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  #151  
Old 05-18-2020, 02:29 PM
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Making friends with the principal character in Murder She Wrote. You'll either get murdered, framed for murder, or put on trial for murder.
It's rough on the mean streets of Cabot Cove. If you're not friends with Jessica, when you're framed, you go to prison, and if you're murdered, the killer is never found. Being friends with her at least cuts your losses. If you can't face that, move somewhere safer, like Derry, Maine.
  #152  
Old 05-18-2020, 03:30 PM
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This one is probably more common in fantasy/scifi/comics, but: Everybody of any importance to the whole plot line, no matter how galaxy-spanning, turns out to be closely related. Childhood buddies, first cousins, parent/child, brother/sister, mentor/student, whatever. Small Small Universe, ain't it?

Last edited by misling; 05-18-2020 at 03:30 PM.
  #153  
Old 05-18-2020, 03:31 PM
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I know, it's an adaptation from East Asian chopsocky movies, but am I really supposed to think that doing backflips is a highly threatening martial arts move?
  #154  
Old 05-18-2020, 04:24 PM
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I'd make an exception for Professor Theophilus Branestawm, the hero of the British series of childrens' books by Norman Hunter. Said gentleman is an archetypal hugely brilliant but utterly absent-minded and unworldly professor: among very many other accomplishments, he's fluent in something like 254 languages -- with 27 of them, he is the only person in the world who knows them. I love these books -- would consider that they rate a pass re the theme of this thread, because the Professor's immense linguistic knowledge is never of the slightest practical use in any way.
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If he's the only one who knows the language, how did he learn them and how can anyone else tell if he's actually fluent?

I know your response is in fun; but, what did Humpty Dumpty actually use to pay every Saturday night -- in cash or in kind -- the words that he'd used during the week? This stuff isn't supposed to make sense...
  #155  
Old 05-18-2020, 07:45 PM
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Quoted from an old thread:
In the original Ocean's 11 they pretty much pull off the caper exactly as planned. Except one of the 11 died of a heart attack, but that had already been foreshadowed. Which comes in handy, it would seem, as it gives the rest a perfect way to get away with the money...
  #156  
Old 05-18-2020, 08:39 PM
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"I'm a mild mannered milquetoast, but I'll do anything to protect my FAMILY! To protect my KIDS!"
......

"You can't do that! This is horrible, psychotic behavior! You'll be a murderer, or worse!"

"I'm doing this for my FAMILY! Dammit, all I do, is for my KIDS!"

"Oh. Right-o, well, carry on, then."
......

[protagonist discovers heinous plot]

Dying Antagonist: [whispers hoarsely] It was ... all ... for my ... FAMILY ... for ... MAH KIDSSSSsssss ...

[heroic music swells, indicating moral redemption]
.....

From Cersei Lannister ("Game of Thrones") to Walter White ("Breaking Bad") to Marty Byrde ("Ozark") this one is goddamn every-fucking-where.

As someone with no children (intentionally) and no husband (not so much) I kinda wanna know where my get-outta-shit card might be. Apparently, if you're married with children, you're allowed to do whatevs ... as long as you frame it as being in the best interest of those children.
Eh, I don’t really see any of those examples as being “allowed” to do bad shit because they claim it’s for their family. All three of those characters are either anti-heroes or villains, they do bad things and eventually bad things happen to them. There is no “get-outta-shit card.” None of them were absolved of their actions or viewed as moral characters.

Last edited by Eyebrows 0f Doom; 05-18-2020 at 08:41 PM.
  #157  
Old 05-18-2020, 08:43 PM
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for your viewing pleasure.[spoiler][url
nm, what's wrong with the smilies? that didn't work

Worth watching, anyway.

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  #158  
Old 05-18-2020, 09:17 PM
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Eh, I don’t really see any of those examples as being “allowed” to do bad shit because they claim it’s for their family. All three of those characters are either anti-heroes or villains, they do bad things and eventually bad things happen to them. There is no “get-outta-shit card.” None of them were absolved of their actions or viewed as moral characters.
Ehhhhh... maybe not absolved, but far too readily seen as having their actions at least mitigated by their expressed loved of family. Because Cersei absolutely was a monster, even if Tyrion (as written for the series) was too dumb to see it.
  #159  
Old 05-18-2020, 09:28 PM
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"Captain, you'd better come down here."
"What is it, Commander?"
"Uh... it's easier if you just come down and see, sir."
"No. If you can't tell me, in just a sentence or two, what it is that you want to show me, however extraordinary or dramatic, then you are so inarticulate that you probably shouldn't be an officer on this ship."
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Damn straight.
"So, Commander, what is it? What's happened? Have you beamed aboard some alien we've never seen before? Has the warp drive been transformed into a giant bowl of egg salad? Has Jesus Christ Himself appeared and said it's Judgment Day?"
Long pause. "We beamed aboard a very unusual alien, sir. It's a really bright green and has five arms and some kind of weird corona all around it."
"There, that wasn't so hard, was it? OK. Welcome it, scan it, and make sure it doesn't hurt anyone. I'll be down... in a little while."
  #160  
Old 05-18-2020, 09:31 PM
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"So, Commander, what is it? What's happened? Have you beamed aboard some alien we've never seen before? Has the warp drive been transformed into a giant bowl of egg salad? Has Jesus Christ Himself appeared and said it's Judgment Day?"
Long pause. "We beamed aboard a very unusual alien, sir. It's a really bright green and has five arms and some kind of weird corona all around it."
"There, that wasn't so hard, was it? OK. Welcome it, scan it, and make sure it doesn't hurt anyone. I'll be down... in a little while."
In one episode of TNG Worf describes creatures he encounters as "animal things" - they looked like this https://stexpanded.fandom.com/wiki/A...mal_things.jpg - "Animal things" is a really bad description of "humanoids with primitive guns and odd uniforms"

Last edited by Andy L; 05-18-2020 at 09:33 PM.
  #161  
Old 05-18-2020, 10:59 PM
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Ehhhhh... maybe not absolved, but far too readily seen as having their actions at least mitigated by their expressed loved of family. Because Cersei absolutely was a monster, even if Tyrion (as written for the series) was too dumb to see it.
But mitigated by whom? I know there is no scene from Breaking Bad or Ozark where the “good guys” learn what the protagonist is is doing and say “Oh it was for family? No you’re cool, it’s ok!” No one is giving them a free pass because they did bad things “for their family.“
  #162  
Old 05-18-2020, 11:23 PM
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For your viewing pleasure.
Thanks. That was hilarious.
  #163  
Old 05-18-2020, 11:23 PM
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But mitigated by whom?
By the audience, of course. That's who these kinds of statements are directed at.

The audience continued to root for Walter White long past the point where he was revealed to be a monster. And even in the finale, he was allowed to protect his family and pass his remaining blood money on to his son.
  #164  
Old 05-18-2020, 11:43 PM
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a) Top of the annoying list: the evil brilliant enemy who is So Fucking Smart and outplots and out-anticipates the good guys at every turn and is always one step ahead and taunting the good guy team to boot.

b) Also perennially annoying: the one single Enemy who is part of a team of bad guys and the good guys and bad guys square off with Big Scene fight but eventually it all comes down to the One Good Guy taking on the One Bad Guy and everything else quits happening and nobody jumps in and whacks either of them upside the head 'cuz they're not looking or anything, and it becomes all about we're gonna decide this thingie mano a mano, you 'n me.

c) Because I don't read books to see if I can outwit the authors, I read books to be entertained, the mysteries where the author has pretzeled the possible behaviors of the characters introduced to come up with a way that the likely suspect isn't the murderer or whatever, instead it is this here totally unsuspected person right under our nose the whole time, who is unsuspected because it's not freaking consistent with that character's personality and behavior. [Yo, J.K. Rowling, take this here Goblet of Fire and shove it into an orifice, still pissed at you over Mad-eye Moody]
  #165  
Old 05-18-2020, 11:54 PM
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The whole dancing-back-and-forth-while-ear-cutting thing....

Enough!
  #166  
Old 05-19-2020, 12:35 AM
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That is NOT how an Eclipse works.
  #167  
Old 05-19-2020, 09:03 AM
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In sci-fi when our hero lands somewhere on a planet looking for someone and runs into them 5 min later. Umm planets are really freaking big. Imagine landing on Earth and finding 1 person out of 7 billion.

Even if you knew the right city, it would still be pure luck. Sure, sometimes they know right where to go. But too often they just run into the person they were looking for.
  #168  
Old 05-19-2020, 09:31 AM
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This one is probably more common in fantasy/scifi/comics, but: Everybody of any importance to the whole plot line, no matter how galaxy-spanning, turns out to be closely related. Childhood buddies, first cousins, parent/child, brother/sister, mentor/student, whatever. Small Small Universe, ain't it?
Or Captain Kirk knew him back when they were in the Academy.



My own personal hated trope: A complex and threatening problem cannot be solved by the town's adults, but is fixed by a group of middle-school kids on bicycles. I'm sick of these.

Last edited by pullin; 05-19-2020 at 09:32 AM.
  #169  
Old 05-19-2020, 09:34 AM
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In sci-fi when our hero lands somewhere on a planet looking for someone and runs into them 5 min later. Umm planets are really freaking big. Imagine landing on Earth and finding 1 person out of 7 billion.

Even if you knew the right city, it would still be pure luck. Sure, sometimes they know right where to go. But too often they just run into the person they were looking for.
Speaking of sci-fi planet tropes, planets that each have only one climate is a common one, is it not? Star Wars is certainly guilty of this, with the ice planet Hoth and the desert planet Tatooine. Planets with life-bearing ecosystems don't work that way.
  #170  
Old 05-19-2020, 10:32 AM
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The hero and the villain dropping their guns and punching it out "just to see who's the best." Usually preceded by a lot of unfinished fights, close call encounters, and intense staring throughout the story up until that point.

Also, a group of henchmen surround the hero, but instead of just tackling him, they take turns fighting one-on-one (and of course get their asses kicked in order).
One thing I loved about the old "Wild Wild West" television show was that James Gordon was a master at fighting multiple assailants simultaneously. Four guys would rush him and Jim would throw one into another, punch the third and judo kick the fourth.
  #171  
Old 05-19-2020, 10:45 AM
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Speaking of sci-fi planet tropes, planets that each have only one climate is a common one, is it not? Star Wars is certainly guilty of this, with the ice planet Hoth and the desert planet Tatooine. Planets with life-bearing ecosystems don't work that way.
"It was raining on Mongo that morning."

Last edited by DesertDog; 05-19-2020 at 10:47 AM. Reason: Damn ninjas
  #172  
Old 05-19-2020, 11:08 AM
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You left out this: the about-to-retire character must die!
It'd be funny to have a movie where the about to retire last day on the job detective repeatedly avoids multiple "Final Destination" threats to his life.
  #173  
Old 05-19-2020, 11:52 AM
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Pregnant women. With exceedingly rare exception, they exist in any movie for only one of three reasons:
  • to go into labor at exactly the wrong moment.
  • to be taken hostage, usually eventually followed by the above.
  • as purely ancillary characters who are tragically the spouse/partner of a more important character that's going to die later. Usually involves a "last phone call" ending with "I promise you I'll be okay."
Fargo being one of those notable rare exceptions. The officer's unremarked pregnancy being one of the things that underscore the routineness of life even during a murder investigation.
  #174  
Old 05-19-2020, 12:13 PM
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c) Because I don't read books to see if I can outwit the authors, I read books to be entertained, the mysteries where the author has pretzeled the possible behaviors of the characters introduced to come up with a way that the likely suspect isn't the murderer or whatever, instead it is this here totally unsuspected person right under our nose the whole time, who is unsuspected because it's not freaking consistent with that character's personality and behavior. [Yo, J.K. Rowling, take this here Goblet of Fire and shove it into an orifice, still pissed at you over Mad-eye Moody]
If we're going to include mystery novels, there are billions, but here's one that stands out and can occasionally be found in movies as well.

Someone has been murdered and the police realize that a bystander may have witnessed the crime. The bystander is not anyone connected to the crime or known to the killer. Marshaling the entire resources of a major metropolitan police force, they finally track down the bystander... only to find that the killer had gotten there five minutes earlier. It will never be explained how the killer found out.
  #175  
Old 05-19-2020, 12:47 PM
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If we're going to include mystery novels, there are billions, but here's one that stands out and can occasionally be found in movies as well.

Someone has been murdered and the police realize that a bystander may have witnessed the crime. The bystander is not anyone connected to the crime or known to the killer. Marshaling the entire resources of a major metropolitan police force, they finally track down the bystander... only to find that the killer had gotten there five minutes earlier. It will never be explained how the killer found out.
It is usually because the bystander, instead of going to the police, attempts to blackmail the murderer with predictable results.
  #176  
Old 05-19-2020, 01:04 PM
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This is a fairly minor one, but my father used to point this out when I was growing up, and ever since, I always notice it: characters in movies in TV shows never use the phrases "go to sleep" or "go to bed" or "take a nap." Instead, it's always "get some rest" or "get some sleep." "You've been working too hard at this, why don't you get some rest?" "The shuttle leaves at oh-six-hundred tomorrow; let's get some sleep." This annoys me just because no one in real life talks this way. Think about it; when you've stayed up late watching a movie, the credits roll, you look at the clock and it says 1:00 AM, do you turn to your husband or wife and say "we need to get some sleep?"

I speculate that the reason they do this is that it conveys more of a sense of motion and action. The detectives are on a stakeout that's not over; the crack lawyers have been up all night working on their case; the engineer on the spaceship has been working on fixing a problem that's going to destroy the ship if it's not done in a few hours. Whereas "let's go to bed" or "you should go to sleep" would convey a sense of finality that doesn't draw the viewer into this sense of continuous action.
  #177  
Old 05-19-2020, 01:07 PM
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Think about it; when you've stayed up late watching a movie, the credits roll, you look at the clock and it says 1:00 AM, do you turn to your husband or wife and say "we need to get some sleep?"
Yes? This seems like a completely normal turn of phrase to me.
  #178  
Old 05-19-2020, 01:24 PM
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I hope you saw the
This actually was discussed in a thread a couple years ago. I don't want to say "previous wife," or "deceased wife." It was suggested that I use "late wife."

Yes, I've been married three times. Divorced one, buried one, and (currently) have one.
  #179  
Old 05-19-2020, 01:43 PM
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Fargo being one of those notable rare exceptions. The officer's unremarked pregnancy being one of the things that underscore the routineness of life even during a murder investigation.
There were a few offhand remarks, but that's about it.
  #180  
Old 05-19-2020, 01:57 PM
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The geeky member of the good side's team who can always get into anyone's password protected computer.
My favorite similar one is that the ability to do that is solely based on skill, and furthermore, the time it takes depends on skill.

Which is absurd. You can only transfer data so fast from a hard drive or whatever to analyze it or search it or whatever. Sometimes it takes hours upon hours to actually catalog and index a hard drive. And then you have to usually hunt around and do some trial and error, unless you know exactly what you're looking for. Even then, it's not always a slam dunk.

Yet on TV, the whiz-bang tech kid will do it in like 30 minutes, with the implication that it's their skill and intelligence that made the difference.

Last edited by bump; 05-19-2020 at 01:58 PM.
  #181  
Old 05-19-2020, 02:02 PM
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Speaking of sci-fi planet tropes, planets that each have only one climate is a common one, is it not? Star Wars is certainly guilty of this, with the ice planet Hoth and the desert planet Tatooine. Planets with life-bearing ecosystems don't work that way.
There's a trope for that: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.p...gleBiomePlanet
  #182  
Old 05-19-2020, 02:05 PM
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There were a few offhand remarks, but that's about it.
"I think I'm gonna barf."
  #183  
Old 05-19-2020, 04:13 PM
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I'm really tired of this lazy exposition technique:

Our hero -- a young, upcoming cop, agent, reporter, investigator or lawyer -- is summoned to a meeting with a superior way above their paygrade. The superior greets them, and then proceeds to read their CV to them: "Jane Smith; Phi Beta Kappa at UCLA; Law Review at Princeton; first in your class at Annapolis; special ops, two tours, Afghanistan. Very impressive."

Just in case we didn't know our hero was awesome.
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Old 05-19-2020, 08:53 PM
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How is it that nobody has yet mentioned the worst trope of all (unless I missed it)?

A hundred bad guys shooting repeatedly at the hero and they all miss. But the hero picks them off cleanly, one by one, never missing his shot.
  #185  
Old 05-20-2020, 07:10 AM
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I've been watching a lot of "classic" TV shows on old nostalgia on-air channels like ME TV lately, and here's one I've noticed that that was VERY common, but thankfully seems to have been retired in recent years: the exact double to one of the main characters who suddenly appears on the scene.

It's usually a sitcom trope, but it occasionally appeared on a cheesy drama (I'm thinking 'Charlie's Angels' probably did a double episode). The double, who not only looked but sounded exactly like the original, was usually a bad guy who took advantage of the situation to impersonate the original for nefarious purposes. This led to a climactic scene where the double and the original both appeared before the other main characters and would say "I"M Joe Original!" "No, I"M Joe Original!".
  #186  
Old 05-20-2020, 07:11 AM
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Sorry poster above me who's name I don't remember, but the very worst trope of all is The Power of Love Fixes Everything! [insert your least liked luv emoji here]

Spoiler Alert: It doesn't

Last edited by BeagleJesus; 05-20-2020 at 07:12 AM.
  #187  
Old 05-20-2020, 07:24 AM
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A character has a traumatic experience or really bad day and just wallows under a running shower, fully clothed.


A chase on the roof of a fast moving train ("Why do people do this? You're still just on the train." - Lana from Archer)
  #188  
Old 05-20-2020, 07:33 AM
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Just thought of another old, typically sitcom trope that used to be incredibly common but for obvious reasons has been abandoned: the character who suffers a blow to the head which causes them to have total amnesia, and they don't get their memory back until they suffer another blow to the head. Yeah, that is not how serious brain trauma works.
  #189  
Old 05-20-2020, 11:31 AM
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Four pages and nobody has mentioned the actual worst trope ever?

The "It was all a dream/hallucination!" trope. Why did I watch this entire episode/film when nothing in the plot actually happened and in the end nothing changes? Oh, Dorothy took a nap during a tornado and finally realized how special her uncle's hired farm hands were to her? How precious! The movie that shows the entire life of a man in the 1980s and 90s turns out to be the hallucination of a kid dying on the operating table in Vietnam? Mind: blown!

I mean, I still love The Wizard of Oz and Mr. Robot and Jacob's Ladder, but I still hate the trope.
  #190  
Old 05-20-2020, 11:36 AM
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Four pages and nobody has mentioned the actual worst trope ever?

The "It was all a dream/hallucination!" trope. Why did I watch this entire episode/film when nothing in the plot actually happened and in the end nothing changes? Oh, Dorothy took a nap during a tornado and finally realized how special her uncle's hired farm hands were to her? How precious! The movie that shows the entire life of a man in the 1980s and 90s turns out to be the hallucination of a kid dying on the operating table in Vietnam? Mind: blown!

I mean, I still love The Wizard of Oz and Mr. Robot and Jacob's Ladder, but I still hate the trope.
The corollary to that, however, is when they wake up and later find they still have some object they acquired in the dream.

My favorite subversion of that trope is an "extra" video they did for Breaking Bad in which Bryan Cranston wakes up in bed with Jane Kaczmarek, his wife from Malcolm in the Middle, and tells her about the horrible nightmare he had where he was drug kingpin.

Last edited by Colibri; 05-20-2020 at 11:42 AM.
  #191  
Old 05-20-2020, 12:31 PM
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Four pages and nobody has mentioned the actual worst trope ever?

The "It was all a dream/hallucination!" trope. Why did I watch this entire episode/film when nothing in the plot actually happened and in the end nothing changes? Oh, Dorothy took a nap during a tornado and finally realized how special her uncle's hired farm hands were to her? How precious! The movie that shows the entire life of a man in the 1980s and 90s turns out to be the hallucination of a kid dying on the operating table in Vietnam? Mind: blown!

I mean, I still love The Wizard of Oz and Mr. Robot and Jacob's Ladder, but I still hate the trope.
Ooh, tropes keep reminding me of other tropes... this one reminds me of a very similar one, a horror movie standard, where something horrible and shocking happens to a character but then they wake up-- "thank God, it was only a nightmare!". Of course the nightmare was just foreshadowing to the real mayhem about to happen. This is so common that there are a bunch of meta "nightmare within a nightmare" examples where the person wakes up from the bad thing, is relieved, has something horrible happen again, then wakes up again for real- I think "American Werewolf in London" was the first time I saw that meta version.

Last edited by solost; 05-20-2020 at 12:31 PM.
  #192  
Old 05-20-2020, 12:46 PM
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It's not limited to biomes, though. That's something I used to say about Star Trek, back in the days when I talked about Star Trek a lot: every planet has exactly one climate, one language, one culture, one religious belief, and one fashion style.
  #193  
Old 05-20-2020, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrAtoz View Post
It's not limited to biomes, though. That's something I used to say about Star Trek, back in the days when I talked about Star Trek a lot: every planet has exactly one climate, one language, one culture, one religious belief, and one fashion style.
There's a trope for that, too: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.p...n/PlanetOfHats
  #194  
Old 05-20-2020, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrAtoz View Post
It's not limited to biomes, though. That's something I used to say about Star Trek, back in the days when I talked about Star Trek a lot: every planet has exactly one climate, one language, one culture, one religious belief, and one fashion style.
The same geology too, based on paper mache.
  #195  
Old 05-20-2020, 01:05 PM
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Apologies if this has been mentioned already. Double sorry if it was by me.

Skilled but non-super hero is singlehandedly fighting 30 bad guys. One (or maybe two) BG's attack, Hero dispatches both of them. ALL of the remaining 28 guys politely wait their turn to charge the hero, one (or two) after the other.
In real life they would swamp the hero like ants on a fish head.
  #196  
Old 05-20-2020, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by TreacherousCretin View Post
In real life they would swamp the hero like ants on a fish head.
Yes, that trope has been mentioned already, but your post is worth it for this visual alone
  #197  
Old 05-20-2020, 02:23 PM
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Mostly seen in police/ detective procedural but not only: Persons A & B (and possibly others) are discussing something pertaining to the case at hand. Often one of the people is just now telling them something new/ something that some of the people don't know yet. Often there is a noisy room beyond the space the discussion is taking place in.
Person H comes through the doorway and even though they would only have been able to hear the last few words spoken at best, deliver some entirely new pertinent information, in other words they seamlessly continue a conversation they haven't been part of.
  #198  
Old 05-20-2020, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by DrCube View Post
Four pages and nobody has mentioned the actual worst trope ever?

The "It was all a dream/hallucination!" trope. Why did I watch this entire episode/film when nothing in the plot actually happened and in the end nothing changes? Oh, Dorothy took a nap during a tornado and finally realized how special her uncle's hired farm hands were to her? How precious! The movie that shows the entire life of a man in the 1980s and 90s turns out to be the hallucination of a kid dying on the operating table in Vietnam? Mind: blown!

I mean, I still love The Wizard of Oz and Mr. Robot and Jacob's Ladder, but I still hate the trope.
I agree.

And Dishonorable Mention to the Da Vinci Code variation: it wasn't "all a dream" but when we get to the end we discover that it all means... absolutely nothing. Nothing changes.
  #199  
Old 05-20-2020, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by half-elf View Post
Person H comes through the doorway and even though they would only have been able to hear the last few words spoken at best, deliver some entirely new pertinent information, in other words they seamlessly continue a conversation they haven't been part of.
This reminds me of another "phony continuity" example-- maybe not so much a trope even, as lazy writing: someone gets a call saying "Quick-- turn on your TV to channel X News!" the person turns on channel X in time to see pretty much the entire newscast on the topic the caller wanted them to see-- not just the tail end of it.

Last edited by solost; 05-20-2020 at 03:04 PM.
  #200  
Old 05-20-2020, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solost View Post
This reminds me of another "phony continuity" example-- maybe not so much a trope even, as lazy writing: someone gets a call saying "Quick-- turn on your TV to channel X News!" the person turns on channel X in time to see pretty much the entire newscast on the topic the caller wanted them to see-- not just the tail end of it.
Sometimes they don't even have to tell you what channel to turn it to. The pertinent information is apparently being broadcast on every channel.
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