Sour Grapes Tropes

"When they realized they were in the desert, they built a religion to worship thirstiness."

Sour Grapes Tropes are tropes that exist to convince the viewer that not only is it unlikely that their dreams and fantasies will come true, but it's probably better if they don't. This is done by showing how a character is made miserable when getting their wishes fulfilled.

Stories that don't do this are Wish Fulfillment fantasies. Not That There's Anything Wrong with That. Fiction has been providing wish fulfillment for centuries. Contemporary fiction, though, often comes off as somehow obliged to show the downside of a desire. Not doing so might be seen as "juvenile." Ironically, Sour Grapes Tropes tend to indulge in their own backhanded brand of Wish Fulfillment; these tropes are often used to assuage an audience's discomfort and jealousy at seeing a more ambitious or intelligent or lucky character at succeeding in a way that the viewers can't by showing the 'bad' side of their success. See Nietzsche's remarks on ''slave morality'' for the intellectual impulse behind many of the usages of these tropes.

These tropes can also be used to make a Family-Unfriendly Aesop if one of the things the Sour Grapes trope is grousing about is something the viewer can genuinely attain. It can encourage them to stay in their bad situation rather than doing something about it. A lot of these tropes have the Broken Aesop of "so don't try to better yourself."

Contrast Sweet and Sour Grapes.


Alternative Title(s):

Sour Grapes