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Basic Trope: A bothersome task is sent from person to person.

  • Straight: The Pointy-Haired Boss gives Alice a task, but she is absolutely swamped, so she asks Bob from Accounting to take care of it. Bob is also swamped, so he asks Carol to take care of it. And so on and so forth.
  • Exaggerated:
    • The task is sent all the way to Zeke, who ends up sending it back to Alice.
    • The task is something ridiculously small and simple, such as typing up a quick memo or making copies. And Zeke doesn't have a clue how to do whatever he's been asked to do.
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  • Downplayed: When Bob gives Carol the task, she starts doing it.
  • Justified:
    • Alice is too busy... And so is everyone else.
    • The task is simple, but Alice just can't be bothered.
    • Boss: "Alice, get everyone's signature on this document". Alice signs document, then hands it to Bob. By the time it gets to Zeke, the task has been done.
  • Inverted: Zeke, the new intern, asks the Pointy-Haired Boss to do some task for him.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice is about to dump the task on Bob, but then finds out he's on vacation.
    • Bob says he'll take care of it.
  • Double Subverted:
    • So she asks Carol to do it.
    • But Bob already has too much on his plate, and the task needs to be completed by 5 PM. By the time he gets to it at 4, he still has tons of his own work to do, so he passes it over to Carol.
  • Parodied: Nothing ever gets done at Incompetence, Inc., because everyone is too busy passing the same buck around over and over and over again. (How the company manages to stay afloat is a matter of Fridge Logic.)
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  • Zig Zagged: Some tasks are delegated, others are not.
  • Averted:
    • Alice takes care of it herself.
    • The boss doesn't ask Alice to do anything more than her usual tasks.
  • Enforced: Truth in Television, Rule of Funny
  • Lampshaded: "Hey, Bob, can you do this for me?"
  • Invoked: Alice is already a week behind, since she just got back from her tropical vacation, and apparently no one was willing or able to cover for her, and her boss drops another task on her desk.
  • Exploited: This is how they get stuff done; just get Zeke to do it!
  • Defied: "Here is your task Alice, and I'll keep an eye on you to be sure you don't delegate it to someone else."
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: Like Parodied, but Reality Ensues.

"Hey, when you get a chance, can you run this memo over to Delegation Relay for me? Thanks!"
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