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Playing With / The B Grade

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Basic Trope: The straight-A student gets a lower grade than expected.

  • Straight: Alice is a straight-A student who gets a B in one subject. She panics and stresses about it for days.
  • Exaggerated: Alice routinely makes perfect marks on everything she does. When she gets an A-minus (and a high A-minus at that) on one of her assignments, she has a mental breakdown the likes of which are usually reserved for manic-depressives who don't take their medication, ending with Alice having a Heroic BSoD (or a Villainous Breakdown, if she's the antagonist), taking a gun to school the next day to kill the teacher, or taking her own life when she gets home from school that day.
  • Downplayed:
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    • Alice gets a B. She is disappointed, but doesn't overreact.
    • Alice is normally a straight-A student. She then gets straight Bs or even a C for one term and freaks out.
  • Justified:
    • Alice studies very hard and is proud of her high grades, so she takes it personally when she slips up.
    • Alice is trying to get into a very exclusive college, and anything lower than an A average will get her snubbed.
    • Alice's parents (or legal guardians) are very strict about what their children get on their report cards and anything lower than an A is grounds for punishment in their household.
    • Alice is a medical student. A B is considered a poor grade or even failing in her program.
  • Inverted:
    • Alice is a underachiever and proud of it. When she manages to raise her straight-F average to a D-minus, she freaks out and worries over being branded a "nerd" by her other anti-intellectual peers.
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    • Alice is a struggling student trying to raise her F average, and gets excited when she musters up a D-minus.
  • Subverted:
    • The "B" on Alice's report card was a misprint or computer error.
    • Alice gets a B, and shrugs it off, to the shock of everyone who knows that she works hard to get straight As.
  • Double Subverted:
    • The "B" on Alice's report card was a misprint or computer error. Turns out she was supposed to get a C.
    • Alice gets a B, and shrugs it off, to the shock of everyone who knows that she works hard to get straight As. In private, however, she has a mental breakdown.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: Alice gets a B on her report card, which was printed improperly; so she got a C instead. But all her classmates did so poorly that all of their grades are pitched upwards (or the class was graded on a curve), so she ends up getting an A anyway.
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  • Averted: Alice gets a B grade and takes it in stride.
  • Enforced: ???
  • Lampshaded: "Oh, no! It's report card day. If Alice gets anything lower than an A, we'll never hear the end of it."
  • Invoked: Alice gets an A on a test, but Bob, a fellow student, switches the grade to a B, or changes her answers, knowing she will overreact, then asks Alice how she performed as the teacher passes the tests back to the students. This sends Alice into a blind rage, yelling at the teacher and everyone else. Then, later, she finds out that Bob tampered with her test.
  • Exploited: Alice's Magnificent Bastard teacher intentionally gives her a B grade because he hates how much of a perfectionist she is and wants to see her suffer.
  • Defied: "I got a B in Art? Well...I guess I'd better study harder next time."
  • Discussed: Alice is bragging about her 4.0 GPA. Her friends start to worry and talk to Alice about what she's going to do when, as is almost inevitable, she gets a B.
  • Conversed:
    Laura: Oh, it's report card day. Do you think the writers are going to give Alice that tired old "I got a B! My parents are going to kill me!" plot?
    Mike: Maybe it would be better than her usual smugness.
  • Deconstructed: Alice's extreme overreaction to a B grade reflects her low self-esteem and need for validation by others.
  • Reconstructed: Alice's friends knock some sense into her by noting that people exist who are suffering from worse things than a mere B and call her out for being selfish.
  • Played for Drama:

The link back to The B Grade was only slightly less than perfect? No dinner for a week!
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