Paranoia FuelDeterminatorGroin AttackTalking To HimselfDawson Casting
Jerk AssLarge HamPlaying Against TypeNo Name GivenStalker With A Crush
Does This Remind You Of Anything?Recycled IN SPACE!Rule Of CoolPunny NameDriven To Suicide
Kill Em AllMagnificent BastardExpyComplete MonsterKick The Dog
Badass LongcoatBadassThe Other DarrinRefuge In AudacityMs Fanservice
Paranoia Fuel
When things that should be harmless, or on the children's side, turn nasty, stripping away all sense of safety. THEY CAN SEE YOU. THEY KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE! How can a child sleep easy in their bed, when they've seen how toys can come alive when all is dark and wreak unspeakable vengeance? What trust can they have that anyone will protect them, when they've just seen some cheerful kid's programme w ...
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 ...
Groin Attack
For reasons science may never uncover, seeing a guy get struck in the testicles is just funny. It's Banana Peel funny. Yes, it is; don't argue. Whether the object doing the striking is an errant piece of sports equipment or a deliberately placed foot, the end result is going to be grown man doubled over and trembling with pain. Bonus points if he then hobbles away and says something in a high-pitc ...
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 ...
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 ...
Jerk Ass
A Jerkass is a character who is so offensively obnoxious that it is unbelievable anyone would willingly interact with him; let's face it, much of the character's charm is a sort of schadenfreude. What makes him or her entertaining is the fact that you don't have to deal with them yourself in real life. Usually, the Rule Of Funny enables the people around the person to be able to live under the sam ...
Large Ham
Ridiculously larger-than-life character, often a mentor to one of the regulars. Typically played by a guest star with an Internet Movie Database listing longer than the rest of the cast put together. Full of energy, joie de vivre and nothing but line readings and dramatic gestures that can shake a scene to pieces. Often a key redeeming element in shows that are So Bad Its Good. The first line from ...
Playing Against Type
The hiring of an actor to play a certain part which differs fundamentally from roles the actor is famous for or has played in the past. For instance, an actress who is known for playing kindly old grandma types suddenly cast as a scheming murderess. This is generally done when an actor wants to 'stretch his/her wings' or 'try something different.' Often, it can be very useful in The Reveal. Comed ...
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 ...
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 ...
Does This Remind You Of Anything?
Any situation which is made, for comic effect, to look like another situation — not in the sense that it is mistaken for that other situation by any of the characters, just in the sense that we the audience see the resemblance. The characters do not. This sort of situation can lead to a Three Is Company plot if some other character hears it out of context. Alternatively it can refer to an ersatz ...
Recycled IN SPACE!
I'm afraid I've got some bad news, boys. You're in space!' Stories are often recycled from other shows, with the setting changed with just enough of a gimmick to make it look different. The characters will have the same character types, sometimes even the same voice actors. Sometimes these will be direct spinoffs, with the same characters with one major time or setting change. Later varieties inc ...
Rule Of Cool
The limit of the Willing Suspension Of Disbelief for a given element is directly proportional to its degree of coolness. Stated another way, all but the most pedantic of viewers will forgive liberties with reality as long as the result is wicked sweet or awesome. This applies to the audience in general; there will naturally be a different threshold for each individual in the group. The Rule Of Coo ...
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 ...
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 ...
Kill Em All
When Anyone Can Die becomes 'Everyone Will Die.' Many series are noteworthy for the extremely high body count among the main cast that they rack up in their last few episodes. In some cases, all of the heroes make a Heroic Sacrifice, or otherwise find themselves wearing the Red Shirt. Occasionally, the protagonists simply fail to prevent The End Of The World As We Know It, resulting in a Downer En ...
Magnificent Bastard
The Magnificent Bastard is what happens when you combine the Chessmaster, the Trickster, and the Manipulative Bastard (sometimes throwing in a bit of Large Ham). He is bold, charismatic (though not necessarily lovable), independent, and audacious. This character is a villain. He can be at any level of the villainous hierarchy - Big Bad, The Dragon who's a Knight Templar or Puss In Boots, or a wil ...
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. ...
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 ...
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 ...
Badass Longcoat
A Longcoat is the ideal action-hero garment, more practical than a cape but infinitely cooler than a sport coat or no coat. In addition, a Longcoat of any level of 'billowy-ness' makes an ideal cover for producing any number of weapons, tools, supplies and whatnot. Certain styles of Longcoat are deliberately designed to distort the wearer's frame, making their wearer's access to Hammerspace almost ...
Badass
The Rule Of Cool personified. A character who gets away with outright insane stunts (defusing a bomb with their teeth, conning a mob boss, getting into a firefight with the entire US army, etc.) that would never work in real life. A Bad Ass is a fantasy figure who the audience roots for precisely because they break the Willing Suspension Of Disbelief - or, between Refuge In Audacity and Rule Of Co ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...