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

(moved from The Sadistic Choice Discussion on 14-Aug-2008)

From YKTTW

Ry Senkari: Ohhhhhhhh... I have a fanfic example that's PERFECT for this, but it's my own fic and I think the other editors frown on people tooting their own horn... so I'll need to get you guys' opinions first.

Looney Toons: Hey, if you're reasonably subtle about it... Except maybe for the mods, there's no way anyone can connect an anonymous handle to a specific writer, and if it's clear that you didn't add it draw attention to yourself, why not?

Ry Senkari: Well, someone deleted the fanfic example. Should I put it back and risk getting into a nasty edit war, or just let it be? I'm leaning toward the latter.

Callista: I'd like to suggest breaking up the examples on the main page into sections—one section for the examples where the choice was actually made; another for where it was averted in some way or another. I don't know enough about all the examples to do this myself, though, so I want to throw it out as a possibility.

{Demetrios}}: Actually, there was a plausible reason why Maggie got to go with. The people of Springfield may not be the brightest gemstones in the mine, but they're certainly not going to leave a baby behind on a dying planet.

Reallife
  • During WW2 a woman (who this troper can't remember the name of) was forced by the Nazis to choose which of her two children would be sent to the gas chambers and which one would be allowed to live. Unfortunetly, she wasn't allowed to Take a Third Option.
    • The woman's name was Sophie (from the above mentioned book Sophie's Choice). (Though the Nazis were really as bad as that, so I wouldn't be too surprised if they had actually done such a thing.)

Fire Walk: Cleft the hefty, and mostly not on point, Discworld example:
  • In the Discworld novels, Granny Weatherwax is referred to as an "edge witch", who lives on the metaphorical (and metaphysical - this is the Discworld, after all) boundaries and makes the difficult decisions that no one else should have to make.
    • It's mentioned that Nanny Ogg is one too, and it's notable that, just occasionally, the powers that be are happy to play along and make things easier for Granny; in Maskerade, The owners of an inn where Nanny and Granny are staying catch wind that Granny is a witch (as though the hat wasn't a hint) and tell her that both their cow and their baby are badly ill, and ask if she can do anything for them. Granny orders the child placed in the cowshed, where it's warm; Nanny orders pork chops and beer. When Death arrives, he admits he didn't come for the cow, but allows Granny the customary game for the life. At a "sudden death" round of five-card stud, Granny reveals four kings, and Death four "ones". Death allows Granny to choose which will die. Without hesitation, she chooses the cow, because while the animal is valuable the child could become anything. This tends to say a lot about Granny, although nothing about her being a crabby old lady on top of it all.

Do the Saw movies fall into this trope, or do they belong to a different categories altogether? After all, they are based on sadistic choices, but not for a hero to make, but the victims themselves.
  • However, in defence of the Grand Moff, every single thing Leia had said in the interrogation was willfully untrue. She was not on a diplomatic mission, she did know where the plans were and the Rebel base was not on Dantooine. Since the Imperials would have been stupid to believe that a leader of the Rebellion would so easily offer information, they were wise to doubt her word when she claimed that Alderaan had no weapons and no part in the Rebellion. This doesn't make the destruction of Alderaan any less brutal but it is somewhat more justified, especially if you think that the Rebels were simply a violent terrorist organisation trying to destroy the completely legal government and plunge the galaxy into total chaos or into their control. What other opinion would the top tier of the Imperial government think of the Rebels?

...in defense of Tarkin? Yeah no. "In defense of Hitler, he really did think the Jews were out to get him."

Meshakhad: I'd like to see the title changed to Sophie's Choice, which I've heard used to describe this trope.