Playing With / Tough Love

Basic Trope: A character, usually a parent, antagonizes their loved ones in order to make them better.
  • Straight: Shannon mistreats her daughter Sharon, but only in a way to make her stronger in life.
  • Exaggerated: Shannon beats Sharon to the point of almost killing her, but this is only to make her a legit badass.
  • Downplayed: Shannon isn't physically abusive, but she puts down Sharon day by day in a way to make her a better person.
  • Justified:
    • Shannon's parents used the same parenting before and she thought that this will work on Sharon.
    • Shannon realizes that being tough on Sharon will keep her on the straight and narrow.
    • Shannon realizes that acting hard on Sharon is necessary for her growth in everyday life.
  • Inverted:
    • Shannon treats Sharon with kindness and respect, but this is only to make her weak.
    • Sharon wants to make Shannon a better mother by abusing her.
  • Subverted: Shannon acts cruel to Sharon, but she took it too far, so she decides to treat her gently instead.
  • Double Subverted: ...But realizes that doesn't do her any good, so she returns disciplining her.
  • Parodied: Shannon does things like tossing Sharon over cliffs or into tiger pits to improve her algebra grades.
  • Zig Zagged: Shannon uses tough love on Sharon only whenever she receives a low grade, rebelling against her authority, or when she only wants an excuse to balance out her kindness and meanness.
  • Averted: Shannon raises her daughter very well without any cruelty or abuse involved.
  • Enforced: "We need a reason why Sharon is able to go through a bunch of hard stuff without cracking, but also why she's so distant with people and cynical. Let's give her a mother who raises her with Tough Love!"
  • Lampshaded:
  • Invoked: Shannon, a usually kind parent, wants to try to act hard on Sharon to test out if this sort of parenting works.
  • Exploited: Shannon is disciplining Sharon not to make her a better person, but only to make her feel inferior to herself.
  • Defied: "I don't want to treat my daughter like that. She'll start rebelling against me."
  • Discussed: Shannon and Jason have a heated discussion on whether or not treating Sharon in a certain way has its benefits.
  • Conversed: "Does anything think that a parent treating the child like crap is an efficient way to shoehorn morality, especially in television shows?"
  • Deconstructed:
  • Reconstructed: Sharon soon comes to terms that it did made her better, and for that, she comes to personally thank Shannon for raising her. Shannon, who had thought Sharon hated her because of this treatment, was speechless. Then for the first time in years, the two had a heartwarming moment together as mother and daughter.

Back to Tough Love.