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->''"The Teutonic reputation for brutality is well founded. Their operas [[Theatre/DerRingDesNibelungen last three or four days]], and [[LanguageEqualsThought they have no word for 'fluffy']]".''[[note]]For the sake of fairness and pedantry, it should be noted that the Germans actually have at least five words for fluffy.[[/note]]
-->-- '''Captain Blackadder''', ''Series/{{Blackadder}} Goes Forth''

Or, if you prefer, [[{{Pun}} sour Krauts]].

Germans in fiction are often stereotyped in one of two ways: as [[AllGermansAreNazis Nazis]], or as being dour, serious and frustrated to the point of ridicule. ([[BeingEvilSucks Or both]].) This is a mild TruthInTelevision: While Germans do, indeed, have [[GermanHumour a sense of humour]], they also strictly divide work time and leisure time (see {{Oktoberfest}}). And since chances are you'll encounter German people in business situations, this means they will be perceived by others as downright serious during the former. This has also contributed to the additional stereotype of Germans being portrayed as [[GermanicEfficiency ruthlessly efficient]]. May be known as German ''Gründlichkeit'' in other nations.

Also, Germans, like [[BritishStuffiness several other European countries]], tend to be just a tad more reserved than more laid-back, open Americans are accustomed to. Unfortunately, this reserved-ness is often mistaken for coldness.
This trope exists even inside Germany, as North Germans are often perceived that way by the rest of Germany.

Not so much TruthInTelevision: TV Germans also seem to get angry quite easily, often yelling and having fits that make them sound like, well... [[ThoseWackyNazis you know.]] (Of course, [[EverythingSoundsSexierInFrench everything sounds angrier in German]].)

Another variant of the "serious German" trope is to have a German character attempt to tell a joke, and fail miserably, thus providing us with the quote page's horrible joke. Really, we apologize. Although GermanHumor does include a ''lot'' of untranslatable puns itself...

It should also be noted, that this trope is generally not too old, and hails back to the era of Frederick the Great (18th century) who received his name for turning the unstable melting pot of squabbling states into the efficient Prussian empire, but until Bismarck (late 19th century) this trope was usually limited to German military. See the 1632 entry below for a history-accurate point of view an Englishman or American could have possibly had about Germans.

See also GermanicEfficiency.

And as to the quote at the top of this page: it's "flauschig" (or "fluffig", a borrowing from English).

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!!Examples
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Advertising ]]

* In a slight variation, Israeli wooden furniture company [[http://www.etzmaleh.co.il/content.php?id=19 Etzmaleh]] (lit. ‘full wood’, but [[{{Pun}} written in a way that uses the ‘-''le''’ part as a diminutive suffix]]) [[TakeThat poked fun]] at [=IKEA=] ran a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFpn7tK57K4 series]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZYiCvHFapc of]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHKN1--PQsw commercials]] showing Swedish children reading, knitting, and playing music quietly, followed by Israeli children jumping and playing, with the line, ‘Swedish kids should be supplied with Swedish furniture. Israeli kids need strong furniture from [[TitleDrop Etzmaleh]][=/=][[{{Pun}} made of full wood]].’

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Anime[=/=]Manga ]]

* ''AxisPowersHetalia''. Germany, of course. The thing is, this trope originates with Prussia's disciplined military culture that dominates perceptions of Germans, but Prussia himself represents this by being a fiercely HotBlooded warrior, so not depressive at all, even though he's the origin of the trope. However, it is said his true nature is even more methodical and serious than Germany's.
** The comic also acknowledges that south Germans are supposed to nice and jolly (they gave us Oktoberfest), but Austria is even ''stricter'' than Germany, if more refined and aristocratic. However, that Austrians are perceived as more carefree than Germans does manifest in different ways, such as how Austria throws his clothes around and leaves his underwear around his house.
* Signum of ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'', while not an actual German, [[FantasyCounterpartCulture comes from an alien culture that uses a lot of]] GratuitousGerman. She's the very image of a true soldier, which is why her new partner [[spoiler:Agito]] finds her to be an utter drag. The FourthWallMailSlot had Fate advising her to "relax" when she asked for tips on how to be "buddy-like" with her partner. A bit of a problem since Signum ''hates'' to be relaxed.
** In the first A's Sound Stage, Hayate, after noticing Signum initially decline her invitation to go to the public baths with her, Shamal and Vita, asks Signum if she still isn't used to the idea of spending time with her mistress. Hayate ultimately gets Signum to come along by essentially saying that it should be okay for her if her mistress says it is.
* ''Manga/FromEroicaWithLove'': Klaus von dem Eberbach exemplifies this trope to the tenth degree. Hates disorder, doesn't know how to relax (literally), uptight, conservative, and always clad in a suit - Klaus can send the stress levels of a room soaring just by walking in. Interestingly though, he's the only German to conform to [[NationalStereotypes his national stereotype]] in a series rife with them: his German underlings include a [[WholesomeCrossdresser sweet natured transvestite]] somewhat prone to hysterics, a beleaguered second in command, a goofy third in command and an earnest rookie.
* In ''{{Cyborg 009}}'', the German Cyborg Albert Heinrich/004 is given one of the most tragic backstories as an EastGermany escapé who loses his fiancée and has his body half-torn in their escape, is reconstructed as a ''heavily'' armored Cyborg by Black Ghost, and then is put into a coma for many years. Though he (thankfully) doesn't reach {{wangst}} levels, he often remarks on how everything has changed for him and shows deep worry [[CyberneticsEatYourSoul about how much of a human he truly is]] [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman due to all his implants]].
* Victor Hillshire from ''GunslingerGirl'' gave of this vibe in the earlier parts of the manga, to the point where Jose [[LampshadeHanging pointed it out]] when the former was asking the latter for advice in ''fratello'' relationships. We see later that he just doesn't socialize with children well, Triela in particular because [[spoiler:he rescued her from a SnuffFilm death back from when he was in Europol in a bungled raid that got his partner killed, kidnapped her from custody from the Dutch police and brought her to Italy for treatment before he found out the true nature of the Social Welfare Agency.]] It was awkward at first, until her decision to let Mario Bossi go see his daughter rather than stay and be protected by the Agency helps him see her as a partner rather than a child or a cyborg killer, as he had difficulty knowing how to interact with the latter two. Now, ironically, they're the closest ''fratello'' group other than Sandro and Petra, who actually took it [[RelationshipUpgrade a step further]].
* The generally taciturn Hoover Kippenburg in the ''{{Area 88}}'' manga was stricken with guilt over a training accident back in Europe that killed several pilots. When he takes over for an injured commander Saki, his style is described as steady and methodical.
* Uryuu Ishida from ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': While probably not actually being German (he is a Quincy, but they are based on Germans in terms of culture), he is a very serious character who never relaxes. Even around his friends and in peace time he will always stay stern and unsmiling. His friends are sometimes thrown off by this attitude.
* Most of the members of the German-themed Kuromorimine Womens' College of ''Anime/GirlsUndPanzer'' are quite serious, and have difficulty lightening up. Maho, commander of the tankery team, calls some of them over for a Christmas party, but they mistake it for a review of their recent mistakes in tankery, and dread it. In the party, Maho often finds herself not knowing what to do, and wondering what her younger sister Miho, a former student, would do in the situation.
* In ''[[Manga/VictorianRomanceEmma Emma]]'', the Mölders family and many of their staff are from Germany, but with the sole exception of dour, silent footman Hans, they completely avert this trope.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comedy ]]

* German stand-up Henning Wehn has had a fair amount of success in Britain (frequently appearing on {{Panel Show}}s) with a shtick that [[ZigZaggingTrope by turns]] lampshades, defies and [[AntiHumor plays straight]] the stereotype.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* ''ComicBook/{{X-Men}}'': Kurt Wagner a.k.a. Nightcrawler was intended to be an aversion of this, a light-hearted Errol Flynn type. He was introduced as devout as any other lay Catholic simply to demonstrate his [[DarkIsNotEvil demonism was only skin-deep]] and to heighten the injustice of the religious superstition against him. However, through TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks he became more of a SadClown, then as {{Wangst}}y as any X-Man. Recently he was killed outright and apparently replaced with a DarkerAndEdgier AlternateUniverse [[Comicbook/AgeOfApocalypse version]] of himself. He's come back as of ''Amazing X-Men'' (vol.2) #5 [[spoiler: but as he's apparently had to sacrifice his soul to keep Azazel out of Heaven, there's no reason not to expect a BreakTheCutie plot with him in the future]].
* ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}'': In ''Recap/AsterixAndTheGoths'' the Goths (Roman term for people from the area we nowadays identify as Germany) were cast as militaristic war-mongering villains, playing into the AllGermansAreNazis trope. Creators Creator/ReneGoscinny and Creator/AlbertUderzo later regretted the tone of this story, saying it was made only twenty years after the war when anti-German sentiments were still vivid. In later Asterix stories Germans are portrayed in a more sympathetic light, though still as people who are often deadly serious.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* Contrast the German art-house film, ''Film/WingsOfDesire'', with its American quasi-remake, ''Film/CityOfAngels'', and note how the commoners behave in both films. The former very much lives up to this trope.
* The black-clad German nihilists in ''Film/TheBigLebowski''. They believe in ''nozzing!'' Even Walter, a Jewish man, prefers Nazis over them.
-->'''The Dude:''' They were Nihilists, man. They kept saying they believed in nothing.\\
'''Walter:''' Nihilists... fuck me. I mean, say what you will about the tenets of [[ThoseWackyNazis National Socialism]], dude, at least it's an ethos.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* Inverted in the ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'' series, where the "downtime" Germans consider ''the Americans'' to be the uptight, stuffy, and unnecessarily organized ones. (So does just about everybody else.)
--> Rebecca's own brows were furrowed. ''"Alles in ordnung?" What is he talking about? Germans are the most unruly and undisciplined people in Europe.''\\
Germans! Who squabbled about everything, including even the language they spoke, and were notorious throughout Europe for the production of religious sects, mass rebellions, mercenary soldiers, everything ''except'' order.
* In one of the ''Literature/FatherBrown'' stories, an Italian actress storms off in a temper and locks herself in her room. The rest of the troupe debate whether to break the door down to prevent her committing suicide. Father Brown (half-jokingly?) says that as she's Italian there's no need, but had she been a German "gone away to think about ''Weltschmerz''" he would be all for knocking the door down.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'': This was the secondary idea to the 'World's Funniest Joke' sketch. It was so funny, [[BrownNote anyone who heard it died laughing]], so of course the British employed it as a weapon of war. (A particularly well-trained SS officer was capable of resisting the joke for a few seconds.) German attempts to develop a counter weapon were...unsuccessful.
--> '''Hitler''': Mein Hund hat keine Nase!
--> '''Hitlerjugend''': ''Wie riecht er''?
--> '''Hitler''': Schrecklich!
** For those interested in a translation: it's the "My dog has no nose" joke. You know the punchline.
* While preparing for a negotiation with German TV executives, Jack Donaghy of ''Series/ThirtyRock'' watches some of their programming, which is bleak, artsy and not shot in color. (These are apparently sitcoms.)
* ''Series/{{Blackadder}} Goes Forth'' - Blackadder describes how well-founded "the Teutonic reputation for brutality" is while he and Baldrick are prisoners of war. However, the promised FateWorseThanDeath turns out to be [[spoiler: teaching home economics in a girls' school outside Heidelberg.]] It's intended to be an unbearable humiliation for men of honor, but somehow fails to have the expected result on Blackadder.
* Recurring characters The Nihilists from Series/TheRonnieJohnsHalfHour fit this trope to a T, always dressed in black, with stoic faces and never smiling. The more Unfunny they were, the funnier the sketch. One sketch had them leading an aerobics class at a gym, and, when asked to start the warm-ups, one of them replied, "My body is always cold." Other sketches have included them hosting a children's television show and a Seinfield parody of sorts.
* ''The Dana Carvey Show'' had two characters called [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin "the Germans who say nice things."]] They [[AllGermansAreNazis stood side by side at attention, shouting]] things like "EET VOS A PLEASURE BABYSITTING KEVIN" and "''MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS'' IS THE FEEL-GOOD MOVIE OF THE YEEEEEAR!"
* An example from Germany itself: ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernd_das_Brot Bernd das Brot]]'' (Bernd the Bread), a (slightly) anthropomorphic loaf-of-bread puppet; supposedly only working in television due to a lack of other employment opportunities, always at the butt-end of practical jokes and stunts set up by the producers and his well-meaning colleagues (a sheep and a bush), instead of just being left alone to memorise the pattern of his wallpaper and expand his collection of the most boring railway track videos. Interestingly, this world-weary sufferer originated on a children's channel, with the nightly repeat of the sketches greatly expanding his adult fanbase. Following this he even became a topic for high-brow newspaper columns, with commentators linking his popularity to the over-the-top, PlayedForLaughs portrayal of his depression resonating with the German psyche.
** One interpretation is that Bernd's popularity stems from his claiming the right to be unhappy in the hyper-happy media-dominated world of today. A bit like a box-shaped [[Literature/BraveNewWorld Savage]].
* ''Series/TheColbertReport'' has a recurring character, German UN ambassador Hans Beinholtz, who shows up exclusively to make things more dour and depressing. Some of his highlights:
** This bit about Germans and [[http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/270726/april-13-2010/thought-for-food---mentally-ill-advertisers---german-cupcakes cupcakes]] (Starts at 3:40-ish).
** Presenting a sock puppet that he insists is not alive and convincing Stephen that [[Series/TheMuppets Kermit the Frog]] is actually a being of pure selfishness.
** Decrying World Cup fever as "nationalism and competition, the twin seeds of war. Go team."
** [[http://www.colbertnation.com/video/tags/Hans%20Beinholtz Ich bin jetzt sicher daß Herr Beinholtz eine zeitweilige aber regelmäßige Rolle geworden ist]].
* Anna Schmidt of ''Series/MindYourLanguage'' fits the trope, since all the characters embody caricatures of the stereotypes about their home country.
* Mike Myers' Dieter character from the recurring ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' skit "Sprockets" certainly had a grim façade, although he also seemed to take pleasure in his weirdness.
* The Australian comedy clip show "The Ronnie Johns Half Hour" had a group of three psuedointellectuals with German accents who fit this trope to a tee.
* One challenge on ''Series/TopGear'' required the presenters to go to "the world's least amusing city"... which of course turned out to be Berlin.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* The inhabitants of ''SeventhSea'''s Eisen (which is Germany with a minimal rename) are practically required to be like this. Of course, their entire country was dashed to pieces by a holy war, so they have an excuse.
* Natives of Krieg in Warhammer40K. Although in their case it's justified: they're a MartyrdomCulture consisting almost entirely of clones due to the planet rebelling and being reconquered with '''half a millenia of nuking''. Since then, they seek to atone by using WWI trench warfare tactics in full coats and gas masks (their planet is still radioactive). Their conformity, fatalism and zeal for dying fighting cause them to need [[ThePoliticalOfficer Commissars]] not for maintaining order and morale as is usually a Commissar's main duties, but to liaison with regiments from other worlds because they reliably creep everyone else out. To be completely fair, while their helmets are mostly German styled, their uniform also have UsefulNotes/WW1-French influences, like a crest upon their helmet like the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrian_helmet French Adrian helmet]] and their overcoats are French.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Sasha Nein from ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}.''
* While ''Franchise/AceAttorney'''s Miles Edgeworth isn't German by birth, he has a German mentor (also an example of this trope) and spent much of his youth in Germany, so he qualifies. [[WhipItGood Franziska von Karma]] is also an example. (Mind you, this is only in the localized version; in the original game the Karumas are American.)
* Johann Strauss from ''VideoGame/QuakeIV''.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'''s The Medic swaps constantly between 'cross and dour' to [[FourEyesZeroSoul 'just plain crazy.']]
** He seems fairly cheerful throughout "Meet the Medic", and a few of his [[HollerButton voice clips]] are puns, but even more of them are complaining about his own team.
** This element of his character seems to have gradually been reversed, to the point that in the Halloween 2012 event ''all'' of his lines are completely enthusiastic, making him a canonically gleeful MadDoctor.
* Siegfried of the ''VideoGame/SoulSeries'', but then, he has every right to be depressed given his backstory.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* Germany in ''Webcomic/ScandinaviaAndTheWorld'' is basically the poster child of this trope, due to him being the personification of the country and also having a lot of guilt issues.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In the ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'' episode "The Sad, Sad Tale of Chickenfoot", Membrane introduces Dib to the world leaders he's having a conference with. Seeing that he's watching a report about Chickenfoot, they all start laughing at him, except for the German guy. (According to the DVD commentary, you can tell he's German because he has a monocle).
* The Germans get fed up with this stereotype in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', [[SeriousBusiness raiding South Park Elementary's "Comedy Awards"]] forcing Jimmy to deny that the Germans are the least funny people in the world. [[GoneHorriblyRight Then they introduce their creation, FunnyBot]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* The fact that the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schopenhauer founder]] of [[DespairEventHorizon philosophical pessimism]] was German probably doesn't help this trope much. Neither does Creator/FriedrichNietzsche, for that matter.
** For some strange reason, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gottfried_Leibniz the founder of philosophical optimism]] (mentioned in ''{{Candide}}'') was German too. [[DichterAndDenker Philosophy is kind of their thing]].
* TheMarxBrothers' parents were both Germans [[note]]Technically their father was an Alsatian--no, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Shepherd_Dog not that kind]]--a Germanic culture now in French territory (the elder Marx's friends called him "Frenchie")[[/note]]. Groucho originally played a Germanic accented character which he dropped just about WWI.
* Disproved in Spike Milligan's war diaries with the anecdote that at a reunion many years later a German friend of one of the people came along and Spike discovered that they had been on opposite sides of the same hill in Italy in one engagement. The German quickly passed Spike a note which read "Sorry to have missed you during the war"...
* The world's largest {{Goth}} convention, Wave Gotik Treffen takes place in Leipzig, Germany.
* Would you believe there's a German comedian and slam poet with a depressive shtick? Nico Semsrott's "stand-up tragedy" program is called (translated) "Joy is just a lack of information".
* ''Literature/ChristianeF'': The real life autobiographical story about a teenage heroin prostitute who lived in Berlin during the 1970s.
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