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Playing With / Exiled to the Couch

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Basic Trope: A person gets mad at their spouse/date and won't share their bed with them, leaving them to sleep on The Couch.

  • Straight: Alice and Bob have an argument. Gilligan Cut to one of them lying on the couch with pillows, a blanket, and no Alice or Bob.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Alice/Bob punishes the other by making them sleep on the couch every night.
    • They are not only kicked out of the bed, but kicked out of the house or apartment, leaving them to sleep in the doghouse (which not even the dog will let them do) or a city bus station (which is being co-opted by hobos, homeless hookers, and other city riffraff).
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    • Alice and Bob don't even live together or share a bed normally, but one of them still makes the other sleep on the couch.
  • Downplayed:
    • Alice is tired of Bob's snoring, so he sleeps on the futon.
    • Bob can use one of the guest bedrooms, provided he washes and dries the bedding the next morning because Alice and Bob have overnights guests frequently.
  • Justified:
    • Alice/Bob did something so heinous that the other doesn't want to sleep with them until they realize what they did wrong and show appropriate contrition (or until the other cools off).
    • Alice/Bob is sick, usually with a bad cold or the flu, and doesn't want the other to catch it.
    • Alice and Bob are Orthodox Jewish and aren't allowed to sleep together when Alice is on her period.
    • Alice's/Bob's sleeping on the couch every night is one of the signs that their relationship has hit the skids (or has already ended).
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    • Alice/Bob has a bad sleeping habit, and it's gotten to be too much for the other.
  • Inverted:
    • Alice/Bob, who was just a Dogged Nice Guy to the other, does something particularly nice for them, and they ends up promoted to their bed.
    • Alice and Bob have separate bedrooms. The couch is neutral territory for intimacy.
  • Subverted: Alice/Bob apologizes, and the other lets them back into bed...
  • Double Subverted:
    • ...but then another argument ensues, and Alice/Bob is back on the couch (or worse, in the bathtub!).
    • ...but the other still won't talk to Alice/Bob and has his/her back turned to him/her when he/she tries to talk to him/her.
  • Parodied:
    • Bob puts his dresser, nightstand, alarm clock, etc. out in the living room.
    • Bob is forced to sleep on the couch even though they have a guest room that hasn't been touched in years.
    • Alice and Bob live in separate homes, and Alice still makes Bob sleep on the sofa.
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    • Alice and Bob argue just so one of them will get to sleep on the sofa.
  • Zig-Zagged: Alice initially asks Bob to sleep on the couch when he moves in with her, but it's because she doesn't want to become pregnant before they have the means to take care of the baby. Then, when Bob tries to start sleeping with her, he finds her unwelcoming because she disapproves of some entirely unrelated habit of his. He eventually fixes it but Alice is still not satisfied and demands that he act entirely differently...
  • Averted:
    • Alice doesn't banish Bob to the couch when he does something wrong, nor Bob Alice.
    • Alice and Bob don't live together, or don't share a bed.
  • Enforced: Rule of Funny for a Dom Com.
  • Lampshaded: "Let me guess, I won't wake up as refreshed as you tomorrow."
  • Invoked:
    • Bob and Alice have an argument before bed.
    • Alice starts packing her pillow and blanket to the couch before Bob can make her sleep on the couch.
  • Exploited: For some reason, Alice/Bob actually needs or wants to sleep on the couch, so he/she irritates Alice/Bob before bed.
  • Defied:
    • Alice/Bob decides on a more constructive problem-solving method, and the disagreement is resolved peacefully.
    • "I get that you're angry, honey, but it's my bed too, and you can't force me out of it."
  • Discussed:
    • "I don't want to argue with you anymore. Every time we do, I always end up sleeping in the living room!"
    • "You really screwed up this time, Alice/Bob. If I were you, I'd just take the bedding to the couch to save your husband/wife the trouble."
  • Conversed:
  • Implied: While shopping for a couch, Alice/Bob makes sure it's long enough to sleep on.
  • Deconstructed:
    • While on the sofa, Alice/Bob begins realizing how his/her relationship with Alice/Bob is a mistake, so he decides to cheat on her (or break off the relationship permanently).
    • Alice/Bob decide to sleep on the couch, realizing that it's better than sleeping with Bob/Alice. When Bob/Alice realize that she's all alone in the bed, she regrets exiling Alice/Bob and wants her/him come back sleeping with him/her, only for Alice/Bob to refuse and say that he/she will sleep on the couch from now on and won't let him/her sleep with him. This strains their relationship even further.
  • Reconstructed: Alice/Bob realizes that he's/she's been too hard on Alice/Bob and decides to sleep on the couch with him/her or allow Bob/Alice to sleep on the bed while Alice/Bob sleep on the couch.
  • Played for Drama: Alice and Bob's relationship has hit the skids and Alice/Bob decides it's best just to sleep single rather than deal with his/her now-horribly annoying partner.
  • Played for Laughs: Bob/Alice incurs Amusing Injuries from having to sleep on the uncomfortable couch.

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