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Playing With / Accidental Theft

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Basic Trope: A character accidentally commits theft.

  • Straight: Bob leaves a store without realizing he forgot to pay for the pack of gum he picked up.
  • Exaggerated: All theft is accidental, even forgetting to return a pen one uses while filling out a form, and everyone who does so views it as a serious crime.
  • Downplayed: Bob accidentally steals one item in the process of intentionally stealing others.
  • Justified:
    • Bob has the item smuggled into his backpack by someone who is attempting to steal, making him indirectly responsible.
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    • Bob accidentally takes someone else’s item because it looks exactly like his.
  • Subverted:
    • Bob is later revealed to have intentionally stolen the item.
    • The accidentally stolen item is then revealed to have been free all along, so it wasn’t technically theft in the first place.
  • Double Subverted: But then it turns out that he’d accidentally stolen the wrong thing.
  • Inverted: Bob accidentally returns something he stole.
  • Zig-Zagged: Some of what Bob steals is intentional, some of it not.
  • Lampshaded: “C’mon, you don’t think I stole that on purpose, do you?”
  • Averted: All theft is intentional.

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