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Playing With: Knight of Cerebus
Basic Trope: A character who heralds a series becoming Darker and Edgier
  • Straight: In a work that has previously been about the wacky hijinks of a small group of friends in a crazy world, Emperor Evulz kills the lovable Alice and curbstomps the heroes shortly after his entrance.
  • Exaggerated: The world was a happy Sugar Bowl until Emperor Evulz showed up.
  • Downplayed:
    • Emperor Evulz and his machinations were always in the background; he's just now taken center stage.
    • Alternatively, the series only becomes serious whenever Emperor Evulz is around. Each time he leaves or is defeated, the series goes back to its lighter tone until his next apperance (assuming there even is one).
    • While frightening and dangerous, the work does its best to remain humorous and lighthearted regardless of Emperor Evulz's machinations and appearances.
    • Emperor Evulz is more dangerous and threatening than the other villains, but he is still rather comical and goofy.
  • Justified: Because of how peaceful the world was until then, the protagonists were unprepared to face serious threats, and as a result are completely frightened and devastated by the arrival of the unbelievably heinous and cruel Emperor Evulz. Before Evulz came along, the heroes only had to deal with minor problems that would only cause minor inconvenience if not solved. But now that Emperor Evulz is the antagonist, the heroes face problems as serious as genocide and corruption.
  • Inverted:
    • A Magical Girlfriend arrives to help make the work Lighter and Softer.
    • Dr. Von Freakenstein, an unusually wacky villain, appears to take Emperor Evulz's place as the main antagonist.
  • Subverted: Emperor Evulz arrives and kills Alice. The heroes obliterate him with some Crazy Awesome skills and even resurrect Alice.
  • Double Subverted: It turns out that Emperor Evulz was just the vanguard for a far greater threat.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: Emperor Evulz varies from being a pathetic Big Bad Wannabe to an outright monster Depending on the Writer.
  • Averted: Emperor Evulz is just another Harmless Villain.
  • Enforced:
    • The author wants Cerebus Syndrome to start with a bang.
    • The writers wanted to demonstrate that some villains are going to be worse than others, and are to be taken seriously.
  • Lampshaded: "Whoa, Emperor Evulz is cold. This Is Gonna Suck."
  • Invoked: A character who was once a Harmless Villain releases Emperor Evulz from his emprisonment to spite the main characters.
  • Exploited: A Harmless Villain uses Emperor Evulz's appearance and major threat level to distract away from his petty crimes.
  • Defied: Someone in the team was ready for someone like Emperor Evulz to arrive.
  • Discussed: "Man, that Emperor Evulz is a major buzzkill."
  • Conversed: "Once Emperor Evulz showed up and killed Alice mid-friendship speech, you could tell things are going to be different."
  • Deconstructed: Because the world they live in hasn't seen anyone like Emperor Evulz before, they don't know how to react. Some panic, some Go Mad from the Revelation, and some become dark and edgy themselves during the long struggle against him.
  • Reconstructed: Emperor Evulz's arrival is a taste of the reality of life outside the show's Sugar Bowl. The main characters understand this, know better than to panic, and end up leading the struggle against him.

Back to Knight of Cerebus. You know, the site was a lot more playful before that trope came around...

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