The trope covers two major things: that someone cannot distinguish one Asian culture from another, and then shoehorned in is the notion that people have issue telling Asian individuals apart from one another. I really think that should be a separate trope (All Asians Look Alike, possibly?). For one, it gets used very differently. The former usually is a case of Did Not Do The Research or They Just Didn't Care (sometimes in-universe, but most often it's a result of the writers not caring), whereas in media the latter is always intentional and usually used to make a character seem ignorant. The trope just seems to cover such wildly disparate things, it makes sense to split them.
edited 25th Mar '13 12:52:09 PM by Larkmarn
Puʻu ʻŌʻōThis trope seems to be about all asians being treated as being similar.
Right, but it seems to me that "people can't tell individual Asians apart from each other" and "people don't know the difference between various Asian cultures" should be two different tropes. They get used so differently.
Puʻu ʻŌʻōHow many examples are there of each?
For simplicity's sake, I'm going to abbreviate them to 4A (All Asians Are Alike) and AALA (All Asians Look Alike) Anime & Manga: Only the Monster and Case Closed are examples of AALA, the other eight are 4A. The sole Comedy and both entries in the Jokes section are AALA All Comics examples are 4A Live-Action Films AALA (the rest are 4A): Rush Hour, House of Flying Daggers, Help!, Mimino Literature Tangerine is AALA; Our Dumb World has examples of both types Live-Action TV AALA (the rest are 4A): MASH has both, but is mostly AALA; Heroes; The Office; Get Smart; Chappelle's Show; Life on Mars Music seems to be 4A Not going to check all the "Other" examples as they're outbound links Tabletop RPG is 4A Theater: 1 is 4A, one is AALA Video Games: All 4A, with the possible exception of Deus Ex. Webcomics are all 4A At least one of the Web Original is AALA, the rest seems to be 4A Western Animation: Family Guy; The Simpsons; 2/3 of South Park are AALA, the rest are 4A Real Life: The John Cho and (apparently) the Ahn Do example are AALA (tough to tell with the Ahn Do one, without knowing the context).
edited 5th Feb '13 11:39:22 AM by Larkmarn
Master of TediousnessMy original intent was both at the same time. Can we separate the examples on the page itself rather than making 2 different tropes?
With a "0", not an "O".
Puʻu ʻŌʻōThese seem very similar tropes, so that could be an option.
I think a split, preferably hard, is warranted. One is a meta-trope about how people don't really differentiate between Asian cultures, and the other is an in-universe trope about how Asian people are difficult to distinguish.
edited 5th Feb '13 9:40:50 PM by redlar
I laugh in the face of suffering.
Puʻu ʻŌʻōI do not think that the concepts are that separate. Consider this: With a work whose writers weren't that chalked up on research, they will identify "asians" purely by their appearance and lump them all into the same pot.
Part of my issue is the fact that it's a subtrope of Mistaken Nationality; mistaking one Asian person for another is not necessarily a case of this. The Family Guy example, where Peter Griffin thinks every Chinese person is Jackie Chan? That's not Mistaken Nationality. The Office example, where a character physically marks his date because he can't distinguish her from her co-worker? Not Mistaken Nationality, and has nothing to do with confusing Asian cultures for one another. The way I see it, the difference is not just a difference in scale (IE multiple cultures lumped together vs. multiple people), but the difference is in use. Like I said in my original post and you acknowledge, AAAA is often a case of not doing the research (and as the description mentions, related to They Just Didn't Care). AALA is always deliberate in a work and completely unrelated to the two tropes listed as related to AAAA listed in the description.
edited 6th Feb '13 5:35:50 AM by Larkmarn
No, the other one.I see a distinction, but I'm not sure it's significant enough to qualify as two discrete tropes. It's all about lumping Asians togther anyway.
Check out my fanfiction!
Puʻu ʻŌʻōWe might want to sandbox a soft-split page, then decide whether to make it a hard or soft-split.
They seem quite different to me. One is Mistaken Nationality, which plays out exactly the same no matter which nationality the character mixes up. The other is Mistakes Two People Of The Same Nationality For Each Other - which, again, plays out exactly the same regardless of which nationality it is. In the former case, the joke is that the character is ignorant / uneducated or dismissive. In the latter case, the character may be racist, unobservant or ditsy.
edited 13th Feb '13 6:07:18 AM by AmyGdala
Yeah, they're really not very similar. They're both about stereotyping, sure, but that's about it. Making these the same is like Bob being unable to tell two Mexicans apart and considering that a sign of Spexico.
Not a cheapskate!
How do I make a sandbox?
Puʻu ʻŌʻōEdit Sandbox.All Asians Are Alike. And please set the page type with the button in the toolbar.
Set it to... Sub-page? I'll try to whip something up tonight.
So since the last time anyone posted in this topic (which is my fault for dropping the ball on the sandbox... honestly, I just had issues getting started on a soft split since I wasn't able to come up with a common description between the two tropes since they're so different), someone has deleted the section of the description saying that "The similarity in appearance between Asian cultures is sometimes taken further, to say that all Asian individuals look the same." While I agree that shouldn't be the same trope, yanking it out orphans the rest of that paragraph and makes a lot of the examples nonsensical.
Puʻu ʻŌʻōUnilateral redefinitions are bad. Just revert the change.
Ok...i this new stuff written just fills me with rage! "race" "caucasian" "Mongoloid" Etc. What is this the 19th century!? And why does People here at Tv Tropes use "race"? WE ARE ALL HUMANS FOR PETE'S SAKE! Or wait, Do you not use it in the way i think you do? Anyway i'm just gonna let good'ol Rational Wiki speak for me. http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Race
Puʻu ʻŌʻōWe use the colloquial language here. Not the politically correct one.
Did a Sandbox for All Asians Look Alike. All Asians Are Alike would just be the current description minus the second to last paragraph. This is unrelated but the recently added... essay about ethnic breakdowns in Asia does seem a bit unnecessary.
No, the other one.I don't think a racial breakdown helps. It could at most fit on an Analysis page, but I don't think it's relevant for the wiki. While race is generally accepted to mean biological heritage, exact boundaries between races do not have such a standard. Several standards, perhaps, but it's not helpful. The sandbox looks much better. Yes, that's what I was talking about.
edited 15th May '13 9:16:51 PM by AnotherDuck
Check out my fanfiction!
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from email@example.com.