Created By: MrInitialMan on June 14, 2010 Last Edited By: MrInitialMan on June 14, 2010
Troped

My Instincts Are Showing

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A non-human character tries to live amongst humans. He does a good job, but occaisionally his race's normal behavior comes out.

Examples

Literature
  • Werewolves in Discworld have some doggy instincts even in human form. They tend to wince at the word B.A.T.H., for instance. Although Angua is the only one who tries to suppress these instincts.

Webcomics
  • All over the place in Free Fall
    • Florence is the main target.
      • She puts a bowl of leftovers in the fridge covered in towels. The genetically-modified wolf realizes after she shuts the fridge that her instincts are showing -- she just buried a tupperware bowl.
      • Smacks her nose against the screen when a mouse goes by.
      • Is unable to avoid barking at a cat in an early strip.
      • Has trouble trusting Sam because she thinks he's acting like a low-ranking pack member.
    • Sam is prone to falling back on his scavenger-instincts too, claiming that "Food tastes better when you steal it from a predator", among other things (though often he does this deliberately).

  • From Girl Genius comes Krosp III, Emperor of All Cats - basically, a cat with human-level intelligence, speech, thumbs, and the ability to walk erect... he'd like to claim that his 'cat-instincts' have no hold over him, but Agatha rather enjoys proving otherwise. Using a piece of string.

Western Animation
  • Brain from Family Guy lives this.

Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • June 9, 2010
    Runic
    I think this would also cover moments where a supernatural character uses their instincts or powers during danger, or an emergency. EX: Superman saving someone falling off a building while dressed as Klark Kent. Or, say, a fox spirit hiding as a human trips backwards, before instincts kick in and she flips to land in a crouch.
  • June 9, 2010
    shimaspawn
    The Superman example doesn't fit. Saving people isn't instinctual in the sense this trope is using. The other example doesn't make sense.
  • June 9, 2010
    Runic
    I'm trying to describe a situation the same premise could also cover.
  • June 9, 2010
    shimaspawn
    You're making it so broad that it could cover any in character action. There's such a thing as stretching a trope too much. Those aren't the same sort of scenario at all.
  • June 9, 2010
    GiantSpaceChinchilla
    So this is Raised By Wolves and other Raised by's from a different perspective?
  • June 9, 2010
    MrInitialMan
    Giant Space Chinchilla -- Thinking about it, it's when the inverse of Raised By Wolves slips up for a moment.
  • June 9, 2010
    randomsurfer
    Brain from Family Guy lives this.
  • June 9, 2010
    Echidnite
    Runic - your fox spirit example only makes sense if it's a natural instinct for fox spirits to do backflips when they trip over.
  • June 10, 2010
    MrInitialMan
    There's actually examples of it all over Freefall - Sam is prone to falling back on his scavenger-instincts too, claiming that "Food tastes better when you steal it from a predator", among other things. But Florence is, indeed, the main target, and half the time, she doesn't even realize that she's doing it.

    As for other examples... there's Krosp III, Emperor of All Cats from Girl Genius - basically, a cat with human-level intelligence, speech, thumbs, and the ability to walk erect... he'd like to claim that his 'cat-instincts' have no hold over him, but Agatha rather enjoys proving otherwise. Using a piece of string.
  • June 10, 2010
    MrInitialMan
    Sam's a subversion -- while he's living IN human society, he's using his instincts deliberately. With Florence, it's accidental.
  • June 10, 2010
    DaibhidC
    • Werewolves in Discworld have some doggy instincts even in human form. They tend to wince at the word B.A.T.H., for instance. Although Angua is the only one who tries to suppress these instincts.
  • June 10, 2010
    MrInitialMan
    It CAN be a consequence of Raised By Wolves, but Florence from Free Fall is the total inverse of this: She's literally a wolf raised by humans.

    Despite her human upbringing, her non-human traits do show up from time to time.
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