Follow TV Tropes

Following

Theatre / How I Learned to Drive

Go To

A woman, known to the audience only as L'il Bit, tells a story of her complicated relationship with her uncle. Uncle Peck taught Li'l Bit to drive, as well as a few other things. According to the playwright, Paula Vogel, How I Learned to Drive is "a play about the gifts we receive from the people who hurt us" — and about control and manipulation. It is possibly the most heartbreaking play about pedophilia and incest you'll ever read or see.

Advertisement:

It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 and was revived Off Broadway in 2012.


How I Learned to Trope:

  • The Alcoholic: Uncle Peck is a recovered drunk, who falls off the wagon and drinks himself to death after Li'l Bit refuses him.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: As well as grandparents. Li'l Bit's breasts are a regular dinner topic.
  • Creepy Uncle: The plot hinges on Peck molesting his niece.
  • D-Cup Distress: L'il Bit compares her emerging boobs to parasitic aliens who have latched on to her.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Li'l Bit, Uncle Peck, and many other members of the family are given nicknames that refer to their genitals.
  • Fille Fatale: Averted, though Li'l Bit is accused of being one by her uncle's wife.
  • The Jail Bait Wait: When Li'l Bit moves away to college, Peck sends her letters... counting down to when she turns eighteen. She's understandably creeped out.
  • Advertisement:
  • Not Blood Siblings: Peck married into Li'l Bit's family. But still.
  • Off the Wagon: After Li'l Bit rejects him, Uncle Peck eventually drinks himself to death.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: We never find out Li'l Bit's real name.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Though immoral behavior is not presented as being moral.
  • Thanks for the Mammary: A middle school classmate fakes an allergic reaction, and when Li'l Bit asks what he's allergic to, he grabs a handful and yells, "foam rubber!"
  • Umbrella Drink: Lampshaded, in a way: Li'l Bit is strenuously warned against ordering one of these.

Advertisement:
Top

Example of:

/

Feedback