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Silver Spoon Troublemaker

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"Some folks are born, silver spoon in hand. Lord, don't they help themselves, yeah."
Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Fortunate Son"

In this trope, the child of a prominent public figure is shown to be a troublemaker. Their actions may range from harmless pranks and misbehavior to outright criminal behavior. It can be for myriad reasons, including entitlement, a need for their parent's attention, anger, etc.

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Closely related to The Upper Crass.

This type of character is usually an Upper-Class Twit, a Rich Bitch, or a Spoiled Brat. They mistakenly believe that they can get away with anything just because they have money and connections. If portrayed negatively, they'll be condescending and unsympathetic towards others from lower social classes, and they'll expect to get away with misbehaving all the time. Might be a Rebellious Spirit or a Thrill Seeker, or the kid is purposely trying to ruin their parents' public image. If the child is the offspring of royalty, then they are a Royal Brat. If the kid is expected to succeed in the parents' role, such as in business or royalty, you likely have a Sketchy Successor and/or Inadequate Inheritor. The kid may happen to be a Millionaire Playboy as well or at least think they are one. Deep down, however, many of these characters are just troubled, lonely rich kids with parental issues.

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A quick note: not every character here has to be evil or unsympathetic. In fact, there are sympathetic troublemakers the audience may root for, especially if their parents are irredeemable or are outright villains.

Compare "Ass" in Ambassador and Diplomatic Impunity, as diplomatic immunity often extends to the families of diplomats. Contrast with Rich Kid Turned Social Activist and Wealthy Philanthropist.

No Real Life Examples, Please! There are way too many real-life examples of children of public figures who are troublemakers, and there's no reason to post them here.


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Examples:

Anime & Manga

  • Great Teacher Onizuka:
    • Mayu Wakui is the grandson of Holy Forest Academy's director, and despite knowing of his pranks she takes his side, when she usually steps in to defend Onizuka's actions.
    • In Shonan 14 Days, Miki Katsuragi is the daughter of a prominent police official, but he cares more about his work, so she acts out as a cry for attention.
  • Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics: Prince William from "The Man Of Iron" is this, much to his grandmother the Queen's embarrassment. Most of the people he encounters only put up with his insults and demanding behavior because of his title. Unfortunately, or fortunately as the case may be, Hans, the actual Man of Iron, is having none of that.

Comic Books

  • Tintin: Abdullah, the 6-year-old son of the Emir of the fictional Arab state of Khemed, is a mischievous prankster. Abdullah pulls harmless (though annoying) pranks on others because his royal blood allows him to do whatever he wants. He even frequently pulls pranks on his father, who doesn't really mind because he loves his son too much.

Fan Works

Film - Live Action

  • The eponymous Billy Madison is introduced drunkenly driving his golf cart and ruining the gardener's hard work, and he will occasionally pull childish pranks around town, like putting a Burning Bag of Poop on the front door of old man Clemen's house, and he only graduated high school because his father bribed his teachers to give him good grades and ignore his misbehavior (as the reason Steve Buscemi's character crossed him off his "people to kill" list is that Billy apologized for bullying him in high school).

Literature

  • In L.A. Confidential, it's eventually revealed that one of the individuals responsible for a series of gruesome child murders and dismemberments is the illegitimate son of Raymond Dieterling, a fabulously wealthy animation mogul.
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: Jacob the main character starts out like this. He's the heir to his mother's family's chain of successful stores and is currently working part-time as a low-level employee at one. The problem is he hates the job and constantly screws up on purpose, much to the annoyance of his manager. Naturally said manager knows if she fires Jacob, she'll more than likely be out of a job soon after, so has no choice but to tolerate his shenanigans (despite him actually hoping to get her to fire him). Then the plot kicks in.
  • The Whipping Boy: Prince Horace is this, privately referred to as Prince Brat. Sadly virtually all the punishment for these antics falls upon Jeremy, the titular whipping boy. This also bites Horace in the butt when he and Jeremy get taken prisoner by bandits after they run away. The bandits refuse to believe the ill-mannered and illiterate Horace is the actual royal, and try to compel "Prince" Jeremy's obedience by beating his servant (since you can't strike royalty).

Live-Action TV

  • In Day of the Dead (2021), Luke Bowman is the son of the local Mayor and often behaves badly in the belief that his family will cover everything up.
  • Invoked by Ki-do in It's Okay to Not Be Okay. Ki-do has a manic disorder in which he behaves inappropriately in public and exposes his body. So his father, who is an assemblyman, sends him to a mental hospital and treats him like he's an embarrassment. As a result, Ki-do ruins his father's election campaign and confesses to everyone that he did all of this just to grab his father's attention and that he knows he's the "ugly duckling" of the family.
    Ki-do: (in a choked-up voice) I just wanted his attention. I just wanted him to look at me. So I did tons of crazy stuff to get his attention. But I just ended up going crazy, everyone!
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch has her younger cousin Amanda Wiccan. In Amanda’s first appearance, she would trap people who she considers annoying in jars.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Sisko is the commander of the Space Station, and his teenage son Jake is The Prankster (at least early in the first season), doing things like putting a powder in some people's food that makes their skin change colors for a minute.
  • In Star Trek: Voyager, Tom Paris is the son of a prominent Starfleet Admiral. Tom himself was languishing in a penal colony for joining a group of violent rebels before Capt. Janeway recruited him for a special mission to track down some of his former comrades in the Maquis.
  • In Doctor Who, we meet Lady Christina who prides herself on the fact that she is royalty and only does the burglary thing for kicks.
  • On Mama's Family, there's Eugene, the grandson of the local minister. His grandmother, the extremely insufferable Alberta Meechum, refuses to discipline him at all, so he's a near-sociopathic brat who torments everyone around him and even acts up in church.

Music

  • The Beatles' "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window" follows a girl who tries to break into her obsession's residence, and while she does get the police involved she was ultimately "protected by a silver spoon" (although it never elaborates on how wealthy she is).
  • In Tom Lehrer's "My Home Town", one verse is about Sam, whose antics extend to wanton property destruction but have to be tolerated because he's the mayor's son.

Webcomics

  • Scarlet Lady exaggerates Chloé's attitude from canon, with her being such an entitled brat that she is open to doing anything, up to and including attempted murder, to fulfill whatever whims she's feeling at the moment. The story balances it out with Chloé being incredibly incompetent and reality giving her a dope slap every so often (ex. when she tries to bribe her classmates to vote for her with Jagged Stone tickets Nino points out said gifts are like campaign buttons - they are a publicity stunt that doesn't guarantee that people will actually vote for her).

Web Video

  • Danny Gonzalez: Parodied in a skit featuring Jeff Bezos's son disturbing dogs at a kennel. When asked to leave, he repeatedly reminds the kennel worker of who his dad is and that he can make the worker's Alexa turn evil if he wanted to. His insistence that his dad will bail him out of trouble turns into denial of the fact that his dad won't help him, considering they haven't spoken in years.

Western Animation

  • American Dad!: When Stan has dinner with Senator Buckingham in order to convince him to let him head a CIA task force, he is introduced to Cookie, Senator Buckingham's troubled teenage daughter Cookie is shown to be a drug addict and, alongside Roger!Steve, goes on a bender that ultimately gets them in trouble with drug dealers and leads to Cookie nearly dying of an overdose. Senator Buckingham is aware of Cookie's drug problem but doesn't care as he prioritizes his career over his family.
  • Archer:
    • Sterling Archer, the son of ISIS/The Agency Director Malory Archer, may be the world's greatest spy, but he also exhibits major hedonistic tendencies, including sleeping with multiple women, getting blackout drunk, using the agency's bank account to supplement his expensive tastes, being cruel to his valet Woodhouse, and altogether being a dick to his friends and coworkers.
    • Cheryl Tunt, the mentally unstable heiress of the Tunt fortune, has exhibited sociopathic tendencies since childhood, including, but not limited to, burning down a gazebo, throwing darts at her horse trainer and piano teacher, and stabbing her high school crush with scissors. Her brother Cecil has tried to get her institutionalized, though this was more for self-serving reasons than any actual concern for her well-being.
  • Doug: Willie White is the son of Mayor White who often hangs out with Roger Klotz and his Gang of Bullies.
  • The Legend of Korra: Whereas Lin Beifong followed in her mother Toph's footsteps in joining the Republic City police force, her other daughter Suyin was a rebellious troublemaker who ended up joining the Triple Threat Triad, helping them as a getaway driver. Toph ended up destroying her arrest report and sending Suyin to live with her grandparents, where she ultimately becomes the architect and founder of the city of Zaofu.
  • Miraculous Ladybug:
    • Chloé Bourgeois, the daughter of the Mayor of Paris and the Alpha Bitch of Marinette's class, has made it her mission in life to bully and annoy everybody else and uses the aforementioned connection to either get resources (ex. try to bribe all of her classmates into voting for her being class president by offering them tickets to a Jagged Stone concert) or force the principal to back off from applying any punishment.
    • Lila Rossi is a downplayed example. She is the daughter of an Italian ambassador and is a Consummate Liar who has become an agent of Hawk Moth and loves getting Marinette/Ladybug into trouble. The fact that makes her a downplayed example is that all of the advantages that she says she has as a daughter of a diplomat (like going to other countries for vacation) have been shown to just be more of her lies.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Diamond Tiara is the daughter of Filthy Rich, the wealthy corporate executive. Along with her partner-in-crime Silver Spoon, Diamond Tiara is an Alpha Bitch who mocks anyone who doesn't have a cutie mark. In "Crusaders of the Lost Mark", however, it's revealed that this behavior comes from her mother Spoiled Rich's emotional abuse of her. She ultimately ditches this trope after she redeems herself.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: Ensign Beckett Mariner is the rebellious daughter of the USS Cerritos's captain, Carol Freeman. Mariner is more than capable of rising in rank but constantly self-sabotages herself by skirting Starfleet protocol in order to stay an ensign. Throughout the first season of the show, Freeman looks for any excuse to have Mariner removed from duty, but never follows through, however they do come to an understanding in the season finale.
  • Teenage Euthanasia: Monotony, one of the members of the Killmore Girls, a trio of troublemaking teenage girls, is revealed to be the daughter of United States Senator Casey Anthony (Yes, that Casey Anthony). She is denied the opportunity to become a surrogate mother because of her mother's intervention. She ends up being scared straight by Trophy accurately predicting her friend's death and ultimately becomes deputized as a sexy police officer.

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