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Playing With / Bad News in a Good Way

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Basic Trope: Telling bad news, but acting/sounding as if it's good news.

  • Straight: Alice says to Bob, "Something interesting happened today at work. I was fired."
  • Exaggerated: Alice's news is that the world is about to explode, but she sounds as happy as if she'd won the lottery.
  • Downplayed: Alice tells Bob she lost a coin she found calmly. It's unfortunate but has no major impact on life as they know it.
  • Justified:
    • Bob is prone to throwing things when he's mad and she doesn't want to make Bob mad lest he throw something at her, so she tries to sound as happy as possible to trick him into thinking it's good news.
    • Alice doesn't want to make Bob unhappy because she's just nice.
  • Inverted: Alice says, "You may not want to hear this. I got a promotion."
  • Subverted:
    • "That wasn't the interesting thing, though."
    • It turns out that Alice finds her job boring, so she truly thinks being fired is more interesting, perhaps even an Unishment.
  • Double Subverted: "The interesting thing is that Charlie got fired too."
  • Parodied: Alice is a bit scatty and isn't really trying to hide anything, she's just confused. So she says to Bob, "Hey, good news, I got fired!" then pauses and says, "Hold on — that's bad news!"
  • Zig-Zagged: "Something interesting happened today at work. I was fired. That's not the interesting thing though, what's really interesting is that Charlie was fired too. But on an unrelated note, we got this amazing new job..."
  • Averted:
    • Alice does not have bad news.
    • Alice delivers the bad news in a bad or neutral way.
  • Enforced: The writers want an episode where Alice gets fired, but want to avoid making it a tearjerker.
  • Lampshaded:
    • "No matter how happy you make it sound, Alice, it's still bad news!"
    • This is a habit of Alice's, so whenever she uses the word 'interesting', Bob says, "Good interesting or bad interesting?"
  • Invoked:
    Alice: How am I supposed to tell Bob I was fired?!
    Charlie: Just sound happy when you tell him.
  • Exploited: Bob usually grasps his conversation partners' tone better than he does their speeches' content, so Alice and others talk normally to make him think all is well.
  • Defied: Alice decides not to beat around the bush and outright says, "I was fired today."
  • Discussed: "I had this friend who always sounded so happy when delivering bad news."
  • Advertisement:
  • Conversed: "These characters suck at Breaking Bad News Gently."
  • Implied: We just hear Bob say, "That's not good news at all!"
  • Deconstructed: Bob becomes concerned whenever he hears Alice say something 'interesting' happened.
  • Reconstructed: She uses the word 'interesting' to describe just as many good scenarios as bad ones.
  • Played for Laughs: Alice uses a Hurricane of Euphemisms for being fired, all in a happy voice. Bob doesn't know the meaning of any of the euphemisms, so he just looks confused.
  • Played for Drama: This leads to Alice being poor for the episode.

Back to Bad News in a Good Way.

Example of: