Archived Discussion

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

Working Title: Useless Aesop: From YKTTW

Real Slim Shadowen: I don't know if the one about Nog's leg counts. The problem in the episode proved not to be the leg, which was functioning perfectly, but Nog's own PTSD causing phantom pain and forcing him to limp.

Earnest: Concur. Here's the example:
  • Another case of Misapplied Phlebotinum crossing into Fantastic Aesop happened in DS9 when Nog lost part of a leg in the Dominion War. Yes, Scars Are Forever, and it certainly brought home the costs of war... except that previously, TNG established they can create artificial hearts and even clone and replace entire spinal columns. The aesop that war has human costs (well, Ferengi costs, which are generally charged in Gold Pressed Latinum) is rather harder to swallow when anything that doesn't kill you should be a tricorder wave away from being completely fixed with nary a scar to show for it.
    • But the point of the episode that focused on Nog's loss, "It's Only A Paper Moon," was not about the physical scars that the war had given him but the emotional ones. In fact, they even point out that he walks with a limp despite the fact that his brand new artificial leg is in perfect working order. The story is about him overcoming the hurt and fear that the war have scarred him with, not the loss of the leg itself.

  • Hiro in Heroes decides to let his father be killed in the near past because he must accept the past... despite mucking about in 1600's Japan and possibly creating the season's Big Bad Adam Monroe.
    • Well, his dad did ask not to be saved so he could be with his wife.
      • Not to mention that perhaps because of Adam Monroe, Hiro now knows better than to meddle in the past.
      • Maybe best not to mention it, since his "meddling" in the past was actually the exact same motive as opting not to save his father: trying to prevent "history" (as he perceived it) from changing.

This doesn't seem like a Fantastic Aesop, just a normally-broken one.

  • The death of Adric in Doctor Who. The Doctor can't go back and save him. Why not? Uhh, they just can't. (Especially since they only see the freighter he's on crashing, they don't see him die).
    • On the other hand, it was Adric. Most of us wouldn't save him either.

They've talked before about how they can't affect events they were already a part of.

Gloating Swine:

  • The Plotline Death of Khalid at the beginning of Baldur's Gate 2. Jaheira insists that he's been dead long enough that a resurrection spell is impossible (and it's been mutilated, which can muck things up), and that sometimes it is better to just let go. The player is given the option to argue with her, though, and the death of her husband places Jaheira on the market as a romance option. Please note that she has no such objection to raising people from the dead at any other point in the game.

Pulling this for a couple of reasons. Firstly because the Phlebotinum of resurrection in D&D does work that way, and the makers of Baldur's Gate didn't write it (the subject has to be willing to return, and it's implied that Khalid was so horrifically tortured that he wouldn't), and because it they aren't really trying to make an aesop, they're stuffing Khalid in the fridge so that Jaheira can be a romance option.

Dalantia: It sounded more like the body was so horribly mutilated that even if he wanted to, he couldn't be resurrected. Resurrection, in that edition, requires an intact body, last I looked. >_> Either way...

Kimiko Muffin: Moved the Liquid Sky example to Space Whale Aesop, since Fantastic Aesop refers to morals about actions/behaviors which don't actually exist in the current "real world", and the Space Whale Aesop is about consequences which don't exist in the "real world" which happen as a result of actions/behaviors which do. Sex, drugs, and aliens showing up as a result fall firmly in the latter category.

Blork: I'm not sure the Final Destination example belongs here. The movies don't really have an Aesop at all (psychic premonitions of your death aren't exactly common events), it was just an Excuse Plot to set up the Rube Goldberg Machines of Death. Artemis Leon: Agreed. There never seems to be any sort of implication that there's any lesson to be learned from the movies, other than "Death is a sick bastard." Pulling it.
arromdee: Editing the robot example. This trope is about using a sci-fi situation as a metaphor for a real-world Aesop. In this case, a sci-fi story about a robot revolt that results from mistreating robots is a metaphor for not mistreating people.

A type 1 Fantastic Aesop would then be an example where the robots aren't human enough for the moral to work. A type 2 would be an example where the robots are enough like human beings for it to make sense, but the fact that they resemble human beings so much seems contrived.

In other words, the "It doesn't work because there aren't any sentient robots yet" needed to be deleted.

The Captain Planet examples are strange and I was going to move them but on second thought they probably can be put in type 1.

The example of "Troq," in the opinion of most of the fans this troper knows or has read messages from, is considered to be a case of Cyborg answering in a way that Starfire could understand easily. She is after all a newcomer to Earth.

Peteman: Should we have wishes? So many settings that have the "Be Careful What You Wish For" deal, particularly Buffy, with the Aesop being "Be careful what you wish for, because some demented wish granting psychopath might overhear and pervert something that may or may not have been said in a moment of stress into something horrible"

Wascally Wabbit: Most definitely.

SSJ DK Crew: I'm sorry, but Syndrome's plans in "The Incredibles" were bad from the start, as were his objectives. While there's nothing wrong with advancing the capabilities of science, the movie makes the (somewhat-disguised, I grant you) point that unless some people have extraordinary abilities/talents/skills and are appreciated for them, everything becomes gray and boring, people no longer have positive examples to inspire them, and anything resembling an adventurous and courageous spirit within mankind is swiftly crushed by forced mediocrity, except in those who are too young to have been disillusioned yet. This doesn't just do a disservice to people with special abilities, but to everyone who's looking for something that they can believe in or strive towards.

If taken in this context, there is nothing at all about the Incredibles that fits into this category. Admittedly, superhuman powers are very different from other kinds of talents, but the aesop itself is not fantastic; just the way it's delivered; not unlike many, many episodes of the Twilight Zone that I could name.

Having said that, this may perhaps qualify as a Family-Unfriendly Aesop or, given how frequently it's misunderstood, a clueless one.
  • And she's less dependent in a wheelchair than she would be with high-tech mobility aids?

Real Slim Shadowen: ...yes. Because she can repair the wheelchair.

  • In The Specials, many superhumans use their powers to make a living, but those who do are seen as (and mostly are) sell-outs.

Real Slim Shadowen: So what makes this fantastic? The metaphor is clear: using your unique gifts to get ahead financially is selling out. Hence, Family Unfriendly Aesop, not Fantastic. (I have not seen this film, so if there is a reaosn it should be considered fantastic aside from involving superhuman powers, please re-add it.)

  • That makes so much more sense than Aang's sudden pacifism.
  • Sudden? Aang barely wants to hit people.

Real Slim Shadowen: I love the smell of nuked natter in the morning. Smells like...victory...
Lale: There is absolutely no Aesop — there isn't even a plot! — involving who has the right to have superpowers in The Incredibles! Hasn't anyone noticed the single line of Syndrome's about giving everyone superpowers is never mentioned before or after and goes nowhere?! Big-Lipped Alligator Moment!
nekouken: Upon reading the description of this trope, my first thought was nearly every episode of Pok'emon. A sincere attempt would be made to furnish a moral regarding the ethics of capturing and training wild animals to fight for your pleasure. I suppose the real-world applications are useful for those who train pit-bulls and roosters to fight, but I'm reasonably certain the bulk of those people are outside Pok'emon's target demographic.