Calling Your AttacksThe ScrappyDawson CastingName That TuneDoes This Remind You Of Anything?
Genre SavvyNightmare FuelStalker With A CrushThey Changed It Now It SucksDriven To Suicide
Loads And Loads Of CharactersRed Oni Blue OniBreak The CutieComplete MonsterSliding Scale Of Idealism Versus Cynicism
Bittersweet EndingMythology GagLarge HamEvil LaughOne Scene Wonder
There Is No Kill Like OverkillMs FanserviceHeroic SacrificeBig BadNoodle Incident
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Nightmare Fuel
Fourteen year old kids pilot that thing. No, really. Nightmare Fuel, as we mean it here, are those things that scared the pants off you as a kid, though it wasn't meant to: something that was meant to either amuse, entertain, or be only slightly scary to the audience. In execution, they're so trauma-inducing that they may cause even adults to void themselves in terror. For young children, media ca ...
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 ...
They Changed It Now It Sucks
In cases where as long as it's still the same basic story and keeps all the best bits and characters intact, then it doesn't matter too much that Bob's bald, Alice doesn't die, the football game ended with a different score, and they cut the watermelon scene, right? It's a bit of a shame they screwed that bit up, but really, it's not as if the entire work is Ruined FOREVER, right? Wrong! ...or so ...
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 ...
Loads And Loads Of Characters
Also known as the Character Clusterfuck, a show that has so many regulars that you can't fit them all into one episode. Therefore, one week some characters will appear, another some different people. You'll rarely get the same combination twice. This is especially common in Long Runners, as characters tend to accumulate over time. Similarly, some video games involve collecting as many distinct, un ...
Red Oni Blue Oni
Oni is a Japanese word which roughly translates as 'demon' or 'ogre', and represents a creature from Japanese mythology. The original oni were large, brutish creatures, often illustrated wielding large metallic clubs. Those that weren't in hell tormenting sinners roamed the remote, mountainous areas of Japan, where they often carried people off to be eaten, only to be defeated by valiant heroes or ...
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 ...
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 ...
Sliding Scale Of Idealism Versus Cynicism
In a bid to appeal more to adult audiences, Disneyland replaces 'It's a Small World' with 'It's a Cold and Unforgiving Hell' in 2011. What best defeats evil? A bullet between the eyes, or The Power Of Friendship? The answer depends on where the series falls in the Sliding Scale Of Idealism Versus Cynicism (also known as Romanticism Versus Realism). In a heavily idealistic series, Humans Are Good ...
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 ...
Mythology Gag
A Mythology Gag is a sort of Meta-Continuity Nod, wherein some facet of a show's mythology or past production history (which is not actually considered Canon in the context of the show) is made. Often seen in Revivals or Series Franchises, when an element from the previous version of the show (or from the previous show in the Series Franchise) is referenced or seen in some way. This is usually don ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Big Bad
It's good to be king. A Big Bad is a jeopardy, usually a character with evil designs (though it may also be a situation, such as a comet heading towards the Earth), that is behind all of the other bad happenings. The Big Bad can have effect across a number of episodes, and even an entire season. Note that Big Bad is not a catch-all trope for the biggest and ugliest villain of any given story. The ...
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) ...