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Playing With / Got Volunteered

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Basic Trope: Characters 'volunteer' for something against their will.

  • Straight: Alice and Bob are 'volunteered' for a dangerous or humiliating job by their boss Charlie.
  • Exaggerated: Alice and Bob get volunteered for something that is patently illegal, suicidal, or just plain nuts.
  • Downplayed:
    • When Charlie asks for three volunteers, no one raises their hands, so he assigns Alice, Bob, and Dana to the task.
    • Charlie volunteers Alice and Bob in public, knowing that them backing out will make look bad in front of the company. If they do however, they won't be any consequences other then the loss of face.
  • Justified:
    • Nobody wants to do the job Charlie has asked them to do (mainly because it is dangerous), but someone has to do it.
    • Due to a technicality, Charlie can't legally order his subordinates to do the job, but it needs to get done, so Charlie has them 'volunteer' for it.
    • Charlie has a cruel and ironic sense of humour.
    • Alice and Bob have done very little actual work in all their years at the company, a fact that has not escaped Charlie's notice; he nominates them to this task hoping to instill a 'better attitude' in them.
    • Charlie make his subordinates pick tasks from a list. Alice and Bob thought they could avoid work by not picking, only to end up with the jobs that no one wants.
  • Inverted:
    • Alice and Bob volunteer Charlie to do the job.
    • Alice and Bob do the job despite everyone telling them not to.
  • Subverted: Charlie the boss needs to assign a difficult job to his team and he thinks nobody will be too keen on it. However, when he brings it up, Alice and Bob see it as a challenge and enthusiastically want to do the job.
  • Advertisement:
  • Double Subverted: Once they learn the details of the job, they try to back out only for Charlie to say "too late."
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: Charlie asks for volunteers and Bob steps up. However, it is later shown that Bob was forced into it off screen (Charlie told him before the meeting to volunteer or be fired). When Alice finds out, she prepares to confront Charlie, but Bob reassures her that he would have volunteered anyway. However, Bob's Internal Monologue hints that he only said this to keep Alice out of trouble.
  • Averted: Alice and Bob volunteer for the job out of their own free will.
  • Advertisement:
  • Enforced: ???
  • Lampshaded:
    • "Just once, I'd like to 'volunteer' for something and have it actually be voluntary."
    • "You volunteered for this?" "I got volunteered. There's a difference."
  • Invoked: ???
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: Alice and Bob sense that their boss Charlie wants to assign them on an unpleasant job. They promptly find something else to do, supervised by Charlie's superior.
  • Discussed: "You volunteered for this?" "Of course I did! It fucking sucks, but someone has to do it! It's not like we can trick a clueless chump into doing it, can we? That would be strategically stupid, not to mention that would be highly unethical..."
  • Conversed: "Don't you just love how the Bad Boss from this comic strip always volunteers his team to do the most tedious jobs? And he always takes the credit for their work. What a guy!"
  • Implied: Charlie asks several employees if they are willing to do a task, and they decline giving reasons they cannot. Alice and Bob's faces make it clear that they do not have excuses to back out.

Charlie: All right, I need a volunteer to go back to Got Volunteered. (Beat) No? Bob! Thanks for being such a good sport.
Bob: Oh, No... Not Again!


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