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Gossipy Hens

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"Pick a little, talk a little, pick a little, talk a little,
Cheep cheep cheep, talk a lot, pick a little more"
Alma and Ethel, The Music Man, "Pick-a-Little"

A group of (usually) women whose sole purpose in life seems to be gossiping about other people, since that's all they do whenever they are on screen, and you never hear any mention of what they might be doing when off-screen.

Often used for exposition, since they know the business of everybody in town. They will say mean things about different characters (and sometimes each other when they're apart), and if they get bored may come into the foreground and mess with the main characters' lives so that their gossip can be more interesting. They may be responsible for Gossip Evolution. In a Close-Knit Community, they may account for the way everyone knows about everyone else.

Usually almost completely the same in terms of personality, so that their lines are completely interchangeable. The only reason that there's more than one is so they have somebody to talk to. Often they won't be named, or only the leader will be named.

Chances are, if your work is set in Victorian or Edwardian times, these characters will show up. If the characters are Jewish, expect the word "yenta" (after the gossiping matchmaker in Fiddler on the Roof) to be thrown around. In Asian and African works, "aunties" are often this. In African-American works, church and hair salons are prime locations for these ladies. Are often members of a Girl Posse, if the action is set in a high school. In a work with Talking Animals, a Visual Pun of literal female birds often do this. Sometimes serve as a Greek Chorus. Compare Those Two Guys and Chatty Hairdresser.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Berserk, Julius calls several handmaidens this. One of the outtakes even adds a cluck for good measure.
    Julius: Gossipy hens. *bukkawk!*
  • In Call of the Night, Niko Hirata's vampire clique does nothing but engage in love talk, with Niko herself being into it the most. It is the primary reason Nazuna doesn't like to hang out with them.
  • Minako from Dear Brother, although she is nicer than the standard. And she plays a very important role in the anime since she tells Nanako about Fukiko's "secret room", which is full of memorabilia of her time with her crush Takehiko; Minako herself is the only person aside of Fukiko who is allowed to set foot on said room, and only to keep it clean and completely unchanged. But before she can tell Nanako more details about it, Fukiko finds out and gets so upset that she gets Minako fired. She openly refers to herself as such when talking to Nanako after being kicked out of her job at the Ichinomiya mansion.
  • Maya from Detective School Q's Boarding School case has some traits of this, mixing them with Genki Girl and School Newspaper News Hound. And almost ends up killed by the case's culprit since she has vital information abot his killings. And she doesn't even know it.
  • Eleanor from Emma: A Victorian Romance has three nearly indistinguishable friends who spend most of their appearances discussing the latest developments in high society and what their acquiantances are up to.
  • Goodbye, My Rose Garden has Edward's sisters. When his fiancée Alice comes to visit, they gossip about how Alice's former maid Giselle married a baron, as well as how her new maid Hanako is a "lion" from Japan. Unsurprisingly, Alice doesn't seem to like her sisters-in-law very much, and makes excuses not to spend time with them.
  • Tomoe from Hanasaku Iroha. Also, when a film crew comes to the inn to do some preparations for a shooting, there is a scene where Tomoe, Ohana and Nako sit in a tight circle and gossip about the film crew. When the serious and reserved Minko passes by, all three of them promptly make a calling gesture towards her.
  • In Heat Guy J, there are three prostitutes named Cynthia, Janis, and Vivian, who are up on all the gossip in Judoh, both from their clients and from the other people they encounter. They serve as informants to Daisuke.
  • At first, Miki Hosokawa from Hell Teacher Nube. She's still gossipy later, but not as much as she used to. Not to mention she's a bit of a subversion: despite being a gossip hen, Miki does feel bad when she sees one of her neighbors spread downright hurtful rumors that make people upset, and she vows to not reach such extremes. When a ghost tricks her friends into believing she is spreading mean lies as well as the secrets they confided in her, Miki is genuinely hurt at how angry they get at her and, after a brief Heroic BSoD, tries to clear her name. When she's succesful, the ghost tries to kill her and has to be exorcised by Nuubee.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
    • Hong Kong according to his newest profile which lists "gossip" among his interests.
    • Also Seychelles, in volume four. She has a lot of trouble keeping it to herself that a certain royal couple would be spending their honeymoon at her place.
  • Mrs. Tachibana and her group of friends from Hot Gimmick. Hence why Hatsumi completely panics when her son Ryoki sees the morning-after pill she had just bought for her sister Akane, and then tells him to do what he wants to her in exchange of keeping the deal secret: being the wife of the landlord/Hatsumi's dad's boss and quite the Rich Bitch, she can very easily tell her husband that Hatsumi's family is not a good influence on the residents, which would lead to Hatsumi's father being laid off and them being evicted and losing everything.
  • An episode of Paranoia Agent focuses on a group of these. They discuss rumors (and Blatant Lies) involving Li'l Slugger, and at the end of the episode, one of them returns home to discover her husband was the latest victim... The victim whose wife is more interested in what happened to him so that she can join in on the gossip with a 'real' example.
  • In the first scene of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, a group of these make fun of Simon, helping to establish that although Kamina is friendly to him and the village chief considers him a hard worker, Simon doesn't really have a lot of incentive to stay in his village.
  • A small group of neighborhood women tend to gossip about the latest malady to hit the Moroboshi house in Urusei Yatsura.
  • Yoriko Nikaido of You're Under Arrest! is this, to the point of fellow officer Natsumi interceding when she talks about her collegues. She once ends up Bound and Gagged in the OVA when her friends find out that one of her gossip chains is wrong.

    Comic Books 
  • One Astro City story is about an alien spy disguised as a human, gathering information on humanity in preparation for a full-scale invasion. He slowly begins to believe humanity isn't so diffeerent from his own species, and is prepared to call off the invasion, but the group of Gossipy Hens he has to live near bug him to the point where he changes his mind and tells his superiors to proceed with the invasion.
  • The classic horror comic Mister Mystery gives us a particularly nasty trio in the appropriately titled "The Gossips!". This being a horror comic, the title gossips get a gory Karmic Death at the end.
  • The X-Men, being recognised In-Universe and out as part super-team, part absurdly complicated soap opera, are infamous for this, with Gambit at one point complaining that eight different people called him up to inform him that Rogue, his then ex, had kissed Deadpool.

    Comic Strips 
  • Susanita from Mafalda is a Hen in training. When she's not rambling about the many sons she'll have when she grows up, of course.
    • To make things worse (or funnier), Susanita's House Wife mother is exactly the same way. So much that even Susanita gets embarrassed when she spreads gossip in front of her and her friends.
    'Mrs. Chirusi (talking on the phone when the kids are playing): "Elvira told me all about Mecha and her husband, and I swear that looking back on it's fascina~ting!"
    Kids *stop playing and stare at her*
    Susanita: *looks like she wants to die*
  • The "posse" in the comic strip Zits. The Posse are the schools "girly girls." They are addicted to their cellphones, and are usually at the centre of all gossip circulating through the school.

    Fan Works 
  • In Growing Daylight, Darci and Mary ask Claire for details if Jim's "equipment" are like a human's or not. She refuses to dignify that with an answer.
  • A Dishonored fanfic called Heard It Through The Heart Line makes the Heart AKA Empress Jessamine into one. The Heart canonically has the ability to see everyone's secrets, and spends the entire fic gleefully revealing them to Corvo. All of them. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Most of the conversations between Alya, Marinette and April in Ladybug in a Half Shell usually pertain to boys and love-triangles.
  • Mind Brigade presents Eve as this. She's the barmaid at the local Moonlight's Bar who enjoys gossiping. Her gossip isn't always correct, such as when he told Jamie that the new farmer was pregnant. She wasn't.
  • In X-Men fanfic Mutatis Mutandis by Artemis's Liege there are the male students Xavier's Academy.
    Manuel: One of Jamie's dupes overheard Ms. Munroe telling Ms. Grey, who told Bobby, who told Julio, who told Scott, who told Kurt, who told Shola, who told me.
  • The Parselmouth of Gryffindor has a male example with Little Hangleton's barkeep/innkeeper, John Hanger, whose pub (The Hanged Man) is the knot of every gossip in town. Not that there's much happening in a little village, so he makes do by endlessly recycling the town's only interesting story (the decades-old Riddle murders) to no end, and making up ludicrous conspiracy theories about what few strangers pass through town.
  • Queens of Mewni: Hope loved spreading gossip around, and notably broke the news that her older sister (and heir to the throne) was kissing a boy. History remembers her as Hope the Gossip Girl.

    Film — Animation 
  • A group of middle-aged women whom the three leads meet in Tokyo Godfathers fit this trope; their gossip helps point our heroes toward the mother of the abandoned baby they'd found.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Ali: Fear Eats the Soul: Emmi's nasty neighbors, especially the fat lady who literally runs to another neighbor's door to spread the news when she sees Emmi bringing a tall African man home.
  • The villagers in The Baker's Wife are very prone to gossiping, men and women alike.
  • Carmen y Lola: After Lola's neighbor Maria finds out she is with Carmen, she quickly spreads the news all over their neighborhood.
  • Elvira, Mistress of the Dark: Elvira suffers at the hands (or should that be tongues?) of these when she is looking for a job.
  • The two quality-control ladies in Extract spend 90% of their shift gossiping, and the other 10% complaining about how no one else is ever doing their job. In fact, it's their willful negligence that causes the horrific accidental Groin Attack that kicks off the plot.
  • In the Fritz Lang movie Fury, these women's actions inflate the arrest of an innocent traveler into the capture of a child-kidnapper. During the gossip-chain scene, there's even a brief shot of chickens. (Thanks to the gossip, the townspeople storm the jail and set fire to it.)
  • Hunting Scenes from Bavaria: The widow Maria, with whom Abrams lives on her farm, is the subject of village gossip because of her disabled son Ernstl and her relationship with her farmhand Volker.
  • India Sweets And Spices: The local aunties (older Indian women) are all notorious as gossips.
  • Two mean old biddies in Johnny Belinda who spread gossip about Belinda, saying the doctor is her baby's father (he isn't). Their rumormongering plays no small part in the town trying to take Belinda's baby away.
  • In A Jolly Bad Fellow, Mrs Pugh-Smith is the chief gossip in the small, incestuous university town of Ockham. When she spreads rumours about Professor Bowles-Otterly affair with a student, Bowles-Otterly decides to put his Social Darwinist beliefs into action and removes her from university life permanently.
  • When Amy (Elizabeth Taylor) and Beth (Margaret O'Brian) sneak into Mr. Lawrence's Christmas party in the Katharine Hepburn adaptation of Little Women, they overhear some of these making snide comments about Marmee "training" the girls' older sisters Meg and Jo to be gold diggers and marry rich guys. Amy is angry to the point of tears and Beth has a Heroic BSoD.
  • An all male example is used in Jean de Florette/Manon of the Spring. A group of old farmers hang out in the village, talking about farming and rumors. They turn out to be pivotal to the plot of the two movies, as it is due to their inaction that Jean goes insane, and in the end they are the ones that confess about their knowledge of the spring and the cause of Jean's death to Manon.
  • In the movie treatment of The Music Man, such a group of townswomen actually cluck like hens.
  • My Left Nut: Siobhan is a massive gossip, so when Rachael tells her she thinks Mick has a Gag Penis, by the next day everyone in school already knows. Unfortunately, this also causes a Gossip Evolution that ends up getting Rachael Slut Shamed.
  • In My Reputation, Jess's friends engage in spreading some nasty rumours about her new lover, Major Scott.
  • In Please Turn Over, the local women all become them after Naked Revolt is published and become fascinated with the Hallidays' private lives:
    Janet: It's not what we think that matters, it's what they think.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: Scott's roommate Wallace and his sister Stacey both gossip constantly, both with each other and everyone else. Wallace somehow manages to text Stacey about Scott's new relationship despite being unconscious, and Stacey sends out multiple text blasts to everyone about the situation.
  • The sailors in Watch Your Stern spread rumours that Miss Foster and Commander Fanshawe are keen on each other. When Miss Foster finds out she calls them a load of old women.

  • Absolutely Truly: Pumpkin Falls' resident postmistress, Ella Bellow, likes sticking her nose in other peoples' business.
  • Various female characters from L. M. Montgomery; for example, the women at the Ladies' Aid quilting bee in Anne of Ingleside.
  • Chocoholic Mysteries: Male variant in Gregory Glossop, one of the town pharmacists, who's better known as "Greg Gossip" for his notorious gossiping habit.
  • A variation in Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Albert Sandy has a lot of stories to share at lunch, such as how a guy practiced jumping out of a hole that he made slightly deeper everyday until he was able to jump several feet in the air. Whether or not they're actually true or if he's spicing it up or not is never revealed. Of course, the other kids believe him straight, though Greg has come to realize by The Meltdown that most of what he has to say is just complete nonsense.
  • The less-developed characters among the UU wizards in Discworld (i.e. the Chair, Lecturer and Wrangler) sometimes act like Gossipy Roosters, as their non-stop nattering, bickering, and reminiscing provides a sort of background accompaniment to whatever practical task Ridcully and Ponder are working on (or whatever the Dean and Bursar are messing up).
  • Gone with the Wind has quite a few of these, with Mrs. Merriwhether, Mrs. Meade and Mrs. Elsing filling the main part of the hens. However, a lot of other characters in the book can be considered gossipy hens as well, including Scarlett and Melanie.
  • The Great Greene Heist: Megan has a bad habit of blabbing juicy secrets to the Drama Club and her fellow cheerleaders, which is why Jackson shuts her out his High-School Hustler plots. Jackson lets her back into his circle of friends after she proves during a Secret Test of Character that she's changed (he feeds her a false rumor about an Alpha Bitch, and she doesn't tell anyone else).
  • Petunia Dursley of Harry Potter fame is pretty much one of these without a second to gossip at.
  • Pretty much everyone in the small town near Heidi and her grandpa's cabin. In fact, one of them tags along with Aunt Dete for a while so she can go into Mr. Exposition mode and explain both why the old man is living alone up there and why she's taking Heidi to live with him.
  • Hans Christian Andersen's story "It's Perfectly True" has literal hens, though other animals who hang around the henhouses, including owls and pigeons, play their part in the Gossip Evolution.
  • In Little Women, Meg attends a party at the home of the wealthy Moffat family, and overhears some of these speculating about her being a Gold Digger. She manages to pull herself together a bit, but breaks down crying later when in bed.
  • A male version is used as an exposition device in early chapters of The Lord of the Rings, with scenes in pubs in Hobbiton and Bywater.
  • In The Midnight Folk, Sylvia Daisy's social circle includes a flock of them, with names like Mrs Gossip, Mrs Tattle, and Mrs Scatternews.
  • Lady Kliss comes off as this in Mistborn: The Original Trilogy. She's later revealed to be using it as an innocent front to collect information.
  • Agatha Christie's The Murder at the Vicarage had three old ladies (the "old pussies") who seemed like this. One of them turned out to be sharper than she looked — her name? Miss Jane Marple.
  • Isaac Asimov's "My Son, the Physicist": Although it never appears onscreen, Mrs Cremona claims that all women gossip. This is important because the way they gossip (talking non-stop, even while they're listening to other people talk non-stop) solves the story's communication problem.
    "But, Gerard, all women know it. Any two women-on the video-phone, or on the stratowire, or just face to face-know that the whole secret to spreading the news is, no matter what, to Just Keep Talking."
  • In Brian Aldiss' Non-Stop, Roy encounters a group of Gossipy Hens in Quarters. The fragmented bits of sniping he overhears are part of a breakthrough he has regarding the inward-turned and purposeless nature of his community and his need to go on his Hero's Journey.
  • The Parasol Protectorate's most prominent gossip is Lord Akeldama. He doesn't always share what he knows, but he loves collecting gossip so much that he's trained a horde of Drones to eavesdrop at parties all over London. There are times when this network keeps him better informed than the British government.
  • In the second part of French novel Reine: my priest and my uncle, main character Reine is attending a ball and overhears a trio of old ladies talking about how Reine's love interest, Paul de Conprat, may be getting engaged to her cousin Blanche. Reine is so shaken that she suffers an Heroic BSoD, which thankfully isn't very serious. Bad thing: the ladies were right.
  • Secret Santa (2007): Mindy Yee is constantly inquiring about new drama and spreading it across the school, although the third book reveals that this is because she's lonely and wants people to like her.
  • Mrs. Jennings of Sense and Sensibility with her gossipy rooster of a son-in-law, Sir John. They love nothing better than to tease and joke the young people in their acquaintance about any romantic prospects and spread such news around the neighborhood. Even when Elinor asks Mrs. Jennings directly to stop talking about Marianne and Willoughby's supposed engagement (which, in actuality, does not exist), Mrs. Jennings simply laughs and says she'll do no such thing.
  • Sorry, Bro: Sona is a gossipy older woman who instantly spreads the news that Nareh was kissing a woman after she catches them at it.
  • In Sweet Valley High, Jessica and her clique, and the Unicorns in the Twins series. True to form, twin sister Elizabeth decries this kind of behavior... to her friends, in her usual hypocritical style.
  • A group of these gets a character to tell the story of Their Eyes Were Watching God to a friend.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: Deconstructed in the series. The novels indicate that it's not just a female passion. The male Vor counts gossip as much as their wives, and in Gentleman Jole, Cordelia teases Jole that the military personnel "gossip like washerwomen". Jole grins and doesn't refute this.
  • There's an old (and rather sexist) nursery rhyme about the "gossips of the village" sitting around sipping tea and ignoring everything but their gab session.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Hetebrink sisters of Amen. Thelma as well, though not as bad. Most of the church ladies, in fact, including the unseen mother of neighbor boy Chris, making him an example of this as well.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Penny tends to lean into this from time to time. In "The Hot Troll Deviation", when Howard and Bernadette break up over Howard cheating on her in World of Warcraft (It Makes Sense in Context) and try to patch things up at The Cheesecake Factory, Penny constantly stays near their table to hear their conversation, at one point admitting that she would not be able to hear them if she waited on other tables.
      Penny: Complimentary nachos! You enjoy. (walks away) Never had sex? Wow.
    • In "The Herb Garden Germination", rumours begin to spread that Bernadette plans to leave Howard while in truth Howard intends to propose to Bernadette, and that Raj has a crush on Bernadette. Fascinated by the effect gossip has had on their friends, Amy convinces Sheldon to spread false rumours among their friends as a social experiment on meme theory in order to see which gets the most attention. The first set Amy tells Pennu is Amy is starting an herb garden, and Amy and Sheldon had sex. The latter spreads quickly because of how out of character the formerly asexual Sheldon had been. The second set Amy tells Penny is Amy wearing orthotics, and she is pregnant with Sheldon's baby. Amy barely gets down one flight of stairs and is passing Leonard when he shouts, "You're pregnant?!" Amy just smiles and asks if the text has anything about orthotics.
  • Taken quite literally in Big Barn Barn: As the theme song says, the Mrs. Chickens "gossip, gossip all day long."
  • Community has Jeff and Shirley being this for an episode
  • One of these exists offscreen in The Cosby Show, when the grandparents meet Vanessa's fiance. As the man tells it, "In my church, we don't have a church newsletter, we have Gladys Jones." To make matters worse, the woman frequently gets the man and his brother mixed up, meaning like most examples of this trope, she's not only blabbing personal information that she has no right to discuss, she's blabbing (technically) incorrect information as well.
  • The entire premise of Devious Maids is domestic workers in Beverly Hills leveraging gossip picked up from their wealthy employers.
  • Gilmore Girls brings you Miss Patty and Babette. When Luke and Lorelai are in the early stages of their relationship, she wonders how Miss Patty and Babette haven't heard about it yet.
    • There is also East-Side Tilly, their off-screen rival with whom they openly compete in regards to this trope. They occasionally comment on taking delight in beating her to a juicy piece of gossip or shame at her knowing something before either of them.
  • Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha: The nosy neighbors are all in each other's business and have a healthy gossip chain going. When Nam-suk spots Hye-jin leaving Du-sik's home early in the morning, the news spreads so quickly across Gongjin that Hye-jin's best friend Mi-seon hears of it before Hye-jin even reaches home. And when they spot Du-sik hanging out with a pretty woman, they semi-discreetly follow him everywhere to keep tabs on them.
  • Lily from How I Met Your Mother. She always passes along new gossip even when the others don't ask or care about it. In addition whenever others avoid telling her secrets it drives her crazy that others view her as a gossip, no matter how true it is.
  • Tip, one of the main characters in Jam and Jerusalem, is quite happy to divulge her patients' medical problems to anyone she happens to be talking to.
  • One of the best examples of this trope in any Mexican telenovela comes from the set-in-high-school El Juego de la Vida (The Game of Life) with the character Cinthia, who was a mean girl, Motor Mouth, Valley Girl and the Beta Bitch to one of the main villains, but her most prominent character feature was being the biggest gossip in school, a trait that she wouldn't hesitate to take advantage of to help her best friend Tania make a living hell out of the lives of the four main characters. Several times through the telenovela, Cinthia is seen at school surrounded by a group of girls indulging in her latest juicy bit of gossip.
  • Last of the Summer Wine. The format in the late 80s and 90s was essentially that halfway through the episode, the ladies would meet up to discuss the men's latest Zany Scheme, sometimes including Gossip Evolution. The punchline was that they would all drink their tea simultaneously.
    • Drink your coffee!
  • A recurring feature in Murder, She Wrote, generally at Loretta's Beauty Parlor, although Loretta says she's never heard any of her customers gossiping, just "good friends having conversation, about other good friends who aren't there to defend themselves".
  • In Ms. Marvel (2022), Kamala refers to her mother's friends—older ladies in the local Pakistani-American community—as the "Illumin-Aunties," as they live for gossip and know everything about everyone in the community. Naturally, she goes to them to try to learn more about her great-grandmother (the source of her powers), as that's a sore subject for her mother.
  • Never Have I Ever: The "aunties" (older women) in the Indian Hindu community are all huge gossips, thus avoided when possible by others who find this annoying.
  • Our Miss Brooks:
    • In "The Party Line", the two woman who share Miss Brooks' party telephone line hold up the phone gossiping all day. The women also listen in on Miss Brooks' conversations and gossip about Miss Brooks, Mrs. Davis and Mr. Boynton.
    • Mrs. Davis and her sister Angela, on occasion. Of course, they'll deny being gossips . . . .
  • Sadakatsiz: Most of the women running Tekirdağ's Charity Foundation are elderly, wealthy housewives with lots of time on their hands. Therefore, in between planning projects, they entertain themselves by sharing the small city's latest gossip and fanning the flames of the rumor mill. Particularly noteworthy are Gönül, who has connections with Tekirdağ's news media, and Cavidan, who doesn't have an ounce of remorse about divulging even secrets other people confide in her. When doctor Asya joins the Foundation, she initially refuses to engage in gossip. However, she later learns to use it to her advantage whenever Derin or Gönül is being too obnoxious — Asya knows both women care a lot about their public image.
  • Scrubs has main character Carla, who also enjoys trying to correct things, and secondary character Laverne whose main trait is how she enjoys juicy gossip (once even admitting to being a busybody). J.D. on a few occasions enjoys sharing gossip with Carla, while amusingly Elliot (the masculine female to J.D. feminine male) is not that interested.
  • Mrs. Beeker and the other block ladies on 7th Heaven, though Mrs. Beeker herself was able to put it away early in season 4... and again in season 5 after Mary was Put on a Bus and the Camdens caught her in the act.
  • WandaVision: Vision finds out that the neighborhood watch isn't about security and is actually an opportunity for a clique to get together and gossip about their neighbors over donuts. Once he catches on to what they really do, he tries to darken the mood by randomly accusing Norm of being a communist, which they all find hilarious.
  • When the Camellia Blooms: Chan-sook and all the other mean, nasty married ladies in the neighborhood. They don't just gossip about Dong-baek, they seem to actively hate her just because she's young and pretty and a single mom.

  • Referenced in "Ripples" by 4 Runner, which is all about a small-town rumor mill:
    Last year the local mayor got caught
    Doin' the breast stroke in the typin' pool
    Now that's hands-on politics
    And Bubba's land, the banker bought it cause he knew
    That's where they're building the county school
    He's gonna get rich again
    And two seniors are havin' babies
    Ain't no ifs, ands or maybes, cause
    When you hear it from the Avon lady, it's the gospel truth
  • "Amen" by Eden's Edge. The singer hears through the town grapevine that her crush's girlfriend (who nobody liked) has left him and the whole town is rooting for her and him to get together.
    I heard from a friend of a friend of a friend that
    You finally got rid of that girlfriend
    You finally came out of that love coma, boy
    I heard Mary Jane at the powder-puff beauty shop
    Sayin' that blond in her tube top
    She left our Jimmy for a boy in Illinois
    Someone give me an amen,
    Someone give me an amen
  • The song "Suds In The Bucket" by Sara Evans is about a young woman who eloped with a man one day without any warning and the whole small-town erupts over that one event, including the "Now all the biddy's in the beauty shop gossip goin' non-stop" and sipping pink lemonade.
  • Hilariously and mercilessly parodied in the song "La Vieja Julia" ("Old woman Julia") by the Chilean group Los Hijos de Putre. The title is also a Punny Name, since "la vieja Julia" sounds kinda like "la vieja culiá", which is a... very rude slang expression to refer to old women in Chile, alluding to how the narrator hates the old lady named Julia because she meddles in everything, talks shit about everyone and acts double-faced.
  • Miranda Lambert has "Famous in a Small Town," which suggests this is the reason why...and not always for flattering reasons.
    Every last one, route one, rural heart's got a story to tell
    Every grandma, in-law, ex-girlfriend maybe knows it just a little too well
    Whether you're late for church or you're stuck in jail
    Hey, word's gonna get around
    Everybody dies famous in a small town
  • Taylor Swift:
    • In the video for "White Horse", she learns about her boyfriend's infidelity through her best friend.
    • Two coworkers whisper about her in the cafeteria in the "Ours" music video.
  • "Papa Don't Preach" by Madonna was born from this trope. Songwriter Brian Elliot's recording studio was near a high school, and it had a large, reflective storefront window that teen girls would use as a mirror to fix their hair and makeup on their way to class. Elliot was inspired to write the song based on gossip he overheard about one of their classmates being pregnant.

  • Older Than Television: Cyrano de Bergerac: Roxane lampshades at Act II Scene IV that she never has spoken to Christian, but she knows a lot about him because the Palace Royale is crowded with Gossipy Hens, and they informed her that Christian loves her and that he has joined the Gascon Cadets:
    Cyrano: How know you then that he...?
    —>Roxane: Oh! people talk
    Gossip's chat
    Has let me know...
  • Carla and especially Daniela in In the Heights. To the point where Daniela knows about plot points the very next scene.
  • A rare male equivalent to this trope appears in The Merchant of Venice in the form of Solanio and Salarino, who play this role in the service of exposition.
  • The Mrs. Hawking play series: Subverted somewhat with Clara. In Vivat Regina, it is clear that while Clara does enjoy gossip, she is a sharp, discerning, clever person, nothing like the vacuous babbling persona she puts on to scare Mrs. Hawking away.
  • The women's committee from The Music Man, as shown in their ensemble song "Pick a Little, Talk a Little." (The Movie interposes footage of actual chickens during this number.)
  • Britten's Peter Grimes has a town of these, and the males are just as bad. They have a tendency to grab pitchforks...
  • In The Rose Tattoo, the ladies of the neighborhood do a lot of gossiping about Serafina, who even calls them hens at one point.
  • A Streetcar Named Desire: Stella and Blanche occasionally fall into this trope. Stanley yells at them one point, "You hens cut out that cackling in there!"
  • Most older female characters in Street Scene who aren't Mrs. Maurrant (the subject of most of the gossip), Mrs. Fiorentino and Mrs. Jones in particular.

    Video Games 
  • In the Animal Crossing series, the main source of gossip in your town comes from snooty villagers, which are one of the six (eight from New Leaf onwards) personality types found among villagers. Amusingly enough, they often try to deny the fact that they gossip about their neighbours. For added extra points, some of the snooty villagers are literally hens.
  • Final Fantasy XIV: In the final Goldsmith quest in Stormblood, you present Ul'dah's ruler, Sultana Nanamo Ul Namo, with a compact music player called an orchestrion as a gift and discover that in the time it took for everyone to leave the sultana's chambers and return to the Goldsmiths' Guild, word has spread massively and there are now several orders for similar orchestrions coming in. The reason: the Goldsmiths' guildmaster Serendipity ran into Momodi, The Bartender at the local Adventurers' Guild, on the way to delivery the gift and let slip what was going on. Once everyone learns Momodi is involved, it's reasoned that once she knew, so did everyone.
  • Galaxy Angel: Outside her own route, Ranpha Franboise seems to be the one who's most interested in gossiping about Tact's love life. In the Galaxy Angel II trilogy, she bonds with Tequila who also loves to know the going-ons if she's not the one being romanced by Kazuya.
  • The trio of local housewives in Harvest Moon: Back to Nature get together every day just to gossip.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker gives us Pompie and Vera, who seem to love gossiping about anything, particularly the local photographer. Also, there are two little girls who carry on in the same manner.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild there are a few groups of two to four women who gossip to each other, ranging from a trio of Gerudo women at a bar discussing a secret shop to a pair of Hylian ladies in Hateno Village discussing Purah's curious absence. They'll get mad at Link if they notice him listening to them, requiring him to find a sneaky spot nearby where he can eavesdrop.
  • The female and male students of Shujin Academy in Persona 5 fit this to a T. During the first arc of the game they do nothing but spread gossip about the protagonist after an Evil Teacher leaked the criminal record he was framed for for no reason other than a "delinquent" not having any business in a prestigious school (and that school is far from being a decent place to learn), damaging his already ruined reputation even more. Is not just the protagonist who suffers the effects of the gossipy students, but some of his teammates too: The previously mentioned teacher started telling everyone about Ryuji Sakamoto's abusive father, which let to Ryuji hitting him in a fit of anger and getting his leg broken in return, with the school calling it self-defense and all of the other students gossiping about him being just like his father, Ann Takamaki suffers from Slut-Shaming because of her good looks, her part time job as a model and being quarter-american, and rumors about her are just what you might expect from her suffering from Slut-Shaming, and Makoto Niijima, who always does what the faculty members tell her to do because she is always told to "be useful", has the students label her as a Teacher's Pet who is only looking for a letter of recomendation for college.
  • Irina Turgenyev in Rama, who lets the player in on the team's plan to capture a Crab Biot by helicopter.
  • Coco in Riviera: The Promised Land has dialogue consisting almost entirely of gossip about Fia and Lina. One of the voiced dramas features a mixed-gender group gossiping about Malice's parents.
  • There are two old women who, along with a daughter, do this in Shadow of Destiny.
  • When not being an Obstructive Bureaucrat, Marsinta Drewbish in Starship Titanic tends to spread gossip about almost every major character in the game, if you ask her. Some of this also acts as hints.


    Web Original 
  • In All About Meep's videos, Rosemarie and Annabelle spend the majority of their screentime gossiping (literally, they frequently just say "Gossipiiiiin..." to each other).
  • The Bruno Bozzetto short "Women vs Men" entry for "Discussion" shows a circle of women clucking like hens; the male counterpart shows two boxers in a ring.
  • Lulu Milton from the online game Gardens of Time. Several gold-unlockable scenes are dedicated to her chatting and gossiping about the game's Love Dodecahedron, and she's referred to as "gossipmonger" and the "gossip girl" of the group.
  • The G Mod Idiot Box parodies this in Episode 5, with the two women in the store and later the one with her cell phone, who it seems the only sound they can make is chicken-clucking noises. They continue to do this even after their "conversation" partner is gone.
  • Manga-Waido: Mrs. Hino is a housewife who loved to spread false rumors about the other neighbors. This is deconstructed, since her constant gossiping drove the other housewives to chew her out for it, driving her to target quieter housewives instead. However, her gossiping comes back to bite her when she calls Rina Satou about the latter's husband cheating on her with a younger girl, but Rina tells her that her husband is a detective and the girl in question was the fiancee of a Yakuza executive. After she and her lover got beaten up by the Yakuza, it turns out said lover was Mrs. Hino's husband.

    Western Animation 
  • One episode of Family Guy had a parody of The View where they just sat around clucking and one of them laid an egg.
  • In Dr. Seuss and Chuck Jones' 1970 adaptation of Horton Hears a Who!, word of Horton talking to a dust speck is spread via the song "Mrs. Toucanella Told Me". The literal hens gossip to the point they're convinced the Jungle of Nool is being terrorized by a violent schizophrenic.
  • The Looney Tunes short "Of Rice and Hen" features a particularly mean-spirited flock of hens targeting Miss Prissy (not their only appearance).
  • Private Snafu: This is what Snafu imagines his mother and her bridge partners to be (literally seeing them transform into hens) in "The Home Front".
  • The Simpsons:
    • Marge's two older sisters, Patty and Selma. They're indistinguishable in personality, have identical voices, and exist entirely to say belittling things—especially if it's about Marge's husband, Homer.
    • Ditto Reverend Lovejoy's wife, Helen. In her first speaking appearance, "Life on the Fast Lane," she introduces herself as, "Helen Lovejoy, the gossipy wife of the minister." She later is hit with Flanderization, as she seems to do nothing but gossip (mostly stuff about Marge and her family) - or invoke Think of the Children!.
      • Helen is joined in her hennism by Agnes Skinner, Edna Krabapple, Maude Flanders, and Luann Van Houten when introduced as The Springfield Investorettes. Marge is (temporarily) a member, but ends up more the target of the gossip rather than the instigator.
  • Pops up in the Christmas special The Story of Santa Claus, with a group of women gossiping outside the toy shop very early in the special.
    Gretchen: You nosy old hens!

    Other Media 
  • There are numerous World War II era propaganda posters ("Loose lips sink ships!") about how careless gossiping may cause deaths of soldiers because of spies. Almost all the posters depict women.
  • In Philippine social media, the word "Marites" became the shorthand slang for Gossipy Hens, especially 30-50 year-old Filipina housewives. Sometimes, they are also compared to the "Karen" slang.


Video Example(s):


April O'Neil

While at first half-asleep when Leo meets her at her window, April immediately perks up when he says he met a girl, excited to hear about it... until he tells her that she's in the Foot Clan.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / GossipyHens

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