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Accent Slip Up

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When a character is known to speak in one dialect or accent, but under certain situations their accent slips. Occasionally this is used as a reason to explain an actor's poor ability at keeping an accent, however it's usually to indicate the person is either:

  1. Impersonating someone else.
  2. A speaker who speaks "standard" English due to assimilation, but isn't actually how they speak natively.

This is different from Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping in that it's an in-universe trope. Instead of the voice actor or actor accidentally reverting accent due to being unable to hold their fake one, the character canonically slips their accent, and tends to have some narrative significance instead of being something that just happens.


When a spy character who has been faking an accent permanently reverts to their real accent, that's an Accent Relapse.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kobato from Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai tries to act like her favorite anime character — down to speaking in a haughty tone — but will snap back into her natural Kyushu accent whenever she gets flustered.
  • Ebina from Himouto! Umaru-chan will slip into her natural Akita dialect, in her own mind if not out loud, when especially excited or flustered.
  • Nozomi from Love Live! speaks in a Kansai regional dialect but with a Tokyo accent. When flustered her Kansai dialect slips.
  • Nanami from The Pet Girl of Sakurasou is from Osaka, and relapses into a Kansai Regional Accent whenever she is angry or flustered.
  • Mikatan from Punchline is a part of a band and her biography states she's from Tokyo. She actually is from Tsugaru. She relapses into her natural dialect when surprised.
  • Yuri Katsuki from Yuri!!! on Ice is from Saga in Kyushu, but unlike his parents he usually speaks standard Japanese. Episode 10 reveals that he slips back into his native Saga dialect when he gets drunk.

    Comic Books 
  • In The Punisher MAX arc "Kitchen Irish", the story revolves around a group of criminals who all have a connection to a recently deceased Irish Mob boss who has sent them each a piece of a map that will show where he hid the riches he amassed over his life. The associate of one of them, Michael Morrison, slips into his natural Irish accent when his boss Finn Cooley surprises him after having taped on his multilated face after losing a mask designed to keep it on. Michael asks if it'll slip, and Finn snarks "You mean like your accent?" Much later, after multiple clashes with each other and The Punisher, the criminals all gather in a bar to put together their pieces of the map. After they see where the treasure is, they all get ready to kill each other. Michael smashes his drink on the bar counter, and in a heavily accented speech tells them that they don't need to keep killing each other, and they don't need to bring the horror of The Troubles to the States. They all put their guns away.
  • X-Factor (2006): Siryn (also of X-Force fame) normally speaks without any discernible accent, so much so that the only way to know she was Irish would be if the reader already knew. During the fight with Cortex (A heavily altered version of one of Jamie Madrox's dupes, whom she's already violently angry with) she gets so mad, she starts "getting her Irish up".

    Comic Strips 
  • While performing surgery on Thomas in Safe Havens, Maria's Italian accent starts to disappear, which Don notices. It's actually early Foreshadowing that Maria's been faking her accent this entire time to hide the fact that she's Samantha and Dave's Kid from the Future from them until the time was right.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animated 
  • Robin Hood: While disguised as a blind peddler, Robin briefly slips out of his "old man" voice in shock when he finds out that Friar Tuck is due to be hanged.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Carry On Dick, whenever Madame Desiree is found out to be a Cockney, or just gets really angry, she drops her French accent. Doesn't stop her from trying to regain this facade though.
  • Drag Me to Hell: The main character has spent her adult life trying to reinvent herself as a slender, cosmopolitan career woman, away from her past as a chunky, Southern farm girl. In the film's climax, she reaches her rage breaking point and lapses into the Southern accent she's spent so long hiding.
  • Strange Days: When Gant starts raging at Nero, his Midatlantic accent veers into cockney.

  • In rare moments of overwhelming emotion — usually fear or rage or both — Felix in Doctrine of Labyrinths will lose his posh accent and slip into a Lower City one. Ultimately he will always begin using his fake accent again the moment he notices.
  • This is inverted in The Mote in God's Eye. One character (the Chief Engineer, no less) usually speaks with an exaggerated Scottish accent, and like all inhabitants of 'New Caledonia' places great emphasis on his proud Scottish heritage, despite this being the far future when there isn't much left of the old cultural distinctions. Another character remarks that he loses the accent when he gets excited, which he loudly declares a lie—without using the accent.
  • In Sharpe, Boomerang Bigot Sergeant Lynch hides his Irish accent, but it pops out at moments of stress.
  • In The Wheel of Time, "Ordeith" (a.k.a. Padan Fain, a.k.a. Jeraal Mordeth) continually slips from one accent to another mid-sentence, which is noted by several people to whom he plays Treacherous Advisor. He gets it from being a Shadow-touched madman who's also possessed by an ancient ghost; the people who uncomfortably ignore how totally bonkers he is have no such excuse.
  • Perkin Lao of Halcyon Park speaks formally in a clipped Cantonese accent that matches his powerful businessman persona. His rival manages to antagonize him into falling back to his native Brooklyn speech more than once.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon Cooper's Texan accent slips in when he is extremely stressed or flustered. He tries to suppress it at all times to seem more cultured and respectable.
  • Breaking Bad: Most of the time, the Chilean Gustavo Fring speaks in an accented but very proper and precise manner. However, when he shows what's Beneath the Mask, his Chilean accent gets more pronounced and he drops in casual foreign slang.
  • Columbo: An agitated Eve Babcock slips into a different accent, one that sounds rather Eastern European. This is all Lt. Columbo of the LAPD needs to figure out that Babcock is actually Miss Rokoczy, the woman that he earlier heard Paul talking to on the phone.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "Terror of the Autons", the Master accosts the circus manager "Luigi Rossini", because he needs him for his Evil Plan. "Rossini" talks in Italian-esque accent, until the Master confronts him with the fact that his real name is Lew Russell. Caught by surprise by this, a panicking Russell spits out his next lines in what is obviously his natural London accent.
    • In "Tooth and Claw", the Tenth Doctor puts on a Scottish accent while trying to pass as a native of the Scottish highlands. Later, whilst being chased by the monster of the episode, he forgets to keep using the accent and is caught by Queen Victoria.
  • Robin from How I Met Your Mother acts "Super Canadian" when drunk, which includes slipping into a Canada, Eh? accent.
  • Discussed in the Madam Secretary episode "Standoff". At Liz's request Jay meets with Texas Governor Hal Lockwood, whom Jay worked for in college when Lockwood was running for Mayor of Galveston, to get Lockwood to sign off on withholding the death penalty for criminal so Mexico will extradite him. Lockwood comments that Jay has gotten rid of his Texas accent, and Jay answers that it comes back "when I'm drinking or talking to my mama. And there are definitely some crossover moments."
  • M*A*S*H, episode "Dear Comrade": Kwang, a spy for the Korean People's Army, masks his perfect fluency in English with broken Korean Engrish. Over the course of the episode, he becomes fond of a couple of the personnel on the base, and before going back to his division he decides to have a drink with them. Heavily inebriated, he declares that "When all is said and done, you're not such bad fellows!" and B. J. points out that the drunker Kwang gets, the better his English becomes. Kwang hesitates before replying that "it must be the whiskey", and pours himself another drink.
  • Occurs in Real Life in The People's Court: when Cuban-born Judge Milian gets especially upset, her Spanish accent becomes more noticeable.
  • In Quantico Alex sounds a little more Indian when she's under stress. Although she was born in the United States, she spent several years living with relatives in Mumbai. (Actually it's because actress Priyanka Chopra is Indian.)
  • In the second episode of Threshold, the crew interrogates the pilot of a passenger jet that was flying close to the ship when the alien signal was broadcast. During the interrogation, the pilot pronounces a word one way before being asked a question on the incident and a different way after being asked the question. Away from the interrogation, Ramsey says that this is a likely indicator that the pilot is hiding something since people tend to slip back into their native accents when stressed. It turns out the pilot was flying drunk that night and wasn't affected by the alien signal.
  • Keeping Up Appearances: The Social Climber Hyacinth Bucket ("it's Bouquet, dear") deliberately speaks in plummy received pronunciation even though the show is set in the West Midlands. In some moments of stress, her real regional accent slips through.
  • Avenue 5: Captain Ryan Clarke has an authoritative American accent when on duty as a figurehead captain of a starship. When he slips up, or when he's off the clock, he speaks in a rather lower-class English accent with a noticeably more nasal voice. He occasionally gets in trouble when people notice that he's started speaking differently.

  • Simon from Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues was born in Britain and moved to America with his adopted family when he was about twelve. Now eighteen, he's still getting used to an American accent and sometimes slips back into his native British.

    Video Games 
  • In the Japanese version of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the Zora, Kokiri, and Goron all have Verbal Tics. Zora end their sentences with "zora" while Goron end theirs with "goro". Kokiri have "jora" as their tic however they don't actually use it in-game. Prerelease screenshots show that they once used it constantly, however in the final product it's only referenced once. Saria gets excited when you show her the Keaton mask and accidentally slips into the Kokiri accent, causing her to become embarrassed.
  • Palethorn from Medievil 2 tries to suppress his natural cockney accent in order to pass himself off as a high society gentleman, but it tends to come out whenever he gets stressed or angry.
  • The Battle Chatelaine sisters from Pokémon X and Y (and later Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire) slip into the Hakata dialect when excited. The English-language version translated this by having them slip into thick Irish accents.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines: The nightclub owner Venus Dare usually speaks with a plummy English accent, but drops it briefly in a moment of Tranquil Fury. Tellingly, the Mafiya boss Boris refers to her as "the American bitch".

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa:
    • In the Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc English localization, Celestia has an affected French accent, which slips away when she's angry.
    • Teruteru Hanamura from Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair slips into his natural accent (rural Japanese in the original, Cajun in the English version) when he's under extreme stress. It's so thick that Monomi has to act as his translator.

  • In The Order of the Stick a character is killed and resurrected as a vampire, and the vampire must adopt the victim's mannerisms in order to convince the victim's friends that it's still the same person. It struggles with the victim's accent (describing it as "ridiculous") and occasionally slips up while trying to mimic it, but no-one except Belkar suspect anything is amiss until the vampire reveals its true motives.

    Web Original 
  • Scootertrix the Abridged: Kyle the changeling impersonates Fluttershy for one episode. He only breaks character once, when he trips and accidentally cries out in his normal voice.

    Western Animation 
  • At the end of the King of the Hill episode "Joust Like a Woman", the British-sounding "king" of a renaissance fair slips into his natural Texan accent. Funnily enough, he is voiced by the naturally-British Alan Rickman.
  • The Fashionista Rarity from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic speaks with a Mid-Atlantic accent, which is an acquired accent that few have naturally. Her accent being fake is supported by the fact no one in her family has the accent. Her accent slips in certain situations, especially when excited.
  • South Park: When dressed as Mysterion, Kenny talks with a gruff voice a la Christian Bale's version of Batman. But when he discovers that his parents are part of a Satanic cult, he slips and shouts "What the fuck?!" in his normal voice before correcting himself.
  • Twi'leks in the Star Wars universe are canonically established to speak with French accents, but Hera from Star Wars Rebels uses an American accent instead. It isn't until she gets into a heated argument with her estranged father Cham Syndulla that she briefly relapses into her native accent.
  • In one episode of Time Squad episode, the Squad find that Albert Einstein is masquerading as a car salesman in Texas named Big Al, complete with Texan accent. However, when someone commits a mathematical error, he lapses back into his natural German accent while angrily correcting it.


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