Anyone Can DieWhat Measure Is A Non HumanAnti HeroJerk AssLimited Wardrobe
TsundereAffably EvilBadass LongcoatNames To Run Away From Really FastNice Hat
Actor AllusionSmug SnakeLampshade HangingInfant ImmortalityRule Of Cool
They Wasted A Perfectly Good PlotThe ScrappyKarma HoudiniComplete MonsterMs Fanservice
Calling Your AttacksThere Is No Kill Like OverkillBreak The CutieNakamaSoundtrack Dissonance
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 ...
What Measure Is A Non Human
Proposed alternate measure: Will it blend? There is an invisible value placed on the existence of non-human characters in fiction, compared to the value of the life of a human. Killing/destroying one may or may not be the same thing as killing a human. The difference between Not Even Human on one end of the scale and Not Quite Human on the other can be a fine one, and where a series chooses to dr ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Tsundere
A character (usually female) who runs 'hot and cold', flipping between◊ aggressive and confrontational (tsuntsun, meaning 'aloof' or 'cranky' in Japanese) and affectionate and sentimental (deredere, meaning 'lovestruck'). The distinct moods usually aren't subtle, especially with the latter ranging from 'simple teasing' to 'lovestruck kindergartener who pushes you into the sandbox'. The reasons b ...
Affably Evil
Most of the time, when there is a villain, they're going to have a personality or manner that underscores how evil they are. They may kick puppies for giggles, be particularly insensitive, even during sex, or might just be too unknowable to be anything but evil. And then, there are villains who are Affably Evil. There is absolutely nothing separating them from being normal, polite people except fo ...
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 ...
Names To Run Away From Really Fast
People make a big deal out of names, and writers are no exception. Even if they eschew Theme Naming and other Naming Conventions they'll still use names they think are cool and dignified, powerful and appropriate, or sinister and fearsome. Which is why there are inevitably certain Names To Run Away From Really Fast. For much the same reason it's unlikely Steve will turn out to be the outrageously ...
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 ...
Actor Allusion
An Actor Allusion is a joke or reference which is specific to one of the actors in a television show. It can be a little blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, such as Mary Albright (Jane Curtin) spotting some people in Conehead costumes at a sci-fi convention in Third Rock From The Sun, or it can be bigger and more blatant, such as when John Lithgow repeated his entire anti-music rant from Footloose in ...
Smug Snake
The Smug Snake is a type of character (usually cast as a villain) who tends to treat friends and enemies alike with equal disdain. They almost constantly speak in a sarcastic tone and punctuate most of their sentences with a smirk. More often than not, they will aspire to be a formidable and awe-inspiring adversary, but tend to fail in the face and/or servitude of more cunning villains. Others tha ...
Lampshade Hanging
Lampshade Hanging is the writers' trick of dealing with any element of the story that threatens the audience's Willing Suspension Of Disbelief—whether a very implausible plot development, or a particularly egregious use of a trope—by calling attention to it... and then moving on. The reason for this counter-intuitive strategy is two-fold. First, it assures the audience that the author is aware ...
Infant Immortality
It seems to be the cardinal rule in shows that thrive on violence: you are not allowed to kill babies or young children. Or dogs, unless it is a heart-breaking moment that symbolizes the end of innocence. No matter how bad the Big Bad is, he will always stop short of killing a baby. Even natural disasters will avoid killing infants and dogs. Something about a baby makes you stop, think twice, a ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Karma Houdini
He's kicked the hero's dog, abducted his family and held them hostage, abused the most sympathetic of his Woobie minions, killed off the series' most popular Ensemble Darkhorse and invented a Kill Sat that uses babies as its primary fuel, not to mention jaywalking in front of a bus full of nuns. He's done just about every conceivable thing that would make an audience boo, hiss and hate him with th ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Nakama
All for one... 'Nakama' is a Japanese term that describes, roughly, the members of a group. However, some anime fans have decided it means a group of people who are as close as real family would be because of the circumstances under which the group of companions find themselves. As the term is not a uniquely Japanese concept, other words such as 'comrades', 'brothers in arms', crew, team, posse ...
Soundtrack Dissonance
So you're a big-time Hollywood director. (Congrats on that, by the way.) You've got a dynamite action movie you're about to start shooting. It won't win you an Oscar, but hey, you've got two of those, and any way, your mortgage payments are becoming somewhat uncomfortable. Keanu Reeves has signed on to be your hero/messiah figure, and Seth Green will be the annoying/lovable comic relief. Best of a ...