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Playing With / Pyromaniac

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Basic Trope: A character who has an unhealthy love of and fixation on fire.

  • Straight: Patrick Yro loves to burn things, and possibly uses incendiary weapons or fire powers. He generally has to restrain himself to stop burning down things compulsively.
  • Exaggerated: Patrick is completely Ax-Crazy and tries to burn down everything around him, constantly.
  • Downplayed:
    • Patrick suffers from low-level pyromania and satisfies himself by burning junk mail, dry grass and other harmless actions in the safety of his own home.
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    • Patrick has a more realistically-portrayed form of pyromania, and merely carries around a lighter that he flicks on as a release whenever he's feeling stressed. Otherwise, it doesn't cause many problems.
  • Justified: Patrick is diagnosed with actual Pyromania.
  • Inverted:
    • Patrick has Pyrophobia: The mere presence of fire makes him flee, turn catatonic, or suffer other forms of mental breakdown.
    • Patrick is a Fiery Stoic. While he has flame-related powers, his personality is always cool, calm and collected no matter what stereotypes tell.
    • Pops Sickle is a cryomaniac, and his unnatural fondness for the frigid has gone past the point of eccentric and turned him into a stone cold killer who derives sadistic glee from watching the warmth slowly leave his frostbitten victims' bodies as they fall into the cold embrace of death.
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    • Walter Ocean has an unhealthy obsession with water, from just Happy Rain to wishes for a personal Water World (matching elemental magic may or may not be included).
  • Subverted:
    • Although Patrick inevitably seems like a pyromaniac, it turns out he's actually a professional and uses fire because it's an effective weapon instead of any personal love of it. He also plays to the pyromaniac stereotypes to freak out his enemies.
    • Alternatively, it's not setting things on fire in-and-of itself that Patrick enjoys. It's the hurting and killing people part that makes him happy.
  • Double Subverted: ...But he's only professional at work. At home he routinely starts fires to amuse and comfort himself.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Patrick constantly shifts between treating fire in a sane, rational manner and showing open love and longing for fires.
    • Patrick is calm, normal, and mellow...until he actually sees something on fire, which triggers his insanity.
  • Averted: Patrick does not have pyromania.
  • Enforced:
    • "We need to show people that this guy is really bad, but him just using fire isn't cutting it. Let's make him unhealthily obsessed with the stuff."
    • Michael Bay is making a new movie. 'Nuff said.
  • Lampshaded:
    • "Um... I hope you're going to therapy over all that 'laugh and cheer while you burn things' you do."
    • "The world makes a lovely fire..."
  • Invoked: Patrick is an undercover cop, pretending to have pyromania to get close to another pyromaniac.
  • Exploited: Emperor Evulz gives Patrick fire based powers or a weapon, figuring they would be best suited for him.
  • Defied:
    • "You know, sometimes I wish people wouldn't mistake me. Yes, I can fire fireballs from my hands. Yes, I was born with this power. No, it does not mean I'm about to start giggling over starting fires with them."
    • Patrick seeks help to overcome his pyromania.
  • Discussed: Two characters are looking at Patrick at work and comment upon how he seems to enjoy it, and the possibility that he might suffer from Pyromania.
  • Conversed: Two characters watching a show on superheroes comment on how often villains with fire-based superpowers seem to combo it with genuine pyromania, and how this almost always is of the 'burn the world down' level unlike gradual onset like with most Real Life insanities.
  • Deconstructed:
    • Patrick is genuinely insane and suffers from lots of personal problems that he represses through starting fires, knows he has a problem, and routinely goes to therapy to stop himself from burning and hurting people just because of his compulsion.
    • Alternatively; because Patrick burns things to relieve stress, he ends up causing even more problems, resulting in a endless cycle of problems and setting things on fire.
    • No one wants to be around Patrick because they're afraid of being burned, so he ends up being a freaky loner and/or generally disliked due to his less-than-healthy habit.
    • Patrick is a Reluctant Psycho who doesn't want to hurt people, and is well aware that fire can seriously harm or even kill. He feels terrible about the damage he causes by accident, and how many people react to him.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Patrick eventually gives up on trying to get better and gets a job as the Big Bad's Chief Arsonist.
    • Patrick becomes a fireman and is among the best at his job because he's not afraid, perhaps even eager, to run into a nigh-collapsing burning building.
  • Played For Laughs: Patrick tries his hand as a cook, with predictable results.
  • Played For Drama: Patrick's fire-starting results in the loss of his little sister, and this causes him to completely lose it.


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