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Playing With / Glurge

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Basic Trope: A supposedly inspirational story that is preachy and narmy at best, and unsettling and disturbing at worst.

  • Straight: An email forward about an Inspirationally Disadvantaged little girl named Alice rescuing a kitten circulates. While it's meant to be about caring for others and beating the odds and all that stuff, the story ends up coming across as ableist.
  • Exaggerated: The story also implies that Alice wanted to eat the kitten because her mother wasn't feeding her. Also, after the kitten is rescued, Alice dies.
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  • Downplayed: An email forward about a slave trader that converted to Christianity and gave up his career circulates. While this is true, the missive fails to mention that the part about him giving up his career happened long after his conversion (which also happened slowly over time, not as an instantaneous response to a storm).
  • Justified:
    • Sometimes, Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped, but the writer doesn't do it as carefully as he/she perhaps should.
    • The story really is, in a way, inspiring.
  • Inverted: An email forward about a child killing and eating a kitten circulates. Somehow, the audience sees an uplifting moral in the story (for example, they are impressed by the kid's strong will to survive at all costs).
  • Subverted:
    • The story omits the part about Alice being a Down's syndrome child.
    • The story is, in fact, a true story.
  • Double Subverted:
    • It still implies that she wanted the kitten for food.
    • Or, it implies that she has some other type of disability or disadvantage, and thus still comes across as patronizing.
    • Some details were added or exaggerated for a more dramatic effect.
    • The end of the email that tells people to pass it on to 10 others or face bad luck really undermines it, especially if it also says (or implies) that one has crossed the Moral Event Horizon for not doing so, And That's Terrible.
  • Parodied: An 'Aesop' about how Hitler was right is shown as a heartwarming story about love for comedic effect.
  • Zig Zagged: The Aesop switches between heartwarming and shocking.
  • Averted:
    • Alice doesn't do anything even semi-remarkable.
    • The story isn't meant to be inspirational, only an anecdote of something that happened to someone in the writer's life, and doesn't come across as ableist or anything.
    • Advertisement:
    • No such story exists.
  • Enforced:
  • Lampshaded: The person sending the story notes how ridiculous/sappy it sounds or takes a jab at it, but shares it anyway.
  • Invoked: Someone wants to tell an inspirational story, and brainstorms things he/she could use. These include a child, some type of disadvantage, a cute animal, etc.
  • Exploited: Someone who reads the email happens to be a screenwriter, and decides to make it into a movie, or a plotline in a Soap Opera or other series.
  • Defied:
    • The writer decides to scrap that idea (or to tone it down a bit), believing that it would be too over-the-top.
    • Or because people don't want their email inboxes and Facebook newsfeeds clogged up with spam, however uplifting it's meant to be.
  • Discussed: "I made sure there was no ableist subtext in this story, even with the disabled protagonist."
  • Conversed: ”How is this cute?"

Go back to Glurge, because you'd be happier on the main page than here.

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