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Jan 5th 2019 at 3:02:33 PM •••

Should this trope be renamed? Not everyone is a Transformer fan, and I don\'t think there\'s enough Pop-Cultural Osmosis to make it obvious.

Edited by Levitator Hide/Show Replies
Jan 5th 2019 at 4:01:35 PM •••

Honestly, I can\'t think of a good alternative name. It would of course have to note that Starscream is the former trope namer if it does get renamed.

Aug 5th 2017 at 9:49:28 PM •••

Usui from Rurouni Kenshin doesn't fit in this trope, since he doesn't want to kill Shishio to take his power, but in revenge for Shishio blinding him during a fight in the past.

He fits better in Rancorous Companion, a trope that I suggested: He was even one of the first examples listed.

I'm taking his example out of here.

Feb 4th 2016 at 8:22:27 PM •••

Lets not forget Hitler's horrifying doctor sidekick. Look him up, he's scary

Jun 14th 2014 at 6:58:54 AM •••

I think I know a Max Steel character who would fit in this trope Mr. Knot [hope I spelled his name right] he's tried to betray Dread or at lest go behind his back and even gets beat up for it. I even remember telling my Dad that they reminded me of Starscream and Megatron once.

May 30th 2014 at 2:06:45 PM •••

Anyone wanna put in the example for GTA games? I'm bad at editing so please add these examples:

-In GTA Vice City, although it doesn't seem so, The Starscream is Lance. Those who played GTA Vice City Stories see that two years prior to Vice City, he was also causing trouble to his own brother. His Chronic Backstabbing Disorder goes extreme: He betrays Diaz ( although it was his plan from the beginning) far earlier than needed, and betrays Tommy in the finale, becoming the Dragon to Sonny Forelli.

-In GTA San Andreas, we have Officer Eddie Pulaski. The Big Bad, Officer Frank Tenpenny, is most probably unaware of Pulaski's intentions, which are revealed in the mission "High Noon", when he mentions that he always wanted to kill Carl, but Tenpenny would stop him all the time, wanting Carl alive for some reason. Also, Pulaski is a declared racist. And his boss, Frank, is black.

A minor Starscream could also be Big Smoke. As co-leader of the Grove Street Families, he hid his intentions from Sweet, even if he was behind the attack that should have killed Sweet. When Sweet got imprisoned and Carl was sent away, Big Smoke was technically the leader of the GSF gang, in collaboration with the Ballas and Tenpenny. Still, Tenpenny is the big bad, leaving Big Smoke, especially after Pulaski's death, as the Starscream again, as, quoting Smoke when confronted by Carl, he shouts "Man, fuck Tenpenny and fuck his Polish lap dog!", meaning he disregarded Tenpenny.

Also, for Sweet's POV, Carl can be a Starscream, as he is technically the co-leader of the GSF that's not affiliated with Smoke after Sweet is released, and Carl did not help the gang in any way while Sweet was away.

Apr 1st 2014 at 12:23:20 PM •••

On the Kim Possible example, but also as a bit of clarification on the trope, overall: I don't think Shego's takeover fits. She one time took advantage of an opportunity, when prompted by someone else (her future self), and kept her previous boss as second-in-command. (And the plan she usurped wasn't even his.)

To me, this trope is about characters who *consistently* try to take over the boss's position. Shego doesn't - she's loyal, if very low on respect. Even when she takes over, she's loyal enough to keep him around.

I'm a bit hesitant to remove the example since it's a bit blurred on what the trope means. Any other thoughts would be appreciated.

Apr 3rd 2013 at 10:45:43 PM •••

"Shenzi from The Lion King is actually this to Scar, especially after he took over the Pridelands and kept everything to himself, causing the hyena and her fellow comrades Banzai and Ed to become embittered of him and start spending time trying to overthrow Scar. When Scar loses in a fight against Simba at the end of the film, the hyenas finally confront him for the very last time and succeed in their plot of killing Scar."

I can't find anything online about this plot, not even through Kingdom Hearts. The hyenas were becoming unhappy over the lack of food and Scar's attitude, but they only turned on him when he tried to hang the whole regicide mess on their tails. Is there something I'm missing?

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Aug 30th 2015 at 2:06:23 PM •••

No, I think it's either Fanon or misinterpreting the hyenas betraying Scar for power struggle rather than mistreatment. As such, it should be removed.

Feb 28th 2013 at 10:24:40 AM •••

Okay, okay. I have an idea to give this trope a new name:


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Feb 28th 2013 at 2:40:21 PM •••

That goes to the forums if you want to change it.

Jul 21st 2012 at 6:17:18 PM •••

Should he get his own character page at some point? I'm starting to think what with his being immortal, and his firmly established archetype, he'd be the patron deity of backstabbing schemers. Or something.

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Aug 8th 2012 at 10:52:48 AM •••

I got an idea to rename this trope:

Chronic Backstabbing Character

Jun 25th 2012 at 2:24:36 PM •••

While I love Transformers and Starscream, let's face it: there are a lot of people oblivious to Transformers out there. Barring Optimus Prime and MAYBE Megatron and Bumblebee, most people outside of the Transformers fandom won't be able to discern Starscream from any of the other 'bots, if they know his name at all.

Even then, they likely don't know he has Chronic Backstabbing Syndrome, given that he didn't really show this in the movies (which is probably what most people are familiar with).

I know the rename topic's been brought up before, but I thought I'd throw my own 2 cents in.

What about Traitorous/Treacherous Lieutenant, Backstabbing Lieutenant, or just Lieutenant/Lt. Backstab?

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Jul 7th 2012 at 6:22:59 PM •••

I got an idea. Since the trope formerly known as The Bumblebee is now Kid Appeal Character, here's three words that will change the trope's name of The Starscream:


Jul 15th 2012 at 9:16:34 PM •••

How about Overly Ambitious Underling?

Feb 13th 2012 at 3:08:05 AM •••

Does this trope include Defector from Decadence types who happen to do in their former ruler?

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Mar 27th 2012 at 7:58:59 PM •••

It depends on what the character's intentions are. If the character's plan is to take the former ruler's place after doing him in, then yes the character counts as The Starscream. The Starscream is often motivated by the belief that the ruler's methods are flawed, and temporarily switching sides may just be the means to that end. However, if the Defector from Decadence has truly switched sides and has no intention of taking his former ruler's place, then the character is not The Starscream.

Feb 9th 2012 at 11:14:43 PM •••

I'm not sure if this trope really needs a rename, but since many tropes on this site have gone to more universal and less character specific titles, I'd like to suggest a more generic name for this trope.

"The Usurper".

Generally, The Starscream is plotting to do exactly this, and it's basically the original's MO against Megatron, so renaming the trope to this makes it more universally understandable outside the Transformers fandom.

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Mar 27th 2012 at 7:38:04 PM •••

I don't think "The Usurper" is specific enough. This isn't just someone who usurps his boss, and indeed The Starscream may never actually succeed in doing so. A usurper might just be someone who happens to be in a position to overthrow his master and takes advantage of the opportunity. The Starscream is a someone who plans ahead of time to overthrow his boss and will pounce on any opportunity to do so, however small the opportunity may be. There's a level of obsession to it that isn't necessarily there in other traitorous characters.

Apr 21st 2012 at 11:15:25 AM •••

So this is a traitorously ambitious second-in-command? Can we rename it Traitorous Dragon? This is the worst named popular trope in the entire wiki, because it's named after a specific character but sounds like a description. I have no clue why this one escaped the Great Renaming Push when so many more self-explanatory trope names (and many at-least-obviously-non-self-explanatory) didn't.

May 2nd 2012 at 7:51:39 AM •••

It's because this is such a specific character type that renaming it might lead to Trope Decay. A Traitorous Dragon might be traitorous in ways that have nothing to do with being The Starscream.

Jun 25th 2012 at 12:06:55 PM •••

Why make it Big Bad Apprentice or Big Bad Traitor?

Jun 17th 2014 at 8:36:04 AM •••

how about Trecherus Underling or the Backstabber.[hope I spelled them right.]

Jun 17th 2014 at 8:42:16 AM •••

Backstabber doesn't work, especially since it has nothing to do with Back Stab.

Treacherous Underling isn't an awful idea, but... I don't think it really needs a rename. For one, it's not underused, with thousands of uses on this site and others. More importantly, it's never misused so even if the meaning isn't immediately clear, it's not mistaken for something else.

I think at this point it's going to stay because of Grandfather Clause. Which I'm quite pleased with, as trope names of late have been getting incredibly sterile and dull. It's nice that there's still a little color in our world.

May 16th 2011 at 9:48:16 AM •••

Would you say Margaret Thatcher's government pretty much pulled a Starscream on her?

Apr 16th 2011 at 3:27:49 PM •••

Because there is so much potential for overlap and a ton of other related tropes there needs to be more focus on what makes this trope distinct from others like it, and why it shouldn't just be merged with existing subtopics. Is it a base topic that other things are subtopics of? If so, a sliding scale would be helpful.

Dec 22nd 2010 at 1:42:14 AM •••

Removed the bit about Graz'zt and Orcus wanting to overthrow Demogorgon in Dungeons And Dragons because they're not his minions. They're more like three rival kings who hate each other equally, and Demogorgon is just the most powerful.

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