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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.


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    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.
  • For a series that takes Everything's Better with Princesses to the highest level (besides maybe Fushigiboshi no Futago Hime), Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch 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.
  • The European Union in Code Geass 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 and titled Code Geass: Akito the Exiled.
    • Australia gets this even worse - Mao mentions he has a house there, 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.
  • Similar to Code Geass, 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. Even considering how dangerous Ali Al-Saachez is, being the archenemy of at least two Gundam Meisters, it 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 has this with 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 as of late, 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 1st Division seems to be the administration, since except for Commander Yamamoto and his lieutenant (who wears different clothes than the other lieutenants), not one shinigami of the 1st squad has ever been seen or mentioned.
    • There is also the "Kido Corps". Their 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.
    • Should be noted that the specialisations of each division appear to be up to the Captains themselves: Divison 12 only became the Science division after Urahara took over; Division 4 is Medical because Unohana, the longest serving Captain after Yama-jii, is a medical specialist; Division 2 is assassination because of Yoruichi, since members of her House are usually the head of the quite seperate Assassination Corps, resulting in close ties between the two whenever a member of said House is made a Shinigami Captain; and Division 11 was once taken over by a Kenpachi- a title reffering to "the strongest"- and, well, the only way to become Kenpachi is to beat or kill the old holder, which by coincidence is also a method of becoming a Captain (plus, you'd need Captain level skills to win such a fight anyway). The reason the other Divisions are more neutral is because, well, all of the Divisions are neutral by default.
  • According to Word of God for Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, 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.
    • Speaking of Earth Alliance, 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, 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.
  • 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 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.

    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 Bat Man 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 

  • 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'.
  • To avoid the Elves becoming this in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Peter Jackson had a contingent of Elves show up to help the heroes. In the books, the Elves and Dwarves are absent because they are fighting Sauron's other armies on their own home fronts. One line reveals this is likely true of the dwarves in the films as well, but it's possible the extra trouble in making people dwarf sized on screen in large numbers prevented them playing a visible role. The video game Lord of the Rings 2: Battle for Middle-earth and the Games Workshop tabletop game expand the scope to show some of the Elves' and Dwarves' perspective.
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Harry Potter Hufflepuff, the Trope Namer, and Ravenclaw. Word of God says that they are good at stuff, they're just humble and don't boast like the other Houses. The claimed sorting parameters vary through the series, though. Hufflepuff are in one instance basically called all-the-rest and at their grandest are praised for dedication and dependability (distinct from the more heroic-oriented Gryfindor flavour of loyalty).
    • Hufflepuff has very little to do in the series. 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. The Sorting Hat's song at one point even has the other three house founders selecting students for specific strengths and Helga Hufflepuff saying she'll take the leftovers. Referenced in this humorous image, where each of the four houses discuss their personality traits. They're also the only house whose Common Room is never seen in the books; Harry only ever mentions noticing that the Hufflepuffs head towards the kitchen when going to their Common Room.
      • Hannah Abbot, Susan Bones, Cedric Diggory, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Ernie Macmillian, Zacharius Smith, Professor Pomona Sprout, and Auror Nymphadora Tonks are all known Hufflepuffs.
      • Susan Bones is known for the deaths of at least her cousins, uncles, and two aunts. The unmarried aunt is Amelia Bones (the witch in charge of Harry's hearing in Book Five).
      • Hannah Abbott marries Neville.
      • Zacharias Smith is known as the critic.
      • Ernie Macmillan, probably the Hufflepuff who gets the most individual attention apart from Cedric Diggory, is more or less a younger, toned-down version of Percy Weasley.
      • Justin Finch-Fletchley is a victim of the Basilisk in the second book; afterwards he pretty much only appears as Ernie Macmillan's less-strongly-characterized friend.
      • There's a Chaser on the Hufflepuff Quidditch team named Cadwallader, who only stands out because Luna can't remember his name while commentating for the match.
    • 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.
      • Amusingly enough, the two Ravenclaw prefects are two of the only three named characters from Harry's year (less than the four or perhaps five in Hufflepuff). Padma Patil, Parvati's twin sister (and Ron's date for the Yule Ball), has some characterization. Both Anthony Goldstein, the other Prefect, and Terry Boot are just Satellite Characters, who get mentioned a couple of times in Book 5. It actually takes some thought to come up with Ravenclaw characters after Luna and Cho Chang.
      • Padma is the only named Ravenclaw in Harry's year to appear in the movies, and in them she's a Gryffindor.
      • The other Ravenclaw characters mentioned besides the five above come out to be Roger Davies, Michael Corner, Penelope Clearwater, Marietta Edgecombe, and Marcus Belby. Most are less memorable than the Hufflepuff characters.
      • Penelope was the girlfriend of Percy Weasley and a victim of the basilisk attack. Michael Corner might be remembered as Ginny's short term boyfriend. Marietta was disfigured for life for 'snitching' on Dumbledore's Army when her mother's job in the Ministry was threatened. Roger played Quidditch. Marcus Belby came from a prominent family (his uncle is credited with developing the Wolfsbane Potion as a lycanthropy treatment) but Marcus himself doesn't play any major roles.
      • It has been revealed through Pottermore that Quirinus Quirrell, Gilderoy Lockhart, and Ollivander were Ravenclaws.
  • 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, ▄berwald, 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.
    • Somewhat justified in that a lot of those places are there to be the far off, poorly understood Britain to Ankh-Morpork's Rome. Or the vague, far away, squiggly bits on the map that haven't really been explored by "civilized" people. Most of your average people don't know much about them except that there's some war going on, they're weird foreigners who paint themselves blue, and that's where we get tin from. And even when there is a book set in Genua or Borogravia, they can still drift back into Hufflepuff territory by subsequent books or to other characters. Klatch is still kind of just the place with the coffee, and the weird foreigners, and curry. Genua is where Madam Meserole may or may not be from.
  • 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.
  • Villainous example- in the Codex Alera series, 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.
    • From the same series, the Icemen might be this. 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 Tales of the Otori series features 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.
    • There's also 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.
  • The starmap of David Weber's Honor Harrington 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.
    • A preview chapter release suggests they are heavily involved in the plot of 'A Rising Thunder' as Plan Laco÷n is all about seizing the wormhole networks.
    • In general, 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 two 'other' wizards in The Lord of the Rings. 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."
    • The few references to them that do exist seem to indicate that they're a couple (not in the romantic sense, just that they're somehow linked to each other). While Saruman is "the White", Radagast is "the Brown" and Gandalf is (at least initially) "the Grey", the other two are referred to as "the blue wizards."
    • Also from Tolkien's works: 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.
  • In the Belgariad, Belkira and Beltira are essentially this. 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.
  • Long before Hufflepuff House, there was "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.
  • 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.

    Live Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel give us 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. If The Apocalypse was Buffy Season 8, well, looks like they'll need a new champion, seeing as Buffy and Angel said fuck no to starting the new universe.
    • The Watcher's Council also fits. Other than being the background for two major characters (Giles and Wesley), the Council 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 (no political symbolism there...). 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.
    • There's also 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.
    • There's also 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.
  • 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 divides the galaxy 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.
    • Nothing was known about the Gamma Quadrant until DS9 and nothing about the Delta Quadrant until one ship had the misfortune to have to travel through it. So until those series, the Alpha Quadrant races knew almost nothing about the rest of galaxy except the Beta Quadrant, which actually happens to contain most of the Klingon and Romulan Empires as well as part of the Federation.
    • Well, according to various novels and reference books it does but there's been no mention of that in any of the series, where most of the time they either imply or outright state that all major races who aren't the Dominion or the Borg come from the Alpha Quadrant. If you counted up the references to the Beta Quadrant in canon, you probably wouldn't run out of fingers and most of those suggest it's within easy travel of Federation space but there's nothing important there.
    • According to some maps, Cardassia Prime is in the Beta Quadrant as well, though this is never brought up in the show, and Memory Alpha says it's in the Alpha Quadrant.
    • 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 
  • In 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. Magic is full of Hufflepuff Houses and Cryptic Background References.
    • After Magic started consciously giving a greater amount of respect and focus to the story and setting, the creative team ends up producing a tremendous amount of material from which to draw inspiration for mechanics, spells, and legendary creatures. A superfluous amount in fact, just so they'll have the most potential amount of information to draw from. Considering that most players only have a passing involvement in the story, most of it ends up rather Hufflepuffian to all but the hardest of hardcore story nuts.
  • In 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 because the rest of the state was so dull and peaceful.
    • The FWL was hardly dull and peaceful as it is either in civil war, or fighting its neighbors once in a while.
    • This trope hits the Clans pretty hard. 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.
    • The Ghost Bears suffered this the worst of the Clans; they were one of the original Invading Clans, meaning they were considered one of the four Clans that was powerful enough to bring the war to the Inner Sphere, yet the number of books that focus on them can be counted on a hand. If you include only print novels, that's just two unconnected stories. Presumably, this is why they got their own game in the MechWarrior 2 trilogy.
  • Any Skaven clan in Warhammer that isn't Eshin, Pestilens, Skryre, or Moulder doesn't really matter in the greater scheme of things. Hell, when was the last time Pestilens or Moulder really did anything? (Well, maybe the time that Pestilens singlehandedly brought the entire Lizardman civilization to its knees.)
    • This is improved in the new skaven book, where smaller clans even get special characters. And clan mors have done things for quite some time now. In warhammer Cathay could qualify however as the only things it seems to exist for is to expand the ogrekingdoms background and give them giant katanas (cathayan longswords).
  • 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.
    • 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 later on thanks to Yu Gi Oh Zexal, as The Rival in that show has his archetype built around this unloved type.
  • 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 has:
    • The Dragonblooded houses. While there's quite a few of them 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.
    • Another occurence of that trope are 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.
    • Given Selphie's personality, one has to wonder if it's all a Cloud Cuckooland.
    • It is heavily implied in-game that Trabia is Garden's Military Intelligence arm, and the general kookiness and secrecy of the students is either a side effect of dealing with information overload or is an act to keep people from prying into their business too much.
  • 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.
  • Yokuda in The Elder Scrolls. Until Oblivion, Akavir fit this trope as well, 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.
    • While Yokuda hasn't been featured, Yokudans have been, in some games fairly prominently — the Redguards are descended from Yoku refugees (Yokuda may or may not have been destroyed), and several of their cultural traits are directly stated to hail all the way back to Yokuda.
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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...
  • The Nerubians in World of Warcraft 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 of course, 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. Arcturus's son Valerian is his son through the daughter of an Umojan diplomat, though the relationship between Mengsk and the Umojans soured during (offscreen) events in Brood 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.
    • Though not canon, the famous player-made campaign for the first game "The Antioch Chronicles" make the main Terran characters Kel-Morians (and through them the faction is a major antagonist).
  • The Kushan of the Homeworld universe 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.
  • Several groups in Touhou, including the Kappa, Higan, and the Human Village, possessing one or two representatives and not elaborated upon further. The Former District of Hell is beginning to get like this, centered on the residents of the Palace of Earth Spirits more than anywhere else down there. Makai, not seen for seven games, is also like this but for other reasons.
    • A lot of this is due to how the series' worldbuilding works; most characters show up in one main game and get a brief profile mostly detailing their involvement in the current incident, with most actual detail showing up in fanbooks and sidestories. For example, the tengu are mostly just kind of there in the main games, but are among the most fleshed out societies and characters if you include the side material. As of Symposium of Post-mysticism, the main examples of this trope are probably 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.
    • At least they're better off than the UNSC Air Force, who have zero named characters and even less screen time.

    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.
  • Of the nine major clans in Drowtales, 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 
  • A Very Potter Musical has the famous line: "What the hell is a Hufflepuff?" "Hufflepuffs are exceptionally good finders!"
    • 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. Which makes Ravenclaw basically a less iconic Hufflepuff.
    • 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.
  • A particularly hilarious motivational poster posits that members of Hufflepuff House function as sexual dynamos whose sole purpose is to keep the Wizarding World population up while the other Houses are busy trying to kill each other off. Given that their Common room is apparently said to resemble a large cosy bedroom, this actually may not be too far off the mark.

    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. In that episode, it's shown they're usually fans of the Minnesota Vikings. Milhouse opposed that, claiming Springfield as Tenesee Titan territory.
    • While both Ogdenville and North Haverbrook have acknowledgements outside of "Marge vs. the Monorail", Brockway doesn't.

    Real Life 
  • Canada tends to get this treatment in the media, since most media is American. For example: How many World War II movies even mention Canada, and when is the last time you got your hands on a C7 assault rifle in a first-person shooter?
    • In fact, 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.
  • Both World Wars saw the involvement of many countries beyond those which are commonly thought of as Axis, Allies, or Central Powers. The Other Wiki provides comprehensive lists for World War I and World War II.
    • Though these countries don't get much fame and many even had direct contact with the wars, this trope is averted in that many of them were still crucial to the war. Where would the Allies have been without basic supplies from countries like Argentina?
  • A similar, more recent example is the nations involved in the 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 were the First World, and the Soviets and their allies made up the Second World.
    • Offically, no distinction was ever made as to which of the two superpowers during the Cold War was the First World, and which the Second. However, since the Soviet Union collapsed, it's pretty much a given to think of the First World as Eagleland.
    • However, the First World Problems meme has brought the use of the term "first world" back into light.
    • Moreover Third World originates from Third Estate, as opposed to the clergy and the nobility which were named First Estate and Second Estate.
  • 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.
    • Doesn't help that the Lib Dems also adopt a warm, Hufflepuff yellow as their colour of choice, whilst the other, major political parties adopt red and blue. However, the party that uses green are even more marginal than the Lib Dems (although substantially less evil than Slytherin).
  • 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, 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.
    • In many cases, this is a Justified Trope. Many third party candidates have no intention of attempting to actually win the election. The only purpose of running for office is to call attention of a specific issue. Running a third party candidate during an election can usually draw more attention to an issue with less effort and money than a direct lobbying effort. In some cases, the only real purpose to running the candidate at all is to get the party name listed on election materials, which is why some third parties have extremely descriptive names that calls attention to one specific issue.
  • 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.
    • Also 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).
      • Delaware's major claim to fame is being the first colony to become a state.
  • 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 C˘te d'Azur is this. Just for fun, and don't cheat, can anyone tell where operation Neptune took place?
  • In any war, any neutral nations will appear as this.
  • 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.
    • 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.

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