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Basic Trope: Character A does not consider character B to belong to a certain group to which most people would expect him/her to belong, because of his/her actions or attributes.

  • Straight: Alice tells Bob, "All Goths wear clunky combat boots. Everyone knows that." When Bob points out that their friend Ravenna prefers sleek stiletto boots, Alice says, "In that case, I guess she's not a real Goth."
  • Exaggerated:
    • Alice ends up defining "real" Goths so narrowly that most Goths do not fit her definition.
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    • Alice defines Ravenna as not being a Goth by something pointlessly silly, like wearing a very specific nail polish which is hard to get.
  • Downplayed:
    • Alice's exclusion isn't inherently part of the definition (if it was, it wouldn't be the fallacy at all) but is still something most people really wouldn't associate with the group, e.g. "Goths don't wear pink lipstick."
    • Alice randomly flips between defining Ravenna as being a Goth and as not being one.
  • Justified:
    • Alice believes that Ravenna isn't a true Goth because of her boots.
    • Alice is trying to figure out what things she personally considers criteria for being Gothic, not so much Moving the Goalposts as trying to determine where they currently are.
  • Inverted:
    • Alice considers Ravenna to be a Goth because she follows many of the habits of Goths, even though she never claims to be one.
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    • Alice tells Bob, "No woman other than a Goth would dye her hair black." When Bob points out that Susan dyes her hair black, Alice replies, "Well, then I guess she's a Goth too, even if she doesn't think so."
    • Alice likes to think of herself as being X, but is told that she doesn't fit the dictionary definition/meet the objective criteria. In response she tries to assert a different, broader definition that ''would'' include her.
  • Subverted: Alice says that Ravenna is not a true Goth, but only because of a list of clearly-defined attributes, which the others agree she doesn't meet.
  • Double Subverted: Many of Alice's attributes are constantly changed and made narrower and narrower as time goes on.
  • Parodied:
    • Bob points out that Alice, also a Goth, is wearing stilettos too. Alice promptly and dramatically renounces her Goth status and decides to be a Trekkie instead.
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    • Alice insists that all Goths are disguised space aliens with no eyes, eight breasts, and an attraction to polka dots. Bob points out that no Goths currently fit that definition, and Alice claims they're all trend followers getting their facts wrong. Bob points out that even the pioneers of Gothic culture didn't fit that definition, to which Alice replies that the culture has become more open since then.
  • Zig-Zagged: Ravenna acts like a Goth, and Susan doesn't. Alice believes that Susan is a Goth because she dyes her black, but also believes that Ravenna isn't because she wears pink lipstick.
  • Averted: No one makes a generalization about any group of people.
  • Enforced: "For this gag, we need Alice not to consider Ravenna a Goth. Let's have her go by a pre-determined definition."
  • Lampshaded: "Alice's definition of 'Goth' is all wrong. For one thing, it excludes Ravenna."
  • Invoked: Alice does not consider Ravenna a Goth, so she arbitrarily redefines the term. She then tells Bob her definition, knowing that he will list Ravenna as a counterexample.
  • Exploited: Carol acts like a Goth, but for some reason, she does not want Alice to consider her one. Knowing Alice's definition of Goths, she starts wearing stiletto boots.
  • Defied: "Well, okay, Ravenna's a Goth too, but most Goths aren't like that."
  • Discussed: "Is Ravenna a true Goth?" "What do you mean? She certainly looks and acts like one." "Yes, but does wearing stiletto boots disqualify her from being a Goth?" "No. Why would you think that?"
  • Conversed: "What the hell, Alice? Ravenna is so a Goth!"
  • Implied: Ravenna is the only Goth Alice seems to regard disprovingly, yet the fact Alice never explains herself leaves the exact reason up in the air.
  • Played for Laughs: Alice's made-up definitions for everything are a Running Gag.
  • Played for Drama: Ravenna murders Alice over her made-up definition of "Goth."
  • Deconstructed: Alice's redefinitions come to be accepted despite her ignorance of the meanings behind the terms — and society becomes collectively more ignorant as a result.

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