Created By: Freud on March 8, 2013 Last Edited By: Freud on March 10, 2013

You missed a spot

A Stock Phrase used when a character, usually the protagonist, is forced to do menial labor by a jerk.

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Alice is having a bad day: not only does she have to clean the floor while Bob supervises her, but he's doing everything in his power to make things worse for her. He will often utter this stock phrase, or some variant thereof, possibly while knocking over her wash bucket or deliberately dirtying the floor.

There are two reasons for this treatment:

1) To establish sympathy for Alice and serve as a minor Kick the Dog moment for Bob,

2) Alice is the real Big Bad, and this is a closing Break the Haughty event.
Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • March 8, 2013
  • March 8, 2013
    Seconded. Motion to discard.
  • March 8, 2013
  • March 8, 2013
    However, if it is rewritten to avoid No New Stock Phrases and also Example As Thesis, it might be useful. I see this concept as kind of tropeworthy. Perhaps there is some existing trope for it already though.
  • March 9, 2013
    Actually, I've checked, and I can't find one. I knew about the No New Stock Phrases thing, but the rule says that you can have a page discussing situations in which a stock phrase would be used. That's what I'm trying to do here, hence the opening description of the situation as a whole and the reasons for it. Do you think that the name should be changed to make the distinction clearer?
  • March 9, 2013
    Nitpicking To Be A Jerk? Something along those lines is probably the idea here.
  • March 9, 2013
    In the German movie Das Experiment (baased on the Stanford Prison Experiment), the protagonist has to clean a dirty toilet bowl with his prisoner uniform under supervision by the guards, and then gets indeed told that he missed some small spots of encrusted fecal matter and is ordered to use his fingernails to scrape them off, all of course to humiliate him and to punish his rebellious behavior.
  • March 9, 2013
    Does anyone else here think that the No New Stock Phrases rule sometimes results in names that are a lot clunkier, like the above?^^

    Rules like this should be guidelines, not ironclad and inflexible.
  • March 9, 2013

    Don't see why this has to be renamed. Take the words "A Stock Phrase is used" out of the description, so the description reads simply "When a character, usually the protagonist, is forced to do menial labor by a jerk." Presto, you now have a trope (assuming this is judged to be a real trope) that is not a stock phrase and has a logical and understandable name, and does not imply that the trope is always invoked when the words "you missed a spot" are uttered.

    Nitpicking To Be A Jerk doesn't really apply here because that name could apply to a lot of situations that don't involve manual labor.
  • March 10, 2013
    Why is this marked as Up For Grabs? It's only two days old, and the sponsor already wants nothing to do with it? Or was it the tag added by mistake?
  • March 10, 2013
    Then holler for a mod to take the tag off.

  • March 10, 2013
    I was just asking because Freud is discussing and clearly interested.