And when I'm not at home I'm sure someone's rummaging through my trash.
Whatever could they want from me? Is it just a part of a giant government conspiracy?
I gotta go see my doctor about this itchy pentagram-shaped rash..."
Describe Conspiracy Theorist here? Shyeah right. That's just what they want you to do. Haven't you sheeple ever heard of MKUltra? Your vibrational frequencies are too high! They thrive off of fear! Your Zero-point is a great distance from fear! Alright, I'll tell you what. I'll give you the Official Line about truth-seekers; what they want you to think. And you can just think about that. And then, if you're ready to take the Red Pill, then maybe you can go do some digging of your own. Maybe, just maybe, you'll learn the real truth. Better luck next time, Low-Vibrational Reptilians!
A Conspiracy Theorist attributes the ultimate cause of an event or chain of events (usually political, social or historical events), or the concealment of such causes from public knowledge, to a secret and often deceptive plot by a group of powerful or influential people or organizations. Many conspiracy theories state that major events in history have been dominated by conspirators who manipulate political happenings from behind the scenes. The Conspiracy is generally evil beyond evil. And yet despite how evil they are, they never betray each other, so the conspiracy stays together for thousands of years. How they accomplish this is unexplained. It is something beyond the wisdom of our puny minds.
Conspiracy theorists in the media may be Mad Scientists associated with Right Wing Militia Fanatics or Dirty Communists, and always seem to come off as somewhat mentally unhinged (though you and I know better, right?). This seems to be the case even when one of them catches the trail of a genuine Ancient Conspiracy or Government Conspiracy. Of course, said conspiracies have a tendency to try to silence the "kook" once they learn he's on to them, despite the fact that no one would actually believe he's telling the truth. This tends to backfire in one of two ways:
- If the attempt fails, it gives the theorist the Heroic Resolve he needs to unravel the conspiracy.
- If it succeeds, whoever investigates the murder is bound to stumble upon the conspiracy, particularly if higher-ups try to hush it up.
There is a medical condition frequently attributed to conspiracy theorists: apophenia, "the tendency to see connections where none exist" (thank you, Question). But that's only what The Man and his crony doctors will have you believe. And as Agent Mulder would say: just because you're paranoid doesn't mean They're not out to get you.
To those who still just don't believe me, then wake up, smell the muffins, and get off that bandwagon! And don't you dare say those things to me!
Every conspiracy theorist worth his salt has a pegboard filled with weird photos and connecting strings and a Tinfoil Hat ready... but if you ever get the urge to buy a copy of The Catcher in the Rye, for God's sake, resist!
Examples are just misconceptions created by the government. I have proof!
- In Full Metal Panic!, Mithril has programs that troll online forums and denounce anyone who makes connections about events Mithril was involved in as a conspiracy theorist so that nobody pays any attention to the (sometimes accurate) conclusions that the posters are coming to.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, Char's mentor and Ramba Ral's father Jimba is shown as one. When sheltering Char and his family, Jimba constantly rants about how the Zabi family are responsible for killing Char's father Zeon Deikun and are planning to take over Side 3 to form their evil empire. Interestingly, Jimba himself was proven to be correct in many of his rants as Degwin Zabi did actually poison Zeon while his daughter Kycilia killed Sasro Zabi with a bomb and then framed the Ral family for the assassination.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Campus Apocalypse has Kensuke trade in his military fanboying for this.
- Teen Genius Susumu in Wandaba Style adamantly believes that the 1969 moon landing was fake, and is thus trying to get a rocket there himself (using environmentally safe methods). In the second half of the series, his mother is introduced as a Designated Villain, simply because she wants him to admit that he is wrong (it's her methods in doing so that put her into Villain territory).
- Satou's old school friend in Welcome to the N.H.K.: "It's a conspiracy" is practically her Catchphrase. Satou himself is one of these, thanks to her influence. The title is a reference to his main conspiracy theory, that the Japanese TV channel NHK is a conspiracy to create Hikikomori.
- Azula takes this role in Avatar: The Last Airbender The Search. Weird use of the trope too. Azula believes everything is in some way, shape or form, a ploy by her mother to kill her before Azula can get to her first. Azula uses this belief as a means of latching onto some semblance of sanity and to keep her focused, as readers who watched the series before knows that Azula's been long broke-brained.
- Perry Noia from The Crossovers, who is convinced that aliens are launching a secret takeover of Earth. His neighbours' ten year-old son Cliff is a UFO abductee and alien collaborator whom Perry is trying to reveal as a traitor.
- In the IDW version of G.I. Joe, Mainframe came to be regarded as a conspiracy theorist after he stumbled onto the Cobra conspiracy. He went AWOL from the Joes and started living like a stereotypical conspiracy theorist as he attempted to prove he was right.
- The Ghost, an Iron Man villain, is a massive conspiracy theorist.
- Inversion: In "Everything You Know About The Powerpuff Girls Is Wrong" (issue #40, DC run), the students of Pokey Oaks are giving their own ideas on how the girls were created, paralleling the origins of Spiderman, Superman and the Fantastic Four in their tales. The girls finally step up to tell how they were really created, only to find it was Ms. Keane's creativity assignment for the class—which the girls receive a failing grade.
- Cecil Holmes from PS238. Of course, in obsessing over the belief that his elementary school is a front for an alien invasion, he's completely missed out on its nature as a superhero training program. Turns out he can sense if someone else has superpowers. So his entire life he's felt that other people are different, and since so many of those people are secretive he believed aliens.
- Robin Series: At his third high school Tim befriends a fellow student named Bernard who has a number of interesting theories. His most amusing one is that "Batman owns a bunch of secret orphanages all over the world where he gets his Robins from." since he earnestly tells it to Tim, who was Robin.
- Arnie Burnsteel from Scare Tactics in The DCU. Chief of paranoia; a living, breathing encyclopedia of arcane trivia, conspiracy theories and questionable proven facts
- Superman: The short story "The Deniers!" features a blue collar worker named Phil, who thinks Superman isn't real and is just a hoax made up by the government to keep people in line. Part of his evidence is that he's lived in Metropolis his whole life and has never seen Superman or the so called monsters and supervillains he faces. A montage shows Superman and his enemies always appearing out of Phil's line of sight. When one of his friends points out the abundance of news footage and photos of Superman in action, Phil claims it's all doctored.
- Rorschach from Watchmen. He started as an Expy of The Question, who in the DCAU was a saner Expy of Rorschach.
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron: The Ante-Endor Assocation on Mrlsst are an Imperialist group of these. In the two months following the Battle of Endor, they begin claiming this never took place and is just Rebel propaganda. They insist the Empire is still at full strength, Palpatine's alive, no Jedi exist and in fact the Rebels had destroyed Alderaan while trying to make a superweapon like the Death Star.
- Huey Freeman from The Boondocks takes this to ridiculous extremes. Originally he simply believed that there was a conspiracy among whites against African-Americans (accusing even the most unlikely people of being "in" on it, such as Henry Kissinger and others who won Nobel Peace Prizes) but eventually took this a little too far, spouting crazy theories accusing the government of covering up the dangers of the bird flu pandemic (which is Hilarious in Hindsight, as there was never a single case of someone dying from that outside of China). Eventually he made an enemy's list where he included Santa Claus (resulting in him getting a threatening letter from the big man himself) and Lucy from Peanuts (claiming he never liked her because of "the whole football thing").
- One gag in The Far Side had a lone man standing on a street-corner preaching about the existence of vampires, with a mirror being carried by in the background revealing that all those passing by his soapbox cast no reflection.
- Al, the bartender in Liberty Meadows, believes in numerous conspiracies, most notably that Shakespeare was actually written by Bacon.
- The Seraphim, the main villain of Angel Of The Bat is this to a ridiculous extreme. Amongst his theories is that he is a "descendant of Enoch" (who, if the Bible is taken literally, is ancestor to everyone) and that he is descended from an English occultist whom the Catholic church imprisoned when he foretold events such as the destruction of Gotham.
- In Blood and Spirit, Fi is highly suspicious of all members of the Sheikah tribe, specifically their leader Sheik. She warns Link not to trust any of them, thinking that they too have gone rogue like Veress and her followers. However, Link is quick to shoot that possibility down.
- In the Buffyverse fic Bring Me to Life, Kennedy goes off on a massive rant against Buffy after finding out about Angel's Dark and Troubled Past, which Buffy had withheld from the others, going so far as to accuse her of deliberately sending Annabelle and Chloe to their deaths and being in league with the First; naturally, Buffy blows her stack and punches Kennedy in the face before outright telling Kennedy that she's young, stupid, and not to make assumptions on what she thinks she knows.
- The Elements of Friendship: At one point during Book I, a pony named Tinfoil Hat takes over Octavia and Vinyl's rebel radio broadcast, and tells everyone that Celestia and Nightmare Moon are actually the same pony, Twilight is her chief enforcer, and the quest to learn how to use the Elements of Harmony is actually a complicated plot to Take Over the World. And then Octavia and Vinyl kick him out of their safehouse.
- He reappears in Book II. During the height of Discord's rampage across Equestria, he hacks into a radio broadcast to tell everyone listening that Discord is actually Celestia's ex-boyfriend, and Selena is her child by Discord's bat-pony half-brother. He then goes on a rant about how he's not going to let all the facts that contradict him stop him from spreading the "truth". And then Vinyl shows up and knocks him out again.
- In Equestria: A History Revealed, the narrator, and by extension, one of her sources, Crazy Larry definitely qualify. The narrator goes to the extent of stating she is the only "true" historian in all of Equestria, and all the rest have been paid off by Celestia to support her lies.
- In A Gun to Love's Head, Misa becomes one after the end of the Kira case and L publicly declared that Higuchi was Kira all along, with the Second Kira, whose identity is "classified," privately executed. Misa becomes a pro-Kira writer that writes books on the fact that that theory does not make sense.
- Alya goes through a brief but intense period of this in Missing (Miraculous Ladybug) while attempting to reconcile Lila's claims of being best friends with Ladybug with Ladybug's staunch insistence that she only knows her as an occasional akuma victim. She offers up various theories, each twisting logic more severely than the last to try and make things fit together in a way that doesn't require her to accept the idea that maybe — just maybe! — Lila was lying. Because if she admits that much, it also means admitting she might have made a serious mistake in accepting Lila at her word rather than fact-checking... and she's not mentally prepared to face what that might mean.
- Shoto Todoroki from My Hero Academia tends to get played up as one in fanon for laughs due to him asking Deku if he's the secret love child of the Big Good.
- In Twillight Sparkle's awesome adventure, ADMIRAL Awesome would rather believe that the President of Amarican is controlled by evil Martian deep-sea fishes than that he would, of his own free will, refuse to give him any money or medals.
- The cut original draft of Zootopia featured a paranoid badger named Honey who was known to believe that all sheep were part of a grand "Cud-spiracy" against all other mammals. As you can expect, numerous Zootopia fanfics have taken the character and run with her.
- Guardian Blue has a (moderately) more grounded take on Honey, where she's untrusting of sheep, but the Cud-spiracy is shown to have some degree of truth to it, and later on, she's shown to work with sheep, first reluctantly with Sharla, then it's revealed that she was working with Sharla's brother Gareth, [[spoiler:who was acting as Honey and her cohorts' inside mammal.
- "The Bin and the Badge" on the other hand deconstructs this, with Honey being shown to be seriously disturbed and even highly bigoted against sheep as a result of her paranoia, and the story centres around her undergoing treatment to address this.
- In 13 Sins, Vogler has been tracking the history of the Game for years, and believes that it is an entertainment for the super-rich, and has been running since Ancient Greece. The ending indicates he may be right.
- In Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie, Cooper, the Nerd's friend and producer, believe in (among other things) the Eee Tee dumping grounds, the Roswell UFO incident, Area 51, Santa Claus, the Flat Earth theory, and "Death Mwauthzyx": an ancient monster who created God and the Devil, rests in Mount Fuji, and can end reality simply by turning a radar dish on its head 180 degrees, and the only thing that would survive the apocalypse would be one bologna sandwich that would be of immeasurable mass due to there being nothing to compare it against. Turns out, he's not far off the mark with some of his theories.
- In the '90s Disney Channel remake of the '60s comedy The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, the main character's best friend was a stereotypical college-age radical who, in a parody of Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories, believed that President William McKinley was actually killed by his vice president, Theodore Roosevelt.
- Terrance, Aaron, and Mark in The Conspiracy; the in-universe documentary on Terrance is most prominently centered around his 9/11 theories.
- Jerry Fletcher (Mel Gibson) from the movie Conspiracy Theory. By the end it hints that he was right about all his theories as the president almost gets caught in an earthquake just like he predicted.
- Vasily in The Death of Stalin. He has a strange belief in 'Zionists' and 'New York queers' who are somehow in league with the Central Committee to open his dead father's head and fill it with American lies. Vasily is a strange, unstable person.
- General Jack D. Ripper from Dr. Strangelove. He believed that the fluoridation of drinking water in the 50s was a Communist plot to poison America. Believe it or not, this was an actual conspiracy theory at the time. Reading between the lines, though, indicates that he came to this conclusion due to a sudden attack of impotence. So yes, the trope namer doomed the world because he couldn't comprehend that he was getting old and could no longer become erect at will. The fluoride conspiracy is STILL floating around, but is now usually attributed to the US government attempting to subdue the populace.
- In the Film Eight Legged Freaks one of the Characters is a Conspiracy Theorist with his own radio station, which he uses to rant about aliens and the government.
- Joseph Brody. After his wife Sandra was among the deaths at the Janjira nuclear power plant when it was abruptly destroyed, he is convinced that whatever caused the disaster was a bit less "natural" than an earthquake. He spends the next 15 years trying to puzzle out the truth behind the tragedy and becomes estranged from his son in the process, so he's unsurprisingly miffed to find out that a group called MONARCH is, indeed, covering up what actually happened.
- The opening credits montage also has a glimpse of text concerning some guy who thinks the cover-up of Godzilla's existence in The '50s was the work of the Illuminati:
The illuminati has been using PRODUCTION DESIGNER OWEN PATERSON to build facilities to hide their study of the creature and it's origins. All clues are suppressed.
- In Pixels, Ludlow Lamanoff is played for laughs as the worst version of those. His saner theory is that CIA is spying on us by cable TV. His less sane theory is that "JFK shot first".
- Bobby Lee Swagger from Shooter. He has the 9/11 Commission report on his nightstand, and generally distrusts The Government (and for a reason). Nick Memphis also sees signs of conspiracy around the attempted presidential assassination where the president wasn't the real target, anyway, and gets tortured and almost "shoots himself" with the help of some Secret Agents.
- Darren "Mother" Roskow (Dan Aykroyd) from the movie Sneakers.
Mother: Did you know the Deputy Director of Planning was down in Managua, Nicaragua the day before the earthquake?
Crease: Now what are you saying, the C.I.A. caused the Managua earthquake?!
Mother: Well, I can't prove it, but...
Crease: Now what are you saying — The NSA killed Kennedy?
Mother: No. They shot him, but they didn't kill him — he's still alive!
- Charlie's dad in So I Married an Axe Murderer is convinced that the world is run by a secret group known as "The Pentaverate:" the Queen, the Rothschilds, the Vatican, the Gettys, and Colonel Sanders "before he went tits-up."
- The aptly named "Conspiracy Brother" from Undercover Brother thinks everything is out to get black people, and freaks out at even the most innocent-sounding of gestures. In a setting where there actually is a white conspiracy led by The Man to keep the black man down, he still manages to come across as a paranoid lunatic. It takes real conspiracy theory skills to turn "Good morning!" into a two-minute paranoid manifesto.
Conspiracy Brother: Let me tell you something about the word "good," brotha. Good is an ancient Anglo-Saxon word, go-od, meanin' the absence of color. I.E. it's all good, which it is, OR Good Will Huntin', meanin, "I'm Huntin' Niggas!" So when you say good morning, what you're telling me is "I'm gonna kill yo black ass, first thing in the mornin'!"
- And yet even he won't insist that O.J. is innocent.
- Jonathan Shriek in Jeff VanderMeer's Shriek: An Afterword is perceived as one by the world at large because he insists that midgets who live underground secretly control the people in his home town with fungus spores. Of course everyone knows that there are midgets who live underground and really like mushrooms, but don't think that they're any more than that. They are wrong.
- Area 7 opens with an article from "The Conspiracy Theorist Monthly" (circulation: 157 copies) connecting a senator's death by hunting accident with the deaths of his wife and daughter by gas explosion. There's actually a bigger conspiracy going on than the writer knows...
- Area 51: We meet a number of these, "UFO watchers" who camp outside Area 51. They turn out to be right that the government is involved with/covering up UFOs. In later novels, it's mentioned that most Americans don't believe aliens are real, that it's all been fabricated by the government (along with thinking the Moon landing didn't happen). No doubt the first lot being correct fueled later ones.
- The whole point of The Big Book of Jewish Conspiraces, a satirical work by Joshua Neuman and David Deutsch. Everything from the American Revolution and Christianity to the reemergence of anti-semitism is described as due to Jewish conspiracies. The introduction describes the decision to commission the work to discredit said theories. For instance the Chinese Revolution is an attempt to get payment for a meal provided to the Chinese Emperor. Eventually the meal is paid for by a high ranking communist who used to work for the Jewish couple. They had nicknamed him "Katzen" or "kitten" because of his name Mao.
- James and Harrison of The Chronicles of Steve Stollberg. When the government says that Mickey Mouse was killed in a drive-by-shooting, James suspects that Mickey actually faked his death, and Harrison suspects that he was actually cryogenically frozen rather than cremated.
- In David Wingrove's Chung Kuo, Kim is a genius who in his teens uncovers the files showing the truth about world history, which has been falsified by the T'ang Lords.
- In the Ciaphas Cain novel The Traitor's Hand, there were apparently a number of people who believed that the Governor of Adumbria's death from apparently natural causes without designating an heir a year before Chaos forces invaded was actually a very clever assassination. These people took the fact there was absolutely no evidence to back this theory up, even after twenty years of looking, to be proof of exactly how cleverly done the plot was.
- The Devil's Dictionary: Bierce satirizes some views of these with the entry on "Freemasons":
An order with secret rites, grotesque ceremonies and fantastic costumes, which, originating in the reign of Charles II, among working artisans of London, has been joined successively by the dead of past centuries in unbroken retrogression until now it embraces all the generations of man on the hither side of Adam and is drumming up distinguished recruits among the pre-Creational inhabitants of Chaos and Formless Void. The order was founded at different times by Charlemagne, Julius Caesar, Cyrus, Solomon, Zoroaster, Confucius, Thothmes, and Buddha. Its emblems and symbols have been found in the Catacombs of Paris and Rome, on the stones of the Parthenon and the Chinese Great Wall, among the temples of Karnak and Palmyra and in the Egyptian Pyramids always by a Freemason.
- Llurdis of The Dinosaur Lords is always sniffing for an intrigue and instantly jumps in with her convoluted theory when a dead body is found (it involves attempting to murder the father to make him marry the daughter off to the killer). It doesn't help that Palace of the Fireflies is a Deadly Decadent Court.
- The Doctor Who Expanded Universe contains a novel called Who Killed Kennedy which works as a Perspective Flip on the 1970s U.N.I.T stories by presenting it from the perspective of a journalist who becomes convinced that U.N.I.T and the Doctor are part of some malevolent organization, determines to uncover the truth, and ends up ruining his reputation and becoming considered one of these. It's partly Deconstructed; the general gist of what he believes is true, but he's got things completely wrong with regards to who are the good guys and who has malevolent intentions. He also learns that alien invasions are covered up mainly because no one would believe the truth.
- One or two theorists are seen in Hell in The Great Divorce, where they insist that the afterlife they're in is false and that any attempt to invite them to Heaven is a deceptive trick.
- Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter novels as well as her father, Xenophilius Lovegood.
- In several of Tom Holt novels, recurring character (or possibly multiple characters with the same name) Danny Bennett is convinced that the Milk Marketing Board is somehow connected to the assassination of JFK.
- In The Host, by Stephenie Meyer, conspiracy theorists were more likely to survive the Alien Invasion than the average person. This is because the aliens are Puppeteer Parasites and most people did not notice the difference, except the "crazies".
- Various characters in The Illuminatus! Trilogy, though due to the nature of the book, they're maybe the sanest people around.
- Crazy Emmett in the Kate Shugak novel Hunter's Moon. A former history teacher who believed the United Nations was plotting to install a one world government, he dropped off the grid to live deep in the Alaskan bush.
- After watching too much I, Claudius, Ephraim Kishon became very suspicious of his wife. Well, in one of his satirical short stories. It tends to overlap.
- The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress included a conspiracy theorist as an aversion, as he disdains the conjecture that passes for 'theory'. Professor de la Paz pursued the study of historical conspiracies and developed a body of principles to describe how they work, how they fail to work, how they wind up being revealed. As a founding member of a revolutionary conspiracy, his theories are quite valuable for functioning in the scientific/academic meaning of the word. This also helps him develop his theory, since the most successful conspiracies are never revealed, the only way to be sure he's observing one is to take part in it.
- In the Night Huntress books, Timothy, Cat's next neighbor in the first book, is convinced the government covers up evidence of the supernatural (he's right). He later goes to work for "one of those magazines that give Cat's boss headaches".
- In The Pale King, There's an old lady later revealed to be Toni Ware's grandmother who believes Jack Benny is attempting to achieve global thought control via radio waves. She covers her house with electrified hubcaps, which jams her neighbors' signals. She ends up getting cited for diverting her household's amperage, so she salvages a generator that runs on kerosene.
- The poem "Conspiracy" from Raving Lunacy by Blaine Munday is a parody of inane conspiracy theories, the narrator berating how he believes people want him to die and to eat his eyes.
- "Non-Falling Towel" features this together with Insane Troll Logic as the poem's narrator thinks a towel he saw was made by aliens from another dimension.
- Several flavors of this trope (alien abductee, Satanic cult victim, militia gun nut) appear in the Repairman Jack novel Conspiracies, which is actually set at a Conspiracy Theorist convention. Turns out the only genuine conspiracy there is an Eldritch Abomination plot targeting Jack himself.
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Played for Laughs with Ned Land: As a professional fisher, he doesnt believe in sea monsters (giant narwhales or octopus), but he believes that his captors could be cannibals, that the language spoken in the Nautilus is a conspiracy to let him die of hunger (see Conlang) and in Artificial Human:
"Haven't seen or heard a thing!" the Canadian replied. "I haven't even spotted the crew of this boat. By any chance, could they be electric too?"
"Oh ye gods, I'm half tempted to believe it!"
- Angel. A god-like being who calls herself Jasmine has used her power to take over Los Angeles. Winifred Burkle, the only member of Team Angel to escape her influence, takes refuge in a conspiracy bookstore and asks the owner if he hasn't noticed anything strange about the way everyone is acting. The owner says that the CIA are still listening to the implants in his head, but it doesn't bother him any more as he's broadcasting Jasmine's love back to them via the mind control satellites. Jasmine later turns up at the bookstore, and grants the conspiracy theorist's greatest wish by telling him Who Shot JFK? — turns out it was Oswald.
- Michael Garibaldi in Babylon 5 is a paranoiac conspiracy theorist of the future (as the show is set in the 24th century), not helping the fact that he was made more paranoid than normal by the telepath villain Bester. Although he's not totally unjustified, as Earth's government does have conspiracies going on, not to mention Psi Corps and the Shadows. After Bester goes to work on him, his paranoia about possible conspiracies starts getting out of hand, but he sadly fails to spot that he's currently part of one.
- Captain Sheridan mentions collecting conspiracy theories as a hobby in one episode, naming a rumoured secret government agency as possibly being behind B5's recent troubles - "Bureau 13". (Said name was quietly dropped for all subsequent mentions in the show, as it turned out there was already a fictional conspiracy with that name.)
- An episode of Crusade has the crew visiting a pre-First Contact pre-Interstellar travel planet where two aliens that resemble Mulder and Scully a lot enter the ship explaining that their government hides the existence of humans to the population, but no record of contacting such government exists, to what the aliens in an innocent way think that the human government "hides the truth" to them too. It turns out the planet's government did discover the existence of humanity due to radio and television signals and created the conspiracy that they were manipulated by humans secretly to avoid uprisings and coups (very common in their homeworld to that point) as the general population can't fight the "alien" masters and can't get angry with the puppet government.
- Hodgins on Bones. He takes it pretty hard when he misses the ancient conspiracy that has a member living in his house. He also takes it as an insult when he is informed that the government has deemed him 'harmless'. Interestingly Hodgins' own family is wealthy and influential enough to feature in the conspiracies he believes in. If anyone would know...
"You call it "conspiracy". I call it "the family business"."
- There is one conspiracy theory he won't touch, and only one: he is quite adamantly NOT a '9/11 Truther'. Everything else is fair game.
- Over the past 10 years or so, medical shows like Chicago Med have episodes where the doctor characters encounter people who believe in vaccination conspiracy theories by "The Government" or "Big Pharma".
- Cold Case: One of the suspects in "One Small Step" believes that the moon landings were faked. The murder they are investigating occurred on the day of the first moon landing, and the events of that day may have fueled his later delusion.
- In the Community episode "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design", Jeff is ostensibly taking a class that studies various Conspiracy Theories. The truth of the matter is quite another beast.
- The whole point of Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura.
- The hostage-taker from the Criminal Minds episode "Derailed" is one of the "government is watching me" variety.
- The CSI episode "Leapin' Lizards" involved a group of conspiracy theorists who believed that Earth's governments were controlled by a group of shape-shifting reptilian aliens. Which was based on a real case.
- Fredwynn from Dispatches From Elsewhere is convinced that the Alternate Reality Game he's stumbled into is a government-run social experiment, and he's not above trying to break the game's apparent "rules" in order to gain more information.
- Doctor Who:
- "Rose": Clive Finch is a downplayed example as, despite sounding like an utter nutcase to anybody who doesn't know Doctor Who, he's mostly correct: he thinks the pictures of the Doctor from various time periods are all the same man (they were), that the Doctor's an alien (he is), and that the Doctor is immortal (not 100% true, but 900 years is a hell of a long lifespan). The only thing he didn't guess was the time-travel angle.
- "Love & Monsters": LINDA, the Doctor fanclub the episode focuses on, has aspects of this when they try to deduce exactly who the Doctor is and what his deal is.
- "The God Complex": Howie believes wholeheartedly in conspiracies, and thinks the alien Hell Hotel is actually a secret bunker in Norway for world leaders to survive the destruction of the Earth, prompting Rory to sarcastically compliment him on having come up with a theory "more insane than what's actually happening." This belief in conspiracies is what led him to be abducted as food for the faith-targeting Emotion Eater.
- "Deep Breath": A man named Alfie is a Victorian Era version of this. He thinks the Tyrannosaurus rex accidentally brought to London by the Doctor is a "special effect" created by the government, and his wife's reaction suggests he's been thinking like this for a long time. Then he gets murdered and his eyes stolen by the Faceless Man.
- "Arachnids in the UK": Hakim Khan, companion Yaz's father. This is to the point that when his wife and daughter realize he actually was on to something with the garbage he'd been collecting, Yaz is annoyed, and Najia complains that she'll have to hear about him being right.
- "Fugitive of the Judoon": "All Ears" Allan (the nickname is self-granted) believes that Lee Clayton is not who he says he is and has compiled a dossier full of information while attempting to persuade Lee's wife Ruth, with whom he's in love, to leave him. While Allan turns out to be onto something about Lee, his crush on Ruth blinds him to similar holes in her backstory.
- In Elementary, one of Sherlock Holmes' hobbies is to troll conspiracy theory websites and submit absurd theories that he makes up on the spot just to see what everyone else on the sites will believe. He claims that the (depressingly, real) conspiracy theory that the CIA invented Crack Cocaine is one of his. In the same episode (Season 1's "The Red Team"), he discovers a real conspiracy, but despite initial appearances, it's not the work of a murderously paranoid and secretive Government Agency; the initial death that starts them on the case was an argument that got out of hand, and the deaths of Red Team members have all been orchestrated by a single killer. Is it technically a conspiracy if there's only one person in on it?
- In First Wave, "Crazy Eddie" is a well-known crackpot conspiracy theorist, who publishes an online journal called Paranoids Times. During his first meeting with Cade, he insists that Lincoln was killed with a sword (which he has) and that the CIA has developed a compound that is capable of quickly dissolving a dead body. By the end of the episode, he finally accepts the truth aliens are real, they're here, and they're preparing for an invasion. Of course, the show's premise is straight out of a conspiracy nut's repertoire: hostile Aliens Among Us, predicted by secret quatrains of Nostradamus. This conspiracy theory happens to be true in-universe, but, of course, most disbelieve Eddie anyway.
- Good Omens:
- Though it's not really lingered on, Anathema appears to be one. Not only is she sure that GMOs and nuclear plants are evil, but she's subscribed to a magazine that advocates for many different theories (ranging from aliens really visiting us or Atlantis being real to Tibetans spying on people from tunnels). Adam reads all of her issues and turns into a believer too (with all their claims becoming real as a result of his powers).
- Shadwell, in his own peculiar way, is also a conspiracy theorist, albeit one more focused on witches and other supernatural phenomena.
- Real Life examples of this trope are frequently given the opportunity to rant by certain programs on The History Channel.
- John Munch was one of these when he appeared in Homicide: Life on the Street. This was also a major aspect of his character when he moved to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, to the point where a shrink accurately concluded, "You could smell a conspiracy at a five-year-old's lemonade stand." Actor Richard Belzer is also a real conspiracy theorist, having not only written some books on the subject, but advocated these views in public appearances. At one point he is pretending to be a homeless man and is shouting about random conspiracies. His partner just claims this is what he always says but louder. Steve Crosetti was also fixated on the conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. Also, the episode "Zebras" deals with a schizophrenic man who became a conspiracy theorist after the 9/11 attacks.
- Just Shoot Me!: Nina is revealed to believe that the moon landing was really a hoax. Maya brings in one of the astronauts involved to tell her otherwise. She's mollified by his outrage at the idea, but then it turns out he believes in even weirder theories.
- In the Law & Order episode "Absentia", a guru on trial for murder claims that the government is framing him ... and also that the government killed John Lennon (this is very loosely based on a true story).
- Leverage: "Wade Perkins" (Hardison) in "The Three Days of the Hunter Job", complete with a standard-issue Room Full of Crazy. Hilariously, Eliot and Hardison start telling Parker the stuff on there is real, just to mess with her.
- Field Commander Moss of Lexx is an over-the-top parody:
Moss: Take the 1 from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Split it in half. Take the two halves. Now, attach them to the two zeros. What have you got? 666 Pennsylvania Avenue. Coincidence? I don't think so. There are no coincidences, my friends!
- Frank Lapidus on Lost, who believes the wreckage of flight 815 is a fake. He is of course correct.
- There's also a hilarious conspiracy theory video in the season 4 DVD extras.
- Dudley Carew in the Midsomer Murders episode "Murder on St. Malley's Day". Amongst his theories was one that Lee Harvey Oswald was in Midsomer two weeks before Kennedy was assassinated.
- Stuart from M.I. High, who has failed that to notice that there is a secret government Elaborate Underground Base beneath his school.
- Murder One: In episode eleven one of the potential jurors turns out to be convinced that Cross and Avedon are part of a Masonic plot. He takes his own dismissal as further evidence for this, naturally.
- Sebastian Lund from NCIS: New Orleans. According to him, the faked moon landings are the reason why there isn't any decent footage of Bigfoot. Somehow.
- Joe Garrelli from NewsRadio is obsessed with conspiracies, particularly ones involving the government's cover-ups of knowledge about extraterrestrials.
- In New Tricks, Brian Lane turns into one of these if he comes off his anti-depressants; most notably in one episode where the team are investigating the suspicious death of a prominent 1970s trade unionist, Brian — himself a member of the Police Union during his service — becomes convinced that he was spied on then and is being observed now. He's wrong about the latter, but it turns out that the intelligence services did have a file on him back then... which concluded that he was insignificant. He's deeply offended.
- No Tomorrow: Hank, who believes a Jade Helm conspiracy theory.
- On Orange Is the New Black, Alex thinks one of the new inmates, Lolly, was sent by drug kingpin Kubra to kill her, after Lolly starts following her around. However, it turns out Lolly is just mentally ill and thinks Alex is working for the CIA and spying on her.
- The Plot Against America: Evelyn and Bengelsdorf turn into this near the end of the show to explain what happened, causing disdain or sadness from other people.
- Second Technician Arnold Judas Rimmer has traits of this in the first two seasons of Red Dwarf, where everything odd has a chance of being explained as being aliens. This has ranged from everyone missing days of their memory and two unexplained broken legs, to a new computer, to "that time we used a whole bog roll in one day."
- It's even Rimmer's entire plotline in the first season episode Waiting For God, as he becomes convinced a pod the ship picked up contains aliens that can replace his hologram body with a new organic one. It's a garbage pod, and everybody else agreed not to tell him.
- Rizzoli & Isles: The main suspect in "Somebody's Watching Me" is Leroy, a conspiracy theorist who believes he is being spied on by aliens.
- Royal Canadian Air Farce had a recurring conspiracy theorist character who liked to share his theories with strangers on the street. According to him, the Kennedys were assassinated by Hitler, George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden are brothers, bin Laden is in Canada working at a gas station, and the Chernobyl accident happened because aliens spilled a Slurpee on the control panel.
- Sleeper Cell: Ilija hooks up with a woman like this after he's gone on the run in the wake of the first season's terrorist attack. She believes he's innocent, with both the attack and 9/11 being staged by the government. As a result, she willingly shelters him so Ilija can flee the US.
- Martin Lloyd in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Point of No Return".
- Star Trek: Voyager had an episode ("The Voyager Conspiracy") where Seven of Nine goes temporarily crazy from information overload and links most of the major events of the series up to that point into a massive Federation conspiracy to capture her, a Borg Drone... this is easily dismissed until you realize that, even though her conclusion about it being all about her was flawed and delusional, several of her premises were, in fact, quite grounded and made for some tantalizingly uncomfortable questions that were completely swept under the rug by the show... One can't help but wonder if there really WAS a conspiracy going on there...
- Ron Reznick in "Nightshifter", who is convinced that the shapeshifter attacks he's been doing independent research on are caused by "mandroids". His research is sound, he just came to the wrong conclusion.
- In "Slash Fiction" paranoid whackjob Frank Devereaux doesn't put much stock in magic, but he's sure that "The government's been cloning people for years."
- In the "Clap Your Hands If You Believe..." episode, Dean and Sam come across several cases in a town where there have been kidnappings, light shows in the sky, and Crop Circles. They run into a group claiming it was aliens. Subverted when it is revealed at least one of the group is a Fairy, who is using the "alien" cover to make sure the Fair Folks kidnappings, light shows, and other effects are not taken seriously.
- Steven Hyde from That '70s Show. For example, he claims that Steven Spielberg directed a fake moon landing for the government - which "is how he got the job for Jaws." Most prominently, however, is his frequent mentioning of the car that runs on water, man.
- Wilson Wilson in Utopia. Through various means, he's erased himself from all government databases and has built a fallout shelter under his house but is still shocked when he accidentally becomes involved in a real Government Conspiracy. Subverted when he performs a FaceHeel Turn and actually joins the conspirators.
- The West Wing: Sam Seaborn has recurring run-ins with a conspiracy theorist of the "there really were aliens at Roswell and the government is covering it up" variety. He got it from his father.
- Mozzie, Neal's criminal contact, on White Collar, is incredibly paranoid and suspicious of the government, which leads to him acting out various Hollywood spy story cliches like meeting on park benches, playing loud music or running water during conversations, using code names, and so on. His antics are treated as ridiculous, but in the show's world, he may have a point.
- Ironically it's discovered that one of his old fake identities had become a a patsy for criminals, so Mozzie accidentally created a conspiracy himself. Mozzie's response?
Burke: You're a living conspiracy theory.
Mozzie: See? They do exist.
- Ironically it's discovered that one of his old fake identities had become a a patsy for criminals, so Mozzie accidentally created a conspiracy himself. Mozzie's response?
- The X-Files:
- Fox Mulder is a heroic conspiracy theorist who is unusual both in almost always being right in his postulations about secret doings and in (usually) being a rational, shrewdly observant investigator who labors to find solid evidence to support his ideas rather than just relying on Wild Mass Guessing. Of course, as the evidence tends to disappear, everyone not "in the know" still thinks he's nuts.
- The Lone Gunmen are Agent Mulder's geeky friends and conspiracy theorists themselves. In their first episode, one of them tells Mulder that they like to hang out with him because his theories are way crazier than theirs. Like Mulder, it's not really a conspiracy theory if the conspiracy is true.note
- The trio of conspiracy theorists Langly, Bayers and Frohike got their own spin-off series, The Lone Gunmen. Ironically, the fact that it was canceled has led to conspiracy theories about why it was canceled. Perhaps it was the March 2001 pilot being about an attempt by a shadowy government conspiracy to crash jet liners into the World Trade Center, which of course has only inspired further theories about how they "anticipated" it somehow.
- "Get In Line" by the Barenaked Ladies provides the page quote. The song was written specifically for the official King of the Hill soundtrack and is meant to serve as sort of an Image Song for Dale Gribble (see entry under Western Animation).
- "Everything You Know Is Wrong" by Chumbawamba is a parody of this trope.
- The song "Stuart" by The Dead Milkmen is either about a conspiracy theorist or a drunkard (or, more likely, both) who has 'interesting' ideas about the relationship between soil erosion and The Homosexual Agenda.
- Diamond Rio's "It's All in Your Head" is about a snake-handling preacher who seems to be one ("We never walked on the moon, Elvis ain't dead / You ain't goin' crazy, it's all in your head").
- "Touch-Tone Telephone" by Lemon Demon is about a conspiracy theorist trying to get in contact with a radio show so he can explain his theories on air.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic in his song "Foil".
- In Alice Isn't Dead, the Narrator learns that her missing wife Alice was actively investigating The Conspiracy before her disappearance, gathering information on three mysterious parties: The Cumberland Project, Vector H, and Bay & Creek Shipping. The discovery of her scattered notes prompts the Narrator to involve herself more directly, going so far as to get hired as a long haul trucker by Bay & Creek Shipping, one of the parties concerned, though its clear her interest in the conspiracy itself is generally secondary to its usefulness in locating her missing wife. However, agents of the Conspiracy, including a cannibalistic Humanoid Abomination, don't much care for her meddling...
- Comedy Death Ray Radio has a parody of Jesse Ventura played by James Adomian who's a crazy conspiracy theorist.
- Jessica from Fat, French and Fabulous has multiple theories about the disappearance of Maura Murray, including that she eloped with Bigfoot. "Wake up Sheeple! They've got three children!"
- Parodied in episode six of Mystery Show, when someone tells Starlee that she's just over-thinking things and she takes it as a Suspiciously Specific Denial.
- Interestingly inverted in Welcome to Night Vale: In the episode "The Sandstorm", Night Vale resident Steve Carlsburg sends an email to the radio station, claiming that he thinks the sandstorm was engineered by the government. Cecil, the radio broadcaster, scoffs at him...because "of COURSE it was created by the government, the City Council announced that this morning!"
- A Running Gag of Well There's Your Problem is the hosts blaming the industrial accident of the week on a conspiracy and/or a cryptid, especially Mothman. They have also claimed that their podcast is a CIA front, as is every other podcast in existence.
- Paul London and Brian Kendrick are believers in the "Babylonian Gods were really reptilian space aliens who still control humanity" theory, among others. One segment had them watching a television show where Nigel McGuinness turned into one such lizard man after they openly speculated on it.
- Whenever post-HeelFace Turn Michael Cole suspects that a heel is up to no good, John "Bradshaw" Layfield (who supports most heels) scolds him and calls him this. But when he rants about Jerry Lawler supporting the Occupy Raw Movement, Cole is quick to fire the insult back at him.
- Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian were correct in their suspicion that there was a conspiracy in Ring of Honor against The Knigts Of The Rising Dawn. What they failed to realize was that their fellow Knight, Chris Sabin, was the one conspiring with Alex Shelley to advance the Motor City Machine Guns at their expense. Furthermore, The Knights Of The Rising Dawn were themselves born out of a conspiracy against ROH to ensure talent was rewarded ahead of company loyalty and ensure the defeat of reDRagon.
- Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
- Mr. Morrison, the Philosophy teacher at Rogers High, believes that the strange events at the school (such as destruction of property and the appearance of apparitions on the camera feed) are a result of government interference. He's not too far off the mark, but his overt eagerness gets him branded as a kook by the students he tries to talk to about it.
- Crispin Hayward writes a best-selling YA novel about an urban legend that was, in turn, inspired by a government conspiracy that he wholeheartedly believes in. He makes mention of a 'sizable' internet community that agrees with him, and also brings up other conspiracies that he's convinced have been covered up. This leads the cast to not take him seriously.
- Josephine is a conspiracy theorist that's portrayed sympathetically, as her paranoid delusions that the government is out to get her, and that she can't trust anyone, are due to a childhood of vicious bullying, during which she was betrayed by someone who she thought was a close friend.
- Mr. Liatsis, a teacher from the V4 pregame of Survival of the Fittest, is commented on as being a notorious conspiracy theorist. Some students have their moments as well.
- The Dark Matter Supplement for D20 Modern is also filled with conspiracy theories and just down right strange stories and information. Some of which is actually TRUE and caused this Troper to look up more than a theories presented.
- The Deadlands supplement The Black Circle: Unholy Alliance had a Conspiracy Theorist archetype suitable for use as a player character. From an In-Universe perspective, those who work for the newspaper called the Epitaph, and a lot of people who read it, are seen as this. The reality, of course, is that these people are actually telling the truth (though they still don't know everything), and there really are monsters and magic all over the place now, and there really is a governmental cover-up to try and suppress this truth. To be fair, there's a good reason to cover it up: spreading fear of monsters makes more monsters appear.
- The Inquisitors archetype from Demon: The Descent are a bunch of conspiracy theorists. The problem, given how the God Machine works with its Infrastructures and Occult Matrices, and how they actually worked with such systems before the fall, this may be less conspiracy theory and more Properly Paranoid.
- In the collectible card game Illuminati, one of the groups you can control is the Conspiracy Theorists. They have zero Power (nobody believes them), but they let you hold an extra Plot card... because while they're completely wrong, they do have useful ideas. Another group, Paranoids, gives you protection against everything except Natural Disasters, because their worries are correct...
- Mage: The Awakening does not respect them. There is an Ancient Conspiracy, yes...who do everything in their power to promote conspiracy theorists (especially the Panopticon) since they (a) enforce a cultural meme that La Résistance is pointless when the Seers of the Throne have bitterly learned that it isn't (see: The Pentacle, but especially the Free Council) and (b) tend to think of the good guys as The Illuminati, since if the Pentacle wins, they're going to...change things (for the better, mostly, but most conspiracy theorists are of a reactionary bent). There are fairly positive portrayals of some theorists, but unlike most examples they actually bother to fight back against the evils they see by making the world a better place (indeed, one of the characters for the Silver Ladder is one who, upon being offered to join the conspiracy that promotes cooperation and personal freedom, couldn't wait to sign up).
- The "Flake" archetype in Monster of the Week is this — and depending on the group, they may be hunting monsters alongside people like the "Initiate" (who really does belong to a secret ancient sect), the "Monstrous" (an actual monster notionally on the side of good) or the "Professional" (who's explicitly working for some "Agency" or other that may or may not be government-related), who can also be player characters.
- In the Old World of Darkness Clanbook: Gangrel, there's a Gangrel vampire who's a conspiracy theorist. And indeed, they were common (and often right) in all the OWOD games, especially Mage: The Ascension.
- There are mentions in some routes of AI: The Somnium Files of a massive conspiracy known as Naixatloz, dead-set on sending a satellite into space with the mission of spreading the Wadjet System, the basis for the game's artificial intelligence, throughout the universe. Iris believes that she has uncovered this truth and become a target of them in doing so. If Date commands Aiba to follow Iris's instructions within her Somnium, it's shown that he has become swallowed up in her delusion as well, and he spends the rest of that route tying everything to Naix, much to Aiba's frustration.
- Steven Heck of Alpha Protocol is a (supposed) CIA Agent/Psychopath who has knowledge of damn near every government conspiracy out there. He's actually right most of the time despite his insanity.
- Citizens of Earth has the Conspiracy Guy as one of the first characters you recruit. He starts up the plot by informing you that there's something strange about the Moonbucks' Special Blend, which appears to brainwash people. In combat, he can perform an Enemy Scan, talk enemies to death (literally), reveal government secrets to confuse enemies, or perform elemental attacks with a cattle prod, Truth Serum, and a spotlight.
- Since The Conduit is a Conspiracy Kitchen Sink, it's only fitting it has its own Conspiracy Theorist, talk radio host Gordon Wells.
- In The Darkside Detective, Dooley has tendencies in this direction, and runs his own conspiracy blog. Being The Ditz, his conspiracy theories are things like "the moon is fake" (not the moon landings, mind you — the moon itself), "Columbus faked the America landings" (he says there's no evidence America actually exists, and his hometown is actually in a secret location in the Alps), "the government is pumping dihydrogen monoxide into our homes", and "the government is a mass hallucination caused by chemicals put in the water by the government".
- Conspiracy theorists appear in Destroy All Humans!. In the first, they are referred to as "town crazies," and suburban ones are a bit more geared towards conspiracies than others (who are sometimes just plain nuts), even catching onto the plot of the Villain Protagonist. In the second, "The Freak," a California hippy, occasionally has these moments.
- Pretty much every character in Deus Ex, but when one considers that the conspiracies usually prove true only minutes after being first mentioned, and that just one conspiracy is nowhere near enough for this game, it's to be expected.
- And as an added Genius Bonus for people who follow conspiracy theories, pretty much all the ones in the game are based on real-life conspiracy theories.
- At one point, you can try explain the conspiracy you're working against to a minor character, who'll react with amusement and think you're a complete nutter.
- The Prequel, Human Revolution, has Lazarus, a paranoid radio host convinced that FEMA are the foot-soldiers of a fear-mongering One World Order conspiracy group bent on using the augmentation debate to fulfill their nefarious schemes. Anyone who has played the original Deus Ex will be impressed with how much he got right.
- Discworld Noir: Malaclypse, a servitor of Errata, Goddess of Confusion and Misunderstanding. This is a Shout-Out to out world Malaclypse the Younger (a penname for Gregory Hill), the supposed creator of Principia Discordia, which details the worship of Eris, the Goddess of Chaos. A reasonable chunk of his gibberish is actually true, and covers a lot of Discworld (and Discordian) mythology/history.
- Dragon Age II:
- Cassandra (the Chantry Seeker interrogating Varric) is initially one due to her desperately seeking someone to blame for the Civil War. At first, she's convinced that Hawke and their companions planned the entire thing from the moment they set foot in Kirkwall. Deconstructed when we learn that there isn't a true Big Bad, and like in Real Life, most of the events are simply caused by a combination of coincidence and Grey-and-Gray Morality. Unlike most conspiracy theorists, Cassandra is reasonable and objective enough to accept evidence that contradicts her original view.
- If Hawke aligns himself/herself with the Templars in the endgame Meredith also becomes this. A combination of her red lyrium sword's corrupting influence and her own Control Freak nature lead Meredith to believe that Hawke is the Big Bad behind Kirkwall's troubles (which naturally makes her The Hero, as it should be).
- Helsdim Rolfsen from Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC "Jaws of Hakkon" is an Avvar weirdo who writes long, convoluted missives concerning sinister plots by anyone from the Tevinters to the aliens from unknown parts of the universe. With proper prerequisites, you can recruit him into the Inquisition, where he will work tirelessly to uncover conspiracies (mostly imaginary, but some quite real) under Leliana's supervision.
- A side quest in Dying Light has the player working for a conspiracy theorist, hunting meteorite fragments that he believes are associated with the cause of the epidemic. In the end, it's revealed that he believed the meteor to have been sent to the Earth by a reptilian race called the Gadoids, and that his theory about the origin of the Harran virus is basically just a tinfoil hat conspiracy.
- Teddy in Dyscourse believes that the plane crash which stranded the main characters on a Deserted Island was the government's way of getting them all in one place so that they can test them for some unspecified reason and that a rainstorm which happens if you help him build an SOS out of driftwood is the result of a government weather machine, among other equally-wacko things.
- A side quest in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion concerns a wood elf named Glarthir who is convinced that several people in town are involved in a conspiracy against him, and wants the player to help him find proof. He's wrong, but you can't convince him of it. If you try, he'll decide you're part of the plot, and try to dull his battleaxe on you.
- If you investigate his house, there's lots of notes that indicate that he's been spying on them and the PC for a while. Also, from the second he first sees you in Skingrad, he follows you everywhere so there's no escaping his quest unless you run everywhere you go. He even follows you into the Mage's guild and your house, if you've bought the one in Skingrad.
- No-Bark is Novac's town crazy in Fallout: New Vegas. He believes a rash of feral ghoul attacks coming from an abandoned rocket factory are the work of "Ghosts! Commie ghosts that don't know they're dead!" Their objective: fly to the moon, paint it pink and stick Lenin's face on it. Although, similar to some other of his crazy stories, he's partially right: the sentient ghouls inside the factory really want to fix the rockets and fly away to a place they call "The Far Beyond".
- Grand Theft Auto:
- The Truth from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, though revealed to be much more insightful than he appears.
- Parodied in the expansion packs for Grand Theft Auto IV, which include a radio show called Conspire hosted by "John Smith", a parody of Alex Jones and similar right-wing/libertarian conspiracy theorists. "John" entertains, and often voices, every single crazy conspiracy theory and bit of paranoia and racism his listeners phone in with.
- Likewise in Grand Theft Auto V, there's Nervous Ron's show on Blaine County Talk Radio, which is less Alex Jones and more The X-Files with a bit of The Matrix. His main topics included the Annunaki (lizard people), The Illuminati, and how banks make cyberspace clones of you that you have to level up. Ironically, his reflexive skepticism of the "official story" makes him an easy dupe for a slick energy-industry shill who comes on his show to claim that Global Warming is a hoax. Meanwhile, Ron's other friend Chef buys into Ron's "lizard people" theories, Lester believes in the Illuminati, and Trevor Philips believes in both.
- Zeke is one of these in inFAMOUS. This clearly seen in his pad with Big Oil posters and often connecting something with a government conspiracy.
- The Captain of the Gourd from Kingdom of Loathing seems to think that tin cans, spiders, and/or goblins are conspiring against him and his precious gourd, and offers a side quest where he gives you a XP-granting item in exchange for can lids, spider webs, or Knob goblin fire crackers (depending on your main stat). According to the Captain's jar of psychoses zone, the Gourd whispers nonsensical conspiracy theories to him.
- A minor example occurs in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, if you play the male character. The trainer you meet at the Ferris Wheel during winter months (named Beauty December) tells you that "They" are out to get her because she has some secret that they want kept secret. She does battle you and ride the Ferris Wheel with you, but then warns you to stay away, saying "They" might get you too. (Of course, this could well be a subversion; there's no way of knowing whether she's paranoid or this is the truth.)
- Boyd in Psychonauts invented the Milkman Conspiracy. And you get to dive into his mind...
- Bosco from the Telltale Sam & Max: Freelance Police games. Oddly enough, he's usually right!
- Dave Screed of The Secret World, edits a magazine for like-minded theorists and is currently hiding in a noisy laundromat for fear of being spied on by the Illuminati; among other things, he believes that they replaced his girlfriend with an android. It's later revealed that he's actually serving as an Unwitting Pawn of the very people he's trying to expose: the Illuminati periodically feed conspiracy theorists like Screed with erroneous information to keep them producing nonsense conspiracy theories, and then leak the truth by the same method, ensuring that it remains lost amidst the flood of bullshit. Also, despite his paranoia, Screed is completely oblivious to the fact that the player character is actually an agent of one of the secret societies he fears.
- Otis Monday of Stubbs the Zombie, who mistakenly identifies a zombie invasion as a combined communist/Illuminati/New World Order/Nazi strike on his homeland.
- Gomez, one of Deb of Night's regulars in Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines, comes up with increasingly bizarre conspiracy theories throughout the game... then in the final chapter, he suddenly starts citing the cosmology of the Old World of Darkness to the letter. The problem is: if that last "theory" actually precisely describes the very setting of the game, then what about the others?
- The Prepper in ZombiU has a lot to say about the government's role in keeping the public ignorant about John Dee's prophecy and the zombie outbreak it foretold. He also claims that the Queen is a Reptilian, though he may have been joking about that one.
- XCOM: Chimera Squad: Floyd Tesseract is a radio host who constantly rants about conspiracies and advises his listeners to question all authority figures, including himself. Of course, he does genuinely live in a world where aliens controlled the population for decades using propaganda and psychic powers—and he was one of them. Beneath all the yelling and self-contradictory theories, he just wants to atone for helping to enslave entire species.
- Katawa Shoujo has Kenji Setou, the main character's Bromantic Foil, who believes that Yamaku Academy is a forward staging base for a vast feminist conspiracy plotting to take over the world. The game being a romantic Visual Novel, this is (mostly, thus far) Played for Laughs in the extreme.
- Steins;Gate has the main hero, Rintaro Okabe, who believes that there is a mysterious "Organization" that rules over humanity from the shadows, and that he is one of the few fighting against it. Naturally, over the course of the story he happens to stumble upon an actual global conspiracy (by SERN, the research firm that built the LHC, of all people) to use Time Travel to enslave the rest of the human race.
- In El Goonish Shive, a swarm of conspiracy theorists came to Moperville after a supernatural being spontaneously appeared on a news broadcast. Unusually, the conspiracy theorists are portrayed as crazy even though there really is a conspiracy.
- Deconstructed in this Exterminatus Now comic.
- Jessica of Freakwatch grew up with an uncle who was a huge fan of horror and mystery, and taught her to solve puzzles and cyphers of all sorts. The end result, of course, is she tends to read into things more than most people, though given the peculiar circumstances of her uncle's death, perhaps her paranoia is warranted.
- Homestuck: Roxy is considered one by her friends (mostly Jane) in-universe. Given that her theories include "Betty Crocker is an alien sea witch overlord", they're probably justified for having that opinion. Actually, she's got more or less the full story and is probably the only protaganist to get close to the full story behind BC. And it turns out that this is because she lives hundreds of years in Jane's future, where the world was already conquered and ravaged by BC.
- In The Order of the Stick Miko made huge leaps in logic and crafted a huge conspiracy pinning the blame for a horrible situation that she created on Roy and company. It's ultimately the main reason she couldn't earn redemption — she just couldn't accept that anything was her fault.
- According to Polk Out, there's a reason toilet paper hasn't changed since its fruition.See here.
- In Rogue Diamond Twilight fits this trope to a T, to the point where her entire ROOM is covered in Tinfoil !
- In Rooster Teeth Comics Gus is portrayed as one of these. Occasionally, he's proved right, such as his theory about the cantaloupe industry trying to discredit the watermelon industry. Ironically, he actually does believe the moon landings happened. The Vikings just beat America to it.
- Malcolm of Sam & Fuzzy does this both in story and in the Fourth-Wall Mail Slot.
- Squidley has a fit of it.
- Slick comes to a very silly conspiracy conclusion. (Then, the Illuminati do exist there, and send out drones, and work for Satan in Sinfest).
- Stand Still, Stay Silent: The Denmark segment of the prologue has one pointing out the fact that nothing is known of the Patient Zero group, and uses this as a basis for suspecting an Apocalyptic Gag Order about the Rash disease's seriousness. She turns out to be right in the following segment, that has an official newcast admit what she suspected two days earlier.
- Tales from the Pit briefly features a Magic: The Gathering player who believes the New Phyrexia expansion is a hoax.
- Above Top Secret is the Wretched Hive of conspiracy message boards. ATS has actually played a role in some notable conspiracy theories. Someone who called himself John Titor, posted on the site in 2000, claimed to have traveled back in time from 2036. His predictions of the USA falling to civil war and breaking into 5 subnations was memetic for a while, but disproven by 2004. Some of the first "no planes" 9/11 theories appeared on this site. Many ATS users suspected that the "no planes" theory was itself a conspiracy to make truthers proposing more rational theories look crazy by association.
- Aegeroth: A Checkered History: It is hinted at that the guardsman Davi might be a bit of a conspiracy theorist, judging from the scolding he says he received from the chief of police.
- Binder of Shame: Collateral Darren insists, among other things, that employers only insist on being sent resumes as part of a conspiracy to make more money for paper manufacturers, because at the interview you have to write down all the same information on a job application.
- Mercilessly mocked in the CollegeHumor video Deceptive Deceptions. Truly something to behold: among the things "uncovered" as part of a massive conspiracy embracing all of humanity in this "truthumentary", they include the shooting of Tupac Shakur, Dan Akroyd's role in Caddyshack II and Nothing but Trouble, Paul McCartney's replacement by a doppelgänger, Helter Skelter possessing Charles Manson with the spirit of the Anti-Christ, Adolf Hitler actually being "a cyberganic demon" created by Nazi scientists, NASA faking the space landings, the John F. Kennedy assassination, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Dick Cheney, Nabisco, AOL, CITGO, Atkins, Adidas, the New York Knicks, Hooters, and Google. And the identity of the secret cabal that is more powerful than the American government, the Freemasons, and The Illuminati? The College Humor staff.
- Illuminati and Ancient Astronauts are common themes in Doctor Steel's songs and web videos, though perhaps just for flavor. (Or are they...?)
- An orphaned webseries called The eX-Files from South Africa (a parody of The X-Files and, to a degree, Californication) milks this archetype for all that its worth. The Agent Mulder Expy (creatively called Hound Moulder) is in conspiracy theorist rehab at 'The Umberco Centre for Secular Theodicy' with a whole bunch of other conspiracy theorists, each with their own crazy theory. During sessions with a psychiatrist Moulder shares several of his conspiracy theories involving extra-terrestrials, Elvis Presley and a particularly nutty one involving Ralph and Joseph Fiennes.
- Downplayed and lampshaded by The Nostalgia Critic when he believes the Spider-Man movie cut out a World Trade Center scene as to not offend anyone after 9/11.
- YouTube personality The Real Weekly News made a video called "HuluTube: Phasing You Out of YouTube." In this video, he states that the (at the time) recently added "Shows" tab on YouTube's front page was a grand conspiracy by companies like Burger King and Disney (seriously, those were his two big examples) to get all the normal content creators off of YouTube. Mentions of tin foil hats were pretty common from critics of the video.
- SCP-1862 is an adherent to the "fluoridated water is poison" theory, which is ironic considering his body's organs are now made entirely out of various fluorine compounds.
- In WarpZone Project, where the Masquerade can be summed up as Comic Books Are Real meets Weirdness Censor, Edouard knows that something is going on. However, when he actually runs into well-known super-villains, he tends to assume that they are goverment agents dressed up as fictional characters to throw people off guard instead of considering the possibility that they could be real life comic book characters, even when they use their powers right in front of him. He gets even more confused when he starts developping super strength, the person sent to mentor him gets killed by the villains on which he was spying and he realizes one of his good friends has repeatedly used the weirdness censor on him before this within the same day.
- According to a tweet from the titular Muse from the Twitter blog Worst Muse, everything is either a conspiracy or a Contrived Coincidence. No middle grounds.
- Huey Freeman from The Boondocks believes that that there's a Government Conspiracy against black people from, you guessed it, the white man. (Like the comic strip examples above, he takes it very much to extremes.)
- Numbuh One from Codename: Kids Next Door. Considering the world he lives in, he more often than not is Properly Paranoid. One episode had him theorizing that Numbuh 5's older sister Cree's bras were, in reality, adult combat armor. Cree and Abigail both mocked him for the remainder of the episode until he left her home. And then it turned out they really were combat armor...
- Family Guy: In one episode, Adam West spends $150,000 of taxpayer money to discover why his plants absorb the water he pours them.
- Ferret from Ferret And Parrot, who gets all of his information from old tabloids that are used to line the floor of his cage.
- Freezbone from Freefonix. Everything is either a conspiracy, or aliens.
- Parodied when the cast travel back in time to 1947 Roswell, New Mexico, inspiring an actual conspiracy. The Area 51 base brings President Harry Truman and a conspiracy nut no-one will believe. Inexplicably, the photographs the nut takes of actual evidence (such as Truman himself being on the base, the Planet Express spaceship right above him) turn out looking like real-life "evidence" of UFO lights and the Loch Ness Monster, respectively.
- "Decision 3012" spends the entire episode satirizing the Obama "birthers", as a presidential nominee faces accusations about not being a "true" citizen because of a missing "Earth certificate".
- Matt Bluestone from Gargoyles, thanks to his obsession with the Illuminati (which actually does exist in the show's universe).
- Dipper Pines from Gravity Falls is this mixed with properly paranoid due to the town he is residing in.
- The Question from Justice League Unlimited. "There was a magic bullet! It was forged by Illuminati mystics to prevent us from learning the truth!" However he is also played oddly positively for a conspiracy theorist as while his tendency to connect everything to a single overarching conspiracy (supposedly dating back at least to Ancient Egypt, and secretly controlling the world ever since) is shown to be insane it also allows him to see the connections to the real conspiracies. He's even called the League's "Data Guy" and is a case of someone being a Properly Paranoid Cloudcuckoolander. To the point that Batman of all people calls him uptight. The rest of the JL can only give Batman dropped jaws. Also, the tips at the end of shoelaces are called aglets. Their true purpose is SINISTER.
- And Batman has said in the show that The Question is a better detective than him. Batman only considers rational possibilities when he investigates things.
- In his intro in the animation, The Question's room aboard Watchtower is shown, with a posterboard showing an elaborate conspiracy that the Girl Scouts are behind Crop Circles, that the government is using boy bands to control the public, and that they are part of a single grand conspiracy with the aglets and the magic bullet. He's convinced that this all ties together somehow, but admits to not having figured out how.
Green Arrow: This whole trip might just prove the kid shouldn't eat nachos before bed.
Question: Peanut butter sandwiches.
Supergirl: How did y- What, do you go through my trash?
Question: Please... I go through everyone's trash.
- Kim Possible:
- Ron Stoppable from is like this at times. Many of his beliefs (such as the bad guys stealing Christmas and corn dogs) are proven incorrect. However, he has been right on a few occasions, such as claiming that the lake at Camp Wannaweep is dangerous or that Lord Monty Fiske (later known as Monkey Fist) is, as he put it, "bad road". In the episode where Shego is temporarily turned good, he shows a bizarre mix of skepticism and credulity:
Kim: (elbowing Ron) Ron, that's Shego!
Ron: Nah, it's not Shego, it's Miss Go — see, it says so on the board.
Kim: Putting something on the board doesn't make it true!
Ron: Oh, sure, y'know, when I said that in 20th Century History, I got sent to the office!
Kim: The moon landing wasn't faked in the Arizona desert, Ron!
- In one episode, it turns out that all the stories about Area 51 are true, leaked by the government so that people will think they're just wild conspiracy theories.
- Ron Stoppable from is like this at times. Many of his beliefs (such as the bad guys stealing Christmas and corn dogs) are proven incorrect. However, he has been right on a few occasions, such as claiming that the lake at Camp Wannaweep is dangerous or that Lord Monty Fiske (later known as Monkey Fist) is, as he put it, "bad road". In the episode where Shego is temporarily turned good, he shows a bizarre mix of skepticism and credulity:
- Dale Gribble on King of the Hill. A believer in every conspiracy theory known, yet unable to discover that his wife had been cheating on him. And when he finally realizes that the only time she could've gotten pregnant was during the time John Redcorn was visiting while he was away, he comes to the logical conclusion. His son was conceived when aliens artificially inseminated his wife! He comes to that same conclusion in a later episode when a family moves into the neighborhood, and they have a daughter who resembles Joseph and was born at about the same time as him.
- He apparently became a Conspiracy Theorist after something in the report on JFK's assassination didn't add up for him. Then he rereads it and discovers he got that particular detail wrong. With the correct detail in place, the whole thing "makes complete and perfect sense", leading him to abandon this status... for the episode.
- Tigress is shown to be this in an episode of Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, "Ladies of the Shade". Monkey comments on this.
Tigress: I don't trust them.
Monkey: You don't trust anyone! Not even the mailman, and he's been coming here for thirty years.
Tigress: Planning something for thirty years!
- Reigh in Lost In Oz, who even had a big board of evidence to track the magic shortage.
- Fred on A Pup Named Scooby-Doo is often babbling about Red Herring (his nemesis), aliens, Mole Men and other monsters.
- Sid, a crazy guy living in Roswell in Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths and Legends, but he's really Obfuscating Stupidity. He's a former Alliance operative and an alien invader.
- Bart becomes one of these (and converts most of the other kids in Springfield) in The Simpsons episode "Grandpa vs. Sexual Inadequacy". And again, due to the effects of a Ritalin Expy, in "Brother's Little Helper". This time, he's right.
- Dooper from Slacker Cats. He has a different theory each episode.
- Sticks the Badger from Sonic Boom is smart, but also very paranoid and loopy, and not too fond of the government. Living by herself has given her some extremely backwards ideas on how the world works. Chief among them being that everything is a massive conspiracy, and the government is out to get her. Citing just one example is this quote from the episode, "The Curse of the Cross-eyed Moose":
Sticks: Crossin' paths with a cross-eyed moose brings a curse on the moose-crosser and the non-moose-crossed friends. DON'T YOU PEOPLE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT SCIENCE?!
- Steven Universe has Ronaldo Fryman, Peedee's older brother. He has a blog detailing the oddities around town and thinks the government is ruled by snake people. After the events of "Keep Beach City Weird", Ronaldo changes his theory to a surprisingly accurate one about "polymorphic sentient rocks" and "the Diamond Authority" which he claims wants to hollow out the Earth. Many fans have noticed he seems to be The Cassandra and have made theories based on things he has said.
- Members of "Humans Against The Extraterrestials" (from the second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon) believed that the aliens which had recently invaded Earth had left behind agents to infiltrate the planet, and were willing to blow up Manhattan in order to exterminate them.
- Harry Bolye's neighbor on Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, Ralph Kane, thinks the Commies are on the move in our country. He has a grass roots squadron of neighborhood citizens at the ready to ward off the Red foe...wherever they are.