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Some very pretty Danish girls.note 

"My name is Inga, and I'm from Sweden,
I could fall in love with you!
If you meet me, on Ibiza,
I can show you how to party too!"
— Inga From Sweden, "My Name is Inga"

A sort of generic northern blend of the Faroe Islands, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. note  Everyone is liberal, blond and absolutely gorgeous. The streets are clean, the people are intelligent and creative, it always snows, they have Ikea and saunas, and the area pumps out an amazing amount of hot foreign exchange students (both male and female) with cute accents to tempt American high school students. The chances of meeting a pair of beautiful, buxom, blonde twins who won't rule out a Twincestuous threesome with any given tourist is uncannily high. Everything is ridiculously expensive by the standards of anywhere else (including the rest of Europe), but that's OK because higher education is free and so is health care.

Everyone either skis or snowboards and eats a lot of chocolate. About the only other thing anyone remembers is that LEGO was invented there. The region is also known for having a thriving metal scene (Black Metal in Norway and Death Metal in Sweden especially) and video game sector (Sweden especially makes many of the most popular modern video games, including Minecraft, the highest selling video game of all time).

On the rare occasions when negative stereotypes of Scandinavians are shown, the stereotype of choice is to portray them as painfully naïve. Finns (whose language is Uralic like Estonian and Hungarian, rather than Indo-European like most other European languages) are known to be violent when their Berserk Button is pressed.

Technically Icelanders and Faroe Islanders are not "Scandinavian" either, as the strict definition of Scandinavia is only Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The preferred term is "Nordic" which also includes Greenland and Svalbard. Icelanders and Faroe Islanders speak Scandinavian (AKA North Germanic) languages, however. Meanwhile, Greenland is owned by Denmark and has a long history of Norse settlement, but it, on top of being located in North America instead of Europe and not being Scandinavian, is mostly populated by the racially and linguisticallynote  different Inuit people, therefore it is more of an Eskimo Land than Nordic.

Going back a little farther in time, one might have seen the region crawling with Valkyries, Vikings and trolls.

Named for a certain port of The Lost Vikings II, which in turn is a reference to a Hitchcock film.

The Nordic Noir genre deconstructs this trope. Though Scandinavia is prosperous and well-organized, it is not devoid of crime.


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  • John Cleese made a commercial for the Norwegian Tourist Board. It's rife with stereotypes; the "everyone skiing" one is rather prominent.
  • The Swedish Bikini Team, who first appeared in Old Milwaukee beer commercials and became something of a pop-culture phenomenon in the early '90s.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Subverted in Hetalia: Axis Powers. While he is indeed handsome, tall and blond, Sweden is reserved and appears intimidating to those who do not know him well.
  • Baldr from Kamigami no Asobi is this kind of handsome. He has the blond look, and he and Loki both have braids.

    Comic Strips 
  • Hägar the Horrible. A few strips have suggested he's Norwegian, but mostly he's just a Viking, from Vikingland.

    Films — Animation 
  • Beowulf. More trolls, fewer Ikeas. The 2007 film even has Grendel speak Old English, and one or two references to "sea raiders".
  • In Frozen (2013), the kingdom of Arendelle appears to be on a Norwegian fjord. Anna and Elsa have a rather Nordic ethnic look to them. Kristoff is conspicuously dressed in Sami-style clothing and even has a reindeer as a best friend.
  • How to Train Your Dragon takes place in a setting astoundingly similar to earth but, according to Valka, definitely isn't, centered on the maybe-Iceland island of Berk. (The book version of Berk was based on the Viking Hebrides, which possibly partly explains the film version's accents.) Populated by Horny Vikings who believe in trolls and ride dragons that seem to populate the whole world.
  • Klaus: The island of Smeerensburg is loosely based on a Danish whaling outpost in the arctic circle named Smeerenburg that was abandoned in the 1600s. There's also a Saami settlement nearby.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • (500) Days of Summer:
    Rachel Hansen: Better that you find this out now before you come home and find her in bed with Lars from Norway.
    Tom: Who's Lars from Norway?
    Rachel Hansen: Just some guy she met at the gym with Brad Pitt's face and Jesus' abs.
  • In Earth Girls Are Easy, it's Finland that seems to be confused with Switzerland. The movie features a TV ad where two bikini-clad blonde women invite the viewer to come to Finland, whilst showing scenes of Alpine skiing and yodeling. While skiing is indeed quite popular in Finland, yodeling most certainly isn't. (Though Yoiks, traditional songs/singing techniques of the Samish, are often confused with yodeling by outsiders.) The aliens watching the ad ask if they're in Finland; host Valerie doesn't help matters by telling them "Finland is the capital of Norway!"
  • Ill Take Sweden a 1965 comedy starring Bob Hope, Tuesday Weld and Frankie Avalon about a trio of Americans encountering sexy Sweden. Yes, it's as bad as it sounds.
  • King Ralph features the King and Queen of Finland as minor characters. Unlike Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, Finland is not (and has never been, though there was a near miss in 1918) a monarchy. When questioned about it by the Finnish media, the film-makers claimed this was supposed to be an intentional lampshading of Hollywood Atlas.
  • Ulla Inga Hansen Benson Yansen Tallen Hallen Svaden Swanson from Mel Brooks's The Producers.
  • The ultimate subversion of this trope is probably Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal, which violates just about everything we associate with modern Scandinavia. Here, Sweden is a (literally) stuck-in-the-Dark-Ages theocracy with bleeding penitents and plague victims roaming around and a knight returned from the Crusades who's constantly brooding about death (understandable, since Death, is literally stalking him).
  • It's possible that the now mostly-forgotten Trope Maker for the portrayal of Sweden (and by extension the rest of the Norselands) as "sexy" was the 1968 Mondo film Sweden: Heaven and Hell. Now much more infamous for being the original source of The Muppet Shows' "Mah Na Mah Na".
  • Trading Places, the Sweden/Switzerland confusion is lampshaded in this conversation on the train on New Year's Eve:
    Ophelia: (in disguise) Hello I am Inga, from Sweden!
    Coleman: (disguised, more accurately, as a priest) But you're wearing...Lederhosen..?
  • Underworld: Blood Wars introduces the Nordic Coven, vampires who live in the far northern lands of arctic tundra. All of them have Mystical White Hair, which seems to be an exaggeration of Nordic blondness at first, but it's revealed that it is a side effect of their ritual to cross into the sacred world. Selene later undergoes this ritual, which dyes half of her hair white.

  • Terry Jones's book The Saga of Erik the Viking which lent its name but not its plot to Terry Jones's film Erik the Viking.
  • In Mike Nelson's Death Rat!, by Mike Nelson, a group of Danish agents pursue the protagonist at the behest of his rival. They are portrayed as brave, intelligent, and exceptionally capable in matters of surveillance and hand-to-hand combat, but woefully awkward, excessively proper, and prone to apologizing profusely for things like using "sauna" as both a noun and a verb.
  • The Backstrom novels about a useless and unappealing inept copper in Sweden, are set largely in Stockholm and via the appallingly racist and cloddish Ewart Bäckström, shed light on Swedish prejudices about everybody else — including a cast of immigrants and other Scandinavians from neighboring countries.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Many reviewers outside of Scandinavia have stated that the reason Never Wipe Tears Without Gloves struck such a chord with them was that it took place in Sweden. The story, which is based on experiences of the author Jonas Gardell, follows a group of gay men in the eighties when AIDS begins to spread and depicts society's fear of gay men in general and AIDS victims in particular, as well as the prejudice and harsh mistreatments and injustices that took place. According to many of the reviewers, this was all the more effective and moving because it took place in a country that is thought to be so liberal, open-minded and loving, because "If it was like that in Sweden, what was it like in our country?"
    • Since Sweden actually is (and was) one of the most liberal and open-minded countries in the world when it comes to gay rights it doesn't just play with the trope but really gets the message across.
  • Reboot (2022): Bree is a former duchess of the fictional Nordic country of Fjorstadt, which is portrayed as cold, sunless, and populated by dour people who smell like herring.
  • Welcome to Sweden is about the American main character moving to Sweden with his girlfriend, and he's the Funny Foreigner to the Swedes.
  • A pair of Swedish detectives are featured in an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. They are a tad Sarcasm-Blind, have a hard time following Peralta's irreverent sense of humor, and are perfectly fluent in English, Norwegian, Dutch German, French, Russian, and Finnish. But not Danish.
    Deputy Inspector Carlson: That is a garbage language for garbage people.


    Video Games 
  • Zig-zagged in Crusader Kings II. Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Iceland all have the norse culture in the early start dates but split up into Swedish, Norwegian and Danish in their corresponding de jure kingdoms from 950 onward, subverting this trope. However, if you happen to unite all these kingdoms in a united Scandinavian empire, they will stay Norse forever, thus playing this trope straight.
  • In The Elder Scrolls, the Nords, Tamriel's Proud Warrior Race of Horny Vikings, are firmly fantasy northern European in terms of their modern culture and their physical appearance (tall, muscular, fair-haired, pale-skinned). They have a cultural love of battling, as well as mead, feasting, and a strong bardic tradition. Their old religion (pre-dating that of the Imperial Nine Divines) also has many elements straight out of Norse Mythology, particularly the Warrior Heaven of Sovngarde. Their first names are typically pulled from medieval Norse while they have badass sounding clan names or sobriquets, such as Arkming the Flayer, Ulfgar the Unending, Else God-Hater, Falk Firebeard, Frofnir Trollsbane, Aldi Winterblade... the list goes on and on... Their homeland of Skyrim is cold and untamed while being full of vicious wild animals and other threats. Their ancient culture has a number of other influences as well (Hinduism and Ancient Egyptian Mythology), making it more Culture Chop Suey though still heavy with Norse elements.
  • Parodied in Saints Row, when a radio show spoofing NPR has a couple of guys talking about illegal immigrants to the US... from Norway, and their stereotypes of them are deliberately ridiculous.
  • The Witcher has Skellige, a Culture Chop Suey of Norway, Ireland, and Scotland acting as a Fantasy Counterpart Culture to the Norse–Gaels who settled in Great Britain during the Viking Age.

    Web Animation 
  • Averted with Tord in Eddsworld, who doesn't fit the typical stereotype—he's got brown hair instead of blond, he's average-to-passably cute looking rather than being inhumanly sexy (unless you ask the fangirls, of course) and he's a violent weapon fanatic.

    Web Comics 
  • Scandinavia and the World manages to zigzag this trope. The comic shows the Nordic countries' stereotypes of each other rather than the Hollywood stereotype of them and goes out the way to show that the countries have their own distinct cultures.
    • Out of all the characters, Sister Sweden plays this trope the straightest, although that's possibly not the best word choice in this context.
    • Iceland and his sister are beautiful, although Sister Iceland is rather flat.
    • A sauna makes an appearance in one comic and is referenced in another.
    • The comic's creator dives headlong into the trope in this unrelated piece.

    Western Animation 
  • Metalocalypse does this too, having both Sweden and Norway appear like this in their respective episodes. With Skwisgaar and Toki hailing from said countries, it makes for several related jokes. Especially when Skwisgaar's mother appears. They also burn down Finland and kill the Queen of Denmark (whom Skwisgaar thinks is Dutch).
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated plays this trope straight. The gang meets a single mother with three beautiful daughters named Inga, Ola and Heidi. None of them can speak. They just walk around, be overly hospitable and cry if they believe they offended their guests in the slightest. They aren't even the Big Bads of the episode for crying out loud.
  • In Season 20 of South Park, the country of Denmark plays a big role. After South Park's local internet troll skankhunt42 (real identity: Kyle's father Gerald) harasses a Danish volleyball player and breast cancer survivor to the point that she kills herself, the whole country declares war on internet trolls, citing the old Scandinavian troll myths. Interestingly enough, Denmark was referenced in an earlier season in the episode "Canada On Strike", and the Danes are called "the Canadians of Europe" (even being drawn the same way as the Canadians are; in Season 20, the Danes are drawn like regular people).
  • Foreign Exchange Student Gustav from Star vs. the Forces of Evil claims to hail from the country of Scandinavia, where "vikings teach gym class, and everyone has a pet penguin". It eventually turns out that he is an American pretending to be Scandinavian so he can refine his meatball recipe.
  • Vicky the Viking
  • Detentionaire has Holger, a tall, blonde Camp Straight Swedish exchange student. While unfailingly kind and loyal, he's also quite the Cloudcuckoolander.

Alternative Title(s): Hollywood Scandinavia, Scandihoovia