Created By: Ookamikun on March 14, 2011 Last Edited By: Ookamikun on March 17, 2011

Surprise Birthday Ploy

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I wonder why mom sent me to get milk on my birthday.
Dee Dee, "The Laughing" episode

It is a Bob's birthday! However, somehow everyone forgets about it or doesn't even know that it is his birthday. Everyone treats it like it is a normal day. Bob ends up shocked, surprised, or worse - depressed, about the thought of everyone forgetting that it is his special day. As it turns out however, the people knew about Bob's birthday! They just want to keep it a surprise. But because Poor Communication Kills, this may lead to some sort of plot that involve Bob trying to face the fact that everyone has forgotten his special day.

Western Animation
  • Parodied in the Dexter's Laboratory episode "The Laughing", where Dee Dee was sent to do chores. While she does wonder why people somehow forgot her birthday, it simply went over her head.
  • In 101 Dalmatians animated series, the episode "You Say It's Your Birthday", the pups think they are going to be sold away, whereas Cruella thinks Anita is going to work for another company.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (80's) has the episode "Michelangelo's Birthday", with Mikey running away after thinking that his brothers forgot his birthday.
Community Feedback Replies: 5
  • March 14, 2011
    Sounds good to me. This Dead Horse Trope should be something everyone recognizes.
  • March 14, 2011
  • March 16, 2011
    It's a subversion of Forgotten Birthday, which could be a Sub Trope if there are enough examples.

    • The Dick Van Dyke Show: Laura sets up a Surprise Birthday Party for Rob, by pretending she doesn't remember it's his birthday. He knows she knows it's his birthday, so he guesses that she's setting up a surprise. Then on the morning of his birthday he finds her crying, becuase she had set up a surprise but everybody called and said they couldn't make it, so all her hard work went for naught. He even overheard the phone calls. Rob tells her it's OK, that he already knew, but then she springs it on him that this is the surprise party! Everyone is there in their pajamas.
  • March 16, 2011
    No, Forgotten Birthday is the subversion. It just has a non-indicative name.
  • March 17, 2011
    Well, fuck me. I swear to Fast Eddie that when I read Forgotten Birthday a day ago it didn't look like that. Maybe it needs a Soft Split - Version A where they really did forget the birthday, and version B where it's a setup for a surprise party.