Follow TV Tropes


Team Switzerland

Go To

Kaufmann: If there is a war, on whose side will America stand?
Bell: On the far side of the Atlantic ocean.
The Thief by Clive Cussler

So The Hero and The Lancer are having another row again. Or The Empire and The Good Kingdom are at war again. Whatever the case, past or present; mainstream society or small group; there is nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide...

Or is there?

Team Switzerland is defined like the country it takes its name from: a completely neutral ground. Traits that can be found in Team Switzerland are neutrality and logic. The members are the voices of reason that are sometimes ignored. But even when pushed to the limit by the insanity surrounding them, they know how to keep their cool. They refuse to take sides, but unlike The Starscream or Wild Card, they're not in it for selfish motivations or the ultimate redemption.

They are not a pendulum swinging from one team to the other. Instead, they are an immovable object that maintains solid ground and an objective opinion. Bonus points if a member from Team Switzerland tries to work a treaty between both opposing sides. Extra points if both teams refuse to listen and go along with it anyways. Sometimes, this can result in an untold cataclysm because Team Switzerland may know the base WILL be broken. Negative points if the team refuses to choose, even if the choice is clear and beneficial — no matter what, they will not take a side.

The natural habitat of Team Switzerland is the Truce Zone.


    open/close all folders 

  • An island country with advanced technology was caught in a war between space colonies ruled by genetically enhanced humans and a union of Earth's remaining nations populated by normal humans. WMDs can and have been used in this setting, and yet the island nation remained neutral, extending its hand to neither side on principle of neutrality and peace. However it wouldn't last; before long, the very neutrality that kept the peace in that country led to a forceful "police action" by Earth nations, inflicting untold numbers of casualties. Worse still, that same country was then politically steered into a binding alliance with the Earth nations that once tried to invade it "to prevent a repeat of tragedies" which ironically made it a target for the other side in that war. That country's name is Orb, and this Unbuilt Trope is brought to you courtesy of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and its sequel, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny.
  • Sigma in Tweeny Witches doesn't side with the warlocks or the witches.

    Comic Books 
  • Civil War (2006): During the event, the X-Men collectively pass on getting involved with either the pro or anti-registration side (though Bishop sides with the pro-regers, and Storm gets involved with the anti-regs when her husband does). They explain this as being pissed at all the times the Avengers remained uninvolved with their business.
  • Civil War II: A few characters in tie-ins see the brewing conflict between Tony and Carol and declare they're not getting involved with more hero-on-hero crap. Sometimes they don't exactly get a choice.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Bridge, Biollante declared herself neutral from both the Terran Defender and Mutation factions, setting up The Neutral Zone on New Birth Island and allowing both of her younger brothers to visit her. She makes it abundantly clear that taking the kaiju war inside her territory will not be tolerated and given her status as one of the most powerful kaiju currently present on Earth, nobody's willing to test her patience.
  • In Thundercracker's Glory, it's mentioned that there are neutral colonies that refuse to take a part in the Autobot/Decepticon war. The most prominent of these in-story is Beta Geode, though there are Decepticons living there who abandon said colony to rejoin the war later.
  • From the Professional Wrestling series The JWL: Episode 38 started with Luna Vachon and Gangrel chasing Sable, Marc The Bodyguard (Marc Mero under a mask) and Torrie Wilson through the arena. JWL Women's Champion Molly Holly successfully defended her title against WOW Women of Wrestling alumna Poison. As Molly was celebrating the win with the fans, Luna, Gangrel, Sable and her entourage suddenly barged into the scene. Poison woke up and joined her The Misfits stablemates Luna and Gangrel in the chase. Molly had no stake in the feud, and nobody asked her for help, so she could only stand and watch with a slight amusement.
  • In LadyBugOut, Chloé and Sabrina don't take a side in the conflict over the titular blog, content to just watch the chaos unfold.
  • In Naked Singularity, Fluttershy avoids taking a side in Rainbow Dash and Rarity's argument over whether they have time to get ice cream.
    Rarity: Ugh! Fluttershy, help me out here?
    Fluttershy: Um, I want whatever will cause the least interpersonal conflict.
  • RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse: Many of the other nations outside Equestria refuse to get involved in the Luna vs. Corona debate, seeing it as an entirely internal matter for Equestria, mainly because they didn't have to deal with Corona a thousand years ago. The Crystal Empire gets extra points for being based partially on Switzerland itself.

  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • In the backstory, House Lannister and the Westerlands stayed out of Robert's Rebellion until the very last moment, when they dealt the killing blow against the Mad King's reign.
    • In the War of the Five Kings, the Vale under Lysa Arryn refuses to take a side, as does Dorne until the war is well underway (and even then it only recognises Joffrey Baratheon as the rightful king, and does not pledge any soldiers into his cause).
    • Strangely enough, the Neck (a strategically located area in the center of Westeros connecting the north to the south) isn't involved in anything much on the political or tactical fronts. The Kingsroad passes through it, so armies are constantly moving back and forth, but since the rest of it is a swamp that nobody can invade easily, it can afford to stay out of things. Everybody in the North and Riverlands knows it doesn't have much in the way of manpower or resources, so its not like they're even invited. Moat Cailin, the only area near it to get involved in the war, isn't even the official responsibility of the region's lords and is technically a ruin, anyway. Sending Jojen and Meera to Winterfell was less a move in the Seven Kingdoms' political game of "let's all go to war" and more like playing in the prophecy one, instead. Various characters (mainly Stark-supporters) retreat to it to find refuge, but that's about it.
    • During the Dance of the Dragons, House Tyrell stayed firmly out of the war despite being the Hightower family's lords and therefore having technical authority to tell them to knock it off, which they did once it was very definitively clear the Hightower's side had lost. Dorne also refused to get involved at all, and unlike the Tyrells stayed completely out of the entire affair.
  • In the Twilight series, when Jacob and Edward begin arguing in New Moon, Bella announces that she's Switzerland, and refuses to take a side.
  • In the Star Wreck novel (an entirely unrelated parody to the Finnish series) Time Warped, the crews of the two USS Endocrines discover that a video about life on a starship has travelled back in time, and created a crazy fandom. Captain Smirk leads those who love the idea of being famous (himself, Lt. Yoohoo, Cmdr Piker, Dr Flusher and Lt. Checkout), and Captain Ricardo those who hate the idea (himself, Cmdr Smock, Mr Snot, Dr McCaw, and Lt. Wart). Those who don't care either way remain on the ship, although Georgi LaForgery's "Let's hear it for the Neutrals!" falls flat.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: Much like the Vale, Dorne is geographically isolated from the rest of Westeros, and their autonomy means they can afford to not take sides in the War of the Five Kings.
  • Lost: By the end of season five Rose and Bernard decide they want nothing to do with the various factions fighting over the island and have "retired" to a cabin in the jungle where they can spend the rest of their lives in peace. When the main cast stumble across them, Rose and Bernard allow them to rest and get some water but ask them to move on ASAP as they don't want to get involved with whatever's going on.
  • Lucifer (2016): Azrael is the only one of the angels who outright refuses to take a side when Lucifer and Michael battle over which of them will take over as God. As the Angel of Death she has to remain neutral to do her job. She does eventually show up at the final confrontation but it's not because she's taken a side, it's because Chloe Decker is about to be killed by Michael and Azrael has to collect her soul.
  • The Gulf Cartel in Narcos: Mexico. While Félix makes overtures to join his politically-backed Federation, their boss outwits him with his own political clout to retain his independence. Despite this, Félix never attempts to make a move against them, knowing that a Mob War just wouldn't be worth the cost. Even after the Federation breaks up, the Gulf narcos remain in their own little corner while happily letting the other Cartels feud with each other like mad dogs.
  • The Sopranos: Little Carmine Lupertazzi retires from the game after too many losses in the mob war, and from then on in the series serves as a mediator between other warring factions.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise reveals that the reason humanity became the central figure of a Federation that includes species more logical, expansionist, technologically advanced, etcetera is because of this trope. Earth entered a political environment of mistrustful truce, and quickly became mediators between the existing powers because they were the only ones who nobody had a longstanding grudge with. With no longstanding grudges of their own, they were also willing to look at both sides, act as neutral ground, and investigate suspicious happenings beyond just blaming the other side.
  • Succession: Connor Roy is a Disappointing Older Sibling who is a complete nonfactor in the Succession Crisis driving the show's conflict; as such, he claims to be Team Switzerland and to never take sides (only to then promptly take someone's side).
  • Wallenberg: A Hero's Story: Defied by the Trope Namer. While they are technically neutral, the Swiss diplomats are helping with the rescue efforts.

    Video Games 
  • The city of Whiterun insists on staying neutral during the Civil War storyline of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. While there are influential people in the city who both support the Empire and the Stormcloaks, Balgruuf has reasons for staying uninvolved. On the one hand he clearly doesn't like the Imperial ban on Talos worship and has at least some skepticism on the Imperial school of thought, but also values the trading and support of the Empire and doesn't want to jeopardize it by jumping in bed with the rebellion. On the other hand, his position makes him a ripe target for the rebellion and abstaining could lead to Whiterun being attacked.... But he has a very low opinion of Ulfric Stormcloak, seeing him as just a power-hungry despot. If you play the Civil War storyline he'll eventually be forced to pick a side (The Empire), but only when Ulfric hands down an ultimatum.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, there's Sharlayan, a nation of mages and scholars who pride themselves in watching the history of Hydaelyn unfold and not getting involved. There are very few exceptions, namely Louisoix Leveilleur and his twin grandchildren Alphinaud and Alisaie. Of course, this makes them insufferably arrogant in their position, looking down on those who partake in the barbarism of war, even if only to defend themselves from outside aggression. In Patch 5.55 Louisoix's son (and the twins' father) Fourchenault comes down to Gridania to personally tell the Grand Company of Eorzea that Sharlayan will not help them prevent The End of the World as We Know It, then proceeds to disown his own children for helping them.
  • Astoria's faction in the fifth game of Geneforge is a variant, trying to end the war (by any means necessary) rather than to impose their philosophy. Spiderweb itself can be considered this in due to its dedicated maintenance of Grey-and-Gray Morality in Geneforge—even Taygen is Necessarily Evil, and there's a small but dedicated group of fans who choose his faction in the fifth game because they support his philosophy.
  • For the most part in the storyline of Guild Wars: Nightfall, this is the role of Vabbi. After the princes of Vabbi are rallied, this role is taken by Palawa Joko's undead army who acts as their own faction and only really teams up with the player and the sunspears because Varesh is in his way.
  • Kingdom Come: Deliverance has the town of Sasau. The small slice of Bohemia the game is set in is experiencing an invasion led by the brother of their king. Perhaps because of the political complexities with the Bohemian nobles, Sasau maintains its neutrality and sends no men to support either side, though Sigismund's mercenaries do seem to go around recruiting from its streets for their plots.
  • The Selkath in Knights of the Old Republic are this, declaring their home planet of Manaan neutral and selling the vital healing agent kolto to both the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire, with both sides forced to cooperate because if one of them gets out of line, no more kolto for them. This of course does not prevent either side from running covert operations on the planet.
  • When the Persona 3 party falls apart in The Answer over whether or not to return to before the final battle with Nyx to try and save the protagonist from his fate, at the risk of undoing everything they'd accomplished with no guarantee they'd succeed again, Junpei just wants everyone to calm down and talk things over rationally. When things devolve into violence and they agree to settle things in a tournament, Junpei forms his own team with Koromaru and makes it clear that he's only fighting because everyone else is.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic:
    • The Voss are a variation: A recently discovered people ruled by powerful Force-using mystics, the Republic and the Empire try desperately to get them on their side, including committing military resources to the Voss' Forever War against the rival species the Gormack. The Voss, despite all that, remain neutral, being too focused on their own interests to care about the outside galaxy. Of course, the real reason they remain neutral is because they already swore allegiance to the Star Cabal, who promised the Voss they won't have to worry about the Republic and the Empire much longer.
    • The Player Character's Alliance tries to be this after Knights of the Eternal Throne, but as the new war between the Republic and Sith Empire escalates and the Alliance severely weakened after the destruction of the Eternal Fleet, the player is forced to pick a side.
    • The Selkath, like other example with them, are this. Initially. Then in Legacy of the Sith, the Empire decides they're done playing around and launch an invasion of Manaan, causing the Selkath government to ally with the Republic in order to defend their home. Later on, a Selkath isolationist front pops up and starts attacking both sides.
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee has "Switzerland" as a big score bonus, getting it requires taking and dealing no damage through the fight.
  • The player can join a Team Switzerland in Tactics Ogre: Let us Cling Together in Chapter 2 Chaotic.
  • The Church of Lorelei in Tales of the Abyss would not at all benefit from a war started between Kimlasca and Malkuth. Even though there are factions within this Team Switzerland.
  • In Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume for the DS, if Wylfred takes the "A" path, then he finds himself a member of Team Switzerland who actually DOES get their hands dirty to - what else? Stop the succession Crisis that's ruining Artolia. Sadly this doesn't work...
  • World of Warcraft:
    • The human kingdom Gilneas used to be this. After doing the minimum possible in the war against the orcs in Warcraft II, they claimed they didn't have to be bothered by "other people's wars", left the Alliance and cut all contacts with other kingdoms, walling themselves and doing nothing to help during the Zombie Apocalypse in Warcraft III. In World of Warcraft they still seem to be this trope at first, as they still don't support the Alliance nor the Horde, but it is revealed that the refusal to help the Alliance triggered a civil war, trying to defend themselves against the Zombie Apocalypse led to an invasion of werewolves, and their status as a neutral faction caused them to be attacked by the Horde as a way to get to the Alliance indirectly (think Belgium in WWII). They end up rejoining the Alliance because some night elves happened to be there for a completely different reason, and only after much arguments.
    • Neutral faction like the Argent Crusade, Cenarion Circle or Dalaran (another human kingdom gone neutral) were created by members of both Horde and Alliance who believed that they should put aside their differences and petty feuds to focus on the global Omnicidal Maniac threats. But when these threats are no more and the only conflict in the region is Alliance vs Horde, they can come up as this trope (especially the Argent Crusade and its refusal to act against the increasingly more dangerous Forsaken).


    Western Animation 
  • Used as a Parental Bonus in the Peppa Pig episode "International Day". When the kids (all dressed up to represent different countries as part of the titular event) descend into a squabble that Madame Gazelle has to break up, Candy Cat (representing Switzerland) stays out of it.