Created By: TechPowah on July 29, 2010 Last Edited By: MacronNotes on February 28, 2016
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Just One Extra Ticket

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Trope

A certain kind of Sadistic Choice handed down by fate. Bob just got access to the best event EVER! His friends Alice and George have heard of the event and are dying to go so they ask Bob if they can come along. The problem is Bob only has two tickets...

Enter the dilemma, where Bob has to choose which of his friends to take. If he takes one, the other one might feel betrayed and their friendship might be strained. Even if Bob Takes A Third Option and gives both invitations away, poor Bob would himself be left out for his trouble. That, and if Greta also gets wind of the tickets due to them being a poorly kept secret, then there really is no way out for poor Bob. To add insult to injury, the longer he takes to decide, the more alienated his friends become.

Milder than your average Sadistic Choice, but a great plot to cause friction amongst friends as they duke it out for that precious ticket. It is also certainly not limited to tickets, as any kind of desirable goods and services when there aren't enough to go around can suffice. Taking A Third Option or a Deus ex Machina might be needed to escape the problem without anyone getting hurt. Often a way to test the Power of Friendship.


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    Advertising 
  • In the Viennetta advert's guide to sharing a boyfriend wins a spare ticket to New York but to his girlfriend's dismay "took his mother". For just deserts she rewards him with a smaller slice of Viennetta.

    Live Action TV 
  • In Growing Pains, the dad subtly tried to get his son to resolve the dilemma by giving his parents both tickets. (it failed and the son took his sister who was having self image problems in the same episode.)
  • In Malcolm in the Middle, Francis got his hands on two tickets to a wrestling match, and made Reese and Malcolm compete for it. He ended up taking a girl he met, so his brothers took rather ingenious revenge.
  • Becker - Reggie got two tickets to a hockey game, and couldn't decide whether to take Becker or Jake. Eventually, she left one between them and told them to decide. They sent Bob.
  • One episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air did this with a Game Show Appearance - Will didn't want to choose between two of his friends (one of whom was Jazz) to accompany him on a teams-of-two quiz show, so he instead chose Carlton, as he was smarter than them. Somehow, both friends managed to be their opponents in the end.
  • In The Big Bang Theory, Leonard gets invited to a conference at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland and is allowed to take a guest. He's going to take Penny, which infuriates Sheldon as they had a clause in their roommate agreement that says Leonard should have taken him instead. The night before, Penny and Sheldon both get sick, and Leonard ends up going with Raj.
  • An episode of Everybody Loves Raymond takes the "ripping up the ticket" to its logical extreme — faced with choosing between his wife and his best friend to take to the Super Bowl, Raymond rips up both tickets. Meaning no one gets to go.

    Music 
  • The intro to The Lonely Island's "I'm On a Boat!" (most of song NSFW)
    Andy: Whoa, free boat ride for three! Now who should I take? Kiv. And....T-Pain.

    Video Games 
  • Team Fortress 2 - Invoked in one of the Demoman's unused taunts:
    Just bought two tickets to the gun show, an' I'm not givin' them to ya! I'm goin' with YOUR tickets!

    Western Animation 
  • In Western Animation/The Weekenders, Tino wins two passes to a concert and can only take one of his three friends. In the end, he arbitrarily picks Carver, and it's implied that the four friends will get over it... Except, as it turns out, each of Tino's passes is redeemable for two tickets, and they all get to go anyway.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: Rocko wins two tickets to a wrestling event, and Heffer and Filburt compete over who will get the second ticket. They take things too far by handcuffing themselves to Rocko as he is on his way to the arena. Brought to the edge of madness, Rocko tears the tickets into little pieces, ranting "A ticket for you, and a ticket for you, and tickets for everybody! Now we can all go!!"
  • In Cooper's first appearance on Ben 10, he claims to have two passes to the premiere of a movie Ben and and Gwen want to go to. They each spend their time trying to impress him so he will give them the extra pass. In turns out he doesn't actually have any passes. He just made it up so they would talk to him.
  • In one episode of The Mighty B!!, "B Plus 1", Bessie wins two tickets to a sold-out boy-band concert. Fellow Bee Scouts, Portia and Gwen, fight for her extra ticket by buttering Bessie up with favors, breaking off their friendship in the process. Bessie's dog Happy is a closet fan of the boy-band attending and went as far as stealing the tickets. Mistaking Happy for wanting attention, she gives up both tickets to Portia and Gwen, who became friends again instantly afterward. In the end, they both enjoy the concert... until it was canceled when the boy-band suffers a case of puberty.
  • The Aqua Teen Hunger Force short "Super Bowl" saw Meatwad win two tickets to, you guessed it, the Super Bowl. Master Shake and Carl both try to win over Meatwad's favor and get the second ticket. In the end, Meatwad ends up taking Boxy Brown, but Meatwad doesn't even know what the Super Bowl is and ends up going to a petting zoo.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Twilight Sparkle is invited to the "Grand Galloping Gala", an extremely popular exclusive event, and is given two tickets. The problem is she has five other friends who want to go, all with their own reasons. Eventually she breaks down from the stress and the others realize how hard they've pushed her. Fortunately, the The Princess makes everything better and gives her four more tickets.
  • In an episode of Hey Arnold!, Arnold has to choose between two out of three of his boarding house neighbors to be his honorary family members on a game show. Oscar, Mr. Hyunh and Ernie start showing off as much as possible to prove themselves worthy to go. Arnold ends up stiffing out Oscar who wasn't happy about it.

Community Feedback Replies: 37
  • July 28, 2010
    randomsurfer
    The intro to The Lonely Island's "I'm On a Boat!" (most of song NSFW)
    Andy: Whoa, free boat ride for three! Now who should I take? Kiv. And....T-Pain.
  • July 28, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Another variation is giving Bob and Cedric the tickets to go together because she doesn't want this to ruin their friendship. Used in the cartoon Franklin, possibly the more common result in kid's shows.

    In Growing Pains, the dad subtly tried to get his son to resolve the dilemma by giving his parents both tickets. (it failed and the son took his sister who was having self image problems in the same episode.)
  • July 28, 2010
    the grene kni3t
    In The Weekenders, Tino wins two passes to a concert and can only take one of his three friends. In the end, he arbitrarily picks Carver, and it's implied that the four friends will get over it... Except, as it turns out, each of Tino's passes is redeemable for two tickets, and they all get to go anyway.
  • July 28, 2010
    TorchicBlaziken
    File under Plots.
  • July 28, 2010
    VampireBuddha
    In Malcolm In The Middle, Francis got his hands on two tickets to a wrestling match, and made Reese and Malcolm compete for it. He ended up taking a girl he met, so his brothers took rather ingenious revenge.

    Becker - Reggie got two tickets to a hockey game, and couldn't decide whether to take Becker or Jake. Eventually, she left one between them and told them to decide. They sent Bob.
  • July 28, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Rockos Modern Life: Rocko wins two tickets to a wrestling event, and Heffer and Filburt compete over who will get the second ticket. They take things too far by handcuffing themselves to Rocko as he is on his way to the arena. Brought to the edge of madness, Rocko tears the tickets into little pieces, ranting "A ticket for you, and a ticket for you, and tickets for everybody! Now we can all go!!"
  • July 29, 2010
    foxley
    In Cooper's first appearance on Ben 10, he claims to have two passes to the premiere of a movie Ben and and Gwen wabt to go to. They each spend their time trying to impress him so he will give them the extra pass. In turns out he doesn't actually have any passes. He just made it up so they would talk to him.
  • October 23, 2010
    Evalana
    • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "The Ticket Master" involves Twilight Sparkle getting an extra ticket to The Grand Galloping Gala, and having five new friends who all want to go. They all try to butter her up to get the extra ticket, but she refuses their favors, trying to make an unbiased decision. In the end, she sends back both tickets, claiming she couldn't enjoy herself knowing one of her friends was disappointed, only for Princess Celestia to send her enough tickets for them all to go.
  • October 23, 2010
    Micah
    • In The Big Bang Theory, Leonard gets invited to a conference at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland and is allowed to take a guest. He's going to take Penny, which infuriates Sheldon as they had a clause in their roommate agreement that says Leonard should have taken him instead. The night before, Penny and Sheldon both get sick, and Leonard ends up going with Raj.
  • October 23, 2010
    Kohdok
    The Aqua Teen Hunger Force short "Super Bowl" saw Meatwad win two tickets to, you guessed it, the Super Bowl. Master Shake and Carl both try to win over Meatwad's favor and get the second ticket. In the end, Meatwad ends up taking Boxy Brown, but Meatwad doesn't even know what the Super Bowl is and ends up going to a petting zoo.
  • October 23, 2010
    Mozgwsloiku
    God... the pun...
  • January 4, 2011
    Tigerozen
    In one episode of The Mighty B!, B Plus 1 Bessie wins two tickets to a boy-band concert. Fellow Bee Scouts, Portia and Gwen, fight for her extra ticket by buttering Bessie up with favors, breaking off their friendship in the process. Bessie's dog Happy is a closet fan of the boy-band attending and went as far as stealing the tickets. Mistaking Happy for wanting attention, she gives up both tickets to Portia and Gwen, who became friends again instantly afterward. In the end, they both enjoy the concert... until it was canceled when the boy-band suffers a case of puberty.

  • January 4, 2011
    Kohdok
    • Team Fortress 2 - Invoked in one of the Demoman's unused taunts:
      Just bought two tickets to the gun show, an' I'm not givin' them to ya! I'm goin' with YOUR tickets!
  • January 4, 2011
    Kohdok
    An episode of Everybody Loves Raymond takes the "ripping up the ticket" to its logical extreme -- faced with choosing between his wife and his best friend to take to the Super Bowl, Raymond rips up both tickets. Meaning no one gets to go.
  • January 5, 2011
    FalconPain
    One episode of The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air did this with a Game Show Appearance - Will didn't want to choose between two of his friends (one of whom was Jazz) to accompany him on a teams-of-two quiz show, so he instead chose Carlton, as he was smarter than them. Somehow, both friends managed to be their opponents in the end.
  • January 6, 2011
    LoopyChew
    Proposing Only Two Tickets instead. Rolls off the tongue a bit better, no?
  • February 28, 2011
    Kohdok
    Merged with "Only One Extra".
  • November 3, 2011
    Oreochan
    Bump.
  • January 9, 2012
    nightelf37
    I think this is ready to launch as a trope. What do the rest of you think?
  • January 9, 2012
    nman
    I do too, I'll hat it. Also,
    • House: In the episode, Parents, Wilson has two tickets to go to a boxing match in Atlantic City, and House can't go because of his tracking anklet. The whole episode's subplot involves House trying to lie, tamper with his anklet, etc. in order to go with him. Finally, Wilson decides to just be nice, gives his tickets to Foreman, and goes to House's apartment to watch the match on TV. There, he finds the apartment empty, and when he turns on the TV, he sees Foreman and House ringside.
  • January 9, 2012
    astryll
    • In the Viennetta advert's guide to sharing a boyfriend wins a spare ticket to New York but to his girlfriend's dismay "took his mother". For just deserts she rewards him with a smaller slice of Viennetta.
  • January 9, 2012
    AP
    • On an episode of The Office, Michael told Pam and Jim that he had two tickets to a company party in New York for the launch of their new website. They happily accept until Michael reveals that one ticket is for him and he planned to take one of them (preferably Pam). Jim ended up going but as it turns out, Michael was supposed to attend via an online chatroom and was never actually invited.
  • January 10, 2012
    MiinU

    Web comics

    • Eerie Cuties: After breaking up with Kade, Layla gives her spare ticket to the upcoming Valcross concert to the local vampire slayer, Tiffany, who seemed rather confused by that... after eagerly accepting!
  • January 10, 2012
    NateTheGreat
    I seem to recall this happening in an episode of Caroline In The City, but I don't remember the particulars.
  • January 10, 2012
    Chabal2
    Inversion in Foxtrot: Roger tries to get rid of his opera tickets by giving them to Peter so he can take his girlfriend.
  • January 10, 2012
    SchrodingersDuck
    • Parodied in the Nedroid Comics strip Tickets... to the Music Show!. Beartato has two tickets to see Reginald's favourite band... but Reginald assumes this trope is in effect and that Beartato has bought both tickets for himself.
  • February 18, 2012
    Catbert
    Anyone still working on this?
  • July 7, 2012
    nightelf37
    Apparently not. Let's launch.
  • July 18, 2012
    nightelf37
    Oh wait, I remember another one. It's from the Archie Comics. Archie gets two tickets to a certain restaurant. He wonders who to take (Betty or Veronica) and Jughead suggests either the girl who is the opposite of his mother or the girl just like his mother (question is, can he love who she chooses forever.) Eventually, Archie ends up taking a third option; he takes his mother, much to Jughead's surprise.

    An interesting example as neither Betty nor Veronica were shown the ticket and thus they don't get into a fight for it.
  • October 3, 2012
    ClockClockClock
    • In an episode of Hey Arnold, Arnold has to choose between two out of three of his boarding house neighbors to be his honorary family members on a game show. Oscar, Mr. Hyunh and Ernie start showing off as much as possible to prove themselves worthy to go. Arnold ends up stiffing out Oscar who wasn't happy about it.
  • October 3, 2012
    captainpat
    Before launching this someone needs to rewrite the description without the Alice And Bob scenario. We don't need examples for a trope description, that's what the example section is for.
  • February 15, 2016
    MacronNotes
    I'll roll in the examples and I'll try to fix the examples.
  • February 15, 2016
    BKelly95
    Is this an inversion:

    Newspaper Comics
    • Dagwood from Blondie once had two tickets for a show, but couldn't find anyone to go with because everybody else was going to something else. At the show, he tries to give his spare ticket to someone else and gets arrested for scalping. (On a side note, he ends up not using his one phone call because no one's home.)
  • February 28, 2016
    Vicky125
    Dont resolving the examples need to be in spoilers? (sorry for my english)
  • February 28, 2016
    Vicky125
    • resolving the problem in the examples
  • February 28, 2016
    NateTheGreat
    Also related to Apple Of Discord.
  • February 28, 2016
    Cailleach
    Western Animation:

    • In an episode of Western Animation/Arthur, Arthur wins tickets to a concert and invites all of his friends, but when the tickets arrive he realizes that he only won two, and has to choose only one of his friends. In the standard fashion, his friends all bend over backwards trying to please him so he'll give the ticket to them, much to Arthur's annoyance. The problem is resolved when they decide to draw straws. And when Arthur and his plus one finally go, it turns out the seats weren't that good anyway.

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