Stage Mom/Playing With

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Basic Trope: A (usually female) character who thrusts their child onto the stage.

  • Straight: Alice, a failed actress, makes her very reluctant daughter Claire perform in pageants.
  • Exaggerated: Alice, whose career lasted all of three days, makes her incredibly reluctant daughter perform in pageants.
  • Justified: Alice is incredibly screwed up mentally and lives vicariously through her daughter.
  • Inverted: Claire desperately wants to perform in pageants...but Alice won't let her.
  • Subverted: It seems like Alice is a nice, friendly mother who's just letting Claire perform in pageants for the fun of it...
  • Double Subverted: ...but more about her character comes to light and she turns out to be the failed actress archetype.
  • Parodied: Alice forces Claire to enter, but gets so involved she eventually kicks her daughter of the stage and draws all the attention to herself.
  • Deconstructed: The forced attention causes Claire to resent Alice.
    • The sheer lengths Alice goes to get Claire be famous crosses into child abuse.
    • We are shown how unhappy Alice is and how she doesn't know how else to connect with her child.
  • Reconstructed: Claire hates the attention, but she gets over it and reconciles with Alice.
    • Alice realizes what she was doing and decides to support her daughter in a less pushy way.
  • Zig Zagged: Alice may have forced her little Claire to the stage, and the woman sure is fierce about her daughter's career... but Claire in fact does enjoy acting, and, while grateful, deep down would like that her mother stops meddling into her professional decisions so much.
  • Averted: Alice doesn't force her daughter to do anything.
  • Enforced: "So the mom is a failed actress who lives vicariously through her daughter? This thing writes itself!"
  • Lampshaded: "Didn't you try out for Generic Sitcom #553"? "Why yes...yes I did."
  • Invoked: Alice's husband Bob is reading the newspaper and mentions an article about Diana, the woman who won the role in the sitcom over Alice. Alice sees another article about the pageant and looks at Claire...
  • Defied: Alice decides that while she may not like being a failed actress, she has a job to do - and that's to be a good mother.
  • Discussed: "Alice, dear, don't you think you're pushing Claire into pageants and talent contests too much? It's like you were the one about to enter..."
  • Conversed: "Oh, my, why all those moms of aspiring acting talents are so nasty and overbearing? They don't realize that won't help their kids at all?"
  • Played For Laughs: Alice's motives for this are comically transparent. Claire turns out to be a really bad actor, yet Alice completely fails to notice this and brightly praises her every performance like it was award-winning.
  • Played For Drama: Alice abuses her station as Claire's mother to shove her towards the stage against her will, refusing to let her daughter pursue any of her actual interests. This snowballs into Why Did You Make Me Hit You? as she staunchly refuses to let Claire's utter misery ruin her chances at seeing her career take off.

Troper, sit up straight! You've got to look good for the camera! Don't you call me a Stage Mom!