Informed Loner

"I've always been curious as to why Batman — who has such a reputation for being a lone wolf — would surround himself with children..."
Lex Luthor, Superman/Batman, "Public Enemies"

A character type that has an Informed Attribute relating to whether or not that character is lonely. The reason for this is generally to invoke the Aloof Ally trope or one closely related to it. The idea is simple- aloof, lonely people are different than us, with different values and ways of looking at the world, caused in part by their stunted ability to engage in emotional interaction with others. So having one in a story creates obvious Character Development issues and conflicts, which in turn can make a story more interesting.

The problem with this trope is that it's difficult to write dialogue for loners, well, because they're alone. So by definition, they shouldn't really be acting gabby all the time. Bear in mind, of course, that not all loners are recluses. Some are the type that can feel lonely even in a crowd. But even in that case how much of a "loner" they can really be comes into question if they're initiating half the conversations they take part in and lack any form of social awkwardness.

Note that even if the information comes from characters' talking, Infallible Babble ensures that it's never a case that they are misinformed, or spiteful. All the characters take his "loner" status seriously in the total absence of any evidence of it.

Not to be confused with Ineffectual Loner. For a loner who's more informed than others, try Intelligence Equals Isolation.

Compare Cool Loser and Hollywood Dateless.


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     Comic Books 
  • Batman. For a guy who is torn by emotional isolation living eternally in the darkness, the guy has a ridiculous character page full of his constant allies. This is hardly even mentioning that his relationship with Robin was so close during the Silver Age that you didn't need to be part of a censor board to interpret some Ho Yay going on there.
    • In fact, the Bat Family is probably the largest in the DCU. There's at least currently a Batman, a Robin, a Nightwing, a Red Robin, Catwoman, Oracle, Batgirl, Black Bat, Batwoman, Flamebird, Spoiler, and Alfred in this loner's gang. Though to be fair, he does mostly work alone where feasible and leaves the others to their own devices.
    • For 17 years this supposed loner starred in a book whose premise was to team him up with everyone else in the DC Universe. Now with Batman Inc, (Loads and Loads of Batmen!) the writers might as well stop kidding themselves. Ever since Grant Morrison started writing Batman regularly, they have.
    • One Superman/Batman story parodied this when two children argued about which hero was cooler. Both agreed that neither hero had much use for the Justice League; Superman, because he's more powerful than the rest of the League combined, and Batman because he's a loner, except when he's working with his own sidekicks and the Outsiders. Even children in-universe don't buy Batman's "loner" act.
  • Wolverine claims to be a loner, and does honestly seem to attempt to do so, but his track record seems to prove otherwise.
    • To a degree it works for Wolverine; by temperament he'd be a drifting Knight Errant In Sour Armor, which involves lots of helping people and then leaving and not seeing them again for several decades. In a slightly different genre he'd very reasonably say But Now I Must Go. Look at that trope page; fully half the links in the description apply to him. (For example, until he regained his memories, his Journey to Find Oneself was a big part of his character.) All that being said, it becomes ridiculous to call Wolverine a loner when he is officially a member of three superhero teams at once, due to him publicity. Being a loner is in character, but the Marketing department wins, especially in a Shared Universe.
    • He also has had a girl sidekick following him around for most of the past thirty years. (Shadowcat, Jubilee, Armor...)

  • For someone always looking out for his own interests, Han Solo has what seems to be quite a close (if vitriolic) friendship with Chewie, and a whole entourage by the end of A New Hope.
  • Invoked in Pee-wee's Big Adventure, when Pee-wee tries to brush his would-be girlfriend off by claiming to be a loner, in spite of having hordes of friends.

  • Death from Discworld. Again, he's got his own supporting cast.
  • Bella from Twilight spends the first two chapters whining about how no one would ever like her and how she has never had any friends. She spends every other chapter whining about how people just won't leave her alone. And from the moment she sits down in school, she starts making friends and boys start asking her out. Yes, she's clearly unpopular.

     Live Action TV 
  • Played with the title character of House. While he is often curmudgeonly and rude (particularly to patients), he also seems equally unable to function unless there's people nearby who he can make rude comments to. In episodes where he's deprived of his team, he is shown to be struggling without them. He refuses to admit this, even when he resorts to asking a janitor to help out on a differential diagnosis and dealing with families in his stead. (Who's he? Oh, uh, Dr... Buffer).
  • In an early episode of LOST, Kate gives Sawyer some advice, starting with the words: "from one island outcast to another..." Kate practically runs Craphole Island, and has relationships with all the major characters.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Tenth Doctor had elements of this. He had loads of friends, allies, acquaintances, etc. who all love him dearly, but chose to wangst instead of say, stopping by for tea now and again. Lampshaded by Sarah Jane in "Journey's End":
    Sarah Jane: You know, you act like such a lonely man but look at you! You've got the biggest family on Earth!
    • One of the Fourth Doctor's gimmicks is that he's more of a loner than the other Doctors, but in practice this is mostly demonstrated with the occasional bout of Jerkass or Stay in the Kitchen behaviour when the writers remember he's supposed to be like this, and he takes on companions just as readily as any other Doctor.
  • In Gilmore Girls Rory is initially portrayed as an awkward teenager who is more interested in books than people... too bad every person she meets instantly adores her and falls at her feet. (To the point she even gets elected student body president despite being a so-called geek.).
  • An amusing example in NCIS:LA. Paris, an agent, claims to work alone. She works with a tight-knit team whom she literally lives with in a pair of huge trucks.
  • In the series four finale of Merlin, Arthur goes after Merlin and tells him: "you're the only friend I've got." Except for Gwen, who's travelling with them. And Hunith, whose house he recovered from his injuries in. And the Knights of the Round Table, who are currently trying to make their way back to him. And Tristan and Isolde, both about to thrown in their lot with him. And Gaius, back in Camelot.
  • Angel on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Partly justified in that he did spend many, many years alone and isolated off-screen, but he always had Buffy in the first series, and on his own show he seemed entirely comfortable having Cordelia, Wesley and the others around at all times - he might have been reserved and occasionally unemotional, but he regularly joked around with them and went out socializing with them. There was the brief exception when he kicked everyone out in season two, but that went badly to say the least.
    • The Slayers themselves - they are supposed to be entirely divorced from the world, yet they always have a Watcher to guide and help them, and we know at least several have maintained family connections as well.
    • Subverted with Buffy - she can occasionally feel like a loner, but being truly isolated is one of her greatest fears, and many foes have acknowledged that having family and friends around made her much more dangerous.

     Newspaper Comics 
  • Charlie Brown in Peanuts goes in and out of this - everyone supposedly hates him, yet he seems to hang around with people like Linus, Lucy, and Schroeder a lot. In this case this was probably at least a little deliberate—Charlie Brown is more insecure than a loner. His insecurities just lead him to feel lonely.
    • And Lucy's verbal abuse can't help.
    • In the earliest strips, the other characters are in fact shockingly cruel to Charlie Brown. This motif is softened over time.

     Video Games 
  • Raven in Rune Factory 3 tells you that she doesn't have any friends (because she is afraid that her "curse" will make them disappear). However, on every Holiday and Festival you see her walking around with Karina and Sofia.
    • One of her heart events will acknowledge this: She makes gifts for Karina and Sofia, thanking them for being her friends. They both express surprise this was ever in question.
  • In Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town, when you're introduced to Doug and Ann, Doug expresses hope that you'll be friends with his daughter, Ann, since she doesn't really have any friends and is lonely. But during the normal course of the game, you'll see her hanging out at the hot springs every morning, with Popuri. Does Popuri not count?
  • Lampshaded in Katawa Shoujo on Lilly's route.
    Hisao: To tell the truth, though, I do prefer solitude to being surrounded by others. I don't think I could maintain a social circle like you do.
    Lilly: I don't think that's true either. I've seen how gentle and caring you are around Hanako, and you get along marvelously well with others, even those whom you hardly know. I think you're quite adept at social situations.

     Web Animation 
  • Dangeresque from Homestar Runner works alone, except when he works with Renaldo. Which is all the time.

     Web Comics 
  • In Wapsi Square Monica has an episode where she wonders if she is a social misfit [1] until she meets someone who truly doesn't have any social life, and she ends up giggling over her self. [2].
  • Davan of Something Positive is the kind of misanthrope you would expect this of... except he has a sprawling group of friends, both close and distant, which grows and changes over time. Even Mike managed to get a lot of new friends thanks to his Jerk Face Turn.

     Web Original 

     Western Animation 
  • The titular character of Daria, despite appearing to be an isolated loner, is actually on good speaking relationships with most of the other characters in her class, interacting with them fairly often. Granted, she tends to do so in a fairly ironic way.
    • At the same time, Daria does try to avoid interacting with most of them; usually they track her down for some reason, or events force her into human interaction.