Bratty Teenage Daughter

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"Drama's a major food group for teenage girls."
Stabler, Law & Order: SVU

Think everyone in a Dom Com with two X chromosomes is closer to Earth? Think again, you haven't met the Bratty Teenage Daughter. A standard member of the Dysfunctional Family, the Bratty Teenage Daughter is a natural offspring of the Bumbling Dad and his level-headed wife.

The Bratty Teenage Daughter is a whiny, self-involved girl at That Age. She obsesses over the latest fashions and is incredibly boy crazy, often more so than her parents think. If she ever dates, expect her father to instantly turn into an Overprotective Dad. Basically, she will either go around acting like a Drama Queen and wangsting up over every minor little thing ("My life is over!") or else she'll just roll her eyes exasperatedly at the "wacky" hijinks the rest of the family gets up to, often becoming a bit of a sullen killjoy in the process.

Her most valued personal possession is the phone. She talks (or texts) endlessly on it with her friends, and breaks down when she's without it. In older media, this will lead to a confrontation with Mom where she tells her to stop tying up the phone lines. Today, these confrontations are likely to revolve around Cell Phone bills, or the loss of phone privileges as a punishment.

The natural enemies of the Bratty Teenage Daughter are assorted Annoying Younger Siblings and anything else that upsets the status quo of her little world as she sits in her room listening on her headphones to the latest music from that hot pop star she has a huge crush on. She will be more averse to the Horrible Camping Trip than any other member of the family, and she will inevitably act as a City Mouse on such a trip, continuously complaining about breaking her nails or how much she would rather be at the mall.

She tends to be a supporting character, with the show's focus usually only being put on her in the event of a Very Special Episode about drugs, underaged sex, etc. Often (but by no means always) an Alpha Bitch or The Brainless Beauty. If she's not, expect her to hide it carefully since smart people are never cool at that age. Is usually one of the sisters caught up in The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry. She can easily become The Scrappy if she's whiny and grating enough.

If the teenage daughter is the show's protagonist, she probably won't be this character, or at least, not as extreme a version.

Examples of Bratty Teenage Daughter include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]


Comics[edit | hide]

  • Stargirl of the Justice Society of America starts out this way in her original comic, Stars and STRIPE. Being a superhero (and being on the oldest superhero team) helps her mature.
  • Paige Fox of FoxTrot.
  • Luann DeGroot of Luann.
  • Holly of Stone Soup
  • Toshi in Crossing Midnight. Her twin brother Kai thinks to himself that because she can't feel physical pain, she tries to get herself into trouble so she can feel pain, to feel human.


Films -- Live Action[edit | hide]

  • Cher Horowitz from Clueless is a good example of the smarter (if still shallow and naive) version and is also unusual in being the actual protagonist. She's also sweeter and more considerate than the usual example in several ways, in that she's constantly fretting about her father's stress levels and need to have a proper breakfast, and reaches out to make friends with the awkward and unfashionable newcomer to the school (for pretty shallow reasons at the time, but still).
  • Luke Skywalker in the first Star Wars movie comes off as a male version at first, although it's pretty understandable (his foster aunt and uncle forbidding him to pursue his dream of attending the Imperial Academy and becoming a pilot like his father). He does whine and moan quite a bit throughout A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, although by Return of the Jedi this behavior has completely disappeared. And through it all, he looks pretty sympathetic compared to Jerk with a Heart of Gold Han Solo.
  • The teenage daughters of the protagonist in Dan in Real Life, who spend the entire movie whining and sulking about, in one case, not being allowed to drive the car, and in the other, being separated for a few days from the boy who is kind of their boyfriend. While their behaviour is kind of bratty, the girls do have bigger underlying issues and sympathetic reasons that were later revealed Mom's dead, Dad is super overprotective.
  • Walt's granddaughter Ashley in Gran Torino.
  • Cassie Munro (played by teen pop singer JoJo) in RV.
  • Sarah Gopnik from A Serious Man qualifies, thanks to her vanity and frequently obnoxious attitudes.
  • This is deconstructed in the Film Noir Mildred Pierce. Fiercely protective mother Mildred tries to do anything to please her daughter Veda, who is an unappreciative brat. Mildred ends up ruining her own life just to try to get love back from her daughter.
  • Ellen Grape from What's Eating Gilbert Grape.
  • Audrey Griswald was very much this in National Lampoon European Vacation. During practically all of this movie, all she does is whine about her missing her boyfriend and her weight.
  • Sarah from Labyrinth begins the film acting like a complete spoiled brat who blames every problem she has on her stepmother and half brother. The events of the film mature her.
    • Also a subtle deconstruction. She's a spoiled brat with a roomful of toys and pitches fits, but her parents are emotionally unavailable at best and passive-aggressively snide at worst; her outbursts are obvious cries for attention. The movie ends with Sarah learning to turn inward for comfort, without losing perspective in the real world.
  • Lalita's youngest sister Lakhi in Bride and Prejudice.


Literature[edit | hide]


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Astor from Dexter... just... wow. Although she does have a Freudian Excuse that gets worse as the series goes on. Also Deb in some flashbacks.
  • Kelly Bundy of Married... with Children started off as just this character, but later became The Brainless Beauty as well.
  • Bridget Hennessy of 8 Simple Rules.
    • Kerry gets her moments too.
  • Hilary Banks of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
  • Mallory Keaton from Family Ties.
  • Claire Kyle from My Wife and Kids.
  • Carly Shay from iCarly. Spencer on the other hand, whilst he's an adult male... he will acts like this whenever Carly has to take on the Team Mom role.
  • Janey Harper from My Family.
  • Subverted by Maeby from Arrested Development. Her parents assume that she's just a moody teenager and make it a point not to question her motives or activities. In reality, she's secretly a high-ranking executive at a movie studio and tends to make out with two of her cousins. Of course, it turns out she's not related to either of them.
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway: Colin Mochrie, as a news anchor, once had his teenage daughter (played by that week's female guest) appear on the news, and she was so comically immature that he responded, "Well, that was an experiment that went awry."
  • Nadira, Ransik's Dark Magical Girl daughter in Power Rangers Time Force. Who actually becomes the Morality Pet for her father, during the Grand Finale: when he finds one of his attacks injured her by accident, he has a Heel Face Turn.
    • Power Rangers Ninja Storm similarly had Marah and Kapri, Lothor's Bratty Teenage Nieces. They're only related by marriage, but it's apparently enough for Cam, Lothor's nephew, to consider them "cousins" and give them a second chance in the season finale.
  • Charlene Sinclair from Dinosaurs.
  • Dawn Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer often borders on this trope, but a lot of it is understandable given what happens to her in season five. She grows out of it the last season.
    • Buffy herself fit this trope on more than a few occasions.
  • Carmen from The George Lopez Show fits this trope to a T, especially the Very Special Episode part.
  • Alex fom Wizards of Waverly Place and Megan of Drake and Josh count but only if "bordering on supervillain" is allowed.
  • Zoe from Eureka at first, eventually turning into a Deadpan Snarker and possibly Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Haley from Modern Family.
  • My Super Sweet Sixteen
  • Emily Lightman from Lie to Me is usually an aversion of this trope, but bringing a boy home during school hours and complaining that "It's just sex" when her father figures it out suggests she's moving toward this.
  • Alexis Castle in Castle is a delightful subversion of this trope, being consistently both one of the most well-adjusted and down-to-earth members of Richard Castle's entire family. She does have her moments, but they're usually triggered by her father's immaturity(-stroke-overprotectiveness) rather than the other way round.
    • It's at times hinted that Beckett went through one of these stages as a teenage girl; the advice she often gives to Castle whenever he raises an issue he's having with Alexis often seem to come from the perspective of someone who knows first-hand exactly what a Bratty Teenage Daughter can be like. The death of her mother appears to have put a rather brutal end to it, however.
  • No Ordinary Family: Telepathic Daphne starts out as this, but thanks to some Character Development, she is becoming less so.
  • Hillary from The War at Home
  • Lily Finnerty from Grounded for Life
  • Kath and Kim's Kim was this when she was a teenager... and in her late 20s, she still acts like it, though with less emphasis on boys (she's too busy moping over husband Brett.)
  • Victorious' Trina Vega. Complete with It's All About Me attitude.
  • Lucy from Single Father, justifiably so as she is lashing out in the wake of her mother's death.
  • Scarlett from SLiDE, who gets called out on it by her father. A lot.
  • Lindsey Willows from CSI-like the time she hitchhiked downtown and got chewed out for it by Catherine.
  • Sophie Stagner of Burn Notice is a prime example of this, at least during most of her one episode.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Wendy O. Koopa of the Super Mario Bros. canon, especially in the Super Mario Adventures comics and The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 animated series.
  • Natalie from Harvest Moon DS: Island of Happiness, who loves to find ways to tease her meek older brother Elliott.
  • The Winged Humanoid Lady Celeste, daughter of Lord Azure and Lady Ariel in King's Quest VI Heir Today Gone Tomorrow. She can be quite an ungrateful bitch when Alexander rescues her from the Minotaur. Of course, her parents are that way toward humans too.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

Mrs. Zalia: How you've grown, Katie. My baby's a teenager already! And as a teenager you're supposed to be depressed and giving me the silent treatment!
Katie: Ohhhh, yeah, sorry.
Mrs. Zalia: I mean, aren't you embarrassed by everything going on in this house? "What if my friends found out" and stuff?
Katie: Embarrassed? My mixed up family is the coolest ever! Yeah, it makes me a little weird at school ... but nobody bugs me or I'd just have Oasis kill 'em!
Mrs. Zalia: * gasps*
Katie: Mom, I'm kidding. Mom, I know you're sad and depressed, but if you'd just talk to me ...
Mrs. Zalia: You wouldn't understand! * slams door*


Web Original[edit | hide]


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Judy Jetson of The Jetsons.
  • Katie Ka-Boom of Animaniacs.
  • Debbie Thornberry from The Wild Thornberrys, though she's at least a little smarter than the average,
  • Pearl from SpongeBob SquarePants.
  • Quinn Morgendorffer from Daria, as well as Sandi Griffin, who is also an Alpha Bitch. Quinn, at least, grows out of it a bit.
  • Meg Griffin from Family Guy, especially in Seasons 1-3.
  • Kitten from Teen Titans, daughter of the supervillain Killer Moth, who forces her father to threaten Robin into taking her to her junior prom.
  • Sissi Delmas of Code Lyoko.
  • Tammy from Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers.
  • Candace of Phineas and Ferb. High-strung, to boot.
    • Though she's a more minor example. A more major one from the show would be Vanessa.
  • Candy of Dave the Barbarian. Dave and the other lampshade her many attributes with incredible familiarity.
  • Roberta from The Cleveland Show.
  • Lumpy Space Princess from Adventure Time.
  • Serenity Zilla from My Dad the Rock Star, who's spoiled by the rich lifestyle of being a famous rock star's daughter.
  • Katherine from Arthur in her first appearances. She matures in later episodes though.
  • Judy Funnie of Doug is this sometimes, when she's not being a Cloudcuckoolander or Cool Big Sis. Beebe Bluff too, in the Disney version, anyway.
  • Becky Detweiler in Recess at times. By the end of the movie, she gets better, and is back to the way she was for the DTV movie "Taking the Fifth Grade".
  • Discussed Trope In the The Legend of Korra episode "A Leaf in the Wind" when Tenzin expresses frustration with his teenaged live-in Airbending student, Korra (the fact she's the Reincarnation of his father Aang provides a very odd family dynamic). After his daughters witness a particularly bad bout where Korra insults Tenzin's teaching skills, Tenzin tries to avoid the inevitable.

Tenzin: You must promise me your teenage years won't be like this!
Jinora: I will make no such promises.


Real Life[edit | hide]