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Playing With / Future Loser

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Basic Trope: A character who was popular and/or The Bully in High School is now leading a crappy life.

  • Straight:
    • Alice, the head cheerleader at Troperville High School graduates. At the five year high school reunion, it's revealed that she got pregnant in college, dropped out, and now works as a fry-cook and a stripper to support her child. Meanwhile, Betty, the Geek girl that she used to pick on landed herself a great job and is now engaged to Alice's old boyfriend from high school.
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    • Jacque Strapp, the former captain of the football team, flunked out of college and now works as an Office Drone in an attempt to support a bitchy wife and four children. He is also now overweight and balding. Meanwhile, Bob from the chess club is a dotcom millionaire married to a supermodel and has overcome that Geek Physique he had back in school...and is Jacque's boss.
  • Exaggerated: Alice is homeless and addicted to drugs and alcohol, and Betty is not only married to the captain of the football team, but became rich due to a scientific discovery she made.
  • Downplayed: Betty lost the Nerd Glasses in favor of contact lenses, doesn't get acne anymore, lost weight, and started using a sulfate-free shampoo. Meanwhile, Alice has gained weight and has started going prematurely gray.
  • Justified: Alice didn't put much effort into her studies and Betty did.
  • Inverted:
    • After graduation, Betty got herself a good job and became rich, popular, and pretty.
    • Alice became even richer, even more popular, and even prettier after graduation.
  • Subverted: Alice seems to be living a good life as of the reunion; she has a decent job, a husband, and two children, and she even looks good.
  • Double Subverted: Then it's revealed that she was only able to maintain her looks via plastic surgery, or that the man she's married to now is actually her third husband, or that she lost a lot of wealth when the stock market crashed, or that she has an eating disorder. In other words, her life isn't all that great.
  • Parodied: Alice is dead, and her Girl Posse becomes Betty's after the reunion.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Alice dropped out of college following a pregnancy and supports her child by stripping by night and working at Burger Fool, but she is also married to a great guy and lives in a pretty decent house, except that the house is a dump and the marriage is terrible, but she's also popular and still pretty, and she's going Back to School part-time.
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    • Alternatively, some of the former popular kids are doing well, others are not...and the same holds true for the not-so-popular ones.
    • Alternatively, after the first five year jump, Alice is doing very poorly, but we see at the ten year reunion that she turned her life around and is successful, but at the twenty year mark she admits she got arrogant and lost everything.
  • Averted:
    • Alice is leading a good life post-graduation.
    • Betty is leading a comparatively crappy one.
    • Alice and Betty were about equal on the Popularity Food Chain
    • Alice and Betty are both leading pretty comparable lives after graduation.
  • Enforced:
  • Lampshaded: "Oh, how the mighty have fallen! How does it feel to be a loser, Alice?"
  • Invoked: Alice, who was used to skating by on her looks and charm in high school tries to continue that...and discovers the hard way that the adult world doesn't work like that.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: Alice puts effort into her studies at school, and into her looks, and makes responsible choices in she doesn't end up failing.
  • Discussed: "I hear Alice works as a stripper now to take care of her think she was voted most likely to succeed!"
  • Conversed: "In the real-world, it's not so cut-and-dried. Popular kids can be successful, and geeks can fail."

Back to Future Loser

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