Improbable Weapon UserBerserk ButtonSliding Scale Of Idealism Versus CynicismKarma HoudiniThere Is No Kill Like Overkill
Complete MonsterPlaying Against TypeWham EpisodeThrow It InStalker With A Crush
Arson Murder And JaywalkingMs FanserviceKill Em AllEstrogen Brigade BaitMind Screw
Deadpan SnarkerThey Wasted A Perfectly Good PlotCreepy ChildCatch PhraseVerbal Tic
Eldritch AbominationShout OutChekhov's GunBadass LongcoatCatchphrase
Improbable Weapon User
Windmill blades. Yes, windmill blades. The high probability your wackiest party member, like the Team Pet, will use some sort of bizarre and, well, improbable 'weapon' - that is, in the sense of an object you could conceivably hit something with. And some of these 'weapons' don't even go that far. This usually seems to just be a way to give that character some sort of upgradeable item to explain o ...
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 ...
Sliding Scale Of Idealism Versus Cynicism
In a bid to appeal more to adult audiences, Disneyland replaces 'It's a Small World' with 'It's a Cold and Unforgiving Hell' in 2011. What best defeats evil? A bullet between the eyes, or The Power Of Friendship? The answer depends on where the series falls in the Sliding Scale Of Idealism Versus Cynicism (also known as Romanticism Versus Realism). In a heavily idealistic series, Humans Are Good ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Playing Against Type
The hiring of an actor to play a certain part which differs fundamentally from roles the actor is famous for or has played in the past. For instance, an actress who is known for playing kindly old grandma types suddenly cast as a scheming murderess. This is generally done when an actor wants to 'stretch his/her wings' or 'try something different.' Often, it can be very useful in The Reveal. Comed ...
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 ...
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 ...
Stalker With A Crush
A character (often the villain, but not always, sometimes leading to some severe Values Dissonance) noted for their obsession with one of the protagonists, or even the main cast. The amount of sympathy from the audience often lowers the more extreme they get. They claim a major motivation for their morally outrageous acts is simply wanting to gain attention from the hero, or repay past kindness. S ...
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 ...
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 ...
Kill Em All
When Anyone Can Die becomes 'Everyone Will Die.' Many series are noteworthy for the extremely high body count among the main cast that they rack up in their last few episodes. In some cases, all of the heroes make a Heroic Sacrifice, or otherwise find themselves wearing the Red Shirt. Occasionally, the protagonists simply fail to prevent The End Of The World As We Know It, resulting in a Downer En ...
Estrogen Brigade Bait
Exhibit A: Peter Petrelli WANTED Hot male character to provide maximum female-oriented Fanservice to satisfy the Estrogen Brigade demographic. QUALIFICATIONS Dark And Troubled Past to gain sympathy, manifested in emotional and physical scars; Troubled But Cute demeanor because All Girls Want Bad Boys; Sexy voice; Willing to tolerate an Unwanted Harem in your own universe; Comfortable with doi ...
Mind Screw
The Mind Screw is basically a show that relies so heavily on symbolism that the immediate response afterwards is 'What the heck was that?!?!' These shows practically beg for fans to invent their own improbable theories about Epileptic Trees and such. While some fans can make arguments over what the symbolism means, and what everything represents, many mind screws will pad themselves with meaningle ...
Deadpan Snarker
A character given to gnomic, sarcastic, sometimes bitter, occasionally whimsical asides. The Deadpan Snarker exists to deflate pomposity, point out the unlikelihood of certain plans, and deliver funny lines. Typically a Deadpan Snarker is the most cynical supporting character. In most cases, it is implied that the snarker would make a good leader, strategist, or consultant given their ability to i ...
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 ...
Creepy Child
They look sweet, innocent, even angelic, but there's something not quite right about them. They're too calm, too knowing. They aren't really children any longer, not at heart. Children should be innocent, in need of adult protection. By inverting this, the trope arouses deep-rooted fears. The Creepy Child might not be physically dangerous, but their profound unnaturalness is just as chilling. Cree ...
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 ...
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 ...
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. ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Catchphrase
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 ...