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Playing With: Tropes For Dummies
Basic Trope: A book is a parody of X for Dummies or The Complete Idiot's Guide to X.
  • Straight:
    • Alice wants to rob a museum. She reads Robbing Museums for Dummies.
    • The Complete Idiot's Guide to Stealing the Hope Diamond, an oddly specific book about how to remove one object from the Smithsonian's National Museum of National History.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Alice has trouble understanding Robbing Museums for Dummies. Fortunately, Alice finds a CliffsNotes for this book.
    • Alice depends on these books for mundane tasks: Climbing Stairways for Dummies, Opening Doors for Dummies, and Breathing Air for Dummies.
  • Downplayed: Alice reads a real book, such as The Complete Idiot's Guide to Auto Repair.
  • Justified: High levels of crime have created a market for books like Robbing Museums for Dummies.
  • Inverted: Alice has lots of how to books, but none of them are called anything for Dummies.
  • Subverted: Alice has Robbing Museums for Dummies, but she plans to assassinate the mayor, not rob a museum.
  • Double Subverted: ...but the mayor, trying to escape from Alice, hides in a museum exhibit.
  • Parodied:
    • Alice does Throw the Book at Them. The book happens to be Knocking People Unconscious for Dummies, but Alice never reads the book.
    • Alice breaks into the Smithsonian but finds that the Hope Diamond is already missing, because someone else has already read the The Complete Idiot's Guide to Stealing the Hope Diamond.
    • Alice, who's illiterate, tries to read Reading for Dummies.
  • Zig Zagged: Alice uses Robbing Museums for Dummies to rob a museum, but then decides not to use Slaying Dragons for Dummies when trying to slay a dragon. She then decides to order a copy, but it never comes. Finally, she finds a copy of Slaying Dragons for Dummies on an old shelf, but doesn't use it—she just keeps it in her backpack. When she is about to slay the dragon, she pulls out the book, but it is eaten by the dragon.
  • Averted:
    • Alice asks for Robbing Museums for Dummies, but the book does not exist.
    • Alice learns how to rob a museum, but not by reading a book. Perhaps she has The Gift, or gets Improvised Training.
  • Enforced: Product Placement by For Dummies.
  • Lampshaded: Bob mentions that The Complete Idiot's Guide to Stealing the Hope Diamond should not exist, because the subject is too specific for an entire book.
  • Invoked: Bob gives Alice a copy of Robbing Museums for Dummies so that she can use it to rob the museum.
  • Exploited: The museum guards have studied Robbing Museums for Dummies and will catch anyone who attempts the methods from the book.
  • Defied: Alice buys a how-to guide that does not end in For Dummies.
  • Discussed: "If you want to rob a museum, maybe you should read Robbing Museums for Dummies."
  • Conversed: "This show is so inaccurate! Of course there's no book called Robbing Museums for Dummies."
  • Deconstructed: Alice reads Robbing Museums for Dummies but comes out with only a preliminary understanding of the topic, and is immediately arrested when she tries to rob the museum.
  • Reconstructed: The world's museums are now safer with Alice locked up.

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