[[quoteright:307:[[Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Global_Ignorance_9196.png]]]]

->'''Wrestling/HulkHogan:''' Brother I'll leg drop your ass back to Beijing!\\
'''[[UsefulNotes/NorthKorea Kim Jong-Il]]:''' Beijing is in ''China'', you blond asshole!
-->-- ''WebVideo/EpicRapBattlesOfHistory''

For some reason, TV producers seem to consider geography to be the most basic form of human knowledge[[note]]Probably something to do with the fact that before the era of public transportation lack of geographical knowledge [[TooDumbToLive would've had dire consequences]], so most people do[[/note]]. When they want to show that a person is an idiot, they almost inevitably show some geographic mistake, such as mistaking a continent for a country, or inability to find a given location on a map.

This can be done with a character, to demonstrate his or her status as TheDitz, or with real people as part of a SelectiveStupidity feature.

Alternatively, it can be used to depict a character as being a short-sighted nationalist, usually a resident of [[{{Eagleland}} The God-Blessed United States of America]]. Europeans frequently use this trope as shorthand for [[NationalStereotypes stupid Americans]] who know nothing of the world beyond the continental forty-eight states. It's not without its merits, though: [[TruthInTelevision a variety of studies have found that American students are among the least geographically literate in the world]].

In another variation, a character insists on using [[IstanbulNotConstantinople the old names]] for countries that have reformed or gained independence, such as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodesia Rhodesia]] (a former British territory in Southern Africa now known as Zimbabwe) or Ceylon (Sri Lanka). In this case, the character is [[FishOutOfTemporalWater oblivious to the]] [[BornInTheWrongCentury changing political climes]], and has no interest in staying current. If he knows the modern names, [[SelectiveObliviousness but refuses to acknowledge them]], he's probably a QuintessentialBritishGentleman who wants to harken back to the glory days of the empire.

A third possible use is to show a character as being out of touch rather than stupid by using the old names for countries that no longer exist but did exist in their lifetime, like Yugoslavia or the Soviet Union. Unlike the above example, these characters are unlikely to be making a statement and are simply old, or otherwise haven't had any reason to check a map in the past decade.

Of course there are greater and lesser degrees of this trope, and it can be used in subtly different ways. Not knowing the name of the capital of the country a character is currently in almost certainly is showing how the character is genuinely stupid, while being unable to name all of the former Yugoslavian republics[[note]]Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia[[/note]] is unlikely to be saying a character is dumb unless its being asked by TheSmartGuy to demean a character. However this can backfire as the 'genius' character demands another name--the capital of Belarus[[note]]Minsk[[/note]]--and ends up stumping themselves.

Often a character who isn't characterized as being either TheSmartGuy or TheDitz will make understandable but amusing slips along these lines to cement their position in the intellectual hierarchy particularly if they have been being a bit too smart recently. A good example would be [[IdenticalLookingAsians thinking Thai people are from Taiwan]] which is wrong, but not completely stupid either.

Can overlap with EskimosArentReal, if the character refuses to believe that a country actually exists.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', when Makie reveals how much she's learned much about the history and geography of Mundas Magicus in a few weeks, Yuna is surprised, given that normally she can't find Germany, Italy or France on a map, and thinks that Switzerland is near England and that ''Australia'' is around Europe.
* ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'':
** Alfred/America asks where Japan is on a map... of the United States of America.
** In the English dub of the anime, the narrator begins a discussion of a part of Polish history, stops herself - "Right, anime fans." - and backs up to begin a dumbed-down version of the same information. Then she stops herself ''again'': "Right, American fans. Poland is a country. In Europe!" Ow.
* Used as a plot point in ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam0080WarInThePocket Gundam 0080]]''. Bernie, [[DressingAsTheEnemy posing as a Federation soldier]], claims to be from Australia while making small talk and mentions how he used to love playing in the snow around Christmastime. [[EurekaMoment Several minutes later, the man he was talking to realizes]] that the Southern Hemisphere has '''warm''' weather in December; this is the mistake that blows the team's cover [[spoiler:and gets everyone but Bernie killed. Not to mention that Sydney was wiped out by The ColonyDrop and no longer exists at that time, anyone from Sydney should not be talking like that about it.]]
* In ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'', Touma Kamijou is very ignorant about topics like geography and history, which the other characters find really annoying. He tries to use the excuse that he's a Japanese student and shouldn't be expected to be knowledgeable about countries like Denmark, but none of the other Japanese characters have this problem.
* In the Jojolion arc of ''Manga/JojosBizarreAdventure'', Hato Higashikata is revealed to have ruined a family vacation to Hawaii because she didn't realize Hawaii wasn't part of Japan (and, thus, never bothered to get a passport).

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Dave from ''ComicStrip/KnightsOfTheDinnerTable'' is convinced that Canada is a Communist country and behind the Iron Curtain. He also thinks the language of Israel is Orkish. And Weird Pete [[EskimosArentReal doesn't realize that Papua New Guinea is a real country]].
* Tabby in ''Comicbook/{{Nextwave}}''. She thinks Europe is a country and is shocked to learn that the French are in Canada.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In a ''Franchise/{{Shrek}}'' film, Donkey is served a platter of food by a chef who says "''Bon appétit''" (which is a French expression) and Donkey remarks: "Oh, boy! Mexican food!" (Of course, [[DancingBear the fact that a four-legged animal can speak in the first place is pretty impressive on its own]].)

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* DumbBlonde Lorelei Lee (Creator/MarilynMonroe) in ''Film/GentlemenPreferBlondes'':
-->'''Lorelei:''' Excuse me, but what is the way to Europe, France?
-->'''Dorothy:''' Honey, France is in Europe.
-->'''Lorelei:''' Well, who said it wasn't?
-->'''Dorothy:''' Well... you wouldn't say you wanted to go to North America, Mexico.
-->'''Lorelei:''' If that's where I wanted to go, I would.
* From the original ''Film/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' movie:
-->'''Buffy:''' Well, excuse me for not knowing about El Salvador! Like I'm ever going to Spain, anyway!
* In ''Film/DieHard'', a psychiatrist interviewed on the news brings up his book on "[[StockholmSyndrome Helsinki Syndrome]]", as he calls it (presumably Stockholm has copyrighted itself and wouldn't give the rights). The newsreader cuts into clarify that Helsinki is in Sweden, and is quickly corrected - "Finland."
* Invoked in Disney's ''Film/TheThreeMusketeers1993''; Porthos claims to have been given gifts from various royals who don't exist, including the Queen of America and the Czarina of Tokyo. He smirks whenever he says one, waiting to see if anyone catches onto his bullshit.
* In ''Film/SnowDogs'', the character played by Creator/NichelleNichols apologizes to an Alaskan cab driver because she only has "American money" with which to pay him.
* ''Film/EarthGirlsAreEasy'' - an alien asks Valerie if they're in Finland (just having seen a sexy travel commercial) - she cheerfully replies "No, you're in the Valley - Finland is the capital of Norway!"
* In ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'', Glinda's song in the beginning says, "She fell from the sky/ She fell very far/ And Kansas she says/ Is the name of the star" implying that Oz is on another world that now thinks Earth is Only Kansas.
* ''Film/MoneyMonster'': Lee Gates thinks Swahili is South Africa's official language. He's called out for this.
* ''Film/{{Idiocracy}}'': A government official mentions that a nuclear reactor is leaking in Georgia. When his coworker states it's in Florida, he responds by saying "Florida is in Georgia, dumbass".
* In ''[[Literature/BridgetJones Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason]]'', the protagonist is described as "someone someone who thought lran was David Bowie's wife, and who didn't know where Germany was". At least the latter allegation is corroborated.


* In ''Literature/TheGreatGatsby'', Nick asks Gatsby what part of the Midwest he is from. Gatsby responds, "San Francisco." This is the first sign that Gatsby isn't who he claims to be.
* In ''Literature/WhyWeTookTheCar'', Maik at first refuses to believe that Wallachia ''exists''.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'':
-->'''Cordelia:''' Oh, yesterday your cousin called, with one of those names from your part of England.\\
'''Doyle:''' ... My part of ''England''? [[note]]Doyle is Irish.[[/note]]
* ''Series/TheChasersWarOnEverything'' had a journalist checking out general knowledge about Americans. During that skit, one section had random people point out Iraq and North Korea on the map. While they did find those countries, the map was mislabeled, and thus they put the pin in the middle of Australia. One person also commented that North Korea had a large land mass compared to South Korea (mislabeled from Tasmania). And finally, if the USA needed to attack the country in the bottom-right corner of the map, they would have to attack from the West (cause the East just has the edge of the map.)
** There was another skit that involved promoting Australia's tourism. Random Americans were shown pictures of famous landmarks, which the Chasers then claimed were actually in Australia. Notable examples include the Leaning Tower of Perth, Big Ben in Adelaide, The Eiffel Tower in Melbourne and the Taj Mahal in the Simpson Desert.
---> '''Woman:''' ''(after being shown the Sydney Opera House)'' That was in ''[[WesternAnimation/FindingNemo Nemo]]''. I have no idea what it's called though.
* Happened frequently with Ali G on ''Series/DaAliGShow''.
** In one episode he visited the United Nations building, was surprised to find that Africa wasn't represented as a country, and refused to believe the guide's explanation that many African countries were represented.
** In a mock appeal, he shows a map of the world with pretty much everything mislabeled - such as Africa being labeled Jamaica and South America as [[UsefulNotes/LosAngeles South Central]].
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'':
** Joey was fond of this one too. Notable exchange when Chandler is trying to compete with Joey for the attentions of a Dutch girl.
--->'''Chandler:''' Joey, where do you think Dutch people come from?
--->'''Joey:''' Um.... Pennsylvania Dutch come from Pennsylvania.
--->'''Chandler:''' But original Dutch people? Would you say they come from somewhere like the Netherlands?
--->'''Joey:''' Haha, you can't fool me. See [[EskimosArentReal the Netherlands is a made-up place where Peter Pan lives]].
** Joey also spent an episode trying to find somewhere he could change US dollars into "Vermont money".
** And then there was the ThanksgivingEpisode "name the states" game, in which he named 56 (including New England and South Oregon), and then chided Ross for making up a state (Utah) that was actually real.
** When Chandler is pretending to emigrate to Yemen to escape Janice: "That almost sounds like a real place!"
** Averted in a second season episode, where Chandler and his new roommate are talking about ex-girlfriends. Chandler mentions how he broke up with a girl because she thought the capital of Cambodia was Creator/SeanPenn, when "everybody knows the capital of Cambodia is... not Sean Penn." (This isn't actually as foolish as it seems since Sean Penn sounds similar to Phnom Penh.)
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' had geography as one of J.D.'s weaknesses. He claimed New Zealand was close to "Old Zealand" and pointed out China on the Janitor's globe when he was looking for Iraq.
-->'''Janitor:''' That's China.
-->'''J.D.:''' ''[[NoYou You're]]'' [[LameComeback China.]]
-->'''Janitor:'''...That's an outrageous accusation.
* ''Series/MrShow'':
** In the first episode, Bob Odenkirk tries, and fails pathetically, in an attempt to name all the US states in 15 seconds. Thereafter, David Cross explains that Bob missed the first day of school, believes there are only five states, and thinks one of them is called "Chim-Cham".
** In one skit, a group of college students on an MTV show claim to have traveled all over the world, showing a crayon map of the places they went in Europe. "Europe" is drawn in the shape of the continental United States, divided up into countries such as "Germany" and "Europe."
* In a RunningGag, Gob and Maeby in ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'' believe Portugal is a Spanish-speaking country in South America. The pilot also features Buster mistaking the blue parts of a map for the land (to make it even sillier, he was described a scene or two earlier as having taken graduate-level classes in cartography). Another one involves Gob's plan to hire "Mexicans from Colombia", where Michael points out that they are called "Colombians".
* In one episode of ''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway'', Drew Carey called Africa a great country. Greg Proops responds "It's also a ''continent'' if you're a geographer!" The contestants turned it into a RunningGag for the rest of the episode.
* In ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'', on his journey to Alaska Francis was conned into changing his US currency for 'Alaskan dollars'.
* In an episode of the "Trash TalkShow" parody ''NightStand'', host Dick Dietrick (played by Timothy Stack) responds to a Vietnamese guest's question, "You've heard of Vietnam, Dick?" with "Oh yes, we fought against each other in UsefulNotes/TheKoreanWar."
* Andy Dwyer in ''Series/ParksAndRecreation'':
-->'''April''': I'm sorry, I was in Venezuela.\\
'''Andy''': Oh, really? Wow, across the pond.
** And in another episode:
--->'''Andy''': "Hey it's me, Justin. Take my coat, but please be careful I got it from the King of Africa when we were walking on the Berlin Wall together." Really, Justin, what instruments do you play? ''[pause]'' Actually he's a pretty sick keyboardist.
** Andy choosing a country for a model U.N.
--->'''Leslie''': Andy, will you be Iceland?\\
'''Andy''': The bad guys from ''[[Film/TheMightyDucks Mighty Ducks 2]]''? Don’t think so.\\
'''Leslie''': How about Japan?\\
'''Andy''': The bad guys from ''[[Film/TheKarateKidPartII Karate Kid 2]]''? Even worse. How about Germany? They’ve never been the bad guys.
** A FreezeFrameBonus in the episode, "Win, Lose, or Draw". On Andy's list of all the places he and April could live, "U.S.S.R." is listed, but crossed out with "Russia" written in next to it. Presumably, Andy ignorantly wrote down "U.S.S.R." and April corrected him.
** After driving for many hours to visit the Grand Canyon with April, he asked, "So where are the faces of the presidents?"
*** In a deleted scene from that same episode, April takes advantage of her husband's global ignorance by taking him to a random patch of land and claiming that it is Four Corners (where Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado meet), presumably to avoid having to drive out of their way to the actual place. Andy happily jumps back and forth across the imaginary state boundaries, excitedly shouting that he's in states like Arizona and Nebraska, that don't even border each other in real life.
** In one episode, Tom's girlfriend from Doctors Without Borders was going to Rwanda. He complains that, "if I know anything about Rwanda -- and I don't -- I bet it's full of rich guys who will buy her whatever she wants."
* In one episode of ''Series/BoyMeetsWorld'' Shawn thinks that you can get to Europe on a bus. He even buys a bus ticket to Paris, Texas thinking it will take him to Paris, France.
* Seems to be a common trait among the 'Beauties' in ''Series/BeautyAndTheGeek''.
* ''Series/TheAmazingRace'' being a travel show and all, and not all of the contestants have exactly been geniuses. Occasionally the producers make a task based on it.
** Despite being constantly reminded that they were going to Chile, Season 16's Jordan (the female one) proceeded to request tickets to Santiago, ''China''.
** Season 12:
---> '''Nate''': Taiwan? We're going to Taiwan? Huh.... I don't know much about Taiwan... but Thai food's pretty good.
** Season 17:
--->'''Phil''': Nick & Vicki, what's the name of this country?
--->'''Vicki''': We're in London, right?
--->'''Phil''': That's right, the country of London.
** Also in Season 17: The teams were visiting a school in Ghana and tasked with identifying Ghana on a map. It went about as well as you would expect.
* When Frank, Dee, and Mac tried to play "50 States" in ''Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'', Mac and Dee continually name states like "West Dakota". Much to Frank's amusement.
* In the ''Series/StargateSG1'' episode "Chimera", Carter remarks to her boyfriend Pete Shanahan that there's no zoo in Colorado Springs, apparently completely unaware of the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. [[WordOfGod Writer Joseph Mallozi]] said that this was done on purpose to indicate that she spends so much time working she's completely unfamiliar with the city she lives in.
* "Moldavian wedding massacre" was a major plotline of the soap series ''Series/{{Dynasty}}'' Apparently, the show's producers and writers were unaware that Moldavia was a real region and a historical country.
* There was a somewhat infamous episode of ''Series/AreYouSmarterThanAFifthGrader'' where ''Series/AmericanIdol'' contestant Kellie Pickler showed up. "I thought Europe ''was'' a country..."
* A ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' sketch featured guest host Jerry Seinfeld playing a HighSchool history teacher. After all his students fail a test, he decides to adopt an interactive approach and opens a discussion about the [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII Battle of Britain]]. However, the students turn out to be too ignorant for the approach to work, as they don't even know who Britain was fighting. You can see it [[http://www.teachertube.com/video/seinfeld-history-lesson-241598 here]].
-->'''Teacher''': How many of you saw ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk''? ''[all hands go up]''\\
'''Student''': I have it on tape. I could bring it.\\
'''Teacher''': No, thank you. Now, who in the movie was Franchise/IndianaJones fighting... ''[hand goes up]'' ...besides the snakes? ''[hand goes back down]''
* This happens often on game shows like ''Series/FamilyFeud'' when given a question of a country as an example.
* In Creator/DerrenBrown's ''The Gathering'' special, he randomly selects an audience member and asks her to think of a country. She does. Her country? Africa. Not only does Derren not call her out on her obvious mistake (Note: there are over 50 countries in Africa) but has her reach under her seat and find a note he left there with the description of the woman in question and her choice of country. That's right, even Derren is guilty of that.
* Two WWE wrestlers, Wrestling/{{Matt|Hardy}} and Wrestling/JeffHardy, were arguing which of them was the smarter. The first challenged the second to name the capitol of Brussels.
* ''Music/FlightOfTheConchords'':
** People being unaware of New Zealand's existence (or just plain ignorant about New Zealand) is a RunningGag.
** Bret and Jemaine's friend, Dave is always confusing them for Brits, Australians, etc. He later refers to New Zealand as someplace nobody's heard of.
** A racist greengrocer won't serve food to Bret and Jemaine because they are from New Zealand. It's then revealed that he confused New Zealand for Australia and they bond over their hatred of Australians.
** Murray wants to get the American President to met up with the Prime Minster of New Zealand. The President asks if New Zealand's even a real place.
* Referenced in an episode of ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' when Ted finds out that Robin doesn't plan her life and out of the blue says she might want to go to Argentina.
-->'''Ted:''' Why is this the first I hear of Argentina?\\
'''Robin:''' Because American schools suck at geography?
* Occurs in ''Series/DrakeAndJosh'', when Mrs. Hayfer is out of town and the boys are looking after her house. Drake finds a videotape of her as "Miss New Jersey".
-->'''Drake:''' There's a ''New'' Jersey?\\
'''Josh:''' [[SarcasmMode Yeah, they just opened it.]]
** And then later in the same episode, an Animal Control officer mentions having fought in Vietnam. Drake asks, "Where's that, New Jersey?"
** Josh proves to not be much better than Drake when the latter asks why they call it "New Jersey" and he has no idea. Someone of his intelligence should know there actually is a regular "Jersey", as in the Isle of Jersey off the coast of Great Britain that's the source of the U.S. state's name.
* In the pilot episode of ''Series/SportsNight'', Dan points out they've got sources from Helsinki's bid for the Olympics from Swiss Olympic officials when, in fact, Helsinki is in Finland. Later, when Nathalie brings up one of the candidates for the new associate producer job, Isaac responds, "Could you make sure they could find Helsinki on a map?"
* ''Series/TheInbetweeners'': Simon doesn't know where Swansea is. Jay thinks it's OopNorth. Neil thinks it's an ''animal''.


[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* In a ''ComicStrip/FoxTrot'' arc, Paige's friend Nicole was once asked to locate Iraq on a world map without country names. However, it comes to light that Nicole not only can't locate Iraq on the map, she can't even locate ''the U.S''. Eventually Paige locates Iraq on her first try... but only because it was the only place Nicole didn't point.
-->'''Nicole:''' Okay, so if this is America... then ''this'' must be Iraq!
-->'''Teacher:''' Let's go back to that 'if', Nicole.
-->'''Nicole:''' ''(pointing at Antartica)'' Okay, so if ''this'' is America...

* This trope is standard fodder for political satire. Various humorists' caricatures of UsefulNotes/SarahPalin have had her, among other things, refer to West Korea, say that Delaware was in the Middle East, and think that [[LesYay lesbians]] are Lebanese, along with the famous "[[BeamMeUpScotty I can see Russia from my house]]" from [[Series/SaturdayNightLive SNL]].
** [[{{Pun}} Lesbians]] [[CompletelyMissingThePoint are]] [[ExactWords Greek]]. Everyone knows that.

* In ''Radio/BleakExpectations'' the protagonist tries to catch the antagonist in this trope but just ends up proving he too fits it.
--> '''Pip Bin:''' If you truly are American, then you will be able to name all the states of your fair nation'''
--> '''Harlan J. Trashcan (AKA Mr. Gently Benevolent):''' Of course. There's Virginia, West Virginia, and, um... North Virginia, South Virginia, East Virginia, South-east Virginia, mid-Virginia... the Virginia Monologues, Like-A-Virgin-ia, Virginia-Virginia and Vermont.
--> '''Pip Bin:''' Damn. Spot on.

* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoViceCityStories'' has a [[Radio/GTARadio radio ad]] for a cheesy InternationalShowdownByProxy sports movie featuring a "worldwide Push Up contest" held in "Tokyo, China".
* In ''VideoGame/StrongBadsCoolGameForAttractivePeople: Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective'', Dangeresque, in the StylisticSuck ShowWithinAShow, discovers that is father has been hanging around Venice. In a small badly-edited-out scripting mistake, he declares that it's time he heads to France ''(JumpCut)'' [[VerbalBackspace Italy]]!

* Walky from ''[[Webcomic/RoomiesItsWalkyJoyceAndWalky It's Walky!]]'' suffers from the same misconceptions about Canada as Dave from ''ComicStrip/KnightsOfTheDinnerTable''.
* In an ''Webcomic/ArthurKingOfTimeAndSpace'' strip, Arthur tells Gawaine that while he had the advantage of being taught by Merlin, there are a lot of factors holding back education in this hemisphere. Gawaine responds "Hemisphere?"
* Subverted in ''WebComic/{{xkcd}}'' with the strip titled "[[{{Eagleland}} The World According to a Group of Americans]]... [[http://xkcd.com/850/ who turned out to be unexpectedly good at geography]], derailing our attempt to demonstrate their country's attitude toward the rest of the world."
* Gabe from ''Webcomic/PennyArcade'', all the time. In one comic he thinks that the language spoken in Holland is Hollish, which is actually a double mistake as "Holland" is a province, not a country.
* One ''Webcomic/BatmanAndSons'' strip has [[Franchise/TheFlash Barry Allen]] remarking that Wally doesn't want to go to England and have to learn a new language. Bruce points out "They speak English there", and Barry (with the perfect expression of frustration on his face) responds "I know." Of course, some US expats living in the UK and vice versa would probably argue that Wally [[SeparatedByACommonLanguage actually has a point...]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Moviebob referred to Africa as "a beautiful country" in an episode of ''[[Creator/BobChipman The Game Overthinker]]'' discussing racism. To his credit, he apologised for that error in a later video.
* During the Hulk Hogan vs. Kim Jong-Il ''WebVideo/EpicRapBattlesOfHistory'', Hogan threatens to kick Kim's ass "back to Beijing". Kim's first line in his rebuttal verse: "Beijing is in ''China'', you blonde asshole!"
* There are countless stories on ''Website/NotAlwaysRight'' about people who never seem to have heard of New Mexico, Canada, or Delaware. There's also a woman who thought they celebrated Thanksgiving in Switzerland.
* In Music/JonLajoie's "Very Super Famous":
-->All the Mexicans love me down in the South America\\
From Colombia to Brazil all the way to Algeria
* [[Creator/TheKingOfHate Darksyde Phil]] did ''very'' poorly on the geography minigames in ''VideoGame/{{Bully}}''. He eventually had to get help online.
* The premise of [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3q_iqrvnC_4 this]] ''[[Webite/TheOnion Onion News]]'' spoof, where the U.S. State Department mistook UsefulNotes/{{Andorra}}, a small but wealthy Western European country, with a poor, war-torn African country (possibly confusing it with [[UsefulNotes/{{Angola}} An]]''[[UsefulNotes/{{Angola}} gol]]''[[UsefulNotes/{{Angola}} a]]) and sending them billions of dollars in foreign aid they don't need. Exaggerated when we see the State Department's "map of Africa", which is comprised of [[SpaceFillingEmpire five huge countries]], with "the Congo" taking up all of ''West and North'' Africa, East Africa marked as "[[{{Bulungi}} Mumbambu]]", Madagascar renamed to "[[IDontLikeTheSoundOfThatPlace Claw Island]]" and Central Africa simply labeled "???".
* For Thanksgiving 2013, BuzzFeed asked its British staff [[https://www.buzzfeed.com/robinedds/its-thanksgiving-so-we-asked-some-brits-to-label-the-us-stat?utm_term=.bm2VEaYA93#.raKKZkGRaq to label a map of the US]], which was predictably hilarious. The net year, they asked their American staff to [[https://www.buzzfeed.com/summeranne/americans-try-to-place-european-countries-on-a-map?utm_term=.fvn4K2kygQ#.kn4GVymYRw label Europe]], with roughly the same results.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** In "The PTA Disbands", when Marge became the substitute teacher for Bart during the teacher's strike, at dinner, she describes her day as "Exhausting. It took the kids 40 minutes to find Canada on the map." To which Homer responds by also invoking this trope, commenting about how small and tucked away Canada is. ''Down there.''
** Springfield itself is a RunningGag of this trope, [[WhereTheHellIsSpringfield being anywhere and everywhere the writers need it to be]]. Best exemplified in TheMovie. '''Flanders:''' "Look, you can see the 4 states that border Springfield. Ohio, Nevada, Maine, and Kentucky." [[note]]For the non-Americans out there: Ohio and Kentucky DO share a border, but Maine is 1200km NE of them, and Nevada is 2600km West of them.[[/note]]
** Homer and Bart get whacked by this trope again in "Bart Vs. Australia". Bart mistakes a "Rand [=McNally=]" logo on his globe for a country, causing Lisa to mock him: "In fact, in Rand [=McNally=], they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people!" Later, Homer looks at the globe, spots Uruguay, and laughs and says "Look at this country! 'UR Gay'! ''(Laughs)''".
** Both Homer and Mr. Burns (in different episodes) are astounded at the discovery of a ''New'' Mexico, though Mr. Burns at least has the excuse of old age.
** In TheMovie, Homer says, "We have a great life here in Alaska, and we are never going back to America again!"
** Homer as a high school student skipping English class in 1974 in "The Way We Was": "English? Who needs it? I'm never going to England! C'mon, let's go smoke!"
** Taken UpToEleven in "G.I. D'oh" when Homer asks "We're China, right?"
** In "Mother Simpson", Mr. Burns is seen in the post office trying to send a letter to "the Prussian consulate in Siam", exasperated as the clerk cannot find any mention of Prussia or Siam in his geographical index. This isn't a joke about ignorance so much as part of the RunningGag about how outdated Burns is - Siam became Thailand in 1939[[note]]though it changed ''back'' to Siam in 1945, but only for four years, and had always been known as "Muang Thai" domestically[[/note]], and Prussia broke up into several different countries between the World Wars[[note]]It was nominally dissolved in 1932, but officially dissolved in 1947 and was effectively just part of Germany for decades before that[[/note]], and had not been a sovereign state since joining the German Empire in 1871.
** Two linked moments from Bart:
*** In "Girly Edition", as Bart is making a human interest story:
-->'''Bart''': Some say the ducks went to Canada. Others say, Toronto.
*** In "The Bart Wants What It Wants":
-->'''Gretchen''': I'm leaving in ten minutes. My Dad's shooting a movie in Toronto.
-->'''Bart''': You're going to Spain?![[note]]He almost got away with that one, but the very similar-sounding city called T'''a'''ranto is actually in Italy, not Spain.[[/note]]
** The episode "Little Big Girl" featured a girl who thought Norwegian people were from a place called "Norwegia".
*** Similarly, in "Much Apu About Nothing", Üter was teased by other students and told to "Go back to Germania!"
** In "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bangalore", Mr. Burns has the Nuclear Power Plant outsourced into India, and Homer is picked to train the new employees. After the long flight, Homer says:
-->'''Homer:''' This isn't India! Where's the University of Notre Dame, the Indy 500, Wrigley Field, Dodger dogs?
-->'''Indian Woman:''' You ignorant American, you have confused India with Indiana, Indiana with Illinois, and the Cubs with the Dodgers!
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePenguinsOfMadagascar'':
** Alice, the zookeeper, thinks koalas and kangaroos will get along well, because they're both from Austria.
--->'''Repairman''': You mean Australia?
--->'''Alice''': There is a difference?
** King Julian, while living in the Central Park Zoo, believes he is in France.
** The penguins also mistake Shanghai, China for Dublin, Ireland.
-->'''Skipper:''' We gotta blend in. River dance.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', Randy tries warning Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger that California would be New Jersey's next victim after Colorado is taken over, only to be informed that Utah and Nevada lie between them. And he is a geologist. To be fair, they did manage to ''drive'' to China and Romania on two separate occasions...
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'': Ron is evidently not very good at identifying countries. "Tokyo... I love the French!"
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/NedsNewt'' has Ned trying to lecture a dimwitted schoolmate, and one of the tasks is to place a cutout of Africa on the globe. He puts it on the Moon.
* ''WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain'': When Brain founded a fictional country, he was relying on the trope to keep people from finding out it wasn't a real one. Even the generals in TheWarRoom fell for it.
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'':
** Lawrence Fletcher thought Hawaii wasn't part of the United States.
** Stacy believed the pyramids were in France. She corrects herself a moment later, saying they're in Belgium.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* In a [[http://onepiece.wikia.com/wiki/SBS SBS]] manga column for ''Franchise/OnePiece'', a fan asked Creator/EiichiroOda which real world ''countries'' each of the Straw Hats would come from. He answers by saying that Luffy would be UsefulNotes/{{Brazil}}ian, Zoro is UsefulNotes/{{Japan}}ese, Nami's UsefulNotes/{{Swed|en}}ish, Sanji's UsefulNotes/{{Fr|ance}}ench, Chopper's UsefulNotes/{{Canad|a}}ian, Robin's UsefulNotes/{{Russia}}n, Franky's [[UsefulNotes/TheUnitedStates American]], Brook's UsefulNotes/{{Austria}}n... and Usopp? Oda says that he's ''UsefulNotes/{{Africa}}n'', giving the name of a continent instead of a country.
* According to Americans, [[http://www.nmmagazine.com/one-of-our-50-is-missing/ New Mexico]] is not part of the United States.
* Some people still refer to Beijing as "Peking"; there used to be, in Britain, a group of people who willfully refused to make the changeover. "Beijing" isn't any more difficult to spell or pronounce than "Peking", although most Chinese Britons, and indeed many of the Chinese diaspora worldwide, are of Cantonese-speaking descent, and those hanzi are pronounced "bak-ging" in Cantonese, which is much closer to "Peking" than to (Mandarin) "Beijing".
** Not to mention that Beijing is ''officially'' still called "Pekin(g)" in French, Dutch, Russian, Castillian Spanish (but not in Latin America) and, oddly enough, in ''Japanese''.[[note]]Chinese cities in Japanese are spelled using the Japanese spelling of those cities, and the same thing happens in Chinese with Japanese cities. For some odd reason, the Japanese use the ancient Western spelling, rather than using the Japanese (which, for note, would be Hokkyō or, somewhat archaically, Hokkei — literally "Northern Capital", c.f. Tōkyō, "Eastern Capital") or Mandarin Chinese spellings of it.[[/note]]
** And Beijing International Airport's IATA code is still '''PEK'''.[[note]]The IATA in general hates changing airport codes once assigned - Ho Chi Minh City's is still '''SGN''' for the old name Saigon.[[/note]]
** This attitude persists in Britain. Many, possibly older, British people, are surprised to hear that it isn't ''Malaya'' any more but ''Peninsular Malaysia'', and that Singapore is no longer the island extention of "Malaya" but a seperate state in its own right. Sri Lanka is still ''Ceylon'', Calcutta is, as far as they are concerned, still spelt with the letter "C", and where on earth is ''Mumbai''? Is it anywhere near ''Bombay'', for goodness' sake? And the Conservative Party got negative press for its more right-wing elements selling t-shirts bearing the legend ''Why say "Zimbabwe" when you mean Rhodesia?''.
* The Danish school system has a subject called "geography", but it's based ''much'' more around physical geography than human geography. Meaning that many Danish students will be able to tell you exactly what terrain and ecosystems that make up Brazil, but not ''where'' Brazil is (at least, they may not be truly sure except for "somewhere in South America"). Facts such as a country's location, its population number, its capital and the sorts are facts you'll have to find out yourself or be taught by someone else than your geography teacher. However, living in a very small country that is not as self-contained as the U.S., and being among the nationalities that love travelling the most, has helped to make most Danes not that global ignorant.
* Following the announcement that the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing were Chechens, so many Twitter users thought Chechens were from the Czech Republic that the Czech ambassador put out a statement which basically said, "we're not Chechnya". Ironically, "Chehi" ("The Czechs"), was a genuine Russian nickname for the Chechens during [[UsefulNotes/TheNewRussia the Nineties]].
* People will occasionally refer to Myanmar as its older colonial name, Burma. However, this is an unusual use of the trope, as generally these people are aware of Myanmar's "official" name but refuse to use it because it was developed by the hated military junta that ruled the country until 2010 (and still has a very big say in how the country is run), and thus consider it wasn't decided by the country's legitimate government and people. There's a reason the TV Tropes Useful Notes page for it is called "UsefulNotes/ThatSouthEastAsianCountry".
* There's a common joke amongst Brits that some foreigners (chiefly Americans) think that Scotland and Ireland are located where Ireland is, that England is the island to the right, and that Wales doesn't exist, and that this whole area comprises Britain. Some Americans will describe themselves as Scots-Irish (instead of Celtic, which would be accurate), and Americans of Welsh descent seem to be quite rare. If nothing else, Americans will always take the time to proudly list all the countries they are descended from without showing any knowledge of those countries beyond stereotypes. This manifests itself most obviously in St. Patrick's Day celebrations, which bear little resemblance to how it's actually celebrated in Ireland.
** Scots-Irish does not refer to some mix of Celtic Scottish and Irish blood, but rather to the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulster_Scots_people Ulster Scots]], a very specific group. Of course, not all Americans who claim Scotch-Irish heritage are aware of that history, or understand the distinctions, and may indeed think of themselves as simply having both Scottish and Irish heritage.
* Even smart people can often make {{Egregious}} geographic mistakes. For example, a significant percentage of people picture South America being directly under North America, when it is actually more to the south east. Also, people tend to imagine Australia being much farther south than it really is.