Created By: PPPSSC on January 2, 2013 Last Edited By: PPPSSC on March 25, 2013
Nuked

Confidence Level Trio

Power Trio distinguished by level of confidence or assertion

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Trope
A type of Power Trio in which the characters are distinguished by the amount of confidence they have, made up of these characters:

  • The ordinary one: This character is confident enough to get by. May be slightly overconfident or moderately shy, but will be the middle of the road in the trio. Usually the main character or the leader of the group and often a Cool Loser.
  • The shy one: This character could be a Shrinking Violet or an Extreme Doormat or maybe just The Quiet One, but is defined by being significantly more diffident than his friends. This character could be treated as The Woobie or a sympathetic comic relief character, and is often a Sidekick.
  • The overconfident one: This character could be an Attention Whore or Life of the Party or just a pest, as long as he is significantly brasher than his friends. This character is usually treated as a Plucky Comic Relief and is also often a Sidekick.

Often seen among less popular groups in-universe because without enough confidence, a character can be invisible, and with too much, he can come off as annoying. On the other hand, the audience might love these trios as they provide relatable characters for everyone on the confidence spectrum. Sometimes the shy and overconfident characters will be treated like Straw Losers, but other times they will be treated with just as much respect and care as the ordinary main character. Sometimes you can get both on the same show.

Usually there is some degree of separation between how close the ordinary one is to the other two. Generally speaking, the character he is closer to will be the sidekick more frequently and have more plot-relevance. There is no set pattern for whether he will be closer to the shy one or the confident one.

Compare Comic Trio and Freudian Trio which are about confidence levels applied to courses of action.

Examples:

Film Animated

Film - Live Action

Live Action TV

Video Games

Western Animation
  • Ginger (ordinary), Dodie (overconfident), and Macie (shy) on As Told by Ginger. They generally try to climb up the social ladder, while Ginger has the easiest time, Dodie gets the most excited about it, and Macie is the most intimidated by it.
  • Rocko (ordinary), Heffer (overconfident), and Filburt (shy) on Rocko's Modern Life. Filburt was not originally friends with them but became one when he became an Ascended Extra. Heffer often causes problems for Rocko while Rocko generally helps Filburt with his.
  • Jimmy (ordinary), Carl (shy), and Sheen (overconfident) on The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron. In this case, however, Jimmy is not a Cool Loser but an Insufferable Genius, and despite the contrast in how much confidence they have, Carl and Sheen actually have quite a bit in common.
  • Powerpuff Girls has Blossom (ordinary), Bubbles (shy) and Buttercup (overconfident).
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks has this with both the main band and their Distaff Counterparts. Alvin and Britney are the overconfident ones, Simon and Eleanor the ordinary ones, and Theodore and Jeanette the shy ones. Strangely, it's the overconfident members that are the leaders of their respective trios.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has the Cutie Mark Crusaders: Apple Bloom (ordinary), Scootaloo (overconfident), and Sweetie Belle (shy).
Community Feedback Replies: 29
  • January 2, 2013
    PPPSSC
    I went ahead and preemptively added some tags. I brought something like this up in Lost And Found a few months ago but didn't actually get the draft done until now. Not crazy about the name though it could work in a pinch. Would like some more examples, preferably from other types of media if possible. Don't think we have; I looked pretty thoroughly for it, but maybe it's hiding especially if someone else made a YKTTW for it already.
  • January 8, 2013
    ClatoLawa
    • Coupling has two of these trios - Steve and Susan are the ordinary ones, Patrick and Jane represent extreme confidence and Jeff and Sally represent extreme fear.
  • January 8, 2013
    MokonaZero
    Possibly happens in Axis Hetalia.
  • January 8, 2013
    PPPSSC
    ^ That is a Zero Context Example and is written in a wishy-washy style. At the very least, can you (or someone else familiar with the series) provide the names of the people in the trio(s) and which role they represent? Thank you.

    ^^ Added.
  • February 10, 2013
    PPPSSC
    Bumping.
  • February 10, 2013
    Koveras
    Hmm, would this count:

    • The Powerpuff Girls has Blossom (ordinary), Bubbles (shy) and Buttercup (overconfident).
    • Alvin And The Chipmunks has this with both the titular band and their Distaff Counterparts. Alvin and Britney are the overconfident ones, Simon and Eleanor the ordinary ones, and Theodore and Jeanette the shy ones. Strangely, it's the overconfident members that are the leaders of their respective trios.
    • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic has the Cutie Mark Crusaders: Apple Bloom (ordinary), Scootaloo (overconfident), and Sweetie Belle (shy). The mane 6 also represent this (Twilight is ordinary, Rainbow Dash is overconfident, and Fluttershy is well... shy, for example).
    • Team Sonic represent this. Tails is consistently the shy one, but Sonic and Knuckles tend to switch roles of being ordinary and overconfident Depending On The Writer.
  • February 10, 2013
    PPPSSC
    ^ Koveras, can you rewrite your example the way it was originally written without the external link? It seems to be the external link that's causing problems.

    Sneaky Squirrel, added all the examples except the mane 6 because that is not a trio but a subset of a group of six. Also, don't forget to namespace and please don't obscure the name of the work in a pothole.
  • February 11, 2013
    Koveras
    ^ I cannot edit that post anymore. Essentially the example went like this:

  • February 11, 2013
    PPPSSC
    ^ I understand, but it's fine. No functional difference from reposting in a different reply--in fact, if you had edited your post instead I might not have seen it. Went ahead and added it.
  • February 28, 2013
    PPPSSC
    Anyone have suggestions for names or think the working title is fine?

    While it's always nice to have more examples, I think we have enough for this preliminary stage. However, please continue to add them if you have them.
  • March 1, 2013
    Koveras
    The working title works.
  • March 1, 2013
    Lorialet
    It's a great idea ! There are a lot of examples of this one, and it would be great to have a trope for this.
  • March 1, 2013
    PPPSSC
    I added the examples. Merlin was not namespaced, so I assumed from context you meant the show, but if you meant the movie please correct me.
  • March 1, 2013
    acrobox
    No no no, this is the same Attribute Scale Trio that holds little water as a distinct trope.
  • March 1, 2013
    KingZeal
    Compare the concept Yamato-Damashii, where the power and heroism of a character is measured not only by how confident a character is, but how justified that confidence is.
  • March 1, 2013
    PPPSSC
    @acrobox, are you saying we do have this one? If so, what is it? Or that it's The Same But More Specific of something else (other than the supertrope Power Trio which already has many subtropes)? If so, of what? Or are you saying it's People Sit On Chairs because it's just an arbitrary scale? It certainly wasn't intended to be. The initial three examples I thought of were from series that milked the discrete confidence levels of the people in them for conflict and character humor. I'm sorry, I have trouble screening examples from works I'm unfamiliar with. Looking back at the description, there are possibly many examples of this that have been added that were Square Peg Round Trope from my original idea, which featured the traits listed: less popular groups in-universe, the leader/sidekick dynamics, and the relative presentation of the two "extremes."

    @King Zeal Whether this ends up being launched or discarded, I should hold off on adding references to unlaunched YKTTWs in the description
  • March 2, 2013
    acrobox
    What I mean is Scale Trio tropes are subject to a lot of shoehorning because if you take any scale and apply it to any three distinct characters you always end up with two extremes and a middle.

    Unless the series makes a point of "This personality trait is crucial to the plot" or "This attribute defines the group dynamics of this team" you can fit almost any trio into a scale trope.

    Strong-weak-nuetral; Smart-stupid-neutral; Fast-slow-neutral; Extraverted-introverted-neutral. Attribute-lack of or opposite attribute-and neutral, doesnt mean all that much.

    Whereas Strong-Smart-Fast would be three distinct natures, any on an individual scale is implied by having three people that aren't supposed to be lumped together as all having the same personality

    Notice how all the Power Trio Subtropes are three distinct attributes. The only one thats a scale is Freudian Trio (Implusive, Prudent, Neutral) which is based on psychoanalytic theory
  • March 2, 2013
    acrobox
    in short, No We Dont Have This One, but if we did, there are a million more that are equally relevant.
  • March 2, 2013
    PPPSSC
    When I first came up with this idea, I only had a few examples. My original examples were:

    • A Goofy Movie and An Extremely Goofy Movie: My catalyst example. Thinking of it to avoid shoehorning Comic Trio when they really only played that role in one scene in one movie. The differences in their confidence levels are very important to subplots and jokes in the sequel. As listed above, the rival was dismissive of the two "extreme" members and there was a Description Cut involved contrasting that exact dynamic (which made me wonder about a specific foil trope originally, until I realized all of the foils I could think of had a third, "cooler" friend). Later in the same movie, there is an inversion of No Guy Wants To Be Chased, where the love interest rejects the Attention Whore in favor of the Shrinking Violet. Whether that was her actual reason or not, the movie makes a point of showing the differences in their reactions to her no fewer than three times: stunned speechlessness vs. forward flirtatiousness.
    • As Told By Ginger. Moving up the social ladder is the main point of the show, so of course confidence plays a major role. Ginger is of the trio the most able to rise up the social ladder, while when Dodie succeeds she lets it go to her head and Macie is somewhat intimidated by it.
    • Rockos Modern Life. Rocko's two friends provide contrasting conflicts: Heffer's brashness causes problems for Rocko while Filburt's shyness usually means Rocko has to help him out of his problems.

    There were some definite patterns I noticed: the trios were usually not very popular, the neutral was the de facto leader and a Cool Loser, and the shy character tended to be presented more sympathetically than the overconfident one regardless of who was closer to the leader.

    I'm seeing what you're saying, but at least for the examples I personally wrote, the hypotheticals above are much more ambiguous and much less relevant to anything the characters do.

    In short, I don't think my original idea is People Sit On Chairs, but it's possible a lot of the new examples are shoehorned and it's actually Too Rare To Trope. I figured if no one could find more than a few examples after my first bump, I would consider it Too Rare To Trope.
  • March 3, 2013
    acrobox
    yeah i dunno. its just if its going to be a scale there have to either be things that go along with the scale, (like setting or genre), or it has to be crucial to team dynamics / the plot.

    Otherwise it might be too rare, and subject to a lot of shoehorning because if you just use any three characters, you can assign two as extremes and one in the middle regardless of what attribute you're talking about.
  • March 4, 2013
    PPPSSC
    Any other opinions on the tropability of this? At this point I'm thinking of discarding it for failing to gain ground in such a manner I'm afraid it's Too Rare To Trope, as well as the objection raised that, in an effort not to make it Too Rare To Trope it would become a shoehorn magnet.
  • March 4, 2013
    DorianMode
    I can think of two examples of an overconfident Alpha Bitch constantly accompanied by a pair who're largely indistinguishable, confidence-wise: Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter and Sissi from Code Lyoko
  • March 4, 2013
    PPPSSC
    ^ This is supposed to be about dynamics between one obviously overconfident character (e.g. Attention Whore), one obviously shy character (e.g. Shrinking Violet), and one character who has an "ordinary" social ability (e.g. Cool Loser). Examples involving largely indistinguishable confidence levels would be something else entirely.
  • March 5, 2013
    sgamer82
    • Can sometimes come up between the Doctor and his companions in Doctor Who. The Doctor himself is typically the overconfident one. A specific example would be the Eleventh Doctor (overconfident), Amy Pond (normal), and Rory Williams (quiet).
  • March 5, 2013
    PPPSSC
    I'd like to put a hold on adding new examples until we can determine if this is tropeworthy.
  • March 25, 2013
    PPPSSC
    This draft failed to get attention in terms of tropability except for one objection in spite of numerous bumps and an advertisement in the workstation thread. Many of the examples given are questionable, supporting the idea that it straddles the line between People Sit On Chairs (if they count) and Too Rare To Trope (if they don't). I am discarding it now for these reasons.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=1itbtafan623m0zzmwg974v8&trope=DiscardedYKTTW