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Hufflepuff House

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Not every elf can be better.

"Welcome to Hufflepuff! Long live the bumbling badger of mediocrity!"

Some settings are richly designed and have a wealth of World Building, 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.


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.


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    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.
  • 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.

    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.
  • This is pretty much how the Indigo Lanterns operate in the Green Lantern cosmology. They're the Lanterns of Compassion, but little detail is gone into them, 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.
  • 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 
  • 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.
  • 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 Weasly twins.
  • In The Other Prefects, Liam, a Hufflepuff, is not a very good student so he tries to cheat by sneaking into the library's restricted section.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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'.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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 Author Existence Failure.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Hufflepuff, the Trope Namer, who are in one instance basically called "all-the-rest". At their grandest are faintly praised for "dedication" and "dependability" — distinct from the more heroic-oriented Gryffindor flavour of "loyalty". 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 Hogwarts champion. They're also mentioned to have the second-most students stay to battle Voldemort. And finally, their mascot is a badger — which 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, they are a lesser example than Hufflepuff since Luna is a fan-favorite Breakout Character, and the Ravenclaw Common Room has actually been seen. The Hufflepuff Common Room? Literally all the information we get from canon is it's "near the kitchens". That's it.
    • It 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. He does nothing. 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 is afraid of. 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).
  • 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  though, 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: 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.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire broadens its view with each book, putting characters and factions under the microscope that might have first been mentioned in passing several books ago. By the fifth book, 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 House Tyrell, Dorne, the Ironborn, the Faith of the Seven, the Vale of Arryn, and Braavos. Even secondary Houses have been significant, especially in the North with Houses such as Manderly and Umber becoming fan-favourites. Outside of Westeros, however, there are still a number of countries, such as Yi Ti and Asshai, which are mentioned occasionally, but nothing of significance has happened there.
    • As of the new book "The World of Ice and Fire", even Yi Ti and Asshai have broadened histories and cultures... really, to the point that one wonders if future books are going there. Now, the out-of-focus places are all East of Asshai (such as the City of the Winged Men) or in Sothoryos. Possibly a subversion or aversion, as such places aren't really seen as important within the world, either.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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".
    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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. 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.
  • 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.
    • The only things Cathay seems to exist for is to expand the Ogre kingdoms background and give them giant katanas (cathayan longswords).
    • Other human nations that aren't the Empire or Bretonnia get this. Nations like Tilea 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 Orks 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.
  • 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, 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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).
      • They 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.
    • Generally each faction would have several different subfactions within it, such as the 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.

  • 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 AscendedExtras, 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?

  • BIONICLE's 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.

    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 and Torgue corporations throughout the series, and although we know less about Tediore, Vladof, Jakobs and Maliwan 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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 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 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Whatever mythical state The Simpsons 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.)
  • 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.

    Real Life 
  • In most countries with bicameral legislatures, upper houses. Their members are often indirectly elected or even appointed (like in the UK and Canada), therefore, having no need to campaign, they are much less known to an average voter. In a typical bicameral parliament, the upper house also has less power than the lower one. Most importantly, fiscal legislation must originate in the lower houses, thus making the latter the place where the most important debates happen. In extreme cases, the upper house is turned into a virtual rubber stamp, being able only to delay but not to prevent passing of the bills (the UK House of Lords is an example of this). Also, in parliamentary and semi-presidential systems, the upper house typically lacks the power to oust the cabinet. A notable expection is Italy, where the powers of the two houses, the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic, are identical; however, there have been proposals to change this by removing most authority from the Senate for efficiency purposes. Another exception is The United States, where the Senate wields absolute veto over legislation and also has some important powers the House lacks, like approving presidential appointments. Also, the US Senators enjoy longer tenure than the US Representatives (6 vs. 2 years), and, being less numerous and representing their entire state as a whole rather than just a congressional district, they also tend to take the limelight more than their House counterparts. Unsuprisingly, the US Senators are typically seen as the pool of prospective presidential candidates.
  • Canada tends to get this treatment in the media to the point of having its own trope about this, since most media in the Western World is American. For example: How many World War II movies even mention Canada,note  and when is the last time you got your hands on a C7 assault rifle in a first-person shooter?note  Even Mexico gets more recognition in the media then Canada, despite not producing nearly as much media as Canada does. The CRTC has to enforce the aversion of this trope with CanCon laws which require a certain percentage of all radio and television broadcasts must include Canadian content. Many other countries have similar laws, including Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the EU, Mexico, Israel, South Africa, China, Venezuela and The Philippines. America understandably has no such laws.
    • This notably was not always true of Canada, even in WWII movies, with examples including Corvette K-225, The Devil's Brigade, and Christopher Plummer's character in Battle of Britain. Since the 1960s, however, it's more common for Canadian contributions to stories to be diminished (Argo) or replaced entirely by Americans U571 and Gold).
  • The nations involved in the 2003 invasion of Iraq who aren't the USA or Britain. This eventually led to the famous Memetic Mutation of the phrase "He forgot Poland".
    • Speaking of which: the 2003 Lajes Conference was organized by the heads of government of four countries: the USA (George W. Bush), Britain (Tony Blair), Spain (José Maria Aznar) and Portugal (Durão Barrosonote ). This was the picture that was taken; this was the picture that was shown in international media. Yep: Barroso was cropped out of the picture, as would Aznar (so to speak) be a couple years later. By the way, remember what the Lajes Conference was? It was where they decided to invade Iraq, it too would be "cropped out of the picture".
  • The origin of the term Third World is this trope, the first two "worlds" being the contenders of the Cold War; the Americans and their allies against the Soviets and their allies. The idea was that any nation not participating in such a monumental conflict was "obviously" not important in global politics.
  • Wales, in regard to the British Isles. Its culture is less recognizable as England, Ireland, or Scotland. A case could be made for Northern Ireland as well.
    • This might have lot to do with the fact most distinctly Welsh culture has to do with the Welsh language (which after English is the strongest language native to Britain), whereas anglophone literature and cultural expression is now far more widespread than that of the native languages in Scotland and Ireland. If anything Wales is the most distinct of them all — just not in a way that's as easily marketed abroad, especially in the also-Anglophone US.
    • Additionally, the Scottish and Irish (especially the Irish) have long chafed under English rule, and retaliated with doubling down on their own cultural identities wherever they could get away with. Wales, partly by virtue of proximity to the English capital of London, was the first of the three countries subjugated by England and the most aggressively quashed, to the point where even in the late 19th century speaking Welsh in public could get you in trouble with the law. Nowadays efforts have been made to restore that language, including Welsh being a recognised language for legal documents in Wales, but it's been a long hard struggle. Wales is also the only country in the UK whose flag does not form part of the Union Flag (the red cross of England, the red saltire of Northern Ireland, and the blue field and white saltire of Scotland).
  • The 2010 British General Election is an illustration of this, since the Liberal Democrats were not perceived as overly political (and seen to be lacking in most defining characteristics, good or bad). During an unusually unpredictable run-up to the election, the Liberal Democrats briefly led in the polls, but polling day, their popularity had returned to the same level as 2005. The daft thing being that of the two parties that formed the Lib Dems, the Liberal Party had been around hundreds of years longer than the Labour Party.
    • Before the Liberals effectively disintegrated after World War I, the Labour filled the role Lib-Dems occupy today: the third party that did not matter. The big upheaval in UK electoral politics in the 1920s changed that.
  • All of the political parties in the US besides Republican and Democratic. Local and state third-party candidates generally have a decent chance of getting elected, even as high up as Governor. At the Federal level, though, this trope is played completely straight — there are only two third-party candidates in the 116th Senate, and both caucus with the Democrats. A commonly-held belief in American politics is that voting a third-party candidate for President is equivalent to throwing your vote away, and they get considerably less coverage than Dems or the GOP. The Libertarian candidates for the 2012 Election were pretty much ignored by the mainstream press; in many cases this required giving poll results with the front-runner cut off.
    • Part of this is due to the fact that both the Republican and Democratic Parties are much more broadly based and varied in their members' individual stances on issues than in other countries. While Democrats are generally to the left and Republicans to the right, there is considerable overlap in the middle, meaning that a Democrat from the South like Joe Manchin might well be more conservative than, say, a Republican from the Northeast like Charlie Baker. Historically, third-parties that garnered significant national support in a given election would often see its supporters picked up by one or both of the major parties by adopting said third-party's platform into their own before the next election (most successful third parties usually revolved around a single issue). In other democracies, such deviation from the official party line is often grounds for expulsion - they might end up forming their own party, but if they end up winning seats and getting involved in forming coalition governments they're no longer Hufflepuff.
    • During the 2016 Presidential election season, former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley was the third contender for the Democratic Party's nomination. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders ended up receiving far more attention, to the point that O'Malley barely registered in the polls. He ultimately suspended his campaign after a disappointing performance in the Iowa primaries in February 2016.
    • Ohio governor John Kasich was this for the Republican Party's 2016 presidential primaries. Despite starting off in a group of seventeen nominees and only winning his home state, he stuck with his campaign, becoming the third remaining contender alongside Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, both of whom won more states and outperformed him in almost all cases. His only chance to win the nomination was through a contested convention, and would have been a long shot even if it had gotten to that point. In May 2016, Kasich and Cruz both dropped out after losing to Trump in Indiana, since at that point his nomination was all but certain (compare Trump's 1000+ delegates to Cruz's 800+ and Kasich's 150+), with Kasich ending up taking 4th place overall, behind Marco Rubio (170+), who had suspended his campaign back in March.
    • The 116th U.S. congress admitted several new members, but the only ones to gain any significant news coverage were Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, and to a lesser extent, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Presley. The four of them have formed a group known as “the Squad” and have largely become the face of the next generation of the Democratic Party. On the Republican side of things, Texas congressman Dan Crenshaw eclipses everyone else in attention, thanks to his eye-patch and outspokenness on Twitter; even he doesn’t come close to the fame acquired by “The Squad”.
  • The Canadian Green Party, despite being one of the 4 major parties, is rarely mentioned, given their lack of seats and low influence. In some cases, they're even replaced with the Bloc Québécois, which also gets treated as Hufflepuff House, although some would argue it's actually more of Slytherin than Hufflepuff.
  • The Midwest states that make up Flyover Country are considered this to the rest of the US, as are the Mountain West states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. The ultimate example of American geography would probably be Delaware (described as "possibly the most obscure American state" in The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson). Aside from housing Dover Air Force Base, being home to the most favorable corporate laws and most well-developed corporate common law, Delaware is a non-entity for most of the population, with, again, the notable exception of everyone whose corporation is headquartered in Delaware for tax reasons (63% of the Fortune 500 are incorporated in Delaware).
    • People so frequently confuse the state of New Mexico with the country of Mexico that a magazine has run a monthly feature about this since the '70s with no lack of new content. Many of those accounts are about government agencies in other states refusing to accept photo ID or birth certificates from New Mexico, and insisting they needed a passport instead.
  • Liechtenstein could be this compared to the other Germanic countries of Europe. Germany, Switzerland, and Austria all have well defined cultures, and have had very important historical impacts on the world.
  • Every Oceanian country except Australia and New Zealand.
    • In Australia, South Australia might as well not exist for the rest of the states, being far from the majority of the population on the east coast, and lacking the massive mining industry of Western Australia. Tasmania isn't much better, but it at least gets some fame for its unique wildlife, particularly the Tasmanian Devil.
    • Actually, including New Zealand... it's not uncommon for a Kiwi to look at a globe or map and find their entire country was forgotten! Most commonly occurs in video games and on grid globes that use metal rings to form latitude and longitude lines and afix the landmasses to these. In the former case, the data for showing it coupled with the fact that it's likely to not get used means it's a quick cut, and in the latter, New Zealand typically occupies a space that won't have enough coverage by the lat and longitude lines to be properly a fixed to the globe. Still, traditional maps tend to forget it too, as IKEA was called out for in 2019. It's apparently so well known to Kiwis that the Guardian ran a 2018 ad campaign in New Zealand featuring an Intrepid Reporter out to uncover the conspiracy behind New Zealand's omission from maps... with then Prime Minister Jacinda Arden making an appearance to receive the reporters updates... and smiles as if amused that he's even bothering to care.
  • The University of Pennsylvania once held a campaign where each one of their four schools was assigned a corresponding Hogwarts House. Penn's Nursing School, with the smallest student body and least amount of advertising, corresponded to Hufflepuff.
  • In France, everything that isn't Paris or the Côte d'Azur is this. Just for fun, and don't cheat, can anyone tell where operation Neptune took place?note 
    • This is especially baffling when one considers history; for the Anglophone world, it isn't Paris that's the most important out of all French regions culturally, politically, and linguistically. It's also Normandy.
  • For all the talk of Eurocentrism, knowledge about Central/Eastern Europe not named the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland or Russia are scarce, and even then Poland is usually only mentioned in the context of World War II, as it's the only war where the entire world was involved. Most can recognize the distinction of pasta being an Italian invention and escargot being a French/Catalan one, but bigos? Or the tripe soup? Even capital cities are not safe; Brussels? Easy, that's the capital of Belgium. Ljubljana? Uhh...note 
  • In the Middle East, where every nation seems to be embroiled in conflict or rolling in cash, Oman rarely gets a mention for anything. Jordan is almost as forgettable, except for Jordan happens to be positioned right in the middle of all the messy countries whereas Oman is on the periphery. Both are reasonably stable monarchies run by reformist dynasties, Oman is also quite wealthy due to oil exports.
  • Brown was this to the rest of the Ivy League. Then Emma Watson enrolled. University of Pennsylvania often tends to be this too.
  • The Coast Guard is this to the rest of the United States military, probably because in peacetime it isn't a military branch (Department of Transportation until 2002, Homeland Security after). Meanwhile, the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps are the two oft-forgotten of the seven uniformed services of the US.
  • The rest of New York State is this to New York City. In New York City itself, Staten Island is definitely the low borough on the totem pole.
  • The rest of Illinois is this to Chicago. This has been a source of much division from people who live outside Chicagoland when it comes to policymaking, since although the state capital is in Springfield, a lot of the important policymakers live in Chicago and are often criticized for making policy decisions that don't seem to factor in that not everyone in Illinois lives in Chicago.
  • Manchester is regarded as a thriving go-ahead city which is making a spirited bid to overtake Birmingham as Britain's second city. Its "twin city" Salford, regarded as Pest to its Buda on the other bank of the Irwell... despite attracting the BBC's northern HQ there, generally isn't. Salford still has a rep for being the Crapsack Town embodying everything negative about the North of England.
    • Speaking of Manchester, Football in the city is divided by the legendary rivalry between Manchester United FC and Manchester City FC. But many don't know about the third football team of the city, FC United of Manchester, formed by fans of Manchester United in opposition of the takeover of both teams by foreign companies and owners. The team currently plays at the 6th tier of English football and it's the largest fan-owned club in the United Kingdom in number of fans.
  • Most of the entire African continent is relegated to this for the rest of the world, despite containing more than 50 nations with more than a billion people. Aside from "starving children in Africa" or civil wars they rarely get a focus in global media, and most people struggle to name any African nation that isn't Egypt, Nigeria or South Africa, although sometimes you might get Kenya (because lions, runners and also a certain son of a Kenyan), Morocco (because of exotic food and Casablanca), Libya (because of the Gaddafi coup and Benghazi conspiracies), Madagascar (because of the unique wildlife and the film series), Mali (because of Timbuktu and UN peacekeeping missions) or Uganda (because of Idi Amin, Joseph Kony, and Ugandan Knuckles). Ethiopia, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Somalia and Zimbabwe might get a mention, but only in reference to the "starving children in Africa" or civil war things, Pirates in Somalia's case, or Apartheid (Back when Zimbabwe was known as Rhodesia; even then it is far less notorious for this than South Africa is) and hyperinflation in Zimbabwe's case.
  • When it comes to East Asian countries, South Korea barely gets any mention compared to North Korea, possibly as a result of numerous internet memes revolving around North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, among other things such as the country's extreme isolation from the rest of the world and infamous nuclear program. This is interesting given that South Korea has the 10th largest economy in the world, the 10th most powerful military (according to Global Firepower anyway), a considerable amount of cultural exports (e.g. K-Pop), first world living standards, strong economic and political ties to the world's two strongest countries (USA and China), a population of close to 60 million, and is the home of many famous corporations such as Samsung and Hyundai among others, qualifying it as a major power by any objective metric. Within North Korea itself, barely anything outside Pyongyang is even considered to exist other than the country's infamous gulag system, possibly due to how poor the citizens are compared to the capital and the central government.
    • Of the East Asian countries in general, Mongolia is this, being almost never talked about or getting any media exposure with the exception of Genghis Khan due to mostly staying out of world affairs for hundreds of years after the fall of the Mongol Empire, having a much smaller population and less resources than the other East Asian countries, and using the Cyrillic alphabet for their language rather than a Chinese character-based alphabet like Chinese, Japanese and Korean, as well as lacking any significant cultural, entertainment, animation, manufacturing, tech and video game sectors that China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan are famous for or the general insanity that North Korea gets attention for.
  • Of the four main islands of Japan, Shikoku is this, being the smallest and least populated out of the four and rarely depicted in media compared to the others.
  • Of the two Special Administrative Regions (SAR) of China, Macau is almost never brought up at all compared to Hong Kong.
  • In countries with multiple official languages, languages other than the language spoken by the largest proportion of people might get this treatment. In Belgium, this is German, as it is only spoken by 0.70% of the population in a few municipalities near the German border (and most of the attention is given to the political tension between French and Dutch speakers). In Switzerland, this is Romansh, which is largely restricted to the canton Graubünden. In Singapore, where there are four official languages (English, Malay, Mandarin Chinese, Tamil), this is Tamil, and to a lesser extent, Malay. One might say that languages other than English fall into this trope, as the Singapore government promotes English as the main language and the common language between the different ethnic groups.
  • Guyana and Suriname are this to the rest of South America, being Caribbean culturally instead of Latin American like the rest of the continent, having a much smaller population than the rest of the countries in the continent, being relatively isolated from the rest of the continent, and not speaking Spanish or Portuguese, instead speaking English and Dutch respectively.
  • Pretty much any microstate (with a few exceptions like Monaco and Singapore, which became economic powerhouses for their size), especially island nations. Good luck finding anyone who's even heard of Andorra, Brunei, the Maldives, or Nauru.
  • In any county, there will be that one city that is known as this. For example, in Williamson County, Tennessee, there is Fairview, which is located on the edge of the county, at least a half hour from all the other cities in the county.
  • East Germany in general tends to be viewed as this by many West Germans, but Saxony is well known (to the point that any "Easterner" in a work of fiction will speak with a Saxon accent even if they are supposed to be from another part of the East). The other states? Good luck with that. Brandenburg might be known as "the countryside around Berlin" and Mecklenburg Vorpommern may be known as "that one beach resort", but most people will not know much besides that and for Meck-Pomm they won't even know the capital (Schwerin, not Rostock)
  • A lot of markets have products or brands that are usually impacted by a rivalry between the top two brands with a third (or more) parties serving as the Hufflepuff:
    • RC Cola for Coca-Cola vs Pepsi.
    • While this isn't quite the same "two plus Hufflepuff" scenario, brown sodas that aren't colas tend to get lumped together regardless of taste; if you ask a server for Dr Pepper and they don't have it, you'll likely be offered root beer as an alternative.
    • Linux for Windows vs Mac OSX.
    • Chrysler for Ford vs General Motors.
    • Blackberry or Windows Phones for iPhone vs Android.note 
    • Nintendo for Microsoft vs Sony. Nintendo has a “kiddy” reputation with its consoles generally being focused more on gimmicks than on high-resolution gaming, and why a lot of T and especially M-rated games skip Nintendo consoles altogether. (Or Atari for Nintendo vs Sega in the early 90s.) Over in Japan, Microsoft's the Hufflepuff instead, owing largely to it being the only foreign competitor in the triad (Sony and Nintendo are based there).
      • On the other hand, every single dedicated gaming handheld ever made by a company other than Nintendo is a Hufflepuff.
    • US Post Office for UPS vs FedEx.
  • Any region of Los Angeles County that isn't the main basin area, its surrounding regions, Hollywood, or Long Beach is this. You will rarely hear about the San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley, La Crescenta Valley, the Santa Clarita region, the Lancaster and Palmdale region, or any other city despite being home to over 3 million people. You will sometimes hear mention in the media about Burbank or Glendale, which are the other two major entertainment industry cities after Hollywood, and the occasional joke about the San Fernando Valley being the porn capital of the United States, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day is set in the San Fernando Valley (though it is never called that), but aside from that, nearly every photo of Los Angeles and coverage of the place by people not from the area will hover around that basin and treat Hollywood and Long Beach as separate, unrelated places. Even the Los Angeles government treats these other regions as Hufflepuff, receiving significantly less funding and attention even when they need it.
  • Among the six main regions of Asia, Central Asia is this because the region lacks a major world power, wasn't properly explored until the 19th Century and ended up becoming part of the Soviet Union, which severely restricted the movement of people and flow of information. Kazakhstan seems to be an exception, and even so the country is mainly associated with a certain ignorant journalist or an emotionless figure skater. They do have historical significance in being the main route of The Silk Road and homeland of several hordes that invaded Europe and China, though, as well as the home of several Islamic empires that influenced the Caucasus, Middle East and South Asia. Among the Central Asian countries themselves, the aforementioned Tajikistan is this, being culturally Iranian instead of Turkic like the others.
  • Despite being one of the most important rivers for the European navy, the Elbe never got the same amount of recognition from artists, musicians nor any folklore surrounding it, as the Rhine or the Danube did.
  • The Faroe Islands, Finland and Iceland are often this among the Nordic countries. Most of what people know (or think they know) about the area comes from Scandinavia (Sweden, Denmark and Norway).
  • Belize to the rest of Central America, being culturally Caribbean instead of Latin American like the other Central American countries, speaking English instead of Spanish, having a much smaller population than the rest of the region and being relatively stable compared to most of the other countries in the region.
  • One overlooked fact about ISIS' takeover of Mosul in 2014 is that the group was simply the most visible faction in a coalition that was made up of other Islamists, Sunni Arab Nationalists and the nominally-secular Iraqi Ba'athists. The fact that ISIS was so visible compared to the rest meant that when it decided to pull a You Have Outlived Your Usefulness on the Hufflepuffs, there was nobody to really help or even take notice of what happened.
    • Something similar happened in eastern Syria where ISIS was, again, the most visible member of a coalition of rebels. Just like Iraq, the Hufflepuffs in Syria found themselves outliving their usefulness.
  • Of the Axis powers in World War II, Fascist Italy are this compared to Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, being rarely depicted in any World War 2-related media, probably due to their complete incompetence compared to the other two powers, utter failure in most of the battles they took part of, lack of a regime-defining atrocity like the Holocaust for Germany and Pearl Harbor for Japan, and most of the battles between them and the Allies taking place in Southern Europe and North and East Africa, away from the main European theater. For the Allies, the Republic of China are this compared to the United States, British Empire and Soviet Union, almost never appearing in any World War II work, even ones set in the Pacific Theater.
    • This is inverted when it comes to their leader Benito Mussolini, who is still very iconic, especially compared to the virtually unknown Japanese rulers.
  • Northeast India is this compared to the rest of India because the region didn't join India until the British Raj, and most of the ethnicities, cultures, and languages (except for the Assamese) are drastically different from Indo-Aryans, the dominant people group in the rest of India except the south,note  with many of the people there also looking more East Asian in appearance than the rest of India. Unfortunately, this, along with hate crimes and crackdowns against them, contributed to a sense of alienation among Northeast Indians.
  • Among the Southeast Asian countries, East Timor is this. It is the only Southeast Asian country that is not a member of ASEAN, is the only other Catholic Christian-majority country in the region besides The Philippines (and is in fact the second most Catholic country in the world after Vatican City), and its people are usually seen by other Southeast Asians as being closer to Oceanians than the rest of the region.
  • The Caucasus tend to end up being this, due to their odd location between Europe and Asia (what continent they’re actually on is still debated), with much of their relevance coming from the Armenian Genocide.
  • The Baltics are this, often being overlooked and relatively unknown compared to the rest of Europe due to their low population and international presence in media, with only the occasional spat with Russia bringing attention to them.
  • As of ending of 2020, five states still identify as "socialist". China is one of the leading powers. North Korea is infamous for many things. Cuba and Vietnam played significant roles in the history of 20th century. And then there is Laos...
  • San Jose, CA is this to the other top-ten largest US cities. It is the largest city in Northern California, third-largest in the state and tenth-largest in the USA. Do not expect anyone to realize this, however; its lack of tourist destinations and its short skyline (due to downtown being a mile south of San Jose International Airport) have made it a disproportionately obscure city for those not from the area. It doesn’t help that it’s close to the more well-known San Francisco, which gets nine times the number of international visitors and has more than three times the number of hotel beds (even though it has about 150,000 fewer residents).


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House Backgroundextras

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

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Main / HufflepuffHouse

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Main / HufflepuffHouse