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Playing With: Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving
Basic Trope: A character is chewed out by a superior, but at the end they reveal that they did some good.
  • Straight: "Bob, you destroyed the public library and let three drug-smugglers go free, but thanks to you, the mayor's daughter is safe, so I guess I can't fire you."
  • Exaggerated:
    • "Bob, you obliterated three cities and allowed seven of the FBI's 10 Most Wanted to escape, but the mayor's daughter will most likely live, so here's your reward."
    • "Bob, you just destroyed half of the universe and released a prison of crazy serial killers, but the mayor's dog is safe, so I can't fire you."
  • Downplayed: The mistakes Bob made actually were trivial compared to what good he did, but his superior still wants to warn him about those mistakes.
  • Justified:
    • The purpose of the mission was to save the mayor's daughter, so Bob technically did what he was required to do.
    • "You risked many lives just to save one. I guess you showed us what it truly means to be an officer."
    • The mayor's daughter is the key witness against the drug-smugglers, so there was no point in catching them but losing her as they would have had to be let go anyway. The library's destruction was not his idea.
  • Inverted: "Bob, I'm glad you avoided collateral damage and caught the bad guys, but the mayor's daughter died in the chaos, so I'm going to need you to turn in your badge."
  • Subverted: "You destroyed the public library and let three drug-smugglers go free. Turn in your badge."
  • Double Subverted: "At least, that's what I should be saying, but the mayor went to bat for you after you saved his daughter, so I guess I can't fire you."
  • Parodied: "Bob, you leveled the city, killed thousands of people, destroyed seven national landmarks, and got me a doughnut. I think someone's up for a promotion!"
  • Zig Zagged: (continued from "Double Subverted") "...But I don't answer to the mayor, so you've got 30 minutes to clean out your desk."
  • Averted:
    • No collateral damage was caused.
    • Or the mission went perfectly.
  • Enforced: The executives want to keep this Cash Cow Franchise going, so they prevent the screenwriters from firing the hero.
  • Lampshaded:
    • "Phew! For a second there, I really thought you were going to fire me!"
    • Bob's rival, Carl, who would have Bob's promotion otherwise, looks on the conversation:
    Carl: "That Bob sure is gonna get it."
    The Chief: "...But you saved the President's daughter, so I'm going to promote you."
    Carl: "WHAT!"
  • Invoked: Bob is about to be fired, but brings up the point that he saved the mayor's daughter. The chief concedes Bob's argument, and allows him to keep his job.
  • Exploited: Bob knows that, as long as he does some good, he won't get in trouble, so he does whatever he feels like.
  • Defied: "Listen, I don't give a damn that you saved the mayor's daughter! You destroyed a building and you didn't catch your man! You're fired!"
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???

Alright, troper, you ruined an examples page and allowed misspelling on a Useful Notes page. But the Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving page is still intact, so I guess you're alright.

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