National Stereotypes

"In heaven, all the policemen are British, all of the lovers are Italian, all of the chefs are French, all of the cars are German, and the whole thing is run by the Swiss.
In hell, all of the policemen are German, all of the lovers are Swiss, all of the chefs are British, all of the cars are French, and the whole thing is run by the Italians."
— Traditional Joke

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.

Note before editing the sub-pages below:

  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 nuts, 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.


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Alternative Title(s): Acceptable Nationality Targets