->''"The thing that most people don't realize is that John Cusack is a universal constant."''
-->-- ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}''

Basically either the FishOutOfWater (or another character who's visiting from elsewhere) describes something or someone shows or describes something to them, usually in a very condescending or superior manner. This is met with something along the lines of "So it's like a..." or "We have those too". TruthInTelevision -- don't ask foreign people "do you have cable TV in Russia?"

A variation involves the native being perplexed by the description because they ''passed'' that [[TechnologyLevels level of technology]] generations ago, and have much simpler ways of doing the same thing.

See also CallARabbitASmeerp.



[[folder: Fan Works]]
* Referenced in ''Fanfic/TheKeysStandAlone: The Soft World'' when Ringo gives Theecat his (extremely compressed) backstory. He wasn't sure if Theecat would understand what he was talking about, but it turns out the little steampunk Irorin is very familiar with mass media and its effect on people.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Subverted in Disney's ''Disney/{{Pocahontas}}'', when John Smith explains gold to the title character. She triumphantly produces an ear of corn, at which point Smith realizes there is no gold and Ratcliffe is deluded. The idea that a culture with no metal at all might have just not mined it never seems to occur to him.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Used in the Martin Lawrence vehicle ''Film/BlackKnight''. Martin tries to impress the English primitives with a Bic lighter. Cue unimpressed peasant, "We already have fire."
* While trying to barter with a goblin in ''Film/HellboyIITheGoldenArmy'', Liz offers him "magic eyes", to which he responds he already has binoculars.
* In the 1997 live-action film of ''Film/GeorgeOfTheJungle'', while in the jungle being guided by native guides, Lyle Van de Groot, rich snob white guy, attempts to impress his native guides by offering them lighters and showing off his camera... even though his guides are clearly familiar with such things. The guides play along for a bit, and then burst out laughing at him, whereupon their translator makes it clear they're not only unimpressed, they know more about cameras than ''he'' does.
-->'''Kwame:''' He says that he likes your magic pictures... but he prefers the resolution of the Leica 35-millimeter transparencies. He also says that your lens is dirty, but he has the equipment to clean it for you.

* Not exactly vocalized, but in the book ''Literature/BedknobAndBroomstick'', one of the children tries to scare a cannibal native into letting them go by showing him matches. Unfortunately, they've already got those.
* A virtually identical scene happens in the book ''Literature/TheTimeGarden'' by Creator/EdwardEager.
* In ''The Boggart'', a Canadian and a Scot have a dialect mixup:
-->'''Jessup:''' We could talk to each other, with flashlights.\\
'''Tommy:''' ...What's a flashlight?\\
'''Jessup:''' You don't have ''flashlights?'' Jeeze! A cylinder, like, with batteries inside it, and a lightbulb behind glass at one end--\\
'''Tommy:''' [[SarcasmMode We have a thing in Scotland that's a cylinder too. Very thin, made of wood, with graphite in the center. We call it a pencil.]]\\
'''Jessup:''' You think ''we'' don't have ''pencils?''\\
'''Tommy:''' ''You think we don't have flashlights?!'' That's just American dialect. In the ''English'' language they're called torches.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** From the novel ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}''[[note]]TruthInTelevision. Many things were invented in the medieval Arab world long before Europe got them. As for the specific Make-Things-Bigger Device, spyglasses, albeit ones with magical powers as well as just ordinary magnification, were mentioned in the Literature/ArabianNights.[[/note]]:
--->'''Lord Rust:''' That's a Make-Things-Bigger device, isn't it? My word, you ''are'' up to date. They were only invented last year.\\
'''General Ashal:''' I didn't buy this, my lord. I inherited it from my grandfather.
** In ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'' Rincewind gets to do this to a native of the land he's visiting (because of the all the various peoples that have emigrated to Ankh-Morpork, they have much better stuff than the isolated and somewhat xenophobic Agatean Empire). It's turned around on him when he brings up The Luggage, only to be reminded that it came from the Empire and they have plenty more.
* In ''Notes from a Small Island'' Creator/BillBryson mentions a conversation with a British couple, who asked if they had [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F._W._Woolworth_Company Woolworths]] and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_Keith_Kellogg cornflakes]] in America. Happens again when he returns to America in ''Notes from a Big Country''.
* Inverted in ''Literature/TheRestaurantAtTheEndOfTheUniverse'', where it's commented on that ''every'' race seems to have a drink whose name is some phonetic variation of "gin and tonic", but the drinks themselves vary wildly -- the Sivolvian "chinanto/mnigs", for instance, is merely water served at slightly above room temperature, while the Gagrakackan "tzjin-anthony-ks" [[GargleBlaster "kills cows at a hundred paces."]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/TheTenthKingdom''. Tony is in a fairy-tale world. He attempts to barter his wristwatch, using overly simplified language and referring to it as a "clock". The Tooth Fairy quietly turns around, opens a cabinet full of old-fashioned fob watches, and says "we call them watches."
* On the first episode of ''Series/TheDeadZone'', someone starts explaining to Johnny what a CD is, only for him to tell them that they had [=CDs=] when he went into his coma in 1996.
* An episode of ''Series/TopGear'' reports on Toyota's latest invention: "I didn't have the heart to tell them, but we have something like this in Britain already. It's called a ''wheelchair''."
%%* Something along these lines happens with John's first LoveInterest in ''Series/{{Farscape}}''.
* In ''Series/BabylonFive'', Narn ambassador G'Kar does this when introducing an Earth food to his colleague, which he then proceeds to justify:
-->'''Na'kal:''' Breen. You've managed to import breen from homeworld. How?\\
'''G'Kar:''' It... isn't actually breen.\\
'''Na'kal:''' But the smell, the taste...\\
'''G'Kar:''' It's an Earth food. They are called "Swedish meatballs". It's a strange thing, but every sentient race has its own version of these Swedish meatballs. I suspect it's one of those great universal mysteries which will either never get explained or which will [[GoMadFromTheRevelation drive you mad if you ever learned the truth]].
* In an early episode of ''Series/LoisAndClark'', Lois and Clark visit Clark's parents in Smallville. Lois at one point asks Ma and Pa Kent if there's a place in town that has a fax machine, and then goes on to (condescendingly) explain what a fax machine does. Ma Kent then offers Lois the use of her own fax machine, effectively shutting Lois up.
* Similar to the ''Black Knight'' example above, in an early episode of ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', Sheppard tries to impress the Athosians with his lighter. Teyla pulls out a much fancier lighter that also functions as a small flamethrower, much to his consternation.
* The ''Series/RedDwarf'' episode "Waiting for God" has this exchange:
-->'''Cat:''' You see, sometimes, in a book, we have a drawing of something that is happening in the story, and we call them "pictures".\\
'''Lister:''' (''amused'') Yeah, yeah, we have pictures too.\\
'''Cat:''' Hey, you monkeys are smarter than I thought!
** Later inverted while the boys from the Dwarf are guests of a mysterious host named Legion. [[SmugSnake Rimmer]], attempting to impress Legion, comments on the artistry of a mysterious object, and asks Legion what it is.
-->'''Legion:''' The light switch.\\
'''Rimmer:''' The light switch?\\
'''Legion:''' Yes.\\
'''Rimmer:''' I couldn't buy it, then?\\
'''Legion:''' ...not really. I need it to turn the lights on and off.
* Inverted in ''[[Series/TheColbertReport A Colbert Christmas]]'' when Jon explains Hanukkah to Stephen:
-->'''Jon:''' We have latkes--\\
'''Stephen:''' What are they?\\
'''Jon:''' Potato pancakes. We have dreidels--\\
'''Stephen:''' What are they?\\
'''Jon:''' Wooden tops. We have candles--\\
'''Stephen:''' [[RuleOfThree What are they?]]\\
'''Jon:''' THEY ARE ''CANDLES''!
* Meanwhile, over on ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', Anya and Giles visit a somewhat less than omniscient oracle.
-->'''Beljoxa's Eye:''' The eye sees not the future, only the truth of the now and before.\\
'''Anya:''' Yes, we've all got that -- it's called ''memory.''
* In the season one episode of ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' where [[Film/{{Thor}} Lady Sif]] guest-stars, Coulson tries to acquaint her with S.H.I.E.L.D.'s computerized database. In keeping with the interpretation of Asgardians as SufficientlyAdvancedAliens, she replies that she's already familiar with such systems, having used them when visiting other not-as-advanced worlds. She even calls S.H.I.E.L.D.'s system "antiquated". Coulson can be excused for thinking Sif would be impressed, since Thor was not familiar with the modern world back in his film.
* In ''Series/SleepyHollow'', Lt. Mills at one point begins explaining the term "John Doe" to Crane. Since the term originated in England in the 1300s, he's entirely exasperated.
* In ''Series/TheFlash2014'', each visitor to Earth-1 from an alternate universe is gratified to learn that Big Belly Burger is apparently a multiversal constant.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/MassEffectAndromeda:''
** At one point a background conversation can be heard between two angaara wondering what this "ice cream" thing the humans have is. When one realises it's like something similar they have, they exclaim a relative of theirs who makes and sells it can make a fortune.
** In a conversation between teammates Liam and Jaal, Jaal listens to a joke Liam makes, then dryly adds "we have people who aren't funny here too".


[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', Terezi dialog with Dave shows that troll society has things like orange creamsicles and cotton candy, while invoking this trope. Of course, [[spoiler:this actually ties in with how the trolls made the protagonists universe to begin with.]] Karkat's bedroom posters show that many Earth actors have Alternian troll equivalents.
-->''The thing that most people don't realize is that John Cusack is a universal constant.''
* In [[http://www.modestmedusa.com/?p=346 this]] ''WebComic/ModestMedusa'' strip, Marah is unable to pay for her stay at an inn with "copper pieces" (copper-plated zinc US pennies). Instead they have to barter with the Medusa's [[http://www.modestmedusa.com/?p=351 Nintendo DS.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** In the episode "Lisa's Wedding", Lisa's fiancée tells Homer that they have the "pull my finger" joke in Britain.
--->'''Homer:''' I said ''pull my finger!''
** Another time, Ringo Starr answers a letter from Marge:
--->'''Ringo Starr:''' Dear Marge, thanks for the fab painting of Yours Truly. I hung it on me wall. You're quite an artist. In answer to your question, yes, we do have hamburgers and fries in England. But we call French fries "chips." Love, Ringo. P.S. Forgive the lateness of my reply.
** Another episode has the cops eating at Krusty Burger; Lou says that while he was in Shelbyville, he went to [=McDonald=]'s, and instead of being called a non-dairy partially-gelatinated gum-based beverage he is surprised to hear it's called a "shake". This is, of course, a spoof of the "[=McDonald's=] in France" scene in ''Film/PulpFiction''.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' has a lot of these.
** The best example would have to be:
--->'''Hermes:''' Get ready for fun, Fry! Nowadays we have a type of game played entirely on video.\\
'''Leela:''' We call it a "video game".\\
'''Fry:''' (''deadpan'') Oh, well you mighty space men of the future will have to show me how it works.\\
(''the next scene has Fry kicking their asses six ways to Sunday'')
** And then there's this:
--->'''Giant Amazon:''' What men good for anyway?\\
(''Amy whispers in her ear'')\\
'''Giant Amazon:''' Ohhh... you mean [[UnusualEuphemism snu-snu]]!
** The first time crew encounter the sewer mutants, Fry quickly lights a makeshift torch and starts swinging it around threateningly. One of the sewer mutants casually [[CouldntFindALighter lights a cigarette from the torch]].
* In the episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' "Escape from the House of Mummies Part 2", Doctor Venture and Brock set up a TotemPoleTrench in an attempt to scare an Egyptian cult by pretending to be their "giant four-armed god". Doc aims a flashlight at one of them and boasts about his ability to create light from his hands. A cultist responds "It's just a flashlight!"