Tropedia

  • Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.

READ MORE

Tropedia
Advertisement
WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic
Cquote1.svg

Primadonna girl, yeah

All I ever wanted was the world

I can't help that I need it all

The primadonna life, the rise and fall

You say that I'm kinda difficult

But it's always someone else's fault.
—Marina and the Diamonds, Primadonna
Cquote2.svg


The Prima Donna is the Alpha Bitch of show business. She knows how to ingratiate her audience and infuriate her producers by demanding, for instance, they give her an Unlimited Wardrobe fashioned to her personal preference. She has high-class admirers, perhaps even royal ones, and will explode with rage against people who fail to give her the respect she feels is her due. She will not tolerate seeing someone else play her leading part, especially an inexperienced youngster, never considering she might be way out of her element (perhaps because she's too old for the part) or that her meddling could be actively destroying the show. Often she'll be considerably meaner backstage than any of her famous roles.

The Prima Donna is etymologically and typically female (and stereotypically a Grande Dame), but not always. The meaning of "prima donna" has become far less specific through overuse in Real Life.

Compare Taking Advantage of Generosity.

Let's just say that this is Truth in Television for many stars. No Real Life Examples, Please.

Examples of The Prima Donna include:


Comic Books

  • Bianca Castafiore from the Tintin comics.

Film

Cquote1.svg

 "Well, Mr. Cantor, to be brutally frank, you have the reputation of taking over everything you participate in."

Cquote2.svg
Cquote1.svg

  "Oscar! Oscar! I'm back! I'll give you one more chance, you hear me? I'll give you one more chance, you hear me, Oscar? Otherwise I'm out for good! Out, out, out! I'm not being humiliated in this place! You know I am the star and I should be treated like it absolutely all the time!"

Cquote2.svg


Literature

  • Carlotta from The Phantom of the Opera. In the musical, she even gets a song called "Prima Donna" as the new theatre owners suck up to her and assure her that they won't let this "Opera Ghost" dictate how she should be treated; even after the Phantom humiliates her on stage and she's forced into a minor role in his Don Juan Triumphant, she never lets up on this attitude.
  • Eventually, Veda in Mildred Pierce.

Live Action TV

Cquote1.svg

 "Look, you crumb bum. I'm a star. Star, star, star!"

Cquote2.svg
  • Rachel Berry in Glee seems to be one of these in-training.
  • Ms Piggy of The Muppet Show often acts like this.
  • Jenna and Tracy on 30 Rock. Tracy often shows up extremely late or not at all and Jenna once locked herself in her dressing room because her niece drew a picture of her that made her look fat.
  • Batman: Parodied with Dawn Robbins from The Penguin's A Jinx:
Cquote1.svg

  Oh, what a drag it is being a famous movie star and so rich. Why doesn't anything exciting ever happen to me?

Cquote2.svg


Newspaper Comics

  • Parodied in Dilbert Comics, where a technology Prima Donna is shown to be rude but indespensible

Theatre

  • Sheridan Whiteside from The Man Who Came to Dinner.
  • Frieda Hatzfeld from Music in the Air.
  • Gussie in the musical Merrily We Roll Along. In the original play, The Prima Donna was called Althea Royce (her stage name, of course).
  • The title character in Alban Berg's opera Lulu, a renowned dancer. She feigns a fainting spell on stage when she sees her lover, Dr. Schön, in the audience with his fiancee, and refuses to continue the performance unless Dr. Schön breaks the engagement.
  • Desiree Armfeldt in A Little Night Music is a somewhat lesser version. There's only one Grande Dame in her family, and that's her mother.
  • Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street. The Ultimate Job Security which allows her to get away with this is not her talent (as she's long past her prime), but that she's the mistress of the show's sponsor. She gets over this attitude after she breaks her ankle and is forced to leave the production.

Video Games

Advertisement