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Hyper Focused Crowd
A situation where something a crowd would find interesting is happening over or near a crowd of people, yet no one seems to notice it. In fiction this can be helpful for many reasons - it can add excitement or humor, or even drama. Why isn't the crowd noticing?

While it's more understandable that an individual won't notice an Unusually Uninteresting Sight, a crowd has many eyes and ears. Every crowd will have people who aren't paying attention to an event at any given time. At any given time someone will be on their way to or coming back from the bathroom, or didn't really want to be there but went with friends anyway, or isn't really feeling well but came anyway, etc. Even if a crowd really is focused, there are always "support" people (food vendors, ushers, security), who aren't there for the event itself and thus aren't paying attention. Biology even rewards this in herds - a crowd with a few distracted individuals has people who can warn the rest about dangers.

Compare Elephant in the Living Room, only this isn't just ignored - it's flat-out not noticed. Also see Failed a Spot Check and No Peripheral Vision. Plays off of Bystander Syndrome, in that the audience is waiting for the crowd to notice and yet it never does.


  • Sudden Death: The crowd is so caught up in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs - all three periods - that they fail to notice people fighting on the catwalks above them and the fact that the parking lot is full of police cars keeping the building on lockdown.
  • Tower Heist: A bright red car is dangled and swinging from a skyscraper over the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. No one in the crowd below seems to notice.
I Have No SonIgnored IndexI Was Never Here

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