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Playing With / Scrabble Babble

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Basic Trope: Someone makes up a word and plays it in Scrabble or an obvious knockoff.

  • Straight: Sarah and Billy are playing Scrabble. Sarah needs to get rid of some excess high-scoring letters and plays "kixzojq".
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed:
    • Sarah plays "color" even though she wasn't supposed to use American spellings.
    • Sarah plays "grammer" and claims it's a new or rare spelling of the word "grammar".
    • Sarah plays a proper noun.
    • Sarah plays a rare (but real) word which isn't in the dictionary.
    • It never becomes clear whether "kixzojq" is a real (In-Universe) word.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted: Sarah plays "table". Billy doesn't believe it's an actual word.
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  • Subverted: Sarah plays "kixzojq". Later, it turns out that a type of fairy is named "kixzojq".
  • Double Subverted: Sarah named the fairy some time after the Scrabble game.
  • Parodied:
    • Some tiles contain symbols for some reason. Sarah plays "g~$7¤t€£w", and it's accepted.
    • Sarah uses tiles that aren't even meant for Scrabble and manages to pass off her resulting "word" as valid. "Oh, quarter-drink coaster-bottle cap-dryer lint? Yeah, that's the name of an old Indian folk tune." "Makes sense to me!"
    • Billy and Sarah aren't allowed to use real words.
  • Zig-Zagged: Sarah plays real but obscure words but gives ridiculous definitions to provoke Billy into challenging them. After a couple of failed challenges, she starts using fake words which Billy won't challenge.
  • Averted: Sarah and Billy only play real words.
  • Enforced: "We need more jokes. Why don't we do the classic gag when someone plays nonsense in a Scrabble match?"
  • Advertisement:
  • Lampshaded: "Sarah, you and I both know that 'qzmfkxj' is not a word. It doesn't even have a vowel."
  • Invoked: Tina sees that Sarah can't think of anything to play, so Tina whispers to Sarah that she can make something up.
  • Exploited:
    • Sarah (or a friend of hers) bets on her Scrabble games, and uses this strategy to win easily.
    • Billy plays a valuable made-up word later in the match. When Sarah threatens to look it up, Billy says that if she looks it up, he'll look up "kixzojq".
  • Defied: "And no cheating! If I look up one of your words and it turns out to be fake, I win!"
  • Discussed: "Dag nab it, I only have consonants. I'd better start making up words or I'll lose."
  • Conversed: After watching the scene in the straight example, Vera the viewer says, "Stupid Billy, that's not a word. Show her that it's not in the dictionary."
  • Implied: Some time after the game, Billy says, "I don't even know half the words that Sarah played." While there are thousands of obscure words in the English language, it seems unlikely that the Book Dumb Sarah would bother to memorize real words when she could get away with using fake ones.
  • Deconstructed: Billy questions Sarah about the made-up word.
  • Reconstructed: Sarah makes up a fake definition for the word.
  • Played for Laughs:
  • Played for Drama:
    • Sarah's use of made-up words leads to a fight between her and Billy.
    • Sarah uses made-up words to cheat in a tournament Billy desperately wants to win. Billy suspects that some of her words were made up, but he doesn't know which ones, and he's afraid of looking like a stupid Sore Loser if he accuses a real word of being fake...
  • Played for Horror:

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