"Everywhere I go there's someone in a trenchcoat staring at me,
And when I'm not at home I'm sure someone's rummaging through my trash.
Whatever could they want from me? Is it just a part of a giant government conspiracy?
I gotta go see my doctor about this itchy pentagram-shaped rash..."
Describe Conspiracy Theorist here?
Yeah, right. That's just what They want me to do.
They want you to think I'm schizophrenic, but that's
part of The Schizophrenia Conspiracy
. And while I'm here explaining to you what a Conspiracy Theorist is, their Men in Black
show up in their silent black helicopters
. I'm not stupid enough to reveal that I know the truth about Conspiracy Theorists
Alright, I'll tell you what. I'll give you the official line about Conspiracy Theorist; what they
want you to think. And you can think about that. And, if you decide that it doesn't really make any sense, then you can go out and do some digging of your own. Maybe, just maybe, you'll learn the real
A Conspiracy Theorist attributes the ultimate cause of an event or chain of events (usually political, social or historical events), or the concealment of such causes from public knowledge, to a secret and often deceptive plot by a group of powerful or influential people or organizations
. Many conspiracy theories state that major events in history have been dominated by conspirators who manipulate political happenings from behind the scenes. The Conspiracy is generally evil beyond evil
. And yet despite how evil they are, they never betray each other
, so the conspiracy stays together for thousands of years. How they accomplish this is unexplained. It is something beyond the wisdom of our puny minds.
Conspiracy theorists in the media may be associated with Right Wing Militia Fanatics
, and always seem to come off as somewhat mentally unhinged (though you and I know better, right?). This seems to be the case even when one of them catches the trail
of a genuine Ancient Conspiracy
or Government Conspiracy
. Of course, said conspiracies have a tendency to try to silence the "kook"
once they learn he's on to them, despite the fact
that no one would actually believe he's telling the truth
This has the effect of:
- If the attempt fails, it gives the theorist the Heroic Resolve he needs to unravel the conspiracy.
- If it succeeds, whoever investigates the murder is bound to stumble upon the conspiracy, particularly if higher-ups try to hush it up.
There is a medical condition frequently attributed to conspiracy theorists: apophenia, "the tendency to see connections where none exist
" (thank you, Question
). But that's only what The Man
and his crony doctors will have you believe. And as Agent Mulder
would say: just because you're paranoid doesn't mean They're not out to get you
Okay. That's the official line. The rest is up to you. I'v
e left a few clues
below to follow up if you want to find the real story. Be careful. The Reptilians
are watching you.
To those who still just don't believe me, then wake up, smell the muffins, and get off that bandwagon! And don't you dare say those things to me
Every conspiracy theorist worth his salt has a pegboard filled with weird photos and connecting strings
and a Tinfoil Hat
ready... but if you ever get the urge to buy a copy of The Catcher in the Rye
, for God's sake, resist!
For Real Life
examples see our Useful Notes section on conspiracy theories
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Anime & Manga
- Schwarzwald in The Big O. given the kind of world he's living in, he could very well be right.
- In Full Metal Panic!, Mithril has programs that troll online forums and denounce anyone who makes connections about events Mithril was involved in as a conspiracy theorist so that nobody pays any attention to the (sometimes accurate) conclusions that the posters are coming to.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Campus Apocalypse has Kensuke trade in his military fanboying for this.
- Teen Genius Susumu in Wandaba Style adamantly believes that the 1969 moon landing was fake, and is thus trying to get a rocket there himself (using environmentally safe methods). In the second half of the series, his mother is introduced as a Designated Villain, simply because she wants him to admit that he is wrong (it's her methods in doing so that put her into Villain territory).
- Satou's old school friend in Welcome to the N.H.K.: "It's a conspiracy" is practically her Catch Phrase.
- Satou himself is one of these, thanks to her influence. The title is a reference to his main conspiracy theory, that the Japanese TV channel NHK is a conspiracy to create Hikikomori.
- Perry Noia from The Crossovers.
- In the IDW version of G.I. Joe, Mainframe came to be regarded as a conspiracy theorist after he stumbled onto the Cobra conspiracy. He went AWOL from the Joes and started living like a stereotypical conspiracy theorist as he attempted to prove he was right.
- Cecil Holmes from PS238. Of course, in obsessing over the belief that his elementary school is a front for an alien invasion, he's completely missed out on its nature as a superhero training program. Turns out he can sense if someone else has superpowers. So his entire life he's felt that other people are different, and since so many of those people are secretive he believed aliens.
- Arnie Burnsteel from Scare Tactics in The DCU.
- Rorschach from Watchmen. He started as an Expy of The Question, who in the DCAU was a saner Expy of Rorschach.
- The short story "The Deniers!" features a blue collar worker named Phil, who thinks Superman isn't real and is just a hoax made up by the government to keep people in line. Part of his evidence is that he's lived in Metropolis his whole life and has never seen Superman or the so called monsters and supervillains he faces. A montage shows Superman and his enemies always appearing out of Phil's line of sight. When one of his friends points out the abundance of news footage and photos of Superman in action, Phil claims it's all doctored.
- In Equestria: A History Revealed, the narrator, and by extension, one of her sources, Crazy Larry definitely qualify. The narrator goes to the extent of stating she is the only "true" historian in all of Equestria, and all the rest have been paid off by Celestia to support her lies.
- In Twillight Sparkle's awesome adventure, ADMIRAL Awesome would rather believe that the President of Amarican is controlled by evil Martian deepsea fishes than that he would, of his own free will, refuse to give him any money or medals.
- In A Gun To Loves Head Misa becomes one after the end of the Kira case and L publically declared that Higuchi was Kira all along, with the Second Kira, whose identity is "classified," privately executed. Misa becomes a pro-Kira writer that writes books on the fact that that theory does not make sense.
- In Blood and Spirit, Fi is highly suspicious of all members of the Sheikah tribe, specifically their leader Sheik. She warns Link not to trust any of them, thinking that they too have gone rouge like Veress and her followers. However, Link is quick to shoot that possibility down.
- Darren "Mother" Roskow (Dan Aykroyd) from the movie Sneakers.
Mother: Did you know the Deputy Director of Planning was down in Managua, Nicaragua the day before the earthquake?
Crease: Now what are you saying, the C.I.A. caused the Managua earthquake?!
Mother: Well, I can't prove it, but...
Now what are you saying - The NSA
Mother: No. They shot him, but they didn't kill him - he's still alive!
- Jerry Fletcher (Mel Gibson) from the movie Conspiracy Theory. By the end it hints that he was right about *all* his theories as the president gets caught in an earthquake just like he predicted.
- The aptly named "Conspiracy Brother" from Undercover Brother thinks everything is out to get black people, and freaks out at even the most innocent-sounding of gestures. In a setting where there actually is a white conspiracy led by The Man to keep the black man down, he still manages to come across as a paranoid lunatic. It takes real conspiracy theory skills to turn "Good morning!" into a two-minute paranoid manifesto.
Conspiracy Brother: Let me tell you something about the word "good," brotha. Good is an ancient Anglo-Saxon word, go-od, meanin' the absence of color. I.E. it's all good, which it is, OR Good Will Huntin', meanin, "I'm Huntin' Niggas!" So when you say good morning, what you're telling me is "I'm gonna kill yo black ass, first thing in the mornin'!"
- At the start of the Stargate movie, Dr. Daniel Jackson is one. Specifically, he believes the pyramids were landing sites for alien spacecraft. The scientific community does not share his views and ridicule him. This is occasionally referenced in Stargate SG-1.
- Of course, he was also right....
- Though he doesn't believe that there's any kind of government cover-up, just that people got their facts wrong about when the Pyramids were built.
- General Jack D. Ripper from Dr. Strangelove.
- He believed that the fluoridation of drinking water in the 50s was a Communist plot to poison America. Believe it or not, this was an actual conspiracy theory at the time.
- Reading between the lines, though, indicates that he came to this conclusion due to a sudden attack of impotence. So yes, the trope namer doomed the world because he couldn't comprehend that he was getting old and could no longer become erect at will.
- The floride conspiracy is STILL floating around, but is now usually attributed to the US government attempting to subdue the populace.
- Bobby Lee Swagger from Shooter. He has the 9/11 Commission report on his nightstand, and generally distrusts The Government (and for a reason). Nick Memphis also sees signs of conspiracy around the attempted presidential assassination where the president wasn't the real target, anyway, and gets tortured and almost "shoots himself" with the help of some Secret Agents.
- In the '90s Disney Channel remake of the '60s comedy The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, the main character's best friend was a stereotypical college-age radical who, in a parody of Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories, believed that President William McKinley was actually killed by his vice president, Theodore Roosevelt.
- In the Film 8 Legged Freaks one of the Characters is a Conspiracy Theorist with his own radio station, which he uses to rant about aliens and the government.
- Charlie's dad in So I Married an Axe Murderer is convinced that the world is run by a secret group known as "The Pentaverate:" the Queen, the Rothschilds, the Vatican, the Gettys, and Colonel Sanders "before he went tits-up."
- Godzilla (2014):
- Joseph Brody. After his wife Sandra was among the deaths at the Janjira nuclear power plant when it was abruptly destroyed, he is convinced that whatever caused the disaster was a bit less "natural" than an earthquake. He spends the next 15 years trying to puzzle out the truth behind the tragedy and becomes estranged from his son in the process, so he's unsurprisingly miffed to find out that a group called MONARCH is, indeed, covering up what actually happened.
- The opening credits montage also has a glimpse of text concerning some guy who thinks the cover-up of Godzilla's existence in The Fifties was the work of the Illuminati:
The illuminati has been using PRODUCTION DESIGNER OWEN PATERSON to build facilities to hide their study of the creature and it's origins. All clues are suppressed.
- Terrance, Aaron, and Mark in The Conspiracy; the in-universe documentary on Terrance is most prominently centered around his 9/11 theories.
- In Angry Video Game Nerd The Movie, Cooper, the Nerd's friend and producer, believe in (among other things) the Eee Tee dumping grounds, the Roswell UFO incident, Area 51, Santa Claus, the Flat Earth theory, and "Death Mwauthzyx": an ancient monster who created God and the Devil, rests in Mount Fuji, and can end reality simply by turning a radar dish on its head 180 degrees, and the only thing that would survive the apocalypse would be one bologna sandwich that would be of immeasurable mass due to there being nothing to compare it against. Turns out, he's not far off the mark with some of his theories.
- In David Wingrove's Chung Kuo, Kim is a genius who in his teens uncovers the files showing the truth about world history, which has been falsified by the T'ang Lords
- Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter novels as well as her father, Xenophilius Lovegood.
- Foucaults Pendulum
- Various characters in The Illuminatus! Trilogy, though due to the nature of the book, they're maybe the sanest people around.
- In the Night Huntress books, Timothy, Cat's next neighbor in the first book, is convinced the government covers up evidence of the supernatural (he's right). He later goes to work for "one of those magazines that give Cat's boss headaches".
- Several flavors of this trope (alien abductee, Satanic cult victim, militia gun nut) appear in the Repairman Jack novel Conspiracies, which is actually set at a Conspiracy Theorist convention. Turns out the only genuine conspiracy there is an Eldritch Abomination plot targeting Jack himself.
- Area 7 opens with an article from "The Conspiracy Theorist Monthly" (circulation: 157 copies) connecting a senator's death by hunting accident with the deaths of his wife and daughter by gas explosion. There's actually a bigger conspiracy going on than the writer knows...
- Jonathan Shriek in Jeff VanderMeer's Shriek: An Afterword is perceived as one by the world at large because he insists that midgets who live underground secretly control the people in his home town with fungus spores. Of course everyone knows that there are midgets who live underground and really like mushrooms, but don't think that they're any more than that. They are wrong.
- In The Host, by Stephanie Meyer, conspiracy theorists were more likely to survive the Alien Invasion than the average person. This is because the aliens are Puppeteer Parasites and most people did not notice the difference, except the "crazies".
- The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress included a conspiracy theorist as an aversion, as he disdains the conjecture that passes for 'theory'. Professor de la Paz pursued the study of historical conspiracies and developed a body of principles to describe how they work, how they fail to work, how they wind up being revealed. As a founding member of a revolutionary conspiracy, his theories are quite valuable for functioning in the scientific/academic meaning of the word. This also helps him develop his theory, since the most successful conspiracies are never revealed, the only way to be sure he's observing one is to take part in it.
- After watching too much I, Claudius, Ephraim Kishon became very suspicious of his wife. Well, in one of his satirical short stories. It tends to overlap.
- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea: Played for Laughs with Ned Land: As a professional fisher, he doesn’t believe in sea monsters (giant narwhales or octopus), but he believes that his captors could be cannibals, that the language spoken in the Nautilus is a conspiracy to let him die of hunger (see Con Lang) and in Artificial Human:
"Haven't seen or heard a thing!" the Canadian replied. "I haven't even spotted the crew of this boat. By any chance, could they be electric too?"
"Oh ye gods, I'm half tempted to believe it!"
- In The Pale King, There's an old lady later revealed to be Toni Ware's grandmother who believes Jack Benny is attempting to achieve global thought control via radio waves. She covers her house with electrified hubcaps, which jams her neighbors' signals. She ends up getting cited for diverting her household's amperage, so she salvages a generator that runs on kerosene.
- The poem "Conspiracy" from Raving Lunacy by Blaine Munday is a parody of inane conspiracy theories, the narrator berating how he believes people want him to die and to eat his eyes.
- "Non-Falling Towel" features this together with Insane Troll Logic as the poem's narrator thinks a towel he saw was made by aliens from another dimension.
- The Doctor Who Expanded Universe contains a novel called Who Killed Kennedy which works as a Perspective Flip on the 1970s U.N.I.T stories by presenting it from the perspective of a journalist who becomes convinced that U.N.I.T and the Doctor are part of some malevolent organisation determined to uncover the truth, and ends up ruining his reputation and becoming considered one of these. It's partly Deconstructed; the general gist of what he believes is true, but he's got things completely wrong with regards to who are the good guys and who has malevolent intentions. He also learns that alien invasions are covered up mainly because no one would believe the truth.
- In several of Tom Holt novels, recurring character (or possibly multiple characters with the same name) Danny Bennett is convinced that the Milk Marketing Board is somehow connected to the assassination of JFK.
- The whole point of "The Big Book of Jewish Conspiraces" a satirical work by Joshua Neuman and David Deutsch. Everything from the American Revolution and Christianity to the reemergence of anti-semitism is described as due to Jewish conspiracies. The introduction describes the decision to commission the work to discredit said theories. For instance the Chinese Revolution is an attempt to get payment for a meal provided to the Chinese Emporer. Eventually the meal is paid for by a high ranking communist who used to work for the Jewish couple. They had nicknamed him "Katzen" or "kitten" because of his name Mao.
- In the Ciaphas Cain novel The Traitor's Hand, there were apparently a number of people who believed that the Governor of Adumbria's death from apparently natural causes without designating an heir a year before Chaos forces invaded was actually a very clever assassination. These people took the fact there was absolutely no evidence to back this theory up, even after twenty years of looking, to be proof of exactly how cleverly done the plot was.
- Crazy Emmett in the Kate Shugak novel Hunter's Moon. A former history teacher who believed the United Nations was plotting to install a one world government, he dropped off the grid to live deep in the Alaskan bush.
- John Munch was one of these when he appeared in Homicide: Life on the Street. This was also a major aspect of his character when he moved to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, to the point where a shrink accurately concluded, "You could a smell a conspiracy at a five-year-old's lemonade stand."
- At one point he is pretending to be a homeless man and is shouting about random conspiracies. His partner just claims this is what he always says but louder.
- Steve Crosetti was also fixated on the conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln.
- The X-Files:
- Fox Mulder is a heroic conspiracy nut who is unusual both in almost always being right in his postulations about secret doings and in (usually) being a rational, shrewdly observant investigator who labors to find solid evidence to support his ideas rather than just relying on Wild Mass Guessing.
- The Lone Gunmen are Agent Mulder's geeky friends and Conspiracy Theorists themselves. In their first episode, one of them tells Mulder that they like to hang out with him because his theories are way crazier than theirs.
- The trio of conspiracy theorists from The X-Files, Langly, Bayers and Frohike got their own spin-off series The Lone Gunmen. Ironically, the fact that it was canceled has led to conspiracy theories about why it was canceled. Perhaps it was the March 2001 pilot being about an attempt by a shadowy government conspiracy to crash jet liners into the World Trade Center.
- Hodgins on Bones. He takes it pretty hard when he misses the ancient conspiracy that has a member living in his house. Interestingly Hodgin's own family is wealthy and influential enough to features in the conspiracy he believes in. If anyone would know...
"You call it "conspiracy". I call it "the family business"."
- A downplayed example is Clive Finch from the Doctor Who episode "Rose",who despite sounding like an utter nutcase to anybody who doesn't know Doctor Who, he was mostly correct: he thought the pictures of the Doctor from various time periods were all the same man (they were), that the Doctor was an alien (he is), and that the Doctor is immortal (not 100% true, but 900 years is a hell of a long lifespan). The only thing he didn't guess was the time-travel angle.
- Also LINDA from "Love & Monsters".
- Howie in "The God Complex".
- Stuart from MI High, who has failed that to notice that there is a secret government Elaborate Underground Base beneath his school.
- Miles Goodman from Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
- Steven Hyde from That '70s Show. For example, he claims that Steven Spielberg directed a fake moon landing for the government - which "is how he got the job for Jaws." Most prominently, however, is his frequent mentioning of the car that runs on water, man.
- Frank Lapidus on LOST, who believes the wreckage of flight 815 is a fake. He is of course correct.
- There's also a hilarious conspiracy theory video in the season 4 DVD extras.
- Star Trek: Voyager had an episode ("The Voyager Conspiracy") where Seven of Nine goes temporarily crazy from information overload and links most of the major events of the series up to that point into a massive Federation conspiracy to capture her, a Borg Drone... this is easily dismissed until you realize that, even though her conclusion about it being all about her was flawed and delusional, several of her premises were, in fact, quite grounded and made for some tantalizingly uncomfortable questions that were completely swept under the rug by the show... One can't help but wonder if there really WAS a conspiracy going on there...
- Voyager was a long running highly episodic series with numerous writers of various qualities. As such, it included many plot holes, logical inconsistencies and cases of characters getting the Idiot Ball. This makes it a fertile ground for any theory that could go back re-explain past problems.
- Leverage: "Wade Perkins" (Hardison) in "The Three Days of the Hunter Job", complete with a standard-issue Room Full of Crazy. Hilariously, Eliot and Hardison start telling Parker the stuff on there is real, just to mess with her.
- Martin Lloyd in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Point of No Return".
- His case was a rather amusing Deconstruction, as it turns out that all his beliefs were not only correct, but he knew the truth because he himself was an alien from another world who was suffering from a drug-induced [amnesia perpetrated by his fellow aliens.
- The West Wing: Sam Seaborn has recurring run-ins with a conspiracy theorist of the "there really were aliens at Roswell and the government is covering it up" variety. He got it from his father.
- The hostage-taker from the Criminal Minds episode "Derailed" is one of the "the government is watching me" variety.
- Field Commander Moss of Lexx is an over-the-top parody:
Moss: Take the 1 from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Split it in half. Take the two halves. Now, attach them to the two zeros. What have you got? 666 Pennsylvania Avenue. Coincidence? I don't think so. There are no coincidences, my friends!
- The whole point of Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura.
- Mozzie, Neal's criminal contact, on White Collar, is incredibly paranoid and suspicious of the government, which leads to him acting out various Hollywood spy story cliches like meeting on park benches, playing loud music or running water during conversations, using code names, and so on. His antics are treated as ridiculous, but in the show's world, he may have a point.
- Ironically it's discovered that one of his old fake identities had become a a patsy for criminals, so Mozzie accidently created a conspiracy himself. Mozzie's response?
Burke: You're a living conspiracy theory.
Mozzie: See? They do exist.
- Royal Canadian Air Farce had a recurring conspiracy theorist character who liked to share his theories with strangers on the street. According to him, the Kennedys were assassinated by Hitler, George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden are brothers, bin Laden is in Canada working at a gas station, and the Chernobyl accident happened because aliens spilled a Slurpee on the control panel.
- In New Tricks, Brian Lane turns into one of these if he comes off his anti-depressants; most notably in one episode where the team are investigating the suspicious death of a prominent 1970s trade unionist, Brian — himself a member of the Police Union during his service — becomes convinced that he was spied on then and is being observed now. He's wrong about the latter, but it turns out that the intelligence services did have a file on him back then... which concluded that he was insignificant. He's deeply offended.
- In the Law & Order episode "Absentia," a guru on trial for murder claims that the government is framing him ... and also that the government killed John Lennon.
- Dudley Carew in the Midsomer Murders episode "Murder on St. Malley's Day". Amongst his theories was one that Lee Harvey Oswald was in Midsomer two weeks before Kennedy was assassinated.
- Real Life examples of this trope are frequently given the opportunity to rant by certain programs on the History Channel.
- The CSI episode "Leapin' Lizards" involved a group of conspiracy theorists who believed that Earth's governments were controlled by a group of shape-shifting reptilian aliens.
- Which was based on a real case.
- In the Community episode "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design" Jeff is ostensibly taking a class that studies various Conspiracy Theories. The truth of the matter is quite another beast.
- Joe Garrelli from NewsRadio is obsessed with conspiracies, particularly ones involving the government's cover-ups of knowledge about extraterrestrials.
- Angel. A god-like being who calls herself Jasmine has used her power to take over Los Angeles. Winifred Burkle, the only member of Team Angel to escape her influence, takes refuge in a conspiracy bookstore and asks the owner if he hasn't noticed anything strange about the way everyone is acting. The owner says that the CIA are still listening to the implants in his head, but it doesn't bother him any more as he's broadcasting Jasmine's love back to them via the mind control satellites. Jasmine later turns up at the bookstore, and grants the conspiracy theorist's greatest wish by telling him Who Shot JFK? — turns out it was Oswald.
- In Supernatural, Dean and Sam come across several cases in a town where there have been kidnappings, light shows in the sky, and crop circles. They run into a group claiming it was aliens. Subverted when it is revealed at least one of the group is a Fairy, who is using the "alien" cover to make sure the Fair Folks kidnappings, light shows, and other effects are not taken seriously.
- At least two such characters show up in Supernatural:
- Ron Reznick in "Nightshifter", who is convinced that the shapeshifter attacks he's been doing independent research on are caused by "mandroids". His research is sound, he just came to the wrong conclusion.
- In "Slash Fiction" paranoid whackjob Frank Devereaux doesn't put much stock in magic, but he's sure that "The government's been cloning people for years."
- In Elementary, one of Sherlock Holmes' hobbies is to troll conspiracy theory websites and submit absurd theories that he makes up on the spot just to see what everyone else on the sites will believe.
- Wilson Wilson in Utopia. Through various means, he's erased himself from all government databases and has built a fallout shelter under his house but is still shocked when he accidentally becomes involved in a real Government Conspiracy. Subverted when he performs a Face-Heel Turn and actually joins the conspirators.
- Rizzoli & Isles: The main suspect in "Somebody's Watching Me" is Leroy, a conspiracy theorist who believes he is being spied on by aliens.
- Cold Case: One of the suspects in "One Small Step" believes that the moon landings were faked. The murder they are investigating occurred on the day of the first moon landing, and the events of that day may have fueled his later delusion.
- Sebastian Lund from NCIS: New Orleans. According to him, the faked moon landings are the reason why there isn't any decent footage of Bigfoot. Somehow.
- "Everything You Know Is Wrong" by Chumbawamba is a parody of this trope.
- Weird Al in his song "Foil".
- Al, the bartender in Liberty Meadows, believes in numerous conspiracies, most notably that Shakespeare was actually written by Bacon.
- One gag in The Far Side had a lone man standing on a street-corner preaching about the existence of vampires, with a mirror being carried by in the background revealing that all those passing by his soapbox cast no reflection.
- Huey Freeman from The Boondocks takes this to ridiculous extremes. Originally he simply believed that there was a conspiracy among whites against African-Americans (accusing even the most unlikely people of being "in" on it, such as Henry Kissinger and others who won Nobel Peace Prizes) but eventually took this a little too far, spouting crazy theories accusing the government of covering up the dangers of the bird flu pandemic (which is Hilarious in Hindsight, as there was never a single case of someone dying from that outside of China). Eventually he made an enemy's list where he included Santa Claus (resulting in him getting a threatening letter from the big man himself) and Lucy from Peanuts (claiming he never liked her because of "the whole football thing").
- The Deadlands supplement The Black Circle: Unholy Alliance had a Conspiracy Theorist archetype suitable for use as a player character. From an In-Universe perspective, those who work for the newspaper called the Epitaph, and a lot of people who read it, are seen as this. The reality, of course, is that these people are actually telling the truth (though they still don't know everything), and there really are monsters and magic all over the place now, and there really is a governmental cover-up to try and suppress this truth.
- In the collectible card game Illuminati, one of the groups you can control is the Conspiracy Theorists. They have zero Power (nobody believes them), but they let you hold an extra Plot card... because while they're completely wrong, they do have useful ideas. Another group, Paranoids, gives you protection against everything except Natural Disasters, because their worries are correct...
- The Dark•Matter Supplement for D20 Modern is also filled with conspiracy theories and just down right strange stories and information. Some of which is actually TRUE and caused this Troper to look up more than a theories presented.
- Mage: The Awakening does not respect them. There is an Ancient Conspiracy, yes...who do everything in their power to promote conspiracy theorists (especially the Panopticon) since they (a) enforce a cultural meme that La Résistance is pointless when the Seers of the Throne have bitterly learned that it isn't (see: The Pentacle, but especially the Free Council) and (b) tend to think of the good guys as The Illuminati, since if the Pentacle wins, they're going to...change things (for the better, mostly, but most conspiracy theorists are of a reactionary bent). There are fairly positive portrayals of some theorists, but unlike most examples they actually bother to fight back against the evils they see by making the world a better place (indeed, one of the characters for the Silver Ladder is one who, upon being offered to join the conspiracy that promotes cooperation and personal freedom, couldn't wait to sign up).
- In the Old World of Darkness Clanbook: Gangrel, there's a Gangrel vampire who's a conspiracy theorist. And indeed, they were common(and often right) in all the OWOD games, especially Mage: The Ascension.
- Conspiracy theorists appear in Destroy All Humans!. In the first, they are referred to as "town crazies," and suburban ones are a bit more geared towards conspiracies than others (who are sometimes just plain nuts), even catching onto the plot of the Villain Protagonist. In the second, "The Freak," a California hippy, occasionally has these moments.
- Bosco from the Telltale Sam & Max: Freelance Police games. Oddly enough, he's usually right!
- Pretty much every character in Deus Ex, but when one considers that the conspiracies usually prove true only minutes after being first mentioned, and that just one conspiracy is nowhere near enough for this game, it's to be expected.
- And as an added Genius Bonus for people who follow conspiracy theories, pretty much all the ones in the game are based on real-life conspiracy theories.
- At one point, you can try explain the conspiracy you're working against to a minor character, who'll react with amusement and think you're a complete nutter.
- The Prequel, Human Revolution, has Lazarus, a paranoid radio host convinced that FEMA are the foot-soldiers of a fear-mongering One World Order conspiracy group bent on using the augmentation debate to fulfill their nefarious schemes. Anyone who has played the original Deus Ex will be impressed with how much he got right.
- The Truth from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, though revealed to be much more insightful than he appears.
- Boyd in Psychonauts invented the Milkman Conspiracy. And you get to dive into his mind...
- Gomez, one of Deb of Night's regulars in Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, comes up with increasingly bizarre conspiracy theories throughout the game... then in the final chapter, he suddenly starts citing the cosmology of the Old World of Darkness to the letter. The problem is: if that last "theory" actually precisely describes the very setting of the game, then what about the others?
- A side quest in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion concerns a wood elf named Glarthir who is convinced that several people in town are involved in a conspiracy against him, and wants the player to help him find proof. He's wrong, but you can't convince him of it. If you try, he'll decide you're part of the plot, and try to dull his battleaxe on you.
- If you investigate his house, there's lots of notes that indicate that he's been spying on them and the PC for a while. Also, from the second he first sees you in Skingrad, he follows you everywhere so there's no escaping his quest unless you run everywhere you go. He even follows you into the Mage's guild and your house, if you've bought the one in Skingrad.
- Steven Heck of Alpha Protocol is a (supposed) CIA Agent/Psychopath who has knowledge of damn near every government conspiracy out there. He's actually right most of the time despite his insanity.
- Otis Monday of Stubbs the Zombie, who mistakenly identifies a zombie invasion as a combined communist/Illuminati/New World Order/Nazi strike on his homeland.
- Since The Conduit is a Conspiracy Kitchen Sink, it's only fitting it has its own Conspiracy Theorist, talk radio host Gordon Wells.
- Katawa Shoujo has Kenji Setou, the main character's Bromantic Foil, who believes that Yamaku Academy is a forward staging base for a vast feminist conspiracy plotting to take over the world. The game being a romantic Visual Novel, this is (mostly, thus far) Played for Laughs in the extreme.
- In Dragon Age II, Cassandra (the Chantry Seeker interrogating Varric) is initially one due to her desperately seeking someone to blame for the Civil War. At first, she's convinced that Hawke and their companions planned the entire thing from the moment they set foot in Kirkwall. Deconstructed when we learn that there isn't a true Big Bad, and like in Real Life, most of the events are simply caused by a combination of coincidence and Grey and Gray Morality. Unlike most conspiracy theorists, Cassandra is reasonable and objective enough to accept evidence that contradicts her original view.
- If Hawke aligns himself/herself with the Templars in the endgame Meredith also becomes this. A combination of her red lyrium sword's corrupting influence and her own Control Freak nature lead Meredith to believe that Hawke is the Big Bad behind Kirkwall's troubles (which naturally makes her The Hero, as it should be).
- No-Bark is Novac's town crazy in Fallout: New Vegas. He believes a rash of ghoul attacks coming from an abandoned rocket factory are the work of "Ghosts! Commie ghosts that don't know they're dead!" Their objective: to fly to the moon, paint it pink and stick Lenin's face on it.
- Zeke is one of these in inFAMOUS. This clearly seen in his pad with Big Oil posters and often connecting something with a government conspiracy.
- A minor example occurs in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, if you play the male character. The trainer you meet at the Ferris Wheel during winter months (named Beauty December) tells you that "They" are out to get her because she has some secret that they want kept secret. She does battle you and ride the Ferris Wheel with you, but then warns you to stay away, saying "They" might get you too. (Of course, this could well be a subversion; there's no way of knowing whether she's paranoid or this is the truth.)
- The Captain of the Gourd from Kingdom of Loathing seems to think that tin cans, spiders, and/or goblins are conspiring against him and his precious gourd, and offers a side quest where he gives you a XP-granting item in exchange for can lids, spider webs, or Knob goblin fire crackers (depending on your main stat). According to the Captain's jar of psychoses zone, the Gourd whispers nonsensical conspiracy theories to him.
- One of the Wrath punishments in Afterlife, appropriately named "Illuminatiland," is specifically designed to slowly, methodically, turn every SOUL living in it into one of these.
- Parodied in the expansion packs for Grand Theft Auto IV, which include a radio show called Conspire hosted by "John Smith", a parody of Alex Jones and similar right-wing/libertarian conspiracy theorists. "John" entertains, and often voices, every single crazy conspiracy theory and bit of paranoia and racism his listeners phone in with.
- Steins;Gate has the main hero, Rintaro Okabe, who believes that there is a mysterious "Organization" that rules over humanity from the shadows, and that he is one of the few fighting against it. Naturally, over the course of the story he happens to stumble upon an actual global conspiracy (by SERN, the research firm that built the LHC, of all people) to use Time Travel to enslave the rest of the human race.
- Sylvester from A Game of Fools.
- According to Polk Out, there's a reason toilet paper hasn't changed since its fruition.See here.
- In El Goonish Shive there has been a recent flood of these into Moperville after a supernatural incident during a news broadcast.
- Deconstructed in this Exterminatus Now comic.
- Tales from the Pit briefly features a Magic: The Gathering player who believes the New Phyrexia expansion is a hoax.
- Homestuck: Roxy is considered one by her friends (mostly Jane) in-universe. Given that her theories include "Betty Crocker is an alien sea witch overlord", they're probably justified for having that opinion. Actually, she's got more or less the full story and is probably the only protaganist to get close to the full story behind BC.
- And it turns out that this is because she lives hundreds of years in Jane's future, where the world was already conquered and ravaged by BC
- In Sinfest,
- In The Order of the Stick Miko made huge leaps in logic and crafted a huge conspiracy pinning the blame for a horrible situation that she created on Roy and company. It's ultimately the main reason she couldn't earn redemption — she just couldn't accept that anything was her fault.
- In Rooster Teeth Comics Gus is portrayed as one of these. Occasionally, he's proved right, such as his theory about the cantaloupe industry trying to discredit the watermelon industry. Ironically, he actually does believe the moon landings happened. The Vikings just beat America to it.
- Malcolm of Sam and Fuzzy does this both in story and in the Fourth Wall Mail Slot.
- Jessica of Freakwatch grew up with an uncle who was a huge fan of horror and mystery, and taught her to solve puzzles and cyphers of all sorts. The end result, of course, is she tends to read into things more than most people, though given the peculiar circumstances of her uncle's death, perhaps her paranoia is warranted.
- Melee's End: A prime example: Samus.
- Illuminati and Ancient Astronauts are common themes in Doctor Steel's songs and web videos, though perhaps just for flavor. (Or are they...?)
- Fundies Say the Darndest Things has an entire section dedicated to making fun of them.
- Mr. Liatsis, a teacher from the V4 pregame of Survival of the Fittest, is commented on as being a notorious conspiracy theorist. Some students have their moments as well.
- YouTube personality The Real Weekly News made a video called "Hulu Tube: Phasing You Out of YouTube." In this video, he states that the (at the time) recently added "Shows" tab on YouTube's front page was a grand conspiracy by companies like Burger King and Disney (seriously, those were his two big examples) to get all the normal content creators off of YouTube. Mentions of tin foil hats were pretty common from critics of the video.
- Binder of Shame: Collateral Darren insists, among other things, that employers only insist on being sent resumes as part of a conspiracy to make more money for paper manufacturers, because at the interview you have to write down all the same information on a job application.
- Mercilessly mocked in the College Humor video 'Deceptive Deceptions'. Truly something to behold: among the things "uncovered" as part of a massive conspiracy embracing all of humanity in this "truthumentary", they include the shooting of Tupac Shakur, Dan Akroyd's role in Caddyshack 2 and Nothing But Trouble, Paul McCartney's replacement by a doppelgänger, Helter Skelter possessing Charles Manson with the spirit of the Anti-Christ, Adolf Hitler actually being "a cyberganic demon" created by Nazi scientists, NASA faking the space landings, the John F. Kennedy assassination, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Dick Cheney, Nabisco, AOL, CITGO, Atkins, Adidas, the New York Knicks, Hooters, and Google. And the identity of the secret cabal that is more powerful than the American government, the Freemasons, and The Illuminati? The College Humor staff.
- Above Top Secret is the Wretched Hive of conspiracy message boards.
- ATS has actually played a role in some notable conspiracy theories. Someone who called himself John Titor, posted on the site in 2000, claimed to have traveled back in time from 2036. His predictions of the USA falling to civil war and breaking into 5 subnations was memetic for a while, but disproven by 2004. Some of the first "no planes" 9/11 theories appeared on this site. Many ATS users suspected that the "no planes" theory was itself a conspiracy to make truthers proposing more rational theories look crazy by association.
- Downplayed and lampshaded by The Nostalgia Critic when he believes the Spider-Man movies cut out a World Trade Center scene as to not offend anyone after 9/11.
- An oprhaned webseries called The eX-Files from South Africa (a parody of The X-Files and, to a degree, Californication) milks this archetype for all that its worth. The Agent Mulder Expy (creatively called Hound Moulder) is in conspiracy theorist rehab at 'The Umberco Centre for Secular Theodicy' with a whole bunch of other conspiracy theorists, each with their own crazy theory. During sessions with a psychiatrist Moulder shares several of his conspiracy theories involving extra-terrestrials, Elvis Presley and a particularly nutty one involving Ralph and Joseph Fiennes.
- Interestingly inverted in Welcome to Night Vale: In the episode "The Sandstorm", Night Vale resident Steve Carlsburg sends an email to the radio station, claiming that he thinks the sandstorm was engineered by the government. Cecil, the radio broadcaster, scoffs at him...because "of COURSE it was created by the government, the City Council announced that this morning!"
- Discussed by Worst Muse: "Commit to a motif: everything is conspiracy, or everything is coincidence."
- In Warp Zone Project, where the Masquerade can be summed up as Comic Books Are Real meets Weirdness Censor, Edouard knows that something is going on. However, when he actually runs into well-known super-villains, he tends to assume that they are goverment agennts dressed up as fictional characters to throw people off guard instead of considering the possibility that they could be real life comic book characters, even when they use their powers right in front of him. He gets even more confused when he starts developping super strength, the person sent to mentor him get killed by the villains on which he was spying and he realizes one of his good friends has repeatedly used the weirdness censor on him before this within the same day.
- The Question from Justice League Unlimited. "There was a magic bullet! It was forged by Illuminati mystics to prevent us from learning the truth!" However he is also played oddly positively for a conspiracy theorist as while his tendency to connect everything to a single overarching conspiracy (supposedly dating back at least to Ancient Egypt, and secretly controlling the world ever since) is shown to be insane it also allows him to see the connections to the real conspiracies. He's even called the League's "Data Guy" and is a case of someone being a Properly Paranoid Crazy Awesome.
- Properly Paranoid Crazy Awesome to the point that Batman of all people calls him uptight. The rest of the JL can only give Batman dropped jaws.
- Also, the tips at the end of shoelaces are called aglets. Their true purpose is SINISTER.
- In his intro in the animation The Question's room aboard Watchtower is shown, with a posterboard showing an elaborate conspiracy that the Girl Scouts are behind crop circles, that the government is using boy bands to control the public, and that they are part of a single grand conspiracy with the aglets and the magic bullet. He's convinced that this all ties together somehow, but admits to not having figured out how.
- In the same episode he comments that Supergirl eats peanut butter sandwiches. When asked if he goes through her garbage, he says one of his most memorable quotes, "Please... I go through everyone's trash."
- Dale Gribble on King of the Hill. A believer in every conspiracy theory known, yet unable to discover that his wife had been cheating on him.
- And when he finally realizes that the only time she could've gotten pregnant was during the time John Redcorn was visiting, he comes to the logical conclusion. His son was conceived when aliens artificially inseminated his wife!
- He comes to that same conclusion in a later episode when a family moves into the neighborhood, and they have a daughter who resembles Joseph and was born at about the same time as him.
- Bart becomes one of these (and converts most of the other kids in Springfield) in The Simpsons episode "Grandpa vs. Sexual Inadequacy".
- Matt Bluestone from Gargoyles, thanks to his obsession with the Illuminati (which actually does exist in the show's universe).
- Members of "Humans Against The Extraterrestials" (from the second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon) believed that the aliens which had recently invaded Earth had left behind agents to infiltrate the planet, and were willing to blow up Manhattan in order to exterminate them.
- Dib from Invader Zim.
- Huey Freeman from The Boondocks believes that that there's a Government Conspiracy against black people from, you guessed it, the white man. (Like the comic strip examples above, he takes it very much to extremes.
- Adam West, as seen on Johnny Bravo.
- Also from one episode of Family Guy. He spends $150,000 of taxpayer money to discover why his plants absorb the water he pours them.
- Tigress is shown to be this in an episode of Kung Fu Panda Legends Of Awesomeness, "Ladies of the Shade". Monkey comments on this.
Tigress: I don't trust them.
Monkey: You don't trust anyone! Not even the mailman, and he's been coming here for thirty years.
Tigress: Planning something for thirty years!
- Ron Stoppable from Kim Possible is like this at times. Many of his beliefs (such as the bad guys stealing Christmas and corn dogs) are proven incorrect. However, he has been right on a few occasions, such as claiming that the lake at Camp Wannaweep was dangerous or that Lord Monty Fiske (later known as Monkey Fist) was, as he put it, 'bad road'.
Kim: (elbowing Ron) Ron, that's Shego!
Ron: Nah, it's not Shego, it's Miss Go — see, it says so on the board.
Kim: Putting something on the board doesn't make it true!
Ron: Oh, sure, y'know, when I said that in 20th Century History, I got sent to the office!
Kim: The moon landing wasn't faked in the Arizona desert, Ron!
- Dooper from Slacker Cats. He has a different theory each episode.
- Numbuh One from Codename: Kids Next Door. Considering the world he lives in, he more often than not is Properly Paranoid.
- Freezbone from Freefonix. Everything is either a conspiracy, or aliens.
- Sid, a crazy guy living in Roswell in Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths and Legends, but he's really Obfuscating Stupidity. He's a former Alliance operative and an alien invader.
Remember, tin-foil hats preventing mind control is merely a lie cooked up by Reynolds Corporation in order to sell more tin-foil and fund the New World Order. But you didn't hear it from me.