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Lower-Class Lout

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These guys are actually in their mid-20s.

"Lots of middle-class people are running around pretending to be cockney."
Christopher Eccleston on chavs

On one end of the social spectrum, we have The Upper Crass, Aristocrats Are Evil, and Upper-Class Twit proving that money doesn't make good people. But that doesn't mean a lack of money does the same. Coarse, vulgar, ignorant, violent, bigoted, scheming, theft-prone, disproportionately proud of the few non-contemptible traits that they have to their names (most of which are basic requirements for being considered a decent person), disdainful of any desire or attempt to better oneself, and generally greatly at odds with propriety, they are not exemplary members of society by any stretch of the imagination. They will frequently live in a Trashy Trailer Home.

The representatives of this trope sometimes appear alone, but more frequently as gangs. They may be politically motivated (such as the fighting organizations of the communists, fascists, and Nazis), out of spite (such as the skinheads), to rebel against the (perceived) authorities such as the greasers and mods, or just for the kicks. The extremists may be there For the Evulz.

This trope deals with the various varieties of lout, hooligan, and delinquent that appear in various media. While these stereotypes are Truth in Television to some degree, it's debatable whether the stereotype comes from Real Life, or said real-life examples are imitating the stereotype. A typical Lower-Class Lout is a teenager or young adult (it's very common for such examples to also be Psychopathic Manchildren), with the occasional Enfant Terrible, who embodies the worst stereotypes of the working class (or middle class). One variant of this type would be the the Brownshirts of the Nazi Party Sturmabteilungen (SA) and the Ku Klux Klan, who were recruited from the lower layers of German and white American working classes respectively and who were used to terrorize the political opponents.

Because of what these stereotypes imply, subversions/aversions/invocations etc. are almost as common as straight examples, with a snobby or elitist character being established as such by having them accuse a sympathetic character of being one of these.

Various parts of the world have their own individual versions. Indeed, it's an interesting fact of criminal-sociology that nearly every society in the world with urban and youth culture has a certain stratum of "difficult" young people, especially men, which draw attention in popular culture. Most of the time they are small fry compared to other villains and become mere Bit-Part Bad Guys, however, depending on the scale of the story, they can conceivably as well be the main antagonists.

Groups often stereotyped as Lower Class Louts with their own article include:

Younger examples are almost always The Bully. Because of the class-based origins of the stereotype, expect the moral of any story they appear in to lean towards Eat the Rich or Kill the Poor. Contrast the Upper-Class Twit, The Upper Crass, and Aristocrats Are Evil (for when the rich are vilified), Wicked Cultured and Man of Wealth and Taste (for villains who are cultured and classy), and Working-Class Hero. Nouveau Riche often overlaps with this when their financial situation changes for the better but their behavior doesn't. See also: Football Hooligans, Delinquents, Loser Protagonist, Slobs Versus Snobs.


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  • Mucinex commercials tend to personify congestion as a rude, slovenly glob of mucus in a dirty wife-beater that willingly and knowingly annoys the person whose body it's occupying.

     Anime and Manga 
  • While Black Lagoon's Roanapur is an entire city full of these, Revy stands out the most. She grew up in a poor trashy household with a violent, abusive drunkard for a father whom she murdered, has had a significant amount of contact with law enforcement prior to coming to Roanapur, and is homicidally violent, incredibly foul-mouthed, rather racist, alcoholic, chain-smoking, and money-grubbing, on top of wearing revealing clothes.
  • Girls und Panzer has a downplayed example with Rosehip of St. Gloriana Academy. She's a commoner in an Aristocrat Team and has a bit of difficulty in matching her upperclassmen's elegance and manners, though she certainly gives it her all. It's implied that the reason why she wasn't present during the practice match with Oarai was because the alumni didn't approve of her less-than-graceful temperament.
  • Jan Valentine from Hellsing is pretty much your stereotypical chav... with vampiric abilities. This serves as a contrast to his brother Luke, who's a sophisticated dandy.

     Comic Books 
  • Captain Cold grew up poor white trash with a violent, abusive drunk of a father and a mother who enabled it. He sees his upbringing for what it was, but bringing it up around him and especially using it as an insult is a personal Berserk Button of his and is a great way to find yourself having a very bad day.
  • Boom-Boom was from a shitty white trash family with an ignorant, bigoted, and physically abusive father who tried to beat the mutant out of her, and while Tabitha herself isn't as bad as her parents, she's still plenty trashy herself. Exaggerated in Nextwave, in which she's depicted as uneducated and kleptomaniac.

    Fan Works 

  • The Band's Visit: Papi's friend Zelger is an ars, who has a shaved head, wears gaudy clothes and jewelry, and drives around in his car blasting music from the speakers.
  • In Peter Jackson's Adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, all the Orcs have cockney accents.
  • The villains in Harry Brown are textbook chavs (although better armed than usual), played as monsters to make them acceptable targets for the Vigilante Man protagonist.
  • The 2007 reboot of St Trinians featured chavs as one of the school's cliques.
  • Most of the characters in Attack the Block are youths in a South London street gang. In the first scene, they mug a woman, but get more sympathetic characterization later, when they're saving the world from aliens.
  • The cast of Kidulthood and its sequel Adulthood (Katy from the first film seems to have been more middle-class, but still behaved this way.)
  • British horror film F is based around such characters going on a murder and torture spree at a school after being given failing grades by their teacher.
  • The title character from Don Jon is one of these, a Jersey guido who's addicted to porn.
  • Way too many Venezuelan movies have at least one malandro character. At one point, it was so common to do movies about thugs that the Venezuelan film industry developed the stereotype of "only having peliculas de Malandros" almost to the point of backlash.
  • Rebel Wilson seems to have made a career out of playing these kinds of characters in films such as Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect.
  • Melissa McCarthy, who was also in Bridesmaids (in her Star-Making Role, in fact), and who went on to play some particularly noxious examples in Identity Thief, The Heat, and Tammy.
  • All five of the main characters in the New Kids movies take the Dutch equivalent of this and run with it.
  • Eggsy from Kingsman: The Secret Service, looks and acts like one of these, but is actually a better person than he appears. Eggsy's stepfather and his gang, however, fit this trope to a T being violent and crude thugs without any redeeming qualities. Eggsy's friends don't get enough screen time to judge whether they fit or not.
  • Aquaman (2018): Aquaman himself is a subversion. He is brash, loud, hard-drinking, and hard-brawling and seems most comfortable being the king of the pub crawl, and he isnít above playing up these traits to mess with people who think this is unworthy of a prince of Atlantis. However, under the façade is a keen mind, cultivated by both his father (implied to be a voracious reader and keen autodidact by the look of his home) and his motherís advisor Nuidis Vulko. By the time the film rolls around, he is conversant in at least five languages and able to tell who Roman statues are meant to be off at a glance.
  • Halley in The Florida Project, a short-tempered and irresponsible single mother who lives in a cheap motel in Kissimmee, Florida, can't hold down a job, and frequently leaves her daughter Moonee (who she likely had as a teenager) unsupervised. That said, she does genuinely love her daughter and will go to great lengths to keep her safe.
  • The setting of Idiocracy is a dystopian future in which Lower-Class Lout culture proliferated and took over, producing a world in which an average Joe from The Present Day would be the smartest man alive by default because everyone else is a brain-dead idiot. The aesthetic of the world can best be described as a cyberpunk trailer park.
  • In the lesbian romance film My Summer of Love, Mona (Natalie Press) doesn't have the manners or education of her friend-turned-lover Tamsin (Emily Blunt).
  • Rachel's foster parents in The Rage: Carrie 2 are a pair of white-trash ingrates who only took her in because the foster system pays them $300 per month to do so, and are about as neglectful with her as one can imagine given such motives. It's one of many reasons why she's an outcast at her school.
  • Eden Lake is Lower Class Lout: The Movie. The kids are all portrayed as working-class at best with stereotypical hallmarks.

  • The Cherub Series features quite a few teenagers that display chav-like characteristics.
  • By Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dudley Dursley has basically turned into one of these. Ironically, his parents have been, throughout the whole series, a terrible example (more like a parody) of the lower end of middle-class who make a special effort to distinguish themselves from the working class.
  • The Diary of a Chav series. It's right there in the name.
  • Shad Ledue in It Can't Happen Here. Even after rising up through the ranks of the Minute Men, his tastes and temperament remain coarse.
  • The Ewells from To Kill a Mockingbird are classic white trash, living in the city dump. While most of the kids are decent people just suffering from a combination of their horrible living situation and social isolation, father Robert "Bob" E. Lee Ewell is every negative stereotype about poor southern whites in one man- he's an Abusive Parent who's implied to molest his oldest daughter Mayella, a Politically Incorrect Villain even for the time and place, an alcoholic, and his hygiene is so bad that people are reluctant to even shake his hand. He mostly subsists on poaching, which is the only thing keeping his children from starving because he spends all his welfare checks on whiskey.
  • Jerry Cruncher in A Tale of Two Cities. He's a working-class moron whose abusive relationship with his wife is played for laughs. A Running Gag is his "spiky" hair, which suggests a disheveled appearance. Throughout the story, he's contrasted with the erudite main characters.
  • Some appear in Unseen Academicals, including Juliet's brothers and Andy's posse. Can't have a book about football without the hooligans, can you?
  • Stephen King's novels tend to feature lower-class New England townies as stock characters, usually as lowlifes who are among the first to get killed off by the villain. Butch Bowers in It is a particularly vile example, as he's a violent, racist, and abusive psychopath whose son, Henry, was pretty much doomed to follow in his footsteps from birth. Billy Nolan in Carrie and James "Junior" Rennie in Under the Dome are two more examples.
  • His day-job being doctor at a hospital in a very poor part of London, Theodore Dalrymple's writing is chock full of accounts of the people he treated, many of them for injuries incurred through their own bad decisions.
  • The Dickinson family from Run is this, with many of them being white trash and despised by the rest of Mursey. Bo and her brother Colt seem to be the only exceptions.
  • The Wild Wooders in The Wind in the Willows are a bunch of vicious mustelids who take over Toad Hall and behave like an unruly working-class mob.
  • A repeated theme in Niven/Pournelle joint works(or maybe just Pournelle's); in their universes, when the going gets tough, the majority will turn to superstition and leave intellectuals to rot even while they're working their asses off to save them.
    • In Lucifer's Hammer, the intellectuals go through seven colors of hell after the comet impact. In end, the militarists are able to win a temporary reprieve for the world's last nuclear power plant — at the cost of a brilliant scientist who made mustard gas to kill the attackers instead of insulin for his own diabetes — but it's clear that unless a hard-line campaign to destroy the attackers begins immediately, the plant will be destroyed. The survivors will have nothing of it until the last astronaut gives "The Reason You Suck" Speech;
      Rick Delanty: So. We'll live. Through this winter, and the next one, and the one after that. As peasants! But if we take the easy way this time, we'll take it next time. And the next, and the next, and in fifty years your kids will hide under the bed when they hear the thunder! The way everybody used to hide from the great thunder gods. Peasants always believe in thunder gods. And the comet. We know what it was. In ten more years, we'd have been able to push the damned thing out of our way! I've been in space. I won't go there again, but your children could! Hell yes! Give us that electric plant and twenty years and we'll be in space again. We know how, and all it takes is power, and that power's right there, not fifty miles from here, if we've just got guts enough to save it. Think about it. Those are the choices. Go on and be good peasants, safe peasants, superstitious peasants — or have worlds to conquer again. To control the lightning again.
    • In Fallen Angels, an eco-fundamentalist political party has had bipartisan support for almost a generation. The entire country is on the verge of famine due to an ice age brought on by a lack of particulate matter in the atmosphere. Despite that, some intellectuals persevered for a time...
      Sherrine Hartley: Gran was a plant geneticist before they outlawed it. Pop-pop was a farmer. They still do a little bootleg bioengineering in their basement. Developed a cold-resistant strain of wheat that let them bring in a crop for three years after their neighbors went under. They had to stop last year, though. Gran seeded a rust virus that killed off their crop. ...their neighbors — their good, kindly, salt-of-the-earth neighbors — were starting to talk about witchcraft. They couldn't imagine any other reason why my grandparents' wheat thrived while theirs died. Peasants always believe in witchcraft.
  • In Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, these people wind up rising to the top under the socialist regime that runs America. One story recounts how the unionized workers at the 20th Century Motor Company factory in Starnesville, Wisconsin turned into social parasites obsessed with Conspicuous Consumption as they constantly demanded more benefits from the company while the quality of their work went into freefall, secure in the knowledge that their union would never let the company fire them. The shrinking number of productive employees, meanwhile, eventually stopped giving a damn about their work and grew to hate their loutish co-workers, ratting on them for claiming "necessities" that they didn't actually need and even celebrating when they died (and, it is implied, outright killing some of them). The downward spiral of having such people running roughshod over the company eventually drove it into bankruptcy. This turns out to be the origin story for John Galt, an engineer at the company who, after designing a revolutionary new engine only to see his accomplishments go to waste, told his boss and his co-workers to Take This Job and Shove It when they socialized the factory.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien used this extensively. His trolls spoke Oop North and his orcs had Cockney accents.
    • As did C. S. Lewis. His evil Dwarfs in The Last Battle had working-class accents.
    • Both averted this for southern English forelock-tugging yeomen; they applied it to Northerners and Cockneys.
    • Averted by the Cabbie in The Magician's Nephew, who is praised by Aslan and goes on to become the first king of Narnia.
  • J. D. Vance's memoir Hillbilly Elegy is a scathing portrait of this trope, specifically as manifested in Appalachian "hillbilly" culture. Some highlights he describes of his upbringing in southern Ohio and Kentucky include watching welfare recipients talk on cell phones that he couldn't afford, a man who quit his job because he didn't like having to wake up so early and then ranted on social media about the "Obama economy", a co-worker with a pregnant girlfriend who would regularly skip work and ultimately lost a well-paying job with health insurance because of it, and his mother's problems with drug addiction and multiple failed relationships — and through it all, a common thread of refusal to take responsibility for their own problems, instead seeking out scapegoats. He describes hillbilly culture as one that has a lot to admire about it, but which is also characterized by fatalism, avoiding uncomfortable truths, hyper-aggressive masculinity in response to perceived slights, a Christian faith that is more interested in culture war issues than moral teachings, and an extreme parochialism that discourages ambition, and which easily slid into a cycle of social decay similar to the black inner cities during the crack epidemic once the economy went south.
  • Deconstructed in No Beast So Fierce by Max Dembo. Max is a poor, crass, and foul-mouthed ex-convict and petty criminal, but he's actually a well-read, intelligent man who took advantage of his stay in prison to educate himself. Unfortunately, both the societal stigma against ex-cons like himself and the threat of homelessness force him to resort back to crime, and he's shown to be much more self-aware and slightly more moral than the upper class criminals and lawmen he frequently finds himself entangled with.

    Live-Action Television 
  • The character of Vicky Pollard in Little Britain plays the British chav stereotype (as well as its prominence during the 2000s) for laughs.
  • Lauren Cooper from The Catherine Tate Show ("Am I bovvered?").
  • Sketch show Tittybangbang had similar characters in the "Duck and Chips Family" and the pub darts team sketches.
  • Jocelyn Jee Esien's "Sharonisha" character from her TV series.
  • In Doctor Who Cassandra invokes the "snob calling someone a chav" version towards Rose while engaging in Grand Theft Me against her. This does invoke some Fridge Logic since she was supposed to be of Texan/Alaskan decent, not British.
    Cassandra in Rose's body: Oh no! I'm a chav!
  • Kelly from Misfits is one of the most realistic examples of a chav, portrayed sympathetically anyway.
  • The reality series Scene Stealers had an episode where two goths had to impersonate chavs and they learned all the stereotypes associated with chav behaviour.
  • An episode of Bones explored the "Guido" culture, and Brennan herself said she followed the TV "documentary" on them.
  • That "documentary" would be reality show Jersey Shore, and the cast seem to be fairly relaxed about being regarded as such.
  • The entire premise of both the UK original and American remake versions of Shameless. They both center around the Gallagher family and later on (moreso in the UK version due to Long-Runner Cast Turnover) their neighbors, who live in a rough neighborhood on the Wrong Side of the Tracks (the fictional Chatsworth Estate housing projects in Manchester for the UK version, south side Chicago for the US version). Thing is, they do try to better their station in life to varying degrees, and do make some progress, though their worse natures and occasional self-sabotage put a big damper in that.
  • The Timmins family on Neighbours embodied the Australian "bogan" stereotype.
  • As do Kath & Kim.
  • Onslow, Hyacinth's brother-in-law on Keeping Up Appearances, is a subversion: while shabby and slovenly, Onslow is friendly and benign — and actually really smart — and deliberately makes a favorable contrast with the snobbish Hyacinth.
  • The Gang in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, despite the fact that both Dennis and Dee went to the University of Pennsylvania (Dee didn't graduate, though). They're all alcoholic scumbags.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Even the Orcs of the Second Age speak with a Cockney accent, carried from the movies.
  • Most (though not all) of the characters on My Name Is Earl fit this to some degree or another. Earl's ex-wife Joy particularly stands out.
  • Big Bud Roberts in JAG is to some extent a retirement-aged example of this trope.
  • In the original version of Survivors, any character who was lower class before the Death struck the world continues to display this attitude.
  • Many of the guests on Maury, especially the out-of-control teenage girls who try to have babies when they're 14, steal hundreds of dollars worth of items (often stuff for their potential babies), beat up people, treat their (almost always single) mothers like garbage, drink, do drugs, curse up a storm, and appear on the show in ridiculously revealing clothing. To make things worse, they often gloat about their trashy behavior.
  • Venezuelan Telenovela Por Estas Calles, given its social theme, has a pretty accurate portrait of barrio life in the early nineties, up to having malandros as important characters. The most popular (and memetic) character was Eudomar Santos, a not-quite thug but not very ethic either character who was very representative of the "shanty-in-the-head" mentality.
  • Israeli comedienne and actress Orna Banai often played a quintessential frekha named Limor, who later co-hosted a comedy show called Rak beYisrael ('Only in Israel'). Over time, her character became less and less of a frekha and more of an outgoing Cloudcuckoolander.
  • Coronation Street being a working-class soap has played with this trope every possible way over the past 60 years. Most of the characters have at least some aspects of it, especially the men. Combine it with Jerk with a Heart of Gold and you get a Corrie "Hardman" (Len Fairclough, Jim MacDonald, Peter Barlow) or a zany schemer give you the "Chancer" (Stan Ogden, Jack Duckworth, Tim Metcalf). Usually, the success of these characters depends on how well the character shows their Hidden Depths.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer - in "Band Candy", cursed chocolate reverts responsible adults into addle-minded teen mentalities, including Giles, who goes from Queen's English speaking model of decorum to a consonant-dropping, impulsive, violent hood. Fandom speculates on how much of this he actually was in his youth.
    • This is how Spike acts, part punk rocker and part North London thug. Before being turned, he was an upper-class, sappy, artistic momma's boy, and took on the working-class tough guy persona after becoming a vampire.
  • Laneesha and Latanya from All That fit the ratchet stereotype to a T - rude, shallow, materialistic, violent and aggressive, petty, and generally boorish, shrill, and obnoxious.
  • The McQueens in Hollyoaks are a lower-class family known for their criminal, promiscuous, loud, and generally disruptive behavior. Eldest daughter Jacqui had many visual elements of the "chav" stereotype.
  • Jimmy's family on You're the Worst are almost proud of being this, discouraging his younger sister Lily from going to university because they think it's pompous. Lindsay even lampshades it.
    Lindsay: I thought all English people were fancy, but these are like... Alabama English people.
  • Stanley Barber on I Am Not Okay With This believes that all the men in his family are like this, and hopes that he can break the "Barber curse". His father is a Jaded Washout who went from homecoming king in '91 to a truck driver who Stan would rather not have around; when we're introduced to him in the fourth episode, he's sitting on the couch watching football, drinking a beer, and telling Stan "you look like a faggot."
  • Roland Schitt from Schitt's Creek is not only the mayor of the town, his lack of manners and taste embodies the Rose family's worst fears about the town. Yet, Roland subverts the trope as he embraces people of all sexualities, is a genuinely good friend to Johnny, and wants the best for the town.
  • A Canadian example occurs in Trailer Park Boys with pretty much all the inhabitants of Sunnyvale Trailer Park. They regularly abuse alcohol and/or cannabis, commit various crimes ranging from fraud to armed robbery to illegal drug dealing to earn a living, use casual profanity and regularly get into fights with each other. However, they also have various redeeming qualities such as trying to be Good Parents to their kids, True Companions with each other, and even Enemy Mine alliances against anyone who doesn't live in the park and gives its residents grief.
  • Married... with Children features the Bundys, especially patriarch Al. Al Bundy is a Jaded Washout (even being the former Trope Namer for that) who's extremely bitter about being stuck in a Soul-Sucking Retail Job instead of playing pro football like he wanted to, regularly insults the fat women he has to serve, regularly attends strip clubs, has a long-running feud with his Straw Feminist neighbor, constantly leers at attractive women young enough to be his daughters, and revels in his crude political incorrectness. His wife Peggy and their kids Kelly and Bud are no better, being just as crude and criminal as Al. Notably, they're all proud of this.
  • All in the Family: Downplayed with Archie Bunker. While he's a crude, bigoted and argumentative blue-collar worker, his prejudices are more rooted in ignorance than genuine hatred, he sincerely tries to be responsible and respectable (even if he doesn't always succeed), and he really does care for his family and friends despite his issues with them.

  • South African performer Bok van Blerk stars in a video of one of his comic songs, Lemeone, where he and an equally loutish colleague are playing two zef delivery drivers. Their loutish, sexist and disrespectful behaviour so incenses a lady greengrocer that she reaches for her rifle.
  • The Welsh group Goldie Lookin Chain use chav personas as their gimmick.
  • Canadian performer BA Johnston milks this image for all its worth, with songs about junk food and allusions to cheap Canadian stores like Dollarama and No Frills.
  • This was also the image of the boyband Blazin Squad who in reality only lasted a few singles, but nevertheless made quite an impact.
  • The Area 7 song "Nobody Likes a Bogan" is based around the Australian "bogan" stereotype.
  • Rapper The Streets, aka Mike Skinner is widely considered a chav rapper as his lyrics, rapped in mockney, are about the day-to-day life of a lower-class person. He doesn't preach violence and wasn't really that bad off.
  • Lady Sovereign is an English rapper with a 'chav' image.
  • Plan B got accused of this so much that he wrote a song called "Ill Manors" attacking the stereotypes (inadvertently confirming them).
  • The entire Grime genre is based around lower-class accents.
  • The club song "Get Up (Rattle)"'s music video features a group of chavs being stalked and killed by a group of ducks.
  • Dire Straits "Money for Nothing" was about an ignorant, uneducated jackass who Mark Knopfler overheard in a department store, and the lion's share of the lyrics are direct quotes from him.
  • The Kinks - Ray Davies wrote "Prince of the Punks" about a talentless musician who tried one persona after another until he found his niche - "He talks like a Cockney but it's all baloney/He's really middle class and he's just a phony".
  • Lamb of God wrote "Again We Rise" as a potshot at Southerners who celebrate the Confederacy, saying that most of them are lower-class degenerates in search of a cause and that, if push ever came to shove and the South did rise again, they'd be the cannon fodder and the first to die.
    "Broken glass and a broken jaw
    Lies are told in a southern drawl
    Poor-house poverty's your shtick
    The real thing would kill you quick"
  • The protagonist in Joni Mitchell's "Raised on Robbery" thinks she's a Hooker with a Heart of Gold, but she's really just an obnoxious lout who drives off a prospective john just by being herself.
  • Slaughter to Prevail has deliberately cultivated a gopniki aesthetic circa Kostolom.
  • The rockabilly music is strongly connected to Greaser Delinquents types, especially to the Teddy Boy subculture in the UK.
  • In a similar vein, ska is the typical music of the Skinheads...
  • ...and Punk Rock of The Quincy Punk...
  • ...whilst Hip-Hop and Gangbangers have a strong connection. Gangsta Rap, in particular, is a genre deeply associated with inner-city "ghetto" stereotypes, and while many examples (especially early on) were more deconstructive of this trope in their criticisms of the cycles of poverty and violence in the inner cities, others were often accused, not without justification, of celebrating such lifestyles.
  • Eminem's whole persona is that he was a broke, underemployed, white trailer-trash outcast (until he became a famous rapper, anyway). Sometimes he plays this character in a more optimistic way, such as on his juvenilia album Infinite and his movie 8 Mile, but he's much more likely to parody it by rapping in-character as Slim Shady, an over-the-top parody of this kind of character - a Stupid Evil Serial Killer and rapist, Going Postal in a Hockey Mask and Chainsaw while swallowing handfuls of his mother's prescription pills and slitting his wrists.

  • Karl Marx did not handle the Lumpenproletariat with light hands. The Marxist Internet Archive writes that the term "identifies the class of outcast, degenerated and submerged elements that make up a section of the population of industrial centers" which include "beggars, prostitutes, gangsters, racketeers, swindlers, petty criminals, tramps, chronic unemployed or unemployables, persons who have been cast out by industry, and all sorts of declassed, degraded or degenerated elements." He uses this term to describe "the layer of the working class that is unlikely ever to achieve class consciousness and is therefore lost socially". He saw the Lumpenproletariat as a reactionary class to be liquidated on revolution.
  • Later Marxist theorists, however, took a lighter approach to the Lumpenproletariat, seeing them as victims of capitalism who had been kicked to the bottom of the ladder due to economic, cultural, and in some cases racial prejudice, and often had a very clear class consciousness. Some theorists of the "New Left" in The '60s even argued that the Lumpenproletariat were, in fact, the only hope for true revolutionary change in the face of a "productive" working class that had been co-opted by the system and had thus lost its class consciousness — precisely the opposite of Marx's perspective.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • While usually faces, The Briscoes have served as such more than a few times in their career, ironically their most iconic run being in the service of a rich man, Jim Cornette. Otherwise, their backwards ignorance is usually Played for Laughs or downplayed in favor of their manliness.
  • This is Ann Thraxx's usual gimmick, with a special emphasis on her aversions to hygiene and sanitation.

    Tabletop Games 
  • There's a game called "Chav: The Knifing".
  • Hilariously, the Orks of Warhammer 40,000 are based on this stereotype. As the game was originally developed in Britain in The '80s, Orks were based on British youth culture at the time - Football Hooligans, skinheads, boy racers and thugs in general. One of their war chants is "'Ere We Go!" for crying out loud. They also have a certain resemblance to Chavs, which is odd, since that variant of this trope is somewhat younger than the game. Maybe it's a case of Life Imitates Art.

  • Pygmalion and its musical adaptation My Fair Lady chronicle Eliza Doolittle's transformation from this, an ill-mannered cockney flower girl, to a splendid lady worthy of dancing with a prince, under the tutelage of the pompous Professor Higgins. A more traditional example is given in her father Alfred, a lazy trash collector who happily sponges off anyone he can, to the point where characters will immediately address him with "Not a brass farthing." When he does get the money he immediately spends it on beer. It's also outright stated that he abandoned Eliza early on and is a lousy dad the sporadic times he is in her life. After a conversation, Higgins declares that Alfred's unconventional philosophy of amoral hedonism is actually ingenious and gets him in touch with an American millionaire interested in morality. After the American dies, he leaves Alfred enough money to move himself up to middle class, which Alfred resents because it obligates him to officially marry his common-law wife.

    Web Original 
  • The Meme character "Scumbag Steve", and his Distaff Counterpart "Scumbag Stacy."
  • Epic Rap Battles of History portrays Jack the Ripper as one.
  • Aunt Despair from The Nostalgia Critic has been compared to Honey Boo Boo's mom. Her husband Uncle Lies is an Upper-Class Twit.
  • Commonly featured on r/trashy and related subreddits.
  • This video gained some minor notoriety for capturing one of what was apparently an almost-daily series of profanity-laden screaming matches that almost always spilled out into the street and frequently got physical from some unbelievably shitty and trashy neighbors.
  • This video and the other "Fall River Guy" videos from its creator achieved viral fame throughout New England for their depictions of the archetypal trashy New England townie: crude, vulgar, substance-addled and utterly dismissive of their issues, gleefully duplicitous and willing to scam virtually anyone who they think they can get money from, and unwilling to take any sort of responsibility for their many selfish and shitty acts.
    "But yeah, come pick me up, you know what I mean, we can go - just don't bring me to Rhode Island. Don't bring me theah, I got warrants in fuckin' Rhode Island, uh, I got warrants over in Connecticut - uh, I actually got warrants in Mass too, so it'd be good if we stayed off the streets, ya know?"

    Western Animation 
  • Arcane: This is the default view of people from Piltover on the people of the Undercity. The assumption is that everyone down there is a criminal. Of course, there are people like Deckard who really do fit the stereotype.
  • The Kankers from Ed, Edd n Eddy. Three half-sisters raised by a single mother, living in a trailer park called "Park n' Flush", getting their kicks out of tormenting everybody else and sexually harassing the protagonists, with very little in the way of redeeming qualities.
  • A Canadian version is the cartoon Kevin Spencer. Kevin is a teenager with chronic substance abuse problems, serious mental health issues up to and including an Imaginary Friend that spurs him to commit crimes, is The Sociopath and openly proud of it, and has a long criminal record which he commits partly for gain and partly For the Evulz. His parents are no better - his father Percy is a chronic jailbird and his mother Anastasia Really Gets Around, have the same substance abuse problems and criminal tendencies as Kevin, and laugh at his mental illness instead of getting him treatment.
  • Leanne Platter in King of the Hill is a drunk, violent, abusive, promiscuous, irresponsible, childish, leeching, and overall repulsive white trash loser. The woman destroys everything she touches and leaves incredible amounts of chaos and strife wherever she goes, plays the victim whenever one of her many horrible acts blows up in her face, and gleefully exploits Bill's loneliness and Luanne's desperate desire to have some kind of relationship with her own mother for her own selfish, short-sighted gain so she can continue to live the same destructive and parasitic existence she's carried out since she was a teenager.
  • Neo Yokio gives us Cousin Jeffrey Kaan. Despite living in the Hamptons, his conduct and manner of speech are decidedly less than classy. He dresses in ripped clothes, haphazardly drives an ATV around the property, and has a lowbrow vocabulary.
  • In a similar vein are the Gross sisters in The Proud Family, who bully other kids and harass them for money. They are mostly poor and their mother forces them to do work, but they are still jerks to everyone.
  • Quite a few residents in South Park, especially in the earlier episodes when the town was much smaller and more conservative. Most notably, Kenny's family.
  • The Simpsons: Although most of Springfield's residents are middle-class or higher, there are a few of these.
    • Cletus and Brandine Spuckler are stereotypical hillbillies, living in a run-down shack with 26 children, and occasionally some other relatives as well. Speaking of relatives, they are (Depending on the Writer) either siblings or cousins. Cletus is perpetually unemployed, while Brandine is (variously) a stripper, a Dairy Queen worker, or a soldier fighting in the War on Terror. Both are uneducated, as well.
    • Barney Gumble is an alcoholic, never seems to hold down a job for very long, is perpetually single, and lives in a run-down apartment.
    • In another episode, Lisa has an Imagine Spot of herself when she fears that she is getting dumber. In it, she is an adult, morbidly obese, and married to Ralph Wiggum, who works at a fast-food restaurant. They have several children, and Lisa spends all day in a hammock in a run-down trailer home watching Soap Operas. She does not like what she sees, and freaks out when Homer calls her "angel-pie" in the "real" world, which was her pet-name for Ralph in her Imagine Spot.

  • The word "villain" originally meant peasant in Medieval Europe. Due to this trope and its derogatory usage by the upper classes, over time it had evolved from "a rude and uncouth person similar to a peasant" to a morally depraved character.
  • Similarly, the word "vulgar" meant "common" or "pertaining to ordinary people" during the Medieval European era, usually in reference to a language by simply describing the common language or vernacular of a country. From the mid-seventeenth century onwards, it began to take on a pejorative aspect due to this trope and its derogatory usage by the upper classes: "having a common and offensively mean character, coarsely commonplace; lacking in refinement or good taste; uncultured; ill bred"
  • Similar to the above, the word "Burakumin" means "village/hamlet people" in Japanese but it was used as a derogatory term by the upper classes to describe people who performed menial labor tainted with death and filth and thus lied outside of the Tokugawa class system, such as butchers, slaughterhouse workers, entertainers, prostitutes, tanners, undertakers, executioners, and street cleaners. The continuous discrimination against such persons contributed to many of their descendants turning to crime and joining criminal organizations like the Yakuza, further reinforcing this trope.
  • Much like Burakumin, the etymological origin of the Romani people as well as the similar Lom and Dom peoples derives from the Sanskrit word ḍoma, meaning "a man of low caste who gains his livelihood by singing and dancing". Perhaps rather true to that meaning, Romanis were stereotyped as being vagrants and criminals by Europeans, and, similar to the Burakumin, were continuously discriminated and even excluded from society, a practice that still goes on to this day.
  • Blue-collar crime refers to crimes that were commonly committed by blue-collar or lower social class people, such as drug production and distribution, rape, theft, burglary, assault an murder. These crimes (especially rape and murder) generally carry much higher penalties than white-collar crimes.
  • Many of the more unflattering parodies of former US President Bill Clinton (when they weren't celebrating him as a Good Ol' Boy made good) took this route, focusing on his dirt-poor upbringing in Arkansas, his love of junk food, his serial womanizing, and later on, his ability to talk his way out of any scandal with his popularity intact through sheer Refuge in Audacity (the "Slick Willie" image). Toni Morrison famously referred to Clinton as America's "first black President", comparing his treatment by the media and political establishment to the scorn heaped on black men for acting "ghetto". While Clinton was also a Rhodes scholar and a graduate of Yale, he willfully embraced a "hillbilly" image to sell himself to the American people, most notably when he played the saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show.
  • Conversely, going against this trope is a great way to doom one's Presidential campaign, as Mitt Romney learned the hard way in 2012 with his "47%" commentsnote  and (ironically, given her aforementioned husband Bill) Hillary Rodham Clinton did in 2016 with her "basket of deplorables" commentsnote . Both were branded by voters and the media as Upper-Class Twits who looked down on Middle America as a land of Lower-Class Lout stereotypes, and lost close elections as a result. The Midwest, politically and culturally dominated by farmers and factory workers, is a key swing region in Presidential elections, and voters in those states do not like being tarred with this brush.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Lumpenproleteriat


What is Gopnik?

Boris, in his own words, explains what a gopnik is and how they came to be.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / LowerClassLout

Media sources: