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File:The country cousin 8216.jpg

A quiet character, from a rural location, commonly Arcadia, often found as a Fish Out of Water in the Big City. Frequently depicted as having an inherent superiority in morality, ethics or common sense compared to the people around her. Often used as an authorial voice to deliver An Aesop, or simply to provide a contrast to the "sophisticated" people with whom she lives or works.

On the first arrival at the city, may be dazzled by the luxury of city life. Welcome to the Big City or discovering the shallowness of the Life of the Party will soon cure her; in a single story, she will wisely head back to the countryside, or tragically die, trapped by disease, pregnancy, or despair, but in a continuing one, she will mature into the level-headed version.

The female Country Mouse often becomes the target of the Rich Bitch.

Frequently overlaps with Naive Newcomer.

Compare with City Mouse and The City vs. the Country when this is an actual plot.

Contrast Rich in Dollars, Poor In Sense.

This term and City Mouse derive from Aesop's Fables, making it Older Than Feudalism.

Examples of Country Mouse include:


Anime

  • Soah from the manhwa The Bride of the Water God, literally a country girl forced to live with the palace intrigues of both Habaek the Water God, and the Emperor's Court.
  • Hagumi of Honey and Clover is actually nicknamed "Nezumi" (mouse) by one of the other characters. While it is mostly a reflection of her artist's character that she cannot properly socialize in the university environs, her deficiency is made greater by her back-country origins, and despite prodigious talent and constant encouragement towards fame, she wants nothing more than to return to the countryside.
  • Sora in Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto ~Natsu no Sora~, although she adapts rather well to Tokyo.
  • Arika Yumemiya in Mai-Otome
  • To a smaller degree, Nana "Hachi" Komatsu from Nana.
  • Sakura Shinguuji in Sakura Taisen
  • Aurelia Hartwick from Victorian Romance Emma. She falls for the good-looking city boy, marries him, and relocates to London, where high society enjoys gossip at her expense.
  • Kanata Sorami from Sora no Woto.
  • Houki from Fushigi Yuugi, born to a very poor family from the country. Her gorgeous looks get her a place in Emperor Hotohori's harem, and then she becomes Hotohori's wife.

Comic Books

  • Alfi, Bavarian cousin of Rudi from the eponymous German comic.
  • Husk from Generation X had this as her nickname. Despite her best attempts at shedding the preconception of a Kentucky hillbilly (she suppressed her accent and was The Smart Girl of the team), her naivety was clear whenever the kids had an adventure in a big city.
  • Clark Kent, when he first arrives in Metropolis from Smallville.

Film

  • Crocodile Dundee. The first half has the City Mouse reporter in the wilds of Australia, while the second half has Country Mouse Dundee in the wilds of New York.
  • Joe Buck from Midnight Cowboy.
  • Many Frank Capra protagonists, most notably Longfellow Deeds from Mr. Deeds Goes to Town and Jefferson Smith from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
  • In Nothing Sacred, Hazel Flagg is flown from Warsaw, Vermont into New York City and becomes an overnight celebrity for suffering patiently with a rare terminal disease. But she knows she's not really dying, and she's perfectly healthy until she gets a bad hangover from overindulging in the city's nightlife.
  • The Jerk: Steve Martin's character was "born a poor black child" in the country, but moves to the city when he discovers white people music.

Literature

  • Beatrix Potter retold Aesop's fable as The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse. A country mouse is accidentally brought to the city, finds it too dangerous, and returns home; a city mouse visits him there, is frightened by the weather and prospect of a cow stepping on him, and returns home. Potter draws the Aesop that people like different things (and ignore different disadvantages).
  • Louisa May Alcott's novel An Old-Fashioned Girl has this as its basic premise. Poor country girl Polly Milton befriended wealthy city girl Fanny Shaw when the latter was visiting a mutual friend, and after several months of correspondence, goes to visit her friend in the city. During the two months of her visit, she Pollyannas the entire household.
  • Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar centres around Esther Greenwood and her failure to cope with New York City.
  • José Antonio from the Chilean novel Golondrina de Invierno ("Winter Swallow").
  • An element of Carrot's personality in Guards Guards, before he starts fitting into the city as if he was born to it, and also Imp in the first few scenes of Soul Music. Noticably absent on Granny Weatherwax's visits to the Great Wahoonie, since she assumes it's the city's job to fit round her, not the other way round.

Live Action TV

  • Kenneth the page from Thirty Rock.
  • Fred on Angel definitely qualifies.
  • Woody Boyd from Cheers, from rural Indiana.
  • Although being the engineer of a spaceship has broadened her quite a bit, there's still a fair amount of Country Mouse in Firefly's Kaylee.
    • In "Shindig" she attends a formal ball. At first, she's completely out of place. Eventually, she finds a crowd of engineers (or, at least, elite socialites with tinkering hobbies) and spends the rest of the ball talking engines with them.
    • Saffron appears to be this at first.
  • Gomer Pyle, of Gomer Pyle USMC.
  • Radar O'Reilly from M*A*S*H falls mostly into the "contrast" category, but was sometimes used as a straight-up innocent foil (most famously in the sixth-season episode "Fallen Idol").
  • Remember WENN had Betty Roberts of Elkhart, Indiana.
  • Penny from The Big Bang Theory, from Nebraska. The contrast here is not so much urban/rural as it is book smarts/street smarts.
  • Moon Jae In from the Korean Drama Bad Boy.
  • Perfect Strangers: Balki.
  • The Suite Life of Zack and Cody: Bailey Pickett.
  • Averted on CSI: NY. Lindsay is just as at home in the big city as she was in Montana.
  • Rose on The Golden Girls was one of these, coming from the fictional location of "St. Olaf."
  • Brent Spiner played Bob Wheeler, a regular guest character on Night Court who was basically this trope taken to a ridiculous extreme.

Music

  • Elton John's "Honky Cat" finds the singer warned by his relatives that "living in the city, boy, is gonna break your heart".
    • "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" finds the singer at the 'disillusioned by all the empty shallowness' part of one of these stories, and consequently more than a little bit bitter.

Mythology

  • Aesop recounted the story of a city mouse visiting a country mouse and scorning his life as simple, but when the country mouse went to the city, he found the rich dining his city friend bragged of was guarded by cats, and concluded that safety and simplicity in the country were best.

Video Games

  • Quina in Final Fantasy IX forms a definite contrast to the sophisticated princess Dagger, though s/he is played mostly for laughs
  • Mami in Breath of Fire IV. An innocent farm girl who momentarily took care of Fou-lu and promptly fell for him (and it's implied Fou-lu feels the same, although it's kinda hard to tell). Then things go horribly wrong. And how.
  • Nephenee from Fire Emblem 9/10 is a shy country girl who rarely speaks, mostly to hide her country accent.
    • Also the Dragon Riders Cormag and Glen from Fire Emblem the Sacred Stones. As children, they're taken in by the Grado military after they throw stones at the dogs surrounding Emperor Vigarde's carriage during a trip to the countryside.

Western Animation

  • The page picture is from the Silly Symphonies short The Country Cousin, featuring a literal country mouse.
  • Jerry becomes a literal Country Mouse in the big city in the short "Mouse in Manhattan".
  • Lila from Hey Arnold. Compare her to Rhonda, and you'll know she fits.
    • Stinky lacks the closer to Earth qualities but plays the country stereotypes much harder. He even lives in a simply little shack incongruously placed amidst tall brick buildings.
  • Max from Capitol Critters is is a literal example.
  • The "city and country mouse" were played by a pair of wolf cousins in Tex Avery's Little Rural Riding Hood.
  • Princess Sissi is a plucky farm girl who is chosen to be the bride of Prince Franz, bringing her down-to-earth upbringing to the palace and their politics.
  • An oldish kid's TV show, Country Mouse & City Mouse.
  • Pocahontas in Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World.
  • Korra of The Legend of Korra has this trait highlighted in "Welcome to Republic City," when she travels from her remote home at the South Pole to Republic City, she marvels at the modern urban center while stumbling on to its less savory aspects, like homelessness and organized crime, and also learns that local police don't take kindly to vigilante justice when there's no such thing as Hero Insurance.

Other

  • A Real Life Example is Kondo Isami, Commander of The Shinsengumi. While far from uncultured, Kondo is reported to often find himself out of his depth in political matters and the bureaucracy that heading up the capital's police force entailed. He is also described as having a great sense of honor and an inherent and very humble moral superiority.
  • Another Real Life example: Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, better known as Pope Pio X.
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