The cake burnt, the candles melted and all the presents are clothes. What a fantastic birthday! In fiction, especially if the celebrating character is a Butt-Monkey, their birthday party will go wrong in every direction. See also A Birthday, Not a Break. [[folder:Live Action TV]]
- In Candyfloss by Jacqueline Wilson, Floss' birthday starts out great but turns out bad when she finds out her mother's family is moving to Australia for six months because of her stepfather's promotion.
- In the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book Dog Days, Greg's birthday plays this so straight it's almost exaggerated. His presents are lame, his birthday money in confiscated, his uncle's dog eats the cake, and his 'make-up' present of a fish is eaten by Rodrick's fish.
- Company, the entire plot, although Sondheim has proposed that it all takes place on a psychiatrist's couch.
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