Untrusting Community

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A Hero Walking the Earth comes to a community, often an Adventure Town that bears no welcome for him/her. They insult or otherwise mistreat the hero and consider him/her suspicious and worthless no matter what the hero says.

Well, the heroes can't have that, now, can they? So, they stick around.

Then a crisis occurs, the hero saves the day, and the community is utterly flabbergasted that the hero would do that after how they treated him. When the towns' speaker asks in astonishment why, the hero usually responds with something along the lines of "because it was the right thing to do", regardless of the community's opinion of the hero. The hero leaves with the community stunned that someone could honestly be that noble.

Sometimes consists of people who are Dying Like Animals. Occasionally someone Fighting for Survival will help out the hero by being a Character Witness.

A variant used sometimes is when a fantasy creature protagonist, who is living in secret with a sympathetic human's help, enters a hidden community with the human friend. Suddenly the creature's kind is the majority and the human is detained immediately as an assumed enemy. Thus the creature protagonist finds itself in the unfamiliar position of having to publicly stand up for the human friend and reassure the population that the friend can be trusted. They are usually not convinced until the human plays a role in saving the day and is then officially considered welcome in the community.

If the hero isn't just passing through but happens to live there, they're a Hero with Bad Publicity who may find it hard to get Hero Insurance.

Obvious biblical examples make this Older Than Feudalism.

Examples of Untrusting Community include:


  • Happened in the Pokémon Special manga. The first gen heroes are being targeted by Team Rocket, and in order to lure them out, the Sevii Islands get trashed. Red manages to defeat one of the bad guys responsible, but the citizens just blame him for their homes destroyed. Though near the end of the arc, the community got racked with guilt upon hearing that Red is still trying to save another city regardless of being shunned or not.
  • The Digital World in Digimon Savers. Though, considering that they went through a devastating genocide attempt at the hands of humans just a few years before, it's no wonder that most Digimon would try to attack humans at first sight.
    • Though it gets kind of ridiculous since even the community SAVED by a human subscribes to the "kill the humans" mantra.
  • Tenma from Monster. This is repeated throughout the series, but the most notable example takes place in Frankfurt, when the Turkish district is threatened by Neo Nazis.

Comic Books


  • Parodied, along with everything else, in Blazing Saddles.
  • Shane, anyone?
  • This happens in Soldier with Todd 3465. Todd is an unemployed soldier (actually thrown away in the garbage and left on a garbage planet). His attempt to mingle with the locals fails, mostly because he's spent his entire life as a soldier (including childhood), so he has no concept of fitting into a community. One of the reasons he's thrown out of the community is because he tries to teach a local boy how to catch/kill a poisonous snake. Later, when the boy saves his parents' lives by keeping them from being bitten by a snake that was in their bed, the father goes to find Todd, which is a good thing because some really bad people are coming for them.
  • In Disney's |Hercules, Hercules doesn't get a very good reception in Thebes (which is written recognizably as an expy of modern-day New York; Hercules is that kind of movie). He comes upon some citizens complaining about their troubles and says "What you need is a hero" but they all grumble about how inexperienced he is and call him "just another chariot chaser." Until he kills a hydra and earns their support.


Live Action TV

Video Games

  • Any island Marona sets foot on in Phantom Brave has everyone hating her by default due to her stats as a Chroma (known as gready mercenaries) and her powers with Necromancy.
  • Fallout 2's Vault City is a dark and depressing place, openly hostile to every outsider - including the player character. By dealing with the problem of raiders attacking their city, and fixing the power plant of a nearby town, he or she can earn their trust and become one of them.
  • In Fallout 3, the residents of Little Lamplight are quite wary of adults. Given that the player character can enslave them, their paranoia is quite justified.
  • In Mega Man Zero 4, while the citizens of the Caravan don't necessarily hate the La Résistance and Zero, they are suspicious of their motives, mainly because they're tired of all the war and death that's been caused by Reploids.
    • Once they learned that Zero was responsible for their "savior's" death (only he wasn't, directly at least) they did become more hostile. But, mere minutes later, they changed their ways and start to finally trust Zero's group.
  • There is a lot of crossover between this and Dude, Where's My Respect? in Final Fantasy XI. No many how many times you save the entire planet, people never seem to give you the benefit of the doubt. The single worse example that comes to this troper's mind is in the Alexander summon quest: you must go to each of the major nations to give you permission to perform an excursion (i.e. beat up something) to stop the world from ending (again), but you are met with skepticism from every nation even though you have saved the planet at least once to qualify for this quest. Not only that, but the President of Bastok treats you with utter contempt as if he never met you, even though a lot of his gruff image was shown to be bluster in later Bastokan missions. One could blame all of this on a lazy development team who doesn't want to program multiple cutscenes based off of how far you are on other missions than the actual citizens of Vana'diel.
  • The rural town of Wormwood Creek in Dragon Quest IX, to the point that the shops are prohibited by law from selling any goods to foreigners. Considering that the last time they trusted a outsider, their town was razed by The Empire, this is hardly unjustified. They do get better, though.
  • This happens in Mordavia in Quest for Glory 4. To be fair, they haven't had visitors in years, thanks to the zombie-filled swamp blocking access to their valley, and the hero freely admits to coming out of the Dark Cave, a place where very, very evil things happened (and the entrance to which has been closed for years as well). It's not until the fifth day, when the hero rescues the gravedigger, that people start to warm up to you, and even then, most of them are still pretty cold until you help them specifically.

Western Animation

  • In the Gargoyles world tour episode, "The New Olympians," Elisa is arrested on sight when she and her friends arrive at the hidden city of New Olympus. The inhabitants, who are various creatures whose ancestors fled human persecution centuries ago, are largely eager to take out their race hatred on Elisa despite Goliath and Angela's protests that she is sympathetic to them. Here the plot is tweaked a bit by the city elder, Tallos the robot, suggesting that human allies would be helpful considering the city is bound to be discovered soon by humans and their improving technology. However, it is only when Elisa, to the surprise of the city's security chief, Taurus the Minotaur, saves the city from the villain Proteous is she allowed to leave.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: The town of Chin in Avatar Day.
    • Inverted two episodes later when the main antagonist, after saving a child and defending a village from its tyrannical "protectors," is rejected by all simply because of his revealed origin.
  • Taking yet another peg from comic books, half-ghost Danny Phantom protects his ghost-infested and vulnerable but nevertheless untrusting hometown while enduring assault by its human inhabitants and the local press. Later they depend on him as their hero when he saved the entire town from a ghostly invasion.
  • In Adventures of the Gummi Bears, the mystic city of Gummadoon appears and the Gummi Glen Gummi's human friend, Caven, is arrested as a spy. The Gummi Glen Gummi protest this, but they are disbelieved which forces Cubbi to help Cavin escape the city. The Gummis of Gummadoon are only convinced of Cavin's true nature when he risks his life to warn the city of Duke Igthorn's attack on it and then by personally throwing out the would be conqueror when he invades. As a result, Cavin is given the unprecedented honor of being a dubbed a Knight of the city just before it fades away.
  • My Little Pony: The town of Grayvale from Bright Lights.

Real Life

  • Not so much the community but the police force in Chicago during the late '60s and early '70s. A local gang called the Vice Lords wanted to stop the gang violence and help out with the community. For a time their help appeared to be working, but they received zero support from law enforcement, causing the movement to utterly collapse on itself. Which lead to a lot of the public to wonder: did the CPD ever care in the first place, or did they just want to lock everyone up?
    • Similarly the LA gangs Crips and Bloods had a truce in the early 90's that wasn't too enthusiastically supported by anyone (outside of community leaders). Basically the cops thought it was an attempt to get good PR while they secretly plot to sell drugs and murder etc, while the gangs thought the cops was a bunch of racist Jerk Asses who wanted them to fail because of their own cynical and bitter indifference.
    • More like paranoia on the CPD's side as they fear the possibility that the Balance of Power will shift in favour of the gangs and the result would leave the police too weak to deal with any crimes the united gangs might commit. The unwritten policy amongst various PDs is to make sure that gangs keep fighting amongst themselves.