Pop culture is filled with rich and entitled brats, from Veruca Salt in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" to those arrogant characters James Spader played in his youth to those little darlings who always seemed to get not one but TWO cars as birthday gifts on MTV's "My Super Sweet 16."
But chances are you know people in your real life with way too much money for their own good. "Affluenza" is a fairly common affliction, judging from the responses to this question posed on Reddit: What's the worst case of "rich kid syndrome" you've seen?
Here are 26 of the most truly hideous cases, in the words of Reddit readers.
26. Lexus nix-us
Conversation I witnessed with two "rich" kids in my class last semester:
Rich Kid 1: "Dude, lets hit up the rink for some shinny hockey later tonight."
Rich Kid 2: "I might be late. My dad made me take the Lexus this morning. I'm not showing up in that."
Rich Kid 1: (laughs) "I feel you."
25. Having his cake and making it, too
(I) worked with a guy at a grocery store who made over $600,000 a year.
His grandparents left him a hefty trust fund with the stipulation that he had to have a job, which is why he worked at a grocery store. Dropped out of a nice college, because why do that when you can have an easy job making cakes and still pull in that much money?
His parents have multiple rental properties in his name as well.
I gave him $20 in cash for his birthday, since he wasn't allowed to have cash because "he would just lose it," and he laughed at my piddly $20. Said, "Wanna see what my mom got me?" and shows me $2,000 in $100 bills because she thought the new design looked funny. $2000 as a gag gift....[bleep]!
"Well, what did your dad get you?"
"Oh, he paid off my car."
24. These grandparents deserve a spoiler alert
First world problem: My mother- and father-in-law were buying and gifting endless amounts of junk to my kids.
Cheap, impractical useless plastic toys, stuffed animals and Disney junk.
I'd spoken with them about it time and again to stop, but they just couldn't pass a Walmart without buying some piece of [bleep], then coming over and giving my kids "presents." ...
One day my sister-in-law called to announce that she had the perfect solution to my problems. I should stop complaining to/about her parents because :
"You just need to buy a bigger house."
23. Locked into her rich-kid lifestyle
When I was younger and in the car with my buddy's family, his mom accidentally locked the car with us still in it and his sister couldn't figure out how to get out.
She never had to manually unlock a car door before.
22. The pocket poacher
I once had a client in her late 60s who had been extremely rich her entire life, to the point where she had no concept of doing anything for herself. Example: She NEVER carries her own cellphone.
Most of the time her personal assistant carries it for her, but one day we were at an event together without her assistant, so she just reached over and dropped her phone into my suit jacket's pocket.
Every time it would ring she would just reach in and grab it, then put it back in MY pocket when she was done. This wasn't even something she thought about.
If you were near her, you were working for her and your pockets were hers.
21. Thinking poverty is just an act
The summer before my senior year of high school, I went to a drama camp. (Think "band camp" for kids really in to theatre and the performing arts). ...
I met my roommate. I'll call him Richie McSheltered III. He was a nice kid, really. But, he was completely and utterly clueless about how money worked, and how much of it he really had.
On our first night in the dorms, we were each laying in our twin beds and doing some "get to know you" small-talk. He mentioned that his father had just gotten a new car, so he was going to take the "old" one. But, he wasn't sure he wanted it.
Why not? Well, Daddy had bought a brand new Mercedes and he didn't think it was fair that he was expected to drive around in a one year old Mercedes. When I told him that my car was 14 years old, had over 150,000 miles, and was probably half made of rust, he thought I was doing some improv skit impersonating a poor person.
20. The parking 'ticket'
The high school my husband went to had limited parking for students so there was a lottery every year to see which seniors would get parking spaces and could drive to school. There was a story in the paper about how families were buying up houses near the school so their kids would have a place to park when they drove to school. They weren't living in these houses, mind you, they were just buying them so their kids could park in the driveways.
19. Rich and showerful
Was an RA in college.
One of my residents was a rich freshman from Rhode Island. He lives on an island and takes a ferry into town.
Anyways, his first week, he asked if there was fresh water available in the shower. I didn't understand what he meant, but apparently he didn't like showering with city water and didn't realize it was everywhere he went. I was so shocked and didn't know what to say that I suggested he used water bottles to clean him. Yeah, he didn't last long.
18. Floor-plan furor
In high school I had an acquaintance classmate — we'll call her 'S' — that I sometimes hung out with. Her family was one of the first to ever get a DVD player (this is the early 1990s) and I was amazed that it was hooked up to a projector that could display movies on a screen at least 10 feet wide.
That summer her parents took over another company and decided to build a new house on the edge of town. I hadn't seen S in awhile and she invited me over one day. When I got to the new house it was a huge mansion!
Inside it was like a freakin' Mexican standoff. S was standing in the large kitchen, hands on hips, staring down her parents and demanding they "change the layout!"
...apparently the design for the house needed to be changed because her new bathroom was in the wrong side of the sitting room, and the sitting room also had to be made to be bigger than her sisters bathroom and sitting room.
17. The roommate who had it maid
My mom's college roommate had a French maid who tried to toss out all my mom's stuff on move-in day because she didn't get the concept of roommates. As my mother's French was rather weak, she had to physically block the maid until the roommate decided to turn up and explain (to the maid, who still wasn't happy).
16. Really clearing the plates
Wife went back to college. New city, didn't know anyone. Started a Movie Night thing to meet some people and build a social circle. ...
I knew this one guy was from a rich family, his first night there he's bragging to everyone who'll listen about this $30,000+ truck his parents just bought him and telling everybody how awesome he is.
After everything is done, we're collecting dishes in the kitchen and he walks over and following me to the kitchen he walks in and puts his dish and silverware in the trash can.
"Hey man, what are you doing?" I'm assuming he brain-blanked for a second, no big deal.
"Give me the dishes, don't throw em out." It's a ceramic plate, not a paper one.
"Why?" He asks, obviously confused.
"... I'm going to wash it."
"Why?" He repeats.
...Now I'm confused. "So it'll be clean for next time?"
"Oh! Like the dining hall. Oh. OK. Sure."
15. The limo scene
Fraternity did a pledge event in which we were placed in a limo.
Normal Friend: "Wow, this is awesome! I've never been in a limo before!"
Rich Kid Syndrome Friend: "Haven't you ever been to the airport??"
14. Letting others do their dirty work
My first year of college I was accepted into the "honors program", and lived in the "honors dorm." ...
I quickly learned that I was a black sheep in this program, as it was all about status and who your parents knew. The first meeting we had as a group our advisors did an "ice breaker" where everyone was to list what countries they had visited, which was their favorite and why. Most had at least six to pick from. (Me: I visited Canada but I also lived on the border so I don't think it counts.)
In my suite most of my roommates had never done their own housework and genuinely seemed uncomfortable without some sort of maid. The solution: They paid other students to do their laundry for them.
I quit that program by my second year.
13. No passport? No problem!
The girl I dated in college. I was planning to come visit her over winter break, on the other side of the country, when a snowstorm cancelled my flight. The airline was slammed and couldn't get me out there for about three days - sucks, but whatever. However, she realized that there were flights available on other airlines the next day, and encouraged me to just buy another ticket. She literally couldn't understand when I told her I couldn't afford to do this and that my parents wouldn't just pay for it either.
I later found out that the previous year, her family had a trip scheduled to Costa Rica or somewhere like that (out of the country) but when they got to the airport they realized her dad's passport was expired so he couldn't fly. They simply booked a new trip to Hawaii, without even bothering to try and get a refund for the airfare or hotel for the Costa Rica trip.
12. A wreck when it comes to money
A kid in my graduating high school class was very wealthy. His parents bought him a Land Rover when he was 16 and he crashed it into a school bus. They bought him another Land Rover and he lost it street racing. Guess what? They bought him a Mercedes.
11. This is a bad birthday?
A girl posted about how it was the worst birthday of her life, followed up by "The only bright side is my dad bought me a brand new Jeep" and continued to complain about her terrible day.
10. Please fund me!
I have a friend I went to art school with and we both studied photo. We both coincidentally live in a large city, where I have been working and making art in my spare time for about a decade. She's also been here about that long, but has been fortunate enough to have her father completely underwrite her life — meaning no need to work, and she even has a full in-home darkroom set up in her apartment.
Well, Dad finally pulled the plug on the free art life. So, now she is likely going to have to leave our city. Her response was to set up a GoFundMe — to the tune of $11,000 — asking her friends to pitch in to help her renew her lease and pay rent, etc.
Pretty mind boggling on so many levels.
9. Shades of greed
I worked at SunglassHut in south Florida. One day a family of four came in to buy glasses. Now I am used to people having money and buying stupidly expensive sunglasses. But the dad told the kids, who were probably 6 and 4, to get the glasses they wanted. Both grabbed 4 pairs of sunglasses that cost over $250 each. Then both kids pulled out wads of $100 bills to pay for them.
8. No concept of 'broke'
When I was a broke-as-[bleep] bike messenger, I was dating a woman who was heir to a major restaurant fortune. One evening, she wanted to go to a club downtown, and I said I couldn't go because I didn't have any money. She said I should come on anyway so I figured she's footing the bill.
When we got to the club and it's time to pay the cover at the door, she pays for herself and starts to walk in. I'm like, "hey — I don't have any money. I can't get in." She comes back out and tells me to just put it on my credit card, but of course I don't have one. The she tells me she'll drive me to an ATM. But of course I don't have a bank account because I'm broke.
I'm standing there in the street with her, trying futilely to explain that I literally do not own any money. She could not grasp the concept. I ended up walking home and she went to the club.
We did not last long.
7. Not very neighborly
I used to work at a wholesale kitchen appliance distributor. It was a multi-million dollar company. The CEO's daughter was my age (23 at the time) and would often come shoot the [bleep] with us in sales. She had a highrise condo by herself downtown, worth about $300,000. After I left, I bumped into one of my old co-workers, and she came up in our conversation. I asked how she was doing, and my co-worker informed me that Daddy bought her another high-rise condo, which was directly across from her current condo, and the only other condo on that floor. Why did she get two highrise condos? Well, she wanted the floor to herself.
Not me, but my scuba instructor told this story.
Some rich family paid him a few thousand dollars to fly down and give private scuba lessons to them in the Bahamas. In Scuba, you have to demonstrate you can handle all the skills in the pool before they let you in the ocean. During the pool part, they got to the skill of clearing the water out of your mask, which is mildly unpleasant but not painful or even hard. They refused to do it. My instructor said if you can't clear a mask you can't be cleared to dive. They spent a few thousand on private Scuba classes, and wasted it all because they refused a pretty simple skill.
5. Richly rewarded
My cousin is just graduated from high school last year. His parents are big time real estate agents in our hometown, like they both probably clear $1 million a year easily. So my cousin goes off to college and gets busted for public drunkenness and resisting arrest his first semester. Gets expelled from school, starts bumming off his folks for money. His dad just bought him a brand new Range Rover last weekend as a "reward for learning from his mistakes and staying positive when the law targeted him."
4. A tough choice
"Hey guys please help? Which car should I get, I want a lot but Daddy will only buy me one."
This was posted to Facebook by a Tinder match. Yeah I'd rather not go there.
3. The 'lost' laptops
Friend asked me to help him do some in-home tech support for one of his clients. This client has 24-hour on-premise security. You don't wander around in as much are escorted from place to place. ...
Anyway, the first laptop is a brand new fully loaded MacBook Pro (or whatever the top of the line Apple was at the time) and needs to be configured for their home network. No biggie. Got the info I needed and set it up.
Me and my shadow proceed to the second room ... Again, I find a brand new laptop, same model as the first. After I am done with it, we are just about to walk out of the room and I catch a glimpse of two other laptops on the floor with with junk piled on top of them.
I inquire if I should also take care of them. My inquiry goes from me to security to the client and then back through the guard to me:
"Oh, you found them? We thought they were lost so we got new ones for the kids."
2. Treating an iPhone like a burner
Girl in my high school physics class offering her brand new iPhone to be destroyed in an experiment because "my dad will just buy me a new one". She had it for like one week.
1. And the worst of all ...
I went to a private school for high school, so we had a lot of those "crashed one fancy car and daddy bought them a new one" kind of stories floating around. But I didn't know any of them personally.
Then I went to a private college. Suddenly most of my classmates seemed to be these people. The worst by far was this guy my roommate dated for a while:
Had a really nice car but had no idea how to take care of it. When it started to have trouble, he dropped it in front of a friend's house and had his parents buy him a new one.
Spilled a drink all over someone's computer and when they got upset, he laughed and told them they could just get a new one.
Told several professors that he "paid for an A so he damn well better get it." (In poetry class, ... dude, that was the easiest A ever.)
Didn't understand why my roommate went home for a weekend to help her dad after surgery. He asked her why she didn't "have people for that."
Threw away his text books when he was done with them. (I dug through his trash with his roommate and we split the haul even-stevens.)
And so, so much more. He didn't last long as my roommate's boyfriend nor as anyone's friend. I don't think he ever graduated.