Ignorant Minion

"So...do you think we're working for the bad guy?"
—Bobo, The Muppets

Not all minions are evil. Some simply don't know better, either due to stupidity or just naïveté.

If the reveal results in a Heel–Face Turn, it leads to Conspiracy Redemption.

A subtrope of Minion with an F in Evil. Compare with Dumb Is Good.

Compare Punch Clock Villain.


Anime And Manga

Films — Animated

Films — Live-Action

Live-Action TV
  • Alias: Most of the people working for SD-6 don't know it's a terrorist organization, they think they're working for the CIA.
  • In Battlestar Galactica, Boomer didn't consciously know she was a Cylon at first, and was a sleeper agent within the fleet (who was triggered to do a couple acts of sabotage by Cavil using a sort of hypnotic suggestion involving a carved trinket, then "re-sleepered", as revealed in the movie The Plan). After she was fully conscious of what she was, she ended up in a Heel–Face Revolving Door throughout the show, as her human experiences and Cylon nature conflicted.
  • In the B movie and Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode I Accuse My Parents, young Jimmy starts working for local gangster Charlie Blake without realizing Charlie is a gangster. He thinks he's just delivering legitimate messages and packages. Considering the fact that Charlie looks, talks and acts like a gangster, this plot point is not too believable.
  • For much of the fourth season of Babylon 5, Garibaldi, having gone through a More Than Mind Control experience, is unaware that he is essentially working for Bester, in an operation to infiltrate tycoon William Edgars' organization which is developing a biological weapon against telepaths. When he finds out in a Just Between You and Me speech by Bester, there's a Big "NO!", and from there he works for the day he can get revenge on him for using him, probably especially because it caused him to betray a good friend along the way.
    • Mr Endawi of Earth Force intelligence comes aboard B5 to ask questions about the siteing of a shadow vessel unaware that Earth Gov has been suborned and that he is being used indirectly by the shadows to find out what their enemies know. None of the actions he takes or the questions he asks are unreasonable and he would have no possibility of knowing what he is being used for.
  • An episode of That Mitchell and Webb Look parodies this trope with two SS officers. One asks the other if they're the bad guys, and points out that their uniforms have skulls on them.

Video Games

Web Animation
  • The Freelancers in Red vs. Blue think for the longest time that they're fighting the good fight, their boss the Director is a good guy, and the Insurrection are the bad guys. Not quite. Some of the Freelancers do eventually experience a Conspiracy Redemption.
    York: I felt it since Texas showed up. And when cops and military started shooting at us, yeah, I find I just keep coming back to the same question in my head over and over again.
    North: And what question is that?
    York: We're the good guys... right?
    North: Yeah, of course we are.
    York: You don't sound so sure of yourself.
    North: No. No, I suppose I don't.

Web Comics

Western Animation
  • Penny from The Mighty B!, whenever she's hanging out with Portia and Gwen instead of Bessie.
  • Da Bears from The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog were this in their first appearance when Scratch and Grounder tricked them into thinking that they were Sonic and Tails and that Sonic and Tails were Scratch and Grounder.
  • Stegmutt from Darkwing Duck was this to Dr. Fossil at first. He had no idea about his master's true intentions, until near the end of the episode.
  • Valerie from Danny Phantom, who doesn't realise Vlad is a villain until season 3.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons Homer takes a job with an affable new boss, completely unaware that he's a Bondian supervillain trying to Take Over the World (and partly succeeds), not even noticing when he quits in the middle of a firefight.
    Homer: Say, what's going on?
    Hank: I'm having a little trouble with the government.
    Homer: Oh, those jerks always walking over the small businessman.
    • The real clincher is arguably that Homer helps recapture a James Bond expy, and he STILL doesn't realize what his boss is up to. He was even in the room when said boss was giving his evil speech, but was occupied with the candy machine.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012): It's eventually revealed that both Dogpound and Karai have been tricked by the Shredder that Splinter was the one who betrayed Shredder, rather than the opposite.
  • Avatar The Last Airbender: A lot of the Fire Nation people are arguably like this, as Fire Lord Ozai has a personality cult around him, apparently.