. Lavigueur, who puts up with them from time to time.
  • In Mork & Mindy, there is Mindy's landlord, Mr Wanker, who tends to be present when Mork is doing something stranger than usual.
  • New Girl has the landlord Remy, who keeps trying to have a threesome with Nick and Jess.
  • One Day at a Time (1975): Building super Schneider serves as a wacky counterpart to the antics of single mom Ann and her family.
  • One Day at a Time (2017): Like in the original, Schneider the landlord, although he is of an age with Penelope. His lonely, wealthy upbringing contrasts him with the warm, working-class Alvarez family, and he frequently drops in because he sees them as family.
  • Ralph Furley and Stanley Roper from Three's Company were each in turn the landlords of the apartment complex the show took place in and were often drawn in to whatever wacky hijinks the tenants found themselves in.
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Lillian functions as this, especially in season one when she was largely a supporting character in Kimmy's and Titus's storylines. She's a kooky older woman who owns the basement Kimmy and Titus live in, and frequently hangs around to commentate on their affairs.
  • In The Young Ones, Alexei Sayle appeared as the central characters' deranged Russian landlord Jerzei Balowski, along with a number of his relatives.

  • A few Old Master Q strips will feature Master Q being pursued relentlessly by his landlady, notably one instance where Master Q, realizing it's the end of the month and his rent is due, decide to return home late at two past midnight, gloating to himself that the landlady's asleep, and then flicking on his bedroom's switch only to see the landlady waiting for him.

  • Avenue Q has building superintendent Gary Coleman. He's not part of the main ensemble of Avenue Q residents, but periodically shows up to interact with the main characters, who treat him with a mixture of amusement and pity. They all agree that while their lives are bad, his is the worst.
  • La Bohème has the landlord Benoit, who makes just one appearance in Act I. He drops in to demand the past three months' rent from the bohemians, but they ply him with wine, get him to confess to his extramarital affairs, and then feign extreme indignation and throw him out with no rent.

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    Visual Novels 
  • Misae Sagara from CLANNAD, the supervisor for Sunohara's dorm. Apparently, it's very easy to influence her into violence against the immature rugby team members, such as practicing wrestling moves for peeking in the girl's dorm or drop kicks to people who don't clean their plates at dinner. And it's always awesome when she does. She even gets a sort of mini route that sees its resolution in Tomoyo's route.

    Web Comics 
  • Darwin Carmichael Is Going to Hell mostly focuses on Darwin, his roommates, and friends, who live in a lousy apartment in a magical version of Brooklyn. Pat, their minotaur landlord, frequently hangs out in Darwin's apartment with or without a landlordy excuse for it. While older (he's implied to be thousands of years old) than most characters, he's a crude booze-hound, but he still gives advice and a sympathetic ear to Darwin and friends.

    Western Animation 
  • Bob's Burgers: Mr. Fischoeder is an eccentric millionaire who owns a number of properties in the Belchers' hometown, including Bob's restaurant, and will often drop in to remind the Belchers that the monthly rent is supposed to be paid every month. Typically episodes involving him revolve around some crazy favor he wants in exchange for forgiving a set number of months' collective rent, such as the Belchers pretending to be his family to impress an old flame, Bob being his ringer in a gingerbread house building competition, or the kids being used to pull an Ocean's Eleven style heist on his own fun center.
  • Dwayne in The Nutshack is Tito and Phil's landlord who desperately attempts to connect with his tenants, but is constantly humiliated by Tito and Phil, and none of the others seem to like him all that much.
  • Apple & Onion: Falafel is a drop in landlord, often fixing the various objects Apple and Onion break. Falafel ends up becoming good friends with Apple and Onion, over their shared lack of family in the city, which explains Falafel dropping in to say high more frequently.

Alternative Title(s): Drop In Landlady