Created By: Premonition45 on February 9, 2012 Last Edited By: Premonition45 on July 11, 2012

Subcultural Sufferer

If you're in a subculture, you will suffer.

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There is a tendency in fiction that people from a subculture, such as punks, who show up in the story will have some misfortune fall upon them. Expect them to do something as stupid as Bullying The Dragon or Mugging the Monster. In works made between and/or set in the 70s and the 90s, it's often punks that fall victim to this trope. Today, stoners are likely to be victimized.

Still Needs a Better Description.

Examples

  • In the first Terminator film, a trio of punks are the first humans the Terminator encounters in 1984, and his first victims as he gets his clothes from one of them, as well as a certain Precision F-Strike.
    Punk Leader: (sarcastically) Nice night for a walk, eh?
    Terminator: (monotonously) Nice night for a walk.
    Punk 2: (sarcastically) Wash day tomorrow? Nothing clean, right?
    (snaps his fingers in front of the Terminator's face)
    Terminator: Nothing clean, right.
    Punk Leader: I think this guy's a couple cans short of a six-pack.
    Terminator: Your clothes. Give them to me. Now.
    Punk Leader: (pulls out knife) Fuck you, asshole!
  • In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Kirk and Spock are riding on a bus to Sausalito as a punk is playing music very loudly on his boombox. After trying and failing to ask the punk to turn down his music, who flips off Kirk and turns up the volume, Spock nerve-pinches the punk into unconsciousness, prompting applause from the other passengers.
  • In Airheads, Officer Wilson is searching the LA strip for Chazz's girlfriend Kayla, who has the only other copy of his band's demo tape. As he's searching a club, he finds Kayla, however, he gets confronted by some punks that think he's harassing her. One of whom yanks Wilson's badge off his uniform and bites it, bending it out of shape. As he asks "Now what are you gonna do about that?", laughing, Wilson yanks the ring off his nipple, making him scream in pain, as he simply says "Improvise."
  • Dr Who: There were the punks who tried robbing Lady Peinforte and Richard in Silver Nemesis.
  • Ghost Rider had the overweight goth chick who was more impressed than freaked out. She had misfortune befall her, but the Ghost Rider saved her from it.
  • Superman: The Animated Series has an overweight goth chick who was saved from her misfortune.
Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • February 9, 2012
    AP
    • In Star Trek The Voyage Home, a punk turns his stereo up loud, annoying everyone on the bus. When Captain Kirk himself asks the punk to turn his stereo down, he promptly flips him off. Spock then takes matters in his own hands and uses the vulcan neck pinch to knock him out.
  • February 10, 2012
    Duncan
    Sid And Nancy - some terrible stuff happened to them!

    ...but seriously, I'm not sure if this is still prevalent- back in the 80s, punks were Acceptable Targets, I don't know if they still are.
  • February 10, 2012
    fulltimeD
    This is definitely an eighties trope. I'm sure if you looked you could find examples from the 70's and early 90's though.

    Stoners, I think, are the contemporary subcultural butt monkeys of media, at least since the mid-nineties. X-Files was an early entry in the "Stoner Victim" tradition ("Quagmire," other episodes) but Fringe still rolls with it today ("The Man From The Other Side").
  • February 10, 2012
    SeanMurrayI
    ^^I don't think that would be an example.

    Also, not sure what to make of the comparison because there are so few examples so far, but Bit Part Badguys might be related to this, perhaps? The Terminator example certainly falls squarely in line with that trope.
  • February 10, 2012
    Bisected8
    Frequently the result of Mugging The Monster.
  • February 14, 2012
    Antigone3
    There were the punks who tried robbing Lady Peinforte and Richard in Silver Nemesis.
  • March 17, 2012
    fulltimeD
    One of Otto's lowlife friends in Repo Man gets killed trying to rob a store.
  • March 17, 2012
    fulltimeD
    Should this be expanded to include other subcultures and decades?
  • March 17, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    The characters on Misfits aren't punks per se but they're kind of a contemporary parallel: gobby kids, juvenile delinquents, working class or just not wealthy.

    This Is England is also full of skinheads who suffer terribly, whether it's beatings, broken friendships, missing parents or just being manipulated by unfortunate old friends.

    Completely inverted by Rock And Roll High School where the extent to which you appreciate/enjoy punk culture dictates how much fun you will have within the movie.

  • March 17, 2012
    Premonition45
    ^^ Yes, we should.
  • March 18, 2012
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    I think it should be expanded to other subcultures and decades.

    • Ghost Rider had the overweight goth chick who was more impressed than freaked out. She had misfortune befall her, but the Ghost Rider saved her from it.

    • Superman The Animated Series has an overweight goth chick who was saved from her misfortune.

    So apparently if you're subculture/counterculture and aggressive (male) you will suffer comic misfortunes and/or Amusing Injuries.

    If you're counterculture/subculture and female, you will have to be rescued from some sort of misfortune.

    These days it's Anarchists and Skinheads who end up at the wrong end of the misfortune.

  • March 18, 2012
    fulltimeD
  • July 11, 2012
    TonyG
    • In News Radio, when Matthew goes through a punk phase, Joe mentions beating up on punks, and is torn between feeling sorry for Matthew and wanting to wail on him. In the end, Dave gives Joe permission to go after Matthew.
    • Emo Kid in Kick Buttowski. Whenever he appears, Amusing Injuries are soon to follow.
  • July 11, 2012
    fulltimeD
    As I said before, the modern version of this trope tends to single out Stoners. Particularly sci-fi/horror shows like The X Files and Fringe.
  • July 11, 2012
    Bisected8
    See Freak Of The Week for when trotting out a new subculture Once Per Episode to be victimised (or be the perpetrator) is part of the format.
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