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Outside/Inside Slur

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SPAMBO: metal on the outside, meat on the inside.

Erik: You fucking doubled the rent on us, you coconut sellout.
Roberto: Hmm. Coconuts are delicious.
Erik: Well, you get it when you get it... potato.
Roberto: Oh, potato, oh yeah, well, okay, 'cause they're technically brown on the outside...
Erik: And white on the inside, like you, you punkass bitch.

In case you're wondering, this trope isn't about acquiring N-Word Privileges just to be able to insult another group from "within". The "inside" and "outside" here refer to individuals, not groups.

Alice tells Bob: "Outside you're X, but inside, you're (really) Y!" This means that Bob belongs to, claims to belong to, or at least seems to belong to group X but behaves like someone from group Y. This usually implies that Y is evil, intolerant of X, or at best mutually exclusive with X. Ultimately, this is a way to call Bob a phony.

Very often, especially when it's about race, this involves a comparison to a food item which is one color on the outside and another inside. Someone who's "Asian outside, white inside" might be called a banana (yellow skin, white inside), for example.

Often used to accuse someone of being a Category Traitor. Like N-Word Privileges, these can be applied teasingly between friends or toward oneself, but they're heavily context-dependent and can cause great offense if misused.

Compare The Whitest Black Guy, to whom such slurs are often addressed (see the Real Life tab for examples). Contrast Pretty Fly for a White Guy in which a member of group X considers himself to be a part of group Y though members of Y disagree.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Lagoon: Shenhua calls Chinese American Revy a Twinkie (yellow on the outside, white on the inside).

    Comic Books 
  • In Double Happiness, the (Chinese-American) protagonist complains that he's "such a twinkie" (yellow on the outside, white on the inside).
  • Top 10 has a robot deriding Joe Pi as being too human by calling him "Spambo", both referencing the real world "Sambo" -slur, and signalling "metal on the outside, meat on the inside".

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In one scene in Crazy Rich Asians, Peik Lin remarks to Rachel that the old-money Singaporean families see the latter as "a banana, yellow on the outside, white on the inside."
  • In Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Harold (who is East Asian) talks about being referred to as a twinkie — yellow outside, white inside.
  • Through Black Spruce: Annie calls Jesse a fake Indian, as he's living in the city with white friends in a modern, urban style, but she apologizes for it later (he doesn't care).
  • Variation in Wild Wild West. Here, Loveless is using "yellow" to refer, not to race, but cowardice.
    Loveless: Mr. West, although you are as black as the night on the outside... inside... you... are... yella!

  • When The Baby-Sitters Club went to summer camp, one of Jessi's cabin mates referred to her and Mallory as "Oreos." It may not have been meant as a racial slur (although Jessi took it as one), given that the insult was clearly supposed to include Mallory, who isn't black.
  • In Men at Arms, Big Fido, the A Nazi by Any Other Name leader of the Dog Guild confronts Gaspode and Angua and says "There's always an enemy. Everywhere. They look like dogs but, inside, they're not dogs." Of course, in Angua's case, this is literally true.
  • In Seveneves, Ivy Xiao, who commands the International Space Station, succinctly sums up her PR problem:
    Ivy Xiao: To American viewers, I'm not fully American. To Chinese viewers, I'm a banana.
  • In the Star Trek novel Spock's World, when a Vulcan points out that Spock is halfblood, Kirk spends a good few words pointing out his real meaning — namely, that because Spock is a halfblood, he's "a fake Earth person", not a Vulcan.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In All in the Family, Lionel Jefferson calls a real estate agent an "Oreo cookie", explaining to the Bunkers that it means "black on the outside, white on the inside". The insult backfires with Archie, who says "Yeah, he seemed like a decent guy to me, too."
  • A short-lived South African comedy series called The Coconuts focused on a suburban white family who get turned black by a sangoma when they set up their camper on sacred ground.
  • Gentefied: The Morales family calls their Latino landlord Roberto a "coconut" and a "potato"note , as they consider him a Sell-Out to rich, non-Hispanic landlords.
  • Used as a Stealth Pun in Kamen Rider Gaim; Baron's default banana-themed suit of armor is designed to look like a combination of samurai armor and European-style plate-mail.
  • Mystery Road: Jay gets insulted more than once for being a "coconut" (i.e. not really Aboriginal, but white on the inside) and related insults because he's a police detective who's accused of locking up his own people (most suspects in fact are white).
  • In Prime Suspect 2, the black British police officer Bob Oswalde is also called a coconut.
  • In an episode of Scrubs, Dr. Cox derides Turk for being whiter than he is.
  • In Veronica Mars, Hispanic students who excel in school are called Coconuts: brown outside, white inside.
  • In Vida, the protagonists, Mexican-American sisters Emma and Lyn Hernandez are frequently referred to as "coconuts" or "White-inas" because they previously left their neighbourhood, and later return to make major changes to their late mother's bar. Played for Drama, as the show addresses the many issues in the US Latino community, including racism, as is shown with the aforementioned slurs. Season 3 trailers show residents painting actual coconuts over Emma and Lyn's painting on the community mural to further protest the changes they made to Visa's bar.

  • Eminem:
    • Eminem's own rap name is a slur/boast of this kind. Names referencing whiteness were common for white rappers in the era (Snow, Miilkbone, Vanilla Ice...) — Eminem, who struggled to get credibility because of his skin colour, tried to pitch himself as the rapper who, like an M&M, had a white label stamped on him but was chocolate on the inside. Conveniently, it's also a play on the initials of his Alliterative Name.
    • Eminem also used this as one of his insults at The Source's then editor Benzino in his freestyle "Armageddon (The Invasion Part 3)":
      I got a riddle: what's little and talks big
      with midget arms and creamy white fillin' in the middle?

    Pro Wrestling 

    Video Games 
  • In Dragon Age, the nomadic Dalish elves call the elves who live among humans "flat ears" (denying their Pointy Ears and hence their elvishness) as they believe them to be little different from their human overlords.

  • A The Hero of Three Faces strip based on Angel has Gunn in his season 5 lawyer suit worrying that he's turning into an Oreo.
  • A close variant in Rusty and Co.: Rue Lily, a snotty elf, calls Roxanne (also an elf, but who was reared by humans) a "pilinyarro". Roxy describes it as elvish slang for porcupine, meaning "pointy on top, but round underneath", while gesturing at her own Pointy Ears.

    Web Originals 
  • Look to the West:
    • The Empire of North America's Liberal Party is symbolised by yellow, while the Mentian Party (i.e. socialists) use purple. In the 1920s, the cobrist faction (left wing) of the Liberals is known as the "Overripe Aubergines", because they look yellow, but they're really purple.
    • In the following decade, the Supremacist party (right-wing radicals symbolised by a buff colour) is largely taken over by right-wing establishment types who see the Patriots (sybolised by blue) as a lost cause. Traditional Supremacists call them "New York firemen", probably because that fire department wears buff protective coats over blue uniforms.

    Western Animation 
  • Inverted in American Dad!. Francine (adopted by Chinese parents) gets a sitcom about her stand-up act, and in the first episode, her sitcom parents express dismay at her white husband. When she protests "I'm white!", her sitcom mother says "You're a reverse banana — white on outside, yellow on inside!"
  • The Boondocks: Uncle Ruckus praises Tom DuBois for being an outstanding Oreo: black on the outside, white on the inside.
  • The Cleveland Show:
    • Freight Train complains that cops won't help black people, in reference to two cops who are both black.
      Freight Train: All cops are white on the inside!
      Cleveland: [cheerfully] Like an Eskimo pie, or a coconut!
    • In another episode, Cleveland calls Federline a "lame inside-out Oreo."
  • In the Drawn Together episode where Ling-Ling gets his "Asian eyes" fixed, Godzilla shows up and accuses him of being a "Twinkie": yellow on the outside, white on the inside.
  • King of the Hill: In "Orange You Sad I Did Say Banana?", Kahn's idol, Ted Wassonasong, calls him a "banana" (yellow skin, white inside), after which Kahn tries to get in touch with his Laotian culture.

    Real Life 
  • Oreo: Black on the outside, white on the inside. The most infamous of these slurs and most likely the inspiration for the following examples.
  • Reverse Oreo/"Uh-oh" Oreo: White on the outside, black on the inside. More commonly, "Wigger" (a portmanteau that requires N-Word Privileges to explain, 'nuff said).
  • The British confectionary-related version of "Oreo" is "Bounty Bar", referring to a coconut-filled chocolate bar that is white on the inside.
  • Coconut: Brown (Hispanic or South Asian) on the outside, white on the inside. "Potato" is also sometimes used the same way as "coconut."
  • Banana/Twinkie: Yellow (East- or Southeast Asian) on the outside, white on the inside.
    • "Egg" and "daisy" have both been used for the inverse, in a similar vein as "weeaboo".
    • Less commonly, Pencil: Yellow on the outside, black on the inside.
  • Apple: Red on the outside, white on the inside (for Native Americans).

Political Ideologies

  • "Melons" or "Watermelons":
    • Used by conservatives to describe Greens (green outside, red inside).
    • Also used by Greens to describe people they feel are just socialists/communists giving lip service to Green ideas because Green is "hipper" or politically safer than Red.
    • "Skittle bags": Green/red on the outside, rainbow on the inside. Activists/groups who promote LGBT issues, but latch them onto a more mainstream green/socialist platform. Much more common in Europe.
    • "Waterlemons": A pun on "Watermelon", someone who stylizes themselves as libertarian, while really being just conservative.note 
  • "Radishes", from communists for moderate leftists (red outside, white inside).
  • RINO (Republican In Name Only) and DINO (Democrat In Name Only), which also cross into No True Scotsman.
  • "Beefsteak" was used by Nazis to deride former socialists who they suspected of only joining the Nazis / SA / SS due to pressure: brown on the outside, red on the inside.
  • And the other way round: after World War 2, ex-Nazis joining the Austrian Socialists were called "Punschkrapferl" — outside red (or pink), inside brown.
  • "Chickenhawk" for a War Hawk who avoids military service, a common insult among both hawks and doves.


  • The giant statue of Christ built in Poland got some "concrete on the outside, empty on the inside" comments. (Actually, these are both bad as in Poland "concrete" is used to mean something unable/unwilling to reform, such as die-hards of the old regime.)
  • "Crunchie" is an (extremely mild and rarely serious) insult to intelligence, meaning brunette on the outside, but blonde on the inside. The term "Malteser" is sometimes used in the UK.