A GenreRefugee is a StockCharacter from some {{genre|s}} who appears in a story that is in no other way part of that genre. The character is probably WrongGenreSavvy, or may be the cause of wrong genre savviness in others. Since genres often have different tones, the character may be a KnightOfCerebus or the inverse.

See also FishOutOfWater.

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!!Examples

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[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Rossiu from ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' is a RealRobot character stuck in a SuperRobot universe.
* Gai Daigouji from ''Anime/MartianSuccessorNadesico'' is the inverse: A HotBlooded [[SuperRobot Super Robot]] hero stuck in a [[RealRobot Real Robot]] setting.
* ''Manga/KimiNiTodoke'' has three such characters, [[OneOfTheBoys Chi]][[ActionGirl zuru]], [[TheStoic Ryu]], and [[SmallNameBigEgo Kazuichi]] "Pin" [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Arai]]. Who seem to have got transplanted from a fiery {{shonen}} sport series to a lighthearted {{shoujo}} romance.
* Likewise, half the cast of ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub'' are stranded from typical shoujo reverse harem, but it's an AffectionateParody GagSeries [[MoodWhiplash most of the time]].
* ''Manga/YandereKanojo'' has a few characters who would not be out of place in the ShoujoGenre. Shiratori, [[UnknownRival who tries so hard to be Manabu's rival]], is explicitly [[CaptainErsatz based on]] the rival character in ''TokimekiMemorial 3'' and retains some of his genre tropes. Given that the general tone of the series is AffectionateParody of shounen romance stories, these contrasting genre elements are [[HilarityEnsues milked for all their comedic worth]].
* Isidro in ''{{Manga/Berserk}}'' thinks himself a KidHero from a shonen manga. [[HumansAreBastards He is]] ''[[CrapsackWorld very much]]'' WrongGenreSavvy.
* Retsu Akagi would be right at home as a SuperRobot protagonist, or in any sufficiently HotBlooded shonen series... but he's a character in the little girls' magical fantasy ''Anime/JewelpetKiraDeco''.
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[[folder:Comicbooks]]
* The superhero genre is an eclectic mix of various genres like science-fiction, detective fiction, mythology etc., but there are some characters that stick out. In the Franchise/MarvelUniverse for instance, heroes may encounter:
** ComicBook/PatsyWalker, the heroine of a girl comedy series from the 1950s and 1960s, who eventually became the superheroine Hellcat;
** ComicBook/MillieTheModel, the heroine of a girl comedy series that last from the 1950s to the 1970s, who never became a superhero like Patsy;
** ComicBook/NickFury, a superspy in the mold of Film/JamesBond and ''Series/TheManFromUNCLE'', who is also one of the few surviving characters from Marvel's long-defunct war comics;
** Characters from Marvel's take on classic horror stories like [[ComicBook/TheTombOfDracula Dracula]] and the related cast (ComicBook/{{Blade}}, Lilith, the Harkers);
** ComicBook/ThePunisher, {{expy}} of Mack Bolan, the main character from the LongRunningBookSeries ''Literature/TheExecutioner'', who at the outset was so out of tune with the rest of the Marvel Universe that he appeared primarily as an antagonist to people like Franchise/SpiderMan before coming into his own during UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks;
** Shang Chi, Master of Kung Fu, a character created to cash in on the success of the martial arts films of the 1970s who also happens to be related to old YellowPeril villain Franchise/FuManchu; and
** [[ComicBook/HowardTheDuck Howard]], a walking, talking anthropomorphic duck "Trapped in a World He Never Made".
* ''ComicBook/{{Bone}}'' features three {{Cartoon Creature}}s (think along the lines as WesternAnimation/MickeyMouse and his friends) stumbling into a HighFantasy story.
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[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Oogie-Boogie from ''Film/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas''. The other spooks are frightening and with a bit of a skewed morality code, but are ultimately good natured creatures that scare folks for fun. Enter Oogie-Boogie, the one spook who is genuinely malicious and evil-natured, who even the other spooks seem to dislike. According to a suplimentary material he's also this in a completely literal sense, being a refugee from a different bug-themed holiday that's no longer celebrated.
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[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The cowboy in ''Film/TheBigLebowski''. You could also make the argument that the Dude is a StonerFlick side character who wandered into a FilmNoir plot. Then again, half of the metaplot of the movie is about "just some guy from L.A." gets wrangled into the plot of a movie.
* Tommy Frigo in ''Film/{{Adventureland}}'' has wandered in from a raunchy teen movie.
* Steve the Pirate in ''Film/DodgeballATrueUnderdogStory''.
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[[folder:Literature]]
* Quincey P. Morris from ''Literature/{{Dracula}}''. Nothing like the presence of an American cowboy in a GothicHorror story set in ''Britain'' to make you go "Say again?"
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[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The trio of MadScientist supervillains in ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''. After they disable the museum guards with an ice ray and steal a precious diamond, our heroes start searching the ancient tomes for a "frost monster that eats diamonds."
* Gwen [[MeaningfulName Raiden]] in ''Series/{{Angel}}''. A character with electrical powers out of a super hero show, in a VampireDetective series. She was completely unaware of the existence of magic, vampires, and demons before she met Angel.
* This is basically the point of Creator/TheBBC TV film ''Reichenbach Falls'' -- the central character is a DefectiveDetective placed into a much less noir-ish setting. A MindScrew plot with much LeaningOnTheFourthWall ensues in which he gradually escapes from his WrongGenreSavvy.
* This is done in ''Series/TheTwilightZone1959'' episode "Execution", which mixed two of the series' most frequently-used genres: in it, an outlaw from a [[TheWestern Western]]-themed ''Twilight Zone'' episode is [[FishOutOfTemporalWater pulled into]] a ScienceFiction-themed ''Twilight Zone'' episode by a scientist with a time machine.
* A frequent theme in ''Series/DoctorWho'', as a stock premise of stories right from the early days is 'just drop the Doctor into [Genre] and see how he responds'. A handful of examples:
** The Doctor himself is often this, due to his slipping-between-worlds nature. He tends to fit in quite well in most sorts of stories, but it's not rare (especially in the Classic series) for him to be the only Mohs/ScienceInGenreOnly element in a hard SF, a GothicHorror, a FairyTale, a WholePlotReference or even a PeriodDrama. "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS1E1AnUnearthlyChild An Unearthly Child]]", "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS4E4TheHighlanders The Highlanders]]" and "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E1Rose Rose]]" are three stories about what happens when you drop a ridiculous fantasy alien into a normal-world setting.
** "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS5E4TheEnemyOfTheWorld The Enemy of the World]]" features Astrid and Fariah, both of whom are obviously "''[[Film/JamesBond Bond]]'' girls", and Salamander who is a ''Bond''-style DiabolicalMastermind. The Doctor is charmed by Astrid but does not seem to enjoy being in the company of this setting at all - he constantly tries to dodge espionage and only agrees to go undercover when absolutely forced. Young, handsome and resourceful Jamie is a bit more at home.
** TheBrigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart is a {{pastiche}} of the StiffUpperLip OfficerAndAGentleman StockCharacter who appeared in every classic British war movie the children watching would have grown up with.
** Milo Clancey in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS6E6TheSpacePirates The Space Pirates]]" is a Gold Rush {{prospector}} [[SpaceWestern in a hard sci-fi story]]. This was done mostly for TwilightOfTheOldWest symbolism.
** Harry Sullivan, according to his creator Creator/TerranceDicks, was supposed to be a ridiculous, over-the-top ''Boy's Own'' adventure hero who had somehow found himself in a ''Doctor Who'' story, being narratively upstaged by the Doctor and not quite able to realise why this is happening to him. He doesn't really scan as this after "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS12E1Robot Robot]]", due to [[DependingOnTheWriter other writers taking his genre quirks more seriously]].
** Leela is a character from an Edwardian JungleOpera novel, to go with her GothicLiterature-themed Doctor. She's from a CargoCult worshipping AncientAstronauts (albeit with a twist), uses all of the NobleSavage and NubileSavage tropes and her name is a play on 'Leila', the stereotypical name of foreign FemmeFatale characters of TwoFistedTales of this era. She also takes influence from the PygmalionPlot, to the point where she was originally conceived as a Victorian Cockney flower girl.
** "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS14E6TheTalonsOfWengChiang The Talons of Weng-Chiang]]" is about putting the Doctor and Leela into the roles of Franchise/SherlockHolmes and Dr. Watson and pitting them against characters lifted from Franchise/FuManchu stories.
** Rose Tyler is clearly a character from a 00s SoapOpera who gets sucked into the Doctor's universe. This helped the revival serve as a GatewaySeries to TV family science fiction at a time when the genre was said to be [[DeadHorseGenre dead]] - and had something of a meta concept to it, seeing as the popular family viewing of that era was Soap Opera, {{Game Show}}s and {{Reality Show}}s (which later Ninth Doctor episodes also explore).
** Donna is the kind of shouty comic grotesque who'd be played in a sketch show by Creator/CatherineTate, although with plenty of HiddenDepths and [[HeReallyCanAct much better acted than you'd expect]].
* In ''Series/TheITCrowd'', the concept is that Douglas Reynholm is a character from a ([[StylisticSuck apparently, shitty]]) {{telenovela}} who happens to have ended up in a {{Britcom}} somehow. Lots of jokes are had at the expense of his [[LargeHam overwrought personality]], which derives from the [[WorldOfHam standard acting style]] of telenovela, but turns him into a batshit insane MoodSwinger amongst the characters doing sitcom-acting.
* An episode of ''Series/TheYoungOnes'' had [[ClassicallyTrainedExtra a mailman who acted like he was in a Shakespeare play.]]
* The Captain of ''Series/HowIMetYourMother''.
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[[folder:Radio]]
* Teenaged cowboy Tex Barton in a few radio episodes of ''Radio/OurMissBrooks''.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* In any other game, [[HotBlooded Bang]] [[HighlyVisibleNinja Shishigami]] might have been TheHero (and DoggedNiceGuy to Litchi). In ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' he's [[ButtMonkey treated with no respect]], with his only canon "victory" to date being [[spoiler:using his ''SuperMode'' to flee from [[BigBad Terumi]]]] [[note]]Admittedly, he was escaping with [[CatGirl Taokaka]] and [[KidHero Carl Clover]] after they'd both been beaten to near death rather than showing any cowardice.[[/note]].
* Most of the cast of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' are traditional JRPG cast members, although fairly original and [[{{Deconstruction}} dysfunctional]] takes on each archetype - with the exception of Vincent Valentine, a walking homage to horror films. He's encountered in a coffin in the basement of a stereotypical Film/HammerHorror-style mansion, he has a [[TheLostLenore Lost Lenore]] (Lucretia), his rival is a MadScientist, and he's able to transform into four monsters, each based on a different horror genre (Galian Beast is dark fantasy, Death Gigas is a gothic FrankensteinsMonster, Hellmasker is a SlasherMovie villain and Chaos is a CosmicHorror character). In earlier drafts he was supposed to be a FilmNoir-style detective, and following that, an {{Expy}} of Agent Mulder from ''Series/TheXFiles'', and the elements of those which remain in his eventual character make him stand out as even odder in the cast.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyBravo'' involving all sorts of Halloween creatures also has a random gnome (of the lawn variety) mingling with them.
* The recurring Creepy Old Guy from ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' acts like the MrExposition from a ''Creator/StephenKing''-esque macabre story.
** Many episodes were basically "drag the boys into a (insert movie genre) movie and make the characters from it as cliché as possible". Creator/RolandEmmerich-esque {{Disaster Movie}}s are a frequent template.
[[/folder]]

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