Staging An Intervention
Friends and family of a character have come together to force the character to deal with an issue
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(permanent link) added: 2011-03-12 01:41:58 sponsor: Gareth34 edited by: InTheMirror (last reply: 2014-04-15 03:57:02)

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Hi, we've all come here to explain how not having a page on the "intervention" trope is affecting us, and to offer our support if you want to change this.

I wanted to read about the trope where a character's friends and family get together and try to change his behaviour in some way. But all I could find was a page for a show called "Intervention", which involves interventions, but nothing on the trope itself.

This is an Undead Horse Trope. In serious examples, the person being intervened on has a serious problem, and the people doing the intervention have good intentions. However, this is often subjected to parody. The person being intervened on may have no so serious addiction, the intervention may be staged as a form of revenge against the person, or may be Played for Laughs in other ways.

May involve the phrase "We've made you an appointment, and we'd like you to keep it."

Not having a trope page for interventions is hurting us all. We want you to take the first step and create a page.

Contrast Poisonous Friend.



Comic Books
  • Mary Worth had the cast hold an intervention to stop Aldo Kelrast from stalking Mary.
  • In Superior Spider-Man #7, The Avengers stage an intervention when they see that Spider-Man no longer conforms to their standards.
  • Marvel Comics parody comic Marvel Now What had the Watchers holding an intervention for their most famous member Uatu to deal with his habit of intervening in human events. Except that at the end they realize that holding an intervention violates their code of non-intervention!

  • But I'm a Cheerleader: Megan's family has an intervention to tell her that she's a lesbian and to send her off to anti-gay camp.
  • The sharks in Finding Nemo do this when one of them gets a whiff of blood.
  • There's also the inciting incident in The Hangover Part III.
  • In Failure To Launch, the main leads are locked in a room together by their friends, with the guy taped to a chair, so they can work out their problems.
  • It's the main plot of Life of the Party with the twist being that the therapist doesn't show up and the people involved try to wing it.

  • Nicholas Meyer's take on legendary detective Sherlock Holmes, The Seven Per Cent Solution has Sherlock's brother Mycroft Holmes, Doctor Watson and Professor Moriarty arrange to lure Sherlock Holmes to Vienna, Austria in order to receive hypnosis treatment for Sherlock's cocaine addiction from psychologist Sigmund Freud.

Live-Action TV
Barney: frequent magic tricks, specifically those involving fire.
Barney: not taking off the old man suit.
Barney: give his father a second chance and have dinner with him.
Lily: use of fake British accents.
Marshall: refusing to take off a hat.
Marshall: constant use of charts.
Robin: obsession with spray tans.
Ted: marrying Stella before they knew each other.
Ted: for his pretentious pronunciations; for example: "encyclopædia". (Not actually seen)
Ted: love for a married woman.
Stuart: for drinking. (This was done with other people)
The Gang: for hosting too many interventions. (Called the "Intervention" intervention.)
Barney: for his plan to move in with Quinn. (Called the Quin-ntervention.)
Robin: her obsession with Barney

  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • The guys and Penny stage an intervention for Sheldon to make him get a driver's license.
    • There's also the example where Sheldon is sacked for insubordination and becomes a recluse, weaving obscure garments and surrounding himself with cats: his mother is called in to co-ordinate a rescue.
  • Intervention. Possibly one of the few examples of this being taken seriously.
  • My Name Is Earl: When Earl decides to abandon his list, his friends stage an intervention to make him be good again.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: In The Magical Voyage of Sinbad, The Big Guy proves his strength by wrestling a bear. The SOL crew's dialogue turns it into the bear staging an intervention for the guy.
  • A serious example is an intervention to stop Chris from taking heroin on The Sopranos. It's fairly hypocritical on the part of the mob guys calling Chris out on his addiction, which he doesn't fail to point out. It turns violent when Chris insults his own mother and Paulie beats his face in.
  • On 30 Rock, Jenna puts the idea of an intervention into a few of the other characters' minds in a bid for attention. Things don't turn out so well, when the rest of the cast stages a real intervention.
  • Seinfeld. In "The Pez Dispenser," Jerry grudgingly hosts an intervention for an old friend.
  • Frasier has one in the episode where Frasier is depressed from losing his job. I'm all but certain that there are others.
  • Not to mention That '70s Show, which has multiple pot interventions, including one for Hyde's sobriety, of all things. (Leo even goes so far as to say, "You have a problem with drugs.")
  • On Just Shoot Me! has an intervention for Dennis, who has been dating a woman who keeps humiliating him but he can't get himself to leave her. Nina, who apparently has been in the receiving end of some interventions, is glad to be in on the other side of one.
  • In Elementary, after Sherlock takes Joan on as an apprentice her friends do this to her in "Deja Vu All Over Again," thinking that she's looking for a purpose after quitting medicine. They try to pretend it isn't an intervention, but Joan sees right through them after having been a sobriety companion in her second career and helping set up several.
  • In Breaking Bad's first season, Skyler calls the family over for an intervention to try to get Walt to take the chemotherapy treatment (and the money offered by Gretchen and Elliot to pay for it) for his cancer, since Walt was unwilling to do that.
  • Orphan Black: Alison's husband and friends try to stage one about her recent odd behavior (due to her clone Sarah filling in for her), her increasing alcoholism, and torturing her husband when she suspected that he was her secret monitor/handler.
  • Saturday Night Live, in a Weekend Update segment.
    Seth Meyers: NBC announced that Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb will host a primetime special on the network called A Toast to 2013 in which they recount their favorite stories from the past year. But whispering behind his hand shh, it's actually an intervention.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer has the Scoobies stage an intervention for Buffy when her odd behavior towards Spike worries them. It was actually Spike's Buffybot that was acting out of character.
  • In the first part of the first season finale on Leverage, the team confronts Nate, who's been in a drunken stupor through much of it, about his habits. He thinks they're pulling an intervention and are going to drag him off to rehab, but they have other ideas. 'They're going to help him get revenge on those responsible for his son's death.
  • In an episode of Chuck, Casey is starting to get a little stir crazy after being stuck in Burbank for weeks and his daughter mentions the others are about to have an intervention if he doesn't cool down.
  • In one episode of Parks and Recreation, the rest of the cast stages an intervention for Ron after he again comes under the control of his vampy ex-wife, Tammy II (whenever this happens, he turns into a weird sex freak).
  • Supernatural: In an effort to get Sam Winchester off of Demon Blood, his brother, Dean, and Bobby Singer confront him and have him locked up in a rehabilitation chamber. It doesn't stop Sam as he is transported out by Angels as part of their plan to start the apocalypse.
  • Once Upon a Time: After Snow White drinks Rumpelstiltskin's potion to make her forget Prince Charming, she starts to get really mean and unpleasant to the point that the dwarves confront her as a group. It backfires when she decides to go kill the evil queen.

Web Comics
  • The webcomic Two Guys and Guy has a subverted intervention in which the goal is to get the character to stop hinting that he has a problem and shut up.

Web Video

Western Animation
  • On The Simpsons Homer recalls playing pictionary earlier in the week. It was really an intervention.
    Homer: I hope it's as fun as Pictionary was last week!
    Bart: Dad, we weren't playing Pictionary. That was an intervention to stop your drinking.
  • Parodied in American Dad! when Steve becomes addicted to an energy drink, and ultimately starts conning his friends out of money to pay for it. They appear in his room to talk, Steve is touched they want to stage an intervention after all the things he done, but in fact they're just there to violently confront him for cheating them.
  • Family Guy:
    • The Very Special Episode had Quagmire and the other holding an intervention for his sister to get her out of an abusive relationship.
    • One cutaway has an intervention concerning Peter wearing a giant novelty hat for months on end.
  • Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law gets one when he gets addicted to tanning creme. Among the people staging this include Phil (Who has a bunch of cigarettes in his mouth) and X (Who has a gambling addiction).
  • Robot Chicken
    • One sketch had Popeye's friends confronting him over his addition to spinach.
    • A parody of Adventures of the Gummi Bears had the bears holding an intervention for Tummi over his addition to gummiberry juice.
  • After Chozen's rekindled romance with his prison boyfriend Jamal leads to tensions with his friends, they stage an intervention to try and convince him that Jamal's a bad influence.
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