Created By: TheHandle on October 28, 2012 Last Edited By: TheHandle on December 17, 2012

Trolling

Casually enraging the opponent

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Trolling is the act of triggering the most violent, negative emotional reactions possible, with the least effort. The humour, such as it is, comes from the contrast between the seemingly effortless posture of the troll, and the seething, frothing rage or panic they cause in their victim, who is thus made to look like a child having a tantrum, or, if the troll is especially unresponsive, like a madman flailing at windmills; the troll, by comparison, appears controlled and in control.

Of course, it is possible to do this without being mean and sociopathic about it; many good-natured pranks and teases rely on the same principle, save for the fact that the offenses and threats presented to the victim are usually revealed to be genuinely harmless.

Some martial arts also perform a version of this; by properly using angles and leverage, an experienced fighter can make their opponent look ridiculous; they don't manage to land their hits because by the time they land the fighter isn't there, feints and goading movements can be used to make the attacker lose their pace, and, with Aikido for example, they can be made to fall down in such a way that it seems like they stumbled on their own feet.

Additionally, Trolling can be one of the specific forms Trash Talk takes; rather than demoralizing the enemy or distracting them, the talker attempts to cause them to fall into a blind fury that will make them lose all sense of calculation and strategy. This can backfire if The Gloves Come Off and the opponent unleashes a level of violence and/or ruthelessness that his provoker had underestimated.

Again, whether it is a verbal joust or a physical fight, making yourself look like you aren't taking the conflict seriously at all is one easy way to make your opponent feel insulted, and enraged,

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • On One Piece, Monkey D Luffy is a very silly person, and, even in the most serious moments, can pull ridiculous stunts that make their enemy believe he's mocking them. He also has a habit of doing silly things that annoy some of the serious crewmen specifically to rile them up. He doesn't have the monopoly on trolling, though; many other characters take pleasure in infuriating their opponents or otherwise acting very silly in very serious situations.
  • Lupin III is the kind of person that turns anything they're involved in into a farce just by being there. He has a knack for making his opponents look ridiculous even when, from their end, the situation is dead serious and way past the Despair Event Horizon.
  • From Naruto. Hakate Kakashi, while testing his students, makes them go through a Secret Test of Character that is especially misleading and ridiculing on their end. He also offhandedly defeats the three of them with one hand, while casually reading a novel with the other. A porn novel, that makes him blush.
  • Patlabor: Richard Wong seems to live for this, as seen during the Griffon arc, where he seems to make a game of deliberately antognizing the SVU2, his boss at Schaft, and his partner, Kurosaki!
    • Even his ex, Kumagami, wasn't spared. In The New Files series, he pretends to give himself up because of his feelings for her. When she falls for it, he scoops her up and literally dumps her... in a laundry basket, before making his escape!
    • His partner, Kurosaki, doesn't get spared either. After learning Kurosaki planted a remote bomb aboard the Griffon, Wong tricks him into handing over the detonator to save Bado, by telling him he had already discovered it, during a maintainance check, and disarmed it. Once Bado is clear of the Griffon's wreckage, he presses the switch, leading to this:
    Kurosaki: (surprised) "But... but you said you disarmed it!"
    Wong: (in sing song fashion) "IIII~IIII liiiii~eeeed!"
    • Captain Gotoh also has a habit of trolling, though not as much as Wong. Kanuka often calls him out on this, as does SVU1's, Captain Nagumo. At one point, he makes a show of confronting a labor, to impress his squad. When Shinobu asks about it, later, he nonchalantly reveals he only did 'cuz Sakaki had assured him that the labor was harmless.
    Shinobu: (disillusioned) "You mean THAT's why you went out?"
    Gotoh: (deadpan) "Pretty much. Yeah."
    Shinobu: (exasperated sigh) "I give up. So what'll your adoring public think when they find out?"
    Gotoh: (smirks toward the door) "I wonder?"
    Asuma, Nao, Kanuka, Otah, and Hirumi: (eavesdropping outside door) "THAT CHEAT!!"
Comic Book Literature
  • Lu-Tze from Discworld trolls as easily as he breathes. Rule Number One: Never trust tiny wrinkly smiling old men.

Community Feedback Replies: 23
  • October 28, 2012
    StarSword
  • October 28, 2012
    socks
    There's already a Troll page.
  • October 28, 2012
    TheHandle
    Yes, but that one seems to deal exclusively with the "Netizen with GIFT" variety, rather than with the Real Life teasing, taunting and provoking that I attempt to touch upon here. Compare with I Shall Taunt You.
  • October 28, 2012
    socks
    Ah, I see. So what differentiates it from I Shall Taunt You? Is it because it includes pranks as well as insults?
  • October 28, 2012
    WaxingName
    My thoughts: Maybe we should TRS the current Troll page to rename it to Internet Troll, since Troll is used extensively throughout the wiki without referencing its internet-centric definition. This YKTTW should get the name of Troll.
  • October 28, 2012
    MiinU
    The examples in the OP don't really qualify as "trolling", and basically read, 'X is silly, or 'X is funny', without going into detail. At the very least, they should include specific examples of either when, or how, the character trolls.

    For example:

    Anime and Manga

    • Patlabor: Richard Wong seems to live for this, as seen during the Griffon arc, where he seems to make a game of deliberately antognizing the SVU2, his boss at Schaft, and his partner, Kurosaki!
      • Even his ex, Kumagami, wasn't spared. In The New Files series, he pretends to give himself up because of his feelings for her. When she falls for it, he scoops her up and literally dumps her... in a laundry basket, before making his escape!
      • His partner, Kurosaki, doesn't get spared either. After learning Kurosaki planted a remote bomb aboard the Griffon, Wong tricks him into handing over the detonator to save Bado, by telling him he had already discovered it, during a maintainance check, and disarmed it. Once Bado is clear of the Griffon's wreckage, he presses the switch, leading to this:
      Kurosaki: (surprised) "But... but you said you disarmed it!"
      Wong: (in sing song fashion) "IIII~IIII liiiii~eeeed!"
      • Captain Gotoh also has a habit of trolling, though not as much as Wong. Kanuka often calls him out on this, as does SVU1's, Captain Nagumo. At one point, he makes a show of confronting a labor, to impress his squad. When Shinobu asks about it, later, he nonchalantly reveals he only did 'cuz Sakaki had assured him that the labor was harmless.
      Shinobu: (disillusioned) "You mean THAT's why you went out?"
      Gotoh: (deadpan) "Pretty much. Yeah."
      Shinobu: (exasperated sigh) "I give up. So what'll your adoring public think when they find out?"
      Gotoh: (smirks toward the door) "I wonder?"
      Asuma, Nao, Kanuka, Otah, and Hirumi: (eavesdropping outside door) "THAT CHEAT!!"
  • October 29, 2012
    MorganWick
    I have a feeling this is going to be mistaken for Internet Troll.
  • October 29, 2012
    TheHandle
    ^^^ The name Troll implies a character who makes a habit of it, though. Trolling implies it's just instances of trolling, which I think is more useful. Also, there are some examples in that page, few as they may be, that are not about internet trolls; we should bring them here.

    ^^^^ I Shall Taunt You seems to be exclusively about combat situations, doesn't seem to require that the taunter be calmer than the tauntee, and includes actions, such as straight-up insults, that are far less sophisticated than trolling tries to be.

  • October 29, 2012
    GroxSmashPunyAstartes
    how about this example: Mine Trolling T Vtropes for The Ultimate Crossover Movie project(which may leads to the T Vtropes page of the project being cut)?

    and is this counts as trolling(given any forum posts that Has to do with T He Ultimate Crossover Movie that I posts recently turns into Troll Post's posts)?
  • October 29, 2012
    TheHandle
    ...Is there such a thing as a holler button here?
  • October 29, 2012
    GroxSmashPunyAstartes
    The Handle! what do you say?
  • October 29, 2012
    TheHandle
    I say my brain refuses to understand your posts until you use proper grammar and capitalization.
  • October 29, 2012
    Cider
    Internet Troll's examples are not limited to the internet anyway, maybe the description is but that can be changed can't it? The redirect can be removed and these examples could just be added on to that page.
  • October 29, 2012
    TheHandle
    I'm not keen on having internet troll examples on this tentative page. If anything, I'd prefer them to have their own subpage. Trolling on the internet has different qualities both in form and content, one of the major factors being the lack of physical presence. Non-internet trolling carries very different tensions and says very different things about the character, if only for the fact that, when you're doing it, there's a real danger that the trollee would snap and punch you in the face. There's also the matter of real-time reaction, lengthiness of the lines/monologues...
  • October 29, 2012
    BigRedAngryBird
    Hey T He Handle! if you're(like any other tropers) are insists that My grammar and english sucks regardless my efforts, do you(and any tropers) says that Conspiracy Theorists in general have terrible grammar/english?
  • October 29, 2012
    TheHandle
    I don't know enough conspiracy theorists to reliably extrapolate.

    Is there really not a holler button here?
  • November 10, 2012
    Cider
    You know what, another page is not needed, we already have The Gadfly.
  • November 11, 2012
    Nithael
    @The Handle: Don't bother talking to Grox Smash Puny Astartes / Big Red Angry Bird, he's been repeatedly banned in the past. Oh hai Masonicon!
  • November 12, 2012
    SmallBlueAngryBird
    @Nithael: that's me! and would you give me further reasons why T Vtropes Page of The Ultimate Crossover Movie are cut(besides being Troper Work of Ban-evading Troper named Masonicon)?
  • November 12, 2012
    Nithael
    "being Troper Work of Ban-evading Troper named Masonicon" ? Oh well done Holmes, I think you've solved this mystery! Also, horrible grammar and nonsensical premise.
  • December 16, 2012
    Unknown Troper
    @Nithael: would you tells T Vtropes mods and Admins as well Staff to restore this page: T He Ultimate Crossover Movie since I has put some efforts into that work: http://ani-toonspiracy.deviantart.com

    if you're refuses to do so, would you explain it to me?
  • December 16, 2012
    TwoGunAngel
    Going BACK to providing examples:

    • This is the M.O. of Hazama/Terumi Yuuki of Blaz Blue fame. He is a ghost who subsists on other people's hatred of him, and he is very, very good at doing horrible, hateworthy things to people for his own twisted amusement. Hazama's brand of trolling is decidedly more hurtful and deadly than most on this list, though he does engage in other, more verbal trolling of the main cast.
  • December 17, 2012
    TheHandle
    • G La DOS indulges in this rather frequently as part of her one-sided Passive Aggressive Kombat... and unsuccessfully, in-universe, since the Heroic Mime of a protagonist doesn't ever react to her tauntings and provocations. Events involving the Companion Cube are especially noteworthy, in both games. She's a lot more direct in her trolling of Wheatley; calling him a moron is a very reliable way of getting a rise out of him. She also uses Correction Bait to cause him to get electrocuted by the system for explaining part of a puzzle ("It was completely Worth It").
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=s74d9e791lafnf4zpxdu0z98