Follow TV Tropes


Unusually Uninteresting Sight / Live-Action TV

Go To

Unusually Uninteresting Sights in live-action TV.

  • In one season one episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Coulson and Skye drive out of a jet in a flying car and land in front of a convention center in the middle of Los Angeles. The only person to pay any attention is the parking attendant, who charges them for the use of the space they landed in.
  • In Angie Tribeca, nobody notices or cares that Detective Hoffman is a German Shepherd.
    • Or that Angie is a woman, for that matter... except for Geils - when he brings this up, Angie treats this like a dark secret that he's using as a blackmail threat.
  • In Are You Being Served?, Mrs. Slocombe's choices of hair color, including pink, green, purple, and others, are never remarked upon in the entire series. Considering the staff can be fired for minor things (like wrongly-folded hankerchiefs and having the wrong sort of pen in your pocket), it's especially strange that nobody mentions it.
    • Her hair colours aren't really that unusual, they are just very slightly brighter versions of the 'rinses' that were popular at the time with ladies of a certain age.
  • The titular character in Being Erica wanders around the streets in pyjamas and slippers kind of a lot, and nobody looks at her twice. Weird for a woman whose defining neurosis is being too hung up on what other people think about her.
    • This might be an example of Truth in Television as it isn't uncommon to see people out and about in their sleepwear.
  • Sketch show Big Train thrived off this trope. A prime example would be when a man goes to meet his friend's new girlfriend, and she turns out to be a mermaid. This is never commented on or referenced in any way.
  • In one episode of Boy Meets World, Eric gets a job on the Self-Parody Show Within a Show "Kid Gets Acquainted With the Universe", where he meets the show's actors who are played by the other cast members of Boy Meets World, and yet he doesn't seem to notice that they look just like Cory, Shawn, Topanga and Jack.
  • Advertisement:
  • In the UK children's show Brum, the citizens of Birmingham- sorry, the Big Town seem rather nonplussed that there's a small, talking/anthropomorphic, yellow car driving merrily around. However it could be argued that they're all just used to the sight, as Brum is often recognised and known by name to them.
  • Buffyverse:
    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
      • It's amazing how they just walked around Sunnydale High throwing words around like "Vampire", "Slayer", "Witch", "Demon", "Disembowelment", "Innards" in full view of others with no one paying attention.
      • It was implied that most of the town either knew or was in such deep denial that you could dust a vamp in front of them and they wouldn't change their views. Hell, it happened a bunch of times.
      • Those members of the local populace who attended and survived the graduation ceremony at the end of season 3 supposedly completely forgot about it and just thought it was some kind of drug-related gang war.
      • Buffy famously uses an anti-tank rocket launcher to kill the Judge. Inside a shopping mall. No one seems to notice the giant explosion, or that the Judge was basically electrocuting everyone second before.
      • In Buffy, we get another one when Dracula visits Sunnydale. Apparently, no one had noticed until that day that there was a castle in Sunnydale.
      • Buffy herself appears to have little hesitation to show her off superhuman prowess in front of normal people, such as single-handedly lifting large steel beams in an open construction site which only results in a few surprised stares and the man leading the project was going to compliment her work despite initially dismissing her for her gender and size. Only once does another character tell her to hold back in order to fool people into thinking she's a "meek little girlie-girl" and Cordelia rationalizes that Buffy was in a gang.
      • In a Season 7 episode a vampire is dusted at the local nightclub in view of most of the attendees, and the only person to give it any notice is the visiting band leader who dryly comments at the end of the night "I hate playing vampire towns."
    • Advertisement:
    • Angel.
      • In "Five by Five", Faith walks up to Angel with a crossbow, shoots a bolt at his back from 5-6 feet away, and he rapidly turns and catches it with his hand. This happens in a hotel lobby full of people who don't notice it.
      • In "Judgment", Angel and some sort of demon in full armor have a jousting duel to the death on horseback in an LA street with cars and people in the street. Nobody is shown to notice, although this could definitely be the Tribunal masking the events from bystanders.
      • You see a couple of figures watching at one stage, but you'd think a few cars would stop.
  • Burn Notice's season 1 finale had a hilarious real life example. The episode's Big Bad blows up a car with a shoulder-fired missile, causing an enormous ten-story fireball to erupt from the car. And drivers on the nearby overpass just keep driving. The director said on the DVD featurettes that he started to complain that the extras on the overpass missed their cue ... then he realized those were actual Miami drivers completely ignoring the explosion.
  • Charmed (1998) had a lot of those. The most common occurrences are when Piper freezes the scene, and leaves while the place is still frozen. No one seems to be alarmed by the fact that a woman just disappeared in thin air.
    • The dozens of conversations about demons and witches in public, especially in a 'verse where their enemies could be anywhere.
      • Most of Piper's freezes are when people/demons are wildly trying to shoot, throw fireballs and or stab each other. Details get mixed up.
  • Hilariously done in Community so that only observant viewers will see it. In the background, Abed can be seen having a subplot involving a pregnant woman. No one takes notice of: Abed comforting woman, Abed in a argument with woman's boyfriend/husband, the woman going into labor in front of Abed and boyfriend/husband, and finally, Abed delivering the baby in the back of a car. At the end of the episode, Shirley asks what he had been doing all week. After staring at the happy new parents in the background for a moment, he says "Not much." None of the main cast ever notices Abed's story and when Abed delivers the baby, no other background characters even bother to look.
    • Lampshaded later on in the season, when Shirley goes into labor during class and Abed offers to deliver the baby for her, saying he's done it before. Troy expresses surprise and then dismay that Abed "has adventures without [him]." He asks where he was when Abed did all this, and Abed says, "I dunno. Somewhere in the background."
  • Crossing Jordan "The Dawn of a New Day" Dr. Macy (Miguel Ferrer) is carrying an authentic Victrola gramophone, but he comments on the toothbrush Dr. Cavanaugh (Jill Hennessy) has in her shirt pocket; he mentions the gramophone without prompting from her.
  • The Reapers in Dead Like Me often carry on conversations with the newly deceased and can calmly walk away from the scene of death without anyone noticing that it's a little bit strange. Reapers are only partly Invisible to Normals, the rest is probably just a Weirdness Censor.
    • Popular fan theory is that Reapers disappear when dealing with the dead.
  • Doc Martin: What is the reaction to a man holding a baby, giving a testicular exam to a policeman, in a public lavatory?
    PC Penhale: Give us a minute Nigel.
    Nigel: All right.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The TARDIS and the Torchwood hub's "invisible" lift entrance have a "Perception Filter", both of which prevent people from noticing certain goings on. The perception filter on the location of the Torchwood lift is an after-effect of the TARDIS having been parked in that spot.
    • In some of the costumes he's worn, the Doctor himself has been an Unusually Uninteresting Sight.
    • While sometimes the Doctor and his companions will don period clothes before exiting the TARDIS, often they don't. Unless it's a plot point, it might only be mentioned in passing. This includes eras where modern women's fashions would be likely to get his companion arrested for being too revealing. Hand Waved in "Tooth and Claw", where Queen Vicky doesn't pay any heed to Rose's nakedness due to her giving birth to many daughters herself.
    • In "The Daleks' Master Plan", the TARDIS briefly materializes in the middle of a sports match. The commentators spend the time the TARDIS is there wondering how its presence will affect the outcome of the game.
    • While not a sight, only once did one of the Doctor's companions in the original series ever made mention of people speaking English wherever they go. When it was mentioned by Sarah Jane, it clued in the Doctor that she'd been brainwashed because she wasn't supposed to notice. Eventually, it's revealed that the TARDIS uses telepathy.
    • There is also the tendency of humans to ignore unusual things, as mentioned by the Ninth Doctor to Mickey in "Boom Town".
      Mickey Smith: There's no police boxes any more so doesn't it get noticed?
      The Doctor: Ricky, let me tell you something about the human race. You put a mysterious blue box slap-bang in the middle of town, what do they do? Walk past it. Now stop your nagging. Let's go and explore.
    • "Gridlock": The people on the underground motorway are disturbingly blasé about the fact that no one ever gets anywhere, that there's no police, and that the news never says anything special. Martha needs to take a bit of time to adjust to this. This helps to make sure that people never question what happened: the surface got wiped out by a virus.
    • "Partners in Crime": The Adiposian First Family somehow lost their breeding planet. When the Doctor tries to ask how that happened, Miss Foster shrugs it off with a remark that "the politics are none of [her] concern".
      • This winds up majorly subverted, however, as this incident is far more important than the joke it initially seemed to be. Miss Foster assumed that the planet was "lost" as a country might "lose" territory by a war: it's been claimed by someone else. Actually, Adipose III just straight-up vanished out of time and space.
    • In "The Angels Take Manhattan", the Statue of Liberty walks into the heart of Manhattan and no, no one in New York seems to notice this at all. Maybe it's just a normal Tuesday!note 
    • Although most people are fairly shocked to see her, the villain in "The Snowmen" thinks it's more remarkable that scaly green Silurian Madame Vastra, who apparently inspired the Sherlock Holmes books or something, is a woman. Because Sherlock Holmes is a man. Never mind that he also doesn't have green scales, horns sticking out of his head, a six-foot-long tongue, and a fondness for human blood and flesh... but what really matters is that he's not a woman. Although her choice to disguise herself with a black veil is rather feminine anyway, so you'd think people would have guessed.
  • By the eighth season of Family Matters, Carl Winslow has become so used to Steve Urkel's wacky inventions that he's completely unfazed when Steve invents a time machine.
  • In the pilot episode of Flashpoint, Ed in full police gear and carrying a sniper rifle steps into a crowded elevator and casually asks someone to push the 10th floor button. The occupants look surprised, then amused.
  • On Game of Thrones the appearance of the long-thought extinct, 11+ feet tall giants is met with appropriate shock by Jon Snow and other members of the Night's Watch when seen for the first time. Later, when Jon takes his sister Sansa to recruit the Wildings, she has no reaction to the giant in attendance even though she's never seen a giant either. Due to her long history of trauma and abuse, she might be beyond scaring.
    • When Jon sees one for the first time he's awestruck because the childhood stories are real. Ygritte simply tells him not to stare because they're shy. Later, the senior leaders of the Watch don't even flinch when Jon mentions their presence in the enemy army.
  • Good Omens: It's not quite clear how much normal humans can actually see in the series. Crowley wears sunglasses to hide his snake eyes, yet no-one seems concerned about Hastur's totally black eyes, so it's not clear if Crowley is maintaining a Masquerade, putting up a barrier (he's clearly shaken when Hastur removes his glasses in the car), or just thinks they look good. Likewise, no-one seems to notice his ranting about falling from Heaven before engaging in conversation with what appears to be a ghost. They certainly notice the flaming Bentley though.
  • The workers at the Primatech paper factory in Heroes have a tendency to ignore some slightly unusual things. Things like two random men walking into the factory unauthorized. And a passed out Japanese guy magically appearing right next to them. And one of those unauthorized intruders picking up a samurai sword that has magically appeared with the passed out Japanese guy and walking off with it. This seems to occurs every time a hero, or at least a significant character(s), enters a Mook-filled installation that's only given brief screen time.
    • Primatech employees aren't the only ones. At one point during Volume Three, Daphne zips out of the airport while an unpowered person is looking directly at her. His reaction to this bizarre happenstance? He blinks. None of the people on the flight with Elle and Claire seem to notice anything aside from the turbulence, as if they all routinely interact with girls who are being electrocuted without being injured by it.
    • Nor do any of the passengers seem to notice the aroma of lightly-fried teenage girl that would surely be around afterwards.
    • Any time someone uses a power in public in Heroes can fall under this trope.
  • Jessica Jones (2015): Jessica makes no real attempt to hide her powers, as simply not making a big deal of them is enough to get most people to ignore the idea of a "gifted" living among them rather than being a public figure like the big green guy or the flagwaver. It helps that her powers are not particularly flashy. She even points out to one guy she's delivering a summons to (by lifting up the back end of his car with her hands) that people tend to ignore things they can't explain.
  • Wayne from Letterkenny mentions "a girl from the next town over who got the stinker removed from a skunk and now she keeps it as a pet - pretty much par for the course there".
  • In the Lexx episode "Mantrid", Kai's eyes keep clouding over with blackness, becoming like completely black marbles, then reverting to normal. The audience knows from the opening narration that he is possessed by Insect essence, but this goes on for quite a while without any of the characters noticing.
  • Played with in the fourth season opener of M*A*S*H. Hawkeye and Radar take BJ to Rosie's Bar for a drink. Hawk and Radar don't seem to notice the drawn-out fight wrecking the bar around them as they casually talk to BJ, who can't help but notice the brawl.
    • Initially played straight but ultimately subverted in a previous episode. Hawkeye is so upset with the apathy in camp that he bets Trapper that he could walk across camp to the mess hall and order lunch naked and no one would notice. He in fact gets all the way to the mess hall without anyone noticing, but as he's being served, another member of the unit notices and drops his tray in surprise. It's this reaction that draws the attention of the rest of the camp.
  • Something of a meta-example from Merlin. The show is filmed in the real French castle of Pierrefonds, which features a bizarre stone statue of a pelican with exposed breasts on the balustrade of the castle's exterior staircase. Often it appears in the background of certain shots, but so far none of the characters have commented on it.
    • The guards don't seem to find anything strange about dice deciding to roll away on their own.
  • "The Dull Life of a City Stockbroker" from Monty Python's Flying Circus shows the stockbroker walking to work amid gun battles, topless newsagents, etc., oblivious to all. However, all the other characters he passes by also fail to notice anything unusual happening.
    • Inverted in another episode where a whole town is populated by people in Superman suits, just minding their own business, until... somebody's bicycle breaks down and one of the nondescript supermen quickly changes into Bicycle Repair Man!
  • An episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 has a kid meeting Professor Bobo (a talking monkey). The kid says, "That's just a talking monkey! What's so great about a talking monkey?".
    • Neither 1980's Mike or his co-worker Paul have any sort of reaction to Crow, a talking robot, traveling back from the future to talk to Mike. Even the P.A. guy just deadpans "Mike Nelson to the lunchroom; a robot from the future is here to see you." They're all equally unfazed when another Crow comes back in time and the first one stays and gets a job at the cheese factory. The fact that they're all completely blazed probably has something to do with it.
  • Powerless: Everyone in Charm City is completely used to the fallout of superpowered fights. When the train gets derailed they complain they're going to be late for work, when the snack cart gets vaporized they go to the vending machine, and when an alarm goes off they idly try to identify it by sound.
    Ron: Which alarm is that? Zombie virus?
    Wendy: Alien invasion?
    Jackie: Giant spider robots from another dimension where the Nazis won?
    Teddy: No, that one goes eeyoo-eeyoo-awdub-awdub...
    Wendy: Ah, yeah.
  • In the original Power Rangers, no one (except Ernie, once) commented on the ranger's "watches". Watches with their own theme music, no less. Whenever the theme went off, those rangers present tended to snap their hands over the watches, then leave the room in one group, looking more suspicious.
    • In one of the many, many explanations as to why it always took Tommy such a long time to appear at the scene of a Monster attack (in the Original, his counterpart Burai only had some hours left to live and had to stay in a special room where he wouldn't lose any time), He spills a drink on his Watch, causing it to go off at random times. This ends up getting his "watch" taken by a teacher, and he has to ask for it back.
    • Season 10 had cell phone morphers, but the identity-hiding Rangers walked around town (even college classes for Alyssa) in their color-coded, zord-logoed jackets at all times, which also had their animal catchphrase printed on it (blazing lion, soaring eagle etc.) that the character would loudly yell when transforming?
      • Most egregious was the fact that no one noticed the Air Force pilot wandering around the same airbase/town that she was reported missing/AWOL from.
    • Power Rangers Super Megaforce: Tensou gets amnesia and wanders around town. He gets frustrated when no one pays attention to the two-foot tall talking robot.
  • Quantum Leap: Time-traveler Sam Beckett is accompanied by Al, a hologram from the future that only Sam can see and hear. Occasionally, other characters wonder who Sam is talking to, but usually they just ignore it.
  • Rupauls Drag Race:
    • Season 1's Tammie Brown was a total Cloud Cuckoolander and she started the trend of every season having at least one queen who's "The Weird One." When she returned for the first All-Stars season, the other contestants were extremely confused by the random things she'd say...except for Nina Brown and Shannel, who were also from Season 1 and had grown used to her behavior.
    • The show's early seasons had a few challenges where the queens had to go out to downtown Los Angeles and interact with people on the street. When it happened in Season 2, the queens actually had trouble getting people's attention as many passers-by went right past them. This being LA, a gaggle of drag queens out on the street would not be too out of the ordinary.
  • Except for maybe one time, nobody in Samson En Gert seems to notice that Samson is a talking dog. Not even the ones who have never seen him before.
  • Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis both share in this trope:
    • Characters are often shown on missions through the Stargate openly carrying weapons at the ready into both cities as well as villages where none of the inhabitants are doing so. To be fair, most of the missions have them interacting with pre-industrial civilizations where the locals would have no idea what their firearms actually are.
    • The Genii have guns, and yet they were ok with armed guests until their bunker was discovered.
    • Also, in the Pegasus Galaxy, gate travel is more or less routine for many planets, so they would've undoubtedly encountered firearms, which were independently invented by several civilizations (Genii and Satedans, to name just two). There are also the Travelers who trade with several worlds and carry energy weapons that look like regular large revolvers.
    • SG:1 gets challenged on having weapons pretty frequently, however, a simple "We're not here to hurt anyone" or "We're explorers" is all it takes to calm people down.
    • Subverted in one episode when the Stargate is being stored in a museum on a planet with a similar level of technology to Earth. They were immediately identified as terrorists and the authorities were called to deal with the "hostage negotiations".
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: In "Errand of Mercy", the Organians don't react at all to Kirk and Spock beaming down in plain sight. They actually remark on how odd this is, but are too preoccupied with the immediate crisis to pursue the matter. The Organians' indifference is explained when it turns out that they are Sufficiently Advanced Aliens for whom transporters are about as impressive as sharpened rocks.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: In "Q Who", when the Enterprise away team beams aboard the Borg cube, they're amazed that the Borg drones don't react to their presence, with Riker remarking "They either don't see us or don't see us as a threat.", before they determine that the Borg were concentrating on repairing their vessel. However, starting with "The Best Of Both Worlds", it's explained that it's in their nature to ignore intruders until they pose an active threat to them.
  • Truth in Television: The cast of Tanked lampshades this when they install a giant gumball-machine/aquarium in front of a client's business, and notice that virtually nobody on the busy street even pauses to stare at them. One of them quips that it's Las Vegas, meaning Elvis could ride down the Strip on a Seageway wearing a Santa suit and nobody would notice.
  • The Umbrella Academy : When Hazel and Cha-Cha attack the Academy, Grace doesn't so much as look up from her cross-stitch. This is actually a clue that something's wrong with her; the siblings later discover Hargreeves altered her programming so she wouldn't interrupt his suicide, and apparently wasn't too careful, if her sewing through her own arm is any indication.
  • Westworld: Maeve walks to her saloon every day and doesn't react to the gunfight that breaks out behind her in the street. However when she's been made aware of the artificial nature of Westworld, she starts reacting to everything, including jumping in shock when the shots break out.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: In "You Are There", a modern day reporter and his camera crew inexplicably shows up in the ancient Greece setting and start interviewing everybody. The most anyone reacts to them is mild surprise.
  • Similar to above, almost nobody in The X-Files ever notices that black oil is coursing through people's eyes and filling up the inside of their corneas.
  • In Young Dracula, the Brannaghs don't seem at all fazed when the Count fires a flaming arrow with a letter attached to it into their garden table (while they are seated eating lunch at it).


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: