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Playing With / Rage Against the Reflection

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Basic Trope: A character looks into a mirror and, realizing what kind kind of monstrosity he or she has become (at least by his or her own standard), punches the mirror in disgust and/or self-loathing.

  • Straight: Adnan Jackson had a crippling accident while on duty, and the doctors had what was left of him refitted with augmentations to save his life, effectively making him a cyborg. The first time he has a chance to look into a mirror, he shatters it to pieces with his cyborg-arms.
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  • Exaggerated: Adnan's residence is a House of Broken Mirrors.
  • Downplayed: Adnan quietly looks away from the mirror, and then never looks at mirrors again for the rest of his life.
  • Justified: Adnan was wounded while fighting in a long-standing Robot War and hates that he has become like humanity's greatest enemy.
  • Inverted: Adnan looks at the mirror and is promptly overjoyed. "Damn, I'm awesome."
  • Subverted:
    • Adnan raises his cyborg-arm to shatter the offending reflection... and stops. He tells himself, "Always look at the bright side of life. At least I'm not six feet under right now."
    • It turns out Adnan's breaking the mirror wasn't out of anger. Just being unaccustomed to his stronger cyborg limbs. He was trying to wipe it off with a towel but pushed against it too hard.
  • Double Subverted:
    • And then he punches the mirror to bits with his other cyborg-arm. "DAMN IT ALL TO HELL! I'd rather be dead than becoming a cog-man!"
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    • Which was a lie because he was ashamed of breaking the mirror out of anger and feeling that his reaction was an insult to both those who had died and other cyborgs.
  • Parodied:
    • The mirror punches Adnan back. "Man up, buddy. Do you think it's easy being a mirror for people like you?"
    • The mirror proves surprisingly sturdy; after hitting it three times without leaving a scratch, Adnan settles for tossing it in the trashcan.
  • Zig Zagged: Adnan raises his cyborg arm to punch the mirror, then stops and tells himself to look on the bright side, but then punches the mirror to bits anyway, but then, in an attempt to better himself, he gathers the pieces of the mirror and glues them back together, but then the mirror's cracked surface makes him look even more horrible than before so he gets depressed again. Then, the mirror punches Adnan for being a jackass to it.
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  • Averted: No one punches a mirror in the story, even those who have become things they hate.
  • Enforced: "It's the perfect combination of simple symbolism and violence! And it looks cool."
  • Lampshaded: "And now we'll get a mirror smashed in three... two.. one..." *sound of a mirror shattering comes from offscreen*
  • Invoked: Someone who doesn't like Adnan taunts him when he looks in a mirror, wanting this trope to come into effect.
  • Exploited: Stores that sell mirrors make sure to market to cyborgs, as they are sure they will need new ones soon after they break the old ones in disgust.
  • Defied: Adnan's friends replaced a mirror with a plastic or metallic surface that he wouldn't be able to shatter.
  • Discussed: "Adnan, surely there must be a better way to get across your feelings than just smashing every mirror you see!"
  • Conversed: ???
  • Implied: We see Adnan's mirror before his cyborg conversion, and then a different mirror afterwards.
  • Deconstructed: Adnan gets hurt by the mirror's shards after breaking it, and berates himself for being so stupid.
  • Reconstructed: Instead of punching the mirror to bits with his cyborg arms, Adnan tosses something, like a potted plant or a paperweight, at it.
  • Played For Laughs: Adnan has some serious issues with his augmentations and their function-over-form design, and whenever he gets in the proximity of a mirror, he nonchalantantly smashes it with an Offhand Backhand.

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