Created By: ParadiscaCorbasi on September 6, 2012 Last Edited By: ParadiscaCorbasi on April 24, 2016

Relatively Precedent Reputation

Another person's reputation precedes you.

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Page Type:
Trope
Formerly known as: Their Reputation Precedes Me

Sense of identity is an important trait to most fictional characters. It helps define them to the audience for one thing, but it also gives the character their own set of motives and motivations.

But unfortunately, often a character has a member of their Badass Family whose reputation precedes them; so much so that people greet Bob not by his name but, "Oh, hey, look, it's Big Bob's son!" or Alice by "Look, It's Alicia's baby sister!" much to their chagrin.

Can result in Jumped at the Call as Bob or Alice seek incrasingly more drastic methods of getting out from being under their relative's shadow. Not confined strictly to parent/child or sibling. It can be any family member.

The one whose reputation overshadows the other character need not even be a relative. It can be a friend, acquaintance, or person whose legacy they've inherited.

Sins of Our Fathers is the Sister Trope wherein the reputation preceding is not a positive one and the character is suffering for the connection to the other.

Commercials
  • There's an ad for Subway in which a little boy laments that in a crowd of other kids he's nobody. To the teachers, he's Jared's little brother, but at Subway he's himself and he can have what he wants.

Literature
  • In the October Daye books, Toby at least gets to introduce herself by name before the person hearing her name shouts, "Oh! You're Amandine's daughter!". Some people refer to her by that appelation exclusively.

Live-Action TV

Western Animation
  • Superman: The Animated Series contains this exchange:
    Criminal: Hold it right there, Ms ...
    Lois Lane: Lane.
    Criminal: [going pale] Lane? Lois Lane? You mean the one Superman always saves?
    Lois Lane: [deadpan, fastens seatbelt] 'Fraid so.
    [beat]
    [Superman arrives, turns plane upside down. Lois and everyone strapped in are fine -- Criminals go sprawling.]
  • Played with in Young Justice as Superboy is often mistaken for Superman, and clarifies, "I'm his clone". It was done with anger in season one, when Superman still didn't want anything to do with him. But as of season two, they're family and now Conner corrects it matter-of-factly.
Community Feedback Replies: 34
  • September 7, 2012
    MrRuano
    • In the earlier stages Legacy of Kain Soul Reaver, one might be forgiven for believing that this was the reason Raziel was cast out of Nosgoth and practically killed, as Raziel had been evolved enough to generate wings while none of his brothers did. However, further revelations and Thirty Xanatos Pile Up that Kain is involved in puts a severe damper on this, subverting the trope.
    • This is a major motivation for Liquid Snake's actions in the Metal Gear Solid series. Not only is he constantly reminded of the legacy of his "father", Big Boss, but he is also haunted by the supposed genetic superiority of his "brother", the protagonist Solid Snake.
  • September 7, 2012
    Antigone3
    I don't remember her getting "oh, you're Tobias' child" in direct address, but Lena Marchand (from the Collegium series) is definitely facing the attitude from her teachers that as Master Bard Tobias Marchand's child she must excel.
  • September 7, 2012
    Tallens
    • In The Secret Of Nimh, wherever Mrs. Brisby introduces herself, it's often followed by her being asked if she's Mrs. Jonathan Brisby, who was her husband and was known for helping the rats escape NIMH.
  • September 7, 2012
    Medinoc
    Konohamaru in Naruto seems to be known only as the Third Hokage's Grandson.
  • September 7, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Name does not indicate the parameters of the trope well.
  • September 7, 2012
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    True, Dragon Quest Z. I will have to come up with a better one and/or entertain suggestions.

    UPDATE: Better?
  • September 7, 2012
    sgamer82
    • Played straight then inverted in Unseen Academicals as Trev Likely's father Dave is so well known that he's more known as Dave Likely's son. At the end of the book though, the inversion kicks in when Trev's exploits outshines his father's:
      Juliet: They said Dave Likely was your father.
      Trev: Well, yes, that's true.
      Juliet: Yes, but they used to say you were his son.

    In the case of the Naruto example:
    • That fact is actually what brings Konohamaru and Naruto together, as Naruto is the first and only person outside his family to treat him special because of his connection to the Hokage. Oddly enough, it's subverted for Naruto himself, as despite rather obviously being the son of the beloved Fourth Hokage nobody ever seems to pay attention to his heritage.
  • September 8, 2012
    KarjamP
  • September 8, 2012
    ladygem
    I googled the dialog from the Superman example. It was a DCAU book and they were on Air Force One. You might want to move it to the Comic Books section before you launch it.

    Also,

  • September 8, 2012
    Astaroth
    • Can be invoked in Arcanum by creating a character with the 'Child of a Hero' background. You'll start the game with a sword that was handed down to you by your father, but everyone expects you to follow in his footsteps, and you incur penalties for any evil actions you undertake.
  • September 8, 2012
    Chabal2
    Commander Vimes gets this a lot in Discworld, as one of his ancestors very famously ended the rule of kings in Ankh-Morpork, especially when dealing with royalty.
  • September 8, 2012
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    Karjam P - you do have a thing about things that sound like stock phrases. However, it is not really a stock phrase. It's a play on the Stock Phrase "my reputation precedes me". And I actually googled to see if there was such a stock phrase without results. It offered up the original phrase. But it doesn't violate the stated ban by Fast Eddie on Stock Phrase Trope Titles.

    Thank you for your concern.
  • September 8, 2012
    abk0100
    Is Young Justice really an inversion? What's being inverted?
  • September 8, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^^ It's actually the site that has a thing for it. If you look at that page, even sounding like a stock phrase is a bad thing.
  • September 8, 2012
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    Ok, suggestions, then, that don't encumber the trope title with a lot of words.

    And maybe it's played with, in Superboy's case, then? He's often greeted as if he's carrying Superman's reputation, when he has to clarify he's a clone. it's the other person's reputation still preceding him...
  • September 8, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Always Known As Bobs Younger Brother? It would then have the custom title: Always Known As "Bob's Younger Brother".
  • September 9, 2012
    KarjamP
    (retracted after reading Dragon Quest Z's post).
  • September 9, 2012
    Damr1990
    see also Sins Of Our Fathers and Sins Of Our Brothers for when the reputation of the relatives is bad and/or one has to suffer for their mistakes/crimes
  • September 9, 2012
    azul120
    How about something like Living Under Their Shadow?

    Here's another example:

  • September 9, 2012
    arromdee
    If you look at that page, even sounding like a stock phrase is a bad thing.

    I don't see that at all. Yes, there may be a sentence on that page which literally says that something can't even sound like a stock phrase, but if you read it for meaning, that's obviously not what it's trying to say. Look at the reasons given.

    • We don't want our editors thinking that the trope is about characters merely saying the phrase.
    • Speaking of context, many older Stock Phrase articles were at some point written as "A common phrase said when...", placing emphasis on the exact words used instead of the actual trope that prompted them.
    • We don't want every example section getting formatted like a list of quotations.
    • Sometimes a Stock Phrase ... just isn't a stock phrase. If it could occur for a variety of unrelated reasons...
    • Some Stock Phrase-named tropes become Pothole Magnets (or worse, Troper Tics) where editors link the title every time they use the phrase,

    If it's not actually a stock phrase, and it just sounds like a stock phrase, none of the reasons apply. No characters are going to be saying it. Nobody is going to emphasize anyone saying the exact words because we made it up ourselves and no character will ever be saying the exact words. Nobody is going to format the examples like a list of quotes, because there aren't going to be any quotes of anyone saying it. The phrase isn't going to occur at all, let alone for a variety of unrelated reasons. And nobody's going to pothole it to when they use the phrase, because nobody's going to be using the version of the phrase that appears in the title.

    To think that that actually means a ban even on things that sound like stock phrases, when the reasons to ban stock phrases don't apply to them, is absurd. Keep the title.
  • September 9, 2012
    KarjamP
    ^How about the first paragraph:

    "A TV Tropes ruling established mid-2011 that no new articles in the YKTTW should be named after a Stock Phrase or line of personal (in-character) dialogue." (emphasis added).

    It sounds like dialog. therefore, it counts.
  • September 9, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ It doesn't matter. Pages have been cut for merely looking like a stock phrase in their titles.
  • September 9, 2012
    Generality
    Not sure if this one counts, 'cause it's also a case of mistaken identity:

    • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Al is often taken to be the Fullmetal rather than Ed, because he's a huge suit of armour, while the latter only has metal prosthetic limbs.
  • September 9, 2012
    ladygem
    What about Fame Is Relative or Reputation Is Relative as a title? Since many of the examples here deal with a relative of some sort, who has created a reputation for themselves and is more than likely famous.
  • September 9, 2012
    arromdee
    Karjam P: That's why my point about reading it for meaning instead of looking at every sentence literally. Almost all of that page is about stock phrases, not titles that sound like stock phrases, and all of the reasons given for not using them only apply to real stock phrases, not to titles that sound like stock phrases. It just doesn't make sense to interpret it to include titles that sound like stock phrases, even if there is one sentence in there that literally speaking includes more than the rest of the page does.

    I may as well add that "everything is relative" is itself a stock phrase, so the ..is relative snowclones would themselves be ineligible for this reason. It's even a film title.
  • September 9, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ It doesn't matter if it doesn't make sense. Admins and mods DO CUT new pages when their titles look like phrases.

    I launched a trope "What do you mean it's no horrific?", and it got cut. Fortunately we convinced Fast Eddie to restore it under the name, Faux Horrific, but it made it clear even looking like a phrase is a bad idea.

    This isn't trying to be pedantic. This is so a legit trope doesn't get cut for its title alone.
  • September 9, 2012
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    Relatively Precedent Reputation perhaps? would that work?
  • September 9, 2012
    LOAD
    Good trope, but needs a better title. ^I like that one.
  • September 10, 2012
    arromdee
    DQZ: Then I would suggest editing that page to take out the reasons. It makes people think that the reasons actually have something to do with the ban, when they don't.
  • October 3, 2012
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    It's had a couple weeks to rest since the "sounding like a line of dialogue" discussion. Seems that's put to rest now.

    Does anyone have any more examples, or should I get set to launch it the first weekend in October?

  • April 23, 2016
    HeroGal2347
    I don't know that the negative version of this would be entirely Sins Of The Father. some examples might cross over this trope with Revenge By Proxy — the villain recognizes you as connected to their nemesis and wants to kill you to hurt them.
  • April 23, 2016
    acrobox
    Can we change the name? I was thinking like Reputation By Association
  • April 23, 2016
    HeroGal2347
    ^ That makes more sense to me.
  • April 24, 2016
    DAN004
    Does this even have to involve being ashamed though? Not everyone is ashamed of being part of a family, even if the family/group is famous in a good way. In fact they often would be proud.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=prs474sqpy112bzl4o5lu8sn