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.


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     Useful Notes/Television  

  • 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.
    I'm told my father was particularly proud of the IT department, run by a dynamic go-getter, a genius, and a man from Ireland.
  • 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.
    • Scotland, Wales and Ireland to England.
    • England also sees America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand as these, which is weird considering that they're portrayed as England's own children.
    • 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 invert 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 United States of America (Estados Unidos de America) to Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos (United Mexican States). Both countries have "United States/Estados Unidos" in their names, both are republics, both are governed by a president, both have states, both have a high obesity rate, both have a national identity that override racial and ethnic boundaries, both spell color without a "u," both have eagles as their national animals, and both use a rattlesnake for symbolism (Mexico has the rattlesnake on its national flag and the USA has the rattlesnake on the Gadsen "Donít Tread on me." flag).
  • 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. And then there's Iceland...
  • Ireland to the United Kingdom (and within the UK, Scotland and Wales to England).
  • Israel and Jordan to each other.
    • Also, Lebanon to Israel.
    • Lebanon to Syria, too.
  • Malaysia to Indonesia.
    • Brunei to both of them. It's the only one still ruled by an absolute monarch (others have adopted more democratic governments) and, though all three are Muslim-majority, it's the only one which is explicitly and seriously an Islamic state (the country is ruled by sharia laws).
  • Nepal to India.
  • Portugal to Spain. The fact that Portugal doesn't border any other country doesn't help.
  • France and Italy to each other.
  • Switzerland and Austria to Germany. All three are German-speaking countries.
  • Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia for Argentina.
    • Argentina itself is this to Brazil, alongside the aforementioned three nations and Venezuela. One could also say Brazil is this to the rest of South America besides Chile and Ecuador, the only countries that don't border it.
  • Guyana and Suriname are this to South America as a whole, what with them being more culturally-similar to the Caribbean nations than Latin American ones.
  • 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).
      • Baltimore is this to Washington D.C. The two cities are 40 minutes by car ride from each other (on a good day) and yet the difference is comparable to Gotham City and Metropolis respectively. As much of the D.C. suburbs are in Maryland or Virginia, there's a very localized version of this trope in how all three view the other two as quirky. This is especially pronounced in the metro-area's very insane driving conditions, which is a product of having to navigate three different attitudes as to proper road etiquette.
    • Same thing applies to Australian cities:
      • Tweed Heads, New South Wales is the "nasty" part of Gold Coast, Queensland
      • Wodonga, Victoria is the quirky neighbour of Albury, New South Wales
      • Murray Downs, New South Wales is the quirky neighbour of Swan Hill, Victoria
      • Queanbeyan, New South Wales is this to Canberra
      • Sydney has Wollongong, Melbourne has Geelong, Brisbane has Gold Coast and Perth has Fremantle.
      • Tasmania is like this to the Australian mainland.
    • 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