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They Walk Among Us

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Nope, nothing weird going on here.

A sci-fi / fantasy trope.

Let's say, for instance, that you are a perfectly normal human being living in a perfectly normal house in a perfectly normal urban community. Every day you wake up, you go to work or to school, you come home and have dinner. You have perfectly normal friends and family you enjoy doing perfectly normal things with. Also, your neighbor is, say, a robot. And your robot neighbor lives in the perfectly normal house right next to yours. He also gets up every morning and goes on with his robot affairs. And as the both of you walk down the street, side by side, you meet other humans just like yourself, sure, but the robot community is there as well, minding their own business just like you do. And nobody thinks it's weird because, you see, they walk among you.

That's the main gist of this trope: in an otherwise normal world not too different from our own, humans share the world with something distinctly nonhuman, or at least abnormal or fantastic; another sentient species, or a different kind of being altogether. Their presence in the world is not regarded differently in any way from how we look at all the different races and ethnic groups here. Needless to say, Fantastic Racism tends to ensue, but though this is a common staple, it's not a necessity.


Related tropes include:

For beings who Walk Among Us without our knowledge, see The Masquerade.


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  • Modern-day cavemen in the famous GEICO commercials.

  • According to Yuki, Data Interfaces, time travelers and members of the Organization have completely infiltrated North High because of the titular character, Haruhi Suzumiya. Proven in the eight novel, where the Student Council President is a representative from the Organization, and the secretary is a Data Interface named Emiri Kimidori.
  • The wolves from Wolf's Rain.
  • Vampires in Trinity Blood.
  • Transformers bounces between this and The Masquerade depending on the incarnation, where they are in the timeline, and what's more convenient for the plot. Transformers Animated completely threw it out the window and everyone knows of their existence from the first episode.

  • Mutants in X-Men. Even Nightcrawler can walk around undisguised and few people seem to care. (One issue has him and Wolverine walking around in public and 'Crawler worried about it... only for a pretty girl to slip him her phone number.)
    • In fact, superhumans from both Marvel Comics and DC Comics often walk among normal humans with little fanfare.
  • The Bone Cousins in Bone. People remark that they're funny looking a few times but it seems to be more of a case of them being from another part of the world.
  • All manner of bizarre creatures in Hellboy.
  • Costumed Heroes in Watchmen.
  • Funny animals in Midnite, the Rebel Skunk
  • The titular characters in ElephantmenHalf-Human Hybrids of hippos, elephants, and various other African megafauna.
  • In Arrowsmith, various fantasy races such as trolls live alongside humans; albeit as second-class citizens in many places.

    Fan Fiction 
  • The The Conversion Bureau genre typically consists of the Kingdom of Equestria popping up on our earth and setting a divisive cultural exchange in motion - whereas humans may not enter the Equestrian island, which it's protected by an anti-human forcefield, many ponies travel and settle in human countries. In most iterations, racism and political strife on both sides usually destroys any chance for peaceful coexistence, and end with one side forcefully usurping the other.


  • Thursday Next blatantly plays with the Fantasy Kitchen Sink. The first of its two main "gimmicks" is that genetic engineering has allowed humans to resurrect several extinct animals, and as a result, mammoths migrate through Swindon, dodo birds are the popular pet of choice, and Neanderthals fight discrimination from humans and live in their own separate, politically anarchic (but peaceful) communities. The second gimmicks involves living literary characters. It's complicated.
  • In Who Censored Roger Rabbit?? humans and toons coexist.
  • Fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters in Nursery Crime.
  • Monsters and occult powers in the Anita Blake series.
  • Robots in Isaac Asimov's science-fiction.
  • Discworld. Particularly in Ankh-Morpork, which is inhabited by humans of many ethnicities, trolls, dwarves, gnomes, vampires, golems, small gods, the occasional talking dog ...
  • Vampires in The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries and later weres.
  • In Tales of a Sixth-Grade Muppet by Kirk Scroggs, Danvers can't remember if the entire cast of The Muppet Show always lived in his home town, or if it just happened after his transfromation. No-one else seems to find it odd.

    Live Action Television  
  • Vampires in True Blood.
  • Humanoid Cylons in the last season of Battlestar Galactica.
  • Any of Jim Henson's works involving the Muppets, but the effect was not handled the same way in every case. In Sesame Street, for example, humans and "monsters" recognized each other as different, but in The Muppets Show there were instances where ordinary humans and the Muppets were in perfectly equal standing. (As in, a humanoid muppet and a real human were both "human")
  • The world of Special Unit 2: All sorts of supernatural creatures still live among the humans. There is no organized Masquerade; most people don't realize they're there but the Chicago Police Department has established SU 2 to deal with them.
  • The Newcomers, a.k.a. Tenctonese, in Alien Nation.
  • Puppets in Greg the Bunny.
  • Power Rangers:

    Video Games 
  • The Gurhal System in Phantasy Star Universe really doesn't care if you're human, newman, beast, or CAST, because they're all on equal standing. Though the four races have planets (or a space station) to themselves, other races can and do live there with equality (excepting those bigots that no amount of time will erase).
  • You could probably count the human characters in Touhou on your fingers.
  • Vortigaunts in Half-Life 2 have reached this status. No one bats an eyelid at them (except the Combine who harass them just as much as humans).

  • Questionable Content is set in an alternate-present Massachussetts where true Artificial Intelligence is common; the first AI characters are Robot Buddies like Pintsize who are initially treated like possessions, but an expanding cast of Robots with day jobs is introduced. It's mentioned that The Singularity passed and AIs were granted full citizenship without any particular hassle and, indeed, without most people noticing.

     Web Original  
  • The Orion's Arm worldbuilding project includes every possible kind of being in a science fiction setting (genetically modified humans, uplifted animals, robots, cyborgs, sentient vehicles, etc.) co-existing in the same interstellar civilization.
  • Due to the Mega Crossover nature of the PPC, it is not exactly uncommon to see a protoss, an earth pony, and a World-1 human walking the same halls.
  • As the nature of megacrossovers this is the norm of the Buildingverse so for a perfectly muggle waitress to see Thor chasing Nyan-cat down the street is a Monday. There are some works that allude to some kind of a Masquerade, but it can't be too serious if aforementioned waitress can turn around and date an elf.

     Western Animation  


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