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Beyond Scared Straight is an A&E reality show that follows state-sponsored programs that send at-risk teens into prison to get a glimpse of what their lives will be like if they continue down the paths they're currently on.

Tropes used in Beyond Scared Straight include:

  • Abusive Parents: Various examples from both the teens and the inmates they meet.
  • Break the Cutie
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Send prospective jail-bound teens into the very place they may one day end up?
  • Dark and Troubled Past
  • Downer Ending: Whenever it's revealed that any of the teens ended up either in jail or military school anyway, post-filming.
  • Heel Face Turn: In contrast to above, most of the teens are so scarred by their prison visits that they turn their lives around to focus on school, jobs, and family.
  • Let Me At Him: Sometimes yelled by restrained inmates at some of the younger/prettier teens.
  • Mood Whiplash: After all the yelling, screaming, and scare tactics are over, the inmates leading the group are matched one-on-one with each of the teens for a heartfelt talk.
    • Arguably, an in-show example as well. Watch how quickly the teens' demeanor turn from smug to grim.
  • No Indoor Voice: Many of the inmates.
  • Not So Different: Often revealed to the kids during said heartfelt talks.
  • Parental Abandonment
  • Prison Rape: Let's just say the issue comes up.
  • Reality Ensues: You think it's cool and fun to go to jail? Wait until you're actually there.
  • Scare'Em Straight: The premise of the show.
  • Squick
  • Tears of Fear: The kids will often burst out into these midway through the visit.
  • Troubled Child
  • What an Idiot!/Too Dumb to Live: What else can you say about the ones who end up right back in jail?
    • Or the ones who on the ride to jail, say it'll be fun. Oy.
    • Or the ones who feel the need to smile, laugh, and joke in front of the dangerous and sadistic inmates.
    • Special mention goes to one kid in the season 2 premier.

 Correctional Officer: Who you influenced by?

Moron Kid: My favorite rapper.

C.O.: Who's your favorite rapper?

Moron Kid: Lil' Boosie

      • For those who don't know, Lil Boosie is currently incarcerated, and has been since before this show began airing.
    • Or the girl who thought it would be a good idea to swing on a corrections officer.
  • Where Are They Now? Epilogue: Either in full video or text/photo format, most of the teens' stories will be followed up on at the end of each episode.

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