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Playing With / Girlfriend in Canada

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Basic Trope: A character pretends to be in a long-distance relationship.

  • Straight: Bob is with his buddies when the subject of girlfriends comes up and the others all talk about theirs. Bob has been dateless for a long time, possibly ever, but doesn't want to admit it, so makes up "Marie" who lives in Quebec. His buddies are dubious, but Bob mentions Marie every so often to reinforce the idea that he's able to interact with a woman.
  • Exaggerated:
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    • Bob goes so far as to forge "evidence" that Marie exists; blurry pictures, letters postmarked in Quebec; he even uses his vacation time to go up to Canada to "visit Marie."
    • Bob is roped into a trip up to Quebec. "Hey, we can visit your girlfriend! Right?" He quickly hires a local escort or actress to play "Marie" and hurriedly put together a dossier for the role.
  • Downplayed:
    • "I used to have a girlfriend named Marie who lived in Quebec, but we broke up a while ago, so I'm free to date."
    • Bob does have a girlfriend in Quebec, but their relationship is very casual.
    • Bob is chatting with a girl in Quebec, in hopes of dating her. He tells everyone back home that she is already his girlfriend.
  • Justified:
    • Bob is desperate to hide his dateless loser status, and he knows none of the other guys have been to Quebec. Besides, if he ever does get a real girlfriend, he can "dump Marie" with no problem.
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    • Bob is gay, and wants his friends to think he's straight.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted:
    • "Marie" is actually Alice in a Wig, Dress, Accent disguise, paying off a huge favor she owes Bob. Bob can't reveal her without exposing his own lies.
    • However, Bob's friend Charles is faking a long-distance relationship.
  • Parodied:
    • "Marie" is treated like a Bigfoot-esque urban legend; Bob's friends spend their time studying supposed "sightings" of her.
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    • After Bob claims he has a girlfriend, we cut to Marie insisting to her friends that she has a boyfriend in the US.
    • Bob's friends have seen Marie in person several times and can confirm her identity, but they act as if she's fictional anyways since Bob should have no chance at scoring a date.
    • Bob's relationship with "Marie" ascends to marriage, and he eventually has imaginary children with her. His real friends are greatly disturbed.
  • Zig Zagged: As Double Subverted, when someone notices a message from a French-speaking woman on Bob's answering machine, asking why she hasn't been picked up from the airport.
  • Averted: No one in the story pretends to have a relationship with an imaginary person, and there may or may not be genuinely mistaken claims of relationship.
  • Enforced: "We want to underline just how much of a loser Bob is. Make him claim he has a Girlfriend in Canada."
  • Lampshaded:
    • "No, I've never seen a picture of Bob's girlfriend either. Odd, that." "I know how lame it sounds, but Marie just doesn't like having her picture taken."
    • "I'm just typing an email to my girlfriend. Dear my girlfriend, thank you for sending me a box of chocolates on purpose. Don't ever change."
  • Invoked:
    • Bob's buddies start a conversation about their girlfriends in full knowledge that Bob is dateless, just to see what he'll do when it's his turn.
    • Bob decides to impress Alice (and possibly give her something to envy) by saying he's in a long-distance relationship.
  • Exploited: Bob's Fair Weather Friend David mentions Marie when both men meet a really attractive single woman, so she'll think Bob is taken.
  • Defied: Bob tells the truth about his single status.
  • Discussed: "I'm not going to lie. I am between girlfriends. I was going to pretend I was in a long-distance relationship or something, but I decided against it. Now that you've made me say it, do you guys have any sisters who are single?"
  • Conversed: "I thought I might like Generic Sitcom, but they're being way too mean to Bob with this imaginary girlfriend Running Gag."
  • Deconstructed: Real women who might be interested in Bob are discouraged because they think he's taken.
  • Reconstructed: Most single women don't believe Bob's story.
  • Played For Laughs: "Marie" shows up, but it's Bob in a Wig, Dress, Accent disguise. He fools almost no one, except Bob's rival Ethan, who tries to steal "Marie" before Bob "returns".
  • Played For Drama: Bob's imaginary girlfriend is just a symptom of much deeper psychological problems caused by his social maladjustment. Over time, he becomes more and more engrossed in his fantasy of a perfect relationship, until he loses the memory that Marie doesn't actually exist.
  • Untwisted: Bob makes up the Girlfriend in Canada as a joke, and only sticks to the story because he thinks it's funny that his friends believe it. (He thinks they believe it, anyway.)

Was her name Alberta and she lived in Vancouver, or was it vice versa? Either way it's back to your Girlfriend in Canada.
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