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Playing With / Bunny-Ears Lawyer

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Basic Trope: A character with a very definite and noticeable quirk,note  but who is so incredibly competent in an area of expertise that everyone overlooks or ignores it (at least after first meeting).

  • Straight: Bob wears a pair of bunny ears on his head, but he's an expert lawyer.
  • Exaggerated: Bob wears a bunny costume all the freaking time and insists on being called "Fluffy McMuffins" (possibly to the point of getting his name legally changed), and yet, he has a 100% success rate in the courtroom. He also manages to avoid any case that the subject is faking or exaggerating, showing him an excellent judge of character.
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  • Downplayed: Bob absolutely loves carrots, and revels in the inevitable nickname "Bugs". Everyone thinks he's a bit eccentric, but he's good at his job.
  • Justified:
    • Obfuscating Stupidity
    • Bob has a state-dependent memory and cannot remember his legal education without wearing bunny ears.
    • Bob thinks that his uniquely gifted lateral thinking and problem-solving skills are somehow related to the unusual way his mind works, but he hasn't found a therapist who's sufficiently outwardly-bizarre-but-expert-in-his-field for him to trust their opinion.
    • Bob's quirks are to throw people off, deciding that he always had fun at Easter he wears bunny ears happily everywhere.
    • Bob isn't quirky at all! He's just more expressive than other people. It's just the amount he lets out makes him seem odd, such as wearing bunny ears during work because they remind him of his childhood and why he wanted to be a lawyer, which most people dub odd but he has good reasons for wearing them and lacks inhibition.
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    • Bob is hard of hearing, and his hearing aid looks like bunny ears.
  • Inverted:
    • Bob is terrible at his job, but he's so entertainingly quirky that his employers keep him around anyway.
    • Bob has No Sense of Humor and is incredibly serious, and yet he is horrendous at his job.
    • Bob is a deadpan Consummate Professional.
  • Subverted:
    • Bob's client Alice believes that he's a competent lawyer ... until he calls the March Hare as his first witness.
    • Bob is incredibly competent (which is important for the plot), but the fact he's a little off means he's been fired from every job he's ever applied to (if he's even lucky enough to make it through the interview).
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied:
    • In this universe, lawyers are not taken seriously unless they wear bunny ears.
    • Alice chooses a rabbit to represent her in court.
  • Zig-Zagged: Bob wins the big case, only for his client to reveal he never expected Bob to win and only hired him in the hopes that the bunny ears would ensure he'd win an ineffective counsel appeal after a guilty verdict.
  • Averted: Bob is a competent lawyer and does not wear any sort of costume or have any abnormal quirks.
  • Enforced: "We need our lawyer character to be competent, but entertaining. Let's give him an odd quirk that nobody could take seriously. It could also teach a lesson about not judging a book by its cover."
  • Lampshaded:
  • Invoked:
    • "Here, put these bunny ears on. Then it will look like you know what you're doing."
    • Bob was a perfectly good lawyer, but he has trouble getting clients, so he took a cue from TV and assumed an eye-catching personality quirk that would make people think "that guy must be really good to get away with behaving like that..."
  • Exploited:
    • Alice wants Bob out of the way, so she takes the well-known quirk, wearing bunny ears, and uses it to imply that he has some ... interesting habits or possibly depraved ones.
    • Alice needs a lawyer, and can choose between several serious, focused, well-dressed lawyers ... and Bob, who stands proudly in his Easter Bunny suit. She hires Bob, because who but the best attorney in the firm could get away with wearing a bunny suit to work?
  • Defied:
    • "If I want people to take me seriously, I'm going to have to leave my bunny ears behind."
    • Bob's boss Jeff gives him an ultimatum that he will fire him if he ever wears bunny ears in court or the office. He elaborates that if one lawyer seems to have managed to save people from being convicted of murder because he made everyone in the courtroom laugh their asses off, it doesn't really says anything good about the law firm.
    • Bob is fired and blacklisted as a lawyer, labeled as "potentially incompetent" or some other design that reads as "this man will be an embarrassment to your firm if you pick him up".
  • Discussed:
  • Conversed: "Why is it that the lawyer with the bunny ears always wins?"
  • Implied: Only one of these two — Bob's competence or quirk — is shown to the audience. The other is implied via Reaction Shots from the Naïve Newcomer and/or Logical Latecomer.
  • Deconstructed:
    • Even though Bob is an expert lawyer, nobody will hire him because of his cosplay habits. He begins to wonder if law was the right field for him after all.
    • Bob's quirkiness is not the problem per se. The ethical application for it is highly suspect, e.g. Bob is the greatest post-mortem forensic investigator in the business and a necrophile.
    • Bob is good at his job ... but he is such a psychopath that the only reason he hasn't been fired is that the other lawyers in the firm don't want to find out what will happen if they unleash a potential Serial Killer into the world ... especially one that will definitely be pissed off and aiming for them.
    • Bob is good at his job, but inept at everything else, and his quirk is a big part of the reason for his extra-vocational ineptitude. Worse, the same quirk is now also interfering with his professional competence.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Just when Bob is about to quit his law firm, he gets one final potentially career-making case. He wins, with his bunny ears standing proud.
    • Bob gets therapy that cures him of his depraved impulses, while still giving him a sense of self-expression.
    • Bob learns not to express his quirk unless he's well out of danger of physically or socially harming others or himself.
  • Played for Laughs:
    • Bob's quirk is his bizarre sense of humour.
    • Bob changes his quirk in each of his appearances, and the show uses this as a Running Gag.
  • Played for Drama:
  • Played for Horror: Bob's quirks are a sin against man and God and most people who discover them must be silenced.
  • Intended Audience Reaction: Bob's quirk only seems weird in-story because of Deliberate Values Dissonance.

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