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Playing With: Gift-Giving Gaffe
Basic Trope: A character gives a gift that is not suitable.
  • Straight:
    • Bob gives Alice a tackle-box for their anniversary. Alice does not fish, but Bob does.
    • As a Christmas present, Bob gives Alice a vacuum cleaner, and Alice takes this to mean that Bob wants her to Stay in the Kitchen, thus bringing out her inner Straw Feminist and causing Bob to be Exiled to the Couch.
  • Exaggerated: Bob knows that Alice is a recovering alcoholic, and gets her a bottle of expensive champagne.
  • Downplayed: Bob gets a gift he forgot she already has.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted: Bob gives Alice a tackle-box for their anniversary, because he knows Alice loves fishing as much as (or more than) most guys do.
  • Subverted:
    • Bob gets Alice a tackle-box for their anniversary, but she thinks it is (or decides to use it as) a makeup storage box.
    • Bob gets Alice a vacuum cleaner for Christmas, because theirs broke and they really need a new one.
    • Bob paints up the tackle box to be more girly, so Alice can use it as (or will think it is) a makeup box.
    • Gift of the Magi Plot
    • For Christmas, Bob buys a tropical vacation or a jacuzzi, something they can enjoy together.
    • Bob buys Alice lingerie tailored to her every curve. Practical, comfy, and they can enjoy it together. Everybody wins.
    • Bob gives Alice a tackle box lined with red velvet as a jewellery box, since A) she has vast amounts of jewellery, and B) "Nobody would think to steal a tackle box".
  • Double Subverted:
    • Bob presented the gift by inviting Alice to go fishing with him.
    • Alice is initially happy that she can finally vacuum up all the crumbs and spills from the Christmas party, but her more cynical friend Carol interprets it as Bob telling Alice to Stay in the Kitchen and points this out to her. Alice gets offended.
    • Alice likes fishing (although Bob doesn't know this), and would much rather receive a tackle-box than a makeup box. (Because she might not even wear makeup to beging with!)
    • Because they got rid of stuff, neither of the gifts are useful.
    • The gift is obviously something Bob can enjoy as much as (or more than Alice).
    • Alice likes the lingerie, but wishes Bob would get her something more meaningful.
  • Parodied: Bob gets things that would be literally impossible for her to use such as a two hundred foot long toothbrush.
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted:
    • Bob doesn't get Alice a gift.
    • Bob gets a carefully-selected gift.
  • Enforced: Forgotten Anniversary, Idiot Plot.
  • Lampshaded: "A tackle box... How lovely."
  • Invoked: Bob realizes it's his and Alice's wedding anniversary, and he hasn't gotten her anything.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: Bob heads to a department store, where he remembers a necklace Alice has been Hint Dropping about since Christmas, and buys it.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Played for Laughs: Convenience Store Gift Shopping
  • Played for Drama:
    • The thoughtless gift causes Alice to believe Bob doesn't care about her, and she contemplates divorcing him.
    • Alice has struggled with alcoholism for a long time, and she has gotten sober and gotten her life together. She's kind of hard to buy for, but Bob remembers she likes wine (perhaps forgetting or not understanding that one drink will reverse Alice's recovery.) Alice falls Off The Wagon.

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