Playing With: Positive Discrimination
Basic Trope: The Token Minority can do no wrong.
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- The Mentor of the Five-Man Band is racist, so Colin's got to work extra hard to prove himself.
- The Mentor of the Five-Man Band is not a sexist, but Genre Savvy enough to know that Alice might end up Stuffed into the Fridge—and is hoping that by driving Alice to work extra hard and be the most competent member of the band, that trope will be averted.
- Inverted: Alice is constantly getting into trouble - the guys have to bail her out.
- Subverted: Colin only claimed to be the most competent, but when he had to face a villain, he ran the opposite side.
- Double Subverted: Only because he knows he can to stop the villain from a far range. He handles his gun carefully to stop the villain while the rest charged at him blindly.
- Alice is just as incompetent as the rest of the team, but receives most of the credit. Then she is saved by Bob just once, and she can Never Live It Down.
- Alice trips and accidentally created a chain of events that eventually brought the bad guys down. Bob turns to Davis and says "Wow, talk about girl power!"
- Zig Zagged: Most of the heroes are fairly competent, while Alice is either a superstar or The Ditz, Depending on the Writer.
- The males and females are equally competent. Or incompetent.
- There are all kinds of people, with their fair share of forte and flaws.
- "A lot of girls watch this show! Let's make the female lead the only competent one."
- "We'll get in trouble if the token character is in any way, shape, or form a bad person, or not in some way superior to the generic white male. Let's make Alice the most competent and the rest of them incompetent, for they are, after all, white males."
- "We'll get in trouble if any character who isn't a straight white male is in any way, shape, or form a bad person, or not in some way superior to the straight white male characters, so let's just have one Token Minority who is perfect at everything and make everyone else white dudes so that we can actually give them personality and character flaws without anyone getting offended and boycotting the show."
- Lampshaded: "Colin is both the only black in our group and the only competent one. But I'm sure it's just a coincidence."
- Invoked: Alice works hard on becoming highly skilled and competent.
- Exploited: Bob takes a lot of breaks knowing that Alice could cover him easily.
- Defied: When Bob sees that Alice is showing him up, he starts training and working hard himself.
- Discussed: "Why did you just assume I was better than my white teammates? As far as I can tell, we're all equally competent and equally heroic."
- "Ever notice how it's always the girls and the minorities who win most of the battles, particularly against the white guys?"
- "Okay, here comes the rescue scene. 2 to 1 odds it's Alice saving the guys again."
- Implied: Alice was never being shown fighting, but she flaunted how her could fight better than the guys.
- Deconstructed: Alice decides to leave the team because she's far more competent than the rest of them.
- Reconstructed: ...But she comes back because she needed them as much as they did her, even if it's just so she'd have people to entertain her since she's so much better than the rest of them.
- Played For Laughs: When Alice (dressed in the girliest clothes imaginable) enters, a glowing halo of light and sparkles surround her along with a bunch of roses ala Revolutionary Girl Utena.
- Played For Drama: Colin dies, and The Bad Guy Wins instantly.
- Plotted A Perfectly Good Waste: Colin may be raw skill incarnate, but he is in no way flawless. In fact, between his massive Inferiority Superiority Complex, arrogant attitude, dangerously obsessive approach to whatever the team does and refusal to act like a team player, he is probably the most unstable member. Having been discriminated against all his life, he dedicated himself to becoming so skilled that he could overcome it. He succeeded, but at the cost of losing friendships and basic skills that he deems 'unimportant', a crippling perfectionist streak, and a body that's starting to deteriorate from how hard he's pushing himself. He lives in mortal terror of ever being upstaged, as he has staked his entire self-image on being perfect. When Colin is finally, inevitably defeated, he has a complete mental breakdown.
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