Protected By The Masquerade
When a character isn't harmed because there are too many Muggle witnesses.
Needs Examples Better Name

(permanent link) added: 2012-08-07 15:08:17 sponsor: Earnest (last reply: 2012-08-17 21:26:07)

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Launching in 24 hours as Safety In Muggles. Last call for examples and name suggestions/votes.

Alternate name ideas: Muggle Shield, Hiding Behind The Masquerade, Fight Called On Account Of Witnesses, Too Many Muggle Witnesses, Safety In Witnesses, Safety In Mundanes or Safety In Muggles.

Characters who are Protected By The Masquerade manage to avoid being harmed, captured or killed because their pursuer is unwilling to break The Masquerade in front of a large number of Muggle witnesses. This can swing in a villain or hero's favor, depending on the situation, and it usually forces a stalemate in most situations. Of course, characters attempting to do this run the risk of the pursuer deciding to use conventional means to separate them from the crowd (even posing as a "common" kidnapper or using a gun instead of a Laser Sword).

This can become especially Ironic if the one being saved doesn't care about upholding the masquerade.

Contrast Killed to Uphold the Masquerade. Compare Did Mom Just Have Tea With Cthulhu and Human Shield.

Anime and Manga
  • Soul Eater has a slight variation; Stein actually is trying to unmask Medusa as a witch, however since he doesn't have enough evidence he confronts her at a party so she can't kill him without revealing herself (right in front of Lord Death himself and in a room full of meisters and their Equippable Allies). Unfortunatly she's already put her plan (to trap everyone attending the party while she frees an Eldritch Abomination) into motion and just runs away.

Film - Live Action
  • In the original and remake of Fright Night, Charlie and his girlfriend run into a crowded dance club hoping to Invoke this trope and stop Jerry from killing them. It doesn't work since there are too many people to notice that his "loving kiss" of her neck is actually a Hemo Erotic Kiss of the Vampire.
  • In the first Men In Black movie, K stops J's attempt to kill the bug villain because they are in public.

Film - Animated
  • Lilo & Stitch. Jumba can't open fire on Stitch because of his close company with Lilo. He enjoys reminding Stitch of it though, when he revealed the handle of his plasma weapon from inside a paper sack.

Literature
  • The Elenium: Sparhawk encounters Martel ... in Arasham's tent, while Sparhawk is pretending to be an emissary to Arasham. Both Sparhawk and Martel really want to start fighting, but neither feels like being torn to bits by a horde of fanatic Rendors.

Live Action Tv
  • Get Smart: Max is doing battle with a KAOS agent in his apartment when his aunt and uncle, who don't know he's in the spy business, show up. Max makes the KAOS agent play along that they're business colleagues, and the KAOS agent takes the opportunity to just leave.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xander of all people pulled this off against Angelus whilst Buffy was hospitalised and vulnerable. Angelus backed down rather than have to go through the effort of killing a bunch of security guards and other bystanders to get to Buffy.
  • In a first season episode of Burn Notice, Michael ducks out of a fight with an assassin dual-wielding knives by jumping in an elevator full of civilians.
  • This happened often in Highlander: The Series. The Immortals were usually very careful about conducting their fights in isolated areas without any witnesses. If any muggles showed up unexpectedly they would abort the fight and try another time. In one instance Methos goes so far as call the police in order to stop a fight between Duncan and another Immortal.

Tabletop RPG
  • Dungeons & Dragons, Ravenloft module Death Ascendant. While the religious service in the temple is going on the Kargat members take aside worshippers one at a time and drain them of their life force. When they try to do this to a PC, if the PC protests the Kargat member backs off because they don't want to make a scene.

Western Animation
  • In an episode of The Spectacular Spiderman, villain Tombstone not only refuses to attack Spidey as he helps him fight other villains, because he depends on good publicity to keep running his business. As soon as there is no one watching them, though...
    • In the same cartoon, there are also scenes where an undisguised Spidey has to avoid attacking Eddie Brock, AKA Venom, because Eddie makes sure there are people watching.

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