Painting The Fourth WallBadass NormalApocalypse HowDoes This Remind You Of Anything?Paranoia Fuel
Spell My Name With An SCalling Your AttacksOh CrapOne Winged AngelTalking To Himself
Complete MonsterBadassHeroic SacrificeCatchphraseLimited Wardrobe
Anti HeroMagnificent BastardEvil LaughSealed Evil In A CanThey Wasted A Perfectly Good Plot
CloudcuckoolanderThere Is No Kill Like OverkillBody HorrorMoral Event HorizonFamous Last Words
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 ...
Badass 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Spell My Name With An S
This trope describes characters whose names are almost never spelled consistently, usually because of transliteration issues. This tends to happen in Anime and Japanese video games that haven't been officially translated into English, although it also crops up in other languages that don't use the Latin alphabet. Situations include anything from drama between vowel additions to unique-cipher dropp ...
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 ...
Oh Crap
Basically, the moment when a villain or hero felt confident as usual but suddenly realizes that the other side has the advantage. They may not always say anything in particular, but even if they don't, their faces scream 'Oh Crap, I'm Screwed'. Except with stronger language. This is the moment when they truly realize that the solid organic waste is about to collide with the Aperture Science Rotati ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Heroic Sacrifice
A character does something incredibly brave and dies, is maimed, or is otherwise irrevocably harmed doing it. A bad character who was once good (especially corrupt police) can redeem himself in the last act by Taking The Bullet (etc) that was meant for The Hero. Thus expunging all his previous evil, avoiding forcing The Hero to arrest or confront him, and avoiding any real life penalties like disg ...
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 ...
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 ...
Anti Hero
The questionable shade of gray between good and evil, an anti hero is a rather dark, edgy character who has the opposite of most of the traditional attributes of a hero. He or she may be bewildered, ineffectual, deluded, or merely pathetic. More often an antihero is just an amoral misfit. Lives f-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-r from the ideal end of the Sliding Scale Of Idealism Versus Cynicism. Other common at ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Famous Last Words
Contrary to popular belief, very few fatal injuries result in instant death. As long as you haven't been decapitated, shot in the head, or asploded, your body will take at least two minutes to fully shut down, giving you a chance to belt out a few parting words to your comrades or the enemy that felled you. More realistic than the Final Speech, which lasts as long as the plot needs it to no matter ...