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Playing With / Be Yourself

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Basic Trope: A character learns that it's better to be honest and true to their own nature than to put on airs.

  • Straight: Danny, a typically nerdy character, is persuaded to drop some of his usual interests and tastes in order to appear "cooler". After he does, he comes to realize that he doesn't really like the new version of himself much and misses his old interests, so reverts to his old personality.
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  • Exaggerated: Danny undergoes an entire personality and imagery overhaul- only to end up completely overhaul himself back to who he was before with no traces of his previous personality remaining.
  • Downplayed: Though he ultimately decides the "cool" schtick isn't for him, Danny nonetheless comes out slightly changed as a result, and has picked up some new hobbies he decided he liked while he was attempting to be cool.
  • Justified:
    • Someone who is comfortable in their own skin and accepts themselves for who they are is generally going to be more stable, content and happy than someone who is forcing themselves to artificially change their personality when they don't really believe in it or enjoy it.
    • The 'new' Danny was unpleasant and unlikeable, or was a drastically unwelcome shift from the original.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: Danny, a typically nerdy character, is persuaded to drop some of his usual interests and tastes in order to appear "cooler". After he does, everyone expects him to revert back to normal — however, Danny finds he quite likes the new Danny, so decides to make the change permanent.
  • Double Subverted: He eventually gets sick of the new Danny and changes back.
  • Parodied:
    • Danny changes something incredibly minor about himself, such as the colour of the socks he wears. This ends up causing him such anguish that he dramatically realizes he needs to change back to the old colour.
    • Danny is persuaded to change his personality, and was prepared to change back, but then he suddenly realizes that he is still himself, so he doesn't change back!
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  • Zig Zagged: Danny is persuaded to drop some of his usual interests and tastes in order to appear "cooler". He ends up missing some of his old interests and tastes and goes back to them; others, however, he finds he doesn't miss so much. Similarly, while some of the newer elements of his personality change are not for him and discarded, others he quite likes or are beneficial to him so he decides to keep them.
  • Averted: Danny isn't called upon to change his personality or change it back.
  • Enforced: The show is for kids, and the producers want to do An Aesop about how it's okay to be yourself, and you don't have to succumb to peer-pressure if you don't feel comfortable doing so.
  • Lampshaded: "You can do anything you want, Danny — you just need to Be Yourself."
  • Invoked: Danny has been feeling discontented with his life of late and so intentionally goes out to try new experiences to either break out of his rut or remind him of why he has that comfort zone in the first place.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied:
  • Discussed: "It's heartwarming when a good person shines with his own natural character, but would we ever want to give the same advice to a complete monster?"
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed:
    • Danny believes that he needs to 'be himself' and resists any attempts to change him, reasoning that people who don't like him for who he is aren't worth having around. Only problem is — that Danny 'really' is not nice and totally likeable. Danny is dooming himself to loneliness and isolation through his own stubbornness and selfishness.
    • Or worse, Danny is a sadistic murderer who really enjoys torturing and killing his victims. He is utterly unrepentant for his murders, and even boasts that he is just doing what he was born to do. He is clearly, in a most horrific way, being himself.
    • The people telling Danny to "be himself" are toxic, destructive influences whose definition of "be yourself" is more along the lines of "sink with us", and he refuses to listen to them because he knows that they feel threatened by his attempts to better himself and would rather that he go back to wading in mediocrity.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Later on, he met other people who are willing to accept his good, his bad and his ugly. Danny may not be popular, but at least he has true friends that he is willing to be loyal towards.
    • "Be yourself" falls flat for our resident Jerkass, but the idea is re-structured into "be honest about who and what you are". This is much more helpful to Danny, since it provides both a springboard to self-improvement ("the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have it") and to self-acceptance ("...and that's okay.").
  • Played For Laughs: Danny tried hard to be a cool suave womanizer, and was rebuked and told to 'Be Yourself'. The scene cuts to show Danny being an unhygienic Lazy Bum perpetually glued to his TV.
  • Played For Drama: Danny struggles with how he should be and act. He is uncomfortable with and doesn't like acting against his inclinations, but knows that his unpalatable true self hidden well beneath his mask will alienate him from his family and close friends if it were revealed.

Want to go back to the trope? All you have to do is Be Yourself.

Example of: