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Obnoxious Entitled Housewife

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"You should know, no matter where you are or what you're doing, I will always fight for you in an embarrassing and inappropriate way."
Beverly Goldberg, The Goldbergs

She'd like to speak to your manager.note 

This type of woman is an Alpha Bitch in adulthood: usually white and heterosexual, somewhere in the middle class, and feeling entitled to have the entire world suit her needs and preferences. And if Everyone Went to School Together, she was probably like this during her formative years as well. She likes to be heavily involved in local politics, such as the PTA, the homeowners' association, or the neighborhood watch; in general, she likes rules, structures, and hierarchies, and will frequently invoke their authority whenever she feels it will support her position. She is very likely to identify herself as a Christian and is often involved in her local church community as well. She will go out of her way to complain at the slightest provocation or inconvenience, no matter how much it embarrasses or delays everyone else.


This entitlement may manifest as bigotry, either unintentional or by deliberately profiling people who don't fit her standards of beauty, look different from her, are part of a subculture that confuses her, or otherwise irritate her for any other reason. In this context, the most she'll usually do herself is berate, but she's still dangerous as she can be quick to invoke Missing White Woman Syndrome by claiming victimhood and calling the police (or white gangs, or slave catchers depending on the time period). The idea that she's the one inflaming a problem seems lost on her when she is Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence. This allows her to exact punishment upon anyone she doesn't like while keeping her hands relatively clean, even if she was the instigator or there was no crime in the first place.


She is extremely status-conscious, and makes extravagant purchases to appear very well-off and show off whatever wealth she thinks she has, and will often fight retail workers over the price of whatever she's buying and generally assert her authority over anyone in a service position any chance she gets - she emphatically not Nice to the Waiter. She is usually paired with either a Henpecked Husband who has given up on trying to calm her down, or a husband who's just as obnoxious and entitled as she is and feeds her worst impulses. If she's not openly combative, she's at the very least extremely passive-aggressive, posing as kind and neighborly while judging all the other women in the neighborhood that don't live up to her standards. She often struggles with internalized misogyny. For some reason, she often has short hair, usually an asymmetrical bob. Despite the title, she may not be married, and she may even have a job outside the house, but most examples are privileged housewives since they have enough time on their hands to meddle in everybody's affairs. If she owns a pet, you can count on said pet being a Mister Muffykins, being as ill-tempered, misbehaving, and poorly disciplined as their owner.

Most obnoxious housewives are also depicted as obnoxious controlling mothers, typically the bane of all the other parents in the neighborhood, to whom she'll be both unpleasable and defensive and simultaneously utterly unwilling to mind her own business. She often lives vicariously through her kids' extracurricular activities, usually to get them into a prestigious college—or high school, or preschool, depending on their age—but occasionally to make them stars. She is very concerned with her kids' health and diet but not always sensible about it, tending to fall for the Appeal to Nature when making decisions about food or medicine. She's most likely to start a crusade over anything "offensive" because she thinks it's harmful to her children, who probably just find her embarrassing (or terrifying, if she takes her bad attitude out on them as well). She believes herself to be an Almighty Mom, but she's not actually that effective. Her kids will either be embarrassed at her antics or be Spoiled Brats successfully raised in her image.

There may be sympathetic aspects to this character — perhaps she seeks control over whatever she can because she can't control her marriage or family, or she's suffering from Unfulfilled Purpose Misery, or she wants to venture out of the suburbs but is stuck for some reason. Her insistence that she is a victim for imaginary reasons may mask the truth that she's a victim for real reasons. Many portrayals will run the gamut from being depicted as loathsome villains, or at least Hate Sinks, before undergoing Break the Haughty that results in them losing their social status and developing into something akin to a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.

A slang term, "Karen", emerged in the late 2010s to describe obnoxious (and frequently racist and classist) middle-aged white women. Preceded by the term "Becky," for a similarly obnoxious young adult white woman. In fact, this trope predates viral videos of the subject - during the 19th and early 20th centuries, "Miss Ann" and "Mister Charlie" were used in a similar vein. These terms are typically used in an unflattering matter, so No Real Life Examples, Please!.

Could overlap with the idea of a "soccer mom", though a soccer mom is usually just a more active '90s style Housewife. If anything she's more beleaguered than entitled.

Her Spear Counterparts include the Entitled Bastard, Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up and Trumplica. When her racism is emphasized, she will usually double as an Intimidating White Presence.


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  • This TV commercial for instant coffee in New Zealand featured a rude and snobbish customer getting her comeuppance.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The main character's mother in Almost Famous loves to aggressively meddle in her children's lives, though she has some sympathetic characteristics.
  • Carolyn Burnham from American Beauty is unhealthily fixated on her family's image of perfection and getting all her motivation from self-help tapes.
  • The tyrannical PTA president Gwendolyn in Bad Moms is an Alpha Bitch All Grown Up, right down to her friends Stacy and Vicky being framed as her Girl Posse.
  • Mrs. Beauregarde in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a smug, competitive Stage Mom who insists on perfection and pushes her daughter to be the best at everything, winning trophies, even in gum-chewing. She is noticeably furious when her daughter, after being de-juiced safely, is all blue and therefore isn't perfect anymore.
  • Donnie Darko has Kitty Farmer, who taught her students that every action is motivated by "Fear" or "Love", and gave us the following memetic line when asking for a favor:
    Kitty: (To Donnie's mother) Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion.
  • There’s this scene from Madea Goes to Jail in which our sassy anti-heroine uses a forklift to remove a Karen’s car out of the parking spot she wanted. Said Karen not only looks and acts like the infamous meme, but also she is very rude to the elderly Madea, is self-important, the wife of someone high up in the police (that she is quick to name-drop), and calls Madea "Aunt Jemima" revealing racist attitudes.
  • In Peppermint, the character Peg is introduced as a rich Girl Scout mom threatening to lodge a formal complaint against Working-Class Hero Riley over a parking spot.
  • Amy's younger sister Kim's married suburban mom friends in Trainwreck are vacuous blonde women who worry over whether their children are eating organic food, reduce the screentime of their kids, and claim that their kids aren't allowed to watch Glee because they feature openly queer characters and aren't concerned with anything other than maintaining a Stepford Smiler image.

  • Anne of Green Gables has a couple in Mrs. Rachel Lynde and Mrs. Barry.
    • Rachel Lynde is noted for her housekeeping and for how she pokes her nose into the business of her neighbors when she sees something "odd", like the shy Matthew Cuthbert driving his wagon into town from the farm he shares with his sister. She is shown to be a narrow-minded busybody, insensitive to the feelings of children (when remarking on Anne's red hair and perceived homeliness), her family is highly respected in the community and she is involved with church and charity and politics, and is quick to judge others for traits or behaviors she isn't familiar with. Even after she reveals her Cool Old Lady colors, she still retains this trope, inspecting the newlywed Anne's housekeeping under the assumption that college-educated women don't make good housekeepers.
    • The strict Housewife Mrs. Barry is this trope after blaming Anne for getting Diana intoxicated on current wine (even though it was an accident; Anne thought she was serving Diana non-alcoholic raspberry cordial and was only trying to be a good hostess) after their tea party. Forbidding Diana from even speaking to Anne at school or church, she only allows them to be friends again after Anne saves their youngest daughter from an acute case of the croup.
    • The local housewives are this after trying to plant seeds of doubt into Anne's head when she is going to head to college (being the first girl from the small town of Avonlea to do so), Gilbert Blythe tells Anne to pay them no mind as they are likely jealous they never got such an opportunity themselves.
  • Bridget Jones runs into these types:
    • First her mother Pam (and some of her peers like Una Alconbury). Pam is impulsive, selfish, hypocritical about pushing Bridget into marriage and motherhood but admitting those roles never made her happy, and she shows no cultural sensitivity as she dispenses talk about Mark Darcy's Japanese ex-wife as being from "a cruel race". The third film adaptation also sees her running for political office on the Conservative Party ticket on a platform for "traditional values" and with vaguely racist implications until Bridget calls the old woman out on it and Pam includes more gay and people of color in her social circle.
    • The Smug Marrieds, especially one half of an obnoxious pair (Woney, short for "Fiona"), who incessantly badger Bridget about her love life and about how she needs to get married and have children quick before she is considered too old to be desirable. The Smug Marrieds are all Tory-voting Sloane Rangers who come from upper-class households, have little imagination, and have Awful Wedded Life where the men are wandering their eyes at attractive, single women and the women are constantly pregnant and forced to listen to their husbands say sexist things about women.
    • In the third book, Bridget has become a mother and one of the school mothers Nicolette is a huge example of this trope. A former CEO who pushes her children to be the best and always excellent, is critical of the other mothers' shortcomings (including Bridget), badgers the school staff over her children's success, and only backs off when she is told off by school coach and Bridget befriends her, convincing her to relax.
  • Discussed in Carrie when Sue Snell has an Imagine Spot over her future. After she throws tampons and pads at Carrie in the shower, she imagines herself becoming a classic example and it motivates her to ask Tommy to take Carrie to the prom instead of her.
    it conjured up miserable images of hair in rollers, long afternoons in front of the ironing board in front of the soap operas while hubby was off busting heavies in an anonymous Office; of joining the P.T.A. and then the country club when their income moved into five figures; of pills in circular yellow cases without number to insure against having to move out of the misses' size before it became absolutely necessary and against the intrusion of repulsive little strangers who shat in their pants and screamed for help at two in the morning; of fighting with desperate decorum to keep the n—— out of Kleen Korners, standing shoulder to shoulder with Terri Smith (Miss Potato Blossom of 1975) and Vicki Jones (Vice President of The Women's League), armed with signs and petitions and sweet, slightly desperate smiles.
  • In Asimov's The Caves of Steel, a dangerous riot is nearly kicked off by a haughty, bad-tempered woman's grousing about having (horrors!) a robot wait on her at the shoe store.
  • Discworld has British variants of the trope:
    • Night Watch has an urban version demanding that Vimes sort out this revolution mess right now as she doesn't want to be in the presence of common people.
    • Reaper Man has Arthur Winkings' wife Doreen, a wannabe Social Climber who dresses like a vampire bride despite emphatically not having the body for it and henpecking her husband into acting more like a vampire (Arthur is a vampire, but he was turned well into middle-age with a stodgy lower-middle-class mindset that's about as far removed from vampirism as you can get).
  • Hilly Holbrook, of The Help, President of the Jackson chapter of the Junior League fancies herself an impeccable Christian who isn't a racist like the KKK or White Citizen's Council members. Yet she drafted a house sanitation initiative that forces the Black maids of Jackson to relieve themselves in outdoor privies, gets one of her maids arrested by the police, and upholds her racist Governor Ross Barnett's pronouncement of "Separate but Equal" and condescends to the Black citizens of her town while spreading vicious gossip about her ex-boyfriend's sexy wife from a working-class family. It's cathartic when she gets told off by anyone in this book.
    • According to Minny, most of the White lady bosses to the maids fall into this trope, where if they get displeased they will use whatever means and connections they have to ruin their maid's lives, the maid's family's lives, even to the point of destitution.
  • Wicked Stepmother Sydelle in In Her Shoes is a Jewish flavor of the trope. She always talks about the perfection achieved by her daughter Marcia (a very slim figure, a professional career, marriage to a professional, educated, straight A's, adorable children, beautiful) in contrast to her stepdaughters, Rose and Maggie, who fall short of her high standards for women and the family image (Maggie's disability and dyslexia leading to underachieving along with Rose's social awkwardness and weight) and made their childhoods miserable for it. She is also rude to Santa Claus at malls and in the film adaptation, she is openly judging Rose's in-laws' silverware and the Jamaican food at Rose's wedding.
  • Little Fires Everywhere:
    • Elena is a blonde, entitled journalist who is able to talk her way round the police (and is buddies with them, even bringing them cookies), runs all the PTA events, sits on the Shaker Heights committee, lives in a huge suburban McMansion that was initially owned by her parents, and is passive-aggressive about hiring a black helper (whom she refuses to call a "maid" but treats as one). Opinions are highly divided about whether or not Jerkass Has a Point with regard to defending her best (white) friend who adopted a Chinese infant, but she was definitely wrong in buying her way to learn dirt about Mia (who is black) so she could make sure the adoption went through. She also barely hesitates to use her power to try and kick anyone she doesn't like out of the neighborhood.
    • Lexie, Elena's eldest daughter, may just be a teenager but it is repeatedly invoked and discussed to be a fait accompli in her behavior. She is entitled, wealthy, and stole her "best friend", Pearl's, story about being discriminated on terms of race (Pearl is black) and changed it around to be about gender so she could get into Yale. She also relies on Pearl's help after getting an abortion...only to put Pearl's name down instead because she doesn't want the upper-class clinic to guess it's her.
  • Lady Catherine De Bourgh from Pride and Prejudice may be one of the oldest examples in literature. She is a wealthy busybody who is entitled to hear the business of other people and to their time, even trying to boss around her hosts at Longbourn when she demands Lizzie to drop her engagement with Mr. Darcy (her nephew), she wants everyone to lick her boots and thinks highly of herself, judgmental of other women, she wants her nephew Mr. Darcy to marry her daughter, is classist, insulting, and believes she has the best advice for everything even in how to pack a trunk (something that she has other people do for her).

    Live-Action TV 
  • 9-1-1: One episodewas spent solving the death of one of these types
  • Arrested Development: Lucille Bluth, a formerly wealthy, pampered, selfish, Abusive Parent who is often racist, very rude to service staff ("Take it back! If I wanted something your thumb touched, I'd eat the inside of your ear!"), homophobic, a Drama Queen with a well-coiffed bob, has encouraged a poor self-image for her daughter Lindsey by mocking her slender daughter's weight, keeps her grown son Buster wrapped around her manicured finger and looks down on anyone more poor or hard-working than she.
  • Big Little Lies:
    • Renata is a classic example. She is extremely wealthy, garishly dressed, prone to throwing tantrums and using her money to get what she wants, and responds to her daughter Amabella being physically abused at school by trying to stoke a "war" between those who support Iggy (who has been falsely accused of the crime by Amabella) and those on her side, seeking to isolate anyone who doesn't agree with her.
    • Madeline is a slightly more heroic version. Madeline sides with Jane out of feeling Renata's quest is unfair (which it is), and assuming that Jane is nice because she helped her out on the first day of school. However, Madeline too is extremely petty, pits the mom cliques against one another, and is constantly wading into arguments that have nothing to do with her. She is also furious about her daughter's plan to auction off money for her virginity because she "doesn't give a shit about the Third World."
  • Breaking Bad:
    • Walt's wife Skyler had some shades of this, as early on she was a shrill, nagging Wet Blanket Wife that did things like forcing Walt to eat soy bacon or flipping out on him for smoking weed and threatening his "dealer" (Jesse) behind his back. However, as Walter slides into increasingly erratic, destructive, and criminal behavior, she's portrayed more sympathetically.
    • Skyler's sister Marie was even worse, as she was very self-centered and according to Skyler always had to be the center of attention even in childhood. Early on in the series, she shoplifts an expensive tiaram as a baby shower present and initially refuses to apologize after Skyler almost gets arrested over it. When her husband Hank starts to suffer PTSD after a firefight and takes the day off work after receiving a big promotion, she chews him out over it, chalking his out-of-character behavior up to laziness and not bothering to ask if anything's wrong until his condition worsens.
  • The Queen Mum Elizabeth Bowes Lyon in The Crown is a Royal sort within her own household. She tends to meddle in the affairs of her daughters (even making comments that dig at their confidence, even her monarch daughter) and grandchildren (breaking up her grandson Charles's relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles because the girl isn't a virgin), displaying a Female Misogynist attitude towards women educating themselves or expressing their sexuality, showcasing elitist and classist attitudes (even to the faces of the self-made Thatchers), helping to keep her disabled relatives locked away because of what their subjects would think if the Royal blood was "tainted", and in general being a sweet dotty Grand Dame Obfuscating Stupidity with a glass in hand when trying to turn things towards her way when she isn't whining about how something would affect her rather than how beneficial it'd be for her subjects or family members.
  • Dance Moms: Jill has been known to bribe teachers, bully other students, and change studios in the name of getting her daughter ahead. When these tactics don't work, she pitches a fit. As a bonus, she once suggested that her white daughter play the role of Rosa Parks, and had no idea why that might be controversial.
  • Desperate Housewives has all of the housewives that have children play this role from time to time, generally Depending on the Writer and/or the storyline:
    • Bree was the first example. In a Happy Marriage Charade with her doctor husband Rex, Bree initially henpecks him, is obsessively clean, nosy, and is furious when her (spoiled, bordering on sociopathic) kids want to go to a restaurant rather than eat her home-cooked food. She has extremely traditional values and doesn't take Andrew coming out as gay well, but she is also desperate to maintain her status within the neighborhood. After Rex's death, she became a more disorganized person as she became an alcoholic, but bounced back to a more "obnoxious" status after Danielle, her daughter, got pregnant and she tried to raise the baby as her own rather than admit the truth. From around Season 4 onwards, Bree loosened up and became more career-focused and slightly more open-minded.
    • Played with by Lynette, who started off as more of a deconstruction of the idea; while she did PTA and had a brood of uncontrollable kids, she was very unhappy with the amount of pressure that she felt under to do everything like that and she was often stood up to characters who fell into this bracket. However, she also bounced backwards and forwards between the idea, such as when she was so concerned about her son's romantic life that she posed as a girl his own age online (and caused him to fall in love with her...) and she frequently made excuses for her sons' wild behavior.
    • Maisy was a clearer example, as her Establishing Character Moment was complaining that Little Red Riding Hood was too violent and they should change the ending. She was also noted for being "perfect" among all the PTA moms. However, Maisy turns out to be a deconstruction, too, as she was really secretly a prostitute to the husbands of Wisteria Lane and revealed that Rex was one of her clients because Bree snubbed her.
    • Martha Huber was a bitter, passive-aggressive, judgmental woman who seemed to take pleasure in judging other women's sexual activity or observing whatever was going wrong in their lives. This was taken Up to Eleven when it was revealed that Martha was the one who discovered Mary Alice Young's big secret—that she'd bought a child from a heroin addict and later killed the addict in a rage when she came back to "reclaim" her son—and left her the taunting note ("I know what you did—it makes me sick—I'm going to tell") that compelled Mary Alice to kill herself. Even after being confronted, Martha insisted that it wasn't her fault and claimed Mary Alice just felt guilty about her actions. Even her own sister hated her, and no one was sad when she was murdered.
  • El Chavo del ocho: Played with. Florinda lost most of her wealth once she became a widow, but tries to hide her own poverty by belittling her neighbours, showing contempt for the "riffraff lifestyle" and alienating others with her bossy and arrogant attitude.
  • The Goldbergs: Beverly Goldberg ticks a lot of the boxes; she is a wolverine where her kids are concerned and is forever looking for the get-rich-or-at-least-noteworthy scheme (for instance, trying to get her recipe book published on her own account, or vicariously via her children, who are of course brilliant, talented and gifted) Her "mom logic" that nothing is ever her kids' fault, always sands to speak to the manager and constantly barges in on authority figures to the point it's a running gag.
  • Kate Gosselin of Jon & Kate Plus Eight is widely considered to be the Trope Codifier, down to the infamous bob haircut and obsession with health food.
  • Keeping Up Appearances: Hyacinth Bucket (who insists it's pronounced "Bouquet"), whilst mostly a pretentious social climber, also has shades of this. Her deluded attempts at appearing upper class have left a large number of people utterly terrified of her and attempting to avoid her at all costs. Her postman in particular goes out of his way to avoid her frequent and unrealistic demands that her posts receive first-class status regardless of the stamp. She attempted to force her Henpecked Husband Richard to call the Chinese ambassador to force the local Chinese takeaway to change its phone number, due to it being only one number different from theirs and leading to people mistakenly calling them. At one point, when shopping for a new kitchen counter, she brought along a series of hard-to-clean foods which she deliberately tipped over the display model to see if it would stain. She even forces the Vicar to visit to consult him about whether kitchen counters should be angel Gabriel blue coloured or Lucifer grey.
  • In Impeachment Linda Tripp (Sarah Paulson) comes off as this due to her self-important Small Name, Big Ego attitude and entitlement, she bullies her co-workers, holds herself as a beacon of morality and is judging others for not meeting her exacting and conservative standards, she looks down on the Clintons for being middle-class and using communal bathrooms in the White House and throwing pizza parties for staffers, judging other women like her younger friend Monica Lewinsky and First Lady Hillary Clinton for not meeting her standards for ladylike, chaste behavior, slut-shames Monica and former friend Kathleen (who admitted that Bill Clinton groped her), considers the politically right leaning (and no less scandalous and hypocritical) Reagan and Bush to be beacons of purity, and fat-shames Monica as part of her gaslighting the girl into not dry cleaning the infamous dress. Add to that Linda appears to be the typical suburban matron image of Karen in appearance with conservative (rather mostly frumpy) clothing, glasses, a pageboy, and glasses.
  • Law & Order: The Villain of the Week in the episode "Driven" was a gentrifier who spent all her time filing nuisance suits against her black neighbors. She forced her son to get into a fight with his teammate on the soccer team and then pulled him off the team when the coach benched him for it. She forced her sons and a friend of theirs to confront playground bullies at night with baseball bats. Detective Lupo calls her "soccer monster".
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: The Villain of the Week in the episode "Granting Immunity" was the Alpha Bitch of the moms in her son's private school. She was an anti-vaxxer who conspired with a doctor to falsify the medical records of the children of her fellow anti-vaxxer moms, resulting in a huge measles outbreak.
  • Harriet Olson from Little House on the Prairie is the Frontier Karen of the 1970s. She is bossy, judgemental, gossipy, bosses and embarrasses her husband, spoils her children rotten, often shows prejudiced attitudes (though not anathema for the Gilded Age or even the 1970s) towards members of minority groups, and very proud of her position as one of the few wealthiest members of the small town of Walnut Grove. In one episode she even pens a malicious gossip column with a Rupert Murdoch Expy (though in the 1870s and 1880s).
  • Mad Men has a couple:
    • Betty and Don Draper's neighbor Francine Hanson comes off as one in early seasons. She is a Gossipy Hen who demands to ask why the "scandalous" divorcee takes long walks, she made two anti-semitic remarks in her first three seasons, she is petty and judgmental, active in the PTA and Junior League, bored in her role as a housewife and Awful Wedded Life. The last time the series we see her happier and more fulfilled, as she became a successful travel agent whose husband enjoys the extra income and good-naturedly calls Betty out on her passive-aggressive hypocrisy.
    • Speaking of Betty, she is often this trope at her least sympathetic. She endures an Awful Wedded Life with her husband Don, she is unfulfilled due to being a housewife who was a former model with a bachelor's degree in anthropology, she doesn't have many avenues to use her high intelligence, she is often judgmental and prejudiced, using an image of a passive, pretty, "house cat" to keep from getting her hands dirty. Even after she gets into a more loving marriage with Henry Francis, her unhappiness causes her to abuse her children (especially the more rebellious Sally) and Betty is shown to be hostile to women who don't content themselves with the traditional role that makes her miserable.
  • Mrs. America is full of this trope, as one-half of the cast are anti-feminist religious Moral Guardian types who are threatened by the rising social and economic status of women dwarfing their traditional roles. We also see that several of them turn to the counter-movement out of homophobia and racism, or as a socially appropriate outlet for their desires to become more powerful or achieve fulfillment.
    • Phyllis Schlafly is a frustrated Right-Wing lobbyist who considers herself Not Like Other Girls due to her education and ability to talk policy with men in contrast to her shy friend Alice Macray but is impeded by a sexist husband and peer group. We also see her force her youngest daughter to swim despite the girl's fears, push her gay son to stay in the closet, blame a young housewife for the Domestic Abuse she receives from her husband and align herself to White Supremacists (as long as they keep it quiet) for the Pro Family Rally.
    • Phyllis's friend Rosemary Thomson is shown as this. She is passive-aggressive, snarky, critical, judgemental, and uses her position in the movement to exercise her Control Freak tendencies and bully her friends Alice and Pamela.
    • Phyllis's other friends, Alice and Pamela, avert this trope despite being as right-wing and religious as she. Alice is shown to be a very proper but shy housewife who worries about image and is threatened by the rise of professional women due to the feminist movement, later on she opens up her worldview and leaves the counter-movement after seeing how the movement is corrupted by Phyllis's ego and by white supremacists. Pamela, notably, is a beleaguered young housewife who is being abused at home by her husband.
    • From the feminist movement, Betty Friedan comes off as this to her peers. She is bitter over not being the star of the movement due to the popularity of younger and prettier women like Gloria Steinem, she is regressive regarding queer people, and a bit of an Attention Whore.
  • The New Adventures of Old Christine: The wealthy, entitled "meanie moms" Marly and Lindsay are more passive-aggressive variants. They often brag about how great their children are while putting Christine down for being poor and divorced.
  • Alison's initial characterization in Orphan Black is a spiteful, petty Stepford Snarker housewife who would rather coach her kids' soccer games than deal with the clone conspiracy. Over time she grows out of this, to the point that she even starts calling out her neighbors for similar behavior.
  • Kristen Wiig used this trope for the recurring character, Aunt Linda, on Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update". The character is a middle-aged blonde with stereotypical teased and layered bob, wears a conservative and feminine blazer, she is often grouchy and disapproving of anything in pop culture (either low or high brow), mostly angrily defending media and stars of more middle-brow comedy that evoke particular thoughts or emotions in her, has a bitter and narrow-minded outlook on life, Word of God has it that she is married to the racist Drunk Uncle. It is often rare for her to find anything that makes her happy, eating crabs all over Maryland wasn't a nice experience because "too many shells" and she doesn't express any enthusiasm for her more positive movie reviews.
  • If the instigator on Say Yes to the Dress isn't a Bridezilla, then it's often an older female relative (like her mother) or mother in law who insists that the grown (usually Extreme Doormat) bride follow her demands for the style of bridal gown (or bridesmaid dresses), even using tantrums or guilt-tripping to get her way. It even stands out when the instigator body-shames the usually younger women for their appearance in gowns, especially when they are heavy, despite the tormentor being overweight herself. One mother of the bride even hits an employee in the original NYC show.
  • Silent Witness: Since the 2015 Soft Reboot this has become a Once an Episode type character, and very often they're a Red Herring. Often they'll be a Hate Sink, but on occasion some (but not all) particular examples of this character type are Nice All Along and they're only this trope because of Peer Pressure Makes You Evil (although to call some of the obnoxious entitled housewife characters evil would be a stretch; at worst, they're Harmless Villain, Designated Villain or Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain types. Others would fall into Anti-Villain Type IV or villain in name only). However, because this is a British Series, their interpretation of "Karen" types is quite different from others on this list.
  • Superstore: In "Color Wars," Cheyenne has to ring up a prissy woman who keeps talking on her phone about how entitled her obviously suffering maid is for wanting time off because the woman doesn't get time off for being a stepmom.
  • Will & Grace:
    • Karen Walker occasionally falls into this trope, as she's quick to complain about any lack of service or openly mock those she deems inferior, especially working-class people. The latter is best seen in her relationship with Rosario, her personal maid and frequent target of racist insults, although Rosario is able to fire right back and, in one case when Karen tried being nicer to her, told her that she enjoyed their repartee and nearly quit because of the lack of it. Unlike most examples, though, she hates spending time with her children and often whines whenever she has to attend one of their activities—for instance, when she went to her son Mason's swim meet, she griped "A public pool? Why doesn't someone just pee on me directly?"
    • The episode "Gypsies, Tramps and Weed" deconstructs the trope. The group is out for dinner on Will's birthday, and when Grace complains (albeit more politely than most examples of this character) about their waiter's inattentiveness, the manager apologizes and tells her that he's just been fired. Grace feels absolutely horrible about this and hires the guy to work for her interior design firm... but it turns out that he sells marijuana and turns her office into his latest dealer's spot. She realizes that the waiter really is just a lazy jerk and happily fires him again.
  • In It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia when the Gang decide to make Lethal Weapons 7 one of the villains that Dee plays is "Karen White", an evil housewife complete with the hairstyle who threatens to call the cops on Murtaugh and Riggs. The Gang notes that entitled white women are one of the few acceptable targets by the 2020s but ultimately cut the character for being too "cunty" and uncomfortably real.

    Video Games 
  • The Lady Smith splicers of BioShock embody this trope, with several quotes complaining about servants ("Charles! I think the negro cook's been stealing. It's always like that with the coloreds. Take, take, take"), poors ("They talk talk talk, but in the end they've got nothing to offer society. Just more mouths to feed") and her predicament ("The times may be unkind, but did you have to take our home? I raised my children there! Bastards!").
  • In LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. Anakin Skywalker acts like one in the Geonosis Droid Factory; repeatedly asking for the factory's manager.
    "I'm serious now! Where is your manager? Is he on break?! This factory should be shut down! Nothing here is up to code!"
  • Mother 3 has Elmore, the wife of Tazmily's mayor. She is easily one of the most unpleasant villagers of Tazmily, even before the Pigmask army's corruption of the village, and treats everyone with indifference because of her social status. She even outright tells Lucas, a child, that she hates him. Elmore also states that she wants her son Ollie to be a successful person one day just so he will make her and her husband Pusher's lives easier.
  • Police Quest IV: Open Season has Rosa Garcia. When her son, officer Rene Garcia, dies, she complains to detective John Carey about how useful he was, was saving himself for a good girl, and is mad that some pervert killed him and exposed his body. She even demands that the detective finds the person responsible and punishes him and insinuates that he doesn't understand the weight of the situation because he doesn't have a son. Additionally, she is mentioned to have been giving the Lieutenant an earful beforehand and Carey's partner Hal Bottoms calls her one tough bitch.

    Visual Novels 
  • Not a housewife, but a "customer" with this attitude comes into the diner once in Daughter for Dessert. After a very weird conversation with the protagonist, she states matter-of-factly that she never had intention of ordering any food. Kathy is not amused, and expels the woman.


    Web Original 
  • The Onion: "Middle-Aged Woman Angrily Demanding Price Check Was Once Carefree Youth, Onlookers Speculate".
  • In Jenny Lorenzo's ''Abuela's Family'' sketches (which center on a Cuban-American grandmother, her three daughters, and three granddaughters, all played by Lorenzo), Tia Gloria is this to a T. She displays a Holier Than Thou attitude coupled with razor-sharp wit that The Church Lady would envy, a sleek blonde bob and an exaggerated Anglo-American accent (in contrast to her mother's and sisters' Cuban-American accents) along with snooty commentary aimed towards her sisters and her families for not being as religious, wealthy, organized, or classy as her. In one Instagram sketch, she is used to lampoon colorism in the Latinx community that prioritizes anglo features (blond hair and blue eyes) as superior enough to have Jesus Christ possess them as an infant.
  • Not Always Right is rife with stories about every type of this trope possible and the saner worker/coworker/relatives/passerby's struggle against them. The usual range is between entitled parents and scheming crazies.
  • Reddit has the "Fuck You Karen" subreddit, which originated as a series of memes about an obnoxious ex-wife and is now dedicated to memes about the entitled, argumentative suburban mom stereotype. Many of these kinds of people (male and female — entitlement knows no gender) also feature in stories from subreddits like "Entitled Parents", "I Don't Work Here, Lady", "Tales from Retail", and "Choosing Beggars".
  • The Take looks at the Karen trope here.
  • The Nostalgia Critic
    • In "Curse of the Commercials", there is a brief sketch where the trope is mocked. Tamara plays a lady with curlers in her hair calling the Critic who wants him to arrest a black person selling lemonade outside her apartment. When the Critic asks if the black person is filming her, he tells her that she's "on her own, bitch" and the police come to her apartment, presumably to arrest her.
    • Another episode has Miles playing a psychologist who gets a call from the same woman. He prescribes drinking an entire bottle of Raid.

    Western Animation 
  • As Told by Ginger: Joann Bishop, mother of Dodie and Hoodsey, is considered to be an "intensely crabby" woman. Her abrasive personality and her status as a middle-class stay-at-home mom often clash with the Foutley family's working-class values, rarely showing a side of her that isn't rude or at least passive-aggressive. She dominates her entire family, particularly her sensitive husband, David. She often tries to meddle in the affairs of her children's lives, including trying to make Hoodsey abandon Carl as a friend and living through Dodie's sudden popularity as a high school cheerleader.
  • Archer: Malory Archer is blatantly racist, refuses to admit when she's wrong, insists that everything always has to be her way, and is condescending towards everyone around her.
  • BoJack Horseman: BoJack's mom Beatrice is used to the upper-class life of her childhood and resents giving up her life to marry Butterscotch. She takes out her bitterness on everybody around her, her son most of all, condescending anybody she deems lower-class and forcing her son to perform at her dinner parties just to keep up her good reputation. She's also quite culturally insensitive, referring to 1990's Hollywood as "full of AIDS" and telling everybody at her supper club that her friend's son "is a gay."
    Beatrice: The man sitting next to me was wearing a T-shirt. AT-shirt, BoJack, in the theater! The T-shirt told me to "Just Do It." I don't know to what "it" the T-shirt referred, but I will not be spoken to in that tone by an article of clothing.
  • King of the Hill:
    • Peggy Hill is a more down-to-earth variant. While she is friendly, optimistic, and means well, she is also arrogant, self-centered, and not nearly as smart as she likes to believe. She gets herself deeply involved in her family and friend's lives, whether she was welcomed or not, and attempts to manage almost every community event in Arlen because of her need to social climb. Needless to say, most people that come across Peggy Hill find her to be obnoxious and try to avoid her or knock her down.
    • Minh Souphanousinphone is a more straight example. Like her husband Kahn, she looks down on her neighbors as "hillbillies" or "rednecks" and disapproves of her daughter Connie's relationship with Bobby Hill, though she's still slightly more sensible than Kahn.
  • The Mighty B!: Mary Frances Gibbons is the den mother of the Honeybees who flaunts her position within the upper-middle class and always looks for imperfections in her own daughter, the other scouts, and especially Bessie. Her suburban respectability serves as a Foil to the down-to-earth bohemian small business lifestyle of the Higgenbottoms.
  • The Owl House: Odalia Blight is not really a housewife since she has a lucrative full-time job (and she is clearly the one in charge of the family business), but overall she's a wealthy, high-status woman who's stuck-up, haughty, controlling, selfish, vindictive, manipulative, expects everyone else to accede to her personal wants, and goes to unreasonable extremes just to assert her authority over others. Her daughter is afraid of her, her husband is exasperated with her and Principal Bump only reluctantly goes along with her demands because she's the head of the Boiling Isles' equivalent of the PTA.
  • The Simpsons:
  • South Park:


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): The Karen



As her name implies, she is the Brandon Rogers embodiment of all of the "Karens" of the world. She picks passive-aggressive fights with random people over pointless minutia, she constantly demands to speak with people's manager, she spams "I don't feel safe" whenever her encounters end with the people she antagonizes turn violent, 911 is the only phone number she has on her cell (and even then she can't "recall the number) and treats parking spaces like Serious Business.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / ObnoxiousEntitledHousewife

Media sources: