Playing With / Expectation Lowerer

Basic Trope: A character that exists to make the audience feel better about themselves, by being worse than the audience.
  • Straight: Annette is a brainless shallow vapid naive woman with no ability to think beyond her next manicure. This makes all the women in the audience feel smarter.
  • Exaggerated: Annette is a guest on The Jerry Springer Show and people watch her to feel much better about their own (often pathetic) private lives.
  • Downplayed: Annette is probably just a bit worse than most viewers. She thinks the French and Indian War was fought in India, but at least she knows where India is.
  • Justified: The show is about a prime-time Sitcom and one of the characters is an Expectation Lowerer.
  • Inverted:
    • Mary is much better than the audience in every way. This makes her The Scrappy amongst the fanbase.
    • Alternatively, Edna is an awesome person that the audience easily identifies with, and thus loves.
    • This Loser Is You: the crappy character is intended to make the audience feel worse.
  • Subverted: Annette uses Obfuscating Stupidity to make people underestimate her and pity her, so she can prove herself better than them later.
  • Double Subverted: ???
  • Parodied: ???
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: The character is either a This Loser Is You (i.e. the audience identifies with a terribly flawed character), Escapist Character (i.e. the audience identifies with a highly idealized character), or a Mary Sue (i.e. the audience does not identify with the highly idealized character).
  • Enforced: "Okay, Viewers Are Morons but we have to make it look like we don't think they're morons... I know, I'll put in a character so stupid they'll feel smart next to them!.
  • Lampshaded: "Danny, you're so stupid that you make everyone around you feel smarter!"
  • Invoked: Annette pretends to be stupid to become better-liked in-universe.
  • Exploited: Edward realizes Benny is so stupid that other people around him feel smarter. Edward then convinces Benny to become a stand up comedian, and acts as his agent in order to rake in money.
  • Defied: ???
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: The audience watches this show out of Schadenfreude. Those bastards! They get satisfaction by feeling pity!
  • Reconstructed: This pity might actually motivate the audience to do some good in Real Life.

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