However, the audience gets to see them more privately, and they are shown as a normal local, or at least as seemingly normal. They'll explain that it's all an act that makes them seem exotic, or puts people off guard, or it gets them laid. They may resent the act, and the things they have to do for it.
Sometimes, this trick is done with someone who is from another country, but is actually pretty sane; they simply play it up. At other times, this trope is used to justify an actor's appalling accent. Very often overlaps with Elective Broken Language or Overly Stereotypical Disguise.
The in-universe version of Fake Nationality. In case you couldn't figure it out, the "faux" is pronounced "foe." So the trope is pronounced "foe-reigner."
- Kaere/Kaede Kimura of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei fits into the typical Gorgeous Gaijin image and has a type two Eagleland characterization, particularly her frequent threats to sue people. However, she falls into this because of her ridiculous claims about her (never named) home country, and a couple of episodes reference the fact she pretends to speak English, but actually barely knows a single word, and was only briefly outside of Japan. When he first meets her, Majiru Itoshiki actually calls her a "blond fake foreigner".
- Chada of Niea_7 is an alien that pretends to be an Indian. To be precise, he's a dark skinned alien that purchased a cheap turban and started acting like an Indian.
- In Ah! My Goddess most people that meet Belldandy and her sisters think them as European or more precisely Scandinavian. Though they are associated to Scandinavia by myth, the three are the Norns, the Goddesses of the Past, Present and Future.
- Nurse Angel Ririka SOS:
- Kanou claims to be a Foreign Exchange Student from London but he is really a Human Alien from another dimension.
- Princess Minima, the sister to the ruler of the planet Queen Earth, presents as Kanou's younger sister but can't keep the impression up as she knows nothing of London.
- After turning good Dewey is described by Ririka as being from a non-descript foreign country. He is also really from Queen Earth.
- The members of most of the rival schools in Girls und Panzer exhibit National Stereotypes that are mostly in line with the theme of their schools. Subverted in that despite how stereotypical these characters may act, they still identify as Japanese. One character is an aversion as she is a genuine Russian foreigner (Voiced by an actual Russian to boot) who happens to be studying in Pravda High School that exhibits stereotypes of her nationality.
- Armed Girl's Machiavellism has Choka U. Barazaki, supposedly a half-Italian with long blonde hair nicknamed "Buttefly Queen" or, as she puts it, "Regina della Farfalla"... But it's quickly revealed it's an act, and a bad one at that: her real name is Ubarazaki Choka (that she pronounces the Western way partly to go with the act and partly because the "U" kanji in her family name is the same as "cormorant"), the hair is a gigantic wig, and "Regina della Farfalla" is a literal translation that in Italian sounds utterly ridiculous (the literal translation is "Queen of the Butterfly". "Butterfly Queen" is actually "Regina delle Farfalle") and, in the anime, pronounced horribly.
- In one issue of She-Hulk, the Great Gambonnos of the Circus of Crime, Funny Foreigners of long standing in the Marvel Universe, drop their stereotypical Italian accents when they've been found out. "Drop the act, Ernie, she's onto us."
- An issue of Hawkeye once saw the Circus of Crime's Ringmaster and some students of Hawkeye's old mentor the Swordsman as fake Frenchmen in a Cirque du Soleil-style revue/criminal operation. Hawkeye knows that the Ringmaster is Austrian, and upon hearing the Swordsmen's accents immediately recognizes them as fakes.
- General Wolfram, a wolf-themed villain claiming to be "the genetic terror of the Third Reich". Apparently he faked the Nazi angle and the accent for distinctiveness' sake/to draw heat away from his real identity. Venom, impersonating Spider-Man, calls him "Castle Wolfenstein" and eats his arm for his trouble.
- Black Panther: Kasper Cole affects a Wakandan accent and speech patterns in his guise as the White Tiger, mainly to throw people off his identity (because how many white Wakandan Jews do you know?) This backfires when he tries the routine on Everret Ross, who not only has been to Wakanda, he was its acting regent and is a personal friend of T'Challa's. The accent isn't even close to accurate, according to Ross.
- Asia Minor, in Fallen Angel, does the Obfuscating Stupidity version.
- Judge Dredd: Dredd's landlady/maid (it varies sometimes) Maria has always talked with a heavy Italian accent, but years later when it was revealed that she had died and left a large inheritance to Dredd, it also turned out that she never really was Italian and was faking her accent "for some reason" the entire time.
- Fantomex (aka Weapon XIII from X-Men) uses a French accent — not because he's French, but because the accent "annoys people" according to him — making it easier to catch them off guard.
- The Pre-Crisis version of the Wonder Twins become this after a human heard the name of their home planet from their mouth.
- In X-Men Noir, Chief Magnus inverts this; a Transian native who emigrated to the US, he took diction lessons for sixteen months to achieve a perfect American accent.
- An issue of G.I. Joe: Special Missions had the Joes looking for Nazi war criminals in Brazil, when they stumble across a band of stereotypical Latin American guerillas in the jungle. Recondo quickly sees through their cover: they're Sephardic Jews from Mossad hunting the same prey.
- Wealthy playboy Rodney Gaynor adopted a Mexican accent whenever he became the Whip, an obscure hero in The DCU from The Golden Age of Comic Books. A modern-day retelling of his origin retconned him to actually having Hispanic ancestry.
- When the Legion of Super-Heroes was rebooted in the 90s, Chameleon Boy was introduced as not speaking Interlac. Several story arcs went by with other characters attempting to teach him the language, only to get frustrated. Finally it was revealed that he had finally learned Interlac, but was continuing to pretend he didn't understand it in order to lure the villains of the moment into a false sense of security.
- X-Statix once battled a European super team called Euro-Trash. One of their members was Surrender Monkey; who was essentially a walking embodiment of every negative stereotype Americans have regarding the French. A later story revealed that Surrender Monkey was not French, but actually an expatriate American.
- The Frenchman in The Boys is heavily implied to be this by his origin issue. His Gratuitous French is often inaccurate, he's a former member of the French Foreign Legion (a group made up mostly of, well, foreigners), he claims to come from the town of Franglais, meaning "French-English," and he sometimes slips in phrases like "wanker" and "mum," that would be more typical for a Brit. Of course, he's also insane, so it's hard to call.
- The Shadow Hero has a Yellow Peril Chinese villain, who turns out to be a white American petty crook in Yellowface make-up who is acting as a front man for the actual, realistically-portrayed, Chinese villain. It's implied that this was both to keep the real villain's face less well known, and for a kind of Obfuscating Stupidity with respect to White people.
- Herr Doktor Count Baron Napoleon von Strudel in the Wallace & Gromit comics is not actually German, although that's not a huge surprise given that his surname is taken from a foodstuff. He's actually English. He knew Wallace at school. His real name is Bert Maudsley.
- Empowered offers Rum, Sodomy and The Lash who uses expressions like Blimey!
- In A Determined Frame of Mind Harry pretends to be Draco Malfoy's "Bulgarian cousin" as a disguise and distraction.
- In No Competition a lich known only as "Lich" pretends to be a foreigner during a visit to the Romanian dragon reserve, mixing an Asian glamour with an exceedingly bad attempt at mock-German.
Lich: Der boyd word nicht getten eaten. Der boyd is gut. Der boyd ist un parselmouth.
- Gym Leader Wiki: Being the "Lightning American", you'd think Lt. Surge was American raised, but he's actually from Kanto. He spent a good chunk of his adulthood in the US Army, earning him his title.
- Invoked in I am [REDACTED], where the hero Nimbus deliberately speaks Japanese with an American accent so the public assumes he is American. This distances Nimbus from his Secret Identity Midoriya Izuku, who never attended U.A. in this story, instead going to America for hero school.
- In The Seven Misfortunes of Lady Fortune, Marinette (a half-Chinese born in France) pretends to be a native Chinese speaker.
- In Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Pirelli plays himself up as a stylish, eccentric Italian barber. He's British. And to top it off, he's played by someone known for intentionally annoying, exaggerated stereotypes of several different ethnicities.
- In Police Academy, there was a character who pretended to have a Spanish accent, because the ladies love it.
- In the dark comedy Human Nature, a female character adopts a fake French accent and persona to make herself more attractive to men.
- In Keeping the Faith, Ken Leung's character puts on a stereotypical Asian accent when selling karaoke machines. When it's revealed that he's dealing with a holy man, he drops the fake accent and reveals himself as a shrewd business man who puts on a show for customers.
- In Trading Places, the protagonists disguise themselves as exaggerated foreigners, with Dan Aykroyd pretending to be a Jamaican, Jamie Lee Curtis' Hooker with a Heart of Gold as a Norse by Norsewest Swede, and Eddie Murphy as an African.
- Several Peter Sellers characters (some already from other countries) affect this trope on occasion, particularly Inspector Clouseau. The effectiveness of the disguises, and thus the involved accents, varies depending on the plot.
- In Cannibal! The Musical, Alfred Packer and co. encounter Indians who are actually Japanese guys in disguise. To add to the joke, Packer (IIRC) refers to the tribe as the "Nihonjin" - which means "Japanese people".
Bell: Could you tell me what tribe this is?
Chief: Hmmmmm... We are... Indians!
Bell: ...Yes, I see that, but... what Indians?
Chief: You don't think we are... Indians?
Bell: No, no, no, I just um...
Chief: We have... teepees.
Bell: Right. I see, but...
Chief: Look at all these teepees ...we have. Because... we are...Indians!
Packer: Yeah, they have teepees.
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade — Indy impersonates a disgruntled Scottish collector of tapestries to gain access to an Austrian castle. When the guise doesn't work as well as hoped, Indy quickly resorts to Plan B. Guess what that is?
- The Marx Brothers' movies occasionally imply that Chico's characters are not really Italian. In Animal Crackers, Chico recognizes a respected art dealer as "Abie the fish man":
Ravelli (Chico): How did you get to be Roscoe W. Chandler?
Chandler: How did you get to be Italian?
Ravelli: Never mind—whose confession is this?
Driftwood (Groucho): Well, things certainly seem to be getting better around the country.
- And in A Night at the Opera, which begins in Italy, he and Groucho have this exchange.
Fiorello (Chico): Well, I wouldn't know about that; I'm a stranger here myself.
- The young protagonist of Breaking Away is a bicyclist who charms a girl he likes by pretending to be an Italian bicyclist. It works... for a while.
- From Ghostbusters II comes this exchange:
Peter Venkman: Johnny, where are you from?
Janosh Pohah: (in a thick accent) The upper-west side.
- This was done in an attempt (opinion varies on its success) to remove the dubious Yellow Peril implications of The Mandarin in Iron Man 3. The Mandarin turns out to be a British actor pretending to be a sinister ambiguously-Asian terrorist, as a front man for the actual villain of the film, who is a white American.
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier features a similar situation - the Winter Soldier uses Russian weaponry, has a red star on his mechanical left arm, and gives orders to his henchmen in Russian at one point. He's an American turned into a Brainwashed and Crazy assassin for Hydra, although Captain America: Civil War reveals that at least one of his past handlers was Russian.
- In Clue, French Maid Yvette speaks with a French accent for most of the movie, although it's sometimes heavier and sometimes lighter and in general she seems to be a bit of a Funny Foreigner. When she's away from everyone else however, and believes herself to be speaking with her secret employer, she drops the French accent entirely and speaks with an American accent. Miss Scarlet, who runs a brothel in Washington D.C., later confirms that Yvette used to work for her there.
- The World Is Not Enough: Bond impersonates a murdered Russian scientist in order to get close to Renard's nuclear operation. Not even Dr. Jones is fooled by the ruse. Not by his accent or anything though; after conversing in English she adresses him in Russian to test him, but Bond aces it. The scientist in question is simply too old for Bond to convincingly pass himself off as.
- The Melissa McCarthy movie Spy has Aldo, the hilariously over the top collection of Italian stereotypes, which includes fashionable dressing, wildly inappropriate flirting with/sexual harassment of every woman in sight, driving like a complete madman, etc. At the end of the movie he explains to the main character that his name is actually Albert, he's an English spy who is part of MI6, and Aldo was a cover identity but Albert got a little Lost in Character, and he apologizes for his behavior like a proper British gentleman all the while. However, he then screws with her head a little bit by hinting that maybe he really is Aldo and is faking being English instead, complete with claiming that his British accent comes from imitating characters on Downton Abbey. He then continually switches back and forth between English and Italian personas, complete with different body language, posture, etc.
- Help!: All the cultists from 'the East' are played by English actors. This is Lampshaded when the Beatles visit the Indian Restaurant "seeking enlightenment as to rings" from someone from "the mystic East" but quickly learn that everyone working there is English.
Ringo: He's from the West!
Restaurant Host: No, the East... Stepney.
- In The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Pluto's friend Anthony Frankowski pretends to be Scottish, trying to invent a new song genre called "Scottish crooning". It fails miserably. Pluto suggests he reinvent himself as an Italian named Tony Francis. It works, and Tony is a big hit singing Sinatra's songs on stage.
- Maskerade had Enrico Basilica, a trained opera singer, who realised that he'd never make it in Opera as boring old Henry Slugg, so he pretended not to speak a word of the language and demanded to be treated to exotic food. However, he came to regret being trapped in the Basilico persona; he also came to be sick of the pasta his hosts always cooked him, when what he really wanted was a good pork pie and a beer.
- This is a fairly common joke in the Discworld novels. A Hat Full of Sky mentions a pair of circus acrobat twins who used the same foreign-name ruse for the same reason.
- An example of a character playing up their identity is 71-hour Ahmed in Jingo, who finds it convenient to be a stereotypical Klatchian who stepped straight from Arabian Nights, but can actually speak Morpokian with barely a trace of an accent (which he could do because he was, like so many, schooled in Ankh-Morpork as a youth), and even takes on Ankh-Morpork mannerisms when in Klatch. As he explains, "Always be a little bit foreign wherever you are, because everyone knows foreigners are a little bit stupid." Incidentally, he tipped his hand about the Obfuscating Stupidity quite early on, seeing something of a kindred spirit in Sam Vimes, yet still managed to surprise him with his mastery of the language.
- Jingo also provides a complex inversion involving Vetinari and Fred Colon, who has been trying to pass himself off as a Klatchian in Klatch, with about as much success as might be expected. Vetinari steps in, passing HIMSELF off as a generic foreign stage magician and explains that Colon is, in fact, from Ur - a Discworld region proverbial for bucolic stupidity. The crowd are happy with this, Colon is completely oblivious to what has just happened, and all go about their business..
- Then there's Otto von Chriek, the mostly-harmless vampire photographer, who dresses silly and speaks with a thick accent and is generally a nice guy, even though if he wanted to he could rip your limbs out of their sockets and beat you to death with them. He explains that being so silly, no one takes a second glance...even when you're taking pictures of an anti-vampire demonstration.
- And virtually every (non-Uberwaldian) Igor — they don't have to speak with the accent, lithp and call everyone marthter. It'th tradithional.
- In the TV version, Twoflower admits he only pretends not to know Morporkean because it's all part of the image of being a tourist. (How he could know this when he's the Discworld's first tourist is a mystery best left unexplored, but it may be something to do with the fact that on the Disc, tropes are practically laws of physics.) It was averted in the original novel, incidentally; Twoflower really didn't speak Morpokian, though to give the man credit he'd made a phrasebook and at least tried. Rincewind ends up acting as his interpreter for most of the book after they find a third language that they both speak.
- In Pyramids, Ptraci speaks Ephebian with a ptrace of her Djelibeybi accent, because it sounds more exotic. Pteppic understands: "An assassin is supposed to be a little bit foreign wherever he goes. I'm good at that part".
- As a parody of the Poirot Speak used by similar characters in adventure movies, George MacDonald Fraser's novel The Pyrates has one pirate with an atrocious French accent who is revealed to have been a working class Englishman who was one day knocked on the head in the middle of a beginning of a French language course, and ended up with a dashing, "Pepe le Pew" persona. Oddly enough, this is a case of Truth in Television, as some fifty cases of victims of head injuries acquiring foreign-sounding accents have been documented since 1941.
- The villain of Anthony Trollope's novel The Way We Live Now, Melmotte, sort of ended up as this because the author ultimately avoided making him an evil foreigner from a specific country. While he is most likely Jewish and/or French, there is also the possibility that he is Irish-American and arguably the fact he claims to be an English citizen leaves open a further possibility.
- "Madame Lulu" and "Gunther" in A Series of Unfortunate Events, whose "foreignness" derives mostly from their strange accents, mangled syntax, and overuse of the word "Please".
- Inverted with Zampanò from House of Leaves. He claimed to be American, yet seemed foreign. The Other Wiki's discussion page seems to think Zampanò was French.
- Religious example: In John Ringo and Travis S. Taylor's Into the Looking Glass novel Vorpal Blade, one of the Marines (nicknamed "Gunga Din") claimed, when recruited, to be Hindu, simply because he didn't want to be an atheist like the parents he hated. Doubly subverted in that a) he's actually of Indian descent, and b) once he'd made the decision, he decided to be serious about it, and has been slowly learning about the religion ever since.
- John Steinbeck's East of Eden uses this with the Chinese Lee. He speaks when he first appears in the book in stereotypical You No Take Candle fashion, but when a character comments he can't possibly talk like that all the time, he drops the act and speaks normally for the rest of the book.
- The end of The Dresden Files book White Night shows Thomas pretending to be a gay Frenchman ("Toe-moss") to play up to the expectations of his beauty salon's customers.
- Two examples of this from Murder on the Orient Express Countess Elena Andrenyi and her mother, Mrs. Hubbard. Judging by their names, they are Jewish-American and from a family of actors, but instead take on false personas of a Hungarian aristocrat and an extremely annoying Eaglelander. A lot of the novel has to do with the characters not necessarily fitting their National Stereotypes.
- Hercule Poirot in general is something of a fauxreigner as part of Obfuscating Stupidity. A particularly notable example comes when he visits the Abernathie house in After the Funeral. Although Poirot is playing his actual nationality there, he is pretending to be an elderly refugee from World War II who can barely speak or understand English as opposed to the savvy detective who has lived in England for more than 30 years.
- The Count of Monte Cristo, who variously presents himself as English and Italian and hints at even more exotic origins.
- In Past Mortem by Ben Elton, British-born Roger Jameson has been passing himself off as American for many years after joining the NYPD (although it appears he eventually took US citizenship.)
- Dare to Love by Jennifer Wilde features "Elena Lopez", a British dancer/courtesan pretending to be Spanish. She is based on the real-life Lola Montez: see Truth in Television below.
- One of the Trebizon books included a girl finding out that a famous "Russian" ballerina she idolized was really an English woman pretending to be Russian to advance her career.
- In Murder Most Unladylike (Murder Is Bad Manners in the US edition), two girls at a 1930s boarding school investigate the murder of one of their teachers. It emerges at one point during the story that "Mam'zelle", the French mistress, is not really French at all but has been posing as a French woman with an exaggerated accent in order to get teaching work.
- In the third book, First Class Murder, the heroines investigate a murder on board the Orient Express, and suspect that a deposed "Russian" aristocrat aboard the train is faking her nationality. It's a subversion - she really is who she says she is.
- Joe Pickett: In Breaking Point, the regional director of the EPA is named Juan Julio Batista and claims to be Latino. He is utterly ruthless and has advanced through the organisation by accusing anyone who opposes of him of racism. However, he is really an Anglo. Batista is his stepfather's name (his mother remarried when he was in his 20s) and he changed his name from John to Juan in order to take advantage of his naturally dark skin to deliberately play the race card.
- In The Disaster Artist Greg Sestero mentions that whilst working in LA as a struggling actor he had a brief TV role as a character pretending to be French to improve his chances with women.
- Saif, the main antagonist of The Mental State, uses a variety of different names of different nationalities when doing dealings with his criminal network. Despite his most commonly used name being 'Saif Dhu Hadin', he is actually a completely Caucasian american with white hair. One of the tactics the protagonist uses to unravel his criminal network is exposing the truth about his true nationality to the foreign terrorists working for him, causing most of them to turn on him.
- In Tell Me Your Dreams by Sidney Sheldon, protagonist Ashley has multiple personalities: a stereotypical Cockney woman named Toni and an Italian woman named Alette (both of which were created from trauma when she visited London and Italy respectively.) Toni and Alette both have their own lives and social circles but, since they are alter-egos of the American Ashley, she fits this trope.
- Caging Skies: Krzysztof Powszechny and Janusz Kwasniewski aren't Polish, they're Russian soldiers named Sergey Karganov and Fedor Kalinin who are fleeing Stalin's Soviet Union.
- The Moth Girls by Anne Cassidy ends with Petra, who's British, assuming the identity of a Polish friend's sister (who actually died in childhood) and fleeing to Poland with her. Petra will presumably now have to spend the rest of her life pretending to be Polish, although they can excuse her lack of fluency in Polish with how long her friend spend in the UK.
- On Bridgerton, Madame Delacroix is the haughty French owner of a popular dress shop who puts down Lady Featherington for not being able to pay the bill. Mariana begins to ask just where in France Delacroix grew up with such a "unique accent." Shifting to French, Mariana makes it clear that (having grown up with a French mother), she knows full well Delacroix has never said foot in France and will expose it unless she gives Featherington what she wants. The fake-Frenchwoman can only respond "tres bon."
- Game of Thrones: Ros claims the whore Armeca pretends not to speak the Common Tongue to increase her exotic appeal.
- The landlord of The Young Ones spoke in a ridiculous Funny Foreigner accent when he spoke to the main characters that made him sound like an idiot, but spoke in a normal British accent when alone. He claimed that he did the accent because "it makes me sound more sophisticated". These characters were supposed to be Russian, and played by Alexei Sayle, who is of Lithuanian descent. His parents were communists as well, so the characters may have been a reference to this.
- On City Guys, Dawn meets Uri, a homeless Romanian immigrant. She takes him to the loft the gang are using as part of a reality TV show with Jamal the only one saying this could be a bad idea. But he comes around as Uri is a good and fun guy who cooks and helps. Thus, everyone is rocked to come back and find the loft has been completely cleaned out. Dawn and Jamal then run into Uri at a cafe to discover he was playing them all along and isn't even from Romania.
Uri: So the police are looking for a Romanian named Uri...(voice suddenly shifts to a New Jersey accent) Not a guy named Joey from Hoboken. Nothing personal kids, just business.
- It's lampshaded on at least two occasions on The Muppet Show that the Scandinavian gibberish spoken by the Swedish Chef is not actually the Swedish language. On the first, after this is revealed, it's commented that although the Chef would like to start language classes, he has to feed his family. On the second, after the Chef's language is referred to as Mock Swedish, the other characters demand he speak in his true language, prompting him to speak in an oriental gibberish identified as Mock Japanese by that week's guest star, Jean Stapleton, who also speaks it. Though Björn Borg converses fluently with the Chef in his usual lingo, thus suggesting that it is Swedish.
- Nelson on Life on Mars (2006) does the Obfuscating Stupidity variant of this. He asks Sam to keep it to himself, as "folks just seem happier with the other Nelson."
- Coronation Street once did a Story Arc about Fred marrying a Thai girl named Orchid. She turned out to be very British, and named Stacey.
- Marco Espinoza on Scrubs really is Dominican, but doesn't tell anyone he's learned English. Not even his sister Carla.
- A more regional version is seen, and played with, on The Jeff Foxworthy Show. A WASP-ish neighbor comes to the house to visit, and Jeff's normally-low-key Southern accent is ramped Up to Eleven. When Jeff's wife asks him about it, he laughs and reveals he does it intentionally just to bug the guy.
Jeff: "It kills him he lives next to Foghorn Leghorn!"
- This one's old enough to have been used on I Love Lucy, when a French man attempts to seduce Lucy away from Ricky; after having (apparently) succeeded, he rejects Lucy, stating that he simply couldn't bring himself to sleep with a married woman. He goes on to explain that he only behaves like a homewrecking lech because that's what Americans expect French men to be like, and he hates to disappoint people.
- According to Word of God, this is what happens to Jeff from Coupling eventually: He stays on the Isle of Lesbos, not speaking a word of Greek and spouting whatever comes to mind while claiming to only speak Hebrew.
- Arastoo on Bones used an accent for his first few episodes. He's a devout Muslim in a room full of scientists who don't agree with religion, so he figured that if he pretended to be "fresh off the boat" he'd get less crap from them. For bonus points, Bones reveals that she knew from the get-go that it was odd for an Iranian to be speaking English with a Jordanian accent, but decided it was none of her business.
- Jack's fiancee, Phoebe, from the first season of 30 Rock, is implied to be not quite as British as she pretends to be.
- Adam Klaus of Jonathan Creek is a fake American in Britain... Maybe. See the show's own page for the various competing theories about where and how he acquired it.
- The DJ in the Doctor Who story "Revelation of the Daleks" broadcasts an American-style radio show with an American accent, but really speaks with a British one in private conversations with Peri and when making snide comments.
- Johnny Vong in the Castle episode "Sucker Punch" is a Harvard-graduate from California who took the accent of a Laotian immigrant and made millions selling a Rags to Riches success story and heroin.
- Comedian/writer Bill Dana's famous Jose Jimenez, originally created for sketch comedy both on stage and television, eventually became the central character of both his own Sitcom, The Bill Dana Show (here's a sample), as well as at least one cartoon adaptation.
- The maitre d' of the Chinese restaurant in Persons Unknown.
- Barney on How I Met Your Mother once pretended to be an Estonian street performer to convince Marshall and Lily to start trying for a baby.
- Frequently done on 'Allo 'Allo! between the Nazis, the French, and the British airmen.
- Goodness Gracious Me lampshaded the use of the trope in films with a parody of The Great Escape where a team of captured Indian prisoners of war pretend to be German in order to escape the POW camp. Their excuse is that they are from East Germany - "very East."
- Little Britain features the characters of Dudley and his Thai Mail-Order Bride Ting Tong Macadangdang. Dudley comes to realise over the course of several episodes that Ting Tong is not quite who she claims to be - including the fact that she was born in Tooting (London), not a remote Thai village as she originally said.
- In an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the team stops what they think is an attack on a Muslim woman. It turns out that the screaming woman is neither Muslim nor of Middle Eastern descent, and that the rape is actually part of a hardcore porn movie being filmed. The actress is proud of "getting the accent right," but the SVU team are not impressed.
- Done more than once on The Goodies, usually as a part of a Zany Scheme. Lampshaded when Graeme is on the phone to Tim and pretending to be an Australian named 'Kerry Thwacker':
"No! This is not Graeme doing a silly accent! Mister Garden would do a much sillier accent than this!"
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer - in "Passion", Jenny Calendar goes into a magic shop. The proprietor greets her talking in a broad flowery East European accent - when she shows herself to be up on serious magic he promptly drops the accent, explaining he puts it on for the tourists.
- In the Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide episode "The New Kid", Cookie tries to reinvent himself as a British transfer student when entering a new class so that they will think he's exotic and special, but immediately gets called out and exposed by an actual British transfer student. He later catches the "Brit" using American terms instead of British ones and realizes that he's also a Fauxreigner, pulling the same stunt as Cookie for similar reasons (he's an actual transfer student, but from Ohio).
- Peaky Blinders features a black street preacher Jeremiah Jesus, played by poet Benjamin Zephaniah. During earlier episodes he publicly recites the bible in an Afro-Caribbean accent, but he later speaks privately with the main character in a regional English accent.
- Eli Stone has "Dr. Chen", ostensibly a Chinese acupuncturist with a thick accent. In truth, his real name is Frank Liebokowski and the accent is fake. He puts on the act because "nobody wants an acupuncturist named Frank Liebokowski. They want incense, mystique, foreign accent, they want Dr. Chen."
- In the Inside No. 9 episode "The Bill", a group of friends argue over a Shockingly Expensive Bill in a restaurant, to the consternation of the Eastern European waitress. It turns out she is neither Eastern European nor a waitress.
- On Major Crimes, the team track down a Korean back-alley doctor doing cosmetic surgery in a house. He talks to them in broken English which they cut off. Tao says the accent is "really insulting" considering the man was born and raised less than a mile away. After a pause, the guy shrugs and, in perfect unaccented English, says "it helps with the job." Both his patient and nurse look at him in disbelief.
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Shirley is seen going to a fortuneteller, Gina, for advice, blissfully oblivious to how the woman is a fraud. When the woman departs, Shirley asks her replacement if Gina went back to "the old country." The new fortuneteller says, "Old country? She's from the Bronx!"
- On Girl Meets World, Maya kidnaps French actress Anastasia Boulangerie and handcuffs her to the bathroom radiator, so her mother Katy can get a movie role. When Katy enters, she stuns Maya and Riley by telling "Anastasia" to drop her accent.
Anastasia (in broad Southern voice) All right, fine! But this here does not leave this here room!
- It turns out "Anastasia" is actually Bobbie Jo Thibodeaux, Katy's best friend from Arkansas who created this fancy French persona for her career.
- Whodunnit? (UK): In "Too Many Cooks", head chef Count Igor Braunsky is revealed to really be Stanley Brown of Bethnal Green, London. As he puts it, no one is going to respect a chef named Stanley Brown.
- Yancy Derringer: Yancy's Love Interest is Madame Francine, the strong-willed, beautiful owner of a members-only gambling house in New Orleans. She pretends to be French, but her real name is Nora and she is actually Irish.
- Jonny Jakobsen's act revolves around this on his albums as Dr Bombay (faux Indian), Dr MacDoo (faux Scot), and Carlito (faux Mexican).
- The first few years, the Leningrad Cowboys appeared as Russians who claimed to be American rock & roll musicians. The best part: They're actually Finns.
- New Wave Music singer Lene Lovich is a Detroit native long resident in the UK. Her surname is Serbian, due to her father, and with a put-on accent and outlandish clothing she's cultivated an image as a vaguely Eastern European nomad.
- Booker T. Having won WWE's King of the Ring tournament, he began affecting the cape and crown as an every day fashion, behaving as if he really were the king of the world, and speaking with a ridiculously-bad British accent. Then he went to TNA and, after having politicked his way into a private dressing room (TNA, working smaller venues than WWE, doesn't give them as a manner of course), he turned it into his own personal pleasure dome, started walking around in Hefner-esque silk robes, and began affecting a ridiculously-bad African accent and constantly talking about how things are in "his country". Keep in mind, the entire time, he's still billed as being from Houston, Texas, and if he gets pushed far enough, he has a tendency to lapse back into American urban slang.
- Santino Marella and Roddy Piper are the correct ethnicities to their characters (Italian and Scottish, respectively). They're actually Canadians. The former even had a Russian gimmick in developmental.
- In the early part of his WWE run, Kofi Kingston was billed as being from Jamaica, and spoke with a thick Jamaican accent. While he still used the same reggae entrance theme, he soon dropped the accent and started to be billed from his actual home country of Ghana, which Triple H lampshaded:
"Aren't you supposed to be Jamaican? What happened to your accent?"
- From an episode of The Goon Show featuring the characters of Justin Eidelburger and Yakamoto:
Eidelburger (Peter Sellers): Now get in this zeppelin, mit aus kabloongen volkischer bierwerken kreuzkrrrgggg...
- The Foreigner by Larry Shue. Charlie is actually an Englishman in backwoods Georgia, but is so shy and depressed that he doesn't want to have to talk to anyone. His friend, Froggy then sets up the premise that Charlie is a foreigner who can't speak any English and therefore should just be left alone. Well, that doesn't quite work out as planned, but Hilarity Ensues and fortunately, it all works out in the end.
- In the operetta Die Fledermaus, several of the characters attend Prince Orlovsky's ball incognito as foreign noblemen and -women. Lindy Hume's English-language adaptation, first produced by Opera Australia in the 1990s, goes one better by revealing at the very end that Orlovsky himself is not really a foreign nobleman either.
- Adolfo Pirelli, the self-proclaimed 'King of the Barbers and the Barber of Kings' who claims to have shaved the King of Naples and the Pope and who is all the rage in London, in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. It turns out Pirelli's real name is Daniel O'Higgins, an Irishman who was Sweeney Todd's assistant as a boy, back when Todd went by the name of Benjamin Barker. Daniel's intent to use this information to blackmail Sweeney ends up getting him killed.
- Don Juan and Miguel, primarily Renaissance Faire actors, have a particular mind-bending, fourth wall breaking bit where Miguel states, "I'm a Polock from Chicago pretending to be a Mexican pretending to be a Spaniard. Must mean I'm an American!"
- The "Greek diplomatist" whom Nepommuck works for in George Bernard Shaw play Pygmalion. The man is in fact English, but he pretends to speak no English at all as he is of humble birth and has an atrocious manner of speech. Subverted in the same play as Nepommuck mistakes Eliza Doolittle for a fauxreigner-in-reverse because her speech is now so refined (through work of Henry Higgins) that she cannot possibly be real English, because "only foreigners who have been taught to speak it speak it as well." In fact, Nepommuck insists that she must be a Hungarian princess who is pretending to be English for some reason and no one believes the truth.
- My Fair Lady: At the embassy ball, Kaparthy (the equivalent character of Nepomuck in Pygmalion) demonstrates his ability to detect fraud by pointing out a Greek diplomat whose origins are actually English working-class, and who pretends he speaks no English because if any English person heard him speak they'd immediately realize the truth.
- Ali Hakim in Oklahoma! was written to be this (the idea was that he's actually Jewish from New York but claiming to be Persian), although it varies by production.
- Jean Armstrong in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations seems to be faking his whole "French chef" thing. The judge picks up on this when Armstrong mistakenly uses Spanish instead of French.
- In the first case of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, the timid waitress with a thick Russian accent Olga Orly is actually a loud-mouthed con artist. The singer Lamiroir from Turnabout Serenade isn't actually Borginian by birth and can speak fluent English, but she is under contract to only speak Borginese in public since her manager believed it would add to her mystery. Word of God also confirms that Klavier Gavin isn't actually German, though he did study in Germany for a while.
- Celestia Ludenberg in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is an Elegant Gothic Lolita Chuunibyou who's adamant that her name is real despite being as Japanese as the rest of the cast, and in the English version of the game sports a fake French accent.
- BioShock did this with Atlas, actually New York mobster Frank Fontaine putting on an Irish accent. It slips from time to time with certain words. Later in the game after The Reveal of his actual identity, Fontaine briefly puts on the Atlas voice again with even more exaggeration and Irish stereotyping just to mock Jack.
- The Asian bookstore owner in Fahrenheit. When policeman, Tyler Miles, meets him, he pretends to be an clumsy Chinese Old Master. After Tyler manages to solve his puzzle, he drops the act and explains that he only does it because he does not want to sell books to stupid people. He also reveals that he was in fact born in and never left Brooklyn.
- Clay from Pokémon Black and White is a Japanese man who got rich in America by finding oil, and apparently moved to Unova. Due to the art style and his persona, he comes off as an American-born Southerner. He may be playing up the part of a Southerner, or just naturally adapted to the style.
- In Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, we meet a store owner with a long wispy beard, something resembling a traditional outfit, and a ridiculous accent (even in the Russian version!). The Let's Play names him Horrific Chinese Stereotype. Eventually he drops it.
- In Leisure Suit Larry 7: Love for Sail!, the character Wang, obviously Chinese, is foreign... but from Ireland, and speaks English fluently with an Irish accent. Since people kept staring at him, he adopted a stereotypical Chinese accent and You No Take Candle. His Irish accent slips through whenever he gets upset or annoyed, prompting Larry to ask him about it.
- It's unclear if all of the Preppies in Bully (which is set in Everytown, America) are just putting on posh British airs, though Tad Spencer in particular freely admits to doing so.
- An example of the milder variety from The Onion: Hostel-Dwelling Swede Getting Laid Big Time
- While he is a foreigner, Bandit Keith in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series isn't actually from America note , despite his American jingoism. He's Canadian, in North America.
- While not denying his fae nature or that he is a foreigner Jareth's portrayal in the Buildingverse is so British that even his unwilling love interest gets roped into anglophile meetings at times. Actually that's just Actor Allusion, he is half-Charnian (part genie and giant from this side), half Scandinavian/Germanic (and nasty sort of child stealing fairy). Yeah. Playing that straight would probably make him even more of a Funny Foreigner.
- Implied at with Carlos from Resident Evil Musicals, while he was simply a foreigner with an inconsistent accent on the original game, here he is treated like he's faking it on purpose.
- In the original Pepé Le Pew short, Pepe reveals he's not really French, but liked playing the "French lover" role. This was removed from his later appearances.
- In Danny Phantom, Gregor/Elliot from Hungary/Michigan.
- Frisky Dingo:
- "Mao" is a white dry cleaner pretending to be Chinese in order to qualify for a minority business loan.
Those loans are for non-threatening women of color!
- Grace Ryan has an incredibly racist "disguise" as a Chinese woman.
- "Mao" is a white dry cleaner pretending to be Chinese in order to qualify for a minority business loan.
- A flashback at the beginning of The Venture Bros. episode "Now Museum, Now You Don't" shows Dr. Jonas Venture Sr. infiltrating Scaramantula's inner circle as the Japanese Dr. Fandragon. The disguise includes using his fingers to pull his eyelids back and a superfluous third nipple (on his chin). Scaramantula seems to notice that Fandragon isn't actually Japanese, but can't seem to put together that it's specifically Dr. Venture.
Dr. Venture: You've forgotten one thing, Scaramantula.
Scaramantula: And what is that, my uncharacteristically hirsute Asian comrade?
- One episode of The Simpsons had owners of a Chinese Restaurant slip into a heavy stereotype to please Homer.
- Kairi in Batman Beyond fakes a heavy Japanese accent because it sells more fish that way. She speaks with an American accent when she isn't working.
- In the Home Movies episode "Four's Company", Octavio seduces Melissa this way.
- In one episode of Rugrats, Ilsa Umlaut, the dog groomer who was called to groom Spike, speaks in a Scandinavian accent for most of the episode and claims to be from either Helsinki or Stockholm. After she gets paid at the end, she slips into an American accent, implying that she was faking the Scandinavian accent the whole time.
- The Chameleon Brothers in Rocko's Modern Life have heavy, vaguely-Scandinavian accents. This is later revealed to be all just part of their ever-changing Hipster persona...incidentally, the only part that doesn't change.
- In one episode of W.I.T.C.H., a new girl with a French accent named Sondra turns up at school, claiming to be an exchange student from Switzerland. The main characters aren't quite convinced, especially when the boys fall for her and she claims to be a superb ski expert. By the end of the episode, Sondra injures herself while everyone is on a school ski trip and is revealed to be American, as well as all the other ridiculous claims she made being fake, such as being fluent in Russian and owning clothes made of cashmere.
- Tuong Lu Kim from South Park is actually a white man with a Split Personality who exaggerates several kinds of Asian stereotypes.
- In DuckTales (2017), it is revealed that, like his comic book counterpart Flintheart Glomgold was born and grew up in South Africa. The excessive Scottishness is an act to surpass his rival Scrooge. His birth name isn't even Flintheart Glomgold, it's Duke Baloney.
- Sheep in the Big City hinted at this in the Animated Actors episode "Baa-hind the Scenes", where the Ranting Swede is shown talking without the accent while off-camera.
- A Pro Wrestling Episode in Avatar: The Last Airbender features a Foreign Wrestling Heel, the Fire Nation Man. Despite his overt patriotism and very stereotypical outfit, his Misplaced Accent and the fact that he displays sandbending suggests that he's actually from the Earth Kingdom (a fact confirmed by All There in the Manual material).
- "Chinese" magician Chung Ling Soo was actually an American, William Ellsworth Robinson, who pretended to be Chinese not only on stage but all the time. Only his family and several other stage magicians knew the truth. He avoided speaking English for 19 years, until he was killed when a bullet catch went wrong. His reported last words were, "My god, I've been shot."
- "Princess Caraboo", actually Mary Wilcocks Baker, a former servant girl who became a sensation in early 19th-Century England by pretending to be a foreign princess who had washed up on British shores after escaping from the pirates who had kidnapped her. In 1994 the story was made into a movie, starring Phoebe Cates as Caraboo/Baker.
- "George Psalmanazar", who pretended to be a Formosan long before anyone in Europe knew where Formosa (aka Taiwan) actually was or who really lived there. He wrote an absolutely awesome book in English on Formosa that was translated into French and German and was even asked to lecture at Oxford University. He admitted his imposture some years later after numerous attacks by skeptics, but to this day his real name is unknown (specifically because he refused to give it when dying, out of remorse for the imposture).
- Mata Hari (real name: Margaretha Geertruida "Margreet" Zelle), the Dutch wife of a diplomat, came back from Borneo claiming to be an adopted priestess inducted in the native (read: fictional) practices of Indonesia. She became an international sex symbol in Europe. Unfortunately for her, the Moral Guardians of the time (World War I) had her executed as a German spy.
- A significant part of the Republic of Ireland's national football side in the Eighties and Nineties, due to the qualification rules allowing many English-born players of Irish parentage recruited by English manager Jack Charlton.
- Although the Jamaican football team who qualified for the 1998 World Cup were known as the Reggae Boyz, around half the squad were actually English-born to Jamaican families (including Darryl Powell, whose father actually was a reggae musician). Such players are playfully known in Jamaica as UB40s, in reference to the multiracial British reggae band.
- The embodiment of "Yellow Peril" in movies and TV was Khigh Dghieh ("Yen Lo" in The Manchurian Candidate; "Wo Fat" on Hawaii Five-O). He was really named Kenneth Dickerson and was not of Asian descent.
- Benjamin Franklin did this while asking for help with the American Revolution while in France. An upper crust British-born gentleman wearing a coon skin cap?
- 19th-century courtesan Lola Montez, born in Ireland as Eliza Gilbert but spent most of her career passing herself off as a Spanish noblewoman. She got Bavarian King Ludwig I to abdicate over the affair (and the small matter of the 1848 revolutions)
- The 19th century English explorer Richard Burton (yes, there were two of them) completely remade himself into an Arab man when exploring the Middle East, in order to get as intimate a look at the region as possible. He also benefited from being extremely good at foreign languages, mastering Arabic and fooling everyone in the process.
- Invoked by Ghanaian soccer player Anthony Yeboah, who played most of his career in Germany. During an interview with a German sports magazine which was surprised that he was living a "normal life" he asked whether he should start a campfire in the living room and go gazelle hunting in downtown Frankfurt.
- Invoked by Jose Barrientos an Iraq war veteran. He was taking a speech class and decided to spend the entire semester speaking with a Mexican accent. When he gave his final report he slipped back into his normal accent and blew his classmate's minds. Amazingly one student kept insisting that his 'American' accent was the fake one and that he should speak in his native language. Which he kept insisting he was.