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"Blood-traitor is next to Mudblood in my book."

Bob belongs to a certain group, or at least Alice considers him to belong to it. And thus she demands that he stay "loyal" to this group. It's beside the point whether or not the group actually exists as a relevant group and whether Bob actually sympathizes with it or not.

And thus, Alice will consider Bob a "traitor" or similar whenever he does something she considers to be against the group. This also includes anything that might be beneficial to any other group, based on the assumption that helping others is the same as damaging the group. She gets to decide what's good for the category, and she assumes any disagreement comes from treachery. Note that words such as "traitor" or "betrayer" do not necessarily have to be invoked, as long as Alice makes her position clear one way or another.


This group can be exactly anything. In real life, psychological experiments have shown that people can quickly be made to develop group identity over any dividing lines, no matter how arbitrary and superficial. However, some dividers are more common than others. The classics are race, gender, class, religion, and what sports team you're cheering for. "Uncle Tom" is a common mainstream term for people who are perceived as betraying their own group in order to gain the favor of an outside, usually more powerful, group.

Branding someone a Category Traitor is usually Serious Business... at least for the character who does it, even if the narrative doesn't agree — the accuser can be portrayed as justified or at least as a good kind of bigot, but can also be portrayed as a Strawman Political or someone doing Activist Fundamentalist Antics. In either case, being branded as a Category Traitor might cause Internalized Categorism. In cases where the accusation itself is an obvious strawman, this trope can be called Straw Traitor. A Cultural Rebel is especially prone to being branded as a Category Traitor. Can bring up accusations of being a Hypocrite (Straw or otherwise) on Alice's part, especially if Alice's category normally stresses the importance of things such as freedom and individuality (the obvious implication being that Alice hypocritically only pays lip service to these values). If Alice is prejudiced enough, she may label Bob a traitor even if she hates the things that non-traitorous members of the group supposedly do — because how can you justify hating someone if he doesn't have the good taste to conform to a hate-worthy stereotype?


Usually overlaps with With Us or Against Us, when Alice gives Bob an ultimatum regarding whatever activities he may be doing that Alice considers traitorous. May overlap with Entitled to Have You, if "loyal to the group" means "having sex with/marrying me." Often includes the use of an Outside/Inside Slur. Compare Boomerang Bigot and The Whitest Black Guy.

This is not an Audience Reaction entry: only examples where one character is in-universe accused of betraying his category are allowed. Whether or not the accusation is portrayed as justified is worth mentioning, but not relevant to whether or not it counts as an example.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Rosario + Vampire: In the first season finale, Kuyou, after listing off multiple reasons why Humans Are the Real Monsters, declares outright that Moka, one of his fellow monsters, deserves to die for fraternizing with humans like Tsukune.
  • In Code Geass, some Japanese people consider "honorary Britannians" like Suzaku to lack dignity for having sought honorary citizenship from an occupying conqueror. Doesn't help that only a handful of Britannians are ever shown treating the Honorary Britannians with any respect.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED:
    • Of course, ZAFT considers Kira a traitor because he fights for Earth while being a genetically modified Coordinator, but even his friends question his engagement sometimes. This mostly comes from the genocidal Patrick Zala, who also considers Lacus and other Coordinators that don't want the genocide of all Naturals this. Athrun thinks Kira is being manipulated instead, and nobody else in ZAFT knows Kira is actually a Coordinator. They think he's just a very good natural that can pilot a mobile suit.
    • One the flipside, the leadership of Blue Cosmos and LOGOS consider Naturals who have anything to do with Coordinators to be traitors. Lord Djibril epitomizes this, employing weapons of mass destruction against Naturals who even accept protection from ZAFT.
  • In Digimon Tamers, the Devas and their master consider any digimon who partners with a human (or for some, who have ever been partnered with a human) to be traitors to their kind.
  • In Pandora Hearts Retrace LXXIX, Glen deems Gilbert as one of these to the Baskerville family when the latter defies the former by using Raven to burn off his arm with the seal that controls him and then declaring his loyalty to Oz before escaping with him.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Goku's evil older brother Raditz views him as one to the Saiyan race when he refuses to accept his offer to join them in their violent conquest against Earth, along with many other planets. Vegeta and Nappa are also itching to kill him for his supposed "betrayal".
    Raditz: I'm sorry, brother... but I was thinking about my offer, and I've changed my mind. You'd probably just slow the rest of us down. And for betraying the Saiyan race, YOU WILL DIE!!!
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, the Ghoul Countermeasures Law codifies this with Article 119. Humans that aid a ghoul in any manner are subject to arrest, and face the Death Penalty for their crimes. When Akira Mado protects a former comrade-turned-ghoul, they are immediately and brutally attacked by their subordinate and left mortally wounded. Treating their injuries proves to be difficult, since their "betrayal" of humanity means they cannot seek traditional help from a doctor or hospital.
  • In The Seven Deadly Sins, the goddess and demon races reserve their most lasting and emotionally painful punishments for traitors to their own kind. Although they had been at war since forever, the leaders of both sides immediately agreed that Meliodas and Liz's coupling could not be tolerated and combined powers to make them cut that shit out.
  • In Last Order: Final Fantasy VII, Sephiroth considers all humans traitors to the Cetra, while he's betrayed SOLDIER, Shinra and ruined his reputation as great hero.
  • In both the original Devilman and DEVILMAN crybaby, Akira Fudo's seen as a traitor by the other demons, who keep on assuming that he's Amon and had simply lost his memories.

    Comic Books 
  • In Bitchy Butch, Butchy is very quick to brand other women as gender traitors for not sharing her misandry (hatred & prejudice against men).
  • Whatever Love Means rants quite a bit about how men are expected and indoctrinated to be loyal to men in general, at the expense of women. Mostly at a more structural level than Bros Before Hoes.
  • During Shadowland, the new Power Man insinuated that Luke Cage was a race traitor because he joined The Avengers and married a white woman.
  • A similar incident occurred in Christopher Priest's Black Panther run, where a group of impoverished black citizens claimed Black Panther was an Uncle Tom due to his associations with the Avengers and Fantastic Four, as well as his general lack of concern for the well-being of black citizens.
  • A The Falcon one-shot had a similar situation, where a Harlem citizen berated the hero for not acting as a role model for young black kids during his time with The Avengers.
  • Superman:
    • In one issue of Adventures of Superman #507, where the second Bloodsport (a white supremacist) is making his debut, he comes across a gang of thugs (two black, one white) about to rape a woman. He kills the two black thugs, then kills the white guy for being a "race traitor". Oddly enough, the woman in this example is initially shown to be white on the first page, but the next page shows her to be a black woman (who Bloodsport also kills before he shoots the white guy).
      White guy: [Bloodsport has him at gunpoint] P-please—don't—
      Bloodsport: SHUT UP! Think I want to do this? If there was any other—
      Woman: What're you saying? You know what they were gonna do to me? Shoot him! Shoot the son-of-a—
      [Bloodsport shoots her instead]
      Bloodsport: [about the woman] They always knew their place. [to white guy] You're no better. You're a race traitor! [kills him]
    • Brainiac, when he was originally an organic Coluan named Vril Dox loyally served the Computer Tyrants, thus being hated by his own people as a result.
    • In Last Son and New Krypton, both Superman and Supergirl are called "race traitors" for protecting Earth from an army of Kryptonians led by General Zod.
  • Subverted in Manhunter. Kate, who's white, tries this on Director Bones when he refuses to send back-up to help Kate rescue a group of Mexican women from superhuman organ-thieves. She insinuates that he has forgotten what color his skin would be, since despite the fact that he literally looks like a skeleton, Bones is in fact a black man. He immediately tears into Kate and essentially tells her "Shut up, you don’t know shit about being black, so don’t you dare patronize me and act like you understand what it means to be a minority."
  • After the Apache mutant John Proudstar joins the X-Men as the costumed hero Thunderbird, he is killed during a mission trying to capture the villainous Count Nefaria. His younger brother James, also a mutant, takes up the Thunderbird codename and joins the Hellions as part of a plan to kill Professor X, who he blames for John's death. When he finally has Professor X at his mercy, he finds that he can't bring himself to kill the Professor and ends up applying this trope to himself, thinking that he's a disgrace to his Apache roots. The X-Men help him realize that this isn't the case, and that John actually died a hero. James declines their initial offer to join the team, although he would later join the New Mutants and take on his own costumed identity as Warpath.
  • In War Machine Vol. 2, Rhodey's mom mentions that her friends accused her of raising an Uncle Tom after he fought against Black Panther and Storm during Civil War.
  • Speaking of the X-Men, during Avengers vs. X-Men, mutants who sided with the Avengers, such as Wolverine and Beast, got harassed for this. Let alone the fact that Schism has recently caused a Breaking the Fellowship among the X-Men, with those two on the side opposing Cyclops.
  • In one of the X-Men tie-ins to the Acts of Vengeance Crisis Crossover, Jubilee was accused of being a "banana" (Asian on the outside, white on the inside) by a Chinese youth who tried to hit on her.
  • In Uncanny Avengers, Banshee from the X-Men chastises Captain America for not doing more to help the country of Ireland and its citizens during The Troubles despite being the child of Irish immigrants.
  • In The Transformers: Robots in Disguise: After the disbanding of the Decepticons, many still choose to cling to the badge and what it represents. Those interested in associating with the Autobots or the Camiens are looked down on. Sparkstalker sticking up for a bunch of Religious Camiens earns him the ire of Needlenose and the Decepticon recruiters, and Acid Storm even giving them the time of day leads to further derision.
  • Robot cop Joe Pi in Top 10 is considered a traitor by some Ferro-Americans, who call him "Spambo" (metal outside, meat inside).
  • Nemesis the Warlock: Torquemada and his Absolute Xenophobe followers happily execute any human who associate themselves with aliens, or even merely object to his xenocidal crusades on alien worlds. In fact, his final plot is to trigger a device that will wipe out every alien and any human who has ever been in contact with one.
  • Budroxifinicus of Copperhead is called such by Brexinfoyle due to their species' recent war against human civilization and Boo's employment by humans.
  • Astro City: In a flashback, Hispanic superhero El Hombre takes down a group of thugs who also happen to be Hispanic. One of them accuses Hombre of being a race traitor for always taking down Hispanic criminals (because he operated in a Chicano-heavy community) and Hombre is surprised by how much the insult stings; he knows it’s a baseless accusation and that the thug is, at best, just trying to weasel out of being arrested. Yet it stays in his head and causes him to feel doubt, kickstarting the events that led to his fall from grace.
  • In Batman: Holy Terror, Batman is dumbfounded to discover that the man managing the secret governmental lab conducting hideous, inhuman experiments to produce Super Soldiers is Dr. Erdel, a Jew; in the twisted Christian theocracy of this world, Jews are oppressed and restricted to the point that the government places strict limits on their population, refusing to let them have more than a certain amount of children — which is even more amazing given that, in this world, abortion and contraception are both crimes.
  • In Il était une fois en France, Eva accuses her husband Joseph of being a traitor to the Jews, having acquired his wealth by selling their possessions and indirectly contributing to Nazi industry.
  • Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!: A major plot element of The Final Ark was a species war brewing between land and water animals, in which ducks and turtles were distrusted as traitors to their kins.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Boondocks:
    • Surprisingly averted. While Strawman Political characters abound, particularly black ones, never at any point do any of the characters seriously suggest that the others are race traitors. Even Uncle Ruckus, a self-hating black man who constantly expounds upon the joys of Caucasian-hood, is never rejected by his friends, however misguided and extreme his actions become.
    • Occurs in the Trial of R. Kelly where Tom is accused of being a self-hating black man because he's married to a white woman. However, he's accused of this by the white defense attorney.
  • Calvin and Hobbes: When they're holding meetings at their anti-girls club, the former sometimes accuses the latter of being a traitor to the male sex because he actually finds women attractive.

    Fan Works 
  • In Son of the Desert, Scar calls the half-Ishavalan Edward a blood traitor for not only being a State Alchemist, but for shielding Roy Mustang from his wrath.
  • Due to Harry's lack of respect for Hogwarts custom and authority in Scion of Sorcery, Harry prefers sitting with Neville at the Gryffindor table despite being a Slytherin student. At first this got animosity from both houses, including the staff and prefects. However, due to Harry's charm and willingness to rile up his House's own Head (Snape), he gains the respect of a sizable portion of Gryffindors, most notably the Weasley Clan (sans Percy).
  • RWBY: Scars:
    • "Slavosá" is a Faunus word used in this manner. It literally translates to "one who sleeps with the enemy". Blake gets called this by a Faunus who's angry at her for going on a date with Weiss and bringing her to a Faunus-specific club.
    • Velvet accuses Blake of being a vaara (which literally translates to "those who reject Devi's blessing" and refers to a Faunus who wishes they were human) because she's Weiss' girlfriend and she hides her cat ears. Velvet herself is dating a human, but it's Blake hiding of her Faunus traits that upsets her.
  • In Desert Gold, an Ishvalan kidnapper who holds Roy hostage calls the biracial Edward a "traitor" for siding with the military who had previously mass-murdered Ishvalans.
  • Adam from Resurgence views anyone who doesn't side with his extremist views and the White Fang as a traitor to the Faunus race, specifically telling Blake as such.
  • In A Force of Four, Wonder Woman calls her old enemy Badra " traitor to womanhood" for attempting to wipe the human race out. Wonder Woman's mindset is that a woman shouldn't want to inflict harm upon other women, let alone kill them, whereas Badra couldn't care less about female solidarity.
  • In Four Deadly Secrets, one White Fang assassin mocks Blake Belladonna for fleeing the organization and pursuing peace with humans, but lets her live with an invitation to return to the fold. Later, Team JNPR are surprised to see Neo and Mercury Black, both humans, working with the White Fang; Blake Belladonna is even more shocked (and outraged) to see White Fang Faunus taking orders from Roman Torchwick despite him directly calling them animals.
  • SAPR:
    • Blake gets called this a few times after becoming an Atlas penal soldier.
    • Rainbow Dash also reflects on being insulted because she's a faunus working for the Atlesian military.
  • In Devils Diary, Magneto labels Xavier as a traitor to mutantkind for training mutants and sending them against him.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Sheep & Wolves, the dark wolves certainly see Grey and his pack as traitors to their kind for bucking the natural order and living in peace with sheep. In fact, Gark's whole motivation in the film for targeting Grey is his bigotry towards prey animals and disgust towards his fellow alpha wolf for 'lowering himself' to their levels, wanting to either teach him a lesson or make an example out of him to other wolves.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Avatar, the humans are invading the planet Pandora, destroying the environment and escalating their hostility against the native Na'vi population towards genocidal proportions. When the human protagonist lives among the aliens as one of them — using the titular Avatar technology — he begins to sympathize with their cause and ultimately decides to become a Na'vi and help them fight his fellow humans. Colonel Quaritch accuses him of "betraying his species." Jake answers with a Na'vi-like snarl, telling Quaritch exactly what he considers his "species" to be.
  • In Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indy accuses Mola Ram of betraying Shiva — a deity that neither of them worshiped. Mola Ram was a priest of Kali, who in this particular setting seems to be the evil half of a black and white dualism, locked in eternal battle with the good deity Shiva. However, Indy is actually saying the phrase in order to activate a defense mechanism in the stones that will cause them to turn against Mola Ram, so it's more a case of Indy Ploy here if nothing else.
  • In The Birth of a Nation, the "radical republicans" are implied to have betrayed the white race, especially with Stoneman himself having an extramarital affair with a black woman — leading him to give power to the evil mulatto who later tries to rape his daughter.
  • Django Unchained:
    • According to Django, there is no form of life lower than a black slaver. In the same breath, he makes it clear he has considerable contempt for the head house slave as well.
    • Stephen (Candie's head house slave) is also portrayed as one of these; treating the other slaves with cruelty while enjoying a (relatively) comfortable life.
  • In Pretty in Pink, "richie" Blaine dates Andie, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. When he takes her to a party at a large house, his friend Steff calls him out on it.
    Steff: Nobody appreciates your sense of humor, you know. As a matter of fact, everyone's just about to puke from you. If you've got a hard-on for trash, don't take care of it around us.
  • In the Holocaust docudrama Conspiracy (2001), some of the Nazi officials are concerned with the plight of German spouses of the German Jews they want to murder when those people's husbands and wives are taken away. Others counter that they feel they're "race traitors" anyway and should be treated as such. SS General Heinrich Mueller goes so far as to say that he'd happily throw them all on the same transport if it were up to him.
  • There's a clear example of this in Chasing Amy when, after a conversation where she's joking around with her friends, Alyssa tells them she's dating a man.
    [after the room goes silent]
    Friend: Well, we lost another one.
  • In Kong: Skull Island, Lt. Colonel Packard has an antagonistic relationship with anti-war photojournalist Mason Weaver because he blames people in the media like her for the negative portrayal of the soldiers in Vietnam through their coverage, and causing America to pull out of the war. Packard never explicitly accuses Weaver of being a traitor to their country but his attitude toward her heavily implies this.
  • Within Our Gates, one of the earliest surviving feature films made by a black director (Oscar Micheaux), features "Old Ned", the preacher who grovels to white folks and says that black folks should know their place. He tells his congregation that blacks shouldn't worry about things like education and the vote because they're going to heaven. In private, he feels ashamed.
    Ned: Again, I've sold my birthright. All for a miserable mess of pottage. Negroes and Whites — all are equal. As for me, miserable sinner, hell is my destiny.
  • In The Learning Tree, Marcus the Angry Black Man has been thrown in jail in 1920s Kansas for assaulting a white man. When a black preacher comes to his cell mouthing platitudes about Jesus, Marcus reacts scornfully, calling the preacher an Uncle Tom.
  • Aunt 13 and Buck Teeth-Soo in Once Upon a Time in China adopted many Western customs and are regularly accused of being this by their fellow Chinese, including the main protagonist Wong Fei Hung in a Moment of Weakness. However, Buck Teeth's ability to speak perfect, unaccented English has saved the day twice in the first film and Aunt 13's love of photography is ultimately treated as a reflection to create art.
  • In Pixels, the Max Headroom alien accuses the Q*Bert alien of this, as Q*Bert decides to help the protagonists stop his species' destruction of Earth.
  • In The Last Witch Hunter, Belial seems to consider all witches that don't support his plans to resurrect their queen to be this, despite the fact that when she was alive, she almost wiped out the human race and civilization, both of which the witches are part of in present day.
  • In The Handmaiden, Kouzuki is Korean, but idolizes English and Japanese people and culture. He despises Korea and being Korean, earned money and power by accommodating himself to the Japanese when they occupied Korea and now denounces his nationality, aiming for full naturalization as Japanese. This serves to establish him as particularly vile to Korean audiences, even before the extent of his depravity is revealed; the equivalent for a Western audience would be something like a French Jew trying to become a German Nazi aristocrat during the occupation of Paris.
  • The Eagle (2011): Esca is clearly considered this by the Seal Prince when he helps Marcus escape with the Eagle. Later the Prince significantly kills his son for not waking him (at Esca's request) in front of them, saying it's the punishment for traitors.
  • Thunderheart: The Lakota dislike Ray as a man with a quarter Lakota ancestry who's an FBI agent, unsurprisingly, mocking him as the "Washington Redskin". Ray for his part returns the antipathy, disliking them at first as well and disclaiming that heritage.
  • War for the Planet of the Apes: Any ape who betrays the tribe and joins the humans is called "donkey".
  • One of the central themes/conflicts of BlacKkKlansman is whether Ron Stillworth, an African-American police officer in the early 1970s, is a race-traitor for joining the police force.
  • Nick Jakoby from Bright has to put up with other many other orcs calling him a race traitor for being a cop. In the end, after fulfilling an ancient prophecy and performing an act of true bravery, he gains acceptance from the orc community.
  • Tales from the Hood 2: Councilman Henry Bradley, a Republican who is pushing for closing down polling stations in largely black (Democratic) neighborhoods in exchange for the returned endorsement of the Republican running for Governor, as he has aspirations to become Mayor. This leads to Emmett Till deciding that his martyrdom was a Senseless Sacrifice, so he'd simply apologize to the white men for flirting with a white woman, rather than suffer his fatal beating at their hands for refusing to do so.

  • In Margaret Coel's The Eagle Catcher, a woman accuses Father John of being "White on the outside, Indian on the inside" because he didn't (even try to) talk her daughter out of marrying an Arapaho.
  • Harry Potter:
    • The Death-Eaters consider wizardry to be in the blood.note  They also feel that all "real" wizards are obliged to be "loyal" to "their own kind," and thus despise Muggles, as well as wizards with direct Muggle ancestry (who are derisively termed "mudbloods"). Wizards who are from pureblood backgrounds but don't hate Muggles and Muggle-born wizards, they refer to as "Blood Traitors."
    • In this case, the trope is actually eating itself; Arthur Weasley and Sirius Black both point out that thanks to blood purism, pretty much all pureblooded wizards are related to a greater or lesser degree and therefore any attempt to maintain blood purity is doomed to eventually if not immediately die out thanks to homozygosity. Also a matter of hypocrisy; the Death Eaters usually have some Muggle relations, out of necessity if nothing else. These inconvenient branches of the family tree are often stricken from the record. Voldemort himself has a Muggle father, though Death Eaters who know this ignore it because they revere him so damn much/don't want to be on the receiving end of the Killing Curse.
    • In an interesting look at things, even wizards who aren't Death Eaters have negative opinions on wizards who are a little too interested in Muggle affairs. Arthur Weasley is implied to be passed up for promotions (and thus means by which to better provide for his family) because of his unnerving enthusiasm for anything Muggle-related, which even the Minister Of Magic sees as disgraceful. Dumbledore also gets some grief for reading Muggle newspapers.
    • Molly Weasley has a second cousin who's an accountant, but the family "never talks about him." Mentioned early in the first book, this was originally going to followed up with a long plot arc where the accountant had a daughter who was a witch, but didn't end up in the books so its unclear exactly why they never talk about him.
      • Word of God says this was because he was rude to the Weasleys in the past
    • In Order of the Phoenix it's revealed that the centaur herd living in the Forbidden Forest view any of their fellows deigning to work for wizards, and especially teaching them how to read the stars, is considered treachery to be punished by a painful execution by being kicked to death. Luckily Hagrid was able to save Firenze but only after they had already begun.
  • Dora Wilk Series:
    • Joshua is considered this by his peers, as he's an angel who keeps company of devil and witch. While his grandfather (his only family) seems only a little distressed by the fact, Archangel Raphael's faction tries to murder him a few times, as Raphael is a Fantastic Racist.
    • Dora gets her share of it as well, being a witch who keeps company of devil and angel (magicals and Christians have long history of wars, the latest of which was barely three hundred years ago — not a long time for such a long-living folk). It's weaker than in Joshua's case, though.
    • Subverted in the case of Miron, the devil part of the Trio. Hellians find his choice of company a bit weird, but generally don't mind.
  • Huckleberry Finn's father (an uneducated, coarse slob) berated his son for taking up reading and doing quite well, because all their family were illiterate prior to that moment. He even goes so far as outright calling his son a traitor.
  • In Ellison's Invisible Man, Lucius Brockway accuses the narrator of being a traitor to him and Liberty Paints when he walks out of a union meeting. The Narrator, a young man who just wants to get by, wanted nothing to do with the company's politics and stumbled into the union meeting by accident. It takes the Narrator literally beating some sense into Lucius to convince him otherwise.
  • The Silerian Trilogy: Betraying your own people is viewed as the worst thing any Silerian can do, and they punish it with death by slow torture.
  • In Spock's World, McCoy calls a Vulcan writer and eventually all of them on violating the teachings of their planetary hero, Surak.
  • Brett in The Truth of Rock and Roll considers Johnny to be this for dating a girl from the trailer park and treating her too well. Using her for sex would have been okay, but treating her like she's "as good as us" (they're both from "the Heights", a rich part of town) might give her ideas above her station.
  • The Turner Diaries is built on this trope: the base premise is that being white without being a Nazi is a crime, the Moral Event Horizon of "betraying" your race.
  • John Grammaticus and Damon Prytanis, two human Perpetuals in the Horus Heresy series of Warhammer 40,000 novels, act as undercover agents for the sinister alien Cabal, and are under no illusions that they are traitors to their own species for doing so. The Cabal's agenda appears to be the complete destruction of the human species as a way of saving the galaxy from the encroachment of Chaos. Damon is somewhat amoral, and accepts his lot quite peacefully, but John has severe doubts about his species treachery and constantly seeks ways to get out of the situation he has found himself in.
  • In Survivor Dogs, Axe calls Lick a "traitor to her own kind" because she's siding with dogs who aren't Dobermans.
  • In Warrior Cats, the cats are very proud of their Clan, and in general of the Clans' warrior lifestyle. Speaking out against taking excessive action against another Clan/cat, or sometimes even talking in a friendly manner to non-Clan cats can result in accusations of being a traitor. Rejecting any part of the Clans' lifestyle (such as keeping your given name instead of taking on a Clan name when joining them) also is looked upon with suspicion.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Seen in Coupling where Sally accuses a gay man of being a traitor because he supports the Conservatives.
  • In an earlier episode of Six Feet Under, Keith accuses the then-closeted David of acting in a way that betrays other gay people, and David retorts that a lot of African Americans would say the same of him for being in the LAPD. Keith responds badly to that comment.
  • Though no one has accused him directly, Merlin from Merlin has come up against several magical-users, both allies and enemies, who have suggested that he is a traitor (or at least hugely misguided) in supporting King Uther's anti-magical regime (he's not, he's just biding his time until Arthur is king). Although once Arthur does become king, things don't actually change for magic users and Merlin doesn't make much of an effort to change things.
    • Merlin's mentor Gaius is a more straight example; a former sorcerer who renounced magic to get into Uther's good graces and was rewarded with the position of the Court Physician. He did manage to save a few friends from being killed, but for the most part as the Great Dragon and Nimueh pointed out he turned a blind eye to all the witches and wizards who were killed —- and that includes scores of innocent children who inherited magic from their parents. Gaius tries to assuage his guilt by claiming that magic was throwing the natural order of things into chaos and that Uther did what was necessary, but it comes off as nothing more than a hollow attempt to justify his cowardice. He becomes Merlin's mentor to atone for his mistakes.
  • The team in Alphas has been accused of this by other alphas for helping track them down and hand them over to the Department of Defense, where they face indefinite imprisonment. Some members of the team clearly worry about this themselves.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: "The Outcast". Riker falls for a J'naii, who secretly identifies as female. "Secretly" because among the J'naii, identifying as male or female is treated as a perversion that must be stomped out for the good of the race.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • "Second Skin". Major Kira is captured by the all-powerful and much feared Obsidian Order as part of a convoluted plan by top-level agent Entek to destroy the Dissident Movement which is seeking to free Cardassia from the grip of the Order and the military. The only way the crew locate and rescue her is via Garak's help. When Entek realises Garak is helping Starfleet and the Bajoran Government to rescue Kira (and the Dissident leader he was trying to expose), he's absolutely baffled. Even though Garak's in exile for an unspecified crime, Entek still finds it incomprehensible that Garak would betray the Obisidian Order to save a Bajoran and a Dissident and warns Garak the Order will end his exile by killing him for this. It doesn't end well. For Entek, that is.
    • Kira gets some of the same treatment early on in the series for working as the Bajoran liaison with Starfleet. She's there only reluctantly because she wants to make sure Starfleet's assistance to Bajor is on Bajoran terms, since the decision to call in Starfleet was made well above her pay grade. Despite this, one of her former comrades in the Resistance openly accuses her of being a traitor and selling out to a new occupying force right after helping kick the previous one off Bajor.
    • Kira gets a lot of this. When the Dominion takes over DS9, Kira stays on to try to limit the damage the occupation can do while waiting for the Federation counterattack to take back the station. This time, nobody accuses her directly of being a traitor; she herself realizes that despite her good intentions, she's become nothing more than a collaborator and secretly founds La Résistance.
  • Star Trek: Picard: By virtue of being a Qowat Milat acolyte (only his gender prevents him from a being a full-fledged member), Elnor is a traitor to his own race in the eyes of the Tal Shiar and the Zhat Vash because this sect of warrior nuns preach the Way of Absolute Candor, a subversive philosophy which is at odds with mainstream Romulan culture. When Elnor is attacked by Narissa (a Zhat Vash operative) and her goons, it's not just because he's allied with Hugh, it's also because he's a Qowat Milat, and therefore he's their Arch-Enemy.
  • Babylon 5 uses this trope over and over again.
    • The evil dictatorship that takes over the Earth argues that anyone who is pro-human should support them, and therefore that anyone who opposes them is anti-human.
    • The Psi Corps does the same for telepaths.
    • The Minbari have a civil war, with the Warrior Caste and the Religious Caste each accusing the other of being category traitors to the Minbari, and anyone who tried to de-escalate the civil war of being a category traitor to their caste. Delenn takes over the religious caste, wins, but then hands power over to the Worker Caste, the ones who actually represent the base of the Minbari people and keep getting caught up in the middle when the Religious and Warrior castes quarrel with each other.
  • True Blood uses this one a lot as well. Faeries, werewolves, shifters, witches, all have characters who march in, declare what's best for their race, and immediately attack anyone who disagrees as a category traitor. Vampires have it both ways: the Authority insists that anyone who opposes peaceful vampire/human coexistence is a traitor to all vampires, and the Sanguinistas claim the same thing about people who support peaceful co-existence.
  • In Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, we have disgusting white supremacists whose entire dialogue makes one want to puke. This includes the undercover agent in their ranks; she personally apologizes to Fin and Munch after she's revealed, saying she finds the language repulsive but she needed to keep her cover. When one member of the group cuts a deal to testify against the leader, the leader's son shoots him while he's on the witness stand for being a "Race Traitor" before going on a shooting rampage with another member of the group, killing the judge and a guard and injuring another guard, Munch, and Elliot, the latter of whom would have been killed if the undercover agent didn't intervene.
    • The episode "Limitations" focuses on the detectives trying to identify a Serial Rapist who raped three women three days in a row 5 years ago, and trying arrest him before the statute of limitations runs out. It turns the third woman learned her rapists identity and forgave him, and now refuses to name him. The other two woman tear into her for this, one of them outright calling her "a betrayer of women".
  • This pops up frequently on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air where its shown that many black people consider the Banks family this because of their wealth:
    • In the first episode, Will tries to pull this on Uncle Phil by claiming that since becoming rich, he's forgotten what it's like to live in the hood. This backfires on Will when Phil angrily informs him that growing up, he faced bigotry and challenges far worse than anything Will ever faced in the Post-Civil Rights era, and that it was those memories that drove him to become a successful lawyer in the first place. "You have Malcolm X posters in your room. I heard the brother speak."
    • A later episode has Phil's mother calling him out on the same issue, this time for betraying his roots as a country farm boy by acting as though his youth was an adversity he'd had to overcome, rather than the source of his moral fiber and strong work ethic that informed his success.
    • In another episode, Will and Carlton try to join a black fraternity on campus. The latter is especially treated hard throughout Pledge Week. Top Dog, the leader of the fraternity, eventually reveals that he had no intention of taking Carlton in because of how preppy and rich he is, though they still offer Will a spot (which, obviously, he declines). When Carlton finds out the truth, he calls Top Dog out for his ignorance. After they return home and tell Uncle Phil and Aunt Vivian what happened, Phil laments: "When are we going to stop doing this to each other?"
    • Will isn't the only person who's tried to call Phil out for this. When an old activist friend implies that he's somehow less black because of his comfortable lifestyle, Phil bluntly reminds her that he was there with her when Harlem was burned, that he's repeatedly used his legal practice to fight for civil rights and affirmative action, and that he uses his fortune to help sponsor activist causes for the black community.
    • In another episode, Phil himself thinks that he is this to his old neighborhood after revisiting the small apartment he and his family once lived in back when he was a fiery idealistic young lawyer working for peanuts while offering legal aid. He wonders if becoming a judge who lives in a mansion in Bel-Air made him lose that fire.
  • On Seinfeld, little people who wear lifts in their shoes to seem taller are treated this way by other little people, which causes Mickey a great deal of trouble in "The Stand-In" when he is forced to get lifts so that he can keep his job as a stand-in for a child actor who had just hit a growth spurt.
    Mickey: You don't understand. There's an unwritten code about this kind of thing. I could be ostracized. I remember when I was a kid, some guy tried to heighten. He lost his job, lost his friends, everything. Oh, I knew I was crazy to try this kind of thing, but I was so desperate!
  • In The Expanse, some Belters call Detective Miller "well wala", which means something like "traitor to your people" in their creole, because he works for Earth's Law Enforcement, Inc..
  • In the third series of Horatio Hornblower, Irish midshipman Orrock gets this from both ends when he overhears (and corrects) the normally reasonable Matthews commenting that Hornblower might rather have a Frenchman in front of him than an Irishman behind him. Then, the Irish rebels who have allied with Napoleon call him a traitor to his own people for sticking with Hornblower rather than joining them.
  • Various monsters, demons, angels and some hunters get accused of being this in Supernatural. Lucifer especially is seen as the first Category Traitor by nearly everyone, and regards his brothers siding with humans as just the same ("For a girl?").
  • Guerrilla: Anyone who informs or otherwise cooperates with police is viewed this way by the black radicals.
  • In Snowfall, Franklin's mother Cissy is a black woman who collects rent from black tenants at an apartment complex owned by a white man, which means that she's also often required to kick tenants out of their apartments when they fail to pay rent. This has earned her the enmity of a lot of other black women.
  • In Brazilian soap-opera A Regra do Jogo, when a gold digger's mark learns she's just faking her pregnancy, she simulates an aggression and accuses him of making her lose their unborn child, destroying his reputation. Two women who are his friends are accused by another woman of betraying their gender by believing him.
  • Season 4 of Supergirl (2015) is all about this, since it attempts to apply the current state of American politics to the show's setting. Anti-alien hatred is rampant across the nation. Anyone arguing for peaceful coexistence is labeled an "Earth traitor" by the other side. Even aliens are being called traitors, which makes zero sense (then again, hatred doesn't have to). In a few cases, the word "traitor" is also thrown back, such as when Nia Nal defends Brainy, whose true nature is revealed to a pizzeria owner, who immediately grabs his bat. When President Marsden is revealed to be an alien, many are also calling her a traitor, and it can be argued that it's true, since she violated Article 2 of the Constitution the swore to uphold (she's not a natural-born citizen). She does, however, immediately resign in order to avoid a constitutional crisis.
    • A villain in season 5 is J'onn's brother Malefic. J'onn doesn't immediately recognize him and didn't even know he had a brother. Then he is able to overcome a mental block and learns that Malefic betrayed the Green Martians during the civil war and helped the White Martians kill his own kind. For that, he was cast into the Phantom Zone and all memory of him was erased.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "The Camp", Prisoner 98843 is deemed a traitor when she starts working with the camp staff. It doesn't help that she can't tell them why, and also is given one of their uniforms. They also view the staff in general this way, believing they're humans (not androids).
  • Vida: Emma and Lyn are accused of not being "real" Latinas frequently, using derogatory terms for them like "coconut" or "White-ina", because they left the neighborhood, then came back to do some stuff differently with their mom's bar. Nelson is also accused of this, though with far more justification in his case, as he's actively gentrifying at the cost of the residents plus shows contempt for most Latinas. Marisol also calls a Latino ICE agent one as well, again with more justification as he's rounding up fellow Latinos.
  • In Chicago P.D.: Atawater, as an African-American police officer, is a frequent target of this. When the Chicago Police Department get into conflicts with African-Americans (typically over an officer involved shooting), each side expects him to side with them. He typically follows his heart, which can switch between supporting African-Americans or his fellow officers. Inevitably his choice angers the side he didn't take.
  • The Plot Against America
    • Rabbi Bengelsdorf is an outspoken supporter of Charles Lindbergh, who has a history of antisemitic remarks, sympathy towards Nazism and strong opposition toward intervening in World War 2. He faces heavy criticism within the Jewish community, but the Lindbergh administration uses him to make gentiles feel better about supporting antisemitic policies.
    • Evelyn joins Bengelsdorf in his campaign and even dances with the Nazi Foreign Minister at a gala.

  • Appears a few times in The Space Gypsy Adventures. DC Bones, as well as being a Federal Alliance officer, is also a Space Gypsy, like protagonist Gemma. This doubles as a Morton's Fork for him, because he knows that to side with the Alliance would label him as a traitor to his clan, but to side with his clan would label him as a traitor to the Alliance. More often than not, he'll let his devotion to the Alliance preside over his loyalties to the Space Gypsies. This means that poor Bones is unable to try and reach out to Gemma, and convince her that he's not entirely bad, when he tries to talk to her in The Christmas New Arrival.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Warhammer 40,000, it's hard not to find a faction of humanity that others have labeled as "traitors" or "heretics". In particular, the Chaos Space Marines descended from the Emperor's traitorous sons. And as for humans who joined the Tau Empire voluntarily or involuntarily and their descendants, all Imperial factions get a bonus to close combat against them — many of these "Gue'vesa" fight for the Tau not because they admire the Greater Good ideology of their alien overlords, but simply because they know full well how the Imperium would embrace them.

  • 1 John 2:15 warns Christians to not associate with nonbelievers.
    "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."


    Video Games 
  • Dragon Age:
    • Mages with differing politics sometimes accuse each other of this. Those who willingly join the Circle are accused of siding with the Templars and betraying their own kind, while apostates are accused of validating everyone's fears about magic (especially if Blood Magic is involved). In the sequel, Anders' opinion of Bethany drops sharply if she goes to the Circle.
    • Dragon Age: Origins:
      • The Dalish often regard their City Elf cousins as this. There is a common belief that because the "Flat-Ears" have accepted submission and being treated like second-class citizens by the humans, they are no longer truly Elven. Opinion seems to be divided between those who regard their cousins as little different than humans, and those who believe they are little better than pets.
      • City elves and Dalish elves both also look down even more on elves who have attempted to integrate into human society.
      • You get the opportunity to level this accusation against an elf who joins in with the Tevinter operation to enslave elves. Regardless of what race the Player Character is, you can ask her how she could be a part of it, to which she contemptuously asks why she should feel any particular kinship to them, and states that she is a citizen and soldier of the Imperium first and foremost. Though her rebuff to this trope is valid enough, the fact that she is involved in slavery makes it rather unlikely that anyone will see her as anything less than a monster, although (possibly due to the problems of this trope) the game doesn't actually treat her as any worse than the humans who enslave elves.
    • In Dragon Age II, during her romance arc, this is the reason why Merrill is initially unwilling to act upon her feelings for Hawke. As a member of the Dalish Elves and the former apprentice to her clan's Keeper, she more than anyone desires to see the Elves rebuild their civilisation after its near-destruction by humans (twice) and admits to feeling like she's betraying her people by falling in love with one of them.
      • Elf-human matches are frowned upon for practical reasons as well; thanks to a quirk in biology any children born will be fully human. As Dalish clans are already relatively tiny groups, this can be a significant hit to elven numbers.
    • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, Sera is practically built on this trope. She's an elf, but does not consider that to have any impact on who she is as a person, and is very hostile to "elfy elves," especially ones who berate her for being "the wrong sort of elf." In a meta sense, it's probably also no coincidence that she's homosexual note  and considers "pride" to be her least favourite sin. A lot of players sensitive to either racial or LGBT issues absolutely despise Sera as a result.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, the Altmer ("High Elves") believe themselves to be last "pure" remnants of the original Aldmeri race (who in turn believed themselves to be the purest decendents of the Ehlnofey and thus, the gods themselves). The Altmer consider it utter betrayal to marry or interbreed with other races. Marriage and breeding are a carefully-selected process that is meant to ensure that people are paired based on compatible status and bloodlines; marrying or breeding for love is frowned upon but not unheard of between Altmer themselves, but is cultural suicide with any other race.
  • In Ib "The Liar's Room" has several painting that try and lead Ib astray, except for one that tells her the truth. The other paintings murder him while Ib is in the other room.
  • In World of Warcraft, this happens to the Horde. Garrosh, having alienated the rest of the Horde to the point at which the Darkspear Trolls start a rebellion against him, and the other member races join them, essentially calls his mainly Orcish side of the Horde the "True Horde". During the final confrontation, he accuses Thrall of no longer being an orc for wanting to make alliances rather than take the world for his people. Despite his rhetoric, his army is not entirely orcish, as one might expect. He works with a large cadre of goblins (dwindling due to his Bad Boss tendencies, but still quite high in numbers) who are emphatically Only in It for the Money. Despite the fact that he loathes the money-grubbing goblins and their tiresome independence, he relies heavily on their services and has made one his second-in-command solely due to their marvelous talent for weapon design.
  • In Star Trek Online's post-Season 11 version of the mirror universe, a Bajoran member of the Terran Imperial Starfleet comments to the player character that her plan in joining the occupying military was to restrain its excesses to protect her people. It backfired: the Terrans view her as a possible spy on top of the existing Fantastic Racism and extreme sexism, while other Bajorans consider her a traitor.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles X, Alex accuses the player of being one, assuming the player came to attack him for his attempted murder of friendly xenos. In reality, Alex is this, seeing as how he conspired with the Ganglion, the kind of xenos that were responsible for the destruction of Earth (hence Alex's hatred).
  • In XCOM: Enemy Unknown, The Council and Bradford specifically calls EXALT "traitors" rather than just enemies. This is probably one of the only times in fiction where this is completely justified, as EXALT is composed of humans who are trying to helping aliens take over the Earth.

    Web Animation 
  • FreedomToons: When a black guest on The Echo Chamber disagrees with the racial victimhood narrative, Dr. Mac somehow finds a way to declare him a white supremacist.
  • RWBY:
    • Blake was a former member of the White Fang, an organization devoted to fighting for the rights of the faunus, a race of part-animal, part-humans. Blake ended up leaving the organization because they had slid into extremism and violence, and Adam, the leader of the branch she was in, declared her a traitor for leaving ...although he had other reasons for being upset at her as well.
    • In Volume 5 when Blake's father Ghira tries to tell the people of Menagerie that the only way to stop Adam's plan to kill High Leader Sienna Khan and destroy Haven Academy is to protect Haven Academy (and therefore all the humans there), Ilia Amitola, an Evil Former Friend of Blake's who works with the White Fang, publicly denounces the Belladonna family as traitors and "the worst kind of Faunus" for even suggesting that.
    • The Branwen twins, Qrow and Raven, were raised by bandits before becoming huntsmen. Raven eventually left the huntsmen and returned to the bandits while Qrow didn't. As such, they both see the other as a traitor to the faction they're loyal to.

    Web Comics 
  • Played with in The Wotch. At the beginning of the feminist arc, Anne gets mad with at-the-moment Sonja because she reminds her that he IS a man, and not "a woman that sometimes is a guy" as Anne was saying.
  • Slightly Damned: Kieri, an angel, is considered a traitor for her companionship with Buwaro, a demon.note  One particular Knight Templar angel attempted to kill her after she merely protected Buwaro. Her brother Kazai tries to write the relationship off as 'not your fault, you've been through a lot', but freaks out when she starts questioning the motives of Kazai's superior officer because of her new outlook on angels and demons; angels have indoctrinated themselves into following all orders and arbitrary customs at all times. Soon after, the superior officer reveals she turned actual traitor because following orders prevented her from deciding who she could love.
  • In Goblins: Multiple characters call out the main characters for being monsters that took on adventuring, especially the part about leveling up like regular Player Characters. They usually counter with how badass class abilities and plot armor make them.
    • Duv declares Dies-Horribly and Saves-a-Fox traitors to goblinkind when they refuse to submit to her goals of goblin supremacy.
  • In Kevin & Kell:
    • Kevin says his family of rabbits considers him and his adopted hedgehog daughter Lindesfarne "traitors" because of his Maligned Mixed Marriage to Kell, a predator. Kell's wolf family doesn't go this far, but it's clear that early on, they disapprove of Kevin. The rabbits eventually accept Kevin back as one of them when they realized his hybrid daughter Coney is an asset to them, and Kell eventually won them over when she banned the hunting of rabbits during her brief stint as CEO of Herd Thinner.
    • When Fiona's ears came in (fennec foxes have rabbit-like ears, Fiona initially took after her red fox mother) she briefly joined the Fennec Pride movement, but left when they objected to her being in a relationship with a non-fennec (Rudy). She almost got her ears shortened as a result, but Rudy convinced her that she could still be proud of who she is, even if the movement didn't accept her.
    • Kevin's ex-wife Angelique eventually lost the right to call herself a rabbit altogether after she betrayed her species by revealing some of their secrets to R.L., CEO of Herd Thinners. She just had plastic surgery to look like a rat and claimed she was that instead. Years later, she shows that she's still a traitor by directing Herd Thinners to exclusively go after rabbits, forcing the main characters to literally scare her straight.

    Web Original 
  • Phase of the Whateley Universe gets it going and coming. He was a scion of the mutant-hating Goodkind empire, until he manifested as a mutant. His family sees him as a traitor to their cause. Now he's at Whateley Academy, surrounded by most of the teenaged mutants on the planet. Lots of them know he's a Goodkind and treat him as a traitor to mutant-dom.

    Western Animation 
  • In American Dad!, Terry is angered that Greg is a member of the Gay Republicans.
  • ThunderCats (2011):
    • Young prince Lion-O, already known among his people as a Cloudcuckoolander, defends some stockaded Lizard slaves from a Powder Keg Crowd of his fellow Catfolk. This backfires spectacularly, stirring them up into an Angry Mob demanding a full blown Vigilante Execution, calling him "Lizard lover" and threatening to put him in the stocks themselves.
    • Also one of the reasons why Pumyra hates Lion-O.
    • Ironically, the Cats were allies with the other animals, including the Lizards, when they overthrew Mumm-Ra centuries ago.
  • The King of the Hill episode "Orange You Sad I Did Say Banana?" revolves around Kahn's reaction to being accused of being a "banana" by one of his fellow Laotian-Americans, including his idol Ted Wassonasong. After they push him around most of the episode, he tells them to shove off when they try to get him to participate in a coup d'etat that will most likely fail and result in his death.
    Kahn: You want to play a round of golf at Nine Rivers? Give me a call. You want someone to feel guilty about the way they live their life? Call someone else!
  • On Daria, a good portion of the student body blames her for getting the yearbook to devote fewer pages to sports and clubs (which isn't true, but she supports the decision anyway).
    Kevin: Hello, traitor. It's a nice day, isn't it? — for a traitor!
    Daria: How can I betray something I don't believe in?
  • Parodied in the South Park episode "Wieners Out", where Butters becomes a raging misogynist and criticizes Kyle for wanting to make peace with the girls after their mass break-up campaign, constantly calling him "Uncle Kyle".
  • Slimer on The Real Ghostbusters and later Extreme Ghostbusters. He's the team mascot, lives in the firehouse, and often helps out on cases. So, of course, Slimer is positively hated by the kind of malicious ghosts that the Ghostbusters regularly deal with. Samhain personally denounced him as a traitor and threatened to destroy him if he didn't submit to his rule. Even worse, Surt wanted to perform eternal torture on the spud as retribution for helping the Ghostbusters trap him.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Race Traitor, Gender Traitor, Class Traitor, Straw Traitor



The only thing that knocks Daemon out her serenity is Hexidecimal's transformation into a sprite.

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