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Playing With / Chekhov's Skill

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Basic Trope: A character learns a seemingly innocuous skill that they later end up using in an awesome fashion.

  • Straight: Alice learns how to be a ballerina while traveling the world to gain experience for a major job interview. In the end, that ballerina skill gets her the job.
  • Exaggerated: Alice learns how to balance a checkbook. In the end, she's the only one given a major job offer because she knows how to do exactly that.
  • Advertisement:
  • Downplayed: Alice takes up a more advanced Information Technology course, and she gets the job since she had more education in how to work with computers than the other applicants.
  • Justified: Skills can come into play in different fashions. You never know when what you're learning will come in handy.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • Alice learns a skill. Later, she tries to use the skill, but fails.
    • Alice suggests the use of the skills to try to solve the problem at hand, but is shot down by everybody else. She decides not to insist.
  • Double Subverted:
    • But even later on, she tries again and succeeds.
    • Later on, she just grabs whatever she needs for the skill, rushes in Leeroy Jenkins-style... and succeeds.
  • Parodied: Alice learns an incredibly useful skill that everyone should know, like riding a bike. Everyone treats The Reveal that she knows how to do this like an amazing thing.
  • Zig Zagged: Alice takes a class that teaches her a wide variety of skills. Some of them are later put to use, others aren't.
  • Averted: The skill never comes up.
  • Enforced: "So we need to reward the viewers that are paying attention. Let's have this ballerina lesson she goes to end up being vital later on".
  • Advertisement:
  • Lampshaded: "You need a ballerina? How lucky".
  • Invoked: The people who posted the job wanted someone well-rounded.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: "I don't care if you're a ballerina. What can you do for this company?"
  • Discussed: "Employers always have their quirks. I'm sure my ballet skills will be needed at some point".
  • Conversed: "Lets see, she learned sniping, military tactics, subterfuge, interrogation technique, and ballet. Guess which one she'll need to use at the climax".
  • Deconstructed: Alice lucked out that time, but some of her skills end up being useless.
  • Reconstructed: Until she finds uses for them as well.

Back to Chekhov's Skill. In 5 years, perhaps reading this page will save your life. Or ruin it.

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