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Playing With / Phlebotinum Muncher

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Basic Trope: A creature needs to feed on Phlebotinum to survive.

  • Straight: Alice and her pet troposaur, Troptor, feed on troponium in the same way most creatures feed on carbohydrates.
  • Exaggerated: Alice and her pet troposaur must breath, eat, and remain near troponium or steadily go insane before dying.
  • Downplayed: Troponium is an important suppliment in a troposaur's diet, but there are terrestrial alternatives and artificial supplements available and they won't see any negative effects unless they go without for a long time (and even then it's more like suffering from a vitamin deficency than instant death).
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  • Justified: Alice and her troposaur come from the planet Tropius, where tropium is as common as water on Earth. It's basically the Tropian equivalent of an amphibian.
  • Inverted: Alice and her troposaur are allergic to troponium.
  • Subverted: Alice appears to need it herself, but admits that it's more like a socially acceptable addiction, like cigarettes, coffee, or apples.
  • Double Subverted: It turns out while she doesn't technically need it, the withdrawal effects are quite unpleasant (much like going cold turkey on nicotine or caffeine).
  • Parodied:
    • Bob's favorite snack happens to be one of the few terrestrial sources of troponium, forcing him to constantly keep his stash safe from Alice and Troptor.
    • Troponium, despite being necessary for her survival, isn't very tasty and Alice tries a variety of sauces and flavorings to make it more palatable, with little success.
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  • Zig Zagged: Alice and Troptor claim to need it to survive but only ever seem to be at risk when the plot calls for it.
  • Averted: The flora and fauna of Tropius doesn't have any unusual dietary requirements by terrestrial standards.
  • Enforced: The writers have Alice and Troptor feed on troponium to remind everyone that they're aliens and keep their planet relevant.
  • Lampshaded: "You need this stuff to survive? Gee, I hope you never get cut off from your supply."
  • Invoked: The government of Tropius gets anyone they send offworld reliant on troponium to ensure they come back home eventually.
  • Exploited: When Tropians start arriving on Earth, shopkeepers begin marking up items that contain high levels of Troponium and the government begins taxing it as a food as well as a fuel.
  • Defied: Bob asks Alice if she or her pet eats troponium and she sarcastically asks him if he drinks oil.
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  • Discussed: "Hey, Bob could you feed Troptor while I'm out?" "OK, I need to give him the same stuff you put in your ship, right?"
  • Conversed: "So the aliens need the stuff they're using as fuel to live?" "Wow, it really can do everything."
  • Implied: Troptor is shown eating troponium, but Alice never mentions it.
  • Deconstructed: There's a finite amount of troponium on Earth, and Tropius is impossible to reach anymore. One day Alice and Troptor will essentially starve.
  • Reconstructed: Luckily a method of synthesising it is discovered.
  • Played For Laughs: Alice becomes grumpy and irritable when she can't get her daily dose of troponium.
  • Played For Drama: Alice is trapped in a cave-in with Troptor. They're both the only sources of troponium available...

There's some more Phlebotinum Muncher on the main article. Go back if you need it!

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