Created By: SamARobrin on May 12, 2011

The Untouchable Authority Figure

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It's usually a crooked cop, though it's often a military commander, frequently an overbearing employer, sometimes a teacher or principal, even a babysitter--plenty of parents, too. The Untouchable Authority Figure is corrupt to the core, thoroughly despicable, pure evil--but where the villain of the piece gets it in the end, the squealer takes it right between the eyes, even the rude party guest slips on a banana peel... the Untouchable Authority Figure gets no comeuppance, no consequences from his inexcusable behavior. The secret social point being put across is that ordinary "little guys"--this means you, folks--are helpless to deal with the Ones in Charge, gotta love 'em, ya can't fight City Hall.... so just give up and go along to get along.
Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • May 13, 2011
    Arivne
    Is this Karma Houdini?
  • May 13, 2011
    SamARobrin
    No, Karma Houdini applies to a variety of bad guys. This trope is specifically for those in positions of authority, precisely because they are in positions of authority, to leave the viewer with the subconscious impression that we must make exceptions for the moral behavior of those in positions of authority--for they are, after all, in positions of authority....
  • May 13, 2011
    captainpat
    This sounds like Omniscient Morality License
  • May 13, 2011
    Damr1990
    On some countries, Any person who occupies a political charge (president,governor, mayor, etc...) get a political charter, that makes them inmune to lawswits and last for all the duration of their period to prevent them(the lawswits) to be used as pollitical weapons... however, it also means that if they commit any crimes they won't be punished until they are off-charge (depending on the country, it can be nulled, however this is ussually a long process) As an example, on Disneys cartoon filmore, when anothers school's student president comes to The X Middle School, he is almost inmediatly commiting counterfeit, however they (innitially) where unable to punish him due this inmunity
  • May 13, 2011
    SKJAM
    Kurosawa's movie The Bad Sleep Well, we never even see the top man in the conspiracy; the fellow on the Roaring Rampage Of Revenge might not have known he existed and in the end absolutely nothing happens to him.
  • May 14, 2011
    SamARobrin
    Not quite Omniscient Morality License, as the character is portrayed as immoral. He may help the hero accidentally (or accidentally on purpose) by, say, jailing him on some petty offense so as to put him in contact with the witness who can supply the keystone clue to the mystery morass (to mix mortar and mire in a metaphor...), but he's mostly a petty martinet whom the plot never recognizes as requiring the comeuppance that someone outside his authoritarian purview would receive automatically.
  • May 14, 2011
    Fanra
  • May 16, 2011
    Damr1990
    ^ Related, but that supposes the villian in question is already on a position of enough power to make them (Corrupt CEO, Pollitician,k lieader of the mob) while on this one, their shield may be obtained through unofficial means (many cases of blackmail come in mind)
  • May 16, 2011
    captainpat
    ^^ How about you just summarize this trope in one simple, clear sentence because it should not be this hard to what you're getting at.
  • May 16, 2011
    Damr1990
    • Omniscient Morality License i do whatever i think needed (incluiding manipulate people) for my cause as long as the end is good.
    • Screw The Rules I Make Them I am the one who makes the rules, so i change them to my advantage whenever i want
    • The Untouchable Authority Figure I have something (power, position, information, hostage, blackmail, mcguffin, etc.) that that makes the heroes (and most people in general) unable to punish me for my crimes
  • February 24, 2012
    doorofnight
    A great example of this trope is Cardinal Richelieu from The Three Musketeers. The title characters are entirely convinced they are the enemies of the Cardinal and seek to thwart his plans. The Cardinal finds them a mild annoyance at best and only when they finally succeed in killing two of his best(or at least most useful) agents does he show any kind of frustration at all and even then, rather than crushing them utterly, which he could do even with the Carte Blanche they stole from Milady, he promotes D'artagnian instead. It helps of course that his status as a Cardinal means that, despite his schemes, they would never dream of even trying to harm or kill him.

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