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Playing With / Living Emotional Crutch

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Basic Trope: A character on whose presence of another character relies to remain emotionally stable.

  • Straight: Bob has PTSD, but as long as Alice is nearby he has less anxiety attacks and she can talk him down from anything else.
  • Exaggerated: Bob has PTSD, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, and Alphabet Soup Can disorder. But as long as Alice is in sight, he's completely normal.
  • Downplayed: Alice has been helping Bob cope, but even without her his regular therapy sessions would keep him in line.
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  • Justified: Alice is his closest childhood friend, and has helped Bob piece together his life and knows which of his buttons to push/inputs to avoid to keep him stable.
  • Inverted: Alice is an All Take and No Give kind of girl, and having her near to Bob causes him to relapse into his PTSD.
  • Subverted: It seems that Alice is helping Bob cope and stay sane, only it turns out that Bob is actually manipulating Alice. She's not helping his sanity, he just has a crush on her and uses this trope as an excuse to have her near.
  • Double Subverted: ... all of which is just Bob's way of justifying Alice being near to him. His pride wouldn't accept help from others, and Alice really is helping him recover.
  • Parodied: The second Alice is out of sight Bob goes from a fairly normal guy to an off the walls Cloud Cuckoo Lander and back again.
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  • Zig Zagged: Alice may or may not be helping Bob stay sane.
  • Averted: Alice is one of many therapists and friends Bob has had. Some helped more than others, but are basically interchangeable.
  • Enforced: The show is about a Bunny-Ears Lawyer, and while Bob's antics are funny he would never get things done on his own, so Alice is used to keep him focused and the plot rolling.
  • Lampshaded: "Really Bob, with most people you have to dig to find the person to kidnap in order to extort them. Your dependence on Alice made this insultingly easy."
  • Invoked: Alice is a foreigner, and to help her stay in the country they concoct a scheme that invokes this trope to get the immigration officials on their side.
  • Exploited: Alice threatens Bob's brother Charlie with going on strike and leaving him to care for Bob if she doesn't get what she wants.
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  • Defied: Alice hates being solely responsible for Bob's mental health, and forces him to go to therapy with others in an effort to spread the responsibility.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: Alice is only human, and thus has emotional issues of her own. Bob's emotional dependence upon Alice leaves her emotionally drained and unable to care for herself, and their friendship suffers. Alice is forced to decide between her own problems eating away at her, or effectively screwing Bob over, since he's in a position in life where he's absolutely unable to get serious counseling/therapy.
  • Reconstructed: Bob realizes this in time, and vows to let Alice come to him for her own issues if she needs to. She agrees, and both of them are far more open about discussing things with one another. Their friendship becomes stronger than ever.
  • Implied: When Bob has a panic attack, he screams for Alice.

Back to Living Emotional Crutch.


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