Follow TV Tropes


Going Native

Go To
They don't call him Lawrence of Wales.
"Wisdom and sensitivity are inevitably possessed by any race, class, or ethnic or religious minority that has been misunderstood. Thrown into the company of such a group, the protagonist discovers the true meaning of life and sees through the sham of modern civilization."
— Definition of "Noble Savage Syndrome", Ebert's Bigger Little Movie Glossary

Everyone sometimes feels that their ordinary modern life is rubbish, and that they would rather escape to an exotic place with a new identity. The Going Native trope plays to this fantasy by having a character lifted out of his typical environment and thrust into a new one, only to become a part of that new world. Characters who start as an imperialistic Jerkass with heavy prejudices against the native group are especially prone to Going Native. Not only do they embrace the people who were once alien, they come to loathe the familiar "civilization" to which they once belonged. Their loyalties change, and they will even fight for their new friends. As soon as they feel quite comfortable, possibly having fallen in love with a native and/or learned big lessons from a mentor figure, count on their old life to come messing with them. Optionally there might be an episode of being tempted back to their "evil old ways". Or they might just rise to the occasion as a Mighty Whitey.

This is also what can happen to a Foreign Ruling Class: they could take more and more of their subjects' culture until becoming entirely assimilated. In cases like these, these two tropes can heavily overlap with Led by the Outsider.

Going Native is not restricted to known tribal cultures. It might involve characters involved with aliens, orcs, you name it. Overlaps may occur with Becoming the Mask. Oddly, it is almost never used in cases where it is the audience's group being joined by a more advanced figure, such as the Fifth Column in V (1983). Not to say it never happens, of course.

Most real-life successful native-goers start out as extremely adaptable (e.g. Lawrence of Arabia). Dramatic requirements might call for the character to be not this adaptable to make the story of his transformation more interesting. If the character becomes more successful in his new culture than he could have ever been back home, it's Like a Duck Takes to Water.

While often considered highly problematic in fiction and academics, it's not actually a bad thing in itself. During military actions in (or the exploitation of) foreign countries it can easily lead to conflicts of interests and the mainstream paradigm of social sciences is to keep observation from an insider perspective and an outsider perspective clearly separate. For individuals finding a new community to call their home, it is simply a case of successful integration. Individuals that have become well integrated into local society have come to be highly valued as interpreters and mediators, as opposed to mere translators.

Compare Noble Savage, Raised by Natives, Raised by Orcs, Raised by Wolves, Mighty Whitey, Becoming the Mask, Foreign Correspondent, Lost in Character, Starting a New Life, Cultural Personality Makeover. See also Of the People. For the inversion, see Majored in Western Hypocrisy.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • The Ente Islans from The Devil is a Part-Timer! warm up quite quickly to living in the real world, to the point where the person who is supposed to be Satannote  places "taking over the world" second to "getting a promotion at MgRonalds".
  • Vegeta of Dragon Ball Z, having nowhere else to go, was practically forced to live on planet Earth for many years. In that time he would eventually admit that he had grown very fond of Earth.
    • A more amusing case of this comes in Dragon Ball Super, where we're shown various other universes in addition to the one the original Dragon Ball is set in. Universe 3 is one where technology reigns supreme, and its Supreme Kai has acclimated so well he comes off more like an eager lab assistant rather than the guardian god he really is.
  • Jyu-Oh-Sei draws heavily from this, with the very much civilized lead eventually outdoing the natives of Chimera.
    • But then, he was genetically engineered to be so, which brings up a lot of nature vs. nurture questions.
  • The dragons in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid all adapt very well to life on Earth as time passes (Kanna attends school, Fafnir becomes an Otaku, Elma gets a job as a programmer, etc.). This gets discussed when Tohru helps Fafnir find an apartment and he mentions that she's becoming too much like a human.
  • Manly Chivalrous Pervert Sanji of One Piece runs into this problem when he lands on an island full of transvestites. He resists but is briefly put into a dress and shown running along the shoreline with all the other 'girls.' He does end up snapping out of it, somewhat traumatized by the experience.
  • Principal Kuno in Ranma ½ spent a few years living in Hawaii and came back to Japan as a Hawaiian-shirt-wearing, ukelele-playing, coconut-eating wacko who speaks in Gratuitous English.
  • Occurs quite a lot in Tadao Nagahama's works (arguably justified since they're about aliens).
    • Brave Raideen: For a short while, Princess Lemuria of the Mu Empire took up the name Reiko Hibiki when she married Ichiro Hibiki and gave birth to their son, Akira. She then left them both to find the Star of La Mu in order to defeat Barao, the Demon Emperor, her arch-nemesis of over 12,000 years.
    • Voltes V: Prince Gohl was born into the Boazanian Royal Family. Unfortunately, he was born without horns, and the Boazanian Fantastic Caste System decrees the Hornless are to be slaves while the Horned are meant to be nobles. After launching multiple failed slave rebellions across the planet, Gohl escapes to Earth, a place where he is free from oppression. He falls in love with the woman who discovered him after his spaceship crashed, Mitsuyo Go, and has three children with her - Kenichi, Daijirou and Hiyoshi. He is recalled to Boazania by his cousin, who wants him to manufacture weapons for Boazania, and he even offers him his old position back if he does, but Gohl refuses. As a result, Gohl is imprisoned again, and his sons and wife believe him to be dead. Before he left, Gohl, his wife, Professor Hamaguchi and General Oka designed the titular robot, Voltes V, to defend the Earth in case the Boazanians invade. In the series finale, the Go brothers and Gohl finally reunite when they enter Boazania and host a successful slave rebellion. Much tears are shed.

    Comic Books 
  • The early Aliens vs. Predator comics featured a woman who ended up becoming a Predator warrior. And sucked horribly at it, to the comics' credit.
  • In Batman '89, Harvey Dent is a black man who had to learn how to act more "white" in order to get ahead in the legal profession, and thus he switches between speaking one way with his white peers and speaking another way with other black people, in keeping with his eventual transformation into Two-Face.
  • Blueberry (a French comic book cowboy) goes to live with the Indians who rescue him after an accident, tries to marry the chief's daughter, and helps the tribe escape from the US Army. It is worth noting that it was hard for him to get back to his people, since he was (falsely) accused of stealing $500,000 and trying to kill President Grant.
  • In Cossacks, a young early 17th century Lithuanian Hussar from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth deserts the Polish army to join a group of Ukrainian Cossacks and live among them, learning their ways.
  • Down features two police officers who both go undercover in the drug trade and find themselves becoming part of the criminal underworld.
  • Many, many examples in ElfQuest. Leetah becoming a Wolfrider to be with Cutter is the most prominent one. Any of the Sunfolk or Gliders that join the Wolfriders, the Jackwolfriders, or the Forevergreen group count; Suntop taking on a Wavedancer appearance to be with Brill; Shuna (a medieval human) being adopted by Wolfriders; Little Patch, Winnowill, and later Mender exploring human society (since the elves consider humans savages, and vice versa); Lehrigen becoming a woodland stalker to hunt elves; Rayek living as a Go-Back for a while; and last but not least, the Jackwolves living around Sorrow's End mating with the Wolfriders' wolves.
    • Shuna decides to become part of the elf tribe. A few years later, puberty really kicks in and she goes looking for a husband in nearby indigenous human tribes - a whole new world compared to her previous medieval city life.
  • Nolan, Invincible's father, originally came to Earth to blend in and slowly take over. He hated his assignment at first but found himself actually liking Earth and ended up with a wife and son.
  • Swedish comic Johan Vilde (Johan Savage), is about a Swedish boy in 17th century west Africa, who is raised as the son of a prominent merchant from one of the larger tribes/nations in the region.
  • Ka-Zar: Lord Kevin Plunder maintains some token ties to his homeland of England for the sake of successfully advocating for his adopted one in the Savage Land but in all other ways has completely abandoned his former life.
  • Sleeper (WildStorm) is about an undercover secret intelligence agent working to bring down a massive super villain cartel — unfortunately, the bad life seems to agree with him...
  • Superman:
    • Superman was a baby at the time of his emigration to earth and hardly had a choice in the matter, but still applies, since even after he learns about and accepts his Kryptonian roots, he refuses to define himself as a Kryptonian instead of a human.
    • In Superman Smashes the Klan, Mr. Lee constantly insists that his family speak English and act obediently to the people in downtown Metropolis after moving there from Chinatown. His insistence on being "normal" and living up to positive stereotypes gets him to try to reason with The Klan to stop them from burning his house down. His wife admonishes him for this and tells him in Cantonese, "To Hell with your English!"
  • In the Tintin comics The Broken Ear and Tintin and the Picaros, the titular reporter comes across Ridgewell, an English explorer who ended up living with the natives of the Arumbaya tribe in the South American rain forest.
  • In The Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Thundercracker is explicitly referred to as having "gone native" on Earth. During the War, he was a Noble Demon Decepticon Seeker. Now he has a dog and writes fanfiction, and is much happier.
  • Ultimate X Men had the "cop infiltrates gang" variant played in reverse — Wolverine joined the X-Men to assassinate Professor X, but found himself seduced by Xavier's vision (and Jean Grey's barely legal charms) and ended up joining the team.

    Fan Works 
  • The All Guardsmen Party adventure in Tau space features a former Inquisitor who has adapted a number of Tau customs and is heavily hinted to be the villain behind it all. He remains loyal to the Imperium.
  • An Anthem for Sheltered Bays has Eren assimilate into human society with the help of Levi and Hanji after he is forced to become human to save his life.
  • Dæmorphing: After living with the Hork-Bajir for months and not getting along with the other human refugees, Tom learns their language and is accepted into their culture. And then he becomes one of them.
  • Following a dimension hop in The Difference One Man Can Make, Harry ends up in Westeros, more precisely North of the Wall. When Benjen Stark explains to him the Seven Kingdoms and the Land of Eternal Winter, he decides he likes more the freedom enjoyed by the wildlings and stays amongst them.
  • Jon Snow in A Dovahkiin Spreads His Wings found himself lost in Skyrim at fourteen years old, and assimilated so well in the local cultures that he suffers Culture Clash when he goes back to Westeros in order to visit his family. His father and older brother are shown to be rather upset over his growing apart from them.
  • The Dragon and the Butterfly: Hiccup and Toothless, after crashing in the Encanto, quickly fall in love with the place and its people, as everything there (the weather, the location, the food, etc) is better than what Berk has to offer. Considering all of the abuse that the two suffered from the Vikings, it's no surprise that they choose to build a new life in the Encanto, with Hiccup dressing in Encanto clothes, living off of Julieta's cooking, and learning to read Spanish.
  • Empath of Empath: The Luckiest Smurf originally considered himself a Psyche when he was raised in Psychelia since he was brought there by Papa Smurf as an infant. Over the years during his visits to the Smurf Village, he came to identify himself more and more with the Smurfs until, by the time of his release on his 150th birthday, he preferred living as a Smurf than as a Psyche.
  • Due to a nail, Enterprise and Yamato in the KanColle fic Eternity ended up switching nations after the War. Enterprise, now Yonaga, ended up serving Japan for so long that she gained the titular nickname Eien, and in her own admission this service helped her to unwind from the near permanment Roaring Rampage of Revenge mentality she had during the Pacific War. Yamato, now USS Montana, saw quite a bit action during her service, which makes her happy after being a figurehead during the War.
  • If Wishes Were Ponies: After a severe beating from Dudley's gang, Harry Potter accidentally ends up in Equestria, where he's turned into a unicorn colt. Though nervous at first by the new location (and a little shocked over not being human anymore), he quickly adjusts to living in Equestria and has no desire to return to Earth (only going back when the portal's location is discovered because Twilight and the Princesses asked him to).
  • When the Dursley family moves to New Orleans in Le Commencement du Diable Blanc, young Harry enjoys his new life so much he learns French, gains a respect for Cajun culture, and ultimately cuts every tie to his past life when he's adopted and renamed "Remy" by the native Jean-Luc LeBeau.
  • In The Moon's Flash Princess it is noted that Minako Aino lived for years in Europe, and France in particular, and is culturally more an eccentric Frenchwoman than Japanese.
  • A Moth to a Flame: Marcy is a dark version of this, rejecting her Earth origins for Newtopia.
    Anne: It's over, Marcy! We're going home!
    Marcy: (Eyes bloodshot with rage) I am home!
  • Played for laughs in The Mysterious Case of Neelix's Lungs. After being outed as an Obsidian Order spy, Jiana Seska at one point swears in Bajoran and then rather ruefully remarks that she's "been undercover as a Bajoran for too long."
  • Lonely Rich Kid Tommy Marshall (aka the Kangaskhan Kid from Pokémon: The Original Series) ends up this way in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines when he becomes lost in the Safari Zone. At first, he tries to adapt as best as he can only to survive, but despite missing his parents, soon he finds himself enjoying his new lifestyle more than his old one.
  • In Robb Returns, Theon finally decides to leave his Ironborn nature behind him when he renounces the Drowned God, firmly casting his allegiance with the North and the Old Gods. It's later cemented by Ned's decision to give him the seventh direwolf pup.
  • Hilariously alluded to in "Sibling Revelry" when a group of technicians try to escape the Executor to flee from Vader's ire and are shot down by an Ensign. The shuttle crashed on Endor and the survivors are adopted by Ewoks.
  • In Sluagh, Neville, working undercover as an enforcer for the Real IRA, starts to accept their tactics and goals.
  • TRON: Endgame Scenario: Zig-Zagged a bit with Jet Bradley. Being mistaken for a game fighter turned security monitor and assimilating to Program customs is a lot less headache than being up front about his User status, especially given how Jet views the whole idea of being worshiped. Even with the Programs who do know what he is, he makes great effort to follow their customs, even when he disagrees with it personally because "your world, your rules." However, he sometimes inverts it with Tron and Yori; Programs do not have the same concept of family as humans do, but Jet can't come up with a better honorific than the User ones of "brother" and "sister."
  • The Victors Project: Two dozen District 4 peacekeepers side with the Rebellion, stepping aside for them to take the armory, led by the deputy head, who's noted as this specifically.
    He'd done his job efficiently, the Capitol had no complaints about his work, but a person can't live in a place for thirty years without assimilating to some degree.
    • Every single District 5 peacekeeper fought against Romulus Thread and the elite peacekeepers when they're ordered to decimate the district. It's left ambiguous if they were on the side of the Rebellion all along, or simply decided to a man that Thread was beyond the pale.
  • The Weaving Force: During the Time Skip, Miss Militia started adopting Mandalorian customs and eventually fell in love and started a family with Aras Saxon.
  • What is a promise worth?: This is what happens to Catelyn after Ned dies. In order to cement Robb's claim to Winterfell, she makes sure that all of her children are seen as Northern as possible, and by association, that means she has to be seen as Northern as well. That includes having them pray exclusively in the Godswood (which she often joins them in), making Northern matches for them, and even allowing Arya to take up arms. Eventually, she allows herself to be 'stolen' by Mance Rayder, making her his wife by Wildling tradition — which is about as Northern as you can get in Westeros. By the time that happens, she's assimilated so much into Northern culture that she's more-or-less indistinguishable from any other Northern lady.
  • With This Ring: The Thanagarian High Mor consults with one of his senior analysts about the loyalty of Hawkman and Hawkwoman, and concludes that they have integrated too well into Earth's culture; they are still a useful intelligence source, but are no longer completely dependable if Earth's interests and Thanagar's conflict.

    Films — Animation 
  • Milo, the protagonist of Atlantis: The Lost Empire does this at the end of the film and chooses not to return to the surface with his companions (he's got a pretty sweet gig as interpreter/royal consort for the new queen). They fake his death by telling the authorities that he drowned when the submarine exploded, and they Never Found the Body.
  • Zac is transformed into a mini-sized man in a fairy community in FernGully: The Last Rainforest.
  • The Zoosters grew accustomed to the circus life in Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted.
  • Sunset Shimmer in the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls films and specials is a unicorn who ran away from the source show's setting to the human world, and spends years there plotting revenge on her Physical God mentor. Even after being defeated she's forced to stay behind, but later rejects an offer to return to her home dimension, as that would mean abandoning the friends she's made. This is emphasized in Mirror Magic, where several of the opening jokes surround the fact that Sunset has all but forgotten that she was originally a unicorn, needing to be reminded that she should be walking on all fours and can use levitation magic when briefly visiting Equestria.
  • In Rio 2, Blu tries to do this with the Spix macaw flock in the Amazon, somewhat unsuccessfully. The rest of his family has an easier time adjusting.
  • The Road to El Dorado is about two Spaniards who wind up discovering El Dorado and masquerade as gods. One is only in it for the gold, but the other grows attached to the people, and ultimately protects them from the Cortez expedition.
  • Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story: "Even though you tried to terminate me, revenge is not an idea that we promote on my planet... but we're not on my planet, are we?"

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The 13th Warrior, like the book, features an Arab who goes native amongst Vikings although he also keeps his traditions and ultimately returns home.
  • Apocalypse Now. The previous guy sent to kill Kurtz, played by Scott Glenn. It's implied that Willard is tempted as well, although he actually goes through with the mission.
    Willard: They were gonna make me a Major for this, and I wasn't even in their fuckin' army anymore.
  • Avatar does this — in a more futuristic way: the researchers interact with the Na'vi indirectly, via the remote-mind-controlled "Avatar" bodies. One of them literally goes native after transferring his brain into the Na'vi body. Another attempts to upload her brain entirely into her Avatar after being shot, but dies before it can happen.
    • More traditionally played by Trudy, who lacks an avatar of her own, but sympathises with the Na'vi after the ruthless destruction of the Na'vi home and provides a lot of valuable help in the Final Battle by turning up in her gunship coated with Na'vi warpaint. Sadly, she doesn't make it.
    • In Avatar: The Way of Water, Jake Sully and his loved ones go into hiding in a seashore tribe and have to adapt to their ways, which aren't the same as the forest-dwelling tribes they come from.
  • Doc Brown seems to be getting along just fine in the Old West in Back to the Future Part III—until he runs into Buford Tannen, anyway.
  • Bird Of Paradise has a young student, Andre, visiting a Polynesian island on the invitation of his native college friend Tenga, and falling in love with Tenga's sister Kalua. Intending to go completely native, he marries her. However, when the local volcano goes off, the kahuna proclaims that Kalua is the one to Appease the Volcano God. Devastated, Andre returns to Europe.
  • The Blue Lagoon: When castaway Richard spots a ship, he is elated to finally be rescued. However, when Emmeline sees the ship, she decides not to light the signal fire because she believes the island is their home now, which causes tension between the two teens.
  • In The Charge at Feather River, Archer rescues the two white woman captured by the Cheyenne, only to discover the younger one, Jennie, has gone native: becoming a full Cheyenne and now engaged to their war chief Thunder Hawk.
  • Cleo Leo, An unusual variation mixed with elements of Split-Personality Takeover. Initially 'Cleo' has an internal monologue in Leo's masculine voice indicating that the reincarnation is purely physical. As the film progresses and 'Cleo' adapts to life as a woman the 'Leo' mental voice begins to become fainter and interspersed with an internal voice in Cleo's feminine voice with 'Leo' expressing resentment, anger and reluctance to change while 'Cleo' expresses confusion but also acceptance and femininity including attraction to Bob. Eventually, half way through the movie the 'Leo' voice fades away completely leaving just 'Cleo' as she begins to think of herself as a woman.
  • Dances with Wolves, in which a U.S. officer joins the Sioux and ultimately fights with them against the U.S. army.
    • Stands With a Fist is a white woman who was taken by the Pawnee as a small child and later grew up with the Lakota Sioux.
  • Wikus in District 9 had this problem, although in his case it was due to a Forced Transformation and not a crashed ship.
  • Doomsday. With the slightly unusual variant that, thanks to You Kill It, You Bought It, the hero ends up going native as leader of an army of Glaswegian cannibals.
  • Dune: Paul Atreides integrates Fremen society on the desert planet Arrakis, learning their ways until he becomes the prophesied/messianic leader of them as Muad'Dib in both David Lynch's Dune and Denis Villeneuve's Dune and Dune: Part Two.
  • The Emerald Forest: Subverted because Tommy was forced to go native and his dad Bill did not go native. But the movie did do a fair compare and contrast between the natives and the city dwellers showing both had advantages and difficulties. (This was Very Loosely Based on a True Story involving a Peruvian worker's search for his son who had been stolen and adopted by a forest tribe.)
  • In Farewell To The King, Nick Nolte stars as a World War II deserter who becomes adopted by a tribe of Dayaks in Borneo, who consider him divine because of his blue eyes.
  • Instinct: In a way, as Powell was once an anthropologist studying gorillas who eventually joined a gorilla group and had lived with them for years. He himself says this was an extraordinary and unprecedented event.
  • In The Last Samurai, an American Civil and Indian War veteran is taken captive by samurai and goes native during the Meiji Restoration.
  • T.E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia; originally sent as an envoy to negotiate an alliance with various Arab leaders, he begins to be more interested in their own revolution than how he can get them to fight for the British. See the Real Life entry.
  • Little Big Man goes native early in the film but he doesn't get to stay that way. He spends the rest of his life bouncing back and forth torn between two cultures that are often at war with each other until his Native American identity is symbolically "killed" when his former childhood friend knocks him unconscious at the battle of the Little Big Horn, sparing his life but effectively expelling him from the tribe.
  • A Man Called Horse, in which a white man joins the Sioux. It's considerably more honest about less pleasant aspects of Sioux traditional life, such as the torture of captives and the Sun Dancenote  than Dances With Wolves. However, it was criticized for still having a white main character,note  with practices attributed to the Sioux actually alleged to be a mix of Mandan and Crow tradition (the Crow were enemies of the Sioux, ironically). American Indian activist Buffy Sainte-Marie called it "the whitest of movies [she had] ever seen."
  • In The New World, Pocahontas goes native when she marries a British colonist and visits England. She's able to see the beauty in both worlds.
  • Outlander ends with Kainan choosing to destroy his rescue beacon in favor of remaining on Earth.
  • In Passion in the Desert, Augustin becomes lost in the desert and forms a bond with a leopard whose behavior he starts to mimic. He grooms her by licking her fur, clambers about on all fours, and even covers himself with mud and paints black spots on himself to look like her.
  • Harvey Keitel's character shows signs of this in The Piano.
  • In The Searchers, when the kidnapped girl is found she has completely assimilated into the society of her captors. Both searchers knew this could happen when they set out to find her: one wants to rescue her, the other wants to murder her because he can't stand miscegenation. This is based on the real story of Cynthia Parker, see below.
  • At the end of Stargate, Daniel Jackson happily settles down, on another planet, with Sha'uri.
  • Lampooned in Tropic Thunder, where Tugg Speedman tries to stay behind with the heroin smugglers who he's grown attached to but quickly discovers that they're less than pleased about his role in helping the team escape.
  • The titular character from Who Am I? (1998) is the Sole Survivor of a mission in the African wilderness, where he's was rescued by an African Tribe and spends most of the film uncovering his past, looking for all sorts of clues from South Africa to Netherlands. By the time he defeated all the bad guys, though? The first thing he's going to do is returning to Africa.

  • Parodied in "Gone Guru" by Lifeseeker (a.k.a. that Convicts song from Dead Rising). A rockstar becomes disillusioned with his glamorous lifestyle and gives it all up to become a hermit living out of a van in the middle of the woods. He becomes a self-help guru, and ends up even more rich and famous than he was before, to the point of becoming the leader of his own cult. He promptly returns to his old hedonistic ways, and when he reaches old age he spends all of his money on a procedure to turn him into a Brain in a Jar robot so he can keep partying it up for all eternity.
  • Patti Smith, "Amerigo":
    Ahh, the salvation of souls! - but wisdom we had not,
    For these people had neither King nor Lord,
    And bowed to no one
    And they had lived in their own liberty...
    It's such a delight to watch them dance
    Free of sacrifice or romance
    Free of all the things that we hold dear...
    And the sky opened
    And we laid down our armor
    And we danced, naked as they
    Baptized in the rain
    Of the New World...

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech:
    • Wolf's Dragoons, a mercenary unit that was, in reality, a scouting party for the Clans from somewhere deep in the Deep Periphery to determine the strength of the Inner Sphere. Eventually, however, most of the Wolf's Dragoons abandoned their original directive and warned the Inner Sphere of the imminent Clan Invasion, known to the Clans as Operation: REVIVAL. Until the Dark Age, at least, long after the Clan Invasion was over, they have continued to serve as a mercenary unit within the Inner Sphere. Ultimately played with, as Natasha Kerensky, the only Dragoon to return to the Clans when the call was sent out for them to do so, revealed that the Dragoons had actually been ordered by the now-dead Khan of Clan Wolf to stay in the Inner Sphere and help them prepare for the invasion.
    • Phelan Kell was a young mercenary who was caught by Clan Wolf during the Clan Invasion and inducted into it, becoming a warrior and ultimately rising all the way to the rank of junior Khan before he took the Clan's warden section and fled to his family's home of Arc Royal, where they set up a Clan Enclave. While he would work closely with his cousin, Victor Steiner-Davion, who was the ruler of the Federated Commonwealth, he considered himself to be culturally part of the Clans and did what he could to preserve their heritage while stopping the aggressive crusader Clans from conquering the Inner Sphere.
  • Rocket Age has one example so far. Dr Peter Sawyer, the Hairless Warrior or Kioth-Tanied, went native after witnessing the genocide of a Venusian concordat at the hands of their traditional enemies and aggressive Earthling corporations. He now leads a band while his parents worry for him back on Earth.
  • There's a short article about going native in the Space 1889 main book which discusses and averts the trope. It was normal in the 18th century, but is no longer acceptable by 1889. A British person is now expected to stay essentially British even in completely different social and physical environments. Mixed marriages are definitely frowned upon.

  • The Book of Mormon parodies this in the song, "I Am Africa," with the lyrics, "I flew in here and became one with this land!"

    Web Animation 

  • The Princesses Mayapple and Foxglove from Nefarious in different ways due to being around supervillains for so long. Mayapple is a Well-Intentioned Extremist willing to use the villains ideas for the greater good while Foxglove became a supervillain herself to keep her kingdom's economy running smoothly.
  • The Noob featured a strip where a mod is trying to reason with a player who was camping a named creature for so long, he believed he was one of the zone's monsters.

    Web Original 
  • Joked about in an episode of Achievement Hunter, where Gavin, after tooling around, finds not one but two Creepers that don't show any hostility towards him, nor do they try to blow up. It should also be noted that Gavin's in-character skin is that of a Creeper. Minutes after they joke about him going native, they blow up anyway.
  • The forum tale Malê Rising had several characters who underwent this:
    • Dietmar Kohler of Sud-Kivu was a ruthless German warlord and carved a piece of the African Great Lakes for himself during the Great War. Before long, he grew to enjoy his new position and created a new state out of his conquests, keeping everyone in check through rewards and harsh punishments and marrying a mestizo Portuguese woman. After he died, his son declared himself king.
    • After the Great War, princess Anastasia Romanvoa was sent into exile along with her family to Eritrea. Unlike her sisters who married European princes to escape Africa, she became enamored with the continent and especially the neighboring Ethiopian Empire. After a long courtship period, she married the Ethiopian Prince Tewodros and became Empress beside him, though it did cause a giant split with her father, the exiled Tsar Alexander.
  • In Red vs. Blue, any Freelancer that spends too long with the Reds and Blues slowly ends up becoming just as wacky as they are eventually and just as prone to pulling antics. It is even more likely if they end up joining them permanently.
    • Agent Washington starts off very annoyed by the Reds and Blues constant bickering and immaturity, but after they save his life and he joins the Blues he slowly mellows out and regains bits of his dorky side from his Freelancer days. Some examples include invoking his authority as a (ex-)Freelancer to give Blue Team a higher kill count than Red Team, tricks Locus in a battle by holding his helmet up by his rifle, and being just as excited about building a water park during retirement as the others.
    • Carolina starts off even more serious than Wash originally did, thinking of the Reds and Blues as useless idiots at best or Cannon Fodder at worst. After joining full time though, she is shown to have a sense of humor following their brief retirement in season 15. She tried to get Grif to teach her how to be lazy like him, joined a band with Grif, Tucker, and Caboose just to see them squirm at her horrible singing voice, and she honestly thought the weirdest thing that happened during their retirement was Wash growing a beard. This also extends to her PSA appearances, such as embracing Grif's label of her being a 'Feminista', and going full Fangirl over Troy Baker and his role as Revolver Ocelot.
  • Played with a few times in SCP Foundation:
    • In An Anthropological Approach to Sarkicism, after taking a ceremonial hallucinogenic mushroom, Dr. Desmarais denies having gone native.
    • Played with in the story of Norman Taylor, an 1850s American imperialist who became enamored with an indigenous Polynesian form of Sarkicism he finds. However, he still engages in White Man's Burden and feels a moral need to civilize the peoples he finds to save them from colonial exploitation.
  • Welcome to Night Vale:
    • The pilot introduces Carlos the Scientist, who has just arrived in the titular town to study its many oddities. While Carlos is initially terrified by sky-high radiation levels, the decay of space-time, and a house that doesn't exist, one year into his residency in Night Vale he comes to terms with the strangeness. Six months after THAT, he's so nonchalant about a sudden suspension of the laws of gravity that he takes it as an opportunity to clean his gutters.
    • In an earlier episode, in-universe explanation for Carlos's new voice actor was that he'd put in new vocal chords in order to prevent throat spiders...and performed the procedure himself.
  • In Worm, Taylor finds herself becoming friends with the supervillain gang that she infiltrates, intending to betray them.

    Western Animation 
  • A common plot element on American Dad!, where Stan would go full-throttle on various cultures or lifestyles. Lampshaded by Francine in "Stan of Arabia".
  • Amphibia:
    • Anne Boonchuy starts out understandably reluctant to eat the local cuisine of mostly bugs, but within a month is fine with it, much to her own horror. By season 2, she starts using the local euphemisms. In season 3, she's shown to be so used to an insectivorous diet that the idea that her mother might not appreciate cicada cookies doesn't occur to her.
    • In the first half of season 3, the Plantars end up going to Earth with Anne, where they start adapting to the ways of humans. After returning to Amphibia and displaying human-like characteristics, Sasha notes that being on Earth "made them soft".
  • The Maximals in Beast Wars are Mechanical Lifeforms who recently evolved the ability to copy organic life. But by the end of the show, one teammate prefers Earth's organic nature and wants to stay there as a tiger. Also, in Beast Machines, the premise becomes making Cybertron itself techno-organic, which both Megatron and Rhinox are vehemently against.
  • In the Fangbone! episode "The Lies of Truth", Fangbone and Bill encounter the Skullbasher Clan, a Barbarian Tribe from Fangbone's Sword and Sorcery world of Skullbania living on Earth disguised as medieval reenactors. To Fangbone's disappointment though, the Skullbashers have gone soft and no longer know how to use actual weapons or fight monsters.
  • Futurama:
    • In "The Birdbot of Ice-Catraz", Bender goes into hiding among penguins. After an accident, his program reboots and he starts acting like an actual penguin. He ends up returning to normal when Leela accidentally shoots him.
    • In "Obsoletely Fabulous", Bender is stranded on an island with outdated robots and goes native by replacing his metal exterior with wood. He then launches a guerrilla war against civilization. But it turns out to be all a dream induced by the upgrade procedure he is undergoing.
  • Justice League: The finale of the first series, "Starcrossed", reveals that Hawkgirl is an agent sent to spy on Earth by the alien Thanagarians. She betrays the League and the Earth by helping the Thangarians conquer the planet in order to institute their plan. However, during her time on Earth, she adapted to human culture, including their morality on right and wrong and equality for all, causing her to question the "By any means necessary" warrior culture of Thanagar. As a result, when she learns of the true plan to build a Hyperspace Bypass that would destroy the planet, she double-crosses her own people and helps the League destroy the device and drive the Thanagarians away.
  • The Owl House:
    • At the end of the first episode, Luz decides to stay on the Boiling Isles to learn magic and become a witch, moving in with the witch Eda and her demon roommate/child King. Most of the first season is dedicated to Luz trying to find her place in witch-society and figuring out new methods of doing magic that work for a human born without magical powers.
    • Played straight and very tragically subverted with Caleb and Philip Wittebane. Philip entered the isles on the hunt for his older brother Caleb, who he believed to have been abducted by a witch. When he found Caleb, it turns out that this wasn't the case, and Caleb actually went voluntarily, settling in on the Isles permanently and marrying and having a child with a witch woman named Evelyn. Philip was so enraged by this that he stabbed Caleb to death, and began plotting the genocide of the entire Demon Realm. Even now, after 400 years of living in the Demon Realm and acquiring enough power to become their emperor, Philip still sees the witches around him as subhuman and evil, and starts preparing to return to the Human Realm the second he thinks he's won.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Where's Perry?", the Flynn-Fletcher family are on vacation in Africa, and Candace, thinking that Jeremy broke up with her, decides to run off and live with the local monkeys.
  • Somewhat parodied on Recess when TJ gets captured by the kindergartners for the afternoon and becomes assimilated into their primitive kindergartner society, becoming near feral, wearing kindergartner tribal markings, and speaking in broken English; all in the span of a single 15-20 minute recess.
  • Hilariously subverted in Rick and Morty episode "The Ricks Must Be Crazy" where Morty goes to live with a group of primitive aliens after getting fed up with Rick's feud against Zeep. Months later, Rick runs into Morty again, now part of the tribe and decked out in their native costume. Morty takes Rick and Zeep to the tribe's World Tree and starts to give a spiel about it, then abruptly stops and grabs Rick by the lapels:
    Morty: You have to get us the f**k outta here! These people are backwards savages! They eat every third baby because they think it makes fruit grow bigger. Everyone's gross and they all smell like piss all the time! I-I-I miss my family, I miss my laptop... I masturbated to an extra-curvy piece of driftwood the other day!
  • Steven Universe: Rose Quartz (or rather, Pink Diamond) grew so enamoured with Earth and humanity that she started a rebellion disguised as her alter ego hoping to convince the Diamonds to abandon it and leave it in peace. When that failed, she decided to fake her own death at the blade of "Rose" and live as her alter ego from that day forward.
  • In Ultimate Spider-Man, SHIELD agent Coulson is made the new principal of Peter Parker's school, in order to keep an eye on the super-powered kids there. Before long he starts fretting about the budget, even calling Nick Fury for help. The head of SHIELD even remarks "Coulson's gone native."

Alternative Title(s): White Man Gone Native, When In Rome