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Playing With / Creepy Child

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Basic Trope: A strange kid who displays troubling unchildlike behavior.

  • Straight: 12-year-old Stella Strange is a creepy little girl who loves destroying her toys.
  • Exaggerated: Stella is unchildlike to the point of being an evil little psychopath, where she lures in people with games of "hide and seek", brutally murders her victims when she finds them, eats their remains when she's done, and stays up too late.
  • Downplayed:
    • 16-year-old Stella loves destroying her toys.
    • While Stella is known for saying and doing some rather bizarre things... she is actually fairly kind and sweet.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
    • 22-year-old Stella is very creepy yet childish.
    • 22-year-old Stella is extremely innocent for someone her age.
    • 12-year-old Stella is an Adorably Precocious Child, knowledgeable in her area to the point of giving valuable advice to adults and mature enough to talk to them as an equal — but sometimes, when alone, she still likes to play with her dolls and sew new outfits for them.
  • Subverted:
    • Stella was noted for antisocial behavior, but when she is introduced, she's actually fairly kind and childlike.
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    • Or Stella is actually just Creepy Good.
  • Double Subverted: Stella is really a Type C Stepford Smiler who's hiding a far more wicked nature.
  • Parodied: The only "proof" for Stella's insanity is a dubiously sourced quote. Somehow, everybody is convinced Stella is an Ax-Crazy Omnicidal Maniac.
  • Zig Zagged: Stella acts creepy sometimes, but sometimes just acts normal.
  • Averted: Stella is a normal child.
  • Enforced: "Stella is secretly the Big Bad, but she's a child. How can we show she's the villain? Let's just make her unchildlike."
  • Lampshaded: "Hey, does anybody realize that Stella isn't acting properly for her age?!"
  • Invoked: Stella, an already unstable Stepford Smiler, faces even more abuse than ever before. Poor Stella then turns to unchildlike behavior as an outlet or her emotions.
  • Exploited: Stella knows people find her creepy, so she plays it up to get what she wants.
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  • Defied: Stella's parents get help for Stella before she jumps off the slippery slope.
  • Discussed: "I bet that Stella is secretly hiding something. Let's find out!"
  • Conversed: "I bet that girl Stella is secretly insane, like in horror movies."
  • Implied: Charlie, Stella's brother, mentions that Stella is very strange.
  • Deconstructed: Stella was misdiagnosed with psychopathy, but she's actually depressed.
  • Reconstructed: Her parents take her to a therapist, and finds out the truth. Her parents then proceed to try and repair what's left of their daughter's childhood.
  • Played For Laughs: The cast's definition of "unchildlike" is being the Only Sane Man.
  • Played For Drama: Stella's "insanity" is actually depression, but everybody treats her as if she was a sociopath. Stella then finally takes her own life, and everybody is heartbroken when they find out the truth, to say the least.

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