Notorious and nosy, the Karen is the self-victimized villain of our times. We can recognize a Karen by her “soccer-mom” look, her entitled meltdowns, or her signature demand to “speak to your manager.” All the attention on the Karen has felt sudden, as if this new entry into our cultural lexicon has come out of nowhere to match our current moment. But looking back over the years, we can find many fictional Karen predecessors in film & TV who can give us insight into her deeper drives and pathologies. So who is the Karen, really? Here’s our take on how the Karen came to exist in a world that detests her, and why -- while we can pity her -- her struggles still don’t excuse the pain she inflicts.