Created By: Maklodes on July 29, 2012 Last Edited By: Maklodes on August 2, 2012
Nuked

Silly Subcontinental

A lighthearted, silly character from the Indian subcontinent (or at least subcontinental ancestry)

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Trope
Not every Indian or Pakistani is a Bollywood Nerd. An increasingly common portrayal on American television is of a flamboyant, comical character, and the trope appeared in British television earlier. Originally, this trope was probably intended as an aversion of the serious, scholarly stereotype of the Bollywood Nerd, but increasingly it has become a trope in its own right. Although a Silly Subcontinental might in some respects be a Funny Foreigner, s/he not a typical funny foreigner in the sense of having comically bizarre customs or habits. Generally, the Silly Subcontinental simply doesn't take life very seriously.

Examples

Comics

  • In Echo, the hapless Vijay is often played for laughs. He first appears in a comic sequence showing off his mixed insecurity and finickiness w/r/t women, reliably plays the Butt Monkey in all the action sequences, and suffers the crowning indignity of getting mistaken for M. Night Shyamalan.

Film

Live-Action Television

Western Animation
Community Feedback Replies: 35
  • July 29, 2012
    dragonslip
  • July 29, 2012
    abk0100
  • July 29, 2012
    abk0100
    ^^ You mean Raj, and he's a Bollywood Nerd, although he does have aspects of this.
  • July 29, 2012
    captainpat
    See zero context examples. You need to elaborate on these examples.
  • July 29, 2012
    Bisected8
    This trope's actually been around in British media for some time.

    • The Kumars At Number 42 was a parody talk show/sitcom about a British-Indian family who's Small Name Big Ego son Sanjeev did his best to run a talk show using money from his parents. He was this trope through and through.
  • July 29, 2012
    animeg3282
    close to the Asian Airhead
  • July 30, 2012
    Frank75
    What means Desi? Is this a character from a show?
  • July 30, 2012
    abk0100
  • July 30, 2012
    Jhimmibhob
    In Echo, the hapless Vijay is often played for laughs. He first appears in a comic sequence showing off his mixed insecurity and finickiness w/r/t women, reliably plays the Butt Monkey in all the action sequences, and suffers the crowning indignity of getting mistaken for M Night Shyamalan.
  • July 30, 2012
    LobsterMagnus
    • Ed Dhandapani from Scrubs is so lazy (and annoying) that Dr. Cox eventually fires him.
  • July 30, 2012
    oddity
    I'm thinking the little boy from Jessie fits into this category.
  • July 31, 2012
    Arivne
    When I saw the word Desi I thought of Desi Arnaz (AKA Ricky Ricardo on I Love Lucy).

    I've never heard of the word Desi being used in this way either.
  • July 31, 2012
    Bisected8
    I've heard it used a few times (although people usually just say "Asian" here).
  • July 31, 2012
    fulltimeD
    So far as I'm aware it's not a common term in the US except for Indian and Pakistani restaurants which frequently get named "Desi Village" or "Desi Cafe" (there are several restaurants in my own neighborhood named like this) or something similar. As a cultural term, I'm not familiar with it, but it sounds more like a UK thing than a US thing (I could be wrong, though). I had to look up what it actually means. I thought it had something to do with cuisine!
  • July 31, 2012
    animeg3282
    I know the word Desi but only because I am *awesome*
  • July 31, 2012
    Bisected8
    What about Silly South Asian?
  • July 31, 2012
    NimmerStill
    The only time I'd seen it otherwise was on "Desi Ghee". Which seems strange because it's not like there's other kinds.
  • August 1, 2012
    Routerie
    Is this about Indian doofuses, of cool Indians? This currently covers both.
  • August 1, 2012
    ManicPixieDreamGirl
    Khalil from Jonah: A Veggietales Movie
  • August 1, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Let's use a more universal word.
  • August 1, 2012
    NimmerStill
    ^I don't know, I like the alliteration. Although I guess "Indian Idiot" would have that advantage too, but it might offend some Pakistani Putzes and Bengali Bozos out there who don't want to be lumped in with Indians.
  • August 1, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Alliteration that doesn't inform is trumped by the need for clarity. If we can have both, fine, but Clear Concise Witty states what is important for names.
  • August 1, 2012
    NimmerStill
    Well Desi is a pretty easy Wiktionary lookup. Plus it teaches them while they learn!
  • August 1, 2012
    abk0100
    ^Yes, it's supposed to be "clear," but that shouldn't mean you're limited to only the most basic vocabulary

    ...Mumbai Moron?
  • August 1, 2012
    karstovich2
    Knowledge of the term "Desi" is correlated with how many Desis you know. I'm not Desi, but my high school had something like 10-20% South Asians, and I was friends with Indians, Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis, who all used the term "Desi" to refer to that collective group. It's a self-appellation and convenient, so we should consider using it.
  • August 1, 2012
    Routerie
    I think "doofus" is the bigger problem. Doofus is pretty close to geek, which is pretty close to nerd, and this trope sells itself as an aversion to Bollywood Nerd.

    Is this a trope about characters who are stupid? Or characters that are funny?
  • August 1, 2012
    fulltimeD
    @karstovich2: That explains it. I actually dated a Malaysian girl for 2 years, who was of mostly Indian descent. She never used the term though because I think she thought of herself as more Malaysian than Indian or Hindi-Malaysian or whatever. After all, Malaysia's a really diverse country.
  • August 2, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    I think Funny Foreigner covers this anyway.
  • August 2, 2012
    abk0100
    Most of the examples aren't foreigners...

    I liked Desi Doofus more, but I guess the new name works.
  • August 2, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Not too fond of either name, as India isn't necessarily thought of as "the subcontinent".
  • August 2, 2012
    LobsterMagnus
    • The German Sketch Comedy show Die Wochenshow has the Roseninder ("rose Indian"). This alludes to the odd (but sometimes Truth In Television) stereotype of Indians who are entering cafes or similar establishments in order to sell roses to the guests.
  • August 2, 2012
    NimmerStill
    "doofus" does not equal "nerd". The latter implies smartness, the former does not.
  • August 2, 2012
    LobsterMagnus
  • August 2, 2012
    abk0100
    ^^ Doofus makes me think "goofy idiot," so I thought it worked well.
  • August 2, 2012
    LobsterMagnus

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=bnmh3khuel3lylq572pca0xk&trope=DiscardedYKTTW