WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic
"What's with you people? Why do you automatically assume black hair plus trenchcoat equals Goth? Sheesh!"
—A friend of Redneck Rocker, paraphrased and kept anonymous

A person is assumed to be in a subculture that they don't belong to because their looks or behavior match the popular beliefs of what that subculture looks like or how it behaves.

For it to count, the behavior that leads to the false assumption must be coincidental. It's a mistake on the observer's part, not deceit by the observed.

Common mistakes by observers are assuming someone wearing black clothes in modern times is a goth, particularly if they're fair skinned or dark haired; assuming that someone who's naturally flamboyant is gay; or assuming that someone who's both white and bald is a skinhead or a neo-Nazi.

Examples of Mistaken for Subculture include:


  • In The Pacifier, the older son is mistaken for a Neo-Nazi when he dyes his hair blond and a swastika was found in his locker. Turns out that he was actually playing Ralph in The Sound of Music.

Live Action TV

Western Animation

  • On South Park, the Goth kids get tired of being mistaken for vampire kids despite clearly telling them they are way more different.
    • In another episode, they get referred to as "emo kids".
  • An episode of American Dad had one of Steve's friends under fire for supposedly stealing a classmate's Bar Mitzvah money. When a bunch of bald guys ragged on him for it, he said "you're skinheads, you hate us." Turns out they were just the Lex Luthor fan club; the skinheads were one table over.
  • An episode of Phineas and Ferb had Candance and Vanessa wearing each other's clothes after their dry cleaning is switched. Candace is mistaken for being a Goth, and Vanessa is mistaken for being a clown by her father.

Real Life

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.