Created By: Wheezy on April 25, 2011 Last Edited By: pokedude10 on March 9, 2015

The Something Of Somethings

Narrowing down a well-known comparison to fit a more concise grouping.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope

Current Sponsor: Pokedude10

Needs examples that fit the trope, regardless of phrasing.

If you see a Zero-Context Example and know the context, please comment or edit it in.

To do list
  • Add context to examples
  • Finalize name
  • Finalize laconic.

Marge: Sweetie, you could still go to McGill, the Harvard of Canada.
Lisa: Mom, anything that's the "something of something" isn't really the anything of anything.
The Simpsons

Comparisons are a great way to describe someone or something. But an absolute comparison to a well known person, place, or thing, can be too strong. Instead the comparison is narrowed down to a specific field, or circumstance.

Let's say your favorite lawyer is a great person. It could be said he's as kind as Mister Rogers. Well, he's not that nice; he's still a lawyer. So instead you say he's the Mister Rogers of Lawyers.

This does not have to follow any exact phrasing. Any kind of comparison that is narrowed down fits here.

A Sister Trope to Reviewer Standard Comparisons, and it can often lead to an Overly Narrow Superlative. If two different categories are combined to create something new it's X Meets Y.


Examples

Note: Examples do not need to follow the exact phrasing of "something of somethings". It just need to be a comparison that is narrowed down.

Film
  • Parodied in Mrs. Winterbourne, where talk show host Ricki Lake played Connie.
Connie: What's this?
Paco: This is a Rolls Royce.
Connie: Wow, that's like the Cadillac of automobiles, huh?
Paco: No, the Mercedes-Benz is the Cadillac of automobiles. This is a Rolls Royce.

Literature
  • Sherlock Holmes famously describes Professor Moriarty as "the Napoleon of crime" in "The Final Problem" from 1893.

Live-Action TV

New Media

Professional Wrestling
  • A common expression in professional wrestling whenever a tag team breaks up is to argue which among them is "The Jannetty" of their team, referring to the tag team of Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels.

Video Games
  • The Sam & Max: Freelance Police episode "Bright Side of the Moon" has Sam and Max meet Sybil and discover her latest occupation as the literal Queen of Canada.
    Sybil: I have taken a job as the Queen of Canada.
    Max: I thought Rush was the Queen of Canada.

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons give us this "X is Z's Y" formulation.
    Florida?! That's America's wang!
  • Archer seems to really enjoy this trope. The eponymous Sterling Archer in particular drops it on a regular basis:
    • In response to Lana's concern about North Korea, Archer tells her to relax, as North Korea is "the nation-state equivalent of the short bus."
    • When Archer has been tasked with training Cyril to be a field agent, Archer mocks his preconceptions about martial arts.
    Cyril: Will I get to learn Karate?
    Archer: ...Karate? The Dane Cook of martial arts? No.

Real Life
  • A popular brand of canned tuna is called The Chicken of the Sea.

Quotes Page

As written on some random bathroom wall: "The Americans are the Nazis of the 20th century!"
And then below it, written by someone else, "The Nazis are the Nazis of the 20th century, dumbass."
Anonymous

"Otiel Burbridge is the Micheal Jordan of bass guitar."
Derek Trucks
Community Feedback Replies: 95
  • April 25, 2011
    captainbrass2
    • In the Nineties, a number of British media commentators announced that "comedy is the new rock n'roll" in response to the stadium-filling success of Rob Newman and David Baddiel.
  • April 25, 2011
    Scooter007
    Parodied in a film which featured talk-show host Rikki Lake (forgot the name of the film, will research) where she says something along the lines of "Mercedes? That's like the Cadillac of automobiles!"
  • April 25, 2011
    Grain
    I like this article a lot.
  • April 25, 2011
    jaytee
    @captainbrass, that's X Is The New Y, which is a similar but distinct stock phrase. (the note at the bottom would be a subtrope of this)
  • April 25, 2011
    Stratadrake
    An example for webcomics; this might serve as a nice image. [1]

    Alt Text is - "Fine, I'll take off the fake mustache."
  • April 25, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Here's a Straight Dope Message Board discussion of appearances of "X is the Cadillac of Y."

    The Ricki Lake film was Mrs. Winterbourne, where she played Connie.
    Connie: What's this?
    Paco: This is a Rolls Royce.
    Connie: Wow, that's like the Cadillac of automobiles, huh?
    Paco: No, the Mercedes-Benz is the Cadillac of automobiles. This is a Rolls Royce.
  • April 26, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Tech tip: Don't embed images into a YKTTW reply, it breaks the page layout.

    Speaking of the image, it isn't even any good because it's only the caption that provides an example of the trope. Images that require the caption to make sense are not good.
  • April 26, 2011
    MC42
    A common expression in professional wrestling whenever a tag team breaks up is to argue which among them is "The Jannetty" of their team, referring to the tag team of Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels. Most recently used by The Miz and John Morrison.
  • April 26, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    ^^The captions kind of part of the image there on that one I say it works.

    That title though is confusing. I'd almost go for Im The Hitler Of Snuggling or something with names, so long as it illustrates it instead of looking like a math equation.
  • April 26, 2011
    MorganWick
    I'd rather not get too specific. TV Tropes Is The Wikipedia Of Tropes? (runs)
  • April 26, 2011
    jaytee
    The Cadillac Of Cars?

    General enough to get the point across, specific enough that it is aesthetically pleasing, refers to what appears to be one of the most common variants of the trope and we've got Added Alliterative Appeal.
  • April 27, 2011
    Stratadrake
    @Noir: That's not the point. The scene depicted in the image doesn't convey the trope in any sense; it relies on the words captioned underneath it. This falls similarly to LOL Cats and Demotivators; the image does not stand on its own without the text beneath that describes it.

    (And that's not counting the caption wiki markup....) I'd rather play it safe and call non-pictureable.
  • April 27, 2011
    Wheezy
    I wanted this to match X Meets Y and the rest of the tropes on the This Trope Is X index, though.

    Plus, IMO, "The Cadillac Of Cars" only applies to examples of this trope that are DisSimiles or Shaped Like Itself.
  • April 27, 2011
    PapercutChainsaw
    An episode of How I Met Your Mother has Marshall describe a band as "The Wiggles of wedding bands".
  • April 27, 2011
    TonyG
    The Simpsons, "MoneyBART". Lisa feels she can't go to Harvard without an extracurricular activity:
    Marge: Sweetie, you could still go to McGill, the Harvard of Canada.
    Lisa: Mom, anything that's the "something of the something" isn't really the anything of anything.
  • April 27, 2011
    EternalSeptember
    This Trope Is X is a horrible snowclone series, a simple example as a title makes far more sense.

    Any of the above suggestions would be ok.
  • May 8, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    I don't think the current title describes it any better than the last one personally.
  • May 8, 2011
    hevendor717
    The This of That

    The X of Y
  • May 8, 2011
    Pseudonym
    Mitchell and Webb's Peep Show: I'm the Fuhrer. The Fuhrer of Laughs.
  • June 7, 2011
    randomsurfer
    As mentioned on the Overly Narrow Superlative page, films will sometimes be called "the Citizen Kane of [genre x, which may only have one entry]." Such as Shakes the Clown, the Citizen Kane of aloholic clown movies.

    Also, related to Overly Narrow Superlative.
  • June 8, 2011
    Specialist290
    I think X Is The Y Of Z works better than any of the current proposals. The X Of Y could too easily be construed as being a titling trope by casual readers.
  • June 8, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Plus The X Of Y is already taken.

    On the James Bond page, Timothy Dalton is referred to as "The Marmite of Bond actors."
  • June 20, 2011
    fellowman
    The oldest example I know of: Sherlock Holmes famously describes Professor Moriarity as "the Napoleon of crime" in "The Final Problem" from 1893.
  • June 20, 2011
    NomadicLurker
    A Real Life or Music example: Some music critics call Lady Gaga the Madonna of today's music. A somewhat less controversial example would be how some people call New York City the Paris of the United States (at least in some art circles). Or the "Chicken of the Sea" (the brand of tuna).
  • June 20, 2011
    Madeira
    The hitachi magic wand is known as the cadillac of vibrators
  • September 28, 2011
    LordGro
  • October 2, 2011
    Wheezy
    I still like X Is The Y Of Z
  • October 2, 2011
    LuxExterior
    Facebook has a fan page called Pork is the Cheese of Meat.
  • October 2, 2011
    Ultrayellow
    Archer did this in a negative way. When nerdy accountant Cyril was being trained as a secret agent, he asked Archer if he would learn karate. Archer responds: "Karate? The Dane Cook of martial arts?"
  • October 4, 2011
    randomsurfer
    The Simpsons give us this "X is Z's Y" formulation.
    Florida?! That's America's wang!
  • October 19, 2011
    Stratadrake
  • October 21, 2011
    bwburke94
    Change the page image, please. Godwins Law is not appropriate on a trope like this.
  • October 21, 2011
    Queequeg
    Miller High Life is "the champagne of beers."

    And I don't see how that image is a Godwin. Godwin's law is about comparing one side of an issue to Hitler, whereas that image simply uses Hitler to make a funny example.
  • October 21, 2011
    ImaginationInterpreture
    Webcomic: Antihero For Hire, Dec 10th, 2003.
  • October 22, 2011
    Discovery
    What about Something Of The Something, from the page quote?
  • November 21, 2011
    Wheezy
    That used to be the page name. IDK if it was better than the current one or not.
  • November 21, 2011
    troacctid
  • November 21, 2011
    peccantis
    This isn't even a Stock Phrase, it's just a fairly common structure of language. No way you can develop this into a viable trope.
  • November 21, 2011
    Stratadrake
    This YKTTW is the Vanilla of Metaphors.

    (Think about it....)
  • November 22, 2011
    Smasher
    Brevity is the soul of wit, of course, making this older than steam.

    (Does that count though? I haven't read Hamlet in about a year and a half)
  • December 9, 2011
    MidnightMan
    Still accept examples?

    • Get Shorty declares the Oldsmobile Silhouette the Cadillac of mini-vans.
  • December 12, 2011
    Trotzky
    Tim Burton is the Neil de Grasse Tyson of Book to Film adaptations.
  • December 12, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Shakes The Clown calls itself "The Citizen Kane of alcoholic clown movies."

    EDIT: Oh wait, I already mentioned that.
  • December 13, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    Hmm. Am I wrong, or are there aspects of "damning with faint praise" in some examples?
  • December 13, 2011
    ScanVisor
    I dig it. You get a hat. Happy Holidays.
  • December 13, 2011
    surgoshan
  • December 14, 2011
    Statalyzer
    The image is a perfect example here. Rejecting it is just needless quibbling over trialities.
  • December 14, 2011
    Statalyzer
    The image is a perfect example here. Rejecting it is just needless quibbling over trialities.
  • December 21, 2011
    Sligh
    ^^^^^^ Agree.

    Alternative titles: "The Jimmy Donal Wales of TV Tropes", "I'm the Superman of Wikification"
  • January 10, 2012
    nman
    I like the name and picture, so Just Launch It Already
  • January 11, 2012
    Noaqiyeum
    I had no idea what this was supposed to mean before I opened the draft.
  • December 19, 2014
    pokedude10
    It's been 2 years since this was active! I think it's definitely up for grabs by now.

    @Troacctid mentioned that this falls under the No New Stock Phrases policy. I mostly agree. There are some good examples, and I would bet there are plenty more. However, looking at the description, I can't see expanding it much more than a straightforward description of the phrase formula. Because of that, I'm leaning towards this being a stock phrase.

    With that, I make a motion to discard.

    Now... If this turns out to be tropeworthy, I'll be happy to adopt it.
  • December 19, 2014
    DAN004
    Needs a better name, but I believe this is tropeworthy. It's pretty much about comparing someone/oneself with another, but with an added qualifier.
  • December 19, 2014
    pokedude10
    Well that's the problem. I agree with you that the general concept of comparison is somewhat tropeworthy. But the description says that it's a formula, and all the examples, including the name, take the form of the phrase "the x of y." That phrase alone, is exactly that. It can be used to describe someone/something, but I don't think the phrase is a trope.
  • December 20, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Maybe the description can mention how the characters react to being called "the something of something".

    But even then, comparing someone with someone else with certain qualifier helps a lot on describing said someone's characterization/abilities/achievements.
  • December 20, 2014
    pokedude10
    Hmm. Yes, comparisons are a great way to describe someone/something. I'm afraid that is another (possible) trope though, not this.

    This draft purely seems to be limited to comparisons using a stock phrase.
  • December 20, 2014
    SeptimusHeap
    From Ask The Tropers: That title does not seem like a stock phrase or a line of dialogue to me. I have difficulty connecting it to the trope description, though.
  • December 20, 2014
    pokedude10
    Thanks for taking a look. The description is terrible, I'll be rewriting it. Only way I could figure out what the trope was thought the pattern of examples. It could use a better title as well. Thanks again.
  • December 20, 2014
    gallium
    Best name ever.
  • December 20, 2014
    SeptimusHeap
    I've removed the Discard tags. I'll leave the Tropeworthy tag on, because the trope definition seems to be a bit in flux right now. Some definitions may not be tropeworthy.
  • December 20, 2014
    pokedude10
    Thanks.

    I updated the description to better explain the concept. I also put up a laconic that best fits the description.

    Honestly, I still don't like having the trope hinge on the semi-phrase "the x of y's". But I guess it's technically tropeworthy since it's not repeated word-for-word. Right now, the definition I put up doesn't exactly discriminate between examples that follow the phrasing or not.

    I'd like to get more examples to see if I can get some that don't follow exact phrasing.
  • December 20, 2014
    DAN004
  • December 20, 2014
    DAN004
  • December 20, 2014
    pokedude10
    ^ Good name, but I don't think it works with the definition. That name seems to imply any comparison, whereas the trope is a comparison that is narrowed down. Thanks though.

    Hmm... You made me think though. Narrowing The Comparison?
  • December 20, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ "narrowing" in what way?
  • December 20, 2014
    pokedude10
    ^ Well, that seems to be the basic concept of the trope. The comparison is narrowed by limiting it to a specific circumstance/set/group. E.g. in the page quote McGill is compared to Harvard, but narrowed to Canada.

    I think just a general comparison is way too broad for a trope right now. If I said "You're like Frank Sinatra," that's just a basic compliment/statement. Not really a trope. But if I said "You're like a Frank Sinatra of cheesy Karaoke," that's a different statement. I narrowed the group from everyone in the world, down to everyone who does cheesy karaoke. It can be a loaded statement, a backhanded complement, a bit of perspective, etc.

    Does that make sense? I'm still trying to figure out if this is really tropeworthy.
  • December 20, 2014
    DAN004
    Sounds like it'll be related to Overly Narrow Superlative
  • December 21, 2014
    Arivne
  • December 21, 2014
    pokedude10
    ^ Thanks for fixing it up. It was a mess. I commented out the Pro wrestling section because I didn't think it was an example of the trope, but I didn't know enough about pro wrestling to expand or discard it.

    Honestly, what we really need is examples that don't fit "the x of y's" phrasing exactly. If we don't get enough, I'll have to narrow the definition down to the phrase again. A trope that has to follow an exact phrasing is to specific.
  • December 21, 2014
    DAN004
    Maybe "you're X if they have done Y/apply some Z to himself"?
  • December 21, 2014
    pokedude10
    ^ Yeah. Those are definitely some different ways to phrase it. They still work because it is a comparison that is narrowed/qualified to be more specific.

    Also tweaked the description to show how it relates to it's sister tropes.
  • December 21, 2014
    pokedude10
    Fixed the image, it was hotlinked.
  • December 22, 2014
    SolipSchism
    I'm afraid I don't have a better suggestion, but I'm incredibly lukewarm about this title or the Laconic.

    That said, I love the core idea of the trope.

    Western Animation:

    • Archer seems to really enjoy this trope. The eponymous Sterling Archer in particular drops it on a regular basis:
      • In response to Lana's concern about North Korea, Archer tells her to relax, as North Korea is "the nation-state equivalent of the short bus."
      • When Archer has been tasked with training Cyril to be a field agent, Archer mocks his preconceptions about martial arts.
      Cyril: Will I get to learn Karate?
      Archer: ...Karate? The Dane Cook of martial arts? No.

    EDIT: I'm pretty sure the answer is "No", but would the common structure of Alice referring to Bob as "The X to my Y" be an example of this trope? e.g., comparing herself and Bob to a famous duo. Often leads into examples of Metaphorgotten (if, for instance, Bob objects to the comparison and insists that he's much more like a third character, or Alice expands the metaphor into obscure references to the work in question).

    Alice: Bob, you're like the Chewbacca to my Han Solo.
  • December 22, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ that counts.
  • December 22, 2014
    SolipSchism
    I'm seeing quite a few unnecessary ZCEs that could be easily fixed. All you (or whoever provided the example) need to do is add some context explaining what the point of the comparison is.

    Every currently-included example except for the Mrs. Winterbourne and the Wrestling examples look like ZCEs to me. In general, I believe we frown on just using a quote as its own context; the example should explain what the point of the comparison is.

    The last sentence of the Wrestling example can be cut, as Examples Are Not Recent, but otherwise it's a good example.
  • December 22, 2014
    Duncan
    Done a few times on Happy Endings
    • Brad is the Jackie Robinson of the Kerkovich family. (the first black man)
    • Pandas are the breast cancer of animal charities. (they get all the attention and money)

  • December 22, 2014
    pokedude10
    ^^ I agree completely. I'll be going though and fixing ZCE's if I can. I'll probably find whoever provided examples to help provide context for their example. Added your Archer example, those were great.

    I'm completely open to new laconics and titles. The exact trope definition is still somewhat flexible. I'm still not 100% sure it won't fall under No New Stock Phrases. Septimus said it didn't, but it's going to attract a lot of Quote only examples and ZCE's.

    ^ You need to provide some context to those. Otherwise they are ZCE's
  • December 22, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ well cuz this is a dialogue trope, it's got to have lots of quotes
  • December 23, 2014
    SolipSchism
    ^^ Holla. Sorry for bitching about the title and laconic without offering a better idea; I try not to do that.

    ^ Lots of quotes isn't a problem, and of course with a dialogue trope like this, every example should probably include a quote. But a quote on its own is poor context. After all, particularly with dialogue tropes like this, the subtext implied by the structure (The X of Y) is just as important as the structure itself. Not using quotes as context is not a hard rule, but it's not a great way to write an example.

    For instance, "Brad is the Jackie Robinson of the Kerkovich family" means absolutely nothing to me. All of those names are meaningless to me. (Yes, maybe I have Pop Cultural Osmosis Failure, but that's why I'm on this wiki; to learn about pop culture and fiction. Examples that just highlight my Pop Cultural Osmosis Failure without actually telling me anything aren't very good examples.)

    You don't need a lot of extra context, because yes, the structure implies a lot as-is. But with my Archer examples, I specifically pointed out that the first example is intended to imply that North Korea is not intimidating, while the second example is meant to mock Karate. Just a quick note as to what the trope is actually intended to convey in each instance.
  • December 23, 2014
    pokedude10
    ^ It's all good, didn't think you were bitching at all. I'm lukewarm about the name as well. I'm going to go tag this with "Better Name" and try to get some suggestions. And thanks, my thoughts exactly about quotes.
  • December 23, 2014
    BlackTemplar
    • In an episode of Leverage Hardison refers to Howard Hughes as, "The Tony Stark of the forties."
  • December 23, 2014
    DAN004
    Lots of the Hey Its That Guy or Hey Its That Voice examples are written in this style.

    Maybe call it X And Extra Blurb Makes Y?
  • December 24, 2014
    NemuruMaeNi
    In A Certain Magical Index, the schoolgirl electricity-wielding level 5 esper Misaka Mikoto has the "Ace of Tokiwadai" among her aliases, "Tokiwadai" being the name of high school she attends. I doubt her case belongs here, but by formal logic the name is of the format that fits and nothing in description is there to pointedly judge this kind of examples.

    Case of misuse-inviting trope name perhaps. I'm not sure if it can be fixed by a rule for the first "something" to be a proper noun.
  • December 24, 2014
    SolipSchism
    Just a general comment while brainstorming the title and laconic: If you think about it, this is actually not an X compared to Y trope; it's actually an X and Y and Z trope. You're describing X by comparing it to Y as Y relates to Z. But titling that without using a stock phrase structure is tricky.
  • December 24, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ in my proposed title, the "extra blurb" is Z.
  • December 27, 2014
    pokedude10
    Nemuru: Yes, making a proper noun the first "something" is a great idea. But that also means I'd have to enforce the trope as a grammatical formula. I don't want to do that because it grinds up against No New Stock Phrases.

    Solip: Exactly! And keeping this from being, or sounding like, a stock phrase is going to be the hardest part.

    I'm afraid the complexity of the core definition could cause misunderstandings of what the trope is. On Ykttw, most of us seem to understand it fine, but we're experienced at recognizing trope meanings, on Main/ it might cause confusion. Even if we don't use a formula, there are so many qualifiers it would be tricky to add examples that fit.

    I'm going pause working on this until after the new year, then bump it again. This really needs two things for it to move forward towards being launchable. 1). Examples that do not follow the phrase structure of "the something of somethings". 2). Suggestions for a more descriptive, and less awkward name that doesn't make it sound like a stock phrase.

    The examples will help set the breadth of what the trope covers. If we can get some more examples that don't follow the exact phrase, then it can stay as is. But if we just get more of the same... Well, we'll have to work that out as to whether it's too narrow. Finalizing the name somewhat depends on how wide the definition is.

  • December 28, 2014
    DAN004
    Now try to find something like this that doesn't use the structure "he's the X of Y". (At least I've given you some clues ;)
  • December 28, 2014
    Duncan
    There is a brand of tuna fish called "Chicken of the Sea"
  • December 29, 2014
    SolipSchism
    ^ That's awesome. I can't believe I never noticed that before.
  • December 29, 2014
    BKelly95
    Live Action Television
    • One episode of Community has Britta go on a long rant which causes Troy to tell her "You're like the AT&T of people!"

    Video Games
    • The Sam And Max Freelance Police episode "Bright Side of the Moon" has Sam and Max meet Sybil and discover her latest occupation. (Note: Sybil's use of the phrase isn't an example, but Max's is.)
      Sybil: I have taken a job as the Queen of Canada.
      Max: I thought Rush was the Queen of Canada.
  • January 2, 2015
    pokedude10
    Duncan and B Kelly: Added your examples with slight rewording. Thank you.

    Alright, It's the new year, and I'm ready to get rolling.

    First things first. Do examples exist that fit the trope but not the grammatical formula? If yes, then we can leave the description as broad as is. If not, I'll have to narrow it down and define the trope as the formula, which I don't want to do, but will if necessary.

    Once we get a good handle on the definition, we'll decide if the name fits.
  • January 2, 2015
    DAN004
    ^ like I said, the Hey Its That Voice page (or entries in works' Trivia pages) would be a good start.
  • January 3, 2015
    pokedude10
    ^... I'm not sure how an example from there would really fit. I did look though some pages, but didn't really see anything that fit. They would be troper-made examples, which doesn't really belong here. Now if you have a specific example that happens In Universe, that would be great.

    That actually makes a good point. I should probably restrict this to examples from media only. Maybe?
  • January 3, 2015
    DAN004
    Sorry, when I said "good start", I meant that they provide another way of expressing this trope. They aren't examples. :P
  • March 9, 2015
    eroock
    Film:
    • In the film adaptation of Ghost World, when Enid snarks about the diner they are in: "This is the ultimate. It's, like, the Taj Mahal of fake Fifties diners."

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=d0pn5ivqpil7lqqtzwptumrc