Reputation Montage
A montage used to establish how famous someone is, usually by showing the various rumors told about them.

(permanent link) added: 2013-06-18 04:39:31 sponsor: Argon2 edited by: Paradisesnake (last reply: 2013-06-26 11:00:57)

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Made famous by the film Mean Girls, this type of montage is usually triggered by someone inexperienced or new to the setting asking the other characters who someone is. Some variation of the response: "Character X...How do I even begin to explain Character X..." is common.

Cue montage.

"I heard he was raised by wolves in Vermont." "I heard he slept with a Spice Girl." "I heard he works for the CIA." "I hear he's so badass that hell itself spat him back out!"

And so on, switching between various cliques and ethniticies of people till the viewer gets an idea of how famous Character X is. (Bonus points if the rumors turn out to be all lies...or all true.) This montage is a quick, familiar way to establish a character's reputation and hopefully garner a few laughs in the process. Usually used to introduce the Alpha Bitch, the Memetic Badass, and, in especially suggestive works, the Memetic Sex God. Most of the examples used in the montage will remain a Noodle Incident, and the characters in such a montage are often Chekhov's Gunmen or recurring minor characters.


  • Mean Girls was the Trope Codifier with its iconic montage that introduced Regina George.
  • 10 Things I Hate About You is a delayed example. Kat is already introduced by this point in the movie, but if the audience had any doubt about her cynical, rebellious, 'bad girl' personality, the horrified reactions of several boys when asked to date her obliterates it.

Live-Action TV
  • Noah And Saskia used it as a way of establishing the disconnect between Noah's confident online persona (who he pretends to be) and Noah's geeky, shy personality in real life (who he really is). The scene after this montage was Noah's Establishing Character Moment.

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