Talking To HimselfName That TuneOne Steve LimitDisney DeathWhy Did It Have To Be Snakes
Never Trust A TrailerGuide Dang ItWham EpisodeMood WhiplashYou Gotta Have Blue Hair
Kick The DogMemetic BadassGenre SavvyImprobable Weapon UserMs Fanservice
Guilty PleasuresBody HorrorDawson CastingLeitmotifApocalypse How
Moral Event HorizonNo Name GivenThey Wasted A Perfectly Good PlotBig NoVillainous Breakdown
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 ...
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 ...
One Steve Limit
In nearly all TV shows, webcomics, etc. no two characters share the same first name. Simple as that. Sometimes this rule goes further - two characters will not share similar-sounding names. (If there's a Laura, there will not be a Linda.) There are good reasons for this, of course. It is generally considered unwise to have your viewer/reader keep wondering, 'Okay, which Steve is this?' In additi ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Wham Episode
They pulled it off! A legitimate Twist Ending! An episode that suddenly sets the Story Arc moving in a very different direction, metaphorically hitting the viewer over the head with a sharp shock. Frequently the result of The Reveal (possibly of The Mole), a Luke I Am Your Father, a Tomato Surprise, all at or other such surprising twist. Sometimes carries a significant dose of Mood Whiplash along ...
Mood Whiplash
Fiction often has far extremes. They cover the gamut of emotion, from tragedy to comedy. Sometimes these two will be so close together that they make the viewer's head spin! Done well, the contrast in moods can make each emotion all the more poignant and effective. Done poorly, the contrast can jar the reader/viewer right out of the story. Sometimes Mood Whiplash can extend to entire sequels, wher ...
You Gotta Have Blue Hair
A Sub Trope of Hair Colors. Many Anime characters have totally impossible hair colors like green and purple. This actually started with Manga series that used distinctive colors on the covers to make characters stand out, as they all had either dark or light hair in the actual black and white pictures. Anime just made it part of the shows. In many cases, though, hair which is technically supposed ...
Kick The Dog
Cobra Commander shows how it's done. Kicking the Dog is the fodder of anything resembling a modern-day Morality Play. A character performs an act so casual and immoral that you know that they are scum, incompatible with the moral rules of the series that they're in. This is the audience's cue that it's 'okay' for the character to meet their end, whether they actually get their just desserts or not ...
Memetic Badass
A specific form of Memetic Mutation when the fandom of a series exaggerates a character that is simply badass, and sometimes not at all impressive to preposterously epic god-like levels. Despite the name, it doesn't necessarily have to be a widely known Internet meme, and is sometimes just an in-joke among the fan-base. In some cases, the writers agree. Often overlaps with Fan Wank. Fear too the M ...
Genre Savvy
The exact opposite of Genre Blindness. A Genre Savvy character doesn't necessarily know they're in a story, but they do know of stories like their own and what worked in them and what didn't. They know every Simple Plan is doomed to failure from the start and instead of participating, sit back and wait to get in their 'I told you so', or even a 'We Could Have Avoided All This'. They can spot someo ...
Improbable Weapon User
Windmill blades. Yes, windmill blades. The high probability your wackiest party member, like the Team Pet, will use some sort of bizarre and, well, improbable 'weapon' - that is, in the sense of an object you could conceivably hit something with. And some of these 'weapons' don't even go that far. This usually seems to just be a way to give that character some sort of upgradeable item to explain o ...
Ms Fanservice
Keep in mind that she's 14. Which seems to mean 'About 26' in the future! Score! Ms. Fanservice is, simply put, the character, usually female, who provides most of the fanservice in the series, sometimes fanservice incarnate. This fanservice can range from simple revealing of cleavage, midriff and short skirts all the way through to wearing only Censor Steam. There might or might not be in-story ...
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 ...
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 ...
Dawson Casting
High school students in television look nothing like high school students in real life, for one good reason: they're played by actors who are upwards of 10-15 years older. This dates back to the earliest days of Hollywood, if not further, making it Older Than Television. There are many reasons for this. One is that the vast majority of professional actors are twenty and up anyway, so if you hold a ...
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 ...
Apocalypse How
With The End Of The World As We Know It so common in fiction, some guy actually thought it would be a good idea to categorize the degrees to which humanity can be wiped out. Actually, his intention was to categorize hypothetical non-fictional apocalypses, but his list can be adapted very well into a Sliding Scale Of Complete Destruction: Class 0: Regional Catastrophe - A big disaster that takes ...
Moral Event Horizon
The Moral Event Horizon is the point of no return. Once a character crosses it of their own free will, they cease to be cool or admirable. It is a single act which, while not necessarily objectively worse than anything else the villain has previously committed, affects the audience and the story on a far deeper level. Whether the person has truly become irredeemable may be a question that can neve ...
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 ...
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 ...
Big No
The moment when a character realizes that something awful has happened, or notices that something awful is about to happen, and screams 'NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!' If the character is rushing to prevent the something-awful from happening, a slow-motion effect can be employed to draw out the tension of the moment, sometimes to the point of drawing out the 'No' into a comical bass growl. (Editors with more ...
Villainous Breakdown
The tendency of relatively calm and composed villains to lose their cool over the course of the story. Usually happens to arrogant Chessmaster-type villains, as control of the situation slips from his or her grasp and things come up that they Didn't See Coming. Most notable when it happens towards the end of the story to show how pathetic the Big Bad is when things are not going exactly as planned ...