Archived Discussion

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Am I the only one who found this line somewhat troubling?

"Quite frankly, a vast majority of, if not virtually all, American cartoons rely less on quality writing than on condensing an inexplicable amount of bizarre happenings into fast-paced, consecutive 11- or 22-minute stories. As a result, the West is teeming with this trope."

Aerin Pegadrak: Are the spoiler tags on Jane Eyre and Villette really necessary? I would think that Victorian novels have passed the statute of limitations on spoilers.


Lale: Deus ex Machina.

Earnest: On a related not, is this any relation to Chandler's Law?

Robin Goodfellow: Removed

In the Star Trek episode "And The Children Shall Lead", Uhura has a compact mirror on her console so that she can be distracted by a vision of being old. This mirror had never been there before, and why would such an item be found on the bridge of a starship in the first place? (Too, the vain nature of her reaction dips deeply into Writer on Board.)

It's not a convenient compact, it's an illusion placed there by the children.

ralphmerridew: Is there a better example for Monk? The example for Baseball Game involves relevant information, so doesn't classify as a Creek Moment. (Perhaps Avenging Chance would be better.)

I pulled the Worf example (reproduced here), because two films do not a habit make, especially when one of them has a perfectly good explanation. The giant battle in First Contact has every reason to have the Defiant present.

  • Any post-Deep Space Nine Trek film (with the possible exception of Nemesis), plays this trope to the hilt by way of Worf, who coincidentally just *happens* to be visiting his friends on the Enterprise whenever the latest galactic crisis begins.

Gloating Swine: Cut

  • Evil Eye.
  • A bigger example is the Wham Episode which happens because Lelouch was making a tasteless joke about genocide, when his Geass goes permanent turning the Wide-Eyed Idealist into a moe version of Hitler. What are the chances of that happening.

The first because it's a justifying edit that, well, doesn't, and the second because it fits better in Diabolus ex Machina.

Cut it again.

  • Also, the entire set-up of Euphinator. Lelouch just happens to lose control of his Geass right when he jokingly makes a dangerous suggestion. This also happens to occur at the worst possible time for said suggestion to be followed through on.

This belongs in Diabolus ex Machina, which is already a subtrope of contrived coincidences, it doesn't need to be in both.

Idle Dandy: Just to make sure, examples from things like Heroes and Lost, where some characters have expressed a belief in destiny, don't go here? If so, the Star Wars examples should probably get the snip.
Rebochan: Pulled the following two entries because they're just not this trope.

  • Final Fantasy IV. The Big Bad that's been terrorizing the world and tormenting our heroes? Cecil's brother.
    • But this is justified because the real Big Bad can only manipulate other Lunarians to do his bidding, and there are only two of them awake and walking around, so either one or the other of them would have fallen under his spell.

So there's a plot reason why this occurs. Okay. So it's not a coincidence.

  • Final Fantasy X. Having been thrown into another world by an attack on his hometown by Sin, a giant monster, Tidus washes up near the ruins of a long-abandoned temple. Freezing and hungry, he is soon found and fed by a group of people searching for a long-lost airship, the leader of which, Rikku, can speak Tidus's language. (The rest of the group and most of her culture can't). After their boat is also attacked by Sin, Tidus washes up near a beach. On the beach is a team practicing the very sport Tidus plays professionally. Impressed by his skills, the team's captain, Wakka, takes him under his wing, not only for help in an upcoming tournament, but because he resembles Wakka's dead younger brother Chappu. Wakka is also guardian and surrogate brother to Yuna, a summoner who is about to leave on a pilgrimage to defeat Sin the very next day, and he invites Tidus along because of the tournament. Yuna is not only Rikku's cousin, she's also the daughter of the last summoner to defeat Sin, who traveled with Tidus's father Jecht and Auron, who Tidus already knew from his hometown. Part is justified in that Sin is Tidus's father, who wanted Tidus to meet up with Yuna in order to defeat him (It Makes Sense in Context), and could have made sure Tidus wound up near the island where Yuna was likely to be, and Auron only went to Tidus's hometown because Jecht asked him to look after his son, but the rest...

So most of this is explained by the fact that Auron went looking for Tidus and explicitly ensured he would meet the right people and help him carry out his revenge. That and plenty of Al Bhed do speak Spiran - not the least of which would be Rikku's father. It's not that improbable. Really, the only coincidence in this is Tidus looked like Chappu...though ultimately, when you see Chappu, they actually look nothing alike. Tidus was just roughly the same age and played Blitz. Only Wakka saw the connection because he's a sentimental sap. Blitzball is Spira's only form of entertainment, so Tidus meeting a whole team of them is not a coincidence, it's only slightly less probable than him meeting people who breathe oxygen.

  • As if all that were not bad enough, in the sequel, Final Fantasy X-2, the main bad guy just so happens to look identical to Tidus. This is never explained.

Tidus is a dream of the Fayth, Shuyin was a real person. It's pretty easy to see that the Fayth probably created him in Shuyin's image. They never come out and say it, I'll grant that, but it's not that improbable considering what we know of the Fayth and their abilities.