Playing With / "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight

Basic Trope: The hero's friend has been brainwashed into a face heel turn, possibly even becoming a tragic monster. The hero must now fight the friend.
  • Straight: The hero fights the friend and manages to convince him that he's really a good guy successfully.
  • Exaggerated: The fight begins because the friend says something that is the tiniest bit out of character and everyone reacts - they aren't lost somewhere inside themselves, but their friends damn well think they are.
  • Downplayed: The hero fights a friend who had been brainwashed, but manages to remind him how much he enjoys fighting stronger people and turns him on the brainwasher.
  • Justified: The hero wants to save his friend, and can only help by fighting.
  • Inverted:
    • The villain fights a previously brainwashed hero to get him back under mind control.
    • After a heel realization the villain protagonist fights the hero antagonist.
    • Brainwashing for the Greater Good is used on The Dragon, and the villain is trying to bring him back.
  • Subverted:
    • At the moment that the hero seems defeated, the friend leans in close and explains in a whisper that the mind control didn't really work, but the Big Bad has to think it did.
    • "Okay yes, your friend IS in here somewhere, but saying "I know you're in there" isn't going to get him out.
    • Not Brainwashed, the former friend has defected to evil of his own will.
    • After the friend tells the hero he's okay, the hero drops his guard, and the friend blasts him off, calling him a fool for actually believe what he said.
    • The friend was Dead All Along, what remains is just an Empty Shell.
    • The hero decides to Take a Third Option and uses his own Psychic Powers to cancel out the Big Bad's brainwashing.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Then the hero takes out a ring belonged to his possessed friend, and finally manages to bring him back.
    • Then the hero uses a ring to bring his friend back to life and manages to break the possession.
  • Parodied: The hero doesn't want to fight the 'friend' because he leant him bus fare a few years ago.
  • Zig Zagged: The hero fights his friend, who is possessed by a demon. During the fight, the friend appears to go back to normal, but no one knows if the friend really is back to normal or if the demon is just acting like the hero's friend (until the hero lets his guard down).
  • Averted:
    • The hero fails in redeeming his friend and ends up being defeated by the friend.
    • The hero fails to redeem his friend and ends up killing him.
    • The hero doesn't even bother trying to talk to the possessed friend.
  • Enforced: The main villain wants the hero to kill his friend, and ensures that they end up fighting like this.
  • Lampshaded:
    Hero: "I know you're in there somewhere!"
    Possessed friend: "Funny, the last guy I possessed's friend said that too!"
  • Invoked: Other friends or rivals of the hero says that only he can save his friend.
  • Exploited:
    • The possessing entity who doesn't want anybody to know it's possessing somebody knows that it's been found out when the hero says "I know you're in there somewhere".
    • The possessing entity plans to pretend to go back to normal, so that the hero will let his guard down.
  • Defied:
    • The hero refuses to fight his friend.
    • The hero's attempt is interrupted by his teammate by outright killing the possessing friend.
  • Discussed: "Please don't get possessed - I'd hate to fight a demonized version of you... Again!"
  • Conversed: "Amazing Girl has to fight one of her friends every five issues or so. And here we have it at the end of this issue, so next issue she'll probably try to talk her buddy down by reminding her of their friendship."
  • Deconstructed: As smart as the Hero is, Reality Ensues and the Hero finds that it is going to take more that trying to remind his friend of the old days to make him normal.
  • Reconstructed: By forcing the brainwashed friend to fight, the Hero can make the brainwashing entity focus on the fight instead of repressing their victim. This gives the friend a chance to break free or resist being made to attack, verifying that they still exist as they did on some level. Empowered by their conviction, the Hero is able to recall several memories that he and his friend share while fighting, talking while the brainwashing entity is distracted. After the fight, the friend is captured and the brainwashing is Deprogrammed.

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