Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / How Unscientific!

Go To

Basic Trope: Either something scientifically impossible happens in a realistic work, or something theoretically possible but highly unlikely to happen (like an alien invasion) happens in a work which mainly consists of likely things happening.

  • Straight: Alice, Bob and the Gang is a Dom Com that's set in suburban New York in the modern age and focuses on Alice, her husband Bob, their kids Claire and Dave and their pets Emily the dog and Frank the cat. Usually, the characters do not have or experience anything that's too implausible for a modern family in suburban New York, but in the episode "Alice, Bob and the Gang vs the Ghosts", ghosts kidnap Claire and Dave, so Alice and Bob must rescue them.
  • Advertisement:
  • Exaggerated: Nothing out-of-the-ordinary happens in Alice, Bob and the Gang, however, in one episode, something that could not theoretically be possible happens.
  • Downplayed: In an episode of Alice, Bob and the Gang, Alice joins NASA. While not impossible, this is highly unlikely, especially how she only got in after a day.
  • Justified: Ghosts could theoretically exist, so Claire and Dave were just very unlucky.
  • Inverted: In Alice, Bob and the Gang, the show has Negative Continuity and many unlikely and impossible things happen, however, in one episode, everything is normal.
  • Subverted:
    • It turns out that it wasn't really ghosts who kidnapped Claire and Dave, it was a con artist named Gary and his Five-Man Band.
    • It was All Just a Dream.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Then, Gary reveals himself to be a vampire.
    • When Claire, who had the dream, wakes up, she sees that Frank, who was sleeping on the end of her bed, has sprouted wings.
  • Advertisement:
  • Averted: There are no unlikely episodes in Alice, Bob and the Gang.
  • Parodied: In "Alice, Bob and the Gang vs the Ghosts", there's No Fourth Wall anymore and they keep commenting on how weird it is.
    Bob: "So this is a sitcom and now we're saving our son and daughter from ghosts? And I've got Medium Awareness now! What next?"
  • Zigzagged: Claire and Dave get kidnapped by ghosts, but it turns out to actually be Gary and his group of scam artists...then Gary reveals himself to be a vampire...which was another scam...then when they get home they see that aliens have tied up Frank and Emily and threatened to kill them if Alice and Bob don't do their bidding...but they turn out to be just Helga and Ike, two pranksters from next door, playing an elaborate prank...but then Emily speaks...but then Dave wakes up and it was All Just a Dream.
  • Advertisement:
  • Enforced: ???
  • Lampshaded: "If this were a TV show, this'd be the series's Bizarro Episode!"
  • Invoked: The ghost kidnaps Claire and Dave because "a family in suburban New York would least expect this!"
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: ???
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: "What are ghosts doing in a Dom Com?!"
  • Implied: The episode ends with an Or Was It a Dream? ending.
  • Deconstructed: Not applicable. For a deconstruction, there has to be realism and this trope is inherently unrealistic.
  • Reconstrcuted: Not applicable. For a reconstruction, there must be a deconstruction.
  • Played for Laughs: The ghosts are quite comical and tease the children the way a schoolyard bully would, while the children say things like "We've heard that line a million times. That's not funny anymore."
  • Played for Drama: The ghosts threaten to kill the children.

Back to How Unscientific!

Example of: