Playing With: Bumbling Dad
Basic Trope: A comically incompetent father in a Dom Com.
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- Straight: Bob means well, but he often grabs the Idiot Ball and gets his wife and children into all sorts of misadventures with him. He is also a very flawed (yet sympathetic) individual.
- Exaggerated: Bob is an outright Jerk Ass who is a borderline (if not outright) abusive father.
- Subverted: Bob seems dumb, but that was Obfuscating Stupidity.
- Double Subverted:
- Zig Zagged: Bob is a very loving and attentive father, and he's also extremely good at his job and is an excellent provider. The problem is that he's also as stubborn as a mule when it comes to trying to fix something himself when it breaks down, rather than calling a professional. On those occasions, his competence flies completely out the window.
- Averted: Bob is a competent father.
- "All those perfect Dom Com families on TV...they make me sick! I'll make a Dysfunctional Family, with a blithering idiot as its head!"
- One of the parents needs to be somewhat on the ball for the sake of Conservation of Competence, and you want the characterisations to be relatively consistent rather than a constant game of Idiot Ball. You know that every time the dad is shown to be somehow "superior" to his wife, you'll have a protracted battle with the Moral Guardians, but not so the other way around. What are you gonna do?
- Lampshaded: "He's like all those bumbling dads you see in sitcoms."
- Invoked: Alice specifies in her Lonely Hearts ad that she's looking for a Man Child with whom to settle down and raise kids.
- Exploited: Bob deliberately makes it look like he can't do anything right around the house so he doesn't have to.
- Alice breaks up with Bob when she sees that he is too immature to raise a family, and not likely to change any time soon.
- Alternately, Bob decides, "Enough fooling around; I'm expecting kids soon.", and spends more time with Alice. He also learns basic household chores from her...
- Discussed: "I hope Bob Jr. doesn't inherit his dad's bumbling tendencies. It'd be a real hassle when we're married."
- Conversed: "Seriously? Another bumbling dad show? I'd like to see a competent, take charge father on a sitcom for a change."
- Deconstructed: Can have a negative effect on his children and his wife, leading to the breakdown of the (presumably already dysfunctional) family.
- Reconstructed: Bob is dumb and irresponsible, but he sincerely loves his family and is capable of stepping up when it's important.
- Played For Drama: Bob's mistakes and selfishness negatively affect his family.
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