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"What's so special about an English accent? A lot of Englishmen have them. Pip, Pip, and all that pap!"
Daisy, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever

A non-British actor pretending to be a British character. They tend to get the accent either a) wrong, b) generic, rather than specific to a British region or c) too Cockney. In fact, 'Cockney' (think the accent that Bart Simpson adopts whenever he pretends to be a Londoner) is pretty much the most commonly affected English accent (other than Received Pronunciation) by American actors and typically derided by British audiences.

Accent type b), the generic "British accent" is common with British characters on American TV, even if they're being played by actual Brits. Brits do not sound like this on a general basis.

Some suspect that American actors do this deliberately and with malice to poke fun at the British after all the years they had to endure British actors adding a million R's to the end of their words to sound like cowboys.

The most glaring error in fake British accents stems from American English's lack of the short "o" (IPA: [ɒ]) sound with which Brits pronounce words such as "pot" and "orange". Americans tend to hypercorrect this to the long "o" (IPA: [ɔː]) sound as in "all" or "door".

Irish actors in particular commonly play British characters, in partly because they are likely to be closely familiar with real British accents (and can thus fake them well) and partly because most young Irish actors looking to build up an international career end up moving to London (it is a rare Irish actor indeed who doesn't have half a dozen British characters on his resume.)

A subtrope of Fake Nationality, and cousin to Fake American.

See also British Accents, The Queen's Latin, Not Even Bothering with the Accent, and Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping.

Examples of Fake Brit include:


Advertising

  • American actor Rodney Mason as English (?) socialite Tony Sinclair in the series of Tanqueray gin commercials.


Anime and Manga

  • 4Kids Entertainment seems to like this trope a lot.
    • Ryo Bakura from Yu-Gi-Oh! is played in 4Kids' English dub with a rather thin British accent. The Abridged Series mocks this by making Bakura be extremely British (at one point, he excuses himself by saying he has to go "drink cups of tea and eat bangers and mash"). LittleKuriboh, the creator of the Abridged Series is British himself.
      • Repeated with Daichi/Bastion Misawa in the dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.
    • Dren (Kish) in Mew Mew Power too. When he debuted fans of the original Tokyo Mew Mew balked. On one forum someone complained "Whoever heard of a British alien", Gracie Lizzie had to resist the temptation to sign up just so she could say "Oh, we have quite a few thanks".
      • Ren and Jun in the 4Kids dub of Shaman King. They gave the brother and sister a consistent British accent, but um... they're Chinese. And then, for some reason, they chose to not give a British accent to Lyserg... who actually is British.
  • In Code Geass, the mad scientist Lloyd ended up with a British accent in the American dub that sounded like a cross between a Brooklyn accent and a New Zealand one. Quite odd, since no one else speaks with an accent. And he's disturbingly poncy, although that might be on purpose. His voice actor, Liam O'Brien, was born in New Jersey.
  • In the dub of the anime Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, American voice actor Rob Paulsen gives Saber Rider a surprisingly convincing English accent.
  • Subverted with Integra Hellsing as Victoria Harwood is truely British. Played straight with Seras, though, as K.T. Grey is an American.
  • Kurama of Yu Yu Hakusho also has a thin British accent in the US dub.
  • The dub of Darker Than Black has Troy Baker voicing November 11... and doing a really good job.
    • The other Brits in the series were also given accents in the dub.
  • The English dubs for the assorted Mahou Sensei Negima anime series have the voice actors for Negi, Eva, Chachamaru and Anya providing British accents for their characters. Aside from the fact that Negi (and probably Anya, although its mentioned she's spent time in London) should have a Welsh accent instead of an English one, they're quite good.
  • In the original Japanese version of The Adventures of Kotetsu, the series' diminutive Fiery Redhead protagonist, Lynn "Kotetsu" Suzuki, hails from Kyoto and she has a Kyoto accent as a result. However in ADV's English dub, she is given a generic British accent.
  • The Read or Die dub has many British characters voiced by Americans, with varying degrees of success.
  • Zentraedi advisor Exedore in Robotech was given a fake British accent by Ted Layman. Probably to play up on his frail appearance and detached, intellectual demeanor. Alien scientists types are almost always given Brit accents, even when they are good guys (Exedore defects to the good guys). This is probably to keep them from all sounding like Mr. Spock, who is noted as being the progenitor of the trope but not speaking with a Brit accent.
  • In Naruto the Abridged Series Kabuto and Chouji have British accents.
  • According to Black Butler, even British nobles had loud cockney accents.


Film

  • The most (in)famous example -- cited for almost forty years now in anecdote, song and story -- is Dick Van Dyke as Bert the chimney-sweep in Mary Poppins. The almost universal negative reaction to his overly fake Cockney was probably the reason that the next time he played an Englishman -- Caractacus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang -- he dispensed with the accent altogether. (Ironically, in Mary Poppins he also plays another Englishman, Mr. Dawes Senior, and disappears so completely into the role many viewers don't realize it's him until the final credits.)
    • This was actually a pragmatic decision. Dick van Dyke tried to do a realistic Cockney accent. And tried. And tried. And failed. And failed. Finally, he decided that since he could only do a bad Cockney accent, he'd do a hilariously bad one.
  • Notably averted in The Great Muppet Caper. A particularly reckless taxi driver comments about having lived in London his whole life. When asked why he doesn't have a British accent, he nonchalantly responds that he's lucky to even have his driver's license.
  • In the Steve Martin movie L.A. Story, Canadian comedian/actor Rick Moranis has a cameo as a British gravedigger, with the accent made to match. Rick did a pretty good job with the accent.
    • In-universe, Trudi accuses Sara of this--and Sara is British!
  • Don Cheadle plays Basher Tarr with Cockney abandon in the remake of Ocean's Eleven and its sequels, complete with jokes about its incomprehensible rhyming slang.

  Basher: So unless we intend to do this job in Reno, we're in barney. (everyone looks confused) Barney Rubble. (still confused) Trouble!

    • This is subsequently Played With in Ocean's Thirteen when Basher has to suddenly impersonate a Rick James/Evel Knievel-type stuntman.
  • Elijah Wood as Frodo in The Lord of the Rings, to some extent.
    • With Sean Astin bringing up the rear with his portrayal of Sam.
    • Other Americans donning fake accents of Lord of the Rings: Brad Dourif as Grima Wormtongue, who never used his normal accent in order to maintain it and only stopping when filming ended, which caused Bernard Hill (King Theoden) to wonder why he was suddenly using "such a fake American accent"; and Liv Tyler as Arwen, whose voice was so low that her own father wondered who the voice actor was. And also, Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn.
    • Billy Boyd originally used an English accent instead of his own Scottish, but the producers felt his comic timing was a bit off without the native accent. So Peter Jackson justified Pippin speaking with a Scottish accent by pointing out that in the Hobbit it is mentioned that one of Pippin's ancestors invented golf (a quite amusing story involving an orc), so therefore it was appropriate to have the character speaking with a Scottish accent.
      • Also mentioned in the DVD extras is the story of Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens, in conversation with Tolkien language academics, discovered that Pippin's surname "Took" is not pronounced to rhyme with "book" but with "spook". If you say "Took" aloud with that pronunciation, it sounds Scottish, so their casting of the Scottish Boyd suddenly seemed perfectly justifiable.
      • Technically, names and dialog are translations from Westron, so Peregrin Took's real name is Razanur Tûk (as mentioned in appendicies etc). This of course could be seen as a general warning to all of this. It's much worse when the Elvish is pronounced wrongly.
    • The movies were filmed in New Zealand and hence employed quite a bit of "local" talent. The numerous Aussies and Kiwis faking Brit accents include: Cate Blanchett, David Wenham, Karl Urban, Miranda Otto and John Noble. (Hugo Weaving grew up in both Australia and the UK),
  • Josh Hartnett's ludicrous attempt at a Yorkshire accent in the Keighley-set hairdressing comedy Blow Dry.
  • Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones. However, her portrayal, along with her accent was widely praised.
    • Co-star Hugh Grant believed she was British to the point of wondering why she was using a weird Southern accent when he heard her speak in her natural voice after filming had wrapped.
  • And let's not forget Gwyneth Paltrow, who has portrayed British characters in Emma, Shakespeare in Love, Sliding Doors, and other films.
  • Johnny Depp has made an entire career out of this:
  • The Queen has a cast that's almost entirely British - except for Prince Philip, played by Los Angeles-born and Manhattan-raised James Cromwell. Prince Philip himself is a naturalised Briton having had to renounce his Greek ties before he was allowed to either marry the Queen or be served a peace-time Naval commission.
  • Two of the actors who played James Bond, Pierce Brosnan and George Lazenby. Brosnan is from Ireland, while Lazenby is from Australia.
  • American Natalie Portman and Australian Hugo Weaving in V for Vendetta. The two have also done British roles elsewhere.
  • Brad Pitt's accent from Snatch.
    • In fact, he originally auditioned for another character, and when he couldn't do a good enough British accent he was assigned a character whose accent is described in the film as "not Irish, not English, just, well, just Pikey."
  • A Knight's Tale has Heath Ledger (Australian) and Alan Tudyk (American) putting on English accents.
  • Alan Tudyk (of Plano, Texas) also plays a fake Brit in the British Death at a Funeral - both DVD commentaries (one with director Frank Oz and another with several cast members) complimented him on the excellence of his accent.
  • Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was excoriated and lampooned for his half-hearted attempt at a British accent, which mainly consisted of him missing out an "r" here and there.
    • Parodied by Cary Elwes in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, who says, "Unlike other Robin Hoods, I speak with an English accent!"
    • And poked fun at by British stand-up comedian Eddie Izzard: "I'm Raa-bin Hood! Where is the Maid Ma-ryan?"
    • Made all the more jarringly hilarious when he says "This is English courage" with a thickly American twang.
  • Claire Danes in Stardust pulls off a British accent quite well as Yvaine-- particularly given that there's no reason that a star fallen from the sky should even have a British accent to begin with. Michelle Pfeiffer as Lamia... not so much.
  • Scarlett Johansson plays a British showgirl in The Prestige, a veritable treasure trove of fake accents. Oddly enough, her character was American in Christopher Priest's novel.
  • In the film Bram Stoker's Dracula, Canadian Keanu Reeves and American Winona Ryder affect pretty awful English accents while Californian Tom Waits plays demented Englishman Renfield.
  • Given The Other Boleyn Girl portrayed events in English history and focused on an English king and his English love interests, you'd think they'd get British actors, at the very least, to play the lead roles. Not so, with the result that the vast proportion of English audiences spent the entire film wincing at the attempts the cast made at their accents (when they actually bothered to make an attempt, of course).
    • And when they weren't wincing at that, there was also the horrible mauling of history.
  • Imagine Me and You features Piper Perabo sporting an unconvincing British accent.
  • Anne Hathaway as British author Jane Austen in Becoming Jane.
    • She also played Madeline Bray in Nicholas Nickleby.
    • And Emma in One Day, against actual Brit Jim Sturgess.
  • The made-for-TV movie Sherlock: Case of Evil cast New York native Vincent D'Onofrio as Holmes' nemesis Professor Moriarty with an accent that's just plain embarrassing.
  • American Michelle Williams sounded very natural in the part of Holly in film Me Without You playing opposite Anna Friel (who is English, from Greater Manchester) as they both play Southerners (Received Pronunciation accent). In fact Williams pulls off the accent even better than Friel.
  • In the 2009 adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, American Robert Downey, Jr. plays the title character.
    • He also played the title role in Chaplin. Another character makes a snotty comment about his low-class accent, and he purposefully progresses to a more 'posh' tone as he gets more successful and famous. ("'Be'ah.' Betterrr. * snort* Bitch.")
  • Logan's Run has some British actors (Michael York, Jenny Agutter) playing roles with, interesting, transatlantic accents.
  • The Piano has some of the worst Scottish (or Scortash) accents committed to celluloid. They range from 'reasonable' (Holly Hunter) to 'just plain bizarre' (Harvey Keitel, who accidentally sounds a bit Geordie at times). It was made in New Zealand with a largely Kiwi supporting cast but even so - it makes Groundskeeper Willie look like Robert Carlyle.
  • The version of Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley has varied accents - not surprisingly, veteran Canadian actor Donald Sutherland (renowned for his inability to do any accent but his own) does a dreadful job whilst young American actress Jena Malone (as Lydia) does perfectly well.
  • French actress Eva Green uses a particularly good British accent as the Bond girl Vesper opposite Daniel Craig's Bond in Casino Royale.
    • She's not doing an accent. That is how her voice really is now.
  • American Edward Norton puts on a terrible one in The Illusionist. This is even more hilarious when you consider that the character he is playing is supposed to be Austrian.
  • Chris Egan uses an accent somewhere between his native Australian and "posh" British in Letters to Juliet.
  • There's Something About Mary has an in-universe example. Tucker, Mary's British architect "friend", is revealed to be an American pizza delivery boy named Norm. His actor, comedian Lee Evans, is British. So he's a Brit pretending to be an American pretending to be a Brit.
  • The Rocker has a scene at the end where after finally confronting Vesuvius, Fish realizes they all have British accents now. They all deny ever having been American. Later on in the scene the person who replaced Fish points out to him that he actually is British.
  • How can we forget little, innocent Lindsay Lohan as one of two twins in the remake of The Parent Trap?
  • Nigel Tufnel and The Six-Fingered Man? Both played by the same American, Christopher Guest. Although, Guest's father was British - a hereditary peer, in fact, as he himself is now - which may have influenced him.
  • An in-universe example in Just Go with It, where Katherine's daughter is an aspiring actress who insists on speaking with a terrible British accent (the "'ello guv'nah" kind). They are forced to make up a story for Palmer where the daughter was in a British boarding school for a few years.
  • Not counting the Texan rat couple and the French Dragon frog villain, all of the characters from Flushed Away are voiced by predominantly British actors, except Roddy, who is voiced by Hugh Jackman (an Australian).
  • My Fair Lady contains the interesting idea of casting Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle - a character whose entire plot is based around her cockney-RP dialect shift. An interesting casting choice, that. Mind you, squire, she din't do an arf bad job.
  • In-universe with the gentleman's club scene in Mystery Team.
  • The Great Mouse Detective: Vincent Price as Big Bad Ratigan.
  • Heather Graham in Miss Conception attempts received pronunciation and botches it horribly. Inexcusable really as they're in London and her co-stars are British.
  • Dead Man on Campus has an in-universe one with Matt Noonan, who gives off the impression of a suicidal goth rocker complete with British accent. When one of his friends finds out He is actually a happy go lucky guy who sings showtunes, his accent slips and his friend is shocked to find out he is American. He is played by Australian Corey Page.
  • American actress Julianne Moore's character in A Single Man. Apparently Moore listened to early Julie Christie for the sixties feel and mixed it up with modern British party girls to get her characters way of speaking.
  • Selena Gomez in Monte Carlo as two separate characters. The first, her portrayal of the fictional British heiress Cordelia Winthrop-Scott and then her portrayal of an Identical Stranger from Texas, Grace, posing as Cordelia. Grace's fake accent is not entirely convincing, but that's kinda the point; Cordelia's accent is a bit better but that might just be because she had fewer lines and Gomez had less opportunities to mess up.
  • Reese Witherspoon appears in the 2002 film adaptation of The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Pocahontas: Mel Gibson as Captain John Smith.
  • Americans Edward Norton and Liev Schreiber play nineteenth century English gentlemen in the 2006 adaption of The Painted Veil. The accents are pretty good. They at least avoid sticking out compared to actual Brit Naomi Watts.
  • Americans Jaimie Alexander as Sif and Josh Dallas as Fandrel in Thor put on pretty good accents. They hold up quite well alongside actual Brits Tom Hiddleston and Ray Stevenson.
  • In Hugo - set in Paris, but everyone speaks with a British accent - American Chloe Grace Mortez pulls this off impeccably.


Live Action TV

  • Spike, Drusilla, and Wesley from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Spike's accent is said to be based on Anthony Stewart Head's regular voice, which is a lot rougher than Head's character Giles.
    • Like Dominic West below, at one point, Spike puts on a American accent, which is hilariously bad.
    • Also, when we see pre-Vampire Spike (William), he speaks with a higher-class accent than what he uses after Drusilla sires him -- obvious characterization.
    • Alexis Denisof (Wesley), a Maryland native who lived in the UK for much of his early career, is the Buffyverse's most convincing fake Brit; even British fans don't always realise he's not British as long as he doesn't use the typical trip words such as 'data' where it becomes painfully obvious even to Britons who were previously fooled. Drusilla, on the other hand, spends a lot of time talking about "Spoik". In fact, Juliet Landau sounds like she's doing a particularly bad impersonation of Harry H. Corbett.
    • Also, both of the "British" potential slayers, one with a bad Cockney similar to Drusilla, and another with a bad RP accent. God knows how genuine Brit Anthony Stewart Head could put up with filming with them.
  • Sark from Alias. In one episode, his character put on an American accent, which was David Anders' own.
    • To be fair, Sark is not supposed to be an Englishman. He was educated in Britain and had spent a lot of time in southern Ireland. In-universe, his accent was observed to be a mix of different cultural influences as a result. He's also eventually revealed to be the son of a Russian diplomat and the reason he was sent to Britain for educating is because his mother wanted him to escape his abusive father.
    • Anders was also Adam Monroe from Heroes, making him the most English man ever to come out of Oregon.
  • Niles from The Nanny.
    • A story goes that viewers of this show in the UK wrote in to complain about the "fake" accent used by Charles Shaughnessy (a real Londoner) and praising the "real" accent of Daniel Davis (Niles), a native of Arkansas.
  • James Doohan, first generation Canadian Irish descent, as Montgomery Scott in Star Trek the Original Series.
    • His audition for Star Trek was pretty much him speaking in as many accents as possible. He chose to have the character be Scottish, because "all the best engineers are Scottish". Also, his talent with accents caused him to voice nearly every male guest character in the Animated Series. He ended up being a Fake Native American, among others.
  • Connor MacLeod from Highlander is played by French Christopher Lambert.
    • They intentionally gave Lambert a non-Scottish (non-anything, really) accent to show that he's been all over the world, and his accent has evolved into something fairly unrecognizable re: geography.
      • Ditto with Duncan Mac Leod from Highlander the Series. Adrian Paul used a Scottish accent in the flashbacks of Duncan's early years, but made it more generalized in the more recent flashbacks.
  • While Daphne Moon of Frasier was played by British Jane Leeves, her brothers Simon and Stephen were played by Australian Anthony LaPaglia and Swazi Richard E. Grant. While Leeves' 'Mancunian' was a rather generic Oop North accent, the brothers didn't even sound like they were from anywhere near there.
      • None of the Moon brothers with speaking parts - or her father - were played by Englishmen.
    • Any of Daphne's 'chim-chimerny' boyfriends from early series - clearly played by American actors who think saying 'cheerio' makes them English. Embarrassing.
    • Her mother was at least played by Millicent Martin who comes from London and does a fairly convincing Mancunian. She was once quoted as saying she could have done a more convincing Mancunian, but then she wouldn't have sounded like she was Daphne's mother.
    • Martin Crane (played by John Mahoney, originally from Blackpool) could deliver a good Daphne impression.
  • John Hillerman, a native Texan, played British ex-military vet Jonathan Higgins on Magnum, P.I.. During the show's run, his character was required to "fake" a Texas accent to impersonate his look-alike half-brother Elmo.
  • Used and Inverted Trope in a CSI episode in which a man plays Sherlock Holmes. When his friends, who were invited, first show up, they all speak in British accents. When they realize their host has died, they drop their accents, except for one--who turns out to be English.
  • Lampshaded in Arrested Development. Probably written when the role was assumed to be going to an American actress.

 Rita: I hate it when they hire Yanks to play Brits, you can always tell.

Of course, Theron is South African, so the whole thing starts to get rather baffling.

  • John Hart from Torchwood, the Evil Counterpart to Captain Jack Harkness, is played by James Marsters using the same affected accent he used as Spike.
  • Alan Dale, who is from New Zealand, plays British character Charles Widmore on Lost. In his first few appearances the accent was impeccable, but his accent slipped a little in "There's No Place Like Home."
    • He also played King Arthur for a time in the West End production of Spamalot.
  • Amanda Tapping in Sanctuary, while she was born in England (Rochford, Essex to be precise) has lived in Canada since she was 3.
    • Lampshaded in "Bank Job" when she reverts to her Canadian accept and the bank teller (Gary Davies who plays Sgt. Harriman in Stargate SG-1) comments "I knew that British accent was fake".
  • The three-part episode of the Adam West Batman television series where they end up in London, sorry, Londonium, for a while featured so many atrociously bad British accents and fundamentally stupid errors (Ireland Yard?) that one can only hope it was intended as a parody.
  • Seinfeld - Jerry tries on a Cockney accent, where "Not bloody likely!" comes out as "Nawwt blooudy loiklay!" Kramer criticizes it, but his is no better.
  • American actor Patrick Heusinger played Blair's boyfriend Marcus, a British lord, in season two of Gossip Girl. Extra twisty points for the fact that Marcus pretended to be an American throughout most of his first episode. Later on his British accent was copied by Chuck, who wanted Blair to think he was Marcus. Chuck, an American, is played by a British actor...
  • Farscape - The majority of the cast are Australian, with the obvious exception of Ben Browder. A few Peacekeepers keep their accent, but the majority of the regular characters disguise it with either Fake American or Fake Brit, most notably Aeryn, Scorpius and Crais.
    • Oddly enough, Claudia Black's Australian accent is so close to British that Aeryn uses her natural voice.
    • Black also notes in an early interview that other people playing Peacekeepers weren't entirely sure what type of accent to use since Black's odd conglomeration of Australian and British was their baseline. This is probably why the end result is a wide gamut of native Australian to faux-Brit, with the occasional faux-American.
    • And when John Crichton impersonates a Peacekeeper in one episode, he puts on a British accent.
  • Australian Leo McKern spent his career playing Englishmen, most notably Horace Rumpole of Rumpole of the Bailey.
  • During an episode of Friends where Ross has to lecture in NYU, he gets so nervous he starts speaking in an (appalling) British accent. Monica and Rachel mock him by speaking in Irish and Indian accents, respectively. Monica's seems to fluctuate between Ireland and Scotland, possibly as a reference to this trope or just because Americans can barely tell the difference.
    • Also spoofed in an episode where an annoying old friend of Monica and Phoebe's comes back into town after living in England with a fake accent:

 Amanda: (after an awkward comment) Oh! Bugger. Should I not have said that? I feel like a perfect arse!

Phoebe: Yeah, well, in America you're just an ass.

  • In the Firefly episode Shindig, River Tam mimicks Badger's authentic London accent.
    • The episode commentary from Morena Baccarin and Jane Espenson contains some fine Fake Brit moments. Both figures praise Summer Glau for her ability to do accents very well (unfortunately, most British people would disagree on her supposed London accent). Espenson also goes on to mention her love of British slang words and how she likes to use them in her work. The example used is the word 'palaver' - meaning 'an unnecessary fuss'. She pronounces it erroneously as 'par-layver' (it's 'puh-lah-ver' (or 'puh-lah-va' if you're from the South of England).
  • The Tudors. The two that immediately spring to mind are Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry VIII and Sara Bolger as Princess/Lady Mary Tudor. Both are Irish but are playing Brits. Pretty sure there's others as well, since the show is filmed in Ireland.
    • Sarah Bolger is a very convincing Fake Brit, whereas David O'Hara, playing the Earl of Surrey, is Not Even Bothering with the Accent.
    • Princess Elizabeth is played (as of season 4) by Dublin born actress Laoise Murray, meaning that most of the actual Tudors on the show are played by Irish actors. No information on whether Eoin Murtagh (Prince Edward) is Irish or not but that is a pretty Irish first name.
  • Lampshaded in House, where the Jerseyite Dr. Jerk played by a Brit calls a hospital several times trying to get info. At one point, he uses an English accent, to which the operator responds "And that's the worst English accent I've ever heard!" Brilliantly done by Laurie, as he wasn't using his native British accent, but was indeed using an exaggerated fake accent as a Shout-Out to his earlier comedy work on Jeeves and Wooster.
  • CSI: NY Claire Forliani is British, but even so, Peyton's accent was made some sort of Fake Brit accent.
  • The Dresden Files TV series featured Fake Brit Terrence Mann (who was born in Ashland, Kentucky and who grew up in Largo, Florida) as ghost-with-a-Teutonic-name-and-a-British-accent Hrothbert of Bainbridge. Bainbridge, by the way, is a real town in North Yorkshire.
    • Ironically, Dresden himself is played with a Fake American accent by Paul Blackthorne.
  • Leverage averts this as far as the actors are concerned. Gina Bellman (Sophie) was born in New Zealand to English parents and moved back to the UK when she was 11, so her accent is genuine, as is Mark Sheppard's. However, the characters sometimes have to put on fake accents for a con, with Sophie making hers more downtown London than Upper-Class British Thief for "The Beantown Bailout Job", and Hardison taking on a Londoner accent in "The Ice Man Job".
    • Hardison's "Londoner" accent is painfully bad, but justified since he's not normally the grifter.
  • On The A-Team, Murdock will use a fake British accent just for fun. It's a generic Received Pronunciation accent, but it's still entertaining.
    • On the whole, Dwight Schultz gets a lot of mileage out of that accent. It shows up all over the place in his voice acting.
  • At one point while interviewing Ricky Gervais, Conan O'Brien decided to do a bit in a fake British accent. After asking if it was supposed to sound British, Gervais comments "Thank you Dick Van-fucking-Dyke!"
  • Sometimes even Brits fake a 'British accent' for an American audience: for a while on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition one of the team was a sort of cheeky-chappy jack-of-all-trades, whose Dick-Van-Dyke-alike hamming up of a cockney accent (as well as acting up to other cockney stereotypes in a 'why fank you guvnor, i am ever so 'umble, cheerio, lawks etc' way) made it hilarious to realise he was genuinely English.
  • K9 is set in London. It's filmed in Australia. The accents vary, but some of them are terrible.
  • On an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent detectives Goren and Eames are unraveling a murder and encounter a "British Lord" who does not realize he is part of a scam (he's an actor who thinks he's been hire for some kind of performance piece) and spend a few minutes trying to figure out where his accent is supposed to be from. He drops the accent and attempts to impress them with his acting bona fides.


Music

  • 80s synthpop band Information Society.
  • Rapper Slick Rick's mid-Atlantic drawl is authentic (he was raised partly in London and partly in New York), but numerous American rappers, including Rockwell, Dana Dane and Snoop Dogg, have been inspired to imitate his "British" style with varying degrees of success.
  • The Shins.
  • Many American New Wave bands, eg The Ramones.
    • In this case it was more with the way Joey Ramone sounds like.
  • On the first two Ministry albums (as well as their early singles), Al Jourgensen was singing with a faux-British accent despite being from Chicago, probably because he was emulating contemporary British Synth Pop at the time. Once the band switched to more of an Industrial Metal sound with The Land of Rape And Honey, and the earlier work became Old Shame, the accent pretty much disappeared. He also sounds somewhat British on their cover of Magazine's "The Light Pours Out Of Me", since he's imitating Howard Devoto's vocal style on the original version.


Musical

  • In On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Daisy Gamble, under hypnotic influence, acquires an English accent when recalling her previous life in 18th-century London as Melinda Welles. Barbara Harris originated the role on Broadway, and Barbra Streisand starred in the film version; neither actress was British.


Video Games

  • Krystal may have averted this in Adventures where she really was voiced by an actual Brit named Estelle Ellis, but in Assault and Brawl an American named Alesia Glidewell filled in for her.
  • (American) Cam Clarke's Liquid Snake from Metal Gear Solid. In the same game, Liquid pretends to be Solid Snake's American boot camp instructor, Master Miller.
    • Jennifer Hale (Naomi) also used an English accent in the original Metal Gear Solid; Hale's from Newfoundland. In the remake and MGS4, she dropped the accent in favour of a fairly non-regional North American one.
    • American Vanessa Marshall did a fairly good English accent as Strangelove in Peace Walker, marred mostly by the fact that it sounded vaguely Southern and Strangelove was supposed to be from Manchester.
  • Luke in the US version of Professor Layton and the Curious Village is played by an American woman, adopting a mostly Cockney accent. Professor Layton himself is also voiced by an American but pulls off a more convincing accent.
  • The characters in the Legacy of Kain series speak in a pseudo-Shakespearean manner, but a fair few of them are voiced by Americans.
  • All but three of the Preps from Bully.

 Jimmy: Hey, are you English?

Tad: Well, no. I just speak this way because I'm very insecure.

  • Crispin Freeman affects an awful "British" accent in Resident Evil: Degeneration. He comes in at around the 5 minute mark.
  • Anomen from Baldur's Gate II is an example of an in-story character being one. No one else in his family has such an accent, and the characters eventually decide that he puts it on so that he will sound more cultured.
  • In The Last Remnant, Jason Liebrecht puts on a fake Brit accent to play David Nassau, the Marquis of Athlum. He doesn't do a generic cockney, though his accent is an amalgamation of 3 different English accents. It's oddly fitting.
  • Crash Bandicoot's main Evil Brit N. Tropy was voiced by American Corey Burton in Wrath of Cortex. Although he had a grand total of one line, it's now infamous and widely considered the weaker of Burton's two roles in the game. Contrary to popular belief, N.Tropy's regular voice actor, Michael Ensign, is actually British.
  • Dolores Rogers as Earl Grey in Backyard Soccer.
  • In the original Perfect Dark, Joanna has a British accent, but in the prequel, she has an American accent. Somewhat justified as she was US-born, but how did she change accents so fast? Maybe They Just Didn't Care.
  • The first Spyro series often used RP accents for its dragon characters. The third game introduced a character voiced by the same actor as the title character, and while he does speak with a 'pip, pip' accent, it's fairly good.
  • The voice-actors for the generic Fake Brit voices in Oblivion do it blandly at the best of times, and at other times get it horribly wrong.
  • Dwight Schultz voices two distinct British-sounding characters in Final Fantasy X - the merchant O'aka, and the scholar Maechen. However, Maechen's slightly more cultured accent is far better than O'aka's rougher, working-class one; as O'aka, Schultz has a tendency to jarringly mispronounce certain "Britishisms", such as elongating the E sound on the word "ye" when it's usually pronounced more like "yuh".


Web Original

  • Commodore, the token Brit of Lego Pirate Misadventures is voiced by Alex Jeffrey, a Minnesotan. Taken to an extreme in #4, when he voices a small army of Royal Marines that includes Scottish and Irish accents as well.
    • Series co-creator Ben Lifson gets in on the fun in #3 as the voice of a pompous prosecutor.
  • Shiny Objects Videos: Played for Laughs in "Fishsticks".


Western Animation

  • Stewie from Family Guy is portrayed with a Rex Harrison-inspired accent.
  • Numbuh 1 and his father in Codename: Kids Next Door (voiced by Ben Diskin and Frank Welker)
  • Colleen from Road Rovers (voiced by Tress MacNeille).
  • Mike Myers in the Shrek films. He does come from Scottish stock, but he's Canadian all the way through.
    • Mike Myers as Austin Powers and Fat Bastard.
    • And Myers has been doing the Scottish accent since Saturday Night Live ("Welcome to All Things Scottish - if it's not Scottish, it's craaaapp!!").
      • Another Canadian of Scottish descent, Alan Young, was the voice of Uncle Scrooge in DuckTales.
    • Myers is not far removed; his tendency toward British characters and settings comes from his father's influence.
  • Animaniacs has Jess Harnell as Scouse-sounding Wakko and Rob Paulsen as Pinky, though aside from the accents there's nothing to indicate that either character is actually British (especially considering that Wakko's two siblings have American accents).
  • In Gargoyles' opening episode (and anytime they flash back to medieval Scotland) the loose association of Star Trek the Next Generation cast members playing the various bit parts display truly awful Scottish accents.
  • King of the Hill's LuAnn uses an extremely bad British accent for one of her "Manger Babies" puppet's voice---it sounds very much like a dirt-ignorant young Texas girl's attempt at a toff....
  • Futurama's Bender (built in Mexico, based in New New York and voiced by an American) occasionally uses (what he thinks is) a "British" accent, which is labelled "King" in one episode and sounds a great deal like the late Ronald Coleman. "Let me have a go at this mechanised chap, I can be quite the rough customer!"
  • In Chaotic, the voice of Klay contains a terrible British accent. But seeing how 4Kids assigned an Australian accent to Jack Atlas in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, they are just doing to emphasize that the character is a Jerkass.
  • Whenever British people turn up on Celebrity Deathmatch, they always have Cockney accents, even if they're the Gallagher brothers (actually from Manchester) or the Spice Girls (variously from Hertfordshire, Yorkshire and Merseyside).
  • Rejected Nickelodeon pilot The Modifyers has Agent Xero using a really fake British accent for her disguise as Perky Goth Lacey Shadows.
  • Jerry, the Q role in Totally Spies was voiced by American Jess Harnell in seasons 1 and 2, and by British-born and Canadian-raised Adrian Truss from season 3.
    • James, the antagonist of the episode "Evil Boyfriend", masquerades as a British exchange student.
  • The few Brits (if they're not acting as themselves) who have shown up in South Park have accents so ridiculous that it might even avert this trope. Richard Dawkins in particular was pretty agitated by his portrayal.
  • In The Penguins of Madagascar, Private has a British accent, but his voice actor is from California. This is lampshaded by Skipper in "Hard Boiled Eggy" when he notes that Eggy picked up an "adorably fake British accent" from Private.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Peeps, a boy with a Cockney accent, is voiced by Christian Potenza, a Canadian.


Real Life

  • The American astronomer Edwin Hubble spent two years at Oxford University beginning in 1910, and fell in love with England. A scholar who'd known him in America met him again at Oxford:

 He was dressed in plus-fours, a Norfolk jacket with leather buttons, and a huge cap. He also sported a cane and spoke in a British accent I could scarcely understand ... Those two years had transformed him, seemingly, into a phony Englishman, as phony as his accent.

    • Same thing with the Canadian writer Robertson Davies, who kept the Oxford accent that he picked up from university for the rest of his life.
  • Within a year of spending much of her time in England, as well as being married to an Englishman, Madonna somewhat notoriously, but understandably, began to display a bit of an English accent seeping into her speech.
  • Many Americans pick up a British accent after living there for a while, especially if it was during childhood.
    • Gillian Anderson, because she was born in America but grew up in the UK speaks in a British accent whenever she's interviewed there.
    • The opposite is also true. Eric Idle has lived in the US for so long now that he sounds a bit American.
      • Other than saying "like" a lot as in "John would like write..." he still sounds pretty British.
      • Meanwhile his fellow Python, Minnesota-born Terry Gilliam has lived long enough in England that he sounds a tiny bit British.
    • On The Osbournes, the kids, British born Jack and Kelly have lived in the US long enough that they call their mother "mom" instead of "mum".
    • Kenneth Branagh apparently had an Irish accent when he was young (seeing as his family was from Belfast), but affected an English accent to avoid bullying at school. It seems that it's become his natural accent.
    • In a subversion many viewers assume Irish actress Katie McGrath sounds a little 'English' because she lived in Britain for a long time. In fact she was living in Ireland right up until the start of Merlin and her native Wicklow/South Dublin accent sounded quite English to begin with.
  • Richard Burton was Welsh, but early in his career adopted an Oxbridge accent because he felt that his natural accent would hurt his career.
    • It can be heard in his reading of Under Milk Wood.
  • T.S. Eliot, born in St. Louis, became a naturalized British citizen in the late 1920s and for the rest of his life affected a decidedly more British accent.
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