Created By: Xzenu on July 10, 2011 Last Edited By: Xzenu on August 19, 2011
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Mischief For Punishment

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Princess Christine: What a wonderful place! I hope you'll send me here for punishment some time.
Dark Prince Egon: You'll have to be awfully bad...
Princess Christine: Oh, I will be!
-- Conversation in City of Dreams

Alice is up to something that would get her punished if she'd get caught. However, she's not planning to get away with it. On the contrary, getting punished is at least part of the point. Maybe she consider the punishment to be a form of Unishment, or maybe getting caught is a part of some bigger scheme. The former is often related to Happiness in Slavery or Casual Kink, while the later is often related to I Surrender, Suckers or Xanatos Gambit. Note that the difference is in the motivation, not in the act itself.

While this trope is usually played for Rule of Funny or Rule of Sexy, it can also be played for Rule of Creepy as a twisted masochistic version of Entitled to Have You: "I can do whatever I want to you against your will, because I'd enjoy if you get mad at me or beat me up."

May result in either Threat Backfire or Can't Get In Trouble For Nuthin'. Compare Briar Patching.

Examples

Comic Books
  • In City of Dreams, Christine is eager to indulge her masochism. See page quote.
  • In one Fables short story, Mowglii makes sure to get locked up by his enemies. Not because he like it in itself, but because it's preferable to being out in the open as the monsters he have unleashed go berserk.
  • Small Favors play this for laughs as part of a very Friendly War.
  • In the Back Story to Watchmen there was the villain Captain Carnage who tried this but didn't do so well.
    Laurie: Hey, you remember that guy? The one who pretended to be a supervillain so he could get beaten up?
    Dan: Oh, You mean Captain Carnage. Ha ha ha! He was one for the books.
    Laurie: You're telling me! I remember, I caught him coming out of this jeweller's. I didn't know what his racket was. I start hitting him and I think "Jeez! He's breathing funny! Does he have asthma?"
    Dan: Ha Ha Ha. He tried that with me, only I'd heard about him, so I just walked away. He follows me down the street in broad daylight, right? He's saying "Punish me! Punish me!" I'm saying "No! Get lost!"
    Laurie: Ha Ha Ha. What ever happened to him?
    Dan: Well, he pulled it on Rorschach, and Rorschach dropped him down an elevator shaft.

Literature
  • One rather epic scene in Slaveworld is when Ruth attack Lady Isobel in front of a lot of witnesses. Ruth had just been declared innocent by the court, which mean that she would be shipped back home to her own timeline - and thus lose her beloved Isobel forever. By attacking her, she made herself guilty of a real crime. Just as she intended, she was promptly sentenced to be Isobel's slave.
  • Immediatey proceeding the events of Warbreaker, Vasher got into a barroom brawl with a priest, just so he'd be thrown into the God-King's dungeons so he could get some Breaths from a captured rebel.

Web Original
  • Cracked has one article about this happening at a high school.
    • And what, exactly, constitutes a violation of the dress code at Gonzales High School? The obvious stuff, like wearing clothes that expose underwear. But how about cargo pants, baggy pants or T-shirts? In other words, if you look like a normal member of the community, you could be violating the school dress code and will be forced to dress like an inmate. No more dress code distractions in class now! Of course, this whole system means that the students would have to experience some shame and ridicule wearing the jumpsuits for it to be effective ... which is the exact opposite of what happened. According to one student, "I talked to some of my friends about it and they said they are not going to obey the dress code just so they can wear the jumpsuit."

Western Animation
  • Happens in an episode of Family Guy after Stewie misbehaves, is hit by Lois, and realizes he enjoys the abuse. He spends the rest of the episode trying to get into trouble just so that she'll spank him again.
  • On Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Bloo tries to get himself grounded so he wouldn't have a disgusting-looking dish being prepared for that night's dinner.
Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • July 10, 2011
    IronLion
  • July 10, 2011
    Ozbourne
    Happens in an episode of Family Guy after Stewie misbehaves, is hit by Lois, and realizes he enjoys the abuse. He spends the rest of the episode trying to get into trouble just so that she'll spank him again.
  • July 10, 2011
    TonyG
    On Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends, Bloo tries to get himself grounded so he wouldn't have a disgusting-looking dish being prepared for that night's dinner.
  • July 10, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Related to Briar Patching.
  • July 10, 2011
    Andygal
    Immediatey proceeding the events of Warbreaker, Vasher got into a barroom brawl with a priest, just so he'd be thrown into the God-King's dungeons so he could get some Breaths from a captured rebel.
  • July 11, 2011
    Frank75
    No, Briar Patching isn't something the character would enjoy. It's just something that's not a punishment (or not as much as the alternatives), but may be mistaken for one (otherwise the trick wouldn't work).
  • July 11, 2011
    Xzenu
    Mmm, and Briar Patching is always a form of manipulation, while this isn't necessarily so. :-)
  • July 11, 2011
    MoG2
    Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau went to a religious school as a boy, where he received corporal punishment (probably spanking or caning). As he wrote in his Confessions, it not only was less worse than he thought, it even turned him on. His teachers got it and stopped using this kind of punishment.

    Hope you like my example ;-)
  • July 11, 2011
    Pyroninja42
    Perhaps it should be called a Punishment Gambit? It's about a plan, and as such The Laws of Diction DEMAND that the word "Gambit" be used in the trope name.
  • July 12, 2011
    Fanra
    Real Life: Recently in the news was a man who robbed a bank for one dollar. He wanted to be imprisoned so as to get medical care. This was obviously in the USA.

    Fiction: The O. Henry story "The Cop and the Anthem" about a New York City hobo named Soapy, who sets out to get arrested so he can avoid sleeping in the cold winter as a guest of the city jail. Despite efforts at petty theft, vandalism, disorderly conduct, and "mashing" with a young prostitute, Soapy fails to draw the attention of the police. Disconsolate, he pauses in front of a church, where an organ anthem inspires him to clean up his life -- and is ironically charged for loitering and sentenced to three months in prison.
  • July 12, 2011
    Xzenu
    No thanks. This trope includes cases that are not gambits, and your suggested title sounds like a gambit to get somebody else punished.
  • July 12, 2011
    randomsurfer
    In the Back Story to Watchmen there was the villain Captain Carnage.
    Laurie: Hey, you remember that guy? The one who pretended to be a supervillain so he could get beaten up?
    Dan: Oh, You mean Captain Carnage. Ha ha ha! He was one for the books.
    Laurie: You're telling me! I remember, I caught him coming out of this jeweller's. I didn't know what his racket was. I start hitting him and I think "Jeez! He's breathing funny! Does he have asthma?"
    Dan: Ha Ha Ha. He tried that with me, only I'd heard about him, so I just walked away. He follows me down the street in broad daylight, right? He's saying "Punish me! Punish me!" I'm saying "No! Get lost!"
    Laurie: Ha Ha Ha. What ever happened to him?
    Dan: Well, he pulled it on Rorschach, and Rorschach dropped him down an elevator shaft.
  • August 18, 2011
    Xzenu
    The currently redlinked Rule Of Creepy is here at YKTTW.
  • August 18, 2011
    Xzenu
    Pyroninja42: Yeah, lets use that as a redirect. Not as main title, however, since gambits require a minimum of subterfuge. This trope is often very direct and honest: "Hey, I'll go and be naughty now so you get something to punish me for!"
  • August 18, 2011
    HiddenFacedMatt
    And what, exactly, constitutes a violation of the dress code at Gonzales High School? The obvious stuff, like wearing clothes that expose underwear. But how about cargo pants, baggy pants or T-shirts? In other words, if you look like a normal member of the community, you could be violating the school dress code and will be forced to dress like an inmate. No more dress code distractions in class now! Of course, this whole system means that the students would have to experience some shame and ridicule wearing the jumpsuits for it to be effective ... which is the exact opposite of what happened. According to one student, "I talked to some of my friends about it and they said they are not going to obey the dress code just so they can wear the jumpsuit."
    - This article from Cracked.
  • August 19, 2011
    HiddenFacedMatt
    On a sidenote, would this be a subtrope or sister trope to Threat Backfire?

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