Much like the very tropes described on this site, Ethnic and National Stereotypes are things that an audience reasonably expects (for reasons good and... not so good) when confronted by an individual of a given background.
Some writers know this, and just like the tropes associated with fiction, they decide to turn it on its head.
A Stereotype Flip occurs when an individual does something that runs in direct contradiction to some established stereotype based on their gender, race, religious belief, nationality, or country (or planet) of origin.
This is often Truth in Television, as no one ever fits all the given stereotypes associated with their background. If enough individuals do a Stereotype Flip, the stereotype in question may become a Discredited Trope.
A Stereotype Flip is not always a good move, however; it can sprout Unfortunate Implications of its own. Inverting a negative stereotype can lead to Flawless Token, and inverting a "model minority" stereotype is risky because portraying a minority as dumb, cowardly, and/or evil taps into much more basic forms of xenophobia than portraying them as being smart but nerdy. Finally, even if both those pitfalls are avoided, it still must be remembered that flipping a stereotype isn't the same as avoiding it; flipped stereotypes are no substitute for actual well-rounded characters.
Applies to fictional backgrounds as well. If the character is deliberately defying the "nature" of his people, it overlaps with My Species Doth Protest Too Much. If they choose a culturally disfavored role knowingly, then Klingon Scientists Get No Respect. Related to Square Race, Round Class. Cultural Rebel is generally the product of a character given the Stereotype Flip treatment. Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy and Asian Airhead are subtropes of this.
- Azumanga Daioh:
- Osaka breaks Tomo's expectations that the new Osakan student is going to be a loudmouth who's always trying to sell stuff. This is emphasized in the English manga, where Osaka's speech is translated with a New York City accent, which has a similar "loud and pushy" stereotype associated with it.
- And then there's Sakaki, the tall, athletic raven-haired girl with an intimidating appearance who fits none of the associated tropes, and is just naturally shy and quiet, and has a (sadly mostly unrequited) love of cats.
- In the manga Cyborg 009, the character of 008, the only character on the team from Africa, is drawn in an incredibly unfortunate art style that is more than a little similar to blackface. This is at odds with his actual personality, which is an intelligent and stoic man who is passionate about preserving his culture and protecting his land and people from harm. In the stories that take place in Africa, the people are drawn in the same stereotypical way, but the reader is told that they're a people with a rich culture that ought to be preserved instead of converted or stamped out. Inversely, the non-African imperialists and poachers are shown as greedy and uncaring about anyone they hurt in the process of getting what they want.
- In what might be an accidental example of this and more of a case of As Long as It Sounds Foreign, Darker Than Black had a minor character of an Israeli Occidental Otaku, who did not only not conform to the stereotype of being loud, rude, and aggressive, but he was very white and blond, which is quite a rarity among Israelis (although if he was wealthy enough to become an otaku and go study in Japan, he was probably a well-to-do Ashkenazi, which is not that unlikely), and spoke with an accent that sounded nothing like an Israeli accent.
- Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun has the main cast go against what is often expected of their character roles in the Shoujo genre. It helps that all of them save Chiyo and Nozaki have traits taken from stock characters of the opposite sex.
- The titular Nozaki is a very tall, muscular Hunk who used to be captain of the junior high basketball team. He's also The Stoic and approaches his problems head-on. That said, he's also an award-winning Shoujo mangaka and is utterly obsessed with writing good quality romance stories.
- Even Chiyo, to a degree. Yes, she's very much like a typical Shoujo heroine: girly, cutesy, determined, and obsessed with her crush. But she's also a bit of a Deadpan Snarker and is a Stalker with a Crush towards Nozaki.
- Mikoshiba has the appearance and attitude of a playboy towards his classmates, but outside of school, he's a socially awkward Otaku who plays dating sims in order talk to girls more easily, even though said dating sims depict almost or entirely unrealistic conversations one would have with girls.
- Kashima is the Prince of the school and loves flirting with girls. She would be right at home in a One-Gender School Shoujo manga, but if she were a guy, she would fit the textbook Shoujo "School Prince" easily. She also flips a common tomboy stereotype in Shonen romance; rather than shun her masculine qualities for not being "girly" enough, she revels in them.
- Hori is Kashima's senpai who frequently beats her up for skipping Drama Club and excessively flirting. If he were a girl, he would probably be the "Prince's beleaguered friend" in a Shoujo romance who is always trying to make sure the Prince actually does more than be a playboy.
- Seo is loud, abrasive, blunt, and rude. Case in point, Nozaki used her characteristics to create a male character who has her personality, of which is not uncommon in Shoujo manga.
- Wakamatsu is a tall, muscular athlete, but is an innocent, friendly Nice Guy. He's also a bit of a Tsundere towards Seo. Nozaki modeled a female character after him who plays a love interest for Seo's character in Let's Fall in Love, who of course is an ordinary girl repelled by his antics but charmed by the abrasive boy's rare acts of kindness. He's also a male example of the Thinks Like a Romance Novel trope, which is a trait usually given to girls in both Shonen and Shoujo.
- In Monster, Runge's painstaking research of Tenma's past results in little more than him ascertaining that the latter is not "stereotypically" Japanese.
- A hikikomori is stereotypically a creepy, misanthropic guy, and Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei instead has Kiri Komori, who is female and friendly and a hikikomori.
- Gabriel Dropout runs on the angels and demons having their stereotypes flipped. Gabriel became a lazy, snarky shut-in, while Raphael takes pleasure in picking on the oblivious Satanichia. Tsukinose is probably one of the friendliest, kindest characters in the entire series. The only character who fits her stereotype is Satanichia, but her acts of villainy are too laughably ineffective to actually cause suffering.
- Korean-American Henry Cho was born and raised in Tennessee, and much of his humor is quite blue collar in contrast to the stereotypically elitist affectations of Korean-Americans. Henry's even acknowledged the inherent humor of an Asian person with a southern drawl.
- Canadian comedian Shaun Majumder, who is half Indian, has a stand-up bit about appearing as a minor terrorist villain on 24. He talks at length about how offensively stereotyped his character was while describing a chase scene with Jack Bauer, but the punch line is that instead of being a stereotypical brown terrorist, he's actually an over-the-top Newfoundlander.
- Serdar Somuncu. a German of Turkish descent born in Istanbul, deliberately invoked this trope after his acting career ended with him being a Classically Trained Extra who would play stereotypic "immigrant" characters with a fake accent that wasn't his, despite being well versed in Goethe, Schiller and all the rest. So he decided to do something GERMAN for his standup program. What, you ask? Oh, only reading Hitler's Mein Kampf (in a way that makes people laugh, which he admits was the point). He later reflected on that and the resulting identity crisis in a program aptly titled "Hitler Kebap".
- A fairly common variation in comics is to introduce a member of the fictional species and then the civilization.
- Thus, Mon-El (Superman) and Sodam Yat (Green Lantern) are friendly explorers from a racist and xenophobic species. They are seen as Category Traitors to their own people.
- Blackfire (Teen Titans) is a cruel and malicious monster from a passionate and warm species.
- Captain Mar-Vell is a good-hearted protector from a race of conquerors.
- Xavin (Runaways) is an open-minded romantic from a race of pricks.
- Katar Hol (Hawkman) is a good cop from an expansionist empire policed by Corrupt Cops. His wife Shayera is often torn between her love for her husband and her duty to her people. And the conservative Katar often gets into arguments with the liberal Green Arrow.
- The X-Men comic Generation X was this trope plus Five-Token Band: the girl from Kentucky was the smart one, the guy from Los Angeles was the nice one, and so on.
- Similar thing happens in abovementioned Runaways with both superhero and teen drama cliches. Japanese Goth girl is actually both rather happy and a Catholic, Valley Girl slowly realizes she is gay, Jerk Jock is hiding his smarts due to hatred for his physically abusive scientist father, Tag Along Kid is also both strongest member of the team and much smarter than she looks and so on.
- In one Bloom County, Opus is sitting at a bar when a redneck-looking guy opens a conversation with the standard "you know what's wrong with this country?" bit. The redneck then expresses surprisingly pacifist and environmentalist sentiments. Opus turns to the beatnik on his other side to say something about how appearances can be deceiving, and the beatnik shouts "America, love it or leave it you pinko punk!
- In Clockstoppers, Zak's Black Best Friend Meeker is a much worse DJ than his white rival.
- 8 Mile plays up the human equivalent of Seldom-Seen Species, as it documents the lifestyle of an American socioeconomic group that, like Native Americans, has not been commonly seen in the popular media for decades: poor, urban whites (who are living in Detroit, the stereotypically blackest city in America, no less!). Many stories take it for granted that characters like Jimmy "Rabbit", Stephanie, and Lily haven't existed since the 1940s — and even when they do, they tend to assume that those people are "white ethnics", instead of the British-descended Protestants the Smith family clearly are.
- One hilarious scene in Airplane! shows June Cleaver acting as an interpreter for two black youths who speak only Jive. She, of course, despite being a little old lady is fluent in the language.
- The Dark Knight — Massive, terrifying, black convict (with a facial tattoo!) taking the detonator that would (allegedly) blow up the other boat to save theirs. "Give it to me, and I'll do what you shoulda did ten minutes ago." Which is throwing it out the window.
- A few other convicts seem to support his decision.
- In Eraser, there's an exchange between a mobster and his supposedly dumb as bricks muscle:
Tony Two Toes: There they are. Commie bastards!
Mikey: They're not communists anymore, Tony. They're a federation of independent liberated states.
Tony Two Toes: Don't make me hurt you, Mikey.
- In the Heat of the Night: The black guy in town, played by Sidney Poitier, is not just a suspicious black man passing through town on the night of a murder; he's also a respected detective from Philadelphia. And in case you're wondering, they call him "Mr. Tibbs"!, not "boy".
- In the The Karate Kid (2010) reboot, Andre is on his way to China, and on the flight sees a Chinese guy. Naturally, he takes the opportunity to practice speaking Chinese, only for the guy to say, "Dude. I'm from Detroit."
- In The Luck of the Irish, Kyle's Black Best Friend is terrible at basketball, with every white guy on the team being much better than him, to the point where his father threatens to disown him. Subverted in the end when it turns out he simply lacks confidence in his skills, just like Kyle, who is used to relying on his Leprechaun family luck.
- In the third The Naked Gun movie, the protagonist Frank goes down a line of cabs trying to find someone who can relay an urgent message to Police Squad. The first two drivers do not speak English and do not understand what is being asked of them. When Frank looks into the third cab he sees a black guy dressed in traditional African clothes. Frank instantly dismisses him and abandons his attempts to radio for backup, leaving the driver to muse to himself "I wonder what the devil he wanted" in a British accent.
- In one of the most memorable scenes in Remember the Titans one of the black football players is visiting his teammate who lives in a white neighborhood. A police car pulls up and an officer eyes the youth. You think it's going to be a classic Rodney King-esque scene (it takes place in 1960s Virginia). But...the officer simply congratulates the youth on a well-played game and wishes him good luck for an upcoming game. The black player, and presumably the audience, are pleasantly surprised.
- The Rush Hour movies milk this trope for all it's worth.
- Consider the scenes where Carter reveals he actually knows Chinese and Lee reveals that he actually speaks flawless English.
- In Rush Hour 2, Carter makes fun of a black man who has immersed himself in Chinese culture and knows the same type of kung-fu as Lee (they were trained by brothers, who live in Hong Kong and Crenshaw, respectively).
- Star Wars: Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine, a genocidal tyrant and one of the evilest people in the history of the galaxy, is a native of the peace-loving planet Naboo. The majority of its people are none too pleased about this.
- In the 1632 series, the Germans are the free-wheeling individualists, and the Americans are the stuffy, bureaucratic rule-lovers, much to the surprise of the respective opposing parties. Played with further in that any German that is a stuffy, bureaucratic rule-lover also fits this trope: the 'downtimer' stereotype of Germans is free-wheeling individualists.
- A Brother's Price is a kind of romance novel set in a world where women rule and men are so rare they must be secluded and protected. As such it flips a lot of romance novel gender roles on their heads and invents some entirely new ones.
- The science-fiction novel Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede has three.
- The protagonist himself, who looks almost exactly like Buddy Holly (which becomes highly pertinent to the plot). He's an atheist, but not a bitter or sarcastic one, and by the end of the novel he has come to believe in a Higher Power after all.
- The protagonist's mother was a teenager who came of age in The '50s, but still had her son out of wedlock and made no apologies for doing so. It was she who encouraged her son to embrace atheism, owing to her hatred of the people at her son's religious school who thought rock and roll was evil.
- In the course of the novel, the protagonist befriends a right-wing biker who's bullying, crude, and a fan of Heavy Metal music — and is also a young woman with feminist leanings. We get the sense that she might have joined the political left if not for her obnoxious Hippie Parents.
- Victorian author Wilkie Collins liked to do this to stereotypes of his day. For example, in stage melodramas, the villain was always portrayed as being incredibly thin while fat men tended to be jolly comic relief style characters. So, in The Woman in White, Collins carefully cast the fat man as the main villain of the piece, an evil Italian gangster. He is still pretty jolly, though.
- Discworld establishes its stereotypes purely to flip them, such as Cassanunda, a great lover from a culture that generally doesn't acknowledge the existence of two genders, or the reveal that the Big Dumb Troll stereotype is purely a side-effect of the weather. In Unseen Academicals, Mr. Nutt, a character who talks like a philosophy professor and avoids conflict whenever possible is revealed near the end to be an orc.
- In Dragon Bones, Ward uses the fact that people tend to assume big guys are just dumb muscle to his advantage by Obfuscating Stupidity. He's actually very intelligent and concluded from his father's behaviour that he would have to pretend to have brain damage to be left alone, as his father saw him as a threat.
- Alphonse Nakagawa, from The California Voodoo Game, is the grandson of a Japanese fisherman who emigrated to Galveston to take up shrimping in the Gulf. Al himself plays up a "dumb Texas shitkicker" routine to make other Loremasters underestimate him, and even when he's not exaggerating his Southern culture he'll use very un-Asian phrases like "that dog won't hunt" in his internal monologue.
- The Dresden Files:
- Karrin Murphy is a pretty, five-foot-nothing blonde with a cute button nose who Harry has described as looking like a cheerleader or someone's favorite aunt. And she's a badass cop with a black belt in aikido who's stood up to everything from a Nigh Invulnerable hell-werewolf to the king of all incubi and once attacked a 15-foot-tall ogre with a chainsaw. Averted in the TV series, where Murphy is Hispanic and looks like she means business. Still pretty, though.
- The local werewolf pack are all Dungeons & Dragons-playing geeks.
- Sanya is a rather tall and imposing black man... who's from Russia and sounds like it. He's also basically one of God's chosen paladins... but he's not remotely Knight Templar (he's an atheist who rather stubbornly refuses to buy any signs of God's existence). Also, Harry uses his accent and rhetoric to conclude that he's a communist, but he scoffs at the idea.
- In the historical novel Give Me Back My Legions! (set in 7-9 AD Roman Empire) by Harry Turtledove, the Romans are stoic, logical and disciplined not given to emotional outbursts while the Germanic tribesmen that they are trying to conquer are excitable and prone to emotional outbursts, as likely to pull a knife as look at you and undisciplined in battle. In other words, modern day Italian and German stereotypes are reversed.
- In The Green Mile, the Huge Muscular Black Man who supposedly raped two young girls and killed them with his BARE hands actually has a heart of gold (and is innocent).
- The Legend of Drizzt: Drizzt Do'Urden is well known for being pretty much everything a Drow isn't. He's a Nice Guy and Drow... are not very nice. At all. It should be noted that Drizzt's popularity has induced a slew of stereotype-flipped drow characters, turning the race into an Ensemble Dark Horse for D&D players.
- You'd generally expect a ginormous black guy to be a Scary Black Man who talks like someone from the 'hood. Hamish Lunley from The Mako Saga is a Gentle Giant, and very very Scottish. (He was adopted from a Chicago orphanage by a Scottish couple.)
- In Lisa Yee's Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time, the titular Stanford Wong is an Asian who's a basketball jock so hopeless at academics that he flunks English class and needs to be tutored by Millicent Min who does fit the Asian and Nerdy stereotype but acts dumber than she is to be accepted by her friends.
- Star Wars Legends:
- In the Troubleshooters series, one of the terrorists is a white, blond/blue-eyed guy from the Midwest, who relies on racial stereotyping to get away with murder, not to mention pin his latest crimes on the nice Middle Eastern gardener in the neighborhood.
- Sandy Mitchell seems to take some glee in using the Ciaphas Cain novels to turn Warhammer 40,000 stereotypes on their heads. For starters, the title character is the exact opposite of the stereotypical Imperial commissar, a cowardly, self-hating man with an inflated reputation (or so he says), frequently described by fans like the type of guy commissars are supposed to shoot. Valhallan troops have a reputation for Zerg Rush tactics, but the 597th is a Badass Army of mechanized infantry that is just as happy to let the enemy come to them if the situation calls for it. In Cain's Last Stand we meet Sister Julien, a senior Sister of Battle who drinks, gambles, and is romantically involved with the schola progenium's bursar.
- In I Am Charlotte Simmons, Charlotte looks like a dumb blonde cheerleader, and when she gets into college, most people assume that's what she is, even though she's highly intelligent and ambitious. Unfortunately for her, the way people perceive her does affect her success.
- 24 has been flipping stereotypes since its pilot episode. The biggest Flip occurred in Season 2. The question of just who was helping the terrorists nuke LA boiled down to either the Middle-Eastern boy educated in London or his WASP father-in-law to be. And then...we learn the REAL identity of the terrorist. Before the show starting pulling asses; this was one of the greatest twists and a true Stereotype Freakin' Flip.
- Arrested Development's fourth season introduces African-American politician Herbert Love, a wealthy, snobbish, smooth-talker with ultra-conservative politics who embodies the complete opposite of every African-American stereotype in the book. note Lampshaded at one point when George Sr. attends his fundraising dinner and mistakes an African-American waiter for one of his campaign aides.
Waiter: Would you like a mini-quiche?
George Sr.: Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you were a successful Republican strategist.
Waiter: Why, because I'm black?
- Zigzagged in Arrow, when we meet Felicity's mother in season three, well, let's just say she does not fit the Jewish Mother stereotype at all. On the other hand, she does seem to fit the Dumb Blonde stereotype pretty well.
- The A-Team's Mr. T., fool! Scary Black Man with a Mohawk and a chest full of chains. You wouldn't think it, but he was actually the one the kids loved, both in the show's universe and in Real Life.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- A petite blonde young woman in a horror series is...a vampire slayer. The entire premise of the show was to flip the stereotype.
- There's also a more subtle example in the form of Giles, who flips the stereotype that all adults in horror-based media are useless. His very job as Watcher is to be useful. And later done again when we find out the very British, bookish, and stuffy Giles is also fully capable of kicking severe amounts of ass when the situation calls for it. He mainly lets Buffy take care of stuff early on because she needs the practice.
- Much like Col. Carter, Agent Sarah Walker is blonde, sweet, sexy. And an ass-kicking is never far behind whenever she's on the screen.
- Devon "Captain Awesome!" Woodcomb combs like a typical "frat boy." And while he has that silly catchphrase, played football, and loves to say "bro" and "dude"; he is also an accomplished doctor, and a genuinely caring husband and friend.
- Total slacker Morgan is usually the one who comes up the biggest when the situation gets dire, which eventually leads to him becoming a store manager. Specifically, he totally schools the hardass General Beckman into how a Buy More is supposed to be run in order to appear legit instead of the CIA/NSA front it obviously looks like (i.e. the employees are too good at their jobs instead of slacking off).
- Casey is a hardened veteran, nostalgic for the good old '80s and the Reagan administration. He loves his guns and always wears a stony expression, except when his aforementioned favorite topics are raised. For the first couple of seasons, he has a standing order to kill Chuck when ordered and is perfectly willing to go through with it. When he finds out he has a daughter he never knew, he genuinely tries to be a father to her. Also, when Chuck and Sarah run away together to complete the mission, he tracks them down and is visibly angry — albeit not because they disobeyed their orders but because they didn't trust him enough to include him in their plan, showing he genuinely cares about the team.
- Señor Chang on Community is a racially Asian Spanish teacher who has come to identify far more strongly with Latin culture due to his marriage to a Latina woman. And this trope apparently runs in the family, since he has a brother who is a rabbi. This aspect of his character is dwelt on far less past the first season, after which he is flanderized into an insane megalomaniac.
- A later season revealed that he was never actually married, and made up that story to get hired for the job. The Dean was too worried about appearing racist to question its validity. The same is most likely true for his brother as well.
- In a case of an adaptation doing this to its own source material, Cloak & Dagger (2018) imagines Tandy Bowen (Dagger) as a street-smart poor girl and Ty Johnson (Cloak) hailing from an upper-class background, as opposed to the original comics, where Dagger hailed from a rich family and Cloak was from a poor background.
- In an episode of Designing Women, Julia and Suzanne are visiting their mother in Japan. While on the plane, they're sitting beside an Asian man who is sitting on Suzanne's purse. Suzanne yells at him in her typically offensive way; Julia then attempts to speak to him in Japanese. At this point he reveals that he knew he was sitting on her purse and mentions that not only does he speak fluent English, he's actually from Georgia, and mentions that if they want to continue screaming at him, please do it in English, because he might look Asian, but in reality, "He's a Bubba." (As a bonus, he was played by Henry Cho, who's mentioned above.)
- Whitley Gilbert, the Alpha Bitch on A Different World was a brash Southern Belle at a (functionally) all-black college. She was played by a trained dancer and stage actress Jasmine Guy, whose acerbic characterization and well-paced slapstick soon made Whitley the Breakout Character. Harsher in Hindsight / Hilarious in Hindsight Fair for Its Day, because during The '80s, it was seen as a step forward for a Black Woman to play a Comedic Sociopath convincingly.
- Doctor Who:
- The Time Lords are a Planet of Dull, Stuffy (and incredibly ridiculous) Hats. The Doctor is an adventurous, friendly Cloudcuckoolander who ran away from his home planet for this selfsame reason.
- The Master, the Doctor's Evil Counterpart, also defies the Time Lord stereotype. Especially in his latest two incarnations (Saxon and Missy), where his insanity is mixed with him getting a sense of humour.
- Downton Abbey:
- Lady Sinderby is an aversion of the Jewish Mother stereotype. When her son Atticus wishes to marry a gentile girl, she is the supportive one, while his father is the one who is raving about Atticus throwing away their culture for a girl. When the girl's mother pulls a last-second effort to break off the marriage by announcing her impending divorce, it is Lady Sinderby who once again reacts to it calmly and urges her son to proceed with the wedding, then coldly threatening her husband with a divorce if he utters even one word in protest.
- Prince Igor Kuragin also doesn't fit the typical stereotype of a Russian nobleman, seeming like a kind, gentle old man. His wife Irina, on the other hand, is cold and aristocratic.
- Firefly had Zoe, an ass-kicking Action Girl, who was happily married to Wash, who was very much a Non-Action Guy. It seems that not All Amazons Want Hercules.
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air derived much humor from the Fish out of Water nature of a stereotypical black teen clashing with his flipped relatives in Bel Air. This is the most obvious with the Black and Nerdy Carlton, who is taunted by Will for not being "black enough", and Hilary, who is pretty much a black Dumb Blonde.
- Goodness Gracious Me has a variant. The stereotype of obnoxious Brits making idiots of themselves at an Indian restaurant is flipped when an Indian family decides to get drunk and "go for an English".
- Hannah Montana's Alpha Bitches Amber and Ashley are played by a black girl and an Asian girl. Amber is the hottest girl in school and a Rich Bitch, a role usually restricted to blondes, and Ashley is a bitchy Asian Airhead as opposed to "model minority" Asian and Nerdy. So, less of an Unfortunate Implication as much as a case of not restricting the ethnic kids to Black Best Friend and Token Minority.
- On Heroes, DL Hawkins was initially described as the classic Scary Black Man. When he actually showed up, he turned out to be one of the nicest and most sane guys on the show, completely dedicated to his wife and son. While initially said to be a criminal, he is, in fact, a firefighter.
- In one episode, Hiro and Ando have to hitchhike across Texas and are delighted when a trucker of Japanese heritage pulls over for them. The trucker is baffled by their use of the Japanese language and speaks in a typically "redneck" fashion.
- Meg Austin, Harm's partner in the first season only, is a beautiful blonde with a TexanDrawl who also happens to be a lawyer, professional computer hacker, and fluent in Spanish. More than once other characters (usually antagonists) will make dismissive comments about her, assuming her to be a Dumb Blonde or a harmless Damsel in Distress.
- J.D. in "Sightings", a drunken drawling veteran living in a trailer near the border, dismisses the possibility that the Mexican man he saw near Cathy could be responsible for her disappearance. In this case, because he could see the man was scared out of his wits.
- Leverage made The Smart Guy black and The Big Guy white. Elsewhere in the series, in one episode they meet another team, their "big guy" is an attractive Jewish woman. As an added bonus, the black smart guy also has tons of other skills, including painting, playing the violin, and being a damn good con artist.
- MADtv: The "Average Asian" sketches are about an Asian guy who is expected to have stereotypical Asian abilities (knows karate, origami, good at math, plays a musical instrument, etc.) by people around him but doesn't (except for ping pong, summoning ninjas, and laundry).
- Danny John Jules always enjoyed playing the Cat's nerdy alter-ego 'Dwayne Dibbley on Red Dwarf because it flipped the stereotype of black people as cool jive talking characters.
- In the Pushing Daisies episode "The Fun in Funeral", the culprit turns out to be an Asian-American good ol' boy who killed the victim to get back Civil War memorabilia belonging to his great-grandfather (a Chinese Laborer who wandered off from the railroad and ended up joining the Confederacy).
- Lisa Turtle from Saved by the Bell was written as a stereotypical "Jewish Princess" and cast as Black (gentile?) before the show went on the air. She was still materialistic and high maintenance, but managed to avoid many of the Unfortunate Implications of the Sassy Black Woman because of her class (somewhere between Rich Bitch and Spoiled Sweet) and Cloud Cuckoolander tendencies. Her character was the only female lead to survive the Retool.
- Stargate SG-1:
- Colonel Samantha Carter is a gorgeous, sexy, hot blonde. She also possesses an IQ surpassing Stephen Hawking's and has kicked several planets' worth of asses in two galaxies. And killed the gods of a third. She also blew up a sun.
- Jack O'Neill also breaks several stereotypes, being the Kirk and not into science most of the time he'll occasionally recognize stuff first... Of course, O'Neill isn't as dumb as he pretends to be. He just likes to put on the appearance of a dumb fighter jock to get people to leave him alone or underestimate him. He's the only known person who was able to survive having the total sum of Ancient knowledge downloaded into his head... twice.
- Daniel Jackson fits the bill as well. He is undoubtedly an academic in the literal sense (3 doctoral degrees to boot), and a nerd, who in the course of the show, has kicked his fair share of ass, and is far too good-looking to be a standard nerd.
- It should also be duly noted that of the two academics on the team, it's Samantha Carter who is the expert on the hard sciences, the career military officer, and The Lancer, while Daniel Jackson is a civilian whose specialties are in the much fuzzier subjects of archaeology, linguistics, and anthropology, he is The Heart of the team and even The Chick.
- Stargate Atlantis:
- Dr. Rodney McKay is Canadian. He is also arrogant, rude, hypochondriac, and generally a pain in the ass... when he's not kicking it. He also ends up with a hot chick... and is the only main character who has joined the Mile High Club.
- Major (later Colonel) Sheppard appears to be your typical O'Neill Expy. Except for the fact that he is eventually revealed to have a MENSA-level intelligence, which he simply chooses to keep secret. "Rod" McKay from a parallel universe even reveals that his version of Sheppard is his intellectual equal.
- Stargate SG-1:
- In an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, a Vulcan greets Captain Archer... with a warm and hearty handshake, something the Vulcans... don't do. She also asks Archer about her quarters; T'Pol assumes she's displeased with the smell as Vulcans have a more heightened sense of smell than humans. Rather, she wants Archer to thank the crewman who loaned it to her.
- There is also an episode of a group of Vulcan outcasts. One of the biggest clues that something is different about them is when their leader foregoes the typical vegetarian meal the chef prepared for him and asks to try some of the chicken, despite the well-known fact that Vulcans never consume meat.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
- Nog not only proves that he's more than a money-grubbing Ferengi, but he also becomes a Lieutenant in Starfleet. In some Expanded Universe novels, he becomes a Starfleet Admiral.
- Worf's lover K'ehleyr, a fellow Klingon (though half-human), actually cracks jokes, smiles, and seems to actually have other interests other than finding excuses to 'fight in glorious battle.' She's also an example of My Species Doth Protest Too Much, though in Star Trek this tends to be a standard-issue trait of alien hybrids.
- Worf himself flips the Hot-Blooded Klingon stereotype by instead being The Stoic. This is explained by him learning about Klingon culture through books rather than first-hand knowledge. He's very much surprised to learn that most Klingons are hardly the paragons of honor he perceived them to be.
- Star Trek: The Original Series: The mere fact of the original Enterprise's crew was a historic stereotype flip. A black woman who was actually not a servant. A very scrutable Asian. A Russian treated sympathetically at the height of the Cold War. One of Trek's great accomplishments was all the stereotypes it flipped.
- Step by Step flips the stereotypes of the Brainy Brunette and the Dumb Blonde. Dana is the snarky and brainy sister, who is rather close to becoming a Straw Feminist. Karen is not always dumb, but she mostly seems to only think about boys, clothes and her appearance. But unlike what you might think, Dana is the blonde and Karen is the brunette.
- The Suite Life of Zack and Cody: London Tipton, an Asian Airhead, yes, but usually the spoiled socialites are blonder. This is meant to contrast with the blonde Maddie who is the smart and intelligent one, flipping the dumb blonde stereotype.
- Phil Harding, regular on UK archaeology show Time Team, looks and talks like a stereotypical West Country poacher. He's also an expert in pottery and flint-knapping and can speak eruditely and at great length about them, "ooh-arr" accent and all.
- In an episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, During a talent competition between USC and University of Michigan football players called "All American Idol", a white guy faces up against a black guy in a rap battle and utterly schools him.
- In The Librarians 2014, Jacob Stone is your typical cowboy from Oklahoma, who enjoys going to a bar with his friends and starting a brawl. He also has a genius-level IQ and a PhD in art history, having written dozens of academic papers on the subject (all under assumed names). No wonder the Library picked him as a potential Librarian. By the end of Season 3, he's also a master martial artist, having learned from the Monkey King himself (although that last part is expected from someone, who knows Christian Kane from another show)...
- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Darryl is basically the exact opposite of a bisexual stereotype - he's in his forties, male, kind of boring (his idea of a rocking party mainly revolves around having many different types of cheese), and completely monogamous and pretty traditional (he loves children, unlike his boyfriend who is pretty neutral on the subject).
- Josh Chan is also a rare male example of an Asian Airhead, a nice, perpetually chill jock who can be a bit of a manchild. In one scene where Josh counts a number off on his fingers, the actor even confirmed with the director that he wasn't doing it too fast.
- Zig-zagged by Eddie and Lewis from Fresh Off the Boat: Lewis is Cantonese, but he operates an all-American steakhouse and is generally obsessed with US culture - though he's still an "Asian Workaholic" whose interest in American cuisine is extensive, but calculated to make a profit for himself and his family. His son, Eddie, embraces urban black music, style and interests, but casually mentions he's still top of his class.
- Discussed in an episode where Eddie's brother Emery starts high school - Eddie is afraid his nerdy behavior will ruin all the work Eddie had in proving he isn't an Asian stereotype. Emery defends himself by saying he's just trying to be himself without caring what other people think - just like Eddie.
- How I Met Your Mother: Marshall Eriksen is a lawyer... and the nicest, most moral guy on the show by far.
- WWE wrestler Jimmy Wang Yang's entire current gimmick is based around this. His character (a down-home cowboy who also happens to be Korean) has him deliberately defying Asian stereotypes by being proud of his Southern heritage, and wishing to be identified by his self-admitted love of being a redneck, rather than being judged by his race.
- John Cena is an even better example, both in Kayfabe and in Real Life. Born to relative privilege in a practically all-white Boston suburb, he embraced rap music at a young age and in time became a modestly successful rapper himself. And then, once he got to WWE, he flipped the stereotype right back by having his "wigger" character "join the military" (actually, he was just training for his starring role in The Marine) and transform seemingly overnight from a rude and crude ghetto thug to an all-American hero.
- Mexican-born Alberto Del Rio defies the usual stereotypes of Mexicans being poor, ignorant, and ill-mannered with his character of "The Mexican Aristocrat", who (at least when he is a heel) is quite Wicked Cultured. He also speaks with an upper-class colonial accent more reminiscent of Spain than of Mexico, rather than the more stereotypical mestizo accent associated with Eddie Guerrero and other Latino wrestlers.
- It was once extremely common for a wrestler performing a HeelFace Turn or a FaceHeel Turn to completely invert their stereotypical qualities to make the transition more dramatic. An example of the latter would be Nikolai Volkoff's turnaround from being a Dirty Communist to an apple-pie American patriot, while the former is exemplified in Rick Martel's switch from soft-spoken nice guy to the arrogant Jerkass known as "The Model." Now that Black and Gray Morality is much more common in sports-entertainment, it's customary for wrestlers to simply retain (as much as possible) their old qualities when they turn: TNA's "Mr. Anderson" may be a crowd favorite from time to time, but he's still undeniably an "Asshole."
- The Zeroth Law of Trope Examples strikes again. In Othello, Shakespeare flips not one, but three Dead Horse Tropes: the brutal, lascivious, and treacherous Moor; the promiscuous, cunning, venal Venetian lady, and the honest soldier. Othello is honorable, cool-headed (mostly) and chaste, Desdemona is almost a Purity Sue in her simplicity, while Iago is a Manipulative Bastard and the villain of the story...
- In Electra, Chrysothemis is very clear on the point that Electra is not behaving like a woman should at all (i.e. She refuses to defer to others and accept her weakness and limits as a woman, is certain to remain unmarried and neglected because of her behaviour, is stubborn and excessive in mourning her father, and is conspiring to murder her mother and step-father). Electra is a Tragic Hero, after all.
- M. Butterfly has its title and plot clearly based on Madame Butterfly's, but turns out to be a deconstruction of the "demure and submissive Asian woman who lives only for her Mighty Whitey man" stereotype codified by Madame Butterfly when it's revealed that the seemingly demure and submissive Song is actually a male spy who manipulated the white diplomat Gallimard as ruthlessly as Pinkerton did with Butterfly in Madame Butterfly, and it's Gallimard who kills himself in the end out of love for a man, even cross-dressing as a Japanese woman and committing suicide in the same manner Butterfly did.
- A Very Potter Musical casts a white girl with an exaggerated Southern drawl as the canonically Chinese-British Cho Chang. She occasionally drops some Gratuitous Chinese (and Japanese), implying that her name isn't as non-indicative as it seems.
- Mass Effect takes pride in introducing a hat for a species to wear and then instantly having them take it off.
- Liara is a shy bookworm from a planet of sociable diplomats, Garrus is a loose cannon from a species of obedient soldiers (who lampshades it by saying that he's "not a very good turian") and Wrex is a philosophical and noble leader from a species of Blood Knights.
- The second game introduces two asari who are so far outside the stereotype most of their own people tend not to mention them; a krogan warlord obsessed with producing a single perfect krogan rather than returning to the old ways; and a geth who reveals the hat placed on his race in the original game applied to only a small rebel faction.
- The extremely civil and eloquent krogan businessman you can meet on Illium. Another one, Charr, doesn't seem to have a ounce of aggression in his body and is wooing an asari with poetry.
- Mordin, for the most part, represents the two typical things salarians are known for: science and espionage. Then he reveals that he is also a pretty good singer, having done the salarian adaptations of Gilbert and Sullivan.
- Even the fourth game has characters who defy the stereotypes of their race. Drack is an ancient krogan who actually has some pretty progressive views on how his species should survive Andromeda, Vetra is an amoral yet good-hearted turian smuggler who never went to boot camp, Peebee is a hyperactive asari who would rather live by the now and is perhaps the biggest critic of asari culture, Kallo, your pilot, is a salarian who actually doesn't like pushing already state of the art tech to its limits and uses his perfect memory to remember the good times of friends rather than knowledge. Even the human party members, Liam and Cora, can defy stereotypes from the view of the other races (being open about respecting and working with other species and completely adopting another race's culture respectively).
- Khalisah al-Jilani (an Arab woman) is a ditzy, vapid tabloid reporter. She's not exactly a sympathetic character (the player has the option to punch her in the face at one point), but she's such a far cry from typical Arab stereotypes that it almost comes off as Flawless Token.
- None of the Katawa Shoujo characters entirely fulfill the cliche of their disability (Hanako probably comes the closest, but she is still much deeper than you'd expect)...
- ...but Shizune really blows her own out of the water. She's deaf-mute, but instead of being shy and passive she's an outgoing, competitive, ruthless taskmaster who is a totally devoted Student Council President.
- One of the reasons Emi gives for why she gets up early every morning to go running is because her doctors said that she would have to relearn how to walk after losing her legs. Due to sheer determination, she gets through physical therapy much faster than expected and continues to run "simply because she can". Also, rather hilariously, despite being the youngest-looking of the main characters, (seriously, she looks like she's 13; she's actually 19.) she's also the one who swears the most.
- The expansions to Neverwinter Nights 2 flip stereotypes with several characters.
- Mask of the Betrayer has Gann, a hagspawn spirit shaman who is the resident Mr. Fanservice. Hagspawn are normally ugly brutes (-2 Charisma, favored class Barbarian). Gann isn't because his parents actually loved each other.
- Safiya is everything the vast majority of Red Wizards are not, more interested in learning and teaching than accruing personal power.
- Storm of Zehir has:
- Umoja, a druid who hams it up rather than whinging about the balance of life.
- Belueth the Calm, a Neutral Evil aasimar rogue. Aasimar are normally good (favored class Paladin) due to their celestial heritage.
- Grykk Bannersworn, a half-orc paladin. Not much else needs to be said.
- Ribsmasher, the batshit insane monk. You ain't getting any inner peace out of this guy.
- Dragon Age: Origins has an example of this in one of the romance subplots related to Morrigan and Leliana. Morrigan is the 'atheist' member of the player's party who tends to hate religion whereas Leliana is the church-attending saint of the group. In a flip of a real life expectation, it's Leliana, the religious party member, who is open to a homosexual relationship with a female player character (she will also form a relationship with a male player character as well). Morrigan, the atheist party member, is strictly heterosexual and will only entertain a romantic relationship with a male player character.
- Baldur's Gate: gave us Montaron, a Halfling thief. So far, the stereotype is pretty accurate, but where the average halfling is a Good-aligned, jolly, chubby sling-user, Montaron is a Neutral Evil (and a member of the Zhentarim, an evil-aligned organization) grumpy, vaguely psychotic, bloodthirsty scar-covered backstabber.
- In Final Fantasy VII, Tifa Lockhart and Aerith Gainsborough are meant to form a Tomboy and Girly Girl routine: the former is a bartender in revealing clothes who fights with her bare hands, while the latter sells flowers, wears a pink dress, and is the party's healer. Thing is, their expected personalities are swapped: Tifa is shy and motherly, while Aerith is flirty and adventurous. That being said it's a little subtle, causing some fans and Square-Enix themselves to miss this and switch them right around again.
- In beat 'em up videogames, Italians are mostly depicted as sexy and suave, with examples including Robert Garcia from Art of Fighting, Rose from Street Fighter, Claudio Serafino from Tekken, and Brad Burns from Virtua Fighter. Soul Calibur's resident Italian, Voldo (a native of Palermo), is a brilliantly freaky, hideous looking bondage-fiend and provides a rather excellent exception to the rule.
- Many Pokémon are animals that flip the general Animal Stereotype that the animal they are based on may have. Such as Hippopotas (a hippopotamus) and Sandile (a crocodile) lines being Ground-types that hate getting wet despite being animals that are generally aquatic.
- The Sniper of Team Fortress 2 is an interesting one. His initial personality (an outback big-game hunter who favors large knives) is pretty well within real-world Aussie stereotypes... but in the setting of the game, Australians are Hot-Blooded Genius Boisterous Bruiser types, who are incredibly muscular, have thick mustaches and chest hair and enjoy wrestling and boxing. The Sniper, on the other hand, is clean-shaven bar mild Perma-Stubble, Lean and Mean, and a Long-Range Fighter and Combat Pragmatist with an overall detached and down-to-earth personality, making him basically the opposite of the stereotypical Aussie. Eventually, it's revealed that he's actually a New Zealander raised by Australians.
- Overwatch has Soldier: 76, a vigilante who happens to be gay. One stereotype found in homosexual males is that they are good dancers. Soldier: 76 dances like well.......see for yourself
- The Order of the Stick often does this with various professional/race stereotypes of Dungeons & Dragons and the like.
- Roy is a fighter, a class usually associated with Dumb Muscle, but he's a Genius Bruiser.
- Belkar is a halfling, a race generally known for being carefree and jolly, but he's Chaotic Evil and generally ill-tempered when not hurting people or caring for his pet cat.
- Crystal is a pretty young assassin who works for a half-Orc — but she's the Dumb Muscle/ The Brute and he's a pleasant Don type.
- Elan also gets this, but not in a good way...
- The Once and Future Nerd has a teenage elf with an American southern accent.
- Takotsubo's protagonist Cord Cai is a Deconstruction of the "Asian-American gangster" stereotype: A beaten-down, traumatized young man who hates being a stereotype, but thinks it's the only thing he's good for. According to the author, the story will go even farther than flipping the stereotype: Cord is a superhero who thinks he's a villain.
- Francine from American Dad! was angry at her adoptive Chinese parents for leaving all they had to their unseen birth daughter, Gwen. It turns out that they actually have more respect for Francine, and that Gwen is an Asian Airhead who isn't even good at math. Stan and Francine's father both agree it's terrible for children to disrespect their parents' stereotypes. Used in-universe in one story when Francine and Hiko Yoshido go into an all-out war over the spelling bee Steve and Akiko are competing in. Despite not speaking a word of Japanese, Hiko demonstrates she is nonetheless a ninja, and confronts Francine in a fight to the death, smugly assuming that a blonde American woman will be easy prey. And then she finds out Francine's adoptive parents are Chinese. Cue Francine picking up a sword and a Wire Fu battle erupting.
- In Futurama, Planet Express' accountant Hermes Conrad—a Jamaican man—is the exact opposite of a stereotypical Jamaican, being an uptight, neurotic workaholic rather than a mellow and relaxed Nice Guy. Though he does enjoy reggae, he's a limbo champion, and he's implied to be a practicing Rastafarian in at least one episode. Not to mention his...other interests.
- King of the Hill:
- Dale Gribble is a Right-Wing Militia Fanatic and general Conspiracy Theorist, but against stereotype isn't racist/prejudiced in the slightest and is actually a pretty nice guy.
- There was also an episode where Khan, in grief over failing to get Connie into a prep school, decided to embrace his "American" side and completely abandon his Laotian heritage and behaviors, becoming an unbearably stereotypical redneck instead of his normal stereotypical "Asian workaholic" behavior.
- In The Magic School Bus, the blonde Dorothy Ann is the resident Smart Girl in Mrs. Frizzle's class, and apparently reads constantly when she's not on field trips. Hell, her Catch-Phrase was "According to my research..."
- Ren and Stimpy are flips of Animal Stereotypes. Ren is a mean dog, Stimpy is a Dumb Is Good cat.
- The titular characters on The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy flip the Dumb Blonde and Fiery Redhead stereotype, with Billy being the dumb redhead and Mandy being the fiery blonde.
- On South Park, Token Black (yes, that's his name) is the richest kid in town, and his parents seem to be more educated than just about anybody else. The entire episode "Here Comes the Neighborhood" plays on this idea: as more rich and successful black people move to town, the poor white characters begin to get angry, but over class rather than race — until the very end, where Mr. Garrison basically outs himself as a racist. Token does actually fulfill some pretty funny stereotypes himself though: He has an astounding soul voice (then-Mrs. Garrison claimed that it got her wet), and this little gem...
Cartman: Alright, Token, give me a smooth bass line.
Token: I don't know how to play bass.
Cartman: Token, how many times we have to go through this? You are black, you can play bass.
Token: I'm getting sick of your stereotypes.
Cartman: Be as sick as you want, just give me a goddamn bass line!
[Token plays a perfect funky line with slap]
- Minoriteam has the title characters as ethnic superheroes who fulfill their respective stereotypes to a T. In their civilian identities, however, they're all flipped: The Mexican gardener is a wealthy CEO, the misogynistic black man is a Woman's Studies professor, the Jewish accountant is obsessed with black culture, and the Indian shopkeeper is a skateboarder.