Genre Refugee
These Cartoon Creatures have found a land of High Fantasy. They don't exactly fit, do they?

A Genre Refugee is a Stock Character from some genre who appears in a story that is in no other way part of that genre. The character is probably Wrong Genre Savvy, or may be the cause of wrong genre savviness in others. Since genres often have different tones, the character may be a Knight of Cerebus or the inverse.

See also Fish out of Water.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • The superhero genre is an eclectic mix of various genres like science-fiction, detective fiction, mythology etc., but there are some characters that stick out. In the Marvel Universe for instance, heroes may encounter:
    • Patsy Walker, the heroine of a girl comedy series from the 1950s and 1960s, who eventually became the superheroine Hellcat;
    • Millie the Model, the heroine of a girl comedy series that last from the 1950s to the 1970s, who never became a superhero like Patsy;
    • Nick Fury, a superspy in the mold of James Bond and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., who is also one of the few surviving characters from Marvel's long-defunct war comics;
    • Characters from Marvel's take on classic horror stories like Dracula and the related cast (Blade, Lilith, the Harkers);
    • The Punisher, expy of Mack Bolan, the main character from the Long-Running Book Series The Executioner, who at the outset was so out of tune with the rest of the Marvel Universe that he appeared primarily as an antagonist to people like Spider-Man before coming into his own during The Dark Age of Comic Books;
    • Shang Chi, Master of Kung Fu, a character created to cash in on the success of the martial arts films of the 1970s who also happens to be related to old Yellow Peril villain Fu Manchu; and
    • Howard, a walking, talking anthropomorphic duck "Trapped in a World He Never Made".
  • Bone features three Cartoon Creatures (think along the lines as Mickey Mouse and his friends) stumbling into a High Fantasy story.

    Films — Animated 
  • Oogie-Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas. The other spooks are frightening and with a bit of a skewed morality code, but are ultimately good natured creatures that scare folks for fun. Enter Oogie-Boogie, the one spook who is genuinely malicious and evil-natured, who even the other spooks seem to dislike. According to a suplimentary material he's also this in a completely literal sense, being a refugee from a different bug-themed holiday that's no longer celebrated.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The cowboy in The Big Lebowski. You could also make the argument that the Dude is a Stoner Flick side character who wandered into a Film Noir plot. Then again, half of the metaplot of the movie is about "just some guy from L.A." gets wrangled into the plot of a movie.
    • An argument can be made that all of the characters seem to have stumbled into this movie from different ones and consequently don't seem to be quite sure of exactly what kind of movie they're in. In addition to the Stranger's confusion over whether this is a western or not:
      • The Dude's walked right out of a stoner comedy or a 1960s New Hollywood-style counterculture flick.
      • Walter acts like he's in a Vietnam drama that chronicles the veteran's harrowing struggle to reacclimatize back into civilian society after everything he's seen and done.
      • The Big Lebowksi, Maude, Jackie Treehorn and Da Fino seem to think and act like they're playing a Film Noir straight (and even manage to convince Walter of this for a time).
      • The nihilists believe they're in a quirky-but-dark Quentin Tarantino-inspired crime thriller about a gang of eccentric Villain Protagonists, and that they're the protagonists in question.
      • From what we see, Bunny apparently thinks she's in a porn movie.
      • The Jesus is practically Opposing Sports Team personified.
      • Donny is just an ordinary guy who thinks he's in a slightly eccentric bowling team but has an otherwise normal life. He's probably the most wrong out of all of them.
  • Tommy Frigo in Adventureland has wandered in from a raunchy teen movie.
  • Steve the Pirate in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.
  • The James Bond films Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun feature Sheriff J.W. Pepper, who feels like he wandered in from a Burt Reynolds comedy.
  • On that note, the bumbling comic relief cops from The Last House on the Left, who clearly belong in a comedy rather than a horror film.

  • Quincey P. Morris from Dracula. Nothing like the presence of an American cowboy in a Gothic Horror story set in Britain to make you go "Say again?"

    Live-Action TV 


    Video Games 
  • In any other game, Bang Shishigami might have been The Hero (and Dogged Nice Guy to Litchi). In BlazBlue he's treated with no respect, with his only canon "victory" to date being using his Super Mode to flee from Terumi note .
  • Most of the cast of Final Fantasy VII are traditional JRPG cast members, although fairly original and dysfunctional takes on each archetype - with the exception of Vincent Valentine, a walking homage to horror films. He's encountered in a coffin in the basement of a stereotypical Hammer Horror-style mansion, he has a Lost Lenore (Lucretia), his rival is a Mad Scientist, and he's able to transform into four monsters, each based on a different horror genre (Galian Beast is dark fantasy, Death Gigas is a gothic Frankenstein's Monster, Hellmasker is a Slasher Movie villain and Chaos is a Cosmic Horror character). In earlier drafts he was supposed to be a Film Noir-style detective, and following that, an Expy of Agent Mulder from The X-Files, and the elements of those which remain in his eventual character make him stand out as even odder in the cast.

    Western Animation 
  • An episode of Johnny Bravo involving all sorts of Halloween creatures also has a random gnome (of the lawn variety) mingling with them.
  • The recurring Creepy Old Guy from South Park acts like the Mr. Exposition from a Stephen King-esque macabre story.
    • Many episodes were basically "drag the boys into a (insert movie genre) movie and make the characters from it as cliché as possible". Roland Emmerich-esque Disaster Movies are a frequent template.