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Never Mess with Granny

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"Ted, dear, I think you'd better leave. I'm gonna tear this little fella apart from the inside out."
Gran'ma Ben (shortly after Ted introduces her to Phoney Bone), Bone

Little Old Lady Investigates. Little old lady is attacked. Little old lady kicks ass. Moral of the story: Never Mess with Granny. If you think a Mama Bear is bad, meet her Mama Bear. Maternal instinct to the power of two; you're pretty much screwed.

She's highly likely to be the matriarch of a Badass Family. Commonly we hear her say that I Was Quite a Looker. She may also be a Retired Badass. Older Iron Ladies will generally be this.

See also: When Elders Attack, My Grandma Can Do Better Than You and Apron Matron. Often a Cool Old Lady.


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  • At the end of The Great Crunchie Train Robbery, the person who ends up with all the Crunchie bars is the little old lady who sat calmly knitting through all of the chaos that erupted around her.
  • A commercial for Safe Auto Insurance has this: Three toughs cut in front of the little old lady. Big Scary Black Man sneers, "You got a problem?" and Granny answers him (and his buddies) by letting them Talk to the Fist! Hilarity and ass-kicking ensues as Granny gives them a full-blown assbeating before she kicks them out of the store.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Sister Yolanda from Black Lagoon. In the Greenback Jane arc she walks in to see her church being attacked... and what does she do? Calmly takes out a gold-plated Desert Eagle and blows up a car in one shot. While holding the gun with one hand. Wow.
  • Boys Run the Riot: One of the "pals" Jin enlists to help advertise his and Ryo's brand is a frail-looking old lady. She ends up performing a flying kick on the cop who tries breaking up the mob.
  • Dola from Castle in the Sky, the Anti-Hero Matriach of her clan of pirates. Not only does she have her crew/sons firmly under her thumb, and serve as the brains to their mostly Dumb Muscle, but when they're fleeing in panic from gunfire she outruns them all while smilingly anticipating the amazing treasure she's going to grab.
  • Queen Elizard from A Certain Magical Index plays the electric guitar, is a complete and total Bunny-Ears Lawyer and has a sword that makes her as powerful as Archangel Michael within the borders of England.
  • Megabaa of Den-noh Coil is the most capable hacker in the entire town of Daikoku, head of the Coil Detective Agency and more than capable of taking on any sort of digital anomaly single-handedly (at least, until her back gives out). Oh, and she shoots lasers.
  • BT's grandma, from Cool Shock B.T.. What she lacks in physical shape (she doesn't leave the house often), she makes up in Magnificent Bastardry. For example, she deliberately left around the pamphlet for a dinosaur exhibit in a mall, knowing that her own grandson will see it and go steal a dinosaur skull for his collection... and distract the guards, so that another thief can search for the proof of a smuggling ring.
  • Yohko's grandmother Madoka from Devil Hunter Yohko is a prime example of a Badass Grandma!
  • The Russian assassin from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is over 80 years old, but like many other characters is really a brain in a cybernetic body that doesn't look a day older than 30. And with 60 years of experience, she's extremely dangerous.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry:
    • Oryou Sonozaki is shown to be a very, VERY scary old granny (whom is even called Oni-Baba [Demon Granny] by her granddaughters!) Not only does she sit and watch as her granddaughter has her fingernails ripped off, she encourages the punishment. At one point she even threatens to kill Keiichi Maebara with a katana and dump his body in the family well. She gets what is coming to her though, when she is killed during during an interrogation in Watanagashi-hen and Meakashi-hen.
    • Apparently, "I Was Quite a Looker" can apply too, as seen in one of the anime-only omakes. And if you can make her like you, you've got one hell of an ally as shown in the second-to-last arc when Keiichi manages to win her favor and get her and the entire village to help rescue Satoko from her uncle. And when the official at the DCF equivalent threatens to call in her son-in-law to kick everybody out...let's just say he doesn't actually know the man. Too bad that wasn't the good world Rika and Hanyuu were looking for.
  • Sophie isn't actually an old woman, but she spends the vast majority of Howl's Moving Castle as one, and even goes by Granny. As a ninety-ish-year-old woman, she flies an open-air plane, talks back to a powerful sorcerer, saves Howl's bacon, and much else. And even though she's got a big nose and wrinkles all over, she's still pretty and badass.
  • In Hunter × Hunter, Tsubome is an elderly woman who can turn into a turbocharged motorcycle. Also counts as a Badass Driver because she steers herself as a motorcycle.
  • Enya the Hag from Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Stardust Crusaders follows this trope. She manages to go toe-to-toe with Polnareff's Silver Chariot and Hol Horse's Emperor (albeit separately) wielding nothing but a pair of scissors. And those achievements, at first anyway, barely even see her using her Stand, Justice, which can invade even tiny scratches with strings made of fog to turn its victims into either swiss cheese, People Puppets, or both, or the small army of walking corpses that Justice already controls.
  • Elda Marker from Karin. Grandmother of the main character Karin, she is approximately a 250 year old vampire. Physically, she is still a young adult, possibly even an older teenager, despite the fact that she's had one kid before named Henry, the father of Karin. To make things even more awkward, she is a near identical twin of Karin, her own granddaughter (the difference being Karin inherited her mother's sizeable rack, which Elda comments on upon seeing her granddaughter for the first time as a teen). She has an eagerness to fight and attitude befitting a teenager, which is somewhat appropriate. Still this makes things weird with her son Henry, who looks far older then she does. She is a perfect badass, fighting with insane physical strength and skill even among vampires, she is even said to be the most powerful vampire in all of Japan. While indoors, she sometimes wears clothes befitting her matriarch status, but when she travels outside she sometimes wears a simple black shirt, shorts and sneakers, usually when she wants to kick someone's ass.
  • Grandma Hina from Love Hina is known as the Demon of Hinata. No-one ever questions her orders. Not Action Girl Motoko, not rebellious Kitsune, nor Genki Girl Su — no-one. Keitaro's place at the Inn is secured by her word alone, even when the She-Woman Man-Hater's Club early on can't stand him. Even at the end, when it is learned by Naru and Keitaro that she may have majorly set them up, it is just accepted without even mental comment.
  • Fern Corrado, the superintendent of the Fourth Ground Forces Academy in the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS manga prequel, looks like someone's doting grandmother (in uniform)... cue the flashback of her wiping the floor with both Nanoha and Fate (both triple-A mages who previously duked it out with Eldritch Abominations like nobody's business) in their first sparring. It is later revealed that before she was promoted, Corrado was an ace of the same elite training regiment that Nanoha worked hard to get into.
  • Naruto:
    • Chiyo is a tiny, wrinkled old woman likely in her early 70s who retired from active duty after serving in several wars. A specialist in poisons and combat puppets, she helped Sakura defeat her grandson, Sasori, and his army of super-powered puppets.
    • Tsunade is in her mid-50s but due to her special healing ability is physically much older. The only reason she looks young is due to a special genjutsu that hides her age, but she's still acknowledged as the most physically powerful of the Kages. And please don't call her "grandma" unless you're Naruto, okay?
    • Koharu Utatane, one of the Konoha Elders and a contemporary of the Third Hokage, served on the frontlines during Kurama's attack on Konoha, when she was in her late fifties. In the present, despite being semi-retired, she continues to serve as an adviser to the Hokage.
  • One Piece:
    • Vice-Admiral Tsuru proves herself more than capable of dishing out punishment, despite her epithet being "Strategist".
    • There's also Dr. Kureha who doesn't hesitate to further injure her patients if they don't listen to her treatment plans. 139 years young and still going strong. Refer to any way she might be old and she will hurt you.
    • Big Mom of the Four Emperors. She's One Bad Mother who's Large and in Charge, has Soul Power, and prone to violent rampages. Not only is she powerful in her own right, but she's not afraid of sick her entire army on islands or even single individuals who upset her in some way.
  • Ranma ½:
    • Cologne. A somewhat more antagonistic version; Ranma generally goes to her for advice on the strange and unusual, but he prefers to avoid her otherwise. Doubles as an Old Master.
    • Also Sentarô's grandma/the matriarch of the Daimonji Clan, grandmistress of Martial Arts Tea Ceremony and very handy with a napkin.
  • Elrasla in The Rising of the Shield Hero is a 95 year old woman who decides to assist Naofumi. It just so happens that her level is the same as her age as Elrasla was a famous adventurer in her youth and is the last master of the legendary Hengen Musou martial art. She quickly proves her worth, both being a formidable combatant and a skilled teacher for Naofumi's team.
  • Sakae Jinnouchi in Summer Wars, the matriarch of the Jinnouchi family. When Love Machine starts causing havoc across Japan, she uses the web of connections that she's formed over her 89 years to rouse people's spirits. Adding on to that, according to other members of the Jinnouchi clan, she personally screened a lot of Natsuki's potential boyfriends, and up until Kenji, every one of them was frightened off. It gets better though. When she learns the culprit behind Love Machine is her own adopted son, she snatches up a naginata and aims it right at him! This is one tough old lady, alright. Which deepens the impact of her death.
  • Toriko:
    • Setsuno can easily make Your Head A-Splode, and has no trouble laying waste to tons of baddies even though she's over a hundred years old. Heaven help you if you actually manage to piss her off.
    • Chiyo's knife skills are so precise she will carve out your insides, leaving your shadow a skeleton even though you'll look fine otherwise.
  • Downplayed in Trigun. When Lina is captured by bandits, it's actually her grandma Sheryl that was the first to grab a weapon and rush to her aid. While the other characters do stop her from actually doing it, just the fact she was so willing and unafraid to put her life on the line for the sake of her granddaughter certainly makes her still qualify. "You're ten years too young to mess with me!
  • Genkai from YuYu Hakusho. She wins half a round of the Dark Tournament pretty much single-handedly... after giving most of her power to Yusuke. Later in the series, she takes under her wing six C-class fighters (Chuu, Rinku, Jin, Touya, Shishiwakamaru, and Suzuki) and in months, trains them into upper A-class fighters. To put into perspective, even Rinku, the youngest of the group, is magnitudes more powerful than Younger Toguro, an earlier Big Bad. And her star pupil, Yusuke? Her training pushed Yusuke to the power level required to resurrect himself as an S-class demon. Much like Roshi, Genkai breeds badass in spades.

    Comic Books 
  • Bamse: The title character's grandmother. She normally only stands in the sidelines, cooking up the thing that makes Bamse strong... but when he's otherwise incapacitated, she enters the fray herself. Awesomeness always ensues.
  • Batgirl: Fruit Bat, a 104-year-old former vigilante introduced in the first issue of Batgirl (Rebirth), quite easily kicks the ass of a considerably younger attacker.
  • Bone: Gran'ma Ben. Also a Retired Badass. At one point she takes on a pack of rat creatures with a fire poker and wins. She can also punch through walls and outrun any cow in the Valley. It's considered a really big deal when she actually gets hurt.
    "I fought th' rats in th' big war!"
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe:
    • Grandma Duck is the only person in the entire world capable of making Scrooge back down with no effort whatsoever, and this should be warning enough to not mess with her. The men who tried to force her to sell her farm didn't know that and threatened her... And had to run when she fired her shotgun right over their heads and flat-out told them the next shot would be at chest height. She's also one of the few people who knows Donald is the sadistic vigilante known as Paperinik the Devilish Avenger, and has absolutely no trouble calling him in if she can't just shoot whoever's trying to mess with her farm.
    • "Glittering" Goldie O'Gilt, Scrooge's main love interest, made him fall for her by being one of two women as tough as him, and old age didn't soften her one bit. The Beagle Boys found out the hard way when she barged on them with her own shotgun.
    • Brigitta McBridge, Scrooge's other meaningful love interest, doesn't look she's the same age as Scrooge and seems just a lovestuck woman... Who for no apparent reason has either enough money to casually build a factory and a sub or the credit to borrow that kind of money and the only one of Scrooge's business rivals who actually scares him, as he has learned the hard way that while she usually can't be bothered to try her business sense is a match for his and if he angers her she'll have absolutely no qualms doing anything legal just to mess with him.
    • Caraldina De Spell, Magica's grandmother, appears just as a quirky and overbearing old woman who'd want her granddaughter to just settle down and get married, and has even picked a potential husband for her. She's also a powerful and experienced witch, and that time she had been accidentally brainwashed into loving Scrooge she casually slammed Magica with a sack of coins as tall as herself.
  • EC Comics: There is a story from the 2007 revival of Tales from the Crypt by Papercutz ("Ignoble Rot!", issue #7) in which a con man romances a young woman who he believes is heiress to a fortune, only to find out she was trailer trash and dumps her. He discovers that he died in his sleep and the girl's grandmother had cursed him so that he remains alive after dying, but in a zombie-like state with all of post-death symptoms. So while he goes to find the grandmother to have the curse removed, the con man puts up with liver spots, loss of muscle control, loss of bladder control, rigor mortis, and flesh decomposition. When he reaches the grandmother's house, she catches him in a bear trap and reveals that she did all of it for revenge as her granddaughter committed suicide out of grief while pregnant. The story wraps up with the grandmother (and the rest of the family) forcing the con man to marry the girl, who is now a zombie herself.
  • Fables: Frau Totenkinder is a kindly old lady, always knitting and smiling. She's also one of the oldest and mightiest witches on earth, and has been sacrificing babies to grow her power since the Stone Age.
  • Fantastic Four: The late Agatha Harkness, who in her lifetime was the nanny of Franklin Richards, with everything that came with taking care of the child of superheroes. It helped that she was a witch.
  • De Kiekeboes: Moemoe, Kiekeboe's mother. She is pretty feisty for her age and always knows what she wants and how to get it. She has regularly beaten villains by sheer cunningness alone.
  • Lucky Luke: Ma Dalton can certainly be scarier than her four desperado sons. She was a fearsome bandit herself and still carries a loaded gun in her handbag. Luke even says after his duel that it was the only time he was ever afraid.
  • Madame Fatal (despite technically being a younger man) invokes this trope, dressing up as an old lady to fight crime.
  • Once & Future: Bridgette is an octogenarian who feels her age, but she's also the best monster hunter in Britain with decades of experience fighting stories. She never leaves home without a weapon and knows Arthurian lore inside and out, making her a force to be reckoned with even if her grandson is far better-suited to the monster-hunting business now.
  • Promethea: The protagonist's predecessor is somewhere between failing at this trope and failing at averting it. She never wanted to be a hero in the first place.
  • New Gods: Among the ranks of the New Gods, one Granny Goodness is not a woman to be trifled with. She may look like an old lady, but she's been training soldiers for Darkseid at her "orphanages" for who knows how long, and is stronger, faster and tougher than any normal human. At one point she blocked gun fire from an automatic weapon at point blank range by spinning her weapon. She is the Apokolips Goddess of Child Abuse, after all.
  • The title character from French comic book series Soeur Marie-Thérèse des Batignolles.
  • The old Italian comic Soldino had the titular character's grandmother Abelarda, a Cool Old Lady whose favorite hobbies are baking cakes, knitting and beating up criminals.
  • Spider-Man:
    • May Parker is Peter Parker's aunt (the wife of his dad's oldest brother) and not his grandmother, but in most continuities, she's portrayed as being practically old enough to be his grandmother—and, on at least one occasion, has scared the bejeezus out of a villain who was after Petey.
    • In her Ultimate incarnation, after Jameson fired Peter, she had a chat with him on the phone. Jameson's response to Peter was basically, "You can have your job back, and please never make me talk to your aunt again."
    • She also drugged the Chameleon after seeing through his disguise of Peter, making that two women of the Parker family who've abused him.
    • And in another storyline, when the Vulture broke into their house and threatened them with a gun, after Peter managed to disarm him of it (trying hard not to show his full strength and give his identity away) she picked the weapon up and pointed it at the criminal, and ordered him to leave.
    • Behold - Aunt May vs. Eddie Brock!
    • She's also taught Wolverine, of all people to respect her. Then there is this... In simple terms: mess with May's nephew, and you are in for a world of hurt.
    • Spider-Man also has the mysterious Madame Web, a Blind Seer and gifted clairvoyant. Despite suffering from myasthenia gravis and thus being confined to a life-support system (designed to look like a spider's web), she's still an extremely powerful mutant whose psychic abilities are respected and admired by heroes and villains alike. Other incarnations make her even more powerful—in the 1994 animated series, Madame Web was a Reality Warper extraordinaire who proved to be one of the only people that Spider-Man couldn't out-snark; she was voiced by real-life Cool Old Lady Joan B. Lee (yes, Stan Lee's wife). Similarly, in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, she is able to communicate across different realities, teach all of the Spider-Men about their respective powers, psychically restrain the symbiote bound to Ultimate Spider-Man, and, in the end, summon the four Spider-Men to Mysterio's pocket dimension for the final battle.
  • Strontium Dog: Middenface MacNulty is a Glaswegian hard-man, former rebel and bounty hunter who has been on the run from the law since he was fourteen and is more than capable of taking down everything from Eldritch Abominations to petty crooks with small arms and the occasional Glasgow Kiss. The only thing Middenface is afraid of is his tiny Glaswegian grandmother.
  • The Transformers: Robots in Disguise: Arcee, who is established in her introduction to have been cruising around the universe for a good four million years looking for Jhiaxus so she could get some payback, making her older than pretty much all the cast by default. Later revelations reveal she's actually upward of twelve million years old, and she's been killing things pretty much all that time.
  • W.I.T.C.H.:
    • Yan Lin is the grandmother of one of the current Guardians, a former Guardian herself, and tough enough to survive practicing Free Climbing in the void. Plus someone had to teach Hay Lin how to kick out a Capoeira practitioner much bigger than herself, and her parents don't look exactly like martial artists...
    • Nerissa not only used to be a Guardian alongside Yan Lin before going crazy, but her getting free caused an immediate Oh, Crap! in Kandrakar. Then she stole a copy of the Guardians' power and became really dangerous.
    • Kadma, having been a Guardian alongside Nerissa and Yan Lin, is implied to be one, but never showed it.
  • Wonder Woman Vol. 1: The elderly Holliday College Dean (called Picklepuss and Sourpuss by the girls) is very protective of her girls. Not only does she know when to flee and ask for help, something the Holliday Girls are terrible at, she is also a capable enough fighter to surprise and get the better of superpowered foes.
  • X-Men:
    • One of the X-Men's most dangerous foes, Cassandra Nova, a "little old lady" whose telepathic powers rival that of Charles Xavier himself but whose intentions and goals are far from honourable.
    • More recently it seems the X-Men have picked up some more elderly foes - including the "Hordeculture", a group of foul mouthed elderly women who have been conspiring to corner the plant market across the globe and who are basically evil, foul mouthed Golden Girls. Their organization also so happens to be responsible for quite a lot of damage done to the X-Men in their new home of Krakoa.
  • Ziggy Pig - Silly Seal Comics: Ziggy's mother practices boxing at Fogwell's Gym against a burly boxer twice her height. She knocks him out with a single right hook.

    Comic Strips 
  • Piranha Club: Eno's mother-in-law is a frail little old lady...who just happens to have superpowers such as invulnerability and superhuman strength along with a really mean personality. She swept the floor with Mike Tyson once.
  • Dennis' Gran in the UK Dennis the Menace comic strip. She rides a motorbike, and causes at least as much trouble as her grandson (possibly more, since Dennis's Dad can't do anything about it). As seen in one comic:
    Dennis: I'm off to help my nan.
    Walter the softy: Oh, is she ill? The poor lady!
    Dennis: Nah, she just needs a hand training the SAS today.
  • Mother Anderson from Madam & Eve, full stop. In addition to terrorizing the neighborhood Mielie Ladies with her katty (slingshot), she's also gotten into brawls with her Animated Actor replacement, and once held a government minister hostage to protest a liquor tax increase.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In "Little Otik", the titular monster, who had eaten seven persons in a row, is killed by an old woman farmer who was armed with a hoe.

    Fan Works 
  • Futari Wa Pretty Cure Blue Moon has a number of examples. The Quirky Miniboss Squad has Mireyes, whose age and main ability (fortune telling) throw people's expectations off when she turns out to be very dangerous, her ability translating into Combat Clairvoyance. Tachimany also has the ability to turn into three old women. On the good side of things, the Elder of the Garden of Days has done a lot more in the brief page-time she's gotten than her canon (and male) counterparts ever did.
  • In the Total Drama story, Keepers of the Elements, the Old Keepers are not to be messed with. They may have felt the need to step aside for successors, but their Elemental Powers still make them formidable in a fight.
  • The Powers of Harmony: Granny Smith was apparently quite the fighter in her younger years, and hasn't lost her touch, judging by the part she plays in the first fight with Eclipse.
  • Getting Back on Your Hooves has Helena Midsummer, Trixie's grandmother. Hurting Trixie in front of her is not a good idea as Checker's chauffeurs found out the hard way, ending up hanging upside down from a tree tied up in their own harness. According to Word of God, she's also a Master of Illusion thanks to spending most of her life learning theater magic (her special talent).
  • Wandering Moon: Archmage Clover the Clever. Even when she’s well into her 80s the mare manages to go on field missions with only her daughter as backup. Her most memorable example was a raid against Xanthos’s Manehatten warhouse where she takes on not only a brigade of guards but also an Ursa Major single hoofedly. Even though she died in the attempt she still sent it packing with its tail between its legs.
  • In Child of the Storm, there are several examples:
    • Frigga is more implied to be this than anything else, being a lovely, motherly lady who nonetheless has a will of solid adamantium. She's also the one who taught Loki most of what he knows about magic, and is a match for her husband Odin in some areas. Then in the sequel, when her grandson has a run-in with the Red Room, who torture him and turn him into the new Winter Soldier, the Red Son, she responds by - with her husband - unleashing The Scourge of God on the entirety of Russia.
    • Professor Minerva McGonagall is, as canon, an example. In this case, she's a very literal one, being the grandmother of Clint Barton by Bucky Barnes - she's where he gets the more uncanny parts of his Improbable Aiming Skills, thanks to a hint of True Sight. She's even older than canon, being only a little younger than Steve and Bucky were, putting her well into her 80s. She is also capable of taking down magical and non-magical HYDRA Agents with nothing more than cold Bond One-Liner when they threaten her students, and in the sequel, she proves to be a) one of only a very few people that a traumatised Harry will obey, b) the only person so far, Avengers included, not to be the slightest bit startled when Strange pulls his signature appear-right-behind-the-left-shoulder trick. Instead, she simply revolves on the spot, delivers a withering Death Glare, and tells him that "that trick has never worked, and you of all people should know that it will never work." Notably, Strange doesn't deny it.
    • Alison Carter is a lovely grandma to Carol Danvers, happily cooing over her godson Tony and Pepper's newborn daughter, Ada, and practically adopting Clark on the spot. She's also the former Deputy Director of SHIELD, the 'sister' of Peggy Carter (secretly, daughter of Peggy and Steve and thus a Super-Soldier, an extremely experienced spy mistress, and the one person bar possibly Pepper who can reliably control Tony Stark. She also spent a decade as The Man Behind the Man for SHIELD prior to her retirement, being able to go over then Director Jim Woo's head if needs be (or, as it turns out, wiping his memory to protect Clark Kent), and even during her retirement, kept tabs on both Clark and Harry, keeping the former hidden and protected. As she remarks several times, "retirement is boring".
  • One of the related oneshots of Pokémon Reset Bloodlines mentions that one shot character Mabel is this: a league champion who won a league merely at the request of a grandchild. Other examples include Elite Fours Agatha and Drasna, as well as Hall Matron Argenta, who was a former Sinnoh Champion.
  • In Avenger of Steel, Madame Gao is a dark example of this; while she looks like just an old woman, her command of chi allows her to engage in battle with Black Widow, Hawkeye, Daredevil and Jessica Jones at the same time, the heroes only defeating her because she didn't know about Natasha and Jessica' Kryptonian skinsuits, which let Natasha turn a particular attack against her.
  • The Palaververse: Tyrant Fairy Floss of Ovarn is a diminutive, elderly ewe that fits every outward sign of the Granny Classic down to the serene expression and pince-nez glasses. She’s also survived a lifetime of Ovarn’s cutthroat politics and can make hardened Archons quake in fear. As she herself says,
    "Don't get cruel with an old lady who could assassinate you in seven different ways before the week was out, dear."
  • Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters has Archduchess Galiene Sebille. She's at least 70 years old, but is still the most dangerous Master Swordsman in Meridian. In her first scene, she singlehandedly fights five experienced Rebel soldiers — all considerably younger than her — and kills them all with very little effort on her part.
  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, the current matriarch of the Smith-Rhodes family is Agnetha Smith-Rhodes. Her husband defers to her in all things. At the last count, two daughters, a daughter-in-law and two grand-daughters are all qualified Assassins trained by the Guild in Ankh-Morpork. None of them would dare to disobey or argue with Agnetha. Her titles of Ouma (Granny) and Mevrou (Madam, the Baas-Lady) are not just polite honorifics. And psychically gifted members of the family get to talk with the family founder, Johanna Livinia Smith-Rhodes. Who is deceased and has been for a century but still takes an interest in the family line she started. She is possibly the Ouma.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, All Might battled T.O. Morrow with the help of Ma Hunkel, an honorary member of the Justice Society of America and the original Red Tornado, alongside her granddaughter to save the American midsouth from a massive, artificial earthquake while Izuku was busy preparing for the U.A. Entrance Exam.
  • An Empire of Ice and Fire: Olenna Tyrell is just as fierce and politically savvy as in canon. By the time of the sequel The Mystery Knight, she's pushing 100 years old and still going strong.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Sleeping Beauty, the fairy godmothers Flora, Fauna, and Merriweather, are very old and very round. But with their powers of flight and offensive spellcasting, they actually see more action than the prince.
  • Nana, the old woman from Madagascar. She only has a couple of scenes in the first movie, where she kicks Alex in the crotch while shouting "Bad kitty!" She proved so popular that she gets a bigger part in the Spin-Off short The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper, and in the sequel Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa displays serious skills as a survivalist.
  • Although she is short, old, and her hands shake, Nanny from The Thief and the Cobbler is probably the most formidable good guy in the movie. As seen by the part, left in most cuts, where she restrains the thief from stealing her golden-yellow bananas...with a pair of huge, muscular arms...and then beats him like an old carpet.
  • Hoodwinked!: With all this Matrix dancing, haz-mat fun and "Granny wins by a landslide!", literally. Granny is also a champion cage wrestler, amongst other things.
  • They may not have grandkids, but The Triplets of Belleville definitely get a place here. The main character, Madame Souza, is a grandmother, and earns Never Mess With Granny status by being a Determinator who takes on The Mafia (with the help of the eponymous triplets) to rescue her kidnapped grandson Champion.
  • Ratatouille's old lady. See rat, grab shotgun, shoot up own home in disastrous yet badass attempt to kill it.
  • Recess: School's Out: Miss Finster, the school groundskeeper, is very skilled at boxing despite her old age, and that she will not hesitate to use such skills against those who would try to threaten her or any of the students at Third Street Elementary. The bald guy ends up learning the hard way when he tries to beat up T.J. out of rage.
  • The Land Before Time: Although it's Littlefoot's grandpa that does most of the fighting in the main series, his grandma has proven herself capable as well...and we're talking about a 70-foot-long Apatosaurus here. As the trope description says, Littlefoot's mother got it from somewhere. This is where.
  • Sabor in Tarzan. Leopards live for seventeen years on average, with the record holder dying at twenty-four years old. So considering the fact that Sabor was already an adult when Tarzan was a baby and Tarzan appeared to be in his early twenties when he fought her, Sabor was very elderly for a leopard and still nearly killed both Tarzan and Kerchak.
  • Mama Imelda in Coco. As the protagonist's great-great-grandmother who died at an elderly age, she's extremely old at the beginning of the movie, but she proves to be both the biggest obstacle to Miguel reaching his goals and, later, after they reconcile, she deals the most damage to the true villain, Ernesto de la Cruz.
    • Elena ("Abuelita") counts, too; just look at how she threatens that mariachi singer with her shoe!
  • Lillian in Shrek the Third breaks through two stone walls with a headbutt and then helps Fiona and the princesses lead a revolt against Charming's coup. Since her daughter Fiona was pregnant at the time, she's a grandmother-to-be.
  • In Turning Red, Grandma Wu, despite being significantly older than Mei's aunties is still just as strong and capable in her giant red panda form as them as well as being very intimidating even in human form.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Arthur (1981): Martha even stops an Axe-Crazy Bert Johnson with just a slap.
    Martha: Don't screw with me, Bert.
  • The old lady working as a guard to Goldfinger's facility carries an MP 40 and shoots at Bond's car.
  • The Night of the Hunter: Rachel Cooper faces off Sinister Minister Harry Powell, cradling a shotgun in her lap, singing "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" (the same hymn Harry has been singing all along, but different verses).
  • Mable Simmons, better known as Madea. If she reaches for her purse, RUNNING AWAY is the best (and smartest) thing to do.
  • The Mist has one of these, a little old schoolteacher who stops one of the crazy fundamentalist's rants by conking her on the head with a thrown can of peas (and asserting that there are plenty more where that came from), and not only goes along on the expedition out into the eponymous mist but kills one of the mist's monstrous bugs with a flamethrower improvised from a can of hair spray and a lighter. The character's pretty tough in the original Stephen King novella as well.
  • Antonia in Antonia's Line decides to deal with the man who raped her granddaughter her own way — so she heads to the local tavern with a shotgun. When she gets there, she decides instead to put a curse on him instead of killing him (which apparently works). Whether you think he got off easy or not it was definitely a badass grandma moment when she has him on his knees terrified.
  • Mad Max:
    • The old lady with whom Max and Jess stay in the middle part of the first movie. She threatens the Toecutter's biker gang with a pretty hefty gun (by real life standards, not More Dakka), and they listen.
    • Mad Max: Fury Road has the Vuvalini, a matriarchal tribe of motorcycle-riding, sharpshooting, gleefully dangerous older women, which combines this trope with Amazon Brigade. Becomes meta when you learn that all of their actresses, including 78-year old Melissa Jaffer, did their own stunts. Miss Giddy, the tutor of Immortan Joe's Five Wives, also covers their escape by holding Joe at gunpoint with a shotgun.
  • Mrs. Doubtfire: When the titular character nearly gets her handbag snatched on the street by a mugger, she fights him and wins it back easily, scaring him away. Mrs. Doubtfire may be a man in drag, but to onlookers she looked like a feminine force to be reckoned with.
  • Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot featuring Sylvester Stallone as a cop who is troubled by his pistol-packing elderly mother.
  • The Penguin from The Blues Brothers. Maybe a little young, but she fits the badass by whipping the piss out of Jake and Elwood.
  • Zombieland: Sister Cynthia Knickerbocker, winner of the Zombie Kill of the Week, who walks quietly away from a zombie so she can drop a fucking piano on him! This is her only appearance in the film and she has absolutely no connection to the rest of the plot or characters... but does she need to?
  • Every Which Way but Loose: When the Black Widows motorcycle gang try leaning on Ma, she blows up their bikes with a shotgun, then walks off complaining about Clint Eastwood leaving a helpless old lady alone with no-one to protect her.
  • Fried Green Tomatoes:
    • Evelyn (who, although not particularly old, is certainly middle-aged) is looking for a parking space and spots someone coming out. She waits for the space to be vacant, but as soon as it is, two Jerkass teenaged girls swoop in and steal it. They laugh at her, saying, "Face it, lady, we're younger and faster!" Evelyn retaliates by ramming their car with hers, extensively damaging both of them (and it's clear that the car Evelyn is driving can take a lot more punishment). The girls freak out, and she laughs in their faces. "Face it, girls, I'm older and I have more insurance!"
    • Sipsey won't let anyone take her beloved Ruth's kid. Frank Bennet gets that lesson drummed into his head so hard he doesn't survive.
  • While her exact age is somewhat ambiguous, BB from Takashi Miike's Sukiyaki Western Django is definitely a grandmother and past her prime when she picks up her guns again and shoots a crossbow bolt out of the air!
  • Lucy Bobby, mother of Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, tamed his sack-o-hell sons Walker and Texas Ranger.
  • The Big Momma's House series embodies this trope. Sure, its a guy disguised as a elderly woman, but the real Big Momma showed herself to be one of these in her own right.
  • In The Birth of a Nation, we have an overweight elderly housekeeper leap into action and save her employer, knocking down at least one ruffian and two soldiers in the process. Interesting for a white supremacist racist work,note  the heroine is black and the man she's saving is white.
  • Red (2010):
    • Helen Mirren's character is a sweet British lady (although not quite that old) who's in the flowering business. She's also an ex-spy who keeps a submachinegun under the flowers and is a crackshot with a sniper rifle. Of course, the entire movie is about retired spies showing they can still outdo the younger generation.
    • Mirren herself proved this trope when the on-set weapons experts taught her how to use a machine gun for the first time. They warned her that the recoil was extremely strong, and to brace herself—Mirren didn't even blink as she started firing away.
  • Surf Nazis Must Die: "Mama" Eleanor Washington goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the titular Neo-Nazi surfer gang when they kill her son, beginning with setting them up to fight their fellow criminal surfer gangs in a Mob War that kills those gangs and thin the Surf Nazis' numbers, then storming the rest with a hand grenade, a pistol, and running them over with a speedboat.
  • Nemesis: a little old lady is harassed by one of the cyborg assassins searching for the protagonist. When he walks away, she pulls out a large pistol out of her purse and shoots him in the back several times, and then shoots him half a dozen times more when he's down for good measure.
    Old woman: Fucking cyborgs. Streets aren't safe anymore. Can't even go to the market without meeting some punk...
  • In The Returner don't mess with Shi... or she'll leave a bomb in your car.
  • Subverted in Captain America: The First Avenger by the little old lady who runs the antique shop which is a front for the Super Soldier development facility. When the Hydra spy runs out, she grabs a machine gun... and he promptly shoots her dead. Worth a try.
  • Downplayed in Spider-Man 2. Doc Ock has taken Aunt May hostage, climbed onto the side of a building and is about to kill a catapulting Spidey via a sneak attack. After a whisper of "Shame on you." she smacks Dock Ock in the side of the head with her umbrella, breaking his glasses and messing up his attack, allowing Spider-Man to rescue her.
  • Princess Leia in the new Star Wars films is the resistance's top general in spite of being elderly, and in several instances is shown using the Force to a limited extent.
  • Ruby Dee's character Mama Lucas is a subtle, serious example in American Gangster. She spends most of the movie apparently unaware of her son Frank's rise in the drug trade, but toward the end of the film, she reveals that she knows full well where his wealth came from, and that he's planning on starting a gang war with the police. When Frank refuses to take her seriously, she slaps him across the face and tells him point-blank that if he allows his situation to get any worse, both she and his entire family (including his wife) will abandon him.
  • Jurassic World reintroduces the original Tyrannosaurus that starred in Jurassic Park. At least 22 years old, Ol' Rexy is in her twilight years. Her hide's dulled, her walk's stiffened, her skin and hips are more exposed and she hasn't had to exert herself in close to a decade. As a last ditch resort, our heroes try to set her on the psychopathic hybrid murder-beast that is the Indominus rex. The old girl takes one look at the monstrosity and launches herself at it. She lives and wins.
  • Miss Clara, the old woman whose house Elizabeth Jordan is trying to sell in the movie War Room, is pretty much this just by her personality alone. When she and Elizabeth were held at knife point by a mugger to hand over their cash, Miss Clara stands bravely before the mugger and boldly tells him off in the name of Jesus. Surprisingly he relents.
  • Dead Again in Tombstone: When Boomer threatens Zerelda's granddaughter, she grabs a lever-action shotgun and jams it against the back of his head.
  • Sherman Klump's grandma in The Nutty Professor, who at one point threatens to throw a knife between his father's eyes. While it's debatable if she's actually capable of doing so, she's clearly not afraid to pick a fight with a man twice her size and half her age.
  • The Egyptian has Queen Mother Taia, widow of Pharoah Amenhotep III, mother of Akhenaten and Baketamon. Sharp as a tack in spite of all that beer, which the physician Sinuhe advises her to cut back on, to her annoyance.
    Sinuhe: Your Majesty asked me for the truth.
    Taia: And now I'll give you some advice, young man. Never tell the truth to an old woman... especially if she asks for it.
  • In Terminator: Dark Fate, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) hunts Terminators with heavy weapons, and she's well into her 60s.
  • Kid Sally Palumbo, protagonist of The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight, lives with his younger sister Angela and their grandmother, "Big Momma" Palumbo. The latter is fiercely protective of her grandchildren, repeatedly telling Kid Sally to "take no bullshit" from his mob boss, Baccala; when she is introduced to con man Mario Trantino and learns from Kid Sally's gang members that he has been posing as a fake priest, she tries to chop off his fingers with a carving knife, and when she further learns that he and Angela are in a sexual relationship, she turns her knife's attention elsewhere until Mario is able to talk his way out of things.
  • Mrs. Salazar in The Last Stand. While knitting, one of the mooks comes through her house while stalking the heroes. She angrily tells him "No trespassing!" The mook blows her off. Mrs. Salazar reaches into her knitting bag and pulls out an Uberti revolver carbine.
  • The two elite mooks in Blind Fury carjack two little old ladies after Nick had stolen their van. After leaving the two women in the street and driving off with their car, one of them pulls a rather massive Hand Cannon from her purse and fires several shots at the retreating bad guys. Although they still get away, they are clearly rattled by the event.
  • We're No Angels: The elderly local Mrs. Blair pulls a shotgun on Ned and Jimmy when they first approach her on the side of the road.
  • By the events of Halloween (2018), Laurie Strode is pushing sixty, but years of preparing herself for her inevitable rematch with Michael Myers means age does not deter her in the slightest. In the film's climax, she teams up with her daughter and granddaughter to take down Michael once and for all.
  • In We Can Be Heroes (2020), Missy's abuela trained the current team of superheroes, and when their kids show up needing help rescuing their parents, she trains them too. And she's still perfectly capable of bringing the adult superheroes to heel.
  • Sasie Sealy's independent 2019 comedy Lucky Grandma stars Tsai Chin (yes, that Tsai Chin) as a stubbornly independent, chain smoking old crone who could be the Trope Maker. Pissed off at her dead husband for leaving her less than $1800 after the pair's lifetime of hard work, she takes it all to a casino, winning big — but then losing it all. On the bus home, her seatmate dies in his sleep, and she quietly makes off with his travel case with its massive amount of cash. Next thing she knows, the New York Chinese Mafia pays her a call — and this is where the story really starts.
  • Elise Rainier of the Insidious movies would have to be at least in her late sixties, but is an extremely powerful psychic who isn't afraid to go up against a variety of malevolent ghosts and demons. On more than one occasion, she even literally takes them on hand to hand, managing to vanquish Michelle Crane by beating her with a rocking horse and throw Parker (a very persisent, very evil ghost who was a serial killer in life) across the room, convincing him to back off.
  • During the Blast Out that opens The Last Rites Of Ransome Pride, Ransom reflexively shoots a someone behind him, then realizes the victim was an unarmed priest. He is then shot dead by an elderly Mexican woman who had been impassively sitting preparing dinner throughout the shootout.

  • In Alex and the Ironic Gentleman, while the Daughters of the Founding Fathers’ Preservation Society may seem like vaguely nasty but overall harmless biddies, they are actually extremely dangerous – managing to track Alex halfway across the world and even force evil pirates to do their bidding.
  • In A Brother's Price, the Whistlers meet a woman who is the eldest of a family of very old women. She complains that she can't hit her sisters as hard if they mess up as she could before. When Eldest Whistler comments that she's sure the old woman can still hit very hard, the woman replies that it's not her own strength, that's as good as ever, it's just that her sisters break so easily now, so she has to be more careful. Of course, the Whistler grandmothers, being ex-soldiers, are also grannies one doesn't want to mess with.
  • Dorothy Must Die: Gert and Mobi. Gert being an impossibly old witch with the appearance of a grandmother and Mombi being younger than she looks with her actual age being left ambiguous.
  • In Island of the Aunts, there's an old mermaid, who deliberately puts herself at danger to help her daughter-in-law. As she puts it: "I'm old, and I have nothing to lose."
  • Tortall Universe:
    • Eda Bell, better known as the Shang Wildcat, from the Protector of the Small books. She teaches hand-to-hand combat to the pages.
      Eda: Some grandchildren need more raising than others, and I provide it.
    • Action Mom Alanna, who is reaching her forties in the Trickster's Duet and still beats Kel, who is much younger than her, in a practice fight.
    • Speaking of the Trickster books, Ochobu Dodeka is one of the most powerful mages in the raka rebellion, and is also a crotchety octogenarian woman.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Neville's grandmother Augusta Longbottom in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. A couple of Death Eater-controlled Ministry thugs came to her house to take her hostage. Her grandson put it best: "Dawlish is still in St. Mungo's and Gran's on the run." And she still showed up for the final battle.
    • Professor Minerva McGonagall, who Rowling describes as a "sprightly" 70-year-old. She holds her own against Death Eaters during the final battle, whether she's fighting them in person or bringing statues to life to attack them. She also lived through being hit with four Stunning Spells to the chest in Order of the Phoenix, which is apparently quite a feat for someone in her seventies. In Deathly Hallows, she takes it a step further and - with Kingsley and Slughorn - goes toe to toe with Voldemort.
    • Ministry Judge Amelia Bones was so formidable that it is revealed in Half-Blood Prince Voldemort had to go and kill her himself instead of delegating like he usually did at that point in time.
  • In A Harvest of War, the protagonist kicks a lot of arse for a 58-year-old woman with adult children and a toddler. A younger character's mother is Famed In-Story as undefeated.
  • In Daniel Pennac's novel La Fée Carabine, a group of old ladies have been taught to use guns, which is somewhat unusual in Paris. And then there are the "accidents"...
  • In the first of the Stephanie Plum books, Grandma's response to being kidnapped (and having her own and her granddaughter's life threatened) involves bullets. Quite a few bullets. She doesn't actually shoot anyone (her aim isn't the greatest), but starts a fire that burns down the funeral home (she apparently didn't know that the crates stacked along the walls contained ammunition, explosives, etc., or if she knew, she didn't care). Granma Plum was based on a real person that author Janet Evanovich met while researching bounty hunters. She was still skip-tracing in her seventies.
  • The Starwife, the magic-wielding ancient squirrel queen in the Deptford Mice trilogy, is someone you do not want to get on the wrong side of. Even her servants fear her fiery temper; she has been known to throw her stick at them when they annoy her.
  • Discworld:
    • Any older witch that fits the Mother or... other one slot. Granny Weatherwax isn't a grandmother from the technical viewpoint of not having children of her own, but she's still the old lady known as Granny by a good deal of the main characters, and you do not want to awaken her (easily awakened) wrath. Her name in Trollish — that's the thumping great creatures made of rock — is "She Who Must Be Avoided". Her name in Dwarfish — as in short people who break rock all day, are easily as strong as a 6 foot adult human despite their size, and carry battle axes on principle — is "Go Round the Other Side of the Mountain". It gets to the point where her mere existence means that beings like elves, after one run-in with her, decide to wait until she's good and (probably) dead before trying again.
    • Nanny Ogg is a grandmother, matriarch of a vast extended tribe (as the narration of one book observes, she's "undisputed tyrant of half the Ramtops"), and has a face like an old apple and a pleasantly sunny personality with a special soft spot for children, being described by Word of God as the sort of grandmother who'd sneak you sweets when you were small and teach you dirty jokes when you got older. She's also got enough pure magical power to make anyone sit up and pay attention, and if that isn't enough she's a physical force to be recokoned with as well (the books have frequently commented that entire peasant economies are based on the surprising strength of small, elderly women, and she's a prime example). She is the one person on the Disc who is both fully aware of what Granny Weatherwax is capable of and not afraid of her in the slightest. That should be a hint.
    • Miss Treason isn't either. Granny is Mistress Weatherwax to other people and witches who have not earned the right to call her Granny yet. Miss Treason refers to her as "the girl Weatherwax". Possibly because she's 113 years old.
    • Reaper Man:
      • Mrs. Cake. Even the Post Office (who are only scared of the worst things) are scared of her. Hughnon Ridcully, the Chief Priest of Blind Io, attempts to describe to his brother Mustrum what she represents to the clerical community in Wizardly terms:
        Hughnon: You have... ghastly Things from the Dungeon Dimensions and things, yes? Terrible hazards of your ungodly profession?
        Ridcully: Yes.
        Hughnon: We have someone called Mrs Cake.
        Ridcully: *hands him the brandy*
      • Later Mrs Cake goes for a walk to deliver information about the uncanny events going on to Mustrum. She occasionally pauses or inexplicably steps aside, and terrible things happen where she would have been had she not done so. (Think what that means for anyone who tries to lay an unwelcome hand on her.)
      • Near the end of the book, Death raids one of Offler's more remote temples to steal the largest diamond in existence. As he's about to break through the last defenses before the innermost shrine, the priests there - who up to this point have been dismissive, assuming that any Indiana Jones wannabe will be killed by the various traps - reach the inescapable conclusion, and scream in horror: "Mrs Cake!"
    • No-one wants to mess with the Agony Aunts, who protect the seamstresses of Ankh-Morpork. They took Vimes down with absolutely no trouble, and he's fought werewolves with his bare hands.
    • Granny Aching, despite being dead before Tiffany's stories begin, was the best shepherd on the Chalk and had the respect of all her neighbors. And might have been the greatest witch ever in terms of keeping it low-key and getting others to solve their own problems. When Tiffany described her to the aforementioned Granny Weatherwax, the latter was genuinely impressed.
    • Vena the Raven-Haired in The Last Hero is basically the Distaff Counterpart to Cohen the Barbarian and his Old Soldier gang. When a gang of brigands attack her without wondering why an old lady would be knitting on a dangerous mountain (and wearing leather armour), she dispatches all of them with the needles.
    • Vimes also invokes this during Night Watch. Some of the soldiers sent to put down a rebellion in the middle of the city grew up in that neighborhood, so Vimes puts their grandmothers up on the barricades to scold them!
  • Good Omens: The title inspiring Agnes Nutter from The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, who knew she was going to be burned at the stake and responded by smiling politely, going quietly... having packed her skirts with gunpowder and roofing nails (and pretty much controlled the plot of the whole book from a few hundred years ago).
  • The Dresden Files has a few.
    • Mother Summer and Mother Winter, one of whom casually makes an enchantment that can break any spell, and Harry notes they could both destroy him with a stray thought. They are estimated to be on par with an Archangel of the Lord, and one of them casually mentions he can destroy galaxies with his power.
    • Mama Murphy, matriarch of the large and sprawling Murphy clan. She has yet to get any combat Moment of Awesome, but this is the woman who raised Karrin Murphy, and is content to let her daughter think that she is protecting her by not telling her about what SI is dealing with. She knows exactly what they deal with and what her daughter goes through every day, and is perfectly matter of fact about the issue of her husband committing suicide due to the stresses of his job.
    • Charity Carpenter is getting into this age bracket about now, and is very badass.
    • Ancient Mai. Even though she is quite clearly the oldest and most physically fragile of the Senior Council, as well as not being a combat specialist, she nevertheless scares the shit out of Harry and senior Wardens carry her umbrella.
    • Martha Liberty as well, as both are on the Senior council, the oldest and most powerful wizards. She even lives with the descendants of her original family.
    • Anastasia Luccio, despite the fact that she (literally) currently has the body of a 25 year old and has lost most of her power, Harry, who has faced Fallen Angels and Physical Gods without hesitation, would not want to mess with her.
    • Lartessa, the second most powerful of the Denarians, and over 2000 years old, and her second, Rosanna, who has even the Knights of the Cross semi fooled about her 'good girl in a bad situation' act. Harry is not fooled, but that's because he had Lasciel in his head for several years. Neither is a Cool Old Lady.
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • Cadsuane Meladhrin is believed to be the oldest living Aes Sedai. Aes Sedai give non-channellers nightmares. Cadsuane gives other Aes Sedai nightmares.
    • Not to mention Sorilea, an Aiel Wise One, who is even older and gives Cadsuane nightmares. With less channel;ing ability than most novices. That is how friggin' scary this woman is. Her Establishing Character Moment comes with this line: "In my day, girls jumped when a Wise One said jump, and continued jumping until they were told to stop. As I am still alive, it is still my day. Need I make myself clearer?"
    • Being technically over three thousand years old, all of the female Forsaken definitely qualify. But Cadsuane still can turn a Forsaken over her knee and spank her. This is Not Hyperbole.
  • Granny Cane of Bigtime.
  • Animorphs had an old lady in "The Diversion" who actually gets dubbed Granny-Controller. She keeps shooting at the group and flies a helicopter after them, finally crashing with it. Although in that case it wasn't really her but the Yeerk controlling her that was responsible.
  • Mother Superior Mary Francis in James Byron Huggins' novel Cain. Frail, aged nun vs. demon-possessed assassin/cyborg/vampire??
    Cain: Holy water, Mother?
    MSMF: No. Gasoline.
Somewhat later, she goes out with a literal bang, taking out an army of minions with a bandolier of grenades. (No, she's not the protagonist.)
  • The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole:
    • After Adrian's grandma learns he's being tormented by local bully Barry Kent, she goes out, returning a little while later with the money Barry took from Adrian, and assurances that he won't be bothering Adrian again. Next day, Adrian writes, "It is all over school that a seventy-six-year-old woman frightened Barry Kent and his dad into giving back my menaces money," although precise details of what happened are never given.
    • Queenie is mentioned as deliberately invoking this by taking Sabre, the vicious Alsatian belonging to Bert with her whenever she went out. According to Adrian, no-one ever dared to hassle the sweet old lady accompanied by an enormous, snarling dog.
  • Dorothy Gilman's Mrs. Pollifax, wife of the late Virgil Pollifax. Prim, kind, innocuous, charming, genteel badass. And yes, she would manage to avoid any asterisks in that without violating the "prim and genteel" clause. Joined the CIA when she was already a grandmother because she felt that she had outlived her usefulness. Promptly proved herself astonishingly practical and resourceful. Incidentally she was unleashed upon the world in 1966.
  • Grandma Dowdell from Long Way from Chicago and A Year Down Yonder. She lives by herself in a sleepy Illinois town, always manages to have enough to eat during the Depression, and engages in a number of fantastic escapades that leave her grandchildren (who grew up in Chicago) stunned. She owns a Winchester rifle which once belonged to her husband and is not afraid to use it, keeps a large snake in her attic to eat mice, and once expressed a desire to see the alleged body of a Chicago mobster who was killed and put on display. And lord help any idiot who tries to get the best of her. When some brothers blow up her mailbox, she tricks them into breaking into her house then throws a cherry bomb at them and holds them down with the Winchester Rifle, finishing it off by getting their milkman father to beat them after pretending they put a dead mouse in her milk. When the principal's son tries to vandalize her house on Halloween, she waits in the shed and trips him with wire before throwing a pan of hot glue at his head. She then takes the knife that he dropped and uses it to cut him a slice of pie at the school's Halloween party, adding insult to injury (the kid was still pretty much bald from the glue attack). Upon learning what his son did, the principal just said "Boy, you picked the wrong house".
  • Rosa Klebb, the head of SMERSH in the James Bond novel From Russia with Love is a late middle-aged Big Bad who can dish out serious hurt and fights dirty.
  • The War Against the Chtorr: Willig, a member of The Squad in "A Season for Slaughter". She actually enjoys the war, as she's given more responsibility and respect than ever before.
    If you got between her and the result she was committed to, you'd discover the single most deadliest human being on the planet was a ninja grandmother.
  • In Kurt Saxon's non-fiction book Wheels of Rage, the Iron Cross motorcycle gang decide to punish an initiate who's been using them as a cover for committing burglaries without sharing the proceeds. They decide to use a psychotic relative whose temper and ferocity is feared even by the outlaw bikers. They encourage him to burgle the business where she's working as a cleaning lady, "And if you see an old lady up there, just knock her out of the way." It ends with the police turning up to rescue the terrified burglar, whom she's beaten up and thrown down an elevator shaft.
  • Mother Lenka demonstrates this in Unto the Breach, leading the women Keldara in a suicidal blitz of a group of Chechens blocking the way for their men to return home... and then cuts out and eats the heart of one of the Chechens, while the guy was dying.
  • Evelyn from the Nadia Stafford books by Kelley Armstrong is a retired hitwoman, who entertains herself by mentoring new contract killers and brokering information. Her idea of testing a newcomer is to abandon her in a parking lot with the man trying to kill her. And then a mafioso takes a contract out on the little old lady, and she demonstrates that "retired" does not mean "unable to kill quickly and ruthlessly".
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • Lobelia Sackville-Baggins wasn't very successful against Sharkey's "ruffians", but in spite of her age she "showed more spirit than most."
    • Technically, Galadriel qualifies, as she is Arwen's grandma. Also, not someone to be messed with. And really, really old.
  • Fablehaven:
    • Elderly groundskeeper Ruth Sorenson is strong, fierce, and rarely seen without a crossbow. She's even more badass than her husband Stan! When it comes to evil, you might even say she's...ruthless.
    • The fifth and final book also reveals that the heroes' supposedly dead maternal grandmother, Grandma Larsen, is also alive and also all out of gum.
  • In Maggie Furey's Shadowleague trilogy, Toulac (a career soldier who was kicked out of the army when the Hierarch decided women weren't fit to fight) is this.
  • Technically, at this point in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Leia is a grandmother. She doesn't officially know about it until Legacy of the Force, but that hardly stops her from being very much involved in the continuous war that is the Star Wars EU.
  • A Thread of Grace: Lidia Leoni is not going to leave her home just because the Nazis say so. She not only manages to save a young child from stepping on an unexploded bomb, but she also blows up a prison so that she could break out her son and the local rabbi who've been instrumental in taking care of the Jewish refugees.
  • Stephen King has done this trope a few times. Take a minor example from Cell, where at one point the main character observes multiple zombies, most of them young, or big, or strong, fighting. The winner is a little gray haired woman who looks like she was a librarian before the world went to hell. The protagonist is unsurprised by this, and observes that those types of little old ladies are often as tough as leather.
  • As Claire Fraser's grandson said of her in one of the later Outlander novels, "Grannie shot the bad man."
  • Scott Westerfeld's Midnighters trilogy features Madeleine, the elderly mindcaster who sold out her fellow midnighters for popularity, then hid in a crepuscular contortion for decades to stay away from the darklings and create a whole new generation of midnighters to back up natural-born Seer Rex. By manipulating the vulnerable minds of women in labour. And that's when she had relatively good intentions. You don't want to know what Madeleine will do to you if you get on her bad side.
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora has Dona Vorchenza, an elderly noblewoman with no heirs and a penchant as acting as a sort of "foster mother" for various other noblewomen, calling them up to midnight tea to discuss their issues. She's also the Spider, head of Duke Nicovante's secret police force, who often uses these midnight teas as a way of both keeping up on noble doings and finding possible violators of the Secret Peace between the nobles and the criminal element.
  • Pearl Bright in Jane Lindskold's Breaking the Wall trilogy. When your first on-page action in one of the books is beheading an attacker who took you completely by surprise, you are this trope.
  • In Maria Semyonova's book series The Wolfhound, we learn that it was an old lady known as Mother Kendarat who has taught the protagonist (big, badass barbarian warrior) his martial arts prowess. A few years later the hero regularly beats seven kinds of shit out of his numerous opponents, and still Mother Kendarat can wipe the floor with him. This series also has an old Norse lady, grandmother of another prominent character, who had spent 20 years on a cold barren desert of an island alone, then, when 70 badass Vikings came to her island, she took leadership over them and sailed away to the other side of the world to find her lost grandson.
  • Edie Bannister in the present day chapters of Nick Harkaway's Angelmaker is basically James Bond if James Bond was an eighty year old chapstick lesbian, taking out three would be assassins with ease. Her martial arts teacher in the flashback chapters qualifies too.
  • Paladin of Souls has two:
    • Joen of Jokona has an exceptionally powerful demon under her thumb, and through it controls a bunch of other demons via magical leashes.
    • Dowager Royina Ista, on the other hand, is a saint of the Bastard, and has the gift of being able to eat demons to send them back to the Bastard's Hell.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • The formidable, Cool Old Lady who deals in Deadpan Snarkery and Brutal Honesty as often as others breathe: Lady Olenna Redwyne-Tyrell aka "The Queen of Thorns". Friendly warning: don't mess with her or members of her family... or even look as if you're about to mess with them, as she's distinctly unafraid to get her hands dirty pruning you down to size no matter your connections and apparent safety. Isn't that right, King Joffrey?
    • During the Targaryens' conquests, Meria Martell, Princess of Dorne, faced off with the dragon-riding Queen sent to demand her surrender to the Targaryens, and tells her, politely, what she can do with her demands. At age eighty, fat, almost bald, and blind.
    • During the Dance of the Dragons, a devastating war of succesion between the royal Targaryen family, one of the combatants was the Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, whose moniker was "The Queen Who Never Was". In a war that had primarily been fought by younger men, Rhaenys is remembered as being as fierce and fearless in her 50s as she was in her 20s. Lord Staunton, a staunch supporter of Princess Rhaenyra's claim, had his holdfast, Rook's Rest, placed under siege by the opposing claimant, King Aegon II. He sent a plea for succor to Princess Rhaenyra which she ignored. Princess Rhaenys, in her mid 50s, responded by mounting her dragon, Meleys (the Red Queen), and flying to his rescue. Upon her arrival, it is revealed that the siege was a trap and she was ambushed by her younger cousins, King Aegon II and Prince Aemond on their dragons Sunfyre and Vhagar, respectively. "Princess Rhaenys made no attempt to flee. With a glad cry and a crack of her whip, she turned Meleys toward the foe. Against Vhagar alone she might have had some chance, for the Red Queen was old and cunning, and no stranger to battle. Against Vhagar and Sunfyre together, doom was certain." While the Queen Who Never Was and her dragon were killed during the ensuing battle, she managed to inflict grevious wounds to the King and permanently disabled his mount, Sunfyre.
  • In World War Z, a nun defends her entire Sunday classroom from zombies for nine days using a candlestick that is taller than her. She then joins the Army.
  • Choose Your Own Nightmare
    • Mrs. Hadley from the very first entry, Night of the Werewolf. She comes across as a batty old woman who provides exposition on the aforementioned werewolf, and one of the endings reveals she's actually a witch who destroys the werewolf when it comes to her house. That ending implies the reader and their family may have to deal with her now.
    • In the video game adaption, Mrs. Hadley is less senile, and while she's not exactly a witch, she carries certain knowledge about herbs that later come in handy for the player character if they choose the right path. When she first appears on screen, she's got a shotgun with her for protection. While explaining about the identity of the werewolf, she recalls how twenty years ago she'd been attacked in the night and cut off the werewolf's hand. She even kept it in a jar on her mantle.
  • In The Zombie Knight, one can safely assume that any elderly member of a servant dynasty is pretty badass, since servants grow Stronger with Age. Special mention goes to Octavia "The Red Lady" Redwater, who's one of the four strongest Rainlords, chose to look her real age, and once pulled out a terrifyingly powerful sword that her grandson had given her after he tried to use it and nearly vaporized himself.
  • The last couple Odd Thomas books feature Mrs. Edie Fischer: an 83-year old woman who drives a stretch limo at high speeds across the country helping folks in need and who turns out to be the leader of a large, wide-spread, and very effective resistance movement. She's also handy with a gun, is implied to have some supernatural powers, and at one point threatens to castrate one of the bad guys.
  • Don't insult Butler Parker's employer, Lady Agatha Simpson. The 60+er will slap you around (with her muscles steeled by playing lots of golf and archery), kick you in the shins or even slap you with her pompadour — which contains a brewery horse's shoe.
  • If you think Granny Lucretia in Alice, Girl from the Future is a little, fussing, harmless, gullible old lady, think again. She is a brilliant magician, a great veterinarian, an acrobat, an expert fencer, not to mention she knows much more of technology and chemistry than she pretends, and may God have mercy on the souls of anyone who dare to try and harm her grandniece.
  • In Lotus Blue, young rogue Grieve is genre savvy enough to be wary of an old woman he meets: "The old woman was ancient but sometimes the old ones could surprise you, and lash out with astonishing dexterity and force."
  • The Bridge Kingdom Archives: Nana, king Aren's grandmother (from the non-royal side of the family). A healer of some renown, she is also ruthless, shrewd and extremely foul-mouthed. Oh, and she keeps venomous snakes to produce remedies. Even Aren is afraid to disobey her summons and his honour guard gets sent to do various tasks around Nana's house.
  • Since Warrior Cats is a series full of Action Girls, it's natural that many of them retain their toughness after retiring and are still capable of fighting. Notably, Graypool and Yellowfang have moments where their temper makes Fireheart flinch, and in The Apprentice's Quest when cats ask Bramblestar why Sandstorm's joining the quest since she's an elder, he comments that he was afraid she'd claw his ears off if he forbade her from going. (She agrees that she would have.)
  • Sipsy spends almost all of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe just being a sweet little old lady who loves children and is a great cook. By the way, the answer to the novel's sixty-four dollar question? Frank Bennett tried to kidnap a baby Sipsy was looking after, when she had a five-pound skillet handy.
  • Kate Shugak: In No Fixed Line, Auntie Vi (who is in her 80s) is visited by two crooks impersonating ICE agents who attempt to abduct the two young children she has taken under her wing. Bad move.
    From the corner of her eye Kate saw Auntie Vi reach down to open a tall, narrow cupboard next to the oven where any reasonable person would have kept their baking sheets, from which she pulled out a single-barreled pump-action shotgun. She brought it up and racked it. "You will leave this house. You can walk out or you can be carried, but you will leave."
  • InCryptid:

    Live-Action TV 
  • 1000 Ways to Die: A mugger attempts to steal an old lady's purse, but the old lady turns out to be a black belt in tae kwon do. A Curb-Stomp Battle ensues that ends when the would-be mugger has his throat crushed via karate chop.
  • In Alfred Hitchcock Presents' episode "The Cheney Vase" there is the elderly Ms. Cheney. She might be wheelchair bound and held prisoner in her own home by a man who wants to steal her heirloom, the titular vase, but her mind is still sharp and not to be underestimated. In the end, she gets her vengeance after months of being held captive by showing her captor the vase and a dozen exact replicas. She feigns not knowing which is the true one and is no longer scared of his threats. So he cannot risk destroying any or selling the wrong one.
  • Edith Bunker from All in the Family. Though she's normally ditzy and The Heart of the Bunkers, she also has extremely strong principles and will not be intimidated by anyone—even Archie, her loudmouthed husband. To give just a few examples:
    • In "Edith Has Jury Duty," Edith is put on jury duty for a high-profile murder case. Not only does she refuse to listen to Archie when he insists that she not go, she proves to be the lone holdout of the jury, insisting that the man accused of the crime is innocent and not backing down regardless of immense pressure. She's proven right in the end, saving the man.
    • There were many instances where Edith would borrow Archie's command for her to "stifle herself" and throw it back on him. The audience always applauded in those cases. She'd similarly stand up to Archie when he claimed that his actions were "God's business": "You let God handle that business."
    • Edith also gets credit for being extraordinarily progressive, yet not condescending, despite growing up in an era where racism, sexism, and homophobia were extremely common, and being married to a man who shares many of those beliefs and rants about them on a daily basis. Her best friend is Louise Jefferson, a Black woman; she considers Beverly LaSalle, a gay drag queen, "like family" to her; and, upon learning that her late cousin Liz was a lesbian, immediately accepts her partner Veronica as Liz's true next-of-kin, standing up to Archie when he threatens to reveal her sexuality and outright declaring that she is "defying" him.
    • In "Games Bunkers Play," the cast plays a board game that encourages them to answer questions about one another with complete honesty. When people start criticizing Mike, he becomes a Sore Loser and quits, ranting to Edith about how everyone is willing to forgive Archie of his flaws but are harsher on him. Edith not only refuses to coddle Mike, she bluntly tells him that he's being childish and points out that if he was truly as smart as he claims to be, he wouldn't be such a show-off about his intellect and let his actions speak for themselves.
    • The most memorable moment, though, is "Edith's 50th Birthday." She's alone at home when she's attacked by a rapist, and repeatedly attempts to get away. When it seems like she won't be able to, she smells smoke and realizes that a cake she's been baking is burning. When the rapist goes with her to the kitchen, he tells her to get rid of the burning cake...and she promptly shoves it into his face, kicks him, and pushes him out the door. The studio audience nearly broke the bleachers with their loud cheering and stomping for Edith.
  • The Barrier: The main reason it's a bad idea to harm any member of the protagonist family is that the grandmother owns a gun, knows how to use it and is quite protective of her children, their partners and her granddaughter.
  • "Wonder Gran" is a pair of skits from The Benny Hill Show about a super-powered granny. She takes on Mr Hyde and Dracula (both played by Benny Hill).
  • Granny Clampett of The Beverly Hillbillies. None of them were wimps, but Granny was one of the toughest scrappers in the whole family. And you don't want her shooting at you, whether it's buckshot or rock-salt and bacon rind. Mr. Milburn Drysdale the banker found out the hard way in England... pretending to be a ghost. Lucky for him, it was the rock-salt and bacon rind ammo! There is an episode where she fights a boxing kangaroo. And wins.
  • Maddie "Mama Bear" Westen in Burn Notice. She manages to successfully interrogate a terrorist into near-pants-wetting fear when Sam and Fi couldn't break him, hides weaponry in her house, and successfully stalls and distracts a pair of government agents in order to help Michael escape, fully aware that they'll arrest her once they inevitably figure out she's protecting him. When the normal standard of badass is made by ex-spies and bounty hunters and you're still considered badass, you deserve to be on this page. Becomes literal later in the series when she becomes a grandmother.
    • And let's not forget When The Big Bad of the final season's minions comes to kill Jessie, Madeleine, and her grandson she makes Jessie take her grandson and run while she makes a distraction by lighting up a cigarette which she had given up to be a good influence on her grandson. And sitting on plastic explosives.
    Madeline: This ones for my boys.
  • Caprica: Grandma Ruth, Bill Adama's grandma. Initially she just appears as a Tauron traditionalist who wants her grandson to know the family roots and having a (somewhat justified) dislike towards Graystones. Then you see her Ha'la'tha tattoos just as she is talking about "blood for blood" and you just know that she killed people. She's also somewhat terrifying. She claims that the dead never truly rest until they're avenged, for example. There's a reason that Joseph initially believed her when she said "Tauron children play jacks with the fingerbones of children who lose at jacks." Made explicit in episode 17. Meat cleaver to the back, and she's a retired hitman.
  • Charmed: Penny "Grams" Halliwell was incredibly fierce about protecting her granddaughters. In one episode Piper and Phoebe mention an incident from Prue's teen years where one of her boyfriends attacked her. Apparently when Grams found out she went berserk and the guy responsible "disappeared" shortly afterwards.
  • Chicago P.D.: Do not get on the wrong side of Sgt. Trudy Platt. Just watch the season 4 episode, "All Cylinders Firing" if you need to be reminded of this.
  • Chuck has Mrs Winterbottom who when her home is invaded by mercenaries, fires her double-barrel shotgun at them and then proceeds to take a machine gun she has hidden in her coffee table and fire it from her living room window. When she is out of ammo, she "scuttles" her house using C4, a handgranade and her knitting supplies. Supreme Badass Casey is perfectly happy to just follow her lead and reload for her.
  • Community:
    • In "Basic Genealogy", Britta learns the hard way not to get on Troy's grandmother's bad side. And she gets on grandma's bad side just by saying she must have been quite a looker. Troy hates and fears the woman and tried to warn Britta.
    • Professor June Bauer in Anthropology 101 seems like a kindly old anthropology teacher — until you give an answer she doesn't like for the first project. Then she shoots at you, knocks you down, and strangles you with a prehistoric superweapon, even if you're Joel McHale (two heads taller than her and ripped). She showed signs of this earlier, as well, when Starburns makes a sexist remark — turns out the Starburns make great targets for a blowgun.
  • On Corner Gas, Brent's mother Emma is shown to have immense physical strength. She's been compared to both the Hulk and Lou Ferrigno (who played the Hulk in the TV show). Her strength possibly comes from all of the gardening she does, carrying around heavy bags of fertilizer and such.
  • Dallas: Miss Ellie, who could hold her own against anyone. A prime example comes in early Season 2 episode, "Survival," centers on a plane crash and the Ewings worried after J.R. and Bobby go missing. The media is trying to get a statement from the family, but one reporter crosses ethical and moral boundaries by trespassing onto Southfork (via a private driveway) and getting to the house. Ellie – who is very protective of her family – is very angry and runs the reporter off with a shotgun, telling him he'd better flee as fast as he can and never return, lest he be shot.
  • In the Danger Force episode "Mika in the Middle", after pretending to have fragile bones (melty bones), Schwoz's elderly mother fights with Ray over whether Schwoz goes with her or stays with Ray. She then proceeds to kick his butt.
    Miles (seeing Schwoz's mother ominously hanging from the ceiling ready to attack): Now that't terrifying.
  • Doctor Who: In "Tooth and Claw" (set in 1879), Queen Victoria carries a pistol because of the several assassination attempts on her life. And she kills the evil monks' leader with it.
  • Mama Winslow in Family Matters; she even gets a Pool Shark episode. When her grandchildren express their surprise at how easily she takes out a criminal attacker, she flippantly tells them "you should've seen me when I had TWO good hips!"
  • Played for laughs in Father Ted with Father Stone's grandmother. After Father Stone was hospitalised after getting struck by lightning (which Ted himself was concerned he had been responsible for), Granny Stone told Ted that she knew what he was up to and shot him a Death Glare before leaving the room.
    Ted: Oh, she knows it's all my fault.
    Dougal: How would she know that?
    Ted: They have ways. Old women are closer to God than we'll ever be. They get to that age and they don't need the operator any more; they've got the direct line.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The aforementioned Olenna Tyrell gets a lot more screentime than her book counterpart, which by all counts is a good thing since she's played by Diana Rigg. Apart from what she does in the booksnote , she's also shown to be one of the few who can claim to be an equal to Tywin Lannister, and makes this quite clear to him to his face.
    • Maege Mormont is one of the few females fighting alongside Northmen and leading a noble house.
  • The Golden Girls: All four main characters are grandmothers, while Sophia is old enough to be a great-grandmother. But all of them are also spry, active, and not afraid to deliver verbal and, on rare occasions, physical smackdowns on anyone who messes with them, each other, or their children.
    • Dorothy's probably the wittiest and most intelligent of the group, which usually manifests as sarcasm and quips. She's also a master of "The Reason You Suck" Speeches, telling off a chauvinistic doctor who dismissed her concerns and Barbara Thorndyke, a snooty and bigoted author who talks down to her friends and supports an antisemitic club. In "Ladies of the Evening," Dorothy even manages to intimidate a tough-talking prostitute into backing down.
    • Rose is usually The Ditz of the group, but she effortlessly overpowers a man she thought was trying to rob her (it turns out he was just a parking attendant trying to return her keys, but it's the thought that counts) and catches a sexually harrassing dentist in the act, promising to report him and holding him off with a mouth sprayer, of all things. She also defeats the Enfante Terrible holding her beloved teddy bear hostage by grabbing the toy and shoving the kid out the door.
    • In one episode, Blanche attends a pro-dolphin protest, and when a fisherman tries roughing up the group, she lays him out with a single punch. In another, she outwits two teenage delinquents and guarantees that they'll be caught for trying to cash a bad check.
    • Sophia is arguably the toughest of the four girls, as she's reached peak Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior! levels. Whether she's beating up a two-timing boyfriend with her purse (backed up by her barely younger sister), putting Sicilian curses on her neighbors, or attacking kids on Halloween (although in her own words, "it was dark and I was unaware of this Ninja Turtle craze"), you do NOT want to get on her bad side.
  • The end of the Grimm episode "El Cucuy" reveals the little old lady is the titular beast, moving to places she's heard women and children screaming, and mauling all the criminals until the neighbourhood is safe.
  • Police officer Catherine Cawood of Happy Valley is one grandmother who can hold her own against the series' kidnapper Tommy Lee Royce.
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys: A few episodes demonstrated that Hercules' mother Alcmene may be a kind old woman most of the time, but she is capable of holding her own against human opponents, and only needs her son's protection against monsters and superpowered enemies.
  • iCarly:
    • Spencer and Socko were taking Socko's grandmother on their camping trip because there might be bears.
    • Sam and Carly once gave away a survival knife that used to belong to Sam's grandmother. Given Sam's known family (except for her twin sister) are all fittingly badass, this seems extremely fitting.
  • Justified:
    • Raylan's aunt/stepmother, Helen, is regularly seen with her shotgun, and there is no doubt she'd be happy to use it.
    • Mags Bennet, the second season villain, is a grandmother, and one of the most dangerous people on the show.
    • Dewey Crowe attempts to steal gas from the car of an old woman, who initially seems sympathetic but is really just buying time to get her shotgun.
  • In this decidedly NSFW Key & Peele sketch, the two play elderly grandmothers named Georgina and Esther who meet for a church service. They lament about how Satan has corrupted various relatives, and describe in extremely graphic detail just what they'll do to the Devil if he doesn't stop tormenting them. When Satan himself shows up to possess Georgina, she fights back to the point where he's begging for mercy. Esther then asks Georgina to pass Satan over to her so she can have a go at him, which is somehow even worse. The sketch ends with Georgina and Esther leaving the church to continue destroying the Prince of Darkness, who starts shouting that he accepts Jesus Christ as his Savior because of their No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • In MacGyver (1985) season five's Christmas episode, "The Madonna", an elderly bag lady whom Mac and Peter Thornton are helping turns out to be not only a fount of wisdom, but also turns around a troubled youth by hustling him at pool.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Madame Gao, who was first introduced in Daredevil (2015). An old, polite woman who walks with a cane — yet she's perhaps the most dangerous of Fisk's partners, and when she comes up against Matt, she lays him on his ass with a single hit. And again with Danny Rand, she taps him and sends him flying into a wall. This gets cranked up in The Defenders, which shows that her telekinesis is strong enough to blast down doors and shift cars. And then she takes on both Jessica Jones AND Luke Cage by herself, briefly overwhelming them.
    • On 'Emergency! episode "That Time of Year" an old lady flips and disables a self-defense instructor. After he is taken away to Rampart, she takes over as instructor.
    • Mama Mabel Stokes in Luke Cage (2016). Looks like an lovely old lady, but was also a ruthless crime boss who cuts off a punk's finger for selling drugs in her territory. On her first scene no less.
      Shades: I grew up in the street. But the one name that always rang out was "Stokes". You needed a Thanksgiving turkey? Go see Mama Mabel Stokes. School clothes? Mama Mabel Stokes. Your old man put his hands on you? See Mama Mabel Stokes and it would never, ever happen again.
  • One episode of Midsomer Murders involved this. An elderly lady writes a novel under a pseudonym and pays an actress to be her public face. After years of success, she wants to reveal the truth. The actress won't have that, so she and three others form a conspiracy to murder the old lady. Unfortunately for them, she's a Gulag survivor, and all of them end up dead in self-defence.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: Hell's Grannies. One of their favourite pastimes is beating up young ruffians.
  • On NCIS, Joann Fielding, Gibbs' former mother-in-law, is one not to be trifled with. When she could not locate the drug cartel leader who killed her daughter and granddaughter, she spent years looking for the next best person. She found the Navy captain who had been on the cartel payroll. She charmed him and set up his murder with the evidence implicating his protégé and fellow dirty officer in the murder.
  • NCIS: Los Angeles: Hetty Lange. Whole communities of intelligence agencies out there are both in awe of her and terrified of her — and with reason, because she can Out Gambit anyone she pleases and out-shoot them at the same time.
  • Red Riding Hood's Granny in Once Upon a Time. Her Establishing Character Moment in the Fairy-tale world? Keeping vigil at her door with a crossbow loaded and cocked. Then you find out the truth about the wolf she was the Big Bad Wolf at one point, and passed the lycanthropy to her daughter and granddaughter. She and Red also join Snow White in a daring raid on King George's castle to rescue Prince Charming, and Granny takes down a few guards.
  • In Orange Is the New Black, most of the inmates of the medium-security facility are in for non-violent or less serious crimes... except some older women who have been transferred out of maximum security to serve out the remainder of their life sentences. They are not to be fucked with.
    "How 'bout I kill the bitch?"
  • Mrs. S. from Orphan Black carries a double-barreled shotgun in case anyone lays a hand on her foster children or granddaughter. She's also a brilliant chessmaster with ties to many cutthroat conspiracies.
  • Our Miss Brooks: In "Angela's Wedding", petite Mrs. Davis beats up a hulking gym teacher when he criticizes the deviled eggs she prepared.
  • Power Rangers:
  • Quantum Leap once has Sam leap into the body of Dr. Ruth and kick the ass of a man that was taking advantage of his employee. Even better since we get to see the ass kicking in a mirror's reflection we see it as Dr. Ruth performing a pile driver on the creep. Considering the real Dr. Ruth's history (look in the Real Life section below) we can see why they chose her.
  • Mother Hayme in Series/Ressurection Etrugul. Never threaten her familiy or tribe, or you'll be on the wrong end of a knife, sword, or arrow.
  • Retro Game Master: As F-Zero doesn't show the pilots of the racing machines, Arino imagines that a reckless old lady is driving Samurai Goroh's Fire Stingray, constantly messing with him.
  • Saturday Night Live: In "Exorcism", a teenage girl is possessed by a demon who makes short work of the priest trying to cast it out. However, the creature is no match for Mrs. Shaw, the elderly Sassy Black Woman who lives one floor above and is determined to get a good night's sleep. Mrs. Shaw effortlessly shuts down the demon's powers and exorcises it in a matter of minutes, explaining that she's worked as a crossing guard at an elementary school for forty years and thus has no fear whatsoever ("Every day I am the only thing stopping 300 mean fifth-graders from gettin' sent straight to Hell by a UPS truck").
  • Company Boss Jang Sook Ja, who basically kicks her daughter-in-law and grandchildren out into the real world, allowing only room, board, and $10 a day for them to live on in the Korean Drama Shining Inheritance.
  • Zigzagged with Guinan, the bartender of Ten Forward, on Star Trek: The Next Generation. She looks relatively young, but is at the very least 800 years old, given that she first visited Earth in the 18th century (as a grown woman) and started working on the Enterprise in the 24th with no noticeable change in appearance. She's an El-Aurian, though, who are all incredibly Long-Lived. Regardless, Guinan is still terrifyingly competent with a laser rifle, serves as Captain Picard's most trusted advisor, survived the Borg's attack on her homeworld, and, in one episode, is able to stand up to the Physical God Q, who seems genuinely terrified of her.
  • The Witcher (2019): Queen Calanthe, repeatedly leading her armies into battle. To be fair, she was the grandmother of a teenager at 47.

  • The Manau song "Faut pas faire chier Mémé" ("Do not piss Granny off"). Unusual in that Granny is not sympathetic; she goes on a killing rampage just because someone resisted her bullying.
  • Jan and Dean's "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena"
  • A snippet from Stan Freberg's "Tele-vee-shun" has Grandma accosting a burglar, and "she throw him on the floor although she's ninety years old." Turns out she picked some moves watching wrestling matches on TV.
  • The Common song "Payback Is A Grandmother" is about a couple criminals who decide to rob a grandmother... only to have their asses handed to them by her.

    Myths & Religion 

  • The end-of-game match sequence for the Judge Dredd pinball has a shotgun-welding granny firing back at a gang of drive-by shooters.
  • This is also the premise of Bally's Granny and the Gators, who apparently challenges alligators and hostile jungle natives for fun. The tagline for this machine is even, "Are you spunky enough to keep up with Granny!?!"

  • Maggie from the Cool Kids Table game Small Magic is essentially a "grandma for hire", as she wanders the countryside helping young folks, cooking meals for the needy, and being generally kind to all. She can also decapitate a cockatrice in a single strike using her battle axe.
  • The Magnus Archives: The episode "Piecemeal" features Angela, a friendly old lady whom even a violent gangster recognises as someone very nasty and who offers to kill someone for him. When he gets angry with her and lunges at her, he loses a hand. She makes him chew it off.
  • Dice Funk: Rinaldo tries to intimidate an old lady. He gets righteously beaten for his trouble.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The Fabulous Moolah won her first Women's World Championship in 1959, which was recognized as the NWA Women's World Title in 1964. Her seventh, and final, Women's World Title reign, with the WWE, was in October of 1999, 40 years after her first championship, when she was 76 years old.
  • Mae Young:
    • Her wrestling career began in the early 1940s, followed the returning Moolah to WWE. Among her exploits, she was powerbombed off the stage through a table by Buh Buh Ray Dudley, appearing the next week on the program none the worse for wear.
    • A funny note is that before the show, Bubba was hesitant to actually go through with the stunt, so Mae started smacking him around and demanding he put her through the table "like a man." You see that he went through with it... Then gave Bubba's hand a quick squeeze to let him know she wasn't hurt.
  • In the mid 2000's wrestler Shelton Benjamin was given an on screen mother simply named "Momma Benjamin", portrayed on screen by comedian and actress Thea Vidale. She would interfere and challenge other wrestlers on her son's behalf. The character was written out when Vidal had a medical condition and could not continue performing the role.
  • During the late 1990's wrestling boom, a TV special "Exposing the secrets" of pro-wrestling was produced and shown on NBC networks. In the show, they explain how crowd plants work by showing a character they named "Stunt Granny", an older woman.
  • In the old days of wrestling, back when Kayfabe was less of an open secret and it wasn't uncommon for heels to start riots with their antics, pretty much every promotion had at least one such audience member who tried to get in on the action. Perhaps the most famous was Hatpin Mary, a grandmother who attended many shows in New York during the 40s and 50s who was known to stab heels with her hatpins. While you don't see them as often any more, they'll still get referenced in many parodies of wrestling in other works.
  • Sumie Sakai is 47 and still wrestling all over the world and winning titles.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In The Muppet Show, Kermit is forced to have a lady wrestling match on the show so Scooter's uncle will give him the money he needs to make the payroll. The only one willing to do it is an old lady called Granny the Gouger. Kermit initially laughs at the idea, but she quickly proves to be quite tough. Without an opponent, Kermit is forced to wrestle her (while in drag). She ends up wiping the floor with him, but inadvertently invokes Miss Piggy's wrath in the process.

  • Peggy Woolley from BBC Radio 4's The Archers note  might count. She has a scene where, confronting her son, Brian Aldridge, over his extra-marital affair with Siobhan, she tells him "I ought to have you horse-whipped". She's more of a quiet badass really, as the fact she looked after her Alzheimer's-ridden husband for many years, over the protests of her family that she wasn't capable.

  • At the age of 63, S_K is the oldest (human) character in AJCO. She's out-gambitted not only Frances but A_J as well, using her age to manipulate the former and her history in the State to manipulate the latter. She's in charge of a faction with the potential to be the strongest of them all, she's physically strong as well as being highly intelligent and she's evaded capture and torture from the State for over half of her life. She's really not the kind of person you want as an enemy.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Erin Tarn of the Rifts role-playing series. She's in her 60s and is the Coalition State's Public Enemy #1, simply because she spreads knowledge. She's one of the few people in that world that is known around the world (and across dimensions) to be both respected and feared.
  • Difficult, but possible in Dungeons & Dragons, where being in the Venerable age category gives you -6 to all physical abilities and +3 to all mental abilities. This can be an attractive prospect to Min-Maxing players of mentally-oriented characters, or there are workarounds that grant the bonuses but not the penalties. Never Mess with Granny if she's a Kobold, a Monk, a Druid, or any other form of high-level spellcaster.
  • Warhammer has Morathi, the Hag Queen. She is over five thousand years old, maintains her attractiveness through regular blood sacrifices, seduced the first Phoenix King, masterminded her son's attempt on the Phoenix Throne that led to the great schism in the Elven people, and is a capable warrior and a powerful sorceress. Who beat up a Daemon Prince that shredded her entire bodyguard and tried to capture her because he was jealous of her beauty. Also Ms. Fanservice, a wielder of Black Magic, and one of the setting's foremost Big Bads.
  • Warhammer 40,000: If a Sister of Battle survives long enough, she pretty much becomes this. Granted, they don't often have kids, but.
  • Magic: The Gathering,:
  • Malifaux has Abuela Ortega, matriarch to a Badass Family of monster hunters. She's a tiny old lady who carries a shotgun so big it knocks her off her feet when she fires it. This shotgun has overseen more than one wedding. Her other in-game abilities include shutting down spellcasters ("Wash you mouth out!"), preventing enemies from engaging in combat ("Play nice!") and forcing enemies to obey her commands. These abilities are just as effective against monsters formed by nightmares as against normal humans.
  • In the Parlor Game Mafia, "Granny" is shorthand for a role that kills anyone who visits them for any reason. If this also prevents the action from working, it makes her impossible to nightkill.
  • BattleTech has had a few such characters:
    • Natasha Kerensky, the infamous Black Widow, died in the cockpit of her custom Dire Wolf omnimech, "Widowmaker" at the age of 86. At the time of her death, she was still considered to be one of the best mechwarriors who'd ever lived and had been fighting in the Refusal War against Clan Wolf's ancient enemy, Clan Jade Falcon.
    • Aletha Kabrinski led Clan Ghost Bear from 3050 until some time in the 32nd Century. In her late 80s, she was still known for being as skilled in a fight as a warrior sixty years younger than she was and twice as mean.

  • Fuddy Meers: For a stroke victim who's well into her sixties, Gertie can hold her own pretty well. She fights off two escaped convicts with ease, and even manages to non-fatally stab one of them. She also has what may be the foulest mouth of any of the characters, but her aphasia manages to censor out any actual swear words.
  • Westeros: An American Musical: Olenna Tyrell is introduced making three members of rival family stop harassing her grandson, then showing Littlefinger, the character established as the cast Social Climber, showing interest in cooperating with her.

    Video Games 
  • Aria of Crypt Of The Necrodancer is possibly the oldest playable character, being Cadence's grandmother. Despite being very frail, she is just as capable of fighting back against the various monsters of the crypt as the rest of her family.
  • Familia: Marlene appears to be a humble and unassuming grandmother at first, but she's also the strongest warrior of Kalbi, having mastery over both martial arts and magic.
  • in Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, the eponymous protagonist is assaulted in his tenement house. His elderly neighbour blasts one of the assassins through her front entrance with a shotgun, and then gladly gives Payne her other one. Plus some ammo.
  • Big Mama, also known as EVA, from Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. In her seventies, and she's still doing things on a motorbike that people half her age wouldn't dare attempt without Plot Armor. Look what it takes to KILL her!
  • Mass Effect:
    • Samara of Mass Effect 2 is an Asari Matriarch, nearly a thousand years old, and unquestionably badass.
    • Fellow matriarch Aethyta is no commando, but she's had a thousand years to learn how to fight dirty. It's implied that when she was a bartender at Eternity she doubled as the bouncer, and in one of the Shadow Broker's video files she's seen headbutting a Krogan.
    • Matriarch Benezia is no slouch herself. Said to be a powerful biotic even by asari standards, she is very much That One Boss when Shepard has to fight her. This explains a lot about Benezia and Aethyta's daughter.
    • Aethyta's mother was also apparently an example. A former commando, she fought in the Krogan Rebellions, and married a krogan afterward. When she was a matriarch and he was pushing a thousand, he found out that they had fought on opposite sides of the Rebellions, and the two of them agreed to settle it with a duel. Said duel ended in a mutual kill.
    • Aria is rumored to be over a thousand years old, and rules Omega with an iron fist.
    • On the non-asari side of things, there's Helena Blake, who, while perhaps not being a grandmother herself, is a woman probably old enough to qualify - she gets Shepard to go after two crime bosses, former partners of hers, and, if Shepard tries to arrest her, chooses to fight to the death rather than go to prison. If she's not persuaded to give up her criminal enterprise, she eventually joins up under Aria's banner on Omega, becoming an underboss for the unofficial queen of Omega.
    • In Andromeda, Moshae Sjefa is the equivalent of 115 years old. It was her scientific breakthroughs that made it possible for the angara to survive the kett invasion for eighty years, and she assists in the final battle despite earlier having been tortured to the point that her immune system was all but destroyed.
  • In Mega Man Battle Network 4: Red Sun and Blue Moon, when two members of the Mafia try to beat up the old leader and take over, the screen goes dark, there are some sounds of fighting, and when the screen lights up again, the two Mafia members are K.O.'d. This was actually a parody and a shout-out to Akuma/Gouki's Shun Goku Satsu because when the screen goes dark the Ashura Warp sound effect plays, then when when it lights up again it plays the sound usually heard when you KO someone with the move in Street Fighter.
  • Niime The Hermit from Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, one of the most renowned practitioners of Elder Magic in the land. She had also performed extensive research into the Scouring, and her knowledge of dragons and manaketes intrigued Roy enough to recruit her to his army.
  • Referenced in Kingdom of Loathing: A little old lady is part of a list of scary tough guys. The game points out that any little old lady who's so calm in such a rough neighborhood is someone you really don't want to mess with.
  • Speed Buster of No More Heroes, is 76 years old, but still manages to be ranked 3rd by the UAA. Her weapon of choice is a shopping cart that turns into a Wave-Motion Gun. Though a slight subversion in that her Wave-Motion Gun is her only means of attack or defense; once you get past it, the fight's over.
  • In Final Fantasy X-2, you encounter a trio of old NPC women in Zanarkand who claim to be a Sphere Hunter team named the "Grannies". Regarding the monsters in Zanarkand, one of the Grannies quips "I've coughed up scarier things." Another says she was a guardian.
  • Gaia Online's Agatha, while bereft of grandchildren, probably counts, considering the cutscene in zOMG! where she talks about the Animated as though they're more nuisance than they are danger to life and limb. Olivia, also not quite a granny yet, might count if only for the fact that she eats her own cooking.
  • Granblue Fantasy has a Granny who acts as the boss that unlocks Row IV classes. It's a 1 v. 1 fight, and she fights as the strong element to what you use (or same element if Light/Dark) and uses copies of your skills against you. And you have to fight a different version for each class.
  • Occasionally the citizens that usually are only there to be killed brutally in the Grand Theft Auto series retaliate against the protagonist. Ocassionally said citizen will just happen be a crippled old lady that will proceed to take you off her car and try to kick your ass.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dragon Age: Origins:
      • Wynne is a very kind old lady who appoints herself the position of Team Mom to the party. She is also an extremely formidable mage who can be given the Arcane Warrior specialization later on, turning her into a devastating Magic Knight at the cost of her normal role of being the premiere healer. In the novel Asunder, set seven years after the Blight, Wynne holds the honorary title of "archmage", which means that she is pretty much up there with the First Enchanters in terms of magical power (and it shows) but not interested in politics.
      • On the Evil side: Flemeth is the legendary Witch of the Wilds and is more a mythical being than she is an old lady. She can also transform herself into a Dragon in an Bonus Boss battle if the player chooses to help save Morrigan from being potentially Body Snatched from her, and even then she'll survive that with hardly any problems.
      • Flemeth not only survives it in Dragon Age II, she ends up looking better than she did in the first game while baking some darkspawn cookies!
      • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, a dwarven Inquisitor ran afoul of an old seamstress in their backstory. She terrified the future Inquisitor's boss and never had to pay protection money again.
  • The Super Granny franchise. Not only does Granny plonk her enemies with frying pans and run at super speed, she loves to sing Michael Jackson's "Bad" as she does.
  • Lokomo sage Anjean from The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks happens to be this in a pure form. The lavender-haired, steam-powered Segway-riding old maiden releases the Spirit Train from its sleep at the least. She also conjures the Lokomo Sword and a custom Phantom for Zelda, despite injuries sustained from fighting Byrne to a stalemate while you were out at the Fire Temple. Mock her now. She spends most of the game holding the Spirit Tower together to keep Malladus from entering the world completely. And she did it by herself.
  • Kreia from Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. It doesn't exactly come as a shock to discover that under that she used to be a Sith, and hasn't exactly "seen the error of her ways".... That's putting it mildly — she all but slaps the player-character upside the head if they didn't think she was playing them all along.
  • Mrs. Crumplebottom from the first two Sims games. She is a mean old lady who does not approve of public displays of affection. Kissing in public will invoke the unpredictable wrath of her ginormous handbag, unless you have the foresight to distract her with frothy mugs of fruit juice, or take your date to a bowling alley.
  • It's been suggested on a modder forum that made mods for the Pirates of the Caribbean game, that carrying cash should increase the chance that a player gets attacked on the streets, which in turn would lead to a big fight involving muggers, pirates, guards, and old ladies with broomsticks, who don't want to miss the fun. How serious this suggestion was, is anyone's guess.
  • An odd one in House of the Dead: OVERKILL, where the final boss is Clement's elderly mother... after her brain had been transplanted into Varla Guns, and the mutagen overloaded her and made her giant.
  • In the webgame Epic Mafia, one of the roles a player can get is "Granny". If anyone tries to visit Granny during the night phase, Granny shoots them instead.
  • Fallout: New Vegas:
    • Lily Bowen was a kindly old grandmother before becoming a Nightkin. She's still like this somewhat when her Ax-Crazy "friend" Leo isn't behind the wheel.
    • And don't tick off Old Lady Gibson. Not only does she have a pack of dogs, she also carries a unique sawed-off shotgun.
    • Daisy Whitman of Novac is probably the most combat-capable character in the town aside from former NCR Elite Mooks. As it turns out, she was a former Enclave pilot.
    • You, yourself, if you moved the age meter all the way to the right and gave yourself grey hair and be female, can play as a badass grandma. "I may not have kids, I may be 70+ years old, but I'm quite capable of taking a rocket launcher to your face."
  • Quite a few NPCs in the Far Cry series:
    • Adelaide Drubman, mother of recurring character Hurk Drubman Jr. in Far Cry 5. Not as old as most versions of this character (around in her 60's), but she's a canny businesswoman and a skilled helicopter pilot who can be called upon as a Gun for Hire. Her helicopter is also armed with BFGs with "the big-ass clips that are illegal in Canada" (in her own words), so expect to see tons of Stuff Blowing Up when Addie's around. She also doubles as a Dirty Old Woman on account of the fact that she's nearly as much of an unabashed pervert as her son, but a lot more successful at actually scoring.
    • Nana from Far Cry: New Dawn is an old lady who's possibly survived WWII as a child, and has definitely survived the nuking of Hope County at the end of the last game. She operates as a Friendly Sniper against the Highwaymen at an old grain silo, and can be recruited as a Gun for Hire.
    • Jayma from Far Cry Primal is a master hunter who lives in the prehistoric Oros valley. Given that she's lived long enough to have grey hair in a harsh landscape where Everything Is Trying to Kill You, you'd better believe she's a tough cookie. Her Establishing Character Moment consists of her lodging an arrow in a post next to Player Character Takkar's hand and chiding him for scaring off a bear she and her men were tracking.
  • Saints Row:
    • In every game except the first you can turn yourself into an old woman through plastic surgery. It's... awkward if your guy was previously a bulky dude, but badass nevertheless.
    • The Appointed Defender mission in Saints Row 2 has the judge of Johnny's trial, an old black woman, come after the player with a shotgun after the trial is broken up.
  • EggDrop
    • EggDrop was a small Shockwave game that involved the player standing at the top of a tall building dropping things like eggs, water balloons, etc., on passersby. If a payload falls on a passing granny (who walks rather slowly), she gets enraged and calls the police, which ends the level immediately.
    • The 3D sequel takes this to hilarious extremes, you're in a multi-floored office building and if you nail her she proceeds to cuss you out then go up to where you are, knock you out with one swing of her cane and cuss you out some more!
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Grandma Wahl in the worgen starting zone initially seems a senile old lady who makes you fetch her favorite book, clothes, and cat before she'll comply with orders to evacuate. When you're attacked on retrieving the cat, Grandma Wahl proves she's a senile old worgen lady and helps take out the enemy with a yell of "You do not mess with my kitty, you son of a mongrel!"
    • There's an escort quest in Highmountain where you get to walk Ethel Waterwise, an elderly Tauren lady, over a narrow bridge across a chasm to see her grandson. Apparently, her eyesight and hearing are so bad she can't move unless you stay very close to her... however, she is perfectly able to simply shoo away a gigantic elite bird beast.
    • In Legion, the Gilnean village of Bradenbrook in Val'Sharah has a quest given to you by Granny Marl. Her crops are being attacked by undead ravens. However, she doesn't want you to go and kill them for her. Instead, she wants you to go out and mark them with a flare gun so she can shoot them down despite her failing eyesight.
    • Granny Marl's badassery is witnessed by none other than Jared Shadowsong... the guy who drove back the Legion's first invasion of Azeroth 10,000 years ago and has been leading the Night Elf military ever since. He recruits her to help defeat the Legion presence in Blackrock Hold, which also contains the resurrected spirits of ancient highborn elves. Although this is an Order Hall quest, you're up against the actual dungeon fights without any abilities removed (although you don't have to do some of the trash fights that normally occur in the dungeon). It's actually an insanely challenging quest, especially if you didn't happen to get your spec's best legendary armor piece yet, even though this questline contains what is quite possibly some of the best AI work in the game. What makes this scenario even funnier is that Jared Shadowsong does not deign to enlighten Granny Marl as to who he is (this is entirely in character, if you hadn't been shown in an earlier quest who this guy was, you wouldn't know). She proceeds to call him "kid" for the entirety of the mission, order him to move monsters so she can get a better shot (by contrast, if a damage player asked a tank to move a monster they would get told "move your own butt"), and generally bully him in an affectionate grandmotherly way. His positive response to this treatment gives the chilling impression that his mother treated him similarly, but presumably was far more actually terrifying (Granny Marl is a badass given that she is a completely normal human, but she's not a threat to him in the slightest). Though you might already have concluded that given his inability to draw healthy boundaries particularly with women, and his sister Maiev's toxic borderline obsessive-compulsive behavior.
  • Golden Sun:
    • In Golden Sun: The Lost Age, the player follows the escaped pirate Briggs back to his homeland, where he's begging his grandma Obaba for protection from the player characters. She obliges by summoning a giant firebreathing salamander. Once she realizes the player characters are too tough for that, she lets them say their piece, and then she realizes they're telling the truth about Briggs's shenanigans and goes off on him for lying to her and endangering her baby great-grandson. She later helps reforge the pieces of an ancient trident that can be used to defeat the sea monster Poseidon.
    • Obaba returns in Dark Dawn thirty years older and upset she's outlived her grandson, but willing to do Item Crafting for you.
  • Some of the Fatal Frame ghosts fall into this trope. Here are some examples:
  • Halak of Vanguard Bandits, the little old lady with a case of Yoda-speak who's a giant mech pilot in order to be a bodyguard to her Princess Granddaughter. She willingly faces off against the strongest ATACs to ensure her job is done.
  • Both Class I and Class M from Tales of the Abyss are full of dangerous old people. They show this capability when Sheridan is attacked by the Oracle Knights, and Tamara, one of the two women on the teams, pulls out a fricking flamethrower on the Knights. Commence asskicking. Unfortunately, just before almost everyone on the teams pulls a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Raja from Suikoden V. A former navy admiral who later defeated her student who defected to the enemy Godwin faction.
  • Granny Rags from Dishonored certainly looks like she doesn't qualify but as The Outsider states, there's more to her than meets the eye. She's actually immortal (not to mention immoral) and one of the most powerful enemies in the game.
  • Borderlands 2: Mr. Torgue mentions that being ranked as the 50th greatest badass on Pandora puts you behind his grandma, but ahead of a guy she gummed to death over several hours. It's hard to say why she bothered, because it turns out she's just as musclebound as he is and casually mentions wrestling a whale-squid named Blowhole the Apocalypse.
  • Mortal Kombat X has a secret stage brutality in one stage that entails tossing a little old lady at the opponent. Usually, this only does damage to the opponent and leaves granny bleeding on the floor, but with the right input, granny will pound the opponent's face into pudding.
  • Opal in Pokémon Sword and Shield is possibly the oldest Gym Leader in the series, and is still willng to show you why she was well respected in her prime while flinging tricky questions at you during battle. She retired near the end of the main game, though participates in the Galarian Star Tournament along with her successor.
  • In the Star Trek Online mission "Capture the Flag", the Romulan flagship RRW Lleiset is boarded by the Vaadwaur and you have to help repel the Boarding Party. When you go to sickbay to rescue the chief medical officer, an elderly Romulan woman named Rhian Cratak, you walk in on her insulting the Vaadwaur. When you attack, she pulls a gun from somewhere the moment they turn to fight you and starts gunning them down.
  • The lead character of the Angry Gran series of mobile games.
  • Anya's grandmother Olenka in Wolfenstein: The New Order. First she slaps the Nazi officer who killed her daughter and then later on she kills a Nazi soldier with a shotgun when he gets to close to the car.
  • Ida Lennox in Evolve. She walks around in a Mini-Mecha and fights gigantic murder beasts, so she's definitely not someone to mess with.
  • Overwatch's first post-launch character, Ana Amari, a skilled sniper who saw combat well into her 50s. At the time the game takes place, she's 60 and still going strong.
  • Griselma from Gigantic is a tiny old woman with big glasses and a funny-looking hat. She also commands a legion of hand-monsters from a parallel dimension she's more than happy to unleash upon you should you cross her.
  • Sleeping Dogs (2012): Mrs. Chu, Winston's mother, is about the only thing the Water Street Boys are afraid of, and she isn't afraid to take gruesome action against those who mess with her little boy (who is the leader of the Water Street Boys). The protagonist even advocates handing over a particularly slimy adversary to Mrs. Chu on the grounds that "If we [kill him], it'll be quick."
  • Iva from Battlerite is the oldest human character. This does nothing to hinder her combat skills.
  • In Mystery Case Files: Huntsville, the Master Detective tries to put an end to a variety of crimes in the little town of Huntsville. It turns out all the crimes were committed by a crime syndicate that is run that the sweet elderly town librarian, Gertrude Goodlittle. The syndicate's headquarters even has various knitting products among the truckload of weapons, and Granny Goodlittle is seen here knitting like a regular grandmother would.
  • Senran Kagura has Sayuri, Asuka's grandmother. At first a background character and the only one who can keep her husband Hanzo in check, Estival Versus reveals she's a veteran Shinobi (that is, an 81-year-old in a line of work that kills most people by 30) who can run rings around the rest of the cast without even needing her age-reducing Shinobi transformation.
  • In Watch_Dogs 2 has Auntie Shu, leader of a gang called the Shu Boys. You never see her but audio logs describe her as putting on the appearance of a stereotypical Asian grandmother only to show her true ruthlessness to her gang.
  • Watch Dogs: Legion lets you recruit any civilian you see, including the old ladies throwing breadcrumbs in the park. Who include 1980's pro-hackers and retired assassins.
    She's not old, she's experienced!
  • Don't Starve: Wickerbottom may be obviously the eldest in the cast, but not only is she no weaker than any other survivor, but she is able to summon Combat Tentacles and lightning storms using her magic books.
    • Wanda's main mechanic is using magic watches to manipulate her age between young adult, middle aged, and elderly. In the last, she's a Glass Cannon who can wield a Black Magic alarm-clock flail.
  • In West of Loathing, your starting weapon is an inheritance from your late grandmother, always in the same class you chose. Your sidekick options also include the widow Doc Alice, who can unlock the game's only One-Hit Kill attack by battling enough skeletons (said attack only works on skeletons).
  • Esther wouldn't seem like anything special in the first game in the Mr. Hopp's Playhouse series, where she's a Posthumous Character who went mad and died shortly before the game's events. However, in the third game, her soul is put into the body of her younger self, she manages to snag a magic medallion that can fire golden blasts of energy, and she isn't exactly fond of the army of shadow creatures threatening her granddaughter. She even becomes an angel capable of taking down the local Satanic Archetype by the ending.
  • One of your customers in Sunshine Heavy Industries is Selene's grandmother. Naturally, Granny still takes out contracts on pirates and the requirements for her ships include laser batteries and armour on all vulnerable surfaces.

    Web Animation 
  • MoniRobo: In this story, Shinobu fended off Minako's boyfriend when he demanded Nezuko for her father's money and knocked him unconscious despite her old age. Turns out she was a wrestler and was hired by Nezuko's father to act as a maid, babysitter, and bodyguard.
  • Fria in RWBY is old and confined to bed, but still a fully realized Winter Maiden and as such one of the strongest beings in Remnant. When Cinder tries to claim her power by force, Fria rather casually restrains her, then summons an immense freezing tornado. In the end, despite both Cinder and Winter trying to steal her power, neither of them can even get close and Fria chooses her own successor.
    • Maria Calavera is long past her prime and uses a cane to get around. She also made an utter fool of Neo, one of the most dangerous fighters in the series.
  • In Monkey Wrench, Dr. Agness is a grumpy old woman who frequently grouses about how things were better back in her day. She's also a murderous Mad Scientist with a hoverchair that can transform into a superhumanly strong and nearly indestructible battlesuit. She gives Beebs and Shrike a very hard time when they fight her.

  • Mrs. Abigail Primrose from The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! A lovable little roly-poly old woman who secretly works for alien dragons, swipes ancient, primordial artifacts from the government, and owns her own suit of Bubblegum Crisis-style Powered Armor. And likes to attend bake sales.
  • The Shufflers has Granny Warhammer. She’s the boss of several men, and owns several sharp and dangerous weapons in her house. Her solution to Märchen and Hiddenite being stuck together by the lips is to try to saw them apart.
  • Stella "tough-as-an-iron-battleship" Wincott from Thunderstruck. And that was before she became the mortal host of an archangel.
  • In Digger, there is Boneclaw Mother. "Frankly, I'm a lot more scared of Boneclaw Mother than the Gods. She-Is-Fiercer (the head of the hyenas' pantheon) isn't known for her left hook."
  • Albeit more of a Mama Bear, Miranda Deegan (mother of Dominic Deegan) deserves a mention here. As an archmage, it comes with the territory. She spends most of the series as just an Action Mom, but by the end of the series Dominic has had children, finally making her a grandmother.
  • San: Three Kingdoms Comic: Lu Bu learns this the hard way: it doesn't matter if you're the Memetic Badass of the Three Kingdoms, you simply don't mess with Mother Dong.
  • Rose from A Girl and Her Fed. She's a little old grey-haired lady who walks with a cane. She's also the retired Federal agent who used to run "the post office", a black ops team. When she retired, she opened a daycare for the children of mercenaries and Special Forces members. It has snipers with live ammo watching to make sure no-one messes with the kids.
  • Drive (Dave Kellett): Captain Taneel of the Machito hasn't even touched a weapon (yet), but managed to mouth off to the emperor and get away with it. The same emperor who killed his uncle for the position.
  • Grandma Terebithia from Girl Genius is the matriarch of one of the most notoriously conniving and fratricidal families in Europa. Just living long enough for your children to have children is a level of badass by itself in this family, and she's still feared and respected. She may not be as spry as she used to be, but she's still as cunning as ever, still able to pick-pocket weapons off her highly-trained younger relations, and still scheming.
  • Homestuck:
    • Nannasprite is a ghostly but kindly old lady in a clown suit who loves pranking and baking. She looks harmless, but try stealing her cookies...
    • Alpha Jade qualifies as this. She died fighting Her Imperious Condescension.
  • Hetaween 2011: Grandmano.
  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, the eponymous Doc is at stated to be about thirty-five. Mitzi McNinja, his mom, has to be in her mid-to-late fifties, and she can just about out-ninja him. Achievements include blowing up a pirate ship so precisely that the treasure landed in her family's hands on the shore, fighting Doc to a draw in the cave, and (in an alternate future) destroying the only Horrorsaurus.
  • Sinfest: This scene shows an old lady shopkeeper sweeping her sidewalk when two demons approach to offer her a buyout. She refuses their money and this earns their anger. They attack her with a club and brass knuckles, but using her broom she easily defends herself without them ever landing a hit on her. They run away after their defeat and she returns to simply sweeping her sidewalk once again. Also counts as Beware the Nice Ones.
  • Gets referenced in Questionable Content, when Sven Bianchi is annoyed with his sister.
    Sven: I wonder whether you inherited all your Crazy Bitch from Mom or Dad's side. Aunt Hilde is pretty cantankerous, but I think Grandma Bianchi actually killed a man once.
  • Nanma from Zukahnaut lives in a world where aliens of every description can appear out of thin air, with no warning. She's not afraid.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent:
  • The Order of Notaries Public in Skin Horse are led by a little old lady who just so happens to be able to take down Unity with but a tap. It's a prized skill of the ancient order.
  • Doctor Staphanie Coccus (an anthropomorphized Staphylococcus Aureus) from Awful Hospital is described as having the personality of kindly old grandmother, and for most of her time in the Inert Vessel arc, she sticks to that personality, having limited combat ability outside of healing. However, during the fight with Balphin when Fern works out how to give her allies their own One-Winged Angel forms, Staph reveals her ultimate technique - Reverse Healing: She takes out a glock and starts unloading on the enemy. Remember, she's a bacterium.
  • In The Order of the Stick, Strip #1153, Durkon's mother Sigdi Thundershield, holding her grandson Kudzu for the first time, threatens Hilgya Firehelm (Kudzu's mother) with death if she ever harms Durkon Thundershield (Sigdi's son and Kudzu's father) again.
    Sigdi Thundershield: I bet yer ma feels better knowin' thar's someone in yer pa's life who knows how ta take real good care o' ye — just in case she ev'r puts a scratch on 'im again an' yer Granma Sigdi needs ta end her.
  • Ramia - Hero & Demon Lord Chronicles: Old lady Gertrude is a retired hero. When some creature had been kidnapping young women who entered the woods, she goes in herself to find the missing girls. The creature saw her but chose not to try an attack her, not for her age, but her fist cracked a boulder with no effort when she punched it in frustration.
  • In A-gnosis' comics on Greek myth, Old Mother Nyx takes the form of an elderly lady and spends most of her time relaxing in The Underworld. She's also the primordial goddess of the night, one of first beings in creation, and even the other gods tread carefully around her. To date, she limits herself to Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior! moments.

    Web Original 
  • Heretical Edge:
    • Baroness Gaia Sinclaire looks like a woman in her mid-thirties, but is actually several millennia old thanks to her Heretical powers granting her prolonged longevity. She's The Dreaded to hero and villain alike, and everyone is afraid of provoking her wrath. While it's worth noting that Gaia has no children of her own, she's the headmistress of Crossroads Academy and treats all the students as if they're her own family. Screw with them at your own risk.
    • Professor Virginia Dare isn't quite as old or as powerful as Gaia (she's roughly 400 years old), but she's still a Master Swordsman and Magic Knight who has fought Fossor to a standstill on multiple occasions, which is no mean feat. In several arcs, the heroes' best solution to the problem at hand often boils down to holding out until Dare arrives.
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-2126 ("Letter from Grandma") If Grandma tells you to cut your hair, you better comply, boi.
  • Whateley Universe: Mrs. Carson is in at least her 70s with grandchildren. She scares the crap out of the entire student population of Whateley Academy at one point. Students are seen wondering who had the balls to prank her. On Halloween, she beat the crap out of and nearly killed a nearly-invincible cyborg without help. It helps that she is Lady Astarte, a big-name superheroine.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time has the Ice King's Gender Flip counterpart the Ice Queen. Justified in that she's a fanfiction character written by him.
  • The unnamed old lady in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. See for yourself. There's also Shredder's mother, who was an excellent martial artist and cunning enough to nearly defeat the Turtles.
  • The Pink Panther: The episode "Pink Pistons" had the Pink Panther blow past an old woman at an intersection with his new sports car. Turns out that old lady was Granny Flash, senior citizens drag race champion. She proceeds to blow the doors off the Pink Panther.
  • Futurama: Farnsworth refers to electromatter, which Yivo is made of, as being regular matter's "badass grandma".
  • Looney Tunes:
    • In some cases, Granny from the cartoons and in the Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries series. She might as well be the Trope Namer. Attempt to hurt Tweety and you'll be in for an umbrella of hurt.
    • Little Red Riding Hood's grandma in Red Riding Hoodwinked deals with both The Big Bad Wolf and Sylvester the Cat at the end of the story when she knocks them off the bus she's driving.
  • Animaniacs: Slappy Squirrel. Which is arguably the point: age has only perfected her slapstick skills.
  • Willy's grandmother is a biker mama in My Dad the Rock Star.
  • Betty van Heusen from The Boondocks. She personally sent two veterans-turned-criminals running with the help of her shotgun (granted, they were Ed Wuncler III and Gin Rummy), and even stated the cliched NRA catchphrase: "[I'll give you my gun] from my cold, dead hands!"
  • Jon's grandma in Garfield, who can punch the wind out of him in the Christmas special, and rides a motorcycle in the Thanksgiving special.
  • Kim Possible:
    • Nana Possible. She's introduced as a well-meaning granny, then we are told that she knows Kung Fu. When her brainwash machine malfunctions, you wouldn't want to be in Drakken's shoes.
    • First woman to complete the Navy's Underwater Demolitions Training? Richard Marcinko would be spitting chips.
  • Gargoyles:
    • The elderly Princess Katharine pins down Demona with a laser gun when she tries to attack the gargoyles she raised from hatchlings. "No one threatens my eggs!"
    • Heck, Demona herself when we see her in flashbacks as an old gargoyle in City of Stone, before she is granted immortality and eternal youth.
  • DuckTales:
    • Ma Beagle is certainly the smartest and craftiest of her family of thieves, crooks and robbers. No wonder they love her so much.
    • Glittering Goldie counts, too. Because if you don't count her, she'll come after you with a shotgun.
    • Mrs. Beakley has her moments. Especially when in Mama Bear mode. Winded up fully graduating into this in the 2017 reboot, where she is a retired spy.
  • One episode of Static Shock opens with a gang of meta-humans sticking up a mall. One gets pepper sprayed by an old lady while Static battles the others.
  • Suga Mama of The Proud Family knows how to put people in their place when they get fresh with her (as Oscar can tell you).
  • Niko's mentor Ariel from Galaxy Rangers. You can definitely see where Niko developed her Action Girl tendencies. The wicked sense of humor and her Moment of Awesome versus the episode's Cosmic Horror have made her a One-Scene Wonder.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • In the first series: Even though she has no kids of her own, Hama definitely counts as someone who could kick your ass without even striking you. She's also one of the scariest characters in the series. Note that she wouldn't kick your ass. As long as there's a full moon, she'd make you kick your own ass.
    • The Legend of Korra
      • By this time, Katara has turned into this. We never see her in action, but given that she's Korra's waterbending mentor, it's safe to assume she's still as badass as ever.
      • Toph Beifong, as well; in Season 3 it's mentioned that she's been missing for several years, Walking the Earth in search of enlightenment despite being well into her eighties. Korra stumbles across her home in the Foggy Swamp in Season 4, and even in her old age, she is no less proficient as an earthbender. She spends an episode kicking Korra's ass for fun and points out that she'd have destroyed her if she was in her prime. Surprisingly Realistic Outcome happens when she joins Opal, Bolin and Lin in trying to rescue Su and her family, with Toph pointing out that she and Katara are still old, and just aren't up to fighting in a war like they were when they were kids, and uses Katara not fighting in Season 2's civil war as an example.
  • In Batman Beyond, Barbara Gordon is an old woman now, but as Terry can attest, she can still throw a mean Batarang and serves as the current police commissioner.
  • From the Sam & Max: Freelance Police animated series, Sam's Granny Ruth, who works at a maximum security prison on Blood Island. The duo visit her on Christmas Eve just as the prisoners attempt a jailbreak. True to this trope, Granny kicks seventeen types of ass to get the rapscallions back into place.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • Mr. Krabs' mother may seem like a sweet old lady at first, but when she finds out that Plankton was just using her to get the Krabby Patty formula, she flexes her bicep, revealing it to be huge and accompanied by an image of battleship cannons going off inside it. Cue Oh, Crap! from Plankton followed by him being punched clean out of the Krusty Krab and back into the Chum Bucket. Never Mess With Granny indeed...
    • Also in season 9 episode "Mall Girl Pearl" elderly store employee Beatrice gagged Pearl's mean friends after they keep bullying her for working in her store (but even before this, Pearl needs better friends).
  • It's revealed in Ben 10: Alien Force that Ben and Gwen's grandmother is an extremely powerful Energy Being that was able to take them all on at once... and she was playing!
  • Robot Chicken had one extremely short segment of a little old lady rolling down the street in a tank.
    Granny: Come and get some!
  • Winx Club: Make Headmistress Faragonda fight you all-out. I dare you!
  • Wakfu season 2 introduces Ruel's grandmother in one episode. Note that Ruel is already the Cool Old Guy and Old Master of the heroes' group, so there's no telling how old exactly his grandmother is. When a group of air pirates attacks her Clock Punk cable-car, you get the feeling that she wouldn't even need the help of the heroes to drive them off... considering she welcomes them with a cannon. And by fusioning with her drheller familiar for a tougher combat form.
  • The Life and Times of Juniper Lee: If you think Juniper Lee is badass, you don't want her grandmother to be angry at you.
  • Archer: Mallory Archer mostly spends her time complaining about things, and being wasted, but as she demonstrated, she's still a dead shot with her 44. Magnum. A fact she demonstrated on a mind-controlled Archer.
    Mallory: All six shots, right in the 10 ring.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998) episode "Criss Cross Crisis" involves Mojo Jojo being body-swapped with the only citizen of Townsville stronger than the main characters. Or, more specifically, ''senior'' citizen! A cookie-baking old lady who carries knitting balls of steel wire tough enough to trap even the girls!
  • The previous generation of Guardians in W.I.T.C.H.. Nerissa is the Big Bad of Season 2 for a good reason: she's just that dangerous (and the one who put Phobos into power in first place). Yan Lin and Halinor managed to give Nerissa a run for her money (and even forced her to run with their mere appearance on the battlefield in one occasion), and Yan Lin is actually the only Guardian who resisted Nerissa's brainwashing. Kadma is a greatly powered up Cornelia, and when fooled by Nerissa fought against the protagonists and won. The only reason why Cassidy didn't make to the list is that she died young, and appears only as a ghost before being revived and brainwashed by Nerissa.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man: Peter's Aunt May in this one is not only still gorgeous in her silver years, but also did not bat an eye at the Beetle kidnapping her, and "pretended" to have "accidentally" fried him a-la-Ripley with a jet engine to stop him from hurting Spidey and her date, Principal Coulson.
  • Mrs. Twombly from Littlest Pet Shop (2012), kung-fu quilting champion. She hasn't performed any of it since 1969, but she is still agile enough to teach it. Mrs. Twombly is also very good at navigating the streets of her home city and can perform precise drifting maneuvers.
  • The Flintstones: Wilma Flinstone's mother, Mrs. Slaghoople, is another one of the "beat you with her purse" types, and her purse is made of rock.
  • Nanny Smurf of The Smurfs is one tough old Smurfette. So is Smurfwillow from Smurfs: The Lost Village, when she singlehandedly deals with an invader and finds out that it's her Spear Counterpart Papa Smurf.
  • Garage owner Gertie Growler in the "Tom Slick" cartoons on George of the Jungle. A big goon rudely confronts her and she tells him "Young man, you should always be polite to an old lady... [flattens him] ...especially an old lady who knows karate!"
  • Grammi Gummi of Adventures of the Gummi Bears. She's basically the den mother of the Glen, but isn't afraid to mix it up. Especially when she demonstrates that she is, in fact, a Gummi Mama Bear.
  • Class of the Titans has Gaea, grandmother of Zeus. Also known as easily one of, if not the, most powerful characters in the universe. She's also quite nice as long as you thank her within a few thousand years for helping you.
  • Big City Greens: Feisty old Gramma Green is tough as nails and with a no-nonsense attitude. She's also a capable wielder of many weapons, has tons of traps and weaponry hidden in her room, and is implied to have previously served in the military.
  • In "Little Audrey Riding Hood", Little Audrey's frail looking grandmother is able to single-handedly take out a burgular about twice her size.
  • Gwendolyn Clawthorne from The Owl House is the mother of two of the most powerful witches on the Boiling Isles (both of whom are in their mid-late fourties). While she might not be as powerful as her daughters, she's still clearly not someone to be trifled with as shown by how she intimidates the three goblins who scammed her. Luz is also quite suprised at how muscular she is.

    Real Life 
  • Perhaps your own grandmother. She may have participated in WWII either as a first line combatant (USSR, several La Résistance movements), a second line combatant (the Lotta Corps of Finland), auxiliary (like WASP Corps), medic or perhaps she has been the original Rosie The Riveter, making B-17s. Or, if you're Jewish and you're grandmother happens to originally be from Europe (particularly Eastern Europe, Germany and Austria), it's likely that she lived through the Holocaust. A very different sort of badass, but badass nonetheless.
  • A news story in the 1980s reported that an elderly British woman single-handedly beat up a much younger man who tried to steal her purse. She told the press that she'd survived The Blitz and therefore wasn't going to put up with that sort of thing.
  • Bernie Garcia, 83, fought off two muggers with a gas pump until help came.
  • A 77-year-old woman used a car as a weapon to rescue a postal worker from an attacking dog.
  • 77-year-old Avis Blakeslee was attacked by a rabid fox. She caught it and held it down until help arrived.
  • An old Texas grandmother and her granddaughter were at home one night when a robber broke in. The granddaughter rushed to the phone and called 911. Granny pulled out a revolver and opened fire. When interviewed later on the news, she apologized...for swearing at the robber.
  • An 88-year-old Oregon woman returned from picking up logs for her stove to find a nude intruder in her home. When he tried to push her face first into a chair, she reached back and yanked his testicles. He fled, injured, and was apprehended.
  • A 72-year-old former sprinter outpaced the teenager trying to steal her handbag.
  • One episode of America's Most Wanted had a human interest story about a career criminal who tried holding up the elderly owner of a pawn shop (who also happened to be an actual grandmother) with a gun, only for the woman to end up beating the crap out of him with a baseball bat after he broke a picture of her grandkids.
  • 86-year-old pensioner beats a burglar into submission with her crutch. Then makes him sit in the naughty chair until the police arrive.
  • She warned. Should some poor sod mess with this granny, she'll shoot him in his toodles.
  • Helen McAdam confronted an armed robber who was holding a security guard at gunpoint. She then proceeded to beat him with her handbag and he fled.
  • Azrael at Gaijin Chronicles blogged frequently about the terror that is the obaasan (Japanese grandmother). School policies tended to be made with deference to them, and discipline couldn't be carried out for fear of facing their wrath; the obaasan were feared as much as yakuza parents. Az also describes a field trip in which he was driven from half-way up Mount Fuji by a typhoon, and on retreat was passed up by a group of marching obaasan who had already been to the top, came back down, and were going back for another hike to the summit!
  • The Sisters of Mercy might count as an entire sect of badass grandmas — even though their vows prevent them from even becoming mothers. Fed up with the cloistered lifestyle that Catholic nuns were forced into, they browbeat their way into making the Pope himself agree to the formation of a non-cloistered order. These women also went into warzones on a regular basis to treat the wounded — they braved artillery fire in the Crimean War on more than one occasion!
  • Australian Olympic gold medalist Dawn Fraser, 71, grabs a would-be crook by the ear and kicks him in the groin. He threatens her, she's annoyed, grabs him again by the ear and his hair.
  • Four grandmas in an Impala get hit by a young man at an intersection and the man is yelling at him like it's their fault even though it was him who ran the red light. One rolls down the window, gets the guy with pepper spray and the four old ladies proceed to get out of the car and beat the guy senseless with two umbrellas, a purse, and a black luggage bag until he gets so scared he runs back into his car and takes off. Listen to it here.
  • An elderly couple were walking in the woods when the husband was attacked by a cougar. His wife beat the hell out of this mountain lion with a branch about as big as she was and stabbed it in the eye with a pen, causing it to leave her husband alone and flee. Investigators later found the cougar's battered carcass.
  • Mugger pulls a knife on a little old lady in a wheelchair. Little old lady reaches into her purse, pulls out gun, and shoots him. Turns out, little old lady was a highly competitive shooter, and was on her way home from the range. Unfortunately, she intentionally did not shoot to kill, and is now being sued by the mugger.
  • Everyone on Raging Grannies. They invoke the trope by being over sixty, marching in protests, and singing mildly raunchy songs on street corners to call attention to government and corporate corruption.
  • Sydney news: grandmother punches shark.
  • According to Albions Seed by David Hackett Fischer, a number of Scotch-Irish Apron Matrons were like this. They had intimidating personalities, were experts on all the traditions of The Clan, and would scare the fierce frontiersmen about them, especially if they were their sons. And when was needed they could be right handy with a gun.
  • A criminal, attempting to hide from the police, broke into a house he knew to be owned by an old widow, thinking he'd be safe. After he heard the distinctive sound of a pump-action shotgun and received a polite warning that he might have a better chance with the police, he chose to surrender.
  • As mentioned before, an older Iron Lady will generally be some form of this.
    • As an example, Nancy Pelosi once managed to intimidate Rahm Emmanuel. She has seven grandkids.
    • The Other Wiki calls Golda Meir the "strong-willed, straight-talking, grey-bunned grandmother of the Jewish people."
  • Super Grandma Stops Robbery: A gang are robbing a shop in broad daylight. No-one tries to stop them; one person is taping it on their phone. Then, Super Grandma comes charging in from across the street to save the day, chasing off the robbers by beating them with her handbag. And she doubles for a Handicapped Badass as it's said she suffers from leg arthritis!!
  • The lady used as the first example here.
  • There's a story that supposedly a great-grandmother hunted down two rapists and shot them both in the genitals to avenge the gang rape of her teenaged great-granddaughter. She's even picked up the nickname "Grambo." Sadly, the story appears to be just an urban legend.
  • Asshole in a fancy car is rude to an old lady, old lady sets off his airbag with her shopping bag and just keeps on walking.
  • Ruth Westheimer. Yes, that Dr. Ruth. She was born in 1928. She fought as a sniper in the War of Israeli Independence. She is still very much active. She was born in 1928 in Germany, and pretty much got out in the nick of time in 1939. Her parents didn't make it. She came by her quite noticeable limp the hard way, being badly wounded by shellfire during the Israeli War Of Independence in 1948. ANY of the things listed here on their own would qualify her as a Badass.
  • This old lady.
  • Sensei Keiko Fukuda just became the fourth person in history (and the first woman, and first person living outside Japan) to be made a 10th dan judoka. She was 98 and was still teaching judo in San Francisco. It wouldn't have been wise to mess with her.
  • 83 year old Ernestine Shepherd is in the Guiness Book of Records as the world's oldest female bodybuilder. She runs 10 miles every morning and didn't even start working out regularly until she was 56.
  • Julia Child was as OSS agent.
  • In some Native American tribes, if you piss off Granny you will have all of the young men gunning for you. Some of the grannies cut out the middleman — these Lakota and Dakota women captured a Neo-Nazi flag, took selfies with it, and burned it. Hoka hey.
  • Every single old person who willingly lined up to clean radiation in Japan qualify as a Badass Grandma or Grandpa for exposing themselves to radiation so younger people won't have to. Not so surprising, considering Japanese culture. Still Badass.
  • Annie Oakley. She was nearly seventy when she passed away; she'd been shooting with perfect accuracy right up until then.
  • Breaking into this woman's home is a bad idea, as one young punk found out the hard way.
  • United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent the 1960's and onward forcing her way through the "glass ceiling" and to this day is known for never backing down from her beliefs. She also suffered through both colon and pancreatic cancer, and scarcely missed a day on the bench through surgery, chemo and radiation therapy. She even managed to make it to 87.
  • A Russian grandma kills an attacking wolf with her axe. Notably, she kills the wolf with the axe because her first plan failed, which was to shove her fist into its mouth and punch it in the back of its throat.
  • This nun broke into and defaced a nuclear facility. You don't find many better examples then that.
  • Coco Chanel, after a 15-year hiatus reopened her shop in 1954 after witnessing constrictive and ultrafeminine silhouettes worn after World War II, and returned make innovated clothes until her death.
  • Li Guochuan, an 80-year-old Chinese woman who does 150 push-ups and 150 sit-ups a day and then plays basketball.
  • Jeanne Calment, at 122 years old the oldest person with a verified birth date ever, took up fencing at age 85.
  • Hemet California resident Robyn Irvine (maybe not "elderly" per se, but old enough to be a grandmother): woke to find a burglar attempting to take her watch off. Turns out she's a competitive axe thrower. She reached for the axe that she keeps right by her bedside, and the criminal took to his heels.
  • Eleanor Of Aquitaine ruled England for her favorite son, Richard I while he was on crusade. In other words, for most of his reign. She kept her younger son John from grabbing Angevin lands while Richard was away. Then, when Richard was captured by the Duke of Austria, Eleanor bailed him out by raising the ransom money. When John became king, Eleanor had to keep her grandson Arthur of Brittany in line.
  • Mary Harris Jones A.K.A Mother Jones the 19th century labor organizer and activist. She lived to the age of 93, which was far more than the average for her generation.
  • Anonymous grandma in Manchester, NH is stalked and jumped by a mugger, who earns a .32-caliber bullet in the chest for his pains (which were no doubt agonizing).
  • [1] A lady from Baltimore locks a policeman in her basement when he tries to execute a warrantless search on her home; she then sues the city and wins. It gets even better: the lady managed this after being placed in handcuffs for resisting the warrantless search.
  • 61-year-old grandmother is kidnapped by a man, forced to drive him in her car, then sprays him with perfume in the eyes, followed by literally kicking him out of the car.
  • A man who kidnapped a grandmother in Aberdeen, Maryland to use her ATM card and her car. He initially was going to tape her eyes shut but she pleaded that she was claustrophobic so he tied a mask around her. He ended up letting her go without much fuss. Turns out the woman in question was Violet "Vi" Ripken, the mother of Cal "Iron Man" Ripken, a Baseball Hall of Famer who was a fan favorite for the local Orioles team for his entire career (very rare for Baseball players to remain on one team). Vi's account was that he was generally nice to her and didn't want to hurt her at all and most likely didn't know who she was. He remains at large as of time of writing (2017) with a $100,000 dollar reward for his arrest. Given that he would face the wrath of Baltimore City, most locals would much prefer that the Ripkins keep their money and give them five minutes alone with the accused. About a year after the incident, Vi Ripkin was held up at gunpoint again. She used her car keys to set off her car alarm, spooking the criminal into running away. He was caught.
  • Rosemary Bodger, an 80 year old ex-Women’s Royal Naval Service member (which are nicknamed the Wrens) bought cruical time by being the first to intervene in an attempted robbery by moped mounted theives in London by grabbing the handlebars of the scooter of there intended victim who they had been trying to push over (though other passers by did join her when they noticed the fight). When asked why she helped she said “I don’t run away. I was in the Wrens and I thought, ‘no way are they having that!'” She added: I saw this man being chased and thought, ‘Oh crumbs I’d better do something. I started shouting ‘police!’ as loud as I could. I wanted to stop them moving it – they would have had to run over me to get away.”
  • Grandmother strangles rabid bobcat to death
  • A 73-year-old grandmother kills a giant alligator for eating her horse.
  • In July 2015, Fortean Times reported on the case of 62 year old grandmother Audrey Ranch, from West Virginia, who won a fight with a pit-bull dog by biting its testicles off.
  • Kathy Kehoe, a great-grandmother in Pennsylvania, spotted an escaped cobra outside her house and killed it with a shovel.
  • Jukei-ni, the mother of Imagawa Yoshimoto, served as political advisor for 3 generations of Imagawa daimyos: Ujichika, Yoshimoto, and Ujizane. Needless to say, she had a huge say and influence within the Imagawa administrations, and is said to be the true mastermind of the Imagawa-Takeda-Hojo alliance.
  • 2019: An 82-year-old power lifter Willie Murphy fought off a home invader by herself.
  • 2021: An elderly Asian woman defends herself against a man attacking her.

Alternative Title(s): Action Grandma


The Granny

Look on the bright side, lady: at least it wasn't Grandpappy's belt!

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / CorporalPunishment

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