Oktoberfest

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In Germany, everyone is fat, constantly drunk on beer, dressed in lederhosen, eats nothing but sausages and pretzels, and gets totally ticked off whenever somebody mentions The War. If you're lucky, you might get a mention of more recent events - such as the Berlin Wall and David Hasselhoff.

It's pretty likely that the beer is being served by one of those wenches with gravity-defying blonde braids and big breasts pushed up by the 'uplift bodice' on her dirndl. If so, expect Oh Du Lieber Augustin.

If you're in a modern nightclub, expect to it to be a strange one involving a lot of leather. And possibly nihilism.

This has partly to do with the fact that the Americans were assigned the southern part of Germany as their occupation zone at the end of WW 2 and as such most of their military personnel took their experiences of bucolic Bavaria as the archetype of all things German back home.

Of course they sometimes admit that there is more than one region of Germany, and it's mainly Bavaria that looks like this. Sadly the only other 'type' they can usually think of is old school Prussians who of course all have crew cuts, monocles, duelling scars and "Vays off makink you talk".

German fiction has tropes of its own regarding "Ossies und Wessies" (East and West Germans respectively), Wessies are materialistic and Ossies are usually poor, bad-tempered, lazy whiners. And Berlin is the Freestate Amsterdam of Germany.

By the way, Germans do have a sense of humor. Although a stereotype, it's still better than the other thing Germany is known for. But not much. Invoking this stereotype will give you a very hard time making friends with any Germans.

Oh, and by the way, Oktoberfest is celebrated in September, not October.

Examples of Oktoberfest include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • One episode of Ghost in the Shell:Stand Alone Complex takes place in Berlin. While the episode mostly manages to stay clear of this trope, the street on which Batou is waiting in the front of a shop would fit much better into an old and traditional Bavarian village and looks nothing like downtown Berlin.
  • Despite being Japanese, Monster complete averts it and is actually one of the most realistic portrayals of the Bonn and The Berlin Republic in non-German fiction. It even deals with the difficulties of east German officals integrating into a new society that regards their former government as criminals, which is quite difficult to explain to outsiders.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Alfi (cousin of Rudi) and his village. It's a German comic.

Film[edit | hide]

  • A scene in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory caused unintended hilarity in German cinemas, when it showed a tiny Bavarian village fitting the trope and subtitled it "Düsseldorf, Germany" - the capital of a completely different region, which is known for its huge urban sprawl.
  • The Griswalds from National Lampoon's European Vacation go to Germany to meet their German relatives, except they weren't.
  • The entire German cast from Beerfest is made of tall, drunken Germans in lederhosen, a Prussian gentleman grandpa, an old skinny grandma who eats nothing but bratwurst, and a group of German guys dressed like U-boat sailors. Plus, the story begins at the actual Oktoberfest, and the entire plot is about an Oktoberfest-like drinking tournament.
  • We never visit Germany itself in the musical The Producers, but Franz Liebkind has both the lederhosen and the not-very-secretive Nazi adoration. And a really stupid accent. Oktoberfest imagery is also plentiful in the "Springtime for Hitler" production number.
  • Something of a (very brutal) subversion near the end of Downfall. Near the end of the movie, a militia group is seen executing civilians for "defecting" (fleeing the Soviet bombardment). Most members are regularly dressed but their leader is seen wearing traditional German clothing, including the feathered hat. Somehow this makes him more intimidating than Narmy.
  • The song "I Love Louisa" from The Band Wagon.
  • The Pink Panther Strikes Again has the hilarious scene where Clouseau goes to the Oktoberfest and several dozen assassins from around the world accidentally kill each other while trying to kill him.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Well... the Oktoberfest, really. And no, it neither celebrates beer nor does it celebrate the fact that it's october. It celebrates the jubilee of the 1810 wedding of the Bavarian Prince Ludwig I (later King Ludwig I of Bavaria, the grandfather of King Ludwig II) and Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on the same spot, just outside the city limits of Munich (in 1810, that was, as the city engulfed it. Nowadays, it's in the city centre). Not that it would be an easy task to find any German who knows this.
  • Cincinnati is a known example for this trope during Oktoberfests, along with many places in the world with a high German colony will become mini Oktoberfests or host similar festivals, i.e. Blumenau in Brazil.
  • German songs bang on about this to the extent that the Deutschlandlied, from which one part was taken to become the national anthem, has a chorus to this effect:

Deutsche Frauen, deutsche Treue,
Deutscher Wein und deutscher Sang.
Translation:
German Women, German loyalty,
German Wine and German song.

  • At a cruder level, there are interminable German student songs, invariably about imbibing huge quantities of beer (Im Schwarzen Walfisch, Krambambuli et al), generally sung at the Kneipe, which is a sort of Oktoberfest organised by ultra-conservative German student fencing (Mensur, a crude summary would be fencing standing still, with sharp sabres, and no head protection beyond goggles. The aim is to take hits silently) Corps.

Theatre[edit | hide]

  • The musical Nine, though set in Italy, provides a taste of this flavor with the number "The Germans At The Spa."
  • The protagonist of Passing Strange visits Berlin, and encounters the avant-garde nihilist brand of Germans. And then it turns out they all go home to the bucolic village version for Christmas.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The Berlin level of Tony Hawk's Underground 2 is styled in this way, featuring a bombed out wall section and drunk men in lederhosen.
  • The Medic in Team Fortress 2 is German, and of course has the stereotypical accent. "Oktoberfest" is one of his taunts, but thankfully he doesn't wear lederhosen.
  • Gabriel Knight 2, which takes place in modern day Bavaria, has elements of this.
  • German Street Fighter character Hugo has a stage in SF 3: 2nd Impact that sums this up perfectly.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • The episode of Jackie Chan Adventures that introduced the Dog and Pig talismans was set in this version of Germany.
  • Stewie and Brian stopped by this version of Germany while on their "Road to Europe" tour in Family Guy. There's one notably hilarious exchange in which Brian brings up the subject of WWII:

Brian: The writer Thomas Mann fled to America to escape persecution!
Tour Guide: No he didn't! He left to manage a Dairy Queen!

  • The main villain in the Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers episode "Chocolate Chips", Heinrich von Sugarbottom, is supposed to be a German. Of course, he is wearing lederhosen.
  • Uter from The Simpsons was this type of German exchange student. In the German dub he is from Switzerland.
  • The character Dieter Lederhosen from Pepper Ann fulfills about every non-Nazi, non-Prussian, non-Kraftwerk German stereotype. So does his family whose name is indeed Lederhosen. And although he grew up in Hazelnut (as opposed to being on student exchange), he speaks with the typical accent.