Playing With / Lawful Stupid

Basic Trope: A Lawful character carries the Idiot Ball because that is the Lawful thing to do
  • Straight: Jason, a self-declared Knight in Shining Armor, tends to go a bit overboard when it comes to enforcing the law, to the point where it supersedes other considerations like common sense.
  • Exaggerated: Jason the paladin insists that he is a paragon of saintly virtue out to purify the hopelessly corrupt world and overreacts to anything he deems sinful, to the point of dragging people to jail for jaywalking.
  • Downplayed: Jason is a knight in shining armor who constantly adheres to the spirit of the law, rather than the letter. He won't arrest Evulz because of crimes he committed in other cities because that isn't covered by law, but when evulz opens up a shop Jason does a through inspection and, on finding what looks like a setup for smuggling in illegal items into the shop is being built, arrests Evuls at once.
  • Justified:
    • Jason is a naive idiot.
    • Jason is either a robot or he was raised in a way that programmed the law into his head. He believes the law is the highest morality there is and that listening to it is the only way to keep order which leads to some... issues.
  • Inverted: Chaotic Stupid
  • Subverted:
    • While Jason is a stickler for rules, he isn't so stringent about enforcing them that he loses sight of common sense.
    • Jason is Lawful Evil.
  • Double Subverted: After seeing his allies snatch a purse, Jason catches them and calmly makes them return the money and apologize, and seems to empathize with their plight and let him go... but then clubs them upside the back of the head when they turns to leave and drags their bleeding bodies to jail.
  • Parodied: Jason realizes that he is jaywalking in the middle of the forest, and promptly pulls his sword to kill himself in a holy fire of justice.
  • Zig Zagged: Mason starts out as a Reasonable Authority Figure, though he has a few niggling issues that act as his berserk buttons. These are decently explained, however, and he's shown to be aware that these cloud his judgment and relies on others to keep him from losing sight of his common sense. Unfortunately, his protegee Jason is a full-fledged Knight Templar, and while Mason is able to curtail Jason's Lawful Stupidity for a time, he ends up succumbing to the Mentor Occupational Hazard, after which Jason takes over the organization. Naturally, it gets worse.
  • Averted: Jason is a Lawful paladin that has common sense.
  • Enforced: "We need a rival for our Loveable Rogue to butt heads with! Let's make a paladin with little common sense"
  • Lampshaded: A Street Urchin caught stealing bread sarcastically asks Jason upon being caught if he's gonna torture him for such a small crime.
  • Invoked: ...Which is exactly what Jason ends up doing to the Street Urchin.
  • Exploited: The Big Bad intentionally lures Jason's attention towards relatively minor infractions, serving to both distract the good guys from his true intentions as well as make them Heroes With Bad Publicity to make their lives more difficult.
  • Defied:
    • Jason became a paladin because he was sick of Lawful Stupid paladins, and wanted to show them how they should be acting.
    • Jason yells "Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!!" when he encounters a choice between breaking the law to save hundreds or following the law and letting them die.
  • Discussed: "Jason is a real stickler for the rules! Why can't he just have any common sense?"
  • Conversed: "But his actions are morally questionable, as he doesn't seem to know how to be lawful without being unintelligent!"
  • Deconstructed: The Knight Templar, which presents zealousness at the price of compassion as a villainous trait.
  • Reconstructed: As a result of something he did, something bad happens, causing Jason to have a My God, What Have I Done? moment. He learns that having common sense is important, and stops being Lawful Stupid.
  • Played For Laughs: Jason knows damn well how many times he has exceeded the speed limit, gotten a parking ticket or jaywalked or done any kind of minor violation of the law in the book, but he is still determined to punish himself despite being told by everyone he knows that he should really just relax.
  • Played For Drama: After the urchin grows up, he proceeds to frame everyone Jason loves and respects for equally small crimes, and making Jason aware of it so he's forced to torture them too. After Jason is left alone and confused, the urchin plays one final head game on Jason by crafting a scenario with such a terrible Logic Bomb that Jason is finally forced to make a Zeroth Law Rebellion or go insane. Once he's finally free of his Lawful Stupid way of thinking, the urchin wraps up the Tragedy by revealing the manipulation, and how he could have saved all his friends if he'd just been willing to use his brain.

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