43 Things a Karen Says

We’ve probably all seen a Karen or two out in the wild — and by wild, I mean a retail store environment — think Costco or Starbucks.

Karens are known for their demanding and entitled ways that go well beyond the scope of what is considered courteous or even acceptable.

We created a list of phrases that Karens like to use beginning with their trademark, “May I speak to your manager.”

Perhaps you recognize some of these Karen phrases from your observations shopping? Read on.

Things a Karen Says

That’s So Karen!

1.) May I speak to your manager?

2.) That’s unacceptable!

3.) My name is misspelled on the cup.

4.) You ruined my family’s entire vacation!

5.) I can’t get oxygen through a mask.

6.) But, that doesn’t apply to me.

7.) You just lost our business!

8.) Do you know how much money I spend here every month?

9.) Do you live in this area?

10.) I’ve been discriminated against.

11.) I’ve never had to pay for these before.

12.) This is tyranny!

13.) I’d like to talk to the owner.

14.) “Karen” is a sexist and racist word.

15.) You work for me; I don’t work for you.

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Things Karen Says

16.) Where are you from?

17.) It’s all about you, isn’t it?

18.) You’ve created a lot of work for me.

19.) This is a great inconvenience.

20.) All lives matter!

21.) Do you know who I am?

22.) I’ve been waiting in line for 15 minutes!

23.) That’s incredibly rude!

24.) Yes, I’ve tried rebooting.

25.) Go back to your country!

26.) That’s being disrespectful.

27.) Is this a new policy?

28.) I’ll sue you!

29.) How dare you speak to me that way!

30.) I have a special condition…

“Karen, Please Just Wear a Mask” (sung to the tune of Jolene)

Things Karen Will Say Meme

May I speak to your manager?

Don’t Be A Karen

31.) I’d like it bleached with bob haircut.

32.) I need an apology right now!

33.) My Essential Oils will cure that… I saw it on Facebook.

34.) This is the United States of America!

35.) I refuse to follow your orders!

36.) Your health is not my responsibility!

37.) Do you make all of your loyal customers do this?

38.) I’m calling the cops.

39.) You’re all horrible people!

40.) Can my child have more homework?

41.) You have no idea how troubling this is to me.

42.) What is this, Nazi Germany?

43.) You’ll never disrespect me like that again!

Karens Gone Wild

What is a Karen?

Karen Meaning: Karen is a term for an entitled, angry middle-aged white woman who attempts to use her privilege to get her way with store employees. Karens like to say, “May I speak to your manager.” She is often seen at Starbucks or Costco in her blonde bob haircut.

A Karen Timeline

1965

A Very Popular Name

“Karen” is the third most popular girl’s baby name in the U.S. So in the U.S., there are lots of Karens that are around 55 years in age living.

1965
2005

“The Friend Nobody Likes”

In a comedy album, Dane Cook describes the friend in each group that nobody like and as an example describes the woman as a “Karen.” The friend group “basically keep them there to hate their guts.” (Ouch!)

2005
2017

A SubReddit Group forms called: F_ _ _ YouKaren

Group members share stories and videos of “Karens in the wild” — usually behaving badly at Starbucks and retail stores. As of December 2020, there are over one million members.

2017
2018

Popularity of the Name Plummets

Karen ranks as the 635th most popular girl’s name. Chances are that ranking has fallen considerably more since 2018.

2018
2020

A Name With Baggage

A “Karen” is now a privileged, middle-age busy-body who wants to “speak to the manager.” Will its appeal as a put-down continue to grow or will it fall like “Negative Nancy” has?

2020

Karen FAQs

With any relatively new term, questions are bound to arise. Here are a few frequently asked questions with answers.

What is the male equivalent?

The male counterpart to Karen is usually referred to as a Kyle. Although sometimes, Chad is also used.

What do you call a Karen and Kyle who have children?

Karents.

What is the signature move of a Karen?

Complaining to an underpaid, store customer service person is the signature move before asking, “Can I speak to your manager.”

— Emma Benoit

Emma writes about pop culture and entertainment.

Encore

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