Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / Headphones Equal Isolation

Go To

Basic Trope: A character with headphones on pays the world no mind.

  • Straight: Alice is always seen with headphones, and is a quiet loner who dislikes interacting with people.
  • Exaggerated: Alice, with her headphones on, pays no mind to an oncoming car and takes 5 minutes to realize she's dead.
  • Downplayed: Alice's attention can still be obtained through her headphones, it's just kind of hard for everyone.
  • Justified:
    • Alice is a DJ who is very focused on her work.
    • Alice has super hearing, so she wears the headphones to drown out all the ambient sound.
  • Inverted:
    • When Alice has her headphones on, she's more attentive.
    • Alice wears headphones, but is the most extroverted and fun-loving person in the cast.
  • Subverted:
    • Someone tried to snag Alice's attention, but she says she can hear them fine.
    • Alice is wearing headphones, and looks like she's not paying anyone any attention, but she was actually just listening to music and is perfectly friendly and sociable.
  • Double Subverted:
    • ...Except she's lying and has no clue what they're talking about.
    • ...Something happens to make her clam up again.
  • Parodied: Being an audiophile is considered something you need a support group for.
  • Zig Zagged: Alice is sometimes withdrawn and distant while wearing headphones, other times she isn't.
  • Advertisement:
  • Averted: Alice doesn't have headphones. Or they don't work.
  • Enforced: "We need to show that Alice is incredibly distant. What headphones do kids use these days?"
  • Lampshaded: "Wow, when Alice has those headphones on, you can slap her and she won't bat an eye."
  • Invoked: Alice puts on a pair of bulky headphones and doesn't pay anyone any attention. People ignore her as a result.
  • Exploited: Robbers notice that Alice is wearing headphones, so they enter her house and steal some valuables. She doesn't notice.
  • Defied: Alice doesn't want to be seen as a distant person while wearing headphones. She wears earphones instead so people will still approach her.
  • Discussed: "Take off those headphones, Alice, they make you look like a loner."
  • Conversed: "Why is that character wearing headphones?" "Oh, you know, to make her look isolated from everyone else."

Back to Headphones Equal Isolation

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: