->'''[[Creator/GavinFree Woody]]:''' Pardon me, old chap. I have a question…
->'''[[Creator/MichaelJones Zach]]:''' Why the hell does he sound British now?!
->'''Scientist:''' Woody is a stupid person, and that's what stupid people think smart people sound like.
->'''Woody:''' Fair play.
-->-- ''Film/LazerTeam''

In American media, especially cartoons, intellectuals often speak overly posh, formal Received Pronunciation with extensive SesquipedalianLoquaciousness and PurpleProse, even if they are not born, raised, educated or have never been in the United Kingdom. This association of RP with intelligence and high culture probably comes from the days where this was the accent associated with those who were wealthy enough to afford expensive education at Public Schools[[note]]As distinguished from Church and Guild Schools in the 1868 Public Schools Act, since these new schools were open to all paying members of the public[[/note]] like Eton and Harrow and The Universities ([[{{Oxbridge}} both of them]]), and the more general idea that characters who speak RP are TheProudElite.

This doesn't apply to brainy RP-speaking characters who are in a setting where everyone is British unless it's obvious that only the smart characters speak with this accent and the others all have regional British accents (eg. Cockney, OopNorth, etc). The examples are in two groups, with one being characters who actually ARE stated to be from England within the story and the other being characters who are not, yet still have the Received Pronunciation accent.

May overlap with QuintessentialBritishGentleman. Villainous examples are likely to be WickedCultured. However, while this can overlap with EvilBrit, it doesn't have to, as many examples include heroic smart characters. Compare and contrast FakeBrit, (that's where the actor playing a British character isn't actually British) and IAmVeryBritish (where Received Pronunciation is the only English accent in American media, and the characters in that trope don't necessarily have to be smart). UpperClassTwit would be a subversion or inversion of this trope, especially if the twit is English.

If the character is neither American nor British, he/she can be made to sound intelligent without being given the above dialect, [[TheQueensLatin but many writers and dramatists simply don't bother]]. In this context it is worth recalling that until the late 20th century e. g. most continental European schools taught an English pronunciation very much like RP and that is probably still the most frequently taught accent, even if some teachers will use e. g. Standard American.

!!Examples from English characters:


* ''Film/XMenFilmSeries'': The elderly [[Characters/XMenFilmSeriesProfessorCharlesXavier Professor Charles Xavier]] is played by Creator/PatrickStewart while the younger version is portrayed by Creator/JamesMcAvoy. The character is half-British through his mother's side, and his posh accent was further refined after living for several years in Oxford, England, where he had earned his doctorate in genetics.

* Mentioned by Creator/DaveBarry, where he says a person with a British accent could be presenting ''Series/HawaiiFiveO'' and Americans would think them extremely enlightening.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Rupert Giles from ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''.
** Curiously, when a spell makes him behave like a surly teen, he speaks in a working class accent. In an earlier episode, he relates how, as a youth, he rebelled against his upbringing and fell in with 'the worst crowd that would have me' - so which accent was the put-on is up for debate.
* Doctor Bashir from ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine''. Mostly notable in the episode where we meet his parents (at the same time as revealing his intelligence was augmented), who do not share his flavour of British accent at all.
* Jemma Simmons in "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.", an American television show with a large British audience, speaks RP, or at least attempts to. Simmons, a biochemical scientist, is described as a genius, along with her partner Leopold Fitz (who, by the way, is Scottish). As the actress who plays her is Yorkshire-born (i.e. from OopNorth) she makes a commendable effort with her character's RP accent and SesquipedalianLoquaciousness, although it occasionally slips.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Averted with Kevin from [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNmugxejn_U ''C STUDENTS'']]. He is probably the least intelligent character in the setting.
* T.N. Honey from ''WesternAnimation/StrawberryShortcake'' (she basically speaks only in stereotypical English phrases)
* In a singalong host segment of ''WesternAnimation/TheBeatles'' cartoon, Ringo makes a joke about it:
-->'''Paul:''' Don't you know the King's English?\\
'''Ringo:''' [[WhatsAHenway I know the Queen is!]]

!!Examples from non-English (or unspecified nationality) characters

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The Creator/DiC dub version of Sailor Mercury from ''Anime/SailorMoon'' is given an accent that is at least slightly English. Luna also would fit in the dub since she's an intelligent MentorMascot who does a lot of strategy planning for the "Scouts" and is generally portrayed as more intelligent than Artemis.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' (and by extension the spin-off ''ComicBook/{{Lucifer}}''), it is implied that Lucifer speaks this way; after quitting Hell, he relaxes on a beach in Australia and the man he's talking to asks him if he's a "pom" (Australian slang for a British person). Given that Lucifer doesn't come from any earthly country, nor has he pretended to do so for the purposes of disguise in this scene, it seems likely that his voice sounds British, and given his sophisticated vocabulary and general mannerisms, it would be somewhat jarring if he ''didn't'' speak the Queen's English. Overlaps with [[EvilBrit Evil, (or at least amoral, selfish, arrogant and ruthless,) Brit]].

[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* Scar from ''Disney/TheLionKing'' (also doubles as EvilBrit).
* ScoobyDoo in ''[[Film/ScoobyDooMonstersUnleashed Monsters Unleashed]]''.
* Dr. Cockroach, Ph.D. in ''WesternAnimation/MonstersVsAliens''. Granted, his [[Creator/HughLaurie voice actor]] was born in Oxford and ''did'' in fact attend both Eton and Cambridge University (and it's hard to come by an Oxbridge accent more naturally than that), but the accent probably played at least some role in the decision to cast him in the part.

[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
* Woody (played by Brit Creator/GavinFree) in ''Film/LazerTeam''. Though he starts off as a [[DeepSouth country hick]], once his intelligence dramatically increases post putting on a mental-strengthening helmet, he slowly develops a British accent.
--> '''Zach:''' Why the hell does he sound British now?!
-->'''Disheveled Scientist:''' Woody's a stupid person, and that's what stupid people think smart people sound like. So it's basically dumb Woody's version of smart Woody.
* The Brain Gremlin in ''Film/Gremlins2TheNewBatch''.

* In the ''Literature/WarriorCats'' series, the last three audiobooks in the ''The New Prophecy'' series are read by Nanette Savard, an American actress. The narration and most of the characters are read with an American accent - except, for whatever reason, the [[TheMedic medicine cats]], who are read with a British accent. They're regular Clan cats, born and lived with their Clanmates all their lives, and just chose a different job - [[FridgeLogic so where did the accent come from]]? Are they born with it and for some reason all cats with this accent take the medicine cat's job? Or does healing cats suddenly give you a different accent somehow?
* In the ''TabletopGame/GammaWorld'' novel ''Red Sails in the Fallout'' Shaani, a mutant lab rat and self-proclaimed scientist who lives in the middle of a wasteland implied to have been Australia, speaks with a rather pronounced British accent. Later, they meet a low-tech hunter-gatherer who speaks the same dialect, it turns out he's the tribe's Archivist and the accent is a traditional part of the job.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Notable subversion/playing around of this trope is Charlize Theron's character from ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment''. Her English accent is (according to the narrator) the reason that people don't figure out that she's [[spoiler: mentally retarded]]. Of course, Theron isn't even English (she's South African, but is a naturalized American), which is of course lampshaded in the show.
* [[Series/BattlestarGalactica2003 Gaius Baltar]] speaks with an RP accent. Later in the series, it's revealed that he changed it from his family's native accent (which is portrayed as a rural, working-class English accent) to fit in on Caprica; what pushes it into this trope is that Caprican citizens are otherwise represented as varying kinds of North American.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** Roose Bolton is a clean-shaven SoftSpokenSadist speaking RP in a sea of [[BadassBeard bearded]] LargeHam [[OopNorth northmen with northern accents]], which sets him apart from all the other Stark bannermen. (This was presumably a deliberate choice, as the actor Michael [=McElhatton=] is Irish.)
** Ramsay Bolton's way of speaking — he uses a lot of "big words" and sophisticated speech, although the cadence is weird and the words are oddly knocked together. It's not the actor's normal accent, either. This all gives the impression that he's trying to sound smarter and more educated than he really is so as to disguise his lowborn roots.
* Frasier and Niles in ''Series/{{Frasier}}'' both have a sort of Americanized version of RP. There is a logic to this, in that it is established that both their characters are theater trained from their prep school and college days -- are are clearly nerdy about the theater (and, of course, the theater in academia is a context where, traditionally, such accents are quite literally "received"). They are also both deliberately "high cultured" -- they have striven to this all their lives and the overly chaste RP is part of that aspiration/affection. To that point, Niles admits to Daphne in the pilot episode that he is "quite the anglophile".

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In the UK dub of ''VideoGame/{{Xenoblade}}'', the HigherTechSpecies High Entia all speak the queen's English, in contrast to the main characters' middle- and working class accents that are typical of Homs. Reyn even lampshades it upon first meeting one, remarking on her 'posh accent' ([[FridgeLogic how he would even know it's a posh accent when none of his own species speaks it is another matter]]).

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Mr. Longface Caterpillar, T.N. Honey, and Honey Pie Pony from different versions of ''WesternAnimation/StrawberryShortcake''.
* Actual Factual from ''WesternAnimation/TheBerenstainBears''.
* Mr. Chips the computer from ''WesternAnimation/SchoolhouseRock''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog'', when Grounder gets a genius chip, his usual SimpletonVoice changes to Received Pronunciation.
* Wile E. Coyote from ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'', in the cartoons where he has a voice.
* Arguably, Stewie from ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''. There's some controversy as to whether his accent is supposed to be British or Bostonian Brahmin (e.g., Charles Emerson Winchester III from ''Series/{{Mash}}'', Thurston Howell III from ''Series/GilligansIsland'').
** [[WordOfGod One episode has him explicitly stating that he has a British accent.]]
** Deliberately inverted in an episode showing what it would be like if the Griffins were British. All members of the family have British accents, except for Stewie... who sounds like an American hillbilly.
* Puzzlemint from ''MyLittlePony'' (the G3 series).
* Mr. Hal Gibson from ''WesternAnimation/SuperRobotMonkeyTeamHyperforceGo''.
* ''WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce'' sees Ben's voice and mannerisms change slightly with each of his transformations. To the surprise of no one, when he becomes the huge-brained Brainstorm, he spontaneously develops a thick, English accent.
* In ''Toys/TheGrosseryGang'' webseries arc "A Gooey-ful Mind", Egghead gains this accent when he becomes super-smart after an electric shock, and loses it when he's brought back to normal.