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Playing With / Broken Aesop

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Basic Trope: An Aesop is broken in-story through hypocrisy.

  • Straight: Murder in the Streets has an Aesop saying that guns are bad. The climax requires Alice to shoot Zeke with a gun.
  • Exaggerated: Every problem Alice encounters, she solves with guns despite the preaching against gun use ... even those that couldn't logically be solved with guns.
  • Downplayed: In the climax, Alice shoots Zeke. Later scenes reveal that Zeke was injured and hospitalized as a result of the bullet wound, and mention that he was very lucky to survive being shot. So the work has a Broken Aesop, but at least it accurately shows the effects of being shot.
  • Justified:
    • Alice learns that the Aesop does not apply in these times and decides to break it.
    • Shooting Zeke was the lesser of two evils, and this becomes clear.
  • Inverted:
    • The story has an obvious Aesop, despite the author's insistence that life is too complicated to serve as a source from which to derive simple lessons.
    • The story claims to teach a lesson that guns are bad, despite never actually featuring them or explaining why they are bad.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice was about to shoot Zeke, but remembers that guns are bad.
    • Alice shooting Zeke is not treated as the right thing to do, as Zeke was broken with guilt and ready to turn himself in. Alice spends the rest of her life living in regret.
  • Double Subverted:
    • ...until Zeke provoked her to attack.
    • So she uses other means to kill Zeke.
    • ..until Alice is confronted by an unrepentant criminal, who she guns down without hesitation or remorse.
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  • Parodied: Alice keeps forfeiting the moral high ground by using guns even though Murder in the Streets takes place In a World... where Guns Are Worthless.
  • Zig Zagged: Alice fires a gun in Zeke's direction, but he dodges the bullet. So she stabs him in the throat with a knife, which seemingly kills him. But then he arises from the dead as a zombie, which can pretty much only be eliminated with guns ... so Alice has to shoot him again. Except it wasn't Zeke who was killed and reborn, but his idiot partner Steve, meaning that Alice now has to track down the actual Zeke, disarm him and bring him in to the police, which she and Bob do without any weapons at all.
  • Averted:
    • The characters comply with any moral message in the work.
    • There is no moral content.
  • Enforced:
    • "We need some Hypocritical Humor on our show. Let's have Alice shoot Zeke."
    • Advertisement:
    • The writer revolts against the show and throws in Broken Aesops as a Take That! to the show and its producers.
  • Lampshaded:
  • Invoked: Zeke provokes Alice to abandon her anti-gun message and prove to her that guns are good.
  • Exploited: Alice's opponents depict her as a Straw Hypocrite for using a gun to solve a problem after she has espoused the opinion that they don't work.
  • Defied:
    • Alice drops the gun and proceeds to tell Zeke to shut up.
    • Alice resolves the issue without resorting to gun use.
  • Discussed: Bob: "Gee. I wonder how Alice can remain an arms-control advocate after this."
  • Conversed: "Wait a second, did Alice just shoot him? I thought this episode was all about how guns are evil!"
  • Implied: Bob's gun has one bullet fewer in its magazine after he and Alice meet Zeke, and he has an airtight story for having not fired. Alice does not.
  • Deconstructed:
    • Alice undergoes a Heroic BSoD after shooting Zeke because she is not practicing what she preaches.
    • Alice learning the wrong lesson bites them in the ass when they try to act upon it.
  • Reconstructed:
    • But then, Alice remembers that shooting people that use guns as well is a good thing after all.
    • Alice rethinks her ideology, concluding there exists a few cases where Violence Really Is the Answer and life shouldn't be seen in a Black and White Insanity manner.
    • Alice realizes what she did was wrong and tries to make amends by nursing Zeke back to health.
  • Plotted a Good Waste:
  • Played For Laughs: Bob says, "Remember kids, don't smoke!" and then whips out a cigarette.

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