Sunday, September 23, 2012

There's A Trope For That - Week of September 23rd (Happy Birthday, Amy!)

This week's trope: I Am Spartacus!

"The Messiah, his True Companions, and even several members of the Redshirt Army have been defeated and captured by The Empire. The Big Bad or The Dragon shows up, demanding to know who led this rebellion, presumably to drag them away for some horrific punishment. If he is given up, the rest are free to continue living.

But then brotherhood and camaraderie prevails.

Before The Messiah can give himself up to save his comrades, The Lancer suddenly stands up, claiming to be him. Then The Big Guy. Then The Obi-Wan, The Smart Guy, even the Cute Bruiser.

One by one, the entire Redshirt Army stands up. They would all rather suffer his fate than turn him over to the enemy. At this point, events usually play out in one of two ways:

Scenario 1
The villain simply decides to kill everyone, including the hero. Sure, it's more bloodshed than planned, but at least the villain's point is made.

Scenario 2
The ploy ends up distracting the villain, allowing the hero to get the upper hand or escape."


I chose this trope because it's everywherebut until last week, I didn't know its name (but thank you, Nostalgia Critic. Thank you for evvv-ryyy-thing!)

I remember the first time I saw the trope used as a kid. I thought, Wow, how cool that all these people are loyal to this other person! Standing up and claiming to be him! That takes courage! That takes true friendship!

But after the 45th time it cropped up in a film/TV show, my reaction was more: "Oh, COME ON!" than anything resembling impressed. 

In the end, this trope could be very powerful if it weren't so often used. 

Which it is.

So stop it, Hollywood!

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