Follow TV Tropes

Following

Playing With / Too Incompetent to Operate a Blanket

Go To

Basic Trope: Someone is having an extraordinarily difficult time doing a simple task with a mundane product.

  • Straight: At the beginning of the commercial for the Brush-O-Matic, Alice gets her hairbrush stuck in her hair and screams.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Alice is banging the brush (the non-bristled side) against her tangled mass of hair like a crazed chimpanzee before the above happens. Alternatively, she yanks at her hair so hard with it that she scalps herself.
    • Advertisement:
    • Bob gets his dick stuck in a ceiling fan.
  • Downplayed: Alice is shown brushing her hair, but envying the way other girls can get their hair into braids.
  • Justified:
    • Alice has some kind of mental or physical disability that makes even the simplest tasks difficult for her.
    • Alternatively, the Brush-O-Matic is marketed towards the elderly and/or disabled.
  • Inverted: Alice seems to be getting on perfectly fine with her ordinary hairbrush. Her super-high-tech Brush-O-Matic does, we're told, keep her hair shiny and clean for longer (by folliculating its nanokeratoids), but it looks like a hell of a lot of hard work to use.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice is having trouble with her hairbrush, but soon figures it out.
    • An advert shows Alice struggling with some incredibly basic household chores... and turns out to be an advert for a nursing home.
    • Advertisement:
    • "If you find ordinary hairbrushes a chore... then this probably isn't for you. If anything, it's more complicated. But if you're a human being of normal intelligence, you need a Brush-O-Matic!"
  • Double Subverted: The problem is, she was using the non-bristled side!
  • Parodied:
    • Alice's bad hair day culminates in her ripping out all her hair, thus making the Brush-O-Matic completely useless to her.
    • The camera pans out to show the woman next to her, Betty, using an ordinary hairbrush perfectly easily, and giving Alice slightly worried looks as she continues to struggle with the basic task. Then they're introduced to the Brush-O-Matic, which Betty is delighted with... but Alice looks like one of the monkeys in 2001: A Space Odyssey, driven into a confused Luddite rage by this new piece of arcane technology. "The Brush-O-Matic: it's not for morons."
    • Advertisement:
    • The question asked in the commercial is something along the lines of "Do you have a drawer full of hair brushes but prefer to brush your hair with a broom?"
    • Alice, after five seconds of frightfully staring at a hairbrush, gently nudges it, and her hair suddenly sets on fire. The Brush-O-Matic is just a normal hairbrush being sold for $500 while being claimed as "the world's only non-lethal hairbrush!"
  • Zig Zagged: Some people in the commercial have trouble brushing their hair with an ordinary hairbrush, others have no trouble.
  • Averted: Alice has no trouble brushing her hair with an ordinary brush.
  • Enforced: Viewers Are Morons; let's sell our product, which is designed just for the disabled or otherwise unable people, to them!
  • Lampshaded: "Is brushing your hair with an ordinary hairbrush difficult?"
  • Invoked: Alice really wants a Brush-O-Matic, so pretends her hairbrush is impossible to use.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: The marketers of the product don't wish to insult the intelligence or ability of potential customers. They just market the product as a convenience product.
  • Discussed: "Do you hate adverts that assume you're a complete moron? You need TiVo!"
  • Conversed: "Why do all these people have so much trouble using a friggin' hairbrush?!"
  • Deconstructed: People don't buy the product because it's "obviously for imbeciles.'

Back to Too Incompetent to Operate a Blanket
Top

Example of:

/

Feedback