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Architectural Discontinuity
They just can't get a building's damn layout straight


(permanent link) added: 2011-09-01 17:07:42 sponsor: Pyroninja42 (last reply: 2011-09-03 07:37:00)

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Needs a Better Description, Seen It a Million Times, Do We Have This One?, Needs More Examples, Up for Grabs


Alternative Title: Schizophrenic Architecture

Architectural Discontinuity is when in cartoons, the artists just don't give a damn about where things are located. Rooms and hallways are used once and discarded, sometimes replacing or shown near the few "standard" locations.

Examples:

  • In SpongeBob SquarePants, the layout of the Krusty Krab (Hell, any building presented) is completely inconsistent. While most of the time Mr. Krabs' office, Cash Register, and the Kitchen have "normal" locations, they'll either be replaced by or pushed closer together for things such as bathrooms, freezers, and other things that only exist for single scenes.
  • Subverted in House of Leaves, where this is used with Malevolent Architecture and Eldritch Abomination to form a labyrinth that shifts and changes shape.
  • Averted in The Simpsons with their home, 742 Evergreen Terrace, as its layout is well known and easy to look up with the least amount of Google Fu.
  • On a wide scale: The layout of Black Mesa in the original Half-Life game seems to be a huge, sprawling complex, but if you actually lay the maps end to end, they twist back over themselves several times.
  • Dexter's Laboratory may be a deliberate version of this. His lab is a wildly inconsistent forest of giant blue computers.
  • The first few Harry Potter films had this problem with the layout of the Hogwarts grounds. Most notable was the way Hagrid's hut seemed to shift around.
  • The Full House house is inconsistent with the way its two stories are portrayed. Look carefully at the scenes in the upstairs hallway and you'll notice that the stairway is at a right angle, which would make the second floor wider than the first (which is impossible considering how the house looks from the outside). Also consider the kitchen stairway, which is on line with the living room stairway and should be on the other end of the upstairs hallway, also impossible if you consider the above.
  • The Flintstones' cave home is highly inconsistent from episode to episode, with no clear layout and new rooms as the plot demands. The use of Wraparound Backgrounds muddles things further, giving the illusion that the house is Bigger on the Inside.
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Okay, I know this is a piss-poor YKTTW, but this is really the best way I can describe it right now. I know I've got the main idea across, its just that my brain is fried and refusing to cooperate. So I'm hoping that just this once you guys will be forgiving and help. Besides, for this YKTTW, I'm declaring Open Season with the Wiki Magic and Rolling Updates, so if you guys can reach a general consensus on something, feel free to add it in. Don't fear, though, I won't abandon this trope, its just that my mental faculties are temporarily disabled.
replies: 16

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