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Authority Tropes

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"For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it."
A Roman Centurion to Jesus, Luke 7:8

Tropes about the different effects and displays of authority and obedience.

Contrast Rebel Tropes.

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    Tropes about authority in general: 

  • 0% Approval Rating: Nobody likes the evil overlord.
  • 100% Adoration Rating
  • Alien Non-Interference Clause: Aliens are forbidden from meddling with the affairs of humans.
  • The Alleged Boss
  • Anti-Nepotism
  • Artistic License – Education: Teachers and other school staff exerting their authority over students when, in real life, they should not have that much authority.
  • Artistic License – Politics
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The best fighter becomes the one in charge.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Your skill in combat is equivalent to your rank in the hierarchy.
  • Authority in Name Only: An authority figure who doesn't really have any power at all.
  • Badass in Charge
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Deceiving people by pretending to be an authority figure.
  • Beleaguered Boss
  • Bothering by the Book
  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough
  • The Chains of Commanding
  • Challenging the Chief
  • Clipboard of Authority
  • Clocks of Control
  • Color-Coded Patrician
  • Cool People Rebel Against Authority
  • Corporal Punishment
  • Delegation Relay
  • Earned Stripes
  • Emergency Authority
  • Ermine Cape Effect
  • Evil Overlord List: A list of things one must consider if they ever decide to become an evil overlord in order to prevent ever being defeated.
  • Fisher King: A ruler whose very presence causes the land to become the same way they are.
  • Forgot I Could Change the Rules: An authority figure forgets that it's within their power to change the rules.
  • Grade-School C.E.O.
  • Grand Inquisitor Scene
  • Humans Are Leaders
  • Ignored Enamored Underling
  • In Its Hour of Need
  • King on His Deathbed
  • Large and in Charge: The leader is also the largest of the group.
  • Lawful Pushover
  • The Leader: The member of the group who calls the shots.
  • Leader Forms the Head
  • Nepotism: Employing your relatives.
  • Obstructive Code of Conduct
  • Ordered to Die
  • Physical Fitness Punishment
  • Please Spare Him, My Liege!
  • Powerful People Are Subs: An authority figure with an iron fist is ironically very submissive in the bedroom.
  • Reclining Reigner
  • Risking the King
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: An authority figure believes that being in charge makes them above the law.
  • Sham Ceremony
  • Short-Lived Leadership
  • Sliding Scale of Leadership Responsibility
  • Staff of Authority
  • Standardized Leader
  • Still the Leader
  • Supporting Leader
  • Sword of Damocles
  • Teenage Wasteland
  • Tyrannicide
  • Under New Management
  • Weak Boss Strong Underlings
  • Young and in Charge
  • You Rebel Scum!
  • Leader Characters of:

        Any kind of Institution: 

        An Apartment: 

        A Company: 

        A Monarchy: 

        Royalty Non-character tropes: 

        And Love... 

        The Military: 

        Military Non-character tropes: 


        A Town: 




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