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Racist Grandma

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Jack: Grandma, we love you,
Grandma, we do,
Though you may be far away,
We think of you,
And one day when we're older,
We'll look back and say...
Miles: In retrospect, she was actually quite racist, wasn't she?

Racism in a regular character: depressing. Racism in a grandma: hilarious.

This is a situation where the old woman who you expect to be a cookie-making nice old lady starts unexpectedly spouting obscenely offensive comments. This is usually Played for Laughs. This can apply to any elderly character and any kind of political incorrectness, although usually it really is racism by a grandma.

Usually the humor derives from the irony of an elderly character using language one would normally associate with a fiery young skinhead. However, it can also be Truth in Television for 21st-century demographics. Although obviously not all old people are bigots, old people are more likely to subscribe to dated cultural beliefs and are more likely to say inappropriate thoughts out loud. However, this tends to be counterbalanced by the fact that they were raised in a "more polite" era than ours. (More polite, not "polite".) Take Archie Bunker, for instance, who took care to substitute "spade" for "nigger", "hebe" for "kike", etc. It can also be accidental if the grandma is using what was an acceptable term when she was younger. Furthermore, elderly people whose views about minorities really did change with the times may suddenly begin spouting offensive beliefs from their youths if they're suffering from senile dementia, and people might become bigoted with age due to bitterness about growing old causing people to develop a hostile attitude against most things or even everything in the modern world.

In fiction, this character is usually intended for comedy and will tend to be Affably Evil (or, at worst, Faux Affably Evil or a petty dog-kicker). However, this can also be Played for Horror, with some of them being able to perpetrate genocide just as adroitly as their younger counterparts. And even a racist too old to hurt anyone themselves can still vote for people who share their views.

See also Nazi Grandpa, Innocent Bigot, Evil Old Folks, Politically Incorrect Villain, Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!, When I Was Your Age....


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Future Lovers: Kento's grandfather is dismayed when he finds out that his grandson is dating another man (Akira) and spends the rest of his page time shooting Death Glares at Akira and not-so-subtly indicating his disgust at their relationship. Completely Played for Laughs, with the grandfather's facial expressions being some of the funniest things in this manga.
  • Future Robot Daltanious: Alien example. Dr. Earl doesn't hide the fact that he looks down on non-Heliosians, even if they respect him like Manabu. He only cares about Kentonote  for his Alien Prince factor and looks down on his friends for being ordinary humans. In episode 4, he reveals the rooms he has for them at the base - Kento's is exquisite, lit by a studded chandelier, draped in tapestries of many colours, and has a throne, while the others have one that doesn't even have a lightbulb and is covered in cobwebs. Not only is it much smaller in size, but it's also expected to house six people. Manabu straight-up calls it discrimination, but Earl insists it's the norm. Kento, being Kento, grins and happily accepts this, much to their anger.
    Earl: "Your origins are different from that of Prince Kento's! You cannot have the same treatment!"
  • The Heart of Thomas: Juli's grandmother makes snide remarks about her grandson's black hair evidencing his "mixed blood" and favors his little sister Elisabeth, who is blonde and blue-eyed. Fortunately, Juli's schoolmate Erich tells her off.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Joseph Joestar hates Japanese people, and is shown smacking a guy just for being Japanese on the last page of Battle Tendency. In his case, however, it's not about ethnicity - it's because ever since his daughter married a Japanese man, he rarely sees her. Even then, it's an exaggeration, and he grows out of it anyway, since he shows no hate for all the Japanese people he interacts with in the next two parts, moreso the Japan-placed Diamond is Unbreakable. Likewise, any genuine disdain would've been browbeaten out of him by his grandmother, who averted this trope, notably, as the time periods we see of her own life were not kind to blacks, and yet she and Joseph treat the latter's newfound friend Smokey, an African-American in 1930s New York, as a dear friend. He also likes his SONY Walkman.
  • Lady!!:
    • Duke Warbawn dislikes that his son chose to marry a Japanese woman and excludes Lynn (half Japanese) as his grandchild, while showering her half sister, Sarah (fully white British) with attention. That is until Lynn wins a horse race and competes as the British representative for the Olympics, after which his racism just poofs into nowhere and he finally acknowledges her.
    • The Brighton boys have a racist aunt from America named Barbara Rochester, who doesn't hide her disdain for Lynn because of her Japanese origins. It's why she opposes Lynn's marriage to Edward.

  • Frankie Boyle: "No, Granddad, we don't care how many Jews you killed!"
  • Bill Burr also had a bit concerning his very white, very Irish grandmother, who didn't react well at all to learning that Bill's girlfriend (now wife) Nia was black. However, Burr doesn't come down quite as hard on racist grandmas as most do, taking into account that old habits die hard, and someone in their late eighties today would have grown up during a time when racial segregation was an accepted norm.
  • In the Cheech & Chong skit "Hey Margaret", an elderly couple, Harry (Chong) and Margaret (Cheech), see a porno movie. Everything in the movie amuses Harry, but he's disgusted when the star has sex with a black man. For Margaret, it's the exact opposite: it's the only thing in the movie that arouses her.
  • George Lopez's stand-up routines always incorporate anecdotes showing just how bigoted his grandmother (the one who raised him) is/was toward black people. He stated that his retaliation for that was hiring the darkest-skinned black nurses for her home health care needs when she grew frail and infirm.
  • In his comedy special Bigger and Blacker, Chris Rock says old black men are the most racist people. "Nothing more racist than an old black man, you know why? 'Cause the old black man went through some real racism. He ain't go through that 'I can't get a cab' shit. He was the cab! White man just jump on his back: 'Main Street!'"

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • Steve Dallas's mother in Bloom County:
    Mom: That's the most adorable little colored girl playing outside.
    Steve: "Colored"? You're saying "colored people" in 1988? You know better, Ma.
    Mom: Then why the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People? I don't think Negroes mind at all.
    Steve: DON'T say negroes, Ma! You can't say negroes!
    Mom: Can I say "United Negro College Fund"?
    Steve: You are baiting me, Ma...Let's just agree to use the term "people of color."
    Mom: People of color?
    Steve: People of color.
    Mom: ...colored people.
    Steve: MA!

    Fan Works 
  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, Assassin Johanna Smith-Rhodes is originally from Rimwards Howondaland. She has been living in Ankh-Morpork for over two decades and has been changed by the city. Her three daughters were born there. Johanna quietly dreads her parents' annual visit. Her mother and father are fundamentally decent people. But they are from a country where The Apartheid Era is still very much a going concern. Therefore both, especially her mother, are bound to express some unreformed opinions, even by default, that don't fly too well in a multi-racial and multi-species city like Ankh-Morpork. Her mother isn't even especially racist. But she cannot help thinking and talking like an Amoral Afrikaner, which can appall her granddaughters.
  • Dr. Briefs in Dragon Ball Z Abridged constantly spouts racism, sexism, homophobia, and every other far-right talking point, always with the same cheerful expression from his original kindly Dragon Ball Z incarnation, though he's still very much a good guy. He's even a literal racist grandpa.
    Dr. Briefs: [Baby Trunks] sure does cry a lot. Do you think he gets that from his monkey side?
    Bulma: Dad! No racism in front of Trunks!
    Dr. Briefs: Oh come on, I'm using "monkey" ironically. Mostly. Half-and-Half. Like the baby.
  • In the first chapter of The Eternity Effect, a homophobic variant appears when Glinda's grandmother disapproves of her relationship with Elphaba.
  • Ghosts and Dreams:
    • A justified example in Lyarra and most of the Stark ghosts. They all hate Andals in general thanks to the Andal Invasion thousands of years ago that saw weirwoods burned and the Children of the Forest slaughtered. However, the reason they hate Catelyn isn't because she's an Andal so much as the fact that she's raising her children as Andals — seeing as the rest of the North are of the First Men and follow First Men religion and customs, that has cost the current generation of House Stark much of the respect of their bannermen and puts them in a much weaker position. Catelyn's poor treatment of Jae has only exacerbated that hatred, to the point that the ghosts have no problems attacking the sept whenever they're angry.
    • Subverted with the Valyrians and the Rhoynar. The Valyrians never tried to convert them even after they conquered the First Men, and the First Men had seldom contact with the Rhoynar. The only damage the Valyrians caused to First Men culture was banning the Old Tongue, and even that was for purely pragmatic reasons. As a result, the Stark ghosts get along perfectly well with the Targaryen and Martell ghosts, to the point that they consider Aegon to be an honorary member of their family (helped by the fact that he speaks the Old Tongue and worships the Old Gods).
  • The Golds: Moe French seemed to be in the band camp of people who saw his own granddaughter as a threat and joined in on the mob that declared her a monster.
  • The Merry Go Round Broke Down depicts older toons as hating the newer computer-generated digis. Bugs Bunny is depicted as a grumpy old racist who rarely leaves his house anymore now that his fame has dwindled. He especially hates digis for stealing the spotlight of traditionally animated toons. Bugs doesn't care if digis are getting murdered left and right; if anything, it makes him happier.
  • Not the intended use (Zantetsuken Reverse): Mentioned as deliberately not happening with a centuries-old ghost in a Chapter 7 author note:
    I was considering making Leon innocently and casually racist, but decided that I wasn't comfortable with that.
  • Vow of the King: Candice, who's Irish, has a great-grandfather who absolutely hates the English, stating that "America should have let the Nazis take England".

    Film — Animation 
  • The Deleted Scene "Homesick Hopps" from Zootopia is an alternate version of the scene where Judy calls home after her first day on the force and has Judy's grandfather, Pop-Pop, declare "Foxes are red because they were made by the devil!".
  • Chicken Run: The main reason Fowler despises Rocky is because Rocky is a "Yank".
    Fowler: Pushy Americans! Always showing up late for every war. Overpaid, oversexed, and over here!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Annie Hall: "Y'know, you're what Grammy Hall would call 'A real Jew!'...She hates the Jews". In a later scene when Alvy is having dinner with Annie and her family, you see her disapproving Grammy's POV of Alvy as a stereotypical Hasidic Jew. This, despite Alvy complimenting the ham Annie's mother cooked, something a religious Jew would never be allowed to eat.
  • In The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Muriel Donnelly refuses treatment by a non-Anglo doctor until it's her only given option. She's none too happy about going to India for fast, inexpensive surgery. Her attitude, of course, improves.
  • In Blazing Saddles, the black sheriff wishes an elderly woman a good morning. Her reply is, "Up yours, nigger!" She later apologizes once the sheriff does the town a good service, but then asks him not to reveal to anyone else that she spoke to him, showing that her newfound tolerance only goes so far. Keep in mind, this is the 19th century, and nearly all the townsfolk are openly racist.
  • Bringing Down the House
    • Mrs. Arness, though it's more that she's just out-of-touch in general: "There's a lovely Negro spiritual that Ivy's brother used to sing..."
    • Mrs. Kline across the street. Unlike Arness, who's merely tactless, Kline is very much a racist.
    • "Negro" was a perfectly polite and respectful word - used by blacks themselves, too - until about the early 1970s. It only got changed because those in the "Black Power" movement wanted to redeem a word that up until then had been associated with darkness and evil - and also because they associated "Negro" with the cowardly, apolitical "Uncle Tom" blacks whom they considered traitors. "Negro spiritual" is essentially a musical genre name still in use today, hardly a racial slur. Go ahead, Google it.
  • Subverted in Cabin Fever—when asked what a prominently displayed rifle is for, the elderly store owner replies "It's fer niggers." At the end of the movie, we see a group of young black people drive up to the store, prompting the owner to hurry inside. He then hands the gun to one of the group and cheerily says "What's up, my nigger?"
  • Randall's grandmother in Clerks II. She called him a porch monkey and referred to a broken beer bottle as "a nigger-knife". Randal never even realized they were offensive terms until he uses "porch monkey" in front of a black customer. Then he tries to "take the term back" by using it even more.
  • Ghosts of Mississippi: Byron de la Beckwith (James Woods in heavy old-man makeup) pretends to be this after the cold case against his 1963 murder of civil-rights activist Medgar Evers is reopened in the 1990s by attorney Bobby DeLaughter (Alec Baldwin). Beckwith repeatedly denies having committed the murder, all the while expressing glee that Evers is dead. As the trial is reaching its conclusion, Beckwith has a chance meeting with DeLaughter and taunts him, claiming that even if he had done the killing, none of the jurors - not even the black ones - would convict him, because they'd view him as a confused old man and feel sorry for him. (Never mind that Beckwith was more than 30 years younger at the time of the murder!) He is wrong.
    • The actual Beckwith was also much like this, even to the point of seeming schizophrenic. He could seem perfectly calm and halfway reasonable when discussing his bigoted views, but as soon as he lost his temper a far more violent streak would present itself.
  • Gran Torino deconstructs this trope: The whole point of the movie is that Walt realizes the people at whom he has been directing racial slurs all his life aren't so different, that his experience as a soldier let him know much more about death than about life, and that explains why he is so lonely and sad.
  • Buck from Monster's Ball is the racist father of Hank. Buck's beliefs have been pushed onto his son growing up. He is also a misogynist along with just being a generally terrible person.
  • Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, the cleaning woman:
    "I've worked in worse places, philosophically speaking.
    I used to work in the Académie Française
    But it didn't do me any good at all
    And I once worked in the library in the Prado in Madrid
    But it didn't teach me nothing, I recall
    And the Library of Congress you'd have thought would hold some key
    But it didn't, and neither did the Bodleian Library
    In the British Museum I hoped to find some clue
    I worked there from nine till six, read every volume through
    But it didn't teach me nothing about life's mystery
    I just kept getting older, and it got more difficult to see
    Till, eventually, me eyes went and me arthritis got bad
    And so now I'm cleaning up in here, but I can't be really sad
    'Cause, you see, I feel that life's a game
    You sometimes win or lose
    And though I may be down right now
    At least I don't work for Jews."
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding has a little granny from the Greek side of the newlyweds that constantly complains about Turks: "Turci Sacramenti!" Greece was a Turkish colony for a few centuries, too, so it wouldn't be surprising if many self-professed Greeks have Turkish blood. Racism has as much to do with nationality as ethnicity and the two countries have come perilously close to going to war within living memory.
  • Played with in Out of Time. A local police chief (who's black) becomes embroiled in a series of crimes. When an older white woman who saw him at the scene of a crime points him out, everyone assumes that this trope is in effect. The woman doesn't help her case when she points to another black man nearby and says that maybe he's the man she saw.
  • Royal Rendezvous: Duchess Edwina's first reaction to seeing the Latin-American Cat is calling her an "exotic creature", with Cat calling that being "racist adjacent".
  • Sapphire Robbins' elderly landlady in Sapphire, who has a 'No Coloureds' policy in her boarding house, and says she would have evicted Sapphire if she had known she was black.
  • In Savaged, Colby's father is a Korean War veteran who tells Dane (a black man) that his fiancee probably developed a new appreciation for the white man by being raped by Wes and his redneck cronies.
  • Saving Face: Wil's mom displays some typical racism against black people. She purposely uses paper plates for Jay because she thinks he's dirty, to Wil's frustration. Later warms up to him though.
  • Schwarzfahrer, an excellent German short, features one who keeps ranting racist remarks at another passenger. Funny twist at the end, though - two, in fact.
  • The sweet little grandma in Wedding Crashers is pretty anti-gay. Apparently, Eleanor Roosevelt was a "rug-munching dyke" but that would be something of a subversion, as those are all very new slang.

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian: Inverted, as Arnold's grandma is the only character besides Arnold who is tolerant of homosexuals.
  • Adrian Mole: In Secret Diary, Adrian's Grandma is not keen on black, brown, yellow, Irish, Jewish, or foreign people.
  • Burning Up by Caroline B. Cooney has this trope as one of the ongoing factors. The protagonist is doing a report on a barn fire that almost killed a Black teacher in her hometown during the 1960s and is beginning to discover a rather ugly side to her beloved grandparents and the community she's grown up in. It turns out no, her grandparents didn't start the fire, but they also did nothing to help the teacher. They simply stood aside and watched the barn burn while making racist jokes about how they were finally able to get rid of the teacher.
  • Caging Skies: Pimmichennote  tells Johannes that he's being a good German boy by being part of the Hitlerjugend and has a low opinion on Russian people, thinking that they'll invade her house and steal her items. However this is later subverted because she's determined to protect her Russian guests Sergey and Fodor no matter what, showing that bigotry can be overcome with The Power of Friendship.
  • Cosmicomics: In "The Aquatic Uncle", a story about the first creatures to leave the oceans, Qwfwq's elderly great-uncle N'ba N'ga hates land animals and is very vocal about the subject.
  • Discworld: The elderly Sergeant Fred Colon is a grandfather and soldiers on in the city watch despite being well over sixty. He is described as being racist — anyone who is not a white (human) male is treated with a certain disdainful dismissive suspicion — but "racist" in such a vague and inclusive way that nobody takes offence, and just treats it as an example of "ol' Fred".
  • "Everything That Rises Must Converge", a Flannery O’Connor short story, centers around a man taking his elderly mother on a bus ride to the YMCA. While on the bus, the old woman condescendingly offers a little black boy a penny and gets called on it by the boy's mother. After getting off the bus, the woman's son confronts her about her racism and she is implied to have a stroke in response.
  • Funny Boy: Ammachi ("Grandma") has the most virulent reaction to Radha's relationship with Anil, and talks openly about her approval of the terrorist Tamil group, the Tigers. Possibly a subversion in that this actually isn't so far from how other family members feel at different points in the book, but Ammachi is vocal about it before the others are.
  • Good Omens: Sergeant Shadwell isn't a grandfather (thank God) but is racist towards just about everything and everyone.
    Shadwell hated all Southerners, and by inference, lived at the North Pole.
  • The Key To Rondo: Grandma certainly gives off this impression when expressing her disapproval of the Terlamaine woman Tye's presence in her house.
  • Harry Potter:
    • The portrait of Sirius Black's deceased mother is really anti-Muggle/Muggleborn/"half-breed". However, such beliefs are rather common in the Potterverse, even among young people, Walburga Black is just really loud about it.
    • Ron's Auntie Muriel: She says about Fleur, "She's a good-looking girl, but still - French." She also never outright uses the Fantastic Slur "mudblood" but looks down on muggleborns. She's rude about Hermione being one and implies it's something that one should be ashamed of when she says that Dumbledore's mom tried to hide the fact that she was one, which his oldest friend insists she never did.
    • Marvolo Gaunt qualifies as this, given his opinions on non-pure-blood wizards. Subverted, however, since 1.) He has been dead for roughly 70 years before the start of the series, and 2.) his grandson is actually much worse.
    • And according to Pottermore, Lucius Malfoy never let go of his anti-muggle views even into old age. As a result, Draco and his wife Astoria didn't allow their son Scorpius to spend much time around Lucius during already-tense family gatherings.
  • Robert A. Heinlein would mock these in his sci-fi juveniles such as Podkayne of Mars, clearly not wanting his young readers to be affected by their racist views when they grew up to become the rocket engineers of the future.
  • Journey to Chaos: Out of all of Annala's relatives, her great-grandmother Mildred is the most displeased by her dating a human. She refers to the entire race as "skin-shedding temps". Much of her generation and the following one are like this because of their experience in The Conversion War.
  • Linked:
    • Clayton Pouncey's grandfather was a member of the KKK "and worse", and took his five-year-old son (who grew up to be a more low-key racist) to a mass cross-burning, the Night of a Thousand Flames. After hearing this story, Pouncey's friend Jordie muses that that explains why barely anyone attended Pouncey's grandfather's funeral (and some of those who did, like a younger Jordie, were ignorant of the old man's past and/or just wanted to be there for his family).
    • Pamela's great-uncle, who died seven years before the book, ran the local KKK, and Pamela and her father secretly share his beliefs.
  • The Lotterys Plus One: Iain Miller, PopCorn's biological father. PopCorn mentions he wasn't happy that his son married a man. Plus, he refers to MaxiMum as Sumac's "colored mum".
  • Charlie's grandfather in The Perks of Being a Wallflower is this. It's not a major part of the story, and it's implied his mental facilities are fading, leading him to be less socially aware.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Aerys II Targaryen, upon being presented with his granddaughter, Rhaenys, reacted by saying that she "smelled Dornish". (Rhaenys' mother, Elia Martell, came from Dorne, which has an infamous reputation in the Seven Kingdoms for being lewd and loose in morality.) This is one of his least despicable traits, and is rather ironic since Aerys himself was part-Dornish.note 
  • Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga:
    • In Barrayar, Count Piotr is so anti-mutant that he tries to bribe the doctor who is treating his grandson's fetus (damaged and in an artificial womb because his mother was pregnant during a chemical attack) to kill the child. He also ejects Aral and Cordelia from Vorkosigan House, and later on, it is revealed that he tried to murder Miles in his crib with his own hands, prevented only by Miles' bodyguard. Miles has a bodyguard from birth because Piotr is not the only racist grandma around. He does get a bit better later on after Miles's intelligence begins to show; he is still a prejudiced, reactionary, embittered old man, but he not only stops trying to kill Miles but actually becomes a (rather distant and authoritarian) mentor figure.
    • Miles later meets an actual racist grandma in The Mountains of Mourning — well, she would be a grandma if her granddaughter hadn't just been murdered for being a mutant (she had a harelip and cleft palate — not mutations, but close enough for the village she was born in). Not too surprisingly, she was the killer. As recently as her own youth, it wouldn't have been a crime.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Jack's mother on 30 Rock:
    Jack: What happened to your eye? Did you really fall?
    Colleen: I was watching TV and they started interviewing an Asian Santa Claus and my arm went numb.
    Jack: And you called me? Mother, call an ambulance!
    Colleen: My father did not kill dozens of Germans so that his daughter could die in a van.
    Jack: But he wasn't even in the war!
  • In "Yee-Haw," the second episode of 9-1-1: Lone Star, an elderly woman calls the fire department on her neighbors for using a BBQ pit that was spreading smoke into her yard. The neighbors, who turn out to be Hispanic, come out and the father tells the team that the woman is a racist who once called the cops on them during his daughter's birthday party just because she saw them waving around a bat at a pinata. When Owen is about to make a citizen arrest on her for making a nuisance 9-1-1 call, the woman tries to fake a heart attack. But when Marjan tries to perform CPR on her, the woman refuses because Marjan is Muslim. The woman then asks Owen to do it, but he says he can't because he isn't CPR-certified. She then asks T.K. to do it but quickly changes her mind after he admits that he's gay. She then turns to Judd, who just says "no." To try and prove that she's not racist, the woman asks Paul, who's African-American, to give her CPR. But when Paul admits that he's transgender, the woman just gives up and tells Owen to arrest her.
  • This happens on Arrested Development in an episode where Tonight, Someone Dies.
    Racist Woman: Oh, Gob. You could charm the black off a telegram boy.
    Narrator: All right, we'll just tell you. She's the one who dies.
  • Bob ❤️ Abishola: Bob's mother Dottie says very racially insensitive things, such as referring to Asians as "chopstick people" and suggesting that Bob take Abishola out to someplace she'd be more comfortable—where they eat with their fingers. None of it is said in a malicious way, though. She seems to have overcome this following her stroke, befriending Abishola and her family. Based on what we hear, Bob's late father Max was pretty racist himself, not allowing non-white workers to be supervisors.
    Douglas: So Dad was, like, a racist?
    Dottie: It was a different time!
    Christina: It was the nineties!
    • In a third-season episode, Dottie and Christina give Abishola jewelry that once belonged to Dottie's late mother (that is, Bob's grandmother). Abishola expresses her thanks and wishes she could have met her, but Christina hastily adds that no, Grandma would have definitely said unpleasant things about Abishola's relationship.
  • Carnivàle: Ben Hawkins's grandmother, the Crone. It also has an amusingly racist comic relief character in the form of Stumpy.
  • The Catherine Tate Show had Nan, an extremely bigoted, foul-mouthed, grandmother.
  • Community:
    • Pierce Hawthorne is a classic example. Being significantly older than the rest of the main characters, he frequently causes tension within the rest of the group with his casual sexism and racism, being largely unaware of how outdated his views really are.
    • Parodied with Pierce's father Cornelius Hawthorne, who's so old and racist that he makes Pierce seem young and open-minded by comparison. Among other things: he talks and dresses like a 19th-century Southern plantation owner, he wears a toupee made from carved ivory because he thinks ordinary toupee hair is "harvested from the heads of the godless Oriental", and he's so racist that he hates Jeff and Britta for being Welsh and Swedish.
      Cornelius: You've got a wide brow. What are you, Scandinavian?
      Britta: Yeah, Swedish.
      Cornelius: (spits) Swedish dogs! Your blood is tainted by generations of race-mixing with Laplanders. You're basically Finns!
      Shirley: My goodness! He's like the Abed of racism...
    • Shirley herself is quite racist and religiously prejudiced, it's just usually overshadowed by Pierce. When it looks like Pierce is going to be kicked out of the group, Abed warns her that she'll become the new creepy racist. She immediately makes a racist comment.
  • Doctor Who: A "sexist grandpa" variation: In "Twice Upon A Time", the Twelfth Doctor encounters the First Doctor, who repeatedly makes sexist remarks. The values dissonance is played for comedy each time:
    First: I am the Doctor, and this is nurse. I realize that seems a little improbable because he's a man. Older gentlemen, like women, can be put to use.
    Twelfth: You can' can't say things like that.
    First: Can't I? Says who?
    Twelfth: Just about everyone you're going to meet for the rest of your life.
  • Played with in Dollhouse, where a Racist Grandma imprint was (for God knows what reason) put on Sierra, portrayed by Nepali-Australian actress Dichen Lachman. Seeing as the Doll was contacted (and probably requested) by none other than the Laughably Evil Manipulative Bastard known as Alpha, it was likely done For the Lulz.
  • Downton Abbey has the dowager Duchess Lady Violet Crawley who carries her distinctly 19th-century views throughout her time on the show.
    Lady Violet:(after a Turkish diplomat died as their guest) One can't go to pieces at the death of every foreigner. We'd be in a constant state of collapse every time we opened a newspaper.
  • The Drew Carey Show
    • Male example: In one episode, Drew writes a speech to one of the store's directors to show how well the store is doing, only for the director to hijack the speech and go on a racist and homophobic rant.
    • In an earlier episode, Drew wanted to quit his dead-end job and asked his dad to talk to one of his buddies if he could get hired in one of their companies. They invited Drew, Lewis, and Oswald to their lodge to talk about possible employment opportunities. Drew ultimately refused their offers because the members, old white men, spent their time in the lodge telling racist jokes.
  • In ER, one old lady once said to Benton that she was uncomfortable with a black doctor examining her. Oh, and that lady? She was black, too.
  • In Fawlty Towers, Major Gowen (a slightly senile retired army officer and permanent resident of the hotel) on one occasion relates a tale where he takes his ex to a cricket match and tries to explain the exact difference between which racist term you use for Indians from India and which you use for Afro-Carribean West Indians. (In recent years, The BBC cut this line from re-runs to avoid causing offence- what was poking harmless fun at an out-of-touch old man in The '70s is less acceptable now.)
  • Sophia from The Golden Girls is sometimes this trope, and at other times the most progressive, open-minded, and tolerant person on the face of the earth, Depending on the Writer. It doesn't help that this show has terrible continuity.
    • Sophia also had a stroke, which Dorothy frequently says is the cause of her blunt outbursts. It could explain this.
  • The protagonists on Good Girls need to raise a lot of money or else be murdered. They devise a plan to rob Marion, the grandmother of Annie's vile boss Boomer. She consoles herself with her grandson's (possibly fictional) fiancee being only half-Mexican and makes Ruby (who's black) do housework for her while exempting Beth and Annie (both white.)
  • In Grace Under Fire, Grace's former mother-in-law Jean shows some signs of this. One time at Christmas, she tries to give her granddaughter a Mammy doll, and fails to realize that it's completely inappropriate or why Grace is upset over it, and a couple of times when encountering black people, thinks she's about to be mugged. This once caused Grace to get in some hot water with her new black neighbors and spend the rest of the episode trying to convince them that she wasn't racist.
  • In an episode of the early 1990s US sitcom Home Fires the grandmother suddenly blurts out (for no apparent reason) "if there's no reverse discrimination, how come there are so many negros in the NBA?"
  • Pop Pop (Dennis and Dee's grandfather) from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a former Nazi and believes that "Kikes" are stealing his stuff.
    • In "Franks Sets Sweet Dee on Fire" the gang attempts to do an expose series at an old folks home. The first lady they talk to says that the one thing she dislikes about the place "is the blacks", leading Mac and the others to immediately end the interview rather than talk to a crazy old racist.
    • Frank himself is the oldest of The Gang and is the most blatantly racist of them all. While the other members of The Gang are merely ignorant at best, Frank is blatantly xenophobic and treats others (especially Jews) with disgust.
  • Mildred from Little Britain USA.
  • Mad Men has the elderly Mrs. Blankenship, once Bert Cooper's secretary and now Don's secretary (to keep him from sleeping with his secretary and driving her away). Even for the time period (the 1960s), she has absolutely no filter with her prejudiced views.
    Mrs. Blankenship: (in reference to the upcoming Ali v Liston fight) If I wanted to see two Negroes fight I'd just toss a dollar bill out of my window.
  • Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge: Alan unwittingly finds himself interviewing one when he interviews the 'The Olympic Golden Girls of 1936'.
  • Law & Order: Organized Crime: Manfredi Sinatra is an elderly mob boss who openly disparages Black people, and is highly uncomfortable with the fact that his son's married to a Black woman, while his grandchildren are mixed race. He later apologizes and declares his love for them nonetheless, but it's the one thing his son can't forgive him for and it leads to Richard murdering him.
  • In an episode of Louie, Louis C.K. has a grandmother like this, and he is really uncomfortable having his daughters around her. He explains to his older daughter that she was born in a different time.
  • Malcolm in the Middle:
    • Ida, Lois' mother and the boys' grandmother, to the point where Lois and Francis make a plan with their (African-American) friends to get Ida out of their house so Lois could not have her there when she gives birth. It works too, until her waters break. This trope seems to be subverted when Ida reveals she's engaged to a man from Hong Kong, but it turns out she just wanted his money.
    • Mrs. Griffin. Besides being racist, she even despises white people not born in the United States.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus would occasionally have one of the Pepperpots say something racist as a gag, such as one who had just lucked out on a game show bringing up her dislike of black people despite this having nothing to do with anything.
  • An episode of Murphy Brown dealing with FYI trying out a radically different format had Murphy interviewing an "ordinary American citizen," a meek and extremely polite old lady...who quickly derails the interview into expressing her displeasure about the different ethnic groups in her neighborhood. This coupled with the sheer ridiculousness of the new format eventually prompts Murphy to explode at her.
  • Darnell's grandma from My Name Is Earl (whose presence becomes puzzling after Darnell's backstory is revealed) is apparently one of these:
    "Come out, you cheating white bitch!"
  • Jane from The New Normal is a crueler version of this trope.
  • Parks and Recreation:
    • Leslie once got together all the former heads of her department for a picnic. The oldest one had an outdated sexist attitude and hilariously couldn't stop talking about menstruation and how it supposedly makes women inferior.
    • There's also Councilman Milton, who frequently makes racially insensitive remarks and was voted in on the promise that he would make the local baseball teams racially segregated again.
  • Discussed on QI, where Jack Whitehall said he'd like to invent dentures that sense racism and clamp shut.
    Stephen Fry: The keyword would be 'but', wouldn't it? Nothing against them personally, but- *chomp*
  • In Redfern Now, Corral is an Aboriginal Australian woman who is racist against all Aboriginal men and wants her granddaughter to marry a hardworking white boy. She actually refuses to talk to her daughter because she married an Aboriginal man, and expresses distaste for Indians, people with poor English, doctors, and, in fact, almost everyone.
  • Scrubs:
    • One of JD's grandmothers (Nana Hobbs) is "a teensy bit racist" (she thought Turk was a burglar).
    • One opening had Turk wheeling around an old woman in a wheelchair, who cheerfully requested that he "makes sure they don't give me any black blood." His response? An offended and sincere "I'll try."
    • In "My Missed Perception", there's a "senile old racist", who has to be reminded which people he hates and why.
  • Sex and the City. Charlotte's husband Trey confides in his overbearing mother Bunny that Charlotte has put them on a list for adoption of a Chinese baby. In response, Bunny snootily informs Charlotte that "The MacDougall name will be carried on by sons of your own, not daughters of the South Pacific.", thus adding a little sexism to her bigotry as well.
  • Lampshaded in the Star Trek episode "The Savage Curtain", where Abraham Lincoln (it's complicated) calls Uhura a "charming Negress", then promptly apologizes. (Uhura wasn't offended, as both the term, and anti-African racism, are ancient oddities in her time. Also, Abraham Lincoln.)
  • Discussed in Ted Lasso. Ted notices Roy Kent is in a bad mood and tries to figure out what's wrong. When he suggests that Roy had just discovered his dad might be racist, Roy points out his dad is in his 60s and is from a working-class neighborhood in South London. Of course, his dad holds some racist views.
  • True Blood:
    • Hoyt's mother Maxine. When she tries to argue with Hoyt about his vampire girlfriend, Hoyt calls her out on her hatred of everyone:
      Maxine: Who do you think you're talking to?
      Hoyt: My mama. Who hates Methodists.
      Maxine: I got my reasons.
      Hoyt: And Catholics.
      Maxine: Just priests and nuns.
      Hoyt: African Americans.
      Maxine: Hush. That's a secret.
    • And Grandma Bellefleur of course! She appears to be okay with vampire Bill and treats him like an honored guest. Then it turns out that he's her ancestor.

  • The Brian Haner song "Grandma Was a Racist".
  • Kunt and the Gang:
    • "Fucksticks" Kunt mentions that one of the times his granddad used the eponymous swear was "when the first black people moved into his street and Kunt later refers to him as moany, racist old cunt.
    • His grandma as well, as per "Let's Send Nan to Dignitas:"
      She's been around, she's racist, she hates foreigners with a passion
      She uses the B- and N-words like they're going out of fashion.

  • Referenced in an episode of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, when Miles Jupp is asked to complete "Grandma, We Love You" by the St Winifred Girls' School Choir:
    Jack: Grandma, we love you,
    Grandma, we do,
    Though you may be far away,
    We think of you,
    And one day when we're older,
    We'll look back and say...
    Miles: In retrospect, she was actually quite racist, wasn't she?

  • Three Tall Women: 92-year-old "A" is quite the racist, ranting about Jews and "uppity n——-s". This disgusts 26-year-old C, which becomes pretty ironic in Act II when we find out that A, B, and C are all the same person.

    Video Games 
  • One of the Yharnamites you can rescue in Bloodborne is an old lady who, when you speak to her in Oedon Chapel, will rant about how Yharnam's pure blood is being polluted by outsiders. Notably, this is despite you, an outsider, being the one who directed her to the safety of the Chapel in the first place.
  • In Disco Elysium, Lena is a kind-hearted old lady who, while telling the Detective about various famous cryptids, casually compares his partner Kim to the Kind Green Ape by suggesting that both are products of different branches of human evolution. It's telling that both she and her husband are friends with Gary the Cryptofacist, whose racism is much more overt.
  • Present in the Mass Effect series, where many of the older generation that lived through the First Contact War are xenophobic or distrustful of the other alien species, with many human supremacist groups such as Cerberus and Terra Firma existing.
    • Similarly, despite Pressley and Dr Chakwas being some of the nicest older crewmembers on the Normandy, the former is initially distrustful of the various aliens Shepard brings onboard (until the end where he finally admits that he was proud fighting alongside them on his personal entry that was recovered on the Normandy SR-1 crash site where he died) and the latter admits in the third game that while she considers her a friend, she doesn't consider AI like EDI to be "alive".
    • Javik, a Prothean from the past cycle and thus technically many millennium years older than anyone on Shepard's cycle, is this. Which is justified, the races of the current cycle were once nothing but primitives on Javik's time.
  • Torbjörn from Overwatch hates Omnics (robots), and will sometimes express frustration at playing in a map set in an Omnic-friendly location (such as Numbani or Nepal).
  • In Splatoon 2's Octo Expansion campaign, the Inkling Captain Cuttlefish (a veteran of a territory war between Inklings and Octolings) is this mixed in with Innocent Bigot. He is normally pretty hostile to Octarians, but is willing to work with Agent 8 (an Octoling) because their soul was touched by the Calamari Inkantation. Once he learns Marina is an Octoling who was also freed by the Calamari Inkantation, he clumsily states she's "okay for an Octoling" and that he "doesn't see species".
  • George of Stardew Valley is a rather more modern take on the trope: a Homophobic Grandpa. If you romance his grandson Alex as a male character, he's initially quite befuddled by the idea of two young men getting married, and dismisses it "unnatural". Eventually he drops this attitude and admits he may just be "old-fashioned".

    Visual Novels 

  • In The Bedfellows, Sheen's mom expresses hate speech towards lizards in the strip "Dinner", to the chagrin of Sheen.
  • In Better Days, Fisk and Lucy's maternal grandparents are racist towards Hyenas (read: black people). This causes some tension when their aunt brings her hyena boyfriend over for a visit (implied to have done so specifically to annoy her parents). Their mom asks the grandmother at one point to not use racial slurs towards the boyfriend, and the grandmother concedes that times have changed. It's also mentioned that the boyfriend can't go with the family to visit the grandfather in the hospital for this reason.
  • The furry webcomic Goblin Hollow has Lily's grandfather and grandmother who have a problem with Lily (a cougar-African lion hybrid) dating Ben (a bear). Even Lily's father admits that Lily's grandparents are raving bigots.

    Web Original 
  • Adventure Is Nigh invokes the trope to illustrate the current sentiment dwarves hold towards surface-dwellers, who betrayed them in the last great war several centuries (so approximately three dwarven generations) ago.
    "There's your really racist grandparents, your kinda racist parents, and then there's you."
  • A recurring joke on Cracked is to poke fun at racist uncles who either make family dinners during Thanksgiving uncomfortable or who are outright barred from Thanksgiving dinner because they won't stop pushing their views on everyone else.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged: Parodied with Dr. Brief (Bulma's dad), who considers his own grandson a half-breed (and doesn't hesitate to call him that due to being half-Saiyan), is a homophobe, a misogynist, a xenophobe, and even standard racist, but never voices these comments aggressively (nor do any of the cast call him out on it).
  • In an episode of Feed Dump that aired around Thanksgiving in the United States, one of the characters said that she was thankful that her racist aunt had become too deaf to talk at dinner.
  • The idea of the subreddit /r/ForwardsFromKlandma, which describes itself as "Your one-stop hub for overt racism/bigotry coming from people who remember the Civil Rights Movement."
  • One song in Jacksfilms's fifth installment of "Royalty Free Christmas Songs" has Jack excited to visit his grandma for the holidays, but her immediate response to seeing him is to ask if he's still "seeing that colored girl." Jack stands in silence for a second, then silently decides to leave her house.
  • Lampshaded in a video done by Sarah Silverman, telling young, liberal Jews to visit their grandparents in Florida to encourage them to transcend their racial prejudices and vote for Barack Obama. She recommends holding over them the threat of no longer being visited if they don't vote for him.
  • In one Something Awful "Fashion SWAT" segment, they discussed this in regard to an old lady: "In old lady hell, the candy is the delicious kind that everyone likes" "And people call them out on all the racist stuff they say" "Eh, who knows, maybe the time we get old, stuff we say will be seen weird 'Gee, I think someone should do something about all those pedophiles having sex on the streets.'"

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of American Dad!, Roger feels unappreciated by Stan and runs away, disguising himself as an old lady. He befriends another old woman and they get along for a while... up until she spits on the Lincoln Memorial and says "That's for freeing the slaves, you negro-loving Yankee devil!" She spends the rest of the episode making such slurs against everyone (even other whites) so by the time Stan offers her to the CIA and claims she's the escaped alien, nobody cares.
  • The Boondocks:
    • Uncle Ruckus is definitely a Racist Grandpa. He's an old man who grew up in the Deep South during the Jim Crow era, personally opposed the Civil Rights Movement when it was still active, and he's a very vocal white supremacist who openly despises black people (and of course all other non-white races). Though ironically, he's actually a black man himself, but believes that he's white. Unsurprisingly, he gets along very well with Mrs. von Heusen (who's described below). But his father Mister Ruckus is another story (also described below).
    • Betty von Heusen is a more conventional white Racist Grandma. She's an elderly, paranoid gun-hoarder who leads the local neighborhood watch. After a series of home burglaries, she's suspicious of her (black) neighbor Robert Freeman due to his unwillingness to join the neighborhood watch or cooperate with them, even though his house was also robbed. In a later episode, Mrs. von Heusen is shown to be unambiguously and unquestionably racist, when she and her friends fired their guns in the direction of a crowd of black protesters while calling them "niggers".
    • Mister Ruckus, who is the loathsome father of Uncle Ruckus, had also grown up as a black man who saw the worst of institutional racism during the Jim Crow era. Mister really hates white people due to being repeatedly and violently abused by the white men who employed him, and he chews out his family members for all being a bunch of "Uncle Toms" who loyally serve white people. Though Mister really just hates everyone; he disparagingly labels Uncle as a "Professional Mexican" for being a low-wage menial laborer, which shows he has an unexplained prejudice against Hispanics as well.
  • Braceface had the episode "Grey Matters", which featured Sharon's Grandpa. However, unlike some other examples, he isn't a hateful man in the slightest. He's actually quite a nice guy. However, he believes in several racial stereotypes (Arabs having harems, Asians being bad drivers), and jokes around about this with Sharon's friend Maria and her boyfriend, who are Asian and Arabian. Her boyfriend playfully runs with it, while Maria is offended. It's implied that he gets over it by the end of the episode.
  • Family Guy:
    • Mrs. Pewterschmidt has found her husband cheating on her and leaves him. Peter suggests that Mr. Pewterschmidt get back on the dating scene, and takes him out to a club. Mr. Pewterschmidt sees a black man at the club and thinks he's a waiter or servant, and refers to him as "boy," which causes the woman that Mr. Pewterschmidt was with to leave in disgust along with the black man. Mr. Pewterschmidt's first assumption upon noticing their disgust was the black man being "somebody else's" property (which is strange, because, unless Carter is immortal, there's no way he could remember when slavery existed). He also gives his own wife a hard time for being Jewish, something she has deeply regretted allowing him to do.
    • Peter's stepfather Francis Griffin, a deeply unpleasant man in general, has a special grudge against Lois for being non-Catholic. Among other things, he appended the "Just Married" sign on the back of the limo they left their wedding in with, "to a Protestant whore". His idea of complimenting Lois is telling her "Maybe you won't burn in Hell after all, you'll just go to Purgatory with all the unbaptized babies."
  • In Futurama, Professor Farnsworth is over 100 years old and is sometimes shown to be of the Fantastic Racism variety. Take this quote from "Fry and the Slurm Factory", for instance.
    Farnsworth: Who are those horrible orange creatures over there?
    Glurmo: Why, those are the Grunka-Lunkas. They work here in the Slurm factory.
    Farnsworth: Tell them I hate them!
  • In Generator Rex, there was an old lady who despises Evos and believes that Evos and humans don't mix. So she teams up with another Evo to set an example of it all by blowing up a cave full of humans and Evos.
  • King of the Hill:
    • Suprisingly averted with Cotton; while he is extremely sexist, racism is one of the few Jerkass traits he doesn't have. When asked, Cotton will usually say that someone of that given ethnicity helped him during World War 2. While he seems racist towards Japanese people it doesn't have any fangs moreso than his usual abrasiveness and he drops it entirely once he gets to reunite with his Japanese mistress and the child he fathered with her.
    • Inverted in "The Peggy Horror Picture Show" where Peggy befriends a drag queen named Carolyn (it's unclear if he's actually transgendered or not) whose mother is so overly supportive of his lifestyle he finds it kind of annoying.
  • The Oblongs: One-shot character Miss Hubbard is an old woman shown to have racist and xenophobic views, to the point that her parenting advice book includes a prayer for the "white male God" to rain destruction onto the "mud races" and is shown to wear a chastity belt due to believing that all the immigrants out there might rape her.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: Before Rocko meets Heffer's surrogate family, the Wolfes in "Who's For Dinner?", Heffer tells him that his grandfather Hiram hates wallabies but Rocko shouldn't worry because Hiram is nearsighted. Heffer then claims Rocko to be a coyote, and Hiram scoffs that he's obviously a beaver and bullies him for that.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Lisa once researched her family tree. Grandpa told her about having an African-American ancestor and that he was reluctant about admitting it because his generation was racist.
    • During the teaser videos for Universal Studios' The Simpsons Ride, Krusty is interviewing regular folks in line for a ride at Krusty-Land, and while interviewing Grandpa Simpson he goes into one of his rants:
      Grandpa: You could hate anyone back then, especially the
      Krusty: Cut! Cut! Cut!
  • A Static Shock episode showed that Richie Foley's Dad was a racist. One of the few cases the change of heart is made (somewhat) realistically. At least as realistically as it can be expected in a series with superpowered individuals.
  • In the Wander over Yonder episode "The Family Reunion", Wander meets his partner Sylvia's family. While Sylvia's mother and brothers are fairly welcoming of Wander, her grandmother calls him a "filthy space hippie" and accuses him of wanting to steal her purse.
  • Gramps Unit, the grandfather of the titular character of Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?, generally views humans in contempt. His grandson even worries that he'll kill human guests he invited over in "House Party".


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Racist Grandpa


Happy Christmas!

A "Talking with Signs" conversation across the street turns awkward when the lovely old lady starts making racist remarks.

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Main / RacistGrandma

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