[[quoteright:350:[[Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/crowd_guardians.jpg]]]]

->''"And at the words, as if they been some magic spell, the street suddenly seemed to wake from slumber. It seethed with human life. Maids popped out of windows, areas disgorged landladies, the very stones seemed to belch forth excited spectators."''
-->-- '''Creator/PGWodehouse''', "No Wedding Bells for Him"

The hero and/or villain are about to face off. There's been a massive explosion. ''Something'' dramatic is going on. Suddenly, a crowd shows up out of nowhere to watch. Sometimes they serve to keep others from running, in a sort of human RingOfFire, but more often they've simply ComeToGawk.

For some reason, even if the thing they're watching is dangerous, like a MexicanStandoff, they [[TooDumbToLive usually don't think of running]] unless it directly affects them. When the interesting event is over they go about their business like nothing happened.

They are often ApatheticCitizens, but they don't have to be. Sometimes the crowd [[HeroicBystander provides assistance to the heroes]] [[GullibleLemmings or villains]]; however, such assistance is usually minor and may be only moral support. Compare and contrast AngryMob, where the crowd that forms is out for blood with TorchesAndPitchforks.

The inverse of this is when a building or hallway full of people clear the area with remarkable speed, panic and thoroughness, so that the hero and the villain can duke it out in an empty hallway, possibly with loose papers flying around. That reaction can often be a form of CrowdPanic.



[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* This tends to happen a lot in the Franchise/MarvelUniverse, particularly to Franchise/SpiderMan. Usually the crowd being there will result in the villain threatening them so he/she can get away. At other times, they witness the wrong thing at the wrong time and blame the heroes for whatever happened.
* Happens a lot in the Franchise/TheDCU, too.


[[folder: Fan Works ]]

* Happens several times in Tevri'ed in ''Fanfic/TheKeysStandAlone: The Soft World'' when there's a particularly interesting fight going on.


[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/SpiderManTrilogy'':
** In ''Film/SpiderMan1'', they help Spidey by throwing insults and rocks at the Green Goblin.
** ''Film/SpiderMan2'' plays on this after Spidey is knocked out saving the train and passengers; the crowd puts his mask back on him and stands up to ComicBook/DoctorOctopus, only for him to shove them aside, snatch the defeated Spidey, and carry him off.
* ''Film/StreetsOfFire'' had the villain summon about 200 bikers out of nowhere. A bit later, a bunch of citizens with guns showed up to stare them down. They then proceeded to do nothing until the hero beat the villain in a street fight, at which point the guys with guns chased off the bikers.
** Earlier, when Ellen Aim was returned safely, a bunch of people crowded the police station.
* This is a staple of karate movies, even parodies of them. ''Film/TheKentuckyFriedMovie'''s parody 'A Fistful of Yen' had this occur when the hero and villain were facing off, with the crowd made up of other karate students.
* In ''Franchise/StarWars'': ''Film/ANewHope'', when Darth Vader and Obi-Wan face off, the Stormtroopers who were guarding the heroes' ship rush over to assist, leaving the ship unguarded. This would have allowed the heroes to escape quietly if Luke hadn't [[BigNo screamed]] and alerted the troops to their presence. [[note]]Of course, they escape anyway, but you know...[[/note]]
* In ''Film/VForVendetta'', after that cop shoots the little girl, a crowd gathers around, looking for blood.
* In Creator/TimBurton's ''Film/{{Batman}}'', the Joker announces he will be giving away free money at a parade. Despite knowing he's a murderer, [[TooDumbToLive the crowd shows up on schedule and he almost kills them]].
* In the climactic [[spoiler:dance]] battle of Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy, a crowd of people shows up as a convenient audience. This is all the more inexplicable because [[spoiler:the city they're in had previously been evacuated, dive-bombed, and borderline ''[[ColonyDrop colony dropped]]'', yet there are still plenty of people around to gawk.]]
* At the end of Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit, the crowd that forms to gawk at [[spoiler: Judge Doom's body]] was awfully close at hand and made up of some awfully prominent citizens of Toontown given how quickly they gathered.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* This is an established rule in Literature/{{Discworld}}'s Ankh-Morpork -- no matter what the citizenry are doing, if something interesting is going on, they WILL stop to watch it. Can work for or against people.
** This is often called the official pastime of Ankh-Morpork.
* In the Creator/LarryNiven short story "Flash Crowd", this sort of thing is one of the unexpected side-effects of the development of easy teleportation technology.
* Creator/RayBradbury wrote a short story entitled "The Crowd" that examined this phenomenon.
* In ''Literature/TheStrangeCaseOfDrJekyllAndMrHyde'', despite Hyde running into the little girl at around 4 in the morning, a sizable crowd gathers around them. Several mob members have to be held back from attempting to murder Hyde.
* Along with the page quote above, the Creator/PGWodehouse story "The Truth About George" features a rural example of this trope, when the protagonist gets chased off a stopped train by [[TorchesAndPitchforks a mob]] which appears in this fashion from both the other compartments and the surrounding countryside.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* A TV adaption of the aforementioned Bradbury story can be viewed here: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGda_1-uX2g part 1,]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dpT9jD_Nb8 part 2]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alscLa4qDCg part 3.]]


[[folder: Music ]]

* Music/TheProtomen have crowds forming a lot in their songs. Dr. Light {{lampshade|Hanging}}s it a couple times in Act II.
** They tended to be an AngryMob when not being ApatheticCitizens. In Act II, they attempted to lynch Dr. Light, believing him to have killed Emily. They gathered around Joe and Light after the former's death, then ran away from Wily's army of robots.
** In Act I, after idly watching Protoman fight for them, they did nothing as he died. Later, a crowd formed around Megaman as he resolved to fight for the people. But when Protoman was revealed to be alive, and he called them out for doing nothing, they ordered Megaman to kill Protoman. After Megaman left, they were then slaughtered by robots.
* Music/TheMegas have a crowd watching Megaman and Quickman's ShowdownAtHighNoon in the song "The Quick and the Blue".


[[folder: Tabletop RPG ]]

* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' adventure WG 5 Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure. When the [=PCs=] fight the iron golem, the viewing stands will be filled with an illusion of a crowd. Some of them will cheer the [=PCs=] and some will encourage the golem.
** Another D&D example: the Complete Bard's Handbook from the 2nd edition had a spell called Instant Audience. With this, a bard [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin could conjure up an audience]] to watch a performance. Misusing the spell though (like trying to use the audience as a human shield) made the spell end.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* In ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'', when you enter a battle the scene will switch to a theatre with a cheering crowd. The size of the crowd increases as the game continues, and sometimes they can provide you with items or a power-up.
* Most Open World Games do this, starting with ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIII''.
* ''VideoGame/BlackAndWhite'' had people gathering to cheer fights between giant monsters.
* In ''VideoGame/LeisureSuitLarry'', during the scene in the convenience store, a crowd pops into view from behind various shelves to mock Larry's choice of condom. "WHAT A PERVERT!"


[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* Invoked in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'': when Gil ''needs'' a crowd, there isn't one, so he purposely picks a fight with Zeetha to attract one.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* This happened a couple times in ''WesternAnimation/{{Trollz}}'', as a crowd gathered to watch a MexicanStandoff. However, some of the spells hit the crowd.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'', [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick start arguing in the halls of Mrs. Puff's driving school and instantly a crowd gathers chanting "Fight! Fight!" It takes Patrick a while to catch on to the fact that they are the ones who are supposed to be fighting.
* At the end of ''WesternAnimation/DuckRabbitDuck'', Daffy makes the mistake of admitting that it's really duck season, causing a ring of hunters to instantly pop into view and blast him.


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* A FlashMob is an inversion, as the crowd ''causes'' the interesting thing to happen.
* This is prevalent in real life, especially at the scene of a crime or accident.
** A lot of traffic jams aren't caused by the car accident itself, but the other cars stopping to gawk.