Abuse Mistake/Playing With

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Basic Trope: An innocent situation is mistaken for abusive (Type A) or an actually abusive situation is brushed off as something that doesn't need worrying about (Type B)

  • Straight:
    • Alice genuinely ran into a door and got visibly bruised, but her friends believe that her husband hit her, mistaking her explanation for a Cut Himself Shaving excuse (Type A).
    • Bob's mother slaps him in the face and insults him for not doing his chores, but when he tells the guidance counselor at school about it, she laughs it off and tells him that she was just disciplining him for being lazy (Type B).
  • Exaggerated:
    • Bob is hiding in a closet from his wife, who is chasing him with a knife threatening to kill him, and has already seriously hurt him, but when he calls 911 to ask for help, the operator laughs at him and calls him a sissy (Type B).
    • Claire gets a papercut and when her friend Daniel sees her with a bandage on her finger, he immediately assumes that her partner, Bob, injured her in some way (Type A).
  • Downplayed: ???
  • Justified:
    • Alice is in a Safe, Sane, and Consensual BDSM relationship with her dearly loved husband Bob, but Claire fervently believes that Bondage Is Bad (Type A).
    • Sally's husband is The Chessmaster and is so skilled at making their home life look okay that no one ever believes her when she tries to tell them of the abuse she suffers at his hands (Type B).
  • Inverted: Type B is an inversion of Type A, and vice versa.
  • Subverted: Daniel decides to investigate Claire's situation, believing it to be abusive despite her repeated insistence that her husband is not abusing her. His assumptions turn out to be correct and Claire turns out to have a serious case of Stockholm Syndrome (Type A).
  • Double Subverted: But then it turns out that Claire purposefully made her husband out to be abusive with herself as a Love Martyr as part of a Xanatos Gambit.
  • Parodied: ???
  • Zig Zagged: (For both Type A and Type B) Alice walked into a door, but her friends all believe her husband did it to her. But Alice was lying, her husband did hit her...in self defense, because it was Alice who attacked her husband. But all of his friends refuse to believe that he was abused by Alice...
  • Averted:
    • Everyone asks what happened to Bob when he gets injured or is arguing with his wife instead of jumping to conclusions about what's going on. The closest they come to assuming that he is being abused is double-checking to make sure that he's not claiming that he Cut Himself Shaving simply as a safety precaution (Type A).
    • Any claims of abuse are taken at face value and all steps are taken to ensure the victim's safety as well as come up with a plan for him or her to get out of the situation as soon as possible (Type B).
  • Enforced: It's a Lifetime Movie of the Week, and the writer wants to crank up the drama, almost always Type B in these instances.
  • Lampshaded:
    • "Why does everyone think that just because I am hurt, it means I have an abusive husband?"
    • "Why does everyone simply pass off the abusive situation I was in as something else?"
  • Invoked: Adrian knows that his wife Brenna is seeking help for escaping from the emotional and financial abuse that he's subjecting her to, and does everything he can to make his actions look innocent so that no one believes her.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied:
    • Someone sees Alice walk into a door, and backs her up when she explains it to her friends.
    • Bob collects proof through means of hidden camera, tape recorder, etc. of his abuse from his mother, and gives it to the authorities. His mother is imprisoned.
  • Discussed: "We'll want to proceed carefully when we ask about Alice's bruises. It's very easy for non-professionals to mistake an accident for abuse, and vice-versa."
  • Conversed: "Huh, Alice is really bruised in this opening scene. The cause will always be the opposite of what the first person to interact with her thinks."
  • Played For Laughs:
    • Every time Alice gets injured, no matter how minor it is, her friends immediately think that they're the result of physical abuse and come up with absurd theories as to exactly how she got them (Type A).
    • Black Comedy (Type B).
  • Played For Drama: Type B in usual portrayals.

This? No, I just tripped on my way to Abuse Mistake. Why would my husband want to hurt me?