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Going Native

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


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    Anime & Manga 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.

    Comic Books 
  • 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.
  • 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 natives in the South American rain forest.
  • Down features two police officers who both go undercover in the drug trade and find themselves becoming part of the criminal underworld.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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!"

    Fan Works 
  • 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.
  • In Sluagh, Neville, working undercover as an enforcer for the Real IRA, starts to accept their tactics and goals.
  • 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."
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lonely Rich Kid Tommy Marshall (aka the Kangaskhan Kid from Pokémon) 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Film — Animation 
  • 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.
  • 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?"
  • 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.
  • The Zoosters grew accustomed to the circus life in Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Zac is transformed into a mini-sized man in a fairy community in FernGully: The Last Rainforest.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • 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.
  • 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 Last Samurai, an American Civil and Indian War veteran is taken captive by samurai and goes native during the Meiji Restoration.
  • At the end of Stargate, Daniel Jackson happily settles down, on another planet, with Sha'ri.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dr. Rae Crane does this at the end of Medicine Man.
  • 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.
  • Harvey Keitel's character shows signs of this in The Piano.
  • 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.
  • 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 movie Battle for Terra.
  • Wikus in District 9 had this problem, although in his case it was due to a Baleful Polymorph and not a crashed ship.
  • 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.
  • Outlander ends with Kainan choosing to destroy his rescue beacon in favor of remaining on Earth.
  • 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.
  • The 13th Warrior, like the book, features an Arab who goes native amongst Vikings although he also keeps his traditions and ultimately returns home.
  • 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.
  • How the title character in John Carter becomes "John Carter of Mars".
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 trope codifier, A Man Called Horse, is about a white man captured by Native Americans who eventually assimilates into their culture. It is taught in many grade school literature classes in the US.
  • In Dan Abnett's His Last Command from the series Gaunt's Ghosts, Gaunt's 'forced' Junior Commissar Ludd betrays his trust by reporting him in the eve of battle even though Gaunt fully expects him to do so.
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover novels are full of Terran citizens going native on Darkover; Andrew Carr and Magdalen Lorne are notable examples. There are also Darkovans who try to go Terran.
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (which would later have a famous adaptation in the Vietnam movie Apocalypse Now). Kurtz is sent to Africa as an ivory-procurement agent and suffers a spectacular back story breakdown. The narrative either plays the trope straight or subverts it, depending on the reading, though the latter seems more likely. According to the first reading, Kurtz possibly goes native in horrifying ways, inverting the European life he came from. In the alternate reading, while he has shed his civilized persona, he still hasn't gone native in a meaningful way. Instead, an unnatural and immoral co-dependent relationship has formed, where the natives worship him as a god, while he in return treats them with utter ruthlessness, much like an unloving god would. The title of the paper Kurtz had been working on was "Suppression of Savage Customs": it is ended with the sentence, handwritten at a later date, "Exterminate all the Brutes!" Not quite the typical going native.
  • Stanislaus Grummann from The Subtle Knife spent the rest of his days as a Siberian shaman.
  • In the Liaden Universe books by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, this is an occupational hazard for the Scouts, whose task of exploring new worlds often results in them spending long periods immersed in alien cultures. Many an experienced scout, even among those who resisted the temptation, has retained traits from a culture where he or she felt particularly at home.
  • Animorphs
    • In The Andalite Chronicles, Elfangor flees to Earth, permanently becomes a human, marries Loren, and fathers a son before the Ellimist returns him to his Andalite form and the StarSword.
    • In The Hork-Bajir Chronicles, Aldrea permanently morphs into a Hork-Bajir, marries Dak Hamee, and has Hork-Bajir children. When she "appears" in the main series (as a kind of psychic back-up-disk downloaded into Cassie's brain), this is the source of a lot of friction between her and Andalite team-member Ax.
    • Toomin in The Ellimist Chronicles with the Andalite cavemen.
    • To a degree, Edriss in Visser.
    • Also, Ax, to a degree. By the end of the series he's arguably more human than Andalite in terms of personality and habits.
    • This applies to the Chee as well after they used their holograms to disguise as humans.
  • In Stephenie Meyer's adult novel The Host (2008), the alien invaders, the so-called Souls, are physically inserted into a host body and take control of the host's body. In the titular character's case, the host's mind is still present, and they both think inside Melanie's body, with the Soul eventually coming to identify with the humans around them and help them work against the Soul invasion. Later, the ragtag group of human survivors finally finds another group of survivors with their own dual-minded alien/human, who literally refers to the situation as "going native."
  • In J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings:
    • The Black Númenóreans who escaped the destruction of the island-realm often ended up living in cultures loyal to Mordor, and becoming their leaders. At least some of the Nazgûl belonged to this group of people, as did the Mouth of Sauron. note 
    • Also in the back story, one of the Kings of Gondor does this when sent as a prince to the ancestors of the Rohirrim. His son's ascension to the throne leads to civil war, and the death of most of the royal line (hastening the end of the line).
    • The Elven-Kings of Mirkwood (Oropher and later Thranduil) were originally Sindarin elves who came to the Woodland Realm after the sinking of the sub-continent Beleriand, and ended up adopting the more 'earthy' customs of the Sylvan elves, to the point that Thranduil's son Legolas identifies himself purely as a Sylvan elf.
  • Jimbo in Cloud of Sparrows came to Japan from America as a Christian missionary; after being badly injured and subsequently rescued by a group of children, he ended up becoming a Buddhist monk who speaks fluent Japanese.
  • Ho Sa in the Conqueror books. When he first joins the Mongols in Lords of the Bow, he is initially reluctant, but later catches himself enjoying his new life. By Bones of the Hills, he doesn't want to go back.
  • In Ecotopia, the main character, William Weston, a reporter from New York, goes to examine the environmentally friendly nation Ecotopia (formerly the northwestern US), but ends up deciding to stay there after he acclimates to the country.
  • John Blackthorne from James Clavell's Shogun is an English sailor shipwrecked in old Japan. Unlike his shipmates, he decides to learn the language and cultural skills needed to fit into the unfamiliar society, and eventually decides that it's preferable to the society he came from in a number of ways. He's no Mighty Whitey: he has a lot of difficulty learning the new ways, becomes only moderately competent, does not impress people, and is usually irrelevant.
  • Quite a few of Rudyard Kipling 's India stories are an exploration of the concept.
  • In George Orwell's early novel, Burmese Days, Flory admires Burmese culture more than he does his own, and despises the British Empire. It looks like he might be going this route, but the trope is subverted when he takes command of the police and breaks up a riot intent on destroying the Club and killing Ellis.
    • The literary critic V. S. Pritchett once described the period Orwell spent living as a tramp as "going native in his own country."
  • Good Omens:
    • Aziraphale and Crowley, an angel and a demon respectively, end up going native towards humanity as a result of having been on Earth since the very beginning. Neither are happy to learn about the imminent apocalypse and try their best to hamper its progress.
    • Adam ends up becoming an Anti-Anti-Christ as a result of this, refusing to start the apocalypse due to his time on Earth having left him neither evil nor divine, but fundamentally human.
  • Amusingly inverted in Neil Gaiman's Sherlock Holmes pastiche, A Study in Emerald, where the Great Old Ones returned to Earth centuries ago, but instead of wiping us out or forcing us to adapt their ways, they assumed leadership in human terms. This resulted in a pseudo-Victorian world where most people lead entirely normal lives despite the fact most crowned heads of Europe have an unpleasant number of tentacles under them, and even consider their existence a blessing that makes the civilization possible at all.
  • Jacob Wheeler does this in Into The West after marrying a Lakota woman. They and their children shift between Native and white society as the series progresses. Jacob's cousin, Naomi, also goes native when she marries a Cheyenne chief, Prairie Fire.
  • Carrie in Lisanne Norman's Sholan Alliance novels. After bonding with Kusac and living on his world for a while, she goes native.
    • One visiting lead archeologist makes the mistake of comparing the Sholans to trash then following it up by pointing out Carrie's 'Gone Native' status.
  • On the planet Avalon in Technic History this Humans and Ythrians Going Native with each other is a minor local tempest in a teapot. As relations between Humans and Ythrians on the planet are good it is usually less the disapproval of the other species, but simply uneasiness at mixing and worrying that those Going Native won't have time for their own.
  • In The Years of Rice and Salt, a Japanese ronin ends up with a Native American tribe and assimilates into their culture.
  • In Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong from The Things They Carried, Mary Anne Bell is the girlfriend of a young medic who falls in love with Vietnam and eventually crosses over to the other side, becoming part of the land.
  • C. J. Cherryh's works:
    • In The Faded Sun: Shon'jir, Niun and Melein give Sten Duncan a choice: Go Native or die.
    • In the Foreigner novels, protagonist Bren Cameron is the representative of the human Lost Colony to the alien atevi on whose planet they live. When the humans in charge of the colony's government begin acting like complete morons he throws his lot in with the atevi, both to protect the atevi from being double crossed by the humans and to protect the human colony from the stupidity of their own government. The human electorate eventually wises up and replaces the morons with officials who welcome Bren back, but by that time he's become so deeply enmeshed in the fabric of atevi politics that he decides he can do everyone the most good by staying there.
  • Marat Lon in Star Trek: Mere Anarchy. A human scientist assigned to help restore the devastated planet Mestiko, he remains when a reactionary coup forces the Federation and other aliens off the planet. He disguises himself as a native, but doesn't do a very good job of blending in. Fortunately, he is discovered by native factions sympathetic to his cause, who instruct him in how to pass as a Mestiko resident. He transforms over time from an arrogant, somewhat patronizing outsider to someone with a deep concern for the Mestiko peoples. He takes a native name and the woman who helped educate him in the local culture becomes his wife.
    • Erika Hernandez in Star Trek: Destiny, though her character arc walks the fine line between this trope and Stockholm Syndrome.
    • Neta Efheny, in Brinkmanship, a Cardassian spy inserted into the Tzenkethi Department of the Outside as a low-grade worker. She comes to prefer the certainty that comes with knowing your place and your function, worrying about nothing but how to perform that function, free from the need to face any of the complications regarding identity or responsibility. She eventually accepts the mind-numbing contentment of a low-grade Tzenkethi and allows herself to be fully subsumed into their society.
  • In Rosemary Sutcliff's The Lantern Bearers, a young Roman's sister is kidnapped by the Saxons. Years later, he's captured in turn and finds her married to her kidnapper and mother to his son. She helps him escape, but refuses to go with him.
  • Basil Fotherington-Thomas (from the molesworth books) fills the Kurtz role in Teddy Bears' Picnic, a bizarre Alternate History retelling of Apocalypse Now by Kim Newman. Just William also fits as the soldier sent to kill Fotherington-Thomas who ends up joining him.
  • In Ursula K. Le Guin's Hainish short story "Solitude", Ren, the daughter of a Hainish anthropologist doing fieldwork on the planet Eleven-Soro, goes spectacularly native after living for years in Sorovian society, such as it is. She chooses to remain there even after her mother and brother return to Hain, meaning that she'll never see them again.
  • In King Kelson's Bride, Morag, Mahael and Teymuraz think that Liam-Lajos may have done this during his four years at Kelson's court in Gwynedd, making him unfit to rule Torenth. They discuss the possibility of passing over Liam in favour of his younger brother Ronal-Rurik.
  • In the Belisarius Series, Damodara begins to adopt Rajput ways in the realization that they were the best warriors that the Malwa Empire could field (except for the Kushans with whom they were roughly equal) and flattering them was a way to gain military success and not coincidentally gain the throne.
  • The 13th Warrior features an Arab going native amongst Vikings. It's a rare example of an Eastern character going native amongst Westerners.
  • One of the characters in The Laundry Files is actually an Eldritch Abomination known as the Eater of Souls who was stuck in a human body and trained to pass as an Englishman. The ones doing the training ended up doing too good a job of it.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire
    • Daenerys Targaryen, from the sedentary Westerosi culture, is married off to Khal Drogo, a warlord of the nomadic Dothraki people, in the hopes of reclaiming Westeros with a Dothraki army. Throughout the first book, she learns the language and customs of the Dothraki people, begins to dress in their style, and develops a fierce loyalty to her new husband. Her older brother Viserys doesn't fare as well, getting offended by Dany's suggestions that he exchange his finery for more practical Dothraki clothing and becoming deeply embittered when he realizes that his sister's assimilation has given her far greater credibility with the Dothraki than he will ever command.
    • Jon Snow is forced to do this to the wildlings, becoming a Fake Defector. Ultimately subverted, as he never becomes the mask, running off when faced with having to kill an innocent civilian.
    • Mance Rayder was raised among the Night's Watch, but abandoned the order and joined the wildlings after spending a few days with a wildling woman and tasting the freedom that they enjoy. He eventually becomes their king.
    • In the backstory, House Targaryen slowly assimilated themselves into Westerosi culture after Aegon's Conquest. They stopped worshipping Valyrian gods in favor of the Seven, ceased practicing slavery, married local Houses, and eventually came to see themselves as Westerosi instead of Essosi. This is a major reason of the difference of opinion between Viserys and Daenerys regarding their place in Westeros. Viserys grew up in King's Landing, so his crusade to retake the Iron Throne is largely driven by homesickness. Daenerys was born in Dragonstone but raised in Essos all her life, so she has no memories in Westeros to cling to. Although she has plans to contest the Iron Throne, she bases it more from her birthright rather than a personal desire. Some characters even question the feasibility of someone who never spent a single day in the Seven Kingdoms wanting to rule it, unless she sees herself as Aegon 2.0 (and even then, Aegon grew up in Dragonstone, so he had far more experiences in Westerosi politics than Daenerys).
  • Light And Dark The Awakening Of The Mageknight: Human Doug is so taken by elfin culture (and one member in particular) that he chooses to spend the school year studying abroad in the elfin capital. In the sequel, he'll likely come back with a penchant for very bland tea.
  • In Dune, protagonist Paul Atreides and his mother Lady Jessica, after being rescued by the desert-dwelling Fremen, are assimilated into the culture. Paul takes to it very strongly, and is a feared leader and eventually becomes the Fremen's messiah.
  • In It Can't Happen Here, Macgoblin goes native after fleeing to Haiti.
    When last seen, he was living high up in the mountains of Haiti, wearing only a singlet, dirty white-drill trousers, grass sandals, and a long tan beard; very healthy and happy, occupying a one-room hut with a lovely native girl, practicing modern medicine and studying ancient voodoo.
  • One of the Night Huntress books has a minor example. A friend of Cat's asked her to find out what happened to a reporter of his that was investigating the existence of vampires. Turned out the woman in question had found a vampire, and subsequently fallen in love and was living with her.
  • In Seraphina Dragons are discouraged from this, and punished with a memory-wipe if evidence comes to the Censors.
  • In The Heroes of Olympus, Jason Grace is initially one of the two praetors of New Rome. However, after getting forcibly relocated to the Greek Camp Half-Blood and falling in love with a Greek demigod, he finds himself torn between the two factions until he fully and officially chooses Greek in the fourth book. Conversely, Percy Jackson is forcibly relocated to New Rome, and after being made a member of the Legion in the wake of a massive battle, becomes more and more attracted to Rome, particularly the safe life he and his Love Interest could live there, protected by the Legion. He has not chosen Rome yet, but it seems likely he will at some point.
  • Repeatedly Played for Laughs in Discworld, where many barbarian armies have tried to take over Ankh-Morpork. In a matter of months they are somewhat confused to find that their weapons and horses are now property of Ankh-Morpork merchants, and that they are now just another minority with their own fast-food places and gang graffiti.
  • What Renzi does in the latter parts of Artemis on a Pacific island the crew visits. Luckily, Kydd is there to (literally) knock him out of it before the cannibalistic rival tribe of the islanders hosting them can get there.
  • One of the protagonists of Diane Duane's The Romulan Way is Terise Haleakala-LoBrutto, a Starfleet Deep Cover Agent tasked with improving the Federation's understanding of the secretive Romulans. By the end of the book she openly admits to Bones McCoy that she's come to love living on ch'Rihan, and refuses his offer to be extracted with him.
  • Alien in a Small Town is about an alien calling himself "Paul," who opts to go native on Earth. Of course, Paul is a completely nonhumanoid alien and he chooses to live with the Pennsylvania Dutch, which makes it more complicated.
  • In Guns of the Dawn, the armies of Lascanne and Denland are fighting through a swamp, and Mallen, the chief scout on the Lascanne side, has spent so long there that his sympathies lie more with the swamp's "indigines" than with either army. He helps his own side in the fight, but always in a way which doesn't conflict with his apparently higher priority of keeping the indigines out of harm's way.
  • Happens to Hope's sister, Faith, in Hope Leslie.
  • Star Wars: Kenobi: Sand People occasionally use kidnapping to replenish their ranks, but on one occasion, a Jedi left the Order and willingly became a Tusken warlord. Sharad Hett's life is covered elsewhere in the Star Wars Legends, but had an impact on A'Yark, Hett's sister-in-law. She believes Ben could be another mighty warlord for her people, and tries to convince him to join them. Ben seriously considers the idea as a way to protect Luke Skywalker covertly.
  • Invoked by the Star Wars Legends Mandalorians. They are not so much a race as a culture, since the original Taung species died out well before their rise to galactic prominence. If there's a worthy fighter who follows their code, wears the armor, speaks the language, fights under Mandalore's banner, and an established Mandalorian adopts or marries them into the clans (and age/gender/species isn't a hindrance), then the adoptee is just as much a Mando as one born into it. They've been known to recruit orphans or captives, or to hold tournaments (like the Great Hunt) to find worthy recruits, and even a few Jedi traded their robes for bes'kar armor. They see this method as both the way to get the best warriors possible and to keep their culture alive, even though it's under constant threat from their love of war. As long as there is one Mando who can find, teach, and adopt (or sire/birth) an heir, the Mandalorians are still alive.
  • The Ganymede Takeover by Philip K. Dick and Ray Nelson. An alien official is sent to rule over part of Vichy Earth, and is shocked to find his predecessor (also an alien) has become a Catholic and has a hobby of collecting model WWI airplanes.
  • Author Cassie Edwards wrote over 100 bodice ripper romance novels, particularly the Savage series, all of which feature a white woman hooking up with a Native American man and adopting the ways of his tribe. And while she's the most prominent example, she's not the only author to employ this scenario.
  • A literal example occurs in the Ray Bradbury short story Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed, about the first colony on Mars. The Martians all died out centuries ago, but as time goes on the colonists gradually change into Martians themselves and abandon the settlement, until a follow-up expedition sent to find the vanished colonists assumes they are a previously undiscovered native tribe.
  • In Princess Holy Aura this is how Stephen Russ plans to handle the problem of finding the rest of the Apocalypse Maidens.
  • Discussed in Red Harvest. Protagonist detective, The Continental Op, comes to city of Personville (also known as Poisonville) and soon in process of trying to rid the city of organized crime he becomes involved with several gangsters, kills many people directly and indirectly, and shoots a cop. In books probably most famous quote, when talking about it, he compares his situation of slowly becoming corrupted by the town to this trope.
    This damned burg's getting me. If I don't get away soon I'll be going blood-simple like the natives.
  • In Francis Carsac's La Vermine du Lion (The Lion's Parasites), the protagonist is a geologist, who ends up growing fond of the primitive natives of a planet that has attracted the attention of a powerful interstellar corporation, seeking the planet's natural resources. The geologist ends up helping the locals force the Earth government to establish a quarantine around the planet, thus protecting it from exploitation.
  • In Envoy from the Heavens, Trevelyan eventually learns that a researcher named Hugo Tasman, who is listed as MIA by the Foundation, has found a life for himself on the Medieval Stasis world of Osier, where he's made himself a nobleman and married a local woman. While he can never have children with her (these Human Aliens are incompatible with humans), he is still far happier here than back on Earth. Trevelyan agrees to keep his secret, and the Paraprims agree to allow Tasman to stay, as long he doesn't mess with the local culture.
  • In The Overstory, the cynical Adam Appich surveys a group of environmental activists fighting deforestation in order to explore their psychology and understand why some people choose to hold non-humans as so much more morally important than others do. He ends up Taking a Level In Idealism and joining forces with them instead.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On The 100, Octavia desperately tries to do this, embracing Grounder ways and rejecting most of her ties to the Sky People, but she can never quite gain acceptance among the Grounders. Her lover, Lincoln, is a Grounder, but the rest of his people accuse him of Going Native with the Sky People, even though Lincoln's acceptance among the Sky People is only slightly better than Octavia's among the Grounders.
  • In The Americans, Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings are Russian spies who were sent to America back in the 60's. After 20 years in the States, Phillip has increasingly embraced American culture, creating a rift with Elizabeth, who has remained largely loyal to the Soviet Union.
  • Babylon 5:
    • The first Kosh seems to have gone native with humanoids, in a sense. To the point of helping to assassinate his successor to prevent him from listening to Sheridan's plans.
    • Delenn was accused of doing this by other Minbari and in fact she had, biologically speaking. Culturally she remained a Minbari. Racism aside it is perhaps a legitimate fear that a diplomat will do this if in contact to long and so the Grey Council may have not been totally irrational.
    • Sinclair fits in so well as Minbari Ambassador that this seems to be the trope. However, it's the other way around, Minbari culture is based around his role as Valen.
    • Accusations of going native from extremists are common in the series.
    • During his assignment to Minbar, Vir goes Full Native. Much to Londo's chagrin. The extent of his Native turn eventually causes some interesting story.
    • The previous Centauri ambassador to Minbar also went native, which is why the Centauri took so long to send someone again. According to JMS, he's in retreat somewhere, meditating and trying to grow a head bone.
  • In one episode of Burn Notice, Michael jokingly accuses the security chief for the Pakistani consulate of going native after finding him in an Indian restaurant. May be a subversion, as the cultures of India and Pakistan are almost indistinguishable.
    Waseem: Oh, I like the chicken tikka.
    • Almost fully happens to Michael during the final season, which saw him having to live the life of a disavowed and desolate former agent in order to attract the attention of the terrorist group he needed to get in with. By the final episodes, even after making contact with his friends again, he's spent so much time with no back up, no resources, pressure from his handlers who only want top-tier results, and the largely sympathetic nature of the terrorist that got so many on his side in the first place, Michael is only moments away from embracing the other side before he is brought to his senses.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor has, over the course of their very long life, grown very fond of Earth. They still love to travel, and are a little too alien to really be considered a "native", but the Doctor loves everything about our culture, clothes, food and people. Particularly conspicuous in the Classic Series, when they frequently interacted with the Time Lords, throwing into sharp relief how utterly... well... alien their human-esque appearance and behaviour seemed to other members of their own species. The Tenth Doctor was probably the biggest example of this, almost to the point of mild Pinocchio Syndrome.
    • In "Boom Town", a stranded alien has been covertly living as a Welsh politician, and, even as she plots to blow up the entire Earth to facilitate her escape, grumbles that the London-based government wouldn't notice if Wales slid into the sea. She then immediately labels the moment as an example of this trope.
  • Sully in Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman often seems to relate more to his Native American friends than the white folks in town.
    • In the episode "Another Woman", a white woman is rescued following a raid on a Native American camp. It turns out she was raised by the tribe after having been abducted at such a young age that she barely remembers her old life or how to speak English.
  • In Farscape, the Peacekeepers are so paranoid about this happening to their troops that they consider anyone who even speaks to an alien without explicit authorization to have become “irreversibly contaminated”note . While this may seem like plain old Xenophobia at first, digging into the Peacekeepers’ past with the Eidelon “Peacemakers” reveals that these people were specifically engineered to be impartial enforcers who were never supposed to take sides in a conflict. Therefore, this extreme isolation was necessary for them to retain that impartiality.
  • Firefly.
    • Nandi, former Companion (a ritualized and very high-class prostitute from the urban, "civilized" Core) turns tough-talking madam of a rim-world brothel. Certain episodes suggest this may be happening to Inara, the show's other companion, through her association with scruffy and unrespectable folks like Mal.
    • More sinister is the sole survivor of a Reaver attack on a ship. He begins to act as a Reaver because he can't mentally handle the things he saw, so he becomes the horror he witnessed. It's strongly implied that this is how the Reavers replenish their numbers.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Daenerys goes native among the Dothraki, though their Rape, Pillage, and Burn traditions still repulse her; she is far less willing to assimilate into Qarth and Slaver's Bay, however.
    • Sansa's hairstyle grows more elaborate during Season 1 as she adapts to life in the south.
    • Jon Snow pretends to go native when he joins the wildlings and gains a lot of insight into them in the process and his superiors accuse him of actually going native. He's unquestionably loyal to the Night's Watch but with his frequent references to the Wildlings as "Free Folk", it's more than a little obvious that his time among them has had an effect. Tormund Giantsbane even lampshades this when he suggests Jon spent too much time with them and will never be a true "kneeler" again.
    • Mance Rayder grew up in the Night's Watch but eventually went native among the wildlings and rose to be their king.
    • Jaime snarks that Catelyn has become a real she-wolf (House Stark) rather than a fish (House Tully) as she became quite comfortable with her Northern home after being married off to Ned. Lysa Arryn later tells Sansa that her mother in her youth was quite a big eater and far less austere than when she was Lady of Winterfell, pointing out that she assimilated into Ned's world very easily.
    • Myrcella chews Jaime out when he comes to rescue her, declaring that she loves Trystane and Dorne is her home now.
  • Called out in dialogue in Good Omens when Crowley and Aziraphale survive the attempts of their respective superiors to execute them; it's Beelzebub's explanation for how Crowley, a demon, can lounge casually in a holy water bath.
  • In the second season of Heroes, Mohinder works with Mr. Bennet to take down the Company from within, but eventually becomes convinced that the Company is really the heroic organization and Bennet was misleading him.
  • In the JAG episode "Gypsy Eyes", after Harm & Mac have had their plane shot down by the Russian Air Force in Russia, they join a Gypsy brother and sister couple. They find out that Harm’s long lost father escaped from captivity as a POW taken to Russia, assimilated into that Romani family, died protecting them, and had even sired a son with a woman.
    • A different episode concerns a female naval officer who got lost, took shelter with, then joined an Iraqi Bedouin tribe by marrying into it.
  • Kamen Rider Gaim: Part of Kamen Rider Bravo's backstory. Born Gennosuke Oren, he changed his name to Oren Pierre Alfonzo after going to France, where he served as a soldier of their Parachute Regiment, fighting in the Middle East and Africa, in order to gain French citizenship. He also trained as a patisserie there, and is renowned as one of their top bakers. By the time he returned to Japan, he was more French than Japanese.
  • Lost: Locke "goes native" by leaving the 815 camp to join the Others. Also, in season 5, several of the 815ers join the Dharma Initiative and lead happy lives in the 1970s.
  • Played for Laughs on MADtv when an Arab terrorist sleeper agent (played by the Jewish Ike Barinholtz) becomes completely Americanized to the point of becoming Jewish, speaking with a perfect "Goofy White Guy" American accent and basically living The American Dream as just another suburbanite. He's called out on this by his contact... who then becomes mesmerized by the vibrating chair, built-in remote and TiVo, promptly adopting the same accent and turning his turban into a fruit bowl to become the agent's "old friend".
  • A Running Gag in The Nanny was the Sheffields, especially Gracie, adopting stereotypically Jewish mannerisms and speaking Yiddish due to Fran's influence.
  • In the later series of Northern Exposure, Joel ends up living with native villagers on the banks of the river.
  • The Orville:
    • Downplayed but present with the Security Chiefs. Alara and Talla are Xeleyans, a culture whose species hat is that of a Proud Scholar Race Guy, who look down on military careers and combat soldiers, despite being Heavyworlders with Super Strength in Earth-normal gravity. Alara had a great deal of insecurity and angst over being unable to fit in with her native people, feeling more comfortable with humans. Talla comes from a family of Cultural Rebels who are considered trash by their fellow Xeleyans, and grew up in the more cosmopolitan atmosphere of the Union.
    • Another "Downplayed but present" comes with Isaac. A Mechanical Lifeform, he was sent by his people as an observer as well as a spy and infiltrator to learn about organics. In the course of this, he spends 700 years on a time-shifted planet observing their cultural development, starts a romantic relationship with the ship's doctor (and helps take care of her kids), and comes to feel more at home with the crew than his people enough to make a Heel–Face Turn and literally rip his leader's head off when ordered to prove his loyalty by killing his girlfriend's young son.
    • Likewise, the conflict with Bortus and Klyden has elements of this with some Deconstruction. Their species is a One-Gender Race that presents as male and has a nasty misogynistic streak. Early on, Bortus is forced to question his culture's gender norms when his child is born female, which forces a court battle against "correcting" the child's gender (he loses). Bortus's ex also turned out to be more into women, which is punishable by life imprisonment on the homeworld. Bortus adapting to the more gender-neutral culture of the Union (including taking orders from Kelly) while Klyden is stubbornly sticking to his guns as far as Molocan norms, has pretty much destroyed their marriage.
  • Outlander: After offering himself in exchange for having Roger freed from captivity, Young Ian is adopted by the Mohawk, an outcome he is very pleased with. Upon his reappearance, he has a Mohawk hairstyle and clothing, along with carrying a bow.
  • In Rome, Lucius Vorenus is complimented by a high-class Roman visiting Egypt for averting this. He stays true Roman while other officials in Cleopatra's court, including the triumvir Mark Antony, go native, a sacrilegious offense to Roman eyes. See Real Life below for more info on Antony's fate.
  • In Rosehaven, Emma Dawes follows her best friend Daniel to his hometown while recovering from a bad honeymoon, getting a job in his mother's real estate agency. By the end of the second series, while Emma and others claim that she's still an outsider, Daniel points out that she likes Rosehaven more than most of the people born there.
  • During one "Sprockets" sketch on Saturday Night Live broadcast just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Dieter waxes poetically (and almost homoerotically) about an East German filmmaker (played by Woody Harrelson) whose films, in the opinion of Dieter, were "the perfect combination of depression, anti-consumerism, and disdain for the decadent western democracies". He then says that he is personally thrilled to welcome the filmmaker to his show. And when the filmmaker comes out, he's in a Mickey Mouse t-shirt and flip flops, Hawaiian shorts, and is toting two big bags of fast food hamburgers. Most of his interview consisted of Dieter being aghast at the man's sudden devotion to western-style democratic consumerism now that the Wall had fallen.
  • Sleepers, a BBC comedy-drama originally shown in 1991, tells the story of two Soviet 'sleeper' agents sent to Britain in the 1960s but all but forgotten about until 1991. Meanwhile the two agents have Gone Native and now consider themselves British, and the series depicts their attempts to evade the KGB who want to bring them back to the Soviet Union.
    • The trope is lampshaded when Major Grishina finds the head of the local KGB cell loudly cheering a baseball game. "What am I supposed to do, wear an I Love Leningrad T-shirt?"
  • Happens multiple times in Stargate SG-1:
    • In "A Hundred Days", Jack O'Neill gets trapped on a planet after a meteor hits the Stargate and buries it. He gets a quick Time Skip montage wherein he gets married and settles down, only to get rescued by the end of the episode.
    • In "Fallen", Daniel Jackson wakes up on a strange planet with no memory of his previous life (before or after he Ascended To A Higher Plane Of Existence) and becomes a part of the local tribe. The status quo is returned, along with his memory, by the end of the episode ... again.
    • Downplayed with Ba'al. After the Goa'uld are no longer the threat they once were, he hides out on Earth, developing a fondness for the culture. He's still evil, of course, but he actually picks up enough human traits that he becomes a better villain than the rest of the Goa'uld combined. His fondness for Earth is best shown in Continuum, where in an alternate timeline, his grand takeover of Earth would have involved leaving it exactly as it is, in exchange for humanity submitting to his absolute authority as God-Emperor. The other System Lords think he's gone insane.
    • Long time SG-1 antagonist Harry Maybourne eventually gets marooned on a low tech planet, where he uses his knowledge to make himself king. He finds that he likes being the king, and that he's good at it, so much so that he is very popular among the people he's ruling because he has done so much to make their lives better. When he gets the opportunity to return to civilization, he opts to stay.
    • Teal'c, after spending several years on Earth, becomes a bigger Pop Cultured Bad Ass than his teammates.
  • Star Trek
    • ST:TOS
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation
      • Data does the same when he walks into a pre-industrial village with damage-induced amnesia.
      • Even though it is done through a Lotus-Eater Machine (a small alien probe), Captain Picard does this in "The Inner Light". He lives out a long, full life in the span of an episode (and approximately 15 minutes in-universe).
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
      • During her previous life in the body of Curzon, Dax was one of the early Federation diplomats to start friendly relations with the Klingons. Being already kind of a boisterous hothead, he gained their respect and trust by becoming deeply involved in Klingon culture, learning their language and martial arts, as well as coming to highly appreciate their music and cuisine. Eventually one of his Klingon friends even named his son after him, and Dax was part of the group of four warriors who swore a blood oath to avenge the murder of the firstborn sons of the other three, no matter how long it would take to find their killer (a Klingon criminal known as the Albino). His connection to the Klingons was so strong that even when his body died and his mind added to that a young female scientist, it became a very major part of her new personalty. To the extent that when she meets the only Klingon in the Federation as he takes down a group of bullies with his martial arts skills, she immediately gets very interested in him and eventually ends up as his wife a few years later.
      • Ben Sisko went completely native over the course of the series, he started calling the wormhole aliens "Prophets", learned to read ancient Bajoran and bought land on Bajor to build a house. Several of his superiors said that Starfleet was deeply concerned by Ben's role as the Emissary and increasing assimilation into Bajoran culture, and said that they would have pulled him out if it wouldn't have totally ruined friendly relations with Bajor. Ultimately subverted in the three part pilot of Season 7, where we learn that Sisko’s “mother” was actually one of the wormhole alien “Prophets”, thereby making him partially a native of that region. She even tells him that “you are of Bajor”.
    • Star Trek: Enterprise
      • According to T'Pol, a Vulcan expedition crashed in Pennsylvania in the 1950s and, believing that rescue was not coming, disguised themselves as humans to survive. By the time rescue did come several months later, one of their number had become so fascinated with humanity that he refused to leave, and the others finally let him stay and reported to High Command that he had died in the crash.
  • Gabriel/Trickster from Supernatural fits this. He ran away and 'joined the Pagans', only to eventually go up against Lucifer because he actually quite likes humans and doesn't particularly want them to die. He's also shown to understand sarcasm, have conversations with people and blink regularly (Castiel had difficulty with those at first).
  • An episode of Tales from the Darkside was called "Going Native", and involved an alien woman settling down on Earth.
  • In Yes, Minister, "going native" is a term for when ministers start to view themselves as part of their departments rather than part of the government, and get into the Civil Service mindset of hoarding money and influence for the department rather than following the government's agenda.
  • The Terror: "Tell them we are gone." One of them hadn't 'gone' as in died, he'd 'gone' as in this trope.

  • 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 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • BattleTech has the 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.

    Video Games 
  • In an "undercover cop switches sides" example of the trope, the John Woo game Stranglehold features Jerry Ying, Tequila's partner, who has gone undercover with Wong's Dragon Claw syndicate. The more time he spends around Wong's crew, however, the more he begins to identify with them instead of the cops he's supposed to be one of. It all comes to a head when Wong orders Jerry to kill Tequila and Wong's own daughter Billie, who Tequila loves and had a daughter by. Tequila survives, but Billie is not so lucky, setting up a furious showdown between partners as Tequila seeks vengeance for Billie.
  • Many characters with Multiple Endings in the Star Ocean games whose relationship with someone from another planet gets to a certain point will choose to live on that planet with them.
  • In the Worlds of Ultima game Worlds of Ultima: The Savage Empire, several recruitable party members are Expys from previous games who have gone through this trope, with amnesia to boot.
  • In Splinter Cell: Double Agent, the NSA constantly worries about Sam Fisher going native and actively joining John Brown's Army. In the bad ending, that's exactly what he does. In the neutral ending, that's what everyone thinks he does.
  • In Dragon Quest VII, Kiefer abandons your party to join the Deja tribe of the past. It is strongly hinted that Aira of the Deja tribe of the present (who joins your party) is a descendant of Kiefer.
  • Mass Effect has a rare inversion of this: The Yahg were considered too savage and violent when first encountered by the Citadel Races and it was decided to leave them confined to their wild planet until they develop space flight on their own. One of them was abducted as a slave/exotic pet, but he managed to kill his master and successfully put himself in his chair behind the main terminal that controlled his entire galactic empire of political and industrial espionage. Since the Shadow Broker never allowed any visitors to his secret base and communicated with his lieutenants and agents only through voice synthesizer programs, nobody ever found out about it.
    • Many aliens have adopted other alien cultural concepts. For example; a few Turians have converted to Zen Buddhism and Confucianism, and plenty of asari have adopted the customs, traditions and even attitudes of their non-asari mates. A few Asari, such as Matriarch Aethyta believe this is a consequence of asari biology.
    • The Geth platform known as Legion assimilates somewhat into human culture by appropriating N7 human special forces armor, using the handle “n7infiltrator” while gaming, contributes a lot of money to a human charity for victims of a Geth attack, and even recognizes a Bible chapter and verse when it is named Legion.
    • Due to being something of a xenophile, Paragon Shepard is often accused of this by their detractors. Some superior officers similarly dislike Shepard for playing friendly with the various alien races, instead of using their Spectre status to advance humanity's position in the galaxy.
    Rear-Admiral Mikhailovich: You still know what color your blood is, Shepard?
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, according to some of the writers, after his lengthy debriefing by his Qunari superiors, Sten will likely have to go for re-education by the Ben-Hassrath to iron out all of the bad habits he's picked up during his time in Ferelden. Sten seems aware of this if he and the Dog are the ones chosen to rescue the Warden from Fort Drakon.
    Sten: And now I am talking to an animal. I have been in this country too long!
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: Like Sten before him, The Iron Bull is sent by his Qunari superiors to learn about the goings-on in Andrastian society, and picks up many of their habits and worldviews. It gets to the point that he isn't sure if he's still a Qunari spy pretending to be a mercenary, or a Tal-Vashoth (deserter) pretending to still be part of the Qun. Unlike Sten, the PC can tip the balance by encouraging him to either become full Tal-Vashoth, or strengthen his loyalty to the Qun.
  • In Far Cry 3, Jason Brody's growing adaptation to the native Rakyat culture and his own latent Blood Knight tendencies drive a significant portion of the plot. Towards the end of the game, he decides to stay with the Rakyat rather than leave with his friends. The player's choice to either have Jason reject their culture or accept it and stay (and murder his friends in the process) decides the ending of the game.
  • Final Fantasy XIV:
    • The majority of the core members of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn are scholars of Sharlayan who grew fed up with its Head-in-the-Sand Management and followed Louisoix to Eorzea to help solve the problems that plague the entire world. By the present, the Scions identify as Eorzeans for the most part and fight to defend the land against the many things that prevent lasting peace.
    • The Warrior of Light is a traveler from outside of Eorzea who came to make their fortune as an adventurer. Their various escapades soon have them standing with the Scions of the Seventh Dawn and the Eorzean Alliance against the greatest threats the world has ever known, essentially making them an Eorzean in all but birth. They also never correct anyone when they're referred to as an Eorzean, showing that they've adopted the land as their own.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, one of the starter zones has a slightly jerkass reporter who asks you to fetch her cameraman who went undercover with the rebels (or at least get his footage), you find him ranting and raving about how the rebellion is a righteous cause and have the option of letting him stay or knocking sense into him. If you let him stay, the reporter is ecstatic because this has happened before, and when it does he always comes back with better and more detailed footage.
    • There are also Joiners on Alderaan, humans (and others) who semi-voluntarily assimilate into the native Killiks. The process isn't pleasant and it's not reversible, though the ones who go through it claim to be fine with being part of their Mind Hive. One of the party members (and potential love interest) for an Imperial Agent is a diplomat who went through this in order to try and convince the Killiks to side with the Empire...and the notoriously xenophobic Empire doesn't like it a bit.
    • A Bounty Hunter is given the opportunity to do this among the Mandalorians who sponsor the Great Hunt, to the point of being legally adopted by Mandalore the Vindicated. A female Bounty Hunter can step this up even more by marrying Torian Cadera and agreeing to raise any children they may have in the culture...though, as of the Fallen Empire expansion, they still need to work on the language.
  • In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, the Player Character is encouraged to do this as part of his/her cover story. Joining a Great House — even the most Imperialized House, Hlaalu, is still at core a Dunmer house based on Dunmer traditions — and just looking out for the interests of Morrowind's people first, prominently mentioned when Caius Cosades is recalled, leaving you the highest ranking Blade in the area. It's entirely possible to go full-blown, avoid all the non-Blade Imperial factions, and join just a Great House and the Temple (unless you go native in the Telvanni — their traditions discourage giving more than the absolute minimum of tolerance to the Tribunal).
  • The whole shtick of the Harmony affinity in Civilization: Beyond Earth. They eventually get the ability to breathe and heal in the formerly-poisonous air and tame the local creatures, and their victory condition is to integrate themselves into the mind of the (sentient) planet.
  • Subverted in Reah: Face the Unknown. Several human colonists from planet Reah visited its sister version in Another Dimension, which also keeps advanced human technology from working there, forcing these colonists to blend in with the natives and conduct first-hand observation among them. But the ones you see in-game actually want to return back to Earth.
  • When a free colonist unit visits an Indian village in Colonization, they can ordered to stay with the natives for a turn to learn useful skills, like tobacco planting.
  • In the backstory of Tribes, the Earth Empire sent their elite Blood Eagle knights to suppress rebellions from the Order of the Phoenix. The Blood Eagles came to like life in the lawless frontier, though, and became a Tribe, themselves.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has this in the Heavensward expansion as the reveal for Lucia. She was originally a Garlean spy sent in to infiltrate Ishgard and see if they had any means of accessing Azys Lla. Lucia became Aymeric's 2nd in command to the Temple Knights and played her part well, but once she saw how much of a good person Aymeric was and what Ishgard went through with the dragons, she grew fond of him and the nation and she willingly revealed herself as a spy. Aymeric didn't care that Lucia was a spy and was glad that not only she revealed the truth, but was also glad that she wanted to fight for Ishgard's cause.
  • An occasional risk when infiltrating pre-spaceflight species in Stellaris. Fortunately you can have a nearby warship take them out with a "freak meteor strike" before they do too much damage to your efforts to take over the government and assimilate them into your galactic empire.
  • The Another World Team from The King of Fighters were originally from different time periods and dimensions (Nakoruru is an Ainu priestess from 18th century Japan, Mui Mui is a kungfu fighter from Ancient China and Love Heart the Sky Pirate is from another dimension where magic airships and floating islands exist) before suddenly appearing in modern day Earth. As a result, they find many things on the modern era strange like television. By the time of SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy, which takes place after the team's first debut, Another World team has gotten use to living on Earth, including wearing modern clothes and using smartphones.

  • 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 
  • In Worm, Taylor finds herself becoming friends with the supervillain gang that she infiltrates, intending to betray them.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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 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 charcteristisc, 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.
  • In the Futurama episode "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.
    • He ends up doing it again when he goes into hiding among penguins. After an accident, his program rebooted and he started acting like an actual penguin. He ends up returning to normal when Leela accidentally shoots him.
  • Justice League: The finale of the first series, "Starcrossed", revealed that Hawkgirl was an agent sent to spy on Earth by the alien Thanagarians. She betrayed 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. So when she learned of the true plan to build a Hyperspace Bypass that would destroy the planet, she double crossed her own people and helped the League destroy the device and drive the Thanagarians away.
  • 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."

    Real Life 
  • Alexander the Great caused controversy among his supporters and commanders for his attempts to assimilate into Persian, Egyptian, and other cultures and traditions. In Egypt, he considered Amun, or Ammon as an aspect of Zeus, and fused the two deites as Zeus-Ammon and worshipped the same. In Persia, he started gaining Persian titles such as Baseilus ton Baseileon (King of Kings derived from the Persian Shahanshah) and he took this to the extent that he, offensive to the Macedonians and other Greeks, would promote Persian commanders on the basis of merits and insisted that in his Empire, Persians were subjects equal to Greeks and others.
  • Alexander's Macedonian and Greek generals who carved up his empire into their own personal kingdoms when he died embraced the local customs to varying extents. One of the most notable being Ptolemy I Soter, who declared himself Pharaoh of Egypt.
  • Among the many accusations made by Octavian's propaganda against his outlived-his-usefulness co-conspirator Mark Antony, the most effective was that Antony had "gone native" and was living like a Hellenist, an unforgivable crime to the proud and conservative Romans. The most damning thing, as far as the Romans were concerned, was the allegation that Antony had, on his own authority, held a triumphal march in Alexandria. This was Serious Business, since triumphal marches were supposed to celebrate the glory of Rome and needed to be approved by the Senate. This would eventually trigger "The final civil war of the The Roman Republic" and usher in the The Roman Empire after Antony and Cleopatra VII were defeated and driven to suicide.
    • The Romans tried to Romanize many barbarian nations they subjugated, whereby they would take a few of the chieftains' sons as quasi-voluntary hostages, send them to Rome, and shower them with all the luxuries that the capital could offer. After being thoroughly schooled in the might and comfort of the Empire, they were sent home as loyal client kings. This backfired however, when one of them, Arminius, revolted against the Romans, and led the Germanic Tribes to inflict one of the worst defeats on the Empire, at the Battle of Teutoberg Forest.
    • Rome also encouraged this among tribes (even ones not yet conquered) who had useful military skills, particularly if those skills involved cavalry or archery (the Roman Legions were almost entirely infantry). Auxiliary soldiers recruited from such tribes would fight for Rome for 25 years, after which they and their children would become Roman citizens, with the expectation that they'd be thoroughly Romanized by that point. After a few examples of this backfiring with auxiliary units using what they'd learned of Roman tactics to stage revolts, the policy was modified so that auxiliaries would always be stationed far away from their home province to remove any such temptations (abolishing the auxiliaries altogether was impossible because they comprised a huge portion of Rome's fighting strength).
  • The French colonies in what are today Canada and the United States were an exercise in this, as the French were more interested in exploiting Native American trade goods than in agricultural settlement (unlike the English). Many white fur trappers adopted native customs of dress, residence, and even face-painting, and took native wives. It was no small number, either. Over half a million Métis - people with mixed European/First Nations ancestry - currently live in Canada.
    • Adults abducted by Native Americans in war might be raped, enslaved, or killed, but children were likely to be reared as members of the tribe and assimilated. A classic case is that of Cynthia Anne Parker whose white family was massacred at Parker's Fort and became the mother of famed Comanche war-chief Quanah Parker. Some well-treated abductees refused to leave their new tribes when their families found them, either from Stockholm Syndrome or because they really were happier in the tribe. (Cynthia was not at all happy about being "rescued", either; she tried to return to her Comanche family, but was re-captured by the Texas Rangers, and eventually died of influenza, completely brokenhearted).
      • During an attack that left their family dead, 14 year old Olive Oatman and her 7 year old sister Mary-Ann were abducted by Yavapai natives and made slaves. After a year they were traded to the Mohave and were eventually adopted into that tribe. They received traditional tribal tattoos (Olive would later be known as the Girl with the Blue Tattoo) The two were given their own clan name Oach and their own plot of land to farm. Olive was also named Aliutman or Ali and possibly referred to as Spantsa(Smelly Womb/Vagina) a bawdy nickname common among Mohave as a sign of affection, that possibly had sexual connotations leading historians to believe she may have been very sexually active. Some second hand reports suggest Olive may have been married and birthed two children (mainly coming from friend Sarah Thompson claiming Olive had confessed to leaving behind her two children) something historian generally don't believe is true due to lack of evidence as the Mohave weren't known to have any biracial children present during and after Olive's departure. Sadly Mary Ann would later die of starvation which nearly killed Olive as well. By the time she was "ransomed" back to white society and her brother, who was left for dead during the attack she was said to be so assimilated after four years with the Mohave that it was hard to even tell she was a white woman. She would spend the next 10 years traveling the country with minister Royal B Stratton, insisting that she was an unwilling captive of the Mohave and that the tattoo marked her as a slave, likely due to Stratton's urging, and likely over fear of ostracization for fraternizing with savages. Stratton also Ghostwrote her book which has been said to be filled with anti native fluff and half truths. Its also been said that Olive suffered from depression and anxiety for the rest of her life. She was said to always keep a jar of hazelnuts to remind her of her time with the Mohave who she considered family. All of this is signs of her full assimilation and the Mohave considering her one of their own.
      • Eunice Williams, the daughter of a Puritan minister, was adopted by a Catholic Mohawk tribe after she and her family were taken captive. The rest of the family was eventually freed, but the Mohawk refused to part with Eunice, who was no longer considered a prisoner but rather a member of the tribe and of her adoptive family. After Eunice became an adult, her family tried numerous times to convince her to come back, but Eunice, who had converted to Catholicism and married a Mowhawk man, could not be persuaded; she agreed to keep in touch with her family and to visit on occasion, but refused to leave the life and community that had become hers.
    • Starving settlers deserting to join better-fed Native communities was a major problem in many early North American settlements, before Europeans learned basic New World survival skills. The famous and not at all mysterious disappearance of the Roanoke Colony was almost certainly a case of all the settlers joining the native community on nearby Croatoan Island. But stories of an entire colony vanishing from the face of the Earth were less problematic for the financial backers of the colonies than having it been known that settlers could just quit when things turned out harsher than expected. There is a project underway to demonstrate via DNA testing whether or not the settlers joined the local band.
    • Intermarriage could also be voluntary. People might marry for a term, then separate or stay together. Sometimes an Indian girl would among the Anglos, then her Anglo husband would come back to the band with her. This intermarriage and cultural sharing was encouraged in some Plains nations because they believed the kids would inherit the best of both races. Mari Sandoz writes about this in her book Crazy Horse, Strange Man of the Lakhota.
  • This trope seems to be endemic to any foreign invader who conquers Iran. In order: Alexander the Great went increasingly native and the Seleucid successor state was a Greco-Persian melange, the Muslim invasions ended with the House of Abassid going native, becoming Perso-Arabic and overthrowing the more Arab-supremacist Umayyad dynasty, the Seljuks and Khwarazmians went native and became Turko-Persian, the Ilkhanate went native and became Mongol-Persian, the Timurids went native and became Turko-Mongol-Persian, and finally the Safavids, Afsharids and Qajar dynasties were all one flavour or another of Turkic originally and ended up assimilating into Persian culture. Bottom line, Iran got invaded a lot but two generations later you wouldn't have known that the ruling house were originally foreigners.
  • Not to outdo Iran, but a lot of the Muslim kingdoms of India also tended to established by assimilated foreign conquerors (mostly Turkic, but others also got their share). The last native empire of India, the Mughals, responsible for Taj Mahal and the proliferation of the Hindustani language, among other things, were originally an offshoot of the aforementioned Turko-Mongol Timurids.
  • Gonzalo Guerrero, one of the shipwrecked Spanish sailors that Cortez encountered on his expedition, unlike his companion Jerónimo de Aguilar opted to stay with the Maya due to having fathered three children there and becoming a respected warrior under a Maya lord. He had reportedly advised the attack on Córdoba two years prior. Guerrero was later killed in battle by Spanish forces.
  • Many of the Norman families who settled in Ireland after the invasion of 1169 eventually became "Hiberniores Hibernicis ipsis"—more Irish than the Irish themselves—to the point where the government passed the Statutes of Kilkenny in 1367, which banned the "English" in Ireland from adopting Irish customs, in a failed attempt to halt the process. It's not only Ireland, this trope defines the Normans. Originally they were Vikings who settled in Northern France, enthusiastically adopting French and converting to Catholicism. Wherever they went the Norse conquered, and left their mark on the language and culture, before being absorbed and integrating into their new homes.
  • This was a constant theme in The British Empire, both in its fiction, and actual administrative concern:
    • While Victorian and Edwardian British administrators and soldiers in British India were very derogatory about the native culture —partly to justify their rule — —their 18th-century predecessors were much more complimentary — sometimes to the point of worshipfulness. The early years of the East India Company had many so-called "White Mughals" who adopted local customs and languages and marrying local women, and even took to Polygamy and conversion. (You can read about this in White Mughals by William Dalrymple; he says this was a time of widespread interracial sexual exploration, cultural assimilation and hybridity, and that nearly all Englishmen in India at that time did this.) The later Company generals nixed this hard, ostracizing many of these men. The British Raj and other colonies instituted a kind of apartheid to avoid mixing too much with the locals, or identifying with them too much. They also mandated that British children born in India return to boarding schools in England to reinforce their British roots and culture. The scions of interracial unions were never afforded this privilege and were consigned to Eurasian “ghettos”. But the "white Mughal" tradition lives in the plethora of words, items, habits and tropes in modern British culture that stem from Indian culture.note 
    • The scions of these unions between Englishmen and Indian women would go on to form the now dwindling Anglo-Indian community in India.
    • Alexander Burns, a.k.a. Bukhara Burnes is a good complex example of this. As an officer employed by the EITC, he became renowned as a Bold Explorer, and spy, known for dressing in local Pashtun dresses, speaking their languages and understanding their customs. During his service in Afghanistan, Burnes kept insisting to his superiors that they respect the ruler Amir Dost Muhammad, but they ignored him and launched the disastrous Afghan expedition instead. Burnes supported this out of loyalty even if he disagreed with it, and he dissipated in service, spending his time seducing and sleeping with local women, much to the distaste of Afghanis. The First Anglo-Afghan War broke out when a rebel contingent attacked the area where Burnes and his soldiers were quartered, and he was brutally killed, and to this day, Afghanis consider Burnes (the man who tried his best to learn their ways, to oppose British expansion there) to be a villain, a snake-like figure who tried to be one of them and failed, and in Victorian fiction, Burnes became a primary exhibit on why going native was not recommended. Burnes inspired such works as Flashman, The Man Who Would Be King, Kim among others.
    • T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), as an archaeologist in Arabia, went native long before the war. He was chosen as a liaison to the Arab rebels because he knew their ways so well and could speak most of their dialects. Particularly, he was one of the few British officers who didn't speak Arabic with an Egyptian dialect, which gained him the respect of the (peninsular) Arab leaders. He was sent to organize the Arabs against the Turks to weaken the German-Turkish-Austrian alliance but felt very conflicted about the whole process because he knew that the British and French were not going to keep their wartime promise of a free, united Arab state. He asked for a transfer to get out of leading a fake revolution—when his request was denied, he attempted to make the revolution successful enough to stick. He failed. After the war, he left Arabia for good, changed his name to Shaw, and joined the RAF as a mechanic, and lapsed into anonymity. The famous Biopic Lawrence of Arabia more or less dealt with his failure to fully cross the line.
  • US Special Forces are usually encouraged to assimilate into local cultures, adopt local customs and learn the language while on deployment. They also have a greatly relaxed uniform code which allows them to wear local dress and grow beards if necessary, and it is a common custom for them to wear the patches and emblems of any groups they are fighting alongside instead of the Stars and Stripes. This caused a minor incident when US commandos fighting ISIS were found to be wearing Kurdish flag and YPG patches, which Turkey, nominally a major US ally, consider terrorist symbols.
  • Helmuth von Pannwitz, a German general who was placed in command of the Cossacks who defected over to the Germans to fight the Soviet Union. Due to the respect and understanding he always showed for his troops and his tendency to attend Russian Orthodox services with them, Pannwitz was very popular among his Cossack volunteers. The Cossacks even voted him as their ataman, or supreme commander. When Pannwitz surrendered and his troops were turned over to the Soviets, he chose to go with them, even when told that as a German he was not subject to repatriation. He was convicted of war crimes and executed. The only thing preventing the whole thing from being a positive is the fact that the Cossack regiments under Pannwitz's command committed a number of atrocities against the civilian population, including several mass rapes, and routine summary executions. And, of course, continuing the Cossack tradition of Jewish pogroms.
  • Catherine the Great. Born a German Lutheran, she converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church in order to marry the Russian crown prince. Once she seized the throne from her husband, she fully embraced her adopted nation, expanding the size, influence, and progress of Russia. Indeed the fact that she became a much more observant Russian Orthodox than her husband and also did more to honor the memory of his predecessor, Empress Elizabeth, was a far from unimportant factor in her gathering the support she needed to oust her husband in the first place. Catherine the Great ultimately became just as autocratic, reform-halting, serf-oppressing, Pole-slaughtering and expansionist as any Russian autocrat.
    • One of her favourites, Stanisław II Augustus (generally better known as Poniatowski), the last King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, is a complicated case. He started out part of a powerful Polish noble family, if associated with Russians early on, and sent to Russia as a young man where he met a young Catherine. They became lovers, and she connived to keep him at court (including, improbably, as the Ambassador from Saxony), while he ended up pushing pro-Russian policies in the Polish Sejm (a semi-democratic institution not unlike the Roman Senate), participated in a coup attempt against the Polish King, and then became Catherine's chosen successor to the throne. This unsurprisingly meant that he was felt to have gone Russian. But as King, he tried to reform the Polish-Lithuanian government into something efficient and modern and patronised Polish arts and culture, essentially preserving Polish national identity, and even creating the constitution of 1791 that would have made Poland into a constitutional monarchy on the English model. However, while he is generally considered to have done his best to oppose Catherine's efforts to dismantle Poland, making a valiant but doomed attempt to fight back in the Polish-Russian War of 1792 (doomed because Poland was skint and Prussia refused to help). Even after his abdication, he spent the rest of his life on a limited Russian pension campaigning for the Polish cause. So, he was a Pole who went native in Russia, then went native again back in Poland.
  • Earlier in Russian history, the Nordic-descended nobility of the Kievan Rus' gradually assimilated into the local culture as the empire evolved into the Eastern Slavic countries we know and love today: Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. Scandinavian settler populations likewise went native in France (specifically Normandy — the word "Norman" derives from "Norseman"), Britain, and Ireland.
  • The Magyarab people who live on the border between Egypt and Sudan are descended from 16th century Hungarian conscripts of the Ottoman Empire, which once encompassed both countries. Centuries of intermixing with Nubian women had made them separate from modern Magyars ethnically and linguistically (they are African-looking and speak Nubian Arabic, just like everyone else in the area), but to this day they and the people around them recognize that there is still something inherently foreign about them.
  • Bulgaria is named after the Bulgars, a group that started out ethnically Turkic or Indo-Iranian but merged with the Slavic population to the point where "Bulgar" and "Bulgaria" became something of an Artifact Title. This is in contrast with the lesser-known Volga Bulgaria in Russia, which maintained its Turkic identity until the Mongol conquest centuries later. Even today, Turkic ethnic groups (specifically Tatar and Chuvash people) constitute a majority in the Volga Bulgars' former lands.
  • Vlad the Impaler's younger brother Radu the Handsome spent his childhood alongside him in the Ottoman Empire, but unlike Vlad who always longed to return home, Radu ended up befriending Mehmed The Conqueror before becoming a leading figure of the Ottoman court and took part in The Fall of Constantinople.
  • In the 20th century in Washington, DC, it was dogma among conservatives that the State Department was a nest of liberals/communists. Every time a Republican president was elected, it was hoped that the new Secretary of State they appointed would set things straight down there. Much to their chagrin, however, it was invariably discovered that the new boss had instead taken on his subordinates' colors. He had Gone Native.
    • This is likely a problem of ideology not tracking reality. There was a feeling in Britain for much of the 20th century that the foreign office was cynical and conservative and similar disappointment when Labour foreign ministers were often seen to have 'gone native'. The truth is that most state department/foreign offices tend to be run along very pragmatic lines. If you are an ideologue/idealist of some sort—you think the state department should do more to dismantle and oppose communist regimes, or you think the foreign office should have a hand in ousting dictators regardless of whether we have 'friendly' relations with them—you're bound to be disappointed by a pragmatic approach and conclude foreign policy is being run by your ideological opponents.
  • J. Hudson Taylor, a British missionary in China, wore Chinese clothing, wore his hair in the Manchu queue, and spoke Chinese to be able to be better accepted by the Chinese public.
    • Matteo Ricci, Jesuit priest and missionary, also mastered the Chinese language (including its complicated writing system), wore Chinese robes and was the first Westerner to visit the Forbidden City.
  • The escaped convict William Buckley (no, not that one) spent several years living among Aboriginal Australians. The Australian Slang term "Buckley's chance" ("close to no chance") comes from his name.
  • Soldiers from any number of long-term occupying armies over the centuries have found themselves in settled lives, even marrying locals and having children, in the occupied countries. For example, it's on record that when the Roman legions were finally ordered back to Rome to defend the capital of the collapsing empire a lot of them quietly deserted to stay with their families.
  • William Adams also known as Miura Anjin, an English ship's pilot working for the Dutch who eventually became an adviser to Tokugawa Ieyasu and was responsible for setting up Dutch and English trading houses in Japan. He was officially made a samurai by Ieyasu and served as the inspiration for the Blackthorne character in Shogun.
  • Ely Parker, chief of the Six Civilized Nations, was an assimilated American Indian. He fought in the American Civil War and was with Grant at Appomattox.
  • Henry "Papillon" Charriere reportedly spent some time with a native tribe in South America after one of his escapes from a French penal colony. He made friends with the chief, adopted a local lifestyle and subsistence, and married two women with whom he fathered children. However, there are doubts about how much of the story is true as Charriere is suspected of combining tales from other prisoners with his own and outright making some parts up for drama.
  • There was a hilarious Transylvanian Internet meme in the form of a log that detailed a Hungarian politician becoming more Romanian with every entry, as indicated by his knowledge of the language improving, but his style becoming more raw and primitive. (As you might have guessed, the two groups don't much like each other.)
  • Lafcadio Hearn had a knack at this. Born in Greece to a local mother and an Irish father, he ended up traveling from Ireland to America, where he became a newspaper writer. After stirring up scandal by marrying a black woman, Hearn spent ten years in New Orleans, fell in love with its Creole culture, and through his writings basically created the distinct character of the city. In 1890 he wound up in Japan, and six years later had become a naturalized citizen under the name Koizumi Yakumo. He married into a samurai family and spent the last eight years of his life writing over a dozen books about the country, introducing Western audiences to Japan while documenting his new homeland's myths and legends at a time it was advancing into modernity. Though he's fairly obscure in the West, Hearn/Yakumo is still held in high regard in Japan. If you know him, it's likely because you read "The Boy Who Drew Cats" when you were a kid, or are a Touhou fan who got into the setting's supplementary material.
  • The Lombards, who conquered Italy in the 6th century, adopted Roman culture to the point that not even the Lombard language was spoken by the 8th century.
    • Same with the Manchus in China: they basically adopted Chinese culture and language, and even though many people in northern China claim to be ethnic Manchu, there are only about a dozen speakers of the Manchu language left.
  • The Native American woman Pocahontas adopted Christianity and English customs after being abducted by the settlers of Jamestown.
  • In reminiscence of a specific lord chancellor and archbishop of Canterbury who later paid his switch with his life, going native in a particular institution has been described as the "Becket effect" by economists (Thomas à Becket started his political career as a thoroughly loyal pawn of Henry II and a party boy. After his ascension to the archbishopric he became one of the Catholic Church's main champions in England, and an ascetic to boot). Generally, whenever a (supposed) pawn of a national government gets into a position like the European Commission or the European Central Bank, he quickly becomes a man of the club and ceases to be the lackey of his "principal", much to the chagrin of their promoters.
  • Hasekura Tsunenaga led an expedition to Europe in 1614 at the behest of Date Masamune on the European-styled ship San Juan Bautista/ Date Maru. These explorations were the first Japan had ever made to explore the world and went to many Christian nations. Date was a patron of Japanese Christians, while Hasekura and many of the men who served under him as the ships crew were actually Christian. At least five of these crew members would opt to stay in Coria del Rio, a small town in Spain, rather than risk persecution and death as Christians in Japan. Many in the town today claim to be descendants of the crewmen, who have taken up the surname Japón (Japan), and a statue of Hasekura stands there.
  • Steppe cultures like the Mongol Empire tend to do this whenever it forms an empire in settled lands. There are a number of reasons for this: the pasture is not suitable for their horses, the local culture is the only source of bureaucrats and siege engineers for further conquests, and the settled places are just plain rich and viands, concubines, and palaces are more fun than yurts. It is common though to maintain nominal deference to the Good Old Ways like building giant game preserves to hunt in or having horsetails as a flag.
    • As mentioned above, the Timurids did this twice: they were a Central Asian steppe empire that eventually assimilated into Persian culture in the 14th century, and then in the 16th century, a Timurid king conquered much of India, forming the Mughal Empire that assimilated into Indian culture.
    • Somewhat similar were the Magyar horsemen who settled into Eastern Europe. Their Hungarian descendants, while having long since adopted European customs and styles, still retain elements of their nomadic past, including their language.
  • Many immigrants or expats will find themselves doing as the locals do, taking up new languages, studying for citizenship tests, and adopting local customs as to fit in better at their new home.
    • A general rule of thumb in countries such as the US and Canada that have large immigrant populations is that the children born in their new home are, generally speaking, almost fully assimilated in the general culture, and their children certainly will be.
    • The Peranakan Chinese of South East Asia are typically descended from Chinese traders who settled in what was then the Spice Islands or the East Indies (Nanyang to the Chinese). After a few generations their customs and cuisine absorbed a lot of Malay influences, going native, although they do maintain distinct traditions based on their Chinese roots. Notably, this is in stark contrast to the later generation of Chinese immigrants to Malaya and Singapore that came during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who ended up maintaining their own distinct Chinese communities and languages to the present day due to colonial racial separation policies enforced by the British and the subsequent ethnic tension that would linger for decades.
  • There also exists inversions of this trope, where instead of someone assimilating into the local culture, the local culture assimilates into that someone: India being one such example with Turkic invaders.
    • In Britain, the Anglo-Saxons ended up assimilating the native Britons to their language and culture, absorbing the native Celtic culture in most what is now England around the 6th and 7th centuries CE, and even that was not exclusive - Cumbric, a Celtic language closely related to Welsh survived until the 12th century and Cornish survived until the 17th century. Speaking of Celtic, it's a little-known fact that it was the dominant language group of continental Europe before the turn of the 1st millennium BCE; before Germanic and later Romance languages displaced them.
    • Scythians/Sarmatians were the dominant culture of Central Asia and Eastern Europe before the 4th century CE, when East Slavic tribes conquered and assimilated them in Eastern Europe. They survived for a couple more centuries in Central Asia until the various Turkic and Persian kingdoms finally did them in.
    • Most parts of the modern Arab world didn't speak Arabic until the Arab conquests and spread of Islam in the 7th century. The Iraqis and Levantines (Syrians, Lebanese, Jordanians, Palestinians) spoke Aramaic, the Yemenis spoke Old South Arabian, the Egyptians spoke... Egyptian (well, Coptic), the Sudanese spoke Nubian, and the Maghrebis (everyone west of Egypt) spoke Berber.
    • What is now Turkey had underwent numerous changes to its main language. The population began to embrace Turkish in Eastern Anatolia after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, when the Oghuz Turks defeated the Byzantines. It should be noted that Manzikert wasn't quite the critical battle later Byzantine historians, and others who followed their lead, saw it as when looking for the point when their decline began, despite the fact that the Emperor was captured note  However, it was around that point that Turkish started being spoken widely in Eastern Anatolia. Before that, it was Greek-speaking in the west and Armenian-speaking in the east. They themselves were originally replacements of the Ancient Anatolians, composed of numerous Indo-European tribes unrelated to either, as well as other Bronze Age cultures speaking language isolates (the Hurrians being a notable example). Some of them were even Celts, oddly enough.
    • Something similar occurred in Pannonia; prior to the coming of the Magyars, the inhabitants there spoke various Latin and Slavic dialects. After the conquest, inhabitants of Pannonia started switching to speaking Hungarian/Magyar.
  • Wherever there is a frontier there are instances of Going Native back and forth. If the original cultures are strikingly different this can lead to some weird looking convolutions, like Indians with English names or fur hunters with Indian dress and Indian wives or mistresses.
  • The Pakeha Maori of New Zealand, early European settlers who lived amongst the Maori. Some were taken as slaves, others (such as Frederick Edward Maning) lived with Maori voluntarily, often for trade or religious reasons. A very few even received moko.
  • Zigzagged by India’s MARCOS (Marine Commandos). They wear beards while on deployment to Kashmir and learn the local language to operate effectively as a counterinsurgency strike team. However, since Kashmir is technically part of India, it isn’t so much “going native” as it is just “going local”.
  • Arthur Andersen accountants sent to verify the accounts of Enron had their offices in the Enron's building and were wholly integrated in the office life of Enron, participating to the evenings and the parties and acquiring their corporate values; this played an important role to explain why they didn't notice the books were cooked.
  • In the first and second World Wars, many African-American soldiers stationed in Europe elected to stay after the war was over due to Western Europe lacking the widespread racism of America, with France, Italy, and the UK being particularly popular due to interracial marriage not being as taboo as it was in the United States at the time.
  • Andre Cognat was a 23-year-old white Frenchman exploring South America when his canoe capsized in the Maroni River and some Wayana Indians rescued him. He decided to stay with the Wayana (who gave him the name Antecume), adopted their customs, and married a Wayana woman.
  • When Napoléon Bonaparte conquered much of Europe, he put many of his brothers on the thrones of client kingdoms, seeking to establish an international Bonaparte dynasty rivaling that of the Habsburgs. This backfired when he made his younger brother Louis the King of Holland. Instead of acting as a Puppet King like he'd hoped, Louis made genuine attempts to care for his new subjects and endear himself to them, styling himself as Lodewijk I, learning the Dutch language (during a speech he memorably called himself Konijn van 'Olland instead of Koning van Holland, i.e. the Rabbit of Holland), turning a blind eye to smugglers who traded with the English, and rebuffing his brother's demand to draft 30,000 men for his Grande Armée. Napoleon eventually became so fed up with him that he just annexed the Netherlands outright so he could rule it directly.

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