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->''In suspended animation my childhood passed me by''
->''If I speak without emotion, you'll know the reason why''
->''Now I'm to begin a life that I'm assigned''
->''A life that's been lived before a thousand times''
-->-- '''Music/TheWho''', ''905''

In any given society that works via a collective or HiveMind, the introduction of individuality into a single member can have one of several consequences.
# The individual is destroyed or removed, either by the other members of the collective or by some internal mechanism such as an AssimilationAcademy. This individual is deemed dangerous and therefore not a part of the social order.
# The society is destroyed, since the structure itself is so finely balanced that the introduction of a different element into it proves catastrophic. This can lead to chaos or genocide. (Then again, it can also lead to a great awakening where other members discover their ''own'' individuality and it turns out that life is better that way. But naturally the collectivized version of society didn't really see that in advance.)
# Something crucial that the collective protects or maintains is destroyed, which can be anything from a single structure to the known multiverse.

See also AssimilationPlot, where individuality isn't just illegal, it's ''physically impossible''. See also TheEvilsOfFreeWill, where this is also illegal, or at least someone [[ThereShouldBeALaw wishes it was]], but not really a problem thanks to MindControl and MassHypnosis. AllOfTheOtherReindeer is also somewhat related to this trope, and also the "Aliens as Communists" section of ScaryDogmaticAliens. If individuality is frowned upon instead of being illegal, see LonersAreFreaks.

See also LossOfIdentity, the consequence of this on former individuals.



* The premise of ''Anime/DeadLeaves'' is this. People who show signs of individuality who don't conform with society are considered to be mutants and sent to a prison up on the moon. Most of the prisoners literally are mutants though.

* In ''ComicBook/InfiniteCrisis'', the Monitor/Anti-monitor dichotomy is fractured into multiple Monitors, one per remaining alternate Earth. During much of ''ComicBook/CountdownToFinalCrisis'' they are too busy arguing to stop the events that are destroying the remaining 52 worlds. As [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]] put it;
-->'''Monitor A:''' "We should '''do something!'''" \\
'''Monitor B:''' "Should we '''do something?'''" \\
'''Monitor A:''' "We should '''do something!'''" \\
'''Monitor B:''' "Should we '''do something?'''" \\
'''Monitor A:''' "We should '''do something!'''" \\
'''Monitor B:''' "Should we '''do something?'''" \\
'''Monitor C:''' "We're '''CHANGING!"''' \\
'''Monitor A:''' "We should '''do something!'''" \\
'''Monitor B:''' "Should we '''do something?'''" \\
(ad infinitum)
** Fortunately, we get rid of them in ''ComicBook/FinalCrisis''. ''Permanently''. ([[DeathIsCheap For now.]])
*** As if that was any bet[[InterruptingMeme ALL IS ONE IN DARKSEID!!]]
* This is the driving force of Adam Susan's philosophy in ''ComicBook/VForVendetta'' although he gets better. [[RedemptionEqualsDeath Then]]...

* ''Fanfic/EmpathTheLuckiestSmurf'': In Psychelian culture, personal pronouns are forbidden, thus all Psyches must refer to themselves as "this one". Empath, being raised in Psychelia, eventually has "this smurf" as his personal VerbalTic.
* In ''[[FanFic/SovereignGFCOrigins Origins]]'', a ''MassEffect''[=/=]''StarWars''[[spoiler:[=/=]''[=Borderlands=]''[=/=]''[=Halo=]'']] MassiveMultiplayerCrossover, this is played straight with the geth, then subverted. Thanks to [[HandWave something related to helping fix another extra-galactic malfunctioning AI]] some geth begin to exhibit individualism, culiminating in an amicable faction split between the Consensus geth and the new "nar tasi" ("children of no one") group that operate as individuals (though still being collections of runtimes--they won't reassociate with other runtimes outside their group the way "normal" geth do).

* ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour'', iconically.
* ''Literature/{{Anthem}}'' by Creator/AynRand has a society where collectivism has become so extreme that [[LanguageEqualsThought singular pronouns have disappeared]], and [[spoiler:anyone who (re)discovers first-person singular pronouns is publicly executed]]. In fact, all the novels of Creator/AynRand feature this trope as the ideal of the villains.
* In the sci-fi mystery short story "[[Literature/EightWorlds The Barbie Murders]]" by Creator/JohnVarley, the investigators are hard-pressed to investigate a murder in a colony of "Conformists", all of whom are surgically altered to look exactly the same (thus nicknamed "Barbies") and who all receive news simultaneously, not distinguishing between themselves ("this body") and others. Individualists within the colony are seen as outsiders at best (as with the investigators) and perverts at worst (as with the murder victim, who was a converted Barbie who still engaged in individualist practices).
* Played for laughs with the motivational posters in ''Literature/CaptainUnderpants''.
* Not illegal, but the ''Literature/DarkNestTrilogy'' has HiveMind insects called the Killiks, who have [[HiveCasteSystem several species]], each with its own slightly different HiveMind. Killiks can force people of other species to join the HiveMind, at which point they still answer to their names and have their abilities, but are wholeheartedly in support of Kilik conquest, and are referred to as Joiners. A Jedi Joiner, serving a species that's not the same hive that conscripted her, finds her Joiner-ness fading, less information coming to her through the HiveMind, and her individuality creeping back. As a Joiner, this horrifies her.
* The Auditors of the Literature/{{Discworld}} are creatures of pure law and order, who loathe individuality so much that any Auditor who uses the personal pronoun "I" tends to spontaneously vanish, to be replaced by another, identical Auditor. In ''Discworld/ThiefOfTime'', a number of Auditors take human form, and their excursion to the Discworld ends in chaos and bloodshed, with the only survivor driven hopelessly insane and [[spoiler:[[SenseFreak committing suicide in a vat of chocolate]]]].
** Mind you, the rogue Auditor is hopelessly insane ''by Auditor standards''. For [[PunyHumans humans]], [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampires]], [[AllTrollsAreDifferent trolls]], [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent werewolves]], and [[EverythingsDeaderWithZombies zombies]], she's a bit of a SenseFreak, but otherwise a rather nice, if [[BlankSlate inexperienced]], woman.
** Of note is ''why'' Auditors spontaneously vanish if they develop an individual identity: they decided that since any individual existence inevitably ends after a length of time and any length of time is miniscule compared to the age of the universe, [[InsaneTrollLogic they will immediately disappear if they develop their own identities]].
* In ''Literature/TheGiver'', the Community is run by a very precise set of rules-people have been engineered so that they all look the same, experience more or less the same things, and react with the same quiet contentment and patience, and any deviance from this (see Asher's "snack"/"smack" incident) is punished. Breaking the rules thrice results in Release.
* The titular character in ''Literature/HarrisonBergeron'' is one who can cast off the oppressive laws of an "egalitarian" state where the strong are forced to carry heavy weights and the smart must wear earphones that distract them every few seconds by loud noises.
* Creator/FriedrichNietzsche implied that the human society in general works as a hive mind and invented the concept of {{Ubermensch}} who had enough individuality not to bend backwards. This idea was immediately dubbed "villain morality".
* This is how the ants are portrayed in ''Literature/TheOnceAndFutureKing'' by T.H. White, when Merlin takes Wart into an anthill.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''
** It is a rule in The Guild of the Faceless Men. You have to be 'no one'. They will ask you. They will know if you lie.
** The Unsullied are an army of slave soldiers who have been trained to obey any command and lack any personal desires. They are each given a new (generally humiliating) name every day, which is picked randomly.
* D-503 in ''Literature/{{We}}'' is actually ''horrified'' to find himself developing an individual personality.
* One of the main characteristics of the clone society in Kate Wilhelm's ''Literature/WhereLateTheSweetBirdsSang.''
* In ''Literature/AWrinkleInTime'', the inhabitants of Camazotz are subjected to extreme, enforced conformity, ruled by an entity known as IT. All houses, yards, and trees are exactly the same, and deviation from the regular, psychic rhythm of IT results in harsh punishment and reconditioning. At one point, Charles Wallace, who is demonstrated to be psychically sensitive, willingly enters the mind of IT and becomes cold and sociopathic, [[spoiler:ultimately only recoverable by his sister's love.]]
* In the ''Franchise/StarTrekNovelVerse'', the Breen are allowed to be individuals, but not ''too'' individual. They have an egalitarian multi-species society based on masking species so there is no possibility of prejudice or favouritism based on it. This inevitably means hiding other aspects of themselves as well, so as not to give cues as to what their [[PlanetOfHats hat]] is.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'' has an interesting take on this. All humanoid Cylon models have personalities attached to their models. They also have a limited form of memory sharing/collective consciousness. Despite these, however, every single humanoid Cylon is an individual. The catch? They don't ''realise'' they are individuals. WordOfGod says it is the slow realisation of individuality that puts Cylons into an increasingly fractured state until it finally [[EnemyCivilWar blows]].
** In addition, different models have different opinions on how "individual" a Cylon should be from his/her model. Ones (Cavils) believe in complete uniformity, Sixes believe in individuality but draw the line at opposing their model, and Eights seem almost eager to break it and find their own identity at the cost of everything else.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': The Unsullied have been trained all their lives to obey any command by their owners and to lack any personal desires. To reinforce this they are renamed after vermin (Grey Worm, Black Rat, etc.) and refer to themselves as "this one" rather than "I."
* A prominent theme in the Village in ''Series/ThePrisoner1967'', especially in the episode "A Change of Mind". Unmutual!
* The ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode "The Return of the Archons" had a civilization mentally controlled by a mad computer. Anyone who escaped control was brainwashed into rejoining "The Body". Anyone unaffected by the brainwashing was killed. The uncontrolled members helped the Enterprise crew destroy the control computer.
* The Borg seem susceptible to such monkey wrenches. One such individual named "Hugh" (from the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "I, Borg") comes to mind...
* ''Series/TheTwilightZone1959'': The episode "Number 12 Looks Just Like You" centered on a world where once every person comes of age, they are forcibly given plastic surgery and a personality change to make them beautiful and identical to everyone else. The protagonist is a slightly plain faced girl who desperately wants to be herself.

* On the album ''The Adversary'' by Music/{{Ihsahn}}, several if not all songs seem to deal with the idea that the "genius" is unappreciated and rejected in human society.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'': She Who Lives in Her Name, otherwise known as the Principle of Hierarchy, believes that free will and individuality are horrible mistakes that ought to be corrected, and has Charms that help to make this trope a reality. Ironically, she herself has free will, something she abhors with her entire being and tries to stamp out through absolute and loyal service to her King, Malfeas.
** When the defeated Primordials surrendered, ending the Primordial War, She Who Lives in Her Name was willing to acknowledge, submit to, serve, and loyally take her place in a new hierarchy with the Incarnae and Exalted at the top. The victors decided to imprison her in Malfeas anyway and, in a fit of rage, she unleashed [[ApocalypseHow The Three Spheres Cataclysm]].
* In the game ''[[http://tinyurl.com/c8ek4w Zero]]'', the {{PC}}'s are former members of the Equanimity, an underground hive mind revolving around Queen Zero. They must escape from their now-hostile former comrades.
* ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'': The Tau's Greater Good philosophy doesn't ''quite'' extend this far: the Tau recognize the usefulness of individuality, but everything they do needs to be for the good of all instead of just the individual (and it's hinted this may be enforced via pheromones or mind-control helmets).

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Unusually a ''positive'' example of this trope appears in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2''. The geth, the main enemy from the first game turn out to be a mostly peace-loving species with a 5% minority who are hostile to the organic races; they represent the most individualistic, "rebellious" part of their highly collectivist culture (justified by the fact that as individuals the geth aren't even sentient), and effectively brainwashing them to return to the collective is the ''good'' decision to make (as opposed to blowing them up). Of course they were [[HoistByHisOwnPetard Hoisted By Their Own Petard]], since they were planning to do exactly the same thing to the main collective.
** Legion (your geth Team mate) is out right ''terrified'' by the ideal of the geth becoming individualistic, when you try to claim its a good thing.
** All this may be justified by the geth's true nature: the geth are AI's, and become more intelligent when linked together. This is why there are always many geth in one platform (robot). To the geth, individuality means mental regression, so they despise it.
** And yet, in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', one of the options regarding the geth is to upgrade them to full-AI status, which would mean that they are now individual programs instead of conglomerations of semi-sentient programs. But that way, you upgrade the strength of the programs themselves. Earlier, individuality would be like each program having a different mind; since they are in one platform, it wouldn't work. But if they are all full AIs and work as such, individuality would most definitely work.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Penumbra}}: Black Plague'' a failed attempt to assimilate you into the HiveMind results in one of the members being stuck in your head. "Clarence" hates it so much that will try to lead you to your death in order to die with you or reintegrate. When you [[spoiler: finally manage to transfer him into another body, he is quickly destroyed by other members of the HiveMind as he's become too unique during the time he spent inside you.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''''There cannot be one. There can only be us all. There cannot be one. There can only be us all...''''']]
* In ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne'' [[spoiler:Hikawa]]'s goal is to create a society based on this trope. And [[WorldOfSilence another one]].
* The Zerg of ''VideoGame/StarCraft'' zigzag this. The vast majority of Zerg are non-intelligent animals, acting as one and guided by higher intelligences. However, the "controllers" of the Zerg (Cerebrates, Brood Mothers, Kerrigan, etc) all possess some amount of individuality and opinion, though most of them lack true free will and are subservient to the Overmind. This doesn't stop one of the Cerebrates from questioning the Overmind in the first game on its decision to leave Kerrigan most of her free will, thinking that was unwise. The Overmind reassures the Cerebrate that while she does retain some individuality, she cannot disobey its orders.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* This is Starlight Glimmer's viewpoint in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''. Believing that friendship is impossible if everypony has different opinions or are more skilled in areas than others, she strips a town's population of their Cutie Marks so they would all be equal. Whenever someone dares object to her vision, she [[{{Room 101}} stuffs them in a tiny room]] to be reconditioned via listening to hours upon hours of droning about the "evils" of individuality. [[spoiler:Once the Mane Six expose that [[{{Hypocrite}} she still has her old Cutie Mark]], her so-called utopian society crumbles.]]
* The Gem Homeworld from ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' seems to be this way. Every Gem has an exact purpose they're made for (except of course the [[EvilOverlord Diamonds]]) and ''only'' that exact purpose is allowed. Jasper implies punishment for deviating from your 'intended' purpose may be death and the Off-Colors (a group of fugitive Gems) later confirm this is indeed the case. And so is being born with a defect. Naturally, Rose Quartz was able to use this as a fantastic recruiting tool, as she herself believed the exact opposite and encouraged her Crystal Gems to find their own identity and desires. [[{{Irony}} Counterintuitively]], most of her subordinates only followed her because she was a very charismatic [[TheLeader leader]], and others only wanted to bite back at [[TheEmpire the Gempire]], regardless of her actual philosophies; early on in the show, it seems that the remainder of the Crystal Gems only stayed around to protect Earth (and Steven, by extension) because that's what Rose would have wanted them to do.