Created By: Unknown Troper on January 20, 2008
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I Was A Surgeon Back Home

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I've seen this a few times: Whenever there's a foreigner who's a janitor/plumber/other mediocre job, they tend to mention that "In old country, I was neurogeneticist (or some other fancy job)."
Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • January 20, 2008
    Lumbargo
    Heroes: In the graphic novels, when Mohinder turns up searching for his dad, his quest leads him to a taxi firm. "Dad was working here? But he was a genetecist!" "Hey, back in Russia, I was one of the top-ranked ballerinas. In America, I'm a taxi Dispatch. Want a job?"
  • January 20, 2008
    Patsy
  • January 20, 2008
    AirHadoken
    Family Guy again: one of the fishermen employed on Peter's boat claimed that (details are hazy and I can't verify this but this is what I recall) back in Portugal he was a proctologist.
  • January 20, 2008
    EponymousKid
    A cardiologist, actually.
  • January 21, 2008
    JethroQWalrustitty
    Yep, unfortunate case of Truth In Television.
  • January 21, 2008
    VampireBuddha
    Definitely Truth In Television; I've seen this first-hand.
  • January 21, 2008
    Gizensha
    Boy Meets World had a partial subversion. Eric took a job as a security guard instead of trying to do his SA Ts again to get into college. His partner turned out to have been an engineer in wherever he came from, Eric asked him why he was reading the SAT prep book. The response was along the lines of "So that I can let this country know I am an engineer."
  • February 3, 2008
    Prfnoff
  • February 3, 2008
    Seanette
    Truth In Television here too: friend of mine got a medical degree in her native Romania. She's now either studying to be an audiologist or has completed her classes (can't recall which).
  • February 3, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Truthin Television for me too. An accountant from Liberia.
  • February 4, 2008
    Patsy
    Fictional example: The father in The Kite Runner was a noble, well-to-do politician in Afghanistan, but emigrated to America to become a petrol station attendant.
  • February 4, 2008
    GuesssWho
    /GAS station. ;)
  • February 4, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Wern't the two "wild and crazy guys" from SNL supposed to have been brain surgeons back in chechoslovakia?
  • February 4, 2008
    Kilyle
    I like Worthless Foreign Degree. Gets to the point, easy to understand, even if not everybody necessarily had a degree to qualify for the trope. E.g., a prince in some tiny country who ends up working as a janitor over here, or what.
  • February 5, 2008
    JethroQWalrustitty
    @Kilyle: Actually, I think I once read about, was it a East European monarch, that a journalist found working as a streetsweep after WWI.
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