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"Tips for aliens in New York: Land anywhere. Central Park, anywhere. No one will care or indeed even notice."
"Don't try to boggle me, Mister Talking Cat! This is Mechanicsburg! You are by no means the strangest thing in this city!"
Carson von Mekkhan, Girl Genius

Oh, no! Bob the Beastman has been hit with a teleportation spell, and now he's in the middle of New York City at high noon! He's going to be spotted any second now, and The Masquerade will be exposed! It's too late to hide, here come the Muggles!

As Bob cringes, the pedestrians approach... and proceed to ignore him. A couple of teens joke about his costume, a father tells his son not to make eye contact, while a woman in passing mutters about how there are more weirdos in the city every day. Most folks simply walk by without even a second (or first) glance. After a few seconds, Bob shrugs and looks for a subway map.

City of Weirdos is a Comedy Trope when people in a city idly dismiss unusual happenings and odd-looking strangers as part of metropolitan life. This joke is almost always invoked in large urban centers, where the everyday bustle and diverse population justifies such reactions. Unlike a Weirdness Censor or a Fisher Kingdom, the Invisible to Normals effect doesn't require any magic or Applied Phlebotinum to work -- the jaded residents just don't care, since they've Seen It All already.

New York City, Los Angeles/Hollywood, and Tokyo are especially popular targets, but it might also happen for folks living in a City of Adventure.

Several explanations might be used for the trope. One is that the weird thing is mistaken for a publicity stunt or other weird-but-not-extranormal thing. Another is that residents in the city have an exaggerated idea of normality, so occurrences like Kaiju in Tokyo are no big deal.

A joke-specific subtrope of Weirdness Censor. Also see Apathetic Citizens, Unusually Uninteresting Sight, Someone Elses Problem, Your Costume Needs Work, and For Halloween I Am Going as Myself.

Examples of City of Weirdos include:


Comic Books

  • Occasionally invoked in various Marvel Comics. While most folks will panic appropriately when a superhuman battle breaks out nearby, sometimes a jaded resident ignores the ruckus, or yells at the heroes to move their Quinjet and stop blocking the street.
    • One particular variation is invoked extremely often in Marvel Comics, particularly those written by Stan Lee: bystanders who exclaim "Ah, must be some publicity stunt!" or "They must be filming some nutty new sci-fi movie!" Curiously, in this variant, the populace seems to think the city is overflowing with publicists and filmmakers, not superheroes. Based on the sheer number of appearances, this might be Stan Lee's favorite trope.
    • It didn't start with Stan, though. The "just a publicity stunt" trope, almost exactly like Stan used it, turns up in a 1942 Wonder Woman story.
    • This exchange from Fantastic Four describes the Marvel New York perfectly:

 Thing: You, with the hair! Ain't you never seen a five hundred pound bungee jumper fall from the sky before?

Bystander: Uh...I'm new.

Thing: Ah.

    • In Doctor Strange stories, Doc can wander the streets of New York openly, in costume, because everyone takes him for a harmless quack. But when things get out of hand, characters will comment that they need to stop the [magical whatsit] soon, because even Greenwich Village is going to notice the [flaming headed monster/enormous dragon/giant rabbit].
    • During Walter Simonson's run on The Mighty Thor, there was a story arc where the hosts of Asgard were trapped on Earth for a few weeks, and spent the time hanging out in New York City.

 Narrator: ...and New York being what it is, almost nobody notices.

    • In an issue of Runaways, the kids are meeting with the Kingpin at an upscale restaurant, and notice a green-skinned woman eating scampi off-panel. They instantly think she's She Hulk until Kingpin says otherwise.

 Chase: You can't threaten us, we got She-Hulk in the house!

Kingpin: (unconcerned) That isn't She-Hulk.

Chase: Nice try. Don't you see her over there eating scampi?

Kingpin: That isn't She-Hulk.

Chase: Dude she's green!

Kingpin: This is New York.

  • There was a Flash comic book where he was transported into 'our' universe, but no one really noticed except for a Fan Boy and his mom.
  • Played with in Astro City, where the residents treat the various super-heroics as part of the appeal of the city. Even when a gigantic Thunder God threatens to level the town, most folks get outside, pull up lawn chairs, and watch the show. Except for the kids who needed to finish their homework.
    • And there are some Astro City residents with real super-powers who work as special effects consultants for an in-universe soap opera... about superheroes.
      • Even better. One of the soap's side characters is secretly a superhero because otherwise it wouldn't be realistic.
  • "Bus Stop", a Doctor Who Magazine comic strip, in which first the Doctor, then the alien monster pursuing him, get on the same London bus, with an Innocent Bystander who just wonders why the nutters always decide to sit next to him.
  • Metropolis, whose citizens get their supervillain activity reports between the weather and the sports.
  • Sin City is a very dark variation of this trope. Marv beats people into bloody messes in bars and the people around him keep drinking, a ninja assassin can kill a man in an alley while citizens walk by (as seen in the background of the short story Blues Eyes), and shoot outs are not entirely uncommon due to the Wretched Hive nature of the city.
  • Mega City One is filled with around half a billion weirdos. With an eighty per cent unemployment rate, citizens resort to some very strange trends to alleviate boredom. There's even a mental card that gets you extra welfare payments.


Fanfic


Film

  • In the second Spider Man movie, Spidey rides down an elevator with another passenger, who simply compliments his costume. It is awkward. And hilarious.
  • In Kamen Rider Ryuki EPISODE FINAL Miho is dead and lying in a bush in the middle of the street. Everyone just walks past and assumes she's drunk!
  • A minor example occurs in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, where most people are willing to accept the slightly out-of-touch Spock as a harmless stoner, even as he does weird things like jump into the whale tank...until he says some things about the whales that he shouldn't be able to know.
    • During the early stages of filming, the filmmakers were concerned that people would see the actors wandering through San Francisco and interfere with filming. As a test, they sent extras out in Starfleet uniforms to tour the city. Nobody noticed.
      • This is lampshaded in the Voyager episode "Future's End": as Janeway and Tuvok observe the wide variety of clothing styles in 1990s Los Angeles, Tuvok remarks, "We could've worn our Starfleet uniforms. I doubt if anyone would've noticed."
  • Friday the 13 th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
  • Men in Black II had a scene where J can't clear a subway car he just crashed into through the end window of because of this trope. They look up for a moment to see what it was, then go back to what they were doing.
    • To be fair they do get moving when a giant worm starts eating the car...

 "That's the problem with all y'all New Yorkers. 'Oh, we seen it all.' 'Oh no! A 600 ft. worm! Save us, Mr. Black Man!'"

  • In The Matrix, every place inside the Matrix system is inhabited by strange programmed-people. Beware, they might have sunglasses.
  • Jumper. During the jumper duel, nobody really notices the two men that appeared out of nowhere, and are wrestling in the street.
    • Bit of Truth in Television there, according to the commentary they really did film on location in New York with the actors wrestling in a busy street. Passersby just ignore them.
    • Possibly they noticed the film crew and lack of teleportation?
  • Averted in the film Who, where an agent returns from behind the Iron Curtain with his face in a grotesque mask following an accident -- or is it an impostor? Anyway, the filmmakers took the actor onto the street (forget which city) and filmed genuine startled reactions of passersby to his mask.
  • A running gag in The Muppets Take Manhattan is Miss Piggy, spying on Kermit and enraged by what she sees, taking her frustrations out on nearby architecture. Kermit looks round in surprise (without seeing her), but whoever he's talking to just says "Eh, New York."
    • In The Great Muppet Caper, Kermit and Miss Piggy go for a bike ride in London. A surprised girl exclaims that a bear is riding a bycicle (a Running Gag has Fozzy and Kermit being identical twins), but her father just nonchalantly corrects her that Kermit is a frog because "bears wear hats."
  • A rare rural example: in The Rocketeer, Cliff fails to control his rocket pack properly and ends up plowing through a field at high speed, leaving a wake of soil. The response of the farmers who watched him go by? "Big gopher." "Yup."
  • In Enchanted, a Disney Princess (complete with singing animal friends, a big poofy ball-gown and an obsession with True Love's Kiss) is transported from her animated world of trolls and wicked stepmothers into the middle of Times Square. The reactions of Manhattanites fall into two categories: they either believe that she is some sort of performance artist or assume she is severely psychotic. This is especially evident in her first Real World interaction (for example, when a little person on the street curtly tells her to move out of the way, she mistakes him for Grumpy from Snow White; later that day she has her crown stolen by a homeless person).
    • Another example of this trope is at the end of the film, when Queen Narsissa crashes a charity benefit called the King and Queen's Ball. She transforms into a dragon in from of hundreds of people and climbs to the top of the Woolworth building, then falls to her death and explodes into sparkles when she hits the ground. The people at the benefit comment on how the organizers "really went all-out on the floor-show this year."
  • The "superheroes" in the film Mystery Men are ubiquitous and are not taken seriously by the public, but a geeky subculture of superhero-wannabes exist.
  • In the 1990 film adaptation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Raphael runs into a stopped cab and rolls over the hood.

 Passenger: "What the heck was that?"

Cab Driver: "Looked like sort of a big turtle in a trench coat. You're going to LaGuardia, right?"

    • In the second film, during Tokka and Rahzar's rampage.

 Husband: Those animals are knocking down the telephone poles! What if they come over here?

Wife: Let them get their own cab.

  • The Disney comedy Jungle 2 Jungle (a remake of the French film Un indien dans la ville) has a Wall Street stockbroker (Tim Allen) learn that his ex-wife and a son he never knew he had have been living in Venezuela with an Amazonian Indian tribe - and when he gets there, he learns that the boy's name is Mimi-Siku (Indian for "cat pee") and that he wears a loincloth, uses a blowgun to hunt, and speaks broken English. Upon arriving back in New York with his son, the stockbroker meets up with his colleague (Martin Short) in the airport - and the colleague at first does not notice the long-haired white boy in a loincloth standing next to his friend. Determined to get the colleague's attention, Mimi-Siku leaps over the railing of the moving walkway (unseen by either his father or the colleague), slips up behind the colleague, and grabs his arm. The colleague finally notices Mimi-Siku, but still doesn't seem to understand: he assumes that the kid is an environmental activist in costume, collecting donations to save the rain forest.
  • In An American Werewolf in London, David tries to get himself locked up so he won't kill more people at moonrise, but is merely told to move along when he starts shouting insults about the royals and Britain's cultural icons in public. This, after his running around the park naked is greeted with a mere sniff of disdain by an older lady.

Literature

  • Per the page quote, in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy aliens visiting Earth are advised to land in New York as it requires little to no disguise in order to fit in.
  • In Artemis Fowl it is mentioned several times that faeries often go to Disneyland on vacation, with no reaction from the human occupants.
  • In Stravaganza, Rodolfo (and other Stravagante) travel to 21st century London to drop off talismans and are regarded as nutjobs in period costume, rather than being noticed for being out of place.
  • In the Doctor Who Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Unnatural History, San Francisco is invaded by dragons, unicorns, strange men in fezzes, etc. No one thinks much of it, even when Lombard Street goes straight. (No, you're thinking of the Castro, Lombard Street is this one.)
  • Oddly averted in Ankh-Morpork of the Discworld, mainly because anything that happens in the streets of the city counts as a spectator sport, and standing around watching interesting things is the public's favorite pastime and penetrating stares the city's chief export. So they only really notice strange things inasmuch as it's something interesting to watch for a few minutes before going on with their day. If it's worth watching for more than a few minutes 'Cut-me-own-throat' Dibbler will show up to sell his 'sausages inna bun!'.
    • Played straight(er) in the Ramtop Mountains, where people woken in the night by strange happenings say "Oh, it's just another bloody portent," then roll over and go back to sleep. When someone goes for a long walk without seeing anything spooky, he needs a stiff drink to settle his nerves.
  • The title character of Mr. Spaceman almost avoids this--rather than picking any of the abovementioned cities, he decides to make First Contact in Baton Rouge. Unfortunately, he made the mistake of doing this on January 1st, 2000, and even landing a Flying Saucer in the middle of the city is assumed to be All Part of the Show. Then again, even those who meet him after the celebrations tend to assume this blue-skinned, lipless fellow is just costumed or disfigured.
  • This is a recurring motif in Spider Robinson's fiction: in the novel Night of Power, the hero is surprised that he and his wife -- he white and covered in blood, she black and completely bald -- actually attract stares in a New York City video arcade. The two characters in the short story "Half an Oaf" attract absolutely no attention in Times Square at midnight, even though one is a twelve-year-old boy with a fake mustache and the other is the upper half of an extremely fat man.
    • Mike Callahan of Callahans Crosstime Saloon tells the story of waking up after an epic week-long bender naked in Central Park, fleeing on a stolen police horse. He gets all the way to Brooklyn by wrapping himself in a plaid horse blanket and yelling "Attack of the Horseclans! Coming soon from United Artists" as necessary.
  • Subverted in the Enchanted Inc. series. Small town Texas girl Katie moves to NYC and thinks it's common to spot people wandering around wearing wings and the like, especially since nobody else seems fazed by it. Turns out she just is immune to magic and sees things as they really are.
  • Alan Dean Foster's Quozl features a group of rabbit like aliens who have colonized earth. A few humans know about them, and one even had a cartoon show made about them. When the aliens decide to gradually reveal themselves to humanity, their human friends take them to Disney Land, where they can walk around and talk to people and be completely ignored. Eventually they are nabbed by security...but only because Quozl are not licensed Disney characters.
  • In Kresley Cole's "Immortals After Dark" series, the immortals live by this trope in New Orleans. Any odd, nonhuman features just get handwaved as being costumes. One group of demons are shown to regularly go out among humans with no attempt to hide their horns, and they get away with it because one of them wears a shirt claiming that they're a special effects company.


Live Action TV

  • In the first or second episode of Heroes, Hiro teleports himself to New York City, and nobody around notices the man who appeared out of thin air.
  • David Letterman once did a sketch where he filled a coffee shop in Times Square with 35 men in Spider-Man costumes. Crowds walking by failed to react.
    • Letterman has done the "How many guys in X costumes can fit in a Y?" bit several times, trying to get the proprietors to throw them out. The only time they succeeded was "How many guys in Easter Bunny costumes can fit in an H&R Block?" (during Easter/tax time) because it was disruptive to their business.
  • It takes a lot for anyone to notice anything weird in Eureka, but that's possibly because "weird" is pretty normal for a town full of mad scientists.
    • The citizens of Eureka notice the weird stuff, they've just gotten used to crazy situations.
      • Lampshaded in the pilot when Lupo can't get through to Henry at first, Sheriff Cob waits until they hear an explosion and try again without changing expression.
      • They relampshade this to emphasize how Carter is fitting in by him taking Cob's place in the same scene at the end.
  • The Coming Out of Our Shells video, featuring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a musical group, has a scene where the Turtles are performing atop the marquee of the Radio City Music Hall in New York. The crowds of people passing below weren't even looking up.
  • The citizens of Gotham City were pretty blasé in the old Adam West Batman series. The Batmobile could screech to a halt in front of city hall and the caped crusaders dash up the steps in their colorful costumes without so much as a second glance from passersby. Even looking out a window and finding Batman and Robin walking up the side of your building was treated as routine.
  • Referenced in Charmed when a knight from the Middle Ages is accidentally transported to the present day:

 Phoebe: So he's just wandering around in chain mail?

Piper: It's San Francisco. Nobody'll notice.

    • Which just makes it all the more annoying when in EVERY OTHER EPISODE any vaguely unusual activity in public is treated as a serious risk to the facade, and that normal civilians will instantly suspect magic.
      • For example the idea that the three barefoot chicks in flowy dresses (who are actually wood nymphs) dancing in a fountain in downtown San Fransisco will attract any attention at all is laughable - let alone be a news story serious enough that the Newspaper Editor is 'compromising his journalistic ethics' by dropping his investigation as a favor to Phoebe.
  • Implied in one episode of Sanctuary when Henry and more importantly for this trope, the Big Guy were unavailable. They were at Comic-con.
  • Noel Edmonds' House Party sometime in the 90's did a transatlantic O/B to William Shatner standing on a New York corner playing a Hot Dog vendor. A truck driver rolled up in the middle of the segment and ordered a Hot Dog. "I'm doing a TV thing here!" "Yeah, can I have mustard on that" "Don't you know who I am?" "Yeah I know who you are. And onions."
  • Doctor Who references it in "The Fires of Pompeii". Donna's worried about whether her modern clothing will attract attention in what they initially think is the city of Rome, but the Doctor dispells her fear:

 Donna: Don't our clothes look a bit odd?

The Doctor: Nah. Ancient Rome? Anything goes. It's like Soho, but bigger.

Music

  • Invoked in Ray Stevens' Haircut Song, in which the singer winds up done up in punk style by a skinhead barber and claims he was lucky his next job was in San Francisco - "those people thought I was an insurance salesman!"


Mythology


Video Games

  • City of Heroes and its Evil Counterpart, City of Villains, are pretty good examples of this trope, but most MMORPGs are jam-packed with weirdoes of all kinds.
  • The crowd that gathers at the end of Metal Gear Solid 2 Sons of Liberty seem awfully calm despite a huge mobile fortress crashed into Federal Hall as well as the body of the former President of the United States wearing an exoskeleton suit with metal tentacles and a selection of swords lying nearby. They also seem to not notice the oddly dressed and armed Snake and Raiden. However, this may not be meant to be taken literally.
    • The weirdly dressed guys wouldn't really bother me much (it's New York City, two guys dressed in weird outfits aren't a completely uncommon sight). It's the former president smashed on the steps of Federal Hall and the giant crony machine that crashed through the city.
  • In the Grand Theft Auto series, you can generally walk around brandishing any weapon you want without drawing attention to yourself. In Grand Theft Auto IV this continues to be true with one exception, the strip clubs. For some reason if you pull a gun there (and only there), the place goes nuts.
    • Not fully true. People will definitely run or cower if you whip out a gun in San Andreas' restaurants.
    • Also, you can indulge in any amount of destruction and carnage, but people will walk past the wreckage without a curious glance. Blow up something and they'll flee in terror...for a few hundred yards, then they forget all about it.
    • Even one of the official trailers for GTA4 has this where two cops walk past Niko and Packie ignoring the fact that both of them are wearing balaclavas and carrying AK-47s, all while another cop talks about fighting terrorism.
    • However, in Grand Theft Auto IV, if you hit women, nearby men hurry over and attack you.
    • In Bully, you can find many examples of this. Everyone including the citizens of Bullworth seem to talk really loudly in group discussion, just as much when they speak to themselves. You can go to a certain alley in downtown and hear a child arguing with their mother in a repeating cycle. At certain occasions a student will vomit where they stand, and walk away like they were never sick.
  • In Prototype, the reaction many Marines (and not a few Blackwatch) will have to the sight of wanted fugitive Alex Mercer effortlessly sprinting up vertical walls and smashing holes in the pavement with every landing is "Fuckin' New York!" and nothing else.
  • Sumaru City. Dear God, Sumaru City. It does not get any worse than a city where rumors become reality.
  • The nameless isolated town in Pathologic has some pretty quirky and secretive inhabitants. This counts even without that whole, well, you know... minor distraction in the form of that mysterious apocalyptic plague crisis that's going on.


Web Comics

  • In Megatokyo, invading hordes, Humongous Mecha, and Rent-A-Zillas are common in Tokyo to the point where no one is surprised any more. Possibly justified in that undead hordes invading Tokyo are a regularly scheduled event by the police force's cataclysm division.
    • No, the police just enforce the schedules. They would prefer that the undead hordes didn't invade, if only because it's less paperwork.
  • Happens regularly in The Adventures of Dr. McNinja. The residents of Cumberland, Maryland don't particularly care when the mayor installs a citywide anti-zombie system, and a rampaging Paul Bunyan is treated by the police as ordinary policework, not worthy of exceptional notice.
  • In Peter Is the Wolf, Jean, a werewolf, is caught out in public partially transformed. Passers-by just think she's a furry and ignore her.
  • In MSF High, this is rather obviously in effect. Even moreso with the forum game, where a few students fighting to the death during the middle of the class can, at times, be completely ignored. Sometimes averted, however. At which point, it becomes a group activity.
  • Definite evidence of this in Voodoo Walrus. There's a local finance manager who's a coffee powered cyberpunk/steampunk cyborg in a suit, three mute and odd looking brothers who run a variety of stores and shops, and the devil himself manages to work at the art store and the coffee shop simultaneously.
    • Not to mention the mad scientists, superheroes, possibly demonic comic publishers, and the magic girl who might be from a completely different dimension who thinks lobsters are baby humans.
  • Mechanicsburg from Girl Genius. Lampshaded when one of the inhabited asked if growing up there made them weird.


Web Original

  • In The Mad Scientist Wars, Xyon City. Not surprising when 60% of the citizens are mad scientists, and a good chunk of the rest are latents, henchmen, constructs and normal people from Mad families. Weird sights are so commonplace as to be more annoying than interesting.


Western Animation

 Freakazoid: A couple of weirdos like Jeepers and Vorn should be pretty easy to spot around here!

Cosgrove: I don't think so.

(shot of the various hippies and weirdos living in Venice Beach)

Freakazoid: Good point. Am I overdressed?

  • In the Classic Disney Short Society Lion, a lion is dropped in the middle of a big city (obviously New York, but never mentioned by name). No matter how loudly he roars, the citizens fail to notice him, even mistaking him for one of their own. A tailor even makes him a suit, and that is when everyone recognizes him as a wild animal and run away screaming.
  • Happens on occasion in Biker Mice From Mars, set in Chicago. In one instance while the titular Mice are fighting a villain in the street, we see a civilian calmly check his watch and wander off as though nothing odd is happening.
  • An entire Powerpuff Girls episode focuses on a typical day in the life of villain Mojo Jojo. He goes to the grocery store, the park, and walks down the street without anybody giving him a second thought. In fact, there were even kids swimming in his moat.
    • There's also an episode where this is justified. The citizens of Townsville are so used to having the girls fighting giant monsters that when one goes on a rampage through the city (with no girls in sight) they walk around as if nothing's happening. One little kid even asks if he can TAKE THE MONSTER HOME.
  • O'Grady. Weird things happen on a daily basis so no one thinks twice about it.
  • In Turtles Forever, this trope is both played straight and subverted. The 1987 Turtles, transferred to the universe of their 2003 counterparts, walk around New York like they're a common sight, unaware of the pains the 2003 Turtles take to conceal themselves. People are surprised by this as would be expected. The trope is, however, played straight when the teams end up in the 1987 universe, where rampaging living bananas fighting mutant turtles don't even get a glance from residents.
    • Similarly, the original Turtles cartoon took place in a city where giant humanoid turtles fighting an army of mooks, flying around town in a giant blimp, and regularly appearing on the local television news doesn't warrant much comment or outrage from the locals.
    • This quoate from the first series should sum it up well;

 "We're getting some weird costumers, Louie."

"Ahh, whaddya expect in this crazy town?"

  • In the classic WB short, The Bear That Wasn't, everyone in the company refuses to acknowledge that the titular Bear is anything but "a silly man who needs a shave and wears a fur coat" to the point that he actually goes along with it for a while.


Real Life

  • Truth in Television: anything not obviously threatening will be identified as a publicity stunt of some kind. Six-limbed purple aliens that communicate via lights pulsing on their heads could stroll around in your average First World Western city if they remembered to pack a couple of video cameras.
    • Aversion: Boston, where a bunch of Lite-Brites used as part of the guerrilla marketing for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force film caused a huge bomb scare.
  • London, although it varies. A lot of things result in people staring like you've got an extra arm growing out of your face, but usually they don't say anything. Camden is London's resident freak-zone however, so strange sights are the norm there.
    • This extends in the strangest ways to even places like the British Museum, where its entirely possible for a large group of people walking around in trenchcoats and waistcoats and not even raise an eyebrow... not even from foreign tourists, who'd be more likely to spot the bizarreness of said apparel.
    • In a specific case, on the DVD commentary for "Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail" John Cleese mentions that he had to do a post shot near Hampstead Heath. The camera and all of the crew were on one side of the field while him in his full Lancelot costume was all the way on the other side, and he had to wait around for a man to wave a flag to signal him to run towards the camera. And no bystanders paid any attention to the six foot tall man in full medieval armor standing quietly by himself.
  • Even were it not in the Deep South, New Orleans would qualify. For one thing, it is quite literally Always Mardi Gras In New Orleans, as residents of the French Quarter are famous for staging impromptu parades at any time of the year for the amusement of ever-present tourists. In addition, and because of those same tourists, the streets of the Quarter and adjacent areas are home to sundry drifters and con artists who, being too classy to pick your pocket, will instead opt to perform a spontaneous old soft-shoe/doo-wop act right there on the street and then hit you up for money when the singing and dancing is over. And then there's Bourbon Street after dark, where hot-dog vendors dress up like antebellum Southerners, strip-club workers act like turn-of-the-century carnival barkers, and random women will lift up their dresses and flash their panties at you for no reason.
  • Las Vegas, not only for the Elvis impersonators, but people dressed in costume for birthdays, bachelor parties, etc. don't even faze locals. Even most tourists ignore them.
    • The same kind of effect happens with celebrities, at least with those that work in casinos. Once you've seen the star of some angsty teenage Dawson's Creek ripoff puking in a trash can, celebrities get kinda "meh."
  • College towns, where nobody will bat an eye at a bunch of Ninja Turtles walking through the street alongside a half a dozen or so shirtless Spartans, or a man with a chicken costume showing up to class, and the local Wal-mart fabric clerk can tell just by your height exactly how much fabric you need for a toga.
    • Art schools, as well, are their own strange microcosm.
    • This troper was captain of his college's fencing team, and for four years, rarely walked around campus without a sword or four on my back. The only response I ever got was from people asking for the class times and professors asking to borrow one because their laser pointers were out of batteries.
  • Similarly, during various sci-fi, Renaissance Festivals or role-playing conventions shop clerks can be remarkably blase about people armed to the teeth with swords and realistic-looking airsoft guns walking in all day. Of course after the first time it stops being surprising.
    • A friend and I once stopped by Target on the way home from a working at Renaissance Fair. It was cold (summer in San Fran) so we were wearing a mix of period and modern garb, which probably looked even weirder, but the only person that paid us any mind was the fellow shopper with the parrot, who was clearly disappointed to not be the strangest thing in the store.
    • Subverted in the case of Berkeley's naked guy: The city quickly passed an anti-nudity ordinance.
  • Open carry a gun, especially a rifle by yourself? Weird looks and chats with the police. Do the same with four people? Nobody cares.
  • In any theatre troupe, reenactment society, or LARP group, there are a few hardy souls who go all out when it comes to costuming - period-authentic garb and armor, realistic prosthetics, professional-quality stage makeup, etc. Sometimes, for various reasons (lunch breaks, stopping for gas on the way home) these people go out and interact with the "real world" while still in costume. In general, the populace tends to react in one of three ways: studiously ignoring the oddity, asking curious but friendly questions, or (at worst) glaring at the "freaks" but not saying anything out loud. From personal experience, even in smaller, non-weirdo towns, no one has ever freaked out or called the authorities. One might thus reasonably conclude that if monsters, fairies, aliens or lost time travelers ever did wind up in the middle of a city, all they would have to do is smile and claim to be part of an improv group to deflect any suspicion.
    • This troper disagrees. While LARPers usually get away with the above reactions, her husband did once get stopped by police in England for carrying an obviously fake sword on the way home from a game.
    • Actually that would be far more likely, as England doesn't have a gun culture, sadly preferring bladed weaponry. The amount of knife crime is horrendous and it's a sad understatement that more than several people a year are killed with swords. Carrying even a fake sword would probably get you stopped, even so, to err on the side of caution.
    • A group I played with moved our primary area from one side of a campground to the other (this is Upstate New York, it's a 20 mile move), and therefore switched towns for "elf food" (i.e. real world snacks). First day there we were in the little market for about 10 minutes before two police officers were walking up to us in an aisle with a very amusing expression. Cue the inevitable "explaining LARPing to non-LARPers" speech. And this was in the days before the Lord of the Rings movies or World of Warcraft.
  • There are so many subculture conventions in and around the city of Seattle, as well as a highly active arts scene, and numerous socio-political protests, that a full-blown Alien Invasion would only make the news if they happened to cause a major inconvenience to the citizenry (like disrupting the already-problematic traffic, or blowing up a Starbucks).
  • Any city hosting a gaming convention will rapidly become this. Within about a mile radius of the convention center, even a tall buxom woman in a chainmail bikini doesn't draw a second glance, let alone the people with swords, wheeled crates full of miniatures, and/or dicebags the size of a gallon jug tied to their belts.
  • Any city that has a large film and television industry will have the people get very blase about bizarre things. Between location shooting, and many actors not wanting to take off heavy makeup and prosthetic pieces for short breaks, you could see just about anything, especially if they have a reputation for Sci-Fi/Fantasy filming (like New Zealand and Vancouver.)
  • As noted in the Freakazoid example above, Venice Beach in Southern California is prone to this. Leather-clad lesbians sprouting neon pink mohawks and more piercings than Pinhead rollerblading down the beach will barely get a glance.
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