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** Belkar Bitterleaf sort of has one of these [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0435.html here.]] He saved Hinjo in the end, but only because he might not be able to kill people later otherwise. This nets him good karma as he soon gets a horde of goblins to murdalize.

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** Belkar Bitterleaf sort of has one of these [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0435.html here.]] He saved Hinjo in the end, but only because he might not be able to kill people later otherwise. This nets him good karma as he soon gets a horde of goblins to murdalize.murder.


[[folder:Mythology and Religion]]

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[[folder:Mythology and [[folder:Myths & Religion]]



* The entire point of [[OlderThanFeudalism Plato's]] [[Literature/TheRepublic story about the Ring of Gyges]] is that ''no one'' can pass this test. If equipped with a magical ring that gives invisibility (and thus freedom from consequence), Plato believed that anyone would act purely in his own self-interest.

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* The entire point of [[OlderThanFeudalism Plato's]] Creator/{{Plato}}'s [[Literature/TheRepublic story about the Ring of Gyges]] is that ''no one'' can pass this test. If equipped with a magical ring that gives invisibility (and thus freedom from consequence), Plato believed that anyone would act purely in his own self-interest.



* Literature/TheBible knows human nature well.
** Colossians instructs slaves and employees to do the work they're meant to do at all times, not only when their earthly masters' eye's are on you.
** Jesus expresses the corollary of this in Matthew 6:2.

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* Literature/TheBible ''Literature/TheBible'' knows human nature well.
** Colossians ''Literature/BookOfColossians'' instructs slaves and employees to do the work they're meant to do at all times, not only when their earthly masters' eye's are on you.
** Jesus UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}} expresses the corollary of this in ''[[Literature/TheFourGospels Matthew 6:2.6:2]]''.



** Genisis 39:9 Joseph to Potiphar's Wife (who's trying to seduce him): "No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?"
* Nobody knew that Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Sanhedrin, was a disciple of Jesus. Revealing himself would invite scorn (and possibly worse) from his peers, and the guy he followed had just been crucified. Yet he decided to give Jesus a [[DueToTheDead honorable burial]] anyways, in his own tomb.
** Another OlderThanPrint example is this 13th century Middle Dutch rhyme:
--->''Als du wel does so swigher of'' ("If you do [something] good, don't speak of it.")
--->''Dus saltu hebben ghoden lof'' ("Then you will have God's praise.")
** Of course, one of the main reasons the Bible teaches one to act in such a way is because when you're dealing with omniscient, omnipresent God, you are ''never'' in the dark.

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** Genisis 39:9 ''Literature/BookOfGenesis'' 39:9. Joseph to Potiphar's Wife (who's trying to seduce him): "No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?"
* ** Nobody knew that Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Sanhedrin, was a disciple of Jesus. Revealing himself would invite scorn (and possibly worse) from his peers, and the guy he followed had just been crucified. Yet he decided to give Jesus a [[DueToTheDead honorable burial]] anyways, in his own tomb.
** * Another OlderThanPrint example is this 13th century Middle Dutch rhyme:
--->''Als -->''Als du wel does so swigher of'' ("If you do [something] good, don't speak of it.")
--->''Dus
")\\
''Dus
saltu hebben ghoden lof'' ("Then you will have God's praise.")
** Of course, one of the main reasons the Bible teaches one to act in such a way is because when you're dealing with omniscient, omnipresent God, you are ''never'' in the dark.
")

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[[folder:Podcasts]]
* In ''Podcast/EighteenSixtyFive'' Johnson tries to get Stanton to call-off his investigation by offering to nominate Stanton as a Supreme Court justice. Stanton refuses without missing a beat. Itís going to take a lot more than that to stop him from fighting for Lincolnís legacy.
[[/folder]]


The StockPhrase is usually something like "No one will ever know." It can [[BreakThemByTalking taunt them with the futility of their heroism]] (perhaps even telling them that they will [[DyingAlone die alone]], [[DueToTheDead unmourned]], [[TragicFuneral with no one attending their funeral]], [[FamedInStory unremembered]]), or tempt them with the rewards of villainy, even telling our hero that the heroic act will be [[MaliciousSlander interpreted as villainy]], and vice versa. A more foolish and friendly villain may urge it's NotCheatingUnlessYouGetCaught.

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The StockPhrase is usually something like "No one will ever know." It can [[BreakThemByTalking taunt them with the futility of their heroism]] (perhaps even telling them that they will [[DyingAlone die alone]], [[DueToTheDead unmourned]], [[TragicFuneral with no one attending their funeral]], [[FamedInStory [[TheGreatestStoryNeverTold unremembered]]), or tempt them with the rewards of villainy, even telling our hero that the heroic act will be [[MaliciousSlander interpreted as villainy]], and vice versa. A more foolish and friendly villain may urge it's NotCheatingUnlessYouGetCaught.


** In episode 5, Kirito and Asuna (before they become a couple) fall asleep next to each other. Kirito wakes up before Asuna and realizes that with no one around, he can do whatever he wants to her. [[FaceDoodling He draws cat whiskers on her face]].

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** In episode 5, Kirito and Asuna (before they become a couple) fall asleep next to each other. Kirito wakes up before Asuna and realizes that with no one around, he can do whatever he wants to her. [[FaceDoodling He draws cat whiskers on her face]]. In fact, when questioned, he reveals that he never even thought of anything else that he could possible do to someone who's sleeping.

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* Mentioned in Music/CoheedAndCambria's song "All on Fire".
--> ''We'll soon find out who we are when all goes dark.''

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[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* ''ComicStrip/{{Zits}}'': One arc kicks off with Jeremy's class getting a surprise essay assignment. Phoebe suggests to Jeremy that there's a new website selling high-quality essays for cheap that he can use to skimp out on it, saying that one cheated paper would meaning nothing in the long run. Later that night, Jeremy visits the website and muses how one click of the mouse would determine either pulling an all-nighter or paying for the grade. He thinks, then makes his choice. The next day, the teacher notices all the similar-looking assignments and says that some students, like Phoebe, will have to prove their work is original...and some will not, as evidenced by Jeremy asleep at his desk from an all-nighter with his cobbled-together essay.
[[/folder]]

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** Another, more tragic example occurs in ''Theatre/KingLear.'' At the opening of the play, Lear plans to retire as king and leave the realm to his three daughters. He declares that he will decide on the size and quality of their portion of land based on a speech they give about how much they love him. The elder princesses Goneril and Regan launch into lengthy monologues about how amazing Lear is, how he's the perfect man, and how they'll never love anyone as much as him. But then Cordelia, the youngest daughter--and Lear's favorite--gives a humbler speech, explaining that while she ''does'' love her father, he's not the only thing she cares about (for example, she's planning to marry, and will certainly love her husband more so than her dad). Lear is absolutely infuriated by this, and gives her multiple chances to say something more flattering, but Cordelia refuses. This prompts Lear to rescind his offer and banish her. It turns out, though, that Goneril and Regan were blatantly lying about their love for the king and ultimately abandon him. In contrast, Cordelia's honesty proved that she was actually of strong character and good judgment, but Lear's [[ItsAllAboutMe self-absorption]] blinds him to those facts until it's too late.


* ''WebAnimation/TalesOfAlethrion'': ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUlg8Y_mLfA&index=8 The Reward]]'' ends with the titular character [[SealedEvilInACan sealing away a demonic version of himself]] at the cost of his life with no one, including his LoveInterest ever learning he was anything but a heartless mercenary OnlyInItForTheMoney.

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* ''WebAnimation/TalesOfAlethrion'': ''[[https://www.[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUlg8Y_mLfA&index=8 The Reward]]'' "The First Hero"]] ends with the titular character [[SealedEvilInACan sealing away a demonic version of himself]] at the cost of his life with no one, including his LoveInterest ever learning he was anything but a heartless mercenary OnlyInItForTheMoney.


* ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUlg8Y_mLfA&index=8 The Reward: Tales of Alethrion]]'' ends with the titular character [[SealedEvilInACan sealing away a demonic version of himself]] at the cost of his life with no one, including his LoveInterest ever learning he was anything but a heartless mercenary OnlyInItForTheMoney.

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* ''WebAnimation/TalesOfAlethrion'': ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUlg8Y_mLfA&index=8 The Reward: Tales of Alethrion]]'' Reward]]'' ends with the titular character [[SealedEvilInACan sealing away a demonic version of himself]] at the cost of his life with no one, including his LoveInterest ever learning he was anything but a heartless mercenary OnlyInItForTheMoney.


The usual {{A|nAesop}}esop of this trope revolves around the idea that anyone can do the right thing when all the attention is placed on them and it would be inconvenient not to do so, but it takes real strength of character ó and heroism ó to do the heroic thing when no one is watching and there's nothing to lose. This may carry an [[FamilyUnfriendlyAesop unfortunate implication]] that [[HobbesWasRight most humans aren't bastards only when]] BigBrotherIsWatching.

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The usual {{A|nAesop}}esop of this trope revolves around the idea that anyone can do the right thing when all the attention is placed on them and it would be inconvenient not to do so, but it takes real strength of character ó and heroism ó to do the heroic thing when no one is watching and there's nothing to lose. This may carry an [[FamilyUnfriendlyAesop unfortunate implication]] a cynical message that [[HobbesWasRight most humans aren't bastards only when]] BigBrotherIsWatching.


* In episode 5 of ''WebVideo/SwordArtOnlineAbridged'', Kirito and Asuna (before they become a couple) fall asleep next to each other. Kirito wakes up before Asuna and realizes that with no one around, he can do whatever he wants to her. [[FaceDoodling He draws cat whiskers on her face]].

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* ''WebVideo/SwordArtOnlineAbridged''
**
In episode 5 of ''WebVideo/SwordArtOnlineAbridged'', 5, Kirito and Asuna (before they become a couple) fall asleep next to each other. Kirito wakes up before Asuna and realizes that with no one around, he can do whatever he wants to her. [[FaceDoodling He draws cat whiskers on her face]].face]].
** In episode 13, Suguha is lounging on the back porch eating a snack when Kirito returns, which leads to a near-death experience after she starts choking on her snack. Kirito thinks to himself that [[MurderByInaction all he has to do to get rid of Suguha is nothing]], which would end years of her bullying and abuse. The only thing that could save Suguha is if Kirito hands her a nearby juice box, [[ChronicHeroSyndrome which he finds himself doing in the middle of his internal monologue]].

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* Music/PhilCollins would fail the test, at least regarding the subject of "In The Air Tonight."
-->''Well if you told me you were drowning, I would not lend a hand''


* During a race at the UsefulNotes/OlympicGames, Canadian sailor [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Lemieux Lawrence Lemieux]] was in second place and all but guaranteed to advance to the medal round. But he noticed that the Singapore team had capsized, were injured, and in serious danger of drowning. Deciding that winning a medal was ''not'' worth letting people die when he could do something, Lemieux turned back to save the Singapore team, which cost Lemieux the race. However, things worked out--the International Yacht Racing Union unanimously voted to officially award Lemieux with second place anyways. In the end, Lemieux didn't get a medal for a top-three place in the medal round... but he ''was'' [[SweetAndSourGrapes awarded the Pierre de Coubertin Medal]], the supreme and rarest of all Olympic medals, for exemplifying the spirit of the Olympic Games at its finest.

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* During a race at the UsefulNotes/OlympicGames, 1988 UsefulNotes/OlympicGames in Seoul, Canadian sailor [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Lemieux Lawrence Lemieux]] was in second place and all but guaranteed to advance to the medal round. But he noticed that the Singapore team had capsized, were injured, and in serious danger of drowning. Deciding that winning a medal was ''not'' worth letting people die when he could do something, Lemieux turned back to save the Singapore team, which cost Lemieux the race. However, things worked out--the International Yacht Racing Union unanimously voted to officially award Lemieux with second place anyways. In the end, Lemieux didn't get a medal for a top-three place in the medal round... but he ''was'' [[SweetAndSourGrapes awarded the Pierre de Coubertin Medal]], the supreme and rarest of all Olympic medals, for exemplifying the spirit of the Olympic Games at its finest.

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** The Volume 7 ending theme, '"Fear", discusses this trope in summarizing one of the central themes of the volume.
-->''Who will you see''
-->''There in the darkness?''
-->''When no one is watching''
-->''Who will you be?''

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