->''[]...where they just refer to the Russians as "the other one". Did they think that the KGB was like Film/{{Candyman}} or something, where if you mention the Soviet Union five times they would appear?''
-->--'''Website/SFDebris''', discussing this trope's presence in both [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries the original Star Trek]] and classic Series/DoctorWho.

There are films and television shows, made in the [[TheFifties late '50s]] and [[TheSixties early '60s]], that are very reluctant to name the Soviets as the enemy opposing our heroic American protagonists. The setting is clearly the then-contemporary UsefulNotes/ColdWar; the bad guys of the plot clearly are agents of a certain Marxist-Leninist, monolithic, totalitarian world power, but words like Kremlin, Russians, and KGB never seem to come up.

In these cases, the good guys always call them The Other Side, The Enemy, or A Foreign Power. And one can almost hear those capital letters being pronounced, when that other side is referred to.

This trope has been used in films made in other eras as well, showing other world conflicts with other opponents, but it seems more frequently used, and almost comically noticeable when the setting and the years in which the film was made is the Cold War. We imagine this comes about because the film makers hope to sell their work in those very nations they would rather not name. Perhaps it was hoped that not giving a specific enemy would keep the film from dating itself, which if true is remarkable foresight of an otherwise [[TheGreatPoliticsMessUp completely unanticipated series of events]]. But in any case, be prepared for a lot of Mooks and TheDragon who seem topical and familiar (and speak with Slavic accents).

The use of this trope diminished in the 70s and 80s, partly because during detente it became customary to occasionally show Americans and Soviets working together against a common enemy, often [[WesternTerrorists Neo]]-[[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]], [[WarOnTerror Middle Eastern Terrorists]], [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Greedy Industrialists]], [[TheMafia Organized]] [[TheMafiya Crime]] or [[AlienInvasion Alien Invaders]]. It finally entered ForgottenTrope territory with [[TheGreatPoliticsMessUp the dissolution of the Soviet Union]], with subsequent works openly invoking the hammer and sickle in Cold War period pieces. It still has some traction in certain former Soviet nations, such as Hungary and the Baltic states, which ban the display of "totalitarian symbols" of which the hammer & sickle is considered one (other symbols falling under the ban are usually the swastika and the arrow cross).

See also AnonymousRinger and RenegadeRussian. Compare NoSwastikas. WesternTerrorists and TerroristsWithoutACause are a modern version, where one always deals with "a rogue faction", not any real organization.

!!Examples in which the unnamed country is the Soviet Union or another presumably communist state:

[[AC:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/ZeroZeroNineOne'' is an anime produced in modern times but based on a manga from the UsefulNotes/ColdWar era. It constantly refers to the East Bloc and West Bloc without ever naming the Russians (or any country). The manga being unavailable in the US, it's hard to tell if this was a carryover from it or if the series was deliberately being {{Retraux}}.

[[AC:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/BlakeAndMortimer's'' adventure ''The Secret Of The Swordfish'', the enemy is a conveniently fictional Asian country whose national symbol is a red star (this is averted in the original french version, where the country is clearly identified as... '''''Tibet'''''). In ''SOS Meteors'', it's an unnamed superpower in Eastern Europe whose agents have Slavic-sounding names.
* In ''{{Tintin}}'', the country of Borduria, with its mustachioed dictator Kûrvi-Tasch ([[IncrediblyLamePun Pleksy-Gladz]] in the original French), is a fictional Russian satellite state.
** In-universe, the trope is inverted by Bordurian agents in ''The Calculus Affair'', when they demonstrate sound-weapon technology on a model of an unnamed "overseas" enemy city, which is clearly meant to be an {{Expy}} of New York.
* The [[ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse Scrooge McDuck universe]] has the antagonistic nation of Brutopia: filled with Russian bears and anti-capitalism.
* MarvelComics played with this trope. The USSR/Soviet Union were not always mentioned by name but terms like: Reds, Commies, Moscow and Kremlin were common. This let to odd situations. In the first issue of the Fantastic Four, they steal a space shuttle to beat the communists into space, given that no other nation had a space program at the time, it's a clear reference to the Soviet space program. However the Soviets are just mentioned as Communists. In some cases they averted it, ComicBook/IronMan for example was injured in UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar and it's stated to be as such. However a lot of these references were removed as time went on.
** An early issue of ''ComicBook/FantasticFour'' features a scam involving a HumongousMecha that's being run by the "Red Star" mining company - which is only ever stated to be in turn in the employ of a "foreign power".
* Pat Mills intended ''[[ComicBook/{{Savage}} Invasion]]'' to take place in a Britain occupied by the USSR; however, he was forbidden from doing this due to fears of antagonising the Soviet Embassy, and so the USSR became the Volgan Republic, a breakaway Soviet state that later managed to conquer the rest of the USSR and whose symbol is a stylised skull.
* {{Inverted}} in ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd''; since it started in 1977 and featured Stalinist successor states to the USSR using the hammer and sickle in the early 22nd century, modern stories involving the Russian [[MegaCity Mega Cities]] [[ZeerustCanon still show them using the hammer and sickle]], and occasionally reference being Communist.

[[AC:Films -- Animated]]
* Not made during the Cold War, and set much earlier but mentionable: the Creator/DonBluth animated film ''WesternAnimation/{{Anastasia}}'' ignores the politics of the Bolshevik Uprising (merging the February and October Revolutions into one event as well) and gives Rasputin a HistoricalVillainUpgrade to turn him into an {{evil sorcerer}} who sold his soul to the devil for magic so he could kill the Romanovs. Exactly ''one'' fleeting mention is given to "Reds" in an off-hand comment.

[[AC:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The film ''Film/FantasticVoyage'' is an excellent example of this. Contemporary dress, cars, and attitudes set this firmly in the mid-60s, but the opposing nation that has resources enough to have the same miniaturization technology and implied military might to make that possession dangerous as the US is never called anything but "The Other Side."
* The Villains in ''Film/TopGun'' are from an unnamed communist state, which is also referred to only as "The Other Side."
* In the 60s, the ''Film/JamesBond'' franchise replaced SMERSH from [[Literature/JamesBond the novels]] (a real-life Soviet counterespionage agency) with SPECTRE (a made-up international criminal/terrorist organization) to avoid trouble.
* The Hitchcock spy thriller ''Film/NorthByNorthwest'', which is ostensibly about KGB agents trying to kill a non-existent CIA agent, never mentions the "enemy" side by name, and a new fictional government agency name is substituted for the CIA.
* ''Film/InvasionUSA1952'': Not the Chuck Norris vehicle, but an earlier film that featured in ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'', was a particularly odd case. The film portrays an invasion of the United States by obviously Soviet armed forces, aided by communist subversion, and comes across as a direct plea for increased defense spending to combat the RedScare. Nonetheless, the invading force is always "the enemy" and the Soviet Union is never identified by name.
* ''Series/WhyWeFight'': The films overall, and ''The Battle of Russia'' egregiously so, don't mention Communism at all and only ever portray the Soviet Union as a strong and loyal ally. [[EnforcedTrope Enforced]], as telling the exact truth of the USSR's involvement in World War Two prior to June 1941 was a sure way to piss off a very necessary ally, as well as put the inconvenient question of why were were allied with them in the first place into our troops.
* The "enemies of Freedom" in ''Film/ProjectMoonbase'', though we don't hear a single Slavic accent.
* ''Film/MissionToMoscow'', a 1943 American pro-Soviet film about Joseph Davies' tenure as American ambassador to the Soviet Union, hardly mentions Communism at all, instead portraying UsefulNotes/JosephStalin as a noble leader and emphasizing the similarities between the Soviet Union and the United States.

* There are at least one ''Literature/NancyDrew'' book and one ''Literature/TheHardyBoys'' book written in the 1970s that feature sabotage against the US space program where the culprits turn out to be people "in the employ of a foreign power". Which one, exactly, is never said.
* A few Creator/IsaacAsimov short stories are set in a world where the UsefulNotes/ColdWar has gone on for so long that most people don't even remember what the original names of the two power blocs are anymore, and simply referring to the two as "Them" and "Us" instead.

* ''Series/VoyageToTheBottomOfTheSea'''s first season featured spy thriller episodes. In several, obviously Russian officials and agents plot against the USS ''Seaview'' but they are never identified directly, despite tea samovars and faux Red Army uniforms seen in abundance.
* An original ''Series/TwilightZone'' episode, "Two", seems to follow this trope. Elizabeth Montgomery is very Soviet in uniform and appearance and her one line is "Precrassny", Russian for "pretty". Of course, it's clearly an AfterTheEnd AdamAndEvePlot with an explicitly ambiguous TranslationConvention, so perhaps not?
** Possible subversions: Two other original ''Series/TwilightZone'' episodes, "Probe 7, Over And Out" and "Third from the Sun", use this trope, but it turns out at the end that the characters are NOT from or on Earth, respectively. In this case, it's to setup a world we THINK we know, and then hit us with the TwistEnding.
* ''Series/ThePrisoner'' had a few episodes where Number Six or his former superiors at MI6 refer to 'The Other Side'. Of course, with how weird and vague ''The Prisoner'' could be, perhaps the other side ISN'T the Russians.
** And of course Number Six doesn't know ''which side'' actually runs the Village.
* ''Series/TheAvengers'' went this route, often referring to "the other side" instead of "Russians".
* The TV series ''Series/LostInSpace'' had Dr. Smith, who was said to be an agent for The Other Side. During the first season, when he was an actual threat to the Robinsons, his cold, disaffected, menacing nature fit the cold war stereotype of a Soviet agent quite nicely.
** Wow, it is '''[[TheGreatPoliticsMessUp really weird]]''' to think of Smith as some kind of Soviet agent.
*** For that matter it's pretty strange to think of [[DirtyCoward Doctor]] [[ReliableTraitor Smith]] as [[TheLoad an agent of]] [[VillainDecay any kind at all]]
** The series [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture was set in 1997]] so the people behind it assumed [[TheGreatPoliticsMessUp the Cold War would be over]]. At least, that's what they say ''now''...
* The classic ''Series/DoctorWho'' serial ''Warriors of the Deep'' was in a nightmare future where two "massive power blocs" were locked in... well, it was the cold war. But we only ever heard whoever the others were referred to as 'the opposing bloc'. Which was odd, considering two of the characters were undercover agents from their side and went on to refer to themselves as such after the reveal.
** Also happened in the tenth anniversary serial "The Three Doctors," where the Doctor is told that a set of mysterious photographs were shown to the Americans "and the other ones."
* ''Series/MissionImpossible'' occasionally referred to the Iron Curtain but the USSR was never specified as being the enemy: instead, the Bad Guys were merely described as "an unfriendly country" or with a [[{{Ruritania}} fictitious Balkan-sounding name]] (regardless of what country was involved, though, they all seemed to use the same design of grey van with a distinctive rear-door arrangement...)
** In the first few seasons, the Voice on Tape often had to go to ridiculous lengths to avoid naming the country that Phelps (or Briggs) was being sent to (you'd think he'd kind of need to know that, wouldn't he?). In season 4, they started using various fictional country names, usually People's Republics of one sort or another. In season 5 they used a few real settings, including Japan, the only East Asian country ever visited in the original series. The last two seasons were mostly in the US.
** Episodes implicitly set in Germany referred to the "East Zone" and "West Zone."
** Averted in the 1980s revival, which even had a shot of the hammer and sickle in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7olqdc09EBM its opening sequence]].
* In the ''[[Series/BuckRogersInTheTwentyFifthCentury Buck Rogers]]'' episode "The Trial of Buck Rogers", is was revealed that just before Buck left Earth, there was a conspiracy of high-ranking American officers to launch a first strike against The Other Side.
* ''Series/GetSmart'' naturally had KAOS agents depicted as CommieNazis-they evoked this trope and expanded on it when a Chinese KAOS agent gunned down her Slavic compatriots, scornfully telling them that their brand of KAOS was watered-down and decadent, adding "only in ''our'' country is there true KAOS!"
* One episode of ''Series/TheTimeTunnel'' had the time-traveling heroes [[RandomTransportation show up]] in a city with a hostile vibe and a lot of Cyrillic signage. The decided they were in "Southeast Europe." The plot revolved around a scientist from a carefully unnamed foreign power, who was developing a rival Time Tunnel.

* Played straight in Creator/DataEast's ''Pinball/SecretService'' pinball; although the antagonists are Soviet spies who use GratuitousRussian, they are never named as such, and their flag is a solid red rectangle with a yellow star. A few references to "KGB agents" slipped through, however.
* The "Ruiner" table in ''VideoGame/RuinerPinball'' features a UsefulNotes/ColdWar theme, but while the player is identified as the United States, the enemy is never explicitly identified.

[[AC: Radio]]
* The ''AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho: Destiny of the Doctor'' audio drama ''[[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWhoDOTD1HuntersOfEarth Hunters of Earth]]'' is set in 1963, and is all about the Cold War. But Captain Rook and Cedric only ever talk about "the Enemy". Confusingly, they also [[NoSwastikas only refer to the Nazis as "the Enemy"]].
* Played with in the AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho drama ''Thin Ice''. The Doctor makes no secret to the listener that he and Ace have traveled to Moscow in 1968 just prior to the parade for the 50th anniversary of the Russian Revolution [[note]](the parade itself figures in a set-piece chase in one of the episodes)[[/note]], but oddly enough, '''nobody''' anywhere in the drama utters the name Soviet Union, or mentions the Communist Party of same, always using circumlocutions. [[FridgeLogic of course, since this script was originally developed at a time when the USSR was still around, the trope may have been deliberately used to give an '80s feel.]]

* ''The RockyAndBullwinkle Show'' had the villains Fearless Leader, Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale come from the fictional country of Pottsylvania, a parody of a UsefulNotes/ColdWar-era eastern European country (possibly based on East Germany).

* [[http://www.kom-posti.fi/skp_logo.gif The logo of the Finnish Communist Party]], hammer and sickle avoided for historical (Winter War) and political reasons (most Finnish Communists have traditionally held considerable antipathy towards the post-Lenin Soviet Union).
* The flag of UsefulNotes/{{Angola}}, which replaces the hammer and sickle with a machete and a gear. (A machete being a more common agricultural tool in Africa than a sickle, and a cog more representative of modern industry.)
* Aeroflot-Russian Airlines averted this trope, retaining their winged hammer and sickle logo because it's the most recognizable symbol of Russia's airline.
* In UsefulNotes/NorthKorea, the flag of the ruling Korean Workers' Party is a modified version, with a paintbrush added to symbolize the artisans (the hammer and sickle, of course, represent the workers and the farmers respectively).
** North Korean propaganda itself averts this trope, as it explicitly identifies the United States as the enemy.
* The flag of UsefulNotes/EastGermany was another variation, swapping the sickle for a compass.

!!Examples in which the unnamed country is not implied to be communist:

* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jETJt_zbnKk This]] Soviet cartoon is set in "Some Land". "Some Land" includes a place named "Fifth Avenue", GratuitousEnglish writing, and a legislative body called "the Senate". Gee, I wonder what country that's supposed to be. (It's also amusing to note that in 1963, the Soviet perception of American culture was apparently [[TwoDecadesBehind stuck in the 1920s]].)

[[AC:Films -- Live-Action]]
* A post UsefulNotes/ColdWar example (in-universe as well as in RealLife): In ''Film/StarTrekFirstContact'' it is revealed that one of the participants of WorldWarIII (from 2026 to 2053), and apparently as an enemy to the United States, was something called the Eastern Coalition (which in early scripts was "China"-they decided this would be a bad idea, however).
* Swedish propaganda movies during WW2 are a special case. Since Sweden was neutral, ''all'' the countries involved in the actual war were potential enemies. It doesn't help warning people against the godless communists or beastly Huns if the spy or saboteur they actually have a chance of detecting works for the Western allies. Hence, spies, saboteurs etc. are just nefariously ''foreign'', their allegiance is never spelled out, and they are given vaguely Mitteleuropean names (since people from any of the forces involved could be named such).
* In ''Mr. Moto's Last Warning'' (1939), the enemy country was never identified; it ended with an UnReveal.
* In 1940, as Nazi troops marched across Europe and the U.S. remained (officially) neutral, MGM released ''The Mortal Storm''. The movie had an explicitly anti-Nazi message, but MGM tried to mitigate the damage a bit by only once identifying Germany as the setting and referring to the presumably Jewish characters only as "non-Aryans". The Nazi regime was offended anyway and responded by banning all MGM films in Germany.
* The 1938 film ''Blockade'' is set in the then-ongoing UsefulNotes/SpanishCivilWar. It carefully avoids naming either side so as to not specify which side it's taking. Even the uniforms are made to look ambiguous. Being a Communist Party member and later one of the [[UsefulNotes/TheHollywoodBlacklist Hollywood Ten]], screenwriter John Howard Lawson obviously favored the Spanish Republicans, but the studio wouldn't let him make it explicit. Despite this, the film was banned in fascist countries and condemned by the Catholic Church.
* A training film for the [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII OSS]], [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVzR0kdGp5s "Undercover"]] (directed by John Ford) has the characters (two undercover agents [[RightWayWrongWayPair showing the "right" and "wrong" ways to perform said operations]]; and their handlers) using "[[InsistentTerminology Enemy Area]]" to describe the fictional country they have been assigned to (which quite blatantly seems to be Germany).

* Creator/JulesVerne originally intended Captain Nemo to be a deposed Polish prince, fighting a guerrilla war against the Imperial Russians in ''Literature/TwentyThousandLeaguesUnderTheSea'', but his publisher convinced him to change Nemo to an unnamed nationality and his enemy to one flying no flag on their ships. Verne's books sold very well in Russia and his publisher didn't want that to change.
** Canonically, Nemo later became Indian with a hate-on for the English, [[ValuesDissonance ensuring the French audience's sympathy.]]
* A non-Russian example: The vaguely-Asian invading power in ''TheTomorrowSeries'' is never identified, and indeed [[http://www.rsimpson.id.au/books/tomorrow/explore/enemy.html no nation]] could possibly fit all the criteria for the invaders. This was an intentional decision by the author, who wanted to focus on the story and characters and didn't want nationalists to use the books for their own ends.

* The first season of ''[[Series/TwentyFour 24]]'' featured a Serbian mafia/military family called the Drazens as the villains. Although they spoke Serbian on screen, they were often referred to being from the "Balkans" instead of Yugoslavia.
** Jack did at one point refer to Victor Drazen as having been Slobodan Milosevic's "shadow."
** The second season had diplomats and baddies from an unknown Arabic nation, which was only referred to as "a Middle Eastern state" by the characters.
** And the fifth season featured villains who, despite clearly being Russian separatists and having the assassination of the Russian President among their objectives, were referred to being from "Central Asia".

* There was something like that in the former USSR-we had some generic imperialists instead of the US.
** To be more specific, the enemies are greedy imperialists who oppress <insert country> and deny its people free university education and healthcare. The later being illustrated by a dying old grandfather and his beautiful <insert a desperate relative> who is pleading for the authorities to help, but being turned down because she has no money. Oh, and she is probably black, because we all know that greedy imperialists are racists. All the fun times we had!
** The Americans were known for [[NotSoDifferent using a similar tactic]], with a generic [[WarsawPact WP]] invasion coming from a country known as [[BilingualBonus Krasnovia]]/[[RedsWithRockets Krasnova]]/[[IncrediblyLamePun Krasnoya]]