Cultural, ethnic, and racial identities are tricky things. They're both internal and external: how we self-identify and "present," but also how we're viewed by those both inside and outside our own group. Sometimes, this all manages to conveniently align, and how we self-identify is more or less the same as how others see us and how we "feel." Other times, it's more complicated.
Sometimes, a character superficially appears to belong to a certain racial or cultural group, they were raised as part of that group, they self-identify as part of that group... but somehow they just don't "feel" (either to themselves or others) like part of that group. They lack certain opinions, tastes, or behaviors commonly associated with their group and may share some with another group that they're not superficially a part of, causing them and/or others to question their identity. This often overlaps with No True Scotsman if the criteria for "belonging" to the group seem self-serving, incidental, or arbitrary.
A common example in American works is the African American character who shares the stereotypical tastes and traits of white characters and isn't sure if they're (or are accused of not being) "black enough." This sometimes happens to characters who are Black and Nerdy. They are often a subject of mockery when compared with other black characters who feel more secure in their "blackness" and subject to unflattering comparisons with Token White characters who are considered "blacker" than they are. This can easily involve Unfortunate Implications if traits like being uneducated or poor are assumed to be somehow "blacker" than being well-educated and successful.
Lipstick Lesbian and Straight Gay/Manly Gay characters also sometimes run into this if they're considered "less gay" than Butch Lesbian and Camp Gay characters, although the increasing prevalence of the Lipstick Lesbian, Straight Gay, and Manly Gay tropes makes this less of an issue as time goes on. In turn, Camp Straight characters may be described as The Gayest Straight Guy, while The Lad-ette may be described as The Gayest Straight Gal if she's heterosexual. Hell, both the Butch Lesbian and The Lad-ette can be considered The Manliest Women, while both Camp Gay and Camp Straight men can be considered The Womanliest Men.
This can lead to accusations of Category Traitor, but the two tropes do not necessarily overlap. A category traitor is defined by a (real or accused) lack of loyalty to their nominal category. The whitest black guy usually likes their category just fine (if not, see Boomerang Bigot and Stop Being Stereotypical) and in some cases may even act out of an exaggerated sense of loyalty to it in order to compensate. They're just not really sure if they belong. (It's similar to how a female character who describes herself as Not Like Other Girls isn't necessarily a Female Misogynist and may simply feel out of step with the rest of her gender.)
If this uncertainty about their cultural identity leads them to consciously attempt to emulate and appropriate a different culture's identity, they might become Pretty Fly for a White Guy (or pretty white for a black guy, pretty Japanese for a Maori guy, or any number of other variations). Usually, however, it's more of an inversion or subversion of that trope, in which they try and fail to embody the stereotypical identity of their own group and wind up looking even less fly than the actual white guys, and meanwhile continue to display traits associated with another cultural group despite themselves. If they attempt to use fantastical means to become a member of a different group, see Trans Nature.
A Sub-Trope of Double Consciousness and Heritage Disconnect. Compare Outside/Inside Slur, which are commonly applied to such characters, and Stop Being Stereotypical, which is when a character (who might or might not be the whitest black guy) is worried that others in his group are confirming negative stereotypes. Compare and contrast Pass Fail, which is trying and failing to present as part of a group other than one's own. See also False Dichotomy, when there's nothing mutually exclusive about two groups the character feels caught between, and No True Scotsman, when the criteria for "belonging" are self-serving, incidental, or arbitrary. There's also the related Black Republican trope.
- In Double Happiness, Tom, a Chinese American from Brooklyn, moves in with some relatives from San Francisco's Chinatown. He's distressed to realize how little of the culture he understands. He doesn't even recognize which language his relatives are speaking.note He is, unfortunately, too Chinese to fit in back in Brooklyn, yet too white to fit in here in Chinatown. "I'm such a twinkie!" Fortunately, his relatives are happy to teach him how to fit in.
- Eric (Quantum), in Quantum and Woody, grew up in suburban Connecticut as the only black kid around. Lost in the city, he gets beat up by some gang members, and then complains about how "those black kids" tore his blazer. He thinks he's in tune with black culture, though, because he watched Roots.
- A recurring issue for Icon: he's a Black Republican, a Superman Substitute, and in his civilian identity, he's a fairly wealthy lawyer with socially conservative values. This has led to more than a few characters, including his frequent partner Rocket, accusing him of this trope, and often causes him to muse on whether he should be changing himself to suit his identity.
- In Watchmen, the doctor Malcolm Long is a wealthy black man. His friends Randy and Dianna are white and judging by his interactions with the black people of more modest household, he doesn't feel like he belong.
- Bloom County: Oliver Wendell Jones is Black and Nerdy. In one strip, his mother tries to get him to act a little more "black" by wallpapering his room with a huge picture of Michael Jackson's face. Oliver responds by hanging a picture of Albert Einstein over it.
- Marcus from FoxTrot is black, but his personality and interests are basically identical to Jason's, and in a series of strips parodying The Boondocks, he's shown to be as clueless about black culture as Jason.
- In the sketch film Amazon Women on the Moon, there is a PSA for "Blacks Without Soul", who sing dorky songs like "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" and are David Hartman fans and Republicans.
- In Undercover Brother, the main character goes undercover in the Big Bad's company and evokes this trope in order to blend in. Leads to Becoming the Mask thanks to Denise Richards and mayonnaise.
- In Get Out, the protagonist Chris, a black man, visits his white girlfriend's family in a secluded suburban community where the only other black people act incredibly bland, dress very dapper, and apparently have no idea what fist-bumping is. He later discovers all of the black people are in fact elderly white people who had their consciousnesses transferred into new bodies.
- In Sorry to Bother You, Cassius is able to achieve success as a telemarketer by using his "white voice" (actually David Cross's voice dubbed in). When his coworker first tells him to use his white voice, he remarks that he already sounds kind of white anyway.
- A major theme of Green Book is that Don Shirley, a concert pianist living in a luxurious apartment in New York, has grown out of touch with the black experience due to his assimilation into upper-class white culture, to the point where his driver, the working-class Italian tough guy Tony Lip, gets along better with the black people they encounter on their journey. Him being confronted full-blast with the racism of the Jim Crow South causes him to embrace more of his blackness.
- Bamboozled: Protagonist Pierre Delacroix (real name Peerless Dothan) is an uptight, Harvard-educated African man in the employment of a television network. He's tormented endlessly by his boss Thomas Dunwitty, a crass, boorish white man who speaks with a stereotypical African-American accent, drops N-bombs like there's not tomorrow and claims to be more Black than Delacroix because he married a black woman and has two mixed-race children.
- Chevalier (2022): After being freed, Saint-Georges' mother Nanon comes to join him in Paris. She accuses him of changing himself to fit in with the white-dominated French upper class. He later appreciates this view after his fall from grace and becomes more in touch with the African-descended community.
- Fury (Salman Rushdie): Malik thinks that his black friend Jack Rhinehart has "sold out" to the white establishment as their "token" black man. After becoming disillusioned with political journalism, he moves among exclusive, otherwise-all-white New York City circles writing puff pieces and only dates white women.
- In the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy, Johnny and his friends nickname their black friend "Yo-less", specifically because he doesn't talk, dress, or behave like the then-current stereotypes of a black male (including the then-considered-black-specific slang "yo").
- Theon Greyjoy in A Song of Ice and Fire is The Starkest Greyjoy. By birth, he's a lordling (later a prince) of the Ironborn, a Proud Warrior Race built around a Rape, Pillage, and Burn philosophy in which the "rape" part is anything but metaphorical. He's taken prisoner and raised from a young age by the Northerners the Starks, an equally Proud Warrior Race whose hat is Honor Before Reason. When he's returned home, many Ironborn, first and foremost his father, question whether the Starks have turned him into "a soft green-lander." The harder he tries to prove that he's still a Greyjoy at heart, the more it becomes clear that he's clinging to a twisted sense of honor and the less clear it becomes whether the father he's trying so hard to impress is his Ironborn birth father or his Northern foster father.
- Arthur in Along The Winding Road. Despite being of obvious Chinese heritage, he plays the part of a pretty standard white British guy. Lampshaded when he meets Rosalind, who puts together a whole traditional Chinese dinner when he's not even sure why there's a spinny thing on the table.
- A recurring theme in Discworld novels, especially ones involving the Watch, is The Humanest Demihuman. Angua spells it out in Snuff when she meets a "Morporkified" goblin who has no interest in goblin culture and mythology and even calls himself Billy Slick instead of Of the Wind Regretfully Blown:
He looked at her defiantly, and she thought: and so one at a time we all become human — human werewolves, human dwarfs, human trolls... the melting pot melts in one direction only, and so we make progress.
- There There: This is how Calvin views himself, as he doesn't claim to be Native and just says he's from Oakland.
- Reversed in Trigger Warning.
- Dr. Montembault, a white professor who goes by "Dr. Mtumbo", says he "identifies as African-American".
- Jenny, a white college student, claims not to be white because she "identifies as post-racial".
- The titular creators of Key & Peele are both biracial, so this ends up being a central element in several of their sketches.
- In "Dating a Biracial Guy", Key plays a biracial man whose (white) date expects him to be able to use his white personanote and black persona on cue depending on the situation. The sketch ends with him being very confused in terms of which persona he should use. He doesn't, however, ever question her right to demand this of him.
- In "Soul Food", the duo play a pair of businessmen ordering lunch at a soul food restaurant in a historically Black neighborhood. They are drawn into a game of oneupsmanship to see who can make the "blackest" order, culminating in their eating such "soul food" as possum spines, stork ankles, an old cellar door, and a human foot. Neither will admit to disliking the fare for fear of losing their street cred.
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air:
- Carlton is a stereotypical preppy, aspires to attend an Ivy League university, enjoys dancing to the music of Tom Jones, and idolizes Macaulay Culkin and William Shatner, for which the main character, Will Smith, gives him no end of grief.
Carlton: Wait 'till we come downstairs in these tuxes. People may not think we're twins, but I'll bet they'll think we're brothers.
Will: You know, I don't think you'll have to worry about anybody mistaking you for a brother.
- It turned out that Phil would emphasize his urban upbringing in New Jersey in his professional career, but when his mom came to visit she clarified they moved there when he was a teenager but spent most of his childhood in a farm community in North Carolina. He was playing into a perception that he came from nothing special but he still had two parents who helped him get to where he was now.
- Geoffrey, while racially black, is British by birth and upbringing and has more in common with the Servile Snarker butler archetype than the typical American black man, a fact that doesn't go unnoticed.
- This trope comes up again when Marge, an old activist friend of Phil and Vivian's, comes to town and inspires Will with her radical ideas about protest. Phil and Vivian get nervous and point out that her stories are leaving out the less flashy parts of working for change, including small rallies, letter-writing, and petitions. Marge accuses them both of selling out, and Phil delivers a quiet but furious "The Reason You Suck" Speech to her, declaring that he actively uses his wealth and position as a lawyer to fight for Black people, which makes him just as dedicated:
Uncle Phil: You talk as though I wasn't there with you in Birmingham facing dogs and fire hoses. This is me—Olafame. The same Olafame that was with you the night Harlem went up in flames. But now I have a family, and I choose not to fight in the streets. I have an office to fight from. And I have fought and won cases for fair housing, Affirmative Action, health care—and I am not ashamed to write a big, fat check for something I believe in. And that doesn't make me any less committed than you, so don't you dare look down your damn nose at me, Adabola.
- This gets used a bit more seriously in the episode "Blood is Thicker Than Mud", where Will and Carlton try to join an all-black fraternity. Although they're both hazed, Carlton's is more severe than Will's, and even after he endures everything they put him through, the pledgemaster, Top Dog, still refuses to let Carlton join because he thinks he's a "sellout". Will quits in disgust when he finds out. This eventually leads to Carlton giving Top Dog a scathing "The Reason You Suck" Speech, pointing out that "being Black isn't who I'm trying to be—it's who I am. I'm running the same race and jumping the same hurdles as you, so why are you trying to trip me up?" After they return home and tell Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv what happened, Phil laments: "You know, this... this really irritates me. I have worked very hard to give my family a good life and suddenly somebody tells me there's a penalty for success? I'm sorry you had to go through this, son. When are we going to stop doing this to each other?" The other members of the fraternity actually agree with Carlton and make it known to Top Dog, who gets kicked out as a result.
- In the reimagining Bel-Air, this trope is played dead serious for its version of Carlton. While in the old series Carlton's interests in preppier hobbies made him endearing albeit disconnected from his family, this Carlton is seen as someone who isn't interested in upholding a "black" image. While he's still butting heads with Will, their social situations also play a big part in their more antagonistic rivalry. One of his white friends in particular, Connor, is interested in rap, and Carlton defends him for it by saying that people shouldn't be surprised that white people start repeating black slang they hear in songs released by black artists to the public. Meanwhile, the rest of the black community at school dislikes his tastes and the fact that he associates with people like Connor at all. When Connor proves to be an immature bigot, Carlton finally cutting ties with him starts rehabilitating his image.
- Carlton is a stereotypical preppy, aspires to attend an Ivy League university, enjoys dancing to the music of Tom Jones, and idolizes Macaulay Culkin and William Shatner, for which the main character, Will Smith, gives him no end of grief.
- 30 Rock:
- In "The Break-Up," this causes some conflict between Tracy (a black man from an impoverished background) and Twofer (a Harvard-educated black man from a middle-class background). Twofer criticizes Tracy for being a disgrace to black people, while Tracy calls Twofer's "blackness" into question. Twofer is so "white" that he does not even have N-Word Privileges: everyone instinctively recoils when he says it. They reconcile by the end of the episode and write a sketch together which explores these issues through comedy, which is cut from the show in favor of Tracy playing a farting Star Jones. Twofer admits that it is funnier.
- In later seasons, Tracy himself fears he may have lost touch with his black roots after enjoying success and wealth for too long.
- Keith of Six Feet Under, a Straight Gay LAPD officer, often feels uncomfortable when spending time with his partner David's Camp Gay friends and taking part in stereotypically "gay" activities like playing Leading Ladies at a party.
- In Roseanne, at one point Leon, Roseanne's gay boss, starts to doubt his homosexuality because he doesn't like musical theater, fashion, and other stereotypically gay interests. Roseanne's response is, "Do you like having sex with men? GAY!"
- Saturday Night Live: In a third-season episode hosted by O. J. Simpson (long before the murder trial for which he later become infamous), he plays a character in a Saturday Night Fever parody who decides he's "not black anymore."
- In the episode "His Story III", Dr. Cox questions Turk's blackness, although the third point is a bit of a subversion:
Dr. Cox: You're black? 'Cause last I checked, you had a nerdy white best friend, you enjoy Neil Diamond, and you damn sure act like a black guy, and these, my friend, are all characteristics of white guys. Please understand, I'm a huge supporter of the N-Double-A-CP, and if you don't know what that stands for, it is the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and quite frankly, I always thought they should change the "Colored People" to "African-Americans". But then, of course, it wouldn't be the N-Double-A-CP, it would be the N-Quad-A, or "NAAAA", and I know, this probably sounds like a digression, but it actually leads me back to my original point: Do I think you're black? NAAAA!!
- In the episode "My Identity Crisis", Carla worries that she's stopped dreaming in Spanish, and thinks that this means she's losing her Dominican identity. The fact that the dream was about Turk (her husband) and JD murdering her in cold blood while her best friend Elliot stole her baby daughter was perfectly fine.
- In the episode "His Story III", Dr. Cox questions Turk's blackness, although the third point is a bit of a subversion:
- In one episode of Desmond's, Desmond's son fails a school assignment for writing an essay on being young, black and British because his teacher feels it has too much of a middle-class perspective. Or as his sister puts it: "They're saying he's not black enough!"
- This is a large part of the comedy show black•ish. Andre Johnson was raised in an impoverished urban family while his kids live an upper-middle class suburban life. He's concerned with things like his oldest son having no black friends or trying out for field hockey (a sport that is typically only played by girls in US schools) but they took it up a notch.
- In This Is Us, Randall occasionally struggles with his blackness, being adopted by white parents from birth.
- Invoked on Suddenly Susan when Jack hires a supposedly tough inner-city black writer for the magazine. He goes wild with the guy, talking about rap music, black movies, invoking civil rights heroes, and the like until the writer erupts how he actually grew up in a mostly white suburb and knows little of "black culture". It turns out Jack knew this the whole time and was just having some fun.
Writer: So... I'm staying on?
Jack: Are you kidding? If I fire my only black writer for not being "black enough," I might as well just give you the magazine right now!
- The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Durin considers that Elrond was always quite Dwarvish for an Elf, to which Elrond responds that Durin is a rather Elvish Dwarf.
- In New Girl, Schmidt attempts to make Winston more comfortable engaging with black culture, after realising Winston's closest friends are white. Winston catches onto Schmidt's behaviour and suggests they buy crack, much to Schmidt's dismay. Although this is Played for Laughs, in season 3, Winston joins the LAPD (a historically racist police force).
- In the third season of RuPaul's Drag Race, there was a small amount of tension with Carmen Carrera, a light-skinned Hispanic from New Jersey who speaks in a plain American accent, and Puerto Ricans Alexis Mateo and Yara Sofia, who both have darker skin and thick accents. At times Carmen felt Yara and Alexis looked down on her for being more Americanized. This is brought up again in the eighth season where Naomi Smalls, a black queen who was adopted by white parents, would often be called Oreo by her classmates because she didn't display any stereotypically black mannerisms.
- Taken literally in an episode of Divorce Court that featured an interracial couple—a black man and a white woman. The man was albino and shaved his head, meaning most people mistook him for white. Among other complaints, his ex-wife accused him of playing up his perceived whiteness when it suited him, like job interviews or talking to the police. It may sound like she didn't want him to be ashamed of his background, but it all went to hell when the judge asked her how is he supposed to act, and she threw up gang signs and started going "Yo yo yo..."
- Gunn in Season 5 of Angel went from an inner city street kid to a well spoken, suit-wearing lawyer who can recite Gilbert and Sullivan from memory. Lampshaded in one episode when Wesley walks in on him singing "Three Little Maids", as soon as he notices Wes, Gunn very awkwardly starts trying to rap, before giving up and pretending nothing happened.
Three little maids... and you don't stop, when all the ladies in the gangsta butt go...
- In The Middleman episode "The Accidental Occidental Conception", there's a busboy at a Chinese restaurant who talks about his boss's long work hours as being "a culture thing" and, when asked to translate an occult Mandarin chant, says:
Dude, I'm like third-generation twice-removed. I don't speak a lick of Chinese.
- The Fast Show featured a sketch involving an upper-class and posh-accented white couple who repeatedly claim to be "Cockneys" (highlighting that they clearly aren't.) In one sketch, they go to a pub and get into a fight with an equally immaculately dressed and spoken black gentleman just like them, who purports to be a "Yardie."
- The Mindy Project addressed this in a season 4 episode, where one of Mindy's blind dates isn't interested in her because she's not culturally "Indian" enough. The rest of the episode is Mindy trying to prove to him that she is Indian. There is also a level of Reality Subtext in the plot because the show has been criticized for a lack of diversity in Mindy's love interests (in fact, this episode is the first time she's dated a minority in the entire series).
- In the Law & Order: SVU episode "October Surprise", this trope is discussed in regards to ADA Barba, who is a Cuban-American from the Bronx. When his childhood friend and New York mayoral candidate Alex Munoz turns out to be cheating and then bribing his mistresses to stay quiet, he tries to let him off easy for the crimes. Amaro (also Hispanic) tells Barba that he's just doing this out of guilt for leaving the barrio and succeeding in life. Later on, when SVU finds that he's been sexting a teenage girl, Barba confronts him and Munoz basically accuses him of being a sell-out who thinks he's white. There's also some racial subtext, whether intentional or unintentional. Munoz, and Amaro for that matter, are darker-skinned Hispanics while Barba can pass for white.
- Sci-fi example in The Expanse, Miller is The Eartherest Belter, who is mocked by other Belters for dressing and acting like he's from Earth, despite being born and raised on Ceres Station. In Season 2 he shaves his Earther hairstyle into a more typically Belter mohawk, replaces his fedora and suit jacket with a battered leather coat, starts using Belter slang, and takes his first spacewalk after witnessing a genocide of Belters by Earther scientists on Eros and killing the man responsible.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: Commander Worf is a Klingon who was reared by humans from a young age. He observes Klingon traditions, Klingon spirituality, and the Klingon code of honor... far more scrupulously, it turns out, than other Klingons. As time goes on (and he has occasion to interact with more Klingons who were reared in the Empire), it becomes clear that his Klingon identity, while he derives a great deal of personal meaning from it, is at times very different from Klingon culture as experienced by most other Klingons because he takes it so seriously, making him stand out as The Stoic among a multitude of Boisterous Bruisers. It's also that he grew up having to practice constant restraint, both physically and emotionally, in order to properly serve as a Starfleet officer and avoid accidentally injuring his more fragile human friends.
Worf: I do not laugh because I do not feel like laughing.
Guinan: Other Klingons feel like laughing. What does that say about you?
Worf: Perhaps it says that I do not feel like other Klingons.
- Frasier: Niles's first Yale roommate, Huntington Treadwell III:
Niles: His father was a pioneer in Selma and Montgomery.
Frasier: Yes, I believe he built golf courses all over the South!
- Subverted with Wayne Brady's guest appearance on Chappelle's Show. He's introduced as somebody who "makes Bryant Gumbel look like Malcolm X", with this being the reason why white people love him, but its all an act; beneath that image, he's actually a violent, sociopathic gang banger who threatens to choke out prostitutes, does drive-by shootings, and outright terrifies Dave Chappelle.
- American Crime Story: The first season, featuring O. J. Simpson's murder trial, depicts the defense team's efforts to portray Simpson as a proud black man rather than a wealthy Uncle Tom who'd turned his back on his heritage after getting rich. Most notably, they redecorate his home by replacing all of his vanilla decorations and golf memorabilia with African-themed accents and artifacts.
- Referenced briefly on Modern Family when Claire mentions once dating "the world's whitest Puerto Rican", named Dwayne.
- Much of the humor of Telenovela (2016) comes from how Ana Sofia is the Latina star of a major Spanish-language show... who doesn't understand a word of Spanish.
- On Murdoch Mysteries, Detective Watts learns that he's actually Jewish and was born with the name Wattenberg before being Happily Adopted. He doesn't know anything about Judaism and gets a crash course from a young Al Jolson, who's performing in Toronto when they meet.
- The 2003 Whoopi Goldberg sitcom Whoopi gets much of its humor from Whoopi's brother being a straight-laced Republican dating a white woman who talks and acts like a "hip-hop" inner-city girl. Whoopi openly cracks on how "she's finally teaching you how to be black."
- A flashback scene in American Gods (2017) shows a young Shadow, having recently moved back to America with his mother after living in France and traveling abroad most of his life up until then, being beaten up by some black kids his age at a park after trying to befriend them, due to his polite demeanor, relatively lighter skin tone (Shadow is biracial; his mother is African-American and his father is the Norse god Odin), and speaking without slangs or an accent. The kids called him "white boy" as they beat him up.
- Rutherford Falls: Played With. Reagan, who is Minishonka, assumes that the reason her people don't like her is because she's a "city Indian" who got multiple postgraduate degrees instead of living on the reservation. Terry bluntly informs her that it's because she dumped her fiance the night before their wedding and still hasn't repaired those bridges, and puts Reagan to work in doing so. However, when she gets cyberbullied for being put in charge of the upgraded cultural center, the complaints include that she isn't in touch with the cultures and doesn't attend the rituals.
- A lot of Childish Gambino's early music focused on him basically feeling too "white" for the black kids and too "black" for the white kids.
- "Chum" by Earl Sweatshirt describes himself as this growing up.
Too black for the white kids, and too white for the blacks
From honor roll to cracking locks up off them bicycle racks
- Frank Zappa: The second verse of the Title Track from "You Are What You Is" tells the story of a young Black man who renounces his heritage to fit in with his white peers. This all ties into the song's message that you should embrace who you are and not have to change for someone else's approval.
- Many of Em's Diss Tracks against his self-declared Arch-Nemesis Benzino were based on slinging insults at him along these lines, calling him names like "Vanilla Ice" and addressing him from one white rapper to another. He even mocked him for having "creamy white filling in the middle" (of course, the middle of an M&M is chocolate).
- Eminem complained about the prominent artists copying his rapping style as being "honkeys" — several of the most prominent emcees within that subgenre are Black.
- Jeff G. Bailey accused Ruckus of being an "Uncle Tom" who owed all his success to kissing the white man's butt. Apparently, that meant white men other than Bailey, as he was all too happy when he acquired Ruckus as a client.
- Upon seeing Jimi Mayhem, in the apex of his Shogun of Harlem gimmick at NWA Vendetta Pro, Jimmy Wang Yang blurted out "Wigga please!"
- In Dragon Age: Inquisition, party member Sera is an elf adopted by humans. While her rebel group champions peasants, which tends to include most city elves, Sera has no kinship with her birth race beyond that, as she believes they don't do enough to help themselves. She occasionally argues with the other elven party member, Solas, and possibly the player character (if an elf), over her views. Sera, in fact, is one of the reasons race-specific armor and weapons in the game are marked "[Race]-Trained Only" rather than, say, "Elf Only." Her wearing Elven cultural garments would be extremely out of character. Since she was raised among humans, however, she can use gear marked "Human-Trained Only" despite not being a human.
- Zihark in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance is a Beorc (Humans by Any Other Name) who identifies more with the Laguz (Little Bit Beastly shapeshifters), partly due to the fact that he used to be in a relationship with one. He's first encountered while infiltrating a group of Laguz-hunting vigilantes as The Mole. In the sequel, Laguz warrior Lethe even declares that his "soul is more Laguz than Beorc".
- Brawl Stars has four black characters. Center of the "Stereotype" spectrum are Meg, a mecha pilot, and Mandy, a Candy Shop owner. Left of the spectrum is Brock, a rocket launching sniper who incorporates “Boombox” into half of his lines. Right of the spectrum is Rosa, a british boxing botanist who incorporates more European mannerisms and idioms than her white lab assistant Bea.
- There are also three Native American characters. Bo is a hunter wearing an eagle hat and hunter-gatherer garb. Nita is a girl in a bear costume who fights with her pet bear. They make nice foil to Nita's brother, Leon, ninja kid in a chameleon hood, otherwise your average spoiled brat.
- The Grand Theft Auto V character Franklin gets no end of grief from his various friends and relatives for not wanting to be in the hood dealing with the gang lifestyle anymore. You can hardly blame him, considering his "best friend" Lamar is a complete idiot and his aunt Denise is a parasitic and lazy bitch that only cares about herself.
- Volt from Society of Virtue is Jamaican but, due to genetics, looks mostly white. He was once beaten up by someone who thought he was trying to be Pretty Fly for a White Guy and accused him of cultural appropriation.
- Wallace in Leftover Soup at one point thinks that people on the Internet doubt his blackness because he uses good grammar. His boyfriend points out that they're more likely doubting his blackness because he's defending an alleged racist killer. That said, Wallace has no particular "black" personality traits and is far more defined by gay culture than black culture...despite not technically being gay. note
- Whateley Universe: The Tigers see Chaka as close to one, and sees Vox as a sellout, as said in A Fistful of Chaka:
"[Chaka] needs a firm guiding hand. I mean, will you check out the silly-ass nigga-shit she is always pulling? She hangs with a white crew, she dates a white boy, and the only black folks she deals with are Oreos and sellouts like Vox."
- Todd in the Shadows discussed this in his Trainwreckords episode on Arrested Development's album Zingalamaduni. He noted that Arrested Development's conscious positioning of themselves as The Moral Substitute to Gangsta Rap meant that, despite their overtly Afrocentric ideals and the inspiration they took from traditional African culture (including in the album's title), they and many other Alternative Hip Hop acts in The '90s were seen by much of the hip-hop community at the time, especially the young gangsta rappers taking over the genre, as playing to an image of Black respectability designed to win the approval of conservative White America and its mainstream cultural establishment. As a result, they suffered a severe backlash from hip-hop fans who saw them as inauthentic and overly moralistic.
- Tom DuBois from The Boondocks (based on the comic strip of the same name) is a black man who is as far removed from black stereotypes as you can get. He's an upper-middle-class lawyer with a white wife, and he lacks the stereotypical African-American accent that other characters have. During one episode's opening narration, Huey even describes him as "the farthest thing from a black person as you can get". He sometimes comes into conflict with lower-class black characters for his "white" mannerisms; and in the episode "The Trial of R. Kelly", a very white lawyer (voiced by Adam West), of all people, calls his racial loyalty into question.
- Susie's father, Randy Carmichael, is the most serious character in the Rugrats ensemble, as much a stiff as the kind of miserable man who's buried himself in work in an office cubicle due to loneliness. This is despite being surrounded by all the positive energy of the rest of the cast and his work writing for "The Dummi Bears".
- In The Cleveland Show episode "The Men in Me", Cleveland is declared "The Whitest Black Man in America" after winning a Justin Bieber lookalike contest (for Bieber tickets), discovers that he was largely raised by a white woman, his old nanny, and undergoes a racial identity crisis. At one point, he tries and fails to act as a parody of black masculinity and Hilarity Ensues; at another, he decides to lean in to his new, whiter identity and bursts through the door with two big bags of stuff from Trader Joe's. When nothing works, Cleveland plunges into depression until his nanny finally tells him that he has to be his own person, and that he is black, no matter what his interests and ideals might be. He isn't obligated to live up to a bunch of cultural stereotypes one way or another.
- In the King of the Hill episode "Orange You Sad I Did Say Banana", Khan's Laotian heritage is called into question when Ted Wassanasong says he's become a banana, a slang for Asians who act white. Although Minh agrees Connie needs to understand her Laotian bloodlines, soon the attempt at duplicating the austerity of Laos makes everyone miserable. Things go too far when Ted enlists Khan in a guerrilla squad with designs on being air-lifted back to Laos to fight the communist regime, but Khan knows this is just a suicide mission that will end in everyone either killed or brainwashed. Minh reminds Khan why he and his family fled to America in the first place: to escape from people telling them how to live. By the end of the episode, Khan tells Ted that he will not be in the army and he will not let him feel guilty about how he chooses to live.
- In The Simpsons, Carl comes to realize that he's this, since not only does he primarily hang out in a bar with a bunch of white guys but he also grew up in Iceland. As such, he eventually has a bit of a racial identity crisis in his personal episode where the only identity he believes he has is "barfly".
- While Barack Obama's status as the first President of African ancestry was undoubtedly significant, the fact that he was biracial, that his father was a Kenyan immigrant rather than an African-American, and that he came from an upper-middle class Bourgeois Bohemian upbringing caused a number of pundits to question and debate whether or not he "qualified" as Black. The fact that the last Democratic president, Bill Clinton, came from a background of lower-class struggle more familiar to redlined Black voters (which during his own tenure led to Black writer Toni Morrison calling him the first Black president) definitely didn't help. That being said, African Americans were far more likely to describe him as "black" than "mixed-race" compared to white and Latino Americans, and Obama himself saw himself as Black.
- The "Zanryu Koji", Japanese war orphans who were raised by Chinese families following the Second Sino-Japanese War. Many were repatriated to Japan, some after decades living in China, but faced discrimination as they were viewed as more Chinese than Japanese.
- The concept of "code-switching"—in this case, black people speaking informal slang with friends and family then putting on a much more "proper" persona in professional environments—plays with this trope depending on who you ask. Some feel that code-switching forces black people to "act white" to be taken more seriously, and that doing so perpetuates institutional racism by implying that a black person who doesn't do so is deserving of racist treatment. Others counter that everyone code-switches—no matter who you are, you won't speak to your boss on Tuesday morning the same way you speak to your friends on Saturday night—and that it's not fair to single out black people that are simply reading the room.