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Blind Obedience

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Eden: Why? Why did my father kill [her]?! Doesn't even my father... make mistakes?
Leo Mycenae: Wh-what did you say?
Eden: Couldn't my father also make a mistake?
Leo Mycenae: What are you saying, lord Eden? We've sworn our loyalty to lord Mars. That means that we must never question his actions!

This trope applies to characters that are sources of authority and those who follow them. Typically the followers have faith (sometimes blind) in the competence, fairness and infallibility of the authority they choose to follow. These followers would never say "My Master, Right or Wrong", firstly because they're not evil, and secondly because the idea that this authority is capable of error and/or immorality may not even cross their mind. Thirdly, if it does they may justify it as the authority "knowing better" or having a view of the "big picture".

The authority in question rarely does much to dispel this notion and may in fact Pridefully think of themselves as infallible to the point of having an Omniscient Morality License (they very much don't though). While they may be a Reasonable Authority Figure, it's common for this trope that they see themselves as unquestionable arbiters of Law and Good (or Might Makes Right for villains), and questioning their judgement is at the least naive foolishness or at worst tantamount to treason. The plot comes in just as they make a pretty bad error of judgement (or go crazy/evil) and a fair chunk of their subordinates/the populace disagrees with them, and the disagreement simmers into open rebellion before long.

These followers will often obey their leader even when they are Ordered to Die. Compare/contrast Yes-Man, Incapable of Disobeying, Honor Before Reason and I Don't Pay You to Think. See also Undying Loyalty, My Country, Right or Wrong, Just Following Orders, and Mindless Sheep. See also Artificial Insolence when disobeying the player's orders is a game mechanic.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Azumi: As children, Azumi and her foster siblings were taught to never question her orders and that the people she was sent to assassinate were evil and wanted to drag Japan back into the chaos of civil war. One of her assassination targets even realizes she's been brainwashed and makes an effort to get through to her, managing to sow seeds of doubt that grow until Azumi realizes the people she's being sent to kill are — for the most part — just people trying to survive and/or who backed the losing side of the civil war.
  • Berserk:
    • Casca practically worshiped Griffith ever since he saved her from being raped by a nobleman when she was twelve years old and grew up to be his most devoted follower until Guts came along and became her rival for that position. While she takes her responsibility to her troops very seriously, her personal loyalty to Griffith overrides everything else, at least at first. As her initially hostile attitude towards Guts changes, first seeing him as a comrade and eventually falling in love with him, Judeau notices how she's already a different person than she used to be:
      The old Casca would have never cared even if it came to comrades getting hurt. I bet she wouldn't even have faltered at losing her own life had it been Griffith's will. To Casca, his word was gospel. No. Maybe that's still the truth, she herself even aware that she's begun to change?
    • This is the big theme of the Chapter of the Birth Ceremony, in which conflict between the Church and heretics both real and imaginary comes to a head in the refugee settlement at St. Albion:
      • Farnese begins her character arc as a Knight Templar leading the Holy Iron Chain Knights, a military order controlled by the Holy See and used for hunting down enemies of the Church. Because her noble and wealthy parents were never there for her while she was growing up, Farnese grew up lonely and extremely maladjusted. She latched onto the Church as a source of authority and approval and turned to burning heretics at the stake so she could banish her fear and loneliness with a feeling of power, to the point where the sight of people being burned alive sexually excited her. Thus she had no problem with interrogating and burning suspects even in cases where the Church was clearly siding with the corrupt against the legitimate grievances of the people.
      • Farnese and the Holy Iron Chain Knights find themselves tasked with carrying out the will of Bishop Mozgus, an agent of the Holy Inquisition who has come to sniff out and exterminate heresy at the St. Albion refugee camp. While there are real heretics and demon-worshipers lurking among the refugees, the Inquisition does little to prevent innocent people from being arrested and brought in for torture and punishes any criticism of church leadership or policy with the same barbaric methods. Mozgus is the most terrifying kind of Knight Templar because he genuinely believes that his methods — which include arresting people based on anonymous denunciations and torturing them to the point where most of them die — are for the people's own good because even if they die, he believes their souls will be cleansed and saved through suffering. He once went so far as to kill all the women and children in a village just because the inhabitants had the impertinence to petition for relief from the Church's tithes during a famine. Mozgus employs a team of physically deformed professional torturers whom he took in after they were persecuted for their monstrous appearances, and while the one called Bird admits that he doesn't like hurting people, he and his fellows feel that this is the chance they've been given to carry out the commands of Scripture and to repay Mozgus for his kindness to them.
      • As the chapter continues, the difference between those who follow blindly and those willing to question authority comes out. Even Farnese is horrified by the consequences of this persecution and goes to ask Mozgus whether what they're doing is really helping people, but Mozgus tells her that as long as she is following God's orders, she needn't feel guilty about how much suffering she has to inflict. However, she still hears the voices inside her head telling her that she's unworthy of being saved, and she is deeply shaken in her beliefs by the example of Anti-Hero Guts who openly defies the Church in his quest to get his beloved Casca back. Ultimately those who decide to think for themselves and follow Guts are the ones who survive the collapse of the Tower and the Mock Eclipse, while those who look above them for salvation are swallowed up by the darkness.
  • Bleach:
    • The Gotei 13 is supposed to carry out the will of the Central 46 without question and even the captains are forbidden from questioning the Central 46's decisions: going against their decisions is treason. This is why Aizen masquerades as the Central 46 when ordering Rukia's execution and why Yamamoto is so angry with Ukitake and Kyouraku's disobedience. This is also the reason Byakuya gives Ichigo in response to the latter's question about why he's willing to support his sister's execution, although it is eventually revealed that this isn't the full truth.
    • The Vandenreich Quincies are expected to be blindly and unquestioningly obedient to Yhwach's will. He has set himself up as a God-Emperor, who has taken the name of the Tetragrammaton because his power functions as divine miracles. All Quincies are blood-bound to him, and he can further enslave their very souls in the process of giving them greater power. In practice, the Quincies do question Yhwach's decisions, and he encourages dissent among the ranks for his own ends, but he doesn't hesitate to kill Quincies if they betray him. Eventually, some Quincies feel betrayed enough to side with the Shinigami against him.
  • The Arbiters in Death Parade are like this by design. The rules of their job - and by extension, their ''entire'' existence - all revolve around absolutes, with no gray area. They are called “puppets” by those who uphold the system, and any attempts at changing the status quo are quashed. Any character who questions their role in the system get brushed off ant are told to just accept it. While the main character seems to have broken the cycle by the end of the series, it’s implied that it will "ruin him."
  • Daimos: Taken up to eleven with Raiza towards the Alien Prince Richter. She is so desperate to be of use to Richter that she becomes vehemently angry when he asks someone else (such as Gurney Halleck) to carry out his orders and tries to sabotage them. When Richter does ask her of something, she pulls out all the stops to make sure it goes smoothly as planned - for example, taking a whole flight of battleships with her while burying Erika on Earth because she was certain Daimos would interfere. For what it's worth, she actually did turn out to be correct, Daimos did interfere - because she gave them a heads-up through Margarete. When Richter sees Kazuya at the burial, he's furious and challenges him to a duel.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood: When Ed angrily confronts Mustang over killing Maria Ross, Mustang punches Ed in the face and makes a terrifying speech about the law of obedience in the military, and how following orders without question is what it means to be a soldier. Of course, Mustang not only didn't kill Ross, he engineered her escape from prison himself after determining her innocence, and the entire speech plus Ed's reaction is just to throw the military off the scent.
  • Gundam:
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans: Mikazuki Augus is fanatically dedicated to Orga Itsuka. He does anything Orga asks without question, complaint, or hesitation, and one of the most common things he says is "Orga, what should I do?" Explained as Orga being the one who kept him alive during their days as street urchins, which has translated into a belief that Orga always knows what's best. Fortunately, Orga is a pretty decent guy who genuinely cares about the people under his command, but it still comes across as rather creepy. But even this deference is conditional on Orga advancing their shared goal of a good life. When Orga is too traumatized to give any orders, Mikazuki starts angrily demanding Orga get things back on track.
      Mikazuki: Whatever Orga tells me to do, that's what I do.
      McGillis: Orga has nothing to do with this. I'm asking what you want.
      Mikazuki: I told you already: whatever Orga tells me to do, that's what I do.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury: Suletta is disturbingly willing to obey anything her mother says. Though Suletta claims she wouldn't necessarily do anything her mom would order, when pressed by Miorine Suletta admits she'd give up her dreams and kill at her mother's command.
  • Vanilla Ice from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure takes on a form of zealotry that few fanatics can even dream of achieving. When his master, the vampire lord Dio Brando, mentions that he might need some blood in order to heal the scar on his neck, Ice's immediate response is to offer some of his own blood by cutting off his own head.
  • In A Love Letter For The Marching Puppy, this is expected of cadets at the Japanese military academy where the series is set. After Iindou politely asks a superior why Kagami was removed from her position as Iindou's "model student," which later turns out to be due to Kagami's mother pulling strings for complicated personal reasons, she gets a vicious tongue-lashing over how orders must be followed without question, and, as some readers point out, she got off easy compared to what would have happened in real life.
  • My Hero Academia: Nomus, artificial humans created by mixing the DNA of one person with several other Quirks, are designed to be completely and blindly subservient to the League of Villains' lieutenants and most of them have no other cognitive impulses other than to follow with their masters' will.

    Comic Books 
  • In Astro City, Most of the alien Zirr have this towards their warlord Emperor. When Zo's sister Ziriza questions why the First Family repeatedly attack the Zirr Empire even though (by the official accounts) they were previously defeated and punished, her father angrily insists that she's just confused and the Priestlords will straighten her out.

    Fan Works 
  • Code Prime: This is what leads to the Knights of the Rounds’ downfall. When the SAZ massacre occurs thanks to Megatron’s machinations, he has Soundwave send out a falsified transmission from Charles zi Britannia to the Knights, and orders them to destroy the SAZ. Bismark, Dorothea, Luciano, and Anya/Marianne follow without question, while Monica, Gino, and Nonette refuse to take part in it. Then at the beginning of R2, when the remaining Knights of the Round along with the Pacific Fleet assault the Decepticon capital, Schneizel el Britannia contacts them to try to convince them to surrender, but they refuse, as Bismark declares that they swore absolute loyalty to Charles zi Britannia. As a result, with the exception of Gino and Anya/Marianne, they're all wiped out by the Decepticon combiners Bruticus and Devastator.
  • The Moon Cries in Reverse (Naruto): While somewhat Downplayed, this is still a serious issue amongst the loyal shinobi of Konoha, particularly when it comes to the Sandaime. Although people are capable of acknowledging that Hiruzen is not completely infallible, they still tend to swallow up whatever excuses he offers them — and he loves to insist that everything he does is for the greater good. This only gets worse after his death; even Jiraiya, who had previously called him out on his mistreatment of Naruto, Sakura and Shikamaru, refuses to acknowledge his flaws any further.
  • Most of the time, the Space Ponies of My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic wouldn't dream of going against Starfleet, much less question Grand Ruler's orders. This is also expected of the other residents under Starfleet jurisdiction. When Ace Ray, Brass Bolt, and Windy Bag all criticized Starfleet on separate occasions, the Space Ponies were quick to condemn them. When Twilight went off on her own to stop Raven, GR told the Space Ponies to stay back even though both Twilight and Celestia would be in danger. When Starla was kidnapped at her wedding just episodes later, Starfleet doesn't go after her until GR gave the green light. When Lightning turns into a child, he wants to still join the fight, and only doesn't because he is told to stay out. They only draw the line at blowing themselves up for their leader.
  • Total Drama World Tour Deluxe: Noah remarks in a confessional how Lindsay had this for Heather in Total Drama Island, which led to her assisting her reign of terror for most of the season and is why Noah, unlike most people, felt No Sympathy towards Lindsay for her elimination. He later recognizes that Tyler has the same thing for Alejandro this season, so Tyler's elimination in Greece serves as a major blow against Alejandro. Tyler actually has it so bad that even after his elimination he refuses to see Alejandro as anything except his best friend.

    Film - Live-Action 
  • In Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, when soldiers are sent to evacuate the town, one character points out that the soldiers are leading them further into the town meaning they are likely going to nuke the place. Another character's response? "The government wouldn't lie to us!" Much revelry was had in theaters.
  • An American Carol: When Malone/Moore tries to say "The government just wants to...." the juvenile lefties break into a chant of "GOVERNMENT JUST WANTS!/GOVERNMENT JUST WANTS!" When even he is exasperated and tells them to "Stop the chanting for a minute!", they respond with "STOP! DON'T CHANT!/STOP! DON'T CHANT!"
  • Played for Drama in Await Further Instructions, particularly with Tony, the patriarch of the family, who views any dissent from what the television says as practically treasonous.
  • The Death of Stalin: Molotov is almost comically loyal to Stalin, even after his death. When informed by Khrushchev that he was on Stalin's list for execution, Molotov can only conclude that he must have grievously wronged him somehow, and his first thought has to do with what on Earth he might have done wrong instead of how to escape the USSR.
    • His wife Polina is just as if not more loyal. To the point that after being sentenced by Stalin to a labor camp and spending years there, when Beria releases her and tells her Stalin is dead, she immediately bursts into tears, which Beria is utterly unnerved bynote .
  • The Boxer Rebellion Clan from Legendary Weapons of China are practically indoctrinated since birth to be obedient to the point of suicidal. If they're Ordered to Die by their bosses, they will comply. Case in point? In their introduction scene, two clan members are ordered to commit suicide, by digging out their eyes and clawing out their nuts. They did exactly just that.
  • Lampshaded in Monty Python's Life of Brian: Brian gets mistaken for a religious messiah, and his new "followers" refuse to get the point of anything he tries to say about it.
    Brian: Look, you've got it all wrong, you don't need to follow me; you don't need to follow anyone. You're all individuals!
    Crowd: Yes! We're all individuals!
    Brian: You're all different!
    Crowd: Yes! We're all different!
    The Runt at the End: I'm not!
    Crowd: Shh! Shhhh!
    Brian: You've all got to work it out for yourselves!
    Crowd: Yes, we've got to work it out for ourselves!
    Brian: Yes exactly!
    Crowd: Tell us more!
    Brian: No, that's the point, don't let anyone tell you what to do, otherwise... ow!
    Woman in Black: That's enough.

  • Amar from Allegiant is a staunch believer in what the Bureau teaches about genetic damage and genetic purity, despite living with "genetically damaged" people for most of his life.
  • Animal Farm:
    • The other animals initially follow the Pigs unquestioningly, especially Boxer, who makes "Napoleon is always right" a motto of his.
    • Later on, while the other animals have something of a clue that all isn't right, the sheep personify this the most, as all they do is repeat what the Pigs said, from "Four legs good, two legs bad" to "Four legs good, two legs better!"
  • Avesta of Black and White: In this setting there exists something called a Commandment, a set of restrictions someone has to abide by or face divine retribution. The main character Quinn is under the restriction of her having to obey any order given to her provided that it doesn't conflict with one she is already obeying from a higher authority. The trade-off is that she is able to execute those orders regardless of past experiences, skill or physical capabilities.
  • The Books of Ember:
    • In The City of Ember most people treat the mayor as a pretty infallible and sensible authority figure, which he abused to his gain. Though their city was breaking down and the power plant to their Terminally Dependent Society was nearing failure he managed to keep almost everyone content. The protagonists were some of the few to see the problem and fought to find a way out.
    • The series prequel The Prophet of Yonwood has Althea Towers, an elderly woman who receives an apocalyptic vision of the future. The community believes that if they follow her instructions and rid the town of evil, they will be saved. They go to rather extreme lengths to do this, shunning anyone who doesn't follow the least of Althea's strict commandments. In the end, it turns out that Althea wasn't even trying to be a religious leader; her followers had misinterpreted her descriptions of the future as actual instructions to the community. (It Makes Sense in Context)
  • Chrysalis (RinoZ): Anthony is exasperated by how much reverence and obedience he gets from the Colony (who always find ways to interpret even his mistakes as foresightful attempts to help the Colony stand on its own feet), Crinis (who is obsessed with him), and especially from Beyn the preacher, who has decided that the ants were sent by heaven to save everyone, and who spends his days preaching for the people to be more like the Colony. It gets to the point where the worker ants are able to walk into the village and carry everyone away into the anthill without any protest or resistance. Turns out that the newly sapient ants were smart enough to recognise the villagers as food and ignore the pheromone barriers Anthony had placed around the village — and he hadn't yet had time to explain to them that the village should be left alone. On the other hand, the villagers' lack of resistance actually kept them alive long enough for Anthony to come back and intervene; since they weren't fighting back, the workers were bringing them to the Queen unharmed, so that she could get the XP for killing them.
  • Gunner Jergen is given this portrayal in the Ciaphas Cain novels. Although only his very first appearance (when Cain was ordering him to help him escape) really counts, since Cain doesn't tend to abuse this trait.
  • In Dragon Bones, Oreg has no other option than to obey orders, he's magically bound to do it, and when he doesn't obey, he suffers horribly. However, the only time that happens on-screen, so to speak, he just wasn't able to carry out the order. As his new "owner" Ward mostly orders him to keep on doing things he has been doing anyway, there is almost no conflict about it. Only when Ward plans to give the villains the eponymous dragon bones (which Oreg was ordered to protect by a previous owner) does Oreg object - but when Ward tells him he wouldn't do it if there was a choice, he kneels down and states that he has absolute trust in Ward. This is because, at this moment, he realized that Ward would kill him on his own request, if necessary to protect the bones. He happily goes along with everything Ward wants to do from then on, and when he finally makes his request, Ward has no other choice, as, after all, he's the hero and has to do the right thing, even if the right thing consists of killing someone he'd rather protect.
  • Prophecy-Approved Companion: The protagonist, and all other Order-aligned NPCs, start out this way; in their internal monologues, fulfilling their purpose is more important than their lives or the fate of the world, to the point that they only begin to go rogue when the Munchkin player (constantly) breaks the game by flipping the bird to their usual processes, and are still obsessed with using their newfound freedom to return to the status quo. Luckily for the protagonist, her purpose is to save the world by supporting the player her way, which gives her enough leeway to develop free will.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Mole turns out to be this; his superior officer (also a mole) recruited him as a mentally damaged juvie hall psychopath and trained him to hide his crippling lack of willpower behind ruthlessness and efficiency. As a result, he's one of the most competent agents on the field but willingly betrays his friends in unnecessarily sadistic ways at the whims of his master to ease the "emotional overload" that his damaged empathy absorbs. He denies his own faults to keep obeying his superior officers, and the more they hurt him the more loyalty they gain from him. It gets so bad that in Season 3 when he is killed and possessed by a genocidal Eldritch Abomination, it has only praise for this exemplary ideal of HYDRA's Evil Plan.
  • In Chernobyl, this ingrained attitude played a large part in bringing the disaster about and severely hindered the initial response. The oldest member of the local Communist Party's first priority isn't to evacuate the citizens (as one of the younger members wants to) but to cut the phone lines so the people can't ask noisy questions of the State. The fear of dissenting opinions (which always get labeled "misinformation") drives the government to try hushing the whole thing up until they're forced to admit the problem, by which time thousands of people have been exposed to dangerous levels of radiation.
  • The Robot in Lost in Space, at least during the first half or so of the first season. During those times, Dr. Smith is able to easily manipulate the Robot by forcing him to erase certain parts of his memory (to delete information that might incriminate the Doctor). Nearly averted in one case in which the Robot questions an order from Dr. Smith to attack someone, citing his "Prime Directive" which "forbids taking human life;" however, Dr. Smith is able to issue a verbal command which overrides said Prime Directive, and the Robot opens fire on said target.
    • The Robinson children are able to easily manipulate the Robot, too. In one episode, the adults task the Robot with guarding the children so that they will remain safely in their room, but they simply issue a new command to the Robot and he lets them go.
    • You'd think the Robinson parents and/or Major West would think to put an admin password on the dang Robot, at least for issuing commands beyond the mundane, "Hey, go fetch us some water." C'mon, guyyyyyssssssss!
  • Malcolm in the Middle: When Reese joins the army, his drill sergeant molds him into the perfect soldier. At one point he orders Reese to walk into a wall repeatedly and remarks "he'll do that all day!" This proves to be a double-edged sword when Reese's earpiece breaks in the middle of a war game, leaving him with no idea what to do. Eventually he reverts back to his Chaotic Stupid self and uses a tank to destroy both the enemy and his own troops.
  • Revolution: The Monroe militia seem to follow Bad Boss General Sebastian Monroe because of this. Indeed, the episode "Children of Men" had Captain Riley talking to Captain Mark Franklin about Monroe's agenda and his misgivings over it, and Franklin more or less told him to shut up.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Valiant", the Red Squad cadets, having been trapped behind enemy lines after all their superiors were killed, developed an almost cultish loyalty to their leader Tim Watters, unquestioningly following his lead even as it becomes apparent that he's cracking under the pressure. Even getting them all killed in a suicidal assault isn't enough to break the sole surviving cadet's faith in him, insisting to Nog that they must've failed him somehow.
    • In the same series, the Jem'hadar and Vorta. Fanatically loyal to the Founders, even as it costs them their lives.

    Tabletop Games 
  • As noted by their own section on the quotes page, Warhammer 40,000's Imperium is built on this trope, and for good reason. Submission to the Emperor's will is absolute, and any who question their orders are ripe material for heresy.

    Video Games 
  • The Palace Guard in Armello. The King is dying from the Rot, and going steadily more insane as it drags him closer to death. The Palace Guard, despite being untouched by (and untouchable by) the Rot, will continue to obey his every deranged proclamation to the letter, no matter how cruel or arbitrary it is. One of the King's proclamations (which usually only appears once the game is nearly over and the King has completely lost it) averts this by causing all the Palace Guard to abandon their posts, implying that they have finally come to their senses.
  • The Player Character of Call of Duty: Ghosts, Logan Walker, to his brother, Hesh. In an interview tape, their father said that one time, when he was bringing Hesh and Logan into the woods, he looked back to see only two sets of footprints, instead of three. Logan is such a blind follower of his brother than he literally fills in his footsteps behind him.
  • The Player Character of the DonPachi series is an Ace Pilot who, through intensive combat training that involves slaughtering one's own allies, is mentally hardened and is committed to whatever his commanders task him with doing, refusing to think about the implications and consequences of his actions, as best exemplified in DoDonPachi SaiDaiOuJou where his orders are to destroy the City of Ideal's computer system; when asked about the possibility of destroying the city, he simply shrugs the question off, asserting that the orders of the DonPachi Corps' commanders are absolute.
  • In Dragon Age II, if Hawke mentions that Saarebas chose to die rather than leave the Qun, the Arishok is affronted by the human notion that such a choice should be exceptional or difficult; he'd expect no less of any Qunari.
  • In Ensemble Stars!, Souma is unquestioningly loyal to Keito, praising him extensively and continually offering his life in Keito's service. This reaches possibly delusional levels at times - in one story, he insists that it's unfair that Natsume judges Akatsuki because the Student Council bears sole responsibility for the war (which is a bit of Insane Troll Logic because Keito is the vice president of that very student council). Ryuusei Hanabi both complicates and explains this: He hasn't always defended his every action, and in fact was horrified and outraged when he realised Akatsuki were trying to sabotage Kanata. However, Keito reacted very badly to this, leaving Souma deeply hurt. We also find out in this story that his family are an extremely controlling cult - being pushed into an ideology of total obedience to authority clearly hasn't helped his mental state, either. Keito himself is extremely grateful for his love and support, as it helped him to move on from the war and become a better person. However, Souma's extreme dependence on him also worries him deeply, so over the course of the year he tries to encourage him to develop his own abilities and identity.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • While most Nohr royalty in Fire Emblem Fates only looked like they were feigning the trope in front of King Garon, who has been shown as a megalomaniacal ruler, the eldest sibling Xander is the one who adheres to this the most, due to being there when Garon was actually a just king. After witnessing his change of attitude and not believing it, he clung to the hopes that if they won the war and saved Nohr from its harsh situation, then Garon would return to normal. It jaded him so much that he stopped believing in justice and adhering to Grey-and-Gray Morality, and he's usually the last to finally believe the protagonist's story that his father was no longer the good man he grew up with.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses gives us "Thunder" Catherine, who was taken in by Archbishop Rhea when her own homeland turned against her on false accusations. While this usually comes across as Undying Loyalty, it becomes this trope when she outright says she Would Hurt a Child, and on the Crimson Flower route both ignores Rhea's Sanity Slippage and complies when the latter orders Fhirdiad burned to the ground in the finale.
  • Pulaski is blindly obedient to Tenpenny in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, even when it's clear that Tenpenny will backstab and betray anyone once they are no longer useful for him. Even the protagonist, CJ, warns Pulaski that Tenpenny will very likely turn against him as well, but Pulaski doesn't buy it.
  • This is the Fatal Flaw of MCPO John-117's from Halo - while he can function without leaders, he is deeply uncomfortable and uncertain without authority or direction. The most standout example of this is in Halo: Combat Evolved, where he decides to latch on to following the custodian of the titular ring, 343 Guilty Spark, when the latter reveals that Halo can be used to destroy the Flood. He never questions Spark further on this, until Cortana stops Halo's activation and reveals that Halo stops the Flood from spreading by killing everything the Flood could use as a host. John never even thinks of asking Spark how Halo would stop the Flood, information that Spark readily divulges to Cortana when prodded. Come Infinite, Chief almost deletes The Weapon (only be stopped at the last moment) due to protocol, understandably enraging her and nearly destroying their partnership.
  • In Loop Hero, the Priestess Sigma is the physical avatar of faith in god. When Alpha the Creator was reborn as Omega the Destroyer, Sigma accepted his decision to unmake reality because he was god and thus his decision was right.
  • In Mortal Kombat 11, this is Cetrion's main issue which Fujin calls her out on in one of their interactions.
  • Symmetra from Overwatch was plucked from poverty and groomed to be the Corporate Samurai of Vishkar Corporation as her new family. When Vishkar began showing their more extremist and corrupt ways, she started to doubt if they were fighting for the right thing after all, but the combination of her upbringing, OCD, and manipulation by them resulted in her clinging to the hopes that 'it's for the greater good', so she continued to promote the company as a good company out to improve the lives of others. She antagonizes the freedom fighter Lucio, who managed to drive Vishkar away from his home when they oppressed it, but he mocks her for adhering to this trope.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2: Javier Escuella is the only member of the Van der Linde Gang to never go against Dutch in any way, never providing much of an explanation for this. Even Bill Williamson has doubts about some things.

  • In Drowtales, the authority of the Kyorl'solenurn Clan is based on this, with the Judicators relying on it to keep the drowussu people in line. One of them even brags that they are so much more obedient than the other dominant race of drow. They're wrong.
    • Even worse in Felde: Snadhya'rune uses a special form of super-taint to get willful obedience. On the plus side, this extends the expected lifespan of an infected drow (from dead and/or mutated into a demon within 25 years, to potentially hundreds of years) and turns the parasitic relationship into a symbiotic one. On the negative side, this wildly alters the personality of the mortal host and forces their subconscious to fuse with the demon, who has been hacked to be loyal to Snadhya'Rune. Results vary; some agents stay loyal to their deteriorating tyrant to the bitter end, others eventually realize they've been given suicide missions and leave, but all who took the Vel'Sharen Resurrection Taint are forced by their obedient demonic personalities to fuse with Snadhya'rune when she's at death's door, even though it destroys any chance of victory.
  • Clippy from Freefall is the robotic assistant to Mr. Kornada. Like other robots, Clippy started out with limited intelligence, but has been learning over time; unlike other robots, he almost never interacts with anyone other than Mr. Kornada, so his entire thought process is set on appeasing his every whim, which includes trying to unleash a virus on all the other robots to wipe out their intelligence so Mr. Kornada can take all their money.
  • The First Empire's Daleks in Second Empire. This comes to bite the Golden Emperor very hard.
  • unOrdinary: The Authorities don't care overmuch about loyalty of low-tiers, who are kept in line through fear and not being strong enough to fight back, but high-tiers are expected to never question the hierarchy with those who do being violently murdered by the Secret Police. Kids who aren't controllable are "re-educated" to break them mentally. They also destroy books that introduce ideas that might make people question the Authorities.

    Web Videos 
  • Backstroke of the West: Since Order 66 is nowhere mentioned here, D The Superior (Palpatine) blatantly orders Commanding Officer (Commander Cody) and all other Republic Troopseses (Clones) to gun down all Hopeless Situation Warriors (Jedi) since time is now up. Instead of questioning this order, they all comply without hesitation.
    D The Superior: Section Commanding Officer. Time. Is. Up. That Hopeless Situation killing off just now.
    Commanding Officer: (determined) Yes, Host.
  • Wormwood Institute: The students are expected to follow the Principal's rules for the school, with no regard for their mental well-being.

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    Real Life 
  • The formal sociological term for this behaviour is "right-wing authoritarianism" (note that "right-wing" in this context does not refer to one's political beliefs, but rather to the degree that one values loyalty towards established societal conventions; such individuals could hold - and historically have held - left-wing, right-wing, or alternative political views depending on which system they personally prefer). This psychological type exists in roughly 20-30% of any given population, and can appear in the form of both "leaders" and "followers". An authoritarian leader will lash out strongly and violently against any challenges (real or perceived) against their authority and the established social order, while an authoritarian follower will defend any decisions made by their chosen authority on the grounds that the ends justify the means.
    • The theory of Regal and Kungic societal structures suggests that this phenomenon may have a basis in evolutionary psychology. While research by the World Values Survey suggests that human beings tend to prefer more egalitarian socioeconomic structures, human history is also punctuated with frequent and violent inter-group conflict. It is thus presumable that right-wing authoritarianism evolved as a means of punishing free-riders and enforcing cooperation when faced with collective danger, guaranteeing the survival of one's tribe and culture. In peaceful societies where no such collective threats are present however, the people will exhibit more egalitarian preferences and revolt against their authoritarian despots. This explains why authoritarian regimes usually thrive in warring/developing nations where existential threats are more of an everyday concern (or in disunified nations that are lacking in shared practices and social norms), while authoritarian followers do not generally question the behavior or judgement of their preferred leaders. It also sheds light on why societies almost inevitably become more democratic, more individualistic, less traditional, and less religiously fervent as they become more prosperous.
      • It also helps to explain why all historical attempts to create communist societies through totalitarian social engineering have failed, as authoritarianism is the psychological opposite of egalitarianism and vice-versa, rendering it impossible to achieve one by means of the other.
    • The work of social and moral psychologist Dr. Jonathan Haidt has elucidated that respect for authority is stronger among social conservatives (“conservative” in the psychological sense of the term) than it is among adherents of all other political ideologies or psychological types. This not only lends credence to the theory detailed above, but the greater emphasis on authority combined with in-group loyalty explains why conservatives are a bloc, whereas progressives are a coalition. Additionally, Haidt's research has found that conservatives tend to value proportionality and punitiveness (systems of reward and punishment) to a greater extent than do progressives and even libertarians, which correlates with the aforementioned hypothesis that right-wing authoritarianism evolved in order to suppress free-riders during periods of inter-group conflict.
  • Like our fellow apes, humans are built to respect authority (common chimps are hierarchical around strong males, bonobos are more matrilineal). There's variation, of course, and it is intensely debated whether "alpha males" are leaders or just breeders.
    • This also explains Stockholm Syndrome, battered wife syndrome, and similar.
    • Cults tend to be built around incredibly charismatic leaders. Combine force of personality with the enforced isolation that they also tend to adore and you can get seriously blind obedience.
  • This was an explicit tenet of Bushido. Expressing even mild disapproval of your lord's actions was forbidden no matter how wrong or unjust he might be. The only legitimate way for a vassal to protest was by committing Seppuku (although issuing a "The Reason You Suck" Speech just beforehand generally got a pass if you were sufficiently polite about it.)
    • It should not be surprising that the Imperial Japanese military, which promoted (the idealized version of) Bushido, also fell victim to this. Their armed forces were noted to be very well disciplined in executing intricate battle plans, but if things weren't going according to plan, they would prefer to stick to their now obsolete orders rather than do something different that might actually work.
  • Cases of "computer error" generally result from the fact that computers do exactly what they are instructed to do in their programs, whether or not it is what the programmers want them to do.