One-Person Birthday Party
You've spent hours hanging balloons, decorations and banners on the wall. You've cooked the food to perfection. The cake is ready, and the candles have already been lit. You even have the music all sorted out. It's a perfect birthday party, but there's just one tiny problem - nobody's coming.
Birthdays are supposed to be a great occasion to get together with friends, when everything is about you. So when someone has only themselves to celebrate their birthday with, it's a sign that they really are alone
Writers tend to use this trope to establish that the character in question is The Woobie
(if Played for Drama
) or The Chew Toy
(if Played for Laughs
). It may also be a Cloud Cuckoo Lander
since these will often understand the "everything is about you" tendency literally (if a friend is with you, then not everything is, technically, about you).
Compare Forgotten Birthday
Anime and Manga
- Mazinger Z: In episode 19, the Small Name, Big Ego Butt Monkey Boss tries to get people to purchase tickets to attend his birthday party. However everyone runs away from him, and he can not figure out why. Kouji tries to explain to him that people don't like getting bullied into paying for a party they do not want to go to start with. Finally, Kouji agrees to attend Boss' party out of pity and even performs a couple of tricks with his bike so that more people come. However, during the party, Kouji gets summoned to the Institute, and he leaves. As a result, everybody else leaves too, leaving Boss alone.
- In Little Man Tate, the main character hands out invitations to his party at school, only to see them blowing around on the ground when they rush in from recess. Cut to the party, where it's just him and his mom (and she doesn't count).
- In an episode of Mr. Bean, Mr Bean goes to a restaurant on his own for his birthday, and gives himself a birthday card.
- The Golden Girls: Rose flashes back to a time when she celebrated her birthday alone, after the death of her husband.
- A flashback in Smallville shows that as a kid, Lex Luthor had a birthday all alone. It gave context to his miserable childhood and how he developed into the adult he eventually became.
- Once Upon a Time begins this way. When it turns out that her date was just a sham to get a bounty, Emma goes home to have a cupcake with a single candle on it by herself.
- On Parks and Recreation, Ron Swanson celebrates one of his birthdays alone in a small office with a steak and a bottle of scotch. The twist is that this is the party that his friend Leslie has thrown for him, knowing what he likes.
- Crimes Of The Heart begins with the main character trying to have one of these, attempting to stick a birthday candle into a cookie.
- The "Claptrap's Birthday Bash" sidequest from Borderlands 2, where you send invitations to Claptrap's birthday party for him. None of the guests accept the invitation, so you end up alone with Claptrap. You could make it a little less sad by having four players go, but that's four out of six playable characters — under the best circumstances, not even all the Vault Hunters go to Claptrap's party, which only ends up lasting a few minutes. Word of God states that the mission was based off of an actual One Man Birthday Party that the creative designer once witnessed.
- In the first Simon the Sorcerer game, when Simon visits the swampling's house, Swampy mistakes him for a guest come to celebrate Swampy's birthday. Swampy's actual birthday was three weeks earlier, but Swampy doesn't mind Simon being late because he's still the first guest to show up.
- A disturbingly large amount of fanwork depicts Alice Margatroid of Touhou this way, usually to highlight her (also fanon) Crazy Jealous Girl tendencies.
- In the Ultra Fast Pony episode "Purple Party Pooper", Twilight sends invitations for her birthday party, then finds out that no one is planning to attend. She becomes increasingly unhinged as she tries to figure out why her friends won't come. The end of the episode implies that Princess Celestia had the same problem (the day was coincidentally her birthday as well)—since Twi was the only one to show up, and she only came because Celestia commanded her.