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A Dishonorable Index

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"Alright, that's it! Dishonor! Dishonor on your whole family! [...] Dishonor on you, dishonor on your cow, dis—"
Mushu, Mulan

Here are tropes dealing with characters who have a lack of honor, dignity, and integrity.

Contrast Dignity Tropes. See also Index of Shame, Betrayal Tropes, Pragmatism Tropes, and This Index Fights Dirty.


  • Agent Provocateur: An individual who pretends to be on the other side and tries to incite the other side to do something that makes them look bad.
  • Attack the Injury: Exploit a character's injury (whether suffered before or during the fight) to win.
  • Ambitious, but Lazy: Character who tries to take shortcuts to get ahead in life rather than put in effort.
  • Bitch Slap: A slap to humiliate a character.
  • Breach of Promise of Marriage: A character calling off their engagement is considered a serious breach of a contract.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Characters who cheat will and do get hit with karma.
  • Combat Pragmatist: A character who will do whatever it takes and use whatever they have to win.
  • Confidence Sabotage: A character purposely sabotages another in order to make them feel less confident.
  • Crush the Keepsake: Just to give a downed character an extra kick to the gut, the villain destroys one of their beloved keepsakes.
  • Defeating the Cheating Opponent: A cheater in a competition is exposed, the competition goes on, and the cheater still loses.
  • Deliberately Jumping the Gun: To get a better chance at winning, a character starts before the beginning of the competition proper.
  • Desecrating the Dead: Someone's body is desecrated after their death.
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: The villain could go ahead and just win, but they decide to cheat just for the heck of it.
  • Dirty Coward: A character who runs at the first sight of trouble, usually at the expense of other characters.
  • Dishonored Dead: A deceased character is denied something (usually a proper funeral) due to dishonorable actions in their life.
  • Driven to Suicide: Something happens to a character that leads to them taking their life.
  • False Flag Operation: An individual or group pretends to be part of the opposing forces in order to attack them from the inside, to cause conflict, or to tarnish their image.
  • Five-Aces Cheater: Someone cheats by doing something impossible by the rules.
  • I Lied: A taunting stock phrase given to a character when they fall for a lie.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: A character pretends to surrender to catch their enemies by surprise.
  • Insignia Ripoff Ritual: To show a character being disgraced or demoted, the insignia on their uniform is ripped off.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Even when the person is already down and helpless, their attacker keeps on coming.
  • Leave No Survivors: To tie up loose ends (or just for the heck of it), villains kill innocents trying to flee a scene.
  • Mark of Shame: A symbol put onto a character to let other people know they've done something shameful.
  • Medal of Dishonor: A trophy given to a character in celebration of something immoral they did.
  • Miles Gloriosus: Talks tough, but is really a total wuss.
  • The Oath-Breaker: A character known mostly by a promise they broke.
  • Offering Another in Your Stead: A character facing death or worse offers another in their place, usually as a sign of them being dishonorable scum or as a final descent into disgrace.
  • Ordered to Cheat: When someone doesn't really want to cheat, but are forced to.
  • Poison Is Evil: Using poison to kill your enemies is considered an evil act.
  • Professional Butt-Kisser: A character who doesn't really care who's in charge—they'll kiss their butts if it means staying in their good graces.
  • Pushed at the Monster: A character being chased by a monster, killer or other nasty uses someone else as a distraction by means of pushing or tripping them down so they'll get killed or eaten instead of the character.
  • Rejecting the Consolation Prize: A character comes in second or third place and rejects/destroys their award out and anger, jealousy or immaturity.
  • Rejection Ritual: A special ritual for people who are being removed/rejected from a group for something shameful they did.
  • Rigged Spectacle Fight: A villain holds a public battle with someone that is tilted in their favor in some way.
  • Screw the Rules, They Broke Them First!: Once one side breaks the rules, the other side sees no reason not to follow suit.
  • Self-Defense Ruse: Killing someone, then justifying it by claiming self-defense when it actually wasn't self-defense.
  • Shoot the Dog: An action that is morally reprehensible is done for the greater good of things.
  • Sink The Life Boats: After destroying a vehicle, someone then attacks the crew escaping from it, even though they're no longer a threat.
  • So Long, Suckers!: A common one-liner given as a character escapes.
  • Sore Loser: Rather than take it in stride, someone reacts very poorly to losing.
  • Stealing the Credit: Someone takes credit for another person's work/creation.
  • Suicide Is Shameful: Suicide is considered selfish, cowardly, or just plain shameful.
  • Taunting the Unconscious: Making fun of someone who's comatose, unconscious, or in a similar state.
  • The Unfettered: Someone who is so dead-set on achieving their goal that they will do anything to do so.
  • Unhand Them, Villain!: A villain has someone over a high drop, and the hero shouts for the villain to let them go. They do.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: When a character wins and boasts about it in the most arrogant way possible.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: The hero agrees to a villain's terms so long as their loved ones go unharmed. But villains are villains, and the loved ones are harmed.