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On one end of the social spectrum we have the Upperclass Twit proving that money doesn't make good people. But that doesn't mean a lack of money does the same. This trope deals with the various varieties of lout, hooligan and delinquent that appear in various media. While these stereotypes are Truth in Television to some degree it's debatable whether the stereotype comes from Real Life, or said real life examples are imitating the stereotype. A typical Lower Class Lout is a usually (but not always) white teenager or young adult (with the occasional Enfant Terrible) who embodies the worst stereotypes of the working class (or middle class) which can (but does not have to) include;

Because of the Unfortunate Implications the stereotypes imply, subversions are almost as common as straight examples, with a snobby or elitist character being established as such by having them accuse a sympathetic character as being one of these.

Various parts of the world have their own individual versions. Indeed, it's an interesting fact of crimino-sociology that nearly every society in the world with urban and youth culture has a certain stratum of "difficult" young people, especially men, which draw attention in popular culture.

  • A chav is a stereotype originating in British media. Their preferred fake brand is Burberry, and their slang includes such words as; "innit"[1], "Safe!"[2] and "Sorted!"[3], "Brap! Brap!"[4]. Other names (that might be used depending where you are in the UK and may have slightly different criteria) include charva and scally.
  • Australia and New Zealand have a similar stereotype known as a "Bogan", who tend to be more middle class and less inclined towards theft. They are also more likely to self identify as a bogan.
    • A related term is "hoon" (hooligan + goon), which refers to irresponsible drivers who speed, drink drive, and do burnouts. Most hoons would probably also qualify as bogans.
  • Ireland calls them "skangers", but chav is becoming more popular.
  • Scotland has "Neds" (which are similar to chavs, although some argue distinct).
  • Russia has its equivalent in "gopnik"[5]. Gopniks wear Abibas, Nyke and Puwa, drink cheap beer, eat sunflower seeds, are obsessed with mobile phones (more often than not acquired by mugging) and laughably stupid and violent.
  • Japanese Yankees/Yankis would fit. The pop culture portrayal being "violent low-class delinquents given to speaking roughly, wearing tacky fake "brand-name" clothes and jewelry and driving heavily modified (and also tacky) motorbikes/scooters". See Japanese Delinquents.
  • Singapore and Malaysia have counterparts: the "Ah Beng", "Ah Lian" and "Mat Rempit".
  • America has several types, although they tend to be regionally based. The exact slang used is different, the exact labels might be different, including the "Guido" stereotype sometimes applied to Italian-Americans in the mid-Atlantic states, as well as the less-flattering stereotypes one finds in Boston about Southies. Oh, and rednecks. Let's not forget the rednecks (who are heavy on the racist thing, but less likely to wear tacky clothing. Unfashionable, yes, but not tacky). Also their urban equivalent, "gangstas" (less racist, more tacky).

Younger examples are almost always The Bully. Because of the class-based origins of the stereotype expect the moral of any story they appear in to lean towards Eat the Rich or Kill the Poor. Contrast the Upperclass Twit and Aristocrats Are Evil (for when the rich are villified) and Working Class Hero. See also: Football Hooligans, Delinquents.


Examples of Lower Class Lout include:


Film

  • The villains in Harry Brown are textbook chavs (although better armed than usual), played as Complete Monsters to make them Acceptable Targets for the Vigilante Man protagonist.
  • The 2007 reboot of St Trinian's featured chavs as one of the school's cliques.
  • The cast of Attack the Block. To be more exact they're a South London street gang.
  • The cast of Kidulthood and its sequel Adulthood (Katy from the first film seems to have been more middle-class, but still behaved this way.)
  • British horror film F is based around such characters going on a murder and torture spree at a school after being given failing grades by their teacher.

Literature

Live Action Television

  • The character of Vicky Pollard in Little Britain plays the chav stereotype for laughs.
    • As does Lauren Cooper from The Catherine Tate Show ("Am I bovered?").
    • Sketch show Tittybangbang had similar characters in the "Duck and Chips Family" and the pub darts team sketches.
    • Jocelyn Jee Esien's "Sharonisha" character from her TV series.
  • In Doctor Who Cassandra invokes the "snob calling someone a chav" version towards Rose while engaging in Grand Theft Me against her. This does invoke some Fridge Logic, since she was supposed to be of Texan/Alaskan decent, not British.

 Cassandra In Rose's body: Oh no! I'm a chav!

Music

  • The Welsh group Goldie Lookin Chain use chav personas as their gimmick.
  • The Area 7 song "Nobody Likes a Bogan" is based around the Australian "bogan" stereotype.

Real Life

Tabletop Games

Notes

  1. "...is it not?"
  2. "Wonderful!"
  3. "Done!" or "Ah, we no longer need to concern ourselves with this matter."
  4. An onomatopaia for the noise made by a TEC-9, typically combined with a pair of Finger Guns being fired into the air Gangsta Style
  5. a term originating from "gop-stop", slang for street mugging. Etymologic principle is the same as for beatniks
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