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Playing With / Tampon Run

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Basic Trope: A male character is sent to buy tampons or pads for his wife, girlfriend, daughter, sister, etc.

  • Straight: Alice starts her period a couple of days early, and just used the last of her tampons. She's running through The Long List of stuff to do, and doesn't have time to stop by the drugstore. So she asks Bob to go get them.
  • Exaggerated: Bob moves Heaven and Earth to get there, and get the tampons without being questioned by all his buddies (that were there buying condoms), and get them home...only to have Alice get pissed at him (due to PMS or simply being a nag) for "buying the wrong ones."
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  • Downplayed: Bob is going out grocery shopping, and Alice adds them to the list before he leaves.
  • Justified:
    • Alice doesn't have time to buy them.
    • Alice is young, and still kinda ashamed of buying these on her own, so she sends her brother for them to avoid the embarrassment.
    • Bob is going out shopping, and as long as he's going out, Alice adds them to his shopping list, or he specifically asked her if she needed anything.
    • Alice is either sick with something else or suffering debilitating menstrual symptoms (maybe she has endometriosis) and is running low on supplies.
  • Inverted:
    • Alice (or Bob) runs the Trojan Gauntlet.
    • Alice buys tampons herself, but she's kind of embarrassed about it.
    • Alice sends Bob out to buy her a home pregnancy test.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice considers sending her brother, but then she grabs tampons herself.
    • Bob comes back with beer. (He didn't get tampons because he forgot or some other reason.)
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    • Bob is OK with it.
    • Bob uses the self-checkout.
    • Alice sends her mother to buy them for her.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Then she sees Bob from math class (whom she has a huge crush on) working the register, and puts them back, tosses them into her mom's cart, or shoplifts them.
    • But then he meets Charles, and hides the box so Charles won't think Bob is "whipped." Charles sees the box, and Bob says, " did that get there?"
    • Bob doesn't know which kind Alice prefers, makes a guess (or just grabs a box at random) and is told by Alice that it's the wrong kind.
    • Because he's embarrassed...and he still picked out the wrong ones.
    • Bob is working the register, and Alice's mom happens to be one of those Amazingly Embarrassing Parents that makes the transaction way more awkward for him than it needs to be.
  • Parodied:
    • Bob feels emasculated and jealous because he thinks that these are some kind of sexual pleasure device that Alice is using to replace him.
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    • This goes through a Delegation Relay of all the guys in Alice's life.
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted:
    • Alice doesn't ask Bob to get tampons (or other feminine hygiene products) for her.
    • Alice has a reusable menstrual cup.
    • Alice doesn't have periods. (Perhaps she is too young and hasn't started having them yet, or is menopausal/post-menopausal, or is a trans woman and therefore lacks a uterus and ovaries, or had her uterus and/or ovaries removed, or is using certain types of hormonal birth control that suppresses her cycle, or is not of a species that has a menstrual cycle.)
    • Periods and related hygiene products are not mentioned in-story.
  • Enforced: The executives demand period jokes, but the writers feel that All Periods Are PMS has gotten old, so they use this one instead.
  • Lampshaded: "Why can't she just buy these herself?! I don't know anything about tampons!"
  • Invoked: Alice has been low on tampons, and she puts buying them on her to-do list, but as per Finagle's Law starts three days early. She doesn't have time to get them, but Bob is just sitting there playing video games.
  • Exploited: Charlie, Unlucky Childhood Friend to Alice, knows her insensitive boyfriend Bob will be reluctant in this area, and when he hears Alice mention she's running low he volunteers to buy more for her hoping to get brownie points.
  • Defied:
    • Alice knows Bob won't get the right kind, and that he won't bother to send a text and ask her, so she just makes the emergency trip to the store herself.
    • Bob refuses to go. (Although he knows he'll probably get Exiled to the Couch, or outright dumped.)
  • Discussed: "I don't have time to buy tampons. Should I send Bob?"
  • Conversed: "Men buying tampons never works well in fiction."
  • Implied: Bob is seen holding a box of tampons and looking embarrassed.

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