I was watching an old sitcom the other day, and I spotted a tried and true plot device that made sense to me as a kid, but not anymore. It’s the main character’s birthday and everyone he knows pretends to forget and then throws a surprise party late in the day. He sees the party feels touched and forgets his hard feelings.
In reality, I think the mc would be initially surprised and then yell, “You assholes! You put me through an entire day of thinking no one cared about me! I thought of offing myself twice!” There has to be a better way of hiding a surprise party than snubbing the person and then saying just kidding. That’s supposed to make the entire party better? Ha, ha, you thought no one loved you, but we do? Couldn’t they tell him happy birthday quietly and then still have the party later? That way, he could think it’s a good birthday and then think it’s the best birthday.
Please, don’t let a hack surprise party happen to your manuscript. Now I sound like a public service announcement. Writers Against Cliches.