Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Robert: Faked tests of character (put the hero in a moral quandry, then afterwards reveal it was all just an illusion — no one was really hurt) - any snappy names for this trope and sufficient examples, or does it fit under one of the existing tropes?

It's akin to The Kobayashi Maru, except that the heroes don't know it's a test until afterwards. Unlike the Secret Test of Character the right choice can be obvious and the situation is faked.

E.g the mentor arranges for a girl to try seducing the married hero. If he says 'no', the obvious right choice, he's told he passed. If he says 'yes', he's failed but the girl doesn't sleep with him.

Speculative Fiction would use magical illusions or virtual reality to trick the character.

Gus: This has potential. It goes in Plots, as the superset of The Kobayashi Maru, I think. I'm thinking False Crucible for a title, if that is not too obscure.

Dark Sasami: For what it's worth, that's one of The Oldest Ones in the Book: see Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Removed the Mi B example, because it's wrong, for lack of a better word. If there were secret tests of character we weren't shown them; the only reason J made it through was because K vouched for him to Z. "He managed to chase down the alien, come on, that's got to count", after we're shown how unimpressed Z is by J.