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Playing With / Incest Subtext

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Basic Trope: There is incestuous subtext between characters.

  • Straight: Alice and Bob are a Brother-Sister Team who hug a lot, sometimes profess their love for each other, and—because their family has a small house—share a room.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed:
    • Alice and Bob's subtext is minor and only occasional, and only a small subgroup of Incest Yay Shippers notice it.
    • The actors have some chemistry, but the writers do little to support it.
  • Justified: Alice and Bob get together later is the story, and the subtext is Unresolved Sexual Tension leading up to it.
  • Inverted: Alice and Bob are unrelated lovers, who act more like siblings.
  • Subverted: The subtext is just Early Installment Weirdness, and after a while the Relationship Writing Fumble is corrected.
  • Double Subverted: …but fans loved Alice and Bob's subtext, and so the writers bring it back, this time on purpose.
  • Parodied: Alice and Bob's "subtext" is more obvious than most text, frequently Lampshaded, but always given a Hand Wave and Laugh Track.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Alice and Bob look alike, have a romantic dynamic, and share surname. Is it Brother–Sister Incest or a Lookalike Lovers? Are they siblings or spouses? Was Alice born with that surname, or did she take Bob's surname when she married him? Ultimately, it is revealed that Alice and Bob are cousins. But then later, we find out Alice's parents raised Bob from a young age, after his parents died. Which makes Alice and Bob Not Blood Siblings —but still blood cousins. Their romantic dynamic stays constant through all these reveals. They live together, but the camera never follows them home—so we never know what does or doesn't happen when the main character isn't around.
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    • Alice and Bob's subtext comes and goes, Depending on the Writer.
  • Averted: Alice and Bob act like normal siblings.
  • Enforced: Alice and Bob's actors have too much Unresolved Sexual Tension to hide, so the writers have to work it into the story.
  • Lampshaded: They are mistaken for lovers by strangers.
  • Invoked: Alice and Bob are actors auditioning for the parts of two siblings. They decide to play up Incest Subtext in their audition, because all the siblings on their favorite TV shows have it.
  • Exploited: Alice and Bob go Undercover as Lovers very convincingly.
  • Defied: After being mistaken for lovers by a stranger, Alice decides she really needs to stop hanging all over her brother, for fear that someone they actually know will draw the same conclusion—or even worse, that she might develop feelings for him.
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  • Discussed:
    Carol: Have you seen how Bob and Alice have been acting lately? D'you think they're secretly lovers or something?
    Dan: Get real Carol. This isn't a soap opera—that doesn't actually happen in real life.
  • Conversed: "Why are all the siblings on TV so flirty? Are all writers only children or something?"
  • Deconstructed: Alice and Bob are mistaken for lovers so often, and their subtext is so obvious, that their parents start to worry. They take their kids to a therapist, who draws the same conclusion. Alice and Bob are separated, and their incest (which doesn't actually exist) is prosecuted as a crime. Bob's ex-girlfriend Carol—who broke up with him because his relationship with his sister weirded her out—testifies against them.
  • Reconstructed: Alice and Bob are eventually able to convince everyone that there’s nothing going on between them, and are able to return to thier normal lives once thier charges are dropped.

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