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Basic Trope: A character's toughness is in part because they were raised by tough men.

  • Straight: Alice and Bob were both raised by an all-male group of grizzled mercenaries. Alice is a rough-and tumble Lad-ette, while Bob is as rugged as his adopted fathers.
  • Exaggerated: Alice and Bob grow up with Testosterone Poisoning, both becoming strapping, stoic warriors and hardened drinkers.
  • Downplayed: Alice is something of a tomboy and Bob knows how to throw a mean right hook because they spent a couple of years in their care.
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  • Justified: ???
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • Charlie meets the mercenaries and hears about their children, concluding that they must be as fearsome as the mercenaries are. He is surprised when he meets Alice, who is a placid girly girl, and Bob, who is a completely generic, noncombatant everyman...
    • Charlie hears about the mercenaries who have adopted Alice and Bob and presumes that they must have raised Alice and Bob to be like them. It turns out that the mercenaries were totally normal parents, some of them were In Touch with His Feminine Side too (which made up for the lack of a "maternal" influence), and Alice and Bob are normal, well-adjusted adults who aren't particularly rugged or manly.
  • Double Subverted:
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    • ...Although they may have largely abandoned their mercenary background, when the chips are down, Alice and Bob reveal themselves to be tough fighters.
  • Parodied: A group of mercenaries come into custody of a baby. Two days later, the baby is a musclebound, drinking, smoking badass.
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: Alice and Bob grow up in a normal Nuclear Family.
  • Enforced: The editors want a reason for why Alice and Bob are good fighters, so the writer gives them a background of being raised by mercenaries.
  • Lampshaded:
    Charlie: You were raised by mercenaries? No wonder you're such a slob!
  • Invoked: Alice and Bob's parents, wanting their children to grow up tough, leave them in the mercenaries' care.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied:
    Alice's mother: I'm not leaving my daughter to grow up with no feminine influence!
  • Discussed:
    Charlie: Of course Alice and Bob have mercenaries as adopted parents. It's like in action films and comic books, characters raised by men are always tough.
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  • Conversed:
    Charlie: Hey, how come the new characters on Troper Tales are so tough?
    Diane: They were raised by grizzled mercenaries, because being raised by men is a quick way to establish manliness.

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