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Playing With / Cavemen vs. Astronauts Debate

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Basic Trope: An argument about nothing important.

  • Straight: Alice and Bob quibble over whether a tomato counts as a vegetable or a fruit.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed: Seinfeldian Conversation.
  • Justified:
    • Sometimes people have disagreements...and too much free time.
    • They're practicing for debate club.
    • Alice and Bob have made a bet and the otherwise inconsequential topic is central to determining who wins.
  • Inverted:
    • Alice and Bob agree on whether a tomato counts as a vegetable or a fruit.
    • Alice and Bob argue over something that really is Serious Business.
  • Subverted: Eventually, Alice and Bob come to the conclusion that a tomato is botanically a fruit and culinarily a vegetable.
  • Double Subverted: But then Carl interjects with, "But what about rhubarb?"
  • Parodied: World War III begins over the issue of whether a tomato counts as a fruit or a vegetable.
  • Zig-Zagged: Sometimes they argue over dumb stuff, sometimes they don't.
  • Averted: Alice and Bob have no such arguments.
  • Enforced: Rule of Funny
  • Lampshaded:
    • "It's a fruit, you idiot!"
    • "Wow, you guys have way too much free time..."
  • Invoked: A Seinfeldian Conversation about food begins.
  • Exploited: Charlie asks Alice and Bob "Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?", then waits until they're too busy arguing to notice him swipe Bob's car keys.
  • Advertisement:
  • Defied: Alice and Bob change the subject.
  • Discussed: "So, where do you stand on the fruit versus vegetable debate?"
  • Conversed: "This is stupid! Why are we even talking about this?!"
  • Implied: Bob and Alice look askance at each other every time tomatoes are mentioned.
  • Deconstructed: They're arguing about something pointless, and insulting each other!
  • Reconstructed: They agree to disagree and discuss something, you know, relevant.
  • Played for Laughs: This argument becomes an Overly Long Gag. Cue Flash Forward, showing a very elderly Alice and Bob, still arguing over this.
  • Played for Drama: The argument gets personal and ruins their heretofore great relationship.
  • Plotted a Good Waste: Alice and Bob stand in for real people or groups of people who started a needless argument that went too far; the author is trying to make a point that such qualms played on a macro-social level tend to be a net harm.

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