DeterminatorVerbal TicLove It Or Hate ItShown Their WorkActor Allusion
Action GirlMoral Event HorizonThe ScrappyPunny NameNakama
Noodle IncidentSealed Evil In A CanCalling Your AttacksExpyWell Intentioned Extremist
Mad ScientistGame BreakerComplete MonsterBroken BaseCatchphrase
LeitmotifNice HatApocalypse HowBeware The Nice OnesProduct Placement
Determinator
Every character needs a certain amount of Heroic Willpower, but there are some who take it just too far. The personification of raw perseverance, this is the character - good guy or bad, and usually male (but not always) - who never gives up. Ever. No matter what. Whatever other attributes he may possess, his persistence stands out. There is no stopping the Determinator. He does not understand pat ...
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 ...
Love It Or Hate It
Many shows have broad appeal, and most people who see them generally have a positive or neutral opinion on their value. Others appeal to a niche market and get positive views from their target audiences, while mainstream viewers are merely indifferent. Others are unbelievably awful, but a lucky few of those manage to gain fans who like them because they're so bad. Some, however, manage to achieve ...
Shown Their Work
Although many talents in fictional media show they Did Not Do The Research, some actually did. In fact, sometimes they learned so much and worked so hard to learn it that it would hardly seem fitting to just not show it off. The Shown Their Work trope comes in when the creators tweak their stories to show the viewer/reader what they have learned. The trick is to do it so this advances the story in ...
Actor Allusion
An Actor Allusion is a joke or reference which is specific to one of the actors in a television show. It can be a little blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, such as Mary Albright (Jane Curtin) spotting some people in Conehead costumes at a sci-fi convention in Third Rock From The Sun, or it can be bigger and more blatant, such as when John Lithgow repeated his entire anti-music rant from Footloose in ...
Action Girl
The Action Girl is, essentially, Badassitude molded into a sleek female frame: a female character who is spunky, agile, and can take you down with an array of kicks, punches, or diverse Weapons Of Choice. She is not The Chick, though they overlap more and more frequently, or a Distressed Damsel. She doesn't sit around waiting to be rescued. She doesn't only plan how to rescue herself. She doesn't ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Nakama
All for one... 'Nakama' is a Japanese term that describes, roughly, the members of a group. However, some anime fans have decided it means a group of people who are as close as real family would be because of the circumstances under which the group of companions find themselves. As the term is not a uniquely Japanese concept, other words such as 'comrades', 'brothers in arms', crew, team, posse ...
Noodle Incident
The Noodle Incident is something from the past that is sometimes referred to but never explained, with the implication that it's just too ludicrous for words, and the reality that any explanation would fall short of audience expectations. Questions about it are often met with 'You Don't Want To Know...' Commonly introduced to the audience through a Wiki Walk. Named for an (unexplained, of course) ...
Sealed Evil In A Can
Sealed Evil In A Can, as the title suggests, is a way to introduce a villain suddenly, especially one that is legendary and powerful. It also explains why the villain hasn't done anything up to that point. (It just escaped recently.) A great evil was beaten in the past. However, it was beaten in such a way that meant it was imprisoned as opposed to killed. Said prison usually ends up preserving sa ...
Calling Your Attacks
If you can do something more impressive than just throw a punch, your attack(s) must have an equally impressive name. More than that, you have to call it out as you launch the attack. It doesn't matter if it's a martial arts move or a magical spell, if you can't say its name, it just isn't nearly as cool or effective. Also, expect plenty of echoing to come with it, and (if a fighter is feeling par ...
Expy
This trope is being considered for a rename/rewrite/merge. Please feel free to join in the discussion in the forum thread. Short for 'Exported Character', an Expy is a character from one series who seems very similar to a character in another, older series (Or even the same). A few minor traits — such as age and name — may change, but there's no doubt that they are almost one and the same. ...
Well Intentioned Extremist
A villain who has an overall goal which the heroes can appreciate in principle, such as saving the environment or protecting a minority. However, it is the methods the villain uses (such as mass murder) which are the problem; despite any sympathy they may have with his cause, the heroes have no choice but to stop him. Taken to extremes, he may fully believe that Utopia Justifies The Means. Other t ...
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 ...
Game Breaker
Occasionally known as 'a cheese' or 'cheesing,' a Game Breaker is controversial because of its vague status of 'cheating'. Since it does not involve outright hacking, such as a ram edit, nor exploiting an outright bug which clearly should not occur, Game Breaking utilizes some organic feature of the game in an unintentional way, resulting in Gameplay Derailment. A major reason these occur is due t ...
Complete Monster
Sometimes a villain is not more 'fun' to watch than the heroes. Sometimes a villain isn't entertaining at all. These are villains whose horrific actions earn our rightful disgust, anger and hatred. These evil characters frequently believe life is all about them, lack any understanding of empathy or morality, and even more often simply do it for fun. This is it. The end of the line for evil and evi ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Nice Hat
Clearly not a hat to be trifled with. To show that you mean business, it's important to have style. Enter: the nice hat. It may actually have utility — even conveying special powers — but more often than not it just looks cool, or even sexy. A discerning hero/villain just can't be seen without their Nice Hat! Harming the nice hat may be akin to kicking the dog, with disastrous results. Fedoras ...
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 ...
Beware The Nice Ones
Sometimes, trying to Break The Cutie can have consequences. Sometimes, the nicest person in the story gets pushed to the limit of what they can take and the results... are not pretty. The sweeter, gentler, more polite, and overall nicer a character is, especially if they're female, the worse it will be for the planet when they're subjected to one too many rounds of Break The Cutie, or Dude Wheres ...
Product Placement
Otherwise known as a 'plug' or 'writing commercials right into a show'. The practice of prominently displaying or talking about a recognizable product in a program, in exchange for some consideration from the manufacturer, usually monetary. The manufacturer hopes to cause The Red Stapler effect, but it far more often results in snarky comments from the peanut gallery. This trope isn't always invo ...