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Country Cousin

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Exactly What It Says on the Tin, a cousin who hails from the rural parts of the nation. This trope usually comes into play on shows set in the suburbs or the city, and it usually takes the form of the cousin (or cousins) coming to visit or one of the show's main characters going to the country to visit the cousin. Either way Hilarity Ensues.

Doesn't necessarily have to be a cousin; it could be any relative. Cousin is just being used as a general term here, since it is somewhat of a common phrase.

Compare Country Mouse; while that trope usually applies to characters who are naive and central to the cast, this more applies to a character with more or less any personality (though stereotypes applying to the country will usually be apparent) and is at most a Recurring Character. May overlap with Half-Witted Hillbilly in comedic works.

See also The City vs. the Country.


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     Comic Books  

    Comic Strips 
  • The Adventures of Prudence Prim: The protagonist is the country mouse — and she loves the big city. Prudence convinces her mother to let her move in with spinster aunts Jane and Abigail in the city, immediately taking to the fashion and fun of the town with exuberance (nevermind her country girl manners and naiveté).
  • In Garfield, Jon's family lives on a farm. He and Garfield have occasionally gone to visit them for an arc.
  • Rudi: The titular character has Alfi from deepest Bavaria.

  • The Griswolds in National Lampoon's Vacation have another side of the family living in rural Missouri. They're not unintelligent by any means (even though they force the Griswolds to take their grandmother to Phoenix, believing they knew about the "surprise" beforehand), but dirt poor and relying on SSI income and multiple jobs to keep their bloated family off the rather-empty streets.

  • The story of the city mouse and the country mouse (a theme/idea of Aesop, written into a poem in 1948 by Lauri Pohjanpää). The story: the city mouse visits the country mouse. Country cousin offers the best it has, but City cousin sniffs its nose at everything and goes on about how everything's better in the city. So Country cousin later visits City cousin. City cousin lives in a castle, where the food is marvellous, but the mice have to be ever alert and run and hide, and getting a treat is a tough task. Country mouse thinks it's better to eat humble food and live at peace, than to sneak around and eat handsomely, and returns home.
  • The Adrian Mole books have the Sugdens, Adrian's mother's family, who are devoutly religious potato farmers from Norfolk. When they come to visit, Adrian writes despairingly in his diary, "They are all inbred and can't speak properly!"

     Live Action TV  
  • Various county cousins, friends, etc. appear on The Beverly Hillbillies. Of course, the main characters are from the country, so this is a Justified Trope.
  • Bridgerton: Marina Thompson to the Featheringtons. They are members of high society while she is a poor relative who grew up on a farm. Lady Featherington sees her as a charity case, and is unhappy when she gets more attention from potential suitors than her own daughters.
  • In I Love Lucy, Lucy's Cousin Ernie comes from rural Tennessee and quickly overstays his welcome. Getting him to leave takes 2 episodes and, later in the series, Ricky and Lucy see him in Tennessee. Cousin Ernie was played by Composer and Actor Tennessee Ernie Ford.
  • In It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the Season 9 episode "Mac Day" has the character Country Mac who, as you might have guessed, is Mac's cousin from the country, who comes for a visit. In a subversion of the usual trappings of this trope, he turns out to be the polar opposite of his cousin in a superior way—Country Mac is a genuinely cool, funny badass, whereas Mac thinks he's all of those things but is actually an obnoxious jerk. To complete the parallels, Country Mac is spiritual without being condescending and openly and proudly gay, whereas Mac is a holier-than-thou hypocrite in a Transparent Closet.
  • In Married... with Children, Peggy's family consists of country hillbillies who live in the middle of nowhere. They appeared in a few episodes where the Bundys visited them, and when Katey Sagal took a break from the show while pregnant, the character went to Wisconsin to stay with her family.
  • In Justified, Raylan's late mother Francis descended from Kentucky hill-folk, much to Arlo's embarrassment. His blood ties to Mary, the matriarch of Cope's clan, end up saving his life in "Kin".
  • That's So Raven has an episode (aptly named "Country Cousins") in which Raven visits her cousins in the country. Gravy is their lifeblood.
  • The Brazilian Portuguese dub of Perfect Strangers, by means of localization, ends up retooling the sitcom into this trope, changing Balki's name and making him a hillbilly, rather than a foreigner.


  • On a 1937 episode of the Kraft Music Hall sidekick Bob Burns claimed to have visited Bing Crosby's country relatives in the state of Washington.

  • This was the premise of Our American Cousin, the play that Abraham Lincoln was watching when he was murdered. An American country bumpkin goes to England to visit his fancy British relations. Hilarity Ensues (assuming no one gets shot).

     Web Original 
  • Referenced in The Onion with the headline: "Obama's Hillbilly Half-Cousin Threatens To Derail Campaign."

     Western Animation  
  • Mudman, one of Joey and AP's foes in Atomic Puppet, has one in Dirtbag, an anthropomorphic sack of soil and another member of the duo's Rogues Gallery.
  • The Country Mouse and City Mouse Adventures is about two mice: The more urban mouse Alexander and his rural cousin Emily. They travel around the world together.'
  • The Flintstones had an episode in which Fred's country cousins (who just so happen to be over-the-top Stone Age hilbillies) come to visit for a weekend...and then continue to stay for months afterwards, thinking that Fred really means it when he says that he wishes they could stay longer.
  • Garfield and Friends: Jon got a visit from a literal country cousin. It was a case of similar names as the cousin's name is Roscoe Arbuckle.
  • Hey Arnold! has Arnold's country cousin, Arnie, who is exactly like Arnold in every way, except that he is completely bland, dull, and vanilla-flavored. His hometown, however, is a Bizarro Universe version of Arnold's, where Lulu has a crush on him, but Arnold prefers Hilda. It turns out to be All Just a Dream, though.
  • Kim Possible has a cousin Joss that lives on a ranch with her father and is a Hero-Worshipper of her older cousin. Both she and her father are far from the dumb bumpkin stereotype, though, as their horses are robots and they have a satellite surveilance system that covers their entire ranch; they are Possibles, after all, genius (and heroism) runs in the family.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Applejack was a Country Niece to her Aunt and Uncle Orange in Manehatten, whom she lived with for a brief period as a filly, but quickly found that she missed her more immediate family, and the farm.
    • Inverted with Babs Seed, who visits her cousins Applejack and Apple Bloom in the rural Ponyville from Manehatten.
  • In Oggy and the Cockroaches, there's Elvis, the cockroaches' older cousin. He's a farmer with a disgusting food palate and, much to the disdain of his cousins, manages to get on the good side of Oggy.
  • Mikey Hoggins from Pig City is the cousin of Martha and Reggie DeBoar, who live in the city. Mikey went to live with them because his parents thought a city education would be better for him.
  • Pixie, Dixie and Mr. Jinks: In “Country Cousin”, Pixie and Dixie receive a visit from their cousin Tex, from Texas. Impressed with Tex’s size, Jinks decides to eat him, just to be defeated and ridden by the cowboy mouse. Jinks retaliates by calling his own cousin Pecos, but the latter was afflicted by a series of diseases that not only weakened him but made him shrink.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show: In the episode "A Friend In Your Face", Ren finds the country cousin of the little man living in Stimpy's head has moved into his head.
  • The Roman Holidays: In “Double Date”, Gus decides to invite his country nephew Claudius because he needs to find a date for Snobia, the unlovely daughter of his landlord Evictus or else the Holidays will be evicted. Claudius not only is very ugly, but seems a Half-Witted Hillbilly, so awkward that he doesn’t even know how to wear sandals properly. In despair, Gus disguises himself as a teenager to take Snobia to a party, but his atempts to look “cool” end up in disaster. Claudius saves the day by fixing the sound system that Gus accidentaly broke and, surprisingly, is awesome with a guitar, making Snobia fall for him.
  • Spoofed in The Simpsons, where Homer's country "cousin" (actually only their dogs are related) is way more sophisticated than him, whereas Homer claims it's the other way round, adhering to the stereotypes concerning country people.
  • Scooby-Doo has one of these in Scooby-Dum. You can probably guess what his schtick is.
  • Inverted in South Park with Kyle's cousin Kyle, from New York. He's very much the stereotypical Jew/nerd (nasal voice, good with math and money, and heavily allergic to EVERYTHING). In the end, he calls Kyle and his friends hick jocks.
  • The Silly Symphonies short "The Country Cousin", which tells Aesop's story Walt Disney style.
  • On SpongeBob SquarePants, Plankton call his relatives to help him get the Krabby Patty formula in "Plankton's Army". He expects them to be Evil Geniuses like him, so he's shocked to find that they're all unsophisticated hillbillies. One of them even admits to being illiterate.
  • Inverted in The Wind in the Willows (1983). In the episode "Mole's Cousin", Mole's cousin Auberon comes to visit. But while Mole himself is a simple country animal, Auberon comes from high society, and the episode's conflict in the first half comes from Moley being afraid he won't be able to be an adequate host to his more cosmopolitan cousin. But Auberon himself is absolutely delighted to be staying in a simple country home and having a quiet night in with his cousin, and the two of them get on like a house on fire.


Video Example(s):


It's Cousin Plankton! Yee-Haw!

Planton's been away from home longer then he thought

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Main / CountryCousin

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