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Playing With: "Well Done, Son!" Guy
Basic Trope: A character who desperately wants the approval of another - most often his father.
  • Straight: Bob tries his hardest to gain the approval of Al, his incredibly distant father.
  • Exaggerated: Bob does everything in his power to gain Al's approval, when he barely registers on Al's radar.
  • Downplayed: It's important to Bob that he gain his father's approval, but it isn't a significant story element. However, it is one part of the character's drive to excel.
  • Justified:
    • Bob wants Al to love him.
    • Bob's mom Dahlia died when he was very young, so to him Al is the only parent he has, even if Al is a Jerkass.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: Al tells Bob that he didn't need to do anything to gain his approval - which confuses Bob, as he started doing things to improve his life for his own sake.
  • Double Subverted: However, as Bob really analyzed his behavior, he realized that subconsciously, he did do those things because that's what Al wanted.
  • Parodied: The workaholic or working-class son Bob tries to win the approval of his high-culture or art-focused father Al. (A good example is a Monty Python sketch called Working-Class Playwright.)
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: Either Al is open with his approval of Bob, or Bob feels no need to prove himself.
  • Enforced: "I know a situation to change Bob's unruly behavior: have him earn the respect of his dad."
  • Lampshaded: "Why is it that no matter what I do he'll never say 'I love you' or 'I'm proud of you'?"
  • Invoked:
    • Bob doesn't feel he needs to win Al's approval, but a third-party insists he must.
    • Al's father was like that with him, and he credits the emotional distance for allowing him to succeed. So, he does the same thing with Bob.
  • Exploited: Al is a Jerkass who deliberately maintains a facade of emotional distance so Bob will do things for him.
  • Defied: "Ah, screw it. I'm proud of you, son."
  • Discussed: "Seriously, it's impossible to please your parents, especially if it's your dad."
  • Conversed: "I'm not going to wait another 2 seasons until Bob gets the respect he deserves from his father!"
  • Deconstructed:
    • Al dies without ostensibly letting Bob know that he loved him. This tears Bob up inside and causes him to lash out at everyone and everything.
    • Alternatively, Al lets Bob know that he really doesn't care about him, which warps Bob psychologically.
    • Alternatively: After had for so long tried to gain Al's approval, Bob becomes more bitter and bitter about his father. When the day comes that Al finally express his approval, it's too late for Bob and instead of satisfaction Bob feels bitterness and even spite for the approval.
    • Bob was an unruly teenager who has given Al a hard time, but after realizing this, he decides to do whatever he can to gain back his father's respect, only for his attempts to fall on deaf ears.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Bob eventually comes to terms with his relationship with Al - he decides that raising him was a pretty good way to show love, even if he didn't say it all the time.
    • The Jerkass Al is soon reprimanded from someone outside the family, and he finally see that when everyone left him, Bob is the only one who still revere him. Al Took a Level in Kindness.

"Maybe- MAYBE dad will like me if I click this link! Right? RIGHT?!"

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