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Playing With / Emancipated Child

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Basic Trope: A child legally "divorces" himself/herself from his/her parents.

  • Straight: Billy is unhappy with life at home, and takes his parents to court, and becomes emancipated from his parents.
  • Exaggerated: Billy is only seven years old, and the reasons he cites are that his parents make him do his homework, eat his vegetables, and go to bed at 8:00 PM. He actually wins the case, and he is presented with a driver's license, a credit card, and even an apartment of his own.
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  • Downplayed: Billy is 17.
  • Justified: Billy is being abused at home by his parents, and he has no relatives willing or able to step in as a legal guardian. He is old enough to hold a job.
  • Inverted: Billy is in the foster-care system or an Orphanage of Fear, and seeks to be legally adopted by Alice and Bob, the nice couple that took care of him.
  • Subverted: The judge does set Billy free from his troubled home, but places him in foster care, or sends him to live with his aunt.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Billy gets himself set free from the foster home or relative's home, and becomes independent.
    • Not too long after that, Billy reaches his 18th birthday anyway, so foster care or legal guardianship becomes moot.
  • Parodied: The court (lawyers, judge, jury) are all kids.
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted:
    • Billy does not take his parents to court.
    • The judge rules that Billy still needs an adult, and so sends him to live with relatives or places him in foster care until his parents can get their act together. (Or permanently, depending on the circumstances.)
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    • Social Services Does Not Exist, so even if Billy's home really is troubled and abusive, there's not much that can be done about it.
  • Enforced: ???
  • Lampshaded: ???
  • Invoked:
    • A social worker comes to Billy's home, and sees that his parents are negligent and/or abusive.
    • Billy is sent to his room after throwing his Cabbage Surprise on the floor, and fantasizes about being able to go off and do whatever he wants.
  • Exploited: A court-appointed attorney acts on Billy's behalf, or else one agrees to take on the case pro-bono.
  • Defied:
    • The social worker simply contacts child protection services, and they remove Billy from his home, either to a relative's house or to a foster home.
    • Billy tires himself out, and eventually reconciles with his parents.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???

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