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Unusually Uninteresting Sight

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"In fact, mostly they just swerved and looked irritated, as if they had to deal with a lot of ratty teenagers carrying old hippie women across the freeway."
Percy Jackson, The Heroes of Olympus: The Son of Neptune

Something that is blatantly unusual, yet nobody seems to take notice of it. It could be an odd costume, Unusual Ears, an external monologue, a visible weapon, or an animal that only vaguely resembles a normal one (such as a blue wolf wearing armor). For some reason, none of the bystanders take notice or comment on it.

In some cases this is justified with not being seen by mortals or for some reason, if it's a kid's show/book/comic/other, it's often stated that the weirdness cannot be seen by adults or doubters.

Possibly an extension of the Bystander Syndrome, contrast with Mundane Made Awesome and Faux Horrific. Occasionally justified with a Weirdness Censor. Common in Magic Realism and Mundane Fantastic. See also Elephant in the Living Room, Fantastically Indifferent, Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!, Metallicar Syndrome, My God, You Are Serious!, Not Distracted by the Sexy, Unfazed Everyman, and Shut Up, Scary Thing!. If it is a musical that you are beholding but nobody in-universe finds it remotely odd to have people spontaneously break into song and dance at quasi-random intervals, see Musical World Hypotheses.

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Other examples:

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  • "The Great Crunchie Train Robbery": The little old lady who is knitting ignores the robbery; a brawl that erupts around her; the train being attacked by Indians, Arabs and Nazis; and being fired on by artillery and a fighter plane and keeps calmly knitting.

  • Sistine Chapel: In one of its many paintings, there are two people chatting away with their backs turned to the Son of God freely giving the truths of the universe away.

    Asian Animation 
  • Lamput: Lamput encounters a monster hiding in a coffin in "Haunted House". He's scared of it, but the docs are too busy searching for him to even notice and be scared as well.

  • Josh Wolf has a bit where he discusses the first time his daughter met his wife Beth. The previous night, Beth had been too tired to drive home, but Josh didn't want her first time meeting the kids to be in his bed, so she asked to sleep in the closet instead. The next morning, Josh's daughter Kaitlynn couldn't find her shoes, and when Josh told her to keep looking, she checked Josh's closet and found Beth, then returned to him saying "I still can't find my shoes and there's a stranger sleeping in your closet". Josh notes that if this was how she reacted to a stranger sleeping in his closet, she would never snitch on him for anything.
    Josh: Just out of curiosity, Kait, there's a stranger sleeping in my closet. That's the reaction I get?
    Kaitlynn: It's your closet, daddy, I don't know what happens in your closet.

    Comic Strips 
  • Phoebe and Her Unicorn: Invoked with the magical Shield of Boringness.
  • Peanuts: Nobody in this otherwise carefully realistic neighborhood seems to find it at all odd that a beagle should be riding atop his doghouse dressed as a WWI Flying Ace, among many other things. Occasionally lampshaded when they do find his behaviour odd - just in passing - then continue on their merry way.

    Eastern European Animation 
  • The Frog Princess: No one seems at all surprised that animals can talk, or that wizards and witches exist.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In "Mother Holle", the main character barely raises a eyebrow when she runs into talking loaves and sentient trees; and nobody thinks anything of the rooster speaking.
  • "Little Otik": Most of peasants seem to take the presence of a big wooden creature who can walk and talk in stride.
  • Franz Xaver von Schönwerth's "The Enchanted Quill": One man falls asleep while riding his horse. Suddenly, a crow wakes up him and speaks that the man was falling into an eternal sleep, and it wants to marry one of his sisters in reward for saving him from such a fate. And the man takes everything in stride.
  • "Follow Me, Jodel!": Jodel thinks nothing of a toad being able to speak. He does not even wonder why it wants to help him, or in the first place, how it knows he needs help. He never questions why it owns a house in the woods and a mouse servant who can also speak. In fact, Jodel shows a bigger reaction to its ugliness than to everything else.

  • There is a joke which both subverts and lampshades this trope: One day the first grade teacher was reading the story of The Three Little Pigs to her class. She came to the part of the story where the first pig was trying to accumulate the building materials for his home. She read, "...and so the pig went up to the man with the wheel barrow full of straw and said, 'Pardon me sir, but may I have some of that straw to build my house?'" The teacher paused then asked the class, "And what do you think that man said?" One little boy raised his hand and said, "I think he said 'Holy shit! A talking pig!'" The teacher was unable to teach for the next 10 minutes.

  • Several Inugami Circus Dan videos depict the members working in offices, sitting in cafes, meeting old friends and generally going about their business like ordinary people whilst wearing their trademark white and black face paint. None of the extras notice, let alone comment on it. Particularly noticeable example from about 1:34 in this video
  • Parodied in a Mariah Carey video (Boy - I Need You). It takes place in Tokyo with several giant monsters and mechs running amok, and the locals just go about their business.
    • Likewise, in the video of "Heroes" which The Wallflowers recorded for Godzilla (1998), the band keeps right on playing even after Godzilla's tail knocks a hole in the wall of the apartment where they're performing, and the singer just glances at the hovering military helicopter that stops to check out the damage. Meanwhile, a girl in a hoodie disinterestedly walks past crowds of panicked, fleeing people, picks up a six-pack from the bodega across the street, leaves some money on the counter when she can't find the cashier, and walks back again, never even glancing at the huge footprint which Godzilla left in the pavement while she was in there.
  • In the video for Lisa Stanfield's cover of Barry White's "Never, Never Gonna Give You Up", she goes out onto the streets, nude, after taking a bath. No one gives her anything more than a passing glance. Granted, she does eventually find a coat to put on as she heads to her boyfriend's house.
  • The video for Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart": Ninjas! Kids with Glowing Eyes! A kid with Wings! In a boarding school! It isn't until near the end when the one kids with glowing eyes sings the hook "Turn around bright eyes" that she gets the sense that there is something wrong.
  • Played for Laughs in the music video for Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla from metalcore band A Crowd of Rebellion. The band stops for a quick rest while a parkouring gorilla comes out of nowhere and starts beating the shit out of the lead singer. Only for him to appear just fine and the gorilla hands him a pair of drum sticks and a guitar pick. The rest of the band casually looks at the beatdown bored out of their minds.
  • In the video for Olivia Rodrigo's "bad idea right?" she takes no notice of her lover exploding as he lies on the bed next to her, and she is seemingly more concerned with the spider crawling up the pillow.
  • The Ramones' video for "I Wanna Be Sedated" entirely consists of the members sitting around a dinner table while a party featuring nuns, acrobats, ballerinas, monsters, cheerleaders, clowns, doctors, fetish nurses, and smoking schoolgirls goes on behind them. They never take notice of any of this.
  • "Rocket Man" by Elton John takes the usually interesting job of an astronaut and makes it as boring as a 9-to-5 job.
  • Collapsing New People by Fad Gadget has Frank, who's covered in Tar and Feathers for unknown reasons start grabbing at the people playing the other instruments. Said people just ignore him and keep playing, even after their faces get covered in tar as well.

  • Binary Break: After landing in the Digital World, Sophie very much takes the weirdness of the situation in stride. It helps that she was already a bit of a cloudcuckoolander and treats the situation like being in a fairy-tale adventure (which she'd been hoping to end up in one day anyway).
  • In the first world of Interstitial: Actual Play, the students of East High don't bat an eye at a strange man in a cloak playing card games in their gym while asking them who's the most hateful among them. Even the main characters take a while to notice, since Marche is distracted by the game and Roxanne thinks his aesthetic is normal.
  • When The Thrilling Adventure Hour's Marshal on Mars, Sparks Nevada, and Troubleshooter Ginny West have their first date, they meet a trio of robots have found and taken in a baby human girl. Ginny is understandably concerned about this, and can't fathom that Sparks is more interested in continuing their date than investigating it.
    Ginny West: How did three robots come to be in possession of a human baby? Ain't it your job as Marshal to find out?
    Sparks Nevada: Hmmm... You may have marshallin' confused with bein' a busybody. They're different.
  • Basically everybody's reaction to everything in Welcome to Night Vale, with the exception of the visiting scientists, and even they're getting used to it. Ominous coloured helicopters watching your children? Check the colour chart to make sure they aren't really dangerous. A giant, sentient glow cloud raining dead-animals on the town? Let's make it the president of the PTA. An eighteen foot tall, five-headed dragon? He runs a blog, got arrested for fraud and is running for mayor. Confronted with a terrible existential dread about the meaningless of your life? Drink to forget.

    Professional Wrestling 

    Puppet Shows 
  • In Fraggle Rock's postcards from Uncle Travelling Matt about his adventures in Outer Space, the "Silly Creatures" are generally portrayed as amused or confused by his misunderstanding of human customs, but not so much "Oh, my God! What even is that thing?" as you might expect, given that the existence of Fraggles is mostly unknown beyond the Rock.

  • Bleak Expectations:
    • The people of France have absolutely no reaction to a talking dinosaur walking about. They are pretty annoyed that he's English, and decide the best course of action is to eat him.
    • Similarly, the Reverend Godly Fecund doesn't even seem to notice very much that Harry Biscuit is, for complicated reasons, now in the body of a T-Rex until it's pointed out to him.
      Rev. Fecund: I thought it was a new type of jacket...

  • Season 3.5 of The Massive Multi-Fandom RPG takes place in an artificial copy of Miami, complete with inhabitants who pay no mind to the presence of bizarre and alien individuals and monsters. For example, May's "grandma" notices the fact that "her granddaughter's imaginary friend" (a Pokemon) is apparently real and visible, but doesn't seem to care at all.

    Tabletop Games 
  • A spell in Pathfinder, aura of the unremarkable, works as a sort of enforced version of this. It allows the target to perform any number of strange actions - perfectly in view of the public - and not have anyone view it as abnormal. They see and remember the actions normally, but unless it directly threatens them or their allies, they are magically compelled to think that there's nothing unusual about the team attempting to blow the hinges off the vault door or cutting the supports for the chandeliers. Once it turns into a "hostile action", the spell won't work, though... handy for preparing your assassination, but not after you fire the ballista at the parade.
  • Invoked by the narrator in GURPS Black Ops who took the subway after a mission with a gaping hole in his chest. Even though he left a large pool of blood underneath his feet, not a single other soul on the train looked up or said anything. The narrator says that half the reason why their shadow war has remained a secret is that the world cannot and will not accept the existence of paranormal creatures, and therefore will remain willfully ignorant, writing off any unusual thing they see.
  • One of the Pachimon cards have a kaiju rampaging across London and trampling over vehicles, and civilians simply wandering about oblivious to the monster walking around in the open. Like, really.

  • In Orpheus: A Poetic Drama, when Aristaeus asks about his bees' whereabouts, Orpheus admits that the swarm may have passed by without him noticing, to which Aristaus wonders how that could possibly happen. (Orpheus admits to being lovestruck at the time and ignored everything around him.)

    Visual Novels 
  • In Area X, this is one of the reasons that Elcia is able to tell that Rexus is the leader of Project Recovery and knows who she really is, as he don't react to the fact a girl in a school uniform wants to negotiate with ORZ Corporate, since a normal student wouldn't want or need to negotiate with a major corporation.
  • Justified in Cafe Enchante where Misyr uses his magic to alter the perceptions of humans around them so no one comments on Canus's missing head or the fact he wears sometimes wears an armored helmet with his regular clothes.
  • Nobody in Love at First Sight appears to care about the fact that Sachi is a Cyclops. For example, the resident bully goes after her due to her being an Extreme Doormat.

    Web Animation 
  • The seven minute animatic Babushka: the Movie is an adaption of a round of Among Us played by a famous group of streamers and Lets Players. Like the video game, a pair of impostors try to wipe out the crew of a space ship. Unlike the normal video game, the impostors get splashed and even covered with blood as they slaughter the crew one by one. Somehow nobody else seems to notice that or think it's worth noting.
  • In Bee and Puppycat, Bee has a tendency to under-react to events that would freak out lots of people, such as being (briefly) sentenced to incineration.
    • In Part 1 after her inexplicably found dog(or maybe a cat) gets a letter transported through it's bell collar all she can manage is groaning. She does lampshade that there better not be anything cryptic in it.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Lizzie didn't think anything of the dripping acid and sudden influx of invasive venomous snakes in his exhibit, which were caused by Micheal and Ashely, because 'poison and snakes were a common sight'.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • In the 2009 Halloween toon, "Doomy Tales of the Macabre", Bubs is dabbling in fiendish experimentation, which results in his concession stand turning into his own head. Bubs, however, is more annoyed than terrified. Justified, as it's actually just a story being told by Strong Sad.
      Bubs: Aw, this was supposed to reduce my overhead, not turn into my head!
    • In "Fall Float Parade", Marzipan's only observation when Homsar appears to have duplicated himself is "Oh, and there's another Homsar." Of course, for Homsar, that sort of stuff is that ordinary.
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, when Karl the Deranged sends "galaxy's most deadly virus" with his letter and gaseous cloud starts enveloping the Throne Room, everyone present seems rather bored by this turn of events. Justified, as they're all unable to fall ill.
  • An inversion in Indiada Jodes:
    Kid: I have a paper that leads to a thing.
  • Almost every episode of Leo and Layla has them using Time Travel to talk to some historical figure. In many cases, they outright say they are time travelers, and the person just reacts like it's an everyday occurrence. Also, the way they time travel is using an app Layla downloaded for her phone(!!!). When Layla shows it to Leo in the first episode, his response is pretty much, "Eh, that's neat."

  • SCP-2602 of the SCP Foundation forces this onto the minds of anyone who learns about it, making them think that some aspects of the SCP are entirely normal consequences of the fact that it used to be a library. Usually this is on target, leaving people believing that its shrines, hazardous waste pit and extensive underground structure are no big deal since, after all, it used to be a library. But occasionally it misfires: at least two people have come away convinced that gravity only exists at that location due to the fact that it was formerly a library.
  • Sometimes, you've got to love the page pictures that go with some Wikipedia articles. Apparently, this is run-of-the-mill for Lego minifigures.

    Web Videos 
  • Analyst Bronies React: In the third Equestria Girls movie, some watching note how the students barely react to Rainbow Dash flying on the stage.
  • The hosts of The Attack have all sorts of horrors appear in their studio, and generally don't bat an eye at any of them. Many of them involve production team members dying in particularly gruesome ways.
  • BuzzFeed Unsolved:
    • In "The Creepy Murder in Room 1046", they frequently lampshade how many suspicious things (like a guy lying on the bed surrounded by a dark stain) are discounted by the hotel staff discount, who walk away with no comment.
    • Shane posits that the Keddie killer got away clean because "in the 80s, you see someone running down a back road covered in blood, you just move on".
  • Chad Vader: He works in an ordinary, present-day Earth supermarket, but dresses like Darth Vader, uses The Force, and wields a lightsaber. No one finds this unusual.
  • Channel Awesome:
    • In the anniversary special Kickassia:
      • The citizens of Molossia (all five of them) treat an invasion and then a rebellion as this, simply going "Mmmm-hmmm!" and reading their magazines. The only time any of them showed any reaction was when they were freed, and it was still just a look up from the magazine and a confused "What?"
      • After much pleading from others, Spoony finally gives into his inner madness and transforms into Dr. Insano. The Nostalgia Critic's reaction? "Oh hey! You gave into the madness, that's awesome," and turns back to his TV.
    • Also from TGWTG, in The Nostalgia Critic's review of My Pet Monster, he criticizes the characters for acting nonchalant about how the protagonist keeps turning into a monster. The Critic then walks off, and comes across The Other Guy reading The Far Side... and is a velociraptor. Both the Critic and The Other Guy act calmly about it. "I'm a dinosaur", indeed.
    • Lampshaded by him in his He-Man and She-Ra Christmas special, when he points out that them transforming has become a common occurrence for the titular twins.
      Critic!He-Man: Hi, sis. I have the power.
    • Deconstructed in The Review Must Go On, as Karl completely ruins Donnie's hopes of everything being okay by having the same dinosaur head. The music freaks and the very normal Donnie looks he's going to break down crying.
    • Another TGWTG example, Nash and Tara from What the Fuck Is Wrong with You? often point out how the strange stories they cover have gotten a bit mundane to them. They also point out how Floridians are probably used to all the craziness that goes on there. Tara, being from Long Island, likes to say that New Yorkers are already used to their own craziness.
    • Linkara sometimes complains about this trope in his comic reviews, where characters will act like someone flying or having super strength is nothing. He often says "Be impressed, dammit!" when this happens.
  • In Cold, none of the people attending the Queen's coronation are particularly interested when the Queen bursts into the room.
  • Downplayed in the sixth and final episode of Don't Hug Me I'm Scared. Red Guy takes off his clothes and walks on a stage to sing the Creativity Song, but the other Red Guys are more bothered by how bad the song is.
  • A rare scary example occurs in Marble Hornets with Alex in Entry #46. The Operator appears behind him in his own house, but unlike Jay who bolts as soon as it happens, Alex stays put and is later found to be okay. Of course, this is foreshadowing to Alex's betrayal.
  • The Minerva Alliance: In "Boyd's Pest Control", the Shadowmander (a gecko-like lizard that is invisible in well-lit rooms but appears as a black silhouette when there's barely any light) is clearly anomalous, but the video treats it as no big deal and one of the easier pests to take care of.
  • This is how a lot of people react in Pooh's Adventures. Talking stuffed animals? Act like nothing. Living, breathing trains? Act like nothing.
  • Rats SMP: Most of the Icraga household treat the rats this way. When the Maid and the Mother find half the mischief of rats gathering on the library table having a Courtroom Episode, their reaction is to literally walk away. The Janitor is the only one who considers the rats an active threat to the Mansion, while the Eldest Daughter is a Punch-Clock Villain who doesn't mind them personally as long as they don't barge into her business or mess with her stuff, and the Grandmother is all-round friendly to them.
  • Rooster Teeth Shorts: Life or death battle in iBlade headquarters between the son of the outgoing CEO and his best friend revealed to be a 'Deathless' infiltrator. Worth a glance, but back to whatever you're doing.
  • Ross's Game Dungeon uploaded a review of Wolfenstein (2009) on April Fools' Day. The video is a normal review, except Ross used some sort of code or mod to give everyone in the game pumpkins for heads. He never comments on it once, but he does mention that getting headshots on enemies feels really satisfying for some reason that he can't figure out. At one point it looks like he's going to finally mention the pumpkins when he says he's going to "finally address the elephant in the room", but no, the elephant in the room is obviously the fact that lots of people requested him to review "Wolfenstein", and he knew they actually meant Wolfenstein 3-D, but he decided to prank them by being Literal-Minded and reviewing the game just called "Wolfenstein". Then he goes on to complain about video games using the Recycled Title trope.
  • Secret Life SMP: By the premise of the season, each player is assigned a "secret task" from the Secret Keeper in each recording session, which they are encouraged to complete to receive extra hearts to combat the series' Anti-Regeneration mechanism or material gifts usually unobtainable in the series (if they've reached the health cap). The activities assigned to each secret task can range from silly (e.g. making a bed shrine out of other players' beds or being The Nicknamer) to eventually, the serious (e.g. Red Life tasks that cause harm to other players). As early as Day 2, everyone is getting used to seeing strange behavior from their server-mates and as such they stop questioning it. This is mildly Played for Drama on Day 2 as Jimmy and Lizzie both fail their tasks and call out the server on this, as they both needed people to respond to their antics in certain ways (or at all), but never received a response.
    Grian: This series, I just stopped asking questions.
  • Stampy's Lovely World: Stampy has a tendency to be unsettlingly calm at every new development that doesn't happen in a Hit The Target attack, whether it be the Helpers goofing off or his enemies building obvious mechanisms for their next evil scheme.
  • In the Game Grumps spin-off Table Flip, nobody seems perturbed by 'Him', the mysterious cloaked figure who shows up whenever the rules need clarifying. Danny seems to be the only person who questions it, and is freaked out by everyone else's indifference.
  • In the very first episode of Thescatsbury's series Skyrim Randomness, soldiers kill a dragon and state completely calmly: "Imperial business, be on your way."


Champions House in Shambles

When a wall of the destroyed mansion collapses over Harry Kane and a strangely unfazed Delle Alli, they come out of it unscathed thanks to the open window they were standing in front of.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ByWallThatIsHoley

Media sources: