The Angelica and The Lucy: The Atypical and Special Needs Answer to the Karen Trope.

Christina Bishop
3 min readNov 23, 2020

So many of Hollywood’s trope makers have been made by people who are lacking when it comes to neurodiversity in writing rooms. Some rely on toxic tropes and ideas they should have never learned in school or in media in general such as Flowers for Algernon, Rainman, Glee, Big Bang Theory, Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Others treat autism or any special ed issue as a token, or a special episode like it was the 80’s or 90’s when it should be an anything issue rather than a sometimes issue. This is why Sesame Street’s episode Meet Julia should not only be an exception to writers of children’s media but the rule and dismantler of toxic tropes that do harm not only to people on the spectrum but to special ed children who fear talking about their difficulties and mental health to parents, friends, teachers, doctors, therapist, and other people who they need to trust to build a healthy life and safety net. Because the Karen trope has brought attention to elitism, discrimination, and segregation of colored communities and immigrants. I think it’s time we as a community talk about two trope makers.

The Lucy

“The Whole Solar System Needs Reajustising”-Lucy Van Pelt

Lucy thinks everyone has issues except herself and when she does something or says something it’s with no regret or even acknowledgment for a person’s struggle, and she continues to do things and say things people do not like because she thinks it’s good. She thinks metal issues can be solved with a verbal hammer or it’s your fault when actual psychology has changed so much since the syndication and publishing of Peanuts in 1950, says that depression and anxiety in someone like Charlie Brown need to be treated with self-ownership and acceptance. If Lucy were an adult she would hold many positions of power that force a culture of toxic competition, equal pay, sick breaks, metal beaks, or accommodations? Not with Lucy! Real-life Lucy’s include.

  • Butch Hartman-Animator and Faith Healer
  • DeAnne Stidham-CEO of LuLaRoe
  • Ivanka Trump
  • Abby Lee-Dance Moms
  • John Waters- Ohio State Band Director

The Angelica

No, it’s not a reference to Angelica Pickles from Rugrats, and unlike the stubborn, unthoughtful, and boomer background of Lucys. Angelicas are wealthy neuro-typical women who not only make parents ashamed and fearful of their child’s diagnosis; but also manipulate parents into dangerous practices of homeopathic medicines, therapies that pander to the parent's needs and expectations but not the child, and stoke the fears of parents and teachers without talking to someone who is on the spectrum or special ed. They profit off of misinformation, fawn over disability porn, they are most likely to suggest cures for Autism, never cracked the resent DSMB, and say things like, “I know how you feel — is Autistic” “Why haven’t you done something about — problem?” “Your kids a genius why can’t my kid do that?”. Angelicas are not in the best interest of children unless they fit their mold or a stereotypical mold of a disability that is familiar to them which is why Angelicas love Sheldon and exploit characters like Julia because it does not fit their ideas of what a person on the spectrum is or what a supportive parent of an Autistic or Special Ed looks like based in reality, not a TV show. Real-life examples are…

  • Jenny Mc Carthy
  • Angela Geiger- CEO of Autism Speaks
  • Judith Newman- New York Times Writer



Christina Bishop

Tuba player, creator of Struwwelkinder and The Flying Circus Orchestra