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Playing With / A Real Man Is a Killer

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Basic Trope: In order to be a real man, you must kill a living being.

  • Straight: Andy is seen as a lesser man until he kills an animal when hunting.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Andy is seen as a lesser man until he manages to kill the entire population of a zoo and/or an entire village populated by an enemy tribe.
    • Andy is seen as a lesser man until he manages to kill an Eldritch Abomination. With his bare hands.
  • Downplayed: Andy is seen as a lesser man until he can squash a bug that's bothering him.
    • While actually killing an enemy is welcome, being in combat and staying functional is enough.
  • Justified:
    • Andy is a member of a primitive tribal society that exist as hunter-gatherers.
    • Andy's people were once hunter gatherers and so go on ritual hunts as a Rite of Passage.
  • Inverted:
    • Alex is seen as more manly for refraining from killing.
    • There is a tribe of healers where a male isn't considered an adult until he resurrects a dead animal.
    • Chelsea isn't considered a "real woman" until she kills something.
  • Subverted: Johnny kills a lion and drags the corpse back to his tribe/group/family to prove his virility. Said tribe/group/family condemns him for being so desperate for collective approval that he'll kill a living being in cold blood in order to get it.
  • Double Subverted:
    • ...So Johnny joins a tribe/group/family that does consider him masculine for his killing prowess.
    • Johney is surprised to find a Proud Warrior Race, where Doctors are considered the manliest of occupations. Then later he learns it is not because they heal but because of the massive slaughter they inflict on germs.
  • Parodied:
    • During every weekend, a gaggle of Jerk Jock fratboys descend on the city to kill various animals, take the bodies back to their frathouse, and prove their virility to their brothers.
    • Andy is seen as a lesser man until he swats a fly.
    • Only men who kill humans at a sustained rate of ten humans a day are considered to be adults. And even those are generally looked down upon for generating such a pitiful amount of carnage.
    • Andy is considered a real man after he ritually stamps his feet on the ground, thus killing ten thousand microbes.
  • Zig Zagged: Billy kills a deer in order to prove his manhood. However, the deer comes back as a zombie and kills Billy for revenge. Billy's tribe then praises the zombie deer for its masculinity and killing prowess.
  • Averted: Killing is not seen as a rite of passage into manhood.
  • Enforced:
    • The work is intended to promote very old notions of what masculinity entails.
    • The fanbase believes this trope and wants to be badass, so the author simply provides them some Wish Fulfillment.
  • Lampshaded: "Man up, pussy! You're a pathetic little worm until you grow a pair and kill someone! That's right, if you can't pull the trigger, your dick might as well not be there!"
  • Invoked: Andy sends himself out on a mission to kill the biggest bear in the forest in order to display his masculinity.
  • Exploited:
    • The speech under Lampshaded is given by a Drill Sergeant Nasty that wants to motivate his troops to kill.
    • An enemy of Andy tries to kill him by making him think that he has to try to kill dangerous creatures to be a real man.
  • Defied: "Killing does not make you more of a man. Rather, the ability to overcome your baser instincts and stick to a pacifist philosophy is far more indicative of strength and integrity."
  • Discussed: The story takes place at a University and this trope gets discussed in an Anthropology class.
  • Conversed: Audience members reading this story wonder if the writer is correct in his attitude toward this trope.
  • Deconstructed:
  • Reconstructed: See Justified; the social arrangements of the group the work focuses on have a legitimate need for male members that are competent with killing.

Until you kill this back button, you'll never be a real man.

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