All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
— Attributed to Edmund Burke
Party A is in conflict with party B, and both request help from party C against the other. C, however, refuses to take sides and instead tries to either mediate the conflict or just walk away from it but fails and ends up escalating the conflict even more somehow, resulting in the destruction of both A and B, C themselves
, or even innocent bystanders (or all of the above).
This trope lives on the cynical end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism
. Contrast Reconcile The Bitter Foes
, which lives on the opposite side. Compare Kingmaker Scenario
, Neutrality Backlash
, False Dichotomy
, Omnicidal Neutral
. Compare/contrast No Points for Neutrality
- Almost every Reasonable Authority Figure in Dragon Age II who tries to mediate the mage-Templar conflict without taking one side or the other throughout the game ends up dead, leaving both sides free to go after each other's throats with no interference in the endgame.
- The neutral/lone wolf path in The Witcher sees Geralt murder even more people and leaving behind even more chaos and destruction than the other two—and people will call him out on that. In general, refusing to get involved in conflicts in this game often leads to the innocent suffering and the guilty getting out scot-free (while getting involved commonly leads to open bloodshed).
- Parodied in Futurama, where Zap Brannigan becomes convinced that the Neutral Planet is the greatest threat to the Democratic Order of Planets in the galaxy.
Will go under the Neutrality Index