Les Collaborateurs

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"And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords..."
Kent Brockman, The Simpsons, "Deep Space Homer"
"...Therefore I say, yes, I am a collaborator. We must all collaborate, willingly, eagerly, if we expect to reap the benefits of unification. And reap we shall."

Living under the heel of a despotic Evil Overlord and his Empire is no picnic even for those blind to their tyranny. No surprise then that La Résistance does everything it can to make his reign difficult. Luckily, what La Résistance lacks in numbers it makes up for with loyal grassroots support from the oppressed people because The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified. No matter how good the tyrant's publicity, only the foolish believe him and all the people that matter help La Résistance.

Except, of course, for Les Collaborateurs. Why fight against the Evil Overlord when helping him can give you money, power, and revenge against all those pretty popular kids that just joined La Résistance? Les Collaborateurs can act as The Mole, spreading and gathering intelligence, as saboteurs within the resistance by undermining their own efforts, or as an agent of distrust and discord to break apart The Alliance. Les Collaborateurs are only too happy to sell out their countrymen like animals to the slaughter, even if signs point to the villain having a penchant for killing collaborators.

Usually they're unctuously Smug Snakes or a low grade Magnificent Bastard. And no, these guys will not end up Becoming the Mask or doing a Heel Face Turn—they've tasted power and found it sweet. You can, however, expect them to think that their utter betrayal will somehow make The Chick insanely attracted to them (Love Makes You Evil meets Go-Go Enslavement). Thankfully, the cosmic sense of justice ensures that all collaborators meet with particularly grisly Karmic Deaths.

In Real Life, it's often a murkier picture. Ordinary, upstanding citizens across Europe "collaborated" to greater and lesser extents with Nazi occupation, for instance, and most of them were just trying to make the best of a bad situation. Others were maligned for simply fraternizing with the invaders to any extent. After the war, it was common practice in France, as well as probably elsewhere, to shave off the hair of women who have had intimate relations with German soldiers, for whatever reason. And while this mistreatment of young women was extremely common post-D-Day, people in positions of authority who had collaborated were often given amnesty or left unpunished except for the most egregious examples—Darnand, Laval etc (and Darlan switched sides without consequence before he was assassinated (possibly by the SOE)).

If a member of Les Collaborateurs is given a position of power or influence over the conquered people, then he becomes The Quisling.

See also Transhuman Treachery. Compare The Remnant. Has absolutely nothing to do with Les Yay (unless a collaborator is in bed with a Psycho Lesbian Big Bad). This trope is the villain opposite of La Résistance, and the government they collaborate with is The Empire. When they are on the battlefield (willingly or not), they are Battle Thralls

Examples of Les Collaborateurs include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Suzaku and Honorary Britannians in Code Geass.
    • The Irregulars in Nightmare of Nunnally fit, mostly war orphans chosen against their will. They are Super Soldiers who are effectively enslaved by implanting DNA of C.C into their bodies.
  • After Nagi conquers Windbloom and takes over Garderobe Academy in Mai-Otome, he creates a new unit of Dark Magical Girls under his direct command called the "Valkyries". Guess who's among the first to sign up for the deal? Tomoe, who several episodes earlier tried to kill Arika and her friends using a vial of acid from the exiled Miya's dissolved Gem.
  • In One Piece, the White Berets agree to work for the usurper "God" Eneru in the hopes that they could protect the people of Skypiea by doing so. This proves futile when Eneru revealed that he had planned to destroy Skypiea and travel to the Endless Vearth, but Conis understands what the White Berets were trying to do.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia. Just about any occupied nation shows signs of this, but a few really stand out:
    • Germany's WWII occupation of Austria. After he finishes his rant, Austria just shrugs and says that he really doesn't mind.
    • Hungary seems to have no problems with basically being Austria's maid during the Chibitalia episodes.
    • Ukraine's relationship with Russia. Combined with Yandere for Belarus/Russia.
    • Italy's attitude toward being captured/invaded in general is very noncholant and he always says things like "I'll do anything!" and "I'll tell you everything!"
  • Count Germont in Honoo no Alpen Rose.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Fables has a story involving Icabod Crane and Cinderella, who're both secretly collaborators for the Adversary. Except Cinderella is actually a mole for Bigby Wolf, sent to ferret out Crane's treachery. When caught, Crane tries ineffectively to claim that he was also pretending to collaborate in order to ferret out traitors. It doesn't work.
    • Trusty John from the same series is another example, although he was forced to do so by his oath to his master, now a vassal for the Adversary. After death he becomes a faithful servant to Flycatcher, however, in contrast to Shere Khan and Bluebeard, who try to sell out Haven to the Adversary.


Fanfiction[edit | hide]

  • In Aeon Entelechy Evangelion there are Migou "cultists", sleeper agents who truly believe that Migou are the good guys in the Aeon War (which is true, from a certain point of view).
  • All He Ever Wanted has Hungary and Liechtenstein as this, specially uncomfortable because this happens after Prussia rapes both of them (and in addition, tortures Hungary while forcing Austria to watch. It's supposed to be a Batman Gambit from them, as way to manipulate Prussia and then bring his downfall. The Unfortunate Implications remain, as the whole deal is regarded by many as very Out of Character for the three of them..
  • In Winter War, when Seireitei is surrendered to Aizen's forces and he puts Gin in charge of the city to get rid of him, some of the Gotei 13 and the nobility go along with it. This doesn't include any of the captains or lieutenants, but there are enough shinigami left for Gin to set himself up as "soutaichou".
  • Ponies Make War: All the pony nobles and soldiers who swear loyalty to Titan, Terra, and Empyrean after they take the throne from Celestia. However, it's worth noting that outside of General Esteem and his inner circle (who sought power), it appears that many only did so out of fear and the belief that the Loyalists had no chance to win.


Films -- Live Action[edit | hide]

  • The one Briton helping the Saxons invade post-Roman Britain in King Arthur. He hides in a tree to avoid dying in the final battle, and gets sniped with an arrow from a mile away.
  • Theron from Frank Miller's 300, who collaborated with the Persian Empire against Sparta and used political manipulation to delay the Spartan march to war for a time before getting his comeuppance at the hands of Queen Gorgo.
    • From the same film, Ephialtes. Of course for him the punishment wasn't death but a wish from Leonidas that he live forever, a curse for a wannabe Spartan warrior whose ultimate goal was glorious death in battle.
      • In the case of the real Ephialtes, he was killed by one Athenades of Trachis for a totally unrelated reason, but the Spartans honoured him anyway.
    • Also the Ephors from the same film.
  • Captain Renault in Casablanca is a rare example of a redeemed Collaborateur. While neutral towards the Nazis, Rick, and the occupation in general, he takes up his forgotten Patriotism and helps Victor Lazlo escape Casablanca and Rick escape arrest, going so far as to throw away a bottle of Vichy water towards the movie's end.
    • As part of the setup near the beginning of the movie, the police shoot a fleeing suspect (with expired ID who just happened to be a Free France supporter) dead beneath a poster bearing the visage of Pétain and the words "Je tiens mes promesses, même celles des autres." ("I keep my promises, even other people's.") Anvilicious? Take That? Yes and yes.
  • Paul Verhoeven's Black Book centres around a woman who is asked by the resistance to sleep with various high-ranking Germans in order to spy on them and plant bugs in their offices. After the war, she is set upon, humiliated and nearly killed by a mob.
  • Brutally subverted in It Happened Here (1966), set in an alternative 1944 Britain conquered by the Nazis. Its entire theme is how ordinary people are drawn into collaborating with fascism. Highly controversial at the time for upsetting popular World War II mythology.
  • In the Blade series, humans who know about vampires but choose to serve them against their own kind are called "familiars". They are easily identified by their glyph tattoos.
  • Subverted in Ip Man, where policeman-turned-Japanese interpreter Li Zhao is shown as a sympathetic character just trying to survive and attempts to help the titular character by taking advantage of the Japanese inability to understand Chinese. Ultimately he shoots the Smug Snake Colonel Sato, delivering that character's Karmic Death, but is still subject to the Inferred Holocaust. There's also "Fatty" in the sequel to the British, but it turns out he was a Reverse Mole trying to get information against them.
  • Mr. Yee in Lust, Caution: He's a high-ranking member of the pro-Japanese puppet government in occupied China.
  • In Hotel Rwanda one of Paul's hotel employees is a virulent Hutu partisan who tells the militia about the location of the Tutsi refugees.
  • Ryan's Daughter, the climax of which involves the titular character wrongly, as it turns out having her head shaved for tipping off the British about the weapons drop.
  • In They Live!, the wealthy elite of society are secretly cooperating with a race of aliens that are slowly taking over everything, effecting a widening financial gap between the poor and wealthy, and are implied to be terraforming the entire planet to fit their native climate. Among them is a former friend of Nada and Frank from the camp.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • In World War Z, many humans snapped from the stress of the Zombie Apocalypse and began to act like zombies. The survivors called them "Quislings" after the head of the Nazi collaborationist government of Norway. It didn't fool the real zombies, however...
  • The renegades in The War Against the Chtorr, cult followers that worship and help the Chtorran invaders. Their numbers increase as the infestation grows in strength—it's not known whether this is the result of an unknown form of brainwashing or simply a psychological/practical response to the overwhelming Alien Invasion.
  • In Fred Saberhagen's Berserker series, being what the omnicidal machines call "goodlife" is universally treated as a capital crime. For good reason.
  • The Lord of the Rings
    • Lotho Sackville-Baggins. By the time Frodo and company leave the Shire, Lotho's been in Saruman's pocket for years, and when the wizard shows up in the Shire, Lotho jumps at the chance to become his enforcer and figurehead. However, Frodo mourns his Karmic Death and insists the other heroes do the same, since he was still a hobbit.
    • Grima Wormtounge also collaborates with Saruman in Rohan.
  • In the Alternate History World War series by Harry Turtledove, the Polish Jews flip-flop between helping the Alien Invaders fight the Nazis and helping the Nazis fight the invaders. In contrast, the aliens try to coerce black American soldiers to fight for them, but most of the soldiers play double-agents.
  • In Kurt Vonnegut's Mother Night the American protagonist is asked to become a collaborator for the Nazis by an American agent to pass information to America. The book is about what being a collaborator does to his soul (and life), even though he knows he is doing it for a good cause.
  • The King-Men in The Book of Mormon ended up staging a coup and outing the chief-judge out of the land. However, they weren't counting on the lead general coming back and forcing them to fight the Lamanites.
  • In A Man for All Seasons, the Duke of Norfolk swears an oath affirming the Act of Succession, but openly admits that he neither knows nor cares whether anything he swore was true or not; he is merely swearing it to go along with everybody else, and avoid getting into trouble.
  • The Inquisitorial Squad that collaborates with Umbridge's authoritarian autocracy over Hogwarts in Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix.
  • Every day over the course of a year in Gotz and Meyer, concentration camp inmates are loaded into a truck that will supposedly be taken to a better camp. A few select inmates bury the resultant corpses, and are told that for their collaboration they will really be released to a better camp. Guess how that goes.
  • In Ken Follett's World War II novel Jackdaws, Nazi officer Dieter Frank's French mistress Stephanie works with him to bring down a French resistance circuit, and is loyal to him since he saved her from a death camp. In the end she gets a bullet in her head from a member of the Resistance.
  • Jeff VanderMeer's Finch features a rare case of a Le Collaborateur as a protagonist, working as a detective for the Graycaps that have taken over the city-state. He really hates his job, though, and tries to aid his fellow humans whenever he can with his authority.
  • Judas in The Bible betrays Jesus to the Romans.
  • In Timothy Zahn's Blackcollar, The planetary governments of the defeated Terran Democratic Empire willingly cooperate with their alien occupants, the Ryqril. In fact, they actively celebrate the Victory Day, that is the day the TDE officially surrendered to the Ryqril. Subverted in that all government officials are conditioned to be loyal.
  • In Robert Silverberg's The Alien Years, a computer geek works for invading aliens because it gets him laid.
  • Teguina in Dale Brown's Sky Masters.
  • The voluntary controllers in Animorphs.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • In V, Donovan's mother is a collaborator of the foulest variety; a self serving opportunist (who intentionally resembles Nancy Reagan) who has neatly deluded herself that she won't be on the next Visitor menu the moment she exhausts her usefulness. For instance, she's perfectly willing to shoot at her own son when she discovers him on a mission for the Resistance as well as sell out the Visitors the instant it seems the Resistance is winning.
    • She actually wasn't willing to shoot her own son, as Donovan himself pointed out ("Even you're not that cold, Mother"). She just fired in the air, and then tore her dress to make it look like she'd fended him off.
    • Also Daniel Bernstein, an unpopular teenager who finds power by joining the Visitor youth corps; he becomes a despicable bully, betrays members of the Resistance to the Visitors, and personally kills one of them, an old woman who used to be his neighbor. The Resistance retaliates by framing him for their abduction of a Visitor officer; he's dragged off to become food for the Visitors. Karma's a bitch.
  • Many of the plots of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine deal with real or perceived collaborators with the Cardassian, and later Dominion occupation, including Kira's mother and (arguably) Odo.
    • Just don't imply that Odo was a collaborator in front of Kira. It won't go over well.
    • After the Dominion takes control of the Deep Space Nine, Kira remains on the station as the representative of Bajor. At first her intention is to maitain the neutrality of her home planet, but after a while she discovers the tragic irony of her slowly slipping into becoming herself what she always despised - a collaborator.
  • Secret Army centers around a Belgian café frequented by German officers, which acts as a front for smuggling allied airmen out of the country - until it is trashed by a mob incensed at their "collaboration".
    • Secret Army's far more well known parody 'Allo 'Allo featured a small Story Arc where General Von Klinkenhoffen decided to give René a "collaboration medal" after he unwittingly helped the General. People started vandalizing his café, his allies, La Résistance threatened to shoot him if he accepted and of course, the Nazis threatened to do the same if he refused. Luckily for René, the General changed his mind about giving him the medal.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles recently introduced the concept of the "Grays", humans working with Skynet deliberately. What does Skynet want with humans? To understand things like emotion...
  • In the Doctor Who serial The Invasion of Time', Gallifrey is invaded by the Vardans and the Sontarans. There's a slimy Time Lord who co-operates with both invaders and with the Doctor, who is pretending to be a collaborator himself.
  • A major plot point was this in the third season of the Battlestar Galactica re-imaginging, most notably Gaius Baltar being forced to collaborate with the Cylons on New Caprica lest they destroy what was left of humanity. A number of other, mostly nameless characters, also collaborate with the Cylons as armed policemen.
  • Babylon 5.
    • The Nightwatch.
    • Also that political officer lady assigned to Captain Sheridan in one episode. She knew the Clarke administration was evil, but she still served it. She even showed just how much her skewed value system affects her judgment when she clumsily tries to seduce Sheridan and is honestly surprised when he's not even remotely interested in a totally naked woman offering herself completely to him.


Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • Terry and the Pirates featured several Chinese who were only too happy to collaborate with the Japanese invaders; most notably Warlord Klang.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Changeling: The Lost features both Loyalists and Privateers. Loyalists are changeling who are still in service to the Gentry, either because they were released from Arcadia with conditions or because they're so bent that they see nothing wrong with working with primordial eldritch entities. The Privateers try to abduct mortals or escaped changelings and sell them to the Gentry for fun and profit.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Dr. Breen from Half-Life 2 was the first human to attempt to negotiate for peace during the Combine invasion of Earth, also known as The Seven Hour War, and was awarded the title of grand overseer of Earth on behalf of the Combine for his efforts.
    • The Civil Protection Officers from the same game are humans that have decided to become the Combine's occupational/peace-keeping force in return for more rations and better treatment. The Overwatch and other Combine soldiers are similar; although it's implied that they are given their 'augmentations' unwillingly, and forced/reeducated to fight the Resistance, they are promised sexual simulations in return for success in these endeavours.
    • Judith Mossman is either a redeemed Collaborateur or a double-agent of La Résistance.
  • In the Nod campaign of Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun, GDI soldier Jake McNeil (brother of commander Michael McNeil, the GDI player character) doesn't need much prompting to defect to Nod after his capture; all they had to do was parade a pretty woman in front of him, make a baseless claim that the Brotherhood is only interested in peace, and point out that his older brother has a higher position in the military than him.
  • Saren from Mass Effect has allied himself with the Reapers, a race of machines who aim to kill all sentient life in the galaxy as he believes that servitude is better than extinction. The game suggests that he was completely Brainwashed, however, and in the final confrontation had been forcibly given implants to quash rebellious thoughts. If you have a high enough persuasion trait, you can convince him to redeem himself by shooting himself in the face.
  • The Goombas in Super Mario Bros. are former citizens of the Mushroom Kingdom who chose to side with Bowser when he first invaded. There are still good Goombas living in the Mushroom Kingdom, though.
  • Despot and the other "Planet" Admins collaborated with GameSpy in The Nameless Mod.
  • Brigid Tenenbaum of BioShock (series) got her start in science from the Nazi camps that she was a prisoner of.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Amanda Connor, the ex-wife of La Résistance leader Sean Napier in Exo Squad, collaborated with the Neosapien propaganda machine, believing that would bring peace between Neosapiens and Terrans. Frankly, she was wrong.
    • Also the Mayor of Phaeton City, formerly known as Chicago.
  • The Dai Li in Avatar: The Last Airbender, technically even before they joined Azula and the Fire Nation, since they kept Ba Sing Se's superior military might from being used against the Fire Nation.
  • In Kim Possible: A Sitch in Time, Bonnie Rockwaller becomes an instructor in one of Shego's re-education centers.
  • In ThunderCats (2011) Thunderian General Grune readily turns his coat at Sorcerous Overlord Mumm-Ra's offer of power, and promise to destroy Thundera, but does so because circumstances denied Grune the resources he needed to orchestrate a miltary coup, and become The Usurper of Thundera himself. Grune becomes The Dragon of Mumm-Ra's forces, and exploits his status as a prodigal treasure hunter to re-enter Thundera with a Trojan Horse full of Mumm-Ra's troops, bolstering The Siege on the city.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Numerous examples during World War II, many of which have since become synonymous with selling out one's country to foreign invaders:
    • The Wang Jingwei government of 1940-1944. Once, he had been the peoples' favoured candidate to take over as head of the Nationalist Party and take the Presidency. He brought a lot of his popular support with him when he joined the Japanese out of the belief that the Nationalist Party forces would soon be defeated and that his defection could make the transition easier and less bloody. The Nationalists fought on and his defection made the situation worse by its effect on morale and the negative associations with the Nationalists. He ended up presiding over an increasingly powerless and unpopular regime until his death of natural causes in 1944. Though he had good intentions for the most part, all people of Chinese culture Under Heaven know his name as a by-word for treachery.
    • The Vichy regime in France, who were led by genuine French fascists (and some former communists) but mostly consisted of ordinary folks. Philippe Pétain's name is used as a swear word by some French to this day,[1] and the word "Vichy" likewise represents collaboration throughout the Western world—even on this very wiki.
    • Norway's Vidkun Quisling and his party were just about the only people in Norway not resisting Nazi occupation in some way. He was so hated that the staunchly anti-death-penalty country made a special exception just for him. His name has become a synonym for collaborationists and traitors.
    • Even the utterly brutal Reichskommisariat governments on the eastern front had collaborators, many of whom came from nations like Estonia who had been recently conquered by Stalin, or from the persecuted Cossacks, and thought they were fighting for their freedom. As can be seen, in real life, this trope is much less black and white.
    • The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists initially and reluctantly collaborated with Nazi Germany against the Soviets, but then proceeded to commit a full-scale genocide on the local Polish population. All the while staunchly believing they are fighting for Ukrainian freedom.
    • Perhaps the most visible example of this are the non-German Waffen-SS divisions. While many were from countries allied with Germany or with significant Nazi-friendly political movements (such as France, Ukraine or Denmark), there were divisions consisting of Brits, Russians, even Indians.
    • Goebbels predicted that American Indians wouldn't be loyal to America. "I understand that Colin Ross, whom you know, is a Nazi and should be treated accordingly." So said Harold Ickes. This started with the assimilationist American Indian Federation (Expect assimilationists to always be this trope.) and its association with the German-American Bund and Silver Shirts. That the swastika is associated with Shock and Awe in Indian cultures was another reason Goebbels thought Indians would support him. As one final push, Germany declared the Sioux to be Aryan. Ultimately, however, it was Defied Trope by the Indians, most of whom were 100% loyal to the United States—the Sioux Nation declared war on Germany before the US did.
    • On the other side of the war, we have Thailand, which sided with Imperial Japan. Relations between Thailand and China and both Koreas are strained to this day. The same goes for Iraq.
  • Benedict Arnold V, a man whose name is synonymous with betrayal in the United States. In Britain he wasn't too popular either: he left behind another agent to be captured and died in ostracism.
    • And though he's still relatively vilified in the US, he is, at most, a short footnote in British versions of History.
  • Once the British left New York after the war ended, Washington paid very public visits to several notorious Tories (British loyalists) to demonstrate that they'd been working for him during the occupation. He also issued a note of protection to the family of John Honeyman, another collaberator/spy.
  • In Iraq, rebelling factions often execute Iraqis working with the US-backed government, accusing them of collaboration.
  • Hamas in Palestine accuses Fatah and especially President Mahmoud Abbas of collaboration with the Israeli occupation. This isn't technically wrong—the Palestinian security forces under Abbas' control do cooperate extensively with the IDF and the Israel Police—but what makes the accusation disingenuous is that this is what the Palestinian Authority is supposed to be doing. You see, the Oslo Accords call for the Palestinians to provide security guarantees to Israel as a trust-building measure; with less violence, Israel is supposed to be more willing to end the occupation and give Palestine its independence.[2] The problem is that Hamas has thus far refused to renounce violence, meaning that the PA and Israel keep arresting Hamas fighters.
  • The Taliban have executed their own people on accusations of spying, including a a seven-year old boy and a 70-year old woman.
  • During American slavery there would be black slaves, or even free blacks (some whom were even preachers) who would rat out other slaves attempting to escape.
  • The Indian wars often had this. The Pawnee aligned with the United States, but over time, people like Red Cloud and Spotted Tail also fell under United States influence.
  1. It helps that Pétain sounds a lot like putain, which means "whore" and is a common obscenity in France.
  2. Unfortunately, with the highly-suspicious and rather stick-in-the-mud Benjamin Netanyahu at the helm, the bar for "security" has been set almost impossibly high.