Janosz: ...De Upper Vest Side?
This Trope often comes in two forms but leaves the audience asking one question: What the Hell Is That Accent?
Sometimes, this comes about when the character will start using an accent for some reason or another. If the character knows what sort of accent they are going for then often it will sound nothing like it's supposed to. Another character will often lampshade this but it's not guaranteed.
Other times this will be the character's natural accent. They may be an alien from Planet Z or perhaps just from another country. Odds are good other aliens won't use the same accent, though.
Of course, Reality Is Unrealistic may come into play here. Accents can be blended and merged depending on the geographic history of the individual and whether they were raised bilingual or not. Some accents may not be considered what is typical but may be truth in television regardless. And multiple times actors will speak with their natural accents and become the standard to compare to all other accents. For instance think of Paul Hogan of Crocodile Dundee or Steve Irwin of Crocodile Hunter, when most Australians have accents more refined than that. Or Sean Connery, whose Scottish accent is unique only to him.
Not to be confused with Not Even Bothering with the Accent where a character is supposed to be from Country Y but sounds just like the rest of the cast. May overlap with Just a Stupid Accent or As Long as It Sounds Foreign. May also overlap with Unexplained Accent if there's no in or out-of-universe reason the character should talk like this. If the accent starts recognizable but then inexplicably jumps on a cross-country road trip, then it's Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping.
- A Chinese infomercial for King Double ceramic knives.
- One GEICO commercial showed some people who were confused as to whether the Gecko's accent is British or Australian. The commercial cuts away just before he answers.
- A TV advert for PayPal (in the UK) shows a blonde woman drifting across a room expounding the virtues of cashless payment and all the things it can get you. Her accent is mesmerising. She comes across as a native English speaker note , but it's not clear from where. Her accent isn't quite North American, isn't quite British, isn't quite Irish, isn't quite Australian, but somehow manages to have overtones of all four. Is her accent contrived to sound "global"? Because she manages this, probably without intending to. Here, have a listen.
- The English dub of Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie miscasts Sonic with a very odd and uncertain accent that sounds like a cross between a vague southern accent and a British falsetto, with the latter popping up in the more frenetic scenes.
- To quote Hellsing: "If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, he shall be accused oh Lord come Amen." Anderson's nationality is canonically supposed to be kind of vague, and the man is of course insane as well, so it sort of works.
- Sailor Moon has a few in the Canadian English dub from The '90s. Most notably, Molly/Naru's inexplicable Boston/Brooklyn hybrid in the middle of Japan. Note that HER MOTHER has no trace of this accent at all. Amy/Ami also has something that sounds like Mid-Atlantic meets generic Eastern European meets generic British.note Not to mention Chad/Yuuichirou's... surfer accent?
- The English dub of YuYu Hakusho has Jin, who speaks in such a hilariously bad Irish accent, he's sometimes impossible to understand.
- Dragon Ball Z:
- Jeice's "Australian" accent in the Funimation dub. But the crowner has to be dubbed Launch, who sounds either stereotypical Brooklyn, southern redneck, or both.
- Vegeta's accent is an interesting case. When he was voiced by Brian Drummond, he had a British-Canadian accent (albeit more so favoring the Canadian side of it), but once Christopher Sabat initially voiced him, it became a mix of a British/New English accent. With both voices, it was more pronounced upon him saying certain words, like "nothing", "understand" and "unbelievable". However, since Dragon Ball Z Kai, Sabat now speaks with a much lower and more raspy voice for Vegeta and his British accent is strongly downplayed.
- The English dub for Cowboy Bebop gives Punch, the male host of Big Shot a "cowboy" accent that ping-pongs wildly between a Southern drawl, a Mexican accent, and African-American ebonic vernacular. His female co-host Judy has a much more identifiable Southern belle accent, it's merely inconsistent. Given what kind of show Big Shot is supposed to be and the fact that when the actor playing Punch in the series isn't on screen he speaks normally, it's unquestionably intentional.
- One Piece:
- The 4Kids dub did this a lot, much to everyone's consternation.
- They gave Shanks a ridiculous accent that's really hard to determine. Fans can't tell whether he's supposed to sound Irish, Cockney English, Scottish, or Australian.
- The accent they gave Mihawk is just as weird, as he switches between French and Spanish. Sometimes, he even sounds like a mixture of the two.
- Krieg is apparently supposed to sound German, but it comes off as generically Central European.
- Robin is at least in 4Kids world meant to have a Texan accent, but poor Veronica Taylor can't affect a Southern accent to save her life, so the result is every flavor of Deep South all at once.
- In the Funimation dub, Foxy has an accent that sounds quite a lot like Don Karnage (see below). Of course, considering how over-the-top this character is supposed to be, this isn't a bad thing. Some actually find that his accent helps a lot of the comedy.
- The 4Kids dub did this a lot, much to everyone's consternation.
- In the American dub of Pokémon, Nando speaks with a European accent that shifts variously between Hispanic, Irish, and Scottish.
- In the English dub of Axis Powers Hetalia, the voice actors speak with accents appropriate for the characters they play (England has an English accent, France has a French one, etc.). From the start though, it was determined that the accents would be just as over-the-top and stereotypical as everything else on the show is, so quite a few aren't exactly convincing. During one commentary, Todd Haberkorn told how he discarded an authentic Italian accent he learned in favor of imitating Mario. There's also one episode where the narrator (who normally sounds generically American) briefly imitates Prussia and comes out sounding like some bizarre cross of German and Scottish.
- The English dub of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has Stroheim, who is supposed to have a German accent but possibly due to the World of Ham sounds Austrian instead. And then you remember that he's a Nazi, and that Adolf Hitler was Austrian.
- Girlfriend-beta have a French exchange student speaking with what sound more like a try at an English accent than a French one.
- Eddie Izzard lampshades this a couple of times; namely, in his impressions of a Bond villain and a push-me-pull-you carpet sweeper. The Bond villain's accent is explained as being the result of his losing the instructions to a synthetic voice box, which is consequently stuck in shop demonstration mode. During a joke about Pavlov's dog, he suddenly realized his Pavlov sounded more Welsh than Russian, and ran with it.
"Day two: Been well accepted here in Russia. Changed my name from 'Evans' to 'Pavlov.' I'm now called Gareth Pavlov...and fitting in well."
- Josh Thomas. He was born and raised in Australia, and yet has an inexplicable, vaguely-English accent.
- Danny Bhoy has a strong Scottish accent. The only other one he can do even vaguely is French (and it's a bit of a stretch). He lampshades this every time he tries to fake another accent in his act. His ocker Australian accent is pretty good too
- Andy Kaufman's "Foreign Man" act, which carried over into Latka in Taxi. Carol Kane's Simka character also applies.
- One Scottish comedian commented on how frustrated he was that people mistook his accent for Irish. He proceeded to demonstrate the difference by showing what an Irish accent was and sounded like Lucky of Lucky Charms.
- In The Unfinished Spelling Errors of Bolkien, Martin Pearson highlights the oddness of some of the accents in The Lord of the Rings movies:
"At this point we are introduced to the other Hobbits: Sam, a Devonshire Hobbit; Pippin, an Irish-Scottish-Gaelic Hobbit; and Merry... your guess is as good as mine."
- Those Lacking Spines, parodying many tropes in Kingdom Hearts fanfiction, lampshades Luxory's... distinctive manner of speech.
Luxory: Ain't many 'dem foo' dogs livin' roun' HEEEAAAAH's zat can handle da UKENATOR! WOOT WOOT! YEEEAAAYUH!
Vexen: ... what? The whole... sentence, I... I really don't think [he] is speaking any reasonably widespread variation on the English language. It's like southern... hillbilly... French... gangster.
- The rest of the Mane Cast for the Triptych Continuum have occasionally suspected that Rarity created her accent from whole cloth, with Twilight noting that even when they're among an assemblage of ponies from all over the continent, nopony else ever sounds like the designer. Tricks Of The Trade Show finally has Rarity pretty much admit to her father that she made it up in order to make herself more distinctive among the amateur dressmaker herd.
- Artemis The Alcoholic moon-cat in Sailor Moon Abridged is allegedly Australian, but his drunken ramblings are so slurred and near-incomprehensible that Australian tropers have expressed surprise when learning what accent he was going for. Others think he sounds Scottish.
- As of the third Evil Council video of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Dartz is given some sort of accent that sounds vaguely Cajun, which often results in him mispronouncing his words quite a lot (such as saying "dew" instead of "duel"). Even his own henchmen don't seem to understand what he's trying to say.
Dartz: We will dew [Marik]!
Raphael: Uhm, did you say... "do" him?
Dartz: Ah said dew him! What parta "dew him" doncha understand, dooshbag!?
- This also applies to Hank Ishtar, who speaks with what sounds like a mixture of Arab, Italian, and Egyptian.
- The various Abridged Series for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- My Little Pony: The Mentally Advanced Series:
- Where the hell is Pinkie Pie from? She sounds like a cross between a Russian mafioso and a Colombian drug kingpin. Yes.
- Spike sounds like he's from Scotireland, but the accent comes and goes depending on the scene.
- From Mentally Advanced's More Popular Spinoff Rainbow Dash Presents: Where the hell is Luna from? Her accent is somehow simultaneously Deep South and British.
- In Ultra Fast Pony, Spike starts off as The Igor, with an appropriately German-ish accent. Over the series, his accent shifts until it almost sounds Jamaican, except he retains the Igor-ish vocal mannerisms (like always referring to Twilight as "Master").
- Molestia/Luna from Friendship is Witchcraft sounds not entirely unlike Tommy Wiseau. Or vaguely Russian. Lampshaded when somepony in the crowd asks "Why does she have an accent!?" To be fair, though, it's subtly implied that her accent is fake.
- My Little Pony: The Mentally Advanced Series:
- Played for laughs both in-universe and out in Cultural Artifacts: when Vladimir Blueblood puts on his 'Igor' persona, he speaks in the trademark voice - but when Trixie demands that he speak normally, he responds in a Vanhoover accent so thick that even he can't make out most of what he says.
- Pokemon Opal and Garnet: Yep, that mad and crazy, upsy-daisy, topsy-turvy (pun intended) accent that Paul Kandel used for Clopin in the original Disney version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (see the Animated Films folder for more on that)? The Touceet that shares Clopin's name uses the exact same one, except it isn't written out phonetically (unlike most uses of this trope in Fan Works) and is peppered with PokeLatin words and phrases. Which just so happens to be his Verbal Tic.
- Edna Mode from The Incredibles has a... German/Japanese accent, which forced Brad Bird to play the role himself, as no-one else could do the accent properly. He apparently went to Lily Tomlin and asked her to do it, but after he gave an imitation of what he wanted, she replied that he could do a better job than she ever could.
- For the Disney adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Paul Kandel gave Clopin an accent somewhat French, somewhat Eastern European, and somewhat uncategorizable. This was intentional on Kandel's part as coming from Clopin's nomadic past.
- King Julien from the films and spinoff TV series The Penguins of Madagascar. He's voiced by Englishman Sacha Baron Cohen in the movies, resulting in a voice that sounds sort of like "African-Indian-Borat." (Danny Jacobs, his replacement in the TV series, maintains a very similar voice) His repeated usage of malapropisms, strange syntax, and Buffy Speak (e.g., "Ah, but I was expecting you to be expecting that, so we switcheroo-ed the crates on the pier before the fish got loading on to the truck.") only contorts the accent even further.
- Mort also slips in and out of some strange, unidentifiable accent.
- The chef who chases Uncle Waldo out of his restaurant during his introductory scene in The Aristocats either has a French or an Italian accent.
- As with the first movie, How to Train Your Dragon 2 has the younger Vikings voiced by Americans and the older ones mostly voiced by Scots. Then there's Valka, whose tones — as furnished, let us point out, by two-time Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett — come in a peculiar mashup of Scottish and Irish with seemingly a bit of pan-Scandinavian thrown in...
- In 2001's Christmas Carol: The Movie, Jacob Marley seems to come from a hitherto unknown part of England, judging from the weird accent he speaks with. Marley is voiced by Nicolas Cage (yes, Nicolas Cage), which might explain it.
- Olivia from The Great Mouse Detective has at least three different accents.
- Tiffany in Spider's Web: A Pig's Tale has an utterly bizarre accent best described as a mixture of Yorkshire, Scottish and Jamaican.
- Despicable Me: Gru talks in a very strange accent that starts off as Russian/German, but then turns into something else entirely. Steve Carell describes it as "a cross between Ricardo Montalban and Bela Lugosi." His mother has a different weird accent, that's close to her son's but a little bit more French-flavored than Gru's Russian-ish.
- In-universe in Broadway Melody of 1936 when Bert asks Snoop to try a French accent, and is appalled at the result. ("The other 50 million Frenchmen must be wrong.")
- Mary Poppins. Dick Van Dyke is a beloved actor and performer, and his character Bert from the Disney musical is deservedly iconic. But that hasn't stopped people particularly in the UK from ridiculing his attempt at a Cockney accent for the last 50 years. Van Dyke claims that the accent coach they hired for him was an Irishman who couldn't do it any better, so Van Dyke decided to just roll with the accent and make it hilariously bad. In the film, he attempts to sing in the accent, but occasionally slips back into his American accent, as heard when Bert is singing a verse of "Chim Chim Cheree" while cleaning the Banks' chimney. He actually plays two Brits in the film the other much more convincingly. It's just that most people don't stay till the end of the credits to find out.
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade has Indy trying to do a Scottish accent that comes off sounding more like Chekov of Star Trek: The Original Series. This is strange considering that the character grew up with a Scottish father, one played by Sean Connery of all people, whoshe akshent you may find catchy and eashy to imitate. The butler he's talking to isn't fooled in the slightest. "If you are a Scottish lord then I am Mickey Mouse!"
- Moulin Rouge! has Christian's father with an accent that comes off best described as German-Scottish.
- Carol Reed's The Stars Look Down portrays the lives of miners from a town in Northumberland. Michael Redgrave, who plays the lead role, made an earnest effort to drop his RP for a Geordie accent but ended up combining a generic northern accent with something that sounded vaguely Welsh. His co-star, Margaret Lockwood, did not even bother.
- Ozymandias/Adrian Veidt in Watchmen. In public Veidt has an American accent, and it slips in and out of his native German accent when he lets his guard down, so it is intentionally meant to be a mixture in certain circumstances.
- In-universe in Inglourious Basterds. Lt. Hicox is an undercover British agent pretending to be a German, but an SS officer notes his unusual accent and becomes suspicious. Hicox deflects his questions by claiming he's from an obscure village, which doesn't completely convince the SS officer who thus sticks around waiting for Hicox to make a more obvious mistake.
- Butcher Bill Cutting in Gangs of New York, as played by Daniel Day-Lewis, speaks with a bizarre, archaic accent that's halfway between New Yawk and Australia. Day-Lewis being Day-Lewis based it on a real historical New York accent that no longer exists, which he spent an inordinate amount of time getting right, as is to be expected.
- Harry Potter: Michael Gambon as Dumbledore was going for the late Richard Harris' accent, who did the part before him, as well as his native Irish accent.
- Christopher Lambert went to a lot of trouble to develop a mixed non-specific accent appropriate for an immortal who'd lived everywhere over the course of his centuries-long life. The intention is underlined by an early dialogue exchange when a cop tells MacLeod, "You talk funny," and asks where he's from. MacLeod answers, "Lots of different places." However, his straight Scottish accent in the Flashbacks is also a muddle. Lambert himself is from a French family and spent his early life in Switzerland.
- On top of that is Ramirez, portrayed by Sean Connery. He has a Spanish name (and outfit) but claims to be Egyptian and he's played by a Scotsman (in-)famous for never even trying to hide his accent.
- The Room: Where the hell is Johnny supposed to be from? That voice is vaguely French, but not quite enough. "Actor" Tommy Wiseau is using his real accent, but refuses to state his country of origin, claiming to be Cajun (although internet scuttlebutt places his origins in Poland).
- Adrianna Niles from Werewolf, who sounds like Tommy Wiseau. She's Polish.
- Hannibal Lecter's accent in The Silence of the Lambs. He has bits of everything in it. Anthony Hopkins said he was going for a cross between Truman Capote and Katharine Hepburn. One of his most iconic scenes (the Hannibal Lecture) has a Brief Accent Imitation of a West Virginian hillbilly accent, too. And just to confuse things even further, some of the later books (released after the movie, and so contradictory to earlier canon that many fans ignore them outright) reveal that he grew up in Lithuania.
- Watson from the silly martial arts film Razor Sharpe.
- Angelina Jolie as Olympias in Oliver Stone's Alexander. The intent was for her to have a vaguely foreign accent in order to accentuate her exotic "barbarian" nature. Historically, she came from Epirus, which is right near modern-day southern Albania, making this rather well-researched in terms of transferring accents.
- Poor Christian Bale in Newsies actually does a pretty decent New York accent. Only, New York has a lot of accents. Bale doesn't so much not pick one as pick all of them. Most of the other actors don't pick any of them at all.
- Star Wars: Darth Vader. It's noticeable watching the six films in chronological order rather than production order: Jake Lloyd gives Anakin Skywalker a Midwestern American accent in The Phantom Menace, while Hayden Christensen uses an upper-crust New England accent for Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Once in the black armor, he sounds like a roboticized Scary Black Man (courtesy of James Earl Jones) speaking in a Mid-Atlantic accent. When Luke removes his mask at the end of Return of the Jedi, Sebastian Shaw inexplicably gains a British accent just before he dies.
- Ernest Stavro Blofeld when he was played by Donald Pleasance in You Only Live Twice, doing a sort of ambiguously-European thing.
- Nicolas Cage in Vampire's Kiss appears to affecting something between California surfer accent and that of an English gentleman (when it's not slipping). What it actually is meant to be is hotly contested. Cage explained that the accent is supposed to be a nonsensical affectation that the character uses to seem cultured and to impress others.
- The title character in Coffy uses a rather strange accent when posing as a prostitute.
- The jury is still out as to what accent Jude Law was going for in I Heart Huckabees. It isn't his native British accent, it isn't an accent for someone who grew up in the midwestern United States like his character... the best guess is that it's a deliberate affectation from a self-loathing individual.
- Kiefer Sutherland may have found out what happened to his girlfriend in the remake of The Vanishing, but no one has ever been to find out where the heck Jeff Bridges' character was supposed to be from. France? Belgium? Holland?
- Peter Klaven in I Love You, Man. All of his accents have the same, vaguely leprechaun-like quality, and other characters routinely call him out on it. Slappa da bass!
- Pirates of the Caribbean:
- Davy Jones, played by Bill Nighy, has what is sort-of-recognisable as a Scottish accent, but given that he's punctuating it with various bizarre sputtering and plops and other squid noises, and that Bill Nighy has a fairly distinctive voice to begin with, it turns into this trope. The accent was originally supposed to be Dutch (he's the captain of the Flying Dutchman, after all), but Nighy refused to even attempt it.
- Hell, Jack Sparrow, himself, seems to have a very bizarre mixture of several English accents. This is because Johnny Depp is imitating Keith Richards in both accent and mannerisms when in-character as Jack. He said pirates were the rock stars of their era and modelled Jack on Keith's stage performances. This became even more amusing in the third movie when Keith Richards himself appears as Jack's father.
- The two Red Shirt fishermen in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest who stumble upon Jack's hat, and, subsequently, become the Kraken's first victims. It sounds vaguely Russian, but it is too difficult to tell since it is spoken at such a fast pace. DVD subtitles imply that it's meant to be Turkish or Turk-Cypriot.
- Lee Meredith has said that Scandinavian viewers attribute her supposedly Swedish accent in the original The Producers to Scandinavian countries other than the ones they're fromDanes say it's Swedish, Swedes say it's Norwegian, and so forth.
- Russell Crowe gives us a strange blend of Welsh, Irish, and a bit of Scottish in Robin Hood (2010). He's been known to stop interviews when asked about it.
- Kate Beckinsale and her apparently Transylvanian accent in Van Helsing. Strangely we hear some American pronunciations in there when Beckinsale herself is British.
- Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings adopts a weird sort of mid-Atlantic accent that sounds sort of like it wants to be British but can't quite make it — which stands out, given that practically everybody in the movie speaks with one British Regional Accent or another. And occasionally he says random lines in a hammy Irish accent.
- Belizaire the Cajun (a 1986 low-budget film starring Armand Assante) has this problem for purely historical reasons. Most of the characters are Cajuns (Louisianans of French-Canadian descent) in 1850s Louisiana, but their accents evoke an unlikely mishmash of ethnicities from all over Europe and the Americas (one of the characters sounds almost Hispanic/Latino at one point, while Belizaire himself edges close to what sounds like a Scottish accent in one scene). This discrepancy can be attributed to two things: one, most North Americans have never heard an authentic Cajun accent and/or have a stereotyped idea of what it sounds like; and two, the Cajuns really were a multi-ethnic and even multi-racial people, despite primarily speaking French. (This is discussed further over at Ragin' Cajun.)
- Peter MacNicol as Janosz Poha in Ghostbusters II provides the page quote. He's supposedly Hungarian, but his accent lurches all over Eastern Europe like a drunk in a Yugo. Since his name doesn't have any real country of origin, it's just a nonspecific wacky accent, which MacNicol developed by hanging out at the Romanian consulate in New York.
- In Funny People, Leslie Mann's character attempts to imitate her husband's Australian accent and fails, confusing Ira.
- In Maverick, Annabelle has this asked of her by the eponymous character.
Maverick: I can't quite place your accent. Where in the South are you from?
Annabelle: Ever been to Mobile? That's where I'm from.
Maverick: Mobile, Alabama? Hell, I been there. I'll bet we know the same people. You start.
Annabelle: I've tried so hard to forget that place. I endured such personal tragedy there.
- When auditioning for his part in No Country for Old Men, Javier Bardem attempted to downplay his Spanish accent, and ended up with a bizarre, mangled dialect that is thoroughly indefinable. The Coen Brothers liked this so much that they told him to keep doing it, as the accent heightened the unsettling otherworldliness of his character. It's not so much that Chigurh doesn't sound like he's from West Texas, it's more that he doesn't sound like he's from anywhere. He won an Oscar for his performance.
- In the 1999 Disney Channel movie PUNKS, a young Jessica Alba played a streetwise tomboy with a Brooklyn accent. Except Alba's accent drifted all across the United States' eastern seaboard, and occasionally turned into what sounded like an Estuary accent.
- When playing Lonnie in Rock of Ages, Russell Brand fluctuates between different English accents, from a London/Cockney accent, a Liverpulian accent and a Brummie accent. Apparently he was going for Brummie.
- Gerard Butler's accent in P.S. I Love You is certainly not Irish. Butler has apologised for this, stating that it was down to Executive Meddling.
- Unlike most versions of the character prior, The Joker's voice in The Dark Knight is a rather weird, high-pitched rasp that swings between a fairly generic American accent, slight impersonation of Mark Hamill's version, a New Yawk accent, and what's been occasionally compared to a young Tom Waits, and sometimes drops the clownishness entirely for a terrifyingly deep demonic snarl. His habit of constantly licking and sucking at his lips while he eats doesn't make it any clearer. It's incredibly creepy.
- The Dark Knight Rises:
- Bane's accent is rather hard to place due to the mask's distortion. Tom Hardy has said it was inspired by Irish prizefighter Bartley Gorman. Though apparently it was heavily tweaked in post-production. Some said he sounded like Sean Connery wearing a special voice amplifier.
- Miranda Tate has an accent that sounds somewhere between Middle Eastern and actress Marion Cotillard's native French.
- In Angels & Demons, Vittoria Vetra (played by Ayelet Zurer), when speaking in English, has an accent that wanders from American to British to Italian and from there halfway around Europe. Ayelet Zurer stated that she wanted the character to seem international, and given that she's an Italian citizen who works in Geneva and is shown speaking Italian, French, and English and reading Latin, it's somewhat justified. As it happens, the actress herself is Israeli.
- Whatever the hell Tom Hardy is trying to do as Eddie Brock in Venom (2018). In the comics, Brock is from San Francisco, but Hardy's version bounces back and forth between vaguely New-Yorkish, British, Australian, and Elmer Fudd.
- Ilsa Haupstein in the first Hellboy movie is a prime example. Her German accent wanders randomly across several nations, particularly a British accent in her final lines.
- A similar concept was used in Nell, which was about a girl picking up a unique accent from a mother who could only talk through one side of her mouth because of a stroke. Ma's North Carolina accent doesn't help matters either, y'all. Between this and Nell's other family circumstances, her speech is so strange and incomprehensible that it can barely even be called English anymore.
- Emma Watson as Sam in The Perks of Being a Wallflower has one that sounds partly Southern Belle, partly BBC English. Given that this is set in Pittsburgh (whose accent apparently nobody considers worth imitating on film), she leans heavily towards Southern Belle.
- Edward James Olmos is well known for his gravelly Badass Baritone, but he forgoes that completely as Gaff in Blade Runner in favor of a weird, hissing bark of a voice that sounds like he's simultaneously shouting and whispering every other word. Given that Gaff's first language seems to be Cityspeak, the unholy creole offspring of Spanish, French, Japanese, Hungarian, Chinese, and German, (and which Olmos also created himself) this is most likely intentional. It's even more confusing when he uses his normal voice for The Cameo he has in the second movie.
- Similarly, in the sequel, Jared Leto plays Niander Wallace with a really weird mix of flat tones and weird, musical pitch shifts. Again, definitely intentional, and it has the effect of making Wallace seem more inhuman and robotic than any of the actual Replicants.
- In Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, the actor playing Mike Teavee is supposed to be from New Mexico but speaks in a stereotypically New York fashion when he's trying to sound like a tough guy (probably Rule of Funny). And in Charlie's hometown, there's a mix of American and British accents in an intentional evocation of Where the Hell Is Springfield?
- Pacific Rim: Max Martini (American) and Robert Kazinsky (British) as the Australian Jaeger pilots, Herc and Chuck Hanson (good luck finding many in Australia with even that as a nickname). If a viewer missed the scenes featuring them in Striker Eureka battling Kaiju in Sydney, they'd swear that the two were from Britain. To make matters worse, they keep a British bulldog as a pet!
- Elysium: In a probably intentional attempt at this trope, Jodie Foster's character speaks in an odd accent that at times sounds French, at times British and at times American, yet at the same time not really any of them. Which might be Fridge Brilliance considering any accent on a space station in the 22nd century would almost certainly not resemble any modern day Earth ones.
- Tim Curry's accent in Loaded Weapon is all over the place, but this is probably done deliberately for comedic value.
- In the film Witness for the Prosecution, a mysterious woman offers to sell the defence some crucial evidence. Her accent is an utterly bizarre attempt at Cockney, which ends up coming across as more South African than anything. In the end it is revealed that this was Marlene Dietrich's character just putting on the voice.
- Fenster, Benicio Del Toro's character in The Usual Suspects, speaks in a... Chinese? Hispanic?? Yiddish???... accent that's not clarified at all by the fact that he speaks like he's just come out of the dentist's office after a root canal. Del Toro came up with the odd accent because he knew his character was destined to become a Sacrificial Lion and figured, if he had to die, he'd at least be memorable.
Police Officer: In English, please.
Fenster: ... Kusemeh?translation
Police Officer: In English, please!
- Del Toro does another strange (although not nearly as incomprehensible) accent as DJ in The Last Jedi, and like the character himself, it's rather off-kilter and difficult to nail down. The weird enunciation and Dramatic Stutter doesn't help.
- Mrs Hoggett in Babe, played by Australian actress Magda Szubanski, has a very strange accent that one can only guess is supposed to be American but it ought to be included in lists of bad movie accents, yet somehow no-one ever thinks of it. Not only is the accent quite distracting but the character is a terrible chatterbox. The film's setting is quite vague, it's based on a British children's book, filmed in Australia, but all the cast are either American or do American accents (presumably to appeal to US audiences). Though the world it's set in doesn't feel like America at all but more like the English countryside.
- Martin Short as Franck Eggelhoffer in Father of the Bride (1991).
- In Queen of the Damned, Lestat, Akasha, and Marius all have invented vaguely-European accents that just serve to highlight the World of Ham. Akasha's in particular is practically indecipherable. On the other hand, Akasha is supposed to have slept since the time of Ancient Egypt, but may have partly been awake all this time, hearing various people talk to her and, in the original novel, Lestat's music.
- Kano in the first Mortal Kombat movie. The game developers were sufficiently convinced by the actor's accent that they retconned the character's nationality to Australian. To most people however his accent is a bizarre mix that sounds more Cockney than anything else. The actor was actually a Brit who was pretending to be Australian in real life in the belief that it would get him more work.
- Robin Williams' British accent in Mrs. Doubtfire. Lampshaded when Pierce Brosnan's character asked which part of England "she" was from and he said something vague about having lived in lots of different places.
- Brosnan, who is an Irishman playing an Englishman, asks this in spite of Williams' character speaking in an obvious Scottish accent.
- Listening to Robert Duvall's "Scottish" accent in A Shot at Glory is a pretty mindboggling experience. Some commentators have compared it to a Welsh-Pakistani-Russian hybrid.
- Seriously, Erik's accent is all over the place in X-Men: First Class. Although, considering his background, this could be justified.
- Valeria in Robot Holocaust. Hooboy! She sounds like a Franco-Germanic Elmer Fudd!
- The Cobra mercenary Firefly, as depicted in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, speaks in a voice that's somewhere in between Cajun, Australian, and possibly lower-class Cockney. (It's worth noting that he mentions that he's broken out of "eight prisons" in his life.)
- In Cloud Atlas's 2144 story, Doona Bae's English as the nominally Korean Sonmi-451 is impeccable. However, when she plays the Latina immigrant in the 1970s story, her accent doesn't sound Spanish at all.
- In the original 1970 version of The Out-of-Towners, Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis play a couple from Ohio, but their accents are more suggestive of New York or New Jersey. And toward the end, Dennis suddenly and bizarrely switches to a faux-British accent for a climactic monologue.
- In-Universe in Hot Tub Time Machine. Adam's fake Russian accent sounds nothing like a real Russian accent.
- Rod Steiger shows a tendency whenever he tries a foreign accent. One particularly strange example comes in the Western Run of the Arrow, where he decides to play an ex-Confederate Southerner with an inexplicable (and quite painful) Irish brogue. Or his cartoon Mexican accent in Duck, You Sucker!. In Doctor Zhivago and Waterloo he opts for "vaguely foreign" rather than anything approaching the nationalities he's ostensibly playing.
- In The Last Stand, Peter Stormare sports a bizarre accent that seems to mix his native Swedish heritage with a Deep Southern drawl.
- After Earth has every character speak in accents that are almost completely unrecognizable and jarring to anyone who hears them. The two main characters speak in what can probably be described as an offshoot of a South African accent while every other character has...an accent. The accents aren't even consistent with each other outside Will and Jayden Smith's a good portion of the time. They apparently went to linguists to try to nail down an accent that might come about in the future, but as YMS put it, it comes across as "part British, part Southern (American), and part completely f*cking random." It also makes the characters come off as less intelligent than they are as a result.
- Averted in Gandhi: Geraldine James played Mira Behn. During production of the film, the director wouldn't let James meet the real Mira Behn. It turned out the real Mira Behn had a strange accent, the product of an aristocratic English upbringing, decades living in India, and twenty years or so in Austria. The director didn't want James copying Mira Behn's accent, because it would have resulted in this trope.
- The Guns of Navarone. Richard Harris plays an RAAF squadron commander who doesn't sound like anything heard in Australia.
- Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau bears no resemblance whatsoever to any French accent, real or imaginary. Even other French characters find him unintelligible at times. At no point does he speak a single, actual French word (save that he does occasionally refer to people as monsieur or madame).
- For Gone with the Wind, Clark Gable began researching an authentic old Charleston accent in order to play Rhett Butler. However, he quickly gave up upon realizing nobody would be able to tell where the character was supposed to be from, or what he was saying: "Frinkly, moi dyah, oi don' give a dim!"
- Terry Crews' African accent in Blended sounds more Jamaican than African.
- Hunter in Neverwhere is described as having an accent like this, as point-of-view character Richard isn't familiar with the accents of the world Below.
- In Cryptonomicon, Enoch Root has one hell of a weird accent in English; after some discussion of it among his squadmates, Bobby Shaftoe (who had met Enoch before and learned his (supposed) background) pretends to listen to it and declares:
Bobby: Well, fellas, I would guess that this Enoch Root is the offspring of a long line of Dutch and possibly German missionaries in the South Sea Islands, interbred with Aussies. And furthermore, I would guess thatbeing as how he grew up in territories controlled by the Britishthat he carries a British passport and was drafted into their military when the war started and is now part of ANZAC.
Pvt. Daniels: Haw! If you got all of that right, I'll give you five bucks.
- Later, Enoch is revealed to have an even wilder accent in Italian; as he says, "In fact, I would probably sound like a seventeenth-century alchemist or something."
- Rural folks in H.P. Lovecraft's stories usually seem to speak a random mixture of several different regional accents and dialects.
- Fitz, in the Doctor Who Eighth Doctor Adventures, tried doing a German accent, which could easily be mistaken for Scottish, in The Banquo Legacy. It lasts for one hilarious line before slipping:
"Ach," said Kreiner, "always ye haff mishaps. Again and again. Time after time."
- Witchfinder Sergeant Shadwell from Good Omens is described as "unplaceable":
- During her brief visit to Hell, Honor Harrington encounters a group of prisoners who speak English in the oddest manner... their choice of words and grammar indicate that they speak it fluently, but something about how they are pronouncing is just maddeningly off for no evident reason. They are all developing speech impairments, due to brain damage caused by the planet's native flora and fauna being slightly toxic to humans, with the State Sec personnel making it a point not to give them enough rations to sustain themselves.
- The Witches: The Grand High Witch is implied to be Norwegian. She replaces her Ts with Zs and Ws with Vs. It doesn't in any way resemble a Norwegian accent, which is recognizable by more pronounced Rs and replacing Zs with Ss. Her accent resembles German more than anything else.
- In Robots and Empire, the protagonists visit a planet presumed abandoned. Upon encountering a robotic overseer, they address it... only to find, to their dismay, that while these robots are Three-Laws Compliant, their definition of human only extends to those with the local accent (very distinct). Oh, and everything that looks like a human but doesn't speak like one must be destroyed on the spot.
- Faustine from The Vampire Files claims to be Russian, but Jack's never heard a real Russian use an accent like hers. He describes it as a cross between Bela Lugosi and Garbo.
- Richard III in the 21st Century's accent is described as somewhere between Appalachian and Scottish, though this is perfectly justified seeing as he's from 1485 and that's simply what an English accent sounded like at the time.
- Toby Esterhase, a recurring character in several of John le Carré's spy novels, is noted as having a bizarre, unplaceably "foreign" accent when speaking any of the many languages he's fluent in, including his native Hungarian. This usefully allows him to claim to be from anywhere the person he's trying to fool isn't familiar with.
- Lestat of The Vampire Chronicles describes his own speech as "a cross between a flatboatman and Sam Spade", while also noting he has a French accent. In The Movie of Queen of the Damned, this turned into a thoroughly unrecognizable accent, of vaguely-European ham.
- The Cloudish characters in Greer Gilman's Moonwise may seem to be doing this. Mostly it's Yorkshire speech, a few sound more Scottish.
- In Diane Duane's Spock's World, Dr. McCoy does not speak Vulcan, so elects to receive an "RNA messenger sequence" which biochemically adds cells to the brain to help him speak and understand the language fluently. Problem is, he did it on the cheap, and ended up receiving RNA from a Vulcan student who attended Cambridge and then went to UCLA. By book's end, his own Southern drawl has slipped into the mix.
- One of the running gags of the Fortunes of War duology of Star Trek books was that the main character, Lt. Piper, was going nuts trying to figure out what obscure planet Scotty was from to explain his thick accent. It completely blew her mind when she found out he was born and raised in Scotland on Earth.
- Valhalla features a character named Valfar who speaks with an incredibly thick accent that causes other characters headaches. It is never explained where he's from.
- Most of the accents of Redwall are easy to place, if not always intelligible, being thick British provincial and class stereotypes. Some vermin, however, have more unusual accents. Most notable are the Pure Ferrets from Triss; their accent is probably supposed to be quasi-Slavic, based on their names (Bladd, Kurda, etc.), but sounds more like German spoken through a mouthful of marbles and with a random "yar!" sprinkled in.
- In River of Teeth, several characters are irked by being unable to place Houndstooth's accent, especially since he's known to be from Britain and they expected him to sounds British. They also tend to dismiss his explanation that his accent is unplaceable because he's spent decades in the Unites States by that point, and in different areas of it at that.
- In The Fifth Season, Schaffa has a unique accent that several characters remark on. It's eventually revealed to come from him being tens of thousands of years old, an order of magnitude older than any other Guardian.
- Averted by Officer Crabtree in 'Allo 'Allo! where much of the joke is that his supposed "French" is wildly wrong.
- At one point in Full House, Kimmy says "I'm practicing der Bagpipes for the Scottish musical festival after school" in basically a Scandinavian accent. In her defense, she didn't say she was practicing her accent.
- Antoine de Caunes of Eurotrash fame initially tried dampening down his very, very strong French accent (to the point that he was often suspected of not being French at all and putting the accent on for the sake of comedy) and using an English accent whilst presenting on British television. As he himself admits, the results were not pretty.
- Star Trek: The Original Series:
- Craig Ferguson once commented that nobody in Scotland understood Scotty. "It was like an Arab had an epileptic seizure." James Doohan himself explained that in auditions, he tried various authentic Scottish accents he could in fact do a very good Aberdonian and other regional accents but the producers were absolutely appalled, especially when he read the part in broad Glaswegian. Fearing that Americans would not understand any genuine Scots accent without subtitles, the mangled accent was an unsatisfactory compromise between reality and the demands of American television.
- NOOKLEARRH. WESSELS. Interestingly, Anton Yelchin, the Russian-born but American-bred actor who played Chekov in the 2009 Star Trek made a game attempt at approximating Chekov's accent, even though he apparently commented that it sounded like no Russian accent he had ever heard.
- Walter Koenig said that he got the v pronounced like w thing from his father, who had the same difficulty (although not to the extent Chekov did) - Walter doesn't talk like that in real life (he doesn't have much of an accent in real life, he was the son of Russian immigrants but he was born in Chicago). The story goes that he did a realistic Russian accent in an audition for Star Trek, but Gene Roddenberry said it wasn't strong enough and instructed him to "ham it up". So he made the accent over the top, and did the v/w swap, and Roddenberry then approved.
- Mauve Shirt Transporter Chief Kyle had a kinda-English accent (which makes sense as the actor who played him, John Winston, is British), but it was "off" enough that a DC Comics bio had him born in Australia.
- While Leonard Nimoy had no discernable accent as Spock, in his role on Mission: Impossible as master of disguise Paris he had this brilliant moment.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: Troi. Marina Sirtis said that she purposefully tried to make an alien accent since she was half-Human/half-Betazoid, and especially in the earlier seasons you can almost see her struggling to keep it up. The fact that none of the Betazoid characters used anything even slightly similar also drew attention to it. That accent was replaced by something closer to a British accent (which is her native accent) in later seasons, and then dropped altogether in movie. Marina Sirtis was brought up in London to a Greek Cypriot family. It has been suggested that she was deliberately speaking in the sort of British accent first-generation Greek immigrants would have used: a hybrid of Cockney and Cyprus.
Originally, Denise Crosby was chosen after reading the part of Troi, the empath, and Sirtis read for Commie Land descendant and security-focused Tasha Yar (...yiiiikes). By the time season one began, they had accents that might have made sense if their roles hadn't been swapped. Troi's mother was cast as if this change hadn't happened at all. There was a fan-theory for a while that Troi had a peculiar Earth accent she'd picked up from her father ...then Ian Troi appeared in a flashback and he didn't have it either.
- Handwaved later on by a comment Lwaxana made: telling Deanna that she should have been around more when she was growing up, so she didn't spend so much time with her nanny, because she picked up the nanny's accent.
- When Ross starts lecturing at NYU he is very nervous and when he begins to talk "this British accent just came out". "Yeah, not a very good one." In the same episode Monica does a Scottish accent to make fun of him and Rachel goes for Indian of all things.
- Also in universe is pretty much any time Joey tries to put on an accent; his Southern Accent comes out as Jamaican.
- Di Sout' will rise again, mon!
- Another episode has Phoebe and Monica having this reaction to one of their friends coming back from England with a new accent. Monica attempts an awful impression of it ("Monica dah-ling it's U-mah-da cooling"). Chandler remarks "is that meant to be a British accent". Ironically when we see the friend (played by Jennifer Coolidge) her English accent is quite decent. Well, sort of — some of the vowels are correct (for RP, anyway) and consistent. It's probably exactly right considering it's portrayed as irritatingly fake.
- Babylon 5:
- Londo. His aide, Vir, did not speak with the same accent, but the actor playing Lord Refa did decide to copy it, leading the series creator to explain that this was basically the "old money"/aristocratic Centauri accent. Possibly adding to the confusion, J. Michael Straczynski originally didn't want Londo to have an accent at all, but Peter Jurasik (who played Londo) kept on using it anyway. Plus, Centauri Prime is an entire planet, so it would make sense that there would be more than one accent. When pushed by his co-stars to identify exactly what accent it was, Jurasik was known to shrug and announce in an exaggerated version that it was "Eastern European". He claims that he'd lost a part once using this accent and figured that if he's an alien, he at least couldn't be accused of Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping. In a different interview, Jurasik once claimed that the accent was specifically based on an elderly Russian man he'd known as a child, who came from a very aristocratic pre-Revolutionary background and had grown up speaking primarily Russian-accented French.
- Delenn might count too, but that's technically the actress' own Croatian accent.
- Andreas Katsulas, who played G'Kar, does not actually have a dramatic British accent, but adopted one because he felt it was appropriate for the part. There was quite a variety of fake accents among the B5 actors.
- The Centauri and Minbari in particular seem to have a selection of accents. Turhan Bey used his native Austrian accent when portraying the Centauri Emperor, lending some credence to the quasi-Eastern European accent affected by Jurasik as Londo. Theodore Bikel used his native Yiddish accent when playing a Minbari, Reiner Schone as Dukhat used his native German accent, and John Vickery affected a pronounced upper class British purr as Neroon.
- When Bikel played a Russian Jewish rabbi, there were those who claimed that he didn't quite sound Russian.
- There's also the Centauri maid from the framing scenes of "In the Beginning," who has a French accent. She's a major character in the Centauri Prime trilogy, where her accent is described as "Northern."
- Doctor Who:
- Kleig and Kaftan in "Tomb of the Cybermen" are... foreign. Kleig has a German name, and is played by an actor from Cyprus whose speciality was playing creepy Egyptians in Gothic Horror movies, and says his dialogue with a sort of Arabic/Eastern European accent. Kaftan is named after an Arabic dress, is blacked up, wears vaguely East Asian clothes and has a Mexican/French/Greek/African/? accent.
- "The Krotons" features Little Green Man in a Can Tin-Can Robot people who were given what was intended to be South African accents by the voice actors, who wanted to add an Apartheid allegory to the story. Unfortunately, the accents are completely unrecogniseable. Most viewers find they come across as being a cross between Cockney and Birmingham, to the point where complaining about 'Brummie robots' is a cliche.
- In "The Space Pirates," the space-prospector Milo Clancy's accent goes from American to British to Australian, sometimes in the same sentence.
- Bruno Taltalian in "The Ambassadors of Death" sounds like he's Russian one minute and French the next. (And the accent disappears in the scenes filmed on location.)
- The Professor in "The Mutants" has a bizarre Mexican/Russian/South African accent.
- In "Image of the Fendahl", Dennis Lill plays Doctor Fendelman with... an accent. Good luck guessing what it is (part-Dutch, part-Greek, part-Italian is the best description), although we're helpfully told he isn't Japanese.
- In "Nightmare of Eden", the character Tryst has an utterly incredible accent, which the actor developed deliberately as a homage to Dr. Strangelove, on the grounds that people on other planets in the future won't have the same accents as people on Earth in the present. It might have worked better if he hadn't been the only person in the story doing it. (And Tom Baker didn't keep visibly cracking up whenever Tryst spoke.)
- Tegan's actress, Janet Fielding, has a natural Australian accent, but according to the producer it didn't sound quite Australian enough and so she added an exaggerated Brisbane twang to it.
- For that matter, Peri's American accent is on occasions so atrocious that American viewers have had to Google to try to find out where she's meant to be from.
- In the new-who episode "Day of the Moon" people were left trying to figure out where exactly the orphanage owner is meant to be from. It's meant to be a Southern US version of a Sycophantic Servant. It's Cajun (i.e. Louisiana). Half Deep South, half French Canadian. For a reference for what he was going for, see Lotso from Toy Story 3.
- In "A Town Called Mercy", almost all of the Americans are played by Brits... with varying degrees of success. Ben Browder, both an American and a Southerner, uses a VERY over-the-top Spaghetti Western-y accent.
- In "Tooth and Claw", Rose attempts a Scottish accent that is so atrocious that the Tenth Doctor (coincidentally played by a Scot) tells her to stop. It actually sounds somewhere between British and Canadian of all things.
- Continuing the theme of companions mangling Scottish accents, in "Deep Breath", Clara makes a very brief attempt at a Scottish accent that, fortunately, lasts all of one word. Truth in Television as Jenna Coleman has admitted at fan conventions that her Scottish accent is pretty bad, even though she has Scottish ancestry.
- In Farscape, any time that Crichton, played by Ben Browder, tries to change his accent from his natural variably-strong Southern the results will be hilarious. Particularly notable examples are the "English" accent he adopts when impersonating a Peacekeeper officer in "A Bug's Life", and the "Texan" accent he puts on when trying to play a Sex Slave buyer in "Scratch 'N' Sniff".
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- We have two English potentials, Molly and Annabelle, who are cockney and RP respectively, and seem to have taken personal lessons from Dick Van Dyke. Annabelle pronounces because as "bee-cawwse" and Molly replaces wise with "woiz".
- Kendra's accent is according to Word of God a rural Jamaican accent and very region-specific, but isn't recognised as such by Jamaicans (perhaps wisely, where she comes from is never stated on-screen). When Kendra asks Buffy "You tink he tell us?" and Buffy replies "I tink we make him," even Buffy sounds more convincing!
- Nobody English has ever spoken with Drusilla's wildly bizarre Cockney-meets-Mummerset. She is, on the other hand, crazy. And before she's crazy, she's pretty consistently upper-class.
- Subverted with Spike in later series, although it was initially pretty dodgy. Apparently Anthony Head provided informal coaching. Many people were surprised to learn James Marsters is American.
- It started on Buffy but the less said about Angel's "Irish" accent, the better. Lampshaded in the Angel episode, "Spin The Bottle" ("You don't sound Irish.")
- With that said, one time Buffy tries an English accent. She makes Angel completely butchering the accent sound like a life long Irish native in comparison.
- Going back to Kendra for a moment, Jamaican accents and Caribbean accents in general tend to be butchered by non-Caribbean actors, especially on TV shows. For instance Cheryl, Theo's season 7 girlfriend on The Cosby Show, is supposed to be from Barbados. Barbadian viewers would dispute that.
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch:
- An episode has a supposedly British drummer (well he says he was born in London) whom Morgan thinks talks cute.
- One of the last episodes features an "Australian" sports team with what appears to be a fading cockney accent with Aussie mannerisms.
- A suspect was supposedly from South Africa, but fans familiar with the country's accent found it laughable.
- One of the recurring characters, Sofia Curtis, was played by an English actress who tried to shoot for a generic, American accent. It... didn't quite work out that well.
- And, just one word for CSI: NY: Peyton. The actress was British, but the accent apparently still bad. (Jane Parsons did it better.)
- In Smallville, the actor cast as the father of Kelly Brook (who played her part as RP English) used an accent which caused one British genre magazine to dub him a South African Irish Cockney.
- Alias season 3 featured Agent Vaughn's new wife, Lauren, who was supposed to be British. Melissa George was rather lacking in ability in that department. The poor accent was later given a plot based explanation, but it seems unlikely that it was specified as a poor English accent in the original script.
- On The Air: Mr. Zoblotnik, as well as his nephew Valdja Gochktch, have completely unidentifiable accents replete with unintelligible vowel and even impossible consonant shifts. The characters are intended to be from some unknown foreign place, which ends up sounding like a cross between Swedish and Latvian. The accent is so alien, none of the other characters can understand it.
Zoblotnik: Wah hoove oo het in err honds! (We have a hit on our hands!)Everyone: ...What?!Gochktch: Kahn oo scram? (Can you scream?)Betty Hudson: ...You want me to leave?
- Orphan Black: In-universe. When the clones (who include an American, two Canadians, an English immigrant to Canada, a German and a Ukrainian) try to impersonate each other they don't always get it right. In particular, Alison's impersonation of Sarah in the fourth episode. Actually pretty good acting on Tatiana Maslany's part.
- Whose Line Is It Anyway? is infamous for this; any time the players have to portray a nationality, there's maybe a 10% chance at best that the accent will even remotely resemble what it's supposed to be. Especially if it's Colin or Ryan attempting the accent. Its generally lampshaded to no end. Ryan usually claims the accent is "Dutch".
Ryan: Funny how we all come from a different part of Spain.
- The only accent Ryan seems to be able to stick with is some sort of terrible Italian blend. On two separate occasions, he was supposed to be French in the scene, but drifted into this Italian thing. At one point, he even stops talking and asks, "Am I Italian, or French-y?"
- One sketch had Ryan's character blaming his roaming accent on moving a lot as a child.
- Greg once beautifully described Colin's wandering accents as "taking a train across Europe."
- Any of Colin's attempts at a Scottish accent become doubly hilarious if you know he was actually born in Scotland.
- One edition of the show had "World's Worst Infomercials" as the final round. Wayne Brady came up with "Colin Mochrie's Guide to Dialects:"
"French: (adopts unidentifiable accent) Helloo!"
"Spanish: (in same accent) Helloo!"
"Indonesian: (ditto) Helloo!"
- One game of "Hollywood Director" had the cast acting out a Zorro-style scene. Kathy Greenwood quickly adopted an accent that probably doesn't exist anywhere outside of the show, leading to in-game speculation that she was Canadian-Swedish. Not that anyone else's accent was at all appropriate for the setting.
- Saturday Night Live:
- "Two Wild and Crazy Guys": Dan Aykroyd puts on a plausible Eastern European accent, but Steve Martin's is just... what?!? Compounded massively when they speak in faux-Czech to each other.
- This is pretty common on SNL — some cast members are very, very good at accents, while others... are not. A couple examples of the latter camp include Jason Sudeikis as Richard Dawson in a Family Feud sketch, Seth Meyers as Prince Charles, and any time Christopher Walken has hosted.
- Red Dwarf:
- The accent used by the second version of Kryten has been described as a cross between American and Scottish. It was apparently supposed to be Canadian when he started out. It is also worth noting that Kryten keeps three spare heads in a locker in case of emergencies. Two speak his unique North American accent, but the third is different - blunter and coarser than the rest, it talks pure Yorkshire, notes its circuit boards are shot to buggery, and comes over like Geoffrey Boycott on a good day. Somewhat justified in that this accent was shown to be part of Kryten's "corrupted" personality, and so may not supposed to be any specific accent we're familiar with. When he got temporarily memory-wiped in season eight his accent reverted back to an upper-class British accent.
- The Inquisitor speaks with a growling, dramatic accent which seems to represent every constituent country of the UK. It's described on the DVD commentary as 'Scotto-American'.
- That '70s Show:
- Wilmer Valderrama has said that he purposely created an accent that couldn't be identified (think a mixture of "40 percent Cuban" and "60 percent homosexual"), and his lack of specific national origin is a running joke on the show. Lampshaded in an episode in which the adults try to imagine what the kids say when they are not around, and they have Fez himself not knowing what country he's from.
- Fez's friend from the other side of island has a British accent, which makes everything more confusing
- Examples of this trope pop up in many of the movies mocked on Mystery Science Theater 3000:
- Catalina Caper — "Oh, what are you, Creepy Girl?...are you French, or Italian, or one of those swarthy Gypsy types, heh heh?" In point of fact, Tom's wrong on all counts. The character of Katrina "Creepy Girl" Corelli was in fact played by Ulla Strömstedt, a Swede.
- Natalie, the female protagonist from Werewolf, and several other characters from that film to varying degrees.note
- SCTV's Andrea Martin had two prominent characters built around this trope. Perini Scleroso, the station's cleaning woman, occasional on-air "talent," and recipient of the coveted People's Global Golden Choice Award for "Best Foreign Personality," has both a thin grasp of the English language and a bizarre, unplaceable accent. Mojo, the maid on "The Days of the Week," had a better command of English, but a different bizarre, unplaceable accent.
- Cote de Pablo — Chilean born and Miami raised — plays an Israeli on NCIS, only her accent is still South American and she mangles whatever Hebrew they give her.
Flashback!Sophie: Ai, wai'er, I was vey wunnerin' 'fyou could yea' und' my dingaling.Present!Sophie: ...I hate you all.
- Several of the accents, but it's most glaring in the season three finale, San Lorenzo. Everybody had a vaguely European-sounding accent. Not one person had the same accent as any other person. Also doubles as Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping.
- In-universe, this is Sophie's reaction to the attempts of the other characters to do her accent in "The Rashomon Job" (namely, Sophie's natural accent is the same English accent as her actress, Gina Bellman. Eliot gave her a Cockney accent Eliza Doolittle would call overdone, Hardison gave her a Scottish one, and Parker only heard indecipherable gibberish.)
- Josh Thomas from Talkin' 'bout Your Generation has a bizarre indecipherable accent, despite being born and raised in Australia. Even host Shaun Micallef accidentally slipped into a speech pattern more characteristic of Josh at one point in the show. His accent sounds kind of British.
- Claudia Black elicits this reaction quite often. However, most of the time she is using her natural mingled Australian and British accent at the request of the director. This trope is completely justified when she plays an American, though.
- Samuel Sullivan in Heroes pretty much goes on a tour of every American and British regional accent in practically every sentence. Robert Knepper explained that it was meant to reflect how much he'd traveled.
- Most mystifying to British ears, the character of Daphne Moon, who speaks a very singular "Manchester" accent. This slips and slides across the north Cheshire plain and every so often touches ground in Sale and Stockport (south-west Manchester area) but is best thought of as a sort of generic north-western accent with hints of everywhere from Widnes and Runcorn right across to Glossop and Leek. The directors of Frasier really gave up when casting Daphne's "Mancunian" family: her parents are Dick Van Dyke cockney, her brothers are respectively Glaswegian, Irish, Australian, cockney and Scottish...
- Millicent Martin, who played Gertrude Moon, said in interviews that she tried to duplicate Daphne's accent, whatever that was meant to be. Robbie Coltrane managed to cop out altogether by being The Unintelligible.
- Bit part or one-time actors on Frasier have maintained the show's stellar record for getting non-American accents just right. In one episode a character (a love interest of Niles) is presumed in context to be South African. Her attempt at South Africa is as good as you might expect. And a friend of Daphne's, also meant to be British, speaks with a very apparent Australian accent throughout.
- Shake It Up! has Gunther and Tinka, who appear to speak with different accents from "the old country." (Gunther's is more German/Austrian; Tinka's is more Eastern European).
- Project Runway Season 9 had Olivier Green, whose accent baffled fellow contestants and the audience. It was so all over the place that people began to speculate he was faking it, though it seemed to fluctuate based on his mood.
- Americans speak with distinct accents that sometimes have to be put upon by actors. Hugh Laurie does a wonderful American accent, but it would be hard to pin down exactly where in United States Dr. House is from. Canonically, House is a military brat and thus from everywhere and nowhere, providing a Watsonian explanation for the accent. Laurie's accent as House is more-or-less Standard Midwestern and sounds perfectly unremarkable to American ears (one of the producers thought he was American after hearing him at auditions), but Brits have been known to complain about his "outrageously fake" American accent it's not clear whether this is because they've heard so many ridiculously distorted American regional accents that they believe all Americans are either Southern redneck hicks, California surfer dudes, or Boston Brahmins... or because they know what Laurie normally sounds like so hearing him doing some other accent seems "fake" (or perhaps they're just picking up the occasional word that screams "Oxford!" to British ears but Americans just dismiss as personal idiosyncrasies in pronunciation).
- British actor Jamie Bamber is also quite adept at pulling off an American accent, but like Laurie, determining precisely where in the US any of his American characters are from is nigh impossible (He's appeared in shows set all over the country—Philadelphia, Boston, Miami, Portland, etc.—but never specifically sounded like he's from any of these regions)). And unusually for him, he fumbles his American accent quite badly in the unaired pilot for 17th Precinct (understandable, as he was just coming off of several years of using his natural British accent on Law & Order: UK and was presumably out of practice) resulting in something that sounds like a hybrid of British, American, and Canadian (possibly explained by the fact that while ostensibly set in an American city, the episode was filmed in Vancouver). Even his British accent runs into this problem when he had to deviate from his natural upper-class one to speak in a working-class one while playing a firefighter on The Smoke.
- In the same vein, McNulty from The Wire does not sound like someone who is from Baltimore, or really anywhere in the U.S.
- Game of Thrones:
- Shae, who is equally mystifying to Tyrion in-universe. She describes her own accent only as "foreign". Her accent is actually German, albeit complicated by the fact that Sibel Kekilli, the actress portraying her, tries to mask her accent by giving it a distinct South-European tinge. Resolved in-universe in Season Two, when Cersei pegs her accent as Lorathi. It helps that Jaqen H'gar, the only other Lorathi character, also uses a German accent.note
- Some had this reaction to Melisandre, apparently from Asshai (east of Essos) whose accent is similarly strange. Carice van Houten is simply using her native Dutch accent; unlike the Lorathi (where we conveniently find they speak with German accents), the other person we see from Asshai (a strange lady in Qarth) has an unremarkable native English accent.
- For that matter, Tyrion himself has a wonderfully bizarre approximation of an accent that can only sometimes be recognized as Received Pronunciation ("Queen's English"), a matter not helped by the fact that Peter Dinklage is Fake Brit surrounded by mostly real Brits.
- Petyr Baelish, almost memetically so, has an inconsistent accent that seems to take a drunken tour of the entire UK throughout the series. He'll be Irish in one scene, Welsh in the next, Scottish in another, etc.
- From an in-universe perspective it appears that the Lannisters' accents are all over the place: We have the aforementioned RP/approximated British accent by Peter Dinklage's Tyrion, Cersei's (Lena Headey's) native English accent and then there's Danish-born Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) who, while doing a good job in masking his actual accent, speaks with a somewhat mildly American-sounding/Mid-Atlantic accent — definitely not the accent you'd expect from Cersei's brother.
- Raj from The Big Bang Theory asks "What part of America is that accent from?" after meeting Bawwy Kwwike. He's ignored. This trope also pops up whenever someone tries to do an impression of Raj's own Indian accent.
Raj: Did you have to make me sound like a Simpsons character?
- The episode "The Limey" has Australian actor Brett Tucker allegedly attempting a Cockney accent. If it weren't for the occasional dropped "h"s one would assume he was Not Even Bothering with the Accent.
- In "The Blue Butterfly", the cast were also playing the roles of other characters set in 1947. Nathan Fillion's character was a stereotypical private-eye New Yorker with the accent to match, but his accent never could seem to decide if it came from New York City, the American Southwest, Boston, or Canada.
- Martha. All the time.
- Murder, She Wrote's Amos Tupper was supposedly from Maine. Tom Bosley, who played him, used an accent that has never existed anywhere on earth, let alone Maine.
- In an episode of Drop the Dead Donkey, newsreader Sally Smedley has decided to make a bit of extra money by recording a radio ad. However, advertising by newsreaders is against broadcast regulations, so she tries to hide her involvement by affecting a fake accent, trying first Scottish, then Welsh. Her fellow newsreader, Henry Davenport, is not fooled for a moment, and when the ad hits the airwaves, he plays it for the whole office to hear. Researcher Dave Charnley's reaction sums up how successful her accent was:
Dave: What the hell kind of accent was that supposed to be?!
Sally: (feigning ignorance) Well, it sounded like rather good Welsh to me.
Dave: What!? Welsh crossed with Swedish! And a hint of Pakistani!
- Hannibal stars Brit Hugh Dancy as American profiler Will Graham. For the most part he can approximate an American accent... a Californian one, to be precise, when Graham is from Louisiana. It also stars Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal, employing a slightly exaggerated version of his own Danish accent to the "wtf?" of many a viewer with an untrained ear.
- Patty Duke, playing a character who was supposed to be a Scot in The Patty Duke Show, writes in her autobiography that she researched and practiced an appropriate accent, but the show's producers made her play Cathy Lane as a sort of generic-European:
I learned a true Scottish burr, and then everyone got nervous that the viewers wouldn't like or understand it so they decided on a general European nothing accent, a kind of "anyplace but America" speech.
- Julia Ormond tries to tamp down her English accent while playing an American on Witches of East End, which unfortunately gives her a very strange accent, although as her character is immortal, she could have been an Englishwoman who moved to North America. Her similarly immortal younger sister notably speaks with a totally normal American accent.
- Foreign Accent Syndrome (See Real Life section below) is referenced on an episode of Scrubs. J.D. is really bad at doing accents.
- 2 Broke Girls: Jennifer Coolidge attempts a Polish accent as Sophie. It's pretty easy to notice that she's not Polish. As the show has gone on the accent has had less and less resemblance to a Polish accent (in contrast to Oleg, whose accent still sounds passably Russian or Ukrainian). Sophie even recites this trope almost word for word when meeting Nashit, the Irish guy Max picked up of the streets, because she doesn't understand him.
- MythBusters: Any time Adam and Jamie are doing a myth that has to do with pirates, Adam will affect a "pirate" accent that... doesn't really sound like the stereotypical pirate accent at all. If anything, his accent is a poor imitation of a British rock star, or something like that. Maybe he's doing an impression of Captain Jack Sparrow?
- In the pilot for Burn Notice, English-born actress Gabrielle Anwar used an Irish accent for her character, a former IRA operative. It was quite cringe-worthy, and she adopted a nondescript American accent in the second episode with the explanation that she couldn't sound like a leprechaun if she wanted to blend in around Miami.
- Pierre from Danger 5 has a Mediterranean accent that incorporates bits of French, Spanish and Italian. He's also the most mysterious member of the team, so this might be intentional.
- In an episode of Legend of the Seeker, Rahl runs into a woman who claims to be The Creator of all things. Possibly to add credibility to this, she speaks in a completely undefinable accent.
- Lampshaded and Played for Laughs in the first episode of Misfits, when Nathan claims to be completely unable to understand anything Kelly says. She's actually speaking in her actress's natural Derbyshire accent, but due to the real lack of East Midlands accents even on British TV, it's probably what a lot of viewers who don't know the region were thinking too. Occasionally other characters will have some trouble understanding her compared to the ease with which they converse with each other.
- Played for Laughs a couple of times in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Skye is completely unable to come to terms with her British teammates' accents. Brief Accent Imitations of Glaswegian Fitz and South Yorkshire Simmons end up sounding Australian and Cockney, respectively, which they never fail to comment on (with Fitz choosing to adopt an American accent to match Skye's instead). Later, she mistakenly confuses Southern English Hunter for a Scotsman when referencing Trainspotting.
- There's an in-universe example in the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Chinoiserie", in which actor George Weems is conned into playing the role of "Lord Pembridge" and taking part in a crime under the guise of performance art. It actually takes Weems a few minutes to realize that the cops aren't part of the "show".
Goren: Isn't that the worst English accent you've ever heard?
Eames: Next to the Irish Spring guy, it's the worst accent, period.
Weems:(in bad accent) I beg your pardon!
Goren: The mishmash of Cockney, Welsh. But miraculously, I think I heard a shred of the north of England in one of your R's.
Eames: There are so many sounds in there, how can you tell?
- Weems later defends it as "a perfectly acceptable English music hall accent".
- On the short-lived reality competition show Pirate Master, contestant Azmyth, after being made captain of his crew, inexplicably adopted a British-style accent, perplexing some of his crew and shocking the normally unflappable host, Cameron Daddo, at that night's Pirate Court.
- Nora on When Calls the Heart has an inscrutable accent that swings between Midwestern, Southern, New England, and Western. On top of all that, the character is Canadian.
- Supernatural example: what the hell (pun intended) kind of accent is Alistair affecting? None of the other demons speak the way he does; the closest any of the others get is Crowley and he just sounds generically-British.
- Isabelle from Shadowhunters has an accent that can be hard pinpoint because her actress is Latina and grew up in Texas. Isabelle's accent is especially noticeable because neither of her brothers or parents have any accent at all.
- In the filmed pilot for the series, Rex is Not Our Lawyer, David Tennant tries desperately to curb his native Scottish to sound American, but overcompensates, particularly on the r's, and the result is utterly hilarious, even if you respect him as an actor. It's no discernible American accent that anyone could recognize. He did better several years later when he filmed Series/Gracepoint after he'd taken accent lessons, but his first attempt is just bad. Hear it for yourself from a released clip.
- During the Disney years of Power Rangers, especially later on, the casting directors often casted largely New Zealand and Australian actors to save money on airfare and had most of them do American accents. A good number of them could pass decently, but a few, James Napier and James Maclurcan in particular, couldn't always hold them, or hold them at all, to save their lives a good portion of the time, thus resulting in strange mixes of both their native accents and American. Subverted with Zander from Mystic Force, who's actor is Australian, but does more of a Kiwi accent.
- The most baffling of all though, has to be from Samurai, in-universe. Any time the rangers are shown as young kids, they're played by actors from the country it's filmed in, New Zealand, and, bless them for trying, but the kids couldn't do American accents, or act for that matter, to save their lives, but the main actors for the rangers sound American, thus leading to the question of where exactly Samurai is supposed to take place in the world, even though it's supposed to be America. Even Mentor Ji doesn't have a discernible accent, even though his actor is Kiwi.
- It was supposed to be subverted again with James Davies in the Neo Saban Dino Charge series, as the character and actor are both from New Zealand, but he sounded more Australian than Kiwi and, when they had a few episodes set in New Zealand and the extras do a better job at their native accent than he does, it became somewhat jarring.
- Zoey's Daughter Ava from Two and a Half Men starts out British just like her mother, but slowly her accent changes from living in America, but not quite, so she has some inflections that are still British. The actress herself, as described on the show's character's wiki page, is American, but can apparently do a British accent so well that the producers had her mix the two, so this was deliberately invoked.
- In Crossbones, John Malkovich plays Blackbeard (who was originally from Bristol, England) with a vaguely Germanic accent which is impossible to place. It does make Blackbeard seem more enigmatic. (I suppose Malkovich could have meant it to reflect the fact that Blackbeard spent his adult life among pirates from different countries.)
- Dr. Vink in Are You Afraid of the Dark? talks with a bizarre foreign accent that's difficult to pin down. When he laughs, his actor's real voice slips through.
- Jen in one episode of The IT Crowd struggles with her telephone tech support due to the operator's completely incomprehensible accent. It sounds like the guy was raised in every single country in Europe simultaneously.
- Lena (winner of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, actually from Germany) was causing some confusion with her accent. While definitely not German it ran all over the place. She claims her teacher had a Cockney accent, but while there are certainly traces of it in her singing, it's not the whole story.
- Fans were indeed asking the trope question when Eminem came in full force with his trademark accent for his album Relapse. Later in his succeeding albums Eminem implies he sort of went overboard with it.
- For a while, after she married Guy Ritchie, Madonna seemed to adopt some bizarre, half-assed attempt at a British accent.
- During the first year after Lady Gaga released her first album, "The Fame," she began to use a weird off-kilter British accent, which even her fans commented on — and which led some naive people to think she actually was British, and her detractors to suggest she was trying to sound like David Bowie. She later admitted it had to do with her anxiety and dealing with her newfound fame, dropping the accent entirely.
- The two lead singers of AC/DC (the late Bon Scott and, currently, Brian Johnson) are (or, in Scott's case, were) a Scotsman and an Englishman, respectively, the former raised in Australia, and each trying to imitate American rock 'n' roll singers. This can make their accents on AC/DC records sound quite bizarre, or even unintelligible. (On Back in Black, for instance, Johnson, trying to imitate Scott, sings "explode you to Mars" in some bastardized British/Australian/American dialect, and it comes out sounding like "explode you two miles.")
- For the first few Ramones albums, Joey (who, like the rest of the band, was from Forest Hills, Queens) seems to be putting on some sort of British accent while singing, which he later dropped.
- Billie Joe Armstrong was guilty of this on the early Green Day albums too.
- At times, Tom Delonge of blink-182 seems to mix a Cockney London accent with his native Californian accent.
- On one of their earliest hits, "Going Down to Liverpool", The Bangles attempt to sound British, but their efforts are so superficial it almost sounds as if they're mocking British people. Granted, British pop musicians who fake American accents are often no better.
- Lene Lovich sang in a bizarre German influenced accent, despite speaking in an upper class English accent in real life. The voice is evident on her famous song New Toy, on which she collaborated with Thomas Dolby.
- In Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross, Young Charlemagne, Einhard, the Pope, and the male chorus (but not Hildegarde or the older Charlemagne read by Lee) all put on a bizarre mock German accent, but clearly struggling to keep it up while singing, end up sounding as Scandinavian as they do German. The idea only lasts for that album, with the single version of "Bloody Verdict of Verden" and what new vocals feature on Omens of Death all done in the performers' native accents.
- Dave Matthews was born in South Africa, spent his childhood in New York (and, briefly, England), moved back to South Africa in his teen years, and then left for Virginia when he graduated high school to avoid being conscripted into the South African army. His accent, especially early in his career, became an odd blend of South African, New England, and Mid-Atlantic.
- If you listen to 5 Seconds of Summer's material, they sound reasonably American...until they have parts where they talk during songs (Good Girls' line, "I swear, she lives in that library") coming across as their native Australian, or some weird pronunciation quirks of their natural accents slipping through when they're singing. Anyone unfamiliar with their country of origin might be confused when listening to some of their songs. Then there's the cello line from the beginning of the Good Girls' music video. What accent was he going for? Australian? British? The school principal also sounded like some type of British person attempting an American accent...kinda poorly, while the other two guys who spoke in their native Australian accents. In fact, one could argue that they try too hard in some of their songs to sound American, to annoying levels.
- When Joakim Brodén speaks, he sounds about as Swedish as you can get. But when he sings, something weird happens. His singing voice's accent is part German, part Scottish, and part generic-hard-rock-guy.
- Invoked in an episode of I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again. David Hatch complains that he only ever gets to do the narration and never gets any interesting parts. Bill responds by announcing the arrival of "an out-of-work rabbi from Cairo, born of Lithuanian parents, raised in Germany, learned English from an Irishman in Edinburgh, educated in Bangkok, who will be played by — David Hatch!" David stammers for a bit, and the resulting accent can only be described as this trope.
David: Heyop! Any mick makes a wrong move and goodness gracious me, I shall shoot you! That goes for you too, fräulein-babydoll!
Cleese: What do you mean by this?!
David: I wish I knew.
- In RadioActive, a show whose cast members were not (for the most part) known for their vocal dexterity, Helen Atkinson Wood stands out for her chronic inability with American accents (her "Peggy Parton" takeoff is painful to hear - thankfully later seasons had Kate Robbins do the singing spoofs when females were involved).
- On The John Boy & Billy Big Show, a morning radio program heard throughout the American South, Marci "Tater" Moran invariably mangles any foreign accent she has to do in the "John Boy & Billy Playhouse" skits.
- At one point in The Complete History of America (abridged), one of the actors is impersonating a Vietnamese girl, and another observes that he has "no idea how to do a Vietnamese accent."
- One of many running gags in the popular summer stock farce A Bedfull of Foreigners is the mystery accent of Karak, the valet. The script calls for a non-specific Slavic accent, but Karak himself claims to be from Bulgaria, Hungary, and even Mexico.
- Hydriotaphia, a.k.a. Sir Thomas Browne and the Restoration uses this deliberately. To quote from Tony Kushner's first draft notes:
The bumpkins speak a made-up dialect. Simply pronounce the words exactly as they are written — it will sound a little like Brooklynese, though it should not be done with a Brooklyn accent; its vocabulary is derived from Yorkshire, Brooklyn, and also Krazy Kat (the comic strip, not the cartoon). It is not southern American, Texan, Irish, or African-American!!
- The Broadway musical version of Kinky Boots has a wide array of some of the most appallingly bad British accents ever. Even worse is that most of the characters are supposed to be from Northampton in The Midlandsnote yet having nothing resembling an East Midlands accent. The worst offender is Annaleigh Ashford, who originated the role of Lauren, who sounds like a combination of Cockney and an American Valley Girl.
- Abbey Bominable, "daughter of the Yeti" from Monster High, is supposedly from the Himalayas, but speaks with more of a Russian accent and dialect... and at least one Russian fan has claimed that whatever her accent is, it's not Russian.
- Zaptor from Mixels has an inexplicable and vaguely Austrian accent. Notable in the fact that both Teslo and Volectro lack the accent in the first place, although Volectro does sport a slight Jersey accent.
- The Elder Scrolls:
- Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness, has an accent in different parts of the series which is either Scottish or Irish. Good luck getting anyone (including natives of those countries) to actually agree which it is. Though it's entirely possible he's just making himself sound like whatever he likes the most and not what he natively has, considering what he's the prince of.
- Most Nord NPCs speak with a very strange, vaguely Scandinavian accent. Jarl Balgruuf is perhaps the best example. More unusually, Nords seem to vary in accent and either speak with thick ones or none at all. The accent is not even consistent between Nordic characters. The male guards have an incredibly thick south German/Austrian accent somewhere between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Hansi Kursch. Female guards on the other hand sound outright Russian. Some Nord characters, like Brynjolf of the Thieves' Guild and Tsun in Sovngarde speak with vaguely Scottish accents. Essentially, it seems that Nord accents are drawn from any Real Life place that can be/has been considered Grim Up North, thrown into a blender, and then handed out at random to the NPCs.
- The Dunmer NPCs have a gender-separated accent: The females speak normal American, but the males are constantly switching between a neutral American accent and some kind of mixture of faux-Australian and an imitation of Dick Van Dyke's Bert from Mary Poppins at random intervals. This is a stark change from their previous uniquely voiced appearance in Morrowind where they spoke in a neutral American accent with a Guttural Growler voice.
- SoulCalibur: seriously where in Britain is Ivy meant to be from?
- Iris in Mega Man X4. The English language voice actress, Michelle Gazepis, is Australian, but seems to be failing to put on another accent.
- Deus Ex: Invisible War:
- The pilot Sid is supposed to be English, which surprises English people.
- Luminon Saman also veers all over the Atlantic without once touching land.
- Halo: Combat Evolved: Chips Dubbo, a marine in the first level, gets in your way. He will meet the Chief and say; "Sir, The Captain wants you on the bridge ASAP. Better follow me!", in an accent that sounds remarkably Australianish, before taking him to the captain. The character is voiced by Andrew McKaige, an Australian actor, and Dubbo is a place in Australia. Funny thing is, people complained to Bungie about Dubbo's poor imitation of an Australian accent...
- Halo: Reach has Jun. Is that accent from an Asian country, or Russian? Word of God is that this was intentional for the Spartans in Reach, as they would possess the accents from planet populations composed of a variety of earth cultures.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- Brother-Captain Indrick Boreale from Dawn of War has... well, whatever planet it comes from, players hope it's been destroyed. "SPESS MAHREENS" indeed.
- The Chaos Cultists had what seems to be a Peter Lorre impression combined with Cornholio. The accent is one of the most hilariously infamous things of the game, eventually evolving into the character "Cultist-chan". Best seen in the Chaos Stronghold intro of Soulstorm.
- Kaptin Bluddflagg from the second game's Retribution expansion is quite clearly the result of trying to staple together the standard Ork cockney growling with the West Country growling of the average fictional pirate. The end result however, sounds like he's a Scotirish cockney-impersonator currently trying to adapt his accent to his new life in Cornwall note . The result is (suitably) hilarious for an orkish Space Pirate.
- Metal Gear:
- Sniper Wolf from Metal Gear Solid is apparently just supposed to sound generically Eastern-European (even though she identifies herself as hailing from Kurdistan)... but The Last Days Of FOXHOUND massively mocked her accent as being 'all over the place', with even the otherwise-perfect Master of Disguise, Decoy Octopus, entirely failing to sound like her.
- Naomi sounds posh-English with an American twang on her 'r' sounds, even though her character is Rhodesian and raised in America. The best guess is that it's the character's deliberate affectation. In The Twin Snakes and Metal Gear Solid 4 her accent is almost completely gone, although she still has a few English-like affectations.
- Mei Ling's Chinese accent was developed by the actress in a hurry and often veers towards Korea and Japan. Her accent was similarly dropped in the later games.
- The merchant in Resident Evil 4 is supposed to have a Scottish accent, apparently. Most of the players interpreted it as "Cockney", or simply "pirate". But why it's supposed to sound Scottish when we're in Not-Quite-Spain is unclear.
- Katamari Damacy: The King of All Cosmos — Camp Gay or Irish brogue? Bonus points for pulling this effect off in Japanese. Vocals start at 1:55.
- Final Fantasy:
- Final Fantasy Tactics War Of The Lions gives Ramza and Delita strange accents that veer between General American and posh British.
- Although Final Fantasy VIII doesn't have voice acting, Ultimecia's bizarre Funetik Aksent manages this. Bonus points for being completely absent in her in-battle dialogue.
- Final Fantasy X:
- In general, a lot of the accents are all over the place. O'aka and his brother Wantz, Tromell, Maester Mika, and a few others have rather unplaceable accents.
- Wakka from Final Fantasy X. No one has any clue what it's supposed to sound like other than "vaguely islander". This isn't Earth we're talking about, but nobody else from his island (apart from two other members of the Besaid Aurochs) has that same accent, although a few non-voiced NPC's have his Verbal Tic of putting "ya?" on the end of virtually every sentence.
- Rin also speaks in a very strange accent - ostensibly an Al Bhed accent, but no other Al Bhed in the game has that accent when speaking English.
- Final Fantasy XII:
- Fran's accent was intentionally chosen to be hard-to-point on an Earth map, and it's been said it's supposed to be an Icelandic accent. The Viera's native tongue seems bizarre to many Americans. Mjrn, for example, does have roots in Scandinavian languages. It's pronounced "myrn" with a consonant 'y' sound like in "yarn".
- Also, the Bhujerban accent (Marquis Ondore's in particular) sounds like some weird Welsh/Hindi hybrid.
- In the eyes of American players, Vanille in Final Fantasy XIII has a strange, fake-Australian-sounding accent, as if she's affecting a mix of some kind (the actress actually is Australian). To the ears of Australian players, Fang's accent is the fake one, and can sound like a mangled mix of everything- especially Kiwi. There's actually an in-story explanation for why Vanille's accent sounds so odd: She's trying to hide it. After The Reveal, her attempts at muffling her accent stop and she speaks pitch perfect Aussie.
- In Final Fantasy XV, Ignis's accent is clearly posh English, but a variant so exaggerated that it incorporates bizarre affectations that sound like no accent on Earth. The voice actor's natural accent is English, and all of the English accents elsewhere in the game are convincing, so it appears to be a character choice to indicate Ignis's chronic perfectionism and over-compensation.
- Jetfire in Transformers: War for Cybertron has either an Australian or some kind of British accent. Which one it most sounds like can change every other line. According to Troy Baker, Jetfire's VA, to build Jetfire's accent they started with a "standard" English accent (presumably Received Pronunciation) and then intentionally tweaked it to sound less "posh," without specifically aiming for any other kind of British accent. That's why it's hard to tell whether his accent is English, Scottish, Australian or something in between — because it isn't really any of those.
- Sam & Max: Freelance Police:
- Parodied in the fourth episode of Sam & Max's third season, where attempting to use Max's ventriloquism power on Grandpa Stinky will result in Max producing an accent that Sam can only describe as "Irish Pirate".
- Monsieur Anton Papierwaite from the same games seems to have an Eastern-European accent, but even that is hard to say exactly. There aren't a lot of clues given to his origin either — 'monsieur' is obviously French, but Anton is a Scandinavian/German variant of 'Anthony'. Sam just refers to him as "ethnic", and once as "Dr. Strange Accent".
- Baldur's Gate:
- Dynaheir is supposedly a lzherusskie like her bodyguard Minsc. Her accent can charitably be described as "foreign" and defies most other adjectives.
- Her nemesis, Edwin Odesseiron, has an ambiguously European accent as well. Lithuanian, maybe?
- Anomen has a vague 'Pre-18th Century Upperclass' accent and way of speaking, and the player has an option to mock it - asking if he picked it up from trashy romances. No-one else from the Athkatlan upper class (including his own father) speaks that way.
- Mass Effect:
- Donovan Hock in Mass Effect 2, the Big Bad from Kasumi's loyalty mission has an accent some fans find hard to place. It is actually an Afrikaans accent.
- Which doesn't excuse the fact that he also voices the Scottish engineer and the typically quasi-Eastern European quarian Veetor. The latter can be excused because it's not a real accent, but the Scottish is really rather poor. Probably a reference to Scotty, who himself had a gratuitous fake accent.
- Nobody seems to know where the hell Udina is from. He looks vaguely Indian, but his accent sounds like a strange mix of English, Irish, and Scottish.
- Maya Brooks from the Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3 has an accent that slips between American, British, and Australian. Because it's a fake accent in-universe. Once she reveals who she really is, she sticks with her natural British accent.
- Quarians all have accents, but almost none of them actually share them with other quarians. A few of them share quasi-Eastern European ones, but we also see English, American, and Claudia Black quarians with no explanation of why.
- Viktor, the Machine Herald from League of Legends has this strange, vaguely German/Russian/Eastern European accent going on. While it's supposed to give him the obvious Herr Doktor Mad Scientist feel, it also leaves some players scratching their heads, as he's literally the only character to have that accent in the game.
- So... Lucia of Devil May Cry 2. Anyone got a guess? She seems to have the same voice coach as Sniper Wolf, but hits more of an Italian-Kurdish mix...
- Warcraft III has trolls, which are either Jamaican or an intentional invocation of this trope.
- The troll Rokhan lampshades this trope, claiming that it's a troll accent. He then complains "Ja makin' me crazy".
- World of Warcraft adds the draenei, who speak with some sort of Slavic accent, though the fanbase is in no agreement on which one.
- This is also lampshaded in game, as several of the /silly quotes for male Draenei are outright parodies of Yakov Smirnoff's comedy routines.
- Tyrande's 'new' accent as of 4.3. It's the same actress, but for some reason she now sounds closer to trolls than any other night elves.
- Warcraft III has trolls, which are either Jamaican or an intentional invocation of this trope.
- Virgil's accent in Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura. Judging by the other voice-acted characters, it's meant to be British.
- Fallout: New Vegas:
- Several if not all of Caesar's legion. Its not a standard accent for an English speaker. Partly explained by the fact that large parts of the Legion aren't English speakers. While the somewhat more civilized areas have kept English more-or-less recognizable in the 200+ years since the Great War, the more tribal areas have developed a vast variety of languages — and Caesar's Legion is overwhelmingly composed of forcibly conscripted and assimilated tribals. Add to that the Legion's raising of Latin, and you get this trope.
- In Old World Blues, the Courier's Brain is part Sunil Malhotra's native Indian accent, part Stewie Griffin impression, but Muggy, who is voiced by the same actor, has a weird faux-American accent. The characters voiced by Veronica Belmont have a similar issue; the Light Switches have Valley Girl accents, while the Stealth Suit has a generic female robot voice.
- The Oracle in Fahrenheit / Indigo Prophecy is can be initially hard to place. The first time the player hears him speak, he is unseen, and just sat down with a stranger in a diner and started discussing Shakespeare in a measured, gravelly voice.
- No More Heroes:
- The Job Board guy appears to have an accent that is not of Earth. It's possible that this is from having a Japanese actor read English lines phonetically (see the Takashi Miike cameo in the sequel).
- There's also Alice, the 2nd ranked assassin from the sequel, who has an accent that sounds to be either German or Russian, but it's a bit hard to tell.
- PaRappa the Rapper:
- PaRappa the Rapper 2 features several boss characters who have weirdly foreign accents that don't seem to be from anywhere in particular. Even the accent of Chop Chop Master Onion, which is plausibly Asian in the first game, seems to decay in a somewhat more ambiguous direction as the series goes on.
- Also from PaRappa the Rapper 2 is Hairdresser Octopus, who manages to sound Mexican Spanish and Indian (as in the region of Asia) at the same time at all times. That being said, as he is in the makeover business, it is possible he intentionally speaks in a strange accent as part of his public image.
- Silent Hill 3:
- Claudia Wolf, whose accent is usually either interpreted as "New England", or "a really horrible attempt at sounding vaguely British".
- Later, Heather herself, for no particular reason, develops a similarly bizarre faux-British accent when trying to trick Claudia into thinking that Alessa is speaking through her.
- MacMillan of Modern Warfare's accent is definitely Scottish, but it's a mix of all of Scotland's dialects, as well as some Yorkshire and Ulster Irish thrown in.
- Steroid from Jagged Alliance 2. He's supposed to be Polish, but sounds like a constipated, mentally challenged parody of Arnie instead.
- The G-man from Half-Life. He sounds vaguely North American, with a light vaguely-British accent, with the whole mess wrapped up in the Uncanny Valley like he'd read about proper inflection in Earthling conversation but never quite got it. The overall effect comes of as an attempt at "generic human".
- Razer's accent in Jak X Combat Racing is all over the place, sounding like either German or French, depending on who you ask. Others recognize Austrian or even Russian in it.
- Team Fortress 2: Invoked this trope for comedy, as all of the characters' "accents" are as how a typical American in The '60s might have perceived it. The Spy's accent, in particular, is the hardest to pin down; his character page on This Very Wiki used to say that it "seems to take a drunken tour of most of southern Europe". His mixed use of French, Italian, and Spanish pronunciation and vocabulary in his dialogue was so confusing that, before "Meet The Spy" (and every subsequent update thereafter) made it definitively clear that he was French, there were massive Edit Wars on both the Official TF2 Wiki and The Other Wiki over the Spy's nationality, labeling him as Spanish, Italian, Catalan, Basque and Corsican, among other ethnicities.
- Heavy Rain:
- The game is filled with these. Notably, Lauren and most children sound French and Paco sounds suspiciously like Strong Bad.
- Brad Silver the drug dealer. He starts off with what sounds like a New York accent (maybe Brooklyn) that suddenly warps into a Southern drawl for a couple of lines before going back to its original state.
- Detroit: Become Human was better about this than previous Quantic Dream games. However the American President's accent is completely unrecognizable and inconsistent, not helped by the voice actress being Irish.
- Conker of Conker's Bad Fur Day sounds like an odd mixture of a British and American accent, mostly because his voice actor Chris Seavor is British but wanted to do an American accent.
- Demon's Souls: Up until now, nobody can figure out what accent the Maiden in Black is supposed to have...
- In Persona 4: Arena, Aigis' "sister" Labrys occasionally speaks with a Kansai Regional Accent. In the English release, this was expressed by giving her a North Jersey/Bronx accent; it's hard to tell which it is. This might have been due to the voice actor having difficulties with the nuances of the accent, but is justified in her Story Mode: it sounds like someone imitating an accent because that's exactly what it is.All early Anti-Shadow Weapons up to Labrys were created using AIs that were based on the mind of an Ill Girl that the Kirijo Group somehow brain-mapped; their "mother", if you will, and Labrys was unconsciously trying to copy the way the girl spoke.
- Crysis series: Karl Ernst Rasch is presumably German or Nordic (descent) by his surname, but his accent doesn't sound the part. In Crysis 3, this is fixed as he is voiced by German actor Wolf Kahler who he is also modeled on.
- The Qunari of Dragon Age. While most others have an identifiable accent due to being a Fantasy Counterpart Culture (Ferelden is British, Orlais is French, Antiva is Spanish, etc.), they don't; their accent seems to be as much a nonaccent as anything, and certainly doesn't fit their cultural comparison of the Middle East or their geographical comparison of Darkest Africa. Even the Developer's Toolset is unhelpful: while Leliana's (Orlesian) accent is listed as "hint of French", Zevran's (Antivan) accent is "slightly Spanish", and Wynne's (Ferelden) accent is "possibly British-sounding", Sten's accent is just "Qunari" with absolutely no explanation of what a Qunari might sound like. This may be intentional, as Qunari are extremely picky about displaying complete mastery of any skill they attempt, and so speaking with an identifiable accent would be doing it wrong. For most of them this makes sense since they speak in a very precise, deliberate manner, but The Iron Bull from Inquisition has the same accent despite having a much more natural speaking style otherwise.
- Dr Vahlen in XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Best described as "faux German by way of France and Transylvania". The fanon consensus is that the good doctor hails from either Switzerland or Alsace-Lorraine.
- Titanfall's IMC faction has one named character named Blisk that slips between some kind of South African/Scottish/Irish accent within the same sentence.
- Arc Rise Fantasia has Niko, a character whose voice stands out even in a game known for hilarious voice acting; he appears to have focused too much on producing a vaguely-Brazilian vaguely-Indian accent to have emoted in the slightest or matched his dialog to the lip flaps. Given the bizarreness of the accent, the effort this implies maintaining it took is understandable, even if the reason for having it in the first place isn't.
- Dominique Trix from Cel Damage has an accent that is very unclear as to whether it's supposed to be Russian or French. Sometimes, she'll sound French, other times, she'll sound Russian, and other times, she'll sound like both.
- Dead Island ran into this problem first with Purna and most of the Australian accents coming off as stereotyped and forced (Ryder White sounds natural enough, some of the survivors not so much) then in Escape Dead Island Xian Mei speaks with a much stronger Chinese accent.
- Validar and Grima in Fire Emblem Awakening have a bizzare accent that's very difficult to classify. According to an interview with Kyle Hebert, he was told to play Validar with a Hispanic accent at first, before being told to drop it when he sounded too much like Puss-in-boots. A "Plegian accent" is mentioned in-story early on... except none of the other characters from Plegia (Gangrel, Tharja and Henry) speak like this. Meanwhile, the characters from Chon'sin (Say'ri and Yen'fay) speak in an accent that sounds like a combination of Japanese and Elizabethen English.
- In Star Wars: The Old Republic, nine times out of ten, the Republic characters have generic quasi-American accents, and the Imperial characters have British accents of various kinds; the player characters typically follow suit. But on the rare occasions where a character has to impersonate the enemy, things go... south. (For instance, the beginning of the "The Foundry" flashpoint has a glorious demonstration of Imperial characters trying-but-not-really-trying to put on a Republic accent.) The only one who's any good (aside from the Bounty Hunter, who naturally speaks with an American accent) is the Imperial Agent, and even that's pushing it.
- Dark Seed II has an old widow named Mrs. Ramirez with a meandering accent that seems to be anything but Hispanicnote . Retsupurae had a field day trying to place it in their Wrongpurae of the game, eventually narrowing it down to a vague mix of Irish and Swedish.
slowbeef: I think your accent is European Mish-Mash, ma'am!
- Pirates Vikings and Knights: The Berserker and Viking announcer both speak with a strange, unidentifiable accent that sounds kind of like Arnold Schwarzenegger if he was really pissed off.
- In the English version of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt , most characters from the Northern Realms speak with instantly identifiable British Regional Accent. However, the invading Nilgaardians speak with a 'foreign' accent that is extremely difficult to place. Often it sounds like mangled German, Dutch or Russian, and other times vaguely French or north Italian.
- Saga as a little girl in Dreamfall Chapters has a strange accent that could be anything from French to Norwegian. However, the adult version of the character has an American accent, so it is possible that this was the simply the voice actress's attempt to portray a small child.
- In "12 Hilarious Voice Acting Fails in Video Games" by WhatCulture, host Peter asks this trope word-for-word about one character.
- Pharah from Overwatch has a really bizarre, vaguely Spanish/Indian/English accent that really doesn't seem to fit with her Egyptian background at all, especially in contrast with her mother, Ana, whose accent is distinctly Arabic (and is voiced by a native Egyptian). Fans have theorized that this is a result of her Military Brat upbringing, having traveled around and operated across the world from a young age, resulting in a really homogenized mix. She was also confirmed to be half-First Nations from her father, which may have something to do with it.
- Michael from Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 is supposed to be British. Good luck figuring out which part of Britain he comes from based on his voice. The only time he sounds remotely convincing is when he screams "DROP THE FUCKING GUN!!" at a cornered terrorist.
- True Tail has a character named Viktor whose voice sounds like a mixture of Russian, Latin and British.
- The Bravoman web series reveals Dr. Bomb's accent to be, uh, Russian/German/Scottish. And as in the comic, he speaks with exaggerated Japanese-style Engrish.
- The Courier in Courier's Mind: Rise of New Vegas speaks in what sounds like a French Jerk accent filtered through a persistent head-cold. 101Phase has since clarified that it's actually his natural speaking voice, a Chinese accent.
- How It Should Have Ended: Whatever accent the man playing Wikus in "How District 9 Should Have Ended" is, it's nothing recognizably South-African. Sounds more like a Scottish-Russian blend with a little head trauma thrown in.
- TF2 Analysis has AnY Pony create this as he tries to play the Scottish Demoman but his natural German accent gets in the way. Occasionally crops up with others analysts trying to mimic the accent of the character they're playing, but his stands out the most.
- Raku-chan from Nyan~ Neko Sugar Girls sounds like she has some sort of accent that is different from the conventional American accents of the others but it's hard to tell with her horribly high-pitched voice.
- Coach Z from Homestar Runner. His accent started out as an exaggerated Midwestern drawl and eventually evolved into something the other characters describe as its own language.
- The page image is taken from The Last Days of FOXHOUND, a Metal Gear Solid fan comic. Sniper Wolf is canonically Kurdish, but the...oddness of her accent is a Running Gag throughout the comic. Big Boss himself lampshades this in a mailbag session when he's shocked that someone pointed out she's a Kurd.
Big Boss: Wolf's a Kurd? I thought she was French...Or German, or Swedish, or Hungarian.
- Chester A. Bum of Bum Reviews has an... interesting drawl than none of Doug Walker's other characters share. It sounds remotely Irish, complete with lazy pronounciation of L's, which is probably best explained by the fact that Walker is a Chicago native, and so is (presumably) Bum. Then again, it may be a justified way of talking for a booze- and drug-addled hobo. Doug himself has occasionally attempted Scottish and Irish accents that are so far off-base they sound more Eastern European than anything else half the time.
- Zelda of ASC Zs Horrorshow, despite being an Australian born in the Deep South, has an accent that sounds like excessively posh British mixed with an odd blend of California and New York.
- In World's Greatest Adventures, anyone's best guess is Talltales normally speaks in some sort of slurry British accent, and is trying to sound American with only the vaguest idea what an American accent is. (It is, of course, entirely intentional.)
- Check the comments for any Let's Play or Retsupurae video featuring Psychedelic Eyeball and you'll see a handful of guesses at the nature of his accent. For the record, he's French-Canadian.
- Though his accent isn't unusual to Canadians: In this Let's Play of Super Mario 64, commentator Ceciltron does a passable impersonation, and admits "half my family" talks just like Psychedelic Eyeball.
- Another famous French-Canadian Let's Player with a bizarre accent is raocow.
- In Let's Listen, Psychedelic Eyeball can't figure out what the LPer's accent is.
- Their Wrongpurae of The Town With No Name had a character with a completely indistinguishable accent, prompting this line:
slowbeef: Are you Cajun, or stupid?
- While ElectricalBeast is clearly British, slowbeef and Diabetus have a difficult time figuring out just where in England has such a thick Cockney accent.
Diabetus: Where the hell is this guy from?
slowbeef: Mary Poppins Land, apparently.
- In one review Dave_o comments that nerds tend to have accents that are wrong or make no sense.
- Sir Ron Lionheart speaks with a noticeable accent that many viewers (and critics) have a hard time placing. Given his persona, one may suspect it's fake, but he still has the accent in videos where he's speaking normally. Best guess is that he's Chicano (a Mexican from Southern California).
- At the end of the SaXtras episode about the Doctor Who porn parody Doctor Whore he has gained an unclear sounding accent after touching a stone. He has since kept said accent in his reviews since. Whether there'll be a reason for it or not is not clear yet.
- A common occurrence in the videos of Tobuscus. During a playthrough of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, he once attempted to imitate Ezio's Italian accent, only to end up with something vaguely Slavic.
- Felicia Day in an episode of TableTop, a Geek & Sundry Show. She's just really bad at doing accents.
- Bobby of F*** Kayfabe: Wrestling with Labels is implied to be from Manhattan and now lives in Ireland but his accent seems to shift from American to British to Australian at various times.
- An in-universe example from Worm, Dragon has a noticeable accent that a lot of characters note is hard to place. It's a Newfoundland accent, and since Newfoundland no longer exists and most of its population is dead, it's understandable why not many people recognise it.
- Daithi De Nogla has a slightly unusual Irish accent which is somewhat difficult to place.
- Chris Lee Moore, the man behind TV Trash, was born and raised in Texas. However, due to his Asperger's (see below), he sounds more like he's from Ohio or from the Northeast. He's made a few jabs at his own "yankee voice".
- Todd in the Shadows questions Iggy Azalea's accent in his "Fancy" review, but admits he has to give her a pass because he has no idea what someone from Australia who's moved around the southern United States during her childhood is "supposed" to sound like.
- Moarte from Atop the Fourth Wall has an unidentifiable psuedo-Eastern-European accent with a touch of Vampire Vords. In the Invaders #31 review he claims it's an American accent.
- Roahm Mythril lives in Texas but was apparently raised by Scottish relatives, resulting in a vaguely UK-ish accent.
- The Let's Player Damage has an accent that can only be described as "European".
- Video Games Awesome!: Fraser's Italian-French-Spanish-Russian-badly burned Albanian accent for Maya Fey.
The Chat: I want to say that's racist, but I don't know who it's racist to!
- Paul Jorgensen, the host of the YouTube show Langfocus, has given some viewers pause with his speaking mannerisms and apparent ability to pronounce all kinds of foreign words to the point that some commenters have suspected he might not even be a native speaker of anything. Well, he's a native speaker of English- he's of Canadian origin, and he currently lives in Japan as an English-as-a-Foreign-Language teacher. It's also not inconceivable that his extensive knowledge of languages and background as an educator would affect his pronunciation, producing his usual overly measured manner of English.
- Vinesauce: Joel voices his second Hard Time character, a Dumb Muscle who looks as similar to Hulk Hogan as the game's engine allows and is named "Bulk Bogan," with a very bizarre accent. Among other things, "muscles" sounds more like "moosklés" from him; think of a Spanish speaker reading English words like they were Spanish, and you're almost (but not quite) there.
- There are many Swedish game commentators out there, but none of them sound quite like Robbaz. It certainly sounds Scandinavian, but its thick enough to drown a walrus in.
- iDubbbzTV often uses what has been variously termed the "gay retard" accent or "European" accent to make fun of people. It sounds somewhere between Southern US, Swedish and vaguely Eastern European.
- TomSka, by his own admission, has a rather muddled, Americanized British accent that sounds nothing like his Cambridge upbringing would suggest it should. It often comes off as a midwestern American accent with slips of British inflections, and when he tries to down play the Britishness, it sounds closer to Canadian than American
- Popeye The Sailor has a very distinctive, raspy voice that doesn't seem to land in any identifiable accent.
- In-universe example from Total Drama Action: during the spy challenge, Chris adopts an accent that characters guess could be anything from Russian to Jamaican.
- In the Rocko's Modern Life episode "Sailing the Seven Zzzs", Mr. Bighead dreams he's a pirate when he sleepwalks. Heffer plays along, speaking with a bizarre, vaguely-Dutch accent as he gets into the role of Mr. Bighead's nemesis "the Sea Cow".
Mr. Bighead: (to Heffer) Egad, what sort of accent is that?
- Oblina from Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. It's a vague "classy" accent that's actually an exaggerated, yet obvious, Bette Davis impression. Christine Cavanaugh once mentioned that she played Oblina as British.
- Cosmos from The Transformers had a blend of Spanish and Eastern European accent, which actor Michael McConnohie has claimed at conventions was meant to be an "intentionally bad" impersonation of Peter Lorre.
- Where the hell is Dexter of Dexter's Laboratory supposed to be from? It sounds like an attempt to do a generic European mad-scientist voice, but the rest of his family seem to speak fairly generic American English. The obvious explanation would seem to be that Dexter is affecting the sort of accent he thinks a Mad Scientist ought to have and isn't very good at it. Lampshaded in one episode where a bully who "hates kids with funny accents!" attacks Dexter and a group of other students... in which Dexter is the only one without an obvious accent source. One of the early Cartoon Network ads for the show called it an "eastern European" accent. When Dexter meets future versions of himself in the Made-for-TV Movie, they all have a similar accent, but the Future Badass has a Schwarzenegger-like Austrian accent. Made even more blatant in the Norwegian dub, when Dexter inexplicably throws in German phonetics and grammar that clash with the Norwegian language. Even Word of God Genndy Tartakovsky isn't sure of what Dexter's accent is supposed to be, just that he specified Dexter must have a strange accent because "he's a scientist." It's apparently supposed to be Bulgarian, though a source confirming this cannot be found at this point.
- Mina on Jelly Jamm. Her case is very similar to Dexter's.
- This applies to nearly every incidental character to ever appear in the franchise. The show is legendary for its bad accents.
- The Mayor's accent in Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost is a bizarre combination of several New England accents, and comes across a bit like someone from rural New Hampshire trying to sound like a Kennedy.
- The twins on Superjail! seem to have an accent that sounds vaguely "European" but doesn't seem to come from any country. Justified once it's revealed they're actually aliens.
- Is Pig from Almost Naked Animals French or Russian?
- An episode of Sabrina: The Animated Series has Sabrina and Salem traveling back to the Dark Ages and meeting characters from King Arthur mythology played by counterparts of her friends. Except for Pi, who doesn't even bother, all of them have rather... unique... English accents.
- Examples from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- Rarity's accent could be considered a parody of pretentious characters failing to imitate Posh Received Pronunciation, or "Mid-Atlantic" as a compromise between American and British Accents. The accent could quite possibly be an affectation of the character herself she is obsessed with aristocratic high culture yet lives in the small provincial town of Ponyville, and neither her parents (seen in "Sisterhooves Social") nor her little sister Sweetie Belle speak with any trace of this accent. In fact, in her flashback during "Cutie Mark Chronicles", filly-Rarity is shown to not have the accent.
- Rarity's voice actress Tabitha St. Germain herself has this issue. During interviews, her accent often shifts between Canadian and vaguely British to South African? Apparently, being a Woman of a Thousand Voices takes its toll after a while.
- The South African part may be attributed to the fact that Tabitha grew up in South Africa.
- In fact, Sweetie Belle is the only one in her family who doesn't have an exaggerated accent: Rarity's father sounds like he's from Chicago or Milwaukee, while her mother's accent suggests either New Jersey or New York.
- Photo Finish from "Green Isn't Your Color" has a vaguely Germanic accent, presumably because her voice actress (the above-mentioned Tabitha) was doing a vocal caricature of Anna Wintour (although most of the younger kids watching would most likely compare her to Edna Mode).note
- Zecora's accent seems to be some sort of vague "generic African accent", crossed with "vague Caribbean islander accent". The character's native language is a kind of faux-Swahili the creators jokingly claimed is "native Zebra", so presumably it's a Zebra accent.
- The spa ponies' (Aloe and Lotus Blossom) accents sound somewhere between Indian and German, but not quite either. For added confusion, it is probably meant to be French or Eastern European (the toys they're based on was sold only in Eastern Europe).
- The Breezies have their own language that sounds like a strange blend between Scottish and Swedish, which carries into the accent of Seabreeze, the only Breezie able to speak English.
- Rarity's accent could be considered a parody of pretentious characters failing to imitate Posh Received Pronunciation, or "Mid-Atlantic" as a compromise between American and British Accents. The accent could quite possibly be an affectation of the character herself she is obsessed with aristocratic high culture yet lives in the small provincial town of Ponyville, and neither her parents (seen in "Sisterhooves Social") nor her little sister Sweetie Belle speak with any trace of this accent. In fact, in her flashback during "Cutie Mark Chronicles", filly-Rarity is shown to not have the accent.
- The Simpsons:
- Snake (the Tattooed Crook who's always trying to rob the Kwik-E-Mart) speaks in a weird cross between Valspeak and Cockney, making him sound kinda like the child of British parents who was raised in Southern California - and has a Noblewoman's Laugh that somehow manages to evoke both regions! (Of course, some Val accents are so affected that they do start to sound British, or at least Commonwealth.) Hank Azaria, who plays Snake, says he based Snake's voice upon a dormmate from college who'd get overly descriptive while stoned.
- Moe Szyslak the bartender speaks in a generalized "crotchety old man" accent that could represent many different American regions or ethnicities. Over the course of the series, it's been hinted that he might be of Italian, Arab, Dutch, or Russian descent (though his last name looks Hungarian or Polish). Azaria, who also voices the character, originally based Moe's voice on Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon and it developed from there.
- The gangster "Fat" Tony D'Amico also speaks in an accent that doesn't really exist: Chicago-area American, but with big words and affected speech patterns that attempt to mask his lower-class roots. It's a manner of speaking that Tony's voice actor, Chicago-born Joe Mantegna, has perfected.
- Dr. Nick is supposed to be an immigrant from somewhere but where is never specified and his accent is hard to place. His last name, Riviera, could be Spanish or Italian, but at time his manner of speaking has a more Eastern European, Yakov Smirnoff vibe. Apparently his accent is based on that of Gabor Csupo (of the Klasky Csupo animation studio, the original Simpsons animators), who is Hungarian.
- In "Bart vs. Australia", the Simpson family travels to Australia. Many Australian viewers, however, thought the Australian accents shown in the episode sounded more like Cockney or South African accents.
- Family Guy:
- Done intentionally with the Two Foreign Guys Who Have Been Living in the U.S. Almost Long Enough to Sound American.
"Oh man, what a good bunch of partying at that discothèque. They played one of my audience requests."
"Way awesome! I myself drank like five liters of beer. Any more and I would have ended up in hospital man."
"Oh you said it friend, but I wanted to stay, because I almost had sex on this girl."
"Oh yeah, but it was so expensive. Each drink was like six dollars forty!"
- Stewie Griffin occasionally talks with an inconsistent accent. His voice is mostly modeled on English actor Rex Harrison.
- Done intentionally with the Two Foreign Guys Who Have Been Living in the U.S. Almost Long Enough to Sound American.
- Tim the Bear on The Cleveland Show voiced by Seth MacFarlane. Seth said he based it on his dad's bad impression of the "Wild and Crazy Guys" foreigner characters from Saturday Night Live.
- Bugs Bunny talks in a mixture of Bronx and Brooklyn accents (Mel Blanc also said his inspiration was Frank McHugh, who spoke in a New York Irish accent).
- Codename: Kids Next Door: the Amish operatives of Sector A speak in what can only be described as a confusing mix between American Southern, vaguely Scandinavian, and really BAD Liverpool accents. It doesn't help that the accent is inconsistent with almost every spoken line.
- Heck, most of the characters meant to have accents can come across like this from time to time.
- Steven Universe: Blue Diamond's actress, Lisa Hannigan is Irish, but tries on and off to fake the same broadly American dialect that most gems have, landing somewhere in the middle.
- This also comes up in the episode "Historical Friction", when Steven briefly tries... some kind of odd fake accent.
Jamie: What was that?Steven: An accent.Jamie: From where?Steven: I dunno.
- This also comes up in the episode "Historical Friction", when Steven briefly tries... some kind of odd fake accent.
- Daria: Sandi's accent might be best be described as a bad imitation of a French one, except the character had no connection to France. It's not clear what it was supposed to be, besides vaguely upper class. One episode reveals that her mother speaks the same way, so at least it's clear where Sandi got it from. Maybe her mother had spent some time in France.
- In an episode of American Dad! where Stan meets a cyborg version of himself from the future, his accent is a mixture of Canadian and Mexican, which he explains is because those countries take over America in his time period.
- The Beatles' animated series has the disaster that is George Harrison's accent. Good luck trying to figure out where it's supposed to be from, because it sure as hell ain't Liverpool. At least the other three Beatles sound British...
- Harrison himself didn't mind. He lumped the series as a whole in the So Bad, It's Good category.
- Don Karnage from TaleSpin. According to his voice actor Jim Cummings it's a mixture of French, Spanish, and Italian.
- Metalocalypse is insane about this. Toki and Skwisgaar are supposed to be Norwegian and Swedish respectively, and they speak with some weird broken English thing. Murderface sounds like a not sexy, American, Sean Connery. Pickles is from "the Midwest," so you would assume he'd have a "generic" American accent. However, it occasionally veers into something like the exaggerated Chicago accent used by the Superfans on Saturday Night Live, and appears to actually belong to Wisconsin.
- A possibly unintentional example on an episode of Totally Spies! Jazz Hands, a supervillain who appeared at least twice, was a talking mime ("We are all allowed to talk offstage"), and so talked in the stereotypically gargling "French" sort of voice you'd expect a mime to use when he is "off-duty." The first time we hear him speak, however, the actor's voice cracks hilariously, so that for one second Jazz Hands's accent sounds less French and more like the stereotypical Irish lilt you'd hear from an Officer O'Hara character.
- The Venture Bros. has Red Mantle, whose accent was described by his very creators as "drunk Obi-Wan Kenobi". And to make it even more surreal, it's heavily implied that he's actually Buddy Holly!
- Lampshaded in the first episode of Archer, which has the title character undergo a simulated interrogation sequence that he refuses to take seriously, due to the fact that his "interrogator" speaks with a stereotypical "Anti-American" accent.
Archer: Would you pick an accent and stick with it?
- Tim Curry strikes in the Batman Beyond episode "The Final Cut": Batman comes to the aid of Society of Assassins member Mutro Botha, who speaks with an unmistakably... foreign accent, which, judging by his name, was probably meant to be South African.
- Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, has the minor recurring villainess Gravatina. She has what sounds like a badly mangled French accent combined with an equally mangled Eastern European accent.
- In Star Wars Rebels Grand Admiral Thrawn doesn't speak with the same stock Received Pronunciation of most Imperial officers, but voice actor Lars Mikkelsen keeping his Danish accent toned even lower than in Sherlock means it's hard to ever pin down exactly what it is other than "alien."
- The Mid-Atlantic accent. It was popular for public speaking in the US at the turn of the 20th century and was omnipresent in movies and radio broadcasts of the era.
- Cary Grant spent the first few years of his life in England, then moved to America aged at age 16, leaving him with a peculiar accent that seemed to be stranded halfway across the Atlantic. In Some Like It Hot, Tony Curtis does a perfect impersonation of Grant's strangled vowels, only to be told to stop being ridiculous, because 'nobody talks like that'. He made up that accent, a sort of generic upper-crust accent, as he was originally from Bristol, England and picked up a Cockney accent in the music halls in London during his early acting work.
- Lauren Cohan has kind of a "same, but opposite" issue as Grant. She grew up in New Jersey, but moved to England and attended school there, again with her accent seeming to park right in the middle.
- Brad Friedel, currently head coach of the New England Revolution in Major League Soccer, has a situation parallel to but distinct from Cohan's. He grew up near Cleveland, presumably with an accent typical of that area, but then made it to England to play professionally, staying for nearly 20 years. By the time Friedel returned full-time to the States, he developed an accent that also parked in the middle. He himself has said on more than one occasion that when he speaks, Brits think he's American and Yanks think he's English.
- Vincent Price had a similar affliction to Grant's: He was born in St. Louis but trained on stage in London. This resulted in an accent that can be accurately described as hailing from The United States of England.
- William F. Buckley Jr., conservative author and commentator, who was born to upper-class Southern parents and raised partially in Europe, had a unique accent. It was halfway between New England English and Standard English, with a slight Southern drawl tone. That, and his formal sounding word choice produced an accent that was best described as "kinda upper-class gentry-ish."
- Rutger Hauer can be considered an inverse/reverse example - he's a Dutch (native speaker) who emigrated to the U.S.A. nearing forty, is now in his seventies (having now lived/worked longer in the U.S. than his native Netherlands). When he now gives interviews in Dutch for the Dutch television, while he still speaks gramatically correct Dutch, he has a notable American accent, and often pauses to think how to express himself. On the other hand when he speaks (American) English it sounds pretty convincingly American. Contrast Paul Verhoeven who's also a Dutchman emigrated to the U.S.A., but still has a notable Dutch accent in his English.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic has been asked several times by his fans about his accent. Apparently, it's nothing more than a product of voice coaching lessons he took combined with his goofy delivery. Al is from Lynwood, California (a suburb of Los Angeles) and his normal speaking voice is as generically Californian as you get.
- Oded Fehr's bizarre European accent is a result of being born in Germany, going to London for acting classes, and his parents being Israeli/Ashkenazi Jewish.
- The Icelandic singer Björk developed an unusual, almost faux-London accent by the time her career took off in the '90s.
- American foodie person on British TV Loyd Grossman, originally from Massachusetts, is famous for his very plummy transatlantic accent. As TV critic Victor Lewis-Smith once observed on his late night Channel 4 show TV Offal: "I know a man whose peculiar vowels, sound like they're coming from his bowels". Bill Bryson, an American (from Iowa) who has made a career out of explaining American quirks to the British, explained that Grossman's strange-sounding accent isn't an affectation or a speech impediment, it represents a very specific sort of Boston idiolect that does things like pronounce "car park" as "core pork". It's simply Grossman's native and unique Massachusetts.
- Tommy Wiseau, lead actor, director, writer, and executive director of The Room is noted to have a very indeterminate accent. According to Greg Sestero's book The Disaster Artist, Wiseau is originally from some Eastern European country (some say Poland, Czechoslovakia, or Romania, but it is not confirmed). He moved to France for political reasons and spoke French all the time, then moved to live with relatives in French part of New Orleans, USA where he learned English, then moved to San Francisco where he picked up American mannerisms (he felt that if he studied Sestero's audition videos, he might be able to talk like him). Significantly it is said that Tommy Wiseau is not his real name, but those are his initials. He is shrouded in mystery, though, so nobody's clear. Most evidence points at Tommy Wiseau being of Polish origin - his accent has precisely outright baffled so many English speakers simply because nobody has any idea what a Polish accent even sounds like, leading to this trope applying to the Polish language itself (kind of parallelling "dumb Polack" jokes which ended up being so generic simply because people forgot why the Polish are supposed to be apparently so stupid in the first place).
- Sean Connery's accent is a weird mishmash of Scottish and Welsh, as he grew up between both nations, which has been increasingly impacted by a growing speech impediment throughout his career.
- Grace Kelly's accent, over time. She grew up in Philadelphia, but to a decidedly upper-class family and was likely coached on how to speak from an early age. Combined with living much of her life abroad from her 20's on, by the later end of her life her usual accent was a rather puzzling mix between American, affected "English", and continental European-speaking-English.
- Leopold Stokowski, a British conductor of Polish and Irish ancestry who gained fame in America, spoke with a peculiar accent that was neither British, Polish, nor Irish (and certainly not American) most of his career. In fact, despite his birth records indicating London birth, he claimed to be originally from various parts of Poland (or other parts of Eastern Europe). Some of this may have been a deliberate act due to influence from his first wife, American pianist Olga Samaroff (who adopted HER name mostly to advance her career, despite having no Russian heritagenote ).
- Illich Guardiola, a voice actor for many dubbed anime from ADV Films and Funimation, has a unique accent. He was born in Honduras to a half-Russian mother and half-Italian father. They moved to Boston when he was young, and then moved again, this time to College Station, Texas, when he was 13. So, it's Honduran, Bostonian, and Texan, with a bit of Russian and Italian thrown in.
- Layla El is British born (of Moroccan and Spanish descent) yet has lived in Miami for many years. So her accent is a weird blend between cockney, RP, and generic American. Sometimes in her promos she deliberately puts on an RP voice but some American pronunciations slip through.
- Like Layla before her, Maryse (who is French-Canadian) sounds noticeably more American now than she did in her early years. Perhaps justifiably so since English isn't her first language and she's had many years to become more fluent. She still has a bit of a French twang though.
- Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien is from Quebec, but due to nerve damage on the left side of his face, he ended up with an accent and speech patterns that are utterly unlike Quebecois, Canadian English, or any recognized combination of the two. During his term of office, it was often joked that he is "fluent in neither of Canada's official languages."
- Jerry Springer was born in England, spent his childhood in Queens, New York, and spent his adult life in Cincinnati and Chicago. He sounds like a mix between Queens and the Midwest.
- Journalist Matt Taibbi once hypothesized that one of the reasons that Mitt Romney had so much trouble in his 2012 Presidential campaign was because for all his talk about all the places he'd lived and worked, he had no discernible accent that would tie him to any of those places, and this contributed to voters' perceptions of him as "fake".
"Listen to Mitt Romney speak, and see if you can notice what's missing. This is a man who grew up in Michigan, went to college in California, walked door to door through the streets of southern France as a missionary and was a governor of Massachusetts, the home of perhaps the most instantly recognizable, heavily accented English this side of Edinburgh. Yet not a trace of any of these places is detectable in Romney's diction. None of the people in any of those places bled in and left a mark on the man."
- Former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean's accent sounds almost, but not quite, like he admired John F. Kennedy so much he wanted to talk like him — or like he wanted to suppress a Joisey accent and overcorrected. A capsule biography attributes it to overcoming a childhood stutter with the help of a Royal Navy veteran.
- Bill Bryson has spent roughly equal parts of his life living in his native US and his wife's home country of the UK, and so has pretty much the most perfect example of a transatlantic accent you're ever likely to hear. Listening to him do the occasional voice-over on TV, it becomes clear why he doesn't often read the audio versions of his own books: even though he's articulate and interesting, that accent can get very distracting.
- Stewart Copeland of The Police is American, but spent almost his entire childhood living abroad. Even in adulthood, he spent a lot of time in the UK. His accent is noticeably American but noticeably softer than the typical American accent, with significant influences from British English.
- Pro wrestler Vampiro has spent most of his career in Mexico. Even though he is a Canadian, he now speaks English with a slight Mexican accent!
- Keanu Reeves. Moving around the US and Canada as a child has left him with an indistinguishable accent.
- British news reporter Lyse Doucet, originally from Canada, has become nationally famous for her indeterminate accent, which has been frequently parodied.
- Lorde has spent so much time abroad in the United States from her native New Zealand since rising to fame that her accent has clearly been Americanized.
- When Craig Ferguson did a week of The Late Late Show in Scotland in 2012, it became obvious listening to the natives of his old stomping grounds in greater Glasgow how much his accent has become Americanized. In fact, CBS felt the need to give a lot of the Scots subtitles.
- Gillian Anderson was born in the US, but she moved to England when she was 2 and didn't move back until she was 11, and by then, her speech patterns had been set. It wasn't until she was out of high school that she tried to shed the accent. In the very early episodes of The X-Files, she'll slip occasionally. In the 2008 movie, it can get quite noticeable in Scully's emotional scenes, as Anderson moved back to England after the show ended in 2002, and had to relearn her American accent all over again for the film. She's had to do this again for the revival series, and has said doing so is why she sounds so hoarse at times.
- Linguist David Crystal and his son, actor Ben Crystal, have spent years reconstructing what the English used at the time of Shakespeare would have sounded like (called "Original Pronunciation"). When Ben acts out a scene using OP and then asks audience members what it sounds like, he gets answers ranging from Scottish, Yorkshire, West Country, Irish, Australian, and Canadian, and sometimes like a non-English speaker trying to fake one of those accents.
- Arthur C. Clarke was British, but he spent the latter half of his life based in Sri Lanka, with lots of traveling to Britain and America. As a result he had a unique patchwork accent which had a British base but lots of little oddities (like heavily emphasizing the letter R).
- George S. Patton was born and raised in California but both of his parents had deep Virginia roots, so there were strong traces of an aristocratic Tidewater lilt in his voice. Since that's not a very well-known accent, some of his peculiarities (like pronouncing "first" as "foist") are really hard to place if you don't know his background.
- People on the autism spectrum often develop accents that are atypical for the place they actually live.
- Inverted by 20th century science writer Willy Ley. His friends said his German accent actually became thicker in his later years, after he had moved to the U.S. full-time. Isaac Asimov told the story of someone who had to introduce Ley before a speech whether he liked his name pronounced beginning with a "w" or a "v". Ley responded "Veelee oder Veelee, id makes no difference."
- Patrice Wilson of "Friday" infamy has a very strange accent, which is the product of him growing up in Nigeria, spending his teenage years touring Eastern Europe, and moving to America as an adult.