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Playing With / Broken Pedestal

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Basic Trope: A character's mentor/role model doesn't live up to what the protégé placed upon them.

  • Straight: Bob once taught Chris noble martial arts, and Chris uses his ninja powers to catch Bob committing crimes.
  • Exaggerated: Bob, once a pacifist and a lover of kittens, has crossed the Moral Event Horizon and is barely recognized as Chris' original mentor, such is the atrocity of his crimes.
  • Downplayed: Chris discovers that his mentor, Bob, has sold out and started churning out useless self-help guides for a quick buck, causing Chris to feel somewhat contemptuous.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
    • Bob used to train villains to commit crimes, and now does good acts instead.
    • Alternately, Chris is the one who starts committing crimes using the training he got from Bob, to Bob's deep disgust when he finds out.
  • Subverted:
    • Chris has misinterpreted Bob's actions; he is in fact a good person.
    • Chris turns out to be a bad person himself, and is pleased to find out who Bob really is.
    • Chris knew Bob was a terrible person, he valued his lessons but not his character.
    • Bob wasn't doing those things willingly. Alice has Bob under her command, under duress, and Chris knows it. He's going to save the anger for the ones who did this to Bob.
    • Chris finally meets Bob, someone he greatly admires, and furiously talks about how much of a jerk he was. It turns out Bob only treated Chris this way because Chris was relentlessly hounding him until he got feed up.
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    • Rebuilt Pedestal
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied: Chris becomes disillusioned with Bob for horrendous crimes against fashion.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Bob appears to be committing crimes, but then it turns out he has good intentions behind them, according with his original teachings. Then Chris learns this is just a cover-up to commit horrendous acts — it then transpires someone told him this, and it is a blatant lie.
    • Chris catches Bob in a Face–Heel Revolving Door.
  • Averted: Bob has always been the same noble teacher.
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  • Enforced: The writers decide Bob needs some Character Development.
  • Lampshaded: "You were once the noblest man on Earth, Bob. Now, I can't hold you in the same light I used to. Look at what you've done!"
  • Invoked:
  • Exploited: Bob decides to go under an alias and commit crimes in another city. The city where Chris is now policing.
  • Defied: Bob is highly disillusioned by the Crapsack World, but decides keeping his principles is more important, especially with all the people he influenced over his life looking up to him.
  • Implied: Chris is glad to welcome Bob into his hometown one day. A few days later, however, Bob has been banned from Chris' hometown.
  • Discussed: "That Bob has started beating up pensioners, raping kittens, and littering — how long before Chris finds him, and loses all faith in him?"
  • Conversed: "Chris is going to be so pissed when he finds Bob doing all this stuff."
  • Deconstructed:
    • Chris spirals into depression over the intense hypocrisy of Bob's good teachings and his current evil actions.
    • Chris finally realizes that Bob was always a simple asshole instead of the Knight In Sour Armor he always thought he was; it's just that he (and Bob) have never let himself admit it.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Chris takes strength from his original teachings, and they allow him to call out his ex-mentor for his descent into villainy.
    • Chris realizes that what Bob does doesn't really matter as long as Chris is still a good person.
  • Played For Drama: Chris faces off against Bob in a climactic battle using everything he learned from him in order to win, causing a defeated Bob to regret how teaching Chris led to his own downfall. It seems the student really has Surpassed the Teacher.

A true Troper would use the link back to Broken Pedestal. You taught me that. So...why?

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