I’ve never been a huge fan of the name Karen, but I never expected the internet, or at least those that work retail, to give the name to every entitled person they meet. But the funny thing is, the name Karen just works!
According to Google, Karen is a pejorative pop culture term for a white woman (pretty sure Karen can be a black person too, by the way) who is perceived as entitled or demanding beyond the scope of what is normal.
The term is often portrayed in memes depicting women with an air of self-importance who use their white privilege to demand their way.
So how bad can Karen be? We took a look at Reddit and picked the best entitled Karen encounters and stories that we could find for your reading pleasure.
Karen thinks she owns a spot at the gym
This is my demanding Karen story. I was at the gym and decided to take a kickboxing class that began in about five minutes.
I walk into the room and sit at the front in the spot closest to where the teacher is because I’m new, so it seems like a good idea to be able to see and speak to her if needed.
Enter Karen. She comes in, sees me across the room and immediately gives me a shocked, angry look. She starts stomping toward me like I’ve done something to wrong her personally. I remember getting a weird feeling from her like she’s about to pepper spray me.
Of course, I ignored her. So Karen sets up behind me, close enough for me to hear her loudly sighing and sucking her teeth the entire time.
It got so ridiculous that I finally turned around and said, “Hey, what’s wrong?”. She says, “you’re in my spot!!”. I make a big show of looking under me and around me, and then I say, “I don’t see a name.”
She says, “I’ve been coming to this kickboxing class for five years, and I always stand there. Then you walk in here and act like you own the place”. So I asked her, “have you paid more for your membership monthly than I do?”. Karen sighs and says, “no”. I said, “do you rent this spot in particular?”.
She rolls her eyes and says “no”, clearly getting angry. So then I said, “I’m not in your spot, I’m in a spot in the front of the class, and you need to stop with your demanding attitude and deal with it like an adult, not a child.”
Karen didn’t like me calling her out like that, but she did shut up and stop complaining.
For the next two years, Karen glared at me during every kickboxing class because I made sure to get there before her and sit in the same spot, just to make her sad.
Anti-mask Karen pretends to hyperventilate
So here’s my Karen story, I’m an optician, and our store policy is pretty generous on masks.
Essentially, you don’t have to wear a mask unless you’re working at the station, doing orders or getting your measurements taken (because I have to sit directly across from you by 2-3 feet for an extended time).
Anyways, this late 30s, early 40s woman, henceforth named Karen, walks in, and I can tell she’s already on edge by the way she’s immediately rude towards two women that dared to walk near her as she stomped around.
I tell her, “try on absolutely whatever your heart desires. We only ask you to put any frames that get touched in a tray so we can clean them before putting them back.”
Karen seems to understand by muttering “fine” and comes over with a frame and sits down at my station. I hand her a mask and explain we’re both required to wear masks while doing an order. I grab her Rx to make a copy.
When I come back, I see Karen has her nose hanging way out of the mask. Even though, DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF HER is a propped-up sign, at eye level, that I watch her read, saying she must wear a mask with nose and mouth covered.
By now, I’m getting frustrated, but I keep my cool and tell Karen, “Oh hey ma’am, I’m going to ask that you keep your nose and mouth covered for the duration of your order.”
Karen then loses her mind.
She says, “What is wrong with you? I can’t breathe”, and that she’s “not going to sneeze or cough on anyone”. I tried to explain that it’s the policy that everyone must wear the mask correctly and that if my manager walked in and saw her with her nose out, I would get fired.
But Karen interrupts to say it’s going to be my fault when she hyperventilates and passes out on the floor and that I’m committing “medical tyranny” and she needs to speak to my manager.
So I just stand up and tell her that the conversation is over. That I can’t help her and she needs to leave. I used to work retail, and I’ll be dammed if I’m going to let some horrible woman speak to me like I’m a child.
I then walked into the side room to speak to my boss, telling her that she needed to get rid of this woman because I’m not dealing with entitled people freaking out.
My boss goes out there, and Karen starts crying and hyperventilating, calling everyone around her every name under the sun before storming out.
She was breathing well enough to walk out. Imagine that. Good riddance.
Karen called 911 because she was yelled at
I’m a 911 operator and have a Karen story to share with you.
So Karen calls saying she’s in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart and she was “Almost run over by a car”. I asked if she was injured, and she said no. I asked her to explain the situation, and she gave me the following story:
“I was walking to my car, and these two women and a guy came driving through the parking lot, and they slammed on their breaks. So I said, “What is wrong with you? Can’t you control your vehicle?”
Next thing I know, this angry woman steps out and yells back at me to ‘watch where I was going!’ They went inside the Walmart.
Their license plate is [REDACTED], a [REDACTED] model car, and it’s parked in the Wal-Mart parking lot! ”
Me: Um… ok, what are you wanting Police to do, Ma’am?
Karen: *scoffs* Well, I mean… they were just so ugly to me! Like… what am I supposed to do with that? They made me afraid of leaving my own house!
Me: you want the police to come out because you verbally argued with another person?
Karen: We argued because they almost hit me. You don’t understand. This is wrong. They were hideous to me, and… well, this just isn’t talked about enough in this country! I called you because something needs to be done! Someone needs to speak to their parents at least. Can’t you file a report or something?
Me: File a report that you argued with someone?
Karen: Ok, you’re not hearing the first part of what I am saying! They almost hit me with their car! Can you imagine if it had been a family with a mother and child instead of me?
Me: Yes, I heard you, ma’am. But you said you weren’t injured. So… there was ALMOST an accident, but it didn’t happen. It doesn’t sound like it was intentional…
Karen: But these women, they were driving, and they don’t have control of the vehicle or…”
Me: Yes, ma’am, they were driving in a parking lot. That’s not illegal.
Karen: So, you’re just going to do nothing? What a joke! I called you and gave you their license plate… we can’t allow this to continue…
Me: What to continue?
Karen: People are being rude to every stranger they meet.
Me: It’s not illegal to be rude, ma’am.
Karen then started going on a tirade about how society was somehow crumbling due to fear and tyranny. And that I would be more willing to worry if I was the guy with a child or “the mother with the other kid” (presumably talking about people standing nearby).
Karen then got onto this being “what was her taxes were for” and that she wanted to know my real name and needed to talk to my manager.
It sounds mean, but I stopped listening at that point. I have no time for entitled people (especially those named Karen) when I have plenty of other genuine people that need my help.
So, I wished Karen a good day and hung up the phone while she was still ranting. The funny thing is, she didn’t call back, so she can’t have been that bothered.
Entitled Pool Karen
So, my one-year-old kid has recently learned to love the pool. So we go to the one at our apartment complex that’s popular with other parents.
As we’re near the steps chilling, there is an eight or nine-year-old girl constantly cannonballing into the pool, splashing water over the area where we would normally take our kid. A nearby stranger, presumably her mother, is watching and encouraging her.
Remember that we need to use the shallow end for obvious reasons. But the pool is massive, and there aren’t many people (maybe six or seven at most). So we set ourselves up, hoping this lady will control her kid once she sees us there.
Next thing you know, the kid splashes our one-year-old bad, making him cry, and the mother acts like it’s funny because upsetting my son is a joke to her.
So I walk over and try to talk to her:
Me: Hi, can you please ask your kid to cannonball in another part of the pool? Our son is getting scared.
Karen: We were here first. Your kid is fine. Also, it’s a community pool. So I don’t appreciate you demanding that I do anything. If you don’t want your baby to get splashed by other kids, then that’s why God invented bathtubs.
Bear in mind that my wife and have done NOTHING to antagonize this person. We just asked her politely if she could use a different part of the pool. But by this point, my wife is pissed, and she calls Karen out on her rude behaviour.
As this continues, the damn kid is STILL splashing us, and Karen still finds it funny.
In the end, I just dragged us out to prevent the situation from escalating even more. One of the grannies watching the kids helped us carry our stuff to my car and told us that the girl does this every day, and the mother doesn’t see anything wrong with it.
An inconvenienced Karen can’t believe people are allowed to inconvenience her
I work as a manager at a convenience store, so I see my fair share of entitled people, but this one spoiled brat of a woman baffled my mind the other day.
My store is next door to a McDonald’s that is struggling to stay open due to a lack of employees. So they often close their checkout line and just open the drive-thru because there isn’t enough staff on the floor to serve both counters and keep the house in order.
However, because I work next door, that means that people (presumably named Karen) then walk into my store and start complaining to me about it.
When this happens, I always say that I don’t know if they’re open or not because I’m at work right now and I don’t work for them, so how should I know their schedule?
I also ask people if they tried pulling on the door (some people will just see that it’s empty and deduce that it’s closed even if it’s not), and if they did and it didn’t open, then I say, “Well, I guess it’s closed then.”
But this woman turned to me and started screaming, “Are they even allowed to do that?!”
Um, yes, Karen. Funnily enough, a business has the right to close if it cannot serve people. The world does not revolve around you and your entitled attitude. It’s McDonald’s. It’s not a hospital or school. Just go to the A&W down the road. They love people named Karen.
Karen ends up in the hospital
So this was November 2020, and my mother was in the hospital.
Back then, due to the fragility of the patients during the pandemic, only one person was allowed per day per room to visit. I had permission thanks to a psychologist who thought that it was better if I went with one of my parents.
Well, one time, we were waiting with my father to see my mother, and we had to wait in a corridor, and the door would only open for medical staff or if you rang and someone inside let you in. Otherwise, you’re not allowed.
While we wait, a woman (Karen) gets out of the block where the patients are. She asks one of the two nurses when she can come back.
Nurse: Ma’am, only one person is allowed per day. Call us to make the appointment tomorrow.
Then the nurse returns to her business, and the woman starts throwing a fit and screaming.
Karen: This is unbelievable. Why would I need permission?! This is my brother. I do what I want to do! You are a joke!
And she continued on and on screaming at these two bewildered women. So my dad decides to speak up.
My Dad: Ma’am, you need to calm down. You are in the hospital right now. Show some respect! If you want to scream, do it outside and do it for a good reason. The nurse never told you that you couldn’t come but to make sure you call and book an appointment like the rest of us have.
Karen: BUT MY BROTHER IS IN A COMA!
My Dad: You think I’m here for fun? My wife is in a coma. These people also have relatives in a coma. Don’t disturb people.
Karen finally sees that none of us would back her up, so she quietly goes to wait a little bit further down the corridor. Stupid Karen.
Sour-Faced Karen on an Airplane
So I’m a 57-year-old large woman, not grossly so, but definitely in the plus-size category. I’m comfortable with who I am. I eat healthily, walk as many days a week as possible, and maintain a large yard and garden…. you get it. I’m not a couch potato. I just love my food!
So a couple of weeks ago, my company sent me for a week-long training in KY. I met some amazing people and made a new friend who happened to be taking the same flight home I was.
So we’re sitting in the boarding area, and I realize we will be boarding soon. It’s only a 3 1/2 hr flight, so if I use the little girl’s room right now. I won’t have to deal with the TINY aeroplane bathroom.
So I did my business, and when I returned, a tiny, little wisp of a woman was sitting in my seat. No problem, I’m a reasonable lady, so I sat next to her, who also happened to be next to my friend.
This lady then leans waaaaay over to the side, as far away from me as she can without moving from her seat. Kinda made me laugh. Sorry, chick-a-dee, you stole my seat.
So we got on the plane. I lucked out and got #7 in the A group, meaning I got the seat I wanted. My friend sits next to me, and “Karen” is across the aisle.
The problem with Southwest is they have seats that only a 9-year-old would fit comfortably in…. and the seatbelts….. well, they are 1 inch too short for me. So I have to ask for an extender for 1/4 of an inch.
Karen leaned over in her seat and gave me the sourest face I’ve ever seen. Like really Karen, what is your problem. You’re in another aisle, and this doesn’t affect you AT ALL. What’s with the face? Seriously, woman, you should be grateful…. we crash, and my fat ass will cushion the landing, ok!
Karen then spent the rest of the flight complaining about trivial things, like demanding water for free and making impatient sounds whenever she had to wait more than 30 seconds for an attendant.
In the end, I had to put my headphones on just to drown the sound of her calling for help with something every five minutes.
CHANGE THE PRICE…WAIT, NO, DON’T
A wonderful lady who decided to grace our store with her demanding presence walked in and stomped up to the registers with phone and item in hand.
Before she even got a single rude word out of her mouth, I knew a storm was-a brewin, so I took a deep breath.
Karen: THIS PRICE DOESN’T MATCH THE ONE ONLINE.
Me: After taking a quick but deep breath, “OK, can you show me what the price is online? I’ll call up a manager so we can fix it for you.”
Karen decides she doesn’t want it scanned just yet and yanks it away slightly so I can’t scan it, and proceeds to continue screaming.
Karen: WHY ARE YOUR PRICES DIFFERENT? ANYWAYS, YOU SHOULD ALWAYS MATCH THE PRICES ON YOUR WEBSITE.
Me: “I don’t make the prices, ma’am. I just scan them”. I grab my radio and say, “manager to the front for a price change, please.”
Karen continues ranting on about how this can be considered a false advertisement and how could we do this to her blah blah blah. I just tuned her out for the most part because I was tired from only getting about 3 hours of sleep and having to work an extra 2 hours that day. The typical stuff if you work retail.
My Manager: What do I need to change?
Me: Uhh, whatever it is she has in her hand.
My Manager: Have you scanned it?
Me: No, she won’t give it to me.
My manager just looks at me puzzled, and glances at Karen in disbelief tilts his head with an expression that can only mean “hooooooooookay then”.
My Manager: May I see the item so I can change the price? Also, if you could pull it up on our website for me on your phone, that would be great, too, so I can change it to the correct price.
Karen throws the item on the counter and starts scrolling through her phone with her 7-inch claws that she calls nails.
Eventually, she gets to the item, and we both look at the price on our computer and the price on the website.
The item on screen: $8.99
Our price: $7.99
My Manager: Uhh ma’am, are you sure you want us to-
Karen: JUST CHANGE THE PRICE TO THE ONE THAT’S ONLINE. I DON’T WANNA HEAR IT.
My Manager: But ma’am, the price on the website is-
Karen: JUST GET IT DONE, OR DO YOU WANT ME TO CALL CORPORATE
My manager and I just kinda look at each other and shrug.
My Manager: Alright, that’ll be $9.23, please.
Karen: WHAT?! THAT’S MORE THAN WHAT’S ON YOUR PRICE TAG ON THE SHELF!
My Manager: Yes. But that’s what’s on the website. $9.23. Will that be with cash or card?
Karen: THIS IS RIDICULOUS! IS THIS SOME KIND OF JOKE?
Me: We changed the price to the one online, ma’am, and we can’t reverse it now. It’s on auto-save.
Karen: “UGH FINE WHATEVER” and throws a few crumpled-up bills at us that were about $10 in crumpled-up $1s and a $5.
My Manager and I just looked at each other again and gave each other a quick sigh and head turn that said, “yeesh”.
Just another fun day that anyone would be familiar with if they work retail.
Karen tried to ruin my lunch break
So this happened 15 or so years ago.
I was working retail I was part of the management team. As the on-duty manager working the “closing” shift on this particular night, I am the only backup for a single cashier.
Due to our location and lack of security, I didn’t like leaving my cashiers alone in the front of the store for more than a few minutes. So I often would eat my dinner behind the register. That way, if something happened or she needed me to help her on the register, I was right there.
This night my husband had brought me some takeout from some unremarkable restaurant chain. You know what my husband called food, and I called garbage, but I appreciated it told him “thank you”, and he left to pick up our kids. I punched out for my lunch and pulled a chair up to a register that we never used like always.
I’m sitting there, eating my lunch, talking to my cashier (we will call her Anne). As speak, Karen walks past my cashier, who has her light on, to come straight to mine, which has a light off and a closed sign-up, because ya know, I’m on break.
Anne says, “I can help you over here, ma’am”, but Karen ignores her, pushes my closed sign aside and starts unloading her cart on my belt. Anne tries again, “Ma’am, that register is closed, but I can….”. This is where I stood up and said, “It’s ok, Anne, I’ll ring her up and finish my food when I’m done.
So Anne goes to help a customer find something, and I ring up Karen. Karen looks at me and said, “You shouldn’t be eating when you are on the clock”. I said, “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I’m actually on my mandatory lunch break. I just take it up here for safety reasons”.
Karen starts screaming that she knows I’m not on break. I do my best to calm her down, and nothing is working. That’s when she did it. That’s when she grabbed my plate of food, my first meal of the day, off the next register and flung it across the room all over the floor, causing a huge racket.
I just stood there in total disbelief of what had just happened. Anne comes running over, and so do the other customers in the store. Since the woman posed a visible threat to my safety, I was allowed to ask her to leave or call the cops.
At this point, I’m exhausted, and calling the cops meant incident reports and witness statements for our cooperative offices and HR, adding at least an hour to my already long day, so I just asked her to leave.
She refuses. I warn her I’ll call the cops. She refuses. I pick up the phone. She says something to the effect of I’m calling your boss. You won’t have a job after tomorrow. And she leaves.
Karen did call my boss the next day, but the ladies insisted on writing up witness statements, so Karen didn’t have a leg to stand on. We knew exactly what time it happened, and the computer showed I was on lunch at that time.