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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


An Unusually Uninteresting Sight is 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 Fantastically Indifferent, Elephant in the Living Room, Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!, Metallicar Syndrome and Not Distracted by the Sexy.


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Other examples:

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  • In one of the Sistine Chapel's 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.

    Comic Strips 
  • Phoebe and Her Unicorn invokes this with the magical Shield of Boringness.
  • Played with in 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. They do however look askance at Peppermint Patty for believing he's "a funny-looking kid with the big nose". (Occasionally lampshaded when they do find his behaviour odd - just in passing - then continue on their merry way. It's possible the kids just figure he has doggy ADHD.)
    • Then there's this exchange when Snoopy finds it cold at night and they're trying various methods to keep him warm (This is a case of Truth in Television since dogs, given a choice, will prefer to sleep on top of rather than in a kennel):
      Linus: ...couldn't he just sleep inside the doghouse instead of on top?
      (Snoopy, Charlie Brown and Lucy all stare at him incredulously)
      Linus: I guess it was kind of a dumb suggestion.

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

  • There is a joke which both subverts and Lampshades this trope: namely
    • 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 facepaint. 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 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.

    Professional Wrestling 

    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.

    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.


Video Example(s):


The Great Muppet Caper

Neville, a resident of 17 Highbrow Street, is completely unfazed by Miss Piggy invading his home to pretend it's her home. He even plays along and suggests a restaurant they could visit.

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