->''"No hugs, dear. I'm British. We only show affection to dogs and horses."''
-->-- '''Jocelyn Dashwood''' (Eileen Atkins), ''Film/WhatAGirlWants''

[[quoteright:263:[[WesternAnimation/FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mr_herriman_822.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:263:Good luck telling this guy to lighten up.]]

The American media often presents people from England to be overly stuffy and conservative, to the point of being uptight and unable to cope with changes from the way they believe things should be.

Of course, one need only watch modern British television, with its abundance of emotion, ham and open-mindedness, to see this trope averted. Not only averted, but in many cases, inverted. However, [[StiffUpperLip rationality in the face of adversity]] ''is'' a British virtue. The British sense of humour can also form a stumbling block; in many cases, it tends to work on ironic {{understatement}} and [[DeadpanSnarker dry, snarky wit]] that can easily fly under the radar if people aren't used to it.

Contrast EvilBrit, who is often WickedCultured and hence more [[AffablyEvil open-minded]]. Whereas the Stuffy Brit may be a protagonist, but is portrayed as merely [[FourTemperamentEnsemble temperamentally]] handicapped. Not to be confused with the MeanBrit, who is [[DeadpanSnarker snarky]] and [[BritCom gregarious]].

When [[LoveTriangle up against]] an American for his [[UnrequitedLoveTropes love's affections]] in an American work of fiction, expect him to be a {{Jerkass}} suitor (assuming she won't LieBackAndThinkOfEngland), because AllGirlsWantBadBoys. But in the end he'll [[IJustWantMyBelovedToBeHappy Just Want Her To Be Happy]]. For the more positive variant, see StiffUpperLip.

It's worth noting that there's something of a continuum of NationalStereotypes involved with this trope. Americans themselves may be portrayed as the stuffy ones when contrasted with anyone from the Mediterranean or the Middle East. For the British, the "comically uptight" stereotype often goes to [[GermanicDepressives the Germans]], and [[DiscreditedTrope once upon a time]] to [[InscrutableOriental the Japanese]].


[[folder: {{Advertising}}]]
* In an [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=j2hDjY5SamE#t=1359s advert for the Aiwa Mini System]] shown in New Zealand in 1995, some rock music is played so loud that it travels halfway round the globe... and prompts a disgruntled English gent to remark, "Ahem! Could whoever it is over there in New Zealand, with the Aiwa Mini System, please turn it down a bit? Thank you."
* A commercial for Red Robin features an American couple trying to get a rise out of a stone-faced British Royal Guard.
* In a meta-example, the most complained about adverts on US TV have all either been grossly misleading and/or offensive. The most complained about advert on British TV was one for Kentucky Fried Chicken, which featured people [[AndThatsTerrible talking with their mouths full.]] Bloody Americans, coming over here, polluting British children with their mouth-full-talking ways!

[[folder: {{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* Excalibur from ''Manga/SoulEater'' (who's at the very least [[GratuitousEnglish From United King]][[note]]I'm looking for him! I'm going to California![[/note]]) has a list of 1000 conditions anyone who wants to [[EquippableAlly wield him]] must follow. As such, there are two known people who could put up with this madness. One of them [[spoiler: finally got rid of him because [[MinorFlawMajorBreakup he couldn't put up with his constant sneezing]]]]. The other was KingArthur himself. Lord only knows how he did it.
* The character representing England in ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' is not necessarily "stuffy" as such, but does display a disapproving and often despairing attitude towards his compatriots, with his neurosis usually triggered in reaction to their behavior. He is otherwise a knowledgeable and amiable chap, if a [[{{Tsundere}} bit]] [[ClusterFBomb irritable]]. He does at least ''try'' to be a gentleman. It just doesn't work out with his real personality. However, the English dub plays this straight, making the character speak with a stereotypical (RP) English accent (apparently), and he sounds much "stuffier'' there.
* Carla in the dub of ''Manga/FairyTail'' has a light accent, reflecting her initial personality.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Franchise/{{Batman}}'s butler Alfred often comes across as a Stuffy Brit, which carries over to most adaptations. The most prominent exception is ''Film/BatmanBegins'', where he's given a British army sergeant's accent and backstory. In the comics he also had plenty of backstory: at one point it was that he was an SOE agent/saboteur for England during WWII and had a kid with a beautiful French Resistance named Mademoiselle Marie, but that's been dropped because of [[ComicBookTime timeline considerations]].
* From ''Comicbook/AdventuresInTheRifleBrigade'', Capt. Darcy is the typical stuffy British officer type, or at least tries to keep the front up. Best example, he does his best to maintain a stiff upper lip among all his men, while the German halftrack in which they are currently riding is ''raped by an elephant''.
* ''Superman: True Brit'', an {{Elseworld}}s comic where Franchise/{{Superman}} lands in Great Britain, is absolutely loaded with examples and subversions.
* ''Comicbook/{{Asterix}} in Britain''. The Britons are utterly stiff except in the presence of ball games or young bards [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed who look suspiciously like]] ''Music/TheBeatles''.
** Averted in the cases of some of them -- for example, the BadAssNormal British gardener. (Approximate dialogue.)
--->'''Centurion''': Briton! You dare challenge the greatness and authority of Rome?!
--->'''Gardener''': My garden may be smaller than your Rome, [[BadassCreed but my pilum is harder than your sternum!]]
** Even then, he's only angry because people keep ''[[FelonyMisdemeanor walking on his lawn!]]''

* ''Film/LastOfTheMohicans'': Steven Waddington is contrasted with his free-livin' Amerindian compatriots as Redcoat Maj. Heyward in the American frontier, already a [[DeathOfTheHypotenuse fatal]] [[JustForFun/HowToSurviveAWarMovie occupation]]. "with that priggy nose of his!" as [[DieForOurShip one reviewer]] put it.
* Commodore Norrington experiences similar problems in ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'', and handles them in a similar manner in ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanAtWorldsEnd''.
* In Creator/TimBurton's version of ''Film/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'', he casts James Fox, the stuffiest British person in the world[[note]]Except for [[Film/{{Performance}} that one time]][[/note]], in the role of Mr. Salt.
* The second decade of Creator/HughGrant's career, between his dramatic roles and his EvilBrit roles.
* The whole premise of ''Film/WhatAGirlWants'': [[BlitheSpirit Amanda Bynes]] vs. British Stuffiness. Incidentally, the above page quote from this film was reportedly ad-libbed by Eileen Atkins. Ironically, Bynes was known for her squeaky clean and chaste image. In [[http://movies.about.com/library/weekly/aawhatagirlwantsinta.htm an interview]], she also admitted that Britain is "not as different as we portray it in the film."
* The film ''Wild Child'' is looking like a rip-off of ''What A Girl Wants'' in which the British Stuffiness will be even ''worse''.
* Jarvis, the [[DeadpanSnarker impeccably polite]] AI that runs everything important in Tony Stark's house in ''Film/IronMan'' sometimes lapses into this.
* In the ''Film/JamesBond'' film canon, Q is a rather cranky version of this trope. Also, the original M was quite gruff, with only a few flashes of paternal affection toward Bond. Bond, of course, is the ''exact opposite'' of this trope.
** Well, Bond is sexually uninhibited, at least, but in the movies he never cries or shows much emotion, and in the novels he's much less openly emotional than the Black or American characters (although he does weep on two occasions).
** While not ''stuffy,'' he is definitely less openly emotional... compare him to American counterparts such as Jack Bauer.
* The ultimate example of British stuffiness is the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWwukZyXKig climactic dinner party]] sequence in 1968's ''Carry On Up the Khyber''.
* ''Film/TheQueen'' is basically about British Reserve encountering the modern age.
* ''Film/AnAmericanWerewolfInLondon'' has more than a little of this. Especially the impossible-to-insult policeman. The xenophobic villagers are also worth recognising, as is their 'opening-up' via humour (if we decide to like you, we'll make fun of you).
* In ''Film/MontyPythonsTheMeaningOfLife'', when Death comes to a dinner party to take away the guests, the British host firmly but calmly reprimands him for his bad manners. When the GrimReaper reveals they were all killed by tainted salmon, all the host's wife can say is "I'm most dreadfully embarrassed".
* While it is an American/British co-production, ''Film/MissPettigrewLivesForADay'' has an air of this about it. The eponymous Miss Pettigrew is an uptight, strait-laced Vicar's daughter, and her counterpoint is the wild American Delysia Lafosse. Most of the other British characters are also fairly flighty, though, and Delysia's free-spirited nature isn't entirely admirable. It was averted in the original novel, where Delysia is English.
* All British people in ''Film/AFishCalledWanda'', with the exception of George and [[Creator/MichaelPalin Ken]]. [[Creator/JohnCleese Archie]] does warm up though.
* In Creator/MelBrooks' ''Film/DraculaDeadAndLovingIt'', Jonathan Harker attempts to fend off the lustful advances of new vampire Lucy by politely reminding her, "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPpNZDL66Nw We're British]]." However, his reserve crumbles utterly when she presents her breasts (which, she reminds him, are also British).
* John from ''Film/ChristmasInConnecticut'' has the plummy RP accent of Reginald Gardiner, is fussy and uptight in an AmbiguouslyGay way, and says things like "I say!" when catching his fiancee in the arms of another man.

* ''Literature/HarryPotter''
** Vernon Dursley is a prime example, via his portrayal of a member of the [[KeepingUpAppearances aspiring middle classes]]. Thus feeding the American media, but not a product of it. Vernon may be stuffy and concerned with appearance, but he is very much not reserved, and is implied to be telling raunchy jokes in mixed company with his 12-year old son around.
** [[Film/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets The second film]] also adds Robert Hardy as Cornelius Fudge, who works him much stuffier than in the book.
* Aziraphale from ''Literature/GoodOmens'' has cultivated a strong aura of this, in spite of being an angel and therefore not British at all. ({{Fanon}} likes to state that he was ''always'' like this, and that he actually introduced the concept to Earth.) However, Aziraphale has trouble living up to the above-it-all aspects of this stereotype, and he tends to come off as extremely sensitive and worried on top of being extremely British. As well as... er... [[MistakenForGay something else]].
* Directly referenced in the Franchise/{{American Girls|Collection}} book "Happy Birthday, Molly!" when Molly's mother explains to her why the English girl who is visiting is so quiet. Her explanation is that "English children are taught to be reserved--very polite and quiet." Since the girl was one of the BlitzEvacuees watching London be bombed may have something to do with her quietness. Molly's mother also invokes the stereotype at first, and one of Molly's friends also expects Emily to curtsey because that's what English girls do, according to her stereotypes.
* The ''Literature/AubreyMaturin'' novels are great subverters of this trope. In the Georgian Age (the 18th century through the early 19th century), open displays of emotion were considered much more acceptable in English culture than during the later Victorian and Edwardian eras. In fact, Stephen Maturin gently chides his friend Jack Aubrey on several occasions for being overly emotional, and in his private thoughts and diary entries notes emotionalism as being a weakness of the English psychological makeup. StiffUpperLip, though, is in full play, as demonstrated during many sea battle scenes.
* Sea Catch in "[[Literature/TheJungleBook The White Seal]]" conveys an astounding upper-class stuffiness despite being a seal.
* Mrs Herriton and her daughter Harriet are this in spades in ''Literature/WhereAngelsFearToTread''. It's PlayedForLaughs although it has tragic consequences.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The A&E version of ''Literature/TheLostWorld'' had both Robert Hardy ''and'' James Fox, as feuding professors of paleontology, which causes the VHS copy to smell like tea and tweed and pipe tobacco. However, it starred the somewhat more jovial Bob Hoskins as a sort of [[AdventurerArchaeologist Adventurer Paleontologist]], along with some dinosaurs, which lightened the mood somewhat.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''
** Giles was presented very much in this manner to begin with and was contrasted with younger, hipper, computer-literate Jenny Calendar. He lightened up as the series went on. Then Wesley [[ReplacementFlatCharacter arrived and took on the stuffy role]], before he TookALevelInBadass after moving over to ''Series/{{Angel}}''. Both turned into {{Badass Bookworm}}s over time, although in Giles' case, it was revealed he had earned the nickname "Ripper" in his younger days [[FormerTeenRebel for dabbling in necromancy and other not-so-legal things]], before he joined the Watchers Council, so he had always been someone you didn't want to cross, and had merely hidden it under the tweed-clad librarian persona.
** Subverted with Spike. He's shown as this before he was turned. [[MeanBrit Not so much by the time he shows up in the series.]]
* The Ted & Ralph sketches from ''Series/TheFastShow'' are a British-made example, combining country-squire Ralph's man-crush on Ted, his gamekeeper, with some genuinely moving British stuffiness. Such as when Ralph tries to ask Ted out: "Do you... ''like'' Tina Turner, Ted?"... "I wouldn't know about that sir". Best of all, the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGBTrCZObyA scene]] where Ralph must tell Ted that his wife has died, without breaking the rules of the absurd pub-game, because that would embarrass Ted.
* Inverted in ''Series/{{Frasier}}'', where it was the two main American characters who were stuffy and elitist, while most of the British characters who appeared were cheerfully working-class (albeit with a host of mismatched regional accents). Though, in an interesting example of how entrenched the British/stuffy association is in the US, people have been known to refer to Frasier and Niles's posh inflections as "British accents." This is likely because the accents of the Anglophonic nations (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA) sound more English the more upper-class a character is. All "posh accents" of the Anglosphere sound more similar to original [[UsefulNotes/BritishAccents English RP]].
* ''Series/FawltyTowers''' Basil Fawlty, played mainly for comedic effect as he ''tries'' to be this but his constant run of bad luck leads to less desirable results, especially in "the Wedding Party" episode. "You know something? You ''disgust'' me. I know what people like you get up to, and I think it's ''disgusting''!"
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** It usually blows this away, especially hiring such energetic and expressive actors as Creator/DavidTennant and Creator/CatherineTate, but they did play with it in "The Idiot's Lantern." Lampshaded in "The Unicorn and the Wasp." When Donna wonders about how everyone involved is going to deal with the weirdness of the episode, the Doctor says, "They'll never speak of it again, they're too British."
** Somewhat {{enforced|Trope}} by ExecutiveMeddling during Creator/PeterDavison's tenure, with the whole NoHuggingNoKissing thing.
** William Hartnell, who played the original incarnation of the Doctor quoted in the serial The Daleks masterplan "I am a citizen of the universe and a gentleman to boot" which was to represent 19th century British ideals.
* Often lampshaded by Max on ''Series/TheNanny'' when he uses this as an excuse for why he is unable to show his feelings.He and his entire family are perfect examples of this, with the exception of his brother Nigel, who has been shown to be very passionate and exuberant, although he was considered the black sheep of the family, and supposed to be the exception that proves the rule.
* One place that this seems to be inverted, however, is talk shows. On American shows like Letterman or Leno, the host is usually behind a big desk, and everything sounds a little formal (barring certain circumstances like the guest and host being longtime friends, or the guest just being a little wacky, then things will usually go a little off the rails.) On British shows like Graham Norton, the set is made up like someone's living room, there's usually drinks available, and everything seems a little more informal and chatty.
* ''Series/HorribleHistories'' frequently plays this for laughs, although the show's goofy energy, as far from stuffy as possible, always shines through.
* Lane Pryce, and just about every other British character on ''Series/MadMen'' - with the exception of Jaguar representative Edwin. Lane tries to approach his fellow ex-pat as a kindred spirit, but fails. It turns out he's just as debauched as Roger or Pete, and his idea of a fun night involves visiting a brothel. This backfires spectacularly when Edwin's wife finds out and Lane is the first to hear of the deal being called off.
-->'''Roger:''' Why would he say anything?!
* ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' had tactical officer [[TheStoic Malcolm Reed]], who was noticeably more reserved than his mostly American crew mates. The contrast was particularly noticeable when he became good friends with the very emotive Trip Tucker.
* ''Series/DocMartin'': Martin, is almost a caricature of the emotionally repressed Brit. From his stiff as a board posture, to his constant inability to handle emotions (well, postive emotions anyway, he has a better handle on the negative ones).
* ''Series/DeathInParadise'' has Detective Inspector Richard Poole, who sticks out like a sore thumb amongst the residents of fictional Caribbean island Saint Marie. He is even considered stuffy by the vast majority of the other British characters, who [[PlayingWithATrope downplay, subvert or even avert]] this trope more often than they play it straight.

* "Some Girls" from Music/TheRollingStones' ''Music/SomeGirls'':
--> ''English girls they're so prissy''
--> ''I can't stand them on the telephone''
--> ''Sometimes I take the receiver off the hook''
--> ''I don't want them to ever call at all''

* In ''Theatre/AnneOfTheThousandDays'', the French-educated Anne looks down upon Englishmen as barbaric, lacking in culture, and too secretive on the subject of sex.
* ''Theatre/OnAClearDayYouCanSeeForever'' averts this with eighteenth-century England. "You know, it's funny," Daisy says, "I thought the British only got sexy lately."

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Mostly'' averted, especially in beat 'em ups, where the British female characters, including Cammy from ''Franchise/StreetFighter'', Ivy from the ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries SoulCalibur]]'' series, Christie from ''Franchise/DeadOrAlive'' and of course [[Franchise/TombRaider Lara Croft]], are all easily amongst the most {{fanservice}}y. All of them tend to be fairly no-nonsense in demeanor however, and speak with the applicable [[UsefulNotes/BritishAccents RP accent]], so perhaps not a ''complete'' aversion of this trope. However, when it comes to the men, Brits Dudley and Eagle (both ''Franchise/StreetFighter'') fit the bill perfectly.
* Whether or not Miles Edgeworth is an example of this is the subject of much debate in the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' fandom. His behaviour and speech patterns fit the bill, even his accent. Despite being an American that spent his teen years in Germany. Also, he can get quite emotional, but usually keeps it under raps unless it's sheer exasperation.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'', where Zero at first seems cold and snarky like this trope, but as time goes on he's shown to be really quite emotional ([[spoiler:shown especially in him eventually becoming a StalkerWithACrush in ''Metal Gear Solid 4'' and ''Peace Walker'']]), and kind of a CloudCuckooLander. The last part's probably based on the ''[[Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus other]]'' stereotype of the British sense of humour.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Played quite straight in ''Webcomic/ScandinaviaAndTheWorld'' with its ''own'' MoeAnthropomorphism for England. The problem is, this is also his attitude to his kids, which is pretty much the reason they're so screwed up (America being the boisterous rebel, Canada being the intelligent yet weak "favourite" of sons, Australia the wacky problem child and New Zealand a ''sheep'').
** And their being uptight about sex comes across in one strip where England's InternalMonologue berates himself for being a rapist... [[http://satwcomic.com/monster for brushing Denmark's hair with his hand while stretching.]] And according to the Author's Note for that strip, it's apparently TruthInTelevision (though not quite to that extent).
-->'''Humon:''' I've been to conventions in quite a few countries by now, and England is the only country where most people asked for a handshake rather than a hug.
* ''Webcomic/ChoppingBlock'' discusses [[http://choppingblock.keenspot.com/d/20030327.html how to get the guards at the royal palace to show emotion.]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In his review of ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}}'', [[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation Yahtzee]] admits to this:
--> "Fortunately, being English, and therefore utterly repulsed by the slightest sexual urge in myself and everyone around me, I am immune from any callous attempt to touch my heart via my wrinkly undercarriage, and Bayonetta looks about as sexy to me as a pencil stuck through a couple of grapes."
** This doesn't save him from {{Freudian Slip}}ping several times throughout the review.
** During a Let's Play of the adventure game ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAG32E0BunQ Normality]]'', Gabriel got him to crack up by simply singing a fake [[BlackEyedPeas Will.i.am]] lyric.
--->'''Yahtzee:''' It's my oppressive British upbringing.\\
'''Gabriel:''' All this intellect, all this analysis, all this critique, '''brought to its knees''' by "boobie boobie bum bum." He's literally ''crying!''


[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones'': When Fred Flintstone attempted to pass himself off as uppercrust and well-mannered, he affected a British accent.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' where the Fentons had the usual stiff British butler.
* Owen Burnett, Xanatos' butler on ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}''. This was totally on purpose, though, [[spoiler:since Puck copied his alter ego from another, equally-wooden, majordomo and just slapped on an accent for better effect.]]
* Bizarrely enough, in ''Series/{{Thunderbirds}}'' (which is a ''[[SelfDeprecation British]]'' [[SelfDeprecation made programme]]), many of the British characters were quite stereotypically uppercrust, like Lady Penelope.
** "I say, open this door at once; we're British!", Sir Jeremy Hodge, ''The Perils of Penelope'', a brilliantly bad example.
** Parker, Lady Penelope's driver and manservant may be a subversion. He affects what he may believe is a 'posh' accent, but only indicates his London cockney origins. He's based upon a real man the ''Thunderbirds ''production members met running a pub.
** Jeff Tracy wears morning dress and affects a British accent to go to an airshow in one episode. 'Oh, bang on; jolly good show!' Wonderfully wrong. Penny is too pleased to correct him.
*** Not so bizarre when you consider ''Series/{{Thunderbirds}}'' was an expensive show to make - Lord Grade, as with so many shows he commissioned, saw first showing in Britain as irrelevant compared with lucrative resale to the USA, and insisted it be made primarily with the American market in mind. Therefore all the action heroes speak with American accents and the British characters were tailored to American expectations - toffs and Dick van Dyke cockneys. ''Series/TheMuppetShow'' was a later example: the guest star was nearly always an American celebrity, often virtually unknown in Britain.
* The "Dapper Crackhead" from ''ComicStrip/TheBoondocks'': "Sir, Sir! There is no need to be rude! I paid good money for this crack, and it is all burnt up, look!"
* Mr Herriman (pictured above), from ''WesternAnimation/FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends'' has never been to Britain, but has a British accent from pure stuffiness.
* Sarah, the British journalist [[spoiler:and later American immigrant]] from ''WesternAnimation/LibertysKids'' is initially like this.
* Samuel the camel from ''WesternAnimation/WillasWildLife''.
* Uncle Waldo from ''Disney/TheAristocats'', when he explains to Thomas O'Malley about his obsession with Sherry wine.
* Mr. Pricklepants from ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3'', who even quotes [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare Shakespeare.]]
* WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy's use of "high-class British porn".
--> '''British Man:''' You know my dear, we could have sex right now.
--> '''British Woman:''' Oh really dear?
--> '''British Man:''' Yes. But let's not. ''*Goes back to reading his novel*''
* Ferb Fletcher from ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' is a subversion. He's got plenty of warmth, fun, and weirdness in him, he just [[TheStoic doesn't show it very often]].
* Spike in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyG3''.