Some characters are so completely insulated from the outside world that life, for them, is very different from life for others. This is extreme to the point that they literally have difficulty comprehending that life could
be different for other people, and will work their everyday lives under the assumption that all people view life through the same lens that they do.
They can be given a rather rude awakening when, for one reason or another, a different character acts in such a way that the guy living in a bubble realizes that the world is a very, very different place from what he thought it was. Up until that point, they will always Fail A Spot Check
if anything happens that conflicts with their world-view.
Often a good way to frame a Reasonable Authority Figure
: The main reason they haven't acted so far is largely that they didn't realize what was going on.
See also I Thought Everyone Could Do That
. This is the supertrope to Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense
. A variation on No Social Skills
. Not to be confused with Inspector Oblivious
. Or Captain Obvious
- Zoolander: Ben Stiller's character lives within the bubble of being "really really insanely good-looking". To the point where he and another male model are unable to figure out how to use a computer. They wind up recreating the monolith scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey, complete with banging on the sides of the monitor like apes and "Also Sprach Zarathustra" playing on the soundtrack.
- Ken Follett's novel The Man from St. Petersburg has English Lord Stephen Walden's daughter Charlotte growing up in the 1900s. She has no idea what sex is, because she has grown up in a Gilded Cage.
- In Larry Niven's Ringworld, Louis Wu decides that Teela Brown is incredibly naive about the dangers of real life because she was Born Lucky - so lucky that she never had to deal with any hardship.
- Chris Fogle in The Pale King, during his wasteoid years. Even his life-changing event was the result of him going to the wrong classroom and experiencing something completely different from his own world view.
- Lord Rust from Discworld is so self-assured he cannot comprehend that things are not exactly as he thinks they are. He doesn't even get a rude awakening - any information that conflicts with the way he sees things gets stopped at the door and sent on its way without ever making it to his brain.
- Bertie from Jeeves and Wooster.
- The title character in Coral Lansbury's Sweet Alice drifted through life in a sort of genteel upper-class way without acknowledging her and her bastard son's severe lack of funds.
- Similarly, in Gone with the Wind, nearly all of the once-wealthy Southern elite- brought low by the Civil War's end and military occupation- were absolutely unable to comprehend that their old way of life was gone. They could no longer afford to throw feasts, or give money away freely, or spit on black people. Honor Before Reason was no longer a viable way of life, and some became Empty Shells from the shock of this.
- In one episode of 30 Rock, Liz discovers that her incredibly attractive boyfriend is oblivious to how far his attractiveness has got him in life. He can order ridiculous items like roast duck soaked in Fanta at restaurants, is under the hilariously inaccurate impression that he's a tennis prodigy, and most alarmingly, somehow became a medical doctor in spite of not even knowing what the Heimlich maneuver is.
- The Prince Regent from Blackadder.
- The Hendrys in The Day After have no idea that the world is hurtling towards nuclear war. Even with their TV loudly blaring newscasts and EBS warnings they're completely oblivious to the danger - going so far as to discuss the state of the fields over the two-tone alert - until an ICBM launches in the next field. Their frantic attempts to flee come too late when they're engulfed by a fireball and incinerated.
- The Tick in the Tick
- Daphne in Frasier remains oblivious to Niles' interest in her for the majority of the series, despite how obvious it is to everyone else.
- Elliot in Scrubs throughout the first six seasons is completely oblivious to how weird the Almighty Janitor is. She constantly thinks to herself how sweet he is, completely unaware of the torture he inflicts on JD.
- This is The Buddha's Origin Story. He was prophesied to either be a great king, or a sage who rejected the world. His father preferred the first option, so he had him grow up in a bubble of perfect happiness, building a world he would never want to reject. It didn't work.
- Exalted: The nature of the Primordials is such that they are completely encased in their own legend and not, in honest sense, capable of comprehending how people can live in ways different than their own. Ebon Dragon is completely oblivious of heroism while Autochthon is completely oblivious to the logical consequences of his tools.
- By the end of the First Age, the Solars have become oblivious that there are people not as larger-than-life as they are, leading to The Usurpation.
- Luke in Tales of the Abyss. He eventually gets kicked out of his bubble very, very harshly.
- Overlord Zenon in Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories. Unless told directly, he has no idea what's happening in the world he's ruling, or even in the tournament he organized. So, after the location of his castle is broadcasted on the news, his reaction to the constant onslaught of rival Overlords and would-be heroes is, "How does everyone know where I live?!"
- The Earth King in Avatar: The Last Airbender. So much so that he didn't realize his country was at war for an entire century.
- On Family Guy, Lois was completely oblivious to the fact that Quagmire was a pervert and had the hots for her until she caught him spying on her in the ladies' room.
- An early episode of Robot Chicken gives us "Randy The Oblivious Pizza Delivery Guy".
- Eustace and Muriel of Courage the Cowardly Dog. In just about every episode, when the villains arrive, no matter how evil or monstrous they appear, or how bizarre or obvious their disguises are, they will absently go along with it no matter what, even if said villain is one they have been threatened or scammed by before (Katz, Le Quack, etc.).
- Considering what happened afterward, it's rather astounding that the summoning of the Estates General directly before the French Revolution was actually the aristocracy's idea. They apparently genuinely did not realize how much the commoner classes in France hated them. This even though from a modern perspective the peasantry's reaction to having a democratic legislative body was fairly predictable. Consider the fact that for centuries French nobles lived above the law, controlled the government, and shouldered virtually no public responsibility. Meanwhile the peasants had to lay down their income and lives in order to finance and staff France's many eighteenth century wars, most of which didn't even accomplish anything.
- The third estate of the Estates General, theoretically the commoners, was probably the most loathed by the peasantry of all. It consisted of people that would now be considered the middle class and they were actually the most insistent on shifting as much of the tax burden as possible onto the peasantry. Especially since said middle class included the tax farmers, people who had to deliver a certain amount of money to the state (the technical term was "Abonnement fiscal") and were allowed to take it from the peasants in return. Many of those became pretty rich ... For centuries the French nobles more consistently sided with the peasantry than did the supposed representatives of the common people. It was only a few decades before the Revolution that the nobles reached the level of decadence generally attributed to them.
- Hindsight is a beautiful thing ...
- The psychological concept of theory of mind can include the problems listed in the trope description: without the ability to comprehend the thoughts, intentions, and goals of others, it becomes extremely easy for someone without proper theory of mind (such as a child or autistic person) to be baited and fooled. An example of a test is to put an item in a cabinet, have the test subject take a picture of the cabinet, then let them see it being switched to a different cabinet. After the picture is developed or otherwise available for viewing, the subject is asked "Where is the object in the picture?" Someone without a proper theory of mind may point at the first cabinet; as far as they're concerned, it's the one in the picture. This is one of the things that makes autistics rather Literal-Minded.