History Main / JustFollowingOrders

12th Feb '18 12:28:13 PM StFan
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* Subverted by Galzus in ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'', he falsely claimed that he was forced to work for Souther in order to [[IsurrenderSuckers lower Kenshiro's guard]], while in truth he did it self-willingly, he even admitted it right before picking on Kenshiro. Of course, Kenshiro saw through it and Galzus [[BackstabBackfire failed miserably]].

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* ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'':
**
Subverted by Galzus in ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'', Galzus: he falsely claimed claims that he was forced to work for Souther in order to [[IsurrenderSuckers lower Kenshiro's guard]], while in truth he did it self-willingly, he even admitted it right before picking on Kenshiro. Of course, Kenshiro saw sees through it and Galzus [[BackstabBackfire failed fails miserably]].



* This is ''Comicbook/XFactor'''s government liaison's excuse for being part of the Sentinel program behind the back of her mutant/human relations team. Comicbook/{{Quicksilver}} immediately calls her on it.

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* This is ''Comicbook/XFactor'''s ''ComicBook/XFactor'''s government liaison's excuse for being part of the Sentinel program behind the back of her mutant/human relations team. Comicbook/{{Quicksilver}} ComicBook/{{Quicksilver}} immediately calls her on it.



* The ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}''/''{{TabletopGame/BattleTech}}'' crossover ''Fanfic/HuntedTribes'' gives one of the most epic treatments of this trope ever. Clan Wolverine soldiers refuse to associate with crewmembers from the Pegasus, considering the ship and all who served under Admiral Cain disgraced for abandoning civilians to the Cylons. When someone tries to claim they were just following orders, the Wolverines state that people's conscience should have stopped them, and that they should have killed Admiral Cain for issuing the order in the first place. Roslin tries the IDidWhatIHadToDo-Defense, only to be told that the Wolverines have been in similar situations without ever compromising their morals, and that that excuse would have been good enough for any number of people, but NOT for them.
* In ''[[FanFic/SovereignGFCOrigins Origins]]'', a ''MassEffect''[=/=]''StarWars''[[spoiler:[=/=]''[=Borderlands=]''[=/=]''[=Halo=]'']] MassiveMultiplayerCrossover, this is Sarah's initial take on things when questioned by the heroes, specifically [[WellIntentionedExtremist killing lots of people]] [[spoiler:because the Flood would turn them otherwise]]. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] InUniverse since she literally knows nothing else being an artificial lifeform grown in a tank. She does, however, [[CharacterDevelopment grow out]] [[HeelFaceTurn of it]].
* ''FanFic/RosarioVampireBrightestDarkness Act II'': Subverted; while Dark does tell Tsurara that he was following his then-master's orders when he attacked the Snow Woman Village years before, he openly acknowledges it doesn't excuse his actions in the slightest.
* Lightning Dust from ''FanFic/BadFutureCrusaders'' provides a variation to the usual trope: She admits she willingly went after Rainbow Dash and enjoyed the act, but still tries to brush the responsibility off by pointing out that she ''was'' following orders and if she hadn't, someone else would have.

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* The ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}''/''{{TabletopGame/BattleTech}}'' Galactica|2003}}''/''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' crossover ''Fanfic/HuntedTribes'' gives one of the most epic treatments of this trope ever. Clan Wolverine soldiers refuse to associate with crewmembers from the Pegasus, considering the ship and all who served under Admiral Cain disgraced for abandoning civilians to the Cylons. When someone tries to claim they were just following orders, the Wolverines state that people's conscience should have stopped them, and that they should have killed Admiral Cain for issuing the order in the first place. Roslin tries the IDidWhatIHadToDo-Defense, only to be told that the Wolverines have been in similar situations without ever compromising their morals, and that that excuse would have been good enough for any number of people, but NOT for them.
* In ''[[FanFic/SovereignGFCOrigins ''[[Fanfic/SovereignGFCOrigins Origins]]'', a ''MassEffect''[=/=]''StarWars''[[spoiler:[=/=]''[=Borderlands=]''[=/=]''[=Halo=]'']] MassiveMultiplayerCrossover, this is Sarah's initial take on things when questioned by the heroes, specifically [[WellIntentionedExtremist killing lots of people]] [[spoiler:because the Flood would turn them otherwise]]. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] InUniverse since she literally knows nothing else being an artificial lifeform grown in a tank. She does, however, [[CharacterDevelopment grow out]] [[HeelFaceTurn of it]].
* ''FanFic/RosarioVampireBrightestDarkness ''Fanfic/RosarioVampireBrightestDarkness Act II'': Subverted; while Dark does tell Tsurara that he was following his then-master's orders when he attacked the Snow Woman Village years before, he openly acknowledges it doesn't excuse his actions in the slightest.
* Lightning Dust from ''FanFic/BadFutureCrusaders'' ''Fanfic/BadFutureCrusaders'' provides a variation to the usual trope: She admits she willingly went after Rainbow Dash and enjoyed the act, but still tries to brush the responsibility off by pointing out that she ''was'' following orders and if she hadn't, someone else would have.



* Deadshot in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanGothamKnight'' uses this defense. It doesn't help his case that he clearly enjoys his work and can afford to live in luxury because of it. Given that Batman was beating the living tar out of him, it's clear he was just begging for his life.

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* Deadshot in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanGothamKnight'' uses this defense. It doesn't help his case that he clearly enjoys his work and can afford to live in luxury because of it. Given that Batman was is beating the living tar out of him, it's clear he was is just begging for his life.



* In ''Film/TomorrowNeverDies'' [[spoiler: Dr Kaufman]] protests this after Bond gets the drop on him. 007 is suitably unimpressed.

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* In ''Film/TomorrowNeverDies'' ''Film/TomorrowNeverDies'', [[spoiler: Dr Kaufman]] protests this after Bond gets the drop on him. 007 is suitably unimpressed.



** In ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'', Kirk tries to give this excuse on behalf of his crew to prevent [[spoiler: Marcus]] from killing them. Unfortunately, he didn't intend to let them live anyway. Kirk's "creative" interpretation of the rules to justify his ignorance of them catches up to him and he's (temporarily) demoted.

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** In ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'', Kirk tries to give this excuse on behalf of his crew to prevent [[spoiler: Marcus]] [[spoiler:Marcus]] from killing them. Unfortunately, he didn't intend to let them live anyway. Kirk's "creative" interpretation of the rules to justify his ignorance of them catches up to him and he's (temporarily) demoted.



* Given the [[PlayingWithATrope usual workout]] in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'', not just with the predictable {{Mooks}}, {{Punch Clock Villain}}s and {{Obstructive Bureaucrat}}s, but also with a number of notable subversions, mainly courtesy of the increasingly morally ambiguous and complex police Captain Carrot, who frequently subverts Just Following Orders by (seemingly) [[ExactWords playing]] [[BotheringByTheBook it]] [[LoopholeAbuse straight]].
** Carrot's affinity for subversions of this trope may also explain how he is the first (and arguably only) character in ''Discworld/FeetOfClay'' to notice that the [[LiteralGenie Golems]] rebel ''by'' following orders.
** Played straight with the local watchmen from Bonk in ''Discworld/TheFifthElephant'' where the captain thereof tries to justify the things he's done to VIMES using this. Needless to say this is a futile effort, leading to the defiance of this trope, where Vimes orders Detritus to kill the man, and Detritus, knowing what's up, telling him to stuff it (with all due respect). Vimes himself has always acted in the knowledge that he swore an oath which was about upholding the law and defending the citizens, and didn't say anything about obeying orders ''anywhere''.

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* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
**
Given the [[PlayingWithATrope usual workout]] in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'', workout]], not just with the predictable {{Mooks}}, {{Punch Clock Villain}}s and {{Obstructive Bureaucrat}}s, but also with a number of notable subversions, mainly courtesy of the increasingly morally ambiguous and complex police Captain Carrot, who frequently subverts Just Following Orders by (seemingly) [[ExactWords playing]] [[BotheringByTheBook it]] [[LoopholeAbuse straight]].
**
straight]]. Carrot's affinity for subversions of this trope may also explain how he is the first (and arguably only) character in ''Discworld/FeetOfClay'' to notice that the [[LiteralGenie Golems]] rebel ''by'' following orders.
** Played straight with the local watchmen from Bonk in ''Discworld/TheFifthElephant'' where the captain thereof tries to justify the things he's done to VIMES Vimes using this. Needless to say this is a futile effort, leading to the defiance of this trope, where Vimes orders Detritus to kill the man, and Detritus, knowing what's up, telling him to stuff it (with all due respect). Vimes himself has always acted in the knowledge that he swore an oath which was about upholding the law and defending the citizens, and didn't say anything about obeying orders ''anywhere''.



--->"All right. All right. I don't like it any more than you, but I told you. I can't disod--disoy--- not do what I'm told. 'M'a'nangel."

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--->"All right. All right. I don't like it any more than you, but I told you. I can't disod--disoy--- disod--disoy-- not do what I'm told. 'M'a'nangel."



* In the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse novel ''Literature/DeathStar'', Tenn Graneet, the head gunner on the Death Star, while gripped by the [[BeingEvilSucks enormity]] of [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone what he did]], can't justify it in any way, even if justifications flick through his mind. Following orders to [[EarthShatteringKaboom destroy an inhabited planet]], even if refusing just would have meant they killed him and got a new gunner to do his job, is [[MoralEventHorizon unforgivable]] to the rest of the galaxy. And to him.
** He does, however, inadvertently save the Rebellion by not firing immediately after ordered. He keeps repeating "Stand by" before Luke's torpedoes hit the reactor.

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* Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse:
**
In the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse novel ''Literature/DeathStar'', Tenn Graneet, the head gunner on the Death Star, while gripped by the [[BeingEvilSucks enormity]] of [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone what he did]], can't justify it in any way, even if justifications flick through his mind. Following orders to [[EarthShatteringKaboom destroy an inhabited planet]], even if refusing just would have meant they killed him and got a new gunner to do his job, is [[MoralEventHorizon unforgivable]] to the rest of the galaxy. And to him.
**
him. He does, however, inadvertently save the Rebellion by not firing immediately after ordered. He keeps repeating "Stand by" before Luke's torpedoes hit the reactor.



* For a book which became notorious for discussing the "banality of evil", Hannah Arendt's ''Eichmann In Jerusalem'' is in fact a thorough and detailed takedown of the mentality of Just Following Orders. She notes that regardless of Eichmann's lack of DevilInPlainSight behaviour and his insistence that he was following orders, this is still not an excuse and that people have a moral obligation and can be tried for failing to pass on it, even in the most exceptionally difficult circumstances.

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* For a book which became notorious for discussing the "banality of evil", Hannah Arendt's ''Eichmann In in Jerusalem'' is in fact a thorough and detailed takedown of the mentality of Just Following Orders. She notes that regardless of Eichmann's lack of DevilInPlainSight behaviour and his insistence that he was following orders, this is still not an excuse and that people have a moral obligation and can be tried for failing to pass on it, even in the most exceptionally difficult circumstances.



* Ranga Sanga in the Literature/BelisariusSeries both plays this straight and subverts it. He ''fights'' for the bad guys because of his [[IGaveMyWord feudal duties]] but doesn't commit atrocities for them and turns on them when they [[BerserkButton go too far]].

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* ''Literature/BelisariusSeries'':
**
Ranga Sanga in the Literature/BelisariusSeries both plays this straight and subverts it. He ''fights'' for the bad guys because of his [[IGaveMyWord feudal duties]] but doesn't commit atrocities for them and turns on them when they [[BerserkButton go too far]].



* Referenced in ''Literature/WorldWarZ''. A unit of the German army has been ordered to retreat to a more defensible location and abandon the civilians they have been defending to the zombies. Despite the fact that he understands the awful necessity of it -their position was in imminent danger of being overrun and to stay would be a futile gesture- the officer being interviewed is appalled that the theatre commander was capable of giving this order, for everyone who enlists in the German military has it impressed on them that their first and most important duty is to their conscience.
** The officer is more upset because he later finds out that his superior, who issued the order, shot himself because he couldn't live with his own orders. He views it as moral cowardice, the worst offense possible. Closer to this trope is the US Military, which first abandons over 50% of the United State's land mass, leaving millions to fend for themselves, only to later come back [[spoiler:and wage war with those who survive, as many of them are understandably pissed off and are trying to fight for independence]].
** Another WWZ example: When a rebellion of Russian soldiers is put down, [[spoiler: they are forced to select one of their comrades out of every ten and stone them.]] With this hideous punishment in mind, as well as the guilt and shame of having carried out these orders rather than refuse and be shot for it, the survivors are too frightened to disobey any future orders, no matter how hideous.
--> '' We relinquished our freedom that day, and we were more than happy to see it go. We lived in true freedom that day, the freedom to point at someone else and say, "They told me to do it! Its their fault, not mine!" The freedom, God help us, to say "I was just following orders."
** When one character is ordered to destroy a bridge with refugees still on it and can't bring himself to follow through, his commanding officer [[spoiler: recognizes his dilemma and does it himself.]]

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* Referenced in ''Literature/WorldWarZ''. A ''Literature/WorldWarZ'':
** Referenced: a
unit of the German army has been ordered to retreat to a more defensible location and abandon the civilians they have been defending to the zombies. Despite the fact that he understands the awful necessity of it -their -- their position was in imminent danger of being overrun and to stay would be a futile gesture- gesture -- the officer being interviewed is appalled that the theatre commander was capable of giving this order, for everyone who enlists in the German military has it impressed on them that their first and most important duty is to their conscience.
**
conscience. The officer is more upset because he later finds out that his superior, who issued the order, shot himself because he couldn't live with his own orders. He views it as moral cowardice, the worst offense possible. possible.
**
Closer to this trope is the US Military, which first abandons over 50% of the United State's land mass, leaving millions to fend for themselves, only to later come back [[spoiler:and wage war with those who survive, as many of them are understandably pissed off and are trying to fight for independence]].
** Another WWZ example: When a rebellion of Russian soldiers is put down, [[spoiler: they [[spoiler:they are forced to select one of their comrades out of every ten and stone them.]] With this hideous punishment in mind, as well as the guilt and shame of having carried out these orders rather than refuse and be shot for it, the survivors are too frightened to disobey any future orders, no matter how hideous.
--> '' We --->We relinquished our freedom that day, and we were more than happy to see it go. We lived in true freedom that day, the freedom to point at someone else and say, "They told me to do it! Its their fault, not mine!" The freedom, God help us, to say "I was just following orders."
** When one character is ordered to destroy a bridge with refugees still on it and can't bring himself to follow through, his commanding officer [[spoiler: recognizes [[spoiler:recognizes his dilemma and does it himself.]]



--> '''Szeth:''' It is my punishment. To kill, to have no choice, but to bear the sins nonetheless.

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--> '''Szeth:''' -->'''Szeth:''' It is my punishment. To kill, to have no choice, but to bear the sins nonetheless.



'''Tarrant:''' Oh, don't tell me, let me guess. You've only ever followed orders.
--->'''Shrinker:''' It's true! It's true!
--->'''Tarrant:''' [[PunchClockVillain I believe you.]]

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'''Tarrant:''' Oh, don't tell me, let me guess. You've only ever followed orders. \n--->'''Shrinker:''' \\
'''Shrinker:'''
It's true! It's true!
--->'''Tarrant:'''
true!\\
'''Tarrant:'''
[[PunchClockVillain I believe you.]]



* ''Series/TorchwoodMiracleDay'':
** Invoked in Episode 6 when Gwen confronts Dr. Patel about the [[spoiler:incineration of "Category One" patients]]. Dr. Patel begins to protest, and Gwen interrupts her.
--->'''Gwen:''' Don't you dare. Don't you ''dare'' look at me and tell me you're obeying orders. Don't you bloody dare.
** And again with Colin Maloney, director of the San Pedro camp.
--->'''Rex:''' They [[spoiler:built ovens]]! And you're the director, so you know that.\\
'''Maloney:''' Look, I'm not in charge of policy... we had instructions that got sent out nationwide, worldwide, and we had orders from above not to say anything. I just did as I was told.



''[ce a prolonged bout of vigorous and noisy sex]''\\

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''[ce ''[cue a prolonged bout of vigorous and noisy sex]''\\



* ''Series/TorchwoodMiracleDay'':
** Invoked in Episode 6 when Gwen confronts Dr. Patel about the [[spoiler:incineration of "Category One" patients]]. Dr. Patel begins to protest, and Gwen interrupts her.
--->'''Gwen:''' Don't you dare. Don't you ''dare'' look at me and tell me you're obeying orders. Don't you bloody dare.
** And again with Colin Maloney, director of the San Pedro camp.
--->'''Rex:''' They [[spoiler:built ovens]]! And you're the director, so you know that.\\
'''Maloney:''' Look, I'm not in charge of policy... we had instructions that got sent out nationwide, worldwide, and we had orders from above not to say anything. I just did as I was told.



--->'''Tomin:''' I sit here...and I cannot imagine the day when I will forgive myself.\\

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--->'''Tomin:''' I sit here... and I cannot imagine the day when I will forgive myself.\\



'''Teal'c:''' [[TheAtoner It is simple. You will never forgive yourself. Accept it. You hurt others. Many others. That cannot be undone. You will never find personal retribution. But your life does not have to end. That which is right, just, and true can still prevail. If you do not fight for what you believe in, all may be lost for everyone else. But do not fight for yourself, fight for others—others that may be saved through your effort. That is the least you can do.]]

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'''Teal'c:''' [[TheAtoner It is simple. You will never forgive yourself. Accept it. You hurt others. Many others. That cannot be undone. You will never find personal retribution. But your life does not have to end. That which is right, just, and true can still prevail. If you do not fight for what you believe in, all may be lost for everyone else. But do not fight for yourself, fight for others—others others -- others that may be saved through your effort. That is the least you can do.]]



-->'''Jimmy [=McNulty=]:''' [Seeing Baker writing up a ticket on a parked car] What's the violation?\\

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-->'''Jimmy [=McNulty=]:''' [Seeing ''[seeing Baker writing up a ticket on a parked car] car]'' What's the violation?\\



'''Jimmy [=McNulty=]:''' Baker, let me tell you a little secret. A [[MeddlesomePatrolman patrolling officer on his beat]] is the one true dictatorship in America. We can lock a guy up on a humble, lock him up for real, or say "Fuck it, let's pull under the expressway and drink ourselves to death", and our side partners will cover it. So no one... and I mean ''no one'' tells us how to waste our shift.

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'''Jimmy [=McNulty=]:''' Baker, let me tell you a little secret. A [[MeddlesomePatrolman patrolling officer on his beat]] is the one true dictatorship in America. We can lock a guy up on a humble, lock him up for real, or say "Fuck it, let's pull under the expressway and drink ourselves to death", and our side partners will cover it. So no one... no-one... and I mean ''no one'' ''no-one'' tells us how to waste our shift.



-->'''Kirk''': That's right. There's exactly one a thousand of them. Order states that there's to be exactly a thousand - not a thousand and one, not nine hundred and ninety nine, but a thousand. You ask for a thousand, I bring a thousand. '''I don't question the orders. I merely fill them.'''\\
'''Michel''': [[DeadpanSnarker A job well done, Mr. Adolph Eichmann]].

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-->'''Kirk''': -->'''Kirk:''' That's right. There's exactly one a thousand of them. Order states that there's to be exactly a thousand - -- not a thousand and one, not nine hundred and ninety nine, but a thousand. You ask for a thousand, I bring a thousand. '''I don't question the orders. I merely fill them.'''\\
'''Michel''': '''Michel:''' [[DeadpanSnarker A job well done, Mr. Adolph Eichmann]].



* Inverted in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' - [[spoiler: Blackwall / Thom Rainier]] reveals his deception and risks his life to stop the hanging of a soldier who helped commit a war crime on his orders.

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* Inverted in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' - [[spoiler: Blackwall ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition''. [[spoiler:Blackwall / Thom Rainier]] reveals his deception and risks his life to stop the hanging of a soldier who helped commit a war crime on his orders.



* In ''VideoGame/{{Dead Rising 3}}'', Adam Kane is a villain due to this trope. [[spoiler:His last words are the trope name.]]

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* In ''VideoGame/{{Dead Rising 3}}'', ''VideoGame/DeadRising3'', Adam Kane is a villain due to this trope. [[spoiler:His last words are the trope name.]]



* In ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'', Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland don't ''want'' to [[spoiler: lock Dipper and Mabel up in a government facility in Washington]], but they had orders.
* ''[[WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited Justice League/Justice League Unlimited]]:''

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* In ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'', Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland don't ''want'' to [[spoiler: lock [[spoiler:lock Dipper and Mabel up in a government facility in Washington]], but they had orders.
* ''[[WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited Justice League/Justice League Unlimited]]:''''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague:''



* In ''RickAndMorty'', when Morty got injected with the blood of a warrior's arm, Morty's arm was possessed by the memories of the severed arm's owner, which by random coincidence, also remembered the guy who killed him when he was alive and unfortunately was there watching Morty's matches. In a pathetic attempt to save his life, the guy tried to blame his boss for his actions, but Morty's arm went to burn him for revenge anyway.

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* In ''RickAndMorty'', ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'', when Morty got injected with the blood of a warrior's arm, Morty's arm was possessed by the memories of the severed arm's owner, which by random coincidence, also remembered the guy who killed him when he was alive and unfortunately was there watching Morty's matches. In a pathetic attempt to save his life, the guy tried to blame his boss for his actions, but Morty's arm went to burn him for revenge anyway.



* Famously used by Nazi defendants during the post World War 2 Nuremberg Trials. AKA the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_defense "Nuremberg Defense"]].

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* Famously used by Nazi defendants during the post World War 2 Nuremberg Trials. AKA A.k.a. the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_defense "Nuremberg Defense"]].



** As it happens, UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler ''hated'' giving orders and liked to keep them as vague as possible, leading to what historian Ian Kershaw called "working towards the Fuhrer", i.e. doing what you ''think'' Hitler wants, which as it happens was usually just anything that made the problem go away. A common problem, even in the early days of the regime, was that the [=SA=], the [=SS=] and the more ideological members of the Party and the army would assault or kill more people than the leaders intended and had to be reined in (this was one of the reasons the [=SA=] was purged on the Night of the Long Knives, as they were considered too unruly compared to the "disciplined" [=SS=]). The initial plan for the occupation of Poland -- then Eastern Europe -- was to kill a certain percentage of various Polish social groups (e.g. Jews, academics, officers, lawyers etc.) and have the rest either deported or kept as slave labour (and/or held as hostages) while their land would be given to "ethnic" Germans, but the [=SS=] and sections of the German army ended up killing so much that even ''Himmler'' protested to Hitler (albeit on the grounds that it showed a lack of discipline). Eventually, for many, committing genocide simply became ''normal''.

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** As it happens, UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler ''hated'' giving orders and liked to keep them as vague as possible, leading to what historian Ian Kershaw called "working towards the Fuhrer", i.e. doing what you ''think'' Hitler wants, which as it happens was usually just anything that made the problem go away. A common problem, even in the early days of the regime, was that the [=SA=], SA, the [=SS=] SS and the more ideological members of the Party and the army would assault or kill more people than the leaders intended and had to be reined in (this was one of the reasons the [=SA=] SA was purged on the Night of the Long Knives, as they were considered too unruly compared to the "disciplined" [=SS=]).SS). The initial plan for the occupation of Poland -- then Eastern Europe -- was to kill a certain percentage of various Polish social groups (e.g. Jews, academics, officers, lawyers etc.) and have the rest either deported or kept as slave labour (and/or held as hostages) while their land would be given to "ethnic" Germans, but the [=SS=] SS and sections of the German army ended up killing so much that even ''Himmler'' protested to Hitler (albeit on the grounds that it showed a lack of discipline). Eventually, for many, committing genocide simply became ''normal''.



* Creator/JohnOliver never comes out and says the exact words, but this is the heart of he defense of the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn_Zln_4pA8 IRS]] on ''Series/LastWeekTonightWithJohnOliver'': everyone hates the IntimidatingRevenueService for being {{Obstructive Bureaucrat}}s who [[TaxmanTakesTheWinnings take everyone's money]], but he sees them as an underfunded, understaffed, overworked group of ''[[BeleagueredBureaucrat Beleaguered]]'' [[BeleagueredBureaucrat Bureaucrats]] who are Just Following Orders - and not orders from their superiors in the IRS, but [[ShootTheMessenger orders given to them]] by ''Congress''; orders that they are constantly '''[[MovingTheGoalposts changing]].''' It still makes for an interesting examination of the trope; though Oliver decries calling the IRS "Gestapo", one can see the similarity; most of the people who made the Nazi regime work were overworked bureaucrats. [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_during_World_War_II IBM even sold them the computers they used.]]
* Speaking of computers, this trope is the cause of almost all programming/user errors. Computers follow their orders ''[[PunctuatedForEmphasis To. The. Letter.]]'' They have no common sense at all and so rely entirely upon their given orders. If those orders end up causing a system freeze or loss of data, it's not the computer's fault as it is just following the directions given. This is also why developing AI is not just a case of InstantAIJustAddWater: turns out that giving a computer foolproof orders which boil down to "learn from experience" is actually ''really'' hard. As ''Webcomic/SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal'' [[http://smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=1801 put it]]:

to:

* Creator/JohnOliver never comes out and says the exact words, but this is the heart of he defense of the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn_Zln_4pA8 IRS]] on ''Series/LastWeekTonightWithJohnOliver'': everyone hates the IntimidatingRevenueService for being {{Obstructive Bureaucrat}}s who [[TaxmanTakesTheWinnings take everyone's money]], but he sees them as an underfunded, understaffed, overworked group of ''[[BeleagueredBureaucrat Beleaguered]]'' [[BeleagueredBureaucrat Bureaucrats]] who are Just Following Orders - -- and not orders from their superiors in the IRS, but [[ShootTheMessenger orders given to them]] by ''Congress''; orders that they are constantly '''[[MovingTheGoalposts changing]].''' It still makes for an interesting examination of the trope; though Oliver decries calling the IRS "Gestapo", one can see the similarity; most of the people who made the Nazi regime work were overworked bureaucrats. [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_during_World_War_II IBM even sold them the computers they used.]]
* Speaking of computers, this trope is the cause of almost all programming/user errors. Computers follow their orders ''[[PunctuatedForEmphasis To. The. Letter.]]'' They have no common sense at all and so rely entirely upon their given orders. If those orders end up causing a system freeze or loss of data, it's not the computer's fault as it is just following the directions given. This is also why developing AI A.I. is not just a case of InstantAIJustAddWater: turns out that giving a computer foolproof orders which boil down to "learn from experience" is actually ''really'' hard. As ''Webcomic/SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal'' [[http://smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=1801 put it]]:
8th Feb '18 5:14:22 AM gb00393
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** Be it Tywin's or Joffrey's, House Clegane often use this reasoning to their advantage when committing heinous actions. Even the Hound, the more decent half of the Clegane brothers, uses this as justification for killing Mycah the butcher's boy and was very proactive when cutting down Ned Stark's guards.

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** Be it Tywin's or Joffrey's, House Clegane often use this reasoning to their advantage when committing heinous actions. Even the Hound, the more decent half of the Clegane brothers, uses this him ''having'' to follow Joffrey's orders as justification for killing Mycah the butcher's boy when he's put on trial by the Brotherhood and was very proactive when cutting down Ned Stark's guards.
3rd Feb '18 2:03:44 PM gb00393
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** Be it Tywin's or Joffrey's, House Clegane often use this reasoning to their advantage when committing heinous actions. Even the Hound, the more decent half of the Clegane brothers, uses this as justification for killing Mycah the butcher's boy and he was very proactive when cutting down Ned Stark's guards.

to:

** Be it Tywin's or Joffrey's, House Clegane often use this reasoning to their advantage when committing heinous actions. Even the Hound, the more decent half of the Clegane brothers, uses this as justification for killing Mycah the butcher's boy and he was very proactive when cutting down Ned Stark's guards.
3rd Feb '18 2:02:28 PM gb00393
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** The Hound uses this as justification for killing Mycah the butcher's boy.

to:

** The Hound Be it Tywin's or Joffrey's, House Clegane often use this reasoning to their advantage when committing heinous actions. Even the Hound, the more decent half of the Clegane brothers, uses this as justification for killing Mycah the butcher's boy.boy and he was very proactive when cutting down Ned Stark's guards.
31st Jan '18 3:28:22 PM laserviking42
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** Also worth noting is that in the Milgram experiment, ''every'' subject reached a point where they objected to continuing: no one got to the point of "killing" the person they were shocking without raising some objection, and many stopped before they got that far. The experiment protocol was for the "scientist" to first ask that the subject to continue the experiment, then insist that the experiment continue, then finally state that if the subject declines the experiment will have to stop. In all cases, when the third statement was reached, the subject ''always'' shut things down, proving that "just following orders" only goes so far: a position of authority does not convey automatic acceptance of orders. The subjects only blindly followed orders until it became clear that there was actual, potentially lasting physical harm being inflicted.
30th Jan '18 4:22:48 AM JackG
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* Hitman Literature/JohnRain discovers a CIA bureaucrat has put a ContractOnTheHitman, so decides to kidnap the man to discuss the matter personally. Rain predicts that the first line the bureaucrat will come up with is this trope (not to justify the act, but to switch Rain's lethal hostility to another target). He's right.

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* Hitman Literature/JohnRain discovers a CIA bureaucrat has put a ContractOnTheHitman, so decides to kidnap the man to discuss the matter personally. Rain predicts that the first line the bureaucrat will come up with is this trope (not to justify the act, but to switch Rain's lethal hostility to another target). He's right.right, and Rain plays along to encourage the bureaucrat to reveal information. ''Then'' he kills him.
30th Jan '18 4:20:15 AM JackG
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Added DiffLines:

* Hitman Literature/JohnRain discovers a CIA bureaucrat has put a ContractOnTheHitman, so decides to kidnap the man to discuss the matter personally. Rain predicts that the first line the bureaucrat will come up with is this trope (not to justify the act, but to switch Rain's lethal hostility to another target). He's right.
11th Jan '18 9:53:25 PM blerg223
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-->-- '''[[StockLegalPhrases Thousands of defendants]]''' [[UsefulNotes/TheHolocaust to British, French, Soviet, and US military courts 1945-48; Czechoslovak, Hungarian, and Polish civilian courts 1945-48; the International Military Tribual at Nürnberg 1945-46; and German civilian courts 1948-2016]]

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-->-- '''[[StockLegalPhrases Thousands of defendants]]''' [[UsefulNotes/TheHolocaust to British, French, Soviet, and US military courts 1945-48; Czechoslovak, Hungarian, and Polish civilian courts 1945-48; 1945-48;]] [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII the International Military Tribual at Nürnberg 1945-46; and German civilian courts 1948-2016]]
5th Jan '18 1:22:44 PM PaladinPhoenix
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Added DiffLines:

** Also worth noting is that in the Milgram experiment, ''every'' subject reached a point where they objected to continuing: no one got to the point of "killing" the person they were shocking without raising some objection, and many stopped before they got that far. The experiment protocol was for the "scientist" to first ask that the subject to continue the experiment, then insist that the experiment continue, then finally state that if the subject declines the experiment will have to stop. In all cases, when the third statement was reached, the subject ''always'' shut things down, proving that "just following orders" only goes so far: a position of authority does not convey automatic acceptance of orders. The subjects only blindly followed orders until it became clear that there was actual, potentially lasting physical harm being inflicted.
4th Jan '18 10:44:35 PM Anarky17
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In [[WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars]], when Clone trooper Tup’s mental conditioning malfunctions, his “[[Main/ThePurge Order 66]]” programming activates, forcing him to kill a Jedi commander and [[MadnessMantra constantly repeat the phrase]] “Good soldiers follow orders”.

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In [[WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars]], ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'', when Clone trooper Tup’s mental conditioning malfunctions, his “[[Main/ThePurge Order 66]]” programming activates, forcing him to kill a Jedi commander and [[MadnessMantra constantly repeat the phrase]] “Good soldiers follow orders”.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.JustFollowingOrders