Let The Wookiee Win
Losing on purpose to avoid DisproportionateRetribution


(permanent link) added: 2011-02-23 11:16:29 sponsor: KnownUnknown edited by: Wackd (last reply: 2012-02-29 14:16:19)

Add Tag:
Chewbacca: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrgh!
C-3PO: He made a fair move. Screaming about it can't help you.
Han Solo: Let him have it. It's not wise to upset a Wookiee.
C-3PO: But sir, nobody worries about upsetting a droid.
Han Solo: That's 'cause droids don't pull people's arms out of their sockets when they lose. Wookiees are known to do that.
C-3PO: I see your point, sir. I suggest a new strategy, R2: let the Wookiee win.

Two (or more) characters are playing a game. Character A is clearly smarter, more skilled, and just plain better at the game than the other. Character B still wins. Why? Because Person B is appears to not take losing well and it likely would be... detrimental to character A's continued good health to win against character B.

Often the case when a Bad Boss plays a game with his mooks - who are too terrified not to let him win, not after what happened to the last guy... other times it happens between a smart but not too strong player and a not-as-smart but definitely stronger opponent.

Sister Trope to the Chewbacca Defense, which is about confusing the opponent and not necessarily terrifying them. But they work well together. Related to Appeal to Force.

This is NOT the Disproportionate Retribution itself, which does not occur in the Trope Namer, or the act of Rage Quiting. Throwing the Fight is about loosing because of an actual threat, this is about losing because of an implied or assumed threat.
Examples:

Skipping 2011-02-23 14:15:07 by foxley (that would be a game-related version of Flipping the Table), 2011-02-23 19:14:14 by randomsurfer ("because it is easier" is not "out of fear." It WOULD need a different title for that example to work.), 2011-09-30 07:25:46 by Steven T (same as foxley), 2011-12-23 01:57:19 by Arivne (Throwing the Fight would be a better place for that), 2011-12-23 19:53:48 by TB Tabby (They must loose on purpose, not because they are forced to loose), 2012-02-17 16:30:13 by Tom Walpertac 2 (describing the boss is not describing the minions letting him win)

  • Trope Namer is Star Wars, when R2-D2 is playing and beating Chewbacca at what looks like Space Chess.
  • Played with in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: his underlings blatantly let Wu Zu Mu, a powerful but blind Chinese gangster, win whenever they play anything, including moving the cup when he plays office golf or lying about their cards in Blackjack, which leads to funny moments when Carl, not caring, beats him regularly. Judging by his personality, "Woozie" a nice enough guy, especially to his men, that he probably wouldn't care if his minions beat him or not, but to his experienced mooks them it's better being safe than sorry.
  • Double Subverted in Jet Li's War, which has an Asian mob boss practice sword sparring with one of his men. When he allows himself to be distracted, the other guy accidentally strikes him, and immediately begs forgiveness. The gangster calmly tells him not to worry, and that is was his own fault for allowing himself to be distracted... and then kills him anyway.
  • On The Adventures of Pete & Pete, a school bully with a paper motif nicknamed "Papercut" was so intimidating to the other kids that they would always pick rock whenever he challenged anybody to a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.
  • Bug has this problem with Grizzlies.
  • Averted in Star Trek: The Next Generation poker game. This trope would have been Worf's edge if he were a real Klingon.
  • Friday: During a game of craps.
    Smokey: I won, gimme my money.
    Deebo: You what?
    Smokey: I lost.
  • Yeralash has an episode where two boys are playing chess, and the stronger one constantly makes hidden threats. Ends up with the weaker one bringing an even stronger guy to sit in his place.
  • The entire events of the Black Moon Chronicles are set in motion because of Lucifer playing chess (and always winning) against his minion Pazuzu (who knows exactly how much Lucifer's promise not to kill the one who bests him is worth), who keeps losing so as not to incur his master's wrath. So they decide to play the game with mortals instead.
  • Foundation has a king offering his noblemen a bet about his hunting. No one dares to take the risk of winning.
  • The Simpsons: During the annual Nuclear Power Plant company picnic everyone has to let Mr. Burns win the sack race.
replies: 68

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy