The Capital Of Brazil Is Buenos Aires
Bienvenidos a Buenos Aires... Wait, where are we?
...when it's not Rio de Janeiro.
Some country somewhere in Latin Land
; the spoken language is Spanish, like everywhere in Latin Land. It is composed by only one state (which is overrun by the Amazon forest) called São Paulo, whose capital is Rio de Janeiro, but it is also called Buenos Aires. Every Brazilian woman is stunningly beautiful, and has a beautiful bunda
(that's Spanish for "arse", right?). By the way, whenever you're in a Brazilian city, it'll be a favela
(what Brazilian people call shantytowns), which is a place that makes the industrial era slums look like bright Utopias
; there are monkeys in the city streets
, and large cats, and alligators ... and the occasional anaconda. The state has no military whatsoever, or schools
; civilization is at a never-ending war against the natives. Finally, everyone is junkyard poor.
Whenever you see a Brazilian (or really, any South American) in fiction, expect him to look like a stereotypical Mexican or Latino. Also, whenever The Hero
goes to Brazil for whatever reason it will be during Carnaval. Always.note
Well, it would be easier to just make a list of what is wrong with Brazil on fiction:
|In TV Land ||In Real Life |
|Animals roam free in the cities. ||You're as likely to find a monkey in São Paulo as you are to find a deer in New York City. |
|The Amazonian rain forest spans the whole country and it is the only kind of vegetation seen. ||Brazil has one of the most diverse climates in the world, ranging from rain forests to swamps, deserts, temperate fields and savannahs. It's a lot more like the good ol' US of A than most people think, except the US mainland lacks tropical rainforest, and Brazil doesn't have anything most people would recognize as mountains or tundra. |
|The women wear elaborate dresses and hats with fruit or plumes of feathers on them, à la Carmen Miranda. ||The tutti-frutti hat is a Hollywood fabrication,note and the extravagant feathered headdresses are only worn on the annual Carnaval street parades. |
|Everyone lives in abject poverty, and every urban location is a favela. ||One of the main social problems in the country is precisely the huge income difference between rich and poor people, with the richest in a state similar to Belgium's upper classes and the poorest looking more like India's or even Africa's lower classes — between them there's a whole range of middle-class citizens. |
|All women and most men are insanely beautiful (and slutty, if the fiction work in question is particularly fond of stereotypes). The Latino stereotype pervades, down to the cultural references. Black people are virtually unseen. ||Black people are rarer than in the US, but various white/black mixes are very common. Brazil has a massively mixed populationnote with immigrants from all over Europe and Asia. People of all levels of physical attractiveness exist - from gorgeous to hideous. |
|Geography, as in most Hollywood Atlas tropes, is completely messed up, usually overlapping the Iguazu Falls, the Amazon Forest and Rio de Janeiro in the same place. ||These landmarks are thousands of miles apart. You can't "hop" from Rio to the Amazon River any more than you can "hop" from Miami to the Grand Canyon. |
|Brazilians speak Spanish. Their English is spoken with a Mexican accent. ||The official language is Portuguese, and slightly overtakes Spanish as the most spoken language in South America. A Brazilian Portuguese accent doesn't sound much at all like a Spanish accent of any nationality.|
|Brazilians dance the tango. ||The tango is Argentine. The most well-known Brazilian dance style is the samba, probably (though there are a variety of national dances, ranging from the folk ones, like baião and carimbó, to ones popular enough to be played in rock festival-like concerts, like forró and sertanejo). |
|Technology, fashion and architecture look like something between colonial times and The Fifties. ||Brazil has undergone a massive development spurt in the last decades, with matching architecture. Its cities are filled with modern skyscrapers, shiny cars, and trendy fashions. |
|The country has no military to speak of. ||Not only does Brazil have the strongest Military in South America, said military also spent a good while oppressing its people, from 1964 to 1985. |
|The country is a Banana Republic, governed by either a strongman or a military junta and filled with jailbirds of Brazil who were arrested for fighting against the oppressive regime, with wanton human rights violations. ||Brazil has been a democracy since 1985. Like most of Latin America, it did spend a long time (mostly due to the Cold War) as a dictatorship Banana Republic, but it is now a constitutional democracy. For that matter, a former jailbird of Brazil is a former President. While it is left-leaning, it is not nearly as far to the left as Argentina or Venezuela. |
|All Brazilians are phenomenal soccer players. ||The average Brazilian is as likely to be a good soccer player as the average American is likely to be a basketball/football superstar or the average Japanese is likely to be a karate master. This can especially be seen in later years, as the national team's string of lackluster performances (with which the supporters are most decidedly not happy), coupled with Spain's rampant success and a quirk in the ranking system,note caused it to drop from the top spot to as low as 22nd (now back to 9th) in the FIFA World Rankings since the 2010 World Cup. |
|The country is an extension of the Mayincatec Empire, complete with Machu Picchu and ziggurats where appropriate. ||The Native Brazilians were nowhere near this advanced. Also, Machu Picchu is in Peru, the Aztecs in Mexico and Inca mostly in Peru, the Maya mostly in the Yucatan Peninsula.|
Brazil, as with other Latin American countries, is a constant victim of research failure, as most people around the world only know Brazil from tropes like this; as repeatedly mentioned above, Brazil is kinda like the United States, except that it has jungles to speak of (Hawaii barely counts for the USA), was a horrible and utterly Lawful Evil dictatorship from 64 to 84, has more social-inequality problems (caused in no small part by said dictatorship), and speaks Portuguese
. The social inequality has been changing a little in very recent times, though.
And for the record, the real capital of Brazil is Brasília, which is no hamlet itself at 2.5 million people. Rio used to be the capital up until April 21, 1960, when Brasília was founded by then-Brazilian President Juscelino Kubitschek
(see? With a Czech name like that, he could be from Chicago!) It even is considered a World Heritage Site
by UNESCO (Buenos Aires is not in Brazil at all, but neighboring Argentina). Brasília actually represents another similarity between Brazil and the United States: like Washington, DC
, it was a city built from the ground up to be the national capital
, in a less than desirable physical environment (Washington DC was built on a swamp, Brasilia was built in middle of (swampy) jungle) and their metropolitan areas are similar in population.
Finally, it's probably useful to know that Brazil and Argentina (the country whose capital is actually Buenos Aires) have an old historical rivalry, even though nowadays it is mostly tongue-in-cheek and mainly reduced to sports.
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Anime & Manga
- Nodame Cantabile has the protagonist Shinichi Chiaki going to São Paulo as a guest conductor. What does he find at first? Asses, thongs, beaches (although São Paulo is far away from any beaches), hot sun... He even hallucinates about Carnival while conducting.
- For an anime that surely shows a love for Brazil, Michiko to Hatchin fails miserably in several key basic information about the country. Surely you can't blame the Japanese for giving Japanese names to everybody, but then they try to balance it out with Brazilian surnames but the surnames don't make any sense as surnames. The anime can't even get something as basic as some of its local treats right by their local names. "Água de coco" (coconut water) is called "suco de coco" (coconut juice) and "caldo de cana" (sugarcane syrup) is called "suco de cana" (sugarcane juice) on the street market signs, when absolutely no Brazilian would call then that way.
- Inazuma Eleven features the very powerful Brazilian national team The Kingdom. The only team in FFI (that's their World Cup) to sweep 4-0 in their corresponding blocks. Whose captain Mac Roniejo has a special move named "Strike Samba" that obviously shouts "CARNIVAL!" and their special tactic being the Amazon River itself (or at least a humongous wave from the Amazon). And then there's the dark side. They were blackmailed by the Big Bad Garshield to work for him, since their families are extremely poor. The catch: win the FFI or get sent straight back to the favelas. However, everything else is averted. Their looks are obviously Brazilian, especially the goalkeeper Falcao da Silva (a capoerista on top of that.)
- In Pani Poni Dash!, The cast heads off to an isolated island at the far southern portion of Japan, where they find (among many other weird things) a pit of quicksand that reaches all the way through the Earth and ends up in Brazil. Resident Genki Girl and Cloudcuckoolander Himeko decides to join in on the celebration of Carnaval while they are down there. When they return to Japan, they end up falling into the pit of quicksand AGAIN, and Himeko once again joins in on the Carnaval, but this time, she shakes her hips so fast and so much that she's tuckered out for the next few scenes when they return to Japan. Oddly enough, every woman in Brazil looks like a tanned version of Ito, the class's resident generic background character.
- For some unknown reason, every single Brazilian character to ever show up in Comic Books, either as Superheroes or as minor characters, have always had the last name "da Costa" or "daCosta" (although prepositions are not considered part of the name).
- The worst offender is the most prominent Brazilian superhero, the (very) minor superhero Fire from the DC Universe (better known as member of the Justice League International). Not only her last name is daCosta, pretty much everything on her biography and herself is just plain wrong. Her complete name is Beatriz Bonilla daCosta (née Carvalho), of which only Carvalho and Beatriz are proper Brazilian names (Beatriz is also a proper Spanish name, so it was probably a fortunate coincidence), "da Costa" (not "daCosta") being a kinda common surname. Her father name is Ramon, again a name more common outside of Brazil. She was an agent for the Espiães (sic; correct spelling "Espiões") Nacionales (Yup, seems like Brazilian institutions have Spanish names) de (sic; "do") Brasil (ugh, we should be happy it wasn't "Espiones", which, by the way, wouldn't even be Spanish). By the way, the Brazilian intelligence agency is called ABIN (Agência Brasileira de Inteligência), which was known as SNI (Serviço Nacional de Informações - "National Information Service") when she was created in 1979 (still during the dictatorship), much like CIA isn't named "National Spies of the United States". Some of this was thankfully retconned, but there's too much wrong that's too deep to retcon there.
- Defensor, a minor Gratuitous Spanish-speaking Marvel superhero in faux-conquistador armor and whose original power was that he owned a golden shield, has been referred both as Argentinian and Brazilian depending on the panel.
- In the Mr. Magoo movie, Quincy Magoo faces off against a monkey in the middle of a high-class party at Rio de Janeiro. He also glides from there to the Iguazu Falls, a Brazilian-Argentinian landmark that's in the Brazilian border in the other side of the country.
- The movie The Burning Season commits the Latin ethnicity error. Every Brazilian shown could as well be Mexican.
- The movie Blame It On Rio is a perfect example of this trope. In the movie all women are topless at the beach and surrounded by monkeys, parrots and toucans. The painful irony lies in the fact that the director had to artificially add these elements to the beach scene since they were not there to begin with, which means he knew they were not realistic.
- Rare aversion in The Incredible Hulk. Bruce Banner isn't in a favela because he happens to be in Brazil, he's in a favela because he doesn't want to be found.
- The Incredible Hulk subverted this in many ways, including showing the ethnic diversity, Bruce Banner going to great lengths to learn Portuguese (and struggling with it), people in favelas shown to actually work, it not being Carnival, among some minor details.
- They could have hired national actors, though, or at least try better at the accent thing. It's like someone making a film about the US, only everyone talks like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- Kind of averted in the infamous movie Woman on Top, where Brazil is portrayed avoiding most of the topics above mentioned, but still the main heroine was interpreted by a Spanish actress (Penelope Cruz), and for a famous restaurant the place was strangely decaying.
- Word of God says that they were going to cast a Brazilian actress, but Penelope Cruz was just too damn good to miss.
- Miami Vice features Ciudad Del Este, a cosmopolitan boomtown on the tri-border area between Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. Exactly the kind of city a geography-challenged screenwriter could have made up, but it really exists.
- Lampshaded and played with masterfully, for plot-point effects in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. Jennifer Love Hewitt's character wins a radio contest by answering the trivia question "What is the capital of Brazil?" with Rio de Janeiro. She, her Black Best Friend, and their boyfriends don't actually visit Brazil, but towards the end, the revelation that Brazil's capital is actually Brasília leads her to realize that the whole thing was a trap.
- Avertednote , in the movie Brazil, which seems to take place anywhere except Brazil.
- However, the movie originally opened in an exotic South American rainforest.
- The Big Bad in the American remake of Taxi is played by Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen, whose character leads a gang of hot Brazilian female carjackers. And they all speak Portuguese, appropriately... The problem is, except for Gisele's character, they speak European Portuguese, instead of Brazilian.
- The Rundown tries its best (especially considering they shot it in Hawaii after the location scouts who traveled to Brazil got stolen there), even managing to put ads for Brazilian beer and some soccer crests in the background. But the atrocious Portuguese and the baboons make it even more hilarious to Brazilians. There's also American actress Rosario Dawson pretending to be a native Brazilian, although she's not that bad.
- One should notice that the entire setting of the movie (backwater Hell of endless mining) is accurate...if we were on the 80's, that is. You're unlikely to find anything like that these days (hint: Diamonds run out after a while).
- Nicely (mostly) averted in Phillipe de Broca's 1964 That Man From Rio — Rio is shown as a big, bustling modern city, one of the principal characters is black (along with several minor ones) - though he does live in a favela. Another principal is a rich man named De Castro, which is close to da Costa (but played by the Italian Adolfo Celi). It's not Carnival, but there is some samba dancing. The action shifts to a newly-minted Brasilia, gotten to by a short car ride, however.
- Actually, it's pretty accurate about distances - when asked how far it is to Brasilia, the local kid shrugs "Not far; 1,000 kilometers." Adrian sarcastically suggests taking the subway. When they do ride it takes a day and a night and another day. After Brasilia, the action shifts to a floating village on the Amazon and then deep in the rainforest, gotten to by a long plane trip, then a long boat trip.
- Painfully obvious in the (bad) James Bond movie Moonraker, which has several scenes set in Rio. Obviously, it's Carnival, and the Sugar Loaf (with its cable cars) is a location, as are the Iguaçu Falls (which fall on the "mixing landmarks" example mentioned above, as they are part of the Amazon river in the movie). As well, there's an Aztec temple or something ... in the Amazon.
- Mostly averted in Rio. Helps that the director is Brazilian, and one of the actors too. Still they arrive during carnival.
- In the sequel, various cities Americans might not know are shown during the Travel Montage. On the other hand, there's some enforced Television Geography as various parts of the Amazon are mixed together close together.
- Also, Brasilia has its iconic buildings in the wrong place. It can be forgiven to have the National Congress facing the JK Bridge and also being much closer than the two landmarks actually are from each other (you can barely see the top of the Congress from the Bridge), to frame the shot better. But why is the Cathedral to the north side of the Congress?
- 2012 has a broadcast showing Rio getting hit by an earthquake (complete with the Cristo Redentor's destruction). They namedrop an actual news station, Globo News. But the broadcaster speaks with a Portuguese accent! (but due to Hollywood Science, let's not delve into the fact that Brazil is far from earthquake zone)
- The Producers plays this trope so straight it's almost a parody with the short musical number "You'll Find Your Happiness In Rio," wherein a band of mariachi accompanies the characters' singing.
You'll find your happiness in Rio
The beaches there are strewn with pearls
The tropic breezes always blow there
- Book of the New Sun might count as an example: it is set After the End in what definitely seems to be a South or Central American country (there are references to pampas, people drink hot chocolate with chili peppers, there is a reference to the Popul Vuh at one point), but perhaps because of the horrible economic inequality, the popular fan Epileptic Trees theory is that it is set in future Buenos Aires.
- There's a character in the first book who is clearly a Shout-Out to Jorge Luis Borges, who was Argentinian. And the capital city is called Nessus, which depending who you listen to is either a: obviously a reference to BueNOS AIreS, or b: obviously a reference to a character from mythology, who was poisoned like the water and soil of the old city.
- New Sun's geography fits too well to be anything but South America. Nessus is on the banks of a huge river (the Rio de la Plata), ocean to the east, mountains in the west and jungle to the north.
- Twilight does that as well during Bella and Edward honeymoon trip, where we find out that the Cullens have an island in Rio de Janeiro, where you arive through the west bit of the city, then taking a boat, in spite that they should have gone south from the airport to reach the sea. No one was surprised that Stephenie Meyer didn't know how to use Google Maps, but then it becomes even better when Edward decided to go back to the mainland to hunt. Since, you know, it's a forest out there and there must be something that a vegetarian vampire could eat. Except there isn't anything big enough for him. (a stray capybara would be a lucky find...) One wonders if he attacked the city zoo.
Live Action TV
- In one episode of House, Dr. House surprises every Brazilian to ever watch the show by saying "castanhas-do-Para" perfectly well in actual Portuguese instead of a Spanish mimic of Portuguese, but then this leads to him diagnosing his patient to be in Brazil because he was somewhere where Carnival was celebrated for a month. Not only is Carnival only celebrated for part of a week in Brazil (or one whole week in the case of the city of Salvador), it would be the rough equivalent of saying the United States doesn't function during the month of Thanksgiving.
- Yeah. Obviously that happens at Christmas.
- Actually, in the sister cities of Recife and Olinda, pre-Carnival "rehearsal" parties start happening as soon as the dust settles from New Year celebrations. So it would be accurate to say that we celebrate Carnival for a month. Salvador isn't very different.
- Let's face it, the only time Salvador isn't celebrating Carnival is during the week between Christmas and New Year.
- This information is incredibly wrong. Salvador celebrates Carnival as much as São Paulo and Rio.
- And let's not forget that, in USA, "castanhas do Pará" are known as... "Brazil nuts". But that's not a good excuse, since the Brazil nuts that are sold in USA can come from Brazil, but also from Bolivia and Peru...
- Samba de Amigo: well, where to start...
- The E3 trailer of the game Shadowrun, set in Brazil, had a poster stating "Las Tropas, Unen", which is Spanish (wrong Spanish at that), not Portuguese.
- They fixed everything to be written in Portuguese when the game got actually released.
- Played mostly straight in the game Terranigma. The village of Liotto is based on Rio de Janeiro (complete with a Christ The Redeemer statue), and it's appropriately Carnivalesque as per the trope. However, the producers took the time to add signs in Portuguese.
- And (fairly misspelled, but still) names from Brazilian cuisine (feijoada, churrasco and caipirinha; that last one being a drink made with a strong liquor that a child like Ark had no business drinking, really).
- And all Brazillians are black, except the blonde girl outside, the receptionist girl and the boy who talk about soccer (his mother is black too).
- In the boy's room there's a poster of Brazillian soccer hero nicknamed "Pelé".
- In the game Nigel Mansells F1 World Championship, the Brazilian GP is set at the Interlagos circuit, against a nice backdrop of the Sugar Loaf, a landmark of Rio de Janeiro... except Interlagos located at São Paulo.
- Max Payne 3 scared a lot of fans of the series with its radical change of setting to São Paulo. In Brazil, however, it gained a lot of attention because Brazilians were wondering how much it would completely misrepresent them. The trailer seemed to show Hispanic people speaking in Spanish accents, in what seemed like a pretty standard Mexican drug lord plot set in California. With the game out, it's actually pretty good - we get to see both the luxurious modern locales of the superrich and the favela squalour, racial variation, Portuguese use and Brutal Police Captain Ersatz of BOPE (made famous worldwide by The Elite Squad; though the squad that fulfills these duties in São Paulo is called ROTA). Max does make the soccer player goof, though, and the confusion of this trope is invoked with Passos: he's revealed to be Colombian, not Brazilian, in order to lure Max to Brazil as hired muscle. Max even comments on his phony accent after it seems Passos betrays him.
- In Rainbow Six: Raven Shield the tangos plant a bomb on a São João's float. The June Festivities (St. John, St. Anthony and St. Peter's days) are specially celebrated in rural areas, because it coincides with the corn harvest, and ressembles a county fair. These festivities assumed a mocking form on urban areas: kids dressing up as hillbilies, staged shotgun weddings and anachronistic square dancing. These traditions are getting outmoded on urban areas but are still strong, and growing, on rural areas, but there was never something like a float's parade on June Festivities. Obviously the game producers tried to avert this trope, replacing the Carnival with some badly researched Brazilian festival, but failed anyway. Also, Brazilian Carnival's floats are built like a two stories houses on wheels, not like these pathetic, wimpy, undernourished excuses of floats we see in the game.
- In the same stage we can see the beach just outside a auto repair shop. Alright, it's a very fancy repair shop, the kind where you would bring your Ferrari for a check-up, but still is a auto repair shop on seaside, the most expensive strip of land of all Rio de Janeiro. It simply sounds bizarre, like a Laundromat on 5th Avenue.
- One of the early stages are on warehouses of Porto Alegre. It appears that the designers found out there are others cities on Brazil, besides Rio and Buenos Aires. The architecture of the warehouse even looks familiar to a Brazilian's eye! But then a eerie feeling settles in. Why there are posters about coffee plastered on every wall? These buildings are owned by a coffee trading comnpany? In Porto Alegre? Coffee still is a important export of Brazil, but it never was in Rio Grande do Sul (the state where Porto Alegre is the capital). It feels like breaking in a exports office in Marseilles and finding stacks of marketing material for calvados, and not a single one about pastis. Strange.
- Tom Clancy's HAWX had the protagonist and his wingmates defending Rio de Janeiro against an invasion from a hostile foreign entity. Numerous references are made to a presidential palace and the Brazilian leaders.
- Sengoku 3 has a Brazilian stage, with lots of freak mutants, Tribal sound (in African style) and a huge Mayan temple.
- Marvel Superheroes War Of The Gems (an SNES Marvel Universe beat em up by Capcom) shows some Mayan Temples in background on the Brazilian stage.
- Global Champion (Kaiser Knuckle) has a triceratops skeleton (all of their fossils were in North America) in the middle of inflammable jungle.
- It becomes better in Monster Maulers because the Brazilian boss is a giant Eenie, Meenie, Miny Moai Statue!!!
- The first segment F3AR is set in an unknown location in Brazil (you start off in a prison, then proceed to a favela)... Except, everyone speaks Spanish. The developers almost got everything right, though: some of the signs are in Portuguese... While others are still in Spanish. Still, the license plate from the cars is Brazillian, so that's something.
- Street Fighter is a well known offender:
- In Street Fighter II, we have Blanka, who is a Brazilian beastman with green skin, fur, and who can unleash electricity. His stage is apparently an Amazonian village. With a huge anaconda.
- The Brazilian stage in Street Fighter IV is inside the Amazonian jungle, but we can see some Aztec totems in there. And monkeys.
- In Street Fighter III: Second Impact, the Brazilian stage is set in "SÃO PAURO". The stage itself is a common street, where there is an overturned truck written "CEAZA" (where the right would be "CEASA"), loaded with bananas note . Obviously, there are monkeys all over the place.
- Street Fighter III: Third Strike averts this. It's Brazilian stage is set in Santos Harbour, and we can see a small truck of Brazilian coffee and a huge cargo ship. And they all have proper Portuguese written on them.
- In The King of Fighters 94, we have a Brazilian stage set on the Amazon. There is a wrecked helicopter, baboons, and cannibal Indians. There is also a toucan, which is actually a Brazilian native species.
- Even tough the Ikari Team in 94 represents Brazil, none of it's members are Brazilian. However, later on fans created the misconception that Leona is Brazilian, and this 94 stage is apparently the only reason for this.
- The King of Fighters 2001 averts this somehow, by having a Brazilian stage set in the Interlagos Racetrack.
- The first Samurai Shodown has one stage set in Amazon, called "Green Hell". However the stage has a huge Aztec temple in the background. Tam Tam, the owner of the stage, also resembles an Aztec warrior.
- Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 has a level set within Rio de Janeiro, largely taking place in the favela. Despite a huge gun battle between foreign operators and what are assumed to be favela gangsters (which includes gun trucks, rocket launchers and a helicopter) absolutely no response is made by the police or military. Especially strange when said huge gun battle starts in the middle of the city. Also, for some odd reason, the gangsters mix their native Portuguese with the occasional burst of English.
- There's an comedy animation in YouTube that plays with this trope. The "O Dia em que o Brasil foi Invadido" (The Day When Brazil was Invaded) shows the ex-president Bush back in 2006 planning to invade Brazil to conquer its natural resources. After being informed that his army forces were being defeated (only thanks to the many problems in the country, like the Tietê river being so polluted that it became toxic and dissolved the USA army's boat), Bush decides to launch an atomic bomb to win the battle, guess which capital he selected as target...
- Brazil has a fair share of occasions where humorists mock Americans for this. One of website Charges.com.br's finest moments was when they made a story parodying Brazil's reply to the American Government's decision to require all Brazilians in American soil to record their fingerprints. By international reciprocity treaties, this allowed the Brazilian Government to do the same to Americans in Brazilian soil. In that story, when the authorities ordered an American to be sent back to the USA, he was ordered to be sent to Toronto. When the American told them Toronto is in Canada and accused them of not knowing what the Capital of the United States is, he was told it was reciprocity.
- Charges did it again, with the Latin American pope. The reason they choose him was that the number of brazilian catholics is reducing as they are going to another religion, and thus to win them back they choose someone from Buenos Aires, the brazilian capital.
- Averted in the Whateley Universe with Verdant, who is from one of the worst favelas in Rio de Janeiro, but knows there is more to Rio than where her family lives. And Phase, who has been to Brazil once, when his uncle was meeting with government officials. In Brasilia.
- The Simpsons episode "Blame It On Lisa" is full of these, deliberately used for humorous effect in its portrayal of Brazil, however they did lampshade one of the popular misconceptions by having Bart painstakingly learn Spanish for the trip ... only to learn Brazilians speak Portuguese. A few things were brilliantly correct, such as the steakhouse with meat in swords and the colorful currency ("Ahh, look at all that pink and purplenote . Our money sure is gay").
- One particular geographical slip is for the kidnappers to take Homer, whom they kidnapped in Rio, all the way to the Amazon forest, a couple thousand miles away.
- For the record, this episode is actually banned for broadcast in Brazil, except if you have FOX on cable, where it's shown regularly like any other episode. It only aired for exactly three times on television, then many Brazilians (from normal citizens to senators) went crazy at how "demoralizing" the episode was, not knowing that The Simpsons mocks every country they come across, even their own. Still the ban took full effect, and takes even now; FOX managed to get the episode available in Brazil only for DVD volumes.
- Which is understandable, as not many people in a country would feel confortable if a foreign show would mock their country and possibly ruin its tourism, like happened in Brazil. FOX later apologized to Brazilians for the controversial episode and made them an offer to loose tensions. Also, bear in mind that in Brazil (like in the rest of Latin America) there is historically a strong anti-imperialistic sentiment (the support the military dictatorship received from the USA doesn't help matters) and so these jokes are interpreted as hypocritical insults.
- Then again, it can be seem as a weird case of real life research failure, as we are talking about The Simpsons, a tv show that mocks every country it ever portrayed... their own more than anyone else's. It's argued that all the fuss the episode raised was caused mostly by certain tv channels (by that, read the most influential) playing Fourth Estate. The lawsuit by Rio's tourism department was lifted, but the show's producers still declared that Homer Simpson would gladly meet president Fernando Henrique Cardoso in Celebrity Boxing.
- In a later episode, the Simpsons went to a place Lisa considered the worst they've been in until Bart mentioned Brazil and then she corrected to second worst. When that episode was dubbed for Brazilian audiences, that dialogue was changed to exclude mentions of Brazil.
- Brazilian website Charges.com.br actually defended The Simpsons by writing a fictious meeting between Homer and Bart with then-President of Brazil Fernando Henrique Cardoso (FHC). When both Simpson males mentioned their ideas to remake the episode showing a more real Brazil, FHC told them to let the episode as it was.
- The trope name comes from a real life episode when then-President Ronald Reagan went to Brazil and, with a grin on his face, said to be "Happy to visit the capital of Brazil, Buenos Aires" (which, for the record, is the capital of ANOTHER COUNTRY). The trope name is still open, however, to one more commonly mistaken (Rio).
- This trope is older than that, and that event didn't occur exactly in this way. In the morning following the day of his arrival the President Ronald Reagan addressed the Brazilian public as "the friendly people of Bolivia" (or Colombia, again). This gaffe was dismissed by the Itamaraty (Brazil's Diplomatic Corps, named as such due to the name of the building they are headquartered at) as result of jet lag but Jornal do Brasil (then an influential local newspaper) quickly pointed that McDonald's paper mats, at that time, all over Brazil, were being printed with characters dressed in the traditional garbs of several countries. The Brazilian character was dressed in a complete Andes Quechuan outfit, with the little black hat. There was a public outcry and the McDonald's local administration excused themselves alleging that the paper mats were designed in USA. It was never known if the paper mats were the reason for the presidential faux pas, but since then the paper mats used in all McDonald's restaurants from Brazil are designed and produced locally.
- As said, he addressed the Brazilian public (including the Brazilian president!) as "the friendly people of Bolivia". To be fair, he immediately recognized his mistake, apologized and said "sorry, that's where I came from". The only thing is... he had come from Peru.
- A local magazine ran a magnificent "advert" after the happening, saying: "The people of Bolivia are thankful for the visit of the president of Canada".
- Boris Yetsin was involved in a similar incident about a decade later, insisting that he was in Finland in a meeting with Swedish leaders in Stockholm, Sweden.
- Also, we cannot forget that, even with Brasilia as the capital and São Paulo as the main economic center and preferential entry port for the country (since something like 80% of commercial international flights arrive there), almost all journalists from international media that covers Brazil are based in... Rio de Janeiro. Though at least one justification exists: the country's biggest media conglomerate is from there.
- The same pattern happens with those weather reports in newspapers, that show the max/min temperatures for the day around the globe. The only Brazilian city that appears is Rio de Janeiro.
- This makes for another point of similarity between Brazil and the US. Most international businesses have the headquarters of their US operation in New York City, not Washington DC.