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Rambunctious Italian

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Italians are loud, talkative, tough, and very expressive.

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
Pichu-kun on May 27th 2017 at 6:17:23 PM
Last Edited By:
Pichu-kun on Dec 12th 2018 at 1:33:59 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

Italians and people of Italian descent in fiction tend to be very loud, very passionate, and very Hot-Blooded people. They are temper prone and get mad easily, but are very nice towards their friends and family. They may-or-may not be involved in The Mafia or some sort of street gang. Even if they're not, they give off a tough demeanor.

In a fighting team, Italian characters may be a Boisterous Bruiser, although another stereotype is that Italians tend to be the Miles Gloriosus or a Guile Hero whose skill at talking exceeds their combat abilities.

This something of an Evolving Trope. Early iterations of this tended to portray Italians as fast-talking con-men whose loudness was a cover for various schemes. Later on, as movies about The Mafia became popular, depictions of Italians as more violent, easily angered thugs with passionate relationships. A newer variant has Italians (particularly men) whose emotion goes along with being effeminate. In any case, these characters will be loud, argumentative, and gesticulate a lot.

Often overlaps with Funny Foreigner, particularly if paired with an outrageous accent. There's also a lot of overlap with Brooklyn Rage due to a lot of Italian-American characters being from either Brooklyn or the Bronx. Compare to Spicy Latina and Jews Love to Argue.


Examples:

Anime & Manga

  • Heavily inverted in Gunslinger Girl. Despite taking place in Italy, the characters are as far from stereotypical Italians as can be. They're very unemotional, unaffectionate, and stoic, especially in the original anime adaptation. While some of this has been chocked up to the writer being more accustomed to Japanese mannerisms, it also has an in-series reason as well: All the cyborgs are Child Soldiers and their handlers try not to become attached to them. On top of that, the entire cast is extremely troubled.
  • An inversion happens with Bambino (the Seinen manga as well the TV Dorama adaptation), in which Japanese owners of italian restaurants as well some of their clients act under this stereotype.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia: South Italy is tough-talking and foul-tempered, not to mention associated with the mafia. However, North Italy is an energetic Big Eater Ditz. They're both flirtatious and expressive though.

Comic Books

Film — Animation

  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • Restauranteur Tony and his cook Joe in Lady and the Tramp are stereotypical Italians. Tony in particular is very short-tempered, blowing up at Joe on more than one occasion.
    • Stromboli in Pinocchio is very volatile, jovial one minute, menacing the next.
    • Averted with Vinnie from Atlantis: The Lost Empire. Despite being the team's explosives expert, he has a laid-back Deadpan Snarker demeanor.
  • Madagascar 3: Downplayed with Stefano the sea lion, who speaks with a strong Italian accent. He's not at all tough or fiery-tempered, but he is quite a bubbly Large Ham.
  • Luigi from Cars is an ambitious, talkative car tire salescar with an Italian accent. This is contrasted with his employee Guido, a forklift who doesn't speak much beyond a few Italian words.

Film — Live Action

  • Franco from The Gumball Rally spares no time in slipping into this. As soon as he shows up at the garage where the race is starting, he gets into a spirited argument with Michael Bannon, culminating with him shooting Bannon with a water pistol. However, he is on friendly terms with his teammate Smith. As for expressiveness:
    Franco: And now, my friend. The first rule of Italian driving. (grabs the rearview mirror and breaks it off its mount) What's-a behind me is not important.
  • In the story within a story of The Fall, The Black Bandit's Multinational Team/Five-Token Band includes an Italian who is a powerfully built Boisterous Bruiser and an Demolitions Expert who is always a little disappointed when he doesn't get to blow things up with his bombs.

Literature

  • In Death on the Nile, Signor Richetti is the living epitome of this trope, as he's very passionate about archaeology. It's later revealed that it's all an act, as he's actually a dangerous criminal of mixed descent (non-Italian).

Live-Action TV

  • In Everybody Loves Raymond, the Barone family of Lynbrook, Long Island, New York, are anything but quiet. Any gathering of the extended Italian-American Barone family is marked with noise, drama, excitement and old family feuds unearthing; and the two families who have married into the Barones, the Whelans and the Mc Dougalls, both admit they are horribly inhibited and reticent by comparison.
  • The Confalones from Odd Squad are brothers who own a restaurant. They are nice, but often fight with each other, though it is shown they really do care about each other.
  • Laverne & Shirley: Carmine was nicknamed "The Big Ragu" and he entered and exited every scene singing "You make me go from rags to riches" at the top of his lungs.
  • The Sopranos Tony Soprano is an aggressive, belligerent and short-tempered Italian-American.
  • The Vecchio family is loud, with members often talking over each other at the dinner table.

Radio

  • Tom and Ray Magliozzi, a.k.a. Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers from Car Talk. Rarely does a minute go by on the show without them making fun of listeners, cars, callers, cars, their families, cars, and especially each other, usually prompting both of them and usually the caller to burst out laughing.

Video Games

Web Original

  • The Italian animator and voice actor ThePruld produces Machinima that milks the hell out of this trope. Particularly in his Dark Souls-based videos, the contrast between the melancholy of the canon source material and the energetic gesticulation and dialogue it is used for is jarringly funny.

Western Animation

  • Roxanne "Roxy" Pelligrini from Jem is the "tough girl" of The Misfits (though she's actually more docile than Pizzazz in terms of temper). She was raised in Philadelphia, ran away from home as a teenager, and joined a street gang. Roxy played the role as Pizzazz's Beta Bitch until season 2 introduced The Sixth Ranger Sheila "Jetta" Burns, who was an Evil Brit who got along extremely poorly with Roxy due to their similar personalites clashing. Roxy is The Lad-ette out of her group and also yells a lot of her dialogue.
  • Family Guy: This trope has been used several times by Italian people. In one episode, a Trigger Phrase to awaken KGB sleeper agents is "Boy, that Italian family across the table sure is quiet."
  • In the Dexter's Laboratory episode "Lab on the Run", three of Dexter's robots escape and fall in love with a fancy car that belongs to an Italian man. When they touch it and set off the alarm, he screams at them and runs downstairs in his underwear to catch them, leading to a Car Chase as he chases after them in the car while shouting "I'm-a gonna call the cops on you-a bots!"
  • Code Lyoko: The meaningfully named Odd Della Robbia is the Lyoko Warriors' Cloud Cuckoolander and rabble-rouser, loaded with snark and a love for pranking.
  • In Terrytoons' The Three Bears, the bears are given stereotypical Italian accents and mannerisms, and are often shown arguing amongst each other. Papa Bear in particular is a Large Ham, freaking out when he finds that Goldilocks tasted his pasta. ("SOMEBODY TOUCH-A MY SPAGHET!")

Real Life

  • Chico Marx always played Italian characters who were fast-talking, argumentative hustlers, talking his way in and out of tight situations with equal success.
  • Bud Spencer is commonly known for having this stereotype in the movies he's part of, especially the non-Spaghetti Western ones like Watch Out, We're Mad! with Terence Hill, where Bud is a Boisterous Bruiser.

Indexes: Europe Index, National Stereotypes

Feedback: 47 replies

May 27th 2017 at 7:43:57 PM

Film - Live Action

  • Franco from The Gumball Rally spares no time in slipping into this. As soon as he shows up at the garage where the race is starting, he gets into a spirited argument with Michael Bannon, culminating with him shooting Bannon with a water pistol. However, he is on friendly terms with his teammate Smith. As for expressiveness:
    Franco: And now, my friend. The first rule of Italian driving. (grabs the rearview mirror and breaks it off its mount) What's-a behind me is not important.

May 27th 2017 at 11:02:48 PM

  • Family Guy: This trope has been used several times by Italian people. In one episode, a Trigger Phrase to awaken KGB sleeper agents is "Boy, that Italian family across the table sure is quiet."

May 27th 2017 at 11:07:01 PM

  • In Death On The Nile, Signor Richetti is the living epitome of this trope, as he's very passionate about archaeology. It's later revealed that it's all an act, as he's actually a dangerous criminal of mixed descent (non-Italian).

May 30th 2017 at 5:52:57 PM

Film - Animated

May 30th 2017 at 6:52:14 PM

May 31st 2017 at 10:11:58 PM

  • The Thrilling Adventure Hour episode "Tinker Taylor and Tyler Too", features Captain Laserbeam being saved in part by the Italian Battalion, an entire superhero group of Rambunctious Italians complete with an exaggerated accent, desire to feed anyone in the vicinity, and an ironic claim of being known for their stoicism.

May 30th 2017 at 11:22:29 PM

  • In the Dexters Laboratory episode "Lab on the Run", three of Dexter's robots escape and fall in love with a fancy car that belongs to an Italian man. When they touch it and set off the alarm, he screams at them and runs downstairs in his underwear to catch them, leading to a Car Chase as he chases after them in the car while shouting "I'm-a gonna call the cops on you-a bots!"

May 31st 2017 at 1:17:43 AM

Zero Context Examples have been marked as such. They need more information to show how they fit the trope. Please don't remove the marking unless you add enough context.

May 31st 2017 at 3:52:43 AM

Averted in De Cape Et De Crocs, where the Italians in the cast are an insipid young man, his smarter manservant, his ditzy sister and miserly father.

Jun 27th 2017 at 12:48:14 AM

  • The Italian animator and voice actor ThePruld produces Machinima that milks the hell out of this trope. Particularly in his Dark Souls-based videos, the contrast between the melancholy of the canon source material and the energetic gesticulation and dialogue it is used for is jarringly funny.

Jun 25th 2017 at 11:29:30 PM

  • Luigi from Cars is an ambitious, talkative car tire salescar with Italian accent. This is contrasted with his employee Guido, a forklift who doesn't speak much beyond a few Italian words.

Jun 28th 2017 at 4:50:43 PM

You can pothole Italians Talk With Hands in the description.

  • Axis Powers Hetalia: South Italy is tough-talking and foul-tempered, not to mention associated with the mafia. However, North Italy is an energetic Big Eater Ditz. They're both flirtatious and expressive though.

Feb 24th 2018 at 3:16:48 PM

YKTTW Bump.

Western Animation

Jan 7th 2018 at 12:34:20 PM

  • Tony Soprano is an agressive, belligerent and short-tempered Italian-American.

Jan 9th 2018 at 11:13:53 PM

  • Laverne And Shirley: Carmine was nicknamed "The Big Ragu" and he entered and exited every scene singing "You make me go from rags to riches" at the top of his lungs.

Jan 10th 2018 at 8:52:06 AM

I wanted to add this on the description: They will talk with their hands more often than their mouths.

From which cartoon did that "Someone Touch My Spaghet!" meme came from, because that came in mind when I read this trope.

Jan 10th 2018 at 9:10:43 AM

Film - Live-Action:

Anime and Manga:

  • Another inversion happens with Bambino (the Seinen manga as well the TV Dorama adaptation), in which Japanese owners of italian restaurants as well some of their clients act under this stereotype.

Jan 10th 2018 at 3:16:38 PM

Radio:

  • Tom and Ray Magliozzi, a.k.a. Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers from Car Talk. Rarely does a minute go by on the show without them making fun of listeners, cars, callers, cars, their families, cars, and especially each other, usually prompting both of them and usually the caller to burst out laughing.

Jan 10th 2018 at 3:03:39 PM

FTR, I am part Italian, so keep that in mind if you think this is racist:

Jokes

  • What do you call an Italian amputee? — Speech-impaired.

Jan 11th 2018 at 6:17:44 AM

^ That would go better on Italians Talk With Hands.

  • The Confalones from Odd Squad are brothers who own a restaurant. They are nice, but often fight with each other, though it is shown they really do care about each other.

Jan 29th 2018 at 2:24:38 PM

I'm not seeing that this is distinct enough from Italians Talk With Hands to trope. It seems to tread very similar ground.

Feb 24th 2018 at 7:03:57 AM

Italians Talk With Hands is specifically about Italians gesticulating a lot. This trope covers several personality traits in addition to that. It deserves its own trope. Just Launch It Already, and file it under Europe Index and National Stereotypes.

Feb 24th 2018 at 7:16:23 AM

Feb 24th 2018 at 10:50:55 AM

I think there is a valid trope here but this is not ready to launch. There are too many ZC Es and the trope needs more explanation to be more clear. The second paragraph seems like Chairs- it's just physical features that are pretty realistic and non-indicative. I also think it's troubling that few of the examples are actual straight examples of stereotyped Italian characters.

Compare Spicy Latina (for a similar archetype), Jews Love To Argue - some explanatory text could be applied from those pages.

Examples

  • Chico Marx always played Italian characters who were fast-talking, argumentative hustlers, talking his way in and out of tight situations with equal success.

Feb 24th 2018 at 12:08:59 PM

In Everybody Loves Raymond, the Barone family of Lynbrook, Long Island, New York, are anything but quiet. Any gathering of the extended Italian-American Barone family is marked with noise, drama, excitement and old family feuds unearthing; and the two families who have married into the Barones, the Whelans and trhe Mc Dougalls, both admit they are horribly inhibited and reticent by comparison.

Feb 24th 2018 at 3:16:29 PM

I made a few changes to my last post, since the example hasn't been added yet.

Feb 26th 2018 at 8:57:14 PM

Advertising:

  • Most of ads about pasta products or Italian food involved at least one character that is a Rambunctious Italian, usually the chef or the customer who tastes the food then starts to talk with hands.

^I'm not sure if OP should add any example, since like the half of them are already unadded, I hope he does

Feb 26th 2018 at 8:45:00 PM

Code Lyoko: The meaningfully named Odd Della Robbia is the Lyoko Warriors' Cloud Cuckoolander and rabble-rouser, loaded with snark and a love for pranking.

Feb 27th 2018 at 8:48:07 PM

Added the examples and fixed up the description.

Nov 10th 2018 at 1:27:07 AM

My proposed addition to the intro:

Italians and people of Italian descent in fiction tend to be very loud, very passionate, and very hot-blooded people. They are temper prone and get mad easily, but are very nice towards their friends and family. They may-or-may not be involved in The Mafia or some sort of street gang. Even if they're not, they give off a tough demeanor. And they tend to have a fine disregard for the road rules.

Often overlaps with Brooklyn Rage due to a lot of Italian-American characters being from either Brooklyn or the Bronx. Compare to Spicy Latina and Jews Love To Argue.

Nov 11th 2018 at 11:42:33 AM

Western Animation:

  • The Simpsons:
    • Luigi Risotto is the Italian-American chef of the restaurant "Luigi's" in Springfield and has made basing on this stereotype, having Hair Trigger Temper, a Large Ham and even he talks with hands.
    • Another typical (and similar) stereotype is Fat Tony, another Italian-American leader of a mafia, paroding other mafia media like The Godfather, who's also an usual customer at "Luigi's".
    • The family Sideshow Bob made in Italy (a wife and a son) in the episode "The Italian Bob" also were made under this stereotype.

Nov 10th 2018 at 9:57:47 AM

It appears that the draft was rogue-launched, so unlaunched.

Nov 10th 2018 at 11:48:55 AM

Another Western Animation example:

Nov 10th 2018 at 1:13:21 PM

This particular type of character is definitely a Motor Mouth.

Nov 10th 2018 at 8:33:29 PM

Western Animation

  • In Bojack Horseman, recurring character Sandro is a first-generation Italian immigrant and restaurateur who deliberately plays up his Italian heritage on the assumption that this is what his customers want, and thus is very loud and energetic.

Nov 11th 2018 at 1:01:44 AM

I think Francesco Bernoulli of Cars 2 also count, but I don't know the exact details. He's definitely talkative, and proud at his speed, but I don't know much beyond that.

Dec 6th 2018 at 10:35:17 AM

On Friends Joey is a mild case. While he doesn't pick fights with people as often as a pure example of this trope, he is the first one to instigate a physical altercation more often than the others. When Chandler drunkenly makes out with one of Joey's sisters, Joey admits that if it had been anyone other than Chandler, he'd punch his lights out.

Dec 6th 2018 at 1:32:55 PM

In Due South, Ray Vecchio's family is like this when Benton visits them for dinner.

Dec 6th 2018 at 1:51:02 PM

^ That example needs more context. What are the family like?

These examples in the draft are also problematic:

Not enough context: Pasta ad (also a general example), Bambino, Death On The Nile (how is liking archeology rambunctious?), the Mario example

Aversions (this trope is not an Omnipresent Trope so shouldn't list aversions): Atlantis The Lost Empire, Gunslinger Girl. This last one says it's a subversion, but there's no reason the trope would be expected (national sterotypes don't tend to come into play when everyone is the same nationality), so I think it's actually an aversion.

Also, I think the Marx Brothers example should be in Film, not Real Life, because it's about a stock character the actor plays in every movie (Chico Marx wasn't even Italian).

Dec 7th 2018 at 6:12:53 PM

The Vecchio family is loud, with members often talking over each other at the dinner table.

Dec 9th 2018 at 7:11:53 AM

Suggestions to improve the description: Pothole Hot Blooded. Pothole "temper prone and get mad easily" to Hair Trigger Temper. Change "passionate" to "passionate in love" and pothole The Casanova.

[After first paragraph:] In a fighting team, Italian characters may be a Boisterous Bruiser, although another stereotype is that Italians tend to be the Miles Gloriosus or a Guile Hero whose skill at talking exceeds their combat abilities.

This something of an Evolving Trope. Early iterations of this tended to portray Italians as fast-talking con-men whose loudness was a cover for various schemes. Later on, as movies about The Mafia became popular, depictions of Italians as more violent, easily angered thugs with passionate relationships. A newer variant has Italians (particularly men) whose emotion goes along with being effeminate. In any case, these characters will be loud, argumentative, and gesticulate a lot.

Often overlaps with Funny Foreigner, particularly if paired with an outrageous accent.

Dec 12th 2018 at 1:34:53 AM

Video game example:

  • In Assassins Creed II, Ezio Auditore is a loud, energetic, and Hot Blooded Italian Assassin who cares "very" much about his family. He gets toned down a lot in later games where he's in his formative years, however.

Was gonna suggest that goldilocks bear from the spaghet meme too but it's already been added, so.

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