Playing With: Children Raise You
Basic Trope: An immature slacker raises a young distant relative. Both learn lessons.
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- Straight: Bob is the very definition of One of the Kids - he's very much a slacker. When he inherits his younger brother Timmy after his parents die, he learns a lot about himself through the act of being a parent.
- Exaggerated: Bob is an absolute loser with nothing to offer society. When he inherits Timmy he goes from a slacker to an ideal member of society overnight.
- Downplayed: Bob cleans up his act a little while raising Timmy, but is still not that good a role model.
- Justified: Raising a kid forced Bob to grow up himself; he can't really expect the kid to respect him unless he acts like an adult.
- Bob is a model citizen who is incredibly mature, but raising Timmy places such a strain on him that the other facets of his life start to slip up and he reverts to a childlike state.
- Timmy is a problem child to his own parents; when they die, Bob proves much more capable at handling him and he whips him into shape.
- Subverted: It seems that raising Timmy has no effect on Bob...
- Double Subverted: ...until he has to actually discipline the boy, after which he decides to start growing up.
- Timmy literally raises Bob: cooking his meals, making sure he's ready for work, driving him there, et cetera.
- It's revealed that the whole story took place in Soviet Russia.
- Zig Zagged: After taking custody of Timmy, Bob bounces back and fourth on cleaning up his act depending on what the script requires each scene.
- Timmy has no effect on Bob's maturity.
- Bob never has to care for Timmy.
- Enforced: "I know we may want to teach Bob some life lessons, but we've got to consider Timmy's well-being. This is the perfect chance to include An Aesop about personal responsibility and coming of age."
- Lampshaded: "I'd say I'm raising him, but I think it's the other way around."
- Invoked: Bob's parents, realizing that Bob needs some motivation to stop being such a slacker, make sure that he gets the boy in case of an accident so that he'll learn how to function in society.
- Exploited: ???
- Defied: Bob finds someone else to give Timmy to.
- Discussed: "This kid who I'm about to patron is probably going to whip me into shape."
- Conversed: "Why did caring for Timmy make Bob more mature? That doesn't seem logical to me."
- Deconstructed: After a while, it becomes evident that Bob, while ultimately good-hearted, lacks what it takes to be an effective father figure to Timmy. He loses custody of the boy, who's subsequently bounced around to foster homes.
- Reconstructed: However, this spurs Bob on to dig truly deep and improve his life to the point where he can earn custody of the boy for real.
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