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Yodel Land

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The Hollywood Atlas version of Switzerland, as well as Bavaria, Austria, Northern Italy, and other regions in or near the Alps — in fact, any place in Germany is also frequently part of Yodel Land in the Hollywood Atlas.

A quick guide:


  • The Alps:
    • The Matterhorn
    • High and unreachable sharp mountain peaks with dangerously narrow and unstable pathways
    • Expensive ski resorts
    • Edelweiss (makes up some 80-90% of all non-generic flowers in Yodel Land)
    • Avalanches
    • Weather: either sunny and freezing cold or severe blizzard
  • The valleys:
  • The Black Forest (which isn't part of any of the aforementioned regions)


  • Men:
    • Lederhosen (often inaccurately depicted in places where they have never been traditional, e.g. most of Germany and all of Switzerland)
    • Tyrolean hats (little green felt hats with a tuft of fur in the band) or Oktoberfest hats
    • Huge, twirly, bushy funny-looking handlebar mustaches
    • Monocles or glasses
    • Gray beards (if they're past 55)
  • Women:
    • Long blonde hair (usually in braids)
    • Dirndl dresses (cf. Lederhosen for inaccurate geographical/cultural application)
    • Aprons
    • Curvaceous with an ample bosom (older women will often be overweight)
  • General:
    • Tall and slender (if they're young) or short and stocky (if they're old)


  • Bankers (Male) for wealthy people's Swiss Bank Account
    • Rich
    • GOLD
    • They're sometimes gnomes
  • Cheesemakers (Male)
  • Chocolatiers (Male)
  • Clock/watchmakers (Male)
  • Woodcarvers (Male)
  • Cow/goat/shepherds (Usually children; more often male than female, but females do appear occasionally.)
  • Alpinists (or guides) (Male)
  • Ski resort owners (Male)
  • Innkeepers (Male)
  • Beautiful blonde-braided girls in cleavaged Bavarian tavern wench dresses (like in Oktoberfest) (Female)
  • Waitresses (See above)
  • Spies (badass if male, beautiful and seductive if female)
  • Hunters (or more commonly, poachers).
  • Hikers


  • Cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Fondue (may be either chocolate or cheese)
  • Brandy
  • Beer (especially around Oktoberfest)
  • Schnitzel, usually wienerschnitzel
  • Sausages
  • Dark rye bread
  • Strudel and desserts with hazelnuts, chestnuts, apples, and Kirsch (cherry liqueur)


  • Goats
  • Cows with big clanking bells
  • Sheep
  • Saint Bernard dogs (usually with brandy casks around their necks)
  • Gulls
  • Ibexes (always aggressive against whomever)
  • Groundhogs (note that groundhogs are native to North America. There are marmots in the Alps, but they're a separate species.)
  • Mountain wildflowers, especially edelweiss.

Misc. culture:

  • Yodeling
  • Swiss army knives with 293,487,569,234,756 blades, including absurd/funny ones
  • Extremely precise and expensive Swiss watches
  • Cuckoo clocks, though they weren't in fact invented in Switzerland or anywhere else in the Alps.
    • Invented in the Black Forest, which is usually lumped together with Yodel Land, so it's not that bad a mistake.
  • Alphorns and the Ranz des Vaches
  • Rustic carved wooden bears
  • William Tell
  • Dancing the laendler

Cultural values:

  • Neutrality
  • Hospitality
  • Prosperity
  • Punctuality
  • Pedantism

Never shown :
  • Geneva
    • Headquarters of the WHO, the WTO and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
    • The CERN research institute and its Large Hadron Collider
    • Speaks French.
  • Ticino
    • The warmest region in Switzerland; it's also the sunniest, wettest, and least snowfall in the country
    • Bellinzona's Three Castles and Lakes Maggiore and Lugano.
    • The Locarno International Film Festival, world-famous and influential film festival also notable for its giant open-air screen
    • Speaks Italian.
  • Switzerland's eventful military history
  • Switzerland's major role in the Reformation
    • Huldlrych Zwingli and John Calvin
  • Any place in Lower Austria, including Vienna. Also Burgenland; home to a significant Hungarian and Croatian minority, this flat region was not even Austrian territory until the end of World War I.
  • The rivers and the traffic on them
    • Rhine (Rhein) — originates in Switzerland long before it reaches the Loreley. In centuries past, it could flood up to a third of the whole country of Liechtenstein.
    • Aare — surrounding the old part of Bern on three sides.
    • Danube (Donau) — the one mentioned in the title of The Blue Danube. (Originates in the Black Forest and flows through Austria, but neither through Switzerland nor through the Alps.)
    • Several others providing good opportunity for heavy ship traffic, both tourism and freight. While references to Switzerland and Austria having navies may seem jocular (neither has a coastline), both countries maintain a number of patrol boats on the rivers and larger lakes, kept by the army and police force respectively. And Austria had both a coast and a quite sizeable navy until 1918.

May overlap with Oktoberfest, given the German influence in the region (Switzerland officially was part of the Holy Roman Empire until the Thirty Years War, Austria belonged to Germany before 1866 and from 1938 to 1945), or with Norse by Norsewest due to confusing Switzerland with Sweden. The Spanish-speaking people make the latter confusion because in the language both countries names ("Suiza" and "Suecia" respectively) are way more similar. Same goes for Russians ("Shveytsariya" and "Shvetsiya"). In video games, the Green Hill Zone is similar to Yodel Land, only with far more flatland and more tropical elements compared to its Bavarian cousin.

See Switzerland for a more nuanced depiction. Also see William Telling.


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  • Often depicted in Ricola commercials. Which more of a kindo of Self-Deprecation, since Ricola is a Swiss product.
  • Invoked in this Heidi Klum photoshoot.
  • Any Milka commercial is situated there. Milka is Swiss, so that's reasonable.
    • Interestingly it was invented by a swiss chocolatier in Austria and is produced all over the world but not in Switzerland who prefer Lindt and Suchard with Germans in particular that love Milka.
  • St. Ives health-and-beauty products
  • Swiss Miss hot cocoa mix
  • Extremely frequent in milk or milk product commercials in the aforementioned countries.
  • Toaster Strudel

    Anime & Manga 
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers — Japan was forced violently and hilariously out of his Heidi-inspired conception of the country, as its Anthropomorphic Personification subverts this trope hard, being a Gunslinger Rich Son of a Bitch. Which in some official pin-up art is depicted with soldier attire of yesteryear. You wanted to know how Switzerland managed to remain neutral in most of the most recent wars? Now you know.
  • Sound of the Sky, though weirdly enough, the setting's a post-apocalyptic Japan that takes its town, buildings and countryside from the Spanish town of Cuenca.
  • Heidi, Girl of the Alps, and how, to the point it currently provides the page image. To be fair, it's based on a novel that thrives on Yodel Land (see below in the Literature section).
  • Alps Story: My Annette: Played with. It's the story of a girl who lives in the Swiss Alps, based on the novel Treasures Of The Snow, so the mountain setting is very similar to Heidi and one of the main characters is even an aspiring woodcarver. However, it takes place in the French speaking part of Switzerland, not German.
  • Honoo no Alpen Rose, in which an amnesiac girl who once was the Sole Survivor of an accident travels through pre-World War II Switzerland with her boyfriend, both searching for her past and running away both from a Stalker with a Crush and Those Wacky Nazis. Alpen Rose is actually a lullaby that she has struck on her mind, apparently the only real proof of who she is.
  • While probably one of the overall best depictions of Germany in any anime, Berlin in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex has a few streets that invoke a Yodel Land style. Even considering that in the timeline Berlin was destroyed and rebuild, it looks very out of place to anyone who actually has been to Berlin or northern Germany.
  • Izetta: The Last Witch depicts the Principality of Eylstadt as a combination of this and Ruritania, being a mainly agricultural society surrounded by mountain ranges, with the cities having mostly medieval-style architecture.

    Comic Books 
  • Goofy as Wilhelm Tell. It was set in Yodel Land, and there were lederhosen, cheese, hats with feathers, an alpenhorn, and fondue. Donald Duck has also been Tell once with the Beagle Boys as the enemy and Scrooge McDuck as a not-so-rich-anymore cheese sealer. The famous apple shoot is of course included, but is a bit unusual, since with three nephews there are also three apples to be shot at one time.
  • Asterix in Switzerland anachronistically depicts "Helvetia" with many Swiss stereotypes: an obsession with cleanliness, fondue, holed cheese, secret banking, a "United Tribes" building, yodeling over alphorns, the invention of the cuckoo clock, and a Flower from the Mountaintop. There is also a subverted attempt at William Telling.
  • The DCU's United Nations-chartered organization Checkmate is based in the Swiss Alps, in a medieval castle known only as "The Castle."

    Fairy Tales 
  • A fairy tale called "Hansi and the Nix" is about a young cowherd named Hansi, who likes yodelling. He encounters a water spirit or freshwater mermaid he calls Nixie. The two fall in love over the course of the summer, but then fall comes and Nixie doesn't want to come up to the surface anymore because it's too cold for her. So Hansi agrees to live with her...and starts to miss all the classic aspects of Yodel Land: his favorite dairy cow, the cheese he made from the cow's milk, mountain flowers, etc. To make him happy (and thus remove any motivation for leaving the lake), Nixie brings him one thing...and then he gets wistful for another. So one night, to put an end to that, she brings down Hansi's entire village. And they lived Happily Ever After under the lake.

    Films — Animation 
  • Disney Animated Canon
  • Cars 2: "Hey look, Materhosen!"
  • The "woodcutter" (he's actually an actor teaching himself to cut trees as practice for a role) in Hoodwinked! is portrayed as a Yodel Lander in an otherwise-ambiguous fairy-tale setting. He wears lederhosen, drives a schnitzel truck (this was before food trucks were a thing, mind, so it's meant as a spoof of ice cream vans), and aspires to become a professional yodeler—and does, in the end, as part of a singing group called The Sound of Munich. The kids who buy his schnitzel look the part too.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Third Man references this trope. And the Pinky and the Brain parody "The Third Mouse" does it, too.
  • The Shirley Temple movie Heidi, and the distant sequel Courage Mountain with Noely Thornton and a very young Charlie Sheen.
  • Moon Zero Two had a scene where the villain's Bikini Girls were too busy playing with the whole-wall TV set to pay attention to the game of Monopoly they were supposed to be playing with their boss. One of them was setting the screens to show typical Swiss scenery, an alpine meadow filled with typically Swiss cows. The boss ordered them to turn the wall off...
    Girl: But I've never been to Switzerland!
    Boss: The only thing worth seeing there are the banks.
  • Most of the action in the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service takes place in Switzerland at a ski resort. A Saint-Bernard dog comes at him at the end, but without brandy.
  • Laurel and Hardy in Swiss Miss.
  • Most of the action in the original The Pink Panther (1963) takes place at a Swiss ski resort.
  • The Tim Burton version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory practically declares all of Germany Yodel Land by placing the city of Düsseldorf there.
  • Most of Feuer Eis Und Dosenbier (a German movie, mind you) takes place somewhere that's not quite clear whether it shall be Switzerland or Austria, although it's two hours of walking distance uphill from an infamous Austrian ski resort.
  • Partially subverted in the 1978 film Silver Bears. It's set in Lugano, in the Italian speaking part Switzerland (a fact noted by a character). But the plot revolves around banking and money laundering.
  • Many German or Austrian heimatfilme take place here, and is no less stereotypical and clichéd than non-German productions.
  • Invoked In-Universe by Ophelia's costume in Trading Places:
    Coleman: Let me see, you would be from Austria. Am I right?
    Ophelia: No, I am Inga from Sweden.
    Coleman: Sweden? ...but you're wearing Lederhosen.
In Charlie's Angels (2000), during this scene, the Angels do this, but they are singing in German gibberish and Natalie is wearing lederhosen.

  • Captain Underpants villain Professor Poopypants is from a country called "New Swissland" where everyone has a silly name.
  • In David Drake and S. M. Stirling's The General Series, the Halvardi are Swiss barbarian analogues.
    • "The Ambassadors of the Free Canton of the Halvardi!"
    • "the eastern mountain tribe"
    • "[their] hair was mostly blond, and both sexes wore it in long braids that fell to their waists on either side"
    • "A shaman capered before them, waving a ... ceremonial wooden house with a small jeweled bird within..."
    • Note: Halvardi = "Helvetia", which is very Swiss.
    • it's also a type of cheese.
  • Older Than Radio: The Heidi series, created by Swiss writer Johanna Spyri, is set in the Swiss Alps, and is more or less the Trope Codifier.
  • Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, harboured a genuine love for the Germanic parts of the Alps (and for winter sports, in a time when they were an elitist pastime reserved for the moneyed travelers, and when people still remembered that mountaineering and downhill skiing had been pioneered by British tourists). Not only did the literary Bond visit the region on several occasions, he was a Yodel Lander himself, being half-Swiss! You Only Live Twice reveals that Bond's mother, Monique Delacroix, was Swiss, and that both parents died while mountain climbing in France.
  • Charlie Wilson's War. Gust Avrakotos is aghast when they're being wined and dined by a Swiss Arms Dealer and his fellow CIA agent asks to go to a restaurant where they yodeled. "For the Swiss, that's as low class as you can get."
  • The Black Spider is set in a remote Swiss valley. The village and the surrounding forests and prairies are picturesque but not even remotely peaceful, what with the local baron crushing the peasants, and the demonic giant spider terrorizing the valley.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The "Cliff Hangers" game on The Price Is Right invokes this trope, with a little man in lederhosen and a hat with a feather climbing a mountain to the sounds of a yodel-filled Swiss folk song.
  • In one episode of Covert Affairs, Annie is assigned as a courier to an agent in Switzerland only to have the mission go wrong and force her to go on the run from the police with Eyal Levin.

  • Gustav Mahler composed many of his symphonies in various Alpine retreats in between long walks on mountain paths, and it shows. In one famous anecdote, Bruno Walter, visiting Mahler in Steinbach am Attersee while he was working on his third symphony, expressed his admiration of the mountain scenery, and Mahler's reply ran something along the lines of, "No need looking at that—I've already composed it all."
  • The comic children's song "Once an Austrian Went Yodeling" is all about an Austrian man trying to yodel on a mountain, but getting interrupted by an avalanche, a skier, a Saint Bernard dog, a grizzly bear, a milkmaid and a pretty girl.
  • Austrian house-techno group Edelweiss, active between the late 80s and the mid-90s. Their songs and imagery had "Planet Edelweiss" as a scenic paradise full of villagers, ski instructors, the titular flower and other stereotypes... combined with sci-fi a la Star Trek.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the Dungeons & Dragons setting of Mystara, this is the hat of the Kogolor; the ancestor-race of the modern dwarf and gnome. They are jovial, good-natured, open-minded and friendly inhabitants of forested slopes, dressing in the iconic lederhosen and having a unique racial proficiency in yodeling. Also, whilst their skills as smiths are no greater than humans', they are master brewers.

  • Wilhelm Tell by Friedrich Schiller, one of the most quote-laden plays in German literature.
  • The opera William Tell by Gioacchino Rossini, of the famous overture.
  • The Sound of Music ventures into this area with the song "Edelweiss" and the yodeling-heavy song about the lonely goatherd (which is also danced as a Ländler).
  • The city of Merano, South Tyrol (currently Italian, "used to be Austrian") sometimes is a setting in the musical Chess.note  Sometimes Merano isn't included, because the musical seems to be so completely rewritten for each production that there's very little that's canon.
    "It's living your life in a show by Rodgers and Hammerstein!"
  • Music in the Air incorporates some elements of this, particularly in the opening scenes set in the fictional Bavarian village of Edendorf, though there's hardly any mountain climbing and the middle of the show is set in the big city of Munich. (The failed 1951 revival relocated the show from Bavaria to Switzerland.)
  • According to Richard Wagner's stage directions, the beginning of Rheingold must be set in the Swiss Alps, not far from where Wagner lived when he wrote and composed the opera.

    Theme Parks 
  • At the Disney Theme Parks:
    • "it's a small world" has a scene for Switzerland that includes several giant clocks and dolls yodeling along to the tune of the infamous song.
    • Disneyland literally built a replica of the Matterhorn as one of their attractions, the Matterhorn Bobsleds. In addition to a thrilling ride to meet the Abominable Snowman, climbers frequently scale the mountain's sides and yodelers will entertain guests below.
    • The Germany Pavilion at Epcot in Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
  • Europa-Park's Swiss district has chocolate shops in Alpine-looking houses, Yodel music playing, a ride themed after the Matterhorn and another ride's start looking like a ski resort.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • In the Making Fiends episode "Toupee", Mr. Milk has a fantasy song sequence where he imagines being a Swiss Banker that mostly consists of this trope.
    I could...
    Count Swiss francs while I yodel
    Eat fondue with the locals
    Work with clients overseas
    Keep a safe filled up with cheese!
  • Uter from The Simpsons is a prime example of a Yodellander. In the original he's German, in the German dub he's Swiss.
  • In the Totally Spies! episode Passion Patties, it is averted: it is in fact, very snowy, however, to disguise themselves and blend in, Sam, Alex and Clover were wearing dirndls.
  • The Animaniacs sketch (and song) "Schitznelbank" is an example of this (overlapping with Oktoberfest).
  • Heinrich von Sugarbottom of Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers fame is clearly a Yodel Lander. Up to and including chocolate in a fondue-style kettle.
  • In Ruby Gloom, the gang gets a visit from Yodellander twins Uta and Gunther in the episode "Ubergloom". German fans were quite upset, as they didn't expect this show to resort to such stereotypes.
  • Sven Hoek from The Ren & Stimpy Show. His name and accent, however, suggest Scandinavia.
  • The sausage cult (yes, really) in the Rocko's Modern Life episode "Schnit Heads" wears lederhosen and views any foodstuffs other than schnitzel (even pizza with sausage on it) as an abomination.
  • Downplayed in Codename: Kids Next Door. German villain Heinrich von Marzipan only fits the blonde-haired, chocolate-loving stereotypes, but when she's returned to her true self as a girl, she wears her hair in braids.
  • In the My Friend Rabbit episode "Mouse's Mountain" Rabbit, Mouse, Thunder and Jasper make humpa wumpa yodels so that the oogie boogies can go away.
  • The Cartoons That Never Made It short "Heidi and the Yodelers" consists of a spoof of Josie and the Pussycats where the band are a bunch of Swiss stereotypes clad in lederhosen who thwart criminals by torturing them with their yodeling.

Alternative Title(s): Laendler Land