What Do You Mean, It's Not Awesome?Throw It InGroin AttackThe Other DarrinUnusual Euphemism
Broken BaseThe ScrappyShown Their WorkVerbal TicBody Horror
Title DropParental AbandonmentBadass NormalComplete MonsterAnyone Can Die
Big NoPunny NameThey Wasted A Perfectly Good PlotLove It Or Hate ItRecycled IN SPACE!
Well Intentioned ExtremistMagnificent BastardHeterosexual Life PartnersBittersweet EndingFollow The Leader
What Do You Mean, It's Not Awesome?
So you have yourself a situation that might be important, but it just isn't awesome enough. There's something missing. What could it be...? I know! Let's throw in some gripping orchestral music, lighting changes, different camera angles, something! Don't write like a man, write like an Evil Overlord! Exaggerate your expressions and gestures, speak with excessive intonation, and if all else fails, ...
Throw It In
The preservation of ad libs, improvisations, and the occasional accident or mistimed what-have-you for dramatic or comic effect, sometimes at the cost of continuity. These are often some of the most memorable scenes, for better or for worse, due to their spontaneity. Differs slightly from attaching Hilarious Outtakes to the ends of shows. Related to No Fourth Wall. See also Rule Of Funny, Rule Of ...
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 ...
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 ...
Unusual Euphemism
The characters are talking about an embarrassing issue by using a euphemism that the scriptwriters just made up. Many Science Fiction shows make up such curse words so as not to offend Standards and Practices, probably because these expressions can pass as Future Slang. Can sometimes even be the result of censorship: see the film examples. Contrast Unusual Dysphemism. Compare to Never Say Die, For ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Title Drop
If a line of dialogue is the title of the episode, movie, or book, it obviously must have some great significance. If it sounds completely random, that just means the true meaning of the title has yet to be revealed. So when a character is heard using the title in dialogue, the audience sits up and takes notice, because the scriptwriter has just planted a neon sign that flashes THIS CONVERSATION I ...
Parental Abandonment
A stunningly large number of heroes and their coteries are lacking in the parent department, either through death or in that they just aren't talked about. Even if both parents are alive, they may well be emotionally or physically distant. Everyone is, for the sake of the plot, Conveniently An Orphan, whether they actually are or not. This is a very convenient way for characters to be able to run ...
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 ...
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 ...
Anyone Can Die
A rarer trope used by serious shows to prove that they can retain suspense because any main character (including the hero) can die at any time in the show. Note that while this has to often be Killed Off For Real for the trope to have the desired effect, the writers will try to cheat and bring back the guy later (see Not Quite Dead, Disney Death, and Battle Royale With Cheese). Still, even if all ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Heterosexual Life Partners
Two extremely close friends or partners, both the same gender, who spend an 'excessive' amount of time together on and off the job. So excessive that they might as well be a couple. Note that there is no official evidence whatsoever that they're romantically linked, but they might suffer withdrawals from not being around each other. There might even be a 'break-up' episode. If they are life-long f ...
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 ...
Follow The Leader
For a town that prides itself on being the place where dreams are made, there doesn't seem to be much original thought in Hollywood; rather, the focus tends to be on imitation rather than innovation, of re-creating success instead of creating it. Specifically, whenever any one movie, television show, etc. enjoys considerable success, expect every studio executive, producer, director and writer in ...