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Good Old Ways

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Graham: Katsumoto no longer dishonors himself by using firearms, you see.
Algren: He uses no firearms?
Graham: To those who honor the old ways, Katsumoto is a hero.

This character dresses in an old-fashioned manner, uses old courtesies and practices things that have fallen by the wayside since Ye Goode Olde Days. Obviously a good person — the writer is using her or his adherence to the Good Old Ways to signal it, as a convenient shorthand. The character eschews fancy new technology, as they believe that Older Is Better.

The Hero, the Old Master, and other characters may explicitly affirm their loyalty to the Good Old Ways. If the Defector from Decadence has left a culture that has lost (in his eyes) its former virtues and defends his behavior, he will invoke this.

Not all Good Old Ways are entirely good; the characters may concede their faults but point out that only their virtues have been lost, as when a violent and courageous race loses its courage but not its taste for violence. But it’s just as possible that a character confronted with this will either try to defend the old ways’ “faults” or attribute past social problems to people not following them all the way. Even Evil Has Standards can be a form of Good Old Ways.

May overlap with Good Is Old-Fashioned, with villains and other characters taunting him as old-fashioned, but this is when the writer uses the shorthand, or the character himself, and those who admire him. Note that being uniformly old-fashioned is not necessary; the character can pick and choose the best of both eras, as long as those characters he is contrasted to reject the best of old times as old-fashioned.

The Noble Savage and the Arcadians run on this trope. Ludd Was Right is a subtrope. Sacred Hospitality often invokes this.

In Real Life, Good Old Ways are often used symbolically. The Soviet Union's flag showed an old-fashioned sickle, not a tractor. Swords are routinely used in military ceremonies and parades, even in the 2020s. People who graduate from Cambridge University wear a medieval-style robe and cap at their graduation. The British Royal Family's horse-drawn carriage, used at weddings, in fact post-dates their owning an automobile. (This is a common source of Newer Than They Think.)

It's similar to Disco Dan, in that both involve someone longing for a "simpler," or "better time." The main difference is that Good Old Ways tends to have more to do with traditions, values, and high culture, whereas Disco Dan has more to do with pop culture. The two can and sometimes do overlap, or change from one to the other (Shakespeare used to be low-brow theater.)

Contrast Man of Wealth and Taste. Also contrast Evil Reactionary. Compare They Changed It, Now It Sucks!; Nostalgia Filter; and all of their related tropes.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Played with in Samurai Champloo — set in medieval Japan, most characters behave like it's modern day, which is the whole premise of the show. Jin, the one character who acts appropriate to the age, is remarked upon as being "old fashioned".
  • Rurouni Kenshin The titular character speaks in the same way one would speak to a Japanese feudal lord (even though it's the Meiji era), and this is commented on by other characters more than once.
  • Bartender dwells a lot on the difference between traditional cocktail bartending and modern nightclub bartending, usually to the effect of how much better the old ways are.
  • Lupin III: Embodied by Goemon Ishikawa XIII, who dresses in a traditional kimono and hakama, uses a sword instead of a gun, and lives his life according to the code of bushido. He carries this to such a degree, that when he pulls out a modern cell phone in Lupin III: Seven Days Rhapsody, Lupin is flabbergasted.
  • In Brave10, Kakei is an old-fashioned samurai type, conservative and proper and unafraid to tell others how they ought to behave. It's often Played for Laughs, given his Buttmonkey status.
  • Witch Culture in Little Witch Academia is shown to be steeped deep in tradition, Luna Nova in particular filled with various traditions, customs and ways that seem archaic by modern standards. Because of this, many of the students and staff have a bias against Akko, a regular person from a non-witch family that idolizes Shiny Chariot (a witch many other witches dislike due to her use of magic for entertainment).

    Comic Books 
  • Captain America is sometimes seen as a practitioner of these. He grew up in New York during The Great Depression, and sometimes he attributes his Cape-like morality to his past.
    • This is more pronounced in Ultimate Marvel, where there is a bigger gap between Cap getting frozen and thawed, and he has had far less time to get adjusted. For instance, while dating the Wasp, she was annoyed that his chivalry bordered on patronizing, he was bewildered by what she wore and watched on TV, and talked like her grandfather. To his credit, Cap was ahead of his time in some respects such as in the Ultimates Annual which has a World War II photo of him in costume, proudly standing with the African American Tuskeegee Airmen at a time when doing so was considered taboo by mainstream American society.
  • There is also Turner D. Century, who is the antagonistic version: a villain who is dedicated to forcing society back to what it was before World War I. He was eventually killed off by the Scourge of the Underworld, a character created specifically for killing off minor and/or ill-conceived villains.
  • Hawkman and his partner/lover Hawkgirl/Hawkwoman (It's complicated) frequently use maces, spears and other primitive weapons against criminals. Justified in that they are both reincarnations of ancient Egyptian lovers; furthermore, the weapons are made up of the mystical Nth metal which has anti-gravity and sometimes anti-magic properties. Subverted during the Silver Age when they were extra-terrestrials from a world that had developed FTL starships, but had come to Earth to study "primitive" ways of dealing with crime, because crimes born of boredom were increasing in Thanagar's post-scarcity society. Nowadays it varies though the reincarnation cycle started when they found a ship of a world with the same name and touched it.
  • R. Crumb's Mr. Natural, a somewhat dodgy guru, thinks his dad is best suited to treat his friend Flaky Foont's problems. We find his pop is a foul-tempered old geezer who takes an immediate dislike to Foont's whiny neuroses, declares "The old ways are the best!" and throws Foont down a flight of stairs.
  • Sláine prefers stone weapons to those made of bronze or iron during his early years; his main complaint being that metal weapons must be straightened when frequently used, and says "you know where you stand with stone". He reluctantly swaps out Brainbiter's stone head for an iron one when he shatters it fighting a dragon, and has stuck with it ever since.

  • "Pepperidge Farm [cookies] remembers"
  • Country Time Lemonade Flavored Drink Mix has a series of commercials where an old man extols the virtues of the old fashioned lemonade that Country Time is reminiscent of.

    Films — Animation 
  • Wreck-It Ralph: Felix is humble, somewhat folksy, rather antiquated in his speech, never really swears, and has a blue-collar uniform for a blue-collar job. It really couldn't be more obvious that he's the good guy.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • I, Robot: Detective Spooner is portrayed as 'old fashioned' because he wears Converse and has a non-voice-activated entertainment system. His mentor lives in a very old-school Big Fancy House. In contrast, the villain is a highly futuristic-looking AI.
    • Also subverted in that the other hero of the story is also a highly futuristic-looking piece of technology.
  • Star Wars: Invoked by Obi-Wan in the quote above.
  • Saving Sarah Cain: Amish are kind of an Ur-example.
  • Blast from the Past, stars Brendan Fraser as the son of a nuclear physicist and his wife who was born in a fallout shelter where he lived for all of his life until his parents deemed it safe (a wrongly triggered air raid siren led them to believe that nuclear war was on in the '60s, so he had never left the shelter in 35 years). Fraser's character, Adam, was unfailingly polite and gentlemanly to everyone he met in the present day, to the point where the female lead (Eve, of course) found him insufferably snotty, while her gay cousin realized that Adam simply believed that that was how people should treat each other.
  • Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is entirely about this trope. The title character lives as a samurai in nineties Jersey City, working as a hitman for the mob. The film is interspersed with quotes from the The Hagakure demonstrating how Ghost Dog is doing his best to live by the code of the samurai in the modern age. It doesn't go so well.
  • Casino Royale (1967) features David Niven as the original, retired James Bond, who considered spying to be a noble calling and expressed contempt for the current breed exemplified by his namesake.
  • As noted in the page quote, Lord Katsumoto from The Last Samurai is a Samurai traditonalist who views western firearms as dishonourable and refuses to use them even though his enemies use them a lot. Not only would this make him foolish but also historically inaccurate - the samurai in real life were very impressed with Portuguese matchlocks when they first encountered them, and adopted them readily. However as he is defending his homeland from an invasive alien culture that views Japanese traditions as barbaric, the film's sympathies lie squarely with him.

  • A persistent Chinese legend is of a traveler who finds an Arcadian village living peacefully and happily in some out-of-the-way corner. Talking with them, he learns they are under the impression that they are still living under the last dynasty, or the one before that. In Communist China, they are said to have asked "Who now sits on the Dragon Throne?"
    • The Mao Dynasty, of course.
    • It probably wouldn't work if he found a village from the Maoist era ("Half of us have starved to death, but look how much steel we've made! Chairman Mao will be pleased, right?")
  • There is a persistent myth in the study of Greek warfare that the Greeks in the Olden Days used to fight honourably, agreeing where and when to engage, refusing to exploit advantages and even banning missiles to keep fights fair. This myth is almost entirely based on a single passage in Polybius praising the Good Old Ways. There is practically no real evidence backing up his statement.
    • More likely they fought the same way because they had low training and their way worked with low taxes. They fought in the same place, because that is how geography worked out. And they refused to exploit advantage because they wanted to be back on their farms.

  • In Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey novel Gaudy Night, the work at the university is presented as Good Old Ways, and explicitly described as a rearguard defense.
  • In The Caves of Steel the majority of the Earth population are 'medievalists' and cling to old-fashioned views like not having robots do every job and not talking in public restrooms. The main hero lampshades it, thinking about every era has it... and one day, his own times will be viewed as such.
  • In William King's Warhammer 40,000 Space Wolf novel Ragnar's Claw, Ragnar informs an inquisitor
    We hold with the old ways from the time of Russ. The truths do not change.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines novel The Warriors of Ultramar, the Space Marines have a weapon to deal with the tyrannid queen itself, but they explicitly say they must get to her "the old-fashioned way" — "with flesh, blood and steel."
  • In Ben Counter's Warhammer 40,000 Horus Heresy novel Galaxy In Flames, this is the core of Keeler's appeal to Qruze "the half-heard". She repeatedly tells him that he is the only one who remembers the ideals of the Astartes. When he kills Maggard to allow their escape, he is heartened because he killed him face to face, not with treachery, from far away, and tells how they used to fight that way, respecting their enemies.
    I also know that your counsel is not heard because yours is the voice of a past age, when the Great Crusade was a noble thing, not for gain, but for the good of all humankind.
    • Then, when Horus addresses the iterators, he declares the ideals of the Crusade are dead, but he will restore them, bringing it back to its rightful path. For which he doesn't need them, so he stages a massacre.
    • In James Swallow's The Flight of the Eisenstein, Kaleb explicitly thinks of how he has seen the old ways of the Death Guard fade. His master Garro prizes his sword partly for its age (and is scorned for keeping a human retainer, which smacks of sentiment).
    • In Graham McNeill's Fulgrim, Vespanian watches his companies slide into decadent arrogance, and few companies held to the ideals that founded the legion. Then he learns that Fulgrim tried a Uriah Gambit on Captain Demeter, and Fulgrim murders him.
  • In Edgar Rice Burroughs's Chessmen of Mars, the ancient I-Gos is perpetually praising his days. So thorough is his admiration that he changes his loyalties on realizing who is The Hero.
    Then I did not fully realize the cowardice of my jeddak, or the bravery of you and the girl. I am an old man from another age and I love courage. At first I resented the girl's attack upon me, but later I came to see the bravery of it and it won my admiration, as have all her acts. She feared not O-tar, she feared not me, she feared not all the warriors of Manator. And you! Blood of a million sires! how you fight! I am sorry that I exposed you at The Fields of Jetan. I am sorry that I dragged the girl Tara back to O-Tar. I would make amends. I would be your friend. Here is my sword at your feet.
  • In Terry Pratchett's Carpe Jugulum, Igor revives the old vampire to deal with the odious innovations of the younger generations. The witches and the mob agree that the old master had been better: he had played fair. In a twist by the time he shows up this regard is all that keeps the vampires from being wiped out; he held back and played fair because it encourages the humans to do the same.
    • In The Fifth Elephant, Angua complains that barbaric as her father had been, he had played fair with such customs as the hunt; her brother had corrupted things.
    • In Unseen Academicals, the wizards are big on traditions, the changing of rules is justified by finding an old set of rules in the urn, and Glenda objects to mucking with the rules because football is not supposed to keep up with the times.
    • In Eric, a demon grumbles about how the new King of Hell is ruining things; there was a time when the damned were not just numbers, but victims.
    • In yet another example from Unseen University, the ceremony of locking the main gates seems to be based on a time one of the porters lost his keys. But tradition is tradition, and "Damn, swore I just had them," etc., becomes an official part of the process.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Most of the people of the North (including House Stark) worship the old gods and keep old traditions instead of having burned their Godswood and converted to worship of The Seven like the rest of Westeros. It is implied that said gods are responsible for the Psychic Dreams for Everyone.
    • There are some old ways that even traditionalists have attempted to toss out. The Starks, for example, have attempted to outlaw the right of first night (i.e. the right of a lord to bed a woman any smallfolk or bannerman of his wants to marry), but according to Roose Bolton, it is still practiced, by the Boltons and even the Umbers, who are staunch allies of the Starks when the lord is strong. Likewise the North don't practice the Human Sacrifice rituals associated with Old Gods worship.
    • The Ironborn are proud of their adherence to their Old Way of reaving and pillaging, which says that men must only pay the "iron price," for things, i.e. killing people and taking their stuff. At one point Victarion feels ashamed because when making a brief stop for provisions on a sea voyage at a major port city he bought food and water, proving that no, there is no point at which common sense applies to this rule.
      • Subverted in that everytime the Ironborn readopt the Old Way, they get curbstomped by the rest of Westeros who are not fans of piracy, especially after the Aegon I creates the 7 kingdoms. The only times the Ironborn prosper is when they adopt greenlander customs like trade.
    • In Essos, Slaver's Bay are quite proud of Old Ghis, a civilization that vanished and was replaced by Valyria 3000 years ago, and are fierce at maintaining their "traditions" of chattel slavery. Daenerys, in response, revives the Targaryen tradition of shutting things down with extreme prejudice.
  • In Brian Jacques's Redwall, Impoverished Patrician Squire Julian of Gingivere disdains his ramshackle estate and repels Matthias's sympathy because he knows nothing of loneliness or trying to preserve standards.
  • William Shakespeare, in "Sonnet 68", laments how things have declined: they didn't use to rob corpses of their hair for wigs.
  • In "Scott-King's Modern Europe" by Evelyn Waugh, Scott-King refuses even to consider teaching anything but classics, even though that may mean he will be out of a job.
    They want to qualify their boys for jobs in the modern world. You can hardly blame them, can you?"
    "Oh yes," said Scott-King. "I can and do."
    "If you approve, headmaster, I will stay as I am here as long as any boy wants to read the classics. I think it would be very wicked indeed to do anything to fit a boy for the modern world."
  • In John C. Wright's The Golden Age, The Phoenix Exultant, and The Golden Transcedence, Helion and the Silver-Gray movement he helped found intensely support this to provide discipline and structure in a way that can't be enforced by law.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Harry Dresden likes to act old-fashioned, partly because he's a wizard (and not adhering to the Old World courtesies can and will earn you a Fate Worse than Death - Dresden mouths off, but only when he can get away with it), partly because it calls back to the Noir detectives he patterns himself off of, and partly because it annoys Murphy. It's also implied to be because his model of moral behaviour was his teacher and grandfather Ebenezar McCoy, a 300 year old wizard who in his words, taught him right from wrong, and not just how to use magic, but why to use it. Given that Ebenezar has spent most of the last couple of centuries on a farm in rural Missouri, he's not always up to the times in terms of mannerisms. As a result, neither is Dresden.
    • Exaggerated by some of the older supernatural entities. You can expect vampires to dress in Middle Ages royal attire at formal functions and Elves to always be good guests even when not invited. Even demons speak in Old English styles. Old rules of hospitality and honor run deep inside of them and violating it is very poor form. That said, if the Good Old Ways do allow for ways to kill you, they will go for it.
  • In James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000 story "The Returned", Tarikus and Thryn shake hands "the old way" -- palm to wrist.
  • Alice, Girl from the Future features an old-fashioned man who doesn't trust modern tech. That is, he refuses to use air cars, preferring the old-fashioned personal wings, he doesn't like a new electronic food distribution computer installed in the zoo, insisting old fashioned robots are better (well, the computer does prove to be bugged)... and he is the only man capable of urgently repairing some advanced alien equipment.
  • In The Will of the Empress, Namorn has a custom referred to as "horse-rump marriage" from its ancient seed country, where a man is allowed to abduct any woman and induce her to sign a marriage contract that can only be annulled by the local lord. It is commonly looked on as a way to add some romantic spice or get around a Parental Marriage Veto, but it is frequently used on entirely unwilling women. The Empress herself has escaped it twice, not that it makes her sympathetic to less fortunate women.
  • In The Goblin Emperor, Maia, wishing to break off from the last emperors' corruption, reverts to an older practice for his reign name.
  • Some people interpret The Lord of the Rings in this light. The majority of the Fellowship — the hobbits, the wizard, the elf, the Ranger, even the dwarf — come from natural or spiritual backgrounds, while Sauron and his allies are far more industrialized. The story itself begins in the peaceful, pastoral Shire and ends in the barren, fiery Mordor. Even the author admits that such days can't last forever, though, as the epilogue ends with the elves departing Middle-Earth for good.
  • John "Black Jack" Geary embodies this trope in The Lost Fleet series, being practically an expy of Captain America, but in his case the Good Old Ways really were better. A century of all-out war has left the navy in a dire state, with jerry-built spacecraft crewed by barely-trained officers thrown into battle to replace dreadful losses that only get worse the more corners are cut to fill the gaps. Reintroducing the lost arts of formation discipline and proper tactics turns the titular Lost Fleet into probably the most dangerous military force in human space. When the fleet finally makes it back to Alliance space, the brass initially calls him a liar for claiming that the fleet has engaged in all those battles due to the relatively low losses for a "true battle" in the "spirit of the Ancestors". Propaganda can be blamed for that, though, as Geary himself has been idolized as a paragon who followed these "tactics" (in fact, Geary himself is merely a Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond, having fought a total of one battle before being defeated and becoming a Human Popsicle; it's just that everyone else is absolutely horrible at coordinated fighting; in fact, there are many good ship captains, but few good fleet commanders).
    • In the prequels, Geary's ancestor has to struggle against the new ways of the Old Earth Space Navy that frowns upon initiative and demands strict adherence to established protocols. When put in command of what's left of the Glenlyon Space Navy, he puts officers capable of making their own decisions in charge. His predecessor is dead because he refused to go against the checklists and listen to his gut.
  • Bill Kraft of Victoria prefers to live in the 1930s, and his dress, mannerisms, home, furniture, and reconditioned car all reflect this, as does his family. Though they certainly have no issue taking advantage of modern medicine, still they have found a doctor who is also part of the Retroculture movement and is willing to make house calls. Later, this is imposed over all Victoria (formerly New England) not as a law, but as a cultural norm with more power and endurance than mere legislation.
  • The virtues and faults of this attitude are a theme in Alien in a Small Town, a novel about what has become of the Pennsylvania Dutch in The Future.
  • The Place Inside the Storm: Tara, Loki, and Xel spend four days staying with a family of Thoreauvians who live mostly off the land, without modern conveniences like electricity. They're the happiest and among the kindest of the people the protagonists meet on their journey, and don't miss technology at all.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The Starks still keep to the traditions of the First Men: strength, honor, justice, bravery, faith in the old gods and "the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword". They are the last great house to do so.
    • Inverted by the ironborn, such as Balon Greyjoy, who seek to return to the Old Way of reaving, raping and murdering.
    • Inverted by Ramsay Snow, who lauds himself as a man of tradition for bringing back the ancient art of Flaying Alive.
  • Star Trek:
    • Leonard McCoy from Star Trek: The Original Series both enforces and subverts this trope. He's rabidly in favor of fighting the dehumanizing effects of too much technology (especially the transporter) in favor of enjoying "the simple things in life", and yet sees "primitive 20th-century medicine" as just above trepanation, leeches, and bloodletting in its barbarity, preferring the "high-tech approach" to healing. Truth in Television, since this is how many conservative-minded people view scientific progress in real life. In general, he embraces the positive, constructive aspects of technological progress rather than the destructive or dehumanizing ones. This gets a Lampshade Hanging in the book Forgotten History, where a character is surprised to hear McCoy railing against the past because she thought he was suspicious of modernity, and he replies "I'm suspicious of all kinds of things."
    • True with many other characters in the Star Trek universe. Among others, Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation prefers paper books and drinks real wine, and Sisko from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine likes to cook real food and play baseball. His father has a restaurant which serves authentic Cajun cuisine too —cooked, not made by a replicator.
    • A darker example shows up at the beginning of the Star Trek: Enterprise Mirror Universe two-parter "In a Mirror, Darkly" when Reed and Phlox show off their new "Agony Booth". Captain Forrest comments "There's something to be said for a good old-fashioned flogging."
  • Fraser in Due South is like this. He continues to be a stereotypical Mountie in a modern age. At one time he is even complimented by calling him "the old breed".
  • Jacob from Lost is implied to adhere to a (possibly negative) version of this, especially in seasons 3 and 5.
  • Babylon 5:
    • This is the hat of the Minbari — quite well-drawn, though less mundane than similar human cultures actually are in practice. Both the virtues and the faults of traditionalist cultures are well shown. Minbari are often loyal, brave and honorable but they can also be bigoted and vicious. Still, when one sees Minbari act, one can actually believe in them, and it is a tribute to the writer and perhaps the actors (Mira Furlan was a Croatian exile and might have had the advantage of being able to act what she knew to some extent).
    • Londo is a follower of the good old Centauri ways, including honor duels (he's a good swordsman, if one whose fighting style gave him the nickname Passo Liati — "Fights Like a Madman") and poisoning your rivals. He even declares it out loud in "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" while explaining to Lord Refa why he poisoned his drink before asking him to break his alliance with the Shadows: apparently, poison was used often in the good old times, and as an aficionado of those times, Londo decided to become a Master Poisoner.
    • Michael Garibaldi is a fan of 20th-century Warner Bros. cartoons (specifically Daffy Duck; B5 itself was produced by WB), and generally basks in a Film Noir vibe. Also, he has a 20th-century revolver (his great-whatever-great grandmother was apparently a Boston cop) and motorcycle, each of which only pop up for one episode.
    • John Sheridan is a baseball fan and is lampshaded as a "bit of a history buff". He's notorious for cribbing historical speeches whenever he needs to make a public address. Really, B5 is rife with characters who are all about this trope.
  • The premise, from the Bunkers' perspective, of All in the Family. The theme song is made of it!
  • The Handmaid's Tale: Along with retrograde gender roles, Marthas are expected to cook everything from scratch and all food comes from organic farms. In the latter case it may also be inspired by the fear of environmental toxins, so that they no longer use artificial pesticides.

  • "Gimme that old time religion / 'cuz it's good enough for me."
  • "As I went down in the river to pray / studying about that good old way..."
  • The Kinks The Village Green Preservation Society seems to largely about a group of people staunchly opposed to progress and "protecting the old ways from being abused".
  • The entire genre of Folk Music is explicitly rooted in traditional forms and good old songs.

  • The Magnus Archives: Inverted by the ship Tundra in the episode "Boatswain's Call" - the mate's eponymous whistle and the old-fashioned wooden lifeboat with oars belie (or perhaps portend) the evil that is aboard.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, most of the tribes rely on old-fashioned melee weapons and shamanism, often frowning upon the Post-Modern Magik used by the Glass Walkers, Bone Gnawers, and other urban Garou. Justified by that the old-fashioned weapons and spirit magic works just as well as the Post-Modern Magik of the urban tribes.
  • Almost qualifies as a central theme in Vampire: The Masquerade. Vampires beyond a certain age tend to have their outlooks and behavior become "locked" into where they were in their formative years. They can learn new technologies, keep up to date on current events, wear modern clothing and so forth, but will always have a strong tendency to behave and see things as someone who grew up in their original years would behave. Even those who make a great effort to stay on top of what's considered "modern" will invariably come across to others as old fashioned. Many of the power structures these more elder vampires build to govern their society are in a way also an insulation from a modern reality they see as uncomfortable or even frightening, and this leads to younger vampires chafing against rules and restrictions they see as having no good reason to be.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • In addition to the literary entries above, the Imperium of Man is generally reluctant to improve on its millenia-old technologies, let alone adopt those from other alien races. They seem to have culturally dead-ended themselves as well, as their state religion primarily revolves around the worship of their half-dead demi-god Emperor. Considering the amount of grief the Imperium remembers about the Age of Iron Men and occasional "new" technology that turned out to be demon infested, Necrons or a trap, this caution has some merit.
    • In a less depressing example from the setting, this is the entire shtick of the Snakebites clan, who appear to be four parts tribalistic counterpart to the rest of the Orks, and one part expy of the WFB Orcs.
      "Live off the land. Go to find war. Kill wot comes close. The old ways are best."
      • Just for perspective, their opposing clan, the Blood Axes, are considered dangerously un-Orky by most for using tactics at all and occasionally shaking down enemies for tribute instead of attacking first.
  • Warhammer: Subverted by the Dwarf High King, Thorgrim Grudgebearer. Thorgrim's active efforts to retake fallen dwarfholds and achieve restitution for the grudges listed in the Dammaz Kron make many hail him as a throwback to the great kings of the dwarf kingdom's golden age. However, in his actual policies, Thorgrim is about as radical as it is possible for a dwarf to be, pushing innovation in manufacturing techniques, weapons development, financial reform and social change in ways many other dwarfs consider to be wildly irresponsible.

  • The Amish in Plain and Fancy defend their Good Old Ways in the song "Plain We Live."

    Video Games 
  • Hakumen of BlazBlue uses archaic words and phrases ("How dare you interrupt me, Grimalkin!"), at least in the English dub. He's also polite enough to formally declare doom on most of his opponents before cutting them in half, and generally holds himself as a Knight in Shining Armor, going so far as to warn all of humanity that they'll need to reform or die. His status as a practitioner of the Good Old Ways is heavily subversive, though: not only is his Pride so intense it violates physical laws, but he dips into Knight Templar territory often. Oh, and he's actually from the future, not the past. Kind of.
  • In Mass Effect 3, it seems that Britain, (or perhaps merely London), has apparently decided to keep their iconic red telephone boxes well into the 22nd century, despite having numerous forms of interstellar communication technology on hand that render such devices obsolete. Of course, it's entirely possible this is merely the facade, while the internal workings are standard 2186 technology.
  • Given Namu Amida Butsu! -UTENA-'s modern setting and Modernized God cast, Bishamonten stands out with his samurai-like Antiquated Linguistics speech and sporting the Taishō era intellectual look for internal affairs.
  • The Sims 3 expansion pack Supernatural adds the "proper" trait, allowing a Sim to "discuss matters of ettiquette" and the like.
  • Oddly enough for a brutish mercenary, Canderous Ordo of Knights of the Old Republic admits that the Mandalorians cannot go on fighting the way they once did, and is often furious at the Mandalorian mercenaries and bandits seen in the game, which he sees as embarrassments to the armor. At the end of the first game, he expresses a desire to do more with his life and preserve the ways of his people so they'll be remembered. By the second game, he's taken the title and helm of Mandalore - Mandalore the Preserver (Te Taylir Mand'alor). Three centuries on, a splinter faction of Mando'ade, unhappy with the current Mandalore (an Imperial puppet) call themselves "Preservers" and follow his teachings as The Good Old Ways, only to be unceremoniously crushed and their leader exiled to Taris.
  • Somewhat the point of the Purity philosophy in Civilization: Beyond Earth. The universe is a cold, dark place, and even though it has had to leave Earth, humanity needs to cling to its past and its identity. Maybe that's why their Battlesuits are styled to look like Roman legionnaires.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: The stated goals of the Stormcloaks are as follows: expel the Empire and their Thalmor puppetmasters, crown Ulfric Stormcloak as High King, lift the ban on the worship of Talos, reinstate traditional Nord laws and customs that have been gradually eroded by years of Imperial rule, and rebuild Skyrim's economy and military to prepare for a future war with the Dominion.
  • Like a Dragon:
    • Kazuma Kiryu is a firm believer in the classical depiction of the yakuza lifestyle: that of being a protector of the community with a sense of honor and fair play, who doesn't exploit civilians and proudly wears his allegiance to the cause for all to see. Much of the conflict of the series is Kiryu's idealism running smack into the reality of running a 21st century criminal enterprise, where the new generations discard honor and tradition for pragmatism and profit.
    • Taiga Saejima is, in spite of being relatively young, prone to going off into rants on how much better things were before he went to prison, and has relatively old-fashioned ideas about everything from fighting, to the role of the yakuza to relationships. He does get introspective towards the end of 4, asking himself if the yakuza have become more brutal, or if they always were and he was just too young and naive to realize it.


    Western Animation 
  • An episode of Fillmore!, "A Cold Day at X", had an old teacher go on about how in the days of her childhood kids were more honest and the that honor system meant something. She then claims that in her classroom it would always be The '50s.
  • A villain version in Quest for Camelot, where Ruber expresses in his villain song his desire to return to the "good old bad days". Said "good old bad days" were from the time before King Arthur took Excalibur out of the stone, when the earth was ravaged by war and chaos.
  • Hank Hill of King of the Hill is something of a traditionalist who values hard work and typical hobbies (sports, building things) above all else.
  • The Pepperidge Farm commercials are parodied on Futurama with Fry watching recordings of old TV shows which include lines such as:
    TV: Do you remember a time when chocolate chip cookies came fresh from the oven? Pepperidge Farm remembers.
    Fry: Oh, those were the days.
    TV: Remember when women couldn't vote and certain folk weren't allowed on golf courses? Pepperidge Farm remembers.
  • The Pepperidge Farm commercials are parodied on Family Guy:
    Remember when you hit that pedestrian with your car at the crosswalk and then just drove away? Pepperidge Farm remembers, but Pepperidge Farm ain't just gonna keep it to Pepperidge Farm's self free of charge. Maybe you go out and buy yourself some of these distinctive Milano cookies, maybe this whole thing disappears.
  • Samurai Jack:
    • In a Bad Future dominated by evil robots and crazy advanced technology, Jack himself really stands out with his traditional gi, his hat, his sandals, his Samurai Ponytail and his magic katana. When he's shown to have abandoned these for heavy armor, guns, and a motorcycle in Season 5, it's a clear indicator that something has gone very wrong in Jack's psyche.
    • In the Season 2 episode "Jack's Sandals", Jack meets a Japanese family who runs the Tengu Jet repair shop. Despite being far in the future, the family practices as many traditional Japanese customs as possible (like making Jack some new wooden sandals by hand) as a way of rebelling against Aku. Jack, being from ancient Japan himself, greatly appreciates the reminders of home.


Count Max

Being a vampire lord, Max can be a little old fashioned.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / GoodOldWays

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