[[quoteright:270:[[Film/ThreeAmigos http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/3_amigos.jpg]]]]

->''"The mariachis would serenade,\\
And they would not shut up till they were paid.\\
We ate, we drank, and we were merry,\\
And we got typhoid and dysentery."''
-->-- "In Old Mexico", ''Music/AnEveningWastedWithTomLehrer''

Ah, UsefulNotes/{{Mexico}}. Home of the bustling, ancient and modern Mexico City, the gritty and industrial Monterrey, Puebla and its multiple hundred years of Spanish colonial history, the city called Guadalajara that mixes all the previous ones and adds a technological corridor, the heavenly beaches of Cancún and Los Cabos, the magnificent mountains of central Chihuahua and Durango, the lush wilderness of Yucatán... and a bunch of other stuff the American media has barely heard of.

In American media, Mexico is known for the [[ItsAlwaysMardiGrasInNewOrleans Dí­a de los Muertos]], [[NiceHat sombreros]], lazy locals, burros (donkeys), tequila, {{chupacabra}}s, [[MaskedLuchador luchadores]], piñatas, chili, [[FirebreathingDiner incredibly spicy food]], lots of beans, [[BreadEggsMilkSquick and a bunch of rundown]], [[TheSavageSouth filthy adobe huts in the middle of the desert or desperately poor, grubby towns]] that American criminals will [[RunForTheBorder escape to]].

As per this trope, the population of Mexico comprises six types of people: kidnappers, kidnappees, corrupt police, rich landowners, people without money and people who claim that the country is going down the drain, but do nothing about it. Go back a few years, and you'll also find ''[[{{Bandito}} Bandidos]]''.

If you are a [[AcceptableTarget WASP]] (and heroes often are), don't go down alleys, you will be surrounded by big, smirking, sweaty bullies who jeer and mock in Spanish, the only intelligible word being ''gringo'' (Creator/RogerEbert's book names these guys the ''Latino Laughers''). You'll have to fight them.

Oh, and ''don't'' drink the water.

If you turn the clock back several centuries, expect to find jungle, terraced pyramid-temples, [[{{Mayincatec}} elaborately costumed high priests with obsidian blades who are really after your heart]], and maybe some greedy ''conquistadores''.

Occasionally, may be further obfuscated with other Central and South American countries into a greater LatinLand, or with [[TorosYFlamenco Spain]] into {{Spexico}}. South of the Border is a proud member of TheSavageSouth.

[[VocalMinority And no; like all stereotypes, not all Mexicans are like that.]]

Note: This has nothing to do with the Fireworks Store and tourist trap, ''South of The Border'', located 400 feet south of the North Carolina--South Carolina border.



[[folder: Anime ]]

* ''Anime/ElCazadorDeLaBruja''.
* Anime/MichikoToHatchin mostly set in Brazil
* As part of its arc of visiting [[HollywoodGeography strange interpretations]] of foreign countries, ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'' had Yamato and Ken stop by Mexico to return rogue Digimon to the Digital World. Even by the standards of this arc, the interpretation of Mexico was really, ''really'' strange - apparently there's a legally enforced curfew, and armed military personnel guard the Palenque ruins and don't have a problem with threatening to shoot Japanese teenagers for no reason at all. While people were shown living in normal apartment buildings, the sole known Chosen representative of Mexico lives in a fairly unusual and plain stone building.
* ''MobileSuitGundamTheOrigin'' depicts Rosarito Beach as a sleepy rural town instead of the bustling resort city it is in real life. To be fair, there is a war on and a large part of it has been flattened by air raids (not to mention the series takes place in an indeterminate future time where over half of humanity lives in space colonies with travel to and from Earth heavily restricted by an overbearing government, making it entirely possible that the place has become a DyingTown for want of ''turistas'').


[[folder: Films -- Animated ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/TheRoadToElDorado'' - another pre-Columbian example. Even more noticeable, since the legendary city of El Dorado is [[CriticalResearchFailure supposed to be somewhere in the South American Amazon Basin]], not in Mesoamerica.


[[folder: Films -- Live-Action ]]

%%* ''Film/ThreeAmigos'': The setting.
* The SpaghettiWestern. Literally hundreds of examples. Most took advantage of the fact that the drier and more run-down parts of southern Spain have a passing resemblance to the drier and more run-down parts of northern Mexico and the American-Mexican border country of the late 19th century. For the Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, you cast Spaniards, and for the Anglos you cast Italians, Germans, French, and the occasional token American actor looking for film work. A very cheap way to make westerns, especially if you have the actors mumble their lines in whatever language they might know, then overdub everything in whatever languages apply to the countries where you plan to distribute the film.
* [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in ''Film/ADayWithoutAMexican'':
-->'''Policewoman:''' (comments on the problems "''[[ArtisticLicenseGeography Mexicans from Guatemala and Honduras]]''" cause).
-->'''Reporter:''' Umm... Guatemalans and Hondurans are not Mexicans...
-->'''Policewoman:''' (shrugs) They're South Of The Border. Aren't they?.
-->'''Note on screen:''' There are over 40 countries south of the border.
* ''Film/VeraCruz'', in which the Mexicans serve the purpose of poor victims or intimidation by sheer number, the French are there to look luxurious but impractical, and the Americans save the day. The love interest was portrayed by a Spanish actress (Sarita Montiel), and Creator/CesarRomero, the only one of the main actors with Latino ancestry, appeared as a French officer; he used to be typecast before as a Latin lover.
* ''Film/{{Apocalypto}}'' - see it for an archtypical example of how pre-Columbian Mexico is portrayed, complete with jungle and evil high priests).
* ''Film/FromDuskTillDawn''. [[spoiler: Aztec pyramids]]. On the border. ''Run by vampires''. AWESOME! Other Robert Rodriguez Mexican-themed films (like ''Film/ElMariachi'', ''Film/{{Desperado}}'', ''Film/OnceUponATimeInMexico'', ''Film/{{Machete}}'') go for the more traditional "crime-ridden hellhole" feel, with his trademark [[LampshadeHanging tongue in cheek]].
%%* ''Film/SpeciesTheAwakening''.
%%* ''Film/WereTheMillers''.
* ''Film/{{Traffic}}'': Scenes set in Mexico focus on the drug cartels and have a yellow filter, giving it a parched, washed-out look.
* ''Film/TheWayOfTheGun'': The protagonists cross the border with their hostage into Mexico intending to lay low. The location was apparently chosen to excuse the amount of violence and large-scale gunfights that take place without much police interaction. However, federales do show up on one occasion, and the director notes in the DVD commentary how rare it is for them to ''not'' be corrupt in an American film.

[[folder: Literature ]]

* The Scorch from ''Literature/TheMazeRunner'' trilogy is implied to be located in post-apocalyptic Mexico. The only named native of the region, Jorge, acts as Hispanic as one can be.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* On ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'' Mexico is where George Sr. went to hide while he was a fugitive. When the Mexican police arrest him for an unrelated crime, he's able to bribe the prison guards into faking his death so he can escape. This is referred to as "a loophole in the Mexican judicial system".
* ''Series/LizzieMcGuire'' had Lizzy and her friends as contestants on a Mexican game show. One of the challenge segments on the show had two teams racing for components of a matador costume.


[[folder: Music ]]

* Music/TomLehrer's "In Old Mexico", from the album ''Music/AnEveningWastedWithTomLehrer'', manages to pack just about every feature of this trope into one four-minute song.


[[folder: Theatre ]]

* ''Mexican Hayride'', a now-obscure hit musical of 1944 that was made into an movie with Creator/AbbottAndCostello.
* In ''Theatre/DreamGirl'', George Hand invites Georgina to go on vacation with him in Mexico. She has a DreamSequence about this, which gives her some doubts about the idea.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Exception: ''[[VideoGame/GhostRecon Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter]]'' takes place in a nicely accurate rendition of the Mexico City. In fact, one of the scenes involves a shooting in Reforma Avenue, an area of Mexico City that looks kinda like a cross-breed of Manhattan and Paris's Champs-Élysées.
** Same with ''Advanced Warfighter 2''--looks almost like Arizona, as most of the action now takes place in Juarez or desert areas.
* The MMORPG ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'' has an area that is actually called South Of The Border. The adventures here alternately embrace and parody this stereotypical view of Mexico, with belligerent mariachis, cock-fighting, and little kids trying to sell you pickle-flavored chewing gum.
* Part of ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'' is set in the Mexico of the SpaghettiWestern and gets wrapped up in a civil war.
** Somehow justified on the fact that it only happens in USA and the Border of Mexico/USA. John never enters the real Mexico.
* ''VideoGame/{{Guacamelee}}'' is an AffectionateParody of Mexican culture, and is loaded with imagery of ''lucha libre'', the Day of the Dead, {{Mayincatec}} ruins, and dusty colonial-era towns.
* ''VideoGame/SuperMarioOdyssey'' has the Sand Kingdom, a rare example of a ShiftingSandLand ([[HailfirePeaks partially]]) based on an American desert instead of an African one. At the entrance to the world is Tostarena Town, an adobe village populated by a race of cheerful guitar-strumming, sombrero-toting skeleton folk patterned off of alfeñique skulls. Furthermore, there are also {{Mayincatec}} ruins outside of town ruled by a giant Olmec-like stone head called Knucklotec, and stone jaguars called Jaxis can be ridden across the level. Unusually, however, there are also sunglasses-wearing EenieMeenieMinyMoai in the level as well.

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Any [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Speedy Gonzales]] cartoon.
* The first episode (not counting the pilot) of ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' takes place in a stereotypical Mexican town.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' - In an episode where Cartman forms a megachurch, Kenny is accidentally thrown off a bus in Mexico City. Cartman gets a call from him during mass, where he claims that "if you drink the water, you piss blood out of your ass for ''hours''".
* ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether'''s episode ''Mexican't buy my love''.
* ''WesternAnimation/WackyRaces'': "Baja-Ha-Ha Race"
* The Kamp Krusty episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' ended with Krusty taking the kids for a day of debauchery in Tijuana. The montage of still frames depicted a colonial-era walled city with an arched gate entrance and carnival-style booth entertainment. In reality, Tijuana is a modern city, founded relatively recently, traversed by a number of highways, with the strip malls and storefronts one would expect in an American business district, plus sprawling shanty towns that look miserable and intimidating, but colonial? Hardly...
* ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyBravo'': Johnny was asked to help a Mexican village full of cowards from a whip wielding bandito, he didn't do much help since he was a bigger coward than them, so the villagers then rallied together and booted the bandito themselves.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheNewAdventuresOfSuperman'': Superman saves a very stereotypical Mexican village from the eponymous monsters in "Lava Men".


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* There's a famous American Tourist Trap along Interstate 95 called "South of the Border" (which is in fact just south of the border--between North and South Carolina) that plays all manner of Mexican stereotypes to the hilt, from the Cinco de Mayo decor to their mascot, an amiable Mexican sluggard named Pedro. It is primarily famous for its [[BillboardEpic billboards]]. A trip from Canada to Florida by car in 1996 rendered a count of 453 of these billboards. It was also where current Chairman of the Federal Reserve System, Ben Bernanke, got one of his first jobs. Yeah, [[BurgerFool ridiculous outfits]]!
** Apparently "South of the Border" was used as the shipping address for the original establishment, a liquor store. It went with the theme to grow into being (arguably) the TropeNamer.