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

Prince John: And why should the people listen to you?

Robin: Because, unlike some other Robin Hoods, I can speak with an English accent.

Crowd: (gasps)

'SF Debris: ...because Captain Picard is French, as you can tell by his British accent.
SF Debriss review of "Encounter at Farpoint"

When an actor decides not to bother putting on an accent, either because they can't pull it off without sounding silly or because they believe it'll hinder their ability to act.

Of course, if they are playing a character who is supposed to be speaking a different language than the one we hear, there is no particular reason for the actor to use the accent. By extension, averting the Queen's Latin is not (normally) an example of this trope, though it can certainly feel like it.

If this trope is averted, you're more or less dealing with someone with a Man of a Thousand Voices

Compare with Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping and What the Hell Is That Accent?.

Examples of Not Even Bothering with the Accent include:


  • One commercial for the language learning program Rosetta Stone shows people speaking foreign languages with the proper accent, but also showed a woman speaking Spanish in a very grating American accent.

Anime & Manga

  • Watch any anime not set in Japan in the original audio. No accents will even be attempted.
    • Except Sketchbook. Canada, Eh??
    • Zettai Karen Children too.
    • China in the Axis Powers Hetalia anime speaks with a (stereotypical) Chinese accent, aru.
    • Also, in the Rurouni Kenshin manga Enishi started out having a Chinese accent which was later mostly forgotten (apparently the mangaka found it too much of a hassle). But he still screams and groans in Chinese (that is, with Chinese characters).
    • And Taka-tin, in Gintama, who has a stereotypical "Westerner" accent.
    • Accidentally subverted in Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto. On the artificial island of Dejima, Nagasaki, some of the main characters stumble upon a stand-off between three Japanese thugs and two American gunmen. Complete with real American voice actors.
  • One Trinity Blood story arc is set in Albion, a post-apocalyptic version of Great Britain. In the English language dub, Vic Mignogna is the only one of the actors playing an Albion character who even attempts an British accent.
  • The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya may be an example; given that the show is not-quite-explicitly set in Nishinomiya, Japan, Kyon, Haruhi, and their classmates should be speaking with a Kansai Regional Accent. Of course, given the stereotype associated with such an accent, the absence is understandable.
    • Similarly, in Sketchbook only one character (Natsumi) tends to speak in Fukuoka-ben, even though the show is clearly set in the Fukuoka prefecture.
  • Particularly jarring in Anime like Code Geass, I's (pronounced "eyes") and Samurai Champloo, that are supposedly set in Japan, but They Just Didn't Care. So Mugen, that wanabe actress, and a Japanese terrorist/Freedom Fighter have American accents. In fact, this is so common that it even has it's own page, Anime Accent Absence.
    • Code Geass is all screwed up. The main character is from an alternate Universe Britain that's where the Americas are in the real world, attending a boarding school in Japan for people from his country yet they all speak with American Accents or Japanese depending on the version. It's implied they're speaking French too..
    • Samurai Champloo, on the other hand, is entirely based on Rule of Cool and thus doesn't give a shit.
  • In Gundam 00, the international cast of characters all of course speak perfect Japanese. However, even in the English dub, where Lockon could have easily been given his Irish accent, no accents were attempted.
    • Played with in the original Mobile Suit Gundam. When a pair of Zeon spies sneak onto the White Base, one of them says "Your Zeon accent's too strong. Let me do the talking." His companion's voice, of course, sounds completely normal.
  • Kimbley Yates makes a half-hearted attempt at giving Yomiko Readman an English accent in the first episode of the Read or Die OVA, but completely gives it up in the other episodes. It's kinda weird, since the other British characters all have accents (although most are very obviously fake).
  • Chad from Bleach, who spent about a decade in Mexico, speaks Spanish with a thick Japanese accent, his voice actor not even attempting a Mexican accent.
    • To be honest, it will be difficult for a Japanese VA (or any Japanese person in general) to speak with a Mexican accent without living in Mexico, since most of the Spanish-learning schools in Japan teach the European Spanish dialect rather than the Mexican (or Latin American) ones. And hearing Chad (or any Japanese VA or actor) speaking like a Spaniard could sound utterly ridiculous even for the Spaniards themselves.
  • The dub of the final episode of Fullmetal Alchemist actually contains an aversion, where the very German Karl Haushofer was portrayed with a German accent. Then The Movie was dubbed, and we get another aversion: his accent was dropped (hell, he was played by the same guy), and they didn't bother giving it to any of the other German characters. One of the characters did speak German, though, so...
    • Most likely because of Translation Convention. We're hearing them speak English when they're really speaking German throughout the entire series.
  • Pretty much every non-Japanese character in Love Hina. One shining example is Sarah MacDougall, an American girl. In one episode she's talking about dreams. She mentions she doesn't know the Japanese word for it, and says "dream" in English, but in a Japanese accent so thick you could spread it on bread.
  • In Hellsing, most of the characters have pretty believable English, German and Scottish accents except for the main character, Alucard, who has an ordinary (albeit, eloquent) American accent.
    • Averted when Alucard has a dream of back when he was still Dracula/"Vladycard". He speaks in a very believable Romanian accent.
    • Jan Valentine is supposed to speak like a typical English chav, but he and his brother are both without English accents.
    • In Brazil, no one had a correct accent except one of the more important characters.


  • Jean Claude Van Damme sports his natural accent even when it's not particularly appropriate for the character.
    • In Time Cop, he still has his accent, but it's noticeably thicker in his character's 1994 self than his 2004 self. It's a nice touch in an otherwise rather mediocre movie. This is lampshaded when his wife teases him about his accent/bad english, so it's reasonably justified.
    • In Universal Soldier his character was the son of French immigrants, and his accent is even brought up at one point.
    • Sudden Death is the most Egregious thanks to how close they came to justifying it; his character is Canadian, but rather than try to pass his Belgian accent off as Quebecois (not exact, but not too far off in comparison to his other roles), they gave him a very Anglophone name like Darren McCord.
      • That's actually an aversion, there's an unusual number of francophone Quebecois with ostensibly Anglo names due to a large number of Irish Orphans being shipped to Quebec for adoption after the Potato Famine. Legendary Canadiens & Avalanche goalie Patrick Roy is one such Francophone Irish-Canadian.
    • Averted (kind of) in Hard Target, since the character is a Ragin Cajun.
    • Particularly inexcusable in Street Fighter The Movie, in his role as the aggressively all-American soldier Guile.
  • The inappropriateness of Arnold Schwarzenegger's thick Austrian accent for his various roles as been lampshaded a few times:
    • In a deleted scene in Terminator 3, Schwarzenegger has a brief cameo as Master Sergent Candy, the soldier upon which the T-800 model is based. He has a Southern accent, which one of the officers in charge of the program doesn't like, prompting a computer geek with Arnold's real voice to note that they can "fix it."
    • In Last Action Hero, Danny tries to convince Slater (Schwarzenegger) that he's an action movie character by pointing out that he's got a heavy Austrian accent despite ostensibly being a native L.A. cop. Slater's response is, "Eggscent? Vat eggscent?"
    • In Commando, he Lampshades and handwaves it by mentioning growing up in East Germany to his daughter.
    • Happens in Kindergarten Cop as well. He mentions having grown up in Austria a couple of times. In order to maintain their cover, his partner claims to be his sister and mimics a pseudo Eastern European accent.
    • In Red Heat, he didn't play an American... he played a Russian so it's still an odd accent but many people probably didn't care or notice.
    • He lucked out in his Conan films, however. He had a fake nationality in a fake historical period so his accent fit.
    • In a Real Life inversion, Arnold regularly sees a vocal coach to keep his signature accent thick.
      • German-born American astronomer Willy Ley was playfully accused by his friends of purposely keeping his accent thick or even making it thicker over the course of his life.
      • Supposedly, Schwarzenegger offered to do the German dub of his character for one movie — and was rejected, because no one in Germany would take his character seriously if they had a thick Austrian accent.
  • George Clooney, to his credit, doesn't attempt a Massachusetts accent in The Perfect Storm. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, however, does an accent that is guaranteed to make viewers from Massachusetts cringe. Mark Wahlberg, a Massachusetts native, speaks with his natural accent.
    • Similarly, Wahlberg and Matt Damon speak with their natural, acceptable Massachusetts accents in The Departed, while other actors, especially Jack Nicholson, fail miserably. Note that some people still complained that Damon's accent was totally unconvincing.
      • That is not Matt Damon's natural accent. He grew up in Cambridge, not South Boston like his character in the movie did. Which is not to say his accent wasn't good, it's just not his real one.
  • John Malkovich in The Messenger. It's quite odd hearing the king of a country speak with a different accent from all his subjects, played mostly by actual Frenchmen.
    • John Malkovich also played Talleyrand in A&E's biography Napoleon without attempting an accent.
    • He has a thick French accent in Johnny English.
      • And then, ironically, he played Baron de Charlus in Time Regained speaking entirely in French (he lived in France at the time). In fact, as some reviewers noted, the halting style of a non-native French speaker adds realism to his portrayal of a near-senile Charlus late in the film, in the narrative's present.
    • He's also just about the only person in Eragon with an obviously American accent. Then again, that's the least of that film's problems.
    • And again in The Man In The Iron Mask, in which nobody had a French accent except for French-born Gerard Depardieu. Amusingly, Peter Sarsgaard was hired to play Malkovich's son in that movie — and his accent matches Malkovich's perfectly because both are from St. Louis and neither bothered with the accent.
  • The producers tried to have all the actors speak the same accent in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but considering that all four main actors spoke with different accents (Cantonese, Malaysian, Taiwanese, and Beijing-dialect), they decided to give it up as a bad job. The Chinese audience was not impressed.
  • Jack Lemmon in Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet.
  • After taking a lot of criticism for his phony Cockney in Mary Poppins, Dick Van Dyke completely dispensed with a British accent in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, despite the fact that his character's father and two children all had one.
    • And despite the fact that he'd played an upper-class Englishman in Mary Poppins, Mr. Dawes (Sr.), without receiving complaints.
    • Also from Mary Poppins: Ed Wynn didn't bother attempting an English accent in his one-scene appearance as Uncle Albert.
  • Sean Connery rarely dispenses with his Scottish Shcottish accent, despite playing a wide variety of ethnicities:
    • In The Untouchables his character is supposed to be Irish. When asked why he didn't attempt an Irish accent for the film, Connery reportedly said, "If I didn't talk like this, you wouldn't know who I am." (it was named "Worst Accent Ever" by a UK magazine)
    • In Highlander, Connery played a thousand-year-old Egyptian who identified as Spanish, spent a long time in Japan, and was now living in Scotland. He kept a straight Scottish accent. In this case, according to DVD commentary, Connery was cast in the role because the director thought the inappropriate accent would be uproariously funny. Other old immortals, such as Christopher Lambert's character, acquire a muddled accent due to living in so many places for so long. Though it's also notable that Lambert spoke virtually no English before he got the role.
      • Hilariously parodied by Scottish comedian Craig Ferguson.

 "I love Sean Connery, I love all his films, the only one that I take exception with is Highlander. It's a film about the Immortal Scottish Warrior, featuring Sean Connery. Now when they cast Sean Connery in Highlander they decided that he should play, a SPANIARD!"

    • In The Hunt for Red October, Connery plays a (Soviet) Lithuanian submarine captain. He speaks both Russian and English with more or less his standard Scottish accent.
    • In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Connery played the father of the red-blooded American Harrison Ford. Connery's character was an immigrant, and, according to The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Indy has his mother's accent.
      • Even that doesn't quite explain a guy with a Scottish accent and a Welsh last name. Perhaps Jones Sr's father was a Welshman who moved to Scotland. Those Jones' sure don't let the grass grow under their feet.
      • Jones is a very common surname in the UK and indeed the whole Anglosphere — that is like asking someone to explain that "that guy with an American accent and a British last name who became President."
    • In The Wind and the Lion, Connery plays a Berber chieftain with his usual accent; this was roundly mocked on an in-episode movie parody of SCTV, "How The Middle East Was Won," in which Eugene Levy as Shawn Connorie as The Mufti utters the line: "I'm the bluidy Mufti. Awa' wi' ye."
    • Actually, Connery has spoken on this. The reason he refuses to drop the accent is because he feels it would lessen/cheapen his loyalty to his home country of Scotland.
      • Which totally isn't him Ret-Conning an explanation to go with his political aspirations
      • Including Scottish people from his local region complaining that his accent's actually affected and doesn't sound as local as he likes to claim.
    • Also in Darby O Gill and The Little People
  • Tony Curtis, in The Black Shield Of Falworth, didn't even try to hide his pronounced Bronx accent. It's particularly jarring because the rest of the cast at least tried to sound British.
    • Ditto in The Vikings, and double-ditto in Son of Ali Baba, with the infamous line "Yondah lies the palace of my fahdah."
  • The Last Temptation of Christ was widely mocked for various characters sporting jarring accents, especially Harvey Keitel's Brooklyn-accented Judas. His line, "You're a Joo killing Joos!" is a particular offender.
    • These objections seem arcane in light of the fact that no one speaking English is going to sound authentic when set in this time period.
  • Edward G. Robinson was notoriously miscast in The Ten Commandments as the villain Dathan, whom he played in his usual New York gangster style.
    • "Where's your messiah now, see?"
    • It should be noted that he may have been the only actual Jew cast as a Hebrew in the entire movie.
  • In The Greatest Story Ever Told, John Wayne who doesn't bother with an accent even though he only has one line: "Truly, this man was the Son of Gawd."
  • As noted in the page quote, Robin Hood films often sport characters without proper accents:
    • The latest version is no exception while most of the actors try. Allan Doyle never sounds like anything other than a Newfie.
    • In Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Mike McShane did apparently make a significant effort to pick up an authentic Nottinghamshire accent, but was told to play an Irish-accented priest instead. Kevin Costner doesn't even try for an English accent. His Robin Hood is all Midwestern U.S.
    • In The Adventures of Robin Hood, Friar Tuck is played by Eugene Pallette, whose American accent is somehow less jarring than most of these characters tend to be.
    • In Disney's 1973 Talking Animal version of Robin Hood, some of the characters are played by British actors, while others are played by American actors with strong Southern accents such as Pat Buttram and George Lindsay.
    • Parodied in an Eddie Izzard bit, saying it's been done so often that if an actual British Robin Hood showed up, no one would accept him. "You don't have the authentic Nottingham twang!"
    • Assuming that Robin Hood actually lived at the same time as King Richard the Lionhearted (1157-1199), he would've spoken an early form of "Middle English", which looked something like this: Forrþrihht anan se time comm þatt ure Drihhtin wollde ben borenn i þiss middellærd forr all mannkinne nede.... And to our modern ears, Robin Hood's 12th-century "accent" would've probably sounded much closer to the Swedish Chef than to any dialect of British English that exists in the 21st century!
      • If he spoke English at all. As a nobleman, Robin's first language would have been Anglo-Norman French, an impressively harsh language that probably sounded nothing at all like modern French, much less English; Costner, for example, could have affected a Normandy or Channel Islands accent to have at least a hint of authenticity, but considering Translation Convention, it was probably far more trouble than it was worth. (The real accent, being closer to the Normans' Scandinavian roots, probably would have sounded vaguely Icelandic or Scandinavian with a hint of Irish.)
      • Actually, minor nobles at this point were usually bilingual- it was common practice for Norman knights to marry daughters of the English families that they had deposed, in order to smooth over the claims of future generations. Even if they had Norman mothers, their nannies would be English. (Oddly enough, it was the royalty- with international marriages and domestic staff- that were the last of the new order to take up English.)
  • Hannibal Lecter's accent never gets nailed down and seems to be based purely on the actor's whim.
    • Brian Cox plays the character with a Scottish accent in Manhunter.
    • Anthony Hopkins slips in an out of various accents in his films starting with The Silence of the Lambs. He said he based the voice on a cross between Truman Capote and Katherine Hepburn. In Hannibal, the character's background is revealed to be Lithuanian, which is never even hinted in his speech.
    • Hannibal Rising actually puts Lecter in Lithuania, but he's played by French actor Gaspard Ulliel, speaking with his native French accent.
  • Matthew Broderick in Ladyhawke, set in medieval France, used a harsh Brooklyn accent. Most of the rest of the cast are British and use British accents. The romantic leads are Californian Michelle Pfeiffer and Dutch Rutger Hauer, both speaking impeccable generic upper-class American English.
  • Michael Caine is notable for always coming up with semi-plausible rationales for using his natural accent, no matter how inappropriate it might seem at first.
    • Batman Begins: While the character Alfred is usually thought of as having an upper-class English accent, Michael Caine decided that Alfred's sense of duty and loyalty towards Bruce Wayne reminded him of the comradeship that exists in the military, so he based the character's voice on that of a colonel he knew when he was in the army as an 18-year-old. Ultimately, his accent is more or less identical to his natural Cockney accent.
      • In On Deadly Ground, Caine only seems to attempt being American for about a third of every line of dialogue he speaks. He is acting opposite Steven Seagal, though, so he still somehow manages to come off as convincing.
    • In The Swarm, he plays an American scientist. Caine doesn't bother with the accent, but surprisingly, the movie does bother to justify the accent, as dialogue indicates that Caine's character is a naturalized U.S. citizen.
      • Although as many reviewers have pointed out, that is the least implausibility in that movie.
  • And as for Get Carter, where a major plot point — that Carter is returning to his native Newcastle to avenge his dead brother — is completely lost, because for a Geordie, Michael Caine's character has a incredibly good cockney accent. Maybe he lived so long in London that he went native... for a long time, a Headscratcher involved exactly why such an obviously Cockney gangster would drop everything and head for the other end of England, foreign turf to him, seemingly on a moment's whim — and know his way around so well when he got there.
  • In the Leprechaun series of horror films, Warwick Davis is fairly physically convincing as one of the Little People, yet his presumed Irish accent is practically nonexistent. He only seems to attempt it at brief moments, and even when he does, it's utterly unconvincing.
  • While Clark Gable consented to shaving off his trademark mustache to play the British Fletcher Christian in the film Mutiny on the Bounty, he made no effort to hide his American accent. Additionally, Gable makes no attempt to adopt a Southern accent in his portrayal of Charlestonian Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind.
    • Also in Gone with the Wind, Leslie Howard, who plays the utterly Southern Ashley Wilkes, makes no effort to hide his English accent. This was more acceptable back then.
  • The famous swashbuckler Errol Flynn, an Australian who spoke the Queen's English, starred in a few westerns, such as Dodge City (1939) and They Died With Their Boots On (1941), wherein he played George Armstrong Custer. Wow. He nonetheless always looked and sounded like Errol Flynn. His accent was hand waved in his first cowboy picture, Dodge City, where the character was referred to as an Irishman. They never bothered with any of his (many) westerns after that.
  • In the Canadian movie (TV movie?) Handels Last Chance, about a German composer in 18th century Dublin, only one person sounds Irish; the rest all sound Canadian (or possibly American, but not Irish).
  • Robert Redford as a supposedly English expatriate in Out of Africa.
  • Intentionally done in the movie Young Frankenstein. The story takes place in Transylvania, which is in Romania, but the "starring" Transylvanian characters speak with German or vaguely British accents, much like the old Universal films. This might be justified by the fact that parts of Transylvania were settled by German speakers.
  • Justified in The Incredible Hulk 2008 film. Rather than have the British Tim Roth attempt a Russian accent, they make Emil Blonsky born in Russia, but raised in Britain, and a Royal Marine instead of a KGB agent.
    • Similarly averted in Lie to Me. Rather than have Tim do an American accent (which, if you've seen Reservoir Dogs...), the writers made his character British and let him keep his natural accent.
  • Pierce Brosnan seems to have largely given up doing fake accents (for instance his Irish accented Americans in Laws of Attraction and Mamma Mia!). Somewhat ironic considering his most famous role had him speak in a British accent.
    • Not necessarily; his recent turn in the Robert Pattinson film Remember Me had him attempting a Brooklyn accent. Somewhat justified given that he has to act alongside Pattinson, another Brit attempting such an accent.
  • There is only one man who could pull off a Cockney Henry VIII. And a Cockney Beowulf.
  • Scottish actor Billy Boyd used his normal accent in The Lord of the Rings as Pippin Took. The director explains on the audio commentary that they tried to have him speak with an English accent, but it ruined his comedic timing. It turns out that the Took family already has a Scottish cast to it. Their name is pronounced to sound Scottish, the head of their family holds the Scottish title "Thain," and a famous ancestor invented the Scottish sport of golf.
    • A lot of people are convinced Gimli sounded scottish. He was played by a Welsh actor who, most of the time, didn't bother sounding anything other than Welsh.
  • In the movie Taken Liam Neeson plays an ex-CIA operative living in the States, with his nice Irish brogue completely intact.
    • Neeson again in K19: The Widowmaker, this time playing a Russian naval officer. Considering the spotty Russian accents being attempted by most of his castmates, he probably made the wisest decision.
      • He's said in interviews that he often has a very hard time shedding his accent, and usually needs an accent coach throughout filming. Irish accents are notoriously difficult to shed, and it's rare that he doesn't slip up at least a little.
  • Valkyrie is like this. It seems that all Germans speak with British accents, except Tom Cruise, who sounds like he always does. Hitler (David Bamber) is rather hard to recognize by voice and attitude alone, though it's late in the war, and he's probably running short on his usual bravado. Director Bryan Singer wanted the actors to use their natural accents. If they attempted a German accent, people would pay more attention to that and the accent's quality than what the characters were saying.
  • Everyone in Enemy at the Gates. Apparently Russians are Brits and Nazis are Americans (though at least Ed Harris mutes his natural Jersey accent). Made even more jarring by the fact that some of the secondary characters actually do have proper accents--some of the background Nazis and Sacha's mother.
    • To add a layer of irony, the actress playing Sacha's mother — and thus, symbolically, Mother Russia, kind of — is German.
  • The Man in the Iron Mask. Some character sport Just a Stupid Accent with more or less success, while Leonardo DiCaprio doesn't seem to even try while playing the King of France. Gerard Depardieu's actual French accent puts the lie to everyone else, though.
  • In 300, Gerard Butler uses his natural Scottish accent for Leonidas and Rodrigo Santoro uses his Brazilian accent for Xerxes. The rest of the Spartans are British-accented (including Australian David Wenham), while the other Persians seem to do a generic foreign accent.
  • In The Sound of Music, all the children used what Charmian Carr called a "Mid-Atlantic" (read: mild British (unless you ARE British, or didn't learn American English first, whereas read 'vaguely American)) accent. Richard Hadyn used his own accent, as did Christopher Plummer (a Canadian) and Julie Andrews (British, of course). Eleanor Parker, an American, adopted a very upper-class East Coast Prep-type accent that sounded vaguely British.
  • The 2004 version of The Phantom of the Opera (set in Paris). With the exceptions of Miranda Richardson and Minnie Driver, who put on painfully silly French and Italian (Spanish?) accents respectively, everyone just goes with whatever English/American/Scottish/etc. accent they've got.
    • Note that in the stage version, the character played by Minnie Driver (Carlotta) and her love interest Piangi, always put on ridiculously exaggerated Italian accents.
  • Although the entirety of the 1933 film Queen Christina is set in Sweden, Greta Garbo is the only one with a Swedish accent.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: George Hearn as Sweeney Todd never much bothered with the London accent. Johnny Depp in the movie, conversely, sounds exactly like he always sounds when he's from England: slurred and batshit crazy.
    • Ironically, when Johny Depp is from New York, he sounds much more high-class british.
  • The film Alexander, Alexander the Great has an Irish accent as do many of his generals. The filmmakers did this on purpose, as Alexander was Macedonian, which at the time were considered much more rural and uncivilized than their Greek neighbors, and hypothesized that they sounded more like Celts, so they decided an Irish accent would be more realistic than anything else. On the other hand, Angelina Jolie affects an "exotic foreigner" accent.
  • Cary Grant plays a French army captain in I Was a Male War Bride. He sounds exactly like Cary Grant.
  • Siegfried and Shtarker in the 2008 movie Get Smart — in sharp contrast to the way the characters are portrayed in the series (Bernie Kopell, the original Siegfried, has a brief yet wonderful cameo in the film).
  • Justified, sort of, in Toys: Michael Gambon, as a crazy American general, has a British accent. He complains that because he spent his childhood at a British military school and ended up absorbing the accent there. Which is odd, because Gambon is quite capable of using an American accent when he wants to.
  • John Wayne as Genghis Khan in The Conqueror.

 "Yer beautiful in yer wrath."

  • Many characters in Casablanca, although perhaps British actor Claude Rains as the French Captain Louis Renault is most noticeable.
  • The accents, or lack thereof, in the X-Men Cinematic Universe are jarring, considering how over-the-top everyone's accent is portrayed in the comic books, to the point of parody.
    • Patrick Stewart keeps his English accent when playing Prof. Charles Xavier, though Xavier is supposed to be an upper-class New Yorker. In the novelization, this is rather weakly explained by Xavier having gone to Oxford (something which does occur in the prequel X-Men: First Class). To be fair, the upper-class New York accent can get confused for a very faint English accent.
      • James McAvoy then copied Stewart as Xavier in First Class, by speaking in an English accent instead of his natural Scottish.
    • Ian McKellen didn't play Magneto with a pronounced Polish accent, but he did modify his natural English accent. McKellen was aiming for a kind of Mid-Atlantic sound, which Magneto might have developed after spending most of his adult life in America.
    • Halle Berry's attempt at an African accent, which sounds like Just a Stupid Accent, proved very unpopular and was ditched for the sequels.
    • Rogue's Southern accent in the first film is also ditched in the sequels.
    • In X-Men: The Last Stand, Colossus (Russian) and Pyro (originally Australian) don't bother with the accent.
    • In X Men Origins: Wolverine, Taylor Kitsch's Cajun accent as Gambit is impossibly faint, and it seems like he doesn't even bother for most lines.
  • In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale: Nobody tried, it was just a mish-mash of different accents. Jason Statham seemed very out of place in this movie, and it wasn't just because he was the only actor with an accent that MIGHT resemble the correct one.
    • If we're bringing up Uwe Boll films, we have to mention Til Schweiger in Far Cry: following in the noble footsteps of Schwarzenegger and Van Damme, he makes no attempt to hide his German accent while playing an American soldier. The Rampaging Boll even added a line acknowledging it, which just made the movie that much worse than it was already was.
    • To be fair, the movie does take place in a fantasy kingdom. Just because we're used to fantasy settings emulating Medieval England doesn't mean all the characters have to have British accents.
      • American accents are too 'new' and just don't sound right in a fantasy setting.
      • Hilariously, linguists now think that American accents have older features than British accents, and are thus more similar to how people in Britain would have sounded before the Americas were colonised.
        • Simple example: If London English were non-rhotic (the way it is today) when the spelling system started to solidify then we wouldn't spell nearly so many things with Rs.
  • In-Universe example: In Inglourious Basterds, when infiltrating the Nazi-filled cinema as an Italian, Aldo speaks what little Italian he actually knows in his heavy Southern accent. His other men at least try. Hans Landa, who already knows that they're impostors, toys with them by speaking Italian back to them and asking them to repeat themselves multiple times so he can "get the accent right."
    • Earlier, also in-universe, a British operative is found out partly because a German SS officer couldn't recognize his accent, prompting him to scrutinize the Brit further until he made a clearer mistake, giving himself away.
  • Swedish wrestler Tor Johnson played Inspector Daniel Clay in Plan 9 from Outer Space... with his own Swedish accent, naturally.
  • In Mary Reilly, in contrast to Julia Roberts' rather unconvincing Irish accent and Glenn Close's good British one, John Malkovich playing Dr Jekyll doesn't even bother to do an accent so of course he appears slightly out of place. Well he puts on a vague attempt at an Irish accent in a dream sequence.
  • Ewan McGregor was forced into the trope for A Life Less Ordinary. He was originally going to play an American character, until director Danny Boyle heard him attempt the accent and told him, "You are playing a Scotsman." He must have worked on it later, because he uses an American accent in The Island, and he did a decent Southern accent in Big Fish.
  • James Mason always kept his regular (and awesome) accent, no matter what character he played. This is most jarring in Bigger Than Life, where he portrays an all-American dad who was a star (American) football player in high school.
    • The same with Cary Grant, whose accent is the textbook definition of Mid-Atlantic. (He did a decent Cockney accent in Sylvia Scarlett, however)
    • Vincent Price was kind of similar, although American born rather than British-born. Because of his old money lineage, his accent was also he Mid-Atlantic, half-British/half-American accent, which he used for every role.
  • Sometimes Anthony Hopkins attempts to sound like an American, but does it halfheartedly. In All the King's Men he initially tried to put on a southern accent and later seemed to eschew it completely.
  • In The Devil's Rejects, Otis seems to lack even a vestigial Southern accent, and even enunciates more than any normal person does. Somehow, the effect is actually more disturbing than if he'd talked like a good ol' boy.
  • In Mother of Tears, Asia Argento plays an American...with an Italian accent. Justified because Everything Sounds Sexier With An Italian Accent.
  • Batman and Robin decides to make Barbara/Batgirl Alfred's niece from England instead of Gordon's daughter from Gotham but Alicia Silverstone doesn't even try to do an accent. An odd case because this trope could have been avoided altogether if they had just stuck with the comic book version (or at least have Barbara be native, there's no reason she couldn't have moved to America as a kid).
    • Ironically, Silverstone herself, while American-born, is the child of two British immigrants. So she really didn't have any excuse.
  • Spencer Tracy in the 1941 version of The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thankfully does not attempt a British accent.
  • In Léon: The Professional, Jean Reno's character is explicitly referred to as "The Italian Lion," despite the fact that Reno is a Frenchman of Spanish decent. Without this one line, Reno's character could simply have remained ambiguously French. This is particularly odd for a Luc Besson movie, as he often goes out of his way to put French characters in his English-language films.
  • My Best Friend Is a Vampire is set in Texas, but nobody in the entire cast affected a Texan accent.
    • Not familiar with the movie, but depending on how urban the setting is, it may be Truth in Television. Urban accents tend to be quite a bit more muted than rural accents in the same area of the country.
  • Sean Bean is noted for showing us how many fantastic characters (Boromir, Odysseus, Zeus) were really from Sheffield.
    • This actually pays off in the Sharpe TV series, the character is supposed to be from London, but the author of the books it was adapted it from liked Sean Bean's portrayal so much, he retconned it so to provide an excuse for the Yorkshire accent
    • Which is not to say he can't do a foreign accent.
  • Sir Alec Guinness as the Arab Prince Feisal in Lawrence of Arabia.
    • In the DVD making of documentary it stated he was actually copying co-star Omar Sharif's real refined Egyptian accent.[1]
  • Volunteers. Tom Hanks' accent bounces between a bad uppercrust Boston accent to Hanks' normal voice.
  • Sam Worthington just uses his normal Australian accent (which is pretty broad-sounding) for Clash of the Titans. However, taking into account the movie's use of The Queen's Latin, and Perseus' upbringing as a backwater fisherman, this actually makes sense.
    • Mads Mikkelsen (of Casino Royale fame) doesn't bother to cover up his Danish accent, even though he's supposed to be the captain of the guard in Argos.
  • The once-lost 1965 film Incubus was written and performed entirely in Esperanto. The then-unknown William Shatner spoke Esperanto with a thick French accent. Which only makes sense at all when you remember he grew up in Quebec.
  • The Manchurian Candidate is a bit of a complex example. Laurence Harvey certainly sounds like he's not trying to sound like an American, but on the DVD commentary, director John Frankenheimer said that Harvey was coached to put on an American accent and he thought it was very convincing. He also claimed that he felt Kennedy's Bahston accent would justify any English-ness in Harvey's voice, so I guess he just had a tin ear for accents. Harvey's accent is all the more jarring in that his character is supposed to be an all-American war hero, though it does help emphasize his unlikeable qualities. The other English actor on the project, Angela Lansbury, sounds exactly the same as in any other role. It's especially apparent when Lansbury and Harvey are in the same scene.
  • Director John Woo often prefers that his actors keep their accents, which can be somewhat distracting; one of his most recent (and jarring) examples is Red Cliff, where the very Taiwanese Chang Chen played Sun Quan.
  • Amadeus used an American cast using their natural accents so that American audiences wouldn't be distracted by fake German accents or The Queen's Latin. British audiences disliked the decision, apparently expecting citizens of the Holy Roman Empire to have English accents.
  • Joe Dallesandro, in Paul Morrissey's epic duology Flesh For Frankenstein and Blood For Dracula. In both, he plays European peasants. In both, his accent is straight outta Brooklyn. ("Dat Count Dracula is no good to anybody an' he nevah wuz!")
  • The Final takes place in Texas, yet Marc Donato makes little effort to hide his Canadian accent, dropping several "aboots" over the course of the film.
  • Striking Distance gave us Dennis Farina with his pronounced Chicago accent and Bruce Willis, Tom Sizemore and Robert Pastorelli with their equally obvious New York City accents. Problem was, they were playing characters that were born and raised in Pittsburgh.
  • The Spiderwick Chronicles had British actors Freddie Highmore, Joan Plowright and Freddie Highmore. Freddie at least tried doing an American accent, though he slips at times. Though the actress playing the younger version of her character had an American accent, Joan used her actual accent. I guess insane asylums turn you British.
  • The Harry Potter movies. The Weasley family live in Devon but none of them have an accent from that area. Every member seems to have a different accent because they're played by actors from all over England.
    • Nor does Luna or her father Xenophilius, who live across the hill from the Weasleys. Luna has an Irish accent, and Xenophilius (played by Welsh actor Rhys Ifans) does too, for some reason.
  • Justified in Iron Man 2 where Natalie Rushman AKA Black Widow spoke with an American accent instead of a Russian, due to the fact she can speak several languages, AND is an undercover S.H.I.E.L.D agent.
  • The 51st State averts the trope, by and large; Corrupt Cop Virgil Kane is played by Sean Pertwee sounding like Sean Pertwee, but is explicitly an expatriate Cockney. The only character whose accent doesn't quite ring true is Dawn, but her character has apparently been living and working abroad for many years, and Emily Mortimer at least tries.
  • Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman don't really bother to modify their American accents in Season of the Witch. While it sounds a little jarring to some, there's nothing objectively wrong (or unusual) about this — they're playing 14th century Europeans anyway, so any modern-day accent would have been technically incorrect. That said, the director's baffling decision to make all the main characters speak with American accents, even the ones played by British actors (i.e. most of the cast), struck some European viewers as... odd.
  • The Latin American Spanish dub of the movie The Cisco Kid have one of the most painful examples of this trope: Since the movie was dubbed in Spanish in Chile, all the characters (regardless their nationality or ethnic origin) speaks using Chilean Spanish. The catch? Almost the whole movie take place in Mexico, and maybe the biggest offender is Benito Juarez, an historical character. (played by the Hispanic (of Mexican origin) actor, Luis Valdez). The real-life Juarez was a Native Mexican who spoke Spanish with a Native accent. In the Chilean Spanish dub, he speaks Spanish with a thick Chilean accent and none of the Chilean voice actors bothered to speak using a Mexican accent, instead of a Chilean one. It's more than obvious that the distributors of this movie in Latin America thought Chilean Spanish sounds the same as Mexican Spanish
  • There's an American TV movie about Simon Bolivar, and it was dubbed in Spanish too. The main problem of that dub is the movie was dubbed in Mexico with Mexican voice actors and Simon Bolivar was Venezuelan.
  • Katharine Hepburn didn't bother with the accent throughout the majority of her career, voicing all of her characters in her own distinctive New England accent.
  • The actresses who portrayed the twin sisters in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter were British. Only one of them even bothers with attempting an American accent.
  • In the movie versions of Vilhelm Moberg's Emigrants Suite some of the actors use a Småland accent while others don't. The director left it up to each actor to decide whether or not they wanted to use one.
  • A review of The Mask of Zorro cracked that it would be easy for the enemies of the first Zorro (Anthony Hopkins) to figure out who he was, because he's the only one in Old California with a British (Welsh) accent!
  • Channing Tatum uses his very Southern accent to play the Midwesterner Duke Hauser in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Let's just say that people from St. Louis do not sound like that at all.
  • High Spirits, set in Ireland, has Peter O'Toole, complete with very English accent.
  • Robert De Niro usually makes little effort at hiding his New York accent,making it somewhat odd to hear Spanish Rodrigo Mendoza in The Mission sound like he is from the Bronx.
  • No one except for Gary Oldman's Father Solomon and his two (presumably African) guards attempts anything other than an American accent in Red Riding Hood, despite the movie taking place presumably somewhere in medieval Europe
  • In John Ford's The Informer, most of the actors attempt Irish accents (some better than others), but several barely make any effort at all, only changing some minor consonant sounds.
  • No one in How to Train Your Dragon bothers with a Scandinavian accent, even though everyone there is a Viking. All adults sound Scottish and all kids are American. Apparently, this was intentional on Gerard Butler's part, as he re-recorded several of his lines because they "didn't sound Scottish enough". In order to make sure all other speaking adults sounded the same, he invited other Scottish actors to take part in the film, including his friend Craig Ferguson, Ashley Jensen, and everybody's favorite Doctor David Tennant.
    • Possibly (slightly) justified in that the island settlement of Berk was inspired by the Outer Hebrides and a good portion of West coast Scots are descended from Norse settlers.
  • The 1941 UK propaganda-movie Pimpernel Smith (a war time version of The Scarlet Pimpernel) has all the actors playing Germans and Nazis speaking with regional UK accents, in fact not even not even bothering with the accent, but not even bothering with inflections or anything else. It can be quite confusing at times.
  • In Silk (2007), Michael Pitt's character is supposed to be French and from the 19th century, but he just basically keeps his American (Jersey) accent. What makes it weirder is that his English co-stars Keira Knightley and Alfred Molina put on American accents too.
  • When a German Emanuelle movie was dubbed into English, characters from North Germany were voiced by actors from North England; characters from West Germany were voiced by actors from West England etc. It made it easier for the Aidience to get a feel for the characters.
  • The Muppets (at least the main characters) in A Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island. Of course, Kermit putting on a British accent would sound like Steve Whitmire putting on a British accent, and stop sounding like Kermit.
  • In Far And Away, Tom Cruise gives up on his 'Irish' accent halfway through the film. With no explanation.
  • In the 1957 film of Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution (the first), a story set in Britain and acted by an otherwise British cast, Tyrone Power plays the defendant, Leonard Vole, with his own American accent, making it rather awkward when he uses terms and turns of phrase that are clearly British.
  • Sam Worthington portrays possibly the only New York cop with an Australian accent in Man On A Ledge. The same film also has an Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping case with Kyra Sedgwick, who badly attempts a Bronx accent.
  • Ratatouille: the French rats and Linguini are American-sounding; Anton Ego the critic, British.
  • Most films of the Disney Animated Canon fall victim to this, being set in various different countries across different time periods yet always sounding like modern dialogue.
    • In The Lion King, all the African lions have American accents, except Scar, who sounds as British as his voice actor Jeremy Irons. Rowan Atkinson also retains his British accent as Zazu.
    • Aladdin takes place in the Middle East. Every single character except for three sound American: the storyteller at the beginning actually sounds vaguely Arabic, and Jafar and the Sultan are both British (though Jafar more so.) Actually, a lot of Disney villains have British accents...
    • Every voice actor in Disney's version of Beauty and the Beast uses their own American accent, except Jerry Orbach as Lumiere and Kimmy Robertson as Babette. Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts also sounds somewhat English.
    • Though The Hunchback of Notre Dame takes place in Paris, no one has a French accent.

Live-Action TV

  • In the semi-dramatised British documentary series Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial, every German character is played with an English accent. Fritz Sauckel is even played with a mild Scouse accent.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "Day of the Moon", Rory poses as a Secret Service Agent to the Apollo 11 scientists. He lets Nixon do the talking through the scene until Rory accidentally breaks part of the Lunar Lander model on the table. He then feebly tries to cover it up by saying in his regular accent "America...salutes you!" and walking away.
  • William Petersen in CSI uses his own Chicago accent for the California-originating Gil Grissom.
  • Australian actress Phoebe Tonkin fails at sounding even vaguely American in The Secret Circle pilot. Her accent appears to improve as the series goes on.
  • Dennis Franz also sounded more Chicago than Brooklyn on NYPD Blue.
  • Julian Sands in Season 5 of 24 used an English accent to play someone from the Caucasus, which led to him being described as the Englishman by Sky's audio description.
    • Glasgow native Robert Carlyle puts on a generic Irish accent in 24: Redemption, even though his character is supposed to have been in the Special Forces together with Jack Bauer and is presumably American. This prompted complaints about his unexplained 'Glaswegian accent' from American viewers.
  • Star Trek:
    • Khan Noonien Singh from Star Trek: The Original Series is from somewhere in northern India, but speaks in Ricardo Montalban's actual Mexican accent.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation
      • Jean-Luc Picard is played by Patrick Stewart, a Brit, even though Picard is from the French countryside. He doesn't seem to modify his accent for the role; on the rare occasions when he uses French terms, however, his accent is impeccable. Whenever his relatives appear, they also speak with English accents (or Scottish in the case of his brother) — except for a vision he has of his mother in the first season, who speaks with a French accent. Though the show does offer the explanation that the French language is largely dead by the 24th century.
      • Commander Worf was raised (and presumably, taught English) by a heavily-accented Belarusian couple, yet has a pretty vanilla American accent. Possibly justified if he grew up in America, as children adopt the accent of their native country and not of their parents.
  • Memorably Averted in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy when Stewart plays KGB mastermind Karla. He doesn't speak. At all.
  • Something of a subversion occurs in the extremely short-lived British sitcom Heil Honey I'm Home!, which features Hitler living next door to an annoying Jewish couple and pretends to be a long-lost American TV show. Hitler speaks with an American accent, as does everyone else, except for Neville Chamberlain.
    • It's also sort of a legitimate use of the trope, as Hitler and the neighbor have the worst fake American accents ever. Debate stands as to whether this was intentional.
  • On Lost, Croatian Mira Furlan plays Danielle Rousseau, who is ostensibly French. She uses her own accent. Fans have questioned this numerous times, and the producers joke about it often in interviews and podcasts. Presumably this is just a quirk of casting and doesn't mean anything.
    • Lampshaded in a video made for the Consumer Electronics Show: "Things which don't make any sense. Polar bears, monsters, a French woman with an Eastern-European accent."
    • To give the producers credit, they honestly try to get the British accents correct. Australian accents? Not so much.
    • The situation with Danielle is complicated further when we see a younger version of her, portrayed with a French accent.
      • It could be explained that she simply lost it, as she never spoke to anyone in 16 years before the first series. Then again, Fridge Brilliance could fall into play when you realise that Rousseau never actually stated she was French, only that she was part of a French expedition. As she was awaiting rescue, it makes sense that she'd write her notes and maps in French, as well the sending out a distress signal in that language. It was these things that lead to the main characters starting to call her the French Woman. As was demonstrated when she interrogated Sayid, she speaks several languages fluently.
  • Furlan also spoke with her native Croatian accent as the Minbari Ambassador Delenn in Babylon 5. Most other Minbari had either American or British accents. Dukhat (Reiner Schone), Lenonn (Theodore Bikel) and Sech Turval (Turhan Bey) all used their actors' native accents (German, Yiddish and Austrian, respectively).
    • Susan Ivanova is Russian, but is played by Claudia Christian, who speaks with her natural American accent.
  • In Burn Notice, Jeffrey Donovan speaks with the same upper-middle-class North Shore accent he uses in every other work he's in, despite his character having been born and raised in Miami. One episode lampshades this when he has to fake a Boston accent and does it horribly, and another in which Fiona's brother comments on his terrible American accent. The Irish accent Gabrielle Anwar (who is English) attempted in the pilot was so bad that subsequent episodes, except when she's talking to her brother, have her faking an American accent "to fit in"... and sounding just like an English woman faking an American accent, which is at least closer to an Irish woman faking an American accent than her Irish accent to an Irish woman speaking normally.
  • David O'Hara in The Tudors, who managed a convincing Irish accent in Braveheart and a rather less convincing American accent in Wanted, plays the Earl of Surrey, one of the foremost nobles in England, with apparently little effort being made to hide his moderately strong Glaswegian accent (the Earl had a notoriously foul temper so maybe they decided they wanted a Violent Glaswegian).
  • In addition to the Eddie Izzard bit involving Robin Hood, he fails miserably at attempting a serviceable imitation of John F. Kennedy during his Dressed to Kill special, and instead substitutes his James Mason impression. The same voice he gives God (if only because God's real voice is "a bit weird").
    • Izzard has only two impersonations: James Mason and Sean Connery. He's lampshaded this on occasion, as when he plays Henry VIII as Connery: "Oh, that's a much better name. Church of England. Although I am Scottish myself." or the above JFK as Mason: "People of Berlin, I have come to you to tell you something about the American states. I sound a bit like God, don't I?"
    • Additionally, in his bit about Pavlov's dogs/cats, he starts with what is presumably supposed to be a Russian accent, but loses it. "Day 3, rang bigger bell, dog ate more food. Very exciting, very exciting, have become Welsh."
  • Accents varied widely among the cast of The Dukes of Hazzard. The producer claimed at one point that if the Dukes had truly authentic accents for that part of the Deep South, they'd be unintelligible to most of the television audience.
  • In the Hercules/Xenaverse, the only person who ever attempted a European accent was Michael Hurst as Iolaus, which he dropped at some point. Despite the fact that half the cast was Kiwi, it seemed easier to make everyone sound American.
  • In Sliders, the US colonel Angus Rickman (Roger Daltrey) speaks with an English accent that the actor didn't even try to cover.
  • From Angel: Holtz, played by the American Keith Szarabajka, uses his own accent for the role.
  • The short-lived series The Wizard, starring the late David Rappaport. The story involved Rappaport's character encountering a girl who'd been raised by wolves and didn't speak English. He tried to teach her to say "girl," but in his English RP accent it sounded like "gell." Yet after hearing "gell, gell" repeatedly, she replied "girl" in perfect American diction.
  • In-Universe example: There's a...intern...student...guy on Bones with a thick Middle Eastern accent and mannerisms, and at one point Bones questions why he has a Jordanian accent when he's from Iran. Turns out he's faking the accent so people won't question how he reconciles being a strict Muslim with being a scientist, and the moment where he finally loses it is actually quite funny.
  • Little-remembered British police drama Van Der Valk was set in Amsterdam. Knowing the supply of actors in the UK capable of a convincing Dutch accent was likely to be very small, the producers subverted the trope by having the cast use various British accents appropriate to the intended audience's conception of how a particular character should sound. Your Mileage May Vary, but it had to be better than the only other likely outcome.
  • Power Rangers has been filmed in New Zealand since Power Rangers Ninja Storm, 2003. They're usually good about faking the accents, but the actor who played Xander didn't even bother hiding his Aussie accent. The rest of the actors do bother, they just fail hilariously on occasion.
    • And eventually they just said Xander was from Australia to excuse the accent.
    • Previously There was Grant Macfarland on Power Rangers Ninja Storm who apparently said "Ah, screw it" when trying to cover up his New Zealand accent and the sizable Canadian talent on Power Rangers SPD speaking in their normal accents.
    • In Power Rangers Samurai the majority of the children seem to speak with a kiwi accent despite The show not taking place in New Zealand This is made even more obvious with the actors who play young Jayden and antonio who make no attempt to hide their Kiwi accent despite the current actors for Jayden and Antonio not speaking with one.
  • The players on Whose Line Is It Anyway? are notorious for their inability to consistently fake accents, sometimes slipping into entirely different ones mid-game (as well as lampshading it when it happens). On one occasion, Ryan's character declared from the start that he isn't going to try to fake the appropriate accent.
  • In the main cast of Young Blades, all of the actors speak with their normal American or Canadian accents — which works fine, as they're supposed to be speaking French anyway — except for Robert Sheehan (Irish faking an American accent) and Sheena Easton (faking, for no discernible reason, an English accent). Guest stars tend to use their own accents as well (except for some terrible fake British accents for Charles II and Oliver Cromwell), which does sometimes stick out, most noticeably when Charles Shaughnessy, using his normal English accent, plays the father of one of the main characters.
  • In Dollhouse, one of the bigger problems with Eliza Dushku is that her accent, when she speaks Russian, sounds like Aldo Raine's.
  • Merlin: Katie McGrath, playing a noblewoman of Camelot, speaks in her native Irish accent.
  • In Shortland Street, when Li Mei leaves China for the first time, she speaks fluent English with a New Zealand accent.
  • All in The Family featured Rob Reiner playing a Polish-American from Chicago; he made no attempt to sound like anything other than a guy from New York.
  • Perennial favorite foreign stuntman/actor Mark Musashi (Cutie Honey: The Live, Garo, Sh15uya) makes no attempts to mask the fact that Japanese isn't his first language. He doesn't roll his 'r's, he puts inflictions in all the wrong places, and his mouth movements are all wrong. There's a reason he's usually cast as foreigners and mythical beings.
  • Christopher Walken's rendition on "The Three Little Pigs."

  Walken: In his most polite voice, Wolfie says..."Little piggy, little piggy... [lowers his voice] little piggy, little piggy...let me come in." [high-pitched] "No!" [normal voice] says the little pig, who knows a wolf when he sees one. [still normal voice] "Not by the hair on my chinny-chin chin."

  • The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne had Chris Demetral playing the title character with an American accent... mainly because (as he stated in a web chat shortly after Sci Fi picked up the series) his attempts at a French accent sounded too much like Pepe LePew.
  • In Frasier, Roz (Peri Gilpin) is repeatedly stated to be from Wisconsin. However, she clearly speaks in Gilpin's natural Texan drawl.
  • On Roseanne, Irish actor Glenn Quinn actually does do a fair job giving Illinois native Mark Healey a decent accent. However, later in the series, more and more of his brogue very noticeably slips through the cracks
  • The supposedly Israeli Ari Frankel, who makes one appearance on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has no trace of an Israeli accent. This may be part of Hollywood's (and the media in general's) infuriating belief that Israel is made up of Ashkenazi Jews from Brooklyn rather than, say, Middle Easterners.
  • Many of the African-American actors on Da Vincis Inquest sound entirely American rather than sounding like they are from Vancouver, where the show is both filmed and set. Of course, the high number of black actors on the show and in the police force in particular is already a major headscratcher for Vancouver.
  • Lafayette on True Blood. Everyone else on the show that should logically have one at least attempts a southern accent. Lafayette doesn't even bother. His Camp Gay qualities help make this somewhat less noticable.
  • Averted in Mexican telenovelas or soap operas, where non-Mexican actors/actresses must fake a Mexican accent to appear on-screen. Especially jarring with some Argentinean actors/actresses when they have moments of Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping, considering how different an Argentinean accent sounds compared to a Mexican accent; even non-Spanish speakers can tell the difference pretty easily.
  • Played stratight in Venezuelan telenovelas or soap operas, where foreign actors — especially when they are the protagonists — speak with their natural accents, even if they're not foreign. This is usually barely Handwaved, if it's explained at all.
  • In Zen, based on the Aurelio Zen mystery series about an Italian policeman, the cast has a variety of accents. There's some Italian actors and actresses speaking English with an accent, some British actors and actresses attempting Italian accented English, and in the majority of cases (including the lead), British actors Not Even Bothering with the Accent.
  • One of the complaints about Telemundo's soap operas is that every actor keeps speaking in their own accent, which becomes especially jarring when people with accents as different as Puerto Rican, Cuban, Venezuelan and Argentinian were cast as members of the same family. The network contested by forcing their actors to adopt the stereotypical Mexican Pseudo-Neutral Soapie Accent, with the consequences that many actuations become hindered, and the thing sounded even more ridiculous due to Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping.
  • Selena Gomez doesn't even try a New York accent for Wizards of Waverly Place.
  • On Heroes, Claire doesn't seem to have a Texas accent despite apparently living there for most of her life. Same with her brother and everyone at her school.
    • Actually, Claire does have a faint Texan accent in early episodes.
  • In Gossip Girl most of the characters' lack of accents is justified due to them being Upper Class. However the Middle Class Brooklyn based Humphreys don't have any accents.
  • Happens in-universe on Glee: for the performance of West Side Story, Rory is given a part as one of the Sharks. The Puerto Rican Sharks. The ensuing hilarity is immediately lampshaded by one of the audience members.
  • In the otherwise perfectly acceptable Hungarian dub of Allo Allo, a show famous for using heavy accents as a means of Translation Convention, Agent Crabtree and the occasional other British under-cover agents are the only characters who retained their strong, fake French accent and "special" speech pattern. The gypsy man who appeared for a sole scene also talked with a forced accent. Everybody else, the French, the Germans, the Brits and the Italians all talked like their voice actors did in their everyday lives.
  • Larry Hagman, a native Texan, was the only member of the Dallas cast to not have an accent issue. While Linda Gray, Steve Kanaly and (while he was alive) Jim Davis made out well, Patrick Duffy sometimes forgets to use what little accent he did, and Victoria Principal and Ken Kercheval didn't bother at all (which may make sense for dramatic purposes since their characters are Barneses rather than Ewings, but isn't explained in the show at all).
  • Chibs from Sons Of Anarchy is supposed to be Northern Irish, despite Tommy Flanagan playing him with his natural Glaswegian accent. This was later retconned into Chibs having been born in Northern Ireland but grown up in Scotland, and then returning to Northern Ireland to join the IRA. However, throughout the series, they make no mention of him having grown up in Scotland, nor do they refer to Belfast as being in Northern Ireland (they always say Ireland, as in Southern Ireland), so it's assumed by many that the makers Did Not Do the Research, or more worryingly, thought that Americans wouldn't notice.
  • Kochanski in Red Dwarf as played by Chloe Annett, who took over the role from Clare Grogan. Grogan had a Scottish accent, and Annett had an English accent — despite Annett's Kochanski saying she was "brought up in the trendiest part of Glasgow". (Possibly explainable by her also attending Cyberschool, a virtual-reality boarding school.)
  • In Stargate SG-1, Cliff Simon portrays Ba'al (the Goa'uld System Lord) using his natural South African accent; the other System Lords for the most part speak in English or American accents.
  • Sophia Petrillo in Golden Girls and nearly all of her Italian relatives do not speak with Italian accents, except for one: her cousin Antonio. Rose doesn't have a Minnesota accent either, despite the fact that other people from Minnesota visit and have heavy accents.
  • There are a couple of offenders in the Showtime miniseries of Anne Rice's The Feast Of All Saints. To get the effect of French Creole characters living in antebellum Louisiana, the cast speak English peppered with French with French accents. There's plenty of Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping among the cast, but Nicole Lyn and Peter Gallagher noticeably don't even try.
  • Lampshaded in That Mitchell and Webb Look. A sketch depicting the origin of the KKK's uniform has General Beauregard and Harlan the tailor speaking the the actors' natural British accents. After Beauregard leaves, Harlan's wife appears and speaks in a horribly over done Southern accent, whereupon Harlan looks at her condescendingly and says "I though we agreed we're not doing the accents."
    • This is the standard Mitchell and Webb procedure: Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz, Abraham, God, St Mark, American government officials, the Chancellor of the Great Galactic Endeavour of Vectron, the SS, and Christopher Columbus were all apparently from Wiltshire.
  • Colin Hanks on The Good Guys, Colin Hanks plays Texan police detective Jack Bailey. He still sounds straight out of California. Granted, he plays a character who is supposed to seem kind of out of place in Texas. Diana-Maria Riva also uses a midwestern accent (she is an Ohio native in real life), but also seems out of place in Dallas.
  • Justified in the first two seasons of The Good Place, where Translator Microbes are at work to make everything come out in the speaker's native tongue, but played straight in Season 3 where, despite said Microbes being gone, everyone still speaks in perfect English, despite Chidi once saying his native tongue was French.


  • The Human League's 'Taverner Tape' is a demo tape with commentary from Jason Taverner, club owner and recording artist who recommends the band highly, mentioning that they played on his album 'We're Having A Good Time With Taverner tonight'. Taverner is a fictional character designed to make record companies interested, his parts are performed by Phil Oakey, who doesn't bother changing his accent (however, he does attempt to make it sound slightly deeper than usual). Compare Oakey's spoken intro to the Fast Version of 'Circus Of Death' to the Taverner interludes. Of course, at this time, it's unlikely record companies would have noticed.

Professional Wrestling

  • White South African heel Colonel De Beers sounds very American and not at all South African (his real name is Ed Wiskoski, and he's actually from Portland, Oregon).
  • Ezekiel Jackson was originally said to be from Harlem when in actuality he's from South America. When he was moved to ECW and actually began talking, WWE realized that no one was going to buy it, so they started announcing him from South America.
  • A slight aversion, Kofi Kingston, who is African but has an American accent, did have a believable Jamaican accent when he was announced as being from there. Then in September 2009, they decided to drop it without explanation and begin announcing him as being from Ghana, West Africa. He dropped the accent on RAW with no explanation, though Triple H did lampshade it seconds later. Oddly enough, he still uses the Jamaican theme.
    • And is still named "Kingston" (as opposed to "Kumasi," or something similar).
  • Carlos Rodrigo Cabrera and Hugo Savinovich, the famous (or infamous) members of the Spanish Announcers Table always speak in their own accents (Colombian and Ecuatorian Spanish respectively) which can be grating for non-South American, non-Hispanic audiences, like Mexicans (when they're nicknamed, at least in Mexico, "Those Two Cuban Announcers from the WWE")


  • Ray Ellington's roles on The Goon Show would occasionally feature him playing a native-born Scotsman or a female secretary. Ray Ellington had the kind of voice where you'd be almost certain he was black even without the (for the time) good-natured jokes about it.
  • Kenneth Horne in Round the Horne played every part in his own accent, a fact often lampshaded in the script.


  • An example of an inversion of the Trope: In the film Monster In a Box, Spaulding Gray, a New England native, relates how critics attacked him for not being able to maintain a New England accent during his stage performance of Our Town.
  • William Shakespeare's plays are set in ancient Greece and Rome, Renaissance Italy, Denmark, Scotland, and medieval England. Nobody ever worries about the accents during a performance.
    • This was spoofed in an episode of Boy Meets World when the class staged Hamlet. Stewart Minkis got the title role (which Corey Matthews finds outrageous), and throughout rehearsals he tries various ill-advised strategies to make the character more "authentic." First he remarks that since Hamlet is a Dane, perhaps he should use a Scandinavian accent — and he then launches into the most stereotypical Swedish accent imaginable ("Oh, yah, yah!"). Then he reflects that Elizabethan English had some affinities with the dialects of rural Appalachia — so he starts talking like a character on The Beverly Hillbillies.

Video Games

  • In Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, Carlos speaks with a strangely generic American voice, despite the fact that he's supposed to come from South America. It sounds even odder when he calls Jill "chica" in his American voice.
    • Same with the second act of Resident Evil 3 Nemesis.
    • Jessica from Revelations also has an American accent, despite being European.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 3, all of the "Russian" characters, with the exception of Granin and Nikita Kruschev, speak with flawless American accents, except for Sokolov, who speaks with Belgian accent. Lampshaded when Sokolov remarks that Snake has "excellent Russian". The player is meant to assume that we're hearing Russian translated into American English/Japanese/whatever (although it was originally intended that Snake and Sokolov actually speak Russian).
    • In MGS4, you fight a variety of soldiers from various different countries. All of them except Vamp and Crying Wolf speak with American accents. This includes the British ones who'd presumably speak English anyway. The unseen PMC announcers and advert narrators are slightly more diverse.
      • It's probably justified at least with the French PMC Pieuvre Armament: A gameshow seen in the loading screen for MGS 4 claimed that the amount of soldiers enlisted in the PMC is the size of a combination of Canada and Mexico, and given the real-life statistics of the population in France, likewise implies (if the statistic wasn't an error by the creators) that the PMC was only based in France, and that not all of the PMC troops are French.
    • Liquid is shown in Metal Gear Solid to have a stereotypical English accent, with occasional slips. In Metal Gear Solid 4, his new VA plays him with an American accent. The Reveal is that he's only Ocelot pretending to be Liquid, which makes this something of an In-Universe example as well.
    • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker had Paz, when unveiling her true colors, speaking with a distinctly Russian accent, despite the briefing tapes implying that she was raised in America, and the only foreign race she was descended from was Latino. Similarly, Cat Taber gave Cecile Cosima Caminades a pretty terrible French accent.
    • In Portable Ops, practically everyone has an American accent, including characters with non-American voice actors (most of the enemies are Soviets), although Sokolov is an exception.
  • In Fallout 3, Malcolm McDowell portrays President John Henry Eden, who claims to have been brought up in rural Kentucky. At times, he seems to be trying to fake some sort of American accent, but most of the time he sounds like, well, Malcolm McDowell. Also, the player character's father, voiced by Liam Neeson (who, as has been remarked upon elsewhere, doesn't really do accents).
  • Half-Life 2 takes place in post-apocalyptic Eastern Europe, but only three characters have an accent that isn't North American, and two of them are British.
    • Justified in that it is mentioned the Combine frequently relocate people around the world.
  • In Freelancer, with the exception of a few major characters in the story missions, none of the Rhinelanders, Kusari, or Bretonians speak with the accent of their home country. Most notably the main character, Trent, who is ostensibly Bretonian, but does not share his foster father Tobias' notable British accent.
  • Characters such as Lancer and Saber in the English dub of Fate/stay night are noticeably lacking the accents an English-speaking audience would expect, given their countries of origin. Of course, this is doubly justified: the Irish and British accents of Cú Chulainn or King Arthur's time would be completely different from modern ones, and the dub was already bad enough without poorly faked accents.
  • Assassin's Creed: nearly all of the Crusades-era characters have vaguely Middle Eastern accents except for the main character, Altaïr, who speaks as American as apple pie (since he is actually his descendant reliving his Genetic Memories). Lucy, the technician working on the Animus, says that she can restore all the accents and write it as Old English, but she doesn't because it would be like reading Chaucer.
    • The Assassin's Creed Revelations version of Altaïr does speak with a middle eastern accent. This could be due to the Animus 2.0
    • The sequels, which take place in Renaissance Italy, feature plenty of accents, as well as Gratuitous Italian. Except everybody speaks with the same generic accent and the same dialect, no matter which part of Italy they're from. This is also the result of the Animus 2.0 making some adjustments to memories.
  • Parodied in Grand Theft Auto IV with the movie "Dragon Brain" set in medieval times which features "...a humble blacksmith, with a California accent".
  • In the Tekken series, several (though not all) of the English-speaking characters from countries other than America speak with American accents. For example: Nina and Anna (Irish), Leo (German), Marduk (Australian), and so on. This was initially subverted with Lei, until Tekken 6, where his Chinese accent suddenly became American.
  • In the English dub of Street Fighter IV and Super Street Fighter IV, only the European characters (Cammy, Vega, Rose, Abel and Zangief), El Fuerte (Mexican) and Dee Jay (Jamaican) have accents that aren't American. Most of them are accurate except Abel, who can't decide what accent he has.
  • In the first two Rainbow Six games, the player characters, regardless of nationality, all have American accents.
  • Tomi Undergallows in Neverwinter Nights comes from a place named Calimshan, which had a Vizier named Sabbalan Vihayed. So how does he talk? With an appalling accent that has exactly zero points of similarity with the accent of anyone from the Middle East. (It bears a few similarities to bad Cockney, and saying that is an insult to bad Cockney)
  • In Dragon Age, Ferelden and Tevinter Humans generally have English (sounding) accents, but it's by no means consistent. Notably, both Wynne and Flemeth have American/Canadian accents. Flemeth may be from the fade or just from another, long extinct society given that she might be hundreds of years old. Wynne had an American accent long before she encountered a fade spirit of her own.
    • The Dwarves use a variety of American accents, but who has what one seems to be entirely random. Both Dwarf origins have the PC's family and peers, and no two of them sound like they're from the same area. Oghren has a vaguely western/Texas twang, and a couple of minor quest-givers have New York accents.
    • The Dalish (nomadic) elves appear to have American accents in the first game but adopt primarily Welsh and Irish accents in the second, even a character who was present in the first game. The city elves have American accents in both, except for some in the sequel who are of Dalish origin.
    • Most Antivan characters have Spanish accents. Taliesen, however, uses Gideon Emery's natural English accent. A few in the sequel have Italian accents as well.
    • Sebastian Vael from the Exiled Prince DLC in Dragon Age II appears to be the only character from Starkhaven to have a Scottish accent. The voice actor, Alec Newman, used the same accent for one of the Dalish elves, where it seems equally out of place.
  • The voice actress who plays Flora in the English dubs of the Professor Layton games resolutely refuses to even try to attempt an English accent. This is annoying not only because the character grew up secluded in an entirely English-accented society (so why on earth does she sounds so different?), but also every other voice actor, except in the EU dubs, are American, and they at least give the accents a jolly good whack.
    • Just to confuse one further: Flora's voice actress is Lani Minella, who voices Luke and every other woman in the series. Well, the weird part is that she also voices Claire in Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, whose accent, while not perfect by any means, is quite pleasant.
  • The intro movie for Civilization 5 is about an Arabic chieftain describing a dream to his son. For some reason, these Arabic nomads speak with heavy English accents.
    • The developers do a good job having civilization leaders speak in their native language and even found voice actors for the job. Except ancient leaders really shouldn't be speaking modern-day versions of their languages.
  • The Light Gun Game Endgame takes place in England and Europe, but the characters all have American accents. Obviously, They Just Didn't Care, as the rest of the game was pretty sloppy as well.
  • In most cases this trope is averted in the Sly Cooper series, but special mention goes to Inspector Carmelita Fox. In the first game she has a very mild but not unnoticeable Hispanic accent. Her voice actor changed in the second game, and apparently she either didn't get the memo about the accent or simply couldn't do it, because it's completely gone in that game. Oddly enough, her voice actor changed again in the third game, and not only did she get the accent back, but it also became even more pronounced than it was in the first game.
  • In the Syphon Filter series, Lian Xing, despite being Chinese-born, has an American accent in all her appearances.
  • In Mass Effect, despite claiming to be born and raised in London, David Anderson speaks in Keith David's American accent.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • On the 1980s Alvin and The Chipmunks version, there seems to be no effort to give The Chipettes an Australian accent (though, to be fair it wasn't until the show's third season that it's revealed they're from Down Under).
  • In Gargoyles, the gargoyles are originally from 10th century Scotland. Only Hudson has a (modern) Scottish accent, the others sound American except Demona, who sounds English. The Avalon gargoyles grew up on a magically isolated island where the only three people they could have learned to speak from all have Scottish accents. They also sound American.
    • Special mention is deserved by the just awful accent Demona puts on when she pretends to be French. Her accent (and her pronunciation of French words) is a more a caricature than an honest effort. A first-year French-language student could do better.
  • In An American Tail, Fievel and his sister Tanya sport American accents before they even immigrate from Russia to America.
  • The Road to El Dorado: the two main characters, Miguel and Tulio, despite ostensibly being Spaniards, have British and American accents respectivley. Everyone else, meanwhile, has American accents, including the South American inhabitants of the city yet undiscovered by Europeans (except Tzekel-Kan, whose accent it also British) and famed Spanish explorer Cortes.
  • George Carlin provided excellent accents for the Scottish Twins when he narrated the American dubs of Thomas the Tank Engine. Alec Baldwin, on the other hand, didn't even try.
    • Also becomes extremely evident in later season where all of the characters are now voiced by individual actors: All of the humans in the show now have British accents, but so are only half of the mechanical characters (particularly Gordon, James, Emily, the Scottish twins, Murdoch, Spencer, Duncan, and Diesel 10). The rest of the mechanical characters (such as Thomas himself, among others) primarily have American accents.
  • In Taz-Mania almost nobody has an Australian accent. (Bushwacker Bob, his Mum, Mr Thickley, and possibly Constance — although some might say she sounded more English, due to her being voiced by English actress Rosalyn Landor. Everyone else was American.)
  • Neither Cody nor Mac Leach sound anything like Australians in The Rescuers Down Under.
  • Used as a joke on Sealab 2021. Captain Shanks simply drops his southern drawl in one episode. When asked why by Stormy, he says the accent made him sound gay.
    • And then the stereotypically gay character drops his accent. He actually sounds like a pirate.
  • In X-Men: Evolution, Toad, one of the members of The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, is portrayed in this series as an American teenager who is frequently the Chew Toy. Surprisingly in the comics and the first X-Men Movie his nationality is British.
    • Thought at the same time, it could easily be mistaken for a Western Yorkshire accent, which does sound similar to Toad's accent (Even some of his sliang is used in that area), and it never actually said what part of Britain Toad is from. He could easily be from Manchester or Leeds, in which case the accent would fit to some extent.
  • Miko Nakadai of Transformers Prime is voiced by Indonesian actress Tania Gunadi using her natural accent, despite being a Japanese exchange student.
  • The Hungarian dub of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic dropped Applejack's accent entirely, because one, almost every other aspect of the dub is equally sloppy anyway, and two (also the more likely reason), it would have been far too easy to make the character sound stupid if the actress had to forced an accent.
  • Inverted in American Dad!. Patrick Stewart not only voices Deputy Director Avery Bullock with a British accent, he deliberately plays up his own British accent which is especially ridiculous considering he hold a high ranking position in the CIA, an American federal institution. This is almost certainly intentional, and even gets a Lampshade Hanging when he notes he picked up some women with his "sexy accent".
  • Not one of the characters in Miraculous Ladybug, all of whom live in Paris, speak with a Parisian accent, all the actors in the English dub keeping their American accents. Even guest-actress Laura Marano kept her American accent when voicing an Italian singer.
  • Some characters in Wizards, set in 12th century England, have British accents. Others have their voice actors' natural American accents, despite the series taking place before America existed. The most egregious example is Stephanie Beatriz using her New York-based Rosa voice.
  • Despite TUGS very clearly being set in the United States of America, all the characters have accents from the show's native England.

  1. The reason the accent sounds so British is that Egyptians of Sharif's class and generation typically learned English quite young at British schools. Sharif himself, being the scion of a well-to-do family, attended Victoria College, Alexandria, which was expressly intended to be a sort of British Education System Eton of the Middle East and was staffed by British teachers.