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The Ditz with a trust fund. The Upperclass Twit is either an aristocrat or a relative of someone in the upper echelons of society, and is automatically provided with all of his living expenses. In other words, he was a Spoiled Brat as a child, and now he has no reason to contribute to society, which is just as well, since he doesn't have the skills to contribute anyway. More often than not, he leads a hedonistic lifestyle that embarrasses his family. Highly prone to Conspicuous Consumption.

Usually used as a foil for The Jeeves or some other more intelligent character. The male Upperclass Twit is often a prime target for Gold Diggers.

A popular recent subtype, and the female counterpart to the usually male Upperclass Twit, is the Airhead Heiress - a young, brainless, fashion slave party girl heiress. Any resemblance to Paris Hilton in recent works is purely coincidental.

Of course, sometimes they're Obfuscating Stupidity, and they may even be up to something far more interesting after hours. See also The White Prince for a royal version.

Interestingly there is a heroic variation called Stiff Upper Lip in which a character acts like an Upperclass Twit in stressful situations to display composure and provide a sort of Badass Boast. The difference is that an Upperclass Twit is annoying though sometimes forgivable in a character you otherwise like, whereas a Stiff Upper Lip has the potential to make a CMOA. The same character can be both, of course.

A Sub-Trope of Idle Rich.

Compare Valley Girl (who doesn't have to be rich, among other differences), Rich in Dollars, Poor In Sense, Nouveau Riche (who starts out poor and strikes it rich, and is crass about it).

The opposite side of the same coin is the Upper Class Wit, who is very clever but terminally lazy.

Contrast with Authority Equals Asskicking, Non-Idle Rich.

Examples of Upperclass Twit include:


Anime & Manga Edit

  • In One Piece, most of the nobles and every member of the World Nobles.
  • The princes Meleagros and Atalantes in Heroic Age are Upper Class Twits who would have wiped out the entire human armada with their horrendously tenuous grasp of military tactics if it wasn't for the influence of the more intelligent and experienced Nilval Nephew. They almost certainly would never have been allowed anywhere near the bridge of a starship if it wasn't for their royal birth.
  • Tamaki in Ouran High School Host Club. He has a truly absurd amount of money, is a bit... sheltered, and also happens to be kind of an idiot. Unlike others, he has mostly good intentions.
  • In Code Geass, some, if not most, of Britannia's royal family. For half of her screen time in the first season, Euphemia is pretty ditzy, but turns that around. And then she dies horribly.
    • Her eldest brother, Odysseus is permanently this: every time he's on screen, he's shown as an indecisive Nice Guy with no will of his own, and puppet to his Chessmaster second brother, Schneizel, and their father Charles. The only time he wasn't this was when Lelouch took over and became Emperor, as Odysseus was the only member of the royal family who tried to solve the problem peacefully instead of having him shot or something. Too bad Lelouch's Thanatos Gambit was in work already, so he only got Geassed for his troubles. And then Schneizel killed him when he nuked the capital.
    • The remaining members we see on screen are either the Anti-Hero, or have really, really poor decision making skills, leaning towards unnecessary destructive tendencies, but don't quite make ditz category.
    • Also worth mentioning is Gino Weinberg, one of the Knights of the Round, who's somewhat reminiscent of Ouran High School Host Club's Tamaki, both in physical appearance and general cluelessness about the workings of "commoner life". However, unlike his fellow Britannians he's cheerful about it and eager to learn more.
  • Subverted with Marechiyo Omaeda of Bleach. While he does act like a big buffoon and is regularly smacked around by his captain, he actually uses this trope as a form of Obfuscating Stupidity, leading his opponents to believe he's incompetent and only got his high position through connections and name, but is actually skilled enough to deserve his rank of lieutenant.
  • Kojiro Sasahara from Nichijou behaves in a fashion like this. He wears a frily ascot with his uniform, he always holds out his pinky when he drinks or even laughs. Despite these and a few Cloudcuckoolander traits, he's really more of an Upper Class Twit wannabe, as he's revealed early to be the eldest son of a family of farmers.
  • Another Kojiro: the Pokémon character otherwise known as James was this before running away to escape an Arranged Marriage. Now he's just a twit. The 4Kids dub makes him something of a Southern Gentleman with shades of English aristocracy (he enjoys tea and crumpets).

Comic Books Edit

  • Sedgwick, from the Monty comic strip.
  • Many characters in Viz, for instance Raffles The Gentleman Thug.

Fan Fic Edit

  • Joe MacDonald in The Luck of Dennis St Michel Viscount Stokington is one of these, being the non-working son of the local mayor. Subverted in that as much of a twit as Joe is, he's not nearly as upper-class as his best friend Dennis, who's the son of the local landowner and is far cleverer.

Film Edit

  • Gemma Honeycutt from the film Fool's Gold is another dimwitted, celebutante heiress.
  • Many of Hugh Grant's roles fall into this trope, particularly in '90s comedies.
  • The titular character of the 1980s movie Arthur. The main conflict of the movie is that he's going to be cut off from the money if he doesn't marry the rich girl whose father his father has made an arrangement with, and he's fallen in love with a working-class girl. He becomes a Runaway Fiance, but the family eventually relents and allows him to remain rich.
  • The heroines of the Hilary and Haylie Duff comedy Material Girls are classic airhead heiresses. They're actually pretty nice people but are extremely pampered and ditzy (to the extent of accidently burning down their own mansion).
  • Harvey Baylor in Planet of the Dinosaurs. He seems completely oblivious that he's trapped on a primitive alien world and often tries to use his former position as a company president to get the others to do things for him.
  • In the older (black and white) version of The Scarlet Pimpernel, Sir Percy acts like this once finds out that his wife is probably spying on him for the French. It's really just a show to fend off suspicion that he's helping French nobles escape to England.
  • Temptation Island has bitchy contestant Suzanne (Serafina in the remake), and the pageant coordinator Joshua.

Jokes Edit

  • In Austria, Graf (=count) Bobby and his friend Graf Mucki are/were favorite targets for many jokes.


Literature Edit

  • Bertie Wooster - so archetypal that this trope could have been named for him - in Jeeves and Wooster, whose skills are limited to stealing policemens' helmets and claiming to actually have legitimately won the Bible knowledge competition in school. Most of his friends are fellow members of the idle rich, and are even less intelligent. Thank goodness for his man Jeeves.
    • In the Stephen Fry/Hugh Laurie TV adaptation, he's also an excellent piano player (mainly because Hugh Laurie is an excellent piano player). Too bad he's too stupid to make something out of it.
    • To be entirely fair, however, Bertie is at least a sweet twit. He isn't intelligent, not by any means, but he's good-natured, generous and usually kind to the people around him, which makes him a damn sight better than most of the characters on this page.
    • PG Wodehouse loved this trope. Anyone with money in his stories is unlikely to be intelligent, especially if they're the main character. Could be the reason that his stories also have an above-average percentage of Servile Snarkers.
  • While several members of the nobility from the Wheel of Time are rich idiots, the dumbest has to be Lady Arymilla of House Marne, who plans to take over Andor in a civil war. The only problem is that she's a complete idiot, whose success is largely due to a senile old man, and the fact that members of the Shadow are helping her. She's largely oblivious to the world around her, and only cares about herself.
    • Honestly though, the readers really knew she had absolutely no chance whatsoever when it was revealed that she planned to use the entire nation's coffers just to erase her own debt. Once that was out in the open, any Genre Savvy reader knew right then that she was gonna suffer from a massively Epic Fail.
    • Lord Weiromon deserves special mention as well. Don't remember him? He's the guy who always insists that the correct solution to any and all of life's problems, bar none, is a cavalry charge. Pikemen? Cavalry Charge! Spear-wielding warrior race? Cavalry Charge! Spellcasters mounted on giant pterodactyl things that can explode you from half a league away? Cavalry Charge! One main character, upon hearing one of Weiramon's suggestions in a later book, commented to effect of "How are you still bloody alive?!?"
    • Between this tendency and his miraculous ability to survive unscathed, it's been speculated (it may have been Jossed now) that Weiromon is actually a Darkfriend whose purpose is to get as many soldiers as possible killed, so that they can't stand against the armies of the Dark One.
      • Not jossed. Confirmed (as of Towers of Midnight).
    • From The Parody:

 Weiramon: Excellent plan, my liege. Shall I charge at the opposing army?

Rand: No, that's a corn field.

 "The road to Warsaw, perhaps," Prince Ippolit said loudly and unexpectedly. Everyone turned to him, not understanding what he meant to say by that. Prince Ippolit also looked around with merry surprise. Like everyone else, he did not understand the meaning of the words he had spoken. In the course of his diplomatic career, he had noticed more than once that words spoken suddenly like that turned out to be very witty, and, just in case, he had spoken these words, the first that came to his tongue.

  • The aristocrats in the Discworld novel Jingo!. The city-state of Ankh-Morpork is facing a war with Klatch (Fantasy Counterpart Culture to the Middle East). The Klatchian generals have lots of experience with war, while the Morporkian aristocrats have none, but the aristocrats wave that aside with the claim that the ability to lead war is hereditary, and their ancestors were great generals. The Morporkian soldiers have neither training nor experience, while the Klatchian soldiers have plenty of both (and outnumber the Morporkians to boot), but the aristocrats wave that aside with the claim that the Klatchians are savages and won't stand against the superior Morporkians.
    • Take note, this IS coming from a group of people who believe that the best strategy is a full frontal assault, that if, after the battle, you subtract your fatalities from your enemies and get a positive number it was a great victory, that rudeness is the same as straight-talking, and that if you talk LOUD AND SLLLOOOWW enough anyone can understand you, even if they don't speak the same language.
  • The standard protagonist of Decadent fiction, as well as the standard author. You have to wonder if they'd be so filled with existentialist ennui if they quit moping around the house all day long and got jobs. The pinnacle of the Decadent novel (and this trope) was A rebours by Joris-Karl Huysmans, so recognized it was alluded to in The Picture of Dorian Gray as simply "the little yellow book." The entire novel is about a rich guy moving to his country house and then thinking of expensive and strange things to put in it, up to and including a tortoise with jewels embedded in its shell. Which dies because it has heavy jewels embedded in its shell.
  • Many of Sharpe's enemies fit this trope. They tend to end up dead.
  • Lots of people in The Great Gatsby, but the Buchanans get singled out:

 "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy - they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money of their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made."

  • Patrick Bateman's social circle in American Psycho. Lots of people probably think he's one too.
  • This appears to be the default state of being for all Hobbits above a certain wealth bracket in The Lord of the Rings, with rare exceptions (e.g., Bilbo and Frodo).
  • Pavel Young, de facto Arch Enemy of one Honor Harrington for about four books, is an example of what happens when you combine this trope with Complete Monster. His pathological vindictiveness, cowardice, and utter inability to know when to cut his losses insured he was not around for book five.
    • Captain Michael Oversteegan, of the same series, is a subversion. He is deliberately given just about every possible trait of an Upperclass Twit from his culture (many of them affected, some still genuine) except for actually being a twit. He's as competent as he is irritating.
  • Mr. Toad of The Wind in the Willows spends most of his time wasting his esteemed fathers' wealth throwing himself at any and all Fleeting Passionate Hobbies that come along.
  • Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey pretends to be one of these when necessary, as a form of Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • The Gaunt's Ghosts novel His Last Command has Dev Hetra Captain Sire Balthus Vuyder Kronn. Impeccably dressed, sees Ludd as uncivil... is a horribly scared neophyte at war.
  • Sir Percy Blakeney uses this as an Obfuscating Stupidity disguise to hid the fact that he is The Scarlet Pimpernel. That, and it really ticks off his arch enemy, Chauvelin...which he really, really enjoys doing.
  • Many characters from Dead Souls, esp. Manilov.
  • Invoked periodically by Simon Templar when he's baiting scam artists, since the ideal quarry of a scammer is a) rich and b) stupid. One such disguise was described as "an asinine young man with a monocle who believed in racing systems".
  • Oliver Rushton in Sorcery and Cecelia. His idea of riveting conversation is to discuss the knotting of a tie.


Live Action TV Edit

  • Named for the Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch "Upper Class Twit of the Year", where five Upper Class Twits compete in events like "Kicking The Beggar" and "Taking The Bras Off The Debutantes", finishing with the winner being the first to shoot himself.
    • There were many other examples, such as the family in the "Tinny Words" sketch, who have nothing better to do all day than sit around classifying words as either tinny- or woody-sounding. From the other side, in the "Flying Lessons" sketch, the man claiming he's flying and not hanging from a wire avoids arguing the point by turning it into class warfare:

 Terry Jones: I came here to learn how to fly an aeroplane!

Graham Chapman: Oh! An aeroplane. Oh I say, we are grand, aren't we? Oh oh, no more butter scones for me, mater, I'm orf to play the grawnd piawno! Pardon me while I fly my aeroplane! Now get on the table!

Terry Jones: No one in the history of the world has ever been able to fly like that!

'Graham Chapman: Oh, I suppose mater told you that while you were out ridin!

  • The various incarnations of Percy and George in the Blackadder series. (The latter played by the same actor as Bertie Wooster; Hugh Laurie tended to play characters of this type quite a lot when he was younger, which tends to shock American audiences who only know him in his House incarnation.)
    • While those who were more used to his Upperclass Twit roles from before House often took quite a while to stop expecting House to goggle mindlessly or burst into Upperclass Twit Speak ("I say, Jeeves, this fellow's looking jolly green about the gills, what?").
    • In the first (medieval) series, Blackadder himself (the Rowan Atkinson character) was an Upper Class Twit, and his servant Baldrick [1] was a Hypercompetent Sidekick.
    • He played a female one in an A Bit of Fry and Laurie sketch, opposite Stephen Fry as the Duke of Northampton. And the very dark "Jack and Neddy/Teddy" sketches from the show, in which Fry manipulates him into acts like planting a bomb in a restaurant, have been described as what Jeeves and Wooster would have been like if Jeeves used his powers for evil.
  • Most of the members of the Bluth family in Arrested Development fall into this trope to varying degrees, with Gob and Buster being the strongest examples. The show itself is largely based around exploiting this trope and how wealthy twits deal with being separated from their money (i.e. poorly).
  • Tim Nice-But-Dim from the Harry Enfield's Television Programme.
  • London Tipton from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody is a good example of the heiress subtype (a hotel heiress named after a European capital... hmm). If she was bit crueler and considerably smarter she might qualify as the Rich Bitch, but her self absorption seems to stem more from being one of the stupidest characters on television than any intentional meanness.
    • Well, her father, Mr. Tipton is never shown on screen and will frequently be busy with business dealings instead of spending Christmas or other special occasions with her daughter. The fact that London also seems to have a Missing Mom does not help matters.
  • Dick Casablancas from the TV show Veronica Mars.
  • Just about every character played by Penelope Keith is a likeable but dim upper class twitess.
  • Jefferson D'Arcy from Married... with Children believes that he should live in a one-income household because he's "too pretty to work", and he rebuffs any and all attempts by his wife Marcy to get a job. Marcy's ex-husband, Steve Rhoades, worked in the banking business along with her...until they divorced and he went crazy.
  • Traci Van Horn from Hannah Montana falls solidly into the airhead heiress variety.
    • Some might put Hannah Montana herself in that category.
  • Hillary from Fresh Prince of Bel Air
    • Actually, all the Banks children could qualify. Not their parents Phillip and Vivian though, as both of them came from common origins and achieved success by dint of hard work.
      • Interestingly enough, Will started out as being the streetwise guy who was totally unlike the rest of the family...but the show hinted in at least one episode that Will became more like the Banks's after living with them for a while. Will's reaction when this dawns on him can only be described as hilarious.
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Dr Julian Bashir starts as a bit of this. Class is downplayed in the Trekverse, but he is the genetically enhanced son of a prominent family on Earth, which in Trek is the paradisiacally well-supplied and well-run centre of The Federation. He loves to expound on how he's excited to be doing "frontier medicine" with primitive equipment - in front of people for whom the "frontier" is their homeworld. Luckily, he undergoes Character Development--but not until after an early episode gives him a perversely enjoyable No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. (This is an interesting case because Bashir is not The Ditz, instead being an Insufferable Genius, but still fits the character type well.)
  • Nathan Barley's eponymous protagonist. The character was created by Charlie Brooker and first appeared in his TV Go Home book, which revealed Barley lived off cheques from his parents and spent his days working out "which job to pretend to do next". In the series he spends his parents' money on an office full of video editing equipment and gives himself the job title "self-facilitating media node".
  • Thurston and Lovey Howell from Gilligan's Island are a rare married example.
  • Stephen Colbert from The Colbert Report.
  • Alfie Baron, the false mark Carlton Wood and Harry Fielding use in an attempt to sting the Hustle crew in "The Road Less Travelled".
  • As mentioned above under Literature, Bertie Wooster (and most of his friends and relations) in Jeeves and Wooster, the TV adaptations of the PG Wodehouse stories. Played admirably by a young Hugh Laurie.
  • In Parks and Recreation Leslie's opponent for city council, Bobby Newport, is the son of the man who employs half the town. He is so used to being given everything in life that he has difficulty comprehending someone competing with him. When she runs a mildly negative ad, he complains that it hurt his feelings and asks her to abandon her campaign so he can win. He doesn't understand why she refuses. That's not him getting mad at her for refusing, mind you. That's him failing to comprehend the concept of someone not wanting to please him.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, its revealed that before becoming a vampire, Spike was once known as William Pratt, a meek, effete young Victorian Gentlemen and Momma's Boy. His sobriquet of "William the Bloody" actually derives from the fact he wrote bloody awful poetry.
  • Rachel in Friends is presented this way in the beginning of the series. After running out of her own wedding that was most likely funded by her wealthy parents, Rachel moves into an apartment that her best friend, a working middle class woman, lives in. Rachel is shown to be completely clueless in the most basic tasks, such as taking out the garbage or knowing who ordered what in the coffee house. Rachel does get better over time and manages to shed most, if not, all of her twit.

Radio Edit

  • Giles Wemmbley-Hogg (two Ms, two Gs) from Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes Off - a rich, privately educated student on his gap year before university, travelling the world attempting to do good, but hopelessly naive as to what that involves. For example, he decides to try to rebuild the Great Wall of China.

Tabletop Games Edit

  • In the Forgotten Realms setting, Giogioni Wyvernspur enters the story as one of these. He proceeds to show unexpected depths and develop into a pretty decent hero.
    • Danilo Thann, however, was faking it from the word go.
  • Foxbat from the Champions universe was this before the loss of his family fortune turned him into the world's most eccentric supervillain.

Theater Edit


Video Games Edit

  • The Preppies in Bully.
  • Alfonso in Skies of Arcadia.
  • Oh Sheena, you lazy, lecherous, upper-class bastard.
    • Snowe Vingerhut actually wants to contribute by joining the Gaian Marine Knights. Sadly, he's made captain by virtue of daddy's money and nothing else, and doesn't deal well with his first major crisis...
      • Have we FORGOTTEN about Schtolteheim Reinbach III!? Like Snowe, he wants to help people. However, he at first simply asks daddy for help. However, he quickly realizes his father to be useless and leaves him, joining you in your quest. While a bit foppish and narcissistic, he is a truly good character and will fight with you, being skilled in sword fighting and magic.
    • And Suikoden V gives us Euram Barows, a textbook Upperclass Twit who's become the heir after his older brother was tragically assassinated. No, he wasn't actually involved. And to be fair, he can get better...
      • Technically he wasn't always like that. When his brother died he began acting like that to try and cheer up his mother.
  • Nobles in Dwarf Fortress are mostly useless in gameplay, and make often difficult or impossible demands. Finding ways to kill them off solves many problems.
  • In the Darkstalkers series Morrigan Aensland starts out like this causing her guardians constant worry. Its only after her adopted father dies, and she combines with Lilith that she becomes responsible..
  • The Rich Guy in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas.

Web Comics Edit

  • The Continentals: In The Continentals both Evelynne Poole and her older brother Clifford are prime examples. Evelynne can be described as the Pairs Hilton of 19th century England. Find it here.
  • Subverted with It's Walky's Jason Chesterfield: he has the name, the nationality, the accent (explicitly, despite the comic being written), the costume (bowtie and dinner jacket, at all times), the rich relatives, the lack of a job when we first meet him, and is certainly an embarrassment to his family... and yet is also a competent agent and one of the only main characters whose record contains no severe mental incidents.
    • He's also from a parallel universe where England produces ninjas. ("Britjas") Some slack must be cut.
  • Excel Hotel in Muertitos is yet another blatant Paris Hilton parody, right down to the name.

Web Original Edit

  • Milo Taylor of Survival of the Fittest. Dear god, Milo. Let's just say that to call him The Ditz would be an understatement
  • In the story "Heart of the Lion" from The Wulf Archives, an Upperclass Twit by the name of Lord Heatham leads a White Empire campaign into the Veldt Lands expecting a "quick campaign" against the Sholanti. The expedition fails miserably, due in large part to Heatham's poor tactics and his arrogant underestimation of the people he wanted to conquer and enslave, and he and those of the company who actually make it to the battlefield are slaughtered to a man, with the protagonist being the only survivor.

Western Animation Edit

  • Ed Wuncler III from The Boondocks is an upper class twit who's also psychotic, and uses his grandfather's connections to keep him out of jail, since all his poorly planned robberies are simply Wuncler establishments. Wuncler Sr. said it best in the episode "The Garden Party": "Someday, that boy will be President of the United States... and he'll still be a fucking moron."
  • Sam's parents in Danny Phantom seem to be this on the surface, a characteristic Sam herself vigorously averts.
  • Lemongrab of Adventure Time. He's an earl, the heir to the Candy Kingdom, and presumably wealthy... but he doesn't even know how to prepare a meal for himself, and has a history of having everything he needed handed to him.
  • Kim Possible villainess Camille Leon was a Paris Hilton Expy who turned to crime to finance her lifestyle when her parents cut her off. She also possessed Voluntary Shapeshifting powers due to an experimental cosmetic surgery procedure. Came complete with an expensive pet, a Sphinx cat named Debutante.
  • Guinevere in King Arthur's Disasters to the point of being described as "Her generation's Paris Hilton."
  • Gordon the Big Engine has become this from Season 8 onwards due to Flanderization. He's in the higher ranks of the Sodor Railway and granted, he was always rather arrogant, but his pride was taken Up to Eleven and he has gotten into scrapes in almost every episode he's been in. He is however, very intelligent, when his pride has been brought down a notch or three.
  • Prince Blueblood is what happens when you combine this with Prince Charmless. Whimper.
    • If he was from "normal" royalty, that'd be bad enough. But Blueblood is the great-great-great-great-great-great(and so forth) nephew of Princess Celestia, Goddess of the Sun. So he is literally a divine being.
  • Beamer and Coco Van Der Creame, aunt and uncle of the puppies, from 101 Dalmatians: The Series.
  • From The Critic, Jay Sherman's father Franklin can come across as an upper class twit, until he reveals himself as being a Cloudcuckoolander.

Notes

  1. better known as the Bumbling Sidekick he becomes