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This idyllic Spanish town brought to you by Red Bull! By the way, this "town" is supposed to be Madrid

The Hollywood Atlas version of Iberian countries (mostly Spain with possible addition of elements from Portugal, Andorra, etc.).

You know, that place where all the women dress in tiered skirts, and all the males in chaqué, where the landscape consists of mountains, red dry hills and beaches, and every night (because there's siesta all day anyway) passionate Tall, Dark and Handsome toreadors with roses in their teeth escape from stampeding bulls while playing guitars, and equally passionate Spicy Latina gypsies with roses in their hair, daggers in their garters and fans in their hands throw oranges at them while dancing flamenco. ¡Olé!

If you don't know why this trope fails that much at Geography, you should know that the Running of the Bulls (celebrated on the week beginning the 7th of July on the day know as "San Fermín") is celebrated only in Pamplona. The "Feria de Abril" (April Fair) where women actually dress with tiered spotted skirts and men wear chaqués is celebrated only in Sevilla. The distance between those cities is over 600 miles. Yet in fiction, both seem to happen at the same time and place.

Additionally, the Running is often portrayed as featuring hundreds of bulls on a murderous stampede. In Real Life, though, there's generally no more than fifteen bulls, released in groups of four to six, and they're often surrounded by a larger crowd of people, including a group running around them to keep them following the right path. Bonus points if the work even decides to portray the correct path they follow, or simply has them rampaging through any of the city's streets freely.

Also, this Iberian country is always Spain. Portugal? What's a Portugal?

Toros Y Flamenco is one of the most popular origin countries for a Latin Lover.

See also Latin Land, which shares many elements with this trope, due to strong historical and cultural ties between Iberia and South American countries. Sometimes confused or amalgamated (by hack authors) with South of the Border into Spexico due to the same strong historical and cultural ties plus the similar climate.

Sometimes coincides with It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans, when a visit to Pamplona (or any other town in Iberia if the author is particularly lazy) is destined to happen exactly on the week of the Running of the Bulls.

In Real Life Spain this trope is known as Españolada.

Examples of Toros Y Flamenco include:


Anime & Manga

  • Surprisingly averted by Antonio aka Spain in Axis Powers Hetalia; while there is official art with him in a matador costume, the traditional stereotypes about the country are barely touched (he is still depicted as a siesta lover, though) and his personality is less of a Latin Lover and more of a Nice Guy.
    • However, in his drama CD released on December 8th 2010, the first verse mentions bullfighting and flamenco almost immediately.
  • Like every other national and ethnic stereotype, this trope is alive and well in G Gundam. "Now representing Neo Spain, Toro Matador Gundam!"
  • The Spain arc of Ashita no Nadja has Nadja working her ass off to learn how to dance Flamenco, befriending an embittered matador, attracting the ire of the matador's New Old Flame and also meeting up with Keith and mistaking him for his twin brother Francis in the Alhambra.
  • Spain team in Medabots; the medafighters are dressed as bullfighters and the Medabots are bulls!


  • Asterix in Spain plays with the trope. There are "aurochs" (bulls), and Asterix acts like a matador when he fights with one, but most of the setting is traditional roman cities, no much different than the ones in other comics. There is a band of gypsies and Obelix dances flamenco, however. Partly justified because Asterix is set in 50 B.C. (so it's not like making 21st century cities look like 18th century ones).
    • Doesn't excuse the fact there are gypsies "nomads" and flamenco hundreds of years before any of them arrived in Spain (but then again, this is Asterix we are talking about).
      • Strabo and Roman sources like Juvenal or Pliny actually talk about the puellae gaditanae, women from Gades (today's Cádiz) or otherwise in the Baetica who were famous for their dances two centuries BC, even using metal castanets (crusmata baetica). I kid you not.
  • See also this Daredevil comic in which the hero participates in an illegal bullfight with lions (so... lionfight?..)

Films — Live Action

  • There is a sequence taking place in this kind of Spain near the beginning of Mission Impossible 2, where they managed to mix the running of the bulls with Seville's Easter with the Fallas with about any other Spanish cliché.
  • Tom Cruise is doing it again in the upcoming Knight & Day, with running of the bulls scenes shot in scenic Cádiz, in the other extreme of the country.
    • It may have been shot in Cádiz, but the movie claimed it was Seville.
  • Parodied in the classic Spanish film ¡Bienvenido, Mr. Marshall!, in which the people of a small Castilian village decide to give themselves an Andalusian makeover in order to impress the Americans in charge of distributing Marshall Plan funds.
  • The surreal 1959 movie Thunder in the Sun has 19th century French Basques killing Indians in California with Cesta Punta and dancing Flamenco each night. It gets worse.
  • The 1956 adaptation of Around the World in 80 Days has a stop in a stereotypical Spanish town where Passepartout (played by Cantinflas) is forced to do precisely Toros Y Flamenco.
  • Featured as part of a Culture Equals Costume spoof of the United Nations' Security Council in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. The Spanish representative is seen conversing with a matador and a tonadillera, just like the Japanese is flanked by a sumo wrestler and a geisha and the British is seated next to a beefeater.
  • The 2001 Masterpiece Theatre version of The Merchant of Venice, and, likely, the Trevor Nunn stage production it was based on, has the Prince of Aragon show off with a flamenco dance step with fitting music to boot. Given that Aragon is in Northern Spain and has zero flamenco tradition, this was about as accurate as portraying someone from Alaska as a ten gallon hat-wearing cowboy.


  • P. Merimee's Carmen, especially the opera by Georges Bizet, is one of the oldest examples of this trope.
  • Tom Clancy and Dan Brown have also portrayed Spain as a third-world country in Balance of Power and Digital Fortress, respectively. Brown's case is even stranger because he supposedly spent some time living in Seville.
    • That's Dan Browned Up to Eleven...
      • Digital Fortress has someone falling down the stairs of the Giralda, the Seville cathedral's belfry. Said cathedral was originally a mosque, with the actual belfry being its minaret, and it was built to allow horses to climb to the top. So, there's not a single stair on there, as it's built on ramps.
    • Op-Center: Balance of Power (which wasn't really written by Clancy but by a ghost writer like the rest of the series) should be considered one of the most blatant examples of Critical Research Failure, as the ethnic scrappy Spaniards are constantly characterized with the worst stereotypes about Mexico, and the whole "ethnic tension" that serves as motiff of the book is said to rely on racial grounds with no linguistic or cultural differences whatsoever. The book goes as far as to claim that you can tell a Castilian apart of a Catalan because of his darker face.
  • In the play A Shot in the Dark, the Spanish chauffeur Miguel Ostos is described as a bullfighting fan and a passionate and jealous lover. Unfortunately, he's not in the play's Dramatis Personae because it's a murder mystery and he's the victim.
  • Turns up, complete with running of the bulls, in the Discworld novel Witches Abroad. Unfortunately the whole thing is misunderstood by the witches, and after the sight of a small blonde woman walking right through the crowd of bulls as though being trampled to death is something that happens to other people and taking the wreath off the lead bull, the townsfolk decide just to have a flower festival instead.

Live Action TV

  • There is a hilariously wrong episode of MacGyver set in the Basque Country (Spanish dub of the beginning here).
  • There is an episode of Full House where the oldest daughter tries to sell her father a trip to Spain, mariachi hat included.
  • Caroline in The City has an episode (called Caroline and the Bullfighter, so you know where this is going) where the main characters travel to Pamplona and, well, let's just say that every thing that follows is wrong.
  • The episode Barcelona, May 1917 of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. Curious case as it was written, directed and starred mostly by British people, and in turn features a lot of British stereotypes about Spain instead of American ones: paella, Cordobese hats, a duel at a bullring, a small jealous husband with moustache and an omnipresent bullfight tune every 5 minutes. Oh, and once the cheating is revealed to be a forgery, the small jealous husband decides to share a drink with the guy that he was going to kill a second before. ¡Fiesta!
  • An episode of Relic Hunter has Sydney and Nigel in a rush to meet a professor in a Spanish university because according to them, siesta time will begin in 20 minutes and then everything will stop working.
  • The Running of the Bulls is parodied in the Brass Eye episode "Animals" with the "Running of the Wasp", complete with footage of a crowd of people ostensibly running away from a wasp.

Tabletop Games

  • The James Bond 007 role-playing game module Goldfinger II - The Man With Midas Touch takes the heroes to Pamplona during the Running of the Bulls, where they are doused with pheremones that make them an irresistible target to the bulls and then dumped into the Running of the Bulls as part of a Death Trap.

Video Games

  • Vega's stage in Street Fighter 2 (and Vega himself, for that matter).
    • The catch? That stage is set in Barcelona, the least Toros Y Flamenco-esque city in Spain. Of course, you can easily find a tablao if you want to, but it's as representative of the city as ceili dancing.
  • Mike Tyson's Punch Out!!: The unforgettable Don Flamenco! Besides his name, this fighter: likes to comment about everyone's hair, thinks he's very beautiful, dances flamenco (some dance the game designers thought looks like flamenco, anyway) with a rose between his teeth and has a girlfriend named Carmen. Not to mention entrance music from Bizet's opera — specifically, "The Toreador Song". Wow, Nintendo.
  • Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup: The Spanish team members are dressed as bullfighters, their stadium is a bullring and they SCREAM!!!, not talk.
  • Then there's Running Against the Bull in Psychonauts which, in typical Tim Schafer absurdist style, combines this with tacky black velvet paintings, neon &... highschool gym class? Capped off with a Bullfight Boss battle, of course. The level is, however, not an actual place, but rather a representation of the mind of a Latin American former wrestler with a combination of OCD, chronic depression and deep-seated insecurity issues relating to an incident in high-school.
  • The Spanish team in Backyard Soccer is called Los Toritos.

Western Animation

  • Walt Disney's Ferdinand the Bull short. (And the book it was based on.)
  • In the Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers episode "When Mice Were Men", the Rangers travel to Spain, to a place named "Tramplonia" to be precise, to visit an old friend of Monty named Don Quijole. He tells them about an evil bull who stole all the other bulls to ruin the Running of the Bulls festival. The Rescue Rangers construct a mecha-toreador to defeat the evil bull. By the way, that's where the picture in this article is from.
  • In an episode of Jackie Chan Adventures, the bad guys tail Jackie to Pamplona, and end up getting caught up in the Running of the Bulls.
  • An episode of the classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon featured the Running of the Bulls... in Lisbon.
    • Which of course, looked like your stereotypical Spanish town, apart from the mentions of them being in Portugal.
  • One episode of Totally Spies had the spies going to Spain. Not only was Madrid placed MUCH higher on the map, the city seemed to have come out of the 19th century... oh yeah, and there were bulls, of course.