Punny NameCloudcuckoolanderBadass NormalMythology GagDie For Our Ship
Eldritch AbominationApocalypse HowParanoia FuelComplete MonsterBig Eater
Groin AttackGuilty PleasuresCatch PhraseNakamaBittersweet Ending
Loads And Loads Of CharactersName That TuneMeaningful NameShout OutHeroic Sacrifice
Fun With AcronymsPower Perversion PotentialCalling Your AttacksRecycled IN SPACE!Evil Laugh
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 ...
Cloudcuckoolander
A character with their head in the clouds. They aren't quite stupid, and they aren't quite insane, but they lapse into non sequitur a lot and are strangely oblivious to things that everyone else takes for granted, such as whether it is okay to turn their suitemate's room into a landfill and board it up. They are still, somehow, able to function day to day. See the Quotes Wiki for more extensive ex ...
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 ...
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 ...
Die For Our Ship
Sometimes, a character is hated because he's annoying. Or because he came in after the show Jumped The Shark. Or because she's a raging Mary Sue and gets too much attention. The list goes on. More often, though, when Shipping comes into play, the character is hated for existing at all. Hate shrines. Death Fics. Fics where the formerly sweet and loyal character cheats on the heroine with her two be ...
Eldritch Abomination
How to describe these unclean mockeries of natural law? There are no words that can encompass such foulness, not in English or any other human tongue. They are other, alien beyond comprehension, their very existence an affront to all rationality. I could speak of ichor-dripping tentacles and yonic voids, painfully dissonant cries and colours of no earthly hue, but those are mere superficialities. ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Guilty Pleasures
These are the deep-fried Snickers bars of the TV world. Not even a little bit good for you. Not everybody likes them. In fact, they are so bad they may not even be popular. Still, they have some audience. Not that anyone necessarily wants to admit they're in it, especially if they're outside the target demographic. The guilty pleasure lies one level above So Bad Its Good in that, despite contrived ...
Catch Phrase
An expression used by a character in numerous episodes of a show. Merely uttering this phrase in the office will key others in to the character you're referring to. For a line to be a Catch Phrase, it should be always the same, and not just catchy. Two like-minded characters can form a Catch Phrase Spouting Duo, creating an entire lexicon of catch phrases with astonishing efficiency. In The Name O ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Meaningful Name
A name that has a direct, barely-hidden meaning to it. The first, last, or full name says something primal about the character. Often has multiple layers. To hide the meaning a bit, use an alternate spelling or foreign equivalent. Instead of writers having to make up random words or think of real names, they can use mythological names or old words. As an example, it is common to use for heroic cha ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...