Archived Discussion

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

Cleaning Up Mary Sue launched as Mary Sue: From YKTTW

Mary Sue cleanup launched as Mary Sue: From YKTTW

Mary Sue Examples launched as Mary Sue: From YKTTW

Coyotic Evil: the new Mary Sue picture has two right feet.
Mary Sue (rewrite) launched as Mary Sue: From YKTTW
Ethereal Mutation: I went ahead and moved the old discussion over to the Mary Sue Archive.
Ethereal Mutation: I removed the picture. It was just a repeat of the one from Common Mary Sue Traits and also didn't really exemplify the basic underlying priciples of this trope.

An archetypical Mary Sue (although it's a parody, like the trope namer).

Ethereal Mutation: I removed this quote because it was just a copy from Marty Stu.

Yugi: Those bullies are being mean to Gary Stu!
Joey: Who the hell is Gary Stu?
Yugi: I don't know, but apparently he's my best friend.

Crayola S 7: I'd also like to point out that for many (most?) English speakers, Gary does not rhyme with Mary.
I'm not sure where to put pre-subversion Harvey Dent. I used The Ace for lack of anywhere better to drop him, but I'm not sure he fits any specific category. He's simply set up as sheer awesome so Joker can pull him down.

Ethereal Mutation: Removed the "general trends" because they're pointlessly non-specific and pretty much just "whine about writers in fandoms you like".

General Trends:

* As the opening paragraph suggests, a Mary Sue is pretty much guaranteed in any Harry Potter fanfic about a new student. This type of character tends to show up mostly in the form of an exchange student from whatever country the author lives in. If not, she will be starting Hogwarts as a teenager for no particular reason other than the fact that it wouldn't work to make her eleven. Prior to the end of the series, an adult Mary Sue could be introduced as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.
** Take two examples of anti-Mary Sue sentiments in the Potter fandom: A Mary Sue Alphabet, about just about every kind of Mary Sue found in Potter fandom, and the concept of House Sparklypoo, where all the Mary Sues go.
* Animorphs fanfic is fraught with ultrapowerful long-lost siblings of Ax or Tobias. Count on the team, whose need for absolute secrecy is a major point in nearly all of the books, to trust them completely in under two paragraphs.
* There are roughly 18 trillion Naruto fanfics that revolve around either A) Naruto having long lost family, or B) Some incredibly powerful ninja coming out of the woodwork to train him. The only variation is whether this new character is the Mary Sue, or they god mode Naruto so much that they turn him into Marty Stu.
* Weiß Kreuz fanfic is absolutely rife with new, female members being inserted into the series's four-man team of Hit Men With Hearts, or Distressed Damsels being taken in by them. As with the Animorphs example above, expect Weiss's secrecy to be cheerfully discarded within about two paragraphs, in spite of the fact that their work as assassins gets every single comparable female character in canon either killed or given the It's Not You, It's My Enemies treatment.
* As soon as Teen Titans aired on Cartoon Network, a tide of preteen girls suddenly appeared on the scene of DCU fanfiction. The eventual outcome was a swarm of fanfiction that introduced Darker and Edgier characters who joined the Titans within a paragraph of being introduced and always came with a Wangsty past. For some reason, they are always named Shadow.
** It became such a problem that a Mary Sue Test was even created on The genre is aptly listed as "Tragedy/Horror".
* Go to a Doctor Who fanfiction archive and open up a story which features an author-created companion to the Doctor. Nine times out of ten, his/her name might as well be Mary Sue.
* In The Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series, there are four guys (three of them deemed "hot") and two girls. The bad guys have magic and the good guys don't. Can we say Mary Sue breeding ground?
* If a Digimon fanfic based on the first season is entitled "The Ninth Digidestined," don't even bother with it.
* You can't take more than three steps in the Pokémon fandom without tripping over at least half a million stories about Mary Sue trainers who can do no wrong.
* Any story in Sonic the Hedgehog fanfiction about a prototype ultimate lifeform will most likely contain a Mary Sue for Shadow to love. Also nigh-on guaranteed Mary Sue's can be found in any long lost Kitsune stories, and you can guarantee a Villain Sue if there's a new monster released by the Chaos Emeralds.
* There are countless numbers of Sailor Moon fanfiction where new Sailor Senshi either join Sailor Moon after the other senshi are kidnapped and then overshadow her by being even more powerful or who completely take over Sailor Moon's role as senshi leader.
* Avatar: The Last Airbender: Despite the basic rules of only one element per bender and one Avatar per generation, Sues still keep defying it in the Avatar fandom, in the form of Copy Cat Sues of the title character. Keeping in tune with unusual benders, Earthbending tend to be neglected in favor of the other forms of Elemental Powers.
** Another popular kind of Sues are the Relationship Sues that almost always end up with Zuko. They also have a notable tendency to be Waterbenders, because Opposites Attract.
* During a segment of the Star Trek documentary Trekkies, a producer talked about a fan who would show up dressed as his personal Sue and give the production personnel his scripts detailing the adventures of the character. (The shows had an open submission policy at the time, meaning that they would at least consider scripts given to them by fans.)
* Read any Danny Phantom fanfic that has a fan-made character (usually female), and he/she is BOUND to coincidentally either A.) Be related to Danny or Vlad or ANY of the main charaters, B.) Have ghost powers or (though more rarely) Magic Powers, or C.) All of the above. Bonus Mary Sue points if said character becomes Danny's, Vlad's, Sam's, Dark Danny's (Whaaaa?), etc. love interest.
* On one of the first Mary Sue tests, a note was added that even the most sue-ish characters could make a good story. Their example? Bono, a real person, scored insanely high on the test.

Decide the fate of the examples here. //Later: That's done. Discussion archived above.
Fast Eddie: Pulled out the Black Hole Sue text and moved it to its own page. Any attempt we make to cause Mary Sue to have only one definition has met with nothing but controversy. Since we don't get to set the definition — the world does that — we can at least capture the various definitions by their primary attributes.
Lord TNK: I object to ethereal's claim the term has no set definition. When others on threads and discussions have brought it up, we can agree on the general ideas. Ethereal is confusing abuse of the label with no definition.

Mouser: I believe we'd already decided not to go with Ethereal's redefinition of the term.

Ethereal Mutation: I didn't "redefine" anything. The article had a large hole in it from the recent split (which was by an administrator) and I just filled it with accurate information about the usage of the term. Really, a term is in how it gets used even if it has a set definition that counters it (which is why Rape The Dog and Sonic Syndrome both got renamed).

Lord TNK: Filling in the gap doesn't excuse you using what you claimed, when most of us disagreed with you.

Ethereal Mutation: I could get a couple sources for each of the uses if desired. Probably won't even have to travel very far from Wikipedia to do so since I used that as a hub for most of my research.

Lord TNK: That isn't even what wikipedia claimed. That's just how you interpreted it.

Rebochan: I'm trying to figure out why throwing dozens of folders on the page is somehow better than the page we had before. And it's still trying to claim subjectivity when we've pretty much settled that no, Mary Sue is not subjective. Much as I hate to argue with an admin, Mary Sue does have a set definition and its not one that TV Tropes decided on.

Fast Eddie: Please feel free to argue with an admin. That's not a special state as far as content goes. I thought I was implementing what I read in the — really long — discussions. Which is that there is no consensus of any more basic definition than "it's bad, except when it isn't." Honestly, I think that is useful information, to know that when you say "Mary Sue", you have absolutely no idea what noise it will make in someone else's head.

Visitor: So wait, everything was hunky-dory until Ethereal Mutation concluded there was confusion... Then changed things, and now it's being asserted there was confusion before thus justifying the edit? Or... in other words, created "doubt" where there was none and then used it to justify a huge and hideous edit? Awfully Orwellian, you know.

Rebochan: This page is absolutely atrocious now. It does nothing to discuss the Mary Sue and I still say that putting dozens of hideous folders on the page makes it a waste of time. Is anyone even reading it now? I also agree that there was no "major controversy" and that references to it have only started because one person decided there was a controversy to be had. The only "controversy" was people being rather lax in enforcing the Canon Sue pages to stop them from filling up with Take Thats and not real examples. This section needed improvement, but as it stands now, its a useless page instead of a helpful one.

Fast Eddie: Sounds like the folders are an issue. I'll take those markups out, and see if we have something that looks better.

Rebochan: I actually think the page would be better served by taking all of those definitions out and saying something like "While there may be several interpretations of a Mary Sue, the most common types can be grouped as..." And then just link the Sue pages we've already got.

Mouser: Seconded. There was no problem with the way we used to present this.

Cassy: What happened to the Mary Sue Exemption page, if I may ask? Was it nuked?? If so, it'd really be a pity, I think it was funny and thought-provoking and I don't understand why some people are so oversensitive to this topic.

Fast Eddie: The cutlist discussion was essentially that it was an article attracting every character that is not a Sue. In other words, characters not on the list are Sues ... which brought defensive listings and debates over the not-Sue-ness of certain characters ... restarting what-is-Sue-ness debates ... 'round and 'round we go. Ultimately, to no point.

Cassy: Oh please, this tires me out, it really removes a lot of the fun to Tv T for me. But thanks for clarifying and answering so fast, FastEddie ;-).
Qit el-Remel: At least two of S.L. Viehl's heroines (specifically, Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil Torin Reever or whatever her official name is of the StarDoc series, and Jory Rask/Sajora Raska of Blade Dancer) are tremendous Mary Sues. However, I'm not entirely sure where they'd fit. And both of them are Tsunderes, to boot.
Morgan Wick: I would argue Mary Sue is Older Than Dirt, as is Author Avatar.

"You wouldn't believe this fish I caught. I mean, it was a REALLY big fish! It wasn't easy catching it, but I did it, and that's something none of you could do. Your dinky little fishes couldn't compare to the size of the fish I caught." "So where is it?" "Um... oh look, a bear!"
furbearingbrick: Took a cue from the Manificent Bastard page and added an Incredibly Lazy Pun image in leiu of an actual example to avoid fighting over it.
Idocreating: Was wondering where it would be appropriate to talk about the idea of the Mary Sue in Roleplay? Specifically i'm thinking of my experiences in World of Warcraft where there were some terrible people who basically acted like they'd turned on God mode or there characters were totally flawless. Or worse, attempting to say they were related to a major lore character (family or offspring) or some half breed race (I'm a half dragon, half demon, half worgen warlock!) or the total failarific ultimate that is attempting to pass yourself off as a race that's never mentioned in any official media about the Warcraft world (this is mainly done with Vampires).
Master_Prichter: I thought of a Mary Sue trait, and I'd like to know how common it is. With any luck, it's common for all Sue types. So, how common is "The author tries to make the audience like the character by constantly praising their good points/introducing new ones"?

Epitome: I'm pretty sure the trope you're thinking of is Shilling The Wesley.

Seven Seals: This got stuck in my drain somehow. I thought this would be a good place to throw it away.

I say hello Mary Sue, goodbye plot
Sweet Mary Sue I'm so obsessed with you
I knew, Mary Sue
You'd be so hot
So hello, Mary Sue, goodbye plot

Janitor: Moved the notification about the forum thread down. It is never going to end or be resolved. No need to lead off the article that way. Being at the bottom, we can pretend that new contestants will have at least cared enough to have read the article.