Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / The Sociopath

Go To

Basic Trope: A self-centered, manipulative, antisocial person who doesn't care about right and wrong.

  • Straight: Alice is self-centered, manipulative, apathetic, superficially charming, and antisocial.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified:
    • Alice is trying to achieve a goal, well-meaning or not.
    • Alice is suffering from Antisocial Personality Disorder.
    • Alice had experienced a terrible, troubling childhood.
    • Alice is a demon, or is otherwise not human.
    • Alice suffered brain damage from some sort of physical trauma.
    • Alice is the product of a super soldier program. Her behavior is due to either conditioning or the drugs used to augment her body.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: Alice actually cares about Bob, making him her Morality Pet.
  • Double Subverted: Turns out she faked it, though, and she has always been manipulating him.
  • Parodied: The only way to prove that Alice is truly a sociopath is by her refusal to socialize with people.
  • Advertisement:
  • Zig Zagged: At first, Alice looks like she doesn't care about anyone else, but she may care about Bob, though the story switches back and forth between making him her Morality Pet or a subversion of the trope.
  • Averted:
  • Enforced: The writers need a scary villain.
    • "Empathy is almost universally considered good, right? Let's make someone a Villain by Default by giving them a disorder that prevents such!"
  • Lampshaded: "Alice could walk into a crowded room and slaughter everyone inside and she'd only be annoyed that there was blood splattered all over her."
  • Invoked: Damion raises Alice terribly and teaches her how emotions are for the weak and that everyone is that way, but they just don't show it in public.
  • Advertisement:
  • Exploited: Damion doesn't want a Dragon the heroes can recruit, so he raises Alice to be a sociopath to deflect any such tactics and possibly make them question themselves.
  • Defied: ???
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Implied: Alice seems to be a charming person, but there are signs of something being wrong with her.
  • Played For Laughs:
  • Played For Drama:
    • Bob can't believe that Alice, whom he loved and trusted for so long, really cares the same amount of emotions for him as a potato. Bob also suffers a lot of emotional abuse from Alice, and he can't (or won't) understand why she does so.
    • Alice's extreme antisocial behavior is a product of a horrible upbringing, a self-perpetuating cycle of abuse that happened in many past generations of her family. She could've been a better person, but is way too far gone now.

Back to The Sociopath.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: