Playing With / Wax On, Wax Off

Basic Trope: A shifty mentor trains their students through menial chores.
  • Straight: Alice is undergoing training from Men-Tor. His training consists of making her wash his car and having her run to the grocery store.
  • Exaggerated: Men-Tor's training consists of making Alice do his taxes.
  • Downplayed: Men-Tor needs groceries, and realizes that running is an important part of Alice's training. So he combines them into one.
  • Justified: Alice isn't quite ready to undergo Training from Hell yet, and she needs to build up her strength and teach her discipline and self-control. This is the perfect way to train her.
  • Inverted:
    • Training from Hell
    • Men-Tor's training involves seemingly dangerous, explosive and life-threatening tasks that are actually rigged to be safe and easy.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice, halfway through her run to the grocery store, realizes that Men-Tor isn't trying to build her up - he's just using her to run his errands.
    • After Alice gets back from the grocery store, she asks how that's supposed to train her. Men-Tor tells her that it's payment, and wonders why she thought it was training.
  • Double Subverted:
    • When Alice confronts Men-Tor with this knowledge, he tells her that the realization was the training.
    • Men-Tor's training is just a bunch of chores that are not actually supposed to help her become stronger; but when the battle comes, Alice puts what she's learned from this "training" to use and it actually helps her win.
  • Parodied:
    • Men-Tor makes up incredibly flimsy excuses as to why the errands will help Alice.
    Alice: "How will doing your taxes help me?"
    Men-Tor: "Once you do my taxes, you will...uh... Be able to defeat the Evil Lord's malevolent accountancy legions! They're extremely dangerous foes, believe me!"
    • Alice grouses about washing Men-Tor's car at first, but after it's clean, she's able to lift a mountain with one hand.
  • Zig Zagged: Some errands are specifically meant to build up Alice, but others are just things Men-Tor doesn't want to do himself.
  • Averted: Alice undergoes regular martial arts training.
  • Enforced: "We'd really like to show some hardcore training, but the censors have been on our asses about violence! Let's do this instead..."
  • Lampshaded: "Let me guess, washing your car will somehow make me stronger, right?"
  • Invoked: "You are not ready for my true training. This will get you prepared for it."
  • Exploited: The Big Bad sets up a number of old, wise, completely fraudulent mentors. Their purpose is to put any would-be heroes through this kind of "training" indefinitely, keeping them too busy to actually interfere with the Big Bad's plans. Most of the heroes are just Genre Savvy enough to be expect the chores to be some kind of actual training, and never get fed up enough to quit.
  • Defied: Alice straight-up refuses to do Men-Tor's errands until he explains his training.
  • Discussed: "That whole car-washing thing is crazy, but it works!"
  • Conversed: "She hates it now, but I bet in 5 episodes, she'll be super strong!"
  • Deconstructed:
    • Alice fails to see the value in the training, and subsequently quits. Since she was The Chosen One, there's nothing stopping Emperor Evulz from taking over the world.
    • Alice spends months training by doing menial tasks for her mentor, but when she puts her "moves" to use in an actual fight, Reality Ensues and she promptly gets her ass handed to her. It turns out that chores should in no way substitute for traditional, more direct, training methods.
    • Alice is exploited by Men-Tor as a source of free labor as she's too naive to see that her "training" is useless.
  • Reconstructed: Alice, though questioning the value of the training, keeps with it and becomes stronger than ever.

As part of your training, you must return to Wax On, Wax Off - then get me a soda.