Created By: DragonQuestZAugust 15, 2013 Last Edited By: DragonQuestZFebruary 16, 2015

On Screen Running Stats

Stuff on the screen showing changes in important elements.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Rolling Updates
This is when a notice is on screen to note that a key element has changed, whether it's a score in a sports game, how many Video Game Lives the players have, or the time remaining in a countdown, or just something the show wants to keep track of as a joke.

This is commonly seen in:
  • Video games as part of the interface, to keep the most important elements on screen constantly (stats for lesser elements can be seen through menus or special locations).
  • Sporting events to keep track of the score and other relevant data.
  • Any live event with a countdown, such as the time left in a game or when The Reveal teased before is shown.
  • The "Counting Gag" in video review shows.

Usually these stats are on the screen constantly, but sometimes they disappear until the element has changed.

Sometimes this gets spoofed, with minor elements having running stats, despite no relevance to what's going on (other than Rule Of Funny).

Compare Heads Up Display, Diegetic Interface.


Examples

Anime and Manga

Film

Live Action TV
  • The Drew Carey Show: In their annual "spot the mistakes" episodes, during the repeat when they identify the mistakes there's a ticker.
  • In American Football the scores weren't constantly shown onscreen until Fox Sports started airing football in 1993. Before that they'd only show a box score when someone scored or when heading into & out of commercial breaks. Other broadcasters of football & other major sports quickly followed Fox's lead.
  • Many shows at the end of the year, such as New Year's Rockin' Eve will count down the end of the year.

Magazines
  • MAD did an article imagining if shows has stats like sports shows. This included stuff like "Punches Thrown" and "Punches Landed" for Jerry Springer, and "Words Bleeped Out" and "Words that would have been bleeped out 10 years ago" for South Park.

Web Original

Western Animation
  • Futurama had the episode "Three Hundred Big Boys" where Fry uses his $300 tax rebate to drink 100 cups of coffee. A counter in the lower right corner keeps track of how many cups he drinks. This actually becomes a plot point, because once he hits 100 cups, he achieves Caffeine Bullet Time.
  • In the South Park episode "It Hits the Fan" there's a running stat at the bottom of the screen showing how many times they said "shit."

Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • August 15, 2013
    randomsurfer
    • In the South Park episode "It Hits the Fan" there's a running stat at the bottom of the screen showing how many times they said "shit."
    • The Drew Carey Show: In their annual "spot the mistakes" episodes, during the repeat when they identify the mistakes there's a ticker.
  • August 15, 2013
    Chabal2
    • Early episodes of Dragon Ball Z Abridged had a "Krillin gets owned" counter.
    • Yu Gi Oh: Player's life points show up whenever a monster gets hit.
    • One episode of Hokuto No Ken has a countdown appear when Ken tells a mook how long he has to live.
  • August 16, 2013
    Arivne
    Film
    • Hot Shots Part Deux. During a battle there was a running total on the screen of the number of deaths of enemy soldiers. At one point it says "Equal to Robocop", then a few seconds later "Equal to Total Recall", then "Bloodiest Movie Ever!".
  • August 16, 2013
    DAN004
    I suggest Gag HUD for the title.
  • August 16, 2013
    NESBoy
    That would limit the scope of the trope. The point is to collect straight examples as well as gag counters.
  • August 16, 2013
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ What NES Boy wrote.
  • August 16, 2013
    DracMonster
    Your score in a game is the Ur Example. (Examples of that shouldnt be listed, its kind of almost chairs territory.)
  • August 16, 2013
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ If sports did it on TV before video games, it's not the ur example.

    2. How would letting you know what the score is be "chairs"? There is a purpose to knowing the score. Or are you mistaking the trope People Sit On Chairs to mean Seen It A Million Times?
  • August 16, 2013
    DracMonster
    1. Hmm, ok fair enough.

    2. Er, well, chairs wasnt the right term, I guess it would be more like an Omnipresent Trope for Video Games. I didn't mean for sports games, since that score represents something in Real Life (so to speak) I meant "abstract" scores in games like pac-man -- those would be too numerous to list examples.
  • August 16, 2013
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Well this includes real life elements. It's just that they are shown visibly on screen for the audience to keep track, as the TV can't show everything at once.

    Also, yeah just showing elements in a game would be too numerous to list the straight uses, same with broadcast sporting events. That's why I didn't put any in the OP. If there are some that play with this some way, then we can list those.
  • August 16, 2013
    randomsurfer
    I'd suggest putting general mentions of sports and video games, just to cover the bases. Something like:
    • In almost all video games it shows your score.
    • Sports scores are shown on screen to tell you who's winning and by how much.
    Although (FWIW) in American Football the scores weren't constantly shown onscreen until Fox Sports started airing football in 1993. Before that they'd only show a box score when someone scored or when heading into & out of commercial breaks. Other broadcasters of football & other major sports quickly followed Fox's lead.
  • August 16, 2013
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Those are mentioned in the description. General examples have been brought up in the forums as unacceptable.

    But as you mentioned a specific show changing the style, that's a notable example to use.
  • August 16, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    Avengers Arena gives the characters a video game style health bar that shows the audience how close they are to death. While it does sometimes disappear, it always reappears when a character takes a substantial hit. Under went some minor Memetic Mutation when comic readers took to adding them to famous dramatic death scenes...and watched as the added On Sreen Running Stats robbed them of all previous emotional punch.
  • August 17, 2013
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ 1. I can't count the ymmv things fan will do.

    2. Not sure the In Universe aspect is distinct enough to make an example. It could be a Sub Trope, though (a sister to Dramatic Disappearing Display).
  • August 17, 2013
    MetaFour
    Western Animation
    • Futurama had the episode "Three Hundred Big Boys" where Fry uses his $300 tax rebate to drink 100 cups of coffee. A counter in the lower right corner keeps track of how many cups he drinks. This actually becomes a plot point, because once he hits 100 cups, he achieves Caffeine Bullet Time.
  • September 5, 2013
    MetaFour
  • February 15, 2015
    DragonQuestZ
    Anyone have a good page picture?
  • February 16, 2015
    Arivne
    • Examples section
  • February 16, 2015
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Reverted the media tags. They'll just get unlinked when the examples are folderized anyway.

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