Playing With / Dinner and a Show

Basic Trope: A Dysfunctional Family dinner
  • Straight: Alice and Bob have their relatives over for Thanksgiving. At the provocation of Obnoxious In-Laws, a Cavemen Versus Astronauts Debate ensues.
  • Exaggerated: Aunt Harriet gets drunk and puts a lampshade on her head, Cousin Karl announces his engagement to Girl of the Week Darla, and a Food Fight ensues, all before the turkey is brought to the table.
  • Downplayed: No actual bickering, but definitely some bad vibes in the air and a few Stealth Insults exchanged.
  • Justified:
    • Conflict ensues when a Dysfunctional Family or Big, Screwed-Up Family gets together like that.
    • The family members have personal grudges, such as the aftermath of a very messy divorce.
    • The family moved far away from each other so they don't have to interact. Only on times like Thankgiving and Christmas do they reluctantly gather.
  • Inverted: The Tropers are better behaved at Thanksgiving Dinner than any other time of the year.
  • Subverted: An argument seems to be brewing, but the family takes steps to defuse the conflict.
  • Double Subverted: But then Cousin Oliver throws in some insults, bringing the tension to the boiling point.
  • Parodied: The dinner party winds up resembling something more along the lines of a Wild Teen Party.
  • Zig Zagged: Alice and Bob go in, expecting a massive headache and free for all at the holiday dinner. However, everyone is behaving diplomatically and tactfully avoiding arguments. After a while, it becomes clear that they're all pasting on a smile to avoid or forestall the inevitable. Then Uncle Bob has had a bit too much alcohol and brings up religion, politics, or both. Cousin Karl tries to divert the conversation, but then Aunt Harriet insults Karl's girlfriend, and it all goes to hell after that.
  • Averted: The Tropers get along decently with their family.
  • Enforced: "We need to take our Dysfunctional Family Up to Eleven for this Christmas Episode!"
  • Lampshaded: "No, Alice, we can't do a big Thanksgiving dinner this year. Remember what happened last time?"
  • Invoked: Alice and Bob have relatives that are...troublesome and/or have grudges against one another.
  • Exploited: Alice and Bob know full-well the family's full of crap, and they want nothing to do with them. So they start the fight at dinner, hoping that they'll never be invited back.
  • Defied:
  • Discussed: "I know they're blood, but do we have to invite them? All they do is cause trouble...and eat all the pie!
  • Conversed: "Ugh, family. Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them."
  • Played For Drama: Someone's feelings get seriously hurt. It turns violent, causing the cops to show up. Someone ends up in the hospital, jail, or the jail's hospital ward, and the family members refuse to speak to one another after that.


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