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Dying Like Animals
A person is smart; people are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, and you know it.
Agent K, Men In Black

When it becomes clear that a major threat to people's lives exist, you would expect them to drop everything else and deal with it, right? Well, not necessarily. After all, if the huddled masses were capable of saving themselves, then what would they need heroes for? People are Dying Like Animals when they're actively working against their own best interest sometimes even their literal survival during a crisis situation. Instead of an asset, helping out the heroes to counter the threat, they're a liability at best and a hindrance at worst.

They may refuse to accept that anything is wrong in the first place, or else believe that it's somebody else's problem and nothing that they have to worry about. On the other hand, they may believe that the threat is being blown out of proportion, and go out to end it themselves getting themselves slaughtered in the process. Maybe they think that the threat is too powerful to resist, giving up even when they could help. The more devious version of this are those that seek to profit from the threat, either by joining it or by using it as an excuse to pick fights with the people they should be teaming up with.

Depending on the tone of the work, these people may be dealt with in a few different ways. More optimistic works will have the hero convince them to get over their problems and start Fighting for Survival. Otherwise, they'll be forced to save the people in spite of themselves only the most cynical Anti-Hero will declare the masses Too Dumb to Live and leave them to their fate.

Go to the Analysis page to see examples of different archetypes of behaviour.

See also: Apathetic Citizens. Opposite of Fighting for Survival, which focuses on animal archetypes to describe various extra help that hero protagonists can get.
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