Guess That Trope Definition, you will probably guess that the trope is pretty much the same thing as What Measure Is a Mook?. Both page quotes, the image, and half the examples are guilty of this as well. The actual definition is actually a scenario when a villain's henchman (not nesseserilly a Mook must choose between serving the villain and protecting his/her family. This needs a new name.
A Wizard boyHuh? This for me sounds like a trope about mooks having a family or the like and the effects it has on the story. Don't know how What Measure Is a Mook? comes in.
Exactly, it sounds like that. As such, a lot of the examples are just "aw, that mook had a family. That's so sad." Which is What Measure Is a Mook?. Even Mooks Have Loved Ones is specifically about mooks being torn between loyalty to their boss or their family. Part of the issue is the snowclone from Even Evil Has Loved Ones which IS just about bad guys having family. If someone thinks Even Mooks Have Loved Ones is just a mook-version of that, they're wrong (but I don't blame them).
A Wizard boyWhat Measure Is a Mook? is about a Mook being expendable/killable and their deaths not being saddening, unlike the main villains. Do not see the connection still.
Then that page is broken because the page image, laconic, and examples are all almost exclusively aversions, lampshadings, and subversions.
The reason this is a snowclone of Even Evil Has Loved Ones is that this trope used to be named Even Evil Has Loved Ones. There was a little misuse. When it came time for a new name, no one had any suggestions. I threw this name out out of desperation. No one had any comment, so I went with it. If you can come up with a new one, please do!
Perhaps 'Hostage family for Mook service'?
Anime-tedGivin this a bump because there's an IP thread tied into it that will expire soon.
So is there also a problem with What Measure Is a Mook? or not? Because if so, perhaps there's a way to kill the proverbial two birds here.
Well the page quotes are hella misleading that is for sure.
Page quote, image, and I'm sure plenty of examples. I think the first thing we have to do is add a comment to What Measure Is a Mook? saying that it's only for aversions or lampshades, as that's what it's used for (and Mooks get mowed down and no one cares in of itself is pretty much covered by the Mook page itself). Secondly, Even Mooks Have Loved Ones should be turned into a redirect for What Measure Is a Mook?. And lastly, we need a new name for this trope. Boss Or Family Decision? Henchman Loyalty Conflict? EDIT: I see the image has been commented out. I did the same with the page quotes.
edited 19th Mar '14 11:28:24 AM by Larkmarn
In hopes of getting some activity here, I want to second this point:
I think the first thing we have to do is add a comment to What Measure Is a Mook? saying that it's only for aversions or lampshades, as that's what it's used for (and Mooks get mowed down and no one cares in of itself is pretty much covered by the Mook page itself).Being casually slaughtered is part of the definition of Mooks, so What Measure Is a Mook? really should be for cases of that getting averted or having attention drawn to it. We don't need a second page for "mooks get slaughtered and no one cares".
Family Versus Career, where a mook must choose between a family and his/master. There is a crazy amount of misuse here related to just mooks having families. What Measure Is a Mook? may include mooks having families, but is more general than that. So, if we keep the current name, the definition must change. If we keep the definition, the name must change. Something like Family Verses Overloard or something, though I don't really like that. Not sure what word I'm looking for here.
Seems quite a bit more specific than that: it's a mook having to choose between family and job under the specific condition of the boss doing something to threaten a preexisting family, and the boss refusing to take that into account when asked (thus, a wife giving an ultimatum to her mook husband to quit working for Dr. Pandemonium or she'll take the kids and leave is not an example). Family Versus Career has a decision take place before pursuing one or the other, generally.
edited 19th May '14 3:13:55 PM by Leaper
I think the What Measure Is a Mook? trope deviates from the normal 'what measure is an x' trope formula - those tropes normally describe when the question as to where the potentially arbitrary cutoff between, say a badass or a non-badass, is posed or implied. What Measure Is a Mook?, as a title, ought to refer to looking at the distinction between characters as being in the mook category or not - is a mook a mook because of his/her position, or because he/she's just someone other than a main character? A story typically can't add a lot of background to every minor or nameless character, so, to me, 'what measure is a mook' suggests a look at why Red Shirt number 4 is less significant than Captain Kirk just because Kirk is the focus of the story. Now, to make this a trope (or alter the current one to fit this description), we'd have to come up with a clearer definition (and example criteria) than I've outlined just now (specifically, how this would be addressed in a work without every example being meta [aside from works that lean on the fourth wall), but you get the idea - the name as it is, to me, doesn't seem to capture the intended meaning. Even Mooks Have Loved Ones, to me, suggests a work actually treating the death of someone we'd see as a mook seriously, or showing their family and the fallout they experience - I think that would be a valid concept, distinct from Even Evil Has Loved Ones because it's tragedy specific - showing that evil has loved ones is not the same as showing how those loved ones are affected by the evil family member's death. I think it'd be tropeworthy to have a mooks page, as applying this to mooks would be unusual, and therefore distinct. Ideas? Or am I way off?
edited 26th May '14 6:38:37 PM by johnnytightlips
LakijaI agree. This trope could be summed up in a couple quick sentences:
A mook or henchman who is usually taken for granted, treated like a background character, or otherwise is usually just there is given special attention that humanizes them or gives them them an added layer of substance. This is often achieved by pointing out that the character has a family, people they care about, and they, too, are significant. Mooks are usually not given a second thought; they are largely treated as nameless, faceless rank and file serial numbers. However, giving them a family, or other personal qualities or possessions, individualizes them. This can lead to another character or the audience sympathizing with them. This is part of the reason why such characters as hit men, heroes, and villains dislike knowing personal details about their enemies: it makes them care about them. It makes them feel for them. Thus, knowing that a mook has a family makes the audience and other characters see the mook as an actual person who is worth something.
What Measure is a Mook is describing what this trope should be. And that trope should be what is said there. It should be about what a mook is and why they are that.
edited 27th May '14 9:11:48 AM by Lakija
It is what it is.
Yeah, but what about the current definition?
LakijaFor this trope, It's confusing and convoluted and full of potholes. It feels unclear, and is reliant on anecdotal example. EDIT: I see what you mean. I think that there is a trope out there about mooks pushed over the edge. Gotta find it. So...Wherein a henchman's villainous boss hurts or exploits the loved ones of his minion. EDIT: Okay. It says that this trope is not to be confused with Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal, but it sounds exactly right to me. Hurting or mistreating a mook's family is just a specific form of mistreatment.
edited 27th May '14 10:37:00 AM by Lakija
It is what it is.
Agreed. More likely to happen if the mook was a Punch Clock Villain, but emotional mistreatment is still abuse.
edited 28th May '14 5:27:10 AM by crazysamaritan
Still new. Still learning. Asking questions and making mistakes.
I do think the title's fine, but the description, yeah, could use some work.
OH MY GOD; MY PARENTS ARE GARDENIIIIINNNNGGGGG!!!!!
Looking over the examples on the page, I want to re-write the description to cover this as a subtrope of Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal and direct examples of "hero discovers the mook had family" to What Measure Is a Mook?.
Still new. Still learning. Asking questions and making mistakes.
Total posts: 27
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