Why the Italies are named "Romano" and "Veneziano"— Rome and Venetia were the last two Italian states to unify into a united Italian nation.
One can only imagine the reaction from some particular countries when the Allies win WWII.
The ED closely resembles Disney's Small World theme park ride.
It seems like almost every character with a recurring role has their own version of either Marukaite Chikyuu or Hatafutte Parade. The Axis and Allies have one of each, of course, but characters with shorter appearances are starting to get them, too - like Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Greece, Turkey, even Sweden, who's only been in three or four episodes so far. And considering the size of his fanbase, and the fact that he was introduced in the second season, before both Sweden and Turkey, shouldn't Canada have his own version of the theme song? Well, obviously not - they forgot about him again. Although, he did receive his own character song, titled "Canada Complete Introduction"
Word of God states that America fears Dora the Explorer. It was a very subtle reference to attitudes to illegal immigration from Mexico to the United States.
Russia's love of sunflowers: they have the ability to absorb and store harmful pollution, which is why they're the symbol for nuclear disarmament. So underneath his Psychopathic Manchild creepiness, looks like Ivan really does want peace for his country and friends who won't leave him...
The strips featuring Russia and Belarus at first appear to just be a joke about the series' most feared character being scared out of his wits by a cute girl. But remember the Union State. Belarus's Yandereness toward her brother is real-life canon.
Why is England a tsundere in the series? Because in real life Great Britain is essentially the world's biggest tsundere towards the United States. Seriously, Britain have been allies, then enemies, then our allies again and so on and so forth. Makes perfect sense when you think about it.
The "Rainy Day" strip. The Umbrella of Togetherness scenario with Greece and Japan is cute, but keep in mind that Japan is also wearing a raincoat in the same strip. Which means that he didn't have to share Greece's umbrella but did anyway, even though he almost certainly knows what the act signifies in his own culture.
Canada and Cuba being friends, despite being separated by the United States. In the 18th century, Canada and Cuba were trading with each other and have kept a cordial relationship with each other since, Canada even protesting against the United States about the Helms-Burton Act. It is also noteworthy to point out that Canada's former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Cuba's former Prime Minister Fidel Castro were good friends, up to Trudeau's death.
Romano's constant insults towards other nations' foods (Germany and potatoes; Switzerland and cheese) is often turned up to eleven in fanfics by making Romano basically insult anyone who doesn't exclusively love tomatoes and pasta. Keep in mind the term polentone, food-based insults officially become canon.
Canada was portrayed as the Butt Monkey, with nobody ever noticing him or if they do, they just think he's America. His constant companion Kumajirou always wonders who he is. Russia even sat on him for a whole meeting without realizing he was there and his best friend Cuba keeps thinking he's America whenever he sees him. But Hidekaz Himaruya gave us a cute little wink during the strip when Canada and America got into an argument and Canada burst into a three hourrant about why America sucked, promptly leaving America in tears. This alone showed that Canada was one of the few people, if not the only person, in the world who could do that to America, overpowering and dominating America for once when most of the other countries couldn't. Well, or America couldn't believe that his li'l brodidn't like him very much.
Related to the above: In order to give someone a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, you have to know them very well. And who could know America better than his own brother?
In the dub, Poland is less of a Valley Girl than a gangster / gayngster, saying things like "yo, bro-ski". It's a subtle reference to Polish ghettos.
Some of Himaruya's old notes say that Sweden is 100% gay, but "only acts that way around Finland." There's a (Finnish) stereotype of all Swedish men being gay.
Iceland's character profile. It said he tried to be cool and level-headed, but was Hot-Blooded and had a volatile temper on the outside. Sounds like a typical awkward teenager... until you remember that Iceland is made up of volcanoes.
The beta version of the Drama CD revealed that Turkey was in love with Ancient Greece but had to kill her. Something like this would explain a LOT about Greece and Turkey's relations. Obviously, Greece would be hostile towards Turkey because of him being the one who killed her mother, but what would be Turkey's possible reasons for being hostile towards Greece in return? How about the fact that Greece looks a lot like his mother, which means that Turkey would be reminded of his dead love every time he looked at him? And that if Greece isn't his son, it means that he's essentially proof that Ancient Greece loved someone other than him and that he now has to take care of his rival's son? In other words, it gives both Greece and Turkey serious, completely understandable reasons for hating each other while keeping both of them sympathetic at the same time. But it doesn't stop there; consider how it's shown that Turkey doesn't like seeing Greece with Japan at all. Now consider how Turkey's resentment might not be simply that his crush likes his hated rival better than him, but that when he finally allowed himself to fall in love again after the terrible events with Ancient Greece, her son, the living reminder of the fact that his previous love loved someone else more than him, is the reason for his current love also loving someone else more than him. Damn. It would also explain Japan's aversion to choosing one of them over the other in spite of the obvious bias (other than his Japanese Politeness, of course); he must have heard both sides of the story and recognized that each one of them is not the bastard the other one believes he is (why else would he be friends with them, if they weren't both good at heart?) - but also that the deep and very emotionally-seated reasons behind their hostility means that it would take a miracle for them to realize that themselves - and that if he does choose Greece, it would be like twisting the knife further for Turkey. Damn. It makes so much sense that it's not even funny.
The whole England/UK thing is logical enough, and the explanation of England representing them all at meetings makes perfect sense. But then his full name is put down as 'United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland'. Since England no longer exists as a separate entity, then yes, that is the official name it falls under. So it would be his full name, but it would also be his brothers' full names (possibly with their respective extra names stuck on at the end like the Italies).
The fact that France stops America from drinking in the plane strip may seem weird given that we already see him drinking with England once. It makes sense when you remember the legal drinking age difference: America can drink in England's house but not in his own.
Hungary being made a Yaoi Fangirl. She grew up believing that everyone grew a penis when they were older, which meant she thought everyone becomes a boy. If you thought that everyone gets to be boys, yaoi seems to be the only kind of sexual relationship to have.
So Ukraine's large land mass is represented by her large chest. Does that mean Russia's large land mass is represented by his ...
Switzerland and Liechtenstein's relationship can come off very close, if not borderline closet-incestuous, despite being Not Blood Siblings. Then you notice the fact that in Real Life, Swiss and Liechtensteiners really do view each other as close brothers. And that's not counting the generous Customs Union that effectively ties the two Alpine nations closely together...
Spain has kansai accent, and some of the nordics have touhoku accent. This fits quite well, considering kansai is Eastern Japan and touhoku is Northern Japan. Admittedly, though, other characters' accents are not so readily explainable. Even more potential Fridge Brilliance to that: Spain has a kansai accent, which would seem more to fit Eastern vs. Northern Japan. However, if you were taught Spanish as a second language, one of the things you're taught is that the Spanish most commonly taught [the Latin/South American Spanish] and Castillian [for Spain] are relatively different...
Why is Kirkland England's human surname? The references to his human first name of Arthur are understandable, but Kirkland seems odd. It doesn't seem to reference anything/anyone in particular and it's not a popular surname in England (like Jones is in America and Fernandez is in Spain). But "kirk" is an old-fashioned term for "church." And since a hill is a type of land... Kirkland is a reference to Winston Churchill.
Not to mention the word "kirk" comes from the time of the Viking invasion.
The episode where Japan-cat tries to convince the other cats not to ban trading in canned tuna. Sea-living life form... banned as food due to endangerment... Japan protesting this... it's a whaling metaphor.
We all know that Germany and Prussia drink pretty much nothing but beer, and England is a big believer in going to the pub. Could also be stereotyping without any deeper meaning, but it could be a brilliant little poke at the relationship between Germany, Prussia, and England. The name "England" actually comes from "Angle Land" since the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes invaded England not long after the fall of Rome. The Angles and Co. were Germanic tribes. England is Germany and Prussia's cousin, so that's why all three of em are serious about their drinking.
At first, the plot of the movie seems like a Jumping the Shark moment, with the aliens and all. But then again, what else other than an alien invasion will get the nations of the world work together? And why would the aliens skip Switzerland and Liechtenstein? Simple: not only do they have a long history of fierce militarism (the use of Swiss soldiers was for a time considered a war crime) in addition to their neutrality, but there's also the various facilities in their territory, including the CERN LHC. It would be no surprise therefore that the Pict would simply find them too much effort to take over.
In medieval times bright blue was considered a 'rich' color, due to the long time it took to make the dye. It was especially revered in France, where it was not only considered a rich color but the royal color. Now, what color does France wear in anime episodes such as the one where he cuts England's hair? Blue.
Another piece of Fridge Brilliance regarding Canada: He's the least-noticed sibling in the Anglo-sphere family (the other nations such as Australia and New Zealand are more recognizable, despite not having appeared outside of the Holiday Specials), and he never gets a chance to get his say. Combined with his rather beta personality compared to his brother, he has to repeat himself constantly to get a word in edgewise. Now, maybe this is a coincidence, but even if it is, it's a great one. Canada displays personality traits and character tropes that are also seen in another well-known Canadian character: The least-noticed brother? From a big family? Soft-spoken compared to the others? Never gets his word in, to the point where he is completely ignored unless he makes himself heard? Did Himaruya read and/or watch Jacob Two-Two?
The English dub of the Japan goes Italian scene gave Japan an accent almost exactly like Mario, considering Mario is an Italian plumber created by Japanese people. Todd Haberkorn, Italy's voice actor, even said he channeled Mario in a commentary for the anime.
Seychelles is a young girl because the author thought it suited the character. But Seychelles is heavily matriarchal. Not only that, but it's the law that Seychelles fathers must financially support their children. According to the character guide, Seychelles gets by thanks to financial support by Britain and France (her "dads"/colonizers).
When England caught a cold and France took care of him, America tried to cure him by placing a hamburger on his head. The comic runs with "America doesn't get it" joke but remember that nations only get a cold when they're suffering from financial stress. Things like fast food, junk food, soda, etc are all products that can only thrive in a heavily capitalistic society with lots of consumers and advertising (read: things that spend money and stimulate the economy). Depending on when the comic took place (let's say the early 20th century before the Depression) products like that would be booming in American culture, so America would think he was curing England.
England goes drinking with America and seems to get drunk WAY faster, on what looks like small amount of alcohol. Then you realize... we never actually SEE how much they had... and if you take into account the Fanon that land=body, it makes sense that Engand would get drunk way faster, as his landmass is much smaller than America's. They could have been there for hours and America, being one of the largest countries in the world, probably wouldn't even be affected. It can serve as a Hilarious in Hindsight moment or a Shout-Out to Captain America, who also has Super Strength and a really fast metabolism, which means he literally cannot get drunk.
It's commonly believed that the 50 on the back of America's jacket is supposed to represent 50 states, but given that it's WWII, and it's a flight jacket, it more likely represents 50 flight missions. The average life expectancy of fighter pilots was 4-8 missions, so either America was a very good pilot, or we're going into fridge horror territory.
The very nature of Hetalia means that while the original "World 8" are still promoted as leads, the large ensemble cast and Ensemble Darkhorses mean that they aren't the only main or major characters. When coupled with the fact that potentially every single Nation right down to the really minor ones is a hero/heroine in their side of the story, it's very much reflective of actual World History, which in itself doesn't have a single plot but a tapestry of them.
Why has Russia's personality been getting Lighter and Softer? Because, with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia has been getting steadily less dystopian.
Okay, so everyone knows that Molossia wears green and white, yes? He also appears to be around fifteen (physically), so high school age. Well, nearby Fallon, Nevada's high school colors: green and white.
Sweden buying Sealand. When Finland first found America, he told Sweden he thought it'd be nice to have kids.
A fan noticed that I Am German Made and Holy Roman Empire's version of Maru Kaite Chikyuu uses the same melody. In a similar same vein, Poland and Lithuania, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein's Maru Kaite Chikyuu, when synced up, sound like they go together, as do Finland and Sweden's Hatafutte Parade, most likely to go with those characters' relationships in the series.
Russia being a Stepford Smiler seems very strange when you consider that the most common stereotype of Russians is that they are Perpetual Frowners. However, Russians reserve smiles for when they are around family or friends. And it is said in his Volume 3 profile that Russia is naturally quite aloof and shy, but that this doesn't matter because he considers everyone his friend.
In the dub, Switzerland tells Liechtenstein that if she wants a pet she mustn't take just one animal; in Switzerland, it's illegal to keep guinea pigs alone, and there's a guinea pig rental service for owners who only have one left.
Korea's Idiot Hair being his country's "Spirit"; no matter how hard you push it, it won't stay down. Appropriate considering his tough past and his current perpetual cheer.
Speaking of whom, his habit of groping his brothers' chests was apparently inspired by the country's prior territorial disputes with surrounding nations (though technically that way they should be claiming his at least as often). See Ukraine's boobs being referred to as "tracts of land" and the implication it means her large arable areas. This would seem to be why he goes for the chest specifically; naturally he'd want the useful land.
England's favourite author is stated to be Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Not only does he share the first name England's human name uses (and not only has he penned one of the first franchises to have a well-documented case of fandom; see the time he tried to kill off Holmes but was forced to bring him back), Conan Doyle was an avid believer in fairies and the supernatural.
Italy's taste in horror movies is already surprising, because, well, it's Italy. He doesn't seem to be the type to be into gory and vulgar films. But apparently he is. To the point he didn't know there were movies out there that didn't have large amounts of gore and nudity like his. But when you think about it, it makes sense. This guy lived through some of the bloodiest times in history as a mere child. After what he's seen, he's desensitized. He seemed more scared of the psychological horror than the blood and guts stuff.
More like Fridge Brilliance, if you realize that Dario Argento is arguably the most well known Italian horror director, specifically of the giallo genre, and his films are notoriously sexual and bloody.
Or did it bring back childhood memories of Grandpa Rome's Colosseum?
The Italian brothers are shown to have spent the Middle Ages as young toddlers. Does that mean that the plague hit them while they were practically babies?
The general concept of the series is in itself Fridge Horror. Just think about it. These people are practically immortal, involved in every war their people ever fight - on the battlefield. How many people must they have seen die? How many people must they have had to kill? They can't form relationships with humans without getting their hearts broken, they have to fight people they've grown up with, people who've raised them, and their own siblings. And they have to live with the memories of the greatest tragedies in history. Some of this has been touched on in canon, but since this is mostly a comedy series, it's left to the imagination just how much every single character must be suffering inside.
Especially since we've seen them involved in battle as toddlers. Unclear if it's more or less horrific when the toddlers win.
Austria was a very strictfather figure towards Chibitalia. Until Italy's voice cracks, Austria thought he was a girl. He thought the child who he stepped on, threw in a shed, denied food to, and probably other punishments, was a little girl. Because if Austria thought Italy was a boy, it would have been fine.
Chibi-England always has a bunny following him around. Hundreds of years pass, and adult England is seen with an entity fans call "Flying Mint Bunny" due to the dub. Flying Mint Bunny is a strange color and has wings, kind of like...angel wings...is Flying Mint Bunny the ghost of England's poor dead bunny friend from childhood? Or worse, depending on how you interpret the "imaginary friends"...is he a hallucination of the pet England misses so much?
England's reaction to America growing up seemed like the normal joke of 'oh those kids grow up so fast when you're not looking'. Until you think about chibitalia. Italy was a kid for at least a few hundred years it seemed. For a country America did grow up freakishly fast.
Liechtenstein's near-death situation after World War I is no doubt tear-inducing. But then you consider the fact that until 1918, the principality was under the protection if not influence of Austria/Austria-Hungary...only to be abandoned to the post-war chaos even though it really had no significant role in said war. So in other words, this implies that Austria and Hungary left her to die alone...or at least forced to...
Italy is carrying Machiavelli's corpse around in a suitcase.
Romano, aka Southern Italy. The region (expect Sardinia, which, truth be told, is not quite Southern Italy anyway) is geologically very active with volcanoes like Etna and Vesuvius. To be specific, Etna killed 16,000 people alone in the Sicilian port of Catania while the latter killed 18,000 in A.D. 79 and has erupted thirty-six times since that eruption. If that wasn't bad enough, earthquakes take a heavy toll in the region as 1693 Sicily, Calabria, and Messinahorrifically show. Now, consider that one of Fanon's theories is that 'disaster = Nation-tans suffering pain'...
Japan panics and thinks he's ruined for marriage when Italy publicly hugs him. Seems funny, but think about it; this man is two thousand years old, and his reaction implies that he's never been hugged, at least not by someone who wasn't family. Wow, he needs therapy.
On a similar note, in the Valentine's Day strip, as Germany sets out on a date with Italy, it some time for him to process that what he's been feeling is happiness.
The Lily of the Valley incident between Latvia and Sealand, where Latvia stabs Sealand with the stem of a Lily of the Valley flower, just seemed odd to me. Sure, Latvia is acting kind of weird in the scene and Sealand's scream after the stab is out of nowhere... until you find out that the Lily of the Valley plant, in all of its parts, are highly toxic, with consumption of it in even small amounts can result in abdominal pain, vomiting, and a reduced heart rate. The plant even contains 38 toxics that can cause heart failure. So yeah, Latvia may have tried to kill Sealand.
A description of Lithuania's character traits says that he's "easy to take advantage of". Okay, so he's a little naïve and gullible. But read about Lithuania during WWII. Lithuania was one of the first nations where the Final Solution was implemented and consequently is considered one of the places the Holocaust started. Furthermore, there was general cooperation with Nazi occupiers because of their exploitation of anti-Soviet sentiment. What makes this so horrifying is that Lithuania is one of the kindest characters in Hetalia. His desire to get out from under Russia was so strong that Lithuania may allowed himself to be manipulated into doing something completely out of character. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a well developed character flaw.
So we know that Nation-tans die when their nations are dissolved; that's how Holy Rome and Germania died, at least. For some reason, though, Prussia is still hanging around after his country's dissolution - supposedly as East Germany, but that region is no longer a real thing either. Romano may still be around even though North and South Italy are united, but they were separate for a long time; we don't see a Confederate America still running around or anything like that. Presumably, Prussia should be long dead by now. So he's on borrowed time. According to Word of God, some of Germany's older brothers have "slowly disappeared" in the past; basically, Prussia is slowly dying, fading into nonexistence as Society Marches On. That would explain why Germany puts up with all of his crap. How could you turn your dying brother out on the street, even if he's intolerably obnoxious?
It has been pretty much confirmed that when a country is dissolved the Nation-tans don't immediately die (as happened to Niko Niko Republic) but rather merely become normal humans. And it pretty much has been confirmed in recent comics that Prussia has lost his immortality as evidenced when a dog bite, that Germany dismissed it should heal in a day, was actually over a week old.
We all know about the horrifying things that happened in WW2, but the Asian brothers in the modern strips don't seem to have much worse feelings towards each other than irritation, Japan and America actively like each other, and everyone in Europe gets along normally with Germany. England and France have literal millenia of hatred between them but seem to actually enjoy the conflict. What the hell did Russia do to make the Baltics so frightened of him? The above examples suggest it can't be just what their countries did, and Lithuania used to be a great warrior.
Quite possibly answering the above question; part of the tactics of the USSR and Imperial Japan, among others, involved stamping out all native cultural influences in annexed territories, and the nation-tans seem to be partially an embodiment of their peoples' unique cultures. Even if the personifications didn't get involved personally in the more viscerally horrifying parts, they could potentially have permanently killed their own family members that way.
Which then brings in entirely different concerns; this is far from unique to Russia, though that's ongoing and on a very large scale, which would explain why the Baltics are so afraid. But why are other nations so calm around people who tried to kill them? For that matter, how much of the erasure of native cultures was done by the -tans? One of Spain's character songs and his civil but awkward interaction with Cuba implies he wasn't deeply involved in the New World atrocities, but how much he knew or cared about what was going on is unclear.
Romano's self-esteem issues may be even worse than immediately apparent. His human name is given as Lovino, which, especially when filtered through Japanese-to-English translation, is strikingly similar to the Italian word "rovinare", meaning "to ruin".
Belarus scratching at Russia's door and tearing out the doorknob when trying to "become one" with him. Not to mention the close up on her insane facial expression or her repeating "let's get married". Russia, who's pretty insane himself, even cries Tears of Fear. It doesn't help that we don't know what happened after...
Fridge Squick: Spain feeding tomatoes to toddlers looks adorable until you remember that around that time tomatoes were known as "love apples" and thought to have aphrodisiac properties. Not helping your case, Spain.
Semi-popular fanon original character depictions interpret North Korea as a child, as it's a recently established country and its behaviour on the world stage comes across as throwing tantrums and hiding behind China's skirts. Remembering what NK is like brings in both Troubling Unchildlike Behavior and some horrifying implications with the fan theory that conflict causes the personifications pain.