Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / Chaos While They're Not Looking

Go To

Basic Trope: Two characters that don't like each other are violent until a character they both like walks in, the first two pretending to be friends for the third person.

  • Straight: Bob and Charles both have a crush on Alice. Alice walks out of the room and Bob and Charles immediately throw insults at one another. Before either of them gets physically violent, Alice walks in and Bob and Charles pretend to be laughing at an Orphaned Punchline.
  • Advertisement:
  • Exaggerated: Bob and Charlie are making out when Alice is in the room. When Alice leaves, they immediately start trying to kill each other with knives and guns, but when Alice walks in they are having sex.
  • Downplayed: Bob and Charlie aren't enemies in any way, but they have to pretend to be friends because they are both friends with Alice.
  • Justified: Bob and Charlie are on opposing sides of a secret war and Alice - completely in the dark of the conflict - is the only part of their lives uninvolved with it.
  • Inverted: Bob and Charlie are actually best friends, but they live in different sections that are territories of their own respective gang and thus are obligated to be enemies.
  • Subverted:
    • Bob and Charlie are enemies at first, but as they obfuscate being friends with Alice they discover that they have a lot in common and actually become friends.
    • Advertisement:
    • Bob and Charlie act like best friends so that it would make Alice jealous.
  • Double Subverted: Bob and Charlie pretend to be friends when Alice is around and decide to try putting their petty grievances aside and actually try to be friends… but the more they try and get along the more they grow frustrated and ill-mannered with each other and go back to fighting in secret.
  • Parodied: When Alice leaves the room, Bob and Charlie actively try to hurt each other. When Alice walks in, Bob's eyes are red and searing from lemon juice Charlie spat into them while Charlie has a bloody stump where his arm used to be. Alice does not seem to notice and Bob and Charlie are acting as though nothing is off.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob and Charlie hate each other, but they both try and act like friends when Alice is around. Secretly Alice hates both of them and they do not know this. Alice tries poisoning both of them, but in private Bob and Charlie think that one poisoned the other. Eventually their arguing devolves into hate-fucking while Alice is secretly watching them in arousal in the bedroom closet.
  • Averted:
    • Bob and Charlie are openly hostile with one another and Alice endures it anyway.
    • Alice, Bob and Charlie are all friends on equal footing.
  • Enforced: ????
  • Lampshaded: "Those two really seem to be getting along." "Yeah… they must really hate each other." "Yeah."
  • Invoked: Alice introduces Bob and Charlie, her two only guy friends, just to secretly watch them fight through her security cameras, finding the scenario amusing.
  • Exploited: Alice figures out how much Bob and Charlie hate each other because they act to cordial with each other while she is in the room, so she tells Bob individually that Charlie hates it when her house is clean and she tells Charlie individually that Bob hates it hen her fridge is fully stocked. When she leaves on vacation, she returns with a clean house full of fresh produce.
  • Defied: Alice figures out how much Bob and Charlie hate each other because they act to cordial with each other while she is in the room so she tries to keep them as far apart from each other as possible by scheduling when she meets with them.
  • Discussed: "Men like you two only get along this well under two circumstances; either you both are dating or are only getting along for my sake."
  • Conversed: "Let me guess; they look nice now, but they try and kill each other when I go home."
  • Implied: Bob and Charlie only ever address Alice, acting as though the other does not exist.
  • Deconstructed: ????
  • Reconstructed: ????
  • Played For Laughs: ????
  • Played For Drama: ????

Back to Chaos While They're Not Looking.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: