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Playing With / G.I.R.L.

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Basic Trope: A character meets a female online, only for them to end up being male

  • Straight: Bob meets Alice online. Unfortunately for Bob, Alice's real name is Carlos and she is male.
  • Exaggerated: Every single girl Bob has ever met online is male in real life.
  • Downplayed: Bob meets Alice online. Turns out Alice is a lot more of a Tomboy than she appeared online.
  • Justified:
    • Carlos is transgender and currently is in the closet. She can be herself online.
    • Or Carlos has been brainwashed to believe he really is Alice when online.
    • Carlos Does Not Like Men.
    • Carlos may be a man, but he's a troll who finds it funny to pretend he's a girl and then drop the Bridget when Bob has something invested in him actually being Alice.
    • Carlos is an epic scale Munchkin, and he has discovered a powerful Game-Breaker dynamic that allows him to PWN n00bs with extreme ease. However, it only works if playing a particular female-only class.
    • "If I'm going to be staring at someone's butt all day, it's going to be a girl's."
    • Carlos is a cop pretending to be a prepubscent girl as part of a sting operation.
    • You can be whoever you want to be online, and Carlos wants to pretend to be a woman, dammit.
    • The entire game only has female characters to choose.
  • Inverted:
    • Alice meets Bob on-line, who turns out to be her (female) best friend Danielle in real life.note 
    • Alternatively: Alice pretends to be a guy online, which is kind of awkward for Bob when they try to hang out off the web.
    • Or, Carlos pretends to be a woman in real life, but can act as his real male self online.
  • Subverted:
    • When they finally meet Bob is relieved to see that Alice is a girl in real life.
    • Alternatively: When Bob goes to meet Alice, he sees someone in a suit standing where she said she'd be, and expects that it'll turn out to be a guy... But Alice just turns out to be a girl in guy's clothing.
    • Alice claims to be male, but when Bob meets him/her, it turns out Alice was lying.
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied: A virtual world is used to represent the future's version of the Internet, inhabited almost entirely by fat men in women's clothing.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob is starting to suspect that Alice is really a guy, but when they meet in real life, she definitely looks like a girl... And then she turns out to be a very feminine guy in girl's clothes. But then, it turns out she sent her brother/friend/boyfriend/etc. there to just mess with his head.
  • Averted:
    • Alice is a girl in real life, and the thought that she might have been male had never crossed Bob's mind.
    • Or Carlos is a guy in real life who has a female screen name but doesn't pretend to be a girl aside from the name, and answers readily and sincerely when asked whether he is a guy or a girl in real life.
  • Enforced: The writer has had the exact situation occur to him, so he uses it for material.
  • Lampshaded: "You sure you want to meet Alice in real life, Bob? What if she turns out to be a guy?"
  • Invoked: Bob is depressed at the state of his romantic life, so Carlos creates a female online alter-ego, Alice, for the purpose of cheering Bob up.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: Every time Bob gets involved with a girl online he asks for pictures and a way to contact her to make sure she's not a guy in real life.
  • Discussed: "That's the seventh time Bob has met a girl online only for her to turn out to be a guy, he really should have learned by now."
  • Conversed: "Let's hope this season they don't have Bob meet another GIRL. That joke's wearing pretty thin."
  • Deconstructed: Carlos goes online as Alice to meet guys. Unfortunately, he ends up hitting on an undercover investigator pretending to be underage who believes he is a pedophile and arrests him.
  • Reconstructed: The investigator is highly surprised to learn that Alice is actually Carlos.

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