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Playing With / Always Save the Girl

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Basic Trope: The hero chooses to save their friend, family member, or Love Interest rather than the world.

  • Straight: Bob stops fighting Emperor Evulz to rescue Alice from being killed by Violet Darkheart and General Drake.
  • Exaggerated: Every time Bob tries to do anything, Alice suddenly finds herself in mortal danger and Bob has to save her every time.
  • Downplayed: Bob risked opening himself to Evulz's attack by using magic to create a protective bubble on Alice.
  • Justified:
    • Without Alice's powers, the barren world cannot be made habitable again, even if it is saved from destruction.
    • As far as Bob is concerned, if Alice dies, the rest of the world just doesn't matter anymore.
    • The "world" Bob and Alice are in is a malfunctioning Holodeck-like simulation, and they're the only two people in it who are real. The simulation can be rebooted if the world's destroyed; Alice, however, cannot be so easily restored if she's killed.
    • Bob and Alice are in a science fiction series where there are infinite planets and dimensions. If this world gets destroyed, they can just move to a new one.
    • Bob has allies who are more than powerful enough to keep Emperor Evulz and his forces at bay while he rescues Alice.
    • Bob knows the world wouldn't care about or celebrate him even if he saved it, so he chooses to save the one person who he knows cares about him; Alice.
  • Inverted:
    • Bob saves the world instead of Alice.
    • Evulz drops whatever he's doing to kill Alice.
  • Gender Inverted: Action Girl Alice has to save the world, but has to stop halfway and rescue Bob from being under attack.
  • Subverted:
    • Bob apparently attempts to save Alice as a ruse to let Evulz leave himself open, letting Alice die in the process.
    • Bob seems to be leaning towards saving Alice until he realizes that if Evulz wins, Alice is just as doomed as everyone else.
  • Double Subverted:
    • He then, at the last minute, saved Alice from death, ruining his plan in the process.
    • After Bob says this, Evulz promises he won't kill Alice along with the rest of the world and so Bob saves Alice anyway.
  • Parodied: Alice breaks a nail during the final battle between Bob and Evulz. Bob sees this, drops everything, and rushes to help her.
  • Zig Zagged: Alice is apparently in danger, but it turns out that she was manipulating Bob to 'rescue her' from Evulz, who is actually in league with her... but then Evulz discovers that Alice and Bob had planned to have Alice betray him and puts her in real danger.
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  • Averted: Alice is in no danger, Bob lets Alice die, or Bob is fast enough to save them both.
  • Enforced: "We need to emphasize how much Bob loves Alice."
  • Lampshaded: "I can't believe I'm doing this... I'll save you, Alice!"
  • Invoked:
    • Evulz orders his minions to attack Alice.
    • Evulz hired Alice to be Bob's 'damsel'.
  • Exploited:
    • Evulz knows that Bob will stop collecting Plot Coupons to save her.
    • Alice intentionally stalls Bob so that Evulz can continue on with his plan.
    • Alternatively, Alice intentionally puts herself in danger because she knows Bob will come charging in guns blazing and take out the villain in the process. She can trust that whoever needs justice will get it, even if for the wrong reasons.
  • Defied:
    • Alice tells Bob to save the world and worry about her afterward.
    • Bob doesn't get a choice. Evulz kills Alice and enacts his plan at the same time, all to break Bob and claim emotional and physical victory over him.
  • Discussed: "Bob, would you refuse to save the world in order to save my life, if that sort of thing ever happened to us?"
  • Conversed: "If Alice stubbed her toe while a village was being slaughtered, Bob would probably massage Alice's foot before he saved anyone else..."
  • Deconstructed:
    • Bob drops everything to save Alice, allowing Evulz to win; Alice kills herself in despair or comes to hate Bob as a result.
    • Now that Bob has chosen the girl over the world, he now gets to live in that world he made by saving her instead of cutting out the consequences from the narrative. And neither world nor girl are 100 percent kind to him for the endeavor.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Bob drops everything to save Alice because, for whatever reason, he needs Alice's help to save the world.
    • As much as Alice hates being the only one alive, she has to admit that she's alive at all thanks to Bob. She's grateful for that much, which is all Bob needs.

Now hand over the MacGuffin and go back to Always Save the Girl or your Love Interest gets it!


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