Quirky Neighbour Country

Many countries big and small have a Quirky Neighbour Country.

It's that country on your border, usually smaller and/or less populous than your own country. They speak the same language as you (albeit in a funny accent), or something that sounds very much like it. They also share a lot of their history and culture with your country; in fact, their country is just like yours, except it's... quirky. You and your countrymen make jokes about them very often; their bizarre laws and practices never cease to amaze you. The citizens of the Quirky Neighbour Country will often take these jokes in good spirit and occasionally crack a few jokes back at your country, which they might view as a Quirky Neighbour Country.


  • Black Books references this a few times between Ireland and the UK, as does The IT Crowd. Both have Irish characters in the main cast who usually blend in but sometimes make jokes about their nationality. E.g. in an episode of the latter, Roy meets a guy who claims to "looove Irish people!" and is rather patronising about it.
  • The New Zealand/Australia relationship is referenced on Flight of the Conchords. New Zealand is painted as a quirky and weird little country, but then again, perhaps that's because the only three New Zealanders shown are Brett, Jermaine and Murray.
  • In Gavin and Stacey the English Shipman family clearly feel this way about the Welsh West family.

  • Scandinavia and the World runs by this. Denmark, Norway and Sweden are this to the rest of the world. Finland and Iceland are this to them.
    • Denmark also has the Netherlands and Faroe Islands (which is actually a region of Denmark).
    • Norway has Svalbard, which is also a region of Norway.
    • Finland has Estonia, which has Latvia and Lithuania. Also Åland, which also is a region of Finland. Although Åland actually sees Finland as one more than Finland sees Åland.
    • Not to mention Scotland, Wales and Ireland to England.
      • England also sees America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand as these.
    • Also North Korea to South Korea, China and Japan.

Real Life
  • Belgium to the Netherlands and France.
  • Canada to the United States. This even has its own subtrope.
    • Not surprisingly, many Canadians also think of the US this way.
    • Whilst many QNCs are smaller than their related country, Canada manages to subvert this by being the second largest country by area. It is significantly less populated, and most Canadians live fairly close the the American border, however
  • The Czech Republic to Poland. And, for that matter, Slovakia to the Czech Republic.
  • Denmark, Norway and Sweden to each other. Finland to all of them.
  • Ireland to the United Kingdom (and within the UK, Scotland and Wales to England).
  • Korea to Japan.
  • New Zealand to Australia.
  • Portugal to Spain.
  • San Marino to Italy.
  • Switzerland and Austria to Germany.
  • Ukraine and Belarus to Russia.
  • Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia for Argentina.
  • Taiwan to China.
  • Malaysia to Indonesia.
  • Given its geographical size, the main regions of the US often come off this way to one another. The US-centric version of this is "the quirky City/state right across the border".
    • Some of these are in Canada/Mexico.
      • Vancouver/Seattle, for example.
    • Others use state boundaries. Some are just quirky, but many times the "nasty" part of a City is in the next State.
      • Gary, Indiana is the "nasty" part of Chicago.
      • East St. Louis, Illinois, is the "nasty" counterpart to St. Louis, Missouri.
      • North Jersey is this (both "nasty" and otherwise—think of Hoboken! Think of Bergen County!) to New York.
      • South Jersey is broadly this to Philadelphia, with Camden serving as the "nasty" bit and the rest of South Jersey being merely quirky. (By the by, New Jersey is, as Benjamin Franklin said, "a barrel tapped at both ends"—you're either the Quirky Neighbor Country to New York or the Quirky Neighbor Country to Philadelphia. Although honestly, South Jerseyans are liable to consider Philadelphia to be the "quirky" neighbor: Philadelphia is something of a hipster mecca these days, while South Jersey is home to "average" All-American suburbia).
    • Vancouver, WA (not the one in Canada) is like this to Portland, OR, considered to be somewhat more conservative and less culturally advanced (and also as of 2014 the place Portlanders go to get pot and gay married, given that both are legal there). People who live in Vancouver but spend a lot of time in Portland are considered to be tax dodgers, given that Washington has a lower income tax while Oregon has no sales tax. The current mayor of Portland, Charlie Hales, got in trouble for doing this in the past.

Alternative Title(s):

Quirky Neighbor Country