Created By: Unknown Troper on August 2, 2010 Last Edited By: Gamesfreak13563 on August 2, 2010
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Stranger Safety

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Trope
The tendency of fictional works to assume that characters can talk to, share a room with, or travel with complete strangers without doing a background check or even a basic spot check - and despite this, nothing bad will ever happen.

In stories where this trope applies, it's usually a near unheard of and an unspeakable crime to actually lull someone into a sense of security and rob them blind. Doing so in such a story is sure to send the character straight over the Moral Event Horizon and into Complete Monster territory. Why else would it be pounded into most of the children of Real Life that talking to complete strangers is usually bad?

A Justified Trope, as in ancient Greece, accepting aid from and giving aid to complete strangers was shown to be a virtuous characteristic. Even in relatively recent times and stories it was not improbable for these sorts of events to occur; strife at them is likely to be due to Values Dissonance.

See also Violation of Common Sense.

Examples

Anime and Manga
  • In an episode of Card Captor Sakura, a strange old man befriends Sakura. It turns out to be her great grandfather, but she didn't know it at the time and went off with what could very well have been a creep showing unnatural interest in her.

Literature
  • In Moby-Dick, Ishmael isn't put off by having to share a bed with a complete stranger, until he discovers the stranger in question is a Wild Samoan.
  • Ayla and Jondoloar from the Earth's Children series are constantly meeting new people, who are (almost) always helpful and friendly.

Mythology
  • Played straight in The Odyssey, where many characters take care of main hero Odysseus.

Video Games
  • Both Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games start in this manner. The first game is particularly jarring, as you, a complete stranger, are tasked to rescue a baby Caterpie.
    • Subverted in the second game, where a Drowzee kidnaps Azumarill, the game's resident Cute Shotaro Boy.

Western Animation

Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • January 13, 2010
    arromdee
    Card Captor Sakura episode 16. A strange old man befriends Sakura. It turns out to be her great grandfather, but she didn't know it at the time and went off with what could very well have been a creep showing unnatural interest in her.
  • January 13, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Added. Does this bump? Anyone else
  • January 13, 2010
    random surfer
    • Moby Dick. Ishmael isn't put off by having to share a bed with a complete stranger, until he discovers the stranger in question is a Wild Samoan.
    • Ayla and Jondolar from the Earths Children series are constantly meeting new people, who are (almost) always helpful and friendly.
    • The Simpsons Musical Episode "Oh, Streetcar:" "A Stranger's just a Friend you haven't met!"
  • January 14, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Do we have Stranger Danger as a Stock Aesop anywhere?

    Ah, yes. So, "when a show averts this, it is Too Smart For Strangers."
  • January 14, 2010
    Amazingly Enough
    The Moby Dick example is just Values Dissonance - In Real Life, it was perfectly fine and often necessary to share a bed with a stranger at the time. The narrator has no cause for alarm until he finds out who he's staying with.
  • January 15, 2010
    Unknown%20Troper
    Bump
  • January 15, 2010
    SMARTALIENQT
    How is it averted in the Odyssey? It's played straight, no? Or do I misunderstand the trope?
  • January 31, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    fixed
  • January 31, 2010
    animeg3282
    In Nana, Nana K decides to move in with Nana O who she has only met once. Her friends state that this is a bad idea, but instead Nana K and Nana O find the great love of their lives...
  • January 31, 2010
    Chabal2
    Apparently one Barney episode had the Aesop of "A stranger is just a friend you haven't met yet". Thanks for making it easier to hate you, Barney!
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