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Playing With: Bad Guys Play Pool
Basic Trope: In fiction, the villains are often shown playing pool.
  • Straight: A bunch of criminals are shown playing pool at the Bad-Guy Bar.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed: In one scene, a few criminals are briefly shown playing pool.
  • Justified:
    • The pool table is one of the main fixtures of the Bad-Guy Bar, so why not use it?
    • The Big Bad loves to play pool, and this affection for the game has filtered down to his Mooks.
  • Inverted: The policemen are shown playing pool on their time off.
  • Subverted:
    • Several tough guys are shown playing pool at a seedy bar, but then it's revealed they are all honest people, not criminals.
    • The bad guys are shown playing pool... and then someone points out they're playing snooker.
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied:
    • Playing pool is treated as crossing the Moral Event Horizon.
    • The pool balls are painted to look like bombs, skulls, and other "evil" things.
    • The Mafia uses a National Pool Tournament as a cover for the underworld gathering.
    • The pool is a national sport of the Great Proletarian Reich.
    • The more evil someone is, the better they are at playing pool.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • The two characters shown playing pool are a Punch Clock Villain and a Double Reverse Quadruple Agent respectively.
    • The bad guys play cue sports, but can't set on what variation to play - so one day it's some variation of pool, another day - snooker, other day - Russian billiards, another yet - straight-rail billiards, and so on.
  • Averted: The bad guys play cards instead of pool.
  • Enforced: The writer has bad guys playing pool because that's what bad guys always play on TV.
  • Lampshaded: "I'm so bored, Jeff..." "What about playing pool? It's the most villainous game in the world, after all."
  • Invoked: To avoid Bar Brawls, the owners of the Bad-Guy Bar installed a pool table as a way to entertain their patrons.
  • Exploited:
    • People in need of hired thugs look among the people playing pool in bars.
    • The gang leader invites a rival for a friendly game of pool in order to break the ice.
  • Defied: "Alright, that's it... we're not playin' this stupid ball game today, ya mooks! I'm damn sick of it!"
  • Discussed: "Any idea what Freddie is doin' today?" "Playin' pool, like he always does. I start to wonder why does our dishonest lot love pool so much..."
  • Conversed: "Why do the bad guys on TV always play pool? It's like it's the national sport of Criminalland or something."
  • Deconstructed: When the government catches on that bad guys love to play pool, it becomes much more strictly regulated, and anyone who likes to play pool is regarded with suspicion.
  • Played For Laughs: The bad guys try to play pool... only they're as inept at it as they are at hitting the heroes in combat.
  • Played For Drama: The Reverse Mole is found out when he is invited to play pool and it turns out he doesn't know how.

Back to Bad Guys Play Pool

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