History Main / BystanderSyndrome

16th Jul '16 5:09:11 AM VVK
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Sadly, this trope is often TruthInTelevision, although the often used, most famous example of people just watching [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Kitty_Genovese the slow, painful murder of Kitty Genovese]] happen seems to have been 99% exaggeration by the media. Nevertheless, it happens, leading to the advice evolving into "''Tell'' someone to help, directly" or, if you're someone trying to help the person in trouble, specify who you're asking to help you help them, as people are much more prone to [[BavarianFireDrill following direct orders in an emergency situation]] than a directionless plea for aid. It is also the reason why in some countries, such as France or Finland, it is actually illegal to just do nothing in case of certain emergencies such as [[https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%A9lit_de_fuite_en_France traffic accidents]] -- if a Frenchman hits you with his car, he will stay to help, not because he's concerned about you, but because he doesn't wants to get thrown into jail.

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Sadly, this trope is often TruthInTelevision, although the often used, most famous example of people just watching [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Kitty_Genovese the slow, painful murder of Kitty Genovese]] happen seems to have been 99% exaggeration and plain lies by the media. Nevertheless, it happens, leading to the advice evolving into "''Tell'' someone to help, directly" or, if you're someone trying to help the person in trouble, specify who you're asking to help you help them, as people are much more prone to [[BavarianFireDrill following direct orders in an emergency situation]] than a directionless plea for aid. It is also the reason why in some countries, such as France or Finland, it is actually illegal to just do nothing in case of certain emergencies such as [[https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%A9lit_de_fuite_en_France traffic accidents]] -- if a Frenchman hits you with his car, he will stay to help, not because he's concerned about you, but because he doesn't wants to get thrown into jail.
19th Jun '16 2:52:56 PM DontKillBugs
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* The StephenKing and PeterStraub collab ''Literature/BlackHouse'' takes this to an extreme. When word gets out that [[spoiler:Irma Freneau's]] corpse has been found in an abandoned restaurant, the cops have to block off the road to deter literally dozens of people who want to come up to the crime scene and stomp all over it to have a look for themselves. One such couple demands to be allowed up so they can ''take home a keepsake'', while another violently informs the officer that he is a hellbound sinner for daring to deny her access.
14th Jun '16 1:48:37 AM Doug86
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** Explicitly interpreted this way in an episode of ''StarTrekTheNextGeneration''. Picard's complaints about the way a candidate new member of the Federation had treated the supersoldiers it created after the war ended is brushed off by the planet's government asserting that the Prime Directive meant Picard had no standing to interfere. When said supersoldiers then occupy the capital building and have the government at gunpoint to demand they be treated fairly, Picard responds for the demand for help by the same government officials by citing the Prime Directive as not allowing him to interfere and it's not his problem, and then beams the hell out of Dodge.

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** Explicitly interpreted this way in an episode of ''StarTrekTheNextGeneration''.''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''. Picard's complaints about the way a candidate new member of the Federation had treated the supersoldiers it created after the war ended is brushed off by the planet's government asserting that the Prime Directive meant Picard had no standing to interfere. When said supersoldiers then occupy the capital building and have the government at gunpoint to demand they be treated fairly, Picard responds for the demand for help by the same government officials by citing the Prime Directive as not allowing him to interfere and it's not his problem, and then beams the hell out of Dodge.
13th Jun '16 10:02:52 AM VVK
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* ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'': The material used to make Rorschach's mask was intended for a dress for [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitty_Genovese Kitty Genovese]], the namesake of Genovese Syndrome, also known as the "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect bystander effect]]".

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* ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'': The material used to make Rorschach's mask was intended for a dress for [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitty_Genovese Kitty Genovese]], the namesake of Genovese Syndrome, also known as the "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect bystander effect]]". Rorschach himself recounts the incident -- in the "everyone just watched" version -- and it seems to inform his view of the world and people.
9th Jun '16 12:45:34 AM KeithM
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** Explicitly interpreted this way in an episode of ''StarTrekTheNextGeneration''. Picard's complaints about the way a candidate new member of the Federation had treated the supersoldiers it created after the war ended is brushed off by the planet's government asserting that the Prime Directive meant Picard had no standing to interfere. When said supersoldiers then occupy the capital building and have the government at gunpoint to demand they be treated fairly, Picard responds for the demand for help by the same government officials by citing the Prime Directive as not allowing him to interfere and it's not his problem, and then beams the hell out of Dodge.
9th May '16 11:48:56 AM GlassRain
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* ''Webcomic/ZebraGirl'': This is how Sam goes drinking in bars and nobody even notices he has white fur and rabbit ears.
9th May '16 9:16:38 AM JamesAustin
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->'''Pelican:''' (''spotting a choking fellow pelican'') Hey, hey, Nigel. Heh, would you look at that? Sun's barely up and already Gerald's had more than he can handle.\\

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->'''Pelican:''' (''spotting ''[spotting a choking fellow pelican'') pelican]'' Hey, hey, Nigel. Heh, would you look at that? Sun's barely up and already Gerald's had more than he can handle.\\



(''all the pelicans murmur and nod but do nothing'')\\

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(''all ''[all the pelicans murmur and nod but do nothing'')\\nothing]''\\
5th May '16 3:29:08 PM DaNuke
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Sadly, this trope is often TruthInTelevision, although the often used, most famous example of people just watching [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Kitty_Genovese the slow, painful murder of Kitty Genovese]] happen seems to have been 99% exaggeration by the media. Nevertheless, it happens, leading to the advice evolving into "''Tell'' someone to help, directly" or, if you're someone trying to help the person in trouble, specify who you're asking to help you help them, as people are much more prone to [[BavarianFireDrill following direct orders in an emergency situation]] than a directionless plea for aid.

to:

Sadly, this trope is often TruthInTelevision, although the often used, most famous example of people just watching [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Kitty_Genovese the slow, painful murder of Kitty Genovese]] happen seems to have been 99% exaggeration by the media. Nevertheless, it happens, leading to the advice evolving into "''Tell'' someone to help, directly" or, if you're someone trying to help the person in trouble, specify who you're asking to help you help them, as people are much more prone to [[BavarianFireDrill following direct orders in an emergency situation]] than a directionless plea for aid.
aid. It is also the reason why in some countries, such as France or Finland, it is actually illegal to just do nothing in case of certain emergencies such as [[https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%A9lit_de_fuite_en_France traffic accidents]] -- if a Frenchman hits you with his car, he will stay to help, not because he's concerned about you, but because he doesn't wants to get thrown into jail.
4th May '16 9:11:47 AM F1Krazy
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* Jack Bauer of ''Series/TwentyFour'', season 2 premiere. He's still haunted by his wife's murder, his daughter wants nothing to do with him, and he's on the verge of suicide. The reason he leaves is to warn Kim to get out of LA. Later, when seeing a mother with her child, Jack decides to do something about it:

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* In Series 23 of ''Series/Casualty'', character Tess Bateman is [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice impaled on a metal pole]] after an accident at a building site. A teenager nearby who witnesses the accident proceeds to ''take a photo of her as she struggles for consciousness'', then just walks away. She does eventually get rescued, and gets better.
* Jack Bauer of ''Series/TwentyFour'', season Season 2 premiere. He's still haunted by his wife's murder, his daughter wants nothing to do with him, and he's on the verge of suicide. The reason he leaves is to warn Kim to get out of LA. Later, when seeing a mother with her child, Jack decides to do something about it:
3rd May '16 4:12:21 PM malonkey1
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* [[ExploitedTrope Weaponized]] in ''TabletopGame/DemonTheDescent'', with the "Bystander Effect" Embed, which specifically prevents others from interfering.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.BystanderSyndrome