In popular culture, usually comedy, Frenchmen are often Acceptable Targets. They will be portrayed as villains, antagonists or someone who is just plain mean, arrogant, snobbish, bad tempered, foul mouthed or rude. Often he will talk and laugh triumphantly in a Maurice Chevalier Accent, after insulting foreigners.
These are the most common situations in which this character turns up:
- Characters visit France or meet a Frenchman. They'll ask him a simple direction or question, but the French Jerk refuses to answer, starts insulting or threatening them and/or feels they are beneath him.
- French Cuisine Is Haughty: Characters visit a French restaurant, where the cook and/or the waiter are all arrogant, badly tempered and dirty snobs who refuse to give their clients what they want or interpret everything they say as a complaint. If they deliver the meals the food will always be filthy, disgusting, cold or at the very least overpriced.
- Characters meet a rich Upper-Class Twit, who happens to speak Gratuitous French in order to appear très chic and looks down upon the others because they are out of his noble league. A lot of comedy will be built around the fact that he or she doesn't understand or care for the common people and is unable to speak the language of the protagonists correctly. To top it all off he/she will wear or carry a lorgnette, a monocle or a small handkerchief, to emphasize his/her snobbishness. In the end he or she will always be humiliated or put in her place. This Stock Character can be found in a lot of countries who were conquered/colonized by the French or dominated by a French elite in the past, such as Belgium.
- Characters meet an arrogant Frenchman full of Misplaced Nationalism, either in their country or in France. He acts as The Rival to The Hero and will start a discussion about whose country is better, either in dialogue or through some sort of competition, such as a sport tournament. After the conflict is resolved, however, he often will have grown to love the country of The Hero and isn't as arrogant about himself or his country as he was before. This follows after he is defeated or after any interaction between them that resolves the conflict.
- In the USA in particular the French jerk may be portrayed as an ungrateful coward, whom the brave Americans saved in World War One and Two, but who has no respect for Americans in modern times.
- In Canada, French-speaking Quebecois are also lumped together with their European counterparts, to the latter's distress.
- In France, itself, provincial people are often said to think of Parisians this way. And possibly blame them for this trope.
This trope does not apply if the story takes place in France and the majority of the cast is French. An exception does apply if only the jerks speak with a French accent.
- An old McDonald's ad featured Ronald McDonald and his friends touring around the world visiting humorous re-imaginings of famous landmarks. In France, they meet the "Awful Tower", who is a sentient Eiffel Tower that tells bad jokes in an obnoxious French accent.
Awful Tower: Why is six afraid of seven? Because seven eight nine! Oh hon hon hon...!
Birdie: My, he is awful.
- France of Hetalia: Axis Powers. A Handsome Lech who frequently annoys the other nations with his antics, especially his Sitcom Archnemesis, England (who is somewhat of a Mean Brit himself).
- Patrick Colasour from Mobile Suit Gundam 00. An Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain who always chase the heroes to no avail. In the end, he ends up helping them in the final battle. His name and hair color suggest that he's Irish, though. Regardless, he's the huge Ensemble Dark Horse.
- Perrine H Clostermann from Strike Witches. Mainly, its due to her attitude towards Yoshika born from jealousy of her closeness to Mio. However, she mellows out over the course of the first season.
- Huey Laforet from Baccano!, oh, so much.
- Henri Claytor from Future GPX Cyber Formula is an extreme version of this in ZERO. While he may not be arrogant like other examples, he is a huge jerk, being a Manipulative Bastard, as well as borderline batshit insane, and he also has a deep-seated hatred for the main character. He mellows out at the end; he's still a jerk, but much less than he used to be.
- Tiger & Bunny's Agnes Joubert is a pretty good example of Everyone Looks Sexier If French. And she's really not very nice. Subverted in the last episode, where she gets her own Big Damn Heroes moment.
- Sophie Montgomery and her mother Jeanne in Lady. Ultimately subverted with Sophie, who shows a quite more sympathetic side as it's shown that Jeanne manipulates and harrasses her in hopes to get her to inherit her English grandma's fortune, threatening Sophie with abandoning her in France if she fails. Meanwhile, Sophie just wants to be loved by her mom.
- Marginal Prince gives us Henri-Hugues de Saint Germain, the series' resident stoic Deadpan Snarker. He's relatively silent in general, but when something comes out of his mouth it's often snarkage at others, his favourite target being the American Alfred. Subverted sometimes, when his proverbs and comments veil genuinely valuable lessons/suggestions. He never takes any efford in making them sound nice, though.
- A unique case in Food Wars!, Shinomiya Kojirou is Japanese but studied and works exclusively in French cuisine. He gets the jerk label early on because he expelled a cooking student because the student had used a citrus based shampoo that he felt might interfere with the presentation of food they hadn't even started preparing yet.
- Most Venusians from Battle Angel Alita. A race of hideous, egg-shaped mutants descended from French space colonists, their dependance on Organic Technology has given them a very callous attitude towards other living things.
- Jewelpet Twinkle has three French sisters - Marianne, Catherine and Angelina - who constantly gloat about their achievements and put the main characters down for going to a "country" school. That said, Marianne gets a bit of Character Development and becomes Tsundere for the (female) protagonist midway through the anime, after the latter saves her life.
- While Pierre from Captain Tsubasa averts this by being a Lovable Jock, Louis Napoleon plays it very straight. And boy, does he pay for it.
- Charles Bonaparte from Freezing is calmly and openly condescending and hostile to everyone, even her own Limiter, and dismissive of the E-Pandora. She gets better.
- Featured in Pop Team Epic 's CG-animated French segment in Episode 1 of the Anime. A mime-disguised Pipimi tells Popuko they'll use sign language to direct themselves in France. Once there, she proceeds to sign to a Frenchman to communicate with him, and the Frenchman replies with middle fingers. Popuko then concludes that French people are indeed skilled at sign language.
- Eddie Izzard, on the French in his stand-up show "Dress To Kill":
...and France hated them all cause Southern France was collaborating with the Germans, embarrassing! So since then, they've been kind of spiky and kind of, er, French... I'm very positive on the French, my family way back was French, so I go with it, but they are kind of, well, fucking French at times...
"All of Europe, you must do this!"
"Well... we're not gonna! We're gonna have a sandwich."
We play bad guys in Hollywood movies because of the Revolutionary War. Oh yes, no two ways about it. And the French, who were on your side in the Revolutionary war, they play more esoteric characters. They have characters who turn up and go,
- Later in that show:
"My name is Pierre! I have come from Paris. Ive come to have sex with your family."
"Help yourself! Because of the debt of honor to General Lafayette."
You know your own history, yeah? [beat, gives audience a knowing smirk] You don't know who he is, do you?! What was it? The Spanish-American War? The French-Banana War? What? Revolutionary War! Hung out with Washington. Lafayette. Street named after him in New York. Forget it!
- French comedian Marcel Lucont uses this as part of his stand-up persona.
- Robin Williams sometimes had skits to this trope's effect:
(Imitating a Frenchman) Fuck you Americans! Uncultured, crass Americans! We hate all of you! Fu- the Germans are here! Hello Americans! We love you!
- An inversion attributed to Chris Rock:
You know the world is going crazy when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, the tallest guy in the NBA is Chinese, the Swiss hold the Americas Cup, France is accusing the U.S. of arrogance, Germany doesnt want to go to war, and the three most powerful men in America are named Bush, Dick, and Colon. Need I say more?
- Averted in The Boys, in which the Frenchman is probably the nicest, friendliest, most genial guy in the series. He'll crush your skull if you make him mad, but still, by the standards of an Ennis story, stand-up guy.
- You have Georges Batroc, the Leaper, a classic foe of Captain America and a giant dickwad to boot. Depending on the Writer. He's a tad egotistical, true, but he's not really a jerk most of the time. He gave up crime after hearing Steve lament the fact none of his enemies ever reformed. In fact, Batroc and Cap have a pretty friendly relationship and he has helped Cap numerous times. Even as a villain, he'll team up with Cap to take on the really vile supervillains.
- Doom Patrol villain The Brain is a an early case of this, being an Evil Cripple who turned himself into a Brain in a Jar to fight the titular Doom Patrol alongside his sentient gorilla manservant Monsieur Mallah. He's never reformed, but has been made slightly less vile over the years through his relationship with Mallah.
- Inverted in the Thing's Civil War arc. Since the Marvel Civil War seems to involve everyone Ben knows in the U.S. turning into a colossal jerk and he doesn't want to have to pick sides between his friends, he travels to France. The French super-heroes he meets are all a little eccentric, but charmingly nice people, in contrast to how things have gotten back in the States.
- One of Hawkeye's earliest foes was Jacques Duquesne aka the Swordsman, a greedy fellow who trained Clint as a boy only to rob the carnival they both worked at and almost kill his pupil in the bargain. Following that he committed various international crimes, tried out for the Avengers hoping to commit bigger crimes while posing as a hero, and eventually fell for the Scarlet Witch, leading to Love Redeems.
- Nero: Meneer Pheip is a Flemish man of French descent who speaks mangled Dutch with a lot of badly translated French and Dutch. He is a rich arrogant, but dimwitted snob and in some stories he even turns against Nero, though he always forgiven in the end and seen as an irritating nuisance, but a friend nevertheless.
- Spider-Man: Peter Parker has a couple of run-ins with an obnoxious French waiter during JMS's run as writer.
- Suske en Wiske:
- In De Klankentapper a very posh French girl looks down upon Suske and Wiske and speaks in mangled Dutch with French phrases. When she tries to make Wiske jealous by trying to seduce Suske Wiske hates her with passion. Then the story takes a dramatic turn, as the French girl turns out to be an iron lung patient. Wiske takes pity on her and the French girl apologizes for her arrogance in the past.
- The baroness in De Spokenjagers is also a posh Upperclass Twit who happens to speak French.
- The Cyclone, Pierre Fresson, from Thunderbolts. Vain, egotistical, self-serving, and lecherous to the last.
- Tom Poes: Marquis de Canteclaer is a snobbish rooster, who uses très chique French words and expressions, but always looks down upon everyone in his environment, especially Bommel whom he sees as someone not worthy to be called a nobleman.
- The X-Men have recurring foe Exodus, a Knight Templar mutant who became the Mouth of Sauron to Magneto in The '90s when he was on A God Am I kick. Originally a mysterious presence, then a one-dimensional fanatic, later writers fleshed him out into a more complex character, truly wanting to protect and defend his fellow mutants but being too crazy thanks to Magneto's indoctrination (and a not-too-stable powerset) to do it without hurting humans. He's come a long way, though, once joining S.H.I.E.L.D. and currently serving on the Quiet Council that governs Krakoa in Jonathan Hickman's X-Men.
- Dufayel, the Big Bad of Old West, speaks with a heavy French accent. He tends to use French expressions especially when he's angry and his fake politeness slips.
- Emmanuelle-Marie les Deux-Epées, Comptesse de Lapoignard, who is principal tutor in Swords and Bladed Weapons at the Assassins' Guild School, in the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal. for most of the time she is agreeable, pleasant, benevolently disposed to most of her pupils and likeable to an extreme. However, she discovered early on that Quirmians get a by in Ankh-Morpork if they push the Quirmian-ness Up to Eleven and gave the host population exactly what they wish to see. Living up to expectations means that, helas and alors, one must sometimes adopt the Quirmian Jerk persona. It is, mes tres chere amies, sometimes expected of you.
- Ladybug in a Half Shell: Chloe's first appearance has her referring to April and Casey as "nasty dumb Americans."
- This is Jean Kirschstein's incarnation in A Slap On Titan, and Abridged on Titan.
- Played with in Ratatouille. Collette says at one point, "Sorry to be rude, but we're French. And it's dinnertime," which only makes sense as joke meant to reference this trope. (Were she referring only to the need to rush and prepare dinner, the first part wouldn't be necessary, but whether that's what she meant or not, the first part serves no purpose since they are in France.) There are some examples of French chauvinism, like the opening narration stating that "although other nations might dispute this fact... the best food in the world is made in France," and Skinner dismissively calling corn dogs "cheap sausages dipped in batter and fried; you know, American."
- The Little Mermaid (1989): Chef Louie has shades of this — including the obnoxious, nasal "french laugh": Hee hee hee, haw haw haw! He also sings about cutting up and serving fish for dinner, which seems intensely sadistic from to Sebastian's point of view — especially as the chef is preparing stuffed crab as the main course, thinks Sebastian is a "missed" crab, sings about him being "succulent", dips him in oyster sauce, covers him with flour, stuffs bread in his mouth, and then chucks him at the boiling pot.
- LeFrog in Flushed Away. "I find everyone's pain funny but my own. I am French!"
- Although in most retellings, Robin Hood is an English Saxon fighting the tyranny of French-descended Normans, in Shrek he inexplicably has a French accent. And is a jerk to boot.
- Lord Nooth in Early Man has a French accent (mostly). He's also a wealth-obsessed snob who receives at least one massage. It's never stated that he's actually from France, and the Bronze Agers seem to have accents from basically everywhere, but it is notable that the main villain of the movie is also the most prominently French-coded.
- Coco LaBouche and her assistant Jean-Claude, from the second Rugrats movie. In a movie set in Paris, they're the only main characters who are actually French. They're also smug, greedy, and they hate children.
- In Rush Hour 3, the two heroes try to take a taxi from the airport after they land in France. The driver refuses, saying that he does not drive Americans, and begins to list the numerous ways America is second rate to France. After an exciting car chase, the taxi driver completely changes his outlook on America, chasing his newfound dream of becoming an American spy, like in the movies in America always show.
- The Rude French Knights in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
- The Merovingian from The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions (although he's a program, and his hat is "decadence" so he chose to sound French, because swearing in it is apparently like "wiping your ass with silk").
- Raiders of the Lost Ark: Belloq, a French archaeologist working for the Nazis. He deserved having his head asplode.
- Despite providing the page quote, Inspector Tarconi from The Transporter series is an aversion, being a very pleasant Nice Guy who goes above and beyond to help Frank when he gets into a bind. When placed into police custody in the United States in the sequel, he quickly makes friends with the entire precinct by impressing them with his cooking.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 once riffed a movie called 12 To The Moon, which played this trope deadly straight: the obnoxious French engineer was willing to let the moon aliens freeze North America in ice because it would knock America out of global competition. At which point the scientist from the Soviet Union gave him an Even Evil Has Standards speech and attempted to kick his ass (considering this movie was made in the mid 1950s, that's pretty serious). Of course, the character was such an over-the-top French Jerk that Mike and the 'bots didn't have to go far to spoof the trope:
"In France we have better moons than you people!"
- Pascal Sauvage from the film Johnny English lives this trope, especially when he burns someone alive with a flamethrower trap in an elevator.
- In Terry Gilliam's The Brothers Grimm these are plentiful, the film taking place in French-occupied Germany. (Now there's a thought to chew on.)
- The French aren't afraid of satirizing their own jerks, either. In Mr. Hulot's Holiday, most of the tourists and staff staying at the seaside hotel are uptight and disdainful. By the end of the film, they've taken such a dislike to Mr. Hulot (mainly because of him being The Jinx) that they won't even make the effort to say goodbye to him.
- Comedically subverted in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby in the character of Jean Girard - Ricky Bobby reacts to him as if he were a stereotypical French Jerk, but Girard is actually a pretty nice guy in an apparently well-adjusted, loving relationship. It's at the film's climax, in which Ricky Bobby consummates Girard's status as a Worthy Opponent with a very, very, VERY long kiss.
- Tomas in Black Swan gropes, taunts, and generally over exerts Nina to get the best performance he can from her. Considering she's batshit crazy, this has a less than awesome outcome.
- In National Lampoon's European Vacation, the waiter the Griswolds run into in Paris is exceptionally rude, telling them he'd serve them dishwater instead of what they ordered (since they "wouldn't know the difference"), and eventually telling them to go fuck themselves.
- In Latter Days, Aaron uses the French reputation for being jerks to defuse an increasingly tense conversation about Mormon beliefs:
Ryder: God hates homos.
Christian: You're gonna come into my house and tell me God hates homosexuals?
Aaron: And the French.
Ryder: God hates the French?
Aaron: Everybody hates the French.
- Played with in The Wolf of Wall Street. Jordan thinks that Jean-Jacques, the French Swiss banker who aids him in laundering the profits from his securities frauds, sees him as an "American shit" (while conversely Jean-Jacques thinks Jordan sees him as the trope) But the two enjoy a cordial relationship until a key element of their scheme falls apart, whereupon they hang up on each other saying exactly what the other thought they thought of them.
- In A Knight's Tale, the villain, and William's main rival, is Count Adhemar, a French nobleman who is also a complete and utter Jerkass.
- The Patriot: Major Jean Villeneuve is a subversion. At first he seems like a snobbish sort who treats Colonel Benjamin Martin with contempt (though not without reason, as Martin killed a lot of Frenchmen in the French and Indian Wars), which Martin dismisses as typically French. However, Villeneuve later reveals that his family was killed by British soldiers, his countrymen keep their word about the ships he promised, and he and Martin become Fire-Forged Friends by the end.
- Welp: Two French go-karters are at the camping spot the Belgian Cub Scouts are supposed to be at, but they talk down to them and refuse to move from the spot. This forces the troop to camp even further in the woods, right where the evil Wild Child lives. Since this inadvertantly leads to all the horrible things that occur in the film, this makes the trope all the more apparent.
- Inspector Jean-Claude Pitrel from the first Taken movie. Not only did he used to be a friend to Bryan Mills (which makes his decision to help the sex-slave group that kidnapped Mills' daughter all the more awful), but after Bryan confronts him over this, he first tries to shoot Brian and when Brian asks him why he works for that kind of men, his explanation was an annoyed-sounding "My expenses are X, the money I get from my work is Y, and Y is not enough to cover X, so I had to get funds from elsewhere". Said while Bryan is pointing a gun at him.
- Played with in Dude, Where's My Car?. Pierre, the owner of the ostrich farm, is incredibly hostile towards all trespassers and likes to keep them in cages and hose them down. However, as soon as Chester is able to answer a factoid question about ostriches, Pierre immediately becomes much friendlier and lets Jesse and Chester go.
Pierre: In France, when a man is caught poaching ostriches, we shave his 'ead and let him run through the field... Once you see this [shudders] you are never quite the same!
- The Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker and the Four Realms speaks with a French accent and is evil.
- Downplayed in Soldier of Fortune (a movie inspired to the Challenge of Barletta): the French knights are for the most part jerks (leading to Ettore Fieramosca and his companions to refuse to serve with them and joining the Spaniards defending Barletta, and later to the Challenge), but the rank and file troopers are simply doing their jobs and their only practical difference from the Spaniards is that they are better fed. Also, during the challenge the French knights fight by the rules, and it's the Italians who try to cheat by showing up with longer-than-regulation spears (that promptly end in the French hands when, in a sign of sportsmanship, propose to exchange spears and the unknowing Spaniard judge accepts).
- In Lost & Found (1999), Rene is a massively arrogant asshole willing to go to any lengths to humiliate Dylan in the hopes that Lila will see Dylan as a loser and return to him.
- The antagonists of Revenge (2017) are a trio of French men guilty of, or at least complicit in, rape and attempted murder of an innocent young woman. The viewer is reminded of it constantly when they open their mouths due to either their heavily accented English or their talking among each other exclusively in French.
- The French cook in Life Of Pi, who seems to delight in telling Pi's vegetarian family that they can either eat meat or stay hungry.
- In Destroyermen, there's Capitaine de Fregate (roughly equivalent to a US Navy commander) Victor Gravois of the League of Tripoli. Given that the League are all fascists, you can imagine what sort of man Gravois is.
- Harry Potter: Fleur Delacour has a little of this trope when she's first introduced, but the other characters gradually warm up to her.
- Rigaud (also known as Blandois), the Smug Snake in Little Dorrit.
- Helena Boudreau from MARZENA, she spends a good chunk of the first book refusing to talk to the point of mutism and when she does talk it's all too often just to make some Cryptic message. Beside smelling bad and having bad hairdo from months of solitary incarceration, she doesn't seem to have anything better to talk about than morals, religions and European Superiority. And let's not forget that she's really a Tri-face bitch secretly working for the United-Bank.
- The main villain of the first book in The Outlaw Chronicles (though ultimately just a Starter Villain for the series itself) is Sheriff Ralph Murdac, aka the infamous Sheriff of Nottingham. He's identified as French in his first appearance, and is a nasty enough customer to make the Sheriff of Disney's Robin Hood look tame.
- Reynard the Fox: In the Dutch/Flemish version Curtise the posh dog is identified as French, as was common with the noblemen in those days.
- A weird meta-example occurs in Smaller & Smaller Circles: Joanna Bonifacio speaks in French to help her deal with annoying and self-aggrandizing peoplesuch as Attorney Arcinas.
- In The Traitor Son Cycle, the supporting villains in the first three books are overwhelmingly the Galles - French Fantasy Counterpart Culture. With the exception of Comte D'Eau, they're self-righteous, misogynistic, anti-magical and Holier Than Thou assholes who think they can do whatever they want with the peasantry, and their king isn't much better. This being said, it's outright stated that the ones we see in the story have been Reassigned To Alba by their more reasonable fellows.
- Detective Giraud in the Agatha Christie novel Murder on the Links. He gets throughoutly humiliated in the end by the Belgian Hercule Poirot. The point here is that Giraud and Poirot use very different investigation methods. Giraud searches the crime scene and its vicinity for any kind of physical evidence, no matter how insignificant. Footprints, cigarette butts, etc. Poirot compares his rival to a police hound. Meanwhile, Poirot calmly contemplates the psychology of the crime and of the various people involved— getting a clearer picture of what is going on and the context of the various evidence.
- The French have been bad guys in every Matthew Reilly book they've been in. In an interview, he notes that he's never been published in France.
- He lampshades this in Hover Car Racer when after having trouble with a famous French racer who is despised by every person outside of France and another less famous French racer the main character asks "is every French person in this sport evil?"
- Things are shaken up a little in Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves when the French characters sent to kill Scarecrow wind up teaming up with him to take on the villain, and they turn out to be seriously awesome. Renard is even set up to become Scarecrow's new love interest.
- The narrator of Vladimir Nabokov's The Vane Sisters is a French literature professor who, upon presenting someone with their sister's suicide note, makes a point of criticizing its grammar.
- There was an episode of Bangkok Airport with an obnoxious, bitchy and racist French tourist insulting the airport staff for the flight she just missed, even though it was her own fault she missed it in the first place by getting drunk mere hours before, and she couldn't buy another ticket because she used up all her money to get drunk.
- An episode of My Name Is Earl had a French character that Earl bullied in grade school. He held a grudge against Earl, and upon seeing him again, knocked Earl out with a headbutt. Near the end of the episode it's revealed that the Frenchman came to America in grade school to flirt with the women, his accent having a much more sexier effect in America than in France, where it's commonplace. After Earl fulfills the Frenchman's purpose for coming, by taking him out to meet the girls he knew from grade school (including one of the teachers) and having sexnote with them, the Frenchman's view of Earl and America as a whole change. Then the Frenchman lets it slip that he is in fact married, and now has cheated on his wife with several women. Kinda of Jerkass thing to do.
- In The West Wing, the President's youngest daughter took on a French Jerk boyfriend - much to the chagrin of most of the rest of the cast. For most of his run he was just a little bit of a jackass, derided by the gang because he's French but mainly because he knocked Charlie out of the picture. At the end of the fourth season, however, he gives
ecstasyGHB to the daughter, making her kidnapping easier for the perpetrators. Just to pile on the jerkiness, he is written as demanding immunity from prosecution before he'll help US authorities locate her.
- Henri on Cheers, who made no attempt to hide the fact that he was going to steal Woody's girlfriend. Sam endured the taunts of that very same self-aggrandizing Frenchman until said Frenchman insulted America. Sam then challenged the Frenchman to see who could collect the most phone numbers from women in the bar. When, out of guilt, Sam opted not to get the phone numbers of the two nice women who would have put his total over the top and thereby lost the contest, the Frenchman cheered, "I win! I win! France has won!"
- An early episode of 7th Heaven had a rather rude French exchange student who smoked and ruined everyone's illusion regarding romantic French people.
- One episode of The Inbetweeners featured Simon's French exchange partner, Patrice. He was surly and uncommunicative to everyone except Will's love interest Charlotte, whom he slept with instead.
- Michel Gerard of Gilmore Girls is a very obnoxious French guy who works with Lorelai at the Independence Inn. Turns out he's really a Jerk with a Heart of Gold because he's really fond of Lorelai, Rory or Sookie.
Michel: Lorelai, I don't know how many French people you've met over the years, but most of them are insufferable.
Michel: Mm-hm. That is why I left France.
- In an episode of Coupling, one of Susan's clients is a woman named Giselle, who is referred to as "The French Bitch" so much it might as well be her last name. We only see her for a split second at the end of the episode, so whether or not she was an actual bitch is up to the imagination.
- Show up quite frequently on Good Eats, typically representative of "conventional" ways of culinary thinking and/or the restaurant industry.
- The Chameleon in Season 3 of NCIS: Los Angeles is revealed to be a French national in the season finale, although he goes far beyond merely being a jerk.
- Enter, The Dragon of Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters. It's not known whether he is really French or is even human, but he seems to consider himself French and is fluent in the language, with frequent use of Gratuitous French.
- In one episode of The Thin Blue Line, everyone at the police station is forced to attend diversity training, but when they're instructed to arrest an illegal immigrant, they get the wrong guy — causing a major incident because he is actually the European Commissioner for Human Rights (and black). The man turns out to be a French Jerk and instantly starts complaining about everything in Britain: "You British. No wonder we all hate you. Your chocolate isn't chocolatey enough. Your bananas are too long and bendy. And you insist on eating prawn cocktail crisps despite the fact that we have told you not to!"
- The Happy Days episode "The Duel" has possibly the jerkiest Frenchman ever depicted, an arrogant exchange student and fencing champion who insults everything from America to Joanie. Richie challenges him to a duel, but Fonz takes his place and thoroughly kicks his ass.
- Root Into Europe: Mr. Root assumes all Frenchmen are arrogant intellectuals.
- In the third Horatio Hornblower series, Hornblower is saddled with Major Côtard, a French expatriate who is providing intelligence to the British against Napoleon.note Hornblower and Bush instinctively mistrust him because he's French, and Côtard doesn't help by complaining about shipboard conditions and trying to push them around. He does prove, however, that he's a genuine ally and seems a little hurt to have been mistrusted.
- In the classic-series Doctor Who episode "The King's Demons", the only French character behaves in a haughty and deliberately offensive manner. Not surprisingly, he turns out to be the villain — as in the villain during this period of the series ( it's the Master in disguise). Unfortunately, the effects of his trying to be intentionally divisive are rather undermined by his similarity to the French Taunter in both atrocious accent and ridiculous dialog and behavior.
- Season 5 of The Flash introduces yet another version of Harrison Wells named Harrison Sherloque Wells. He is a brilliant French detective, who appears to be an amalgamation of his namesake and Hercule Poirot. He and Cisco are immediately at odds, he's incredibly lazy and sneaky, snobbish (takes 20 minutes to make tea), casually dismisses Ralph (a fellow detective), and he has five ex-wives (hence his exorbitant fees - gotta pay that alimony). That said, he is actually a great detective, able to Sherlock Scan the crap out of Team Flash and quickly identifies Cisco's location by listening to crickets and having Cisco describe the trees around him.
- The Capitol Steps' song parody "Euro Pest" is about having Euro Disney staffed entirely by French Jerks.
- "Genius in France" by "Weird Al" Yankovic says that French people are "snotty and rude" but still go gaga over the singer.
- Frenchy Martin, manager of Dino Bravo, from the Rock & Wrestling Era of the WWE. Martin though is a variation on this trope as he was a French-Canadian jerk. He dressed the part, wearing a beret with monocle and goatee, and waving the flag of Quebec as he made his way to the arena with Bravo.
- Jean-Paul Leveque from WCW fit this in the mid-'90s. He was little more than a mid-carder until he went to the WWF and became pompous blue-blood Hunter Hearst Helmsley.
- Marvin Suggs of The Muppet Show is a demented, egocentric jerk who enjoys abusing his Muppaphones for the sake of entertainment.
Guest: Are you going to hurt these adorable living creatures?
Marvin Suggs: Of course-ah! You cannot get mu-sic from dead creatures!
- The Poupons from the Dinosaurs episode "Getting to Know You" were this trope as prehistoric birds. They spoke in French accents and were extremely rude to the Sinclairs.
- According to Bleak Expectations, Victorian-era France is filled with people who sigh superciliously whenever a tourist asks them a question, and they're not above killing and cooking any Englishman they find (even if said Englishman comes in the form of a giant dinosaur). It's also how series Big Bad Mister Gently Benevolent disguises himself, complete with striped vest, beret, and an "air of undeserved satisfaction".
- Flintloque is a Napoleonic Wars wargame set in an Earth with the usual array of fantasy races and Fantasy Counterpart Cultures. The French analogues are elves, with all that that implies. Oh, and the German analogues are dwarves and the British, orcs.
- Bretonnia in Warhammer 1st Edition was ze pre-Revolutionary Frenchjerklandia, known largely for its decadent nobility, downtrodden peasantry and rotten-to-the-core politics (though it did produce nice duelling pistols). Later editions swapped this out for a whole new identity: think King Arthur's Avalon meets The Dung Ages, a rural medieval backwater where filthy, illiterate, inbred cretins pay 95% of their income in tax to filthy rich, out-of-touch, also inbred nobles and knights who are anything but chivalrous. Still later editions toned it down a little: many lords and knights are genuinely heroic (although they refuse to look into this newfangled "gunpowder" nonsense) and a few genuinely kind to their peasants with some areas of Bretonnia being economically viable. A lord who abuses his feudal privileges such as the Droit du Seigneur may even find himself besieged by fellow Bretonnians, although not so much out of just righteousness as his making the aristocracy look bad.
- The French Ambassador in Of Thee I Sing.
- Doctor Caius of Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor.
- Pretty much every (male) French character in Shakespeare, for that matter, though the trope is averted in All's Well That Ends Well and Love's Labour's Lost where nearly all the characters are at least nominally French, and possibly subverted in King Lear, in which the King of France is impressed by Cordelia's honesty and marries her despite her recent disinheritance.
- Played especially straight in Henry V, with the French noblemen being complete and utter jerks. The only exception is Mountjoy the herald (who is not, of course, a noble).
- Not jerks, necessarily. The king is beleaguered and Catherine is completely innocent. Plus, when you consider the pile of BS that is Henry's claim to the throne of France, the nobles' antipathy towards the English invaders is understandable...the Dauphin was always rather contemptuous, though, and not just of the English.
- Lampshaded as a one-shot joke in the West End version of Avenue Q's musical number Everyone's A Little Bit Racist:
Princeton: Well, sure, Gary, but lots of people tell black jokes. But I bet you tell jokes about French people, right?
Gary: Yeah, sure I do! Those French people are such assholes.
Princeton: Now don't you think that's a little racist?
- Audrey from HuniePop is the only girl of French descent, and is a total Alpha Bitch.
- Jean-Paul "JP" Arsenault from the SSX video game series. Self-absorbed, self-obsessed, self-serving, and arrogant, JP has a gigantic but fragile ego and is easily unnerved by any hint of disrespect towards himself. Basically, he only pretends to be a jerk to hide his severe insecurity. But that doesn't mean he isn't still a jerk; His SSX Blur profile still lists his "trait" as "Arrogant.
- The Spy of Team Fortress 2 fame can be quite unpleasant to everyone else during a Kill Streak.
The Spy: (to the Demoman) Here's what I have that you don't - a functioning liver, depth perception, and a pulse!
The Spy: (to the Heavy) Awww, too bad this wasn't a PIE-EATING CONTEST!
The Spy: (to the Pyro) Dominated, you mush-mouthed freak!
The Spy: (to the Engineer) Yippee-ki-yay, my dead illiterate friend! *
The Spy: (to the Medic) I'm looking at your X-Ray, and I'm afraid you suck!
The Spy: (to the Scout) Here lies Scout. He ran fast and died a virgin!
The Spy: (to the Sniper) Perhaps they can bury you in that van you call home!
The Spy: (to the Soldier) At least you died for honor... and my amusement!
- Apart from his domination lines, the Spy is very polite to his teammates, and sometimes his enemies.
- The Marquis de Singe from Tales of Monkey Island. And is not actually French.
- Captain René Rottingham from Curse seems to be French.
- Cooking Mama for the Wii has pictures of children that represent all the different countries the food originates from. France is the only child that is frowning, it also wears a beret and holds a glass of wine.
- Remy, from the Street Fighter III series. Though, his Jerk attitude might stem from him being a nihilist, not necessarily French. Abel from Street Fighter IV avert this, however.
- George Stobbart's condescending, some-time love rival Andre in the Broken Sword series is arguably this.
- In the Neverwinter Nights mod The Bastard of Kosigan, the French are the bad guys and most Frenchmen you meet are less than pleasant.
- The King of Fighters gives us Ash Crimson. Snide, condescending, manipulative, and ambushes people when they're at their weakest. However, by XIII, it's revealed he's a Good All Along Guile Hero.
- Wonder-Green from The Wonderful 101, though that can be more chalked up to his age than his nationality. His file also mentions that he tends to let loose from the strict upbringing his parents enforce on him.
- Jean Pierre from Fighter's History isn't as bad as other examples, but he's still very arrogant and vain.
- Dragon Age:
- The Orlesian Empire, or at least its upper crust, is often depicted in this light. Besides its history of military expansionism, it's full of arrogant, complaining nobles who regularly partake in murder, intrigue, and the eating of stinky cheeses.
- Leliana, on the other hand, is one of the sweetest characters in the game (though she does have an unsavory past).
- Duke Prosper de Montfort (who sells Qunari intelligence to a Tal-Vashoth without regard for the bloodshed he's causing) and Baron Arlange (who attempts to kill Hawke for not going along with the fixed hunt) in the Mark of the Assassin DLC module are especially good examples.
- Subverted in Psychonauts with The Genetic Memory of Napoleon Bonaparte, who seems like this, but he is really trying to give his wimpy descendant Training from Hell, and seems genuinely pleased when he loses. His soldier pieces on the game board play the trope straight though.
- There is a very smug French croupier at the Pair o'Dice Casino in Leisure Suit Larry 7: Love for Sail!.
- Sakuya le Bel Shirogane of Hatoful Boyfriend is a Foreign Exchange Student from, yes, France. On top of that he's an aristocrat whose family's money instantly got him the position of Class Representative. He is haughty, touchy, and generally insufferable; his Hidden Depths hold something better but it takes a lot of melting or trauma to get to them. In contrast his half-brother Yuuya is always friendly to the point of sometimes being a lech, but backs off instantly if told he's crossed a line.
- The Kalos region of Pokémon X and Y is based on France so its villain organization Team Flare fits. Most of its members are petty crooks after money and power while claiming to be The Beautiful Elite. Ironically, their leader Lysandre is an aversion; he's the most polite out of the franchise's villains.
- Averted in the rest of the game itself with many NPCs being very nice.
- In The Matrix: Path of Neo the Merovingian's jerk-ness is further explored in that he traps Neo in the chateau and forces him to fight his way out. In the meantime Neo learns that the Frenchman has his own Mooks tortured or deleted for failure.
- Played with in Saints Row: The Third; Philippe Loren is a haughty jerk with a heavy French accent... but he's actually Belgian and being mistaken for French is one of his pet peeves.
- Subverted in Saints Row IV with the Female 2 voice option. This Boss is just as much as a violent sociopath as the other personalities, and just as merciless to her enemies, but she's also the nicest and most respectful toward her allies.
- Referenced in Far Cry 3 when you first meet Citra:
Citra: Did they teach you to speak without permission in America?
Jason: No, I learned that in France.
- In Bravely Default, Erutus Profiteur is the very French holder of the merchant asterisk and Chairman of the Khamer & Profiteur Merchantry in Ancheim. As if it wasn't bad enough that he works for the duchy that is trying to bring down the warriors of light, he's also a corrupt businessman who charges an arm and a leg for water in a desert town. Of course, if people don't like his prices they can always go get water for free from the nearby oasis... where a gang of bandits is known to stake out in order to rob blind anyone who comes by looking for water. Bandits, as it turns out, were hired by Profiteur himself in order to dissuade people from going to the oasis and make staying in town and paying his high prices the more appealing option. Come the sequel, he's still a jerk who only cares about making money, but he's at least given up trying to do so through evil and underhanded methods, which is probably the best you can expect out of him. Also, it turns out his French-ness is Just a Stupid Accent, as actual native French-speaker Magnolia can't understand a single word he says.
- Overwatch has Widowmaker, who while considered sexy, is a cold-blooded murderer who takes pleasure in killing and is one of the antagonists in the game, serving terrorist organization Talon. Not to mention the fact that she acts like a complete Jerkass to everyone else, and is by-and-large the cause of — or at the very least a major factor in — the major events of the game. In an interesting twist, however, she did not choose to be like this. She was once known as Amélie Lacroix, a completely innocent Nice Girl who did nothing wrong of her accord. However, she was kidnapped by said organization and was turned into Widowmaker as she is known today, through intense brainwashing and neural reconditioning. She's also the only French person in the cast, besides her dead husband Gerard.
- TRON 2.0: Eva Popoff is one of the Terrible Trio from fCon who orchestrate the kidnapping of Alan Bradley, plan the Datawraith project, and her emails are gleeful and nearly unhinged about the prospect of global domination over the human world and godlike status in the virtual one.
- Red Dead Redemption 2 has Charles Chatenay, who claims he is this (calling himself a "whole ass") but in fact is funny, charming, and a fairly nice guy, at least to Arthur. His antics typically involve sleeping with other men's wives as well as hosting art shows where people get to see their loved ones drawn in the nude. Eventually his actions get him so much heat that he is forced to leave the country for South America.
- Phantasy Star Portable 2 gives us Chelsea, the bubbly "French" robot secretary merc, who, in an aversion, is the nicest character on the space station your character is assigned to.
- Guilty Gear inverts this with Ky Kiske, who is French and one of the nicest, polite and idealistic characters in the series as befitting a Knight in Shining Armor, getting paired up as the Hero Antagonist to Sol Badguy (who is American and incarnates both aspects of the Eagleland trope). He also had a Knight Templar streak on him because of his black-and-white views, but Character Development knocked that off.
- Soul Series: Raphael Sorel is an arrogant French noble as exemplified by his battle taunts and general attitude. However, he becomes an Anti-Villain after getting an adoptive daughter, who is the only person whom he is nice to. He became much less of a jerk in the series' reboot.
- Assassin's Creed seems to love this type of character and includes them in almost entry as assassination targets:
Octavian of Valois: "You must learn how to speak French. It would mask your barbaric sensibilities."
- Robert de Sablé, the series' very first Big Bad in Assassin's Creed has a very strong accent and typical name, and as Grandmaster of the Templars, he served as the Arch-Enemy to Altair and the Assassin's Order. Played with Garnier de Naplouse, who is also French and a twisted Mad Scientist to booth, but he has an otherwise "lovable grandfather" attitude and lacks the obvious accent, unlike Robert.
- Baron Octavian of Valois in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is an evil nobleman in league with the Borgia family. He is exceedingly condescending towards the Italians and seems to believe that he'll eventually conquer all of Italy, or so Cesare lets him think.
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and its expansion Freedom's Cry: Julien du Casse is a French arms dealer in the employ of the Caribbean Templars. While he has a somewhat sympathetic backstory (he left the French's service after being disgusted with their brutality and slavery), he still acts like an elitist ass towards Edward Kenway, calling him a "peasant". Pierre, Marquis of Fayet in Freedom's Cry appears just like a typical foppish French noble, but then he proves to be so much worse than this, bein an evil colonialist and a slaver. He distinguishes himself in that he isn't even a Templar, but comes off as even more evil than them.
- Louis-Joseph Gaultier, Chevalier de la Vérendrye in Assassin's Creed: Rogue is an interesting variation of this trope: unlike other examples in the series who are either Templars or unrelated villains, he is actually an Assassin (i.e. one of the good guys) and he is a massive jerk towards Shay Patrick Cormac since the very start of the game, provoking a fight with him and never losing an opportunity to belittle him afterwards. It says something that when Shay joins the Templars and is forced to kill his former comrades, he expresses regret and sadness... But not for Chevalier whom he despises deeply.
- Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal: Scorpion is a big Brain in a Jar robot with a French accent. He's a gladiator and not a real villain, but he's very arrogant and quite a jerk.
- Mocked in one issue of Penny Arcade, with a one-off appearance by Raven, who is also an arrogant Mac user.
- Pierre, the illegal immigrant to the U.S.A. in C'est la Vie. Just very occasionally his sister Mona, who has been in the U.S.A. longer and is legally resident.
- Chloe De Sade in Rival Angels is from France, and she is a heel in a world where Pro Wrestling Is Real.
- Alice Boucher of Survival of the Fittest is an example of this trope: one of her biggest regrets about being in America is that she doesn't know any insults in English. Due to Character Development after being put on the island (as well as a change in writer), she grows out of this very quickly though.
- That Guy with the Glasses:
- Poland Ball: This is France's usual characterization (one strip has him go on strike for a few days, treating it as a vacation, and when all his demands are met, he still refuses so he can go to the Cheese, Garlic and Arrogance Festival. And then there's his treatment of his colonies...
- This entry on Not Always Working has the cashier at a restaurant in France insult a family of tourists she assumes are American, in French. To which the narrator, who was actually French-Canadian, demands to see her manager, in fluent French. The manager gives them their meals for free and pries the rude cashier away from her till literally kicking and screaming.
- Bob's Burgers: In "Mutiny on the Windbreaker", Bob gets shanghaied by an eccentric ship's captain who insists on making him his personal chef. On the ship Bob meets Duval, a cantankerous French chef who does the cooking for the passengers and has grown bitter and cynical after being shanghaied himself and being stuck on the ship for months.
- Mr. Rude in The Mr. Men Show. In fact, every dub of him (US, UK, Australia) has him French!
- The Simpsons:
- In "The Trouble with Trillions", it's explained that Mr. Burns stole a Trillion Dollar Bill that was intended to re-build Europe after WWII. While waiting for the never arriving money the Charles DeGaulle knockoff declares: "I say we just act snooty to [the Americans] forever!"
- Also lampshaded in "Guess Who's Coming to Criticize Dinner?". When a French chef tells him to "get lost", Flanders responds, "A rude Frenchman? Well, I never!"
- In "Trilogy of Error", Lisa mistakenly winds up at West Springfield Elementary School, which looks exactly like Springfield Elementary, discovering a French class where her classroom would be.
Lisa: I'm at the wrong school!
Students: HA HA HA HA HA HA!
French Teacher: [wagging finger] En français.
Students: HON HON HON HON HON HON!
- There was also "Bart-Mangled Banner", where a deaf Bart mooning the American flag ends up getting the family in jail. After they escape the prison through a waterway, they encounter a boat filled with French people going back to France, who tell them to come with them and "snub the country that saved (them) twice in war".
- Le Spatula on SpongeBob SquarePants. Despite being a spatula, it refuses to flip Krabby Patties, preferring to cook only fancy food. It also laughs haughtily at SpongeBob and addresses the Krusty Krab customs as "peasants" and spits at them.
- Victor of Victor & Hugo - Bunglers in Crime, who is noticeably ruder and more bad-tempered than Hugo (though almost invariably TO Hugo).
- Courage the Cowardly Dog:
- Le Quack, the antagonistic French duck. "Stupeed Amereecans!"
- And the Napoleon Bonaparte look-alike, who spouts the same catchphrase.
- Dan Vs. has the main antagonist, Chef Puree in "Fancy Restaurant", who has thrown Dan in the dungeon along with the other chefs who had opposed him.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM): Antoine the Coyote, who was quite rude to Sonic. He gets Character Development in the Archie comics but never quite got there in the show before it was cancelled.
- ReBoot has Cecil, who was rude to everyone but Dot, his employer.
- Lampshaded on Futurama, with the one-off joke about the "Republic of French Stereotypes". Nobody likes them.
- On Dilbert the title character goes to the dry cleaners only to be abused by the French-sounding owners. When he mentions that he is not there to complain, they say that they're not French, only rude, and it just sounds better with a French accent.
- Jean "Crook" Duprey from Spiral Zone.
- Nanette Manoir from Angela Anaconda is Franco-Canadian rather than French, but otherwise fits this trope perfectly. Although, as the titular character points out quite often to the viewers, Nanette really isn't French at all; she's just faking it because she thinks it makes her sound cultured. Indeed, the Bilingual Bonus is that anyone listening who actually knows French can tell Nanette is often either flat-out mistaken or making it up when she uses "French" words, and the plot of one story is an actual French girl (who is far nicer than Nanette is) joins the class and nearly reveals she can't speak a word of French.
- Averted in The Octonauts where the French-accented remipedes initially seem like they're going to be a nuisance to Shellington being wary of him in their cave, but prove to be wholly helpful and actually nice after he passes the literal smell test by leading the team out by smell, upside down at that. Being that it's an education show, real remipedes are actually blind and swim upside down.
- In Ultimate Spider-Man, Batroc the Leaper (see Comic Books, above) shows up several times. His French Jerk tendencies seem to have been greatly exaggerated for the show.
- Jacques and Josee of Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race are technically French-Canadian; however, both of them are rude, arrogant, and ill-tempered towards the other contestants, Josee more so than Jacques.
- The Davincibles: Quaba looks very French, and is very much a jerk.
- The episode "Princess Problems" of the Gummi Bears has a French-accent King and his daughter visiting King Gregor's castle. The French princess is a mean spoiled brat.
- One Episode of The Fairly OddParents reveals that one of Cosmo's and Wanda's former godchildren was a French boy named Pierre who has a very low opinion on Americans and is generally a Jerkass to Timmy. He even says that he wished for all French people to be rude to Americans.
- In one Donald Duck short, The Trial of Donald Duck, Donald has a picnic which gets rained out, so he goes into the first shelter he spots: a French restaurant, where the maître d'hôtel, named Pierre, overcharges him for his own picnic food. Donald is unable to pay (it comes out to $35.99, and all he has is a nickel), so Pierre takes Donald to court, and the judge finds Donald guilty, forcing him to spend the next ten days at the restaurant washing dishes. Donald hits Pierre with Laser-Guided Karma, however, as the duck breaks most of the dishes after he washes them. Pierre begs him to stop, but Donald ignores him.
Donald: You heard what the judge said: ten days!
- Due to being given a French accent, Dick Dastardly becomes this in the Latin American Spanish dub of Wacky Races and Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines. To drive it even further, he's also given the name "Pierre Nodoyuna" to go with it.
- Most of the French characters in Histeria! are portrayed in a negative light, with Napoleon Bonaparte in particular being given a Historical Villain Upgrade. This may have to do with the fact that the directors, writers, and producers had a distinctly Francophobic bias. It is for this reason why the show did very poorly in French-speaking countries.
- The French Peas in VeggieTales are for the most part in the show, usually friendly and kind, if not mischievous at times. However, early in the shows run, whenever re-enacting Bible stories, they were often cast as the villainous characters, such as the Philistines, the guards at the wall of Jericho, and Ninevites in Jonah.