They Changed It Now It SucksSealed Evil In A CanMs FanserviceKarma HoudiniToo Dumb To Live
Wham EpisodeMythology GagBerserk ButtonBad Ass NormalOne Scene Wonder
Mad ScientistVerbal TicTalking To HimselfChekhov's GunPower Perversion Potential
Running GagNever Trust A TrailerDeterminatorLimited WardrobeBadass Normal
Butt MonkeyEvil LaughBig NoActor AllusionOh Crap
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Too Dumb To Live
The character who drives the plot by doing things that no sane human being would do. Walking down the alley alone to tell her friend about the Serial Killer. Telling her best friend not to tell anybody, but she has a crush on somebody. Walking through the streets of Sunnydale after dark. Being Lana Lang. Splitting the party. Being curious. Searching the hero's room in such a manner that no one cou ...
Wham Episode
They pulled it off! A legitimate Twist Ending! An episode that suddenly sets the Story Arc moving in a very different direction, metaphorically hitting the viewer over the head with a sharp shock. Frequently the result of The Reveal (possibly of The Mole), a Luke I Am Your Father, a Tomato Surprise, all at or other such surprising twist. Sometimes carries a significant dose of Mood Whiplash along ...
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 ...
Berserk Button
So you're dealing with a character who seems perfectly normal. He's friendly, sociable, and well-adjusted, saving stray kittens and helping old ladies cross the street on the way to his day job of working at a soup kitchen. But then you make a mistake. You happen to mention in passing what you think is a fairly innocuous observation, maybe pointing out that the character could stand to lose a litt ...
Bad Ass 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 ...
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 ...
Mad Scientist
They're scientists, they're somewhat scatterbrained, and they are frequently working for the bad guys, often building implausible gadgetry or slightly ridiculous superweapons. They tend to wear lab coats, have wild hair, and speak with put-on Central European accents (based on the many scientists who fled Central Europe from the Nazis and the Soviets). Sometimes they will talk like Peter Lorre, or ...
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 ...
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 ...
Chekhov's Gun
Chekhov's Gun is the literary technique whereby an element is introduced early in the story whose significance does not become clear until later on. For example, a character may find a mysterious necklace that turns out to be the power source to the Doomsday Device, but at the time of finding the object it does not seem to be important. Although many people consider the phrase 'Chekhov's gun' to b ...
Power Perversion Potential
In every fandom, one finds a particularly pervasive trend that makes it harder to deny that Freud Was Right: if a character has some kind of gimmick, then chances are that some portion of the fans will have dreamed up an indecent application for that gimmick. Quite often, it comes in the shape of questions about the character's free time. Yes, he uses his superpowers to save lives while on duty. B ...
Running Gag
Run! Feel the burn! Push the evelope! A joke that is only mildly funny the first time, Gotta keep running! Faster! but becomes funnier each time it is repeated. Must be repeated at least three times Never stop! Keep going! Run faster! -but repeat it too many times and- Keep going! Onward! Keep it up! it becomes an Overly Long Gag. A variant is a joke or scene that occurs- Run! Run like the wind! ...
Never Trust A Trailer
If Covers Always Lie, trailers can, too. Sometimes Tonight Someone Dies or hyping The Reveal might not be enough. And with the Internet an open window these days for writers and directors to viewers' likes, dislikes, hopes, predictions, and Shipping loyalties, it's easy to know exactly how to bait fans into watching the next episode. Be careful not to believe everything you see, though, because as ...
Determinator
Every character needs a certain amount of Heroic Willpower, but there are some who take it just too far. The personification of raw perseverance, this is the character - good guy or bad, and usually male (but not always) - who never gives up. Ever. No matter what. Whatever other attributes he may possess, his persistence stands out. There is no stopping the Determinator. He does not understand pat ...
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 ...
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 ...
Butt Monkey
The character who is always the butt of the demeaning joke or the 'put him through hell' plotline. Nothing ever goes right for this character, he's constantly abused by pretty much everyone he knows, even his so-called friends, and if something bad is going to happen to someone, chances are, it's going to be him. Long story short, it sucks to be the Butt Monkey. The Butt Monkey generally doesn't d ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...