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Grumpy Old Man

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"They say I'm old-fashioned, and live in the past,
but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast!"

The old guy who loves to complain about how things were better in his day, and that kids these days show no respect. The Grumpy Old Man (or woman, this isn't gender exclusive) is similar to a Sadist Teacher, but old — and not usually in direct authority over the youngsters. May possess unexpected wisdom — but is likely to just complain about the young whippersnappers walking on his lawn, damn young'uns, no respect, don't know how good they have it. In my day we had to walk fifteen miles through the snow to get to school, uphill both ways! And we didn't complain, nosir, we were happy, and we got a dime a year to work 17 hours a day in the mines, one cent an hour, but did we complain? NO! We were satisfied, dammit, because there was a depression going on, and we didn't dare complain when dad beat us, because it built character and we respected him for it, not like these days …

In some cases, the Grumpy Old Man might be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who is able to slowly warm up to the company of kids — but, more often than not, he's just an elderly Jerkass (in which case, he's often The Killjoy).

The Old Timer would be the Fan Dumb variant that doesn't appreciate those young whippersnappers who have the unmitigated audacity to enjoy any of the TV shows, movies, music, or whatnot that were popular when he was young.

This character will, at some point, yell at the darned kids to get off his lawn.

Compare Nostalgia Filter. Contrast Cool Old Guy, Eccentric Mentor. See also Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!, Evil Old Folks. If he talks with a Yiddish accent, he's probably an Alter Kocker, and if his voice is scratchy, he's probably a Scratchy-Voiced Senior.

For the Family Guy episode with the same name, see here. For the similarly-named film, see here.


    open/close all folders 

  • I Saw Your Willy briefly features an elderly cafeteria woman who frowns with her arms crossed, then later an old man frowning.
  • A 2021 Cadbury's Dairy Milk Advert features a mild one of these. Toys from the next garden keep flying over his fence so he has to keep throwing them back, all with a sour look on his face. He significantly softens when the kids throw a Dairy Milk bar over the fence and tell him he doesn't have to throw it back.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto from Bleach, a shinigami pushing at least several thousand years, who constantly complains about the younger generation of shinigami when he is forced into battle.
    • Everyone is a kid to him and even when he does fight he speaks to his opponents as though they're naughty children he has to punish.
  • The three old guys in Cowboy Bebop. Though the one with the ball cap is clearly much grumpier than the other two.
  • Zeff in One Piece, who unleashes his frustration out on Sanji and Luffy.
  • Pryce in Pokémon: The Original Series and Pokémon Adventures. Averted in the games, where he is considerably nicer.
  • Sverker, the 'old master' of Ketil's farm in Vinland Saga, who spends a lot of time complaining about the rudeness of the young, how his family treats him as useless and how his only remaining friend is a scruffy Outlaw young enough to be his grandson. Despite his spiny exterior he's actually very nice to those who take the effort to try to know him.

    Comic Books 
  • The Ultimates: Captain America subverted it when George Bush asked about his opinion on the 21 century.
    George Bush: Well, what's your verdict on the 21st century, Captain America? Cool or uncool?
    Captain America: Cool, Mr. President. Definitely cool.
  • Jonathan Lord at the start of Silverblade. Formerly a great Hollywood star, he now lives as The Hermit on his palatial estate Shangri-La, spending his days watching his old movies, and being bitter and sarcastic to everyone around him.

    Comic Strips 
  • Mr. Wilson from Dennis the Menace is Dennis' next-door neighbor. Dennis' antics tend to get on his nerves, especially breaking his windows whenever he plays baseball. To his dismay, his wife deeply regrets that they never had kids of their own, causing her to treat Dennis like he was her own grandson.
  • Funky Winkerbean:
    • Funky himself seems to have (d)evolved into this, after Time Skip #2.
    • Ed Crankshaft, originally from Funky Winkerbean then later spun off into his own strip, Crankshaft. He's not only a Grumpy Old Man, he's a school-bus driver, who keeps a running tally of how many times he's destroyed his neighbor George Keesterman's mailbox with the bus, and how far he can make parents or the kids chase the bus before they give up.
  • In one Dilbert strip, a scowling employee says that he had only plain zeros and ones to work with when he started programming, and sometimes not even ones.
  • Madam & Eve: Mother Anderson's default state is being perpetually grouchy and unhappy. Though between the rampant government corruption, her snarky family members, and the noisy neighborhood Mielie Ladies (street vendors), it's not entirely unjustified.

  • Comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham's puppet Walter is one of these. He's one of Dunham's more popular puppets, because everyone has a "Walter" in their family somewhere (and if you don't think you do... it's you).
    Jeff: You have any kids, Walter?
    Walter: Yeah, I got kids.
    Jeff: What did they get you for Father's Day?
    Walter: A card saying I wasn't really their father.
    Jeff: That's terrible!
    Walter: No, it's what I asked for.
  • Comedian Godfrey's own father qualified. What makes this funnier is that his father is Nigerian, and is acted with an appropriate accent. When li'l Godfrey complained about missing the bus, he talked about how he had to walk one hundred miles to school every day. When Godfrey had managed to save up $195 towards $200 Air Jordans and asked for a loan, his father talked about how, in their day, he did not have feet. He had to borrow his feet.
  • Billy Crystal used to do routines based on his own grandfather, talking about the Bad Old Days. ("Happiness? What happiness? We were miserable, and we loved it, goddammit!") Listening to the routine, it's clear that he based Miracle Max off of this character.

    Fan Works 
  • Blixemi: In "What Your Other Favorite Warrior Cat Says About You", Mousefur fans are portrayed as being cranky old folks who don't understand technology and like to yell at millennials.
  • In the Fan Verse Haunted Mansion and the Hatbox Ghost, the Hatbox Ghost takes up this role, as a ghost that was one of the first one to be installed in the Haunted Mansion ride and is complaining about all the changes made since its opening, such as the Constance Hatchaway addition.
  • Alma from A little dinner scandal seems to use Mirabel as someone to vent her frustrations on, anything Mirabel does or doesn't do breaking out into a lecture.
    Mirabel: It is... As if she was stomping on my toes in steel-capped boots. Every time I do anything apart from hiding in my room, she's on me like a hawk on a chicken. Some days it feels like I'm even breathing wrong. And if I hide, then I'll hear it during dinner, since it means I'm useless and being of no help to anyone.
  • The Palaververse: In The Tempest, Discord turns Canterlot Castle into an architectural version of this during his reign of chaos, resulting in an ambulatory castle constantly complaining about the state of young palaces nowadays.


  • Played with in Skyhold Academy Yearbook. Varric likes to call himself a grumpy old man, but he's usually pretty cheerful and only around forty years old. It's just part of his schtick.
  • Yugi's grandpa in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series. He frequently fantasies about dying as he hates his life so much, is increasingly senile and seems to find nothing in life enjoyable. Except of course, for his rendezvous with the poster of the Black Luster Soldier...

    Films — Animation 
  • Migration: Uncle Dan is the oldest of the family, and holds a deeply negative world view.
  • Mr. Nebbercracker in Monster House is shown at first to be the basic "Stay off my lawn" old man who took any toy that came near his house. However, later it is revealed that this is a cover for his true intentions of protecting kids from the wrath of Constance, his child-hating deceased wife who has possessed his house for 40-odd years and eats anybody who comes too close to her. Basically anytime he yells "Stay off my lawn," it is not so much a threat as it is a warning. Ultimately the main characters set her spirit free by blowing up the house and he loses his crotchety behavior, happily giving back all the toys he confiscated to everyone in the neighborhood.
  • Carl Frederickson from Up. He's grumpy and crotchety because his beloved wife is dead, and because he feels overwhelming guilt from an unfulfilled promise he made to her.
  • Merlin describes himself as this in The Sword in the Stone.
    Merlin: There, you see? I'm an ugly, horrible, grouchy, old man!
  • The self-portrait of the Painter from The Painting. He softens up some when he starts teaching the group how to paint.
  • Mr. Ages from The Secret of NIMH; he's a abrasive misanthrope, and seems constantly irritated by everything. Auntie Shrew refers to Ages as an "Old flim-flam". That said, he gives Mrs. Brisby the medicine her sick son Timothy needs without hesitation and helps the lady mouse go visit the rats.
  • Grumpy in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

    Films — Live-Action 
  • An Unfinished Life: Einar is almost seventy and is a cold and angry person for the most part. The people around him are pretty fed up with it and constantly urge him to change, mainly in a Vitriolic Best Buds way.
    Mitch: You wanna know what I dreamed last night?
    Einar: What?
    Mitch: I dreamed you weren't such a miserable son of a bitch.
  • In Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp, Hank Pym is a grumpy, irritable, egotistical and snarky old man. He loves his daughter dearly and regrets how their relationship ended up (she thinks he doesn't trust her to wear the Ant-Man suit. As Scott points out to her, the reason it's him, not her, is because he's expendable and Hank is overprotective - though he grows out of that), a genuine love for his wife, and something of a grudging soft spot for Scott. But yeah, he's not exactly Mr Congeniality, even after his wife reappears, or even before he lost her, according to one of his old colleagues. That said, he's mellowed out considerably by Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, even if he is still snarky.
  • The movie Grumpy Old Men, featuring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, focuses on two such characters fighting between themselves over old-man stuff and ages-long grudges. It got a sequel, Grumpier Old Men.
  • Walter Matthau and George Burns played a pair of grumpy old Borscht-belt comedians who despise each other in The Sunshine Boys. But they used to be a partner act, and they're coerced into reuniting for a television special. Grumpy Hilarity Ensues, of course.
  • Sam Baines from Back to the Future seemed to be that sort of person. It's unlikely that kids would routinely jump in front of his car, and that he was just grumbling about "damn kids" in general.
  • Dawes Sr. from Mary Poppins is a grouchy old banker who runs the bank; after he finally hears a good joke, he dies laughing - literally - and his son and the other executives are actually glad because they "never saw him happier in his life".
  • Miracle Max in The Princess Bride is a grouchy, grumpy fellow who just wants to be left alone, although the biggest reason is, he's lost his confidence as a miracle worker due to Prince Humperdinck firing him.
  • Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) in Gran Torino. (Never has the phrase "Get off my lawn" sounded so terrifying... or awesome.)
  • Jetfire in the Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen. His father was the wheel! The first one! He may not have transformed into anything, but he did it with honor! Dignity! DAMMIT! He also tells Sam not to get snippy about been transported to Egypt because apparently he was DULY INFORMED!
  • Sheriff Bell in No Country for Old Men (played for decidedly less humor than is usual for the trope).
  • Godzilla in the MonsterVerse is portrayed like this. Having lived several eons with open eyes rather than hibernating like his other peers, Godzilla is not only very very old but also appears to display irritation rather than with anger when humans shoot at him with military-grade weapons. After fighting the two MUTO, he even takes a nap in the middle of San Fransisco, with the citizens believing he was dead.
  • In The Dry, Mal Deacon comes across as a bitter and vindictive old farmer, who lives like a hermit: never having got over his daughter's death 20 years earlier. The truth turns out to be far more sinister.

  • Cosmicomics: Uncle N'ba N'ga's is a recalcitrant elderly relative who refuses to move with the times and mocks all habits of younger generations, except here in the context of a Devonian fish griping about modern amphibian goings-on.
  • The Lord of the Rings has the Gaffer (played for laughs) and Gandalf the Grey (mostly for laughs) as well as the Steward Denethor (played as an increasingly alarming Despair Event Horizon.)
  • The Lotterys Plus One: Iain Miller, PopCorn's father, starts out the book as this. He's grumpy, grouchy, rarely has a nice thing to say, and is often critical of the Lotterys' ways.
  • Justinian in Belisarius Series and Theodora is a grumpy old lady. Making them a (sort of) Happily Married grumpy old couple.
  • Several elders in the Warrior Cats series are portrayed this way, complete with "When I Was Your Age...…"
  • Keith Robertson's Henry Reed, Inc. gives its young protagonist a Grumpy Old Couple (Mr. and Mrs. Apple) as neighbors.
  • Lazarus Long in Robert A. Heinlein's Time Enough for Love is, at 2300 years old at the start of the novel, the oldest human ever and can be as grumpy as he wants to be.
  • Discworld
    • Albert, Death's manservant, doesn't approve of anything that's happened since his "death" some two millennia ago, especially not the changes to Unseen University (he was the first Archchancellor). Since he hasn't aged since he entered Death's Domain, he was probably a grumpy old man then as well.
    • Granny Weatherwax may be a badass and the greatest witch in the world, but she is also, and admits herself to be, a very grouchy old lady, usually because she thinks she knows better than everyone else. "I can't be having with this" is her catchphrase, and one of the things she can't be having with is Nanny Ogg, who is her best friend.
    • A majority of the wizards at Unseen University are this as well; the main perks of living to be a senior wizard are six meals a day, sleeping until noon, and, whenever possible, avoiding any work whatsoever.
  • Journey to Chaos: Old Man Aaloon is a three thousand year old man who lives in the Dragon's Lair headquarters. He considers his fellows in the guild to be "strays" and "thieves" that need to stay away from his home (the guild's archives) and keep their hands off his scrolls. When Eric wanders in, Aaloon beats him with his Magic Staff until he runs out.
  • Gender inverted with Millie Bellows in Rabble Starkey. She is an old woman (thrice widowed) who lives alone and yelled to make sure Gunther wasn't walking on her grass. She also had a hard time showing appreciation when Rabble and Veronica started to help around her house.
  • Creature of Havoc: The crotchety old alchemist at Coven brusquely brushes the titular Horrifying Hero off and refuses to even look at them while he takes his time finishing a project. Abruptly zig-zagged when he does look and realizes what kind of creature he's been rude to.
  • The Essex Serpent: Cracknell is a morose old man from Aldwinter who lives in a house called World's End. Everyone in his family died, except for his two goats called Gog and Magog. He's rather creepy, for example he skins moles and hangs them on his gate as a protection against the serpent. Will Ransome, the local vicar, visits him regularly and tries to bring him closer to other villagers and God.
  • Katt Loves Dogg: The story introduces Oscar's Grandpa Max, a grouchy old dog who's introduced with a scowl on his face, and always complains about everything. Oscar's cousin Buster says he heard from Chompers, a distant cousin of theirs, that it's because he'd apparently had his heart broken a long time ago.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes embodied this trope so perfectly, it was usually pretty hard to take him seriously. Honestly, he probably knew how ridiculous some of his gripes were, but he also didn't care. That's why everyone loved him so much.
  • The Four Yorkshiremen sketch from At Last the 1948 Show (featuring John Cleese and Graham Chapman of Monty Python's Flying Circus) is basically a pissing contest between four old men trying to outdo each other in their "hard life" bit and taking to Serial Escalation levels: "We had to get up half a hour before we went to bed …"
  • Oscar from Corner Gas.
    Brent: It's not just you. Dad's cranky. I saw him yell at a butterfly once. Called it a son of a bitch, told it to get out of his garden.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor was introduced as one. Thanks to The Nth Doctor, they've since racked up several centuries while generally looking younger. The Tenth Doctor explicitly compares his early selves to a kid "trying to be old and grumpy and important, like you do when you're young.", as he says to the Fifth Doctor in "Time Crash". Of the various Doctors, William Hartnell (One) and Peter Capaldi (Twelve) were the most notable for being old and crotchety, the War Doctor could certainly dunk on his future selves, and Jon Pertwee (Three) was also noticeably grey-haired and could be pretty snappish, especially early on, when freshly exiled.
  • Frasier: Martin Crane is introduced as this - a cranky, snarky, Ungrateful Bastard who often wants to avoid having to make conversation with his son. This is due to the death of his wife and the gunshot wound to his hip that ended his police career and is the reason he had to move in with Frasier to begin with. He lightens up quite a bit as the show goes on, although he never loses the snark. Which is to be expected for this show.
  • Game of Thrones: Rickard's response when Robb asks him about possible lodging for Ser Alton show that he is a rather irritable man. Justified, as the North has recently lost Winterfell, which calls into question Robb's worthiness as King in the North. He was also right about Robb marrying Talisa costing him the war. The Freys weren't too happy about it.
  • Inverted in Graduados. Andy is a rocker in his forties, who just found his long-lost son…and he's a bit upset because he's such a nice, correct and good guy.
  • The BBC series of one-off TV shows Grumpy Old X takes a bunch of Real Life grumpy old celebrities, and has them do talking heads about whatever the x is this time. The initial ones were Grumpy Old Men and Grumpy Old Women, more recently there have been things like Grumpy Old Holidays, Grumpy Old Christmas etc etc etc.
  • Homicide: Life on the Street : Recurring character Dr. Scheiner was a cantankerous old medical examiner prone to making blunt and sardonic observations.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022): In 2022, Daniel Molloy is 69 years old, and he's cantankerous, rude and snarky. He lampshades this in the second scene of the series with "I'm an old man with all the triggers that come with it." In the commercial for his online journalism course, he misses the good old days (at least by his reckoning) when "News used to be a bunch of guys who look like me huddled around a desk at a Page One meeting deciding what the news was," then holds up a smart phone and snidely says, "This little fucker changed all of that." He also tends to interrupt and goad Louis de Pointe du Lac ("Provocation" as the latter calls it) even though it's dangerous for him to do so because Louis nearly killed him in 1973 for being disrespectful. Rashid has always been polite in Daniel's presence, yet Daniel purposely disrupts Rashid's prayers without apologizing, and later insults him as "the rent boy." However, in both cases, he senses something is off, and as an experienced investigative journalist, he tries to push to see through glaring omissions and suspected unreliable narrating which would otherwise render the very thing he is here to do moot. Outside of work, at least some of Daniel's surly disposition stems from his Parkinson's disease ("I never pass a comfortable night"), plus he's twice divorced and is estranged from his two daughters.
  • JAG: Basically, every Admiral/General or senior NCO on the show near retirement will exhibit these traits. It goes for those who have already retired too. It’s justified, since those characters are almost always involved to some extent in an investigation or trial.
  • One Foot in the Grave: Victor Meldrew is a particularly spectacular example of this (though he is somewhat more sophisticated about it than most), and he does at least usually have a good reason for being upset about everything.
  • The "Old Man" of Pawn Stars often reminiscences about the "good old days". Never seen even cracking a smile.
  • Sanford and Son: Lead charactor Fred Sanford was a grumpy old man who ran a junk shop with his son Lemont.
  • There was a Saturday Night Live character, played by Dana Carvey, who was actually called "Grumpy Old Man". Every time he appeared on the show, he would make a rant against modern-day society, starting off with his catchphrase ("I'm old and I'm not happy!"), contrasting how things were in his day. He skipped the part about scolding young folk for being dissatisfied with what they had now; his point, if he had one, appeared to be that he was unhappy because things were better nowadays. ("In my day we didn't have hair dryers! If you wanted to blow dry your hair you stood outside during a hurricane. Your hair was dry, but you had a sharp piece of wood driven clear through your skull! And that's the way it was and you liked it! You loved it! Whoopee, I'm a human head-kabob!")
    • "Life was a carnival! We entertained ourselves! We didn't need moooovin' pitchurrrres. In my day, there was only one show in town — it was called 'Stare at the sun!' ... That's right! You'd sit in the middle of an open field and stare up at the sun till your eyeballs burst into flames! And you thought, 'Oh, no! Maybe I shouldn't've stared directly into the burning sun with my eyes wide open.' But it was too late! Your head was on fire and people were roastin' chickens over it. ... And that's the way it was and we liked it!"
  • McCoy from Star Trek: The Original Series shows traces of this, by being somewhat older than the other two in the Power Trio, snarky, and somewhat phobic of transporters. He makes up for it by being a compassionate, humanistic idealist and a competent doctor as well.
    • Even up to 147, according to the Will Shatner novel, The Return.
  • Captain Picard of Star Trek: The Next Generation started out as this, yelling at Wesley for coming onto his bridge. Becoming more of a Cool Old Guy when the series took off, though he still held onto some of the traits of grumpiness.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "Static", Ed Lindsay is a bitter bachelor in late middle age who despises television and longs for the days when radio was the most popular form of entertainment in the home. His ex-fiancé Vinnie Brown does not believe that he is really hearing radio transmissions from the 1930s and 1940s. She instead thinks that it is all a product of his imagination as they used to the listen to those programs together and he regrets not marrying her when he had the chance in 1940.
  • Peo Persson from Vintergatan, every installment — though he lightens up off-work, and with his wife. Of course, his wife is frequently kidnapped, so this isn't often. He has become less of this later, though, instead becoming more of a jaunty old man.
  • Diana Trent in Waiting for God. Over time we realize that she's like that because her youth was incredibly adventurous, daring, and exciting, so being incarcerated in a seedy old folks' home is a living hell for her.
  • Olivia Jefferson (or simply 'Mother Jefferson), George Jefferson’s mother on The Jeffersons, plays a female grumpy old lady and always complaining mother-in-law. She frequently complains about all sorts of things including frequent complaints about her daughter-in-law (and George’s Wife), Louise Jefferson who she never approved of George Marrying.

  • The "Weird Al" Yankovic song "When I was Your Age":
    "Didn't have no swimming pool when I was just a lad
    Our neighbor's septic tank was the closest thing we had
    Didn't have no dental floss, had to use old rusty nails
    Didn't have Nintendo, we just poured salt on snails
    Didn't have no water bed, had to sleep on broken glass
    Didn't have no lawnmower, we used our teeth to cut the grass"
  • The Green Day song "The Grouch":
    "I was a young boy that had big plans
    Now I'm just another shitty old man
    I don't have fun and I hate everything
    The world owes me, so fuck you"
  • The Capitol Steps parodied the aging Rolling Stones, singing, "Hey, You, Get Off Of My Lawn."

  • The Mummy in Monster Bash.
    Mummy: "Back in my day, we didn't have jackpots!"

    Professional Wrestling 

  • Bleak Expectations: Sir Phillip Bin, who is gleefully cantankerous about everything, but is especially irritated by having to deal with the idiotic Sourquill, made worse when he becomes the man's father in-law, and Sourquill is perpetually late for visits. However, it does give Sir Phillip a chance to complain about stuff, which he enjoys.
  • Dimension X's "Nightfall": The second person Theremon interviews during his Vox Pops interviews is an old fundamentalist member of the Cult of the Revelations. He talks about how he's given away all his money because the doctrine teaches that today will end with the eclipse. He grouses that everyone has to get their souls ready for the coming of the Stars.
  • I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue: Humphrey Littleton's persona on the show (at least once be became old. Being on air for thirty years will give that opportunity) is of a man who'd rather be somewhere, anywhere else than having to deal with four has-been comedians on a BBC radio show. Barry Cryer as well.
    Humph: (after having described the rules of the game 'Hunt the Slipper') I'm seventy-eight, for Christ's sake!
  • X Minus One's "X Minus One E 028 Nightfall": The second person Theremon interviews during his Vox Pops interviews is an old fundamentalist member of the Cult of the Revelations. He talks about how he's given away all his money because the doctrine teaches that today will end with the eclipse. He grouses that everyone has to get their souls ready for the coming of the Stars.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Longbeards in Warhammer. Longbeards are dwarfs who are so old their beards are now longer than they are. Longbeards are famous for constantly remarking on how everything was back in their day; Orcs were bigger, goblins sneakier, ale stronger, packs heavier... Their special ability allows units to reroll a morale test to prevent their grumpy leers and words of "told you so".
    • Runelords take this to an even greater extent. As some of the oldest Dwarfs in a given hold, they are legendarily cantankerous and have been known to retreat to their workshops for years on end to get away from all the useless beardlings that surround them. Some of the greatest secrets of rune lore have been lost forever simply because the only runesmiths who knew them were so grumpy that they couldn't put up with an apprentice long enough to pass the knowledge down.
      • Even among Runelords, Thorek Ironbrow is legendary for his cantankerous and mercurial nature. More than one senior apprentice of his has found themselves busted back down to miner for asking Thorek a question on the wrong day.
    • In fact, this is the view other races tend to take of dwarfs in general: they live for hundreds of years and they are irritable, prone to distrust, and ultra-conservative to the point where their society moves as a glacier's pace.
    • Taken to the ultimate extreme in the Total War game, where if you play as the Dwarfs and keep promptly settling your Grudges, the Longbeards will complain that there is nothing to really complain about.
  • In Chez Geek, having the Old Man Upstairs on the table can really mess with you: you can't have Nookie or get new guests, or even watch TV, because he'll make you stop. And he's harder than unwanted guests to get rid of, because he's upstairs.

  • In All My Sons, Joe Keller is 61 and nearing the end of his career as a businessman, and gets grouchy and defensive when his own business practices are (however rightfully) called into question.

    Video Games 
  • Jolee Bindo from Knights of the Old Republic is an interesting example, he purposefully acts like a stereotypical Grumpy Old Man because he finds humor in it and (jokingly?) thinks youth expects him to act like it. Or he really is a Grumpy Old Man, and just enjoys it.
  • In Jade Empire, another Bioware game, you can run into a pair of old men in Tien's Landing grumbling about the state of the town. Addressing one of them will get you moaned at, but the other will explain he means nothing by it, and they're just passing time.
  • Ezio Auditore has become this by the time Assassin's Creed: Embers takes place. He's 65, and just wants to enjoy what little time he has left with his family in peace, away from the Templars and the Assassins, which is why he doesn't take too kindly to Shao Jun pulling him back into it all. However, he does warm up, in typical Ezio fashion, once he gets to know her properly.
  • Huang Zhong from Dynasty Warriors, an Old Soldier at 62, defeating generals half his age. He also tends to make comments that have him come across less like a legendary Chinese hero and more like a cranky old man with a bow and arrows.
  • In L.A. Noire Finbarr "Rusty" Galloway and Hershel Biggs both fit this trope like a glove. Despite (or because of) his long history of service in the LAPD Rusty has become grumpy, ornery, and a borderline alcoholic who wants nothing more than to chalk each case up to a suicide and go home. Hershel Biggs is referred to as a basket case and an institution, and is explicitly partnered with disgraced protagonist Cole Phelps to spare the rejects from being partnered with anyone else on the Arson desk.
  • Cranky Kong from Donkey Kong Country is far too happy to criticize newfangled video games with their fancy graphics and scrolling screens and controllers with way too many (in his opinion) buttons. Manuals for the first couple of Donkey Kong Country games explain that he refuses to go adventuring, despite his experience and wisdom (instead giving hints or selling useful items to the playable Kongs — while insulting them every step of the way), because of his grumpy old ape-ness, but after getting kicked out of his home in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze he rolls up his sleeves and shows how a video game character from the 80s gets things done.
  • In EarthBound (1994), some of the cranky townspeople trying to kill you will "grumble about today's youth" to lower your party members' Guts stats.
  • In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, the Spymaster of the Blades in Morrowind and primary Quest Giver for the first act of the main quest, Caius Cosades, is one. Possibly Subverted, in that its difficult to tell how much this is Caius' actual personality and how much is him Playing Drunk/Obfuscating Insanity in his cover identity as a senile Skooma addict. He will go quite berserk if you mess up on his quests and the other Blades call him "sour" and "a worrier" when asked. Despite this, he does obviously care about the Player Character.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda: Drack, who at the ripe old age of sixteen hundred and counting, is very much aware of this trope and embraces it (except when he's actually being a Cool Old Guy), especially at the end of his loyalty mission when his would-be grandson in-law and Ryder try being supportive about Drack's low opinion of himself.
    Vorn: You're not worthless, Drack.
    Drack: We are not having this conversation!
    Ryder: I dunno, he's got a point.
    Drack: I hate you all. Shut up and let me be old and cranky in peace.
  • In Dragon Age II, Hawke's uncle Gamlen is one of these in Act I, and not the endearing kind. He's constantly annoyed about something, even little things like his sister's kid getting mail, and Hawke doesn't even have the option to be nice to him; if s/he tries, he snaps at them to not bother attempting to butter him up. He softens up a bit by Act 3, especially if you help him reunite with his estranged daughter, and will mumble something under his breath that may have been a compliment.
  • Max: An Autistic Journey: In the birthday DLC, after the clown scares Max and his friends, an old man at the fast food place complains about the youth of today. Playing as Max's father, you can choose a few different responses, from reasoning with him to telling him off.
  • Haunted House: The manual reveals that prior to his death, Zachary Graves combined this with Evil Old Folks. He was a mean, rotten old irritable grump. He wasn't just grumpy though, as the manual clarifies that he was actually evil and stole an item that belonged to the town.
  • Dragon Quest IV: Borya is the team's oldest member. Party chat shows him to be an avid complainer.
  • Golf Story: The elderly golfers at Tidy Park have the Nostalgia Filter on and don't look kindly upon younger golfers due to their more cutthroat and competitive approach to golf and what the former perceive to be a grave disrespect for the sport. They also ban the use of newfangled golf clubs and require the use of ancient, crappy ones from 50+ years ago.
  • Pikmin 2: Olimar's musing in his journal entry on the Impenetrable Cookie notes that he's found himself growing increasingly bad-tempered as he ages, and laments that he needs to get his temper under control.
    "As I grow older, I've observed that I am becoming crankier. Today, I flew off the handle over a trifling matter. I feel like such a fool... I must learn to control my cantankerous temper! I can't allow my bad attitude to erode teamwork on this vital mission."
  • Sunset Overdrive: Parodied with Buck National, a grumpy but not old, man, who uses the "Get off my lawn" Stock Phrase by saying "Git off my lawn" after the player completes his mission and stands on his tower.
  • Uncle Albert's Adventures: According to the narrator, Uncle Albert sometimes has fits of anger, even if he's a nice man at heart. As the narrator says that, we see Albert chasing after some kids while holding a broom.
  • Stardew Valley: George is a wheelchair-bound old grouch without a single kind word to say about anyone. However, if you make even a token effort to befriend him, you quickly learn he has his reasons; being crippled in a workplace accident and unable to protect his daughter from her alcoholic and abusive husband because of it would make anyone incredibly bitter.

    Visual Novels 
  • Judge Grams in Fleuret Blanc is generally a Jerkass, and tends to deride the FOIL members as young whippersnappers.
  • There's plenty of grouchy seniors to pick from in the world of Ace Attorney, but the textbook example would probably have to be Victor Kudo from the third game. He's generally in a bad mood (which might come from the fact he can't find work), stubborn, likes to talk about the days of old, and if you push his buttons too much, he'll chuck a good helping of birdseed in your face. A female example would be the recurring character of Wendy Oldbag, who is perpetually cranky around nearly everyone she meets (unless you're Miles Edgeworth), and prone to massive rants when she's feeling especially grumpy.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Climate Town: In "The Troll Army of Big Oil" Rollie reccomends that viewers who actually care about emisions, bike lanes, transit and other such things ought to actually show up to town hall meetings and such, since those meetings are currently dominated by a bunch of older folks with a strong "get off my lawn" mentality.
  • Lampshaded and subverted by the Youtube-based anime-reviewer, Grumpy Jii-san (lit., 'grumpy grandpa'). Very rarely does he ever make some sort of complaint against something new, despite his name, and he has adapted to modern times quite well, going so far as to review anime that is being streamed on the internet. Jii-san also has some editing prowess: in his review of Irresponsible Captain Tylor, Jii-san spliced images of himself into the intro of the anime. Every now and then, he brings out some Laserdiscs, or references some old movies or artifacts.
    Grumpy Jii-San *during his review of Baccano!*: "For that matter, does anyone even remember passenger trains?"
  • The Nostalgia Critic is a young version, as nostalgia's his job. Likewise The Nostalgia Chick, a Rare Female Example.
  • If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device
    • The Emperor himself, who's had ten thousand years to watch his beloved Imperium go to shit. He tends to act like an immensely disappointed and very, very foulmouthed granddad to everyone nearby as a result.
    • Khaine, the oldest god alive. He's had it rough, and as a result is really, really tired of all these "Chaos God" brats running around ruining everything. Aside from Khorne, who he has a very mild soft spot for.
  • A Door Monster sketch features two Team Rocket members, now old men, complain about all those new-fangled teams in the later games.

    Western Animation 
  • Hector from All Hail King Julien hates just about everything and is often cited as one of the oldest lemurs living in the kingdom. He has a low tolerance for the kinds of hijinks that go on in the kingdom and is often the first to bail out with a "Nope, we're not doing this."
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: Mr. Robinson and Marvin. For the former, it’s because he has the Watersons as neighbors, who always make his life a living hell. Not to mention that his wife is a sadistic, remorseless sociopath. As for Marvin, Gumball and Darwin often try to bother him and the bizarre town that they call home always seems to be out to get him.
  • Amphibia: There have been plenty of times when Hop Pop has become this. It’s understandable when he’s tasked with watching over someone as reckless as Sprig, someone as crazy Polly, and someone like Anne, who is from a completely different world. It’s implied that part of his temper stems from his grief over the deaths Sprig and Polly’s biological parents, and so he acts strict as a way of protecting them.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
    • Master Pakku does a lot of griping about the mischievous boy he's supposed to train and that upstart girl who disrespects his culture. He mellows over time.
    • Fire Lord Azulon fits this example, though he's more of a Sadist Old Man than anything. In his only scene he yells at Ozai about wasting his time, right before threatening him and forcing him to kill his own grandson!
    • There's also the Air Monk who was very impatient with Gyatso's methods of training Aang. Given though, that he wanted to train Aang to be the Avatar right away since the Fire Nation was on the verge of waging war on the whole world, he probably was right.
    • And of course the old fisherman who accused Aang of abandoning his duties for the past 100 years. Even when apologizing he seemed rather gruff. However, the flashback in that episode shows that like the monk mentioned above, the fisherman was right.
  • Big City Greens: Alice is a grumpy old woman through and through, to the point that it’s her main characterization. She’s always complaining about something, and her grumpiness helps her act as a Foil towards her son, Bill, who is the Only Sane Man, and her grandkids, who are also a bit quirky in their own rights.
  • Eustace Bagge from Courage the Cowardly Dog is perpetually cranky, irritable, and has no patience for anyone whatsoever. On his bad days he can be even worse than a grumpy Jerkass and comes really close to Evil Old Folks with his cruel treatment of Courage.
  • Dinosaur Train: The Old Spinosaurus complains about things a lot, tells the kids to shut up because they're disturbing the fish he wants to catch, and withholds information just because he wants to.
  • The Dreamstone: The Dreammaker's gardener, Mr. Blossom. Anyone, hero or villain, who caused even the slightest bit of harm to his plants was in for an earful.
  • In The Fairly Oddparents, Timmy's grandfather, Pappy, fit this to a T until Timmy found some common ground with him.
  • Played with in the Futurama episode "A Clone of My Own". When Fry has to pretend to be the professor so the Planet Express crew can sneak into the Near-Death Star, but the robot guards are skeptical about his age, Fry instantly convinces them he is a 160-year-old man by shouting "Hey, you kids! Get off my lawn!"
    • Professor Farnsworth frequently has shades of this.
      Farnsworth: I don't have time for this! I have to go buy a single piece of fruit with a coupon and then return it, making people wait behind me while I complain!
      Farnsworth: If anyone needs me, I'll be in the angry dome!
  • In the Garbage Pail Kids Cartoon episode "Heartless Hal", the "Garbage Pail Award" segment had the award presented to the Neighborhood Grouch, who is shown to be a crotchety old man yelling at kids for playing on his lawn and bugging him during Halloween.
  • Grunkle Stan in Gravity Falls. His natural crabbiness and selfishness is exacerbated by losing his beloved brother and being stuck in a town full of gullible rubes. Over time his grand -nephew and -niece soften him up but he's still grumpy as all heck.
  • Grandpa Phil from Hey Arnold! mostly towards the other boarders, although he's more of a laid back Cool Old Guy most of the time.
  • Huntik: Secrets & Seekers: Hoffman from Season 2 is a villainous example. He's an elderly man and a long-time veteran of the Organization. As per fitting this trope, he's grumpy and crabby, often going on about how "in [his] day" the Organzation was far more competent and honorable. After the heroes defeat him in one episode, he grumbles about how he's getting to old for this.
  • Uncle, Jackie Chan Adventures, will complain about anything. His first scene is berating Jackie for not brewing coffee earlier because "coffee is only thing keeping Uncle's ancient heart beating. You want dead Uncle? No? THEN YOU MAKE COFFEE!"
  • Cotton Hill from King of the Hill is this at his best. (At his worst, he fits the Dirty Old Man or Evil Old Folks Trope better.)
  • Mr. Grouse from The Loud House is the Loud family's next-door neighbor, who lives up to his name. The Loud family's antics, especially Lincoln's tend to get on his nerves, but in spite of his grumpiness, he is capable of cordial interactions with the Louds and even working together with them. (Although they often have to bribe him with good food for him to agree.)
  • Rick Sanchez from Rick and Morty takes this trope to the extreme. He is extremely apathetic towards just about everyone that he meets and his first instinct is to always use violence to solve his problems.
  • Rocko's Modern Life:
  • Lou Pickles in Rugrats. Also Boris to a lesser extent. Conan McNulty, Lou's primary rival, seems to be just as grumpy as him.
  • Season 5 of Samurai Jack shows that Da Samurai retired from his would-be warrior career and became a barkeep. He's quite loud and angry, and he loves to brag about his past and his run-in with Jack (while also putting those those that were brutally maimed by Jack as "Having no soul")
  • Grandpa Simpson from The Simpsons. Notably, he once reacted to hearing The Star Spangled Banner with "Turn that hippie crap off!"
  • One of Mike's personalities from Total Drama, Chester, is an old man who complains and talks about his youth, never mind the fact that Mike is a teen.
  • The Transformers: His grumpiness may vary from episode to episode, but Old Soldier Kup makes it clear in his introduction that he has no patience for "turbo-revving young punks".
  • Ratchet the Shell-Shocked Veteran from Transformers: Animated. He's older, he's grumpy, and he complains a lot about other ensemble members. People who have fun tend to annoy the slag out of him.
  • Continuing the trend, we have Ratchet from Transformers: Prime, who is also old, grumpy, and (initally) doesn't like humans or the things they create.
  • Mr. Greely from What About Mimi? is a grouchy, child-hating old man.

    Real Life 


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Grumpy Old Woman



Already an old man when he was given immortality, the two millennium this former Centurion has endured in this state has left him bitter at the world and unwilling to fulfil his vow to Vlad Dracula.

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