Created By: SpiritOfSahara on September 9, 2010 Last Edited By: SpiritOfSahara on September 9, 2010
Troped

Styrofoam Is A Mineral

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Rolling Updates.

Launching within hours - needs opinions on the title

The most popular title for this trope so far: Styrofoam Rocks

Alice and Bob are on an epic adventure to find a treasure buried deep underground. They are making their way through a maze of tunnels, with only a flashlight and an ancient treasure map keeping them from getting lost. But oh no! The villain hot on their heels accidently sets off a bomb and the ground starts shaking under the heroes' feet! The ancient tunnels aren't built sturdily enough to take the tremors and the walls crumble around them!

Except the rocks that fall sort of...bounce when they hit the ground...

When shooting in a studio, you can't just bring in a truckload of rocks and drop them on the actors. Hell, even wood won't work - what if somebody is injured! The rocks could of course be done with CGI, but that would cost quite a deal, and be hard for the actors to properly portray.

What do we have left? Styrofoam!

This trope is a kind of Special Effects Failure and is applicable in every situation where physical objects of some kind is meant to portray rocks, bricks or some other heavy material, but pathetically fails. Probably because it's impossible to be done any other way without risking injuries, especially in older shows, it's become an Acceptable Break from Reality.

Examples:

  • Dragon Ball Evolution: In the climax of the movie, the protagonists are in a valley between rock pillars. Except the rocks look very light.
  • In the climax of Our Man Flint one of Flint's fleeing girlfriends is hit by a styrofoam "boulder" and it bounces right off.
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Ethics", Worf's spine is broken when a cargo container falls on him. It seems almost humourous, since the way it falls and bounces indicates it's so light it wouldn't even hurt a human, let alone a big sturdy Klingon.
  • The opening to UHF makes fun of this, as a rock bounces right off of George Newman's head mid-fantasy and does nothing to him.
  • Stargate SG-1 has an episode with a flashback which reveals how Daniel Jackson's parents were killed. Apparently, they were crushed to death under the collapsing walls of an ancient cardboard temple.
  • Nickelodeon's Legends of the Hidden Temple and Guts were made of this trope. Although they were game shows, so it would have been disturbing if the effect were more convincing.
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • September 4, 2010
    MatthewTheRaven
    A very specific kind of Special Effects Failure.
  • September 4, 2010
    JoeG
    In the climax of Our Man Flint one of Flint's fleeing girlfriends is hit by a styrofoam "boulder" and it bounces right off.
  • September 4, 2010
    billybobfred
    Kingdom Of Loathing might be parodying this with styrofoam ore. Or it might just be silly, in which case it's not an example of this.
  • September 4, 2010
    Koncur
    • In the Star Trek The Next Generation episode "Ethics", Worf's spine is broken when a cargo container falls on him. It seems almost humourous, since the way it falls and bounces indicates it's so light it wouldn't even hurt a human, let alone a big sturdy Klingon.
  • September 4, 2010
    Shrikesnest
    The opening to UHF makes fun of this, as a rock bounces right off of George Newman's head mid-fantasy and does nothing to him.
  • September 4, 2010
    Bailey
    Stargate SG-1 has an episode with a flashback which reveals how Daniel Jackson's parents were killed. Apparently, they were crushed to death under the collapsing walls of an ancient cardboard temple.

  • September 4, 2010
    johnnye
    I was just thinking of suggesting this trope when I was watching Army Of Darkness earlier today.

    Name kind of suggests Made Of Plasticine to me though.

    Styrofoam Rocks? Danger Falling Styrofoam?
  • September 4, 2010
    Bailey
    I like Styrofoam Rocks for the straight up snark value.

    Also Nickelodeon's Legends Of The Hidden Temple and Guts were made of this trope. Although they were game shows, so it would have been disturbing if the effect were more convincing.
  • September 5, 2010
    SpiritOfSahara
    Thanks so far for the stuff - any constructive critique is welcome, this looks to become my first launch ever.
  • September 5, 2010
    CleverPun
    I like the description, but if you want the trope to be broader you need to kind of point that out. I've launched a few trope where I was either too specific or not specific enough, and the examples will reflect the guidelines given in the article. Wiki Magic is funny like that...

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=8dj7dx7h625n7zlh221s0sg7