Created By: MokonaZero on March 15, 2013 Last Edited By: MokonaZero on April 13, 2013

Questioning Sincerity (Needs Feedback)

A character questions how genuine someone is.

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Trope
Do We Have This One??

So you've got a character, oftentimes The Cynic, who happens to have gotten some form of help from another person. The question is why would someone help another person for selfless reasons. That's where this trope comes in.

This trope basically describes a character questioning whether someone really is genuine or is just pretending. Note that it only occurs when the character is genuine.

This does seem to be a recurring theme for individuals who believe it's their right to never trust anybody.

Contrast with Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who does things the same things but for different reasons. See also For Happiness and Motive Misidentification.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • This is an audience reaction to Seto Kiba's kindness in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series. As it turns out, he never drops the "facade" everyone thinks he's wearing.

Video Games
  • BlazBlue:
    • Carl Clover became a cynical boy beliveing adults were evil at a young age after having his father turn his family turn his marionettes. When he encounters Litchi in CS he questions why someone would actually help him for no reason.
    • Happens again in Lambda's gag ending. She wonders why Makoto would willingly help an insect only to be told that people need a little help from one another.
Western Animation
  • In an episode of Justice League, Batman and Orion accompany The Flash on a regular crime-fighting day in his home town and are surprised by how gently he treats members of his Rogues Gallery. They begin to suspect that the Flash is much smarter than he lets on, having a secret plan under the nice facade, but by the end of the episode, it dawns on them that he is actually kind to everyone, and his rogues are mostly Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains.
Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • March 15, 2013
    KarjamP
    No New Stock Phrases, so even if I do know we don't have it, we can't launch it without turning this into a legitimate trope.
  • March 15, 2013
    ArcadesSabboth
    You aren't allowed to make new tropes with dialogue for a name, either.
  • March 15, 2013
    MokonaZero
    Okay, I'll think of a new title.
  • March 15, 2013
    Koveras
    Genuine Questioning sounds like it's the questioning that is genuine. How about Questioning Sincerity?
  • March 15, 2013
    MokonaZero
    Hm, that does sound better. The name was kinda right off the top of my head.
  • March 15, 2013
    RedneckRocker
    This does seem to be a recurring theme for individuals who believe it's their right to never trust anybody.
  • March 15, 2013
    MokonaZero
  • March 16, 2013
    Koveras
    Well, maybe this counts:

    • In an episode of Justice League, Batman and Orion accompany The Flash on a regular crime-fighting day in his home town and are surprised by how gently he treats members of his Rogues Gallery. They begin to suspect that the Flash is much smarter than he lets on, having a secret plan under the nice facade, but by the end of the episode, it dawns on them that he is actually kind to everyone, and his rogues are mostly Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains.
  • March 16, 2013
    MokonaZero
    Yeah, it does.

    Btw i could really use some feedback, please!
  • March 22, 2013
    Koveras
    I don't have feedback, but I gave you a hat. Deal with it.
  • March 22, 2013
    MokonaZero
    That's good too. Thank you, sir.
  • March 25, 2013
    XFllo
    This seems tropeworthy to me but the draft badly needs more examples, and the description could use some improvement regarding style and clarity. I think if it were clearer, people might come up with more examples. (Sadly, I myself cannot think of any. I thought I had one, but I don't think it fits. Once on the X Files the ultra-evil Cancer Man tried to do a genuinely good thing (give Scully Cure For Cancer for her to distribute in the world) and Mulder and Scully obviously questioned his sincerity, which that time was real, but considering his other actions, I don't think it counts. Only perhaps if the description was re-written.)

    What helps sometimes is to put words like "feedback please" to the working title for a while - it kind of attracts attention. Also you might keep "zero editing" the article so that it would appear on the first page. YKTTW Bump works as well, but if there are too many of these posts, the real discussion is very disorganized after a while.
  • March 25, 2013
    MokonaZero
    Ah, I see. I'll try and make it more clear. The examples are a bit tough. I wasn't 100% sure if writing feedback or needs examples was allowed, so I wasn't sure if I should do that.

    I'll work on the description. I appreciate the help. Btw, are Bob And Alice descriptions still allowed? I think it'd be easier that way.
  • March 26, 2013
    XFllo
    ^ As far as I know, Alice And Bob and Example As Thesis are a no-no, but it must be a fairly recent decision, because such descriptions pop up everywhere on the wiki. (I must say I don't know if adding "examples" and "feedback" to the working title is OK. But I do that and I see people do the same from time to time and nobody complained.)
  • April 12, 2013
    xanderiskander
    Does this really only occur when the other character is being genuine?

    I've seen characters question another character's sincerity, because usually they're a Jerk Ass, The Trickster, a villain, or the The Chessmaster and then later the helpful act ends up being a scheme to earn their trust as part of a con, an Evil Plan, or a Xanatos Gambit or some other trick.

    That could be a subversion I guess, but I'm not so sure about that. Characters being suspicious of a person's sincerity because it's out of character seems really common to me.
  • April 13, 2013
    MokonaZero
    Yes,that's a subversion, it only occurs when the character really is genuine.
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