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Rambunctious Italian

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Italians and people of Italian descent in fiction tend to be very loud, very passionate, and very Hot-Blooded people. They are temper prone and get mad easily, but are very nice towards their friends and family. They may-or-may not be involved in The Mafia or some sort of street gang. Even if they're not, they give off a tough demeanor.

In a fighting team, Italian characters may be a Boisterous Bruiser, although another stereotype is that Italians tend to be the Miles Gloriosus or a Guile Hero whose skill at talking exceeds their combat abilities.

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This something of an Evolving Trope. Early iterations of this tended to portray Italians as fast-talking con-men whose loudness was a cover for various schemes. Later on, as movies about The Mafia became popular, depictions of Italians as more violent, easily angered thugs with passionate relationships. A newer variant has Italians (particularly men) whose emotion goes along with being effeminate. In any case, these characters will be loud, argumentative, and gesticulate a lot. And lead-footed.

Often overlaps with Funny Foreigner, particularly if paired with an outrageous accent. There's also a lot of overlap with Brooklyn Rage and Joisey due to a lot of Italian-American characters being from either Brooklyn, the Bronx, or New Jersey. Compare to Spicy Latina and Jews Love to Argue.


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Examples:

Anime & Manga

  • Heavily inverted in Gunslinger Girl. Despite taking place in Italy, the characters are as far from stereotypical Italians as can be. They're very unemotional, unaffectionate, and stoic, especially in the original anime adaptation. While some of this has been chocked up to the writer being more accustomed to Japanese mannerisms, it also has an in-series reason as well: All the cyborgs are Child Soldiers and their handlers try not to become attached to them. On top of that, the entire cast is extremely troubled.
  • An inversion happens with Bambino (the Seinen manga as well the TV Dorama adaptation), in which Japanese owners of Italian restaurants as well some of their clients act under this stereotype.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia: South Italy is tough-talking and foul-tempered, not to mention associated with the mafia. However, North Italy is an energetic Big Eater Ditz. They're both flirtatious and expressive though.
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Comic Books

Fan Works

  • Elsa's future wife Cristina from the Frozen fic The Cut of Your Love Never Hurts, Baby is unafraid to speak what's on her mind, to the point of rudeness. She arrives to Arendelle angry about being forced into an Arranged Marriage. Cristina doesn't try to make it seem like she likes Elsa or the idea of their marriage.

Film — Animation

  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • Restauranteur Tony and his cook Joe in Lady and the Tramp are stereotypical Italians. Tony in particular is very short-tempered, blowing up at Joe on more than one occasion.
    • Stromboli in Pinocchio is very volatile, jovial one minute, menacing the next.
    • Inverted with Vinnie from Atlantis: The Lost Empire. Despite being the team's explosives expert, he has a laid-back Deadpan Snarker demeanor.
  • Madagascar 3: Downplayed with Stefano the sea lion, who speaks with a strong Italian accent. He's not at all tough or fiery-tempered, but he is quite a bubbly Large Ham.
  • Cars:
    • Luigi from Cars is an ambitious, talkative car tire salescar with an Italian accent. This is contrasted with his employee Guido, a forklift who doesn't speak much beyond a few Italian words.
    • Francesco Bernouli from Cars 2 engaged Mater in witty banter before Lightning McQueen took over from Mater and bantered back until Francesco was provoked into a rant in Italian that the newscasters censor-beeped.

Film — Live Action

  • Franco from The Gumball Rally spares no time in slipping into this. As soon as he shows up at the garage where the race is starting, he gets into a spirited argument with Michael Bannon, culminating with him shooting Bannon with a water pistol. However, he is on friendly terms with his teammate Smith. As for expressiveness:
    Franco: And now, my friend. The first rule of Italian driving. (grabs the rearview mirror and breaks it off its mount) What's-a behind me is not important.
  • In the story within a story of The Fall, The Black Bandit's Multinational Team/Five-Token Band includes an Italian who is a powerfully built Boisterous Bruiser and a Demolitions Expert who is always a little disappointed when he doesn't get to blow things up with his bombs.
  • Sonny Corleone from The Godfather is a passionate, impulsive, and aggressive Jerk with a Heart of Gold who deeply loves his family.
  • In Green Book, Italian-American "Tony Lip" is a smooth hustler able to talk his way out of any situation. He's also a tough guy not afraid to bust a few heads if he needs to. He talks pretty much constantly while driving, much to Dr. Shirley's consternation, and his whole family is loud and emotive.

Literature

  • In Death on the Nile, Signor Richetti is the living epitome of this trope, as he's very passionate about archaeology. It's later revealed that it's all an act, as he's actually a dangerous criminal of mixed descent (non-Italian).
  • Played with in The Man in the High Castle with Joe, who acts very much like a stereotypical working-class Italian guy. He's actually a Nazi assassin.

Live-Action TV

  • In Everybody Loves Raymond, the Barone family of Lynbrook, Long Island, New York, are anything but quiet. Any gathering of the extended Italian-American Barone family is marked with noise, drama, excitement and old family feuds unearthing; and the two families who have married into the Barones, the Whelans and the McDougalls, both admit they are horribly inhibited and reticent by comparison.
  • The Confalones from Odd Squad are brothers who own a restaurant. They are nice but often fight with each other, though it is shown they really do care about each other.
  • Laverne & Shirley: Carmine was nicknamed "The Big Ragu" and he entered and exited every scene singing "You make me go from rags to riches" at the top of his lungs.
  • The Sopranos Tony Soprano is an aggressive, belligerent and short-tempered Italian-American.
  • Due South: The Vecchio family is loud, with members often talking over each other at the dinner table.

Radio

  • Tom and Ray Magliozzi, a.k.a. Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers from Car Talk. Rarely does a minute go by on the show without them making fun of listeners, cars, callers, cars, their families, cars, and especially each other, usually prompting both of them and usually the caller to burst out laughing.

Video Games

Web Original

  • The Italian animator and voice actor ThePruld produces Machinima that milks the hell out of this trope. Particularly in his Dark Souls-based videos, the contrast between the melancholy of the canon source material and the energetic gesticulation and dialogue it is used for is jarringly funny.

Western Animation

  • Roxanne "Roxy" Pelligrini from Jem is the "tough girl" of The Misfits (though she's actually more docile than Pizzazz in terms of temper). She was raised in Philadelphia, ran away from home as a teenager, and joined a street gang. Roxy played the role as Pizzazz's Beta Bitch until season 2 introduced The Sixth Ranger Sheila "Jetta" Burns, who was an Evil Brit who got along extremely poorly with Roxy due to their similar personalities clashing. Roxy is The Lad-ette out of her group and also yells a lot of her dialogue.
  • Family Guy: This trope has been used several times by Italian people. In one episode, a Trigger Phrase to awaken KGB sleeper agents is "Boy, that Italian family across the table sure is quiet" (since it's something nobody would ever say accidentally).
  • In the Dexter's Laboratory episode "Lab on the Run", three of Dexter's robots escape and fall in love with a fancy car that belongs to an Italian man. When they touch it and set off the alarm, he screams at them and runs downstairs in his underwear to catch them, leading to a Car Chase as he chases after them in the car while shouting "I'm-a gonna call the cops on you-a bots!"
  • Code Lyoko: The meaningfully named Odd Della Robbia is the Lyoko Warriors' Cloud Cuckoolander and rabble-rouser, loaded with snark and a love of pranking.
  • In Terrytoons' The Three Bears, the bears are given stereotypical Italian accents and mannerisms and are often shown arguing amongst each other. Papa Bear in particular is a Large Ham, freaking out when he finds that Goldilocks tasted his pasta. ("SOMEBODY TOUCH-A MY SPAGHET!")
  • Miraculous Ladybug: Lila Rossi and Gina Dupain are the two known Italian characters, and they and the latter's relatives (that include even series' protagonist Marinette) are easily loud, passionate and extremely hammy... With Lila bringing back the old con-woman side with extreme effectiveness (Tikki, who has lived for millennia, admits Lila is the best liar she has ever seen).

Real Life

  • Chico Marx always played Italian characters who were fast-talking, argumentative hustlers, talking his way in and out of tight situations with equal success.
  • Bud Spencer was commonly known for having this stereotype in the movies he was part of, especially the non-Spaghetti Western ones like Watch Out, We're Mad! with Terence Hill, where Bud was a Boisterous Bruiser.
  • Televised political debates in Italy typically look like this on a good day.

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