"You may believe yourselves rid of your headache now, and maybe you are — but you've only done it by cutting off your own heads."Sometimes people just won't believe you. You try your hardest to tell someone that your parents are actually super villains and that you need their help to bring them down, or that aliens have landed in your backyard and are now plundering your kitchen, or that the nice grandpa in the flat above you is in fact an evil bloodthirsty creature from another dimension, but the authorities look at you like you are crazy and send you packing. What's a lone protagonist to do? In Robert A. Heinlein's Time Enough for Love, Lazarus Long tells the two best ways to tell a lie.
- Tell the truth, but not all of it.
- Tell the truth, and maybe even all of it, but do so in a way that the person "just knows" you have to be lying.
- Intentionally deceive Alice into believing that something that's less strange must actually be the truth if, for example, Alive is interrogating Bob, and Bob doesn't want a much larger secret to get out.
- To get Alice to stop asking him about it, if Bob doesn't want him/her to "know" the truth.
open/close all folders
- Jor-El in nearly every version of Superman's origin. The classic story is that he tells the Kryptonian High Council (or something like that) that Krypton is doomed and they must evacuate, but nobody believes him, so he's forced to send his infant son to Earth in a small rocket.
- Averted in the origin of Superboy Prime from D.C. Comics Presents #87, where the Jor-El of the Prime Universe tells colleagues that Krypton is doomed, and everyone believes him, but bureaucracy gets in the way.
- The reason no-one believed him in the DCA version was because they relied too much on someone else who they shouldn't have: Brainiac. The computer knew Jor-El was right, but told them a conflicting story, in effect making Krypton the first victim of his mad plan to absorb all the knowledge in creation and then destroy it. (To make it even more dramatic, Brainiac told the council to order Jor-El arrested, but he managed to activate the controls to Kal-El's rocket right before they could; by then, it really didn't matter what they did. A related change in this continuity is that Jor-El does manage to convince one member of the Council, his father-in-law Sul-Van; who plays an instrumental part in distracting the police to buy his son-in-law time.)
- John Byrne had fun with this during his run. A computer programmer working for Lex Luthor ran extensive data on both Superman and Clark Kent into the system, in order to find a perceived connection between them. When the computer responds, "Clark Kent Is Superman", Lex promptly fires the programmer, refusing to believe that someone with Superman's powers would be satisfied with a "normal" life.
- Jor-El in nearly every version of Superman's origin. The classic story is that he tells the Kryptonian High Council (or something like that) that Krypton is doomed and they must evacuate, but nobody believes him, so he's forced to send his infant son to Earth in a small rocket.
- The first volume of Runaways has the superpowered main characters struggling with the fact that no one will believe that their parents are supervillains, resulting in them having to bring them down personally. Conversely, after the Pride are dead, their activities exposed, still few are willing to trust the Runaways, because of who their parents were. In this case it was somewhat subverted by the fact that the characters' parents essentially owned the police and had their fingers in the pies of every major organization, illicit or non, on the West Coast.
- Tim Drake finds himself in this situation during "Red Robin" while he is trying to prove that Bruce Wayne is not dead.
- In a Swamp Thing storyline where the title character is believed dead, Adam Strange shows up to tell Swampy's girlfriend that he's still alive and is trying to get home to her. She's incredibly relieved... until Adam starts helpfully explaining how he met him on an alien planet that he travels to by "zeta beam", at which point she shuts the door in his face.
- In Route 666, the main character is named Cassandra (usually called "Cassie") and suddenly starts seeing a world of ghosts and horrific monsters preying upon humanity. No one else can see this, and so, in her struggles against them, she is also pursued by the police as a psychopathic killer.
- Invoked by Neil Gaiman in a 1993 speech at the Diamond Retailers Seminar: "I'm not here to play Cassandra. I do not have the figure and I do not have the legs". In his speech, he predicted that the contemporary speculator boom in comics would result in the market crashing.
- Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
- Extremely minor character Harvey Who was portrayed as this. A member of the Royal Secret Service, he warned King Max Acorn over not trusting certain characters, including the original Robotnik. However, Max ignored those warnings as he had trusted the mystical Source of All for his guidance. Years later, when Max's son Elias had lost the throne, Harvey decided to help him as he realized he was in a better position to be king than his father ever was because he never used the Source.
- Another example is with Sonic himself. Even after hearing that Eggman was planning to use a Wave Motion Gun that would destroy both the Freedom Fighters' camp and half of the Eggdome in an effort to get rid of him, Sonic brushed off Shadow and Rouge's assertions that Eggman was going crazy until he witnessed Eggman's Villainous Breakdown firsthand.
- Daredevil: In the classic issue #181, before Murdock's Secret Identity became public, even before Kingpin knew who he was, Bullseye figured out that Murdock was Daredevil, and even guessed that the chemical accident had given him his powers. When he tries to tell Kingpin, Fisk dismisses him as insane.
- When Harry Osborn first became the Green Goblin shortly after the presumed death of his father Norman, he was quick to admit to the police that he was villain after Spider-Man apprehended him. However, Spidey had stripped him of the Goblin costume and accessories, and because the police figured Harry was too young to be the Goblin (who they had been after for years) they didn't believe him, assuming he was a crackpot. (Which was technically true, given the fact that the drugs he had been taking had made him unstable. Fortunately for Spidey, they also ignored Harry's claims that Spider-Man was Peter Parker for the same reason.
- In Ultimate Spider-Man it is a running gag, that nobody believes Peter when he tells them he got his powers from a radioactive spider.
- For many of the first few arcs of Volume 2 of X-Force, X-23 is constantly warning Wolverine that Angel is a liability they can't trust because of his Super-Powered Evil Side. However Logan downplays her concerns, and insists Warren is under control. Sure enough, Archangel proves to be an uncontrollable wildcard that derails a couple of their operations. Logan immediately warns her not to even think of saying "I told you so" when she's proven correct.
- Deadpool will loudly and repeatedly tell anyone who will listen about how they're all in a comic book medium, complete with critiques about either the plot or art style, but nobody does listen. Granted, it doesn't help that he's genuinely insane otherwise.
- Age of Bronze: The daughter of Priam, Cassandra frequently makes predictions. While some are clear, others are gibberish and only decipherable in hindsight. This tends to get all of her prophecies dismissed -even when she's reminding Priam of a prophecy he believed. The problem is compounded by Priam being insistent on having his own way, to the point of ignoring other, saner prophets.
- In Violine, Kombo, when his predictions are not useless because of being only moments before or during the actual event, is not believed when he actually does predict the future.
- In Safe Havens, at one point a school photographer snagged a photo of Remora's mermaid transformation, but when he presented it to the school principal she simply denounced it as a photomanip, as Samantha had already shown her several photomanips in advance. Samantha later apologized to him, telling him she had to do it to protect Remora's secret.
- In a Tempest strip, when Tempest awakes in an interrogation room, he quickly and clearly tells the questioner that Deathfist and his daughter have broken out of prison and are on their way to Times Square to punch a hole in the space-time continuum. When the lie detector says he's telling the complete truth, the interrogator jumps to the conclusion that he's figured out how to fool it.
- A Crown Of Stars: In chapter 1 future Asuka said her six-months-younger counterpart that she will tell Shinji —after kissing him- why she ran to the bathroom after their First Kiss. Asuka did not want to believe it, but many chapters later it happens. In chapter 26 Asuka remembers how she refused believing a prophecy straight of her future self.
“Wow. And two days later, here we are. Wow... I even told myself it was going to happen, and I still couldn’t believe it.”
- Once More with Feeling: Fully knowing how it went the previous time, Shinji tries to point out the obvious risks in the mission for capturing the 8th Angel. This prompts Asuka (who was mad at him at the time for unrelated reasons) to laugh in his face and go along with it anyway. Of course, when the mission goes awry the way he predicted and Asuka nearly ends up killed as a result, she feels guilty for dismissing him so lightly.
- In the Bleach fic The Black Wrangler, most of Ichigo's friends believe he simply imagined the Title Character.
- Shows up a few times in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan fiction.
- The Writing On The Wall has the eponymous writing on the wall of an ancient structure, which is disregarded as a curse intended to scare off tomb robbers. It is intended to scare people off, but it isn't a curse, but a warning of the danger it was built to contain.
- Justice League of Equestria:
- Mare of Steel: When Rainbow Dash, suffering from lack of control of her new powers, accidentally shatters one of Applejack's trees with a kick, AJ doesn't believe her when she tells the truth. Later, when Rainbow Dash reveals her identity as Supermare to her friends, Applejack and Rarity don't believe her... until Rainbow Dash blows up a boulder with her heat vision to prove it.
- In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night: When Shining Armor tries to tell Cadence about his recruitment by the Green Lantern Corps, she laughs it off as a joke. This in spite of the fact that she's had lunch with an alien superhero and is best friends with a demigoddess — something she herself reminds Shining of when reassuring him that she'll believe him no matter what.
- The Twilight Child: Frustrated in her attempts to figure out who exactly 'Midday Eclipse' is, Rainbow Dash asks her. In response, Midday tells the her the absolute truth. Much like the Superman example (see Western Animation) Rainbow Dash thinks she's being played with. Averted with the Cutie Mark Crusaders nearby, who due to previous events realise Midday is telling the truth.
- In the Jackie Chan Adventures and W.I.T.C.H. crossover fanfic Kage (part of Project Dark Jade), Jade's claims of not being a threat are this, especially after a takeover attempt by the Queen and a dose of Blatant Lies from Nerissa (as "the Mage").
- Inverted in a running gag throughout Dungeon Keeper Ami, Mercury's repeated attempts to explain that she is NOT a depraved rapist- despite this, the fact that all the stories regarding her exploits in battle are, in fact, true, sabotages her -the rumor mill never lets her catch a break.
- This is the basic premise of The Boy Who Cried Yuri, with Shinji on the receiving end. When he tries to alert Misato, she instantly dismisses him — even though she should know very well that he's too much of a coward to make this up. Asuka even lampshades it.
Rei: Asuka, do you think it is wise to do this now? Shinji may come in at any time.
Asuka: No, Misato was talking to him. He's probably gotta go apologize to Fuyutsuki for screwing the test up.
Rei: Do you think he suspects something?
Asuka: I doubt it. Even if he does, people will think he's just fantasizing like he always does. The little pervert.
(unknown to them, Shinji's already hiding in the room with a tape recorder)
- And then it gets double subverted when Shinji shows his audio evidence to Misato: she ambushes the girls during their next session... and instead of punishing them, she joins the fun.
- In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Kyon's sister had tried to tell her parents and friends that her brother is a hero and has real adventures but nobody believes her. This is in part because her brother, knowing she can't keep a secret, tells her enough to know but not enough for her to be believed if she tells someone else.
- Lampshaded in When in Doubt, Obliviate. After Gilderoy Lockhart complains that Sirius believes that Lockhart erased his memory before taking him to St. Mungo's that fateful Halloween night, Harry comments that it's the truth.
Lockhart: That just makes it worse. Still, at least no one else seems to believe it.
Harry: I think it's the way he's phrasing it, really. It makes him sound like it's just a conspiracy theory.
Lockhart: I've never tried the whole Cassandra Truth but it's really working for me.
- In the Ranma ½/Rosario + Vampire crossover Big Human On Campus, Ranma will tell anyone at Youkai Academy who asks him what kind of monster he is that he's a human (which he is). However, only Tsukune and Moka believe him.
- Neither of Calvin's parents believe him when he describes the bizarre adventures he's been on in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series.
- Same with Miss Wormwood when grading his paper on Egypt (which he completed by going there himself).
- "I AM AN IM-PER-I-A-LIS-TIC SPACE NATZI."
- In Harry Potter and the Descent Into Darkness, a Dark!Harry fic, when picking Harry's "treasure" for the Second Task of the Tri-Wizard Tournament the cup comes up blank when picking a hostage for Harry to save. Everyone assumes the cup is malfunctioning. No one considers that maybe there's no one at Hogwarts that Harry gives a damn about anymore. Also in Divination class Ron scryed that Harry is a manipulative liar and a murderer but immediately dismisses it as having misread the results.
- In the Death Note Slash Fic Fever Dreams when Light goes to the media, L manipulates the media in order to suppress Light's story: painting his "Kira experience" and claims of having met the real L in the same light as someone claiming to have had a demonic possession and an Elvis sighting so that no one will ever believe him. There's also the instance when Light is cornered and L has all but proved that he is Kira, Light counters with the argument that if he really was Kira then why were they all still alive and why would he allow himself to be trapped so easily? Aizawa suggests that Kira might just be "a Fool for Love" but L immediately dismisses that idea as ridiculous — Kira would never fall in love with L!
- Invoked by Hobbes in Can You Imagine That?, setting a Forget-O-Ray on everyone but himself and Calvin for this reaction.
- In Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney fanfic Dirty Sympathy Daryan screams at the Detention Center and at his trial that he wasn't guilty of the murder he was accused of and that he was framed. No one believes him.
- The Big Bad weaponizes it in The Measure Of A Titan. The OC David foster is completely honest about what he knows of his history and his ignorance of why people are after him, but things are arranged by the Big Bad to make him look like The Mole to Raven, sowing dissent.
- The Sassgardian in Superhero RPF has a lot of headcanons, as the other fanfic writers put it, to share from the anatomy and mating habits of dragons to Asgardian culture. Most, if not all, of it is true. When they begin to believe him this quickly turns into a case of Too Much Information.
- In Make a Wish, there's an entire magical family that descends from the mythical Cassandra, and all of them have inherited the same curse. Instead of going mad as no one pays attention to their predictions, they use what they see to start profitable businesses, with a side of helping the good guys (in the story, Harry Potter).
- In Sonic X: Dark Chaos:
- In The Witch of the Everfree, Twilight manages to predict both Nightmare Moon and Discord's returns before they happen, but Sunset doesn't take her seriously, assuming that if they were actual threats Celestia would be doing something about them.
- In second story of Cinderjuice, The Bug Princess, there is an amusing example of this. One of Lydia's dorm mates, Tara, is certain that Lydia is bringing an unregistered male visitor into her room. However, when said male visitor is a shapeshifter, this is difficult to prove.
- The Second Try: When Gendo confronts Shinji about his conversation with Asuka during the attack by the 15th Angel, Shinji tells him exactly what's going on. Gendo promptly dismisses his son's warnings as the ravings of a mad child because he refuses to believe that he'll never see his wife again.
- Corrin Reacts: Takumi is heavily insistent that Corrin is the prankster that Ryoma and Xander are hunting for. However, all of them dismiss him as being overly paranoid.
Films — Animation
- In Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, Sid is kidnapped in his sleep by a tribe of mini-sloths who wish to sacrifice him to prevent the coming flood. When he stumbles back into camp the next morning, no one believes his story, insisting that he was just sleepwalking and dreamed the whole thing. Later the tribe reveals themselves to Diego when they ask Sid to return to them, but Diego turns them down in one of the film's more heartwarming moments.
- Woody from all three Toy Story films. The first movie he was trying to convince the other toys that Buzz was still alive and he didn't kill him.note The second one he insisted to Jessie and Stinky Pete that Andy didn't break him intentionally. And in the third one, he had difficulty telling the other toys that Andy really wanted to put them in the attic and not in the garbage.
- An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, no one will believe Fievel after he warns them about Cat R. Waul's evil plan to eat all of the mice that he convinced to move west, which Fievel overheard while snooping.
- The Land Before Time has Cera try to tell the others that Sharptooth isn't dead. Littlefoot convinced them all otherwise until witnessing Sharptooth again try to eat them.
- In How to Train Your Dragon, no-one believes Hiccup's story about the Night Fury at first. (Totally justified, because Night Furies are incredibly dangerous dragons, and up to that point, no-one had ever even seen a Night Fury, or at least seen one and lived to tell about it, much less wounded one. Not to mention that Hiccup has said things like that before.)
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has an odd variation, where the villain notices the truth herself but is too overconfident to accept it. After indulging in typical Nothing Can Stop Us Now! Evil Gloating, the Queen suddenly stops mid-Evil Laugh to ponder, "But wait! There may be an antidote! Nothing must be overlooked!" Then she checks her book, and realizes there is one, but quickly dismisses it, saying, ("Love's first kiss, bah! No fear of that! The Dwarfs will think she's DEAD! She'll be Buried Alive!") As we all know, it didn't turn out that way at all, and this flaw in her plan is exactly what saved Snow White.
- In Mulan, when the Huns emerge from the snow, Mulan is the only one who sees it. She returns to the city to inform Shang of this, but he doesn't believe her because she had earlier lied and posed as a soldier. The ordinary folk refuse to listen because she's a woman. In a twist of fate, Shan Yu and his army show up at that exact moment and take the Emperor hostage right in front of everybody.
- In The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally tries to Jack about her vision of his Christmas being a disaster. Jack, being blinded by his plans, blows her off and then Comically Missing the Point by thinking Sally was referring to his "Sandy Claws" outfit.
- The Iron Giant toys with this. Earlier on in the movie, Mansley is trying to convince a general that there is a giant metal robot out there, and isn't taken seriously when he does. He was right about that part. However, he was also wrong about the nature of the robot... it was much gentler than he was making it out to be. Eventually, this gets switched around, and the ones trying to convince the army that the giant is gentle are the ones telling a Cassandra Truth.
General: Tell me again, Mansley, and this time, listen to yourself.Mansley: A giant... metal... man. [Face Palm as he realizes how stupid that sounds]
- Happens to Mater in Cars 2. Due to his reputation as a prevaricator of fanciful stories (established in the "Mater's Tall Tales" shorts), none of his friends believe him when he tells about his experiences in international espionage.
- Mr. Tweedy in Chicken Run notices early on in the film that the chickens are plotting something and insists on investigating, but his wife, Big Bad Mrs. Tweedy, will have none of it and forces him to think it's all in his head. Naturally, the chickens are left free to organize a revolt, thoroughly humiliate Mrs. Tweedy, and escape.
Mr. Tweedy: I told you, they was organized.
- In Recess: School's Out, the police laugh off and outright mock T.J.'s attempts to tell them that an evil mastermind has taken up residence in the school now that it has been abandoned for the summer. They do this even when T.J.'s friends back him up, and when Ms. Finster tells them that something's going on at the school. The fact that they weren't even willing to believe Finster, a teacher at the same school and thus theoretically a better source than kids also gives them shades of Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop.
- Hercules: Phil discovers Meg is working for Hades (albeit unwillingly). When he tries to warn Herc, he will have none of it, going to the point of hitting him in a blind rage, leading Phil to leave at Herc's darkest hour. Hades ends up revealing Meg's involvement to Herc after taking his strength away. And boy, does it have a more crushing effect on Herc than having his strength gone.
- Osmosis Jones infiltrates the villain Thrax's organization and learns his entire plan — but because he's a screw-up, nobody believes his warnings. Thrax even points this out, and has a laugh over it.
- In Epic MK doesn't believe her father's studies in that there are Leafmen who live in the forest. At least until she gets shrunken down to size to see them for herself.
- The Mystery of Mamo has Inspector Zenigata insisting to the Egyptian police that Lupin has already broken into the pyramid to lift the Philosopher's Stone. Not only is he right about what Lupin is after, Lupin really is already in the pyramid, despite the cops having the place surrounded.
- In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games after Sunset Shimmer is able to bring down the accidentally evil Human Twilight Sparkle Crystal Prep principal Abacus Finch attempts to get Canterlot High disqualified from the titular games for using magic, despite the fact that it was her fault it happened in the first place. Students from both schools call her out for it. However, when she vows to bring legal means into this, they pretty much invite her to do so, knowing that if she told anyone, they'd think she was a loon. She's forced to take what was left of her dignity and walk off.
- This trope is a huge part of the Ayreon legendarium. In The Final Experiment the protagonist, Ayreon, is sent visions from the future about the end of the world and travels to King Arthur's court to warn him. Merlin is jealous, convinces everyone that Ayreon is wrong, and realizes that was a bad idea too late. He predicts that another seer will come: Mr. L in 01011001 has dreams about the end of the world sent to him by cyborg fish aliens; unfortunately, he's in an insane asylum.
- Emilie Autumn's Bedlam House chic is heavily based on her belief that psychiatric institutions have not progressed that much with patient care: specifically, she alleges that abuse is rampant but never gets brought up because "[she's] the crazy girl and he's the doctor with a million dollar education".
- Go listen to "Cassandra" by ABBA. Just do it.
- Fear Before the March of the Flames have "Taking Cassandra to the End of the World Party", with lyrics referencing someone predicting a catastrophe while being ignored and the chorus "no one listens to the damned".
- The Crüxshadows also have a song titled "Cassandra".
Myths & Religion
- The trope namer: Cassandra from Classical Mythology, theater, and literature, as featured in The Iliad,The Odyssey, the lost epics of the Trojan Cycle, The Aeneid, and many others!
- In some versions of the King Arthur story, Merlin has this problem; see, for example, this Arthur, King of Time and Space strip.
- Numerous Biblical prophets, most notably Jeremiah and Elijah, spent much of their lives trying to convince the public in the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah that exile was imminent due to the people having strayed from the Torah's commandments, and the monarchy in particular having turned to idolatry. This was often met with hostility, particularly from the monarchy.
- Isaiah 53:1 invokes this: "Who has believed our report?"
- Early in its run, B.C. saw clams walking about, but nobody would believe him.
BC: Clams got legs!
- Shane Douglas was a victim of The Kliq's reign of terror during his 1995 WWF run as Dean Douglas. After Shane went back to ECW at the start of 1996, he spoke out against them. With the damage that the Kliq offshoot the New World Order later did to WCW, and Triple H's own rise to power, Shane ended up being proven right.
- CHIKARA, 2009. Eddie Kingston was working rudo while trying to convince everyone that Claudio Castagnoli was the bad guy, then was proven right when Claudio turned on Mike Quackenbush as part of the riot that marked the BDK's formation at the end of the 2009 Season Finale, Three-Fisted Tales.
- In 2014, SoCal Val, of whom no major news had come about since an arrest the following year, showed up without warning, promising to advance the careers of wrestlers who had lost at SHINE 21. The Lucha Sisters, in their usual way, compared her to a virus and complained that no one was listening to them (besides Kellie Skater, who said everything was okay). By the same time next year, Val was directing a Power Stable on every WWN member show, and sitting on FIP's commentary table to boot.
- A quite magnificent example in the first episode of Series Two of The BBC Radio 4 comedy The Casebook of Inspector Steine. As it begins, Mrs Gloynes, the police station tea lady who is actually the crime boss of 1950s Brighton, has been laying low since the highly intelligent PC Twitten discovered her secret and agreed to keep quiet if the crimewave stopped. Near the end, the constable is reluctantly dragged on stage at a music hall and hypnotised to believe that "this charming Cockney charlady is a criminal mastermind". The episode ends with crime rates up again, and Steine telling Twitten that if there's no way to snap him out of this delusion, the least he could do is keep quiet about it.
- The upcoming board game Secret Hitler is based on this. Most of the players are liberals, a smaller number are fascists, and one of them is Hitler, but the liberals don't know who Hitler or the fascists are. What ensues is everyone constantly doubting each other. There is no easy way to know whether the chancellors passing fascist policies actually had no other choice or are furthering their own agenda. This is a game of lies and bluffing, and frequently liberals inadvertently shoot other liberals.
- Mage: The Awakening features "Proximi", families with a magical heritage, limited magic, and an unbreakable family Curse. Particularly the Primid family, said to be descended from Cassandra with a gift for prophecy, and who originally shared her Curse. They eventually tried to use it to their advantage (deliberately making predictions that they knew people would act against, as a way to manipulate them), so the Curse altered itself accordingly (the point of Proximus Curses being that they are always bad, and change themselves to fit loopholes). Now, the Primid Curse is that they are incapable of accurately conveying their prophecies at all (that is, they will know the future, but will be unable to truthfully tell it to anyone else)
- In Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution the US government has found a way to release psionic powers in some individuals and now there's a massive, worldwide shadow war between several factions that want to exploit them to their own ends. Also, the media, which is constantly being monitored for signs of psionic activity, is completely controlled by some of these conspiracies and they're experimenting on the general population with prenatal tampering and releasing strange chemicals into the water. You try getting your average person to believe that.
- Sidereal Exalted have a two-fold version of this trope. In a straight application, nobody listened to them when they tried to stop mad Solars from doing world-endangering shenanigans. In a more twisted one, they can do it on purpose, at will.
- One Ork codex for Warhammer 40,000 has a flavor quote about Ork Kommandos, where the guardsman who survived the attack is executed for covering up his cowardice by inventing a story of half-glimpsed shadows. Orks being a race of Leeroy Jenkins, sneaky orks are a rarity, making them all the more effective.
- There's also mention in the background of an Eldar seer named Q'sandria, a former pupil of the legendary Farseer Eldrad Ulthruan, and the only one who believes Eldrad's soul still lives despite his body being destroyed during the 13th Black Crusade. Since the timeline is frozen we don't know is she is right, but considering the name...
- In the board game They've Invaded Pleasantville, a homage to alien-invasion B-Movies, the townspeople can't react to the alien presence until somebody spots the aliens and spreads the word. Certain people are unable to spread the word, because nobody else in town will believe someone known to be 1) a drunkard or 2) a Democrat.
- Paranoia suggests that Friend Gamemaster occasionally invoke this trope by faking Sarcasm Mode:
PC: I check for hidden security cameras.GM: knows there aren't any, but rolls dice behind the screen anyway Why, there are no hidden security cameras whatsoever! You can do anything you want! Isn't that awesome?
- In Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, once Mrs. Lovett's pie shop starts doing business again, the Beggar Woman starts hanging around the shop, trying to warn people that something evil's afoot, pointing out the stench from her chimneys and claiming that Mrs. Lovett is a witch. Naturally, no one believes her because she's a mad beggar woman.
- Trope Namer: Within The Oresteia, in the play Agamemnon by Aeschylus, Cassandra gives a prophecy revealing Clytaemnestra's plan to kill her husband, Agamemnon. Although the chorus does try to listen to Cassandra, they don't understand a thing she says, and eventually ask her to stop talking about such horrible things, because they would never happen.
- Julius Caesar: By the time Caesar learns that he should pay more attention to soothsayers, it's too late. He also learned too late that it's not a bad idea to install metal detectors in the Senate.
- In Pygmalion, act III, when Eliza is taken to a party, Nepommuck remarks that she can't be English, because her English is too perfect. Higgins replies, paraphrasing here, "Well, I think she sounds like someone taught by an expert, probably from Drury Lane." Notably, the host of the party goes with Nepommuck instead of Higgins. Obviously, Higgins was the one telling the truth.
- In Macbeth: The entire play hinges on a play on words and this trope. Macbeth was warned to "beware Macduff", that Dunsinane would never be taken until "Birnam Wood came to high Dunsinane", and that he could only be killed by a man not of woman born by the witches, which he took to mean that he was invincible. However, Macduff was born by Caesarian Section, thus being not born of woman, and Birnam Wood came to Dunsinane through soldiers carrying boughs from the trees of Birnam to Dunsinane to mask their numbers.
- In Touhou, Iku Nagae is an anthropomorphic catfish that can forecast earthquakes. When Iku goes throughout Gensokyo to warn people about the calamity, everyone thinks she is the culprit... And when she discovers who's behind it...
- In Suikoden III, a "mysterious sorceress" wanders into Karaya Village with a prophecy that the village will be attacked by Zexen forces and that everyone should clear out immediately. Nobody believes her, and the village is destroyed. The reason she knew about this is because she was part of the plot, and just wanted to minimize casualties.
- The Pokémon Absol sense danger and natural disasters and go to the people to warn them of the upcoming disasters. However, nobody listens to them, and thus the whole species has a horrible reputation for being the ones to cause disasters.
- Eternal Darkness: No, really. The darkness DOES come and will damn us all if nobody stops it, so may the rats eat your eyes for not listening to Max Roivas.
- In Knights of the Old Republic, the player character has the option several times to non-chalantly inform people that "I'm Darth Revan" , only for them to assume they're sarcastically invoking another trope.
- In Knights of the Old Republic 2, you arrive in Iziz spaceport looking for a Jedi master, smuggled aboard the personal shuttle of the Mandalorian leader. Feel free to tell the customs officers any of this, they won't believe a word.
- Mass Effect
Turian Council Member: Ah yes, (air quotes) "Reapers".
- The entire damn story. Specifically, it's understandable for The Citadel Council to be skeptical of a lone human warning of ageless giant robot monsters from outer-outer space coming to wipe out all galactic life, at first. But after said human and their cohorts are proven right, time and time again, in everything else they've told you, some smidgen of acceptance wouldn't kill you!
- This occurs within the game itself, in regards to the player. On the very first mission you encounter an apparently insane scientist that you (and the other characters) dismiss for being nuts as he's rambling. He's utterly correct about everything. One of the random planets you can scan has a description indicating it was bought by a millionaire who went nuts because voices in his head told him about an enemy he's looking for weapons to fight...he also is spot on in his description of who the Big Bad of the series is.
- Lampshaded in the third game, where Legion reveals that the Geth collective believed his evidence about the Reapers returning from Day 1.
Shepard: ...That must have been nice.
- The asari councilor finally gets smart about this during the Cerberus coup. Shepard claims that Udina is leading them into a trap, as he's partially behind the coup, but gets dismissed by most of the Council and their bodyguard. However, the asari councilor points out that every single time the Council has disregarded Shepard, it's come back to bite them in the ass, and decides to hear him/her out.
- You also encounter a Spectre who explains that, although the Council dismissed Shepard's warnings, many Spectres took them at face value.
- Happens in Final Fantasy X, where no one will believe Tidus about being from Zanarkand.
- Tidus saying that "there has to be another way to beat Sin". There is but the people of Spira are too resigned to the regular method (a human sacrifice) that they don't bother to see his point.
- Persona 4
- Played for laughs when some of the party members explain what's really happening concerning the murders, in detail, to an inquisitive detective... but because the truth sounds so absurd and the characters in question are completely drunk (sort of), they are immediately disbelieved. Said detective however is eventually confronted with the truth to her face and apologizes for not believing them before, though pointing out how absurd the truth really is. The police however flat out never believe you. Especially not Detective Dojima, who demands that the protagonist tell him what's going on, only to hear the truth and not believe it. This happens not once, but twice in a matter of moments.
- Although it's played tragically with Taro Namatame, who actually suspects something after the first murder, fails to convince the second victim, and is brushed off by the cops when he thinks he knows the next target; his story was crazy and he was being played by the real killer. In fact, you can put the final nail in the coffin by not believing that he didn't murder anyone, and throwing him into the TV world as punishment.
- In Arc Rise Fantasia, the party (and the player) is quick to jump to the conclusion that Rastan is Leon, which Rastan corrects at every opportunity. It comes as quite a shock that this was the truth all along, and it's a major headdesk moment when everyone realizes that Leon is actually Serge, who fits all the clues just as well as Rastan and hasn't been denying it all along. He's just not what anyone was expecting the legendary Lightning Leon to really be like.
- The Prophet in Warcraft III tries to alert the human kingdoms of Lordaeron to the threat of the Burning Legion, but only Jaina Proudmoore heeds the call and takes an expeditionary force to Kalimdor. Lordaeron is destroyed by the Scourge, who bring forth the Burning Legion. It's really smart of him not to reveal his true name: Medivh. After all, Medivh (albeit while possessed by Sargeras) is the one who originally opened the Dark Portal.
- Also played with in the Warcraft Expanded Universe novel The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm with the old Shaman Drek'thar. His visions were still heeded despite a growing level of senility up until the point where his vision of a peaceful meeting of druids being attacked by orcs, and sending of troops to provide protection, leads to a false alarm and increased distrust by the Night Elves. Later in the book however, this attack does occur, and Drek'thar's caretaker is horrified when he realizes that, not only was Drek'thar right all along, but his most recent visions were about an upcoming Cataclysm.
- In Patch 4.3 of World of Warcraft, if you talk to Bishop Farthing and tell him that Archbishop Benedictus, who supposedly left to help the Dragon Aspects, is actually the Twilight Prophet, he will first laugh it off, and if you insist that it's true, he will scold you for believing and spreading false rumors, mentioning to one he heard about Bolvar (whom everyone thinks is dead but is actually the new Lich King).
- Happens to Jaina so often it may as well be called Proudmoore's Wisdom.
- One quest chain in Theramore through Vanilla and Cataclysm featured a group of deserters from the Theramore Army who were trying to convince others that Jaina's dad was right, and the Horde would eventually sack Theramore because of its proximity. Come Mists of Pandaria and the novel Tides of War, Garrosh's forces did end up attacking and decimating it.
- Glory of Heracles DS has Cassandra herself show up, and gives a different reason why her prophecies are not believed: when she tries to give them, half the words are rendered unintelligible. Only Achilles can hear her prophecies, and he gets offed pretty fast. Eventually, the party takes her into a room lined with stone that cuts off the power of the gods, and her curse lifts long enough for her to give them her prophecy (which says "Typhon is coming").
- This plays into the ending of The Breach: our hero has survived, but he's a nervous wreck locked in an insane asylum, and since he blew up the spaceship to destroy everything on it, he has no way of convincing anyone of what really happened, and no way to prevent the experiment from being replicated. Then he turns into a monster and apparently eats his psychiatrist. On camera. Well, at least that ought to put a stop to the experiment...
- Golden Sun
- Feizhi is essentially a kung-fu Anime Chinese Girl Cassandra. Several of the NPCs in Xian are indicated to believe her visions, after the first two came true... but her father not only disbelieves, he rebukes her for having a vision that her friend was caught in a rockslide and worrying about him, which is the part our heroes see before she runs off in tears to find her friend.
- Saturos and Menardi. They tried to explain the situation to the Vale elders, but when they didn't believe them, they were forced to take drastic actions.
- Chrono Trigger: After the Time Key gets stolen and you go find it, Azala asks you what it does. If you tell her, she doesn't believe you, saying if it were true, you wouldn't tell an enemy.
- In the Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal expansion of Baldur's Gate II, listen to Gromnir Il-Khan's paranoid ravings about Melissan. He's absolutely right about all of it. Too bad he's also been executing other Bhaalspawn under suspicion of betrayal and now everyone thinks he's gone mad.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Zelda's claims that Hyrule is in danger and that Ganondorf might be a traitor are disregarded by the king as such. When Link has to send a letter to the guard of Death Mountain gate, the guard, while he acknowledges the writing as authentic, assumes that Zelda is playing pretend.
- Crysis 3: No one believes Prophet's warnings that the Ceph are back until it's too late.
- In Cookie Clicker, the news ticker mentions a scientist who becomes a laughingstock among his peers for predicting a cookie-related end of the world. His prediction turns out to be scarily accurate once the Grandmapocalypse is triggered, with the news ticker announcing reports of The End of the World as We Know It.
News: scientist predicts imminent cookie-related "end of the world"; becomes joke among peers.
- Resident Evil 6: After distracting the President's security detail in Tall Oaks, Helena suffered a crisis of conscience and attempted to get them to go back before Simmons made his move, but they all dismissed her due to her reputation as "the CIA's problem child." Leon was the only one willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, but by then, it was too late.
- In Spandex Force minor villain The Crossdresser sends your character's secret identity to the local newspaper, only for it to treat the suggestion as a joke because there's no way a "great superhero" like yourself could be a total dork. This leads you to comment "I don't know whether to be relieved or really really upset right now."
- In Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky, Wilbell performs magic shows on the side for a little money. She says that it's real magic that she's using in the shows, which it is, but nobody believes her, because nobody believes in magicians, save those that Wilbell has specifically revealed the truth to.
- In most online multiplayer games, a player telling people that they are experiencing lag (usually clientside) is usually accused of making it up to excuse poor performance during the time where you rubber-banded.
- In Guenevere, Guenevere has the option to tell King Arthur that Lancelot is inappropriately interested in her. He laughs it off as a misunderstanding.
- In Tsukihime, the day after fighting and killing Nrvnqsr Chaos Shiki is given the option of telling the truth about what he had been doing the past few days to his sister Akiha. She simply laughs at his explanation, but in reality she actually probably believes his supernatural story, being a supernatural being herself.
- In Remember11, Kokoro and Satoru attempt (and fail) to convince their respective companions that the two of them are experiencing random personality transfers.
- In Hourglass of Summer the protagonist tries to warn the girls of the future events he's seen from traveling randomly through time against Lee Jane's warnings not to. It fails because nobody believes him and the tragedies happen to them anyway. Subverted by Kaho where the letters he writes to her warning her against going to the train station on the day she dies are simply never delivered by her overly controlling father.
- One of Corpse Party: Blood Covered's Bad Endings has this: Satoshi finds himself sent back to the day they performed the ritual that sent them to Tenjin. Unfortunately, he can't convince anyone not to go along with it, as they all assume he's just too scared and superstitious rather than having good reason to protest. Book of Shadows actually picks up from this ending and deals with the results.
- Red vs. Blue:
- Season two sees the Reds try to figure out why Lopez disappeared, then why the Warthog later went nuts and started trying to kill Sarge. Donut actually hits on the rather bizarre correct answer: Church got killed, then his ghost possessed Lopez to use for a body, then the Blues accidentally triggered the Hog's remote control while looking for Lopez's "fix stuff" function. But the other Reds think Sarge's brainwashing beam idea is more likely, and they'd rejected that one out of hand for the Mundane Solution that the Blues reprogrammed Lopez.
- "The tank is Real, for the love of God!"
- If your little sister came up to you and said she literally exploded, you assumed that she's being sarcastic, right? At lease, that's what Yang from RWBY thought anyways. But when Weiss came along, it turns out her little sister, Ruby, was telling the truth.
Ruby (referring to her last encounter with Weiss): [leaps into Yang's arms] OH GOD, IT'S HAPPENING AGAIN!Weiss (yelling at Ruby, also referring to last encounter): You're lucky we weren't blown off the side of the cliff!Yang (staring at Ruby): Oh my God, you really exploded...
- Bardsworth. This strip, and this one too.
- Here in Sam & Fuzzy.
- At the end of the "To Thine Own Self" arc of General Protection Fault, Trudy tells the rest of the cast that she wants to stay behind in the Nega-verse and atone for what she did, knowing that it's better than going to jail for the rest of her life, and asks that they bring her counterpart to the real world. The building shakes, knocking Trudy out, and Nega-Trudy comes to, putting on the pin to make them think she's the real Trudy. She then tells them to take the real Trudy back, claiming that she will be delusional after coming to and will falsely claim to be the real Trudy. Trudy attempts to explain that she is the real one several times, but to no avail.
- Sluggy Freelance
Torg: Remember Oasis, the killer-robot who was ordered to love me and then blew up in a massive explosion with her creator?
- In this strip, Bert predicts Torg "fleeing for his life while flying by the crotch planet in the giant space crotch," and Torg reacts exactly as you'd expect. Three and a half months later, Torg and Riff are riding the crotch of "GOFOTRON" past the "planet of the naked nymphomaniacs" to escape a warlord.
- Played straight in this strip.
Riff: I was supposed to BELIEVE that? I thought it was "make up a big fat lie" day.
- The Order of the Stick
Thog: not nale. not-nale. thog help nail not-nale, not nale. and thog knot not-nale while nale nail not-nale. nale, not not-nale, now nail not-nale by leaving not-nale, not nale, in jail.
- Kind of inverted with the Oracle, who has a spell placed over his entire valley, so that once people leave they forget everything about their stay except for whatever prophecy he gave them. So, while they're able to act on the prophecy itself, anything else that happens in the valley is forgotten, including any plot-significant revelations or information. Needless to say, visits to the Oracle usually make hilarity ensue.
- Another interesting example of this: Roy, suspecting that the Oracle will try to trick them with an overly-literal prophecy, carefully words his question about which of the Gates Xykon will attack next. However, the way Roy phrases this leaves out one of the possible Gates — which, as it turns out, is the one Xykon is going to attack next. The Oracle tries to explain this, but Roy refuses to believe him, and winds up accepting the literal answer to his question instead, even though it's not accurate. He does eventually realize his mistake, though... just in time for the memory spell to come into effect, making him instantly forget it.
- Yet another interesting example (though Played for Laughs) here — Haley tells the truth completely, but the others are suspicious of her — which is exactly what she wants. Haley quite often does this — with the Linear Guild and now with Elan's father. Is she the only one able to spot obviously evil people?
- Explaining that he and a main character are wrongly imprisoned, Thog tells it just exactly like it is here:
- General Tarquin claims his latest wife had died of "Mysterious Circumstances". Not even the audience believes him on this one. Then we find out that Vaarsuvius's Familicide spell affected a bunch of people with the dragon in question's blood in their veins, and that Tarquin's wife was one of those people...
- Belkar is the only member of The Order to realize that the vampire cleric travelling with them isn't actually Durkon, but rather another entity that is possessing his body. Of course, this being Belkar, no one believes him for a second.
- Ozy and Millie:
- Bug Martini has a particularly ridiculous one: "Son, there's no such thing as zombies...", which the cop says to a zombie.
TG: skepticism is the crutch of cinematic troglodytes
- Dave suggests a great subversion:
like hey mom dad theres a dinosaur or a ghost or whatever in my room. "yeah right junior go back to bed"
fuck you mom and dad how many times are we going to watch this trope unfold it wasnt goddamn funny the first time i saw it
just once id like to see dad crap his pants when a kid says theres a vampire in his closet
"OH SHIT EVERYONE IN THE MINIVAN"
be fuckin dad of the year right there
- Later played heart-rendingly straight in this memo from Karkat to the troll's past selves. During it, a few of the people who really should be paying the most attention to it miss the point or dismiss it as more of Karkat's outrageous nonsense. Namely, Feferi, Eridan, and Gamzee, who have respectively: died at the hands of Eridan, switched sides and killed two people as well as possibly blinded a third, and gone completely batshit insane and gone on a killing spree.
- Roxy seems to know more about Betty Crocker and her true intentions than anybody else seen so far (save for Nannasprite). However, Jane, the one person who needs to know these things the most, refuses to believe her. Jane's disbelief is justified because she's being brainwashed and Roxy is a Hard-Drinking Party Girl. Jake seems to believe what she has to say.
- Later, undyingUmbrage warns Dirk (correctly) that Lil' Cal is an abomination that can only lead to pain and suffering for all, even noting that awareness of this is so important, he's willing to give the warning despite being a complete asshole. Naturally, Dirk assumes this is more jerkery and professes Lil' Cal to be his best friend.
- Subverted in this El Goonish Shive. A number of people describe a battle between a superhero and a fire monster that took place in the parking lot of a comic book shop. Naturally, the police officer responding to this disturbance doesn't believe them, and even mocks them for expecting him to believe such a ridiculous tale. However, several of the witnesses recorded the whole thing on their cell phones, and show him the evidence. He quickly changes his tune.
- Get Medieval: Sir Gerard went on a pilgrimage to Santiago and wound up piloting a spaceship to the moon. When he tells Lady Eleanor this◊....
- Questionable Content
- In this strip, Marten and Dora return from a "walk" with different clothes (in particular, Marten is wearing Dora's trousers) and a completely incredible story involving kung-fu monks. Faye obviously doesn't believe them... but it turns out to be the truth.
- Then here, Marten explains that he came home late with a stop sign in his hand because he and Steve were fighting off a vigilante on a vespa who thought Steve was abusing his girlfriend. Dora immediately dismissed this explanation and decided he went to a strip club and brought home the stop sign as part of a cover-up. Factoring in the part where he would've had to somehow reason that stealing a stop sign was the best way to create a cover-up, this is one of the few examples where the implausible truth is actually less implausible than the thing everyone else assumes. Also kind of funny that Faye reasons he's telling the truth because the strip club part is too far-fetched.
- Much later, and more mundanely, Angus doesn't believe Faye when she calls a no-go on suicide jokes, claiming her father killed himself in front of her. He thinks she's joking due to her regular antics but as readers already know, this is indeed true and is the cause of all her issues. Once he realizes she's not joking he runs out of the coffee shop in horror at his own reaction. When he tries to smooth things out she admits that had it not actually happened she probably would have made jokes of it.
- A Loonatic's Tale: Riley often sees unsettling or downright sinister things going on around him (like a bug zapper that can fry a songbird, or, in a particularly Fourth-Wall Observer moment, the bush outside his house as seen from the perspective of a man with a cartoonishly Sugar Bowl worldview), but no one ever believes him when he tries to warn them.
- In Dominic Deegan:
- The eponymous seer runs into this problem when he tries to convince Chance Masters and his family that an extradimensional monster will kill Chance if he participates in an upcoming tournament. They believe he is a charlatan who is trying to exploit them. A fairly justified example: Dominic had a nervous breakdown in public on his record, the threat he is trying to warn them about would be unbelievable to anyone without Dominic's unique perspective, and the Beast is invisible to most seers — Dominic can only see it due to unique circumstances. Also, the Master family had had first person experience with being conned by someone claiming to be a seer who had seen a vision of impending danger to them.
- Prento, one of Dominic's students, thought he was suffering from a rare disorder common to seers known as "stress contagion" and it would lead to a city-destroying "Mindbreak". His classmates thought he was just overthinking things and their teacher just needed to relax a bit. Unfortunately Prento was right, though some very powerful people collaborated to avert Mindbreak.
- Schlock Mercenary has an officer who got both this problem and its solution.
- Ears for Elves: After meeting Rolan for the first time, Tanna isn't sure of what she saw — it happened too fast — and tries to explain it to Myari and Elon. They don't believe her.
Myari: Oh Tanna, you've been pushing yourself too hard! You're talking crazy!Elon: Perhaps you should rest for a moment...
- Sydney of Grrl Power is a lousy liar. But after making up half a dozen ridiculous stories about the mailing tube she always carries on her back, she gives up:
Sydney: Fine... it's full of... ancient artifacts that give me superpowers?Joel:Fine, don't tell me.
- The Fox Sister: The comic doesn't actually show it, but it's easy to imagine how Yun Hee's eccentrics of accusing her sister to be a shape-shifting fox demon after waking up in the hospital are received.
- Archipelago: Captain Syn frames Anthony for murdering his wife and has him thrown into the sea. Three weeks later when Anthony (now called Blitz) washes up on Ruin Island, he attempts this again by attempting to murder Lucas, then setting up Blitz to be literally caught red-handed, crouched over him, blooded knife in hand.
- Satan And Me: A girl known to spread rumors tries to tell people that the main character, Nat, is friends with a demon. No one believes her.
- The Last Halloween: The authorities dismiss all the "crank calls" regarding monsters invading on Halloween. This leads to the moral of the trope being very explicitly illustrated.
- Zebra Girl: After the "Sandra in the Outlands" arc, Sandra is turning over a new leaf and is truly repentant about her past actions. However, her former friends are not willing to listen when she says she's regretful and she misses them.
- Webprose example: In Star Harbor Nights's Toymakers arc, fully half the conflict could have been avoided if everyone had just believed Claire's observations and her resulting conclusions.
- #109 of the Evil Overlord List: "I will see to it that plucky young lads/lasses in strange clothes and with the accent of an outlander shall REGULARLY climb some monument in the main square of my capital and denounce me, claim to know the secret of my power, rally the masses to rebellion, etc. That way, the citizens will be jaded in case the real thing ever comes along."
- In the Paradise setting, this frequently applies to characters who try to convince others that they have been invisibly transformed into Funny Animals but just don't look that way to normal people. There are ways to short-circuit the Weirdness Censor temporarily, however.
- Sean Malstrom accurately predicted the rise of the Wii to first place in the seventh generation all the way back in 2006, when others were expecting the Wii to follow in the footsteps of its predecessor in terms of commercial success. However, Malstrom hasn't exactly become famous for this thanks to his controversial opinions on other gaming-related subjects overshadowing everything else.
- When he tries to put Rocky IV's message of "people can change" to the real world, The Nostalgia Critic gets punched and shot at.
- No matter how many times Nathan tries to convince people on the Encyclopedia Dramatica forums that Magnum is really an insane troll, the trolls/EDiots always dismiss it as 'sperging' or 'BAAAWING'.
- In Worm, this tends to happen whenever Skitter and the Undersiders try to warn the heroes about a greater threat. Somewhat justified as circumstances lead the heroes to believe the Undersiders are just using disasters to gain power or are corrupting people in some way.
We TOLD you this trope page had an end! But did you listen? NOOOOOOO.