Playing With / Bewildering Punishment

Basic Trope: A character finds his punishment inexpicable.
  • Straight:
    • Zulieka's boyfriend hears that she destroyed a classmate's project, tells her he's dumping her for what she did, and says You Know What You Did when she asks what.
    • The king learns that his faithful knight Godwin was the son of his old rival, who had won the Love Interest; the king tells him he must leave his service, and won't tell him why.
    • The emperor, realizing that she is the long-lost heir, declares that Amalie must be executed at dawn for what she did, and the guards strike her when she tries to ask why.
    • Tabitha sleeps with her husband's best friend to make him jealous and is shocked when he files for divorce.
  • Exaggerated: In a foreign culture, Godwin commits a grievous breech of conduct and attempts to redeem himself with an eccentric ritual of forgiveness. Only he misperforms the ritual, getting him in worse trouble, and then misunderstands the rite that would vindicate him of this new trouble, culminating in accidentally becoming one of the worst criminals in recent history.
  • Downplayed: Tabitha always seems to be mad at Jake for something, so when she snaps at him and won't tell him what he did this time, he just rolls his eyes and goes with it.
  • Justified:
    • Zulieka doesn't have a good memory and therefore can't remember what she did to deserve the punishment.
    • Zulieka's boyfriend is a Jerk Ass.
  • Inverted: Jack is amnesiac. The king is at pains to have him told all the crimes he committed but refuses to punish him.
    • The king's subordinate is ordered to punish Jack, but has no clue what he did to deserve it.
  • Subverted: At the time of the execution, the herald steps up to proclaim Amalie's crimes.
  • Double Subverted: But the list is so vague as to be meaningless — offenses against His Imperial Majesty.
  • Parodied: No one knows why Zulieka's dumping her boyfriend.
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: Godwin commits a crime and receives a reasonable punishment.
  • Enforced: "We need to put some stress between Jack and Tabitha." "How about she gets angry at him for a misunderstanding, and he doesn't understand why."
  • Lampshaded: "What nonsense are you angry about this time?"
  • Invoked: ???
  • Exploited: Tabitha feels that Jack is keeping secrets from her, and thus fakes anger at him as though she discovered it so he'll attempt to explain himself.
  • Defied: When Jack is arrested and proclaiming his innocence, the police promptly read off a clear, concise list of his crimes and the charges he faces for them.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???

Back to Bewildering Punishment — now, you worm, and you know you deserve it!