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Untrusting Community

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"This is a local shop, for local people! We'll have no trouble here!"

A Hero Walking the Earth comes to a community, often an Adventure Town that bears no welcome for them. They insult or otherwise mistreat the hero and consider them suspicious and worthless no matter what the hero says (also compare All of the Other Reindeer).

Well, the heroes can't have that, now, can they? So, they stick around, perhaps up to a situation that requires Training the Peaceful Villagers.

Then a crisis occurs, the hero saves the day, and the community is utterly flabbergasted that the hero would do that after how they treated him. When the town's speaker asks in astonishment why, the hero usually responds with something along the lines of "because it was the right thing to do", regardless of the community's opinion of the hero. The hero leaves with the community stunned that someone could honestly be that noble.

A variant used sometimes is when a fantasy creature protagonist, who is living in secret with a sympathetic human's help, enters a hidden community with the human friend. Suddenly the creature's kind is the majority and the human is detained immediately as an assumed enemy. Thus the creature protagonist finds itself in the unfamiliar position of having to publicly stand up for the human friend and reassure the population that the friend can be trusted. They are usually not convinced until the human plays a role in saving the day and is then officially considered welcome in the community.

If the hero isn't just passing through but happens to live there, they're a Hero with Bad Publicity who may find it hard to get Hero Insurance.

Obvious biblical examples make this Older Than Feudalism.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Digimon Data Squad has the Digital World. Though, considering that they went through a devastating genocide attempt at the hands of humans just a few years before, it's no wonder that most Digimon would try to attack humans at first sight. Though it gets kind of ridiculous since even the community SAVED by a human subscribes to the "kill the humans" mantra.
  • In the Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) anime, Ed receives this treatment from a mining town for being a State Alchemist. Once they realize that Ed is not like the corrupt Lieutenant that's been taxing them for everything they've got, they quickly warm up to him.
  • Tenma from Monster. This is repeated throughout the series, but the most notable example takes place in Frankfurt, when the Turkish district is threatened by Neo-Nazis.
  • Monster Rancher plays with this a few times:
    • Inverted in the first village the Searchers pass through after Genki's arrival. The residents are perfectly friendly and welcoming until Genki starts bragging about their plans to deal with Moo, boasting about how easy it'll be to take care of the resident Big Bad. This spurs most of the community to turn upon them out of fear of how Moo will react.
    • The citizens of Aurora are less than pleased when the notorious bandit Tiger of the Wind enters one of their tournaments. After he's beaten in the final match by Hare, the attitude towards him softens a bit.
  • Happened in the Pokémon Adventures manga. The first gen heroes are being targeted by Team Rocket, and in order to lure them out, the Sevii Islands get trashed. Red manages to defeat one of the bad guys responsible, but the citizens just blame him for their destroyed homes. Though near the end of the arc, the community got wracked with guilt upon hearing that Red is still trying to save another city regardless of whether he's being shunned or not.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness: After a monster attack that resulted in the destruction of an entire human city and the deaths of countless innocents in Act V, the HDA, having already been distrustful of monsters as it is, uses this as an opportunity to declare open war on the monster world, automatically writing them all off as evil. In Act VI Chapter 25, after helping to thwart another monster attack only to be accused of being the ones behind it by the HDA, Moka and co. give them all a massive What the Hell, Hero? speech, pointing out that she and her friends put an end to Fairy Tale and Alucard, killed the monsters that destroyed the aforementioned human city, and just killed the rylo that was menacing them all on national television. Moka outright demands to know what she and her friends have to do to prove to the humans that not all monsters are evil.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Disney's Hercules, Hercules doesn't get a very good reception in Thebes (which is written recognizably as an expy of modern-day New York; Hercules is that kind of movie). He comes upon some citizens complaining about their troubles and says "What you need is a hero" but they all grumble about how inexperienced he is and call him "just another chariot chaser". Until he kills a hydra and earns their support.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • This happens in Soldier with Todd 3465. Todd is an unemployed soldier (actually thrown away in the garbage and left on a garbage planet). His attempt to mingle with the locals fails, mostly because he's spent his entire life as a soldier (including childhood), so he has no concept of fitting into a community. One of the reasons he's thrown out of the community is because he tries to teach a local boy how to catch/kill a poisonous snake. Later, when the boy saves his parents' lives by keeping them from being bitten by a snake that was in their bed, the father goes to find Todd, which is a good thing because some really bad people are coming for them.
  • In Footloose, the entire town is suspicious of Ren because he's from Chicago. Many locals go out of their way to try to prove that Ren is a troublemaker despite the fact that he has the best of intentions. In the end, he helps change the town's attitude by setting up a dance and convincing the Reverend to lighten up.
  • In Bad Day at Black Rock, the people of Black Rock meet the protagonist with hostility in an attempt to scare him away as they have to protect their dark secret. Except that it doesn't work on him.

  • J. R. R. Tolkien's The Fall of Gondolin: As Tuor finds out, the people of Gondolin, the hidden city, are paranoid and suspicious, and they meet strangers with hostility, at best. Elemmakil, one of the guards of the Gates, justifies their weariness stating that "If our law were less stern, long ago guile and hatred would have entered and destroyed us."
  • In Hame, it takes McWatt the better part of 60 years to finally be considered a true Fascaradian, although Mhairi and Agnes are adopted more quickly.
  • Discworld: In Soul Music, the town of Scrote is distinctly unwelcoming to the Band With Rocks In, because "we don't like musicians in Scrote". Of course, The Power of Rock means they soon change their minds.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Incredible Hulk (1977): Almost every episode.
  • And almost every episode of Kung Fu (1972).
  • The League of Gentlemen's setting of Royston Vasey is actually mostly a fairly welcoming town, although Serial Killer couple Tubbs and Edward, who run the Local Shop, seem convinced it's this trope, mercilessly killing anyone who isn't local. The ending of the second series reveals just how out of touch with the local people they really are...
  • Pick any planet visited on Star Trek.

  • The Richard Marx song "Hazard" is about a boy who moves to the titular Nebraska town with his mother. The town takes an immediate dislike to the boy, except for a girl named Mary. In the second verse, Mary is murdered and the protagonist becomes the main suspect.

    Myths & Religion 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Ars Magica: Justified because people and animals instinctively dislike those with the Gift of magic. Even heroic magi face hostility from strangers until they've thoroughly proven their good intentions; most small communities refuse outright to let a Gifted stranger so much as rest or do business there.

    Video Games 
  • The rural town of Wormwood Creek in Dragon Quest IX, to the point that the shops are prohibited by law from selling any goods to foreigners. Considering that the last time they trusted an outsider, their town was razed by The Empire, this is hardly unjustified. They do get better, though. It should be noted, however, that the incident which led to their destruction was in no way the fault of the outsider. The Empire was well on its way to taking over the town, only to be stopped by said outsider. It was their betrayal of him that led to their destruction... and subsequently the creation of a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.
  • Fallout 2's Vault City is a dark and depressing place, openly hostile to every outsider - including the player character. By dealing with the problem of raiders attacking their city, and fixing the power plant of a nearby town, he or she can earn their trust and become one of them.
  • In Fallout 3, the residents of Little Lamplight are quite wary of adults. Given that the player character can enslave them, their paranoia is quite justified.
  • There is a lot of crossover between this and Dude, Where's My Respect? in Final Fantasy XI. No many how many times you save the entire planet, people never seem to give you the benefit of the doubt. Consider the Alexander summon quest: you must go to each of the major nations to give you permission to perform an excursion (i.e. beat up something) to stop the world from ending (again), but you are met with skepticism from every nation even though you have to have saved the planet at least once to qualify for this quest. Not only that, but the President of Bastok treats you with utter contempt as if he never met you, even though a lot of his gruff image was shown to be bluster in later Bastokan missions. One could blame all of this more on a lazy development team who doesn't want to program multiple cutscenes based off of how far you are on other missions than the actual citizens of Vana'diel.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has two villages in the Stormblood story that were under rule by The Empire for so many years that they're used to it. When you tell them that you can overthrow the enemy, the villagers angrily tell you to get out and how they also tried to fight the empire before and failed, and so they don't want to get their hopes up again. It's only after you start making progress in driving the enemy back that the people warm up to you and actively help.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda: First, the Andromeda Initiative, thanks to a horrifically bad start on arrival, are not very supportive or encouraged towards Ryder's presence, which changes after they set up their first outpost. Secondly, there's the angara, whose own First Contact with an alien species was with the kett, who duped them and killed their leaders, and then spent over seventy years trying to destroy them. Their first contact with anyone from the Milky Way was with a group of exiles and criminals, meaning Ryder has an uphill struggle to convince them that the Initiative isn't there to kill them. They do eventually manage to solidify a good working relationship. And thirdly, there's the krogan, whose leader is utterly pissed at her species's shabby treatment by the Initiative, and makes it clear she doesn't want Ryder near them. Whether fences get mended there is up to the player.
  • In Mega Man Zero 4, while the citizens of the Caravan don't necessarily hate the La Résistance and Zero, they are suspicious of their motives, mainly because they're tired of all the war and death that's been caused by Reploids. Once they learned that Zero was responsible for their "savior's" death (only he wasn't, directly at least) they did become more hostile. But, mere minutes later, they change their ways and start to finally trust Zero's group.
  • Outbound, the titular town from The Outbound Ghost, is notably xenophobic towards the unfamiliar Amnesiac Hero, with some people wondering if he's the Serial Killer that killed everyone and turned them into ghosts. This turns out to be ironic on multiple levels, as the protagonist was originally from Outbound, and the actual killer was also a local. However, the fourth Act shows that they do have good reason to fear outsiders, given that an Apocalypse Cult has set up just north of them.
  • During the present-day of Overwatch, the titular peacekeeping organization had long fallen out due to widely publicized internal corruption, and its reputation carries with its former personnel. Angela "Mercy" Ziegler continues to travel the world for her medical philanthropy, but her lingering connections to the organization (her advanced healing biotech and Valkyrie flight-suit) brings a hefty amount of hesitation wherever she goes. She perseveres anyways since she's still a doctor whose desire to heal and help people outpaces the rejection, even by those in need.
  • Any island Marona sets foot on in Phantom Brave has everyone hating her by default due to her status as a Chroma (known as greedy mercenaries) and her powers with Necromancy.
  • In Pokémon Legends: Arceus, when the Player Character first arrives in Jubilife Village, the natives are suspicious of the stranger in odd clothing, with the local restaurant owner outright refusing to serve you before slamming the door in your face. However, after the player demonstrates their skill as a Trainer and joins the Survey Corps the townspeople begin to warm up to them. The town even begins to expand and allow in immigrants as a result of the player's hard work. Though some claim they never really trusted the player when they're exiled under suspicion of causing the space-time rift that brought them to Hisui.
  • This happens in Mordavia in Quest for Glory IV. To be fair, they haven't had visitors in years, and most of the visitors they have had (e.g. the Cult two generations ago and the Dark Master four years ago) have caused nothing but trouble for the town: the Cult created the Dark Cave, a place where very, very evil things happened, and the arrival of the Dark Master was shortly followed by the creation of a zombie-filled swamp at the pass leading out of Mordavia. It's not until the fifth day, when the hero rescues the gravedigger, that people start to warm up to you, and even then, most of them are still pretty cold until you help them specifically.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • The town of Chin in "Avatar Day" holds a grudge against the Avatar for allegedly killing their king 370 years ago. When the Gaang visits the town during the titular festival, Aang ends up arrested and on trial for the crime his past life committed. The town's opinion flips after Aang saves it from a Fire Nation attack.
    • Inverted two episodes later when Zuko, is initially welcomed into an Earth Kingdom village, but is rejected after saving a child and defending the place from its tyrannical "protectors", simply because of his revealed origin.
  • Amphibia has Wartwood, the town where Anne ends up living in with her adopted frog family, the Plantars. While the Plantar family is rather accepting of her, the townsfolk all either fear her, hate and/or hold contempt for her, or mock her or any combination of those, with few exceptions. In fact, the town's motto is literally "Slow to accept and even slower to respect." Though when she stands up for Wartwood against tax-collecting toads halfway through season 1, she finally gains their respect.
    • Marcy herself briefly experiences this when she arrives and stays in Wartwood more than halfway through season 2, with her inquisitive nature coming off as off-putting to the reserved folks of the town. Not to mention, a mob gathers with Torches and Pitchforks, which hilariously, even Polly takes part in, forcing Anne to get them to disperse. She does manage to work towards getting into their good graces by renovating parts of town and restoring it after she accidentally destroys some of it.
    • Frobo is treated with fear and contempt similarly to the way Anne was when she first appeared in Wartwood, though it's more justified, considering that he is a robot with highly destructive capabilities. The townsfolk are much more begrudging to accept his presence compared to Anne and Marcy's after Polly convinces them to give the robot a chance but reluctantly do so anyway.
      Mayor Toadstool: Well, I guess we've already accepted two monsters.
      Loggle: Yeah, I mean, what's one more at this point?
    • Sasha and Grime put the entire town on edge when they end up in town towards the end of the season, though in this case, it is justified, considering that they took the whole town hostage in the season one finale.
  • Taking yet another peg from comic books, half-ghost Danny Phantom protects his ghost-infested and vulnerable but nevertheless untrusting hometown while enduring assault by its human inhabitants and the local press. Later they depend on him as their hero when he saves the entire town from a ghostly invasion.
  • In the Gargoyles world tour episode, "The New Olympians", Elisa is arrested on sight when she and her friends arrive at the hidden city of New Olympus. The inhabitants, who are various creatures whose ancestors fled human persecution centuries ago, are largely eager to take out their racial hatred on Elisa despite Goliath and Angela's protests that she is sympathetic to them. Here the plot is tweaked a bit by the city elder, Tallos the robot, suggesting that human allies would be helpful, considering the city is bound to be discovered soon by humans and their improving technology. However, it is only when Elisa, to the surprise of the city's security chief, Taurus the Minotaur, saves the city from the villain Proteous is she allowed to leave.
  • In Adventures of the Gummi Bears, the mystic city of Gummadoon appears and the Gummi Glen Gummi's human friend, Cavin, is arrested as a spy. The Gummi Glen Gummi protest this, but they are disbelieved, which forces Cubbi to help Cavin escape the city. The Gummis of Gummadoon are only convinced of Cavin's true nature when he risks his life to warn the city of Duke Igthorn's attack on it and then by personally throwing out the would-be conqueror when he invades. As a result, Cavin is given the unprecedented honor of being dubbed a Knight of the city just before it fades away.
  • My Little Pony: The town of Grayvale from Bright Lights.
  • Totally Spies!: in the episode "The O.P", the adult residents of the Ocean Paradise community act this way toward the spies.

    Real Life 
  • Not so much the community but the police force in Chicago during the late '60s and early '70s. A local gang called the Vice Lords wanted to stop the gang violence and help out the community. For a time their help appeared to be working, but they received zero support from law enforcement, causing the movement to utterly collapse on itself. Which led a lot of the public to wonder: did the CPD ever care in the first place, or did they just want to lock everyone up?