Playing With: Mugging the Monster

Basic Trope: A criminal attacks what appears to be an easy victim; they aren't.
  • Straight: Morty the Mugger attempts to rob an elderly gentleman—who turns out to be a former Special Forces operative. Morty winds up in the prison clinic.
  • Exaggerated: A group of Delinquents decide to abduct and rape their Moe Moe new exchange student classmate Noko. They were unaware that she's actually the human disguise for N'vwlz, which is very hungry indeed. Noko leaves the bike shed picking her teeth.
  • Downplayed: One pickpocket pickpockets another and finds that it contains nothing but an insulting note and their own wallet's missing.
  • Justified:
    • Criminals who prey on random victims have a possibility of picking the wrong victim in Real Life.
    • Unbeknowst to Morty, the city he operates in is a Fantasy Kitchen Sink, with superpowered beings casually walking the streets.
  • Inverted:
    • Bullying a Dragon, when the attacker knows ahead of time how dangerous the victim is, and goes ahead anyway.
    • Or "Mugging the Paper Tiger", the victim looks dangerous, but the criminal finds they fold easily once attacked.
  • Subverted: Morty's latest victim turns out to be a vampire, but Morty reveals that he knew there were vampires in the neighborhood and came prepared with the proper gear for mugging one.
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied: Morty quizzes potential victims as to whether they are any of the items on his list of "People I Don't Mug No More." In alphabetical order.
  • Zig Zagged: Over the course of the series, Morty the Mugger gets beat up by potential victims three or four times, but more often is successful in his robberies, so he keeps at it until he finally gets eaten by his last target.
  • Averted:
    • Muggers and other criminals take extra care to ensure they won't be unpleasantly surprised by their victims.
    • The victims don't provide any unpleasant surprises.
    • The city is crime-free, and kept that way by an efficient police force.
  • Enforced:
    • "We need to show the new rival character is totally Badass, but not have him hurt anyone the audience likes. How about we have some muggers attack him in a dark alley when he gets lost on arrival in the big city?"
    • In general, this is all about some criminal getting a well-deserved ass-kicking from someone they erroneously judged to be an easy mark. Human nature being what it is, it would be difficult to find an audience who wouldn't find this appealing.
  • Lampshaded: "Ain't there no normal innocent victim types in dis city no more?"
  • Invoked: Marcy frequently disguises herself as a feeble old lady and takes late-night strolls through the park in hopes that this will happen, and she can legitimately blow off some steam.
  • Exploited: The "victim" tries to make themselves look less dangerous than they really are.
  • Defied: "Oh no, youse ain't foolin' me again, Missy. I know a trap when I sees one."
  • Discussed:
    • "Are you going out trolling for muggers again tonight? Don't forget your trenchcoat is still at the cleaners from the last time."
    • "Can't a hard-workin' crook make a dishonest buck in this town no more?"
  • Conversed: "Oh, there's a guy in a trenchcoat and floppy hat that throws shadows on his face going into a dark alley. Watch, some hapless mugger will try to take his wallet - what a poor decision."
  • Implied: In the morning, someone walks by the alley and notices Morty turned into a statue, gun still in his hand and an expression of utter terror on his face. The character idly muses to themselves what could have caused this before calling the police.
  • Deconstructed: Muggers and other criminals start carrying much more lethal weaponry, and shoot first, to avoid...most...of the unpleasant surprises they've been getting lately.
  • Reconstructed: Unfortunately for the muggers, it turns out that a lot of the unpleasant surprises they're encountering are bulletproof... and by shooting them, the muggers are just pissing them off. Muggers keep getting eaten.
  • Played For Laughs: Through a chain of circumstance and poor luck, the only people Morty happens to try mugging have superpowers or are otherwise easily capable of handing him his ass.
  • Played For Drama:
    • We see Morty following his next victim down a dark alley, confident of an easy victory. Screams are heard from the alley. The next morning, the police are surrounding what's left of Morty, commenting on what kind of monster could do something so horrific.
    • Morty's victim doesn't know what they're capable of, either, and this was not a pleasant way to find out. Kim's not sure what came over her, but no amount of therapy will help her get over the sight of her own hands reducing Morty's head to a gooey mess and his teeth lodging themselves in nearby bricks.
  • Logical Extreme: Morty the Evil Overlord attacks a peaceful village...only to be utterly destroyed by their hidden cache of weapons and retired badasses.

This page should be easy pickings. No! It's a trap! It's a vampire! Back to Mugging the Monster!