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

Poly: I have to delete the part about It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The first season was by far the best.

Lale: I really think that Avatar example should be striken. That show was noticeably excellent in quality from Day 1 and increased in quality at various points throughout. The example is frivolous.

Seth: Most the avatar examples are. Strike it.

Laura: I think the Tsubasa example is better suited to Mood Whiplash than to this page. Its quality didn't change, just the mood.

Charred Knight: Deleted the Gurren Lagann entry because MOST people liked it from the start, and the part listed last about 4 episodes, not exactly a growing the beard moment. I also deleted it because it screams I JUST SAW THE BEST ANIME EVVVVEEERRRR! which happens whenever a good new anime just ends. Come back in a couple of years to see if it has the impact of Z Gundam or Neon Genesis Evangelion. Also most people consider FLCL to be one of Gainax's best work, being a touching tale of a kid's first crush, and how he matures due to the experiences.

That Other 1 Dude: I really don't see any reason for that pic to stay. I don't even remember that story.

Prfnoff: "That story" is now an example of Death Is a Sad Thing.

Tinted: Scrubs got good at "My Screw Up"? Really? Because most people I know loved it from the start and think it died a small death late season three.

randomn00b: Agree with the above (sort of). "My Screw Up" while brilliant, definitely did not signal an increase in the quality of Scrubs in general. Show was killing it well before that (I would say start/mid season two, well before S3).

Ophicius: ..."the second series of Torchwood Series 2"? Proofreading, people!

Charred Knight: THIS IS NOT SERIES WHERE THE SEQUEL IS BETTER! This is a trope in which the series is either mediocre or bad, but then becomes great. Deleted because Zelda, Super Mario Bros. and Metroid where great from the first game. The first games are instant classics and are still fun to play this day. It didn't grow beards, they where born with the beard. Re-wrote Megaman as well to mention that sales, and reviews where first great with Megaman 2. Also Megaman X was great from the first game, Megaman X 4 is considered the best, while Megaman X 5 is considered the last good Megman X game.

KI: Super Metroid, Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Super Mario Bros 3 are widely considered huge improvements over the first, and the entries are not limited to bad or mediocre beginnings (the Simpsons one). The original Zelda and Metroid also have significant gameplay problems (confusing, repetitive areas) that were later fixed. Adding them back.

  • Practically every Nintendo series does this, Zelda, Super Mario Bros, and Metroid all improved dramatically with their third installment, while Star Fox, Pikmin, and Kirby became much better with their second installment.
  • Megaman also did this in pretty much all of it's series. Many fans say the third game in each series is the best, except the X series, where X4 is where it really gets going. Then Sequilitis kicks in and, well...

Trogga: Those belong in Surprisingly Improved Sequel.

Charred Knight: As Trogga said, that doesn't matter. No one thought that Mario Bros., Metroid, Zelda, and Megaman X sucked, or where mediocre for the time. All of them where considered great games. You are confusing thios for Suprisingly Improved Sequel. An example is that Megaman X was great from the first one to 5 at which point it started to suck. By definition of Growing the Beard, Megaman X 1, 2, and 3 would either have to suck or be mediocre. Megaman X would be a suprisingly great game, and the series would be awesome from that point on. By your thinking Mario wouldn't have been great until Mario 64, and Zelda wouldn't have grown its beard until Oracle of Time. Video games RARELY Grow the Beard since the average person doesn't buy crappy or mediocre games.

KI: From the opening sentence: "Growing The Beard is the definitive moment when a television series begins to become noticeably better in quality." Nothing about it having to suck or be mediocre. Also, suprisingly improved sequels are "about the sequels to products that either sucked or weren't that good to begin with." I think you're the one getting the two confused, adding the Nintendo examples back.

Olick: I think that we should redefine Growing the Beard to clarify this. From the originating Star Treck:TNG example, Growing the Beard is when a series or work experiences a notable increase in quality. I don't think that improved sequels count, since the relationship between a series's two episodes or seasons is different from the relationship of two sequels. Long rambling cut short: Sequels are distinct works, like two movies, while a Series is a sort of single work, stretched out in smaller parts, like a TV or book series. Mostly this would mean more than half the video game entries would not be both here AND in Suprisingly Improved Sequel. Also along with this put a note in the entry text linking to Suprisingly Improved Sequel, with a contrasting note, as is in Suprisingly Improved Sequel.

I also think we may want to differentiate between intentional mood/theme improvments (like with Lyrical Nanoha) and unintentional improvements brought on by author skill, chance, or executive changes, like the majority of entries. Especially since saying that Gurren Lagann is better after X episode, or Final Fantasy XII is better once you leave Midgar, is intensely subjective, and more related to making a story more compelling as it adds complications than to a sudden change in episode quality.

Charred Knight: Your basing the entire definition on ONE LINE! Read the rest and the word ABYSMAL appears, and is you are seriously suggesting that Super Mario Brothers, and Legend of Zelda where Abysmal for their time than you are out of your fucking mind. If you did not read the entire definition than you are an idiot, and don't say you have ADHD because I have ADHD, and I can read the whole definition. Also deleted some examples from WITHIN ONE GAME! Obviously when the actual plot kicks in an RPG will get much better. Growing the Beard is about the staff noticing the problem, about a series, and fixing it. Several of these are clearly their was not plot for 6 episodes, than the plot kicked in.

  • Practically every Nintendo series does this, Zelda, Super Mario Bros, and Metroid all improved dramatically with their third installment, while Star Fox, Pikmin, and Kirby became much better with their second installment.
  • The Final Fantasy series is fairly good at this one.
    • Final Fantasy VII becomes much, much more interesting after the party leaves Midgar.
      • And again after the Temple of Ancients.
    • Final Fantasy VIII became much more playable after Rinoa arrived (not necessarily because of her, as some will argue, but because stuff that was actually interesting started happening after that).
    • Final Fantasy IX grew a lovely beard after the arrival of Kuja.
    • Final Fantasy X got markedly better after the "big surprise" in Macalania (though this troper liked it from the start, not everyone agrees).
    • This troper has had to use to the exact words "It gets a lot better, really," when trying to convince friends to play Final Fantasy X-2.
    • Final Fantasy XII got a lot more interesting when it became something other than "a day in the life of a wannabe Ashe Tidus Vaan".
      • Fixed that for you.

KI: Okay, you're going to need to calm down, don't call people idiots and out of their "fucking minds" because you disagree with them. The abysmal line is a reference to something that CAN happen when a show grows the beard, it says that getting someone into a show with an abysmal beginning that grew the beard can be difficult, it doesn't state a show has to be abysmal to grow the beard. Also, Zelda, Mario, etc. would not have surprisingly improved sequels because as you said, they were very good for their time. There's no reason to be surprised that later ones improved as the gameplay balance was found, and Surprisingly Improved Sequel actually does directly state that things subject to it had bad beginnings.

AAA: I'm with KI on this one, Charred Knight. Take a pill. Also, the Final Fantasy ones still apply, given that most have to do with the introduction of a character rather than the start of the actual plot. For instance, the plot of X started way before the Macalania incident. The FFVIII example seems to be the only one that doesn't do this (since the plot really did get started with Rinoa arriving).

Charred Knight: Growing the Beard is when a tv show gains a notable improvement becoming something great when it was medicore at best. The trope namer is the Mediocre first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation compared to the excellent writing of the later seasons. Super Mario Brothers was a revolutionary game that changed video games for ever, Zelda was a slightly lesser version of that. Also by your logic the point would be Super Mario Brothers 64 and Ocarina of Time, which are considered the best games in the series.

To put it bluntly, Growing The Beard is the exact opposite of Jumping The Shark, where as Jumping The Shark was when a great show became mediocre or awful, Growing the Beard is when that show becomes great. Since those games listed started off great than they CAN'T COUNT! They where already great, they where already revolutionary. Also I don't know how you can call an event in Video Games Growing the Beard, its the same game. It would be like calling the half way point of the first episode its Growing The Beard moment.


Dagda: I was actually inclined to add Avatar as an example- it had alot of admirable aspects from the beginning, but for "this troper" there was very much a notable increase in quality in the middle of season 2; Azula and Toph becoming major characters, the plot becoming far less episodic and tightly weaving various threads together, and a step up in the challenges faced by the heroes all come together to make a pretty good show into something truly great.

Charred Knight: as mentioned above it should be mediocre at best, Avatar was great from the first episode, a wonderful look at a boy who finds out that the entire world hangs on him.


Haven: What does this page quote have to do with the article? Besides the fact that it's the name? I know we like They Might Be Giants, but, come on.


Whoever put the Pokemon example...huh? Even with May's contests, the show didn't really stop being formulamatic as hell. It was better than Johto, true, but it didn't really grow the beard. And many fans think D/P is better than Advanced? Since when?


Charred Knight: Growing the Beard is being thrown around way too much, I just deleted a bunch of series that where well liked from the first episode. Eureka 7 Grew a beard, Dragonball did not.


  • Most of the Kingdom Hearts fandom agrees that, while I had its flaws and Chains of Memories was passable at best (Granted, it was a interlude on the GBA), it was in Kingdom Hearts II that the series as a whole Took a Level in Badass, adding more charismatic villains, a longer story, repaired gameplay, and turned Mickey Mouse into a Badass Mentor and still made it work. If that's not Growing the Beard, I don't know what the heck it is.

It's NOT Growing the Beard. First off, the Kingdom Hearts fandom isn't exactly the most intelligent and reliable fandoms online. Secondly, there are some who think that the first KH was the best in terms of story and quality, (KH 2 had better gameplay and a Bad Ass Mickey to be sure, but the Organization are not better villains than the Disney Villain group of the first game just cause they're good looking. And they were introduced in Chain of Memories) And Third: Many people consider Kingdom Hearts to be good FROM THE FIRST GAME! Therefore, no beard growing was nessecary.


I don't know about you guys, but the first book in the Dark Tower series was unbearable for me. Like, really bad. Considering how many people seem to like it on the internet, I'm assuming it grows the beard after the first book? (I still probably won't read it.)


Deleted examples that I really disagreed with. The first Sailor Moon anime wasn't all that bad (the "energy draining" schemes stopped halfway through once the rainbow crystals/silver crystal became the focus), S was not the beard-growing point, and Stars was so bad that even the creator hated it. Pokemon is still formulamatic as hell, plot or no plot (plus the "Kanto rehash" thing that was mentioned) Majoritiy opinion seems to be that Bleach got weaker after the Soul Society arc. And Danny Phantom's second season got pretty dull halfway through, focusing more on shipping and mediocre episodic stories than the Myth Arc it set up. And then came Season Three, so the beard-growing didn't last.
Oonerspism: Deleted the following from Real Life:

  • To shave during college finals week is considered bad luck. This may have something to do with luck, or it may have something to do with the cumulative effects of spending five extra minutes studying each day instead of shaving.

This has absolutely nothing to do with the trope, and it's also got a bunch of useless natter underneath it.


Amitai: Removed Neon Genesis Evangelion. If people actually enjoyed the last stretch of episodes, it wouldn't be so well known. Besides, it's unfair to say that the episodes that came before that were boring.


Rachelofpie: I think that the trope name is sort of misleading as it gives the impression of a slow, gradual process, rather than something that suddenly happens. Or is it just me?

KJMackley: In some cases, it is a slow process. The Trope Namer didn't really become the knockout series it is known for until "The Best of Both Worlds" at the end of season 3. Growing the Beard in season two was mostly a step in the right direction and having a higher concentration of good episodes compared to season 1. Focusing it down to a single episode is mostly a fandom desire to give something an identity.

KJMackley: Cut the Avatar: The Last Airbender example, again. Incidently no one is really consistent with when it supposedly grew the beard. While this trope is subjective I think a key aspect people are overlooking is that there can be a stark difference in the general quality and/or tone of the series with the focal point being this trope. You might have personally gotten into a show because of a certain episode, but that doesn't mean that the show was any different before or after that. I recall watching the Avatar pilot shortly after seeing the Grand Finale and remember thinking that they didn't betray the spirit of the show from beginning to end. I didn't feel like I was watching two different shows. At most I might see "Winter Solstice" where the knowledge of Sozins Comet gave everything a much bigger sense of urgency, which is expanded on in the second season, but even then I consider that a stretch.

Random Troper- The second quote at the top of the page isn't really specific to beards. I suggest replacing with the Star Trek quote "Oh, you're so stolid. You weren't like that before the beard!" It fits better contextually, especially with Riker sexily hangin' out over to the left.