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->''"Because nothing sucks worse than feeling alone, no matter how many people are around."''
-->-- '''JD''', ''Series/{{Scrubs}}''

Something has happened to TheHero. A shocking revelation, new information brought to light, revealing their [[BigBadFriend best friend]] is a [[EtTuBrute traitor]] or that nothing they did [[StatusQuoIsGod changed anything]] or maybe they can finally [[JadeColoredGlasses see the world the way it is]]. Or perhaps it's something even simpler, perhaps they just simply lose their [[SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids idealism]] and plunge into a contemplation of existential meaninglessness. Or maybe they're just feeling alone and unloved in the world. They don't go into a HeroicBSOD, they just simply stand there, as a crowd of people moves around them (sometimes in fast-forward, even further isolating them). They're simply [[TitleDrop alone in a crowd]]. Sometimes known as "calm in a chaotic world" if the crowd moves in fast-forward.

Compare HeroicBSOD and FreakOut. See also FriendlessBackground. Contrast AloneAmongTheCouples.

If you are looking for the webcomic by Thomas D. Szewc, go [[Webcomic/AloneInACrowd here]].



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/NinetyOneDays'': In part of the opening credits sequence Avilio is walking down the sidewalk as crowds of people pass him in fast-forward, and a short distance away he sees his slain parents and little brother walking together at normal speed as if they were still alive. This isolation in a crowd represents how he is alienated from society and unable to move on with his life since the night when they were murdered, while the memories that continue haunt him spur his quest for vengeance.
* In the first episode of ''Anime/KidouTenshiAngelicLayer'', Misaki watches a match between two "Angels", although she didn't know what they were at that time. When it looked like the smaller of the competitors (Athena) was about to lose, she undergoes this state, thinking how people of her own stature could never go far, but breaks from it when Athena wins the battle.
* ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'':
** The new manga of TheMovie explores this. Titular character is loved, has a family, has friends; she smiles for all of them...but something's....wrong.
** In the first season, Yuuno talks about how he grew up without parents, being raising communally by his clan. In the drama [=CDs=], he mentions the Scyra family tent, which was often full of a lively, bustling crowd of people, and how comforting he finds such an atmosphere. He tells Nanoha that he's always been alone in the crowd, [[AngstWhatAngst but he appreciates what they did for him, and he's happy to bear the name "Scrya".]]
* The ending of the theatrical version of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWingEndlessWaltz'' shows Heero in this shot.
** Except in this case it's a bit of a subversion, considering that he's walking through the crowd because his mission is over and the world is now a place where he can live like anyone else
* 95% of the opening theme of ''Anime/{{Monster}}'' is Tenma doing this.
* In ''Anime/MonsterRancher'', Genki has a nightmare about this early on, dreaming about being dumped back in the boring real world without Holly, Mocchi, and all the friends he made in the monster world. This turns out to be {{Foreshadowing}} for [[spoiler:his actual return at the end of the second season]], which is jarringly traumatic.
* Played with in the opening to the first ''Anime/{{Hell Girl}}'' season. Near the end of it, we see a greyed-out, bustling crowd, with the Hell Girl herself in the middle of the crush, staring in full color at the camera. Possibly used in this case to highlight that Ai is not part of this world, and as such literally alone in the crowd.
* The day after [[spoiler:Mami's death]] in ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'', Madoka feels like she's in a foreign country, surrounded by strangers. Sayaka agrees, and explains that it's because [[TheMasquerade no one else knows what happened]]. The visual version of the trope is used a few times, such as at [[spoiler:Sayaka's funeral]].
* Mireille in ''Anime/{{Noir}}'' quotes ''Creator/ErnestHemingway'' after a done job, which earns her a confused reaction from Kirika. While she says she simply quoted Hemingway and doesn't exactly feel that way, it does fit the whole situation the two are in - no parents, no other relatives and being {{Professional Killer}}s, they can't have real relationships with anyone else, either.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In one ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' comic during Tim Drake's tenure as Robin, Tim complains to Alfred about Bruce's moodiness and how it probably means that Batman will be going alone for the night. Alfred replies to Tim that even in a crowd, Bruce is always alone.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Andrew Stanton stated that in ''WesternAnimation/WallE'', a major theme was the contrast between WALL•E's isolation in the first part of the film to the presence of this trope on board the ''Axiom''.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The final shot of Creator/FritzLang film ''Film/ScarletStreet'' shows Chris, who has gotten away with murder but is now homeless and wracked with guilt, shuffling down a crowded city sidewalk. Then the other people fade away, and Chris is shuffling down the street alone.
* Another final shot: in Joseph Mankiewicz's adaptation of ''Film/TheQuietAmerican'' (1958), protagonist Thomas Fowler (played by Creator/MichaelRedgrave) is a broken man, having been rejected by the woman he loves and wracked with guilt for having [[spoiler: instigated the death of an American man who was his rival in love - [[PyrrhicVictory all for nothing]]]]. He rejects an offer to go the church for solace and instead walks away dejectedly through a crowded Vietnamese street, where he is eventually lost from view.
* In ''Film/{{Cavalcade}}'', the main character finds out that her son has been killed in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI just as the bells toll announcing the armistice that ended the war. She staggers out of her house and wanders through the joyful crowds, dazed with grief.
* The central theme of 1928 silent classic ''Film/TheCrowd'', in which the protagonist discovers how indifferent The Crowd is when his life falls apart.
* In ''Film/{{Accepted}}'', this happens to Bartleby Gaines. He is visiting Harmon College to get an idea of how college works. He quickly becomes jaded by the students, who are either apathetic or stressed out. He freezes in the middle of the frame as a speeded-up crowd rushes around him.
* In ''Film/IronMan1'', Tony Stark does this when he finds out [[spoiler:Obadiah Stane tried to get him fired from the company board]].
* Bruce Willis does it in ''Film/{{Unbreakable}}'' -- slight variation in that he's deliberately expecting people to bump into him in order to [[spoiler:trigger his newly discovered DetectEvil power.]]
* ''Film/{{Equilibrium}}'': John Preston after he goes off his emotion-suppressing meds. Probably many of the sense offenders as well, but the movie doesn't focus on them.
* In the Ian [=McKellen=] film version of ''Film/RichardIII'', before the "Now is the winter of our discontent" speech Richard moves through a party but stays isolated from the celebrating nobles.
* The opening sequence of the remake of ''Film/{{Bedazzled 2000}}''.
* In ''Film/{{Titanic 1997}}'', right before Rose attempts suicide, she's sitting at the table in the lobby, narrating, but her body doesn't move. This has less to do with a shocking revelation, and more to do with her feeling that if she screamed, no one would hear, or even care.
* ''Film/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'', during the SanitySlippageSong "Epiphany". He's just lost the chance to [[spoiler:slit the throat of the man who ruined his life]] and is running through the streets in a rage, singing and brandishing his straight razors. Nobody takes ''any'' notice, and it's eventually revealed to be an ImagineSpot, [[UnreliableNarrator more relevant to how he feels than to the actual state of reality]].
* The protagonist in ''Film/TheTigerMakesOut'', a disgruntled postal worker who sees himself as an intellectual in a world of sheep, walks the streets of New York angrily talking to himself while people stream around him at double speed (done by speeding up footage of him walking at half-speed.)
* ''Film/TaxiDriver'' - "Loneliness has followed me my whole life, everywhere. In bars, and cars, sidewalks, stores, everywhere. There's no escape. I'm god's lonely man."
* A DiscussedTrope in ''Film/SeparateTables''. Ann is portrayed as a sexy seductress (she's played by Rita Hayworth!) but she admits to John that she is terrified of growing old alone, and she doesn't have any friends.
--> '''Ann''': Being alone in a crowd is worse. It's more painful, more frightening.
* DiscussedTrope in ''Film/{{Lonesome}}'', which is about two single, lonely people who live in the teeming mass of humanity that is Manhattan.
--> '''Jim''': It's funny how lonesome a fella can be, especially with a million people around him.
* ''Film/{{Army}}'': Dramatically so, when a weeping, desperate Maka is trying to find her son as he marches away--while everyone else in the crowd is waving flags, giddy with patriotic enthusiasm.
* ''Film/ManOfIron'': Winkel is thrown out of Solidarity headquarters, the movement having discovered that he was sent to infiltrate them by the government. He walks out in a daze, alone in the triumphal crowd of people leaving the shipyard after the Gdansk agreement was signed.

* ''Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian'' - In Creator/RobertEHoward's ''Literature/BeyondTheBlackRiver'', the presence of Conan does not keep Balthus from feeling alone in the wilderness, because Conan is native to the wild. Unusual in that Conan is the only person there, but he actively reflects on how the other person does not keep him from feeling alone.
* In ''Literature/AGameOfThrones'', Tyrion's isolation because of his dwarfism is emphasized as he walks through his father's war camp:
-->The Lannister camp sprawled for miles between the river and the kingsroad. In amongst the men and the horses and the trees, it was easy to get lost, and Tyrion did. He passed a dozen great pavilions and a hundred cookfires [...] No one looked at him. No one spoke to him. No one paid him any mind. He was surrounded by men sworn to House Lannister, a vast host twenty thousand strong, and yet he was alone.
* In Creator/JohnCWright's ''Literature/CountToATrillion'' Menelaus goes to a [[DancesAndBalls ball]] after Blackie rouses him, and he feels this.
* In Creator/GeneStrattonPorter's ''Literature/{{Freckles}}'', Freckles had felt always lonely in the orphanage, and not lonely in the solitude of Limberlost swamp.
* The second ''Literature/AlexRider'' book reintroduces us to the main character with this trope.
* In ''The Return'', one of the last books in the ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' series, [[ActionGirl Rachel]] at one point walks through the hallway of her school - a setting that has not been featured in several books as the war has taken an increasingly grim turn - and reflects that she no longer feels like she belongs there at all and can't even pretend to anymore. Sure enough, she has a breakdown in class a chapter later and flees the school. [[spoiler:This is the last time school is visited, as in the next book the Animorphs all become fugitives and have to go into hiding.]]
* This trope is almost synonymous to Mika Waltari's stories, but most prevalent in ''Literature/TheEgyptian'' and ''The Wanderer''.
* Played out literally in Fritz Leiber's "You're All Alone" where the awakened, such as the protagonist, are surrounded by people acting out the automaton of everyday life while the awakened find themselves getting more and more out of synch with the script as time passes.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', Clark is this when he sees [[spoiler:Lana and Lex]] hugging.
* The ''Series/ShokojoSera'' episode "A Sad Farewell" is a good example - after [[spoiler:leaving the Seminary]], Sara walks around the streets of London in a daze.
* In the first episode of ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'', J.D. struggles to cope with his first day as a doctor, rubbing his temples while blurred, fast-motion people swarm around him. Happens again in "My TCW", J.D. wanders despondently down a hallway surrounded by busy hospital staff as he narrates how it's important to hold on to the relationships you have and laments how awful it feels to be alone - and providing the page quote.
* In the pilot of ''Series/VeronicaMars'', Veronica sits at the lunch table, reading a book, as the entire student body moves around her in fast-forward. This isn't exactly the same, however, as Veronica has already ''been'' jaded [[spoiler:by the death of her best friend, disgrace of her father, and her own date-rape]], she has simply accepted her status as a loner. And then the new kid sits down beside her...
* In the ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' season 7 premiere, after Tony believes that Ziva is dead, he is shown at his desk [[HeroicBSOD just sitting there in shock]], the rest of the world whirling at a fast pace around him.
* Happens in the AMC series ''Rubicon'', in the first episode. The protagonist is in a diner and sees on the TV that the train his father-in-law was on was involved in a deadly crash. He then walks out onto the street in a daze, amidst a crowd of people.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'', at the end of the episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E2TheEndOfTheWorld "The End of the World"]]. After the Sun expands to swallow the Earth in the year five-billion and change, the Ninth Doctor takes Rose back to an ordinary, bustling city street in her own time. The two of them stand there for some time, with the Doctor explaining how he's now the LastOfHisKind. They don't join the flow of the crowd until Rose decides they need to get some chips.
* The opening titles of British comedy series ''Series/{{Rev}}''.
* KoreanSeries use this camera shot alot, especially two people standing a distance apart, unmoving while crowds of people walk by.
** ''Series/TheCityHunter'': Na Na and Yoon Sung with their backs to each other in a crowded plaza.
** ''Series/{{Pasta}}'': The OfficialCouple are standing in the middle of a crosswalk after the light turns green for the cars.
** ''Series/TwinkleTwinkle'': Jung Won and Seung Joon meet at a busy movie theater.
** ''Series/YouAreBeautiful'': Mi Nam and Shin Wo just miss each other in a crowded marketplace, even though they are standing mere meters apart.
* ''Series/TheTwilightZone1985'' episode called "To See the Invisible Man". The protagonist is sentenced to be "invisible" for a year (really just aggressively ignored by everyone), and so spends most of the episode with people moving around him as if he wasn't there.
* ''Series/{{Homeland}}'' literalizes the trope to chilling effect during an episode in series 1, when Dana Brody fast-forwards a video she took of her father during a visit to Gettysburg -- and shows him standing ''completely still'' as the crowd blurs around him.
* Cordelia describes her life this way in the first season of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''. When Buffy asks, if she's so miserable, why does she work so hard to stay popular, Cordy replies that it's better than being alone and a loser.

* The cover for Avril Lavigne's album "Let Go."
* ''[[Music/FoodForTheGods I Live in Silence]]'' by Music/{{Fireaxe}}.
--> ''I live in silence, where no one knows my name''
--> ''I live in silence, where no one speaks my name''
--> ''I love my silence, I love my peace within the void''
--> ''I love my silence, far away from every voice''
* Home by Michael Buble is a combo with this and the world weary traveler.
* Music/CityAndColour's "Hello, I'm In Delaware"
* "La Foule" by Music/EdithPiaf
* ''The Vampyre of Time and Memory'' by Music/QueensOfTheStoneAge
* ''Happy Little Pill'' by Troye Sivan
-->''In the crowd alone''
-->''And every second passing reminds me I'm not home''
* All the Love in the World by Music/NineInchNails.
-->''Hiding in the crowd I'm all alone.''
-->''No one's heard a single word I've said.''
-->''They don't sound as good outside my head.''
-->''It looks as though the past is here to stay.''
-->''I've become a million miles a- Why do you get all the love in the world?''
* The Invisible Man by Music/{{Marillion}}
-->''I shout my name in the public places''
-->''No one seems to notice''
-->''No one understands''
-->''I stand perfectly still''
-->''In the middle of the road''
-->''I hold my nerve''
-->''I hold my nerve''
-->''Hold my nerve''
-->''But the cars don't swerve''
* Have You Ever, by The Offspring:
-->''Have you ever been at someplace''\\
''Recognizing everybody's face''\\
''Until you realized that there was no one there you knew''
* Mentioned in "Million Miles" by Music/{{Reamonn}}:
-->''To walk this streets without you, I hate being on my own''
-->''So many souls around you, but it never feels like home''
* Used to describe depression in ‘Tears of a Clown’ by Music/{{IronMaiden}}
-->''All alone in a crowded room''
-->''He tries to force a smile''
-->''The smile it beamed, or so it seemed''
* The Music/{{ABBA}} song "Super Trouper" takes its name from the massive spotlights that are used to isolate the singer while she performs on stage, which in turn act as a metaphor for her loneliness and isolation despite performing in front of thousands of people.


[[folder:Music Videos]]
* The "fast-foward" variation is used in Music/LinkinPark's video for "Numb".
* Parts of the video for "Again" by YUI features the singer standing alone in a crowd that moves both fast-forwardly and in slow-motion.

* In ''Vanities: The Musical'', after losing her boyfriend, Kathy describes herself in this situation in the song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xD2JmRRlFeM Cute Boys with Short Haircuts]].
* Summed up in Theatre/{{Spamalot}} with the song "I'm All Alone".

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The Good Ending of ''VideoGame/{{inFAMOUS}}'' has it to where Cole [[spoiler: after his best friend Zeke betrayed him, his girlfriend was murdered, and it turned out that this was all orchestrated by himself from the future]], he states how he couldn't feel more alone.
* ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' - Despite the Reaper's Game taking place in the oh-so-crowded district of Shibuya, the players of the game are alone in the crowd-- non-players can't see them, can't hear them, and definitely can't help them.
* The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbJjAJnODck animated intro]] for Hanako's route in ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'' has her standing alone in a fast-forwarded crowd. And then, subverted: she notices Hisao is also there, and the rest of the crowd vanishes as they walk towards each other.
* In the second game of ''VideoGame/JackFrench'', the protagonist is briefly shown standing at an intersection while people whiz around him after [[spoiler:the car crash that kills Elizabeth]].

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* [[http://www.misfile.com/index.php?page=1127 This]] ''Webcomic/{{Misfile}}'' FillerStrip [[{{Anvilicious}} spells it out]].
--> "True loneliness is being alone in a crowd, a crowd where no one sees you... At least, not the REAL you..."
* In ''Webcomic/FatedFeather'', in the seventh chapter, Laryk stands silently while Hawke fights Kaanis and the others watch [[spoiler:because Hawke had just cast her out of the crew]].
* Iris, during the prologue of ''Webcomic/{{Shadownova}}''.
* Katherine of ''Webcomic/WapsiSquare'' seems to feel like this.
--> "It's scary out there. And you're all alone. Even with all those people. Especially with all those people."
* [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20061216 This strip ]] of Webcomic/GirlGenius, shortly after [[spoiler:Lars]] dies from [[TakingTheBullet jumping in front of an attack meant for Agatha]]. While the battle continues to rage around her, [[PaintingTheMedium it's all washed out and out-of-focus]] as she kneels over [[spoiler:his]] body in stunned shock.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2723 the poor unhappy elephant is ignored at the party.]]
* In ''Webcomic/RedsPlanet'', [[http://www.redsplanet.com/comic/rp/ch03/chapter-three-30-31/ Red is alone while the aliens pair off and tell each other about the abduction.]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Due to a HeroicBSOD after watching ''Film/BabyGeniuses'', WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic forces himself to go out of his hotel room but is still completely lost and broken even with all the con-goers around.
** While not seen, he also goes by himself to amusement parks and eats alone at Chuck E Cheese's, just to blend in with everyone else.
* The Wiki/SCPFoundation gives us [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-451 SCP-451]] quite possibly the most literal and horrific form of this trope: A man who, thanks to exposure to an artifact, is unable to perceive or interact with the people around him in any way.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* A truly heartbreaking version happens in the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode "The Return Of Harmony Part 2". [[spoiler:[[BigBad Discord]] has [[BreakTheCutie broken Twilight completely]] and sent her over the DespairEventHorizon by turning her friends against her by breaking and brainwashing them. He then one ups this by [[DrivenToMadness driving all of Equestria insane]] ''except'' Twilight. We see her walking dejectedly through town, surrounded by the citizens of Ponyville she's spent the entire last season with, but unable to turn to a single one for help because of Discord's actions, not even her TrueCompanions.]]
* Referenced verbatim in the obscure cartoon ''WesternAnimation/CaptainStar''. "Limbs" Jones, who has nine heads with independent personalities, is upset because he is alone. TheCaptain points out that he has nine heads, and Scarlet replies "One ''can'' get lonely in a crowd".
* In the ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' episode "Island Adventure", being stranded on an island with Sadie & Steven causes Lars to break down crying, and he asks Sadie "Do you ever feel lonely even when you're with people?"

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* At some point, everyone has looked at a huge group of people and say "I'm not one of them", because they truly feel like they don't belong.
* Apparently a common feeling in people who move from very rural areas into a larger town or city. Out where there aren't many people, everyone knows everyone else, and just about everyone is needed. In a big city, it's very easy to get lost in the crowd and be totally ignored.
* The difficulty in relating to other people can frequently cause this feeling in people on the autistic spectrum.
* Even the most sociable and charismatic among us are not immune:
-->"I get lonesome sometimes. I get lonesome right in the middle of a crowd." --Music/ElvisPresley