Follow TV Tropes


Funny Foreigner

Go To
"Great Success!"

"Hey everybody, I am from Holland! Isn't that vwierd?"
Goldmember, Austin Powers In Goldmember

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 just making up a Fictional 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.

If done poorly, a Funny Foreigner can turn into an Ethnic Scrappy, in which case you can also get Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales.

Compare and contrast with But Not Too Foreign, Fauxreigner, Fun with Foreign Languages, No Social Skills, Raised by Natives, Unintelligible Accent and Foreign Wrestling Heel. Also see Crazy Cultural Comparison, which is when the Funny Foreigner's behavior is held against that of his host. See also Idiosyncratic Cultural Gesture.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • 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.
  • In BanG Dream!, Eve Wakamiya is half-Japanese and half-Finnish. Having grown up in Finland, she's fascinated by all things related to traditional Japanese culture, especially bushido, the samurai code. Her passion for incorporating bushido into every aspect of her daily life, to the point of it being her catchphrase, is one of her most memorable traits. And although they're focused on less, she also participates in kendo, tea ceremony, and flower arranging.
  • In Beelzebub, when Oga, Furuichi and Hilda travel to the USA, Oga and Furuichi initially have trouble communicating 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.
  • Yami Sukehiro in Black Clover is disparagingly referred to as "foreigner" by Nozel, being originally from the Land of the Sun and stranded in the Clover Kingdom. He is also a source of comedy in the story thanks to his sarcasm and tendency to mess with people.
  • Robert McGuire from Crayon Shin-chan, the half-Japanese, half-American nephew of the Nohara's neighbor Kitamoto, who often gets dragged into assorted hijinks by the titular character, and mistaking Shin-Chan's antics to be genuine Japanese culture. Later chapters reveals Robert to have become a permanent resident in Japan, working as a TV host for an English edutainment show and a recurring character ever since.
  • William's Indian friend Hakim from Emma: A Victorian Romance 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.
  • Alice Nakiri's mother Leonora in Food Wars!, who is Danish. She's introduced making a grand entrance and leaving everyone specchless with her elegance and beauty, and then she starts talking in broken Japanese while making a goofy face not unlike that of her daughter. Other gags include the language barriers she often encounters, such as thinking Erina called her old (obaasan = "grandma" instead of obasan = "aunt") and then breaking into perfect and super-fast Japanese speech whenever she tastes delicious dishes.
  • 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.
  • Everyone in Hetalia: Axis Powers 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.
  • How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? has Gina Boyd, an Occidental Otaku from Russia who makes a point to act as stereotypically Russian as possible... Much to the chagrin of her much more serious uncle Ivan Karaev (originally from Kengan Ashura), who wonders what happened to her in the years they had been separated. Even if he is the exception (it's later revealed that Gina's sisters are just like her).
  • Exploited by Freesia in Jubei-chan. She pretends to be a funny foreigner to hide her malicious nature and pass off any time she could get caught doing something unsavory as her simply not understanding the Japanese language or culture well.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • A Running Gag with Kaere (Kaede's Split Personality) is her regularly citing bizarre and nonsensical cultural practices from her home country, to the point that other characters openly wonder where she's even from.
  • 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.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: The franchise often zigzag this trope. There are several foreigners with odd personality quirks which are more often than not tied to their nationality, but there are also foreigners who are portrayed completely serious, to the point that they are portrayed like any other character.
    • Pegasus J. Crawford/Maximillion Pegasus is this trope through and through in the manga and in the Japanese dub of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters anime. His voice is very high-pitched and comical regardless of the situation, he uses Gratuitous English all the time, has a habit of adding the "-boy" suffix to Kaiba and Yugi, and he has a serious obsession with toons. This doesn't stop him from being a menacing and serious villain, though.
    • "Bandit" Keith Howard from the same series (see above) is a downplayed example. Other than the fact that he wears an American flag as a bandana, he's played completely serious. Except in the abridged series.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Jim "Crocodile" Cook is introduced like this. He dresses like an adventurer, carries a living female crocodile on his back all the time and he uses Gratuitous English way more often than other native English speakers in the series, and he has a habit of giving his companions English nicknames. By contrast, the other three foreign exchange students and Professor Cobra/Viper, who are introduced in the same episode as Jim, are all portrayed seriously.
      • Unless you think his gun-Duel Disk and his military personality are funny American quirks, Austin O'Brien/Axel Brodie is otherwise a completely serious character, and in some ways the opposite of Jim.
      • Johan Andersen/Jesse Anderson averts this trope in that his character is funny because he's very similar to the protagonist Judai, not because he is a foreigner. Like Amon Garam/Adrian Gecko and Professor Cobra, Johan lacks foreign stereotypical traits.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's: Jill De Lancebeaux/Gill Randsborg is notably the only foreigner in the series who fits this trope, since he's dressed up as a knight (the English dub even gives him an archaic speech pattern as part of his roleplay) and ultimately loses in a comical fashion. No other foreigner in this series is ever as portrayed as odd and funny as he is.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V: Dennis Mackfield and Halil are two of the three LDS exchange students, they both often speak Gratuitous English and are portrayed comically. Although in Dennis's case, it's because he's an entertainer and is often more serious than comical, Halil on the other hand, plays this trope very straight.

    Comic Books 
  • 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).
  • Jommeke:
    • 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 mustache 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 Borsellino hat and curly moustache.
  • The Black Knight: Arpin Lusène, together with Funetik Aksent.
    Arpin Lusene: Ah am truly ze master thif!
    Donald: Thif?
    Arpin Lusene: Not "thif", you iddy-ott! Thif!
  • Jesús from Circles is campy and likes to sprinkle some Spanish words in his sentences.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dilbert:
    • 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.

    Fan Works 
  • 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.
  • Hallvard the White in Njal Gets Burned, who's extremely pushy about getting Gunnar to visit his native Norway. When he gets there, everyone else is perfectly normal (for an Icelandic saga), and Hallvard's cousin Olvir tells him to drop the act.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Are You Being Served?, an emir comes to Grace Brothers to buy a pair of trousers. Mr. Humphries and Mr. Lucas aren't allowed to touch him, so they have to use balloons to measure his inside leg.
  • The Russian cosmonaut in Armageddon (1998) 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.
  • Borat (and its sequel) live on this trope.
  • The Mexican comedian/producer/singer Cantinflas as Passepartout in the 1956 film Around the World in 80 Days (1956). He had it all—he was short, clumsy, and had a funny accent.
    • 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.
  • In the 2012 film The Dictator, Admiral General Haffaz Aladeen, who's from the fictional country of the Republic of Wadiya as its titular over-the-top dictator, became this after his beard got cut off by a white supremacist while they're in the United States (as Aladeen himself was in a United Nations conference meeting by the time this happened), rendering him as being unrecognizable to almost everyone around the world for the majority of the movie.
  • Doctor in Trouble:
    • Satterjee is an Indian steward who has a tendency to comically miss the point.
    • The Russian Captain is an amusingly butch woman who puts off Dr. Burke with her advances and speaks in You No Take Candle.
  • 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.
  • Johnny English: Pascal Sauvage, a long-lost French prince who plans to rule the United Kingdom with an iron fist, has significant shades of this, especially given that he's capable of being rather quirky.
  • 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.
  • Technically, Mr. Bean from his namesake franchise becomes this twice, namely in both the 1997 movie Bean (in which its primary setting is in the United States) and its 2007 sequel Mr. Bean's Holiday (where it's instead set in France), given that he's originally from the United Kingdom (much like the whole franchise itself).
  • Subverted and lampshaded in Not Another Teen MovieAreola 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 (2003): 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.
  • Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines features a slew of zany pilots from all over the world, from the stuffy British eccentric to the efficiency-obsessed Prussian in a pickelhaube to the suave Handsome Lech Frenchman. The offensiveness of all this stereotyping is mitigated by the fact that a) everyone gets this treatment and b) Fake Nationality is spectacularly averted — every character is played by an actor of that nationality. Interestingly, the Japanese pilot averts this by being presented as competent, speaking very good English and not being stereotypical at all.
  • You Don't Mess with the Zohan primarily tackles about Middle Easterners living in the United States. However, the characters who define this trope the most are the namesake Zohanele "Zohan" Dvir (a.k.a. Scrappy Coco), Fatoush "Phantom" Hakbarah (who is also Dalia's older brother), and Salim Yousfoubdal, all of which are because of their different levels of eccentricity.

  • 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.
  • Discworld:
    • 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. (If they're laughing at your accent and your opera cloak, they're not staking you and chopping off your head.) 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 a classic funny foreigner on vacation — specifically, he is the Disc's equivalent of a Japanese Tourist, amazingly polite, taking photographs everywhere, and buying anything that suits his fancy.
    • 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."
  • Dive (2003): Downplayed with Menasce Gérard (aka English), the grouchy dive guide who is descended from native Caribbean tribes, French settlers, and one English castaway many generations back. His frustration at the hands of his young charges provides a lot of humor, but is also justified due to their dangerous inexperience, with English coming across as a Hyper-Competent Sidekick who saves their lives several times and also gets a lot more nuanced and approachable as time goes by.
  • Kung Fu Tzu in Michael Moorcock's novel The Chinese Agent is an exaggerated Fu Manchu knockoff. Much Hilarity Ensues.
  • Modesty Blaise series:
    • Sheikh Abu-Tahir in Modesty Blaise (the first novel) is an Arab Oil Sheikh who speaks broken English with frequent malapropisms and mixes elements of the wealthy oil magnate lifestyle with elements of the traditional life of his tribe; for instance, when he comes to England to negotiate an oil deal with the British government, he and his retinue take a suite at the Ritz and then set up a traditional encampment inside it, complete with tents and goats.
    • Caspar in the short story "A Perfect Night to Break Your Neck" is a Funny Foreigner everywhere he goes, speaking in an unidentifiable accent with Poirot Speak interjections from multiple languages.
      "Modesty, my old!" Caspar snatched up her hand and kissed it. "I am possessed by a brilliant idea. Let us get married tout de suite, old bean. Heiut! Oggi! As captain of the Delphine, I will perform the ceremony. Tovarich Garvin shall be best man."
  • 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.
  • Dracula:
    • Van Helsing, the Dutch Absent-Minded Professor with a habit of Blunt Metaphors Trauma and peppering his language with German (the lingua franca at the time), and Quincy Morris, the cowboy with a deliberately exaggerated accent.
    • Defied by Dracula himself. 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 not—and 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 still—or 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 a "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.
  • Caging Skies:
    The Poles were arguing over something that I assumed, from the complex sounds, to be philosophy or astrophysics. Unexpectedly, the older one exposed his molar. I burst out laughing, imitated their grandiose sounds, then pointed to my back tooth. We all roared, except Pimmichen, who hadn't caught on..
    • He doesn't have a high opinion of Americans either
    The Americans were known for speaking loudly. Maybe their way of speaking was more perceptible from far away because it was so nasal. If some of our Germanic language came out of our throats, I'd say a good deal of theirs came out their noses.

    Live-Action TV 

In General:

  • 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.
  • 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.


  • 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 and classmates would feel compelled to "make him feel at home" by playing along, much to his amusement.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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's sister appears, far from being a funny foreigner, she is beautiful, strong-willed and professional.
  • 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.
  • 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 1960s 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 
  • 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.
  • Doctor Who: In "Turn Left", Rocco Colasanto is a perpetually cheerful man with a thick Italian accent who likes singing sea shanties... right up until he drops the act and shares a grim farewell salute with Wilf as he and his family are led off to what sounds like their deaths. It's hinted that he's being a Stepford Smiler to try and cope with the Crapsack World Britain has turned into.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Game of Thrones: Shae accuses Tyrion of seeing her this way and sarcastically dubs herself "Shae the Funny Whore".
  • 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 embarrassing 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.
  • 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!
  • Trying to be this on Hell's Kitchen will get you eliminated in a hurry.
  • Ali from In for a Penny is a standard '70s Britcom stereotype, with the series cracking many jokes about how his accent sounded or how he had trouble speaking English.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Inverted in Killinaskully: the German Dieter is usually the Straight Man in whatever craziness the locals are getting up to.
  • Late Show With David Letterman has their foreign correspondent Graham Fenwick-Jones, who speaks almost without exception in impenetrable British slang with no subtitles.
  • 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".
  • Mohfaz the Depressed Persian Tow Truck Man from MADtv (1995) is your basic Deadpan Snarker plus poor English ("they do you say...hala....A-holes. Always A-holes.")
    • Ms Bunny Swan's poor English, thick accent, and strange idioms would often confuse and irritate whoever was interacting with her, although it may have all been part of a deliberately dumb act, as the results would often be in her favor.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Played with in the "Dirty Translation Book" sketch — the Hungarian tourist comes off first as crazy and then perverted, but it turns out he's been made a fool of by the titular phrasebook.
  • From Mr. Lucky, Andamo falls into this, but not too far — it's limited to occasional misunderstandings of English words and American customs.
  • 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.
  • Ziva David in NCIS mangles at least one English idiom per episode, and she Drives Like Crazy.
  • Balki from Perfect Strangers and his famous Mypos Dance of Joy.
  • Our Miss Brooks: Mexican boys Ricky Velasko ("The Miserable Cabellero" and "Buddy") and Benny Romero (fourth season). Both characters were played by talented child actor Ricky Vera.
  • Root into Europe: Mr. and Mrs. Root often encounter funny archetypes from different parts of Europe.
  • 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.
  • Saturday Night Live:
    • The Czech "Wild and Crazy Guys" played by Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd. 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.
    • This trope was exploited by the Coneheads, who excused any oddities by clarifying that "We come from France."
  • SCTV had Yosh and Stan Schmenge from the East European country of Leutonia, and Perini Scleroso from...well, from somewhere.
  • 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 two Benzite aliens from Star Trek: The Next Generation (played by the same actor) were essentially generic stage foreigners painted blue.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sean White from Ultraman Max, the only foreigner of Japan's DASH Branch, who serves as the team's weapons developer, resident jokester and the comic relief character.
  • On Will & Grace, Jack's fiancé Estefan is a funny Spaniard, generally ditzy and way overplaying the Castilian frontal lisp.
  • 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.

  • 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 easy to mock 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.
  • Zladko "Zlad!" Vladcik, the Molvanian superstar, known for his hits "Elektronik Supersonik" and "I Am The Antipope" that combine the usual Jetlag Travel Guide humor with ridiculously bad English. Portrayed by Australian comedian Santo Cilauro, a member of Working Dog Productions.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • 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 Bushwhackers performed as a pair of wacky, goofy Kiwi sheepherders with a very amusing walk and super thick accents during their time as babyfaces in WWE. Prior to that they'd mostly worked as violent foreign heels.
  • The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers (Jacques and Raymond) 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.
  • The Estonian Thunderfrog, The 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!"

  • Almost every episode of The Goon Show would have someone in the cast portraying a foreigner. Most notable was when Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan would use over-the-top Indian accents for the characters Mr. Banerjee and Mr. Lalkaka.

  • 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.
  • Franz and Hertz from Rock of Ages.

    Video Games 
  • 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.
  • Punch-Out!!:
  • 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.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses has Petra, a princess from the neighboring Kingdom of Brigid instead of Fódlan. She is still learning the language but is otherwise one of the smartest in her class.
  • Splatoon has the Jellyfish. They are cute humanoid little guys that serve as background characters, with most of them being completely silent since they don't speak the Inkling language. Each game has one serve as a clothing store owner/employee who does speak it, but tends to butcher it somewhat.
  • 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, while a Serbian illegal immigrant, 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.
  • 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.
    "People says 'The world is Neeko's Oyster'. Is oyster a good thing? Taste like grapes?"
  • Papers, Please has Jorji Costava, an immigrant and smuggler who tries several times to get through the Grestin border checkpoint using hilariously pathetic means. He's also very polite each time you deny or detain him.
  • In the Power Pro-kun Pocket series, Albert Anjou Aznable is a blonde American guy who keeps getting injured in accidents every time he is seen, and he's present on every Outer Success in the series (less so in the Inner Successes). He was most prominent in 3, where he and his sister Anne are part of the Kaiten Octopus team. His stats in Arrange Mode tend to be very high, but are combined with several bad perks.

    Web Animation 
  • Nelly Smith from Senpai Club is an American who has a strong accent, wears star spangled attire, eats McDonald's-esque food for lunch, and is incredibly loud.
  • Marca Toons' depiction of Mesut Özil qualifies, with his very little grasp of Spanish and cheerful demeanor.
  • Natasha's fellow spy and exchange student Oleg Boynski fills this role in Princess Natasha.
  • Algicosathlon Rises has an odd variation, where Magenta's not from another country or planet, but a time lady from the year 4040, trying to fit in with her peers in from 2020. She tries her best to keep this as a secret, to little success.


    Web Original 
  • 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, who has admitted to learning English from video games and movies, has a heavy Finnish accent and some difficulty with English grammar, making his narration utterly hilarious while crushing various things. He's well aware this is a big part of his popularity as he's explained he has a nearly non-existent fanbase in his native Finland while the USA and Canada make up almost half of his viewership.
    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.
  • Robbaz is Swedish, and uses his accent in an exaggerated way for laughs — especially when concerning J's and G's, resulting in "Yenius", Yesus", and "Yerk off", and Ch's, resulting in "shildren." He also has a borderline obsession with other stereotypical Nordic things, like Vikings and walruses.
  • Game Grumps:
    • Ross O'Donovan brings a lot of this to Game Grumps and Steam Train, being a native Australian who is notorious for saying hilariously "off" statements where he jumbles idioms and expressions or just plain says weird but hilarious things. Dan claims to keep a list of these, which he has dubbed "Rossisms":
      That train has sailed!
      Did you ever think, like... we're sidewards all the time?
      It's like listening to a mirror!
      How you going? (An actual proper expression in Australia)
    • Similarly is Dan's father Avi, a native Israeli who has a decent-but-not-great grasp of English and is prone to saying utterly hilarious things like refering to "Spotify" as "Spoofy", PewDiePie as "Pee-wee Dee Dee", and calling "extremism" "extresimism." Even his tendency to add really long "eeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhhs" between words and abruptly end his sentences when he realizes he's said what he needs to say make even regular voice mails pretty entertaining. According to Dan, even his mom finds these funny and allegedly has been keeping a list of "Avi-isms" for years.
  • Marcel Vos has very strong Deadpan Snarker tendencies, and a very strong Dutch accent.
  • The Something Awful character El Pinto Grande is a Masked Luchador who brings unbridled enthusiasm, broken English and Cloud Cuckoolander tendencies to his columns. In one article, he mangles what is presumably intended to read "I'm Grillin' Like a Villain" into "I Am Being Towards So Grillin' That Yours Truly is a Felon," puts on a "Donkey Hurty" puppet show with clams, and describes grilling a (we think) squid as a wrestling match with "the chicken creature."

    Western Animation 
  • Many War Time Cartoon shorts dwell on stereotypical representations of Germans, Italians and the Japanese.
  • Odbald from Being Ian is a quirky Dutch immigrant who works at Kelley's Keyboards and frequently provides comic relief with his kooky personality and odd superstitions and traditions.
  • Pixar's A Bug's Life has Tuck and Roll, the pill bugs of Hungarian origin.
  • Doctor Von Goosewing in Count Duckula is an excitable, loud, Germanic chap.
  • 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 score with a chick!
  • Detentionaire has Holger Hogaart, an exchange student from somewhere Norse by Norsewest and resident Cloudcuckoolander.
  • 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."
  • 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!"
  • Family Guy:
    "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!
  • 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.
  • 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: I'm not from here!! I have my own customs!! Look at my crazy passport!
  • 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.
  • Subverted by Hank Hill's Laotian neighbor Kahn Souphanousinphone in King of the Hill. He immigrated to California 20 years prior before moving to Texas, and much of the humor around his character comes from him trying to be as non-foreign as possible to the point his Laotian acquaintances regard him as a "banana".
    Hank: So, are you Chinese or Japanese?
    Kahn: I live in California last twenty year, but uh, first come from Laos.
    Hank: Huh?
    Kahn: Laos. We Laotian.
    Bill: The ocean? What ocean?
    Kahn: We are Laotian, from Laos, stupid! It's a landlocked country in southeast Asia, it's between Vietnam and Thailand! Population 4.7 million!
    Hank: (after a moment of pondering) ...So, are you Chinese or Japanese?
  • Littlest Pet Shop (2012) has Sunil Nevla, a magician mongoose with a heavy Indian accent.
  • Looney Tunes: Many of the original 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, a trait he passed down to his successor/student in Tiny Toon Adventures Fifi La Fume.
  • 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!"
  • Mr. Sultana Sultana on Pinky and the Brain has an unplaceable accent and is generally weird. Given that he's a self-described "paranoid recluse," his weirdness may be down to idiosyncrasies rather than foreignness, aside (probably) from his Repetitive Name.
  • Zig-zagged with the Scotsman from Samurai Jack, since he's shown either in his homeland or another place.
  • Seven Little Monsters: The titular monsters' mother speaks in broken English with a Slavic accent for no apparent reason besides her dialogue presumably being funnier that way.
  • 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.
  • 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, and his surname point at Poland or Bohemia.)
  • South Park: They have poked fun at many ethnicities over the years, most regularly the British, the French, the Japanese, Germans, Africans, Arabians, Mexicans, etc. 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.
  • Total Drama:
    • A short man with a thick beard by the name of Hamish McTavish reports a possible sighting of Duncan at Loch Ness to the Aftermath in "Aftermath I: Bridgette Over Troubled Waters". Eva is sent over for an interview, but can't make heads nor tails of his heavy Scottish dialect and accent and leaves in frustration, accidentally pitching her microphone into his groin. Additionally, for the duration that Hamish talks, a jaunty tune pipes up.
    • Chris is from Newfoundland and visits the island in "Newf Kids on the Rock" as the location of the day's challenge. He is assisted by his cousin Jerd McLean, a short man with a thick beard, who enters the cabin making use only of the lower half of the Dutch door while a jaunty tune plays. Jerd takes charge of the middle part of a three-part challenge run by authentically uttering a Newfoundland saying with his heavy accent. It's up to the contestants to figure out what the saying is.
    • Svetlana is one of Mike's alternate personalities and manifests as a bright-eyed and optimistic Russian gymnast. She speaks English, but mangles the order of the words and showily sing-songs her own praises.


To Boldly Go and All That Gunk

Spitting Image's take on Star Trek.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / WhereNoParodyHasGoneBefore

Media sources: