Playing With / Ordered to Cheat

Basic Trope: Someone is ordered to win or lose a contest dishonestly.
  • Straight: Steve is ordered to drug his opponent before the prize fight.
  • Exaggerated: Steve is ordered to brutally murder his opponent, his opponent's trainer, and his opponent's dog before the prize fight.
  • Downplayed: Steve is ordered to use technically legal but shady blows in the fight.
  • Justified: Steve is unlikely to win without cheating, but the thing riding on the fight is genuinely and vitally important.
  • Inverted:
    • Steve is ordered to play fair, and/or the opponent is the one being told to cheat.
    • Steve is expressly told not to cheat, as it's not worth the risk of getting caught.
  • Subverted: Steve's trainer tells him to give his opponent "these wonderful little pills", but it turns out that the opponent just asked the trainer earlier if he could borrow some aspirin.
  • Double Subverted: ...but aspirin isn't what the trainer is giving him.
  • Parodied: Steve is ordered to drug his opponent before an arm-wrestling contest to decide who pays for the movie tickets.
  • Zig Zagged: Steve is ordered to drug his opponent before the prize fight... except it's a Secret Test of Character... which he fails by going off to obey the orders... only to find that someone else has already done it... pointlessly, because the fight has been cancelled... because Steve accidentally dropped the some of the drugs in the judge's gin and tonic earlier... and is now in danger of being arrested if they find him in possession of the rest.
  • Averted: Steve isn't ordered to cheat.
  • Enforced: The writers are more interested in establishing what kind of person Steve is than whether he can fight or not, and feel that this is the best way to insert a moral question into a story about prize fighting.
  • Lampshaded: "What's the betting that every other trainer in the building is saying the exact same thing right now?"
  • Invoked: The trainer tells Steve to cheat just to make him angry for the fight.
  • Exploited: Spectators who know how things work place their bets according to who has the most ruthless trainer, not according to who is the best fighter.
  • Defied: When Steve signed up, he made it clear that he'd walk out if he was ever told to cheat.
  • Discussed:
    • "Given what you see in stories, I'd be surprised if a lot of the people here don't have some kind of pressure on them to bend the rules."
    • "Sweep the leg johnny! No mercy."
  • Conversed: "Can't they make just one boxing movie where the trainer wants to play fair?"
  • Deconstructed: Steve finds that thanks to pervasive corruption in his chosen sport, he is in a hopeless position. If he agrees, he sacrifices his moral code and is beholden to the people who know his secret, but if he refuses, the vested interests running everything will drive him out of the sport and ruin all his dreams.
  • Reconstructed: Although Steve suffers a great deal for his choice, his love for the sport is too strong for him to give up, and he eventually overcomes the obstacles in his path to do things his way.

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