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Playing With / Punished for Sympathy

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Basic Trope: A character is punished or receives ostracism for being sympathetic with the enemy.

  • Straight:
    • General Sam puts Bob on probation for sparing an enemy's life.
    • Bob is the object of scorn and hatred because he was friendly to Alice, a social deviant.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed:
    • General Sam reprimands Bob for conspiring a plan to negotiate with the enemy forces instead of outright destroying them.
    • Bob is rebuked by his friends for being nice to Alice, who is a troublemaker in school.
  • Justified:
    • The enemy in question was convicted of genocide, which is why standing orders are to shoot on sight. Therefore not only is Bob guilty of insubordination for refusing to kill him, but the person simply does not deserve sympathy.
    • The society values morality and the law, and those who don't adhere or value them are deserving of No Sympathy. So when Bob was being nice to Alice, this automatically labels him as a traitor and a reject of society.
    • Bob was supposed to discourage Alice for immoral behavior, but he's so much of a nice guy that he doesn't want to hurt her feelings.
    • Being nice to Alice means that she will use this as a means to cause even more trouble.
    • Advertisement:
    • General Sam is the type of leader who considers showing feelings for his enemies as a sign of weakness.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • The Chew-Out Fake-Out.
      General Sam: (sternly) Private Roberts, do you mean to tell me you spared his life?
      Bob: Yes sir. (braces for chewing-out)
      General Sam: Mercy is the mark of a great man, son. Well done.
  • Double Subverted: General Sam then punishes Bob anyway because, honorable as his actions were, he still violated orders.
    General Sam: ...Also, be careful around the other men, they might not think of this the same way I do.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: General Sam dresses down Bob for violating standing orders in letting the enemy live, but then tells him that, as a man, not a superior officer, he approves of Bob's actions.
  • Averted:
    • Bob isn't punished or despised for being nice to the enemy.
    • No one cares if Bob was being sympathetic to an amoral law-breaker.
  • Enforced: "The series needs to be clear on moral absolutism. Let's have the characters give Bob shit for being nice to the villain."
  • Lampshaded:
    • "This is fitting punishment for soldiers who spare the enemy!"
    • "Hey, look, it's the guy who's best buddies with the social reject!"
  • Invoked: "Don't pity the enemy! If I ever catch any of you doing this, you're dead!"
  • Exploited: Alice knows Bob pities her and is being punished for this pity; she combines this trope and her inevitable betrayal to hurt him even harder.
  • Defied:
  • Discussed:
  • Conversed: "Did they seriously write Bob getting a month of latrine duty for showing mercy to a defeated enemy?"
  • Played For Laughs: In the court room, Bob pleads the judge to not sentence the defendant for 10 years in prison for spilling coffee on a co-worker. He is literally kicked out of the building.
  • Played For Drama: Bob befriends Alice, a criminal who has escaped from jail. They had a meaningful friendship until the authorities decide to have Alice executed while Bob is spared only to be reviled by society as a whole.

How dare you sympathize our enemy in this main page, You Bastard!! I hope you die a horrible death one day!

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