Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!

Go To

Basic Trope: A person listens and does what their heart tells them is the morally right thing to do and not what bureaucratic laws tell them to.

  • Straight: Captain Adam and the rest of Alpha Squadron decide to defy direct orders to remain at their posts in order to stop Warlord Bob and his band of Space Pirates from pillaging the colony.
  • Exaggerated: Captain Adam and the rest of Alpha Squadron decide to defy a suggestion by an idiotic superior who has no idea what's going on to remain at their posts when Warlord Bob and his band of Space Pirates are clearly headed towards the top-secret science outpost that is studying the local Negative Space Wedgie when intercepted radio signals indicate that they plan to storm the base and capture the Kill Sat being developed there.
  • Advertisement:
  • Downplayed: Captain Adam and the Alpha Squadron decide to "mishear" that the direct order was supposed to override their own once they see Warlord Bob and his band of Space Pirates coming to pillage, and act on their direct orders to protect any colony under their banner.
  • Justified:
    • It's Alpha Squadron's job to protect colonies from pirate attacks. Their superiors are completely corrupt and have been accepting bribes from Warlord Bob to look the other way.
    • Alpha Squadron knows a hell of a lot better than the superiors what's going on, to the point where they can regularly ignore orders and are unable to be punished. This means they are forced to take actions that directly violate commands in order to do their duty.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • Alpha Squadron ignores orders to stay at base to hunt down Warlord Bob... until they get ordered to stop right now or face pay getting docked, at which point they go back to base...
    • Captain Adam and the rest of Alpha Squadron are ready to defy their orders when Colonel Charlie overrides the original orders and sends them to attack Warlord Bob.
  • Double Subverted:
    • ...until the slaughter starts, when they go and attack Warlord Bob.
    • General Dave overrides Charlie's orders and tells Alpha Squadron to stand down. They go in anyway.
  • Parodied: Captain Adam and the rest of Alpha Squadron decide to defy direct orders to remain at their posts in order to stop Warlord Bob and his band of Space Pirates from jaywalking.
  • Zig Zagged: Until the terrorists bring him back and destroy it again, or they would except Captain Bill and Beta Squadron kills them, only to be obliterated along with an entire solar system when the dead-switch bomb owned by the terrorist leader goes off, except it turns out that the system as only ever inhabited by warring terrorist factions anyway, and Captain Bill had teleported out in time.
  • Advertisement:
  • Averted: Captain Adam and Alpha Squadron follow their orders without question.
  • Enforced: The creators want to send a message that it's OK to not to what you're told as long as it's all for the greater good.
  • Lampshaded: "Hey, Captain Adam, why exactly do our bosses keep telling us to ignore the pirate attacks?"
  • Invoked: "I won't sit here while people die! I don't care about the rules!"
  • Exploited: The Alpha Squadron's "correcting" of orders is tolerated due to the high profile cases where they did major good. Thus they are assigned under the assumption that they will defy orders.
  • Defied:
    • "Hey, we might be court-martialed if we go. Besides, Beta Squadron'll get them."
    • Command sets rules of engagement for Alpha Squadron that allow them enough local discretion to intervene on a raid without needing clearance from higher up.
  • Discussed: "We're heading out. Lieutenant, prepare the documents for when JAG Corps gets here."
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed:
    • It turns out that the direct orders were given for a very good reason: Although the pirate attack was successfully repelled and hundreds were spared, it allowed enemy terrorists to slip past the post Alpha Squadron had abandoned. The total fatalities they caused would later number in the millions. Alpha Squadron is court-martialed and imprisoned as a result.
    • The fact that people need to screw the rules in order to do the morally right thing is a sign that the rules are horribly flawed, and people lose faith in the government as a result.
  • Reconstructed:
    • However, the weapon developed at the attacked station is later used to defend from an extra-planar attack, and the entire universe is saved. They are then released and hailed as heroes.
    • A Reasonable Authority Figure sees the problematic scenario that forced people to defy the rules for their own consciences and vows to reform the rules.
  • Played For Laughs: Alpha Squadron was created for the sole purpose of defying orders to remain at their posts to stop something.
  • Played For Drama: Their superiors catch them in the act. Alpha Squadron has to wait out the battle. Which is bad, since they were one of the best combat squadrons of the colony.

They ordered us not to link you back but we will never leave tropers hanging, so follow this link back to Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: