Nice HatYou Gotta Have Blue HairTrademark Favorite FoodLove It Or Hate ItDid You Just Punch Out Cthulhu
Does This Remind You Of Anything?Adaptation DisplacementApocalypse HowKick The DogBig Eater
Red Oni Blue OniDriven To SuicideBody HorrorArson Murder And JaywalkingHeroic Sacrifice
Paper Thin DisguiseShout OutBadassBadass NormalFun With Acronyms
Mythology GagParanoia FuelBeware The Nice OnesLimited WardrobeIdiosyncratic Episode Naming
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 ...
You Gotta Have Blue Hair
A Sub Trope of Hair Colors. Many Anime characters have totally impossible hair colors like green and purple. This actually started with Manga series that used distinctive colors on the covers to make characters stand out, as they all had either dark or light hair in the actual black and white pictures. Anime just made it part of the shows. In many cases, though, hair which is technically supposed ...
Trademark Favorite Food
A character is partly defined by a Trademark Favorite Food that he or she craves and eats, all the freakin' time. Usually in a way that makes you suspect that they're addicted to the substance. If they're a One Note Cook, they'll typically be good at making it. When a character exhibits an obsession for food that corresponds with a stereotype for his race or culture, it is usually considered a Di ...
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 ...
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu
So, along comes the Eldritch Abomination: incomprehensible, insanity-inducing gods; alien beings that don't even notice humanity, let alone care; technological beings whose thoughts encompass the universe. You know the type. Eternal, infinite, impossible to even understand, let alone oppose... And then along come a couple of plucky heroes, who didn't get told that the Abomination is impossible to ...
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 ...
Adaptation Displacement
So, you go to the theater to see the new movie everyone's talking about. It's pretty good, and when you go home, you chat with your friends about it. Then one of them asks you if you've read the book. Wait — there was a book!? Adaptation Displacement is the phenomenon where a derivative work becomes successful enough to totally displace the original in the minds of the public. Can apply to the a ...
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 ...
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 ...
Big Eater
You're going to eat all that? A character (who quite often is anything but fat) eats enough for an entire football team, usually devastating the whole table — and perhaps entire restaurants — with their insatiable hunger. Often combined with a speed-eating technique that makes food seem to vanish spontaneously from the plate. A common sight gag with this kind of character in cartoons or anime ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Arson Murder And Jaywalking
When listing off three or more things, apparently the rule is not to finish strong. For example, if Alice is listing off X number of reasons not to date Bob, item X-1 will be something major, like 'he's a philanderer' or something in that vein, whereas item X will be something slight such as 'he leaves the toilet seat up.' If a comedy, the final one is often treated as if it really were the worst ...
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 ...
Paper Thin Disguise
The opposite of Latex Perfection, and often a special case of Wig Dress Accent. A character that the other characters should recognize (or at least recognize as not belonging) dons a disguise. This disguise is so completely transparent that the audience wants to shout 'For the love of God, it's HIM!' The reason may be that they want the audience to know before the character does (a sort of Rever ...
Shout Out
A shout out is something subtle (a name or line of dialogue) in a show that refers to fans or family members of the cast or crew, or to another source of inspiration. By nature, these can be obscure for casual fans. You can even talk about them in English class if only you call them 'allusions'. See also Homage, Stock Shout Outs, Opening Shout Out, Shout Out Theme Naming. Literary Allusion Title i ...
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 ...
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 ...
Fun With Acronyms
In fictional acronyms, priorities are reversed. It's not so important that the full name be clear, memorable and to the point; it matters much more that the actual acronym spell out a word or phrase, preferably a relevant one. This results in 'backronyms', acronyms created before the names they allegedly stand for. For instance, no writer would have allowed New York's police force to come up with ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Idiosyncratic Episode Naming
Most prominently noted in Friends, many shows utilize quirky episode naming conventions. Though the episode title is usually not even broadcast with the show (usually only Animated Series do this), this information is gleaned from press releases, closed captioning, and the guide information. Of course, in literature it can be more obvious. Pilots are exempt from this, as pilots do not usually hav ...