What a stereotypical place!
For people who want to edit this trope. Remember the following:
1. We don't claim that all these types of behaviour are exclusively typical of these nationalities, only that they are very commonly either false or exaggerated perceptions of certain countries. Most of the time these images were created by popular books, comic strips, animated cartoons, films or propaganda, and other times promoted by the country in question. We're listing stereotypes here, which means that we list all these recurring caricatural ideas about other nationalities that can be found regularly in any work of fiction.
2. So no racist or discriminatory quotes claiming: "Hey this stereotype is actually true" or aggressive, offended comments like "Hey, my country or people are nothing like that!" Most countries depict their neighbouring countries as if they are all either lazy, evil, dumb, primitive, ugly or arrogant. Nothing new there and it proves that these stereotypical impressions about other countries are universal, rather than tied to one specific country.
3. We can also miss proud, arrogant, patriotic boasting remarks like "Our country is uniquely very good at this or that", which is usually also very narrow-minded nationalism. Behaviour cannot be restricted to an entire race, culture or country of people. Not all Americans are obese gun freaks
, not all Britons are austere tea lovers
, not all Frenchmen are arrogant cowards
, and not all Asians
are aphorism mumbling martial arts experts
. Each country has claims to have their own specialties, unique drinking culture (beer, wine, tea, coffee,...) and a reputation for being hospitable.
Stereotypes having to do with people of specific nationalities. Some of them are a little bit Truth in Television
(certain others more so), due to having some basis in reality. But remember, nations are not Planets Of Hats
. If anything, the true face of the country in question is often either not as expected or entirely different.
See also Hollywood Atlas
, Funny Foreigner
, and Hollywood Cuisine
, this trope applied to food. For stereotypical names for foreigners, see Stock Foreign Name
Examples of this trope by region:
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- Africa is often depicted as if it's one big country instead of a continent. In fact: there are a lot of examples of fiction even inventing extra African countries. (See Bulungi.)
- The continent itself calls images of Darkest Africa with jungles, savanna, diamond mines, undiscovered civilizations or creatures, elephants, giraffes, okapis, gorillas, chimpanzees, baboons, meerkats, makis, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, lions, leopards, cheetahs, panthers, hyenas, jackals, ostriches, crocodiles, pythons, green and black mambas, tortoises, geckos, chameleons, antelopes, wildebeest, gazelles, water buffaloes, wart hogs, vultures, mosquitoes, flesh eating plants, etc. Usually whenever people visit Africa they almost trip over all these omnipresent animals, which they invariably always encounter at a dangerous moment. Luckily, they can always escape by swinging on suprisingly strong vines.
- Africa is generally assumed to be an entire continent full of black people. If there are whites they are always Great White Hunter or Mighty Whitey: there are no other options. Apparently all the Coloreds, Indians, Asians, and all the rest of them have vanished overnight.
- In addition, it's a common stereotype that all black Africans essentially look like West Africans, with none of the variety in phenotypes found in Europe or Asia. This stereotype is especially common in the US, because it's assumed that all Africans look like African Americans, who are mostly descended from West Africans. As a result, East and Northeast African phenotypes in particular are extremely rare in depictions of black Africans.
- Similarly: people seem to think that Africa is just jungles and savanna. That North Africa has none of these things is usually forgotten.
- Also, it's often thought that most Africans still practice voodoo and/or nature religions, like primitive tribes used to do. In reality Christianity and especially Islam are the largest religions on the continent.
- Out-of-date, racist images of Africa that crop up a lot in old novels particularly, have their roots in colonial times (Ancient Africa). Black Africans are depicted as primitive, childlike, superstitious people who still worship idols, believe in witchcraft and voodoo and live in huts. They defend themselves with spears and shields. White colonists can easily trick them by selling them worthless junk in exchange for valuable items or scare them with modern technology.
- Magical Negro: The tribe's wizard is always a manipulative fraud wearing a huge imposing mask covering his true identity. He will usually be scaring his naïve tribesmen into turning against the Mighty Whitey visiting their town. When The Natives Are Restless some Jungle Drums will start playing.
- Pygmy tribes are usually small, pathetic little dwarfs who are depicted as if they are actually children.
- Black African tribes are often portrayed as if they are cannibals. They will catch the Bold Explorer and carry him along with his arms and legs tied to a pole. After arriving in their village they will put him in a large black cauldron for supper. When they escape they will Chased by Angry Natives.
- Other stereotypical images are the woman with a lip plate in her mouth or a man with a bone sticking through his nose.
- Stereotypical female black African depictions include the bare-breasted woman with large hanging breasts and enormous buttocks (examples of this stereotype are the 19th century sideshow attraction Saartjie Baartman and Robert Crumb's comic strip character Angelfood Mcspade) or the woman who wears multiple rings around her giraffe-like neck. . Note this type of neck ornament is also common in Burma with women from the Kayan tribe, but is generally associated with Africa.
- If they are not hunting wild animals they'll be eating maniok. Their favorite pastime is playing the djembé while everyone dances and jumps around like crazy. When they cross a lake by pirogue they will be singing in unison while paddling.
- Sometimes there actually is a white person living in the African woods. He or she is usually Raised by Wolves, apes or just Going Native. He/she will spent their pastime swinging from a vine, living in a Treehouse of Fun and protecting all animals from the evil poachers. If its a woman she will be a Jungle Princess dressed in a Fur Bikini. As always these white jungle people will be called "savage" despite actually being able to speak enough English to be understandable, wearing enough Loin Cloth to avoid the censors and having enough manners not to repulse the audiences. They will rule over the jungle animals and even the local black tribes, who in comparison will still be more primitive than our Mighty Whitey Nature Hero.
- More modern stereotypical images of black Africans are the starving little child and the mother with multiple starving kids with flies swarming all over them, probably in some sort of refugee camp or hospital. In fact, the words "hunger and drought" have almost become synonymous with Africa.
- All Africans speak Pidgin English in popular fiction or talk in sentences like: "Me very afraid, bwana!"
- To this day Africans are still portrayed as being laidback, not to say "lazy", people. They take their time to do things and prefer sitting down under a palm tree. Especially the men are seen as a Lazy Husband who just sit there will their wives do all the work. Just like the siësta in Southern European countries this behaviour mostly stems from the hot African climate. In Western civilization where "time is money", African laid back attitudes are seen as something to be ashamed of.
- This is also where the idea of "backwards Africa" comes from. Most utilities found in the continent are very primitive and out-of-date. Black Africans are often portrayed as being too stupid or lazy to make something better or more useful out of them. Of course, not all Western countries really bother to provide them with better and more modern stuff anyway.
- A bit Truth in Television is that several African countries are, in fact, not always that aware of modern Western society. The education in many African towns is bad or non-existant and their local governments don't always provide their civilians with accurate and trustworthy knowledge and information about important issues.
- This lack of proper public education also explains one of Africa's largest problems: the spread of various deadly diseases which gave the continent another negative association. It sometimes seems Everything Is Trying to Kill You in Africa: AIDS, Ebola, malaria, yellow fever,...
- Africa has a reputation for brutal and often crazy dictators who oppress and massacre their own citizens by the score. They will ususally be kept in power by Western governments to support their own benefits in the countries. Yet, just like the clichés about Latin America, most of these dictatorships are very short-term and one tyrant will quickly be replaced by another. If an African dictator is directly referenced it's usually Idi Amin (Uganda), Bokassa (Central-Afrika) or Mobutu (Congo/Zaïre).
- All African countries are constantly torn apart by tribal warfare between ill-disciplined thugs wielding machetes and AK-47's and committing genocide. They will exploit young boys into becoming child soldiers and excess in gruesome murder, torture and rape crimes. This trope is usually thought of as applying specifically to sub-Saharan Africa (except for South Africa).
- Africans of any nationality are conspicuously absent from beat 'em up videogames, especially as this medium is usually presented as some sort of tournament involving fighters from "all over the world". This often leads to cries of ignorance and prejudice in fan-forums. Asian, American and European characters make up the lion's share of characters and in the main beat 'em up series, Street Fighter's Elena, a native of Kenya, is one of the few African fighters depicted. Arguably, this might be explained by Hollywood Atlas. Beat 'em ups rely heavily on exploiting well-known National Stereotypes when presenting characters (especially the pioneering Street Fighter series), and for many people, African culture, iconography and the multitude of nationalities therein all blend into one big melange, which Elena, as a Savannah-dwelling, Masaii-inspired Kenyan covers off nicely. It's far easier to design characters from Japan, China, England and Italy etc, because there are such distinct, iconically familiar, universally recognizable national character/appearance traits that can be referenced and parodied for these countries — put simply, most of the game-buying public could not tell the difference between Kenyan and Tanzanian culture.
- To conclude with a more joyful, yet very romanticized idea of Africa: archeologists widely see it as the birth place of mankind. Many prehistoric fossils of the first hominids have been found in Central Africa and indeed many tourists are attracted to Africa's rural atmosphere, almost as if they are coming home. Typical images exploited by safari tourism are the sun rising above the equator, intense heat that makes the horizon appear to vibrate, elephants crossing the savannah and watching lions from the safety of your jeep.
- All African music is either African Chant, Jungle Drums or Afrobeat.
- Mostly many of the same desert clichés and sterotypes found in The Middle East. (See Asia)
- The people of the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya) tend to be lumped together by Eastern Arabs, which is kind of a shame. They are universally stereotyped as The Unintelligible, as their dialect is very hard to understand (foreigners should think of Russian with even more difficult consonants).note They also get a fair amount of "Berber" stereotype mixed in, which is similar to that of Bedouin, only not Arab.
- Best known for being a former French colony.
- Legion of Lost Souls: The French Foreign Legion is another legendary phenomenon associated with the country. Expect people with a Mysterious Past to enlist in said army, usually a Heartbroken Badass, political refugees and/or various rogues and scoundrels and the like. They are always depicted wearing white khepis while standing guard at lonely outposts in the Sahara. In real life, the Legion operates in a variety of environments and conflicts (such as French Indochina) and wears camouflage as needed.
- Ancient Egypt: If Egypt is shown in fiction, usually references are made Ancient Egypt: pyramids, mummies, sphinxes (like the one in Gizeh), ancient tombs, hieroglyphs, obelisks, sarcophaguses, pharaohs (expect references to Cleopatra VII, Cheops, Ramses II, Nefertete, Tutankhamun or Amon), and characters "walking like an Egyptian".
- Pyramid Power: Characters will usually discover an ancient yet undiscovered tomb built in honor of some pharaoh. The entire treasure will be present, but when they try to leave they are threatened by the "Curse of the Mummy". Either a mummy rises from its grave or they all fall ill or die in mysterious circumstances.
- Egyptians are also frequently portrayed as hypnotists.
- The Nile and the Suez Canal might get referenced too.
- In Arabic countries themselves Egyptians are seen as laid-back. They are always cracking very lowbrow, overstated jokes about everything; Pungeon Master also comes into play, as does Boisterous Bruiser (without the alcohol, most of the time). They are often considered Book Dumb, but also quick-witted when it comes to solving practical problems. Nevertheless proud—if sometimes vaguely—of Egypt's ancient heritage, as evidenced by the phrase Masr omm ad-dunya ("Egypt [is] the mother of the world"); this has occasionally given others in the Arab world indigestion. Historically also seen as kind of submissive; this was proven wrong in the most epic way imaginable.
- Egyptian women have a reputation as Belly Dancers; Egyptians kind of brought this one on themselves, as Egyptian movies (the most popular ones in the Arab world) always have one.
- From 1969 tot 2011 the country was most famous for dictator Muammar Gaddafi and support of terrorism. Expect references to Libya from that period to be mostly references to Gaddafi. For instance: a Libyan character will be wearing the same Cool Shades he did.
- Morocco, with its deserts and many bazaars, is used as a template for "Middle Eastern" settings, and almost any Arab country (or generically "Middle Eastern" country) depicted in a live-action movie will almost always be filmed in Morocco. It has a big enough desert to build sets in (far away enough from major cities), while being secular enough that nobody will come and arrest you for having alcohol and girls in Ms. Fanservice outfits. This is even referenced in films like Casablanca and Naked Lunch, where Morocco is depicted as a place where you can enjoy the excitement of participating in illegal activities.
- Only known in the West for genocide and arresting people who give teddy bears Muslim names. It is now divided by the Muslim Sudan and the Christian South Sudan.
- A war-torn country where all sorts of atrocities happen every day.
- Literature lovers know it for being the setting to Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness.
- Today it's best known for being a former Belgian colony, former dictator Seko Seko Mobutu (and his leopard skin hat) and the country Tintin visited in Tintin in the Congo.
- Ethiopia's pretty much only known in the West now for its horrific famines, thanks to that particularly brutal one it suffered through in the 1970s and '80s that led to Live Aid, Band Aid, "Do They Know It's Christmas?", etc. Otherwise it's lumped in with the rest of sub-Saharan Africa in terms of being thought of as a heavily pagan, juju spirit-believing culture, although Orthodox Christianity was introduced in the 4th century, Judaism even earlier, and there is a decently large Muslim population.
- Kenyans are known for being exceptionally fast runners and for the massive abundance of stereotypical African wildlife (Lions, Elephants, and Giraffes, oh my!) that live in the Masai Mara, a nature reserve that crosses the border between Kenya and Tanzania, where it is known as the Serengeti. Oh and, speaking of Masai, every Kenyan who isn't dressed for a marathon at the moment, is dressed in red cloth and carries a spear.
- Nigerians/West Africans in general, are known across Africa as Internet scammers and people involved in Black Magic or Voodoo., whom you better not to mess with.
- Music fans known it solely for being the birth place of Fela Kuti.
- Best known for the 1994 genocide between the Hutu and Tutsi population, which inspired Hotel Rwanda.
- In a constant state of civil war for control over the diamond mines, with rebels hacking peoples limbs off.
- The country is known for having the most territory in East Africa (the states are kind of divided).
- Somalian people are usually portrayed as being very tall and very skinny. In the rest of Africa they are stereotyped as being not real "Africans", nor not looking black enough, under the assumption that they descend from Arabians and other multiracial invaders. In reality most people in Somalia have lived in the Horn for Africa for thousands of years. And surprisingly given their location on a major trade route (between the Middle East and North Africa on one hand and southern Africa, India, and East Asia on the other), they do show surprisingly little genetic admixture◊
- Historically Somalia is known being the first people to domesticate the camel, and spread it all round the Middle East and Africa.
- In more recent times the country is mostly known for the twenty year old civil war that ravaged everything and created an absence of a functioning central government during that time.Somalia is often said to be a real-life example of anarchism. Depending on the writer's political views, this situation will be heavily romanticized or unbelievably grim.
- Somalis are mostly depicted as being Muslims with many children. Four children is a small family to them. So many Somalis have fled the problems in their country and migrated to Europe that they're seen as a problem by some people there.
- Since the 2000s Somalia is seen as an increasingly poor, backwards and primitive country in the West. Women are still forced to undergo inhuman circumcisions at a young age and when you travel by sea pirates will attack your ship.
- On a more positive note: Somalia has also produced many famous and beautiful female models.
- During the 1970s it was most famous for dictator Idi Amin.
- From 1948 until 1994 Apartheid used to be this country's most notorious aspect, see for instance the Spitting Image song I Never Met A Nice South African. Even though that system has been abolished it remains associated with the country.
- Amoral Afrikaner: White upper class South Africans are either "Rooineks" (British white South Africans) or "Afrikaners" (die-hard Nationalists and apartheid supporters). Usually they will wear khaki shirts and live in a big mansion or a hovel, lamenting the good old days when apartheid was still in effect. They are all viciously racist and bluntly call their servants "boys" and all black people "kaffirs". Middle class apparently doesn't exist, even though in reality South Africa is the most middle-class African country. There also seem to exist no white South Africans of anything other than British or Dutch descent in popular culture, despite the fact that there are also a lot of people with Portuguese, Greek, Italian, Jewish and Lebanese ancestry.
- South African TV characters in non-South African programmes are disproportionately white. This has a partial justification because of apartheid — whites are more likely to be able to afford to leave the country. Still, said justification is getting pretty dated by now, given the size of the non-white middle class these days (a recent news story claimed that more black than white folks were emigrating, make of that what you will). White South Africans will always be racist; also, stinking rich. This is probably because of The Law of Conservation of Detail. South Africa is where most white sub-Saharan Africans are from; if writers were looking for a black African character they would pick some other African country.
- In post-Apartheid media, white South African men will almost always be mercenaries. This has a degree of truth to it, as the first PMC, Executive Outcomes, was founded by a former South African special forces officer and most of its personnel came from the apartheid-era military, which downsized significantly after 1994. This is a large part of the Amoral Afrikaner trope.
- South Africans will always speak Afrikaans or speak mangled English where they swallow certain syllables, over-emphasise the rolled "r", or flatten vowel sounds. It's always important to drop the word "wildebeest" at one point.
- In the years when it was still called "Rhodesia" it was best known for being Cecil Rhodes' former colony and as an apartheid state not too different from South Africa.
Middle and South America, aka Latin America
- Generally referred to as Latin America, because so many countries in this continent either speak Spanish, Portuguese or French (French Guyana). As a result, many Hispanic stereotypes about Spain and Portugal will also be used for Latin-Americans: people prefer having siësta's, sing serenades while playing the guitar, women are Spicy Latina and men are latin lovers,... Despite this, not all countries in Middle and South America have a Latin language based native tongue. There are also some Dutch speaking states (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Sint Eustachius, Suriname,...) and English ones (Guyana, Jamaica, The Falklands,...). And, of course, indigenous people also have their own languages.
- Latino Is Brown: All Latin Americans will be portrayed as people with a comparatively dark skin, hair and eyes, usually being markedly mestizo or of indigenous origin, even if they come from countries with a white majority like Argentina or Uruguay.
- Latin Americans, particularly in Spanish speaking countries are stereotyped as servile towards Spain in many aspects, mainly in the norms and rules regarding the Spanish Language and their general attitude towards the Spanish Monarchs; the latter in particular is rather confusing, as the King Juan Carlos is still referred to in the media as "His Majesty" even when the countries gained their independence hundreds of years before.
- Banana Republic: Latin America as a whole is generally associated with short-term military dictatorships who are either Fascist or Communist. Victims of the regime will traditionally be tortured in cellars and executed by fire squad. Or they just... disappear. Guerilleros will be hiding in the jungle to overthrow the government, only to become just as tyrannic afterwards.
- The Cartel: Another negative stereotypical image are drug barons who traffic hard drugs, usually cocain, to other parts of the world. They will murder everyone who gets in their way.
- Yet another negative stereotype is luckily an urban legend so far: the Chupacabra.
- Geographically Latin America is best known for the Andes mountains, which gave us the following clichés: llamas, condors and people playing a pan flute at the side of a mountain.
- Historically the continent is most famous for several native peoples like the Maya, the Aztecs, the Olmecs, the Incas,... These cultures built large temples, pyramids and cities, most famously Macchu Pichu in Perú, though some people would rather give extraterrestrial aliens credit for this. Since they ritually sacrificed many of their own people to the sun and were slaughtered by Spanish-Portugese conquistadores as well there aren't many of these people left.
- Another famous location is the thick and unpenetrable Amazone rain forest, best known as a popular location in adventure stories. Travellers might seek legendary cities of gold, unknown archeological sites, Mayincatec mummies, huge monsters, primitive tribes unaware of modern society or ancestors of the Mayan, Aztec, Olmec, Inca culture who managed to survive in secret after all those centuries. Usually all kinds of Raiders of the Lost Ark booby-traps prevent explorers from taking these long lost treasures along with them. Or the Temple of Doom just collapses. Hollywood Natives might try to kill them as a Human Sacrifice as well. Or they encounter a famous explorer lost for decades whom they presumed was dead, but actually went native. While on expedition they will also inevitably come across several South American jungle clichés. First and foremost: Amazonian Indians. Like all tribal societies in Western popular culture they are depicted as being dumb, primitive and always head-hunting. They use blowguns to fire off poisoned arrows or make shrunken heads out of their victims. Or they just eat them. Other obstacles are dangerous animals like jaguars, pumas, leopards and black panthers leaping from trees. Anacondas and boa constrictors will strangle you, huge bats and mosquitoes suck your blood, poisonous tarantulas the size of dinner plates crawl everywhere and when you fall in the river piranhas or caimans will rip you to shreds. Some less threatening jungle animals might also have a cameo: anteaters, chinchillas, armadillos, howler monkeys, sloths, humming birds, parrots, toucans, flamingos,...
- Other images about Latin America are soccer players and their enthusiastic fans, sexy and catchy dance music and exotic and juicy drinks.
- All novels written in Latin America are written in Magic Realism. All adaptations of those novels have a minimalist and endlessly weepy soundtrack by Philip Glass.
- The sun always shines. Calypso, mento, reggae, dancehall, soca, rhumba and steelband are constantly being played. There's free fruit everywhere. Everyone is drunk and/or high, and may have a pet parrot. Nobody does any work, they just sit on the beach sipping fruity little drinks or coconut milk. At night, the careless or unlucky might see a voodoo ceremony, especially if they are in Haiti (see Pat Robertson after the earthquake there). The only serious activities are theft, drug trafficking and even worse crimes. Expect everyone to have a Jamaican accent, regardless of where they are. Also, the only countries that seem to exist there are Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica (maybe the Bahamas).
- Another association with many of the Caribbean isles are slaves imported from Africa, pirates and strong reminders of still quite recent colonial times.
- Best known for tropical fishes, sharks, marlins, flamingos, coral riffs and mangrove forests.
- In the past it was a pirates' nest. The infamous buccaneer Blackbeard hid himself here.
- Cubans are often depicted as heavy smokers of Havana cigars.
- Within Spanish-speaking countries there's the stereotype that Cubans end all their phrases with the word "Chico", and generally mangle Spanish grammar and/or pronunciation. There is a saying that "the Spanish language was born in Castille and died in Cuba".
- Cubans are often lampooned for their self-given impression that they are more closely related to the Spaniards than the rest of Latin America and don't like to be reminded that there are Tainos and Blacks in their country; truth is, almost everyone and their mothers in Latin America are descendants of the Spanish with varying degrees of generational removal and it's just a fact of life, not particularly noteworthy.
- Inside Cuba people from the province of Pinar Del Rio are seen as somewhat dumb and terrible planners.
- Before 1959 Cuba had a reputation for being a safe haven for maffiosi (famously depicted in The Godfather II). After the Cuban Revolution the world knows it solely for being one of the few Communist countries left in the world, embodied by president Fidel Castro. Under his regime Cuba gained a strong reputation for harboring the best doctors and hospitals in the world. The education system also reached high levels compared to other Third World countries. Yet, despite all that, the country still remains a dictatorship and since the fall of the Soviet Union they lost one of their major financial backers.
- Many people have fled Cuba by boat and went to Florida, where they express firm anti-Castro and anti-communist opinions and vote Republican. Castro-hating Cubans are often cast as villains in JFK conspiracy theories because of his debacles with the American intervention on the island. Expatriates from other countries in the USA tend to see Cubans as extremely loud and entitled freeloaders. It doesn't help that they get green cards faster than any other nationality in an apparent American move to spite Castro.
- One of Cuba's most notorious aspects since Castro took over are the numerous old-timer cars that can be seen everywhere. Due to the American boycot of the country they cannot import newer models from there and thus rely on using and repairing the ones that were left there after the revolution.
- Musically Cuba is best known for producing several catchy band leaders, singers and dancers, such as Pérez Prado, Benny Moré, Celia Cruz and the Buena Vista Social Club.
- One of the most prevalent stereotypes of the Cubans in the United States is associated with the 1980 initiative that Fidel Castro pushed to have most of the inmates in Cuba's jails and mental health facilities, plus their fringe poor to be sent to South Florida in a mass emigration known as the Mariel Boatlift. The Cubans that emigrated were known as the Marielitos, which left a pervasive image of lawlessness among the Cuban population in Florida, prompting the plots of films like Scarface (1983) and TV shows like Miami Vice where Marielitos were portrayed as frequent villains.
- Haitians, aside from the voodoo things, are seen as pity seekers in search of constant support and help. Even though they are considered to be French speakers, there is a great amount of the population that does not speak an ounce of French; it does not help that most of the contact they have with the world is with the Americas, which are largely English, Spanish and Portuguese speakers, having a language barrier by default. In the USA, Haitians are known to be dutiful, yet extremely conflictive workers who pull the Race Card more often than not.
- Before the late 1960s Jamaica was mostly known for being a pirates' hideout. From the 18th and 19th century onward it was world famous for the export of sugar.
- Since the 1950s, 1960s and especially the 1970s the island has become internationally famous for their highly unique musical styles: calypso, bluebeat, mento, ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub, ragga, dancehall,... In popular culture Jamaicans will always be playing steeldrum or listening to Harry Belafonte or Bob Marley on their transistor radio.
- Reggae in particular has popularized the image of Jamaica as a country where everyone is black, wears dreadlocks, smokes marijuana (ganja) and speaks in the the local dialect ("patois") with a deep voice.
- A Jamaican will always use the following words and stock phrases: "I and I", "brethren", "riddims", "Babylon", "Jah live", "Jah rastafari", "Zion", "dread natty dread", "hey mon", "tally me banana", "smoke da herb", "smoke a spliff" smoke ganja, "legalize it, mon", "Jah bless ya mon"... They will refer to any woman as "woman"
- All Jamaicans will be portrayed as being Rastafarians. This despite the fact that Rastafarianism is still nothing more than a cult on Jamaica and not even close to being the largest religion on the island.
- For decades people had the impression that marijuana was legal in Jamaica, while in reality it wasn't. Its use was nevertheless so widespread that people were rarely prosecuted unless they were high (pun not intended) profile. Only recently, in May/June 2014, has it been decriminalized.
- Don't try to start an argument between a Jamaican and a Colombian about who has the best coffee. It doesn't end well.
- Jamaica is notorious for being dirt poor, corrupt and full of crime. Even reggae stars aren't safe from assassinations. Peter Tosh, Don Drummond, King Tubby, Prince Far I, Junior Braithwaite and Carlton Barrett (from Bob Marley & The Wailers),... have all been murdered over the years. Even Bob Marley was targeted, but survived the murder attempt.
- Another negative reputation associated with the island is its homophobia. Many Jamaicans hate or fear "batty boys" (gays) and will resort to violence against them. Homosexuality is still a punishable offense on the island and local musicians even boast about murdering gays in their lyrics.
- All Puertorican women are Main/Jennifer Lopez expies, and thus insanely hot and of Hispanic origin. Puerto Rico is actually as diverse as it can be.
- Generally thought off as a very poor and simple country, and most Americans forget its a territory of the US. Granted, it has a higher poverty rate than any other US state, but it is one of the most prosperous latin nations, and has nearly all of the conveniences of the rest of the US, such as highrises, malls, freeways, a metro, resorts, large universities and lots of suburbia, with San Juan being a larger city than [[Honolulu Hawaii]]. The biggest inconvenience, you can't vote for the US president).
- Puertoricans will often be uncultured peasants (called "jibaros" by locals) and wear the traditional clothing. The men wear very large straw hats (the pava) and long sleeve shirts and carry a machete knife, while the women wear white dresses with a flower on her hair, and do mostly agriculture. Needless to say that these are both very outdated stereotypes nowadays.
- San Juan will always feature it's historic center, with the El Morro fortress being very prominent. The modern city is only shown as exposition, specifically the hotel zone with its beaches. Other mayor cities such as Mayaguez, Ponce, and other cities in Metro San Juan, contrary to what San Juan residents tend to claim (for the former two usually), are large and fully modern, but are barely shown in media outside the island. They are still smaller cities compared to San Juan, but far from rural little towns.
- Mexico is usually reduced to 19th century stereotypes. All men wear large sombreros, colorful ponchos or serapes and have long thick black moustaches. They may be gauchos, Desperados or Banditos riding around on horses who will refer to you as either a "gringo" ("stranger"), "amigo" ("friend") or "señor/señorita" ("sir, "lady"). Every few minutes there's a "revolución" or an execution by firesquad going on. While one dictator is replaced by another tyrant groups of guerrilleros prepare the local defenseless villagers for the next military coup. To round it all off all the gunslingers will have a Mexican Standoff. Much of this imagery is derived from Zorro, Speedy Gonzales and dozens of Western movies.
- Spexico: Some stereotypes about Mexicans are similar to those about Spaniards. They all enjoy singing and dancing, eat foods comprised of beans and hardened corn and peppers too spicy for foreigners to handle, drink tequila and watch bull fights. Most of their time is spent taking a siesta in hammocks, against a wall or even against a cactus, if neccessary. The lazy hispanic stereotype is also in vogue in Mexico.
- Typical Mexican dishes are tamales, tacos, pineapple, avocado, guava, mangos, enchiladas, tabasco, tequila and burritos.
- Masked Luchador: Apart from bull fighting Mexico is also known for a particular type of wrestling, named "Lucha Libre". One wrestler, El Santo, has pratically become a Folk Hero larger than life and has starred in countless local B-movies.
- Mexicans are often shown playing guitar serenades underneath a balcony, while singing and dancing jarabes, corridos or mariachi to the melodies of La Cucaracha and/or The Mexican Hat Dance. Or they engage in piñata smashing.
- Higher Understanding Through Drugs: Another stereotype is that Mexicans will spent the night around a campfire enjoying the hallucinogenic effects of peyote. Often in presence of some Magical Native American, nearby an ancient temple. A Spirit Advisor may appear.
- In the United States Mexicans are mostly seen as illegals who try to sneak over the border and move to the U.S.
- Especially in American media, Mexicans will always be depicted as mestizo, even in some of the more northern areas of Mexico where whites are just as common.
- Mexican characters are common in (beat 'em up) video-games and are prevalently depicted as masked luchadors in all of the main series, likely because Lucha Libre is the nation's most iconic national sport. Examples come in two distinct flavours: There's the stacked, heroic, mysteriously faceless, Friend to All Children type, which includes King from the Tekken series and the Aztec inspired, eagle-masked Tizoc from Fatal Fury - both fight to help fund and support local orphanages. The other type is far closer to real life and almost the exact opposite, being depicted as very short in stature, loud, gobby and Hot-Blooded, with examples including El Fuerte from Street Fighter (who's voiced like a pitched-down Speedy Gonzales), El Stingray from Saturday Night Slam Masters and El Blaze from Virtua Fighter. Angel, from The King of Fighters (whose favourite foods are "tequila and raw cactus slices", according to her offical bio), represents a female Mexican luchadora, albeit without the usual mask.
- All Mexicans either ride donkeys or eat them.
- Every Mexican owns a chihuahua as a pet dog. In Chihuahua, of course!
- Mexico City is the only place that exists in fiction. Acapulco might get a mention and Tijuana, but more as a Wretched Hive, where whorehouses, cheap tequila and donkeys are the main attractions.
- Very prominent in the 1980s, because the Reagan administration tried to back the overthrowing of a socialist government there.
- Nicaragua has a hundred-year-long standing dispute with Colombia for the sovereignty of the San Andres Archipelago (which is incidentally closer to Nicaragua), though it has remained largely diplomatic.
- It has a famous canal.
- Also seen as a sort-of cheap and still majorly untouched beach resort.
- Trinidadian people are often confused with those of other Caribbean countries, when it is a much richer and more modern country.
- Trinis also see Jamaicans as poor, western tourists as patronising (redirecting them to Tobago), and also see Tobagans as rural and backward. Conversely Tobagans see Trinis as stuck up.
- The most enduring Argentinean stereotype is the tango dancer, a popular image since spicy women will be dancing, while brawling, moustached macho men strung their guitars in some ill-lit bar. The most universally famous and acclaimed Argentine musician, Ástor Piazzolla, was a tango composer.
- The stereotypic tango danced in movies is American Ballroom Tango, which has nothing to do with the tango usually danced in the Argentinian "tanguerías" or "milongas". Cringeworthy for Argentinians with even a cursory knowledge of how the real tango is danced.
- Argentina has the most Caucasian civilians of any Latin American country, along with Uruguay. This makes it somewhat less exotic for North Americans and Europeans, who feel more at home; this is also played by the Argentine Bureau of Tourism, which made Buenos Aires the most visited city in Latin America, with heavy contribution of North American and European visitors.
- Argentina's "white" reputation and magnetic attraction for European visitors and immigrants might also explain why Argentina Is Naziland. Since the end of the Second World War, many former Nazis fled to the country. Given that Argentina had its share of Fascist dictators in the past it may not come as a surprise that these war criminals were able to live there without fear of deportation, untill the return of democracy for good, back in the 80's, since then every single one of them ever found has been deported to whatever country wanted them to be judged for the war crimes they committed. Now that most of them are finally dead this stereotype might die out as well.
- Politically and economically, Argentina has suffered the same bad reputation many other Latin-American countries did. It's a never-ending Wretched Hive of dictators (not anymore), corrupt politicians, economic crisis, extreme inflation, streets blocked with picketers and trade union militants.
- Yet, along with other Latin American countries Argentina also has a reputation for producing excellent soccer players, with Alfredo Di Stéfano, Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi as the most iconic examples.
- There's also something unique about Argentine audiences. Their soccer supporters have a special name,hinchas, but whether it be a sport match or a musical concert they will always react with tremendous enthusiasm and great gratitude. They even sing entire songs (not just verses!) in the stadiums and change the lyrics into actual chants fit for the occasion. Even when their team is losing they will keep on singing. Other countries started copying this trend. *
- Megadeth went to say that they always enjoyed playing in Argentina because of the audience reception there, they even recorded a DVD to show it to the rest of their fans, and the world. AC/DC recorded an entire DVD in the River Plate stadium, and Ramones were chased around in the streets of Buenos Aires by obsessive fans. The band even choose the country for their final international concert.
- There's a local proverb that says "Hinchada hay una sola: hinchada de Argentina, las demás no tienen bola".*
- Apart from soccer icons Argentinia also had its fair share of other universally admired, yet controversial heroes, like Che Guevara and Evita Peron.
- Argentine men will be seductive, yet melancholic cynics.
- Argentine women have a reputation for being beautiful spicy women, an image mostly created by famous supermodels like Valeria Mazza (that is actually blond) and Carolina "Pampita" Ardoahín.
- In Latin America Argentines in general have a reputation for being vain, arrogant, sarcastically cynic know-it-alls, who talk way too much. They fancy themselves some kind of European exiles in Latin America, who shouldn't be considered "Latinos" at all.
- This specific reputation is, inside the country and even in near countries as Uruguay and Paraguay, atributted to the "porteños", that is people born and living in the city of Buenos Aires, rather than the whole country. The people from the northern provinces usually are depicted similary to bolivians or paraguayans (depends on the provinces).
- In an interesting inversion, the bad reputation of the "porteños" has made that more than a few uruguayans call "porteños" to all argentinians, even if they don't belong to the port of Buenos Aires.
- In Spain and Latin America Argentines are stereotyped as cunning, treacherous people who enjoy taking advantage from others.
- The most popular Argentine card game, Truco* does not help to get rid of the reputation, as it is the art of the deceiving, the lie and the redoubling of bets.
- Argentinia is often stereotyped for having a hot, tropical climate, while it also harbors glaciers and ski centers.
- Out of all Latin American countries the Argentines have the most civilians of Italian descent: almost 60%! As such, many Italian tropes are applicable, from the food, strong Roman Catholicism * , emphasis on family activities, hammy and melodramatic hand-waving behaviour, crazy driving to the never ending arguments about even the smallest issues.
- Even the Argentine accent sounds similar to Italian accents. The pronunciation and grammar notations are also very distinctive, with the use of "vos" instead of "tú"* , the pronunciation of "y" and "ll" as "sh" (which is closer to the pronunciation of Spain's Andalucía region) and the distinctive conjugation and intonation patterns* . They also use distinctive interjections and modisms, like the word "che"* which are similar to the Verbal Tic "hey".
- Argentines are also infamous for swearing a lot, and in a creative way. In argentinian depictions over the hispanic world, they use the word boludo ("asshole"note ) to satiety, usually althogether with the quintessential "che", resulting in the "che, boludo". * .
- The Drives Like Crazy reputation might not be surprising, seeing that legendary Formula 1 car racing champion Juan Manuel Fangio was an Argentine.
- The only South American country where the founder is immediately memorable: Simon Bolivar.
- A stereotypical Bolivian image is that all women there wear bowler hats and have long black pigtails.
- Many foreigners think Brazilians speak Spanish, while in fact it's the largest Portuguese speaking country in the world! It's also the only Portuguese speaking country in Latin America. In foreign films and TV shows people will always talk with a Spanish accent whenever they impersonate a Brazilian.
- Another common mistake is that The Capital Of Brazil Is Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentinia. An equally large mistake is that people assume Rio de Janeiro is the capital of Brazil, while in reality it's Brasília.
- Whenever Brazil is depicted in foreign fiction all action will always take place in Rio de Janeiro. Expect the favelas, Christ the Redeemer Statue and Copacabana Beach to make a cameo.
- And, oh yes, regardless of what time of year it is: it will always be carnival there!!
- The carnival in Rio also fed Brazil's reputation for late night parties in the streets that never seem to end. The country as a whole has a strong association with catchy and sexy dances, especially the samba, choro, conga, bossa nova, tropicalia and lambada. Some of the most famous South American musicians were Brazilians: Antonio Carlos Jobim, Gilberto Gil, João Gilberto, Ary Barroso, Sergio Mendes,... Carmen Miranda (with her tutti frutti hat) was born in Portugal, but raised in Brazil and closely associated with the country.
- Which also brings us to the idea that every Brazilian woman is a young, sexy, scantily clad Spicy Latina with big busoms and really nice hips/butts. They are all keen to dance and very open to sex.
- The favelas are perhaps the most negative association the country has to offer. These local slums are full with criminals, drug addicts, gang wars, con artists, pick pockets and corrupt police officers. See also the movie City of God.
- Brazil is also famous for soccer, having won The World Cup a record breaking five times. Pelé is the most famous Brazilian soccer player, even iconic in the United States, where the sport isn't popular at all.
- Brazilians are often stereotyped as wisecracking fast-talking always-cheerful guys. Every single Brazilian loves soccer and samba more than anything else.
- In (beat 'em up) videogames, Brazilian characters are prevalent, and generally come in one of two flavours. Firstly, there is the Ambiguously Brown, exuberant, grinning Dance Battler type, a depiction no-doubt deriving from the native Capoeira martial art. Examples include Ricardo Maia (owner of the Pao Pao cafe, no less) and Bob Wilson from Fatal Fury and also Tekken's Eddy Gordo and his unbelievably fanservicey student Christie Monteiro, who evokes the classic Brazilian carnival queen. The other type is the jungle-dwelling, Beast Man from the Amazon, most famously realized with Blanka, the first Brazilian character from the Street Fighter series (who's actually quite well-loved in his native land), as well as Tam Tam & Cham Cham from Samurai Shodown and Rikuo from Darkstalkers, who's a straight-up Creature from the Black Lagoon shout-out.
- In (free) games played online, especially multiplayer shooters, Brazilians are considered notorious for a range of usually negative traits (a range of cheating techniques, farming, lack of skill and/or being a threat to their team, etc. Beyond the stereotypes, there are multiple reasons for their large presence in such games, including prohibitive import taxes on console games and regulations getting in the way of setting up a unique version of the game for them (as is done often in the industry, usually between Europe, Asia, and the Americas.)
- Chile: A country where old people, young people and even kids are always ready to say something sarcastic. Their characters can be stereotypically described as being snobbish, passive-aggressive, pessimistic, quite Holier Than Thou (though this one is becoming discredited ever since The Nineties), and incredibly classist. Their speech patterns also tend to be mocked (even by other Chilean people) since they talk ridiculously fast and pepper their conversations with all the "F bombs" they can put in. But mostly, they are seen by their neighbors as having an incredibly big Inferiority Superiority Complex. Always trying, but almost never quite managing, to equal the achievements of their neighbors' citizens.
- In regards to their neighbors, Chileans are either very Tsundere or totally hate them. (Specially polemic in the case of Peruvians and Bolivians, a bit of a Discredited Trope with Argentines as they tend to be more of Vitriolic Best Buds now... though some Chileans may team-up with Brazilians to make fun of them. And please don't mention the deals with the Falklands, okay?.)
- Within Chile, there are several other stereotypes of their own:
- People from the Far North aka Norte Grande (Arica, Iquique, Antofagasta, Caldera, etc.) are seen as more Peruvian than Chilean. Specially if they're from Arica or Iquique. If not, they live in the desert or regularly go hunting UFO's in the desert.
- People from the Nearest North aka Norte Chico (Coquimbo, La Serena) are stereotyped as lazy bums that live at the beach rather than at home and have a steady diet of fruits and Chilean pisco.
- Valparaíso and Viña people really love to party. They also sneer at tourists and whine because everyone but them Drives Like Crazy. Oh, and they will scream at you if you call crust bread "marraqueta" instead of "pan francés". Valparaíso people also live in the hills, in poor but very colorful wooden houses.
- Santiago people (Santiaguinos) are seen as bitchy, spoiled, smug and specially as self-centered.
- People from Concepción ("Penquistas") are sometimes seen as The Rivals to Santiaguinos. This one comes from the 1800's, when the high-class people from Santiago and Concepción fought for the leadership of the recently decolonized Chile. The rest of the Nearest South is seen as still being made more of countryside than anything else.
- The South of Chile is made of lakes, greenery and, from Coyhaique onwards, covered in snow. People from the Island of Chiloé live all in palafito houses over the sea, and interact with all kinds of local mythical beings on a daily basis.
- People with Mapuche heritage are seen as very Hot-Blooded, proud and stubborn.
- The country is also known for the chili pepper. In reality, Chileans don't mind the spices that much, compared to say, Mexicans.
- Colombia is a druglord haven full of corrupt politicians, leftist guerrillas, and right-wing death squads. Colombian expats in Venezuelan works tend to be depicted as people with Hair-Trigger Temper and a love for the Colombian folk music style Vallenato with the volume amped to max. Thanks to its export of TV soaps, Colombian Bogotanians have earned the stereotype of being simultaneously polite and smug. Also, there's the perception that Colombians are undeservedly happy and cheery, when they should be as miserable as everybody else, or at least as miserable as they are shown on TV.
- There is also the White T-Shirt Protests, or the tendency of Colombian people protesting against the violence of the guerrillas and/or the paramilitary forces to join massive manifestations while wearing white t-shirts.
- Regarding soccer in particular, opponents of the sport often dismiss fans because there is an increasing tendency towards hooliganism since the mid-1990's. Truth in Television also, because derbies between Millonarios, Santa Fe, Atletico Nacional, DIM, Deportivo Cali and America de Cali are all closely guarded by the police and anti-riot forces. There is enforced segregation between the fans of each team or preventing the visiting team's fans from entering the stadium altogether to keep everyone safe; this, of course goes as well as is expected... not.
- Among other Spanish language nations Colombians are known for being uniquely adept at swearing. If a Colombian swears at you, they will do so with such an angry inflection and punch that you'll never forget it. Somehow, rude and taboo words sound even worse when a Colombian uses them; even so, if a Colombian already has a potty mouth, you will definitely notice the difference when he/she is mad at you.
- Inside Colombia itself, there's an impressive amount of stereotypes for each different province, with Colombians themselves being practically the only ones that can keep track of all of them. The mayor stereotypical groups consist of Rolos, Paisas, Vallunos and Costeños. Other groups exist, but the main rivalries between regions come from the four mentioned. The difficulties in land communication between cities have historically made these regions notoriously isolated from one another note . The four groups have grown an intense regionalism exacerbated by the media (which is known to be extremely Bogota-centrist) and more importantly by Soccer rivalries.
- Rolos or Cachacosnote are known to be extremely smug and like to look down on everyone else. They dismiss outsiders as "people from the Provinces" note and pride themselves for having the best Spanish dialect in the world.
- Paisas note are proud to a fault and seem to exalt their region with an air of superiority (Antioquians in particular), which people from other regions tend to take offense to because they make it seem that they do it just to spite everyone else note . They are also known to unsuccessfully dabble in seceding from the rest of the country. Paisas are often dismissed as Montañeros or De La Loma (Mountain People) and there's the perception that they never got past their bucolic nature note .
- Curiously, there is a well known stereotype regarding the women of the Coffee Axis city of Pereira in Risaralda, especially their penchant for plastic surgery and being notoriously easy to approach, to the point of being prostitutes. This stereotype has spawned many popular TV shows like "Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso".
- Model Natalia París also popularized a stereotype of Paisa women being notoriously dim.
- Vallunos note are mostly criticized due to their particular accent, sleazy women and listening to nothing but Salsa all day.
- Costeños note are in a nutshell subjects of every stereotype from the Caribbean; in other words, lazy, good-for-nothing party-animals. They are also lampooned for their butchering of the Spanish language. To a Costeño, everyone else in Colombia is a Cachaco, even when they're not from Bogota.
- Guajiros are included in the Costeños' stereotype, also they are what One Hundred Years of Solitude is all about; this is not a compliment. Where everyone else in the Atlantic coast progressed, Guajira remained stagnant. Also, if a person is from Guajira and he/she has money, that means that they're involved in something shady.
- Cesareños, also included in the Costeño's stereotypes, live, breath, eat, digest, pee and shit Vallenato music. Don't ask for a picture of a Cesareño without his accordion, because such a thing just doesn't exist.
- Although it's a prevalent general stereotype of the Costeños (and an extremely offensive one, for that matter), people from Barranquilla in particular are depicted as Comeburras ("donkey-fuckers"). A stereotype even evoked in the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez.
- The Costeño dancer (male or female) generally will be almost dancing in the nude, with the most frenzy-driven body seizing and jerking you'll ever witness. Other noteworthy groups include the Pastusos, the Boyacos and the Llaneros, among others.
- Pastusos note are the butt of everyone's jokes (even among themselves); their particular accent has a tone that makes them sound somewhat dim, which makes them ideal subjects of mockery. Fortunately, they take the slaps with a full face and do not shy from the jokes.
- Boyacos are the farm people of Colombia note ; no matter what profession one might have, a Boyaco will be first and foremost regarded as a farmer note . Boyacá is a very cold region and local people will unequivocally wear a "Ruana"◊ to fend off the cold. Due to the altitude in Boyacá, the levels of oxygen are very low, causing a very characteristic appearance to Boyacos: there is a popular saying that say that Boyacos are "de caché e hijos de papi... digo, cachetirrojos e hijos de papicultores" note . Also, they're born with a bicycle on their cribs (Truth in Television, since most of the great bicycle racers in Colombia are from Boyacá due to their lung capacity caused also by the low oxygen in Boyacá).
- Llaneros note do nothing all day but dance to the harp, organize blood sports involving cows and chickens, and dabble in witchcraft and blood magic (tied to the blood sports). A number of regions on the plains are under the control of the guerrillas and the paramilitary forces, making them effectively no-man's-lands... not that anyone else in the country remembers that the plains exist!
- Chocoanos live off their dear Atrato River, even though it floods every now and then, taking all of their few possessions. Unlike the Llaneros, everyone knows about the Chocoano's poverty and isolation and just choose to ignore them. Chocoanos are essentially the Haitians of Colombia. To make things worse, more than 90% of Chocoanos are black, adding a touch of racism to the rest of Colombia's attitude towards them.
- People of Los Dos Santanderes are just mad with everyone.
- People from the cities of Cucuta and San Cristobal in Venezuela are interchangeable.
- People from Cauca and Putumayo just might as well not exist at all.
- People from Tolima and Huila do nothing but eat tamales, have beauty pageants and dance Bambuco all day note .
- The Opita peoples of Tolima and Huila are often parodied in television for being notoriously lazy.
- People from the Caribbean islands of San Andres and Providencia are basically Jamaicans. San Andres is the most exotic place a bare-bones Colombian vacation can aspire to. The basic policy of the Colombian government is to ignore the islands; in recent years, a diplomatic crisis has led Nicaragua to claim parts of the seas surrounding the islands, but the islanders are just too stubborn to declare themselves Central Americans... not that they're very far from doing it.
- People of the Amazonian region are mostly seen as stone-age indigenous people. If they are in Leticia (which lies by the Amazon River) people assume that they travel everywhere by canoe.
- Demographically in general, the indigenous people in Colombia suffer a great degree of discrimination from all strata of society. To be called an Indio in Colombia has unfair derogatory overtones, as it's linked to unwarranted propensity for violence and savagery, lack of general manners, poor taste and untidiness. Indigenous communities in Colombia were nowhere as big and developed as the great ancestral empires in Mexico, Central America and Peru, though they left a great cultural watermark for the ages (such as the Tayronas, the Caribs and the Muiscas). However, formerly small indigenous communities like the Nukak-Maku are getting greater recognition and respect regarding the uniqueness of their cultural idiosyncracies (Nukak-Maku have their own distinct language).
- A volcanic archipelago, best known for its rich animal wild life: albatrosses, crabs, sea turtles, iguanas, penguins, flamingos, pelicans, seals, ...
- Historically famous as the location where Charles Darwin developed his evolution theory.
- If Guyana is mentioned at all, people will often mistakenly assume it's Latin American just because it's on the Caribbean coast of South America. In fact, Guyana is the sole English-speaking country in South America, and its border with the Caribbean coast and shared culture with other former British colonies in the Caribbean Sea results in the nation having a Caribbean-based culture.
- Since the Jonestown Massacre in 1978 it's synonymous with religious cults and mass suicides.
Juan Fernández Islands
- A small group of islands, best known as the home of marooned 18th century sailor Alexander Selkirk who lived there for four years. His story inspired Robinson Crusoe and as a tribute one of the islands was actually called "Robinson Crusoe Island" in 1966.
- Paraguay: Everyone is either from Asunción or from the jungle. They do nothing but smuggle goods and steal cars from neighboring countries; also, thanks to Jose Luis Chilavert, they were considered to have Hair-Trigger Temper.
- Also, everyone is bilingual in Spanish and Guarani, and will often speak in the latter language to confuse and troll foreigners.
- Every Paraguayan can play the harp.
- Perú is mostly associated with the Inca culture, Andes and ancient city Macchú Picchú. The only more-or-less modern city to appear in popular culture will be Lima or Cuzco. In popular culture all Peruvians are basically Inca descendents and thus will still worship the Sun and Quetzocoatal. They all know a city of gold hidden somewhere in the jungle or the mountains, but they keep their mouth shut in the presence of foreigners.
- More modern depictions Peruvians will be stereotyped as people who speak in helium-infused squeaky voices while wearing colorful robes and funny bonnets with ear flaps. Llamas, alpacas and vicunas will wander around everywhere, pulling weird antics and spitting in tourists's faces.
- During the mid-1990's, Peruvian television was exported to Colombia due to the rising demand of cable television and private parabolic antennae. As such, Colombians are very well versed in Peruvian media due to the phenomenon they refer to as Perubólica (Peru-bolic). Colombia and Peru share a frontier through the Amazon (which is sparsely populated and not particularly media-savvy), so very few people in Peru are aware of why Colombians are so good at making fun of them...?
- Uruguay tends to be considered just a very small and quiet Argentina, Luxembourg style. They are not thrilled with this. However, they are generally exempt from the negative Argentinean stereotyping, considered polite, open minded, friendly... and really obsessed with mate.
- Uruguayan soccer is known in South America for the perceived tendency for rough playing, which has led their national team to be nicknamed "La Garra Charrúa". Though well versed and world-famous, some players have had considerable trouble for taking it too far. A national team that has to play the Uruguayans has to acknowledge that they are going to leave the pitch really sore, even if they defeat the "Charrúas".
- Venezuela is known for its former president Hugo Chavez and his "Chavistas". Also known for its nationalized oil industry, for having a whole industry dedicated to winning the Miss Universe pageant, and for looooong and melodramaaaaatic Soap Operas.
- Don't ever bring out the topic of arepas if you happen to be talking with a Colombian and a Venezuelan; it doesn't end well.
- Oceania is usually the "overlooked" continent. While other continents are continuously in the news for various reasons Oceania barely makes the headlines overseas. This leads to the impression that it is essentially nothing more than a quiet, peaceful holiday destination.
- It doesn't help that by various definitions, Oceania isn't a "real" continent.*
- Australia and New Zealand are usually the only Oceanic countries foreigners can summarize. The other 12 are rarely ever mentioned in fiction, save for Papua New Guinea (see below).
- Australia and New Zealand claim the other country is having sex with sheep. All we know is that the sheep are sluts.
- Australia and New Zealand may appear to argue a lot but mess with one, you've got two very PO'ed countries to deal with. The ANZACs - it's Australia and New Zealand Army Corps, not one or the other.
- See Land Down Under for the primary page on stereotypes of Australia.
- For starters, you can't talk about Australia before mentioning at least once that Kangaroos Represent Australia. These animals are practically synonymous with the entire country. Thus in popular culture they will often seen jumping around everywhere, even in suburban communities. Needless to say that kangaroos mostly live in the wild.
- Australia may be own the few countries where the animal population is more famous than the citizens. Since they have a very unique fauna: expect these animals to make a cameo appearance whenever the country is depicted. So, watch out for kangaroos and wallabies, koalas, kookaburras, Tasmanian devils, emus, echidnas, dingoes, platypuses, funnel-web spiders, black widow spiders and great white sharks. Jokes about invasive species such as rabbits, cane toads and ostriches are also very popular and unfortunately have been Truth in Television.
- In the early 2010's Australian wildlife became meme-worthy. Australian wildlife is all huge and savage and poisonous and will kill you in a heartbeat. It outnumbers the humans and actively hunts them. While it's true that a variety of deadly creatures do inhabit Australia, most of them live in the outback, in largely untamed wilderness. Roughly 90% of Australia's population lives within 15 miles of the coast, well away from said wildlife. However the funnel-web spider does live in Sydney, and has caused injuries and even death to humans.
- One of the most persistent stereotypical ideas about Australia is that its capital is thought to be Sydney. It's actually Canberra.
- When in Sydney, always make sure that Australia's most famous monument, the Opera House, is in frame. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is also essential.
- Expect references made to the fact that the center of the country is literally and figure of speech deserted. You can travel for miles without meeting a human being. No wonder the car crashes and chases in Mad Max were so easy to make without police interfering. This also makes the country ideal for road movies, like the earlier mentioned "Mad Max", The Adventures Of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, ...
- Some scenes taking place at a beach with surfers, blonde bathing suit wearing babes and sharks making a cameo appearance are not uncommon.
- And, of course, a visit to Ayers Rock is also mandatory.
- Awesome Aussie: Australians are always stereotyped as white, blond, six feet tall, rough, unsophisticated, wildlife experts, bushwackers and obsessive beer drinkers. They wear a khaki shirt, short pants and a large cowboy-style hat with corks hanging from it. Their most priceless possession is a boomerang and/or a large knife. If not trying to catch crocodiles they will be barbecueing, surfing or playing the didgeridoo.
- Stock expressions are "Crikey", "G'day, mate", "Pommie bastard", "That's bonzer, mate", "Crack a tinnie" and "Put another shrimp on the barbie" (despite the term prawn being used for shrimp in Australia).
- Most of these stereotypes are based on images reflected in Crocodile Dundee, Crocodile Hunter, Mad Max and the Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch "Bruces", where where all Australians are named Bruce.
- Australian accents are often imitated badly in popular culture, being a weird Kiwi/Pom cross or something closer to a stereotypical South African accent.
- Australian Aborigines are stereotyped as nomadic tribesman who live off the land. They are generally portrayed as hospitable. In popular culture the men will always have beards and have a nasal bone stuck thru their nose. Also expect them to walk around in tribal dress, while most Aborigines nowadays wear the same casual clothing their fellow white Australians do.
- In the 19th century the United Kingdom sent some of their convicts to Australia to work in forced labor in penal colonies. This has lead to the idea that Australians are all convicts, or have at least inherited the worst aspects of their convict ancestors.
- New Zealanders seem to think of Australians as good-hearted but lazy. Public holidays are serious business.
- An unfortunate sporting stereotype developed in recent years is of Australians as very sore losers who can dish out banter when they're on top, but can't take it when it comes back on them - from a Kiwi or British POV. In context, all three nations share a good deal of banter regarding sporting achievement, and for years Australia always shone in most events that the countries compete in together. This resulted in "pommy/kiwi-bashing", crowing and arrogant chat about the opposition's poor performance. However, as the tide has turned, with England as current holders of The Ashes and an uncharacteristically shocking performance by Aussies at the 2012 Olympics versus both rivals, rather than accepting the banter that they are now on the receiving end of, Aussies stand accused of a highly un-sporting lack of humility and much self-pity.
- Some Australian media at the 2012 Olympics decided to claim New Zealand's medals (like everything else) by lumping them together with Australia's and publishing the count as "Oceania" or "Aus Zealand".
- In (beat em' up) videogames, Australians are mostly depicted as hulking bruisers, with examples including Graig Marduk from Tekken, Raiden/Big Bear from The King of Fighters (complete with Ayer's Rock/Uluru home-stage) and shark-wrestling fisherman Jeffry McWild from Virtua Fighter. Rocker zombie Lord Raptor, of Darkstalkers fame, provides a variation, and is perhaps inspired by home-grown supergroup AC/DC. Then, there's also Saxton Hale...
- Stereotypes within Australia:
- Northern Territorians are troppo.
- Tasmanian is not considered to be part of Australia and all its citizens are inbred.
- Queenslanders are redneck banana-benders.
- South Australians are all gay.
- Adelaide is boring and its citizens eat crows.
- Sydney's the gay capital and/or "the city of brides".
- Perth is 10 years and 3 hours behind Sydney.
- Thanks to Neighbours and Home and Away" Australia has also a reputation for soap operas.
- And thanks to Ozploitation Australian movies are often thought to be explicitly violent action movies sent in deserted Australian backlands with lots of Gratuitous Nudity.
- New Zealanders are usually portrayed as being Maori. Usually the Maori sticks out his tongue or makes ugly faces.
- White New Zealanders are rural farmers, rugby players, horse racers or workmen who have a gift for solving every kind of problem. Supposedly a Kiwi man can do anything with Number 8 wire.
- Characters who visit the country will always encounter New Zealand's national birds, the kiwi. The animal has become a national symbol in New Zealand and New Zealanders are often nicknamed "kiwis" as a result. This is despite the fact that many New Zealanders have never seen a kiwi, especially not in the wild—they are both very shy and very rare.
- New Zealanders are often depicted (mostly in either New Zealand or other Commonwealth nations) as obsessive world travelers and backpackers, getting absolutely anywhere armed with backpack and travel guide. This comes from the New Zealandian trend of going abroad for a year or two after finishing university. They're also champion mountain climbers/trampers (aka hikers).
- They are supposedly interested solely in the three Rs: Rugby, Racing, and beeR. Rugby and beer are still popular, but racing has declined in popularity.
- New Zealand women are depicted as being more independent and somewhat ugly (epitomized in former Prime Minister Helen Clark). New Zealand was the first nation to permanently give women the vote, and at one point all high-level government positions were filled by women.
- Very few people will recognise a New Zealander unless told; some jokes will probably be made about the bizarre-sounding (to foreigners) accent, including pronouncing short E's (as in dress) as short I's (as in kit) and short I's as schwas (the A in comma), and attempts at guessing their background will vary from British to Australian.
- Invariably, a joke will be made about the number of sheep in the country being greater than the number of people. Sheep in New Zealand outnumber humans by seven-to-one.note
- Their alleged fondness for sheep tends to be the most common point of mockery.
- More recently, New Zealand has become famous through its association with the The Lord of the Rings movie, making people think of it as being one big film set.
- Foreigners also think New Zealand has a sizable population of 3ft 6in (1.07 cm) tall people. This is partially true, but New Zealanders call them five-year-olds.
- Due to their performance in various 20th and 21st century wars (especially WWI and Vietnam), ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand forces) are typically depicted as badass soldiers.
- Within New Zealand:
- Aucklanders see the rest of New Zealand as rural, unsophisticated, and backwards. Meanwhile, the rest of New Zealand sees Aucklanders are brash, arrogant, latte-sipping people, living in houses with million-dollar price tags.
- Dunedin is seen as full of poor students (who are always partying and "getting on the piss") and Scots.
- Wellington is thought to be populated by hipsters. Not to mention that the city is constantly in the grip of a gale north-westerly.
- Cantabrians are stereotyped as conservative - religious (at least compared to the rest of the country) and slightly racist. They take rugby seriously, even by New Zealand standards. They also earned the status of Iron Woobie after the Christchurch earthquakes.
- When Aucklanders aren't the butt of the joke, Hamiltonians fill the role as residents of a (supposedly) hopelessly boring city where nothing exciting happens, except maybe outbreaks of STDs.
Papua New Guinea
- Despite being one of the most heterogenous nations in the world with hundreds of ethnic groups present in the country most people see it as a country full of black Papuans living in tribes. They all wear grass skirts, feathers and leaves and rejoice in cannibalism. Another pastime is body painting and/or tattooing.
- The entire country consists of nothing more than a bunch of volcanoes, coral reefs, beaches and unpenetrable tropical rainforests.
- A negative association with Papua New Guinea is its sexual violence towards women and children. (Gang) rape and sexual abuse of minors are rampant.
- Foreigners will often confuse it with New Guinea, which is part of Asia.
- A bunch of tropical islands full with primitive tribal communities who are a mix of Maoris and Papua stereotypes. Palm trees are present with coconuts falling on your head. Tattoos are popular. All women have long black hair and wear a flower in it. Local people will be dancing Hula and Luaus. Despite being a subregion of Oceania many of the individual isles are (former) colonies, part of other continents in Asia, South America, North America or Europe.
- Some isles you might have heard from: Fiji, Tonga, French Polynesia, Samoa, Tahiti, the Solomon Isles, the Cook Isles and the Easter Island. Apart from the Easter Island, best known for its huge Moai statues, most people wouldn't be able to name one specifically unique thing about these isles.
- Mostly associated with tranquility and a trouble free atmosphere. Everyone who lives there enjoys living a simple life, close to nature, goes swimming or sailing by pirogue in the ocean and enjoys the fact that the world doesn't seem bigger than the isle itself. Yet it's not always that peaceful: hurricanes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and earth quakes are not uncommon problems. Also, the atols are a frequent target for nuclear tests.
- Apart from that it's best known for famous Americans and Europeans who paid a visit to the region or lived there for several years: explorers (Jacob Roggeveen, James Cook and Thor Heyerdahl), anthropologists (Margaret Mead) and cultural icons (Paul Gauguin, Jacques Brel, Marlon Brando,...).
- Best known for harboring a lot of penguins. Other polar animals like orcas, whales, colossal squids, albatrosses and seals live there too. Mind you, there are no Eskimos or polar bears here.
- The only continent that is officially a nature resort. It's basically nothing more than ice with here and there a bit of tundra vegetation. The climate is extremely harsh. The coldest temperature on Earth has been recorded here. There are also heavy winds, especially along the coastlines.
- This also explains why the country lacks an indigenous population. No humans live there, except for scientists in polar stations who do research. And even they only stay there for a few months at the time, before being replaced or alternated by other colleagues. It's almost a punishment to be there (Reassigned to Antarctica).
- The continent is perhaps most infamous for the failed expedition of Robert Falcon Scott, who tried to become the first man reaching the South Pole, but was beaten by Roald Amundsen. As Scott tried to return he and his entire crew died along the way. See also the film Scott Of The Antarctic (not to be confused with the similarly titled Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch, by the way.)
- Also known for showing the Aurora Australis ("southern light") in the sky.
- Since the 1980s it is also infamous for the hole in the ozone layer.
- In popular culture Mysterious Antarctica is often used for harboring unknown viruses (Who Goes There?, At the Mountains of Madness), civilizations (Green Antarctica) and/or giant monsters under the ice (Godzilla in Godzilla Final Wars, Gorath, The Thing (1982)'', ...)