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City People Eat Sushi
Eating sushi as a sign of refinement


(permanent link) added: 2011-11-18 16:01:09 sponsor: CindehQ edited by: cindehq (last reply: 2014-11-11 04:05:54)

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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!".

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.
  • 2 Broke Girls: Upper class Caroline can't believe that lower class Max hasn't tried sushi.
  • [[Ringer Andrew and Siobhan]] (millionaires) talk about losing the regular sushi meals if Andrew lost all his money.
  • 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.
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