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Hufflepuff House
Not every elf can be better.

"Welcome to Hufflepuff! Long live the bumbling badger of mediocrity!"

Some settings are richly designed, with a complex social and political system where The Federation and The Empire compete for power. To spice things up, they will often include various "third side" factions to give the people in the wardrobe department something to do. You can't have them be too powerful, though, or too relevant, lest they get in the heroes' limelight.

This is Hufflepuff House, an organizational equivalent to the Mauve Shirt or Redshirt Army. They help round out the setting without actually impacting much on it, filling out the empty seats in The Alliance HQ and making things look diverse. At best, they might perhaps be The Cavalry. Hufflepuff House is often part of the backstory of a new character for an episode, and if the character becomes popular enough their House will become patterned after them.

Named for the group in Harry Potter. Subtrope of Cryptic Background Reference. When a background character/group actually does have impact in the foreground, they are a Hero of Another Story. If they get promoted to the main roster, then Sailor Earth might be in effect.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Though the Naruto world consists of five major ninja villages (Leaf, Sand, Stone, Cloud, and Mist) and a whole host of minor ones, every village that wasn't Leaf, Sand, or Sound were for the longest time nothing more than backstory elements at best. Rain becomes somewhat more important when we find out that it's the homebase for the major mercenary/terrorist organization Akatsuki, but it's not until after Sasuke attempts to capture Cloud's jinchuuriki that the other three major villages begin to play a major role in the main plot.
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, for a series built on Everything's Better with Princesses, certainly doesn't care much about what the princesses are ruling. Most of the countries exist only as Doomed Hometowns, and, besides random extras in one or two chapters, only three servants and one civilian ever appear in the whole thing. Only one of those four is plot-relevant in the manga, and she was cut from the anime entirely.
  • Code Geass:
    • The European Union is one of the three superpowers (the other two being Britannia and China), but they don't really do anything other than get parts of it conquered by Britannia in series 2 - and the war mostly takes place off-screen. Perhaps to rectify this, Sunrise made a sidestory OVA set in the EU titled Code Geass: Akito the Exiled.
    • Mao mentions he has a house in Australia, but that's all we ever find out about it. Later, Australia was the biggest uncolored land on the map. It's possible all that means Australia is a country all superpowers have agreed to keep neutral (so Mao has a house where Britannia will never attack), but if we stand to canon, actually no one cares about Australia.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 has the AEU. While the two other world powers (the Union and HRL) have important characters who act as The Rival to the Gundam pilots and contribute to the plot, the AEU's only real contribution for the first part of the series is Patrick Colasour, a Small Name, Big Ego Ensemble Dark Horse. The only time the AEU's Humongous Mecha come off as any kind of threat is when they're piloted by Blood Knight Ali Al-Saachez, which doesn't improve the AEU's standing beyond being good at buying mercenaries. Slightly mitigated later in the first season with the introduction of the competent, take-no-crap Katie Mannequin, but overall the AEU is still the weakest and least important of the show's factions. Oddly, many other major characters (originally) hailed from the AEU, such as both Lockon Stratos, Sumeragi Lee Noriega, Louise Halevy, Klaus Grad, Ian Vashti and Descartes Shaman. The thing is, none of them are actually working for the AEU by the time they show up.
  • Bleach:
    • Many of the Shinigami divisions: 2 is the stealth and assassin squad, 4 is the medic and janitor squad, 9 is the primary security force, which traditionally looks after arts and culture, and heads the Seireitei News Magazine, 11 is physical combat specialists and 12 is scientific research, but the other eight divisions have no known specialties, and there are relatively few members that have been introduced. Based on Rukia's descriptions, the 13th squad seems to be the opposite of the 11th, focusing primarily on Kido-based combat. Though this is simultaneously a case of All There in the Manual, as most of the other squads have identities based on the personality of the members; for example Squad 7 is characterised as having members who fight out of a passionate love of life, while Squad 3 is made of those who fight hardest in order to get the whole unpleasant business over with.
    • The "Kido Corps" mooks were used several times to control something big (like a trans-dimensional Wave Motion Gun), but their only known members - their captain and lieutenant - were shown in a flashback over a hundred years ago. At the end of it, they both went out of service and no replacements were shown, unlike all the other squads that lost members at that time.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED:
    • According to Word of God, Orb is ruled by a collective of five prominent families, who between themselves select a chief representative. Over the course of the two TV series and the spinoff manga Gundam SEED Astray we meet three of the families, the Athha, Seiran, and Sahaku. The other two are non-entities, to the point of not even being named, even in critical moments such as when their allies in the Earth Alliance start bulldozing Europe with a walking WMD. The Sahaku are a partial example, as their actions have zero impact on the anime, mattering only within the context of Astray.
    • For the Earth Alliance itself, all of its members except the Atlantic Federation have pulled the short straw.
  • The Ra Yellow house from Yugioh GX. We don't meet the Ra housemaster for one and a half seasons, and of the 3 recurring characters who are in Ra Yellow at some point, one gets Put on a Bus, and another only stays in Ra for one year. This is lampshaded when the Ra Yellow housemaster shows up and challenges them to a duel to get them to come back to their own dorm, and not even his own students have any idea who he is until he introduces himself.
  • The Cherry Blossom class in Crayon Shin Chan. The Sunflower class has Shin-chan himself and the rest of the gang and the Rose class is basically The Rival. And then there's the Cherry Blossom class, which is there just to pad out the school and takes a long time to get a name. We don't even met their original teacher before miss Ageo replaces her and otherwise has no remarkable characters.
  • Canada of Axis Powers Hetalia, being the Anthropomorphic Personification of the country, this is played for laughs. Since Canada and America are twin brothers in this series, the only difference being Canada's Idiot Hair, none of the other countries, except for possibly England and France, seem to realize that they're two different characters. When Canada is around, the other characters will usually either not remember that he's there (at one point, Russia sits in a chair without realizing that Canada was already sitting in it, then later complains about how uncomfortable the chair is), or mistake him for America.
  • The Byakko no Miko's story is the least developed in Fushigi Yuugi. Granted, the Byakko Seishi got more screen time and involvement than the Genbu Seishi in the main story, but they don't have their own spin-off... yet.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion Japan is a superpower, America is suffering and China has survived. But Britain, France and Russia are also alluded to have survived Third Impact. They have places on SEELES committee. But do not seem to have any-more political influence despite being permanent members of the UN Security Council.
  • The Garrison Corps in Attack on Titan is the largest of the three military branches, and the least strictly defined of them. The Military Police Brigade is a corrupt organization that only takes the 10 best graduates from every class, while the Survey Corps are made up of the most eccentric and passionate soldiers willing to risk their lives on a regular basis. The Garrison consists of everyone else.
  • Team Black Egg from IGPX. Mostly serving as early series opponents for Satomi, their only notable characteristic is their Stone Wall form of piloting. After this, they fade into the background. Barely getting mentioned, and eventually falling to the IG2, so season 2 Big Bad's White Snow can show up.
  • Jewelpet:
    • In Jewelpet Twinkle, there are several schools devoted to teaching magic. There's the one where the main cast is concentrated, and one composed of snobbish, larger-than-life students who serve as the rivals for the rather indifferent main cast. Several more schools are alluded to during the Tournament Arc, but since no school beyond the above two sends whole groups of students, it's impossible to characterize them.
    • In Jewelpet Sunshine, most of the important characters are part of the Plum class, a class infamous for taking in many problem students. Then there is the Rose class, opposite in every way to the Plum class, making them rivals of sorts. In the sports festival episode, two other classes are named: the Wisteria and the Chrysanthemum classes, promptly forgotten after said episode. The Wisteria class gets some modicum of characterization by being considered the 'sportsiest' class, but neither class seems to have Jewelpets among their ranks.
  • In Beast Saga The three main factions are the Land Tribe (various mammals and reptiles), Sea Tribe (aquatic animals and reptiles, even aquatic mammals), and the Sky Tribe (mostly cute or non-threatening birds like ducks, parrots, and pigeons). Season 1 is focused on the battle between the Land Tribe and the Deathheart Gang of the Sea Tribe, while the Sky Tribe is reduced to comic relief.

    Comic Books 
  • This is pretty much how the Indigo Lanterns operate in the Green Lantern cosmology. They're the lanterns of Compassion but little detail is gone into them and they rarely involve themselves with the other six Lantern Corps. To be fair, being reclusive and kind of creepy is part of their shtick; each Corps embodies its defining principle to its fullest extreme, and for the Indigo Tribe that means understanding everyone's point of view so completely that they can rarely muster a point of view of their own.
  • The Initiative teams in Marvel Comics, especially those from "less important" states, who have a tendency to die in crossovers.. If you're in the New York state Initiative team (a.k.a. The Avengers) you're fairly safe. If you're from any other state - Hawaii, Florida, Arizona, New Jersey, even California - you're C-List Fodder in waiting.
  • In Batman the First Families of Gotham, the rich elite who have had great influence since the Revolutionary War, are the Waynes, the Kanes, the Cobblepots, the Elliots, and the Crownes. The first two have produced prominent superheroes. The next two, prominent supervillains. The last one? No one knows, no one cares.

    Fan Works 
  • Hufflepuff is not mentioned in My Immortal except for a throwaway line which casually states that "Vampire" is "sucking some blood from a Hufflepuff."
  • Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality turns Gryffindor, of all things, into one of these. Ravenclaw gets a greater emphasis as the intellectual house, plus two members of the leading Power Trio. Slytherin gets a lot more characterization as the ambitious house and gets the third leading character. Hufflepuff's loyalty and hard work leads to a mix of Determinator and The Power of Friendship. They also gain Neville Longbottom, who gets to take a level in badass far earlier. Gryffindor, by contrast, is dismissed as a bunch of mindless bullies and thoughtless would-be heroes. It has very few important characters.

    Film 
  • The other Greek soldiers in 300 who weren't from Sparta. They do basically zip and leave frightened so the Spartans can die in a Heroic Sacrifice. In the real life Battle of Thermopylae, on the other hand, there were also 700 Thespians and 400 Thebans who refused to flee and instead died alongside the 300 Spartans.
  • The other pirate lords from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Smoke-trails in the background imply a huge battle, but we never get to see any ships but the main characters'.
  • In The Wizard, the final competition has Jimmy Woods, The Hero; Lucas Barton, The Rival; and Moira Grissum, who is this. She naturally comes in third.

    Gamebooks 
  • In the Nintendo Adventure Book Leaping Lizards, Mario and his friends compete against the Koopalings in the International Mushroom Games, along with two less important teams, one consisting of nothing but Sledge Bros. ("The Hammers") and another that's just random monsters ("The Sneaks"). Of the two, the Hammers are less prominent, despite one of their members actually getting a name.

    Literature 
  • Harry Potter:
    • Hufflepuff, the Trope Namer, who are in one instance basically called all-the-rest, at their grandest are praised for dedication and dependability (distinct from the more heroic-oriented Gryfindor flavour of loyalty), and the Sorting Hat's song at one point has the other three house founders selecting students for specific strengths and Helga Hufflepuff saying she'll take the leftovers. Word of God says that they are good at stuff, they're just humble and don't boast like the other Houses. The foremost member of distinction they have is Cedric Diggory, who is a sympathetic character and Hogwarts co-champion. They're also mentioned to have the second-most students stay to battle Voldemort.
    • Ravenclaw students aside from Luna and Cho do even less than the Hufflepuff students throughout the series, mainly due to the fact that the reader almost never sees members of that house from Harry's year present throughout the series. However, they are a lesser example than Hufflepuff since they have the eccentric fan-favorite Luna Lovegood as its representative and its Common Room has actually been seen.
  • The (live) Southerlings in Garth Nix's Abhorsen, who border on being a Mauve Shirt Army. They are refugees from the far southern countries who are seeking asylum in the Old Kingdom, even though they don't know about the magic that inhabits it. Their main features are their blue caps and scarves and their desperate need for protection, since the bad guy's plan is to kill and resurrect a lot of them at once. Instant Zerg Rush. Avoiding this takes up a lot of the heroes' time. The reason they're even in the Old Kingdom is to give certain Ancelstierre officials political brownie points.
  • Mistborn has an odd example of this in the second book. The heroes deliberately set up the city they're protecting as a Hufflepuff House, so they'll have that third party power of choosing which invading army to ally with. As the description may indicate . . . they're kinda desperate.
  • Animorphs, being a story about one front in an inter-planetary war, has several. The Leeran war was originally this, but the Animorphs were transported to their world and helped end that affair in short order. But there's also the Yeerk Peace Movement, a contingent of Yeerks who believe that infesting and controlling humans (or at least humans against their will) is wrong; the Anati system of planets, where the Andalites are planning to attack the Yeerks because they feel things are more urgent there and that Earth is likely lost; and the Rakkam Garroo conflict, another something-or-other that is distracting the Andalite fleet for three years so that the Animorphs are basically left to do everything themselves. Also, the free Hork-Bajir.
  • The entire world map of the Discworld has been laid out, and is full of places that either a) have only been mentioned occasionally or b) were never mentioned at all. However, that isn't to say they won't eventually get their own books. Borogravia did, after all. As did Xxxx and the Counterweight Continent...
    • The Rimside kingdom of Krull certainly counts; visited and given a reasonably thorough description in The Colour of Magic, then it vanishes from the face of the Disc, never to be referred to again. Likely as it is so remote from the main super continent containing the Sto Plains (home of Ankh-Morpork, the main setting), Klatch, Überwald, Genua, Tsort and Ephebe and others.
    • Chirm, a city sufficently close to Ankh-Morpork that it is the first destination Rincewind and Twoflower set out for after leaving the city is also never mentioned again after The Colour of Magic. The obvious solution is that it is the same place as similar sounding Quirm, a near Ankh-Morpork town that is frequently mentioned in later books... except that the Discworld map lists both.
    • Krull was briefly mentioned in The Last Hero as being different after The Luggage wiped out most of the ruling class, specifically they just charged huge salvage rates for ships stopped from going over the edge instead of enslaving the survivors. The Circumfence was an obstacle that had to be defeated, and as a reference to the trope everyone but Rincewind, who was there the last time Krull was part of the story, forgot the wall around the edge of the world they built.
    • There's also the Muntab Question, which more often than not ends up being "Where's Muntab?"
    A typical exchange:
    Vetinari: [list of political problems] ... and that's not even considering the Muntab Question.
    Hapless Straight Guy: Where's Muntab?
    Vetinari: Exactly.
  • At the beginning of The Riftwar Cycle, pretty much anyplace outside of the Kingdom is treated in this manner, mentioned periodically to add a little color to the tale but not having any significant impact. This series is very long, however, and by now almost every Hufflepuff House kingdom and empire on (and several beyond) Midkemia has been featured in at least one full book in which it is showcased as the center of events.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire broadens its view with each book, putting characters and factions under the microscope that might have first been mentioned in passing several books ago. By the fifth book, just about every major area and faction in Westeros has played some part. Outside of Westeros, there are still a number of countries, such as Yi Ti and Asshai, which are mentioned occasionally, but nothing of significance has happened there. Ultimately it's doubtful that every single place mentioned will be important.
  • Similarly, in the first two books of The Wheel of Time, the reader is led to assume this of all Ajahs but the Blue, Red and Brown : no mention of them in the glossaries, no relevant characters (Alanna and Alviarin are featured but have done nothing yet)... This isn't helped by the fact that at this point the reader has seen only (apparently) good Blues and bad Reds. The later books help rectify this.
  • WindClan serves as this for Warrior Cats as they are neither the designated villains like ShadowClan,the protagonists like ThunderClan,or the neutral softy like RiverClan. In fact they weren't even in the first book,made almost no appearance in the third and fourth books, and a minor one in the fifth book. Only in the 2nd and 6th books are they important, otherwise before Starlight they were simply "ThunderClan's allies", then Tallstar died making them the focus one last time, but once Onestar took over WindClan just became RiverClan.
  • Dune has this with pretty much any house that isn't Atreides or Harkonnen — House Richese in particular, which is essentially "like Ix, but not quite as much".
  • 1984 takes place in Oceania, one of three empires that each rule a third of the world. The other two empires are Eurasia and Eastasia. Eurasia and Eastasia are there only to have wars with each other and with Oceania, while repeatedly changing alliances. They are all even described as using political systems functionally identical to each other.
  • Codex Alera:
    • There are three main villains who want to usurp the First Lord's throne. Two are major characters, but the third, High Lord Rhodes, is not. While we're told he's both very smart and incredibly ruthless, he lacks both High Lord Aquitaine's personal flair and High Lord Kalarus's spectacular sadism, meaning he tends to get shoved into the background and namedropped every so often so we know he's still there.
    • There are three non-human species surrounding Alera. Icemen, while they've been at war with Alera more continually than any of the other nonhuman factions (about 300 years solid), their attacks are confined to a particular region in the far north where the POV characters almost never go, meaning they get comparatively little pagetime and development.
    • The Canim have three castes: Warrior, Ritualist and Workers. According to Nausug, the workers are actually the 'ruling' caste in that the other two do what they do for the workers' benefit... Which is somewhat undermined by having several named Canim warriors and ritualists appear during the books, and not a single named worker.
  • The Tales of the Otori:
    • There are five "Great Clans": The Otori, the Tohan, the Seishuu, the Maruyama, and the Shirakawa. However, the only clans featured with any great frequency are the Otori, Tohan, and Maruyama, and even then the Tohan drop off the radar after the first book when their ruling warlord is assassinated. Two principle characters hail from Seishuu and Shirakawa, but the clans themselves are not looked into.
    • The Tribe, an organization of ninja assassins comprised of four families: Kikuta, Muto, Kuroda, and Imai. Only the Kikuta and Muto families matter as most of the villains and heroes of the series hail from those two families, respectively.
  • Honor Harrington:
    • The starmap includes such entities as Matapan, Midgard and Asgard, of which virtually nothing is known. In early books of the cycle, polities like Solarian League or Andermani Empire also counted, but since then they've got more screen-time.
    • The Manticorian Alliance might as well consist of Manticore and Grayson. We learn little of the other members other than that they demand more Manticorian protection after every Havenite attack. The Andermani Empire was built up as The Rival just inches behind Manticore in the Lensman Armsrace in War Of Honor. When they ended up on Manticore's side, their ships spend pretty much the entire war being upgraded, because they weren't up to Manticorian standards after all.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • The two 'other' wizards. Gandalf and Saruman are obviously well known to us and Radagast is mentioned. What little we know of the rest of the wizards' council comes from sundry notes published in Unfinished Tales. Tolkien's eventual answer to the question (in his letters) was basically, "I don't know; they probably went East and founded some religions."
    • There are quite a few nations in the south and at least one in the east that exist almost entirely as names on maps and the occasional reference to "Men under the sway of Mordor" or the like.
  • The Belgariad has Belkira and Beltira. Beldin has a bit more of a personality, but Beltira and Belkira appear to exist mainly for the purpose of not having all Aldur's disciples fall into the Jerk with a Heart of Gold camp (or just Jerk, in the case of former disciple (Bel)Zedar).
  • In Divergent, from all of the factions, Amity gets mentioned the least. None of the transfers to Dauntless are from it, and only one named character is a member of it. Averted in Insurgent, however.
  • Actual werewolves (not shapeshifters like Jacob and co.) are occasionally mentioned in Twilight.
  • In The Hunger Games there are 12 districts that make up Panem (plus the Capitol). Most of the districts are glossed over as only a few of them are plot relevant. Occasionally an important character or detail might come from one of them but for the most part they are pretty irrelevant.
  • "Rabbit's friends-and-relations", a broad term applied to everyone in Winnie the Pooh who isn't Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Owl, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo, Tigger, or Christopher Robin.
  • In Venus Prime, there is mention of a "Latin-African" bloc with its own space stations and a colony on one of Jupiter's moons, but it doesn't play much of a role in the series.
  • This was the fate of the Yuuzhan Vong worker caste in the New Jedi Order. The overwhelming majority of Vong characters in the series are from the warrior caste (understandable, as the series deals with the Yuuzhan Vong while they're at war, so the warriors have become disproportionately influential in-universe). The intendants get Nom Anor, the most heavily featured Vong character in the series, and are important more generally at key junctures (and some material indicates that the current Supreme Overlord was an intendant as well before taking the throne). Priests and shapers each get a significant recurring member (Harrar and Nen Yim, respectively), as well as each producing a couple of Villains of the Book. The Shamed Ones, the absolute lowest rung of Vong society, eventually get a significant subplot as a revolution against the Vong leadership gets underway and they form the bulk of it. The workers, even though they're supposed to form the highest percentage of Vong civilization, are just sort of there, get namedropped as a caste every so often, but an individual named worker never appears across all nineteen books.
  • Some of the Orders of the Rainbow in Nick Perumov's Diamond Sword, Wooden Sword are given characterization, like Arc, Kutul and Nerg. Some are given only iconic characters to extrapolate what they are about from, like Liv and Garam, or given a brief mention of what they practice, like Ugus. And then there are the Orders of Flaviz and Soley, which do no one knows what.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Among the numerous cabins in Camp Half-Blood, The Demeter and Dionysus cabins receive a lot less focus compared to the others. It's even worse for the demigods of minor gods that are all thrown into Hermes cabin or are not even acknowledged by their parent.
  • Brotherband has the Wolves of the brotherband training competition. The main character is Hal, and the Sharks are led by Tursgud. Due to the fact that the Wolves are unable to compete in all assessments, they are disqualified from the overall competition.

    Live Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel:
    • The Powers That Be. They have a few noteworthy contributions: sending painful visions to Doyle and later Cordelia, pulling Angel out of a hell dimension and not much else. There's a reason they were called The Powers That Sit On Their Behinds once. Oh, and they basically fire PTBs that actually do shit. Otherwise, they just sit out the multi-dimensional war between good and evil, preferring to act through their Champion, Angel.0
    • The Watcher's Council, other than being the background for two major characters (Giles and Wesley), is a non-entity for most of the episodes of the series. So much so that when they finally decide to get off their collective asses and do something useful, they get blown up literally moments later.
  • Babylon 5:
    • For most of the series, the Minbari are dominated by the competing Warrior Caste and Religious Caste. The Worker Caste is almost entirely ignored. Even when Delenn rebuilds her people's ruling council and gives the Worker Caste the majority, no members of the caste in question are given speaking parts, and while Delenn gives a stirring speech about how generically great their genericness is, the spotlight stays literally and figuratively on her throughout.
    • The various members of the League of Non-Aligned Worlds, excepting the Drazi and (later) the Brakiri. Except for the occasional focus episode (like Secrets of the Soul for the Hyach) and their ambassadors occasionally saying something in council, they're pretty much relegated to the background. Some League members get it worse than others. As mentioned, Drazi and later Brakiri are the only members to transcend this trope, while the Gaim, Hyach and pak'ma'ra form the "likely to actually say something" subset. Meanwhile, the Vree, Abbai, Yolu and Grome are reduced to background characters after the first season. They're mentioned in dialogue every now and then or are seen sitting in council sessions (and in the case of the Vree their ships show up as part of the allied fleet) but other than that they're unimportant. The most extreme example is the Llort, who never get a speaking part or any focus at all. Their name is never said aloud, and their sole notable presence which wasn't just an extra walking around in the background was one scene where a Llort is receiving medical treatment and Stephen can't understand it.
    • Regarding Earthforce, Mars is the only human colony world discussed in any detail; Sinclair was from there, Garibaldi was stationed there and met Lise there, and it featured in the plot a few times, especially later on. Other colonies get mentioned maybe once, if there's a battle taking place there usually. The colony that Marcus was from never even got a name. This makes some sense given that Earthforce, as the name would suggest, is very Earth-centric.
  • Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined):
    • Every colony except Caprica, Gemenon, Tauron, and Sagittaron; the colony corresponding to Libra was never even given a name on-screen until The Plan (Libran). Picon is given some background importance, as it was the Headquarters of the Colonial Navy. Caprica sheds more light on the Colonies, and there's a full array of background material the writers have access to. The Caprican newsletter and Serge's Twitter are great sources of information and flavor.
    • The Quorum of Twelve, which is pretty powerless and ineffectual compared to President Roslin and Admiral Adama. Lampshaded in season four where the Quorum's feelings of impotence and irrelevance are explored.
    • On the Cylon side, there are models Four and Five, the Simons and the Dorals, who have no "unique" members or much established personality/screen time, although 'The Plan' gave some more importance to Simon.
  • Doctor Who: There are six Chapter-Houses of Time Lords. Each has unique specialties and colors. However, most Time Lord characters important enough to be named are from House Prydon. The new series takes this Up to Eleven, with literally every single on-screen Time Lord wearing Prydonian scarlet and orange.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • "There were once an alliance of four great races, the Asgard, the Nox, the Furlings, and the Ancients." The Asgard and the Ancients are important races in Stargate mythology who turn up often. The Nox made a couple of appearances in the early series but the Furlings never turned up apart from a short gag in episode 200. According to the writers the Furlings only ever existed because they wanted four races, and will remain a Cryptic Background Reference (or even a Running Gag).
    • The Tollan, a planet of humans who had technology beyond that of the Goa'uld but neither the intent nor the brains to use them. While they did help out in small ways on occasion, the Tollan were eventually wiped out to make things harder for SG-1. Their isolationism also makes them something of a Hidden Elf Village.
  • On Greek, the focus is on Zeta Beta, Omega Chi, and Kappa Tau, as well as Iota Kappa Iota during season two...and every other of the approximately 30 houses gets shunted to the side unless they're needed for a plot.
  • In Dad's Army, anyone not in the 'first section', i.e. anyone who's not a main character, is generally part of 'Private Sponge and the others'.
  • Star Trek:
    • The galaxy is divided into four quadrants. The Alpha Quadrant is where it's at: Earth, its major allies and enemies, and every ship named Enterprise do all their boldly going here. The Gamma Quadrant is on the other side of the wormhole in DS9, home to a lot of new races and the Dominion who'd become the biggest threat to the Federation ever. The Delta Quadrant is the setting of Voyager, and home to the Borg. The Beta Quadrant tends to never be mentioned.
      • The big problem is that pretty much every writer ignores attempts to make a canon definition of the Quadrants (if there aren't contradicting ones). Sometimes Earth is in the middle of Alpha Quadrant, at others the 0-degree half-plane (and thus the border between Alpha and Beta Quadrant) by definition goes through the Solar System. When the Romulan and Klingon Empires were the enemy, they were in Beta Quadrant, in the Dominion War they are suddenly "Alpha Quadrant powers".
    • There is a logical in-story for this in Star Trek: Voyager, as the eponymous ship is literally The Only Ship In The Sector. But, still, you have Project Pathfinder which does little to nothing to bring the ship home, although they do provide occasional moral support.
  • In Kamen Rider Kiva, each role within the Checkmate Four has a different job. King makes sure humans don't become too powerful as well as being the Big Bad, Queen makes sure Fangires don't fall in love with humans, and Bishops offer advice to the two roles (saying his role is to enforce the laws of the Fangires, but mostly bugging King and Queen about how they do things, it would seem that his job is to watch the watchers.) Rook, on the other hand? He's mainly The Brute. That's it. It's implied that his job is "genocide duty", but since he completed that job long ago, he's stuck to killing random people as part of a "game" until he got bored of this and tries to get himself killed after doing a bunch of good deeds.
  • Of the founding families in The Vampire Diaries, the Fells are the only ones not to have a main character or a major teenage character. The only prominent members are Logan who was around for a few episodes before being killed twice, and Meredith. Aside from that, all we know about them is that they're very wealthy.
  • The East Baltimore drug dealers in The Wire. Story-wise, the ongoing rivalry between the East Side and West Side gangs is an important part of Season 1's background, and the alliance between the East Side and West Side (leading to the foundation of the New Day Co-Op) is a major plot point from Season 2 onward. Individually, though, none of the East Side dealers apart from "Proposition Joe" Stewart and his nephew/lieutenant Calvin "Cheese" Wagstaff are even mentioned by name, with almost all of the show's drama centered around the machinations of the Barksdale and Stanfield organizations on the West Side.
  • Merlin was constantly referencing the term "the Five Kingdoms". Camelot was clearly one of them, as were the kingdoms of King Olaf and Alined. The other two are never identified.
  • Sons of Anarchy: Of the many gangs on the show you could be forgiven for forgetting that the Grim Bastards even exist. The Chinese fit this trope until season 6.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • There are seven ruling clans in Benalia. The only notable one is Capashen, which is the clan Gerrard belongs to. The other six are never mentioned on any cards and most players have never heard of them.
    • Orvada, supposedly a powerful merchant empire that rivals Benalia, but never mentioned on any cards or in any post-revision novels.
  • Battletech:
    • The Free Worlds League in essence did nothing for some thirty years of in-world time apart from a leadership change and slowly building up the universe's biggest economy and arms industry. It turned out that during that time they were being subverted by an army of evil toaster-worshiping fanatics with an apocalyptic agenda, and nobody noticed.
    • Of the 20 Clans, only 3 to 4 have significant spotlights - an entire novel series was dedicated to curb-stomping Clan Smoke Jaguar after they murdered several hundred thousand civilians from orbit. Clan Jade Falcon had a novel trilogy and has significant impact on the storyline. Clan Wolf likewise had a novel trilogy written about it. Of the rest of the Clans, they are briefly mentioned every once in a while, then promptly ignored. The Wars of Reaving fixed this by having some of those Clans either annihilated or absorbed by the rest.
  • Warhammer:
    • Any Skaven clan that isn't Eshin, Pestilens, Skryre, or Moulder doesn't really matter in the greater scheme of things. Hell, when was the last time Moulder really did anything? This is improved in one skaven book, where smaller clans get special characters. And clan mors have done things for quite some time now.
    • The only things Cathay seems to exist for is to expand the Ogre kingdoms background and give them giant katanas (cathayan longswords).
    • Other human nations that aren't the Empire or Bretonnia get this. Nations like Tilea and Araby get barely mentioned anymore, and the once focused Kislev gets pushed back in the background.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Dark Eldar, whose Codex spent several editions without being updated, described as a race of evil torture-obsessed sociopaths who torture people, and that was about it. Their background was so shallow that many players thought they were some faction of Generically Evil Chaos Space Elves, and even many Dark Eldar players admit that they kind of suck. It took until November 2010 (eleven years after their previous codex) for the Dark Eldar to get a new codex, models that actually look cool, and a complex and interesting back story.
    • For the Tau Empire, the Vespid don't appear as prevalent or numerous as the Kroot, in that we don't know much of their culture or what other military units they might have. The Gue'vesa, Demiurg and Nicassar get an even worse treatment.
    • Of the thousand-odd Space Marine Chapters, about a hundred receive anything more than a name and a colour scheme, and only a handful of those receive any significant spotlight time. If you aren't the Ultramarines, the Blood Angels, the Space Wolves, the Black Templars, or the Dark Angels - especially the Ultramarines - then you're screwed. (Not so coincidentally, each of these Chapters have their own exclusive Codex.) Even fellow first founding Chapters like the Raven Guard and the White Scars are rarely mentioned.
    • Much of the Chaos Legions have become this in recent editions. In the 3.5 Codex each Legion not only got a whole page dedicated to themselves but also special rules (or in the case of the 4 God-specific legions, an entire "book of chaos"), with the sole exception being the Black Legion, as it's noted that the entire book was the template of the Black Legion's tactics. In 4th and 6th edition much of this was lost in favour of streamlining their army list, resulting in players having a harder time fielding more legion-specific armies. The newer focus on Post-Heresy Traitor Chapters rather than the original 9 legions also led to renegade Chapters such as the Red Corsairs and Crimson Slaughter taking center stage, further driving back some of the focus for the original 9.
    • Nearly any Imperial Guard regiments other than Cadians or Catachans get no prominence in the wider scheme of things, and even the Catachans lost some favour after 2nd edition. Armageddon Steel Legion, Valhallan Ice Warriors and Vostroya get more attention than most, and Death Korps of Krieg are widely available at Forge World, but for the rest of the largest military in galactic history they're lucky if they get a footnote.
    • Eldar have a few dozen known Craftworlds, and about six that frequently involve themselves in events, but most of the time Ulthwe or Biel-tan are the ones with the attention. Granted, they are the largest and most active of the Craftworlds, so it makes sense they would have more exposure.
    • The fluff mentions various alien races that are becoming a threat to humanity, however, they are not considered important enough to warrant more than one sentence mentioning them.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! Card Game has Sea Serpent-type monsters, who theoretically function as stronger version of Fish-types, but end up being this most of the time. Fish-types have found their own ground, which has resulted in Sea Serpents being easily the most undermanned type in the game, aside from Divine-Beasts, of which the God Cards are the only three in existence. Sea Serpents are even the only type that doesn't have at least one archtype to call its own. This has become subverted thanks to the Atlanteans.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has three main types of fiends, each operating out of a different plane and each representing a different Character Alignment. There's the Lawful Evil Devils, who live in hell, bargain for souls, and are the classic "tempter and corrupter" archetype of evil. There are the Chaotic Evil Demons, who live in the Abyss and are more the raw force of destruction and desecration type. And then there are...the Yugoloths (sometimes called Daemons). They are Neutral Evil, live in Hades and that's kind of it. In 3.5 edition the Demons and Devils both got entire books devoted to them, but never the Yugoloths, so they missed out on a lot of development. There are much fewer different types known, much less explained about their setting and goals, and they are used far less frequently.
  • Exalted:
    • While there's quite a few Dragonblooded houses Peleps and Tepet are disproportionally represented in mentions. Mnemnon tends to only get attention in relationship to it's house founder and namesake and Cynis wouldn't be mentioned much at all if not for the Slug. The rest barely show up beyond occasionally having a side character surnamed in. House Nellens, being the house least likely to produce Exalts and founded on very thin pretenses, is pretty much engineered to be a Hufflepuff House.
    • For the Sidereal Exalted castes, Secrets and Endings are insanely overrepresented in mentions, flavour texts, background, etc. Chosen of Secrets is the caste of Chejop Kejak and several other high-profile Exalts such as Lupo and the Green Lady, and Nara-O himself is a rather interesting god and has been represented much more often than any other head of houses. Endings has some long-standing characters such as Ahn-Aru or Black ice Shadow and are inherently cool, being assassins and the chosen of Death. Apart from that... Journeys has Ayesha Ura, and probably raises enough interest that we can at least understand how the caste is supposed to work. But Serenity and Battles are really Hufflepuff House.
    • There are 13 Deathlords, of whom 9 get detailed descriptions including their holdings, schemes, armies, story seeds, and Abyssal henchmen. The other 4 are left as nameless silhouettes.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade has its major sect politics split mostly between the larger (and marginally more moral) Camarilla and the monstrous, Antediluvian-hating Sabbat. Further, a sizable majority of the different vampire clans belong to either sect. And then you have clans like the Giovanni, Assamites, and the Followers of Set who don't belong in large numbers to either, and don't involve themselves much in the night-to-night turns of the Jyhad. These groups are still not to be underestimated.

    Theater 
  • Romeo and Juliet: There's actually three clans involved in the fight- in addition to the title characters' families, the Capulets and Montagues, there's the Prince's family (historically, the Scaligers, as evidenced by the Prince's Latinized name Escalus), represented in the plot by the Prince himself, Mercutio, and Count Paris. And just like the other two families, the Prince loses his younger relatives in the course of the plot.

    Toys 
  • BIONICLE's Matoran/Toa come in all sorts of colors and elements, though the primary focus is spent on the main six (Fire, Water, Ice, Air, Earth and Stone) and Light. This results in a whole group of Hufflepuffs including Sonics, Electricity, The Green, Iron, Plasma, Magnetism and Gravity.

    Video Games 
  • Trabia Garden in Final Fantasy VIII is given off-hand references in Disc 1, but never seen until after its destruction. Though one of the party (Selphie) is a transfer student from Trabia.
  • In Final Fantasy IX there are four major political powers on the Mist continent—Alexandria, Lindblum, Bermecia and Cleyra. The first two factions are the most prominent, with Alexandria as The Empire for the first half of the game or so and Lindblum as a safe haven ruled by Reasonable Authority Figure Regent Cid. The other two, you arrive at Burmecia to find it already invaded and destroyed by Alexandria, and once you arrive at Cleyra you get to look around the town for about half an hour or so before it too is invaded and wiped off the map. Though Freya is a Burmecian, the kingdoms themselves may as well vanish once you leave them because they're scarcely mentioned again except for the reparation efforts.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Akavir until Oblivion, and even then the Akaviri are only involved in one quest.
    • In Morrowind the character can only interact with Houses Telvanni, Redoran and Hlaalu. There are mention of the other houses, Dres and Indoril, but apparently they have no holdings or representatives on Vvardenfell Island (the Dres do have an excuse for that: their centre of power is in southern Morrowind, as far away from Vvardenfell as one can get while still being in Morrowind). In the Tribunal expansion, Indoril gets a bit more exposure, and already in the vanilla game they had indirect representation (via the Temple. The Ordinators' armor is called Indoril armor for a reason). More background details on the Dres are revealed, and a bit more in Oblivion, but no Dres personalities are present.
  • In Eternal Darkness, Word of God says there's a fifth, yellow ancient. There is in-game evidence for the yellow ancient's existence, namely the undispellable damaging floor sections, the rune-sealed doorways that require the possession of that rune to remove, the spell-effect coloring shown each time Anthony undergoes physical corruption from having read the cursed scroll, and the same coloring on "neutral" runes that are unaligned with the red, green or blue Ancient. This implies that while the unnamed yellow ancient is a neutral entity who is not directly involved in the conflict between the other four, power can still be drawn from it for spells and traps if the caster has possession of the correct Alignment Rune (such as the initial placement of the damaging floors and rune barriers).
  • In the Suikoden series, there are quite a few countries that seem to be Hufflepuff House, generally the homeland of foreign characters. Subverted in that they tend to become the primary setting of later games while what used to be The Federation and The Empire become Hufflepuff Houses.
  • Ustio and Sapin are treated like this in Ace Combat Zero to Osea and Yuktobania. Especially strange in Ustio's case, as the player character is at the very least a mercenary hired by their government, and the first third or so of the war takes place there.
  • Dragon Age:
    • The Orlesian Empire and the foreign Grey Wardens get this treatment in Dragon Age: Origins, though there are two Orlesian NPCs in Denerim, Leilana was raised in Orlais, and you later meet Riordan, a Grey Warden from Orlais. Justified; the foreign Wardens are too far away to help with the Blight and Loghain's paranoia about another Orlesian invasion prevents the Orlesians from coming to Ferelden's aid. You can learn a little bit more about Orlesian society from codices and a few NPCs but you never actually see it for yourself. In the "Mark of the Assassin" DLC for Dragon Age II, we finally get to see some of Orlais, as well as their often-mentioned but rarely seen Chevaliers.
    • After ten years of World Building, Dragon Age has tons of Fantasy Counterpart Cultures that remain underdeveloped in Origins. The clearest example may be the Avvar, a viking-like culture that had an Origin story associated with it, but was cut for time.
    • The Avvar however, will be the focus of one of the zones in Dragon Age: Inquisition, and one of their number will even become an agent of the inquisition.
    • Despite sending troops to Ostagar and a few in Lothering, the Chassind wilders are ignored entirely in Origins and, aside from a character in "Mark of the Assassin," completely absent from Dragon Age II. It's justified, though, as they're also stated to live in Ferelden's Kocari Wilds, where the Blight breaks out in Origins, while II takes place in another country, so their absence makes sense.
  • Supreme Commander: On maps shown in the mission briefings for the first game, there are several so called "neutral" planets, different groups of them even. This apparent neutrality is the only thing that anyone knows about any of these planets...
  • World of Warcraft:
    • The Nerubians are an ancient insectoid race known for their philosophy, art, and violent xenophobia. They had an underground empire that stretched through the entire continent of Northrend, before it was destroyed by the Scourge. Now they're a remnant desperately trying to strike back at the undead, as well as contending with the stirring of an Old God, the same type of being that created them before they abandoned its worship. Meanwhile, a subspecies within their ranks rises to power serving an unseen emperor they claim will lead them to victory over the Scourge. This is all from outside material; their entire presence in the game consists of a lot of dead Nerubians raised as Scourge, and three living Nerubians, one of which has a name. He asks you to clear out a couple of their cities, with no hint that he has a problem working with humanoids.
    • Out of the playable races, plot-wise, the Burning Crusade races, the Draenei and Blood Elves, tend to be this. In the entirety of the plot afterward, they've contributed approximately nothing, although they're still somewhat popular (especially the Blood Elves, who sometimes top the list of most-selected race and are usually in the top three).
    • Worgen and Goblins are treated similarly, with worgen becoming Night Elves in all but look outside of Gilneas, and goblins essentially just giving the Horde an excuse to look more industrial.
    • As far as player-selected races, the trolls and dwarves tend to be this, being the least-selected races. The trolls became more popular in Cataclysm where their racial leader, Vol'jin actually gets to do stuff and they take back their islands from a level 10 traitor who kept replacing his severed head with a disguised coconut or something.
  • The Umojan Protectorate and the Kel-Morian Combine from StarCraft receive little to no attention at all in the game, despite being some of the more important Terran factions. The Kel-Morian Combine gets nothing more than a minor resource grab mission and a few passing references by various characters, but that's nowhere near the same level as the Umojan Protectorate, which would probably go virtually unknown if not for its inclusion in various Starcraft novels. There's also the Koprulu Liberation Front, remnants of the UED and Confederacy, and the Kimeran Pirates; the KLF was supposed to be featured prominently in Stacraft: Ghost but that became Vaporware. The Umojans get their chance to shine in the backstory, where they're the secret allies of the Mengsk family and help Angus and Arcturus with their anti-Confederate war. In Heart of the Swarm they finally get their day to appear in the game — the first few missions focus on Kerrigan in the care of Valerian and the Umojans.
  • The Kushan of Homeworld are made up of at least six major Kiith (clans), with plenty of backstory. The only one to receive any mention in the first game is Kiith S'jet, from which the Mothership's operator Karen S'jet comes from. Cataclysm namedrops the other Kiith a couple of times, and introduces Kiith Somtaaw. Kiith Soban gets a fairly major representative in Captain Soban in Homeworld 2, who spends much of the game fighting Makaan's forces using guerilla tactics, while the player is off searching the galaxy for ancient artifacts.
  • Several groups in Touhou, including the Kappa, Higan, and the Human Village, possessing one or two representatives and not elaborated upon further, and the Former District of Hell is centered on the residents of the Palace of Earth Spirits more than anywhere else down there. This isn't the case in the manga and Universe Compendiums; for example the tengu are mostly just kind of there in the main games, but are among the most fleshed out societies and characters. As of Symposium of Post-mysticism, the main examples of this trope are Heaven (one character, marginal information) and Makai (all we know is that it exists).
  • In Syndicate (2012), other syndicates like the Castrilos, IIA and Tao are mentioned, but never seen onscreen.
  • In Dune II and Dune 2000, a third party called House Ordos was introduced just to be a third choice between House Atreides and House Harkonnen. House Ordos never occured nor was mentioned in any of the Dune books or any expanded universe source material.
  • The Varrio Los Aztecas from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas receive next to no attention. The only notable thing about them is their leader, Caesar, who functions as a supporting character.
  • The UNSC Army from Halo has only appeared in one game so far, and their sole major character is Colonel James Ackerson, who only appears in the expanded universe (and even then, his death takes place in a comic series that was mostly ignored even by story fans). They're mentioned to be around during Halo 4, but we never actually see them. But at least they're better off than the UNSC Air Force, which has even less screen time, to the point where they only have one character who has a name.
  • In Age of Mythology each faction has three major gods they can worship, and in the campaign one god of each faction assists the heroes, one assists the villains, and one just sits out the whole thing entirely. Hades for the Greeks (whose sole contribution is helping the heroes out of the underworld), Ra for the Egyptians, Odin for the Norse (both of whom do nothing), and Oranos for the Atlanteans (they use his Sky Passages, and that's it).

    Web Comics 
  • In Harry Potter Comics, Rosie Weasley's neurotic indecision lands her in Hufflepuff House. Mostly to Ron's chagrin. Besides hard work, the Hufflepuff's are largely into singing about how adequate they are and putting on Christmas Pageants during Quidditch games.
    • Ironically, Ravenclaw gets most of this treatment by the narrative itself, since the three main student characters are in the other houses (Albus in Gryffindor, Rosie in Hufflepuff, and Scorpius in Slytherin.) The most major Ravenclaw in the story so far is Mac Irdee, an Australian exchange student who's mostly just there to give James someone his own age to talk to.
  • Drowtales:
    • Of the nine major clans, the Nal'Sarkoth, Illhar'dro and Jaal'Darya clans mostly fall into this, though there are indications that the Jaal'Darya may play a bigger role later on. The Nal'Sarkoth are only a partial example, since they play a large role in the Path to Power game on the site, and the Illhar'dro became much more important in chapters 33 and 34 when their home city of Nuqrah'shareh and the civil war there was focused on.
    • Among the other underworld cities, most of the cities that haven't been seen on-screen or covered in sidestories or in subscriber comics are like this. Of the underworld cities listed on this map, Gularg'dasa and Mirat haven't had any information on them revealed, and Shifaye'sindil, the homeland of the clan in Path To Power, fell before the start of the game to a civil war.
  • This is the in-universe standing of the Goblin kingdom in Roommates. The comic has a lot to tell about it and its king, but it's a pretty small scale story so anybody who looks on the big picture overlooks it... which resulted in an epic Calling the Old Man Out by aforementioned king once. But they still failed to do anything world changing (not that they tried).

    Web Original 
  • In A Very Potter Musical Dumbledore remarks that the Sorting Hat isn't there, so he's just been putting anyone who looks like a good guy into Gryffindor, anyone who looks like a bad guy into Slytherin, and the other two can go wherever they hell they want. A distinction was made that since Ravenclaws are smart, they are also good-looking (see: statistically improbable number of temporary love interests are Ravenclaws), so Ravenclaw is the Love Interest House. Hufflepuffs, being generally shown as good-natured and friendly, are the Cannon Fodder House.
  • The Second City Network parodies this in their YouTube video HOGWARTS: Which House Are You?.
    Gryffindor girl: I'm really brave; I'm a Gryffindor!
    Slytherin boy: I'm ambitious; I'm a Slytherin!
    Ravenclaw girl: I'm really smart; I'm a Ravenclaw!
    Hufflepuff girl: I'm a Hufflepuff!
  • In the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, the country with the second highest number of active superheroes (after the United States, and not counting the People's Republic of China, whose "superheroes" are more akin to soldiers than to crimefighters) was Brazil. This was a well-established part of the background world, and yet no Brazilian heroes (or villains, for that matter) were ever presented with any detail past their names and what city in Brazil they protected.
  • Lots of groups at Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe. The Underdogs, the Whitman Literary Girls, the Intelligence Cadet Corps, the Robo Jox... Well, there are tons of them. Some of them get a Day in the Limelight sooner or later.
  • Trinton Chronicles has several factions listed but only two of the groups are ever even seen - The Silence Cult & The Relic Link. Other groups who get a wave are Keeps of the Grove, mostly full of druids, shamans, and gardeners, and to a MUCH lesser extent (like only once) the Night Walkers who are mostly a guild of assassins, thieves, and murderers.

    Western Animation 
  • In season 3 of Winx Club, Beta Academy is introduced as where Chimera is studying to be a fairy, but it is never seen or referenced again.
  • Invader Zim has over a dozen alien species, planets and organisations floating around, but only humans and Irkens ever have significant time devoted to them. The Resisty got an episode though, and they and the Meekrob would have been more important if the series had gone on.
  • Whatever mythical state The Simpsons takes place in has four towns/cities of note. There's Springfield, of course. Then there's Shelbyville, their rival town. Next we have Capital City, a large, modern metropolis which appears to be some hours drive from Springfield and is better than it in nearly every way. And finally, there's Ogdenville, which gets mentioned fairly often but which we know next to nothing about. Our only information about the place is that Springfielders neither hate it like they do Shelbyville, nor envy it as they do Capital City. A later episode reveals they're apparently barley-farming Norwegians. Or were until a rat scandal ended their business and several people left Ogdenville to find jobs elsewhere. It's not known what became of Ogdenville or those who stayed.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: The griffon delegation seen in "Rainbow Falls" is shown again in Equestria Games, but they aren't mentioned in dialog and have no impact on the episode plot, despite placing third in the medal count and winning bronze in the aerial relay.

    Real Life 
  • Canada tends to get this treatment in the media, since most media in the Western World is American. For example: How many World War II movies even mention Canadanote , and when is the last time you got your hands on a C7 assault rifle in a first-person shooter? The CRTC has to enforce the aversion of this trope with CanCon laws which require a certain percentage of all radio and television broadcasts must include Canadian content. Many other countries have similar laws, including Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the EU, Mexico, Israel, South Africa, China, Venezuela and The Philippines. America understandably has no such laws.
  • The nations involved in the 2003 invasion of Iraq who aren't the USA or Britain. This eventually led to the famous Memetic Mutation of the phrase "He forgot Poland".
  • The origin of the term Third World is this trope, the first two "worlds" being the contenders of the Cold War; the Americans and their allies against the Soviets and their allies. The idea was that any nation not participating in such a monumental conflict was "obviously" not important in global politics.
  • The 2010 British General Election is an illustration of this, since the Liberal Democrats are not perceived as overly political (and seem to be lacking in most defining characteristics, good or bad). During an unusually unpredictable run-up to the election, the Liberal Democrats briefly led in the polls, but polling day, their popularity had returned to the same level as 2005. The daft thing being that of the two parties that formed the Lib Dems, the Liberal Party had been around hundreds of years longer than the Labour Party.
    • Before the Liberals effectively disintegrated after World War I, the Labour filled the role Lib-Dems occupy today: the third party that did not matter. The big upheaval in UK electoral politics in 1920s changed that.
  • All of the political parties in the US besides Republican and Democratic. Local and state third-party candidates generally have a decent chance of getting elected, even as high up as Governor. At the Federal level, though, this trope is played completely straight - there are only two third-party candidates in the 112th Senate, and both caucus with the Democrats. A commonly-held belief in American politics is that voting a third-party candidate for President is equivalent to throwing your vote away, and they get considerably less coverage than Dems or the GOP. The Libertarian candidates for the 2012 Election were pretty much ignored by the mainstream press.
    • Part of this is due to the fact that both the Republican and Democratic Parties are much more broadly based and varied in their members' individual stances on issues than in other countries. While Democrats are generally to the left and Republicans to the right, there is considerable overlap in the middle - a Democrat from the South might well be more conservative than, say, a Republican from the Northeast. Historically, third-parties that garnered significant national support in a given election would often see its supporters picked up by one or both of the major parties by adopting said third-party's platform into their own before the next election (most successful third parties usually revolved around a single issue). In other democracies, such deviation from the official party line is often grounds for expulsion - they might end up forming their own party, but if they end up winning seats and getting involved in forming coalition governments they're no longer Hufflepuff.
  • The Canadian Green Party, despite being one of the 4 major parties, is rarely mentioned, given their lack of seats and low influence. In some cases, they're even replaced with the Bloc Québécois, which also gets treated as Hufflepuff house, although some would argue it's actually more of Slytherin than Hufflepuff.
  • Wales is this to the rest of Great Britain. A case could be made for Northern Ireland as well; at least Wales has the Royal Family.
  • The Midwest states that make up Flyover Country are considered this to the rest of the US, as are the states of Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas. The ultimate example of American geography would probably be Delaware (described as "possibly the most obscure American state" in The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson). Aside from housing Dover Air Force Base, being home to the most favorable corporate laws and most well-developed corporate common law, Delaware is a non-entity for most of the population, with, again, the notable exception of everyone whose corporation is headquartered in Delaware for tax reasons (63% of the Fortune 500 are incorporated in Delaware).
  • Australia has South Australia and Tasmania.
  • The University of Pennsylvania once held a campaign where each one of their four schools was assigned a corresponding Hogwarts House. Penn's Nursing School, with the smallest student body and least amount of advertising, corresponded to Hufflepuff.
  • In France, everything that isn't Paris or the Côte d'Azur is this. Just for fun, and don't cheat, can anyone tell where operation Neptune took place?
  • In the Middle East, where every nation seems to be embroiled in conflict or rolling in cash, Oman rarely gets a mention for anything. Jordan is almost as forgettable, except for the fact that it happens to be positioned right in the middle of all the messy countries whereas Oman is on the periphery. Both are reasonably stable but not oil-rich monarchies run by reformist dynasties.
  • Brown was this to the rest of the Ivy League. Then Emma Watson enrolled. University of Pennsylvania often tends to be this too.
  • The Coast Guard is this to the rest of the United States military. Meanwhile, the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps are the two oft-forgotten of the seven uniformed services of the US.
  • The rest of New York State is this to New York City. In New York City itself, Staten Island is definitely the low borough on the totem pole.
  • Manchester is regarded as a thriving go-ahead city which is making a spirited bid to overtake Birmingham as Britain's second city. Its "twin city" Salford, regarded as Pest to its Buda on the other bank of the Irwell... despite attracting the BBC's northern HQ there, generally isn't. Salford still has a rep for being the Crapsack Town embodying everything negative about the North of England.
  • Most of the entire African continent is relegated to this for the rest of the world, despite containing more than 50 nations with more than a billion people. Aside from "starving children in Africa" or a civil war they rarely get a focus in global media, and most people struggle to name any African nation that isn't Egypt, South Africa, and maybe Nigeria or Kenya after Obama came into the limelight. Ethiopia, Rwanda and Somalia might get a mention, but only in reference to the "starving children in Africa" or civil war things, or in Somalia's case, Pirates.
  • In countries with multiple official languages, languages other than the main/majority language might get this treatment. In Belgium, this is German, as it is only spoken by 0.70% of the population in a few municipalities near the German border (not to mention most of the attention is given to the political tension between French and Dutch speakers). In Switzerland, this is Romansh, which is largely restricted to the canton Graubünden. In Singapore, where there are four official languages (English, Malay, Mandarin Chinese, Tamil), this is Tamil, and to a lesser extent, Malay. One might say that languages other than English fall into this trope, as the Singapore government promotes English as the main language and the common language between the different ethnic groups.

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