main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Kickstarter Message
TV Tropes Needs Your Help
Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
View Kickstarter Project
Freudian Trio: Real Life
aka: Real L Ife
  • Plato "tripartite soul" predates Freud's three-part mind. It consists of the appetitive (id), spirited (superego), and rational (ego) parts. In The Republic, he claims the perfect government reflects the human soul, being made up of three parts:
    • The masses, merchants and laborers, are the appetitive/id. They have a free market, always seek to satisfy their personal desires, and want as much freedom as possible.
    • The Military is the spirited/superego, and seeks to maintain order and the rule of law.
    • The government, which in Plato's ideal republic would be a group of philosopher-kings who aren't allowed to own any wealth, are the rational/ego. They command the other two groups and maintain balance between the masses' wish for freedom and the military's wish for order.
  • The command of the Army of Northern Virginia, at least through Chancellorsville:
    • Robert E. Lee: overall commander, principled but basically realistic, provided balance between Jackson and Longstreet. (Ego)
    • Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson: imaginative, risk-taking, bold, passionate. (Id)
    • James Longstreet: highly principled, the voice of logic and reason. (Superego)
  • The command of the Alamo during its infamous 13-day siege:
    • David Crockett: well-spoken, noble, larger-than-life, and admired by both men, provided a counterbalance between the two. (Ego)
    • Jim Bowie: hot-blooded, brash, impulsive, and an alcoholic, but otherwise a respectable leader. (Id)
    • William Travis: smart, rational, heroic, and educated; inexperienced, but gradually respected by his men over time. (Superego)
  • The three key players of the 1990s Chicago Bulls:
    • Scottie Pippen: Unselfish, passive (at least when Jordan was on the court) and the most reasonable one (Superego)
    • Michael Jordan: The ultra-charismatic leader, could be selfish on the court, but was always thinking of getting his team the win, at any cost (Ego)
    • Dennis Rodman: The wild, volatile bad boy (ID)
  • Boston's "Big Three"
    • Kevin Garnett: Intense to the point of madness, but always thinking of the team (superego)
    • Paul Pierce: The (official) leader mixes aggression with cool-headed efficiency (ego)
    • Rajon Rondo: He is the youngest and the most impulsive. (id)
  • The Los Angeles Lakers
    • Kobe Bryant: The leader, wants to win, but has a tendency to take too many risks, forcing Gasol and Odom to save the day (id)
    • Pau Gasol: victory before everything else (superego)
    • Lamar Odom: In the middle, a risk-taker when it's necessary to win (ego)
  • The Miami Heat
    • Dwyane Wade: The former leader, usually humble and moderate (ego)
    • Le Bron James: The current leader, the most cerebral player but personality-wise Hyperactive, uses more aggressive play (id)
    • Chris Bosh: Smart, excellent student (superego)
  • The central figures of the Washington administration
    • Thomas Jefferson: Idealistic and concerned with the states' and people's rights, romanticized the bloodbath of the French Revolution. (Id)
    • Alexander Hamilton: Logical, calculating, concerned with establishing a stable economy and central government. (Superego)
    • George Washington: The President, and therefore the man in charge, who kept balance between Hamilton and Jefferson (Ego)
  • The Allies of World War II:
    • Winston Churchill: Like Bones, impulsive and romantic, a Large Ham who is too easily giving in to his own desires. (Id)
    • Josef Stalin: Like Spock, cold and calculating, noted for personal discipline (paranoid personal discipline, but discipline). (Superego).
    • Franklin D. Roosevelt: Like Kirk, eternally mediating between the two, knowing full well the risks of falling in either direction (fall to Winston, start World War III against Joe. Fall to Joe, lose Eurasia). (Ego)
  • On the other hand, the Axis Powers provide a fine example of a dysfunctional, even neurotic, relationship:
  • The leaders in Paris 1919 were also dysfunctional, but not as much:
    • Georges Clemenceau: Ambitious, feisty, and more than a little bit vindictive. This last bit gave him an intense and personal desire to see Germany pay. (Id)
    • Woodrow Wilson: Emphatically moral to the point of being puritanical, as well as being very cold and logical (he was not only a college professor, but he was part of the movement that tried to make political science as much like a science as possible). He insisted that the world comply with his moral conception of order, and didn't think much of anyone who disagreed. (Superego)
    • David Lloyd George: An easygoing, personable fellow trying to mediate between the two. He want to punish Germany but not take vengeance; was OK with the League but didn't think it was workable; he thought self-determination was nice-seeming but that concessions had to be made to power politics; and he was consistently frustrated both by Clemenceau's vengeful scheming and Wilson's sermons. Unlike most in his position, he was overshadowed; as he put it, he was sitting between Napoleon (Clemenceau) and Jesus Christ (Wilson), so no wonder the agreement was so dysfunctional. (Ego)
      • It didn't help that Lloyd George was simultaneously playing the Ego to the British Empire delegation, most especially Billy Hughes (bombastic, vindictive Australian PM in bed with Clemenceau; Id) and Robert Borden (Canadian PM, logical, a stickler for protocol, and in an uneasy alliance with Wilson; superego). Within that, Borden himself was playing Ego to Wilson's Superego and the collective Id of the British Dominions (led by Hughes but also including New Zealand's William Massey and South Africa's Defence Minister Jan Smuts) over the issue of League of Nations Mandates (Australia and New Zealand wanted German Pacific colonies and South Africa wanted Namibia; meanwhile Wilson was skeptical of this, seeing it as a crass land grab not in keeping with the true meaning of the mandate; at the same time Borden was vaguely in agreement with Wilson but was convinced that it would be more efficient if Canada administered Britain's colonies in the Americas as territories or perhaps even provinces).
  • Since they are real people, Deadliest Catch:
  • Representative government:
    • The legislature represents the will of the people. (Id)
    • The judiciary: Guilty or not guilty? The judiciary also has to judge if a law is constitutional (Superego)
    • The executive is the primary decision maker, they have to balance ideals and strategic objectives with the situation at hand, and they have to fulfill the desires of the legislature while still being under the criticizing eyes of the judiciary (Ego)
  • The three faces of Eminem are Slim Shady (id), Eminem (ego), and Marshall Mathers (superego).
  • Could depend on your viewpoint, but if you were to take the three most well known cities in the United States, you'd have Los Angeles (Id), New York (Ego) and Chicago (Superego).
  • The Beatles: The three main Beatles, who were there with Ringo Starr and Pete Best before.
  • Bob Dylan: The blogger Tony of Every Bob Dylan Song made the observation (in his post about "All I Really Want To Do") that Bob Dylan's early trio of acoustic folk albums follows this pattern.
    • The Freewheelin Bob Dylan: Ego (has some serious songs as well as more personal ones)
    • The Times They Are a-Changin: Superego (mostly serious, moralistic social commentary songs)
    • Another Side of Bob Dylan: Id (more lighthearted, mostly personal songs about relationships)
  • The three members of Rush: Neil Peart is the Superego, Geddy Lee is the Ego, and Alex Lifeson is the Id. Geddy also displays some Id tendencies but is overall more of an Ego than Alex.
  • On of the most popular classical 3-piece line-ups is the piano trio, consisting of piano, violin and cello. In this you have a treble instrument (violin) and a bass instrument (cello), both of which can be highly expressive in their own right, and an instrument that can be a bit of both (the piano). So violin + cello = id + superego (either way round - depends on the piece and the composer), while piano = ego.
  • The Great Triumvirate of the American Senate:
    • John C. Calhoun (South Carolina) was devoted to his state, and would only support positions that would benefit SC. He even went so far as to suggest that they secede during the Jackson administration because of an unpopular tariff. Calhoun was the leading Southern Senator of his time, and he represented their desire to maintain states' rights in order to maintain the slave-based economic system. (Id)
    • Daniel Webster (Massachusetts) thought that the main goal of Congress was to protect the Union and the power of the federal government. He viewed the federal government as naturally superior to the state governments, and that the latter must follow every law and decision of the former. Embodying the nation's North, Webster articulated the idea of the Union so well that they basically sound exactly like what Abraham Lincoln said during The American Civil War. (Superego)
    • Henry Clay (Kentucky) saw it as his goal to compromise between all sides in the Senate and avoid excessive regionalism. He thought that extremism on both sides would lead to crisis's that could threaten the Union. Clay distrusted both the abolitionists who wanted the immediate end to slavery as well as the Southerners who openly talked about secession if they were not satisfied. Clay represented the West, the new future for the United States. (Ego)
  • The three leading computer operating systems, at least until the advent of Google OS:
    • Linux allows you to do basically what you want, but it can get messy. (Id)
    • Mac does a lot for you, but doesn't like you to step out of bounds. (Superego)
    • Windows is somewhat convenient, but also pretty open (Ego).
  • When the Human Race is stereotyped into three groups, the depictions of each group often leads to this:
    • Negroid: Physically strong, sports-loving and extroverted, but often easily given to instincts and their culture is often stereotyped as vibrant and reflective of their chaotic life in the dangerous jungles of Africa (Id)
    • Mongoloid: Collectivist, strict, disciplinarian, obsessive-compulsive with education, and the vast majority of their philosophy such as Confucianism is obsessed with the central concept of Dao or Social Harmony, there is a reason why the Vulcans of Star Trek are modeled after Asians (Superego)
    • Caucasoid: The Mario, and while they do possess both some potentials for physical strength and high education, the greatest skill they possessed was interpersonal skills hence their proficiency in Politics which allowed them to rise to global conquest (Ego)

Western AnimationFreudian Trio    

alternative title(s): Real Life
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy