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Playing With / Princess Phase

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  • Basic Trope: Little girls want to be princesses.
  • Straight: Alice likes to dress up in a pink Princess Classic costume, and have tea parties with her "subjects" (dolls and stuffed animals). She also daydreams about unicorns, and Prince Charming.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Did we mention that Alice is an adult?
    • All the girls and women in this setting are going or have been through this phrase.
  • Downplayed:
    • Alice is a Tomboy with a Girly Streak who sometimes dreams of being like the heroine of her favourite TV series, Bethany of Troperia.
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    • Alice doesn't bother with frilly dresses, tea parties or romantic dreams of Prince Charming, but likes it when her parents call her their "little princess" and always plays a "princess" character in games, "just because".
  • Justified: All the stories Alice hears, the media she "consumes" etc. feature heroines who are princesses or marry into royalty as their end goal. Naturally, Alice seeks to emulate this. If it's a setting where the only way a woman can have any sort of status or good life is by being or marrying royalty or nobility, it could be a reasonable aspiration for her to have.
  • Inverted:
  • Gender Inverted:
    • Bob went through a cowboy or superhero phase.
    • Bob went through a prince phase.
    • Bob went through a princess phase.
    • Alice went through a prince phase.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice is referred to as "my little princess" by her parents, but then it's revealed that she likes making mud pies outside.
    • Alice is a teenage girl, who gets embarrassed when her dad refers to her as "Princess" in front of her dates.
    • Alice is described as princesslike, but then she's revealed to be One of the Boys.
  • Double Subverted:
    • In her princess costume. And when she finds a frog in the mud, she tries to kiss it in hopes of turning him into a prince.
    • She does have (and wear) a T-shirt that says "Princess" on it.
    • Advertisement:
    • She always ends up playing the role of a princess (albeit a Rebellious Princess) when she plays make-believe with her friends.
  • Parodied: ???
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Little Alice is obsessed with fairy tales and being a Princess Classic, until she gets older and "grows out" of it; then she becomes a teenager and starts reading fantasy novels about Warrior Princess characters who go off having adventures and saving the day, and dreams of being this; but as she approaches adulthood decides studying and pursuing a career would be far more worthwhile, serious ambitions. At university, she becomes enamoured of a charming foreign student who happens to be Prince Bob of Troperia, so maybe being an actual princess looks like a good idea. They marry and return to Prince Bob's country, but the now-Princess Alice finds royal life to be one long round of boring official engagements, charity work and producing potential male heirs to inherit her husband's birthright, deciding what she really wants after all is really not to be a princess. Unless, of course, she should find herself the long-lost heir to the throne of some small state where she has actual power for a change...
    • Some little girls want to be princesses, some don't.
  • Averted: Alice shows no interest in princess-related stuff In-Universe.
  • Enforced: ???
  • Lampshaded: "A lot of girls my age want to be princesses too."
  • Invoked: ???
  • Exploited: Alice gets engaged to Bob as an adult. All the bridal magazines, the venues she checks out, the bridal salon where she buys her Fairytale Wedding Dress, her mother, and her wedding planner all push the Princess for a Day concept to Alice.
  • Defied: Alice decides she doesn't want to be a princess.
  • Discussed: "My little daughter loves princesses, is that normal?"
  • Conversed: "Unlike on TV, not all little girls want to be princesses."
  • Implied: Little Alice is always seen with a tiara on.
  • Deconstructed: Alice is a bored, lonely child who is constantly picked on or ignored by her peers, and retreats into her private make-believe world where everything is beautiful and good and she can imagine herself to be someone important and admired. Depending upon the cultural values of the setting, it's made worse by the fact everyone thinks she is "too much of a Girly Girl" or has "ideas above her station" for pretending to be a princess whilst a mere common girl.
  • Reconstructed:
  • Played for Laughs:
  • Played for Drama:

Back to Princess Phase

Example of: