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Not every elf can be better.

"Welcome to Hufflepuff! Long live the bumbling badger of mediocrity!"
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Some settings are richly designed and have a wealth of Worldbuilding, with a complex social and political system where multiple factions compete for power. Each of these factions will have a distinct theme: Sister Miriam Godwinson and her followers are religious nuts, Klingons are the Proud Warrior Race, the Zerg have living architecture and biological weapons and are united by a Hive Mind, the Crusaders are the protectors of the realm and keepers of justice, Donatello does machines, and the Sensoth are just sort of... there.

This is Hufflepuff House, an organizational equivalent to the Mauve Shirt or Redshirt Army. They help round out the setting without actually impacting much on it, filling out the empty seats in The Alliance HQ and making things look diverse. At best, they might perhaps be The Cavalry. Hufflepuff House is often part of the Backstory of a new character for an episode, and if the character becomes popular enough their House will become patterned after them. Oftentimes, this happens because the author was never able to implement a way to explore this faction in particular — after all, when most of the conflict comes from the actions of The Federation and The Empire upon each other, some people will choose to remain neutral or not get involved.

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Compare to Space-Filling Empire, Sixth Ranger, and What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?.

Named for the group in Harry Potter. Subtrope of Cryptic Background Reference. When a background character/group actually does have impact in the foreground, they are a Hero of Another Story.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    The Trope Maker 
Harry Potter features Hufflepuff House, the Trope Namer, who are in one instance basically called "all-the-rest". At their grandest they get faintly praised for "dedication" and "dependability" — loyality distinct from the more heroic-oriented Gryffindor brand. The Sorting Hat's song at one point has the other three house founders selecting students for specific strengths and Helga Hufflepuff saying she'll take the leftovers. Word of God says that they are good at stuff, they're just humble and don't boast like the other Houses. The foremost member of distinction they have is Cedric Diggory, who is a sympathetic character and a Hogwarts champion. They're also mentioned to have the second-most students stay to battle Voldemort. And finally, their mascot is a badger - is fluffy and adorable right up until the point you threaten something it cares about, whereupon it will end you. This is not a coincidence.
  • Ravenclaw students aside from Luna Lovegood and Cho Chang do even less than the Hufflepuff students throughout the series, mainly since the reader almost never sees members of that house from Harry's year present throughout the series. However, Luna is a fan-favorite Breakout Character, and the Ravenclaw Common Room has actually been seen, while the Hufflepuff Common Room is mentioned to be "near the kitchens". That's it.
  • This extends to the respective Hogwarts ghosts. The Fat Friar, Hufflepuff's ghost, only appears in the first book and never has any effect on the plot. Meanwhile, Gryffindor's Nearly Headless Nick is good friends with the protagonists and plays a sizable supporting role in the second book; Slytherin's Bloody Baron is exploited as the only one the castle poltergeist Peeves fears; And Ravenclaw's Grey Lady provided Lord Voldemort with one of his Horcruxes and as a bonus got murdered by the Bloody Baron.
  • Combined with Creator Provincialism, it seems that the Second Wizarding War only affects Britain, because otherwise, that would make the Ministries of Magic of other countries complete unabashed Hufflepuff Houses. The fourth book mentions the Bulgarian Ministry of Magic, and additional materials mention no less than 16 Ministries of Magic existing at any time, as shown here, of which none (except the British, of course) is said to contribute in the war. This may be a simple matter of scale; until the British Ministry fell in the seventh book, it would have looked like nothing but the remnants of a minor terrorist group that capped off at about 50 members versus an entire nation. Especially since the British ministry was actively covering up Voldemort's return. If so they're right; when it comes to an open fight the Death Eaters are overwhelmed.
  • The Fantastic Beasts book and films do at least subvert it just a bit by having the protagonist be a Hufflepuff. However Newt Scamander is out of school by the story's beginning, so we still don't get to see the goings on of Hufflepuff as a house. There is also no indication that we'll find out anything about the backstory of the house itself (of course, we're only two movies in as of this writing so that could change in the future).

    Anime and Manga 
  • The Garrison Corps in Attack on Titan is the largest of the three military branches, and the least strictly defined of them. The Military Police Brigade is the branch that Annie joins and later becomes a major antagonist, while the Survey Corps is the branch most of the protagonists join, making its members the focus of the story.
  • In Beast Saga The three main factions are the Land Tribe (various mammals and reptiles), Sea Tribe (aquatic animals and reptiles, even aquatic mammals), and the Sky Tribe (mostly cute or non-threatening birds like ducks, parrots, and pigeons). Season 1 is focused on the battle between the Land Tribe and the Deathheart Gang of the Sea Tribe, while the Sky Tribe is reduced to comic relief.
  • Bleach:
    • Many of the Shinigami divisions: 2 is the stealth and assassin squad, 4 is the medic and janitor squad, 9 is the primary security force, which traditionally looks after arts and culture, and heads the Seireitei News Magazine, 11 is physical combat specialists, and 12 is scientific research, but the other eight divisions have no known specialties, and there are relatively few members that have been introduced. Based on Rukia's descriptions, the 13th squad seems to be the opposite of the 11th, focusing primarily on Kido-based combat. Though this is simultaneously a case of All There in the Manual, as most of the other squads have identities based on the personality of the members; for example Squad 7 is characterized as having members who fight out of a passionate love of life, while Squad 3 is made of those who fight hardest in order to get the whole unpleasant business over with.
    • The "Kido Corps" mooks were used several times to control something big (like a trans-dimensional Wave-Motion Gun), but their only known members — their captain and lieutenant — were shown in a flashback over a hundred years ago. At the end of it, they both went out of service and no replacements were shown, unlike all the other squads that lost members at that time.
    • Also the Onmitsukido, a Shinigami organization composed of hitmen. Members of the Second Division usually take double duty as part of it, and it is always headed by the captain of that division (in this case, Sui-Feng, and formerly Yoruichi), but that's all we know of.
  • Code Geass:
    • The European Union is one of the three superpowers (the other two being Britannia and China), but they don't really do anything other than get parts of it conquered by Britannia in series 2 - and the war mostly takes place off-screen. Perhaps to rectify this, Sunrise made a sidestory OVA set in the EU titled Code Geass: Akito the Exiled:
    • Mao mentions he has a house in Australia, but that's all we ever find out about it. Later, Australia was the biggest uncolored land on the map. It's possible all that means Australia is a country all superpowers have agreed to keep neutral (so Mao has a house where Britannia will never attack), but if we stand to canon, actually no one cares about Australia.
  • The Cherry Blossom class in Crayon Shin-chan. The Sunflower class has Shin-chan himself and the rest of the gang and the Rose class is basically The Rival. And then there's the Cherry Blossom class, which is there just to pad out the school and takes a long time to get a name. We don't even met their original teacher before miss Ageo replaces her and otherwise has no remarkable characters.
  • The Byakko no Miko's story is the least developed in Fushigi Yuugi. Granted, the Byakko Seishi got more screen time and involvement than the Genbu Seishi in the main story, but they don't have their own spin-off... yet.
  • Canada of Hetalia: Axis Powers, being the Anthropomorphic Personification of the country, this is played for laughs. Since Canada and America are twin brothers in this series, the only difference being Canada's Idiot Hair, none of the other countries, except for possibly England and France, seem to realize that they're two different characters. When Canada is around, the other characters will usually either not remember that he's there (at one point, Russia sits in a chair without realizing that Canada was already sitting in it, then later complains about how uncomfortable the chair is), or mistake him for America.
  • Team Black Egg from IGPX. Mostly serving as early series opponents for Satomi, their only notable characteristic is their Stone Wall form of piloting. After this, they fade into the background. Barely getting mentioned, and eventually falling to the IG2, so season 2 Big Bad's White Snow can show up.
  • Jewelpet:
    • In Jewelpet Twinkle, there are several schools devoted to teaching magic. There's the one where the main cast is concentrated, and one composed of snobbish, larger-than-life students who serve as the rivals for the rather indifferent main cast. Several more schools are alluded to during the Tournament Arc, but since no school beyond the above two sends whole groups of students, it's impossible to characterize them.
    • In Jewelpet Sunshine, most of the important characters are part of the Plum class, a class infamous for taking in many problem students. Then there is the Rose class, opposite in every way to the Plum class, making them rivals of sorts. In the sports festival episode, two other classes are named: the Wisteria and the Chrysanthemum classes, promptly forgotten after said episode. The Wisteria class gets some modicum of characterization by being considered the 'sportsiest' class, but neither class seems to have Jewelpets among their ranks.
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, for a series revolving around the mermaid princesses of the seven oceans, certainly doesn't care much about what the princesses are ruling. Most of the countries exist only as Doomed Hometowns, and, besides random extras in one or two chapters, only three servants and one civilian ever appear in the whole thing. Only one of those four is plot-relevant in the manga, and she was cut from the anime entirely.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 has the AEU. While the two other world powers (the Union and HRL) have important characters who act as The Rival to the Gundam pilots and contribute to the plot, the AEU's only real contribution for the first part of the series is Patrick Colasour, a Small Name, Big Ego Ensemble Dark Horse. The only time the AEU's Humongous Mecha come off as any kind of threat is when they're piloted by Blood Knight Ali Al-Saachez, which doesn't improve the AEU's standing beyond being good at buying mercenaries. Slightly mitigated later in the first season with the introduction of the competent, take-no-crap Katie Mannequin, but overall the AEU is still the weakest and least important of the show's factions. Oddly, many other major characters (originally) hailed from the AEU, such as both Lockon Stratos, Sumeragi Lee Noriega, Louise Halevy, Klaus Grad, Ian Vashti and Descartes Shaman. The thing is, none of them are actually working for the AEU by the time they show up.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED:
    • According to Word of God, Orb is ruled by a collective of five prominent families, who between themselves select a chief representative. Over the course of the two TV series and the spinoff manga Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray we meet three of the families, the Athha, Seiran, and Sahaku. The other two are non-entities, to the point of not even being named, even in critical moments such as when their allies in the Earth Alliance start bulldozing Europe with a walking WMD. The Sahaku are a partial example, as their actions have zero impact on the anime, mattering only within the context of Astray.
    • By the time of Destiny, the Sahaku was no longer among the five families, whose roster now consists of the Athha, the Seiran... And three other unseen families that were only named in an obscure databook.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, there are four Earth government blocs (the Strategic Alliance Union (SAU), the African Union, Arbrau and the Oceanian Federation) in the Post-Disaster Era. Only Arbrau played a major role in the series while SAU nearly clashed with Arbrau in the early episodes of Season 2. The remaining two blocs had no involvement in the story.
    • For the Earth Alliance itself, all of its members except the Atlantic Federation have pulled the short straw.
  • In My Hero Academia:
  • Though the Naruto world consists of five major ninja villages (Leaf, Sand, Stone, Cloud, and Mist), one rogue "village" founded by Orochimaru (Sound) and a whole host of minor ones, every village that wasn't Leaf, Sand, or Sound were for the longest time nothing more than backstory elements at best. Mist was important to the first arc before taking a backseat once the main story (which introduced ninja from Sand and Sound) began. Rain becomes somewhat more important when we find out that it's the homebase for the major mercenary/terrorist organization Akatsuki, but it's not until after Sasuke attempts to capture Cloud's jinchuuriki that the other three major villages begin to play a major role in the main plot. The filler often tries to give some attention to these villages, however, these are often not considered canon to the manga.
  • One Piece:
    • During the Water 7 arc, we had the Galley La Company which consists of 7 shipyards. Only the 1st one is ever shown on screen and do anything at all.
    • In the same arc, we were introduced to the Cipher Pols, the intelligence arm of the world government. There are 8 official CP and the secret mythical CP9, surpassed only by Cipher Pol Aigis 0. Only the CP9 really contribute to the plot, the others only really there to serve as warm-ups bosses and round out the setting.
    • Also in that arc, the Puffing Tom train is also said to have stops at Pucci and San Faldo, but the main characters never visit either of these locations despite them implied to be major economic partners with Water 7. The Puffing Tom and Rocketman trains instead take a special trip to the World Government's judicial district, and the route between Water 7 and there is the only route seen in the series. However, at the very least, Pucci made it into a side story in the manga featuring CP9 trying to finance Rob Lucci's extensive medical bills in the vicinity of Enies Lobby after this arc's events, since its mayor was a subject of interest and this vignette gave him a chance to appear.
      • Another stop mentioned is St. Poplar, which has even less significance that more or less got mentioned to aid believable world-building.
    • The Red Line is a continent in the form of a ring spanning the circumference of the world and is suggested to be quite heavily populated, but aside from a description of its geography and climates, the only named locations on the Red Line are where it intersects with the Grand Line, where most of the series takes place. One of these is Reverse Mountain, which the main characters pass by early on. The other is Mariejois, the capital of the World Government. Every character thus far associated with the Red Line is from one of these two locations (possibly because Mariejois may be hoarding most of the Red Line), despite every other region of the world having a lot of characters from a variety of locations and backgrounds. Even the sky has its own diverse cast!
    • The World Government has an entire organization of brown-uniformed police officers. Nami and Nojiko's father-figure Genzo is the only named individual who's part of the police, and apart from a few extras in the Loguetown arc, they've barely been seen.
  • Pecola: Pecola's home of Cube Town has various businesses run by the cast such as the art gallery, the cafe, the bakery, town hall and so on. But there are a number of other businesses in Cube Town seen in the background such as a cake shop, dentist, optician, electric shop, clock shop, etc. None of the characters are ever shown entering these businesses and who operates them is never discussed.
  • In the very first episode of Pokémon, Professor Oak is supposed to send four trainers off to start their journey, giving them the Starter Pokémon Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle. One of them is Oak's grandson Gary, and the other is his rival Ash, hero of the series. The other two starting trainers were never shown and only mentioned sporadically throughout the series, the last time of which they inexplicably quit being Pokemon trainers. The only reason they were even in the narrative was for the three Starter Pokémon (Gary having chosen Squirtle) to be unavailable for Ash, who was late for the meeting, and Professor Oak had to give him a rowdy Pikachu instead. The Non-Serial Movie Pokémon: I Choose You! actually replaces the two unseen trainers with a One-Shot Character from the Orange Islands Saga and Tierno, who was one of Ash's Friendly Rivals in the Kalos Saga and is an actual character from the games. Oddly enough, due to the movie giving Gary a Squirtle like in the main series, the two got Starter Pokémon that don't match their choices in the main series.note 
  • The Ra Yellow house from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. We don't meet the Ra housemaster for one and a half seasons, and of the three recurring characters who are in Ra Yellow at some point, one gets Put on a Bus, and another only stays in Ra for one year. This is lampshaded when the Ra Yellow housemaster shows up and challenges them to a duel to get them to come back to their own dorm, and not even his own students have any idea who he is until he introduces himself.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Ritual Summoning seems to be ignored for most of the time. This is not uncommon in the franchise, since only a few duelists actually use Ritual Cards, with Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's never showing a Ritual Summon at all. However, despite ARC-V focuses on all Special Summoning methods instead of only one unlike 5D's or ZEXAL, and the characters from this series treat these Special Summonings as awesome, Ritual Summoning seems to be viewed as not as special as the other four methods. The fact that a Ritual Dimension hasn't been mentioned yet doesn't help either.
    • The Standard Dimension is where the bulk of the main cast comes from, and is the setting of the first season. The Xyz Dimension's La Résistance play a big role in the plot, as does the Fusion Dimension. The Synchro Dimension is mentioned as an aside by Yuto to show that it exists, and we only meet one person from there: Yugo, who has no scenes in his world and only appears in Standard and Xyz. The Synchro Dimension is the setting of season 2 and gets fleshed out later on, but by then the Xyz Dimension is rarely mentioned, and the only mentions it gets are related to how the Fusion Dimension destroyed Heartland. Season 3 starts off in the Xyz Dimension where the heroes would eventually gain powerful allies.
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    Comic Books 
  • In Batman the First Families of Gotham, the rich elite who have had great influence since the Revolutionary War, are the Waynes, the Kanes, the Cobblepots, the Elliots, and the Crownes. The first two have produced prominent superheroes. The next two, prominent supervillains. The last one? No one knows, no one cares.
  • Crossed: In the + 100 era, fourteen rebuilt human towns in post-apocalyptic America are identified by name. Some (most notably Big'N'Low) are far less prominent than others.
    • Chooga (formerly Chattanooga), Camp Casper, and Murfreesboro are major settings.
    • Future visits Fayetteville and Kingstenn (both of which temporarily Kneel Before Zod).
    • Scores of unnamed soldiers from New Castle (formerly Newcastle) and Rap City (formerly Rapid City) come into conflict with the Crossed who conquer Camp Casper (with the Crossed moving on to attack New Castle at the end of Mimic).
    • The Gapple Isles (former New York or "The Big Apple") appear in a Mimic side story that focuses on attempts to clean out the subway tunnels of Crossed, and traders and soldiers from the region play a big role in the original +100 run.
    • B'More (formerly known as Baltimore) appears in another Mimic side story as the inhabitants purge their city of Crossed.
    • Refugees from Muska-G (formerly Muskogee, Oklahoma) describe their fight against the Crossed, complete with flashbacks.
    • Sugar Tree and Lubbock are only represented through a handful of minor, unnamed characters, although bits of their society and culture are teased for Worldbuilding.
    • Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is resettled by Christians who consider its name significant, but they're wiped out by the Crossed six years (In-Universe) before the town is even mentioned by name.
    • The fourteenth settlement, Big'N'Low, Arkansas (formerly known as Bigelow) is only represented through two spear carriers at a refugee meeting who only have a single line of dialogue between them, and vaguely say that they were "disastered out" when the Crossed attacked.
  • This is pretty much how the Indigo Lanterns operate in the Green Lantern cosmology. They're the Lanterns of Compassion, but little detail on them is gone into, and they rarely involve themselves with the other six Lantern Corps. Eventually, it was revealed they are made up entirely of heinous criminals from all over the universe given the rings as a sort of punishment: they're essentially forced to feel nothing but compassion for others, because of their past selfish actions. Their individual members are still largely unnamed, however (their leader goes by "Indigo-1", instead of her real name), and their operations are still a complete mystery.
  • The Initiative teams in Marvel Comics, especially those from "less important" states, who have a tendency to die in crossovers. If you're in the New York state Initiative team (a.k.a. The Avengers) you're fairly safe. If you're from any other state—Hawaii, Florida, Arizona, New Jersey, even California—you're C-List Fodder in waiting.
  • Punisher: The Platoon: Five of the six prominent enlisted men in Frank's platoon come from First Squad. Second Squad (which also contains the remnants of the disbanded Third Squad) has only one notable character, Corporal Bago, who seems to hang out exclusively with members of First Squad.
  • Star Wars: Knight Errant: Vilia Calimondra has about two dozen grandchildren fighting each other to prove themselves to her, each of whom commands a powerful Cult of Personality. Only eight of these grandchildren are named, and two of them are twins who jointly run a faction. Daiman and Odion have prominent roles in every story arc. Arkadia, the twins, and Malakite appear less frequently, but still have plenty of page time and characterization. Trevayne is only mentioned once in the final issue, but his personality is hinted at. The eighth, Lioko, is only mentioned in passing on two occasions.
  • The Drule Supremacy in Devil's Due Publishing's Voltron comics is made up of ten kingdoms, with the main one being the Ninth Kingdom led by King Zarkon and his son Prince Lotor. Other than the Ninth Kingdom, the only other one to be featured with any real prominence is the Seventh Kingdom led by Queen Merla.
  • In The Walking Dead, there's the Kingdom. Whereas the Alexandria Safe-Zone, Hilltop Colony, and the Saviors get plenty of focus, the Kingdom, aside from its leader, Ezekiel, does not, even though it's the second largest of the four. The only named characters besides Ezekiel are unimportant Redshirts. Despite having existed for almost 50 issues, it has received virtually zero characterization or plot relevance.

    Fan Works 
  • Harry Potter
    • Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality turns Gryffindor, of all things, into one of these. Ravenclaw gets a greater emphasis as the intellectual house, plus two members of the leading Power Trio. Slytherin gets a lot more characterization as the ambitious house and gets the third leading character. Hufflepuff's loyalty and hard work leads to a mix of Determinator and The Power of Friendship. They also gain Neville Longbottom, who gets to take a level in badass far earlier. Harry is actually offered this house by the Sorting Hat, he turns it down because he doesn't think he's worthy of it. Gryffindor, by contrast, is dismissed as a bunch of mindless bullies and thoughtless would-be heroes. It has very few important characters, mostly the Weasley twins.
    • Hogwarts School of Prayer and Miracles: Each Hogwarts House has at least one character who plays a major role in the story except for Hufflepuff; we only see one student in that house (Luna), and she's only there to show what the Hufflepuffs are like as a house, disappearing from the story immediately afterwards.
  • Cheating Death: Those That Lived: Districts 8, 9, and 12 all have decent numbers of prominent victors, but not many details are given about the Districts themselves in comparison to everywhere else in the nation.
  • Hufflepuff is not mentioned in My Immortal except for a throwaway line which casually states that "Vampire" is "sucking some blood from a Hufflepuff." Ravenclaw isn't mentioned at all.
  • The Discworld of A.A. Pessimal expands on the canonical setting of the Assassins' Guild School. To keep them away from the boys, girl students who board are segregated off to Raven House, Black Widow House, or to Scorpion House. And to Tump House, which is not named after a potentially deadly animal with an attitude towards the male of its species, or else is a black-clad harbinger of death and desolation. Tump House appears to have been endowed with a generous donation from a former pupil who became owner of the Tump Tower and associated business enterprises, namely, Reacher Gilt. Housemistress, Miss Alice Band, has pointed out the association of her house with a financial criminal and crook is not a good one, and she has petitioned for a name change to remove the taint and hopefully bring it into line with the other three Houses. She has been offered Mantis House.note  Her pupils concede that the praying mantis is indeed a creature whose female shows a robust attitude towards the male but, miss! it's still only a stick insect!
  • The Southern Railway is this in The Stories of Sodor. Of the "Big Four", the LNER and LMS get most of the focus, and several GWR engines have notable roles, but the SR is rarely mentioned at all, and only a couple of minor characters are confirmed to be a part of it.
  • The End of the World:
    • District 5 probably has the least Worldbuilding and few, if any, of the District residents have any dialogue besides Foxface, a couple of Foxface's peers, their female Quell tribute, and a character who's living under an alias and hiding his District 5 heritage for almost all of his page-time.
    • District 9 has fewer characters with dialogue than District 5 (most of the time, Haymitch can't even remember the names of their victors), but the district as a whole gets a decent amount of backstory and prominence during the Rebellion, and several of their tributes do pretty well before being killed.
  • The Victors Project
    • District 12 gets noticeably less focus, characters, and details about its layout than the other 11 Districts, mainly due to how a lot of this was already covered by the original books. Their chapter of Arrow isn't even a whole story, but rather a few lines of song lyrics.
    • District 1 is ruled by forty noble families, but only nine of them (St. James, Boelyn, Delacroix, Lancaster, Dustell, St. Martin, Westness, Seville, and Rosencrantz) are named and several of them only have minor roles.
      • The Lancaster, Boelyn, and St. James families are all pretty prominent and have multiple members with names and/or dialogue and each house produces a victor, but said victors are the only members of each family to appear in more than one chapter and rarely if ever acknowledge their families later on.
      • House Seville is the only house to side with the Rebels during the Dark Days Rebellion, and is nearly wiped out as a result. Silk, the Sole Survivor of the family, is left homeless and becomes a Career tribute to get off the streets, and it's never revealed whether she ever has kids or the family dies with her.
      • The Delacroixes are a regular presence, but are only present in the background until two of their children become victors.
      • Several members of House Dustell appear throughout the story, mostly just to antagonize main characters and/or get killed. They are also the only known house to have cadet branches.
      • The St. Martin family competes with the Boelyn and St. James families to be District 1's most important Great House, but only receive a single passing mention in Luster's chapter.
      • Victor Brilliance Rosencrantz is from a Great House, but this is only mentioned three times, nothing is revealed about his family, and Brilliance himself is one of the least prominent victors in the story.
      • Some Westness nobles make a cameo appearance in Wonder's chapter, "eyeing each [party] guest like a fish they were about to filet."

    Films — Animated 
  • Hot Wheels: World Race: Five teams of racers (each with specialized cars) appear. All five team leaders (Vert Wheeler, Banjee Castillo, Brian Kadeem, Kurty Wylde, and Taro Kitano) are prominent, fleshed-out characters, but the same can't be said for all of their teams as a whole. Three of Vert's Wave Ripper teammates are prominent characters throughout the movie. The Roadbeasts, Street Ratz, and Street Breed teams all have two of their lower-ranking members be mentioned by name, speak at least one line of dialogue, and receive some prominence during at least one leg of the race. Taro's fellow Scorcher drivers are all unnamed, voiceless background characters.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The other Greek soldiers in 300 who weren't from Sparta. They do basically zip and leave frightened so the Spartans can die in a Heroic Sacrifice. In the real life Battle of Thermopylae, on the other hand, there were also 700 Thespians and 400 Thebans who refused to flee and instead died alongside the 300 Spartans. Given that the events of the film are largely told by a survivor to invigorate a group of Spartans, we can probably blame the Unreliable Narrator for that. It would be just like a Spartan to inflate his own people's accomplishments and diminish the others'.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road: Of the three settlements controlled by Immortan Joe, the Bullet Farm has less relevance to the plot than The Citadel and Gas Town and is the only one of the three territories with no distinctive Mooks. It doesn't help that their only named character dies well before the climax.
  • Midnight Madness: While the White Team gets just as much screen time as the others, its members are a lot less fleshed out and distinct than their competitors. Only one of them gets a name, while every member of the other four teams is named.
  • The other pirate lords from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Smoke-trails in the background imply a huge battle, but we never get to see any ships but the main characters'.
  • The film version of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie knocks the Brodie Set down to four girls. Jenny is the beauty who is to be painted by Teddy Lloyd, Sandy is Miss Brodie's confidant and eventual betrayer, Mary is The Woobie who dies tragically and Monica does nothing — apart from crying at Miss Brodie's story about her lover. It's perhaps for this reason that she's the first girl Miss Brodie suspects when she's dismissed.
  • 1776: Some of the thirteen colonies represented at the convention have less prominence than others.
    • About ninety percent of the North Carolina spokesman's dialogue is announcing that he'll yield to whatever position the South Carolina delegation is taking. His only other memorable line is a brief comment about how the Declaration of Independence should mention fishing rights.
    • The delegates from Connecticut and New Hampshire have a decent number of lines, but are mainly Satellite Characters who rarely if ever talk about their states.
  • Sing Street: Brendan and Conor's sister Ann has minimal lines and abruptly vanishes after the parents announce they're splitting up.
  • Second Class passengers are hardly brought up in any story involving the Titanic. James Cameron's Titanic (1997) only features them once, when a crew member mentions there's a riot at the pursers office in second class. Wallace Hartley and the band and Thomas Byles (the priest) are all second class passengers, but you wouldn't know that from watching the movie.
  • In The Wizard, the final competition has Jimmy Woods, The Hero; Lucas Barton, The Rival; and Moira Grissum, who is this. She naturally comes in third.

    Gamebooks 
  • In the Nintendo Adventure Book Leaping Lizards, Mario and his friends compete against the Koopalings in the International Mushroom Games, along with two less important teams, one consisting of nothing but Sledge Bros. ("The Hammers") and another that's just random monsters ("The Sneaks"). Of the two, the Hammers are less prominent, despite one of their members actually getting a name.

    Literature 
  • 1984 takes place in Oceania, one of three empires that each rule a third of the world. The other two empires are Eurasia and Eastasia. Eurasia and Eastasia are there only to have wars with each other and with Oceania, while repeatedly changing alliances. They are all even described as using political systems functionally identical to each other. It's left possible that the others don't really exist, being simply propaganda creations of Oceania (or that they're all the same).
  • The (live) Southerlings in Garth Nix's Abhorsen, who border on being a Mauve Shirt Army. They are refugees from the far southern countries who are seeking asylum in the Old Kingdom, even though they don't know about the magic that inhabits it. Their main features are their blue caps and scarves and their desperate need for protection, since the bad guy's plan is to kill and resurrect a lot of them at once. Instant Zerg Rush. Avoiding this takes up a lot of the heroes' time. The reason they're even in the Old Kingdom is to give certain Ancelstierre officials political brownie points.
  • In American Gods The Intangibles are mentioned in terms that paint them as being among the most important New Gods. However, the number of times they get mentioned (in a 465-page book) can be counted on one hand.
  • Animorphs, being a story about one front in an inter-planetary war, has several. The Leeran war was originally this, but the Animorphs were transported to their world and helped end that affair in short order. But there's also the Yeerk Peace Movement, a contingent of Yeerks who believe that infesting and controlling humans (or at least humans against their will) is wrong; the Anati system of planets, where the Andalites are planning to attack the Yeerks because they feel things are more urgent there and that Earth is likely lost; and the Rakkam Garroo conflict, another something-or-other that is distracting the Andalite fleet for three years so that the Animorphs are basically left to do everything themselves. Also, the free Hork-Bajir.
    • Most of those conflicts get at least a book or two heavily devoted to them, but as the books are first-person with the Animorphs, matters far from their hometown are on the back burner, but get their mentions and have their impact. Individual Yeerk defectors and free Hork-Bajir are recurring allies throughout the series. The main Hufflepuff house situation is the Rakkam Garroo conflict; that name is all you're getting, ever. It exists to make sure the Andalites are tied up with it so they can't ride to the rescue. Period.
  • Artemis Fowl has its Fairies divided in seven (later revealed to be eight) families: Elves, Gnomes, Dwarves, Centaurs, Sprites, Pixies, Goblins and Demons. Elves, Dwarves and Centaurs all have members of their species as main characters, all get more or less fleshed out as a result; the most recurring villain is a Pixie, and Demons get an entire book dedicated to them. Sprites and Gnomes, on the other hands, only get very vague characteristics (Sprites have wings and Gnomes tend to be fat; that's it) and are overall irrelevant to the plot.
  • The Belgariad has Belkira and Beltira. Beldin has a bit more of a personality, but Beltira and Belkira appear to exist mainly for the purpose of not having all Aldur's disciples fall into the Jerk with a Heart of Gold camp (or just Jerk, in the case of former disciple (Bel)Zedar).
  • Brotherband has the Wolves of the brotherband training competition. The main character is Hal, and the Sharks are led by Tursgud. Due to the fact that the Wolves are unable to compete in all assessments, they are disqualified from the overall competition.
  • Chronicles of Ancient Darkness has dozens of clans, but only the Raven Clan has significant screen time across multiple books (since it's the one the main characters live with). The Seal, White Fox, Otter, Wolf, Red Deer, Forest Horse, Auroch, Mountain Hare, and Narwal Clans get some focus, but each only for one book. And some clans, like the Kelp, Cormorant, Whale, Ptarmigan, Rowan, etc. either don't appear at all or might as well not be there.
  • Codex Alera:
    • There are three main villains who want to usurp the First Lord's throne. Two are major characters, but the third, High Lord Rhodes, is not. While we're told he's both very smart and incredibly ruthless, he lacks both High Lord Aquitaine's personal flair and High Lord Kalarus's spectacular sadism, meaning he tends to get shoved into the background and namedropped every so often so we know he's still there.
    • There are three non-human species surrounding Alera. Icemen, while they've been at war with Alera more continually than any of the other nonhuman factions (about 300 years solid), their attacks are confined to a particular region in the far north where the POV characters almost never go, meaning they get comparatively little pagetime and development.
    • The Canim have three castes: Warrior, Ritualist and Workers. According to Nausug, the workers are actually the main caste in that the other two do what they do for the workers' benefit... But none of the workers are ever named or portrayed as particularly important individually. Justified as the caste is what's important, individuals within it are not.
  • Some of the Orders of the Rainbow in Nick Perumov's Diamond Sword, Wooden Sword are given characterization, like Arc, Kutul and Nerg. Some are given only iconic characters to extrapolate what they are about from, like Liv and Garam, or given a brief mention of what they practice, like Ugus. And then there are the Orders of Flaviz and Soley, which do no one knows what.
  • Discworld:
    • The entire world map has been laid out, and is full of places that either a) have only been mentioned occasionally or b) were never mentioned at all. Borogravia eventually gets mentioned, as do Xxxx and the Counterweight Continent. The rest will most likely never be expanded upon due to the author's death.
    • The Rimside kingdom of Krull is visited and given a reasonably thorough description in The Colour of Magic, then it vanishes from the face of the Disc. Krull was briefly mentioned in The Last Hero as being different after The Luggage wiped out most of the ruling class, specifically that they just charged huge salvage rates for ships stopped from going over the edge instead of enslaving the survivors.
    • Chirm, a city sufficently close to Ankh-Morpork that it is the first destination Rincewind and Twoflower set out for after leaving the city is also never mentioned again after The Colour of Magic. The obvious solution is that it is the same place as similar sounding Quirm, a near Ankh-Morpork town that is frequently mentioned in later books... except that the Discworld map lists both.
    • Many of the Guilds. The only really important ones are the Assassins' Guild, the Thieves' Guild, and the Seamstresses' Guild; while many other Guilds are listed, their workings are never described as much as those three nor do any major characters come from them. This includes, oddly enough, the Merchants' Guild, which you'd think would be important but instead only feature in Making Money as a "chain of gold-ish" that Moist would rather avoid.
    • The city of Pseudopolis is mentioned frequently but never described in even the smallest bit of detail. Its name is suitable, because it's a pseudo-city, on a meta-level.
  • Divergent:
    • From all of the factions, Amity gets the least mentioned in Divergent. None of the transfer to Dauntless are from it (one tried, but chickened out of the initiation almost immediately), and only one named character is a member of it. They have a slightly more important role in Insurgent.
    • Candor also has a minor role in Divergent, although they also get elevated in Insurgent.
    • Allegiant mentions that Chicago is merely one of a series of Midwestern cities designated as testing grounds for the production of more genetically pure people. Nita originally came from Indianapolis, while Natalie Prior is revealed to hail from Milwaukee, before she moved to Chicago. However, we don't know much about the current state of these cities, beyond the claim that they failed the experiment. In the epilogue, Four mentions that Peter is currently living and working in Milwaukee.
  • Dune averted this with House Corrino, which, for a while, was the only House mentioned by name other than Atreides and Harkonnen. While mostly offstage in the first novel House Corrino — as the empire's ruling House — make their influence felt throughout the book. The Corrinos' have an even more overt presence in Children of Dune.
    • Played straight with the Great Houses of the Landsraad, in the original series at least. Aside from the Atreides and Harkonnens none of them are mentioned by name, though the non-canon Dune Encyclopedia provides a full list of House names and some heraldry.
  • The Earth's Children series has the Aterian, Hadumai and Sungaea tribes. Jondalar and Thonolan meet the Hadumai while on their Journey, staying with them just long enough for Jondalar to take part in a young woman's Rites of First Pleasures, which may have left her pregnant with his child; other than this, they are largely irrelevant to the storyline. The Sungaea are neighbours of the Mamutoi, but only appear directly when the members of Lion Camp visit a Sungaea camp where two young siblings have recently died. And the Aterians never appear at all, though it is mentioned that Ranec's mother came from that tribe.
  • The Great Greene Heist: There are twelve mentioned student organizations and teams. Important characters belong to the Tech Club, the Botany Club, the Gamer Club, the Environmental Action Team/Students Against Keith Sinclair, the Chess Team, the Maplewood Herald, the Debate Team, the Fighting Dolphins Basketball team, the cheer squad, the football players, and the Art Geeks. The same can't be said for the Drama Club.
  • Honor Harrington:
    • The starmap includes such entities as Matapan, Midgard and Asgard, of which virtually nothing is known. In early books of the cycle, polities like the Solarian League or Andermani Empire also counted, but since then they've got more screen-time.
    • The Manticorian Alliance might as well consist of Manticore and Grayson. We learn little of the other members other than that they demand more Manticorian protection after every Havenite attack. The Andermani Empire was built up as The Rival just inches behind Manticore in the Lensman Armsrace in War Of Honor. When they ended up on Manticore's side, their ships spend pretty much the entire war being upgraded, because they weren't up to Manticorian standards after all.
    • Erewhon is fleshed out a little in some spin-off books, but not much is known about their Space Navy. They do, however, make an impact in the main story by leaving The Alliance and giving all their shiny new tech to the Havenites, when the current Manticorian leadership starts treating them like crap.
  • In The Hunger Games:
    • There are 12 districts that make up Panem (plus the Capitol). Most of the districts are glossed over as only a few of them are plot relevant. Occasionally an important character or detail might come from one of them but for the most part they are pretty irrelevant.
    • Special mention goes out to District 9, which is mentioned the least and is home to only two of the named characters. What's more, in both the Seventy-fourth and Seventy-fifth Hunger Games, District 9 loses both its tributes on the first day. note  But, since the tributes in the Seventy-fifth Games are all past victors, it's safe to assume that some of the kids from 9 who were sent to the Games over the years survived the bloodbath, with at least two going on to win. However, the only time a character from this district has any kind of interaction with a major character is at the beginning of the Seventy-fourth Games; Katniss and District 9's male tribute get into a tussle over a backpack, shortly before the boy is knifed in the back by Clove from District 2.
    • In Mockingjay, Katniss visits Districts 8 and 2 to stage propos. However, she doesn't visit any other, because by the time she is allowed to go out of District 13, most of Panem have fallen into the hands of the rebels. Even her missions in Districts 8 and 2 are rather minor, since she basically serves as a figurehead and doesn't participate much in the actual fighting.
  • The Infected has Team Two, the largest and most active of the super-teams, but not a single POV character among them.
  • Land of Oz:
    • Oz is divided into four nations: Munchkin Land, Winkie Land, Quadling Land and Gillikin Land. For anyone who hasn't read the books, all the last three would be Hufflepuff House, but even the most avid readers would be hard-pressed to remember anything about the Gillikins.
    • The Good Witch of the North is the most overlooked of the four witches. The Wicked Witches of East and West are antagonists whose defeats are plot-relevant. Glinda of the South is the good witch that is able to send Dorothy home. The Witch of the North only appears to welcome Dorothy to Oz, give her directions and a kiss of protection and then disappear from the story. It's telling that most of the adaptations and revisionings leave her out and combine her with Glinda.
  • The Last Days of Krypton: The only Kryptonian cities to actually appear in the novel are Argo City, Borga City, Kandor, and Kryptonopolis (which is uninhabited until halfway through the novel). Important characters from the lakeside district of Orvai and the mining city Corril appear, but the cities themselves don't. A city named Ilonia is briefly mentioned three times, but receives no description. The rest of the planet's cities (of which there are at least seventeen), towns and villages are unnamed and only mentioned in passing to describe how the main characters' efforts are influencing people elsewhere.
  • In The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Leguin, the Gethen planet is divided into several nations, from Orgoreyn and Karhide we learn a lot about their customs and form of government, while from Perunter, Sith or the archipelago we do not learn anything and are not even visited.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • The two 'other' wizards. Gandalf and Saruman are obviously well known to us, and Radagast is at least mentioned and ascribed something of a personality. What little we know of the rest of the wizards' council comes from sundry notes published in Unfinished Tales, but even there the "Blue Wizards" received only passing mention and never even gained two distinct identities. Tolkien's eventual answer (in his letters) to the question of their fate was basically, "I don't know; they probably went East and founded some religions."
    • "Middle-Earth" is almost universally believed to be the name of Tolkien's world, but it isn't. Tolkien's world is named "Arda". Middle-Earth is just the middle continent of the world, the rest of which hardly merit names. Only one other continent, Aman, is mentioned in the series, and it's been shifted to another dimension (or something) by the time of the novels. There are quite a few nations in the south and at least one in the east of Middle-Earth that exist almost entirely as names on maps and the occasional reference to "Men under the sway of Mordor" or the like.
    • The seven dwarven Rings of Power don't factor into the plot at all, nor are any of their bearers seen or named outside supplementary materials. In contrast, the three elven Rings are held by major characters (Gandalf, Galadriel, Elrond), and the nine Rings of Men are held by the Nazgul, the nemeses of the forces of good throughout much of the book.
  • The Lost Fleet: There are six interplanetary organizations featured in the series. The heroes belong to The Alliance and are engaged in a Forever War with the Syndicate Worlds. The Sol System is the birthplace of humanity and plays a prominent role in two books, one of which has the Alliance repel the Covenant of First Stars, which is pressing the Sol System. The other two factions, the Callas Republic and the Rift Federation, are allied with the Alliance but are treated as more of an extension of them. Very little is revealed about them, even though a Callas Republic politician is the tritagonist of the series. By the time of the later books, the two governments are painfully aware of their Hufflepuff status, are chafing under it and are struggling to assert themselves as independent powers.
  • In The Machineries of Empire, the Vidona faction are the only ones who don't have a single character who even approaches three-dimensional detail and significant page time. Amusingly, by Word of God this is for the opposite reason to the trope-naming example, as the Vidona are State Sec, torturers and executioners, and Yoon Ha Lee thought that the series was dark enough without having multiple graphic scenes of torture and slow execution.
  • Mistborn has an odd example of this in the second book. The heroes deliberately set up the city they're protecting as a Hufflepuff House, so they'll have that third-party power of choosing which invading army to ally with. As the description may indicate, they're kinda desperate.
  • In Mortal Engines, Nuevo Maya, Australia, and Antarctica play this role. Antarctica is mentioned only once, while Nuevo Maya and Australia get mentioned multiple times in the backstory, but never get to appear in the timeline. However, the author intends to avert this by saying he wanted to give them A Day in the Limelight.
  • This was the fate of the Yuuzhan Vong worker caste in the New Jedi Order. The overwhelming majority of Vong characters in the series are from the warrior caste (understandable, as the series deals with the Yuuzhan Vong while they're at war, so the warriors have become disproportionately influential in-universe). The intendants get Nom Anor, the most heavily featured Vong character in the series, and are important more generally at key junctures (and some material indicates that the current Supreme Overlord was an intendant as well before taking the throne). Priests and shapers each get a significant recurring member (Harrar and Nen Yim, respectively), as well as each producing a couple of Villains of the Book. The Shamed Ones, the absolute lowest rung of Vong society, eventually get a significant subplot as a revolution against the Vong leadership gets underway and they form the bulk of it. The workers, even though they're supposed to form the highest percentage of Vong civilization, are just sort of there, get name-dropped as a caste every so often, but an individual named worker never appears across all nineteen books.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Among the numerous cabins in Camp Half-Blood, the Demeter and Dionysus cabins receive a lot less focus compared to the others. It's even worse for the demigods of minor gods that are all thrown into Hermes cabin or are not even acknowledged by their parent. In fact, much of the plot of the series is a Deconstruction of this trope: the minor gods, who do not get the respect as the Olympians and have to sit on the sidelines all the time, finally snap and bite back by joining the Titans so they can finally be in the spotlight. They finally succeed at the end, and all of those who have demigod children are granted cabins at Camp Half-Blood.
    • Of the cohorts of Camp Jupiter in The Heroes of Olympus, only the Fifth Cohort, which the main heroes are placed in, matters. Take their centurions for example: while all are named, only those from the First and Fourth receive plot relevance; everyone else are relegated to the background.
    • Demeter's cabin gets more plot relevance in the second sequel series, The Trials of Apollo, because the deuteragonist of the series, Meg McCaffrey, is a daughter of Demeter.
  • At the beginning of The Riftwar Cycle, pretty much anyplace outside of the Kingdom is treated in this manner, mentioned periodically to add a little color to the tale but not having any significant impact. This series is very long, however, and by now almost every Hufflepuff house kingdom and empire on (and several beyond) Midkemia has been featured in at least one full book in which it is showcased as the center of events.
    • One notable exception to this is the Free Cities of Natal, despite being one of the earliest foreign nations mentioned and visited in the books. Every major conflict of the series places the Free Cities on the side of the Kingdom, but the small size of their territory and lack of any true army ensure that they remain strictly a sidekick in these wars. Natalese Rangers do pop up with some frequency in the series, but almost entirely in minor roles in aide to the Kingdom armies.
  • In The Saga de los Confines, of Argentina Liliana Bodoc, of all nations of the continent of The Fertile Lands, the Clan of the Owl is the only one who does not have any type of development in terms of their culture or customs, it simply exists, and We only know one of its members, Nakin, who disappears after the first book. Justified since they live in "the time of magic" (practically another dimension)
  • The Scholomance: There are dozens of enclaves of magic users with representatives in the Scholomance, but only the New York enclave (where Orion comes from) gets much description or prominence.
    • The London enclave (the one closest to El's home) is frequently mentioned, and some of its members have names and dialogue.
    • El helps the Dubai enclave kids fix a broken chair in one scene.
    • The Toronto enclave lets new recruits bring their entire families, but has ridiculously high standards.
    • The Shanghai enclave is talking about making their own scholomance, and El reads a historical account of their fight with a maw-mouth.
    • The Manchester enclave built the scholomance, but fell into obscurity after losing their best and brightest people while futilely trying to keep it safe.
    • Some seniors from the Seattle enclave get into a fight with the main characters.
    • The Berlin enclave kids promise admission to anyone who helps out with the climax and persuade the other enclaves to agree.
    • The Zanzibar and Johannesburg enclave kids get along with El's friend Nkoyo.
    • The Salta enclave hires Clarita's mother to do maintenance work. The Salta students impress El by not protesting their unfavorable placement during the school wide evacuation in The Last Graduate, and she saves one of them from being eaten by a maw-mouth during the climax.
    • Santa Barbara and the other California enclaves are a bit resentful toward New York, and one of their seniors has a short-lived Commander Contrarian moment in book two.
    • Aadhya's aunt married a Kolkata enclaver, giving her some minor family ties to them.
    • Mumbai once offered El's paternal family admission to their enclave but they refused because Mumbai isn't strict-mana. In The Last Graduate, El mentions that she does her best to avoid being noticed by the Mumbai enclavers because they know something is dangerous about her if the pacifistic Sharmas wouldn't take her in.
    • The Kyoto enclave was strong when the Scholomance was built and has gotten stronger since then, but was relegated to building the gymnasium by the Manchester enclave. They made the gym into an indoor garden, but it has since fallen into disrepair.
    • Everyone else is lucky to warrant a single passing mention that reveals what city they're in but gives no other details.
  • The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel we're told about the four species of immortals that ruled the Earth before humans were allowed to take over - Elders, Archons, Ancients and Earthlords. The Elders are heavily involved in the plot, and many of them feature as characters. Archons start appearing in the third book, with Cernunnos and Coatlicue appearing and their technology featuring in the plot. The Earthlords are the Greater-Scope Villain as Josh and Sophie's parents are revealed to be them. The Ancients are barely mentioned, with the only instance being that John Dee wants to get access to the library of all their information (and that includes all races, not just them).
  • Secret Santa 2004: Three magazines operate out of Erik's office, but the staff of Muscles Now! wraps up early and leaves for the holidays before the story begins.
  • In Tolkien's The Silmarillion, the third Eldar clan, the Teleri, play this part in the Elder Days. The Vanyar were basically the Valar's teacher's pet, heading West to the Undying Lands of Valinor with great alacrity and never returning to Middle-earth, save the ones who eventually come to the rescue and mop up Morgoth's armies. The Noldor are the main movers and shakers and protagonists in the Silmarillion. The Teleri though are the clan who tarried the longest time in the journey to Valinor; once arrived they accomplished nothing notable and end up being essentially known for being the ones on the wrong end of the Noldorin stick.
    • However the Teleri who stayed in Beleriand, namely the Sindar under the leadership of Elu Thingol are very significant in the Wars of Beleriand and play a major role in the narrative.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • The series broadens its view of Westeros with each book, putting characters and factions under the microscope that might have first been mentioned in passing several books ago. In A Game of Thrones, only the North, the Crownlands, the Vale, and the Riverlands feature prominently. By A Dance with Dragons, however, just about every major area and faction in Westeros has played some part. A Feast for Crows in particular devotes huge parts of the book to rescuing various factions from this trope, including the Reach, Dorne, the Ironborn, the Faith of the Seven, and the Vale. Even secondary Houses have been significant, especially in the North with Houses such as Manderly and Umber becoming fan-favourites.
    • Essos is a much bigger continent than Westeros, but it is also much less explored. Six of the nine Free Cities (Lorath, Lys, Myr, Norvos, Qohor, and Tyrosh) are mentioned from time to time but have yet to be visited, although some characters hail from there, and we hear the occasional conflicts between them. Some regions, like Sarnor, Jogos Nhai, Yi Ti, Asshai and the Shadow Lands, don't play a role in the story for the sheer reason that none of the main characters are close to their general area. The same applies to the Summer Isles, Naath, Ibben, Sothoryos (which is actually a separate continent to the south of Essos, the series' equivalent of Africa), and Valyria (although there is a very good reason why nobody attempts to make contact with it).
    • As of The World of Ice & Fire, most of the unknown places in Essos, have, if not visited, been described. Yi Ti and Asshai, in particular, have broadened histories and cultures... really, to the point that one wonders if future books are going there. However, it also namedrops more new places or regions, like Jhogwin, the Grey Waste, the Thousand Islands, the Further East of Essos (including the City of Winged Men), and even an entire fourth continent called Ulthos to the southeast of Essos...
    • In Westeros itself, we don't know how far north the continent really goes, because to the north of Free Folk territory is the Land of Always Winter, the purported homeland of the Others. There are also legends of a continent beyond the Sunset Sea to the west of Westeros, though the one person who suggests it is considered insane.
  • Star Wars Legends had unaligned factions like the Hutt Cartel and Corporate Sector, who were rarely affiliated with either the Empire or Republic, but would work with one or the other (or both) depending on what benefited their coffers more. Mandalorians are played as a subversion; at first, not much was known other than their lack of affiliation and status as a Proud Warrior Race, but they got a lot of development due to Karen Traviss's books and Knights of the Old Republic.
  • Swan Song: Four major warlord factions plague post-World War III America: The Army of Excellence (AOE), American Allegiance, Troop Hydra, and Nolan's Raiders. The readers follow AOE from its formation to its downfall: and it focuses on slaughtering people disfigured by radiation sickness. American Allegiance is made up of religious zealots who spend a while fighting against AOE and have critical knowledge of the MacGuffin. Troop Hydra is mentioned as being made up of white supremacists but never actually appears. Nolan's Raiders are mentioned twice in a 960 page book, and no details are given about their beliefs, methods, or the location of their power base.
  • In Tales of the Magic Land, after the first book, both of the Good Witches shift into that along with their lands and people (and while the Pink Land and the Chatterers get at least some description, the Yellow Land remains shrouded in mystery). Stella and Villina are mentioned once or twice a book as doing something good to remind everyone they are the good ones, but they appear never in person again. Granted, villains are usually too afraid to attack them, but the heroes don't give them or their subjects much thought either.
  • The Tales of the Otori:
    • There are five "Great Clans": The Otori, the Tohan, the Seishuu, the Maruyama, and the Shirakawa. However, the only clans featured with any great frequency are the Otori, Tohan, and Maruyama, and even then the Tohan drop off the radar after the first book when their ruling warlord is assassinated. Two principle characters hail from Seishuu and Shirakawa, but the clans themselves are not looked into.
    • The Tribe, an organization of ninja assassins comprised of four families: Kikuta, Muto, Kuroda, and Imai. Only the Kikuta and Muto families matter as most of the villains and heroes of the series hail from those two families, respectively.
  • Actual werewolves (not just shapeshifters like Jacob and Co.) are occasionally mentioned in Twilight. They're referred to as "Children of the Moon" and all we really learn about them is that they are one of the few (possibly the only) things that vampires fear, which has lead the ruling class of vampires to issue a "kill on sight" order against them.
  • In Venus Prime, there is mention of a "Latin African" bloc with its own space stations and a colony on one of Jupiter's moons, but it doesn't play much of a role in the series.
  • WindClan serves as this for Warrior Cats as they are neither the designated villains like ShadowClan, the protagonists like ThunderClan, or the neutral softy like RiverClan. In fact they weren't even in the first book, made almost no appearance in the third and fourth books, and a minor one in the fifth book. Only in the second and sixth books are they important, otherwise before Starlight they were simply "ThunderClan's allies", then Tallstar died, making them the focus one last time, but once Onestar took over WindClan just became RiverClan.
  • Similarly, in the first two books of The Wheel of Time, the reader is led to assume this of all Ajahs but the Blue, Red and Brown : no mention of them in the glossaries, no relevant characters (Alanna and Alviarin are featured but have done nothing yet)... This isn't helped by the fact that at this point the reader has seen only (apparently) good Blues and bad Reds. The later books help rectify this.
  • "Rabbit's friends-and-relations", a broad term applied to everyone in Winnie-the-Pooh who isn't Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Owl, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo, Tigger, or Christopher Robin.
  • In Wrong Time for Dragons, of the four Elemental Clans, only Water and Air get a lot of characterization. Fire and Earth are largely left on the sidelines, except when it's necessary for them to lend their powers to the Initiation ritual. Of the numerous Totem Clans, only the Cat Clan has a notable part in the story. The other Totem Clans are mostly absent. Partly justified, since the Cat Clan is the most organized and powerful of all Totem Clans, and its leader Loy Iver is The Spymistress. Additionally, very few elf characters are present in the book. Dwarves/gnomes tend to be present everywhere.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5:
    • For most of the series, the Minbari are dominated by the competing Warrior Caste and Religious Caste. The Worker Caste is almost entirely ignored. Even when Delenn rebuilds her people's ruling council and gives the Worker Caste the majority, no members of the caste in question are given speaking parts, and while Delenn gives a stirring speech about how generically great their genericness is, the spotlight stays literally and figuratively on her throughout.
    • The various members of the League of Non-Aligned Worlds, excepting the Drazi and (later) the Brakiri. Except for the occasional focus episode (like Secrets of the Soul for the Hyach) and their ambassadors occasionally saying something in council, they're pretty much relegated to the background. Some League members get it worse than others. As mentioned, Drazi and later Brakiri are the only members to transcend this trope, while the Gaim, Hyach and pak'ma'ra form the "likely to actually say something" subset. Meanwhile, the Vree, Abbai, Yolu and Grome are reduced to background characters after the first season. They're mentioned in dialogue every now and then or are seen sitting in council sessions (and in the case of the Vree their ships show up as part of the allied fleet) but other than that they're unimportant. The most extreme example is the Llort, who never get a speaking part or any focus at all. Their name is never said aloud, and their sole notable presence which wasn't just an extra walking around in the background was one scene where a Llort is receiving medical treatment and Stephen can't understand it.
    • Regarding Earthforce, Mars is the only human colony world discussed in any detail; Sinclair was from there, Garibaldi was stationed there and met Lise there, and it featured in the plot a few times, especially later on. Other colonies get mentioned maybe once, if there's a battle taking place there usually. The colony that Marcus was from never even got a name. This makes some sense given that Earthforce, as the name would suggest, is very Earth-centric.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003):
    • Every colony except Caprica, Gemenon, Tauron, and Sagittaron; the colony corresponding to Libra (Libran) was never even given a name on-screen until "The Plan". Picon is given some background importance, as the Headquarters of the Colonial Fleet was located there. Prequel Caprica sheds more light on the Colonies, and there's a full array of background material the writers have access to (including a semi-canon map depicting all twelve worlds). The Caprican newsletter and Serge's Twitter are great sources of information and flavor.
    • The Quorum of Twelve, which is pretty powerless and ineffectual compared to President Roslin and Admiral Adama. Lampshaded in season four where the Quorum's feelings of impotence and irrelevance are explored.
    • Zig-zagged on the Cylon side with models Four and Five (a.k.a. the 'Simons' and the 'Aaron Dorals') who have less screen time than the others and less outwardly unique personalities. However both models demonstrated some particular character traits (especially in 'The Plan'): the Fours (with one exception) show a preference for logic, science and Cylon-supremacy over religion, compassion and working with the humans, while the Fives are depicted as pedantic, emotionlessly ruthless, and used for 'lower class' jobs like corpse-disposal and cafe service.
  • The Blade series introduces vampire Houses other than House of Erebus, which was the biggest one until its purebloods were killed during Frost's ritual in the first film, to the point where it was subdivided into eleven "tribes", which appear to be subspecies of vampires. In the series, the House of Chthon is central to the plot and is shown the most. The House of Leichen is shown in a single episode and is made up of Vegetarian Vampires. The House of Armaya is stated to have once waged a war against the other Houses and lost with only a single pureblood remaining (who is later killed by Marcus). Other Houses (Saqqara, Falsworth, Varney, and Tiamet) are barely mentioned.
  • In Dad's Army, anyone not in the 'first section', i.e. anyone who's not a main character, is generally part of 'Private Sponge and the others'.
  • Daredevil (2015): Of the three gangs involved in the death of Punisher's family, the Mexican cartel has the least screen time. Both the Kitchen Irish and the Dogs of Hell have named low and high ranking member's, the former having and entire episode devoted to them and the latter being mentioned previously in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. The Cartel on the other hand have only one speaking role, a dying man's last words.
  • In Dark Angel, the first season focuses on the X5 series of transgenic soldiers. Season 2 incorporates X6 and X7 transgenics, plus some of the more unusual soldiers. However, series X1 to X4 are never seen and barely mentioned. It's hinted that because they were made first, there were more screw-ups in creating them, meaning that some of them may make up the 'Nomaly population. However those that were healthy and used as soldiers never play any visible part in the show.
  • Daybreak (2019): Among the tribes that exist After the End, the main focus is on the Daybreakers (eventually founded by our Hero, Josh), the Jocks (who want to kill Josh), and the Cheermazons. Other tribes, like the STEM Punks, 4-H Club, Disciples of Kardashia, Yung Kopps, and Highland Park Donut Hos, at best get one or two bit characters with a few lines, but mostly are just mentioned to exist.
  • Defiance: The Votanis Collective contains six alien species. There are Casithians, Irathients, and Indogenes in the main cast, and the society and culture of the former two species are shown in detail. Sensoth and Liberata appear in recurring roles, albeit as satellite characters. Only one Gulanee appears in the entire show, and only in one episode.
  • Doctor Who: There are six Chapter-Houses of Time Lords. Each has unique specialties and colors. However, most Time Lord characters important enough to be named are from House Prydon. The new series takes this Up to Eleven, with literally every single on-screen Time Lord wearing Prydonian scarlet and orange. We also see very few non-Time Lord Gallifreyans. Viewers would be forgiven for thinking that "Time Lord" refers to a species, rather than an elite subgroup who have graduated from the Academy.
  • On Greek, the focus is on Zeta Beta, Omega Chi, and Kappa Tau, as well as Iota Kappa Iota during Season 2... and every other of the approximately 30 houses gets shunted to the side unless they're needed for a plot.
  • Jeopardy!: Sometimes, one or two players Can't Catch Up or otherwise have so much trouble keeping pace that they almost become irrelevant in the game. This was especially apparent in Ken Jennings' shows, particularly towards the end when he'd have upwards of 40+ total responses per show.
  • In Kamen Rider Kiva, each role within the Checkmate Four has a different job. King makes sure humans don't become too powerful as well as being the Big Bad, Queen makes sure Fangires don't fall in love with humans, and Bishops offer advice to the two roles (saying his role is to enforce the laws of the Fangires, but mostly bugging King and Queen about how they do things, it would seem that his job is to watch the watchers.) Rook, on the other hand? He's mainly The Brute. That's it. It's implied that his job is "genocide duty", but since he completed that job long ago, he's stuck to killing random people as part of a "game" until he got bored of this and tries to get himself killed after doing a bunch of good deeds.
    • Kiva has another example with the 12 Demon Races. Over the course of the series and its movie we only see about half of these; the other half aren't even mentioned in the show and are only known because of production materials. In some cases, it's justified (the Goblins were wiped out by the first Fangire King), but in others, less so.
  • Merlin was constantly referencing the term "the Five Kingdoms". Camelot was clearly one of them, as were the kingdoms of King Olaf and Alined. The other two are never identified.
  • Motherland: Fort Salem: Glory leads her own unit, but it isn't given much attention.
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • Belle's kingdom is seen the least and never has any effect on the overarching story with Regina. Any time it appears in flashbacks is tied to the ogre attack that causes her to become Rumpelstiltskin's servant.
    • Cinderella's kingdom fares little better. It never appears past her debut episode, despite Ella and Thomas apparently being good friends of Snow and Charming. Ella never takes part in the war against Regina or gets mentioned as a potential ally.
    • Mulan comes from a region that appears to be a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of China. It appears in precisely one episode, in which she plays a supporting role (it's a flashback from Belle's POV) and never even gets named.
    • Eric appears to be a prince, but his kingdom is also not shown outside of the episode Eric first appears in. He and Ariel also end up together on an island, with no mention of returning to his home.
  • Oz: The gays are mentioned as one of the ten factions of Oz, but they're never seen doing anything as an organized group, and only have three notable characters in the course of the show — one of which was introduced in the final episode.
  • Sons of Anarchy: Of the many gangs on the show you could be forgiven for forgetting that the Grim Bastards even exist. The Chinese fit this trope until season 6.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • "There were once an alliance of four great races, the Asgard, the Nox, the Furlings, and the Ancients." The Asgard and the Ancients are important races in Stargate mythology who turn up often. The Nox made a couple of appearances in the early series but the Furlings never turned up apart from a short gag in episode 200. According to the writers the Furlings only ever existed because they wanted four races, and will remain a Cryptic Background Reference (or even a Running Gag).
    • The Tollan, a planet of humans who had technology beyond that of the Goa'uld but wished to remain peaceful, and thus never used their weapons unless the Goa'uld were knocking on their doorstep. While they did help out in small ways on occasion, the Tollan were eventually wiped out to make things harder for SG-1. Their isolationism also makes them something of a Hidden Elf Village.
  • Star Trek:
    • The galaxy is divided into four quadrants. The Alpha Quadrant is where it's at: Earth, its major allies and enemies, and every ship named Enterprise do all their boldly going here. The Gamma Quadrant is on the other side of the wormhole in DS9, home to a lot of new races and the Dominion who'd become the biggest threat to the Federation ever. The Delta Quadrant is the setting of Voyager, and home to the Borg. The Beta Quadrant tends to never be mentioned. The big problem is that pretty much every writer ignores attempts to make a canon definition of the Quadrants (if there aren't contradicting ones). Sometimes Earth is in the middle of Alpha Quadrant, at others the 0-degree half-plane (and thus the border between Alpha and Beta Quadrant) by definition goes through the Solar System. When the Romulan and Klingon Empires were the enemy, they were in Beta Quadrant, in the Dominion War they are suddenly "Alpha Quadrant powers".
    • Of course, it's also possible that the exact definition of the quadrant boundaries was changed at some point in-universe.
    • There is a logical in-story explanation for this in Star Trek: Voyager, as the eponymous ship is literally The Only Federation Ship In The Sector. But, still, you have Project Pathfinder which does little to nothing to bring the ship home, although they do provide occasional moral support.
    • How memorable are the Andorians and Tellarites? They're half the founding members of the Federation but appeared in no more than four episodes of The Original Series and less in all the follow-up series except Enterprise and Discovery.
  • Of the founding families in The Vampire Diaries, the Fells are the only ones not to have a main character or a major teenage character. The only prominent members are Logan who was around for a few episodes before being killed twice, and Meredith. Aside from that, all we know about them is that they're very wealthy.
    • In-Universe, the Salvatores were this for a while until Damon came back. They didn't get formally invited to The Founder Parties and were the only family without an exhibit.
  • Vikings:
    • Denmark and Sweden get this treatment. The show (decided eventually that it) is set in Norway and features primarily Norwegian characters. Season 2 features king Horik and jarl Borg who are danish and geatish respectively, but are only mentioned in passing after Season 2. No important characters originate from from those countries despite the danes being the major instigators of the Great Heathen Army or the attacks on Paris.
    • And the Faroese Islands are simply forgotten.
    • Ireland and Scotland is mentioned in passing, despite the former being the primary target of the early Norwegian attacks. Their conquest of Orkney and the Hebrides is completely left out.
  • The Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen TV movie Winning London is set at a model UN in London. The protagonists are part of the American team, and one girl's love interest is on an opposing team from the UK. There's a third team from Brazil that's given a little bit of attention — but only because both they and the Americans are representing China, leading to the Americans getting changed to representing the UK instead. Naturally in the rankings at the end, they place third.
  • The East Baltimore drug dealers in The Wire. Story-wise, the ongoing rivalry between the East Side and West Side gangs is an important part of Season 1's background, and the alliance between the East Side and West Side (leading to the foundation of the New Day Co-Op) is a major plot point from Season 2 onward. Individually, though, none of the East Side dealers apart from "Proposition Joe" Stewart and his nephew/lieutenant Calvin "Cheese" Wagstaff are even mentioned by name, with almost all of the show's drama centered around the machinations of the Barksdale and Stanfield organizations on the West Side.

    Multiple Media 
  • BIONICLE:
    • Matoran/Toa come in all sorts of colors and elements, though the primary focus is spent on the main six (Fire, Water, Ice, Air, Earth and Stone) and Light. This results in a whole group of Hufflepuffs including Sonics, Electricity, The Green, Iron, Plasma, Magnetism and Gravity, all of whom are only introduced later on and don't have physical LEGO sets.
    • There are many islands and locations in BIONICLE's world, but outside of the few that have been central to the story (Mata Nui, Metru Nui, etc.), we see very litte of the world. What little info there is about the other islands is covered in companion guides. Any chance to visit these places properly in the story is lost after the giant robot housing the entire world is destroyed (taking the islands with it) in the Grand Finale.

    Music 
  • Hypnosis Mic: Japan has been split into Divisions that fight each other for territory, represented by a core rap group. If your Division wasn't named Ikebukuro, Yokohama, Shibuya, or Shinjuku, chances are you were cannon fodder. The main groups were later expanded to 6 (accounting for Nagoya and Osaka), but little was known about any characters who weren't interconnected in some manner. Two unrelated groups were added to the stage adaptations, but they've rarely been seen or mentioned elsewhere.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • In The Bible, Jacob/Israel has 12 sons and one daughter. The daughter, Dinah, is only relevant in the story of her Rape and Revenge (exacted by two of her brothers), and then gets Chuck Cunningham Syndrome. Of the sons, only Joseph, Judah, Benjamin, and Levi are significant (and Levi only because his descendants included Moses and Aaron, and became the Tribe of Priests). Part of this may be because The Torah was written by Judeans, and all the other tribes except Judah, Benjamin, and Levi were part of the northern kingdom of Israel, and were conquered and likely assimilated by the Assyrians. Joseph already had a significant role in the story.

    Podcasts 
  • RiffTrax:
    • They have some fun with this in their riffs of the Harry Potter movies. In particular, Bill gets incensed at the end of the first movie when it looks like Gryffindor came in last place for the House Cup, even behind Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw.
      Bill: And Ravenclaw! Name one kid in Ravenclaw! Yeah, I didn't think so.
    • The gag continues in movie 4.
      Bill: My God, the explosion just killed two students!
      Mike: What House were they in?
      Bill: Ravenclaw!
      Mike: Eh, throw a tarp over 'em.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In the much-criticised 'Divas Revolution' storyline of 2015, three Power Stables fought for control in the women's division. Team PCB had Charlotte Flair, Paige and Becky Lynch - all very over fan favourites who would be considered championship material. Team Bella had the Bella Twins, one of whom held the title and the other two members were former champions. Team BAD meanwhile did have the darkhorse Sasha Banks but its other two members were Naomi who had yet to find her feet in the division and Tamina Snuka - a lesser talent than the rest who was mainly used for The Worf Effect. Naturally Team BAD were the first team eliminated in the big elimination match at SummerSlam and took a backseat in storylines, while Charlotte and Nikki Bella feuded over the title.

    Radio 
  • That Mitchell and Webb Sound: One bit has a Hufflepuff head of house (voiced by Mitchell) consoling some students who have just been sorted into it due to being boring and largely irrelevant. There are also take thats toward the idea of entrusting admissions to a hat, or having a house just for the children who are evil.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Battletech:
    • The Free Worlds League in essence did nothing for some thirty years of in-world time apart from a leadership change and slowly building up the universe's biggest economy and arms industry. It turned out that during that time they were being subverted by an army of evil toaster-worshiping fanatics with an apocalyptic agenda, and nobody noticed.
    • Of the 20 Clans, only five of the invading Clans have significant spotlights - an entire novel series was dedicated to curb-stomping Clan Smoke Jaguar after they murdered several hundred thousand civilians via Orbital Bombardment. Clans Wolf and Jade Falcon each had a novel trilogy centred on it and has had significant impact on the storyline. Clans Ghost Bear and Nova Cat are featured in several novels and each has been a notable player on the Inner Sphere stage. Of the rest of the Clans, they are mentioned but rarely shown in background material until most were dropped entirely for the Dark Age setting. The Wars of Reaving sourcebook covered this by having some of those Homeworld Clans either annihilated or absorbed by the rest, with the remainder cutting all contact with mainstream humanity.
    • The Periphery states, backwater nations on the far flung edge of explored space, rarely appear and are even more rare outside of the source books. The biggest contribution to society by the Periphery was from the Rim Worlds Republic, whose Evil Chancellor usurped power from the Star League and ended up destroying it. Oops. After he was killed and the Republic annihilated, three hundred years of total war and technological destruction followed as the various Great Houses vied to set themselves up as the ruler of a reborn Star League.
  • In the backstory of Demon: The Fallen there was the Alabaster Legion, made up from those demons who for whatever reason didn't want to join either the Crimson, Iron, Ebon or Silver Legions. Though, that's not to say the Alabaster Legion did nothing. Indeed, they likely influenced the World of Darkness more than any other. They created the underworld, bound the ghosts therein and were ultimately the deciding factor in the creation of the Nephilim (They wanted the Nephilim ghosts to protect the underworld so they helped cover up their creation); which ultimately shattered the Fallen war effort.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • The game has three main types of fiends, each operating out of a different plane and each representing a different Character Alignment. There's the Lawful Evil Devils, who live in hell, bargain for souls, and are the classic "tempter and corrupter" archetype of evil. There are the Chaotic Evil Demons, who live in the Abyss and are more the raw force of destruction and desecration type. And then there are...the Yugoloths (sometimes called Daemons). They are Neutral Evil, live in Hades and that's kind of it. Planescape tried to make them shine as the Blood War's profiteers and possible architects, but since the setting was left behind they've had little else. In 3.5 edition the Demons and Devils both got entire books devoted to them, but never the Yugoloths, so they missed out on a lot of development. There are much fewer different types known, much less explained about their setting and goals, and they are used far less frequently.
    • The Bard often stands out among the game's magic users, especially in 5th edition, where it's one of four main Arcane classes. Wizards get their power from study, Sorcerers have it innately, and Warlocks gain it through faustian pacts, but Bards... It's unclear. Most editions say it's from a poorly-defined "song of creation", but it's unclear if they earn it through study or have an innate understanding.
  • Exalted:
    • While there's quite a few Dragonblooded houses Peleps and Tepet are disproportionally represented in mentions. Mnemnon tends to only get attention in relationship to its house founder and namesake and Cynis wouldn't be mentioned much at all if not for the Slug. The rest barely show up beyond occasionally having a side character surnamed in. House Nellens, being the house least likely to produce Exalts and founded on very thin pretenses, is pretty much engineered to be a Hufflepuff House.
    • For the Sidereal Exalted castes, Secrets and Endings are insanely overrepresented in mentions, flavour texts, background, etc. Chosen of Secrets is the caste of Chejop Kejak and several other high-profile Exalts such as Lupo and the Green Lady, and Nara-O himself is a rather interesting god and has been represented much more often than any other head of houses. Endings has some long-standing characters such as Ahn-Aru or Black ice Shadow and are inherently cool, being assassins and the chosen of Death. Apart from that... Journeys has Ayesha Ura, and probably raises enough interest that we can at least understand how the caste is supposed to work. But Serenity and Battles are really Hufflepuff House.
    • There are 13 Deathlords, of whom 9 get detailed descriptions including their holdings, schemes, armies, story seeds, and Abyssal henchmen. The other 4 are left as nameless silhouettes.
  • Magic: The Gathering has five colors of magic associated with five basic land types, and numerous cards that came in groups of five, with one for each color. Almost immediately, the R&D team started printing cards that basically treated artifacts as a sixth color: the five Wards were joined by Artifact Ward, the five Circles of Protection were joined by COP: Artifacts, the Lucky Charms were joined by Urza's Chalice, and so on. Eventually, we got a sixth basic land type: Wastes.
  • Pathfinder, being based on D&D, replaces the Yugoloths with the Omnicidal Maniac daemons and gives them a good amount of attention as well as adding half a dozen more fiendish species from the asuras to the qlippoth, each with various species and lords, varying in focus but all given enough to flesh out what they are, where they came from, and how they work. And then there are the dorvae. A wholly separate fiendish species, they are embodiments of selfishness and fiercely independent. They are represented entirely by one monster, the dorvae, and while it's mentioned more powerful dorvae "viziers" exist, none are named nor are their abilities detailed.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade has its major sect politics split mostly between the larger (and marginally more moral) Camarilla and the monstrous, Antediluvian-hating Sabbat. Further, a sizable majority of the different vampire clans belong to either sect. And then you have clans like the Giovanni, Assamites, and the Followers of Set who don't belong in large numbers to either, and don't involve themselves much in the night-to-night turns of the Jyhad. These groups are still not to be underestimated.
    • There were also the Ravnos, but for the longest time they were practically a bloodline in terms of importance. And by the time they were modified and their clan shown to have greater significance (mostly in southeast Asia), it was also the time when White Wolf killed off most of their number. All to show how serious the Antediluvian threat was.
    • Two more sects exist: The Iconnu, whose primary preoccupations were "research vampire enlightenment" and "observe the other sects"; and the True Black Hand, whose activities and goals were even more mysterious. Neither factor into vampire politics to any real degree.
  • Warhammer:
    • Any Skaven clan that isn't Eshin, Pestilens, Skryre, or Moulder doesn't really matter in the greater scheme of things. Hell, when was the last time Moulder really did anything? This is improved in one skaven book, where smaller clans get special characters. And clan mors have done things for quite some time now.
    • Cathay is the largest country in the world and the second most powerful human realm (the Empire is repeatedly stated to be the first), yet has very little lore. It seems to exist just to expand the Ogre Kingdoms background and give them giant katanas (Cathayan longswords). They have basically no presence in any timeline's Grand Finale; in the Storm of Chaos they're not mentioned at all, while in the End Times they get destroyed by Orc, Skaven, and Chaos invasions off-screen with barely a reference.
    • Other human nations that aren't the Empire or Bretonnia get this. Nations like Tilea, Estlia, and Araby get barely mentioned anymore, and the once focused Kislev gets pushed back in the background.
    • In The End Times Grand Finale for the setting all of the human nations but Bretonnia and the Empire were overrun by either Skaven, Chaos Warriors, or Orcs in the prologue and then forgotten. Even Brettonia was completely ignored except for what a few forces operating in the Empire were doing after the first part of book 1.
    • High Elf kingdom of Cothique is known for just two things - their love of sailing (with another kingdom, Eataine, having this trait too among many others) and for never having any units, characters or any kind of important events related to them.
    • The Turkic-esque Kurgan. Despite being one of the three ethnic groups that make up the Warriors of Chaos faction (which itself gets a lot of focus), and being repeatedly stated as the most numerous troops in Chaos's ranks, they receive very few characters or units compared to the Norscans.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Dark Eldar, whose Codex spent several editions without being updated, described as a race of evil torture-obsessed sociopaths who torture people, and that was about it. Their background was so shallow that many players thought they were some faction of Generically Evil Chaos Space Elves, and even many Dark Eldar players admit that they kind of suck. It took until November 2010 (eleven years after their previous codex) for the Dark Eldar to get a new codex, models that actually look cool, and a complex and interesting back story.
    • For the Tau Empire, the Vespid don't appear as prevalent or numerous as the Kroot, in that we don't know much of their culture or what other military units they might have. The Gue'vesa, Demiurg and Nicassar get an even worse treatment, not to mention the dozens of client races that were only mentioned once or twice.
    • Of the thousand-odd Space Marine Chapters, about a hundred receive anything more than a name and a colour scheme, and only a handful of those receive any significant spotlight time. If you aren't the Ultramarines, the Blood Angels, the Space Wolves, the Black Templars, Imperial Fists, or the Dark Angels - especially the Ultramarines - then you're screwed. (Not so coincidentally, each of these Chapters have their own exclusive Codex.) Even fellow first founding Chapters like the Raven Guard, Iron Hands and the White Scars are rarely mentioned. The Black Templars notably are Second Founding successors to the Imperial Fists, and they are more popular than the Imperial Fists. After this, about fifteen to twenty or so chapters are occasionally mentioned (prominently, the Crimson Fists, another Second Founding Imperial Fists successor) and practically nobody else gets any screen time aside from mentions on chronologies in rulebooks and codexes. The Blood Ravens chapter are also prominent due to them being the chapter used in the Dawn of War RTS games and have made the jump to tabletop prominence by getting rules.
    • Much of the Chaos Legions have become this in recent editions. In the 3.5 Codex each Legion not only got a whole page dedicated to themselves but also special rules (or in the case of the 4 God-specific legions, an entire "book of chaos"), with the sole exception being the Black Legion, as it's noted that the entire book was the template of the Black Legion's tactics. In 4th and 6th edition much of this was lost in favour of streamlining their army list, resulting in players having a harder time fielding more legion-specific armies. The newer focus on Post-Heresy Traitor Chapters rather than the original 9 legions also led to renegade Chapters such as the Red Corsairs and Crimson Slaughter taking center stage, further driving back some of the focus for the original 9.
      • The Crimson Slaughter have since fallen to the secondary status of being mentioned as the big name non-Red Corsairs Renegade Chapter while the Thousand Sons and Death Guard Traitor Legions have risen back to prominence with dedicated Codexes and model range updates. When it comes to the 5 Chaos Undivided Legions, the Black Legion serve as the settings main Big Bad, the Word Bearers prominently feature as the original traitors who drove the others to ruin and are now the fanatics among the Chaos forces, the Iron Warriors frequently feature as the independent pragmatists among Chaos forces, the Night Lords are sometimes used as antagonists on side stories that don't matter in the big picture or as individuals members who joined the Black Legion, which is sort of Justified due to the Legion shattering into warbands when Primarch Konrad Curze died ten thousand years ago, and unlike the Sons of Horus/Black Legion they weren't put back together. The Alpha Legion is such an anarchic mess of convoluted and possibly false allegiances amongst its warbands that its status as second tier antagonists screwing things up on the sides is arguably serves it better than a prominent spot, they are supposed to be the covert black ops legion with brainwashing after all.
    • Nearly any Imperial Guard regiments other than Cadians or Catachans get no prominence in the wider scheme of things, and even the Catachans lost some favour after 2nd edition. Armageddon Steel Legion, Valhallan Ice Warriors and Vostroya get more attention than most, and Death Korps of Krieg are widely available at Forge World, but for the rest of the largest military in galactic history they're lucky if they get a footnote. Recent codexes have justified this by claiming that the Cadian Starship Troopers style gear is a widespread standard for non-specialist units, so unless they are actually specified as Cadians the soldiers in any given picture probably aren't, just regular line regiments recruited from any given planet as opposed to specialists from a Planetof Hats.
    • Eldar have a few dozen known Craftworlds, and about six that frequently involve themselves in events, but most of the time Ulthwe or Biel-tan are the ones with the attention. Granted, they are the largest and most active of the Craftworlds, so it makes sense they would have more exposure.
    • The fluff mentions various alien races that are becoming a threat to humanity, however, they are not considered important enough to warrant more than one sentence mentioning them. It also mentions various small human empires that are not part of the Imperium (for example, in the Rogue Trader RPG sourcebooks). Don't expect those to have focus either.
    • Both Militant Arms of the other two Ordos of the Inquisition have slowly become this due to being out of Focus. Deathwatch Marines, while frequently mentioned in the fluff, haven't seen tabletop rules for 3 editions now (although technically you can field them as a normal Space Marine Force taking a lot of Sternguard Veterans) while the Sisters of Battle have been given lip service at best in terms of updates and being mentioned in the fluff, usually being the unlucky sods at the receiving end of whatever daemonic or heretical thing that the actual protagonists have to defeat. Sisters of Battle miniatures are actually so out of date that they're the only army who can still (and must) field an army of metal miniatures (every other army at least had their minis updated to finecast).
      • The Sisters finally got their attention at the 8th Edition of the game, getting a new codex and updated finecast miniatures. The trailer for the 9th edition even put them in the main spotlight, along with the new Primaris Marines models as the second big focused Imperial faction, relegating the Imperial Guard further.
      • The Deathwatch also became available in the generic Marine codexes by being able to take special formations and some exclusive units and with their own rules, even gaining some units by being brought into the main Marine codex and getting the models that were released after their last dedicated Codex.
    • Generally each faction would have several different subfactions within it, such as the Ordos of the Inquisition, the various splinter fleets of the Tyranids, the Septs of the Tau and so on. Unsurprisingly, unless they're the major focus of the story, you will probably not be seeing them much in the fluff, much less on the tabletop (when was the last time you saw anyone play with a Doom Eagles Chapter of Space Marines?). However, this was intentional as the innumerable amounts of various hufflepuff houses also makes it canonically legal for players to create and integrate their own armies into the story.
  • Because Vampire and Werewolf in World of Darkness are so popular, pretty much every module that isn't them is treated this way by the playerbase. It was joked by some members of the fanbase that Changeling: The Lost and Geist: The Sin-Eaters players were endangered species, and that it was also common for people to ask "What's this module?" This despite that they are entries that are supposed to be standalone just as much as Vampire and Werewolf. This is also confounded by the fact non-Vampire and Werewolf modules are usually given Invisible Advertising and very rarely appear in bookstores or game stores where a casual browser might run across the core book.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! Card Game has Sea Serpent-type monsters, who theoretically function as stronger version of Fish-types, but end up being this most of the time. Fish-types have found their own ground, which has resulted in Sea Serpents being easily the most undermanned type in the game, aside from Divine-Beasts, of which the God Cards are the only three in existence. Sea Serpents are even the only type that doesn't have at least one archtype to call its own. This has become subverted thanks to the Atlanteans.

    Theatre 
  • The Trope Namer is inverted in the Off-Broadway parody Puffs the Play, which tells the story of Harry Potter from the perspective of his Hufflepuff peers. The main characters consist of Cedric and Ascended Extras, including three students whose names were pulled from J. K. Rowling's "Original Forty" list. Notably, Ron is represented by a mop held by actors (though they react as if "he" can talk), and Hermione is a wig on a stand except during third year, when the play pokes fun at her using the Time-Turner to take extra classes.
  • Romeo and Juliet: There's actually three clans involved in the fight—in addition to the title characters' families, the Capulets and Montagues, there's the Prince's family (historically, the Scaligers, as evidenced by the Prince's Latinized name Escalus), represented in the plot by the Prince himself, Mercutio, and Count Paris. And just like the other two families, the Prince loses his younger relatives in the course of the plot.
  • Westeros: An American Musical: The play's version of the War of the Five Kings from A Song of Ice and Fire is more of a War of the Four Kings, with the Iron Islands being the faction losing out. Both the Lannisters and Stannis seem to simply consider Balon just an extra person contesting their authority while considering each other the more immediate problem. The Lannisters ultimately only interact with the Starks, Stannis' faction and Renly's faction over the course of the play, while Stannis' faction only has confrontations with the Lannisters and Renly's faction. The Iron Islands ultimately only play a role in the Stark-focused portions of the story, and that role consists of raiding various parts of the North entirely off-stage and being the faction in favor of which Theon defects.
  • In A Very Potter Musical Dumbledore remarks that the Sorting Hat isn't there, so he's just been putting anyone who looks like a good guy into Gryffindor, anyone who looks like a bad guy into Slytherin, and the other two can go wherever they hell they want. A distinction was made that since Ravenclaws are smart, they are also good-looking (see: a statistically improbable number of temporary love interests are Ravenclaws), so Ravenclaw is the Love Interest House. Hufflepuffs, being generally shown as good-natured and friendly, are the Cannon Fodder House. The musical also lampshades this with Dumbledore's line What the hell is a Hufflepuff?

    Video Games 
  • Ustio and Sapin are treated like this in Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War to Osea and Yuktobania. Especially strange in Ustio's case, as the player character is at the very least a mercenary hired by their government, and the first third or so of the war takes place there.
  • In Age of Mythology each faction has three major gods they can worship, and in the campaign one god of each faction assists the heroes, one assists the villains, and one just sits out the whole thing entirely. Hades for the Greeks (whose sole contribution is helping the heroes out of the underworld), Ra for the Egyptians, Odin for the Norse (both of whom do nothing), and Oranos for the Atlanteans (they use his Sky Passages, and that's it).
  • The loot manufacturers in the Borderlands series all get varying degrees of focus. We meet members, agents and/or soldiers of the Atlas, Hyperion, Dahl, Torgue and Maliwan corporations throughout the series, and although we know less about Tediore, Vladof and Jakobs each has a radio presence, a set of character skins and a diverse arsenal to their name. Anshin, Pangolin and S&S Munitions all get Hufflepuffed, S&S isn't present at all after the first game, and as the other two don't make weaponry they seem to have largely been sidelined.
  • Bug Fables:
    • Bugaria has four kingdoms and a lost Roach Civilization. The Ant Kingdom has the main town and it's where all three party members live and work. The Bee Kingdom is a major ally, it's where Vi is from, and about half of the game (Chapters 2-4) is set in or near by Bee territory. The Wasp Kingdom is the main hostile faction, while the Roaches play a major part in the backstory and are the creators of the Everlasting Sapling that drives the plot. The Termite Kingdom on the other hand is only relevant in the first part of Chapter 6 when Team Snakemouth needs their submarine to reach Rubber Prison, but otherwise it does not recieve as much focus as the other three kingdoms. This is justified by the Termites living a generally isolated life and how they spend most of the game at odds with the Ant Kingdom; it takes a massive crisis before Queen Elizant II decides to finally try getting the Termites involved.
    • In addition to Bugaria, it is mentioned that there are lands to the North and East, the former of which is where Kabbu is from. Neither of these are visited in the game, and between the two of them, the East Lands are only known as the home of the Fruity Bugs with no associated main character.
  • The Crash Bandicoot series has Gasmoxia. Unlike every other fictional planet in the entire series, it's the only one that never got explored in any detail (whereas every hub world in Crash Nitro Kart is clearly set on each champion's home planet), despite the fact that Nitros Oxide and his two subordinates explicitly hail from there. The only time it was seen was in Crash Bash's final boss fight, and even then you fought Oxide in a match of Ballistix above a nondescript futuristic city. It got a proper visit in Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled, however, where it was revealed the planet has two rival fast food chains, Nuclear Pizza and Toxic Burger.
    • Bermugula is referred to in passing by Oxide, who compares the "slowness" of the other racers' speed to a Slagvork, one of its inhabitants. It got fully fleshed-out in Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time with all of its flora and fauna, including the aforementioned Slagvork.
  • Dawn of War: The Tau faction's Water-caste. While the other Castes are all represented in the game (Fire-caste soldiers, Earth-caste builder drones, Air-caste pilots, and Etheral-caste support commanders) the Water-caste diplomats and merchants don't really have a place on a frontline planet consumed by total war.
  • Dragon Age:
    • The Orlesian Empire and the foreign Grey Wardens get this treatment in Dragon Age: Origins, though there are two Orlesian NPCs in Denerim, Leilana was raised in Orlais, and you later meet Riordan, a Grey Warden from Orlais. Justified; the foreign Wardens are too far away to help with the Blight and Loghain's paranoia about another Orlesian invasion prevents the Orlesians from coming to Ferelden's aid. You can learn a little bit more about Orlesian society from codices and a few NPCs but you never actually see it for yourself. In the "Mark of the Assassin" DLC for Dragon Age II, we finally get to see some of Orlais, as well as their often-mentioned but rarely seen Chevaliers.
    • There are tons of Fantasy Counterpart Cultures that remain underdeveloped in Origins, like the Avvar, a viking-like culture that had an Origin story associated with it, but was cut for time. The Avvar however are the focus of one of the zones in Dragon Age: Inquisition.
    • Despite sending troops to Ostagar and a few in Lothering, the Chassind wilders are ignored entirely in Origins and, aside from a character in "Mark of the Assassin," completely absent from Dragon Age II. It's justified, though, as they're also stated to live in Ferelden's Kocari Wilds, where the Blight breaks out in Origins, while II takes place in another country, so their absence makes sense.
  • In Dune II and its remake Dune 2000, a third party called House Ordos was introduced just to be a third choice between House Atreides and House Harkonnen. House Ordos was never mentioned in any of the Dune novels and was instead taken from the non-canon Dune Encyclopedia.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The continent of Akavir. Every game to date in the series has taken place on the continent of Tamriel, with Akavir lying far to the east. Though Akavir has been mentioned in historical contexts and in in-game books throughout the series, no living member of the four known Akaviri races has appeared in any game to date. The closest occurs in Oblivion, and even then the Akaviri are only involved in one quest where they appear as humanoid ghosts.
    • In Morrowind, it is only possible to interact with the Dunmeri Great Houses Telvanni, Redoran, and Hlaalu. The other two active Great Houses, Indoril and Dres, are mentioned but have no holdings or official representatives on the island of Vvardenfell (where the main game takes place). Their lands lie to farther to the south. In the Tribunal expansion, Indoril gets a bit more exposure, and already in the vanilla game they had indirect representation (via the Temple. The Ordinators' armor is called Indoril armor for a reason). More background details on the Dres are revealed, and a bit more in Oblivion, but no Dres personalities are present. Come Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC, one can interact once again with the Dunmer Great Houses in Solstheim, but only the Redorans and Telvanni. There is once again no representation for Indoril, Dres, or the newcomer, Sandras.
  • In Eternal Darkness, Word of God says there's a fifth, yellow ancient. There is in-game evidence for the yellow ancient's existence, namely the undispellable damaging floor sections, the rune-sealed doorways that require the possession of that rune to remove, the spell-effect coloring shown each time Anthony undergoes physical corruption from having read the cursed scroll, and the same coloring on "neutral" runes that are unaligned with the red, green or blue Ancient. This implies that while the unnamed yellow ancient is a neutral entity who is not directly involved in the conflict between the other four, power can still be drawn from it for spells and traps if the caster has possession of the correct Alignment Rune (such as the initial placement of the damaging floors and rune barriers).
    • It's notable that while the Mantorok (Purple) rune can overrule barriers / magical effects of the Red, Blue or Green variety, it fails to have an effect on Yellow ones.
  • Final Fantasy
    • Trabia Garden in Final Fantasy VIII is given off-hand references in Disc 1, but never seen until after its destruction. Though one of the party (Selphie) is a transfer student from Trabia.
    • In Final Fantasy IX there are four major political powers on the Mist continent—Alexandria, Lindblum, Burmecia and Cleyra. The first two factions are the most prominent, with Alexandria as The Empire for the first half of the game or so and Lindblum as a safe haven ruled by Reasonable Authority Figure Regent Cid. The other two, you arrive at Burmecia to find it already invaded and destroyed by Alexandria, and once you arrive at Cleyra you get to look around the town for about half an hour or so before it too is invaded and wiped off the map. Though Freya is a Burmecian, the kingdoms themselves may as well vanish once you leave them because they're scarcely mentioned again except for the reparation efforts.
    • Final Fantasy XII features a series of kingdoms and empires in Ivalice, but only Dalmasca and Archadia ever play consistent roles throughout the game. Nabradia gets their screentime for all of the game's prologue before becoming destroyed in a fantasy equivalent of a nuclear attack; Rozarria is even worse, as while they're supposed to be Archadia's equal, we only get to meet two characters from there, and their territories we could explore do not extend beyond a barren wasteland, let alone their capital. Bhujerba, Jahara, the Eruyt Village, and Mt. Bur-Omisace only serve as places where the heroes find Plot Coupon so they can disappear from the lore in peace. The game mentions even more nations in passing out there — Basch and Gabranth/Noah for example came from a republic called Landis — but we never get to know anything about them.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses:
    • Three Houses is a rare example of the franchise having a Fantasy World Map that doesn't cover the entire world: outside the continent of Fódlan, there are numerous other countries on the otherwise unnamed planet. But the only countries that actually have an impact on the plot are Almyra and Brigid (the latter of which is no longer independent but a vassal state of the Adrestian Empire). Other countries seen on the map have otherwise zero story relevance, such as Albinea,note  Morfis,note  and Sreng.note  Then there's the country of Dagda, which doesn't even appear on the map, but at least it is offhandedly mentioned to have been a part of a Great Offscreen War in the past, and the recruitable mercenary archer Shamir is from Dagda, but she left home long ago to go Walking the Earth and is currently in Fódlan.
      The reason for this is actually revealed by scraping together background details: it's easy to not notice because Fódlan is large and diverse all on its own, but the continent as a whole is incredibly isolationist, to the point that any items that could make sea travel easier are hard to come by and usually considered contraband by the church (telescopes are explicitly forbidden by divine mandate). This is part of Rhea being a reactionary Control Freak who doesn't like the idea of other nations establishing contact and undermining her authority. Even Brigid is kept on a leash — their princess is actually at Garreg Mach as a political prisoner.
    • In Fódlan, the Church of Seiros is a major political entity that has a lot of influence on the continent's people and politics. It's currently divided into three branches. However, among them, one doesn't do anything to contribute in the plot: the Eastern Church, that operates within the Alliance... and is just kind of there. Due to being the weakest of the three branches, they never intervene in the plot outside of a few mentions that they exist.
  • Of the four factions listed in the opening of Gungriffon , the Organisation of African Unity has no involvement in it or its sequel's plot and is barely mentioned in the timeline found in the instruction manual of Gungriffon Blaze. Their only in-game appearances are as the opponents of Blaze's final mission.
  • The Varrio Los Aztecas from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas receive next to no attention. The only notable thing about them is their leader, Caesar, who functions as a supporting character.
  • The UNSC Army from Halo has only appeared in one game so far, and their sole major character is Colonel James Ackerson, who only appears in the expanded universe (and even then, his death takes place in a comic series that was went mostly unread even by story fans). They're mentioned to be around during Halo 4, but we never actually see them. But at least they're better off than the UNSC Air Force, which has even less screen time, to the point where they only have one character who has a name.
    • While two important supporting characters in Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians, Gabriel Thorne and Holly Tanaka, are former Army personnel, they've both already become Spartan-IVs by the time they appear in the games.
  • The Kushan of Homeworld are made up of at least six major Kiith (clans), with plenty of backstory. The only one to receive any mention in the first game is Kiith S'jet, from which the Mothership's operator Karen S'jet comes from. Cataclysm namedrops the other Kiith a couple of times, and introduces Kiith Somtaaw (which had only a one-sentence mention in the manual previously). Kiith Soban gets a fairly major representative in Captain Soban in Homeworld 2, who spends much of the game fighting Makaan's forces using guerilla tactics, while the player is off searching the galaxy for ancient artifacts. The prequel also mostly focuses on Kiith S'jet, but other kiithid get a little more exposure, such as Kiith Siidim, who have their own surviving land carrier, and Kiith Gaalsien (the fanatical desert nomads and the game's Big Bad). Kiith Soban was added as a playable faction for skirmish and multiplayer along with the Khaaneph, a group of clanless scavangers. Also, in the fluff, it's stated that the various vehicles used by the Coalition come from different kiithid: the S'jet provide the land carrier and its aircraft, the Soban provide armored attack vehicles, the Naabal provide heavy ordnance and baserunners, the Manaan provide light vehicles, and the Somtaaw provide salvagers. However, since the storyline focuses on Rachel S'jet, most would be forgiven for assiming that Kiith S'jet is the only player here.
  • The Idolmaster:
    • 961 Production, whose goings-on are mostly ignored in favor of focusing on a "rival" group/character. Project Fairy and Jupiter started out there, but both have been playable in far more games apart than with their parent company. The former group was retconned in 2nd Vision to always have been with 765 Production while the latter left for a studio that treated them better. Two other idols have since been depicted as working with the company, but the focus is once again on them as people rather than as 961 Production idols.
    • 876 Production also serves this role. Despite being introduced as a separate company and having an entire game dedicated to it, not much is known beyond the 3 idols that debuted there. In franchise recollections, it's counted merely as a spin-off of the 765 branch; all three of its focus idols are used as cameos or non-playable rivals in games beyond their introduction, while Ryo Akizuki is significantly more popular as a member of 315 Production.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Compared to the other races, the Koroks have neither a Champion who was a former ally of Link nor any significant connection to the Divine Beasts. Their only purpose is to expand Link's inventory.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda: Of the potential four colonies Ryder can found, the one on Elaaden gets the least focus. In the others, Ryder can interact with their mayor, getting that character's backstory. All Ryder gets with the Elaaden mayor is a quest, and nothing more. Possibly justified since the Elaaden colony is the only one of the three it's possible to avoid establishing entirely, depending on the player's choices.
  • Of the "Big Five" Private Military Contractors in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, four (Praying Mantis, Pieuvre Armement, Raven Sword, and Werewolf) are encountered in-game as enemies. The fifth, Otselotovaya Khvatka, is only mentioned in the Act 1 briefing and a Show Within a Show advertisement for the company itself.
  • In Neptunia, the PC Nation is depicted as a country in its own right, functioning without a goddess candidate unlike the console-based nations of Lowee, Lastation, and Leanbox. While some areas in the PC Nation are explorable, its situation is kept separate from the rest of the plot, and not much is known about it aside from a Maker who hails from there.
  • In the Suikoden series, there are quite a few countries that seem to be Hufflepuff House, generally the homeland of foreign characters. Subverted in that they tend to become the primary setting of later games while what used to be The Federation and The Empire become Hufflepuff Houses.
  • Supreme Commander: On maps shown in the mission briefings for the first game, there are several so called "neutral" planets, different groups of them even. This apparent neutrality is the only thing that anyone knows about any of these planets...
  • In Syndicate (2012), other syndicates like the Castrilos, IIA and Tao are mentioned, but never seen onscreen.
  • Several groups in Touhou, including the Kappa, Higan, and the Human Village, possessing one or two representatives and not elaborated upon further, and the Former District of Hell is centered on the residents of the Palace of Earth Spirits more than anywhere else down there. This isn't the case in the manga and Universe Compendiums; for example the tengu are mostly just kind of there in the main games, but are among the most fleshed out societies and characters. As of Symposium of Post-mysticism, the main examples of this trope are Heaven (one character, marginal information) and Makai (all we know is that it exists).
  • World of Warcraft:
    • The Nerubians are an ancient insectoid race known for their philosophy, art, and violent xenophobia. They had an underground empire that stretched through the entire continent of Northrend, before it was destroyed by the Scourge. Now they're a remnant desperately trying to strike back at the undead, as well as contending with the stirring of an Old God, the same type of being that created them before they abandoned its worship. Meanwhile, a subspecies within their ranks rises to power serving an unseen emperor they claim will lead them to victory over the Scourge. This is all from outside material; their entire presence in the game consists of a lot of dead Nerubians raised as Scourge, and three living Nerubians, one of which has a name. He asks you to clear out a couple of their cities, with no hint that he has a problem working with humanoids.
    • Out of the playable races, plot-wise, the Burning Crusade races, the Draenei and Blood Elves, tend to be this. In the entirety of the plot afterward, they've contributed approximately nothing, although they're still somewhat popular (especially the Blood Elves, who sometimes top the list of most-selected race and are usually in the top three).
      • This becomes subverted in Legion with the Draenei, finally taking the spotlight and getting their arc concluded. The Blood elves on the other hand remain this.
    • Worgen and Goblins are treated similarly, with worgen becoming Night Elves in all but look outside of Gilneas, and goblins essentially just giving the Horde an excuse to look more industrial.
    • As far as player-selected races, the trolls and dwarves tend to be this, being the least-selected races. The trolls became more popular in Cataclysm where their racial leader, Vol'jin actually gets to do stuff and they take back their islands from a level 10 traitor who kept replacing his severed head with a disguised coconut or something.
  • The Umojan Protectorate and the Kel-Morian Combine from StarCraft receive little to no attention at all in the game, despite being some of the more important Terran factions. The Kel-Morian Combine gets nothing more than a minor resource grab mission and a few passing references by various characters, but that's nowhere near the same level as the Umojan Protectorate, which would probably go virtually unknown if not for its inclusion in various Starcraft novels. There's also the Koprulu Liberation Front, remnants of the UED and Confederacy, and the Kimeran Pirates; the KLF was supposed to be featured prominently in Stacraft: Ghost but that became Vaporware. The Umojans get their chance to shine in the backstory, where they're the secret allies of the Mengsk family and help Angus and Arcturus with their anti-Confederate war. In Heart of the Swarm they finally get their day to appear in the game — the first few missions focus on Kerrigan in the care of Valerian and the Umojans.
  • In the X-Universe, the Yaki Space Pirates are described as being a major threat to other races, but have very little impact on the games' plot bar attacking the player early in the X3: Reunion plot. The Yaki only control four sectors in the middle of nowhere, making interaction rare. Despite their lack of presence in the greater X-Universe, they received an almost complete ship set in X3: Terran Conflict, putting their lineup on equal numerical terms with the Earth State's AGI Task Force.

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa: Hope's Peak Academy's reserve course. Despite being a major catalyst in the events of the Hope's Peak Saga's backstory, and the fact that three named characters studied there (Satou, Natsumi Kuzuryu, and Hajime Hinata), two are long dead by the time the games begin while the third primarily interacted with characters outside the course. Even when glimpses of the reserve course are seen in Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School, nobody but the aforementioned three characters are shown while the rest are portrayed as Faceless Masses. Compare this to the treatment of the main course, where multiple classes of students have characterization.

    Webcomics 
  • Harry Potter Comics:
    • Rosie Weasley's neurotic indecision lands her in Hufflepuff House, mostly to Ron's chargin. Besides hard work, the Hufflepuffs are largely into singing about how adequate they are and putting on Christmas Pageants during Quidditch games.
    • Ravenclaw gets most of this treatment by the narrative itself, since the three main student characters are in the other houses (Albus in Gryffindor, Rosie in Hufflepuff, and Scorpius in Slytherin.) The most major Ravenclaw in the story so far is Mac Irdee, an Australian exchange student who's mostly just there to give James someone his own age to talk to.
  • Drowtales:
    • Of the nine major clans, the Nal'Sarkoth, Illhar'dro and Jaal'Darya clans mostly fall into this, though there are indications that the Jaal'Darya may play a bigger role later on. The Nal'Sarkoth are only a partial example, since they play a large role in the Path to Power game on the site, and the Illhar'dro became much more important in chapters 33 and 34 when their home city of Nuqrah'shareh and the civil war there were focused on.
    • Among the other underworld cities, most of the cities that haven't been seen on-screen or covered in sidestories or in subscriber comics are like this. Of the underworld cities listed on this map, Gularg'dasa and Mirat haven't had any information on them revealed, and Shifaye'sindil, the homeland of the clan in Path To Power, fell before the start of the story to a civil war.
  • This is the in-universe standing of the Goblin kingdom in Roommates. The comic has a lot to tell about it and its king, but it's a pretty small-scale story so anybody who looks at the big picture overlooks it... which resulted in an epic Calling the Old Man Out by the aforementioned king once. But they still failed to do anything world-changing (not that they tried).
  • The page image is a Superfluous Elf from Erfworld. They started off as a single-panel throwaway gag, but two books later they've led a group of elves that no longer fit into any other tribe in joining the previously minor Juggle Elves tribe. It turns out they have a special ability to know when it's a good time to say Screw This, I'm Outta Here!.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • The Second City Network parodies this in their YouTube video HOGWARTS: Which House Are You?.
    Gryffindor girl: I'm really brave; I'm a Gryffindor!
    Slytherin boy: I'm ambitious; I'm a Slytherin!
    Ravenclaw girl: I'm really smart; I'm a Ravenclaw!
    Hufflepuff girl: I'm a Hufflepuff!

    Western Animation 
  • Invader Zim has over a dozen alien species, planets and organisations floating around, but only humans and Irkens ever have significant time devoted to them. The Resisty got an episode though, and they and the Meekrob would have been more important if the series had gone on.
  • The Fire Nation becomes this is in The Legend of Korra. It’s the only country that is not visited and plays no role in the story. The first Book (season) takes place almost entirely in Republic City, the second is split between Republic City and Korra’s hometown of the Southern Water Tribe, and Books 3 & 4 are mostly based in the Earth Kingdom. Zuko’s grandson pops up in Books 1 & 2 for a few episodes. Zuko himself (who’s now retired) plays a small but crucial roll in Book 3. He has a non-speaking cameo in the next Book and his daughter Firelord Izumi has a bit speaking part a few episodes later. It’s justified In-Universe by Izumi trying to stay out of global politics because their reputation is still somewhat dodgy from the 100 year’s war. Their roles are so small that Izumi’s daughter wasn’t even mentioned or seen. The creators had originally planned to use them more in the original outline of Book 4 but were cut because they felt like it was a retread of the first series and for lack of time.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: The griffon delegation seen in "Rainbow Falls" is shown again in Equestria Games, but they aren't mentioned in dialog and have no impact on the episode plot, despite placing third in the medal count and winning bronze in the aerial relay.
    • The horses (as opposed to ponies) from Saddle Arabia are similarly seen very rarely, and leaders from a few other unnamed places are seen at the Games.
    • The Royal Guards, The Wonderbolts, and especially Shining Armor. In the narrative all three are important, but in practice the guards exist to basically stand around and get the crap kicked out of them by the Monster of the Week, The Wonderbolts exist to be a foil to and as something for Rainbow Dash to aspire to join and get the crap kicked out of them by the Monster of the Week, and Shining Armor exists to be brother, husband, and father respectively to a trio of princesses and get the crap kicked out of him by the Monster of the Week.
    • Alicorns are treated as Princesses who rule over the Ponies of Equestria. However, outside of that vague detail; there is little actually known about Alicorns in-general or how their culture even operated before Celestia and Luna first arrived in Equestria compared to entire books worth of information known about the other Three Tribes of Ponies. Not helping matters is the fact that by the end of the series outside of animation errors, a dream sequence, And a One-Winged Angel villainess; there are only five confirmed Alicorns, and not a single one of them are Stallions.
  • Recess:
    • The Ashleys are a Girl Posse of four. Ashley A is the clear leader who gets involved in a lot of storylines, Ashley B is her Beta Bitch who takes over when she's kicked out, Ashley Q gets an episode where she proves to be a star kickball player and Ashley T never gets any focus and is lucky to get lines at all.
    • "My Fair Gretchen" sees Gretchen going for an interview with three representatives from a prestigious school. One resembles Albert Einstein (complete with German sounding accent), one is an Indian woman who appears to be the leader and the third resembles Sigmund Freud and gets no lines. Presumably he's there for Rule of Three.
    • Most of the playground children get at least one episode where they have focus (the Diggers, Swinger Girl, Hustler Kid etc). Upside Down Girl is in the opening sequence but never gets an episode to herself.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Whatever mythical state it takes place in has four towns/cities of note. There's Springfield, of course. Then there's Shelbyville, their rival town. Next we have Capital City, a large, modern metropolis which appears to be some hours drive from Springfield and is better than it in nearly every way. And finally, there's Ogdenville, which gets mentioned fairly often but which we know next to nothing about. Our only information about the place is that Springfielders neither hate it like they do Shelbyville, nor envy it as they do Capital City. In "Marge vs. the Monorail", Ogdenville, along with North Haverbrook and Brockway, are among the towns left in ruins by Lyle Lanley's underfunded inferior construction and his plans to escape with the embezzled money. A later episode reveals the Ogdenville residents are apparently barley-farming Norwegians. Or were until a rat scandal ended their business and several people left Ogdenville to find jobs elsewhere. It's not known what became of Ogdenville or those who stayed.
    • Brockway is the only one of the cities ruined by Lyle Lanley not to be mentioned outside the monorail episode, making it the Hufflepuff's Hufflepuff. (North Haverbrook is the town Bart goes to visit in "Little Big Girl" and finds his girlfriend of the week, Darcy.)
  • The Homeworld Gems of Steven Universe are divided into the courts of the Diamonds. While Gems from the Yellow, Blue, and Pink courts have all had significant appearances on the show, the White court doesn't appear at all, aside from some Faceless Masses when all Homeworld Gems are gathered together in "Legs from Here to Homeworld". The only Gem who appears that serves White Diamond (her Pearl) is just a Meat Puppet of White Diamond and is actually a Pink court Gem that White Diamond took in.
  • In Season 3 of Winx Club, Beta Academy is introduced as where Chimera is studying to be a fairy, but it is never seen or referenced again.
    • Cloudtower plays a significant a role in season one alongside Alfea and Redfountain—even after the Trix get expelled, Cloudtower is the first school they take over, and a significant plot point in the final conflict involves evacuating the captive students to Alfea, where they fight alongside the Specialists and the fairies. But after Mirta transfers to Alfea, no Cloudtower students are reoccurring characters and the school isn't focused on nearly as much as Alfea or Redfountain.

 
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A noble house that is basically just there to be there, with extremely little characterization.

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