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Playing With / The Captain

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Basic Trope: The leader or authority figure, generally The Hero or another main character.

  • Straight: Captain Bob is a Reasonable Authority Figure or maybe A Father to His Men, as well as the man atop the local Command Roster.
  • Exaggerated: Captain Bob is a Lawful Good All-Loving Hero who always tries to maintain the ideals of The Federation. But when push comes to shove, however, he will always ignore the rules to do the right thing.
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  • Downplayed: There's no actual formal hierarchy, but Bob becomes the de facto captain by virtue of taking charge and inspiring trust.
  • Justified: On board a ship, having a captain makes sense; as does its use in a military setting.
  • Inverted: Captain Bob is not "the captain". He may be in charge, but Alice is the one calling the shots.
  • Subverted:
    • Captain Bob is demoted and someone, possibly the Number Two, takes his place.
    • Captain Bob loses his reputation with his men, and his authority with it.
  • Double Subverted: Captain Bob is threatened with demotion... only to have his superior punted down the ranks of Mission Control.
  • Parodied: Someone in a setting that has no reason to have The Captain acts "captainy" and demands to be referred to as "Captain".
  • Zig Zagged: Captain Bob is threatened with demotion only to have his superior punted down the ranks of Mission Control... to the level of Captain, and is put in place of the also demoted former Captain.
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  • Averted: There is no captain.
  • Enforced: "Well, someone has to be in charge or the Media Watchdogs will accuse me supporting anarchy!"
  • Lampshaded: "I'm in charge of everything and everyone call me Captain. Do you need two guesses?"
  • Invoked: "Whoever heard of a ship without someone in charge? We need to choose The Captain".
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: "Having a captain causes more problems than it solves. We're all equals here".
  • Discussed: Alice: "Why are you always in charge?"; Bob: "I'm The Captain. That's why."
  • Conversed: "Just once I want to see a pirate ship run by a democratic committee". "You really think they have time to stop and put things to a vote when they're busy with the plundering?"
  • Deconstructed: It transpires that Captain Bob has an inferiority complex which he tries to hide by acting superior. His attempts to stay respected by distancing himself from his crew means that they feel unable to trust him, which leads to his crew mutinying against him.
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  • Reconstructed: All captains must have extensive psychological training beforehand to ensure that they can cope with the stresses of a position of power.

Back to The Captain, Sir!

Example of: