Xenophobia Normalized

Table Of Contents

Conservative Trope Examples

  • Trainwreck (2015)
    Colin Quinn portraying Amy Townsend's (Amy Schumer) dad tells her he has "no desire for an oriental woman to touch me above the waist" after she encourages him to get acupuncture therapy.
    Staff Aside
    While played for laughs, the comment plays into the trope about Asian women giving men "happy endings" after a massage.
  • Maura promotes the false stereotype that "French women don't shave their underarms."
  • This Is 40 (2012)
    Pete (Paul Rudd) mocks the family doctor's Indian accent by imitating how he says words like "fruit" and "French fries."
  • This Is 40 (2012)
    Desi (Megan Fox) says that her perky breasts are "going to go National Geographic on me" by the time she turns forty.
    Historical Context
    National Geographic magazine was once notorious for photographing older naked African women whose breasts sagged lower than those of younger women and then plastering the images all over their magazines in the name of education.
  • Bad Teacher (2011)
    Ms. Halsey (Cameron Diaz) cries "this is why the Japs are overtaking us" to her students after essays they wrote failed to impress her.
  • The Hangover Part II (2011) | Developing Countries Depicted as Overly Poor
    The guys wake up in an over-the-top dilapidated room in Bangkok, Thailand with outdated radio and a cockroach crawling around. The power also would often go off in the building. But in the original movie, when in America, they woke up in a spectacular suite at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.
  • Hall Pass (2011)
    Fred (Jason Sudeikis) tiptoes into a Korean massage parlor and asks for "a rub-and-tug and finish off with a tea bag, please."
    Staff Aside
    Hollywood has long cast Asian massage parlors as a place where men can go to get much more than a massage.
  • Tropic Thunder (2008) | Foreigners Depicted Negatively
    British director Damien Cockburn makes several mistakes costing the studio a lot of money upon which studio boss Les Grossman says to him, "This is all your fault, you limey f*ck!
    Staff Aside
    The entire movie is a satire on the film industry, but this is not one of those moments. They are making fun of directors sometimes going over budget and getting into squabbles with studio execs. And they chose a British director as their foil as, apparently, it's funnier for a foreign director to screw things up than an American. And you can call him limey too for added laughs. It is all genuinely very funny as is the entire movie which is super hilarious. But they are still using the British as a butt of one of their jokes here.
  • The Love Guru (2008) | Making Fun of Foreign Names
    Guru Pitka (Mike Myers) portrays a widely admired and respected figure in Indian culture by spending the entire film making fun of their accents and religious beliefs.
  • Yuri quips, "It's like parking your car in certain neighborhoods in the Bronx. You don't do it." before African locals completely disassembled his crashed cargo plane for parts overnight.
  • The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005) | Foreign Countries Depicted Negatively
    Cal (Seth Rogan) tells a story about a sex show "of a woman f*cking a horse" he and his friends went to in Tijuana, Mexico. Cal tells Andy he was initially excited about the show, but it wasn't "as cool as it sounds like it would be" and he wound up feeling bad for her and the horse.
  • John Creasy (Denzel Washington) is hidden away in a veterinarian clinic from the corrupt Mexican police who are in cahoots with a drug cartel that kidnaps kids for ransom after he is injured trying to prevent kidnappers from taking a young girl he is protecting.
  • A Manchester United football (soccer) fan club befriend Scotty and Cooper and after a night of partying the end up on their double decker bus on their way to a match. They are depicted as over the top soccer "hooligans" who are constantly instigating fights and being overly rowdy and aggressive throughout.
    Staff Aside
    It's played for laughs and is quite funny but still propagates negative stereotypes.
  • The friends get robbed and have to hitchhike to Berlin, but end up in Bratislava, Slovakia instead upon which Scott exclaims, "Dear sweet mother of God... we're in Eastern Europe!" But all is ok because their mere pocket change lets them live like royalty because, apparently, the country is so desperate and poor in this movie.
  • An Italian man squeezes to sit down between two of the guys on the train interrupting their comfortable foursome seating car arrangement. He then inappropriately touches everyone in scenes played for laughs all the while apologizing by saying "scusi" every time they complain.
  • A narrating Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) rants that he's "been to prison once, I’ve been married twice. I was once drafted by Lyndon Johnson and had to live in sh*t-ass Mexico for 2 1/2 years for no reason. I’ve had my eye socket punched in, a kidney taken out and I got a bone-chip in my ankle that’s never gonna heal. I’ve seen some pretty sh*tty situations in my life, but nothing has ever sucked more ass than this!" as he talks about how much he hates being a mall Santa.
  • Bridget Joness Diary (2001)
    Pamela (Gemma Jones) scorns the Japanese as a "very cruel race" when telling Bridget (Renée Zellweger) a potential suitor who just separated from his Japanese wife is now single.
  • Office Space (1999) | Making Fun of Foreign Names
    One of the efficiency consultant "Bobs" says, "We're going to be getting rid of these people here. First, Mr. Samir Naga, Naga, Naga, not gonna work here anymore" when talking about firing Samir Nagheenanajar.
    Staff Aside
    It's a funny satirical joke at the time but still stereotypical despite the consultants being depicted as idiotic foils firing their best workers while promoting the worst. To make up for it though, they also make fun of a very, very "American culture" name where Michael Bolton tells the same consultants to just call him Mike because his name is the same as the famous singer he dislikes.
  • The Big Lebowski (1998)
    The Dude laments that a "Chinaman" stole his rug literally right out from under him due to an unfortunate mix up with another Jeff Lebowski. His friend Walter initially scolded him for using the term, but then used the term himself moments later.
  • Pulp Fiction (1994) | Foreigners Depicted Negatively
    Ringo (Tim Roth) tells Yolanda (Amanda Plummer) it's pointless to rob liquor stores anymore because "too many foreigners own liquor stores. Vietnamese, Koreans, they don't even speak f*cking English. You tell 'em 'empty out the register' [and] they don't know what the f*ck you're talking about." He continues "and if it's not the gooks [a derogatory slang for people of Asian descent] it's these old f*cking Jews who've owned the store for 15 f*cking generations."
    Additional Tropes: Racial Biases & Stereotypes
  • Katy tries to find people to attend their large party and tells Tom all she could find were three foreign exchange students. The camera pans to people dressed inappropriately for a party including stereotypical attire for their country such as lederhosen
  • Sixteen Candles (1984) | Making Fun of Foreign Names
    Long Duk Dong is depicted as an absurd caricature of an Asian foreign exchange student attending school in the United States. As if his characters name itself isn't bad enough, a gong rings every time he appears on camera and his broken English is grotesquely overplayed.
    Staff Aside
    The character had a real-world impact. Many Asian-American teenage boys complained that peers called them "Donkers," among other culturally insensitive and racist taunting, for years after the film was released.
    Additional Tropes: Racial Biases & Stereotypes