[[quoteright:323:[[Creator/{{Banksy}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/elephantinthelivingroomfixed_2517.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:323:{{Move along|NothingToSeeHere}}, [[VisualPun nothing to see here.]]]]

->'''Peter:''' The healthiest thing we can do is just ignore this and pretend it doesn't exist. Just like we do with the squid.\\
''(zooms out to reveal a giant squid occupying most of the room, which knocks the vase, cups, and cloth off the kitchen table)''\\
'''Lois:''' Uh, earthquake?\\
'''Peter:''' Eh, truck going by.
-->-- '''''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'''''

The Elephant in the Living Room (or "in the Corner" or "on the Sofa") is a large topic or problem which, though obvious to everyone, is deliberately or conspicuously ''not'' discussed. In most cases, this is used to create comedic tension; for example, when a character has a BigSecret he must struggle to divert conversation away from. In stark contrast, some cases of the trope create a ''tragic'' vibe, with an Elephant so awful that nobody can bring themselves to raise the topic.

For cases where there is a subject within the series that simply cannot be questioned, or else the whole premise will fall apart, it's a case of why they don't JustEatGilligan. If a subject is addressed with some form of implausible explanation, that is most often a HandWave or AWizardDidIt; when the subject is simply never adresssed at all, it is the Elephant in the Living Room.

In politics, this trope is known as a ''Third Rail Issue'', after the third rail in a subway or light rail system which is held at high voltage to provide power to the trains that run on it (and hence would be unpleasant, if not suicidal, to touch). It refers to an issue where the electorate both feel strongly about, and are sharply divided on what to do about it; therefore, a compromise solution is unlikely to satisfy anyone and will just make everyone angry. As a result, no one attempts to do anything.

In Anime, this trope is known as a ''[[MisterSeahorse Pregnant]] Manga/{{Ranma|OneHalf}} Problem'', based on the following anecdotal discussion between the author/artist of ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' and a random fan at a convention:

->'''Random Fanboy:''' What would happen if Ranma got pregnant as a girl, then changed back to a boy?\\
'''Creator/RumikoTakahashi:''' [[MST3KMantra I don't think about that,]] and neither should you.

Which just about sums up 90% of these examples. Cheers!

Based on the poem the Elephant in the Room by Terry Kettering. Another common variant is the much more revolting "corpse at the dinner party."

If this is the result of time travel, see CaughtInTheRipple.

See also UnusuallyUninterestingSight, TheDiseaseThatShallNotBeNamed, IgnoreTheDisability, SuspiciouslySpecificDenial, TalkAboutTheWeather


* One public awareness commercial has a man walking into an office accompanied by an elephant, with the nametag of "AIDS." Certainly a very effective message.
* Ads for AXA Equities invoke this trope by having as a spokesperson the proverbial 800-pound gorilla in the room, reminding people to invest for retirement. Which is a ''bizarrely'' mixed metaphor. The proverbial 800-pound gorilla represents the ability to do whatever you want because nobody dares to stop you...
--> Where do you invest your money when there's an 800-pound gorilla in the room? ''Anywhere he tells you to.''
* An ad shows a couple's living room and points out new things, whenever the curtain is pulled back. The third time this happens a huge fluff dinosaur is standing behind them - the announcer points to a small cactus on the coffee table.
* A PSA about drinking and driving shows a party where the guests are drinking alcohol. One of the guests puts down his glass and grabs his car keys. The hosts ask him if he is OK to drive. He says that he is fine to drive which triggers a large inflatable elephant to inflate in a manner similar to a car's air bag. The message is not to ignore drinking and driving like the proverbial elephant in the room.
* An ad for an asthma inhaler has a guy mentioning how trying to breathe when you have asthma can feel like this, then the camera pans back to show an elephant sitting on his chest. And then it shows the person going about his/her activities with the elephant following. It isn't doing anything, it isn't bothering anyone, it is just THERE. (The idea being that the inhaler isn't a cure for asthma, but it makes it possible to live with it.)
* A Doritos ad has an office worker with an elephant that keeps smacking his coworkers for trying to take some Doritos. At the end, one asks, "Are we gonna talk about this?" The worker simply replies "No."

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* One of Kousaka's major character traits in ''Manga/{{Genshiken}}'' is that he has absolutely no awareness that the elephant in the room is supposed to be hiding. As a result, he says what everyone's thinking without hesitation. A key example is when the rest of the club is unsure of whether Ohno and Tanaka are dating; as everyone else vacillates, he just yells, "Hey! Are you two going out?"
* The big one from ''Manga/AhMyGoddess'', eventually brought up in a recent [[LightNovels Light Novel]] for the series: what will happen to [[MayflyDecemberRomance Keiichi and Belldandy's relationship]] as Keiichi grows old? Interestingly, Keiichi and Peorth ''did'' have a rather evasive conversation about it. Keiichi's biggest concern, to Peorth's surprise, was how it would hurt Belldandy.
* ''LightNovel/{{Kanokon}}''. The female lead is some 25+ times older than the male. That means, by the time he dies of old age, she'll only ''just'' have got out of adolescence. Yet no-one mentions it, ever. In the manga, Kouta does angst about it a bit. Also, [[spoiler:there is a chance that his ability to fuse with Chizuru and increase both of their powers may very well turn Kouta into a youkai himself.]]
* In ''Manga/CromartieHighSchool'', no one but Kamiyama and Hayashida seem to realize that Mechazawa is a robot, and even they never directly say it. This and the general weirdness is {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in the last scene of the anime: Hayashida and Maeda ask Kamiyama what they're going to with their lives. Kamiyama then points out the window to Mechazawa, [[LawyerFriendlyCameo Freddie]], his horse, and [[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys Gorilla]], stating that's whatever the three of them might do doesn't interest him nearly as much as ''what those other guys'' might do.
* In ''Manga/DetectiveConan'', Conan's increasingly noticeable failure to act as a normal little boy arouses suspicions from just about everyone in the cast not privy to his secret, yet nobody really thinks of just sitting the kid down and asking him just how on earth does he know so much, rather preferring to harbor vague suspicions relatively forever.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** It's revealed that Captain Komamura, whose face was concealed up to that point, has the head of a wolf. Some characters are surprised by it, but literally no one questions why he looks like that. It's (much) later revealed Komamura comes from a werewolf clan that was cursed for their ignorance a long time ago; the curse traps them in an animalistic form, and the further into ignorance they descend, the more animalistic they become. Full descent results in a member of the clan becoming a proper wolf.
** In one filler arc Ichigo indignantly demands to know how the members of two noble clans didn't figure out that the others were noble in spite of using their distinctive clan names. [[MST3KMantra Rukia hastily convinces him to ignore the issue]].
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'': Villetta Nu is one of the people who informs the Black Knights about Geass. The Black Knights do not put her to task for her connections to Britannia or her secret tryst with Ohgi, who isn't questioned for the latter either, or [[spoiler: threatening to gun down Kallen along with Lelouch on suspicion of being Geassed, or [[KangarooCourt jumping to conclusions regarding Lelouch himself]]. (Then again, neither is the fact that Schneizel is the most notorious of the opposing royals, in the case of R2 19.)]]
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}''
** Kishimoto rarely, if ever, touches upon the largest example in the series: The subject of ChildSoldiers. Late into the manga though there's some talking about it.
** Infamously, it wasn't until ''Anime/TheLastNarutoTheMovie'' that Hinata's love confession to Naruto during the Pain arc was acknowledged.
* The anime of ''LightNovel/{{Oreimo}}'' doesn't touch upon the BrotherSisterIncest aspects of the series (past [[IncestSubtext subtext]]), especially compared to the manga and light novel.
* In ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'', during his RousingSpeech, Commander Pixis states the awful truth that everyone knows but refuses to talk about: that they are fed and alive today because thousands were sent to their deaths five years ago to [[BlatantLies "reclaim lost territory from the Titans"]]. He goes even further and says all of them bear the weight of that sin and that things will get ''worse'' for humanity if Wall Rose falls as well. This harsh realization is what motivates everyone to stand their ground.
* ''Franchise/DragonBall''
** In the original series, it was opened questions among the cast to what Goku was. He was a strange boy with a tail who was exceptional strong to the point several characters questioned if he was human before eventually saying nothing more about it. It becomes a wonder why anyone was surprised when they learned that he was an alien. Then again, they are many strange things in this version of Earth.
** At the end of ''Anime/DragonBallZ''[='s=] Cell Saga, it's blatantly obvious that Krillin has developed feelings for Android 18; when he tries to use a wish to turn her and 17 human, only Gohan doesn't get why...but then he realizes it and just blurts out "Hey, you've got a crush on her, don't you?", prompting an exasperated Krillin to punch him in the head.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''Comicbook/{{Fables}}'', the protagonists rarely talk about much of their pasts, even if it was full of abominable deeds. Which, considering they're all old-school {{Grimm|ification}} storybook fables, can be extensive indeed. The in-story explanation is they were all given amnesty when they entered the mundane world. This doesn't keep them from being wary of each other, nor from falling back on old habits.
* Despite the fact that Creator/MarvelComics's version of New York City has been the site of multiple alien invasions, a demonic infestation, has suffered through every kind of cockamamie plot imaginable, and is routinely targeted by {{supervillain}}s of every stripe, there has never been any sort of mass exodus or serious damage to the economy in spite of all the upheavals. (Probably because ComicBook/DamageControl repairs everything so efficiently.) When 9/11 rolled around, it portrayed ComicBook/TheKingpin, ComicBook/{{Magneto}}, and Dr. Doom as sincerely moved. Problem is, the Franchise/MarvelUniverse has had much worse. Magneto was actually ''killed'' in such an attack, on Genosha, which killed 16 million people. 9/11, by MU standards, was actually a low-impact event. Furthermore, while the Kingpin might be moved by love for his city, there is no real reason why Dr. Doom would care either way. All comics publishers were in a bind there, because with New York as the home of the ComicBook/FantasticFour and ComicBook/TheAvengers, or the ComicBook/XMen in the same state, or Franchise/{{Superman}} ''on Earth'', it's hard to believe it could still happen, but would have been seen as disrespectful to ignore it. It gets worse. Juggernaut was seen there crying. Juggernaut, in the past, has actually knocked down one of the two buildings himself and laughed out loud about it.
* The premise of ''ComicBook/XMen'' is that there is a group of people born with random super powers who are the next step of human evolution. Society fears those mutants and their powers, and all mutants have to endure the FantasticRacism. So what about the ''other'' superheroes of the Marvel Universe? How can the presence of mutant heroes feared because of their powers, and non-mutants heroes be loved as celebrities (in-universe), such as the Avengers and the Fantastic Four? Why does the people fear Sunfire, a guy who can fly and get on fire, and love the Human Torch, another guy who can fly and get on fire? As a result, most adaptions of the X-Men to other media simply skip the Marvel Universe as a whole, and focus just on the parts of it related to the X-Men.
* In ''ComicBook/UltimateSpiderMan'', Spider-Man's secret identity becomes this among Peter Parker's group of friends. Eventually {{lampshade|Hanging}}d by Kenny "Kong" [=McFarlane=]:
--> ''What, you want us to have some kind of secret code? "Oh, if only Spider-Man were here and could go after our friend!"''
* Similarly, Franchise/{{Batman}}'s home town of Gotham City never suffers from any long-term economic damage or loss of population, even though a number of psychopathic supervillains routinely use the city as a stage for their grisly "performances" (ComicBook/TheJoker), a giant petri dish for their scientific experiments (the Scarecrow), or a base for their environmental crusades (Poison Ivy). Ignoring them, the city has long been a WretchedHive of endemic police and civic corruption and mob activity, making it curious that anyone would willingly choose to live there. Although the population ''did'' take a permanent nosedive after ''ComicBook/BatmanNoMansLand'' and sections of the city were rendered uninhabitable, it was still a rather busy city.
** In ''ComicBook/{{Shadowpact}}'', it is implied that the ancient entity (who later takes the name "Dr. Gotham", after the city that's been built over him) sleeping beneath Gotham City for untold ages has been influencing the dark trend of everything in the city.
** In ''Comicbook/{{Stormwatch}}'', city-speaker Jack Hawksmoor has a tête-a-tete with the personification of Gotham, who is shown as a demented goblin/gargoyle.
** Averted in ''ComicBook/TheQuestion'' on the same topic. Hub City was so crime-filled that the honest citizens eventually ''evacuated'' the place and abandoned it to the gangs.
* This issue ''is'' actually addressed in ''ComicBook/AstroCity'': people continue to live in the eponymous city in spite of the constant super-crime because of the sense of community fostered by having to work together to rebuild after battles. And because having a lot of superheroes around is cool.
* ''ComicBook/MiniMarvels'' parodies this trope with Elephant Steve. He [[BerserkButton really hates]] this expression, by the way.
* Creator/JuddWinick's ''Pedro and Me'' has a sequence where he compares living with cameras filming your every move to living with elephants. You just feel the need to point them out.
* An old example is the way white people are overrepresented in UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks. We the readers know that this is because that's how you made superheroes comics back then, but it's very strange how nobody in-story ever notices the lack of super-powered non-whites.
* The last arc of ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'' involves several elephants from the previous two arcs (Karolina's depression after losing Xavin, Nico's growing Machiavellian tendencies, Chase's bitterness over losing Gert, Victor's resentment at Nico for dumping him, and Klara's unresolved trauma issues) all suddenly colliding with each other when an ill-conceived party results in a terrible accident that leads to serious divisions in the team.
* In ''ComicBook/TransformersMoreThanMeetsTheEye'', Krok obsessively carries a small device that he insists is sending a signal to his old squad, whom he got separated from years ago. Except it's soon obvious that it's ''not'' doing so and the "[[HesJustHiding missing squad]]" is actually dead, with Krok being delusional from the trauma. All of the Scavengers can see it plain as day, but they're terrified of broaching the subject and just try to pretend they don't notice, to increasingly poor effect. Misfire grows steadily more fed up with dancing around the issue, eventually [[spoiler: forcing the others to confront it by ripping the device out of Krok's hand by force.]]

* While there are tons of explained randomness in ''Fanfic/MyImmortal'' that should at least raise some suspicion amidst rational people, Ebony doesn't find it the least bit strange that characters from the 80s know about future events. [[spoiler:Granted, we do get some sort of explanation via Tom Satan/Bombodil/Andorson being actually future!Voldemort, but it is never explained why "Lucian" and "Samaro" know that their kids will be named Draco and "Vampire", or that they'll be friends/lovers, and Ebony still doesn't bring that up.]]
* [[SturgeonsLaw Many of the more poorly-written]] spin-offs of ''Fanfic/TheConversionBureau'' paint the ponies up as being inherently morally superior to the [[HumansAreBastards "brutish humans"]] while ignoring the existence of the canonical {{Jerkass}}es like Trixie and Flim-Flam brothers, [[AristocratsAreEvil snooty and boorish Canterlot nobles]], [[TeensAreMonsters Rainbow Dash's Cloudsdale bullies]], or straight up villainous tyrants like [[AxCrazy King Sombra]], and the fact that even the Mane Cast have had moments of being bullies/jerks/selfish/insensitive as well. The existence of hostile Equestrian races, refuting the common conceit of Equestria-as-MarySuetopia, is also often swept under the carpet.
* In ''FanFic/TheStalkingZukoSeries'' addresses the how the Gaang tried to leave Aang ignorant of the fact that he unintentionally violated his own ThouShaltNotKill beliefs by letting the Ocean Spirit possess him and [[InferredHolocaust drowned the invading fleet]]. [[AvertedTrope Shot down]] when Arnook gleefully tells Aang of all he had killed by drowning.
* In the Teen Titans story ''FanFic/TheMeasureOfATitan'', the Titans meet and take into protective custody a metahuman teen named David Foster. This usually would not be a bad thing, but it happens mere ''months'' after Terra's betrayal. They are too unwilling to even discuss her with David for him to get why everyone's always walking on eggshells, which the BigBad uses for his own ends.
* ''FanFic/TalesOfTheEmperasque'' goes a long way with the Emperor reborn or his children not bringing up the fact that the Emperor is now worshiped as a god across millions of worlds, which was what he [[StopWorshippingMe essentially banned]]. By the time they sit down to discuss the issue, the author literally calls it the elephant in the room.
* In ''FanFic/WishCarefully'', after the Death Eaters find the glaring flaws in [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor their dream of a pureblood-only utopia]] ruled by [[TheCaligula Voldemort]], no one wants to talk about how they are becoming too inbred, people are becoming magically weaker with each generation and that they're slowly dying off.
* Hinata's BigScrewedUpFamily in ''FanFic/{{Team8}}''. All of Team 8, the Third and Jiraiya know about it. Gai, Kakashi, Asuma and Iruka also seem to have an inkling. Not only can they not really talk about it publicly, but Hiashi has such powerful connections that he won't answer for his actions (something the Sandaime points out). They collectively decide to come up with plausible reasons for her not to be at her house or near her father.
** To a lesser extent, Naruto and Gaara being jinchuuriki.
* In ''FanFic/SonOfTheDesert'' Edward invites Roy and other military members who participated in the Ishval Massacre to a party full of Ishvalans. Interestingly, its the military members who are uncomfortable with the implications. The Ishvalans surprisingly don't care.
* In ''[[FanFic/BlackkatsReverse Reverse]]'': no one in any of the Hidden Villages wants to acknowledge that [[AllOfTheOtherReindeer their abuse and isolation]] of their [[LivingMacGuffin respective]] [[PersonOfMassDestruction jinchuuriki]] is why so many of them run away with [[PeggySue Kurama]] when he finds them. They refuse to acknowledge it, believing that Kurama is a kidnapper. They are forced to answer for it when Han and Roushi, two adult jinchuuriki publicly proclaim that they’re on Kurama’s side and fend off the trackers hunting him.
* Referenced in ''Fanfic/TangledUpInYou'' in one of Adrien's jokes: "I bought my friend an elephant for their room. They said thanks. (''{{Beat}}'') I said don’t mention it."
* In ''The Sanctuary Telepath'' Helen and Janine still call each other sisters after a century, all the while pointedly ignoring that the connection between them was Janine's brother/Helen's ex-fiancé who turned into a [[UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper serial killer]]. Of course this is a very comfortable arrangement for Janine as she [[SecretKeeper knows much more than she lets on]]...
** The trope turns up several other times in the story as the main characters are all very adept at ''not'' talking about things. One of the more heartbreaking scenes is the Druitt siblings silently acknowledging James's mortality but keeping silent as they can't do anything about it.
* In [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7042941/1/Naruto-Rend Naruto: Rend]], Naruto is this to his parents and little brother and sister [[DeadGuyJunior Jiraiya and Tsunade]] what with him suddenly being "alive" again. Kushina and Minato feel guilt at Naruto's life and the fact that they never got a chance to repair their relationship [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5403644/1/Naruto-Asunder in the prequel]] before Naruto died. Naruto later mentally notes that Tsunade and Jiraiya are completely unaware of the history and baggage between their parents and brother and must be perplexed at his hostility towards them.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/IceAge2TheMeltdown'' features a literal example. Ellie is supposedly a possum. Who's 10 feet tall and weighs 7 tons. And has huge tusks. And is otherwise basically a mammoth. Her "brothers" Crash and Eddie, actual possums at that, don't seem to find this odd, except for her lacking the ability to sneak around. Ellie herself is in complete denial about possibly being a mammoth, in spite of Manny, Sid and Diego trying to convince her otherwise, and still tries to hide, even though no tree can hold her and no bush can cover her.
* ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'': The question of why a panda has a goose for a father is completely ignored by all of the characters. Creator/RogerEbert initially speculated that in this universe, it may be normal for members of one species to give birth to another -- but this was [[{{Jossed}} shot down]] when [[WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda2 the sequel]] turned the reason why Po was adopted into a major plot point. It was already implied in the first movie.
* ''Disney/{{Zootopia}}'': Since this is a WorldOfFunnyAnimals, it twists the trope into a LiteralMetaphor as a joke. During an officers' meeting, Chief Bogo announces that the first order of business is to "acknowledge the elephant in the room," leading the audience to assume he's going to address the issue of Judy Hopps being a officer despite being a bunny, [[BaitAndSwitch and then it turns out he's actually referring to an elephant officer in the room and wishes her a happy birthday]].
* A painful example in ''WesternAnimation/SpookleyTheSquarePumpkin'': Absolutely ''nobody'' mentions the fact that pumpkins are basically butchered on Halloween, which is said to be a holiday ''for'' pumpkins. It's really mostly just bad writing.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* There's a subplot in ''Film/{{Freaks}}'' in which Roscoe the clown, who is engaged to Daisy Hilton, is introduced to the fiance of Daisy's sister, Violet, and the line "You must come over and visit us some time," is used. At no point does anyone explicitly mention the fact that Daisy and Violet are joined at the hip. The whole thing is going to be very awkward.
* A literal and classic example appears in the play (and later film) ''Billy Rose's Jumbo''. Jimmy Durante's character is attempting to "sneak" an elephant out of his failing circus as the creditors close in. He and the elephant are of course promptly confronted by the sheriff and the repo squad:
-->'''Sheriff:''' ''Hey!'' Where are you going with that elephant?\\
'''Durante:''' (Pauses with the elephant looming directly behind him, looks left, looks right) Elephant? ''What'' elephant?
* In ''Film/ASimplePlan'', starring Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton, hunting buddies find a crashed plane full of money. [[spoiler: By the end of the movie, two out of the three are dead and the remaining one had to burn the money so he wouldn't be found. The ending narration mentions that he and his wife never mentioned the money again and tried to live a normal life, but the fear and greed and loss prevented them from ever being happy again.]]
* ''Film/TheParty'' uses a literal example. The guests at a Hollywood party try to ignore the elephant brought home by the host's [[GranolaGirl hippie daughter]] and her friends. This becomes harder when they give the elephant a bubble bath in the pools spread throughout the house.
* Beautifully played in Creator/NicoleKidman's ''Film/TheOthers''. Throughout the movie there is the palpable sense that ''something'' has happened in the house and that ''everyone'' knows something that they're not talking about - but what it is remains a mystery to each character and to the audience until the conclusion.
* The page image is a Creator/{{Banksy}} piece, featured in his documentary ''Film/ExitThroughTheGiftShop''.
* In ''Film/AnchormanTheLegendOfRonBurgundy'', Champ declares his love for Ron whilst the news team is in the car. Extreme awkwardness ensues as Ron and Brian concentrate ''very'' hard on ignoring him.
* ''Film/YogiBear''. Like Scooby-Doo almost everyone knows Yogi and Booboo are talking bears but no one cares that much. Well, the movie ''does'' imply that in-universe there is a species of bear that talks. (Albeit a very rare one)

* Terry Kettering is the {{Trope Namer|s}} if not {{Trope Maker|s}} with his poem the "Elephant in the Room".
* A fairly common interpretation of Myth/KingArthur's actions in ''Literature/LeMorteDarthur'' is that he knows that Lancelot is sleeping with Guinevere, or has at least heard the rumors, but refuses to address the issue because he knows the damage it will cause. The rest of the court seems similarly inclined, because even while they circulate rumors they never address the king with their suspicions. At least not until Agravain decides he wants more space in the room.
** ''Literature/TheOnceAndFutureKing'' is more explicit about King Arthur knowing about the affair but staying silent. There are some very good scenes with the three of them carefully not mentioning it.
** The alternative theory (which the RSC theatrical adaptation implies) is that he's become so oblivious to Guinevere as a person he barely notices what she's doing most of the time.
** Later in the final book, Arthur is actually said to be willing to forgive Lancelot for all of this, but Gawaine won't let him because Lancelot [[spoiler: accidentally killed Gareth]]
* In ''Literature/DragonBones'' the abusiveness of the recently deceased Lord Fenwick is never mentioned by the adults, the worst that others say about him was that he was something of a jerk. Neither is the fact that Fenwick and Duraugh are the only surviving of eight children, and that's because they were sent away to foster care. The protagonist, Ward, thinks about this, but no one says it. It remains unclear whether the other children died because the grandfather was abusive, too, or whether it's the family curse. Maybe both. Likewise, no one ever talks about the adultery that Fenwick and his father committed, the bastards are euphemistically called "cousins", although everyone knows what they really are. Ward has his blind spots, too - he complains that his mother was never able to protect him, but the fact that his beloved aunt Stala, who was a lot stronger, both mentally and physically, didn't protect him either, is not mentioned. And uncle Duraugh also gets off scot-free, even though he spent a lot of time on the Hurog estate, and acted like best buddies with his jerkass brother.
* ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'': Creator/StephenieMeyer invoked this when a fan asked why Bella never seemed to [[NoPeriodsPeriod menstruate]], then got pregnant with demon spawn after having sex once. Or if she did menstruate, why didn't her vampire boyfriend eat her? The author seemed to be disgusted by the entire idea, though some people still think the question was an excellent point.
* In the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novels, one of the Canting Crew is a beggar named Duck Man, for the very simple reason that he has a duck on his head. Most people don't mention the duck out of politeness, and those who ''do'' bring it up will be met with the response "What duck?" It's mentioned that he used to be quite normal "before everyone else started seeing ducks".
** Another member of the Canting Crew is Altogether Andrews, who has several split personalities, none of which is named Andrews. This is never brought up.
** To a lesser extent, Shawn Ogg's parentage is this. His father is publicly accepted to be Sobriety Ogg. The only problem with this idea is that Sobriety Ogg died some ten years before Shawn was born. Most people avoid the issue (probably out of fear of [[BewareTheNiceOnes Nanny]]) and are quick to silence outsiders who try to mention it.
** Death himself is visible to all inhabitants of the Discworld, but he is so frightening in his appearance that most people [[WeirdnessCensor unconsciously choose not to notice anything strange about him]] to preserve their sanity, even when having a conversation with him.
** Dwarves don't identify themselves as male or female and never even discuss in public that there are female dwarves. When the more progressive Ankh-Morpork dwarves start ignoring this taboo, it takes multiple books to avoid a civil war. It's mentioned that mating rituals among dwarves mostly involve attempting to surreptitiously verify what sex the other dwarf is.
** There's also the Librarian of Unseen University, who is an orangutan due to a magical accident. People found it odd at first but now barely think about it. It's been said that if someone told the staff that there was an ape on campus they'd go ask the Librarian if he'd seen it.
** It does come up with people outside the university - they have no idea how anyone can understand what the librarian is saying ("oook." vs "oook?"), and the wizards reply they've never had an issue.
* Creator/KimNewman's novel ''The Quorum'' follows on from his short story "Organ Donors", and references it a few times, including the characters of private investigator Sally Rhodes (and her child, conceived in "Organ Donors") and Derek Leech, satanic media magnate who uses black magic to advance his cause. Sally discovers Leech's nature in "Organ Donors" but has forgotten by ''The Quorum'', even though she mentions a major event from the story. Newman admitted there's no reason for this beyond it breaking the story.
* The Creator/DouglasAdams novel ''Literature/DirkGentlysHolisticDetectiveAgency'' features a man at a university with a very long nose. He never speaks, and is never spoken to because people are too startled by the sight of his nose, and don't want to bring it up. He also constantly taps his fingers and makes other odd gestures, and nobody asks why due to their reluctance to speak to him. Finally one character ends up addressing him after accidentally knocking on his door. The man stops twitching and calmly announces that nobody has spoken to him in almost two decades (quoting the exact time to the second). Apparently all the gestures were him counting the seconds.
** The sequel, ''Literature/TheLongDarkTeaTimeOfTheSoul'' features the Norse god Thor. He complains to the female protagonist, Kate Schecter, that even though gods walk among humans, no one notices them.
-->'''Thor''': If I walk along one of your streets in this... world you have made for yourselves without us, then barely an eye will once flicker in my direction.
-->'''Kate''': Is this when you're wearing the helmet?
-->'''Thor''': Especially when I'm wearing the helmet!
* Another of Creator/DouglasAdams's novels, ''Literature/LifeTheUniverseAndEverything'', uses this as a form of InvisibilityCloak, called the "Somebody Else's Problem Field", which relies on "people's natural predisposition not to see anything they don't want to, weren't expecting, or can't explain". This renders Slartibartfast's spaceship, which is described as resembling an Italian bistro with fins and engines, invisible to bystanders.
** It's perfectly visible to whomever the "Somebody Else" in question is, however; in this case, it's [[UnfazedEveryman Arthur Dent]].
* A more serious example can be found in ''Literature/InvisibleMan'', in which characters do their very best not to bring up the subject of race relations.
* The Creator/ErnestHemingway short story "Hills Like White Elephants" follows a couple talking at a train station, with the man attempting to convince the woman to have an abortion. The actual nature of the operation he's pressing, however, and the reason for it are conspicuously never mentioned.
* Heartbreakingly PlayedForDrama in ''Literature/TheWorldAccordingToGarp''; after [[spoiler:the car accident]], the reader gradually notices that while we know what happened to everyone else, no-one's mentioned [[spoiler:Walt]]. It's eventually revealed that [[spoiler:he died, and his parents are too distraught to talk about him]].
* The old variation in which the elephant-in-the-living-room analogy is used in reference to the obviousness of drug addiction/alcoholism is addressed in two different books of ''Franchise/TheDarkTower''. In one Creator/StephenKing says that the reaction loved ones of the addiction have upon discovering the elephant (addiction) was there is usually, "Oh, I'm sorry, was that an ''elephant''? It was there when I moved in! I always assumed it was part of the ''furniture''!" In the other King makes the analogy: that the reason the addict himself/herself doesn't see the "elephant in the living room" is because this elephant isn't just any ordinary elephant; it is like The Shadow in that it has the hypnotic super-ability to cloud men's minds so as to appear invisible to them.
* In a brief scene in the first ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' book, the existence of the Judeo-Christian God is treated like this. All that [[OurCentaursAreDifferent Chiron]] is willing to say is that it's a "metaphysical" debate and that the existence of the Olympians is a "much smaller matter".
* The presence of the Judeo-Christian God and His Son Jesus Christ are treated like this by the Only Light subsect in the Literature/LeftBehind book ''Kingdom Come'', when people in the Millennial Kingdom would have to be [[TooDumbToLive complete idiots to ever think They don't exist]].
* In the ''Literature/{{Dragaera}}'' series, Dragaerans who are the offspring of two or more Houses are the objects of prejudice, pity, or mistrust by the vast majority of the Empire's nobility, who regard such inter-House miscegenation with contempt and disgust. Yet nobody ''ever'' mentions that [[PersonOfMassDestruction Sethra Lavode]] is [[GrandfatherClause older than the Houses]], so she's not a pureblooded member of any House.
** Most contemporary people don't ''know'' how old she is; she's currently a somewhat mythical figure. And as the Houses antedate the bloodlines (they're mostly a recognition of the wildly varying species which were all engineered into biologically similar and interfertile Dragaerans), Sethra comes closer to being pureblooded than the current generations. Whether she shares a bloodline with House Dzur or one of the tribes which died out before the Empire is unclear; she herself simply doesn't seem to care.
* The ''Literature/InDeath'' series: Roarke finds out in ''Divided in Death'' that the Homeland Security Organization was monitoring Richard Troy, Eve's father. They knew that she was with him, and that he was raping her, but they sat back and did nothing. Roarke tells Eve that he intends to hunt them down and make them pay for this. Eve wants him to leave it alone. So they try to ignore it and focus on other matters. Later, he brings it up, and Eve can only think "Here it was. The big glowing elephant in the room that she hoped to ignore. And it was trumpeting."
* In Sharon Creech's ''The Wanderer'', Sophie is blacking out any and all notions that [[spoiler: she is adopted, and her biological parents are dead]].
* In ''Literature/WatershipDown'', there's one rabbit warren that lives in uneasy peace with the human whose land they live on. Rather than chasing the rabbits away, the human leaves food out to make sure the rabbits are well-fed--and he occasionally sets a single trap out, then cooks the rabbit that gets caught. The rabbits, at some point in the past, decided this was an acceptable trade-off. So they live there, and they never talk about the traps.
* In ''Literature/ShadesOfGrey'', the state of Chromatacia is governed by Munsell's Rules, which also specify what does and does not exist. If you see something with your own eyes, something that should not exist according to Munsell, then you just pretend you didn't see it. If you absolutely must refer to it (say, to warn others about speaking of it) then you call it "apocryphal". The town of East Carmine has an apocryphal man. He regularly steals food from others' houses in broad daylight, and no one will stop him for fear of breaking the rules by acknowledging his existence.
* In ''Literature/{{Murderess}}'', Hallwad and Aucasis never discuss [[spoiler:the [[JackBauerInterrogationTechnique horrors]] [[IronWoobie Aucasis]] [[BreakTheCutie went through]] in the [[TheFairFolk Dark Ones’]] [[UndergroundCity tunnels]] before [[RescueArc her rescue]]]].
* In the original ''[[Literature/{{Arthur}} Arthur Adventure]]'' book series, personally written & illustrated by Marc Brown, both the Tibble Twins and Mrs. Tibble are humans. It's never remarked upon and no one finds it strange. [[AdaptationSpeciesChange Of course, this was changed in the animated series.]]
* Everyone in ''Literature/TheKingkillerChronicle'' conspicuously avoids the topic of how the LivingLegend Kvothe ended up a powerless BrokenAce running an unsuccessful inn while he waits to die.
* In ''Literature/ShamanBlues'', the spirits following Gardiasz seem to have this status. They never speak, Witkacy has no idea who they are and why they're following the lord of the afterlife, and the one time he asked, his relations with Gardiasz soured permanently.
* In ''Literature/TheSpiritThief'', there are three rules [[PhysicalGod the Shepherdess]] set down that all spirits must obey: don't look at the sky, don't ask about the stuff you see in the sky, and never, ever mention stars. By the fifth book, the elephant becomes so conspicuous, the Shaper Mountain goes "screw it" and explains everything to Slorn and Miranda.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', the incest between Cersei and Jaime is this trope after King Robert's death. Initially, it was known only to a few people who had spies or performed some research (Varys, Littlefinger, Renly, Stannis, and Jon Arryn). However, after the end of the first book where the Lannisters have performed a coup and killed Robert and Ned, Stannis sends letters all across Westeros with the news of incest. While the fact is known to even the Lannisters allies, it's something that can't be discussed because the reveal of the incest would result in the whole reign of Joffrey (and later Tommen) being considered illegitimate and treasonous. So, people like Margaery will occasionally make a snide comment, but in whole the discussion is avoided lest the whole Lannister/Tyrell regime collapse. However, it's looking like that's going to happen anyway with Cersei's incompetence.


[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Not subverted, but occasionally addressed in ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}''. While the remains of humanity are on the run after the [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt destruction of their homes]], and shower vitriol on the [[AIIsACrapshoot Cylons]] for it, no one talks about the reasons for the Cylons' hate of humanity. Only Commander Adama points out that, "[[WhatMeasureIsANonhuman We deserved what we got for enslaving our creations; we were terrible parents]], do we deserve to survive?" ''(Paraphrased)'' The question is occasionally brought up to reinforce that humanity is not blameless in the show's BackStory, and needs to atone.
** Adama actually directly asks [[spoiler:Athena]] why the Cylons hate humanity so much in one episode. She replies that during Galactica's decommissioning speech during the pilot episode, Adama asked whether humanity deserved to survive. Then she adds "Maybe you don't."
** In one episode, "The Captain's Hand", Roslin finally addressed an Elephant that had gone ignored for a while- whether or not humanity even ''could'' survive with their current rate of deaths vs. births. It turns out that Baltar had run the numbers long ago and knew exactly how long it would take for humans to go extinct (18 years), but apparently no one else was ready to deal with it.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** Over the 8,000 years since the Long Night, conditions at the Wall have steadily deteriorated, leaving the Night's Watch undermanned and under-equipped to hold the Wall against the wildlings and White Walkers beyond. In addition, the long summer is ending and the War of Five Kings has distracted everyone, even the Starks, from preparations for the coming winter.
** Neither Jon nor Ygritte want to face the question of what will happen when Jon is forced to choose which side he's really on.
** Tyrion calls Joffrey a bastard in front of everyone in "The Laws of Gods and Men," though his entire speech is so venomous it's doubtful anyone read too much into it.
* In a SciFi ''Series/StargateSG1'' special, a letter had one viewer asking why all the [[AliensSpeakingEnglish aliens speak English]]. The reader, David Hewlett, simply laughed and playfully stated that he couldn't believe the audience caught onto that.
** Although it should be noted that in [[Film/{{Stargate}} the film which the show was based on]] the aliens ''do not'' speak English, so the issue of AliensSpeakingEnglish can be incredibly glaring for someone who's seen the film and is now seeing the show for the first time.
* Averted in ''Series/TopGear'': When Richard Hammond returned from an accident that left him with a serious brain injury, the three presenters took an episode to deal with it by thanking the emergency responders on the scene, showing the crash footage, and cracking jokes about Hammond's driving skills, together with an ounce or two of heartwarming. It was a masterful way to take most of the awkwardness out of a potentially painful situation.
** And then lampshaded in the final episode, cobbled together from the pre-recorded footage that was left unused when the show was unexpectedly cancelled. Richard and James did some links from an empty studio, during which they didn't mention Jeremy Clarkson, the circumstances under which the show was cancelled, or the life-sized model elephant standing next to them.
* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode "Hammer of the Gods", this is lampshaded and played straight on two occasions.
** Dean is walking down the hotel's hallway and passes a room with a live elephant toweling itself off. Upon processing this, he doubles back and the room now has a naked fat man toweling himself off, who declares "This ain't no peep show!" and slams the door in Dean's face. Turns out the naked fat man is actually Lord Ganesh, the Hindu Elephant God.
** Later, Loki barges into the gathering of gods and tells them all they need to talk about the elephant in the room (Lucifer). When the fat man immediately protests, Loki retorts "Not you, Ganesh!"
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "The Unicorn and the Wasp", The Doctor and Donna realize they've arrived in time for Agatha Christie's notable disappearance:
-->'''Doctor''': She'd just discovered her husband was having an affair.\\
'''Donna''': You'd never think to look at her. Smiling away.\\
'''Doctor''': [[VerbalTic Wellll]], [[StiffUpperLip she's British and moneyed.]] That's what they do. They '''carry on'''.
** In "The Beast Below", everybody knows that something's off about the ship (It's basically an entire nation compacted into a starship), and are afraid of what happens, but they don't talk about it, ever. (Except for the Doctor, Amy Pond, and the Queen aboard the ship. And even the half-human half-smiler characters talk about it to a limited degree. Though, the general public refuses to talk about it.)
** Amusing reference in "Amy's Choice":
-->'''The Doctor:''' There is an elephant in the room.
-->'''Amy:''' I'm having a ''baby'', I ''have'' to be this size!
-->'''The Doctor:''' No, not that... Rory... has a ''pony-tail''. [Turns to Amy] I hold him down, you cut it off!
** In "Gridlock", everyone in the traffic jam from hell knows that they haven't seen anyone from the surface government in decades, but they can't bring themselves to admit it. Turns out there ''isn't'' a surface government, thanks to a super-plague that wiped out the rest of the planet.
** "The Idiot's Lantern": the faceless grandmother in the upstairs room. This trope runs through the series, even from the beginning (Susan's behavior in "An Unearthly Child" is a good example of this--the episode marks the point where Ian and Barbara do something about it.)
* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' Sunnydale's vampire problem seems to be treated this way, as several episodes make it obvious that the {{Muggles}} know what's going on (especially after season three), [[WeirdnessCensor they just try to ignore it and get on with their lives]]. This was made especially obvious during the prom episode: when giving out the various class superlatives, Jonathan announces that everyone ''knows'' there's something weird about the town but don't know ''what,'' only that Buffy is involved with it and seems to help stop it. As a result, [[Heartwarming/BuffyTheVampireSlayer the class gives her a special "Class Protector" award]].
* Nobody in ''Series/{{Degrassi|TheNextGeneration}}'' talks about the unusually high rate of horrible things that happen to its students. Despite the school shooting, stabbing, rape, attempted rape, STD outbreak, and umpteen teen pregnancies, which in the real world would make Degrassi the most infamous school in all of Canada (''[[CanadaEh oooh!]]''), everyone still thinks that it's a fabulous school and nobody moves away to find a safer one.
* In an early ''Series/{{Dexter}}'' episode, after an... awkward moment with his girlfriend who had been abused by her ex-husband, and Dexter is also a serial killer and psychopath who has trouble with intimacy because he is unable to have human feelings, he says, "There's an elephant in the room and its name is sex."
* In ''Series/{{Lost}}'''s fifth season, John Locke mentions this trope by name while talking to [[MagnificentBastard Ben Linus]]. So, what's the elephant? John's ''death''. [[spoiler:At Ben's hands.]]
* Played for horror in ''Series/TheTwilightZone1959'' episode "It's a Good Life", where the residents of Peaksville, Ohio have to pretend that everything is fine and perfectly normal, to avoid angering the [[AGodAmI all-powerful]] mind-reading child who controls their lives. To openly admit the horror of their situation leads to madness and/or a horrible death. That one is parodied in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS3E7TreehouseOfHorrorII Treehouse of Horror II]]" episode, though it's a dream of Bart. Bart has that power and it goes pretty much like the original, only naturally less horrible. Then Bart gets therapy to get over whatever they called what he was doing (the forcing people to be happy, not the being all-mighty), which he does and develops a sane relationship with Homer. In the end they hug in sign of friendship, and then Bart wakes up, screaming in terror.
* A common AlternativeCharacterInterpretation in ''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}'' is that Arthur is aware of Merlin's magic, and simply choosing to ignore it. This is sometimes extended to Gwen and Morgana, or even to pretty much the entire castle except, obviously, King Uther.
** Or even to Uther. It's backed up by ''A Remedy to Cure All Ills'', in which Merln uses magic to save Uther while he is unconscious... but Edwin specifically said a few scenes earlier than Uther would be awake and aware while he was dying, suggesting that, maybe, Uther heard everything but is letting Merlin live as a reward for saving him.
** Gaius having once been a former sorcerer. Becomes a WhamLine in one episode when Uther begs Gaius to save Morgana with whatever it takes, even it means using ''magic!'' It's implied that because of Gaius' UndyingLoyalty to Uther and his talent as a physician is the ''only'' reason that he's still alive.
* Gets a huge LampshadeHanging in ''Series/{{Outnumbered}}''. The Brockmans have a papier-mache elephant head in their kitchen. Pete calls it "the elephant in the room" and says that they don't talk about it.
* The name of the trope is brought up in the [[IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming E series]] of ''Series/{{QI}}'', where contestants would receive an "Elephant in the Room Bonus" for spotting the elephant as the answer to one of the questions during the episode.
* The ''Series/MadMen'' episode "The Summer Man" has a VisualPun on this expression, when Don brings a stuffed elephant as a present to his son's birthday party. (The elephant in question represents... a lot of things.)
* On ''Series/TheCloser'', when Brenda and Fritz are house-hunting, they never, ever, ''ever'' come out and directly discuss the possibility of having kids. Fritz approaches the subject obliquely, musing aloud about whether they should consider the quality of schools near a potential home, and Brenda circumspectly points out the advantages of a house that's got a pool and other perks, but only one master bedroom.
* Referenced in an episode of ''Series/CriminalMinds'' where the DNA of a dead man was found at a crime scene.
--> '''Rossi''': Do we have parachutes on [the jet]?
--> '''Reid''': Standard-issue on all federal aircraft.
--> '''Rossi:''' Then let's use one on the elephant in the room, get him out of here.
* Creator/MarkEvanier relates a hilarious story of the time when he worked as head writer for the infamous sketch variety show ''Series/PinkLadyAndJeff'', and was inspired to ask the producers for a live elephant to use as a gag in an {{infomercial}} skit. The joke was that the announcer (Jeff Altman) was supposed to deliver the whole commercial without noticing that there was an elephant on the set until the end. When it came time to film, however, the elephant made the skit [[CrowningMomentOfFunny a lot funnier]] by doing some, shall we say, [[RoadApples unscripted improv]] on the floor. Read the story [[http://www.newsfromme.com/pov/col226/ here]].
* The 2011 revival of ''Series/PopUpVideo'' didn't openly discuss Music/RickyMartin's homosexuality in the treatment for "She Bangs" (he didn't come out of the closet until about a decade after the song), but they did acknowledge that particular elephant in the room, mentioning the trope by name in the process.
* ''Creator/StephenKing's Series/KingdomHospital'': the source of the near-constant earthquakes; the checkered pasts of the doctors (especially Stegman) and the hospital itself also qualify.
* Parodied in ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' with a noodle incident involving a case with a [[LiteralMetaphor literal elephant in a room]].
* This trope is referenced by name in one episode of ''Series/JoanOfArcadia''. The elephant in question is the fact that the car accident that put Kevin permanently into a wheelchair was ''Kevin's fault'', and not the fault of the other driver.
* Played humorously in ''Series/ModernFamily''. Cam and Mitch spend all of Season Three trying to adopt another child, but see their efforts repeatedly frustrated. In the Season Four opener, they remark that it's time to talk about the elephant in the room...as in the ''literal'' giant stuffed elephant sitting in the corner that was to be a present for their new baby. Getting rid of it symbolizes their moving on.
* ''Series/ThePunisher2017'': The elephant in the room is Matt Murdock. Despite the fact that it's obvious Karen Page is still mourning his "death" in the climax of ''Series/TheDefenders2017'', he's not so much as mentioned once.
* In ''Series/TheResident,'' star surgeon Dr. Randolph Bell's deteriorating surgical skills and increasingly common medical errors amount to an elephant in the operating room.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Parodied by ''ComicStrip/PearlsBeforeSwine'' in one [[http://gocomics.com/pearlsbeforeswine/2009/01/13/ strip]]:
--> '''Rat:''' You know, every time someone discusses these issues, they always like to conveniently avoid the elephant in the room.
-->'''Goat:''' You mean Social Security?
--> '''Rat:''' I mean the elephant in the room.
-->'''Tiny (the elephant):''' I like to discuss issues, too.
* In ''ComicStrip/AlleyOop,'' the character Oscar Boom went straight so many decades ago that many current readers weren't aware that he started out as a crook, and that he had never gone to trial or served jail time for his crimes. Recent storylines have finally addressed this.
* A literal one from ''ComicStrip/TheFarSide'', in which a detective accuses [[TheButlerDidIt the butler]] of goreing and trampling the victim, ignoring the elephant in a trenchcoat next to him.
** Another strip has the elephant hiding behind a fairly small piece of furniture while the homeowners search for him.
* A ''Magazine/TheNewYorker'' panel featured an elephant lying on a [[FreudianCouch psychologist's couch]], complaining, "I'm right there in the room, and nobody notices me."
* [[https://www.facebook.com/maarivonline/photos/a.343062692466563.66376.340687592704073/639302126175950/?type=1 The 2015-01-25 daily illustration]] on ''Ma‘ariv Online'' by Uri Fink (of ''ComicBook/{{Zbeng}}'' fame) features one in a complex metaphor: UsefulNotes/BarackObama is speaking to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the former remarking, ‘...When you visit there’s always an elephant in the room,’ struggling to take up some room for himself against [[http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1481/why-is-the-republican-party-called-the-gop the elephant with a large R on its back]] sitting there, looking at him smugly.

[[folder: Radio]]
* In a round of ''Radio/ImSorryIHaventAClue'' in which one team are given a performance evaluation by the other, and have to justify the complete mess they made of their job, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Susan Calman are zookeepers, trying to explain to Graeme and Barry why they released all the animals and let them roam around. Eventually Graeme says "I'm very tempted to accept your apology but there's the obvious thing you haven't mentioned: The elephant in the room!"

[[folder: Theatre]]
* This is a key plot point of Paula Vogel's ''How I Learned to Drive'', which explores the relationship between a teenage girl named L'il Bit and her uncle, who molests her throughout her preteen and teen years. Everyone in the family knows about what's going on, and nobody ever says anything about it, instead making excuses or blaming L'il Bit for the problem.
* In Christopher Diaz's ''Welcome to Arroyo's'', main character Alejandro is clearly going through horrible depression after the death of his mother, but he absolutely refuses to discuss either his mental illness or its root causes. It's what makes when he finally snaps and screams "BECAUSE OUR MOTHER JUST DIED!" such a WhamLine--he's finally able to talk about it, which allows him to begin healing.
* This is part of what makes ''Theatre/DeathOfASalesman'' so tragic: it's clear that Willy is ''not'' a great salesman, and that his constant praise of and making excuses for his sons has emotionally crippled them, leaving them unable to function as adults. But none of the Lomans are willing to admit the truth, and to say it ends badly is a massive {{Understatement}}.
* Every single character (except the housemaid) in Eugene O'Neill's ''Long Day's Journey into Night'' has his or her own personal elephant: James Tyrone has his financially-crippling combination of buying worthless land and cutting costs on everything else; Mary has her morphine addiction; James Jr. has his long-held resentment over his status as TheUnfavourite and fear that his parents blame him for killing his infant brother by infecting him with measles; and Edmund (an AuthorAvatar of O'Neill himself) has his tuberculosis. The drama of the play centers on all four of these elephants being dragged into the light, examined, and ultimately left unresolved.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' beautifully displayed the tragic variant in that nobody can bring themselves to say out loud that [[spoiler:Yuna will die as part of the final summon]] until Tidus finds out himself and calls the rest of the group out for not telling him.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny2'', the fact that [[spoiler: Reala]] will be erased from time if Fortuna is is treated as a very serious plot development, but no one mentions that [[spoiler: Judas]] will also cease to exist ''until [[spoiler: he]] is about to die''! He'd realized it long before, but just didn't want to bring it up.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'':
** The quarians and their robotic creations, the geth, fought a brutal war which resulted in the quarians being kicked off their homeworld and forced to travel the stars in a massive migrant fleet. The geth also attempted to destroy the Citadel with the aid of an EldritchAbomination, and generally kill any living creatures they encounter. They aren't well liked. In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', you can freely bring a geth to the quarian migrant fleet and the Citadel; the quarians will initially resist, but with a bit of charm or intimidation, let it on, while the ''entire Citadel'' will simply [[FailedASpotCheck fail a spot check]].
** The player can get into a completely optional little argument with an official on the way in; it's pretty clearly lampshaded when Legion says that the "geth do not infiltrate", the customs clerk (whose job currently includes ''making sure no geth gets onto the station'') tells you to keep your "personal attendant android" off the shuttle, as they're not allowed on anymore.
---> '''Legion:''' {{beat}} ... Geth do not ''intentionally'' infiltrate.
** Anderson calls Legion a "trophy bot", so it's possible people just think Shepard's got a cool toy.
* ''VideoGame/PandorasTower'': As if [[MissionControl Mavda]] wasn't nearly enough of a paragon of creepiness already, she constantly carries around on her back what appears to be [[DemBones the skeleton of an old man, bigger than she is]], for pretty much the entire game. Nobody appears to find this weird, despite the fact that the damn thing is sentient and can talk (albeit [[TheUnintelligible unintelligibly]], though Mavda can apparently understand him just fine). You ''can'' ask her about it, but she answers you in a "YouShouldKnowThisAlready" tone of voice. Apparently, she's her business partner, or something along those lines. Huh.
* In ''VideoGame/{{VVVVVV}}'', there is a literal giant neon elephant that takes up four rooms that will make Captain Viridian sad if he stays with it for a while.
* Played for laughs in the radio news broadcasts in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas'', where a government official being interviewed about certain mysterious black helicopters responds with just "Helicopters? What helicopters?", with the spinning helicopter rotors clearly audible in the background.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' has long made implications that Pokémon can pose physical harm to humans (hence why you aren't allowed to run outside of town without one of your own to fight back), but very rarely makes it explicit (the anime touches on it in the first episode[[note]]Where a bunch of Spearow attempt to maul Ash after he throws a rock at their leader[[/note]], but afterward makes them incapable of doing [[HarmlessFreezing lasting]] [[HarmlessVoltage damage]]). The Donphan does get into the open in both ''Manga/PokemonSpecial'' (humans getting attacked by Pokemon, including during Trainer battles, is a regular occurrence) and [[VideoGame/PokemonColosseum the Orre]] [[VideoGame/PokemonXDGaleOfDarkness based games]] (the DarkerAndEdgier Gamecube titles), but is still absent in the rest of the franchise. Though it is briefly touched upon in ''VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl'', when some Starly attack the hero and Barry, and they're forced to take the Pokémon from Professor Rowan's briefcase to defend themselves. Similarly, in ''VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire'', Professor Birch is attacked by a Pokémon and the protagonist has to grab a Pokémon from his bag to rescue him.
* In ''VideoGame/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAsPortable: The Battle of Aces'', after the second to last stage of Hayate's story mode, the Wolkenritter note that [[spoiler:Reinforce, despite having survived the end of the series in this continuity, will fade away relatively soon]]. They then note that Hayate and [[spoiler:Reinforce]] both know this but don't admit it to each other.
* The Mage-Templar War in the ''Franchise/DragonAge'' series is the culmination of this. Due to the Chant of Light saying that "Magic is meant to serve man and never to rule over him," the mages of the setting are kept isolated in various locations surrounded by armies of magic-nullifying templars. While this does have a point (mages are normally victims of DemonicPossession or can go power-mad without demonic intervention) from the Chantry's point of view, shockingly most mages don't appreciate being locked up in a tower with the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads. This comes to a head at the end of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', which proves to be the catalyst of the war when the Templar order in the city (which has begun ruling it with an iron fist by making mages Tranquil for the slightest of reasons or no reason at all or other such things ''despite it being illegal under Chantry law'') fails to prevent an uprising and their KnightTemplar (pun intended) commander declares a Right of Annulment (basically "kill every mage in the place") over the actions of one mage [[MisplacedRetribution that she knew to be an apostate who was never a member of Kirkwall's Circle]]. The PlayerCharacter can decide whether to support the mages or the templars, but the damage to the rest of the world is done.
* Played disturbingly in ''{{VideoGame/Dishonored}}''. The city of Dunwall is in the grips of a terrible plague, with the body count rising terrifyingly fast and the rest of the Isles Empire seriously considering blockading the city to prevent the plague from spreading.What are the city's [[TheBeautifulElite Beautiful Elite]] doing during this dire crisis? Throwing parties and hedonistically flaunting their wealth as if nothing is going on. Even as it becomes obvious that the plague is going to spread well past the city's lower class, the rich citizens are in complete denial about the situation.
* In ''{{VideoGame/Persona 4}}'', TeamPet Teddie spends the entirety of his arc agonizing over his identity, after realizing that he's a non-human living in a dimension [[TheHeartless filled with nothing but very diverse creatures made from human emotion.]] Logic dictates that [[TomatoInTheMirror Teddie himself would probably be one such creature as well,]] but due to a bad case of denial by repression the possibility doesn't even seem to occur to him for most of the game, and when it finally does, his friends pretty much admit to him straight out that it was pretty obvious to them all along anyway, they just never had the heart to tell him straight to the face. Teddie's own EnemyWithout hints that even Teddie himself, in fact, was aware of this ElephantInTheLivingRoom in the back of his mind, he merely ignored it, hoping to find a better answer to his identity crisis.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* People in ''VisualNovel/AProfile'' make damn sure not to mention track to Masayuki or even hint about [[spoiler:Kaine's sex]] to him. Everyone knows, but mentioning it just won't turn out well. The first is subverted in the second route, however.
* In ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'', Hisao invokes this trope by name in the early part of the game and, true to its theme, deals with the "elephant" throughout the game. It takes place at a school for students with disabilities/medical conditions, and he understands that it would be rude to ask/talk to someone about their disability/condition without the other person bringing it up themselves, even in situations where it's obvious.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* From the Volume 4 episode ''Family'' from the ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'' series, we have four people, including Yang, her father and two of the teachers she had at [[AcademyOfAdventure Beacon Academy]] carefully avoid the subject of [[spoiler: Yang's [[AnArmAndALeg missing arm]] despite the fact that a cybernetic replacement has been delivered]] until her father's BrutalHonesty brings the subject in the open. One of the teachers even puts a LampshadeHanging on it.
--> '''Doctor Oobleck''' "Are we finally talking about the [[HoldYourHippogriffs Goliath]] in the room?"
* ''WebAnimation/FreedomToons'': Dr. Mac shows a SpreadingDisasterMapGraphic detailing terrorist attacks committed by islamists that overlaps with muslim-majority countries and countries with increasingly large muslim minorities. He then calls the reason behind the surge of attacks a mystery for the ages.

* In ''[[Webcomic/AbeAndKroenen Abe & Kroenen]]'', almost nobody mentions the fact that Kroenen was and is a Nazi assassin. For some reason his presumed Nazi beliefs never actually make an appearance, probably because that would be a good way to lose a lot of viewers.
** His Nazi affiliations are addressed in small ways, like claiming that V is so cool it almost makes him want him give up Nazism, or giving Abe a speech about staying strong, or else the sub-humans will over-run the earth, and no glory will be brought to the Fatherla-- at which point he wisely shuts up.
* This ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'' comic plays this trope as a LiteralMetaphor -- still terribly [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2008-02-19 appropriate]].
** There is a ''Sinfest'' example. Seymour. No one, including himself, ever seems to notice that he just plain doesn't look like ''anyone'' else. Yes this is a world where [[PettingZooPeople anthropomorphic pigs]] and Devilpeople are common but ''no one'' looks like Seymour.
* Another direct reference to the phrase is found [[http://cectic.com/066.html here]].
* [[http://jonnycrossbones.com/ Jonny Crossbones]] is either an undead creature or wears a skeleton suit all the time. No one has noticed so far.
* [[http://www.pennyandaggie.com/index.php?p=203 This strip]] of ''Webcomic/PennyAndAggie''.
* Referenced in [[http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/2427.html this]] ''Webcomic/IrregularWebcomic'' strip.
* ''Webcomic/MSPaintAdventures'' has the RunningGag [[http://mspaintadventures.wikia.com/wiki/What_Pumpkin%3F "What pumpkin?"]], where the "player" mentions the pumpkin on the "game screen" and by the next scene it's gone or replaced, often with the phrase "What pumpkin?" or the narrator acting as if the player has asked for the object that just replaced the pumpkin.
* A literal example in [[http://www.kevinandkell.com/2010/kk1116.html this]] ''Webcomic/KevinAndKell'' comic.
* A literal example in [[http://girlyyy.com/go/50 this page]] from ''Webcomic/{{Girly}}''.
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', despite there being a {{masquerade}}, [[HyperspaceMallet the ability of females to summon hammers]] is accepted as normal and [[ReedRichardsIsUseless not thoroughly investigated to exploit its mechanism]] [[spoiler: [[NoOntologicalInertia and neither is the existence of the ability remarked upon by anyone besides the main characters once the ability is lost]]]].
* Referenced in [[http://www.tjandamal.com/comic/?id=168 this]] strip of ''The Less than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal''.
* In ''Webcomic/SomethingPositive'' it was a ''very'' long time before the fate of Monette's baby was addressed.
* ''Webcomic/PennyArcade'' did this at least twice, first in one strip where nobody mentions that Tycho is inexplicably a giant radish and then one where Tycho and Gabe are sitting on a giant Xbox playing with giant controllers (a jab at the original Xbox's enormous size).
** The radish strip has a real-world explanation (the artist[=/=]"Gabe" was screwing with the author[=/=]"Tycho"); most fans assumed that since the strip was about the guys confronting Div over his alcoholism, it was a representation of how drunk he was.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The Irish short film ''{{WebVideo/Aaron}}'' has the two brothers making awkward small talk and dancing around the fact that something clearly happened between them in the past. Later dialogue implies that things were so tense at home that Chris the older brother pretty much just left and never returned.
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic
** His review of ''The Neverending Story 2'' is interrupted by a [[VisualPun literal elephant in the room]], who makes Doug mention that Johnathan Brandis, the film's star, committed suicide and prompting him to explain that he wasn't insulting the actor, but the poorly-written character.
** He briefly returned in another review featuring Johnathan Brandis as a main character again, but since the Critic had already explained Brandis's suicide, he told the elephant to piss off.
** And then he returns in the second list of the Nostalgia Critic's Fuck-Ups, who makes him mention that he made a joke about autism in a review (though the joke was edited out of that review because Doug didn't really think that joke was all that funny anyway).
** Nowadays the Elephant In The Room is a gag of general use in Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses. It appeared in CR's Familiar Faces: Baby Doll (A crossover with the Critic) to mention then-recently deceased Gary Coleman, who suffered from the same condition that the character did. And it appeared again in Iron Liz's review of the TabletopRPG Iron Claw to mention that she was basically talking about a game of UsefulNotes/{{Furr|yFandom}}ies.
** In the Nostalgia Critic's review of ''Anime/{{Ponyo|OnTheCliffByTheSea}}'' the elephant resurfaces again when the Critic notes that part of the movie Japan is underwater, clearly a sign of TooSoon with the earthquake/trunami/nuclear disaster of 2011.
** In his Top 11 Simpsons episodes he mentions a certain [[LetsPlay Simpsons-related outrage]] caused by his fans.
** He also appears at the beginning of the Critic's ''Pixels'' review to remind him that the movie is ''extremely'' similar to an episode of ''Futurama''.
** '''Elephant:''' (''singing'') Futuuuuuurrr-AMA! Futurama! Futurama! Futurama!
* Taken as a LiteralMetaphor--Dum from ''Webcomic/DumCat'' gets crushed by it.
* The Website/YouTube 'celebrity' [[http://www.youtube.com/user/MissHannahMinx Hannah Minx]] is considerably more "blessed" than your average woman, practically to the point where her videos have become less of a personal vlog and more geared towards direct FanService. Perhaps to deliberately invoke this trope, she ''never'' talks about her body in her videos, and the interviews she's done gloss over it as well. The only people who ''do'' mention her body is the video commenters, and they do it in almost every single comment in every video she makes. Is there a trope for [[FromTheMouthsOfBabes From The Mouth Of]] FanDumb?
* The diary in ''Literature/DragomirsDiary'' is constantly depicted as having a simple, smiling face, and its expression changes as much as those of the human characters. It has also demonstrated the ability to move on its own, and has done so in front of Dragomir himself several times. Despite these oddities, most of the characters view the diary as a normal book, never questioning its silent personality. Now, if they were ever to find out that it can also write in itself...
* In ''WebVideo/UltraFastPony'', the (pony) cast know about humans, but are afraid to directly mention them. It starts off rather subtle, with knowledge of humans merely implied by the characters not following the HoldYourHippogriffs and FlintstoneTheming that characterized the canon series. Then, in the episode "Purple Party Pooper", the issue accidentally gets brought to the forefront by Twilight and Rarity, who panic before agreeing to [[LetUsNeverSpeakOfThisAgain just pretend the conversation never happened]].
-->'''Twilight:''' You don't have time for that? You, of all people? \\
'''Rarity:''' ''[gasp]'' You said "people"! \\
'''Twilight:''' There's nothing wrong with "people". It's "human" we're not allowed to say. \\
'''Rarity:''' ''You said "human"!'' \\
'''Twilight:''' Oh no! Oh, wait, so did you!
* ''Podcast/WelcomeToNightVale'' has the Shape in Grove Park That No-One Acknowledges or Speaks About. When the Shape was to be removed from the park by the city council, local historians protested on the grounds that it was an important historical landmark. However, since the historians refused to either acknowledge or speak about the Shape, their protest consisted entirely of a series of gestures and grimaces.
* The ineffably brilliant video [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4EDhdAHrOg "It's Not About the Nail"]], in which a woman snaps angrily at any suggestion that the pain she's experiencing just might have something to do with a [[CaptainObvious giant nail that's been driven into her forehead]].
* A small but vocal portion of the ''WebVideo/GameGrumps'' fandom believes WebVideo/JonTron became this following his departure in 2013, with some going so far as to claim that he was ''fired'' (usually throwing the blame at either Danny or Arin's wife Suzie). Everyone involved denies this, saying the split was amicable, with Arin explaining that they didn't bring Jon up so much because they were trying to respect his desire to form his own identity separate from his work on ''Game Grumps''.
** This whole controversy has been referenced a couple of times on the show, most often by Danny himself. During the ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'' playthrough, he says he's aware of the conspiracy theories, but they never bothered him because they're completely untrue. During the new ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast'' playthrough he addresses this trope by name when he mentions that Arin and Jon started the game but never finished it.
* Literally every episode so far of ''Podcast/KakosIndustries'' has a blatantly obvious one simply due to the existence of the main character, Corin Deeth III who is the heir of the aforementioned company. Despite being the third generation of his family, there is never any mention of his father. Ever. Though Corin possibly not knowing his dad or refusing to speak of him can be explained, it becomes quite the mystery when the ''grandfather'' never brings up his own son either.
* ''WebVideo/LouderWithCrowder'': There's a sketch where Stephen and Not Gay Jared are outraged at Donald Trump making a bunch of crass jokes on tv while giving a wide berth to Harvey Weinstein literally forcing himself on someone in the same room.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' episode "Chuckie is Rich" deals with Chuckie's father winning the lottery and moving them into a new life. When everyone goes to visit he has purchased a large glass elephant for the living room. They would rather talk about that than the fact he became a snob. [[AFoolAndHisNewMoneyAreSoonParted But everything works out.]] Except Stu [[PricelessMingVase broke the glass elephant.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' has quite a few, some bordering on FridgeLogic:
** The show never shows poor and/or starving children in third-world countries with fairy godparents, despite the fact they're [[AppealToWorseProblems obviously more deserving]] of them than "an average kid who no one understands". They probably do have fairies, but we just don't see them.
** Timmy never makes any sort of [[ReedRichardsIsUseless world-benefitting wish,]] like no discrimination (the closest he got to doing that was wishing everyone was the same, but that didn't change people's attitudes like he had hoped), world peace, a cure for cancer, etc. While this could be justified in that he's a self-centered 10-year-old child and when he grows up all remnants of his fairies' magic will disappear unless he keeps the mindset of a child, it seems implausible that he never thought to wish for something like this not even ''once''. In the live-action movies which take place in a possible future, Timmy can only make selfless wishes, and even if he does, there ''is'' a limit to how far he can go with them.
** Even the more good-natured Chloe doesn't consider making such wishes, even though she does occasionally make world-benefitting wishes on a much smaller scale.
* The basis of a long-running introduction to an episode of ''ComicStrip/TheFarSide'' animated series. [[CowTools Probably]].
* It was a RunningGag in ''WesternAnimation/TheOblongs'' that everyone avoided directly referencing the fact that Bob doesn't have arms or legs. Although, in the episode "Bucketheads", Tommy Vinegar does call him a Weeble. And in another episode (the one where Helga gets her parents back) Bob goes to play the piano, which leaves Milo embarrassed and the people shocked. [[GagPenis I wonder what they could be alluding to…]]
* The City of Townsville, hometown of ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'', is cartoondom's equivalent of Metropolis, Gotham City and Marvel Universe New York rolled into one. You'd have to wonder why people want to live in a city where the criminals only take a break from their activities whenever they need to run away from the giant-sized monsters that are regularly rampaging the city.
* ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo'':
** Scooby Doo can talk...and no one cares (though it was lampshaded in that movie with the aliens...) Lampshaded in the crossover episode with Tim Conway. This one has evolved into a running gag with the latter movies, where someone would exclaim "Oh my gosh! A talking dog!" and Scooby would answer [[FunetikAksent "Rog?]] [[WhereWhere Rhere?"]]
** A joke in ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'' where Velma calls Shaggy... "Scooby, put Shaggy on... Because [[SpeechImpairedAnimal you're almost impossible to understand over the phone]]."
** A sub-elephant brought about by the finale: [[spoiler: now that the world has been retroactively "normalized," Scooby may be the only talking animal left in the world]].
** In "[[{{Crossover}} Bravo Dooby Doo]]", WesternAnimation/JohnnyBravo is surprised that the gang understands Scooby.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'':
** Brian, a talking dog--who interacts with everyone, has human girlfriends, drives a Prius, and so on. Yet no one ever questions it. [[RuleOfFunny Unless it's funny]]. Like when Peter is suddenly shocked to hear Brian talking... in the middle of a conversation, after having known him for years. Or when Brian goes to visit the farm he was born on:
--->'''Farmer:''' Biscuit had a lot of puppies.\\
'''Brian:''' I was the one who could talk.\\
'''Farmer:''' Brian!
** The episode "Death is a Bitch" has Peter and Lois discussing Peter having a breast lump. Lois insists that Peter should go see a doctor, but Peter says that it would be better not to talk about it, "just like we do with the squid." The camera pulls back to reveal an actual giant squid at the table, who knocks various objects to the floor; Peter and Lois make excuses.
** Played surprisingly seriously in "Seahorse Seashell Party." Throughout the series, poor Meg is the Queen of {{Butt Monkey}}s--she's openly mocked, criticized, excluded, mistreated, and even ''set on fire'' by Peter, Lois, and Chris. In this episode, she finally calls Chris, Lois, and Peter out on their horrific treatment of her, and delivers [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech blistering speeches]] about their own flaws. The problem is that these revelations cause her brother and parents to start fighting endlessly with one another, prompting Meg to realize that she needs to be the target of the family's derision to keep them all alive. In other words, when she mentions the elephant, it goes on a rampage.
* Mr. Krabs from ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' is a crab who has a whale for a daughter. It's never discussed so it's unknown if she's adopted or [[GenderEqualsBreed takes after her mom]].
* A near-literal example in the Malaysian series ''WesternAnimation/PumpkinReports'', where the VillainProtagonist has planted a giant pumpkin in the corner of her surrogate home that's visible in the living room and has taken out a sizable chunk of the wall.
* Cow and Chicken from ''WesternAnimation/CowAndChicken'' are, somehow, siblings, despite being [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment a cow and a chicken]]. Nobody in the cast questions it; absurdly, not even their own HUMAN parents. Members of their extended family include a ''boneless'' chicken, a sow, a black sheep and a half-human, half-snail hybrid (whose parents, as we see, are a human woman and a tiny snail). And we also see their grandparents were a human and a hen. It's... a big mess, really.
* ''WesternAnimation/BoJackHorseman'' had [=BoJack=]'s girlfriend, Wanda, namedrop the trope in regards to their IUhYouToo moment. Unfortunately, [[spoiler: this causes the handy-elephant [=BoJack=] had brought home to help set up [[ItMakesSenseInContext his auto-erotic asphyxiation machine]] to indignantly storm out of the room while [[{{Angrish}} trying to call her out on using the phrase]].]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
%%Please heed the RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement here.
* ''Politics and religion''. It's ''probably'' why PowersThatBe on this wiki removed the RealLife sections from most villain tropes, among others, and why [[ComicBook/ChickTracts Jack Chick]]'s page has a lengthy RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement disclaimer. '''[[FlameBait And that is all we will say about this.]]'''
* Basically any disaster everybody knows is going to happen but is either unable or unwilling to do anything about - basically everybody knows that a major earthquake will hit Tokyo or Southern California, but it doesn't stop people from going about their lives.
* Any situation wherein someone has undeniably let out a huge, smelly fart or has a bad case of body odor in the midst of polite company. Especially if it's inside an elevator.
* In general, whenever couples have to see each other after a tough split, even if it's only a few seconds when handing off kids. Creator/ChristopherTitus compared it to a hostage transfer in ''Love is Evol''.
* It is said that after Film/TheWave occurred, it was so scarring that no one at the school even talked about it for three years.
* The Ryugyong Hotel was possibly the most literal example of this trope. Made in UsefulNotes/NorthKorea, it was said when it was completed it would be the largest hotel in the world. However, after spending an obscene amount of money on it (2% of the nation's entire GDP) construction stopped and the government pretended it didn't exist, even though it dominates the [[http://obviousmag.org/archives/uploads/2009/09092901_blog.uncovering.org_ryugyong.jpg skyline of the city]]. Construction has been picked up by an Egyptian company who wants to make it the first cell tower in the nation, now they happily talk about the achievement it will be.
* When someone passes away and there are children around, oblivious, adults would likely [[NeverSayDie try to not talk about the death]].
* Details about a crime may be suppressed when the children can hear.
* When friends fight and nobody wants to pressure anyone to do anything.
* When one person estranges from another and they see each other after 6 months of distance!
* When there is a fight in the center of a group and nobody picks sides or speaks on problems.
* Regarding sexual abuse, the term "[[http://pervocracy.blogspot.com/2012/06/missing-stair.html missing stair]]" has come to refer to abusers who get away with their actions because people would rather work around the problem than confront it:
** The original context of the above-cited blog post is [[http://pervocracy.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/scene-is-not-safe.html regarding abuse in kinky communities.]] Because no one wants to admit that sometimes the negative stereotypes regarding UsefulNotes/{{BDSM}} as being an excuse for abusive behaviour can actually be true in specific cases, people become reluctant to name and shame abusers, or kick them out of the community; instead, people will simply be advised that John once added things to a scene that the submissive hadn't agreed to, or that Mary got accused/convicted of rape one time. If bad things then happen relating to John and Mary, well, no one could say they weren't warned, right? So John and Mary continue to have access to new victims (who may or may not actually know about the elephant in advance) while everyone else allows abusers into their shared spaces. More broadly, the phenomenon can occur in any group or subculture that doesn't want to jeopardise the community or appear overly judgemental or restrictive.
--> 'Tons of people, including several in the leadership, instantly knew who I meant. The reaction wasn't "there's a rapist among us!?!" but "oh hey, I bet you're talking about our local rapist."'
** Other JustForFun/{{egregious}} examples in recent memory include the Catholic Church's massive coverup of [[PedophilePriest child molestation]] and Creator/TheBBC's neglectful attitude toward Creator/JimmySavile's horrific sexual offences. Predictably, [[http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/12/25/a-famous-porn-star-claims-she-was-raped-on-set-will-she-receive-justice.html this issue also exists]] in the UsefulNotes/{{pornography}} industry. Corey Feldman of ''Film/TheGoonies'' fame has likewise [[http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jan/08/business/la-fi-ct-hollywood-molesters-20120109 spoken]] [[http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/corey-feldman-pedophilia-problem-child-actors-contributed-demise/story?id=14256781 about]] the phenomenon in Hollywood, and he in turn faced criticism from his late costar Creator/CoreyHaim, who accused Feldman himself of letting an adult molest Haim. Then in 2017, a slew of accusations against [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Weinstein Harvey Weinstein]] (co-founder of Creator/MiramaxFilms and Creator/TheWeinsteinCompany) set off a chain reaction dubbed the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weinstein_effect Weinstein effect]], emboldening survivors of sexual violence to come forward with similar allegations against [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_Too_(hashtag)#Aftermath countless prominent men]] and expose the figurative elephants.
** According to [[http://www.stephengoldin.com/MZB%20Website/Excerpts%20from%20MZB%27s%20Depositions.html court transcripts]], convicted child molester Walter Breen's actions were this to his wife, Creator/MarionZimmerBradley, and others within their social circle. Bradley's [[http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jun/27/sff-community-marion-zimmer-bradley-daughter-accuses-abuse own]] abuse of her children would be this to [[http://www.stephengoldin.com/MZB%20Website/Excerpts%20from%20Elizabeth%20Waters%27%20Testimony.html others]] that knew them.
** Since the death of Music/MichaelJackson in 2009, the lingering question of whether or not he molested children has largely been ignored by the media and general public. Indeed, posthumous projects spearheaded by his estate include such family-friendly projects as two [[Theatre/MichaelJacksonONE Cirque du]] [[Theatre/MichaelJacksonTheImmortalWorldTour Soleil]] tribute shows and a 2017 animated HalloweenSpecial.
* Attorney General Eric Holder says it's race. Basically stating that people are cowards when it comes to discussing racial issues.
* Creator/{{Banksy}} once put a ''[[VisualPun literal]]'' elephant in a living room.
* This is often how TheAlcoholic in a family is treated, or at least their drinking problem. And the BlackSheep in general, really.
* In 1937, during the UsefulNotes/SpanishCivilWar, many of the European powers met in Nyon, Switzerland to discussing a growing problem of SubmarinePirates and what to do about it. What nobody was willing to outright say was that the Italian Navy (in support of the Nationalists) was carrying out unrestricted submarine warfare against shipping from nations supporting the Republicans. Such attacks were an [[ThisMeansWar act of war]], and nobody was yet ready to fight [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII the war that this would light off.]]
* Kurt Tucholsky (1890-1935) a German-Jewish journalist, satirist and writer says this about the german people. ''"In Germany is the one, who points at the dirt, seen as more dangerous, as the one who makes the dirt."'' [[labelnote:See here the original german utteration of the quote]]''„In Deutschland gilt derjenige, der auf den Schmutz hinweist, für viel gefährlicher als derjenige, der den Schmutz macht.“''[[/labelnote]]
* A close friend or relative (or, in some [[IncompatibleOrientation tragic cases]], a spouse or lover) being a member of the LGBT+ community can be this; either the loved one has a TransparentCloset and no one wants to pressure them into coming out, or the people around them are somehow hoping that they're just CampStraight (or, in the case of trans people, [[{{Tomboy}} just a little bit]] [[RealMenWearPink gender non-conforming]]). If the person's loved ones are heavily enough in denial about it, this can even be the case after the person has come out, with people still refusing to accept it and clinging to the hope that it's "just a phase" that they'll grow out of if it's ignored strongly enough.