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Playing With / Struggling Single Mother

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Basic Trope: A single mother struggles to support her child/children.

  • Straight: Alice is single and takes odd jobs to support her son Bob.
  • Exaggerated: Alice is homeless and supports Bob through prostitution.
  • Downplayed:
    • Alice occasionally has to stretch to make end meet, but is mostly financially stable.
    • Bob's father is still a part of his life, but is unemployed and frequently out of the house.
  • Justified:
    • Alice dropped out of high school when she gave birth to Bob, and thus doesn't have an education to fall back on.
    • Advertisement:
    • Alice doesn't work so she can stay home and take care of her son.
  • Inverted: Glamorous Single Mother.
  • Gender Inverted: Adam struggles to support his daughter Betty.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice wins the lottery.
    • Alice gets remarried to Dan.
    • Alice starts off like this when Bob is first born, but works her way to the top.
    • Alice's sister, Faye, is donating money to support Alice and Bob.
  • Double Subverted:
    • It turns out she read the ticket wrong.
    • Dan leaves Alice after she gets pregnant again.
    • Alice gets fired.
  • Parodied: ???
  • Zig Zagged: Alice is a Glamorous Single Mother. Then she loses her job and has to become a cashier. She remarries only for her husband to die a few years later. She then enters a game show and wins a million dollars.
  • Averted:
    • Alice doesn't have any real problems supporting Bob.
    • Alice and Charlie raise Bob together.
  • Enforced: "You know what would add some drama in Bob's life? A Struggling Single Mother."
  • Advertisement:
  • Lampshaded: "Why aren't there any single moms with high-paying jobs?"
  • Invoked: Alice leaves her husband, bringing along her infant son, though she knows she will no longer be financially dependent.
  • Exploited: Bob brings up his mom's circumstances to invoke pity.
  • Defied: After becoming a teen mother, Alice goes directly to college and gets an amazing job—all while raising her son.
  • Discussed: "Really, how often do you see a Glamorous Single Mother?"
  • Conversed: "It must be tough for Alice to have to raise Bob all on her own."
  • Implied: Only one scene is set at Bob's house, where his mom is seen reading bills and looking worried.
  • Played For Drama: Bob constantly worries that his presence makes his mother's life harder, while Alice constantly wonders if she's being a bad mother for not being able to provide for Bob.

Back to Struggling Single Mother.

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