Created By: Surenity on November 3, 2011 Last Edited By: Arivne on May 11, 2014
Troped

Vot Ocksent?

Someone with a very thick accent is unaware that they have an accent.

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Trope
Alternate Titles (redirects): What Accent, Oblivious To The Accent

(Something I just thought of after seeing it in a couple places.)

A character with a thick accent, when misunderstood by someone else with a different accent, may either deny that they're speaking in an accent or be totally oblivious to it. This can lead to huge and humorous misunderstandings.


Examples

Comic Books

Film
  • Gussie Mausheimer from An American Tail has Elmuh Fudd Syndwome, and pronounces the word "rally" as "wowie". After Honest John asks what a "wowie" is and she explains it to him, he figures out that she meant "rally". She replies irritably "Zats vhat I said! A wowie!"
  • The Pink Panther Strikes Again. Inspector Clouseau (who has a thick French accent) is in Bavaria and goes to a hotel.
Clouseau: Tell me, do you have a room?
Desk Clerk: I do not know what a "reum" is.
Inspector Clouseau: [looks up "room" in his phrase book] Zimmer (German for "room").
Desk Clerk: Ah! A room!
Clouseau: That is what I have been saying, you idiot.
  • In My Cousin Vinny, Vinny mentions to the court that these "two yoots", beginning a round of where the judge finally gets him to say, "youths".
  • In one scene in Bloodbath At The House Of Death, Dr Lukas Mandeville, who normally speaks English without any foreign accent, lapses into a strong German accent. When another character points this out, he replies "I am not speaking in zis German accent!"
  • Young Frankenstein. Inspector Kemp tries to cool down a a group of villagers that want to go after Frederick Frankenstein.
Kemp: I think before we go around killing people, we had better make damn sure of our evidence. Und we had better confirm the fact that young Frankenstein is indeed vollowing in his grandfather's vootstaps.
Villagers: What?
Kemp: Vollowing in his grandfather's vootstaps. Vootstaps! Vootstaps! [stamps feet]
Villagers: Oh, footsteps.
  • Ghostbusters 2
    Venkman: Just where are you from, anyway?
    Janosz: De upper vest side?

Live-Action TV
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus
    • Episode 34 ("Cycling Tour). Mr. Pither goes to the British Consulate in Smolensk and finds that the British Consul is a Chinese man with a strong accent.
    "British Consul": We Blitish here in Smolensk velly intellested in clicket.
    Mr. Pither: Oh, cricket?
    "British Consul": No, no...you not speak English velly well. Not clicket - clicket...clicketty click...clicket.
  • Get Smart
    • Max's archenemy the Claw, who pronounces it "craw."
    Smart: Well, if it isn't my old enemy the Craw.
    Claw: Not Craw! Craw!
    • One episode had a CONTROL agent be revealed to be a CHAOS agent, after which, he started speaking with an accent. When Max mentioned it, he insisted he was speaking normally and had been speaking with an accent while undercover.
  • On an episode of The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Carlos Mencia told a story of how his brother couldn't understand people with a Canadian accent, and said "I can't unersand zees people's assent, they need to learn to speak Enlish" [sic] in a heavy Mexican accent.

Web Animation
  • Hayk Manukyan
    • In an episode of his Harut series, the Armenian-accented Harut pulls up to a drive-through window and asks for a number twelve, pronouncing it "twerve". This leads to a huge misunderstanding, with Harut screaming "Vhy you no understand?!"
    • In his vlog, Hayk tells a (probably fake) story about how he got in trouble while returning a VCR to a store because the way he said "as a matter of fact" came out sounding like "as motter focked", and couldn't understand why everyone got so upset. When the problem is traced to his accent, he replies "Vot ocksent?"

Web Comics
  • Order Of The Stick. Roy proofreads Durkon's letter to a high priest, written in the dwarfish Scottish-esque accent. When told he doesn't need to transcribe it, Durkon just asks "my what now?"?

Western Animation
  • One episode of King of the Hill has an incident told by various people. When it's Boomhauer's turn, the flashback has everybody speaking like Boomhauer except himself, who now speaks normally. This implies that Boomhauer thinks his speech patterns are normal and common.
  • On an episode of DuckTales, Magica Despell used magic to disguise herself, but her odd accent gave her away. She even said "Vot Ocksent?" when questioned about it.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode, "Finding Mary MacGuffin", they are at a lab coat store looking for a man with a German accent who frequents garage sales. It Makes Sense in Context. They start interviewing people in the store, and a man with a very obvious southern accent remarks, "As you can see, I don't have an accent."
  • A Running Gag on The Weekenders was Trish's mom saying something incomprehensible ("Kissing My Cup"), Trish translating it for her friends ("Kiss and make up") and Trish's mom replying "Is what I say!"

Community Feedback Replies: 33
  • November 3, 2011
    Chabal2
    Order Of The Stick: Roy proofreads Durkon's letter to a high priest, written in the dwarfish Scottish-esque accent. When told he doesn't need to transcribe it, Durkon just asks "my what now?"?
  • November 3, 2011
    ZombieAladdin
    One episode of King Of The Hill has an incident told by various people. When it's Boomhauer's turn, the flashback has everybody speaking like Boomhauer except himself, who now speaks normally. This implies that Boomhauer thinks his speech patterns are normal and common.
  • November 4, 2011
    Arivne
    I've only ever seen this played for laughs, so it should be added to Comedy Tropes when it's launched.

    Film
    • The Pink Panther Strikes Again. Inspector Clouseau (who has a thick French accent) is in Bavaria and goes to a hotel.
    Clouseau: Tell me, do you have a room?
    Desk Clerk: I do not know what a "reum" is.
    Inspector Clouseau: [looks up "room" in his phrase book] Zimmer (German for "room").
    Desk Clerk: Ah! A room!
    Clouseau: That is what I have been saying, you idiot.

    Live Action TV
    • Monty Pythons Flying Circus episode 34 ("Cycling Tour). Mr. Pither goes to the British Consulate in Smolensk and finds that the British Consul is a Chinese man with a strong accent.
    "British Consul": We Blitish here in Smolensk velly intellested in clicket.
    Mr. Pither: Oh, cricket?
    "British Consul": No, no...you not speak English velly well. Not clicket - clicket...clicketty click...clicket.
  • November 4, 2011
    randomsurfer
  • November 4, 2011
    Fanra
    In My Cousin Vinny, Vinny mentions to the court that these "two yoots", beginning a round of where the judge finally gets him to say, "youths".
  • November 5, 2011
    BOFH
    Film
    • In one scene in Bloodbath At The House Of Death, Dr Lukas Mandeville, who normally speaks English without any foreign accent, lapses into a strong German accent. When another character points this out, he replies "I am not speaking in zis German accent!"
  • November 5, 2011
    somerandomdude
    This can be Truth In Television as well. Many people with foreign accents are unaware of them, as there are subtleties in pronunciation nonnative speakers simply cannot distinguish in essentially every language.
  • November 5, 2011
    nman
    • On an episode of The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Carlos Mencia told a story of how his brother couldn't understand people with a Canadian accent, and said "I can't unersand zees people's assent, they need to learn to speak Enlish" [sic] in a heavy Mexican accent.
  • November 5, 2011
    Stratadrake
    The current title strikes me as a bit too self-demonstrating. Maybe Vat Acksent?
  • November 5, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    I'll approve the name if What Accent? and I Dont Have An Accent are redirects
  • November 6, 2011
    AlexIDV
    Comic Books

  • November 6, 2011
    nitrokitty
    I love the current name, but adding What Accent? as a redirect seems sensible.
  • November 6, 2011
    MorganWick
    All these spelling discussions may be moot if all the variants sound too dialogue-y. Oblivious To The Accent?
  • November 10, 2011
    Surenity
    I'm all for redirects. Are we still allowed to have trope titles that sound like dialog?
  • November 10, 2011
    wisty
    Real life: NOBODY thinks they have an accent, they just think they talk "normally", with a "neutral" accent. Certainly, most English, US, Canadian, and General Australian (Russell Crow in Gladiator, though he's a little broad) accents are widely understood, and not too intrusive, but they are still accents, just not ones that make them hard to understand.
  • November 10, 2011
    cygnavamp
    • On an episode of Duck Tales, Magica Despell used magic to disguise herself, but her odd accent gave her away. She even said "Vot Ocksent?" when questioned about it.

    • An episode of Get Smart had a CONTROL agent be revealed to be a CHAOS agent, after which, he started speaking with an accent. When Max mentioned it, he insisted he was speaking normally and had been speaking with an accent while undercover.
  • November 13, 2011
    nitrokitty
    Something of Truth In Television: research into language learning has shown there's a critical period of child development in which language sounds are learned, after that, it's much more difficult. Well known examples are the Japanese L and R sounds, neurologically speaking, because these two sounds are the same in Japanese, they literally cannot hear the difference between the two distinct sounds in English.
  • November 15, 2011
    Arivne
    Film
    • Young Frankenstein. Inspector Kemp tries to cool down a a group of villagers that want to go after Frederick Frankenstein.
    Kemp: I think before we go around killing people, we had better make damn sure of our evidence. Und we had better confirm the fact that young Frankenstein is indeed vollowing in his grandfather's vootstaps.
    Villagers: What?
    Kemp: Vollowing in his grandfather's vootstaps. Vootstaps! Vootstaps! [stamps feet]
    Villagers: Oh, footsteps.

    Watch it here.
  • November 15, 2011
    Alagaesian
    In the Phineas And Ferb episode, "Finding Mary Mac Guffin", they are at a lab coat store looking for a man with a German accent who frequents garage sales. It Makes Sense In Context. They start interviewing people in the store, and a man with a very obvious southern accent remarks, "As you can see, I don't have an accent."
  • November 15, 2011
    Generality
    • Ghostbusters 2:
      Venkman: Just where are you from, anyway?
      Janosz: De upper vest side?
  • November 15, 2011
    KevinKlawitter
    A Running Gag on The Weekenders was Trish's mom saying something incomprehensible ("Kissing My Cup"), Trish translating it for her friends ("Kiss and make up") and Trish's mom replying "Is what I say!"
  • December 4, 2011
    strontium
    Can be Truth in Television since everyone has an accent, but since you're used it, you don't notice your own accent.
  • January 12, 2012
    Surenity
    I think Oblivious To The Accent is probably the best name for this. I'll launch this shortly unless there are other suggestions.
  • May 10, 2014
    KathiraNarae
    Personally, I think 'Vat Acksent' is the best name but eh. Have a hat, and get this thing either launched or having more discussion, please!
  • May 10, 2014
    Chabal2
    A joke: Two tourists in Belgium are arguing over the pronounciation of "Walloon": Walloon or Valloon. They ask a Belgian, who immediately says "Valloon". They thank him, and he answers "You're velcome".
  • May 10, 2014
    DAN004
  • May 10, 2014
    randomsurfer
    ^^Same gag is used in The Benny Hill Show with two American tourists asking a third tourist whether the 50th state is pronounced "Hawaii" or "Havaii."
  • May 11, 2014
    Surenity
    Forgot about this one. ^^;; So, do we agree on a title? The description might need something more too, but maybe that can be dealt with once its launched.
  • May 11, 2014
    Alucard
  • May 11, 2014
    Arivne
  • May 11, 2014
    Astaroth
    • Stephen Fry brings up two examples during a discussion about Scottish accents in an episode of QI. The first is a story about Maggie Smith, who contacted a woman from Morningside hoping to study her accent in preparation for starring in The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie, only to offend the woman because she was convinced she didn't have any kind of accent. The second was a Scot who believed his own accent was indistinguishable from an English one, but who sounded "more Scottish than a Glaswegian drunk in a Soho doorway."
  • May 11, 2014
    robinjohnson
    • Deliberately invoked by Jimmy Carr: "I don't have an accent. I'm from England. This is just how words sound when they're pronounced properly."
  • May 11, 2014
    KathiraNarae
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but there may be a Real Life example in that the typical 'British' accent, Recieved Pronunciation (RP), was actually brought about by newsreaders and the like to have a true 'accentless' accent, understandable by everyone in the UK. This hasn't really worked, since the rest of the world seems to be of the opinion that RP is THE British accent even though it started affected by every Brit who used it...
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=ud97tdvrvivnf2xbow8jz3bj