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Playing With: Head Desk
Basic Trope: A character expresses intense frustration by banging their head against a desk, wall, or some other nearby item.
  • Straight: Alice is helping Bob with math, but even after hours of labored explanations, he still doesn't understand basic fractions. Alice, frustrated, slams her head against the table.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Alice is helping Bob with math, and his first question is "What are fractions?" Cue headdesk from Alice.
    • Alice slams her head into the table so hard that she breaks it.
    • Bob says something stupid in his office, and all of his co-workers headdesk simultaneously.
  • Downplayed:
    • Frustrated, Alice leans her head on a desk, but doesn't bang on it.
    • Alice places a cushion on her desk before hitting it with her head.
  • Justified: Alice can't think of a better way to express her anger.
  • Inverted: After hours of fruitless tutoring, Alice grabs Bob's head and bangs it against the table.
  • Subverted: After hours of fruitless tutoring, Alice prepares to bang her head against the table... then takes a deep breath and tries yet another explanation.
  • Double Subverted: When Bob still fails to understand, Alice surrenders to temptation and proceeds to headdesk.
  • Parodied: When Bob tells Alice he doesn't know what time it is, she proceeds to bang her head against every piece of furniture in the room.
  • Zig Zagged: Alice's reactions to frustration have no consistency — one minute she'll calmly accept a missed deadline, the next she'll headdesk at a missed phone call.
  • Averted: Alice and Bob are starring in a training video teaching tutors how to calmly help troublesome students.
  • Enforced: Alice is a Sit Comic famous for her exaggerated headdesks.
  • Lampshaded: "Excuse me, Bob, I need a bang-my-head-against-the-table break."
  • Invoked: Alice is hoping that her headdesk display will motivate Bob to study harder.
  • Exploited: Bob deliberately says something stupid, knowing that Alice will headdesk.
  • Defied: Alice knows that headdesking won't help Bob understand her explanations. So she use other methods to channel her anger, such as buying a stress ball.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: "Gee, how does Alice stay alive with all that headdesking? It's like she's got an iron skull or something."
  • Implied: After training Bob, Alice has a headache.

Back to Headdesk

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