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Playing With / Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery

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Basic Trope: A disabled person acts like a Jerkass, potentially using their own disability as an excuse, averting the belief that disabled people are nicer.

  • Straight: Bob is really mean to Alice, but she never says anything because he is in a wheelchair.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Bob regularly throws large, heavy objects at people and when they complain, he points to his wheelchair and scowls at them.
    • Bob is an Evil Cripple who gets away with it all because of his disability.
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    • Bob is even a jerk to other people with disabilities, and complains when they act mean back.
  • Downplayed:
    • Bob is really a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who is also in a wheelchair.
    • Bob although not being open jerk, is quiet, surly, and bitter towards everyone.
    • Bob goes through wild mood swings where he alternates between nice and mean. Once he switches medication, he is mellower but he can get in a bad mood at times.
    • Bob has some trouble walking due to his old age, which he uses as an excuse to act mean to people.
    • Bob is only a jerk to Charlie, who caused Bob's handicap due to his drunk driving, and his guilt has turned him into a pushover that Bob can exploit.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
    • Bob is a real sweetheart who adores everyone, whom everyone adores, and who doesn't let his condition get him down.
    • Most non-disabled characters in the work are mean, especially to people with disabilities.
  • Subverted:
    • Claire tells Alice that Bob is a jerk. However, when Alice meets him, he seems nice enough.
    • Bob was only acting that badly because he was injured and became bitter towards everyone.
  • Double Subverted:
    • This is because he wanted to go on a date with Alice. When she politely rejects his sexual advances, he shows his true colors and acts like a jerk.
    • Bob was a jerk even before he got disabled, after which he he became an even bigger jerk.
  • Parodied:
    • Bob was perfectly well-adjusted while he had the full use of his legs. He breaks a leg one day and becomes the biggest asshat on God's green earth during the time he needs crutches to help propel himself around.
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    • Bob acts this way after getting foot fungus.
  • Zig-Zagged: Bob is a Jerkass … now's he's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold … now he's a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk … but he was faking the disability
  • Averted: Bob is a normal guy. His condition has nothing to do with his personality.
  • Enforced: The executives want to subvert the idea of all handicapped people being sweet and innocent.
  • Lampshaded:
  • Invoked: Bob wants to see how far his Jerkass behavior will go as a social experiment.
  • Exploited: Dave, a Bad Boss, hires Bob as the assistant manager of the office because Bob is just as mean as he is and has no problems enforcing the boss' orders. As a bonus point, no one will talk back to him because he's in a wheelchair.
  • Defied:
    • Bob softens his image and tries to act like a nicer person because he does not want to invoke this trope.
    • Bob is given a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Alice, who has just about hit her Rage Breaking Point when he insults her or molests her one time too many, makes it clear to Bob that more violence will come if he does this to her ever again, and her defense to anybody who protests, even if may bring her ruin (in all ways that this term implies) is: "I don't give a flying fuck that he's in a wheelchair — nobody treats me like that!!!"
  • Discussed: "Just because you're in a wheelchair does not entitle you to act like a jerk!"
  • Conversed: "This show is discriminatory! I have a friend who uses a wheelchair, and he's the nicest, sweetest person I know."
  • Implied: Alice talks about her boss Bob and how mean he is. She finishes her rant with, "And one of these days, I'll deck him … or at least I would if it wasn't for the wheelchair."
  • Deconstructed:
    • Because of his asshole attitude, Alice gives a What the Hell, Hero? speech to Bob one day, and everyone agrees. Bob takes it very poorly indeed …
    • Alice confronts Bob about his behavior and he feels awful about it.
    • Bob's behavior encourages other disabled people to use their disabilities to their advantage, creating a stereotype that all disabled people are assholes.
    • Because of Bob's actions, people assume every disabled person they come across is being a jerk even if they just don't know better or did so by accident, causing discrimination against people with disabilities.
  • Reconstructed:
  • Played for Laughs: Bob's Comedic Sociopathy antics include stealing lunch right in front of his coworkers, saying perverted things, and purposefully running over people's feet with his wheelchair and pretending it was an accident. He actually chuckles to himself when they don't stop him.
  • Played for Drama:
    • Bob acts this way because as a disabled person, he feels helpless and does not know how to channel his frustration and anxiety in a constructive manner.
    • Because of Bob's attitude, nobody wants anything to do with him. One day, Bob falls out of his chair but nobody comes to help him because of his attitude.
  • Played for Horror: Bob is a sociopathic Evil Cripple who tries to dodge blame for his acts of terror, from running over kittens up to pushing people down the stairs to poisoning kids' Kool-Aid, by constantly reminding people that "I'm disabled!" Worse yet, he gets away with it.
  • Plotted a Good Waste: Bob seems like a prick because of Deliberate Values Dissonance.

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