National Stereotypes: North America

What a stereotypical continent!

The Arctic
  • Often depicted as if it's one large continent, similar to Antarctica, while in reality the Arctic, or "North Pole" is the name for several regions comprised of Alaska, Northern Canada, Greenland, and even Scandinavia and Northern Russia.
  • Eskimo Land: The Arctic will mostly be inhabitated by the Inuit people, still nicknamed by the politically incorrect name "Eskimo" in many countries. Usually they will still be portrayed as if modern age and technology never set in. They will all wear parkas, carve trinkets, and permanently live in igloos, while in reality igloos were temporary shelters, not actual houses. When they travel they use a sled, pulled by huskies, and go fishing in a canoe while trying to harpoon every animal in their vicinity. When not eating fish, they will consume whale blubber or cod-liver oil.
    • Several outdated traditions or already debunked, but permissive urban legends about these people will also be shown. For instance, they will be kissing/greeting one another by rubbing their noses against each other. They supposedly have an unusually large number of words for snow, which is simply untrue. Whenever one of their people is terminally ill or very old they will put him or her in a canoe and sent him off unto the wild ocean to die on ice floes.
    • The men will usually have names like "Nuk Nuk" or "Nanook", in reference to the famous documentary Nanook of the North. This documentary was heavily fictionalized and the name an invention: the man was actually called Allakariallak. Nanook/nanuq means "polar bear"
  • The Arctic itself will often be simply one blank white landscape, full of ice and snow. No plant life is to be seen, while in reality the Arctic has lots of vegetation.
  • Various polar animals will have a cameo: huskies, polar bears, polar foxes, lemmings, seals, walruses, whales, orcas, belugas, narwhals,... and inaccurately, penguins. Penguins only live on the South Pole and not on the North Pole. Sometimes Eskimos themselves are depicted living on the South Pole, which is again wrong for the same reason.
  • Expect a reference to the fact that there is no sun for months, yet "aurora borealis" ("northern lights") can be seen in the sky, no matter what time of the year it is. As a result, the Inuit will go to sleep "for several months" in their igloo, as if they are physically able to have a winter sleep like animals do.
  • And, of course, the Arctic is Santa Claus' permanent residence!

Canada
  • See Canada, Eh? for the main page about stereotypical portrayals of Canada.
  • Canada, Eh?: The Bob & Doug McKenzie sketches from SCTV cemented the idea that all Canadians say "eh?" as a Verbal Tic. Another Canadian linguistic stereotype is the word "aboot" instead of "about".
    • Canadians, much like the British, are often portrayed as being exceptionally polite. The phrase "Welcome to Canada. It's nice up here, eh?" pretty much defines this stereotype.
    • In many countries frequented by American tourists, the advice "pretend you're Canadian" is often given.
    • Canadians also tend to be portrayed as a lot less jingoistic than Americans. Quebec separatism may be mentioned, but Western separatism might as well not exist.
  • Outside North America, people often confuse Canadians with Americans, or when they speak French, with Frenchmen. To many foreigners the overabundance of the USA in the news media is so large that it almost completely overshadows Canada's own culture, media and politics.
    • The fact that Canada is a bi-lingual community is sometimes forgotten by foreigners. Many Canadians speak both English and French fluently. In US comedy French speaking Canadians are always portrayed as a French Jerk, because Americans tend to sympathize more with the English speaking part of the population.
    • The most famous Canadian province in the world is Québéc. Québécois tend to be portrayed by English speakers as being a bunch of separatist French Jerks, and are portrayed in France as backward colonialists who aren't true Frenchmen. That is, of course, when English-speaking foreigners remember that Canada also has a large French-speaking population.
    • Don't expect any mention to be made of Quebec's rather sizable (historically even more so) English-speaking minority, unless the (unfortunately very real) ethnolinguistic tensions between the Anglophones and Francophones are the whole plot.
  • Almost inevitably, Canadians will be depicted as being white, and if they aren't French will have an English or a Scottish family name.
    • The Inuit culture in Canada has received more attention and interest since the second half of the 20th century. Their Inuksuk stone statues have risen to become a cultural symbol. Similarly the totem pole has become this for the Canadian Indians.
  • The first image that pops up when people think of Canada is a red-uniformed mountie with a Cool Hat. Whenever mounties have to catch a bandit on the run they will eventually be able to arrest him, because "the mountie always gets his man."
  • It's always snowing in Canada and everything is covered under a white carpet. The only change in weather are blizzards. Apart from this obvious misconception popular culture will also depict Canada as a country full of pine wood forests, mountains, lakes note , log cabins, waterfalls,... So whoever isn't a mountie will be a lumberjack, a wildlife hunter or a camper. When people travel they will use a sled or a snowmobile. Cities? Towns? People with other jobs? What are you talking ''aboot''?
    • If you need a typical Canadian animal look no further than a Newfoundlander dog, a Labrador dog, the Canadian horse, the Canada goose and the Great northern loon. A beaver, bear or a moose are also popular choices, but sometimes too generally North American. Despite that beavers have been used in as a national Canadian symbol.
    • Interestingly enough, Canada is often portrayed as being more primitive and close to nature than the "modern" United States. Yet, most of their laws (secularism, same-sex marriage, universal healthcare, mosaic culture, higher taxation to redistribute wealth, outlawing of capital punishment, strict gun control, etc.) are far more progressive and liberal than those of the USA. When foreigners are aware of this they tend to depict Canada as a leftist paradise. In older works this is somewhat justified as Canada was considerably more conservative politically (although attitudes were shifting subtly before then) than the US until the 1970s, when PM Pierre Elliott Trudeau's controversial but long-lasting Liberal government started to change absolutely everything. (Seriously; Trudeau's policies were controversial enough to kill his party in several parties for decades, but important enough for him to be named the third-greatest person in Canadian history—and that's with many people who hated him voting to keep him down.)
  • If Canada's city and suburban life are depicted in popular culture it will be mostly Vancouver, because a lot of Hollywood productions are filmed there, giving it the nickname Hollywood North. The only other locations that exist in popular culture are Toronto, Quebec, Winnipeg, Nova Scotia, British Colombia, Vancouver, Manitoba, Ontario and Montréal. Saskatchewan may get mentioned too for being a funny location name. The only monuments that will be shown are the CN Tower and the Skydome, both in Toronto.
    • Ontario is best known for the Niagara Falls, which also covers a part of New York, USA. The waterfall is famous in popular culture for having daredevils crawl inside barrels and jump off the falls afterwards.
  • The maple leaf makes Canada's flag one of the most recognizable in the world. As a result it has become a national symbol.
  • Canadian national dishes are maple syrup, Kraft dinner (macaroni and cheese), poutine, butter tarts and Canadian bacon.
  • Canadian Equals Hockey Fan: Another popular stereotype is that everyone plays hockey and/or curling. A third and fourth national sport, lacrosse and Canadian football, are fairly obscure in other countries.
  • Historically, Canada is best remembered for the Klondike Gold Rush (1896-1899), where, as all fans of the Donald Duck comics know, Uncle Scrooge McDuck ammassed his first fortune. The town is also known for the narrative poem The Shooting Of Dan Mc Grew.
    • During the 1960s and 1970s, Canada was also known for harboring many young Americans who dodged the draft.
  • Canadian Music has a strong association with Country Music and Folk Music, with famous examples such as Hank Snow, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell. Some Canadian rock and pop acts like Paul Anka, Neil Young, Rush, Céline Dion, Justin Bieber have reached iconic status, but are still often mistaken for being American by some foreigners.
  • And cinephiles know the movie production and distribution company National Film Board Of Canada.

The United States

See also Acceptable Political Targets, America Takes Over the World, Eagleland, and Only In America.

The United States in general
  • To many people (and not only Americans themselves), the United States are seen as the most important place in the world. Whenever the continent "America" is mentioned, people are usually solely referring to the United States, which often irks other countries in North, Central and Latin America. If you can become rich and famous in the U.S., then you have really made it. For many Americans, the idea of becoming rich, famous, and successful is almost an obsession. From becoming the "prom king and queen", to making it big in Hollywood, over becoming a billionaire to even entering the White House. Americans always see everything "big!", are in constant competition with others, and feel that "time is money". It comes to no surprise that fast food was invented in the U.S.A.
    • Everything Is Big in Texas might as well generally be called Everything Is Big in America: houses, cars, steaks, hamburgers, beers, guns, movies, parades, advertising boards, skyscrapers, movies, religious devotion, celebrities, the presidential elections... it all has to be huge, grand and larger than life. To foreigners this often comes across as having no sense of humility or moderation. Everything, from the wage slips to the food servings to the ferocity with which people defend their ideals and views, seems much more exaggerated in America than it needs to be. Though, there is a geographical explanation for this: after Russia, Canada, and China, the U.S.A. is the largest country in the world in terms of geographic area. This is already something that's difficult to imagine when you're living in a smaller country. Americans think "big" because they can! There is so much space in the U.S.A., compared to the more crowded and suburbanized countries in, for instance, Europe. Taking a plane to visit another town or state within the same country is very normal.
    • A well-known European joke has a European guide show some American tourists around in the city. One American isn't particularly impressed, though. He keeps complaining about the small size of all the monuments compared to those in the U.S.A. Near the end of the tour, the European guide really gets fed up with this. Then the American notices another building and once again boasts: "Look at that! In the U.S.A., that pathetic small building would be much bigger!" To which the guide replies: "That wouldn't surprise me, because that's a mental institution."
    • Patriotic Fervor: American patriotism is also something that raises eyebrows in other countries: school children being forced to salute the American flag every morning and memorize the pledge of allegiance, people rising in unison to sing along with the national anthem whenever it's played, controversy over burning flags,... Though other countries are not immune to nationalistic pride, American patriotism feels very creepy in foreign eyes.
      • Self-deprecating comedy also doesn't seem as common in the USA as in other countries. Whenever someone pokes fun at the good ol' USA he always has to reassure the audience that he really likes the country in the end. Similarly many foreigners have had situations where they make a joke at their own (country's) expense and Americans in their company take pity on them rather than laugh along. Almost as if they assume the person lacks confidence. Most American comedy, both stand-up as well as sitcoms and comedies, seem more at ease insulting others, usually targeting physical features. This goes from the Your Momma jokes to the traditional roasting events. Laughing with America or criticizing the core idea of the American Dream is a touchy subject in the USA. A majority can still feel very offended, even if the satire or criticism was done by an American.
  • Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: Americans are generally painted as completely ignorant of the rest of the world. American tourists may visit other countries, but are more interested in shopping and souvenirs than authentic culture, and are always rude and condescending to "the natives".
  • Positive stereotypes about the United States are generally that people see it as a "land of opportunities". The pioneer spirit is still strong and people have the feeling that even "an average guy or gal" can make it there. Foreigners also have the impression that, because of this, everybody in the U.S.A. is incredibly wealthy. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
    • This also explains why white Americans are often depicted as filthy rich, cigar-smoking businessmen with too much money to spend. If you have to believe a lot of foreign fiction, all American business people work in skyscrapers. Stories about Hollywood stars living in mansions with a swimming pool and a private jet also contribute to this idea. As do American TV soaps, sitcoms, and films where the characters usually live in very spacious houses with many modern vicinities.
  • Another positive image about the U.S.A. is that other countries (used to) look up to it. The United States was the first colony to become independent and introduce the first foundation of a modern democratic constitution. This was an inspiration for many other countries who became independent in the centuries after. The American constitution guarantees liberties and freedom of speech that go further than most other countries, even democratic ones. Thus, the U.S.A. became "the land of the free", symbolized by the Statue of Liberty, which welcomed all immigrants who fled from persecution in their home country.
    • Americans are often seen as people who vocally try to defend their own rights, according to what they claim is in the Constitution. Usually in combination with some Badass Boast, Precision F-Strike and/or degrading comment: "Hey listen up, pal...!" This is also in part where the idea of both their stereotypical cocksure machoism and arrogance hail from.
      • America is infamous for its many frivolous lawsuits. A common stereotype is that Americans will seize every opportunity to sue a company or other person for a ridiculous amount of money, because "the law is the law".
      • The Grim Reaper complains in Monty Python's: The Meaning of Life:
    Shut up! Shut up, you American. You always talk, you Americans, you talk and you talk and say 'Let me tell you something' and 'I just wanna say this' .
  • Another image many foreigners have of Americans is that they are extremely extroverted, yet appear to be very genteel. They will act very friendly and enthusiastic, smile, say hello and goodbye ("Oh, hiiiiiii!", "Have a nice day!",...), show involvement in what you say ("Oh rrrrrreallly?", "Oh my goooooood!"), but it comes across as if they don't mean it half of the time.
  • Divided States of America: The United States have a unique political system in the sense that there are — in contrast to other modern democracies — only two major and significant political parties: The Democrats, perceived as left-wing and progressive, and the Republicans, perceived as right-wing and conservative. This distinction is somewhat laughable in other Western countries, because according to their political standards the American left-wing is closer to the center-right and the American right to the far-right. However, foreigners tend to oversee that even within both parties there are people whose views are more leftist and/or rightist despite their party's public image. Some people outside the USA aren't even aware that there are ''other'' parties besides the Democrats and Republicans in the USA. It's just that they lack the financial backing to make their campaign and candidates equally noticed. They do get invited to political debates sometimes, but mostly as filler material for the journalists. The situation is especially problematic during the presidential elections, where only one candidate of each party can be voted in. By lack of a significant third option many Americans don't bother to vote, which wouldn't be such a problem if it weren't for the fact that the entire world is affected by their voting decisions. Since World War II, America's influence on world politics and economy has been so dominant that many people across the world always hope that the American people vote wisely instead of going for the most superficial or politically extreme candidate. This also explains why the US presidential elections attract more attention from the foreign press than any other country.
  • A stereotype about Americans that has gotten under a lot of strain since the second half of the 20th century is that of the "heroic American". During the 19th and early 20th century, Americans were depicted as cowboys who save the day, a stereotype fed by Buffalo Bill, John Wayne, Roy Rogers, and Clint Eastwood. Powerful comic book superheroes like Superman, Batman, Popeye, and Spider-man also fueled this image, fighting for "truth, justice, and the American way." Especially older generations tend to see Americans as noble, self-reliant individuals who take no nonsense, grab matters into their own hands, act quick and efficient, and save everyone. This is also the idea most Americans (like to) have about themselves. Even some of their politicians, who see the world as a place divided in good (our side) and evil (the other side).
    • Americans helped Europe win two world wars, but people usually forget that the U.S collaborated with other countries to defeat the Axis. Many war movies and documentaries paint the wrong impression that America won these wars singlehandedly. After World War II, the United States were generally seen as liberators by all the countries that had been suppressed by the Nazis or Japanese: America Saves the Day. This led to an internationally positive view of the U.S. where many people across the world gladly embraced American products like Coca Cola, chewing gum, large cars, and Hollywood films. As the Truman doctrine was introduced, the American government started sending troops to every major international conflict, thus coining the nickname "the policeman of the world." However, during the 1960s at the height of the Vietnam War, American's foreign policy was criticized by other countries. In later decades, America's involvement in many wars, rebellions, and other conflicts became controversial, usually because it seemed to be a greater benefit to their own government and multinationals than the actual countries themselves. To this day, America's heroic image has remained polarized. A considerable quantity people across the globe hate the U.S.A. solely based on the actions of their government, their powerful multinationals, and their aggressive marketing campaigns. (See America Saves the Day, America Takes Over the World, Yanks with Tanks and America Wins the War), though at the same time they still use American products and enjoy American films and TV series. Also, the USA isn't the only (Western) country with internationally powerful multinationals and governments who sponsor dictatorships and engage in wars.
    • Thanks to the numerous The Wild West legends and movie westerns, the country is still seen as Americans Are Cowboys. If a character in foreign fiction is depicted as being American, he is either a cowboy or at least wearing a cowboy hat.
    • American Gun Politics: Even though the U.S. isn't the only country where carrying firearms is legal, the image of the "gun-obsessed American" is more common than with other nationalities. Many American citizens appear to be extensions of cowboys and will proudly and sometimes paranoidly carry a gun everywhere they go, even if there is no danger about. This "gun obsession" may have also been popularized by numerous westerns and violent Hollywood action movies where the cool ones always have large guns. Similar to a typical Hollywood scenario, American real life crime fighting is often presented as if you just have to hunt and shoot down "the bad guy" and every problem is solved.
      • Foreign media sometimes gives the wrong impression that all American gun owners are mostly conservative Republican rednecks, while in reality even liberal-minded and otherwise not-that-macho people may own a gun or more for self-defense, hunting or just for target shooting in clubs.
  • In other countries, Americans are often seen as people who are scared out of proportion of anything. Historically, they have been frightened of religious persecution, Native Americans, Afro-Americans, communists, hippies, and terrorists. In order to protect themselves, they will carry a gun everywhere they go and arm their homes into small fortresses. As the documentary Bowling for Columbine suggested, many American TV shows and films scare their viewers so much that they will buy and do anything to feel safe. Some of the stuff American citizens are frightened about are fears you would associate with a primitive Third World country, not a Western industrialized democracy: Satan, going to Hell, socialism, atheism, sex, and human nuditynote 
    • American Churches: Outside the USA, many people have the impression that all Americans are devoutly obsessed with God and Jesus and will do anything to force their conservative ideals on others. The amount of cults and/or spin-offs of Christianity in the USA is amazing, from Mormonism over Scientology to Christian Science. Even the national pledge of allegiance is held to "one nation under God" and the US president will frequently conclude his speeches with the phrase "May God bless America." Compared to other Western countries, a large amount of Americans frequently visit their local religious community, pray, believe every word in their religious books literally, and get scared or angry when confronted with someone who merely suggests that Church and State should remain separate. Despite having some Truth in Television, many foreign news casts and documentaries have a tendency to focus on the most extreme pious, intolerant, corrupt, money grabbing, near insane God fearing fundamentalists instead of the average, moderate, non-judgemental church goers. Historically, the United States didn't have a health care system like other democratic Western nations have, so being part of a religious community often used to be the only way to get aid from your local neighborhood during sour times.
    • Only In America: In foreign eyes, Americans seem to have very odd, almost contradictive repressive attitudes towards children, adolescents, and even adults. Owning guns is O.K. Praising the military is wonderful. Watching extremely violent, bloody, and gory films is an innocent pastime. But the mere sight of a bare breast or genitalia is a gigantic Berserk Button, despite the fact that gun violence is more harmful than human nudity. Countless American films, series, and public broadcasts try to discourage people from having premarital sex. Yet, at the same time, American media desperately tries to suggest nudity and sex, but always just shy away from actually showing it. It's almost tempting fate. The subject is so often censored and avoided in the USA that whenever a glimpse of nudity or sex does appear in a film or TV series, it immediately causes excitement and/or controversy. A lot of it hardly bats an eye in Europe, where violence is the most common subject for censorship, especially regarding minors.
      • Another example is the legal drinking age in the U.S.A. of 21 years old compared to the age of 16 in European countries. And again while being one of the biggest beer drinkers in the world who promote 'having a beer with your buddies' constantly in the media!
      • From the South Park episode "I'm A Little Bit Country": "Imagine an entire country founded on saying one thing and then doing the other."
  • Outside the U.S., a stereotypical image of the dumb, fat, lazy, ignorant, self-important, decadent, prudish, and clueless white American exists. Most of these images are based on American fast food culture which has spawned a lot of morbidly obese people. Of course, in foreign countries sitcom characters like Archie Bunker, Al Bundy, Homer Simpson, and Peter Griffin are often seen as representative of the typical American.
    • Americans only guzzle down unhealthy food, including (but not limited to) hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, burritos, deep pan pizzas, barbecue ribs, potato chips and similar crunchy snacks, fried chicken, turkey, chilli, chocolate bars, cookies, doughnuts, ice cream, apple pie and drink either soda, cola, or beer. They only visit snack bars, all night dining restaurants and fast food chains.
    • It really doesn't help that Adam Richman's Man v. Food is widely screened outside the USA and serves to confirm the widely-held notion that a majority of Americans are obese, waddling gutbuckets. Even the standard portion of whatever foodstuff Adam is sampling is vastly spilling-off-the-plate larger than a comparable eatery in, say, Britain, would serve. And Adam himself visibly gains a lot of weight over the course of the series...
  • American Accents and Stock American Phrases: In foreign fiction all Americans speak with a Texan accent and in a nasal brawl. They will use slang expressions like: "hi", "hey", "yeah", "O.K.", "howdy", "cool", "wow", "awesome", "gross",... and I'm like...", "goddamn", "oh my god", "jesus!", ... and words like "buddy", "pal" and "dude". Afro-Americans will speak in jive.
  • Wacky Americans Have Wacky Names: Outside the US, particularly from a UK/AUS point of view, there are names that are thought of as being quintessentially American-esque. Suitably macho, jock names likes "Chad", "Todd", "Brad", etc. for boys, and cutesy names like "Tiffany", "Candy", or "Britney" for girls are great examples, and if Americans are spoofed in media produced outside the US, you can bet a name like the above will be selected. If you tell someone from outside of America that your name is 'Randy', expect raised eyebrows (especially in Britain). Americans are also known for sometimes having rather an ''interesting'' taste in names, often striving for something "unique" rather than traditional — one only has to watch American talk-shows to see guests with names like "Jaxxon", "Sharpay", and "Sharadiant". Even dyed-in-the-wool traditionalist conservatives like Sarah Palin exhibit a penchant for rather strange names, with her children — Bristol, Piper, Track, Willow, and Trig...
  • America Takes Over the World: Thanks to Hollywood, American TV shows and the Internet virtually everybody in the world with access to modern media is familiar with many aspects of American culture, even those who never visited the country in their entire life. To name an example: the USA is the only nation in the world where foreigners may be able to name some of the states, solely because they have heard them mention so often in films and TV series (try to do the same for Australia, Canada, France, England or China and all you get is a blank stare.) Naturally the global dominance of America's aggressive marketing has also caused criticism in other countries. Numerous foreigners fear that American corporations destroy all the authentic and picturesque traditions of their own cultures. Many children and teenagers across the world have picked up American slang expressions like "O.K.", "yeah", "oh my god!" and "cool" in their own everyday speech. Even if they don't speak English! They all gladly embrace American popular culture, merchandising and consumerism and dismiss their own country's traditions as uncool or uninteresting. In some countries like France and Germany there is even a tendency to protect their own language by dubbing all American series and films on TV and forcing radio stations to play a majority of music in their own native tongue. To snobbish people the USA seems to lack any actual art or sophistication and imps centuries behind the cultural traditions of other continents. But how could it be otherwise, they say, if more government spending is used for the military and college sports than the American public school system?. Everything made in U.S.A. seems to be campy, decadent, unoriginal, dumbed down, overcommercialized kitsch only created to serve the ''almighty American dollar''. This image is particularly influenced by the power of huge multinationals like Disney, Coca Cola, Pepsi, McDonald's, General Motors, MTV, Microsoft and Apple who appear to be everywhere. Hollywood and Beverly Hills dominate movie and TV screens and give us dumb and shallow blockbuster movies, campy soap operas and sitcoms with laugh tracks. All American pop music is bland, watered down and appeals to cheap emotions only, without any authentic appeal or artistic vision. The USA seems to have no philosopical or literary tradition of any note, except infantile superhero comics. Literature fans still wait for the Great American Novel to be written. Their culinary tradition is downgraded by their tendency for fast food and soft drinks. If snobbish foreigners really want to point out what makes America's idea of culture so different they tend to point at stuff like Disneyland, Las Vegas, the Playboy mansion, pink limousines, shallow beauty contests and phony award shows. In reality, of course, not all Americans enjoy this stuff. The USA is not even the only country with multinationals or shoddy unsophisticated stuff. And there are enough Americans who have made and endorsed art, education and technology of a more sophisticated and less commercialized nature. Many American film classics are internationally respected for being great works of art. Jazz is widely seen as the truest and most unique American art form and one could argue that even country, blues, rock, soul and hiphop have something authentic and original in their roots. The Great American Novel may not have been written yet, but there have been some strong contenders for that title up to this point.
    • From the Simpsons episode "30 Minutes Over Tokyo", when the family visits an American themed restaurant in Japan
    Waiter:: Don't ask me; I don't know anything! I'm product of American education system. I also build poor-quality cars and inferior-style electronics.
    Homer: [cackles] Oh, they got our number!
    • Foreign audiences associate American media with big budget spectacle. Consider the fact that Hollywood is the only place in the world where millions of dollars are used to make films and TV shows about sensational topics. And mostly because they can export it to the rest of the world, even if fails to make a profit in the U.S. During the first half of the 20th century, westerns were their most succesful international export product. Since the second half of that century, it's mostly blockbuster action movies with long fight sequences, spectacular explosions, and gratuitous bullet rains.
    • American Television Stations: Though most people in the world watch a lot of television, Americans tend to be stereotyped as obsessive TV watchers more often than other countries. Possibly because so many films and TV series are made in the U.S.A., but also because there are so many different channels. It seems as if there's so many airtime to fill that producers just throw in any soap opera, drama series, comedy program, talk show, movie, TV movie, reality show, animated cartoon series, or religious show they can cobble together. Only to have them interrupted by long commercial breaks every seven minutes. The amount of re-runs is staggering and has caused many Americans to know a lot of films and TV episodes by heart.
    • American news programs also come across as very biased and sensationalistic propaganda tools for either the government or the political party in the opposition.
    • Similarly, the tendency towards Americanization also irks many people across the world. Stories of foreign origin are often changed to appeal to an American audience. This in itself isn't that strange — other countries may do it, too — but when the United States does it it usually goes too far. The setting of a foreign story is completely changed to a typical American town so that American audiences won't feel too alienated. Characters will be replaced by typical American everyday men and women who speak in hip slang. If some of the foreign elements are kept they are often reduced to being stereotypes, like, for instance, a Funny Foreigner whose English and strange, exotic manners are obviously out of place compared to our all-American protagonists. In general, the entire tone of the adaptation feels very dumbed down to the lowest common denominator. Subtle touches, authentic atmosphere, meaningful dialogue, controversial elements, political, cultural, and historical references are all removed, because producers assume that most Americans will be unable to understand or handle it. A complex plot will be simplified and the trailers for American audiences will focus more on low-brow comedy, explosions and violent action sequences. What non-Americans tend to oversee is that not all American audiences are in favor of these "Americanized" watered down versions.
    • America and especially Los Angeles are also infamous for loving and celebrating pop culture beyond belief. Theme parks, midnight movies, drive-ins, TV marathons based on a particular film genre, fan clubs, cult classics, geeky fan conventions,... all originated in the US. Americans really enjoy everything that's campy and bizarre, no matter how dumb, shallow, bad, or lousy it might be. People gather around with friends to watch their favorite films or TV episodes for the zillionth time. They will dress up as their favorite fictional characters for Halloween. Hosts of horror movie themed TV shows will present the film of the week in costume. Fans will buy or trade issues or rare bootlegs to add to their proud collection. T-shirts and posters are created around certain artists, characters or quotes. Other countries have started following this phenomenon in recent times, but still the sheer fun and excitement built around celebrating certain franchises, films, TV series, cartoons, comic strips, video games, Internet series, or musical artists can only be experienced full in the US. The only downside of this behaviour is that some people have the impression that Americans live too much in these fake made in Hollywood fantasies and base their entire world view on that.
    • The USA also has a close association with comic strips and animated cartoons. Despite not being the inventor of these media they did popularize and commercialize it globally. The USA has a broad variety in comic book genres, but still Superhero comics are often regarded as the most typical American. Typical in the sense that these superheroes are well known across the globe, but more thanks to movie adaptations than the actual comics, and thus only seem extremely popular in the USA itself. Foreigners will often mock superhero stories for being nothing more than naïve, childish and formulaic tales about some caped crusader with omnious Stock Super Powers, gained from some absurd incident during his youth. The character will typically be running or flying around in a Paper-Thin Disguise and beating up ridiculous supervillains, while shouting badass lines. As usual he will triumph in the end, because, after all, he has super powers, so how could he be beaten? Especially in Europe readers can't relate to these heroic characters and prefer their own, more down to earth comic strips series about everyday people. This also explains why American comic strips and cartoons about identifiable ordinary pitiful losers, such as Peanuts, Donald Duck and The Simpsons have always been far more succesful in Europe.
  • In (beat 'em up) videogames, American fighters (generally) come in one of two flavours, adhering to the distinct types presented by the Eagleland trope: Type 1 examples will often positively portray the all-American hero, and include patriotic, military powerhouse Guile of Street Fighter Fame, who has the Stars & Stripes tattooed to both shoulders, as well as the Hot-Blooded, cheerfully friendly Terry Bogard from The King of Fighters. Felicia from Darkstalkers also (arguably) represents Type 1, being a friendly, caring sort who wants nothing more than to make it big on Broadway.
    • Type 2 examples are more numerous, the most obvious being Rufus of Street Fighter fame, who is morbidly obese, arrogant, very dim, chats absolute crap and has moves with sci-fi names (Galactic Tornado, Space Opera Symphony). Poison, also of Street Fighter (originally Final Fight) fame is very much Type 2, and is presented as overtly sexual, sleazy, sassy, and obsessed with money. In Rival Schools, one of the teams is made up of three American exchange students who sum up Type 2 almost completely; There's Roy, an arrogant, xenophobic Jerkass, Tiffany an outrageously costumed, ditzy cheerleader complete with Valley Girl expressions and pneumatic boobs, and finally Boman — a preacher in training. A good Mixed Flavour Type example is Ken Masters of Street Fighter fame, who is definitely cocky and brash, but is also an honourable person and shown to deeply care about his friends and family.
  • When playing sports: all Americans will be playing Baseball, American Football, or Basketball, usually with some cheerleaders jumping on the side. All these sports originated in the United States and remain far more popular than soccer, which is universally beloved in every country, except in the U.S, where many of the worlds' most iconic soccer players are almost obscure.
  • If you have to emphasize that you're in the United States, don't forget to reference the following clichés: the bald eagle, apple pie, baseball, basketball, American football, a ticker-tape parade, corn, (Thanksgiving) turkeys, skyscrapers, prairies, coyotes, canyons, the Star Spangled Banner, Mount Rushmore, The White House, the Statue of Liberty, the Hollywood sign, Jazz, Blues, Bluegrass, Gospel Music, Country Music, Frank Sinatra, Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis Presley, Hip Hop, a fast food chain (preferably McDonald's), Coca Cola, large cars driving over deserted roads, hamburgers, hot dogs, cowboys, Native Americans, and Mickey Mouse.

African-Americans
  • Old stereotypes show them as slaves, working in cotton fields and singing bluesy songs. If they are a bit better off they are portrayed as servants, butlers, cooks, shoe shiners, or ''Mammy'' maids. They enjoy eating watermelons and/or chickens or playing dice games. Typical for those times they are depicted as being lazy, dumb, superstitious, primitive, or overly submissive ("Yes suh, no ma'm") to their white superiors and scared of ghosts. If a black character is joyful, he is usually an Uncle Tom or Uncle Remus type of character.
  • Modern stereotypes depict them as either being jazz musicians, gospel or Doowop choir singers, baptists with loud and punctuated speech, basketball players, dancers, stand-up comics, rappers, soul singers with large Afro-hair, gang members, pimps, and prostitutes. They always talk in jive and are usually cool and sassy.
  • Throughout most of the 19th and 20th century, the USA was depicted in foreign popular culture as a place where all white men were racists and/or members of the Ku Klux Klan who oppressed or lynched black people. Often the American president himself would be depicted as a white "nigger-hating" asshole. In more recent times, this idea has died out, save for occassional news stories about white Police Brutality against black people and getting away with it without legally being persecuted. Foreigners still have the impression it's tough to be black in the USA, but it doesn't seem as awful as it was before 1964.
    • A more surprising notion for people outside the USA is that Afro-Americans are still a minority in the USA. They only take up about 12% of the general population! From watching American films and TV series one gets the wrong impression that there are about as much Afro-Americans as white people in the USA.

Native Americans
  • Historically, they have been called "Indians", a word that is still used outside the U.S.A. In the United States themselves, the word is no longer considered politically correct and they are referred to as "Native Americans or American Indians."
  • In previous centuries, The Savage Indian was a common stereotype, fed by the 18th and 19th century Western idea that they were basically violent and primitive savages who just needed to be wiped from the country they lived in for centuries. Buffalo Bill 's Wild West shows and countless westerns have also cemented this image inside people's heads. The standard script depicts them as follows. When The Natives Are Restless, they will start pounding a large drum and dig up their tomahawks. After mounting their mustangs, they attack every stagecoach, covered wagon, or fortress in the neighborhood. They shoot arrows or throw tomahawks at their victims all while ululating by putting one hand in front of their mouth (something real life Native American tribes never did, but was introduced by Buffalo Bill's shows). When they capture "palefaces", they either scalp them right away or take them to their Tipis And Totempoles village first. There they will tie them up against their totem pole and dance around the pole afterwards. When that is over and done with, they will take turns in throwing tomahawks at their tied up prisoner to test his courage. After that, they will scalp him of flay him alive.
    • However, most of the time they are shown being far more incompetent. They have a tendency to drive too close to the white settlers only to be easily shot off their horses or fortress walls to die in dramatic poses. Even when they sneak up an unsuspecting victim, they will still blow it by ululating loudly before they can actually kill him. Usually, the white men will hand them some "firewater", which the Natives will consume in great quantities, rendering them drunk afterwards.
    • Brown Face: Another racist stereotype is the image of the "redskin". In comics, cartoons, and illustrations, Native Americans will all have a dark red skin. In the years before political correctness came in, even Caucasian actors have portrayed Native Americans by painting their own skin red.
  • All Native Americans speak Tonto Talk in a deep voice, while mentioning words and phrases like "How", "Ugh", "Um", "white men", "pale face", "brother", "ancestors", "many moons ago", "Big Chief", "pale face speak double talk",...at least once a sentence. They all have names where a state of character is combined with the name of an animal, plant, or something other nature-related. For instance: Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse,... The only tribes that seem to exist in popular culture are Apache, Cherokee, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Comanche, Blackfoot, and Sioux.
  • A more positive depiction of Native Americans that became the norm since the 1960s is the Noble Savage or Magical Native American, all of them badass. They will be Perfect Pacifist People who prefer smoking the Peace Pipe and signing peace treaties with white men. Unfortunately, they are usually the victim of the white man's greed and colonialism. Often they live in such harmony with nature that they only kill as many buffaloes they need and not a single one more. Usually will provide the foolish white man with a Green Aesop about nature and the danger of destroying the environment. This image has become so strong that they are often used in environmental messages, like the Crying Indian.
  • Other stereotypical images are Indian women carrying their papoose ("child") in a bag on their back, indian maidens and The Chief's Daughter falling in love with a white prisoner, thus saving his life. When Native Americans make friends, they perform a Blood Brothers act. All communication is done by sending smoke signals to one another. When they travel, it's usually by horse or canoe.
  • In popular culture, Native Americans are virtually a historical artifact. Stories set in the modern age hardly show them, except as proprietors of Native American Casinos. Those who aren't are poor, live in reservations, and are either alcoholics, diabetics, or both.
  • Native American characters also show up a good deal in beat 'em ups, and are almost without exception presented as being nature-loving, spiritual, calm, and dressed in the archetypal attire. Examples include the towering Thunder Hawk of Street Fighter, Michelle and Julia from Tekken, and Nightwolf from Mortal Kombat.

American West
  • Hawaii: Pretty girls with long black hair, coconut bras, and grass skirts who enjoy hula dancing and put flower garlands ("leis") over every tourist's shoulders. The island has a very relaxed atmosphere with parties ("luaus") and people drinking soft drinks while wearing Hawaiian shirts, surfing, and playing the ukelele. There are also a lot of pineapples, Tiki statues, and pigs roasted at the beaches. And, of course, the word "Aloha" most be mentioned or sung at least once!.
  • California: A state where liberal-thinking people live in the sun, near the beach. California also has a strange universal attraction for people outside the state to either visit or move to the place. In the 19th century, the "gold rush" motivated many fortune seekers to move here. During the 1960s, all hippies wanted to travel to San Francisco. Every child in the world wants to visit Anaheim because of Disneyland and every aspiring actor of director dreams of making it big in Hollywood.
    • San Francisco is best known for its streetcars, Golden Gate Bridge, the Transamerica pyramid, Star Fleet Headquarters, wineries, Silicon Valley, earthquakes, homosexuals, and hippies.
    • Horrible Hollywood and It Came from Beverly Hills: Los Angeles is universally famous for Hollywood, palm trees on both sides of the road, Beverly Hills and its Silicon Valley.note  In popular culture, it will always seem as if everyone is busy making movies there. Indeed, many film crews just make their pictures in Los Angeles, with the result that even if it's not explicitly stated as being in Hollywood the anytown USA will still be recognizably L.A. You have the succesful A-movie stars who are just as rich as they are arrogant and narcissistic. They all live in huge secluded mansions with a private chauffeur, jet, tennis court, and swimming pool. There they lead a decadent lifestyle full of expensive parties with drug-induced orgies. Either they have a Happy Marriage Charade for the press and public or add their umpteenth divorce on the list. Their only genuine ambition is winning an(other) Oscar and getting even richer. Especially those who have been in show business too long seem to have lost all sense of realism or normality. When they appear in public they wear sunglasses and try to put on a charade by keeping a fixated fake smile at all times and laugh in an equally fake way about the most mondane things. Older actors and actresses will reminsce about their glory days, yet are lucky if they get a bit part in a new movie nowadays because they are old, ugly, and almost forgotten. Virtually all of them have had some Magic Plastic Surgery at one point, which may lead to an Uncanny Valley Nightmare Face. The rest of the city is populated with aspiring unknowns who dream of becoming a Hollywood star, yet are still obscure losers who struggle to make ends meet. At best they will end up in a low-budget porn movie or B-movie with bad special effects. A sleazy Corrupt Corporate Executive will exploit naïve actresses by showing them his Casting Couch. He won't have a dime for a creative, original script, but is happy to pump millions of dollars into a bland, dumb,unrealistic blockbuster full of clichés and platitudes that nevertheless provide audiences with lots of A-list celebrity stars and a satisfying happy end. If someone's script is accepted, it will still be victim of Executive Meddling.
    • The San Fernando Valley is best known as a heaven for surfers. It's full of dumb bikini-clad blondes (Valley Girl) or equally brainless surfer dudes who all speak a specific slang ("Whoa, that's like, totally radical, dude!") made universally popular by MTV's Spring Breaks.
    • Apart from that Los Angeles is also infamous for police helicopters flying everywhere, earthquakes, mudslides, wildfires and huge riots that put whole neighbourhoods on fire. The irony that the fake illusions of Hollywood are made here is not lost on foreigners.
  • Oregon has an Unknown Rival relationship with California. Apart from the standard Californian stereotypes, Oregonians stereotype Californians as rich, snobby carpetbaggers who can't drive properly and raise property taxes. Interestingly, the two states have roughly the same values politically, both being reliable blue states in any presidential election. Oregon would probably argue that it has the real environmentalists while California only has the slick poseur versions. Splitters!
  • When the rest of the country remembers the Pacific Northwest, they they usually associate it with never-ending rainfall, hippies, environmentalism, hipsters, and (in the case of Seattle) grunge.
  • New Mexico is lucky to be considered part of the Union at all, most of the time it's kind of off to the side and gets awkward looks from everyone else.
    • Truth in Television: The state's tourist magazine runs a monthly column called "One of Our Fifty Is Missing," for readers to report real-world encounters with others who honestly don't know that New Mexico is a state, leading for example to requests to show a New Mexico passport, etc. One of these was an experience recounted by a former governor of New Mexico.
    • New Mexico is further known for being a former testing ground for atomic bombs and a military top secret base where the government hides extraterrestrial aliens ever since the 1947 Roswell incident. In reality, the only aliens the local authorities fight are illegal immigrants from over the Mexican border.
    • Also well known for Albuquerque, where Bugs Bunny should have made a left turn, or more recently, where Walter White ran a drug empire.
  • Arizona is The Wild West. It's extremely hot here, enough to melt a snow cone in Phoenix. All rural and the population consists of outlaws, Cowboy Cops, and bartenders. Anybody who tries to enter from the south will be shot on sight.
  • Utah: See Mormonism, because nobody knows or mentions anything else about this state besides its Salt Lake or, for older people, the The Osmonds. Basically, Utah is stereotyped as some kind of weird Mormon theocracy and a de facto foreign country on U.S. soil. Polygamy, which the Mormon church endorsed until 1890, is a case of Never Live It Down.
    30 Rock's Jack Donaghy: "I thought by now you'd be someplace that U.S. law couldn't touch you, like Bali or Utah."
  • Colorado has something of a duality. On the one hand, there's Colorado Springs, aka the Vatican City of Protestant fundamentalism where everyone owns a gun and lives in the mountains. On the other, there's Boulder and the ski towns, home of the Granola Girl, the New-Age Retro Hippie and, for the latter, rich celebrities making a second home, all of them snowboarding and getting high. And if you're from Denver or (especially) its suburbs, you're either a Badass Longcoat who's thinking about shooting up the school or the movie theater, or ducking and covering to get away. Eastern Colorado, of course, does not exist.
    • Post-2012, when marijuana was legalized for retail sale, everyone smokes it freely and openly.
  • Nevada: Best known for Las Vegas and all the degenerate and decadent stuff that can be found there. Stuff that is illegal elsewhere in the USA is legal here, including gambling and prostitution note . In popular culture the place is both portrayed as a place of fun, as well as a shallow and degrading hangover afterwards. It's known for cheap and quick weddings, Elvis impersonators, and washed-up former stars who perform kitschy shows there for nostalgic audiences before they finally croak. Since it was founded by mobsters expect some shady businesspeople, mafiosi, drug dealers, drug users, pimps and prostitutes to appear here too. The rest of Nevada, apart from the Poor Man's Vegas in Reno and hundreds of hotels and motels, may as well be labeled "Here There Be Aliens."
  • Everyone in Idaho lives in a potato field, Boise, or Deliverance country (where everyone is part of the Ku Klux Klan or the Aryan Nation).
  • Montana is generally portrayed as having nothing but vegetarians/vegans, survivalists, libertarian psychos, and militia nuts. Geography includes nothing but mountains, forests, and national parks, with towns and cities all isolated as a result. Within Montana, people from Missoula are pot-smoking pansexual hippies, people from Bozeman just moved there from California/Colorado/Washington and are trying to subvert Montana's tradition of Rugged Individualism, and eastern Montana is a frozen wasteland full of Norwegian Lutherans (in other words, North Dakota). Oh yeah, and Hannah Montana lives here, as well.
    • Another popular stereotype is Montana having an extremely low population density; except for a few cities here and there, it's miles and miles and miles of empty rolling plains.
  • There are, of course, no stereotypes of people from Wyoming since no one lives there. Well, maybe there are cowboys in the mountains but that's about it. The only reference in popular culture will be Yellowstone National Park where geisers, bears, rangers, redwoods and forest fires are everywhere.
    Garfield: There's no such place as Wyoming. Think about it. Have you ever met anyone from Wyoming?

American Midwest
  • Apparently, a lot of people think that North Dakota is a frozen wasteland with less than five people and not one of them has seen an ATM before. At least our banks aren't failing. North Dakotans also have a reputation as heavy drinkers, which is largely Truth in Television (as of this edit, we have the highest per capita alcohol consumption rate in the nation). Rowdy oil roustabouts who couldn't find work back home live here. Many of the stereotypes traditionally associated with Minnesota also apply to North Dakota.
  • South Dakota is famous for Mount Rushmore... and features nothing else. It doesn't matter how you drive into the state; it'll always be the first thing you come across. The rest of it is pine trees, highways, and wasteland. In truth, eastern South Dakota has the overflow crowd of Norwegian Lutherans, for a lot of it.
  • Kansas is apparently where rationality, science, and fun are all burned alive for witchcraft. It used to be just that big flat area people hurried through to get to the Rockies. The rest of the world knows it for the song Kansas City and the black-and-white scenes of The Wizard of Oz. Comic book fans know it as the residence of Clark Kent.
  • Arkansas is commonly confused with Kansas due to the name's similarity. Home of the Little Rock Nine, a group of African American students who were initially unable to attend the city's central high school due to their colour.
  • Missouri... actually, no one cares about Missouri. Except for every few years in October. Or if you're a meth addict. Frowning is a state sport and no one ever wants to come back here. It's mostly remembered for Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. If you live in an adjacent state (other than possibly Arkansas), you think the southern part (south of I-44 if you're generous, south of I-70 if you're not) is populated mainly by hillbillies; if you're from further away, you probably think that about the whole state.
  • Minnesota: Minnesotans are seen either as hicks with snow instead of rusted-out cars, or pleasant, blonde suburbanites always willing to help you, if you don't want to (see Minnesota Nice). Either way, likely to be depicted as socially conservative but politically liberal, closer to earth Good Old Boy types, all of whom are Lutheran and Swedish. See Ole and Lena.
    • Another popular stereotype is that Minnesotan winters are the coldest, harshest, most brutal winters in the nation, freezing the entire state solid.
  • Iowans like corn! Because corn is nice.
    • Des Moines, Iowa: the reason why Bill Bryson left town and came to England, making a rep as a famous travel writer, journalist, and occassional TV presenter. Without actually saying so, he implies the cloying crushing boredom of his home town and native state was the biggest single prompt to him to get up and go as far away as possible.
  • Nebraskans still drive covered wagons, live on farms, and raise corn and cows. They are also rabid Cornhusker fans, loving the team even more than their own families.
  • Depending on what part of Michigan you're from, you're either a crazy black mugger (Detroit/Flint/Pontiac area), a tree hugger (Grand Rapids), a rich snobby Jew (West Bloomfield), a rich snobby WASP (the rest of Oakland County, save Pontiac, which see above, plus Grosse Pointe), a rich snobby foodie tree hugger (Ann Arbor), a stern Calvinist fundamentalist (Holland and the rest of West Michigan), an Archie Bunker-type white Ronald Reagan Democrat who lost your job on the line (Monroe County, Downriver, much of Lansing area), or a hick who does nothing other than hunt (anywhere north of the Saginaw-Muskegon line). And don't forget da Yoopers: still a hunting hick, but with a cool accent and pasties, ya?
    • Detroit is best known for two things: its status as the Motor City, where cars and motors are made, and as the birthplace of Motown.
  • Illinois: People are apparently either stuck-up, hypocritical, politically corrupt snobs with a Chicaaagaa drawl, or they're murderous gangsters ('20s or modern, take your pick). During the heydays of Michael Jordan it was internationally known for the Chicago Bulls basketball team. And they'll advertise the fact that Abraham Lincoln lived in Springfield, Illinois before his presidency constantly...
  • "Hi, we're visiting Ohio!" "...Why?" This especially applies to Cleveland.
  • Indiana: The Three Kinds of Indiana: hicks who could've been from Alabama if they weren't wearing snowboots and a winter coat; whitebread Everytown, America-ish suburbanites (particularly around Indianapolis and the Chicagoland region); and Inner City Indiana, for which the exemplar is Gary, Indiana, AKA the Armpit of America, where the chemical factories and steel mills release a putrid perfume for all to smell and where the cops will beat the crap out of you, cite you for marijuana possession... and proceed to smoke it right in your face. But to the rest of the world, Indiana is associated with Indiana Jones' first name and the Indianapolis 500 race. Most recently the state has passed a breathtakingly regressive law which grants business owners the right of conscience to refuse to serve customers whose lifestyles and opinions offend them; this has been taken up avidly by those who believe gay people are an offence against God. Reasonable Indianans are appalled by this, and the state has attracted international approbrium as well as losing contracts from large businesses who are now unwilling to relocate there because of the bad publicity.
  • Wisconsin: Beer, cheese, beer cheese, bratwursts, cows, beer, cranberries, beer, the Brewers, the Badgers, the Packers (treated as a publicly-owned state religion), and (if you're really with it) Summerfestnote . That's it. Oh, and Germans. LOTS of Germans. And beer. Oh yaaah, and all dose women who come from Wisconsin in the media will always be a middle-aged housewife who speaks wit' a Scandahoovian accent, don'chaknow? Oh You'betcha!
    • Minnesota may have the stereotype of being frozen solid during the winter, but compiled weather data reveals that Madison and Milwaukee rank as the 1st and 4th coldest major cities in the entire country. 2 and 3 are respectively Anchorage, Alaska, and Minneapolis, Minnesota. IT IS #&@^ING COLD HERE!

American South
  • Deep South: The American South is often depicted as the most rural part of the USA. There are supposedly no cities with modern facilities, just miles of farmland or steep, backwoods, forested mountainsides with here and there a tiny rural town. Either that or cotton fields. The Mississippi River is usually not very far off too and a river boat may pass by, if you're not attacked by an alligator or surprised by The Great Flood. Typical animals in these regions are skunks and opossums. Everybody here either lives on a farm, in a trailer or in a wooden house with a front porch. All people live In Harmony with Nature and enjoy the simple life, still stuck in the days of The American Civil War and/or The Great Depression.
  • If the American South is portrayed in a positive light it will be because of a Call to Agriculture. The region will be portrayed as a romanticized area where you can enjoy the simple life in and on a farm or a mansion with a plantation. There are lots of opportunities go out fishing, walk in the woods or drive in a pick-up truck past the cotton fields and listen to local Jazz, Blues, Cajun, Zydeco, Bluegrass, Folk Music and/or Country Music artists. These images are cultivated in stories like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Uncle Remus stories, Gone with the Wind, Li'l Abner, Pogo, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Dukes of Hazzard, Forrest Gump, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and virtually all Americana folk music from the 19th century until halfway the 1950s. You may even encounter an intelligent redneck here.
  • The Savage South, Southern Gothic and Lovecraft Country: If the South is portrayed in a negative light it will be a setting for crime and horror stories. There may be an abandoned Haunted House (The Amityville Horror) where some axe and/or chainsaw murder took place (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, In Cold Blood). Something may be lurking in the swamp (Creature from the Black Lagoon) or local villagers are out to get you in some other way (Deliverance, The Hills Have Eyes). Even in the less fantastical works the South is the place where people will have to use all their wits, faith and will power to fight against a hostile population or the entire local legal system for that matter (To Kill A Mocking Bird, Inherit the Wind, The Crucible, In the Heat of the Night,Cool Hand Luke,...). It's also popularly associated with bankrobbers, con-artists or escaped chain gang criminals on the run (Bonnie and Clyde, Paper Moon, Dillinger, The Defiant Ones, I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang,...)
  • Typically, all white people are stereotyped as primitive, slow-witted and uneducated gap toothed slack-jawed yokel rednecks and hillbillies. They all have double names (Billy Bob, Mary Lou) or biblical names (Ezechiel, Jebediah) and are very religious. All of them are Republican voting good ol' boys who don't believe in the evolution theory, yet see UFOs everywhere. Everybody is still frustrated that they lost the Civil War, yet confident that The South Will Rise Again. They hang out the Confederate Flag, deny the Afro-American Civil Rights Movement ever happened and wish slavery was still in effect. Some of them are ugly and stupid as a result of inbreeding and fancy their cousins.
  • There are several types of Southern white stereotypes:
    • 1) The dirt poor farmer (Pa) who lives together with a disciplinary Apron Matron (Ma), a Southern Belle daughter whom he'll protect at all times and only give away in a Shotgun Wedding. He might have a grandmother who smokes a corncob pipe and has a shotgun. Inbreeding is rampant with Kissing Cousins and all, which has contributed to their ugly looks and stupidity. They will do nothing besides sit around in a rocking chair all day, chew and spit tobacco, drink Hillbilly Moonshiner liquor from a jug, play banjo and stare menacingly at every stranger passing by with the words: "We don't like what y'r doin' here, strangyur". Whenever they feel threatened- or if something moves in their vicinity - they will reach out for their handgun and shoot. Or they just call out for an old-fashioned lynching. Sometimes they may have a centuries old feud with some other family. If they enlist in the army they'll be a Southern-Fried Private.
    • 2) The corrupt, racist, xenophobic, pot bellied sherrif in Sinister Shades who supposedly obeys the law, yet informs everybody: We do things our own way here. This typically involves having no trials or one where a Simple Country Lawyer and/or a Hanging Judge who will invariably chose the side of the sherrif and sentence you to heavy fines or a lynching by hanging. All his prisoners are typically Working on the Chain Gang alongside the road.
    • 3) The even more Corrupt Hick Fat, Sweaty Southerner in a White Suit who lives on a plantation. He is constantly dabbing himself with a handkerchief or uses a fan for the same purpose. Typically he smokes a cigar, uses a cane and/or controls the local town. He has put all his brothers and cousins in high governmental positions. At night he is a closet Ku Klux Klan member. Can be a charming and sophisticated, yet arrogant and untrustworthy Southern Gentleman too.
    • 4) A fire-and-brimstone preacher who is staunchly conservative, judgemental and intolerant. He believes every word in the Bible literally, denounces the evolution theory and will engage in exorcisms, magical healings, river baptisms and stuff that is a mix between fraud and superstition. Is either Baptist or Pentecostal and will be supported by Moral Guardians and frightened locals.
  • Of course, there are black people in the South too. In outdated popular culture they are still treated as second-rate citizens, work in conditions that are supisciously close to slavery and will frequently be lynched by Ku Klux Klan members. Stereotypes still in fashion to this day portray black Southerners as loud preachers who punctuate their speech and engage in Gospel Music singing. Or they'll be blues guitarists who went to the crossroads to sell their soul to the devil in exchange for their talent. Or Jazz artists playing in a local brass band.
  • Louisiana is a subset of the Georgia/Alabama/Mississippi Deliverance country, except everybody speaks French patois and may be a Ragin' Cajun. And there's New Orleans. New Orleans is drunk and debauched (or was destroyed by hurricane Katrina) and will mostly be filled with jazz bands and sleazy people. Occasionally, a traditional Mississippi river boat will pass by. Expect hurricanes or floods to regularly destroy everything in its vicinity. Alligators inhabit every lake.
  • People from Tennessee are either hillbillies who play banjos and sleep with their cousins, typical fat Deep South rednecks, or murderous inner-city thugs who will beat you up, steal your wallet, and shank you with a knife if they think you might have more than $5 on you. The hillbillies are all on meth, the rednecks are all drunk, and the gangstas guzzle codeine cough syrup by the quart. The exceptions are Nashville, which is populated entirely with country musicians, and Graceland, which is filled with Elvis freaks.
  • West Virginia is considered an acceptable target even by the most politically correct people out there. According to the rest of America, West Virginians are all uneducated, white trash, racist, dirt poor, toothless, shoeless, gun-toting hillbillies who eat raccoons and have moonshine running through their veins. The state pastimes include hunting squirrels and having sex with their cousins, then letting their inbred offspring drive when they're two-years-old.
  • Texas: Howdy Y'all! Everyone in Texas is a gun-toting, horse-riding cowboy who eats nothing but gigantic steaks and huge bowls of chilli, drinks nothing but gigantic servings of beer (Shiner, Lone Star, or Budweiser if you have it), whiskey, and tequila, and drives a gigantic pickup truck. They all wear big cowboy hats, carry lassos, and attend rodeos every evening. Houston is home to the Space Center, where a problem might be informed and San Antonio is historically remembered for the Alamo. TV watchers world wide also know it for oil-bearing ranches, as depicted in Dallas, the same city where John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
    • Everything Is Big in Texas: Texas is associated with gigantic beers, steaks, pickup trucks, cowboy hats and guns. Even the stories that people tell here are so exaggarated that they have earned a special name: tall tales. The most famous tall tale character Paul Bunyan is even a giant!
  • Mississippi: Everyone who lives in Mississippi is poor, morbidly obese with a heart condition, and lives in an old-fashioned one-floor house next to the Mississippi River.
  • Oklahoma!: Everyone who lives in Oklahoma is either a proud Native American living in a teepee, or a dumb-as-rocks hillbilly living in a trailer wondering why the "ternaders" always blow his house away. The rest of the world knows it for the eponymous musical Oklahoma!.
  • Florida. 98% of Americans think Florida's history began with the invention of air conditioning,note  the Panhandle is the only part of the state that is possibly south of the Mason-Dixon line, Miami-Dade is part of Cuba, not the United States, and the state's population doubles the day the first snowflake falls north of the Mason-Dixon line. Also, ask more than 99% of Americans what the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in North America is, and the answer will not be St. Augustine. In fact, the only things Florida is known for worldwide are Disney World, Cape Canaveral, MTV Spring Breaks, drunk & half nude college students, beach babes in bikini, Palm Beach, The Everglades, frequent hurricanes and alligators. And admit it: we've all noticed porn movies from companies like Brazzers, Bang Bros., Reality Kings, and Girls Gone Wild are all based in Miami, Florida (what else would you be watching in these films?)
    • Only in Florida and Only In Miami: Also a popular location for action packed stories involving cops, detectives, drug dealers, illegals, terrorists and aliens. Even in Real Life the most weird news stories all seem to hail from this state, if it's not from the American South in general.
  • Kentucky is known for bluegrass musicians, tobacco, horse racing, bourbon, college basketball, Fort Knox, the annual Kentucky horse race and of course, its famous fried chicken.
  • Virginia overall is seen (by those who are even aware that Virginia and West Virginia are separate states) as the reddest of the red states, inhabited solely by Pat Robertson, George Allen, Ken Cuccinelli, and Eugene Delgaudio. This also plays into the divide between Northern Virginia and the rest of the state.
  • Delaware: (in monotone) "Hi. We're from... Delaware."
  • Depending on what show you're watching, Washington, DC is populated entirely by either (1) high-ranking administration officials and corrupt national politicians or, (2) military service members and federal government workers, or (3) shameless corporate lobbyists on K Street and various corrupt defense contractors or, (4) the News Media (5) MPD officers, drug kingpins, and corrupt municipal politicians. Either way, it is obligatory for depictions of local geography to be horribly wrong, and everything is the exact opposite of whatever the writer considers to be good and just. Also, version (i) of D.C. has absolutely no long-term residents.
    • No matter where you go, you can always see the Capitol, TheWhiteHouse, UsefulNotes/ThePentagon, or the Washington Monument. And the Lincoln Monument will make a cameo as well. Other architectural cameos will be made by the Smithsonian Institute.
      • The American President is a stereotype in itself. When actual presidents aren't directly referenced themselves a standard version of the American President will be used. Democratic Presidents will be portrayed as an Expy of John F. Kennedy. Republican Presidents are usually portrayed as an Expy of Richard Nixon and/or Ronald Reagan. Invariably they all look up to Abraham Lincoln. In American fiction the President will always be a good, decent man who cares about his people. He may have some flaws, but they only make him human and don't diminish his heroic stature. In foreign fiction the portrayals tend to be more cynical and show him as either a bumbling imbecilic fool, a closet racist or a corrupt, war mongering lunatic. Or he is just a puppet in hands of his Vice President, the Minister of Defense, the CIA or the FBI. In either way he will be involved in all kinds of shady conspiracy theories which plan the overthrowal of foreign regimes that disobey Washington's orders by organizing new wars to please the American gun lobby. All the President wants to do is push the red button and nuke the world to smithereens. Typically all his government meetings take place in the Oval Office or the Pentagon and without any interference or approval from the House of Congress. Apart from political and economical mayhem he may also have extra-marital affairs with his secretaries or other women. In America itself negative portrayals of the American President occur more in direct satirical attacks of a specific real life president, usually from the viewpoint of people from the opposite political ideology.
    • Seattle, Washington is known for computers, the Space Needle and the grunge movement.
  • Georgia will always be treated as a backwards hicktown that is extremely white and extremely intolerant (see the 30 Rock episode "Stone Mountain"). This is despite the fact that its capital, Atlanta, is 54% black, home to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and some of the most high-tech medical/biohazard facilities in the world, and actually has the 3rd highest population of LGBT people in the U.S. (behind San Francisco and Seattle). It's known as the home town of Coca Cola and the Atlanta Airport. But at least since Ray Charles, it is "always on our mind".
  • Alabama is best known for being the state where cowboys ride "with a banjo on their knee", the song "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the homeplace of Forrest Gump. On a more negative note, it's also the home state of the Ku Klux Klan and many furious race riots in the past. Also famous for the city of Montgomery, where Rosa Parks's refusal to give up her bus seat to a racist white man notably set off the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
  • North Carolina. Best known for the export of cotton and tobacco. Cape Hatteras is known as "the graveyeard of the Atlantic" because of the huge amount of ships that sank there. Cape Fear is infamous because of the thriller Cape Fear. Kitty Hawk is remembered as the area where the Wright Brothers made their first flight.
  • South Carolina: Charleston is known for inspiring the dance style charleston.

American Northeast
  • New Jersey is full of corrupt politicians, organized crime, industrial pollution, ill-behaved Italians, Stepford Suburbia, and emo teens. It also has Vegas East—better known as Atlantic City. (Don't forget what's left of your wallet when you leave.)
  • New Yorkers: Rude, loud, thieves, gangsters, snobbish, empty headed, any stereotype you can fit with Italians/Jews/*enter other classic New York immigrant here*, and at worst, liberal demons. And yes, this accounts for those who live in Upstate New York as well. Even the Amish.
    • Don't go to Harlem either, 'cause Afro-American gangs will either threaten you, mug you, shoot you, or just show off their rapping and break dancing skills.
    • In Hollywood films and TV series, New York City is always the most prominent target for giant monster attacks, Brooklyn Rage, ghosts that need to be busted, turtles living in sewers, alien invasions, environmental disasters, or science fiction wars. In fact: if a story has to take place somewhere other than Everytown, America, it will always be New York City. Despite being something of The Big Rotten Apple in popular culture...
    • When in New York, make sure that you show the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Central Park, Broadway, Wall Street, The New York Stock Exchange, Times Square, the UN Headquarters, Brooklyn Bridge, King Kong or Woody Allen. Play "New York, New York" by Frank Sinatra on the soundtrack. Mention at least once it's "the city that never sleeps." Whenever the Statue of Liberty is shown, it's often in a historical setting with immigrants arriving by ship in the harbour. And of course skyscrapers can be seen everywhere.
    • New York City has five boroughs, namely the Bronx (where Hip Hop was born and the Bronx Zoo can be visited), Brooklyn (historically an immigrant neighbourhood, full of Brooklyn Rage), Manhattan (cultural and economic heart of town, exemplified by Times Square, Wall Street and cultural icons like Broadway and several museums.), Queens (which is like Brooklyn, but bigger, with fewer hipsters and more Mets fans) and Staten Island (which would be welcomed into New Jersey if it were even one iota less repulsive).
    • Irish-Americans are also thought of with much suspicion in Great Britain as a bunch of ignorant dolts with a chip on their shoulder about The Irish Question whose dollars in donation to Northern Irish "charities" subsidized the most murderous Irish terrorist groups for nearly thirty years and kept them in bombs and bullets.
    • Although after 9/11, when the USA was itself the victim of a terrorist attack, donations to Irish terrorists from North American sources dried up overnight — the penny had finally dropped about what terrorism does and people were less willing to inflict this on others, even on the Brits.
  • Rhode Island has the worst drivers in America, coffee addicts (Dunkin' Donuts to be exact), cannot give directions, think a 45-minute drive is a daylong trip, and have the most corrupt government that you'd ever see... it'd make Tony Soprano stand in awe. They also have an inferiority complex with Massachusetts, especially pertaining to their big colleges (RI's Brown and MA's Harvard). Too bad Massachusetts already has its own inferiority complex for New York and hasn't really noticed.
  • Pennsylvania is known as the hometown of religious groups like Quakers and the Amish. Apart from that they have a strong link with their historical past:
    • Philadelphia is famous being the hometown of Boston born Benjamin Franklin, the cracked Liberty Bell, Philadelphia Soul and the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art where Rocky made his famous victorious pose. Philadelphians are known for being cheesesteak eaters.
    • Pittsburgh is known for its many bridges and steel buildings. It also has a lot of Polish immigrants.
    • Gettysburg is known for the 1863 battle and Abraham Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address speech.
  • Maine: We have lobsters, moose, lighthouses, and beaches, some of which are more rock than sand. For the most part, Maine exists as one big tourist attraction, and the idea that it still exists in the winter is an idea limited solely to skiers and natives. For the rest of New England, Maine is Yankee redneck country. And if you see even the slightest thing out of the ordinary... run. Run as far away as quickly as your legs can take you.
    • There's also trees. Lots and lots and lots of trees. It's called the "Pine Tree State" for a reason. The state flower is even the pine cone, which isn't even a flower.
  • Maryland: Maryland is where government employees who work in DC live or retire too (always Maryland, never Virginia.... the closer they are to the conspiracy, the better) and is full of nothing but Catholics (it was founded as the only Catholic colony and is home to the oldest Archdiocese in the United States). Baltimore is usually seen as a run down town where you'll be shot. Marylanders all over are obsessed with Orioles Baseball, Raven's Football, and eating blue crabs with Old Bay. Generally its were the government hides top secret things related to aliens and conspiracies when they want to keep it closer than Nevada and New Mexico. The parts east of the Chesapeake Bay and North of West Virgina never get mentioned.
  • Massachusetts: Massachusetts: full of rich, pretentious WASP Harvard graduates who hate Yale University, or loud, obnoxious, drunken Irish-Americans... and sometimes both. Have a bit of an inferiority complex with New York, especially pertaining to sports teams. Dislikes EVERYBODY ELSE ON THE LIST (except the Irish or British, depending on social class), occasionally giving an exception to other New Englanders. The MIT nerd is sometimes seen. The Boston Brahmins are often seen as being socially liberal, as they crusaded against slavery, drinking, and segregation, in addition to being the first state to legalize gay marriage. This is seen as genuine care, while California is thought of holding these views superficially (along with everything else).
    • Massachusetts is also well-known for its historical events. From the Mayflower landing near Plymouth Rock in 1620, to the Salem witch trials, the 1775 Battle of Lexington which sparked the US War of Independence and the 1776 Boston Tea Party.
    • Boston is known as the birth place of Useful Notes/Benjamin Franklin and known for the 1770 Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere's midnight ride and the annual Boston Marathon.
  • Vermont: Either ice cream and maple syrup or the Oregon of the east. Take your pick. Also, apparently the "moonlight in/on Vermont" is quite a sight, according to some songs.
  • Connecticut: Had you actually bothered to learn that Connecticut is a real place on the map, you would probably think of its people as rich, snobby Rockefeller Republican Yalies who hate Harvard. Preppy style clothing is frighteningly common, especially among the baby boomer generation. The only entertainment available here is the local library and college sports.
  • New Hampshire: Libertarians who sell alcohol at highway rest stops (in stores operated by the state, no less) and don't require you to wear your seat belt while in a car. Live free or die note , indeed. Traditionally also the first state to held primary elections every four years in the process of choosing the delegates to the Democratic and Republican national conventions which choose the party nominees for the presidential elections. They also used to be known for a rock formation that appeared to be the jagged profile of a human face when viewed from the north: The Old Man of the Mountain, but it collapsed in 2003 due to centuries of freezing and thawing.