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Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!

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Friends are important.

"With daddy as the Pope, I could do as I pleased, was ace!
I'd kill a man who'd dare to, like, invade my personal space."
Cesare Borgia, Horrible Histories ("The Borgia Family")

A character is able to Screw the Rules, simply because their friends or family are very influential, powerful or wealthy people. Can be Truth in Television, especially with The Mafia and similar criminal organizations.

A favored technique of the son of the villain and those who realize they are Not on the List.

Wives of powerful men often do this, as do their children. And their brothers. And their nephews. And their sisters. And their mothers. And their... oh, you already get it by now.

Often phrased as: "Do you know who my dad is?" or "You Have No Idea Who You're Dealing With!"

See also Coattail-Riding Relative, Daddy's Little Villain, Diplomatic Impunity, Knows a Guy Who Knows a Guy, Nepotism, Single-Target Law, No Fame, No Wealth, No Service, Screw the Rules, I Have Money!, and Screw the Rules, I Make Them!.


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    Comic Books 
  • Agent Graves in 100 Bullets. He spends the first half of the series giving out cases with a gun and well... you know. Graves is so connected that if a bullet from his cases is found at a crime scene, the investigation stops altogether. Any friend of Graves' is flat out allowed to get away with murder.
  • In Batman #424 we have Felipe Garzonas the son of a wealthy diplomat, he's an obnoxious jerk who is very abusive to his girlfriend and is also involved in a drug-smuggling ring, he is arrested twice for his crimes but quickly released and it is later arranged that he won't serve any jail time because of his father's diplomatic immunity, after his second release he harasses his girlfriend to the point where she commits suicide and Batman can't do anything about it, Jason Todd the second Robin is furious so he takes manners into his own hands, when Batman arrives on the scene Felipe has fallen to his death from his apartment, he asks if he pushed him but Jason claimed he slipped.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: Subverted in a Donald Duck comic where Donald works at a theatre. The son of a mob boss basically threatens his way to being the leading man, despite being an incredibly bad actor. The subversion occurs when Donald breaks and becomes as angry as only Donald Duck can be, telling the guy just how bad he is. The offended young man calls upon his father... who turns up and thanks Donald for finally standing up to his obnoxious son, who is always using his connections to get away with stupid stuff.
  • In the She-Hulk graphic novel, Jennifer is captured by SHIELD and forced to be strip-searched in public in front of male personnel and in violation of all established procedure. Dum-Dum Dugan, acting director, comes in and is furious at this abuse, and orders the agent responsible confined to quarters pending a formal reprimand. The agent threatens to use his connections, and Dugan gets a harsh phone call by those connections ordering him to let the agent go. He didn't get away with it; he was the first casualty of a sentient swarm of cockroaches who invaded the craft, who used him as host. More than likely, his last few moments weren't pleasant. On top of that, this led to the Helicarrier being destroyed, one of SHIELD's biggest disasters; in all likelihood, those powerful connections he called didn't retain whatever authority they had much longer...
  • That Yellow Bastard and Kevin in Sin City have heavy ties to the O'Rourke family. Fortunately, Hartigan and Marv don't care.
  • Ultimate Daredevil & Elektra: Trey gets away with everything he does (from bullying to attempted murder) because his father is a powerful politician.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The A-Team, Lt. Templeton "Faceman" Peck is able to turn his stay in prison for the last six months into a Luxury Prison Suite to the bafflement of one of the guards due to his top-notch people skills and extensive contacts both military and civilian. As Face puts it, "It isn't who you know, it's how you know them."
  • Batman Begins: Bruce Wayne became Batman because nearly all the public officials of Gotham were in the pocket of the crime lord Carmine Falcone, preventing Falcone from facing justice.
  • Jackie Treehorn from The Big Lebowski, according to the Malibu Police Chief.
    Police Chief: Mr. Treehorn draws a lot of water in this town. You don't draw shit, Lebowski.
  • The Boondock Saints: Yakavetta. Not that it helped him.
  • Averted in Burnt by the Sun. After being arrested by the NKVD, Colonel Kotov rattles off Joseph Stalin's personal phone number. The secret policemen squirm in their seats, but when he goes to leave the car they inflict a brutal beating. Kotov has no idea that Stalin is the one ordering his arrest in the first place.
  • Casino: Subverted. The cowboy who puts his feet on the table at Ace's casino protests that he has "important friends" when he's escorted off the premises kicking and screaming for being a jerkoff. He does turn out to be a friend of Nicky's, although unfortunately for the cowboy, so is Ace, and he's a much more valuable friend to Nicky. Nicky is ready to lay the smackdown on the cowboy himself and forces him to apologize.
  • The 1948 Soviet adaptation of Cinderella is most frequently remembered for the stepmother who boasted of having better connections than the king himself.
    Fairy Godmother: I would have turned her [the stepmother] into a frog long ago... but, unfortunately, the old woman has lots of connections!
  • Death Note Series: In this incarnation, this is Light's primary motivation to become Kira; he holds the legal system on a Broken Pedestal because he's sick of those with connections abusing the law and getting off scot-free.
  • DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story: The Purple Cobras are able to enter the big Las Vegas dodgeball tournament without a regional qualifying match because the dodgeball chancellor is a friend of White's.
  • Another positive example in Hussar Ballad: while having a lower rank than Field Marshal Kutuzov, General Balmashov is a personal assistant to the Russian Tsar, and demonstrate willingness to throw all his weight to overrule Kutuzov's unjust decision.
  • Lord of War: When the Hero Antagonist captures the Arms Dealer Villain Protagonist Yuri, Yuri sympathetically explains that he'll be set free because he's a deniable middleman for the American military and government to supply weapons to the enemies of their enemies. He's released immediately afterwards.
  • Mean Girls: I don't think my father, the inventor of Toaster Struedel, would like that I'm not on this list.
  • In Nobody Hutch kills dozens of Russian mafiosos, burns down his house, steals a multi-million dollar piece of art, turns his construction company into a battlefield, and hotwires his neighbor's car. While sitting in an interrogation room, his two captors get a phone call each and he's let go as nobody in the US government wants to mess with the "Auditor".
  • When Willy Bank, the antagonist of Ocean's Thirteen, tries to use this as a threat against Danny Ocean, Danny replies he has all the same connections and they like him better.
  • Peppermint: The judge and lawyer of the murderers are in the pocket of the cartel, leading to the dismissal of the case against them.
  • In the Police Academy movies, a politician pulls this stunt on Hooks to get out of a parking ticket, thinking he can easily intimidate the squeaky-voiced policewoman. He discovers that Beware the Quiet Ones applies instead when she hits him with a bunch of additional charges.
  • Schindler's List: A rare positive example: Oskar Schindler's membership of the Nazi party and friendship with senior Nazi officials are the reason he can save the lives of his eponymous List (well, that and a certain amount of outright bribery).
  • After the grotto is closed in The Songof Bernadette thereís a group arrested with a vial of water from the grotto. The woman with the vial is told itís being seized but she tells them she got it for the Empress Eugenie who requested it for the young prince, whoís sick. She happens to be the boyís governess. Itís enough to get her and the vial released.
  • Sorority Row:
    Kyle: Are you crazy? Do you have any idea what my father is capable of?
    Jessica: Oh yeah? Well, maybe I'm fuckin' the wrong guy!
  • Top Gun: Maverick: Apparently, Maverick has gotten away with decades of shenanigans, because of the protection he gets from his old buddy Iceman (or, as he is now known, Admiral Tom Kazansky).
  • Trapped: The Alex Cooper Story: The Simms repeatedly tell teenage lesbian Alex there's nothing that she can do to stop them from holding her in their brutal conversion therapy camp, as they're both connected with everybody in town and well-respected counselors. At first it's true, but thankfully she connects with a teacher, crisis counselor and lawyer to free herself.
  • Winter Kills: When Nick and Yvette are refused seating at the restaurant, and Yvette takes off her trousers (see Dress Code above), the maitre'd is ready to have them thrown out until Nick reveals his father owns the restaurant, at which point the maitre'd apologizes and lets Nick and Yvette sit where they want.

  • "Bitchin' Camaro" by The Dead Milkmen gives us this gem:
    I ran over some old lady
    at the county fair.
    And I didn't get arrested
    because my dad's the mayor.
  • Tom Lehrer: "My Home Town" from Songs by Tom Lehrer mentions Sam, who was the village idiot and a pyromaniac, but about whom "Nothing could be done / Because he was the mayor's son".

    Myths & Religion 
  • It's been suggested that this is why Jesus Christ wasn't immediately arrested following the cleansing of the temple — Herod Antipas let it slide as part of a conspiracy with Sejanus to get himself installed as King of Judea and overthrow the conservative, corrupt High Priest Caiaphas.


    Pro Wrestling 
  • The McMahon kids don't fall into this too well... Shane's a fan favorite (the inversion of Vince in many ways, but he has broken out into one of his catchphrases once. Not the one you're thinking of though.), and while Stephanie is a bit of a bitch as well as a Daddy's Girl, she was a face in her General Manager days (and ironically, her reign came to an end when Vince beat her in an I Quit match).
  • Being friends with a high-profile wrestler is a great way to guarantee a job. Brutus Beefcake owes his entire career to his friendship with Hulk Hogan. Kevin Nash was first brought into the WWF because of his friendship with Scott Hall, and then they became good friends with Shawn Michaels and former indy sensation the 1-2-3 Kid (Sean Waltman). They would form The Kliq and amass all kinds of backstage power for themselves, with Triple H joining in 1995. Later in WCW, the top wrestlers would try to become friends with Eric Bischoff and would usually get a huge push from it. Just ask Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Diamond Dallas Page, among others.
  • Carlito became this way in Ohio Valley Wrestling after joining Bolin Services, telling Jim Cornette he could do whatever he wanted when being yelled at him for arriving to a training session late. It also led, somewhat ironically, to Carly disowning his family and WWC, who'd you'd think would provide more connections than Kenny Bolin...

  • The early Adventures in Odyssey episode "Camp What-A-Nut" features a low-key version of this. Chas Wentworth, son of a wealthy businessman who (among other things) partially owns the camp itself, has a well-earned reputation as a troublemaker who figures his money will cover any trouble he might get into. For once, among other things, this doesn't come hand in hand with being popular. In fact, it eventually comes out that he is caught in a cycle of being a jerk to everyone because most people don't like him because he keeps flaunting his cash on the flawed assumption that people universally respect money.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Hero System characters may have a "Contact" Perk, representing an NPC who is willing to do favors and pull strings.
  • While it may not be potent enough to really count for this trope (barring GM Fiat, of course), the 2012 version of the Iron Kingdoms RPG introduced a Connections system. Mainly representing membership to certain organisations, like the Order of the Golden Crucible or the Greylord Covenant, or a specific nation's military and these connections can provide some material help at the GM's discretion. The section does mention that it can't be used to, say, have the party's Mage Hunter use his contacts in the Retribution of Scyrah to call in a couple of Mage Hunter Strike Teams to clear out an Orgoth ruin for them.
    • Played somewhat more straight with one of the Aristocrat career's starting abilities, Privilege. Short version is that he's immune to persecution for petty crimes and can only be tried by a court of his peers (meaning other nobles). A successful Etiquette roll can let the character demand hospitality and request aid from a noble not at war with his kingdom (so don't expect Cygnaran noble to get much help in Khador or the Protectorate) and gets a nice bonus so social skill rolls made against people of a lower station who recognise him as a noble. Drawback is that the punishments from a high court are typically quite severe.
  • Rifts: Dr. Desmond Bradford grew up alongside Karl Prosek, the man who would become Emperor of the Coalition States. This has kept his more horrific work at the Lone Star Complex (Bradford is a geneticist who literally believes he is a god) under wraps, as Karl refuses to believe his friend would do anything as hideous as human experimentation. This fact makes Joseph Prosek II's life all the harder - he knows Dr. Bradford is up to things even the Coalition States would find unacceptable, but he also knows he needs absolute ironclad proof or else his father will never believe it... and Dr. Bradford is far too intelligent to leave that kind of proof.
  • The Serenity Role Playing Game has two perks of this nature, "Friends in High Places" (for connections in society's elite) and "Friends in Low Places" (for criminal underworld connections). You can roll a die to get your contacts to help with problems, difficulty dependent on the magnitude of the request (e.g. a small loan is an easy roll, getting the Feds to back off is harder).
  • Shadowrun characters can cultivate connections that vary in function, influence, and loyalty. Being a 'connection horse' is a popular way to make a socially-oriented character extra useful: having a ton of loyal friends in high places makes running the shadows fairly easy at times.
  • This is what the various "Influence" backgrounds in The World of Darkness represent. Vampires, being immortal, are especially prone to cultivating these. Particularly the Ventrue.

  • Roy Cohn in Angels in America.
  • In the opera The Barber of Seville, Count Almaviva's connections keep him from being arrested by his romantic rival, Dr. Bartolo.
  • Cyrano de Bergerac: At Act II Scene VII, De Guiche wants to Buy Them Off Cyrano, offering to say to his uncle, Cardinal Richelieu, whom Cyrano has already impressed, I'll gladly say a word to him for you. And at Act III Scene II, he lampshades how he will occult in a monastery:
    De Guiche: ...Hard by, in the Rue d'Orleans, is a convent founded by Father Athanasius, the syndic of the Capuchins. True that no layman may enteróbutóI can settle that with the good Fathers! Their habit sleeves are wide enough to hide me in. 'Tis they who serve Richelieu's private chapel: and from respect to the uncle, fear the nephew. All will deem me gone...

    Visual Novels 
  • In Ace Attorney Investigations, these are the exact people the Yatagarasu tries to combat. It's also pulled by Alba in the final case. If he committed the murder on Allebahstian soil, then he only gets a trial in Allebahst, where he will surely get off lightly due to his war hero status. This is before Agent Lang shows Edgeworth's trump card to the Allebahst royal family; after that, Alba attempts to leave for parts unknown instead.
  • In the adult-oriented Visual Novel Discipline: A Record of a Crusade, this is the primary reason for Leona's Rich Bitch personality. When she's able to use a jet to blow up a portion of a school building, and NOT get punished for it, not even the O'Rourke family has that kind of clout.
  • One of the routes in Majikoi! Love Me Seriously! has a Sadist Teacher who is already jerk becoming even worse, which in many cases has him assaulting people, while bragging about his powerful family meaning he can do whatever wants and get away with it. This eventually causes one of the main characters to have enough and hit the teacher. When the principal is seen taking things over with the teacher's father, he does nothing because he doesn't approve of his son arrogantly tormenting others and thinking his family's power will let him get away with it.
  • In the second case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Redd White is a man who has connections with the judges, prosecutors, police force... He essentially has the entire legal system wrapped around his finger. He uses said connections to get Phoenix arrested and charged with the murder of Mia Fey, despite Maya Fey being the original defendant, because he knew Phoenix could prove his guilt... and then ended up being proven guilty by Phoenix anyway.
  • In Spirit Hunter: NG, if security proves to be too much of a hassle for the characters to get past, then Seiji tugs on his Yakuza connections and has them 'taken care of', allowing the protagonists free reign. Later on, he's replaced by Cowboy Cop Ooe, who uses her status to the same effect.

    Web Comics 
  • Subverted in Arthur, King of Time and Space: Morgan (before she's openly evil) expects that as the king's half-sister she can do whatever she wants, but egalitarian Arthur has instructed his people that anyone saying "Do you know who I am?" is to be ignored.
  • This is the case for students at the military academy "The Roost" whose parents have high positions in government in The Croaking: for example, Del gets away with trying to murder another student (Scra) in plain view of his classmates and instructors — Scra nearly falling to his death is instead explained away with faulty equipment.
  • Girl Genius: While this is not at all Gilgamesh Wulfenbach, his paper doll sports useful phrases such as "Do you know who I am?" and "My father will hear of this!".
  • In Jupiter-Men, Rick picks a fight with Arrio, who defends himself and gives Rick a black eye. Arrio is given three weeks detention for the Crime of Self-Defense on account of it being his birthday (his principal says he would've expelled him any other day). Meanwhile, Rick gets to walk away scot-free on the condition that he doesn't breathe a word of this to his mother. This implies that Rick's mom is powerful and influential enough that Jupiter High's staff lets him get away with a lot of things out of fear of drawing her ire.
  • Rare heroic example in Kubera: Asha has such good connections that she can literally get away with murder. 29 times.
  • In Terra Kaleb Ceros is still alive at the start of the comic because of somebody else's connections. He was sentenced to death for beating one of his subordinates to death, but Solus Kalar had his father, the Sovereign of the Asurian Empire, overturn the execution so Solus could use him in the Shadow Cabal.
  • In Weak Hero, the bullies in Gray's middle school got away with hospitalising his best friend because one of them had a city representative as a parent. At least, they got away with it until Gray took matters into his own hands.

    Web Videos 
  • Hilariously, Randy tries to invoke this trope, saying that he "knows people now" who can put a horse head in Greg's sheets — after he's spent three days as a male prostitute in Manwhores, while threatening him ineffectually.
  • Gaea from Noob has done plenty of ban-worthy stuff. Some of that stuff was cooperating with Tenshirock, who helped her get her avatar back when it was banned, then kept it from being kicked out a second time when she got framed by someone else in the webseries and novels.
  • The Nostalgia Chick, as part justification for the high-grade (cameras in Nella's house across the country, stealing Todd's government pay records, that kinda thing) stalking she does.
  • Text Theater: Liam disregarded his boss and had a bad attitude towards other employees and sales representatives just because he is the executive manager's son. Unfortunately for him, he lost his power when his father got fired for harassing the female employees and he was fired when it came out that he was helping his father look for the employees.

    Real Life 
  • Very often Truth in Television, unfortunately. Hence the adage of "It's not what you know, it's who you know."
  • Often tried (and failed) by customers featured on Not Always Right.
    • Just because you're a surgeon or your father is Assistant Manager does not give you the right to treat the employees like crap or get away with stealing.
    • Here is a case where the actual manager was right there at the time.
    • Here's a customer who did have a connection (via a manager), and abused it to get free food. His M.O. is to come into the deli, ask for something they have that is not ready, then complaining to the manager so that the employees at the deli are forced to give him a meal for free. Eventually, however, the store manager catches on when he finds that the other manager is always signing off on no-charge purchases on the deli production sheets for that specific customer, plus security camera footage shows the customer deliberately looking for things they didn't currently have available. He has the customer banned from the store and gives the other manager a one-week unpaid suspension.
    • The final straw in this Humiliation Conga: not only does he not have connections, but the fellow customer whose removal he's asking for does. As in, the customer he was trying to hit on and then assault was the bartender's sister. The bouncer at said bar was the bartender's husband.
    • This is an odd example in that the customer seems to have honestly deluded herself into believing that she is the vet's girlfriend, or she's trying very hard to become his girlfriend. She's set, er, straight, by the vet's sister, and later the vet himself.
    • This caller demands a new free computer, even though the issue with his current computer is easily fixed, and then claims to know the founder of the company and be having lunch with him the next day - only to be informed that the founder is dead.
    • This woman flat-out states that she is "above the law, and with one word, can have your entire company shut down".
    • This woman really does know the owner ... unfortunately for her, the owner never liked her.
  • Deconstructed by an employee featured on Not Always Working, when her uncle points out that not only does he not have that much power with the establishment, but he'd fire her, too. And then he did.
    • Another Not Always Working story features a waitress who is rude, slacks off in her duties, and is a generally poor employee, but because her boyfriend — a chef at the same restaurant — has threatened to quit if she is fired, management is unwilling to discipline her. Until they realize which chef she's dating...
    • The waitress in this story eats a customer's meal and drinks his wine instead of serving him either, and her father, the manager, covers for her by accusing the customer of lying when he says he never got his food and drink. Unfortunately for them (and fortunately for the customer), the chef who realizes what really happened is actually the owner, with the authority to fire them both.
  • Olive oil companies in Italy can slip less than 20% of cheaper oil (such as hot-pressed or solvent-extracted) into their Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil and market it as 100% pure. Because the big names of these companies have political connections, this means that anyone buying Extra Virgin Olive Oil and hoping for its health benefits is possibly not only being ripped off, but also getting much less healthy oil with it.
  • This is how the Inheritance Cycle got widely published. Christopher Paolini's parents originally published it with their own company, until the son of a more well-known author read the book and said it was the best book written by a teen that he'd ever seen. Without reading it himself, said more-famous author told his publishing company, Alfred Knopf, about it and they decided to publish and promote it themselves. And the rest is history.
  • The Battalion Dance, the story behind two of the rules on Skippy's List, has this as a major theme — basically, civilian wives going overboard with their "power" which they supposedly had because of who they married. Chaos ensued.
    • Terrible behavior by army spouses (usually wives of officers) trying to abuse their partners' rank is relatively common in many military settings; in the US armed forces, perpetrators are invariably reviled and the most common real effect is an embarrassed apology from the spouse holding the actual rank. The on-base slur for such people in the US are "Dependas"Translation 
    • In the British Army, there is a sort of informal convention that implicitly dictates that, in the parallel hierarchy of military wives, the Colonel's Lady is "first among equals". This is reflected in the informal status given to the Regimental Sergeant Major's wife. (The RSM is the most senior enlisted soldier). Whilst this bestows informal power, the wise postholder will understand she is only there as a mirror of her husband's rank and will go about using the status informally and gently — to suggest, rather than order, and to use it in ways which support her husband in his job, and be constructive in the wider Batallion family.
    • In the Russian and especially the Soviet military,note  the problem was less pronounced for the one simple reason: as the officers' pay was often insufficient to fully support a family, the officers' (and NCOs') spouses had to find the work on-base, usually as a support personnel like cooks, teachers, clerks, comm specialists, etc., giving the base commanders better control over their personnel's dependents.
  • YouTube Partners are immune to (most of) the rules of content nature restrictions and also don't have to have a relevant title or thumbnail.
  • This mindset is so inherent to Israeli culture that it has its own special term — "Proteqzia" — sometimes sardonically referred to as "Vitamin P".
    • The word comes from either Russian or Polish, as this was where most of the Israel's founders stemmed from, and, naturally, the practice is endemic in both countries as well. That said, in the XX century Russia it became to be more frequently called "blat", probably from the German word "Blatt", "a leaf", meaning the written note of reference originally carried by the favor's recipient to prove his connection.
  • Cultures influenced by Confucian thought are heavily based on this as well, which contributes to the endemic corruption within their governments. It's based on the Chinese practice of guanxi, where a group of associates takes care of each other. The whole "we take care of our own" philosophy.
  • Yi Sun-Shin, who later became Korea's most famous Admiral, violated this policy early in his career by treating the subordinates with connections exactly like those without them, getting Reassigned to Antarctica as a result.
  • "Go ahead, sue me if you dare [for killing a pedestrian and injuring another], My dad is Li Gang!" Even with the effort of the Chinese government to censor the outrage and provide a staged apology from Li Qiming and his father, Baodong City Public Security Bureau Deputy Director Li Gang, Qiming pled guilty and was sentenced to six years and fines of over half a million renminbi. The internet vigilantism in this case uncovered Li Gang's corruption and the Hebei University president's plagiarism.
  • During the Ocean Marketing fiasco, Paul Christoforo tried to do this by listing PAX, E3, Germany, the mayor of Boston, and many more as people who would back him. It backfired when Mike Krahulik, the co-founder and organizer of PAX, got involved in the situation and told Christoforo to get lost.
  • As any Army field officer knows, either knowing the right people in QM or having an NCO/private/dogsbody who does and being deliberately ignorant of how they go about their business leads to wonderful things being acquired for the unit that are either unavailable/waiting in a depot somewhere/need to be requested in triplicate.
  • Raoul Wallenberg actually used this trope for good purposes, when he claimed Swedish Diplomatic Impunity while rescuing Jews from the Nazis. Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara also used his diplomatic immunity to help Lithuanian Jews escape the Nazis, and so did Iranian diplomat Abdol Hossein Sardari with Jews in France.
  • Ditto with Oskar Schindler and Albert Goering, the latter being the younger brother of the Nazi Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, both of whom used their connections to save Jews and other victims of Nazism. Heinz Heydrich, the younger brother of Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich, also used his connections to help victims of Nazism escape.
  • John Rabe, a Nazi Party member, successfully helped protect Chinese civilians during the Nanjing Massacre by flaunting his Nazi credentials, as Nazi Germany was an ally of Imperial Japan.
  • The Royal Italian Army was filled with officers who got away with gross incompetence and were promoted due to friendship with important people. Among the worst examples we have:
    • Captain Hercolani Gaddi. During the initial Italian conquest of Libya, Hercolani Gaddi was placed in control of Sokna and tasked with supplying the troops of colonel Miani, sent to occupy Fezzan, but failed in his task for no apparent reason, resulting in Miani being forced to retreat and not be able to suppress the start of the revolt that nearly kicked the Italians out of Libya. In the following investigation, Hercolani Gaddi was not touched thanks to his friendship with generals Martini and Tassoni
    • General Pietro Badoglio. Having anticipated the Austro-Hungarians would try and break through Italian lines at Volzana (an obvious weak point in his sector), he not only disobeyed orders to fortify the first line and keep the artillery ready for a fighting retreat (he placed his artillery in such a way they could shell into oblivion any breakthrough but could not escape if anything went wrong), but he did so in such a way as so his artillery would be unable receive his orders to open fire or even see they should have opened fire if the Austro-Hungarians attacked with mist (precisely the reason Cadorna wanted a fighting retreat). When the Austro-Hungarians attacked with misty weather as part of the Caporetto offensive they captured the artillery, making the defeat much worse (the main breakthrough happening at Caporetto, hence the name of the battle), but Badoglio was not sacked, and in fact entered the staff of Cadorna's replacement Armando Diaz, thanks to his friendship with the king and his prime minister.
  • Despite hard evidence, football player Matthew Barnett was acquitted of raping Daisy Coleman because his grandfather was a state Senator.
  • Similarly, Manu Sharma was acquitted of murder despite hard evidence, because his father was an influential MP. In this case, however, the public outcry was enough to see Sharma retried and convicted.
  • The very concept of Wasta in the Middle East, especially the Arabian Peninsula. Simply put, who you know allows you to act above what is the written law. Its origins are rather interesting, as the Middle East is built upon tribal and familial connections in what was until modern times, seen as a harsh and lawless land (ironic, given the Middle East actually has the oldest known written laws and legal code in the world, see The Middle East). Therefore, most native Middle Easterners see connections not as an illegal way, but as a quasi-legal alternative. While the very concept grates on the modern notion of "merit above all", the system of Wasta reinforces existing connection and trust; after all, if you personally know someone and can attest to that person's character, he or she would naturally be preferred to a stranger, even with an equal amount of skill. In essence, it's the phrase "better the devil you know" taken to its logical conclusion. To say that this is bordering on Blue-and-Orange Morality would of course, be an understatement, and with the entry of these countries to the global marketplace, frictions between native Middle Easterners and expatriates have been on the increase and are not expected to go away any time soon.
  • The Renaissance painter Caravaggio was an out-and-out Jerkass that outright assaulted and killed multiple people during his life, only escaping being arrested because the Catholic Church was one of his patrons and the cardinals that he painted for pulled strings to keep him out of jail, even when he murdered someone in a tennis court with over twenty witnesses.
    • It helped that Caravaggio (with the help of his influential friends) was able to pass most of his murders as duels, which were somewhat accepted, although in at least half of the cases these were outright assaults instead of genuine mano-a-manos.
  • As the documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated has pointed out, the MPAA seems to be more lenient with their ratings if the film they're looking over was produced/backed by a studio. If the film was independently produced, they'll be far more strict.
  • British investigative journalist Stephen Knight looked into long-standing allegations of corruption among Freemasons operating under vows of secrecy and concluded that in many areas, including the process of law, there was a case to answer. One case concerned a Freemason in a messy divorce who boasted to his wife that he'd "fixed" the case so that the judge was also a Mason and would resolve the divorce in a manner wholly favourable to him. Unfortunately, the Masonic judge had to withdraw from the hearing as he was ill, and a replacement, assigned impartially by the court, turned out to be one of Britain's few women judges. The divorce did not go as the husband planned it. Not at all. But when checking out the judge who would have taken the case, Knight discovered he — and the husband — both belonged to the same Masonic lodge, which meant that both parties were knowingly engaging in a conflict of interests and impartiality.
  • The executives and regulators in the US financial industry are close friends with each other, with regulators often joining executive boards after they leave the SEC or FTC. Thanks to these close personal relationships, the architects of the 2008 financial crisis pocketed their salaries and fat benefits packages while the federal government bailed their collapsing businesses out from bankruptcy and thousands of ordinary people lost their homes.
  • This is common in international relations. The US has helped cover up or downplay human rights abuses committed by allied dictatorships in Latin America and the Middle East in order to preserve their interests. Russia has friendly relations with countries such China, India, Iran, and Turkey, who are only too happy to help Russia to subvert sanctions imposed upon Russia by Western countries during the Ukraine invasion, and have done so in the past.
  • The disgraced British television presenter and serial pedophile Jimmy Savile is widely believed to have got away with his crimes for so long because of his incredible closeness to Margaret Thatcher, the Prime Minister during the 1980s; during the case of the investigation into Savile, it was found that he had been awarded a knighthood by Thatcher despite civil servants repeatedly warning the Cabinet Office of his criminal background.
    • The same thing happened in the US with Jeffrey Epstein, whose connections and all-star defense team allowed him to escape serious jail time initially in 2008 for molesting young girls.
  • University students in medieval Europe were considered honorary clerics and as such, were above any secular law. This meant they were basically free to terrorize the towns and their citizenry with little or no repercussions. The blowback from these unrestricted privileges led to things like the St. Scholastica Day Riot in Oxford
  • Often rumored to be the origin of many a Award Snub, with some artists with connections to awards organizers bribing them into nominating their recordings. For example, the Anita Kerr Singers somehow won the Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Vocal Group twice in 1966 and 1967 despite the nominated recordings (We Dig Mancini and "A Man and a Woman") never charting in the Top 40, likely thanks to Anita herself having been vice president of the Nashville chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in the mid 60s.
  • Litton Entertainment's near-monopoly on what is left of the Saturday morning children's programming market is most likely thanks to their parent company being Hearst Television, a prominent owner of TV network affiliates.
  • Perhaps the most infamous example of such behavior, occurred during the 1999 hijack of Indian Airlines Flight 814 from Kathmandu to Delhi by Pakistani Islamic terrorists. The plane landed at Amritsar in Indian Punjab, where the terrorists demanded a refueling. Instead of containing the plane and stalling for time till NSG commandos could assault the craft and retake it, the plane was quickly refueled and allowed to take off, apparently on direct orders from the Prime Ministerís Private Secretary, who kept the Prime Minister in the dark. Because his brother-in-law was one of the passengers onboard and he didnít want to risk the latterís life in any manner, including in a commando raid on Indian soil. As a result, the airplane was flown to Kandahar in Afghanistan, where the Taliban immediately reinforced the area with armor to prevent any attempt at repeating an Entebe style raid. The Indian government had no option but to completely accede to the hijackersí demands and release a notorious terrorist they had imprisoned. That terrorist leader would go on to eventually orchestrate the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, while the Indian government was humiliated on the world stage. All because one man in the senior most position for a government bureaucrat placed his sisterís husbandís life over everything else.


Video Example(s):


Mr. Nimbus controls the police

Mr. Nimbus can control the police to such an extent, that he can make them instantly fight or f*** each other, with a word. It's unclear if he has police-specfic mind control powers or he's just that well-connected, though it leans towards the former.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections

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