Fanfic / A Piece of Rebellion
TV Tropes Warning
: As a Divergence Fic
for The LEGO Movie
, this entry naturally contains spoilers for said movie
. So please, if you haven't seen this film yet, go see it first
. You Have Been Warned
Emmet was just an ordinary construction worker
. A Nice Guy
dutifully following all the instructions, day after day. Someone who never dreamed
of disobeying all the rules President Business set up, let alone that one impulsive decision — giving in to temptation and curiousity — would see him labeled The Special
and send him on an epic, life-changing journey.
...So what if
he'd kept following the instructions?
What if Bad Cop/Good Cop, President Business' most loyal officer, was the one who found the Piece of Resistance... and made one tiny
mistake while securing it?
Mattecat's A Piece of Rebellion
explores this scenario, as the two-faced cop finds himself dragged into a wild adventure very much against his will. With Lord Business convinced he's changed sides, 'saved' by one of his mortal enemies — who's none too thrilled to see him either — can he spin this very Special misunderstanding to his advantage?
Now has a sequel, A Piece of Rebellion 2: Batman Boogaloo
, which focuses on events after The Lego Batman Movie.
- An Arm and a Leg: Good Cop is literally disarmed. It happens so quickly the victim doesn't even register what happened.
- April Fools' Plot: Chapter 6 winds up being each character (except Lord Business and Wyldstyle) dreaming of their ideal future.
- Armor-Piercing Slap: Wyldstyle slaps Bad Cop so hard his face spins right around to Good Cop.
- Artificial Limbs: Good/Bad Cop gets a mechanical replacement for their missing arm.
- Ascended Extra: Guardbot 189-2001 goes from being a nameless Mook to a much more relevant character when they help Emmet access the network and stop the countdown.
- Author Avatar: Appears in Chapter 15, in order to confess their side of the story to Good Cop.
- Bad Boss: Even before the whole misunderstanding with the Piece, President Business doesn't treat Bad Cop/Good Cop very well. Especially not Good Cop.
- Bad Cop Made Me Do It: While this isn't actually the case, Bad Cop wants to exploit how nobody else understands that as part of Good Cop's cover.
- Bad Liar: Unsurprisingly, Emmet proves to be this when he knocks over one of the robots and claims he tripped.
- Berserk Button: "You stay away from our Ma and Pa!"
- Beware the Nice Ones: Good Cop proves this when he has his parents throw Business out the window after his Heel–Face Turn.
- Beware the Superman: According to President Business, the Master Builders are Smug Supers who want to do whatever they want and don't care what happens to ordinary, instruction-following folk.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: This is how the story ends — with Good Cop asking the Author directly to 'let the story end here' so they can find their happiness on their own.
- Broken Pedestal: Emmet initially reveres President Business and is honored to meet and work for him. He's horrified when he witnesses Business wiping away Bad Cop's face.
- Bystander Syndrome: When Good Cop frets about Lord Business' plan to Kragle people, Bad Cop responds that it's "not our problem."
- Care-Bear Stare: Unikitty imagines unleashing The Power of Friendship on Business to make him realize the error of his ways and turn into a good guy.
- The Cavalry Arrives Late: In Chapter 16, Ma and Pa arrive after Good Cop's talked Business down, and Ma goes to town on the guy.
- The Chains of Commanding: Wyldstyle learns how heavy these can be when she has to tell everyone they can't return to Cloud Cuckoo Land when it's being attacked.
- Clingy MacGuffin: Bad Cop/Good Cop would gladly hand over the Piece of Resistance if it wasn't stuck to their back.
- "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: BCGC believes they could've avoided the nasty misunderstanding if his robots just let him talk to President Business.
- Death Seeker: In Chapter 11, Good Cop reveals he entered Lord Business' office expecting to die, and was totally okay with that.
- Didn't See That Coming:
- GCBC keep surprising Lord Business, and not in ways he particularly enjoys.
- LB even admits this twice in Chapter 10, first when Emmet's the only one at the Cops' House and again when Bad Cop tries to fight his way out.
- Business gets hit by this again thanks to Emmet's subsequent betrayal, publishing all his plans and preventing the Think Tank's detonation.
- Disney Death: Vitruvius isn't dead, he's just been doing the 'ghost thing'. Wyldstyle even manages to get his sheet away from him during the ending.
- Divergence Fic: Splits off from Canon when Emmet reports the strange incident he witnessed rather than investigating himself.
- Dramatic Irony:
- GCBC decides early on to attempt a Fake Defector gambit while staying loyal to Lord Business. This is more effective on his boss than it is on most of the Master Builders.
- Bad Cop reassuring Good Cop that the President will stay true to his word when a prior scene with their former boss has already shown him telling his Computer to call the Cop family.
- Deus ex Machina: Discussed when The Author tells Good Cop that simply sending him back home would be one of these. Good Cop doesn't care.
- Easily Forgiven:
- Averted with President Business's situation.
- Also averted with how Wyldstyle struggles to forgive Vitruvius for lying to her. The fact that he keeps puttering around pretending to be dead sure doesn't help.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop also reacts poorly upon learning that Vitruvius is their father.
- The Empath: Metalbeard describes Unikitty as being the most empathic and insightful person he knows; thus, he trusts their judgement about GCBC.
- Eureka Moment: While arguing among themselves, Good Cop says they'd have a better time if Bad Cop was a little nicer. This inspires Bad Cop's plan to pretend Good Cop is a beleagured good side.
- Even Mooks Have Loved Ones: GCBC obviously love Ma and Pa, and Lord Business promised them that they'd be spared on Taco Tuesday and they could retire afterwards and live happily with their folks. While Good Cop has come to doubt this promise, Bad Cop remains convinced he'll keep it, although his subconscious reveals he's worried about that, too.
- Evil Overlooker: Business appears this way with a Slasher Smile when symbolizing Bad Cop's fear of him coming after his parents.
- Exact Time to Failure: The Master Computer provides one of these, counting down to the moment when the Think Tank is set to blow up.
- Fake Defector: Bad Cop/Good Cop decides to try this ploy, specifically by having Good Cop claim he wants to defect over Bad Cop's protests.
- False Reassurance: In one of Emmet's broadcasts, President Business himself cheerfully reassures Ma and Pa Cop that he's sure Good Cop/Bad Cop will make it back home in time for Taco Tuesday.
- Flashback Cut: Played for Drama when an angry Master Builder threatening and manhandling Good Cop causes him to recall getting tossed around by Lord Business in similar fashion.
- Flat "What.":
- Bad Cop says this when he's informed that he's fused with the Piece.
- Vitruvius' reaction to hearing that GCBC was the one who found the Piece of Resistance.
- For Want of a Nail: Emmet's decision to stick to the instructions and report what he saw causes GCBC to find the Piece instead.
- Batman tells Wyldstyle she called him at a bad time, but won't explain why. Subverted when it turns out that Batman was just at an awesome party.
- When Wyldstyle notes just how many Master Builders are missing and angrily asks if they're skipping the meeting, Vitruvius replies that he sincerely hopes that's the case.
- At first, Benny showing up late to the big Master Builder meeting seems like a case of good bad timing. Later, it turns out that was due to his being reported to the Super Secret Police.
- Good Cop's reaction after the Journey to the Center of the Mind implies he doesn't know what happened/was temporarily severed from Bad Cop.
- Lord Business' final command to the Computer in Chapter 12 fails because the network is already in use.
- The Villainous Breakdown of the Micromanagers in Chapter 14, who sound like the Man Upstairs... which turns out to be total BS when we learn that he doesn't exist here.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: The Author tries to find one when speaking to Good Cop.
- Friendly Address Privileges: Benny doesn't seem to mind Wyldstyle not knowing his name, and is in the middle of telling her she can call him Benny before overhearing what she's dragging him into.
- From a Certain Point of View: When he gets to play Mr. Exposition for Emmet, President Business claims that he had the worlds seperated in order to protect everyone from the Master Builders, and created instructions so that everybody'd know what to do.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: Our reluctant protagonist.
- Good News, Bad News: Wildstyle gives Vitruvius two pieces of good news before revealing the bad news.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: As in the movie, Bad Cop is a certified Badbutt who lets out a mental Cluster Darn Bomb when he realizes how bad their situation is.
- Got Volunteered: Benny gets himself volunteered for saving GCBC simply by virtue of showing up a little late for the Master Builder meeting.
- Happily Adopted: In Chapter 8, it's revealed that Ma and Pa Cop aren't GCBC's biological parents.
- Heel–Face Turn: What Vitruvius and the Master Builders need Good Cop/Bad Cop to do if they're going to have a chance of stopping Lord Business.
- Heel–Face Mole: GCBC's plan to exploit this, though from their point of view it's a Fake Defection.
- Becoming the Mask: Good Cop starts showing signs of this early on, after getting captured again.
- Unikitty's ideal resolution to the conflict involves President Business making one and becoming a good friend.
- Hey, You!: Wyldstyle can't recall Benny's name, referring to him as '1980-something space guy'.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.:
- Good Cop suffers a panic attack after hearing his parents are going to be part of a Taco Tuesday 'demonstration'. Later on, it's brought up that he has them once or twice a month.
- In Chapter 12, poor Pa Cop goes into shock after witnessing his son's arm get ripped off before he's tossed out of the tower.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In Chapter 10, Bad Cop draws all of Business' ire by taking control and attempting to fight his way out. Then he reassures Good Cop as he gets his face erased.
- Heroic Safe Mode: When Good Cop has a major panic attack, Bad Cop switches in.
- I Control My Minions Through...: Fear, Authority and Indoctrination are Lord Business' favorite methods. He's self-aware enough to recognize that while Emmet falls under the latter two, applying the first will probably break him.
- I Have Many Names:
Wyldstyle: Space guy
Girl whose name I can never remember because she keeps changing it!
- I Have Your Loved Ones: Being a Villain with Good Publicity, Business lets GCBC know this via a public interview of his parents. As one of the only people aware of The Plan, they know what he really means.
- If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: Lord Business tries to force GCBC to prove his loyalty by Kragling his parents... only that doesn't work out as planned.
- Imagine Spot: Chapter 6 offers a succession of these, each dreamed up by a different character picturing how they want things to turn out.
- In Spite of a Nail:
- Emmet still gets to give a few Rousing Speeches... but as a representative of Octan rallying the masses against the Master Builders.
- Benny gets to build a spaceship... just a lot sooner.
- Vitruvius still ventures into the Special's head, but with Benny and Unikitty instead of Wyldstyle.
- Lord Business still orders GCBC to Kragle his parents... However, the Cops aren't where he left them.
- Lord Business still gets to erase one of his lieutenants' faces off. This time, however, it's Bad Cop that gets it... willingly sacrificing himself, in fact!
- The Super Secret Police still find Cloud Cuckooland and destroy it. Once again, Emmet is responsible for the event; his Rousing Speeches convince citizens to report it to the authorities.
- Tragically, in Chapter 12, Vitruvius still dies, passing away before he can finish confessing the truth about the prophecy.
- Emmet still gets to save the Master Builders from the Think Tank. Because Lord Business gave him full access to everything in the Octan tower, Emmet simply needs to input an access code and voice authorization to deactivate it, instead of having to force himself off the tower to disconnect the power source.
- In the final confrontation, Business is still talked down and recants, although he still gets punished.
- It's All My Fault: Since Good Cop was the one who mistakenly touched the Piece of Resistance, he keeps blaming himself for everything spinning out from that. Bad Cop keeps reassuring him that it's not.
- It's Personal:
- Since Bad Cop/Good Cop has personally hunted and persecuted the Master Builders, they don't take the news that he's The Special well.
- Metalbeard has a particularly strong grudge against Bad Cop; turns out Bad Cop was the one who cornered him during Metalbeard's failed assault on Octan Tower.
- The Leader: Wyldstyle finds herself increasingly thrust into this position, due to how most of their allies trust her more than they do The Special. This also means dealing with all the responsibilities that come with it.
- Literal Split Personality: Good Cop and Bad Cop have distinct faces, and can swap control. The one who's not facing out can mentally communicate with the other, but can't see or feel anything. They can still hear, though, and the one in control often speaks aloud to fill them in.
- Living Lie Detector: Bad Cop briefly wonders whether Unikitty is one of these after hearing how much the others trust their judgement.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: During the Epilogue, it's revealed that Vitruvius is GCBC's father, and their mothers have the same two faces-one body condition. The news is not taken well.
- Madness Mantra: Delivered by a Micromanager: "Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong wrong—"
- Major Injury Underreaction: When Good Cop finally registers what happened during their literal disarming, they express mild surprise and gratitude that their other arm is their dominant one.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Played With. While he's the one in control when they first find the Piece, Bad Cop cedes control to Good Cop and tells him he should be the one who brings it in, because their boss treats Good Cop worse and this could help him get back into his good graces. Good Cop then accidentally kicks off the whole plot. So if Lord Business had been a little nicer, he would've won then and there.
- Mood Whiplash: While Chapter 6 is largely comedic, the Dramatic Irony is laid on thick in several places, such as the matter of which of the Master Builders trusts Good Cop the most/least and Bad Cop's blind loyalty/complete denial of all the evidence that Business has betrayed them. Good Cop seems to be on the verge of a guilt-induced breakdown, and while Emmet's scenario is sweet, Dramatic Irony lends a bitter aftertaste.
- Mook Horror Show: Invoked through the eyes of Guardbot 189-2001, who's unnerved by witnessing the heroic rampage of Wyldstyle and her crew, even though they aren't targeting him.
- Muse Abuse: Discussed in Chapter 15 when Good Cop meets The Author, who apologizes for using their story as a method for grappling with their own depression.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
- Hooray, Wyldstyle saved Good Cop/Bad Cop after he got caught again! ...Too bad that makes President Business decide to play one of his trump cards. Mainly, calling in Ma and Pa Cop...
- Zig-Zagged in Chapter 9 with how Benny accidentally calls Emmet. On one hand, this makes things much more complicated for the resistance, since Emmet calls his boss about it and alerts him that something's going on. On the other hand, it has the side-effect of making Emmet start thinking of the Master Builders less as big, bad bogeymen and more like people. Buuuuut then he decides to go try and talk to Ma and Pa Cop about this, which could be a problem, given that Vitruvius is heading that way...
- Not So Different: Metalbeard uses his brick-built body to intimidate and toss around Good Cop, causing him to have a PSTD-fueled Flashback to his Bad Boss using the Serious Business suit for the same reason. Notably, when Good Cop automatically responds the same way he did to Business' abuse, Metalbeard is visibly taken aback and stops.
- Oblivious Guilt Slinging: When Good Cop tries to comfort Unikitty after Cloud Cuckoo Land is attacked, their attempt at comforting him in return only makes him feel worse about their plan to betray the Master Builders.
- Poor Communication Kills: Wyldstyle isn't too happy when she learns that both Vitruvius and Benny knew that the Master Builders were being targeted by propaganda and hadn't brought it up before.
Wyldstyle: Why does nobody think it's important to tell people things?
- Propaganda Machine: Since Emmet's such a nice, ordinary guy who always follows the instructions, President Business sets him up with one of these to warn all the worlds about the threat the Master Builders pose.
- Quit Your Whining: Downplayed; Wyldstyle's a bit annoyed with how Benny's unhappiness over Batman stealing his spaceship effects how quickly he's able to build another one.
- Rebellious Counterpart: Metalbeard's Steampunk Cyborg body lets him tower over others and throw his weight around, serving much the same function as the Serious Business suit. However, despite having arguably better reasons to toss GCBC around, he immediately stops when Good Cop shows signs of PSTD. What's more, when Good Cop goes into a Heroic B.S.O.D., Metalbeard shows legitimate concern over him — a sharp contrast with the Faux Affably Evil airs his Bad Boss adopts.
- Refusal of the Call: Bad Cop/Good Cop wants to, but the darned piece won't LET them!
- Retirony: Chapter 4 reveals that Bad Cop sincerely believes that they'll be allowed to retire after Taco Tuesday and live happily back home with their parents. Good Cop isn't so certain.
- Retroactive Wish: After Batman's observation about how a safe haven isn't going to appear out of nowhere is interrupted by the Sea Cow showing up, he follows it up with this:
Batman: It's not like a whole ton of money that I can do whatever I want with is going to fall out of nowhere, right into my arms! Right? Right?
- Rousing Speech: Emmet delivers these as part of President Business' propaganda:
Emmet: The Master Builders think they're more important than ordinary people, but they're not. You, me, all of us — we're important, too! So, just remember that, and, uh, remember to follow the instructions. If you do, then not even Master Builders will be able to stop us. Thank you.
- Later on, he delivers an unscripted one to help rally all the citizens against Lord Business.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: What Emmet is led to think the Master Builders are like.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
- In Chapter 4, most of the Master Builders pull this after learning who The Special is.
- And four chapters later, Batman cuts and runs for the same reason. In the process, they steal Benny's spaceship.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Judging from their flashbacks, Good Cop/Bad Cop is suffering from PTSD caused by Business' Bad Boss tendencies. Bad Cop is in complete denial over this.
- Smug Super: The Master Builders, according to President Business.
- Stab the Salad: Blind Seer Vitruvius uses a battleaxe to cut the handcuff chain.
- Stepford Smiler: Unikitty, especially after the destruction of Cloud Cuckoo Land. Made more explicit in Chapter 15 when The Author speaks their thoughts aloud to Good Cop.
- Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: Downplayed, but Good Cop realizes that this was his boss's real plan: Kragle the world, ensuring it was absolutely perfect... and finish with himself.
- Talking to Themself: Whoever's in control of BCGC's body usually addresses the other out loud. Since nobody else can hear the other's thoughts, it earns them some strange looks.
- Tempting Fate: Bad Cop makes the mistake of saying "At least things can't get any worse." Immediately afterwards, the spaceship shows up.
Good Cop: Oh no, what's going wrong now?
Bad Cop: Everything. The entire world has decided that all it wants to do is make this the worst day of our lives. And it is darned working!
- That Man Is Dead: In a variation, Wyldstyle tries to provoke Good Cop into declaring this after Bad Cop gets erased... about himself. Her response when asked if this will really help implies that this is why she keeps renaming herself.
- Time Skip: The final chapters take place three months after the conclusion of the movie's main plot, illustrating what happens to the characters as life moves on.
- Trapped in Villainy: Part of Bad Cop's plan is having Good Cop claim he's been Forced into Evil by his darker side.
- Undying Loyalty: Bad Cop is so devoted to Lord Business he's willing to excuse minor miscommunications like the whole trying to KILL THEM thing.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Vitruvius dismisses Wyldstyle's concerns about anyone noticing that they're taking a handcuffed GCBC through the roof of the saloon.
Vitruvius: Oh, don't worry about it. They'll just think it's me again.
Wyldstyle: What do you get up to without me, Vitruvius?
- Unwanted Rescue: Much as he needed it, Bad Cop didn't appreciate Wyldstyle breaking in to save him. He's even angrier the second time round.
- Unwitting Pawn: President Business decides Emmet's such a Ridiculously Average Guy that he'd make a perfect mouthpiece for encouraging people to resist the Master Builders.
- Villains Never Lie:
- Bad Cop honestly believes that President Business meant it when he promised to never hurt his family.
- Deconstructed later, as it becomes clearer that Bad Cop needs to believe that their Bad Boss will keep this promise in order to keep going. Good Cop, on the other hand, finds it harder to cling to that blind belief in their boss — and finds it harder to trust in general. So much so that when Vitruvius promises to save his parents no matter what, he can't bring himself to believe it.
- Villainous Demotivator: It says a lot about how Lord Business is used to running things when one of his biggest complaints about Emmet is knowing that threatening him will probably just make him Freak Out! instead of properly motivating him.
- Was It All a Lie?:
- Wyldstyle wonders about this after learning the prophecy was all made up.
- Good Cop has to confirm with The Author that the Piece can still stop the Kragle, since it feels like everything else was one big lie.
- We ARE Struggling Together: Sometimes it seems like the only thing the Master Builders can all agree on is that they need to stop Lord Business. And even THAT isn't enough to convince them to help save The Special.
- "Well Done, Valued Employee" Guy: Emmet constantly looks to President Business for praise and approval.
- Wham Episode: Chapter 15, which reveals that Finn and The Man Upstairs don't exist in this universe. Instead, Good Cop meets an avatar of The Author, who admits writing the whole story and creating their universe as a coping mechanism for their depression.
- Wham Line:
- What the Hell, Hero?:
Emmet: "THAT WAS NOT OKAY! You just— you just— There is a list! Of things that are okay! That was not on the list! That was not okay!"
- Wyldstyle is absolutely outraged after learning that the prophecy was a lie, and rips into Ghost!Vitruvius when she gets the chance.
- Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: Unikitty's expression upon hearing they can't go home again.
- Windows of the Soul: Part of Unikitty's attempt to read Bad Cop involves staring deep into his eyes.
- You Can't Go Home Again:
- One of Good Cop/Bad Cop's deepest fears is that something will happen to their parents and they won't be able to go back to them.
- As of Chapter 7, poor Unikitty can't go back to Cloud Cuckoo Land because it was discovered by the Super Secret Police.
- You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Wyldstyle's reaction upon seeing who she's saving.