Archived Discussion

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

Korval: Removing this nonsense:

  • Unfortunately... Khan. Yes, that Khan. While "Wrath of Khan" was a great movie, this here troper here was hugely disappointed, given that fandom descriptions of Khan made him out to be the GREATEST and most DANGEROUS and believable and just plain EVIL villain in the Star Trek universe, genetically engineered for super strength and super intelligence. By the end of the movie, I found that Kirk's mocking statement "I'm laughing at your superior intelligence" was an unfortunate truth, even for this troper here. Obvious emotionally-charged-stupidity aside, it did nothing for Khan's character that the only "effective" things he did were either indirectly (Spock's death) caused, or occurred off-screen or mis-fired. This may catch huge flak, but in terms of ability... Nero is a better villain. Committing genocide is a huge 'shut the fuck up' to any amount of superbly Montalban-acted blustering and Magnificent Bastard-ing.

Informed abilities don't count when it's the fandom overhyping a character, not the actual movie itself. At no time in the movie is Khan overhyped as he describes. And on a personal note, no, committing genocide does not make you an effective villain. It's all about the how, not the act itself.

Grev: I'd say put it back in. Khan was built up as a cunning tactician who led a winning faction in the bloodiest war in Earth history, yet he's defeated because he forgets space has a third dimension?

Homsar FTW: Hadn't I added a bit to the article about Buck Williams from Left Behind and how his journalistic prowess was better explained in the prequel? What happened to it?

Armadillo: I removed the King of the Hill example. Peggy isn't an example of Informed Ability. Informed Ability is when the writers say that someone has an ability but don't demonstrate it in the show. Peggy is an example of Ted Baxter, where a character believes that they have capabilities that they actually don't. Peggy's belief that she speaks Spanish is a running joke, and the writers don't seriously suggest that she can.

Inyssius: Why is Babylon 5 spoiler'd? Are they talking about the actual Babylon 5, or do they get a different Babylon later on? 'Cuz, you know, the show is named after the thing! They reveal this big twist literally thirty seconds into the pilot movie!

Fencedude: Actually, I'm pretty sure they are talking about the Great Machine on Epsilon 3. And its not really much of a spoiler, far, far worse gets said right out in the open anyway.

Mith: The Babylon 5 example seems more like Forgotten Phlebotinum from its description.

RowenaTheWitch: the pharagraph "unless you count the spiced-up invasion of the Ministry of Magic in the fifth movie, in which case it turned out to be an obscenely destructive bat-shaped fireball." is incorrect. In the movie Ginny Weasley used a Reducto Spell.

KJMackley: The Star Trek examples seems like someone who is just ranting. It could just be that I'm a defensive fan, but I can think of multiple times when Worf has outclassed other Klingons in combat, and the example with Gowron can be overlooked because Worf did not want to fight him in the first place. And as for Riker, does anyone remember "The Best Of Both Worlds?" Probably the most popular episode of all of Star Trek was all about Riker taking command and doing a damn fine job at it.

Austin: It's not a very blatant example, but what about Xander Harris from Buffy the Vampire Slayer? In the last season they described him as being able to "see everything", as in seeing the conflicts of his friends. But I never got this impression of him from watching previous episodes. He always seemed too focused on his own problems to worry about anyone elses.

  • Noneofyourbusiness: You have a point. He completely missed Buffy and Willow's issues in Season Six. On the other hand, he noticed Buffy and Riley imploding in Season Five, he understood that the boy had to face his nightmare in Season One, and at least one other example I can't quite remember.

Rogue 7: Removed the Naruto examples. While Lee does get his ass handed to him on a regular basis, that's a matter of The Worf Effect, so much so for the poor guy that I'd have favored calling it "Rock Lee Syndrome". He shows that he can undeniably fight against Gaara and Kimimaro, it's just that...the guys he faced all happen to be better than he is. And for Sakura, did you see that fight with Sasori? That's my favorite moment in Shippuden so far, and I'm not even a major fan of Sakura. It's just plain badass.

Rann: So if Rock Lee gets taken off the list due to being a victim of the Worf Effect... why the heck is Worf still on there?
Bob: Since it seems to be turning into Thread Mode, I'm removing the David Cain stuff. Let me just ask this one question since I'm not familiar with the character: is there any on-page stories in which he assassinate people in a manner befitting the world's greatest assassin? If there are, then it's not an Informed Ability since we would have evidence of his skill. If there aren't, then it is an Informed Ability but the example should probably be rewritten for clarity.

  • Batman comics repeatedly refer to the character of David Cain as "the greatest assassin on the planet". Note, that's the greatest assassin, which means he's better than Deathstroke the Terminator, a character that makes most of the DCU shudder to even think about tangling with. While David Cain is shown to do a fairly clever thing or two, he doesn't come off as any more difficult to beat than the average elite mercenaries occasionally hired to kill Batman. Fans of the character have tried to point out that Cain was considered the finest when he was "in his prime", ignoring that the characters themselves continue to use the title in the present tense.
    • In fact, most of the events fans cite as proof of David's (current or past) badassness tend to actually reinforce that it's an informed ability. His supposed Crowning Moment of Awesome, defeating Lady Shiva, consisted of standing around and letting her fight League of Assassins ninjas that were protecting him until she was exhausted, then putting a gun to her head once she was too tired and injured to stand.
      • ...and? The entry emphasizes greatest, not assassin. Smart assassins don't fight, they assassinate. The example demonstrates that this is what makes them dangerous—they don't even pretend to fight fair. (This troper is reminded of the Discworld novel Night Watch, where the idea was raised that if assassins don't have rules, what can any sane man do but stay at home with the doors locked and point a crossbow at the door?) The actions they take to kill you could take effect while they're watching a movie on the other side of the world. This troper hasn't read a single story with David Cain, doesn't know a thing about the character except what's on this page, and still understands this.

Rann: is there any on-page stories in which he assassinate people in a manner befitting the world's greatest assassin? Not really, no. He gets his ass handed to him pretty much every time he shows up. I don't know why someone else decided to show up and get all offended over some insult to a fictional assassin they have absolutely no clue about, but good lord that's a Justifying Edit of staggering proportions.

Dentaku: To be a great assassin you don't have to be bad ass or even be very skilled at fighting. You have to be able to kill the ones you're supposed to kill, as efficiently and effectively as possible - preferably without having to fight at all. If David Cain manages to kill a great deal of people without putting up a fuss, then yes, he might be considered great in his job. One wonders though whether it's wise for assassins to have spitting contests about how many people they killed.

Micah: Removed from the Star Wars example:

  • This troper distinctly recalls Obi-Wan's reasoning being that the footprints leading to and from the scene were made in file, whereas Sand People would have made a big mess of running around.

He says both; only the line about blast points is relevant to the trope.

Caswin: Ditto the Deep Space Nine example. Not using an ability very often doesn't mean that it's an Informed Ability - Odo easily shapeshifts enough to make it clear that yes, he is a bona fide shapeshifter.
  • Odo on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine had shape changing abilities, but (initially at least) very rarely displayed them; this was probably due to budgetary constraints.
    • In a subversion, at least one episode of the show centered around how Odo was actually a pretty crappy shapeshifter, as compared with others of his race.

Some Guy: This page is starting to get a little unwieldy- I just deleted an extant For Better or for Worse example (the exact same example was already on the page). This needs to be better organized.
Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: Cut and placed here until it's made clear what the Informed Ability is. Also, if the ability ever shows up to the degree promised, it's no longer Informed.
Austin: Removed this.

  • John Winchester was supposedly a great hunter. How, exactly? He had falling outs with just about everyone, he never told his sons anything unless they begged, he got Ellen's husband killed... the guy was a failure.

Now see, when I interpret "great hunter" as "good at tracking and killing monsters." Not "good at social interactions".
Ethereal Mutation: With the creation of Informed Flaw, I would like to ask for people to move examples that fit that over when they see them. Thank you.

Austin: I noticed that justifying edits, albiet valid ones, keep cropping up in the Luffy example. I'm not sure how to specify it on the main page, so I'll do it here. Foxy is only one of many, many examples. In nearly every fight Luffy's in, he obtains bruises and expresses pain when hit. The most minor example I can think of is when he gets into a fight with Vivi, and he gets bruises and a bloody nose while she slaps him.
Haven: Took this out from the GL example, because that was actually why Hal went crazy and started attacking Oa: his ring ran out of charge while he was making a simulation of the destroyed Coast City (I think the guardians might have deliberately took away his power when they noticed he was using it selfishly), and he realized that he could resurrect Coast City if he had enough power, so he recharges his ring using the projection the Guardians sent to communicate with him and flies out to Oa to drain the battery of all its power.
They obviously didn't forget in that issue because a repeated line in the narration was "With enough power and determination, you could do anything" which becomes incredibly ominous as he flies out into space to face the Guardians.

  • The writers even seem to forget this informed ability quite often. Let's not forget that the whole driving plot point behind Emerald Twilight (arguably the biggest, and certainly the most controversial, GL story ever written) is that the ring CAN'T do anything. If it could, Hal would have been able to resurrect his destroyed city, and wouldn't have gone axe crazy on all his friends.


  • Midnighter is supposed to be a human supercomputer, capable of simulating a battle in his head millions of times per second, evaluating each and every possibility until he knows precisely what to do to guarantee victory. And still, he loses.

Rann: For one, this ability is demonstrated in one entire story dedicated to it. The fact that it doesn't turn him into a Boring Invincible Hero doesn't make it an informed ability.

Matthew The Raven: Keep it out. When he does lose, it's because, well, the Authority faces some insanely powerful threats. Entire armies from alternate realities, evil versions of themselves, shamans powered by the entire planet Earth, God, and of course, the most dangerous thing in the universe, a cyborg redneck.

Doktor von Eurotrash: Added a sentence to the main article about how it is extremely difficult for a normal-intelligence writer to write a genius-intelligence character.
Haevn: Took out this bit because, well, the bullets have the right of it.

  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann establishes that the Grapearls developed during the Time Skip are a significant advancement over the Gunmen. Too bad the only opponents seen post-timeskip are the Anti-Spiral forces, which the Gunmen were designed to fight, and the only advancement the Grapearls display is the ability to explode really, really quickly.
    • This is, of course, pointed out moments into the first fight that involves both Gurren Lagann and Grapearls.
    • Also, this all doesn't apply to Gimi and Dari's Grapearls, thanks to them being equipped with Plot Armor.
    • Note also that the one making this claim is Rossiu, who has... some blank spots in his genre savviness. Also, they were developed by taking their (limited) knowledge of the Ganmen and improving it a bit, so naturally they'd think newer = better. How would they know Ganmen were built specifically for fighting Anti-Spirals?


  • One of Dominic Deegan's old classmates informs Luna that Dominic is an impressive actor, though all we see of it is Dom attempting to "kill" said classmate.

True, we never see him on stage, but you don't have to be on a stage to act, and even a cursory reading of the comic will show how absurdly untrue this is. To wit: He sets up Batman Gambits while appearing so oblivious that, in some cases, the reader only even finds out about his involvement in retrospect. Indeed, he's done this more than once. If that's not acting, what is?