You know this woman. note She's cultured and rich, and she knows how to handle any situation (or at least upper-class ones). Her rich husband or father adores her, and never tires of supplying her with a constant stream of Gucci and Armani. She lives in a paradise of a mansion, usually in California, or a penthouse in Manhattan. You might find her hanging out at various social events, with a glass of champagne in her hand. Often she doesn't have a job, but sometimes she can be working in a high-end job, such as that of a celebrity publicist, which nets her a very high salary.
While the Socialite is similar to — and can overlap with — the Rich Bitch, the Gold Digger, and the Upper-Class Twit, there is a difference: a Socialite is often Spoiled Sweet, and she may very well be a nice woman who just so happens to have a lot of money. On the other hand, she can also be Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense, especially if she's been rich since childhood.
Often she will be either childless or quite distant towards her children.
See also Valley Girl.
- The main character from Yurika's Campus Life defines herself as a socialite, having few other useful skills besides an almost mystical sway over other women. Her desperate economic situation leads her to become a Gold Digger.
- Wonder Woman Vol 1: Priscilla Rich is a wealthy young woman from a wealthy background who enjoys going to parties and benefits and keeping up with all the latest gossip and trends, with no apparent employment. She also has a pathological need to be the center of attention and turns to murder when she feels like others are getting more attention than she.
- Colette: The bohemian world where Willy and Colette live also has its share of wealthy characters, some of them classic socialites, who like to hang out with artists because its cool notably including Missy, who comes from a very aristocratic background.
- The Duchess is essentially a Biopic of the Real Life Ur-Example (see below).
- Wallis Simpson in The King's Speech before becoming the Duchess of Windsor, putting her at odds with Elizabeth.
- X-Men: First Class: According to Charles, his mother cares more about her upper-class lifestyle (e.g. she never goes into the kitchen of her own home, clearly believing that the room is "beneath" someone of her high status) than being a good mother towards him. Parental Neglect is typical of this trope, and it's suggested that the maid spends more time with him than Mrs. Xavier does.
- "Madam", the aunt and surrogate mother to the series' eventual ultimate politician Lord Vetinari, in the Discworld stories. She primarily appears in Night Watch.
- Myra Rutledge of Fern Michaels' Sisterhood series is a beautiful socialite in her 60s. She runs a Fortune 500 candy company, and she doesn't know how much money she has, except for the fact that she's a billionaire at least. She is in charge of the Vigilantes, a group that breaks the law to achieve justice, and she will not hesitate to use her money to bankroll the Vigilantes and the connections she has to get the Vigilantes out of trouble. She is one of the good guys, by the way. She also has a pearl necklace that she has a habit of playing with.
- An evil example: Helen Heyer from V for Vendetta is the wife of a high-ranking member of Britain's futuristic fascist government but she plans on overthrowing the Leader and installing her husband in his place so that she can rule the country through him. She likes to use sex to control her husband and other influential men and always dresses up to the nines.
- Lillian Rearden from Atlas Shrugged. The wife of billionaire industrialist Hank Rearden, she envies her husband for his ability and revels in making life unbearable for him while forbidding him from getting a divorce because she needs his wealth and power to maintain her place in high society.
- Yet another evil example (the Socialite gets a pretty bad rap in literature doesn't she?) is Esme Gigi Genevieve Squalor from A Series of Unfortunate Events. When first introduced she's a Rich Bitch and the self-proclaimed "City's sixth most important financial adviser". She's tactless, vain, obsessed with fashion, and orders her weak husband around. It later turns out that she's having an affair with the story's Big Bad.
- Mistborn: Vin impersonates a socialite rather effectively, pretending to be the pampered niece of a high noble. Both she and some actual nobility who appear to fit this character type are magical assassins.
- In Sean Stewart's Galveston, the ghost of a socialite provides the main character with some useful reflections.
- Isaac Asimov's "Satisfaction Guaranteed":
- Emily Gilmore from Gilmore Girls. Her sole occupation is to be a corporate wife; planning parties and attending events to keep up the social side of her husband's business. If things don't go her way, however...
- Fiona Coyne of Degrassi: The Next Generation loves champagne, fashion, and New York City parties.
- Maris Crane, Niles' unseen wife, from Frasier is the Rich Bitch version of this. She comes from a wealthy family and lives in a huge mansion full of expensive antiques. Her lifestyle revolves around shopping, attending social functions, and treating Niles like dirt.
- The Real Housewives is based around this trope.
- Hunter: The Vigil: The Ashwood Abbey is entirely composed of rich, bored aristocrats and other social stars who pass their boredom by hunting, torturing and raping monsters. Unsurprisingly, they are one of the game's most controversial factions.
- Rocket Age has Talvala Festil, a rare male example, although given Mars' Royal Caste have less of a gender divide it is unsurprising. Mr Festil is the money behind the Rocket Cat lounge, but never does any actual work, instead acting as the face, charming and befriending everyone who comes through the door.
- Mrs. Arrow of F-Zero. This is in addition to being a F-Zero racer, a former circuit model, a teacher and co-founder of the F-Zero Racing School, a musician, a linguistics expert, a bodybuilder, and one-half of a crime-fighting superhero duo as well as an implied homemaker, never mind that she's suggested to have genius-level intellect, is the financier of Super Arrow's operations, and is clearly the one wearing the pants in their relationship. She even resembles the page image note (only, you know, far more muscular), though we've yet to see her in a dress or at any social gatherings due to F-Zero hardly touching on the racers' personal lives outside of the racetrack. We do know, however, that she was basically treated as a princess growing up, her family is immensely wealthy, and Mrs. Arrow is more than happy to put that wealth to philanthropic use.
- Champion Cynthia of the Pokémon games, particularly evident in her appearance in Pokémon Black and White. She takes up residence at a friend's villa in Undella Town region during the spring and summer seasons. This is mainly because she's looking into Unova's Abyssal Ruins in Undella Bay whenever she's not doing research in Sinnoh, but Cynthia seems equally keen on lounging around and going swimming/sunbathing (to the point that she outright asks the player which of two swimsuits she'd look better in), and several female Gym Leaders and Elite Four members come to visit her whenever she's in town.
- Russian Blue calls herself this in the first SPY Fox game. She's also the owner of the cruise ship S.S. Deadweight, was acquitted for a number of Tango-related crimes, and has connections with William the Kid, being the head of Public Relations for his front company, Nectar of the Goats.
- Mary in Knights of Buena Vista is one, but she still likes to play fantasy games when she isn't attending social events.
- Whateley Universe examples: Solange's mother. And step-mother. And maybe previous step-mothers too. Traduce's mother, who (like Traduce) cannot keep a personal assistant because she treats underlings so badly. Not Phase's mother, who has a PhD and spends her time running Goodkind Research.
- The Facebook game Sorority Life centers on this whole concept. You play a college girl who's part of a sorority. Your mission is not to get good grades to get a good job, as one might think. Rather, it's to get as much status, expensive things, and power as possible.
- Many of Bruce Wayne's girlfriends, particularly in Batman: The Animated Series. They're all rich and have doting boyfriends, but they're more Spoiled Sweet than Rich Bitch.
- Bruce also had a platonic relationship with Veronica Vreeland, a red-headed socialite. She was invariably portrayed vaguely somewhat negatively, usually as Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense.
- In the pilot episode of Batman Beyond, the socialite who Bruce rescues during his last mission as Batman is none other than Veronica Vreeland's full-grown daughter Bunny. The showrunners stated that they purposely wrote her as being Veronica's daughter both as a Continuity Nod to Batman: The Animated Series and also to show that everyone else in Bruce's life—including former love interests like Veronica—has long since moved on with their lives while Bruce was still fighting a battle that had once again become quite lonely (the point of that was so that when Terry came under Bruce's tutelage 20 years later, it would be a symbolic way of Bruce finding his purpose again).
- Rarity has an entire episode and sings a song about how she wants to be this.
- The same episode (Sweet and Elite) also had several negative and positive versions of the character playing off of her. Jet Set and Upper Crust were very much the bad kind: spoiled, elitist, and haughty, who disparages Rarity for her humble origins despite initially loving her (self-made) clothes. Fancy Pants, conversely, is charming, witty, and kind, and compliments Rarity and her friends for their good qualities and doesn't mind at all their rustic backgrounds. (Hilariously, Jet Set and Upper Crust are devoted hangers-on to him, and are forced to change their tunes so they won't fall out of favor.) Between them is Fleur de Lis, Fancy Pants' wife/girlfriend/escort/forelegcandy (their relationship is never made clear), who mostly just hangs around (and sometimes on) Fancy Pants and never states her opinion either way. Fan interpretation tends to paint her nice like Fancy Pants, though.
- Evelyn Peters from The Simpsons. (Although she's something of a Deconstruction, having graduated from a public high school with non-rich kids and feeling ashamed of this.)
- Georgina Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire is probably the Ur-Example and has a movie to prove it.
- An infamous example: Betty Broderick who murdered her husband after he left her for a much younger woman.
- Dorothy Wilde, niece of Oscar Wilde. She took after her uncle in terms of wit and personality.
- In the United States, there is an actual book called "The Social Register", which was originally compiled in the 1800s, and continues to be updated today. Included are the old-money families and the Presidents and First Ladies. After the original version was published, the way to get included in subsequent publications was by five letters of recommendation by existing members, followed by an interview in front of the board, or to be born into a registered family.