A quiet character, from a rural location, commonly Arcadia
, often found as a Fish out of Water
in the Big City. Frequently depicted as having an inherent superiority in morality, ethics or common sense compared to the people around her. Can be an authorial voice to deliver An Aesop
, or to provide a contrast to the "sophisticated" people with whom she lives or works.
Small Town Boredom
is sometimes what motivates her to travel to the city. On the first arrival at the city, may be dazzled by the luxury of city life. Welcome to the Big City
or discovering the shallowness of the Life of the Party
will soon cure her; in a single story, she will wisely head back to the countryside, or tragically die, trapped by disease, pregnancy, or despair, but in a continuing one, she will mature into the level-headed version.
The female Country Mouse often becomes the target of the Rich Bitch
. Frequently overlaps with Naïve Newcomer
Compare with City Mouse
, Country Cousin
and The City vs. the Country
when this is an actual plot. Contrast Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense
This term and City Mouse
derive from Aesop's Fables
, making it Older Than Feudalism
- Soah from the manhwa The Bride of the Water God, literally a country girl forced to live with the palace intrigues of both Habaek the Water God, and the Emperor's Court.
- Mashiro from Engaged to the Unidentified, who's constantly awed by the things she finds in the city when she and her brother move in with her prospective sister-in-law Kobeni. Case in point, how she brightens up at the sight of a stoplight at a crosswalk, because while it's not the first time she's seen one, the one she did see was located in the next town from her hometown, which takes a few hours to get to.
- In Freezing, Rana Linchen hails from a small village in Tibet, and has been so isolated from the rest of the world that she thinks that her "Tears of Kunlun" are some divinely-bestowed gift until she reaches West Genetics.
- Houki from Fushigi Yuugi, born to a very poor family from the country. Her gorgeous looks get her a place in Emperor Hotohori's harem, and then she becomes Hotohori's wife.
- In Higurashi: When They Cry, Natsumi Kimiyoshi moves to the city from Okinomiya, which, while larger than the story's main setting of the village of Hinamizawa, still isn't a particularly big town. She winds up taking this role with her friends, though she's very eager to have all her new friends forget about the fact that she's from the country, particularly after the Hinamizawa Gas Disaster occurs.
- Hagumi of Honey and Clover is actually nicknamed "Nezumi" (mouse) by one of the other characters. While it is mostly a reflection of her artist's character that she cannot properly socialize in the university environs, her deficiency is made greater by her back-country origins, and despite prodigious talent and constant encouragement towards fame, she wants nothing more than to return to the countryside.
- Ikuma Momochi, from the Tokyo Ghoul light novels. A Ghoul from the countryside, he moved to Tokyo to pursue a career in music and his upbringing is starkly contrasted with that of his city kin. He's a humble, kind-hearted young man with an optimistic outlook and a certain folksy wisdom.
- Aurelia Hartwick from Victorian Romance Emma. She falls for the good-looking city boy, marries him, and relocates to London, where high society enjoys gossip at her expense.
- Komasan from Yo-kai Watch is a country yokai who is completely ignorant to urban life. His younger brother Komajiro is also a country mouse but is less of an exaggerated stereotype and adapts better to the city. For example Komasan doesn't understand cellphones and thinks they're some sort of weird ear-warmers and that people are talking to themselves, while Komajiro understands what a "cellphone" is.
- Koyuki from Sgt. Frog. Especially in the English dub.
- In Magic of Stella, Tamaki hails from the country, and even has an accent to go with her background. Yumine is slightly milder in this; they live in the same place but since she went to the city for school a few years earlier than Tamaki does, she speaks more regular Japanese.
- So, I Can't Play H!: According to Lisara, Ilia comes from the most backwater region of Grimwald. Her natural accent is thick and slurs her speech so badly, hardly anyone can understand what she's saying. Despite this, Ilia has become a successful teen idol and a spokesperson for the Merlot Life Insurance company. All thanks to using an illusion spell that makes her speech sound normal and it makes her breasts appear large.
- Alfi, Bavarian cousin of Rudi from the eponymous German comic.
- Husk from Generation X had this as her nickname. Despite her best attempts at shedding the preconception of a Kentucky hillbilly (she suppressed her accent and was The Smart Girl of the team), her naivety was clear whenever the kids had an adventure in a big city.
- Clark Kent, when he first arrives in Metropolis from Smallville.
- In Runaways, Klara is a country mouse twice over - first she was dragged off a farm in Switzerland and taken away to New York City in the early 20th century, and then, after being abused and exploited by her "husband" in the Big Apple, she was offered a chance to run away to the 21st century, which she took. She adjusts surprisingly well to the 21st century, but still gets uncomfortable in cities.
- In Seven Soldiers of Victory, Klarion Bleak runs away from his home in the Puritan-styled Limbo Town, and ends up in the middle of Manhattan, where he finds that the world has changed considerably in the centuries since his ancestors sought refuge underground. Mr. Melmoth tries to exploit his naivety in hopes that the boy will lead him back to Limbo Town, but Klarion proves to be much more clever than Melmoth anticipated.
- Many Frank Capra protagonists, most notably Longfellow Deeds from Mr. Deeds Goes to Town and Jefferson Smith from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
- In A Girl Named Sooner, a mountain child is taken in by a couple living in a nearby town. The child is amazed by things like soap flakes, hot water from the tap, and electric lights.
- The Aviator: At one point in the film, Howard Hughes and Katharine Hepburn address each other as “City Mouse” and “Country Mouse” – a detail lifted from telegrams exchanged between the two that were auctioned off after Hepburn’s death. The difference in their backgrounds is explored in another scene in which Hughes travels to meet Hepburn's family.
- Crocodile Dundee. The first half has the City Mouse reporter in the wilds of Australia, while the second half has Country Mouse Dundee in the wilds of New York.
- The many film versions of Heidi. See below for more details.
- The Jerk: Steve Martin's character was "born a poor black child" in the country, but moves to the city when he discovers white people music.
- In Nothing Sacred, Hazel Flagg is flown from Warsaw, Vermont into New York City and becomes an overnight celebrity for suffering patiently with a rare terminal disease. But she knows she's not really dying, and she's perfectly healthy until she gets a bad hangover from overindulging in the city's nightlife.
- In Tillie's Punctured Romance, Tillie is an ignorant farmgirl who falls for the advances of a predatory city slicker. When she's in the city, she's such a bumpkin that she can't figure out crossing the street, and almost gets run over by some streetcars.
- Old Polish silent movie Antos pierwszy raz w Warszawie ("Tony's first time in Warsaw") from 1908 has a small town man who visits Warsaw for the first time and ends up robbed by two prostitutes he meets.
- In Way Down East, country mouse Anna is vulnerable in the city, leaving her open to the machinations of an evil Casanova who wants to get her into bed.
- Zootopia: Judy grew up in rural Bunnyburrow and is in awe (and a little overwhelmed) of life in the big city once she moves to Zootopia.
- Beatrix Potter retold Aesop's fable as The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse. A country mouse is accidentally brought to the city, finds it too dangerous, and returns home; a city mouse visits him there, is frightened by the weather and prospect of a cow stepping on him, and returns home. Potter draws the Aesop that people like different things (and ignore different disadvantages).
- Louisa May Alcott's novel An Old-Fashioned Girl has this as its basic premise. Poor country girl Polly Milton befriended wealthy city girl Fanny Shaw when the latter was visiting a mutual friend, and after several months of correspondence, goes to visit her friend in the city. During the two months of her visit, she Pollyannas the entire household.
- Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar centres around suburban dweller Esther Greenwood and her failure to cope with New York City. Esther points out that she has avoided spending summers in suburbia for many years and feels stifled in her home neighborhood.
- José Antonio from the Chilean novel Golondrina de Invierno ("Winter Swallow"). Subverted in that he's not exacly poor, but a very rich and hardworking landowner.
- An element of Carrot's personality in Guards! Guards!, before he starts fitting into the city as if he was born to it, and also Imp in the first few scenes of Soul Music. Noticably absent on Granny Weatherwax's visits to the Great Wahoonie, since she assumes it's the city's job to fit round her, not the other way round.
- In Helen Fern Daringer's novel, Country Cousin, Susannah Endicott fills this role when she lives with her uncle's family in New York City in the late 1600's to go to school.
- In Betty Cavanna's novel, The Country Cousin, it's Mindy Hubbard. The Country Cousin is also the name of the store Mindy gets a job at.
- It's the title character in Johanna Spyri's novel, Heidi, when she goes to Frankfurt. There she meets Klara, who later visits her in the Alps, thus becoming a City Mouse.
- In the sequel, Heidi Grows Up by Charles Tritten, she attends school in Lausanne.
- In Stephen King's Dolores Claiborne, Dolores, and proudly so.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, Eddard "Ned" Stark is this compared to the other Lords of Westeros. He's a grim and stoic guy who hails from the Westeros equivalent of Alaska. One of the reasons he didn't claim the Iron Throne at the end of Robert's Rebellion was because he didn't think he could handle the Deadly Decadent Court. Years later Robert made Ned his Hand of the King. Sure enough, Ned couldn't handle the corrupt court and paid dearly for it.
- In Zilpha Keatley Snyder's The Changeling, Ivy Carson was one of these.
Live Action TV
- In Skin Hunger Sadima is this when she comes to the big city to live with Franklin (on whom she has had a crush ever since she met him at her father's farm) and Somiss, with whom Franklin is in an (non-romantic, non-sexual) abusive relationship. She tries to free Franklin from Somiss' clutches, but the parallel story of Hahp reveals that she isn't going to succeed. Sadima has the good luck to find a job as cheesemaker, where her country-knowledge is useful.
- In The Anderssons by Solveig Olsson-Hultgren, Elin lived in the city of Stockholm for quite some years, but she only was glad to return to rural Småland. She lived on her homestead until she was 100 years old. Ironically enough, her daughter Rebecka had grown up in Stockholm and became a City Mouse.
- Kenneth the page from 30 Rock. He used to live on a farm and moved to NYC to work in television. He's a naive, religious, innocent, and cheerful. He's certainly better than the rest of the cast. But a couple of scenes that imply he may be both a Stepford Smiler and a Humanoid Abomination. If this is true and not just Rule of Funny, that would mean he's a subversion of this trope.
- Fred on Angel definitely qualifies.
- Fred might actually be an Aversion. She teases her parents about visiting the decadence of the big city, but doesn't really seem too naive about it. By the time she joins the gang, she's reasonably acclimated to city life, especially to appreciate being able to get tacos at any given point in the day. When her parents later visit, they are a Subversion -they're from the country but don't seem especially wowed by the big city, especially as they've watched plenty of movies and television.
- Woody Boyd from Cheers, from rural Indiana.
- Although being the engineer of a spaceship has broadened her quite a bit, there's still a fair amount of Country Mouse in Firefly's Kaylee.
- In "Shindig" she attends a formal ball. At first, she's completely out of place. Eventually, she finds a crowd of engineers (or, at least, elite socialites with tinkering hobbies) and spends the rest of the ball talking engines with them.
- Saffron appears to be this at first.
- Gomer Pyle, of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C..
- Radar O'Reilly from M*A*S*H falls mostly into the "contrast" category, but was sometimes used as a straight-up innocent foil (most famously in the sixth-season episode "Fallen Idol").
- Remember WENN had Betty Roberts of Elkhart, Indiana.
- Penny from The Big Bang Theory, from Nebraska. The contrast here is not so much urban/rural as it is book smarts/street smarts.
- Moon Jae In from the Korean Drama Bad Boy.
- Perfect Strangers: Balki.
- The Suite Life of Zack and Cody: Bailey Pickett.
- Averted on CSI: NY. Lindsay is just as at home in the big city as she was in Montana.
- Rose on The Golden Girls was one of these, coming from the fictional location of "St. Olaf."
- Brent Spiner played Bob Wheeler, a regular guest character on Night Court who was basically this trope taken to a ridiculous extreme.
- Degrassi's suicidal teenage semipro hockey player Cam Saunders came from Kapuskasing, ON (pop. 8196) to Toronto to get on the fast track to the NHL.
- Betty, from Walgett, in Hey Dad..!.
- Elton John's "Honky Cat" finds the singer warned by his relatives that "living in the city, boy, is gonna break your heart".
- "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" finds the singer at the "disillusioned by all the empty shallowness" part of one of these stories, and consequently more than a little bit bitter.
- Aesop recounted the story of a city mouse visiting a country mouse and scorning his life as simple, but when the country mouse went to the city, he found the rich dining his city friend bragged of was guarded by cats, and concluded that safety and simplicity in the country were best.
- The many hillbilly/farmer wrestlers that have been around for ages. Most are usually faces, sometimes portrayed as very naive and being used as a tool by a heel.
- In Wonderful Town, Ruth and Eileen arrive in New York City from Columbus, Ohio, thinking that they can easily make a name for themselves as a writer and actress, respectively. They are quickly revealed to be country mice when they end up handing over most of their money for a barely-livable apartment.
- Quina in Final Fantasy IX forms a definite contrast to the sophisticated princess Dagger, though s/he is played mostly for laughs
- Mami in Breath of Fire IV. An innocent farm girl who momentarily took care of Fou-lu and promptly fell for him (and it's implied Fou-lu feels the same, although it's kinda hard to tell). Then things go horribly wrong. And how.
- Nephenee from Fire Emblem 9/10 is a shy country girl who rarely speaks, mostly to hide her country accent.
- Also the Dragon Riders Cormag and Glen from Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. As children, they're taken in by the Grado military after they throw stones at the dogs surrounding Emperor Vigarde's carriage during a trip to the countryside.
- We have two in Fire Emblem Awakening: Donnel (who even is in the Villager class!) and Kellam.
- And in Fire Emblem Fates we have another two: Mozu (an Gender Flip Expy of Donnel, also Villager class) and Keaton (though he denies it very much).
- Suikoden II has Kinnison, an archer, who lives in the forest surrounding Ryukei Village, with his "dog", Shiro. After recruiting him and establishing your base, he writes about trying to adjust to life in the castle, and not being used to having so many others around. Following the game's ending, he and Shiro return to their forest.
- In Roommates, Anne is from a small town and is quite shy and sheltered at first. Part of the reason she wanted to go to college in the big city is to learn to be more independent and assertive and to make new friends.
- Sakura Shinguji and Texas gal Gemini Sunrise in Sakura Wars.
- The page picture is from the Silly Symphonies short The Country Cousin, featuring a literal country mouse.
- Max from Capitol Critters is is a literal example.
- The Country Mouse And The City Mouse Adventures, a late '90s Edutainment Show focusing on geography and world cultures, featured a literal country mouse named Emily and her cousin, the city mouse Alexander, going around the world having adventures in what looks to be either the late Victorian or The Edwardian Era.
- Lila from Hey Arnold!. Compare her to Rhonda, and you'll know she fits.
- Stinky lacks the closer to Earth qualities but plays the country stereotypes much harder. He even lives in a simply little shack incongruously placed amidst tall brick buildings.
- Korra of The Legend of Korra has this trait highlighted in "Welcome to Republic City," when she travels from her remote home at the South Pole to Republic City, she marvels at the modern urban center while stumbling on to its less savory aspects, like homelessness and organized crime, and also learns that local police don't take kindly to vigilante justice when there's no such thing as Hero Insurance.
- The "city and country mouse" were played by a pair of wolf cousins in Tex Avery's Little Rural Riding Hood.
- My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: In Applejack's cutie mark origin segment, Applejack recalls the time that she left the Apple farm to stay with her aunt and uncle in the big city. Although her aunt and uncle were nice enough people, she soon found herself depressed and constrained by the city lifestyle, and quickly decided to return to farm life.
- Princess Sissi is a plucky farm girl who is chosen to be the bride of Prince Franz, bringing her down-to-earth upbringing to the palace and their politics.
- From Tom and Jerry, Jerry becomes a literal Country Mouse in the big city in the short "Mouse in Manhattan".
- A Real Life Example is Kondo Isami, Commander of The Shinsengumi. While far from uncultured, Kondo is reported to often find himself out of his depth in political matters and the bureaucracy that heading up the capital's police force entailed. He is also described as having a great sense of honor and an inherent and very humble moral superiority.
- Another Real Life example: Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, better known as Pope Pio X.