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Playing With / The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People

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Basic Trope: The end of the world improves people.

  • Straight: Bob was initially a dishonest alcoholic coward, but when foreign death squads invade his country and start murdering everyone he helps a group of fellow survivors escape by creating a diversion.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Bob was initially a death row inmate awaiting execution for several counts of murder and one count of rape. He escapes during the panic of his country being invaded and wiped out by Death Squads, but instead of helping them he repents and starts saving people. By the time the war ends he is a saintly atoner.
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    • Everyone in the world becomes an All-Loving Hero and transforms the world into a utopia in the face of the apocalypse.
  • Downplayed: Bob was initially a tender soul, if somewhat too timid to do what was right. But when the Death Squads start massacring his city he personally leads the resistance and saves hundreds of innocent lives.
  • Justified:
    • Bob was already a good person before the apocalypse came — even if that wasn't obvious — and when humanity needed him he stepped up to the place.
    • Bob was an evil person before the apocalypse came, but it was the wake-up call he needed to make a change for the better.
    • Rousseau Was Right: If everything goes downhill, then everyone would do their best to improve the chances of survival for all, along with making their lives as comfortable as possible rather.
  • Inverted: The Apocalypse Brings Out The Worst In People. Bob was an alright guy before, but when Death Squads murder his family be becomes a Collaborator and helps them find other civilians to murder just so he can save his own skin.
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  • Subverted: Bob seems like he's becoming a better person because of the Apocalypse ... until he shoots a prisoner of war in the head despite the man's pleas for mercy.
  • Double Subverted: It turns out that "Prisoner Of War" was a pedophile who had already raped three children to death. Bob's normally more merciful but for scum like this he makes an exception.
  • Parodied: ???
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Following the apocalypse, Bob enters a Heel–Face Revolving Door.
    • The apocalypse brings out the best in some people - Bob being one of them - but it also turns other people into monsters.
  • Averted: People are just the same during the apocalypse as they were before it.
  • Enforced: "I want my story to portray the inherent goodness of humankind, even in the face of true desperation!"
  • Lampshaded: "Thank God you killed those brutes, I thought I was done for. Please help me take this blindfold off so I can thank you in perso- Bob? Bob who beat up everyone back in High School? I wish I'd seen this side of you sooner!"
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  • Invoked: Alice causes an apocalyptic disaster because she hopes to motivate people to their true potential.
  • Exploited: A Messianic Archetype saves a child to inspire people to do good after the apocalypse.
  • Defied: Bob sees an innocent person in peril, and wants to save her, but restrains himself and reminds himself afterwards that "being weak" will only get him killed.
  • Discussed: "I was a child when the trouble started, and I had to live through that nightmare. But in those dark times a lot of unlikely heroes emerged to save us."
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: Claire expects people to become better during the invasion, so Bob uses that to manipulate her.
  • Reconstructed: Bob is genuinely touched by Claire's belief he is a good person, so he ends up Becoming the Mask and stop the Death Squads.

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