A character says something inappropriate or embarrassing to the wrong person or within earshot of the wrong person. They mention having taken a woman's virginity in front of said woman and her new boyfriend. They wear fur in the presence of an overzealous animal lover. Or they eat peas with their knife. And now the eyes of the world are upon them, sneering and/or laughing contemptuously at their little (or not so little) faux pas.
A faux pas can be defined as "a social blunder" or "a violation [intentional or not] of accepted social rules or norms". It can be a Freudian Slip, it can put The "Fun" in "Funeral", it can result in someone saying "How Did That Get in There?" It could even be something as simple as tripping and falling ("faux pas" literally means "false step"). And it is, 99% of the time, played for comedy in fiction.
Funny Foreigners and Fish out of Water are particularly prone to this (see Cross-Cultural Kerfluffle). You can only hope and pray that those around you will have the good grace to refrain from lining up and rubbing your face in it. Speaking of grace, this trope also comes into play when a character is saying grace before a meal, alongside another character or characters who have already begun eating food.
This trope has no connection whatsoever to the webcomic Faux Pas (which is actually pronounced "Fox Paws", unlike the French, which is more to the effect of "foe pah").
Subtropes may include one or more of the following:
- Accidental Public Confession
- Did I Just Say That Out Loud?
- Digging Yourself Deeper
- Fake Fabric Fashion Faux Pas
- Freudian Slip (naturally)
- Freudian Slippery Slope
- Fumbling the Gauntlet
- The "Fun" in "Funeral"
- How Did That Get in There?
- Idiotic Partner Confession
- Innocently Insensitive
- Ignore the Disability
- Open Mouth, Insert Foot
- Right Behind Me
- Right in Front of Me
- Saying Too Much
- That Came Out Wrong
See also Forgot About the Mind Reader, where the character doesn't even have to speak. I Meant to Do That is when the character pretends the blunder was in fact done on purpose in order to mitigate the embarrassment. Compare Protocol Peril, which is what happens when a particular faux pas is treated as a life or death matter.
- Expecting to Fall into Ruin, I Aim to Become a Blacksmith: There is a bit of a Running Gag about how people handle the fact that insulting the stuck up First Prince Arc is lese majesty, with Kururi's father openly saying he wishes Arc's younger brother Rhasa would be heir to the throne instead, and Kururi's anger building over not being able to completely tell off Arc as much as he wants to.
- Latvia of Hetalia: Axis Powers, despite being shy and nervous, lacks tact and has a tendency to just blurt out whatever's on his mind, no matter how insensitive or insulting it may be, especially in front of his former boss Russia...and he often has to face the consequences for it.
Latvia: Ah...Mr. Russia, those traditional clothes suit you well. You're rediscovering styles from the past, right?
Russia: Latvia, these clothes are popular at my house right now.
Latvia: Those fossils are popular?
- Lyrical Nanoha:
- In the first season, Admiral Lindy, wishing to make Nanoha more comfortable and show her appreciation for Nanoha's culture, invites the title character to a tea ceremony. She then proceeds to prepare her green tea by dropping lumps of sugar in it and adding milk, a Japanese no-no (Lindy's doing it British-style with Japanese aesthetics) that causes Nanoha to be horrified.◊ This later turned into a running gag. The fourth StrikerS sound stage revealed that she introduced it to Mary. Ginga, who also drinks her tea this way, asks her father, who is suggested to be of Japanese descent, if he would like to try it, and he politely refuses.
- Lindy's adopted daughter Fate has a better grasp of Japanese culture (given that she actually grew up there) though she also gets some things wrong. For example, she was under the impression that you're supposed to go commando while wearing a kimono, a misconception that wouldn't get cleared up until she was in her twenties.
- Continuing the tradition set by Lindy and Fate, we have Vivio. Her attempt to throw a New Year's party results in Nanoha coming home to find a cactus in the hallway as a kadomatsu and Rio hanging up a noose as a wreath.
- The Unmasqued World in Monster Musume can get complicated with the extra species integrating with human society. The biggest problem is food. Kimihito worries he'd have to stop using foods with bird or fish in them thanks to living with Papi and Mero. Turns out his fears were for naught, as Mero compares fish to mermaids the same way a human is compared to cows or pigs. Papi is "totally okay with cannibalism" as it shows her violently biting into a roast chicken. A similar scene plays out when the group goes out to an open market. Several of the food vendors frantically pack away chicken, fish, and other meats thinking they might offend the liminals.
- The Villainous Daughter's Butler, I'll Crush the Destruction Flags: Heavily featured and discussed, usually stemming from Alicia or Prince Alforth not recognizing Double Meaning or subtext they are expected to converse with by court culture, justified in that they're each around twelve.
- In the first issue of the New 52 Batgirl series, Barbara Gordon's new roommate sees the wheelchair lift on Barbara's van and makes a comment about how being "trapped in a chair" is her worst fear, since it would be "like prison". Barbara's internal narration says that she knows her roommate didn't mean anything by it, and she's not ready to correct her and that she has no way of knowing that Barbara herself used to need it, and when she was in the chair she was Oracle.
- One Calvin and Hobbes story arc features Suzie getting into trouble for such things as passing notes and talking in class (all instigated by Calvin, of course).
- In the comic strip Drabble, the title character is introduced to sushi, whereupon he announces, "I'll have mine well done, please!"
- MAD often makes reference to these in its humor. For example, one article lists a few things to say when you're otherwise headed into an inappropriate statement.
Woman: Say, when are you expecting...
Heavyset woman: I'm not pregnant!
Woman: ...this stupid bus to arrive? It's been almost an hour!
- Happens quite often in the Norwegian comic Pondus. The usual scenario is Pondus and his wife, Beate, chatting with a friend (mostly Beate's friends). Beate makes a Faux Pas, tries to correct it and makes matter worse. Pondus usually praises Beate for this.
- Kingdom Hearts Ψ: The Seeker of Darkness: In Kairi and Lea's Excellent Adventure, Kairi asks Lightning if she can see her l'Cie brand, embarrassing them both when Fang cuts in, "Yeah, Light. Show us your cleavage!"
- The Mountain and the Wolf: The Wolf's utter and unrepentant crassness gets on everybody's nerves, compounded by the fact that he never seems to realize that he's being insulting or abrasive, like requesting that Daenerys deliberately ignore the bells if King's Landing tries to surrender so both armies can still get a good fight (of course, it's possible that he doesn't actually intend to deliberately insult everyone he meets and it's simply a side effect of him being required to always look for a fight).
- Us and Them: In a side story, Cid and Sephiroth are eager to work with a new stock of adamantium they traded with a tribe of dwarves for. Seph is surprised that they were willing to trade after Cid called their chief "Little Guy", but they brush it off. Later, after hours of fruitlessly trying to so much as dent the metal, they both admit the dwarves got them back for the insult. Hard.
- In What Tomorrow Brings, Tom mentions that his Yeerk was forced to learn Andalite body language while he worked under Visser Three. When Tom meets some other Andalites, he tries to bow at them in a way that looks deferential, but Elfangor tells him that it's three hundred years out of date.
- In Disney's The Little Mermaid (1989), literal Fish out of Water Ariel, at her first dinner with Eric, uses a dinglehopper (a fork) to comb her hair (based on faulty information provided by Scuttle the seagull). She also grabs Grimsby's pipe and blows into it believing that it is a snarfblatt, which Scuttle blows like a trumpet.
- In Shrek 2, Shrek eats dinner with Fiona's parents and mistakes a finger bowl for soup.
- In The Film of the Book of the first novel in the Earth's Children series, Clan of the Cave Bear, lead character Ayla must, within sight of her tribe, save a child from a wolf using her advanced hunting skills, skills which it is not lawful for a woman in her society to have.
- The book has the same situation but with a hyena instead. Clan of the Cave Bear is practically one long sequence of these, although the results are generally not all that funny.
- Ladyhawke - Proud at escaping an inescapable prison, Phillipe offers to buy a drink to everyone in a tavern. Some of them are out looking for him.
- Jason around Kelly in Mystery Team. He explains to the (orphaned) girl that life isn't fair because he didn't get a bike for Christmas, tells her to have fun at her parents' wake, and says her skin feels similar to what a dolphin's must feel like.
- The whole Mystery Team is like this. For example, their most common suspect is Old Man McGinty, whom they suspect for murder when he is clearly very comatose. They break into his house. Twice.
- Pacific Rim: When Newt is introducing himself and his work, he shows off his kaiju tattoos and goes on about how cool kaiju are. In front of Raleigh. Who lost his brother to one.
Newt: You know [Yamarashi] was one of the biggest Category 3s ever? It's 2,500 tons of awesome. (awkward silence from everyone else) Or awful, you know, whatever you wanna call it.
- Ridicule by Patrice Leconte depicts the fearsome consequences of social blunders at the court of Louis XVI. People were Driven to Suicide for saying the wrong thing at the wrong moment, or at the very least their hopes for advancement at court were ruined.
- The Right Stuff: The wall behind the bar of Pancho's Happy Bottom Riding Club is covered with pictures of pilots. Early in the film a young girl asks Pancho what a pilot has to do to get a picture on the wall. Pancho replies, "You have to die, sweetie." Later, when a new crop of test pilots arrive at Edwards Air Force Base and visit the bar, the cockiest of the lot, Gordo Cooper, decides to get in Pancho's face when he feels like they're not getting enough respect from her.
Gordo Cooper: Rookies? Now hold on, sis. You are looking at a whole new ballgame here now. In fact, in a couple of years, I bet you're even gonna immortalize us by putting our pictures up there on your wall. (cue horrified stares from everyone at the bar) What, I say something wrong here?
- Witness: When John Book is at a hot dog joint with his new Amish companions, Rachel and Samuel, he begins eating just before they pause to say grace.
- Amelia Peabody pulls out a big one in Crocodile on the Sandbank. An acquaintance confesses that she's been seduced, is therefore Defiled Forever, and fully expects to be kicked out on the street.note Amelia's word vomit response boils down to: "Is sex enjoyable? Because between what my sisters in law say and the looks on the village girls' faces when they've sneaked off into the meadow with their sweethearts, I'm getting mixed signals here." Not exactly acceptable conversation from a respectable Victorian lady.
- In Soul Music, Imp y Celyn is sitting in a waiting room with a dwarf and a troll, and they casually mention that he looks a bit "druidish" (he is). Imp worries that a troll (a stone-based creature) would take offense at people who drag innocent boulders across the country and arrange them in circles, and vehemently denies it, adding "I hate rocks!" for emphasis. The troll, Cliff, patiently explains that "rock" is a derogatory term for troll. Fortunately he's willing to forgive Imp, seeing as he's a fellow musician and clearly didn't mean to offend, and the whole incident ends up breaking the ice for all three.
- Mr. Nutt has No Social Skills at the beginning of Unseen Academicals, so he frequently says things he shouldn't, e.g. calling Glenda "fecund".
Mr. Nutt: Have I made another faux pas?
Glenda: Is this "faux pas" that looks like it should be pronounced "forks pass"?
- One of the many inconveniences that come from the double lives that the characters in Everworld live is that whenever they fall asleep or lose consciousness in Everworld, all of their stored memories instantly download into their Earth brains, no matter what their Earth selves are doing at the time. At one point, Christopher gets a particularly upsetting update (one that ends with him getting knocked out by enemies) right in the middle of dinner with his new girlfriend's parents. What he thought he was doing: tripping, falling, and swearing from the shock. What he was actually doing: leaping headfirst into his girlfriend's mother's cleavage while shouting, "Motherf***er!"
- In Ellen Raskin's Figgs and Phantoms, Mona Lisa Figg unthinkingly requests a book by its title and (racist) subtitle while speaking to a black librarian.
- In Journey to the Center of the Earth, the narrator, having broken an ancient explorer's code, shows his uncle how the code is written. Unfortunately, he has his love for his uncle's ward on the brain, and the phrase he codes is that he loves her...thankfully for everyone, his uncle's response amounts to, "Huh. Well, we'll talk about that later."
- A Song of Ice and Fire: Being an arrogant and sadistic Royal Brat, Joffrey Baratheon is incredibly prone to making disgustingly insensitive gaffes that would probably get anybody else beaten to death. This is bad enough when he's merely a spoiled prince mistreating servants and the like, but becomes downright catastrophic when he becomes king and keeps doing it to powerful nobles and knights that could very easily destroy him. Before too long, his inept rule and constant thoughtless comments (such as openly denigrating the recently deceased Renly Tyrell right in front of his still-living family) plunge Westeros into a brutal civil war.
- Piers Anthony's Xanth has a location called the "Faux Pass" (har de har, the entire series is essentially a Hurricane of Puns). Anyone crossing through this pass is fated to commit a faux pas in the near future. As an accidental bonus for the trope name, it was created by an incredibly huge giant literally tripping over the mountain range.
- The Big Bang Theory: In the episode "The Luminous Fish Effect", Mary Cooper initiates saying grace before dinner while Howard and Raj have already begun stuffing their mouths with food.
- On Castle, an actress visits Rick Castle at home, thanking him for their relationship and her part in Castle's new movie. She walks out the door:
Ellie: Thanks, Frank.
- The embarrassing faux pas is the single driving narrative force in Curb Your Enthusiasm. Some fans even use the term "Larry David moment" to describe it.
- Pretty much every character in Daredevil has said or done something after forgetting that Matt is blind. The real estate agent tells him that he and Foggy can fight over the office with the better view. Karen holds a newspaper to his face to show an article about how terrible Wilson Fisk is. Ben Urich shrugs instead of verbally answering. Matt isn't bothered by it, and seems to prefer the odd faux pas to people treating him like he's made of glass. The irony is that with his secret super senses, he can sense a lot of what's going on anyway.
- In Doctor Who, the Eleventh Doctor has done this twice:
- "The Time of Angels":
The Doctor: But then [the Aplans] banned self-marrying! I mean, what's that all about? But then that's the church for you! No offence...bishop.
Bishop Octavian: Quite a lot taken, if that's all right, Doctor.
- "The Vampires of Venice": The Doctor has just jumped out of a cake at Rory's stag party:
The Doctor: Rory! (...) We need to have a talk about your fiancée. She tried to kiss me. Tell you what, though, you're a lucky man — she's a great kisser.
(silence falls over the room, and someone drops a beer glass)
The Doctor: ...Funny how you can say something in your head and it sounds fine.
- "The Time of Angels":
- Matthew Crawley makes quite a few missteps early on in his tenure on Downton Abbey, including commenting that being a valet "seems rather a silly profession for a grown man." ... to his valet. The man flees the room in shame.
- Another notable one shows up when Self-Made Man Sir Richard Carlisle runs into Lord Grantham's sister on the Abbey grounds:
Carlisle: Ah, Lady Painswick.
Rosamund: (smiling, stamping her walking stick into the ground with a grandiosity befitting her mother) Lady Rosamund.
- Another notable one shows up when Self-Made Man Sir Richard Carlisle runs into Lord Grantham's sister on the Abbey grounds:
- Trope name comes from an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond which uses a whole slew of these to drive the plot.
Raymond: (regarding a man Robert arrested who was "flashing gang signs") He wasn't breaking the law, was he?
Robert: ... No.
Raymond: What was he doing?
Robert: ... He was being deaf.
Raymond: A-ha! Fee Fi Faux Pas!
- Faux Pause was a long-forgotten Game Show Network original series that took a laughably obscure game show, paused it at certain points and has the cast give it the MST3K treatment.
- Frasier: Diane Chambers' visit to the Frasier pad doesn't go well when Diane, who wasn't exactly on the best footing with Frasier's dad on account of leaving Frasier at the altar a decade ago, tries making small talk. Her inquiry to Martin about his health gets the response that he had to retire early due to being shot, then had to move in with Frasier because his injury meant he couldn't live by himself, and his wife (who really didn't like Diane) died. Diane awkwardly tries to say he's looking good... and pats him on the leg. Specifically, the bad one. She doesn't do much better with Frasier's brother Niles, asking about the strange woman Niles was dating last time they met, then immediately wondering if she's just said something wrong. She has, since Niles is now estranged from said strange woman.
- Game of Thrones: Pod calls Brienne "Ser" out of habit, earning glares from both Brienne and Jaime.
- Gentleman Jack: While in Denmark, Anne makes a visit to the Danish court and is told to introduce herself to the queen. She approaches a well-dressed older woman and politely curtsies to "Her Majesty"... only to be informed that the queen is actually the younger woman standing next to her. Luckily, the queen takes it in stride and is quite friendly to Anne, and everyone laughs about it later.
- The Nanny's Chastity Claire once wore a lamb wool coat in front of Lamb Chop. Fran chastises her for it, saying, "Hello! Maybe she had people there?!" in the ensuing freak out from the famous lamb.
- Orange Is the New Black uses this to drive one of its first story arcs. On Piper's first day in prison, an inmate comes by and gives her a yogurt cup at the mess hall, as a welcome gift. Piper thanks her profusely, adding that she's happy to get the yogurt because "the food here is disgusting." It turns out that the woman who gave her the yogurt is the head cook, one of the most powerful inmates in the prison. And she takes the insult very personally.
- Red Dwarf: Rimmer claims he got passed up for a promotion because, at an important dinner with an admiral, his soup was cold. So he demanded it be heated up nice and hot. It was done so. Unfortunately, it was Gazpacho soup (which is meant to be served cold)... However, Rimmer claims he could have been an admiral by the time Red Dwarf had its disaster, even though he was the second lowest crewmember on the ship and the dinner was less than a year before he died.
- This was very nearly Truth in Television. The creators went out to dinner in a fancy restaurant and were served gazpacho soup - they were about to send it back when one of the other diners explained.
- Something similar to the above example happens in an episode of Round the Twist. The scenario: The Twists are trying to eat a meal while ignoring Bronson, who's playing them for all their worth by deliberately disregarding table manners. Then he pulls out a fly-swatter (specially prepared for the occasion) and licks it, causing the whole charade to go tits-up. It's later revealed that there are no actual flies on the swatter.
- One episode of Seinfeld involves Jerry tiptoeing around these while dating a Native American woman, avoiding common phrases with Native roots ("scalping" for tickets, "reservations" regarding a restaurant) to not offend her, after accidentally doing so after buying a fake statue of a stereotypical Native man. Eventually he manages to accuse her of being an "Indian giver" without actually using the word, and their relationship dissolves.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: In "The Best of Both Worlds: Part 1", Lt. Cmdr. Shelby reveals herself to be a little too ambitious for her own good while chatting with Cmdr. Riker.
Shelby: Tell me, Commander, is serving aboard the Enterprise as extraordinary an experience as I've heard?
Riker: Every bit of it.
Shelby: (grinning) Good, Because I intend to convince Captain Picard that I'm the right choice for the job.
Riker: Job? Which job?
Shelby: Yours, of course...
(Riker glares at her)
Shelby: I'm sorry... I heard you were leaving.
Riker: If I am... I'm sure you'll be the first to know, Commander.
- One episode of Supernatural has Castiel (who has recently become human) seriously asking a man in a public bathroom if he ever grows tired of urinating. Castiel found it weird and didn't think he'd ever get used to it.
- On Top Gear, while in America filming a "factual documentary" which is getting dangerously close to becoming entertaining, the presenters are stopped by a patrolman. Jeremy Clarkson takes it upon himself to explain the situation, with helpful hand gestures.... and in the process flips the cop off three or four times.
- In The West Wing episode "The Midterms", Doctor Jenna Jacobs, a conservative radio talkshow host, is publicly humiliated by the President of the United States (he draws her into clarifying that she is not an MD, but rather has a PhD in English, and then after she defends her stance that homosexuality is a sin by quoting the Book of Leviticus, asks her a serious of rapid-fire questions about whether he could sell his daughter into slavery, have his chief of staff executed for working on the Sabbath Day, etc. all while citing different verses of Leviticus (President Bartlett being a very well-studied Catholic), before finally pointing out what drew his wrath upon her.
President Bartlett: One last thing: While you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the Ignorant Tight-Ass Club, in this building, when the President stands, nobody sits.
- Most of the stories and questions in Were You Raised by Wolves? have to do with major social blunders and how they played out, followed by advice on how to handle them. In many episodes, a listener recounts one of these and asks "was this rude" to seek validation.
- Eliza's trip to the races at Ascot in My Fair Lady, culminating in the famous "Move your bloomin' arse!" line.
- In Pygmalion, Higgins takes Eliza to a dinner party to practice her society manners. As she prepares to depart after navigating the evening without ever quite making any irrecoverable errors, another guest asks if she intends to walk home (meaning to offer her his company). She replies with a perfectly-enunciated "Not bloody likely!" and goes to hail a taxi, leaving the party (and, at the play's debut, the audience) in uproar.
- Dragon Age: Inquisition: The Decadent Court themed social mission Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts is all about avoiding this by speaking in flowery terms, measured by "Court Approval". Basically, it's really easy to be considered boorishly blunt. An example is, when greeting The Queen to tell her about an upcoming threat, the player is supposed to use a cold weather metaphor, speaking plainly will lose some approval, speaking in a panic will lose even more. One could be tempted to make a save beforehand and just be a massive Troll.
- In Final Fantasy X, Tidus' stay in Spira is an extended one of these. He's accompanying Yuna on her quest to become High Summoner, in which she summons the Final Aeon to destroy the gigantic monster that's been terrorizing the world. He spends the bulk of the game talking about how they can relax and enjoy themselves and such after their quest is complete. The problem? Tidus is unaware that becoming High Summoner involves a Heroic Sacrifice, because summoning the Final Aeon kills the person who summons it. When he finds out, he realizes that all of his talk about what they were going to do afterwards was extremely awkward. He promptly has a massive What the Hell, Hero? moment directed at the rest of the group for not telling him the truth of the situation.
- Vaan in Final Fantasy XII puts his foot in it when the party visits Fran's village, which she left 50 years ago. Not knowing about the viera's longer life span, Vaan asks how old she is, since she looks much younger; he is not only breaking the woman's age taboo, but he's doing it during an emotionally trying time for Fran.
- Mass Effect: Andromeda: When the team meets the angara and invites one (Jaal) aboard the ship, Liam and Jaal decide to deliberately engage in this with each other, being very blunt and rude with no thought given to courtesy or boundaries. Liam says they're doing it so they can figure out what is offensive to each other and thereby avoid unintentional insults in the future. Ryder is confused by this but it seems to work between them.
- Utawarerumono has Eruruw committing a whole SERIES of these with...pretty much every word she says, to the Imperial Princess. In a subversion, the princess brushes it off, while the assistant takes it the worst way possible. It's pretty much an Establishing Character Moment for the two.
- El Goonish Shive: Larry doesn't seem to get that the middle of a card tournament isn't the best time to be flirting. Especially when your opponent is not appreciative. Mr. Tensaided takes a second to... impress upon him the nature of his mistake. And, almost as importantly, that it's against the rules. And he's a stickler for the rules.
- When Nick goes to meet Ki's parents in General Protection Fault, he takes great pains to impress her father with his knowledge of Japanese culture, but forgets to take off his shoes upon entering the house. To be fair to Nick, though, Mr. Oshiro is biased against him as a result of how Ki's relationship with Sam turned out, so even Nick's attempts to impress him come off as mocking Asian culture.
- In Girl Genius, Agatha makes quite the social blunder when she asks Queen Albia of England for a dance. As pointed out by Tarvek, when Albia is sitting on her balcony, people are supposed to pretend she's not in the room. Then Agatha turns a clank she built into a Humongous Mecha that can match Albia's size, upon which Albia starts laughing at Agatha's sheer audacity and happily accepts her invitation. Having lived for thousands of years, Albia is always pleased to meet people who can surprise her. She is especially amused to learn that Agatha did so, along with unleashing a horde of (fake) Jägers upon the ball room, just so that Zeetha and Higgs could have a socially acceptable excuse to dance together.
- Andy, in Sticky Dilly Buns, is accidentally misled into confusing the naïve and prudish Ruby with her sister, the ex-porn star Amber. Even so, giving Ruby a cock ring as a date gift, and then asking her in public when she discovered that she enjoyed taking her clothes off for the camera, is crass by any standard. Fortunately for him, Ruby doesn't recognise the gift and suffers a total freeze-up at the question.
- The Trenches: Q is a big fan of Lawstar. Isaac learns this a few minutes after calling it a "shitty cartoon from the 80's''.
- Like Daredevil above, Toph from Avatar: The Last Airbender is prone to being on the receiving end of blind-insensitve comments. Of course, she also loves setting people up (Sokka mostly) to walk right into this situation. She even pulls this on herself where she makes the assumption that Katara's suggestion that she team up with Sokka to hang posters throughout the city was because Katara thought she was too weak to be left alone in the city and not that correctly hanging posters requires sight, as she immediately demonstrates by gluing one to the wall, blank-side-out.
Toph: ...it's upside-down, isn't it.
- In the Animated Adaptation of Soul Music, Imp y Celyn is prone to putting his foot in it.
- Yogi Bear, in "A Bear Pair" wins a vacation to Paris, and while dining, asks for ketchup to put on his filet mignon, leading to a international scandal.
- Truth in Television example: William Shatner was once berated for attending an environmentalist gathering in a seal skin jacket.
- Jim Gaffigan has joked about putting ketchup on Sushi.
- New Zealand TV host asking Star Trek (2009) actors Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and John Cho to bust out their best Scottish accents in honor of Scotty. Then she turns to John Cho and says, "I know you're Asian, but..." Holy Unfortunate Implications, Batman!
- It doesn't stop with individual politicians or countries, the frikkin' U.N. accidentally tweeted a support for a 1-state solution ahead of the General Assembly's vote on Palestine. (For the record, the vote turned out to be 138 countries in favor of implicit recognition of Palestine, and the "1-state" thing was a typo.)
- When Australian stand up comedian Fiona O'Loughlin met the queen with a few other residents of Alice Springs, she noticed that her husband went to shake Her Majesty's hand. Without looking to whom she was talking to, she asked the person standing next to her "Did he just fuck up?" A voice replied "Not as much as you just did, dear". She turned around to find that she had just addressed the Duke of Edinburgh note (although, given his track record of this sort of thing, this may count as praise from Caesar).
- Ross Noble once borrowed sunglasses from a woman in the crowd and used them to hold a piece of ham to his face. The woman was Muslim. Islam teaches that contact with pig's flesh is very sinful. Ross promptly offered to buy her new sunglasses.
- Half the fun of Basic Training for new military recruits is learning the entirely new (and often entirely arbitrary) rules and social standards that they must live by, including addressing some of their superiors as sir, but not others, standing at attention while speaking, learning specific required protocols (such as the correct way to report to an officer, the correct thing to do when the National Anthem plays, and what they should do differently if they are indoors versus outdoors), and countless other important rules, big and small. For those who complete their training and go into the "real" military, it's still possible for them to end up in trouble for failing to salute officers, being disrespectful to superiors, wearing their uniforms incorrectly, etc.
- What exactly qualifies as a major faux pas is subject to Values Dissonance between gender groups: studies by social psychologists found that in traditionally patriarchal societies like the west, predominantly female social groups are typically much less forgiving of faux pas than predominantly male ones as a knock-on effect of said social structures, and as a result what might seem like an inconsequential slip-up to a guy actually can be hugely jeopardizing to a girl among other girls (this is where the stereotype about girls being "overly sensitive" about stuff like a single pimple or wearing the same color of shirt as a friend stems from). Studies on autistic and/or otherwise neurodivergent women in particular note that this difference makes it harder for them to effectively socialize with same-gender peers compared to neurodivergent guys, often with far more severe repercussions on their mental health.
- While many companies adopt rainbow logos on their social media pages during Pride Month, this really doesn't work with Entertainment Weekly because their logo is simply the initials "EW." It came to a head in 2019 when they went with the brilliant message of "EW Pride!" that June. After being soundly mocked by the queer community and praised by homophobes, they've been finding other ways to acknowledge Pride since then.