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Playing With / Unknown Rival

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Basic Trope: A character thinks of another character as their rival or even Arch-Enemy, but the target doesn't notice.

  • Straight: Alex is constantly trying to prove he's better than Bob and challenging him to battles, while Bob doesn't really notice that Alex considers him a rival.
  • Exaggerated: Bob doesn't even remember Alex's name when Alex has been constantly hounding him and challenging him to all sorts of contests for years.
  • Downplayed:
    • Alex is constantly trying to challenge Bob. When asked about it, Bob simply replies "Oh, that guy who always seemed jumped up around me?"
    • Bob considers Alex a worthy opponent, but that's a distinction he shares with many other of Bob's great enemies, so he's not so special in that regard, and he'll never be Bob's true Arch-Enemy.
  • Justified:
    • Bob doesn't bother with Alex's rivalry because he has much bigger problems to deal with.
    • Alex is five years old, so Bob doesn't take his attempts to be his rival seriously.
    • Bob is an extremely famous fighter, Alex is just one out of countless self-proclaimed rivals to him.
  • Inverted: A character thinks of another character as his friend, but the other character doesn't concider him/her/it as a friend or even know that said character considers him/her/it a friend.
  • Subverted:
    • Once Alex proves himself, Bob acknowledges him as a rival.
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    • Alternately, the rivalry is in fact mutual, but Alex is Hot-Blooded and constantly yells about said rivalry, while Bob is The Stoic and The Quiet One.
    • Another possibility is that the rivalry is mutual, but refusing to acknowledge it is Bob's way of messing with Alex.
    • Alex eventually witness Bob's prowess when he get serious, realized that he Can't Catch Up with Bob and drops their rivalry.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Now that Alex has proven himself he no longer considers Bob to be a rival.
    • Alternatively, Bob pretends that the rivalry is a mutual rivalry to make Alex feel better.
    • It look like Bob finally consider Alex as his rival, but soon turn out that he misremember him for someone else.
    • Alex eventually witnesses Bob's prowess when he gets serious and realizes that he Can't Catch Up with Bob...for now. So he goes on training even harder, so he can challenge Bob as Worthy Opponent.
  • Parodied:
    • An increasingly frustrated Alex repeatedly tries to jog Bob's memory by mentioning all the times he has fought Bob by referring to them in great detail. Bob still says that his name doesn't ring a bell.
    • Bob doesn't remember ever fighting Alex, but he mentions that he can vaguely remember fighting Alex's accomplices, Charles and Dylan, under the circumstances Alex describes. Bob also mentions that he thinks that there might have been a fourth guy involved in the fight, but that could just have been his mind playing tricks on him.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob can't decide whether or not to take Alex's claims of rivalry seriously
  • Averted: Alex and Bob are mutual rivals.
  • Enforced: "We need a comic relief character we can bring in to break up Bob's serious plotlines once in a while. " "How about a guy that hates Bob's guts and wants to defeat him, but is so inept that Bob doesn't even consider him a threat?"
  • Lampshaded: "It's like Bob doesn't even know I'm his rival or something!"
  • Invoked: Alex's fencing coach tells him that Bob disparaged his talent to give Alex something to train for, without bothering to tell Bob that's what it's about.
  • Exploited: Alex issues challenges to Bob precisely because he knows Bob won't respond to them. Alex gets to make himself seem like a tough badass by talking up their supposed rivalry, safe in the knowledge that Bob will never care enough to set the record straight.
  • Defied: Alex challenges Bob to enough battles that even if he doesn't measure up, Bob will still know who he is.
  • Discussed:
    Alex: Bob, now I shall put the end to our rivalry!
    Bob: ...Who the hell are you?
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed:
    • Alex's constant efforts to make Bob acknowledge him as a rival are the result of an unhealthy obsession with Bob that is slowly destroying his life.
    • Alternatively: Bob doesn't see Alex as a threat, and thus underestimates and ignores him. Alex, who has been obsessed with defeating Bob, has spent some time learning Bob's fighting style and his weaknesses, and kicks his ass as a result.
  • Played For Laughs: Alex engages in a Zany Scheme in an effort to force Bob to acknowledge him.
  • Played For Drama: Alex becomes more and more vicious, angry, and ruthless as Bob continues to ignore him, until he reaches the point where, mad with envy and out for blood, he's a very real threat, whether Bob knows it or not.

There's a link to Unknown Rival here? Eh. Didn't realize it.

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