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Playing With / Mistaken for Racist

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Basic Trope: A character is mistaken for a racist despite not being racist.

  • Straight: Alice thinks Bob is a racist because when he finds out Carol is a secret agent who is spying on him (and he's had other secret agents spy on him before) he says, "Where do all these pesky agents keep coming from?!", and Alice thinks he said "Asians". It doesn't help that Carol, coincidentally, is also Asian-American.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Alice thinks Bob is an extremely racist man because after the "agents/Asians" confusion, he also accidentally trips up Danny who's black (and Alice thought he did it on purpose) and, while Carrying a Cake, it lands on Emily's face, and Emily is also a Latina.
    • Bob gives a speech about ethics, but mistakenly says ethnics throughout the whole speech.
    Ethnics are a major problem in this company. If we do not deal with this ethnic problem our company will go downhill.
  • Downplayed: ???
  • Justified:
    • Bob wasn't speaking clearly.
    • Alice wasn't concentrating.
    • Alice was far away.
    • Alice is a bit hard of hearing.
    • Alice is a bit paranoid about Bob being racist because Carol has talked about facing racism in her past.
  • Inverted: A racist remark/action is misinterpreted as non-racist.
  • Subverted: It turns out Bob is racist.
  • Double Subverted: In Bob's defense, he says that he's had a pleasant experience with every Asian he's met, it's just that Carol gives those people a bad name by embodying all the worst stereotypes of their race.
  • Advertisement:
  • Parodied: The next day, the news has "BOB IS MISTAKEN FOR RACIST" on its headline.
  • Zigzagged: Bob says "where did all these pesky agents come from?!" and Alice thinks he said "pesky Asians". He then trips up Danny and, while Carrying a Cake, it ends up on Emily's face. Alice learns that he said "agents" not "Asians" and that giving Emily a Pie in the Face was a mistake, but he did trip up Danny on purpose. However, it's heavily implied that he didn't do it because he's black.
  • Averted: Alice does not mistake Bob for racist.
  • Lampshaded: "Sorry for thinking you were racist"
  • Enforced: To teach An Aesop about racism without introducing a Long-Lost Uncle Aesop and without turning a character racist.
  • Invoked: Bob plays pranks only on people of different races than he is so Alice would think he's racist.
  • Advertisement:
  • Exploited: Bob uses Alice's presumptions of him as racist to get her to stop having a crush on him when he's not interested.
  • Defied: Alice decides Bob is innocent until proven guilty.
  • Discussed: "How easy is it to mistake someone for racist?"
  • Conversed: "Is that Bob character really racist or is it just Alice's runaway imagination?"
  • Implied: We never find out if Bob tripped up Danny on purpose or by mistake, but he seems pretty non-racist towards Danny.
  • Played for Laughs: Cringe Comedy.
  • Played for Drama: It leads to Bob being lonely as Alice (and possibly Carol, Danny, and Emily) are alienating him.
  • Played for Horror: Alice and Carol murder Bob thinking that the fact he's "racist" means they can get away with it.

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