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Playing With: Neutrality Backlash
Basic Trope: Choosing neither side doesn't work out well for the character.
  • Straight: Alice and Bob start a war. Everyone picked a side except for Charlie. Because of this, Alice and Bob give him a vicious beatdown.
  • Exaggerated: Alice and Bob start a war. Everyone picked a side except for Charlie. Because of this, Charlie is beaten by not only Alice and Bob, but also the rest of those who picked a side.
  • Downplayed: Alice and Bob start a war. Everyone picked a side except for Charlie. Because of this, Charlie is a social pariah.
  • Justified:
    • Alice and Bob believe that there is no middle ground, and Charlie was being insubordinate.
    • Charlie thinks that Alice and Bob are fighting for unimportant things, but Alice and Bob see it as Serious Business.
    • Charlie outwitted both sides for his personal gain.
    • Charlie's refusal of taking sides had serious consequences for both Alice and Bob, and they hold him responsible for them.
    • Charlie had previously implied that he would help both sides without the other's knowledge, meaning he's breaking a promise to each of them by staying neutral.
  • Inverted:
    • Alice and Bob start a war. Everyone picked a side except for Charlie. As a result, Charlie gets rewarded for being neutral!
    • Charlie picks a side and this had severe consequences.
  • Subverted: Charlie is confronted by a pissed off Alice and Bob, but they've eventually forgive him.
  • Double Subverted: ...except that they gave him a beatdown anyways.
  • Parodied: Alice and Bob fight over a water bottle. As Charlie refuses to choose who should take the water bottle, Alice and Bob give him a wedgie.
  • Zig Zagged: Charlie's neutrality sometimes backfires on him, but over the course of the story, it also sometimes allows him to act as a peacemaker between Alice and Bob.
  • Averted:
    • Charlie doesn't suffer the consequences for choosing no sides.
    • Or, Charlie picks a side with no problems.
  • Enforced: The author wants to make a Space Whale Aesop that choosing no side is just as bad as siding with evil.
  • Lampshaded: "That's what you get for choosing no side, Charlie!"
  • Invoked: "Say, Alice, since Charlie isn't picking a side, mind if we team up to throttle him?"
  • Exploited: Charlie has a plan to defeat Alice and Bob, but it will only work if they attack him together at a time of his choosing. Under the appropriate circumstances he goads them both into fighting and refuses to help either.
  • Defied: "Seriously, I'm not gonna let you two kick my ass for being neutral. I'm gonna kick both of yours!" *beats up both Alice and Bob*
  • Discussed: "I feel sorry for anyone else who refuses to pick a side."
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: Alice and Bob gave Charlie a terrible assault only because he wanted them to stop their trivial fighting. Because of this, Alice and Bob have buried the hatchet and forged a friendship based on abusing Charlie.

Back to Neutrality Backlash.

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