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"Gentlemen! Do I need to remind you that no business will be conducted on the Continental grounds?"

A place, be it a nation, colony, city, special district, or the cafe on the border of gang territory, where neutrality is the operating principle. Unlike The Neutral Zone or a demilitarized zone where members of the opposing side risk being shot if they enter, the Truce Zone actively encourages people of all stripes to visit and do business. Having shooting break out in a truce zone between opposing sides is bad for business and is strictly discouraged, often forcefully by the local law. Or everyone else will just mob you.

Some Truce Zones refer to themselves as a "free city", a region not controlled by The Empire, The Federation, or any other nation-state. A frequently seen aspect of these places is that they are centers for trade and commerce and may have laws favoring businesses that might wish to establish themselves there. Such places often conveniently fail to have extradition agreements with the big players. Many free city Truce Zones take this further and allow businesses and people of questionable nature to exist there as long as they don't cause trouble for the place, making it a Wretched Hive attractive to criminal elements and bounty hunters as well as anyone fleeing The Government for more heroic reasons. Anyone who enters the free city and obeys the truce rules can expect equal protection from local law enforcement, so this is a relatively safe place for fugitives.

Sister trope of Holy Ground. If the truce is not tied to a specific location, it may be an Enforced Cold War. Contrast The Neutral Zone, which despite sounding the same, is actually the opposite — instead of both sides coexisting, neither side is allowed entry. Often combined with City of Spies, Hub City, Vice City (in the seedier ones), and Good-Guy Bar (and sometimes Bad Guy Bar). In sci-fi settings, it's frequently a Space Station. Sometimes includes (or is) a Bazaar of the Bizarre or Inn Between the Worlds. May well include a Power Nullifier and/or Anti-Magic field for added security and deterrence; after all, Mr Joe Bulletproof is much less likely to start a fight if he's not so bulletproof after all. May also enforce their neutrality through some form of Magically-Binding Contract or Geas, usually with severe penalties for anyone who attempts to break the peace.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • 91 Days: The sandbar called the Island is supposed to be neutral territory where rival gangs can't bring their arguments.
  • Gundam:
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: Side 6 was a neutral space colony that served as a sanctuary for war refugees, having separated from the Earth Federation and declared neutrality when the One Year War broke out. This didn't last, unfortunately — when it was discovered the Earth Federation had a secret base there, the Principality of Zeon sent the Cyclops Team to Side 6 on a mission that was secretly rigged to fail so Zeon would have an excuse to nuke the space colony.
    • Ditto Libot Colony in Gundam 0080 as well as Heliopolis and the Orb Union in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny.
      • Subverted in Orb's case, since it decides to attempt to stop the war itself in SEED and joins up with The Federation in Destiny.
    • UNESCO World Heritage Sites are also recognized as neutral territory in Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin
  • Highlander: The Search for Vengeance: The protagonist, Colin MacLeod, attempts to break the "no fighting on holy ground" rule from the Highlander franchise. In his defense, at the time he's a newly risen Immortal. He learns his lesson quickly. Even picking up a broken sword with the intention to hunt down a faraway enemy Immortal is enough to merit him a Bolt of Divine Retribution.
  • Legend of the Galactic Heroes: The world of Phezzan is introduced as a politically neutral planet that sits at one of two possible routes between the Galactic Empire and the Free Worlds Alliance, despite being officially subjects of the Empire. As expected, there are a fair share of spies and refugees who cross between the two superpowers via this route.
  • Naruto: The Land of Iron is a faraway nation nestled between treacherous mountains (much like Switzerland) and populated not by ninja, but by samurai. They don't take sides in ninja disputes or wars and allow the ninja villages to use their land as venue for their summits.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • New Ostia's public baths are popular tourist attractions, and everyone is welcome there, regardless of race.
    • The city-state of Ariadne serves as a mediator between the two Magical World superpowers during the Ostian Festival: the Republic of Megalomesembria and the Hellas Empire. True to the trope, they claim independence from both superpowers and have a strong enough military force to provide security for the Festival.
  • Outlaw Star: The asteroid colony "Blue Heaven" serves as a truce zone. Fighting is allowed there, so long as you don't use a gun. Gene loading his revolver with paintballs is apparently an accepted loophole, as is using his magitek Caster Gun against an immortal Ctarl-Ctarl.
  • Porco Rosso: Gina's restaurant is this. Both pirates and pigs enter, but neither make any trouble inside; when it looks like the pirate gangs are about to start a fight, all it takes is a bit of gentle chiding from Gina and they're falling over themselves like bashful kids.
  • Rebuild World:
    • The places in the slums where the Corporate Government distributes its free nanomachine-infested Mystery Meat and radioactive plant products for the inhabitants are somewhat of an example. Just don't disorder the line, or you'll be beaten to death to make an example and keep them from packing up and leaving. Akira has to calculate just how far to stand away from it to avoid that, but close enough to avoid his food being stolen.
    • Hunters Office locations serve as this; it's said that picking a fight within one is tantamount to attacking the city itself. This is why Akira chews out Erio for asking him to escort Sheryl to one.
    • Yatsubiyashi's slum clinic is an example out of fear of him refusing to treat wounded slum dwellers, which he does for free provided they allow him his Playing with Syringes.
  • Sekirei: There are several truce zones, usually owned by MBI and used to keep their game of There Can Be Only One running smoothly. Miya strictly enforces a "No Fighting" rule at Izumo Inn, and the savvy villains steer clear of that area.
  • Valvrave the Liberator: The Moon is one, as was supposedly the territory of Jior. Neither last very long as in the former, this only applies to humans (which does not include the protagonists, thanks to some very shady semantics), and the latter was violated repeatedly by the antagonists of the series, the warmongering Dorssians, and their secret Shadow government, the council of 101.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Marvel Universe there is a tailor who does costume work for both heroes and villains and his shop is something of a truce zone (he himself remains neutral, not divulging any information he hears). However, he sets different days of the week aside for heroes and villains (taking Sundays off) to avoid any trouble.
    • Marvel also has The Bar With No Name. While the place is mostly villain-exclusive, the proprietor claims an unwritten law that villains are safe while inside and any heroes that come in should treat them as ordinary customers. This hasn't stopped the likes of Spider-Man and Daredevil from starting a brawl once or twice in the New York branch, however, or the Scourge of the Underworld from killing the bartender in Ohio and unleashing a full-blown massacre on multiple unsuspecting villains in his introductory arc.
  • The comic book Common Grounds was built around this. It is set at a coffee house which is considered neutral turf for both heroes and villains.
  • The Reef in Sinister Dexter is a massive casino floating in the Mediterranean, which welcomes members from gangs and cartels all around the world. Everybody who sets foot in it is armed, but they all have enough sense not to actually try to shoot anyone.
  • Fallen Angel. Furors bar is sort of a safe zone in Bete Noire. The proprietor does not tolerate violence in the bar. Of course, take one step out the door and you'll probably get mugged by Satan.
  • The DCU:
    • Time In a Bottle, in London, where neutrality is enforced by Merlin's magic. It's where the Martians signed the non-aggression pact with the UK Government, British agents made deals with Fu Manchu, and the Rattles had their last civil meeting, and is now My Local for heroes and villains from across the UK.
    • The Oblivion Bar, shown in Shadowpact to be a neutral ground for the magic-using heroes and villains.
  • The Transformers (Marvel) has "Maccadam's Old Oil House", Cybertron's premier watering hole, where all grudges must be checked at the door. This is so strongly enforced that even Megatron respects it. The one time he's shown attempting to violate it, Maccadam transforms to break up the fight and Megatron is visibly terrified of the old bartender's alternate mode.

    Fan Works 
  • It turns out one of these actually manages to exist between the Imperium and the Tau in All Guardsmen Party. This hazy region of space contains such heresies as humans and aliens living together peacefully, religious freedom, and functioning government.
  • The Bridge:
    • Supplemental material shows that New Birth Island is this for the war between Terra's kaiju factions. Primarily because its owner, Biollante, has declared herself neutral and will not allow the war to happen on her territory — and since she's in the same power range as her brothers Godzilla and Xenilla, she can easily enforce that rule. However, itís The Neutral Zone for anyone other than her brothers, Junior and Xen- any other kaiju who sets foot on the island or enters its airspace will be attacked on sight, regardless of their faction.
    • In the story itself, Princess Celestia declares that if the kaiju of the Terran Defenders and Mutations factions stranded in Equestria want sanctuary until they can find a way home, they're to treat the ponies' whole world as this. Though, this only applies to their groups — Celestia has no problem with them fighting other attacking kaiju.
  • In The Builders, the 24/7 bus route in Sunnydale is one of the only places in town (besides Willy's Bar) that is safe from supernatural attacks, whether someone is on the bus or just walking the route. As a result, even in daytime, there's demons riding on the back of the bus (Sunnydale Syndrome keeps people from noticing they're not human).
  • Coincidence and Misunderstandings has the Eldritch Enclave, a place where any magic user can go and research to their heart's content. Breaking the rules of neutrality and nonviolence (including instigating others) can lead to banishment and being blacklisted as a warlock. Blacklisted magic users are stated to have a life expectancy of months as dictators, corrupt corporate executives, and others know no one will come to help them. Even Doctor Fate makes sure to follow the rules, even if he comes across his archenemy. Which makes Zatanna's continued antagonism of every Chaos-aligned magic user there idiotic in the extreme.
  • Constellations: Pawprint Shrine is open to anyone, and there is to be no fighting on the grounds. This is required by the social role of the Miko, demanded by Good Dog, and in extremis, enforced by Amaterasu's lightning.
  • In Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters, as part of Ludmoore's status as officially neutral in all conflicts, his mansion serves as this. He does not allow violence between his visitors and will throw out and ban any offenders.
  • Izuku the Reincarnated Chef has Izuku's Green Cloud Restaurant. Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes have been seen attending together with no hostility as they enjoy Izuku's cooking, although only the Heroes actually flaunt their status.
  • In the massive multi-crossover fanfic Tales from the Barman, Xander Harris' bar serves as this. It functions as a multiversal nexus point where characters from all across fiction come in and have a drink. His supply closet functions as a portal into his bar where the likes of Darkseid, Lady Death, Batman, and Nick Fury can sit down, have a drink, and go back to their business. As one character puts it, "The Batman could be looking to take you down and he wouldn't finger on you while you're in here. Even kill on sight enemies come in and drink without a hint of bloodshed."
  • With This Ring: Raggashoon, in the Vega Systems, attempts to remain neutral, which is part of the reason that the various pirate organisations meet with the Spider Guild there. Fights do break out, but when it happens, there are no questions asked about why anyone was fighting; whoever started it gets handed over to the Citadel Empire for execution — or, if they're interesting enough, to become a Psion's next research project.

  • Papa Midnite's bar in Constantine. Papa Midnite swore the Oath of Neutrality and set up his bar to be a place where half-angels and half-demons could meet and mix without violence, under his protection.
  • Casablanca is both a film and a Truth in Television example set in Vichy France.
  • Hong Kong is treated this way in The Dark Knight - "no guns, all business". Lau flees there when not only was his fraudulent business about to be uncovered by Wayne, but the mob's money was about to be hit by Harvey Dent and Jim Gordon. Dent observes that Lau won't be extradited by the Chinese government, and the mob believes Lau is safe from Dent's jurisdiction. One of the reasons Batman is so damn scary for the mobsters that they cross the Godzilla Threshold and hire The Joker is that, as Joker points out (and it's later demonstrated), Batman gives absolutely zero shits about "legal jurisdiction" and will hunt down any criminal he wants to the ends of the Earth if he has to.
  • Holy ground in Highlander; no immortals fight on holy ground (of any religion), and even the Chaotic Evil Kurgan obeys this rule (if only to protect himself). Later movies starting with the third have abandoned this to show the level of threat from the villain. See Live Action TV entry for a possible reason why.
  • Earth as a whole is this in Men in Black. K explains that the first aliens encountered were a group of refugees who requested that they be allowed to use Earth as an apolitical zone for aliens without a planet.
    K: Did you ever see the movie Casablanca? The same thing, 'cept no Nazis.
    • This is the reason why the MIB couldn't safeguard the Light of Zartha from Serleena, since it would technically break Earth's neutrality, so Kay did so in secret and erased his memory of the incident.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, the Brethren Court is supposed to be one of these. Most of the time, however, it's an uphill struggle to prevent the Pirate-Lords from descending into open brawls with each other.
  • Joint Security Area is a Korean film about the titular location of the Korean Demilitarized Zone during the aftermath of a murder in which it appears that a South Korean soldier killed his North Korean counterpart.
  • John Wick:
    • The Continental hotel disallows any "business" (i.e. killing people) on its premises, and they will enforce this rule. Viggo tempts Miss Perkins in John Wick into ignoring this by doubling Wick's bounty. It works and she makes an attempt on his life. He stops her and leaves her in the hands of a different assassin. Who she then kills, while still in the Continental. At the end of the movie, the management of the Continental executes her for violating their rules.
    • Chapter 2 shows that there are multiple branches of the Continental operating throughout the world, all serving as a neutral hub for criminals. After a brutal fight through the city, Cassian and John (literally) crash through the window of the Rome Continental and are ordered to cease their fight to the death per the hotel's rules. Visibly annoyed, they comply. Much later Santino exploits the rules by essentially promising to simply stay at the hotel to save himself but John shoots him anyway. For this act, John is sentenced to death, but Winston gives him an hour's head start out of respect.
    • Chapter 3: Parabellum establishes that the High Table can revoke the neutrality of any Continental by declaring them "deconsecrated", which allows for violence to take place on the grounds again. At the climax, the Adjudicator does this to the New York Continental as punishment for John and Winston refusing to turn on each other, opening the way for an attack by the High Table's Elite Mooks. Eventually, after Winston apparently betrays John, the Continental's status is restored.
  • In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, the planet Nimbus III was meant to be this for The Federation and the Klingon and Romulan Empires. It has proven to be a dismal failure.
    • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country: After the Klingon Chancellor Gorkon gets assassinated on his way to Earth to hold peace talks with the Federation, his daughter Azetbur decides to continue the peace talks, but asks that they take place on Khitomer, a neutral planet, instead.
  • The Godfather: One of the reasons the rival gangsters that kill Luca Brazzi were able to get the drop on him was because the bar where he was murdered was considered one of these by the Families. Michael and Tom talk about this as a point that the other Families want all-out war, which Michael is okay with giving them.
  • Hotel Artemis, as two of the most important rules for its members, forbids the presence of weapons on the premise, and violence between its guests. Naturally, both of these get violated by the end of the movie.
  • In The Jungle Book (2016), the jungle's waterhole is implicitly understood to be this trope when there's a drought on. One of the reasons nobody likes Shere Khan is that he threatens to break this truce and kill Mowgli.

  • Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong in Snow Crash, business-owned enclaves where weapons are forbidden, and they have enough weapons of their own to make sure the rule is followed.
  • Valdaire, called the "truce city" in The Deed of Paksenarrion, is the winter home of most of the northern mercenary companies, many of whom may enter combat with each other outside the city depending on their contracts.
  • In P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath, the town of Peshtar is neutral and permits both the caravans that travel through the Blue Pass as well as the brigand bands that prey upon them to enter the city to trade. However, to avoid bloodshed, it permits only one group to enter the town at any one time.
  • The Andre Norton novel Moon of Three Rings. On the planet Yiktor, during trade fairs, all violence is strictly prohibited within the area of the fair.
  • In Black Legion, the Legion Wars are to be kept out of Gallium. Everyone obliges, as Governess Ceraxia and Valicar the Graven will repair, rearm, and refuel any ship in exchange for suitable payment.
  • In Going Postal, Groat's and Stanley's room is bisected by a white line that distinguishes their respective properties, but there is a small "demilitarized zone" in place for the salt cellar.
  • The Reynard Cycle: Reynard suggests turning the recently captured fortress of Kloss into one of these in order to facilitate trade between Arcasia and Calvaria in Defender of the Crown.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, anyone shedding blood within the Dothraki city of Vaes Dothrak is put to death. Shopkeepers have found a loophole: keep enforcers armed with silk scarves to punish thieves instead - if a person is strangled, no blood is spilt. Stupid Evil Prince Viserys thinks this allows him to threaten the Dothraki without consequence, as no one can harm him. Instead, they break his arms and pour a pot of molten gold over his head.
  • The Bazaar of the Bizarre in Mercedes Lackey's SERRAted Edge novels forbids fighting within, even if you meet your mortal enemy there.
  • In Joanne Bertin's Dragonlord series, most cultures have a tradition of an Amousal (also rendered as "a mouse hole" in Assantikan), which is a complex of guest houses where no one staying there can be offered any violence, either from the other guests or from their hosts.
  • As of the fourth book in the series, McAnally's pub in The Dresden Files is Accorded Neutral Territory under the Unseelie Accords. The decor is low-tech and old-fashioned because magic in the Dresden-verse tends to screw up technology. Most of the clientele are humans with very low-level gifts for magic, with occasional visits by heavyweights who need a neutral locale for a meeting. The neutrality of the place seems to be pretty well-observed, with very few violations.
    • In Small Favor, "Tiny" Gruff, who stands well over 7 feet tall, announces clearly that he's waiting for Harry to leave the bar before dueling him. Murphy intervenes, saying that, as a Chicago police officer, she can freely shoot anyone who threatens anyone with physical violence in the protection of the city's laws, since Chicago never signed the Accords, and attacking her in turn would violate the Accords since Gruff's people are part of the Accords. "Tiny" Gruff respects her chutzpah and retreats until Harry leaves the city limits. Mac rewarded her with free beer afterwards.
    • In Cold Days, Harry and friends are attacked in the pub again, this time by an Outsider. They are initially surprised given the pub's status, but quickly realize that Outsiders are not concerned with such agreements.
  • In Tamora Pierce's book Street Magic, the marketplaces, called souks, are free zones where the many and varied gangs in the city are under truce.
  • In Everworld, Fairy Land seems to function this way because fairies like money and don't mind where it comes from. For an added bonus, the queen brags that not even Ka Anor's armies will attack them since he needs their market to supply his troops.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe has Bothawui, home to the Bothans. During the war between The Empire and The Alliance, despite being technically an Imperial world, the planet was a center for intelligence-gathering by all sides in the war and had a reputation for being relatively safe for Imperials and Rebels alike. That is, until the Bothans supplied the Rebels with the plans for the second Death Star.
  • Neverwhere: London Below is a hotbed of feuding baronies, fiefdoms, and other factions. But no hostilities are permitted in the Floating Market. The last violation of the Market Truce was three centuries ago, and the violator is still paying the price.
    Richard: What happened to him? Was he killed?
    Hunter: Quite the opposite. He still wishes he was the one to have died.
    Richard: He's still alive?
    Hunter: Ish. Alive-ish.
    • Richard inadvertently demonstrates how sacrosanct the Market Truce is when they encounter Messrs. Croup and Vandemar. Not knowing about the Market Truce, he panics and throws his lunch in Mr. Vandemar's face (which is apparently not enough, in itself, to count as a breach of Market Truce). Mr. Vandemar has been known to kill people because he was bored and they were nearby, but his only reaction is to eat a few bits of food that stuck to him.
  • Gringotts Bank in the Harry Potter books is a truce zone. The goblins have a policy of taking no sides on war between human factions. Because of that, they don't care which stance each client of their bank takes. Despite being a fugitive in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Sirius Black could order a Firebolt. The bank's truce zone status might have been lost during the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
    Griphook: Gringotts is no longer under the sole control of my race. I recognize no wizard master.
  • On Gor the location of the Sardar Fair is a general place of truce. No fights to the death are allowed, and nobody may be made a slave. However people can sell & buy slaves there; and it is a cultural requirement of all Goreans to visit at least once before their 24th birthday, so many of the slaves available for sale were actually pilgrims making their way to the Fair.
  • Fourtrees from Warrior Cats, and later the Gathering Island. All Clans may freely visit these places, and at every full moon, the cats hold a meeting called a Gathering there, to share news and chat with each other. During a Gathering, no fighting is permitted— if blood is spilt, StarClan (the cats' deceased ancestors) will cover the moon with clouds to show their anger.
  • Meetpoint station in the Chanur Novels is at the intersection of six alien races' territories. All of whom come there to trade.
  • The "Rubble Mart" in The Guardians - the centre of trade in a ruined city where rival gang members who'd normally cheerfully kill each other tolerate each other's presence. The last time trouble broke out, the mart was shut down until the perpetrator's bodies were delivered to it. Even After the End, trade is an absolute necessity for survival.
  • The Brotherhood of the Rose by David Morrell. Since the 1930s, the major intelligence agencies have established safehouses and retirement villages where no agent can be arrested or harmed by the authorities or another agent. Anyone violating this agreement is tracked down and killed. However, the intelligence officials who originally made this agreement, and later their sons, have realised it makes them no different and are working together to sabotage their nation's intelligence operations so that the Cold War doesn't get out of control. At one point the Big Bad seeks refuge from an assassin in a retirement village, so the assassin wages a campaign of psychological warfare (harassing the Big Bad, then making it look as if the Big Bad is retaliating) until they're both expelled from the Truce Zone for disturbing the peace.
  • It is mentioned in Among Thieves that one of the very safe havens from the criminal order known as the Kin is a barbershop, as a result of some kind of Noodle Incident many decades ago.
  • Restaurant to Another World: The Nekoya itself serves as this, albeit in an unofficial capacity. Rather than any sort of treaty or pact made, the various races all agree not to act out violently or disrupt the meals of each other. And it's not because one of the waitresses is literally an immortal entity of death either. No, it's because the Master has no problem revoking their privilege of the delicious food they go there to eat.
  • In Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain, Chinatown is supervillain territory. Not only are heroes not allowed, but the area's ruler, Spider, keeps the villains from getting out of hand (which in turn keeps the heroes from being tempted to raid the place despite the truce).
  • The area of Sahasrara in Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner is an area where the tribe leaders can come on command of the Church of Karma and all kinds of fighting between tribes is strictly forbidden.
  • The Jungle Book story "How Fear Came" reveals watering holes are treated this way during droughts. All animals are allowed to get water without fear of being attacked by predators. Though after Shere Khan finishes drinking, Hathi forces him to go away because he was pissing everybody off by constantly bragging about how he just killed a man for sport.
  • The Wheel of Time has the city of Far Madding, which contains a magical device called the Guardian that prevents both kinds of local magic. It can be circumvented with very rare devices, but it can also home in on power being used within its reach because the designers knew it could be gotten around.
  • In the Dragaera novels, there's a hotel in Adrilankha that is considered a "no-assassinations zone" by the Jhereg criminal organization, although precisely why it's considered that is open to speculation. Vlad unabashedly exploits this by staying there when he's in town with a price on his head.
  • In the Rivers of London series, the mobile Goblin Fair has a "no motorcycle helmets, swords, spears, glamours or masks" policy, and brawling with a villain they meet there by chance gets Peter, Lesley, and the villain all banned.
  • Fate/strange Fake: The Church is meant to be a safe haven during a Holy Grail War. Saber tells Ayaka Sajyou to stay there so no one will attack her. Hansa Cervantes gets annoyed and points out that since Ayaka is an active Master, despite her refusal to participate, she's technically cheating, but does not turn her out. However, Gilgamesh attacks the church anyway. When Saber calls him out on this, Gilgamesh says he doesn't care about any institution for the gods.
  • Dune: Not only are Heighliners the only form of interstellar travel available (until the invention of the No-Ship), but they are also neutral territory because of the high likelihood of rival houses encountering another onboard - and therefore the likelihood of violence. So grave is the threat of losing FTL privileges, that even the most mortal of enemies will be forced to play nice aboard these massive vessels.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: Within the Dothraki city of Vaes Dothrak it is forbidden to shed blood, but Exact Words allow for Loophole Abuse.
  • The Highlander franchise: anywhere considered holy ground, be it a church, synagogue, or Shinto temple, is deemed safe refuge for an immortal so long as he stays there. However, this only protects them from other immortals and mortals can still kill them on holy ground. Immortal legend has it that the last time two immortals tried to fight on holy ground, it was in Pompeii in 79 AD. Everyone knows how that ended.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Willy's Bar welcomes demons, vampires, and humans alike. Later subverted in "The Zeppo" when it gets trashed and Willy is beaten to a pulp by a bunch of demons.
    • Spike explains that Vampires worldwide traditionally establish this once a year on Halloween, abstaining from hunting humans for one night only. When Spike finds out that some newly risen vampires are breaking this rule, it pushes his Berserk Button;
      Spike: It's Halloween, you nit! We take the night off!
  • Caritas, the karaoke bar run by The Host/Lorne on Angel was neutral ground, and via a spell, demons were not able to use their powers there - but that didn't stop some humans from invading and killing a bunch of them with the non-supernatural power of Gun Violence. Worse the nature of the spell meant the demons couldn't even fight back, leading to slaughter. It was rebuilt with new wards to keep anyone from committing violent acts, but that didn't stop Daniel Holtz from throwing a firebomb in from outside.
  • The eponymous space station Babylon 5 was built specifically to provide one of these, although it didn't turn out too well in practice.
  • Mac's Pub in The Dresden Files.
  • At the beginning of season 2 of Pennyworth, Alfred has gone Team Switzerland in the middle of the Civil War between the Raven Union's fascists and the English League while London is besieged by the Raven Union. Not unlike Rick Blaine's club in Casablanca, Alfred's club welcomes people from both sides as long as they're not armed.
  • V (1983): The weekly series turned Los Angeles into a Truce Zone, although fighters on both sides would circumvent the truce at every opportunity.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Original Series: The Organian Peace Treaty turns the entire galaxy into this for the Federation and the Klingon Empire. Warfare between the two sides is simply not permitted. The Organians don't seem to object to bar brawls ("The Trouble With Tribbles") or proxy wars ("A Private Little War"). By the time of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the peace treaty seems to have been forgotten, and the Organians are never heard from again.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation: In "Redemption: Part II", the capital city of Qo'noS is used as one between supporters of Gowron and supporters of the House of Duras in the midst of the Klingon Civil War. They still seem to be allowed to beat each other up and engage in various competitions, though for a Proud Warrior Race this might be largely indistinguishable from a typical Friday night.
  • A Red Dwarf episode featured a zone within a ship where criminal activity could not occur (as in, attempts to break the law would cause the lawbreaker to suffer the consequences he hoped to inflict on someone else). At first, this was played solely for laughs (for instance, Lister's attempted arson causing his own backside to combust), but when a deranged simulant attacked the crew, Lister soon realized how to game the system in his own defense.
  • Happy Days: Ralph and Potsie, in the middle of a This Is My Side plot, have put a line down the middle of their apartment and pretend not to hear each other on the "other" side. Richie makes them all stand like tightrope walkers on the line in order to talk to both of them.
  • In the Battlestar Galactica miniseries, the Armistice Station was built so that once a year, Human and Cylon representatives could meet. For 40 years, the Cylons sent no one. The day they finally did, they then proceeded to destroy the station, thus committing the first act of war that began the Fall of the Twelve Colonies.
    • Later episodes explore the backstory a bit more, and reveal that the start of the war wasn't that simple - humans had been spying on Cylons, and the Ones had their own schemes going - the Armistice Station is just where we start following events.
  • Hong Kong in the episode "Piper Maru" of The X-Files. Mulder has to beat up Krycek with his bare hands because of the whole "no guns" thing.
  • In the Madam Secretary episode "Blame Canada", the Canadian ambassador allows Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord to meet directly with her Iranian counterpart using the Canadian embassy in D.C. as neutral territory. They would otherwise not have been able to meet privately and salvage the nuclear talks.
  • Pop's Barber Shop on Luke Cage (2016). A lot of the tragedy (and ass-kicking) that occurs during the show can be traced back to the fact that Tone, one of Cottonmouth's soldiers, thought that his boss obeying this request (even knowing perfectly well that Pop and Cottonmouth have been friends for many years) made him look weak, and shot up the store when he discovered that a kid that had stolen from Cottonmouth was inside (killing only Pop).
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "Starcrossed", the city Archangel on the Barents Sea is neutral in the war between humanity and the Hing.
  • Season Six of Orange Is the New Black has B Block ("Florida"), which is neutral in the thirty-year feud between C and D blocks and is reserved for "grannies, trannies, and loonie-toonies". Frieda ("granny"), Sophia ("tranny"), and Suzanne ("loonie-toonies"), all end up there. After turning herself in, Pennsatucky blackmails her way in.
  • Cited in the Law & Order: UK episode "Unloved" (although the person in question does actually call it "the neutral zone"), when the detectives question several gang members about a teenage boy's murder. The guy adamantly denies killing the youth when the detectives mention that he had been on the subway—"The tube is the neutral zone. No one gets touched in the neutral zone."
  • The Wire: Not so much "zone" as "time" with the "Sunday Truce". All beefs are to be put on hold on Sunday mornings to allow anyone in "the game" to take their families to church without risking their lives. Stringer Bell authorizing a hit on Omar while he's taking his grandma to church appalls everyone in the criminal underworld. Even worse, Omar was considering making peace with the Barksdales before the attempt caused him to renew his war against them with an even greater anger than when they killed his lover Brandon by torturing him to death.
  • Ultraman Orb has the Black Star Cafe. Manager Black actively discourages any conflicts in his establishment.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • A tradition in Japan (All Japan Pro Wrestling, Wrestle 1) is to have a spot before every show where all the wrestlers, even those who hate each other, get together and pose for a peaceful picture. It's also been adopted by some USA promotions (SHIMMER/SHINE)
  • A bowling alley was declared as such by the various factions of Kaiju Big Battel.

  • The planet Zenophon in The Space Gypsy Adventures is neutral territory, hence the reason why so many of the eponymous space gypsies like to hide out from the Federal Alliance there. Not that this stops Spiker and Bones from giving Gemma and her friends a hard time...

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the Old World of Darkness' Vampire: The Masquerade, the Prince of a city can declare a specific place to be Elysium, which acts as a Truce Zone for the vampires of that city.
    • Every now and again, truly neutral cities would pop up. Cairo was known for being an independent city, and Vancouver refused entry to both the Camarilla and the Sabbat (enforced by werewolves, until a Revised splatbook suggested the arrangement had changed). For a while, Los Angeles was the "Anarch Free State," and declared free of sectarian concerns.
  • The New World of Darkness continues the tradition in Vampire: The Requiem, allowing a Prince (or equivalent figure) to declare multiple areas of the city as Elysiums. The Prince of New Orleans uses this as an offensive tactic - his rival unofficially controls the French Quarter, so the Prince keeps declaring parts of it to be Elysium, meaning that every time something bad happens in one of them, his rival loses face for allowing Elysium to be violated.
    • In Geist: The Sin-Eaters, any krewes or individual Sin-Eaters who have beef with each other are advised to put it away during a Carnival or find a way to solve it non-violently. After all, when you and your rivals all know the trick of coming back from the dead, why bother?
    • In Changeling: The Lost, any decent Goblin Market enforces this rule with magical oaths and brutish hobgoblins.
  • The Champions supplement Neutral Ground. Sanctuary is a club for super-beings with a strict non-violence policy, where superheroes and supervillains can meet without fighting.
    • The fourth edition setting San Angelo combined this trope with Shrine to the Fallen. One park in the city had memorial statues/plaques for deceased heroes, going back to World War II. The park was accepted by both heroes and villains as a no-fight zone. (Well, most villains — the book's cover art showed an exception in progress.)
  • The Federation of Arden in Traveller.
  • Dragon magazine #71 adventure The Taming of Brimstone. In the eponymous Wild West town, no crimes occur in Jason Scott's doctor's office: the local cutthroats have an unspoken agreement not to endanger Scott, whose medical skills are sorely needed and impossible to replace.
  • In Nomine:
    • Supplement Revelations 1: Night Music. The city of Austin, Texas is neutral ground between angels and demons. They still carry out plots against each other to achieve their goals but try to avoid the use of direct violence.
    • In the original French game In Nomine Satanis / Magna Veritas, in "Chez Régis" angels and demons can drink without fighting each other.
  • Shadowrun has Denver in North America and the Free City of Sekondi in Africa. The former is jointly run by the nations of North America as a treaty city, while the latter is an independent city-state with a zero-tolerance policy against violence, where bar fights are taken outside the city wall and any ship-to-ship fight entering the harbor will get both parties railgunned for their trouble.
  • Alpha-Omega has several "open cities", where virtually anyone who isn't diseased can get in so long as they play nice.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Sigil in the Planescape setting. Angels, demons, and devils rub shoulders alongside mortal races of all shapes and kinds in there without anyone causing overt trouble. While a certain level of 'mundane' criminal activity is to be expected, those who attempt to turn Sigil into an open battleground are dealt with by the Lady of Pain. The only creatures who aren't allowed in the city are deities themselves; that's the Lady's most stringent rule, and her presence bars them from entering and severely punishes anyone who tries to break them in.
      • Fan expansion introduces La Pax, a Sigil tavern for fiends and celestials. It's an Anti-Magic zone, so any Bar Brawls don't involve supernatural powers. Run, of course, by a rilmani.
    • Forgotten Realms has such places, usually enforced with divine or overwhelming arcane power. 1st Edition supplement Forgotten Realms Adventures: Temples of the deity Mask are neutral meeting sites for all thieves' guilds in a town. Most trade cities do this, some more than others. Trademeet (a town on the crossroad of two major caravan routes) for centuries enjoyed Merchantís Peace, said to be declared by Waukeen herself. There's peer pressure to keep it in the merchant community, and the few who break it soon receive a beating with Laser-Guided Karma just shy of a Bolt of Divine Retribution — e.g. a merchant who tried to hinder another and accidentally caused his drowning soon was hit with a storm which ended the moment he went down, etc. Skullport — a Wretched Hive ruled by flying skulls who quickly suppress any open fighting. Sshamath — The Magocracy of drow who simply don't care about things that don't concern them or their trade and even for most creatures not getting along with dark elves elsewhere is a fairly safe place to visit — as long as one doesn't breach the peace, that is.
    • Manual of the Planes describes the demiplane "Common Ground", a meeting place for deities, where the participants are immune to each other's powers and attacks. It consists of nothing but a large, opulent chamber (150 m in diameter) with a table and chairs around it, as well as portals in the walls to each god's home plane. Mortals cannot enter due to special wards set around the place to prevent eavesdroppers hoping to learn divine secrets.
    • The Spire is this when deities require meeting in larger numbers, as all forms of magic, even divine powers, are negated there. The gods are known to meet in council at regular times. The rilmani tend to guard these meetings from nonmagical assaults, as it is in their best interest to do so, being the ones who enforce the Balance of the Multiverse.
  • DC Heroes RPG. In the Manchester district of Gotham City, the Manchester Viaduct race track was neutral ground for the street gangs of the district.
  • As goes its literary progenitor, so goes The Dresden Files RPG. In fact, the identity and nature of the local Accorded Neutral Grounds is generally considered one of the key facts of any given DFRPG campaign. One of the first (the very first?) published adventures even centers around a coffee shop punningly named Neutral Grounds.
  • Top Secret RPG. The introductory module, "Mission 001: Operation Spechanhaltestella," has a non-political medical care facility called "Sanctuary" where agents can get medical care and recover in a safe environment. Those who violate the rules are hunted down and killed.
  • Scion has the Great Henge, an otherworldly realm established as neutral ground where Fate itself enforces truce on all who enter, even the Gods and Titans. Anyone who attempts to engage in violence suffers extreme pain and is knocked unconscious for several hours.
    • Second edition has New York City. Declared a neutral zone by the young goddess Columbia years ago, it is a city where everyone, even Titanspawn, can go to without fear of attack. It's certainly not foolproof—the book specifically mentions that there's constant divine infighting—but it ended up working out surprisingly well.
  • Early on, Terra to pretty much everyone in BattleTech. If you are invited to Earth, you behave. Doesn't matter how many centuries your grudges have run. If you don't listen, you'll find your entire star-spanning nation with its Subspace Ansible system shut down by the resident communications monopoly, which might as well ring a dinner bell in the cutthroat military-political universe of the setting.
    • On a lesser scale, there's Solaris VII, the Game World, where fighters from all nationalities come to do battle for glory and prizes. As expected, grudges run deep here as well, but they also do not tolerate unsanctioned fights outside the arenas. Especially not with 'Mechs, which they tend to respond to with large numbers of Assault 'Mechs (what with it being a Lyran world and all). The one time in recent memory that widespread factional riots and 'Mech-scale street battles broke out, it was only because order had already begun to break down outside the borders of Solaris itself.
    • The Free Rasalhague Republic was founded as one of these, creating a neutral buffer state between the Lyran border of the Federated Commonwealth and the Draconis Combine where citizens and merchants could comingle, but kept its own borders free of either side's military. This arrangement, guaranteed by ComStar, worked as intended for about a decade before the Clans invaded and conquered the whole thing.
  • Magic: The Gathering: Magic is inherently associated with colour, to the extent that 'Green magic' refers to a theme, arcane specialism, tactic, and philosophy, and the ten feuding guilds of Ravnica are each based on a pair of two of the five colours. Aptly, according to Flavor Text lore, any area illuminated by multiple colours of light is tradition-upheld neutral space.

  • In West Side Story, the school gymnasium where the dance takes place is neutral ground for the Sharks and Jets as is Doc's Drugstore, where the gangs meet for a war council.

    Video Games 
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl has a version of this with the "Bar" area... mostly. While there is essentially a cease-fire in effect all the time (on threat of being shot), mercenaries and monsters will occasionally spawn and start wiping out the neutral and duty stalkers in the area and then disappearing before the player arrives in the area, meaning that a previously vibrant area (compared to the rest of the Zone, at least) will slowly, over time, turn into a silent graveyard strewn with previously alive stalkers, with no sign of what killed people. Thankfully, there are Game Mods that fix this.
    • Clear Sky on the other hand, has the more traditional approach with weapons-free zones in some areas (the Clear Sky Base, for instance), making them safe places to stay whilst waiting for sunrise.
    • In Call of Pripyat, the neutral settlement of Yanov, formerly a train station, is one of these, with the center third of the main building acting as a neutral gathering place for stalkers from every faction, and the two wings of the building functioning as the area headquarters for detachments of Duty and Freedom forces (who are still officially at war when outside the settlement). The 'town' of Skadovsk, an old shipwreck converted into a fortress, acts as one as well, albeit on a lesser scale since there are no organized factions operating in that area of the Zone.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Generally speaking, a zone that is labeled a Sanctuary is a Truce Zone. PVP is not permitted there, whether you're in a PVP server or not. Some of them that are used for events often have Horde and Alliance civilians as background NPCs, but never together.
    • The goblins are an independent race and in their cities, Horde and Alliance players can trade with each other. Shattrath City houses refugees from both sides and Dalaran City is run by neutral mages; they qualify as well, even going so far as to have an aura forbidding Player Versus Player combat. The Druid enclave, Moonglade, is also a truce zone for Night Elf and Tauren Druids.
    • Note that in Shattrath and Dalaran, neutrality is enforced by the rules of the game itself; player vs. player combat is impossible barring one long-ago event or exploits or other glitches. This forms an interesting contrast with the Steamwheedle Cartel goblin cities, in which neutrality is enforced by NPCs. So you can fight with another player there all you want as long as you're prepared for the guards to come down hard on you (or on the other guy for fighting back). For low-level characters, the wrath of multiple city guards at max-level with abilities specifically tailored to protect their city basically means a One-Hit Kill. But for higher-level characters, killing another player of the opposing faction and then fleeing or even beating the guards is sometimes feasible. Then consider that some players actually want to kill the Steamwheedle Cartel guards for a certain achievement, and these goblin cities are much... rowdier than the average Truce Zone.
    • Neutral cities in Contested Territory like Booty Bay are Truce Zones as far as story goes. a player can try to PVP an enemy there, but if a guard is within earshot, he'll turn hostile to whoever started it, making it a bad idea.
  • "Pocket D" in City of Heroes is a pan-dimensional no-fire zone open to both heroes and villains; party events are held here as are some quests that allow or require mixed hero/villain teams.
    • The Midnighter's Club also counts to a lesser extent, as it's basically Cimorea's Lobby. It is one of the two no-combat zones in the game that characters of all alignments can access, however.
  • Numerous examples are present in Star Trek Online: There's a Ferengi-operated bar in the Neutral zone, where Klingon and Federation players can both visit, and the entire Deferi Sector block and Borg Sectors are an Enemy Mine variation, where the two factions have set their differences aside to deal with a more important issue (The Deferi are allies of both sides, believing in "Balance", and naturally no one wants the Borg interfering.), Deep Space Nine is a combination of Enemy Mine against the Dominion and a convenient meeting place to speak about Borg issues (the Federation's transwarp gate to Borg space is one sector away, as is Deferi space, which is seeing heavy attacks by the Borg), and the Tau Dewa Sector block are home to another ally of both sides (a Romulan faction, enemy to the Tal Shiar and seeking a new peaceful beginning with its neighbours).
    • One reason why there is numerous zones is that (by Word of God) the war is de-facto over by the high-levels as more and more Enemy Mine situations keep cropping up (Borg, Dominion, Iconians, Undine, an Omega-particle producing facility the Voth are trying to take over...) — the Solanae Sphere goes so far as to be an allied zone, where the Klingons, Federation (and aforementioned Romulan faction, who take the lead due to the access-point being in their space) outright call what they have there an alliance.
  • Manaan in Knights of the Old Republic is this due to its production of strategically vital medical supplies. Not that it stops violence from happening, mostly instigated by you.
  • The neutral zones in Bionic Commando. They had a very strange concept of what qualifies as violating the truce—namely, firing your gun. This is why a Badd knife soldier can rush you (and do damage or kill you!) without getting a bunch of Neutral Zone guards swarming him. However, this means that you can also slap him around with your bionic arm and throw him in a river to his death without penalty, either. You didn't fire your gun to dispose of him, after all.
  • The main towns in Far Cry 2.
  • Dogovor in Escape Velocity: Override. Or rather, Pax Station in Dogovor — the description for the station mentions that much of the fighting in the technically-over Voinian War occurs right outside the station.
  • Jeuno in Final Fantasy XI is its own independent nation of sorts and is a neutral area for the three nations of the Middle Lands. More proper to this trope is that it has the highest population of Beastmen than any other player-race city in the Middle Lands. Granted, all of them are Goblins, but still...
  • The Freeports in Freelancer (Freeport 1 in Omega-3, Freeport 2 in Bering, Freeport 4 in Magellan, Freeport 5 in Omega-41, Freeport 6 in Tau-29, Freeport 7 in Sigma-17... wait, scratch that, Freeport 9 in Omicron Theta and Freeport 10 in Tau-37. We're not sure where Freeport 3 and Freeport 8 are). Junker bases also serve as less lawful Freeports. In addition to those listed, Freistadt in Omega-7, Battleship Hood in Dublin, and Ames Research Station in Kepler are also Freeports.
  • Little Lamplight in Fallout 3. No one in your party, not even Jericho, will dare draw weapons in the area.
  • In Fate/stay night, the local Church of the city is designated as a safe haven in the Holy Grail Wars. No one is allowed to attack another while there, and Masters whose Servants have been defeated can go there for protection if he's still to be targeted for his Command Spells. We never once get to see it played straight; the resident priest is the Big Bad in the first route and Caster attacks the church and takes it over in the second.
    • It held the same status in the prequel, Fate/Zero. And it was played just as straight there: Assassin's Master used it as his base of operations after claiming sanctuary on false grounds.
  • The Miko Institute in Sengoku Rance. However, you can actually declare war on it.
  • The War Room in Advance Wars: Days of Ruin. It's even pointed out during one mission by two COs from opposing sides. Even The Beast complies with this, and swings by to drop some tactical advice on poor, unsuspecting Will.
  • In Suikoden III, Thomas decides to establish Budehuc Castle as a truce zone so that everyone can visit freely, revitalizing the neglected property. Eventually, it becomes the player's home base.
    • Similarly to Budehuc is Caleria, a border town between Dunan, the Grasslands, and Harmonia. While Harmonia's border forces maintain offices here, their actual jurisdiction is minimal, and the city is widely known as being a cosmopolitan trading stop due to the lack of territorial dispute.
  • In the original Majesty, every Trauma Inn is one of these, but the in-game effect is minimal except in multiplayer.
  • The bars in each hub level of Kingpin: Life of Crime are this, although this would have been far more significant had the game been released how the developers originally envisioned it, with multiple gangs fighting over turf and using the bars as places to hire grunts and engage in diplomacy.
  • In the removed PVP worlds in RuneScape, banks and the player's immediate respawn point functioned as these. Though there was a cooldown time between entering the bank while in combat to avoid abusing them.
    • RuneScape's sister game/ spinoff DarkScape, being a more PVP-oriented version of the game had three tiers of 'protection'. The Red Zone was lawless, kill or be killed. The Yellow Zone had guards patrolling the border if you had committed a crime (i.e. you were skulled from attacking someone) they would attack you with top-tier spells and equipment. The Green Zone, found in most towns east of the Mountain, made it so that guards were everywhere, discouraging players from committing 'crimes' while in the Green Zone.
  • Several factions in Nexus Clash have made it their mission to organize these in the middle of the unending apocalyptic war in which the series is set. Would-be truce zones tend to explode in a hilarious fashion eventually and as such are regarded as a form of Self-Imposed Challenge.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, monsters do not aggro near towns or stables. Players who have herded Guardians toward these locations have confirmed this.
  • The obscure 3DO first-person shooter Immercenary is set in a virtual city where everyone is hostile to everyone else. The "DOAsys" at the center is a no-fire zone where the player may chat with other inhabitants of the game.
  • The Senran Kagura series has Hanzo's sushi restaurant function as one of these. Hanzo himself is a celebrated Good Shinobi, but his long career has made him comfortable with the Grey-and-Gray Morality of the Shinobi lifestyle and he allows Evil Shinobi students to eat there and even fraternize with his granddaughter and her classmates (all Good Shinobi themselves). The truce is informal but enforced by the fact that it's Hanzo running the restaurant and any Shinobi who makes it to retirement age can break up a fight between trainees (or indeed, younger professionals) with his eyes closed.
  • The Karma Temple in Digital Devil Saga. It is a place where combat is strictly forbidden, and tribe members go to exchange information. Utterly Averted after Varin's death, as the Temple's guards now kill anyone who dares to approach, and the tower serves as The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Krogan have Crushes, the closest thing they have to holy ground, and which every clan tends to respect. Urdnot Wrex's father summoned him to a Crush, which turned out to be a trap. Wrex still walked out of that one alive. His father didn't.
    • Assuming he lives to Mass Effect 2, Wrex turns all of Urdnot territory into one of these, allowing other clans to share with them, on the condition they behave by Urdnot rules. If not, they don't get to come back.
    • Mass Effect: Andromeda: On Elaaden, there's the Paradise, the only drinking hole outside the krogan colony, where the owner Annea maintains a truce between the maniacs, thugs, and psychos of Elaaden by making it clear if anyone starts trouble, she'll dump her water supply over the precarious cliff edge they're sitting on. Annea knows where the water comes from, they don't, and she likes lording this fact over everyone.
  • Everquest has two examples from the Planes Of Power Expansion Pack
    • The Plane Of Knowledge is a city where no combat is allowed, and everyone is welcome regardless of race, creed, or class. unsurprisingly, it tends to be the most populated zone in the game
    • The Plane Of Tranquility also doesn't allow any fighting, due to it being ruled by Quellious, the goddess of peace. The place serves as a Hub Level for the expansion, as there are portals to every other plane there.

  • Standard operating procedure in Drowtales: when noble clans feud, they are not supposed to interfere with the economy of Chel or kill civilians or slaves. Thus supposedly, the whole market district, Orthorbbae (a Hogwarts - style elite school), the Black Dragon tavern, etc. are all safe, neutral territory. Needless to say, this rule has gone ignored on a number of occasions, especially by the Ax-Crazy Nidraa'chal clan and the fanatical Kyorl'solenurn clan.
  • The Magic Kingdom from Erfworld.
  • Homestuck: The Veil is considered neutral territory between the warring Prospit and Derse in every session, so both kingdoms actively used it to house numerous laboratories in which to conduct genetic experiments to breed more chess piece soldiers for their perpetual war. When shit turns sour in the trolls' session, they hide out in one such laboratory which contains genetic experiments from both kingdoms.
  • Marble Gate Dungeon: To prevent war over the titular dungeon gate, the gate and the lands immediately around it were declared neutral territory, open to all. This is further enforced by the presence of the Archmage Aldos.
  • Troops of Doom has the three factions of snowtroopers on the prison planet Rura Penthe. Granted, their truce is fueled largely by cowardice, laziness, and lack of supervision, but it's no less touching for all that.
  • The apartment of the main cast in Roommates is used like this by some supernatural forces. The catch is? They never bothered telling them, which leads to several kinds of awkward situations and routinely having tea with Cthulhu.
  • The city of Paris in Girl Genius. Ruled by Voltaire (who is a powerful spark in the comic's universe) it is strong enough to avoid being taken over by Baron Wulfenbach (or other sparks) and is a major center for the arts with Voltaire acting as a patron, providing protection and resources as required.
    "If you cause trouble here, the Master and his court will find you and, my goodness, one thing a city of art and science can always use is... raw material."
  • The Savage Beard of She Dwarf: One wilderness Bath House is a strictly enforced neutral zone. She Dwarf runs into her No-Nonsense Nemesis there and is able to have a friendly conversation, and other patrons learn the hard way that the truce is enforced by the Animalistic Abomination proprietor.
    Proprietor: The bath house is a restful place for travelers from all over. So no fighting. [Rubs hands] If you do fight another visitor at my bath house, I will bring upon you such exquisite horror and pain. [Rubs hands much harder]

    Web Original 
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, Bella and Fehr's Crafty Crow inn in Reign is a neutral zone for every faction where no harassing or bloodshed is allowed. The inn side acts more like a Good-Guy Bar whereas the tavern underneath the inn is a more typical Bad Guy Bar.
  • All of Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe is considered a Truce Zone: its charter was put together by superheroes and supervillains and super-neutrals alike, and teenagers can attend high school there regardless of their intent or their sponsorship. There's even a recognized school club for children of supervillains, the Bad Seeds. There's also a school club called the Future Superheroes of America. The very few people and organisations who have ever disregarded the school's neutral status have always ended up regretting it because one thing that will get all but the really dedicated Card-Carrying Villain types to sign up for an Enemy Mine with the forces of good is endangering their kids.
  • In Worm, Brockton Bay has a pub called Somer's Rock that acts as this for the supervillains of the town. The waitstaff is all deaf, to better facilitate free conversation. Ironically enough, the first and only time itís actually used as a meeting ground itís to confirm that the one gang that didnít show up has gone too far (city-wide terror bombing is bad for everybody, not just the good guys) and is gonna get it, and sort out the initial plans as to how.

    Western Animation 
  • The Neutral Planet on Futurama is a parody.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door has the mall, where children, teenagers, and adults alike are welcome usually with just a bad taste in their mouths. Only really mentioned once in the entire series when they had to trade captured members of opposing sides.
  • In Vor-Tech: Undercover Conversion Squad, The Hero Hudson Roarke and his older brother Lord Matrix use the park that was their childhood playground as a Truce Zone. In between their battles over technorganic dominance of the Earth, the brothers spend time in the park (while Matrix wears a human-looking hologram disguise). Hudson always tries to bring out his brother's lingering humanity in a bid to save him, and Matrix always denies him while trying to get Hudson to accept his vision of a technorganic paradise.
  • An airport waiting room (or in this case, a space-port waiting room) usually doesn't function like this, but in the Duck Dodgers episode "Deconstructing Dodgers", I.Q. High meets the Martian Queen, Tyr'ahnee there and they take the opportunity to chat. (In fact, the episode suggests they might have known each other before they both had their current jobs.)
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Princess Frosta's kingdom is neutral in the war between the Horde and the Rebellion. When she holds a prom, every princess and their plus ones are welcome, even Princess Scorpia and her plus one Catra (both members of the Horde), and Frosta warns Adora that violence is not tolerated. Catra goads Adora into attacking her, leading to Frosta kicking Adora out, but it turns out Scorpia had planted bombs all over the palace and they blow up as part of Catra's plan to distract everyone and capture Adora's friends. For this blatant violation, Frosta eventually decides to end her neutrality and join the Rebellion.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Scipio, the headquarters of the Intergalactic Banking Clan has a neutral zone where representatives of both the Republic and Separatists can make requests for loans to help in their war effort. However, the neutrality of the IBC is dubious, with not only their chairman being on the Separatist Council but also attempting to put Rush Clovis as head of the IBC as a means to raise interest for the Republic's loans to levels that would bankrupt it while practically leaving the CIS alone on theirs.
  • Alfred J. Kwak: In the episodes about a religious war between two middle eastern countries, the ancient city of Jalla-Salam, the birthplace of and holy to both religions, is kept out of the fights, and people from both countries are allowed to go there.

    Real Life 
  • Switzerland. Neutral through two World Wars, destination of many refugees fleeing the Holocaust, home of the Geneva Convention and the International Red Cross/Red Crescent, and until recently, the place to bank large sums of money clandestinely.
  • The Free City of Danzig, located on the Baltic Sea and bordering on Poland and Germany, was formed in 1920 when the end of World War I saw many German territories broken off. It was recognized as independent by the League of Nations but fell to Hitler's invasion of Poland in 1939.
  • The Hanseatic League was a trading alliance dating back to the 1200s that controlled various free cities all over Europe. Some cities still retain the title although it is mostly honorary - the historical league partially fell apart in the 1600s and completely in 1862.
  • Under the partition plan drawn up by the United Nations in 1947, Jerusalem was supposed to be one of these (with the UN serving as administering party). The necessities of the 1948 War led to the de facto abandonment of this particular idea, but it led to the general practice of having foreign embassies to Israel in Tel Aviv rather than Jerusalem, as well as the efforts of a few idealistic (if probably misguided) souls to make the original idea a reality.
  • The Joint Security Area in the Korean Demilitarized Zone, shared between North and South Korea.
    • At the frontier in the South, there is a mini-museum dedicated to the wildlife and ecosystem that has thrived in the DMZ over the decades, since there is no human presence (aside from a stray mine blowing up a small woodland creature every once in a while).
    • The Kaesong Industrial Region is a special example. While Kaesong is a city in North Korea and Pyongyang provides the labor, Seoul gets to provide the funds for the industry. The area is open to both nationals normally, but when tensions arise South Koreans pack up as fast as they can, only to return in a couple of days, sometimes months.
  • The Cayman Islands have gained a reputation as a haven for shady business and convenient lack of extradition treaties.
  • The Restaurant Karpics in Ankara during World War II was attended by diplomats, spies, and journalists from all sides.
    • All of Ankara and Istanbul was like this, really. But Karpics was the "Rick's Bar" of Ankara.
  • Lisbon was technically neutral ground during WW2, and was a hotbed of spies and military intelligence officers, although a slight bias towards the Allies (thanks to the treaty of eternal friendship that Portugal and England struck in 1386!) could be discerned - rumours that would take a good week to get to The Nazis would get to The Allies within the day.
  • The New York headquarters of the United Nations are autonomous such that anyone entering there has effective diplomatic immunity, even if they're on a country's most wanted war criminal/terrorist/dictator shitlist.
    • This includes all employees. Do not tick off the UN janitors.
  • Speaking of New York, there was a proposal by then-mayor Fernando Wood for New York City to become this during The American Civil War, whereby the city would secede from the Union and trade with both Northern and Southern states. Part of this was also the huge Hatedom in New York for Abraham Lincoln.
  • Kentucky initially declared neutrality when the Civil War broke out. Within a few months, both Union and Confederate troops invaded the State, rendering this moot. The State remained deeply divided throughout the war, with Kentuckians serving on both sides of the conflict.
  • Berlin was a bizarro version of this during the Cold War, as half of it was a Western city deep inside Eastern territory yet officially not part of West Germany, and remained that way on the pretense that it was still one city occupied by the four Allies of World War II. As a result, military forces of the UK, France, the US, and the USSR all remained in Berlin until the fall of the Wall... and besides becoming a City of Spies, commanders from opposing sides got to know each other a little. Particularly useful was the stipulation that Westerners could enter East Berlin on day passes.
  • Tangier—on the Moroccan side of the Strait of Gibraltar—was also this for the longest time, being disputed between various European powers for decades if not centuries before being declared an unfortified and more or less demilitarized international zone under Anglo-Franco-Spanish administration in 1929. It remained that way—with a five-year Spanish occupation during World War II—until Moroccan unification and independence in 1956.
  • Hong Kong had elements of this under the ninety-nine-year lease. Technically, it was a British territory inside Communist China. In practice, it was an area with far less restrictive laws than the surrounding territories, which resulted in it gaining similar economic and criminal elements. Sadly, the passing of the controversial National Security Law in June 2020 meant that its restrictive laws from the mainland now apply in the now-former Special Administrative Region.
  • The name of Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg in Massachusetts means "Fishing Place at the Boundaries — Neutral Meeting Grounds". Locals enjoy messing with tourists by telling them that it means "you fish on your side of the lake, we'll fish on our side of the lake, and nobody will fish in the middle."
  • A small but successful example was established during the The Falklands War. The "Red Cross Box" (even though it was a circle) was a designated safe zone for both Argentinian and UK hospital ships. The ships inside communicated and even transferred patients.
  • Singapore has managed to develop extensive economic and military ties with both sides of a geopolitical rivalry as a means of ensuring its own survival as an independent city-state. It frequently chairs ASEAN summits as a result of being seen as an impartial party only interested in peaceful resolutions to conflicts among traditional rivals across Southeast Asia and has also hosted unprecedented meetings between sitting heads of state of countries that have every reason to be mistrustful of one another, like between Mainland China and Taiwan in 2015 and the United States and North Korea in 2018. In these cases, Singapore was able to pull this off due to China being their largest trading partner but also having significant military relations with Taiwan (Singaporean military personnel often train in Taiwan where they have enough space to actually do so) and the US (the US Navy frequently uses Singapore as a supply port for their freedom of navigation exercises in the South China Sea that challenge Chinese claims of influence there). Singapore has to perform a delicate balancing act in how closely they decide to pursue relations with one country lest they piss off their rival too much.
  • Djibouti is a physically small country in Africa with a population of less than one million, yet due to its strategic importance near the Bab el-Mandeb strait and along one of the world's busiest shipping routes, combined with its relative stability compared to the constant violence and unrest that plague its neighbors in Yemen, Eritrea/Ethiopia, and Somalia, it plays host to multiple foreign military bases hosting troops from a wide range of countries, including the US, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Saudi Arabia, China, and Japan, with India and Russia also looking to station troops there as well. Yeah, pretty much everyone wants a piece of Djibouti.
  • Under the Outer Space Treaty, no country "owns" outer space. While they can all explore it and make bases there, a country couldn't, for example, declare Mars as a new state/province.


Video Example(s):


Nekoya Cuisine Restaurant

Every Saturday this restaurants doors is closed in Tokyo. Every Saturday this restaurants doors is opened to a Fantasy World. Patrons from all walks of life that pass through its front door are to only call each-other by their favorite dishes and leave all of their antagonism outside, else run the risk of being banished from the establishment by its owner and head chef Tenshu.

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5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / SeriousBusiness

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