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Cakesniffing orphans in the orphan shack!
~ Carmelita chanting to the Baudelaires.

Carmelita Spats is an antagonist in the A Series of Unfortunate Events series, acting as the secondary antagonist of The Austere Academy. and a major antagonist in the later half of the series, as well as the second and third season of the 2017 Netflix adaptation. She is the bully of Prufrock Preparatory School and an accomplice to Count Olaf, as well as his former unofficially adopted daughter with Esmé Squalor.

She was portrayed by Kitana Turnbull in the TV series.

Biography

Carmelita Spats first appears in the fifth book in the series, where she is described by Snicket as "rude, violent and filthy." The book opens explaining that “If you were going to give a gold medal to the least delightful person on Earth, you would have to give that medal to a person named Carmelita Spats, and if you didn't give it to her, Carmelita Spats was the sort of person who would snatch it from your hands anyway.” Snicket warns that one should stay as far from Carmelita as possible, and Duncan Quagmire tells the Baudelaires that the less time a person spends with her the happier he or she will be.

Carmelita is portrayed as a bully at the Prufrock Prepatory School, where Sunny, Klaus and Violet Baudelaire board, in The Austere Academy. Showing prejudice, Carmelita bullies both the Baudalaires and the Quagmires for being orphans. She uses a staple term, "Cake-sniffers," (and once "Salad-sniffers", when Sunny falls asleep in her salad) to refer to anyone whom she holds in contempt, chiefly the Baudelaires. Her constant labelling of people as "Cake-sniffers" may be a reference to Holden Caulfield's similar usage of the word "phony", given that there are other J.D Salinger references in the series.

When Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire joined the school, Carmelita was chosen to give them a tour. When they asked who she was, she got angry and told them that everyone knew she was Carmelita Spats, "the most wonderful girl in the whole wide school". She showed them Vice Principal Nero's office first, saying that he was a genius because he liked her best. Carmelita showed them around the inside of the school and the gym court, and when they fell behind she yelled "come on, cakesniffers". When Violet asked why other students were looking at them, Carmelita replied that it was because their parents had died in a fire. During the tour, they visited the gym court, where Carmelita told them that she was allowed to make people do jumping jacks whenever she wanted because the gym teacher was coaching an away game.

They also walked past the library and Carmelita told them she didn't know what it was and she never went inside it. When Klaus told her it was clearly a library, she replied that only a "cake-sniffer" would notice something like that. Carmelita began to get impatient when the orphans started talking to the school librarian, who she didn't get on with, and urged them to hurry up. She also told them they shouldn't talk to the librarian because she apparently smelled "funny". At the end of the tour, she took them to Vice Principal Nero's office. The orphans thanked her but she said that thanking her wasn't enough and demanded a tip. When the Baudelaires refused to pay her, she kicked on the door and told Nero, who had been "practicing" his violin, that they were late.

The vice principal shouted at the orphans, then turned to Carmelita and simply thanked her for telling him. When she walked away, he said to the Baudelaires that she was "as sweet as a butterscotch buttercup". On her way down the hallway, she kicked Larry the waiter in the knee which caused him to tumble over and drop his book. Outside, she attacked another student, kicking him over and giving him a stubbed toe before shouting "I hate your face!" and running away. Afterwards, she oversaw several students doing jumping jacks in the gym court, shouting at them through a megaphone. She shouted that she had seen better jumping jacks from old people, unaware of a stranger, Count Olaf, hiding below the floorboards behind her with his troupe. After shouting that one of the other students was uglier than something she'd found in her teeth recently, she became aware of Olaf saying "little girl" from behind her. She turned around and argued that she was 4'7".

Olaf complimented her on her dress, and she responded "make me an offer". Olaf replied that he liked her, and, after making sure she wasn't an orphan, told her to meet him there after school. She brought Olaf her Brooch Carmelita then smiles evilly and nodded slowly, before turning back to the other students who had stopped jumping to listen in to her conversation. Later, Carmelita barged in front of Violet and Klaus in the lunch queue and said that she "deserved a massive portion because she was massively cute" After Violet told her to wait in line like everyone else. Carmelita asked for Larry the waiter's burrito, but Larry refused to give it to her. When he did, Carmelita yelled for two of her lackeys who came over to them and tried to convince Larry of how adorable Carmelita was.

After the Baudelaires left, Carmelita left with half of the burrito and walked over to a table with her lackeys. On the way, she stopped and turned to the Baudelaires who couldn't find a table. She told them that there was a space at her table, but quickly added "that there were no cake-sniffers allowed there". She then started chanting "Cakesniffing orphans in the orphan shack" with all of the other students chanting with her until Duncan Quagmire stood up to them by telling Carmelita that she was the only "cake-sniffer" and that "no-one in the right mind would want to sit with her in the first place". Carmelita and her lackeys scowled at them and sat down to eat. Later, Carmelita walked past the table that the Baudelaires and Quagmires were sitting at and overheard Isadora saying that "no-one liked tap dancing". Carmelita came over to them and did a short dance before saying "Cakesniffing orphans in the orphan shack" again and walking away.

Carmelita was later seen by the five orphans as they approached the library. She was being shown out of the library by the librarian after she had given her a dead mockingbird in a box. She said to the Baudelaires that "the librarian had told her she liked To Kill a Mockingbird so she had done it for her". The librarian told her that "if she continued her behavior she would call her parents and steal her shoes". Carmelita ignored her and sniffed before turning around to the orphans and saying "I smell people who lost their parents in fires". She then walked away as the librarian sighed. Carmelita soon found Larry the waiter trying to pick the lock of the library door. She told him that if she screamed, Vice Principal Nero could fire him on the spot. When Larry tried to stand up for himself she started screaming until he cut her off and asked what she wanted. Carmelita tried to take the other half of his burrito and ended up chasing him down a hallway which was witnessed by Count Olaf and the Quagmires.

Carmelita was enlisted by Olaf to voice a speech written by the count to Larry. She told him that she (really Count Olaf) was hungry for revenge and was tired of him using books and morals to defeat her (Olaf). As she continued to speak for Olaf and Larry grew increasingly confused, the count himself appeared and explained to the waiter that the last few lines had been from him. Carmelita said to "take it from the flop" and Olaf angrily corrected her saying that it was take the top, not flop. Carmelita walked away in a sulk, and as she left Olaf sarcastically said to Larry "working with kids, am I right?".

Later, Carmelita stood with Vice Principal Nero and the school's mascot (a dead horse) at the introduction of the new gym teacher, Coach Genghis. She chanted "Who can't be beat" with the rest of the school chanting back to her "A dead horse" over and over again until the vice principal showed up. After Coach Genghis (who was really Count Olaf) started a "special" workout routine for the Baudelaires, Carmelita became his assistant, being sent by Olaf to tell the orphans that he was expecting them. It is unknown whether she knew Coach Genghis' true identity but it is likely that she did as she was already working with Olaf before he disguised himself. She delivered her messages to the Baudelaires through a song each morning, arriving at the orphan shack and having several other students set up a stage for her to stand on outside the shack. The orphans judged her for her songs as they didn't rhyme but Carmelita didn't care and simply replied that only "Cake-sniffers" cared about poetic form. The third time she sang to them, Violet remarked to Klaus that she actually might have been improving but Carmelita didn't hear.

After Jacques Snicket rescued Larry from the freezer, Olaf had trapped him inside. He met Carmelita in the kitchen while carrying Larry outside. Carmelita was surprised to hear that he knew who she was, and Jacques told her he was part of an organisation that kept tabs on young people of interest. Carmelita replied that obviously she was interesting, and Jacques, who apparently knew about her secretly sniffing cakes at night, told her "I believe it takes one to know one, cake-sniffer" before he and Larry left a confused Carmelita standing in the kitchen.

While searching for tools in the cafeteria together, the Baudelaires and Quagmires had to stop when Carmelita suddenly came in. She tried to reach a glass case containing a cake but couldn't reach and had to stand on a bucket. She then opened the case, smelled the cake, and stuck her face in it (HA! She is a Cake-Sniffer herself!). When she took her face out it was covered in frosting and she sneezed loudly. The Baudelaires and Quagmires could barely hold in their laughter until Carmelita left.

Later, Carmelita attended the assembly in which Violet, Sunny and Klaus would be tested in front of the whole school. Carmelita, along with two of Olaf's henchwomen, managed to start a chant saying that "they would flunk" but they were silenced and surprised to see that the orphans actually passed their tests. After Olaf was exposed and escaped and both the Baudelaires and Quagmires were taken away, Carmelita stayed at the school but what happened to her after is unknown.

In the twelfth novel in the A Series of Unfortunate Events collection, The Penultimate Peril, Carmelita's spoiled attitude appears to have to have been exacerbated under the care of Esmé Squalor. Her attire is as eccentric as in The Grim Grotto; this time she dresses as a "ballplaying cowboy superhero soldier pirate" for the duration of the book. Count Olaf becomes increasingly tired of her attitude and violently knocks her to the floor, ending their already tenuous relationship. She is abandoned at the Hotel Denouement, along with Esmé, towards the end of the book, and it is unknown if she survived the fire that had been set at the hotel; the narration implies that even if she did survive the fire, she never again met the Baudelaires. The fact that she had an autobigrophay published as revealed in Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography indicates that she survived the fire in the books, although her TV show counterpart's fate is less certain.

Carmelita submits a book about how wonderful she believes herself to be as evidence in a trial against Count Olaf. It is implied earlier that Carmelita herself published this book, entitled Carmelita Spats, Me: The Completely Authorized Autobiography of the Prettiest, Smartest, Most Darling Girl in the Whole Wide World; an excerpt from Page 793 detailing her misguided encounter with a V.F.D. librarian appears in Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography where it is listed as having been published by Spoiled Brat Press.

Carmelita's Presumed Death

It is possible she died in the Hotel Denouement fire as she never made an appearance after The Penultimate Peril.

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Appearance

In the TV Series, Carmelita is a light-skinned curly ginger haired girl with freckles who wears a lot of pink, usually wearing a dress and pink tap shoes. She has blue eyes and is seen either wearing a big pink bow or two small pink bows in her hair. She is 4'7" tall. She uses to wear a silver/red brooch, but she gave it to Olaf so he could disquise himself.

In the novel, she still has ginger hair and light skin, but she is shorter in the series, and her hair is slightly different. She also wears a different outfit.

Personality

Carmelita was a nasty, haughty, snobby and self-absorbed girl who cares about nobody except herself. She demanded respect and reverence for herself, insulting the Baudelaires and Quagmires by calling them "cake-sniffers" when in reality she was the one who secretly sneaked into the cafeteria at night to sniff cakes. Carmelita always acted as if she was the center of the universe and the entire world revolved around her. Her spoiled personality made her show no respect to teachers or her elders, nor to anyone else in the world around her.

Lemony Snicket described Carmelita as being a rude, violent and filthy little girl, and stated that if you were you give a medal to the least delightful person in the world, you would have to give that medal to Carmelita Spats. He also mentioned that she was the sort of person who would take the medal from you, even if you didn't intend for her to receive it. Lemony said it was a shame he had to describe Carmelita Spats, as there were enough ghastly and distressing things in the Baudelaires' lives without even mentioning such an unpleasant person. Finally, he warned the reader that one should stay as far away as possible from Carmelita Spats.

Isadora Quagmire once wrote a poem about Carmelita Spats: "I'd rather eat a bowl of vampire bats than spend an hour with Carmelita Spats." Duncan Quagmire stated to the Baudelaires that the less time one spent with Carmelita Spats, the happier they would be. Also, according to Duncan, Mrs. Bass was considering a life of crime due to Carmelita's unpleasantness, which technically made Carmelita responsible for Bass eventually becoming a bank robber. Carmelita hated being called a little girl and seemed to have possibly had a height complex, getting offended when Larry Your-Waiter, Count Olaf and Arthur Poe called her "little girl".

She is incredibiy self-centered, but most adults seem uncaring of her attitude. Vice Principal Nero encouraged her behavior and believed her to be a darling little girl, while Esmé seems unaware of these traits or even is implied to adore them, spoiling and fussing over Carmelita, of which Olaf highly disapproves. Olaf seems rather annoyed by her, as he is used to having things his own way, and it comes as a blow when Esmé seems more interested in Carmelita's needs. When Esmé was convincing Carmelita to join them, she tells her, "You'll be the adoptive daughter we never had", while looking at the Baudelaires in a mean way. Even though Olaf is less fond of Carmelita, and this dislike grows through the series, both he and Esmé seem to bend to Carmelita's every whim. He is persuaded to name his submarine the Carmelita after she says the Olaf  is a "cakesniffing" name. He also renamed his boat from the Count Olaf to the Carmelita.

Carmelita's Family

The † symbol means that a person is deceased.

  • Mr. Spatz † (Biological Father)
  • Mrs. Spatz † (Biological Mother)
  • Bruce (Uncle)
  • Count Olaf † (Adoptive Father; Formerly)
  • Esmé Squalor (Adoptive Mother)

Trivia

  • She often calls people whom she deems to be lesser than herself (of which there are many) "Cake-sniffers", which Mr. Poe takes as a joke. In the books, it is never explained what "cake-sniffer" means. It may refer to cake being an expensive luxury the Baudelaires are too poor to afford, so all they can do is sniff cake from a distance. It may also relate to the saying "Let them eat cake" which the Baudelaires hear in the next book.
    • The TV series, however, implies that the phrase is literal, seeing as how Carmelita sneaks into the Prufrock kitchen to sniff cake. It seems logical to assume that there is a school rumor of a literal cake-sniffer sniffing cakes when no one else is around, and Carmelita constantly says the phrase to deter suspicion about her being the culprit.
  • She is possibly a member of the VFD.
  • She filled the role of Olaf's chief ally/accomplice in The Austere Academy.
  • In the TV series, Carmelita and Count Olaf make an allegiance. She also wears a red broach, with her pink dress, that Count Olaf takes as part of his Coach Genghis disguise.
  • It is revealed in the TV series that she is lactose intolerant.
  • As part of the promotional material for the series, Carmelita used to appear prominently on the series' social media accounts, particularly Instagram.

Navigation

           Lemony Snicket signature.png Villains

Count Olaf's Theater Troupe
Count Olaf (2017) | Esmé Squalor | Hook-Handed Man | Henchperson of Indeterminate Gender | White-Faced Women | Bald Man | Carmelita Spats | Hugo, Colette & Kevin | Wart-Faced Man | The Man With a Beard But No Hair | The Woman With Hair But No Beard

Inhumane Society
Hangfire | Ellington Feint | Dr. Flammarion | Nurse Dander | Stew Mitchum | Sharon Haines

Other
Dr. Georgina Orwell | Sir | Vice Principal Nero | Ernest Denouement | Ishmael | Bombinating Beast

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