Embracing Who You Are


(permanent link) added: 2011-03-21 01:53:30 sponsor: KJMackley (last reply: 2012-10-19 11:24:12)

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Garak: "Maybe it's true. Maybe you're not a soldier anymore."
O'Brien: "You're right. I'm an engineer."

This trope is where a character finds that their efforts to solve a problem the way another person would, only to find that embracing who they are is the actual key to victory. As an example, a nerd might try to woo a Love Interest by behaving like a Jerk Jock, but in the end catch their attention through a cool science demonstration.

What this means is sometimes Character Development is less about the character changing what makes them unique (Non-Action Guy to Badass) and more about accepting themselves for who they are (A companion to the Be Yourself aesop). By trying to be something you're not, you may overlook the skills that make you valuable over the persona you may be trying to emulate.

If done as a cap to an entire character arc, it might factor in as a "World of Cardboard" Speech. It also serves as a reminder that everyone has their place in a team, that not everyone has to be an action hero to save the day.

Compare I Am What I Am.

Examples:
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine "Empok Nor" O'Brien and Garak ended up on a mission to retrieve spare parts from an abandoned Cardassian space station. Garak gets afflicted with a drug that turns him into basically a psychopathic killer. With a hostage in the way and knowing he can't outfight Garak (a former spy/special forces) he rigged a bomb with a tricorder and phaser. In the ensuing fight, Garak throws him to the side and mocks him for his reputation as a soldier. O'Brien proudly admitted he was an engineer and double-tapped his communicator to set off the bomb, incapacitating Garak (although he admitted it was meant to kill him).
  • In Transformers Animated, Bulkhead was embarrassed for being a clumsy oaf who constantly breaks and tried taking cyber-ninja lessons from Prowl. When the Dinobots break loose he tries honing Prowls training of "stillness, then strike" but can never get the hang of it. Prowl then suggests that Bulkhead behave like he would normally and he ends up bull rushing the Dinobots. Prowl admitted that despite being a ninja-washout Bulkhead had his place among the team.
    • Bulkhead of Transformers Prime went through a similar ordeal, but this was largely regarding his own intelligence and ability to lead and think things through. So far, Bulkheads raw strength, determination and ability to break things has saved the day more than anyone elses skillful planning.
  • In Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, Terry's final battle with The Joker had him ask advice from Bruce on how to defeat him. Bruce suggested ignoring any comments the Joker might throw out as he likes to catch people off guard. Terry audibly rejects that advice, as he says "I like to talk to." Terry's victory over the Joker came in part because the Joker wasn't used to someone trashtalking like he does.
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