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Playing With / Actor Allusion

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Basic Trope: A reference to a character's previous role.

  • Straight: In Alice and Bob, the character Bob finds a nickel, a reference to the actor's previous role as Daniel, a man who lost a nickel.
  • Exaggerated: Bob spends an entire episode playing out a plot from his previous work.
  • Downplayed: Bob coughs exactly the way the actor's previous character, Daniel, would cough.
  • Justified: Bob's actor is playing in Alice and Bob As Himself, and is referring in-universe to one of his roles.
  • Inverted: Every character is based on one of Bob's actor's previous roles, except for Bob.
    • Daniel loses a nickel, but the viewers don't know why, until it's revealed that Daniel's actor is leaving the show to play Bob, on a show that is about Bob finding a nickel. The creators of the former show put in the detail as a sendoff tribute.
  • Subverted:
    • In Alice and Bob, we are shown a glimpse of a nickel, a reference to a past show wherein Bob's actor played Daniel, a man who famously lost a nickel. Alice is the one that finds the nickel, though.note 
    • Alice and Bob frequently makes allusions to a past show wherein Alice's actress played Claire. When the plot requires Bob to have lost something, though, they choose not to have him lose any coin at all, despite his actor earlier having played a character who famously lost a nickel.
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  • Double Subverted: But then she loses the nickel at some point during the episode. Bob eventually finds it in the next episode.
  • Parodied: In a comedy about show business, one of the characters insists that his latest work contain multiple references to his old TV show, "for the fans". It causes tremendous fan backlash leading to the failure of the movie and the end of his career.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob does some things very similarly to other characters his actor previously portrayed, while in other respects he bears no resemblance to any of them whatsoever.
  • Averted: Bob makes no reference to the actor's previous roles.
  • Enforced: The producers hope they can turn fans of the actor's previous roles into fans of their own show.
  • Lampshaded: "I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine."
  • Invoked: Bob becomes a fan of the work that featured Daniel and decides to emulate him.
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  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: Alice tells Bob, "Stop acting like Daniel from My Heart's Desire! You're nothing like him!"
  • Discussed: "Haven't I seen that guy in some movie or something?"
  • Conversed: Role Association

Back to Actor Allusion

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