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Basic Trope: A shot of an abandoned toy is used to either emphasize a loss of innocence during an evacuation scene or imply that a child died during a war in a scene of the aftermath of the war.

  • Straight:
    • A large building gets attacked and everyone has to evacuate. A six-year-old girl named Alice drops her toy cat and starts crying but her father, Bob, says for her to continue on and then we get a close-up of the cat.
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    • A war has recently ended. Carol and Dave are on a search-and-rescue mission when they find a little toy bunny on the floor. Carol picks it up and shows it to Dave, who cries because he thinks a child must have died.
  • Exaggerated:
    • All of the kids who evacuated the building had to leave their toys behind and we get shots of all the toys.
    • Carol and Dave find a whole lot of discarded plushies.
  • Downplayed:
    • We see Alice drop the toy cat but we don't get a close-up of it.
    • During the search-and-rescue mission, the toy bunny is briefly seen, but neither Carol nor Dave draws attention to it.
  • Justified: When one is evacuating a building under attack, one can't stop to pick up toys.
  • Inverted:
    • During the evacuation scene, we get a happy moment when Alice picks up her toy cat.
    • On their search-and-rescue mission, Carol and Dave are happy to see little Edward alive and well, playing with his bunny.
  • Subverted:
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    • It looks like a dramatic scene with Alice dropping the cat and Bob saying, "There's no time for that now", except then Fran (Alice's mother), who was behind them, picks it up and catches up with Alice and Bob, handing it to them.
    • Carol and Dave look sadly at the bunny, thinking it means kids died, but then Edward comes running into the room, not even injured.
  • Double Subverted:
    • but then Alice drops it again.
    • Then, Edward points to a toy monkey on the floor, which we find out used to belong to his little brother Gary, who did die.
  • Parodied: Carol starts crying because she thinks she's Genre Savvy enough to know that finding a toy after a war equals kids died, however, Edward is right there and keeps telling her, "I'm fine! I just dropped the bunny when we evacuated!"
  • Zigzagged:
    • Alice keeps dropping her toy cat but people keep giving it back.
    • Carol and Dave look sadly at the toy bunny, believing kids must have died, but then Edward comes in, perfectly fine. However, he then finds Gary's toy monkey and we're informed that Gary did die...but they made a mistake...but he's severely injured...then, we see what looks like a death scene for Gary but when Dave hands him the monkey, he makes a miraculous recovery.
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  • Averted: No abandoned toys are seen to add drama.
  • Enforced: To try and avert A Million Is a Statistic.
  • Lampshaded: "Why does an abandoned toy always mean its owner is dead?!"
  • Invoked: One of the soldiers, for whatever reason, wanted people to erroneously believe kids died when they didn't, so after the war, he steals Edward's toy bunny and throws it onto the floor.
  • Exploited: The toy is connected to a set of trap, or an alarm. Carol picks up the toy, triggers the trap/set off the alarm.
  • Defied: Alice holds onto her toy cat as though her life depended on it.
  • Discussed:
    Alice: "But we have to go back and get Yow-Yow! When this war is over, people will see Yow-Yow lying there and think I died here or something!".
  • Conversed: "It was so sad when we got a close-up of that plushie."

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