The Rebellion Episode
A character, who is normally conventional and law-abiding, temporarily lets loose and rebels.
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(permanent link) added: 2011-10-11 19:53:21 sponsor: SunnyV edited by: Arivne (last reply: 2014-02-28 08:43:43)

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Alice is your standard good girl, by all accounts. She's always cheerful, gets straight A's, and loves her parents. But one day, for varying reasons, she decides to skip class, start smoking, and probably (gasp!) start start leaning on things.

Often female, but by no means always. This may be brought up in one episode, resolved, and never mentioned again, or eventually become an essential part of the character.

To qualify for this trope, though, the character must be shown to start out good, and there must be an episode (or equivalent) that shows how and when she or he went "bad."

As mentioned above, the reasons for this change vary a lot. Maybe the author wants to make An Aesop about how authority should be obeyed. Maybe it's a result of Break the Cutie. Or maybe they just needed some Character Development, and this is how the author went about it.

There's definitely a spectrum as to how far the author will go with this change. It may simply result Alice becoming less uptight and having more fun. In works aimed for kids, she might start talking like a Badbutt and wearing vaguely punk-y clothes. In Darker and Edgier works, Alice might start having indiscriminate sex and taking drugs (which may or may not end in a Drugs Are Bad aesop.)

In universe, this will often begin with a friend who's a Bad Influence. The character wants to be cool like the friend and so will pick up their habits. Or, the character woke up one morning and thought "Screw the rules, I don't care."

If done for comedy, this may result in an unintentional example of Rule-Abiding Rebel.

Examples

Film

Live-Action TV
  • I think there was an episode of Hannah Montana like this, but I can't remember.
  • Glee seems to be heading in this direction with Quinn.
  • A few examples from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
    • In "Dopplegangland," Willow, upset at being called "Old Reliable", decides to go a little nuts and do some dark magic with Anya.
    • In "When She Was Bad," Buffy starts heading in this direction, until Cordelia calls her out on it.
    • In "Bad Girls," Faith becomes a bad influence on Buffy, and the latter seems to be going this way until Faith kills someone.
  • The Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined) two-parter "The Oath"/"Blood on the Scales" is a Rebellion Episode for Felix Gaeta, who allies with Zarek and starts a mutiny aboard his own ship, which almost succeeds, until Zarek crosses the Moral Event Horizon and Gaeta realizes it's gone too far. The two-parter doesn't end well for either of them, really.
  • Annie from Community went through this during Troy's 21st birthday. She was given a false ID in order to sneak into a bar and not only rebelled but pretended to be an entirely different person all together.

Western Animation
  • In The Simpsons, Lisa goes through this when she takes a career aptitude test and learns that she should be a "homemaker."
  • On the Sponge Bob Square Pants episode "Walking Small", Plankton teaches SpongeBob how to be more "assertive" as a ruse to drive people away from the beach so that he can build the Chum Bucket Megabucket in its place.

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