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Playing With / Going Postal

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Basic Trope: After a bad day at work, a character snaps and kills a bunch of people.

  • Straight: Bob has a bad day at work for Trope Co., so he grabs a machine gun and starts mowing down coworkers.
  • Exaggerated: Numerous coworkers plan rampages because of Trope Co. and its actions.
  • Downplayed:
    • Bob has a bad day at work; so he decides to try and beat up or kill only his boss.
    • Bob destroys his office in rage and gets himself fired as a result, but hurts nobody.
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  • Justified: The events of that day of work were the straw that broke the camel's back, which made Bob snap.
  • Inverted: Bob is somewhat mentally unhinged. After getting that hard-earned promotion at Trope Co., he's officially cured.
  • Subverted: After a bad day at work, we see Bob get out a shotgun and shoot...a deer, as hunting is his method of coping with stress.
  • Double Subverted: But as he bags it, he mumbles to himself that his coworkers are gonna go down that easily as well...
  • Parodied: Worker rampages are so common that HR actually has a policy regarding them - you've got to submit your request, as well as your reason for rampaging.
  • Zig Zagged: After a bad day at work, Bob barges in the next day waving a gun. A water gun, which he then uses to start an impromptu blowing-off-steam day among the staff. The water gun, however, is full of high-proof liquor, which can be used as an improvised flamethrower if Bob's Pointy-Haired Boss presses his Berserk Button one more time.
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  • Averted: Bob has a bad day at work. But he doesn't kill anybody.
  • Enforced: "Remember, that shooter needs a sympathetic reason. Make his boss a prick."
  • Lampshaded: "Uh-oh, they let that unhinged guy go? I think I'm gonna call in sick tomorrow."
  • Invoked: ???
  • Exploited:
    • Bob's boss hates himself but doesn't want to commit suicide for some reason; therefore he goads Bob into shooting up the office so he can be among the fatalities.
    • Bob is trying to scare off some workplace bullies.
    • Bob hopes to get a "Section-Eight" dismissal (which happens to have much better benefits than a plain redundancy).
  • Defied:
    • As soon as Bob approaches, the security team locks down the office, accosts Bob, and disassembles his gun.
    • Bob approaches the office with a loaded machine gun, but before he pulls the trigger, comes to his senses and throws it away.
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  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Played For Laughs: Pretty hard nowadays, but a postal worker being pissed off and one split-second away from unleashing violence upon someone (or just pretending so he would be left alone) used to be an acceptable stereotype.
  • Played For Drama: Bob is pissed off one time too many, walks away with a deadpan face, and comes back fifteen seconds later with some kind of weapon and enough Unstoppable Rage that he would be able to tear the Hulk apart with his bare hands. This has become way too real an issue nowadays, and people often pray that they won't ever have to encounter it.
  • Played For Horror: Bob is a Torture Porn film revolving around the day Bob finally and truly had enough of his shitty workplace and he will get his pound of flesh (literally) from those who wronged him. And their families. And those who try to stop him. And anybody who looks at him funny while he's walking down the street. And those too stupid to run the hell away. And those kids with their annoying cries. And maybe the damn President while he's at it.

Back to Going Postal.


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