Main Fighting For Survival Discussion

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10:32:59 AM Jun 21st 2014
Page cut per thread.
03:26:34 PM Jun 17th 2013
I wonder if we can incorperate the Reverse Mole among this list?
08:40:25 PM Jun 13th 2012
I got the impression that this article and the "Dying Like Animals" articles are supposed to be similar so why not put the animal sections on to the Analysis page like the other article has? This seems to have even less to do about animals than the other one did because I've seen this link potholed in situations regarding fighting for ones life in general without having any basis from the animal traits listed while "Dying Like Animals" has it right in the name but had everything that dealt with the name removed from the main page. It might help keep the animal sections clear and distinct as well as eliminating the need for so many folders. I just think pages that follow a similar format and theme should match up and the two pages seem off balanced to me but I don't want to change anything without getting some other opinions first and I'm sorry if I put this in the wrong place for this sort of this but it really bothers me.
10:12:43 PM Aug 29th 2012
Yeah, this entire trope feels off. Like, obviously there's been a lot of work put into it, but it's just... not very good. The animal motif doesn't really make much sense, the title isn't informative... and as far as I can tell, the subject of the trope is "People that the Protagonist May Meet," which seems incredibly broad.
10:00:35 AM Sep 6th 2010
"Fighting for survival" must be the least informative name on the entire wiki... What is it supposed to convey? This trope seems to be about any character helping the protagonists in some way, most of them aren't even fighting. Why not change the name to something that actually says something about the trope?
04:08:52 AM Sep 27th 2010
Take it to Trope Repair Shop on the forums. Its where renames are discussed
11:22:05 AM Aug 6th 2010
Removed the following coz someone doesn't understand that your supposed to post new things in the discussion page, and no way im getting in another huge cleanup job for this page.

What does this have to do with Elephants anyway?
10:54:40 AM Oct 27th 2010
Bad memories? War-elephants?
03:17:14 AM Jun 28th 2010
shouldn't the hippo entry be Awakening the Sleeping Giant or Neutral No Longer?
07:16:37 PM Jun 12th 2010
Is it just me, or do we have way too many similar entries on this page?
03:55:36 PM Jun 17th 2010
Probably. I honestly think the using the animals thing is confusing and a bit stupid. Its not really clear what you are reading and some of it seems to fall firmly int Ass Pull territory.
04:10:06 PM Jun 17th 2010
This page misses a major part of why Dying Like Animals works by adding adjectives to the animals. I should not need you to point out that Foxes are associated with cunning. I also will never be convinced by any adjective you choose that Protective Chameleons was ever a righteous choice.

I'm going through, collapsing them to single animal descriptions and if they sound stupid or ill fitting after that then I'm taking them out.

I'll do one run through to help pick out how many are duplicates. If it doesn't work then it just goes.
12:51:17 AM Jun 18th 2010
Yay, Trope is kinda fixed. Added a note to have people put up new animals on the discussion page, so we can delay a repeat of that mess.
09:52:01 AM Jun 18th 2010
For sake of preparedness, I'm "taking a snapshot" of the trope as is and putting it in the folder below, so we have easy reference in case of future malarky.

    Time Capsule! 

I suppose I should thank you, but don't think I couldn't have handled them meself! Still, you done right by me. I'll see that the favor is returned.

Heroes have it rough, people are Too Dumb to Live and Dying Like Animals because of it. So when they get unexpected help from the populace they're trying to save, be they Heroic Bystanders, helpful NPC's, or even the villain's own henchmen, the hero counts his lucky stars that the common man will help, and are Fighting for Survival.

This trope uses various animal characters as archetypes, similar to Dying Like Animals.

Guides and Thinkers

  • Owl: "Rather than mount a suicidal attack like our enemy expects, I suggest we form a plan." Sometimes you need a plan in order to win that crucial One Sided Battle. This is who you go to for that plan.
  • Tortoise: "If any of you need advice or training, contact me. I may be old, and a bit slow, but that doesn't mean I can't help." Tortoise are venerable characters who provide wisdom and technique to the heroes. When they do fight, they prove to be excellent in combat  *.
  • Eagles: "All right, now take a left, but stop at the painting, it has a laser activated buzz-saw" Often a Voice with an Internet Connection, these people will help the hero through a dangerous path, providing much needed information.
  • Lions "So the neighboring King wants to open the can of pickled evil? Do you have any proof of this? Yes, then you and I shall ride together with my armies to stop him!" The Wise Lion is a leader who is willing to hear out the hero and possibly go to war against his neighbor because of it instead of being out for political gain or ignoring the problem.

Innocent, but not Bystanders
  • Hens: "Word on the street is the Big Bad wets his bed." They provide slander to defeat the villain through petty words. Or they give useful gossip to the heroes regarding what the word on the street is.
  • Mockingbirds: "Hey, you! The big, dumb guy with spikes! Tell me: did you fall out of the ugly stick tree hitting every branch you could on the way down or were you just born looking like that? Some people won't be able to provide more than a distraction, but sometimes, that is all that is needed.
  • Sheepdogs: "Before you leave, I would like to remind everyone that there will be a prayer meeting for young Anna this evening. We all hope that the surgery goes well and extend our deepest sympathies for her family during this difficult time. Go in peace." In times of crisis religion can serve as comfort and unity. These are the people who provide that support. They have great influence, being able to turn their flock to the hero's side.

  • Hippo: "Get off my grass!" They're not friendly. They're not on your side. They're isolationist and violently territorial at best, trying to kill you at worst. However, they're big, powerful, and more importantly, pissed off at the Big Bad more. So they're opening up a new front you can exploit. Just stay out of their way. They'll happily destroy both you and the Big Bad if they have the means and opportunity.
  • Pirhanas: "There Can Be Only One Arch Villain!"' Evil is not one big happy family. Even when they get along all it takes is a shiny apple to put them at each other's throats. Big Bad caliber villains will gleefully fight for power, to determine who is Eviler Than Thou or over the honor of killing the hero. Last Season's Big Bad might even come back to dethrone the "upstart" Snake who upstaged him. The hero may have an Enemy Mine on his hands where he can "pick" a side in this Enemy Civil War, or just sit back and let the two annihilate each other. Either way, expect a buried Xanatos Gambit.
  • Wolf: "Why am I helping you save the orphanage? Well, letting them die isn't my style, and let's just say I have some fond memories of the place." Being "irredeemably evil" is not that common, no matter how depraved, many villains will stop and help the hero to right things even they see as wrong. The wolf is noble, and even admirable - but it is also a killer and may very well turn on you when the time comes.
  • Raven: "I must stop you, it is too soon for the viridian dawn." He's mysterious, works for the bad guy, but isn't quite as evil or antagonist as he should be. Keep your guard up, he might help but not for your sake.
  • Beaten Dogs: "You have abused me for the last time. From now on, I roll with your enemies." When a villain hurts a minion one too many times, they create a beaten dog. These will often try to defeat the villain or help the heroes - especially if the heroes show them compassion or treat them nicely. At their most passive, they do civil disobedience.
  • Snake: "Sure I'll help you take out my boss. Here's the keys to his throne room. Just make sure to bring me back his crown." A Reliable Traitor who can be willing to help the heroes, if it means getting his boss' job. This traitorous snake can rarely be trusted however. After all, if he has no loyalty to HIS side, why would he be loyal to you?

Clawed and Dangerous

Helping Paws
  • Bloodhound: "They headed east, but we can catch them in the Serpentine Swamps." Primitive locals who help out the heroes in a pinch. Often guides or hunters, they often possess skills and wisdom that be extremely helpful
  • Beavers: "Whoa! What've you been doing with that busted up rig? Fighting the Big Bad? In that case, repairs are on me!" These guys are medics, mechanics, or even simple inn keepers that will provide medical assistance, vehicle repair or room and board to help the heroes on their quest.

Militant "bystanders"
  • The Pack: "The Cavalry has arrived!" Provide mostly reliable backup for the hero. One downside is their reliance on numbers means they might still die in droves.
  • Soldier Ants: "All right men, Defense Pattern Blue!" These were Innocent Bystanders who are now no longer afraid to fight for their freedom/lives/happiness.
  • Foxes: "There's a secret entrance under the sewers, you can use that to get in. Go with you? I'm sorry, but that's not part of my plan." They'll help the hero... but because it helps their schemes, or they can at least see how his victory is preferable to the villains.

Everything Else


  • One of the most memorable moments in The Sound of Music was during the Von Trapps' escape. There is an exchange between the Mother Superior and two nuns. When questioned on why they looked so guilty, they answered with "we have sinned"...and lifted up engine parts they'd stolen from the Nazis' cars!
    • And taken further in the Family Guy parody of that scene where one of the nuns has also sinned, and proves it by holding up a Nazi's severed head.
    "Hey, we didn't START this war!"
  • The Spider-Man films, the civilians pelt the Green Goblin to help Spiderman, and the train people stand up to Dr. Octopus for Spiderman (for all the good it does them, but the thought is there). Aunt May smacks Dr. Octopus at one point.

  • The Narnia books have several of these.
  • The Harry Potter series does, too.
  • The Sword of Truth series is practically made of this trope in book six, Faith Of The Fallen.
  • Matthew Reilly's Contest is one giant fight for survival.
  • Redwall has lots of Soldier Ants.
  • The Dresden Files, although humanity normally function as Ostriches, there is a very real understanding that without the Masquerade, humanity would quickly become a swarm of angry hornets, armed with plenty of firepower.
  • The War of the Dreaming features Lions Pendrake, as well as various platypi.
  • All over the place in Necropolis, with heavy resistance from the Vervunites, particularly the resistance forces caught outside the walls. Some of them offer such fierce resistance they receive field commissions from the Guard. Fittingly, many of the survivors join the Guard after Vervunhive falls.

Live-Action TV

  • The season 3 finale of Buffy, in which the high school students join the scooby gang in defeating the Mayor in a Crowning Moment of Awesome for pretty much all of them.

Manga and Anime

  • Dragon Ball Z had the Spirit Bomb, which could grow stronger the more people focused their energy on it... even if they were just Innocent Bystanders or comic relief. Special mention goes to Mr. Satan for rallying the masses to help Goku - Sheepdog style.
  • Anytime Sesshomaru in Inuyasha helps the heroes, he's usually the Hippo, not interested in fighting, helping or hindering them, but quite interested in killing the villain.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! has multiple examples of these:
    • Tortoise (Riccardo, Seras)
    • Bulldog (Tosaka)

Video Games

  • Meta Knight from Kirby can be very much a Raven, especially in the Anime.
  • The countless random citizens in Half Life 2, and probably the rebels as Soldier Ants or Beavers.
  • The Suikoden series has a population that exceeds some small towns, so a full list of examples would be a fool's errand.

Western Animation

  • One of the saddest parts of Superman: The Animated Series was Darkseid's invasion of Earth. While parading a beaten Superman through Metropolis, detective Turpin started throwing rocks at Darkseid's forces, inciting others to do so, and managing to free Superman in the process. It was a bit of a Downer Ending, since Darkseid killed Turpin to mar the whole affair with blood so Superman would know not to mess with him.
    Superman: The world didn't need a Superman... just a brave one.
    • That episode also had the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit as Soldier Ants, fighting off most of the invasion force while Superman was busy stopping their WMDs.
    • Before Superman's capture, Turpin directs a battle copter and casually takes out Steppenwolf with two well-placed Anti-Air missiles.
  • In a flashback episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender, When Sokka tried to warn the Fire Nation settlement that Jet was going to blow up the dam, they didn't believe him. But the old man Sokka stopped Jet from brutalizing vouched for him and they evacuated the town.
    • The battle for the Northern Air Temple: Aang gets air support from the other glider-pilots at the Temple, and of course the Mechanist comes through with the War Balloon in the end.
02:13:34 PM Apr 18th 2010
Shouldn't the entry titled "moths" be "butterflies"? The point of it seems to be that random acts of moth can help bring down evil's organized efforts. This makes more sense with the Butterfly Effect.
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