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Playing With / "Friends" Rent Control

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Basic Trope: The cast lives in a fancy apartment despite not having steady jobs, or having low-paying jobs.

  • Straight: Alice works as a low level office drone and Bob is a Burger Fool manager. Despite this, they live in an fancy apartment in a nice part of town.
  • Exaggerated: Alice and Bob live in a glorious mansion and have never worked a day in their lives.
  • Downplayed: What Alice and Bob are both mid level managers at their respective workplaces. There apartment is rather nice but also spartanly furnished, and they complain about having to spend less when their rent date comes near.
  • Justified:
    • They have rent control.
    • Someone else is covering their rent.
    • The landlord owes them a favour.
    • They won a lottery or hit it big at the casino.
    • The house is located in a low-cost neighbourhood.
    • Alice and Bob are squatting on abandoned property.
    • Alice and Bob's domicile is The Alleged House. The only two good things it has going for it is space and that it doesn't looks like shit on the outside, and someone richer (or more sane) would have bulldozed it or looked for a better option.
    • Alice and Bob have trust funds set up by their wealthy parents.
    • Alice's family owned the apartment and Alice inherited it.
    • The property was stigmatized and thus has a low cost.
  • Inverted:
    • Alice and Bob live on the streets despite having high-paying jobs.
    • Alice and Bob make enough to afford larger places, but their apartments are very small and modest.
  • Subverted:
    • It turns out they had a lease, and will have to pay at the end of the year.
    • The landlord owes Alice and Bob a favor. He asks what he can do for them, and they ask him to pay for their upcoming wedding.
    • The well-kept 2 or 3 bedroom apartment in the Big Applesauce belongs to Charlie, a wealthy friend they are house sitting for. Alice and Bob actually live in a small one bedroom apartment out in Suburbia.
    • It's explained that Alice and Bob's parents pay for some or all of their rent.
    • All the money goes toward rent and bills. Alice and Bob have little to nothing in savings, almost never go out because they can't afford it, they watch only what they can get via their indoor antenna, and when an emergency comes up (like Bob getting a flat tire, or that time Alice had to go to the emergency room), they charge it on a credit card.
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    • The apartment only looks fancy. The pipes only get cold, brown water, the electricity flickers whenever someone plugs something in an outlet, and the walls are filled with rats and cockroaches. Alice and Bob are getting exactly what they pay for.
    • Alice and Bob actually do make enough to cover the expenses of such a lavish apartment despite their day jobs being little more than minimum wage...because they're also running an illegal business like peddling drugs that's off the books.
  • Double Subverted:
    • But the landlord likes them so much, he's willing to let them stay for free.
    • The landlord says he can't do that, but offers to let them live in his complex rent-free from now on.
    • Charlie loses his well paying job, and invites Alice and Bob to live with him.
    • The parents cut them off financially, and they explain the situation to their landlord, who tells them he'll give them rent control.
    • The landlord decides he feels sorry for them, and gives them rent control.
    • The way their mortgage worked out, they're paying less each month than most of their neighbors are.
  • Parodied: Alice and Bob are handed the bill for the rent. They add a negative sign to it and the landlord grumbles and gives them money.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • At first Alice and Bob pay rent. Then a Broke Episode comes along and they get away without paying rent for a while. Then their landlord starts demanding payment. Then he eases up on them. Eventually he loses patience, however after Alice and Bob save his life and the life of his children he allows them to stay free permanently.
    • Alice and Bob are professional vloggers, and because we are never clear on how famous their vlog is their apartment could be well below or well above their level of income.
  • Averted:
    • Alice and Bob have living conditions proportionate to their income.
    • Alice and Bob live with their respective parents.
    • While the set is large enough for filming it is essentially a minimally re-purposed to be legal section of a former warehouse - explaining why they can afford so much space in the city.
  • Enforced:
    • Alice and Bob were originally going to be talented stock-traders who only needed to make trades once a day at most. However it wasn't considered marketable enough and they are then left as inexplicably wealthy singles.
    • Alice and Bob live in a huge apartment because it makes it easier to film.
  • Lampshaded:
    • The apartment's slogan is "You never have to worry about rent again!"
    • "How can Alice even afford this palace?"
  • Invoked:
  • Exploited: In the pilot episode, it's established that Alice and Bob are getting evicted for not paying their bills. However, one day they see their landlord in peril and rush in to save his life. When the landlord asks how he can thank the pair, the pair responds by asking for rent control.
  • Defied:
    • Their landlord gives them a newspaper to look for jobs to pay the rent.
    • The landlord conducts interviews of potential tenants, and only accepts ones with steady incomes that can provide proof of income, such as pay stubs, bank statements, or tax statements.
  • Discussed: When house-hunting with her, Bob chides Alice for scoping out a nice apartment.
    Bob: We don't live in a hip TV show about young people who can somehow afford amazing places!
  • Conversed: Alice and Bob are watching a TV show.
    Alice: She's a novelist! How can she afford a flat that nice?
  • Implied: Alice and Bob are shown at various jobs for the sake of gags, implying that they have long periods of unemployment between.
  • Deconstructed:
    • The landlord is keeping tabs on their lack of payment and when he had enough he evicts them.
    • The effect that all of the free riders have on the market is made explicit. The result is not pretty.
    • The landlord's decision to grant Alice and Bob rent control comes as part of a bigger storyline about how the landlord wants to fight poverty, believing that he has a moral obligation to ensure everyone has a house over their heads, even if it means he won't earn as much profit as he would have liked.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Fortunately, Alice did have a secret job and was keeping money stashed away from Bob. They haggle with the landlord to get their apartment back and succeeds.
    • Alice and Bob are unable to work jobs due to how much time they spend fighting supernatural menaces. The landlord is either aware of this, or simply noticed that his tenants stopped mysteriously disappearing when they moved in.
  • Played For Laughs: ???
  • Played For Drama:
    • Alice questions why Bob lets his parents make his decisions for him, and Bob is to embarrassed to admit that they pay for their rent.
    • Alice and Bob's apartment building may be nice, but it is in a very run down neighborhood, explaining the low property values. Alice and Bob are very nervous when walking the streets.

Hold it right there, Mr. Siht! If you wanna go back to "Friends" Rent Control, I'll need ya to pay up for the last three months—whadaya mean, what's that!?

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