[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pb7.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:He just wants to wake him up so he can ask for directions.]]

->''Well, I'm down in the bay with the Eskimos \\
With the polar bears and the Arctic snows \\
With a party of penguins who do not know \\
How I can get back to thee.''
-->-- '''Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds''', ''Supernaturally''

The primary difference between the Arctic and the Antarctic is that one has polar bears and one has penguins -- if you're lucky enough not to see them in the same place or [[MisplacedWildlife one of them in the wrong place]]. Oh, and they're on opposite ends of the Earth, but who can remember which one is where? Certainly not Hollywood, which treats them as interchangeable lumps of ice to send doomed expeditions up. The (Ant)Arctic circle is full of snow, chasms, avalanches and those great big ice bridges that collapse just as the last person makes their way across. [[NoPartyLikeADonnerParty Cannibalism]] may be unavoidable. If one is lucky (or unlucky) you might find that [[LostWorld weird hidden tropical valley filled with... interesting denizens.]]

In {{Christmas Special}}s, children's cartoons and comics, there will literally be a South or North Pole that [[IncrediblyLamePun looks just like the striped poles outside barbers' shops]]. ChristmasElves, reindeer and SantaClaus will no doubt be somewhere nearby, at least in the case of the ''North'' Pole. In these cases, the cannibalism rule can be waived, although, in a comedy, the word 'venison' is a guarantee.

For the record, the North Pole is a frozen sea and the South Pole is an actual frozen continent, but that doesn't come up much either. If it did, we might [[FridgeLogic start wondering]][[note]][[AccidentalPun Heh, fridge...]][[/note]] why Santa built his house not on a rock, but on a floating mass of ice.[[note]]The north magnetic pole however is mostly located in northern Canada however (it's been drifting back to the geographical north over time), which can be used as a handwave. Afterall when you send mail to Santa Claus, you send it to Canada, postal code [=H0H 0H0=].[[/note]]

Incidentally, the word 'Arctic' actually comes from the Greek word for bear, ''Arktos''. This is in origin nothing to do with polar bears, but refers to the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (the great and the small bear, respectively), which are always in the north as seen from Greece. However, it makes for a convenient mnemonic -- the Arctic is the land of the bears, the Antarctic is the land opposite the bears.

Of course, it's probably just easier to remember NORTH IS BEARS, SOUTH IS PENGUINS.

May be explained by the fact that EverythingsBetterWithPenguins. Then again, BearsAreBadNews, so the penguins might just balance things out.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Advertisement]]
* Coca-Cola mostly averts this. In one, they lampshade it. It may be justified, if the bears were travelers.
* Kid Cuisine, a brand of frozen TV dinners, has a penguin and a polar bear as their mascots. (Though they're apparently smart enough to buy clothes, so maybe one of them got a plane ticket and flew to the other one's place.)
* In a [=CapitalOne=] advertisement, they supposedly can only afford to go to Antarctica, even though a plane trip to Antarctica would cost MUCH more than a trip to an equatorial region. The commercial ends with the father pointing out that it's walrus mating season with a herd of walruses appearing onscreen, even though it was clearly stated to be Antarctica.
* A promo for Netflix included sample clips from nonexistent movies in various genres, including a "documentary" that apparently plays this trope straight.
* In the 1970s, TV adverts for Cresta soft drinks in the UK featured a polar bear with a retinue of penguins. (''It's frothy, man!'')
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''PenguinMusume Heart'''s lead is Sakura "Penguin" Nankyoku. Her rival is "Polar Bear" Marie. Convenient.
** Note: "Nankyoku" = "[[MeaningfulName South Pole]]".
* In one episode of the Anime/LupinIIIRedJacket series, Lupin tries to bring polar bears to the South Pole and the penguins to the North. Just to find some hidden treasure.
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[[folder:Board Games]]
* In ''Polar Dare'', [[http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/1267/polar-dare you try to direct penguins across a river while avoiding a polar bear]].
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[[folder:Comics]]
* A much-derided scene in ''Comicbook/{{Avengers vs X-Men}}'' showed Wolverine hiking through the snow of Antarctica wearing the skin of a polar bear he'd killed.
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[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/{{Elf}}'', which portrays the North Pole as a magical land populated by clay-animation creatures and talking snowmen, supposedly would be able to get away with this. Instead, it averts it by having polar bears and ''puffins'' instead, which ''are'' arctic animals.
* Wonderfully averted in ''HappyFeet''. Despite being a movie about adorable dancing emperor penguins, not a single polar bear can be seen.
** Most recent penguin movies avert this trope; ''SurfsUp'' for example doesn't feature any mammal besides cetaceans and an otter.
* ''Film/BatmanReturns'': The designers of the Gotham Zoo obviously swallowed this trope whole, since their aquatic exhibit features only penguins, yet is called ''Arctic'' World and is topped by a statue of a polar bear.
** Except "arctic" (small "a") is also an adjective meaning "extremely cold", which is a valid description of ''both'' polar regions.
* In ''Film/{{Zombieland}}'' Tallahassee compares the rumors of which region of America is still zombie-free to penguins in the North Pole thinking that the South Pole would be warmer. Columbus immediately calls him out on his CriticalResearchFailure. His response?
-->[[YouWouldntLikeMeWhenImAngry "You wanna know how hard I can punch?"]]
* In ''Strategic Air Command'' (1955), before leaving for Greenland, JimmyStewart asks his wife what she'd like for a souvenir: "polar bear, penguin?" After [[spoiler:crashing his plane]], he does bring back a (plush) penguin. Apparently the Thule AFB gift shop is used to dealing with this trope.
* The EarlyFilms pioneer Creator/GeorgesMelies has a rejoicing crowd of Arctic penguins wave to our heroes in his ''The Conquest of the Pole''.
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[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/MrPoppersPenguins''; there ''is'' a good reason for this happening
* Creator/TerryPratchett makes a joke of this (like everything else) in Literature/{{Discworld}}, describing in ''Discworld/ThiefOfTime'' a south-drifting iceberg populated by polar bears and seals, seeking a better life in the southern hemisphere where the ice floes are lined with crunchy penguins. Too bad that darned ''Titanic'' was in the way...
** Even better because in the UK ''Penguins'' are a brand of crunchy biscuit.
* OlderThanRadio: Wyss's ''SwissFamilyRobinson'' was riddled with an impossible concentration of animals and plants on an island. Penguins arrived in numbers on an island that's so close to the equator that it never snows -- although penguins aren't restricted to snowy or frigid climes by any means, the Galapagos Penguin is the only surviving species that lives in outright tropical climates.
* There's a book about Santa Claus which subverts this -- Santa's workshop has a penguin population nearby, but they're noted as emigrating from the South Pole somehow (maybe stowing away at Santa's vacation spot). This particular breed has developed [[HappyFeet a bowtie-like spot on their chests]].
* One of Margery Sharpe's ''Literature/TheRescuers'' books (not the Disney films) manages to invoke and invert this at the same time: The titular characters, while on a mission to Antarctica, do run into polar bears, who admit that this isn't their home, they are on an exchange program with the Arctic Ocean.
* Jez Alborough's delightful children's picture book ''Cuddly Dudley'' may not have any Polar Bears but it does manage to include an Eskimo -- and ''trees'' -- in tne story of the titular penguin, who is just too cuddly for his own goon.
* The fact that penguins and polar bears aren't found in the same place provides the vital clue in one Literature/EncyclopediaBrown mystery.
** Which is used to spoof Encyclopedia Brown in this [[http://www.theonion.com/articles/idaville-detective-encyclopedia-brown-found-dead-i,753/ article]] of ''TheOnion''.
* Made use of in ''The Extreme'', twenty-fifth book in the ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' series. Marco gets the polar bear as his cover morph for that book.
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[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In the ''[[Series/KenanAndKel Kenan & Kel]]'' episode "Natural Born Kenan", Kenan dreams about his "real" parents as snow people (Eskimos), they have a pet penguin which Kenan has to walk.
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[[folder:Music]]
* Punk band Millencolin have a song called "Penguins and Polar Bears". Being from Sweden however, they're aware the two animals live far apart -- in fact, the song is about two lovers who end hating each other, and includes the line "'Cause we're stuck in roles as other's antipoles".
* Music/TheMoodyBlues sang "Dr. Livingstone I presume", the second verse of which is about Captain Scott of the "Antartic"''[sic]'' -- who somehow meets polar bears.
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[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''TheFarSide''. Gary Larson drew a few strips featuring this trope for the same reason he did strips with [[SomewhereAPalaeontologistIsCrying humans and dinosaurs living together]]: RuleOfFunny. A typical example has a group of penguins on a small ice floe commenting on the ongoing rash of mysterious disappearances, while a polar bear sits among them, wearing a fake beak [[PaperThinDisguise as a disguise.]]
** Larson later implies that at the time he made this particular drawing, he ''didn't'' know that polar bears and penguins don't live on the same pole.
* {{Garfield}} has frequently talked about going to the North Pole to eat penguins. Nermal once caught on to his mistake.
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[[folder:Political Cartoons]]
* An infamous French cartoon from around 1908 commented on the controversy over whether explorer Robert Peary had truly been the first man to reach the North Pole. He is shown surrounded by penguins.
* A Soviet artist once drew a caricature about [[DwightDEisenhower Eisenhower]] looking all over the Arctic for the [[RedScare Communist threat]]. Everyone laughed at him for making the trope mistake ... until they learned JosefStalin approved of the picture.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* The first ''VideoGame/EndlessOcean'' plays this to the hilt. Then again, [[MisplacedWildlife about half the wildlife is misplaced]] anyway due to the RuleOfFun, so it's not quite as noticeable. ''Endless Ocean Blue World'' averts the trope as part of getting to see marine life in more reasonable locations, and acknowledges the difference between diving in a frozen sea and next to a frozen continent.
* The "Arctic" scenario from ''{{Repton}} Around the World''.
* ''FarmVille'''s 2009 Christmas event introduced a lost penguin arriving on your farm to be adopted by neighbors. If you posted it to your Facebook page, the description would note that the penguin had walked all the way from the ''North'' pole. There's lost, and then there's ''lost''.
* This trope is avoided in one of the MagicSchoolBus computer games, ''The Magic School Bus: Animals''. One of the minigames involves a penguin who got very, very lost and ended up at the North Pole rather than the South Pole [[labelnote:FridgeLogic]]though one does have to think where the penguin even ''was'' to have to go ''back'' to the South Pole anyway...[[/labelnote]] You take control of the penguin and guide him across the world and back to the South Pole in Frogger-style levels.
* One game for the iPad had you launch penguins across icy hills to escape a polar bear.
* In ''Doki Doki Penguin Land'' and its sequels, polar bears are the penguin's enemies. Both species appear to be living underground. It's best not to think about it too much.
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', the northern continent of Northrend--setting of the ''Wrath of the Lich King'' expansion--has both polar bears as common beasts and a couple penguin colonies. However, this ''is'' a fantasy world and not Earth.
* ''VideoGame/SpyVsSpy III: Arctic Antics''. The game's creators were obviously not informed that penguins don't live in the Arctic.
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[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Tyler Martin's ''[[http://wallyandosborne.com/ Wally and Osborne]]'' (originally titled ''On the Rocks'') deliberately plays with this trope by placing Wally the polar bear in Antarctica, where he forms a Laurel and Hardy style partnership with Osborne the penguin. How Wally got to Antarctica or why is never explained, although Osborne once suggested that Wally might be bipolar.
* There's also ''[[http://www.southpolestrip.com/ South Pole]]'', with a penguin, a polar bear, and an arctic fox at the South Pole. The strip's subtitle is ''Strangers in Antarctica'', so the author is apparently aware that one or two of these don't belong here. The reason was finally explained in ''[[http://www.southpolestrip.com/comic/1023/South-Pole-73-The-Mission/ strip 73]]''.
* Averted in ''TheKAMics''... well, [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_KAMics/4771260/ except for that time]] [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_KAMics/4771259/ when Drunk Aliens returned a penguin to the wrong hemisphere]].
* While there aren't any polar bears in PokeyThePenguin, there ARE a whole lot of penguins, and they all proudly live in the ''Arctic'' Circle.
* During ''TheLastDaysOfFOXHOUND'', Liquid Snake wounds up in [[http://gigaville.com/comic.php?id=154 Alaska]] after using as EjectionSeat (from a ''helicopter''). He incorrectly assumes that he's in the North Pole, and wonders why there aren't any penguins around. Then again, Liquid is [[IdiotHero an idiot]].
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[[folder:Web Original]]
* Parodied by ''ItalianSpiderman'', which has penguins [[DeusExMachina show up and save the day]] in Italy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the ChristmasSpecial ''Santa Claus Is Coming To Town'', the young Kris Kringle runs into a penguin who is lost trying to find the South Pole. Kringle makes a point of noting that ''that'' pole is on the opposite end of the planet and "you're about as lost as you can get."
* Creator/WalterLantz's cartoon penguin WesternAnimation/ChillyWilly is often paired up with a polar bear.
* A U.S. Acres segment on ''GarfieldAndFriends'' plays with this. When reading a book, Orson's imagination gets away with him so badly that it impacts what everyone ''else'' perceives in the world around him. As Orson pulls out a book on the frozen north, he wonders to himself if he'll read about penguins. At this point, a penguin toddles up to Wade, who decides to pet it. Orson then realizes that polar bears, not penguins, live in the frozen north, and then penguin transforms into a polar bear, which sends Wade into a panic.
* ''ChillyBeach'', which was clearly set somewhere in Northern Canada, had a recurring character who was a polar bear with an English accent. His sidekick was a penguin.
* The ''BugsBunny'' cartoon "Frigid Hare" has him turning up at the South Pole, where a penguin is being pursued by an Eskimo.
** Another ''BugsBunny'' cartoon, ''8 Ball Bunny'', has Bugs trying to return a lost penguin to the South Pole, only to get there and find out that this penguin is a native of [[{{Joisey}} Hoboken, New Jersey]].
** And yet another where Bugs takes a penguin to the Arctic. Only, after the journey, the penguin begins crying and puts up a sign saying, "Penguins are native to the Antarctic".
* In one episode of ''ShaggyAndScoobyDooGetAClue'' a penguin can be seen while the titular characters and their robot butler are in the Arctic.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime,'' the Ice King says that it is natural for polar bears to eat penguins.
* Originally, ''Disney/TheRescuers'' was actually going to be about Bernard and Miss Bianca trying to save a polar bear from an evil penguin.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The word "penguin" originally designated a fish-eating, flightless, black and white dweller of the Northern Hemisphere: The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Auk Great Auk]]. It's been extinct since around 1850, though.
** Penguin comes form the Welsh ''pen gwyn'', or "white head''.
* While polar bears themselves are absent from the southern hemisphere, some other Arctic species have been introduced there. One notable case is the reindeer, which occurs now in sub-antarctic islands, and they can be [[http://ibc.lynxeds.com/video/king-penguin-aptenodytes-patagonicus/colony-reindeers seen next to penguin colonies]].
* Many zoos have both polar bears and penguins.
* It's not penguins and polar bears specifically, but there are certain animals that can be found both in the Arctic and Antarctic such as the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_Tern Arctic Tern]].
* Norway technically has both polar bears and penguins, though neither are on the Scandinavian peninsula (which is what most people think of when they mention Norway). There are polar bears on the Arctic islands of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svalbard Svalbard]], and penguins in [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dronning_Mauds_Land#Fauna_and_flora Queen Maud Land]], a dependent territory of Norway in Antarctica.
** The Norwegian military's domestically-produced anti-ship missile is known as "the Penguin", possibly in reference to the presence of Great Auks (''Pinguinus impennis'') in Norway prior to their extinction.
** The mascot and Colonel-in-Chief of the Norwegian Royal Guard is a King Penguin named Sir Nils Olav. He lives in the Edinburgh Zoo, Scotland.
* Related: when {{Pittsburgh}} won a NationalHockeyLeague team, its owner was thinking some names. Once the owner's wife heard their arena was nicknamed "The Big Igloo", she suggested Penguins, and he thought it was a good name. Considering the Pittsburgh Penguins are one of the most successful teams ever since, it's easy to forgive igloos and penguins are in opposite hemisphere (the Inuits live on the Northern hemisphere; not only is Antarctica uninhabited except for the occasional research team, but it's too cold for an ice-with-a-bonfire house to help).
* Penguins (at least in Antarctica) have no land predators and therefore don't fear land animals and move very slowly and awkwardly on land. If polar bears and penguins were ever in the same place, it wouldn't stay that way for very long.
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