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Playing With / Dog Food Diet

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Basic Trope: Character is so poor as to actually munch on dog food.

  • Straight: Jeffery is so poor he can only afford dog food.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Jeffery's family never could afford anything better than dog food.
    • Jeffery can't afford dishes, either, and eats out of a dog food bowl. And he can't even afford the canned stuff... He subsists entirely on water and kibble. And maybe some Beggin' Strips or Snausages, but only if it's a special occasion.
  • Downplayed:
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    • Jeffery occasionally has to resort to eating dog food, but most of the time, he's shown eating cheap fast food.
    • Jeffrey is very hungry and just grabs something out of a dish, only to find out accidentally ate dog food.
  • Justified:
    • Dog food is relatively cheap, affordable to Jefferey and nutritious enough, and actually a grown adult can sustain on it.
    • Someone provides Jeffery with only dog food to eat.
    • It's After the End and people will eat whatever they find. If there is enough Future Imperfect going on they might even think they are eating dogs based on the picture on the can.
    • Jeffery is a werewolf, so dog food is common.
  • Inverted:
    • A food budget so improbable even Jeffery's dog is on a diet of steaks.
    • Jeffrey actually likes the taste of dog food, but he can't afford it because it's more expensive than other food.
    • Rich people are shown eating dog food thanks to clever marketing and and gullibility.
  • Subverted:
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    • Jefferey is seen eying a can of dog food out of desperation. However, in the next shot, he's shown to be eating a suspicious looking plate of meat, with the camera panning to show Fido's collar lying on the floor, and the can of dog food lying in the garbage.
    • Jeffery is revealed he was a dog not too long ago.
    • Jeffrey lives in a western European country, where dog food is elaborated by nutritionists, and subject to four times as many quality control as human food. He's actually eating healthy and tasty food, even though it costs him more than fast food.
  • Double Subverted:
    • But dog food sucks anyway.
    • ...But then the camera pans back, and Fido jumps up onto the table: it turns out the plate of meat was a free steak Jefferey had won, and he wants to share it with his dog, instead of making him eat crappy dog food
    • Jeffrey expresses his digust at the idea when someone jokingly mentions it, and insists that he could never be so poor that he'd eat dog food... And then it's revealed that he eats cat food.
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  • Parodied: Jeffery is a Funny Animal, and so is the rest of a cast, but eating dog food is still considered pathetic by everyone.
  • Zig Zagged: Jeffery gets richer, but still keeps eating dog food, because he is a dog turned into human (and that is why he was poor in the first place). Even after discovering that human food is much more tasty, he still opens a can of dog food once in a while - force of habit.
  • Averted: Despite the fact that Jeffery is poor, he can still afford normal food.
  • Enforced: "We have poor character, but he is still not tragic enough." "How about getting him on a diet of dog food then?"
  • Lampshaded: "I am lowered to eating dog food. Great. What's next, living in a kennel and chasing mailmen?"
  • Invoked: "And what are we gonna eat now that we sank so low, Jeff?" "There's always dog food - not pleasant, but still disgestible."
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: "Dog food? Alright, that's it. I'm going to go rob a grocery store."
  • Discussed: "Dog food? Dude, that's pathetic." "I know it is. Shut up."
  • Conversed: "In TV shows, you can always tell who is really poor, and who just looks poor." "And how exactly?" "Truly poor characters subsist on dog food."
  • Deconstructed: A diet of sub-par products surely cannot be healthy for Jeffery.
  • Reconstructed: He adapts to it over time, though.
  • Played For Drama: Jeffery's entire life sucks so very, very badly you can't help but feel sorry for the poor fellow.

And here I hoped life was getting better. Back to Dog Food Diet then.
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