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Exceptionally Tolerant

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In real life, people who are strange or eccentric tend to be treated badly, avoided, or even bullied. Sadly, the same often happens to various minorities. As fiction tries its best to reflect reality, that's often the case in TV Land, or books. Sometimes, such works will have one or several characters who are accepting of the minority or odd, eccentric individual, but prejudice will be shown by others.


But sometimes, the character lives in an unusual land where literally everyone is totally accepting, where discrimination is minimal, or even nonexistent, as if it never occurred in that reality or it has been permanently dealt with. Not only that, but the only way discrimination would exist is if it's literally fictional — as in, the characters can only see racism and other forms of bigotry in fictional media (watching it on TV, reading comic books and stories, etc.), but never non-fictional media and never in their real world. If that's the case, the other characters are exceptionally tolerant. This is on the idealistic side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism.

Sometimes, this is done in comedies so that a silly or odd character can be accepted into society while providing laughs through their odd interactions with others. Sometimes, this is done in more serious stories because the story hinges on someone being accepted who in real life might not be readily accepted into society, and some amount of unrealism is necessary in order to make the story work.


Other times, it's done because the author wants to avoid the real-life drama and sadness that accompanies actual bullying and ostracizing, while still allowing an unusual character or real-life unpopular minority to take part in the story. Similarly, in historical-themed stories, it's done to avoid exposing viewers/readers to Values Dissonance. For more examples of that in particular, see Politically Correct History.



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     Film - Animated 
  • In Disney's The Princess and the Frog, set in 1920s New Orleans, black people are treated a lot better by their white counterparts than they were in real life at the time. Tiana is even good friends with a very rich white woman. Some elements of racial prejudice are hinted at to avoid being totally unrealistic for the time period but are not explicitly depicted.

  • In the book series Not Quite Human, Chip the android takes almost everything people say to him literally, has strange responses to common questions, and misinterprets simple commands at times. Despite this, and being in middle school (where real-life bullying is often at its worst), he is treated with a lot of genuine respect and has a number of friends and even a girlfriend, all of whom don't suspect he's really a robot.
  • The town in the gay-themed high school romance novel Boy Meets Boy is incredibly tolerant towards LGBT folk. However, the surrounding area isn't, so the town itself is basically a bubble of Exceptional Tolerance surrounded by a more cynical real world.
  • Used cynically, but close to straight, on Discworld, where nobody seems to like anyone else very much, but you'll probably be able to do all right for yourself even if you're a dwarf, troll, werewolf, zombie, semi-sentient orangutan, or Nobby Nobbs, because Ankh-Morpork is a proud merchant city and can't be kicking its customers out for being too short, rocky, hairy, or dead. (Though in an early book it was stated that the exceptional tolerance extended mainly to humans; "black and white got along fine and ganged up on green." The non-humans became a part of the Ankh-Morpork landscape soon enough.)
    • Also, as the series progresses, the city grows more tolerant, thanks (in part) to the City Watch, which hires all species and forces people to deal with those species. That said, there are still intolerant people and certain species (undead and Golems mostly) that aren't as accepted as say trolls and dwarves. If anything, it's the dwarves (or rather the the deep-downers) who become more xenophobic over time until they've basically become the Disc's version of Islamic terrorists.

     Live Action TV 
  • In the Quantum Leap episode "Miss Deep South", Sam is a contestant in the titular beauty pageant in the 1950's. Stock footage shows a racially mixed audience applauding his song in the talent portion. A racially mixed audience in the Deep South at that time is very unlikely.
  • The comedy Schitt's Creek takes place in a rural town but the narrative is absent of homophobia. Pansexual lead David Rose's sexuality is completely accepted, even if his flamboyant fashion sense is occasionally remarked upon. One of the town counselors is a Black Butch Lesbian, and the town is very supportive of David's romance with his business partner. The town is also noticeably free of racism, with the aforementioned town counselor Ronnie and Pakistani businessman Ray being pillars of the community. According to creator Dan Levy, this was intentional as he wanted to show how life could be in a small town, not necessarily what it was.
  • On Teen Wolf, homophobia is not only wholly absent from Beacon Hills High School, the students are genuinely and visibly appalled when a teacher appears to express such an attitude (he wasn't).

     Video Games 
  • Both Undertale and Deltarune by Toby Fox have human/monster societies that are exceptionally tolerant. In each case, the only sort of conflict between humans and monsters because of what humans did in ages past, and "monster" falls into a very broad category. Monsters can be everything from humanoid animals (like the fish-person Undyne or a rabbit shopkeeper) to the purely fantastical (like a living column of flame or a Tsundere airplane). In each case, there's no discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Both games feature a protagonist with an Ambiguous Gender that uses "they/them" pronouns, which is respected by everyone, including the villains. Both games also feature romantic subplots between two women (Undyne/Alphys for Undertale, Susie/Noelle for Deltarune), which is treated as totally normal without any Gayngst or commentary about the love interests being the same gender.

     Web Animation 

  • RWBY has the fantastic variation with the Faunus. Humanity tried to lock them away in the Menagerie, they fought back, and they've been fighting for their rights ever since with most of humanity still treating them as animals. That is, except for the country of Vacuo, where anyone who survives is welcome and Faunus are equal to humans. Sun, a Faunus from Vacuo who later emigrated to Mistral, often seems surprised by the actions of the White Fang, not understanding why they would go so far.