Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / Obfuscating Disability

Go To

Basic Trope: A character pretends to be a disabled person.

  • Straight: Bob claims to need a wheelchair. He's seldom seen in public out of one, but when he is, he's clearly able to walk without any problems.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Bob has convinced everyone that he has an intellectually disability to the point where he's completely unable to walk, talk, care for himself, form relationships, hold a job or live a normal life, when in reality he can do all those things with ease.
    • Advertisement:
    • Bob claims to have multiple disabilities, none of which he actually has.
  • Downplayed:
    • Bob genuinely has a disability, but makes his disability out to be more severe than it actually is. For example, he claims to be completely blind but is actually only partially sighted, or he can walk just fine with crutches but always uses a wheelchair in public under the pretense of needing one.
    • Bob claims to have multiply disablities. He does genuinely have at least one of the disabilities he claims, but certainly not all of them.
    • Bob fakes a terminal illness.
    • Bob claims to need glasses, but what he doesn't want you to know is that his pair doesn't have lenses and he has normal vision.
  • Justified: Bob needed to smuggle something important.
  • Inverted: Hiding the Handicap
  • Subverted:
    • Bob's is disability is genuine, but the severity of the disability fluctuates.
    • Advertisement:
    • Bob gains a genuine disability.
    • Bob may not actually have the disability he claimed, but he genuinely does have a different disability.
    • Bob's disability is neurological not physical, his blindness is caused by a conversion disorder.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Then it turns out he was just messing with people.
    • Bob's disability is cured.
    • Bob is better at taking care of his condition than even he thinks he is.
  • Parodied: Bob forgets that he was pretending and is just as surprised at being able to walk.
  • Zig-Zagged: Bob actually does have a disability that he claims will eventually get worse over time. It turns out he made a full recovery, but has been stuck with it for so long that even he didn't know it.
  • Averted: Bob does not have a disablity and makes no secret of this.
  • Enforced: The play is set on a stage which isn't handicap accessible
  • Advertisement:
  • Lampshaded: "How is Bob walking? I thought he was in a wheelchair and couldn't walk at all!"
  • Invoked: ???
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: ???
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: Bob has faked being unable to walk for so long he genuinely needs physical therapy to walk again because his legs are so atrophied.
  • Reconstructed: Even after his recovery, he feels he can back up his claims of needing a wheelchair in case this happens to him again.
  • Played for Laughs: Bob makes everyone forget he can walk just by sitting back down in his wheelchair.

Hey, how are you able to click the button to go back to Obfuscating Disability? Aren't you supposed to be disabled?

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: