The standard professional wrestling
ring introduction consists of four parts: hometown, height, weight, and name. However, there are some characters where one might not want
to give a hometown; after all, if you have a quasi-mystical
, made of iron
loner, it would probably rob him of some of his mystique if he was from Joisey
. The solution? Announce him as being "from Parts Unknown".
Parts Unknown, simply put, is wrestling speak for "we don't know where the hell this guy's from." However, it's taken on a life of its own in wrestling fandom, where it's become popular to depict Parts Unknown as a real place that's home to some very unreal personalities. Possibly as a result of this, most wrestling promoters have changed from using Parts Unknown to using more descriptive, though equally non-specific, hometowns.
This is also often used in video games, specifically fighting games, including Street Fighter
, The King of Fighters
, the Soul
. This is probably due to the fact that nationality can often lead to pre-conceived ideas about how a character should behave and look
. Parts Unknown avoids this situation, especially with regards to certain characters who are not
designed with any specific cultural/nationality
tropes in mind, meaning that it is regularly applied to overtly mysterious, more fantastical characters. It's also regularly applied to final bosses
, like Street Fighter
's M. Bison, who has a design that clearly evokes a Nazi general
, but actually labelling him as being
German could be seen to have unfortunate implications
. It is far better to avoid mention of his nationality altogether.
As an aside, when used too
liberally amongst a series' characters, this arguably becomes unrealistic
. Afterall, most people (especially in a modern setting) do
have a nationality and are aware of where they were born.
- Akeem the African Dream (The One Man Gang) was from "Deepest Darkest Africa".
- Amazing Kong in SHIMMER had a regular hometown (Tokyo, Japan)... but her weight was announced as "Weighing None of Your Damn Business".
- Leva Bates is from the Bates Motel.
- TNA wrestler Black Reign (Dustin Rhodes) is introduced as being from "the deepest darkest corner of his mind", as he has a Split Personality gimmick.
- Short-lived WCW wrestler Blackblood (Billy Jack Haynes under a mask) had "A Little Town in France" as his hometown. Short-lived because he sucked, and also because Jim Ross couldn't resist mocking that line ("A little town in... What is it, Smallville?")
- WrestleCrap's induction of WCW The Great American Bash 1991 (which was so awful it made the audience "WANT FLAIR!", the #1 heel in the company) notes this as being the worst hometown in the history of wrestling, sentences after saying exactly the same thing about Yellow Dog (Brian Pillman in a mask)'s hometown, "the Kennel Club." It's hard to say which is actually more embarrassing.
- Blitzkrieg was introduced as being from "The Cosmos".
- Former ECW/WWE wrestler The Blue Meanie came from Pepperland.
- Former WWE wrestler The Boogeyman is announced as from "The Bottomless Pit".
- Brodus Clay's newest Funkasarus gimmick has him billed from "Planet Funk."
- CHIKARA's Crossbones is from "Jerk Town, NJ."
- Christopher Daniels is also announced as either from "Sin City" or "The City of Angels" (better known as Las Vegas and Los Angeles, respectively).
- SMW's Rick Davis was billed from "P.O. Box 43."
- Ring of Honor's Delirious is from "The Edge of Sanity."
- Damien Demento was from "The Outer Reaches of Your Mind"
- Deuce and Domino are from "The Other Side of the Tracks".
- The Diamond Studd (Scott Hall) was from "The Diamond Mine."
- Dean Douglas (Shane Douglas) was from "The University of Higher Learning."
- Prior to his arrival in ECW in 1993, Tommy Dreamer wrestled in various independent leagues in the Northeast and was billed from Dreamland, USA. After coming to ECW, he relocated to Yonkers, NY, where he is still billed from to this day.
- One of the most infamous examples of Wrestling Doesn't Pay, Duke "the Dumpster" Droese was billed as hailing from "Mt. Trashmore, Florida."
- Glacier was billed in WCW from "Shorinji Temple, Fukuoka, Japan." While Fukuoka, Japan is a real place, there is no Shorinji Temple there.
- CHIKARA's Gran Akuma is from "Afar, PA."
- While working for the Wrestling Society X promotion, Jimmy Jacobs was announced as being from "The Dark Side Of A Broken Heart".
- At other times, he's been billed from "Goof City, USA."
- Kane doesn't even "have" a "hometown" listed for him on WWE's website.
- As Unibomb in SMW, he was billed from "The Land of the Giants."
- As Doomsday in the USWA, he was billed from "The Wastelands."
- LuFisto is from Montreal... Japan
- In the same vein, while Rob Van Dam and Sabu were tag-teaming in ECW, Van Dam was often announced as being from Battle Creek, India; when he wasn't, Sabu was announced from Bombay, Michigan.
- In the most recent set of SHIMMER tapings, Ayako Hamada was announced as being from "Tokyo, Mexico".
- "The Generic Luchador" El Generico is sometimes billed from Tijuana... Canada
- John Cena's stint as Juan Cena (in order so he could work house shows during a kayfabe suspension from WWE programming) has him listed as "West Newbarnia, Mexico".
- Mankind was announced as being from the Boiler Room.
- Beulah McGillicutty was billed from "The Pages of Penthouse Magazine" for her Catfight match with Francine at ECW's August 26, 1995 show. She had posed for the magazine prior to her ECW career, though it's obviously not a "hometown."
- Meng was announced (by Michael Buffer no less) at WCW Uncensored 96 as being from "Some Unknown Part of the Planet." However, at WCW Fall Brawl 95, Buffer announced Meng as a member of Royalty from the South Pacific.
- The Midnight Rider (Dusty Rhodes) was from "Diablo Canyon, CO."
- MsChif is from The Inferno.
- Hack Myers was famously introduced throughout his career as from "The Last House on the Left".
- So is ROH wrestler Sami Callahan.
- Kevin Nash was billed from The Emerald City as part of his Oz gimmick in 1991 WCW. As Steele of the Tag Team the Master Blasters he was billed from the Steel Mines.
- The Nightstalker (Bryan Clarke) was from "Your Nightmares."
- Norman the Lunatic was from "State Hospital."
- Maxx Payne in WCW was billed from "The State of Euphoria."
- The Prototype (John Cena) was originally from "Classified" before he moved to Area 51.
- Nikki Roxx and "Portuguese Princess" Ariel have a total combined weight of Awesome.
- SHIMMER's Courtney Rush is from "Winning-Peg, Manitoba, Canada."
- Tito Santana was from "Tocula, Mexico." He's from Texas but WWE billed him from Mexico, though not from a real place in Mexico.
- Shark Boy was first billed from "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", as was Shark Girl, before he moved to "The Deep Blue Sea."
- Short-lived WWE wrestler The Stalker (Barry Windham wearing camouflage) was billed from "the Environment."
- Austin Starr (Austin Aries) was from "TV Land."
- In his early days in Mid-South/UWF, Sting was billed as being from "Every Man's Nightmare". And his manager, "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert, was from "Every Woman's Dream", and the current independent tag team the Heartbreak Express are billed from there as well.
- At WWA Inception, Devon Storm (WCW's Crowbar) was billed from "The Other Side of Sanity."
- Rachel Summerlyn and Jessica James are from the International House of Paincakes.
- Parts Unknown's most famous resident would have to be former WWE wrestler The Ultimate Warrior.
- CHIKARA's UltraMantis Black has been referred to by several people as "The Mayor Of Parts Unknown".
- WWE wrestler The Undertaker is something of a subversion, as he's always been announced from "Death Valley". While there is an actual town called Death Valley in California, the conspicuous lack of a state has always led fans to believe that this was just a Parts Unknown-style descriptive hometown. At one pre-WrestleMania X-Seven press conference, 'Taker dropped all pretense, asking the crowd "What's up, hometown?" and noting that Death Valley was "just off of loop 610". note However, recently, WWE has aired vignettes featuring The Undertaker which seem to take place in California's Mojave Desert, which would seem to back up the idea that Taker calls the real town of Death Valley home.
- He wasn't always announced as being from "Death Valley". During his "American Bad-Ass" biker gimmick, he was announced as being from Houston.
- The Vampire Warrior/Gangrel and Luna Vachon were from "The Other Side of Darkness."
- Sid Vicious (the wrestler, not the musician) was from "Anywhere He Darn Well Pleases".
- Christina Von Eerie is billed from "Spook City, USA."
- Xavier Woods is billed as being from Angel Grove, California.
- The Yellow Dog (Brian Pillman) was from "The Kennel Club."
- Eric Young has done this in TNA a few times.
- After the breakup of Team Canada in 2006 caused him to become incredibly paranoid, he was billed as coming from "an undisclosed location".
- His Superhero gimmick Super Eric comes from Metropolis, as did Chris Hero. The Skyscrapersnote Tag Team was billed from there in 1989-1990.
- After splitting from Robert Roode, Young was billed as coming from "Freedomland, USA". Now that he's dropped the Super Eric gimmick, he averts this trope: he's billed as being from Nashville.
- Dolph Ziggler bills himself on his Twitter as being from Bikini Bottom, Transylvania.
- CHIKARA's the Colony are from "The Ant Hill."
- ECW's Dudley clan all came from Dudleyville. Bubba Ray and D'Von Dudley kept it for part of their WWE careers, leading to the quote at the top of the page.
- This was personalised for each member of the clan: Big Dick, for example, came from the "Twisted Steel section of Dudleyville".
- The Dungeon of Doom, of course.
- The Midnight Express were from "The Dark Side."
- The Nasty Boys are from "Nastyville," of course.
- The short lived tag team New Breed (Chris Champion and Sean Royal) hailed from "The Future." They claimed that in the year 2002 robots were common and Dusty Rhodes was President of the United States, in case you were wondering whose idea this was.
- The WCW tag team The Patriots (Firebreaker Chip and Todd Champion) were from "WCW Special Forces."
- CHIKARA's The Super Smash Brothers are from "The Mushroom Kingdom."
Examples: Video games
- The Soul series employs this a fair bit, which is quite odd considering the (heightened) real world setting and detailed bios provided for most characters. Examples include Algol, Edgemaster and Zasalamel. Although arguably these three represent characters from very ancient civilizations, with mysterious pasts, so are trickier to categorize.
- It's odder when this is applied to characters like Tira and ZWEI, who were both born within the same time-frame as their series contempories, although ZWEI's design and fighting-style (using a summoned werewolf) is arguably a shift into more of a fantasy-type character, perhaps explaining the need for this trope.
- Viola takes the cake. Her official bio is especially whimsical, listing her birthplace as "a place of roses and lilies" and her blood type as "twisted strings of red and blue", which is in stark contrast to the more factual bios of the rest of the cast.
- The Street Fighter series uses this less often, as it heavily relies on national stereotypes when designing characters. This is usually restricted to boss characters. M. Bison (Vega), Gill, and Seth are good examples.
- Other non-boss examples include the bizarre, enigmatic Q of Street Fighter III 3rd Strike fame, and platinum blonde Kid from the Future Ingrid. Both characters probably justify use of this, with each having a character shtick heavily revolving around a sense of other-wordly mystery.
- The Darkstalkers series has a handful of examples, although most characters avoid this as they are (for the most part) shout outs to global legendary creatures. Examples that play this straight include Donovan, who has a Buddhist priest vibe but who's birthplace is simply listed as "unknown" and B.B. Hood, who's bio at least narrows her birthplace down to somewhere in "Northern Europe".
- Tekken 6 introduces us to Zafina, an exotic beauty who used to be listed as being "Indian" on the official English site. However, she's now listed as of "unknown" origin. Perhaps this was required due to her overall look being a cultural mish-mash; with an Indian fighting style, make-up and skin coloring, elements of American Indian costume design and a storyline that hints at ancient Egyptian origins.
- The King of Fighters is king of this. A large chunk of the characters in the series have "unknown" listed against their birthplaces. 26 out of the 90 (non-powered/cloned) total characters have "unknown" listed under birthplace on the official site. This is most likely because the series contains a blend of fairly conventional, global warriors (Mai, Terry, Billy, Robert, etc.), who are all assigned a nationality, alongside a large selection of far more "colourful" fighters (Ash, Foxy, Kula, Botan, Magaki, Saiki, etc.) who's off-the-wall designs require the use of this.
- In the handheld Pokémon games, Pokémon that are snagged in Orre are stated to come from "a distant land".
- There have been some variants of this in other games. For instance, in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, a Keldeo you can get via event is slated to come from "Lovely Place".
- In recent wrestling games, the player can choose to invoke this. It's possible to play it straight, or to give it a variant, such as "Your Darkest Fears" and "Wherever (S)He Wants".
- Pro Wrestling lists the Amazon's nationality as "? ? ?"
- In the same vein as Street Fighter, this is mostly averted in the similarly stereotype-drenched Punch-Out!! series. Most hail from real countries, although King Hippo and Mr. Dream hail from fictional places. The only ones who fit this trope are Rick & Nick Bruiser, whose home country is listed as "? ? ?"
Examples: Western Animation
- Parodied in an episode of Futurama about Ultimate Robot Fighting
Ring Announcer: "From (and made of) parts unknown, The Clear Cutter!"