Follow TV Tropes


La Résistance

Go To
♫ "One day to a new beginning
Raise the flag of freedom high!" ♫

"Aux armes, citoyens! Formez vos bataillons! Marchons, marchons! Qu'un sang impur abreuve nos sillons!" note 
La Marseillaise

Wherever The Empire is, you'll always find La Résistance: A Ragtag Bunch of Misfits using The Power of Love and Friendship to fight against a tyrannical rule, often to help put the Government in Exile back into power. Always underdogs, they fight using guerrilla warfare and by raising the rabble of the people by revealing unpleasant truths about The Empire they've been trying to hide, causing the oppressed peoples to shake off the yokes of their tyrant rulers. Usually led by a Rebel Leader and armed via Vehicular Turnabout. Expect them to be opposed by Les Collaborateurs.

Almost inevitably, The Hero will join La Resistance while the battle is already underway, and will grow to become a great champion in the fight against The Empire. After all, Hollywood usually romanticizes resistance fighters, for three reasons. The first is rooted in America's origins as rebels fighting against a tyrannical monarchy during The American Revolution. The second is likewise World War II where the conflict between the Resistance and Nazi Germany fell, as close as it ever has, to clear divisions between right and wrong, and of course, Cool People Rebel Against Authority. In most cases in history and in Real Life, resistance movements are complex and confusing events. A common mistake is to confuse resistance movements with revolutionary movements, when this is not always the case. Some resistance movements are revolutionary, seeking to install a new regime to displace the old. Revolutions, needless to say, are complex, murky and at times brutal affairs. It has led in the past to the new regime forming the new government which can be as bad or worse than the old.


Of course, people rarely like having it pointed out that these groups are terrorists from the perspective of anyone who disagrees with them and Innocent Bystanders who may get caught up in the crossfire of said conflicts. This may be deliberately ironic, perhaps inviting a "we are Not So Different" moment. Or, the author might simply assume that the audience will always sympathize with rebel protagonists against The Empire, therefore moral justification of the rebellion is unnecessary and the rebels can get away with whatever is expedient. This could be averted if the Evil Empire really is evil and the rebels exercise chivalry and restraint.

Alternatively, La Resistance will be utterly incompetent and little more than an annoyance until the hero gets in there and shows them how it's done. Sometimes their inner dissensions render them nearly unable to get anything done. Expect at least one member of La Resistance to be The Mole, or a homegrown Les Collaborateurs sabotaging their efforts from the inside. La Resistance may even be defeated without the assistance of its enemy: when the only thing uniting it is opposition to The Empire, they may end up clashing thanks to some point of ideology (generally portrayed as stupid) or method (generally portrayed as worthwhile).


Also alternatively, La Resistance may represent the last remnants of the reactionary or counter-revolutionary cronies of the old regime fighting against the Revolutionary Progressive Forces. Once re-installed, the Resistance "heroes" decide to Retcon the revolution and institute purges for the cause of revenge, and remind people why exactly they were toppled in the first place. In some cases, as it happened in some parts of World War II, the Resistance contains factions who want to restore the old regime and factions which want to bring a new regime, and these two factions might struggle during and after the war.

When La Resistance form the main ensemble of the show, or one of them, they'll frequently exhibit a mix of characters similar to The Squad. However, they'll usually have sneakier methods, they tend to be more morally pragmatic and ruthless than most Squads, and in series like Battlestar Galactica members becoming Shell Shocked Veterans.

Sometimes La Resistance can be downright nasty. Usually, though, even at its worst La Resistance will be the Lesser of Two Evils. If not, Grey-and-Gray Morality may be at play. In an interesting twist, if the resistance is every bit as unscrupulous as The Empire, then the hero will end up doing a bit of Conspiracy Redemption or forming a third faction. Very occasionally, La Resistance may even be the Big Bad rebelling against a peaceful government. Occasionally, La Resistance will be shown in a more comedic light, where they don't do much besides sitting around debating theory.

Eventually, La Resistance will either die out, or grow into The Alliance as it gains power, allies, and sympathizers.

For the villainous equivalent, see The Remnant. For the opposite of La Resistance, see Les Collaborateurs. Sometimes La Resistance may not be heroes but villains, as happens in an Enemy Civil War.

Compare Vigilante Militia and The Magnificent Seven Samurai.

Not to be confused with the First-Person Shooter series, Resistance. Or with WWE's French-Canadian Foreign Wrestling Heel Tag Team La Résistance.

Examples subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • The SSS from Angel Beats! is comprised by a bunch of dead highschoolers who are rebelling against, not an empire, but God himself for the bad crap that had happened in their lives.
  • Code Geass features a prime example of the useless-and-only-an-annoyance-kind of La Resistance until Lelouch turns them from a bunch of scraps playing guerilla against the Britannian Empire to a fully organized and highly efficient army with victory after victory as its signature (that doesn't mean they're error-free, as we painfully find out in the Special Zone incident and the following Black Rebellion).
  • The Dorssian Royalists in Valvrave the Liberator. There was a coup ten years prior in which a military dictatorship imprisoned - but didn't kill - most of the centuries-old royal dynasty, who were beloved by the people. L-elf and A-drei, a former prince, are planning their own revolution to restore the royal family. Later, it's revealed that Kriemhild is also working with a Royalist faction. It's notable that the Chancellor of the military federation wears the crown and facial markings of the royalty - possibly indicating that those symbols are really still that powerful even after the coup.
  • In Endride, the Ignauts form as a revolutionary army seeking an ideally non-violent overthrow of the kingship, in hopes of more equality and support for the disadvantaged. When King Delzaine is suddenly killed by a third party, a major wrench is thrown in their plans and they end up becoming something of a temporary peacekeeping militia instead as the country falls apart.
  • The Gekkostate in Eureka Seven, an anti-military commune which opposes the United Federation.
  • Stick/Scott Bernard's True Companions in Genesis Climber MOSPEADA/Robotech: New Generation as they fight the Inbit/Invid that have invaded and conquered Earth.
  • The Joui from Gintama, who set out to take down the Amanto even if it meant going out into an all-out war with them. They failed. However, Katsura is the only one that makes an attempt to carry out any of the original group's ideals after that failure (and even then, it's kind of laughable); Gintoki decided that fighting stupid enemies was pointless and dropped out, Takasugi became a Nietzsche Wannabe in order to avenge the death of his teacher, and Sakamoto got a day job.
  • The People's Army in Glass Fleet is fighting against the tyrannical Holy Empire.
  • A staple of the Gundam series.
    • The original example being the AEUG, first introduced in Zeta Gundam. They were a bit of an odd example though, in that they did not oppose the government itself, per se, but rather they opposed the formation of an autonomous State Sec in space (the Titans). They actually started out as a lobbying group within the Federation government before arming themselves and taking in like-minded personnel from the Federation military. Once the Titans were abolished, the AEUG peacefully dissolved back into the Federation, their goals having been accomplished.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing dealt with five space colonies and their respective scientists training five teenage boys in guerrilla warfare and piloting their respective Gundams, just so that they could overthrow a corrupt Earth-based government led by the United Earth Sphere Alliance, followed by the Romefeller Foundation after the latter overthrew the former. Eventually, a new rebel army called White Fang would corrupt the very rebellion the Gundam pilots staged, namely by stealing a space station from Earth-based military organization, OZ, and dropping it on Earth to render it uninhabitable.
    • Crossbone Vanguard, originally The Empire in Gundam F91, turns into La Resistance in Crossbone Gundam.
    • Mobile Suit Victory Gundam has the League Militaire, created to fight the Zanscare Empire when the Federation is too weak to do so.
  • The Heroic Legend of Arslan features a restore-the-old-regime variant, with the young crown prince gathering an army to retake his fallen kingdom. "And thus, the boy becomes a king..."
  • Tends to show up in Leijiverse a lot, particularly in Arcadia of my Youth and Space Symphony Maetel.
  • One Piece has the Revolutionary Army, an anti-government faction directly opposed to the World Government and led by none other than Luffy's father, Dragon. So far they haven't actually appeared often, but they'll certainly be more important down the line. Luffy's ties to the Revolution have become stronger over the Time Skip. Robin was protected by them during those two years and it's recently been revealed that Luffy's other older brother, the long-thought dead Sabo, is alive and the second-in-command of the Revolutionary Army. Smaller examples of this trope include...
    • The rebellion of Alabasta; Believing that King Cobra has become The Caligula, they are completely unaware that they are in fact the Unwitting Pawn of Sir Crocodile's coup, and when the rebel leader learns the Awful Truth, he tries to enlighten his fellow rebels- only to learn firsthand that Crocodile's Baroque Works have infiltrated both rebel and royal armies.
    • The Tontatta Tribe found in Dressrosa. Consisting entirely of dwarfs and one renegade Living Toy, they are dedicated to upending Don Quixote Doflamingo's rule of the kingdom and reinstating the ruling family prior to Doflamingo's coup.
  • Romeo X Juliet has the followers of the overthrown regime of the Capulets, fighting against the usurper Lord Montague. Not quite as Shakespeare wrote it, but it's more of an homage to Shakespeare's favorite tropes in general than an adaptation - Juliet is a Sweet Polly Oliver vigilante, for one.
  • In Saint Beast, the rebellion against Zeus is lead by the six Saint Beasts until four of them end up Brainwashed and Crazy leading to its failure and Judas and Luca taking the fall for it.
  • Shimoneta's OP explains that SOX is fighting the oppression of the Japanese government's censorship laws, which has banned all pornographic material and use of foul language for the last 16 years. Their country now has the highest morality rating in the world, except it's come at the expense of its citizens no longer understanding even basic Sex-Ed. SOX's goal is to correct the problem, for which, they've been branded as a group of "ero terrorists".
  • Team Dai-Gurren from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Not only do they rebel against Lord Genome and his forces, but also the millennia-long reign of the Anti-Spirals.
  • Lupin III runs into these a few times.
    • In The Hemingway Papers, Lupin finds himself searching for a lost treasure on the island of Colcaca, where a bunch of prospectors and mercenaries have taken over the island and started a war amongst themselves. The native islanders formed The Scorpions, a guerrilla force dedicated to liberating their home. Unfortunately, they were found out and the result wasn't pretty. Only one member survived, this story's Girl of the Week.
    • In The Secret of Twilight Gemini: After more than three hundred years of civil war, the remnants of the Geltic Tribe continue to fight the oppression of the Igo Tribe, who drove them from their ancestral home. Lara and her friend, Zora, lead them in the quest to unify their people and reclaim their homeland. With help from Lupin, of course.
  • Kenji of 20th Century Boys form a resistance out of a Ragtag Bunch Of Middle-Aged School Pals. A move eventually followed by his niece, Kanna, which takes the original (and now leveled up) members and throws in the part of the Chinese Mafia.
  • In Death Note, the Anti-Kira Taskforce gradually becomes this as Kira's rule spreads and gains support, especially after the US of A stops opposing him.
  • Kill la Kill has Nudist Beach, which live up to the name by being clothed in nothing but strategically placed belts and pouches. They fight against the usage of clothing for oppression.
  • In Attack on Titan:
    • The entire Survey Corps begins a rebellion against the Government Conspiracy while the rest of the military either opposes them or stays out of the mess. After an Engineered Public Confession, whereby the Monarchy orders Wall Sina sealed after Wall Rose apparently fell and dooming a half of the remaining human population, the other two military branches quickly join them.
    • The Eldian Restorationist movement, an underground resistance working with the mysterious Owl to overthrow Marley's government and restore the Eldian kingdom. Grisha Yeager was a member of this organization, and attempted to use his own son to infiltrate the government's Tyke Bomb program. It backfired horribly, with young Zeke betraying the group by reporting them to the Secret Police. The entire organization was arrested, tortured, and then transformed into mindless Titans as punishment for their actions. Only Grisha survived, after the Owl revealed himself and rescued him.
  • Inazuma Eleven Go! features "The Resistance", a group fighting against Fifth Sector who rule over the JHS soccer world with an iron fist, fixing matches and taking away "real soccer". The Resistance is based at Teikoku and existed before Raimon began their solo fight against Fifth Sector, although Raimon join The Resistance after they beat Teikoku in Holy Road.
  • In Blue Comet SPT Layzner, eventually the Gradosian Empire transforms Earth into a Vichy Earth. therefore, Eiji and his friends become this towards Grados and its leaders, Gresco and specially specially Ruu-Kain. This includes Eiji returning to his friends's sides with Layzner after being MIA, David and Simone as a Battle Couple and resistance leaders, Anna as an Action Survivor bordering on Messianic Archetype, Roanne as The Mole, Arthur trying to be The Mole, Julia as a Guile Heroine and Actual Pacifist...
  • Harato's militia in The Legend of Mother Sarah is composed mainly of resistance fighters whose main goal is to overthrow the military oligarchs of Mother Earth and Epoch in order to end the False Dichotomy both factions propose in regards to what to do with Earth's future.

    Comic Books 
  • Amulet has the unoriginally named "The Resistance", staffed by Funny Animals.
  • The Gaulish villagers in Asterix might be regarded as a somewhat humorous version of this.
  • In the Spanish comic book Fanhunter also, the unoriginally named The Resistance (an army of comic-book fans, otakus, geeks, gamers, nerds, roleplayers, etc.).
  • The Prodigals in Kill Shakespeare who are trying to take down Richard III.
  • There's a few of these brewing against Armtech in Last Man Standing.
  • The Secret Avengers and Typeface's Gang during the Civil War.
  • Star Wars (Marvel 1977) has a resistance on Solay, trying to topple a pro-Empire king. They call on the Rebel Alliance for help after Endor, but it turns out the head of the resistance had secretly also been pro-Empire - soon after the king is deposed, the Imperial fleet comes in and imposes martial law, controlling the system directly.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe Legacy series, set over 130 years after the original trilogy, has the Sith taking over the galaxy again and the two governments they overthrew, the Galactic Alliance and the Fel Empire, forming two separate resistance movements that initially don't trust each other for fairly obvious reasons.
  • The Undergrounder rebels from Megalex.
  • Played with interestingly in the Star Trek graphic novel The Modala Imperative. Captain Kirk and Spock help the resistance on the planet Modala break up a vicious dictatorship; a hundred years later, the Next Generation crew arrive to help celebrate the anniversary of the original coup and discover the erstwhile rebel leaders are now beating back an uprising themselves. Then suddenly everyone must put aside their differences when the real Big Bad beams in - the Ferengi, who had sold the original dictatorship their weapons and have now come to collect from the current rulers.
    • Also in the current comic book series "Year 4", continuing where the original series ended, the rebels attack with the crew present (and later kidnap Kirk) in order to get the Federation to intervene in their the same time as the government tries to blow up the Enterprise, to get the Federation to intervene in their conflict.
  • A major Story Arc in Strontium Dog follows a young Johnny joining the mutant resistance against the violently anti-mutant government.
  • Judge Dredd:
    • Judge Dredd has personally led resistances on a number of occasions, such as against Chief Judge Cal ("The Day the Law Died"), the East-Meg occupational army ("Apocalypse War") and the Dark Judges ("Necropolis").
    • The Dark Judges used to have their own anti-Judge resistance to deal with when they made everything punishable by death on their homeworld.
  • The Picaros from the eponymous Tintin adventure. Tintin demands that their revolution will not see a drop of blood shed, much to the humorous consternation of many involved. Including the dictator being overthrown.
  • Subverted with Alpha Trion's group in Transformers: TransTech. Turns out it's a cover for a sinister plot involving the Grand Theft Me of TransTech bodies.
    • Doctor Who Magazine has one issue where the Doctor has to fall in with a group of celts as allies. Unfortunately, none of them are great fighters and one of them is technically a Pict. Which leads to the following line.
    The Doctor: Great, the Resistance is useless.
  • Magneto's X-Men during the Age of Apocalypse is this to a T.
  • In The Movement, the emponymous organization is against the corrupt local police department. Having superpowered teens and the disenfranchised on their side also helps.
  • In Forever Evil, with the Justice Leagues missing, pockets of remaining superheroes are trying to fight back. The Teen Titans are one group, with the main event series following Lex Luthor's newly minted Legion of Doom.
  • Serenity: Leaves on the Wind: The New Resistance, an anti-Alliance grassroots organization founded after the Miranda revelations. Actually funded and organized by Alliance black ops as a trap for would-be rebels, who are then slaughtered, but for the ones who came with Serenity, in a round of raids on their meeting sites.
  • Sojourn: Arwyn and Gareth meet one in Ankar.
  • The Two-Fours of We Stand on Guard are this to the United States' The Empire. The crew includes a former police chief, an actor, and a teenaged survivalist.
  • Pocket Universe Lex Luthor's team of human survivors on his home world, which includes Pete Ross, Supergirl, Bruce Wayne, Hal Jordan, and Oliver Queen, in The Supergirl Saga in the Superman comic book titles in 1988. Their many enemy is the Phantom Zone criminals that Lex Luthor accidentally let loose to destroy the Pocket Universe Earth by turning it into a lifeless husk.
  • Many of the missions for Hunter's Hellcats involved them providing assistance to resistance groups in German-occupied countries.
  • Legends of the Dead Earth:
    • In Superman: The Man of Steel Annual #5, the rebellion, led by Ambrose, is attempting to defeat the Empire, a brutal regime that encompasses a thousand worlds across the galaxy.
    • In Impulse Annual #1, the speedster Kinnock established the Invisible Resistance on Mtoncanf two years after the Dargonian Empire invaded the planet. As he knows that they do not have the resources to prevail in a direct confrontation with the Dargonians, Kinnock takes a more subtle approach. The Invisible Resistance attacks them without even letting them know that they are being attacked by sabotaging their computer systems, tainting their food and air supplies and overrunning their quarters with insects. It is Kinnock's hope that the Dargonians will eventually decide that Mtoncanf is more trouble than it is worth and abandon the planet.
    • In The Power of Shazam! Annual #1, the Aberrants are considered non-believers and dangerous rebels by the Science Council because they reject science and embrace magic. Led by Matriarch, the Aberrants' goal is to change the government through peaceful means. Matriarch is disgusted when she discovers that Dash Noir has been using violence to achieve their aims.
    • In Justice League America Annual #10, Ted Kord and Maxima started a rebellion against Lord Havok and the Alliance on War World.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): The "Gremlins" lead a Slave Revolt turned revolution against the Ytirflirk Empire. Strangly for a superhero comic this pretty much happens off-screen and is only known because one of the revolutionaries gets stuck on earth for a few years and hangs around Steve Trevor for most of that time.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Wonder Woman becomes the figurehead and leader of a resistance in the Sangtee Empire that achieves its goal of forcing the abolition of slavery and the legalization of female citizens in the Empire. There were fractured ineffectual revolts and uprisings before but they never achieved anything before Wondy showed up and took charge.
  • Code Name: Gravedigger: In Men of War #10, Gravedigger's plane crashes behind enemy lines in Germany. He is rescued by a Jewish resistance cell consisting mainly of children. These children become his companions for the next several issues.
  • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog expands on the Saturday Morning cartoon by establishing other Freedom Fighter groups outside of the Knothole Freedom Fighters.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Dragon Lady becomes a resistance leader, fighting the Japanese invaders in Terry and the Pirates. Terry and Pat are frequently dragged into her plots. Other resistance leader, such as the Blue Tiger, also feature prominently.

    Fan Works 
  • In Equestria: A History Revealed, Celestia is forced to create the resistance to reclaim all of Equestria that she lost in her absence to Nightmare Moon. She reclaims small towns at first, relying on guerilla tactics while slowly amassing a larger and larger army of ponies who choose to fight on her side, before eventually reclaiming the east with a large enough army to move into the rest of Equestria.
  • Pony POV Series:
    • The Dark World Series has several rebel groups aimed at bringing down Discord. While there's some level of cooperation between them, there doesn't appear to be a central command structure aside from Discord himself infiltrating several groups and riling them up for his own amusement...or so it seemed, as by this time Discord had long since undergone a Heel–Face Turn Eclipse was preventing him from acting upon, so his motives may have been far less sinister by that point.
    • Dark World also has the changelings, who thanks to Cadance are now symbiotic instead of parasitic and protect ponies from Discord. They're also immune to Discord's magic thanks to Cadance. Cadance once ruled them and their kingdom Avalon was about the only place safe from Discord. While she was eventually killed and it destroyed, the Changelings are still protecting ponies from Discord and Discord hasn't managed to infiltrate them either.
    • The Shining Armor Arc has a group of Deer opposed to Makarov and the Hooviets, led by their true goddess, Mother Deer. The group eventually allies with Shining and Cadence's forces.
    • During the Wedding Arc, this role falls to the Mane Six, the real Cadence and her entourage, and Misfit Actual, after Chrysalis' more elaborate and thought out plan succeeds in leaving Canterlot occupied by her forces without the main populace even being aware of it. As such, she's able to convince the public that Cadence is the imposter, and that she's brainwashed the others. This forces them into hiding and having to strike against Chrysalis when they can, but they also manage to slowly reach out to trusted individuals in Canterlot, who are able to spread the word and round up help. By the time of the arc's climax, most of Canterlot has been roused up into an army, which fights the changelings alongside the heroes.
  • The Sufferists in Hivefled, although more of a Black-and-Grey Morality due to their Well-Intentioned Extremist leader Lereal. Either way, things don't end well for them.
  • Night's Favored Child has the Harbingers of Dawn (or "Dawnists", for short). They're mostly in the background right now, but Twilight's late parents were members, as is Miss Loch, the head of the orphanage Twilight grew up in.
  • Empath: The Luckiest Smurf has Empath secretly forming one in the alternate timeline where Papa Smurf marries Smurfette.
  • My Hostage Not Yours: The third story, where Zim and Gaz go full-scale Villain Protagonist and start taking over Earth, sees Dib form a resistance with his classmates, which he simply calls "the Group" (Gaz lampshades how lame it is). There's also the Swollen Eyeball Network, which proves to be much more effective. Both fail, though the epilogue reveals that resistance groups continue to pop up worldwide for years afterwards.
  • Mega Man Recut has the Underground Alliance in "Future Shock."
  • Queen of Shadows has the Shogunate in the Shadows, the elite group of warriors gathered from across Japan by Lord Rokutaro to lead his regular armies against the Shadowkhan.
  • The Power That's Inside has Pikachu leading one of these.
  • In The Lunar Rebellion, a number of loyalist militias/insurgencies sprung up during the eponymous conflict, when Pegasopolis rose in rebellion against the rest of Equestria.
    • Multiple small, disorganized ones formed by Solar loyalists spring in earth pony territory controlled by the rebels, with their scattered and decentralized nature (as well as their ability to go to ground amongst the civilians whenever Pegasopolian troops come around) making it very difficult for the elite pegasus army to fight the otherwise inexperienced and poorly supplied earth pony militias.
    • A larger resistance is led by the unicorn magus Mossy Banks, who gathered a large number of loyalist earth ponies in his home in Froggy Bottom Bog and started striking rebel patrols and supply trains, keeping attacks at bay with a combination of ambushes, hostile terrain and using his magic to turn the very bog and its animals against invaders. It’s mentioned that in modern times, Mossy Banks has become something of a folk legend.
  • The Queen Of Sunshine And Bright Things: It's mentioned that the benevolent Queen Elsa gets several petitions a month from angry citizens who fear her ice powers and want to dethrone her. A few days in a cell usually fixes the issue, at least until the next attempted resistance starter pops up.
  • Fallen Kingdom has the Fire Flower resistance, led by Yoshi, which has resisted Bowser since he took the world.
  • The ERF in Power Rangers Cosmic Defenders starts out as this, before becoming an Ultraman-esque defence organisation.
  • For The Glory Of Irk: After The Conspiracy pulling the strings of the Irken Empire is uncovered, the Irkens aware of it and free of its control start building a resistance based on Earth, with nominal support from the Syndicate.

    Films — Animation 
  • Shrek Forever After: The alternate universe has a secret band of ogres, led by Princess Fiona, who plan to attack and overthrow Rumpelstiltskin.
  • South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut is the Trope Namer with a French-themed La Resistance being composed of the children of South Park rebelling against their parents in the hope of rescuing Terrence and Philip from being executed. They even had their own song, as well as a Dark Reprise.
  • Sky Blue: A spontaneous rebellion forms around Shua after one of them is killed by Ecoban soldiers. They end up being instrumental to Dr. Noah's plan.
  • Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension: The alternate dimension versions of Candace, Buford, Baljeet (sorry, Dr. Baljeet), Isabella and the Fireside Girls, and later, Phineas and Ferb, are members of the Resistance against the alternate dimension version of Doofenshmirtz.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Adventures of Tartu: In this 1943 film, the resistors are the Czechs who don't agree with their Nazi occupiers. Terence is a British spy who has come to infiltrate a gas plant and has difficulty reaching the underground network to complete his mission, and his cover is so good, they think he's trying to infiltrate them and kill them one by one.
  • Æon Flux: The Monicans. who are struggling to bring down the Goodchild regime.
  • Apocalypse: The Haters, which is One Nation Earth's name for underground groups of persecuted Christians during the Tribulation in this film series.
  • The Army of Crime: The French film is all about La Resistance, being set in Second World War France during the German occupation. Based on a true story.
  • Army of Shadows: Another French film about the Resistance, directed by Jean-Pierre Melville, an actual Resistance fighter. He was critical of romanticized depictions of the resistance, and called out some of his countrymen for falsely claiming, after France was liberated, to have been resistance fighters.
  • Barbarella: The Always Chaotic Evil city of Sogo has an underground resistance movement that wants to overthrow the Black Queen and start a regime that's more similar to the peaceful, free-loving 41st century Earth. The resistance is led by Dildano, who rescues Barbarella from being executed and they team up to take down the Black Queen. Ultimately it's all for nothing, as the entire city gets destroyed and everyone in it dies at the end.
  • The Birth of a Nation (2016): A historical drama about Nat Turner and his attempted slave rebellion in the Antebellum South in 1831 (see Real Life for more details).
  • In Bumblebee the Autobots are specifically referred to as the Autobot Resistance. What this says about the state of the war...
  • Captive State: Rafe is a member of a resistance cell called "Phoenix" that opposes the Legislators. It's later shown there's a national network in the US which they're a part of.
  • Casablanca: The French partisans (and their counterparts from the rest of Occupied Europe). Their singing of "La Marseillaise" (which provides the page quote).
  • Cloud Atlas:
    • The Union in Neo Seoul. A case of Adaptational Heroism, as in the book Somni states Union is merely a front for Neo Seoul's government to identify and eliminate dissent, while the film plays it straight.
    • Cavendish mounts a minor one in the retirement home.
  • Defiance: The Bielski Partisans form such a group against German occupation of Belarus, as do the Soviet Partisans also featured in the movie.
  • C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America: The John Brown Underground, an abolitionist movement operating out of Canada to undermine the Confederate States of America. Among other things, they're accused of being behind the assassination of John Ambrose Fauntroy IV and the "One Drop Scandal" that led to the suicide of his son, John Ambrose Fauntroy V over accusations of having black ancestry.
  • Demolition Man: Features a resistance which is all about, amongst other things, the "choice to run naked down the street covered in lime jello."
  • Double Dragon: There's a neon-overall-clad teenage resistance named the Power Corps, which is led by the Action Girl Love Interest in the battle against Vanilla Ice as played by T-1000.
  • In Eastern Condors, Tung Ming-sum and The Squad join up with a band of Cambodian guerillas who are fighting the Vietnamese army. The two groups combine forces to complete the mission of locating and destroying the bunker.
  • Equilibrium: Anyone who doesn't take the emotion-suppressing drug called Prozium is labeled as a "Sense Offenser" and rebels against the tyranny of the Grammaton Clerics.
  • G.I. Joe: In the movie G.I. Joe: Retaliation, G.I. Joe will become this after Cobra has Zartan become the President of the United States and brand G.I. Joe as terrorists and that G.I. Joe must now take the world back from Cobra and drive them out of the country.
  • The Girl From Monday: The Partisans are a youthful rebel movement seeking to overthrow Triple M, the corporation which rules the future US.
  • The Great Escape: The "X" organisation composed of a group of Allied POWs who stage the titular escape attempt. Part of their motivation is to disrupt Nazi operations by forcing them to start a manhunt for escaped prisoners.
    • One of the escapees is eventually aided by members of the French Resistance who protect him from a drive-by shooting of Nazi officers and help him make his way to Spain.
  • The Czech Resistance against the Nazi occupiers is one of the main focal points of Hangmen Also Die!, being responsible for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in this version of history.note 
  • Harriet: The Underground Railroad and its various satellite organizations, as per Real Life.
  • Hero: Only a small group of five elite assassins is actually seen, but apparently assassins from the other conquered Kingdoms try to kill the emperor every other week.
  • Heroes of the Underground, set during the Sino-Japanese war, has a group of local resistance fighters led by their local folk hero, Dong Yi-shan.
  • The House of Flying Daggers: The title of the film is actually the name of a resistance group.
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and both its successors The Hunger Games: Mockingjay have civil unrest slowly growing into a full scale revolutionary war.
  • Independence Day: Resurgence: The Sphere, a benevolent alien supercomputer discovered by the protagonists, has gathered survivors of the Harvester aliens' previous attacks on a secret planet to train them for warfare. At the end of the movie, it asks humanity to join and lead the war against the Harvesters.
  • It Happened Here: Subverted Trope, where the protagonist regards the Resistance as worse than the German occupiers.
  • Both of Jojo from Jojo Rabbit ’s parents are active members of the German Resistance against the Nazis. His father defected to fight for the Allies and his mother harbors a Jewish girl in their house and distributes anti-party leaflets around the town. However, she gets busted and is publicly hanged as a traitor.
  • Kanał: About the Polish Home Army and the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, in which the Home Army fought for control of the city against the occupying Germans.
  • In Lacombe, Lucien, a teenaged boy tries to join the Resistance. The leader rejects him, so he joins the Milice (the French Gestapo) instead.
  • Land of the Blind: The film has the resistance be popular at the beginning, then after taking power become at least as bad or worse than the dictator they overthrew.
  • The Matrix: Has a population of humans attempting to strengthen numbers by freeing people imprisoned in a virtual simulation created by advanced artificial intelligence using them as a fuel source.
  • Monty Python's Life of Brian: Hilariously parodied, where there's more than one resistance, they don't do anything other than discuss things around a table, and the only time they actually do something they screw it up by arguing with each other. "THE JUDEAN PEOPLE'S FRONT? Splitters!" Even better if you take it as a comment on the state of left-wing and Palestinian movements in that time (though the Jewish rebels then also had this).
  • Night Train to Lisbon: This movie, set partly during the dictatorship of Salazar in Portugal, features one of the most relevant groups throughout the film.
  • No Regrets for Our Youth (1946) is about a left-wing Japanese student who joins the underground anti-war left, as fascism rises in Japan. He's eventually arrested by State Sec.
  • Oblivion (2013): A big group of humans led by Malcolm Beech who live underground the wasteland Earth. They may or may not be all that's left of the human race.
  • "Pimpernel" Smith: This film, which is The Scarlet Pimpernel in World Ware II, with a stuffy English professor running a resistance network rescuing Jewish and other persecuted prisoners and funnelling them to Britain.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End: Has the pirates of the world resisting termination at hands of the East India Trading Company. Ironically, when your cast is made of an Anti-Hero couple, a Gentleman Thief and an Affably Evil pirate, the only way to cheer for their resisting the law is by making the Government absurdly evil and corrupt.
  • Red Dawn (1984): The school kids who head off into the mountains to fight the Evil Empire in the movie are a perfect example of this trope. Readers here may be more familiar with it being referred to as a documentary on one of the radio stations in GTA Vice City. ''Wolverines!'
  • Red Dawn (2012): The same goes for this remake except instead of the Soviet Union, it's now North Korea overrunning the United States.
  • Sleeping Dogs: The Resistance guerrillas fighting an oppressive police state that has taken over New Zealand.
  • Soldier of Orange: It's pretty much a heroic tale of the Dutch resistance fighting against the German occupiers.
  • The trope namer is examined in The Sorrow and the Pity, a documentary about France during the years of Nazi occupation. While several Resistance members are interviewed and tell their stories, the film makes clear that the Resistance wasn't universally supported, not by a long shot. A theater owner calls them "terrorists", and a French aristocrat talks about how the Resistance tried to recruit him, but instead he decided to fight for the Germans and joined the Waffen SS.
  • Star Wars:
    • The Rebel Alliance, who struggle against the Galactic Empire for control of the galaxy.
    • The Force Awakens, set three decades after the original trilogy, introduces a group called "The Resistance", a scrappy insurgency who fight the First Order. The Resistance has the unofficial support of the New Republic (the government born out of the Rebel Alliance), who won't commit to open war with the First Order. The Resistance is technically an aversion - it exists not as a resistance movement as such, but as a private military operated by Leia Organa.
      • In The Last Jedi, Poe Dameron introduces himself to the First Order as a Commander "of the Republic fleet", since with the destruction of the New Republic capital and its fleet, the Resistance is the de-facto remnant of the New Republic, but the First Order simply view them as rebels by this point.
  • Terminator: The entirety of the series has the Resistance against Skynet's Empire.
  • Top Secret!: Has the French Resistance in East Germany. (Why? Because it's funny, of course.)
  • Valkyrie: Unusually for this trope, this movie focuses on the German resistance during World War II rather than that of the occupied countries.
  • The X-Men of the Bad Future in X-Men: Days of Future Past, though by the time the movie starts they seem to be able to accomplish little but stay one step ahead of the enemy.
  • Zwartboek (Black Book): Deals with the Dutch resistance in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II.

  • Leonard Cohen's song "The Partisan", from Songs from a Room, is a translation of a 1942 song about the French resistance during World War Two.
  • The Chant des Partisans, which exalts the sacrifices made by the opponents to the Nazi occupation and became the unofficial anthem of the French Resistance, is one extremely badass example.
  • The Resistance is a reoccurring faction in Kaizers Orchestra's song universe, especially in Ompa Til Du Dør, which is set during WW2.
  • Subverted in the film Rattle and Hum, where, during a performance of "Sunday, Bloody Sunday", Bono rages against the IRA, and calls out Irish Americans for glamourising and idolising what most Irish people view as ruthless terrorists.
  • The 1970 sci-fi concept album Blows Against the Empire by Paul Kantner & Jefferson Starship has hippies in the 1990s operating as La Résistance against an increasingly oppressive US government.
  • Sabaton's songs "Coat of Arms" about the Greek resistance and "Uprising" about the doomed 1944 Warsaw Uprising glorify the tough resistance of those patriots who fought the Nazis and tried to free their countries.

  • The Resistance was the original title announced for what became Welcome to Our Village, Please Invade Carefully about an alien invasion in the English Home Counties. The Resistance in this case consists of just two people.
  • Journey into Space: In The World in Peril, Paddy Flynn tells the Discovery crew and Frank Rogers that he is the leader of a resistance against the Martians. He composed a rebel song, "The Green Hills of Earth", that he and the other resistance members sing on a regular basis. However, Paddy later admits that the so-called rebellion had been mostly talk and that he had never intended to take direct action against the Martians.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Dark Sun has the Veiled Alliance which provides most support in areas of non-defiling magic and helping slaves to escape.
    • Forgotten Realms got Randal Morn and his supporters conducting guerilla war against Zhentarim occupation of Daggerdale for about 16 years (1353-1369) before Zhents were finally kicked out and he became the official ruler. Calimshan has Janessar, the group with strongholds in Marching Mountains that works to support common folk and free slaves.
  • Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution: The Zodiac Order and they play this image up to new recruits and hangers-on. They're an underground organization of disenfranchised espers (primarily young espers) living on the fringes of society that actively fight against the government to bring in a new world where they'll be free.
  • Magic: The Gathering has the Mirran resistance struggling against the forces of New Phyrexia. They know the odds are against them and that they are vastly outnumbered, which is reflected in the greater number of Phyrexian cards in the "New Phyrexia" block, but they refuse to lay down and give up.
    • In Return to Ravnica story, the population who are not part of the ten guilds are starting to take up arms against those guilds. Considering that the ten guilds include The Mafia who'll bleed people (of their money or life) dry, Mad Scientist guild who should be maintaining the city's infrastructure but aren't, sneaky spy guild, an entire clan of barbarians and so on, it is understandable why the populace are angry.
    • The Renegades of Kaladesh block, who reject the repressive Consulate's control over the aether flow. They're not shown to be totally pleasant (they have ties with organised crime), but given that the Consulate has been Hijacked By Nicol Bolas (via his proxy Tezzeret), there was pretty much no way they wouldn't be the good guys.
  • In Giant Guardian Generation, the Revolutionary United Front has taken up arms against the Outsider-led United Earth Federation. Curiously, although they're outnumbered, the RUF appears to have the technological edge of better Gears and the AI-controlled Mobile Battleship Wagner.
  • The Champions scenario The Sands of Time features an extradimensional species, the Orisha, who are ruled by a theocracy set up by one of the scenario's villains. There is also a rebel movement of heretics, though not too surprisingly, they're a little nuts. Still, they heretics are a resistance force who can help the PCs against the evil government of their world.
  • The Resistance is all about this. Some players (randomly chosen) are the Resistance, and some are The Mole. The aim of the resistance is to accomplish at least three out of five missions. The aim of the traitors is to sabotage at least three out of five missions.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! card Huge Revolution is part of a story where the Oppressed People started to plot and plan until they formed a United Resistance against a tyrant. While this first revolution was unsuccessfull, the Emperor's cruelty and carelessness led to a second, successful one. (To date, at least. When last seen, he was being mocked by his former subjects, but future cards may continue the story.)

  • In Les Misérables, Les Amis de l'ABC (whose name has "the friends of the downtrodden" as a second meaning).

  • In Homestuck, The Warweary Villein unites the pawns of Prospit and Derse and leads a rebellion against the Black King to end the war on Skaia. Then Jack Noir starts his bloody rampage, starting with the combined armies...
    • Later, on post-Scratch Earth, adult versions of Rose and Dave lead La Resistance against the forces of Betty Crocker/the Condesce, who far in the future has taken over everything. Unfortunately, they are doomed to fail, but they go down fighting and take out some of her top puppet leaders in the process.
  • In Nip and Tuck, the Show Within the Show Rebel Cry shows the revolt against the Empire — which gets crushed.
  • Magick Chicks: After Cerise takes over Artemis Academy (chapter 16) and enthralls the faculty along with the rest of the student body, The Ninja Club are among the only ones left to oppose her. So they secretly abduct Dark Skye and replace her with Rain, in order to spy on Cerise and undermine her authority.
  • Without Moonlight is a WWII war/spy drama set in Athens. It showcases a rare example of the Greek resistance.
  • Remus is centered around one of these in a Dystopian future United States. Whether they're any better than the people their fighting is a major source of tension.
  • Deviant Universe had the Freedom Fighters in the Freedom War arc, and the superheros of the world fighting against Omega in the Omega Rising arc.
  • In Sluggy Freelance, when demons invade the Dimension of Lame, the humans put together a resistance movement. Unfortunately, since it's a very lame dimension, "resistance" consists mainly of hitting the demons with pies, and most people in the dimension even think that makes them no better than the demons who kill them for fun and eat their souls. It's a very, very lame dimension.
  • In Squid Row, one of the elderly they go carolling for belonged to the French Resistance.
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, Galatea joins Riboflavin thinking he represents some romanticized version of this. He's actually a megalomaniac.
  • The Resistance in The Order of the Stick is composed of two of the main characters and a bunch of Azurites whose main goal is to fight Xykon's troops who are currently occupying Azure City after having won a huge battle and taken over the city. Eventually, Haley and Belkar leave the group, leaving the paladin Thanh in charge of the Resistance.
    • There are also two other factions, one claims The Order corrupted Lord Hinjo, and the other thinks Hinjo was responsible for the death of lord Shojo, and the Order were cohorts. The three groups don't get along at all, until united due to a makeshift prophecy.
      • As of strips 825-827, Redcloak has successfully killed every member of the resistance except for Niu, and destroyed their base.
  • In The Specialists, the French Resistance plays an important role — such as here and here.
  • In Terra the Resistance want to stop the war between the humans and Azatoth because the unaligned races and civilians are getting it in the shorts, and because factions on both sides (the military-industrial complex in the UEC, and the Shadow Cabal in the Asurian Empire) have ulterior motives for continuing it. The Resistance formed out of an alliance between several militias and resistance groups.
  • In Without Moonlight there is the actual Resistance against the Nazi Occupation in Greece that is being organized, and the resistance by the gang of street rats Fotis leads throughout the comic.
  • In Ensign Sue Must Die, after Sue Prime creates the Sueniverse for her and her progeny to have her 'perfect' world, a multiverse-spanning resistance forms to fight the Sues and anyone they corrupted, consisting of Kirk, Bones, The War Doctor, Sherlock Holmes, Optimus Prime, Mr. T, Snake Eyes, Snoopy (as the Red Baron), Superman, the SWAT Kats, Luigi, Michael Jordan, Pippi Longstocking, Hercules, Xena Warrior Princess, Sailor Moon, Applejack, Scrooge McDuck, Spinks, Sam and Dean Winchester, Agent Coulson, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Moomintroll, Speedy Gonzales, Mega Man, Michaelangelo, and Bruce Lee.
  • Existential Comics: The 10th July 2017 comic discusses and spoofs the Existentialists involved in the French Resistance (Sartre, Beauvoir, Camus), noting that it amounted to three people more or less doing the same thing they did during the wartime but somehow convincing themselves that it's actually resisting Nazism. Of course this might be considered unfair if only when placed in context of the historical Resistance, most of which was far tinier than advertised and militarily not as impactful until D-Day, while Sartre was imprisoned for several months in a POW month after the Fall of France.

    Web Original 
  • Attempted in Welcome to Night Vale, when Tamika Flynn's army of well-read children try to rise up against StrexCorp.
  • The Chaos Timeline has various. Spaniards against Republican France, Germans against Russians and Italians, (again) various against the Socialists.
  • In Decades of Darkness, there are several ones fighting the expansionist, slaveholding *USA, like the Velvet Underground in Pennsylvania, Mexican generals like Juarez, and Eunuco Mitchell (it's a pseudonym). Unfortunately, none have prevailed.
  • In Shadowhunter Peril, the main characters are forced to become the Resistance because it's either fight back or die. They actually end up doing a pretty good job, even amassing a giant army of phoenixes and raining a fiery storm down upon the Big Bad's capital city. Currently they're in the middle of the final battle, so there's no way of knowing who's going to win, especially with Lilith and Valentine still alive.
  • Taking from its source material, the Rebellion in The Gungan Council have been revived several times to restore democracy after the Galactic Empire came back.
  • In Victoria, a story from The Wanderer's Library, the Earth has been taken over by… something. What exactly is never made clear, but they're opposed by the Human Resistance Group, who uses superior numbers and technology to fight back. Whether it eventually succeeds or fails is never elaborated upon.
  • In Survival of the Fittest, the main opposition to the Arthro Taskforce, the terrorist organisation behind the games, comes from STAR, a militia primarily composed of past SOTF escapees and defected terrorists, who seek to destroy the AT and put an end to SOTF. Although they haven't managed a complete victory yet, in Version Four they launched a direct assault on the terrorist headquarters, killed Danya and rescued almost thirty of the abducted students. They didn't do anything in Version Five, but as of the prologue to Version Six, they seem to know about the latest abductions and to be planning some kind of intervention.
  • No W has the Continental Army, a domestic militia group that emerges in 2008, composed of Americans of all stripes opposed to the oppressive Santorum administration.
  • New Deal Coalition Retained has a couple of examples:
    • The Polish Home Army, a militia formed by Lech Wałęsa after he secretly returns from exile during World War III, and which rises up against the communists when the war turns against them, thus enabling the Allied invasion and liberation of the country.
    • The Timurid Liberation Front, a rebel army in the Soviets' Central Asian territories who rise up during WWIII in reaction to repression and being used as Cannon Fodder on the other fronts.

    Western Animation 
  • By the third season of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang and his True Companions are basically this. See also: Order of the White Lotus in the last couple episodes.
    • The invasion force from the Day of Black Sun, made up of the Gang's allies from the two remaining nations opposing the war.
    • The Freedom Fighters (no, not the Sonic ones) fit this, even if they are a bunch of Well Intentioned Extremists.
    • There are active resistances of Earth Kingdom citizens against the Fire Nation occupying forces throughout the series. We see one of them in "Return to Omashu."
  • The Maximals in Beast Machines.
  • In The Movie Kim Possible A Sitch in Time, Kim's twin little brothers and tech buddy form a resistance by teaming up with an army of Super-enhanced Naked Mole-rats to overthrow an evil Shego who went from being a sidekick to an Evil Overlord who calls herself the supreme one.
    • Should be noted that every person in the resistance is some how connected to Kim and Ron
    • This trope was actually implied by one of the twins who yells "Viva La Renaissance" while shooting at the enemy to save his sister and friend.
  • Lampshaded in Justice League by Green Lantern in "Hearts and Minds." "There's always a resistance, isn't there?"
  • The Resisty from Invader Zim were a resistance movement against the Irken Empire. To their credit, they very nearly destroyed the Massive, but only because Zim had seized control of it and had removed its defenses. Also in Invader Zim is the Swollen Eyeball Network, a group of genre-savvy conspiracy theorists who have foiled alien invasions. Naturally, Dib is a proud member, codenamed Agent Mothman.
  • The Burners in Motorcity, against Abraham Kane of Detroit Deluxe.
  • The backstory of one chef in Ratatouille involved running guns for one of these. "Which one?" "He won't say - apparently they didn't win."
  • The Great Rebellion in She-Ra: Princess of Power.
  • The rebel pirates in Skyland.
  • The Knothole Freedom Fighters of Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) and the comic book adaptation.
  • On The Venture Bros. the Orange County Liberation Front is a resistance movement trying to take down the Brisby "empire", an obvious Disney parody.
    • The second season of The Venture Bros also features a lame but zealous resistance to Baron Ünderbheit's iron fisted (and jawed) rule in Ünderland. One of their proudest achievements is sneaking a cat hair into his drink.
  • The first season of W.I.T.C.H. features the rebellion against the Big Bad Phobos, with Badass Normal Caleb as the young rebel leader. After Phobos is defeated and imprisoned, the situation is inverted during season two, with a small band of Phobos' remaining loyal troops attempting to overthrow the benevolent queen Elyon.
  • The 2003 version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had one in the Triceraton race, started by a Triceraton gladiator hoping to overthrow the corrupt Prime Leader.
  • My Grandmother Ironed the King's Shirts: The resistance to the German occupation of Norway. They're briefly shown doing more traditional Resistance activities like blowing up a bridge. Then the titular grandmother organizes a resistance group of rebellious launderers who sabotage German uniforms.
  • Star Wars Rebels introduces Saw Gerrera's Partisans. Like the Rebel Alliance we all know and love, they're resisting the Empire. Unlike the Alliance, they lean proudly and worryingly towards Well-Intentioned Extremist tendencies.

Alternative Title(s): The Resistance


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: