This trope is about Those Guys, and how you can Never Trust One of Them. Who are "they"? Those Guys.
You know. Them!
This trope usually appears when a character has had a past problem with a member of a specific ethnicity/species/nationality/religion/blood type
or what-have-you. Ever since that time in the past, the character has known that anyone else belonging to his particular Target Group of Rage is not to be trusted. Call them crazy,
they're just prepared.
"You can Never Trust
a type AB-
-positive!" the character will exclaim at every opportunity.
Alternatively, the character may just be a bigot. Perhaps all members of his particular blood type have been told from infancy that AB-positives are born evil, and he's just expressing what his society has told him is true. Or maybe there's no particular reason given for the bigotry.
Regardless of how the character came by his negative opinion of the despised group, this trope almost always leads to An Aesop
about how all members of a group are individuals and should be treated as such and not be negatively stereotyped just because the last AB-positive you met killed your entire family and ate your dog. Not all AB-positives are evil! Thus, stating "Never Trust a (whatever)!" is just Tempting Fate
A slightly modified version of the trigger statement might be expressed as "Only they
are ever Like That
" — as in "Only the Sith
deal in absolutes." No one else ever does. Ever. Period. You heard me. Don't argue.
Obviously this is subverted if it turns out that, whoops, yes, all AB-positives are in fact evil
and not to be trusted.
It's In the Blood
, as it were. Normally only done in cases of Fantastic Racism
, although certain authors actually try to make Real Life
groups fit this mold. We don't like those authors.
This would be Unfortunate Implications
, but the unfortunateness is not implied, it's stated outright.
Anime & Manga
Films — Animation
- Calvin and Hobbes: Never never never never never trust a tiger.
- A Peanuts poster featured Snoopy looking battered, with the caption: "Never trust a smiling cat!"
Films — Live-Action
- Hoodwinked: "Never trust a bunny" is used by the Wolf as an Ironic Echo. When he first says it, he and Twitchy have just made the mistake of trusting Boingo for directions to Granny Puckett's house, which has led them into a bat-infested cave. Twitchy nods in approval. However, it becomes more powerful later when, after Flippers makes The Reveal about who the culprit is, the Wolf says, "I knew it! Never trust a bunny!"
- Star Trek: "Never trust a Klingon."
- This was discarded after the events of Star Trek VI and killed for good by TNG.
- Also Ferengi Rule of Acquistion #47: "Never trust a man wearing a better suit than your own."
- It may seem odd for the Ferengi to advise distrust of the wealthy, but it may be prudent if you interpret the other guy's wealth as proof that he's better at wheeling and dealing than you are.
- Similarly, the Romulan proverb: "Never turn your back on a Breen."
- According to most Bajorans, you should never trust a Cardassian. While not all Cardassians are evil, they did take over Bajor, kill a large percentage of the population, turn another large chunk into slaves, and generally act like Space Nazis for 50 years, so you can see how they got the idea.
- In Doctor Who, "The Green Death", The Doctor tells a joke that ends with the line "Never Trust A Venusian Shanghorn." It's the only part of the joke we get to hear.
- Cassandra in the Doctor Who episode "New Earth", "Never trust a nun, never trust a nurse and never trust a cat." By the way, we're dealing with people who are all three at once. Nun nurse cat-people. Although in that case they really shouldn't have been trusted...
- I, Claudius has Herod Agrippa give this advice to the title character:
Herod: Well, just one more piece, then I'm done. Trust no one, my friend, no one. Not your most grateful freedman. Not your most intimate friend. Not your dearest child. Not the wife of your bosom. Trust no one.
Claudius: No one? Not even you?
- Inverted in one episode of Father of the Pride, where the Moral of the Story is that just because somebody's from a poor minority group doesn't mean they're incapable of crime.
- Game of Thrones. King Robb's mother warns him to "never trust a Greyjoy!" He ignores this advice and dispatches his childhood friend Theon Greyjoy to make an alliance with his father. Unfortunately Theon was sent to Winterfell as a child to make sure the rebellious Greyjoys stayed in line. Not only has Robb returned their hostage, Theon also knows that Winterfell is weakly defended.
- 30h!3's 'Don't Trust Me.' "Don't trust a ho, never trust a ho, won't trust a ho, WON'T TRUST ME."
- "Put not your trust in princes, in the children of men, in whom there is no salvation." — Psalm 146
- This very wiki has Never Trust a Trailer, though there's unlikely to be any Aesop against our anti-trailer bias anytime soon.
- Shadowrun has "never deal with a dragon" as one of its most oft-quoted pieces of street wisdom.
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight II has the immortal One-Liner: "Never trust a bartender with bad grammar."
- A randomly comedic line in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is "Fat people always lie."
- Warcraft: "Never trust an elf!" Good advice considering who he's talking about here, isn't it?
- Garithos also has it out for dwarves, naga, demons (although that one's justified) — really, just about anyone who isn't human. He's just less quotable on subjects that aren't elves.
- Final Fantasy X: According to Wakka, you can never trust an Al Bhed. Even though, you know, Yuna is half Al Bhed and Rikku IS Al Bhed. Both totally untrustworthy.
- He gets called out for seeing Rikku as untrustworthy in spite of the time he's spent with her, and the realization that Yuna is half Al Bhed presumably pushes him into accepting the Al Bhed after he gets over his shock ("Yuna's Yuna, right?"). And that hatred started in the first place (despite his protests otherwise) when his brother went into battle with an Al Bhed machina weapon and never came home.
- In King's Quest V, the Narrator might tell King Graham, "Never trust a bad guy, Graham."
- Diablo: Among drunkard Farnham's words of wisdom: "I've never seen [Adria the witch] eat or drink, and you can't trust somebody who doesn't drink at least a little."
- South Park: Never trust something that bleeds for four days but doesn't die.
- Also in South Park, Cartman once did a school project on how Gingers are evil. The other kids tried to teach him an Aesop by sneaking into his room at night and making him look like a Ginger. Cartman immediatly set about organising the Gingers into an Evil Army.