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[[quoteright:345:[[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/british_teeth.jpg]]]]

->''"English Teeth! HEROES' Teeth!\\
Hear them click! and clack!\\
Let's sing a song of praise to them -\\
Three Cheers for the Brown, Grey and Black."''
-->-- '''Creator/SpikeMilligan''', "Teeth"

Brits in (usually American) media are commonly [[NationalStereotypes stereotyped]] as being completely indifferent to the physical appearance of their teeth. Expect much joshing by the pens of non-Brits at this, portraying British teeth as being a horrific monstrosity.

The reasoning behind this trope has its roots largely in [[ValuesDissonance cultural differences]]. In America having bad teeth is associated with being extremely poor - not being able to afford the dentist is like not being able to afford basic medical care. Orthodontia is a rite of passage for many American teenagers whose parents can afford it. Thus there is an enormous cultural stigma to not having perfect teeth. In Britain, on the other hand, for various reasons there is no such class stigma. Indeed the reverse seems to be true: having one's teeth artificially straightened or whitened is seen as a form of vanity, and cosmetically perfect teeth are seen as [[UncannyValley somewhat odd]]. The American emphasis on cosmetically perfect teeth is viewed as being obsessive, odd and an expensive financial indulgence. [[note]]Although private dentistry in Britain is taking mighty steps to remedy this lamentable state of affairs[[/note]]

The reason for Britain's more lax standards on dental beauty are probably related to the National Health Service (NHS). Dentistry is the only part of the socialised healthcare system where the British people are expected to pay the costs of at least some of the work unless on benefits. British people tend to resent having to pay anything at all, leaving cosmetic dental care lower on their order of priorities than in other countries. As far as actual dental health goes, [[http://www.economist.com/research/articlesBySubject/displaystory.cfm?subjectid=7933596&story_id=15060097 a 2009 study by the OECD]] found that the UK, ironically, has the healthiest teeth in the industrialised world, ahead of the United States overall, something backed up by a [[http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/dec/17/british-teeth-us-dentistry-oral-health 2015 study for the British Medical Journal]].

For obvious reasons, this is almost an exclusive American and British trope, as not everyone outside the English-speaking world has the same views regarding British dental health, if they even care about the topic.

It should be noted that this stereotype is quite offensive. If you're American, and talking to a British person, don't make jokes about their teeth if you fancy keeping yours. Also note that this is a ''national'' trope, not an ethnic trope - a plurality of Americans being mostly or partially of British descent.

For actors having a gleaming smile no matter what kind of character they are playing, see EternallyPearlyWhiteTeeth, and see TwinkleSmile for a visual effect used to emphasize this. Compare with AsianBuckTeeth.



* An ad for [[Creator/TheBBC BBC America]] has an animated queen claiming that various British stereotypes aren't true (including the teeth one), but then having them happen in the background once she turns her head. "They say One's dentistry is diabolical, looks fine to me."
* An ad for Dog treats uses this trope. "[[https://streamable.com/c4y66 Don't let American dogs suffer from British teeth]]"

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The British adult comic ''ComicBook/{{Viz}}'' mercilessly turned the trope on its head in a one-off strip called Crystal's Big Chance. This was about an American girl who wanted to become a cheerleader, but was regarded as hideously ugly because one of her front teeth was just slightly out of line. She eventually got her happy ending and was hailed as beautiful at the end despite the enormous braces she now wore.
* The cover blurb for ''ComicBook/{{Planetary}}'''s second volume claims that this trope couldn't ''possibly'' be true, because how else could Creator/WarrenEllis have ripped out nearly forty people's throats and bit out their hearts?
-->"Hearts are hard. Dense and chewy. You couldn't do it."

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In the ''Series/{{Frasier}}'' fanfic ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9271444/1/Dark-Horse-of-the-Moons Dark Horse of the moons]]'', Ros Doyle is being courted by a brother of Daphne Moon who is posted on a Royal Navy ship visiting Seattle. When her daughter develops tooth pain on a visit to the ship, Tim Moon swings it to get her seen by the ship's medical unit, where a dentist performs a minor operation on her. Later on, Niles Crane is utterly aghast at this.
-->'''Niles Crane:''' You mean to say you took your precious little girl to a ''British dentist''? In many states that legally counts as parental neglect and child abuse!

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The ''Film/AustinPowers'' films pull a few jokes of this nature on the titular spy, who has atrocious teeth. [[{{Subverted}}]] However, this isn't really about Austin being British, but is mainly to show how times have changed since the 1960's, when straight teeth weren't as highly prized, and also furthers the point that it's Austin's personality that makes him attractive, not his looks. He does some dental work before the first movie ends. But in the following movie, they revert to being horrible when Austin time travels. It's worth noting that most other British characters (from any time period) have better teeth than Austin, and the only character who complains about his teeth is the British agent Miss Kensington.
* The two English pirates from ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' qualify. Apparently everyone else who spent months at a time on a ship in the Caribbean had access [[EternallyPearlyWhiteTeeth to a really good dentist]]. Of course, most of characters in the films are English so maybe it was just a part of those two pirates' character.
* Lampshaded and inverted in ''Film/AGoodYear'' when Max observes that Christie must be American because of her perfect teeth.
* ''Film/ShanghaiKnights'': Owen Wilson's character flirts with a pretty young English damsel, only for her to smile and send him running from her moldy choppers.
* ''Film/RichieRich'': Richie's English butler, Cadbury, has really sensitive teeth.
* Played with in ''Film/AcrossTheUniverse'', when Jude, a Brit, notes of the American Lucy, "My god -- you have perfect teeth!" He tells her that people back home have horrible teeth, and feigns not knowing what braces are.
* Joked about in ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' DVD commentary (the one with Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan, a.k.a. "Merry and Pippin"). When commenting on the scene of Smeagol turning into Gollum, including a close-up of him devouring a fish with his mangled teeth, Dominic and Billy (who are English and Scottish, respectively) joke that the English Creator/AndySerkis used his real teeth and nails for that scene, then claiming that Scotsmen have perfect teeth used for eating haggis and biting the ends of kilts.
* ''Film/TheLadykillers'': Professor Marcus has very... ''unusual'' teeth (that thankfully weren't the actor's real ones).

* Seems to come up in ''Literature/TheCountOfMonteCristo''. Despite rotting in prison for over a decade, Dantes/The Count has perfect, white teeth, but in his persona as English aristocrat Lord Wilmore, wears a fake jaw/teeth which are the opposite of this.
* In an ''Literature/AdrianMole'' book, Adrian's Australian dentist comments on how bad British people's teeth are.
* ''Literature/TheGoldfinch'': Theo notes that Boris, who has lived all around the world, has grey, crooked and "un-American" teeth. By contrast, he notes that a man who looks like the quintessential Texan has flawlessly white and straight teeth.
* Avoided, defied, and averted in [[BridgetJones Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason]] when [[ShesAllGrownUp Bridget recalled herself as a teenager]]: super skinny, [[TheGlassesGottaGo glasses]], and braces… and not a body brace.
* James Clavell {{Lampshades}} the disgusting state of British teeth in the nineteenth century in his novel of Hong Kong, ''Literature/TaiPan''. The fact the hero takes care of his teeth--something he learnt from the Chinese--is seen as an aberration, of his "going native". Meanwhile his rival actually ''dies'' of bad teeth: an untreated abscess he is "toughening out" and disregarding turns into blood poisoning. Everyone else is waiting eagerly for the day when the last few stumps can be pulled out and they'll get dentures.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Frasier}}''. In "Rdwrer", Daphne is upset at businesses sending Christmas cards ''after'' Christmas:
-->'''Daphne:''' Bloody hell! Five days after Christmas is over and I'm still getting these cards! They do it on purpose, you know. It's always from someone you forgot, and then it's too late to send one back, then they sneer at you for the rest of the year! ''(reads card)'' "Peace and Goodwill," my ass! You just lost yourself a customer, Dr. Naran S. Gupta, D.D.S.! \\
'''Martin:''' ''(sarcastic)'' Losing a set of English teeth, he'll feel that!
* ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' lampshades this stereotype with Captain Jack Harkness saying, "You want scary? Compare teeth with a British guy." The Brits return the favour by mocking Jack for his perfect, and presumably American, set of teeth.
** Indeed, Creator/EveMyles (Gwen) has a notable gap between her two top front teeth.
* Chop in ''Series/MyMadFatDiary''. The rest of the gang has normal teeth.
* British attitudes on both ends are seen in ''Series/TopGear''. The hosts mock both Jeremy Clarkson for his yellowing teeth and Richard Hammond for supposedly getting his teeth whitened.
* John Oliver is the butt of these jokes in ''Series/{{Community}}''.
-->'''Professor Chang:''' Shut your gaping vortex of overlapping fangs!
* Stephen Fry and [[Series/TheLateLateShow Craig Ferguson]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaQxudvOpII discussed this]], with Stephen doubting Craig was even British because his teeth looked so good and Craig commenting that they were mostly his but that things had been done to them when he passed through immigration.
* Peter Capaldi (who was also speaking with Craig Ferguson) once referred to ''Series/TheThickOfIt'' as "''Series/TheWestWing'' with bad teeth and swearing."
* On ''Series/ThirtyRock'', trying to lighten the tension on an awkward date, Liz jokes about this to a British man she met in the orthodontist's office. He's never heard the stereotype before and is offended. It's Liz Lemon, what do you expect?
* An old ''[[Series/SaturdayNightLive SNL]]'' episode had a "commercial" with Creator/MikeMyers playing the pitchman for "Hedley & Wyche, the British toothpaste." Each tube contains two teaspoons of pure cane sugar, for a smile that says, "Yum! That was good."
--> '''Chris Farley''': And it tastes great on a cracker!
* On the ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' episode ''Film/SantaClaus1959'':
-->'''Narrator:''' Boys and girls from England...
-->'''Crow:''' Have rotten teeth!
* Bradley James (Arthur in ''Series/{{Merlin}}'') has crooked teeth. Note that this does not stop his status as an MrFanservice.
* Comes up every so often in ''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway''. Both versions, thanks to the recurring American cast members in both. One example from Scenes From a Hat:
-->'''Drew Carey:''' "[[WorldsShortestBook The shortest book ever written.]]"
-->'''Chip Esten:''' ''British Dentistry''.
* ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'': Slightly different take as George Sr. describes the British as having bad breath. Played straight as referenced by a pub called "The Crooked Fang".
* The title character in ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' correctly identifies someone as American on the basis of his tan and his teeth (they are indeed flawless and spectacularly white).
* ''Series/LifesTooShort'': One of Creator/JohnnyDepp's anti-Gervais jokes uses this as its punchline.
-->'''Depp''': What's nastier than Creator/RickyGervais's jokes? ''His teeth''.
* ''Series/HorribleHistories'': Used as a contrast between American and British soldiers in a WWII sketch. Also implied by a few Horrible toothpaste recipes, including one [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UueAyDBCnig whose main ingredient is sugar-paste.]]

* The English members of Music/{{Gorillaz}}, Murdoc and 2D, have some pretty messed up mouths, although both their cases are {{justified|Trope}}. 2D was hit by a car and lost several teeth, (not to mention [[EyeScream bruising]] ''[[EyeScream his eyes]]'',) as a result; Murdoc just has hideous hygiene standards all around and clearly never bothered to take care of his teeth. Of course, their creators are British, so it's understandable that they didn't want to play into the stereotype.
* Music/{{David Bowie}}'s teeth were... less than perfect. Until he had them replaced.
* Music/FreddieMercury of Music/{{Queen}} fame didn't move to Britain until the age of seventeen (he was born to an UsefulNotes/{{India}}n [[UsefulNotes/{{Zoroastrianism}} Parsi]] family in Zanzibar and spent most of his childhood near UsefulNotes/{{Mumbai}}, which was then called Bombay), but he developed a recognizable overbite caused by four extra teeth that pushed his incisors forward. He was self-conscious about it and grew his trademark mustache in an attempt to hide it. He also wanted to fix the condition through surgery but ultimately decided not to go through with the procedure because it would have meant having his jaws wired shut for several weeks, preventing him from working.
* British-Irish singer/songwriter and [[Music/ThePogues Pogues]] frontman Shane [=MacGowan=] is infamous for his terrible teeth, all of which eventually fell out and had to be replaced due to substance abuse.

[[folder:Print Media]]
* in ''Magazine/{{MAD}} Magazine''[='s=] parody of ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'', Harry and Cho's romantic arc is summed up in one panel:
-->'''Cho:''' You're British, I'm British. Just the fact that you've got all your teeth is a turn-on.
* There was a small-scale outcry in the British press after US magazine ''New Republic'' released a front cover with a picture of Kate Middleton's teeth Photoshopped to look yellow and rotting, as a reference to the stereotype (the issue contained several articles about the political and economic future of Britain.) In real life, Kate's dentist claimed that her orthodontist performed "micro-rotations" on her teeth so they would be slightly out of line, as it was felt this looked more natural than a perfectly straight and gleaming smile.

* The Creator/ReducedShakespeareCompany's ''Millennium Musical'' mentions this in the LongList of European stereotypes "Everyone Hates The French".

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* The titular character from ''WebAnimation/SaladFingers''. The appearance of his teeth actually varies from frame to frame - sharp, tiny, huge, missing etc. - but they are always ugly, yellow and somewhat crooked. Of course, Salad Fingers' nationality isn't known for sure to be British, but he is from a British flash series and has a British accent.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] by "Lord Mingeworthy" from the Webvideo/BrandonRogers ''[[https://youtu.be/pqVjPy8KxfY Normal British People]]'' sketch, as he wears fake British Teeth in the hopes of looking more like a stereotypical British.
* Website/{{Cracked}} did a list of severely incorrect stereotypes, with [[http://www.cracked.com/article_18409_the-5-most-statistically-full-shit-national-stereotypes.html #3]] being this trope. Which linked to us. Hi, Cracked!
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCgx8zM3woQ The Stereotypes Song]]" mentions "the crooked-ass teeth of an English dude" as an example.
* WebVideo/EmmaBlackery
* ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'': [[http://whateleyacademy.net/index.php/content-menu/stories/333-the-second-book-of-jobe-part-1 The Second Book of Jove (Part 1)]]:
--> Belphegor. The boy (you certainly can’t call him a man) is a classic product of the British dental system. Not only does he have rodent-worthy buck teeth, the rest of his teeth are either irregular, or repaired with obvious silver fillings.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', a dentist [[ScareEmStraight terrifies]] Ralph Wiggum into healthy dental habits by showing him a book called "The Big Book of of [''sic''] British Smiles".
* This happens to nearly the whole cast in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' when Timmy accidentally prevents the Revolutionary War from happening and causes the USA to remain English colonies.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode "The Snuke" when America gets invaded by Britain, the British army ([[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution decked out in Redcoats of course]]) have noticeably terrible teeth.
** Ditto the British nannies from "Tsst"
* Just about every British character who appears on ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''. They re-use jokes a lot, so expect to see it often.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Sealab 2021}}'' episode "Let 'Em Eat Corn", Captain Shanks gets his hands on some nukes from two British guys in exchange for paying to have their dreadful teeth fixed.
* British Kyle of ''WesternAnimation/FanboyAndChumChum'' has large buck teeth as well as braces. Though it's not as if the non-British titular duo has perfect teeth...
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', "All the Presidents' Heads":
-->'''Bender''': Say, how is it that we've got socialized medicine [shows missing teeth] but me teeth still loo' like this?
* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' has Jervis Tetch, or the Mad Hatter. His teeth are especially noticeable in the Animated Series, and he sports a rather nice Brit accent to boot.
* Finn from ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' has rather wonky teeth (according to WordOfGod, it's because "[[IdiotHero he bites trees and rocks and stuff]]"). This got lampshaded in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Mad}}'' parody, "[[ComicBook/TheAvengers Avenger Time]]", when Captain America gets redesigned to look like Finn:
--> '''Iron Man:''' Check out your teeth. What are we, in England?
* The ''WesternAnimation/MickeyMouse2013'' short "[[Recap/MickeyMouseS3E2OneManBand One Man Band]]" takes place in England and many of the background characters have imperfect teeth.
* WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack's ally the Scotsman has a ''really'' bad tooth decay problem, visible whenever he smiles. (Which he tends to do ''a lot'' more often [[PerpetualFrowner than Jack]]). His wife as well has teeth just as bad as his, but somehow this didn't pass down to their AmazonBrigade of daughters.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Brit Kate Moss has crooked teeth despite being a ''supermodel''.
* Creator/KeiraKnightley is proud of [[http://www.bagofnothing.com/2007/12/keira-knightley-and-teeth/ having "teeth with character"]].
* Creator/ChristopherLee had rather interestingly crooked lower teeth.
* It was a custom in some areas in Scotland before modern dentistry to have the bride's teeth removed as a dowry.
* In some of the more remote areas (as with any part of the world) there can be pretty distinctive dental features.
* Creator/ChristopherHitchens mentions the teeth problem in his article "On the Limits of Self-Improvement" in ''Vanity Fair''.
-->''The fanglike teeth are what is sometimes called “British”: sturdy, if unevenly spaced, and have turned an alarming shade of yellow and brown, attributable perhaps to strong coffee as well as to nicotine, Pinot Noir, and other potations.''
* Henry Cavill, a Brit who plays the new (American) Superman, has teeth that aren't perfectly straight, quite evident in the closeup shots. It works well in-universe, since what orthodontist could straighten "teeth of steel."
* In a notable American counter-example, Patricia Arquette chose not to have her teeth straightened as she didn't feel it was right for her. It hasn't hurt her career.