Follow TV Tropes

Following

Playing With / Witness Protection

Go To

Basic Trope: A character is given a new home and a new identity as protection in exchange for testimony against an individual or an organization.

  • Straight: Alice Jones testifies against The Don, and has her name changed to Anne Smith and is moved out with her husband and children to a small town in farm country.
  • Exaggerated:
    • All of Alice's relatives and friends are put into the program, too.
    • Alternatively, Alice is put into the program, but her husband and children are not allowed to go in with her.
    • Advertisement:
    • The government forces Alice to become the exact opposite of her old self, even making her get an Easy Sex Change.
  • Downplayed: Alice spends a few weeks being shuffled between motels under false names, until the petty crime ring she witnessed against is finally dismantled.
  • Justified: If members of The Mafia have a way of finding Alice and/or members of her immediate family, they could harm or kill her (and her husband and kids, too).
  • Inverted: A criminal organization gives a criminal a new identity after they've committed a crime, to help them hide from the law.
  • Subverted: Alice moves away to the aforementioned small town, but is not part of a government program.
  • Double Subverted: But she has changed her name and her hair color, and her past history is a bit sketchy.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: Alice is not placed in WP and goes about her normal life.
  • Enforced:
  • Lampshaded: ???
  • Invoked: Alice testifies against The Don in a high-profile, federal case.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied:
    • Alice doesn't want to be put into a program that would force her to start all over again from scratch and decides to take her chances.
    • Alice's family members dissuade her from testifying against The Don because they refuse to turn their lives upside-down just to maybe increase the chance of The Don being convicted.
    • Everyone involved in The Mafia is caught, and then executed or jailed for life, so there's no one left to threaten Alice anyway.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: Alice misses her family and friends, and worries if they might be in danger, too. And what if someone finds her?
  • Advertisement:
  • Reconstructed: Alice does everything in her power to keep her identity secret and makes new friends, and starts a new life. She knows that contacting old family and friends could put herself and her family in danger.
  • Played For Drama: Alice's husband Bob and their children resent Alice because they were forced to turn their lives upside-down as a result of her decision to testify: Everyone had to cut off all of their old friends, and then abandon their beloved home for good. Bob had to give up a well-paying job he enjoyed to become a farmer, which he despises. Worse, it's All for Nothing, as The Don only got a slap on the wrist (or even got Off on a Technicality) anyway. In the end, Alice has no one from her old life left: Bob has divorced her, and her children left as soon as they turned 18.
  • Played For Horror: Bob is so upset about having to abandon his highly successful career and his entire social life that he cuts a deal with The Mafia to blow Alice's cover in exchange for leaving him alone when he returns to his old life.

Back to Witness Protection
Top