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Recap / Star vs. the Forces of Evil S2 E17 "Sleepover"

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Marco sets out to impress Jackie at Star’s slumber party, but a magical truth-telling game threatens to reveal too much for Star.


Tropes:

  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Marco confesses to his crush on Jackie to Jackie in order to spare the group from the consequences of Truth or Punishment.
  • Badass Pacifist: Star manages to defeat the Truth or Punishment Game simply by a Logic Bomb.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When asked about her crush, Janna leans toward Marco suggestively and says he knows the answer... 18th century poet John Keats.
  • Be as Unhelpful as Possible: The Truth or Punishment game only says that someone is lying, not who, evidently because it expects the liar to admit their own duplicity instead of being called on it, torture notwithstanding. This causes problems during the final question when one of the participants is lying without being consciously aware of it, so they can't placate the game.
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  • Black and White Insanity: The Truth or Punishment game is unable to comprehend that people's feelings can be complicated enough that even they don't know the truth about how they feel about something or someone.
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: When Pony Head falls from the ceiling, she lands horn-first.
  • Body Horror: The penalty for lying on the second question causes Star and her friends to turn into grotesquely ugly monsters.
  • Brutal Honesty: The girls' honest reactions to Star's brownies when they're forced to confess they didn't really like them.
  • Cosmetic Catastrophe: At the beginning of the episode, the girls are doing each other's makeup with horrifying results.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Truth or Punishment cube transforms into a hideous being with two pyramids on its' top and bottom and a disfigured face with misplaced eyes, mouths, nostrils and blemishes.
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  • Felony Misdemeanor: The game treats all lies as terrible, including small white lies to spare someone's feelings, or lies that a person might not actually realize themselves are untrue.
  • Flexing Those Non-Biceps: Marco does a bit of this in an attempt to impress Jackie.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The shifty looks on the faces of Pony Head, Janna, and Jackie indicate they're not being completely honest about their opinions on Star's cooking.
    • Before he makes his Anguished Declaration of Love to Jackie in order to spare the group from the consequences of Truth or Punishment, Marco looks crestfallen and with a hairstyle similar to Oskar, Star's alleged crush.
    • After Star's speech about that sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between telling the truth or lying; a person's head and heart can disagree so much that even they do not know what the truth is, the camera focuses in Marco.
    • Pony Head teases Marco about his attempts to look cool in front of Jackie, and she makes a comment about Marco "playing the field," which doesn't make much sense in context given that the phrase refers to someone having numerous romantic interests, whereas Marco only flirted with Jackie. The end of the episode reveals that Star has a crush on Marco, which Pony Head might have picked up on.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: Happens in the final scene of the episode, when Star is frustrated that Marco wants to go back to bed instead of eating breakfast with her. The Truth or Punishment game overhears her and declares "TRUTH!", as it's still set on the final question.
  • I Would Say If I Could Say: Pony Head admits that if she had a stomach, Star's brownies would have made her sick to it.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: The Truth or Punishment game is crushed by the garbage truck door just as it declares "TRUTH! Star Butterfly has a crush on—".
  • Knight Templar: The Truth or Punishment game is deathly serious about any kind of lie, even little white lies.
  • Lethal Chef: Star, judging by the other girls' admitting what they really thought about her brownies. Even Starfan13 didn't actually like them, even though she ate all the leftovers (possibly to spare Star's feelings in case nobody else wanted seconds).
  • Living Lie Detector: The Truth or Punishment game can tell when someone's not being honest with others, or even themselves.
  • Logic Bomb: Star manages to defeat the game of Truth or Punishment by convincing it that one's feelings aren't always a simple matter of true and false. This is apparently too much for the game to handle, and it literally breaks down as a result.
  • Loving a Shadow: Discussed. Marco confesses that he "thinks" he has a crush on Jackie and admits that he doesn't know if he likes her as a person or the image he has of her, but either way Jackie deserves to be with someone who wants to know her.
  • Oblivious to Love: Jackie had no idea about Marco's feelings for her. Star herself seems to be unaware of her crush on Marco.
  • Parlor Games: "Truth or Punishment" is like Truth or Dare, only without the "Dare" part, and if anyone lies all the players have to suffer some penalty.
  • Pet the Dog: The Truth or Punishment game give kudos to Marco how honest he was about his complicated feelings (see Loving a Shadow) for Jackie.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Janna doesn't like the idea that her favorite color conforms to gender stereotypes.
  • Reality Ensues: Feelings are complex and cannot be boiled down to something as simple as truth or lies.
  • Really Gets Around: Pony Head mocks Marco's attempts to impress Jackie as "playing the field," which is a phrase that refers to having a series of sexual/romantic relationships with numerous people.
  • Ship Tease: To say there was only a bit would be huge LIE.
    • Jackie × Marco: Marco not only admits his feelings to Jackie but when admitting he doesn't really understand what a crush is he does say that Jackie deserves someone who will get to know her and love the real her, which causes Jackie to become unsure of her feelings for a boy she previously had a crush on.
    • Janna × Marco: Janna constantly teases Marco by acting flirtatious with him and during the dangerous moments of the game even saves his life while calling his name.
    • Star × Starfan13: Starfan13 openly admits she is in love with Star and Star does not seem to mind at all. At one point Starfan13 even does a bridal catch on Star with both smiling.
    • Star × Marco: The game reveals Star lied about her crush, though she didn't know, and heavily implies that she might actually have a crush on Marco.
  • Shipper on Deck: Star pushes both Jackie and Janna closer to Marco when getting him to play the game.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Star takes down the Truth or Punishment game by pointing out that the world doesn't follow its brand of Black and White Insanity.
  • Tickle Torture: This is the penalty for lying on the first question.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: When the game declares someone lied about their crush, Marco says that while he thinks he has a crush on Jackie, he isn't really sure what that means. Star also says that a person's feeling of love can change or a person can have them and not even realize. The game, however, knows that Marco is telling the truth while Star isn't, so it does understand.
  • Wham Episode: Marco finally confesses his crush on Jackie, there are major hints that Jackie might reciprocate those feelings, and that Star probably has a crush on Marco.
  • Wham Line: When the broken-down game box hears Star shout Marco's full name, it briefly comes back to life long enough to blurt out "TRUTH! Star Butterfly has a crush on—".
  • Worst. Whatever. Ever!: Janna says that Star's brownies were "like, the worst brownies ever".

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