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Basic Trope: A creature needs to feed on Phlebotinum to survive.
Straight: Alice's pet troposaur, Troptor, feeds on troponium in the same way most creatures feed on carbohydrates.
Exaggerated: Alice's pet troposaur must breath, eat, and remain near troponium or steadily go insane before dying.
Downplayed: Troponium is an important suppliment in a troposaur's diet, but there are terrestrial alternatives and artificial supplements available and they won't see any negative effects unless they go without for a long time (and even then it's more like suffering from a vitamin deficency than instant death).
Justified: Alice and her troposaur come from the planet Tropius, where tropium is as common as water on Earth. It's basically the Tropian equivalent of an amphibian.
Inverted: Alice's troposaur is allergic to troponium.
Subverted: Alice appears to need it herself, but admits that it's more like a mild addiction, like cigarettes, coffee, or apples.
Double Subverted: It turns out while she doesn't technically need it, the withdrawal effects are quite unpleasant (much like going cold turkey on nicotine or caffeine).
Parodied: Bob's favorite snack happens to be one of the few terrestrial sources of troponium, forcing him to constantly keep his stash safe from Alice and Troptor.
Zig Zagged: Alice and Troptor claim to need it to survive but only ever seem to be at risk when the plot calls for it.
Averted: The flora and fauna of Tropius doesn't have any unusual dietary requirements by terrestrial standards.
Enforced: The writers have Alice and Troptor feed on troponium to remind everyone that they're aliens and keep their planet relevant.