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Playing With / In the Blood

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Basic Trope: The idea that evil gets inherited from generation to generation just like many personality traits.

  • Straight: Vladimir is an unflinchingly ruthless zealot, clearly having modelled himself after his father.
  • Exaggerated: Vladimir's father was a mass murderer and his ancestor a genocidal tyrant. Not one person of Vladimir's line has turned out to be a decent individual, even his bastard son ending up a crime lord
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  • Downplayed: Vladimir's father was a juvenile deliquent, so Vladimir sees nothing wrong with vandalism and being an egomaniacal jerk.
  • Justified:
    • He has inherited a certain mental disposition that influences him for worse.
    • Vladimir's family line has lived in harsh conditions and thus what others would find cruel Vladimir naturally thinks of as unremarkable.
    • Vladimir has been raised according to a rigid value system and punished whenever he's deviated from it.
    • Everyone expects Vladimir to be an evil monster like his parents, so they treat him poorly and give him reason to hate and distrust everyone else.
  • Implied: Vladimir is a villain, and while his family lineage isn't mentioned he does talk about "upholding traditions".
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: Vladimir has dozens of vile people in his family line and is a decent fellow regardless.
    • Vladimir's family history was tampered with: most of the family line was pretty ordinary, even heroic folk.
  • Double Subverted: ...until he gets fed up and decides that following in their footsteps isn't so bad a thing after all.
  • Parodied: Vladimir has a flashback to his childhood, and his fondest memory is his father teaching him how to kick puppies and eat kittens.
  • Zig Zagged: Vladimir finds out his father was an evil bastard and he doubts whether he really deserves to call himself a hero. He gets consoled that he isn't like his father, having chosen to be unlike him. He faces suspicion from other people - although some of them do so because of his fragile self-belief. Vladimir then finds out most of his family line includes callous, ruthless, immoral people. Vladimir takes into account he has grown up in extremely different circumstances. Then he certifies that he shares many personality and temperamental traits that have been commonly observed to appear in his family. His friend points out he is also very different from them in many respects. Too bad Vladimir's mental stability has started to slide down towards the abyss and his sinister edge is raising its head, growing ever more prominent...
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  • Averted: People in a story's setting turn out good, evil or somewhere between regardless of what kind of people their family lines include.
  • Enforced: The author of the story is an ardent eugenicist, and so in his stories morality is inherited.
  • Lampshaded: "My father was extremely ruthless in his approach to things and guess what?! I don't mind doing the same!"
  • Invoked: Emperor Evulz befriends Vladimir, sows seeds of distrust toward his friends, orchestrates situations that turn his virtues against him and starts telling him stories about how his family members are great examples of his cherished values(getting things done, persistence, resilience etc.).
  • Exploited: Vladimir uses his father's fearsome legacy to get his way even though he himself wouldn't hurt a fly.
  • Defied: Vladimir knows right off the bat what horrid people his family line is full of - and actively goes out of his way to diminish, if not erase, the effects of their reign, generally going to extra lengths to be an honorable, virtuous person.
  • Discussed: "Bah! Just like his father...".
  • Conversed: "This must be one of those instances where a villain is evil because of paternal or familial inspiration".
  • Deconstructed: Loser Son of Loser Dad
  • Reconstructed:

Back to using your gift of birth passed down to you.

Example of: