Playing With / Evil Is Not a Toy

Basic Trope: Trying to summon and/or manipulate an evil being or device does not work out to the user's advantage.
  • Straight: Bob uses the Artifact of Doom to doom Alice, but it dooms him instead (or dooms him along with Alice).
  • Exaggerated: Instead of simply backfiring, it causes Bob to experience a fate worse than death.
  • Downplayed: For attempting to use the evil device Bob is cursed with... evil eyebrows!
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: The Artifact of Doom appears to turn on Bob and destroy him, but it actually turns him into a One-Winged Angel so he can doom Alice with his own hands.
  • Double Subverted: After transforming, Bob is quickly overcome by the evil mind within the Artifact of Doom and forever trapped within his own mind.
  • Parodied:
    • Bob has a full selection of Evil devices, which he is testing to determine which are toys and which aren't.
    • Some varieties of My Little Panzer, where evil is literally a toy and possess a "choking hazard" so to speak.
    • A toy company sells Artifacts of Doom, and gets complaints that their products keep dooming their customers.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob uses the Artifact of Doom and it backfires, but he survives and finds another device, vowing to be more careful. He uses it for longer than the first one but it ultimately backfires like the first. With evil devices, you can never be too careful.
  • Averted:
    • Bob decides not to tempt fate and leaves the device alone.
    • A summoned evil being is entirely on the summoner's side and carries out their orders as best as it is able.
  • Enforced:
    • The author wants to demonstrate that evil is self-destructive and so he has the evil device backfire on the villain.
    • The author wants to show that there's always a Greater Scope Villain and greater evil in the setting, so he introduces the Artifact of Doom, a device so evil that it even scares the villains. To show how bad it is, he has Bob try to use it, at which point it dooms him.
  • Lampshaded: Bob's sidekick tells him that he really shouldn't use the Artifact of Doom because he has no way to be sure that it's on his side.
  • Invoked: Charlie, Bob's mentor, knows that Bob will be attracted to use the evil devices, so he uses the less damaging ones as a test for Bob.
  • Exploited: Instead of trying to stop Bob, Alice simply retreats and watches the events unfold, knowing that it won't end well for Bob and it's probably dangerous to stay in the area.
  • Defied: Bob tries his best to avoid coming into contact with the artifact, as he is pretty sure that using it would not be a good idea.
  • Discussed: "Bob, I know that the prospect of finding the Artifact of Doom and using it against Alice is tempting, but it's a bad idea. How do you know it won't backfire?"
  • Conversed: "Bob should be more careful when tampering with powerful, evil artifacts. He might live longer that way."
  • Implied: Bob gets his hands on the Artifact of Doom and tries to use it against Alice. The audience doesn't see what happens, but Bob never appears again after that.
  • Deconstructed: Some kinds of evil devices have to benefit the user, or nobody would have anything to do with them.
  • Reconstructed: The evil devices do provide benefits- it's just that they have hidden costs that aren't noticeable immediately, and/or corrupt their users and cause This Is Your Brain on Evil.
  • Played For Laughs: The Artifact of doom explodes on Bob sending him flying off into the distance.
  • Played For Drama: Alice tries to tell Bob that the artifact is not the correct way to satisfy his desire for revenge, but This Is Your Brain on Evil has kicked in.

Back to Evil Is Not a Toy
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