Punished For Your Failure
Character is punished and/or ostracized for failure or losing
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(permanent link) added: 2013-06-20 10:15:50 sponsor: MaxWest (last reply: 2013-06-22 16:13:23)

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You just lost the big game, got eliminated from a huge spelling bee, or failed the big speech contest. Maybe you're pissed over your defeat or you decide to accept your defeat with honor. But this trope isn't about how you deal with a loss...it's about the negative reactions of others.

Because of your defeat, you quickly become a pariah in your community or school, you may be the target of practical jokes, your home and possessions may be the target of vandalism, or your reputation could be thoroughly shot.

Why? Perhaps everyone else is just a Jerk Ass. Maybe your failure has stained school or team honor. Perhaps your loss made your overzealous mother or father look bad. Or maybe your loss cost your school money, an award, or a valuable contract.

This trope is intended to be the less severe version of You Have Failed Me, but could escalate (and overlap) into that trope. See also My Greatest Failure.


Examples:

Western Animation
  • A Boy Named Charlie Brown has Charlie Brown competing in a national spelling bee after winning his local one. After being cheered on and getting a send-off full of enthusiastic supporters, he loses the spelling bee. After watching his defeat, Lucy turns the TV back on briefly to shout angrily at Charlie Brown. When Brown gets back into town with Linus and Snoopy, he doesn't get a hero's welcome...or any welcome for that matter.
  • Another example from Peanuts - the 1976 TV special "It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown". Here, Charlie Brown is blamed for losing the big homecoming football game, gets teased later on for it, and warned not to embarrass himself by escorting the homecoming queen. This is more a subversion because technically, Charlie Brown wasn't responsible for losing the game - Lucy pulled away the football as usual when Brown tried to kick it.
  • In an episode of Futurama, Bender enters Zoidberg in a pet show. When Zoidberg wins second place, Bender invokes Second Place Is for Losers (and even supplies that trope page's quote).
  • One episode of The Simpsons, titled "the Joy of Sect", has a sports team returning to Springfield getting a not-so-warm welcome from a hostile crowd, angry over their team losing.
    Team member exiting plane: Hey, look! There's a big crowd to welcome us back even though we lost.
    Moe: Hey, I'll give you something to cry about, you loser! You can't catch a football? Let's see if you can catch a rock!
    Moe throws a rock which hits a player in the face. Others start to throw things too. The team players retreat back onto the plane. A riot ensues, during which the airplane gets flipped upside down.

Real Life
  • During the 1998-1999 season, the Wimbledon Dons soccer team were bound by their own contract to be punished unusually if they lost any game by five or more goals - they had to eat nasty tasting food and attend an opera. Luckily for them, they managed to avert this punishment.
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