Created By: Earnest on June 2, 2012 Last Edited By: Earnest on June 9, 2012
Troped

Stone Throw Of Defiance

An Innocent Bystander rejects overwhelming oppression with a symbolic gesture

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope

-- Image Caption: Even when all you have is a a stone, with the will to resist there is hope.

Loki: Kneel before me. I said... KNEEL! Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It's the unspoken truth of humanity that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life's joy in a mad scramble for power. For identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel.
German Old Man: [Stands] Not to men like you.
German Old Man: There are always men like you.

So the Super Villain has won, and starts an evil speech about how now everyone must despair and obey or die... Only to get a rock to the head from a Muggle or Innocent Bystander. The symbolism here is pretty direct: rather than be paralyzed with fear, the meekest make a very brave but mostly harmless gesture of defiance against a dangerous foe who they have every reason not to piss off. For extra trope points, it'll be a child, old person, or someone who is completely unintimidating. For double bonus points, it will be someone previously shown to dislike the hero or badmouth them.

Despite the trope name stones aren't always used, sometimes it's trash or even Produce Pelting. If even that is hard to come by, the (at this point) Heroic Bystander may just use a well timed Shut Up, Hannibal!, saying that they reject their rule, believe in the hero, and that even The Hero's defeat will only embolden them to fight for themselves. This may lead to the rock thrower getting killed, a pro-hero riot starting, the villain getting distracted (and the hero taking advantage) or the release of the hero to finish the battle. In some cases, the civilian has no rock and instead uses trash, or does something equally impressive like standing during a Kneel Before Zod exchange.

See also Spirit Bomb and Fighting for Survival.

Please use the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement when adding Real Life examples.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Happens in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann with a side order of Values Dissonance: Rossiu is surrounded by armed guards telling a crowd Simon is to be executed, when a rock hits him in the head. We never see who threw it, but a previous shot showed a man in the crowd with a Badass Mustache doing the Bicep-Polishing Gesture (the page image). The Western fandom thought he was giving Rossiu an "Up yours!" gesture, named him Bruce Ironstaunch, and made it fanon that he threw the rock.
  • In The Twelve Kingdoms: Shuurei throws a rock at a guard in protest of a particularly horrific public execution, leading to her being pursued through the city streets. The event becomes significant later, as it puts her in touch with Yoko and a group of mercenary resistance fighters. This is made even more significant in her Character Development as Shuurei's father, a tyrant, had a woman's son executed for doing the exact same thing. When the boy's mother told Shuurei this, she defended her father (it probably didn't help that she was in denial and being beaten by said mother).

Film
  • In The Avengers an older German refused to bow to Loki, saying he remembered the pettiness of those who force others into submission.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children has an astonishing double bonus. Pre-teen girl Marlene (?) tosses a Materia Orb at Yazoo to stop him fro finishing Tifa once he KO's her. It works, but only because the Materia is fully powered and what the setting's magic runs on.
  • At the end of Matilda, the children all start throwing trash at the defeated Trunchbull.
  • In Spider-Man, a bridge full of passerby pelt the Green Goblin with trash to buy Spidey the time to save a wire car from falling.
  • (Please confirm) In Watchmen this happens during one of the crowd scenes, either with Dr. Manhattan or the Comedian.

Literature
  • Mentioned several times in Discworld:
    • In Night Watch, where Vimes notes that "unarmed civilians" can be decidedly dangerous once they pry a few cobblestones off the street.
    • Thud!: When Vimes and company investigate a murder claim in a dwarven compound, a group of unruly dwarves show up to protest. One of them throws a half brick and knocks out the dwarf officer Vimes brought with him.

Live-Action TV
  • On Game of Thrones, King Joffrey gets a hunk of excrement thrown at him when passing a crowd. The scene quickly dissolves into a riot.

Professional Wrestling

Web Comics
  • In the Grim Tales from Down Below webcomic on Snafu-comics.com by Bleedman: Mimi does one of these in a flashback to a demon who was attempting to kill the remaining heros. As seen here.

Web Original
  • In Homestar Runner, the Strong Bad Email "disconnected" parodies this with Strong Bad's headless body throwing rocks from a box labeled "Riot Rocks."

Western Animation
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has this in the first season episode "Imprisoned". Earthbenders are being kept prisoner in an ocean rig / Tailor-Made Prison devoid of all stone and earth to keep them from Earthbending. After Aang and then Katara give an inspirational speech, no one acts because of their broken spirits. However Haru tosses the first stone in defiance and soon all the Earthbenders rise up to resist. And since Aang and co had previously supplied a huge pile of coal for them to Earthbend, things got very dirty very fast for their captors.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes has one second season episode show this prominently. The Muggles in a subway car spend most of the episode berating Captain America for betraying humanity (it was a Skrull) as he is leading them to safety. However, by the end when he's about to fall to the Serpent Society (who've pretty much said they want to kill the muggles) they all pelt the villains and distract them enough with supportive cries to give Cap a chance.
  • In the Exosquad episode "Resist!", JT Marsh calls out to the people of Earth to resist the newly-formed Neosapien regime, even though the Terran fleet is routed and must flee to the outer planets.
  • Spongebob Squarepants: in the episode where Squidward does everything Spongebob wants to do before he dies, one of the items is "Show my friend Squidward to everyone in town". When introduced to a group of fish, one throws a rock at his head. When doing the whole thing again while wearing a salmon suit, all three fish throw a rock at his head.
  • In the Superman: The Animated Series two-parter "Apokolips... Now!", Dan Turpin calls for resistance against Darkseid, after the latter defeats the Man of Steel and proclaims Earth his dominion.

Video Games
  • The angry mob unit in Command & Conquer: Generals throws rocks before being upgraded to wield AK-47s.
  • In inFAMOUS, random passer's by will either do this to Cole (if he's evil, or in the begining when he's been framed for causing the accident which gave him his powers) or enemies (if you have a 100% Heroism Rating).
  • In Xenogears has this with Fei (the PC) on the receiving end of the rock throws! In one arena match when facing a much weaker but massively popular opponent, the crowd throws stuff at the player in opposition.

Real Life
  • Please use the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement.
  • "Stone, the weapon of the proletariat", a famous Soviet monumental sculpture by Ivan Shadr, depicting an angry emaciated man grabbing the titular boulder and preparing to throw it. The title phrase itself became a proverb in Russian.

Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • June 2, 2012
    Koveras
    Not quite bystanders, but still...

    • In the Superman The Animated Series two-parter "Apokolips... Now!", Dan Turpin calls for resistance against Darkseid, after the latter proclaims Earth his dominion in.
    • In the Exosquad episode "Resist!", JT Marsh calls out to the people of Earth to resist the newly-formed Neosapien regime, even though the Terran fleet is routed and must flee to the outer planets.
  • June 2, 2012
    Bisected8
    • In In Famous, random passer's by will either do this to Cole (if he's evil, or in the begining when he's been framed for causing the accident which gave him his powers) or enemies (if you have a Hundred Percent Heroism Rating).
  • June 5, 2012
    nitrokitty
    • Mentioned several times in Discworld:
      • In Night Watch, where Vimes notes that "unarmed civilians" can be decidedly dangerous once they pry a few cobblestones off the street.
      • Thud: When Vimes and company investigate a murder claim in a dwarven compound, a group of unruly dwarves show up to protest. One of them throws a half brick and knocks out the dwarf officer Vimes brought with him.
    • In The Twelve Kingdoms: Shuurei throws a rock at a guard in protest of a particularly horrific public execution, leading to her being pursued through the city streets. The event becomes significant later, as it puts her in touch with Yoko and a group of mercenary resistance fighters.
  • June 5, 2012
    Koveras
    @OP: I have slightly expanded the STAS example in your write-up, hope you don't mind...
  • June 6, 2012
    Surenity
    On Game Of Thrones, King Joffrey gets a hunk of excrement thrown at him when passing a crowd. The scene quickly dissolves into a riot.
  • June 6, 2012
    Earnest
    ^^ Not a problem. YKTTW's are like camp sites, you should leave them better than when you find them.
  • June 6, 2012
    Koveras
    ^ Yeah, but I personally don't like it when people edit YKTT Ws I started without commenting on what they did (since there is no real diff comparison in the YKTTW history)...
  • June 6, 2012
    aurora369
    "Boulder, the weapon of the proletariat", a famous Soviet monumental sculpture, depicting an angry emaciated man grabbing the titular boulder and preparing to throw it. The title phrase itself became a proverb in Russian.
  • June 6, 2012
    Poprocks311
    In the Grim Tales comic on Snafu-comics.com by Bleedman: Mimi does one of these in a flashback to a demon who was attempting to kill the remaining heros. As seen here: http://grim.snafu-comics.com/index.php?comic_id=176
  • June 6, 2012
    randomsurfer
    • When the NWO debuted in WCW fans (or employees disguised as fans) responded by throwing lots of trash into the ring.
    • In Watchmen I think this happens during one of the crowd scenes, either with Dr. Manhattan or the Comedian - but I'm not sure, it's been a while.
  • June 6, 2012
    Chabal2
    • Happens in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann with a side order of Values Dissonance: Rossiu is surrounded by armed guards telling a crowd Simon is to be executed, when a rock hits him in the head. We never see who threw it, but a previous shot showed a man in the crowd with a Badass Mustache doing the Bicep Polishing Gesture (the page image). The Western fandom thought he was giving Rossiu an "Up yours!" gesture, named him Bruce Ironstaunch, and made it fanon that he threw the rock.
    • At the end of Matilda (the movie), the children alll start throwing trash at the defeated Trunchbull.
    • Spongebob Squarepants: in the episode where Squidward does everything Spongebob wants to do before he dies, one of the items is "Show my friend Squidward to everyone in town". When introduced to a group of fish, one throws a rock at his head. When doing the whole thing again while wearing a salmon suit, all three fish throw a rock at his head.
    • The angry mob unit in Command And Conquer Generals throws rocks before being upgraded to wield AK-47s.
  • June 6, 2012
    captainsandwich
    didn't this happen in the first intifada? (depending on what point of view you have, if used, wording should be selected with much care)
  • June 6, 2012
    captainsandwich
    the avengers thing didn't have a literal rock being thrown in that scene, so can this just a defiant statement to perceived Evil Overlord with possibly something thrown (rock or something else)?
  • June 6, 2012
    TBTabby
    The Strong Bad Email "disconnected" parodies this with Strong Bad's headless body throwing rocks from a box labeled "Riot Rocks."
  • June 9, 2012
    Earnest
    Five hats, plan onlaunching. Any final thoughts or name suggestions? Thinking of tweaking it to Defiant Stone Throw or Display Of Defiance.
  • June 9, 2012
    Bisected8
    I like Defiant Stone Throw (assuming that this is specifically about throwing objects at someone as a show of defiance).
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=brfupsstk104mwys3l1k9x4n