Playing With: A Boy and His X

Basic Trope: Human forms an emotional bond with a non-human friend.
  • Straight:
    • Adam, a 7-year-old boy, has a close animal friend.
    • Adam becomes friends with a robot.
    • Adam becomes friends with a paranormal creature.
    • Adam becomes friends with something that is either living, unliving yet still moving, undead, or inorganic but sentient.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Adam becomes friends with an inanimate object.
    • Adam gets an alien friend. They get such an emotional and physical bond that their life is dependent on each other and at the end, they fuse together.
    • Adam becomes friends with an Eldritch Abomination
    • Adam has an alien friend who has a Ridiculously Cute Critter friend.
    • Other characters besides Adam also have non-human friends.
    • Adam has more than one "X".
    • Adam becomes friends with everything.
  • Downplayed:
    • Adam and his "X" are not unusually close.
    • Adam would consider his dog a friend, but his bonds with his human friends are closer.
  • Justified:
    • Adam lives in an area where many people have non-human best friends.
    • Adam's life is such that he needs his "X".
    • Adam is a lonely misfit (bullied/abused, disabled, etc.) and his "X" is his only friend.
    • Adam has just moved into town and doesn't know anyone yet, so for now, his only friend is his pet.
    • Adam really likes and is good with animals, aliens, or whatever the "X" is. If it's an inanimate object, he might have a collection or a deep interest.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • Adam has a ghost alien friend. However, it turns out to be a hologram prank by bullies.
    • The creature turns on Adam.
    • Adam is delusional and the creature is imaginary.
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: Adam is friends with "X", it turns out that it's a hologram, but it turns out the hologram was contacting the REAL "X", and then you find out he's in a psychiatric hospital.
  • Averted: No one has an "X".
  • Enforced: "We need a cute animal to capture female audiences. Let's give Adam a pet."
  • Lampshaded:
    • "Here's a new pet. You'll become best of friends, I bet!"
    • "This is my best friend, Squeaky the mouse. He understands me, and unlike you, he loves me."
  • Invoked: Adam says, "I'm so lonely, I wish I had a companion of some kind." Cue the "X".
  • Exploited:
    • The "X" hangs around Adam for the sake of getting treats.
    • Adam is naughty and uses his "X" as a scapegoat.
  • Defied:
    • Adam doesn't consider his "X" a friend; he only likes it as a pet.
    • Adam refuses to like the new companion.
  • Discussed:
    • "You know, you're really that kind of child who could use a non-human friend."
  • Conversed: "Wow, I love Adam's new puppy! I hope they show it more, and they become really close."
  • Implied: Adam is seen happy around his X fairly often, but he never talks about it.
  • Deconstructed:
    • Adam is depressed after his mouse dies of old age.
    • As time goes on, Adam and his "X" start to drift apart.
    • Adam is the only human with a non-human sidekick and has to cope with it.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Adam eventually learns to have friends other than his "X".
    • After his mouse dies, Adam gets a pet with a longer life span, such as a cat or a dog.
    • Adam's bond with his "X" is strengthened after the "X" saves Adam's life.
    • Adam has a dog, and meets a girl with a cat. They become best friends, and so do their pets.
  • Played For Laughs:
    • The "X" is a hindrance to Adam in comical ways.
    • A cat eats Adam's mouse. Adam adopts the cat as his new pet.
    • Bob wonders why a human-like behavior to non-alien friend causes a great affection compared to normal human/human friendship.
  • Played For Drama:
    • The "X" dies, leaving Adam alone.
    • Adam dies, leaving "X" alone.
    • They die together, saving the world in a Heroic Sacrifice.
    • The family doesn't pay attention to Adam and his "X" is his only friend.
    • Once the parents discover that Adam has an X, they pay their attention to X only.
    • The family exploits or seeks to end their relationship.

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