[[quoteright:300:[[Film/SecondhandLions http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/CaineSecondhandLions.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:[[Creator/MichaelCaine Sir Michael Caine]] of... Texas]]

->''"Don't you hate it when you find out some really cool actor you like is actually Canadian?"''
-->-- '''[[Extras/{{Archer}} Sterling Archer]]''', via [[http://twitter.com/codenameduchess/status/7933579112 Twitter]]

The United States has the largest natively-English-speaking population of any country on earth (about 300 million), and due to the tremendous global influence of American-produced media, most non-Americans are familiar with the country's dialects and accents, and assume them easy to imitate. Thus it's not uncommon for ''any'' actor to be asked to sound like an American for a part.

Fake Americans are usually Canadians, Brits, Australians, or Irish (although New Zealanders and even South Africans have been known to fake American). This is usually done for biographical reasons, to allow for a familial relationship with another character with an [[AmericanAccents American accent]], or to portray a character as stereotypically American.

According to a documentary, in 2008 one-third of all piloted American TV series had British people in a starring or main supporting role, so this is expanding almost beyond the boundaries of trope. There are honestly so many actors playing fake Americans in games, TV shows, and movies as of late, most people that aren't familiar with many of the actors from across the pond assume they're American.

Britons who essay an American accent will usually opt to make the accent "colorful", and preferably Eastern. Expect to hear something along the lines of a) "salty" New Englander; b) Connecticut "blue-blood"; c) New Yorker, typically of the "Brooklyn" variety; or d) Southern, usually something from Georgia or the Carolinas but occasionally Appalachian, Ozark, or even Texan. This is because the Eastern accents share many phonetic quirks with British dialects, such as the broadening of vowels or the dropping of "r's." It is rare to hear one of these actors attempt, say, a California accent - but it is not unheard of. In those cases, overcorrection of final "r"s is a common tell ("picture" pronounced "pickshurr", say).

Note that this trope does not apply to non-American actors who are not trying to disguise their accent or origin. Nor should it apply to foreign-born actors raised in America such as NataliePortman or MilaKunis, as long as they don't have to fake an accent. America is a nation of immigrants after all, and it isn't all that unusual to meet people who were born or raised overseas, or natural-born Americans who carry an accent from growing up in an ethnic neighborhood. Expect such situations to be Lampshaded, however, especially if the actor in question has a relatively heavy accent, like Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger. Note also that the majority of Canada is within the USA's dialect continuum, thus most Canadian actors have absolutely no difficulty faking being a generic American (it's when the accent required ''isn't'' a generic one that this comes into play).

A version of FakeNationality, along with FakeBrit and FakeIrish. If the character is called upon to "fake" the accent that's really theirs, it's a case of LampshadeHanging, of the sub-type HowsYourBritishAccent. OohMeAccentsSlipping is quite common, and a few careless examples end up NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent.

This can also be done within the United States, if an American is expected to speak with a very distinctive accent other than their own, e.g. actors with "neutral" accents doing a [[Film/{{Fargo}} Minnesota]] or [[Series/TheCloser Georgia]] accent.
----
!!Examples
[[index]]
* FakeAmerican/{{Film}}
* FakeAmerican/LiveActionTV
[[/index]]

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/{{Patlabor}}'''s Kanuka Clancy is supposed to be a NYC cop of Hawaiian descent, but her voice actor's awkward, heavily accented English says otherwise.
* Revy in ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' a Chinese-American, born in New York. In the episodes set in Japan, she gets a few lines in thickly-accented and stilted English, laden with profanity.[[note]] This is why the dub is preferred by many fans; Revy actually has an American accent. Well, sort of – Maryke Hendrikse, like everyone else in the dub's vocal cast, is Canadian.[[/note]]
* The English Dub for ''Manga/MadBull34'' was done by a British company, thus the voice actors speak in really cheesy ([[ClusterFBomb and profanity-laden]]) New Yorker accents.
* Deliberately invoked in the dub for ''Manga/VideoGirlAi'', which was recorded by Creator/TheOceanGroup in Vancover. An omake for one episode in the original Japanese had the seiyuu rerecord a scene using thick Osaka accents. The dub adapted this to the voice actors acting like they were from the DeepSouth. They're... not that good at it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* The very English Cary Elwes does a terrible Texas accent playing Donald Curtis in the Disney dub of ''Anime/PorcoRosso''. To his credit, he has admitted the accent is awful.
* Toronto-born Will Arnett as Batman in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegoMovie''.
* Tim Curry in ''WesternAnimation/ThePebbleAndThePenguin'' as Drake, doing [[OohMeAccentsSlipping what is supposed to be]] a Californian surfer accent.
** He did the same thing, albeit more successfully, in Disney's dub of ''Anime/TheCatReturns'' as the Cat King. In an interview included with the film, Curry says he played the Cat King as "an unreconstructed hippie".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'': Australian EmilyBrowning in TheFilmOfTheBook.
* Australian NickCave wrote ''And the Ass Saw the Angel'', really demonstrating his fascination with the American south, going as far as to write, at least partially, in American south phonetics.
* Creator/HughLaurie also wrote a novel called ''The Gun Seller'', in which certain of the American characters speak in a distinctly 'American' way, essentially by cursing excessively. Others talk completely normally. It's all based on whether or not we're meant to like them.
** EddieIzzard's American imitation also ends up like this. Americans apparently talk very loudly and swear every other word.
*** And are also Texan. ("Talk Bri'ish t' mah kidz!")
*** In the comicbook ''{{Preacher}}'', an Irish [[spoiler:vampire]] on one occasion impersonates his Texan friend, le stories.
*** There are also a disproportionate number of indeterminate Southerners. Apparently a really broad TexaGeorgiana accent is easier than New England or Midwestern speech.
* In the AudioAdaptation version of Discworld/TheAmazingMauriceAndHisEducatedRodents, Stephen Briggs reads Maurice's lines in a pseudo-American accent, making him sound even more like a used car salesman.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* David Sylvian spoke with a very bad attempt at an American accent in the late 90s to early 2000s, as he was living in the US and apparently his young child couldn't understand him. When he left his wife and returned to the UK, he returned to an English accent. His English accent has also gradually changed from lower class to upper-middle class over the years, probably due to this being easier to understand for the many Japanese people he has worked with.
* Look at the early Music/LeningradCowboys: Finns [[FakeRussian who pretended to be Russians]] who, in turn, claimed to be Americans — [[NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent with a thick fake Russian accent]] ''and'' [[OohMeAccentsSlipping hints of their native Finnish accent no less]].
* During the early years of TheBritishInvasion, British rock stars could be very clumsy in imitating American accents, and TheBeatles were no exception. John Lennon, for one, seemed to believe that Americans ''always'' pronounce the letter ''a'' very short and forward in the mouth, even when this is incorrect: "I'm in the mood to take a ma'am-bo."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music Videos]]
* In the music video for Music/{{Genesis}}' ''Jesus He Knows Me'', Music/PhilCollins portrays an unscrupulous televangelist, complete with the American dialect. It is also a nod to his guest role as a televangelist in ''Series/MiamiVice''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Professional Wrestling]]
* [[Characters/WWEAttitude Val Venis]], WWE's [[WrestlingDoesntPay wrestling porn star]], was billed from Las Vegas, although Sean Morley, the real guy, is from Markham, Ontario, Canada.
* {{Edge}} is also Canadian (and Sean Morley's ex-brother-in-law, for that matter), but always tried to do an American accent when playing a heel. As a face, he generally spoke in his native accent.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The American soldiers in ''HogsOfWar'' were voiced (as were all the other character voices) by Rik Mayall and Marc Silk. (However, [[PlayedForLaughs all the characters in the game are essentially a collection of stereotypes, anyway]].)
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', US President John Henry Eden is voiced by Malcolm [=McDowell=]. He adds a slight folksy twang to his voice, but otherwise does nothing to hide his obviously British accent, even though John Henry Eden is supposed to be from Kentucky. Of course, the fact that he is an [[spoiler:AI and supposed to be an amalgamation of all the best past US presidents, the earliest dozen of whom would have been originally British citizens or the sons of British citizens]] could be to blame.[[note]] However, this ''still'' isn't a good explanation, as the accents of England, especially Southern England, shifted considerably after the 18th century, whereas the non-urban American accents – many of which are linguistically quite conservative – changed much less (the accents of American cities have of course changed a lot in 200+ years due to multiple waves of immigration). This means that nearly all of the Founding Fathers probably spoke much more like what we would consider "American" than "English".[[/note]]
** The Lone Wanderer's father, James, is voiced by Liam Neeson, who hardly even tries to hide his native Irish accent.
* In the first couple ''VideoGame/RainbowSix'' games, the operatives, despite coming from countless ethnic/language backgrounds, all have American accents. Although the terrorists in the second game do have foreign accents, and the announcer has a British accent.
* Terry Bogard in ''VideoGame/FatalFury'' and ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'' is an American character who speaks English. Unfortunately, his voice actor is clearly a Japanese man who does not even know English, thus resulting in such gems as "C'MAON! Gitseeeryus!" or "Laavwoire!" or "Ahyu okaeey? BUSTAH WURFU!"
* The voice actor for Barry Burton in the original ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil'', Barry Gjerde, is Danish, his accent only adding to the hilarity or the already poorly written and terribly acted story.
* Mark Meer (the guy who plays [[Franchise/MassEffect Commander Shepard]]) is Canadian. He hides it pretty well, [[OohMeAccentsSlipping most of the time]]. Though it's [[WildMassGuessing hypothetically possible]] that Shepard ''is'' Canadian...
* [[VideoGame/StarFox Fox McCloud]] is this in ''VideoGame/StarFoxAdventures,'' but only that game. Probably due to the game being both made and recorded in the UK. He sounds fairly neutral most of the time, but makes a couple slip-ups with regards to [[OohMeAccentsSlipping British vs. American pronunciations.]] (American "been" rhymes with "when" or "pin," and not "clean", Fox!)
* In ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps'', American black ops operative Alex Mason is played by Australian Sam Worthington... [[OohMeAccentsSlipping whose strong Aussie accent slips through frequently]]. Though in his defence, when it ''doesn't'' slip, it's actually quite convincing.
* As aggressively American as they otherwise, fully half the members of the ''[[VideoGame/BattlefieldBadCompany Bad Company]]'' are played by non-Americans; Haggard's voice actor is Canadian, while Marlowe's is actually ''Norwegian''.
* VideoGame/{{Conker|sBadFurDay}} ([[OohMeAccentsSlipping half of the time, at least]]). This is because, being a Rare game, it was developed in the UK. Conker's voice actor believed that his character should be American, but he couldn't really pull it off.
* Quantic Dreams games ''VideoGame/HeavyRain'' and ''VideoGame/IndigoProphecy'' were both recorded in Europe but with the cast all playing Americans. [[OohMeAccentsSlipping You can often hear the accents slipping through in both games...]]
* English actor Robin Atkin Downes voices American Travis Touchdown in the ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes games''. He's also voiced ComicBook/{{Cyclops}} in a couple games, Kazuhira Miller in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker'' and UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington in ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIII''.
* Suffolk-born (that's in England) actress June Brown (of ''Series/{{Eastenders}}'' fame) plays sexy {{vampires|AreSexGods}}s Vivi in ''VideoGame/BrainDead13''; and she does this in her best SouthernBelle[=/=]Negro accent quite well.
* In the original SamAndMax game, ''[[VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice Sam & Max Hit the Road]]'', Max is voiced by Australian actor Nick Jameson.
* The Scottish Alastair Duncan as American Senator Steven Armstrong in ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance''. His accent is pretty good for the most part, but it does slip during his "college football" speech.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Almost all of (English) LittleKuriboh's voices – except for Bakura – in ''WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries.'' [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] by L.K. trying to sound something like the characters he's parodying, although inverted with Yami as that character sounds more British with each episode, to the point that he stopped sounding like Creator/DanGreen years ago.
** Similarly, [=MasakoX=] (English) in ''WebVideo/NarutoTheAbridgedSeries.'' Masako also plays a fake ''Canadian'' (Rock Lee, eh?).
** Bandit Keith, in... Canada.
* ''Park Bench''
* In Creator/PhilthonJones, this was attempted a couple of times, in "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wothBgBbZlo The Murder of Lord Avocado]]" and "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLK7pI2JNH4 The Meeting]]".
* Jessica Lee Rose of ''{{Lonelygirl 15}}'' adopted an American accent for the character Bree. Occasional lapses into her New Zealand accent prompted early speculation on whether or not the blog was a hoax.
** Partially subverted: Jessica Rose was born in the USA (Salisbury, Maryland) but moved to New Zealand at age 8.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* A ''LOT'' of "American" cartoons over the years have had the voice recording done in Canada (originally Toronto, nowadays Vancouver) due to lower costs. Since Vancouver in particular is so close to the American border, there is little to no difference accent-wise between a Vancouverite and, say, someone from Seattle (the cities are less than 150 miles apart). Given how ubiquitous this is in animation, if we tried to list every single instance of Canadians voicing American cartoon characters, we'd be here all day.\\
\\
This can still come into play, however, when a Canadian voice actor is asked to play an American character from a specific region, like the South.
* Anthony [=LaPaglia=] also did the voice of a Noo Yawk/Noo Joisey mafia-type skua in ''WesternAnimation/HappyFeet''; Creator/HughJackman and NicoleKidman put on Southern accents as [[strike:Elvis]] Memphis and [[strike:Marilyn Monroe]] Norma Jean.
* Rattrap in ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}: WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' has an American accent but an Australian voice actor (Scott [=McNeil=]) who lives in Canada.
** Creator/ScottMcNeil is freakin' everywhere in WesternAnimation, most of the time with fake accent (he's from Australia) - he's had '''several''' roles in Beast Wars, Wolverine in ''WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution'', Stork in ''WesternAnimation/StormHawks'', Hack #2 in ''Reboot'' - and that's just the start.
* English actor Phil Hayes [[VocalEvolution originally]] voiced ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog'''s Scratch with a New York-style accent. In fact, every major character in the series (except for Sonic) has a Canadian or British actor.
** Which makes sense since the series was recorded in Vancouver (except for Jaleel White, who is an American based in LA).
** In fact, the only actor in the show besides White who ''doesn't'' fit this is the late Long John Baldry, who never made any attempt to hide his English accent when playing Robotnik.
* Alan Rickman guest stars on an episode of ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'', playing the part of the "king" of the local Renaissance Faire, of course using his own English accent. At the end of the episode he drops that to reveal his "real" voice, which is a terrible attempt at a Texas accent.
* The ''ComicBook/XMen'' have always been explicitly based in New York (just like the rest of the Marvel Universe). But the earliest animated adaptations were recorded in Canada.
** In the 1990s ''WesternAnimation/XMen'', most American characters – such as Cyclops, Jean Grey, or Jubilee – are voiced by Canadian actors. Professor X is voiced by an Englishman, and Rogue (who is meant to be from Louisiana) is voiced by Lenore Zann, an Australian raised in Canada who spent time in LA before moving back to Canada.
** This is also true for the 2000's-era ''WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution'', which was also recorded in Vancouver. There, Rogue is played by Canadian Meghan Black and Professor Xavier again sounds English (clearly modelled after the very English Creator/PatrickStewart).
* TaraStrong, who is Canadian by birth but lives in L.A., in all kinds of roles both female [[CrossDressingVoices and male]], such as Batgirl in ''[[WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries Gotham Knights]]'', Bubbles in ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'', Raven in ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'', both Timmy Turner and Poof in ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'', Ben Tennyson in ''{{WesternAnimation/Ben 10}}'', and both Princess Clara and Toot Blaustein in ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether''.
* As opposed to his awful accent in ''Film/BlackHawkDown'', JasonIsaacs does a pretty convincing American accent as [[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender Admiral Zhao]]. For a character with a Chinese name from a Japanese influenced part of a fantasy world where America doesn't exist. Go figure.
* Parodied on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "Burns' Heir"[[note]] (the season five episode where Mr. Burns makes Bart Simpson his heir after Bart gets rejected from his audition and takes out his anger by vandalizing Mr. Burns' property)[[/note]] where Mr. Burns hires fake Americans to play the Simpsons family and Burns got the famously Cockney MichaelCaine (voiced by Dan Castallaneta) to play Homer (though that's more of a joke on Caine taking on roles [[MoneyDearBoy just to get paid]]) while Lisa is voiced by a bald male midget from Estonia (and is the same one that would later be seen on the episode "Radioactive Man" as Milhouse's stunt double).
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldofGumball'', with the exception of the Watterson kids and some characters played by Sandra Dickinson[[note]]An American by birth who moved to the UK in her early 20's and has been there ever since. Her own accent after living more than two thirds of her life abroad is a sort of odd warble between the two – British grammatical structure and slang with a mostly American pronunciation.[[/note]] and Dan Russel, every character on the show is played by a British actor doing an American accent.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SpiderMan1967'', most of the American characters were voiced by Canadian actors.
* In the late 1940s, Creator/WaltDisney, too busy to voice Mickey Mouse anymore, handed the duties of voicing the character to the Disney Studios' resident sound effects man James [=MacDonald=], who was born in Scotland but moved to America when he was only six months old.
** Along the same lines, in the newest ''WesternAnimation/MickeyMouse'' series of 2013, Mickey is voiced by Canadian-born Chris Diamantopoulos, who was given the role after (American) Wayne Allwine died in 2009.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Most people outside of North America can't tell the difference between American and Canadian accents anyway. Also, Canada and the United States form a single dialect continuum, with areas near either side of the border sounding almost indistinguishable from each other (except around the Windsor-Detroit area where the effects of the Northern Cities Vowel Shift stop sharply at the Canada-US border, if you pay attention, you can hear the different accents of the Canadian versus the American customs agents). Besides, if we were to list ''every'' Canadian who's played an American on TV or in film we'd be here forever.
** Canadians from Ontario, British Columbia, the Prairie Provinces[[labelnote:*]] Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba[[/labelnote]], and Anglophone Quebeckers already sound reasonably American. That said, Canadian drama schools do spent quite a lot of time teaching their students on speaking American (it's the little things, like the o in "sorry"). Newfies, Maritimers, people from the territories, and (obviously) French Quebecois usually have more distinctive accents, though how apparent the difference is will vary widely among both speakers and listeners.
* Creator/GillianAnderson, oddly enough. Though she was born in America, she moved to England when she was two and didn't move back until she was eleven, and by then her speech patterns had been set. She had to work to lose it when she went into acting, and if you pay attention to the early episodes of ''Series/TheXFiles'' it slips through at times. Now that she's moved back to England, she's got the accent back in full-force.
** She still puts on an American accent when she's interviewed in the U.S.
* Though not technically the same thing, it is funny how so many British singers who, [[VocalDissonance when they speak, can barely be understood by an American audience, yet when they sing, it's clear as day]].
** Very much evident in the Music/PinkFloyd song "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)" where the boy's choir sings with their normal British accents, while Pink Floyd sing with somewhat Americanized accents.
** Shirley Manson of Music/{{Garbage}} sings with an American accent, even though her normal speaking voice is Scottish-accented.
* EmilyBlunt seems to play this for at least ''half'' of her roles.
* Creator/JohnBarrowman zig-zags this. He was born in Glasgow but moved to Illinois as a child and quickly adopted a broad Midwestern accent. He moved back to the UK after graduating high school but still speaks American in every acting role he does, and keeps it up in all interviews and public appearances. Apparently he only uses his original accent when around his parents.
* Creator/ChristianBale, when playing an American character, will keep the accent during promotion and advertising. To hear his natural (and very prominent) Welsh accent can be quite jarring. The infamous recording where he chews out a stagehand that accidentally walked into a shot shows his native accent slipping through.
* [[Creator/LaurelAndHardy Stan Laurel]] was born in England.
* Creator/BobHope was born in England. His father was English and his mother was Welsh. Listening to old footage of him performing, you'd never know he wasn't an all-American boy from Ohio. It should be noted that Hope's speech patterns were mainly set in UsefulNotes/{{Cleveland}}, as his family moved there just before his fifth birthday.
* The late Richard Dawson of ''Series/FamilyFeud'' and ''Match Game'' fame was born and raised in England[[note]] (with a very British name: Colin Lionel Emm)[[/note]] and only came over to the U.S. as a young actor sometime in the 1950s (when he was already in his twenties). Yet when he was a game show superstar in the 1970s and '80s, he sounded just like he was born and raised somewhere in Nebraska or Iowa.
* JerrySpringer was born in London, though that was only because his parents were Eastern European refugees fleeing Nazi oppression (and most of their relatives ended up dying in the concentration camps). The Springer family moved to Queens, NY, when Springer was about four years old or so. Jerry's accent today is New York mixed with a dash of Ohio (where he served as Cincinnati's mayor).
* CaryGrant, who was born in the UK and later took American citizenship. His British accent slowly dwindled over the course of his career, but he never quite sounded American. He almost always played one, however.
* Malin Εkerman, who has portrayed many American roles, was born in Stockholm, {{Sweden}}, and raised in Ontario, {{Canada}}.
* Cary Elwes usually does a Midwestern-ish accent when playing American characters, though he did a vaguely Southern sounding one in Film/{{Twister}}. HelenaBonhamCarter, Nicholas Hoult, and TimRoth have all done ambiguously American accents.
* Pro Skater Bob Burnquist is from Brazil. To some, he seems to have lost his native accent.
* Rapper Slick Rick is British.
** Although he lived in the US for so long that he began to speak with a southern drawl.
* According to Nicola Bryant, who played Peri Brown on ''Series/DoctorWho'', the show tried to cover up the fact that she was not actually American. She was instructed to use her American accent in interviews and public appearances. They eventually let her drop it.
* StephenHawking. His voice synthesizer speaks in an American accent, as it was developed for him by an American company, but Hawking himself is a native of Oxford. He has said he would like to get it replaced with one that uses his natural accent, but the synthesizer has become so iconic that he's stuck with it.
[[/folder]]

----