Follow TV Tropes


The Capital of Brazil Is Buenos Aires

Go To
Spanish-speaking Latin Lover clad in Conquistador armor?
Yep, definitely Brazilian.
"We are, in the eyes of the rest of the world, Hispanics who don't speak Spanish."

...when it's not Rio de Janeiro.

Some country somewhere in Latin Land; the spoken language is Spanish, like everywhere in Latin Land. It is composed of only one state (which is overrun by the Amazon forest) called São Paulo, whose capital is Rio de Janeiro, but it is also called Buenos Aires. Every Brazilian woman is stunningly beautiful, and has a beautiful bunda (that's Spanish for "ass", right?).note  By the way, whenever you're in a Brazilian city, it'll be a favela (what Brazilian people call shantytowns), which is a place that makes the industrial era slums look like bright Utopias; there are monkeys in the city streets, and large cats, and alligators ... and the occasional anaconda. The state has no military whatsoever, or schools; civilization is at a never-ending war against the natives. Finally, everyone is junkyard poor.

Whenever you see a Brazilian (or really, any South American) in fiction, expect him to look like a stereotypical Mexican or Latino. Also, whenever The Hero goes to Brazil for whatever reason it will be during Carnaval. Always.note  Well, it would be easier to just make a list of what is wrong with Brazil in fiction:

In fiction In Real Life
Animals roam free in the cities. You're as likely to find a monkey in São Paulo as you are to find a deer in New York City. And even then, said monkeys are usually marmosets, which are closer to American squirrels in terms of size and behavior.
The Amazonian Rainforest spans the whole country and it is the only kind of vegetation seen. Brazil has one of the most diverse climates in the world, ranging from rain forests (both the iconic Amazon Rainforest and the lesser known Atlantic Forest on the southeast coast) to swamps, deserts, temperate fields and savannahs. It's a lot more like the good ol' US of A than most people think, except the US mainland lacks a tropical rainforest, Brazil's mountains are more similar to the Appalachians than the Rockies, and Brazil doesn't have anything most people would recognize as tundra.
The women wear elaborate dresses and hats with fruit or plumes of feathers on them, à la Carmen Miranda. The tutti-frutti hat is a Hollywood fabrication,note  and the extravagant feathered headdresses are only worn on the annual Carnaval street parades.
Women have very little freedom, are subservient to their husbands and fathers, do not work outside the home, and are treated as second-class citizens, while men hold misogynistic views. Women also are regarded as equals to men. They have the right to vote and participate in government. Women work in all sorts of occupations and many women go to college. This is highly dependent on wealth and social class, as the more upper class women are more likely to have the same freedoms as men, while lower class women tend to be trapped in a cycle of dependence on men. Brazil was traditionally a patriarchal culture (for example if a husband killed his wife, it was considered okay if he could prove she was cheating on him.), but this is changing, although domestic violence is still a problem specific laws were established in an attempt to curb the issue.
Everyone lives in abject poverty, and every urban location is a favela. One of the main social problems in the country is precisely the huge income difference between rich and poor people, with the richest in a state similar to Belgium's upper classes and the poorest looking more like India's — between them there're a whole range of middle-class citizens.
All women and most men are insanely beautiful (and slutty, if the fiction work in question is particularly fond of stereotypes). The Latino stereotype pervades, down to the cultural references. Black people are virtually unseen. Brazil has the biggest Black population outside of Africa, but various white/black mixes are very common. Brazil has a massively mixed population with immigrants from all over Europe and Asia (about 1% of Brazil population descend from Japanese migration; Brazil is actually the country where the most numerous Japanese diaspora lives). People of all levels of physical attractiveness exist.
Geography, as in most Hollywood Atlas tropes, is completely messed up, usually overlapping the Iguazu Falls, the Amazon Forest and Rio de Janeiro in the same place. These landmarks are thousands of miles apart. You can't "hop" from Rio to the Amazon River any more than you can "hop" from Miami to the Grand Canyon. Its 2400 miles from Rio de Janeiro to Manaus (capital of the state of Amazonas in the heart of the Amazon rainforest), and you would go from the coast, up to the highlands, across a lot of farmland, hills, swamps etc. before even reaching the rainforest. Brazil is big, roughly the size of the continental US, a fact which is distorted by the popular Mercator maps which tend to exaggerate the size of countries nearer to the poles.
Brazilians speak Spanish. Their English is spoken with a Mexican accent. The official language is Portuguese, and slightly overtakes Spanish as the most spoken language in South America. A Brazilian Portuguese accent doesn't sound much at all like a Spanish accent of any nationality; if anything, it sounds closest to French-Canadian.
Brazilians dance the tango. There are two styles of tango — ballroom and Argentine — but neither originated in Brazil. The most well-known Brazilian dance style is the samba, probably (though there are a variety of national dances, ranging from the folk ones, like baião and carimbó, to ones popular enough to be played in rock festival-like concerts, like forró and sertanejo, and of course, the lambada). And even attempts at "accuracy" by making samba the stereotype don't necessarily work, since Brazil has a rich musical scene, both with its national genres (also including Bossa nova) and more universal ones like pop, rock and rap (as a matter of fact, one of the world's most popular heavy metal bands is Brazilian).
Technology, fashion and architecture look like something between colonial times and The '50s. Brazil has undergone a massive development spurt in the last decades, with matching architecture. Its cities are filled with modern skyscrapers, shiny cars, and trendy fashions.
The country has no military to speak of. Not only does Brazil have the strongest military in South America (which even fought in the Italian theater of World War II), said military also has been in power during two times: The first between 1889 to 1894 during the so called Sword Republic and between 1964 to 1985 during the Brazilian military dictatorship.
All Brazilians are phenomenal soccer players. Soccer is also the only sport played there. The average Brazilian is as likely to be a good soccer player as the average American is likely to be a basketball/football superstar or the average Japanese is likely to be a karate/baseball master. This can especially be seen in later years, as the national team's string of lackluster performances (with which the supporters are most decidedly not happy), coupled with Spain's rampant success in the early 2010s and a quirk in the ranking system,note  caused it to drop from the top spot to as low as 22nd (now back to 2nd, behind Belgium) in the FIFA World Rankings since the 2010 World Cup (Brazil hasn't been able to hold the top spot consistently since February 2007). While soccer is the most popular sport, many other sports are played and followed there too, such as volleyball and auto racing (Ayrton Senna is still revered as a national hero, even over 25 years after his passing), with mixed martial arts experiencing a popularity spurt since the 2010s.
The country is an extension of the Mayincatec Empire, complete with Machu Picchu and ziggurats where appropriate. The Native Brazilians were nowhere near this technologically advanced (at least not in the conventional European definition of advanced). Also, Machu Picchu is in Peru, the Aztecs were in Mexico, the Inca were mostly in Peru, and the Maya were mostly in the Yucatan Peninsula and modern-day Guatemala and Belize (an Anglophone, not Latin American country in Central America).

Brazil, as with other Latin American countries, is a constant victim of research failure, as most people around the world (particularly from English-speaking countries) only know Brazil from tropes like this. For the record, the real capital of Brazil is Brasília, which is no hamlet itself at 2.5 million people. Rio used to be the capital up until April 21, 1960, when Brasília was founded by then-Brazilian President Juscelino Kubitschek. It even is considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (Buenos Aires is not in Brazil at all, but in neighboring Argentina). Brasília actually represents another similarity between Brazil and the United States: like Washington, D.C., it was a city built from the ground up to be the national capital, in a less than desirable physical environment (Washington, D.C. was built on a swamp, Brasília was built in the middle of the Cerrado, a savannah-like environment found mainly in Brazil's center and west).

Finally, it's probably useful to know that Brazil and Argentina (the country whose capital is actually Buenos Aires) have an old historical rivalry, even though nowadays it is mostly tongue-in-cheek and mainly reduced to sports.

See also Spexico and Interchangeable Asian Cultures.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Nodame Cantabile has the protagonist Shinichi Chiaki going to São Paulo as a guest conductor. What does he find at first? Asses, thongs, beaches (although São Paulo is far away from any beaches), hot sun... He even hallucinates about Carnival while conducting.
  • For an anime that surely shows a love for Brazil, Michiko & Hatchin fails miserably in several key basic information about the country. Surely you can't blame the Japanese for giving Japanese names to everybody, but then they try to balance it out with Brazilian surnames but the surnames don't make any sense as surnames. The anime can't even get something as basic as some of its local treats right by their local names. "Água de coco" (coconut water) is called "suco de coco" (coconut juice) and "caldo de cana" (sugarcane syrup) is called "suco de cana" (sugarcane juice) on the street market signs, when absolutely no Brazilian would call then that way.
  • Inazuma Eleven features the very powerful Brazilian national team The Kingdom. The only team in FFI (that's their World Cup) to sweep 4-0 in their corresponding blocks. Whose captain Mac Roniejo has a special move named "Strike Samba" that obviously shouts "CARNIVAL!" and their special tactic being the Amazon River itself (or at least a humongous wave from the Amazon). And then there's the dark side. They were blackmailed by the Big Bad Garshield to work for him, since their families are extremely poor. The catch: win the FFI or get sent straight back to the favelas. However, everything else is averted. Their looks are obviously Brazilian, especially the goalkeeper Falcão da Silva (a capoerista on top of that.)
  • In Pani Poni Dash!, The cast heads off to an isolated island at the far southern portion of Japan, where they find (among many other weird things) a pit of quicksand that reaches all the way through the Earth and ends up in Brazil. Resident Genki Girl and Cloudcuckoolander Himeko decides to join in on the celebration of Carnaval while they are down there. When they return to Japan, they end up falling into the pit of quicksand AGAIN, and Himeko once again joins in on the Carnaval, but this time, she shakes her hips so fast and so much that she's tuckered out for the next few scenes when they return to Japan. Oddly enough, every woman in Brazil looks like a tanned version of Ito, the class's resident generic background character.
  • In a chapter of Sgt. Frog, the King of Terror attempts to destroy the world during the New Year, beating into the Earth with a mortar to do that. Doing this causes a fissure to run through the Earth, causing earthquakes from Japan all the way to Brazil. Discounting the fact that the only part of Japan that is an antipode to Brazil is Okinawanote  (which is something else entirely and likely done for Rule of Funny), when the earthquake hits Brazil, the people are shown to be right in the middle of celebrating Carnaval (which is between 6-8 weeks after New Year), complete with soccer-themed floats.

    Comic Books 
  • For some unknown reason, every single Brazilian character to ever show up in Comic Books, either as Superheroes or as minor characters, have always had the last name "da Costa" or "daCosta" (although prepositions are not considered part of the name).
    • The worst offender is the most prominent Brazilian superhero, the (very) minor superhero Fire from the DC Universe (better known as member of the Justice League International). Not only her last name is daCosta, pretty much everything on her biography and herself is just plain wrong. Her complete name is Beatriz Bonilla daCosta (née Carvalho; which doesn't even makes sense as married women keep their last names when getting married, only adding their husband's last name if they want), of which only Carvalho and Beatriz are proper Brazilian names (Beatriz is also a proper Spanish name, so it was probably a fortunate coincidence), "da Costa" (not "daCosta") being a kinda common surname. Her father name is Ramon, again a name more common outside of Brazil. She was an agent for the Espiães (sic; correct spelling "Espiões") Nacionales (Yup, seems like Brazilian institutions have Spanish names) de (sic; "do") Brasil (ugh, we should be happy it wasn't "Espiones", which, by the way, wouldn't even be Spanish). By the way, the Brazilian intelligence agency is called ABIN (Agência Brasileira de Inteligência), which was known as SNI (Serviço Nacional de Informações - "National Information Service") when she was created in 1979 (still during the dictatorship), much like CIA isn't named "National Spies of the United States". Some of this was thankfully retconned, but there's too much wrong that's too deep to retcon there.
    • A look at DC Wikia's page listing Brazilian characters show that many of them have Spanish surnames, like Lopez, Reyes and Guzman. Besides Beatriz herself, only Alexia Santos, Miriam Delgado, Inez Luisa and Vitoria (the last two aren't given surnames) pass as Brazilian names. That being said, Brazilians with Spanish surnames isn't too far-fetched either, considering all its surrounding countries speak Spanish and people living near the borders of either country tend to transit freely between one another (such as Bolivia, Paraguay or Argentina).
    • The Brazilian names cited in Marvel Wikia are a bit better, citing Iara dos Santos (Shark Girl of the X-Men) and Francisco Araujo da Costa (a mob hitman who was killed bt the Punisher), a rare example with two surnames, both accurate. On the other hand, there are some Spanish ones, like Aguillar, Pepe Manero and Omar Barreños (Portuguese language doesn't have the 'ñ'). The worst offender is Captain Forsa: his codename, in Portuguese, should be "Capitão Força" (Captain Strength). The word "forsa" isn't Portuguese... neither Spanish, in which the corresponding word is "fuerza".
    • Sunspot of the New Mutants also used to be a victim of the aforementioned "daCosta" junction, until the writers amended it in recent years. For an extra serving of this trope, his powers first manifested while he was playing soccer. He was originally established to be African-Brazilian, but at some point "everyone in South America is Latino" kicked in and he's been shown in various shades of Ambiguously Brown.
  • Pictured: Defensor, a minor Gratuitous Spanish-speaking Marvel superhero in faux-conquistador armor and whose original power was that he owned a golden shield, has been referred both as Argentinian and Brazilian depending on the panel.
  • Godzilla in Hell reveals the event that kicked off Godzilla's journey was an apocalyptic battle with Space Godzilla in Rio de Janeiro specifically so the kaiju could destroy "Christ the Redeemer" and the whole world in an Earth-Shattering Kaboom.

  • In the Mr. Magoo movie, Quincy Magoo faces off against a monkey in the middle of a high-class party at Rio de Janeiro. He also glides from there to the Iguazu Falls, a Brazilian-Argentinian landmark that's in the Brazilian border in the other side of the country.
  • The movie The Burning Season commits the Latin ethnicity error. Every Brazilian shown could as well be Mexican.
  • The movie Blame It on Rio is a perfect example of this trope. In the movie all women are topless at the beach and surrounded by monkeys, parrots and toucans. The painful irony lies in the fact that the director had to artificially add these elements to the beach scene since they were not there to begin with, which means he knew they were not realistic.
  • Rare aversion in The Incredible Hulk. Bruce Banner isn't in a favela because he happens to be in Brazil, he's in a favela because he doesn't want to be found, the ethnic diversity is shown, Bruce Banner going to great lengths to learn Portuguese (and struggling with it), people in favelas shown to actually work, it not being Carnival, among some minor details.
  • Zig-Zagged in the infamous movie Woman on Top, where Brazil is portrayed avoiding most of the topics above mentioned, but still the main heroine was interpreted by a Spanish actress (Penélope Cruz), and for a famous restaurant the place was strangely decaying. Word of God says that they were going to cast a Brazilian actress, but Penelope Cruz was just too damn good to miss.
  • The Legend of the Titanic features among the mice characters, a Brazilian mouse named Ronnie who is obsessed with soccer. Surprisingly, he is from Recife.
  • Miami Vice features Ciudad Del Este, a cosmopolitan boomtown on the tri-border area between Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. Exactly the kind of city a geography-challenged screenwriter could have made up, but it really exists.
  • Lampshaded and played with masterfully, for plot-point effects in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. Jennifer Love Hewitt's character wins a radio contest by answering the trivia question "What is the capital of Brazil?" with Rio de Janeiro. She, her Token Black Friend, and their boyfriends don't actually visit Brazil, but towards the end, the revelation that Brazil's capital is actually Brasília leads her to realize that the whole thing was a trap.
  • Averted,note  in the movie Brazil, which seems to take place in a future Britain.
    • However, the movie originally opened in an exotic South American rainforest.
      • And it's named for the song, not the country (the song is about Brazil though).
  • A rather bizarre example in Nothing but Trouble: the main character's clients are a couple of obnoxious sibling "Brazillionaires" named Fausto and Renalda Squiriniszu (a surname that is not only neither Portuguese nor Spanish, but doesn't seem to even exist). They speak Spanish, not Portuguese, and a Freeze-Frame Bonus shows their passports to be Argentinian, yet at the end of the movie, they are seen safely at their mansion in Rio.
  • The Big Bad in the American remake of Taxi is played by Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen, whose character leads a gang of hot Brazilian female carjackers. And they all speak Portuguese, appropriately... The problem is, except for Gisele's character, they speak European Portuguese, instead of Brazilian.
  • The Rundown tries its best (especially considering they shot it in Hawaii after the location scouts who traveled to Brazil got robbed there), even managing to put ads for Brazilian beer and some soccer crests in the background. But the atrocious Portuguese and the baboons make it even more hilarious to Brazilians. There's also American actress Rosario Dawson pretending to be a native Brazilian, although she's not that bad.
    • One should notice that the entire setting of the movie (backwater Hell of endless mining) is accurate... if we were in the 80's, that is. You're unlikely to find anything like that these days (hint: diamonds run out after a while).
    • Of note is Filipino-American actor Ernie Reyes playing "Manito", a character named after a Mexican colloquialism derived from the Spanish word for "little brother", hermanito. The Portuguese equivalent would be Maninho. Reyes delivers his Portuguese lines phonetically as he doesn't speak the language.
  • Nicely (mostly) averted in Phillipe de Broca's 1964 That Man from Rio — Rio is shown as a big, bustling modern city, and one of the principal characters is black (along with several minor ones), though he does live in a favela. Another principal is a rich man named De Castro, which is close to da Costa (but played by the Italian Adolfo Celi). It's not Carnival, but there is some samba dancing. The action shifts to a newly-minted Brasília, the distance there and to a village in the Amazon being accurately portrayed.
  • Painfully obvious in the (bad) James Bond movie Moonraker, which has several scenes set in Rio. Obviously, it's Carnival, and the Sugar Loaf (with its cable cars) is a location, as are the Iguaçu Falls (which fall on the "mixing landmarks" example mentioned above, as they are part of the Amazon river in the movie). As well, there's an Aztec temple or something ... in the Amazon. Not to mention the billboards are in English (7 Up wasn't even sold in Brazil aside from a period in the mid-90s).
    • The actual sequence is very jarring to anyone remotely familiar to Brazil. Bond starts in Rio, next we see him driving a boat down the Amazon River (several hours by plane to the north) while fighting henchmen, then he goes over Iguaçu Falls (not a part of the Amazon watershed, it lies on the border between Brazil and Argentina). The next scene features him meeting Q in what is quite obviously the Pampas (southern Brazil/northern Argentina), complete with stereotypical Gauchos. After that he's infiltrating a decidedly Mayan-looking temple (on another hemisphere entirely). The American equivalent would be leaving New York City, boating down the Mississippi, going over Niagara Falls and walking to a location in New Mexico.
  • Mostly averted in Rio. It helps that the director is Brazilian, and one of the actors too. Still they arrive during carnival.
    • In the sequel, various cities Americans might not know are shown during the Travel Montage. On the other hand, there's some enforced Television Geography as various parts of the Amazon are mixed close together.
      • Also, Brasília has its iconic buildings in the wrong place. It can be forgiven to have the National Congress facing the JK Bridge and also being much closer than the two landmarks actually are from each other (you can barely see the top of the Congress from the Bridge), to frame the shot better. But why is the Cathedral to the north side of the Congress?
  • 2012 has a broadcast showing Rio getting hit by an earthquake (complete with the Cristo Redentor's destruction). They namedrop an actual news station, Globo News. But the broadcaster speaks with a Portuguese accent! Due to Hollywood Science, let's not delve into the fact that Brazil is far from any earthquake zone.
  • The Producers plays this trope so straight it's almost a parody with the short musical number "You'll Find Your Happiness In Rio," wherein a band of mariachi accompanies the characters' singing.
    You'll find your happiness in Rio
    The beaches there are strewn with pearls
    The tropic breezes always blow there
    And, so we hear, do the girls
  • The opening scene of Paddington 2 is ostensibly set in Paddington's homeland of Darkest Peru, but the scene prominently features Iguazu Falls, which is actually on the border between Brazil and Argentina.

  • Book of the New Sun might count as an example: it is set After the End in what definitely seems to be a South or Central American country (there are references to pampas, people drink hot chocolate with chili peppers, there is a reference to the Popul Vuh at one point), but perhaps because of the horrible economic inequality, the popular fan Epileptic Trees theory is that it is set in future Buenos Aires.
    • There's a character in the first book who is clearly a Shout-Out to Jorge Luis Borges, who was Argentinian. And the capital city is called Nessus, which depending who you listen to is either a: obviously a reference to BueNOS AIreS, or b: obviously a reference to a character from mythology, who was poisoned like the water and soil of the old city.
    • New Sun's geography fits too well to be anything but South America. Nessus is on the banks of a huge river (the Rio de la Plata), ocean to the east, mountains in the west and jungle to the north.
  • Twilight book Breaking Dawn does that as well during Bella and Edward honeymoon trip, where we find out that the Cullens have an island in Rio de Janeiro, where you arrive through the west bit of the city, then take a boat, in spite of the fact that they should have gone south from the airport to reach the sea. No one was surprised that Stephenie Meyer didn't know how to use Google Maps, but then it becomes even better when Edward decided to go back to the mainland to hunt. Since, you know, it's a forest out there and there must be something that a vegetarian vampire could eat. Except there isn't anything big enough for him (a stray capybara would be a lucky find...). One wonders if he attacked the city zoo.
    • Funny thing, too, that in the week Breaking Dawn came out, a massive amount of dead penguins were found in the north coast, in an unexpected case of Leaning on the Fourth Wall.
    • The geography bit might actually be a case of Shown Their Work, as you do reach the sea by going straight west off the city of Rio de Janeiro. The city's coast mostly faces south, but since it's a peninsula, you can reach the sea from any point of the city by going in all three cardinal directions save for north.
  • Averted in Breakfast at Tiffany's: Holly writes to the narrator that "Brazil was beastly but Buenos Aires the best." However, played straight in that she thinks that she'll pass over the Andes while flying from Miami to Brazil: the Andes encompass a good deal of South America, but not Brazil. And, since the Andes run along the Western coast of South America, it would be impossible to fly over them coming from Miami anyway.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In one episode of House, Dr. House surprises every Brazilian to ever watch the show by saying "castanhas-do-Pará" perfectly well in actual Portuguese instead of a Spanish mimic of Portuguese, but then this leads to him diagnosing his patient to be in Brazil because he was somewhere where Carnival was celebrated for a month. Not only is Carnival only celebrated for part of a week in Brazil (or one whole week in the case of the city of Salvador), it would be the rough equivalent of saying the United States doesn't function during the month of Thanksgiving. House was trying to solve a case of apparent radiation poisoning of a CIA agent stationed in Brazil. His handlers screwed up when they switched the location on the file to a Spanish-speaking country to keep the nature of his assignment a secret. The agent was actually suffering from selenium poisoning because he had been binging on Brazil nuts.
  • An episode of Law & Order: SVU revolves around a Hispanic-American sailor who was wrongly convicted of rape after being mistaken with a Brazilian sailor, due to the similarity of their uniforms. The Brazilian sailor has the Spanish name Javier instead of the Portuguese variant, Xavier. And he speaks English with his Brazilian buddy, for that matter.

    Video Games 
  • Samba de Amigo features Brazilian Funny Animal characters yet the soundtrack is full of Spanish music and the games revolve around maracas.
  • The E3 trailer of the game Shadowrun, set in Brazil, had a poster stating "Las Tropas, Unen", which is Spanish (wrong Spanish at that), not Portuguese. They fixed everything to be written in Portuguese when the game got actually released.
  • Played mostly straight in the game Terranigma. The village of Liotto is based on Rio de Janeiro (complete with a Christ The Redeemer statue), and it's appropriately Carnivalesque as per the trope. However, the producers took the time to add signs in Portuguese.
    • And (fairly misspelled, but still) names from Brazilian cuisine (feijoada, churrasco and caipirinha; that last one being a drink made with a strong liquor that a child like Ark had no business drinking, really).
    • And all Brazillians are black, except the blonde girl outside, the receptionist girl and the boy who talk about soccer (his mother is black too).
    • In the boy's room there's a poster of Brazillian soccer hero nicknamed "Pelé".
  • In the game Nigel Mansells F1 World Championship, the Brazilian GP is set at the Interlagos circuit, against a nice backdrop of the Sugar Loaf, a landmark of Rio de Janeiro... except Interlagos located at São Paulo.
  • Max Payne 3 scared a lot of fans of the series with its radical change of setting to São Paulo. In Brazil, however, it gained a lot of attention because Brazilians were wondering how much it would completely misrepresent them. The trailer seemed to show Hispanic people speaking in Spanish accents, in what seemed like a pretty standard Mexican drug lord plot set in California. With the game out, it's actually pretty good - we get to see both the luxurious modern locales of the superrich and the favela squalour, racial variation, Portuguese use and Brutal Police Captain Ersatz of BOPE (made famous worldwide by The Elite Squad; though the squad that fulfills these duties in São Paulo is called ROTA). Max does make the soccer player goof, though, and the confusion of this trope is invoked with Passos: he's revealed to be Colombian, not Brazilian, in order to lure Max to Brazil as hired muscle. Max even comments on his phony accent after it seems Passos betrays him.
  • In Rainbow Six: Raven Shield the tangos plant a bomb on a São João's float. The June Festivities (St. John, St. Anthony and St. Peter's days) are specially celebrated in rural areas, because it coincides with the corn harvest, and resembles a county fair. These festivities assumed a mocking form on urban areas: kids dressing up as hillbilies, staged shotgun weddings and anachronistic square dancing. These traditions are getting outmoded on urban areas but are still strong, and growing, on rural areas, but there was never something like a float's parade on June Festivities. Obviously the game producers tried to avert this trope, replacing the Carnival with some badly researched Brazilian festival, but failed anyway. Also, Brazilian Carnival's floats are built like a two-story houses on wheels, not like these pathetic, wimpy, undernourished excuses of floats we see in the game.
    • In the same stage we can see the beach just outside a auto repair shop. Alright, it's a very fancy repair shop, the kind where you would bring your Ferrari for a check-up, but still is a auto repair shop on seaside, the most expensive strip of land of all Rio de Janeiro. It simply sounds bizarre, like a Laundromat on 5th Avenue.
    • One of the early stages are on warehouses of Porto Alegre. It appears that the designers found out there are other cities on Brazil, besides Rio and Buenos Aires. The architecture of the warehouse even looks familiar to a Brazilian's eye! But then a eerie feeling settles in. Why there are posters about coffee plastered on every wall? These buildings are owned by a coffee trading company? In Porto Alegre? Coffee still is a important export of Brazil, but it never was in Rio Grande do Sul (the state where Porto Alegre is the capital). It feels like breaking in a exports office in Marseilles and finding stacks of marketing material for calvados, and not a single one about pastis. Strange.
  • Tom Clancy's HAWX had the protagonist and his wingmates defending Rio de Janeiro against an invasion from a hostile foreign entity. Numerous references are made to a presidential palace and the Brazilian leaders.
  • Sengoku 3 has a Brazilian stage, with lots of freak mutants, Tribal sound (in African style) and a huge Mayan temple.
  • Marvel Superheroes War Of The Gems shows some Mayan Temples in the background on the Brazilian stage.
  • Global Champion (Kaiser Knuckle) has a triceratops skeleton (all of their fossils were in North America) in the middle of inflammable jungle.
  • It becomes better in Monster Maulers because the Brazilian boss is a giant Moai Statue!!!
  • The first segment of F3AR is set in an unknown location in Brazil (you start off in a prison, then proceed to a favela)... Except, everyone speaks Spanish. The developers almost got everything right, though: some of the signs are in Portuguese... While others are still in Spanish. Still, the license plate from the cars is Brazillian, so that's something.
  • Averted in Sonic Wings 2, where the Brazilian stage is set on a hidden military base within the Pantanal wetlands.
    • Gets better in Sonic Wings Special, where the stage is revisited. Not only it is correctly named "Mato Grosso" (one of the Brazilian states where the Pantanal is located), it is also possible to see the local fauna in the background, like a flock of flamingos which fly over on the midway point of the stage.
  • Street Fighter is a well-known offender:
    • In Street Fighter II, we have Blanka, who is a Brazilian beastman with green skin, fur, and who can unleash electricity. His stage is apparently an Amazonian village. With a huge anaconda on a tree.
    • The Brazilian stage in Street Fighter IV is inside the Amazonian jungle, but we can see some Aztec totems in there. And monkeys.
    • The Street Fighter III averts it a bit with it's Brazilian character, Sean Matsuda, who is a disciple of Ken who plays basketball.
    • In Street Fighter III: Second Impact, the Brazilian stage is set in "SÃO PAURO" (sic). The stage itself is a common street, where there is an overturned truck written "CEAZA" (it should be "CEASA"), loaded with bananas.note  Obviously, there are monkeys all over the place.
    • Capcom apparently took note, as Street Fighter III: Third Strike averts the trope. Its Brazilian stage is set in Santos Harbour, and we can see a small truck of Brazilian coffee and a huge cargo ship. And they all have proper Portuguese written on them.
    • But then it was back again for Street Fighter V. The Brazilian stage is set on a favela on Rio de Janeiro (a pretty faithful recreation at that), but one of the background characters is a dancer on Carnaval costume, even though there are no signs on the stage that it is set during Carnaval.
    • The newly introduced Brazilian in SF V is Laura Matsuda, sister of Sean from the SF III games, who fights with what looks like Jiu-Jitsu and uses electric powers for whatever reason. She's explicitly stated to be based on the Brazilian stereotypes, as the series producer claimed that on a trip to Brazil he saw the Brazilian women and they didn't look as hot as the country's fame would led one to believe.
  • Also from Capcom, Darkstalkers has in its Monster Mash a Merman hailing from the Amazon, Rikuo, and his stage in the original game has an Incan temple as part of the scenery (at least the macaw and monkeys are accurate). His backstory includes tectonic events that don't happen in the forest (his underwater kingdom destroyed by a tremendous earthquake and volcanic eruption), but it's justified by having been caused by an alien with powers over fire.
  • The King of Fighters:
    • The King of Fighters 94 has a Brazilian stage set on the Amazon. There is a wrecked helicopter, baboons, and cannibal Indians. There is also a toucan, which is actually a Brazilian native species.
    • Even though the Ikari Team in 94 represents Brazil, none of its members are Brazilian. However, later on fans created the misconception that Leona is Brazilian, and this 94 stage is apparently the only reason for this. Her official nationality is "unknown", as she's an orphan whom Heidern found on a village in a undisclosed part of South America.
    • The King of Fighters 2001 averts this, by having a Brazilian stage set in the Interlagos Racetrack.
    • In the reveal trailers for The King of Fighters XIV one of the newcomers and member of the South America team was revealed as a Brazilian Ninja by the name of "Banderas", which instantly caused an uproar among the Brazilian fans since Banderas is a Spanish name. SNK apparently caught word on this, and by the next trailer his name was fixed to "Bandeiras", a more proper Brazilian name.
    • XIV also averts the trope with it's South American stage, which is set on the Iguazu Falls, near the triple frontier between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.
      • Played with, however, with the new character Zarina, who is by all intents and purposes a walking Brazilian stereotype (tan skinned, flirtatious personality, yellow and green Stripperiffic clothes, fights with a mix of Capoeira and Samba and has a pet toucan) but is explicitly stated to be Colombian.
  • The first Samurai Shodown has one stage set in Amazon, called "Green Hell". However the stage has a huge Aztec temple in the background. Tam Tam, the owner of the stage, also resembles an Aztec warrior.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2, Ronaldo Kuriki, the Japanese/Brazilian playable character who is against JP's and its leader Yamato Hotsuin, once greets the main character with "Buenos Dias" when he should be talking Portuguese.
  • Tekken:
    • The series does its best to avert this with mixed results. Tekken 3 introduces Eddy Gordo, probably the first fighting game character who uses Capoeira but whose fighting style actually resembles the real Capoeira. His presence alone made the game insanely popular in Brazil, though some players hate him with a passion due to how easy he is to play even by button mashers. He was later replaced by Christie Monteiro, who's basically a female model swap of Eddy.
    • Tekken 4, the game that introduced Christie, has a stage that takes place in a beach, which is recognized to be in Brazil due to a message in Portuguese inserted by the designers... And acknowledges their dubious knowledge of the language: the message reads "Eu não entendo portoguês bem!" (literally, "I don't understand Portoguese well", typo and all).
    • As the series progressed, Bandai Namco Entertainment decided to have all of its characters speaking their native language. Showing that they did their homework, in Tekken 7 not only Eddy speaks perfectly fluent Brazilian Portuguese but they also introduced a new Brazilian gal, Katarina, who fights with Savate and whose main characteristic is that she swears a lot. Surprise, not only she speaks fluent Brazilian Portuguese but they even got all of the swearing right!
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has a level set within Rio de Janeiro, largely taking place in the favela. Despite a huge gun battle between foreign operators and what are assumed to be favela gangsters (which includes gun trucks, rocket launchers and a helicopter) absolutely no response is made by the police or military. Especially strange when said huge gun battle starts in the middle of the city. Also, for some odd reason, the gangsters mix their native Portuguese with the occasional burst of English.
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown zig-zags this with the randomly generated Brazilian soldiers. They all come in the same "Hispanic" race setting and have Spanish-sounding names, but speak English.note 

    Web Animation 
  • There's a comedy animation on YouTube that plays with this trope. The "O Dia em que o Brasil foi Invadido" (The Day When Brazil was Invaded) shows the ex-president Bush back in 2006 planning to invade Brazil to conquer its natural resources. After being informed that his army was being defeated (only thanks to the many problems in the country, like the Tietê river being so polluted that it became toxic and dissolved the US army's boat), Bush decides to launch an atomic bomb to win the battle. Guess which capital he selected as target...
  • Brazil has a fair share of occasions where humorists mock Americans for this. One of website's finest moments was when they made a story parodying Brazil's reply to the American government's decision to require all Brazilians on American soil to record their fingerprints. By international reciprocity treaties, this allowed the Brazilian government to do the same to Americans on Brazilian soil. In that story, when the authorities ordered an American to be sent back to the USA, he was ordered to be sent to Toronto. When the American told them Toronto is in Canada and accused them of not knowing what the capital of the United States is, he was told it was reciprocity.
    • Charges did it again, with the Latin American pope. The reason they choose him was that the number of Brazilian Catholics is decreasing as they are going to another religion, and thus to win them back they choose someone from Buenos Aires, the "Brazilian capital".
  • Zigzagged by Weebl & Bob's Brazil. Surprisingly accurate, but still being highly satirical.

    Web Original 
  • Mostly averted in the Whateley Universe. Three students are known to be from Brazil: Verdant, who is from one of the worst favelas in Rio de Janeiro, but knows there is more to Rio than where her family lives; Mezzo, who is from São Paulo, and is solidly upper class; and Força, who is apparently middle-class, though it isn't mentioned where in Brazil he is from.
    • Phase at one point mentions that had been to Brazil once, when his uncle was meeting with government officials, and specifically makes the point that it was in Brasília, not Rio.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons:
    • "Blame It On Lisa" is full of these, deliberately used for humorous effect in its portrayal of Brazil, however they did lampshade one of the popular misconceptions by having Bart painstakingly learn Spanish for the trip... only to learn Brazilians speak Portuguese. A few things were brilliantly correct, such as the steakhouse with meat in swords and the colorful currency. ("Ahh, look at all that pink and purple".note  "Our money sure is gay.") At least they don't specifically use the Amazon, but the jungles that actually are in Rio.
    • The subsequent episode set at the 2014 World Cup, "You Don't Have To Live Like A Referee" was, understandably, mostly about the football stereotype (and FIFA ... sorry World Football Federation corruption). Oddly, the signs in the stadium are in Spanish, although Marge is learning Portuguese. And at the end, they end up in the Amazon again.
  • In The Cleveland Show, during the episode "Beer Walk!", Cleveland has a fantasy about faking his own death and fleeing to Rio de Janeiro, where he engages in bullfighting (a sport that isn't popular in Brazil) and several signs in Spanish can be seen in the streets. Somewhat justified, considering it was just a Imagine Spot.
  • This was intentionally used in a "Mugs Shots" segment of the edutainment show Crashbox. In "Mugs Shots", multiple people are accused of a crime but (usually) only one is not guilty. The ones whose alibis contain factual errors are guilty. One episode featured a criminal who mentioned going to Brazil. He messed up by saying that everyone there speaks Spanish.
  • Mickey Mouse Works brings back José Carioca, who peppers his language with Gratuitous Portuguese. It only slips as he uses Portugal's word for ham (fiambre) instead of Brazil's (presunto).
  • Fudêncio e Seus Amigos: In the episode "Loira à Rodo" (a special for the 2010 South Africa World Cup), a Korean dictator threatens to explode the capital of Brazil, but the Brazilian characters don't mind because, well, he thinks the capital of Brazil is Buenos Aires. He explodes the city and gets arrested immediately after that.
  • Inverted by the titular character of Speedy Gonzales: Speedy is a Mexican character who peppers his speech with Gratuitous Spanish, but "Gonzales" is actually a Portuguese name. In Spanish, his name should be spelled "Gonzalez", which is actually the case in Spanish dubs of the cartoon.

    Real Life 
  • In a loose sense, this trope used to be true in the 16th-17th centuries, as Brazil was technically part of the Iberian Union for almost a century due to King Philip II of Spain having inherited the Portuguese Empire too. However, even back then, both empires' overseas branches were run as their original, separate entities, meaning there was little cultural overlap among them other than their general Iberian hue.
  • The trope name comes from a real life episode when then-President Ronald Reagan went to Brazil and, with a grin on his face, said he was "Happy to visit the capital of Brazil, Buenos Aires" (which, for the record, is the capital of ANOTHER COUNTRY). The trope name is still open, however, to one more commonly mistaken (Rio).
  • Even with Brasília as the capital and São Paulo as the main economic center and preferential entry port for the country (since something like 80% of commercial international flights arrive there), almost all journalists from international media that cover Brazil are based in Rio de Janeiro. Though at least one justification exists: the country's biggest media conglomerate is from there.
    • Especially frustrating for residents of São Paulo. As the largest city in South America (second largest in the Americas after Mexico City), the population is equal to that of New York City and Los Angeles combined. It is considered the economic center of Brazil, and arguably that of all of South America. Yet its presence in popular culture is minimal, always losing out to Rio (to the extent that the Rio/São Paulo rivalry is the subject of many local jokes).
    • The same pattern happens with weather reports in newspapers that show the max/min temperatures for the day around the globe. The only Brazilian city that appears is Rio de Janeiro.
  • Ozzy Osbourne once wrapped himself in the Brazilian flag... while he was in Argentina. He admitted it was a huge mistake.
  • At least one airing of PB&J Otter on Disney Junior had this in reverse when they accidentally used the Brazilian Portuguese dub for the Spanish SAP track.