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You Used To Be Better Speech

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Someone points out the past qualities of a Fallen Hero before falling

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
WiseMan23753 on Jan 11th 2019 at 6:36:47 AM
Last Edited By:
WiseMan23753 on Jan 16th 2019 at 4:59:09 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

Heroes don't last forever. They eventually fall or end up showing charactersitics that make people their faith. They might have Took a Level in Jerkass or fell much deeper into the realms of a Fallen Hero. But some people still have faith in such heroes, even when they are the enemy.

Someone who knew that person, or at least based on one's knowledge, would say how he or she used to be a much better person. That person would usually go on like this whenever the Fallen Hero has hit rock bottom and is sucking the ground in defeat. Unlike "The Reason You Suck" Speech, which is used to belittle a target, this type of phrase reminds them of how they were respectable in the past and what accomplishments they made in that period. He or she used to be a Knight in Shining Armor who fought for ideals, held moral values at heart, used to care about humanity, or had some sort of dignity that made great characteristics as a person. It doesn't matter what Start of Darkness they had when they should not have surrendered to it in the first place.

The usual result of this trope is the target having a Heel Realization and have the shock that would normally terrify him or her come all at once. Shortly after recovering from this Heroic BSoD would one expect the Broken Pedestal to come back from despair, pulling a HeelĖFace Turn, and regaining the respect he or she once had.

Compare You Are Better Than You Think You Are. The Paragon Always Rebels, and is likely to be confronted for their fall in this manner afterwards.

Exmaples include:

Anime & Manga

  • Fullmetal Alchemist
    • Happens to Greed in the manga and second anime. When he attacks Bido, his friend from his first life, he tells his former superior how they used to be family. Greed casts aside the memories and kills the poor creature without hesitation. Then, Ling goes in a rage within his body and tells him the exact same thing. What drives the pint is how he just surrendered his right to be called 'Greed' by turning away his family and friends. My God, What Have I Done? indeed...

Video Games

Feedback: 15 replies

Jan 11th 2019 at 12:21:06 PM

  • Parodied in The Simpsons episode "Bart to the Future" where Bart recurrently uses this phrase to try and guilt trip people to doing as he wishes. It has no real success, until he tries manipulating the UN:
    China Rep: You pay now. Now!
    Bart: What happened to you, China? You used to be cool.
    China Rep: Hey, China still cool. You pay later. Later!

Jan 11th 2019 at 4:27:36 PM

The Paragon Always Rebels, and is likely to be confronted for their fall in this manner afterwards. Some examples can probably be found on that page.

Jan 11th 2019 at 5:18:56 PM

@War Jay 77 Iím aware of that. Thatís why Iím looking for a better name for this trope.

Jan 11th 2019 at 6:47:10 PM

^^ Yeah, jumped the gun a bit I admit. Sorry.

Jan 13th 2019 at 7:23:46 AM

Pierre to himself in The Great Comet, in the song "Pierre". "I used to be better, I used to be better, I used to be better... I used to be better, I used to be better, I used to be better..." Greek Chorus: "o-oh, Pierre, our merry, feasting crank!"

Jan 13th 2019 at 10:51:50 AM

Bombing only to balance out the hats, as the title needs to be fixed before this can launch. Once we resolve the issue I will remove the bomb.

Jan 14th 2019 at 11:31:39 AM

Guys, I don't want to sound rude, but I need to ask why this has three hats whilst the title is still poor. There's also only three examples on the draft and they come from two works...

I'm not saying this draft is bad and should be tossed in the trash, but shouldn't we actually fix the problems before deciding we're ready to launch this?



Jan 14th 2019 at 12:11:30 PM

At risk of seeming like a spammer with three posts in a row...

Maybe we can just call it "You Used To Be Better" Speech? At least until we get an even better idea...

Jan 14th 2019 at 3:08:33 PM

Compare Rousing Speech, of which "affirming someone that he used to be better" can be a form.

Jan 16th 2019 at 4:59:09 AM

  • The Milo Murphys Law crossover with Phineas And Ferb, "The Phineas and Ferb Effect", has a very unusual inversion, as the target, Dr. Doofenshmirtz, has actually not become the hero that Cavendish admired yet. Fifteen years in the future, Doofenshmirtz will invent time travel and become Professor Time, which is why Milo, Dakota and Cavendish sought him out to invent time travel early and prevent the Pistachions from taking over. Instead of taking the cause seriously, Doofenshmirtz is more concerned about orange soda and cup holders. When Doofenshmirtz, Dakota and Cavendish finally strand on an island, Cavendish snaps and rants about his disappointment to Doof.