Created By: CindehQNovember 18, 2011 Last Edited By: CindehQJune 5, 2015
Troped

City People Eat Sushi

Eating sushi as a sign of refinement

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Trope
Just like a distaste for vegetables (particularly Brussels sprouts) is often associated with children, fiction has a tendency to portray those who have not or refuse to eat sushi as either uncultured or old fashioned. This is especially common in stories where people from the country or small towns are taken out to eat by their city mouse friends, only to be disturbed that they're being fed uncooked fish; whether we sympathize with them depends on the writer. Also expect them to accidentally eat too much wasabi, usually by mistaking it for guacamole. In contrast, liberal upper-middle class 20-somethings adore sushi, atleast according to sitcom land. And finally, expect no one to mention that California rolls, which are served at all sushi places, contain no raw fish.

This trope's existence is likely because sushi falls in a grey area as far as "foreign food" goes in America. Its preparation is still considered strange enough to (believably) alienate some Westerners, yet its mainstream enough that calling it foreign queasine would be considered silly (atleast in America). This trope would not work, for example, if we replaced "sushi" with balut.


Examples

Advertising

  • The anti-Howard Dean political advert had "sushi-eating" among the other liberal epithets (you know, "latte-drinking", "Volvo-driving" and so on).

Film

  • The Breakfast Club: Rich girl Clair eats sushi for lunch and bad boy Bender thinks it's disgusting.
  • Averted in Repo Man: when the punk crooks are thinking of something criminal-ey to do, one suggests "Let's get sushi — and not pay!".
  • In You've Got Mail sushi is mentioned by the yuppie newspaper columnist as what dinner's gonna be. His bookstore owner girlfriend repeats "Sushi!" with a mix of surprise and approval.

Live Action TV

  • As a general rule, sushi is often seen as the food of yuppies. Thus expect any sitcom about single, upper-to-middle-class white people to have an episode where they all go out to eat sushi.
  • Two Broke Girls: Upper class Caroline can't believe that lower class Max hasn't tried sushi.
  • The Nanny: Fran is taken out for sushi for the first time and eats a lot of wasabi, because she's told it's "like mustard" and she loves mustard. It knocks her on the floor, and temporarily opens her sinuses.

Western Animation

  • Cars 2: At a party in Tokyo, Mater mistakes wasabi for pistachio ice-cream and asks for a big heaping scoop. He then embarrasses himself by rushing to a fountain to wash off the burning sensation off his mouth.
  • Arthur: Francine's sister makes the family go to a sushi restaurant because she won the Coin Toss to decide what to do on family night. Francine complains that the fish isn't cooked, and then puts a big heap of "guacamole" on hers in the hopes of making it taste better. Then tries to wash her mouth out with a bottle of soy sauce.

Video Games

  • Civilization Four: Beyond the Sword Sid Sushi Co while giving less food when incorporated than Cereal Mills gives a good amount of culture per turn.

Real Life

  • When the Israeli Occupy protests started, David Amar, the mayor of the Israeli town Nesher said dismissed the protesters, saying, 'There's no protest, Bibi,note everyone on Rothschild Avenuenote got their hookahs and sushi.' Soon, 'hookahs and sushi' became a symbol for a condescending, dismissive view of the movement in Israel.
  • Truth In Television: The availability of sushi depends heavily on proximity to the ocean and the network of highways, rivers, and air travel needed to get sushi to the places it is eaten. Coastal locations and transportation hubs are also the nature location of bustling cities.
Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • November 18, 2011
    robybang
    Two Broke Girls: Upper class Caroline can't believe that lower class Max hasn't tried sushi.
  • November 18, 2011
    CharacterInWhite
    Ringer: Andrew and Siobhan (millionaires) talk about losing the regular sushi meals if Andrew lost all his money.
  • November 18, 2011
    HiddenFacedMatt
    Vague wording much? @ laconic
  • November 18, 2011
    randomsurfer
    The Nanny: Fran is taken out for sushi for the first time and eats a lot of wasabi, because she's told it's "like mustard" and she loves mustard. It knocks her on the floor, and temporarily opens her sinuses.
  • November 19, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    That anti-Howard Dean political advert had "sushi-eating" among the other liberal epithets (you know, "latte-drinking", "Volvo-driving" and so on).
  • November 19, 2011
    TonyG
    Cars 2: At a party in Tokyo, Mater mistakes wasabi for pistachio ice-cream and asks for a big heaping scoop. He then embarrasses himself by rushing to a fountain to wash off the burning sensation off his mouth.
  • November 23, 2011
    Nasrudith
    Civilization Four: Beyond the Sword Sid Sushi Co while giving less food when incorporated than Cereal Mills gives a good amount of culture per turn.
  • November 23, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    Have a hat.
  • November 23, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Arthur: Francine's sister makes the family go to a sushi restaurant because she won the Coin Toss to decide what to do on family night. Francine complains that the fish isn't cooked, and then puts a big heap of "guacamole" on hers in the hopes of making it taste better. Then tries to wash her mouth out with a bottle of soy sauce.
  • November 30, 2011
    Frank75
    Often said to be the typical yuppie food.
  • January 9, 2012
    JimCambias
    Averted in Repo Man: when the punk crooks are thinking of something criminal-ey to do, one suggests "Let's get sushi -- and not pay!"
  • March 8, 2012
    NateTheGreat
    In Youve Got Mail sushi is mentioned by the yuppie newspaper columnist as what dinner's gonna be. His bookstore owner girlfriend repeats "Sushi!" with a mix of surprise and approval.
  • March 8, 2012
    pawsplay
    Truth In Television: The availability of sushi depends heavily on proximity to the ocean and the network of highways, rivers, and air travel needed to get sushi to the places it is eaten. Coastal locations and transportation hubs are also the nature location of bustling cities.
  • March 8, 2012
    mdulwich
    Another point about the characterisation of sushi as raw fish: not only can sushi contain cooked fish, it can be made with no fish at all (it's actually the rice part that makes it sushi and vegetarian sushi is perfectly common) - another reason why people who reject sushi because they think it means raw fish Did Not Do The Research.
  • March 8, 2012
    pawsplay
    That's a good point, most people are thinking of sushi-sashimi when they hear "sushi".
  • November 10, 2014
    DAN004
    Of course, this doesn't happen in Japanese media.
  • November 11, 2014
    SvartiKotturinn
    When the Israeli Occupy protests started, David Amar, the mayor of the Israeli town Nesher said dismissed the protesters, saying, 'There's no protest, Bibi,note  everyone on Rothschild Avenuenote  got their hookahs and sushi.' Soon, 'hookahs and sushi' became a symbol for a condescending, dismissive view of the movement in Israel.

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