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->''"HERMIT, n. A person whose vices and follies are not sociable."''
-->-- '''Ambrose Bierce''', ''Literature/TheDevilsDictionary''

Hermits are folks who don't live around other folks -- and they like it that way. They never say IJustWantToHaveFriends and they aren't afraid of DyingAlone. Hermits aren't banished or cut off from society as punishment -- they willingly chose to leave it, for whatever reason.

Despite their reclusive lifestyle, fictional hermits may be either friendly or hostile. If a hermit is friendly, their reason for living alone will be that [[MisunderstoodLonerWithAHeartOfGold they simply enjoy the solitude]]. If the hermit is hostile, it's because [[MaddenIntoMisanthropy they're misanthropic]]. On occasion, the hero will encounter a religious hermit.

Nice or not, almost all hermits are quirky. That's because LonersAreFreaks; they don't conform to society's rules about [[ThePigPen cleanliness]], [[NoSocialSkills politeness]], [[BarefootSage footwear]], or [[AlienLunch edibleness]]. Heck, they don't conform to society's standards at all. Hermits generally have a high tolerance to [[GoMadFromTheIsolation Going Mad from the Isolation]], but they're not completely immune. See "quirkiness" above.

Most classic hermits to live in swamps, jungles, deserts, or caves. Modern hermits are more likely to live in cities or towns, but be highly, highly withdrawn, to the point of never interacting with the outside world. {{Hikikomori}}, BasementDweller, and the ReclusiveArtist are some examples.

If a hero seeks out this person for [[MentorArchetype guidance or training]], chances are you're dealing with a HermitGuru. Other times when a hero meets up with them on a journey, they may become a kind of one-person WackyWaysideTribe.

Use caution when adding examples from Eastern media -- "hermit" is a popular translation for the Chinese ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xian_(Taoism) xian]]'' and Japanese ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sennin sennin]]'', but not all xian/sennin embody this trope.

Compare TheAloner, for whom social isolation is a terrible punishment. Contrast HatesBeingAlone, for when a character really doesn't want to be isolated from others. See IWorkAlone for when they don't rely on others.

Has nothing to do with hermit crabs.


* Zepis, the legendary second-rate Boiler Engineer, lives in an abandoned mine on the island where ''Manga/TheVoynichHotel'' stands.
* {{Deconstructed|Trope}} in ''Manga/KotouraSan''. It's a part of [[AllOfTheOtherReindeer Haruka's]] JerkassFacade and [[LeaveMeAlone deliberately having nobody else in her life]] [[HurtingHero is taking its toll against her]]. She does live alone in the PresentDay, but the difference between solitude and loneliness is made quite clear as the show goes on.
* Adolf Anime/{{K}} Weismann took off in a blimp after his experiment ended up accidentally making him immortal. He lives up in the sky alone for decades until... [[WalkingSpoiler plot comes along]]. He's not ill-adjusted to being around others, though -- [[spoiler: he is actually incredibly charming, though a lot of that may be due to the fake memories]].
* Eibon, the wizard from ''Manga/SoulEater'' counts, having lived alone for centuries (at least, in the manga) on [[spoiler: Lost Island.]]

* Gottfried from ''ComicBook/LeScorpion''.
* There have been a few Franchise/ArchieComics stories about hermits -- one was about a hermit teen who ran away from foster care and lived in a cave. He chased away any intruders, until Betty got in trouble -- then he swooped in, rescued her, and decided he liked people and wanted to live among them again.
* Ishmael lives alone outside town in ''ComicBook/{{Copperhead}}''. He claims the choice is due to prejudice and lack of employment opportunities. It's unclear how often he interacts with the community before Clara's arrival; everyone knows who he is but only by reputation.

* In ''Prince Ahmed and the Fairy Paribanou'', Prince Houssain, having lost out in the competition for Princess Nouronnihar, [[TakingTheVeil became a hermit.]] At the end of the tale, he remains one because he found himself happy in it.

[[AC:{{Fan Fiction}}]]
* Morris the Iguana from the ''Anime/SonicX'' fanfic ''FanFic/DontKeepYourDistance''. He left the big city he was from on his motorcycle out of grief when a friend died and drove mindlessly into the forest, eventually happening upon the village Sunny Clearing and deciding to start a new life there when the locals took him in. Quickly, however, he realized he didn't much get along with them owing to their closed-minded mentality, but he does participate in communal activities anyway, it being only fair. One of these activities, a search for food in the woods, was when he found the protagonist, Paint, as a helpless infant.
* In ''Fanfic/TheKeysStandAlone: The Soft World'', the four are sent by the Circle to speak to a hermit in a cold piney woods about the whereabouts of a piece of the Nine-part Key. They're warned that he may not be too friendly, that he may be guarded, and that he may require some kind of service done for him before he will make with the information. What they're ''not'' warned about is that [[spoiler: there is no hermit, just an empty cave and an ambush by the Circle]].

* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** At the beginning of ''Film/ANewHope'' Obi-Wan Kenobi is living in this way on a desert planet called Tatooine, as is Yoda in ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'' in a swamp located in Dagobah. The prequel films show that both are effectively in hiding from the Empire.
** In ''Film/TheForceAwakens'', [[spoiler:Luke Skywalker becomes a hermit on an isolated island after his nephew and former apprentice massacred the new Jedi order.]]
* ''Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian'' has at least one scene with a traditional religious hermit, who's had his eye on a particular bush of berries.
* Radagast the Brown in ''Film/TheHobbit''. Unless you count the animals he seems capable of speaking with, in which case he's a very social person indeed.
* The Japanese man suspected for the deaths in ''Film/TheWailing'' lives in an old decrepit house in the woods near the village of Goksung.

* St Ungulant in ''Discworld/SmallGods'' is a religious hermit. The Omnian Church encourages them, since if people are ''going'' to ask questions about the nature of belief, it's best they do it out in the wilderness where no-one can hear them.
** ''Discworld/{{Snuff}}'' introduces a hermit who lives on Sybil's countryside property, because apparently having a hermit on one's land was once fashionable among the nobility and they like to keep up traditions. This one wanders around speaking cryptic philosophy and being filthy, but gets a week's vacation each year during which he behaves normally and is actually popular with the ladies, ensuring that he will have sons to carry on the profession.
* The Canadian novel ''MungoCity'' is about a world where commercialisation runs rampant. People are allowed to leave Mungo City and get away from the capitalistic society, but only if they agree to live isolated in the wilderness forever. The main character decides to chose this option to get away from his incredibly annoying friend. [[TheCatCameBack The friend follows him into isolation.]]
* Benjamin from ''Literature/ACanticleForLeibowitz'', who may or may not also be [[spoiler: the pilgrim from the first portion of the book, the Old Jew from the third, and/or Leibowitz himself]].
* The Once-Ler in ''Literature/TheLorax''. He lives near the wreckage of his old factory and never ventures outside. This is largely due to his guilt complex.
* Halloween in ''Literature/{{Edenborn}}'' has the whole continent of North America to himself.
* ''Literature/TheHorseAndHisBoy'' had the protagonists helped by a nameless (but friendly) hermit once they reach the end of the desert and cross into Archenland.
* Uncle Rick, from ''Literature/ToughMagic'', lives by himself a few miles away from town, is anti-social, not much of a talker and resides in a mountain (But not a cave. Sort of.).
* Literature/JudgeDee is rather sceptical of hermits as a whole, but he does meet one that gives him important clues to solving a murder.
* In the backstory of ''Literature/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'', Willy Wonka became this for a time after he closed his factory due to corporate espionage on the part of his rivals, completely breaking off contact with other people and vanishing from the public eye. Eventually he discovered the Oompa-Loompas and hired them as a new workforce, though he remains an in-universe ReclusiveArtist.
* Several of Carl Hiaasen's novels include a recurring hermit named "Skink" who's sworn off society and lived the last 40-some years wandering the Florida Everglades, subsiding off roadkill and occasionally surfacing to lend his hand to a struggling individual or exact some vigilante justice on those who he feels have wronged nature. Only a few people know that he's actually Clinton Tyree, a former Governor who famously resigned and went missing after becoming disenchanted with the rampant corruption that permeated Florida politics.
* Madame Dorothea from ''Literature/{{City of Bones|2007}}'', doesn't like leaving her apartment, and only interacts with Jocelyn Fray.
* In ''Literature/TheFaerieQueene'', many knights encounter hermits -- either genuinely religious, or EvilSorcerer in disguise.
* In ''Literature/GreenAngel'', Green becomes a non-religious hermit out of grief at her family's deaths. Over the books she lives largely alone except for her dog; the boy Diamond stays for a while due to heavy face burns, and they fall in love until he leaves to search for his mother. In the second book, she's less of a hermit since people come to her to tell their stories, and it takes the end of the book for Green to finally start living with Diamond and his mother.
* The Ashentäk Oracle in ''Literature/{{Noob}}'' had to leave the city to settle in the Ashentäk BubblegloopSwamp, due to being a BlessedWithSuck {{Seer}} who would get regularly harassed. She's aware that whoever goes though the trouble of paying her a visit must ''really'' need her help, so she's as good a hostess as living in a half-sunken castle can permit her.
* In the story ''Literature/ALittleBushMaid'' by the author Creator/MaryGrantBruce, Norah Linton discovers a hermit living in the Australian bush. He is quite friendly to Norah and her friends but has a DarkAndTroubledPast which explains why he prefers to live in isolation.
* Tom Oakley from ''Literature/GoodnightMisterTom'' became this at the start of the book after losing his wife and his son, but he still has his dog Sammy for company.
* In ''Literature/TheDivineComedy'', the seventh sphere of Heaven (Saturn) houses those who left their worldly possessions to live a monastic life.

* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' story "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS9E5TheTimeMonster The Time Monster]]", the Doctor refers to visiting a hermit who lived on a mountain behind his house on Gallifrey. ({{Fanon}} has it that this was K'anpo Rinpoche, the Buddhist Time Lord from "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS11E5PlanetOfTheSpiders Planet of the Spiders]]".)
* Parodied in a ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' sketch about hermits living in caves on a mountainside, who act like cooped in housewives and often ''meet up for a chat''!
* One episode of ''Series/BoyMeetsWorld'' features an ImagineSpot after the group of friends begin playing pranks on one another in which this causes a rift between them and breaks them apart. In this fantasy, Eric becomes a hermit living alone purifying and re-drinking his own urine, having changed his name to Plays-With-Squirrels. He wrote an immense manifesto (claiming that every hermit has one), which includes a thousand blank pages and only one with writing on it- "Lose one friend, lose all friends, lose yourself."
* In ''Series/{{Merlin}}'', the titular character's father Balinor lived as a hermit.
* In ''Series/ThePath'', Kodiak is this. A mystic and WillingChanneler, founding member of the Meyerist faith, he has lived alone in, literally, Siberia (perhaps studying shamanism there) for the past twelve years, until called back to the main community by their doctor, to help her unravel leader Cal's schemes. He is a NatureLover. Along with mystic/counselor Richard, he becomes TheSeeker.
* Stinger/Sasori Orange of ''Series/UchuuSentaiKyuranger'' prefers solitude as he doesn't want to associate with anyone. DarkAndTroubledPast is major cause for this. He can be [[HiddenHeartOfGold roughly kind]] under the right circumstances.

* In the Music/WarrenZevon song "Splendid Isolation", this is the ultimate goal of the narrator- to remove himself from the rest of humanity as much as physically possible.

* ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'': The ''Fire & Brimstone'' supplement included a Hermit archetype for Blessed characters.

* Timon of ''Theatre/TimonOfAthens'' becomes a hermit once he is sufficiently MaddenedIntoMisanthropy, and unlike most examples, he's not friendly to visitors ''at all''.
* A MadMathematician hermit is a major plot point in ''Theatre/{{Arcadia}}''. By the end of the play, we know it was [[spoiler: Septimus]].
* This trope is a very common feature of SamuelBeckett's male protagonists (like the "seedy solipsists" of ''Murphy'', ''Krapp's Last Tape'' and ''Eleutheria'') who often try to detach themselves from the outside world entirely.

* 'Arry the 'Ermit from ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryI: So You Want to be a Hero'' is very friendly and loves company, but is still very much a 'ermit.
* VideoGame/{{Touhou}} has Kasen Ibaraki, The One-Armed, Horned Hermit. She lives on her own, and is about as eccentric as most people in [[MagicalLand Gensokyo]]. However, she is also tasked with aiding people with her wisdom, so she's not a complete recluse. Though called an Evil Hermit, Seiga Kaku is not much for isolation (what with masterminding religious takeovers and living with a zombie).
* Jolee Bindo in VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic. You find him living in a hut on the surface of Kashyyyk, which is largely populated by dangerous animals and reckless young Wookiees.
* The nameless hermit of ''VideoGame/AvencastRiseOfTheMage'' doesn't figure into the game, but he's critical to the backstory and serves as the audience for the framing device.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' features a mad hermit as part of the ''Nature of the Beast'' questline. The player character must either seek his help to reach the centre of the [[TheLostWoods Brecilian forest]] or retrieve an acorn from him for a [[WhenTreesAttack poetic sylvan.]] He is also a powerful blood mage who once occupied a tower raised from the ground with magic.
** Solas of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' is an elven hermit, displeased with society as a whole and particularly the direction the elves have gone. [[spoiler:Unsurprisingly, seeing as he's actually one of their gods.]]
* In ''VideoGame/KultHereticKingdoms'', one of Alita's tasks is to track down a hermit who lives in the woods, as a favour to the forest's guardian. He's found, but only as a ghost. Since he's a ''religious'' hermit, and Alita's job is to [[IllegalReligion enforce a ban on religion]], their interaction is a bit rocky, but the hermit's new posthumous status makes their debate purely academic.
* Linus from ''VideoGame/StardewValley'' is a old man who lives in a tent by the lake in the mountains near Robin's house, living off wild forage (and leftovers fished out of people's garbage cans). He's something of an outcast among the other villagers, but if the player befriends him he'll teach them a few cooking recipes, and how to make Wild Bait for fishing.
* Crow from ''VideoGame/{{Evolve}}'' chose to live alone in the wilds of [[DeathWorld Shear]] for his retirement, surviving off the land with only a little tech to help him. His job before that was essentially the same thing, being dropped alone onto alien worlds for a few years to learn about its survivability before being retrieved, debriefed, and tossed to a new world.

* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'': In the Remnant fairytale, the Story of the Seasons, The Old Wizard lived in an isolated cabin in the middle of a forest. He received no visitors and hadn't even left the house to step outside in centuries when the four heroic sisters encountered him. Through their compassion and persistence, they encouraged him to accept their presence, their help and to even step into the sunlight, transforming his life for the better. In return, he rewarded them with his magical powers so they could use them to help humanity.

* Invoked in ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=4243 asking whether the Storytime Zombie's ignorance stems from living in a cave.]]
* In ''Webcomic/KiddCommander'', Jocasta lives alone in a shack. Phineas tells her: "Dunno why you bother locking it. No one else is gonna walk all the way out here to see you."

* ''WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow'' episode "Hermit Ren", where Ren becomes a hermit to get away from Stimpy.
* Garrett from ''WesternAnimation/QuestForCamelot'' fame. He even has a theme song he sings.
* [[spoiler:Toph]] is revealed to have become one in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', living in solitude except for the occasional raid on the swamp tribes. She claims she knows what's happening all over the world via the roots of the WorldTree.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanUnlimitedMechVsMutants'' sees Mr. Freeze perfectly content with being one and staying in the Arctic until the Penguin talks him into returning to Gotham.

* There's of course the Tarot card named "The Hermit", which represents contemplative solitude.

* The early Christian hermits who lived in the deserts of Egypt and Palestine in the fourth and fifth centuries AD; indeed, words like "monk" and "monastery" derive from the Greek word ''monos'', "alone". Hermits began to congregate into loose collections (now known as "sketes"), where hermits would live around a central place where they could gather for worship; these evolved into monasteries. However, there are still monks and nuns who follow this tradition and live as hermits. (They'll tell you they aren't really living alone, but choose solitude in order to experience God more fully.)
** Ditto with monastic traditions in other religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam.
* In 18th century England, the best gardens would have an "ornamental" hermit. This person was hired to live on the grounds in a hovel and appear occasionally for guests... at a distance. They weren't allowed to bathe or cut their nails and hair over their tenure. After several years, the hermit would be let go and paid a large sum of money. Most modern interpretations of hermits are modeled after this fad.
* Somewhat TruthInTelevision with people who have Schizoid personalities. This isn't the same as Schizophrenic: people with this disposition do not suffer from social anxiety as do {{Hikikomori}}, nor do they particularly desire to go out and interact with others, and many hold jobs and spouses. They simply prefer to be alone, and cut themselves off from the "usual" social interactions. With the new DSM-V criteria it won't be considered a disorder any more.
* Somewhat of a {{Downplayed|Trope}} example, but there's a perception that this trope is a common reason for why some Americans choose to move to Alaska.
* Famously, Creator/HenryDavidThoreau spent a bit over two years living in comparative solitude at Walden Pond, which formed the basis for his book ''Walden''. He often entertained visitors, however, and returned to society once his time was over, so his stay at Walden was more of a social experiment in simple living than an official hermit lifestyle.
* The [[http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/for-40-years-this-russian-family-was-cut-off-from-all-human-contact-unaware-of-world-war-ii-7354256/ Lykov family]] lived in seclusion for nearly 40 years after fleeing religious persecution during the early years of the Soviet Union, living some 150 miles/240 kilometers away from the nearest settlements in the Siberian wilderness. They were completely unaware that UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo had occurred, or even that men had landed on the moon, and were amazed at some of what then modern society had to offer, such as cellophane. It should also be noted that their life was pretty hard, and they were under constant threat of starvation (which the mother died from in 1961) due to not having a lot of modern tools for wilderness survival many people take for granted today, such as cooking utensils or hunting gear. Additionally, three of the children died within days of each other, two from kidney failure, likely due to their diet, and a third from pneumonia. Sadly, only one of the daughters, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFK3DJ7Kn6s Agafia]] who is now in her 70's, is still alive.