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Eddie Riggs: "What are you looking at?"

Mangus: "I don't know."

Happens often in video games. In between missions or cutscenes, you'll sometimes see characters just standing there, staring in a random direction. This is either because said person activates a mission and moving about would make it more difficult for the player to find him/her or it would flat-out take way too much time to make every character do something different. Note that if a character is shown actually doing something aside from standing, blinking, and occasionally talking, this doesn't count (i.e., if a character is chopping wood or getting anything done besides wearing a hole in the ground).

See also Artificial Atmospheric Actions, Welcome to Corneria. Contrast with NPC Scheduling.


Video Game Examples:

  • Brutal Legend is the Trope Namer and perhaps the only game to joke about it.
  • God Hand after any of the human characters are rescued they give you fruit then just stand there staring.
  • Pretty much every other RPG in existence.
    • A nice example is Dark Cloud 2, where you're able to recruit people to inhabit the towns you build. When they aren't assigned a house to live in, they are always inside the train. You'd think they get bored, poor sods.
  • In the Pokémon games, the other trainers are deliberately staring in order to catch the eye of any passer-by and challenge them to battles.
  • Also pretty much every point-and-click adventure game in existence.
  • Shenmue is very guilty of this, having people that stare at walls for no apparent reason.
  • An odd quirk happens in Mass Effect 3 where Sheppard can get distracted by another object in the room when he's in the middle of a conversation. This leads to really bizarre looking image as his body is facing the correct way while his head is craning as far as possible to the side. A fun place to try this is out is in Liara's room where Sheppard is often fixated on Glyph.

Other Examples:

  • Yureka: Thanks to this trope, Piri can't leave her shop, even if it's burning around her ears.
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