Playing With / Starving Student

Basic Trope: A college student can't afford food because everything else is expensive.
  • Straight: Bob, a student at Tropeville State, has difficulty affording food, so he doesn't eat regularly.
  • Exaggerated: Bob is only able to eat a couple times a month, and even then it's only something like ramen.
  • Downplayed: Bob eats semi-regularly, but it's not very much and it's not very good quality.
  • Justified:
    • Bob is paying for his education out of pocket, which sadly doesn't leave much for food.
    • Bob is living off-campus, but the high cost of rent and utilities (even with roommates) doesn't leave much for food.
    • Bob has special dietary needs that the campus dining hall just isn't very good at accommodating.
    • In order to save money, the school does not offer meal plans to its students.
  • Inverted: Bob has too much money and is hardly able to eat all the food he has.
  • Subverted:
    • Bob is seen eating a meal at a pretty decent restaurant, so he can't be doing that bad.
    • Bob has a meal plan at school.
    • Bob's mom sends him care packages full of food periodically
    • Bob buys groceries.
    • Bob is starving, but he's not a student.
  • Double Subverted:
    • But later he's seen, stomach growling, wondering why he splurged like that.
    • This year. Next year, tuition goes up, and Bob (or his family) has to drop the meal plan.
    • Bob dislikes the food that the dining hall has to offer (even though it's an all-you-can-eat buffet and he's not the one footing the bill, so he doesn't have to pay for it), so he'll have to buy groceries.
    • The food is all junk food: high in calories, fat, sugar, and/or sodium, but low in actual nourishment. Or, she does send "real" food, but a storm delays the arrival of the package.
    • He can't afford to spend much on those groceries, and even has to rely on food stamps and/or a local or campus food pantry.
    • He's a recent grad who can't find work or a Tragic Dropout.
  • Parodied: Bob has to subsist on the fumes from the nearby bakery, or Food Porn on the Internet.
  • Zig Zagged: His parents send him varying amounts of money - if they send him a decent check, he can eat pretty well, but a short check means plenty of ramen.
  • Averted: Bob makes sure to budget enough for food, or has some means to get food for free.
  • Enforced: They've already written Bob as coming from a poor family, or not having a family and supporting himself, so even if he can afford to go to school, he's going to struggle with affording everything else while he's there.
  • Lampshaded:
    • "Poor Bob. I feel sorry for him, but he'll never be hungry again after he gets that med school degree."
    • "(knock, knock) Sorry to bother you, man, but I'm starving. You have any food you don't want to eat?"
  • Invoked: The heads of Tropeville State limit their students' finances to teach them adversity.
  • Exploited: Alice, a wealthy student, uses Food as Bribe to get Bob to do her work while she goes out and parties.
  • Defied:
    • The school (or the law) requires that any of its students (or at least students who live on campus) have a meal plan built into their tuition/financial aid package. Even though the dining hall's offerings aren't the best, they're better than nothing, so Bob eats them.
    • Bob, who is living off-campus, applies for government and/or charitable assistance, and gets it due to the fact that he has low (or no) income. He gets some help (even if it's limited) with groceries.
    • Bob's parents send him food and money, and he budgets both wisely.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Played For Laughs: Despite the food in the cafeteria being plentiful (and free), the students opt for starvation because it's just that bad.
  • Played For Drama: Bob's focus and therefore grades begin to suffer because he's eating so little. He's kicked out of school, but can't get a good job because of his bad transcript, so he's still starving.

Back to Starving Student. If I hadn't bought art supplies, I'd love to eat...

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/PlayingWith/StarvingStudent