Playing With: Not a Zombie
: A zombie is mistaken for a living human.
- Straight: Alice and Bob are wandering the post-apocalyptic wasteland, seeking food, shelter, clean water, and other people. They come across what looks like an injured person, only for that injured person to attack them.
- Exaggerated: Alice and Bob mistake an entire horde of zombies for living injured people, in spite of the obvious rotting flesh and Zombie Gait.
- Alice and Bob mistake a zombie for a person, but come with their gun raised and they recognize it's not a living person once they get close enough to examine the figure.
- The zombie is a Technically Living Zombie.
- Subverted: Alice and Bob quickly notice that the injured person is a zombie and either attack or flee.
- Double Subverted: But they don't notice that Carl, who was with them all this time, has been turned into a zombie.
- Parodied: The "zombie" turns out to be someone trying to sell them timeshares.
- Zig Zagged: Alice and Bob do not recognize the zombies as zombies, and the zombies don't recognize them as living.
- Alice and Bob know that the "person" they saw is a zombie and respond appropriately.
- No zombies in this setting.
- Enforced: "We need a good scare. Let's have one of the zombies pass for a living human."
- Lampshaded: "Oh, crap! That was no injured person. That was a zombie!"
- Invoked: Bob catches, cleans, embalms and dresses a zombie to make it look as lifelike (yet still injured) as possible, even adding a hidden speaker in its throat that says "Help" periodically, all in order to trick his enemies into thinking it's a human needing assistance.
- Exploited: ???
- Defied: Alice and Bob decide not to take chances; this could be a zombie, or even bait used by "smart" zombies. So they just continue on their way.
- Discussed: Alice admonishes Bob to be very careful, as zombies and injured people can look very similar and he shouldn't shoot, help, or call attention to himself without first making sure.
- Conversed: "Ever notice how, despite knowing there's zombies out there, characters never notice that they're in front of a corpse when it's a lone zombie?"
- Implied: Alice and Bob walk up to a zombie, and are clearly not scared of it.
- Deconstructed: Alice and Bob would much rather believe that they are being attacked by injured people than that they are zombies, because it would mean they're either insane or in a Zombie Apocalypse. This leads to them and most other people being killed because they can't confront the truth. This is a commentary on human culture being (ironically) a dumb horde of zombies unwilling to think differently.
- Reconstructed: Whenever someone first sees a zombie they have to go through a mental process to decide whether they fundamentally do or do not accept that the person before them is normal. Whether they can —quickly — decide that something is abnormal is the mark of people who do not cling to illusions and can adapt to new situations. Effectively, anyone who can avert this trope (even if their first thought isn't "zombie" but something else) has a shot at surviving and represents those few people who are not brain eating sheep.
- Played For Laughs: Alice and Bob —accidentally covered in so much talcum powder they aren't recognized as human by the zombies— walk around a zombie-infested city and think everyone is being much nicer and cleaner than normal.
- Played For Drama: Alice and Bob notice that a) the person is not so much "injured" as "undead" and b) that he/she was someone close to one or both of them.
The main page is Not a Zombie
either ... at least, I don't think