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No True Scotsman

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[C]omic fans are ruthless. The instant you say something about a character or storyline that they disagree with, they immediately do their very best to exclude you from the community. Girls get it the worst — a girl can't wear an Aquaman T-shirt to any kind of nerdy gathering without getting accused of not being a true fan (whatever the hell that means) and being grilled with Aquaman trivia questions that no human being should be able to answer. (The correct answer to "If you're such a big fan, then in what issue of Aquaman did we learn the name of Aquaman's father?" is "Fuck you — Arthur, Prince of the Sea, belongs to everyone").
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No True Scotsman (also referred to as the fallacy of "Victory by Definition" in Robert Allen's "The Propaganda Game") is an intentional logical fallacy which involves the act of setting up standards for a particular scenario, then redefining those same standards in order to exclude a particular outcome.

The Trope Namer and prime example of this sort of behavior is a hypothetical scenario (first told by British philosopher Antony Flew in his 1975 book Thinking About Thinking) in which a Scotsman reads about a horrible crime in the newspaper that takes place in the English town of Brighton and smugly thinks to himself, "No Scotsman would ever do such a thing." Then something much worse happens in nearby Aberdeen and is reported on the next day. Rather than admit that he was wrong, he instead thinks, "No true Scotsman would ever do such a thing." In this case, he is retroactively changing his standards of what a Scotsman is from "someone who lives in Scotland" to "someone who lives in Scotland and meets my standards of acceptable Scottish behavior."

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This is very common within subcultures. Works or creators are discredited as not part of the genre due to not living up to arbitrary standards (or just being popular). Often this is followed by examples of what are considered real examples of the genre (see also Pretender Diss). By extension, you aren't considered a real fan of the genre if you don't know of these works. Sometimes, when dealing with a Dead Horse Genre or another sufficiently ghettoized field, the fallacy is used to try and distance a well-liked entry from it. A related tactic is called gatekeeping and refers to when someone claims to be a fan of X and another person challenges them to prove they are a "real" fan of X by reciting a bunch of facts about X.

In real life, it's most commonly found in arguments about politics, race, nationality or religion, usually when it comes to perceived stereotypes that something negative "can only be done" in a specific region or group of people (especially The Rival) and not the accuser's own group; with of course ignoring the fact that it can.

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Essentially a form of Begging the Question, in that, to accept the argument that No True Scotsman would do X, one must accept that the definition of "True Scotsman" includes "would not do X." It's also a good example of Confirmation Bias in action. Related to Moving the Goalposts, where the definition isn't changed, but the standards for accepting a counter-argument are made increasingly more rigorous.

Tropes which rely on, or include this fallacy:

Looks like this fallacy but is not:

  • If the group being referred to has clearly-defined or generally accepted membership standards that exclude the counter-example. For instance: if a statement is made about "Eagle Scouts", and a rebuttal is offered concerning "Boy Scouts", pointing out that "Not all Boy Scouts are Eagle Scouts" is not No True Scotsman.
  • Even if a group doesn't have a formal membership standards system, it can have widely accepted standards what does and doesn't constitute responsible/acceptable actions. For example, it's not fallacious to say that "no responsible gun owner would do that," because someone violating gun safety rules is by definition acting irresponsibly.
  • If the group being referred to has specific and/or objective guidelines/rules of behavior as a member of that group. E.G., "No clean cop would take a bribe" is not fallacious, because a clean cop, by definition, doesn't take bribes.
  • If the action axiomatically note  or logically disqualifies one from inclusion in the group, such as "No true bachelor is married" or "No true triangle has four sides." For example, "No right-handed person predominantly uses their left hand" is not fallacious because right-handed people are defined as those who predominantly use their right hand. Someone who is calling themselves "right-handed" but predominantly uses their left hand either is lying, trying to torture themselves, or doesn't understand the distinction between "right-handed" and "left-handed" people.
  • If the term is redefined because it is susceptible to multiple interpretations and there was legitimate confusion about which was being used. This would be sloppy, but not necessarily fallacious. It could be clarified by observing, "You Keep Using That Word..." Of course, if the term in question is political, what counts as Insistent Terminology and what counts as No True Scotsman will depend on what political views you have.
    • Related, it's not No True Scotsman, but a simple mistake if the definition is simply wrong. For example, stating no right-handed person predominantly uses their left hand. Bob has been right-handed all his life, but he just broke his hand or had a stroke leaving him partially paralyzed...
  • If the term means different things at different times due to time marching on. Led Zeppelin isn't true Heavy Metal based on how the term is defined today, even though the term was used to describe the band in the 1970s.
  • Pointing out that something really is, strictly speaking, not an example of the group. For example, the plant bananas grow on is commonly referred to as a banana tree, and it's fine to point out that, botanically, the banana plant is not really a tree.

Not related to Violent Glaswegian, Brave Scot, The Scottish Trope, that Shcottish actor, or Fake Scot.

A form of Selective Obliviousness. Straw Affiliation is a related form of this. Stop Being Stereotypical and Not So Different are often invoked when these situations occur. The inverse is Hitler Ate Sugar, when someone tries to argue that all True Scotsmen are evil because of one bad apple, though both tropes can be (and often are) used hand-in-hand to stigmatize and exclude certain people/things/etc.

In regards to Real Life examples, what may be considered as "a true/not a true (whatever)" often relies on personal interpretation which can result in heated arguments, so let's not go there.

It's perhaps also worth mentioning that, among those who wear the kilt, a "True Scotsman" is the humorous term for someone who is confident enough to go commando. So if someone asks "Are you a true Scotsman," it might not be this fallacy— they may just be wondering about your underwear.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kazemakase Tsukikage Ran: The samurai in the 11th episode; the only 'true' samurai in their opinion are samurai that think like them. They talk about honor in one scene, for instance, they refuse to sneak attack and decide on a time and place of neutral favor. Then they attack him three to one, even when he reveals himself to be unarmed. Everyone who doesn't act like this is a "coward" or a "maggot".
  • In One Piece, there's a great deal of Fantastic Racism between humanity and fishmen. Arlong split off from the Sun Pirates and formed his own crew because their leader Jinbe went and became a privateer for the human-ruled World Government to help patch things up, but the worst case are the New Fishman Pirates. Their leaders hate humans to the extent that they'll kill any fishmen or merfolk who seek peace with humans. Hody Jones, leader of the pirates, is even willing to have all of Fishman Island destroyed than have fishmen and humans understand each other, all out of Irrational Hatred.
  • In Gundam Build Divers this is the major drive of Big Bad Tsukasa Shiba. He hates the Gunpla Battle Nexus Online game because the Gunpla Battlers there don't spend their time, money and energy battling, smashing and rebuilding their Gunpla. He feels that their way of battling is inferior to his because they never experienced his kind of combat. He has this worldview completely shattered when Riku, a player of GBN, ends up coming up on top in a duel.
  • In his early years, Ash Ketchum would often get hit with this in Pokémon whenever he used a Pokemon in a gym match that had a distinct type disadvantage against the leader he was facing. Ash usually brushed it off, finding it was his team's skills and not their type that mattered. Whether or not he was proven right or wrong often depended on each battle; for example, in Johto, his Chikorita was easily curbstomped by a flying type Pokemon (as grass types are weak against flying), but his next match saw Chikorita defeat a bug type (which is also strong against grass).

    Comedy 
  • George Carlin related this on his album FM/AM:
    I got fired in Las Vegas from the Frontier Hotel for saying "shit." In a town where the big game is called "craps." There seems to be some sort of double standard. I'm sure there was some Texan standing outside the casino saying "Aw, shit, I crapped out!" They fly those guys in for free. They fired me. Shit!

    Comic Books 
  • Superboy Prime doesn't think Conner Kent is the real Superboy in Infinite Crisis due to his lack of confidence in himself and darker personality. In fact, Earth-2 Superman believes the same about the entirety of the concurrent DC Universe, insisting that everything about it is inferior and corrupt, and therefore unworthy of being called the "real" Earth, until he's asked if that's the case with Dick Grayson, and has to admit that no, it isn't.
  • Judge Dredd: The deranged philosophy of the Dark Judges is that all life is a crime. So in order to judge people without hypocrisy they allowed themselves to be transformed into zombies. After their whole planet had been wiped out, their leader Judge Death gathered his followers and purged all but his three closest supporters. His argument was that they were not really Dark Judges since they were too much like the living.
  • All-New Ultimates: Scourge told the police in his defense that he doesn't kill kids. And what about kids in gangs or superhero kids? "They made that choice. I enforce the consequence".
  • One Pepper Ann comic had P.A. daydreaming of such an approach by geeks if she entered a comic book store.

    Fan Works 
  • In My Immortal, Ebony and friends are obsessed with which characters are "real goffs" and which are just "tryin 2 be goffik". Hagrid, or rather "Hargrid", is reclassified repeatedly, always for nonsensical, arbitrary reasons. How a person becomes a "real goff" never is explained (among a lot of other things), with the closest anyone can guess is that you're born a goff.
  • Dead or Alive 4: The Devil Factor: Ayane spitefully tells Kasumi that, given her compassionate nature and reluctance to kill, she could never hope to be a real Ninja.
  • In Equestria: A History Revealed, the narrator thinks she's the only legitimate historical essay writer because she's the only one brave enough to tell the "truth", and dismisses all other works of real historians as false. She even calls herself the one true historian in Equestria at one point.
  • In Amazing Fantasy, Torunn Thorsdóttir-Foster is terrified of not being a "true Asgardian" after her father and mother went off with the rest of Asgard's warriors to fight and die in Ragnarok while she was left on Earth for her safety. As such, she forces herself to speak in Ye Olde Butchered English and projects herself as a Proud Warrior Race Guy to hide her deep insecurities.
  • Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality: In-universe. Harry tries to convince the Sorting Hat that he's not like the other potential dark lords the hat has met:
    Harry: Just what kind of statistical summary do your "feelings" come from, anyway! Do they take into account that I come from an Enlightenment culture, or were these other potential Dark Lords the children of spoiled Dark Age nobility, who didn't know doodly-squat about the historical lessons of how Lenin and Hitler actually turned out, or about the evolutionary psychology of self-delusion, or the value of self-awareness and rationality, or—
    Hat: No, of course they were not in this new reference class which you have just now constructed in such a way as to contain only yourself.

    Films — Animation 
  • The BFG: The other giants essentially disown the BFG for not eating humans, though neither party does anything to patch the ties. The climax of the film makes it clear that they don't even consider him a giant.
    Fleshlumpeater: You is not giant! You is more like...human bean!
    BFG: Human being! Yes! I'd rather be one of them than like you!

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire: Wide-Eyed Idealist Sansa believes in the Knight in Shining Armor trope. When Sandor, who hates the institution of knighthood, attempts to shatter her illusions by relating how his knighted brother Gregor abused him as a child, Sansa asserts, "He was no true knight." Of course given how much the series likes to subvert tropes, Sandor ends up being a pretty decent guy despite his apperance and even goes out of his way to help Sansa out, while many of the knights Sansa admires end up mostly being awful and even actively abusive towards her.
  • The Halkans in the Star Trek Novel Verse are total pacifists, who insist that there is no violence of any kind in their hearts. As a result of this, anyone capable of violence cannot be truly Halkan, and will be regarded as a non-person.
  • Matters of ethnicity are discussed in George MacDonald Fraser's McAuslan trilogy of short stories. Author Avatar Dand McNeill discusses the agonies the Gordon Highlanders went through when accepting a draft of soldiers from the Liverpool Scottish—sons and grandsons of Scotsmen who'd settled in Liverpool but who had the accent of Merseyside rather than Clydeside. One of whom was black, played the bagpipes, and applied to join the Regimental Band. The question was "Can a black-skinned Scouser be said to qualify as Scottish?" closely followed by "What's it going to look like?"
    • Dand also describes the Pipe-Sergeant in these terms:
      If he hadn't been such a decent wee man, he'd undoubtedly have been a professional Scotsman of the most offensive type.
  • The BFG: The other giants essentially disown the BFG for not eating humans, though neither party does anything to patch the ties. The climax of the film makes it clear that they don't even consider him a giant.
    Fleshlumpeater: You is not giant! You is like... human bean!
    BFG: Human being! Yes! I'd rather be like them, than like you!
  • In Wolf Hall, Thomas Cromwell is always getting this from various individuals. He's not really a trusted councilor, he's a strange whim of the king's. He's more Italian than English. He's Jewish, his father was Irish, he has no place among gentlemen, etcetera etcetera etcetera.
  • In The Compleat Angler (1653), the author speaks of turtledoves, showing that the trope is Older Than Steam:
    the survivor scorns ... to outlive his or her mate, and this is taken for a truth; and if the survivor shall ever couple with another, then not only the living but the dead, be it either the he or the she, is denied the name and honour of a true turtle-dove
  • Discworld: The grags of the dwarfs cling tightly to this one, namely that all dwarfs must stay underground, refuse to deal with other species, and kill any troll they find, which starts to really become a problem at the beginning of Thud!, when they start inducing this feeling in all the normally quiet and well-behaved dwarfs around Ankh-Morpork, who feel a desire to assert their 'true' dwarfness out of embarrassment. At the end, another more moderate grag casts scorn on the idea of needing to define one's self by hatred of another.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Daily Show:
    • Excessive use of this in the 2008 US Presidential campaign led to Jon Stewart producing a handy test: "Are You A Real American?"
    • The May 5, 2014 segment showed how Republicans running against other Republicans all declare the opponent to be "not a true conservative" (tying into the Real Life example of RINO) by showcasing all the potential definitions thereof and how they are applied in a South Carolina race.
  • In an episode of Desmond's, Desmond's son is failed on an essay about black British youth, because his teacher thinks it reflects a middle-class background which isn't typical of urban culture. Or as his sister puts it "They're saying he's not black enough!"
  • Game of Thrones: Balon notes that Euron always mocked their customs and traditions. Euron then arrives at the Kingsmoot and states that by killing Balon he was a true Ironborn because he "paid the Iron price" rather than wait his turn in the line of succession.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • One of the tactics used by Gul Dukat. After the Klingons attacked, the new civilian government pressed for a diplomatic solution. This flew in the face of his pride, so he waged a one-ship war on the Klingons and then forged an alliance with the Dominion. He says the following to Major Kira:
      Dukat: What Cardassians? Don't you see, Major? They're paralyzed. They're beaten and defeated. I am the only Cardassian left, and if no one else will stand against the Klingons, I will.
    • Sirella, Martok's wife, who Jadzia Dax has to please before she can marry Worf. During the ceremonial reading of The Chronicle, a history of the Martok family's unbroken (until now, ahem) bloodline, Jadzia sprinkles in her own extracurricular research, including: a positive spin on an Oliver Cromwell-type figure in Klingon history, the revelation that Sirella's claim to nobility is false, and that her mother-in-law's ancestor was not the Princess but a concubine who lived out of the royal stables.
      Sirella: You are STRAYING FROM THE SAGA!!
    • From "hew-mon" standards, Quark is an appalling boss, but from Ferengi standards, he's quite benevolent. He gave food and medicine to Bajoran refugees at just above cost and tries to look out for his employees.
      Quark: I can reform! I'll start gouging the customers again! I'll revoke all my employees' vacation time!
      Brunt: ...You gave them vacations?
      • In "The Seige of AR-357" Quark tries to disabuse his Human-admiring nephew, Nog, by pointing out that Humans are nice if they are in comfort, but that if those creature comforts are taken away and a human is threatened, humans are just as, if not more, ruthless than a cold-blooded Klingon Warrior, while Ferengi do not act in such a manner and try to keep peace far longer than humans would. Later, when the Camp is overrun by enemy troops, Quark kills one of the soldiers threatening him and a wounded Nog. Quark then looks at the gun and reacts in horror at the realization he grossly over estimated his willingness to compromise.
    • Having been raised by The Federation, Worf sometimes gets this from other Klingons, especially when he does something more human than Klingon.
      Dahar Master Kor: Any Klingon who denies himself the Right of Vengeance is no Klingon at all!
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air:
    • In many episodes, Will often mocks Carlton for not being black enough. For example:
      Carlton: Wait 'till we come downstairs in these tuxes. People may not think we're twins, but I'll bet they'll think we're brothers.
      Will: You know, I don't think you'll have to worry about anybody mistaking you for a brother.
    • Used a bit more seriously in the episode "Blood is Thicker Than Mud", where Will and Carlton try to join an all-black fraternity. Although they're both hazed, Carlton's is more severe than Will's, and even after he endures everything they put him through, the Pledgemaster still refuses to let Carlton join because he thinks he's a "sellout". Will quits in disgust when he finds out, and after they return home and tell Uncle Phil and Aunt Vivian what happened, Phil laments: "When are we going to stop doing this to each other?"
  • From the CSI: Miami episode "Spring Break": Alexx is examining the Victim of the Week and tells Horatio, "Sunburn says she's a tourist," suggesting that any actual Miami resident would know how to properly put on sunscreen.
  • The Mandalorian takes the Mandalorian people's tendency to do this even further (see Western Animation below) by requiring an adult to have his or her helmet on at all times in the presence of anyone other than immediate family. The Mandalorian clan seen in the show also views working with the Empire as dishonorable, though that’s more likely to do with an off-screen event known as “The Purge of Mandalore”.
    • The series later confirms that Mandalorians have far different standards in regards to "The Way," when the titular character ends up bumping into Bo-Katan, and immediately turns his gratitude for saving him and the Child into fury upon them removing their helmets. As she and her followers believe the "Children of the Watch" (the sect that raised Din Djarin) are nothing but religious zealots, they give his criticisms of them not being true Mandalorians no mind.
    • When Din and Boba Fett recruit Bo-Katan and Koska Reeves to rescue Grogu from Moff Gideon, Boba scoffs at Bo-Katan’s aspiration to retake Mandalore, causing Bo-Katan to try to invoke this trope. Boba doesn’t consider himself to be a Mandalorian anyway, but she still manages to hit his Berserk Button when she says he’s a disgrace to his armor, and calls Jango Fett his “donor” instead of his father.
  • Ghoul: Nida is questioned about serving in the unit, as a Muslim, when many of the prisoners they torture are also Muslims. She states they're not really Muslims in her view, since their acts of terrorism go against Islamic principles, therefore she's got no compunction (initially) with their work.
  • Saturday Night Live: In a parody of the "It Gets Better" project, a gay man (played by Bowen Yang) complains about how, even though he doesn't get bullied for his sexuality by straight people anymore, he still gets bullied by other gay people because he has different tastes in music.

    Music 
  • Jazz drummer Art Blakey, in an interview with British journalist Les Tomkins, had some thoughts about the importance of the drummer in a jazz band. (This quote was also included in the liner notes of his album with the Jazz Messengers, Free For All.)
    Art Blakey: No jazz band is any better than its drummer. If the band is better than its drummer, then it's not a jazz band. He puts everything together there and keeps things rolling. This is what I was taught by Chick Webb and by my predecessors, and I think they're proven to be right.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible
    • John 19:12 has the Jewish leaders shouting to Pontius Pilate "If you release this man (Jesus), you are no Friend of Caesar. Anyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar." Being governor of Judea, Pilate held the title of Friend of Caesar (a status above ordinary subjects), and the Jewish leaders are implying that if Pilate releases Jesus, he's no "true" Friend of Caesar (which makes this trope Older Than Feudalism).
    • 1 John 2:19 states this about those who left the faith:
      "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us."

    Podcasts 
  • In their 100th episode, the hosts of Who Back When note that the most common trend they see when someone sends them hate mail is to ask how they can call themselves Doctor Who fans yet go on to rate episodes as anything less than perfect. Their own view is that the fact that some episodes are genuinely bad does not detract from their love of the series. Indeed, they see Doctor Who as something to be loved, warts and all.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Portia Perez says that if you don't recognize her, then you aren't a real pro wrestling fan. Also, Allison Danger is a diet Canadian.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Orks of Warhammer 40,000 happily use No True Greenskin to stir up conflict when they can't find anyone else to fight. For example, Orks of the Goff clan know that the only proper greenskin is one who disdains fancy uniforms and is serious about busting in heads, the Bad Moons know that Orks ought to strut about in flashy clothes and blast things with snazzed-up shootas, the Snakebites know that the only true Orks fight with simple weapons astride a Squiggoth, while the Evil Suns know that being an Ork is all about racing around on a bike, buggy or trukk. The Blood Axe clan doesn't do this because they think being a true Ork is about turning your enemy's tricks against them, which then becomes one of the reasons they get it from the other clans.
  • Dungeons & Dragons writer and designer Monte Cook wasn't exactly discreet about how much he liked Wizards and nor was he discreet about how much he hated Sorcerers, sabotaging the class' rules and abilities for years to keep Wizards top-tier. Another designer, Skip Williams, once went on record for openly saying that he despised the Sorcerer class and thought they were just discount Wizards. This despite the two classes playing in a very similar fashion.note .

    Theatre 
  • Cyrano de Bergerac: In Act IV Scene III, this fallacy is played perfectly straight In-Universe. All the Gascon cadets are sick to death of De Guiche because he is The Dandy wearing an ermine cape, plotting with his uncle Cardinal Richelieu. When captain Carbon tries to defend him, one cadet says that De Guiche is "No True Gascon":
    Carbon: For all that—a Gascon.
    The First Cadet: Ay, false Gascon!... trust him not...
    Gascons should ever be crack-brained...
    Naught more dangerous than a rational Gascon.

    Video Games 
  • The game Metal Wolf Chaos features propaganda news reports that define a true American as "anyone who supports the idea of having the families and friends of terrorist sympathisers murdered in the streets" rather than "anyone who is a citizen or long-standing resident of America".
  • In Team Fortress 2, if an Engineer Dominates another Engineer, one possible response is "A real Texan would've dodged that".
  • Rozalin from Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories loves her father, Overlord Zenon. Until she actually meets him in person, and discovers he's actually kind of a jerk who seems to care for her only as a decorative object to be 'kept safe' in a castle isolated from the outside world. She immediately deduces that he can't be the real Overlord Zenon and is only a fake. She's actually right, but her reasoning that no true Overlord Zenon is a petty jerk had nothing to do with it — the real Overlord Zenon is much worse. Or at least used to be, until reincarnating as Rozalin.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
    • This lies at the heart of Skyrim's civil war. The Stormcloaks know that no true son or daughter of Skyrim would follow an empire that bowed to an elven treaty outlawing the worship of the Nords' patron deity Talos, while loyalists argue that no true Nord would abandon their allies in their hour of greatest need or fight against the empire that Talos himself founded before he ascended to godhood.
    • No true dovah would ever flee from a fight, especially against another dovah. When Alduin flees from the Dragonborn after fighting them on the Throat of the World, the rest of the dragons start questioning his right to lead, and his second-in-command Odahviing actually assists you (once you defeat him) because he dislikes serving a Dirty Coward.
    • The Thalmor believe this about any Altmer who do not support them. Any true Altmer should gladly follow a genocidally racist faction hell bent on destroying the world in order to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. The non-Thalmor Altmer's response is generally to say Stop Being Stereotypical while ensuring the other races that not all Altmer are Thalmor.
  • In the Borderlands 2 DLC Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, Lilith is incredibly reluctant to let Mr. Torgue join in on their game of Bunkers & Badasses because he is a muscular guy, so she believes he's not a true geek and only wants to play because being geeky is "trendy" now. It's invoked again moments later when Tina asks him "Three Geeky Questions". Torgue gets the first two right, but the third has an Unexpectedly Obscure Answer, and he doesn't know. Therefore, according to Lilith, Torgue isn't really into geek culture. After a great deal of Inelegant Blubbering from Torgue, she reluctantly agrees to let him stay as a sidequest-giver. One wonders what her problem is, since she had no problem with Mordecai playing and he is very clearly not interested in the game or anything else geeky (of course, he doesn't try to pretend he is, either).
  • Dragon Age:
    • In Dragon Age: Origins, Sten believes in both things and people having an essential nature they are born with and you can't change. For example, if you are born to a merchant clan but become a blacksmith, you are never a blacksmith. You are, forever, a merchant trying to be a blacksmith. If your character is female, Sten comments that you seem to be both a woman and a soldier but this is impossible, you must be either a woman or a soldier. His conclusion is that you aren't a woman, even though you clearly look like one. If the PC is male he'll have this conversation with Liliana.
    • This gets weird in Dragon Age II DLC, when you meet Tallis, who is both a woman and a warrior and follows the same religion/philosophy that Sten did. This is because the Qun classifies her (like all official assassins) as a priest rather than a warrior.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition introduces yet another twist. Iron Bull explains that if a person of one gender can best serve society in a role of the other, they're called "Aqun-Athlok", or transgender. So, for example, if a child the tamassrans think is female shows proficiency at fighting, but isn't good enough at lying to be made a spy like Tallis, everyone acknowledges that the midwife made a mistake in saying they were a girl, the child is put in the military, and from then on is expected to look and act exactly like all the other men, because he is a man. Hence Sten's confusion: the female Warden was clearly a warrior and therefore, a man, but looked and acted like a woman. Iron Bull mentions he gets around this issue by mentally slotting them between genders depending on whether they have armor on at the time.
    • The name "Qunari" itself is an example. Current and former followers of the Qun consider the term to apply only to members of the religion, but everyone else (including members of the same race) uses it as the name for the race. The same thing comes up with Elves; city elves don't think elves that assimilate into human culture are "real" elves, the wandering nomad tribes don't think city elves are "real" elves, and a remnant population of the original fallen Elf civilization doesn't consider either to be elves. The racially Elvish companion Sera who holds all "elfy" culture in disdain outright does this to herself, insisting she's just "people".
  • In World of Warcraft there are five Horde factions: the playable Horde, which includes all Horde races and not just the orcs like the other examples; the Dark Horde, The Remnant of the Warcraft II Horde that is based mostly in Blackrock Mountain and the Burning Steppes; the Fel Horde, the still demon-corrupted remnant of the Warcraft II expansion Horde in Outland, mostly aligned with Illidan; Garrosh Hellscream's True Horde, which is the orc supremacist faction of the Horde civil war that plays out during the fourth expansion; and finally the Iron Horde, the pre-Warcraft Horde hijacked and industrialized by Garrosh after some time traveling shenanigans during the fifth expansion.
  • In the Dwarf Fortress community, experienced players often try to make Difficult, but Awesome solutions to otherwise mundane problems. When asked why they don't use an easier solution, the usual response is, "It's not dwarven enough."
  • In Mass Effect 2, whenever Miranda is confronted with Cerberus's horrific acts (the experiments on Jack, the Thresher Maw attack on Akuze, the experiments you encountered in the first game, etc.), she will insist those weren't "real Cerberus" or rogue cells. She has a small point in the case of Jack, as we learn those scientists were going rogue about something, but otherwise this is treated as her being in denial about the kinds of things Cerberus has done. Part of her Character Development is overcoming this.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time gives you two different control options for Z-Targetting: Switch (which targets something when you press the button, and then deselects when you press it again) and Hold (which requires you to hold down the button and clears your target as soon as it's released). A gossip stone claims that "real Zelda players" use the latter option.

    Visual Novels 
  • Nasuverse: The ultimate goal of a Magus is to try to reach the Root. If they cannot reach it in their lifetime, their duty is to pass their teachings to a successor so they can try. Anyone who doesn't strive for this and just uses Magecraft as a useful tool is considered not a real Magus. Magi also tend to shun modern technology and say those who use it are not a real Magus.
    • Fate/Zero: Kiritsugu Emiya doesn't strive for the Root. Instead, he uses his Magecraft as a tool to be a mercenary and supplements it with technology like guns, bombs, night vision goggles, etc. Several characters like Kayneth El-Melloi angrily say he is not a real Magus.
    • Fate/stay night: When Rin Tohsaka learns that Kiritsugu Emiya did not pass his teachings to his son Shirou before dying and that Shirou doesn't even know about the Root, she is insulted and says Kiritsugu was not a real Magus.
    • In the spinoff phone game Fate/Grand Order it is suggested that Marisbury Animusphere's suggestion of using Magecraft alongside modern technology to defend humanity from outside threats got him disowned by the Mages' Association, and possibly assassinated.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • The theme-song of "The Adventures of Ned Flanders", a short at the end of the The Simpsons episode "The Front":
    Singers: ♪Hens love roosters, geese love ganders, everyone else loves Ned Flanders.
    Homer: Not me!
    Singers:Everyone who counts loves Ned Flanders.
  • Wabbit: A Looney Tunes Production: In "Bugs Bunny?", Bugs meets a group of "real" (less anthropomorphic) rabbits who don't believe he's actually a rabbit and put him through a series of challenges to prove he is.
  • Mandalorians from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels live and breathe this trope. Basically, there are several different viewpoints on what a Mandalorian is supposed to be and if you don’t fit into that, you’re this. In The Clone Wars, the current leadership is actually pacifistic, which is frowned upon by the more radical Death Watch who exists to restore the Mandalorians warrior culture. Rebels paints a different picture with the Empire having annexed Mandalore, and the warrior culture restored, with the Supercommandos working directly for the government and the rest of the clans payed off.
    • Rather infamously, Prime Minister Almec from the Clone Wars claimed that Jango Fett was just a petty thug who somehow found Mandalorian armor, while there were other materials that depicted Jango and later his son Boba as not just any Mandalorian but Mandalore, basically the warrior king that all clans answered to. It’s later revealed that Almec was corrupt as could be, including having ties to Death Watch, which Jango and the True Mandalorians battled for years. It’s worth noting the difference between Death Watch and Jango’s True Mandalorians basically boils down to the latter not having honor, while the latter has no backbone, both are very deadly insults in Mandalorian culture. However, Jango’s history with the True Mandalorians fall under what is now considered Star Wars Legends after Disney’s continuity reboot of the franchise, simply leaving Almec’s claim as the only word on the matter. This actually represents George Lucas’s original vision of Boba Fett as simply being a mercenary in Mandalorian armor. The EU quickly expanded on the idea that he WAS a Mandalorian, and the Fetts were treated as such since.
      • As of December 2020, It was confirmed, in-canon, that Jango was a Foundling (basically an orphan adopted by Mandalorians and trained in their ways, becoming a Mandalorian themselves–albeit with no bloodline). Because of this, Jango's "son" Boba (really an exact clone raised as his son), along with Jango himself were confirmed to be Mandalorian. Many throughout the fandom were pleased to see such an official answer to the debate, although arguments still continue.



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