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The Cassandra

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"Allison. You had a nightmare that a woman named Susan Monroe was going to be brutally murdered by a man named Martin Greer? That could mean anything!"
MADtv parody of Medium

A person characterized by two things — she (or he) gives correct and accurate warnings and predictions, and what she says is consistently belittled or ignored by the rest of the cast. You would think that the other characters would eventually decide that she can be trusted, but they seldom do. A particularly cruel plot twist is for the rest of the cast to believe Cassandra on the one and only time she is wrong, just to maintain the status quo. Cassandra usually has some sort of personality quirk that makes her seem less believable, or her information may come from epistemologically shaky grounds like Tarot cards or dreams, but her record of near-perfect accuracy really should be enough to make the others listen to her.


The Trope Namer is the mythical seer Cassandra, who was cursed by the god Apollo to give prophecies which were always true but never believed, thus making this trope Older Than Feudalism.

In natural disaster movies or Science Is Bad stories, Cassandra will usually be an Ignored Expert: a scientist or other expert acting as the lone voice of sanity. This character's role is to warn the others not to take a particular course of action — that will, of course, be taken. On the other hand, if Cassandra is one of the underclass, such as a street preacher or one of those Crazy Homeless People, the Doomsayer trope applies.

Subtrope of Cassandra Truth. Compare Crying Wolf, where a character is not believed when they tell the truth because everything else he's said has been a lie, You Have to Believe Me!, where the character is not believed because he and his story sound completely crazy, and Dude, Where's My Respect?, which is often the result of this. See also Harbinger of Impending Doom. Cassandra Did It is when the cast add insult to injury by blaming Cassandra for the very disaster she tried to warn them about.


Compare Mad Oracle, when a character isn't ignored for predicting the future, but because predicting the future has driven him mad.

If Cassandra is a Waif Prophet or an Oracular Urchin, this may be because of All the Other Reindeer.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Kotoura-san has a very strange case which is partly caused by Values Dissonance. Japanese has the tendency to hide their thoughts as socially appropriate by lying. Haruka is a telepath who couldn't turn it off nor could she distinguish between thought and speech, and, what's worse, Innocently Insensitive. As a result, she was called a compulsive liar for blurting out what others were thinking. If not for her grandfather's protection she may actually have sent to the psychiatric ward already, as her mother, up to this day, still thinks she is severely delusional.
  • Idiot Hero Daiya of Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu tells stories of monsters that attacked him and his father five years ago, and that his father is still alive somewhere, but nobody believes him. In the first episode, however, Kaiju turn up and begin attacking.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica's Homura acts as this. She travels back in time in order to save her friend by preventing the events of the future. Her plans are foiled because nobody will believe her when she tells them what will happen.
  • In Pokémon: The First Movie, there is a harbor manager that is named voyager in the Japanese version, she and officer jenny attempt to warn all the young Pokémon trainers, including Ash and his friends, from attempting to reach Mewtwo;s island for the greatest Pokémon challenge, because of the dangerous conditions of the storm. In the English dub, the mysterious woman attempts to convince the trainers not to go by telling them the story of the " winds of water", which was a terrible ancient storm that drowned all humans and Pokémon, and only through the tears of the surviving Pokémon, the victims were brought back to life, this story foreshadows the ending of the movie. The woman fears that the storm is occurring again and that none of the trainers will survive if they continue to the island. Despite this warning, all the trainers, including Ash, still head out to the island using their Pokémon. Officer Jenny and the harbor manager can only watch, and the women gives one last testimony.
    Some trainers have no fear, for them this is their next challenge
    They follow their hearts
    It's what separates them apart from other people, and what will make them great Pokémon masters.
    Ill pray for them
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Ishizu Ishstar is the keeper of the Millennium Necklace, which grants her the power to see the future, which grants her very accurate predictions. Throughout the Battle City arc, Ishizu predicts the great battle between good and evil, and warns the main cast of the terrible things to come. Yugi and his friends actually listen to her prophecies, but Seto Kaiba practically mocks her every single time. Ishizu's predictions fail her only once, which is during her duel with Kaiba, and only because of the spirit of his Blue Eyes. Even after she gives away her necklace, Ishizu continues to predict the coming battle, so, so much, it's like her most common dialogue.

    Comic Books 
  • Subverted in Judge Dredd with Psi Judge Cassandra Anderson. As Mega-City One's most powerful psychic, her predictions are generally taken very seriously by everyone.
  • Age of Bronze: As another rendition of the Trope Namer, Cassandra's predictions are generally not believed. In this incarnation's case, she is mentally unstable and likely suffering ongoing emotional trauma from being raped as a child. Many of her predictions are rendered in riddles only clear after the fact, and several apply to distant events, such as Achilles' slaying of Mnemon, making it impossible for the Trojans to verify.

    Fan Works 
  • In A Reckless Frame of Mind Harry was the victim of a Cassandra Curse which meant that whatever he said, wrote or gestured was both the absolute truth and interpreted as a deliberate lie.
  • In A Dragon in Shining Armour, Baronmon was one of these about the return of Dark Knightmon, but OuRyuumon and Omegamon didn't believe him. Alphamon had a feeling that Baronmon was telling the truth, but Baronmon himself admitted that he doubted the viability of his vision.
  • Silver in Prison Island Break. Nobody really believes he knows the future, and he hates being able to see it as it does him little good.
    • Word of God is that the author used this 'psychic' approach as opposed to the contorted time-travelling that took place in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) (when Silver first canonically appeared).
  • Pokédex:
    • According to some legends, Articuno. Everyone assumes due to other legends that it will lead people do their doom, so they run away from it without realizing it was trying to lead them to safety.
    • The crews of ghost ships are not killed by Jellicent like everyone believes, but imprisoned in an Underwater City made of shipwrecks to create technology for their jailors. Those few sailors who escape and make it to shore are always taken for madmen or liars.
    • Absol is also an example, due to people recognizing the danger of listening to it, though this just obliterates their chances of surviving a disaster altogether.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes The Movie: Misery Loves Company: Lucius' wife/Beezy's Missing Mom Maggie whose clairvoyance gave her visions that her unborn child would bring about a catastrophe that would threaten Miseryville. Lucius scoffed at these claims, forcing her to leave him in order to protect the world.
  • Liman Brocat in The Dilgar War is treated as crazy when he predicts that the Dilgar will come for the Brakiri too and openly compares Jha'dur to the mythical Deathwalker. Later subverted, as the epilogue shows that when he warned about the Shadow War the Brakiri listened, and his assassination served only to confirm he was right.
  • In The Nucleus Incident, Demoman's the first one to notice the BLU Spy's influence, but seeing as he's been turned into a kid, no one believes him.
  • In Wish Carefully, the clerk in charge of the Hogwarts List notices that squibs don't show up on the list to get their Hogwarts Letter. He keeps trying to address the problem, but ends up getting crucioed for his trouble.
  • In New Hope University: Major In Murder, this is an official role in New Hope University's killing game, and is referred to by this name, complete with a reference to the Trope Namer, as a student who makes warnings but is ultimately not believed. The Cassandra this time is Morgan Lee, the Ultimate Painter(whose Split Personality is the Ultimate Vandal), who ends up being the first victim.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Space Jam the basketball players, whose talent was stolen by the tiny aliens, ask a cliché fortune teller about their strange ailment. She actually finds out their problem (talent stolen by tiny little aliens to play a basketball game against Bugs Bunny), but because it sounds too weird, they don't believe her.
  • The Good Son uses a variant on this when the child psychologist believes the wrong child to be telling the truth.
  • In Tower of Terror, no one believed Abigail when she claimed that Sally Shine's nanny used magic to curse the hotel. As it turns out, she was lying anyway, making this a subversion.
  • Mighty Aphrodite.
    Lenny: You're such a Cassandra.
    Cassandra: No, I'm not a Cassandra. I'm the Cassandra!
  • The protagonist of Werner Herzog's Heart of Glass, the clairvoyant cowherd Hias. Although his (non-stop) prophecies come invariably true, most of the townsfolk treat him as a weirdo.
  • Pain and Gain: Ed Du Bois is the only human being who catches on the fact the main trio are vicious criminals. Nobody takes him seriously.
  • In the opening of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Sarah Connor is locked up in a mental asylum after she tried to blow up several research labs to stop the rise of Skynet. Naturally, nobody from the cops to her doctors are willing to believe her and think that she just cracked.
  • Nicholas and Alexandra—Count Witte, the Only Sane Man in Nicholas's government, begs the tsar to get out of an unnecessary war against Japan before it's too late. Nicholas refuses and the Russians suffer a humiliating defeat that nearly gets him overthrown. Later, Witte begs Nicholas not to go to war in 1914, explaining in detail all the horrific consequences. Again, Nicholas doesn't listen, and total disaster follows.
  • Trapped: The Alex Cooper Story: Alex, a teenage lesbian who's being held in a brutal conversion therapy camp, receives no assistance whenever she tries to ask for help. The people she asks either don't believe her or else are homophobes themselves and don't care as long as she gets "cured".

  • Cassandra from Chameleon Moon lives up to her name, having horrific visions of the future that no one believes.
  • Quetza, in the Argentinian novel El Conquistador, is an embodiment of this trope. Despite him travelling all over the world, researching the origins of the Aztec people and seeing the close menace of the Spanish Empire, no one believes him.
  • Lucy Pennykettle from The Last Dragon Chronicles. She finally gets her Cassandra Truth when it turns out that David isn't dead, just as she believed all along.
  • In The Dresden Files, this trope is a supernatural medical condition known as "Cassandra's Tears". The cure is fairly straightforward: If someone actually believes the prophecy and acts on it, the condition will go away. However, the condition is also very easy to fake and is a semi-common hook in paranormal confidence games, so people tend to be wary of attempting to cure it.
  • In Everworld, the heroes meet Cassandra. Being Genre Savvy, they tell themselves that they have to believe her, but we see them suddenly develop a five-second amnesia, so they don't remember what she said, only that it was BS.
  • Eyrbyggja Saga: Thorodd's second-sighted foster-mother warns Thorodd that the bull-calf Glaesir will bring about his death, and urges him to have it slaughtered. Thorodd does not comply, even though she repeats her warnings several times. When Glaesir is four years old, he suddenly goes mad and pierces Thorodd with a horn, killing him.
  • In Fairy Oak, Mr. Berry's tongue turning blue is an ancestral sign of danger to come. By the time the series takes place, almost nobody believes him when he starts pointing at his blue tongue, as he has taking a liking for blueberry candy.
  • In Goddess of Yesterday but Caroline B. Cooney, a novel set in Troy, Cassandra herself exploits her curse as the main character is trying to escape the city by calling out that someone is trying to leave through the gate. The main character panics for a moment until she realizes that because no one believes Cassandra no one is bothering to look at her, giving her a chance to escape, and Cassandra blows her a kiss from her tower.
  • The Harry Potter series contains two examples:
    • Harry himself, despite being The Chosen One, frequently gets this treatment, especially from his best friends. So much so that Dumbledore freely admits that part of his plan in the seventh book is counting on Hermione's Arbitrary Skepticism to slow Harry down long enough to think things through properly.
    • Professor Trelawny is a bizarre version, in that she's her own Cassandra- she tends to dismiss the prophecies she makes that actually come true (like the tarot cards that tell her that a 'dark young man, possibly troubled, one who dislikes the questioner" is nearby when Harry's hiding near her, and not remembering her true prophecies at all), and seems to believe more fervently in the hogwash ones (although she may be pulling a Haruhi and unable to overcome her inner doubt no matter how much she wants to). It's also played straight, as Trelawney is widely considered a loony and no one actually puts much stock in her prophecies (although Dumbledore knows better, since he's been on the receiving end of one of her True Prophecies). Most of the predictions she makes are dismissed by the cast as rubbish, but a re-read of the books shows that her predictions do actually provide a lot of foreshadowing and almost always come true in some way or another (e.g. Trelawney sees a large black dog connected with Harry, which is really Sirius's Animagus form).
  • Heralds of Valdemar: In Arrow's Fall, Empath Talia has demonstrated a flawless track record of reading people, but is still doubted and ridiculed when she attempts to expose Evil Chancellor Lord Orthallen. Her fellow Heralds are at least willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, but Valdemar's councillors are not Heralds and see no reason to believe a girl barely out of training over a man with 20 years of service to the kingdom and enormous personal and political power. Orthallen, in his turn, recognizes Talia's threat to him and sows rumors to cast doubt on her reliability.
  • Astrid in Garry Kilworth's novel House of Tribes is known far and wide for her prophetic powers. Naturally, when one of her visions is politically inconvenient, everyone comes up with reasons to assume she's wrong and blunders ahead anyway. After her vision comes true, her prophetic stock shoots up twenty places... until the next vision, which is again inconvenient and is again ignored by quite a lot of characters. There's a message in there somewhere.
  • In Rachel Griffin, there is a Xandra Harris, (also known as "Flops Over Dead Chick") who warns Nastasia, who has visions when she touches certain people, not to touch one particular student. Nastasia promptly does, and promptly gets a Poke in the Third Eye.
  • Mairi Urqhuart in Janet Lunn's novel Shadow in Hawthorn Bay. Mairi has second sight and is able to predict the future, but the other people in her Upper Canada settlement do not believe this. When she tries to tell people about her predictions, the usual response is to ignore her, say she's crazy, or tell her to stop frightening people with her gloomy predictions. When her predictions come true, she is accused of using witchcraft to make them come true.
  • Several of the earlier Sherlock Holmes stories, perhaps most particularly A Study in Scarlet, show the great detective being mocked by the official police for his unusual methods and seemingly bizarre theories. Over time, however, as they find he's right almost unfailingly, the police shift their opinion and become admirers of Holmes. Lestrade even comments on it in The Adventure of the Six Napoleons, saying that they're not at all jealous of him at Scotland Yard, but on the contrary, "we are very proud of you." Holmes's reaction shows just how much the comment means to him.
  • No one listens to Mikhail Kutuzov in War and Peace. Battle of Austerlitz? Bad idea, says Kutuzov. The Russians intervene and get their asses handed to them and Napoleon conquers Austria. Oh well, no big deal.
  • Antryg Windrose, the title character of The Windrose Chronicles, uses Holmes-ish deductive reasoning to figure out things that everyone else then assumes only the villain could know. Between that and his checkered past, he's never believed by anyone in a position of authority - and on the rare occasions when this is not true, he winds up being banned, banished and locked up anyway for telling truths people don't want to hear. Fortunately, he has the patience of a saint.
  • Fanny Price of Mansfield Park, because of her outsider status within the family, is the only one who can clearly see forthcoming troubles. She worries about her cousin Maria's upcoming marriage to the rich but stupid Rushworth because it's perfectly plain that Maria doesn't love or respect him. She is the only one who sees that Henry Crawford is The Casanova and blames him for destroying Maria and Julia's peace of mind, which is why she refuses his proposal herself. She, unlike Edmund, never believes that Mary Crawford's love of wealth and status can be reasoned away with "better society." However, Fanny is so diffident and unwilling to criticize her "betters" that she voices her concerns only to her cousin Edmund, and he easily dismisses them because she is so cautious in her expressions and he is too blinded by his affection for the Crawfords. The result? Maria and Henry have an affair (resulting in her divorce and exile from society) and Edmund has his heart broken when Mary callously wishes his older brother dead so that Edmund can inherit.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 24: Jack Bauer. The guy's saved the world's ass how many times? And still people never listen to him when he's right and do everything in their power to keep him from breaking protocol. See This Sluggy Freelance for a satirical take on this.
  • G'Kar of Babylon 5 has been described as JMS's Cassandra: at various points, he predicts what will happen; but no one believes him, mostly because they don't want to. For example, he tries to warn other races that the Centauri, having conquered the Narn, will turn their attention to others... which they promptly do. And other times, people who know he's telling the truth ahemDelenn and Sinclairahem won't back him up because they don't want the information getting out yet.
  • In the pilot episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Buck himself is seen as The Cassandra by Earth. He was awakened on Princess Ardala's ship and returned to Earth. He saw fresh laser burns on his ship, and concludes Ardala's ship has weapons on board, contrary to what the Princess insists.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
  • In an episode of Columbo, some corrupt local politician pulled strings to have Columbo assigned to investigate the crime he committed, thinking Columbo was too "bumbling and stupid" to catch him... even though Columbo had successfully solved every single case he'd ever been assigned to solve (or at least all the ones seen by the audience). This was especially common with early-season Columbo.
  • There was a Dead Ringers sketch which parodied this by having TV characters known for this given a new boss who enthusiastically praised their track record and agreed with what they had to say.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor. How many times has he charged around trying to get people to believe what he's saying? That he's talking about alien invasions and often dresses like a complete weirdo probably doesn't help his case. And unlike many other people on this list, he's usually not dealing with the same basic cast every episode.
    • Subverted in the new series: UNIT trusts the Doctor, just not enough to listen to his advice about running away from the Sontarans. Also, using a metaphor involving the sonic screwdriver and a pane of glass, he managed to convince Yvonne Hartman, leader of Torchwood 1, that the dimensional device was tearing holes in reality and she had to stop. That didn't prevent the Cybermen and the Daleks from invading, though.
    • And in "Midnight", it becomes apparent that without a companion around, his social skills might not be sufficient to get people to believe him — resulting in total Nightmare Fuel.
    • On one occasion, while within the biggest library in the universe, he convinced a group of aliens to "look him up". They do. And behave themselves afterwards.
    • Recent seasons have many people believe that the Doctor is technically right, but there wouldn't be trouble in the first place if he'd just stay the hell away.
      • Except after seeing "Turn Left", it turns out every bad thing he prevented would have happened anyway even if he'd died in the first episode of the season. the only reason the Earth wasn't destroyed entirely was because of the secondary characters picking up a bit of the slack (not enough, but some).
    • Averted in "The Eleventh Hour". He warns the Atraxi against messing with Earth and tells them to run. They do. Really really fast.
  • The title character on Eli Stone is an almost literal Cassandra: he constantly (and accurately) predicts disaster with his visions, and every time he has such a vision he has to convince everyone around him that he's not crazy all over again.
  • In Firefly, River freaks out = something bad happens is common, and yet Simon still always tries to convince her that there is nothing to worry about. Finally subverted in the movie, where they use her ability to sense trouble as an early warning system.
    • In Mal and company's defense, she is crazy. Remember the fear of Book's hair?
    • And if Zoe didn't have things to do, she'd be hiding with River.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Zigzagged with Catelyn. Her safety concerns about Bran's climbing turn out to be more than justified. Her firstborn, Robb, consistently ignores her well-reasoned advice of being wary of the Greyjoys, Karstarks and Freys, with disastrous results. On the other hand, she also tells her husband to trust Littlefinger, which is hands down the dumbest thing you can do in Westeros. And while she does warn Robb to be wary of the Freys, she also vouches for them, saying Walder Frey would never do anything to harm her.
    • Early in Season 5, Kevan tells Cersei that the Sparrows are dangerous fanatics, and should not be given power or treated lightly. She doesn't listen.
    • Varys is a light case of this as pretty much no-one in the series takes his advice and warnings seriously and it has a habit of coming back to bite everyone in the ass.
      • His warnings and attempts to advise Ned are not heeded until far too late.
      • His repeated attempts to get Shae out of harm's way by either attempting to bribe her or increasingly dire warnings to Tyrion are not heeded until the literal last minute, and ultimately fail.
      • His warnings to literally everyone about how dangerous Littlefinger is have been universally ignored despite the entire War of the Five Kings, the bankruptcy of Westeros, and the death of Joffrey all being Littlefinger's doing.
      • Jaime Lannister also noted to Brienne that Varys warned Aerys not to open the doors of King's Landing to Tywin, believing quite rightly that Tywin had scented a Kingmaker Scenario and wanted to finish Aerys and King's Landing for good.
    • Stannis Baratheon:
      • During the rebellion, Stannis told Robert not to go so far west so soon, Robert never listened and got defeated by Randyll Tarly for it in the Battle of Ashford, which directly lead to the Tyrell siege of Storm's End, the cause of much misery and slights to Stannis.
      • Stannis counsels Jon not to keep his enemies close. Jon tries the opposite approach with Alliser Thorne and is assassinated for it. Likewise both Stannis and Ser Davos insist that he support the King and become Lord Stark and help him take the North from the Boltons. Jon refuses citing his Night's Watch oaths, but in Season 6 he more or less gets forced by circumstances to do what Stannis insisted to start with.
      • Stannis insisted that Mance Rayder bend the knee in the interests of his people. He refuses and gets executed for his trouble and Tormund agreed with Mance, but in Season 7, he admits that Mance should have bent the knee noting that the lives lost in Hardhome and other conflicts could have been saved if Mance submitted and preserved the alliance.
      • Stannis told Samwell Tarly about the dragonglass in his island fortress and encouraged him to keep reading. Eventually, Samwell Tarly, on going to the Citadel and following the King's advice, comes across information about the dragonglass in Dragonstone and mutters that he should have listened to Stannis.
  • In Homeland, Carrie Matheson is right about everything, always. No one believes her, ever, not even Saul, her friend and mentor. Of course, given that she is bipolar...
    • Amusingly this series is also a direct retelling of the myth with Brody in the role of Apollo.
  • Dr. House is pretty much always right, he even says so, and yet, the other doctors continue to contradict him in every which way.
    • Subverted because he's also consistently wrong for most of each episode, and occasionally (though rarely) wrong all the way through. He's almost always eventually right, not always right. The reason he has the other doctors around is to prove him wrong until he's right.
    • They hang a lampshade on this in one episode, where House has to diagnose an epidemic on a plane without his usual medical team. He recruits a few passengers to help his thought process, giving instructions like "Contradict everything I say."
  • A spy in "Gilligan Vs. Gilligan" in "Gilligan's Island"(season 3, 1966), played like Gilligan by Bob Denver himself, looks just like Gilligan, carrying a many use pocket swiss Army knife, and no one believes Gilligan when he and the spy (who is NEVER found out by the others for who he is) are confused for the other.
  • Rumzan the punkah wallah in It Ain't Half Hot Mum. Much of what he observes early on is often borne out by the end of an episode, but no-one pays any attention, presumably for racial reasons.
  • Dangerous Davies, The Last Detective, is always right when he suspects there's more to a death than meets the eye. This does not stop his DI from belittling and ignoring him whenever possible.
  • Lost's Sayid Jarrah has remarkably correct intuition in the early seasons...but more often than not it's ignored by Jack, etc. See Three Minutes, where Sayid deduces that Michael is working with the Others, but can't stop Jack, Kate, Hurley and Sawyer from following him right into a trap.
  • Alison DuBois of Medium gets this from her own husband almost Once an Episode. (Interestingly, the district attorney and his lot are much more open to believing her - they only refuse to act because it would bring suspicion on them, not because they discount her abilities.) She has a dream and wakes up freaked out next to him; Joe tells her to go back to sleep because it was "just a dream". This despite the fact that every week she has a prophetic dream, and the entire plot revolves around how she prevents, corrects, or figures out what her dream meant.
  • On The Mentalist, Patrick Jane is never wrong. About anything. Ever. If he expresses an opinion about how a crime was done, where it was done, who did it, or what a suspect is thinking or feeling, he's always right on the money. Doesn't stop Lisbon and the CBI brass from regularly assuming that he just happens to be wrong this time, his previous 100% success rate notwithstanding.
  • Throughout the first season of Merlin (2008), Morgana was seldom believed when she had a prophetic nightmare about something. Justified in that she was afraid to reveal her powers and so passed off her visions as vague "feelings about things" and subverted in that the people who did believe her wanted to keep her in the dark about how accurate her dreams really were.
  • Monk, while generally given some degree of respect, is often not believed despite being right almost every time.
    • The people who know him have learned to believe him, even when his theories sound crazy.
      Stottlemeyer: Is he sure?
      Disher: (beat) He's Monk!
    • Though he's pretty much guaranteed to be disbelieved if he suspects a murder while on vacation.
  • Psych has Shawn, who acts psychic to give the police a reason, however flimsy, to listen to him. Now they often request his help, but they continue to display disbelief. Shawn's antics seem to simultaneously raise and lower his credibility.
  • One episode of Red Dwarf's eighth season introduced Cassandra, the AI who could see the future including her fate — accidentally being destroyed by Dave Lister, despite his best efforts. They weren't even trying to be subtle there.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation of course has Wesley Crusher, who's never believed because of his youth, or presumed inexperience. Not only is he consistently right, but several times his ideas could be trivially verified, but are ignored.
    • And Star Trek: Voyager has Reginald Barclay who's ignored because of his stammer and general oddness.
  • Though she isn't normally, Lydia Martin in Teen Wolf is a Cassandra in "Riddled", when she insists to the skeptical sheriff that she knows where Stiles is but turns out to be wrong. Throughout most of the series, this trope is averted by the fact that almost every main character at one point or another tells Lydia that they believe her about what she feels.
  • In Survivor, the aptly-named Sandra Diaz-Twine played this role in both of her seasons. In Pearl Islands, she didn't buy Jonny Fairplay's "dead grandma" lie for a second but everyone else believed it. It went even further in Heroes vs. Villains where she tried multiple times to tell the Heroes that Russell was untrustworthy and that they needed to vote him out but they just wouldn't listen to her.
  • In Veronica Mars, Veronica will, without fail, get to the bottom of any mystery, embarrassing the guilty Jerk Jock, Alpha Bitch, or idiot sheriff in the process. Despite this, the town residents only ever react to her questioning them with smug indifference. Not only that, but she spends the entire first season trying to figure out who killed her best friend, Lilly. It turns out to have been Aaron Echolls, the father of Lilly's ex-boyfriend and Veronica's boyfriend at the time she figures it out. Unfortunately, when it goes to trial he gets off Scott free (not counting getting shot in the head by Wiedmann) because Logan destroys the sex tapes, and no one believes Veronica or Logan when they testify that they saw the tapes themselves. Even worse, Aaron nearly burned Veronica to death and beat the crap out of her father, but in the trial he claims that Veronica accidentally crashed her car, and they were waiting at the nearest house when Keith found them and attacked him. And the only other witness, the owner of the house, mysteriously went missing. Seriously though, you think these people would learn to trust V's gut once in a while.
  • Mulder gets a fair amount of this on The X-Files. Of course, this can be expected when you go around spewing epileptic trees. Sometimes, he may get the details wrong, but the overall theory will be right. Other times, he uses a shotgun effect and throws out a bunch of different theories, but one of them is right. Subverted at the times The Conspiracy takes steps to have him ignored.

  • The Trope Namer is Cassandra, princess of Troy in The Iliad. Apollo, god of prophecy, lusted after Cassandra, and stories differ on how Cassandra felt about him. In one version, she flatly refused him and he cursed her; in another, she held out on giving him her body until he gave her a gift of prophecy, and then, once he granted it to her, she backed out on their agreement. The gods cannot take back their gifts, but they can add complications, so Apollo cursed her so that no one would believe her. Cassandra therefore saw the entire siege before it happened — saw it from the moment her long-lost brother Paris entered the walls. She called out the Trojan Horse for the ruse that it was, and foresaw her enslavement and death in a faraway land, but no one ever believed her, not even her own family, instead considering her mad.

  • In On The Threshold Mad Artist Zoey Evans speaks of a psychological phenomenon she calls "the inversion of religious ecstasy", which seems to cause revelations which are universally shunned, often along with their prophets. She's trying to induce this state through her VR environment The Cathedral of Bar Shachath.

  • The Mrs. Hawking play series: In part IV: Gilded Cages, Elizabeth is always warning Victoria about the consequences of her reckless actions. She's always right, but still everyone ignores her. This constantly being ignored shapes Elizabeth going forward.
  • Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike combines this with Sassy Black Woman. Cassandra, the housekeeper, continually makes prophesies that range from, "beware Greeks bearing gifts," to "avoid real estate transactions for the next 15 years," that are always ignored. Later subverted when she gets tired of her prophesies being ignored and decides to change the future using Voodoo.

    Theme Parks 
  • Two characters are this on The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios:
    • Ethan Edwards in the western scene, warning the riders of the town they're about to enter and that they should turn back. His warnings end up falling on deaf ears.
    • When either hijacker attempts to steal the jewel, a temple guardian note  warns them that if they disturb the treasure of the gods, they'll pay with their life. Naturally, the hijacker doesn’t listen.

    Video Games 
  • Bailey from Ghost Trick is a prison guard who's prone to worry about possible future misfortunes. Unfortunately, his awkward personality makes everyone around him not believe his omens when actually all of them do end up happening.
  • Feizhi from Golden Sun makes many accurate predictions, but her father dismisses them as coincidences. If the player helps her save her friend Hsu, her father finally admits she can tell the future.
  • Commander Shepard from Mass Effect is one as far as the brass is concerned. S/he can't convince them of anything important, no matter how damning the evidence presented is.
    • Most of Shepard's predictions sound absurdly crazy from the perspective of the council or anyone else. The Reapers went to a lot of trouble to make sure there was virtually no evidence of their existence. The council very quickly changes their mind about Saren being involved in Eden Prime when s/he presented hard evidence. Admittedly, the witness testimony should have been given more weight considering he was identified by name by another Spectre.
    • Gets even more absurd in Mass Effect 2, where the council (if you kept them alive) STILL doesn't believe you. Despite you having saved them personally from a Reaper. They blame it on the geth, even if Legion (a geth) is in your party and says "Nope, wasn't us."
    • Lampshaded with Legion in Mass Effect 3:
      Shepard: So the geth believed your proof that the Reapers were coming back?
      Legion: Of course.
      Shepard: ...That must have been nice.
    • In a confrontation in 3, where it might look like Shepard is attacking the Council, s/he assures them that s/he's just after Udina. Shepard's status as this is mentioned by the asari councilor when they debate whether to trust him/her.
      Councilor Tevos: We've mistrusted Shepard before and it has not worked well for us.
    • Doubly subverted in the Citadel DLC, where the Archives, after identifying Shepard (and potentially Kaidan or Ashley) as a Spectre, reveal the Council believed them about the Reapers, but blamed the geth to preserve the status quo as they knew that nothing could be done. Though it is also possible that these records were updated after the Reapers had launched a full scale invasion and thus there was obviously evidence.
  • Onmyōji: This is Susabi's Dark and Troubled Past as a child with Psychic Powers. Everyone in his village stopped believing in his predictions because some of them were incorrect, and he was subsequently hated by everyone and drowned in the ocean.
  • Kinzie spends some time in Saints Row: The Third claiming aliens will soon invade the Earth. Come Saints Row 4—she was right all along. One of her Audio Log collectibles in the game has her lamenting her role as The Cassandra.
  • Rintaro Okabe from Steins;Gate is a Chuunibyou who tends to get caught up in his fantasies, so whenever he does say the truth, people tend to think it's another one of his fantasies and react accordingly.
  • Daelin Proudmoore from Warcraft. After fighting a war with the (Old) genocidal Horde, he begins to attack their new settlements on Kalimdor after their demonic curse is lifted, claiming that the Horde will never change despite the protest of his daughter Jaina. Come Mists of Pandaria, and the New Horde, led by Garrosh Hellscream, has attempted to take over Kalimdor, destroyed the formally semi-neutral city of his daughter and is now waging a war to control all of Azeroth. In her grief Jaina admits that her father was right all along in front of his statue after the destruction of Theramore.
  • In the backstory of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, child empath Athena insisted that Simon Blackquill was innocent, but because he pled guilty and no-one understood her abilities, he was imprisoned anyway. After that, she resolved to become the sort of person who no-one could ignore ever again.

    Web Original 
  • The Ningyo: Christopher Marlowe is obsessed with finding the Ningyo, but nobody really believes him. As a result, he doesn't get a lot of respect from his fellow professors.
  • In Red vs. Blue, Agent Connecticut spends most of her appearances in the Season 9 and 10 flashbacks bitching about Project Freelancer's ranking system and telling the agents that the Director's playing them. None of the other agents take her warnings seriously, but she's right.
  • One comic that floats around the internet has the actual Cassandra exploit her curse to get petty revenge on Apollo.
    Cassandra: Lord Apollo will sexually satisfy a woman tonight!
    Random Trojan 1: Cassandra don't be absurd.
    Random Trojan 2: As though Lord Apollo would ever be anything but colossally disappointing in bed.

    Web Video 
  • Jim Sterling of the Jimquisition has recently called himself this on video game news, and for good reason. He has correctly predicted Steam's need for better quality games, how loot boxes were going to be a problem, and even that Visceral Games was going to be shut down by Electronic Arts. At the time, no one believed him and dismissed his claims, usually because he's crude and very critical on his videos. But it turns out he was right every time, and he may just be right on the new issue of how Micro-transactions will eventually blow up in a disastrous way...
  • Dream Machine: Meredith frequently speaks out as the most sensible voice, but is often ignored by the considerably less sensible people around her.

    Western Animation 
  • Animaniacs: Anyone who can see through Chicken Boo's Paper Thin Disguises.
  • There is a gypsy moth in the Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers episode who predicts a soon and certain end to Chip's life. The Rangers' leader refuses to believe in that prophecy and continues on the case until all details but one have come true. The name of the moth is... Cassandra.
  • Mr. Crocker on The Fairly Oddparents knows that Timmy Turner has "FAIRY GODPARENTS!", but everyone thinks he's insane. He is, but he's still right; nevertheless, his warnings are usually dismissed as the ramblings of an insane lunatic.
  • Sylvester in the following Porky Pig cartoons "Porky Pig" "Scaredy Cat" (1948), "Jumpin' Jupiter" (1954), and "Claws for Alarm" (1955), as he repeatedly tries to warn Porky of mice (first and third) or bird like aliens, up to no good, and Porky won't believe him.
  • PJ on Goof Troop is almost always the first (if not the only) person to notice something's gone wrong. He's also usually ignored, due to his total lack of assertiveness. However, "Tub Be or Not Tub Be" and "Talent to the Max" are even worse—he, who doesn't lie for his own self-interest without coaxing, and who has Undying Loyalty towards Max, is accused of betraying him. He tries to tell Max that he didn't mean to cheat and was trying to undo all the booby traps in the former, and that Max needs to dump the magic hat like a bad habit in the latter, but Max doesn't believe him.
  • Cassandra herself was a secondary character in the TV series based on Disney's Hercules. She's very bitter about her lot in life, though it centers around her curse of predicting Bad Future visions, which are often ignored until it's too late.
  • Combined with Crying Wolf in Invader Zim, because Dib is almost always right, but it can often seem like he is wrong because he's always in the wrong place at the wrong time. That, and the fact that the entire population is filled with raging idiots. The only person who does wholly believe him about any of this information is his younger sister Gaz, and she's more annoyed by Dib's obsession with the paranormal/cryptozoological/etc. constantly infringing on her own interests than anything else. Especially in regards to the titular alien, viewing Zim as an idiot who can do no real damage regardless of if they get involved or not.
  • Coop of Kid vs. Kat constantly tries to warn his town about Kat's evil schemes, only to earn a reputation as both a liar and a lunatic. However, unlike most examples, Coop gradually seems to realize his status as The Cassandra, eventually focusing on simply sabotaging Kat's plans privately instead of warning people about them. Fortunately, he's thrown a bone in the form of his best friend Dennis and his girlfriend Fiona, who are both aware of Kat's actual identity and are happy to help Coop out.
  • Phineas and Ferb has two Cassandras:
    • Candace is constantly trying to prove to her mother that her brothers, the title characters, build all kinds of crazy projects in their backyard, but the evidence of said crazy projects has always vanished by the time she gets her mother's attention.
    • Vanessa tries to prove to her mother her father is a Mad Scientist, but it always fails, largely because Doctor Doofenshmirtz isn't really good at villainy. This plot point is dropped after two episodes.
  • Ronaldo from Steven Universe. At first glance he's a sad little conspiracy theorist, but virtually all of his rantings turn out to be true. Listening to him the second time around, and he just dumps entire SEASONS worth of spoilers every time he opens his mouth. Thing is, his character is so annoying no one gives him any credit in-universe or out.
  • This is Toxic Crusaders character Psycho in a nutshell: his entire purpose is to point out to Dr. Killemoff how his latest plan can go wrong, usually involving really unlikely circumstances that nevertheless always end up happening and yet Killemoff never listens to him, despite his predictions having always been right.

    Real Life 
  • The Novikov Self-Consistency Principle is a conjecture on Time Travel, which is theoretically possible under some interpretations of general relativity theory. Basically, if any event caused by a time traveler could change the timeline, then the probability of that event happening is zero. Time paradoxes are impossible no matter how much screaming you do.
  • Many rape and abuse victims, sadly. Doubly so if they're male being abused by a female. Often, but not always, this is because the abuser tries to act innocent, but in some cases people doubt the word of the victim without even hearing the abuser deny it.
  • Many of the early whistleblowers in The '30s had this problem. The ruling bodies of Europe were not able to grasp the dangers of fascism until war was almost upon them. Thus, the intellectuals who tried to warn about imminent danger were often ridiculed, and many ended up fleeing to Britain or America, or otherwise imprisoned or executed during World War II as 'subversives'.
  • If you ever played an online video game, you've been one whenever you experienced lag - a lot of people won't believe you if you say "Sorry I lagged" or "Anyone else get a bunch of lag?". This is especially bad if you experienced clientside lag - which a lot of people assume is an excuse for poor performance.
  • On Monday, the 27th of January 1986, late at night, aerospace engineer Roger Boisjoly told his bosses at Morton Thiokol that the solid-rocket-boosters they built for the Space Shuttle were not capable of withstanding cold weather on launch-day, and warned that mission STS-51L needed warmer weather to launch, or else the shuttle stack would be blown to pieces. NASA countered that schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe was scheduled to give her students a lesson from space that Friday, and that President Reagan was to mention that fact in the State-of-the-Union address on Tuesday. 13 hours after Boisjoly's warning, 73 seconds after lifting off from the launch-pad at Kennedy Space Center, the starboard Solid Rocket Booster propelling Space Shuttle Challenger on STS-51L malfunctioned, triggering an explosion that tore the orbiter apart. Two and a half minutes later, the crew-compartment impacted the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, killing any crew that may have survived the initial explosion.


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