City Of Weirdos YKTTW Discussion

City Of Weirdos
(permanent link) added: 2010-03-05 08:39:31 sponsor: rjung (last reply: 2010-03-09 09:55:48)

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Do We Have This, Needs More Examples, and Rolling Updates.

Tips for aliens in New York: Land anywhere. Central Park, anywhere. No one will care or indeed even notice....

Oh, no! Bob the Beastman has been hit with a teleportation spell, and now he's in the middle of New York City at high noon! He's going to be spotted any second now, and The Masquerade will be exposed! It's too late to hide, here come the Muggles!

As Bob cringes, the pedestrians approach... and proceed to ignore him. A couple of teens joke about his costume, while a woman in passing mutters about how there are more weirdos in the city every day. Most folks simply walk by without even a second (or first) glance. After a few seconds, Bob shrugs and looks for a subway map.

City of Weirdos is a Comedy Trope when people in a city idly dismiss unusual happenings and odd-looking strangers as part of metropolitan life. This joke is almost always invoked in large urban centers, where the everyday bustle and diverse population justifies such reactions. Unlike a Weirdness Censor or a Fisher Kingdom, the Invisible to Normals effect doesn't require any magic or Applied Phlebotinum to work -- the jaded residents have Seen It All before, and they just don't care.

New York City, Los Angeles/Hollywood, and Tokyo are especially popular targets, but it might also happen for folks living in a City of Adventure.

A joke-specific subtrope of Weirdness Censor. Also see Unusually Uninteresting Sight and For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself.


  • In the Quantum Leap / Beauty and the Beast crossover Fan Fic "Quantum Beast" (written by Peter David, no less), Sam leaps into Vincent's bestial body, and has to travel across New York to rescue Catherine. After refusing Al's suggestion to cling onto the top of a subway train as suicidal, Sam instead goes to the nearest station and boards a car. He is ignored by the other riders, except for a punk rocker who calls him a "freak."
  • In the second Spider-Man movie, Spidey rides down an elevator with another passenger, who simply compliments his costume.
  • Real Life example: David Letterman once did a sketch where he filled a coffee shop in Times Square with 35 men in Spider-Man costumes. Crowds walking by failed to react.
  • In MegaTokyo, invading hordes, Humongous Mecha, and Rent-A-Zillas are common in Tokyo to the point where no one is surprised any more.
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