Created By: Dutchtica on May 8, 2013

Alien name, Ireland

When an alien or timetraveller lists their home, and handwaves it by saying it's something foreign

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Trope
Humanoid Alien comes to Earth and states he's from the city of Zanzom. People look at him in confusion until he goes "It's in ... Germany." This is perfectly acceptable for the people in universe, because we all know that foreign places have weird names.

Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • May 8, 2013
    foxley
    Several times in Doctor Who, the Doctor says that he is from Gallifrey only to have someone else think that it is in Ireland.
  • May 8, 2013
    Chabal2
    Animorphs: When Ax is caught in human form by Cassie's dad, he basically weirds him out by listing various countries he might be from (Ax just read an almanac), until her dad says he'll go with Canada. "Then I am from Canada. I am Canadese."
  • May 8, 2013
    TonyG
    The Coneheads from Saturday Night Live claim to be from France to explain their pointed heads and Expospeak.
  • May 8, 2013
    Duncan
    On The Fairly Oddparents, Prince Mark Chang from the planet Yuggopotamia is believed by those outside The Masquerade to be an exchange student from "Europe".
  • May 8, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Accidentally tagged this "Already Have?" when I meant "Better Name."

    Though I could've sworn we had something like this where aliens claim to be foreigners, but I couldn't find it.
  • May 8, 2013
    Duncan
    I think it may be a subtrope of Wildcard Excuse.
  • May 8, 2013
    TheMightyHeptagon
    Couldn't you just call it "We are from France" as a nod to the Coneheads?
  • May 8, 2013
    Dutchtica
    Martian from France then?
  • May 8, 2013
    Larkmarn
    "Mars City, France" mayhap?
  • May 8, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    The Made-For-TV-Movie Stepsister From Planet Weird used this excuse. Cosmo Cola and his daughter Ariel are really from the planet of Zircalon, but when Cosmo is asked where he's from, he says he's from the Yukon. This gets Played For Laughs twice with a Cutaway Gag showing Yukon as a frozen waste, "Population: Low", and that other characters incredulously respond "No one lives in Yukon".

    I'd compare this trope to Aliens In Cardiff, where they simply land in a far-off place but don't claim to be from there.
  • May 8, 2013
    TonyG
  • May 8, 2013
    AgProv
    Literature

    In Douglas Adams' H 2 G 2, witness the name chosen by Guide researcher Ford Prefect. However, he claimed to be from Guildford, one of many, many, anonymous identikit commuter towns surrounding London, and not from Betelgeuse.

    This also doubly subverts a Real Life speculation by charismatic astronomer Carl Sagan. He speculated on what evidence of intelligent life an alien observer might actually see on the surface of the planet Earth (as a mind-game about detecting extraterrestrial life). He concluded that one of two scenarios involved the hypothetical alien looking at, say, North America, and observing wheeled lifeforms moving with purpose along regularly-formed migration routes. These wheeled lifeforms would be observed to have a parasitical, less intelligent, species exploiting them for ease of movement between its nests which spring up at irregular intervals along the wheelways). We are told that Ford Prefect did only cursory research before arriving on Earth and took his name out of a fundamental misunderstanding...
  • May 8, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Literature

    Played with in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe: when Lucy first enters Narnia through the strange interworld portal in the old professor's wardrobe closet, she tells Tumnus the Faun that she came from the "wardrobe in the spare room". Tumnus says he's never heard of "Spare Oom" or the land of "War Drobe", but accepts this at face value nonetheless.
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