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Lunch lady is an American slang term for a woman who cooks and serves food in a school cafeteria. The equivalent British English term is "dinner lady" and is sometimes called a cafeteria lady. Sometimes, a dinner lady also patrols the school playgrounds during the lunch breaks to maintain order.
Lunch ladies in popular culture
- Miss Beazley from the Archie Comics franchise is a lunchlady.
- In The Muppet Show, Gladys serves as the cafeteria lady for the Muppet Theater's canteen. In Season Four, Gladys is replaced by Winny.
- Dinnerladies is a British sitcom about dinner ladies, although set in an office complex rather than a school.
- Lunchlady Doris is a lunch lady from The Simpsons.
- Adam Sandler on Saturday Night Live performed a song called "Lunch Lady Land" and accompanying skit with Chris Farley dressed up as a stereotypical lunch lady. The song appeared on Sandler's album They're All Gonna Laugh at You!.
- The Lunch Lady: A Documentary, directed by Leslie Mello, chronicles the story of Sharon Adl Doost, who garnered notoriety for her daily "menu hotline" recordings at the U.S. Geological Survey cafeteria.
- The school lunch lady plays a key role in the plot of "Earshot", an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- Rosa Petitjean is a fictional lunch lady of Kadic Junior High School in the French animated television series Code Lyoko.
- Edna is the highly unhygienic lunch lady for Bullworth Academy in the video game Bully. She often coughs, sneezes, and blows cigarette smoke on any food she prepares, believing it "adds flavor." She also is unconcerned about the opinions of health inspectors.
- The band The Darkness has a song named "Dinner Lady Arms" on their album One Way Ticket to Hell... And Back.
- "Lunch Lady Rose" is a psychic lunch lady in the Nickelodeon TV series Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide.
- Ms. Sara Macgrady, the lunch lady for Lakewood Elementary School in the TV show Arthur.
- Denise Martin, a contestant on Survivor: China.
- In the Nickelodeon animated television series, Danny Phantom, the first villain that appears is the Lunch Lady Ghost (voiced by Patricia Heaton in the first appearance, Kath Soucie in later appearances). She does not like any changes the cafeteria's meat-based menu and can also control food (namely meat), to the point of forming it around herself as a giant meat monster.
- In the series Johnny Test, one of Johnny's enemies is a lunch lady.
- In the film "Scranna Nannas", by ACT 2 CAM, the dinner ladies are sent to see a psychiatrist when they ask for a pay raise.
- Jarrett J. Krosoczka wrote and illustrated a Lunch Lady series of children's graphic novels beginning with Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute in 2009; a Universal Studios movie based on the series will feature Amy Poehler in the lead role.
- Brown, Scott (October 9, 1998). "Flashes: Hot Lunch". Entertainment Weekly.
- Krosoczka, Jarrett (2009). Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 978-0-375-84683-0.
- Pfarrer, Steve (February 5, 2012). "Mass. children's writer flourishes after setbacks". Daily Hampshire Gazette. Retrieved February 19, 2013.