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This trope is about Those Guys, and how you can Never Trust One of Them. Who are "they"? Those Guys. You know. Them!

This trope usually appears when a character has had a past problem with a member of a specific ethnicity/species/nationality/religion/blood type or what-have-you. Ever since that time in the past, the character has known that anyone else belonging to his particular Target Group of Rage is not to be trusted. Call them crazy, they're just prepared. "You can Never Trust a type AB-negative-positive!" the character will exclaim at every opportunity.

Alternatively, the character may just be a bigot. Perhaps all members of his particular blood type have been told from infancy that AB-positives are born evil, and he's just expressing what his society has told him is true. Or maybe there's no particular reason given for the bigotry.

Regardless of how the character came by his negative opinion of the despised group, this trope almost always leads to An Aesop about how all members of a group are individuals and should be treated as such and not be negatively stereotyped just because the last AB-positive you met killed your entire family and ate your dog. Not all AB-positives are evil! Thus, stating "Never Trust a (whatever)!" is just Tempting Fate.

A slightly modified version of the trigger statement might be expressed as "Only they are ever Like That" -- as in "Only the Sith deal in absolutes." No one else ever does. Ever. Period. You heard me. Don't argue.

Obviously this is subverted if it turns out that, whoops, yes, all AB-positives are in fact evil and not to be trusted. It's In the Blood, as it were. Normally only done in cases of Fantastic Racism, although certain authors actually try to make Real Life groups fit this mold. We don't like those authors.

This would be Unfortunate Implications, but the unfortunateness is not implied, it's stated outright.

Examples of Never Trust a Trope include:

Anime & Manga


  • Calvin and Hobbes: Never never never never never trust a tiger.
  • A Peanuts poster featured Snoopy looking battered, with the caption: "Never trust a smiling cat!"

Films -- Animation

Films -- Live-Action

 Valiant: Drop it, lady!

Jessica: I just saved your life and you still don't trust me?

Valiant: I don't trust anybody or anything!


  • Sherlock Holmes, legendary misogynist: "Women are never to be entirely trusted -- not the best of them."
  • The 39 Clues: "Never trust a Cahill."
  • Never Trust A Dead Man: Do we need to say it?
  • Harry Potter: "Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can't see where it keeps its brain."
  • The Princess Bride: "I could give you my word as a Spaniard." "No good. I've known too many Spaniards."
  • Redwall: Marlfox, "Never trust a vixen, never trust a vixen!" Variation, in that it's actually a member of the group in question saying this (during a dream sequence, but nevertheless). Mossflower's foxes are proud of being untrustworthy.
  • The D'regs in Jingo also pride themselves on being untrustworthy:

 Ahmed: He is being looked after by an old lady whom I trust.

Vimes: Your mother?

Ahmed: Ye gods, no! My mother is a D'reg! She'd be terribly offended if I trusted her. She'd say she hadn't brought me up right.

    • Mort has "Never trust a Grand Vizier." (Though it's a bit different from other examples of this trope, as that's actually pretty sensible advice.)
  • There's quite a lot of this going on in the Dark Life series: The Topsiders don't trust the Pioneers, the Pioneers don't trust the Surfs, The Surfs don't trust the Pioneers who don't trust the Topsiders...and nobody trusts the Outlaws.
  • In Warrior Cats, the Clans often say this about each other.

Live-Action TV

  • Star Trek: "Never trust a Klingon."
    • This was discarded after the events of Star Trek VI and killed for good by TNG.
    • Also Ferengi Rule of Acquistion #47: "Never trust a man wearing a better suit than your own."
    • Similarly, the Romulan proverb: "Never turn your back on a Breen."
    • According to most Bajorans, you should never trust a Cardassian. While not all Cardassians are evil, they did take over Bajor, kill a large percentage of the population, turn another large chunk into slaves, and generally act like Space Nazis for 50 years, so you can see how they got the idea.
  • In Doctor Who, "The Green Death", The Doctor tells a joke that ends with the line "Never Trust A Venusian Shanghorn." It's the only part of the joke we get to hear.
    • Cassandra in the Doctor Who episode "New Earth", "Never trust a nun, never trust a nurse and never trust a cat." Although in that case they really shouldn't have been trusted...
  • I, Claudius has Herod Agrippa give this advice to the title character:

 Herod: Well, just one more piece, then I'm done. Trust no one, my friend, no one. Not your most grateful freedman. Not your most intimate friend. Not your dearest child. Not the wife of your bosom. Trust no one.

Claudius: No one? Not even you?

    • In the book, Herod gives Claudius this advice repeatedly, and he's absolutely right. Claudius once writes him a letter saying that he has taken Herod's advice and trusts no one -- with the exception of several people whose names he lists, Herod among them. All of them, Herod included, prove to be untrustworthy.
  • Inverted in one episode of Father of the Pride, where the Moral of the Story is that just because somebody's from a poor minority group doesn't mean they're incapable of crime.


  • 30h!3's 'Don't Trust Me.' "Don't trust a ho, never trust a ho, won't trust a ho, WON'T TRUST ME."


  • "Put not your trust in princes, in the children of men, in whom there is no salvation." -- Psalm 146

New Media

  • This very wiki has Never Trust a Trailer, though there's unlikely to be any Aesop against our anti-trailer bias anytime soon.

Puppet Shows

  • Team America: World Police has "Never trust actors."

Video Games

  • Star Wars: Jedi Knight II has the immortal One-Liner: "Never trust a bartender with bad grammar."
  • A randomly comedic line in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is "Fat people always lie."
  • Warcraft: "Never trust an elf!" Good advice considering who he's talking about here, isn't it?
  • Final Fantasy X: According to Wakka, you can never trust an Al Bhed. Even though, you know, Yuna is half Al Bhed and Rikku IS Al Bhed. Both totally untrustworthy.
    • He gets called out for seeing Rikku as untrustworthy in spite of the time he's spent with her, and the realization that Yuna is half Al Bhed presumably pushes him into accepting the Al Bhed after he gets over his shock ("Yuna's Yuna, right?").
  • Diablo: Among drunkard Farnham's words of wisdom: "I've never seen [Adria the witch] eat or drink, and you can't trust somebody who doesn't drink at least a little."

Western Animation

  • South Park: Never trust something that bleeds for four days but doesn't die.
    • Also in South Park, Cartman once did a school project on how Gingers are evil. The other kids tried to teach him an Aesop by sneaking into his room at night and making him look like a Ginger. Cartman immediatly set about organising the Gingers into an Evil Army. Subverted, since in South Park Gingers ARE Evil.

Real Life

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