Fez: That Tomas is shady. But have you noticed he never says what country he's from?A character is obviously "not from around here", but where they actually are from is kept a mystery. They don't even name a No Communities Were Harmed pretend country like Qurac or Bulungi. It's possible that it's All There in the Manual, but you won't get any hints in the show itself. Their name doesn't give any hints, it just Sounds Foreign, and their accent doesn't sound like that of any real country. They're likely to talk about The Old Country a lot without ever telling you what it is. Can be played for drama to hint at a character having a Mysterious Past, but more common as a way to create the ultimate Funny Foreigner—you can use all the best stereotypes without offending anyone! Of course, if a home country is ever revealed or deduced, all of this becomes Misaimed Stereotyping and will probably continue to happen because of how it's still funny. Other characters may have their own assumptions, but these will be met by conflicting evidence, disagreement from others and offended denials by the foreigner himself ("Hungarian!? The Hungarians are our mortal enemies!"). The author, if pressed, will probably respond with a Shrug of God. A popular variant in the UK is the "Eurotrash" character, someone whose origin can be loosely classed as Central/Western Europe but no narrower than that, speaking fluent English with an accent that hopscotches between Swedish, French, German, Italian… Their reticence to talk about where they come from may be an early hint that they're a Fauxreigner. Compare Ambiguously Brown and Undisclosed Native, which can overlap with this trope. Contrast But Not Too Foreign. See also Where the Hell Is Springfield?, for when it's the setting of the show that's ambiguously located. The real life version as applied to versatile actors is Plays Great Ethnics.
Hyde: [beat] What country are you from?
Hyde: [beat] What country are you from?
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- Lampshaded with the GEICO Gecko, a tropical lizard with a Cockney accent — one ad centers on people asking where he's from, and it deliberately cuts off before he answers. To add to the confusion he was originally voiced by Kelsey Grammer in a very twee Northeastern American accent.
- The UK mascot of the "Euromillions" European lottery, absurdly wealthy jet-setting millionaire "Hector Riva".
Anime & Manga
- Trowa Barton in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. Of the members of his Multinational Team, he's the only one without a listed ethnicity. The fandom presumes he's either Latino or European, but even that is pretty broad. The name doesn't indicate anything, as he was born without one (or at least doesn't know his real name) and assumed the name of "Trowa Barton" from someone else.
- Kaere/Kaede Kimura from Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei went on an exchange program overseas and then back to Japan. To which country is anyone's guess. At first it seemed it was to America, until she started talking about some... unusual customs in whichever country it was.
- Yotsuba&! has only ever referred to her birthplace as "an island to the left". Nobody has a clue what that means, and her appearance gives no hint.
- The DWMA in Soul Eater has students and staff from all over the world, but the series' cast is pretty much either explicitly Japanese (Black Star, Tsubaki, Mifune, Azusa, Maka's mother) or potentially anything but Japanese. The Thompson Sister are American and two meister/weapon pairs (one of which is a Death Scythe) are Russian, but you can't really nail anyone else to a region more specific than a continent. Their names, mannerisms, and faces don't really give many hints. Witches especially seem to be ethnically ambiguous in-universe and supplant the culture of their birth nation with that of their Witch Species: one conversation in Soul Eater Not! has people assuming Kim is from everywhere from Korea to Spain.
- Death Note: The Wammy's kids. L is later said to be a mix of Japanese, English, Russian, and either Italian or French. Mello's real name, Mihael Keehl, suggests a mix of Croatian and German although this is not confirmed. Matt's real name, Mail Jeevas, is quite a bit harder to pin down in terms of an ethnic background or a country of origin. Near's ethnic background is also unconfirmed. (The Light Novel L: change the WorLd does name a Thai boy as Near, but he does not appear to be related in any way to the Near from the series proper.) Beyond Birthday is a self-chosen nickname, and Rue Ryuuzaki is just an alias.note
- During Admiral Awesome's introductory scene in Twillight Sparkle's awesome adventure, one of his enemies is identified as speaking in a "funny foreign accent".
- Serge in the Beverly Hills Cop franchise. What the heck was that accent supposed to be?
- Janosz Poha in Ghostbusters II spoke with a non-specific (Eastern European?) foreign accent. When asked where he's "from," he admits only to living in "zee upper-vest side" of Manhattan.
- Raoul Silva in Skyfall. Played by a Spanish actor who applies English "received pronunciation" vowels over his own accent, using a Portuguese name. His real name, Thiago Rodriguez, doesn't narrow the field any more.
- Adrian Veidt in the film version of Watchmen, though he successfully hides it in public. This technically applies to the comic version as well, given a vague reference to "the year [his] parents arrived in America", though in that one he has no stated accent and never presents as anything but wholesomely all-American.
- The Warrior's Way: Yang's country of origin is never clear and seems to be a general mish-mash of Asian cultures.
- Nazo in Big Daddy. All we ever learn about him is that he's illegal, semi-literate, and is fond of "lamb and tuna fish" (yes, together). He's played by the half-Jewish, half-Filipino Rob Schneider.
- The villains in The Dark Knight Rises are connected to some vaguely Middle Eastern country, but their ultimate origins are deliberately left a mystery.
- In The Room, Johnny has some sort of foreign accent and makes a single reference to arriving in the country years back, but never reveals where he's from. The actor, Tommy Wiseau, is using his normal accent, and he refuses to reveal his nation of origin.
He's probably from Poland.
- Goran from Damned. Madison describes him as having thick, dark hair and a Transylvanian accent, but admits that she does not know where he's from. To her Horrible Hollywood parents who adopted him as a publicity stunt, it probably didn't matter.
- Ax in Animorphs comes off as this in-universe in his human morph. As it contains DNA from four different people (two of them white, one Latino and one African-American), and he introduced himself as being from various countries, culminating in Canada ("I am from Canada. I am Canadese.")
- The Doctor Who Expanded Universe novel Harvest of Time says the Delgado incarnation of the Master "looked foreign, but his accent was impeccably British", without explaining how someone can just look "foreign". Of course, he's actually really not from around here.
- Fez from That '70s Show is from some ambiguous foreign country (probably from somewhere in South or Central America). His real name isn't even available as a clue to his origins. His nickname is actually a (quasi-)acronym, short for "Foreign Exchange Student."
- The "Channel 9" broadcasters on The Fast Show were vaguely Mediterranean, but their language was a mixture of pure gibberish and British cultural references. Wherever country they were from, all we know is that the weather is consistently "scorchio".
- In Game of Thrones, Tyrion asks what kind of accent Shae (played by German actress Sibel Kekilli) has, and she simply replies, "Foreign." Cersei suspects she's from the Free City of Lorath, but Shae doesn't directly confirm or deny this. (The fact that a different character with a German accent claims to be from Lorath does add some credibility to Cersei's deduction, however.)
- Andy Kaufman's "Foreign Man" was like this originally. Then he became a regular on Taxi and got a name and backstory. He was from "Caspiar," an island in the Caspian Sea. It sunk.
- Eric Kleig and Kaftan in the Doctor Who story "Tomb of the Cybermen". Non-specific accents, various ambiguous foreign cultural signifiers, a touch of Brownface and general shiftiness.
- In one episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Dennis decides he needs to meet some Europeans to improve his sex life, because Europeans Are Kinky. He meets a guy named Jan with a vaguely German/Dutch accent who is only ever described, by himself or others, as "European".
- Ishboo was a recurring foreign exchange student on All That with an abundance of bizarre cultural traditions that he'd insist others join in. Whenever someone asked where he was from, he'd brush off the question. It was sometimes implied that he wasn't a foreigner, and was just messing with everyone.
- The host characters of Viva Variety were originally supposed to be generically European; however, most viewers perceived Mr. and the former Mrs. Laupin to be French, and eventually it was implied that they were. Johnny Bluejeans' origins were left vague. It's also suggested at other times that they hailed from somewhere on the eastern side of the Berlin Wall, such as Mr. Laupin's comment on a crappy "Beach Blanket" film he and Agatha starred in:
To celebrate our success, we used the money from the film to buy some toilet paper and a cabbage... Good livin'.
- One of the Danger 5 is Pierre, from an unspecified European country.
- Aldolpho from The Drowsy Chaperone, who has an accent, but not a specific one.
- Dr. Nick Riviera in The Simpsons. He also has a case of What the Hell Is That Accent?. Word of God note states that his design is based on Gabor Csupo while his accent is a bad imitation of Desi Arnaz. "Vieira" is also a fairly common ethnic Portuguese name, while "Rivera" is common in Spanish.
- Rolf in Ed, Edd n Eddy. Wherever he's from (let's call it "Fictitioustan"), it's apparently a cultural mishmash of Western and Eastern European, with a little Eurasian and a sprinkle of Romani on top.
- Family Guy made a Cutaway Gag about two guys who don't really have much of an accent, but speak in a way that you can tell that they're not from the US. They've become occasional Recurring Characters
- Parodied in the Futurama episode "Raging Bender" with the Foreign Wrestling Heel bit character, whose stage name is simply "The Foreigner".
The Foreigner: I'm not from here! I have my own customs! Look at my CRAAAAAAZY passport!