Sweatpant Elves
Fantastic character has a very unstereotypic accent/demeanor


(permanent link) added: 2011-06-02 18:44:09 sponsor: Earnest edited by: CaveCat (last reply: 2014-04-24 09:17:17)

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Possible titles: Corny Unicorn, Fantasy Creature From Philly, Creature With Unexpected Accent, Sweatpant Elves, Unicahn, Unicoyne.

The stereotype is that elves, unicorns, robots, aliens, vampires and other fantasy and science fiction creatures to be otherworldly, dignified, or even terrifying. Well, this fantasy or scifi creature subverts the expectation by having a Characterization very much at odds with their stereotyped racial "Hat". For example, instead of a snobbish elf you get a slob, the werewolf isn't a woodsy Beast Man but instead a scholar of refinement, and rather than a whimsical and lyrical she-unicorn this one acts as if he were from the common parts of Boston. If the hero asks why they're not living up to their respective trope, they'll get a response like "You expected me to be like in the comic books/fairy tales? Just when you think a meat-bag can't get any dumber..." If there's an actual explanation, it's that living under The Masquerade and among humans for long enough has rubbed off, and that Lots of Planets Have a North.

...or it's all just an affectation for the fun of it, which is why this is usually Played for Laughs. However, if characters take this to mean that the creature isn't a threat or powerful, they're likely to discover it's Obfuscating Stupidity and the creature is every bit as dangerous or powerful as the stories make out.

Compare A Form You Are Comfortable With.


Examples:

Advertisement
  • The Coca Cola ad for "El Hada Futbolera", or "The Soccer Fairy," a guy fairy who is more stereotypically a soccer hooligan than delicate sprite.

Anime & Manga

Comic Books

Film
  • The talking cat in the film adaptation of The Last Unicorn spoke with a pirate accent, of all things.
  • Paul has the titular alien voice acted by Seth Rogen playing to his goofy and crude type.
  • Shrek's Scottish accent.
  • Phil the Satyr in Disney's Hercules, voiced by Danny DeVito.
  • Mushu from Mulan, a Chinese dragon who sounds like... well, Eddie Murphy. His street-smart lingo is hilariously out of place, especially in his intro scene where he's surrounded by grim elderly spirits.
  • In It's a Wonderful Life, Clarence the 2nd class Angel has a very unangelic demeanor, since he's a 17th century New England shopkeeper trying to earn his wings.
  • In Elf, Buddy the elf has a very elf-like demeanor, but doesn't look like an elf - because he isn't, he's Obliviously Adopted.

Literature
  • In the children's book Cold Cereal, Mick the leprechaun wears a red tracksuit instead of green. And Harvey, his rabbit friend, wears a button down shirt, a tie, and a pair of slacks. Additionally, Biggs the nanny is Bigfoot, and he wears regular clothes and calls the children he takes care of "his babies." He zig-zags this trope by still living in a forest-reserve park in a tree, but the tree house in question is well decorated inside with 60s decor and clean.
  • Discworld has lots of examples:
    • Hwel is a dwarf playwright who is the Disc's equivalent of Shakespeare.
    • Casanunda is a sophisticated, womanising dwarf who claims to be the world's greatest lover.
    • "John Smith" is a vampire, president of the blood-abstinence group the Black Ribboners, who changed his name from Count Vargo St Gruet von Vilinus, affects a perfectly normal accent, and dresses as blandly and un-vampirically as possible.
    • The goblins are an entire species of this, in-universe - humans tend to assume they're dirty, stupid creatures, but they're highly intelligent and technologically and artistically capable.
  • The Spellsinger series of humorous fantasy has several examples; the population of Funny Animals and mythical creatures all are generally subversions of the expected fantasy types. This ranges from style (Mudge the Otter is a womanizing rogue with a cockney accent) to type (the mighty Clothahump the wizard is an unassuming turtle, Drom the unicorn is immune to virgins because he's homosexual, a dragon has discovered Marxist philosophy, the worst pirate on the seas is actually a parrot)...

Video Games
  • Fawkes in Fallout 3 is an inversion of this trope, he's an erudite Super Mutant, a race known for their Hulk Speak and somewhat low IQ's.
  • The Zeekeeper in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team is built up to be an ancient majestic avian protector of Pi'illo Island. When the brothers awaken him, he speaks in the Classical Tongue, with lines like "Those who hinder me will become one with the light." However, after Luigi defeat him, it's revealed his real manner of speaking is one of a Totally Radical Jive Turkey. Obviously done for the Rule of Funny, along with his overall attitude.
  • BlazBlue: Unlike the other Cat Girls in the universe in the game, Kokonoe is a brainy, ruthless Mad Scientist.

Web Animation
  • The Grape Fairie in Homestar Runner has a gruff New York accent which completely clashes with his ballerina-esque appearance.

Web Comics

Web Original
  • Charlie the Unicorn is giving the provisional trope name. At least... I think he has a Boston accent, I'm not a good judge of these things.
  • A staple in Acquisitions Incorporated: Chris Perkins loves giving his NPCs weird accents, such as the Surfer Dude Rad from "The Prisoners of Slaughterfast" or the redneck-sounding unicorn from "Ark of the Mad Mage".

Western Animation
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