Refuge In AudacityPunny NameBlessed With SuckThe Smurfette PrincipleOne Scene Wonder
Never Trust A TrailerGuilty PleasuresCatchphraseThey Wasted A Perfectly Good PlotDisney Death
Why Did It Have To Be SnakesVerbal TicMind ScrewThere Is No Kill Like OverkillMad Scientist
Name That TuneHeterosexual Life PartnersLimited WardrobeInternet BackdraftButt Monkey
Talking To HimselfBreak The CutieBittersweet EndingBody HorrorParental Abandonment
Refuge In Audacity
Characters can get away with outrageous acts by making them overblown to the point of absurdity. Toning them down to realistic levels would be more offensive. This is because, for works and characters both, pushing things past a certain level automatically knocks things into Genre Blindness. If it's genre convention, then it's okay. But if it's toned down to moderation, then the audience will th ...
Punny Name
Sometimes, a name isn't exactly meaningful or hiding something, but there's still something about it that is weird. And then you read it really fast, and go, 'Oh!' and have your chuckle over the pun. Pun names are just that: Names that make puns. Some are semi-meaningful in that they sometimes describe an activity germane to the character's profession, such as a baseball player named Homer (of ...
Blessed With Suck
Blessed With Suck is one of those tropes that comes in a few distinct flavors. Generally, this is a blessing to a character that seems to cause nothing but trouble: In some cases, this is literal. By far, the most common variation is that the writers have seen fit to give you a special power that is, to be frank, stupid or useless. In other, more extreme cases, your power is actually too dange ...
The Smurfette Principle
For any series not aimed at females, odds are high that only one female will be in the regular cast. The Smurfette Principle is the tendency for works of fiction to have only one female amongst an ensemble of male characters. (This female is the Token Girl.) Unless a show is purposefully aimed at a female viewing audience, the main characters will tend to be disproportionately male. This, even th ...
One Scene Wonder
A character that has limited screen time, and usually not much in the way of plot relevance, but is still one of the most memorable things in the movie. They may even be given top billing, or at least an 'And Starring' credit, along with the more obvious stars. This is not the same principle as Ensemble Darkhorse, because the character is often played by an established actor, nor is it the same as ...
Never Trust A Trailer
If Covers Always Lie, trailers can, too. Sometimes Tonight Someone Dies or hyping The Reveal might not be enough. And with the Internet an open window these days for writers and directors to viewers' likes, dislikes, hopes, predictions, and Shipping loyalties, it's easy to know exactly how to bait fans into watching the next episode. Be careful not to believe everything you see, though, because as ...
Guilty Pleasures
These are the deep-fried Snickers bars of the TV world. Not even a little bit good for you. Not everybody likes them. In fact, they are so bad they may not even be popular. Still, they have some audience. Not that anyone necessarily wants to admit they're in it, especially if they're outside the target demographic. The guilty pleasure lies one level above So Bad Its Good in that, despite contrived ...
Catchphrase
An expression used by a character in numerous episodes of a show. Merely uttering this phrase in the office will key others in to the character you're referring to. For a line to be a Catch Phrase, it should be always the same, and not just catchy. Two like-minded characters can form a Catch Phrase Spouting Duo, creating an entire lexicon of catch phrases with astonishing efficiency. In The Name O ...
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 ...
Disney Death
Beloved major character is seemingly killed at the climax of the movie/episode, hearts are wrenched, four-year-olds are traumatized, and then — oh look, they're Not Quite Dead after all. A variant is the Robot Disney Death where a Robot Buddy is seemingly destroyed in a Heroic Sacrifice. While at least one character mourns, the robot reappears fully repaired after an extensive period in Mr Fixit ...
Why Did It Have To Be Snakes
A seemingly invulnerable character reveals that they are actually deathly afraid of _____... and whatever the character is afraid of is certainly going to be a recurring obstacle, no matter how unlikely. This trope is named for Indiana Jones who reveals early in Raiders Of The Lost Ark that he hates snakes and later asks the titular question when snakes prove to be an obstacle. A subset of Fatal F ...
Verbal Tic
An exceptionally odd Catch Phrase, used to the point it seems more like a bodily emission than speaking. This is often a single nonsense word added at the end of sentences, well past the expected formal variations in speech. Occasionally, it'll be a stretched-out and bizarre play on Japanese grammar. This is rarely, if ever, applied when the series is dubbed into English. Both variants are extreme ...
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 ...
There Is No Kill Like Overkill
Sometimes, the act of killing an opponent can be completely overdone. A prime example would be shooting an enemy until they're almost dead, then, to finish them off, completely blowing up their body and everything else in a five mile radius. All in all, it's waste of resources, tactics, and time. ...but it's always, always worth it. Always. Especially if the enemy is just hanging on up until the e ...
Mad Scientist
They're scientists, they're somewhat scatterbrained, and they are frequently working for the bad guys, often building implausible gadgetry or slightly ridiculous superweapons. They tend to wear lab coats, have wild hair, and speak with put-on Central European accents (based on the many scientists who fled Central Europe from the Nazis and the Soviets). Sometimes they will talk like Peter Lorre, or ...
Name That Tune
The arch usage of a show's theme music within an episode. Extremely common in anime, far less so in American animated series, for numerous reasons including not trying to sell an artist and the general lack of American cartoon theme quality; American cartoon themes are usually either a straight instrumental or a song that repeats the show's title constantly. Of course, some people would argue that ...
Heterosexual Life Partners
Two extremely close friends or partners, both the same gender, who spend an 'excessive' amount of time together on and off the job. So excessive that they might as well be a couple. Note that there is no official evidence whatsoever that they're romantically linked, but they might suffer withdrawals from not being around each other. There might even be a 'break-up' episode. If they are life-long f ...
Limited Wardrobe
The character always wears the same outfit, regardless of the setting or season. Winter (or at least a Christmas episode) may sometimes see the addition of a heavy coat, but circumstances will conspire to put the character in a situation where they must shed the coat, at which point it is never seen again. Even characters whose very nature should prevent them from having such a Limited Wardrobe (r ...
Internet Backdraft
Poor, innocent, hapless newbie wanders into a forum and wonders aloud if that guy in that show should be with that girl in that show. The forum erupts into flames, igniting all the boards that deal with the show, which ignites whole sections of the Internet into a blazing Inferno. The poor, innocent, hapless newbie has opened the door, causing an Internet Backdraft. It works like this: Controversi ...
Butt Monkey
The character who is always the butt of the demeaning joke or the 'put him through hell' plotline. Nothing ever goes right for this character, he's constantly abused by pretty much everyone he knows, even his so-called friends, and if something bad is going to happen to someone, chances are, it's going to be him. Long story short, it sucks to be the Butt Monkey. The Butt Monkey generally doesn't d ...
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 ...
Break The Cutie
A series introduces a character as sweet and lovable, more comic relief than anything, who likes nothing more than to pet little puppies. They make you adore them, root for them and love them. Then they proceed to slowly break them in front of your very eyes. They destroy everything important to them, kill everyone they love and make them suffer from horrible accidents, diseases and acts of violen ...
Bittersweet Ending
Victory, at last! The Big Bad has been vanquished, the day has been saved, the damsels in distress and innocent bystanders have been rescued and the heroes are ready to reap their reward, kiss their Love Interests and walk away toward the setting sun. Victory, really? Then why does no one feel like cheering? Why is the atmosphere so heavy with melancholy? Why do you find yourself counting your los ...
Body Horror
Someone is about to turn into a monster. Or they have something inside them that is definitely not supposed to be there. Or they wake up to find that they are missing some bits. Or they learn, too late, that they are a character in an MPreg fanfiction... Welcome to the lovely land of Body Horror. Simply put, this is any form of Horror that is based primarily on the body visibly mutating and de ...
Parental Abandonment
A stunningly large number of heroes and their coteries are lacking in the parent department, either through death or in that they just aren't talked about. Even if both parents are alive, they may well be emotionally or physically distant. Everyone is, for the sake of the plot, Conveniently An Orphan, whether they actually are or not. This is a very convenient way for characters to be able to run ...