Informed Loner

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
"I've always been curious as to why Batman -- who has such a reputation for being a lone wolf -- would surround himself with children..."
Lex Luthor, Superman/Batman, "Public Enemies"

A character type that has an Informed Attribute relating to whether or not that character is lonely. The reason for this is generally to invoke the Aloof Ally trope or one closely related to it. The idea is simple- aloof, lonely people are different than us, with different values and ways of looking at the world, caused in part by their stunted ability to engage in emotional interaction with others. So having one in a story creates obvious Character Development issues and conflicts, which in turn can make a story more interesting.

The problem with this trope is that it's difficult to write dialogue for loners, well, because they're alone. So by definition, they shouldn't really be acting gabby all the time. Bear in mind, of course, that not all loners are recluses. Some are the type that can feel lonely even in a crowd. But even in that case how much of a "loner" they can really be comes into question if they're initiating half the conversations they take part in and lack any form of social awkwardness.

Note that even if the information comes from characters' talking, Infallible Babble ensures that it's never a case that they are misinformed, or spiteful. All the characters take his "loner" status seriously in the total absence of any evidence of it.

Not to be confused with Ineffectual Loner. For a loner who's more informed than others, try Intelligence Equals Isolation.

Compare Cool Loser.

Examples of Informed Loner include:



"Aren't you the kind of guy with no friends?"
"Yeah, I used to be but there was sort of a paradigm shift last spring."

  • For people who repeatedly say they only have friends because of the main character, the cast of Sailor Moon sure know a lot of Victims Of The Week from early childhood...
    • It could be they knew them, but weren't friends with them, like how we know all our classmates despite not hanging out with all of them regularly.
  • Played with in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Madoka claims that she feels lonely at times due to thinking that she is weak and useless, but the anime clearly shows that it's all in her head as she has a loving family and caring friends.

Comic Books

  • Batman. For a guy who is torn by emotional isolation living eternally in the darkness, the guy has a ridiculous character page full of his constant allies. This is hardly even mentioning that his relationship with Robin was so close during the Silver Age that you didn't need to be part of a censor board to interpret some Ho Yay going on there.
    • In fact, the 'Bat Family' is probably the largest in the DCU. There's at least currently a Batman, a Robin, a Nightwing, a Red Robin, Oracle, Batgirl, Black Bat, Batwoman, Flamebird, Spoiler, and Alfred in this loner's gang. Though to be fair, he does mostly work alone where feasible and leaves the others to their own devices.
    • Just to emphasize the point: for seventeen years this supposed loner starred in a book whose entire premise was to team him up with everyone else in the DC Universe.
      • Now with Batman Inc, (Loads and Loads of Batmen!) the writers might as well stop kidding themselves.
        • Ever since Grant Morrison started writing Batman regularly, they pretty much have.
  • Wolverine claims to be a loner, and does honestly seem to attempt to do so, but his track record seems to prove otherwise.
    • To a degree it works for Wolverine; by temperament he'd be a drifting Knight Errant In Sour Armor, which involves lots of helping people and then leaving and not seeing them again for several decades. In a slightly different genre he'd very reasonably say But Now I Must Go. Look at that trope page; fully half the links in the description apply to him. (For example, until he regained his memories, his Journey to Find Oneself was a big part of his character.) All that being said, it becomes ridiculous to call Wolverine a loner when he is officially a member of three superhero teams at once, due to him publicity. Being a loner is in character, but the Marketing department wins, especially in a Shared Universe.


  • For someone always looking out for his own interests, Han Solo has Chewie, as well as an entourage by the end of A New Hope.
  • Invoked in Pee-wee's Big Adventure, when Pee-wee tries to brush his would-be girlfriend off by claiming to be a loner, in spite of having hordes of friends.
  • According to Iceman in Top Gun, Maverick likes to work alone. Apparently Goose, who Maverick describes as "the only family [he's] got", doesn't count.


  • Death from Discworld. Again, he's got his own supporting cast.
    • They accrete over a few decades. Most of his existence was solitary. Though he's had the old guy around for some thousand years now, and Binky the horse for unspecified time, but not all along because he mentions having experimented with skeletal horses in the past. Self-image habits die hard.
  • Bella from "Twilight" spends the first two chapters whining about how no one would ever like her and how she has never had any friends. She spends every other chapter whining about how people just won't leave her alone.
    • And from the moment she sits down in school, she starts making friends and boys start asking her out. Yes, she's clearly unpopular.

Live Action TV

  • The title character of House. While he is often curmudgeonly and rude (particularly to patients), he also seems equally unable to function unless there's people nearby who he can make rude comments to. In one episode where he must make a diagnosis on a plane, he deputizes several passengers to act as highly Flanderized versions of his regular staff, even after admitting several minutes later that it isn't actually helping that much.
  • In an early episode of Lost, Kate gives Sawyer some advice, starting with the words: "from one island outcast to another..." Kate practically runs Craphole Island, and has relationships with all the major characters.
  • Roy invokes this in The IT Crowd, trying to seduce a girl who likes dangerous loner types. He fails miserably.
  • The Tenth Doctor on Doctor Who had elements of this. He had loads of friends, allies, acquaintances, etc. who would happily die for him, but chose to Wangst instead of say, stopping by for tea now and again. Lampshaded by Sarah Jane in "Journey's End":

Sarah Jane: You know, you act like such a lonely man but look at you! You've got the biggest family on Earth!

  • In the series four finale of Merlin, Arthur goes after Merlin and tells him: "you're the only friend I've got." Except for Gwen, who's travelling with them. And Hunith, whose house he recovered from his injuries in. And the Knights of the Round Table, who are currently trying to make their way back to him. And Tristan and Isolde, both about to thrown in their lot with him. And Gaius, back in Camelot.

Newspaper Comics

  • Charlie Brown in Peanuts goes in and out of this - everyone supposedly hates him, yet he seems to hang around with people like Linus, Lucy, and Shroeder a lot. In this case this was probably at least a little deliberate—Charlie Brown is more insecure than a loner. His insecurities just lead him to feel lonely.
  • And Lucy's Verbal Abuse can't help.
    • In the earliest strips, the other characters are in fact shockingly cruel to Charlie Brown. This motif is softened over time.

Video Games

  • Raven in Rune Factory 3 tells you that she doesn't have any friends ( because she is afraid that her "curse" will make them disappear). However, on every Holiday and Festival you see her walking around with Karina and Sofia.
    • One of her heart events will acknowledge this: She makes gifts for Karina and Sofia, thanking them for being her friends. They both express surprise this was ever in question.
  • In Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town, when you're introduced to Doug and Ann, Doug expresses hope that you'll be friends with his daughter, Ann, since she doesn't really have any friends and is lonely. But during the normal course of the game, you'll see her hanging out at the hot springs every morning, with Popuri. Does Popuri not count?
    • It's possible that Doug doesn't know that Ann and Popuri are friends, or that he wants her to have more than one friend.

Web Animation

  • Dangeresque from Homestar Runner works alone, except when he works with Renaldo. Which is all the time.

Web Comics

  • In Wapsi Square Monica has an episode where she wonders if she is a social misfit [1] until she meets someone who truly doesn't have any social life, and she ends up giggling over her self. [2].
  • Davan of Something*Positive is the kind of misanthrope you would expect this of... except he has a sprawling group of friends, both close and distant, which grows and changes over time. Even Mike managed to get a lot of new friends thanks to his Jerk Face Turn.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • The titular character of Daria, despite appearing to be an isolated loner, is actually on good speaking relationships with most of the other characters in her class, interacting with them fairly often. Granted, she tends to do so in a fairly ironic way.

Real Life

  • In the words of comedian Chris Rock: "The Trenchcoat Mafia! 'No one would play with us! We had no friends, the Trenchcoat Mafia....' Hey, I saw the yearbook picture, it was six of them! I ain't have six friends in high school. I don't got six friends now! S***, that's three-on-three with a half court."