Created By: Folamh3September 9, 2012 Last Edited By: Folamh3November 14, 2012
Troped

Speech-Centric Work

Works which consist primarily of dialogue or speech

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It’s like a lot of films one sees today, not that I see very many, but to me they are what I call “photographs of people talking”.

Virtually all works in most narrative artistic media will feature at least some amount of talking at some point. Generally, in a plot-driven story the dialogue tends to be secondary to the plot, themes, setting etc. while subtly adding to all.

And then there are these, works in which dialogue and speech predominate. A typical scene in works like this consists of two or more characters talking to each other (or sometimes one character speaking by themselves, as in the case of one-man theatrical works).

Works like this tend to be based heavily around the Seinfeldian Conversation. If the writer of the work turns to this trope because the writer in question finds they have a facility for writing witty, amusing dialogue, the work is likely to turn into a World Of Snark. Genres in which this trope is particularly common include the Courtroom Drama or Slice Of Life works.

At what point does a work qualify for this trope? Difficult to say, and varies with the medium: a play is usually expected to have much more dialogue than a film, for example (except in more experimental theatre). As a rule of thumb, if a typical scene in the work in question consists of not much happening aside from one or more characters speaking, it's probably this trope. That is to say, a significant majority of the work consists of speech of some kind.

See also all of the various Dialogue tropes. Closely related to Talking Heads. Compare Script Fic, Log Fic and Featureless Plane Of Disembodied Dialogue (a conversation taking place in an apparent vacuum), unusually dialogue-heavy sub-genres of Fan Fic.

Note: Please be descriptive when adding examples.


Examples:

Creators with a fondness for this trope

  • Aaron Sorkin (to the extent that the rapid-fire dialogue that is his trademark is often referred to as "Sorkinese"):
    • The West Wing. Each season has an overarching Story Arc, albeit with a sufficiently episodic structure to avoid alienating new viewers. The plot of each episode will generally be entirely driven by dialogue, coupled with conversations between staff members about social and political issues. This series helped to popularize the Walk And Talk technique, a tracking shot which consists of characters walking from one place to another while providing rapid-fire exposition.
    • The Social Network. The film revolves around the founding of Facebook. Most of the running time consists of snarky dialogue between the principal characters, with a Framing Device providing additional dialogue (and sometimes narration). There was so much dialogue in the screenplay, in fact, that director David Fincher ordered the actors to speak much faster than they would ordinarily in order to trim down the running time.
  • Kevin Smith:
    • Clerks: the bulk of the film consists of Dante and Randal talking about nothing in particular. Jay and Silent Bob, various customers and other assorted characters filter in and out, but there's very little in the way of physical action.
    • Mallrats. Brodie and T.S. wander around a mall for a day. There is a plot, and various other characters appear, but that's the main thrust of the film.
    • Chasing Amy. More plot-driven than either of the previous, focussed on the romantic relationship between Holden and Alyssa. There is still abundant dialogue, allowing for development of the two leads (and Holden's partner Banky) and Seinfeldian Conversations about love, romance and sexuality.
  • Quentin Tarantino's films contain a great amount of conversation, occasionally intercut with brief moments of shocking violence. There's a reason his films are sometimes nicknamed "talkies".
    • Inglourious Basterds starts with talk, continues with talk, and ends with talk, so much that the usual Action Film Quiet Drama Scene balance is reversed. Indeed, the action scenes are brutal but brief, and many of the conversations are about insignificant topics, instead serving to increase the suspense as the person being spoken to slowly realizes that they're doomed. Notable examples include Hans Landa's speech about how he's learned to hunt Jews, or the conversation at a bar where Allied spies struggle with a Gestapo officer who has chosen to sit with them.
  • Richard Linklater:
    • Before Sunrise. Two characters, Jesse and Celine, wander around Vienna, chatting about nothing in particular and slowly getting to know each other. The sequel, Before Sunset continues the trend and moves the setting to Paris, where the duo reunites and catches up nine years later.
    • Waking Life. A disjointed series of conversations between various characters (most of whom are unnamed) about topics encompassing philosophy, psychology, consciousness and ethics.

Anime and Manga

Fanfic

Film

  • My Dinner With Andre. Two men have dinner in a restaurant and have a Seinfeldian Conversation. That's it.
  • In The Company Of Men. The film centres on a sort-of Love Triangle between Chad, Howard and Christine, which is developed almost entirely through dialogue. Most physical actions happen offscreen.
  • Twelve Angry Men. The twelve titular jurors in a murder trial debate whether or not the defendant is guilty.
  • Annie Hall, as specifically noted by Roger Ebert:
    "Few viewers probably notice how much of Annie Hall consists of people talking, simply talking. They walk and talk, sit and talk, go to shrinks, go to lunch, make love and talk, talk to the camera, or launch into inspired monologues like Annie's free-association as she describes her family to Alvy."
  • The Kings Speech. To be expected really, considering the entire film revolves around speech therapy.
  • In The Breakfast Club five high-school teenagers spend most of their 8 hour detention getting to know each other by talking about their backstories and life circumstances.
  • Memento. At its core a Psychological Thriller, it is nevertheless driven forward primarily by dialogue. Roughly half of the film consists of the protagonist sitting in a hotel room providing an unidentified character with Backstory over the phone.
  • The Conversation is a psychological thriller that revolves around a surveillance expert working a very hard case, he records the titular conversation and examines it over and over again via Rewind Replay Repeat.
  • The Man From Earth is a film entirely set in a room, with the various characters doing nothing but speaking. One ot them claims he's actually 14,000 years old, and the others try to understand if he's telling the truth or not.

Literature
  • Kiss Of The Spider Woman is ALL in dialogue.
  • Steven Brust's To Reign In Hell, a pastiche of Roger Zelazny, exaggerates Zelazny's tendency to have long sections of dialog with zero added text, by having entire chapters which consist entirely of pure dialog, leaving the reader to infer the identity of the speakers and their tone, location, and actions from what they say.
  • Atlas Shrugged. "Who is John Galt?" This one is particularly notable for featuring, among other things, a monologue which goes on uninterrupted for fifty pages.
  • The novel Who Was That Masked Man, Anyway? is all dialogue. (It's a homage to Radio Drama; the title is a Catch Phrase from The Lone Ranger.)

Live Action TV

  • In Treatment is composed entirely of sessions between a therapist and his various patients.
  • The Trip. It's practically 100% conversations: at restaurants, in the car, on the phone, etc. There is also basically no plot - the only thing that happens is that Steve and his long-distance girlfriend end up breaking up, although they were already essentially broken up at the beginning of the series anyway.
  • Gilmore Girls. Many scenes on this relationship-focused show were just characters discussing things that have happened/may happen at another point in the episode/season. Not only were these conversations frequent, they were relentlessly fast-paced and quirky (earning the show comparisons to Aaron Sorkin, above), a style parodied in this MAD TV sketch.
  • In The Sopranos, Tony's sessions with his therapist are one of the pillars of the show; talking about his issues and concerns is both a valve of escape for him and an insight on Tony's backstory, soul and mental process. There is occasional violence, but most of the management and character exploration is done via personal meetings and face-to-face conversations.
  • Dan & Becs features almost nothing but the two titular characters making entries in their respective video diaries.
  • Babylon Five had two episodes which were centered primarily on dialog, in one setting: "Comes the Inquisitor" and "Intersections in Real Time". Both were interrogations, in differing contexts.

Philosophy

  • This was a popular format for philosophical works (particularly in Ancient Greece), making this Older Than Feudalism. Many of, for example, Aristotle's works are presented as conversations between two parties. Other examples include Plato's The Republic.

Radio

  • All radio drama, obviously. Even when they're action-packed, by necessity they're about people describing the action.

Theatre

  • As noted above, one-man plays fit this trope almost by their very nature. Examples include Eamonn Morrissey's The Brother, an adaptation of the writings of Flann O'Brien for the stage.
  • Faith Healer by Brian Friel is a series of four monologues by three characters. There is essentially zero physical action, aside from characters standing up and sitting down and the like.
  • The Importance Of Being Earnest. All of the scenes in the play consist almost entirely of dialogue, with very little physical action.
  • Waiting For Godot. Two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait for a third party named Godot (who never arrives), talking about various things in the meantime. Two other characters, Lucky and Pozzo, appear from time to time.
  • Glengarry Glen Ross (and its film adaptation). The plot revolves around a group of real estate agents who, on pain of being fired, are driven to increasingly unethical methods to ensure a sale. Most of both play and film consists largely of said agents discussing the situation with each other (and propositioning various prospective clients).
  • Cormac Mc Carthy's play The Sunset Limited is almost all dialogue between two characters, to the point where it is sometimes described as "a novel in dramatic from".
  • Frost Nixon (movie and play) is based on the historical interviews after Nixon's scandals and resignation. The movie expands beyond the broadcast of the conversation with the setup and circumstances of said interviews.
  • Whos Afraid Of Virginia Woolf (movie and play) is almost entirely driven by dialogue. Four characters share a dinner which quickly turns into a verbal war, a battle of bitter or witty insults between hosts and guests.
  • The play Dial M for Murder (on which the Hitchcock film is based) is almost entirely dialogue. It is in turn adapted from a radio play, Sorry Wrong Number, which is made up of dialogue and nothing else.
  • Witness for the Prosecution consists of various people talking in various combinations.

Video Game

  • Visual Novels as a rule are known for this.
  • Planescape Torment is quite possibly the most dialogue-heavy game that isn't a Visual Novel. Entire plot threads, including some major boss fights, can be solved just by saying the right things to the right people.

Web Animation
  • In its early seasons, Red Vs Blue was, essentially, "People in armor stand around saying funny things to each other." Later seasons have ramped up the action ratio, though the series still relies more on dialogue to move things along than action.

Webcomics

  • The vast majority of Homestuck's plot is told through pesterlogs - records of online conversations between characters.

Western Animation


Community Feedback Replies: 93
  • September 9, 2012
    polarbear2217
    Literature Kiss Of The Spider Woman is ALL in dialogue.
  • September 9, 2012
    Mauri
    Wasn't it referred as wall of text?
  • September 9, 2012
    Folamh3
    Wall Of Text doesn't have to be dialogue, and it's only relevant to this trope in the case of literature. I will add it to the list of related tropes at the end, however.
  • September 9, 2012
    TrollBrutal
    Aaron Sorkin-verse

    Glen Garry Glen Ross

    Twelve Angry Men... Most Theathre and adaptations in fact, Courtroom Drama etc
  • September 9, 2012
    ArkadyDarell
    Video Game
    • Planescape Torment is quite possibly the most dialogue-heavy game that isn't a Visual Novel. Entire plot threads, including some major boss fights, can be solved just by saying the right things to the right people.

    Web Animation
    • In its early seasons, Red Vs Blue was, essentially, "People in armor stand around saying funny things to each other." Later seasons have ramped up the action ratio, though the series still relies more on dialogue to move things along than action.

    I wonder if Script Fic and Log Fic might also be worth a mention, since they are frequently dialogue-heavy by their nature.
  • September 9, 2012
    SeanMurrayI
    Not a fan of the snowclone title, which would be very easy to avoid. This could very well be called Dialogue-Driven Work or something, and the page's focus would be just as clear, if not moreso.

    Anyway, Annie Hall. As Roger Ebert notes, "Few viewers probably notice how much of Annie Hall consists of people talking, simply talking. They walk and talk, sit and talk, go to shrinks, go to lunch, make love and talk, talk to the camera, or launch into inspired monologues like Annie's free-association as she describes her family to Alvy."
  • September 9, 2012
    Folamh3
    @Sean Murray 1 - I'm not too keen on "Dialogue-Driven Work", as it suggests works in which the plot is driven by the dialogue. While this is true of lots of the examples above, this trope encompasses works in which there is little plot to start with. If you have any other suggestions though, I'd love to hear them.
  • September 9, 2012
    SeanMurrayI
    Exactly, these works and their premises are moved principally through dialogue. "Little plot to start with" still means there IS a plot present, and in every one of these examples, that plot is being developed and moved forward substantially through dialogue and conversation.
  • September 9, 2012
    Folamh3
    True, but in some of these examples (My Dinner With Andre, Waiting For Godot) there is no plot at all, and hence there's nothing for the dialogue to drive forward.

    All I think is that your potential title gives the unwanted impression that, in order to qualify for this trope, a work must necessarily have the plot or premise driven forward by dialogue. But it is possible for a work to have loads of dialogue in it and still have the plot driven forward by the actions of the characters. For example, The Social Network is very dialogue-heavy, but the plot is driven forward by what the characters do as well as what they say: the founding of Facebook, for example, or Eduardo freezing the bank account.
  • September 9, 2012
    SeanMurrayI
    ''Waiting For Godot' has a plot--two characters wait for another character and try to pass the time in the meantime.

    My Dinner With Andre has a plot--two friends sit down for dinner and debate philosophies on life.

    Perhaps both of these works would best be fitting of the term "character study", but the fact is that these works still have a premise, they still have characters, both of those things are still being developed through dialogue and conversation, and the dialogue is about the only thing that keeps the story going in both works. It would still be appropriate if I call call them both Dialogue-Driven Works, whether you personally like that term or not.
  • September 9, 2012
    KarjamP
  • September 9, 2012
    Folamh3
    Right, I take your point about Godot and Andre. But as I mentioned above, in order to qualify for this trope it's not necessary that the story be actually driven forward by dialogue. Some of the examples on this page are works in which the plot/premise/characters are driven forward exclusively by dialogue, but not all of them. All that's necessary to qualify for this trope is that the work in question has lots of dialogue in it. It's not necessary that this dialogue be used to drive the plot or develop the characters. It's not necessary that works which use this trope even HAVE plot or characters. All that's necessary is that there's a lot of dialogue present.
  • September 9, 2012
    SeanMurrayI
    In that case then, you're not even defining an objective concept because you're not drawing a line in the sand as to what is and is not "a lot" of a dialogue. "A lot" is purely a subjective quantity.

    Does Titanic have "a lot" of dialogue by virtue of that film being twice more than as long as American Pie and, therefore, would contain much more dialogue?

    At least if you would focus on gathering examples that describe works being developed and driven forward principally (not "exclusively", as you wrote; there IS a difference) through character dialogue, you'd be laying down an objective measure and could determine examples based on how that copious dialogue affects how a story is told, rather than how much dialogue it contains.

    Are editors going to have to count out the number of lines of dialogue a work contains and see if it meets some high number you want to set as constituting "a lot"? What if somebody thought American Pie has "a lot" of dialogue present?
  • September 9, 2012
    swmrgrl12
    V for Vendetta is notable in that everything in the boxes is spoken dialogue. The speaker is often off-screen, narrating a series of events shown in the following panels.
  • September 9, 2012
    Folamh3
    As I mentioned above in the description, the criteria for whether a work qualifies for this trope or not are difficult to pin down, but a rule of thumb is that a typical scene in a work using this trope consists of two or more characters talking to each other. That is to say, a majority of scenes in the play/film consist of that. So, for argument's sake, if a film contains ten scenes and three of them consist of just characters sitting around talking to each other, while the other seven are action-heavy, it's not this trope. If it contains ten scenes and six or seven of them consist of just characters sitting around talking to each other, it probably does qualify as this trope. We could get into semantic debates about what constitutes a scene, or how rapidly they have to be talking in order to qualify for this trope; this is just a rule of thumb. The essential thing is that a majority of the content of the work consists of dialogue. That is an objective measure. If one was so inclined, one could analyse the running time of a film and count how many minutes of the film consist of dialogue. I'm not going to do that for every film mentioned above; as with many other tropes on this wiki, this one is governed by rules of thumb.

    I think we might, in fact, be discussing two related but separate concepts. I'm discussing a hypothetical trope in which most of a work consists of dialogue, regardless of the purpose that dialogue serves. You're talking about works in which the plot, characters and/or premise are principally driven forward by dialogue, regardless of how much dialogue is actually present. I might even suggest creating an entirely new YKTTW concerning the latter, because it sounds very tropeable. I'd be happy to make some suggestions for it if you want to create it
  • September 9, 2012
    SeanMurrayI
    "...[A] rule of thumb is that a typical scene in a work such as this consists of two or more characters talking to each other."

    And that would be the same as saying, "A work is typically developed and carried by the dialogue characters have," which is what I've been describing all along. I don't understand why you're disagreeing with anything I've been describing.
  • September 9, 2012
    Folamh3
    Just because a typical scene consists of two characters talking to each other, that doesn't mean that their dialogue is necessarily "developing" anything or "driving" anything. If I filmed two actors saying the words "dog" and "cat" to each other in the same bored, monotone voice for half an hour, that would not "develop" anything. There would be no plot to speak of, this non-existent plot would not be developed as a consequence of their saying the same words to each other over and over again, their relationship would not grow and develop. It would simply be a work consisting primarily (indeed, exclusively) of dialogue, in which said dialogue serves no purpose in the context of the plot, premise or characters.

    I appreciate that there are works in which the plot is driven principally or exclusively by dialogue, but there can still be works which consist of mostly dialogue, but the plot or premise are nevertheless not driven forward principally by dialogue. Just because a work consists mostly of dialogue, that does not necessarily entail that this dialogue is used to in order to develop the plot or the character or whatever.
  • September 9, 2012
    SeanMurrayI
    "Just because a typical scene consists of two characters talking to each other, that doesn't mean that their dialogue is necessarily 'developing' anything or 'driving' anything."

    It DOES if "a typical scene in a work... consists of just two or more characters talking to each other." Otherwise, pick one of your examples, remove all those scenes of people talking from the work, and tell me that work would be unchanged (or, in some cases, that there would even be a work left at all) by doing this.

    If your "rule of thumb" is supposed to be works where "a typical scene consists of characters talking to each other", you can bet your life on saying, "This is a work that is developed and carried by scenes of people talking / dialogue."
  • September 9, 2012
    Folamh3
    May I ask, what's exactly the problem with the trope description as it stands? I appreciate that you may have a point as far the dialogue "developing" the work goes, but I don't believe it's necessary to change the title just to reflect that. I fear that if I change the title to "Dialogue-Driven Work" or something like that, and the trope description accordingly, it'll just lead to piles of semantic debates about whether the dialogue in this or that film really "drove" or "developed" the film or not. It's not that I think you're wrong necessarily, it's just that I think a description like "a work which is developed and carried by dialogue" is much more liable to be misinterpreted than "a work which consists primarily of dialogue". Especially in that I believe it'll lead people to think this trope refers only to works in which the plot is primarily or exclusively driven or developed by dialogue, which it doesn't.
  • September 9, 2012
    Folamh3
    If your main objection is just to the snowclone title, I'd be happy to change it to "Dialogue-Heavy Work" or something to that effect. I have no especial attachment to the snowclone, although I think it captures the sense of the work well enough.
  • September 9, 2012
    SeanMurrayI
    My initial point was with the snowclone title and only the title.

    The description is fine. It outlines dialogue as "an exceptionally useful tool" in storytelling, and then goes on to describe when that tool is greatly relied upon in works. Semantics doesn't factor into this so much that you're already talking about a narrative "tool".

    All narrative tools (and there are several) mainly function to develop or drive/carry some part of the story; what you're outlining here is when one of those tools (dialogue) is used exceptionally so in a narrative.

    EDIT: "Dialogue-Heavy Work" would generally have the same problem as saying you're looking for examples of works with "a lot" of dialogue. It only alludes to a vague, subjective quantity that doesn't really help describe what substance you really do have here.
  • September 9, 2012
    Folamh3
    Okay, that's fine. Now we just need to think of a new title. "Loads and Loads of Dialogue" isn't to your liking. "Dialogue-Driven Work" is likely to be misinterpreted. "Dialogue-Heavy Work" is rather vague.

    Majority-Dialogue Work, maybe? Dialogue-Centric Work? Speech-Centric Work? A bit clunky, admittedly. If you have any more suggestions please let me know.

    I've also amended the trope description to allow for cases in which one character is speaking by themselves (for example, one-man theatrical shows). If you have any title suggestions which would reflect that, they'd probably be ideal.
  • September 9, 2012
    KevinKlawitter
    • Cormac Mc Carthy's play The Sunset Limited is almost all dialogue between two characters, to the point where it is sometimes described as "a novel in dramatic from".

    • Of course, there's also the whole genre of Socratic Dialogues, such as Plato's The Republic, which is a historical text describing Socrates' political theories in dialogue form.
  • September 9, 2012
    TrollBrutal
    Frost Nixon (movie and play) is based on the historical interviews after Nixon's scandals and resignation. The movie expands beyond the broadcast of the conversation with the setup and circumstances of said interviews.
  • September 10, 2012
    McKathlin
    It looks like the description is trying to be an example of Loads And Loads Of Dialogue, but it's actually a monologue. By definition, a dialog is a conversation between two or more individuals. Let's start with a straight description, and then set up a self-demonstrating one later for fun.
  • September 10, 2012
    McKathlin
    With very few exceptions, the entire Theatre medium is dialogue-heavy.
  • September 10, 2012
    ArkadyDarell
    Storytelling Through Speech?

    All Talk, No Action?
  • September 10, 2012
    Folamh3
    @Mc Kathlin - I realized that shortly after writing the original description and amended it slightly to account for that. I need a new title that reflects that this trope can encompass monologues or soliloquies in addition to dialogue.

    I wouldn't go quite so far as to say "With very few exceptions, the entire Theatre medium" fits this trope.
  • September 10, 2012
    Folamh3
    @Arkady Darell - I appreciate the suggestions, but both of those give the unwanted impression that this trope only refers to works where the plot is dialogue-driven. It doesn't exclusively refer to that, however. More suggestions are of course welcome.
  • September 10, 2012
    ArkadyDarell
    ^ "All Talk, No Action" doesn't, actually.

    Though I admit I agree with SeanMurray, in that a dialogue-heavy work kind of by default drives the plot, even a thin one, via dialogue.
  • September 10, 2012
    Folamh3
    Well, the key to this trope is that the works feature a MAJORITY of dialogue. That doesn't mean they have no action. I appreciate that you probably didn't mean that literally but I worry it might be taken as such.

    Possibility: "A Little Less Conversation"?
  • September 10, 2012
    KevinKlawitter
    The problem with something like "A Little Less Conversation" or "All Talk, No Action" is that the title creates the implication that somebody who uses this trope is doing something wrong, and there's nothing at all wrong with a work done entirely or almost entire through dialogue.

    Something like "Dialogue Centric Work" might be comparatively clunky, but it's descriptive and doesn't imply an attitude, and unlike other tropes where an attitude is appropriate or even welcome in the title (although these have become increasingly rare) this sort of thing, being a form of storytelling, requires objectivity.
  • September 11, 2012
    Medinoc
  • September 11, 2012
    Folamh3
    Fine by me, though I'll make it Speech-Centric Work to encompass the use of monologues etc.
  • September 11, 2012
    NimmerStill
    I suppose The Kings Speech isn't what you're talking about here?
  • September 11, 2012
    TrollBrutal
    In Treatment is composed entirely of Doctor-Patients talks.
  • September 11, 2012
    TrollBrutal
    In The Breakfast Club five high-school teenagers spend most of their 8 hour detention getting to know each other by talking about their backstories and life circumstances.
  • September 13, 2012
    Tuckerscreator
    • Quentin Tarantino's films contain a great amount of conversation, occasionally intercut with brief moments of shocking violence. There's a reason his films are sometimes nicknamed "talkies".
    • Christopher Nolan's films, while recently containing much action, also rely heavily on dialogue and speeches from the characters. The Dark Knight has speeches from Alfred, the Joker, Harvey Dent, Gordon, all on their differing viewpoints. At least half of Inception is exposition explaining the nature of the dream heists before diving in.

    I'd add an example about Joss Whedon, but I haven't seen enough of his stuff and someone else could probably write about him better.
  • September 13, 2012
    Folamh3
    I agree, though I don't know much about Whedon either.
  • September 13, 2012
    Embryon
    Under Live Action TV, I nominate:
    • The Trip. It's practically 100% conversations: at restaurants, in the car, on the phone, etc. There is also basically no plot -- the only thing that happens is that Steve and his long-distance girlfriend end up breaking up, although they were already essentially broken up at the beginning of the series anyway.
    • Gilmore Girls. Many scenes on this relationship-focused show were just characters discussing things that have happened/may happen at another point in the episode/season. Not only were these conversations frequent, they were relentlessly fast-paced and quirky, a style parodied in this MAD TV sketch.

    By the way, I wouldn't launch this without seriously shortening the description.

    And this trope is definitely related to Talking Heads. Might even be a duplicate.
  • September 13, 2012
    TrollBrutal
    Nolan under speech-centric irks me a little I must say, it broadens it too much and opens the door for misuse as in action films with occasional heavy exposition or/and Fauxlosophic Narration a la The Matrix, his Batmans are more propulsed by Villains Act Heroes React IMO, they just happen to be also well rounded.

    Just my opinion. Anyway, similar to In Treatment, In The Sopranos, Tony's sessions with his therapist are one of the pillars of the show; talking about his issues and concerns is both a valve of escape for him and an insight on Tony's backstory, soul and mental process. There is also the occasional criminal violence, but most of the management and character exploration is done via personal meetings and face-to-face conversations since surveillance is a very real threat. Plot relevant dinner-table talks abound. Seinfindial (sp) dialogues are sometimes attempted but generally scoffed [I should be more brief]

  • September 17, 2012
    TonyG
    Dr Katz Professional Therapist. Every scene is either one of Katz's therapy sessions or a conversation between him and one of his friends or family.
  • September 19, 2012
    mrincodi
  • September 19, 2012
    mrincodi
    This tends to happen in theater, and in movie adaptations from theater.
  • September 19, 2012
    darkclaw
    Death Note consists primarily of dialogue and mind games between Chessmasters. And death.
  • September 19, 2012
    mrincodi
  • September 19, 2012
    mrincodi
    This tends to happen in theater, and in movie adaptations from theater.
  • September 20, 2012
    Folamh3
    Glengarry Glen Ross is already listed as an example. Thanks, though.
  • September 20, 2012
    mrincodi
    Welcome. Sorry for posting twice. My mistake.
  • September 23, 2012
    Aries
    • The Ace Attorney videogame series is a popular Visual Novel. Where as most videogames are known for heavy action scenes and boss fights, Ace Attorney games are based ENTIRELY on dialogue. It works due to heavy use of drama, Rule Of Cool, and Mundane Made Awesome. Court battles are reminiscent of actual fights due to the light and sound effects, and the game is set in a World Of Ham. Because of all this, you tend to forget that all you are doing in the games is mostly pointing and clicking.
  • September 24, 2012
    Xtifr
    The description is a little tl;dr, and much of it seems like it might be more suited to the analysis tab. Also, why the odd quotation marks?

    • Steven Brust's To Reign In Hell, a pastiche of Roger Zelazny, exaggerates Zelazny's tendency to have long sections of dialog with zero added text, by having entire chapters which consist entirely of pure dialog, leaving the reader to infer the identity of the speakers and their tone, location, and actions from what they say.
  • September 24, 2012
    Folamh3
    @Xtifr - I agree, I intend to trim it down a little more shortly. The quotation marks are there so as to make it a Self Demonstrating Article.
  • September 25, 2012
    ClockStopping
    • The vast majority of Homestuck's plot is told through pesterlogs - records of online conversations between characters.
  • September 26, 2012
    TrollBrutal
    Whos Afraid Of Virginia Woolf (movie and play) is almost entirely driven by dialogue, four characters share a dinner which quickly turns into a verbal war, a battle of bitter or witty insults between hosts and guests.

    Something of this can be added to the Before Sunrise entry: The sequel, Before Sunset continues the trend and moves the setting to Paris, where the duo reunites and catches up nine years later. (A still to be released third film is set in Greece) ... edit : or something briefer since the works share the same page after all.

    I was wondering if the works that are based on or revolve around wiretapping would fit in here, particularly The Wire and The Conversation, The Lives Of Others... there's lot of stuff going on besides the premise but the speech-interception it's a vital part. It could be argued against the categorization since they use it as a Plot Device, but it's an idea nevertheless... I'm really on the fence about those.

    Made up my mind about this one
    • The Conversation is a psychological thriller that revolves around a surveillance expert working a very hard case, he records the titular conversation between the wife of the client and her lover and examines it over and over again via Rewind Replay Repeat.
  • September 26, 2012
    Folamh3
    The Conversation certainly counts. I wouldn't be entirely sure about The Lives Of Others as I haven't seen it in a few years, although I do recall a significant number of scenes which were largely non-verbal. I wouldn't know about The Wire as I've never seen it.
  • September 26, 2012
    WolfgangAmadeusPenis
    Atlas Shrugged. Who is John Galt?
  • September 30, 2012
    isk2837
    The Widower Maker is an all-dialogue Harry Potter fanfic.
  • October 1, 2012
    ArkadyDarell
    I'm going to agree that the description needs to be tightened somewhat before being ready for launch, especially since some of the text would be better suited to the Analysis tab.
  • October 2, 2012
    Dhalilhia
    "The Man From Earth" is a film entirely set in a room, with character doing nothing but speaking. One ot them claims he's actually 14,000 years old, and the others try to understand if he's telling the truth or not.
  • October 3, 2012
    morenohijazo
    Plato and Aristotle make this Older Than Feudalism.
  • October 8, 2012
    Folamh3
    One more hat lads. Let's do it.
  • October 9, 2012
    Folamh3
    Launching tomorrow. If you have any last-minute suggestions please let me know.
  • October 10, 2012
    FastEddie
    Description wanders a good bit. Cut about 25%, and shoot for at least something amusing.
  • October 15, 2012
    TheNinth
    My Dinner with Andre. Put it in your own words. Don't just copy and paste from Wikipedia.
  • October 15, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    Like Ace Attorney above, the Professor Layton game series are (besides one or two animation scenes) entirely dialogue.
  • October 16, 2012
    KarjamP
    Fast Eddie is the owner of this site.

    I'd recommend to follow him first before launching.

    Besides, somehow, this trope now has only one hat.
  • October 16, 2012
    Folamh3
    Yes, I intend to, I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

    It had five hats a few days ago which is why I was about to launch it, but someone seems to have removed four of them. I'm not entirely sure what to make of that sort of behaviour, but what are you going to do.
  • October 16, 2012
    Fighteer
    <Moderator Notice> Removing hats is something that can be done by anyone in response to a trope that is not ready to publish. Rather than complain about it, fix the issues.
  • October 16, 2012
    Folamh3
    I realize that, and I fully intend to fix the issues raised. But I don't understand why each troper is only allowed to add one hat, but can remove as many as they like. (I'm assuming that the four hats removed were all removed by one person, unless it really was just a coincidence, in which case never mind.)
  • October 16, 2012
    FastEddie
    No, each troper may only add or subtract one hat. Just turned out that a few folks pulled hats at around the same time.

  • October 16, 2012
    Madrugada
    Also, please keep in mind that a hat doesn't mean "I think this is a valid trope" or "I think this is a good idea for a page". It means "I think this is a valid trope and that it is ready to launch exactly as it stands now."
  • October 16, 2012
    Madrugada
    Waiting For Godot is 90% Vladimir and Estragon standing (or sitting, or lying) around talking. The other 10% is Pozzo and Lucky (and the boy) talking.

    The play (but not the film) of Dial M For Murder is almost entirely dialogue. The radio play it is based on, Sorry Wrong Number is entirely dialogue.

    The Play Witness For The Prosecution is all simply various people in various combinations talking.
  • October 16, 2012
    Folamh3
    Oh, in that case I apologize for the misunderstanding. I was under the impression that a single person had removed four hats.
  • October 17, 2012
    ArkadyDarell
    It's mainly the description that's the problem, IMHO. IMHO I would just completely cut the first and fourth paragraphs. We already know what dialogue is, and we don't need to justify/apologize for the trope. Then rewrite the second paragraph a bit to be the new lead paragraph.
  • October 17, 2012
    Folamh3
    I'll clean it up a bit shortly. Thanks for the suggestions.
  • October 17, 2012
    Arivne
    If someone Adds a hat and then Removes a hat, that removes the hat they originally gave plus another hat.

    So it's possible that two people who gave a hat removed them, thus subtracting four hats.
  • October 18, 2012
    DaibhidC
    Radio
    • All radio drama, obviously. Even when they're action-packed, by necessity they're about people describing the action.
  • October 20, 2012
    morenohijazo
    If you're going to make it a Self Demonstrating Article, you should modify the description.
  • October 20, 2012
    Folamh3
    How so?
  • October 20, 2012
    ArkadyDarell
    Rewrite it to be an actual dialogue, would be my vote. Right now it looks like a normal description, just with the (easily overlooked) "concluded Alice" bit tacked on.

    As an aside, I realized this might actually make a good page quote:

    Tucker: Oh please, who would watch that movie? All we ever do is stand around and talk!
    -- Red Vs Blue, Season 9 Episode 9
  • October 21, 2012
    Folamh3
    Okay, rephrasing it like a dialogue might work.

    I'm going to pass on that quote though. It packs in two unrelated concepts which I worry might lead to unnecessary confusion.
  • October 21, 2012
    ArkadyDarell
    Well, you can remove the potholes if you want; I just added them from force of habit. It's mostly a self-referential joke that, well, the series involves people standing around talking a lot.
  • October 27, 2012
    MetaFour
    You'll probably want to differentiate between this and Featureless Plane Of Disembodied Dialogue in the description.
  • October 28, 2012
    WeAreAllKosh
    Live-Action TV

    Babylon 5 had two episodes which were centered primarily on dialog, in one setting: "Comes the Inquisitor" and "Intersections in Real Time". Both were interrogations, in differing contexts.
  • October 29, 2012
    TonyG
  • November 2, 2012
    Tuckerscreator
    As mentioned above, anyone know enough about Joss Whedon to write an example about him?
  • November 2, 2012
    Folamh3
    @Tuckerscreator - Yes, that would certainly be helpful.
  • November 8, 2012
    ArkadyDarell
    Any luck with the description getting cleaned up? That's really the only thing keeping this trope from being ready to go, IMHO.
  • November 8, 2012
    Folamh3
    I've been trimming it down a lot, it's substantially shorter than it was originally. Have you any particular suggestions? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
  • November 8, 2012
    ArkadyDarell
    I personally would get rid of the fourth paragraph entirely, or move it to the eventual Analysis tab. The first three paragraphs look much better, though.

    I'd also honestly just get rid of the self-demonstrating aspect. It still doesn't look at all like an actual conversation, but just a normal description with "said <x>" tacked on here and there. You'd have to almost rewrite it entirely to do the joke properly, IMHO.

    That's just my two cents.
  • November 8, 2012
    Tuckerscreator
    You could add this to the Quentin Tarantino example. I haven't seen his other films, but can speak for this one.

    • Inglourious Basterds starts with talk, continues with talk, and ends with talk, so much that the usual Action Film Quiet Drama Scene balance is reversed. Indeed, the action scenes are brutal but brief, and many of the conversations's are about insignificant topics, instead serving to increase the suspense as the person being spoken to slowly realizes that they're doomed. Notable examples include Hans Landa's speech about how he's learned to hunt Jews, or the conversation at a bar where Allied spies struggle with a Gestapo officer who has chosen to sit with them.
  • November 12, 2012
    PaulA
  • November 14, 2012
    Folamh3
    C'mon lads, nearly there.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable