Created By: EternalSeptemberApril 10, 2011 Last Edited By: EternalSeptemberMarch 4, 2012

Like The Source Culture Unless Noted

Authors temporarily forget that their setting is supposed to be foreign

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Trope
A work that sometimes slips into the habits, moral values, or language quirks of the writer's native culture, even though it takes place in an existing foreign culture, or in a made-up, but explicitly foreign-themed setting.

Compare to Like Reality Unless Noted, that is an omnipresent trope, but this trope is caused by the the same thinking, applied to the entire world.

Though strictly speaking, this is not a Did Not Do The Research trope, after all, it's the writer's choice to mix the cultures in his own fictional setting however he wants to, it can still create a dissonant feeling for outside viewers, especially foreigners, who still see the culture as something "special" instead of generic.

Related to Ooh Me Accents Slipping when actors do this, and Anachronism Stew when it's an older culture that shows signs of a newer one.

In fact, accusations of Anachronism Stew in a Hollywood historical film, are often this trope at the same time, from a different perspective: For example if Ghengis Khan says a blatant americanism, the american audiences will likely see it as a perfectly "generic" saying, and only citicize the fact that it didn't exist back then, while the mongolian audience would be more concerned about Ghengis Khan talking like an american, than about the age of the saying.

Examples:

  • In Soul Eater which is set in what can only be described as a Tim Burton version of the USA, the protagonists tend to eat with chopsticks; the witches inexplicably serve their prisoners' meals with chopsticks, Dr. Stein is seen eating a bento box, etc.
Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • April 10, 2011
    Bisected8
    So this is basically when a Fantasy Counterpart Culture has a feature that the writer considers mundane but is unique to their own culture rather than the one they're basing the fictional culture off?

    In that case;

    • In Soul Eater which is set in what can only be described as a Tim Burton version of the USA, the protagonists tend to eat with chopsticks; the witches inexplicably serve their prisoners' meals with chopsticks, Dr. Stein is seen eating a bento box, etc.
  • April 10, 2011
    dalek955
    Would Aliens Speaking English be a subtrope of this?
  • April 10, 2011
    EternalSeptember
    Not if it is a Translation Convention, but yes if it's made clear that they actually speak that language.

    Also, that trope uses aliens more literally, as creatures from space, and this as a wider metaphor. Maybe I will rewrite it as Klingons Use Chopsticks.
  • April 10, 2011
    Sackett
    I think we have this one already. Something about Creator Provincialism?
  • April 12, 2011
    EternalSeptember
    Creator Provincialism is a more blatant example of setting the whole story in the writer's home without any intention of hiding it.
  • April 12, 2011
    jatay3
    Centauri in Babylon Five wear clothing style that is European(if out of fashion for generations).

  • April 12, 2011
    Glucharina
    If I understand correctly, it applies to Stargate Verse. Most notably with number of planets that are basically Earths through different moments of XX century. For example, planet Langara, recently revisited in Stargate Universe is pretty much America somewhere between forties and sixties, with little more civil liberties for everyone.
  • April 12, 2011
    EternalSeptember
    ^^ Isn't Babylon 5 American? That would make it a case of intentionally portraying the Centauri as a classical european-themed race, that is not this trope.

    ^ Maybe. I didn't watch it, but afaik it had ancient egyptian shit all around the galaxy, so, if in this galaxy, the few "more normal" planets are all copies of the USA, that is this trope.

    The part about "more civil liberties" reminded me that Politically Correct History can also be a subtrope, since it's based on creators trying to portray a past culture, starting with the appearances, but dropping at some of the sociological details.
  • April 12, 2011
    MetropolisGal
    In the pilot Battlestar Galactica remake, Commander Adama uses chopsticks to eat, when he could easily have used a fork.
  • April 12, 2011
    EternalSeptember
    Ok, renamed it, people somehow really clinged on literal aliens and literal chopsticks.
  • May 1, 2011
    bluepenguin
    Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain are made by a French company and set in the USA; they slip up on some little details, like having bathrooms that are just a shower/tub with no toilet and having electrical outlets that look like they're for European plugs.

    Is that the kind of thing you're looking for?
  • May 1, 2011
    BuckRivera
    I think this is very close to Inexplicable Cultural Ties.
  • March 4, 2012
    CrystalBlue
    Bump.

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