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Syldavia: best known for its fezzes, Cyrillic writing, and unpaved roads.

"Is Aldovia supposed to be the Austro-Hungarian Empire but if World War I never happened, or if just Vienna had continued to truck along with a king after the Treaty of Versailles? ... Is it supposed to be Romania? Maybe it's Moldova? If so, I really need some explanation about what happened under the Soviet Union and how the royal family of Aldovia was invited back to the throne after the fall of the Iron Curtain, not only as figureheads but as people with real, actual power."
Kelly Faircloth reviewing A Christmas Prince

Ruritania is a generic name for any archetypal fictional country located in Central Europe or the Balkans (mostly anywhere east of Germany and west of Russia). This country is characterized by its small size, backward or quirky customs, and forests full of Savage Wolves and bears. It is often the home of the Funny Foreigner.

The name comes from Anthony Hope's 1894 novel The Prisoner of Zenda, and the concept originated about the same time; the idea itself was at least partially inspired by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which was popularly (and inaccurately, for the most part) regarded by Western Europeans as an incompetent backwater. This thinking spurred an entire genre, known as the Ruritanian Romance (which is derived from Chivalric Romance, not the love story meaning of Romance). At that time and in most early 20th century depictions, Ruritania had a royal house. The King actually did something, the Prince was dashing, the Princess was dazzling, and the headgear was quite frankly ridiculous. The kingdom was forever being schemed against by a lot of dastardly usurpers or anarchists, and was a source of tension amongst the Great Powers. That last bit was unfortunately true, with Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire to an extent, playing the real-life role. Although it is worth noting that where most examples of this trope are set in the Balkans or Eastern Europe, the original Ruritania was wedged between Germany and Bohemia and had a Germanic-style culture.

Between the wars, the typical Ruritania became slightly less primitive. Wolves, bears, and superstitious peasants still abounded, but automobiles had been introduced and the army now had tanks and planes, with which it prepared a bloody revenge on its neighbours. The royals were still around, if a bit less powerful and wealthy than before, their robes a bit threadbare, but are now being schemed against by even more dastardly fascists and communists. When WWII rolled around, Ruritania was likely occupied by the Germans or was possibly itself an Axis power. In either case, brave Ruritanian partisans equipped with formidable beards, old WWI-era guns and Improvised Weapons kept up a heroic struggle against tyranny without forgetting their true enemy — the treacherous village on the other side of the valley. After the war, many Ruritanias became Commie Land and continued to be a lurking place for Dirty Communists, either Soviet-backed parts of the Iron Curtain or home-grown.

With the coming of Hole in Flag revolutions, Ruritania has pretty much reverted to what it started with; ludicrous hair, ethnic strife, poverty, and backwardness. The most noticeable changes are that the monarchy is (usually) gone, replaced by a mock democratic republic run by some unsavoury generals, ex-communist strongmen, or corrupt bajillionaires who made a profit off the privatization waves that came with re-establishing a market economy, while the Great Powers are now acting through NATO or the UN. Everyone still seems to hate their neighbours, the anarchists may still be around, or they may have mutated into terrorists or plain old gangsters. In recent years, they would have to deal with refugees from Syria or a Qurac substitute, and the citizens will either welcome them with open arms or close their borders. Nonetheless, nationalists will spring up causing ruckus all over the country, with fears of a Eurabia not felt since the Ottoman days.

With any luck, contemporary Ruritania might be a part of the EU, causing more trouble for its finances than Greece, Spain, and Ireland taken together — and in any case, the only international attention Ruritania seems to get occurs during the Eurovision Song Contest, which it wins frequently and handily thanks to votes from the Ruritanian guest workers omnipresent in rich Western European countries.

If a place shows some of the characteristics of Ruritania, but is also full of vampires in old castles, werewolves, Mad Scientists in crumbling mansions, and other Fantasy or Horror genre tropes, you've strayed over the border into Überwald. We hope you brought some garlic and don't leave the hotel room at night.

Tourists who venture into Ruritania who have their wallets or luggage stolen will find that the police are ineffective and have out-of-date gear and uniforms. Even after the clueless junior officer types the report with a 1960s typewriter — maybe a dusty beige box running Windows 95 if they're in a really touristy area — the police will be mostly focused on the pointless filling in and stamping of additional forms. In a nod to their former Soviet bloc history, police and border guards may wear surplus greatcoats and carry old AK-style assault rifles.

Oftentimes, The Old Country and the Quirky Neighbour Country is a Ruritania or an Uberwald.

Compare with Toros y Flamenco, Spaghetti and Gondolas, Commie Land, Oktoberfest, Kaiserreich, Yodel Land, Überwald and Glorious Mother Russia, which are theme-park versions of other parts of Southern, Central and Eastern Europe.

Banana Republic, Bulungi, Qurac, Countrystan, and Tropical Island Adventure are similar Latin American, sub-Saharan African, North African/Middle Eastern, South and Central Asian, and Caribbean/Oceanian/Southeast Asian settings, respectively.


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  • Discover's advertising includes a bearded Ruritanian man calling himself "Peggy", who acts to mock their competitors' overseas call centres.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The Republic of Militaria in Eyeshield 21 (introduced for the World Cup arc) seems to be like this, except, naturally, with a strong focus on its military.
  • Iono the Fanatics is a two-issue Girl's Love manga whose whole plot is about an Ordinary High-School Student being pursued by the Lovable Sex Maniac queen of a small and obscure European nation. In fact, it's implied at several points that the queen's obsession with having a massive (several thousand strong) harem of women is partially responsible for the traditional poverty associated with Ruritania — one part the economic drain of having to support hundreds of women who live lavish lifestyles but basically do nothing but lounge around, have sex and otherwise amuse themselves, one part the implication she's already taken most, if not all, of the women in the country as her courtesans.
  • Izetta: The Last Witch has the Principality of Eylstadt, which is based on the real-life Austria. True to this trope, they're mostly an agricultural society stuck in the late 18th century at most, and their armed forces lack sufficient amounts of modern weaponry. The Germanian Empire ends up wanting to annex them thanks to their strategic location, being directly north of their ally the Romulus Federation.
  • Katri, Girl of the Meadows: Palki village (rural Finland) is a lighter variant of this trope, as it's snowy and beautiful with a tight-knit community.
  • Lupin III: A few miscellaneous Ruritanias have been featured on the various Lupin III TV series. Notable movie examples include:
    • The Duchy of Cagliostro from The Castle of Cagliostro. Lupin states that the country is 'Ruritanian' when they first enter it, along with it being the smallest UN nation (population: 3,500). However, unlike usual examples of the trope, Cagliostro is located somewhere between France and Italy, and its culture is a mixture of the two.
    • Vespania from Lupin III vs. Detective Conan, contains expected first-world technology, but remains much less developed and less economically powerful than other countries. A new mineral found only in their country is stolen by Lupin.
  • Meine Liebe is set between world wars in a lovely noble monarchy on a non-existing island in the Bay of Biscay which lives as if it was still XIX or even XVIII century.
  • The Royal Tutor is set in the Eastern European kingdom of Granzreich.
  • Sailor Moon actually named its fake countries D Country, with its Nerd Glasses-wearing princess simply named Princess D, and U Country, with its... vampire ambassador. No doubt D Country is the original home of Master-D. In the anime, there's also the Amethyst Kingdom, where apparently, the concept of money doesn't exist.
  • Spy X Family, the story takes place in a vaguely European nation called Ostania, with a longtime rivalry against Westalis. They're trying to prevent a war from breaking between the two. The map of the border between the two nations, and the time period the setting takes inspiration from (60’s to 70’s), makes it very reminiscent of Eastern Germany and Western Germany in a Cold War era conflict, despite English being the official language of Ostania/Westalis their names (East) and (West) are dead ringers to the potential reference.
  • Yoshiki Tanaka's novel Apfelland Monogatari, adapted into manga and an anime OVA, was explicitly written as a Ruritanian story and features numerous appropriate tropes such as an Edwardian setting and Great Powers rivalry. Apfelland itself is stated to be located at the crossroads of the German, Russian, and Austro-Hungarian empires. However, as the name suggests, Apfelland is clearly a German-speaking country which is borne out by most of the characters having German names.

    Audio Dramas 

    Comic Books 
  • Achille Talon has the Zotrland, a German-speaking monarchy whose main export is beer and that is constantly on the brink of civil war.
  • The Adventures of Tintin feature Syldavia, a kind of Balkan Belgium menaced by its warlike neighbor Borduria. Borduria stands in for Nazism in Tintin: King Ottokar's Sceptre and for Stalinesque Communism in later stories. Syldavia is an atypically detailed version of Ruritania with its own flag, royal dynasty, historical events, and even a language created by Hergé. The made-up language, despite being written in Cyrillic script, was, remarkably, not Slavic but a dialect of Flemish/Dutch with some curious phonetics. In Tintin: Destination Moon, it becomes the setting for a fictional space program. In Tintin: The Calculus Affair, Syldavia and Borduria are struggling in a secret war for Calculus' device. The consul of Poldavia (see under Real Life) makes a brief appearance in Tintin: The Blue Lotus.
  • Bart Simpson episode "From Lichtenslava with Love" and "Pen Pals" make a reference to the East-European country Lichtenslava.
  • In Black Bishop, the titular agent's girlfriend Marisia hails from Vastal, a tiny breakaway kingdom in Estonia. Of course, after Marisia is kidnapped by extremists, BB learns that Marisia is actually the princess of that nation, or would be if she hadn't fled to avoid getting caught up in her family's scheming.
  • In The DCU:
    • Markovia, ruled by Prince Brion Markov, who is also the superhero Geo-Force. A bizarre case because, while it's referred to as eastern European and portrayed with all the Ruritanian tropes... it's shown to be located between France and Luxembourg.
    • For a while after the "Our Worlds at War" arc, there was the Soviet breakaway state of Pokolistan, ruled by the human version of General Zod.
    • A Mythology Gag brought up repeatedly in the four-part Justice League/Avengers intercompany crossover. The JLA members in particular are nonplussed about the absence of many of their universe's Ruritanias and fictional cities.
      Green Lantern: [upon landing in Costa Verde] This Earth may be smaller than ours, but they still have room for countries we don't have!
    • Superman: Ruritanias were very common in both The Golden Age of Comic Books and The Silver Age of Comic Books. The first appearance of Lex Luthor was in a 1940 comic in which he was revealed to be the mastermind behind a war between fascist Toran and peaceful Gallonia.
    • The first storyline in Justice League of America (Rebirth) features several of them, all pre-existing (although mostly not previously established in current continuity): Mostly set in Kravia (from '90s Nightwing) and its neighbour Gardevia (from Batman and Robin Eternal), it has one scene in which Havok threatens the leaders of Markovia, Pokolistan, Slovekia (the pre-Flashpoint Lord Havok's Latveria counterpart) and even Kaznia from the DC Animated Universe.
  • Carl Barks' and Don Rosa's Disney Ducks Comic Universe have Brutopia, an obvious name-changed version of the USSR.
  • The G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (Marvel) comics has Borovia. Interestingly, as the Marvel series ran from the early eighties to mid-nineties and there were several years between stories set in Borovia, its political development ran pretty much lock step with what was happening in the real world, starting as a Soviet bloc country, then gaining independence, followed by very unstable internal conditions.
  • Also appears in several Mickey Mouse Comic Universe:
    • In Floyd Gottfredson's classic "The War Orphans" (1944), Mickey helps two kids from a Ruritanian country threatened by the Nazis.
    • Gottfredson's earlier "Monarch of Medioka" (1937) basically repeats the story of the Prisoner of Zenda with Mickey replacing "Prince Michael."
    • Romano Scarpa's "Mystery of Tapiocus VI" (1956) finds Mickey helping out the amnesiac king of Mazumia, another Ruritanian country.
    • In a more modern story, Mickey and Goofy travel the small country of "Schnitzelstein" to catch a thief, but Mickey forgets that he isn't a well-known detective in Schnitzelstein, and cannot simply walk into a police office and demand their cooperation; he gets Goofy and himself wanted as criminals.
    • Casty's recent "The World To Come" finds Mickey and Eega Beeva engaged in intrigue with the country of Illusitania, which is shown on a map as being located near Medioka and Mazumia.
  • The Marvel Universe has several, most notably Doctor Doom's homeland of Latveria.
    • Depictions of Latveria itself run the whole gamut described above, from 19th-century throwback to violence-torn post-Commie Land. Doom's own proximity to the country seems to influence this; when he's in residence, it tends toward the primitive. Doom being Doom, he may well have a Medieval Stasis beam in his castle.
    • Latveria's next-door neighbor Symkaria, which exists mostly as a base for the Sablinova family's assassin company, the Wild Pack. They hold annual diplomatic dinners. In 21st-century comics, Symkaria and Latveria are constantly on the edge of war with each other.
    • Slorenia, which was invaded and obliterated by Ultron.
    • Vorozheika, a former Soviet republic. When last seen it was ruled by rogue Eternal Druig, although its status since Druig returned to the Eternal fold is not known.
      Come ski in Vorozheika. Also shoot bears.
    • Nightcrawler once rescued a woman named Judith Rassendyll, who turned out to be the queen of Ruritania (Uncanny X-Men #204).
    • To some extent, the portrayal of real Central and Eastern European countries in Marvel comics can verge on this — it can be only a small step from Oktoberfest to Ruritania. Germany, apart from Berlin, for instance is generally portrayed in older Marvel comics as a mostly rural place rife with superstitious villagers and sinister looming medieval castles. Giant-Size X-Men #1, for example, opens in the village of Winzeldorf that "has hardly changed over the centuries", apparently to such an extent that they haven't even installed street lighting. Culturally, the place where Mystique gave birth to Nightcrawler, lorded over by a local baron, resembles part of prewar Europe. Pre-Franco-German War, that is.
  • Another Disney example, Belgravia from Paperinik New Adventures and Double Duck.note 
  • A Richie Rich comic once featured a country called Insignifica, a land so small that it could be bought with two unique coins minted for the royal family, the tallest of whom was considered rightful heir to the throne.
  • Soulsearchers and Company has Pastramia: a land primarily inhabited by picturesque tribes of roving gypsies.
  • Spirou & Fantasio visit the country of Bretzelburg, a faux-Austrian military dictatorship which borders another imaginary country of faux-Italian flavor, Maquebasta. It is probably a faux-Liechtenstein, a very tiny monarchy located between Austria and Switzerland.
  • TV 21, the comic which tied in to various Gerry Anderson shows, had the country of Bereznik which acted as a recurring source of antagonists. This country was apparently carved out at some point in the 21st century from various real-life countries following the fall of the Soviet Union.
  • Wonder Woman: Black and Gold: "Espionage" is set in the fictional Eastern European of Modora. Modora is also the home of Green Lantern villain Sonar and appeared in several old Green Lantern stories.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dilbert:
    • The imaginary Third World country of Elbonia, which according to Word of God, it represents the American view of any country without cable TV: they wear fur hats and wallow around in waist-deep mud. They're also an entire nation of idiots, who have animals in their government and fight wars over handedness (as in, left vs. right).
    • There is also the occasional mention of the neighboring country of North Elbonia, which is just like Elbonia but with an even worse government that is downright evil instead of merely stupid.
    • Incidentally, the strips which introduced Elbonia described it as an Eastern European country that had recently changed from communism to capitalism (this was written around the time of the fall of the Soviet Union). This backstory appears to have been Retconned away in subsequent strips.
  • Lower Slobbovia is a communist Ruritania that plays a large role in many Li'l Abner plotlines.

    Fan Works 
  • Referenced in If They Haven't Learned Your Name when Sam Wilson refers to his current location somewhere in rural Russia as Central Buttfuckistan, because the last four places he's stopped at had no idea what macaroni and cheese was.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic oneshot fanfiction, Adored, the Changeling Kingdom is a straight-up allegory to Tsarist Russia. It is a mountainous, winter beset country, overwhelmingly populated by a large and extremely poor peasant population who are ruled over by an extremely rich, but incompetent and inept autocratic monarchy. Queen Chrysalis is essentially the Tsar; incompetent, having little grasp on the reality of her subjects' suffering, living in an extravagant palace.
  • The Powers of Harmony has the small town of Transylmane in the Hollow Shades region of Equestria.

    Films — Animation 
  • World Grand Prix competitor Rip Clutchgoneski from Cars 2 hails from the newly independent "Republic of New Rearendia".

    Films — Live-Action 
  • An American Pickle: Herschel Greenbaum leaves his country called "Schlupsk" for the USA. It's clearly meant to evoke Central or Eastern European countries that had lots of shtetls (towns with large Jewish populations) before World War II.
  • Austin Powers features a nuclear warhead being stolen from the country "Kreplachistan", indicated by Dr. Evil to be a breakaway Russian republic. Kreplach is a Yiddish word for small dumplings.
  • The Beautician and the Beast has Slovetzia, a communist kingdom Ruritania, ruled by dictator Timothy Dalton. The Nanny introduces Eagleland values to him, like freedom and democracy, the whole country is stunned, adopt Eagleland osmosis and the dictator falls in love with her. The End.
  • The 1982 film adaptation of Evil Under the Sun is set on an island resort in the Adriatic kingdom of Tyrrania (apparently Albania). The source novel was set in Devon.
  • Borat note  turns Kazakhstan into a Ruritania as a satire on how first-world citizens view foreign, third-world countries. The country is depicted as a cartoonish backwater, with cars drawn by donkeys and absurdly intolerant local customs. It diverges from the stereotypical Dirty Communist atheism or fanatical Catholic or Orthodox Christianity, though: Islam being Kazakhstan's majority faith, the religious attitudes among Borat's people are more in line with what you'd find in a more secularly run Qurac, while Borat himself is a pagan who claims to "follow the hawk." The scenes were actually filmed in a Romani village in Romania. The people of the village didn't take it with much humor when they heard what the actual movie was about. The only real Kazakh in the movie appears in the village as Oksana. The Kazakh language featured in the film is all other languages, depending on the speaker. Borat speaks mostly Hebrew with some Polish thrown in. Azamat speaks Armenian. The villagers speak Romanian. All "Kazakh" signs and captions are in Polish, when they're not just gibberish created by typing English words into a keyboard set for Cyrillic letters.
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has Vulgaria. It is as much Prussian as Ruritanian.
  • Civilization is a 1916 anti-war film set in the nation of Wredpryd, which is obviously (spiked helmets, upturned mustaches, submarine warfare), supposed to be Germany.
  • In DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, White Goodman mentions that team Purple Cobras' resident Fran Stalinovskovichdavidovitchsky hails from the country of Romanovia, where Dodgeball is the national sport.
  • The Marx Brothers movie Duck Soup (1933) has Freedonia, land of the brave and free! In a clear-cut case of Western Imperialism, the wealthy Mrs. Teasdale insists running dog Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho) be appointed President in return for half her husband's fortune to avoid an impending liberation by neighboring Sylvania. (It's not clear whether this is the same Sylvania portrayed in the 1929 film The Love Parade, in which Maurice Chevalier plays a wealthy Casanova-type who becomes prince consort to Sylvania's Queen Louise.)
  • In EuroTrip, Bratislava is presented as such, with bleak, post-Soviet urban decay and overblown stereotypes of post-collapse Eastern European poverty.
  • The Expendables 2: The Sangs' territory in Eastern Europe is largely this. It's said to be Albania (or at least that's where the Expendables originally land), but the language is identified as "a cross between Ukrainian and Bulgarian dialect." (And their leader's native language is French).
  • The Expendables 3: Played even more straight with the imaginary country of Azmenistan. We don't get a lot of details about it, but it's corrupt enough that the main villain, an arms dealer, not only uses it as a home base but is able to use the country's army as his personal fighting force.
  • In Final Score the Big Bad and the man he's searching for are respectively the general and former leader of a failed revolution in the Eastern European country of Sakovia.
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel is set in the fictional Central European country of Zubrowka (named after a well-known brand of Polish flavoured vodka), the seat of an empire before a conflict (described by director Wes Anderson as an amalgamation of WWI and WWII) with its "neighbor to the north" breaks out in late 1932. The Empire of Zubrowka quickly falls due to government and military incompetence, endures a short-lived but imperious occupation, becomes the Republic of Zubrowka, and is overtaken by a Communist regime in the 1940s. By the modern day, the former Republic of Zubrowka is a quiet Alpine backwater. Zubrowka itself was designed as a representation of pre-WWI Austro-Hungary, with Lutz, its capital city, intended to be Vienna, Prague, and Budapest "all rolled into one". Hence, it's closer to the original (i.e. Germanic or "Habsburg-influenced") concept of the Trope Namer than many other examples.
  • The Great Dictator: Tomania, Fictional Counterpart to Nazi Germany, Bacteria, Fictional Counterpart to Fascist Italy, and Osterlitch, Fictional Counterpart of Austria.
  • Carpania in The Great Race. Magnificent castles, peasants who provide crowds but are otherwise completely irrelevant, beautiful nobles who specialize in dancing at gorgeous parties, scheming royalty, and a completely nut-case leader. Oh, and pies: lots and lots of pies.
  • In The Hunt, Croatia is presented as a hellhole where it's relatively easy for a group of high-powered liberals to kidnap American citizens and hunt them for sport, with the army and police indifferent and apathetic to what little of the plot they hear about, and even the ambassador is in on the Hunt. Probably.
  • Infinity Pool: Li Tolqa is a fictitious Eastern-European backwater country with quirky local customs and a corrupted, barbaric justice system.
  • Charlie Chaplin's 1957 comedy film A King in New York begins with King Igor Shahdov being deposed by a revolution in his distinctly Ruritanian East European country, fleeing to the United States only to discover his securities were embezzled by his Prime Minister.
  • In Koenigsmark/Crimson Dynasty (1935), Grand Duchess Aurora is forced into marriage with the much older Grand Duke Rudolph, who mysteriously "dies abroad". Aurora returns to her castle and duchy, where she falls in love with her husband's nephew's French tutor. War between France and the eastern empire or federation breaks out. Caught between divided loyalties and a dynastic struggle, what is Aurora to do? Takes place mainly in a Bavarian-style castle surrounded by wolf-haunted forests. Based on a novel by Pierre Benoit, it was made in both English and French.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe has Sokovia, a tiny fictional Balkan nation with HYDRA operations, and home to Pietro and Wanda Maximoff.
    • It's first depicted in Avengers: Age of Ultron, as a fairly obvious copy of Serbia, perhaps a break-off territory equivalent to Kosovo but populated by ethnic Serbians; its name is a cross between Kosovo and Serbia, all the signs are in Serbian Cyrillic, the buildings are possessing of an architectural mix of toned-down European-style facades with concrete buildings, and per Scarlet Witch's backstory it experienced civil war sometime in the mid to late '90s. Its flag is a red-white-blue tricolor (only vertical, like the French or Romania flag) with an eagle at the center. Generally the country is also notably more backward, with a restive population hostile towards the Avengers and the USA in general. It appears to be a mashup between the twins' comic book home country of Transia and the nation of Slorenia which Ultron massacred. Its capital is called Novi Grad, which in real life is the name of a city in the Republika Srpska entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
    • In Civil War, a common dish in Sokovia is stated to be chicken paprikash, which is a Hungarian dish that's also very popular in the Serbian region of Vojvodina owing to the multicultural history of the region (which historically had a large Hungarian minority). Also in Civil War, it's noted that Zemo comes from Sokovia, where he was a colonel in the "EKO Scorpion black ops unit", which operated during an unknown conflict in Sokovia and apparently behaved quite brutally. Scorpion was also the name of a Serb black ops unit during the Yugoslav Wars, involved in war crimes in Bosnia.
    • WandaVision: A Cutaway Gag to Pietro and Wanda as children shows Sokovia as an exaggerated stereotype of life on the other side of the Iron Curtain: a little old lady gives the kids a dead fish as a Halloween treat while gunfire can be heard in the distance. Two men try to disassemble a car for parts. Wanda notes that she doesn't remember Sokovia like that. Since this Pietro is a fake, she's probably right.
    • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier reveals Sokovia had nobility, of which Helmut Zemo was a part of. It's also confirmed that following the events of Age of Ultron, Sokovia as a nation was dissolved and absorbed by neighboring countries.
  • Both the 1925 version and the 1934 version of The Merry Widow are set in fictional tiny Eastern European principalities, Monteblanco in 1925 and Marshovia in 1934, countries tiny enough that one widow taking her fortune abroad is Serious Business. See Theatre below for the original opera.
  • The largely forgotten W.C. Fields classic Million Dollar Legs (1932) takes place in Klopstockia (chief exports: goats and nuts: chief imports: goats and nuts: chief inhabitants: goats and nuts). The country's out of money and the President's (W. C. Fields) own cabinet are plotting against him. American salesman Migg Tweeney (Jack Oakie), who's fallen in love with the President's daughter Angela (Susan Fleming, later Mrs. Arthur (Harpo) Marx), notices a lot of champion-level athletes among the general population. Since his boss (George Barbier) plans to give huge financial grants to Olympic gold medal winners, Tweeney arranges to have Klopstockia entered in the 1932 Games. In the opening scene, we see that Klopstockia is 56km from Haustpeff. Both this film and Duck Soup were produced for Paramount by Herman Mankiewicz.
  • The Duchy of Grand Fenwick in The Mouse That Roared.
  • The unnamed country in the 1978 UK-Canadian mockumentary drama Power Play. The whole plot starts with a coup that tries to overthrow the local People's Republic of Tyranny that ruled the country until then.
  • In The Prince and the Showgirl, the titular prince is the prince regent of a fictional Balkan country called Carpathia.
  • The Princess Diaries: The tiny European kingdom of Genovia (a stand-in for Monaco).
  • Concordia in the Cold War comedy Romanoff and Juliet, a postage-stamp European nation that has been conquered and liberated so many times that its citizens "are nominally the freest people in the world", and every day is an Independence Day of some sort. (In the original stage version, the country is not named.) Fiercely determined to maintain neutrality during the Cold War, the prime minister ended up playing matchmaker between the Russian ambassador's son and the American ambassador's daughter. Concordia is the ass of the UN; at the UN roll-call, all the nations are called in alphabetical order, with a note on the bottom of the page, "P.S. And Concordia." The country could be a parody of Tito's Yugoslavia.
  • Parts of Scream and Scream Again are set in an unnamed eastern European country that greatly resembles East Germany.
  • The country of Strackenz from Royal Flash, a movie explicitly parodying Hope's The Prisoner of Zenda and its imitations.
  • In The Smiling Lieutenant, the lieutenant is forced to marry the daughter of the king of a tiny Germanic principality called Flausenthurm.
  • The 1940 film The Son Of Monte Cristo takes place in the Balkan kingdom of "Lichtenburg", where the good Princess Zona (Joan Bennett) suffers from the advances of the unscrupulous dictator, General Gurko Lanen (George Sanders). The eponymous hero (Lewis Hayward) leads the revolution in the guise of "The Torch."
  • The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg is set in an obviously Germanic little kingdom called "Karlsberg" around the beginning of the 20th century.
  • In Steven Spielberg's The Terminal, Victor Navorski comes from the fictional East European country of Krakozhia. Though the Krakozhian language is actually Bulgarian.
  • Trouble for Two: A twofer, as the crown prince of Corovia hurriedly leaves the country for England when he's told he's going to be wed in Arranged Marriage to the princess of Irania.
  • You Nazty Spy - A The Three Stooges short has Moronika, which stands in for Germany in the Moronika for Morons!
  • The Black Room is set in a barony in Tirol in the early 1800s. The nearest major city is Budapest.

  • Agaton Sax: This detective drama spoof featured the Balkan (and apparently Communist) republics Brosnia and Mercegovina. The eponymous detective starts his career by stopping counterfeiters from wrecking the Brosnian economy. Brosnian criminal mastermind professor Anaxagoras Frank is a regular bad guy, and the author, who loved to play with language, gives us several examples of "Brosnian".
  • The American government textbook American Government by Wilson and DiIulio contains a hypothetical scenario in which you are asked how you, as a journalist, would deal with inside information about terrorists from Ruritania.
  • The Asterisk War: Various maps place Julis's homeland of Lieseltania on the southeastern border of Germany, the real-life location of the Czech Republic. In fact, it's implied it used to be the western half of Czechia: it used to be part of the Holy Roman Empire and was given de jure independence by the integrated enterprise foundations in exchange for access to its Manadite resources, though it is de facto an IEF Puppet State.
  • Mixolydia is a Slavic Ruritania invented by Angela Thirkell for her Barsetshire novels. In the novel "Cheerfulness Breaks In," set in the opening year of World War Two, Barsetshire has to accommodate a number of refugees from Mixolydia, all of whom are various foreigner tropes. We learn that the local religion is Orthodoxy, and they have a long list of hereditary enemies among real-world nations. The name is a word-play on the mixolydian mode or scale in music.
  • The plot of the Bernie Rhodenbarr novel The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart has the creatively named kingdom of Anatruria stand in for Malta for references to The Maltese Falcon and for Czechoslovakia for references to Casablanca. Due to the tone of the aforementioned films, Anatruria is Played for Drama.
  • The 1938 novel Biggles Goes To War features two Ruritanias: small, peace-loving Maltovia and bullying larger neighbour Lovitznia. Maltovia is situated at the eastern edge of Europe, north-east of the Black Sea (which would place it in present-day Russia or Georgia). It is described as a small principality with palace intrigues, traitors in high places, and attempted coups. Despite the location, the Maltovian characters have German names, perhaps because it's a former part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Though the novel can be read as a parallel of the German takeover of Austria, it's the Maltovians who are Germanic while the Lovitznians appear more Slavic, which seems more like a warning about the Red Menace than about Nazi expansionism.
  • The Chalet School series has Belsornia, a fictional kingdom located somewhere in the Balkans, near Italy, where the state religion is Catholicism (as opposed to Orthodox Christianity). The king's granddaughter, Elisaveta, is the titular princess in 'Princess of the Chalet School'' and subject of a kidnapping conspiracy by her father's evil cousin, Prince Cosimo. In the World War 2 era books, Belsornia is invaded by the Nazis and Elisaveta and her family are forced to flee, and she becomes a Fallen Princess who works as a cleaner to survive and takes on the name of 'Mrs Helston' (Helston being her mother-in-law's name). After the war ends, Belsornia becomes a republic and is annexed by the Soviet Union.
  • The Enid Blyton novel The Circus of Adventure has the fictional kingdom of Tauri-Hessia.
  • An unusual example can be found in the city-state of Besźel, one of the title cities in China Miéville's The City & the City. It's described as being bustling and economically prosperous in the '80s but decayed and backwater in the current day, overtaken by its neighbor city-state, the Istanbul analogue of Ul Qoma. What's so unique about Besźel and Ul Qoma is that they occupy the same space. The citizens of one city are taught from birth to completely ignore the existence of the other, setting up much of the book's plot.
  • A College of Magics and When the King Comes Home feature a cluster of small countries that were each a duchy in the old-time Kingdom of Lidia before it fell apart. Most of them (including Galazon, the heroine's homeland in A College of Magics) are still duchies, but Aravill promoted itself to a kingdom (and is considered jumped-up by its neighbours).
  • Dashiell Hammett's Continental Op novella This King Business is a weird genre hybrid that puts a hard-boiled detective into a The Prisoner of Zenda-style plot.
  • Borogravia from the Discworld book Monstrous Regiment.
    • The posthumously published Compleat Discworld Atlas hints at Borogravia, Zlobenia, Mouldavia, and a patchwork of semi-autonomous statelets in Far Überwald being a kind of embryonic "Russian Federation" coming together, at first, as an "economic co-operation zone".
  • Calbia, from the Doc Savage novel The Kingmaker.
  • Avram Davidson's stories of Dr. Eszterhazy are set in the Empire of Scythia-Pannonia-Transbalkania, the "Fourth largest empire in Europe." It's pre-WWI Austria-Hungary turned up to 11, and a recurring theme in the stories is that any change will likely plunge the whole place into bloody chaos.
  • The Duchy of Strackenz in Royal Flash (Vol 2 of The Flashman Papers). This is something of a mobius example because, in-story, Anthony Hope based The Prisoner of Zenda on Flashman's account of his exploits in Strackenz.
    • And developed as a sideshow of the Real Life issue of Schleswig-Holstein; the languages spoken are Danish and German.
  • Of all places, a Filipino epic poem depicts one, as in the Tagalog-language Florante at Laura, set mostly in a dramatised medieval Albania and surrounding places like Greece (essentially the Balkans in general) during The Crusades.
  • "The Loyal Traitor", in G. K. Chesterton's 1930 book Four Faultless Felons, takes place in the mythical Teutonic kingdom of Pavonia (<L., pavo, peacock).
  • The fictional country of Ravka in The Grisha Trilogy is based on Tsarist Russia.
  • Graustark from the novels of George Barr McCutcheon.
  • Harry Potter:
    • The Durmstrang Institute of Magic possibly exists in a Ruritania with Eastern European and Germanic overtones. It's never stated exactly where it's located. One student explicitly hails from Bulgaria, while the headmaster and another student have Russian names. Former student Gellert Grindelwald has a Hungarian first name and German surname. The name "Durmstrang" is a fairly obvious play on the German phrase "Sturm und Drang."
    • According to the Manual, JRK "thinks" (but isn't certain; the location is very secretive, you know) Durmstrang is actually in Norway or Sweden, which fits very well with Viktor Krum's description of the school. Then again, a later Pottermore map places the school in either Russian Karelia or the Baltic countries.
    • Fans (particularly from Eastern Europe) have presumed that if there was a wizarding counterpart of important geopolitical events like WWI and WWII, there must have been one of the Cold War. If that were true, a school in a Western country full of Eastern European students wouldn't make sense, so it must be located in Eastern Europe instead.
  • Robert Musil's "Kakania" (from the term "K.u.K.") wasn't so much based on the Habsburg Empire. Rather, it pretty much was Austria-Hungary. He proceeds to describe how strange, unappreciated and unflattering it was. In the end, however, he realizes that Kakania/Habsburgia had an underlying order that betrayed a stroke of genius.
  • Bram Stoker's The Lady in the Shroud features the Land of the Blue Mountains, an alternate version of Montenegro.
  • Samavia in The Lost Prince by Frances Hodgson Burnett is one of the last hurrahs of the pre-WWI romantic Ruritania. It's somewhere on the far side of Austria-Hungary from England, but the one time its precise location is given it is expressed in terms of the countries Samavia shares borders with, all of which are just as fictional as it is.
  • Lutha in The Mad King by Edgar Rice Burroughs is a small kingdom tucked in between Serbia and Austria-Hungary.
  • From austrian author Fritz von Herzmanovsky-Orlando's novel Maskenspiel der Genien comes the Tarockania, a thinly-veiled stand-in for Austria.
  • Vystrana in A Memoir by Lady Trent is a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of a generic Eastern European country (although one that practices pseudo-Judaism).
  • The fictitious travel guide Molvanîa: a Land Untouched by Modern Dentistry is about one of these. Molvanîa itself is probably better known on the Internet as the home country of pop singer Zladko Vladcik (played by the book's co-writer Santo Cilauro) of Elektronik Supersonik fame.
  • Many Michael Moorcock works feature the fictional Central European state of Waldenstein and its capital Mirenberg to a greater or lesser extent, although it's quite a lot more culturally and artistically sophisticated than the usual Ruritania.
  • The Duchy of Grand Fenwick, a tiny European country about the size of a small town, in the Mouse books by Leonard Wibberley. It defeats the United States in a war in The Mouse That Roared (which it intended to lose); beats the U.S. and Soviet Union in a space race in The Mouse on the Moon; and disrupts the world's finances in The Mouse on Wall Street. In a medieval prequel, Beware of the Mouse, he gives more background on the founding of Grand Fenwick. Here Grand Fenwick is located between France and Switzerland, and the population is English.
  • Nick Velvet: In "The Theft of the Crystal Crown", Nick is hired to steal the symbolic (but valueless) glass crown of the Kingdom of New Ionia. New Ionia is a constitutional monarchy on an island between the southern tips of Italy and Greece. The island is 50 miles long and 25 miles wide with one major city. It also has a lot of strange customs, as is to be expected in a Ruritania, and Nick's theft has the potential to completely overthrow the social order.
  • Splotvia in the Nursery Crime series. In keeping with Jasper Fforde's fondness for Anachronism Stew and Retro Universe, it was a monarchy until the 1990s, and then became a socialist republic at around the same time as the Soviet Union was collapsing.
  • Andre Norton's first novel, The Prince Commands, took place in "Morvania" in the early 1930s. The Air Force consisted of one barely-flyable plane, and horse cavalry was still a viable force because machine guns were rare and armored cars or tanks not available. The conspirators against the throne included a Communist agitator; the old king had been a brutal tyrant; and the rightful new king, after dodging an assassination attempt, was Faking the Dead and pretending to be a bandit chieftain, rebel, and werewolf. Despite its small size, the place was apparently strategic enough that the main character, newly designated as Crown Prince, had to make state appearances in Paris, London, and Berlin on his way to Morvania (he'd grown up in the U.S., and ignorant of his heritage, too).
  • However, the literary Ur-Example of "Ruritanian romance" is found in Robert Louis Stevenson 1885 novel Prince Otto, featuring the alpine country of Grunewald.
  • In The Mysteries of Paris by Eugene Sue (1842-1843), the hero, posing as a lower-class Parisian worker, is actually the Duke Rodolphe, of the imaginary Grand Duchy of Gerolstein.
  • Genovia in The Princess Diaries book series is a fictitious European Principality, however it is more Mediterranean than Eastern European. It's a teeny place (1 mile long, with a population of 50,000) which is supposed to be between France and Italy (reminiscent of Monaco, or, maybe, Seborga) or between France and Spain (like Andorra) in the movies where it's a Kingdom. It's pretty nice, if a bit dull.
  • The Trope Namer is the fictional country from Anthony Hope's novel The Prisoner of Zenda, which was published in 1894 and inspired a whole genre of "Ruritanian Romances." There's some evidence that Hope intended Ruritania to be a No Communities Were Harmed version of Romania rather than a generic East European country, having done rather a lot of research, but it was hard to tell unless one happened to have done as much research as he did and overlooks that he placed Ruritania not in Eastern Europe, but smack in between Saxony and Bohemia, two of what then were some of the most advanced industrial regions in Central Europenote .
    • There is also a fair bit of Unbuilt Trope at work. Most later Ruritanias tend to be small, backwards, and, at least in the early imitations, idyllic. Stephenson's Ruritania was a decent-sized (the capital city is large enough to have a cathedral and is described by Londoner Rassendyl as a "great city") modern (if not particularly socially progressive) country which played a pivotal role in European history on a number of occasions, and which was plagued by public order problems, deep socio-economic divides, having an absolute monarch who was neither particularly well-liked nor particularly competent and internal squabbling in the royal family bringing the nation to the brink of civil war.
    • As a Shout-Out, Ruritania is mentioned by name by both Evelyn Waugh (in Vile Bodies) and P. G. Wodehouse (in several works), both portraying the "ex-King of Ruritania" living in reduced circumstances in London. One Wodehouse story mentions the ex-king as visiting Nice with the Prince and Princess of Graustark (below).
    • Shirley Jackson gives it a little nod in Life Among the Savages when she describes how her husband and son started collecting coins and would frequently receive in the mail heavy little packages with coins from Ruritania and Atlantis.
  • The Former Soviet Autonomous Region of Krassnia in The Restoration Game by Ken MacLeod. The book is mostly set in the present, in which Krassnia is a bit of the Georgia/Chechnya border with its own language and dreams of independence, but has extensive Flashbacks to Krassnia under the Soviets in The '30s and The '80s and as part of the Russian Empire in The Edwardian Era. The name is a Shout-Out to an allegory by J.B.S. Haldane, in which the Republic of Krassnia has "materialism" as a state religion, and this very much informs the character of MacLeod's Krassnia.
  • Used by name in Philip José Farmer's Riverworld book The Dark Design as one of the millions of tiny states along the great River.
  • The main character of Rose Tremain's The Road Home hails from an unnamed Ruritania whose location is never given to any more precision than "Eastern Europe". It is generally considered to represent Poland - the story was loosely based on accounts of Polish migrant labourers - but doesn't resemble it very much.
  • Rule 34 by Charles Stross features two: Krygzystan, a former Soviet state which has severe financial problems, but whose current president is a very intelligent economist; and Issyk-Kulistan, formerly part of Krygzystan, until it was given independence against its will and also saddled with 80% of the national debt and Mob 2.0 connections in what turns out to be a very complex scam based on "What if we did the subprime mortgage thing, only with countries? And made the victims gangsters, with international law enforcement's blessing?"
  • Damon Runyon:
    • In "The Big Umbrella", the king of a nameless Ruritania gets deposed by a military coup and winds up in New York with no money. (A character remarks that this is happening so often nowadays that ex-kings are becoming something of a nuisance.) This particular ex-king gets a job as a prize-fighter, which gives him some useful skills and acquaintances when he goes to get his throne back.
    • In "Gentlemen, the King!" a group of Philadelphia gangsters are hired to go to a (rather Yugoslavian) Ruritania and assassinate the king.
  • Simon Templar aka The Saint spent much of his early career fighting the villainous Crown Prince Rudolf - whose country is never named but who gives a distinctly Ruritanian impression.
  • The plot of the Agatha Christie novel The Secret of Chimneys is about the murder of the prince of the Balkanic state of "Herzoslovakia", and the identity of the next in line for the throne. Many plot elements are (probably deliberately) reminiscent of The Prisoner of Zenda.
  • In the murder mystery novel A Shilling for Candles by Josephine Tey, there are several mentions of a fictional Eastern European nation where several different ethnic groups are simultaneously fighting for independence. It turns out that one of the suspects has ties to the independence movement, and lied to the police about his movements on the day in question because he was involved in dubiously legal activities on its behalf.
  • Subversive Activity is set in 1875 in Maldona, which occupies a small peninsula east of Greece and west of Turkey.
  • The Tin Princess by Philip Pullman is a Ruritanian romance that takes place in the fictitious little kingdom of Razkavia (near Germany).
  • Brungaria in some of the Tom Swift books (e.g. Tom Swift and the Galaxy Ghosts).
  • Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies just went ahead and named its version "Ruritania". The ex-king is a minor character who appears at a party and misses his old pen, which had an eagle on it.
  • Barrayar in Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga book series is basically a planet-wide Ruritania. The planet was settled by Russians, Greeks, French, and English, with Russian culture dominating. Take a multi-cultural interstellar colony, add several centuries of dark ages, and shake.
  • James Hogan's Voyage From Yesteryear has Baluchistan, a tangentially-mentioned (and surprisingly extant, though only as a region in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran, and not a state) battleground for the US and USSR.
  • Wallachia as seen in the Whateley Universe. Supervillain Lord Paramount took it over and crowned himself Prince of the country. Wallachia is a real place, nowadays a geographic region of Romania. It was formed as a principality in the 14th century, an independent nation ruled by a prince.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 30 Rock episode "SeinfeldVision" reveals the existence of two European countries that only rich people know about: Svenborgia and Grenyarnia.
  • One episode of the Danish political drama Borgen centres around the visit of the president of Turgisia, a former Soviet republic with a dubious human rights record.
  • In the introduction to one episode of Canada's Worst Driver Ever, host Andrew Younghusband says that he was doing some reading on "the driving practices of the Volvovian tribe who live in Southern Truckcaristan.''
  • Carry On Laughing!: Pluritania, from the spoof of The Prisoner of Zenda.
  • Spoofed in Castle: A murdered spy was supposed to assassinate someone from a country called the Republic of Lovania, but a quick Internet search reveals that no such country exists. The murder victim turns out to have been taking part in a "spy vacation."
  • The long-running soap opera Days of Our Lives had an often villainous family, the Alamains, who were royalty from a small European country named Alamania. In an aversion, it's actually implied to be somewhere around France, Germany, and/or Switzerland (and Alemania, with an 'e', is the Real Life name of Germany in Spanish), but the country is often depicted as so impoverished, autocratic, and corrupt that it might as well be a former Soviet Bloc country.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Peladon, the setting for "The Curse of Peladon" and "The Monster of Peladon" has Ruritanian elements. The technologically premodern and tradition-bound planet of Peladon, which still has a monarchy nevertheless has great significance to the galactic powers, given its natural reserve of trisilicate.
    • "The Androids of Tara" takes place on a Ruritanian planet called Tara, where aristocrats fence with electrified swords.
  • Family Tree: Luba comes from Moldavia, which is treated as Ruritania. She frequently discusses bizarre beliefs and customs from her home country.
  • One episode of Forever features a Ruritania called Urkesh. Henry saved its prince decades ago before the monarchy was overthrown in a violent revolution. When the prince, now an old man, dies in New York, Henry investigates and discovers that he was poisoned. Henry's phrase to the deceased's wife after finding out who he was indicates that the people of Urkesh speak Russian. A scene at an Urkesh restaurant indicates that they use Cyrillic.
  • Several episodes of Get Smart featured the Balkan nation of Coronia, which was so much a Ruritania that the episodes it appeared in were a retelling of The Prisoner of Zenda.
  • Slaka from the British series The Gravy Train Goes East is a post-communist version of this, and is Played for Laughs. Appropriately enough, the series was filmed in 1991, shortly after the Hole in Flag revolutions.
  • JAG: In “Washington Holiday” Harm is assigned as naval escort to the daughter of the King of Romania while in DC. While Romania is a real country it has not restored its former monarchy in real-life.
  • In London's Burning, Blue Watch tackle a fire at the London embassy of Crajova.
  • Leverage and Leverage: Redemption:
    • Zig-zagged. Sometimes, the setting will be in a real East European country, like Ukraine or Serbia. Sometimes, they'll make one up entirely, like "Khazistan" or "Alstonia." The main difference seems to be the scale of the story; if the country is mostly just a background setting and the villains are small-time crooks or criminals, a real country will be used. However, if the story implicates the entire national government as villains - a regime running a covert nuclear weapons program, or a dictator the heroes are trying to overthrow - they prefer to make up an entire country.
    • Amusingly averted during the filming of The Zanzibar Marketplace Job. Word of God is that the script called for the heroes to travel to a stereotypical East European hellhole embodying this trope. This led to an afternoon of googling every country in the region, at the end of which the writers frustratedly concluded that contrary to all the sterotypes, Eastern Europe in The New '10s is mostly a very nice place. They ended up setting the story in Ukraine, but purely for pragmatic reasons (Kyiv was the city that most resembled Portland, where Leverage was being filmed), and the corrupt police official who was initially supposed to have a much larger role was scaled back to have only a couple of scenes.
  • Malcolm in the Middle has Lois's mother hailing from an unspecified Ruritania, full of wacky traditions including intricate sword dancing for the ladies and extreme contests of strength and mind for the men looking to obtain a wife. Not to mention said mother's ability to intimidate Lois just by speaking her native language.
    • There were hints at this country being located in Eastern Europe, and one episode (relating to a St. Grotus day) also strongly implies that said country was actually Croatia (as it took place at a Croatian community center, had a Croatian flag, and it even had poster of Zagreb Cathedral).
  • Mission: Impossible sent the main characters into various incarnations of Soviet Ruritania on a regular basis. The producers made up a fake Ruritanian "language" (called Gellerese after the show's executive producer) to use on signs; the idea was that it looks somewhat Slavic, but similar enough to English that the viewing audience could immediately guess what it meant - and thus such subtle jokes as "zona restrik", "machinawerke", "gäz" and "entraat verbaten" got into an otherwise serious show.
  • The Monk episode "Mr. Monk Falls in Love" involved the country of Zemenia.
  • The Monkees episode "Royal Flush" has Davy rescuing the princess of Harmonica from drowning, only to find her uncle, Archduke Otto, is trying to assassinate her before she becomes queen. The trope is played with when he spells the name of the country on the phone, there's a pause and he exclaims "There is so!"
    • Also, in “The Card Carrying Red Shoes,” a ballerina from the country Druvania falls in love with Peter (or, his “face”).
    • And in “The Prince and the Paupers,” Davy switches places with his doppelganger, the prince of Peruvia.
    • And again in "Everywhere a Sheik Sheik," Davy is set to marry the Princess Colette of the fictional middle-eastern nation Nahudi.
  • NCIS has a country called Belgravia. (See the comics section for its origin.) In one episode the team has to protect the daughter of the Belgravian ambassador.
  • Perfect Strangers, of course, has the Mediterranean island nation of Mypos, a takeoff on Greece and/or Cyprus with elements of a tourist's eye view of Turkey, Armenia, and Lebanon. Aspects of Mypos culture seem to be borrowed from George Papashvily's famous book Anything Can Happen, about his early days in the U.S. as a Georgian immigrant. In fact, one episode was a retelling of Papashvily's epic tale of how he attempted to go into business with some friends and made and sold khinkali dumplings to restaurants.
  • The Power (2023): Carpathia is a stand-in for Moldova, being a poor Eastern European country with an authoritarian government and very patriarchal society that has the most sex trafficking of women in the world.
  • The Price Is Right once offered a trip to "Boguslovania" as an April Fools' gag showcase.
  • The Suite Life on Deck features the fictional European country of Liechtenstamp in it's first season.
  • Latka Gravas in Taxi is from an unidentified Ruritania. The national dress seen in episodes like "The Wedding of Latka and Simca" places the homeland somewhere in central Europe.
  • In That '70s Show Fez's home country is never identified. Teasers are given that he's anything from Central American to Eastern European. There are multiple times he refers to it as "whatever the hell country I am from."
  • While we aren't given the exact location of Yerba from Victorious, it does resemble a stereotypical Ruritanian country. The military outfits and the occurring conflicts seem to reference war-era Germany and Russia (or the more current Libyan civil war); and the Yerbanian flag's basis IS the Albanian flag.
  • Whodunnit? (UK): "A Deadly Tan" featured the murder of a dictator in a Ruritania called Barania, which one of the characters indicated was located between Moldova and Albania (which is either satire meant to show the lack of knowledge of that character, an in-universe joke or a blatant mistake by the episode writers, because Moldova and Albania do not share any border, being spaced about 800 km apart). The security forces seemed to have stepped out of a Banana Republic, however.
  • Often invoked during the "Improbable Mission" segments of Whose Line Is It Anyway?. Colin and Ryan inevitably end up doing a task for the president or prime minister of a country with a name like Allupania or Garfunkistan.

  • The aforementioned Zladko "Zlad!" Vladcik, who claims to hail from Molvanîa. His songs "Elektronik Supersonik" and "I Am the Anti-Pope" were, In-Universe, Molvanîa's submissions to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004 and 2005, respectively.

  • Bob & Ray - the "funnies in the news" announcer Peter Gorey (Bob, using a Lorre accent: "Een other news, only vun man vas keeled attempting suicide today...") hailed from Lower Schizophrenia.
  • The Radio 4 sitcom Man of Soup was set in a Ruritania parody with exaggerations of all the associated tropes.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the popular card game Contraband, the most valuable card that players must smuggle past the "Customs Officer" is labelled as the Ruritanian Crown Jewels.
  • Scythe has this for most of its Eastern European states, like the "Rusviet Union" and "Republic of Polania." While the Crimean Khanate did exist historically, it was gone by World War I.
  • Space 1889 places an actual Ruritania in the Balkans, in Conklin's Atlas of the Worlds. The Army is mentioned in The Solider's Companion as having six regiments of infantry in grey, with green trim, two regiments of cavalry in grey with black trim. The flag has the upper 2/3rds with equal stripes of blue, white, and green, with the lower third red.
  • Urban Jungle features "Ruhritania" and Graustark as small kingdoms on Telluria in the Amazing Science supplement. Aside from having a prince named Oleg, Ruhritania doesn't really fit the usual tropes, being closer to an idealized Romantic-era kingdom, perhaps Britain (with Raygun Gothic styling). Graustark does, being a small and isolated kingdom with Gothic castles and a more conservative populace, but they do have a fairly egalitarian belief in individual rights not unlike the United States. Despite being traditional rivals, both are currently allied against the Thermionic Empire, which stands in for Those Wacky Nazis in the same way many pulp antagonists did.

  • Andorra in Max Frisch's eponymous Andorra. Explicitly stated not to be related to the real-life microstate of Andorra in any way. Then there is also its unnamed, bigger Fascist neighbour, which seems to be closely inspired by Nazi Germany.
  • The Irving Berlin musical Call Me Madam has the duchy of Lichtenburg — a portmanteau of Liechtenstein and Luxembourg: "too small to be a city, too big to be a town." Its main export is cheese.
  • Jean-Paul Sartre's Dirty Hands (Les Mains Sales) is set in a fictional European country called Illyria (in real life, a historical name for roughly the parts of the former Yugoslavia along the Adriatic) during World War II. It is supposed to be an ally of Nazi Germany, on the verge of being annexed to the Eastern Bloc.
  • Don't Drink the Water, written by Woody Allen early in his career, is set in the American embassy of an unnamed Soviet Ruritania.
  • Gilbert and Sullivan created two significant Ruritanias: Barataria in The Gondoliers and Pfennig-Halbpfennig ("Penny-Halfpenny" in German) in The Grand Duke.
  • Possibly the Ur-Example: The Grand Duchy of Gerolstein in Jacques Offenbach 1867 operetta La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein. (Gerolstein is a real place, a spa town north of Trier, whose "Gerolsteiner" mineral water is the default brand in a large chunk of western Germany, possibly where Offenbach saw the name. It has never been a Grand Duchy, however.)
  • In Ivor Novello's Kings Rhapsody, most of the action takes place in the kingdom of Murania.
  • Pontevedro in The Merry Widow (renamed Marsovia in the first English translation of the operetta). By the way, it's a thinly disguised Montenegro.

    Video Games 
  • In the Ace Combat series, half the countries follow this pattern — Yuktobania (USSR / Federal Russia), Estovakia (Yugoslavia/Romania), etc. Belka is an outlier, being a Ruritania in name only as they were one of the world's superpowers and are still a major player behind the scenes.
  • Ace Attorney:
  • ARMA is full of those as the main settings, mostly to prevent controversies but still provide an accurate foreign conflict zone.
    • ARMA: Armed Assault has the Kingdom of Sahrani Island play this trope fairly straight, being a stereotypical Mediterranean-esque monarchy based on Cyprus. Its adversary is the aforementioned People's Republic of Tyranny in the northern half of the island, which broke away from the kingdom a few years ago. There's even a city, called Corazól located in the border between the North and South where there's a walled demilitarized zone diving the city in two, filled with ruined buildings. If you succeed in beating the main campaign, you can defeat the Democratic Republic of Sahrani and help restore the original united kingdom.
    • In ARMA II, you get the Republic of Chernarus, a Czech-speaking country bordering on Russia that gets entangled in bloody civil war with Russophone Communist extremists (and later with Nationalist militias), sparking first a NATO, then a Russian intervention. It takes its name from Belarus, its geography from the Czech Republic, the conflict from the The Yugoslav Wars, and its general aesthetics from Ukraine.
    • Also, the conflict in Takistan seen in ARMA II: Operation Arrowhead has any resemblance to the First Gulf War for how it started, the Second Gulf War for what happened to the country, or to Afghanistan for how the local people behave.
    • The Republic of Altis and Stratis in ARMA III is an interesting example. The maps are based on real-life Greek islands 'Lemnos' and 'Agios Efstratios' (Although the game makes clear it's NOT the islands with a different name in the future but an entire separate location), the general theme of the islands is very similar to the countries of Malta and Cyprus — independent Mediterranean island republic — with the history begin mostly similar to Cyprus than Malta, both Altis and Cyprus were colonized by various nations, such as the Phoenicians, Greeks and Arabs, both nations are mostly famous for their tourist attractions, both nations became independent recently from the British, both suffered at the hands of a bloody civil war (Although Cyprus' case was mostly ethnic), both became overseen by foreign peacekeepers and were invaded by a Near Eastern power. The AAF is also very similar to the Armed forces of Malta, the Cypriot National Guard and the Hellenic Armed Forces.
    • Livonia in the Contact DLC has borders with Russianote  using Polish as the official language, and are considered a baltic country. The way on how they recently joined NATO and are a stepping-stone for a Russian invasion of NATO makes them a very clear stand-in for Baltic countries and Poland, with it being named after a region in Estonia and Latvia. The LDF even uses the "Promet" rifle, based on the Polish "MSBS Grot B" model adopted as Poland's service rifle in 2018.
  • Infocom's Border Zone is set in the fictional Soviet satellite state of Frobnia, complete with gruff officials demanding papers, run-down Soviet-era block apartments, international Cold War espionage plots, and a faux-Slavic language.
  • Chrome Hounds's fictional nation, The Republic of Morskoj. Its history labels it as a former Soviet satellite that gained its independence when the Soviet Union collapsed, though they remain strong allies with Russia. Of course, they live in the coldest region of the fictional continent the game is set in. Olyena Guba seems to be the remnants of Ruritania past. And it is normally a Morskoj territory.
  • Case 3 of Criminal Case: World Edition takes place in Bierburg, a fictional, rustic town in Germany.
  • Sonia Nevermind in Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair is a Foreign Exchange Student and heir apparent to the throne of a fictitious Eastern European Micro Monarchy called Novoselic. Not much is known about the country, but Sonia occasionally mentions her homeland's strange customs like learning to operate tanks in elementary school or fighting dangerous wildlife as a marriage proposal.
  • Revachol in Disco Elysium is about 60% a modern Ruritania setting (post-Communist, lots of poverty and drugs, dominated by a thinly-veiled parody of the EU), but combined with a little bit of early 20th Century America (a sort of plucky immigrant melting pot culture dominated by organised labour disputes) and a little post-Revolutionary France (the King deposed by the Revolution is based on the decadent monarchy of pre-Revolutionary France, the characters have largely French names and their language is rendered as French).
  • Annet Futatabi (the third game of the Earnest Evans series) takes place in Renvrandt, a small country in Eastern Europe.
  • Averted in Girls' Frontline; while the main setting is a generic Eastern European / Western Russian landscape and most of the game takes place in the Neo Soviet Union, events usually take place on real and well-represented real life cities such as Belgrade or Talinn.
  • Half-Life 2 is set in what appears to have been at one time a former Soviet state. No word has been given on the place's true location, and judging by the accents of all the NPCs you meet there, none of them are from there (seeing that many of them are forcibly relocated on a regular basis to hinder La Résistance) The only true native seems to be Father Grigori.
    • Strangely though, the gas pumps around City 17 are labeled in Swedish.
    • City 17, while not acknowledged to be anywhere specific within the game, is modeled after Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria and the Art Director's hometown. The plaza in particular is almost identical (besides the Combine locks, checkpoints, cameras, and sense of Orwellian tyranny, of course).
    • The Overwatch Nexus is clearly based on the Serbian Parliament building.
    • The car wrecks are distinctively eastern Bloc, like the trabant.
    • A background detail in Half-Life 2: Episode One practically confirms City 17 as Riga, Latvia. There is a map showing City 17 with a river called the Daugava flowing through it. This is the name of a real river that flows through... you guessed it, Riga. There are also other bits of evidence. The skyline of Riga resembles City 17's, City 17 is coastal and borders a sea (Riga is the only coastal city that the Daugava flows through), the lettering on most signs is Russian suggesting an ex-Soviet country, and there's also occasionally Swedish lettering, suggesting that City 17 is not too far away from Sweden (Latvia is a stone's throw away from Sweden, and hosts many Swedish businesses). Finally, there's numerous restaurants with signs that translate to "Café Baltic", which would match Riga's location in one of the Baltic States.
  • A Hat in Time has Mafia Town, a Mediterranean-like island city whose main inhabitants speak in Slavic accents and enjoy punching everything.
  • The satirical PC shooter Heavy Weapon revels in this trope, set in an alternate 1984 where the "Red Star" has declared war on the rest of the world, and the player rolls the title vehicle through nineteen faux-Soviet countries.
  • Arulco in Jagged Alliance 2. Possibly. Arulco seems to have some difficulty in deciding whether it wants to be a Ruritania or a Banana Republic. Parts of the country are filled with pine forests and log houses, others are deserts and jungles. The Big Bad is explicitly Romanian but married the former king, who has the very Spanish-sounding name Enrico Chivaldori. The inhabitants all speak English, but their names and accents vary between American, Spanish, German, and vaguely East European with no rhyme or reason whatsoever.
  • Just Cause 3 is set in Medici, a fictional small, poor Mediterranean island country under the control of an insane general who plans on conquering the world.
  • Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda is a Medieval European Fantasy version of this, being a monarchy with a lot of Greek influences in its architecture, monsters, and naming schemes that is constantly conquered, has quirky customs, a bloody history, and borders a desert country inhabited by Arab-like peoples.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Outer Heaven in the first Metal Gear, although various supplementary materials state that it is located within the Republic of South Africa. The Galzburg region of the Republic of South Africa, however, does qualify as a Ruritania.
    • Zanzibar Land from Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake straddles the line between Ruritania and Qurac.
    • Act 3 of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots simply takes place in "Eastern Europe". Although the specific country you're in is never named, it is certainly Prague within the Czech Republic. Notably, though, it's not portrayed as rural at all; the entire mission takes place in a reasonably modern city.
  • Sloborskaia in the N64 adaptation of Mission Impossible 1997.
  • Nancy Drew The White Wolf of Icicle Creek features a character named Yanni who is a skiier from a country called "Fredonia". Not much is learned of Fredonia, but one can guess that it is an Eastern Europe or possibly former Soviet-union state from his accent. For a series that usually tries to set itself within the real world, it really stands out to see an entirely fictional country implied to exist. This was likely justified in that Yanni is the game's culprit, who was bombing to attempt to mine for Uranium on orders of his government. Given the political motivations for his actions, Her Interactive probably did not want to point fingers at any particular real-world government nor did they want to make it an even more dated game by setting it pre 1990s and have him be a soviet spy.
  • The Malden Islands and the Independent Republic of Nogova Island from Operation Flashpoint. Bonus points for them being ex-Commie Lands that recently liberated themselves from Soviet clutches (but had to fight for their own independence once again during the storylines of the game's campaigns).
  • Arstotzka of Papers, Please is a Soviet-era Ruritania set among a cluster of other Ruritanias. It has all the features of a Soviet Bloc country of the era, including bureaucracy, constant rule changes, and rampant corruption — but given the constant flood of people trying to sneak in, it's entirely possible the surrounding nations are even worse.
  • Psychonauts 2 has Grulovia, a third-world Eastern-European country that Raz's family hail from that was ruled by a despotic "Gzar" until a Hydrokineticist known as Maligula arose and killed countless innocent people before being defeated by the original Psychonauts. Afterwards, the Gzar and his family were forced into exile, with the main villain being the son of the Gzar seeking to reclaim Grulovia for himself.
  • The Quest for Glory series has Spielberg in Quest for Glory I, Mordavia in Quest for Glory IV and Silmaria in Quest for Glory V. The first is a German-style country, the second an Eastern European-style country and the third a Greek-style island country.
  • Republic: The Revolution is set in Novistrana, a post-Communist Ruritania complete with lots of concrete and people Speaking Simlish with a distinctly Slavic cadence.
  • Resident Evil:
    • Resident Evil 4 is a bizarre example. The game takes place in an unnamed European country where the people speak Spanish with Mexican accents and have Spanish names, an ingame map places the village in the center of the Iberian Peninsula next to Madrid, and the currency is Peseta, which was Spain's currency before switching to Euro, Word of God have outright claimed that the country isn't Spain. The fact that the actual in-game environment is a mix of this trope and Überwald otherwise just makes it even more confounding.
    • Resident Evil 6 has Edonia, which is a former Soviet bloc country in Eastern Europe in the middle of a civil war where the inhabitants speak Serbo-Croatian.
  • All of the Eastern Merkopan countries is Suzerain fits, especially Sordland, which has semi-functioning democracy, is plagued with political violence, separatism, political interference of the Army, and was field of a Revolution who deposed the King and installed a democracy, a coup of that deposed the President and placed in charge a General, and second coup that started a civil war between the Nationalist and the Communists.
  • Sercia (presumably a pun on Serbia) in Time Crisis.
  • Sega's tactical RPG Valkyria Chronicles features the not-so-subtle "East European Imperial Alliance" as the villain nation, managing to mix together Tsarist Russia and the Warsaw Pact into one fun, evil package. They also look like Putting on the Reich A Nazi by Any Other Name.
  • WinBack's terrorist organization hails from the Balkan-esque country of Sarcozia.

    Web Animation 

  • In Joe vs. Elan School, Joe signs up with a study abroad program late in college in a big city called Vrátskajeki, in a country he'd never heard of, and even explicitly says that he lives his second semester in what the American expats call "the Soviet Projects." Since the webcomic is autobiographical but presented Roman à Clef to protect the author's identity, and because there's no city called "Vrátskajeki" on the map, it's a clear stand-in for a real city.note 

    Web Original 
  • This article on Cracked (about ridiculous G.I. Joe action figures) parodies this trope by mentioning that villain Darklon originates from "the kingdom of Darklonia, a nebulous Eastern Bloc nation sharing its borders with Borovia and Madeupbullshitistan".
  • Invoked by a Con Artist on the Internet by the name of Valentin Mikhaylin from 1998 to 2009. Every year, around November or December (when more people are thinking about donating to charity), he would send out a Chain Letter, claiming to be in dire straits because he (or someone in his family, usually his mother) was unable to work and not getting any assistance from the government. He would ask "donors" to give items such as food, vitamin supplements, clothing, and/or money.

    Web Videos 
  • According to this video, Sponge and his brother Pretzel of Vinesauce lore are stated to hail from the country of Kraskatalia. When the country is mentioned in the video, the accompanying visual depicts a blank map of Europe with the phrase "I'm sure it's in here somewhere" edited over it.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius has Bolbi Stroganovsky, the school's Funny Foreigner, who hails from "Backhairistan".
  • The Amazing Adrenalini Brothers: The eponymous brothers hail from Réndøosîa, speaking constantly in its gibberish-sounding language. The country is noted for its constant natural disasters (to the point where the flag always has a hole in it) and being constantly at war with its neighbor Grimzimistan.
  • The Animaniacs episode "King Yakko" has Anvilania, the tiny anvil-shaped anvil-exporting country Yakko is suddenly king of, and its rival Dunlikus.
  • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien gives us Zarkovia, a small monarchy somewhere in Europe.
  • In Bojack Horseman, Diane ventures to the war-torn nation of Cordovia, ruled by a tyrannical Doppelgänger of Todd.
  • Count Duckula refers to Ruritania by name on more than one occasion.
  • The DC Animated Universe has Kaznia/Kasnia, a fictional country that appears to be located in the Balkans and to alternate (throughout the various time periods it is visited) between peace and a civil war between Northern and Southern factions.
  • In The Space Race episode of Dog City, the "other side" was Catsylvania, represented by the feline cosmonaut Bestov Breed.
    • Baron von Rottweiler's castle appears to be located in such a place the few times it's seen.
    • The actual Transylvania, complete with Castle Frankenfido, appears in another episode. Everyone has a vaguely German accent and there are mobs of villagers in Victorian garb carrying torches and pitchforks.
    • In "Bark to the Future," von Rottweiler takes over Dog City and turns it into Rottersburg, a Ruritania-style dystopia where State Sec Mooks patrol the streets and propaganda posters urging everyone to vote for von Rottweiler (OR ELSE!) adorn every wall and they have Oktoberfest all year long.
  • Doug: The country of Yakistonia, home of Fentruck Stimmel.
  • Rolf of Ed, Edd n Eddy seems to come from one of these, though we never learn what "the Old World" is actually called. We do learn of its wacky customs in one episode, however, which include Folk Songs rife with violence between the singers ("That's my horse!" *SLAP*), "bartering poles", upon which the seller and consumer must balance by their abdomens while conducting business with produce and livestock, and idiots falling into holes being sufficient grounds for a celebration. His culture seems to respect shepherds, as Rolf often boasts of being the son of one and is quick to defend the honor of this heritage, yet he also claims that barbers are the masculine ideal in The Old Country.
  • The Fangface episode "Royal Trouble With The King's Double" has the gang sucked into an attempted coup against the king of Bavaria (not actually a kingdom, but a province of Germany), which is depicted as a rather Oktoberfest-flavoured version of this. King Rudolph, it turns out, is the spitting image of Puggsy, one of the main characters, leading to a lot of mistaken identity prince-and-pauper shenanigans.
  • The Fairly OddParents! has Ustinkistan where Vlad and Gladys, Timmy's maternal grandparents, hail from. Their economy is based around turnips and the fairy godparents who live there can only grant turnip-based wishes. The country is also a kind of Überwald as it is night for 11 months and inhabited by werewolves, along with the fact that buildings have yet to be invented and there hasn't been a ship out of the country for half a century. When Timmy ends up going back in time, it's shown that the country is also The Constant as it was exactly the same as it is the present.
    Wanda: Not much changes here in Ustinkistan.
  • Futurama:
    • The Robo-Hungarian Empire, which manages to be impoverished and technologically backward despite being inhabited entirely by robots. Its capital, Thermostadt, is a robotic Überwald.
    • There's also an in-universe Ruritania, Robonia, made up by Bender as a part of a con to win the Olympics. Its national anthem? "Hail, Hail, Robonia! A land that I didn't make up!"
  • Ptomania was the country of original of the title treasure in The Hair Bear Bunch episode "Gobs Of Gobaloons." The bears discover the treasure but they can't spend it because it was stolen from the country's treasury.
  • In Jem, the Holograms go to Morvania, a made-up Slavic country, and in a season 3 episode, they go to Croatia, both of which are presented this way.
  • The setting of Mary Shelley's Frankenhole is simply referred to as "somewhere in Eastern-Europe."
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic proper, Griffonstone is eventually revealed to be this, as a counterpart to Equestria's Schizo Tech Medieval European Fantasy. Everyone wears clothing that ranges from Hungarian/Romanian to Turkish to Mongolian. The houses seem vaguely reminiscent of Eastern European Gothic architecture and are notably more primitive (for instance, they seem to have no internal plumbing). It's also backwards technologically and culturally, and almost everyone is impoverished and unfriendly since the loss of their national treasure.
  • Fredonia and Sylvania, two Eastern European countries that appear in a single episode of The New Adventures of Speed Racer, have centuries of hostility between them. The names are a nod to the countries in Duck Soup, above.
  • In Phineas and Ferb there's Drusselstein, birthplace of Dr. Doofenshmirtz and borderline Überwald.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle: The show had Boris and Natasha's home country of Pottsylvania, an imaginary Soviet satellite where literally EVERYONE is a spy.
  • Roger Ramjet featured a country with the Punny Name of Runovia.
  • Thembria from TaleSpin was a mock version of the Soviet Union (which was still around at the time), with its hostile sub-arctic climate, babushka-clad peasantry, an inept centralized government that still insisted it was "glorious" and a moribund economy that resulted in constant shortages of everything. The last of which happened so often that a Running Gag was the Thembrian Air Force never had any actual bullets for shooting down enemy aircraft and would ineffectively wail away with whatever they did have, including bathtubs and lunch meat. It gets worse; they even ban imagination, because imaginative people do not conform.
  • The Venture Bros. has Baron Werner Ünderbheit, local expy of Doctor Doom (lampshaded by The Monarch), ruler of the micro-nation of Ünderland. It resembled the generic Eastern Europe country in every way... castles, forests, doomy dooms of gloom... but it is revealed it is smaller than the state of Delaware and actually somehow borders Michigan. At the end of one episode, Ünderbheit is deposed as ruler and is replaced by a democratically elected leader...his own former adviser Girl Hitler.
  • Petratishkovna "Tish" Katsufrakis from The Weekenders is the daughter of immigrants from an unnamed Eastern European country, with her parents frequently speaking of The Old Country. In one episode, after she gets a slightly lower grade than usual, her friends attempt to make her lean into the Funny Foreigner trope under the belief that she can no longer be the The Smart Girl of the group.
  • In the obscure Canadian series Weird Years, the Dorkovitch family (the stars of the show) are immigrants from Kryobia. To give you an idea of what Kryobia is supposed to be like, the nation's tourist slogan is "Our People Are Always Revolting".
  • Young Justice (2010) has two examples: Vlatava, the country ruled by the young Queen Perdita, and its next-door neighbor, Markovia, a country ruled by the Markov Royal family which includes the twin Princes, Gregor and Brion (Geo-Force), as well as the youngest child and only daughter, Princess Tara (Terra). Both countries are located in an unspecified part of Eastern Europe, with Markovia also bordering the Middle Eastern country of Qurac, and having History as a former puppet state of the Soviet Union.

  • Poldavia (Poldévie) was a fictional country invented by a French journalist who was a member of a far-right organization in 1929. Its supposed representatives wrote letters to French Senators to ask them to intervene in a Civil War supposed to take place in their country. The prank mainly targeted radical-leftist and anticlerical Senators. The politician Marcel Déat in an editorial printed on May 4, 1939, wrote that Danzig was not worth fighting a war over and that French farmers had no desire to die for the Poldavians ("mourir pour les Poldèves"). Déat went on to become a prominent fascist politician in Vichy and occupied France. Poldavia was also cited as the "birthplace" of Nicolas Bourbaki.
  • Ernest Gellner's history book Nations and Nationalisms explains the origin of nationalism through the hypothetical example of a place called Ruritania (probably based on the Czechs, Serbs, and/or Slovaks), a culturally-distinct province in the equally-hypothetical empire of Megalomania (which is probably meant to be the Austro-Hungarian Empire). Gellner then describes how Ruritania might become an independent nation-state by inventing a national tradition based on various folk cultures (which is what most of them did), or might try to assimilate into mainstream Megalomania. We should note that Gellner was a German-speaking Czech Jew from Prague, and was in a position to certainly know about the Austro-Hungarian Empire and its ethnic makeup.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Generic Eastern European Rural Country, Fictional Eastern European Country, Ruritanian Romance


Fake Moustache

The hero has disguised himself to expose a gang of con-men in the bazaar. However, the seasoned con-men turn the tables on him.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / OutGambitted

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