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Playing With / Tsundere

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Basic Trope: A (usually) female character who conceals a sweet side with a cranky exterior, or conceals a cranky side with a sweet exterior. Most often occurs in UST situations.

  • Straight: Summer loves Danny, the school's resident daredevil. Unfortunately, his antics frequently get on her nerves, and she lets him know it. Summer also probably denies any romantic feelings for Danny.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed:
    • Summer gets annoyed with Danny a little faster than she does with other people. You have to watch closely to notice it. When asked if she has feelings for him, she laughs and denies it.
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    • Summer is cold, if not outright hostile, around Danny, but secretly admires him.
  • Justified:
    • Summer's best friend, Shrinking Violet Claire, also really likes Danny, so Summer feels she can't act on her love for him. Danny, being clueless, constantly acts in ways that are hurtful to both Summer and Claire, causing Summer to lash out at him in frustration.
    • Summer doesn't want to be in love with Danny, be it his appearance, his interests, etc.; but is, and is desperately trying not to be. The stress causes her to insult him.
    • Summer thinks being in love makes her weak.
    • Summer has been hurt before, and has sworn off romance, but can't help being attracted to Danny. She tries to suppress the feeling by focusing on his negative traits and insulting him.
    • Summer has to pretend to be a jerk to keep up, and acting rude to Danny is part of it.
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    • Summer is suffering from a Cartwright Curse, and tries to drive Danny away because she doesn't want anything to happen to him.
    • Summer has a personality disorder (either borderline or dissociative), which explains why she hates and loves Danny at the same time.
    • Summer and Danny were in a relationship in the past, and it ended poorly. Summer is still attracted to Danny, but pulls away whenever it looks like they might be getting too close to each other, since she hasn't forgotten why their previous relationship failed.
    • Summer is The Mole and knows better than to sleep with the enemy. So she denies any feelings she might have for Danny.
    • Summer is eight years old and has her first crush, but she still thinks boys are gross.
    • Danny reminds Summer of her favourite cousin, who was also a daredevil and who died years ago in a motorcycle accident. She'll never admit this out loud, though, and expresses her concern by be(r)ating Danny every time he does something stupid. (Which is often.)
    • Summer simply can't afford to show weakness and, attraction being the biggest weakness of all, she overcompensates.
    • For whatever reason, Summer isn't allowed to be in love with Danny.
    • Carol is also in love with Danny, and Summer knows this. Summer pretends not to be in love with Danny so Carol won't try to off her.
    • Summer has been through some really bad shit. And because of this she has a hard time trusting people, and uses her harsh side like a mask to push them and keep them away because she is frightened of opening up.
    • Summer thinks that sex and/or romance is wrong.
    • Summer doesn't think she deserves to be loved and thinks Danny would be unhappy if he settled with her, so she tries to push him away by being a jerk to him and making him view her in the way she views herself.
    • Summer asked Danny out on a date before, and Danny politely declines. Because she couldn't take the rejection well, she holds it against him. The only reason she still has feelings for Danny is that she hopes one day he can ask her out.
    • Summer and Dani are both girls, and Summer's religion and/or parents say she has to be straight, so she ends up an Armoured Closet Gay who says she is straight. She overcompensates and acts mean to Dani.
  • Inverted:
    • Summer puts a lot of effort into being nice to Danny, even though the truth is she can't stand him.
    • Summer is a nice person, but she can't stand Danny's rude, jerkish behavior and often calls him out on it.
  • Subverted:
    • 1. Summer acts like a Jerkass because she is, and gives Danny mixed messages because she loves to see the look on his face when she screws him over yet again.
    • 2. Summer does have a crush on Danny, but rather than admit it to him (for whatever reason: past heartbreak, fear of being friendzoned, possibly hiding her true sexuality), she approaches him as a friend and just wants to be his friend. Unfortunately, that doesn't stop Danny's (or even Summer's) friends from calling her out on it, which pisses her off and leads her to go after anyone who mentions it.
    • 3. Summer is merely putting up an aggressive front to hide her past pain and angst.
    • 4. Summer seems to like Danny, but it's later revealed that she never did like him.
    • 5. Summer acts like a Jerk with a Heart of Gold toward Danny, but she genuinely doesn't like him and her nicer moments have nothing to do with romantic interest.
    • 6. Summer and Danny are actually sister and brother, and Summer only berates Danny of his foolishness because she was Promoted to Parent for whatever reason. Otherwise, she would rather not exhibit this perceived mood swing.
  • Double Subverted:
    • 1. When Danny reveals his love for her, Summer instantly reveals that the feeling is sincerely mutual.
    • 2. Danny reveals that he has a crush on Summer, Summer feels like crap for yelling at her and his friends, and learns to accept it.
    • 3. Danny (for whatever reason) makes her feel less broken but every time she gets comfortable fear snaps her into more aggression.
    • 4. She lied or falls for him after said revelation.
    • 5. While not romantically interested in Danny, he's still more important to her than her actual romantic interest. Not that she'll ever admit to that.
    • 6. Summer and Danny are Not Blood Siblings or eventually indulge in Brother–Sister Incest.
  • Parodied:
    • Summer bakes a birthday cake for Danny, with strawberries arranged in the shape of a heart. When Danny notices the heart and comments on it, she hastily claims it was a badly misshapen triangle. Later, she admits that it was a heart... then takes it back. Still later, she takes back the taking-back, which leaves Danny hopelessly confused and Summer no closer to expressing her true feelings.
    • "It's not like I married and had three kids with you because I LIKE you or anything... BAKA!"
  • Zig Zagged: Summer is Tsundere, then Yandere, then Tsundere, then Cute and Psycho, then Kuudere, then finally Clingy Jealous Girl.
  • Averted:
    • Danny's antics get on Summer's nerves but she pretends not to notice.
    • Summer is an Ice Queen.
    • Summer has no romantic interest in Danny whatsoever and is simply a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
    • Summer only sees Danny as a friend and treats him like a brother of sorts.
    • Summer truly hates Danny inside and out.
  • Enforced: "Will They or Won't They? Let's make that question funny!" Often used when "friends" try to play matchmaker, and their attempts just keep on turning Summer into a tsundere, even though she usually isn't that way.
  • Lampshaded:
    • "I'm 70% sour and 30% sweet".
    • "Maybe he doesn't seem that into you because he thinks you're crazy? ...Please put the hammer down, I was just joking..."
    • "This plan is stupid and only an airhead like you would think of it....Of course I'm helping, idiot. But don't get the wrong idea! I'm not doing this because I-I like you or anything! I want to see it blow up in your face!"
  • Invoked: Summer yanks Danny out of the mess he's gotten himself into this time... and verbally berates him before, during, and after. Little does she realize that Danny does this because he thinks Summer is cute when she's angry.
  • Exploited:
    • Summer works at a Tsundere cafe.note 
    • Alice asks Danny on a date and shows she has none of Summer's behavior which can irritate him.
  • Defied:
    • Summer's more forthright with her feelings for Danny, rather than showing her cranky side almost all the time.
    • Danny finds out she's being mean to hide her feelings for him and he approaches her and says, "either come forthright with your feelings or leave, please."
  • Discussed:
    Danny: "I wonder why Summer is so angry and hostile towards me."
    Bob: "I've dealt with those types before. They're the ones who secretly like you, but they have a hard time showing it, so they hide it with their anger."
    Danny: "Well if she likes me so much, she'll have to stop being a heartless bitch."
  • Conversed: "I wonder when she's gonna stop calling him names and start saying "I love you?"
  • Implied: Summer is very nasty to Danny, but she occasionally gets a brief, ambiguous Ship Tease with him.
  • Deconstructed:
    • 1. Summer's Tsundereness is the result of a mental disorder.
    • 2. After putting up with Summer's crankiness for a while, Danny finally snaps at her, calling her out on her behavior and telling her to leave him alone before storming off. Summer is stunned.
    • 3. Summer becomes unpopular with her peers because of her "mental instabilities".
    • 4. Danny goes out of his way to avoid Summer, as her constant verbal (and occasionally physical) abuse gives him the impression that she hates him.
    • 5. Danny has had enough of Summer's behavior and decides to give her a taste of her own medicine. Whenever she comes near him, he treats her with the same bitterness as she treated him.
    • 6. Danny reasonably interprets Summer as just an ornery bully, so when she finally makes her Love Confession, he doesn't buy it for an instant.
  • Reconstructed:
    • 1. Summer's disorder makes her violent on occasion but Danny's willingness to be her friend regardless inspires her to take medication in addition to a concentrated effort to reign in her more violent tendencies. She regularly thanks him for his support.
    • 2. Whenever Danny can no longer stand Summer's crankiness, he calls her on it. This makes her apologize tearfully and do her best to make it up to him. Danny forgives her and there is peace for awhile until the crankiness comes back. Their friends call this 'the tsundere cycle'.
    • 3. Summer has True Companions who know she simply has a Berserk Button or difficulty showing affection; Danny is one of them.
    • 4. Danny, in order to end the bad blood, goes up to Summer and asks what he did to piss her off. She stares at him like he's an idiot. "What's it going to take to get it through your thick skull?" She pauses for a Luminescent Blush and looks away, "Don't you get it? I love you, dumbass!"
    • 5. Summer and Danny are Vitriolic Best Buds who enjoy the bitterness. When they're calling each other harsh names or rough-housing their friends say they are flirting.
    • 6. Summer does nice things for Danny (such as making him lunch or helping him study) so he will believe her when she confesses. She still does bully-ish things but in a playful manner.
    • Summer decides to go through anger management to improve herself. At least partially. She still has some moments of losing her temper, but it's not as bad as before.
  • Plotted A Good Waste: The writers make Summer a Tsundere so it will make more sense that nobody finds out about the Secret Relationship, or to make it more obvious.
  • Played For Laughs:
  • Played For Drama:

Are you quite finished playing with this trope, idiot? Why don't you go hang out with that psychotic Yandere? Or just go back to Tsundere, I really don't give a damn. ... Please? I-I'd really like that.

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