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Land of Tulips and Windmills

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"'The Netherlands', 'Holland', whatever you call it, it's the home of wooden shoes, tulips, and the world-famous windmills. And let me tell you, this place is flat. Flat as a pancake. You wanna build a bowling alley, well, this is the place."
CHIEF, Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?, "The Stolen Smile"

This is the Hollywood Atlas version of the Netherlands, particularly Holland, when it is depicted in media. A green, flat country full of polders, dikes, pastures, and ditches. There are fields of tulips, grazing cows, and probably some windmills in the background (but hopefully no mountains; the Netherlands is one of the flattest countries of the world and notoriously largely below sea level; its highest point is the Vaalserberg, but it's only 300 meters tall, so not a mountain by anyone else's standards).

The people wear traditional Dutch rural clothing: a long sleeved button up shirt, pleated pants, a neck scarf and a capped hat for men; and a long-sleeved ankle-length patterned dress, aprons and a triangular cloth hat for women. Both genders are required to wear clogs, a type of wooden shoe used to wade through wet soil. Temporally, the whole country seems to be stuck somewhere between the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries.

This whimsical, chaste depiction of the country is curiously opposed to the other common depiction of the Netherlands as a giant Freestate Amsterdam, a haven of iniquities such as drugs and prostitution.

As the trope names implies, it makes very heavy use of Windmill Scenery.

See also Oktoberfest for the similar retroactive depiction of their neighbors the Germans. See also Yodel Land, the Swiss equivalent.


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    Comic Books 
  • The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck: During a Travel Montage showing Scrooge's business dealings around the world, there's a panel where he's in the Netherlands with a windmill in the background. Somehow he managed to sell the locals wind.
  • Wonder Woman (1942): Diana gets across just how numerous the windmills of Zarikan are by exclaiming that it has more windmills than Holland. The fictional middle eastern country also seems to have a lot of blonde women wearing their hair in long plats with ankle-length patterned dresses and aprons, drawing much of its visuals from the popular idea of Holland.

    Fan Works 
  • The Black Sheep is a Discworld fic set mainly in the Discworld equivalent of Holland. As might be expected in an Original Flavour fic taking its cue from Terry Pratchett's parodies of real world countries and (more importantly) states of mind, all the associations of Holland are dropped in the bag, shaken up, and tipped on the table to see what comes out. Windmills, clogs, tulips, canals, a national tendency to smoke strange tobaccos in smoky coffeehouses, a language described by the unkind as the product of an untreated throat infection, and that bland tasting cheese with the chewy red rind (which nobody ever tells you that you aren't supposed to try and eat). They're all there. Oh, and a semi-misunderstanding relationship with colonial cousins in, er, "Africa", who speak broadly the same language, and in that time and place have somewhat illiberal social ideas. Next door to "Sto Kerrig" is a strange border region where "sto helit sprouts" are cultivated and a related language called "Phlegmish" is spoken.

  • In Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter Parker takes a brief, unplanned detour to the Netherlands that's largely played for laughs. Everyone he meets, including the police and local Football Hooligans, are models of kindness, he cannot pronounce anything, people wearing traditional Dutch attire walk by, and in one scene, he's literally standing in a field of tulips while a windmill spins in the background.
  • The Windmill Massacre is about a group of tourists on a sightseeing tour of windmills that goes horribly wrong. Dutch stereotypes are both played straight and horribly subverted.


  • "A Windmill in Old Amsterdam" is a 1965 hit by Ronnie Hicks. It contains many of the stereotypes as it is about a mouse in clogs who lives in a windmill in Amsterdam.

    Theme Parks 
  • Nelis' Dutch Village in Holland, Michigan is built around this trope.

    Video Games 
  • In Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, there's an entire level dedicated to this trope: Flight of Fancy. It takes places in the Dutch town of Kinderdijk, with a full compliment of windmills, flowerpots full of tulips, fields full of hay stacks, and even a leaky dike. Two of the three flavors of mooks in the level (hares and rams) wear wooden clogs.
  • Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium: The Kinderdijk stage has a few windmills.
  • Tekken: The Netherland Stage in Tag Tournament 2 takes place in a field of tulips with windmill and is appropriately named Tulip Festival.
  • Mario Party 7: Windmillville is inspired by Holland, and features you investing in windmills in a tulip-filled meadow full of Koopas in embroided dresses and caps. Other features include flowers you can hop on and a cheery bucolic atmosphere.
  • Mario Kart 7: Daisy Hills gives off serious vibes of this setting, with windmills, flowers and an overly cheery, rural flair. It is mixed with some alpine, Austrian motifs as well.
  • Mario Kart Tour: In addition to bringing back Daisy Hills, the game also has the racetrack "Amsterdam Drift", which has the players race in both the city of Amsterdam and its outskirts; and as you might expect, they are filled with windmills, grassy mountains and flowers. Rosalina even gets a Voldendam costume, which is traditional Dutch clothing from the town of Volendam. The course was later added to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as DLC.
  • One level in Twisted Metal 2, "Field of Screams", is in Holland. It is by the far the smallest level in the game, taking place in a single flat field with only two destroyable windmills for landmarks.
  • The Kingdom of Firene in Fire Emblem Engage is heavily inspired by Holland, with a very strong emphasis on its beautiful flowers and vegetation. Oh, and there are windmills everywhere. The Firenese also wear clothing very reminiscent of the traditional Voldendam costumes

    Western Animation 
  • South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut: During Cartman's performance of "Kyle's Mom is a Bitch", there's a segment where he and the other South Park elementary boys are depicted as people from around the world. The Dutch (singing gibberish like the other nationalities depicted) are shown in traditional clothing with windmills in the background.
  • Alfred J. Kwak: Alfred's home country Great Waterland is an affectionate caricature of the Netherlands (the creator is Dutch), largely composed of polders. Alfred even lives in a huge clog. While generally pretty accurate, this does not prevent the show from introducing the occasional sudden waterfall. Running OUT of the country, no less.
  • Futurama: In "Crimes of the Hot", Morbo and Linda report on a turtle migration to Holland.
    Morbo: Morbo wishes these stalwart nomads peace among the Dutch tulips.
    Linda: At least all those windmills will keep them cool.
  • The Puppetoons short "Tulips Shall Grow" is an allegory of the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands, with the two main characters a boy and girl depicted in traditional Dutch clothes cavorting through tulip fields.
  • Classic Disney Shorts: "In Dutch" has Pluto the Pup delivering milk in a typical Dutch town and trying to stop a dike leak.
  • Mickey Mouse (2013): "Clogged" is set in Holland, with Minnie in a peasant costume working on her tulip garden and trying to fix the windmill that waters it.
  • Being Ian: In "The Curse", Ian had a flashback of an incident in the Netherlands involving him hiding from girls wearing traditional clothing who are trying to capture him in a cloudy background filled with tulips and windmills.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Hollywood Holland, Tulips And Windmills


"Flight of Fancy"

The entire level dedicated to this trope. It takes places in the Dutch town of Kinderdijk, with a full compliment of windmills, flowerpots full of tulips, fields full of hay stacks, and even a leaky dike. Two of the three flavors of mooks in the level (hares and rams) wear wooden clogs.

How well does it match the trope?

3.67 (6 votes)

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Main / LandOfTulipsAndWindmills

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