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Playing With: Bank Toaster
Basic Trope: Bank gives away free toasters to customers who open a new account with them.
  • Straight: Alice opens an account at Nth National Bank, and receives a free toaster.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Alice receives a toaster for opening an account with only a $10 balance.
    • The toaster Alice receives is the industrial kind you find in cafeterias — you know, where you place the bread on a conveyor chain and it slides out the other end.
  • Downplayed: Alice receives a cheaper-than-cheap toaster. It can only take one slice of bread at a time, is not UL-approved, only has a 4” extension cord, is notorious for burning toast, and has a faulty spring.
  • Justified: A large-scale commercial bread bakery just opened in town, so what better way for the bank to convince its new employees to join them; namely, with a device that uses their product.
  • Inverted:
    • Alice is given a complimentary bank account for buying a toaster.
    • Alice receives a toaster from the bank as a parting gift when closing an account.
    • The bank actually uses the account sign-up forms to obtain customers' information so they can break into their homes and steal their toasters!
  • Subverted: Alice politely declines the free toaster offer, claiming she never buys bread nowadays (too many chemical preservatives) and hence has no use for a toaster.
  • Double Subverted: But the bank manager reminds Alice that toasters can still be used for Pop-Tarts and frozen waffles, so she takes one after all.
  • Parodied:
    • Alice receives a cluster of pointy wooden sticks embossed with the bank’s name. Told they are used for toasting marshmallows.
    • When Alice finishes the new-account paperwork and asks for the free toaster, the teller hands her a glass of champagne and says “Here’s to no fee checking and high APRs” (don’t explain the joke - it’s a TOAST)
    • A miffed Alice wants to know why she just received a glossy wall photo displaying superhero characters. The teller replies that she got a free poster for opening an account.
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted:
    • The bank hasn’t given away free toasters in years, or more likely decades.
    • The bank promotes a rewards points program.
    • Alice keeps her money at the bank known as “First Mattress”
  • Enforced: Black-and-Decker paid the producer well to include their latest Toastest-with-the-Mostest machine.
  • Invoked:
    Alice: So I opened a bank account. Do I get my toaster?
  • Lampshaded:
    Bank: We don't do that anymore, that only happens on TV.
  • Exploited: Alice desperately wants to buy Bob a $50 necktie for his rapidly-approaching birthday, but she only has $20 available. Upon learning that the bank gives a free toaster upon opening an account, she opens the account with the $20, gets the toaster, then manages to sell it to some sucker for $50 (at least double what it’s worth) on Greg’s List.
  • Defied: The bank president rejects his assistant's idea of offering a toaster.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Implied:: Alice got a new job, and is seen opening a bank account. A later scene shows her leaving for work in the morning with an envelope from the bank in one hand (on which a faint “Welcome to Nth National...” can be deciphered), and a slice of steaming toast in another.
  • Deconstructed: Nth National Bank finds themselves losing money on the toaster-promotion deal, since too many people were opening accounts with only a $5 opening deposit, then closing the account a week later, just for the free toaster.
  • Reconstructed: Nth National reinstates the free toaster policy, but has a new set of terms-and-conditions, such as a minimum opening deposit of $100, and a cost-of-the-toaster penalty for early withdrawal.
  • Played For Laughs: Alice examines the “floor model” toaster in the bank lobby, and when releasing the pop-up lever, plastic snakes fly out of the slots. All the tellers and most of the other bank customers laugh hysterically.
  • Played For Drama: Alice rushes her 7-year-old son Chuck to the hospital when he burns himself by sticking his hand in the (bank) toaster. A lawyer Alice meets in the ER offers to help sue the bank that gave her the toaster. There's some discussion of the Unfortunate Implications of being lawsuit-happy and how no one takes responsibility. Then the judge throws out the lawsuit when investigation by the bank reveals that Alice was busy text-messaging in another room, while little Chuck was playing alone in the kitchen and tragically got burned.
  • Untwisted: When the teller offers Alice a free toaster with her new account, she starts describing (or in a cutaway scene) how she and Bob just got married in their mid-30s and they already have 2 of everything, including 2 late-model toasters in perfect condition, plus the shiny new toaster-oven they received as a wedding present. The last thing they need is another piece of clutter, especially since 9-days-out-of-10 they grab their breakfast at either Dunkin Donuts, a fast-food drive-thru, or the local diner. Then Alice accepts the toaster anyway, because “Hey, it’s free.”

The following link will return you to the main Bank Toaster page, but it will not get you a free toaster.

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