Foreigners are funny! Or so say a good number of comedy shows. The jokes practically write themselves; foreigners mangle the language (especially idioms) in funny ways, they are ignorant of customs in the show's home country, and they have their own bizarre little customs that make no sense. They will either be unsure of themselves, or (more frequently) totally oblivious to how odd everybody finds them. This is incredibly old, probably dating back to when cavemen joked about people in the cave down the field.
The Funny Foreigner is a Cyclic Trope. In the 19th and early 20th Centuries, it seems like at least half of all the Western comedy in existence consisted of this trope (Vaudeville, British music-hall performers...) Gradually, from the 1960s on it become a Discredited Trope due to changing sensibilities. Then it became so rare that it seemed daring and forbidden, and thus became popular again. This can lead to the trope being discredited for some generations and not for others.
Old Funny Foreigner jokes tended to be stereotypes about a particular country. Modern ones do it with a wink by making up a country, choosing a real country almost at random and ignoring any actual facts about it, or simply leaving it entirely ambiguous where they're meant to be from. Part of the joke is that it doesn't really matter where in the Middle East or Latin America or Eastern Europe the character comes from — they're just "generic Latin" or "generic Slav." They can even go so far as to have the character not actually be foreign at all, or playing up their ethnicity because they can get away with it.
In Speculative Fiction, they might be visitors from a completely different world, which has the advantage of avoiding Unfortunate Implications and offense to real-world foreigners (most of the time). If the character is an otherworldly being (relative to the rest of the cast), then the trope is Amusing Alien.
Compare and contrast with But Not Too Foreign, Fun with Foreign Languages, No Social Skills, Raised by Natives and Foreign Wrestling Heel. Also see Crazy Cultural Comparison, which is when the Funny Foreigner's behavior is held against that of his host.
- Assassination Classroom: Generally, all professional assassins have very odd quirks. Many of them come from outside of Japan, and some of their behaviours are played for laughs.
- Everyone in Axis Powers Hetalia is a Funny Foreigner, which makes it both a prime example and a subversion at the same time. In the American dub, the Asian characters (and Russia) are particularly portrayed as being funny foreigners.
- In Beelzebub, when Oga, Furuichi and Hilda travel to the USA, Oga and Furuichi initially have trouble to communicate with the Americans and make themselves look even weirder than they already are. Not only does Oga introduce himself as "Fuck" (the Americans keep calling him "(Mr.) Fuck" during the rest of the arc), he even brings ridiculous, stereotypical Japanese costumes for himself and his two companions just to intimidate some random American thugs.
- Ling Yao from Fullmetal Alchemist is this when he's first introduced as a happy-go-lucky weirdo who frequently collapses out of hunger, always tries to weasel his way out of paying, and can pop in and out of the picture without warning. While to a certain extent you could say this is a natural part of his personality, It doesn't last.
"I so sori, I no understand much language of this countwi! Bye bye now!"
- Invoked by Kurz Weber in Full Metal Panic! when he first introduces himself to Kaname by pretending to be a foreign tourist, greeting her and her friend Kyoko with a hearty "Hello, pretty Japanese girls!" In the original version he speaks English, but the US dub has him affecting a dime-store Italian accent — which is doubly funny because his English voice actor has actual Italian heritage.
- Momoko Asuka from Ojamajo Doremi. Particularly in Dokkan, where she suffers from Flanderization that plays up her Cloud Cuckoo Lander tendencies.
- A variation from Patlabor had a mechanic daydream about a trip to America. In this case, he was An Innocent Abroad, with the American setting made entirely of Japanese stereotypes of America. Do not watch while drinking - you'll spit-take all over your TV set. Oddly, one of the main characters is Hawaiian.
- The Principal in Ranma ½ is introduced as a wacky American from Hawaii. At the end of the episode, it turns out he's a Japanese guy (not to mention Kuno's father) who had moved to the States and gone native.
- Maria in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei is sometimes a parody of this trope and sometimes played straight. Much humor is made out of her misunderstandings of Japanese, and her illegal immigrant status. Kaede just acts like one half the time.
- Kate from Sketchbook is the only foreigner (a Canadian) among the Japanese cast. A lot of jokes involving her are about her misunderstandings of the Japanese language.
- Interestingly subverted with Vamp!, where all the characters are foreign to the Japanese author, but it's the Japanese character, the Magic Man, who is treated this way.
- William's Indian friend Hakim from Victorian Romance Emma is very odd indeed, bringing a huge entourage and a train of elephants for an 'incognito' visit. To a lesser extent, Emma's new German employers.
- In Princess Principal Chise is very much so a Fish out of Water in Albion far from her native Japan, which is Played for Laughs. At the same time, she mentions on how odd Albion's customs on to her, viewing them as the strange foreigners.
- Freddy Merckx note from Zombies that Ate the World when he uses weird sentence structures and starts comparing everything to Belgium. The Princes might qualify too.
- Played with a little in Fin Fang Four, where Gorgilla is an immigrant who loves living in America and speaks in broken English. But his home country is on another planet and he's a giant ape. Fin Fang Foom himself is also an immigrant, from China, but he is decidedly not funny (and easily much smarter than any normal human). A later story features Googam posing as an orphan so he can be adopted by a celebrity. When he does, his nanny is a goofy Bavarian stereotype (except from Latveria, naturally) of this sort.
- Chinky from Promethea's Show Within a Show "Little Margie" strips. A buck-toothed, yellow-skinned and positively simian racist caricature, Chinky constantly makes a fool of himself and speaks complete gibberish. In the unpublished last Little Margie strip, Chinky - a native of the dream world Margie travels to - reveals that he has always been the handsome young prince Ching Ki, and speaks perfect English. But it was Margie's dream, and she wanted a funny foreigner, and Ching Ki is nothing if not accommodating.
- The Englishman Mister Pief (Peeve?) from the story Plisch und Plum by Wilhelm Busch who walks around while always looking through a telescope, causing him to stumble and fall into a pond. A classic example of a figure popular in 19th and 20th century continental European media, the wealthy British (sometimes American) tourist who travels around Europe with more money than sense. As quite often happened with this type of figure, his freely-spent cash helps bring about a happy end: He buys the two eponymous dogs after they save his life, which benefits their owners and the dogs themselves (who can now look forward to eating high-quality beefsteak every day).
- Madam Pepermunt is an American woman who uses the word "Okay" as a Verbal Tic and shoots her gun a lot.
- Mic Mac Jampudding is a Thrifty Scot with a red Badass Moustache and walks around in a kilt.
- The Native Americans Chief Dikke Springmuis and his tribe members are all primitive Indians who speak in Tonto Talk.
- Asterix: Whenever the Gauls meets people from other countries they are bound to be portrayed in a stereotypical way, but always in a respectful manner.
- Robert Crumb: Angelfood McSpade is a stereotypical African tribeswoman who always walks around bare breasted and speaks in Afro-American ebonics and pidgin English at the same time.
- Nero: Ricardo is a Napolitan gangster, complete with borsalino hat and curly moustache.
- The Black Knight: Arpin Lusène, together with Funetik Aksent.
Arpin Lusene: Ah am truly ze master thif!
Arpin Lusene: Not "thif", you iddy-ott! Thif!
- Jesús from Circles is campy and likes to sprinkle some Spanish words in his sentences.
- The inhabitants of the fictional country Elbonia exist specifically to play this role; Scott Adams said he wanted foreigners he could deride and abuse without being criticized, so he made up his own, based, in his words, on a perception of how Americans view any country without cable. The concept of an entire country of idiots also amused him.
- Adams portrays the U.S. itself as being a country composed (almost) entirely of idiots. The only real difference is in the KIND of idiocy involved.
- Given the burgeoning cast of Racer and the Geek, a few of these crop up, especially in the flashback sections, though all are played seriously to varying degrees.
- Subverted in Songs Uncle Sings. While the uncle does have an accent, plays multiple foreign musical instruments, and speaks diverse foreign languages, he is not a foreign so much as he is an individual who has done so much traveling that it has left a noticeable mark on him.
- The Russian cosmonaut in Armageddon is this, serving as the film's Plucky Comic Relief.
- Austin Powers, from the motion picture franchise of the same name, is a Funny Foreigner, not only by virtue of his country of origin but also by his displacement in time. So is both his nemesis Fat Bastard and the Dutch Goldmember.
- He's never named, but the Swede in Blondie Johnson falls for Blondie while at a trial, and goes to her house twice, but is always rebuffed by her friend, Danny.
- The Mexican comedian/producer/singer Cantinflas as Passepartout in the 1956 film "Around the World in Eighty Days." He had it all—he was short, clumsy, and had a funny accent. Isn't it interesting that to the British (and Americans) apparently "foreign" means "French?" By virtue of being produced in English, the film inverts the original novel by Jules Verne, where Passepartout is a funny person who happens to be French - like the author and most of the original readers - and Phileas Fogg is the eccentric, if not uproariously funny foreigner.
- Prince Akeem in Coming to America initially comes off as this to Lisa and her family because of his unfamiliarity to life outside of Zamunda.
- The elderly German couple in Casablanca. Their idea of learning English is just to just translate every word literally with a pocket dictionary.
Husband: What watch?
Wife: Ten watch.
Husband: Such much?
- Maurice Chevalier made a career of playing the stereotypical Frenchman with ditto Maurice Chevalier Accent in a lot of Hollywood musicals and comedies.
- Olaf, Silent Bob's Russian cousin in Clerks.
- Crocodile Dundee: Crocodile Dundee is an Australian bushwhacker who is obviously out of place in modern day USA. He'd be nearly as out of place in an Australian city, frankly.
- Dr. Strangelove had Peter Sellers portray two Funny Foreigner characters: a stuffy British military commander and the former Nazi expert Dr. Strangelove, who both speak in ditto heavy accents.
- Louis Louis from Easy Living:
Louis Louis: You are a sight for an eyesore!
- Frank Eggelhoffer in Father of the Bride (1991). His assistant Howard Weinstein also qualifies.
- The Gumball Rally has several: Lapchick the Mad Hungarian, Franco Bertolli, the British Benz team.
- Heinz the Baron Krauss von Espy from Intolerable Cruelty is an example that must be seen to be believed.
- One Laurel and Hardy short, "Putting Pants On Philip" had Laurel portray a Scottish man who walks around in a kilt, causing an uproar throughout the entire picture.
- The Legend of Frenchie King: Being set in a Texas town of French immigrants who insist on speaking French, it's the English-speaking marshall who's out of place. A lot of the comedy comes from his attempts to communicate with the other characters.
- Chico Marx is a holdover of the classic "dialect comedian" from vaudeville, specifically a comical Italian.
- Subverted and lampshaded in Not Another Teen Movie — Areola is a foreigner from "Europe" (her accent changes every line, and she dodges the question of what country she's from in a deleted scene) that openly admits that she's only in America / only exists to give nerds "pussy". Oh, and she spends the entire movie naked. Stark naked.
- Peter Sellers made an art of playing the Funny Foreigner - he inverts the trope somewhat in The Party as an Indian actor being the one centered, sympathetic guy stuck in a Hollywood crowd.
- The entire Largo family from Repo! The Genetic Opera is Italian, though only Pavi has any kind of accent. He and his brother Luigi make up the main comic relief of the movie. Of course, with a movie like Repo, the comic relief duo is made up of a rapist and a murderer...
- The Room: Tommy Wiseau both in his film, and in real life, unintentionally.
- Lampshade Hanging in Short Circuit: Ben, the wacky, vaguely Indian sidekick, spends the whole movie saying things like, "With excitement like this, who is needing enemas?" When another character asks him about it:
Newton: Where are you from, anyway?
Ben: Bakersfield, originally.
Newton: No, I mean your ancestors.
Ben: Oh, them. Pittsburgh.
- Bob and Doug McKenzie, who in Strange Brew go out of their way to demonstrate just how foreign Canadians are...
- Kostya Novotny in 25th Hour provides comic relief nearly every time he appears due to his tenuous grasp of English.
- In the film Rat Race, Rowan Atkinson played Enrico Pollini, a simple-minded narcoleptic Italian tourist visiting Las Vegas.
- Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot famously uses this trope to great effect. Poirot is a Belgian. By acting like a Funny Foreigner ignorant of social conventions and demonstrating a lack of command of the English language, he gets people to see him as harmless and reveal their closest secrets and troubles without a thought. This tends to bite them in the ass if they were the murderer.
- Otto Chriek, a vampire from the novels is an example, playing upon stereotypes of both Eastern Europeans and vampirism. He is similar to Poirot in that his Funny Foreigner persona is to some extent Obfuscating Stupidity used to stop humans from hating and fearing him. This is demonstrated in the novel Thud!, where he is able to take pictures at an anti-vampire protest without being molested by the angry mob.
- Twoflower is classic funny foreigner on vacation.
- 71-Hour Ahmed makes this trope work for him, in similar ways to Otto Chriek. He plays up Klatchian stereotypes when in Ankh-Morpork, but since he went to school in Ankh-Morpork, he acts Morporkian in Klatch. He tells Vimes "I find it helpful to be a little bit foreign wherever I go."
- Kung Fu Tzu in Michael Moorcock's novel The Chinese Agent is an exaggerated Fu Manchu knockoff. Much Hilarity Ensues.
- In Watership Down, a novel about rabbits, there's Kehaar the gull. His nearly incomprehensible speech and the Fish out of Water bizarreness of him trying to live with rabbits are frequently played for comedy.
- Bobinsky, AKA "Mr. Bobo", the old man in the upstairs flat in Neil Gaiman's Coraline, described as being "Romanian or Slovenian or Livonian, or one of those countries" by Miss Spink. The film version makes him an even more obvious example of this trope.
- In The Way of Kings there are quite a few instances of Funny Foreigners. Most notable are Rock's people, (referred to as Horneaters by most), who calls everyone "airsick lowlanders".
- In Wicked Fiyero would be the Funny Foreigner, since no one's ever seen a Winkie (someone from the Vinkus) before. However the humor really only shows up in his first appearance and is at his expense (he's attacked by a pair of antlers that have come alive, and winds up shrieking in his native tongue). He's even wearing clothing that the main characters consider weird and assume is some sort of traditional outfit. It's memorable though, as it's one of the only (if not the only) humorous scenes in the book. He also offers to sing them some kind of traditional song (but he doesn't). The rest of his customs and behaviour are perfectly normal, though he does seem shy, was betrothed at a young age, and his section of the book uses a lot of hunting metaphors. Avaric embarrasses Boq by kissing him on both cheeks, a custom from his homeland.
- Animorphs has Ax, the Andalite (alien) ignorant of human cultures and customs, often reacting hilariously to new scenarios he encounters. On occasion, while he's in human form, the other Animorphs will try to cover for him by claiming he's from Canada- doesn't quite work.
- Leo Rosten's H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N stories, which ran in the New Yorker in the 1930s, were the epitome of this. The setting is a night school where immigrants from every corner of the globe, each with their own unique personality and way of speaking, learn English and civics in preparation for citizenship. Malapropers and Fun with Foreign Languages abound.
- Used very subtly in The Lord of the Rings. It's touched on once or twice, but both the hobbits and the readers are left mostly clueless as to how much Pippin and Merridoc fit this trope. Only in Appendix F is it revealed how strange and funny Pippin sounded to the men of Gondor.
- Defied in Dracula. The largest reason Dracula invites Johnathan Harker to stay with him in Wallachia is to get rid of his accent and learn about the day-to-day matters of life in England, specifically so he won't fall into this trope.
Dracula: Well, I know that, did I move and speak in your London, none there are who would not know me for a stranger. That is not enough for me. Here I am noble; I am boyar; the common people know me, and I am master. But a stranger in a strange land, he is no one; men know him notand to know not is to care not for. I am content if I am like the rest, so that no man stops if he see me, or pause in his speaking if he hear my words, Ha, ha! a stranger! I have been so long master that I would be master stillor at least that none other should be master of me.
- Ling-Ling in The Candidates (based on a true country) speaks in broken English and actually believes in her candidate and the importance of the Democratic cause... the poor innocent fool.
- The Macbeth Murder Mystery: This short story presents two examples: A Shout-Out to Hercule Poirot, a fictional detective who invokes this trope to hide his cunning as a detective, and played straight with the Reader (the narrator places his tale in an "hotel in the English lake country" and calls the Reader "an American Lady" nine times), a silly woman who insists on applying Detective Drama tropes to Macbeth making a fool of herself and... What do you mean that Dumbass Has a Point??
- Babylon Berlin (which is set in The Weimar Republic) has as a couple of camp Austrians running around, as well as a few Russians (though those are not nearly as funny).
- Game of Thrones: Shae accuses Tyrion of seeing her this way and sarcastically dubs herself "Shae the Funny Whore."
- Green Acres: Hungarian-born Lisa Douglas, played by the Hungarian-born Eva Gabor. There are all sorts of jokes based upon Lisa's grammar and pronunciation. Added to that, is Lisa's rather interesting account of Hungarian life and customs. Apparently, Monkey Racing and Goulash Betting are the most popular sports. There was a Hungarian version of The Beverly Hillbillies called the Budapest Parasztok ("The Budapest Peasants). Another episode has Oliver and Lisa's Budapest marriage to be found invalid. It turns out the Mayor of Budapest made a mistake with their license. Instead of declaring them husband and wife, he swore them in as dentists!
- Da Ali G Show:
- Borat, a backwater rube from Kazakhstan who displays no understanding of Western cultural etiquette and constantly makes offensive statements about religion, women and other sensitive topics. The humor comes from watching people's reactions to his behavior and trying to see how far they'll go along with it.
- Brüno, a Camp Gay fashionista from Austria. He's typically used to grate on people's homophobia as well as to expose the absurdities of the fashion industry.
- Mohfaz the Depressed Persian Tow Truck Man from MA Dtv is your basic Deadpan Snarker plus poor English ("they are...how do you say...hala....A-holes. Always A-holes.")
- Possibly the Trope Codifier, Latka from Taxi. He and Simka, who shows up later, are refugees from a generic Eastern Communist country, with all kinds of jokes based on obscure customs, etc. This makes sense, as Latka was basically Andy Kaufman's "Foreign Man" character given a name, job, and backstory.
- Balki from Perfect Strangers and his famous Mypos Dance of Joy.
- Bronson Pinchot played another Funny Foreigner as Jean-Luc on Step by Step.
- Yhe two Benzite aliens from Star Trek: The Next Generation (played by the same actor) were essentially generic stage foreigners painted blue.
- Manuel the Barcelonan waiter from Fawlty Towers. Most of the humor revolves around him being just plain stupid, instead of weird and foreign, and his poor English consists not of mangling the language, but of incomprehensibly asking "Que?" every few sentences. (When the show was broadcast in Spain, the Spanish producers made him an Italian.) John Cleese has defended the character, though, saying that the major fool in the series is actually Basil for hiring cheap immigrant workers like Manuel who are obviously not skilled in English enough to do the job properly. Notably, Manuel generally does quite well if he can just understand what he's supposed to do, as evidenced by the one time a guest speaks Spanish and when Polly learns a bit of it, presumably to help her communicate with her coworker. Basil had claimed to speak Spanish before hiring Manuel, but at best can produce Spanglish (at one point, he refers to butter as "burro"note ) and practically never has the patience to make sure Manuel actually knows what he wants.
- Fes (a nickname which stands for Foreign Exchange Student) from That '70s Show, who eventually gave rise to much Lampshade Hanging over the fact that we never learn his country of origin. His real name is not given, but we're told that it's simply too long and funny-sounding for regular use. He often talks with an accent and makes stupid comments. In one of the later episodes, there's also a friend of his from the "Old Country": a white guy with a British accent. Apparently his friend is from the west side of the island.
- The Czechoslovakian "Wild and Crazy Guys" played by Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd on Saturday Night Live. Their spiritual descendants the Butabi Brothers as portrayed by Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan—in one memorable episode of SNL, joined by Martin Short as an Afghan goat herder who travels to the US to join Will and Chris as the third member of the duo.
- Gloria from Modern Family is a Colombian immigrant, and pretty much everything about that is played for laughs: Her broad accent, loud voice, large family, the poverty and crime of her hometown, etc.
- In the British comedy The League of Gentlemen, the German character Herr Lipp is a Funny Foreigner — he unwittingly says things that make him sound like a pedophile, which is ultimately revealed to be true. Things like "You are still erect" to mean "You are still awake".
- Royal Canadian Air Farce:
- There's a set of characters that exclusively used this trope: English As A Second Language News, with the anchors Heiki Flergenpootz and Svetlana, who began their broadcast with "Goodnight" (and, less subtly, ended it with "Hello"). There were also several correspondents attached to the skits, such as the Espresso-Drinking Greek (who would calmly sip his espresso and then energetically shriek out his views on a given story).
- The Foreign Taxi Driver, who would drive around (poorly) in front of a bad bluescreen with a customer who could barely follow what he was saying as he snarked with an accent about then-recent news events. He usually dropped people off at the wrong stop, and said, "You pay Vy-sa, I kill you."
- And then there was Roger Abbott's impersonation of Jean Chretien who is not, technically speaking, a foreigner, but whose linguistic idiosyncrasies got him portrayed like one anyway.
- Ziva David in NCIS mangles at least one English idiom per episode, and she Drives Like Crazy.
- Dr. Luka Kovac on ER with his so called lukaisms. "You've got an insect up your anus." "It's bug up my ass, Luka."
- A series of sketches in Nickelodeon's All That feature Ishboo, a foreign exchange student from "A Foreign Land." No, really, that was his country's name. The joke with Ishboo is that he was a prankster who would make up customs on the spot, and his exchange family would feel compelled to "make him feel at home" by playing along, much to his amusement.
- The Disney Channel show So Random! put out a sketch about a class clown named Oscar, who gets expelled, but returns disguised as "Olaf, the Fake Foreign Exchange Student."
- The Big Bang Theory:
- Rajesh "Raj" Koothrappali. Frequently complicated by the fact that Sheldon Cooper feels the need to correct Raj on Indian culture.
- However, when Raj' sister appears, far from being a funny foreigner, she is beautiful, strong-willed and professional.
- The king of the Burgundians in Kaamelott: he can't speak...well, whatever language French stands for in this, only shouting sentences apparently taken from etiquette books and bad poems and which he obviously doesn't understand; has very poor table manners; and almost gets swindled out of his kingdom by his own interpreter.
- SCTV had Yosh and Stan Schmenge from the East European country of Leutonia, and Perini Scleroso from...well, from somewhere.
- Jessie averts this among Disney Channel originals. There are three kids adopted from foreign lands (a Hispanic country, India, and an African country). Only the Indian acts foreign and a lot of his ethnic traits are more informative than played for laughs.
- Some of the customers in Are You Being Served? fit this trope.
- In one episode, an Arab Oil Sheikh visits the store and attempts to buy a pair of trousers in exchange for a goat...When the goat is refused by the sales assistants, the sheik then tries to trade a beautiful woman.
- In another episode, it's a Japanese Tourist with his "Cledit Caa" (Sooooooo!). Captain Peacock's attempts to communicate with him are at least as hilarious as the tourist himself ("You wanty buy?" "Whaty-wanty?")
- Also, a cranky German couple in "German Week", and Japanese businessmen looking to take over the store in "Monkey Business". Also, short-lived regular Mr. Grossman could qualify as a Funny Foreigner.
- In Black Books, Fran tracks down some long lost relatives that fit this trope, hailing from what would appear to be somewhere in Eastern Europe.
- Some talk show hosts like to have funny foreigner sidekicks or recurring sketch characters. Jimmy Kimmel has Guillermo the security guard, and Conan O'Brien has band member La Bamba.
- From Mr. Lucky, Andamo falls into this, but not too far - it's limited to occasional misunderstandings of English words and American customs.
- Frasier: Daphne and her occasional family member. On one episode she gets the Cranes out of the house for the evening by claiming she's making sheep's-head stew for dinner.
- Late Show With David Letterman has their foreign correspondent Graham Fenwick-Jones, who speaks almost without exception in impenetrable British slang with no subtitles.
- The Muppet Show had a few:
- The Swedish Chef was the most well known. He actually speaks a mishmash of Swedish and gibberish, but his segments are a combination of slapstick humor and prop comedy.
- There was also the Flying Zucchini Brothers, and the incomparable Whatnot musician Marvin Suggs (described with that word by Kermit, because he couldn't imagine anyone to compare him to.) They were Funny Foreigners, but it was hard to tell from which foreign country.
- The Star Wars episode featured Angus McGonagle the Argyle Gargoyle, who was inexplicably (and extremely) Scottish. Since his main schtick was to gargle George Gershwin tunes to Faux Horrific effect, his nationality didn't serve much purpose other than to make him funnier and more random, as Gershwin was of Eastern European Jewish descent.
- Inverted in Killinaskully: the German Dieter is usually the Straight Man in whatever craziness the locals are getting up to.
- In The Electric Company (1971), with his Anthony Quinn-like ability to do a plethora of accents, Luis Avalos frequently played this. Also, Skip Hinnant sometimes did mangled British accents.
- First-generation Indian and Pakistani immigrants in Goodness Gracious Me are played for laughs. This is in the context of their finding Britain hard to understand, and embarrasing or otherwise hindering their British-born children, who are more at home with the cultural norms of the land of their birth. The clash between the Asian-born and British-born generations of Indian/Pakistani families is a staple of the show's humour.
- The BBC's latest foray into Asian humour, Citizen Khan also deals with a Pakistani-born immigrant who is pompous, authoritarian, religiously Islamic, and incompetently endearing, as he struggles to make sense of both Birmingham and his British-born daughters, who have more liberal approaches to life.
- Less stellar or sympathetic - the 1960's sitcom Curry and Chips, which featured Spike Milligan in brownface, playing a comedy Pakistani who consistently failed to make sense of Britain. Even at the time this was thought of as a racist show playing on stereotypes and popular assumptions. note
- Ranjit, the Bangladeshi cab driver in How I Met Your Mother.
- Most of the humor of Antonio on Wings revolved around his being a sad sack, but his lines were funnier because of his Italian accent.
- Root Into Europe: Mr. and Mrs. Root often encounter funny archetypes from different parts of Europe.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus: The "Bruces" sketch is full of Australian stereotypes. They all wear corks on their hats, khaki shirts, talk in an exaggarated accent and are obsessed with beer.
- Also the tourist from the "Dirty Translation Book" sketch.
- Japanese television personality Bobby Ologun, who was born in Nigeria, created a persona as a funny foreigner, frequently garbling his Japanese in amusing ways and generally showing ignorance of Japanese culture. His schtick has been criticized as Uncle Tomfoolery, playing on Japanese stereotypes of black people and foreigners in general.
- Swedish Euro Pop artist Jonny Jakobsen is famous for adopting over-the-top Funny Foreigner personae for his novelty songs, such as the faux-Indian Dr. Bombay and the mock-Mexican Carlito.
- It was common in 1950s calypso to imitate the Chinese for comedic effect, as they were an Acceptable Target back in those days. This isn't socially acceptable anymore, but the examples were relatively tame.
- Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello has lived in America since the 80s and speaks perfect English, but often throws in the odd grammatical error into his songs due to people associating that with Russians.
- Joe Dolce's "Shaddap Ya Face". Dolce is an Italian-American who has lived in Australia for some years, so this crosses over into Self Deprecating territory.
- This shows up a lot in pro wrestling, often with Unfortunate Implications. One of the more well-known examples in the US is hapless, Engrish-speaking Smackdown! wrestler Funaki.
- Most foreign wrestlers in American Professional Wrestling who aren't Foreign Wrestling Heels are Funny Foreigners, unless they're Canadian or British, especially in the WWE. Yoshihiro Tajiri, Super Crazy and Santino Marella are examples.
- The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers in The '80s and Kenzo Suzuki in 2003 tried to be Foreign Wrestling Heels, but ended up becoming Funny Foreigners because of how ineffective they were. In the case of the Rougeaus, do see this page, though. In the case of Suzuki, he debuted as Funny Foreigner trying to play an All-American Face after promos that made him seem like an evil one. The fact that he didn't speak a word of English, and his wife had to translate everything he said, didn't deter him from this plan in the slightest. Didn't even turn face but remained cheerful.
- Mad Man Pondo, the Baka Gaijin of Big Japan Pro Wrestling, excuse us, the original Baka Gaijin. When Big Japan kicked out all the other CZW Wrestlers, due to John Zandig demanding more money, they kept Pondo because of how over he was. Then they brought in 2 Tuff Tony, so they could have two Baka Gaijins. As Crazy Mary Dobson is Pondo's slightly less garbage wrestler successor, she was slapped with the nickname "Miss Baka Gaijin" in REINA.
- Toryumon Japan, which became Dragon Gate (with the Toryumon trademark going exclusively to the Mexican one) did a legitimately hilarious version, though: constant losers Raimu Mishima and Taku Iwasa took a sabbatical to refine their craft in the US. They returned as full-fledged residents of Eagleland Type 2: their hair bleached blonde and their wrestling attire consisting entirely of reds, whites, and blues. They took the names Michael and Daniel, the Florida Brothers, and used loads of Gratuitous English in their promos and theme songs, all while using the sort of cheating tactics that are more common in US wrestling than its Japanese counterpart. They proceeded to go on a huge winning streak - winning every match by disqualification. The result was pretty hilarious.
- Lin Byron at SMASH, before becoming an Apostle Of Hell anyway. She's a Chinese migrant who has been making a great effort to learn the new tongue. Unfortunately she's convinced that tongue is English, even though she's working for Yoshihiro Tajiri's SMASH, in Japan, not the Canadian one.
- Estonian Thunder Frog, Latvian Proud Oak and Lithuanian Snow Troll: The Baltic Seige of Chikara. Later this would become the Bloc Party, and thereafter the United Nations, also featuring Mr. Azerbaijan, the Proletariat Boar of Moldova, and Prakash Sabar. Most of these actually behave strangely in the ring, as in they do moves oddly — Mr. Azerbaijan just lets go halfway through a snap suplex, sending his opponent careening behind
- SHINE Wrestling has "The Cheerleader Without Cheer Leading Experience" Shazza McKenzie, "Everybody's Favorite Girlfriend" Jessie McKay and "The Indestructible One" Kellie Skater: Team Australia! They reunited in SHIMMER to fight the evil Trifecta...but ran into problems, as McKay didn't show up.
- Ladybeard, the cross dressing Austrailian male pinup model from Dramatic Dream Team.
- La Rosa Negra in Chigusa Nagayo's Marvelous and Nanae Takahashi's SEAdLINNNG. She resigned herself to it in the former, as Nagayo and her student, Momono Mio, took an immediate liking to her but resents it in the latter, believing it keeps people from taking her efforts to get a rematch with Arisa Nakajima, the woman who got them laughing in the first place, seriously.
"I may be funny, but I'm also dangerous!"
- In a one-act play of The Thirty-Nine Steps, every character was one of these. Especially Annabella, who has a ridiculous German accent.
"The bleends! Close the bleends!
- The scandal-mongering Italian-accented duo of Valzacchi and Annina in Der Rosenkavalier are somewhat menacing at times, but fall short of being Foreign Wrestling Heels since more Hilarity Ensues from their schemes than tragedy.
- The musical The Phantom of the Opera has Italian opera singers Carlotta Guidicelli and Ubaldo Piangi, the former a prissy diva and the latter short and overweight, among the other characters who are mostly French.
- Funny Foreigners were already a stock source of humour in ancient Greek and Roman comedy. One such example is Triballos from Aristophanes's The Birds, a "barbarian god" that is part of the embassy of the Gods to Cloudcuckooland, where his lacking grasp of the Greek language results in the Birds hornswoggling the Gods.
- On a Clear Day You Can See Forever has Themistocles Kriakos, an eccentric Greek millionaire who is more than eager to fund serious research on reincarnation.
- Ulla and Franz in The Producers
- Mr. Paravicini in Agatha Christie's Long Runner The Mousetrap.
- In Shirley Valentine, Shirley goes on holiday to Greece and is befriended by a tavern owner who speaks in broken English and lives up to several stereotypes. (Even more so in the film version, where we actually get to see him and not just have Shirley's word for it.) It's left open that he might be at least partly playing up to the tourists.
- In Can-Can, much of the comic relief comes from Boris Adzinidzinadze, a hot-tempered Small Name, Big Ego artist from Bulgaria with an unspellable name, a weird accent and a collection of mangled proverbs for all occasions.
- Mario and Luigi of Super Mario Bros. are perhaps the most famous examples in gaming. While the series is Japanese, voiced in English (however minimally) and styled after American cartoons, the Bros. have very thick Italian accents and stereotypical mannerisms that add to their charm and appeal.
- Played with in Fahrenheit (known as Indigo Prophecy in the States), when one of the detectives goes to a book shop to find out if there's anything useful to be determined from an old book that was left at the scene of a murder. The owner is a little old Chinese man in stereotypical little-old-Chinese-man dress and with a high-pitched, English-mangling accent, who asks you to find a book for him while there because he's forgotten where he's placed everything. This turns out to be a test to mess with customers because he doesn't like selling to stupid people, and once you pass it he straightens up, gaining a few inches of height, and turns out to have a deep Bronx accent with a voice like he's been smoking since he was born.
- From Glass Joe to Von Kaiser to King Hippo to Bear Hugger to Don Flamenco to Great Tiger to Aran Ryan to Soda Popinski, Punch-Out's boxers span the entire Hollywood Atlas. Outside the US perspective, Super Macho Man is one as well because of his Eagleland attitude.
- Super Punch Out! has Mad Clown (a sadistic Italian Monster Clown), Bob Charlie (a laid-back Jamaican who fights according to "the rhythm"), Heike Kagero (an effeminate Japanese kabuki actor), Gabby Jay (a French Expy of Glass Joe and feeble old man), Dragon Chan (A Hong Kong native Bruce Lee Clone), Hoy Quarlow (a rude Chinese Old Master), Narcis Prince (The Fighting Narcissist from Britain), and Masked Muscle (A Mexican Masked Luchador who fights dirty). It also has Piston Hurricane from Cuba and the Bruiser brothers from Parts Unknown, but neither of them have any traits that are very funny.
- In Fur Fighters you have a strange French cat (that is in no way similar to Andy Warhol) a dumb Australian kangaroo, bizarre little Russian meerkats, and many others.
- Horst Fedders from Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell, mostly due to Freddi's foreign language phrase book.
- Deconstructed in Kud's route in Little Busters!. Because she's only one-quarter Japanese, many of her classmates see her as one of these, complimenting her on her knowledge of Japanese culture and laughing at her foreign mannerisms. However, Kud finds this very isolating, as she learned Japanese from a young age and has been exposed to the culture for most of her life, and since she's lived in places all over the world, Japan is the closest she has to a home country.
- Persona 2's Lisa Silverman was born in Japan to Japanophile western parents and raised to be a Yamato Nadeshiko, never teaching her English (aside from Japanese, she knows some Cantonese). Despite this, everyone assumes she speaks English. This comes to bite her back.
- Shogun 2: Total War: Fall of the Samurai has an inversion of this trope. The game takes places from the standpoint of the Japanese, and they're mostly normal. It's the Western soldiers you can hire who act weird. For example, the US Marines are all Christian, Hot-Blooded Blood Knights, while the British Marines are all indifferent, detached, and a bit eccentric.
- Pokemon Platinum introduced Looker, a detective who speaks broken Japanese. Pokémon X and Y shows he's French.
- Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist: Srini, the INDIAN.
- Fire Emblem:
- Fire Emblem Awakening has Virion, a vain archer who sounds more or less like Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast, and Gregor, a mercenary with a thick Eastern European accent.
- New Mystery of the Emblem has Athena, a myrmidon from another continent vith a Vampire Vords accent who refers to herself in plural and has a very loose grasp on English. It mostly only comes out in her conversations with Kris, though, since the majority of her other dialogues are during combat situations, where she instead comes across as serious and forceful, and doesn't keep speaking for long enough to have a chance to mangle her sentences.
- Splatoon has the Jellyfish. They are cute humanoid little guys that wander around Inkopolis along with the Inklings, with most of them being completely silent since they don't speak the Inkling language. The clothing store owner Jelonzo has learned it, but butchers it in a hilarious way.
- The Way of the Samurai franchise has some of these. Especially Way Of The Samurai 4, as it takes place during the final days of the shogunate, where Japan had to forcibly open its borders for foreigners. During the game, the player can encounter randomly generated British Non Player Characters, who, when an English language school is opened, utter grammatically bad Engrish phrases, such as "I study Japanspeak! Japanspeak fun!". Special mention goes to British count J.J., who in the hidden storyline gets obsessed with sushi, claiming it to be full of Japanese spirit.
- Shadowrun Returns: Invoked. Knowledge Broker and café proprietor Altuğ Burakgazi deliberately exaggerates his Turkish accent and plays up his foreign-ness (including Flowery Insults), both to attract customers and to seem less threatening. In private, his accent and speech patterns in German change quite remarkably.
- Dandy Dungeon has one of Yamada's neighbors, Aja, an Indian man in a turban who's an incredibly accomplished programmer (the modern stereotype of Indians being masters in information technology) and who acts like a snake charmer with his two laptops.
- Grand Theft Auto IV features a lot of foreigners (the main protagonist is Serbian, who is very much not like this trope), but the one who fits it the best is Yusuf Amir, an funny, energetic, light-hearted and friendly Arab millionaire.
- Grand Theft Auto V plays with this trope quite a bit.
- Defied with Trevor Philips, a Canadian-born immigrant who takes issue with anyone who finds his accent funny. Make fun of him and there will not be enough left for bury you. Just ask the US military...
- Josef is an Laughably Evil example, since he is a Russian member of the minutemen who targets all immigrants and is highly xenophobic and jingoistic against anything non-American... Despite being non-American himself and can't even speak English.
- Inverted with Ferdinand Kerimov, an Azerbaijani prisoner to the FIB whose scenes are anything but funny, and are widely considered some of the darkest and disturbing moments in the game, and possibly the series.
- League of Legends has Neeko, The Curious Chameleon, who originated from a foreign island civilization isolated from Runeterra, foreign to nearly everything else in the game's lore. After she was forcibly displaced due to cataclysm, she's having a hard time getting used to the new continent and has no shortage of strange mannerisms, but this lends her an innocent and endearingly awkward charm.
- Sophie, a Foreign Exchange Student from the US, is portrayed as an excitable, gullible ditz in Kurumi's After Hours.
- The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! once had a pair of "rogue Canadian scientists," dressed in heavy winter gear, one of whom said "eh!" a lot and the other spoke French.
- The Back o' Beyond has Sawbones, who is good natured, if a bit quirky, and once referred to Baines as being 'dearly department.'
- Demo Reel: Rob Walker played a stereotypical German speaking with a heavy accent and walking around in a marine officer uniform.
- On Jacksfilms, Jack Douglass treats Russian-American fellow YouTuber Olga Kay - who he's friends with in real life - as this. It led to his catchphrase "Oh Olga!" (said after reading a tweet from her with a grammar mistake on his "Your Grammar Sucks" videos).
- Featured in a Foil, Arms and Hog sketch; the German character in Never Take an Irish Person Literally.
- Lauri, the host of the Hydraulic Press Channel has a heavy Finnish accent and some difficulty with English grammar, making his narration utterly hilarious while crushing various things.
Lauri (On Donald Duck): For today's extra content we have this... strange looking duck... who is wears some clothes for some reason but no trousers so... I think he may be some kind of pervert and can attack us at any moment so we must deal with him.
- Many of the original Looney Tunes shorts have stock foreigners, including Christopher Columbus as a manic stage Italian in "Hare We Go" ("The world-a, it's-a-round!"). The two most famous of these are Mexican mouse Speedy Gonzales, a perfectly competent hero who speaks in Gratuitous Spanish, and French skunk Pepé Le Pew, a Stalker with a Crush who speaks in romantic French.
- Many War Time Cartoon shorts dwell on stereotypical representations of Germans, Italians and the Japanese.
- Rolf from Ed, Edd n Eddy, who comes up with odd traditions (many of which involve fish) and sayings ("Do not burn the candle at both ends, as it leads to the life of a hairdresser") from his home country in nearly every episode.
"You have broken the celery stalk on the back of a sea urchin!"
- Dr. Zoidberg from Futurama gradually became a Shout-Out to vaudeville Funny Foreigner jokes. And one robot in the Ultimate Robot Fighting League, The Foreigner:
The Foreigner: Im not from here!! I have my own customs!! Look at my crazy passport!
- The Simpsons uses a few characters like this.
- There's Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the stereotypical Indian convenience store clerk ("Thank you, come again!").
- Groundskeeper Willie, the stereotypical angry Scotsman. Though in earlier seasons the trope was a bit subverted because he wasn't portrayed as thrifty or walking around in a kilt.
- Luigi, the stereotypical Italian chef who gesticulates a lot and has a curly moustache
- Uter, the stereotypical fat, jolly German kid who walks around in lederhosen.
- Bumblebee Man, a stereotypical Mexican who always wears his TV costume and whose private life mirrors the zany antics of his TV show.
- Springfield even has a bowling team called The Stereotypes. They have begged Apu to join.
- Moe is a foreigner, but his country of origin seems to be ambiguous. (One episode suggested Italy, another the Middle East, yet another the Netherlands.)
- Toki Wartooth and Skwisgaar Skwisgelf of Metalocalypse frequently mangle the English Language. Of course, the entire cast just isn't that bright. "Don't just get booze! That ain't food!"
- Family Guy has Peter's colleague Fouad, who finds sarcasm hilarious and is willing to explain it every time just in case you didn't get it. "Oh hohhh! He say "Nice day," but he covered with rain!" There's also this gem from The Former Life of Brian
Stewie: Brian, this is painful. It's like listening to those two foreign guys down at the coffee shop who've been living in the US almost long enough to sound American.Scene cuts to coffee shop.Guy #1: Oh man, what a good bunch of partying at that discotheque. They played one of my audience requests.Guy #2: Way awesome! I myself drank like five liters of beer. Any more and I would have ended up in hospital, man.Guy #1: Oh, you said it, friend, but I wanted to stay, because I almost had sex on this girl.Guy #2: Oh yeah, but it was so expensive. Each drink was like six dollars forty!
- Danny Phantom: Gregor the exotic Hungarian in the episode "Double Cross My Heart". Apparently, white is the new black in Europe! He also gives us the only instance of boys kissing on this show, because he called it a common greeting where he is from. Subverted in that he's actually Elliot from Michigan, and was just pretending to be a foreigner, fooling everyone, including a school...to score with a chick!
- Someone from Witch pretended to be French and fluent in Russian. Irma actually was so saw through this deception.
- Sanjay on The Fairly OddParents! is an Indian boy who talks with such a weird voice that it attracts cats. Most of the jokes involving him center on the fact that he's way too into Timmy.
- Dexter's Laboratory had a character in the episode "The Bus Boy" where Dexter's pencil is knocked into the uninhabited, dark back of the bus. A German boy in lederhosen is one of the kids to describe their account of why they fear to go back there. His story involved him dancing around eating food and lamenting how good it was.
"Hot coco. Mmmmmmmm."
- Pixar's A Bug's Life has Tuck and Roll, the pillbugs of Hungarian origin.
- Doctor Von Goosewing in 'Count Duckula' is an excitable, loud, Germanic chap.
- Littlest Pet Shop (2012) has Sunil Nevla, a magician mongoose with a heavy Indian accent.
- Detentionaire has Holger, an exchange student from somewhere Norse by Norsewest and resident Cloudcuckoolander.
- The Ranting Swede, who appears at the end of each episode of Sheep in the Big City. His entire shtick is that he makes silly complaints while talking in a Swedish accent.
- South Park: They have poked fun at many ethnicities over the years, most regularly the British, the French, the Japanese, Germans, Africans, Arabians, Mexicans, Jews,...
- While South Park has poked fun at many ethnicities, over the years, the group that best fits this trope is their version of Canada. Rather than portray Canada at all realistically, they instead depict it as a Cloud Cuckoo Land, where the people's heads flap up and down like trash can lids when they talk, wheels are square, and the letters G, P, V, Y and Z are pronounced "guy", "buddy", "friend", "eh" and by literally farting, respectively.
- Olaf the emperor penguin from Kaeloo has a Russian accent and speaks in Russian from time to time, adding Russian words to his everyday speech. The Season 2 finale reveals that he's not actually Russian, but he's from Planet Smileyland's version of Antarctica.
- Louis Bonaparte, Napoléon's brother, was made King of the Netherlands in 1806. The only problem? He didn't speak Dutch. He did make an attempt to learn, though, famously calling himself the "Konijn van 'Olland", the "Rabbit of Holland".
- Yakov Smirnoff, popularizer of Russian Reversal. Going out to eat at an American restaurant, an attendant asks him how many people are in his party. Smirnoff replies "100 million".
- Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien was foreign absolutely everywhere, speaking neither French nor English very well. This was exacerbated by a defect in his mouth that made him look like he always talked out of the side of it—he got an attack of Bell's palsy when he was young, permanently leaving the left side of his face partially paralyzed. To quote the man himself: "It is true I speak on one side of my mouth. I am not a Tory, I don't speak on both sides of my mouth."
- This cracked article show us the case of George Psalmanazar, a Frenchman who in 1703 pretended to be Formosan and Japanese at Italy and England. Using Obfuscating Stupidity he pretended to be a Funny Foreigner who talked in Poirot Speak and had a lot of Crazy Cultural Comparison, playing with the Values Dissonance and Unfortunate Implications of Englishmen confirming that all foreigners were idiots.
- The real Princess Caraboo was a bit of this also.