• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

This is when someone, usually The Ditz or the Cloudcuckoolander, is ignorant, confused, or ill-informed enough to lump "things that are well known to be real" in with "things that are made up." This is often applied to ethnic groups, but can also include historical characters, countries and animals.

A Sister Trope to Global Ignorance. Tangentially related to Flat Earth Atheist.

If fantastic creatures don't believe in mundane ones, then that's Faeries Don't Believe in Humans, Either.

Examples of Eskimos Aren't Real include:

Film - Animated

  • Megamind: "There is no Easter bunny, there is no tooth fairy, and there is no queen of England!"
  • Happy Feet 2: Will the Krill believes black holes are myths to keep people in the swarm.

Film - Live Action

  • The Film Crew: Kevin Murphy believes in many different fantasy lands, but claims that Spain is a myth.
  • The Muppets: "I think that's just an internet rumour. Like that there's a country called Turkey."
  • Somewhat averted in Look Who's Talking Too. Baby Mikey is sitting awake at night scared. He lists various things he's worried about, and that they aren't real. This includes monsters, ghosts, witches, and dinosaurs. He knows that one of them used to be real, but can't remember which. Justified, since he is a baby.


  • In more than one Daniel Pinkwater novel, as a throwaway joke, a character claims that Los Angeles does not exist.
  • In the book The Enormous Egg (wherein a New Hampshirian's chicken lays a dinosaur egg), one of Nate's friends says that dinosaurs never existed - some guys found some big bones and made up stories about them.
  • In the Piers Anthony story "Possible To Rue", a young boy's pleas for a pet pegasus leads his father to look the animal up in the encyclopedia and show that they're mythical. So are unicorns. To the father's astonishment, so are zebras, mules, and even horses, which he distinctly remembers placing bets on. It's implied that, by denying zebras are real to avoid having to buy one, the father has inadvertently begun erasing these creatures from the universe.

Live Action TV

  • In a Christmas Episode of The Middle, Brick explains that Eskimos know how to put a fire in an igloo, only for Axl to snap that back that Eskimos aren't real, but are made-up creatures like leprechauns.
  • There's a Bones episode involving the search for a rumored pirate treasure. Zack expresses surprise that Hodgins believes in pirates, and Hodgins snarks back that they're not Santa.
  • In the US version of The Office, Kevin thinks that mummies are fictitious monsters from the horror genre, and expresses surprise and fear when people tell him that they exist and there are some in a local museum.
  • Semi-example, Karen from Will and Grace about an ex-gay group:

 "Honey, this is a cult! Yeah! Like the Moonies or the homeless."

  • On an episode of How I Met Your Mother, Robin believed that the North Pole and reindeer were made up. This is especially weird considering where she's from.[1]
  • In Zoey 101, Michael tries to convince Chase that reindeer aren't real.
  • On Friends Joey and Chandler are both interested in a visiting Dutch woman. Chandler gets an edge by "guessing" that Dutch people come from somewhere near the Netherlands (the place they really come from). Joey responds, "Nice try. See, the Netherlands are this make-believe place where Peter Pan and Tinkerbell come from."
  • During an episode of My Name Is Earl, Randy tries to make a list of famous rich people he and his brother could borrow from, like The Beverly Hillbillies. Earl points out that they're fictional TV characters, "just like Richie Rich and Donald Trump".

Manga and Anime

  • It is revealed in the Christmas Episode of Azumanga Daioh that Tomo was under the impression that reindeer were completely fictional, and treats anyone who mentions them as though they had admitted to believing in Santa Claus.

New Media

Newspaper Comics

  • In Get Fuzzy, Bucky tries to tell Satchel that Hawaii is a myth perpetrated by the Liberal Media. When Rob informed him otherwise, he reacted with genuine surprise, "It is?? Then why the %*(# DON'T WE LIVE THERE?"

Video Games

  • In Team Fortress 2, the Soldier will declare that Scotland is not a real country, and thus the Scottish Demoman is actually "an Englishman in a dress".

Web Animation


 Grif: No, like a puma. It's a big cat, like a lion.

Sarge: You're making that up.

And later...

Sarge: (pointing at the front of the Warthog) Look, see these two two hooks? They look like tusks, and what kind of animal has tusks?

Grif: A walrus.

Sarge: Didn't I just tell you to stop making up animals?!


Web Comics

Western Animation


 Homer: Lisa, vampires are make-believe, just like elves, gremlins, and Eskimos.


 Wiggum: Everybody's heard of an angel, who ever heard of a "neanderthal?"

    • Combined with Girlfriend in Canada in another episode. At an ice-skating event, Moe insists that all figure skaters are gay. One of the skaters points out that this is a common misconception as he has a girlfriend in Vancouver, to which Moe retorts, "Made up girlfriend, made up city."
    • When Homer opens a bird watchers guide, he's surprised to learn that roadrunners are real.
  • In The Venture Brothers, "Ghosts Of The Sargasso" Hank speculates that if pirates are real, Santa and the Tooth Fairy could be real. Brock points out that no one said pirates weren't real.

 Hank: So you agree with me that this is impossible!


 Garfield: There's no such place as Wyoming. Think about it. Have you ever met anyone from Wyoming?

  • In Invader Zim, after Dib proves that "Chickenfoot" is a fraud.

 Reporter 1: I bet this means Bigfoot is a fraud too!

Reporter 2: And UFOs.

Reporter 1: And hobos.

Dib: No wait! Those are real! Except the hobos. Wait, no. They're real. I... I guess. But- what's wrong with you people!?!


Real Life

  • Surprisingly there's people out there that don't realize reindeer are real animals. Though obviously they don't really fly or have red noses, they can be and have been trained to pull sleds.
    • Some people are also unaware that a wolverine is a real animal, and not just an X-Men character.
      • Also, some people don't realize that narwhals are real, judging by the comments on this clip.
  • There are also people who believe that Tigons and Ligers are fictitious, and that photographs of them are actually fake.
  • Snipes are real. Well, there is a type of bird called a snipe. The thing you're sent hunting for might or might not be it, if it's anything at all.
  • Some people don't realize Tasmanian devils exist until they look it up.
  • An interesting effect is as follows: Something is depicted in fiction. Thus, people assume it isn't real. Tokyo neighborhood Nerima, for instance, does exist. However, because Ranma doesn't, some people think the neighborhood itself doesn't exist either.
  1. Although reindeer aren't native to Canada (you want Scandinavia or Siberia for that), the magnetic north pole is under the Canadian Northern Archipelago. The geographical North Pole is claimed by several countries including Canada, US, Norway, Sweden, and Russia.