Created By: Freud on July 26, 2012
This would be a trope inside of lampshade hanging. The working title is a reference to Erving Goffman's "Relations in Public." The idea is that a character having difficulty with something will act as if they're having a lot of trouble with it so it won't seem like a big deal. For example, a man struggling with a heavy couch will pretend that it's literally crushing him. Like lampshade hanging, this draws attention to the reality and jokes about it. Unlike lampshade hanging, it happens in the story and is centered around a difficult task, not a plot hole. (I know that this explanation sounds weird, but trust me, Goffman wasn't very clear, either.)
Hello, Unknown Troper. You'll need to get known to lend a hand here.