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No Big Deal

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Remarkable and bizarre occurrences seem commonplace, yet everyday citizens take no notice and go on with their lives as if nothing out of the ordinary ever happens.

See also Invisible to Normals, Weirdness Censor, Plot Technology, Unusually Uninteresting Sight. Not to be confused with the Bystander Syndrome.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Pretty much every single odd situation or event in FLCL is at most a minor deal to the inhabitants of Mabase. Giant cloth iron-shaped factory that spouts smoke once every day? Must be good for the economy. TV-faced robot reading porn magazines at the convenience store? Gets a few odd looks. The cat ears sprouting from Naota's head get exposed to the rest of his classmates, magically transfer over to Ninamori, who then starts sprouting a giant robot from her head right in the classroom? Just another day in Mabase. Naota saves the city by using an electric guitar to bat a giant baseball-shaped bomb pitched by a hand-shaped robot satellite that falls from orbit? Well, that's worth offering Naota a bit of casual praise, but don't go overboard with it...

    Comic Books 
  • The inhabitants of superhero cities like Metropolis, Gotham, National City, Keystone City or Marvel New York tend to get pretty jaded about the constant supervillain attacks and whatnot.
  • Made a plot point in Astro City: the end of the world is a nice time for everyone in the neighborhood to rally together, get to know each other, etc.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Pony POV Series Dark World, this tends to be the reactions of anyone native to Discord's Villain World, as weird things happen all the time to the point normal grass and twilight (the time of day, not the pony) are considered unusual.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Men in Black II, a giant alien worm with an MIB agent on its back goes barreling at high speed down a subway tunnel and through a station. The commuters look up, watch it pass — and go back to what they were doing. Hey, it's New York.
  • In Blade, Blade beats up a vampire familiar dressed as a police officer in the middle of a crowded street. None of the passer bys seem to notice.
  • In Hop, during his time in Hollywood, E.B. is noticed by Hugh Hefner, a group of soul singers, a waitress, and David Hasselhoff. None of them are freaked out by the presense of a talking rabbit, even though Fred was extremely freaked out by it. Only the Hoff offers so much as a Hand Wave as to why.
  • Carry On... Up the Khyber: In the climax, an uprising threatens to destroy the British Empire's rule of India, due to a local Maharajah discovering a fatal weakness in the local battalion. The British Ambassador decides... to have dinner, inviting the Maharajah's daughter as well. The dinner is held even as the embassy is laid siege to, with the window falling down on their heads, and no-one seems to regard this as odd. Even when a Fakir's decapitated head is sent in as a warning, they don't care much ("That's not right. It's closed season for Fakirs!"). The only one who does notice is the local missionary, who goes utterly mad throughout, and is reduced to a sobbing wreck by the end.

  • In The Dresden Files, Harry Dresden often remarks on people's capacity to ignore or rationally explain away supernatural events in their midst, however strange or flashy, like his riding a re-animated dinosaur skeleton through the streets of Chicago. (In the Harry Potter universe, the Ministry of Magic spends a lot of effort and casts a lot of memory spells to keep the existence of the magical world secret from muggles; in the Dresdenverse, the White Council of wizards has better things to do.)
  • The Left Behind series of apocalyptic Christian fiction is a gigantic offender of this, in the bad way. Before the apocalypse even starts, Israel is sneak attacked by the entire Russian nuclear arsenal AND its air force, but all the missiles are harmless and the attack fleet dies without even a single Israeli casualty. Yet nobody seems to pay this blatant divine intervention that should probably spark a worldwide conversion to Judaism very much attention. People react with similar blase to the Rapture, rather than a mass realization that "holy crap the premillenial dispensationalist Christians were right, let's all convert to fundamentalist Christianity." The movie version even has Antichrist Nicolai use the Rapture as an excuse for atheism somehow, as it proves that there is no God and "just us." This can be partially explained, perhaps, as being due to copious amounts of demonic mind control on non-Christians. However, this approach still doesn't work as many converted Christians still don't really connect the dots as should be obvious.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, denizens of Sunnydale just shrug off the vamp attacks as the work of angel-dusted gang members with barbecue forks. During Series Three, we learn that the mayor and the school principal have been participating in the cover-up for their own nefarious purposes, and feeding the "usual line" about gangs on PCP to the news outlets. A little Lampshade Hanging disguised as a plot point...?
  • Doctor Who
    • The show hangs a lampshade on this during "Remembrance of the Daleks". When Ace objects that a Dalek spaceship can't have just landed in the middle of the day, in central London because surely people would remember it, the Doctor points out several other of his adventures which remain apparently unknown to ordinary folk. "Your species," he notes "has an amazing capacity for self-deception." This is further elaborated on in the revival series, when large-scale occurrences are often blamed by the government on hallucinogenic drugs slipped into the water supply by terrorists.
    • Averted in the new series' third season finale, where the Master references a number of the Doctor's former "disaster in England" episodes during a political speech as his politician alter-ego.
    • Also averted in the Christmas Special — London is deserted, since they've realized aliens keep attacking at Christmas. (Good thing they did, too, because when the Titanic does crash in the alternate "Turn Left" universe, the city gets nuked.)
  • Family Matters: Early on, when main protagonist Urkel's inventions get the worst of his foil, Carl, it is a bizarre, out-of-the-ordinary event. Later on, as Urkel's wacky inventions become more common, Carl began acting as though it is normal. A case in point: The Season 8 episode "A Pirate's Life for Me", where Urkel reveals his time-travel watch, and Carl simply shrugs his shoulders and even agrees, without questioning it, to travel back in time (to a 1700s pirate ship, where the main story in that episode takes place).
  • In an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Data is transported back to 1890's San Francisco. Nobody there seems to care about or indeed even notice his obvious differences from normal humans. Those who do just shrug it off when he says he's French. Of course the android can speak it like a native. Mark Twain, for one, notices the difference, constantly referring to Data as an "albino". Other than his skin and eye colorations, there really aren't any obvious external differences between Data and natural humanoids.

    Video Games 
  • In Chrono Trigger if you recruit Magus for your party and revisit 600 AD, nobody seems to care that public enemy #1 is nonchalantly wandering around their villages and even in the castle with you.
  • In Fable II, at the end of the game you can get a one-shot-use-it-now-irreversible gender-changing potion. Even if the player is married, with children when he/she drinks it, no one will bat an eye.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Sometimes seen in the citizens of Townsville in The Powerpuff Girls. In fact, one of the promos for the show shown on the Cartoon Network consisted of a live-action version of a Townsville man calmly going to work, ignoring the various aliens, giant monsters, and supervillains he passes along the way, despite one of them briefly turning him into a dog. Townsville's denizens do have limits, though. In one episode the Girls are forced to use a "Dynamo" invented by Professor Utonium to defeat a particularly tough monster. They succeed but end up destroying the entire town in the process, prompting the Mayor to make the Girls promise to never use the Dynamo again and the entire town (including the Narrator) to be rather miffed at Professor Utonium.
  • People hang out with the Autobots in most Transformers shows like there is nothing at all odd about it. Nobody ever runs away from them, screaming and babbling about huge metal terrors from beyond the stars. The 2007 movie, however, makes this a plot point: Sam is absolutely terrified when he sees his car transform into a giant robot, and doesn't trust it until it saves him from Barricade.
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • The unnamed bartender of the Stacked Deck, given the kinds of bad guys he serves, is completely desensitized to just about everything. One episode has a fight break out complete with everyone shooting at each other, and the bartender rolls his eyes and pulls up a bowl of peanuts to watch.
    • Similarly, the One-Scene Wonder "Thriftie", a vintage clothing-shop clerk who is completely unfazed by The Creeper barging in looking for clothes and scaring all the regular customers away.
  • Most people in Danville just roll with Phineas and Ferb's bizarre, reality- bending inventions. Their friends are even more nonchalant:
    Phineas: "You know what I like about our friends? We say things like, ‘We’re going to douse you in ant pheromones’, and they’re just like, ‘Okay, whatever.’ They’re so cool.”