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Playing With / The Farmer and the Viper

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Basic Trope: Always Chaotic Evil creature or individual shows no gratitude for good deeds performed for it.

  • Straight: Farmer Bob takes in a baby orc and nurses it to health. It attempts to murder his daughter, Alice, so it can have all the attention.
  • Exaggerated: Farmer Bob takes in a baby orc and nurses it to health. It promptly rips him in half, massacres his family, and burns down his house.
  • Downplayed:
    • The baby orc grows up in Bob's care and behaves pretty much like any human child, but occasionally Bob loses a sheep or a cat under mysterious circumstances.
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    • The baby orc goes back to the other orcs once he's old enough and uses the knowledge of humans he had gotten when being cared for by Farmer Bob to quickly take over most of the countryside. Despite being made orc war-chief for this action, he forbids anybody from hurting humans unnecessarily.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • The baby orc lunges at Alice, and it seems like he's attacking her but he was actually knocking her away from a scorpion, which he promptly slays.
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    • Bob's claims that he took the baby orc home out of kindness turn out to be less then reliable. He slaughtered the orc's innocent family and took the baby as a trophy, and mistreated it while carelessly leaving his daughter unsupervised with it.
    • Farmer Bob winds up maimed by an injured baby red dragon he was treating but it wasn't evil just paniced and in pain. After removing the impaled knife and calming down it is downright affectionate.
  • Double Subverted: At least, that's his excuse when he's caught; the claimed scorpion is nowhere to be found.
  • Parodied: The baby orc claws at farmer Bob's face, screams bloody murder, and goes on to attempt increasingly obvious and outlandish ways to kill him and his family, but farmer Bob writes it off as as "spirited behavior".
  • Zig-Zagged: An unkempt, careworn drifter comes to Bob's house, who lets him in, gives him something to eat and a place to sleep for the night. Bob hopes the man might be an Angel Unaware but he turns out to a con man, who leaves with all of Bob's valuables. A few months later, another drifter comes by, and Bob refuses him room and board. It later turns out that this was a Secret Test of Character which Bob failed.
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  • Averted: Farmer Bob takes in a baby orc and nurses it to health. It grows up to be a relatively stable child.
  • Enforced: Writer Tim wants to have the orc child be nice, but it's a medieval fantasy, and he has to stick to the standard that makes all orcs barbaric monsters.
  • Lampshaded: "So you took in an orphan child from a race known for their wicked ways and never considered it might relapse?"
  • Invoked: Orcs leave their young out in the wastes in the hopes well-meaning fools will take them in.
  • Exploited:
    • The town's resident fantastic racist uses the orc's killing of Bob's daughter as proof of his claims that orcs are universally evil and will never change, and it's time to do something about it.
    • The town tells the orc that they will be hiding in a mineshaft while a band of other orcs pass through. The young orc betrays the town and leads the band into the shaft only to find it was a trap, and the town knew the orc would betray them to the orc band and blow the mine up when the band is inside and realise there are no humans in there. The band then murder the young orc for this lethal incompetence.
  • Defied:
    • The young orc struggles with his instinctive wickedness, but his better nature wins out in the end.
    • Farmer Bob knows that even young orcs are dangerous, ungrateful beasts, and leaves it to starve.
    • All-Loving Hero Alice saves Big Bad Bob's life and then promptly locks him up helplessly so he can't backstab her.
  • Discussed: "Orcs are dangerous, no matter what kindness you show them."
  • Conversed: "Wait, so even the youngest and most helpless of orcs are irredeemably evil?"
  • Deconstructed:
    • Orcs aren't Always Chaotic Evil, Bob just brought in a nasty one, but with his daughter dead, refuses to believe that, and rounds up an Angry Mob to wipe out all orc-kind.
    • The orc kills Bob's daughter, but he still keeps it around. As Bob continues to shower the orc with kindness and sympathy, the orc constantly wreaks havoc upon Bob's life. One day, Bob decides enough is enough and kills the orc; turns out, you can only keep betraying someone so many times before they snap.
  • Reconstructed:
  • Played For Laughs: The Cloud Cuckoo Lander Bob takes in an orc baby, who immediately goes to slaughter the villagers, destroy the crops and track dirt all over the house, but when confronted, Bob claims he's just following his instincts and refuses to believe the villagers.
  • Played For Drama: The orc child honestly tries to be nice, but fails to go against his inherent nature in the end. It ends badly.
  • Implied: Bob adopts an orc baby, and is never seen again.

Excuse me, could you please give me a hand back to The Farmer and the Viper? STAB.


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