Troublesome is said to be a girl from Ozarker folklore who, according to Constance and Forbearance Pritchard, is "born to trouble and named for trouble, for trouble is what she is. No boy will court her. No man will marry her. And wherever she goes, trouble follows." The Pritchards also claim that "no one wants their daughter to be Troublesome, but some say, there has to be a Troublesome, or there might be far worse."
Troublesome vexes, Troublesome woes,
Troublesome's trouble wherever she goes.
Troublesome's wicked, high-headed, and vain,
Troublesome's awful, a trial and a pain.
Troublesome's misery, misfortune and malady,
Troublesome's dangerous, doleful calamity.
Troublesome's reckless, ruthless, and bold,
Troublesome never minds, nor does as told.
Troublesome's stubborn, but brave as can be,
Troublesome stays when others would flee.
When trouble's afoot, and all ills are set free,
Troublesome's finally where she ought to be.
Troublesome possesses traits that counterbalance those of Responsible. Stories involving the juxtaposition of Troublesome and Responsible, however, are held by some to be later additions from after the Ozarkers "took the Road West."
When Forbearance Pritchard compiled Alex's astrological chart, she discovered that Alex was born under "an Ozarker constellation" that represented "Troublesome's sign." The Pritchards later informed Alex that they had been instructed by "the Grannies" to conduct a ritual to magically Name her Troublesome, thereby gaining her recognition as such by the Parliament of Stars.
Troublesome appears in many Ozarker legends:
- "Troublesome smart-mouths one of the Dreadly Powers, so he punishes her by giving her his job." "In one version" of the story, the Dreadly Power "was Death," "but there was another version where it's Mischief."
- "Troubles plays a riddle game with a naiad. A boat full of people escapes while she's distracting it, but then they all drown anyway because she messed with a naiad in the first place."
- "Troublesome turns a bunch of Muggles into dwarves, creating some kind of ugly hill clan that's been the enemy of Ozarkers ever since."
- "Troublesome creates a plague of clockwork bugs that carry off all the food in the hollers just before winter. But she saves everyone from stavation by going to the Indian Territories and bringing back some corn maidens."
- "Troublesome goves to a dance she wasn't invited to and shows her ankles, which causes all kinds of trouble even though everyone makes a point of saying how unpretty she is."
- Alexandra Quick and the Thorn Circle (mentioned)
- Alexandra Quick and the Lands Below (mentioned)
- Alexandra Quick and the Deathly Regiment (mentioned)
- Alexandra Quick and the Stars Above