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Basic Trope: A character is fishing, but ends up catching some worthless trash instead.

  • Straight: Bob is fishing. Something starts pulling at the fishing rod, but when Bob reels it in, it's revealed to just be an old boot.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Bob catches several dozen boots, and not a single fish.
    • Bob pulls out an entire delivery truck full of boots.
    • Bob is fishing with his friends Charlie, Dave and Elias. All of them catch boots at the same time.
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  • Downplayed: Bob catches a boot, but it's revealed to just be one unlucky shot, and Bob has much better luck with the next attempts.
  • Justified: A previous scene showed Alice wading through the river, only for her to realize she lost one of her boots.
  • Inverted:
    • Bob is trying to clean up garbage from a polluted river, but can only catch fish.
    • Bob is trying to find the boot he lost while wading through the river, but only catches fish.
  • Subverted: Bob reels in a boot, in which a fish has been trapped.
  • Double Subverted: The fish is just a plastic toy that got caught in the boot.
  • Parodied:
    • A Trope Co. Boot Factory is seen upstream, dumping its boots directly into the river.
    • Bob throws the boot he just caught back into the river. It's implied that he has been catching the same boot for hours.
    • A Trope Co. store sells boot bait.
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  • Zig Zagged: Bob catches a few boots, but he also has a decent amount of real fish.
  • Averted: Bob does not catch any non-fish items while fishing.
  • Enforced: "Bob is a Butt-Monkey. How can we fit that in an episode about fishing?"
  • Lampshaded: "I caught a boot? Not Again!"
  • Invoked: Alice intentionally throws several garbage items into the river to sabotage Bob's fishing trip.
  • Exploited: While lost in the wilderness, Bob loses his boots, but manages to find an extra pair in a nearby river.
  • Defied: A cleanup crew is seen removing boots and other garbage from the river.
  • Discussed: "How do I catch a fish, not junk?"
  • Conversed: "Why does the river on that TV show have so many boots in it?"
  • Implied: Bob returns from his fishing trip with no fish but a lot of trash.
  • Deconstructed: Bob is a fisherman, but lately the river has been polluted, preventing Bob from feeding his family.
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  • Reconstructed: Bob's family clean up the water and make-do with other food sources for a few days until the fish come back. There's still some trash in the water, but not enough for it to be polluted and it gets fished up before it can pollute.
  • Played for Drama: Bob calls the police when he realizes it matches the description of a what person who disappeared recently was wearing. They find said person's drowned corpse (and the other boot) not far from Bob's boat.

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