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Playing With / Big Brother Instinct

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Basic Trope: A bigger person (of either gender) protects a smaller person (of either gender) in a sibling-like way.

  • Straight: Bob defends Alice against everyone that tries to harm her.
  • Exaggerated: Bob defends Alice from anything that could even conceivably harm her.
  • Downplayed:
    • Bob defends Alice from a number of things, but lets her deal with others on her own.
    • Bob will defend Alice from bullies who beat her up, but if the bullies are just saying they will, she lets Alice handle it herself.
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  • Justified: Bob and Alice are the only survivors of their family, and Bob wants nothing bad happening to his only living relative.
  • Inverted: Bob is the one who torments Alice.
  • Gender Inverted: Alice protects Bob from anything that might harm him.
  • Subverted: Bob sees someone bullying Alice and comes running over, yelling, "Hey!... Good job on that football play last week!"
  • Double Subverted: But it turns out he didn't see what the other person was doing, and when he finds out, he yells at them for tormenting Alice.
  • Parodied: Bob yells, "I won't let you hurt Alice!" a banana. After all, bananas mean Banana Peels.
  • Zig Zagged: The only person Bob allows to bully Alice is Bob himself.
  • Averted: Bob has no one smaller whom he protects.
  • Enforced: The executives want to draw in a younger audience.
  • Lampshaded: "You shouldn't touch Alice with Bob around... you know what happened to that Giant Spider last week."
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  • Invoked: Bob's parents tell him he needs to protect Alice because he's the elder sibling.
  • Exploited: Alice pulls a Wounded Gazelle Gambit, knowing Bob will rush to protect her.
  • Defied: While Bob wants Alice to be safe, he knows that he can't protect her forever, and thus teaches Alice self-defense.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: "How many real-life people do you know who have the same protective instinct that big brothers do in movies?"
  • Deconstructed: Alice relies so much on Bob's protection that she can't fend for herself, which leads to problems when the two are separated.
  • Reconstructed: Bob teaches Alice how to protect herself, just in case something happens to him.
  • Played For Drama: Bob is so violently and obsessively protective of Alice that it's more horrifying than endearing.
  • Played For Laughs: Alice must stage complex and comedic hijinks in order to prevent Bob from spying on her dates or getting in the way of her contact sports. Thus leading to the Paranoia Gambit and I Know You Know I Know.

Back to Big Brother Instinct.

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