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Basic Trope: An unmarried man's apartment is minimally-furnished and poorly-kept.

  • Straight: After college, Bob moves out to the city, and rents a studio apartment close to work. He has no artwork on the walls, almost nothing in the fridge, and his bed is little more than a mattress and a pillow with some sheets draped haphazardly over it. His "living room" consists of beanbag chairs and milk crates used as stand-ins for a coffee table, and all his plants are dead, if he has plants at all. (Or else they're low-maintenance cacti and succulents.)
  • Exaggerated:
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    • Bob has no artwork (unless posters of bikini models and his favorite rock bands count), almost nothing in the fridge, and no furniture other than a mattress with no sheets on it. Oh, and he doesn't seem to know the meaning of the word "hamper"; there are dirty clothes strewn about everywhere. Nor does he seem to know the meaning of "garbage can."
    • Bob owns an actual house, and still has little furniture and a lot of mess.
  • Downplayed: Bob's apartment is pretty minimalistic, but it's tastefully put together, and there are nice paintings on the walls.
  • Justified:
    • Bob is living in Perpetual Poverty. He's lucky he can pay rent, let alone buy furniture.
    • Bob works 80 hours a week (whether it's for his career or just because the cost of living is so high). He barely sees the inside of his apartment, and decorating it is the last thing on his mind.
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    • Bob is newly single for the first time in years, and still too mopey to think about decorating.
    • Perhaps related to the above, Bob is newly divorced, and Alice took most of the money, the house, the furniture, the dog, etc. in the divorce settlement. Bob is still trying to pick up the pieces, both emotionally and financially.
    • Bob is renting a very small apartment; he doesn't have the space for lots of furniture and decor.
    • Bob just doesn't have an eye for design, and may in fact be more concerned with function than form.
    • Bob is lonely and depressed, and that's sapping his creative energy, or his motivation to clean, decorate, etc.
    • Bob is just plain lazy and can't be bothered.
    • All his life, Bob has been taught that room design and housekeeping were "women's work." When he gets a girlfriend and asks her to move in with him, he'll delegate that all to her. But for now, as far as Bob is concerned, it is what it is.
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    • Bob is a big-time procrastinator. Every day, he tells himself he'll get around to cleaning later...only "later" never seems to come. Meanwhile, the mess just keeps piling up, making Bob even less motivated to deal with it.
    • Bob is financially poor, and doesn't know about how to decorate on a budget.
    • Bob is in a line of work — perhaps one that isn't legal — that means he may have to leave town for years if not permanently at a moment's notice, with no time to pack anything. This would discourage him from spending on decorations or furniture that he wouldn't be able to stuff and carry off in a suitcase in five minutes.
  • Inverted: Bob moves out to the city after college, and rents an apartment close to work. He has artwork on the walls (at least some of which he did himself), tastefully-arranged, high-end furniture and area rugs, living plants, and a fridge full of nutritious food. Additionally, he picked out an apartment that has plenty of space for entertaining, cleans every day (or hires a housekeeping service), and watches HGTV and surfs Pinterest regularly to get ideas for decorating. He is also saving up money to buy a house or condo in the near future.
  • Gender Inverted: After college, Alice moves to the city and rents a studio apartment close to work. She has no artwork on the walls, almost nothing in the fridge, and her bed is little more than a mattress and pillow with some sheets draped haphazardly over it. Her "living room" consists of beanbag chairs and milk crates as stand-ins for a coffee table. And all her plants are dead, or nonexistent, or low-maintenance cacti and succulents.
  • Subverted:
    • Bob is big on do-it-yourself projects
    • Bob is in a long-term relationship, engaged, or married.
    • Bob's apartment is clean and tidy.
    • Bob's apartment is messy, but well-decorated.
    • Bob has roommates.
    • Bob is seen vacuuming.
    • Bob has food in the fridge.
  • Double Subverted:
    • But since he never has the time or the energy for them, he doesn't do them.
    • He lets his wife/fiancée/girlfriend do all or most of the decorating, and only helps out (grudgingly) if she asks him to.
    • It's still pretty minimalistic, and if you ask Bob whether he prefers "white", "ivory," "eggshell," or "cream", he'll respond with a blank stare.
    • Bob isn't so good at housekeeping, and can't afford to hire a housekeeping service.
    • All of them are sloppy, single men.
    • Only because he has a date coming over, or his parents are visiting, or something like that. If no one was coming over, he wouldn't bother.
    • There isn't actually all that much food in the fridge, and most of it is spoiled.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: Bob's apartment changes from episode to episode: sometimes it's clean, sometimes it's a mess. Sometimes it has high-end furniture, other times not so much.
  • Averted:
    • Bob lives in a nice place, whether married or not.
    • Bob is homeless.
    • Bob is living with his parents, or crashing on his friend's couch.
  • Enforced:
  • Lampshaded: "And here we see the Bachelor in his natural habitat. Note the beanbag chairs, and old pizza boxes strewn about."
  • Invoked: Bob is renting an apartment he can barely afford.
  • Exploited: Alice, Bob's landlady, uses it as a sign that Bob would be the most likely of her tenants to take a rental contract buyout at a lower price than others since it'd be easier for him to move out and find accommodation elsewhere than for other tenants both in terms of time needed to vacate the apartment and cost of moving furniture out; thus, she can now turnaround and rent out the apartment to someone else at a rental rate closer to market value.
  • Defied: Bob scopes out garage sales and Craigslist for low-cost furniture and decor, and transforms his living space into a place of his own.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
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