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Accent Interest

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Woah...
Pearl felt the tips of her ears rise in temperature.
That...
That was a very unexpected accent. A very different and intriguing accent.
A very
attractive accent. Pearl had never heard anything like it.

If someone has a distinctive accent, it's bound to catch someone else's attention, whether due to being aesthetically pleasing to that character, mysterious, or even attractive. On the other hand, it can also mark that character as being a foreigner or otherwise outside of the norm and possibly lead to unpleasantness of some kind.

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The classic line "I love your accent!" is the inevitable result of this.

Sister Trope to Aroused by Their Voice, where this attention has an erotic or amorous intent. Can lead to an In-Universe version of What the Hell Is That Accent? Often Truth in Television, as most people who have moved to an area with a very different accent to theirs can attest.


Examples:

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    Fan Works 
  • In A.A. Pessimal's take on Discworld, South Africa appears in its Discworld alternate of "Rimwards Howondaland". Sam Vimes accepts that a people living so close to the Rimfall at the edge of the world are going to be a little bit strange, and notes they succeeded in winning a bitter and protracted War of Independence against Ankh-Morpork, so they're entitled to be a bit bloody-minded. Even so, he is fascinated by the way they talk. Vowel shifts occur a lot in their language and he wonders why they seem so keen to eliminate the perfectly inoffensive vowel "a" from their spoken Morporkian. There's also the guttural "g's" and "k's" that make their native language — and spoken Morporkian — sound like the product of a bad throat, as well as rhoticity. Elsewhere, wizard Ponder Stibbons is fascinated by his Rimwards Howondalandian girlfriend's spoken Morporkian, which makes her sound as if she's chewing bricks and spitting gravel. He does note that she's also very attractive, and interested in him.
  • Invoked by the Triptych Continuum iteration of Rarity, who is stated to have invented her own accent more or less from scratch in order to make herself more distinctive.
  • In the Laverne & Shirley fanfic Ways to the Future, Rosie takes interest in Laverne's "strong accent" and asks if she's from New York.
  • In the Total Drama fanfic Total Drama Legacy, Ezekiel's daughter Katherine has a thick Canadian accent, just like her father. Naturally, several characters comment on her accent, including her Love Interest Link (who finds her accent "so cute").

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In National Treasure, Abigail has a touch of a Saxony German accent, which Ben notices but initially mistakes for Pennsylvania Dutch.
    Abigail: I am an American, I just wasn't born here.
  • Highlander: Christopher Lambert muddled his French accent to give Connor MacLeod (alias Russel Nash) a vague, nonspecific accent, hinting at his many travels over his long life.
    Officer Garfield: You talk funny, Nash, where're you from?
    "Nash": Lots of different places.
  • Averting this trope is the reason why Black Widow from The Avengers (2012) speaks English in a plain American accent. After all, she wouldn't be a very good spy if everyone remembered a beautiful Russian woman. Agent Carter reveals that the Red Room trains its spies to speak foreign languages like native speakers.
  • Played for Laughs in Ghostbusters II, where Janosz has an inexplicable accent and Comically Misses the Point when asked about it:
    Venkman: Where are you from, originally?
    Janosz: Ze upper-vest side.
  • In Inglorious Basterds, Major Hellstrom, sitting in an adjacent room to the main bar area, hears a German soldier who just became a father asking Lt. Archie Hicox about his odd German accent. Major Hellstrom also thinks it sounds odd and comes into the main room to confront Lt. Hicox and question him about where he is from.
    Major Hellstrom: Like our young newly christened father here, I too have an acute ear for accents. And like him, I, too, find yours odd. From where do you hail, Captain?
  • In Blue Iguana (2018), Londoner Dawn asks Paul to repeat the phrase "Yes, ma'am" because she finds his American accent sexy. Paul takes advantage of her attraction to Americans by pretending to be an astronaut named Teddy Roosevelt whose last girlfriend tragically dumped him while he was heroically saving the earth from an asteroid. Dawn laps it up.
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    Literature 
  • In A Study in Charlotte, Jamie is homesick for London and surrounded by Americans. When he hears Charlotte's English accent, it isn't exotic to him: on the contrary, it reminds him of home.
  • In the Star Trek Expanded Universe novel Dreadnought!, the main character is a human whose homeworld was not Earth, so when she meets Mr. Scott, she's delighted by his Scottish burr but has no idea where he could hail from, and is surprised to learn later on that it's an Earth accent.
  • The Fifth Season: The veteran Mage Killer Guardian Schaffa has a unique accent that several viewpoint characters remark on. An ancient Stone Eater eventually identifies it as a sign that he's tens of thousands of years old — telltale linguistic quirks last even though he's lost their origin to the Fog Of Ages.
  • In The Wheel of Time, two different rulers to whom "Ordeith" plays Treacherous Advisor take note of the fact that he speaks in a grandiose, archaic, aristocratic accent, which sometimes slips into a coarse peasant dialect. He gets the former accent from being possessed by an ancient ghost, whose corrupting powers distract the rulers from the fact that he's clearly completely insane.
  • In Earth's Children, almost every character in the last book, The Land of Painted Caves, comments on Ayla's accent.
  • Brandon Sanderson works:
    • In The Cosmere novels, this is usually a hint to readers that someone is a Worldhopper. Most people in the setting aren't aware that interplanetary travel is possible, but they can pick up on a visitor's unique accent all the same.
    • Wayne in Wax and Wayne collects accents, although he refers to it as stealing. He often employs them in his disguises, but it's mostly because he finds them fascinating. A true connoisseur, Wayne doesn't just read class or city of origin, but age, job, and district, how their parents and grandparents spoke. The one he really wants to steal is Death's, which is less unreasonable than it sounds given that Death spoke to his friend Marasi.
  • A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. The protagonist (an American volunteer in the Italian army) is arrested as a German spy because he speaks Italian with an accent — as does the military policeman arresting him (as he points out to no avail) as most Italians were more familiar with their local dialect.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Good Place: In "The Burrito", Judge Gen agrees to help the heroes in part because she's amused by Tahani's British accent.
    Gen: ...I just learned everything about you, but keep talking. I am, like, obsessed with your accent.
    Tahani: We have made so much progress and all we ask is an audience with you to prove it.[...]
    Gen: Say 'aluminum'.
    Tahani: Alyuminnium.
    Gen: [giggles] I love that!
  • Lucifer (2016): Lucifer's British accent raises a few eyebrows because a) he's living in LA, b) his brother has an American accent, and c) most people (including Lucifer himself) find it hot, which he lampshades in ''High School Poppycock":
    Well, I've had many accents over the years, but this one is clearly the best.
  • In Pennyworth, people mention Bet Sykes' distinctive Mancunian accent when describing her.
  • The host and panellists on QI sometimes show interest in the accents of other panelists. When Ross Noble made a remark about rounded triangles and proposed a "Toblerone-Rolo combo", Phill Jupitus commented that "Toblerone-Rolo combo" spoken in a Geordie accent is his new favorite sound. When there is an American on the panel (usually Rich Hall), sometimes their Eagleland qualities will be pointed out or played up, including their accents.
  • Sons of Anarchy:
    • Charlie Hunnam 's hybrid American/ British accent often leads people to sarcastically ask why California golden boy Jax Teller has such a peculiar speech pattern.
    • In-universe, characters are more likely to comment on Chibs Telford's Scottish burr.
  • Played for Laughs in Peter Capusotto Y Sus Videos with Quiste Sebáceo. He's a satanist who sings about the evilness in the world, but what gets people interested in him is the weird way he pronounces the Z and soft C letters in Spanish.

    Webcomics 
  • Grrl Power: During the press conference making ARCHON's existence public, a reporter who's feeling the effects of Dabbler's presence describes her accent as lovely and asks where she's from. She vaguely replies that she's from lots of different places, some he can't even imagine.
  • Unsounded: Duane's accent attracts unfriendly interest more than once because it marks him as a native of Alderode, an insular, xenophobic country that's currently escalating hostilities with its neighbors. His knee-jerk Patriotic Fervor whenever Alderode is criticized doesn't help either.

    Web Video 
  • Critical Role: Caleb's Zemnian accent becomes an occasional problem when the party travels to Xhorhas in Campaign 2, as it marks him as a native of the Dwendalian Empire, which is at war with Xhorhas's ruling dynasty.
  • The Fake Interactivity in this ASMR Video starts with Maria greeting the customer, then replying that the customer is correct in that she has a Russian accent.

    Western Animation 
  • When looking for a new addition to their band, The Misfits from Jem come across Jetta, a British saxophonist with a Cockney accent. Roxy hates her from the start, but when she asks Stormer if Jetta should be allowed in, all Stormer replies with is "I love her accent!"
  • In Arthur, the new student Ladonna Compson has a Southern-American accent, which the other kids describe as "cool".
  • In the Ready Jet Go! episode "Kid-Kart Derby", Mr. Peterson takes note of Jet's apparent Midwest accent. Jet says that Bortron is in the middle of their spiral arm of the galaxy, so midwest was accurate. Luckily, Mr. Peterson avoids finding out that Jet is an alien by assuming that Bortron is somewhere in Iowa.
  • Upon meeting Linka in Captain Planet and the Planeteers, Wheeler says "Love your accent, babe. You Russian?". Linka gets upset at being called Russian (she is Russian, but prefers to be called a "Soviet").
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Video Example(s):

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Jet's Midwest Accent

Bortron. Is that in Iowa?

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / AccentInterest

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