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Playing With / Parodies for Dummies

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Basic Trope: A book is a parody of X for Dummies, The Complete Idiot's Guide to X or similar series.

  • Straight:
    • Alice wants to rob a museum. She reads Robbing Museums for Dummies.
    • The Complete Idiot's Guide to Stealing the Hope Diamond, an oddly specific book about how to remove one object from the Smithsonian's National Museum of National History.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Alice has trouble understanding Robbing Museums for Dummies. Fortunately, she finds a CliffsNotes for this book.
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    • Alice depends on these books for mundane tasks: Climbing Stairways for Dummies, Opening Doors for Dummies, and Breathing Air for Dummies.
    • After Alice robs the museum, the police are seen reading An Idiot's Guide to Solving Museum Robberies. During her trial, everyone has their nose in a copy of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Robbery Trials But Were Afraid to Ask. Alice gets ten years and decides to read You, Too, Can Survive Prison!.
  • Downplayed:
    • Alice reads a real book, such as The Complete Idiot's Guide to Auto Repair.
    • Alice the witch reads Potions for Dummies — obviously not a real book, but it is a plausible instructional guide for a fantasy world.
  • Justified: High levels of crime have created a market for books like Robbing Museums for Dummies.
  • Inverted: Alice has lots of how-to books, but none of them parody the For Dummies series or similar instructional guides.
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  • Subverted: Alice asks for Robbing Museums for Dummies, but is informed that no such book exists.
  • Double Subverted:
    • However, a general Robbery for Dummies exists.
    • However, they do have a book titled The Complete Idiot's Guide to Robbing Museums.
  • Parodied:
    • Alice does Throw the Book at Them. The book happens to be Knocking People Unconscious for Dummies, but Alice never reads the book.
    • Alice breaks into the Smithsonian, but finds that the Hope Diamond is already missing because someone else has already read the The Complete Idiot's Guide to Stealing the Hope Diamond.
    • Alice, who's illiterate, tries to read Reading for Dummies.
    • Alice tries to read Robbing Museums for Dummies, but doesn't understand it and has to use Robbing Museums for Dummies for Dummies.
    • Alice tries to rob a museum by following the advice in Robbing Museums for Dummies. Too bad the "information" found there is useless Captain Obvious statements at best and blatantly wrong at worst.
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  • Zig Zagged:
  • Averted: Alice learns how to rob a museum, but not by reading a book. Perhaps she has The Gift, or gets Improvised Training.
  • Enforced: Product Placement by For Dummies.
  • Lampshaded: Bob mentions that The Complete Idiot's Guide to Stealing the Hope Diamond should not exist, because the subject is too specific for an entire book.
  • Invoked: Bob gives Alice a copy of Robbing Museums for Dummies so that she can use it to rob the museum.
  • Exploited: The museum guards have studied Robbing Museums for Dummies and will catch anyone who attempts the methods from the book.
  • Defied: Bob tries to get a work titled Robbing Museums for Dummies published. The publisher forces him to change the title to Robbing Museums, if it even allows him to publish it at all.
  • Discussed: Carol sarcastically says, "If you want to rob a museum, maybe you should read Robbing Museums for Dummies."
  • Conversed: "This show is so inaccurate! Of course there's no book called Robbing Museums for Dummies." "Of course there isn't. Don't you know what a parody is?"
  • Deconstructed: Alice reads Robbing Museums for Dummies, but comes out with only a preliminary understanding of the topic, and is immediately arrested when she tries to rob the museum.
  • Reconstructed: The world's museums are now safer with Alice locked up.

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