Created By: Lumpenprole on December 21, 2011 Last Edited By: Lumpenprole on April 24, 2016

Greed Trumps Mind Control

No form of telepathy can override sheer avarice

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A powerful telepath can do a lot of things to someone's head, but apparently the one thing they can't do is make a miser forget the bottom line. Sometimes played for laughs, sometimes semi-seriously.


Live-Action Television:
  • Doctor Who: The Master's telepathic powers fail to dent the mercenary Sabalom Glitz's obesession with wealth.

  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Lwaxana Troi complained that she couldn't telepathically probe any Ferengi, though whether this is associated with their obsession with profit is unclear.
Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • December 21, 2011
    • Order Of The Stick: Someone tries to control Belkar to kill his own party and turn their magic items over to the mind controller. This fails. The mind controller then suggests killing the party and keeping the magic items for himself. This Belkar can be persuaded to do.
  • December 21, 2011
    I thought Qui-Gon's mind trick failing on Watto was because he was a toydarian. At the very least, that's what Watto said.
  • December 21, 2011
    Toydarians and Hutts are both famously resistant to the Jedi mind trick. On the other hand, they both have greed as a species trait, so cause and effect becomes a little blurry.
  • December 22, 2011
    • Inversion: My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: "The Return of Harmony": Rarity was starting to resist Discord's mind control. She was walking away and heading toward the center, but her greed for what seemed a big diamond is what caused her to succumb to the mind control altogether.
  • December 22, 2011
    Averted in DS 9 when the Prophets successfully mind-raped Zek.
  • December 22, 2011
  • January 27, 2012
    That has nothing to do with Mind Control. No Sell is much closer.
  • January 28, 2012
    The Simpsons: the family (except Marge) has all been brainwashed by the Movementarians. Marge gets them all kidnapped back for Deprogramming - she gets Bart and Lisa to snap out of it by promising them hoverbikes.
  • January 28, 2012
    A general "not effected by mind control" because their will is too strong be a better trope? I can think of examples where Greedy people were brainwashed or had their minds taken over. Some stories say greed makes someone easy control because their motivations are straight forward.

    • Pigma-Star Fox Greedy, didn't save him from Aparoids.
    • Using greed to control people is how Agent Orange of Green Lantern operates
  • January 28, 2012
    ^More like mind control can't oppose greed, although it certainly can work with it.

  • January 28, 2012
    I think it works better if you have it be Vice Trumps Mind Control. While, admittedly, greed is the most common vice that anchors souls, sometimes they are just so stubborn, willful or hatred that the mind control either doesn't take or gets thrown off when challenged.

    Either way, an example: Wakfu: Ruel Strood is an Enutrof, a miser to the extreme. Twice, when the plague of the week overtook him, he lost all personality... except his desire to pick up a loose kama (read: coin).
  • January 28, 2012
    I'm strongly sure i've seen the trope used with something like food before. Like someone such as homer simpson has been mind controlled (perhaps in a treehouse of horror episode) and he breaks free from the spell because "mmm donuts". It's still greed, but i think "vice" works too. I'm guessing there is also a similar trope where the power of love/friendship overcomes mind control too...but i cant think of its name.
  • May 11, 2013
    ^ "Mmm donuts" is technically gluttony :). Agreed though that it could probably be broadened to other vices, or just any particular thing that means the most to the Mind Control target (could also be something more positive, like love for family or a significant other, loyalty to a best friend or mentor, religious faith, a strongly-held principle, etc.).

    If it is so broadened, it could be called Mind Control With One Exception or (if describing the exception itself) Mind Control Resistance Anchor. (Edit: Or, duh, Almost Perfect Mind Control, which is a YKTTW we also have, which is how I found this one through a link there--describes this very idea.)
  • May 12, 2013
  • April 23, 2016
    Is this some variation on Intrinsic Vow?
  • April 23, 2016
    • In Dragon Ball, Master Roshi hypnotizes Goku to sleep during the first Tournament Arc. Bulma snaps him out of it by offering him dinner.

    This is gluttony, not greed, but I think it's close enough as both are desires.
  • April 23, 2016
    Greed: Trump's mind control.

    I'll head out the door now, yeah.
  • April 24, 2016
    I think there would be no example if it wasn't limited to greed but other aspects of personality.

    Also, concerning the The Oder Of The Stick example, I remember Belkar explicitly being controlled by a form of Charm Person that enables control of the other person, but doesn't work if you ask the person to do something completly at odds with their true nature. The same work had a paladin break out of the exact same thing because he was lead to believe that he was about to killl Lord Shojo (actually Belkar dressed as him).
  • April 24, 2016
    Depends on the kind of personality, we might wanna make a separate trope(s) for them.

    I agree this should count gluttony as well though.