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Playing With / Tin Man

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Basic Trope: A character laments his lack of emotions, despite showing emotion.

  • Straight: Tim sadly complains about not having any emotions.
  • Exaggerated: Tim openly cries about not having emotions.
  • Downplayed:
    • Tim makes subtle, but logical, statements that betray envy or pride around not having emotions.
    • Tim claims he has no emotions, but displays them occasionally — were he human, he would qualify as The Stoic, but there's something there.
  • Justified:
    • Tim is a robot, who feels emotions, but doesn't realize it.
    • Tim is a total-conversion cyborg who always thought that Cybernetics Eat Your Soul. This is not the case, so his loss of emotion is simply psychosomatic.
  • Inverted:
    • Tim constantly says that he's way too emotional, and he wishes he was completely cold and distant... Despite being a flagrant example of The Stoic, who's devoid of genuine emotions!
    • Everyone else seems to be under the impression that Tim has no emotions, even though he does.
    • Tim insists that he has emotions in spite of showing a lack of either expression or motivational impacts.
  • Subverted:
    • Tim realizes he has emotions, but acts like he doesn't hoping for sympathy.
    • Tim denies he has emotions because he truly is incapable of feeling them.
    • Tim had emotions at some point; a transformation caused him to lose them. While he remembers emotions well enough that he habitually displays the emotions he ought to be feeling, there's nothing there but reflex and ennui.
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  • Double Subverted: ...Or at least that's what his friends think.
  • Parodied: Tim becomes a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds because of his lack of emotions and then sees himself crying in a shard of glass and becomes The Pollyanna
  • Zig Zagged: Tim alternates between wanting emotions and not wanting them, despite having them.
  • Averted: Tim realizes he has emotions.
  • Enforced: "We can't have Tim have no emotions at all, or people will think he's a sociopath. How about he feels emotions, but doesn't recognize them as such?"
  • Lampshaded: "How long do you think it'll be before Tim figures out he can feel?"
  • Invoked: Tim decides to claim he has no emotions, as he is very socially awkward and wants a good excuse should he say something stupid or offensive by accident.
  • Exploited: Sally does horrible things to Tim, while claiming that because he has no emotions, he shouldn't mind. Tim's denial breaks down, along with his mind.
  • Defied: Tim is a robot who was purposefully programmed to have emotions, and is well aware of the fact.
    • Tim laments the emptiness he is feeling but explicitly notes it isn't true lack of emotions - because if it was then it wouldn't be bothering him.
  • Discussed: Tim and Alice debate the ontology of emotion, and whether or not his actions and words count as having emotions or merely simulating the outward signs of emotion.
  • Conversed: "Someone needs to slap some sense into Tim, so he can figure out that he does feel."
  • Deconstructed:
    • The reason Tim claims to have no emotions is because he has committed horrible deeds in the past, and if he is emotionless he cannot feel crippling guilt over it.
    • Tim belief of lacking heart causes him to fear he is a Sociopath. Eventually this strains his relationships with his friends and causes him more anguish.
    • Tim's seeming emotionlessness leads to him being capable of committing all sorts of horrific deeds without batting an eye. However, at one point he goes so far that his actions horrify him and reawaken awareness of emotion in him. But even though he becomes in touch with his emotions, by then, it's too late, as the reawakaned emotion makes him feel horror over all his past deeds as well, and all that combined leads to a breakdown that drives him over the Despair Event Horizon.
  • Reconstructed: Tim gets therapy and learns to accept both his emotions and the fact he has them.

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