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Rule of Social Commentary
Plot excesses can be excused by the point they make.
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(permanent link) added: 2012-01-09 17:40:38 sponsor: Westrim (last reply: 2014-08-06 16:28:14)

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All the homeless people roaming around getting shoved in the gutter may not have much to do with the story of a man on the run, but they don't need to- the writer is making a point, hopefully well and not painfully overdone. After all, they want to give you some idea of the world the characters live in, so why not make a point doing so?

Related to Anvilicious and Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped, but not necessarily with a moral. Rule of Symbolism, Rule of Funny, and Rule of Cool are sister tropes- Rule of Symbolism in particular is close, but this requires the actual issue to be put forth, not a symbol. Compare Writer on Board.

Examples:
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex does this in both seasons and the movie
    • The Laughing Man case makes points about corporate-government collusion and the harm it can bring even with good intentions. A medication was suppressed allegedly due to lack of information on how it worked, despite the clear fact that it was working to stop a horrible disease, so that other, less effective medication with more widespread application would get used instead, to the enrichment of the corporations that made it.
    • The second season focuses on self determination of nations and peoples, both between the refugees and Japan, and Japan and the US.
    • Solid State Society pushes several social issues during the central mass kidnapping case, such as how to protect and nurture kids in abusive homes and the issues with caring for the elderly.
  • The pervasiveness of privacy intruding advertising is tangential at best to the plot of Minority Report, but fills out the universe very well.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei is full of this, usually to the benefit of its twisted humor.
  • In Daria, the eponymous character does a Take That against this trope, noting that it can come at the detriment of a work.
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