Created By: MidnightRambler on May 10, 2012 Last Edited By: MidnightRambler on June 22, 2012
Troped

Quirky Neighbour Country

Countries A and B are neighbours and very similar culturally; A sees B as a quirky, often amusing variant of A

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Many countries big and small have a Quirky Neighbour Country.

It's that country on your border, usually smaller and/or less populous than your own country. They speak the same language as you (albeit in a funny accent), or something that sounds very much like it. They also share a lot of their history and culture with your country; in fact, their country is just like yours, except it's... quirky. You and your countrymen make jokes about them very often; their bizarre laws and practices never cease to amaze you. The citizens of the Quirky Neighbour Country will often take these jokes in good spirit and occasionally crack a few jokes back at your country, which they might view as a Quirky Neighbour Country.

Examples:

Television
  • Black Books references this a few times between Ireland and the UK, as does The IT Crowd. Both have Irish characters in the main cast who usually blend in but sometimes make jokes about their nationality. E.g. in an episode of the latter, Roy meets a guy who claims to "looove Irish people!" and is rather patronising about it.
  • The New Zealand/Australia relationship is referenced on Flight of the Conchords. New Zealand is painted as a quirky and weird little country, but then again, perhaps that's because the only three New Zealanders shown are Brett, Jermaine and Murray.
  • In Gavin and Stacey the English Shipman family clearly feel this way about the Welsh West family.

Real Life
  • Belgium to the Netherlands and France.
  • Canada to the United States. This even has its own subtrope.
  • The Czech Republic to Poland.
  • Denmark, Norway and Sweden to each other.
  • Ireland to the United Kingdom (and within the UK, Scotland and Wales to England).
  • New Zealand to Australia.
  • Portugal to Spain.
  • Switzerland and Austria to Germany.
  • The Ukraine to Russia.
Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • May 10, 2012
    reub2000
    This sounds like a good index.
  • May 10, 2012
    Lorialet
    • Belgium to France.
  • May 10, 2012
    Bisected8
    • The United Kingdom and the USA might count, although "Neighbour" is a stretch (albeit only across a pond).
    • New Zealand to Australia.
  • May 10, 2012
    fulltimeD
    1. Is this a trope?

    2. How does it relate to fiction?

    3. Where are the (fiction) examples?
  • May 11, 2012
    AgProv
    Japan and Korea? There is a long history of mutual astonishment and consternation between these two neighbours - tinged, it has to be said, by war, bad feeling and Japanese prsumptions of superiority (although nowhere near as bad now as it was in th 20th century, preWW2)
  • May 11, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    fulltimeD is right, lets trope it up! This will often crop up in stories where characters from one country visit another, or where media from country A features a character from country B. However, the foreign character's country of origin isn't that far away from country A..

    • In Gavin And Stacey the English Shipman family clearly feel this way about the Welsh West family.

    • Black Books references this a few times between Ireland and the UK, as does The IT Crowd. Both have Irish characters in the main cast who usually blend in but sometimes make jokes about their nationality. E.g. in an episode of the latter, Roy meets a guy who claims to "looove Irish people!" and is rather patronising about it.

    • I believe the New Zealand/Australia relationship is referenced on Flight Of The Conchords? New Zealand is definitely painted as a quirky and weird little country, but perhaps thats because the only three New Zealanders shown are Brett, Jermaine and Murray.
  • May 11, 2012
    aurora369
    Ukraine to Russia.
  • May 12, 2012
    peccantis
    Estonia to Finland. And vice versa.
  • May 12, 2012
    MaciekOst
    Czech Republic, and Slovakia to an extent (due to both of them being Czechoslovakia in the past) to Poland. We even have an idiom - a "Czech film" - a situation that makes no sense and is illogical.
  • May 12, 2012
    robinjohnson
    Pedantry: it's "Ukraine", not "The Ukraine".
  • May 12, 2012
    robinjohnson
    One side effect of this, mainly in non-English speaking countries, happens when Country A and its Quirky Neighbour Country B have mutually intelligible languages - which tend to sound to each other like their own language in a yokelly accent - and then Country B, in an assertion of its independence and cultural strength, starts dubbing major films (probably American) into its own language. These sound to native speakers of Country A like it might sound to an American English speaker to hear serious films dubbed into hillbilly accents. This has been reported from Russia about films on Ukrainian TV, and from Poland about films on Czech TV.
  • May 18, 2012
    aurora369
    ^ Just tried it. This Russian troper found an online-watchable Lord Of The Rings dubbed in Ukrainian. Hilarity ensued.
  • May 19, 2012
    fulltimeD
    I really think No Real Life Examples should apply here.
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