While there’s certainly something to be said about relating to your favorite TV characters, sometimes we all just need to escape from ourselves and reality. After a while, watching broke twentysomethings struggle through life is just a little too on-the-nose, you know? Sitting down for a Netflix binge session with ice cream in tow is basically the 21st century’s answer to escapism and sometimes the best way to escape is to hang out with your favorite bougie TV characters. After all, for those of us who often have to decide which flavor of Top Ramen to eat for the next week, it doesn’t get less relatable than that.
Even though characters like Moira Rose from Schitt’s Creek and Jacqueline Voorhees from our eternal fave, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, are so out of touch that it hurts, we just can’t help but love them. Their over-the-top antics and total detachment from reality are just what we need to sashay right the hell away from our everyday lives. Here are 17 hilariously bougie TV characters who we all definitely love.
17. Molly Carter
It kind of goes without saying that Queen of Earth Yvonne Orji’s character Molly Carter on Insecure is a smart, badass, sexually liberated, well-dressed legend. She quickly rose through the ranks at her law firm and her bag collection is closet goals. Truly, what more could you ask for in life? Sure, her dating life may be a little rocky, but at the end of the day, she’s a strong woman who uses her own hard-earned money to treat herself just like we all should.
16. Violet Crawley
Dame Maggie Smith’s absurdly rich Violet Crowley on Downton Abbey is the petty queen we don’t deserve. While the show can err on the serious side, Violet Crowley’s endless supply of sass punctuates all that suffocating wealth and prestige with tongue lashings that are so subtle, the people on the other end don’t even know what hit them. They are the remarks those other characters will think about decades from now at three in the morning when they can’t sleep. We live for well-crafted clap backs, which is why we can’t help but love this bougie TV queen.
15. Lady Mary Crawley
Speaking of Downton Abbey, we’d be remiss not to include Michelle Dockery’s extra-AF Lady Mary Crawley. Ever the ice queen, the well-intentioned but often frigid eldest daughter of the family rarely lets on that she has any feelings whatsoever and even when tragedy strikes, she brings the stone-faced drama. Her personality is the emotional equivalent of Fort Knox, which we live for, and her dedication to staying ahead of the fashion curve makes us all wish that we could afford off-the-runway pieces to wear to our insanely stuffy family dinners that don’t actually exist anywhere but in our own heads.
14. Moira Rose
Okay, if you haven’t watched Schitt’s Creek yet, please stop what you’re doing, open Netflix, and get your full life. We’ll wait. How this isn’t the most talked-about comedy on Netflix is totally baffling. The premise is that an insanely wealthy family is dropped into the middle of a flyover town called Schitt’s Creek, which they purchased as a joke. A bad business deal strips them of their wealth, which is how they end up living in a Schitt’s Creek motel. Moira Rose, played by Catherine O’Hara, is the matriarch of this immaculately dressed tribe and it truly does not get more out-of-touch than her. Her dramatic one-liners and her tendency to be absolutely maudlin over her lost riches are the best of what bougie TV characters have to offer.
13. David Rose
If you watched every season of Schitt’s Creek in one sitting as instructed, then you already know that Daniel Levy’s David Rose may actually be the funniest TV character of all time. He takes his mother Moira’s one-liner game and raises her some truly GIF-able zingers. The fashion icon is ripped from the glamorous streets of New York where he curated avant-garde art exhibits before being thrown into the not-so-glamorous Schitt’s Creek life. He minces no words about how he feels about all of it – ever. He appears to have phobias of personal intimacy, germs, flannel, and nature. Same.
12. Alexis Rose
And finally, we’ve reached the last stop on the hot mess Schitt’s Creek express. Alexis Rose, played by Annie Murphy, is super pretty… and so stupid that it legit hurts. Her lack of self-awareness is staggering and quite frankly impressive in its scope. She’s basically that one friend who rolls up to Sunday hangover brunch in a Kentucky Derby hat and six-inch heels even though she feels like she’s approaching the sweet release of alcohol-induced death. She is tethered to nothing but her extensive wardrobe and has no idea what’s going on at any given moment. Oddly, it all makes her sort of endearing, even though you’d want to punch someone like her square in the face if you had to deal with them IRL.
11. Cookie Lyon
Everyone knows that Taraji P. Henson is a national treasure, and the fact that she brings one of our all-time favorite bougie TV characters to life is just the icing on the slay-all-day cake. Cookie Lyon is the reigning queen of Empire. Sure, she may be an ex-con who co-founded a record label with drug money, but she’s also a fashion icon, so it all evens out. As she tries to reclaim what’s hers upon release from prison, she serves us makeup looks and fashion moments that really just cannot be beaten. She is opulence embodied and she stops at nothing to get what she wants. Oh, and she’s totally down with wreaking a little havoc along the way (with a perfect manicure, of course).
10. Jacqueline Voorhees
Jane Krakowski’s Jacqueline Voorhees on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is the bougie benchmark. Doing way too much is basically her brand. After breaking from her Lakota tribe and rebranding as an out-of-touch rich white woman, Jacqueline marries rich and leads an altogether empty life devoid of true attachment, even to her own children. She seems blissfully unaware of just how vacuous her life really is until Kimmy Schmidt comes along and shows her friendship (even if the thought of attachment to someone poor makes Jacqueline’s skin crawl). She evolves as the series progresses into a human with a functioning conscience, which is always a good thing. Everyone loves a little evolution.
9. Titus Andromedon
Okay, remember that thing we said about David Rose being the funniest TV character of all time? We take it back. He’s definitely tied with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s Titus Andromedon, played by the incomparable Titus Burgess. He’s the ultimate diva and he proves that you can certainly be bougie on a budget. He lives in a basement apartment with Kimmy Schmidt but he doesn’t let his economic status hold him back from being the upscale King of New York he was meant to be.
8. Olivia Pope
If you’ve ever spent any time wandering around Washington D.C. on a work day, then you know that fashion doesn’t exactly reign supreme in that town. The men and women working in our nation’s capital often keep it simple with black, navy, and grey suits. But on Scandal (may it rest in peace), Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope strutted through D.C. in designer heels and jackets that cost more than a month’s rent for us plebes. The brilliant fixer didn’t let her important and often physically demanding work stop her from slaying the whole entire game, and that’s the type of bougie lifestyle we support.
7. Cher Horowitz
A list of bougie TV characters without Cher Horowitz? As if. You may know her as Alicia Silverstone in the movie-version of Clueless, but Rachel Blanchard playing her on the TV spin-off was still the epitome of bougie. The hair-twirling, gum-smacking Cher was the queen bee of her high school. Instead of jeans and tees, this do-gooder Valley Girl showed up to school in her convertible wearing designer duds and matching co-ords. Bring back yellow plaid!
6. Samantha Jones
The slow, upper-crust cadence of Samantha Jones’s voice on Sex in the City is honestly iconic. Because she had all kinds of money, this queen, played by the legendary Kim Cattrall, had all the time in the world to slowly spill some gossip over brunch with her equally bougie friends. While Carrie Bradshaw mostly steals the spotlight on the hit show, we must never sleep on Samantha, whose over-the-top fashion and sex positivity are everything and more.
5. Blair Waldorf
While Leighton Meester, who played Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl, swears that Blair was a good, down-to-Earth girl deep down, the fact of the matter is that this character was almost comically privileged and bougie. Now, that’s not to say that she wasn’t dealing with some pretty heartbreaking stuff. Still, watching a high school and college-aged girl basically rule the Upper East Side is at once frustrating and totally satisfying. Drag us, Blair! We could never!
4. Lucille Bluth
Arrested Development’s Lucille Bluth is pretty much everyone’s problematic fave. The eccentric, dramatic, and totally extra alcoholic, portrayed by Jessica Walter, was never seen on the show without a vodka tonic or martini in hand, and when she wasn’t busy drinking, she was busy making a mess of her children and manipulating just about everyone unfortunate enough to cross her path. Morally, we may want to hate her, but there’s no denying that she’s hilarious and we all secretly want to make others bend to our whims the way she does.
3. Lisa Vanderpump
First thing’s first, we know that technically Fuchsia Queen of Many Pets Lisa Vanderpump isn’t a character per se. She is, however, a cast member of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, which is a primetime monument to elemental bougie-ness. The socialite and businesswoman, whose estate is so large that it has a name, drives around town in cars that are too expensive for the rest of us to even look at. In fact, the dogs in her shelter are living more glamorously than most people in their twenties. Iconic.
2. Marissa Cooper
Can we just take a moment to think about how bizarre The O.C. actually was? Who could possibly forget the oddest scene of all time when Marissa Cooper shoots bad-boy Trey to the tune of Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek,” for example? So strange. And speaking of Marissa, Mischa Barton’s career-defining character, she’s going to round out our list of bougie TV characters.
Throughout the series, she tries so very hard to remain on-brand as the typical girl-next-door, but her family’s endless supply of money and existential crises poked a few holes in that image. She’s the messy queen we love to hate and hate to love. Whenever you need to escape from reality for a while, maybe hop on Netflix/Hulu/whatever service you use to illegally watch what’s not on a streaming service and pay these bougie queens (and kings) a little visit.
1. Hilary Banks
Hilary Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air is so far removed from reality that she’s essentially on another plane of bougie-ness. Played by Karyn Parsons, Ms. Banks may be snobbish, but when you look that good, a little narcissism is what you truly deserve. She always served us LOOKS on the show, with the statement blazer being her everyday go-to. Honestly, a real-life version of her talk show is what the world needs right now.