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Playing With: Snipe Hunt
Basic Trope: A character sends another (usually a rookie) off on an impossible errand to humiliate them.
  • Straight: Bob sends ensign Alice off to catch an evasive snipe in a bag, knowing full well that they are too fast to catch, or not found in the area at all.
  • Exaggerated: Bob sends Alice off to fetch magic dust from where the aurora touches the ten-mile-high mountain in the middle of Kansas.
  • Downplayed: Bob sends Alice off on a difficult, but not impossible, errand, in order to get rid of her for a while.
  • Justified:
    • Bob is finding ways to distract Alice so she won't be in the way for an event that's happening in town, adding "don't look in town for the snipe, somebody else would have found it if it was in town."
    • Bob runs a camp for lucky people. Although Bob doesn't expect Alice to find a snipe he expects her to find something valuable on the snipe hunt to prove her luck.
  • Inverted: Alice comes back with a rare snipe after Bob asked her to go get groceries.
  • Subverted: Alice comes back after awhile, with the snipe in the bag.
  • Double Subverted: When she opens the bag, it turns out to be a chicken that she mistook for a snipe.
  • Parodied: Alice travels around the world for three years to find a snipe, returning covered in scratches, bruises, cuts, and burns.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob sends Alice on a snipe hunt. Snipes live in that area, none have the features Bob described, but there is, in fact, one who does which Alice brings back.
  • Averted:
    • It never occurs to Bob to do something like that to Alice.
    • The target of the hunt is perfectly logical and easily obtainable.
  • Enforced: Bob is setup as a Jerkass With A Heart Ofgold, so they use the snipe hunt to show Bob's jerkassness and Bob's worry when Alice doesn't come back to show he really does care.
  • Lampshaded: "So you sent Alice to hunt something that doesn't actually exist just to insult her when she doesn't find it?"
  • Invoked: Bob wants Alice away for a bit doing something that shouldn't bother anybody.
  • Exploited: Bob uses Alice to find rare object when she actually comes back with a snipe, making a fortune off the rare things.
  • Defied: "I'm not falling for that, I know snipes don't live around here."
  • Discussed: Two soldiers are discussing the prankster in their unit who does this, mentioning the time they got sent to fill out ID-10-T forms.
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: Alice is a Na´ve Newcomer. Bob sends her to look for a snipe. Alice does so in earnest. when she finally realizes that it was a Snipe Hunt she is utterly humiliated. The incident permanently sours her relationship with Bob.
  • Reconstructed: ...until Charlie comes along. Bob sends Charlie on a snipe hunt, and Alice sees that it's all just a harmless prank and an Actually Pretty Funny one at that. All is forgiven.

Back to Snipe Hunt, and don't forget to bring a crate of balloon juice!

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