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Playing With / Your Television Hates You

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Basic Trope: A character tries to watch TV, but everything that's on is about something that character doesn't like or is trying not to think about.

  • Straight: Alice is sad because Bob dumped her. She turns on the TV to cheer herself up but all she finds are either programmes where a character has been dumped or ads for dating websites.
  • Exaggerated: This happens whenever Alice is sad.
  • Downplayed: She only finds one show about breaking up. The rest of the shows are okay.
  • Advertisement:
  • Justified: Alice was just unlucky that Bob happened to dump her on the day that the TV channels she follows were deciding on a breaking-up theme.
  • Inverted:
    • After Bob dumps her, Alice finds out that none of the shows or commercials are about breaking up.
    • Alice wins the lottery. She turns on the television to celebrate and all the shows are about winning the lottery.
    • After Bob dumps her, Alice turns on the TV and only finds comforting shows about coping with a breakup.
    • After Bob dumps her, Alice turns on the TV and sees an ad for a dating website. She's thrilled at the chance of getting a new boyfriend to replace Bob.
  • Subverted: The character on the show Alice was watching looks like she's having a hard time getting over a breakup, but really she was sad about something else.
  • Double Subverted: She was feeling sorry for her friend who'd been dumped.
  • Parodied:
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    • The ads for dating websites openly admit that they're only there to make Alice more miserable.
    • Every single channel is showing a programme where a character has been dumped - even the Food Channel, Travel Channel and Science Channel, which would normally never air anything like that.
    • The television brand is literally "IHateU".
  • Zig Zagged: Some of the shows are about breaking up, others are not.
  • Averted:
    • Alice does not watch TV while sad.
    • Alice doesn't find any shows about breaking up.
  • Enforced:
    • To make Alice a Chew Toy or The Woobie.
    • The writers wanted Alice and Bob to break up. The meddling executives told them to throw in some comedy so the episode "wouldn't be too much of a downer".
  • Lampshaded: "Are these TV writers playing a cruel joke on me? How could they know Bob dumped me?!"
  • Invoked: Bob is mean, and works for the TV studios so he asked them to put those shows and ads on just to rile up Alice.
  • Advertisement:
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied:
  • Discussed: "Why do I only find shows about what I want to avoid thinking about?"
  • Conversed: "Is this character's TV sentient and hates her guts or something?"
  • Implied: Alice is seen disliking everything on TV, but it's unknown whether the shows are about breakups or if she just plain dislikes them.
  • Played For Laughs: Alice desperately flips through the channels, only to find a barrage of dating site ads and fictional breakups - each more ridiculous than the last.

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