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Playing With: Ironic Birthday
Basic Trope: A character returns home to find someone holding a surprise birthday party for him/her after something bad has happened to him/her.
  • Straight: On his birthday, Bob discovers that the cute girl he had a crush on is actually working for the Big Bad, and ends up losing an important Plot Coupon to the Big Bad. When he returns home, he's greeted with a surprise party.
  • Exaggerated: With all his friends dead, all his MacGuffins taken and his life in tatters after a shocking defeat by the Big Bad Bob arrives home to find his parents yelling "Surprise!" and throwing the world's greatest party.
  • Downplayed: Bob flunks Organic Chemistry, then returns to his dorm to find his four best friends with a cake and a couple balloons.
  • Justified: It's Bob's birthday and he took a stupid risk the day before.
  • Inverted: Bob enjoys his surprise party, THEN bad things happen
  • Subverted: Bad things happen to Bob, he walks home, and then finds out that everyone forgot his birthday
  • Double Subverted: ...but it turns out they were only pretending to forget.
  • Parodied: Anytime anything bad happens to Bob, no matter when it is or what it is, somebody throws him a birthday party.
  • Zig Zagged: On his birthday, Bob discovers that the cute girl he had a crush on is actually working for the Big Bad, and ends up losing an important Plot Coupon to the Big Bad. When he returns home, he's upset to discover that his family isn't there, thinking they've forgot his birthday. Then his friends show up in a limo to take him out to dinner and a concert to celebrate his birthday. During his birthday celebration, his conversation with his best friend reveals that the Plot Coupon is rigged to lead him to the Big Bad and the cute girl was actually a Double Agent who's really on Bob's side and feigning her loyalties to the Big Bad. Then the Big Bad shows up, gets drunk, starts a fight, and ruins Bob's whole birthday. He slinks home to find that his family was hiding behind the sofa the whole time, and they would have thrown him a second Ironic Birthday party, but they're just cranky now.
  • Averted:
    • Nothing bad happens
    • The party was planned in advance, so Bob knew it was coming
    • It's not Bob's birthday
  • Enforced: "We need to juxtapose Bob's defeat with a happy scene, have his family throw him a party!"
  • Lampshaded: "It figures that I'd be defeated on my birthday, and now I've gotta go to that party."
  • Invoked: The Mole hears about the surprise party his friends are planning, and she offers to keep him away from his house while they are setting up the party. She plans on using this opportunity to steal the Plot Coupon and ruin his birthday at the same time For the Evulz.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: Bob's friend Alice knows that Bob isn't in the mood for a birthday party after what has happened, and takes Bob back to her house, telling him he can stay there overnight and then contacts the people that are waiting for him at his house to let them know what is going on.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: Having to keep up the facade of happiness puts Bob under intense emotional strain
  • Reconstructed: The knowledge that his family and friends still love him enough to throw a party for him and remember his birthday helps Bob climb out of a depression cause by his defeat.

Back to Ironic Birthday

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