Up For Grabs
(be sure to split examples between this and Apocalypse Anarchy
Bolin: ...but how are we gonna pay for all these parking tickets?
: (after burning tickets) Relax, the city's under attack. The police have more important things to worry about.
The main characters are no anti-heroes or villain antagonists, but sometimes they simply can't be bothered to follow the rules. Why? Well, is it really that important that you stop at every stoplight and follow the speed limit, if in ten minutes if you don't get there in time, some evil demon will eat up the universe?
In cases of The World Is Always Doomed
, expect the local law enforcement to be unsympathetic to this point of view, and for the heroes to heavily abuse this to do things that they couldn't ordinarily do.
This is for saving the world by any means necessary. For when the heroes (or side characters) are breaking the rules to take advantage
of a lapse in law due to emergency, see Apocalypse Breakdown
Anime and Manga
- Cooking Master Boy: Mao and the others impersonate a deity and burn a palace down. To be fair, the ruler in question was taking money from the citizens, and creating a health emergency, by keeping them malnourished on abalone soup.
- In Chew this drives the plot of the book "Flambe" in which strange writing made of fire appears in the sky. Its up to Tony to stop people doing this.
- In the eighth season comics for Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Buffy reasons thusly. She has hundreds of slayers fighting evil as a global organization. She needs funding. She robs a bank.
- Star Trek Deep Space Nine: In the episode 'In the Pale Moonlight,' Benjamin Sisko lies, bribes criminals, covers up the crimes of other criminals, and was an accessory to murder in order to bring the Romulans into the Dominion War on the side of the Federation. He says 'I can live with it' because the Federation was losing and their way of life was in danger of being destroyed.
- Another episode is named 'Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges,' the Roman term meaning 'in times of war the law falls silent.' In it the Federation again uses morally dubious means to ensure continued Romulan support for the war effort, including the framing of an innocent woman.
- Dean and especially Sam Winchester from Supernatural eventually adopt this philosophy at times due to increasingly escalating circumstances. At one point in season 4, Sam even explains to Dean that the normal rules don't necessarily apply to them, because they are not normal, and that Dean had better get used to that if they are going to do what is needed to stop the coming apocalypse. Somewhat ironic since Sam started out being the one who usually complained the most about doing iffy things.
- Harry Potter is no stranger to breaking the school's rules, thanks to having some kind of terrible danger strike the castle every year.
- Shea and Wilson's Illuminatus! is all about thwarting the eschatalogical intentions of the bad guys. If a hundred thousand people need to have their minds enhanced by being given an LSD trip without their knowledge or permission, then if the goal is to avert the end of the world, so be it... and (Bilingual Bonus) the bad guys even have the motto Der Zweck heiligt die Mittel. At one point there is a submarine battle in the ruins of Atlantis, where the nearest thing to a good guy, Hagbard Celine, has to reluctantly set aside his pacifism and sink the would be world-enders' submarine craft, called Der Zweck and Die Mittel
- This appears as a minor bit of world-building in Weis and Hickman's Starshield novels. Essentially, physics isn't the same everywhere; here's it's Newtonian, here Aristotelian, while over there it's a kind of magic that uses demons, but over there it's incantations. The borders for the different physics aren't fixed, and whenever one moves over a populated system, one of two things happens. Either they don't already know about it and treat it as an apocalyptic event and societies collapse, or they do know about it, the authorities prepare, and it's treated as a minor hiccup, like changing from driving on the left to the right (though teenagers do try new kinds of vandalism).
- U.S. criminal law has the doctrine of Necessity. If a defendant can show that it was necessary to break the law in order to prevent some greater harm from occurring they can be found not guilty for that reason. This only applies if the defendant (a) had no reasonable alternative (b) ceased committing the illegal act as soon as it was no longer necessary and (c) wasn't responsible for the dangerous situation in the first place. More at The Other Wiki's article on Necessity.