Created By: DoktorvonEurotrash on January 8, 2012 Last Edited By: Halen on July 14, 2013

Have I Mentioned I Am A Dwarf Today?

Member of a Proud Warrior Race insists on referring to his race all the time

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Trope
This was sent back to YKTTW to see whether it can be made into a valid trope.

Copypasted from the old page:

You're just strolling along, life is amazing. But no matter how well things are going, there's always that one guy mistakes you for a bearded gnome. And for a dwarf like you, nothing spoils your day like this.

But wait, you can prevent this! All you need to do is inform the people around you of your dwarvenhood before they call you a gnome. Everyone. All the time. Even if you're with people whom you've known for a long time.

If you belong to a Proud Warrior Race, then it goes without saying that unless there's something wrong with you, you're proud of it. Make sure you remind everyone, constantly, that you are a member of this race.

Dwarves seem to suffer the most of this habit, but it's an equal opportunity trope. Any character that loudly and near-constantly preempts any confusion there would be as to their race or culture as a matter of principle, or even just brags about belonging to a Proud Warrior Race, is an example of this trope.

Kind of a passive variant of Fantastic Racism. A character who does this because he's pretending to be what he constantly proclaims he is (such as a gnome trying to blend in as a dwarf) is acting under the Most Definitely Not a Villain clausule.

Examples:

Anime and Manga:

Film:
  • Gimli in the Lord of the Rings movies does not deal with other people. It's always a dwarf dealing with an elf or a human. He almost completely refers to other people not by their name but only by their race.
  • 300

Live Action TV:
  • Klingons in Star Trek are obsessed with their Klingon-ness. Worf in The Next Generation is exceptionally bad, even annoying his fellow Klingons with his inability to speak like a normal person and irritation over not following every old tradition to the letter. Hinted to be justified in that he was raised by humans and therefore has an idealized vision of his race and a need to be more Klingon than Kahless.
    • To a lesser extent Cardassians also make it a habit to remind everyone of the superiority of their race and explain that everyone just misunderstands their superior culture. But then, Space Nazi is their hat.
    • You could make a drinking game out of how often Spock (the Proud Scholar Race Guy) says, "I am a Vulcan." Once again, this could be over-compensation at work - Spock is only half-Vulcan, and the few full-blooded Vulcans we meet in TOS stray surprisingly far from his ideals.

Literature:
  • Played with on the Discworld:
    • Corporal Carrot does this, as a 6-foot-tall human who was raised by dwarves and therefore still identifies as one.
  • Not surprising if you've read their Live Action TV entry, the Klingons are like this in the Star Trek Novel Verse. In the Star Trek: Klingon Empire series in particular, a great many characters are somewhat obsessed with "being Klingon", and make a point of it routinely. It's relatively justified, in that Klingon society has recently undergone tremendous upheaval and is now trying to reaffirm a sense of what being Klingon means. Characters evaluate their own behaviour, and that of their fellows, against the expected conduct of the ideal Klingon. This is particularly true of Toq (who grew up ignorant of his heritage and now embraces it enthusiastically perhaps a little too enthusiastically), and Klag (who takes his obligations to the Order of the Bat'leth extremely seriously).
  • In The Secret of Platform 13, one character is a water nymph who repeatedly notes that she's not a mermaid, pointing out her feet. It's Lampshaded at one point that nobody knows why being mistaken for a mermaid would upset her so much (especially since nobody actually does it).
  • While not especially smug about it, the thranx from the Humanx Commonwealth series constantly make mention of their insectoid traits, either commenting on the physiological differences between themselves and humans or voicing perplexity at how humans cope without insect-like bodies (too few limbs, skin not hard enough, etc).

Video Games:

Real Life:
  • This seems to be popular with ethnic Jewish comedians.
    • Or any other ethnic comedian...which follows naturally from the term "ethnic comedian", which implies that their jokes are about their ethnicity.

Webcomics:
  • In the "Federation" arc of Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger, Groonch the G'norch makes a point of emphasizing his warrior-race pride (his hat, given by Captain Pidorq, is "token noble savage")- only to have it brutally subverted when it's pointed out that his "race" has dozens of languages and hundreds of cultures, and "noble warrior" isn't even in the top ten...

A possible rename suggested by Shimaspawn is Proclaim Your Racial Identity.
Community Feedback Replies: 34
  • January 8, 2012
    kwaksters
    It sounds like a Running Gag.
  • January 9, 2012
    razorrozar7
    Maybe Running Gag is a supertrope, but this can be played dramatically (he makes one of his declarations as a Pre Ass Kicking One Liner) or tragically (he brings it up all the time because he feels like he doesn't measure up to his own standards, so tries to bluff others into not seeing it). I'd be in favor of the rename, because the other Have I Mentioned I Am X Today snowclones refer to someone mentioning something they really don't act like, as I understand it. Although that opens up a window for Have I Mentioned I Am A Dwarf Today to be a completely different trope...
  • January 10, 2012
    morenohijazo
    Vegeta from Dragon Ball Z did this quite often. Justified because, after all, he was the Saiyan prince.
  • January 10, 2012
    Frank75
    I can't help but notice that you can read this title also as "Have I mentioned I am a dwarf today?" (because on other days, I'm not - were-dwarf?)

    Of course, this interpretation doesn't make really sense, but still.
  • January 10, 2012
    Sanmei
    Sounds like what Yahtzee referenced in Dragon Age: Origins. "HELLO YOU ARE AN ELF." Not so much racial pride as the author's way of saying "Have you noticed this is a <fantasy/science fiction> genre setting? If not, here's another reminder: <fantasy/science fiction race>!"
  • January 11, 2012
    scatterclubs
  • January 11, 2012
    SharleeD
    I'd suggest that Proud Warrior Race not be a requirement for this one. It ought to apply to anyone who's constantly pointing out their race/species, period, never mind whether they're warlike or not.
  • January 18, 2012
    johnnye
    I think there is a trope here. related to Planet Of Hats, The Smurfette Principle, and Captain Ethnic - basically, groups which differ from the "norm" make that a fundamental aspect of their personality.

    Captain Ethnic can't just be a superhero who happens to be black, he has to be "the black superhero". His name is The Black X, he speaks like a Jive Turkey, his origin story involves African mythology, etc.

    This trope is about how someone can't be a character who just happens to be an elf/dwarf/Klingon/whatever - the viewer has to be reminded about it at every possible moment.
  • January 18, 2012
    Psychobabble6
    I remember this trope.

    So what is this? A trope about someone who constantly mentions what they are or someone who constantly mentions what they are because they are excessively proud of being a Proud Warrior?

    Okay, rereading the description I can spy a few problems with it.

    One: It only explains that one or two reasons behind why a person would do it. There are any number of reasons to constantly remind people what you are, and I personally think it should be all inclusive.

    Two: That opening is terrible and irrelevant. There is no reason to start with an anecdote.
  • January 27, 2012
    TBeholder
    Appliable to any hat, IMO.
  • January 27, 2012
    fulltimeD
  • January 28, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Any title with the formula Have I X Today will fail the "no dialogue" and "no Snowclones" rules and be cut immediately by the powers that be.
  • January 28, 2012
    fulltimeD
  • January 28, 2012
    fulltimeD
    Fast Eddie's absolutism really makes this place less fun than it used to be. I used to spend hours on T Vtropes. Now I go a week or two between even checking YKTTW.
  • January 28, 2012
    GuyIncog
    Hat Monger sounds pretty good.

    That said, it seems like this is basically Proud Warrior Race Guy, unless it gets limited to instances of "How dare you think I'm a <not proud warrior race>! I'm a <proud warrior race>!" Or more subtly, "Other races tend to think of us as traders/artisans/con artists/etc., but we actually have a long and proud history as warriors..."

    Otherwise, it's basically the "Proud" in Proud Warrior Race Guy - of course he's going to tell us no one from his culture ever surrenders, or that "coward" is worse than the F-bomb in his language, or tell you more than you ever wanted to know about why his culture's martial art is superior. It's just the nature of the character.

    As an example, in the Star Wars Expanded Universe you have the Mandalorians as the archetypal Proud Warrior Race - to list all the instances of one of them telling everyone in earshot how badass Mandalorians are, you'd practically need to have entire pages just for individual novels. But you also have the Twi'leks, who tend to be thought of (in-universe and out) as either dancing girls or criminals, but who also have a tradition as warriors - and you could highlight instances where warrior Twi'leks have spoken out against their species' stereotype.
  • January 28, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Nevermind.
  • January 29, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Hat Monger requires knowing Planet Of Hats to understand the title. I have to call Bad Snowclone on it.
  • January 29, 2012
    Rognik
    I think Rampant Race Reiteration mentioned above works. It's a bit highbrow with "reiteration" in there, but it gets the point across in 3 simple word. I'd even make the suggestion of maybe "repetition" instead of "reiteration", except the latter makes it clear that it's been said.
  • January 29, 2012
    KevinKlawitter
    It's not necessarily because they are proud of their race. Take Tyrion in Game Of Thrones for instance. He mentions his dwarfism practically every episode, sometimes multiple times, but it's not because he's proud of it per se: it's because he wants people to know he's accepted it and won't let it be used against him.
  • February 10, 2012
    TBeholder
    I propose to expand this (it's never too late to split) beyond Proud Warrior Race to any token entities (they probably won't if there were five of them) and rename to something like "Brandish The Token" or "Dangle The Token".
  • June 23, 2013
    Chabal2
    • Magnus Shalefist from Arcanum (real name possibly Malcolm Schulefest). It turns out he's actually a city dwarf, and ashamed of it, so he creates himself a backstory and mentions how very dwarf-ish he feels today every day. By the end, you find out he actually is related to a mythical dwarf clan.
    • Similarly, dwarves in Discworld are usually quiet (if fixated on gold) miners, but when they're in the city they buy chainmail and a dozen weapons, start downing ale by the gallon, and join bar brawls every evening.
  • June 23, 2013
    Arivne
    Capitalized the uncapitalized words in the title.
  • June 24, 2013
    TheHandle
    Isn't this Cultural Posturing?
  • June 24, 2013
    SharleeD
    ^ Not if it's not necessarily boastful repetitions of racial identity. A halfling who spends an entire story complaining about how he's too short-legged to keep up with his "big people" companions might qualify: it's neither posturing nor warrior-like, but it's still a case of the writer reminding the audience incessantly about the character's species.
  • June 24, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Live-Action TV

    • Particularly in the first season of Babylon 5, Ivanova would reference herself being Russian a number of times, particularly in response to unfortunate situations by saying things like "I am Russian, we understand these things". This largely ended after the first season.
  • June 24, 2013
    StarSword
    Seconding Rampant Race Reiteration as the title, and seconding broadening.
  • June 24, 2013
    Deltadiamond
    I too support Rampant Race Reiteration and broadening the trope to include all instances of repeatedly mentioning membership of some group (not necessarily race, as in the above example of Tyrion Lannister. In fact, going along with that interpretation:
    • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Jaime and the other Lannisters repeatedly mention how "A Lannister always pays his debts"
  • June 24, 2013
    GKaiser
    IF we expand beyond race and to groups, I would suggest Manifold Membership Mentioning
  • June 25, 2013
    StarValkyrie
    This is a very common Discworld trope. Besides Carrot already mentionned above, Lance Constable Cuddy is constantly challenged about his species for comedic value in Men At Arms. Ex: "Oh. Are you a dwarf?" Cuddy gave him a blank stare. "Are you a giant?" he said. "Me? Of course not!" "Ah. Then I must be a dwarf, yes. And that's a troll behind me."

    Another Discworld character, The Librarian, is constantly being mistaken for a monkey and tends to react violently about it so the people who know him are always warning everyone when they first meet him that he's an orangutan and they should never, ever use the "m word".

    It is mentioned almost once a book that Nobby Nobbs is the only person to have to carry a card signed by the Patrician to prove his species. He's human, btw, and hurt that you'd have to ask.
  • June 26, 2013
    Paradisesnake
  • July 14, 2013
    crazysamaritan
  • July 14, 2013
    DAN004
  • July 14, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    ^ doesn't work if we expand beyond just racial examples. Carrot is not of the Dwarf race, he is of the dwarf culture.
  • July 14, 2013
    StarSword
    @G Kaiser: Sacrifices clarity for alliteration IMHO. (When I think of "manifold," it's a part of an exhaust system.)
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