Follow TV Tropes


Ignored Expert

Go To
"Prophet is concerned that this will make the aliens come back... But everyone blows him off, and sure enough, the aliens come back. Wow, who could have seen that coming? If only there were someone around here whose name means 'someone who predicts things'!"

A subtrope of Cassandra Truth, the Ignored Expert is a scientist or expert who predicts a major disaster to happen, but is not believed by his contemporaries.

No matter how qualified he is and how urgent and relevant his expertise is to the problem at hand, his warnings will be treated like madness or lies. The Ignored Expert will be ignored by his peers, or reviled and ridiculed regardless of evidence, credibility or persuasiveness, and his warnings are often covered up by shady governments. If he's lucky, he'll manage to persuade a philanthropist to help, or make The Hero aware of the problem. In extreme cases, he will be fighting nearly alone to stop (or at least expose and delay) a nigh-unstoppable disaster. His situation isn't helped if he has a reputation as (or is) an Agent Mulder.

In natural disaster movies or Science Is Bad stories, expect the Ignored Expert to be the lone voice of sanity warning against a particular course of action that will, of course, be taken. That action could be entrusting the newborn AI with control over nuclear missiles, releasing The Virus in a field test, administering Super Serum to criminals, or the use of machines Powered by a Forsaken Child. His natural enemy will be the Suit with Vested Interests.

If the Ignored Expert himself created the phenomenon he is warning against, he's the Reluctant Mad Scientist. May or may not be a Conspiracy Theorist whose claims and warnings turn out to be right.

This trope was previously named after Superman's father, Jor-El, a Kryptonian scientist whose dire warnings that their home planet would die were ignored. Famously, he managed to save his son, Kal-El, by putting him on an escape pod and sending him to one of the most successful media franchises in history.

The Ignored Expert is very similar to The Cassandra, but he also has an impressive track record to back himself up. Of course, this doesn't help him one bit, and he can still be subject to Cassandra Did It. This can be especially egregious if they were specifically brought in as an Expert Consultant. If the "expert" is someone totally unrelated to a situation who manages to notice something all the experts working on it have missed, he is an Einstein Sue. An "expert" whose credentials or expertise aren't too clear is The Worm Guy.

Note that while this trope can be Truth in Television in certain cases, reality is always far more complex. Scientific discoveries need to be repeatedly proven in experiments, so there is a reluctance to immediately accepting new information as fact. The release of findings may also be subject to political pressure, and may thus be suppressed or heavily controlled for political or ideological reasons. Or just plain old Anti-Intellectualism.

Finally, it should be noted that, especially in the "soft" or social sciences, the experts may themselves heavily disagree on the right course of action. In these cases, one expert's conclusions and ideas may seem like complete lunacy to another expert.

Compare They Called Me Mad!, Only Sane Man, The Dissenter Is Always Right. Contrast Stupid Scientist.


    open/close all folders 
    Anime & Manga 
  • Altair: A Record of Battles: Done almost to an almost ridiculous degree in the Baltic and Rhein Empire, where many separate people offering sound, reasonable suggestions, while the Emperor continuously ignores them, almost solely in favor of Louis' council. It's heavily implied that due to Louis' own personal wealth and power, the Emperor can't refuse his advice.
  • Bleach: Although Mayuri's knowledge of Quincies was deeply shaken by his encounter with Ishida, he's the closest thing to an expert on the Quincies and their powers that the Soul Reapers have. During the Thousand Year Blood War arc, Yamamoto even tries to invoke Cassandra Did It on Mayuri for allowing the current situation to happen. Mayuri quickly points out that he had specifically warned him that a Quincy attack was likely to happen, but Yamamoto dismissed him as paranoid and thus did nothing to prepare, which is exactly what left them vulnerable to Yhwach's invasion to begin with.
    Yamamoto: If your Research and Development Department had reported and managed it more promptly, this situation may have been avoidable.
    Mayuri: That is not true. I foresaw and suggested this situation the moment Uryuu Ishida, the Quincy, infiltrated the Soul Society as a Ryouka. It was you who disregarded that as being absurd. Isn't the principle cause of this situation you, Captain-General?
  • A very common occurrence in Legend of the Galactic Heroes on both the Empire and Alliance, especially at the start of the series. One example is Yang, who always proposes the right course of action but gets completely shunned out by his superiors, believing their rank and experience are better than his, only to get their forces annihilated continuously. On the other side, there is Admiral Fahrenheit and Merkatz, who are dismissed as cowards during the Imperial Civil War when they suggest the right course of action as military professionals. Sometimes, there are those who would listen to experts but keep it to themselves for personal gain. (I.e., Truncht learns about the disaster that would befall if the Alliance tried to invade the Empire, but not only lets it happen to win the next election but also sells out said Alliance to the Empire later.) Eventually, the trope gets mitigated by Reinhard while Alliance never moves past this mindset.
  • Subverted by Dr. Kabuto from Mazinger Z. Despite he was a renowned scientist and a witness, he did not try to warn the world of what had happened in Bardos Island (to wit: one of his colleagues had murdered the archaeological expedition minus Kabuto after finding an army of ancient Humongous Mecha buried in the underground mazes of the island) and what Dr. Hell was planning (to wit: Take Over the World), opting for shutting himself away to build his super-weapon. He could have reasonably thought that nobody would believe his story. (Would you?)
  • Chief Engineer Precia Testarossa in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie First. Even though she told the corporate executives of her company that the reactor she was developing was a new design and had a chance of a meltdown, they slashed the testing time of the reactor from one month down to ten days. They also had the safety protocols of the reactor done by their own people, who were more interested in getting the testing done quickly rather than properly. The Chief Engineer's fears were realized on the day of the reactor's live test run, and a meltdown occurred that killed several civilians in the process, including her daughter, Alicia.
  • Resident Evil: Degeneration: Leon S. Kennedy is brought in as a consultant to assist with a rescue operation at the Harvardville Airport outbreak. Despite his surviving several B.O.W.-related catastrophes by this point and offering plenty of evidence that he knows exactly what the hell he's talking about, the two S.W.A.T. officers accompanying him into the airport repeatedly ignore his advice for dealing with zombies, even after each of them nearly dies as a result. One of them wises up just in time to survive to mission, but the other one... well, he doesn't.
  • Vividred Operation: Despite Kenjirou's knowledge of the threat that the Alone had presented to humanity, the scientific community remained skeptical and excommunicated him.
  • Fairy Tail: In the "Nirvana" arc, Natsu fought against an artificial Dragonslayer by the name of Cobra, who taunted him by saying that Dragons don't exist anymore. Fast-forward to the end of the Tartaros arc, a series of Wham Episodes reveal that, barring the once-human Acnologia, the Dragons actually are extinct.
  • Case Closed: Justified example. Shinichi Kudo was once a famous detective, but after he was shrunk down to the body of a 6-year-old, the police rarely, if ever, listen to him whenever he finds an important clue. So, he's often forced to either act like a dumb kid who "accidentally" reveals important information, or he tranquilizes and impersonates an adult (usually Kogoro) with his gadgets.
  • The Rose of Versailles: Maria Theresa's last gift to her daughter Marie Antoinette before sending her to marry the future King of France is a list on how to act as princess and later Queen of France, that includes to always listen the Count De Mercy (that she sent to Versailles specifically to act as an advisor for anything the list didn't cover). Sadly, Marie Antoinette is quickly swayed away from it by Versailles' opulence, and by the time she comes back to her senses she has already set in motion the events that would lead to The French Revolution... With many of the errors being specifically mentioned in the list as things to not do.
  • In Full Metal Panic!, Sousuke is assigned a special mission to kill Gauron in Helmajistan. He's been giving' 5 squadmates who mock him because of his young age (except for one who read and believe the reports of Sousuke's past accomplishments). On the field, Sousuke advise them not to attack the enemy convoy because Gauron has not been sighted. They ignore his call, and it comes to no surprise when the attack ends up with one injured and one dead on their side.

    Comic Books 
  • In The Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw Gharta is a seasoned wizardess who has led countless wilderness expeditions. She is likely the only magic-user available with the experience necessary to survive on the surface world. Yet her survival tips are continuously ignored by her rival Sandorst and the group at large leading to much wasted time and life.
  • MonsterVerse: In Godzilla Awakening, Eiji Serizawa ends up being this at least twice (thrice if we count his Agent Mulder above as another case of this). First he's dismissed by his colleagues when he insists he saw a part of the Shinomura flee and survive the clash with Godzilla on Moansta Island in 1954 despite being an eyewitness to the battle; then just after that, he's dismissed as having "spent too much time amongst the natives" when he says they should let Godzilla neutralize the Shinomura instead of trying to nuke them (although in frankness, this ended up being a Nuclear Option which did solve the Shinomura problem permanently).
  • Superman:
    • Superman's father, Jor-El, was at one point the Trope Namer, having correctly predicted the destruction of Krypton, but his warnings were not heeded, as demonstrated in the page image.
    • Supergirl's father, Zor-El, was hit with this in the Post-Crisis universe. He and his wife Alura built the shield dome which saved Argo City when Krypton exploded. Afterwards he pleaded with Argo City's Science Council to find a new world to settle in, reasoning that the shields protecting the city wouldn't last forever. They didn't listen, even though he is the man who designed the shields to start with, and his brother was the man who correctly predicted Krypton's destruction.
    • In Pre-Crisis story The Untold Story of Argo City, Jor-El warned his brother about Krypton's future (or lack thereof), and Zor-El replied he was getting unnecessarily worried.
      Jor-El: Your work may be in vain, my brother! I believe a nuclear chain reaction in the interior of our planet will explode Krypton within months!
      Zor-El: I've heard your theory, Jor-El! You worry needlessly. Nothing can explode our mighty planet!
    • World of Krypton presents a rare aversion in the Superman mythos. Jor-El lays out his findings regarding Krypton's instability and is appointed as the head of the Science Council.
    • In Last Son, General Zod's backstory was rewritten to include involvement in Jor-El's story. Zod supported Jor-El's claims, but no-one would listen to him either. His motivation for trying to take over Krypton was to supplant the Science Council and force everyone to listen.
    • The Krypton Chronicles:
      • Sul-El, an astronomer who developed the first Kryptonian telescope, tried to warn the governor of Kandor that he had spotted an -possibly hostile- alien fleet approaching Krypton. He was mocked and despised by everyone until the Vrangs landed and began shooting people off indiscriminately.
      • The naturalist Tio-El understands that the winged beasts are Not Evil, Just Misunderstood and have the intelligence and good nature to survive the upcoming deluge. No one listens to him, not even his prophetic brother who foresaw the flood in the first place, until the creatures directly act to rescue them from the flood.
      • Kil-Gor is an inventor who finds a way to measure the tides and maximize the seaweed harvests that his tribe of nomads needs to survive and prosper. Everyone besides his future son-in-law Bur-El sees Kil-Gor as a tinkerer with ideas above his station, and they only accept the value of his ideas after Bur-El risks his life to prove Kil-Gor's theories.
    • The Hunt for Reactron: Thara Ak-Var, who used to be Alura's chief of security, states several times that dragging villain Reactron to Kandor at Alura's behest is a bad idea, and Alura should be keeping one eye on General Zod instead. Kara takes Reactron to Kandor anyway, and Alura ignores Thara's warnings, which leads to massive casualties when Zod puts his takeover plans in motion and Luthor turns Reactron into a time bomb.
    • In Masters of the Universe crossover "Fate Is The Killer", Prince Adam tries to respectfully dissuade Teela and the royal guard from engaging Zodac, since their weapons will be useless, but Teela "respectfully" suggests him to shut up and go away.
    • This is also the backstory of Superman villain Brainiac during the New 52; he was the greatest scientist of Yod-Colu, but his discovery of an impending threat to the planet was laughed at. He was even labeled insane and sent into exile. It wasn't long before he returned, used his technologies to compile a record of the planet's culture and history, and killed most of the population.
  • JLA (1997): Issue #42 features a city of sentient bacteria living in the folds of a young boy's brain. The bacteria mine the brain tissue to harness neural electricity for energy which is slowly killing him. One scientist is aware that "the world" is alive and they are killing it, but no-one will listen. Eventually doctors are forced to cut out the city with a laser, killing them all, but before it does the scientist and his wife load their son into a vessel and launch it towards the liver, where "the iron-rich blood will give him powers and abilities undreamt of by our race". The last panel of the comic is the rocket lying on the surface of the liver, with two bacteria moving towards it.
  • Parodied in normalman, where Norm's father was a no-name accountant who irrationally came to the conclusion that his planet was doomed, bought a rocket at a convenience store, and sent his son into space. Norm's mother killed him immediately after he did so.
  • Subverted in a short strip written by Alan Moore for 2000 AD. A great man named R-Thur is rejected by the planet Klakton's other top scientists after making apocalyptic predictions, he plans to send his infant son N-Ree to a faraway planet called "Earth" where, because of the planet's lower gravity, N-Ree would "be able to fly, see through walls, and bounce bullets off his chest". After he sends N-Ree away in an escape rocket, R-Thur assures his wife that they will never see their son again, and begin to prepare for their eventual demise. It's gonna happen... It's gonna happen... aaaaand...
    R-Thur: Er... L-Sie, I don't quite know how to tell you this but, I think I might have been wrong about Klakton exploding, heh heh!
    L-Sie: #*@^#!
    R-Thur: Gosh, L-Sie, anybody can make a mistake!
  • The same parody of Jor-El is the origin of Mr. Might, Awkwardman's father in DC Comics' Self-Parody book Inferior Five. Mr Might was Barb-Ell the son of Dumb-Ell of the planet Neon. He was sent to Earth as an infant because he was convinced Neon was about to explode. As with R-Thur and normalman's father, he was completely wrong.
  • Parodied as well with Brum-El, of Ambush Bug. However, Brum-El was not a scientist, just The Dandynote  in a very advanced civilization, and instead of saving his family, he chose to save his wardrobe. Again, when his planet failed to be destroyed, he was just mocked and left naked.
  • Transformers: Stormbringer: The Decepticon scientist Thunderwing was concerned that the war was damaging Cybertron's environment to the extent the planet would eventually be rendered uninhabitable, and tried to reach out to every scientist he knew (and Swerve) to try and solve the problem. They rejected his claims on the grounds that he didn't have enough evidence. So he created a means by which Cybertronians would be able to survive the on-coming cataclysm, and tested it on himself. The result? An unstoppable insane behemoth that required the combined firepower of both armies to just slow down, and Cybertron suffering so much damage in the conflict that it was rendered uninhabitable. Whoops.
  • Immortal Hulk: Doctor McGowan, General Fortean's head scientist after the previous one suffers Death by Hulk. She repeatedly tries to caution Fortean about what he's doing, and Reggie, being a General Ripper of the highest order, just ignores her and carries on with his insane plans, until eventually she reaches her breaking point, takes command from him, and lets Fortean die from the consequences of his own insane stupidity.
  • In the buildup to Batman: No Man's Land, seismologist Jolene Relazzo tries to spread warnings that Gotham is due for a 7.7 quake. No one believes her except Bruce Wayne, who makes as many buildings as he can earthquake-proof. When Jolene calls him to warn him that the quake is hours away, he's unable to spread the warning due to being busy with his Batman duties.
  • In The Man of Tsushima, set during the Russo-Japanese War, Jack London is in this situation repeatedly:
    • By December 1904 everyone has lost track of the Russian Baltic Fleet after it passed Capetown... Everyone but Jack London, correspondent for a New York paper, who correctly guessed it would stop by Nosy Be, in the French colony of Madagascar, by the fact France was the only country willing to give Russia a place to refuel and a number of coal ship from Hamburg-Amerika Linie, the company contracted to supply the Russian fleet with coal, have arrived there about three weeks early. He informed his editor... Who sent him a telegram informing him he was fired, because he couldn't believe he had pulled it off. Later that day the editor received two telegrams, one from a press agency informing him that the Russian fleet had just arrived in Nosy Be and one from Jack London asking if they wanted to rehire him or if he had to sell his story to the Daily Mirror. Jack London was rehired.
    • After the Russian fleet has passed Singapore and disappeared again the editor discovers Jack London is a socialist, so he fires him again and sends his replacement Peppington to inform him and take all available information. When Peppington shows up, London informs him that the battle will happen at the Tsushima Straits... Something Peppington says is impossible, as it's the shortest route and the Japanese Fleet is obviously waiting there, and passing from there would be suicidal - the precise reason London believes the Russians will try and pass from there, as the Tsar needs something to distract the people from the mutiny on the Potemkin and a potential revolution. The comic doesn't show if Peppington ended up following London's advice, but the events played out exactly as he had anticipated.
  • A Real Life case of this occured in the lead up to the The Great Comics Crash of 1996. The Late 80s and Early 90s saw a sharp rise in comic book speculation, where people would purchase comic books in the hopes of them having a high value within several years (somewhat similar to how original prints of Action Comics #1 and Detective Comics #27 are incredibly valuable collectors items). Likewise, many publishers began to churn out collectible comics, event comics, and relaunches since they would sell well among said collectors; and comic dealers would buy up large stocks of new comics thinking the demand would be high. Of course, many professional collectors and veteran comic fans pointed out the reason why such original prints from the Golden Age & Silver Age were valuable is because they were extremely rare and few actually survived the yearsnote , and that having new comics flood the market would actually make their value decrease, not increase. But, as per this trope, this was largely ignored by consumers and publishers alike, until it was too late. With so many collectors' comics oversaturating the market, comic sales plummeted which caused the bottom to fall out and the entire industry crashed.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm has the traditional example of Jor-El, though with a slightly better reason than most - Krypton was destroyed by the Dheronians, (Kryptonian exiles and servants of Thanos, who gave them a space-fleet in exchange for destroying Krypton). While Jor-El managed to pierce their cloaking technology for long enough to get a good look at them, by the time he presented his findings to the Science Council, they'd adjusted their tech so it looked like he'd gone mad. And unfortunately, while he was believed by some, those 'some' were Zod and his forces, who tried to conquer Krypton and its sister-world Argo to make people listen, and the Cult of the Eradicator, an apocalypse cult that actively tried to ensure Krypton's destruction and saw Jor-El as their prophet, 'the Herald of the Eradicator', resulting in a brutal three-way civil war.
  • The End Of The World Fernwithy: In one of the currently unavailable LiveJournal midiquel stories, as a Peacekeeper who policed/oppressed District 12 for 25 straight years and had lots of personal dealings with Gale Hawthorne, Cray is summoned to provide insight about Gale's presence and early actions as a part of the Rebel force besieging the Nut. Cray has a suitable Oh, Crap! reaction and instantly predicts that Gale is going to blow up the mountain fortress regardless of the cost of lost infrastructure, and he vainly protests that they need to flee before he does so.
  • One chapter of Eugenesis opens with a statement delivered to Optimus Prime from the First Church of Primus some time after Unicron's defeat in 1991 explaining that he was going to return some time around 2005 or 2006. According to the backstory, they were ignored. And then in 2006 Unicron returned and attacked Cybertron. (Optimus gets excused because he was dead.)
  • Infinity Train: Seeker of Crocus: Going on advice from Paul London about Alex Shepherd, Augustine relays this to the Cerise Institute that Alex will protect the group. But Parker Cerise immediately realizes that's not the best idea as the Blossomverse has repeatedly revealed that Alex Shepherd has the ability to shift into Pyramid Head. Before Parker can explain why this is bad, Gloria and Goh tell him to shut up and tell Augustine to fully put his faith in Alex with Parker even nothing that they're going to regret this. The following chapter has Parker snap that no one cares for his opinions, especially his little warning that he wanted to tell Augustine but was dismissed with a sarcastic bet that he'll get mint chocolate ice cream on the low low chance Gloria and Goh were wrong.
  • Jurassic What If...?: When the Mosasaurus is hunting the USS Amity submarine, Masrani Global Corp's head of security Vic Hoskins contacts the unknowing crew, warning them to cut their engines and await further instructions, but the captain doesn't heed Hoskins' warning in time because "[he's] confused as to why a creature response expert would be attempting to provide a U.S. Naval vessel with advice and guidance."
  • In Kaiju Revolution, most of Earth's governments agree to leave Godzilla, Anguirus, Rodan and Kong on Planet X against Fathom's advice. While the case can definitely be made for leaving the first three behind due to their destructive tendencies, Kong is much less destructive and never leaves Skull Island. In fact, he's vital in maintaining its ecology and it has been stated that if the imbalance on the island gets too bad, it could end up spilling over to the mainland. Unsurprisingly, it comes back to bite them in the ass in a big way.
  • In Origins, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands/Halo Massive Multiplayer Crossover, the Citadel Council decides that they're going to ignore all of Admiral Adam Grayson's warnings about the Force, despite the fact that he's the only one other than the villains with ⁰which it was introduced to show any knowledge of it. When Sarah goes berserk during an interrogation session, Grayson pulls an I Told You So.
  • Xander occasionally has this problem in Working for the Weekend when someone tags along for one of his "trips"note . Most girls understand they're out of their depth and listen to everything he says; most guys (usually jocks) will ignore him until something almost kills them.
  • A more mundane example occurs in Xendra when the titular character, who works for a construction company, warned a couple about the damage to their chimney and the expensive repairs needed to keep it from falling off their house. They instead hired a Crooked Contractor who's much cheaper to save money, said contractor simply using a 2x4 and cheap metal to hold up the several hundred pound chimney. A couple weeks later, their chimney falls off their house, taking a large section of the wall and part of their neighbors fence with it. Xander only keeps from saying I Told You So due to the wife bursting into tears over it.
  • Subverted in Last Daughter Of Croupton. While the Crouptonian Council of Research does refuse to publish or endorse Laurel Wreath's warnings that overuse of mana taps will soon annihilate their star system, they all but explicitly state that they do believe him. It's simply that there's no way to avert the catastrophe short of shutting off the mana taps, which will destroy their civilization just as thoroughly. They even state that if there is anything the Council can do for him, he has only to ask. He later takes them up on it, getting the necessary resources to build a device that translates his daughter, Collision Risk, into a new universe.
  • In Enough Rope, Steve Rogers ignores all experts on principle due to having an almost pathological need to be the one people turn to for answers rather than the other way around. That Steve doesn't think long term and prefers to solve every problem with violence only makes things worse.
  • The Flash Sentry Chronicles:
    • When the girls decide to deliver a care package to Rainbow at the Wonderbolts Academy to cheer up Pinkie Pie, Flash is the only one who objects to the idea, stating that he has learned from Soarin what they do at the academy when they are recruiting cadets and they cannot just show up unannounced. He states they could all potentially get in trouble if they do, including him potentially losing his apprenticeship. Twilight acknowledges he has a point, but ultimately decides to ignore him and forces him to cooperate with the group.
    • They later do this again when Flash, Iron, and Lightning all warn them that finding out where A.K. Yearling lives so they can help her finish her book quicker is a bad idea and is how restraining orders are filed, plus it would be bad if Twilight, the newest princess, looked like a stalker. They once again ignore them and force Flash to come with them.
  • In The Weaver Option Neferten opposed the war against the Old Ones, predicting the Necrontyr's defeat. She opposed making their deal with the C'tan and undergoing biotransference, believing she could repair their race's biological defects given time. She opposed the Great Sleep, concerned their race would physically and mentally fall victim to entropy. In each case she was ignored by Szarekh and in each case she was proven right, which is why she is now actively working to permanently break free of the Silent King's control.
  • Phineas and Ferb Visit Jurassic World!:
    • Dr. Doofenshmirtz plans on using a Dinosaur-Trust-inator to instantly earn a dinosaur's trust and get it to follow commands, only for Owen Grady, an experienced dinosaur trainer, to warn him that such a process is not simple and takes time and effort. Doof does not listen, and his whole scheme blows up in front of him (literally, since the -inator naturally had a self-destruct button) after he uses it on the Indominus rex.
    • Likewise, Phineas is among the others who know that letting the Velociraptors out of their pen would be a death wish, with Baljeet backing him up by pointing out the numbers of human fatalities caused by the raptors over the years. They too get brushed off by Hoskins.
  • Role-Playing (Evangelion): Ritsuko does not believe one word of Misato's stories about her wards' antics, which contributes to Misato's nervous breakdown.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Fantastic Mr. Fox, Fox chooses to ignore his real estate agent's advice not to move into Boggis, Bunce and Bean territory. However it wasn't because he lived there that they hated him, it was because he stole from them.
  • In Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within Dr. Sid's claims that the Phantoms are actually Exactly What It Says on the Tin are met with this trope. This is all the more unreasonable when one reflects that Dr. Sid is the inventor of not only the only weapons that have had any effect at all upon the Phantoms, but is also the inventor of the energy shields that keep Earth's remaining cities intact.
  • The Sea Beast: Professional sea monster hunter Captain Crow points out the design flaws of the royal monster hunting vessel Imperator to the monarchs, but they dismiss them. The giant monster Red destroys it with ease the moment she gets a chance.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: Olivia tells the Kingpin that his particle collider isn't ready, and could blow up the whole city if he tries to use it early. He tells her to get started anyway. Turns out that Olivia Octavius is this universe's version of Doctor Octopus, and the only reason she doesn't want to blow up the city is because her work would be destroyed as well.
  • Toy Story 4: Woody tells the other toys that Forky, Bonnie's newest creation, has become very important to her, and they need to keep an eye on the spork since he's keen on throwing himself in the trash all the time. As a long-lived toy who's been the favorite of Andy, Woody is well-versed in knowing what kids need, and the others know how loyal he is to his kid. They ignore his warnings and dismiss his overprotectiveness as trying to make himself useful when Bonnie stops playing with him. When Forky gets lost and Bonnie gets upset over it, they all realize too late that he was right.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Adrian Helmsley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) in 2012 is a subversion. He brings a written report of his findings about the imminent end of the world directly to White House Chief of Staff Anheuser. Anheuser initially dismisses him, until Helmsley insists; Anheuser takes one look at the report and immediately brings it to the President's attention.
  • If you're ever in a lab trying to free animals and a scientist who works there begs you not to because "they're infected and it only takes one bite", don't do what the activists of 28 Days Later did and completely ignore him.
  • Abominable: Zigzagged with Dr. Suessmeyer, the cypotozoologist, as he does at least get on TV to talk about the yeti attacks and while the interviewer is certainly skeptical, he certainly isn't ignored by Preston.
  • Aquaman: Oceanologist Dr. Stephen Shin appears on the news a few times trying to convince people Atlantis is out there and behind the recent tidal waves of garbage. He's completely ignored and insulted by the TV pundits... which'd be understandable if it weren't for the fact Aquaman's a public figure.
  • Army of Darkness: The Wise Man is a knowledgable and powerful court scholar, but his efforts to convince Arthur that Ash is The Chosen One mentioned in their books are initially dismissed.
  • Beneath Hill 60: In the First World War, Allied and German miners are digging tunnels beneath each others' trenches to plant explosives. A German NCO realises that the "British" (really Australian) miners have gone beneath the deep blue clay layer and tells his superior officer. The officer dismisses his concerns, because a mine that deep would need a ridiculous amount of explosives to do any damage. Unknown to him, the Brits do have a ridiculous amount of explosives down there.
  • Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys: Will, the lamprey expert, is ignore by one of his team members and the Mayor.
  • In the 1990 made-for-television film Challenger, Thiokol engineer Roger Boisjoly attempts to warn NASA management about the dangers of launching the titular Space Shuttle at sub-zero temperatures due to the possibility of the O-rings failing, but his concerns are repeatedly brushed aside as irrelevant.
  • In City of Ember, Doon is the only one convinced that the eponymous city's generator is beyond repair, and it needs to be overhauled, or the city abandoned. Naturally, the older generation tells him to shut up. It turns out he and Lina are Legacy Characters (of sorts) to their fathers, who were part of a cabal who foresaw the collapse years ago. Her father died trying to find a solution.
  • The Conjuring Universe: Downplayed. There are plenty of people (most haunting victims, the occasional reporter) who believe in the Warren's demonologist credentials but sometimes they get criticized or disbelieved, such as by the talk show hosts in the second movie during their most public appearance.
  • Subverted in the no budget, pseudo-philosophical, So Bad, It's Good film Creation of the Humanoids. Set After the End, the main character is a member of an anti-robot organization that insists that the "Clickers" have a secret plan to replace humanity and Take Over the World. He's half right. They do have a secret plan, but the plan is actually to create fully human robots (starting by copying the minds and bodies of recently deceased humans) and interbreed with the remaining human survivors, so that humanity still will live on after biological humans eventually die out. At the end of the movie, when the main character learns exactly what the plan is, and what HE is, he concludes that the robots really are as harmless as everyone else has been saying!
  • Jack Hall and his son, Sam, in The Day After Tomorrow. First the Vice President ignores Jack's warnings about climate change. And then a public library full of survivors ignores Sam's warnings about the temperature even after he tells them he knows this because his father is a government climatologist.
  • Dark Was the Night: Longtime local hunter Earl picks up on how something' has made all of the animals in miles of the town disappear, connecting this to stories from his Native American relatives that some kind of monster could be out there. He isn't taken seriously by the sheriff, at least not right away.
  • Dr. Dalton in Dante's Peak, although the movie does subvert how the trope is usually played — Dr. Dalton doesn't have enough conclusive evidence, and the economy of the town could be ruined if he was wrong. The second Dr. Dalton finds concrete proof, it's immediately taken seriously; the town was in the middle of a town meeting discussing the evacuation plan when the volcano started erupting.
  • Dawn of the Dead (1978): Both played straight and subverted by two separate scientists.
    • Dr. Foster from the opening scene practically embodies this, being a scientist who describes what the zombies are and how to kill them precisely. Three weeks into the apocalypse, a visibly frazzled Foster is being interviewed and still seems to be having trouble convincing many people not only about the need to destroy all dead bodies before they can reanimate, but even about the fact that there is an actual zombie infestation and that the police and military can't contain it.
    • Dr. Rausch, a second scientist seen on TV later on, acts like he's one of these (ranting furiously at anyone who disagrees with him) but his solutions are genuinely frightening and sound difficult to execute regardless. Specifically, he wants to nuke areas even though people may still be alive in them and the nukes would be unlikely to destroy all of the zombies and also irradiate them, and he proposes feeding the bodies of dead humans to the zombies without any description of how to get out and leave the bodies, or how to get that many of them.
  • In Day of the Wolves, Chief of Police Pete Anderson tries to warn the town council that Wellerton is vulnerable to a criminal takeover. They fire him.
  • The Dead Zone: A psychic's warning that "The ICE... is gonna BREAK!!!" is mostly ignored.
  • A rare non-scientist example, Carter Blake in Deep Blue Sea is a "shark wrangler" who correctly points out that using genetic engineering to make sharks (already apex predators) smarter is not a good idea. He's blackmailed by the scientist into keeping quiet, but at least he tried to warn her of the danger.
  • Zigzagged in Die Hard 2: Die Harder, John McClane is ignored by the obnoxious captain of the Airport Police when he points out what are brushed off as "luggage thieves" were carrying weapons far too expensive to be used for such a mundane task. However he's not ignored when he manages to get in front of guy in charge of the airport and points out one of said "luggage thieves" is a soldier who allegedly died several years ago and how fishy all this is considering a deposed "diplomat" from a Banana Republic is en-route by plane. Unfortunately by then it's too late and the terrorists have seized control of the airport.
  • Earthquake: Seismologist Walter Russell predicts the earthquake with perfect accuracy, but because he's only a graduate student and his superiors are squeamish about false alarms, they take a while to act on his advice. They ultimately do act on Russell's concerns after his predictions about the earlier, smaller quakes prove accurate and the death of the seismology institute's director makes the assistant directors grasp the tragedy of what is happening.
  • Edge of Tomorrow: Dr. Carter tried to explain the whole situation with the Mimics, and even came up with a weapon to defeat them. Not only did they not believe him, but they fired him on the spot. General Brigham kept his invention, though, so it's possible there's more to his disgrace.
  • Ira Kane in Evolution (2001) and the associated napalming. This has less to do with the government distrusting Kane (which they do thanks to his huge screw-up with the anthrax vaccine) and more with him being a complete Jerkass to his former commanding officer, who's in charge of the napalming.
  • The opening scene of Final Destination 2 has a man on the radio accurately breaking down the Chain of Death based on the previous films events and being mocked by the host.
  • Flash Gordon (1980): NASA scientist Hans Zarkov warned that the unusual events were the result of an an attack on the Earth. He was fired from NASA and the authorities rejected his ideas as "irrational". It turned out that he was absolutely correct: the phenomena were sent by the Emperor Ming to amuse himself.
  • Ghostbusters (1984): After his previous encounter with Peter Venkman goes south, Walter Peck barges in at the Ghostbusters HQ to shut down their ghost containment unit with a police officer and a city-employed electrical-worker in tow. While Peter protests, the electrical-worker takes a look at the equipment and determines that it really isn't a good idea to mess with it. Peck tells the electrical-worker "I'm not interested in your opinion; just shut it off!".
  • Godzilla: Naturally, there's been a few in the franchise:
    • Godzilla (1954): Guess how Tokyo ended up when Dr. Yamane told them to never use lights on Godzilla? In Godzilla Raids Again, the military were wise enough to listen to him.
    • Godzilla (1998): Zig-zagged. Nick discovers through blood testing that Godzilla is pregnant and has arrived in Manhattan to reproduce. He's believed up until his confidential data is leaked (by his girlfriend, Audrey), and then his idea is discredited... for... some... reason. Elsie does convince Colonel Hicks to sweep the city just in case, but by then it's too late: the eggs are real and they're already hatching. If it weren't for Nick and the DGSE already having discovered the nest, this would have turned into an apocalyptically stupid blunder.
    • Shin Godzilla: One running theme is the danger of this trope. Goro Maki's initial findings were both laughed out of Japan and covered up in the United States. Both of these would lead to the world being unprepared for Gojira, but these same issues kept coming into play, because these tropes are still relevant in workplace culture, despite Yaguchi staffing his team specifically to counter this trope. When Ogashira hypothesizes that Gojira is fueled by nuclear fission, Yasuda laughs and dismisses her idea as preposterous. When she quietly shows Yaguchi proof of her theory, which was also supported by on-site nuclear experts, Yasuda is in the background having a loud Freak Out as he comes to the same realization, before presenting it to his coworker. He then brings "his" finding to Yaguchi, who says to all of them that Ogashira was right. Yasuda at least gives her an apology. When the suggestion is made to study tissue samples, the team is immediately told that the Americans have already confiscated them.
    • See below for MonsterVerse examples.
  • Most Halloween movies involve Dr. Loomis the psychiatrist vainly trying to convince at least one law enforcement person or administrator that Michael is an unstoppable killing machine who adequate precautions must be taken against. Depending on the installment, those precautions might actually be taken, but they never seem to be enough.
  • The Homecoming Of Jimmy Whitecloud: A Native-American comedian inadvertently comes into possession of a mafia ledger and finds himself chased back to his ancestral reservation over it. Once the mobsters get there, their leader promptly realizes his Fish out of Water status and specifically goes to the trouble of hiring a local criminal who knows the local land and people (and also has better ideas of how and when to fight)... and then egotistically proceeds to ignore every single thing that comes out of the local crook's mouth for the rest of the movie.
  • The Hurt Locker: Sanborn has been a bomb disposal expert in a war zone for far longer than James, and is constantly advising James about the safest way to conduct business, but is ignored at almost every turn.
  • In Independence Day: Resurgence, David Levinson is the head of the Earth Space Defense Initiative, but his insistence that the spherical ship that has popped up over the Moon comes from a different alien race is blatantly ignored by the world leaders, who opt to blow it out of space. He turns out to have been right.
  • Jurassic Park:
    • Every movie has at least one guy who knows more about dinosaurs than everyone else and has to watch his warnings go unheeded, from Alan Grant to Owen Grady. It's especially bad for Ian Malcolm in the second movie and Grant in the third one; having survived the events of the first movie, they both know first-hand how insanely dangerous an island full of dinosaurs is and yet both deal with people who are far too cavalier for their own good.
    • It's actually discussed and justified at one moment in Jurassic Park III, when Paul Kirby wants to listen to Alan Grant but Amanda Kirby doesn't. Paul asks "what's the point of hiring a dinosaur expert if we're not going to listen to him", which seems fair, until Amanda correctly points out that Alan isn't looking for their son but for the coastline. It doesn't go any further than this, however, as the events that unfold force them to stick together anyways.
  • In Man of Steel, a variation occurs on the Superman myth pertaining to Jor-El. Krypton's destruction was the Kryptonians' own doing as they attempted to tap the planet core for power when all other sources were exhausted. Jor-El warned that it was a colossally stupid idea, and was disregarded, and he warned again that the planet's doom could be mere weeks away some time after it was implemented, and only General Zod believed him. This also comes into play with his belief that the predestination paradigm in Krypton's population control and the resultant artificial birth system was a fatal mistake in that it leads to a kind of Creative Sterility; he and his like-minded colleague, Lara Lor-Van, decided to conceive and birth the first natural-born Kryptonian in centuries: Kal-El.
  • Man of the Year has computer programmer Eleanor Green trying to warn her bosses that the voting software they're using for the Presidential election is flawed and won't give out accurate numbers. Her boss, who has a lot invested in the product's good name, simply does his best to ignore the problem and hope she's wrong.
  • Midway (2019), The character played by Patrick Wilson is established about having earned about an attack like Pearl Harbor but not been taken seriously enough, although what actually happened was worse than what he'd been preparing for and causes his new commanders to take him more seriously.
  • MonsterVerse:
    • Godzilla (2014): Reconstructed. Monarch scientists Graham and Serizawa's advice about letting Godzilla deal with the MUTOs is somewhat speculative on their part and is ignored on somewhat understandable grounds. Played Straight in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), where Monarch advocate seeking ways to coexist with the Titans due to their essential role in Earth's ecology and humanity's inability to kill them all, but the government and military only care about trying to kill all the Titans to make humanity's existence (in their eyes) easier. Ultimately, the military going through with attempting to kill the Titans causes things to go from bad to so much worse.
    • Kong: Skull Island: Packard could have avoided a lot of casualties if he'd thought to ask for a proper briefing on the dangers of the island once he met Hank Marlow, a man who'd been living there for 28 years.
    • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): Amongst the eco-terrorist organization, Reluctant Mad Scientist Emma Russell becomes a villainous one to her captor (actually her partner-in-crime) Alan Jonah when she realizes and warns him that King Ghidorah is forcing the other Titans to ravage their own planet instead of restoring it, only for Jonah to brush it off with Insane Troll Logic courtesy of being a Straw Nihilist.
    • Godzilla vs. Kong: Apex Cybernetics' resident evil genius Ren Serizawa is a villainous case. He argues that using the Hollow Earth energy-formula for Mechagodzilla without testing it is a bad idea, but his boss Walter Simmons dismisses him. He's very right, as the moment the formula is incorporated into the Mecha, Ghidorah's consciousness remnants in the skull being used as the Mecha's brain hijack the machine and take control.
      • Mark Russell ends up being an Ignored Expert in the novelization when he realizes before Godzilla's first attack in Florida that he's likely going to make landfall at a population center, but those who he tries to warn don't raise the alarm because of Godzilla's positive reputation as a protector.
  • Nope: The film crew completely ignores OJ's instructions on how to act around Lucky. One guy ends up showing Lucky his reflection very close to his face, startling the horse and causing it to kick. Nobody got hurt, but it still got the Haywoods fired.
  • Parodied by Brad Pitt's character in Ocean's Thirteen, who warns Willy Bank his tower could be severely affected by earthquakes.
  • Operation Crossbow: Churchill's scientist son-in-law recognizes the threat of the V-2 rockets over a year before the Nazis utilize them, but Churchill's arrogant primary scientific advisor Dr. Lindemann disregards the claims and refuses to make any preparations to counter the threat (which ends up killing thousands of people).
  • In Pixels, nobody takes Sam's claims of alien invaders using retro video games as weapons seriously until Taj Mahal is attacked and Ludlow finds aliens' first message.
  • In The Prestige:
    • Cutter, the stage engineer for Angier and other magicians, keeps telling Borden that the Langford Double can't be used in an underwater escape, because if the rope swells, Julia won't be able to slip out. Julia and Borden are confident that she could. They later find out that Cutter was right.
    • Cutter was right that Borden's Transported Man trick uses a body double but Angier dismisses it as too simple.
    • Sarah is able to tell when Borden loves her and when he doesn't. If Olivia or others had listened to Sarah, they would have also figured out that Borden is in fact two people.
  • The Rapture: Sharon is warned by the child prophet that her impulsive belief to enter the desert could possibly be a trick by the devil, but her hubris prevents her from truly listening.
  • In The 6th World, The Navajo general is creeped out by the spaceship corn, but everyone tells him it's been genetically-modified for this trip and it will work great.
  • In Stripes, Sgt. Hulka repeatedly tries to tell Captain Stillman he's unknowlingly led his platoon into Czechoslovakia, who keeps dismissing him, saying "This is my mission. I would appreciate if you let me run it.". Eventually, Hulka gets so pissed that he hops out of the truck before the platoon is captured by Soviet troops. In the end, John and Russell save them and are heralded as heroes while Stillman gets reassigned to a weather station in Alaska.
  • Supervolcano: Kenneth's speech to the public about the potential of the volcanic eruption gets some public interests but is initially disregarded by other scientists. And when they start to realize the danger the people they warn refuse to issue a public statement about it.
  • The Story of Louis Pasteur is about Pasteur trying to convince the French medical establishment that germs cause disease, and that doctors need to wash their hands and sterilize their instruments. No one listens, and he actually gets ordered by the Emperor to quit his research.
  • O'Brien in Terminator Genisys. He tries to warn the authorities about the dangers of Skynet but nobody wants to listen.
  • Transformers (2007): Played with. Maggie breaks into a Pentagon meeting to present her theory about the nature of the machines attacking the Earth. The Secretary of Defense John Keller is willing to listen to her, but when she admits she has no evidence, he politely asks her to leave. She later gets herself arrested in the process of trying to find more information on the aliens by taking classified information out of the Pentagon and for Glenn to help her solve the mystery. Soon after, Keller independently finds evidence that she might have had the right idea, so he collects her from custody.
    Maggie: What's going on?
    Keller: We're going to the Pentagon. You're going to be my adviser.
    Glenn: What about me?
    Keller: Who's this?
    Maggie: He's... my adviser.
    Keller: He comes too.
  • Virus (1980): Dr. Meyer is the only scientist involved in the project that unleashes The Plague to realize its dangers and is institutionalized when he tries to get the project shut down. Well over 99% of humanity dies as a result of his warnings being ignored.
  • Anne Heche in Volcano, which at some points seems to be set in an alternate reality where the very existence of volcanoes is an obscure geological fact completely unfamiliar to the public. Although that's probably less "people don't know what a volcano is" and more "no-one expects a volcano to erupt in the middle of Los Angeles."
    TV Anchorwoman: Well, we now have a name for this crisis. It is, according to the US Geological Survey, a "volcano"...
  • Even films made outside Hollywood follow this trope. In Norwegian disaster film The Wave Kristian warns his geological team whose job it is to monitor seismic activity in the mountains and fjords, only to be ignored repeatedly, even as he presents more and more evidence to support his claims.

  • Isaac Asimov:
    • Hari Seldon in Asimov's Foundation Series, even though he did have some listen to him. Partly because the collapse is happening so slowly that people don't really notice beyond occasional "this used to work better in my day". Seldon himself didn't believe it in the prequels until Chetter Hummin showed it to him. In fact, Hummin had Seldon develop psychohistory precisely to find a solution for the problem. He's actually put on trial outright once for treason, but since he says the empire will last for another thousand years he's mostly laughed off and informally exiled to a planet on the galactic fringe. Just as planned.
    • It does perhaps bear mentioning that the skepticism with which Seldon's claims are received isn't entirely unreasonable. Psychohistory as described in the books boils down to predicting the future by collecting a lot of statistical data and doing a very large amount of extrapolation using some rather vaguely-described equations. Any statistician making these sorts of claims in Real Life would have an equally hard time being taken seriously, and for good reason.
    • Psychohistorians who came after Seldon compounded the issue by making some deeply questionable assumptions, namely that there would be no disruptive technological innovation or cultural changes that might force them to redo their calculations. This comes back to bite them rather hard when the man who would become known as "The Mule" shows up and proves the experts were nowhere near infallible by doing something they had no idea was possible: Mass Mind Control.
    • The Gods Themselves has three Jor-Els attempting to warn everyone of a danger. One is an alien and the two others are humans, all trying to warn Earth to stop using an electron transfer device that gives everyone infinite energy. The aliens don't care about the danger, since it's only Earth that will be destroyed, and harvesting the explosion for energy is even more convenient. The humans in turn can't convince anyone because infinite free energy, meaning nobody even wants to look at their research. The name of the novel (as well as those of the three parts) comes from the quote, "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain."
    • "Nightfall (1941)": The astronomers have been mocked for their doom-sayings, having announced a "dark body" that will eclipse Beta after the other five suns have set. One of the newspaper reporters who has been mocking them actually comes to get their side of the story during their announced eclipse, so that he can get the scoop on why they were wrong (and hedging his bets to get an even better story in case they were right). The expanded version (co-authored by Robert Silverberg) has scientists from other different fields corroborating the data; astronomers predict the actual event, archaeologists predict the mass destruction (it's happened previously), and psychologists predict the human reaction to it, and no one believes them. They're reviled, denounced, and eventually, 100% correct.
  • The Black Arrow: When Nick Appleyard, an old bowman and war veteran, observes a flight of birds circling over the nearby wood in a messy pattern, he warns that hostile rogues might be skulking around. His partner Bennet Hatch berates him over both being concerned about some birds flying and considering someone would attack them in the Sir Daniel's fiefdom. No later than five minutes, an arrow fired from the wood kills Nick.
  • The Power of Five: Zigzagged in Oblivion, when the village council is voting about whether or not to turn Jamie in for the reward (with three votes against, two for and two undecided) when The Traveller arrives. He gives a speech about the anarchy of society he witnessed outside the village and why they shouldn't remind the outside world that they exist by contacting anyone. One of the people who hadn't voted yet reluctantly agrees and casts the deciding vote in Jamie's favor, but the other undecided council member contacts the police anyway, bringing the Chaos-Following policemen to the village.
  • Bob Lee Swagger: Prior to Sniper's Honor, Milli Petrova's father, an agricultural biologist, recognized that Stalin's new hybrid wheat experiments would fail after one generation and drastically reduce the Soviet Union's food supply. His efforts to spread the truth got him executed and Stalin enacted his policies anyway, leading to the deadliest famine in European history: nine million deaths.
  • In A Brother's Price, Captain Tern senior, head of the guard and expert for security, warns the royal family that the theatre they're going to visit hasn't been properly checked for safety risks. They go inside nevertheless, because their husband Keifer is impatient and prone to temper tantrums … and in the middle of the play, the theatre explodes.
  • In Captain French, or the Quest for Paradise, the titular character recounts the fates of several planets that underwent some kind of The End of the World as We Know It. When asked if there was no one to warn people that it might happen, he says that there were, but everyone else just ignored them and blamed them for slowing down progress, even for warning about things that should be blatantly obvious, such as attempting to use powerful ultrasonic generators to improve a planet's climate (result: massive volcanic activity) or attempting to alter a planet's axial tilt with powerful nukes (result: melting of polar ice caps and global flooding). Some were arrested for inciting panic and disenfranchised. In more severe cases, they were punished with aging. Naturally, when everything went to hell, those who tried to warn everybody were the first to be lynched. Well, no one ever said humans were rational beings.
  • Discworld: In Going Postal, Clacks engineer Mr. Pony keeps insisting that the Grand Trunk's semaphore towers need to undergo proper maintenance or the whole business will go under. Unfortunately, his superiors are only concerned with immediate profits, and think that shutting down the towers for an extended period of time is madness, since it will lose money (plus, there's the matter of them buying the Trunk on embezzled funds). When he presents hard facts and explains the exact minimum amount of money he'd need to at least keep the service running a while longer, his boss (Big Bad Reacher Gilt) agrees to give him a quarter of it, and makes a grand show of it as though he's being generous. In this case Gilt does in fact believe the engineer, but just doesn't care, because he knows that even if the Clacks did collapse, he would still be able to make a massive profit selling the business to someone else, regardless of whether it was a total shambles. In fact the Board of Directors approved the full amount; Gilt pocketed the rest. Pony is able to avoid the eventual fallout (and aid the city's case against Gilt and the Board) thanks to a scrupulously maintained paper trail.
  • The Dragon Business: Affonyl is the most well-read person in her castle, but every time she tries to tell her father that the old maps don’t support Duke Kerrl’s claims that much of their land is rightfully his, she gets no response beyond a Stay in the Kitchen dismissal.
  • In The Dresden Files, the coroner Butters declares that a corpse he examined is "humanoid, but not human". He promptly loses his job and becomes the laughingstock of the medical community. The trope is justified in that there are a lot of political and financial luminaries invested in keeping the supernatural secret.
  • In "The Eagle and the Mole" by Ivan Krylov, an eagle and his wife choose to make their nest on a big oak. When a mole living there warns them that the tree's roots are rotten through, the birds naturally dismiss such a lowly creature. The fable ends with the husband crying over the corpses of his family, and the mole reminding him that lowly or not, a mole is the one in position to know the health of the tree by virtue of living underground.
  • Flood 1979 briefly plays the trope straight, but then subverts it when a trained engineer who is diving near a dam for unrelated purposes notices the dam is in danger of breaking right as the government launches a lucrative project to expand the dam. The politically-connected construction magnate who has just gotten a lucrative contract to expand the dam doesn't want to believe the engineer but is too practical and moral to completely dismiss his claim. Once the expansion project's chief engineer belatedly confirms the other expert's claims (and blabs them all over town), the first engineer gets all the attention and support that he needs.
  • Carl Hiaasen's novel Razor Girl has this on a small scale (and played for Black Comedy). With the endocrinologist hired to study the side effects of a weird brand of deodorant filled with hormones (causing unwanted hair growth, a wilder sex drive, skin bulges and other problems) is ignored by the lawyer who hired him to make that report. It takes the lawyer months to even read the expert brief about the product he is launching a class action suit against and once he does he's too hooked on the sex drive part to stop in spite of the warnings about how much worse it will get.
  • Honor Harrington: Assorted military analysts in the Solarian League try desperately to inform their superiors, political and military, that the League fleets are completely and hilariously outclassed by the fleets fielded by the navies involved in the Haven-Manticoran War. Those superiors unfailingly scoff at these notions and tend to have he people warning them demoted. Once the war stars, the experts find out to their horror that they underestimated the technology gap. And as for the people who ignored them... Three words. Break the Haughty.
  • Subverted in Invisible Man: the main character realizes that there's going to be a riot, but his warnings come to nothing because those he's warning want there to be a riot so they can gain power from the resulting chaos.
  • In Jurassic Park, Hammond invites a group of various experts to his park before it opens to advise him, and all of them become this, as do his division managers (although some of them don't take responsibility for their own mistakes). Most vocal are Malcolm, who insists that trying to replicate an ecosystem that disappeared millions of years ago is a fool's errand, and Muldoon, who says that the Velociraptors are too intelligent to be held and must be killed before they escape. Both turn out to be right.
  • The Last Horizon: Varic tries to warn the Galactic Union that the Iron Legion is creating an Iron King, but they ignore him until it is almost too late. Varic tries to warn his father that the corpse of an Iron King is too dangerous to keep, but Benri ignores him. Varic tries to explain to the Galactic Union that their combat curriculum is insufficient, but is suspended. He gives up and fixes the problems himself.
  • Murder On The Titanic: After the ship hits an iceberg, a professional builder from third class figures out a way to keep the ship afloat long enough for rescue vessels to save the passengers. Because he's a working class immigrant, the crew members he approaches don't take him seriously, and no additional lives are saved.
  • In Nevil Shute's No Highway, Theodore Honey, a scientist with the Royal Aircraft Establishment is flying to investigate a plane crash. He's told the authorities that he thinks the crashes are due to metal fatigue and to ground all planes that are getting on a bit. To his horror he realises that the plane he's in should have been grounded because it's flown far too many miles and he runs around telling everyone what to do if the wings fall off. No one believes him, so he lifts the undercarriage while the plane's on the ground.
  • Louis L'Amour: In the short story "Merrano of the Dry Country," small rancher warns the big ranchers that they're overgrazing the range and their cattle will soon start starving. Despite his ranching expertise, none of the big ranchers listen to Barry because 1) they don't want to think about how financially devastating it will be for them if he's right, 2) they can't accept that someone half their age knows the country they settled better than they do, 3) Barry is the son of a man they hate for winning the heart of the girl they all wanted to marry, and 4) Barry's father was Mexican, and several of them are racists. Once Barry is proven right, rather than apologize, many of those ranchers promptly try to force their way onto Barry's range (the only land that isn't suffering from the drought) to feed their cattle.
  • Pyramid Power by Eric Flint has an unusual example: The Pyramid Security Agency employs outright blackmail in order to conscript the services of the experts that they then proceed to ignore. In the end, there is a direct correlation between the people who enter the pyramid who listen to (or are) the people who have escaped the pyramid in reasonably good health before, and those who escape the pyramid in reasonably good health this time.
  • Smaller & Smaller Circles:
    • Most of the higher-ups in government condescendingly dismiss Father Saenz's theory that serial killers do exist in the Philippines—they maintain that the Serial Killer phenomenon is restricted to the West, and to "white males in their thirties".
    • When Attorney Arcinas takes charge of the investigation, he ignores the two priests' advice and warnings despite their proven expertise.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: The Night's Watch have seen more than enough to convince them that the Others are coming and mean to cross the Wall. Good luck trying to get King's Landing to listen, even after repeated attempts... Only Stannis takes them seriously.
    • In Book 4, A Feast for Crows, Grand Maester Pycelle (having graduated from being House Lannister's Professional Butt-Kisser to the Only Sane Man at court amongst the toadies and lickspittles advising Queen Regent Cersei) keeps giving Cersei perfectly reasoned and valid arguments, along with numerous historical precedents as to why some of her planned decisions are really bad ideas ( such as deferring on repayments to the Iron Bank of Braavos, an organisation notorious for getting its money back by any means necessary, either by tanking its debtors' economies or financing their enemies, or allowing the Faith of the Seven to reform its own private army for her own petty schemes, ignoring that said fanatics have a long history of clashing with the crown). Cersei being Cersei, her reply to Pycelle's objections is essentially "Shut up and do as I tell you, or face the consequences".
  • In "The Star", a Short Story by H. G. Wells, an astronomer figures out the wandering planet is probably going to hit Earth within the next few days. Some people react to this news, but the vast majority still need to live day by day.
  • Superman: Naturally, Jor-El himself in the surprisingly good Adaptation Expansion novel The Last Days of Krypton. For one point in defense of his detractors, Jor-El had already predicted several different cataclysmic fates for Krypton.
  • In the Harry Turtledove novel Supervolcano: Eruption, one of the main characters is a geologist studying Yellowstone. Despite being a clear expert (and being interviewed on television news as a geology expert several times), and despite a lot of pretty strong scientific evidence that something was going on, she can't get anyone to take her warnings about imminent eruption of a supervolcano. The justification the Government gave her was that an eruption on that scale would be too big a disaster for the government to respond to anyway, so there was no point in worrying about it.
  • In A.E. van Vogt's The Voyage of the Space Beagle, the lone nexialist (a scientist whose specialty is nonspecialization) is surrounded by an expedition that laughs him off in spite of his increasingly frequent responsibility for saving the ship. This eventually escalates to the point where he hypnotizes the crew and enslaves them for three years in a massive effort to defeat an insatiable nebula-like monster that has nearly sterilized its galaxy.
  • The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress has a rare villanous example with Juan Alvarez, chief of police for the moon colonies. When a lunar independence movement arises, he knows how to crush the populace and destroy it. But his bosses on Earth, out of a combination of arrogance, complacency and cheapness, refuse to allocate him enough resources or listen to his suggestions on operating within lunar culture. Instead they assume that sending some elite soldiers to bolster the police will be enough. Result: Juan can't hunt down the dissidents, who eventually use psychological warfare to provoke said soldiers into committing an atrocity. This sparks mass anti-Earth riots which allow the dissidents to rise up, defeat Juan's forces, and eventually secure lunar independance. As they say on Luna, big huhu.
  • Nero Wolfe: Wolfe is an expert in investigating murders, and more than one client (such as Laura Fromm in The Golden Spiders) or witness ends up dead due to failing to listen to his advice about sharing necessary information or seeking protection rather than walking the streets.
    Wolfe: (to a woman who proceeds to keep her suspicions private and get murdered) I am warning you not to be foolhardy or even imprudent.
  • The NUMA Files: Polar Shift:
    • In the Back Story, Dr. Kovacs published a paper warning the scientific community that trying to manipulate the electromagnetic field could destroy all life on Earth. The Nazis responded by kidnapping him and trying to force him to weaponize that technology and use it against their enemies.
    • Spider Barrett discovers Kovacs' work in the present day and brings it to the attention of Tristan Margrave, an anarchist who wants to destroy communications satellites and bankrupt the world's Corrupt Corporate Executives. After his versions of Kovacs' device causes tidal waves and abnormal animal behavior, Spider tells Margrave that the tests are unsafe, but Margrave arrogantly insists that he can fix the flaws in his device and refuses to halt his plans. Unknown to him, his partners try to murder Spider, who narrowly escapes.
  • Rats, Bats and Vats: Fitzhugh the intelligence officer is constantly observing unprecedented movement and chaos behind the enemy lines which, if taken advantage of, could lead to a major victory. He spends most of his scenes in the first book practically begging his superiors (who have an old and somewhat petty grudge against him) not just to believe his reports, but to read them, and eventually has to launch an Anti-Mutiny just to get something done before it's too late.
  • The short story Uncalculated Risk by Christopher Anvil involve the American government developing a chemical which, when placed on crops causes an enormous (but controllable) amount of growth, with the potential to end world hunger. However Dr. Green, the scientist developing the formula, discovers that whenever it touches soil it makes the soil unstable (the point where any buildings on it will collapse) and spreads over large areas (potentially dozens of miles if too much is spilled). Dr. Green tries to tell various political and scientific superiors and is completely ignored and accused of suffering a nervous breakdown by everyone except a single Army general, and by the time he convinces that man, ships carrying samples of the formula as gifts to other Free World nations are only hours away from arriving and it would take months if not years for a controlled scientific study to absolutely prove what Green is saying. The general instead proposes a Cutting the Knot solution which manages to alert the president to the danger. He takes a small portion of the formula, walks out to the lawn in front of Green's laboratory and "accidentally" spills it on the soil before ordering an evacuation of the area. The catastrophic property damage (no lives are lost due to the evacuation) that occurs over less than an hour (and is highly publicized due to a few strategic phone calls) forces everyone who'd been ignoring Green to recognize potential dangers and gets all of the shipments halted in time.
  • The Plateau, another Christopher Anvil, short story has an alien invasion force preparing to attack Earth execute the sociologists who study radio waves from Earth and try to tell them that Earths' culture and people are dangerously incompatible with them in ways which contradict their ideas of what's possible.
  • In The Secret Runners of New York, aging physicist Dr. Finklestein claims that a gamma cloud traveling through the solar system will kill 99% of humanity. He's right, and his claims are broadcast to the world, but most people don't believe him, mainly because he has been accused of plagiarism in the past.
  • Spy High: In The Chaos Connection, Cally (the team's computer expert) passionately argues about how stupid it is for them to take a computer-controlled train back home to report their discovery that there is a living computer virus taking over computer networks to kill people. Ben ignores her due to the creators of the virus having made a deadline about when they will use the virus again (even though Cally points out that terrorists have been known to break deals and these particular terrorists have a personal beef with them), but, sure enough, the virus takes over the train and nearly kills them.

    Live-Action TV 

In General:

  • Essentially every reality show where someone hires an expert to help them fix their business (such as Bar Rescue, Kitchen Nightmares, etc). Despite begging for their help to get them there, the owners will argue over every single change the expert suggests. This is especially true when the expert claims that it was the owner's actions that caused the failure and they refuse to believe it.

By Series:

  • Kim Delaney's character in the miniseries 10.5 fits into this. The Cassandra Truth reception her warnings received wasn't helped by her abrasive personality.
  • ALF's grandma. She was the only one who'd guess that Melmac could explode, and could save the planet... Though they locked her in a nuthouse.
  • Awkwafina is Nora from Queens: Nora's hairstylist, Asha. Nora wants to go blonde. Asha tries to dissuade her, pointing out that bleaching virgin Asian hair as dark as Nora's is "always unpredictable and often unfortunate" and that Nora is not in the best headspace for such decision. This only makes Nora more insistent. Just like Asha warned, Nora's hair turns out a reddish orange with waves that is similar to Merida's, as Asha points out. Nora is enraged, claiming she looks like a Cheeto.
    Asha: [stifling giggles] I only feel like 20% bad about this because I did warn you multiple times.
  • Adama in Battlestar Galactica (1978) warns everyone that the Cylons are up to no good. No one believes him.
  • In Chernobyl, Ulana Khomyuk (a Composite Character, based on a group of scientists) detects increased radiation in her lab in Minsk, which is 343 km (213 miles) from Chernobyl. She determines that something went horribly wrong in Chernobyl and tries to warn Soviet officials, only for them to brush off her concerns as alarmist. She tries to use her science credentials on a minor local official, only for him to point out that he's higher on the pecking order, despite being a factory worker prior to his current position. She decides to go further up the chain. Also almost happens to Valery Legasov when he first proposes that something is seriously wrong at Chernobyl just based on the description of a rock one of the first responders handled. He is insistent enough that Gorbachev relents and sends him to the scene along with Boris Scherbina. This turns out to be the right move, as Legasov is quite possibly the best man for the job, and Scherbina, as Legasov later points out, is a good man with enough political knowledge to get things done.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor finds himself in this situation quite often, what with being both highly intelligent and highly eccentric.
    • A subversion occurs, along with a Lampshade Hanging, in "Four to Doomsday". Referring to an impending alien invasion:
      Tegan: We've got to get to Earth and warn them!
      The Doctor: Of what? Who'll believe us? We'll be laughed at.
    • There's an example of it played straight in "Dalek". The Ninth Doctor tries to warn everybody of just how dangerous the Dalek is, but nobody believes him until all of the soldiers and most of the scientists in the silo have been killed by it.
    • Still, it's subverted in "Army of Ghosts", where he tells the head of the Torchwood Institute to stop punching holes in reality. She brushes him off as being too alien-supremacist... then, when the Doctor sits back to watch, relents and admits that she should listen to the guy who is not only named in her organization's charter, but has a very long pedigree that she's very well aware of about being right on these matters...
  • On Downton Abbey, Dr. Clarkson's warnings that Sybil may have eclampsia and must be taken to hospital immediately are ignored in favor of the other doctor who is more respected than he. Sybil ends up dying of eclampsia.
    • Though in fairness, Clarkson had a terrible resume on the show before this, almost killing a man with a false diagnosis, and then missing the obvious signs that a patient was suicidal.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • A flashback in Season 6 shows that Ned actually saw a potential for Hodor (then known as Wylis) to become a warrior due to his size and allows him to train with Benjen. Old Nan, who was Wylis's grandmother and guardian, politely brushes off her then-little lord's suggestion, citing social status.
    • Robb ignored Catelyn's well-reasoned advice regarding the Greyjoys, Karstarks, and Freys, which resulted in the fall of the Northern army and House Stark.
  • House of the Dragon:
    • Of all of King Viserys' advisors, only Lyonel Strong, the Master of Laws, seems to give him sound advice that's not motivated by personal gain. Guess whose advice Viserys has continued to ignore...
    • Tyland Lannister, the new Master of Ships, doesn't fare any better than his predecessor in trying to get Viserys to take the threat of the Triarchy seriously.
  • In the second season of Heroes, Mohinder opens the very first episode warning people about the virus that killed his sister. Nobody listens, and to add insult to injury, the people who do end up destroying the virus find out about it from unrelated sources.
  • The Invaders (1967): David Vincent spends the series struggling in vain to warn people of the Alien Invasion taking place. It doesn't help that the evidence has a nasty habit of disappearing right in front of his eyes and the people he goes to for help have a nasty tendency to be alien agents. However, by the end of the series he does manage to convince a few humans who have also had alien encounters to help his cause.
  • Carl Kolchak in the original film and series (The Night Stalker, The Night Strangler (films) and Kolchak: The Night Stalker (series)) is almost always alone in noticing what is really happening.
  • Kyūkyū Sentai GoGoV: Dr. Mondo Tatsumi, ten years before the start of the series, predicted the coming of a horde of demons during the Grand Cross of 1999. When nobody in the scientific community believed him, he left his family and spent the next decade developing technology to combat the demons, and at the start of the series he approaches his five children to ask for their help in it.
  • Leverage: Redemption: "The Tower Job" opens with construction foreman Matteo warning Jason that he's cutting too many corners and the building is unsafe but being ordered to continue anyway, causing a building collapse. Later, his family mentions that he spent the entire project vainly trying to convince Jason not to cut corners.
  • The final season of Lexx has Dr. Ernst Longbore, a Genius Cripple who used to belong to a group of scientists working on a particle accelerator capable of determining the mass of the Higgs boson particle. He became an Ignored Expert after realizing that determining the particle's mass would trigger a massive chain reaction that would implode the planet into a dense chunk of matter the size of a pea (apparently, this is the fate of every civilization that tries to determine the Higgs boson's mass). Having lost his career and academic standing, he's spent his remaining time with a small cult of college-aged followers working on a way to escape Earth. Gets subverted when after securing a means to escape for himself and a rocket full of hotties with which to repopulate the species, he decides to trigger said chain reaction himself as a middle finger to the rest of the planet.
  • Lie to Me essentially boils down to this per episode. They hire the team to find out if someone is lying, then dismiss everything they have to say. One episode opens with Cal joining a dating group, as he was hired to find out if the wife a wealthy industrialist was divorcing ever cheated on him, which would give lots of ammunition to his lawyers. Cal determines that she was tempted many times but never strayed and says so to the man and the lawyers. They are furious and claim that he's doing a bad job, only for him to turn around and call them out on not caring about the truth at all, only wanting an "expert" to give them evidence (whether real or not) that would allow the man to leave his wife with nothing. They storm out, threatening to sue him, but he isn't particularly worried, since they have no evidence that he did anything wrong.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power:
    • Durin completely ignores his father when he is told that mining after mithril to help the Elves might come at the cost of their own kingdom. Inevitably, something is awakened in the depths of Moria.
    • Galadriel warns Gil-galad and Elrond that she had found clues in the far North that Sauron is out there somewhere trying to regain his power. She gets sent to Valinor and completely ignored out of fear that searching for Sauron might just invite him at their door. Both sides are right on this one. Galadriel is right to search for Sauron, as he did try to gain the power of Seen and the Unseen World in order to rule over Arda after Morgoth's destruction, while his forces multiplied in secret for centuries. On the other hand, Galadriel does bring Sauron right in her own home without even knowing.
  • In the Masters of Horror episode "The Screwfly Solution", Alan and Barney have a meeting in Washington D.C. with members of the government and the military. They explain that the ongoing Gendercide is a concerted attempt to exterminate the human race, that the women in the infected areas need to be evacuated, and that the men, especially those in important positions, need to take medication that will lead to chemical castration to prevent them from turning into murderers. All their advice is ignored.
  • Murder, She Wrote: The episode "Twice Dead" has all four named members of the research team who helped develop the cancer drug cautioning their CEO about the need for additional tests before putting it to market (although one of them is just doing that for appearances and is in fact falsifying data proving the drug is unsafe due to have too much invested in the drug's success) which their CEO ignores.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "To Tell the Truth", Dr. Larry Chambers attempts to convince the ruling council of Janus Five that the system's sun is a pulsating star which is due to flash over in several days' time, a process that happens once every 1,000 years. He warns that the sun will emit deadly radiation and the colony will be destroyed. Chambers' claims are not taken seriously as, five years earlier, he had warned that the original location of the colony would be destroyed in a major volcanic eruption, which proved to be incorrect. The colony was moved to a new location at great cost in terms of time, money and manpower, leading many people to resent Chambers. He explains that he misinterpreted the data and what he thought was an impending eruption was in fact an early sign that the sun would flash over. It is also alleged that he is imagining an apocalyptic scenario since he is depressed over the death of his wife Elise three years earlier and does not want to live. When it looks as if people are starting to believe him, the council chairman Franklin Murdock and the colony's security chief Montgomery Bennett frame him by making it appear as if he is a shapeshifting alien who has taken Chambers' place. The ending reveals that Bennett actually is an alien, who manipulated the colony leader into getting the humans wiped out, so that the aliens can rebuild using human technology.
  • The Purge: In season 2, college Professor Drew Adams and reporter Sydney Riviera do studies and arguments about how the Purge is making people more likely to be violent year-round rather than less violent (something which is a major theme of the season, which follows the emergence of a Serial Killer). The government either doesn't believe them or actively tries to cover it up, with Adams being murdered and the radio show Riviera appears on trying to slant the arguments against her.
  • The Serpent Queen:
    • When the dauphin dies, his father immediately suspects foul play. The king's doctor assures him that the dauphin was born with an oversized heart and that the death was almost certainly due to natural causes, but he doesn't take heed.
    • Angelica repeatedly warns Diane that ingesting too much gold could make her go insane. Not only does Diane not listen but she actually increases her gold consumption.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • In "Q Who", the ship is sent 7,000 light years by Q, placing them unknowingly in an area where the Borg are active. Picard chooses to ignore Guinan's advice to turn back now (though when they actually encounter the Borg, and Guinan tells them to protect themselves, they finally take her advice).
    • In "Samaritan Snare", Riker ignores the concerns of two senior officers regarding the Pakleds. First, Worf questions sending their Chief Engineer to an unknown alien ship. After Geordi beams over, Deanna, in one of her best uses of her powers, tells Riker the Pakleds' apparent stupidity is a ruse and that they are fooling him. This is perhaps the worst judgment Riker ever showed in the series.
    • Subverted in "The Inner Light". An alien probe connects to the mind of Capt. Picard, who seems to find himself living on a pre-space-flight planet. After spending years there, he comes to realize that the sun is in danger of going nova and wiping out the planet. He tries to warn government officials, who seem to brush him off. In the end, they acknowledge that they've known about the danger for some time but are powerless to do anything and don't want to cause a panic. Their only plan is to send out a probe to preserve the memories of their civilization, which turns out the be the probe Picard encountered in the beginning of the episode.
    • In "Force of Nature", an alien scientist tries to convince Starfleet that warp travel in the area of space near her system will cause a spatial rift which would be very bad for her people. The reason she's ignored is because she's incredibly pushy and abrasive and refuses to tolerate anything less than immediate, unquestioning acceptance.
    • It's a bit of a running joke in the fandom that Chief Security Officer Worf will always suggest a simple, brute-force solution to a problem, only to be overruled by Picard in favor of a more diplomatic, creative, or liberal-minded approach, which often leads to Worf being beaten up by the threatening party. While Worf is a bit of a stick-in-the-mud, it is his job to protect the ship.
  • The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "One Little Ship" plays this re: the Jem'Hadar who capture the Defiant. A good number of them are part of a new breed that have been bred in the Alpha Quadrant and are considered by their creators to be superior to their older counterparts from the Gamma Quadrant. The Jem'Hadar First is one of these new AQ Jem'Hadar, while the Second is a GQ Old Soldier who used to be the First until his demotion. Throughout the episode, the Second tries to use his experience to advise the First — who repeatedly tells him to shut up, believing that an Alpha doesn't need the advice of a Gamma. Sisko picks up on this and plays them against each other while he and his officers stage a counterstrike.
  • In Star Trek: Enterprise, Archer mentions an argument he once had with fellow Starfleet Captain Jeffries regarding the armaments of NX-class starships. Archer's position was that he didn't want to make peaceful contact with other species while flying around in a warship. After a year of fighting through the Delphic Expanse to save Earth from a Xindi attack, however, he decides that Jeffries was right about well-armed starships and makes sure that both Enterprise and her sister ship Columbia can fight anyone who attacks them.
  • Supergirl (2015):
    • Jor-El himself, although we don't get much focus on him. He warned that tapping Krypton's core for energy would soon cause it to explode, but he was dismissed as a crackpot.
    • Kara's parents (Jor-El's brother Zor-El and Zor's wife Alura) believed Jor-El enough to send Kara on a ship after Kal-El, though there are some signs that they were ignoring Jor-El until the last moment as well. When Season 6 reveals Zor-El was still alive in the Phantom Zone, he initially stays on Earth after his liberation to try and solve Earth's own crisis out of guilt for ignoring the various issues that plagued Krypton in its final days.
    • General Astra (Alura's sister and Kara's aunt) believed Jor-El enough that she started attacking government buildings, trying to stop the core project. She always made sure the buildings were empty, but there was a guard in one of them, whom her husband Non killed. Alura felt that this crossed the line, and had Astra and all her supporters locked away in the Phantom Zone.
    • The Children of Juru (a cabal of Kryptonian witches) also believed Jor-El and secretly sent three genetically-engineered infants to Earth, who would eventually grow up to become Worldkillers: Reign, Pestilence, and Purity. Unlike Kara, their Kryptonian abilities would be suppressed until adulthood, at which point their hidden personalities and abilities would surface.

  • Harry Chapin's "The Rock" tells this story straight. A huge boulder has leaned over a village for "a hundred thousand years", but one townsman has a Prophetic Dream that it's about to "tumble to the ground" and crush everything in its path. He warns the populace, but everyone thinks he's crazy. When the rock finally falls, the man has to use his own body to stop it, only to be dismissed even in death. However, the song's final lines hint that the danger's not over yet:
    But high up on the mountain
    When the wind is hitting it
    If you're watching very closely
    The rock slips a little bit
  • As a musical parody of Disaster Movies, MC Frontalot's "Disaster" naturally has this. "Even though you seem to know exactly what you're talking 'bout I don't think at this point in the plot I'm going to hear you out."


    Theme Parks 
  • The story of the ride Expedition Everest at Walt Disney World is that you're part of a team of mountaineers taking a train ride to Everest Base Camp that takes a shortcut along the slopes of a mountain rumored to be the home of the Yeti. Part of the queue area is a museum run by a local naturalist, Professor Pema Dorje, presenting his evidence that the Yeti is real and dangerous, including a plaque at the end warning people of the danger of entering its domain, below which is a note by the operators of the railroad saying they don't agree with or endorse his opinions. If you board the ride vehicle, you're "ignoring" this warning and going to the mountain anyway, and your train gets attacked by a Yeti, making Professor Dorje an example of this trope.

    Video Games 
  • In Mass Effect, one of the few surviving scientists in the lower levels of the Peak 15 research station is dismissed as mad by every other person in the place (except for Shepard and company) for believing that the project to recreate the the Rachni, who proceeded to go mad and devour everyone in the hot labs, was a terrible mistake, and wanting to inform the rescue effort about it. "Crazy? I'm sane. God am I sane."
    • Manuel, a scientist encountered on Eden Prime. He's rambling and about to be sedated when Shepard encounters him, with his dialogue hinting that he may have looked into the Prothean Beacon himself and been driven insane as a result, something Liara later speculates could happen to those without the iron-will that Shepard and Saren have. As nonsensical as his hysterical babbling is without the context of the beacon's message, by the end of the game almost every single thing he says has turned out to be correct.
    • In the first game, a scientist is working on scanning the Citadel's keepers to learn more about them. By the second game, he's discovered the basic truths about them and their connection to the Reapers, but no one will listen to him.
    • Shepard has conversed with a Reaper, and heard the final testimony of the Protheans, and yet, as soon as s/he's gone, the Alliance and the Council try to sweep it under the rug. The only ones who believe him/her are Anderson, Hackett and The Illusive Man. Made more ridiculous that the asari are capable of mind melding, so really, the asari councillor could simply read Shepard's mind to verify the truth about the Reapers and everything that Shepard has experienced. It's explained in the final DLC for the third game that they actually did believe Shepard the whole time but were officially denying it to prevent panic.
    • Speaking of the asari, Liara's "father" Aethyta was a matriarch on their homeworld, who are normally treated as respected advisors. She warned the rest of their species that We Have Become Complacent and that they wouldn't survive another crisis like Sovereign, but they laughed her off the planet. Come Mass Effect 3 and everything she said comes to pass as Thessia is devastated by the Reaper invasion, with their natural affinity for biotics the only thing keeping them from being totally overrun.
    • Garrus suffers from the same in 3, mentioning that he tried warning the Turian Hierarchy about the incoming Reapers. They eventually gave him a modest task-force to shut him up. Andromeda shows his father at least believed Garrus, and passed the warning on to the Andromeda Initiative, allowing them to get out just before the Reapers actually hit.
  • Doctor Marie Delacroix in System Shock 2.
  • Crysis offers a perfect example. Hot scientist chick warns Admiral not to launch nukes as it will only make the aliens stronger? As ridiculous as it sounds, she is right.
  • In the Backstory of Another Century's Episode 2, a scientist named Albert Rainen predicted an Alien Invasion but was laughed off by The UCE. Years later his son, Fidel Barkholz enacts a plan to discredit the UCE by helping its enemies escape capture/defeat/destruction and by using Rainen's proposed Humongous Mecha to take out the alien threat — which turns out to be the Zentraedi.
  • And before the ACE example, there was Bian Zoldark of the Super Robot Wars franchise. In Super Robot Wars 2, Super Robot Wars Alpha and Super Robot Wars: Original Generation, Bian warned the Earth Federation of an alien invasion approaching Earth; naturally for this trope, he's right (in the original timeline it's the Inspectors, while in Alpha and OG it's the Aerogaters). In the original timeline and OG the Federation rejects his proposals, which leads to him forming his own military force, the Divine Crusaders (even worse, in 2 it's composed of villain groups like the Principality of Zeon, Dinosaur Empire, and Dr. Hell's Mechanical Monsters. However, the trope is subverted in the Alpha timeline, where the Federation actually listens to Zoldark; he still forms the DC, but they're allies of the Federation rather than enemies.
  • Inverted and then Played for Laughs in Team Fortress 2's supplemental comics, where the Sniper turns out to be from the lost country of New Zealand, which had sunk itself under the ocean on advice from a Stupid Scientist—Sniper's father, Bill-Bel. It's an extended parody of the iconic Superman example: the ruling Council did listen to him and sank New Zealand in the first place, then he tried to move the country into space, then he and his wife tried to use the rocket themselves when it turned out it had only one seat, then the rocket punched past the dome and drowned New Zealand; instead of making it into space, it crashed a mile away in Australia. For the final insult, he used the uber-powerful Australium to paint his rockets - most of which exploded. In a somewhat straighter example, one of Engineer's lines about his sentry guns is "I toldja don't touch that darn thing." Can't say he didn't warn them...
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • In the backstory, the Psijic Order (a powerful Magical Society and the oldest monastic order in Tamriel with some ability to predict the future which has, depending on the political climate of the time, advised the leaders of Tamriel) advised Emperor Uriel Septim V against his planned invasion of Akavir in the mid-3rd Era. Uriel V did not heed their warnings and invaded anyway, suffering from all manner of misfortune before eventually having his forces decimated and becoming a casualty himself. Later Septim emperors became distrustful of the Psijics, eventually banning their ambassadors from the Imperial City.
    • The now-extinct Ayleids (Wild Elves) once ruled a mighty empire out of Cyrodiil, said to be the very first empire in Tamriel. At least some of their success is credited to worshiping the Daedra, including some of the traditionally "bad" Daedra. This led their mighty empire down some very dark paths, including the enslavement and vile torture of the Nedes, human ancestors to many of the modern races of Men. The "moth eyes", Moth Priests who study the Elder Scrolls, warned them that their hubris would "bear bitter fruit." The Ayleids ignored this, and their hubris would indeed lead to their downfall when their Nedic slaves rose up and overthrew their Ayleid masters, eventually driving them to extinction.
  • Persona 4: Naoto Shirogane is a teenage detective who is called to Inaba to investigate the recent string of kidnappings and murders. The police hate needing Naoto's help, but it reaches its breaking point when she figures out that Mitsuo Kubo was only a copycat killer. However, the police refuse to listen to her claims, so she was forced to take matters into her own hands.
  • In Pathologic, Daniil, a bachelor of medicine, almost immediately spots signs of the plague taking hold in town, but has to provide sufficient evidence to the three feuding families that govern things before anyone will take any action; understandable, of course, but precious time is still lost. It continues to be a problem for him due to the fact that this is a time and place where things like antibodies and vaccines still aren't widely-known, and as Daniil is an outsider, the majority of the townsfolk distrust him (it also doesn't help that he's very condescending to them on account of their 'superstitious ways'). In a bit of an ironic twist, this ends up applying to him as well - there IS a supernatural element to the plague, but he refuses to acknowledge it and ends up interfering with the efforts of another character that's trying to create a cure. Small wonder then that Daniil's ending actually entails him deciding to sacrifice the majority of the plague victims in favor of the people who DO align with his views.
  • Warframe: Operation Scarlet Spear is the counter-offensive against the Sentients in the first battle of the New War. It is funded by Teshin, one of the oldest authorities in the Origin System, and managed by Little Duck, a smuggler who warned him about all this years ago.
    Little Duck: Back then old mate Teshin wasn't havin' it. Tried warnin' him, but... you know the type. But now? Oh, NOW it's all "tell me all that you know" and "your expertise is required" and "I'm a hoity-toity sod with a hat like a designer bedpan." Shoulda kept me trap shut.
  • In WarioWare: Touched!, Wario gets a toothache after eating too much chocolate and runs to the dentist, who fixes his teeth and warns him to stay away from sweets. A short time later, Wario stops at a sweets store and buys some pies. Just before digging in, however, he recalls the dentist's warning, but brushes it off and eats the pies. He ends up with another toothache and right back in the dentist's office, who says "I knew you'd be back!"

  • Karate Bears don't listen to their agents.
  • The Crow advisor of Wallas in The Color of the Crystal is ignored (and abused) by his master, despite being the Only Sane Man and smart enough to point out that letting the heroine who bested his predecessor waltzing around his domain is a bad idea.
  • Backstory of Marooned has doctor Ugofandian, the Only Sane Man of the Green Martian race, as it seems. They still ignored him, and the result? Once-Green Mars.
  • El Goonish Shive: Dr. Sciuridae tried in vain to tell his superiors that Rapid Aging wasn't possible so quickly breeding super assassins wouldn't be viable. Fittingly enough, one of those superiors was a Pointy-Haired Boss expy. The other scientists ended up providing their bosses with something that supposedly worked, but... didn't.
    Dr. Sciuridae: It was a hypothesis based on another hypothesis based on a theory based on several episodes of Star Trek. It was worthless.

    Web Animation 
  • Etra chan saw it!:
    • Tokusa, who owns his own foundation company, warned his older brother, Tachibana, not to build in Etro Hills because the ground was very loose. As a result, the new house became unlivable after an earthquake.
    • Yuri, who is an expert on bugs, warned Akane and Yuzuriha against wearing black clothes and perfume. They ignored her since they were jealous of her getting a lot of attention from the boys. This led to them being stung all over by hornets, while they were trying to steal watermelons.
  • Hunter: The Parenting: This is Kevin the Tremere's backstory: he was an accountant, and apparently a pretty good one, who was Embraced by the Tremere because the local Regent needed someone to help them navigate modern day financial systems. Unfortunately, he fell out of favor after pointing out several unpleasant facts: that not only does mind controlling humans into giving you all their money leaves them too destitute to be useful ("then they starve to death"), but that it also leaves a glaring paper trail for anyone who bothers to look. Rather than taking his advice, they ostracized him, and replaced him with someone presumably more willing to be a Yes-Man.

    Web Originals 

    Western Animation 
  • Central Park:
    • In "Central Dark", Despite Helen being a native of Weehawken, New Jersey, Bitsy ignores her advice on what direction they should take. This bites her in the butt when her competitors were able to get ahead of her when she tries to head towards the waterfront by following the sign instead of taking Helen's shortcut.
    • In "Mother's Daze", Helen tells Lionel, the hotel bartender, to make Bitsy's drinks at the scheduled time despite Bitsy firing the service bartenders and don't talk to Bitsy about it until she gets back from her day off because she knows how to handle Bitsy. When Lionel is unable to make Bitsy's drink due to having to deal with the other customers and Bitsy goes to him for her drinks, he tells Bitsy to hire back the service bartenders or he'll quit and it goes as well as you expect. After Helen returns from her day off early, she gets Lionel to come back to the Brandenham by getting Bitsy to hire back the service bartenders and giving him a "Sorry, I was wrong" bonus.
  • Chowder: Most of the problems that occur throughout the series are the direct result of Chowder quite blatantly ignoring Mung Daal's warnings about the potentially dangerous foods they deal with every day. It eventually gets to the point that Mung starts to blame himself for the trouble that Chowder causes because he should know better to expect Chowder to listen.
  • In the Futurama episode "Jurassic Bark", one by one, the cast tries to jump into the lava to save the fossil. Each time, they are stopped and the Professor explains that they will die if they do. He finally reaches a peak of frustration and exclaims "Why is no one listening to me? Professor! Lava! Hot!"
  • The Great North: In "Ready Mayor Won Adventure", Wolf had studied all of Lone Moose's laws as preparation to be interim mayor, so when Honeybee is elected instead, he takes it upon himself to help her. Honeybee, however, just finds him annoying and brushes off his attempts to explain how her decisions will cause trouble. It's only when her new laws lead to chaos and two other towns declaring war on Lone Moose that Honeybee realizes that she should've listened to Wolf.
  • Parodied by Dib in Invader Zim. He is perhaps the only person who believes Earth is in danger of alien invasion and is worried and he constantly speaks out about it and tries to expose Zim as an alien and a threat. Living in a Crapsack World means no one listens or cares, and he's continuously mocked and abused for his efforts to the point of Black Comedy. While his younger sister Gaz grudgingly admits Zim is an alien, she points out Zim is very lousy at trying to conquer it. Plus, his race has no real interest in conquering Earth; they just exiled him there and lied about it to Zim. However, some of Zim's plans did fail because of Dib's interference. Perhaps Dib simply needs to be calmer about it?
  • Interestingly enough, Legion of Super Heroes (2006) subverts the famous Superman origin, with a flashback revealing that Jor-El was believed, and enacted a plan to save Krypton using a new invention housed in the city of Kandor. But then Brainiac shrunk it, and...
  • Mighty Mouse: Ralph Bakshi, when he gave Mighty Mouse a Superman-like origin, created a Jor-El parody who tried (in vain) to warn other residents of the condemned building it'd be demolished.
  • Parodied in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "It's About Time" when Twilight Sparkle tries to warn the citizens of Ponyville of an impending disaster. Of course, disasters happen there regularly enough to set your pony watch to, but everypony laughs anyways... until she takes off the Groucho Glasses she inadvertently ended up wearing. With those off, they take her deadly serious and proceed to fix up all of Ponyville.
  • In the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode "Haunted House Hang-Up", Velma tells Fred and Daphne "I tried to tell you" when they discover a headless spectre roaming around the haunted mansion the gang is at. (If she did, it was off-screen, as at no time do we ever hear her tell them.)
  • This is the plot of at least half of the episodes of Sealab 2021, as genuinely brilliant scientist Dr. Quinn is invariably Surrounded by Idiots. Refusal to pay attention to Quinn's advice (or increasingly hysterical avowals of how unbelievably stupid everyone else is being) usually gets the undersea station blown up, though this is the kind of comedy series where there's next to no continuity and everyone can be dead at the end of one episode and back in the next.
  • The Simpsons: In "Trash of the Titans", Homer runs for Sanitation Commissioner against incumbent Ray Patterson. Patterson tries to tell Springfielders that Homer has no clue what being an elected official is all about, with all kinds of extravagant promises. Homer wins in a landslide, but true to Ray's predictions, Homer proves himself unqualified for the position, spending his year's budget in one month because he hadn't realized how expensive his campaign promises would actually be, recouping the money by having other cities take their trash to Springfield. This leaves Springfield so badly trashed that they have to move the town five miles away.
  • South Park:
    • The scientist stereotype relating to this trope is parodied in "Pee".
    • Al Gore is portrayed as this, constantly warning everybody of the dreaded... Manbearpig. The idiotic way that he approaches the problem (although all adults on the show tend to be idiots) makes his endeavors useless. Manbearpig is initially presented as a complete fabrication of Gore's, but his belief is "proven" when Manbearpig comes through to the real world from Imaginationland.note 
  • Superman: The Animated Series: In the pilot episode, "The Last Son of Krypton", Jor-El was actually discredited by Brainiac, who realized that Jor-El was right, but wanted to ensure his own survival over that of the Kryptonians.
  • Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go: In "Shake, Rattle & Bruno", Bruno the brake car gets paired up with Diesel to make an emergency delivery to a lighthouse. Bruno tries to warn Diesel not to go through Crumble Canyon due it being dangerous, even if it's the fastest route. And as he is the resident Clock King that has every route and timetable memorized, he could've found a safer solution. Diesel ignores him, which leads to the two encountering a rock slide.
  • In a flashback episode of The Venture Bros. Hunter Gathers, and Brock Samson try to tell the rest of OSI that the Guild of Calamitous Intent is still around. No one believes them, ridiculing them for not fighting Sphinx. Sargent Hatred, The Mole for the Guild has Hunter relocated to Guam, and Brock relocated to "Rusty's blanket", a task for rookies. Given that in the present the Guild is a Weird Trade Union known to most super-scientists and wizards, something must have happened between then and now.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): The Jor El


Interim Mayor Honeybee

When Honeybee becomes the interim mayor, she decides to make everyone happy by approving all the laws they want to happen all while ignoring Wolf's advice about the law she's approving. She learns her actions are disastrous when Whippeton and Ted's Folly declare war on Lone Moose and the town is in chaos thanks to everyone taking advantage of Honeybee's new laws.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / MayorPain

Media sources: