Badass Decay/Playing With

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Basic Trope: A character who was once Badass slowly loses his credibility as a Badass.

  • Straight: Two seasons ago he was a legitimate Badass. This season? He's an always-forgiving guy.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Justified:
    • The Badass is shown to have legitimate reasons for becoming softer.
    • Such as; the Badass meets a little girl who he begins to protect, and this, in effect, softens him.
    • Or the Badass messed with an even bigger Badass.
    • Or the Badass is being restrained from being badass by something.
    • Or the Badass is hit by a Incurable Cough of Death that severely restrains his badasstitude.
    • Or the Badass pulled a Heel Face Turn and wants to be a better role model for children.
  • Inversion:
  • Subversion: A minor villain stages an Enemy Mine scenario, which results in him being teamed up with the good guys for an extended period, gradually warming to them. The team thinks he's going through Badass Decay, but really he's The Mole.
  • Double-Subversion: But then he becomes the mask!
  • Parodied: What? It's only been a day after beating President Dogkicker and now he's a sad drunk?
  • Deconstruction: The Messiah starts slipping her lancer a drug that has a Badass Decay effect, in order to make her a better person. At first, it seems good; the lancer gradually becomes less interested in beating up on The Smart Guy and kicking the Team Pet. Later, there's a Shoot the Dog decision that needs to be made, and the lancer finds she can't do it. Tragedy ensues. Afterwards, the lancer is suspicious, because she knows she should have been able to do it, but she decides not to ask the messiah about it. So this goes on, the lancer is actively nice to the smart guy (who starts taking advantage of it) and pets the team mascot. Then they're in battle with the Big Bad, and the lancer sneaks up to deliver the final blow...but can't. Dopily, she says in a light-headed voice, "Hey..." - which causes the baddie to whirl around to face her - "can't we solve this peacefully?" Then the big bad pounds her. The team retreats, and in a hospital the messiah tearfully confesses what she's been doing. The lancer can't bring herself to be mad about this. The doctor reveals that her injuries will permanently cripple her if she lives through them, but after a brief montage showing her from the beginning, to not hitting the smart guy, to not shooting the dog, to being taken advantage of, to the tragic battle, she realizes she no longer has the strength to struggle through her injuries, and dies.
  • Reconstructed: Okay, so I've just been passed over for the nice guy. Maybe I'm trying too hard to be Badass. What if I become softer, to get the girls to like me?
  • Zig Zagged: ....but then, the villain discovers that Good Is Dumb and does a Face Heel Turn, only to discover that he's woefully out of practice.
  • Averted: A character starts out Badass, and stays that way.
  • Enforced: "This character is too scary to be one of the good guys. Let's tone him down a little bit."
  • Lampshaded: A character fails to Shoot the Dog, then says to the hero, "You know, it's weird. Two years ago, I would have shot that dog without hesitation. I guess I've changed a lot since I met you."
  • Invoked: So here's the plan. We make McPunchyFist a national celebrity. He will then get an agent, who will change his image to get a larger crowd. He'll eventually make McPunchyFist less awesome, making us win. FOOLPROOF!
  • Defied: Just because the heroes have beaten me does not mean that I will sucuumb. I am Baron Wasteland, and now, I am angry.
  • Discussed: It appears that Lord Murder has quit murdering to become an interpretive dancer, my lord.
  • Conversed: What, you again? You know, after the first big fight, you're supposed to become lame so other villains can take the front, right?
  • Plotted A Good Waste: The Badass is being pushed outside his field of competence to show why teamwork is important.

Back to Badass Decay.