Action Survivor/Playing With

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Basic Trope: An Innocent Bystander gets caught up in a plot better suited to an Action Hero.

  • Straight: Alice is working on the computer systems of an idle nuclear reactor when terrorists take over the building with ill intent.
  • Exaggerated: Alice is a wheelchair bound asthmatic up against highly trained and equipped rogue spies.
  • Downplayed:
    • Alice is threatened by a mugger, but manages to trip him with her umbrella and escape.
    • Alice is a security guard, she is prepared for robbers, but not these terrorists.
  • Justified: Alice has Chekhov's Skill in various fields that help her outwit the terrorists, as well as intimate knowledge of how to use the Geo Effects and Defensive Feint Traps of the reactor to her benefit, since she designed/built it.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted:
    • ...which does her a whole lot of good when the terrorists turn out to be supernatural monsters.
    • Alice was in the army... As a Desk Jockey.
  • Parodied: Alice never notices the terrorists, while getting Mistaken for Badass as she unknowingly escapes by the skin of her teeth while somehow randomly killing a terrorist or two in the process.
  • Deconstructed: Alice doesn't have the skills or abilities to take on the terrorists, so Mission Control talks her through the grisly task of making a series of brutally efficient traps and very messy kills because of her inexperience. In the process of which she has to become The Unfettered and put aside her moral convictions and fears just to get enough of an edge against them. When she's congratulated by the counter-terrorism chief on being a hero, she just breaks down.
  • Reconstructed: Though she knows she's no hero and horribly outmatched, Alice realizes it's not just her life but many thousands who depend on her, and manages to find the courage to use her skills, cleverness and ingenuity to slow down and hold back the terrorists.
  • Zig Zagged: Alice is a meek office worker, but she sure knows her way around a shotgun, but that's all because I Know Mortal Kombat, she sucks at hand to hand, except she had a tranq dart hidden up her sleeve.
  • Averted: Alice is prepared for the danger she is going to face.
  • Enforced: "We need a hero whom our audience can relate to -- let's make her a computer programmer!"
  • Lampshaded: "If I'd known I'd be in this fix, I'd have studied karate."
  • Invoked: Bob is trying to escape a conspiracy with the MacGuffin, but doesn't know who to trust ... so he chooses a random passerby with no connection to anything.
  • Exploited: When the terrorists realize that they are fighting someone without military or police training or equipment, they start using tear gas grenades and gas masks to force her her out in the open.
  • Defied: The passerby Bob tries to pass the MacGuffin to runs away screaming rather than get involved.
  • Discussed: "Why is it my life keeps turning into a cheap copy of Die Hard? I'm not even that resourceful or a cop!"
  • Conversed: "I like everyday heroes as much as the next guy, but why do they put them up against whole platoons of bad guys like they were Action Heroes?"
  • Played For Laughs: Alice is The Fool.
  • Played For Drama: Alice had an acrimonious estrangement from her father, a cop, but as the action goes on she finds herself resorting to more and more of what her dad taught her.

We need someone to get back to Action Survivor - you're not the ideal person for the job, but you're the Closest Thing We Got!