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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Canon Sue (refocus) launched as Canon Sue: From YKTTW

Working Title: Canon Sue: From YKTTW
Ethereal Mutation: Moved the old discussion to the Canon Sue Archive.
Fast Eddie: Pulling this quote. Asscaps? Really?

"I AM THE CHEESE! I AM THE BEST CHARACTER ON THIS SHOW! I AM BETTER THAN THE SALAMI AND THE BOLOGNA COMBINED!"


Nancy Botwin of Weeds (at least in Season 1 and early Season 2) definitely stinks of Canon Suedom. She does dumb things which would get anyone in real life killed, and just about every other character fixes things for her. Further, most of the male characters on the series (including a college student, a rival drug dealer, and a DEA agent) are hot for her. But she's not really Wangsty enough to be Sympathetic Sue, nor nasty enough (or at all) to be Anti Sue. I don't know that she's technically a Sue (at least in the sense of an author avatar) at all, in fact, but she must fit in somewhere. Any ideas?

Ethereal Mutation: Probably just good old fashioned Purity Sue if the plot just excuses her of any responsibility due to some predilection for "perfection".


Why are all of the other Mary Sue articles being purged of their canon examples? Was there some agreement on the forums or unspoken decision among the senior editors or is Prfnoff acting on his/her own?

theorc: I first saw that in Relationship Sue, and there I agreed, for reasons given on the discussion page, but Sues can exist in canon, and most types are there. I just felt that that one category it might not work. But the others should come back.

Charred Knight: I agree with bringing them back. Thanos from Marvel Comics is worse than any mary sue that I have ever seen in a fanfic. It comes across as saying that writers can't have faults as long as someone is publishing their work. I could understand if people are complaining about this kind of crap but I don't remember anyone doing it as a detriment. I mean at no point in time did it ever even come close to reaching Magnificent Bastard levels, it just seems like their is a movement to remove examples from anything that may include complaining. What's next removing examples from The Scrappy?

I have felt that two pages needed their examples removed Magnificent Bastard for being to vague, and controversial and The Untwist simply because too many people where complaining about twist they saw coming and being egotistical

Rebochan: As an editor that spends an unhealthy amount of time trying to keep the Sue pages clean of general bitching and whining about characters people just don't like, I can understand the logic behind this. But there's no discussion on this topic whatsoever and apparently more people are upset that they were taken out without warning or even any actual debate. If the tropers already agreed to just split it into multiple pages, one troper does not get to overrule them. I'm going to put them all back and we can discuss this properly.
  • Rebochan: And for what it's worth, under most circumstances, I support the side that includes the most information and not the least. This is a case I still take that position on. The pages are simply more entertaining with the Canon Sues than without them.

Ethereal Mutation: Probably just good old fashioned Purity Sue if the plot just excuses her of any responsibility due to some predilection for "perfection".


Why are all of the other Mary Sue articles being purged of their canon examples? Was there some agreement on the forums or unspoken decision among the senior editors or is Prfnoff acting on his/her own?

theorc: I first saw that in Relationship Sue, and there I agreed, for reasons given on the discussion page, but Sues can exist in canon, and most types are there. I just felt that that one category it might not work. But the others should come back.

Charred Knight: I agree with bringing them back. Thanos from Marvel Comics is worse than any mary sue that I have ever seen in a fanfic. It comes across as saying that writers can't have faults as long as someone is publishing their work. I could understand if people are complaining about this kind of crap but I don't remember anyone doing it as a detriment. I mean at no point in time did it ever even come close to reaching Magnificent Bastard levels, it just seems like their is a movement to remove examples from anything that may include complaining. What's next removing examples from The Scrappy?

I have felt that two pages needed their examples removed Magnificent Bastard for being to vague, and controversial and The Untwist simply because too many people where complaining about twist they saw coming and being egotistical

Rebochan: As an editor that spends an unhealthy amount of time trying to keep the Sue pages clean of general bitching and whining about characters people just don't like, I can understand the logic behind this. But there's no discussion on this topic whatsoever and apparently more people are upset that they were taken out without warning or even any actual debate. If the tropers already agreed to just split it into multiple pages, one troper does not get to overrule them. I'm going to put them all back and we can discuss this properly.
  • Rebochan: And for what it's worth, under most circumstances, I support the side that includes the most information and not the least. This is a case I still take that position on. The pages are simply more entertaining with the Canon Sues than without them.

Ethereal Mutation: There are a few YKTTWs about this topic that had some mild support towards killing the canon examples (something I wanted to avoid, but whatever; if people absolutely have to derail this set into negativity in order for it to be "accurate", then screw it), but this was just a total jumping of the gun.

Anyway, the real problem lies in the fact that Mary Sue isn't a trope, but choose-your-own-meaning brand name. There is no real standard definition that can be applied, with it being tossed around at everything from implausible to poorly written to idealized to overpowered to simply unliked characters. People just tack on meanings to the term as they wish, often without any real consideration. The very existence of the Common Mary Sue Traits page (and the fact that a majority of the items on the list are inherently neutral and get used all the time) is testament to this.

What is currently written can be vaguely called tropes (although they have decayed considerably), but they are not Mary Sue. That's why these pages don't work; when people add stuff to them, they both don't bother to read the descriptions (or if they are, it's through crimson tinted glasses) and also assume that this is always, always Done Badly. You can tell because of the arguments over Mary Sue Exemption (itself sadly necessary in the same fashion as Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped) and how it's "contradictory" (when if one actually read all the articles straight, they'd see that it really isn't).

Personally, the way I'd do it: rewrite Mary Sue to be accurate towards its usage rather than trying to force one vision on a crowd that won't hear of it. I already have a draft for that and once I clean it up a little, I'll post it. The specific Plot Bias angle the article currently has should just be given that name so it can live without negativity or misinterpretation. Subtypes should be judged on a case-by-case basis (most of them were just kind of forced through to begin with, so this would be sort of a late YKTTW). Either have examples from all mediums or none at all; it's inaccurate to suggest that only one specific subset of fiction could ever produce stories like that and also a bit of an injustice. The whole idea of why to keep it limited to just fan work was pretty much based on the principle of "if it's obscure, people won't argue", which is flawed at best. Not sure how I'd handle the other stuff (Suetiful All Along should probably just be culled down to specific Lampshade Hanging/attempts to make a character sounds worse than they are as opposed to "such and such character has non-flaws that seem tacked on").

Rebochan: Was this the relevant discussion?

Charred Knight: after several attempts at getting YTTKW to accept my reply I am just putting what I have been trying to write for the last 30 minutes here

I wrote this whole thing but apparently it didn't catch, so let's try this again

You have got to be kidding me, the reason why Canon Sue was deleted was this thing

The next time a decision is made about deleting examples you may want to point it out in the discussion of said pages. Its called common sense

  1. Deleting examples large scale is an object of last resort not because your too lazy. Looking at the various pages, all I have to say is that apparently they are a lot of lazy people here. An example of a page that needed its examples deleted was The Untwist which was just a lot of people egotistically pointing out every twist they saw. Has it reached this level? It hasn't even reach minor nuisance. Honestly looking at Purity Sue only Hikari is the only example I would delete. From what I have heard Berri is one of the worst Mary Sue's ever written, it took a popular manga series, and had it gone after two volumes. Two volumes means you where an abysmal failure or something happened to the mangaka.

  2. Deleting Canon Sue sends the wrong message, instead of saying that "its far to much hassle" it says that "they are no such thing as Canon Sue".

So how do we deal with it

First delete the mary sue pages we don't need, these are mary sues that have slight differences, and combine them with the pages we do keep. There are four Mary Sue Pages we should keep, God-Mode Sue, Purity Sue, Villain Sue, and Anti-Sue

God-Mode Sue: This is a sue that has numerous abilities that makes the character perfect. His powerful, his smart, and his a class to himself. Any villain that is sent against them will be easily defeated in a matter of minutes as soon as the Sue remembers that he has either incredible powers, or is incredibly smart or both. A good example in fan fic is Davey Crockett, while Kira Yamato from Gundam Seed Destiny is a good example of a canon example. Kira is the ultimate coordinator (literally), is not only the strongest coordinator, but in GSD becomes a newtype out of thin air. Just to show how smart is he can reprogram his gundam in minutes, the true moment of sueness came when Kira turned Rey from Durandal's most loyal soldier to someone who kills Durandal to stop him. Its one of the most ridiculous scenes in anime history. This got so bad that Super Robot Wars Z has a scene where someone leaves the band with Kira in it because Kira was just too perfect.

Next is Purity Sue, that one is easy its a sue that is perfect in every way, this is a character whose always looks good, is never injured, everyone wants this person, and who is most importantly always right. The best canon example is probably Berri.

Villain Sue is a villain who is a villain version of a mary sue, for some god awful reason this usually causes the villain to be exempt and called a Magnificent Bastard. Probably the best example I can think of is Shu Shirakawa from Super Robot Wars, Shu has probably the most powerful mecha with only Cosmic Horrors being stronger, Shu is a genius, his an ace mecha pilot, and all of his losses are according to plan. When he does die Misaki, a person whose father figure was killed by Shu cried at the loss of Shu's life. Naturally Shu comes back to life revealing that he purposely died to get rid of some god from controlling him, and he joins your side.

Anti-Sue, this is a sue who is supposed to have problems but everyone still loves him. He can be a complete jerk, he could make minimum wage, and he can be a complete loser, but no one cares because everyone loves him. The best canon example is Ethan of CAD who is a man who works minumum wage at a video game store but is hailed as the king of gaming, has a beautiful girlfriend/wife, and in one infamous scene has his lover describe him as to good for her, keep in mind that this was back when he worked minimum wage at a video game store.

So how can we decide which character is a mary sue?

Easy

IF YOU CAN'T DEFEND THE CHARACTER HIS A MARY SUE!

Its not that hard, you guys are just treating it like its harder than it looks.

Ethereal Mutation: That's pretty much opening the floodgates to the "No True Scotsman" fallacy. In both directions. Really, the term is so stupidly subjective and meaninglessly inclusive that every single character in every single piece of fiction can be classified as one. Yes, even that guy in the final stages of Lou Gehrig's disease, who spent his entire life miserable and unfulfilled and had to watch the only person that ever came close to being a flicker of light in his life get raped, murdered, resurrected, raped, murdered, resurrected as a thousand butts, raped in all of them simultaneously, and left alive as an empty shell of a person (and got to feel the true horror of it all). Obviously, since he's still alive, he's a Marty Stu. Even if he died with all of one sentence, he's obviously being played for sympathy and is still a Marty Stu. Even if his whole existence is limited to two pages, he's still a Marty Stu. Two paragraphs. Two sentences. Two words.

Obviously, this sounds stupid and contrived, but it's true: you really could stretch the "definition" far enough to include anything (which is easy because as an all-inclusive, subjective term, it really is that meaningless). The opposite end of the spectrum is no different and probably even more brainless, since "I like the character" being the whole "nullifier" doesn't even need a justification. Even then, going by either "flaws" or "fallibility", their existence as a character and need to do anything is both flaw and fallibility. That the world isn't already perfect means that they, by extension, are not perfect.

Proving or disproving a character as a Mary Sue is pointless. Any process that tries to split the difference will just fall victim to the same issues that are currently happening. The simple truth is that the only undeniable Mary Sue in existence is the 15 year old half-vulcan that died of the jumping cold robbies.

Lord TNK: It's subjective, but not as hard to tell as you think. It's just that some have abused the term. Mary Sue is a character the author uses (whether a subtle self insert or not) to create an unreasonable amount of wish fulfillment in terms of the story. It's the degree of reason that some can't grasp. It's not that the character gets more of the story than the viewer/reader/player thinks the character should (hence the reason for all the wrong examples). It's that the character overwhelms the story for no good reason. The "black hole" that was supposed to be the crux of the redo last time.

We really need to make that clear in all the descriptions.

Charred Knight: Now your not even making sense Ethereal Mutation, your not only making it harder than it looks your making it look like describing Mary Sue is impossible. If man can climb Mount Everest than man can write a mary sue trope page.

Looking at God-Mode Sue I suggest we clean out any of them that depend on the writer. That will take out a large portion of them as God-Mode Sue is the one main sue page that I think everyone has a problem with. My suggesting is to remove any character that doesn't dominate the story, or whose sueness depends on the writer.

Here's a question what about characters who become Mary Sues? Richard Rahl, and Kira Yamato eventually become God-Mode Sue as the story goes on, but both are considered well developed characters in the earlier portion of the series.

Rebochan: I agree that Mary Sue is not a subjective term at all - for a character to be one, there's usually no argument about their status. The edit wars that have popped up over Sues usually revealed that certain characters were unpopular with some people, but they didn't meet the requirements of actual Suedom and a few justifying edits could get their entries removed. I'd say the only really controversial one was Jenny from Doctor Who, but despite the fact there is a large segment of the Doctor Who fandom that declares her a Sue, the non-Sue arguments have still kept her off the pages - she is merely disliked, not a Sue. Now, look at Shirayuki Berii, who has *never* been debated, except over which Sue page she fits.

As for characters who devolve into Sues...it could be accepted. There's no mistaking that some characters started out well-developed and balanced but over time decay into this if the author grows too enamored of them.

Smokie: Canon Sue examples are there. People shoehorn characters they don't like in it because "omfg that guy has a harem HE IS A SUE!!!!" and "That guy has no dramatic past he can wangst about, HE MUST BE A SUE!!!!". We cut Canon Sue examples, the problem is solved... It more or less comes down to this, but go on.

Shoebox: I'd respectfully disagree. The problem is solved, but in a needless 'baby with the bathwater' way. The 'Sue' concept is a legitimate one — as per Lord TNK above — and legitimate examples provide a lot of entertainment, also insight into popular author and reader mindsets. It just needs some very stringent boundaries set and enforced. What about a rule stating the examples need to be first posted to the discussion page for approval before moving to the main article?

Rebochan: Seconded - cutting the examples sets a bad precedent for how to handle the rest of the site. Should every trope that is subject to people getting worked up get its examples cut entirely? This would be a much emptier site, that's for sure.

Nornagest: Killing all the examples might not be an especially bad idea, but I think we should kill or keep them as a bloc without making canon/noncanon distinctions. Like it or not, the term has evolved past being a pure fanfic trope; therefore, any definition we pick for Mary Sue will end up applying to some canon characters. We're not in the business of picking on fanfic, and the problems described above apply to fanfic characters as much as canonical ones albeit on a smaller scale — the fanfic community can be just as petty and vicious as fandom as a whole. This doesn't solve the problem — it just has a chance of making it small enough to ignore, at the cost of conveying real information.


Decide the fate of the examples here.