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What the Hell Is That Accent?

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Venkman: Where the hell are you from, Johnny?
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 was unique only to him. One of the most common reasons is just that the actor is attempting to use a different nationality's accent as befits the character they are playing, with limited success, and a very confusing result.

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, As Long as It Sounds Foreign or 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. If the character denies they have an accent, it's Vot Ocksent?. If the character's accent makes them incomprehensible, see Unintelligible Accent. Compare Fictional Accent, which this often overlaps with.

Example Subpages:

Other Examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • 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.
  • Symbicort, a medicine that treats COPD, has a series of commercials in which a rotating cast of actors play an old man telling "The Three Little Pigs" and his grandson commenting on the old man's inability to "huff and puff." In one of them, the grandson has an accent that sounds simultaneously British, Australian, and Russian. Overlaps with Unexplained Accent, as no one else in the family speaks with an accent anywhere close to his.

    Anime & Manga 
  • 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. Alternatively, it can be described as a texan trying to put on a surfer dude accent.
  • 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. Also Wakamoto-sama's attempt to speak English in Azumanga Daioh.
  • 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 raspier 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.note 
  • 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. Apparently, it was supposed to be French-Carribean, but there are some hints of Spanish being mixed in there.
      • Krieg is apparently supposed to sound German, but it comes off as generically Central European.
      • Robin was meant to have a Texan accent, but poor Veronica Taylor couldn'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.
  • In the American dub of Pokémon: The Series, Nando speaks with a European accent that shifts variously between Hispanic, Irish, and Scottish.
  • In the English dub of Hetalia: Axis Powers, 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 has a French exchange student that sounds more like she's attempting an English accent than a French one.
  • In-Universe in Great Pretender, Makoto speaks English with a strange accent that gets described as "a weird mishmash of dialects." It's a hint that his father, whom he learned English from, spent a lot of time traveling the world. According to an interview, this apparently took his voice actor, Alan Lee, many attempts to get right, as he kept slipping into a more standard Japanese accent.
  • Valon from English dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! was supposed to have a Cockney accent, but it was so mangled that it ended up sounding Australian instead.
  • Muv-Luv Alternative anime adaptation. The Military Coup arc has some lines of English-language radio chatter by a group of American TSF pilots (subtitled in Japanese). The grammar is correct, but the voice actors don't quite pull it off: from the pronunciation of the 'r's and 'l's it's still pretty obvious they're Japanese actors who learned English as a second language and couldn't quite get rid of the accent.

  • Eddie Izzard lampshades this a couple of times; namely, in her 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, she suddenly realized her 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."
  • Dylan Moran lampshades the accent he uses while doing a piece of stand up about American intervention abroad:
    "I’m doing a pan global accent, okay? It saves time, because America gets around a lot of places...It’s kind of Al Pacino from China via Brooklyn."

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • Those Lacking Spines, parodying many tropes in Kingdom Hearts fanfiction, lampshades Luxord'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. The accent is also so thick, Dartz ends up mispronouncing his words quite a lot (such as saying "dew" when he actually meant "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 Spin-Off 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.
    • Twilight's accent in Major League Pony... can not even be described in words.
  • 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.
  • Pokémon 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.
  • In Trade Winds, Desmond Miles has a jumbled accent courtesy of all of his Assassin ancestors bleeding into him, which at the start of the story come from places as diverse as the twelfth-century Levant and the Kanien'kehá:ka people (AKA Mohawk). The American dragon working in Boston Harbor as Desmond's coworker, being American, comments on it, to which Desmond replies that he's from "[a] Bunch of places." But the Brits only seem to think he sounds 'American'.
  • Played for laughs in Beyond Heroes: Of Sunshine and Red Lyrium, when Bethany imitates Cassandra's Nevarran accent. Varric regards the impression as "hilariously dreadful," although he also notes that this is almost certainly on purpose.
  • Children of Remnant: Roman Torchwick taunts Adam Taurus with what Adam claims to be a purposely exaggerated Valean accent designed to sound terrible and mock him — based on the spelling, Remnant's Valean is apparently the equivalent to Earth's French.
  • In the Ace Attorney casefic Turnabout Specter, Clatt Ehrel's accent is an unplaceable mishmash, achieved with three or more different kinds of Funetik Aksent per sentence. This is even the first thing Pearl comments on about him.
  • No stars in sight: Formora Láerdhon has an accent that is unrecognizable to Ikharos, and is best described as sounding vaguely Nordic with some French undertones and a Gaelic lilt.

    Films — Animation 
  • 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.
    • Ditto to Syndrome's assistant Mirage, whose accent suggests she is either of Eastern European, Latina or Middle Eastern descent.
  • 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.
  • Young Lord Macguffin in Brave speaks with a Scottish brogue so thick that even other Scots can't understand him. His voice actor, Kevin McKidd, based it on the Doric dialect, spoken where he was born and grew up and which is actually his native accent.
    • Merida herself has a rather thick accent in Ralph Breaks the Internet, to the point where no one has any clue what she’s saying.
    • Jillian Beanstalk’s accent sounds like a mix of Cockney and Irish.
  • Madagascar:
    • King Julien from the films and spin-off 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. Possibly both.
  • 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 (of all people), 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 Montalbán and Bela Lugosi."
    • Gru's mother Marlena has a different weird accent, that's close to her son's but a little bit more French-flavored than Gru's Russian-ish.
  • Shrek: The titular ogre speaks in a rather bizarre accent that sounds like some combination of Scottish, German, Yiddish, and Canadian. According to Mike Myers (a Canadian born to two Scottish-English immigrants), he based Shrek's accent on his own unique heritage.
    Mike Myers: I just felt that Shrek's voice was missing something. And I figured out what was missing was the connection to my childhood. Because my experience growing up as a kid in Canada was of my immigrant parents from Liverpool. So, that accent, a lotta the corners had been rounded off, and I felt that it was important to not focus on the accent so much, but on the spirit of being a little kid and having stories read to you. And in having Shrek be British, I could have a connection to my British childhood. And I asked the production team if they wouldn't mind if I could record again with that connection and they graciously and generously allowed me to do that. And I really feel that I got to dig into sorta the little kid part that's important for a fairy tale.
  • Ruby from the “Scary Godmother” movies sounds more Russian than her Romanian-accented husband Max. Her son Orson has a mostly American accent, although some very slight Romanian does slip through, like when he says “I’ve slept in my own coffin since I was thrrree.”
  • In the director's commentary of Turning Red, Mr. Kieslowski's accent is discussed and it is revealed that he's from Ukraine, and has a mysterious past.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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.")
  • In-universe in Eskimo Day and the sequel Cold Enough For Snow, in which Bevis from Oop North tries to speak "with a a plum up his bum" when visiting Cambridge.
  • 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 officer, but an SS officer notes his unusual accent and becomes suspicious. Hicox deflects his questions by claiming he grew up in a small Swiss village, which explains why his accent is peculiar to a German, but it doesn't completely convince the SS officer.
  • 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.
  • Highlander: Christopher Lambert, an American-born Frenchman who was raised in Switzerland, only barely spoke English when he took the part and had to learn his lines virtually phonetically. As a result, his accent is very muddled. This actually works brilliantly for the scenes set in the modern day, after his character MacLeod has spent centuries traveling the world. A cop even tells him, "You talk funny," and asks where he's from. MacLeod answers, "Lots of different places." However, in the flashback scenes where his character is a simple Scottish highlander, his accent is also a muddle.
  • 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, which was later confirmed by Canadian filmmaker Rick Harper).
  • Adrianna Niles from Werewolf (1996), who sounds like Tommy Wiseau. She's Czech.
  • 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. 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 ♥ 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.
    • Jack Sparrow 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 modeled 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 from—Danes 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. Mortensen himself was primarily raised in Denmark and Argentina.
  • 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, and he avoids revealing his place of birth, 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 Anton Chigurh. 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 Liverpudlian 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 apologized 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, a slight impersonation of Mark Hamill's version, a New Yawk accent, something that's been occasionally compared to a young Tom Waits, and a touch of Heath Ledger's natural Australian. And sometimes he 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 the Welsh/Irish Traveller and bareknuckle prizefighter Bartley Gorman. Though apparently it was heavily tweaked in post-production.
    • Miranda Tate has an accent that sounds somewhere between Middle Eastern and Marion Cotillard's native French.
  • In Angels and Demons, Vittoria Vetra (played by Israeli 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.
  • 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. The symbiote, also voiced by Hardy, does the same thing, only deeper.
  • 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 being a Guttural Growler, 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.
  • Blade Runner 2049: Jared Leto plays Niander Wallace with a really weird mix of flat tones and weird, musical pitch shifts. 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.
  • Tim Curry's accent in Loaded Weapon is all over the place, but this is probably done deliberately for comedic value.
  • Brad Pitt affects a bizarre mutation of Irish in Snatch.. It's the Irish Traveller accent and nigh incomprehensible to all of the characters but his fellow Travellers. A lot of people didn't realise that it's actually reasonably accurate and there's plenty of people, Travellers and settled, in rural Ireland who sound like that. Pitt's accent does still sound a little affected and artificial, but it's clear he actually did his research.
    Turkish: (narrating about the Traveller accent) It's not Irish. It's not English. It's just....well, it's just pikey.
  • In Witness for the Prosecution, a mysterious woman offers to sell the defense 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.
    Fenster: Hammydakeyzyacocksuckah!translation 
    Police Officer: In English, please.
    Fenster: ... Kusemeh?translation 
    Police Officer: In English, please!
    Fenster: Hammydafuckinkeyzyacocksuckahwhaddafaaah...translation 
  • 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 don'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 Mortal Kombat: The 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.
  • 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 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.
  • The Guns of Navarone. Richard Harris plays a 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.
  • Monty Python's Life of Brian: Most of the cast speaks in The Queen's Latin by default since the cast is all British. However, the Judean People's Front speak in a completely different and affected accent. It's supposed to be a German accent since their leader was originally going to be a parody of Adolf Hitler. All of the scenes setting this up got cut, leaving only the inexplicable accent.
  • The Karate Kid: Subversion by way of Reality Is Unrealistic. The film gets a lot of flak for Mr. Miyagi's stereotypically mangled English, but Pat Morita actually quite accurately copied the accent of his stunt double Fumio Demura, who was a recent immigrant from Okinawa.
  • Warwick, the human antagonist of Graveyard Shift. Sometimes it sounds like a parody of Fred Gwynne's Maine accent in the original Pet Sematary movie, other times... it doesn't.
  • There's no indication Quint from Jaws is from anywhere but Amity Island, but he has an accent somewhere between Irish and rural Maine, completely unlike anyone else in the film, or anyone else on Earth. Robert Shaw was said to have based his accent on Craig Kingsbury, a Martha's Vineyard resident who has a small role as Ben Gardner and whose New Jersey-by-way-of-Cape Cod accent is indeed similar to Quint's.
  • Christabella Andreoli from The Devil's Advocate first shows up speaking Italian, which leads people to believe she's supposed to be from Italy, but, there's no explanation for the way she talks in english. Or maybe there is, considered she's supposed to be the devil's daughter. The actress portraying her is Dutch. Though, to be fair, Keanu's southern accent also leaves a lot to be desired.
  • Ray Milland in 1974's Gold is supposed to be playing a South African mine owner. (The movie's Big Badnote  is played by American actor Bradford Dillman who does a much better job of the accent).
  • The lovely Yvonne Romain was actually British, but her dark looks often got her cast in “exotic” foreign roles in 1950s and '60s British TV and movies. This may explain why, in Captain Clegg, playing an English village barmaid brought up in the country from infancy, she sometimes slips into some kind of European accent.
  • Linda Low in the film version of Flower Drum Song is supposed to be a native San Franciscan, but speaks with a clipped British-Chinese accent that doesn't sound like anyone else in the film, much less someone born-and-raised in California. Actress Nancy Kwan was from Hong Kong, and her accent's a standard upper-class Hong Kong dialect of the time.
  • In Hooded Angels, Ellie's accent slides from English to French to east coast US without ever getting close to Texan, which is what she is supposed to be.note 
  • The Big Lebowski: Maude Lebowski speaks in a strange accent that sounds either Mid-Atlantic or New England. According to Julianne Moore, she created an entirely new accent for her character that sounds vaguely British, but clearly isn't.
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron: For the Maximoff twins, Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Pietro) and Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda) adopt vaguely Serbian accents, as the inhabitants of a fictional Eastern European country. It's more noticeable with Wanda, given that it disappears later in the franchise as she spends more time around native English speakers and gets more practice, to the point that in WandaVision she's able to speak with Olsen's normal California accent with minimal slips.
  • High Heels and Low Lifes: An In-Universe example. Frances is an American woman who is attempting to sound like a British man on the phone. As a result, Mason starts attempting to describe the accent to Kerrigan, before having to admit that he has no idea what the accent was.

  • 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, "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 that—being as how he grew up in territories controlled by the British—that he carries a British passport and was drafted into their military when the war started and is now part of ANZAC." 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":
    It careered around Britain like a milk race. Here a mad Welsh drill sergeant, there a High Kirk elder who'd just seen someone doing something on a Sunday, somewhere between them a dour Daleland shepherd, or bitter Somerset miser. It didn't matter where the accent went; it didn't get any nicer.
  • 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, unplaceable "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 sound British. They also tend to dismiss his explanation that his accent is unplaceable because he's spent decades in the United 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.
  • In Patriot Games, Dr. Shapiro is described as having a curious accent as the result of his upbringing; he was originally from Brooklyn, but moved to South Carolina and was educated in Texas, and ended up speaking with an accent that combines elements of all three locations.

  • Ian Curtis of Joy Division often sang songs in a fake American accent, which retained so many of his native Manchester inflections that it typically provokes this reaction in UK listeners. When the group reformed as New Order after his death, Bernard Sumner took on the vocals in his natural accent specifically to avoid comparisons.
  • Lena (winner of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, actually from Germany) caused 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 asking the trope question when Eminem released Relapse in 2009, a Horrorcore concept album in which Em debuts a new incarnation of Slim Shady, a Medical Horror-themed Serial Killer. While Em had always loved doing accents and impressions on his albums, he does most of Relapse in a Shifting Voice of Madness with a variety of accents, many of which are unidentifiable. In interviews, Eminem claimed his motivation was that he was bored with the English language and was warping his pronunciation to make rhymes that wouldn't work in his natural accent (opening track "3AM" has him pronounce "cornea" the same as "corner ya", and make perfect rhymes with "Klonopin"/"ottoman" and "mannequin"/"man again"), though some have observed that the accent seemed to have stuck from 2004's "Ass Like That", a diss track directed at Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, the comical hand puppet he was beefing with at the time, who himself was voiced with an ambiguous Eastern European accent. While the album has had a generally more positive reception a decade down the line (with Tyler, the Creator citing it as his favourite album ever), Eminem admits in later albums that on Relapse he 'ran those accents into the ground' and cringes when he listens to 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) seemed 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.
      • This phenomenon was fairly common with American punk rock bands, because of the strong influence of British groups like the Sex Pistols and The Clash.
  • 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 in her famous song "New Toy", on which she collaborated with Thomas Dolby.
  • In Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross by Christopher Lee, 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”.
  • David Byrne is Scottish by birth but has lived in the U.S. since childhood by way of Canada and has spent most of his adult life in New York City, all of which has given him a strangely indistinct accent in his speaking voice. This fits his Cloudcuckoolander public persona.
  • Laura Fares, professionally known as LAU, was born in Argentina but transplanted to London, so her accent sounds like a blend of Hispanic and Cockney.
  • Ari Up of The Slits originally came from Germany, and her English pronunciation was part London and part Jamaican, due to a strong influence from reggae music. A good example to hear this is The Slits' cover of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" in which her accent moves about all over the place.
  • Geordie Greep of the band Black Midi both speaks and sings in an utterly unplaceable accent which sounds like a combination of British, Irish, and French.
  • Part of the reason The Most Mysterious Song on the Internet has indecipherable (yet just decipherable enough to be recognized as English) lyrics is the singer's accent. The song was reportedly first broadcast on West German radio and has been compared to Joy Division: If the group was from West Germany and Ian Curtis was a conscious influence, this would be a German singer trying to sound like a British singer who was trying to sound American.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • André the Giant had a very odd accent. He was born and raised in Grenoble, France to a Bulgarian father and a Polish mother. On top of that his gigantism caused his voice to have a natural reverberation that would make him hard to understand at all (Big Show sometimes has similar issues).
  • Layla El was born and spent her youth in London before moving to Miami. In promos she would switch between a British and American accent, and sometimes end on an odd combination of both.
  • Matt Hardy in his Broken/Woken character uses an intentionally nonsensical accent. It can best be described as an attempt at a British accent by someone who has no idea what a British accent sounds like, tempered by Matt's natural North Carolina accent.
  • Leyla Hirsch speaks with a very distinctive accent - she was adopted from Russia at the age of 8 and raised in New Jersey since then. The resulting accent can be described as New Jersey accented English spoken with a Russian accent.

  • 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.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Exalted: Heysha Black Asp's accent, as written, is a kind of mutant fusion of every European dialect at once. About the only constant opinion is that it's damn sexy.

  • 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. This just makes her even funnier.

  • 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 doesn’t sound Russian.
    • Moanica is a Latina zombie. What exact accent she has is unclear, but it’s somewhere between Spain and Colombia.
  • 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.

    Video Games 
  • 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 considering he's the Daedric Prince of Madness, it's entirely possible he's just faking the accent for the lulz.
    • Skyrim:
      • 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:
    • 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: Dawn of War has had some examples of its own:
    • Brother-Captain Indrick Boreale from Soulstorm has... well, whatever planet it comes from, players hope it's been destroyed. What are "SPESS MAHREENS", anyway?
    • Surprisingly, Boreale gets a Spiritual Successor of sorts in Captain Apollo Diomedes from Dawn of War II: Retribution, which is a surprise considering Diomedes is touted as the one of the Blood Ravens' greatest warriors.
      Diomedes: BRUVAH, I AM PINNED HERE!
    • 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.
    • While not as extreme, and much easier to understand, Wesker's accent is also quite confusing. As The Mole in STARS in the first game he puts on a generic American accent. The rest of the time, however, it blends RP, Boston Brahmin, David Bowie, and occasional traces of Canadian (one voice actor, Richard Waugh, was Canadian, and the other main voice actor, D.C. Douglas, who is from California, tried to imitate his voice to some extent) into something that is almost, but not quite, Transatlantic. Possibly Justified as he is a former secret agent (for Umbrella), and was raised by the Wesker Project, so his place of birth is unknown and he might well have been taken somewhere else at a young age. It's made even more... unique... by the fact he uses Trrrilling Rrrs when saying "Uroboros", presumably for emphasis, as he doesn't do this the rest of the time; goes from a smooth, posh and occasionally slightly nasal tone to Guttural Growler when angry; and often talks in a slight monotone with a lot of dramatic pauses. Tropes Are Not Bad, though: the strange accent suits the character quite well.
  • 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 Rhodesian-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.
    • In the Polish dub of the first game, Imoen has a weird, vaguely Eastern accent for no reason. She drops it in the sequel, just as inexplicably.
  • 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 and his surname is of Egyptian origin, 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.
  • Devil May Cry 2: Lucia. Anyone got a guess? She seems to have the same voice coach as Sniper Wolf but hits more of an Italian-Kurdish mix...
  • Warcraft:
    • 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.
  • 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. It's 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 primitive, tribal areas have developed a vast variety of languages — and Caesar's Legion is overwhelmingly composed of forcibly conquered and assimilated tribes. Add to that the Legion's use of Gratuitous 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, like he'd read about proper inflection in Earthling conversation but never quite got it. The overall effect comes off 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 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.
    • The Scout brings an interesting variation of this trope into the mix; his accent reeks of the Bronx, but his backstory says he is from South Boston, which a Bronx accent sounds almost nothing like.
  • 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: The Maiden in Black's voice is undeniably soothing, but her vaguely Slavic accent is utterly unidentifiable. The voice actress uses the same accent for Bloodborne's Plain Doll as well as the woman whose likeness she was crafted in, Lady Maria.
  • 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 A.I.s 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.
  • Dragon Age:
    • The Qunari. 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 Dragon Age: Inquisition has the same accent despite having a much more natural speaking style otherwise.note 
    • Also from Inquisition, this becomes a subtle foreshadowing with party member Blackwall. His accent can be best described as "French person trying to sound British." Then you find out He's an Orlesian mercenary who went on the run after a job went horribly wrong, and is trying to pass himself off as Ferelden.
  • 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 who's supposed to be an Amoral Afrikaner but has an accent 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 bizarre 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 Elizabethan 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.
  • Likewise Stanley from Prisoner of Ice.
    Tie Tuesday: I can't even... begin to tell you what kind of accent they were trying to give him! I thought it was like shitty Southern at first and now I just straight up don't know!
  • 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 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.
  • In the Capcom vs. games, Gambit has an "accent" that sounds absolutely nothing like a New Orleans Cajun accent and more like harsh whispering in a neutral American accent.
  • Bolo Santosi's introduction from Just Cause 2 elicited this response from many players who were unfamiliar with a Singaporean accent. Native Singaporeans were also somewhat confused as the native accent isn't usually as pronounced as the voice actor made it sound.
  • Batman: The Telltale Series has a few out-there dialects.
  • Ashe from Fire Emblem: Three Houses has a vaguely Irish-sounding accent not found on any other character, not even Petra.
  • Shadow the Hedgehog had a slight Transatlantic accent in his first appearance for no apparent reason. He now has an angry-sounding generalized American accent, although his current voice actor Kirk Thornton has received criticism for forcing Shadow’s voice, so Thornton later toned it down to sound less forced. Keep in mind that Shadow’s technically an artificially-created extraterrestrial.
  • Agent 47, the titular character of Hitman, has a strangely "neutral" accent that seems to be in between Transatlantic and Afrikaans, but nondescript enough to avoid fitting in with eithernote . This actually works perfectly for the character (and is intentional to a degree) as 47 is supposed to be a nondescript "international man of mystery", allowing him to appear as being from anywhere or nowhere in particular should he choose.
  • World's End has Vadim, a Khiendai-Tiervan street gangster who speaks in what is described by the game as "a bizarre cant rife with obtuse slang".

    Web Animation 
  • Profily in Battle for Dream Island has a peculiar accent. It doesn't sound like the other American accented cast, nor is it entirely British (although their voice actor is British). According to the show's wiki, they are listed in with the other characters who have non-American accents such as Tree (Australian), Purple Face and Two (both British) and Winner (New Zeeland), but their accent is not named.
  • 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.
  • End Of Ze World is well known for its accent that is all over the place. In a VICE interview, the creator describes it as a mix of middle eastern with a direct influence of JohnMalkovich's Russian character from Rounders. On top of that, accents of other countries (most notably France) are mixed into it when those countries' citizens come into focus.
  • Coach Z from Homestar Runner. His accent started out as an exaggerated Midwestern drawlnote  and eventually evolved into something the other characters describe as its own language.
    Coach Z: You say termater, I say zermatermort!
  • 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.
  • The Most Epic Story Ever Told in All of Human History: The Epic Narrator speaks with some sort of undefined European-sounding accent.
  • Raku-chan from 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.
  • Spooky Month: From "The Stars" onwards, Pump speaks in a weird mashup between an American accent and Sr. Pelo's native Mexican accent.
  • 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 other analysts trying to mimic the accent of the character they're playing, but his stands out the most.
  • True Tail has a character named Viktor whose voice sounds like a mixture of Russian, Latin, and British.
  • Ben Croshaw of Zero Punctuation once described his originally-Australian accent as "taking a walking tour of the British Isles".

  • 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.

    Web Original 
  • 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 recognize it.
  • In the Furry Basketball Association, Jorge Gonzalez is noted to have a very weird accent—as it turns out, he's fluent in both Argentinian Spanish and Patagonian Welsh, but spent time in Spain. He hated living in Spain so much he's gone through speech therapy to get rid of the Spanish part of his accent.
  • Agent Kennedy from Pretending to Be People uses a bad Irish-sounding accent when first interacting with the heroes, despite claiming to be from Minnesota. She drops it when she comes clean with them.

    Web Videos 
  • 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 pronunciation 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.
  • 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.
  • In Final Fantasy In A Nutshell, during their episode of of Final Fantasy XII, Vaan is talking to an old man whose accent who jumps between two different Southern US accents, an Irish accent and an Arabic accent.
    "Listen wisely to my inconsistent accent, m'boy."
  • Zelda of ASCZ's 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.
      Psychedelic Eyeball: Seriously, what kind of accent is that? Where does this guy comes from?
      slowbeef: Hell. I wish he'd go back.
    • 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.
    • During their Dark Seed II Wrongpurae, they had a field day trying to place Mrs. Ramirez's meandering accent, which seemed to be anything but Hispanic.note  They eventually narrowed it down to a strange mix of Irish and Swedish.
      slowbeef: I think your accent is European Mish-Mash, ma'am!
    • In one review Dave_o comments that nerds in general tend to have accents that are wrong or make no sense.
    • Another confusing accent is that of MechWarrior Online streamer TheB33F, whose combination of deep, almost booming voice and French-Canadian origins occasionally renders him indecipherable to even native English speakers.
  • 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.
  • 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 pseudo-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:
    • Vinny has his "RP voice" which started when RPing in Garry's Mod and has become his go-to silly voice. It lives on in such quotes as "BINNY PLAEH DIEM SITU! EEZ BAEST GAEM!" "DEZZAIRT P!" and his now-iconic "SPEEN!" It's apparently meant to sound Russian.
    • 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.
    • Limes has noted this about herself on occasion. Although she's a Brit living in London, she's lived on the Internet for so long, among mostly Americans, that she sounds almost entirely American now except for a few words. When she does try to sound English, it almost comes across as an affect.
  • 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 downplay the Britishness, it sounds closer to Canadian than American.
  • CinemaSins mocks this aspect of Gerard Butler's character in Geostorm, joking that a line admitting Butler has a hard time sticking to one single accentnote  was only put in after advance screenings where audiences were confused as to his character's nationality. They add another sin for it later when they remark, "It really is incredible to hear Gerard Butler's American and Scottish accents battle each other in real time."
  • Bronies React: AnimatedJames is quite puzzled by Lotus Blossom's accent in "Slice of Life", as voiced by Tabitha St. Germain.
    James: What the f[bleep] accent is that?! It's like every Asian comedian's impression of their mom combined into one voice...
  • Unus Annus: Mark and Ethan do a video titled "2 Men 200 Accents," which goes about as well as it sounds. At one point, they call Jacksepticeye to test out their Irish accents. Jack can't figure out what part of Ireland Ethan is supposed to be from and Mark does a weird fusion of Scottish and French.
    Jacksepticeye: Why do you sound French? Are you Marc with a C now?
  • Life of Boris: Boris' accent has been the subject of much speculation from the fanbase, but the only thing ever really agreed on is that it is Eastern European. Boris came clean in February of 2020, and admitted that he has spent most of his life moving around Eastern Europe, to the point that even he himself wonders what the hell his accent is.
  • hololive:
    • Gawr Gura's nuances in her speech make her accent difficult to pin down.
    • Korone Inugami's particular accent confounds her peers as they have no idea where its from and find the pitch changes in her speech unusual. According to her, it may have been influenced by a number of accents growing up, with the pronounced being her grandmother's Kansai-ben.
    • Hakos Baelz has stated she's from Australia's east coast, but her accent wanders through three different continents.
  • During their 2020 charity livestream, Stephen Georg of StephenPlays gives a very odd voice to a character in the Shovelware game Busy Scissors. The end result sounds like he's vaguely British.
    Stephen: [Normal voice] Isaac Inks, where are you from? [as Isaac] Try and guess! 'Cause I don't know!
  • Jackson Lennon of Jack's Journey and Jaylen Media. He's a resident of Finglas in North Dublin, Ireland, but to those not used to Irish accents (or non Oireland ones anyway), it can sound partly American. Additionally, he moved around a bit as a child before his speech patterns were set.
  • Bobby Calloway of Better With Bob? and Actors' Life Podcast was born in England, and moved to Ireland when he was eight. As a result, his accent has been mistaken for Australian, New Zealand, South African and even American. He jokes that to those who don't know the difference, in the UK he sounds Irish but in Ireland he sounds English.
  • Mollymauk in campaign 2 of Critical Role is supposed to have a Scottish accent of sorts, except Taliesin Jaffe isn't exactly the best at doing a Scottish accent, and half the time it sounds more like a strange version of an American accent. The rest of the cast likes to give him a hard time about it. Towards the end of the campaign, Matt Mercer plays a character with the same accent, and it sounds Irish.
    • In the same campaign there's also Jester who Laura Bailey gives a somewhat strong Eastern-European sounding accent that manages to stay very consistent while also being impossible to place.
  • Youtuber Lia "Sssniperwolf" Selesh was born in England to Greek and Turkish parents, immigrated to Arizona with her family as a child, and moved to Texas as an adult. As a consequence her manner of speaking is extremly distinct and hard to pin down.
  • Kilian Experience has a very thick Swedish accent, which naturally leads to this whenever he tries to do an impression of another (which is usually played for comedy). His attempt at a Southern accent is particularly bad, being only identifiable by the fact that he drops cowboy slang every few words.

    Western Animation 
  • Popeye 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 was meant to be Russian but sounds nothing like it, as the other characters point out.
    Duncan: What's with the phony Jamaican accent?
    LeShawna: Jamaican? More like Japanese!
    Courtney: Swedish!
    Beth: French!
    Harold: Kinda sounds Italian to me...
    Chris: [clearly annoyed] It's Russian!
  • 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 (except for his Wisconsin/Minnesota-accented mother). 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 Russian, since Tartakovsky is Russian himself and talked like that as a kid, though a source confirming this cannot be found at this point.
  • Mina on Jelly Jamm. Her case is very similar to Dexter's.
  • Scooby-Doo:
    • This applies to nearly every incidental character to ever appear in the franchise, especially the non-American or non-white characters. The show is legendary for its bad accents.
    • Dracula’s accent in “Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School” is called “Slavic” in the VHS closed captions, despite Romanian being a Latin accent. Either way, it’s far more exaggerated than his daughter Sibella’s American accent.
      • Dracula on “Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf” isn’t much better, since he draws out his vowels and pronounces Shaggy’s name as “Shawg-ee.”
    • 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.
    • Fred, on the other hand, has what can best be described if a California accent got drunk and had a one-night stand with a north-midwestern accent, and nine months later gave birth to Fred's accent. The best example of this is his pronouncing of "treasure" ("traesure").
  • 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.
  • 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 college dormmate who'd get overly descriptive while stoned.
    • 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 times his manner of speaking has a more Eastern European, Yakov Smirnoff-vibe. Hank Azaria has claimed different inspirations for the character over the years, including Cuban-born Ricky Ricardo, of "I Love Lucy" fame and TV executive 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Liverpoolnote . 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' 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?
  • Batman Beyond
    • In "The Final Cut", Batman comes to the aid of Society of Assassins member Mutro Botha, played by Tim Curry, who speaks with an unmistakably... foreign accent, which, judging by his name, was probably meant to be South African, but sounds more like a mix of Australian, British and French.
    • In "Sneak Peek", Michael McKean plays Ian Peek, who speaks with an ostensibly British accent that sounds vaguely Australian, which, if it is the latter, leads to a Stealth Pun about his fate: thanks to his malfunctioning intangibility, he's heading to the Land Down Under.
  • 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."
  • Bubbles from Splash and Bubbles speaks with an ambiguous, vaguely (but not quite) Southern accent in a youthful, bubbly tone. Not helping is the fact that her voice actress is a woman in her 50s trying to sound like a little girl.
  • Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street shares the same voice actress as above and has the same ambiguous accent but with a slightly different tone.
  • Wonder Girl's accent in Super Best Friends Forever confuses many viewers. Is it Italian, Spanish, Mexican, or what? It's actually Mediterranean, or more specifically Greek, to go with Themyscira's Greek inspiration. Wonder Woman from DC Super Hero Girls has a similar issue due to her voice actress using the same voice as she did for Donna.
  • The Greek dub for Peppa Pig's episode "Delphine Donkey" gives Delphine's father an accent that sounds more African than French.
  • Staines Down Drains: Beans definitely has an accent, but whether it's French or German or Mexican or something else entirely is hard to say.
  • In the 2018 reboot of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, several characters have new accents.
    • Queen Angella speaks with a British accent (but oddly enough, her daughter Glimmer speaks with an American accent, and is of Korean ancestry to boot). Horde Prime and his clones do as well.
    • Hordak speaks with something between an American and British accent.
    • Razz speaks with a vaguely eastern European accent.
  • VeggieTales: According to Word of God, Mr. Lunt is meant to speak in a "quasi-ethnic" Italian/Hispanic accent.
    • Given that he's supposed to be from New Jersey, it could be worse.
  • In Rambo: The Force of Freedom, villains General Warhawk, Sergeant Havoc and most of their followers speak in odd accents that don't really sound like any real language — they just sound "evil" and sinister.
  • Ever After High’s Courtly Jester frequently switches between British accents.
  • Pikwik Pack: Captain Kate in "Suki's Hero" has an accent that modulates from Irish to French to Scottish to American.
  • Walter Wolf in Animaniacs speaks in a strange accent that sounds Appalachian, but pronounced many words in a New York fashion, on top of pronouncing is ‘s’s as ‘sh’ and dropping ‘meshugennah’ once in a while, which only confuses his accents origin.
  • Every time Gargoyles attempted Scottish accents, it was terrible. Hilariously, the one time they hired a Scottish actress (Sheena Easton), they cast her as an Irish character!
  • The Great North: In Season 2 "Say It Again, Ham Adventure", When Honeybee tries to create her own podcast voice by using a foreign accent, Wolf thought she was trying to do an Australian accent, but she tells him she was doing a British accent.

    Real Life 
  • The Mid-Atlantic accentnote . 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, and is so named for sounding halfway between New England and Received Pronounciation. It counts because basically no one actually spoke like this at home; it was purely put on for appearances. As drama professor Dudley Knight put it, "its earliest advocates bragged that its chief quality was that no Americans actually spoke it unless educated to do so."
  • Cary Grant spent the first few years of his life in England, then moved to America 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, sacked as head coach of Major League Soccer's New England Revolution during the 2019 season, 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's 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."
  • Julia Child was born to upper-class New England parents but given an old-fashioned "Yankee" education at finishing schools in California. Her distinctly plummy, sing-songy manner of speaking was as much a reflection of her theatrical personality as background, however.
  • Rutger Hauer can be considered an inverse/reverse example - he was a Dutch (native speaker) who emigrated to the U.S.A. nearing forty, and lived and worked in the U.S. for the rest of his life, passing at age 75 in 2019. When he gave Dutch-language interviews to Dutch television in his final years, he still spoke grammatically correct Dutch, but had a noticeable American accent and often paused to think how to express himself. On the other hand when he spoke (American) English it sounded pretty convincingly American. Contrast Paul Verhoeven who's also a Dutchman emigrated to the U.S.A., but still has a noticaeble 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 Southern 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 Ashkenazi Israelis.
  • 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 his friend (and The Room co-star) Greg Sestero's book The Disaster Artist, Wiseau is originally from an Eastern European country (later confirmed by documentarian Rick Harper to be Poland, and publicly revealed after Wiseau lost a lawsuit against the latter in 2020), under the name Piotr Wieczorkiewicz. 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).
  • Sean Connery's accent was a weird mishmash of Scottish and Welsh, as he grew up between both nations; throughout his career, it was increasingly impacted by a growing speech impediment.
  • 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 Québécois, Canadian English, or any recognized combination of the two. During his term of office, it was frequently joked - often by himself - 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."note 
  • 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 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.
  • 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."
  • Record Producer 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.
  • Actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani was born in Pakistan and moved to the United States at the age of 18. His accent has been heavily Americanized to the point where he's turned down roles where he has to exaggerate a stereotypical Indian accent.
  • Accents change over time, so news clips and other old media can invoke this for people more accustomed to modern accents. ABC News Australia has a YouTube playlist of old clips from the 1950s through 1980s and one of the most asked questions is why Australians in the 1960s sounded British instead of Australian.
  • Oona Chaplin has moved around quite a bit - having lived in Cuba, Scotland, Spain and America, as well as having an English mother. As a result, it can seem as though her accent switches in every interview. For those used to her putting on an I Am Very British accent as Talisa in Game of Thrones, it can be startling to hear her speak out of character.
  • Lena Meyer Landrut, who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2010, comes from Hannover, which is the German place said to have the most generic accent possible, but her English is... It's not quite Cockney, not quite RP, there is a hint of German in there and overall it's just all over the place. She has lampshaded this numerous times. See for example here
  • Sia's speaking voice is all over the place. She is Australian, but lived in England for seven years and has lived in America for over 15 years, so her accent can sound like something of a combination of the three.
  • Colonel Tom Parker. He was born Andreas van Kuijk in the Netherlands, then moved to the US as an undocumented immigrant at age 19, inventing the identity of Thomas Andrew Parker from West Virginia. He was in his 40s when he started managing Elvis, and by that point his accent (as heard here) had become Americanized enough that he had little trouble passing as American. The only things that may have given him away were some odd locutions, like saying "yust" instead of "just", or rhyming "book" with "fluke", but likely people would've written them off as some sort of rural dialect. Still, he retained fluency in Dutch throughout his life; in his 80s he spoke the language perfectly when he was interviewed by Dutch television.
  • Sylvia Plath grew up in Boston but spent most of her adult life in England. In surviving interviews and readings she sports something like the classic Mid-Atlantic accent mentioned above, with occasional Boston vowels.
  • Viggo Mortensen was born in New York to an American mother and a Danish father. In his early years he lived in Venezuela, Denmark, Argentina, the U.K., and Spain. He claims fluency in English, Spanish, Danish, and French, and is conversational in Italian, Norwegian, and Swedish. (Whew.) When speaking English he usually sounds ambiguously American, but elements from other accents do creep in as well. In The Lord of the Rings, for instance, he occasionally slips out of the vaguely English-inflected accent adopted by most of the cast and into something all his own.
  • Actress Eve Hewson, daughter of Bono, sounds like a cross between Irish and American.


Video Example(s):


Honeybee's Podcaster Voice

When Honeybee tries to create her own podcaster voice, Wolf thought she was trying to do an Australian accent, but she tells him it was a British accent.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / WhatTheHellIsThatAccent

Media sources: