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Basic Trope: A lawsuit over something silly.

  • Played Straight: Alice sues a waiter for accidentally spilling soup on her, even though she was not injured, and the waiter apologized and took her to get cleaned up.
  • Exaggerated: Alice sues the waiter because the soup had lima beans in it (even though she was informed of that on the menu and could have either requested no lima beans or ordered something else instead.)
  • Justified:
    • Alice really did suffer burns from having the soup spilled on her, and evidence suggests it was no accident.
    • Alice is a Tsundere with a Hair-Trigger Temper.
  • Inverted:
    • Alice sues the waiter or restaurant over something more serious, such as not informing customers that "X contains peanuts," resulting in a serious fatal-allergic reaction.
    • Alice rewards the waitress with the Nobel Peace Prize for managing to not spill the soup on her.
  • Subverted: Alice threatens to sue, but ends up not doing so.
  • Double Subverted: Until the clumsy waiter spills soup on Bob, then she sues.
  • Deconstructed:
    • Alice sues the waiter, but her suit is laughed out of court and only makes her look loony.
    • Alice sues the waiter and wins, but being infamous for having filed the suit makes it difficult for her to find a job or a partner later in life.
    • Alice was seriously injured and her lawsuit has merit, but is played up in the press as a frivolous lawsuit, and she is humiliated.
  • Reconstructed: However, the situation of soup spilling keeps happening again and again, and more lawsuits are filed. Alice cashes in on being the "first" of the Frivolous.
  • Parodied: Alice sues someone because she broke her fingernail on their property. Bonus Points if she actually wins the suit.
  • Lampshaded: "You're suing him because he spilled soup on you? Isn't that a bit extreme?"
  • Averted:
    • Alice does not sue.
    • The restaurant tries to appease Alice by offering to pay for her dry-cleaning bill, or giving her a meal on the house next time she visits.
  • Enforced: Rule of Funny, Truth in Television
  • Invoked:
  • Defied: Alice decides it's not worth suing over something so silly. She just gets cleaned up and goes about her business.
  • Discussed:
  • Conversed:
  • Played For Laughs:
    • Alice yelps as the soup that spilled on her was hot...
    • Then she leaps up and knocks aside a waiter who was carrying a cake with a priceless heritage wedding ring in it...
    • Then it was later eaten by a movie star's pet chichuahua that promtly got sick because dogs should eat chocolate....
    • Then somehow this all ends with enough lawsuits to keep 100 lawyers working for the rest of their careers.
  • Played For Drama: Kangaroo Court

Back to Frivolous Lawsuit

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