Created By: Chukwa on October 16, 2011 Last Edited By: Chukwa on March 3, 2018

Heavily Implied/All But Stated

The author didn\'t have to say it, you should just get it.

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May Need A Better Name, Needs More Examples

Bob asks Alice why is afraid of dogs. She tells Bob there is no particular reason why, but as she scratches her ankle, the audience can see a rather nasty bite mark on her leg, out of Bob's view. It is never discussed again thoroughly.

Often, characters will have a Freudian Excuse for a behavior they have. But the writer doesn't need to tell you exactly what that Excuse was. Sometimes, little pieces of dialogue or certain actions toward things can give hints as to what exactly happened to them.

The range of hints can range from The Blatantly Obvious to Viewers Are Geniuses.

This may be a case of People Sit on Chairs


  • In Full Metal Jacket, When Hartman asks who Charles Whitman, a sniper who went on a shooting spree in Texas, was, Cowboy, a soldier from Texas, is the only one to answer. Later, when 8Ball and Doc Jay have both been shot and are in the sniper's view, Cowboy says "I've seen this before!", which may be subtle implying that Cowboy was relating the Viet Cong sniper to Whitman.
  • In Up, It is never really said directly that Russel's parent's were separated, but it's easy enough to tell from a few very obvious lines of dialogue.

Should We Have This?, Repair, Don't Respond
Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • October 16, 2011
    Sounds like Subtext.
  • March 4, 2012
    Bump - maybe this could be added onto the Subtext entry or something?
  • April 11, 2012
    There's currently a discussion for Implied Trope in another YKTTW entry.
  • April 11, 2012
    Definitely a YMMV. Perhaps a message like "crime doesn't pay", but is never really stated, but IMPLIED. The The Lorax has a strong enviromental message, but I don't think it ever blatantly says "industrialism is bad". Hiyao Miyazaki's movies have an underlying message that girls can be self sufficient, but that isn't even the main point of the movies, and it is never "stated"
  • April 11, 2012
    I would say this is anything but People Sit On Chairs, although Subtext might cover it.

    I don't think this is about themes, but factual statements that the creators meant to convey. However, it should probably be restricted to Word Of God, or particularly undeniable "coincidences" that one still might have missed.
  • April 12, 2012
    ^Not to mention critics taking Law Of Conservation Of Detail and Death Of The Author too far and reading stuff in a work that wasn't even there.
  • April 12, 2012
    ^^^^ There's a difference between implying a trope and implying something that is not a trope. I'd say that difference is sufficiently significant to warrant stating "When what is implied is a trope, that is Implied Trope." on this page and "When something is implied, but not a trope, that is All But Stated (or whatever this is launched as)." on that page.

    And regarding subtext, quite frankly, that page doesn't explain anything.
  • April 12, 2012
    I can't think of an example when a work's theme isn't this (well, except when they're not so heavily implied).
  • April 12, 2012
    It's all but stated that Laguna is Squall's father.
  • April 12, 2012
    Isn't this already apply to "Show, Don't Tell"?
  • April 12, 2012
    @RandomFlyingCoconut: I think the difference would be in degree. With "Show, Don't Tell", there's still a certain amount of hand-holding by the author; most people who have basic reading comprehension can figure it out quickly. For example, "He saw a blinding flash and felt a warmth on his face. Suddenly he was hurled back." Most people will pretty much instantly recognize that an explosion occurred. This trope, while related, is much more subtle. At worst, I'd classify it as a subtrope of Show Dont Tell, but at best I'd say it'd deserve to be it's own trope.
  • March 3, 2018
  • March 3, 2018
    The trope description says this is Peope Sit On Chairs, so lets take its word and discard this.