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Playing With: Lotus-Eater Machine
Basic Trope: A dream made to keep The Hero from returning to reality.
  • Straight: Bob is in a world that is paradise to him, but fade...he's in Carl's machine!
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed: Bob is in a simulated world that's pretty much the same as the real world.
  • Justified:
    • Carl realized that Bob would never stop until his work was done...and so made a world where it was.
    • The device is Bob's way of taking a vacation. A dream lasts 10 seconds, but can feel like ages. A quick nip into What Might Have Been so he can remember what he's fighting for, and he's right as rain.
  • Inverted:
    • Carl traps Bob in his worst nightmare.
    • Carl puts Bob in this for the express purpose of making him want to stop Carl.
    • Carl gets rid of Bob by making him leave the machine everyone in their world is in.
    • Bob thinks Carl has put him in a Lotus-Eater Machine, but the audience knows that this is reality.
  • Subverted:
    • The machine was the fantasy, the paradise is reality.
    • Bob's paradise becomes a nightmare.
  • Double Subverted:
    • ...Except that was layering Carl used to trick Bob.
    • ...And then is paradise again as soon as he deals with the threat. People love him even more now!
  • Parodied: Carl suggests that it would be easier for Bob if he weren't a hero, and the mere suggestion causes him to fall into a dream.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob's in a machine of Carl's machinations, except that's the reality. But not really, that was a clever ruse. And now it's becoming nightmarish, but Bob saves the day and makes everything better...but that pushes it into Uncanny Valley perfection, making it no longer perfect...
  • Averted: Carl doesn't use this sort of manipulation.
  • Enforced: "We need Bob to be out of the way for the first half of the episode, but he would never let this happen..."
  • Lampshaded: "Ah, yes. Put me in a perfect world. I'll never figure it out."
  • Invoked:
    • "I won't make you stay. I'll just make you want to."
    • A huge amount of money is invested in creating a perfect virtual reality.
  • Exploited: Bob realizes early on he's in a fake world, but loves it so much he decides to just stay.
  • Defied:
  • Discussed: "And now you're going to get me out of the way by offering me a fake image of my heart's desire."
  • Conversed: "You'd think Carlos would know Bill's willpower is too strong for that sort of thing."
  • Deconstructed:
    • Bob's dream world is perfect...but humans shouldn't be, and the fact that they are makes everything creepy.
    • Bob becomes horribly depressed at being the only person who ever makes a mistake.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Carl realizes this in a simulation, and makes everything just imperfect enough.
    • Carl mass-produces these machines as "mini-vacation machines".
  • Played For Laughs: Bob's heart's desire is...half a cup of sugar. Turning it into a nightmare is spilling water into the sugar. Cue Big "NO!".
  • Played For Drama: Bob desperately wants to stay, and no one can manage to get him to leave even though they'll all die. Then Alice spits it out, forever changing the show.

Go back to Lotus-Eater Machine. It's so nice...

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