Do Not Taunt Cthulhu vs. Bullying a Dragon:
Deadlock Clock: 12th Apr 2014 11:59:00 PM

Total posts: [73]
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I was looking at the page for Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu? and I noticed that there's a similar trope called Do Not Taunt Cthulhu. It seems that the difference is whether it's known that the character being annoyed is powerful. So how are they different from Bullying a Dragon?
Videoludus ergo sum
judging by the description for Do Not Taunt Cthulhu; DNTC is when a powerful entity that is being taunted by a non-powerful one reacts by attacking/destroying/killing the offender, while Bullying a Dragon is when the powerful entity being bullied for whatever reason chooses not to retailate.
"We are not a stuffy encyclopedic wiki. We're a buttload more informal".
3 Fighteer4th Sep 2013 07:28:11 AM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
The tropes occupy a very distinct narrative purpose.

Bullying a Dragon is when people, through malice or ignorance, taunt or annoy something that is much more powerful than themselves. Typically they are not in a position of power over it except in their own minds. Examples include the Jerk Jock bullying Peter Parker, or kids throwing rocks at Bruce Banner.

Do Not Taunt Cthulhu is written as a trope when a powerful creature is captured or restrained in some way, and one of its captors chooses to mock it for being helpless. When you have the Eldritch Abomination chained up with mystic bindings, it's a really stupid idea to poke and prod it, and often fatal.

edited 4th Sep '13 7:29:07 AM by Fighteer

The Cthulhu tropes all have to apply to a high power level scale like gods and demons. And the characters involved are acting out of clear defiance and disrespect, they typically know what they are doing and just don't care.

Bullying a Dragon applies to things on a much lower scale like, well, dragons and maybe The Big Guy. The characters involved often act out of stupidity and ignorance, if they anticipate a dangerous response they severely underestimate the danger, they are not trying to be defiant.
Thanks. It's somewhat confusing because many of the examples on both pages seem interchangeable.
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
[up][up] Your Bullying a Dragon sounds more like Mugging the Monster.
Yeah, the distinction between Bullying a Dragon and Mugging the Monster is that in the former, they know the person is powerful, while in the latter they don't.
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
That distinction is what KJ and Fighteer just said was between Taunt and Bully. So... between the three tropes, we still have a problem, it seems.

edited 19th Sep '13 7:41:27 PM by crazysamaritan

9 SeptimusHeap19th Sep 2013 10:50:06 PM from Zurich, Switzerland , Relationship Status: Mu
Another Wizard boy
KJ's distinction has much more to it than just "does/doesn't know".
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
But Bullying a Dragon includes Reality Warper characters.
11 SeptimusHeap20th Sep 2013 04:58:28 AM from Zurich, Switzerland , Relationship Status: Mu
Another Wizard boy
Yeah, which results maybe in a little overlap.
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
  • Taunt: characters are aware the monster could kill them without effort. An advantage gives them courage.
  • Bully: characters are unaware the monster could kill them without effort.  They are courageous in their ignorance.
  • Mugging: characters are unaware the monster could kill them without effort. They are courageous in their ignorance.
  • Flip: characters are aware the monster could kill them without effort. They are courageous anyway.

Overlap? The power level KJ mentioned is not specific to Taunt, and the ignorance of power is covered by Mugging. Based on that, the only distinction left is the criminal element for Mugging. Is that distinction really tropable?
Again: For bully they do know the person could kill them with a thought. They attack anyway because they're idiots. Mugging is when they don't know.

Bully and mugging are doing fine as tropes. Taunt and flip are the ones we need to look at.
14 SeptimusHeap20th Sep 2013 08:25:13 AM from Zurich, Switzerland , Relationship Status: Mu
Another Wizard boy
Oh, Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?. Well, for me, Do Not Taunt Cthulhu is about the negative consequences more while Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu? is the act of insulting mainly.
15 Fighteer20th Sep 2013 08:37:29 AM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
I smell a mess of overlapping tropes caused by tropers trying to shoehorn definitions into "clever" titles.
I guess this should be moved to TRS, then.

Again though, Bullying a Dragon and Mugging the Monster have clear definitions, and I've seen no problems with them. It's the other two that are fuzzy.
Do Not Taunt Cthulhu attempts to distinguish itself from Bullying a Dragon by suggesting the latter applies when "the entity is choosing not to splatter you," but Bullying does not preclude the Dragon retaliating.
[up][up]So what exactly do we need to look at/discuss for those two tropes?

edited 25th Sep '13 9:19:28 PM by grapesandmilk

With descriptions this muddled, we need a wick check for both to figure out how they're being used across the site. Then, we figure out if that use is distinct from other tropes, and if it is we clean up the descriptions (possibly rename) and clean up the wicks to make sure they all fit.

If you want to do the wick check, then what you need to do is go to the related page (it's one of the blue buttons at the top of every page) for both tropes. That will give you a list of every page the trope is linked on. Grab 50 random links, find where they're mentioned, and put the entire example in a text document with the others. Then we can sort through them all to figure out what to do.
20 Willbyr26th Sep 2013 01:38:01 PM from North Little Rock, AR , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
With Mod Hat On
I moved this to TRS.
21 SeptimusHeap28th Sep 2013 03:11:29 AM from Zurich, Switzerland , Relationship Status: Mu
Another Wizard boy
Where should this be tagged under?
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
I'm inclined to say these should all be turned into subtropes of Underestimating Badassery. One or two of them may subvert the "underestimating" aspect, but all of them still fit the narrative purpose of treating Bob like he's weaker than Alice.

Even if Alice knows Bob is more powerful, she's not giving him the respect the difference in power would suggest.


If these tropes are assembled under that trope, we should be able to deal with them as a group, under the tag of UB.
  • Bully: is about persecution. A person is different and for their differences they are picked on, ostracized, abused etc. Only that in this case because its fiction the difference that they are being persecuted for is somehow related to their extremely high Power Weight. The Bully's in question, whether or not they are aware of the difference in physical power, have greater social power and feel confident that they won't be attacked because the 'dragon' is too psychologically restrained to fight back. May result in the dragon getting fed up and overcoming their internal restraint and finally retaliating, or the bullies apologizing after they realize how mean they are.
  • Taunt: is a specific situation in which a being with a high Power Weight is restrained and it's captors taunt it because they are overconfident, usual results in the being being too restrained to get out but still having enough power to attack its taunters, or breaking free of the restraint.
  • Flip: A person is bold and defiant and decides to back talk or mock a powerful being they know is powerful regardless of the consequences.
  • Mugging: Someone wants to pick on someone randomly and by really bad luck the person they decide to do wrong to has a much higher Power Weight than they do.

Anyway Bullying is more a state of affairs, like a Jerk Jock routinely bullying a nerd with super powers, or Muggles persecuting Mutants/Wizards/Dragons because they are a minority. The others are all specific moments in the plot.

edited 28th Sep '13 12:55:37 PM by acrobox

[up]I agree and as such I think these are all reasonably distinct tropes that do not need their definition changed.

I think that if someone can present evidence that any one specific trope is being misused, we could take that one trope to TRS and try to decide how to best fix it.

But otherwise, I don't see the point of this thread being in the Trope Repair Shop rather than Trope Talk.

edited 29th Sep '13 5:44:02 AM by Catbert

Could we just... not have Death anymore?
It was moved from trope talk because the pages don't support any one of the listings precisely. The wicks are all over the place, although I think Flip has the least misuse. I could be wrong, no one did a wick check when one was asked for.

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