[[quoteright:350: [[WesternAnimation/MikeLuAndOg http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MikeClash_7482.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[MemeticMutation One of these kids is not like the others.]][[note]][[ComicallyMissingThePoint You mean the one that's a guy?]][[/note]]]]


Cultures do not evolve identically. Even ones with similar backgrounds and languages have something they disagree about, and it just gets worse the more alien the two cultures are. Naturally, this has great potential for writers who want to introduce conflict to the plot, or just want to show off their worldbuilding skill.

Some tropes associated with CultureClash:
* AccidentalMarriage
* AlienLunch
* ArrangedMarriage
* FishOutOfWater
* ForeignQueasine
* FumblingTheGauntlet
* FunnyForeigner
* HumansThroughAlienEyes
* InnocentBigot
* ProtocolPeril
* RaisedByWolves
* YourNormalIsOurTaboo

See ValuesDissonance, for when this happens to the audience. Also see CrazyCulturalComparison, a milder form of CultureClash played for laughs. There's also PopCultureIsolation. Often an element of FantasticRacism.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Advertising]]
* A German commercial for a bank features a Japanese bank CEO going to Germany and making a traditional greeting bow in front of his German counterpart. Suddenly, a female employee creeps up to him and cuts off his tie with a pair of scissors, and then gives him a kiss, in the course of ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_Thursday Weiberfastnacht]]''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* In ''SpaceRunawayIdeon'', when humans first encounter [[HumanAliens Buff Clan]], they try to call a ceasefire by raising a white flag. Unfortunately, in Buff Clan culture, a white flag means the resolve to fight until death. [[PoorCommunicationKills Much bloodshed ensues]].
* Played for humour in ''SayonaraZetsubouSensei'', Kaere, a returnee is offended by various gestures that "In her country" mean odd things. Also Maria is a reverse example; seeing negative things in Japanese society as positive things. Her reaction to a pedophile accosting a little girl; "People in Japan are so nice to little kids".
* Major part of the background of the Skypiea arc of ''Manga/OnePiece''. Montblanc Norland comes to an island plagued by disease and worshiping a snake-god. He proceeds to cut down their sacred trees and slay their god(dess), all in their own best interest. Though his actions were for the better, his refusal to consult with them or even explain himself demonstrates an arrogance that eventually alienates him, setting up the requisite tragic backstory.
** That part of the backstory however ends on a better note. It's when the geyser starts acting up that things go awry for real.
* Interestingly subverted in ''Manga/AiYoriAoshi'', for the character of Tina Foster -- a blond, blue-eyed American who grew up in Japan. Being American, she's never really accepted by her classmates, due to the highly ethno-centric nature of Japanese society, despite having been raised there from a very young age. Returning to America for high school, she discovers that she is culturally much more Japanese than American, and finds herself an outsider again. Her overreactions to this result in her clashing with both cultures, and prevents her from making any close personal connections in either Japan or America, until she meets open-minded protagonist Hanabishi Kaoru several years prior to the beginning of the story.
* Played for laughs in OuranHighSchoolHostClub: commoner Haruhi's life is so different from her ultra-rich schoolmates that they might as well live in different countries, and the experience goes both ways (witness the hosts' befuddlement over "commoner wisdom" such as instant coffee.)
* In the Ramen & Gyoza volume of {{Oishinbo}}, one of Shiro's superiors takes some out-of-town Chinese colleagues to his favorite noodle shop; only to have them stop dead when they see the restaurant, accuse him of deliberately insulting them, and threaten to break off relations with the Tozai News. Turns out the restaurant's name uses an old Japanese word for China that many Japanese see as no worse than old-fashioned, but the mainland Chinese consider highly insulting. Good thing Shiro has the connections to set things right.
* In KyouKaraMaou, Wolfram insults Yuuri's mother, so Yuuri slaps him. Wolfram's brothers beg Yuuri to take it back. Yuuri, who thinks he's just insulted Wolfram back, swears he never will. Turns out [[AccidentalMarriage that's how they propose marriage around those parts]]. The engagement stands for almost three straight seasons, and by the third everyone either considers them married or has forgotten about the proposal altogether. It can sometimes be hard to tell.
* There is a major culture clash between Ichigo and Byakuya in Manga/{{Bleach}}'s "saving [[spoiler: Rukia]]" arc.
* One of the prevalent themes of ''IkokuMeiroNoCroisee''.
* The YuriGenre manga ''FlowerFlower'' revolves around this. Two princesses from separate countries are wed but their cultures clash. This leads to some interesting situations.
* A bit of this is to be expected in ''WebComic/AxisPowersHetalia'' as it is about NationsAsPeople. An example is [[InscrutableOriental Japan]] telling [[{{Keet}} Italy]] he must "[[AccidentalMarriage assume responsibility]]" (which is never actually followed up on) when the latter, who is much less reserved about his emotions and physical contact, hugs him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fanfiction]]
* ''[[FanFic/TheConversionBureau The TCB-Verse]]'', where a [[MedievalStasis medieval]], HighFantasy [[SugarBowl pony nation]] turns up on RealLife Earth TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture, and tries to claim it in order to save it from inevitable environmental destruction. In many versions, it ends [[WorldWarIII badly for everyone involved]]. Also notable for being controversial in its very premise, TCB became a BrokenBase between fans who supported the idealistic pony cause [[TheNeedsOfTheMany since it was for the greater good]] and fans who felt the humans more than justified in fighting off [[ScaryDogmaticAliens the pony invasion]].
* In FanFic/{{Embers}}, an ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' fanfic by Vathara, failure to do a [[CrazyCulturalComparison comparison]] is shown to have [[CultureClash incredibly painful results]]... and arguably, this is one of the major reasons this story was written. A full chapter was dedicated to what the four elemental nations each mean when they say 'truce', each of which was different, and had different cultural reasons behind it.
** In the Water Tribes, a truce is decided upon by the women, who get together and decide that their men have wasted enough time and effort fighting, or are needed back home. Once they've determined that the men are rested and recovered, the truce is revoked and they go to war again.
** In the Earth Kingdom, the local King (or the Earth King, if it's a big enough deal), will declare a truce only as a final ceasefire, when either they or the enemy is thoroughly crushed. Truces aren't temporary... they ''end'' the war, and breaking the truce starts a new one.
** In the Fire Nation, the ranking officer can call for a truce at any time, but they will ''hold'' that truce without fail. They ''will not'' break a truce, but will revoke it and inform their enemy of the revocation before they attack.
** The Air Nomads don't ''have'' truces. They may stop fighting, or work together with an enemy for a while against a common foe, but there's nothing binding about it, and they can change their minds whenever they want, without informing anyone. This has led to them being generally liked but not trusted, and in ''Embers'', has led to '''HUGE''' problems between the nations.
* As a Crossover, the Naruto/Justice League Crossover [[FanFic/ConnectingTheDots "Connecting the Dots"]] has lots of this, particularly in the ThouShaltNotKill department
* A plot point in ''Fanfic/UnderTheNorthernLights''. The reindeer of Tarandroland have a very negative view of magic and have problems with [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic unicorn-heavy Equestria]]. Equestrians get nervous with both casual violence and the use of animal products, both common in Tarandroland.
* ''Fanfic/GameTheory'' plays up the cultural differences of the TSAB as a society that has access to magic, and the fact that Nanoha is from Earth and lacks an understanding of the history of magic (and the dangers thereof) is of significant importance to the plot.
* There are a few disagreements or misunderstandings in ''Film/TheHobbit'' fanfiction that often occur because Bilbo and the dwarves come from different cultures. One occurs in [[http://archiveofourown.org/works/609041 Bilbo's Hair]] where hobbits see braiding as an activity only done by women and something that's not very beneficial, whereas dwarves braid as a sign of status, courtship and friendship, as well as training the fingers and their eye to hand coordination for fighting and craftsmanship.
** In another fic, ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/731818/chapters/1359880 Into The Fire]]'', Thorin and a few other dwarves mistakenly come to think that Bilbo is nobility since he owns land and collects money from his tenants, and is also a prince since his grandfather is the Thain (which they think is a title equivalent to king) of the Shire. The concept of a middle-class gentleman is after all hard to reconcile with the feudal system which most of Middle Earth operates on.
* Used rather frequently in ''WebVideo/DragonballZAbridged'', wherein Vegeta has difficulties with differences between Earth culture and Space culture. Among other things, he didn't know what soap was (when the composiition of it was described, he thought it was food), and when Bulma asked about 'protection' before having sex, he put on his combat armor.
* ''FanFic/{{Hivefled}}'': Gamzee has a SlaveBrand on his arm reading "namoha", meaning "one who is owned by a higher". He hasn't told his human associates what it means; they tried to look it up, but [[spoiler:the only reference they could find, not being able to access the troll internet via a human computer nor read the alphabet used on the trolls' computers, is a porn site. Misleading and incomprehensible videos have led them to believe that Gamzee is a rapist who was branded as a legal punishment.]]
* FanFic/WingsToFly: Lucrezia Noin doesn't speak Navy. The most obvious manifestation is where she doesn't know what it means when one of her subordinates calls her "Skipper" and has to guess she's not being insulted from the reactions of the people around her. Later she looks it up.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' between the materialistic, militaristic greed driven StrawMan humans and the the [[MarySuetopia Mary Suetopian]] one-with-nature Navii.
%%* Film/TheLastSamurai
* Detective/action movie ''Film/BlackRain'' contains a ton of this when two [[NewYorkCityCops [=NYPD=]]] detectives catch a rogue {{Yakuza}} member in New York and have to escort him back to Tokyo. In ''some'' ways the film is more even-handed than some works, as it shows the detectives feeling out of their depth and threatened by a different culture, but it also shows how they seem to the Japanese, which ranges from the Japanese police viewing them as bumbling amateurs, (one of the detectives being a xenophobic CowboyCop while the other is a LifeOfTheParty sort) who let the Yakuza captive escape, to many others seeing them as {{Funny Foreigner}}s.
** More subtly, there is also something of a generational culture clash going on among the Japanese. Most obviously this is the case with Sato and the other young Yakuza who follow him in opposing TheDon Sugai, but there are other small hints of this, like Japanese detective Mas reprimanding his son for what he sees as his son speaking out of turn to Nick.
* ''Red Sun'' involves samurai coming to TheWildWest, and includes a scene where Charles Bronson's cowboy character laughs at a samurai and says that he's wearing a dress.
* ''Film/EastIsEast'' is about a Pakistani father struggling to come to terms with his sons being drawn more to British youth culture than his own Islamic values.
* In ''Film/BrideAndPrejudice'' some of the conflict between William Darcy and Lalita is because they both make cultural assumptions about the other.
* ''Film/{{Outsourced}}'' centres on this theme as an American sales expert is sent to India to train call centre workers and only becomes successful once he starts adapting to his new home.
* ''Film/TheGodsMustBeCrazy'' uses this as its central theme. The main focus is on the Bushman !Xi venturing out into the world of modern South Africa, and getting into many misunderstandings due to his not knowing anything about its society's workings, and vice-versa. Said misunderstandings range from hilarious (accidentally sticking up somebody) to serious (getting locked up in prison).
* In the 2010 remake of ''TheKarateKid'', Dre (who comes from the United States) claps and cheers loudly after his crush's violin recital. This provokes anger from the crush's father as the Chinese tend to stay silent out of respect after a performance of any kind.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''AroundTheWorldInEightyDays'', the custom of suttee strikes the visiting Englishman (and the audience) as a horrible, horrible idea (though he doesn't act on his feelings until he learns the victim ''is'' unwilling.)
* In ''CloudOfSparrows'', Emily asks Heiko what a geisha is, and is shocked when Heiko explains that the closest English word would be 'prostitute'. Heiko considers her profession an honourable one, and can't understand why Emily freaks out so badly.
* This is a big theme in most of [[Creator/DaveDuncan Dave Duncan's]] books, but particularly the ''SeventhSword'' series where a pacifist from present day America is launched into a fantasy world with an iron age culture, caste system and slavery. HilarityEnsues.
* RobinHobb's ''[[Literature/TheSoldierSon Soldier Son Trilogy]]'' is a showcase for this trope.
* In Creator/DanAbnett's ''Literature/GauntsGhosts'' novel ''Only In Death'', Ezsrah takes Gaunt's sword. He regards it as an essential part of his duty, to carry out a ''[[RoaringRampageOfRevenge bludtoll]]''; the Ghosts regarded it as robbing [[spoiler: the dead]] and are shocked that anyone would do such a deed.
* In TimothyZahn's ''Literature/TheConquerorsTrilogy'', the war between the humans and Zirrzh starts due to a type of culture (or technology) clash. Upon first seeing the Zirrzh ship, the human ship prepares weapons but sends a friendly first contact radio signal. This starts a serious war, with the Zirrzh insisting the humans fired first. It turns out they're both right, because [[spoiler:Radio tortures the Zirrzh Elders (ghosts)]]
* In HarryTurtledove's ''{{Worldwar}}'' Tetralogy the reptilian invaders known as the Race have numerous issues of culture clash: Aside from the part that Tosevites went from rusty plate armor and spears to using primitive landcruisers and firearms. Even worse, they were engaged in active research on jet killercraft and [[NukeEm explosive-metal bombs]]! All of this in the blink of an eye turret between their probe visiting and the Conquest Fleet arrival (about 800 years, they arrive in 1942) there is also all that biological weirdness. For starters, they're big and ugly, they stand up at too steep of an angle, have no tailstumps and these weird multi-colored strands on their heads. Speaking of colors, their strangely smooth and non-scaly skin comes in as many colors as their head-growths. Don't even get me started on their bizarre mating habits, it took the more liberal members of the Conquest fleet nearly the entire 40 years (20 local years) between the end of hostilities and the arrival of the Colonization fleet to reach a personal understanding that, for them, being capable of mating at all times of the year is just natural. (An American Tosevite who has become an expert in Race/Tosevite relations commented to the insanely radical Shiplord Straha that, to him, Straha is "more hidebound then a Southern Democrat with 40 years seniority" after the Shiplord called himself a Radical. This occurred before the end of hostilities in the Local Year 1944.) Their exclusive mating agreements are something only such a screwed up race such as the Big Uglies could find enjoyable. Speaking of mating issues, that herb Ginger should be wiped out, it causes nothing but trouble.
* ''[[Literature/AsianSaga Shogun]]'' has plenty examples of this being about an Englishman in 1600s Japan. A rather blatant example is when certain Japanese taking care of him, after being commanded to cater to his every need, politely ask him if he'd like sex with one of the girls looking after him. When he declines embarrassed, they ask if he'd prefer a man.... and then whether he'd prefer a boy!
* A minor example occurs in Chen Yi's house in ''[[{{Conqueror}} Lords of the Bow]]''. Khasar tries to figure out chopsticks, before getting frustrated and shoving them into a bowl of noodles so they stand vertically. To the Chin, this is quite insulting.
* ''ThreeWorldsCollide'' by Eliezer Yudkowsky features a clash betweens humans and two other StarfishAlien races; the babyeaters and the superhappies with each race having a morality at complete tangents to the other two with the baby eaters doing the obious and the superhappies being completely hedonistic.
* In Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs's ''[[JohnCarterOfMars A Princess of Mars]]'', Dejiah Thoris tries to appeal to John Carter, and fails.
-->''As her gaze rested on me her eyes opened wide in astonishment, and she made a little sign with her free hand; a sign which I did not, of course, understand. Just a moment we gazed upon each other, and then the look of hope and renewed courage which had glorified her face as she discovered me, faded into one of utter dejection, mingled with loathing and contempt. I realized I had not answered her signal, and ignorant as I was of Martian customs, I intuitively felt that she had made [[DamselInDistress an appeal for succor and protection]] which my unfortunate ignorance had prevented me from answering.''
** In ''At the Earth's Core'', David Innes fights for Dian. He does not realize that after it, he could take her hand to claim her as his wife, take her hand and let go to free her, or do nothing to [[MadeASlave make her his slave]]. He does nothing. She is ''not pleased.''
* In Chris Roberson's TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} BloodRavens novel ''Dawn of War II'', when the BloodRavens are looking for aspirants among refugees, one speaks to the old woman who is in charge of one group, to try to get a boy from her. She contemptuously refuses to speak to him because he hasn't show her his face. He considers and unhelms rather than use force. That granted, she only asks whether the boy will have a chance to survive if they take him, and being told so, tells him to take him.
* This is a huge, ''huge'' aspect of ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' world. Although the world apparently shares one language (with many, many different accents and dialects), almost no other aspects of culture are universal, or even necessarily common among neighbors!
* Both averted and subverted in a scene in Frank Herbert's ''{{Dune}}''. A young Paul Atreides receives "watercounters" (a symbolic currency) as a result of [[TrialByCombat a duel with a Fremen fighter]] shortly after being accepted into the Fremen tribe. Not understanding their meaning, or how to carry them properly [[{{Ninja}} to reduce their noise]]; he asks his assigned mentor Chani, a female of similar age, to hold them for him; not knowing that doing so was a Fremen courtship ritual. Averted in that the Fremen recognize his cultural difference and accept it as a neutral, purely practical request. Subverted in that [[spoiler: it was actually a prophetic act by the increasingly-prescient Paul, who had already foreseen becoming mated to Chani as part of his destiny, although he didn't fully realize who she was at the time]].
** It is nothing compared to earlier introduction of Stilgar to Duke Leto's staff. Stilgar [[CrazyCulturalComparison spat on the table]] -- what, among water-obsessed Fremen, was regarded as a gift of one's bodily water.
* In Creator/PatriciaCWrede's ''ThirteenthChild'', when Brent tells Eff that the feathers are a symbol of how high they can fly without magic, Eff declares that you can't fly without magic. He laughs and says he sees he will find this very educational in more than one respect -- he meant metaphorically.
* In WenSpencer's ''Endless Blue'', Turk and Paige get into a furious argument when Turk discovers that she is partly descended from genetic modified Reds and Blues; Turk himself is a Red, traumatized by his upbringing in a society where Reds are property.
* In AnneMcCaffrey's ''DragonridersOfPern'' series, much is made of the differences in culture that have evolved between Hold, Craft, and Weyr over the centuries since the original settlement of Pern. Holds are charged with the management of the land and contain the majority of the population, supplying food to the more specialized Crafts and Weyrs. By nature they are highly conservative and resistant to change. Crafts are the professional tradesmen, operating on an apprenticeship system and preserving the skills of the Pernese people. Weyrs are the dragons and their riders, charged with fighting off the periodic Thread incursions that would otherwise destroy most of the organic life on Pern. There's also a very significant culture clash in the main series between the modern dragonriders and the Oldtimers that Lessa brought [[TimeTravel from the past]] to battle Thread.
* ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' uses this in several books and cultures. Grayson/Manticore Manticore/Andermanni, Manticore/Haven, and now finally Manticore/Solarian League.
** On of the most hilarious ones happens on Grayson, when Honor alarms her bodyguards to an impending riot upon seeing a group of men heading for a public park armed with "wooden clubs". Her senior bodyguard can hardly stop laughing long enough to explain to her that these "clubs" are bats used in an ancient sport called {{baseball}}.
* A girl rescued by the FiveManBand in ''Literature/BlackDogs'' is disliked by almost everyone because of her inability to follow the customs of the {{Funny Animal}}s that make up most of the band. She shows her teeth when she smiles and laughs (a sign of aggression), pulls away from their touch (displaying disgust) and tries to intervene in a battle for dominance (suggesting that they are unfit for leadership). One of the more aggressive characters is goes into a near homicidal rage when she is around.
* In ''Literature/TheSecretGarden'', Mary expects to be dressed by the servants since she had been in India "It was the custom." The English maid finds the notion silly.
* In the second book in the {{Petaybee}} series, the ordinary Petaybeans take issue with the customs of the cult that raised 'Cita.
* The women of the Dales and the invaders in Jane Yolen's ''Literature/GreatAltaSaga''. Garunian society is extraordinarily patriarchal, whereas that of the Dales is anything but.
* In the IncarnationsOfImmortality series, the SassyBlackWoman version of Atropos laughs at Japanese culture a bit. Also, Mym, a Hindu, is a bit offended by Western culture and the fact that its version of the afterlife is the "correct" one.
* Some of the most interesting parts of the Ring of Fire series are about how Germans see modern Americans.
* Creator/RudyardKipling has a fondness for this trope. Several of his short stories are light comedies about this.
* NewJediOrder is all about this on an epic, AnyoneCanDie scale. The two sides of the conflict are the familiar galactic civilization from the movies and the [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Yuuzhan Vong]], who each see the other's society as repulsively, irredeemably evil (the fact that the Vong are a religious extremist, totalitarian dicatorship obsessed with both feeling and inflicting pain is understandably offputting, while to them the galaxy's rampant use of machines and especially droids is as horrifying as if they'd been using ''zombies'', and a hideous slap in the face to their gods to boot). [[spoiler: It's eventually revealed that the Vong's leader set the whole thng up as part of an insane plan to become a god, which ''nobody'' was happy about]].
** In the StarWarsExpandedUniverse, this is one of the main sources of conflict between the Mandalorians and the Jedi. Besides being a ProudWarriorRace, Mandalorians are extreme {{Mama Bear}}s and [[PapaWolf Papa Wolves]] who treat protecting family as sacred as their love of battle. They find the Jedi practice of taking Force-sensitive children away from their families for training and the Jedi philosophy of forming no attachments to be repulsive.
* In John Barnes's ''A Million Open Doors'', when the hero, from a planet founded on the ideals of the medieval troubadors by way of the 18th century Romantic movement becomes an assisstant to the envoy to a culture dominated by Rational Christianity, best described as the love-child of John Calvin and Creator/AynRand.
* From TheKingdomsOfEvil: Everyone and everywhere.
* The war between the SteamPunk and PsychicPowers fueled Sharonans and the {{Magitek}} powered Arcanans in DavidWeber and Linda Evans ''Literature/HellsGate'' series stems from this. Also on Arcana itself the three main civilizations are a ProudWarriorRace, a caste system with magicians on top, warriors in the middle and everyone else as serfs and a mildly hedonistic republic.
* In Creator/JorgeLuisBorges short story '' "Averroe's Search" '': This is the cause why Averroes, an islamic philosopher, had PopCultureIsolation and never could understand the terms ''tragedy'' and ''comedy''. TruthInTelevision too.
** Borges comments at the end that his own attempts to understand Averroes are presumably as unsuccessful as Averroes' attempts to understand those two words in Aristotle's ''Poetics'' - there must have been a whole load of cultural quirks that the people of Averroes' Andalus too for granted, but which we simply don't know about (like the live dramatic performances of ancient Athens, which had no counterpart at all in Averroes' day.)
* Elizabeth Bathory vs. all Slovakians in ''Literature/CountAndCountess''.
* The Clans and the Tribe in the ''Literature/WarriorCats'' series are rather similar, but there's enough difference in them that they can clash at times - especially when the Clan cats insist that the Tribe try to live like them in order to drive off intruders.
* In PoulAnderson's Literature/TimePatrol story "Gibraltar Falls", Feliz, from a [[LadyLand Matriarchy era]], has to fight to see men as equal -- just as men from other eras have to fight to see women as equal, Thomas notes.
* In Scott Westerfeld's ''Literature/{{Leviathan}}'', this is what causes some tension between the combined Clanker-Darwinist crew aboard the living airship: the Darwinists (who [[OrganicTechnology alter DNA to make and use genetically-engineered "beasties"]] as things from medical equipment to modes of transportation and communication and weapons of war and prefer natural aesthetics) see Clanker tech as cold, lifeless, and a mockery of nature, while the Clankers (who create machinery to fulfill needs, [[DieselPunk run their walkers (also called "Clankers") on kerosene]], and prefer angular aesthetics) see Darwinist creations as "godless abominations." The two sides are caught up in an alternate-historical version of World War One, and when they are forced to work together they are very unnerved when having to work with the others' creations.
* In ''GreekNinja'', everyone suffers a bit of a culture shock upon arriving to Japan. Specifically, Dawson almost walks into a house without taking his shoes off.
* It takes time for immigrants to learn the rules of how ''Literature/{{Palimpsest}}'' works. Mild examples like making eye contact or speaking to the locals may be forbidden under very specific circumstances.
* In JohnCWright's ''[[Literature/HermeticMillenium The Hermetic Millennia]]'', much of the story revolves about how many people from different eras and so different cultures -- and the historical change was often one of bitter reaction and conflict -- are woken out of cryogenic slumber together. Many conflicts ensue.
* A common theme of indie author M.C.A. Hogarth's books. In particular the ''Literature/ParadoxUniverse'' which features a loose Alliance composed of dozens of genetically engineered "Pelted" races who developed widely differing cultures during the exodus from earth on GenerationShips, as well as a few completely alien species.
* In ''Literature/TheDarkElfTrilogy'' the first time Drizzt Do'Urden meets a human, the teenage boy pulls a sword on him. Drizzt doesn't speak Common at this point, so he instead easily disarms him, ''juggles the sword on his scimitars'', then hands it back. In drow culture doing something like that demonstrates that one is both more skilled and not an enemy, but instead it scares the living daylights out of the kid and he runs away screaming.
* In AClashOfKings a LawfulGood King sends his childhood friend to request aid from the friend's father, the lord of a group of islands. Said friend comes from an AlwaysChaoticEvil culture. The Lord decides he'd much rather just pillage the original King's lands since he's away and requesting help. The suggestion does come from his son, and it's meant to be a shock to the reader, but you'd think that *someone* would point out that the islanders come from a completely different culture that's prone to murder, raiding and deceit.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* This happens quite a lot in the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' franchise.
** Happened to the crew in ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' quite a few times. A milder example would be T'Pol suggesting to Captain Archer and Tucker that the crew's recently lowered efficiency might be due to lack of sex. A more severe case was the aliens who were shocked and offended by the Enterprise crew eating in their presence.
** The ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "The Big Goodbye", the first HolodeckMalfunction episode. The simulated 1930's people mistake Captain Picard's Starfleet uniform for a bellhop's uniform and laugh at him.
*** Data's uniform was mistaken for pajamas when he went back in time to the WildWest.
** ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' has a Cardassian woman who misinterprets HappilyMarried Miles O'Brien's brush-offs as flirting.
* On ''Series/BabylonFive'' a cultural misunderstanding was the cause of the Human/Minbari war - to the Minbari, opening the weapons hatches on your ship is a polite greeting; to Earthlings, it's a declaration of war, not helped any by the selection of a hotheaded captain all too ready to resort to shooting, in spite of Sheridan's warnings that he was the wrong man for the task.
* In Season 9 of ''{{Smallville}}'', Clark Kent now wears a [[BadassLongcoat black version of his future costume]], as a homage to traditional Kryptonian garb, but GreenArrow says it looks ridiculous. Pretty funny coming from a guy who wears tights. To be fair, that black outfit that Clark was wearing was quite unpopular with much of the fanbase, and the showrunners were taking pains to make it clear that it was only temporary.
* In one episode of ''Series/StargateSG1'', Jack tries to teach Teal'c boxing, but Teal'c dismisses the footwork as "dancing". In a show with aliens, every episode has culture clash.
** Strange, as any martial artist knows that footwork is at least as important as everything else. Someone like Teal'c should definitely know that. On the other hand, he probably never tried to "float like a butterfly."
* In the last episode of ''Series/{{Mash}}'', Klinger proposes to his Korean girlfriend by saying he'd like her to wear one of his wedding dresses. She is initially shocked that he wants her to wear a funeral dress.
* One story from Series/BeyondBeliefFactOrFiction featured a man finding himself in the Wild West. He is accused of walking around in his underpants, even though he is wearing sensible sneakers, hiking shorts, and a t-shirt.
* Behind almost every plot and joke in ''Series/{{Outsourced}}'', which is based on the premise of an American manager heading up a call centre in India.
* The basic premise, along with FishOutOfWater, of both ''Amish in the Big City'' and ''Breaking Amish''
* A central theme in ''Series/{{Defiance}}'' which has five alien races and humans all living in one town.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{BattleTech}}'', the Clans have spent the past three hundred years away from the rest of humanity, developing their own culture of military strength and honor. When they returned to the Inner Sphere, much Cultural Clashing ensued. Inner Sphere armies were shocked when the Clans simply asked who they were going to be fighting rather than spending resources on an intelligence network. The Clans were likewise shocked when the Inner Sphere lied to then and then arranged for long-term battles of exhaustion rather than the quick and clean combat Clan culture demanded.
* In TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}, this is very prevalent within the Imperium. To start with, the Imperium itself is composed of the almost entirely separate Imperium proper and the Mechanicus, only united because they decided to agree that their gods are actually the same person. There's plenty of culture clash ranging everywhere from simple misunderstandings to outright bigotry on both sides. On top of that, with billions of different worlds and relatively difficult travel between them, huge numbers of very different cultures have evolved. Every time someone from one world visits another, or even just part of their own world that they're not familiar with, you can guarantee this trope will come up. And then you have all the interactions between the various different military forces, with the differences in culture and traditions between regiments from different worlds being the least of it before you even start looking at the various fanatical superhumans.
* TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} also has quite a bit of this. The Empire is mainly based on part medieval, part early industrial revolution Germany, but the "good" factions also include various other European influences, particularly French aristocracy and British Arthurian legends (themselves largely based on the culture clash between traditional Celtic culture and the rise of Christianity). Elves, dwarves and humans are nominally on the same side, but often come into conflict due to misunderstanding, or deliberate dismissal, of each others' cultures.
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[[folder:Theater]]
* CyranoDeBergerac: One of the principal themes of the play is to compare the conventional Frenchmen’s culture with the [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Gascon’s]] Culture. First Played for laughs, then played for drama:
** PlayedForLaughs: At Act I Scene IV, De Valvert and Cyrano engage VolleyingInsults. De Valvert, part of the [[DeadlyDecadentCourt court ]] [[JerkJock De Guiche]] [[GirlPosse pays]] loses, but not because his insults are {{Lame Comeback}}s, but because his [[InsultBackfire insults are really compliments]] for a [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Gascon]] [[MartyrdomCulture mindset]]: being called ImpoverishedPatrician and “Poet” are not truly insults for Cyrano.
** PlayedForDrama: At Act IV Scene X: The Spanish Army is very surprised to see a [[MartyrdomCulture single]] [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy company]] make a LastStand instead of [[RunOrDie retreating]]. Lampshaded by the Spanish Officer:
-->'''A spanish officer''' ''(uncovering):'' Who are [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy these men]] [[LastStand who rush on death?]]
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic 2: The Sith Lords'', among the Echani repeated duels constitute a courtship and possibly foreplay if the proper rituals are observed. Your female Echani party member doesn't tell you that.
* PlayedForLaughs in ''[[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIII Assassin's Creed III]]'' when Connor [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sF2dyF7vZic#t=213s sets out to assassinate William Johnson]] in Sequence 6. Kanen'tó:kon gives Connor a hatchet, which he plants into the side of the Homestead. Achilles [[WhatTheHellHero chews him out]], but Connor [[{{Exposition}} explains]] that the Mohawk plant a hatchet into a post when going to war, and remove it when it is finished. Achilles' retort is [[FunnyMoments priceless]].
--> '''Achilles''': You could have used a tree!
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' games are all about this. The Dunmer traditionally enslave the beast races ([[CatFolk Khajit]] and [[LizardFolk Argonians]]), which they are understandably not fans of. In the other direction, the Imperials consider Dunmer ancestor worship to be equivalent to necromancy and severely frown on it, although they stopped short of outright banning it in order to avoid rebellion. The Khajit have a somewhat loose view of personal property. The Altmer consider themselves better than anyone else and think they should be in charge, which is a bit of a problem for the Imperials as they think exactly the same thing. When cultures aren't clashing, it often escalates to full on FantasticRacism.
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[[folder:Webcomics]]
* {{Harkovast}} features numerous clashes and misunderstandings between the different cultures, particularly in [[http://www.drunkduck.com/Harkovast/index.php?p=724690 this]] chapter.
* In ''TemplarArizona''. Mose is betrothed to an 11-year old girl whom he only knows from letters and photographs. His friend-with-benefits Tuesday is utterly apalled by this.
* In ''{{Endstone}}'', [[http://endstone.net/comic/4-29/ deer don't kiss.]]
* Played for drama (rare for the comic) in ''Webcomic/AxeCop''. On seeing a mermaid snarl at him, Axe Cop chops his way through the lot of them - only to learn that for mermaids, snarling is an expression of goodness and smiling a sign of evil. Axe Cop is stunned and rather saddened to realize he's just hacked his way through good people.
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[[folder:Web Original]]
* In several v-logs and behind the scene looks, {{Benzaie}} is puzzled by many American customs.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the ''{{Battletech}}'' animated series, the Clans believed that if you were captured, you had to serve your captors. The Inner Sphere believed that if captured, your first duty was to escape. This was the cause of much culture clash -- the Inner Sphere suspected their captive of attempting sabotage... and upon finally being honorably freed by her clan, the prisoner was disgusted by the Inner Sphere's lack of honor, more convinced than ever that they were AlwaysChaoticEvil barbarians who had to be forcibly "civilized" by the Clans. This is actually an aspect of the TabletopGame lore which they decided to highlight.
* In ''SamuraiJack'', The Scotsman and his family repeatedly mock Jack's outfit, saying he is wearing a basket on his head and a dress, and mock his katana for being small compared to their claymores. When Jack tries to greet them by bowing, they ask him why he bent over and stared at the ground. On the flip side, Jack cannot stand bagpipe music and most Scottish cuisine.
** Which was quite out of the norm for the character. Having trained under many masters and nations around the world in his youth, Jack was shown to be quite open to the lifestyle's and customs of the peoples he encountered. Perhaps the music and food was just that bad?
*** Cartoons tend to pitch the idea that most people not from Scotland hate bagpipe music. And Shaggy and fellow BigEater Franchise/ScoobyDoo refused to eat haggis after learning what it's made of.
** Or since Jack is from the past and is now in the future, customs may have possibly changed.
** Alternatively, perhaps Scotland was one of the few places he didn't go to, considering it's hard to go further from Japan than there.
*** Given that Jack apparently trained under Robin Hood, that doesn't really hold. (The 'hard to get there' part, not the 'didn't go to' part)
* In ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'', both ComicBook/JonahHex and Batman's old sensei mock Batman's costume.
* The ''HouseOfMouse'' episode "Mickey and the Culture Clash", where Mickey reads a letter in the newspaper saying Minnie wants a more 'sophisticated' boyfriend. He tries to be more fancy, but then finds out it's all a trick by Mortimer so he can steal Minnie away from Mickey.
* The premise behind ''WesternAnimation/MikeLuAndOg'' (pictured above): Her urban city ways against their strange island customs.
* An animal version of this happens in the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E9BridleGossip Bridle Gossip]]" when several of the locals mistake Zecora [[FurryReminder pawing for water]] as a threat display.
** In "Luna Eclipsed," Princess Luna tries to be regal and gracious in Ponyville, using the patterns of behavior and speech that she remembers from over a thousand years ago. She ''terrifies'' everyone -- save for [[GentlemanAndAScholar Twilight Sparkle]], who knows enough about both cultural history ''and'' royal protocol to realize what Luna is attempting to convey by her conduct.
* Happens in the third season opener of ''WesternAnimation/BobAndMargaret'', when the titular couple moves from England to Canada.
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[[folder: Real Life]]
* The reason why translators, lawyers and diplomats exist.
* Although "coloured" is considered a pejorative in the USA and the UK, in South Africa it has no negative connotations, used ubiquitously to refer to mixed-race people of black and white descent.
* In the west, slurping food is generally rude, but in Japan, it's actually expected to slurp up noodles ''as loudly as possible'' since it shows you like them. Similarly, the Chinese Shovel food into their mouths by holding onto their bowls with their other hand and putting them right up to their mouth, this is less about manners and more about how they're trying to eat rice with a pair of sticks, not exactly the easiest proposition and it's simply near impossible ''not'' to drop some of it if you try and hold yourself in the usual "Polite" manner.
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