They Wasted A Perfectly Good PlotThe ScrappyTalking To HimselfBroken BaseBig Eater
No Celebrities Were HarmedBad Ass NormalPainting The Fourth WallNames To Run Away From Really FastDriven To Suicide
Evil LaughGuide Dang ItOne Winged AngelCloudcuckoolanderBreaking The Fourth Wall
Stalker With A CrushSay My NameNo Name GivenMind ScrewChekhov's Gun
The Other DarrinDid You Just Punch Out CthulhuLeitmotifEstrogen Brigade BaitDeadpan Snarker
They Wasted A Perfectly Good Plot
You feel like you've been given the first three chapters of a story, a story that you really would have liked to see to its conclusion, but either a) it's on a whole different set of rails now, or b) while you do see it to its conclusion, it ignores the intriguing possibilities you'd hoped to see. Note that this does not include a plot/idea you like not being a well-written story/well-made game/et ...
The Scrappy
Popular characters have fandoms. But sometimes, there is a character who has a hatedom. We'll call this guy The Scrappy. While much depends on execution, certain kinds of characters have a much higher probability of being hated: The Ace, when used for the wrong situation. The Barney, a character (even the central one) hated immensely outside the specific demographic it was meant for. A Bratty ...
Talking To Himself
Professional voice actors pride themselves on range. So, hiring a few good VAs means you can take care of many, many characters with a small cast (especially if one or two actors are a Man Of A Thousand Voices). Oftentimes, this results in funny situations, like two characters played by the same person having intense conversations and heated arguments with each other. The talent is in making sure ...
Broken Base
Broken Base is basically a civil war among fans of a particular series. It involves infighting over whether or not the series is still good after a certain change. The loyalists believe it's as good as ever - maybe even better - and constantly hold up its merits. The dissenters feel betrayed by declining quality, and attack the series at every opportunity. They'll also be annoyed by the other fan ...
Big Eater
You're going to eat all that? A character (who quite often is anything but fat) eats enough for an entire football team, usually devastating the whole table — and perhaps entire restaurants — with their insatiable hunger. Often combined with a speed-eating technique that makes food seem to vanish spontaneously from the plate. A common sight gag with this kind of character in cartoons or anime ...
No Celebrities Were Harmed
Sometimes, when an animation studio is out of ideas, a cartoon character's entire shtick will be that he or she is a thinly disguised imitation of some celebrity somewhere. The more blatant examples will often have a parody of that celebrity's name. The most common impressions to hear in cartoons are Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone for tough-guy characters, Peter Lorre for creepy char ...
Bad Ass Normal
In a world with supernatural dealings or superpowers, this character is the one who is able to keep being useful through intellect, martial arts abilities, general ruthlessness, or just being Crazy Prepared. They notably have none of the fantastic enhancements, magic or special powers that others do. It might even be a sore point for them, but that just makes us encourage them more. Female version ...
Painting The Fourth Wall
Any author, sooner or later, has to acknowledge the limitations of the medium in which the story is being told. Some, however, are known to use the media creatively. Essentially, Painting The Fourth Wall refers to using metafictional devices, such as fonts and text position in a book or UI changes in a video game, to indirectly convey a particular story-related message by deliberately breaking the ...
Names To Run Away From Really Fast
People make a big deal out of names, and writers are no exception. Even if they eschew Theme Naming and other Naming Conventions they'll still use names they think are cool and dignified, powerful and appropriate, or sinister and fearsome. Which is why there are inevitably certain Names To Run Away From Really Fast. For much the same reason it's unlikely Steve will turn out to be the outrageously ...
Driven To Suicide
Sometimes when there is no way out or when the weight of a guilty conscience, nay, the world is too much to bear, a character may be Driven To Suicide. This may be as little as pondering their existence or as much as holding a gun to one's head. Most times the character will have second thoughts, not have the courage to pull the trigger, or will be talked down by a friend. But in shows where Any ...
Evil Laugh
You know you're in trouble when their laughter begins with 'Nya'. Your Applied Phlebotinum doomsday device has been activated. The MacGuffin is within your grasp. The good guys are locked away in the Death Trap. Your circuitous Evil Plan is three-quarters complete! You know what, screw being the Evil Overlord of the world - you're already a god. There is only one thing left for you to do - but fir ...
Guide Dang It
Cousin to the Soup Cans, a Guide Dang It is any part of a video game in which that correct action or set of actions is so difficult to figure out that effectively the only way to know what to do is via a Strategy Guide or an online Walkthrough. Particularly necessary when dealing with random maze sections, determining Relationship Values, or trying to achieve Hundred Percent Completion. Combine t ...
One Winged Angel
Classic Big Bads have the tendency, when push comes to shove, to turn into big honking monsters. A mad scientist in a fit of urgency might down his own mutagen, or a cyborg turns his body into a living bomb, or a mild-mannered enemy reveals her terrifying true form. Bets are good they'll become way more bloated, ugly, or plain disfigured. Sometimes this is more subtle, and the character will look ...
Cloudcuckoolander
A character with their head in the clouds. They aren't quite stupid, and they aren't quite insane, but they lapse into non sequitur a lot and are strangely oblivious to things that everyone else takes for granted, such as whether it is okay to turn their suitemate's room into a landfill and board it up. They are still, somehow, able to function day to day. See the Quotes Wiki for more extensive ex ...
Breaking The Fourth Wall
Hey! How're you doing out there? It sure is nice to be the Breaking The Fourth Wall page on TV Tropes. Sure, I don't get as much attention as some of the other pages, but I try my hardest. Anyways, the status quo in a work of fiction is that the characters are unaware of their fictional nature and of their audience. This is the Fourth Wall. Right now, this wall would be the screen you're looking a ...
Stalker With A Crush
A character (often the villain, but not always, sometimes leading to some severe Values Dissonance) noted for their obsession with one of the protagonists, or even the main cast. The amount of sympathy from the audience often lowers the more extreme they get. They claim a major motivation for their morally outrageous acts is simply wanting to gain attention from the hero, or repay past kindness. S ...
Say My Name
No matter what range of emotion you're feeling towards another character, the best way to express it is to say their name—preferably in either a hoarse whisper or scenery-chomping cry. Even if no one's around to hear you, just thinking about that character is enough of a prompt. It's all but required if you're in the midst of rescuing your friend/Love Interest currently facing imminent doom, you ...
No Name Given
A major character is referred to only by a first name, last name or nickname. Viewers either never learn the character's full name, or it's saved for a reveal episode. Reasons for this vary, but it often serves the function of making a character seem more mysterious or eccentric. In older (pre-1900 in North America; pre-1970 in the UK) fiction, a narrator may refer to a character (especially an ol ...
Mind Screw
The Mind Screw is basically a show that relies so heavily on symbolism that the immediate response afterwards is 'What the heck was that?!?!' These shows practically beg for fans to invent their own improbable theories about Epileptic Trees and such. While some fans can make arguments over what the symbolism means, and what everything represents, many mind screws will pad themselves with meaningle ...
Chekhov's Gun
Chekhov's Gun is the literary technique whereby an element is introduced early in the story whose significance does not become clear until later on. For example, a character may find a mysterious necklace that turns out to be the power source to the Doomsday Device, but at the time of finding the object it does not seem to be important. Although many people consider the phrase 'Chekhov's gun' to b ...
The Other Darrin
A new actor is brought onto a show to play the same character as an actor who's leaving. Often not explained to the audience at all. Named for arguably the most famous case: the Darrin swap — Dick York to Dick Sargent — on Bewitched. Somewhat easier to get away with when dealing with voice actors or with animals. In daytime soaps, there are several standardized ways this is done: the new act ...
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu
So, along comes the Eldritch Abomination: incomprehensible, insanity-inducing gods; alien beings that don't even notice humanity, let alone care; technological beings whose thoughts encompass the universe. You know the type. Eternal, infinite, impossible to even understand, let alone oppose... And then along come a couple of plucky heroes, who didn't get told that the Abomination is impossible to ...
Leitmotif
A leitmotif is a piece of music used repeatedly to represent a character, theme or action. This is a well-established technique used in almost every medium that involves music and story. The leitmotif technique was invented (or at least perfected) by opera composer Richard Wagner in the second half of the 1800s. In his operas, not only would every character have his/her own motif, but also objec ...
Estrogen Brigade Bait
Exhibit A: Peter Petrelli WANTED Hot male character to provide maximum female-oriented Fanservice to satisfy the Estrogen Brigade demographic. QUALIFICATIONS Dark And Troubled Past to gain sympathy, manifested in emotional and physical scars; Troubled But Cute demeanor because All Girls Want Bad Boys; Sexy voice; Willing to tolerate an Unwanted Harem in your own universe; Comfortable with doi ...
Deadpan Snarker
A character given to gnomic, sarcastic, sometimes bitter, occasionally whimsical asides. The Deadpan Snarker exists to deflate pomposity, point out the unlikelihood of certain plans, and deliver funny lines. Typically a Deadpan Snarker is the most cynical supporting character. In most cases, it is implied that the snarker would make a good leader, strategist, or consultant given their ability to i ...