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Trespassing Hero

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"Does your kind always make it a habit of barging in on people's homes?"
Reindeer NPC, Them's Fightin' Herds

In an Adventure Game and a Role-Playing Game, you need to explore everywhere to find information or important items to help you on your mission. Townspeople are usually a good source of information and for leads on where to get such items. While questioning people on the streets or customers patronizing businesses are common, some heroes take it one step further and actually enter private houses in search of what they need. For some strange reason, many games don't have these homeowners reacting negatively to the protagonist just barging in.

This seems to go against Real Life, where many jurisdictions have laws against trespassing. Even if there's no legal questions brought up, many consider it impolite to simply enter a home uninvited or at least with advance notice.

For this trope to apply, the heroes have to enter an area that would normally be restricted to them such as a private residence, a secure facility, etc. Going into a public place (shop, restaurant, park, etc) or a facility with areas open to the public doesn't count.

Compare Plot Armor. Compare and Contrast Hero Insurance. Also contrast Insurmountable Waist-High Fence and Broken Bridge (which prevents you from going outside of the boundaries).

If you go a step further, you get Kleptomaniac Hero, a sister trope.


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    Fan Works 
  • Invoked by the narrator in Pokémon Strangled Red. When Steven refuses to enter Pokémon Tower, the narrator can't help but wonder: if Steven can go into a bunch of houses containing nothing useful, why was the one place where he has "no reason to be" a place to catch Pokémon that don't appear anywhere else in the game?

  • The first Back to the Future has Doc Brown and Marty simply walking into Hill Valley High School to locate Marty's future parents and fix the damage Marty unwittingly caused earlier. Nobody seems to say or do anything about these obvious trespassers in the school.

  • Both Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys are constantly doing this—at least once per book—in their respective series. (And their crossovers together, for that matter.) Breaking into people's homes, offices, or other locations to search for evidence; sneaking into private events and closed places of business; explicitly ignoring "No Trespassing" signs; you name a form of trespassing, they've done it before while trying to bring bad guys to justice. And they never suffer any kind of long-term consequences for it, and usually no short-term ones, either.

    Live Action TV 
  • Uncle Traveling Matt of Fraggle Rock became a perfect example of this trope when exploring "Outer Space", the world of the "silly creatures" (humans). A number of postcard segments show Matt inside of office buildings, schools, and even inside private houses. He observes people in kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms and then reports it back to Gobo through postcards. Matt's intrusions into these homes makes you wonder if Fraggle society doesn't have established protocol on privacy and personal space.

    Video Games 
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Daggerfall allows you to enter locked houses if you wish by picking the lock or simply breaking the door down. Both options may attract the attention of the guards though, with the latter moreso than the first.
    • Morrowind removes the "break down the door" option, but still allows you to enter any location you can get into. The only way to get in trouble is to be seen by a guard while picking the lock. There are also a few "forbidden" areas which, if you enter before you are supposed to as part of a quest, you will be told to leave. (Vivec's palace is one such example.) This trope is lampshaded by the NPC Deldrise Andoren in the Tribunal expansion, who calls you out on casually walking into a stranger's home... but then proceeds to give you a quest anyway "since you're here".
    • Oblivion and Skyrim finally avert the trope. While you can still pick locks to break into places, any residents who are inside will threaten to call the guards or attack if you don't get out. Most private houses will be free to wander into during the day or while the owners are in (in keeping with a lot of more trusting rural communities) but locked up when unoccupied or at night. Additionally, these games added considerably more locations where a key is required to open certain doors in order to prevent Sequence Breaking with associated quests.
  • Baldur's Gate has one of four things happen if you enter someone else's house in the big cities like Beregost and Baldur's Gate. The inhabitants may have a quest for you to do and completely ignore your trespass; may state clearly that they frown upon you barging in (but don't do anything); some call the guards on you; and some will even outright attack you.
  • Lampshaded in Robopon when a townsman actually says "You can even go into someone's house without permission and take things!"
  • Averted in King's Quest I: Quest For The Crown with Rumpelstilkin. After he helps you on your quest, he goes back inside his home. If you try to have Graham enter the home (at least in the official and fan remake), the game will call you out and say that it's impolite to enter someone's house uninvited.
  • Subverted in Leisure Suit Larry 1: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards game. Larry can walk into just about anywhere, but is barred from entering the dance club or the penthouse of the casino/hotel...unless he uses the correct item.
  • In Ultima VIII, the Avatar can't walk into houses that are locked unless you have lockpicks, find another way in, or use explosives to blow open the door. Be warned that if you're caught, you will suffer terrible consequences for breaking and entering someone's house.
  • Dragon Quest III: The castle at Edina requires you to trespass in order to gain a crucial item. The guards won't let you in; you'll need to use either the Invisibility Herb or Invisibility spell to get past the guards. For some reason, none of the castle's inhabitants seem to object to your presence inside, implying that the guard out front is just a Jerkass.
  • Bioshock Infinite. Several times during the game you can go into private residences and ransack the place without any repercussions. In one case you can steal money and food from a house while the people are still in it and know you're there.
  • Zig-zagged in Robotrek. In your character's new hometown of Rococo, when he approaches a house he rings the doorbell before the door opens for him. But the homeowners never object to him rummaging around their cabinets for items. Plus there are other places like the sewers where kids are expressly forbidden, yet his quest takes him there anyway. And then the houses in the tropical village have no doors, so there's nothing to keep him from walking in unannounced.
  • In Dragon's DogmaVideo Game/, the Arisen has no qualms about going into people's homes in his hometown. Perhaps it's justified, as the Arisen was a fisherman before he was called to action, and most of the houses he randomly enters and steals greenwarish from are Fisherman's Houses.
  • In Final Fantasy X, Tidus enters people's homes in every town he goes to. The people usually don't care and chat with him as if he's a guest. Even while Seymour's gone, Tidus still goes through his mansion if there are no guards.
  • In Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, it's subverted since most of the game's regular buildings are inaccessible and locked.
  • Link from The Legend of Zelda. No one cares when he trots in, breaks people's pots, and steals their valuables. But at least one guy in the ENTIRE series questions this. In Skyward Sword, he can even sleep in their beds to trigger the In-Universe Game Clock, and no one says a word of complaint.
  • The character in Animal Crossing is able to visit his neighbours by simply knocking before immediately barging in if they're present. In the first game, he could enter even if they weren't home, but now they must be there first.
  • Lampshaded in Dink Smallwood mod Quel. When the local wizard objects to Dink walking into his home without an invitation the following exchange takes place.
    Dink: I always walk into people's houses. It's what I do. Only it doesn't work up north for some reason. You've got to help me!
    Wizard: You've got issues.
  • A staple in all games of the Thief series. Of course, you are playing as a thief, so at least it's justified.
  • Lampshaded in the first Dark Fall game, where if you read a letter one of the Dowerton hotel's guests left behind, the guest's ghost calls you nosy for poking around in other people's things.
  • In chapter one of Spandex Force 2: Superhero U missing student Ms. Supreme attacks you for fighting with her father. When you object that he started it:
    Infinitorax Supreme: Well, it might be a quaint concept, but I really don't approve of strangers invading my home!
  • Lampshaded in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning by a hermit named Derfel, who asks if waltzing into other people's houses uninvited ever ends poorly for you.
  • Averted in Neverwinter Nights mod A Time for Heroes. If you break down a locked house door and enter, the irate occupants call for the guards, who will show up if you wait around long enough.
  • Averted in, of all places, a Game Boy adaptation of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, as JonTron found out upon being told "Get out of our home" while thinking this trope was in effect.
  • Lampshaded in Escalia when Fayhe attempts to open a locked door.
    Lumia: Maybe we should stop breaking into people's houses like this?
    Fayhe: What? We're visiting our neighbors.
    Lumia: That's one way to put it.
  • Zig-zagged in Pathologic, where you need a lockpick to enter inhabited houses, but the owners won't react to your presence as long as your reputation is good enough. But if you steal something in plain sight, the entire household will be out for your blood. The trope is played straight in regard to the houses of important characters and even any items they might contain. According to the Tragedian, "such is the custom of hospitality with the local aristocracy and those who try to emulate them".
  • Parodied in South Park: The Stick of Truth. The New Kid can break into the South Park cast's houses and garages for items. However, there are couple of houses that cannot be entered, with one door showing a woman naked before she closes the door, then another door showing a man masturbating before he closes the door, and another man having sex with a donkey. And then, when you enter Canada, you could break into a house and going up the stairs, you see a Canadian couple having sex. The Canadian exclaims, "Who the fuck just walks into someone's houses?!?!" You would then leave and cannot go back upstairs.
  • In the first story mode chapter of Them's Fightin' Herds, Arizona can walk into any house in Reine City with an open door, however two reindeer in one of the houses lampshade that she is trespassing on private property. The "your kind" from the page quote comes from the fact that deerfolk are one of the highest levels of society, and Arizona is a cattlekind calf from out of town.
  • Pathfinder: Kingmaker and Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous play this straight, although there's a little bit of Fridge Brilliance to note: for most of both those games you're the local ruler, so it's possible the residents either don't mind or know they couldn't do anything about it if they did.

  • Subverted in Jupiter-Men. In his single-minded pursuit of Jupiter-Man, Quintin ducks under the police tape to gain access to an alleyway in Episode 3. None of the police officers present seem to notice him or care until he slips from a stepladder and is caught by his mom. She then proceeds to drag him home and grill him about it.
    Quintin: You're not going to believe what I saw!
    Mrs. Avalon: It definitely wasn't the police tape.
    Quintin: [police tape still stuck to his shoes] Police tape?

    Western Animation 
  • This backfires on Twilight Sparkle in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic where she disguises herself to sneak into Friendship University looking for evidence that the place is a scam. Flim and Flam immediately recognize her, snap her picture, and point out how bad it's going to make her and her school look that their headmaster is trespassing in her rival's school trying to sabotage them. Unless she stops investigating them, of course.
  • Scooby-Doo: The gang trespasses too many times to count, but a particularly egregious occurrence of this is in the very first episode "What a Knight for a Knight," in which Shaggy breaks into the museum after it's closed by jumping through an open window.