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Playing With: If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten
Basic Trope: Bad Guys ask somebody they don't know well to perform an evil act, to prove that he's with them.
  • Straight: "You want to join us? You'll have to kill this enemy agent to prove your loyalty."
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed:
    • "You want to join us? You'll have to trip this old lady to prove your loyalty."
    • "You want to join our Well-Intentioned Extremist? Shoot this criminal to prove your willing to do what is necessary for justice."
  • Justified:
    • The villain organization needs people really disposed to commit evil acts.
    • The villain organization is specifically intended to be a specialized death squad. Naturally they want people disposed to commit evil acts.
    • The villain organization doesn't believe the person in question is honest, and deliberately pulls a test just to get them to back down.
    • The villain organization wants a record of the person committing a crime to hold over their heads in case they feel like going straight later.
  • Inverted:
    • "You want to join us? You'll have to untie this damsel from the railroad tracks to prove your heroism."
    • The criminal/villain organization tries too avoid hiring people who are too evil because the leader feels that Even Evil Has Standards and that anyone who was more then willing to cross the line was more likely to be okay with the idea of betraying them.
  • Subverted:
    • It turns out that the gun didn't have any bullets in it, and the character realized that.
    • Or, it turns out this was a Secret Test of Character and anyone who actually goes through with it is too mentally unstable to be reliable...
  • Double Subverted:
    • It turns out that the gun was loaded with blanks; but the second step is to hand the participant a live gun, just to see how the participant reacts to their mind being screwed with.
    • ... But it turns out the villains do have a position open for a man of such a disposition.
    • It turns out that the participant was being set up to see if he is evil enough to be used as the victim in someone elses Initiation Ceremony. Using real bullets this time.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: Bob is asked to prove his villainy, by petting a kitten. When he agrees he has a metal glove handed to him... only, it's just a grooming glove, and the cat enjoys it. But dies seconds later, because the glove is poisoned! The Big Evil comments "Since when do we poison grooming gloves?"
  • Averted: The character gets in without any tests of loyalty.
  • Enforced: Show writers think that the audience really need an highlight on who is the bad.
  • Lampshaded: "I'm a veteran, I served under dozens of Evil Lords. Luckily, I like the taste of kittens."
  • Invoked: "Go on, ask me to kill one of my former allies. I know just the person, too..."
  • Exploited: The Reverse Mole is asked to kill one of his 'former' teammates, and so he kills the guy whose power is to come Back from the Dead.
  • Defied:
    • "What, you think I'm going to get my own hand dirty? I'm a schemer, I don't kill directly."
    • The hero secretly frees every kitten in the Evil Lord mansion before being tested.
  • Discussed: "I expect you're suspicious of my sudden change of heart, aren't you? Gonna ask me to prove my evil?"
  • Conversed: "What is it about villains that they feel like they have to demonstrate their evilness in such an over-the-top way?"
  • Deconstructed: "You know, forcing all recruits to go through such a dehumanising act, to say nothing of the inherent lack of trust in your hiring practices this implies, may go a long way to explain why the crime syndicate over in the next city has three times your members since all they want is a simple referral. I mean, what does this even prove? If anything, if I go through with this should make you even more worried about my loyalties since it either proves I'm a complete sociopath nutcase, or someone who's ruthless enough to do such a thing just to keep my cover. I mean, imagine if I'm an undercover Action Hero: What do you think I'm going to do to you later for putting me through this?"
  • Reconstructed: "You want to join us? Kill one of us, and take his place." "SURE!" *BANG!*

If you're so evil, go back to If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten...You Monster!.

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