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Conforming OOC Moment

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Lots of works involve group actions or reactions. Whether it's an angry mob, a Cuteness Proximity scene, a Mass "Oh, Crap!", or even everyone laughing (maybe at the end). But sometimes, scenes like this can leave viewers wondering, "Wait, why is that character doing that as well?", and that's a Conforming OOC Moment.

Maybe The Stoic becomes Not So Stoic because everyone else is emoting. Maybe everyone's doing the Happy Dance, even the character who finds dancing embarrassing. Or maybe, everyone's doing a Lame Pun Reaction, even someone who usually likes puns. But whatever it is, someone's joining in with the crowd even though it would be strange for them to do so given their personality.

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Tropes Are Tools — On the positive side, this may indicate that a character has gotten carried away or that this particular moment is so significant that even Character X is reacting to it. Done badly, though, it can feel like lazy writing, since the writers couldn't be bothered to script a different response for the character, or that they forgot a key aspect of a character's personality.

See also Got Me Doing It. Usually averts OOC Is Serious Business. Usually Played for Laughs and can result in the OOC character holding many of the tropes on the Ball Index. Can be Truth in Television due to the phenomenon of herd/mob/pack mentality. Can result in Not So Above It All, Hypocrite, Even the Dog Is Ashamed, and Hypocritical Humour. May also result in Everyone Has Standards or Even Evil Has Standards if it seems more like principles than a knee-jerk response. Contrast Conspicuous in the Crowd, when someone stands out for not going along with the crowd.

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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • One Piece: In the Alabasta arc, Luffy and Chopper, who usually have little interest in sex, both have a Nose Bleed when they peep at Nami and Vivi naked in the royal steambaths alongside Usopp and Sanji (in a later arc, Luffy doesn't even react when he sees Boa Hancock naked). According to Word of God, it's because the presence of their friends influenced them.

    Comic Strips 
  • Peanuts: Whenever Charlie Brown loses a baseball game, his whole team will berate him (or insult him at worst), including Linus (who is usually sweet to Charlie Brown).
  • One story arc in Calvin and Hobbes sees Calvin as the only boy in school who didn't sign up to play baseball during recess. By his own admission, Calvin hates following rules and prefers running around using his imagination, so it's understandable—until Moe teases him for it. Calvin thus signs up to play baseball too, knowing full well that he's going to have a miserable time.
  • During an arc in Foxtrot where Paige catches a cold that spreads to the whole family, one comic showed Peter sitting in Paige's room doing nothing until the punchline reveals that Peter is sitting in Paige's room to get sick as well to avoid a math test, which is then followed by Jason entering and saying that it's his turn to sit in Paige's room. By that point in the comic's run, Jason's love for school and difficult quizzes and tests had long since been established as one of his most defining traits and he otherwise gets upset at the thought of not being able to do such.
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    Fan Works 

    Films — Animated 
  • Ice Age: Continental Drift: During the "Master of the Seas" musical number, Dobson the boar can be seen singing with the pirates despite never speaking besides a few snorts in all his other scenes.
  • Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown: When Snoopy comes into the cabin and kisses the girls goodnight, they all smile gratefully. Lucy is also smiling, even though any other time Snoopy kisses her, she starts freaking out.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: In the Bad-Anon club, when they recite their creed, Bowser is shown moving his mouth to speak just like the others. This is despite the fact that, in the games he comes from, Bowser rarely makes vocal sounds beyond roars or laughs (and doesn't talk at any other point in the movie), though some believe Bowser, due to this, is just mouthing the words while growling.note 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Teen Beach Movie: Mack spends a majority of the film trying to get out of the movie, and even sings an entire song about how much she hates being trapped in a musical. Despite this, she participates in "Like Me", cheerfully singing along like the others and not seeming phased by it, at odds with her motivation and characterization. (While she also joins in on "Meant to Be", she also had the ulterior motive of trying to get Tanner and Lela to fall in love. In this scene, no such excuse exists.)
  • Subverted in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Crabbe cluelessly stands up to join the Slow Clap at the end, but Draco Malfoy grabs him and pulls him back down.

    Literature 
  • Angelina Ballerina: Played for Drama in "Angelina and Alice". When a group of older kids laugh at Angelina for pratfalling, Alice (Angelina's best friend) laughs too, leaving Angelina in tears.
  • Captain Underpants: In "The Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants", all the students laugh at the eponymous professor's Unfortunate Name. Melvin laughs too, despite the fact that he's known for looking down on the other kids for their immature sense of humor.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: In "The Long Haul", Greg says that all the boys in his class read a book series called Underpants Bandits. This isn't OOC on its own, but it becomes this trope when he says they'd become illiterate if the teacher banned the books, implying that's all they read. Actually, one of his male classmates, Alex Aruda, is nerdy and it's clear he reads a lot more books than just Underpants Bandits.
  • Frog and Toad: At the end of the chapter "The Swim" in Frog and Toad Are Friends, Toad reluctantly comes out of the water, revealing his embarrassing swimsuit. A turtle, some lizards, a snake, a field mouse, and even Frog laugh at him, which is strange since Frog is often more sympathetic to Toad's plights.
  • My Weird School: In "Ms. Krup Cracks Me Up!", the students (who are inside the museum for a field trip) sneak to the vending machine to get candy in the middle of the night after the teachers have told them they can't have any candy. This includes Andrea, the unapologetic Professional Butt-Kisser who always sucks up to the teachers.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: In "Prophet Motive", when Bashir loses a competition at the end, all his friends (except Odo who wasn't there) groan and facepalm... including O'Brien, who logically shouldn't have been disappointed since he thought Bashir didn't stand a chance anyway.
  • In the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "The Hatchery", Malcolm, Trip, and T'Pol stage a mutiny because they're disgruntled with Archer trying to save some alien babies instead of doing his job. While it's understandable that the casual Trip and the crotchety Malcolm would stage a mutiny, T'Pol is usually quite calculated and by-the-book. Also, everyone besides Archer is against the idea of saving the alien babies, including Phlox, who's a doctor and loves alien creatures.
  • Implied in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Game", wherein an addictive video game-like device is being played by the bulk of the Enterprise crew, which includes Worf, who usually regards games as a waste of time, so it's unclear how he got hooked to begin with. It's possible someone physically forced him to play it, but the only one stronger than him is Data, who was unconscious.
    • In "I, Borg," the Enterprise comes across a crashed Borg vessel with a living drone still inside. At first, Dr. Crusher is the only person on the whole ship who has any sympathy toward the Borg—everyone else, from the philosophical Picard to the wise bartender Guinan to Proud Warrior Race Guy Worf, shows nothing but utter contempt and fear, which is highly out of character for the usually-peaceful, curious, accepting group (Worf in particular suggests killing the drone at the crash site and pretending that they all died, something a noble Klingon would never do). Picard is even willing to use the drone as a Tyke Bomb to commit mass genocide against the Borg, and again, all but Dr. Crusher completely support the plan. The episode then changes tack and shows each member of the crew confronting their prejudices as they speak to the drone, now named "Hugh," and slowly joining Dr. Crusher's side of seeing him not as a faceless enemy but a genuine person.
  • The Worst Witch: In the episode involving a cursed video game, one of the people playing it is the no-nonsense Stern Teacher Miss Hardbroom.
  • Community: In season 3, the study group adds Todd, a stranger to their Biology lab group. The group is very uncomfortable with this new addition, even though Todd is perfectly nice and helpful. So far so good, but it goes beyond uncomfortable when everyone in the study group is openly cruel and hateful to Todd, even for people who it is vastly out of character for, like Annie, who was shown to care about her grades to a detriment and would probably be more concerned about the assignment (which Todd was very helpful with) than the group dynamic. Justified in that the point is that the group has become self-obsessed, insular, and toxic, but this point is strange because of how deeply out of character it is for many of the group's members, and how they never showed the group declining to this point, just had them change to acting like a hive mind out of nowhere.
  • On It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, anyone who spends an extended period of time with the Paddy's Pub Gang inevitably starts acting just as selfish, horrible, and sociopathic as them.
  • Played for laughs in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, where London will always join an angry mob if one forms, even if it's against someone she likes. If anyone questions her, she just cites "mob mentality" and then goes back to what she was doing.
  • The Psych Episode "This Episode Sucks" has 2 moments:
    • Lassie is so hell bent on finding the woman he met at the beginning of the episode that he goes along with Shawn's hunch that the killer was a vampire. Even Shawn is surprised by his willingness to go along with one of the most ridiculous theories of his psychic career.
    • Another one happens with Juliet, who was the only main character to not go along with Shawn's claim. After finding out that one of Marlowe's roommates is called Lucien, she (simultaneously with Shawn and Gus) ask her "Where's Lucien?". She still doesn't think that a vampire was involved, but she did find the name weird enough to justify further questioning.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street: In the "Do de Rubber Duck" song, a whole crowd of Sesame Street citizens is singing about how Baths Are Fun. This includes Oscar, who's normally proud of his bad hygiene and hates happy songs.
  • On The Muppet Show, Statler and Waldorf are usually incredibly sarcastic Trolls who do nothing but heckle and complain about every act. However, there are a few instances where they're seen singing along in crowd numbers or even taking the stage themselves, especially when the songs are old music hall or vaudevillian standards.
    • Similarly, in A Muppet Family Christmas, Statler and Waldorf join in the Muppets' annual Christmas Eve Carol Sing without complaint, performing the pensive "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" as a solo and generally enjoying the party.
    • Beaker is often seen singing along in music numbers that involve a large number of other Muppets (though, natch, we don't hear his voice).

    Video Games 
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006): When Elise kisses Sonic to resurrect him, everyone else just quietly looks on, including Amy, who is known to react violently whenever anyone makes a move on Sonic. Possibly justified, as Amy was most likely too happy about her crush coming back to life to be angry.
  • In the ending cutscene of Bully, Derby Harrington appears among a crowd of students (including the clique leaders) and teachers applauding Jimmy (the player character) for saving the school. This behavior is very uncharacteristic of him, considering how unpleasant he is to Jimmy during the game. He was probably placed there only because he's a clique leader.

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: In "The Limit", Gumball, Darwin and Anais have a tantrum when Nicole won't allow them to buy candy. It's somewhat out of character for Anais since she's more sensible than Darwin and Gumball (and even if she does join in on their antics, she's more intelligent about it).
  • Animaniacs: During some crowd scenes such as the theme song, the Mime (who never speaks due to his occupation, besides an occasion when he said, "Le ow...") can be seen singing along with the others. His voice can't be heard, though.
  • Arthur: In "Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn", when asked if they'd rather face horrifying, scary danger or do their homework, all the students say, "Horrifying, scary danger!"... including the Brain, who likes studying. Granted, this is the third episode of the show, and Brain hadn't been developed much as a character by this point.
  • In the As Told by Ginger episode "Wicked Game", Ginger's two best friends, Dodie and Macie, conspire with Miranda and Mipsy to break up Ginger and Darren. While it sadly isn't too much of a stretch for Dodie, it is rather out of character for Macie to willingly go along with it. Though it's implied to have been due to peer pressure from Dodie.
  • At the end of a Beavis and Butt-Head episode called "No Laughing", the students all laugh when the teacher announces that they'll be learning about private parts and masturbation during sex ed week, including Daria, who's notorious for being a solemn Deadpan Snarker who hates that kind of humor.
  • Bob's Burgers: Despite being characterized as feeling uncomfortable when it comes to lying, Tina has had her share of dishonesty in several episodes when her siblings lie, like in "Synchronized Swimming" (wherein she and Gene were okay with Louise forging Linda's signature), and "Burgerboss" (when she, Gene, and Louise lied about having sailing lessons).
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy:
    • Nazz may be sweet to the Eds, but whenever the kids laugh at them when they humiliate themselves, she often joins in.
    • In "If It Smells Like an Edd", the kids laugh at Jimmy after Eddy gives him a wedgie, even Double D (who isn't the type to laugh at those kinds of immature jokes, let alone Eddy's mean-spirited sense of humor) and Ed (who is one of the sweetest characters). Though to be fair, Double D at least appears to be trying to stifle it.
    • In "Nagged to Ed", the Eds very messily eat sandwiches, including Double D, the Neat Freak who believes in politeness. Then again, this was the second episode of the whole series.
  • Hey Arnold!:
    • In "New Teacher", Arnold takes part in the pranks played on Mr. Simmons despite being respectful to adults (and to everyone else).
    • In "Phoebe's Little Problem", Arnold is among the students laughing at Phoebe for accidentally breaking wind into a microphone, even though he's not the type to laugh at people's humiliating situations. For what it's worth, he does try to comfort Phoebe a moment later.
    • Despite her kindness and sweetness in every episode, in "Phoebe's Little Problem", Lila makes a rude and bored face with the other kids while Phoebe is giving a speech.
  • Jelly Jamm:
    • In "One-Eyed Bello", Mina, Goomo, Rita, and Ongo laugh at Bello for wearing an eyepatch for his black eye. Mina and Rita's reactions can be understandable since the former has a Vitriolic Best Buds relationship with Bello and the latter's too young to know any better, but Goomo laughing at his best friend is a bit odd for him. It's also strange to see Ongo laughing at Bello since he's not normally the type to laugh at others' misfortunes.
    • Sometimes when everyone in a scene is talking, Ongo can be seen moving his mouth (though his voice isn't heard), even though he's a non-speaking character (with a few exceptions).
  • Little Princess:
    • At the end of "I Want to Play in the Rain", everybody plays in the rain, including Puss, who usually plays Cats Hate Water straight.
    • At the end of "I Want My Dummy", all the adults except the Gardener and Prime Minister suck their thumbs when the Princess locks their favourite possessions in the cupboard. The Queen and Maid do this too, even though they're normally the most mature out of the adults.
  • The Loud House:
    • In "Heavy Meddle", the Loud sisters all squeal in excitement when they think their brother Lincoln might have an admirer... including the stoic Lucy and Lisa. Lisa lampshades it by pointing out that she's usually above "inane human emotions".
    • In "Linc or Swim", when Lisa invents a potion that removes urine from water, but it causes all the water to evaporate due to the high amount of it, all of her sisters except Lily blush, implying they all peed in the pool. This is out of character for Leni (who hates getting dirty), Lucy (who's squeamish about bodily functions), Lana (who probably would pee in the pool, but due to her grody nature, it's weird for her to get embarrassed about it), and especially Lola (who's a total Neat Freak usually and in the very same episode didn't even want to get her swim gown wet).
    • In "Health Kicked", the Loud parents make their children exercise a lot, which leaves them all tired, including Lynn Jr., who usually exercises that much anyway without getting tired.
    • In "Come Sale Away", Lincoln mentions that he and his sisters once had a burping competition, even prissy Lola. She even won. In the same episode, Lincoln and the rest of the sisters shake their rumps as a victory dance. Lisa and Lucy are among them, despite being unemotional and serious.
    • In "No Such Luck", even the down-to-earth Lisa is easily convinced that Lincoln is bad luck. Also, Lucy, who at the time disliked the beach and only wanted to go in an earlier episode because of shark attacks, is keen to go to the beach and agrees with her sisters and parents that shark attacks are a bad thing.
  • Mickey's House of Villains: In "It's Our House Now," a crowd Villain Song sung by several of Disney's villains, Lucifer the cat and Tick-Tock the crocodile are seen singing with the others - that is, actually moving their mouths to speak, despite the fact that neither of them speaks in their respective films. Tick-Tock is also seen sitting upright like the other villains at one point, as if he was a Funny Animal, even though he's more of a Nearly Normal Animal in the original movie.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "The Ticket Master", when the Mane Six hears about Twilight's extra ticket to the Grand Galloping Gala, they all chase her, even mild-mannered, timid Fluttershy. This may have been the first episode after the series premiere, but Fluttershy had been established to be extremely kind before that.
    • Big McIntosh will also freely join in on any ensemble musical sequences where he is present despite him being The Quiet One, rarely uttering more than just "Yup" or "Nope."
  • Phineas and Ferb: In "Phineas and Ferb Get Busted!", Baljeet deliberately goes to the Smile-Away Reformatory School for a challenge after being kicked out of summer school and has the time of his life while everyone else is completely miserable, except during the episode's song "Got These Chains On Me", where Baljeet is shown being just as miserable as everybody else. (Though on the other hand, this is the last time he appears in the episode outside of its Gainax Ending, so one could make the argument that the "school's" methods had simply gotten too much even for him by that point.)
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • In "Dance Pantsed", Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup have a tantrum so that the Professor will buy them the new video game Dance Pantsed Revolution. It can be a bit forgivable with Bubbles and Buttercup since they're more childish, but Blossom joining in is pretty strange since she's normally mature for her age.
    • In various episodes such as "Reeking Havoc" and "Oops, I Did It Again", Bubbles is seen eating meat with the other girls despite claiming to be a vegetarian in "Collect Her". This could be chalked up to Characterization Marches On, though, as "Collect Her" was only in season 2.
  • Ready Jet Go!:
    • The usually logic-minded Mitchell joins in on the investigation to see if there's a face on the moon in "Moon Face".
    • There are several instances where Sean does want to go to space like the other kids do, despite being hesitant to do so most of the time.
    • In "Lone Star", the kids act out the Lone Star legend. Sunspot plays Lone Star's horse. Lone Star (Jet) is shunned by the town for his "loopy ideas", and they all point shovels at him, including Sunspot. A moment after, Jet leaves while riding Sunspot.
  • Rugrats: At the beginning of "Circus Angelicus", the adults don't seem too bothered by the circus clown, not even Didi, who had been established to have a fear of clowns back in "Reptar's Revenge". This could be Character Development, though, since the latter was in season 1.
  • Sanjay and Craig: In "Street Dogg", everyone boos at Sanjay, Craig, Megan, and Hector after they sing about their friendship. This includes Sanjay's parents, who are supportive towards their son.
  • The Simpsons:
    • At the end of the episode "The Principal and the Pauper", a large crowd is seen tying up the "real" Skinner and rounding him out of town to invoke Status Quo Is God. This includes a few of the nicer citizens like Marge, Lisa, and Ned Flanders.
    • In "Trash of the Titans", Homer's embezzling and poor decisions as sanitation commissioner have left the town a literal mess. In the town hall meeting, before dealing with fixing the town they settle the vote of whether to horsewhip Homer as punishment. When voted against, we get a shot of everyone, distant or close friend, arms folded and silent and glaring antipathetically at Homer. Even Marge's hair can be seen motionless in the background, implying even his family voted for him to suffer after what he pulled.
      Homer: *nervously* Nay?
    • Subverted in "Grade School Confidential". Many kids throw up after eating some spoiled oysters, and Lisa (who's a vegetarian) is seen gagging and looking nauseous, implying she ate it too, but then it's revealed that she was Playing Sick to get out of the boring party.
  • South Park: In "Hooked on Monkey Fonics," Butters is among the kids who bully Mark and duct tape him to the bench, despite Butters usually being the least confrontational kid in the group. Enforced, given that this is early in Butters' character development and justified in that he has a tendency to fall victim to herd mentality.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "SpongeBob Meets the Strangler", not only does Squidward show up to both of SpongeBob's parties, but he is shown clearly having the time of his life. The same goes for Plankton.
  • In the Teen Titans Go! episode "Serious Business", the protagonists are all seen goofing around in the bathroom... including the serious, broody Raven.
  • Thomas & Friends: In "Harvey To The Rescue", several of the engines are hostile toward Harvey and insult him for having a crane arm, including the normally wise and kindhearted Edward.
  • In Transformers: Prime second season finale, as it looks like The Bad Guy Wins, all of the gathered Decepticons are shown to be laughing condescendingly in unison. Even Soundwave is making laughing gestures, and though no sound is coming from him, he's just about the last one to laugh.

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