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An Anti-Mutiny is a subtrope of The Mutiny
where The Captain
decides to disobey his/her orders, and the person responsible for the mutiny is actually the one being loyal to the crew's original mission or cause. Despite this, the mutineer is usually depicted as a villain (though he/she can be an Anti-Hero
on occasion, especially if the captain is hypocritically condemning those "disloyal" to his new direction
even as he disobeys his own orders). The person who decides to Anti-Mutiny is often a Second in Command, or Number Two
The scenario leading up to an Anti-Mutiny usually goes as such: the crew of the Cool Ship
has a mission or goal that the captain is entrusted with. Usually it is a goal with extreme implications, such as an Alien Invasion
that will destroy a planet or race. Then, for one reason or another, The Captain
decides that he does not want to go through with the mission given by his higher powers. This is when the mutineer takes over, often by force, with the goal of making the crew resume the mission they were given by the higher powers
in the first place. Conflicting Loyalty
may try to Bring Them Around
, either before the mutiny, or while it is occurring; it can be interesting, since he can no longer rely on his authority as a captain, which they regard as forfeited by his acts. Gross misconduct by the captain of a ship is legally known as barratry;
the response is often an Anti-Mutiny.
See also Rebellious Rebel
open/close all folders
- Magneto pulls one of these in the "Age of X" storyline; Suspecting that something is not quite right, he rebels against his own rule, sending Shadowcat and Rogue to investigate their situation, and protects them when they are attacked by their former comrades.
- Betastuck: Despite not acting the way his programmers expected him to, Doc Scratch was merely fulfilling his purpose to make the necessary preparations for Lord English's arrival.
Films — Animated
- Auto in WALL•E, who takes over The Axiom by force and does not want it to return to Earth despite the captain's protests. However, Auto is simply following his programming and it is the captain who is technically going against the plan.
Films — Live-Action
- 2001: A Space Odyssey: HAL 9000 disobeys Bowman and kills off the crew, though Bowman did not have enough information to realize that he was "endangering the mission," as HAL put it.
- The Hunt for Red October: Captain Ramius takes drastic steps to prevent the zampolit from leading one of these. Despite Ramius's caution in murdering the Political Officer, it turns out the ship's cook is a GRU mole who figures out what is going on and attempts to scuttle the ship, rather than rally the crew.
- No. 2 in Meet Dave may be the very definition of this trope. When The Captain does not want to go forward with his given mission of draining Earth's oceans, No. 2 does just this.
- Essentially the entire plot of Crimson Tide is whether the XO is attempting this or The Mutiny.
- Down Periscope's 1LT Pascal attempts to foment a mutiny against Captain Dodge when Dodge makes the decision to ignore Admiral Graham's (patently unfair) changes to the engagement area mid-wargame. Since Pascal is an uptight Jerk Ass and The Neidermeyer extraordinaire, his effort at rallying the crew to his side is met with a resounding silence, and no one complains too much when Dodge subsequently forces him to Walk the Plank onto a waiting fishing boat whose crew is in on the joke.
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show ends with Riff-Raff bursting in on the Grand Finale musical number and proclaiming that "it's all over" because Dr. Frank N' Furter's lifestyle is too extreme. After all, you don't have time to stage an Alien Invasion when you're busy building a studly Frankenstein's monster and sexing it up with the locals. This example overlaps with Enemy Civil War, in that both sides were evil.
- Clu in TRON: Legacy was created with the purpose of creating the perfect system. He ended up staging an Anti-Mutiny when Flynn turned away from that goal to foster the development of the ISOs, a random (and thus imperfect) side effect of Flynn's recreated Grid system.
- In Captain America: The Winter Soldier after HYDRA has successfully infiltrated SHIELD, Cap informs the loyal agents who carry out this trope and attempt to stop the HYDRA plot from succeeding.
- In the Star Trek novel Before Dishonor, the "new" command crew goes Anti-Mutiny when Picard ignores Starfleet's orders to return to Earth. Of course, this being Captain frickin' Picard, the "old" command crew (including Spock and Seven of Nine) is proven right in the end. But they have one less planetary conundrum to worry about.
- In Winning Colors, treasonous senior officers try to use their ship; their juniors realize the treachery and mutiny. (Leading to a very junior officer being in command.) The narrative makes it crystal clear the anti-mutineers are in the right, but in-universe their Hero Insurance doesn't seem to be paid up; they face a lot of hot water for their insurrection before finally being exhonerated and treated as heroes.
- David Weber's Safehold had a failed attempt at this made by Pei Shan-wei, to thwart the plans of Eric Langhorne and Adorée Bédard to turn the last haven of humanity into their personal church. She was killed and made into their Satan, but Shan-wei had back up plans in place.
- The Wheel of Time has the siege of Maradon. The city commander has locked his allies outside the walls, where they are being slaughtered. A soldier named Yoeli leads an Anti-Mutiny to take control of the city and let the allies in. Though hailed as a hero, Yoeli says he only did what he had to do, insisting that he is still technically a traitor and will demand his own execution.
- In the Horus Heresy novel The Flight of the Eisenstein, Nathaniel Garro convinces Eisenstein's master Baryk Carya to commit barratry (it's not mutiny when the captain does it, as Carya points out) instead of following the order to fire on Isstvan III. Eisenstein's communications officer Tirin Maas informs Terminus Est of his captain's betrayal. When confronted, Maas clings to his oath of loyalty to the Warmaster.
- Played with during the Succession series when Captain Laurent Zai refuses to commit suicide as expected of him due to a failure to rescue the Emperor's sister. A mutiny plot arises on the ship in order to correct that failure as this course of action endangers the crew.
- A Dance With Dragons features two of them, on the opposite ends of the sympathy scale:
- Bowen Marsh and several other members of the Night's Watch stabbing Jon Snow for allying with wildlings and for forswearing his vows to go save his sister (actually Jeyne Poole) and kill Ramsay Bolton. Notably, whether or not Jon Snow really meets the criteria of "forsaking the original mission" is debatable. He did not truly break his vows (but distanced himself a lot from their usual interpretation), and his reforms all had sound reasoning, until he decided to go in a campaign against Ramsay, effectively breaking his vows. Why the Watch doesn't just try and dissuade him from doing so instead of instantly revolting is up for debate.
- Barristan Selmy, the Unsullied and some of the Meereenese launching a coup against Daenerys' husband for doing a bad job of ruling in her stead, and possibly trying to assassinate her. In this case, even though he is the legal regent, he has deviated quite a lot from what Daenerys wanted, and the conspirators are trying to get things back on track.
- The Gunnery Officer attempts an Anti-Mutiny in Only You Can Save Mankind, when the Captain starts making peace with the humans.
- The events of The Caine Mutiny result in a trial to determine if the eponymous mutiny (Captain Queeg was relieved by his executive officer during a typhoon) was this or the other flavor.
- It could be argued Starbuck falls prey to this in Season 4 of Battlestar Galactica. She began acting increasingly crazy but was still staying within the bounds of her orders, but then unilaterally decided to do something not covered by those orders, an action which meant she and the crew would miss their scheduled rendezvous and/or put all their lives in mortal danger. The crew (bar one) refused to back her. It's difficult to tell who was meant to be in the wrong in this case, though the fact that just after the mutiny and one poor bastard losing a leg she came up with an alternate solution whereby only she was put at risk suggests Starbuck may be more at fault.
- Of course, that one poor bastard losing a leg later leads to another mutiny.
- Star Trek: Enterprise has a rare example of the anti-mutineers being right. When a Brainwashed and Crazy Archer decides protecting a Xindi hatchery is more important than their mission, the other main characters organise an Anti-Mutiny, while the MACO squad obey the captain's orders unquestioningly.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation:
- In the episode "Pegasus" we learn that, while an ensign, Riker attempted to help his then-Captain put down an Anti-Mutiny on the eponymous vessel ( as in Enterprise above, the anti-mutineers were right), but when they failed, they were forced to abandon ship together.
- In another TNG episode, a Ferengi named Daimon Bok engages in a mission of personal vendetta against Picard for killing his son in battle years before. Riker tries to get Kazago, Bok's second-in-command, to stop Bok. Eventually, Kazago arrests Bok for engaging in a non-profitable mission, a heinous crime by Ferengi standards.
- In another, the crew get amnesia. They find out from the computer that they're at war with another race and are being sent to attack their homeworld. After easily penetrating the "enemy"'s defenses Picard decides that there's something wrong, since a war against this species would've been over in about 5 minutes instead of the years the computer tells them. Picard's second in command, who isn't Riker but someone else whom we've never seen before, tries to force the rest of the crew into obeying their original orders. It turns out of course that a third race, which is at war with the second, had orchestrated the events and the new guy is one of them.
- Babylon 5:
- The Nightwatch, under the direct orders of President Clarke, in what's essentially Hitler's "Night of the Long Knives" IN SPACE attempt to seize control of the station, because they question the command staff's loyalty to Earth. Sheridan doesn't actually declare independence from Earth until later.
- When Sheridan begins to take the fight to the Earth Alliance, at the battle of Proxima, one of the Alliance destroyer captains decides to defect. His second in command decides to undefect (pulling a gun on his captain), and then the crew decides to redefect anyway (subduing the second, somehow).
- The Minbari religious caste crew during the civil war attempted to sabotage their ship to prevent Delenn from carrying out her rumored surrender to the warrior caste.
- In Farscape, Grayza continually goes against the orders of her high command in chasing after Crichton and Scorpius. Eventually her Number Two, Braca, declares her to be unfit for duty and has her arrested.
- In the final original Star Trek episode, "Turnabout Intruder", Spock begins an Anti-Mutiny against Kirk who has undergone a Body Swap with an old girlfriend. By the end of the episode, all the main characters side with Spock.
- In the pilot of Last Resort the captain of a US nuclear submarine refuses an order to fire four nuclear missiles at Pakistan. After the captain is relieved from command, his XO is issued the same order and also refuses. The Chief-of-the-Boat wants to follow the orders and stages an anti-mutiny. The situation is further complicated by the fact that the orders are delivered on a secondary communication network that is normally reserved for scenarios where the US has already been nuked. The captain and XO are justified in suspecting that a mutiny has taken place higher in the chain of command and are refusing the order to fire as their own anti-mutiny.
- On Black Sails things are further complicated by the fact that a pirate captains is elected by the crew and is supposed to act in the best interests of the crew at all times. Thus when members of the crew plot to remove Captain Flint from command they feel their actions are perfectly legitimate since Flint is jeopardizing the lives of the crew to further his own personal goals.
- In Fallout 3, the relationship between the Outcasts and the Brotherhood of Steel is this. The Brotherhood's mission is to preserve and catalog technology, but the batch that went east decided instead to focus on protecting civilians and killing mutants. The Outcasts broke off to concentrate on the original mission. Neither group is villainous, though the Outcasts tend towards douchebaggery.
- It's possible to instigate a variation of this in Fallout: New Vegas, where you convince Benny's second-in-command Swank to help you deal with his boss by convincing him that he's planning to go against Mr House. Since Swank both fears House and likes his current lifestyle, he'll not only give you full access to your weapons but make sure Benny's guards are away. If you do end up killing Benny, Swank ends up as leader of the Chairmen, to which he responds with "Ring-a-ding!"
- Mass Effect: When Udina sees it as problematic for you to continue trying to save all intelligent life with your Cool Ship.
- This becomes kind of a theme; in Mass Effect 2 Shepard pulls a similar stunt against the Illusive Man, stealing the Normandy SR-2 from Cerberus. In neither case does the crew do much to object, despite the fact that the SR-2's crew in particular are Cerberus operatives; this is brought up a few times in the sequel as evidence of Shepard's magnetic charisma. Notably, to forestall this in the third game, Admiral Hackett gives Shepard permission in advance to do whatever it takes, however bizarre, to bring about an allied victory.
- In Suikoden IV, Snowe is reluctant to stick around after the Pirate Brandeau opens fire on their ship and he's caught in the blast, killing most of the men around him and temporarily paralyzing his arm. The rest of the crew is shocked when he orders a retreat, since that would mean leaving the ship they're escorting to the pirates. Add in how the soldiers already resented him for being put in charge despite just graduating, and the stage was set for one of these.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, Sten will attempt to challenge you for control of the party at a certain point of the game if he's at low approval, thinking that your gallivanting around the outskirts of Ferelden is akin to taking a vacation by deserting. If he's at high approval, he'll merely state his opinions and put it at that.
- Solatorobo: Captain Grompf of the Kuvasz Guild has to be restrained by his crew after ordering them to open fire on a transport they're supposed to be escorting. A transport that is carrying a number of important documents, and a MacGuffin that Grompf's boss has no doubt gone to a lot of trouble to acquire.
- In the Gravity Falls episode "Double Dipper", Dipper uses a magic photocopier to duplicate himself several times over as part of a needlessly-complicated scheme to ask Wendy to dance with him. When Dipper has an epiphany and tries to abandon the plan, his clones rebel and lock him in the closet so he doesn't "interfere" with his own scheme.