True Scotsman Membership Card YKTTW Discussion

True Scotsman Membership Card
Requiring a membership and/or license to be in a group that doesnt actually need one.
(permanent link) added: 2011-10-25 12:12:49 sponsor: DragonQuestZ (last reply: 2011-10-28 13:53:15)

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NOTE: This is to offer a fixed version of a trope that was cut by an admin, due to being written as though it duplicated Stop Being Stereotypical. This fix instead focuses on the membership requirement aspect, instead of the stereotyping.

A joke that being part of a group requires some kind of membership and/or license to belong, when that group clearly requires no such thing. For example, what does it take to be a Scotsman? Being a citizen of Scotland is basically all it takes. But with this trope, you also get a membership card to be a Scotsman. Yet if you do something not properly Scottish, you are forced to revoke your card.

So in essence it's a parody of the No True Scotsman fallacy (hence the name), by portraying traits of any group as something that has rules to follow, or you get kicked out of the group. The actual use of this in fiction could range from someone joking that someone else should tear up their X card, to a character actually having to find a way to get that group license back.

This seems to run counter to Stop Being Stereotypical, but the absurdity actually supports that trope by lampooning the enforcement of stereotypes.

This need not be limited to cards either. There can even be a point system, like a Message Board gag where a user writes "I award you 20 nerd points for getting that reference!".

This can overlap with N-Word Privileges, if a character gets those privileges revoked along with their group card (again, this trope is about absurdity).

Compare What Do You Mean It's Not Heinous?, Proud to Be a Geek.


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