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Playing With / Nerves of Steel

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Basic Trope: A character maintains a calm facade and/or continues to be able to think and reason while under pressure.

  • Straight: Smith develops a strategy in the midst of fighting Drake despite being scared.
  • Exaggerated: Smith calmly performs complicated mathematical calculations in his head in order to disarm a nuclear bomb that's at ten seconds on the clock while under heavy machine gun fire, with sirens and strobe lights going off around him.
  • Downplayed:
    • Smith is too stupid and/or absentminded to recognize threats against him, and thus does not fear anything.
    • Smith only gets worked up if the situation is far more serious than what he usually has to deal with. Which given his line of work, is saying something.
  • Justified:
    • Smith is actually a cyborg, or has endured enough stressful incidents in the past to have deadened nerves.
    • A very important part of Smith's training was devoted to develop a fortitude that would allow him to keep his calm even under the most stressful situations; an important skill that professionals in real life, like combat pilots, have to attain in order to excel at their jobs.
  • Inverted: Smith breaks down in tears after stubbing his toe.
  • Subverted:
    • Smith is dealt a critical injury, and breaks down under threat of his imminent death...
    • Smith is secretly a Nervous Wreck who's just really good at hiding it.
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  • Double Subverted: ...but gets back up, steels himself and carries out the plan.
  • Parodied: Drake brings about the end of the world. Smith decides to have a nonchalant Spot of Tea as he watches.
  • Zig Zagged: Smith is stoic and fearless when facing down Drake's demon army, but runs in fear from an insect on the ground.
  • Averted: Drake summons his ultimate demon, a 200 foot hellbeast. Smith panics and runs away.
  • Enforced: ???
  • Lampshaded: "Heh, that guy is a pretty cool customer. I have to wonder how much he's really scared by all this."
  • Invoked: Smith puts himself through training to look calm.
  • Exploited: Smith is used as an example by his superiors, so other soldiers strive to emulate his fortitude.
  • Defied: Smith deliberately exaggerates his emotions so he doesn't look like an Empty Shell.
  • Discussed: "Hey did you see Smith the other day? He was so calm."
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  • Conversed: "This is the part where I don't flinch, right?"

Back to Nerves of Steel. Whatever you encounter there, stay calm and keep your wits about you.

Example of: