Older generations might not think of "Karen" as anything more than a name. However, anyone up to date on recent memes knows that 'Karen' is a word used to describe a middle-aged white woman with an asymmetrical bob haircut and incessant demands to see the manager.
In short, Karens are incredibly entitled, insensitive, clueless, and sometimes racist.
Still, there has been some confusion as to what "Karen" actually means. Luckily, this look at various Karen moments will help settle this matter once and for all.
A Redditor helped resolve this issue by asking people to share their 'Karen' experiences. The post went viral and ended up getting more than 1,500 comments, with many explaining situations that make people 'Karens.'
1. A Karen Who Didn't Want To Talk To The Manager
According to a Redditor who worked at Home Depot, a Karen said she did not want her flooring installed by a black man. When she was informed that the individual installers were not picked as she imagined, she demanded white installers and asked to talk to the manager.
What she did not count on was the fact that the manager was a huge black man. On seeing him, she decided she didn't want to talk to the manager after all.
2. Get My Name Back On The List
A phone company employee was getting training on listening to calls, and a Karen called in.
The woman was furious that her number had been replaced on her son's list of "five favorite numbers." Her contact had been replaced with another woman's contact information.
She did not like that, and she wanted her name back on the list, which is not something the phone company can do. For one thing, this was not her phone, but her son's.
When she was told her ridiculous request could not be met, she lost it. She screamed, shouted, hurled insults, and even explained that 'the customer is always right.'
She complained for about five minutes. Then they heard another voice request 'Karen' to calm down or leave the store.
Apparently, she was calling from a local mall, and they didn't like that she was making a scene.
As she raged on about how the phone company was cheating her, another voice told her: "you're under arrest." She was shocked by the statement, and she calmed down.
Soon after, the phone company employee heard her mobile phone dropping on some hard surface. Then, a salesperson got hold of it and told them:
"Uh... yeah, sorry about that. I don't think you have to worry about this any more, she just got arrested."
3. Why Was It Not Pre-Cooled?
An employee for Best Buy had an incident with a woman who called to complain that her fridge was not "pre-cooled" before delivery. She had a problem because she had to wait for the refrigerator to cool down, which shocked everyone.
4. The Tough Manager
A woman was so angry that the expired and duplicate coupons she carried could not be used and decided to take it out on an employee. She used names like "stupid" and claimed that the employee didn't correctly use the coupons.
After that, she demanded to talk to the manager, who came to hear the woman out. She complained about the worker being incompetent.
The manager explained that the coupons were the issue. Then the manager also told her how disrespectful she was and asked her to leave.
5. The "Karen Seat"
A "Karen" in medical school decided to pick on someone for sitting on "her seat." The person wouldn't move, and the lady went to the professor to complain about it.
However, things did not go her way as the professor pointed out how entitled she was and suggested she would make a terrible doctor. The lady left, and the class was celebrating as she did.
From then on, she did not interact much with the other students.
6. Can You Pay For Me?
A woman found a shop closed for the day. The lights were already off, and the front door was closed.
She sneaked in through the half-closed roller door against an employee's advice and said she needed to grab a few things. The manager soon came and was not happy with this and went to find her.
However, all she was interested in was knowing where the capsicums were. However, this was a fruit shop, with many items being taken off the shelves into the cool room at the end of the day.
The cash was also already locked up in the safe, and the manager was willing to indulge her if she could pay using her card. However, she said this was ridiculous as she had cash.
She then went on to ask the employee to pay for the shopping using their card. When this ridiculous request was not met, she talked of how unprofessional they were and argued that the shop was terrible because it did not have half its items.
These things were packed up because the shop was closed. Strangely enough, her name was actually Karen.
7. I Don't Want My Son To Turn Into A Hooligan Like You
A woman took issue with the fact that someone was working on their car in their own garage. Apparently, the fast-looking car would influence her son to turn into a "hooligan" like him.
8. Speaking Asian
A "Karen" got mad at a woman for ignoring her son despite being racist towards her. The son tried a Japanese greeting on her even though she was not Japanese.
When she did not respond, the woman accused her of being racist for not showing appreciation that the son had spoken "Asian" to her.
However, they had heard the woman speak English before.
9. I'll Take It Up With Corporate
A Karen went to return a shirt, which is normal. However, the shirt had sweat stains and what looked like mud stains.
She was informed that the return could not be processed as the shirt had been used and could not be resold.
This made the woman fly into a rage. After she was shown the stains, she created even more drama and demanded to see the manager.
However, she had no idea she was talking to the manager, and the return was still not going to be processed. She complained for about 20 minutes before leaving but not before she threatened to take the matter to corporate and get the employee fired.
A few days later, a guy came to the store and spent several minutes apologizing for his wife's behavior. Apparently, he had worn the shirt to the beach, done some workouts on the sand, and when he did not like the shirt, the wife decided to return it.
10. I Found Hair In My Food
After eating half the food off her plate, a particular Karen put her hair in it and then demanded to speak to the manager. The long hair was dyed red, just like her hair, and none of the guys in the kitchen had such hair.
The manager offered her and four other people at her table dessert, but the four patrons turned down the offer. The Karen, however, asked for a cheesecake, and the table stared at her as she at it.
11. Karen Meets President Of The Home Owner's Association
A "Karen" was furious when she found a 10-year-old girl feeding corn to geese within the first 20 feet of a nearby lake, which was considered communal property.
She asked the girl to stop feeding the geese immediately, and when she was told grandpa had allowed it, she immediately went up to his door and pressed the doorbell to speak to him.
The Karen was mortified to discover that grandpa was the president of the home owner's association.
12. Returning A Half-Eaten Cupcake
A "Karen" bought a chocolate cupcake, devoured half of it, and wanted to know if she could return it. She wanted to exchange it for a vanilla cupcake.
However, she was offended when the request was not granted, especially after the staff suggested that she could buy a vanilla cupcake as well.
13. The Gym Karen
A Karen demanded that someone leave the gym because they made her son feel like only fat people went to the gym.
14. Karen Goes After A 3-Year-Old
A "Karen" at the park told a 3-year-old that it was not "smart" of her to use the monkey bars after she fell while trying to use them. She went on to tell the child that she should not have tried it because she might give other kids the same idea.
The kid's parents had to step in and stop the woman from telling the girl that it was all her fault, which might have instilled in her the fear of ever trying something new.
15. Bringing Out The Big Guns
A "Karen" went to a drive-thru and ordered a double cheeseburger without onions. However, she got a burger with onions even though the person at the front window took her order correctly and gave the kitchen staff the right instructions. She went back to the front window to complain, and she was told she would get it replaced for free, which was promptly done.
However, she called the state government, demanding that the person who took her order to be fired. She also called the food safety department, the governor's office, and the Chamber of Commerce.
She accused the worker at the front window of deliberately trying to poison her as she was allergic to onions.
The manager, however, noted that this was not even the employee's mistake. The employee wasn't fired.
16. You Should Have Held It In
One day, a cashier started nosebleeding while completing a transaction and swiftly got a tissue and went to the restroom to take care of the situation. That meant the cashier didn't have the opportunity to say "goodbye" and "thank you for shopping with us" to a "Karen."
Fast forward to ten minutes later, and the cashier had handled the situation and gotten back to the register. The shocking thing was that the woman was waiting there, with a frown on her face and her arms crossed across her chest.
She was NOT happy.
As soon as the cashier got back, she went into a rage about not being told goodbye. Even after apologizing and trying to explain how dire the predicament was, the woman insisted that she should have tried to hold in the nosebleed because "customer comes first."
17. I'm Calling The Cops
A doctor working a night shift had an encounter with a Karen at work. The woman came in at 3 am requesting hypertension medication, which, according to the law, has to be given only with a written prescription.
In any case, a doctor cannot prescribe another dose when the patient already has another. So, when the woman explained she was down to her last full blister, the doctor tore up the prescription they were in the middle of writing and explained the reason why. The woman was furious and went into a fit. She screamed, shouted, and threatened to call the cops, which she did.
When the cops arrived, she informed them that the doctor had refused to treat her.
Once they learned she had a full blister and confirmed the situation with her. The cops asked her to leave. The following day, the doctor called the boss ("the manager"), who received reports that the doctor had refused to treat her.
The boss thought the whole situation was so hilarious.
18. A Karen Manager
Unfortunately, Karens can be managers as well. An employee was given an hour-long lecture on why it was their fault that a customer had physically assaulted them.
The dressing down came after the employee's shift had ended.
19. Karen Vs 7-Year-Old
A second-grade pupil was at a community pool designed for kids looking to have some fun. After finding a tube close to the edge of the pool, they picked it up and started using it.
A Karen then came and told the kid that she had rented the tube and demanded it back, only to put it back at the edge of the pool. She looked rather pleased with herself.
A swim instructor noticed the child's predicament and gave them another tube.
Another kid went over and took the lady's tube, which was still lying by the side of the pool. After a couple of minutes, the lady came back asking for the child's tube, not knowing the kid had gotten a tube from the instructor.
When she was told the tube had come from the swim instructor, she said it was a lie and snatched the tube from the kid before putting it on the edge of the pool.
The woman then scolded the child, telling them they were a "little thief" and a "liar." Then she went about her business without a care a world in the world.
20. The Indian Karen
Typically, Karens are white, but someone met with an Indian Karen while working at a store. She would demand a lower price on the clearance items she ordered, which meant the costs had to be lowered manually at the till.
Even so, she would always complain that she had been overcharged, and that would be followed by demands to see the manager.
Sometimes, she would get upset and leave a trolley filled with items saying she would never shop there again. These incidents took about an hour.
As if that was not enough, she once came to the store when it was snowing. "Her usual parking space" was not cleared of snow as stores focus on spaces closer to the store since few people shop under such weather.
However, she hit a bollard, stormed into the store, asked to see the manager, and then started shouting at him. In the end, the manager banned her from the store for her abusive behavior towards store staff.