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Playing With: Caligula's Horse
Basic Trope: The chairman of an organization appoint his pet to a senior position, indicating his insanity.
  • Straight: President Bob appoint his pet parrot Alice as Minister of Defense.
  • Exaggerated:
    • President Bob resigns and appoints Alice the parrot as his replacement.
    • President Bob appoints an entire cabinet of animals.
  • Downplayed:
    • President Bob appoints his pet parrot Alice as the mascot of the country, replacing a freakin' eagle.
    • Bob gives his parrot a knighthood.
  • Justified:
    • President Bob is insane.
    • Bob is surrounded by doublecrossers, and he's making a public statement that he would rather appoint Alice as Minister of Defense than any of them, as it would cause less damage to the country.
    • Bob is a tyrant, who gets around his democratic country's political checks and balances by appointing inanimate Sock Puppets to important positions.
  • Inverted:
    • There's a longstanding tradition that Bob's office appoint a Ratcatcher-in-Chief — i.e., a cat. Whether as an insult or misunderstanding, he gives a high-ranking politician the job.
    • The parrot appoint Bob as the minister of defense.
  • Subverted: President Bob appoints his pet parrot Alice as Minister of Defense. Turns out Alice is an intelligent animal.
  • Double Subverted: Turns out that everything Alice can say is taught by Bob.
  • Parodied:
    • After Alice the parrot is appointed Minister of Defense, the country's military is set on the right track, something unimaginable during the term of previous minister.
    • "President Bob is assembling a new cabinet. As soon as he's got the doors fitted, he's going to appoint it Vice-President! Ahthankyaw!"
    • The parrot turns to be a rather competent and surprisingly fair minister, in stark contrast to the human members of Bob's cabinet.
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted:
    • President Bob doesn't appoint any animal, even if he's certifiably insane.
    • President Bob appoints an intelligent animal to a post within the cabinet, in a setting where this is not unusual and the animal was elected on their own merits.
  • Enforced: It's a comedy about Caligula himself, and the horse is just about the only thing most people know about him (and it's certainly the funniest).
  • Lampshaded: ???
  • Invoked: Obfuscating Insanity.
  • Exploited: President Bob appoints Alice the parrot, who obviously can't say things Bob didn't teach her to say. There's probably An Aesop here.
  • Defied: Bob starts becoming more and more of a Bunny-Ears Lawyer, and people worry that he's becoming The Caligula. When he comes into the office with a new pet parrot on his shoulder, he sees the worried glances and laughs that he's not going to give it a seat on the council.
  • Discussed: Bob's country has a stipulation in its written constitution that attempting to raise any non-human to a powerful government position will be grounds for instant dismissal from office.
  • Conversed: "What kind of constitution does this country have, that this guy has the power to make a parrot his Defense Chief?"
  • Implied: "He's filled his cabinet with lapdogs!" "Well, not literally at least. Remember his grandfather?"
  • Deconstructed: Realizing that their dear president has gone off the deep end, the senate knife him in the back and appoints a new president. And they cook Alice too, just to show that a parrot isn't meant to hold office.
  • Reconstructed: Bob's rivals and colleagues humour his eccentricity, thinking it makes him more harmless and gives them more opportunity to seize power themselves.


Back to Caligula's Horse. All Hail Dog!

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