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Playing With / Pragmatic Hero

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Basic Trope: A character who is heroic but resorts to morally ambiguous methods to get positive results for the greater good.

  • Straight: Bob is an Ideal Hero. He never hurts anyone. His teammate Alice is a Pragmatic Hero. Pray so that no one will ever get in the way of the greater good, even by carelessness, because she will do what she has to do! However, when Charlie, the Unscrupulous Hero, kicks the dog without a good reason, she gives him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech that makes Hannibal jealous, out of pure disapprobation, and she never indulges in this. When she discovers that the next generation contains an Apocalypse Maiden who will perhaps free Evulvzus, she designs saving plans and prepares terrible methods in case it would fail.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Alice is a Well-Intentioned Extremist or a Knight Templar. Believing that someone must be an Apocalypse Maiden in the next generation, and having enough time and possibilities to reform her, she nevertheless gets tempted by the idea of an Herode Plot, almost kills Bob who tries to prevent her from putting it in motion, and enlists Charlie to help. Her sister Claire is one of the targets.
    • Alice is an FBI agent who practices Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique on high schoolers Bob and Claire because there is a chance that she will find the self-proclaimed (and harmless property vandal) freedom-fighter Charlie two minutes earlier, when the only difference it makes is that the FBI will prove that terrorism is bad by means of the chief's epic speech quickly.
  • Downplayed: Alice's questionable acts do not really harm anyone directly.
  • Justified:
    • People are in danger everywhere because of a curse menacing everyone in the kingdom, by prompting the release of an Eldritch Abomination. Despite her love for her sister, Alice feels that her Herode Plot is the only way to save the whole country and Bob The Generous's love for her sister must not stop her.
    • The Needs of the Many outlive the needs of the few or the one.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • Alice tries to be this, but can't succeed, because she does not allow herself to use such methods.
    • She loves her sister too much to do this.
    • Alice uses these methods and delivers explications to justify neutral behaviors.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Finally, she realizes she has to do it.
    • Advertisement:
    • Her sister makes her understand that surviving and doing this prophecy's act contents would be a Fate Worse than Death.
    • Finally, she understands why she should be this kind of hero instead of manipulating them.
  • Parodied: The work is a parody of the TV tropes' Sliding Scale. Alice, a parody of type 3 Anti-Hero, is so dangerous, and Bob, a parody from Knight in Shining Armor, is so ineffectual that Charlie becomes an unlikely successor for them both. Dalia, who is a Knight in Sour Armor, only lampshades this snarkily before letting Charlie resolve the situation with fewer damages than Alice thought she would.
  • Zig Zagged: Alice is a Knight in Sour Armor who goes into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. She justifies it by saying it was necessary. But she really believed in her justifications, but she is an extremist, but The Extremist Was Right.
  • Averted: Alice is an Ideal Hero.
  • Enforced: "Let's show a tough and atypical example of heroism so that people will admire our military again despite our scandals. The government pays us, we've got to give it for their money!"
  • Lampshaded: "She is a very good Person of Mass Destruction. Once you get past the excessive "power responsibility" speech, she is really nice."
  • Invoked: Alice thinks that she is a little too soft on Evulz and his followers, and begins thinking about stronger methods.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: "I am not going to do the extreme look into the abyss thing..."
  • Discussed: "Doesn't she remind you of the extremists she fights? Seriously, this little girl could have been innocent, and she spent half her birthday in jail!"
  • Conversed: "Why is there no innocent lighthearted heroes in adult TV series?"
  • Deconstructed: Without realizing it, Alice becomes a Well-Intentioned Extremist. She realizes that hunting her sister was not necessary and that she could have avoided damages.
  • Reconstructed:
  • Played For Drama: As she is making the decision to sacrifice her own sister to save everyone, Bob asks Alice if those she protects would do the same for her.

We have to do what we have to do! You'll need to prepare the Death Ray, the Person of Mass Destruction, the One-Man Army, and the Death Glare. Yes, this one is important too! If it wasn't, I wouldn't be bothering to write it! Each and every word was needed, and I've got only a few characters left before I exceed my allowed carbon print. Go check Pragmatic Hero for more information.