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Sour Prudes

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Alice (or sometimes Bob) is trying a bit too hard to make herself look good at the expense of other women (and maybe men). She is claiming superiority (on the ground that she doesn't have as much sex as they do, doesn't dress immodestly they do, or something like that), Slut-Shaming other women (or sometimes men), and defaming their character.

Often a tragic character portrayed as being overly prudish as a kind of Sour Grapes: "I deny myself my sexuality, so why don't these people do the same thing?". Thus "Sour Prudes". For extra irony, Alice might be pulling the Entitled to Have You card, based on being such a good girl. This can be especially tragic if she lives in a society where women are economically dependent on men, making her come across as justified — or at least as a Troubled Sympathetic Bigot who is only trying to survive in No Woman's Land. This is also tied to Internalized Categorism and Stop Being Stereotypical: Alice might believe that the targets of her scorn are making other women (or men) look bad, that they are the reason their whole sex does not get proper respect — she is almost certainly wrong: the reasons for inequality go deeper than that.

In some cases, this might go hand in hand with Marital Rape License. For example, let's say that Alice is outraged at Charlene for saying that oral sex is okay — and that the real reason for this outrage is that Alice fears that Charlene's opinion may encourage Alice's husband Bob to try to pressure Alice into having oral sex.

If this Alice has taken a vow of chastity (and she usually hasn't), she might also be a Strawman Political of the sexual-religious kind. Note that a character who chose to be chaste — without being a Jerkass about it — is not this trope. If a character is accused of being this trope by another character, without being portrayed as such by the narrative, it counts as "invoked" and does not go on character sheet pages.

Compare My Girl Is Not a Slut, Internalized Categorism, Lie Back and Think of England, Armoured Closet Gay, Heteronormative Crusader, Slut-Shaming, Female Misogynist, Not Like Other Girls, Madonna-Whore Complex, Moral Guardians and Sex Is Evil, and I Am Horny. Contrast Ethical Slut, For Happiness and Safe, Sane, and Consensual.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Haganai: Yozora will assert her superiority over Sena by railing at any chance against her immoral behaviour (shamelessly shaking down her admirers and playing Eroge and Dating Sims, mostly). Resident Lovable Sex Maniac Rika actually uses this against Yozora whenever she tries to pull the same attitude on her.
  • O Maidens in Your Savage Season: Rika Sonezaki is very straight-backed and proper, mostly due to an extremely strict upbringing. She is violently opposed to any kind of sexuality and frequently decries those around them for such crimes as expressing interest in boys and wearing revealing clothing, which is made worse by her being a massive hypocrite who openly enjoys erotic literature (which is art, so it doesn't count).
  • Tenchi Muyo!: Ayeka Jurai is often portrayed this way. Character Development across any one series mitigates it somewhat, but she's always a Royal Brat who insists on doing everything a "traditional" way, and she's not above throwing her weight around when she thinks she can get away with it.
  • To Love Ru:
    • Yui frequently chides other students for their "inappropriate" behavior and asserts herself to be uninterested in anything related to sex. Risa notes how hilarious it is that a prude girl like her has so curvy a body.
    • Nana. Similar to Yui's case above (in fact more than once in the manga, they're both seen criticizing Rito at the same time during his Accidental Pervert moments), though hers is slightly more downplayed compared to the former. This also makes her even more of a Foil to her Lovable Sex Maniac sister Momo.

    Comic Books 
  • Bitchy Butch never seems to quit whining about supposedly prudish women, mostly because she's frustrated that they won't leave their boyfriends and start having sex with her instead. Ironically, it's hinted that Butchy herself has been quite the Sour Prude to her previous girlfriends (only hinted, since the stories are all told from her biased perspective where everything was always their fault and never hers).
  • Piranha Club has a male example with the protagonist Ernie Floyd trying a bit too hard to convince his girlfriend's father that he doesn't pose a threat to the old man's daughter.
  • Whatever Love Means portrays this mindset as an effect of patriarchal repression: Everyone wants to have some control and having been denied any other way to power a woman's only remaining option is trying to control her own sexuality and the sexuality of others. Also, women who are not sexually repressed become a very real threat when your sexuality is the only thing you have to bargain with: Like any other market, it's a matter of supply and demand, and minimizing supply is their only way of increasing her market value.

    Fan Works 
  • Remnant Inferis: DOOM: Downplayed with Ruby. She doesn't insult anyone who either cracks sexual jokes or swears frequently, but she doesn't like it either and tends to clog her ears when they come up. She starts losing this trait the longer she fights against the forces of Hell. By the time her team and the Slayer wind up in Hell and later escape, she's long past the ability to care.

  • A lot of Lifetime Movies Of The Week tends to unintentionally veer into this territory, with characters who are strait-laced best friends to their promiscuous female friend. Almost the flip side to Toxic Friend Influence.
  • In Attenberg, it is established that Bella is more sexually experienced and that Marina feels inadequate. And then hardly a conversation goes by without Marina calling Bella "whore", "stupid", or (depending on the translation) either "wild animal" or "predator". Of course, this doesn't stop Marina from using Bella for advice, kissing practice, and even lending her out to her dying father (who had not asked his daughter to provide him with women) for a one-night stand.
  • In Easy A, Marianne has this mindset and brings it down hard on our poor protagonist Olive (who, as we know, is a virgin only pretending to be promiscuous). Meanwhile, she brags about her chaste relationship with one of the most popular guys in school...but he's sleeping with the guidance counselor behind her back.
  • In The Fast and the Furious (2001), Dom's girlfriend Letty chases off two girls hitting on Dom at the first race. Bonus points for not looking very wholesome herself. Being a story focused on Bromance, this scene mostly serves to establish women as something annoying in the background.
    Letty: I smell [sniffs] skanks. Why don't you ladies pack it up before I leave tread marks on your faces?
  • In Girl House, all of the protagonist's best friend's lines are disapproving and judgemental about her choice to join the girl house.
  • In Stagecoach, the women who hate Dallas are given no characterization or social context beyond being hateful out of pure prudishness. No hint of them feeling fear or humiliation that their husbands may be unfaithful to them and that they are at too much of a social disadvantage to dare to blame it on them.

  • And Then There Were None: Emily Brent is an elderly example. She's an old spinster who prides herself on her good Christian faith and her clean living, as well as her ability to withstand discomfort better than other people. Her crime, according to U.N. Owen is firing her maid for having a baby out of wedlock, leading the woman to commit suicide. Emily initially dismisses the idea that she is responsible, claiming that her maid added one sin on top of another. However, right before she's murdered, it's made very clear that she does feel some level of culpability for her maid's death.
  • Plain Jane Rizzoli is noted by her partner to almost be determined to downplay whatever attractiveness she might have in refusing to wear makeup and dressing in unflattering clothes as if this makes her better than the beautiful women that she frequently displays nothing but contempt for, often assuming that they're a bitch/tramp/idiot and that the men who fall in love with them are shallow jerks. It's really emphasized in a scene in the first book in the series where she visits a local bar and despite initially feeling uncomfortable and out of place in her frumpy pantsuit, she eventually declares the place to be "somewhere predator and prey come together", insinuating that she looks down on the better-dressed women and maybe even thinks they deserve to be assaulted because of how they look.
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is pretty heavy on the "women treat each other worse than men treat women" idea, with the obvious example being the neighborhood women who harass and eventually stone a girl who has a baby out of wedlock. The narration explains how miserable these women's marriages are.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Big Love: Nikki frequently displays this with an extra dose of sheer Hypocrisy. Despite clearly enjoying sex with Bill as much as his other two wives do, she often sanctimoniously chastises third wife Margene—"sex is for procreation, not recreation."—even though she's secretly been taking birth control pills for years.
  • NCIS: Both Ziva and Kate can be prudish toward Tony (not that it's all that hard to be prudish toward Tony). Caitlin Todd is also somewhat prudish towards him, despite a wild past. However, Ziva David averts this trope on a regular basis. She's not a prude to him, she's just not sailing on that particular ship, apparently.
  • Noah's Arc: Chance has moments of this, often to Eddie's dismay.
  • The Office: Angela. She also had an affair with Dwight while engaged to Andy, and again after marrying the Senator, making her a full-fledged Straw Hypocrite.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Ivory, especially after she joined Right to Censor.
  • Molly Holly is not the page image because she says you perverted TV Tropers don't deserve to see her virgin body!

    Web Comics 
  • Loserz occasionally portrayed Ethical Slut Jodie being treated like this by her female classmates, with one strip having two girls claim that being virgins made them better than her.
  • In Sabrina Online, Zig-Zag sometimes (jokingly, one should hope) calls Sabrina a prude because she refuses to become a porn star and because she can sometimes get embarrassed.
  • Sticky Dilly Buns: Ruby takes this role, moderated by her youth, nervousness, and Broken Bird status (as she's rather stuck playing The Ingenue in a Sex Comedy). She's really just a mild case, only habitually applying her prudishness to herself and her sister Amber, with whom she has a lot of messy issues (you try being with classmates who know your older sister is a porn star...). Despite an early heteronormative outburst inside her head, she ends up advising Camp Gay Dillon on his love life without judging him for having sex with multiple men (worth noting she later discovers she's a Yaoi Fangirl). She might merely be classed as The Comically Serious.
  • The Manor's Prize: Ice Queen Chariot constantly puts down Hanged Man (the comic's resident Ms. Fanservice) for her dress and behavior.

    Western Animation 
  • Family Guy: Inverted in one episode, where Lois moralizes over teenage abstinence. Her argument is not that teenagers should be empowered to make their own choices; instead, she preaches that abstaining from sex is "just wrong". In other words, the show inverts the "Sex Is Evil" stance for laughs. The message of the episode as a whole was criticizing abstinence-only education that uses scare tactics. At the end of the show, Lois did give a nice speech where she told the students that they shouldn't have sex until they're ready. And if/when they do, to please 'use a condom'.
  • The original Felidae novel has an old cat named Deep Purple believe himself to be above "such sultry things", and the same holds true in the original German dub. But the English dub kind of avoids this by Bluebeard explaining that Deep Purple was just too old to mate anymore.

Alternative Title(s): Prude Supremacist, Sour Prude