Created By: spacemarine50 on September 3, 2012 Last Edited By: spacemarine50 on March 4, 2014
Troped

Safety Gear Is Cowardly (change name?)

Use of safety gear is viewed negatively

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Don't Try This at Home and Do Not Do This Cool Thing. Our Lawyers Advised This Trope.

There are perfectly good reasons to have safety gear. They protect you and keep you from getting killed or severely injured in an accident or combat. But some people don't understand that. They believe that safety is for wimps, or believe that they are a Bad Ass without any safety gear. They might actually throw away or take off the gear if it's offered. Reality Ensues if he dies in an accident, or Safety Guy lives through one.

Usually used to send the message that safety(gear) is important. Subtrope of Televisionis Trying To Kill Us. Fantasy Helmet Enforcement is an inversion, where safety gear is always on. An unsafe workplace is No OSHA Compliance. A Karmic Death might result if the lack of safety causes someone's death.

Also see Helmets Are Hardly Heroic, Drives Like Crazy, Artistic License Gun Safety.

Note: Armor does count, but the perception it doesn't protect at all falls under Armor Is Useless.

Examples:

Advertising
  • A series of real life public service announcements around Edmonton try to invert this stereotype by demonstrating what happens to a series of fictional characters as they take safety short cuts—namely, ignoring safety gear.

Anime
  • In Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, Sosuke comes to class in a hazmat suit and tells his classmates that they might have ebola. He's wrong. Between panicking, they ask him why he's the only one with protection, and he responds by taking it off.
  • Devil May Cry: The Animated Series: The leader of a biker club challenges Dante to a motorcycle race. When seeing that Dante has chosen not to wear a helmet (due to the fact that he has regenerative abilities), the biker decides that he will not wear any protective gear as well.

Comic Books
  • In Watchmen Rorschach travels a fair distance in Antarctica wearing nothing but his usual trenchcoat, gloves and mask.

Film
  • Premium Rush has main character Wilee often brag about having a fixed-gear bike with no brakes.

Literature

Live-Action TV
  • In the Red Dwarf episode Confidence and Paranoia, a physical manifestation of Lister's confidence tries to persuade him that he's so great, he doesn't need a suit to survive a spacewalk. After trying to remove Lister's suit, Confidence removes his own to prove the point, and promptly dies.
  • Adverted in Mythbusters. They take a lot of safety precautions while doing their thing, and repeatedly say to the audience Do Not Try This at Home.
  • In an episode of Breaking Bad, two criminals complain about the "nanny state", exemplified by how you can't smoke on airplanes and how children wear bicycle helmets.
  • Averted in Sons of Anarchy, where for the most part all the bikers wear helmets.

Tabletop Games
  • Ork philosophy in Warhammer 40K, as accidents are far more amusing to watch.

Video Game

Webcomic
  • Subverted in this Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. Steve jumps out of a plane without a parachute for the same reason he didn't bring his mommy to hold his hand: she had never loved him.

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons
    • One episode starts with the family all wearing seatbelts. The Rich Texan appears, not wearing a seatbelt, and calls the Simpsons cowards. Homer chases after him and swears revenge for the insult.
    • Another one where Bart rides on a skateboard as usual, but with helmet and pads. Cue the bullies beating him over his gear.

Real Life
  • People will often start off following all safety protocol and then after time, pay less and less heed to it. This comes from people relaxing because the dangers that the safety protocol prevents doesn't happen often. Then the disaster happens and people get hurt.
    • This is why "drills" are common in most industries. By running workers over and over again through the proper procedures they become instinctive actions, and the workers will (in theory) keep themselves safe without ever having to consciously think about the safety protocols.
  • Sometimes happens on construction jobs, where workers shun safety procedures such as always being tied off when working at unsafe heights. They may either think they're Badass enough that they don't need to take these measures, or think those measures slow them down too much or make their job harder.
  • Truckers may similarly shun regulations requiring eight hours rest after ten hours driving (as per U.S. transport regs), and protest that they can handle longer driving periods. Often what may really motivate this is either a tight schedule, or (for independent truckers) scheduling more runs than they could possibly do within the regs, for more money.
  • Also relates to the tendency for younger people to take more risks (driving recklessly, having unsafe sex, blindly experimenting with pills, etc.) because they think they're indestructible—not sure if there's a trope for that.
  • Japanese Naval pilots in World War II went into battle without parachutes or properly organized medevac.
Community Feedback Replies: 72
  • September 3, 2012
    CharacterInWhite
    • A series of real life PS As around Edmonton try to invert this stereotype by demonstrating what happens to a series of fictional characters as they take safety short cuts--namely, ignoring safety gear.
  • September 3, 2012
    KTera
    Possibly related to Helmets Are Hardly Heroic.
  • September 3, 2012
    chicagomel
    Pretty much the plot of The Berenstain Bears book 'Safe and Sound'.
  • September 4, 2012
    Arivne
    Some other possibilities:
    • Refusing to wear life jackets when going sailing or boating
    • Not using climbing gear (that's meant to keep you from falling) when climbing mountains, buildings etc.
  • September 4, 2012
    Koveras
  • September 4, 2012
    KageNara
    How about Fearful Safety.
  • September 4, 2012
    Tiiba
    In Full Metal Panic Fumoffu, Sosuke comes to class in a hazmat suit and tells his classmates that they might have ebola (Spoiler: he's wrong). Between panicking, they ask him why he's the only one with protection, and he responds by taking it off.
  • September 23, 2012
    robinjohnson
  • May 10, 2013
    spacemarine50
    Bump.
  • May 10, 2013
    Chabal2
    Ork philosophy in Warhammer 40 K, as accidents are far more amusing to watch.
  • May 10, 2013
    TwoGunAngel
    The page quote "Caution is not cowardly. Carelessness is not courage." seems quite appropriate here.
  • May 10, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    A usual inversion is Fantasy Helmet Enforcement for children's shows, which occasionally lead to characters wearing helmets where some would think they wouldn't.
  • May 10, 2013
    jatay3
    Real Life: Japanese Naval pilots in World War II went into battle without parachutes or properly organized medevac.
  • May 10, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Real Life

    • Sometimes happens on construction jobs, where workers shun safety procedures such as always being tied off when working at unsafe heights. They may either think they're Badass enough that they don't need to take these measures, or think those measures slow them down too much or make their job harder.
    • Truckers may similarly shun regulations requiring eight hours rest after ten hours driving (as per U.S. transport regs), and protest that they can handle longer driving periods. Often what may really motivate this is either a tight schedule, or (for independent truckers) scheduling more runs than they could possibly do within the regs, for more money.
  • May 10, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Also relates to the tendency for younger people to take more risks (driving recklessly, having unsafe sex, blindly experimenting with pills, etc.) because they think they're indestructible--not sure if there's a trope for that.
  • May 11, 2013
    Koveras
    I am not sure how this relates to the The Law Of Diminishing Defensive Effort.
  • May 11, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Film
    • When replicant Roy Batty visits Hannibal Chew in Blade Runner, Chew is working in the cryonics section, where the ambient temperature is sub-zero. Chew is wearing a fur coat with its own furnace pipes; Batty menaces Chew wearing street clothes.
  • May 11, 2013
    KingZeal
    Video Games

    Possible page quotes:

    The lab boys say that might be a fear reaction. I'm no psychiatrist, but coming from a bunch of eggheads who wouldn't recognize the thrill of danger if it walked up and snapped their little pink bras, that sounds like projection.
    --Cave Johnson, Portal 2

    Science isn't about why, it's about why not. You ask: why is so much of our science dangerous? I say: why not marry safe science if you love it so much. In fact, why not invent a special safety door that won't hit you in the butt on the way out, because you are fired.
    --Cave Johnson, Portal 2
  • May 12, 2013
    abloke

    Live Action TV

    • In the Red Dwarf episode Confidence and Paranoia, a physical manifestation of Lister's confidence tries to persuade him that he's so great, he doesn't need a suit to survive a spacewalk. After trying to remove Lister's suit, Confidence removes his own to prove the point, and promptly dies.

    Video Games

  • May 12, 2013
    Arivne
    ^^^ I'm not sure that the Blade Runner example counts.

    In the same scene the replicant Leon stuck his hand into freezing cold liquid with no ill effects, so replicants are strongly resistant to cold. Roy Batty wasn't wearing street clothes because he thought he was brave or Bad Ass, he was doing it because the cold simply didn't affect him.
  • May 12, 2013
    somerandomdude
    Premium Rush has main character Wilee often brag about having a fixed-gear bike with no brakes.
  • May 16, 2013
    McKathlin
    Related to Armor Is Useless, which is about protective gear not being effective.
  • May 17, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^^^ Also, you should remember that the replicants were designed to work in extreme conditions in the first place so they don't really need safety gear the same way humans do.
  • May 17, 2013
    spacemarine50
    • A Can I got some hats?
    • B What should I do with the Blade Runner example?
  • May 18, 2013
    Arivne
    ^ @B: Since it isn't an example of the trope, it shouldn't be included in the OP examples.
  • May 18, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In Watchmen Rorschach travels a fair distance in Antarctica wearing nothing but his usual trenchcoat, gloves and mask.
  • May 20, 2013
    KingZeal
    ^^^ Edit in the examples if you want hats.
  • May 20, 2013
    spacemarine50
    Not sure how, since I don't know most of the works. Also, is this a good trope for Example As A Thesis?
  • May 23, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Just copy and paste them in. I don't think there are anytropes which are a "good" trope for Example as a Thesis nowadays. It's a Discredited Trope Descriptor.
  • May 23, 2013
    Topazan
    • Subverted in this Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. Steve jumps out of a plane without a parachute for the same reason he didn't bring his mommy to hold his hand: she had never loved him.

    Would this work as a page quote?

    I saw a good frame on superdickery that would work as a page image. It was a Silver Age story where Lois imagined Clark Kent as a superhero named Powerman. His wearing a warning light to avoid collisions with planes was treated as mockworthy. Found it.
  • September 21, 2013
    dalek955
  • September 22, 2013
    DAN004
    Don't just use "Safety". Add "Gear" to the title plz.
  • September 22, 2013
    spacemarine50
    Depends on if this trope is:
    • The idea of being safe is seen negatively, or
    • Using protective gear is seen negatively.
  • September 22, 2013
    dalek955
    Did the Japanese pilots refuse parachutes and medevac, or did they just not have any to bring? Because it's only an example if it's the former.

    Hats are for if the trope is ready to launch. You won't get any until you decide on a name.
  • September 23, 2013
    DAN004
    ^^ You are the YKTTW maker, sir. You decide. :/
  • September 23, 2013
    dalek955
    ^^^I'd suggest it be mocking the idea of being safe when the safe way is readily availiable and still gets the job done. Refusing PPE would be an example of that.
  • September 23, 2013
    jatay3
    Dalek, if I remember the Japanese government skimped on safety measures for it's pilots because of an ideology of machoness. Ironically I read one Japanese pilot who thought American medevac ops were a sign of courage and brought them Worthy Opponent status. But the lack was not just because of scanty resources, so I think it would actually fit.
  • September 23, 2013
    dalek955
    ^In that case, the example should really be expanded to say so.
  • September 23, 2013
    kjnoren
    To me there is a question on the cause of the skimping of safety features or gear.

    Is it because of overconfidence or carelessness (like in the Honor Harrington example above)? Is it because of simple disregard of danger (common in younger people - it won't happen to me)? Is it because safety gear is viewed as unmanly/not macho/whimpy? Or all of the above?
  • September 23, 2013
    NimmerStill
    • In an episode of Breaking Bad, two criminals complain about the "nanny state", exemplified by how you can't smoke on airplanes and how children wear bicycle helmets.
    • Averted in Sons Of Anarchy, where for the most part all the bikers wear helmets.
  • September 23, 2013
    spacemarine50
    ^^Intended to be all of the above, but especially the last. But this might need another trope to cover what this one does not.
  • September 24, 2013
    Arivne
    If this is about safety gear, the title should include safety gear.

    Seconding Safety Gear Is Cowardly.
  • September 24, 2013
    kjnoren
    ^^ If it is to cover all of the reasons, then simply Safety Gear Is Disregarded or Safety Rules Are Disregarded, but that brings us close to No OSHA Compliance.

    Some related tropes: Drives Like Crazy, Artistic License Gun Safety.
  • September 24, 2013
    spacemarine50
    If I'm covering all aspects, should I do types and split up the examples based off of the type like kjnoren suggested?
  • September 24, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Fixed the spoiler tags in the Full Metal Panic Fumoffu example.

    EDIT: Namespaced and italicized a bunch of examples.
  • September 26, 2013
    DAN004
    ^^ I guess you should.
  • January 16, 2014
    dalek955
    Bump.
  • January 16, 2014
    KarjamP
    Wouldn't it be better if this trope's called Safety Gear Is Cowardly?

    Because to me, the current name implies that all form of safety's bad (ie, not being in a war zone, having a truce, etc.).
  • January 16, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ agree.
  • February 2, 2014
    AliceMacher
    • In Penny And Aggie, Penny urges her boyfriend Rich to wear a helmet when skateboarding. He claims that doing so would be, in effect, saying he expects to wipe out, or like shouting "I might lose!" at the beginning of a boxing match.
  • February 3, 2014
    Green5
    Originally posted by King Zeal:

    Science isn't about why, it's about why not. You ask: why is so much of our science dangerous? I say: why not marry safe science if you love it so much. In fact, why not invent a special safety door that won't hit you in the butt on the way out, because you are fired.
    Cave Johnson, Portal 2

    I vote this for the page quote.
  • February 3, 2014
    Generality
    Helmets Are Hardly Heroic is related, since a helmet is safety equipment.
  • February 3, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Would Beowulf refusing to use battle gear with Grendel work?
  • February 3, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Try putting that in example form.
  • February 4, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    I'm not sure. Beowulf essentially says, "It wouldn't be fair to use weapons or armor; Grendel doesn't." Then again, I'm pretty sure he felt it wouldn't hurt his heroism quotient.
  • February 5, 2014
    spacemarine50
    A possible laconic to replace current: Use of safety gear is viewed negatively

    Edit: a minor revision.
  • February 21, 2014
    spacemarine50
    Ready to launch?
  • February 21, 2014
    DAN004
  • February 23, 2014
    spacemarine50
  • February 25, 2014
    Acebrock
    This was the attitude towards safety equipment in auto racing in the 60s and 70s, which makes it unsurprising that driver deaths were so common. For example, when Jackie Stewart pushed for mandatory seat belts and full faced helmets (things that are unthinkable to go without in any racing series now), people said it would detract from the sport. Adaption of new attitudes towards safety depended on the series, with deaths of popular drivers being the catalyst in Formula One and NASCAR. Dale Earnhardt actually had this attitude himself, not using a full faced helmet and apparently using a modified seatbelt that was more comfortable but less safe right up until his death, and called the HANS device (which may have saved him had he worn it) "That damn noose!"
  • February 25, 2014
    hbi2k
    "A common aesop."

    This trope is not a common Aesop. It's often used to illustrate the Aesop that safety is important.

    Also, I'd suggest something like "Safety Is For Sissies" as a title, for Added Alliterative Appeal.
  • February 25, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Even that's not alliterative enough...
  • February 25, 2014
    spacemarine50
    Keep current title or change to hbi's idea? Please vote, or should I make a crowner instead?
  • February 25, 2014
    DAN004
    Keep current title plz.

    Oh btw: Is this really an aesop, or just one character's viewpoint? Or could it be both?
  • February 25, 2014
    spacemarine50
    ^It's a viewpoint that being safe/using safety gear is negative. Usually used for a safety aesop.
  • February 25, 2014
    xanderiskander
    Keep the current title. Not every title needs alliteration, and the current name is better.
  • February 25, 2014
    DAN004
    ^^ then it's a subtrope of Deliberately Bad Example.

    Though I don't think this has to lead to an aesop - sometimes the no-safety guy is just being awesome.
  • February 25, 2014
    spacemarine50
    • ^That's not it. Or my last point wasn't quite right. The 2nd guy acting safe isn't necessary for this trope.
    • The Top Gear cast thinks that Health and Safety and their procedures/actions are pointless and a waste of time. As I'm not from the UK, can someone expand that?
  • February 26, 2014
    hbi2k
    @spacemarine, it's your YKTTW, keeping the name or changing it is up you. There's nothing wrong with the title as is, Safety Is For Sissies is just a suggestion. Your call.
  • March 4, 2014
    JesseMB27
    Anime and Manga
  • March 4, 2014
    313Bluestreak
  • March 4, 2014
    DAN004
    Launch plz.
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