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La Résistance

"Aux armes, citoyens! Formez vos bataillons! Marchons, marchons! Qu'un sang impur abreuve nos sillons!" note 
La Marseillaise

Wherever The Empire is, you'll always find La Resistance: A Ragtag Bunch of Misfits using the The Power of Friendship to fight against a tyrannical rule, often to help put the Government in Exile back into power. Always underdogs, they fight using guerrilla warfare and by raising the rabble of the people by revealing unpleasant truths about The Empire they've been trying to hide, causing the oppressed peoples to shake off the yokes of their tyrant rulers.

Inevitably, the hero will join La Resistance while the battle is already underway, and will grow to become a great champion in the fight against The Empire. Alternatively, La Resistance will be utterly incompetent and little more than an annoyance until the hero gets in there and shows them how it's done. Sometimes their inner dissensions render them nearly unable to get anything done. In an interesting twist, if the resistance is as unscrupulous as The Empire, then the hero will end up doing a bit of Conspiracy Redemption or forming a third faction.

People rarely like having it pointed out that these groups are terrorists from the point of view of anyone who disagrees with them and Innocent Bystanders who may get caught up in the crossfire of said conflicts.

Hollywood in general portrays resistance fighters sympathetically because America's revolutionary history has created romantic notions about rebels. In real life, most revolutions are brutal affairs and the new government is often worse than the old. Alternatively, La Resistance may represent the last remnants of the reactionary or counter-revolutionary cronies of the old regime fighting against the Revolutionary Progressive Forces.

When La Resistance form the main ensemble of the show, or one of them, they'll frequently exhibit a mix of characters similar to The Squad. However, they'll usually have sneakier methods, they tend to be more morally pragmatic and ruthless than most Squads, and in series like Battlestar Galactica members becoming Shell Shocked Seniors. Expect at least one member of La Resistance to be The Mole, or a homegrown Les Collaborateurs sabotaging their efforts from the inside. La Resistance may even be defeated without the assistance of its enemy: when the only thing uniting it is opposition to The Empire, they may end up struggling together thanks to some point of ideology (generally portrayed stupid) or method (generally portrayed as worthwhile).

Eventually, La Resistance will either die out, or grow into The Alliance as it gains power, allies, and sympathizers. This trope usually overlaps with The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified. For the Darker and Edgier version, see The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized.

For the villainous equivalent, see The Remnant. For the opposite of La Resistance, see Les Collaborateurs. Sometimes La Resistance may not be heroes but villains, as happens in an Enemy Civil War. When La Resistance is heroic, but nevertheless uses terrorism, see Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters. This may be deliberately ironic, perhaps inviting a "we are Not So Different" moment. Or, the author might simply assume that the audience will always sympathize with rebel protagonists against The Empire, therefore moral justification of the rebellion is unnecessary and the rebels can get away with whatever is expedient. This could be averted if the Evil Empire really is evil and the rebels exercise chivalry and restraint.

Usually led by a Rebel Leader and armed via Vehicular Turnabout. Not to be confused with the First-Person Shooter series, Resistance. Or with WWE's French-Canadian Foreign Wrestling Heel Tag Team "La Résistance".

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Otonashi from Angel Beats! if you consider a bunch of dead highschoolers La Résistance and if you consider Angel an empire.
  • Code Geass is a prime time example of the useless-and-only-an-annoyance-kind of La Resistance until Lelouch turns them from a bunch of butthurt kids playing guerilla against the Britannian Empire to a fully organized and highly deadly army with victory after victory as its signature (that doesn't mean they're error-free, as we painfully find out in the Euphemia Massacre Incident and the following Black Rebellion).
    • Lelouch is literally considered the god of rebellion in the Pantheon.
  • The Gekkostate in Eureka Seven.
  • Stig/Scott Bernard's True Companions in Genesis Climber Mospeada/Robotech: New Generation as they fight the Inbit/Invid that have inavded and conquered Earth.
  • The Joui from Gintama, who set out to take down the Amanto even if it meant going out into an all-out war with them. They failed. However, Katsura is the only one that makes an attempt to carry out any of the original group's ideals after that failure (and even then, it's kind of laughable); Gintoki decided that fighting stupid enemies was pointless and dropped out, Takasugi became a Nietzsche Wannabe in order to avenge the death of his teacher, and Sakamoto got a day job.
  • The People's Army in Glass Fleet serves as La Resistance against the Holy Empire.
  • A staple of the Gundam series.
  • Tends to show up in Leijiverse a lot, particularly in Arcadia of my Youth and Space Symphony Maetel.
  • One Piece has the Revolutionary Army, an anti-government faction directly opposed to the World Government and led by none other than Luffy's father, Dragon. So far they haven't actually appeared often, but they'll certainly be more important down the line. Luffy's ties to the Revolution have become stronger over the Time Skip. Robin was protected by them during those two years and it's recently been revealed that Luffy's other older brother, the long-thought dead Sabo, is alive and the second-in-command of the Revolutionary Army.
  • Romeo X Juliet has the followers of the Capulet family, fighting against Lord Montague.
  • In Saint Beast, the rebellion against Zeus is lead by the six Saint Beasts until four of them end up Brainwashed and Crazy leading to its failure and Judas and Luca taking the fall for it.
  • Saint Seiya: The Bronze Saints during the Sanctuary Arc.
  • Team Dai-Gurren from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Not only do they rebel against Lord Genome and his forces, but also the millennia-long reign of the Anti-Spirals.
  • The Secret of Twilight Gemini: After more than three hundred years of civil war, the remnants of the Geltic Tribe continue to fight the oppression of the Igo Tribe, who drove them from their ancestral home. Lara and her friend, Zora, lead them in the quest to unify their people and reclaim their homeland. With help from Lupin, of course.
  • Kenji of 20th Century Boys form a resistance out of a Rag Tag Bunch Of Middle Aged School Pals. A move eventually followed by his niece, Kanna, which takes the original (and now leveled up) members and throws in the part of the Chinese Mafia.
  • In Death Note, the Anti-Kira Taskforce gradually becomes this as Kira's rule spreads and gains support, especially after the US of A stops opposing him.
  • Kill la Kill has Nudist Beach, which live up to the name by being clothed in nothing but strategically placed belts and pouches. They fight against the usage of clothing for oppression.

    Comic Books 
  • Amulet has the unoriginally named "The Resistance", staffed by Funny Animals.
  • The Gaulish villagers in Astérix might be regarded as a somewhat humorous version of this.
  • In the spanish comic-book Fanhunter also, the unoriginally named The Resistance (an army of comic-book fans, otakus, geeks, gamers, nerds, roleplayers, etc.).
  • The Prodigals in Kill Shakespeare who are trying to take down Richard III.
  • There's a few of these brewing against Armtech in Last Man Standing.
  • The Secret Avengers and Typeface's Gang during the Civil War.
  • Marvel Star Wars has a resistance on Solay, trying to topple a pro-Empire king. They call on the Rebel Alliance for help after Endor, but it turns out the head of the resistance had secretly also been pro-Empire - soon after the king is deposed, the Imperial fleet comes in and imposes martial law, controlling the system directly.
  • The Undergrounder rebels from Megalex.
  • Played with interestingly in the Star Trek graphic novel The Modala Imperative. Captain Kirk and Spock help the resistance on the planet Modala break up a vicious dictatorship; a hundred years later, the Next Generation crew arrive to help celebrate the anniversary of the original coup and discover the erstwhile rebel leaders are now beating back an uprising themselves. Then suddenly everyone must put aside their differences when the real Big Bad beams in - the Ferengi, who had sold the original dictatorship their weapons and have now come to collect from the current rulers.
    • Also in the current comic book series "Year 4", continuing where the original series ended, the rebels attack with the crew present (and later kidnap Kirk) in order to get the Federation to intervene in their conflict...at the same time as the government tries to blow up the Enterprise, to get the Federation to intervene in their conflict.
  • A major Story Arc in Strontium Dog follows a young Johnny joining the mutant resistance against the violently anti-mutant government.
  • Judge Dredd has personally led resistances on a number of occasions, such as against Chief Judge Cal ("The Day the Law Died"), the East-Meg occupational army ("Apocalypse War") and the Dark Judges ("Necropolis").
  • The Picaros from the eponymous Tintin adventure. Tintin demands that their revolution will not see a drop of blood shed, much to the humorous consternation of many involved. Including the dictator being overthrown.
  • Subverted with Alpha Trion's group in Transformers: TransTech. Turns out it's a cover for a sinister plot involving the Grand Theft Me of TransTech bodies.
  • Magneto's X-Men during the Age of Apocalypse is this to a T.
  • In The Movement, the emponymous organization is against the corrupt local police department. Having superpowered teens and the disenfranchised on their side also helps.
  • In Forever Evil, with the Justice Leagues missing, pockets of remaining superheroes are trying to fight back. The Teen Titans are one group, with the main event series following Lex Luthor's newly minted Legion of Doom.

    Fanfiction 
  • The Dark World arc in the Pony POV Series has several rebel groups aimed at bringing down Discord. While there's some level of cooperation between them, there doesn't appear to be a central command structure aside from Discord himself infiltrating several groups and riling them up for his own amusement.
    • A better example are the Changelings, who thanks to Cadance are now symbiotic instead of parasitic and protect ponies from Discord. They're also immune to Discord's magic thanks to Cadance. Cadance once ruled them and their kingdom Avalon was about the only place safe from Discord. While she was eventually killed and it destroyed, the Changelings are still protecting ponies from Discord and Discord hasn't managed to infiltrate them either.
    • The Shining Armor Arc has a group of Deer opposed to Makarov and the Hooviets, led by their true goddess, Mother Deer. The group eventually allies with Shining and Cadence's forces.
  • The Loyalists in The Immortal Game.
  • The Heretics in The Tainted Grimoire, who oppose Vaticus.
  • The New Awesome Lulamoon Empire in Twillight Sparkle's awesome adventure, despite the name, is this.
  • Ukitake's group in Winter War.
  • The Sufferists in Hivefled, although more of a Black and Grey Morality due to their Well-Intentioned Extremist leader Lereal. Either way, things don't end well for them.
  • Nights Favored Child has the Harbingers of Dawn (or "Dawnists", for short). They're mostly in the background right now, but Twilight's late parents were members, as is Miss Loch, the head of the orphanage Twilight grew up in.
  • Empath: The Luckiest Smurf has Empath secretly forming one in the alternate timeline where Papa Smurf marries Smurfette.
  • My Hostage Not Yours: The third story, where Zim and Gaz go full-scale Villain Protagonist and start taking over Earth, sees Dib form a resistance with his classmates, which he simply calls "the Group" (Gaz lampshades how lame it is). There's also the Swollen Eyeball Network, which proves to be much more effective. Both fail, though the epilogue reveals that resistance groups continue to pop up worldwide for years afterwards.
  • Mega Man Recut has the Underground Alliance in "Future Shock."

    Films — Animated 
  • Shrek Forever After: The alternate universe has a secret band of ogres, led by Badass Princess Fiona, who plan to attack and overthrow Rumpelstiltskin.
  • South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut: Has a French-themed La Resistance (pictured) being composed of the children of South Park rebelling against their parents in the hope of rescuing Terrence and Philip from being executed. They even had their own song, as well as a Dark Reprise.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Apocalypse: The Haters, which is One Nation Earth's name for underground groups of persecuted Christians during the Tribulation in this film series.
  • The Army of Crime: The French film is all about La Resistance, being set in Second World War France during the German occupation. Based on a true story.
  • Casablanca: The French partisans (and their counterparts from the rest of Occupied Europe). Their singing of "La Marseillaise" (which provides the page quote) is their Crowning Moment Of Awesome.
  • Demolition Man: Features a resistance which is all about, amongst other things, the "choice to run naked down the street covered in lime jello."
  • Double Dragon: There's a neon-overall-clad teenage resistance named the Power Corps, which is led by the Action Girl Love Interest in the battle against Vanilla Ice as played by T-1000.
  • G.I. Joe: In the upcoming movie G.I. Joe: Retaliation, G.I. Joe will become this after Cobra has Zartan become the President of the United States and brand G.I. Joe as terrorists and that G.I. Joe must now take the world back from Cobra and drive them out of the country.
  • Hero: Only a small group of five elite assassins is actually seen, but apparently assassins from the other conquered Kingdoms try to kill the emperor every other week.
  • The House of Flying Daggers: The title of the film is actually the name of a resistance group.
  • It Happened Here: Subverted Trope, where the protagonist regards the Resistance as worse than the German occupiers.
  • In Lacombe, Lucien, a teenaged boy tries to join the Resistance. The leader rejects him, so he joins the Milice (the French Gestapo) instead.
  • Land of the Blind: Has La Resistance be popular at the beginning, then after taking power become at least as bad or worse than who they overthrew.
  • Machete: "The Network" parodies this trope.
  • The Matrix: Has a population of humans attempting to strengthen numbers by freeing people imprisoned in a virtual simulation created by advanced artificial intelligence using them as a fuel source.
  • Monty Python's Life of Brian: Hilariously parodied, where there's more than one resistance, they don't do anything other than discuss things around a table, and the only time they actually do something they screw it up by arguing with each other. "THE JUDEAN PEOPLE'S FRONT? Splitters!" Even better if you take it as a comment on the state of left-wing and Palestinean movements in that time.
  • Oblivion (2013): A big group of humans led by Malcolm Beech who live underground the wasteland Earth. They may or may not be all that's left of the human race.
  • Pimpernel Smith: This film, which is The Scarlet Pimpernel in WW2, with a stuffy English professor running a resistance network rescuing Jewish and other persecuted prisoners and funnelling them to Britain.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End: Has the pirates of the world resisting termination at hands of the East India Trading Company. Ironically, when your cast is made of an Anti-Hero couple, a Gentleman Thief and an Affably Evil pirate, the only way to cheer for their resisting the law is by making the Government absurdly evil and corrupt.
  • Red Dawn (1984): The school kids who head off into the mountains to fight the Evil Empire in the movie are a perfect example of this trope. Readers here may be more familiar with it being referred to as a documentary on one of the radio stations in GTA Vice City. ''Wolverines!'
  • Red Dawn (2012): The same goes for this remake except instead of the Soviet Union, it's now North Korea overrunning the United States.
  • Revolution 1985: The Continental Army fighting against the British.
  • Sky Blue: A spontaneous rebellion forms around Shua after one of them is killed by Ecoban soldiers. They end up being instrumental to Dr. Noah's plan.
  • Sleeping Dogs: The Resistance guerrillas fighting an oppressive police state that has taken over New Zealand.
  • Star Wars: The Rebel Alliance, who struggle against the Galactic Empire for control of the galaxy.
  • Terminator: The entirety of the series has the Resistance against Skynet's Empire.
  • Top Secret!: Has the French Resistance in East Germany. (Why? Because it's funny, of course.)
  • Valkyrie: Unusually for this trope, this movie focuses on the German resistance during World War II rather than that of the occupied countries.
  • The X-Men of the Bad Future in X-Men: Days of Future Past, though by the time the movie starts they seem to be able to accomplish little but stay one step ahead of the enemy.
  • Zwartboek (Black Book): Deals with the Dutch resistance in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • The Dragon Lady becomes a resistance leader, fighting the Japanese invaders in Terry and the Pirates. Terry and Pat are frequently dragged into her plots. Other resistance leader, such as the Blue Tiger, also feature prominently.

    Music 
  • The Resistance is a reoccuring faction in Kaizers Orchestra's song universe, especially in Ompa Til Du Dør, which is set during WW2.
  • Subverted in the film U 2 Rattle And Hum, where, during a performance of "Sunday, Bloody Sunday", Bono rages against the IRA, and calls out Irish Americans for glamourising and idolising what most Irish people view as ruthless terrorists.
  • The 1970 sci-fi concept album Blows Against the Empire by Paul Kantner & Jefferson Starship has hippies in the 1990s operating as La Résistance against an increasingly oppressive US government.
  • Sabaton's songs "Coat of Arms" about the Greek resistance and "Uprising" about the doomed 1944 Warsaw Uprising glorify the tough resistance of those patriots who fought the Nazis and tried to free their countries.
    "Warsaw...rise!"

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Dark Sun has the Veiled Alliance which provides most support in areas of non-defiling magic and helping slaves to escape.
    • Forgotten Realms got Randal Morn and his supporters conducting guerilla war against Zhentarim occupation of Daggerdale for about 16 years (1353-1369) before Zhents were finally kicked out and he became the official ruler. Calimshan has Janessar, the group with strongholds in Marching Mountains that works to support common folk and free slaves.
  • Magic: The Gathering has the Mirran resistance struggling against the forces of New Phyrexia. They know the odds are against them and that they are vastly outnumbered, which is reflected in the greater number of Phyrexian cards in the "New Phyrexia" block, but they refuse to lay down and give up.
    • In Return to Ravnica story, the population who are not part of the ten guilds are starting to take up arms against those guilds. Considering that the ten guilds include The Mafia who'll bleed people (of their money or life) dry, Mad Scientist guild who should be maintaining the city's infrastructure but aren't, sneaky spy guild, an entire clan of barbarians and so on, it is understandable why the populace are angry.
  • In Giant Guardian Generation, the Revolutionary United Front has taken up arms against the Outsider-led United Earth Federation. Curiously, although they're outnumbered, the RUF appears to have the technological edge of better Gears and the AI-controlled Mobile Battleship Wagner.
  • The Champions scenario The Sands of Time features an extradimensional species, the Orisha, who are ruled by a theocracy set up by one of the scenario's villains. There is also a rebel movement of heretics, though not too surprisingly, they're a little nuts. Still, they heretics are a resistance force who can help the PCs against the evil government of their world.
  • The Resistance is all about this. Some players (randomly chosen) are the Resistance, and some are The Mole. The aim of the resistance is to accomplish at least three out of five missions. The aim of the traitors is to sabotage at least three out of five missions.

    Theatre 
  • In Les Misérables, Les Amis de l'ABC (whose name has "the friends of the downtrodden" as a second meaning).

    Web Comics 
  • In Without Moonlight there is the actual Resistance against the Nazi Occupation in Greece that is being organized, and the resistance by the gang of street rats Fotis leads throughout the comic.

    Web Original 
  • Attempted in later episodes of Welcome to Night Vale, when Tamika Flynn's army of well-read children try to rise up against Strex Corp.
  • The Chaos Timeline has various. Spaniards against Republican France, Germans against Russians and Italians, (again) various against the Socialists.
  • In Decades of Darkness, there are several ones fighting the expansionist, slaveholding *USA, like the Velvet Underground in Pennsylvania, Mexican generals like Juarez, and Eunuco Mitchell (it's a pseudonym). Unfortunately, none have prevailed.
  • In Shadowhunter Peril, the main characters are forced to become the Resistance because it's either fight back or die. They actually end up doing a pretty good job, even amassing a giant army of phoenixes and raining a fiery storm down upon the Big Bad's capital city. Currently they're in the middle of the final battle, so there's no way of knowing who's going to win, especially with Lilith and Valentine still alive.
  • Taking from its source material, the Rebellion in The Gungan Council have been revived several times to restore democracy after the Galactic Empire came back.
  • In Victoria, a story from The Wanderers Library, the Earth has been taken over by… something. What exactly is never made clear, but they're opposed by the Human Resistance Group, who uses superior numbers and technology to fight back. Whether it eventually succeeds or fails is never elaborated upon.

    Western Animation 
  • By the third season of Avatar: The Last Airbender , Aang and his True Companions are basically this. See also: Order of the White Lotus in the last couple episodes.
    • The invasion force from the Day of Black Sun, made up of the Gang's allies from the two remaining nations opposing the war.
    • The Freedom Fighters (no, not the Sonic ones) fit this, even if they are a bunch of Well Intentioned Extremists.
    • There are active resistances of Eath Kingdom citizens against the Fire Nation occupying forces throughout the series. We see one of them in "Return to Omashu."
  • The Maximals in Beast Machines.
  • In The Movie Kim Possible A Sitch in Time, Kim's twin little brothers and tech buddy form a resistance by teaming up with an army of Super-enhanced Naked Mole-rats to overthrow an evil Shego who went from being a sidekick to an Evil Overlord who calls herself the supreme one.
    • Should be noted that every person in the resistance is some how connected to Kim and Ron
    • This troupe was actually implied by one of the twins who yells "Viva La Renaissance" while shooting at the enemy to save his sister and friend.
  • Lampshaded in the Justice League by Green Lantern in "Hearts and Minds." "There's always a resistance, isn't there?"
  • The Resisty from Invader Zim were a resistance movement against the Irken Empire. To their credit, they very nearly destroyed the Massive, but only because Zim had seized control of it and had removed its defenses. Also in Invader Zim is the Swollen Eyeball Network, a group of genre-savvy conspiracy theorists who have foiled alien invasions. Naturally, Dib is a proud member, codenamed Agent Mothman.
  • The Burners in Motorcity, against Abraham Kane of Detroit Deluxe.
  • The backstory of one chef in Ratatouille involved running guns for one of these. "Which one?" "He won't say - apparently they didn't win."
  • The Great Rebellion in She-Ra: Princess of Power.
  • The rebel pirates in Skyland.
  • The Freedom Fighters in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series and original Saturday morning cartoon.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door had this for the Boys Next Door, an organization that fought against the tyranny of girls in a dystopian future.
  • In the South Park movie, possibly the Trope Namer.
  • On The Venture Bros. the Orange County Liberation Front is a resistance movement trying to take down the Brisby "empire", an obvious Disney parody.
    • The second season of The Venture Bros also features a lame but zealous resistance to Baron Ünderbheit's iron fisted (and jawed) rule in Ünderland. One of their proudest achievements is sneaking a cat hair into his drink.
  • The first season of W.I.T.C.H. features the rebellion against the Big Bad Phobos, with Badass Normal Caleb as the young rebel leader. After Phobos is defeated and imprisoned, the situation is inverted during season two, with a small band of Phobos' remaining loyal troops attempting to overthrow the benevolent queen Elyon.

PortmanteauTrope Names from the FrenchRoman à Clef
Icon of RebellionRebel TropesThe Last DJ
Research, Inc.Organization IndexScout Out
The ResenterCharacters as DeviceRetired Badass
No Name GivenOverdosed TropesHappily Married
South Park: Bigger, Longer & UncutImageSource/Animated FilmsSpace Jam
Icon of RebellionCivil Unrest TropesLes Collaborateurs
Mister RobertsWorks Set in World War II'Allo 'Allo!
Heroes UnlimitedThe Index TeamLegion of Doom
The RepublicPolitics TropesThe Revolution Will Not Be Bureaucratized
World War IIUsefulNotes/FranceLes Collaborateurs

alternative title(s): The Resistance
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