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

Total posts: [73]
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Could we just... not have Death anymore?
All four are a specific moment.
Well, yes, but Bullying a Dragon was the one that acrobox listed as not a moment.
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
I didn't realize that's what you were talking about. I didn't have that as the context. I'm sorry.
Petting Zoo Person
I say lump the lot of 'em.
I must be cruel, but to be kind That bad may begin, and worse be left behind
[up]You shouldn't advocate lumping four tropes unless you're willing to help with the work.

I like what acrobox said. They seem clear to me. In fact, this reminds me of the time when someone couldn't tell the difference between Thou Shall Not Kill and Even Evil Has Standards. Both pages are detailed and the later specifically mentioned other types of standards besides killing and yet the comment came up.

To further tell them apart, I'll add my two cents: there's a hero/villain distinction.

Bully: Often happens to a hero. This demonstrates their restraint in regards to petty jerkasses and/or set them up as a woobie. Flip: Often used by a hero. This demonstrates their courage in the face of a much greater Power Weight foe. The page also says it's used as a delaying or misdirection tactic. Taunt: Often used by a hero. This is more foolhardiness. It may be part of a Hope Spot. Mugging: Often happens to a hero. The page points this out; ", The Hero is held up while going about their business". Also-Ignorance. All the other tropes involve a degree of knowledge about the target. This is very clear about the ignorance.

Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Then do a wick check based on those definitions.
33 Spark99th Oct 2013 08:08:59 AM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
I think there's too much snowcloning going on here.

Bullying The Dragon and Mugging the Monster are clear enough and distinct enough, so I don't see a problem there. Howver, Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu? is the same thing as Bullying The Dragon (except, perhaps, that the target of the bullying/flipping is even stronger, but that's The Same but More), and Do Not Taunt Cthulhu is essentially also the same as Bullying The Dragon, except that the dragon is restrained somehow.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
[up]So I'm guessing Flip would be like a single action, and Bully is more sustained?
35 SeptimusHeap11th Oct 2013 12:04:28 AM from Zurich, Switzerland , Relationship Status: Mu
Another Wizard boy
Yes.
I did see it as that.
37 Spark912th Oct 2013 08:29:21 AM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
"Single action" vs "sustained" also strikes me as The Same but More.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
Especially since that's incorrect. Bullying a Dragon is a single action. All four are single moments—or rather, Bullying and Mugging are, and the other two are still unclear.
Isn't the difference between flipping off and bullying that the bully doesn't expect retaliation while the flipper knows perfectly well they could be swatted like flies and do it anyway? One is villainous and the other is heroic or at the very least brave.

edited 12th Oct '13 10:01:14 AM by Arha

So you're saying that for Bully they're not expecting a retaliation (because they're idiots, or they think they have some form of protection or whatever), while for Flip the dragon is about to eat them and they just want to give it the finger?

I could get behind that, but I still think we need a wick check here. Not sure if anyone wants to go to that amount of trouble, though.
That's how I've always understood the distinction, yes. One shows the person's stupidity and perhaps cruelty and the other shows the persons bravery and refusal to submit. It would probably be especially effective in the situation where the godlike character might very well ignore the person otherwise.
42 Spark913th Oct 2013 12:54:43 PM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
I'm pretty sure we already have another trope for heroes that make flippant or insulting remarks in the face of overwhelming danger.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
43 SeptimusHeap13th Oct 2013 12:56:09 PM from Zurich, Switzerland , Relationship Status: Mu
Another Wizard boy
The only thing that comes to mind is Casual Danger Dialog and its ilk, which has nothing to do with insulting entities that can kill you.
44 Willbyr13th Nov 2013 03:58:37 AM from North Little Rock, AR , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
With Mod Hat On
Clock is set.
So we've got:

  • Bullying a Dragon: Attacking a powerful person/creature, knowing full well how dangerous it is, and thinking you're safe for some reason.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Attacking, taunting, or otherwise antagonizing a powerful person/creature, knowing it is about to kill you.
  • Mugging the Monster: Attacking a powerful person/creature without knowing it's dangerous.

The only one I think we haven't hammered out is Do Not Taunt Cthulhu. I've seen some use of it as someone warning someone else "There's this super-strong guy, DON'T BOTHER HIM," but the description doesn't support that.
Perhaps 'Taunting someone stronger than you when you believe them to be unable to retaliate' could work. Of course, that's a lot like Bullying a Dragon. I guess the difference would be the knowledge that normally your insult really would get you killed, but this time you think it won't happen. Of course, the question then becomes whether you think it won't hurt you and you think it can't hurt you are significantly different.

edited 13th Nov '13 11:38:36 AM by Arha

That's about what I got from the description, but I'm just not sure that's meaningfully distinct from Bullying a Dragon.
Do Not Taunt Cthulhu is when someone thinks they have an advantage over someone powerful and then mocks them, but it turns out that they really don't.
49 Willbyr10th Dec 2013 08:03:02 PM from North Little Rock, AR , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
With Mod Hat On
We got a holler about this one...it's way past the clock, is there anything left to do here?
[up]Update the lists of trope distinctions, and see if the examples on each page fit.

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