Wiki Headlines
We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here.
Appeal to Neutrality
Villain attempts to convince the hero they have no reason for involvement.


(permanent link) added: 2012-03-24 20:43:48 sponsor: Earnest (last reply: 2012-03-27 20:01:40)

Add Tag:
A lot of heroes end up basically sticking their noses in what's none of their business during their adventures. Stepping in to help a defenseless village from a marauding horde, save a gambler from the loan sharks out to eat him, and try to stop The Empire from conquering The Federation. In these situations the hero may be confronted by the Big Bad with an Appeal To Neutrality. Much like We Can Rule Together, the bad guy is trying to get the hero to stop helping the good guys. Albeit rather than cause a Face-Heel Turn, they try to do so by convincing the hero that they have no stake in the matter, no link to tie them to either side, and no epic rivalry between grudge between hero and villain.

This kind of Leave Your Quest Test usually results in the hero realizing that they have to stay and fight, either because of an emotional attachment to one person on the good guy side, or because basic human decency requires him to.

May be paired with Heroic Neutral, a guy who just wants to be left alone but the plot drags around. Denying their neutrality becomes Character Development in that they are no longer neutral.

Film
  • John Carter: "How do you say it in Virginia? You have no dog in this fight."

Tabletop RPG
  • Dungeons & Dragons module I5 Lost Tomb of Martek. While the PCs are on the "Crypt of Al-Alisk" adventure, the Big Bad appears in a vision and warns them not to get involved.
I warn thee and all with thee. Get thee hence from this land! The battle to come is between me and Athis al-Din and none of thy concern. If thou values thy life, get thee hence!

Real Life
  • During World War II, Axis propaganda (especially Japanese) aimed at the United States tended to take a "why are you fighting?" approach. Which didn't work, because those soldiers knew exactly why they were fighting, and it had to do with Zeroes over Pearl Harbor.
replies: 3

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy