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Playing With: Mermaid Problem
Basic Trope: A male character starts a romance with a mermaid and can't figure out how to go all the way.
  • Straight: Bob the human meets Alice the mermaid - they fall in love but can't make love.
  • Exaggerated: Bob will vow to never have sex due to his love for Alice.
  • Downplayed: ???
  • Justified: Alice the mermaid lays eggs.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • "She has a mouth."
    • External fertilization, like fish. "She has a hand."
    • Turn out that part of her scales, just below her waist, can split and reveal vital organ.
  • Double Subverted: Alice insanely bites down like a shark when he tries oral.
  • Parodied: Bob is a "mersexual" but has no idea how to make love with mermaids. It amuses mermaids to not tell him.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob and Alice the mermaid can't make love. Alice has herself turned into a human. Bob turns himself into a merman. Of course since she was a Mermaid until recently, Alice knows just what to do.
  • Averted:
    • Alice is a human woman wearing a prosthetic tail over her legs.
    • Mermaids in this setting are aquatic mammals and possess fairly similar genitalia.
    • Bob and Alice don't want to have sex
    • Alice has two tails instead of one, with female genitalia in between.
  • Enforced: "We can't have love making on screen. Make Alice a mermaid."
  • Lampshaded: Bob: "I have to do WHAT?"
  • Invoked: Bob is trapped on a planet of incompatible mermaids as a form of Ironic Hell.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: Bob has no problem working out the biology of her kind.
  • Discussed: Alice: "I'm ready Bob, take me now!" Bob: "How do I do that?" Alice: "Loser."
  • Conversed: "Oh, god, how many more times will we have to see this plot point happening in series who include mermaids? Can't they just have a series where the mermaids either aren't involved in romance or have it with their own kind?"
  • Deconstructed: Despite superficial similarities, mermaids and humans are far too biologically different for a romantic or sexual relationship to work. They have fundamental misconceptions about how such a relationship would work - Bob can't get past her lack of 'equipment', Alice doesn't understand why he sees sex as more than just reproduction. They have a short, rocky relationship and go their separate ways.
  • Reconstructed: Bob has a fetish for mermaids, and Alice has a fascination with humans. They make it work.
  • Played For Laughs: "I put it where?"
  • Played For Drama: Alice thinks because of this problem she and Bob were never meant to be.

Back to the Mermaid Problem - we think the answer may involve seamen.

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