Created By: DragonmouthSeptember 1, 2012 Last Edited By: DragonmouthSeptember 1, 2012

Good Boys Don't Hunt

Good boys refuse to kill animals.

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Trope
A kind, sensitive boy is pressured, usually by his father, into going on a hunting trip to prove that he's not a sissy.

A deer comes by and the boy lifts his rifle. The deer is in his crosshairs. His finger is on the trigger. What does he do? And what does this tell us about his character?

Bad or morally ambiguous characters will kill the animal without hesitation. A nice boy will refuse to kill the animal. If the boy kills the animal but only after hesitating and shedding a few tears, then it might show that the boy is nice but has a dark side. This is often shown as a villain's Start Of Darkness.

Examples:

Anime
  • Zig Zagged in Fullmetal Alchemist. Stranded on an island, Edward and Alphonse are forced to hunt for food. At first, they are reluctant to kill a rabbit they find. They eventually learn that killing and eating animals is a part of the cycle of life and they kill their next rabbit. However, they still apologize to it first.

Comics
  • Catman, a supervillain/Anti Hero from DC's Secret Six series was forced by his father to kill a bound lion. He refuses but eventually ends up killing his own father after watching him kill his mother.

Live Action TV
  • In The Brothers Garcia, the boys and their father are pressured into a hunting trip with their friend and his father after the boys lie that they had killed an elk. When Mr. Garcia gets the chance to kill a turkey, he hesitates and the turkey gets away. The boys find out their friend is not the manly hunter he claimed to be and, together, they fake the death of the turkey they were chasing to save its life.

Western Animation
  • In How To Train Your Dragon, Hiccup gets the chance to kill a legendary, one of a kind dragon but lets it go. He eventually befriends the dragon and creates an alliance between them and his village.
  • In Legend Of Korra, Tarrlok and his brother Noatak are taken on "hunting trips" by their father, who trains them in the forbidden art of bloodbending. Tarrlok refuses to practice on a pack of wolves but Noatak is less reluctant.
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • September 1, 2012
    Astaroth
    Bart shoots and kills a bird in one episode of The Simpsons, but he didn't really want to kill it in the first place, feels terrible about it afterwards and decides to raise the eggs in her nest as an act of repentance.
  • September 1, 2012
    Arivne
    Live Action TV
    • Night Gallery episode "Clean Kills and Other Trophies". Colonel Archie Dittman considers his son Archie Jr. to be a coward. He forces Archie Jr. to hunt a deer (under threat of losing his trust fund) to make a man out of him. During the hunt Archie Jr. freezes. Dittman hits him and the gun goes off, only wounding the deer.
  • September 1, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    Downton Abbey (TV), Matthew says that he can't shoot which is lucky for the birds and other stuff about not wanting to kill them anyway.
  • September 1, 2012
    darkjezter
    In That 70's Show Red takes Eric deer hunting with him, and Eric intentionally misses when ordered to shoot a buck.
  • September 1, 2012
    reub2000
  • September 1, 2012
    chelonianmobile
    Averted in Homestuck; Equius hates hunting, but he's a stuck-up jerk. Nepeta is an enthusiastic huntress, but an utter sweetheart - she does make a point of not killing anything she won't eat. Played straight with Eridan, who seems to enjoy hunting lusii way too much, and possibly averted again with Feferi, who is another very sweet girl who relies on hers and Eridan's hunting to feed her Cosmic Horror caretaker.
  • September 1, 2012
    NimmerStill
    • TheSimpsons also has the final sequence in "Homer's Phobia" where Homer tries to stave off Bart's supposed gayness by taking him hunting. Bart is not interested, both for moral reasons and because he thinks a bunch of guys in the woods together is "kinda gay".
  • September 1, 2012
    randomsurfer
    I think this is A Real Man Is A Killer coming from the opposite angle.
  • September 1, 2012
    TonyG
    • On Gravity Falls, Dipper is being taught how to be a man by Manotaurs, and his final test is to kill their enemy, the Multi-Bear. Dipper hunts down the Multibear and defeats it in battle, but can't bring himself to kill him, especially after they bond over their tastes in music.
    • In Dinosaurs, Robbie flirts with going herbivore, so Earl takes him out to catch and eat prey. Robbie refuses to eat the small creature Earl finds for him, but the whole thing becomes moot when they themselves are eaten by a larger dinosaur.
  • September 1, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    Seems like this is exactly A Real Man Is A Killer. It is a description of a particular way to play that (subversion?), not a description of a different trope.

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