Created By: neoYTPism on April 8, 2011 Last Edited By: neoYTPism on May 23, 2011

Tougher To Do Nothing

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Do We Have This One?? Oh, and I'm open to title suggestions.

So let's say the scenario by its very nature, implies that one should NOT get involved. Maybe getting involved would cause one's Secret Identity to be revealed. Maybe it is just so difficult to tell what is going on that it is more likely than not that in trying to help you would only make things worse.

Whatever the reason, you are told, whether by your superiors or advisors, or even by your own logic, not to get involved. Well, one would think that'd be fairly convenient as far as "what you're supposed to do" goes, right?

Well, in that case, one would be wrong.

Maybe it's a matter of emotional attachment to whoever is affected by what you can't get involved in. Maybe it's a sense of loyalty that isn't quite in line with pure logic. In any case the point is that sometimes it's tougher to do nothing.

Truth in Television, to some extent. Compare Samaritan Syndrome.

Examples:

  • The above is a scan from Archie Sonic Issue #152, wherein Bunnie Rabbot was caught in some "nano-robotic contiguity" that wanted her robotic limbs. (From my understanding of it anyway. Not sure whether it's right or not.)
  • Great lecture on this from Vergere in the Star Wars Expanded Universe book Destiny's Way.
  • Kevin Flynn tries to use this philosophy in TRON: Legacy. His son Sam doesn't listen.
  • Also an issue in Dirty Harry, wherein Harry Callahan is trying to stop a Serial Killer but after getting beaten up by said serial killer is told "chief says beat it, that is an order." Harry keeps on getting involved anyway, likely because of this trope.
  • Averted in "The waters of mars" Doctor Who special. He starts off thinking it's tougher to do nothing then realizes "I'm the goddamn batman." and does as he damn well pleases.
Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • April 8, 2011
    arromdee
    This is similar to Inconvenient Hippocratic Oath.
  • April 8, 2011
    dalek955
    Great lecture on this from Vergere in the Star Wars Expanded Universe book Destiny's Way.
  • April 10, 2011
    neoYTPism
    Not necessarily, though there is some room for overlap @ arromdee
  • April 11, 2011
    Jmacq1
    Kevin Flynn tries to use this philosophy in Tron Legacy. His son Sam doesn't listen.
  • April 11, 2011
    Dec
    A very, very common dilemma for anyone working undercover.
  • April 12, 2011
    neoYTPism
    Added that @ Dec
  • April 17, 2011
    randomsurfer
    This also comes up a lot (which is to say I've seen it but don't recall examples) where a young hothead who wants to be in on the action is forced to do nothing via being held "in reserve," or being sent to HQ to report on a battle, or the like. Maybe he's a klutz, or too young to be in the battle, or maybe he really is the baddest of badasses.
  • April 18, 2011
    Thundafive
    Averted in "The waters of mars" doctor who special. He starts off thinking it's tougher to do nothing then realizes "I'm the goddamn batman." and does as he damn well pleases
  • April 21, 2011
    neoYTPism
    ... literally? @ Thundafive
  • May 21, 2011
    Prfnoff
  • May 21, 2011
    Scooter007
  • May 22, 2011
    neoYTPism
    Mentioned @ Scooter007
  • May 23, 2011
    jaytee
    This is invoked with the end of Watchmen. Once the heroes realize the extent of the Big Bad Magnificant Bastard's plan, they realize that to let the world know exactly what had happened would be far more costly than just doing nothing and letting it play out, even though it felt wrong. Of course, not everyone agreed....
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