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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 (1995) parody of Medium

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

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, the 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 the Cassandra is one of the underclass (a street preacher or one of those Crazy Homeless People), their propecies getting dismissed or ignored is usually Played for Laughs.

Subtrope of Cassandra Truth. Compare Crying Wolf, where a character is not believed when they tell the truth because everything else they said previously has been a lie, You Have to Believe Me!, where the character is not believed because they sound ridiculous, 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 the Cassandra for the very disaster they tried to warn them about.

Compare Mad Oracle, where a character who can see the future has gone insane, meaning that his prophecies are true yet mean nothing unless you can somehow parse them.

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


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu: Daiya 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.
  • Appropriately played straight during the Familia War arc of Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?. One of the Apollo Familia members, whom is appropriately named Cassandra warns the others that they are going to lose, even prophesizing several key events, but, as expected, no one believes her, and they lose. Horribly.
  • Kotoura-san: Japanese people have the tendency to hide their thoughts for etiquette reasons. Haruka is a telepath who couldn't turn it off nor 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.
  • In Pokémon: The First Movie, there is a harbor manager 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. 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.
  • 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 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 
  • 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 clear only after the fact, and several apply to distant events, such as Achilles' slaying of Mnemon, making it impossible for the Trojans to verify.
  • Judge Dredd: Subverted with Psi Judge Cassandra Anderson. As Mega-City One's most powerful psychic, her predictions are generally taken very seriously by everyone.
  • Supergirl: One character is revealed to be the mythical Cassandra who's sadly become used to how no one will take her words of warning seriously.

    Fan Works 
  • The Bolt Chronicles: Penny's mom gives her daughter advice on two occasions in "The Cameo," which the girl ignores to her detriment. She finds this advice irritating but usually right in the end:
    • Penny's mom warns her former child TV star daughter to tread carefully on the internet, cautioning her to avoid the smutty fan works she'll undoubtedly find that feature herself. Initially the sixteen-year-old heeds this advice, but eventually hunts them up anyway. Although she makes fun of them while reading them, the works serve to stoke her burgeoning teenage hormones.
    • Penny's mom at one point says, "Choosing your boyfriends based solely on looks is like choosing a new house because you like the paint job." Sixteen-year-old Penny decides to lose her virginity to a handsome teen heartthrob actor without taking his obnoxious, self-centered personality into account and finds the experience unsatisfactory.
  • Daphne Greengrass and the Boy Who Lived sees Daphne Greengrass become an inverted version of this; she discovers that she has an unexpected talent for Divination to the point that even a sceptic like Hermione trusts her visions, but when Daphne sees Harry walking to his apparent death in a confrontation with Voldemort, she doesn't want to be right.
  • 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 A Dragon in Shining Armour, Baronmon was one of these about the return of DarkKnightmon, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In A New Life Era, The Hacker unfortunately found himself in this role in his early days. He even attempted to warn his father of how dangerous it would be to not charge his CB Radios, or fuel up the car more promptly. It turns out, he was right, and his father's CB Radio battery dying caused The Hacker's parents, as well as White Hawk's own parents, to die to a terrorist attack. The Hacker knew his father was always prompt to responding to the dispatcher's calls. The fact that there was never a response told The Hacker that his father never received the transmission from dispatch.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • In A Reckless Frame of Mind, Harry is the victim of a Cassandra Curse which means that whatever he says, writes or gestures is both the absolute truth and interpreted as a deliberate lie.
  • 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.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Big Short: Dr. Michael Burry is this when he predicts the collapse of the US housing market. He's laughed out of the room at investment banks when he asks to short housing bonds, and the investors in his hedge fund are terrified and most bail.
  • The Good Son uses a variant on this when the child psychologist believes the wrong child to be telling the truth.
  • 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.
  • Mighty Aphrodite.
    Lenny: You're such a Cassandra.
    Cassandra: No, I'm not a Cassandra. I'm the Cassandra!
  • 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.
  • Pain & Gain: Ed Du Bois is the only human being who catches on the fact the main trio are vicious criminals. Nobody takes him seriously.
  • Shall We Play?: Stacy legitimately can see malicious spirits and detects danger as a result. However, this has been mistaken for psychosis so no one believes her about them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Threads: In one of the pre-nuclear attack scenes, a woman addressing a crowd warns that both the American and Russian governments (who are at loggerheads over Russian troop movements in the Middle East) "are playing with at best the destruction of life as we know it, and at worst total annihilation. You cannot win a nuclear war!" In response, several people heckle her, making it clear they think she is just doom-mongering, and she is told to "go back to bloody Russia." The British authorities simply see her as a threat and, as the crisis deepens, she is arrested as a "potential subversive". Needless to say, her prediction that, should nuclear war break out, Britain will end up "a corpse of a country" comes true.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 by 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 Trelawney 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Star Wars Legends had the Dark Jedi oracle Kadann, who served as an advisor to Darth Sidious and was named Supreme Prophet of The Empire. He forsaw the Return of the Jedi but not only did Palpatine disregard his warnings but decided You Have Outlived Your Usefulness and attempted to have him killed.
  • They Thirst: Captain Palatazin recognizes the signs of vampirism instantly due to an incident in his childhood and urges burning the victims' bodies to stop the spread of the virus. It isn't until around 300 pages into the book that anyone takes him seriously, and his superior forces him to take a two week vacation due to worrying about how much stress he's supposedly under.
  • 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.

    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 refuse to act only 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.
  • Stranger Things:
    • No one believes Joyce when she claims Will is alive. Justified, because she's talking to him through flickering lightbulbs and Christmas lights.
    • Nancy and Jonathan defy when they plan to expose Hawkins Lab due to the danger they wrought upon them earlier. They settle on a gas leak, far from reality but much more believable.
    • Even earlier, nobody believed Terry Ives that her daughter, Jane, was still alive.
    • In Season 3, nobody believes Nancy about the missing fertilizer, even before her boss gets Flayed and has a good reason for trying to shut down her operation.
  • Supernatural has its heroes in this situation fairly regularly. They constantly warn potential victims of the week not to do something, only to be ignored and to have the person meet a grim end. Other notable examples include:
    • Dean constantly warns Sam about using his powers in Season 4, as well as trusting Ruby. It turns out that Dean was right all along that no good would come of it.
    • The villainous Naomi warns Castiel that Metatron's spell will cast all the angels out of Heaven. Castiel, who has been tortured and mind-controlled by Naomi, doesn't believe her even though it is the truth. This has devastating consequences.
    • Crowley warns Kevin Tran that hanging around the Winchesters will get him killed. Crowley is right.
  • 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 fact, they tried to vote her out. However, this trope ultimately helped her win both times. After all, if you were the only one who saw through the villain's manipulation, doesn't that mean you played the best game?
  • 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.
  • White Lotus: Burt in Season 2 is very astute about human nature and the eventual fate of Albie being hardened by tough love. Not only does his grandson dismiss him as an out-of-touch geezer, but his own philandering son also discounts his words.
  • 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 song "Cassandra" by Swedish group ABBA, released in 1982 as a B-side of the single "The Day Before You Came" and included in the 2001 re-release of the 1982 album The Visitors tells about the night the Trojan Horse entered Troy, and how the Trojans in their dying fight against Greeks apologized to Cassandra for not believing her when she told them that would happen, while she cried in her bed in despair.

  • 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.
  • Predating Cassandra, also from Classical Mythology, is the original Blind Seer, Tiresias. Giving the disturbing nature of many of his prophesies, the recipient rarely believed him. The classic example is in Oedipus the King, where Oedipus doesn't believe him when he claims that it was Oedipus himself that killed the previous king, Laius. (Tiresias leaves out the whole Parental Incest part of it.) In Antigone, Creon ultimately does believe him, but too late.

  • 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 Book of Mormon: Any time the people become wicked, a prophet is likely to come and be rejected, after which their dire prophecies will be fulfilled. But Samuel the Lamanite is a notable example because the people reject his predictions while watching them happen, and they lay grand plans to slaughter everyone who believed him as soon as they can claim his deadline has passed.
    Some things they may have guessed right, among so many; but behold, we know that all these great and marvelous works cannot come to pass, of which has been spoken.

  • 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.
  • Legends of Runeterra: The not-so-flatteringly-named Babbling Bjerg is an old Freljordian man who claims to have seen wonderous and terrifying creatures amidst the frozen continent. Nobody else believes him though save for his young nephew Ingvar. And true to his word, not only are several of the creatures he's seen real, like Yetis and Balestriders, but they're all playable units in-game.
  • 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 (2016): 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.
  • 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.
  • Pokémon: The Pokémon Absol normally live in remote areas and are able to sense impending disasters, which they will try to warn people about. Thanks to their inability to talk and creepy look, however, they get blamed for the earthquake/flood/whatever when it eventually happens.
  • 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.
  • Aldaris in StarCraft - Brood War hastily and bitterly warns about Kerrigan, not believing the sudden turn of sides, stating that she is "infested to the core" and not to be trusted. While the other characters are skeptical too about her motives, Aldaris is immediately vehement and also silenced by Raszagal who wants to listen to her (he leaves the situation room immediately). Other people like Artanis and Zeratul then start to trust her. Aldaris later sets up a revolt because he is sure that she is deceiving and manipulating everyone. Aldaris counters him that "she has changed". She didn't, and he was right all along.
    • Justified, because in the base game he at best acted like a Knight Templar and Lawful Stupid, declaring Tassadar to be a criminal for joining forces with the fallen dark templars, even sending his forces to fight you because you took his part. He only acknowledges in the final mission that Tassadar was right and siding with the dark templars was the right choice, and even then Raynor ironically comments that despite this he's not sending reinforcements. Meanwhile, when she first appears in Brood War Kerrigan offers a perfectly reasonable explanation for her situation and offers to aid in your quest. Thus, at this point Aldaris is already established as a bigoted judicator who more often than not fights against the player because of his prejudices, his distrust partially overlapping with Jerkass Has a Point.
  • 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.

    Web Original 
  • Dream Machine: Meredith frequently speaks out as the most sensible voice, but is often ignored by the considerably less sensible people around her.
  • 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.

    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.
  • 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 Flynn 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In 1983, Eric Dickerson, a future Pro Football Hall of Fame running back preparing to start his NFL career with the Los Angeles Rams, met at a Dallas restaurant for a dinner with several incoming freshman football players for his alma mater of Southern Methodist University. In a 2010 documentary, Dickerson recalled that one of the freshmen, David Stanley, made a remark about being bigger (physically) than Dickerson, and he then threatened to beat Stanley up, telling him, "You're still in high school, you motherfucker. I play in the NFL." In Dickerson's recalling of the incident, he said that he had strongly advised SMU's coaches not to sign Stanley, calling him "bad news". They didn't listen, signing Stanley, who played two injury- and substance abuse-plagued seasons with the Mustangs. However, that didn't qualify Dickerson as a Cassandra. That came after Stanley was dismissed from the team, when he spoke to local media and NCAA investigators about being paid to play at SMU by coaches and boosters. These revelations led to a larger NCAA investigation that led to SMU's football program being completely shut down for the 1987 and 1988 seasons. In turn, this was one of many factors in the demise of SMU's longtime home of the Southwest Conference. The Mustangs would not have another winning season for more than 20 years, and wouldn't return to the national rankings for another 10 years after that.
  • On the night of January 27, 1986, aerospace engineer Roger Boisjoly told his bosses at Morton Thiokol that the solid-rocket-boosters they built for the Space Shuttle Challenger 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 Challenger on STS-51L malfunctioned, triggering an explosion that tore the orbiter apart. Two and a half minutes later, the crew compartment crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, killing any crew that might have survived the initial explosion.
  • Dr. Michael Burry, who was portrayed by Christian Bale in The Big Short, changed his Twitter handle to Cassandra after having a long history of predicting turmoil in the financial markets. Burry most notably predicted the 2007-08 subprime mortgage crisis and shorted housing bonds, long considered one of the safest investments.
  • In 1992 while performing a cover of Bob Marley's "War" on Saturday Night Live, Sinéad O'Connor tore up a photo of then-Pope John Paul II and ended her performance with the quote "Fight the Real Enemy", referring to sexual abuse occurring in the Catholic Church. Sinéad's career took a nosedive after that, and it would be a decade before the truth began to emerge, beginning with the Boston Globe's expose on sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy.