Created By: ryanasaurus0077November 10, 2013 Last Edited By: ryanasaurus0077October 11, 2014
Troped

Ballet Episode

One or more main characters gives ballet a try.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Needs A Better Description.

Sometimes in a series, one or more main characters will get the urge to try some ballet. In that episode, there will be a ballet thematic permeating the atmosphere. Expect some music from one of Tchaikovsky's three ballets (or from some other ballet) to be played at some point. Expect someone to wear a tutu and/or tights. And especially expect a lot of dancing.

This trope concerns those episodic installments where ballet plays an important role in the plot, in stark contrast to the larger work of which it's a part. It may be in the form of someone going to a ballet class or performing in a show or just going to the show/rehearsal, but such episodes will often make reference to classical ballet within their story, and it's a sure bet at least one of the main characters will be involved.

The following scenarios are possible for such installments:
  • A tough character wants or needs to explore their sensitive side - whether by their own choice or at the urging of others - and takes up ballet.
    • Alternatively, one or more people discover that the tough character does ballet, and their perceptions of the tough character are changed.
  • A traditionally masculine character wants or needs to immerse themselves in the "girls' world" and decides to take a ballet class for some reason.
  • A male character secretly enjoys ballet and/or other "girly" things but doesn't want to reveal to his traditionally masculine friends.
  • A dreamy, idealistic character (usually a little girl) dreams of being in the ballet and signs up for class... but learns it isn't as glamorous and dreamy as they expected.
  • A character with no previous interest in ballet discovers a unique talent for it, and has to decide what to do with their talent.

In many episodes it will be a boy taking up ballet. He will be ridiculed by the others, but still shine through in the end. Another typical plot element is having a male character appear in female ballet dress. Good for cheap laughs.

Often part of a Billy Elliot Plot. For larger or standalone works about ballet, see, well, Ballet.

Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Sailor Moon has the episode "Aim for the Prima! Usagi's Ballet", where Usagi and Chibiusa try out for a local production of Giselle, as does Fisheye. The other Inner Senshi also go to ballet class. When a jealous Fisheye attacks the balletmaster and sends in the Monster Of The Week, it's up to Sailor Moon to save the day.
  • Volume 3 of The Cherry Project concentrates on Asuka Chieri's efforts to improve her skating technique. She takes inspiration from a performance of Swan Lake to which she had been mysteriously invited.
  • Main character Minto Aizawa is established early on in Tokyo Mew Mew to be a classically-trained ballerina, but episode 9 of the anime deserves a special mention here as it centers on one of her performances, with the other important plot point of the episode being a visit from her older brother. Even the Monster Of The Week has a ballet thematic to it.
  • Shugo Chara manga chapter 9 and anime episode 6 not only features the debut of Amulet Spade, it's also an example of this as Yaya is shown to be a ballet student, and the episode centers on a recital for an apparently In Universe ballet about flower fairies, with the Victim Of The Week having been sidelined by a sprained ankle and Yaya taking her place as prima ballerina for the recital. Amu is also put in the same pink tutu as the corps de ballet, but she doesn't dance in that outfit.
  • Happiness Charge Pretty Cure takes this Up To Eleven by assigning this role to The Movie.
  • Chapter 307 of Urusei Yatsura has Ryuunosuke give one-shot character Hoshikuzu an unconventional and rather intense crash course in ballet.

Comics
  • Lois Lane went undercover as a ballerina in an issue of Superman Family—she'd had lessons as a child, but her more recent martial arts training proved the key to successfully completing the assignment.

Fanfiction
  • The Pretty Cure Perfume Preppy episode "Flying with Broken Wings" centers on a devastating injury Hanae suffers that almost causes her to quit dancing. The rest of the Cures put on a ballet show of their own in a successful attempt to make her feel better.

Film
  • The Little Rascals:
    • In "Rushin' Ballet" Alfalfa and Spanky disguise themselves as ballerinas and find themselves Pushed In Front Of The Audience during a recital. Antagonists Butch & Worm dress up like boy balletists and sneak on too in order to continue beating up on Alfalfa. The same plot point was used in the 1994 film.
    • In another short Froggy woos his gal Marylin by putting on a ballet recital. Since he knows nothing of ballet he uses Wire Fu to make great leaps.
  • In Despicable Me, Gru's adopted trio of little girls are in ballet class for an upcoming recital for Swan Lake, and the girls want him to come see it, but he has doubts because the date conflicts with his own plans. This becomes an important subplot in the latter half of the movie because it represents a turning point in Gru's character development. Character wise, he was, at first, adverse to even letting them go to class. Then at the end, he went through hoops and turns just to be in their dance recital. Personality wise, he was at first too "evil" to care about little things like the girls' own personal lives, then at the end he warmed up enough to them to the point he'll give up his dreams for them and protect them at all costs, and he also got his spacesuit colored pink... because real foster fathers wear pink.
  • Both Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci have ballet movies amongst their directorial filmographies. Argento's is called Suspiria, which is also this to his Three Mothers Trilogy and is about a coven of witches who use a prestigious ballet school in Germany as a cover for their dealings in black magic, and Fulci's is a stand-alone giallo called Murder Rock, which is about a ballet teacher who investigates a series of murders targeting her students.

Literature
  • Unseen Academicals: Part of Nutt's football training involves taking the University team to the ballet, much to the surprise of everyone else. He says it's to help them learn poise and balance.

Live-Action TV
  • While he doesn't actually perform, in the Angel episode "Waiting in the Wings", ex-gangbanger Gunn finds himself dragged to the ballet and is so into it by the end he's giving a standing ovation.
  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Dawn performs a short ballet with her captors in "Buffy The Vampire Slayer S 6 E 7 Once More With Feeling" as she tries to escape their grasp.
  • In Community, Troy and Britta go to a ballet class together in the first season.
  • I Love Lucy has one, where Lucy tries studying ballet but ends up being better at comedy (as demonstrated with a variation on "Slowly I Turned").
  • An episode of Victorious had the guys join ballet class in order to meet girls. Unfortunately, all the other guys in their school had the same idea, and the class had no females besides the instructor.
  • The Brady Bunch: In one episode Jan quits the ballet class she had apparently been going to all this time but it never came up before because her teacher said that Cindy was a better dancer than her. Jan goes through several other dance styles trying to find the one she's good at.
  • In Cheers episode "Dance, Diane, Dance", Diane follows her dream and auditions for the Boston ballet. She is terrible.
  • A season 2 episode of The Muppet Show featured Rudolf Nureyev as the celebrity guest, as well as a dance number called "Swine Lake" with an unnamed pig (who, contrary to popular belief, is not Miss Piggy).
  • Some episodes of Barney And Friends have a ballet segment within the episode. For example:
    • In "Practice Makes Music", pianist Greg Murray plays "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" as four young, unnamed ballerinas (and one young boy balletist in the middle of the line) do a brief performance to the music.
    • In "I Just Love Bugs", when imagining themselves as butterflies, Luci, Tina, and Derek perform a brief butterfly ballet while wearing capes that are supposed to resemble butterfly wings. This time, the music was "Dance of the Reed Flutes".
    • "Dance of the Reed Flutes" makes a return during Barney and Min's pas de deux in "Grown Ups for a Day" after Min tells Barney that when she grows up, she wants to be a professional dancer.
  • In Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Cameron the Terminator has an affinity for ballet, and in at least one episode she's taking ballet lessons.
  • In one episode of The Odd Couple, Felix gets involved in a production of Swan Lake. He even forces Oscar into dancing one of the roles.
  • At least a couple of episodes of Murder She Wrote have someone involved with ballet as the Victim Of The Week.

Western Animation
  • The Muppet Babies episode "Twinkle-Toed Muppets" sees the babies trying to teach Scooter how to dance. A debate between Miss Piggy and Skeeter on the nature of ballet serves as the B-story.
  • The Flintstones had two examples of this:
    • "Rushin' Ballet" gave Fred Flintstone his trademark "twinkletoes" bowling style.
    • In "My Fair Freddy" (one of the very last episodes of the series), Barney and the Great Gazoo stage a charm school for Fred in the garage (with Gazoo promising not to use his magic for once) after Fred and Wilma find themselves accepted into a Country Club. Fred ends up dancing ballet in tights and a small tutu as part of the class. Unknown to them all, Wilma and Betty see Fred doing this and Wilma is touched by Fred's intentions, but eventually this attracts a crowd of people around Bedrock (including the Loyal Order of Water Bufflos), who discreetly watch Fred. Fred eventually ends his ballet and discovers the crowd watching him, driving him into Shameful Shrinking.
  • The B-story of The Simpsons episode "Homer vs. Patty and Selma'' has Bart forced to take ballet for gym class after he comes late to class and all the other electives were taken. He becomes surprisingly good at it, but performs wearing a mask to keep from being teased. When the school bullies become moved by his performance, Bart unmasks himself, thinking that they will accept him now. They wail on him anyway.
    • Another Simpsons example has Lisa being forced by Marge to live her dream of being a ballerina (she tried out as an adult, but her leg got stuck in place while practicing), where she discovers that the ballerina take up smoking to make themselves better. Homer and Bart steal the cigarettes before the big recital, causing them all to breakdown in front of everybody, followed by Lisa denouncing the art of ballet.
  • In the short "Loon Lake" from the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Music Day", Shirley the Loon attends a ballet class alongside the snooty Perfecto Prep swans, led by Giselle. The Swans bully her, mostly by making fun of the way she talks, but with Babs' encouragement (and backstage sabotage), Shirley manages to outshine the Swans at their recital.
  • In an episode of Arthur Binky joins a ballet class, and in other episodes (including "Revenge of the Chip") this interest in ballet continues.
  • One episode of Alvin And The Chipmunks has a boy who's a ballet dancer stay with the Chipmunks. The story ends with the boy and Alvin (the latter wearing a pink tutu) performing a spectacular pas de deux.
  • The Babar episode "The Show Must Go On", with a female ostrich ballet dancer who is The Prima Donna.
  • In Nickelodeon's Cat Dog, an episode reveals that Cliff of The Greasers takes ballet lessons and that's the reason for his strength.
  • In the Doug episode "Doug Wears Tights", Doug Funnie (accidentally) signs up for the lead role in a school ballet, and he ends up getting caught up in a rivalry between Patty Mayonnaise and Beebe Bluff.
Community Feedback Replies: 77
  • November 10, 2013
    kjnoren
    Does this need to be an episode, implying a genre and a relatively distinct part of a larger work? We do have Ballet, and simply adding the episodes there would probably be a good start.

  • November 10, 2013
    sgamer82
    • While he doesn't actually perform, in the Angel episode "Waiting in the Wings", ex-gangbanger Gunn finds himself dragged to the ballet and is so into it by the end he's giving a standing ovation.
  • November 11, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    @kjnoren: It can be part of any franchise, be it an episode of a TV series, a chapter of a comic book series, or an installment in a film series.
  • November 11, 2013
    AP
    • In ''Community, Troy and Britta go to a ballet class together in the first season.
  • November 11, 2013
    kjnoren
    Yeah, but it's still "discrete part of a longer work". All the examples so far can go under Ballet.

    Except the Angerl one, that seems more like the guy was in the audience.
  • November 11, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    I've seen the relevant section, and it only seems to list works where ballet plays a major or supporting role in the plot of the work as a whole.
  • November 11, 2013
    kjnoren
    I view an episode as a work. If ballet playa a role in an episode, the episode can be listed.

    "Work as a whole" is not mentioned on Ballet, and it's not like it's easy to talk about "work as a whole" when you get to tv series.
  • November 11, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    This trope is about how some serial works that otherwise have next to nothing (if anything at all) to do with ballet have an episode where ballet plays an important part in the episode.
  • November 11, 2013
    robbulldog
    Western Animation
    • A ballet episode of The Flintstones gave Fred Flintstone his trademark "twinkletoes" bowling style.
  • November 11, 2013
    TonyG
    The B-story of The Simpsons episode "Homer vs. Patty and Selma'' has Bart forced to take ballet for gym class after he comes late to class and all the other electives were taken. He becomes surprisingly good at it, but performs wearing a mask to keep from being teased. When the school bullies become moved by his performance, Bart unmasks himself, thinking that they will accept him now. They wail on him anyway.
  • November 11, 2013
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    • In the short, "Loon Lake" from the Tiny Toon Adventures episode, "Music Day", Shirley the Loon attends a ballet class alongside the snooty Perfecto Prep swans, led by Giselle. The Swans bully her, mostly by making fun of the way she talks, but with Babs' encouragement (and backstage sabotage), Shirley manages to outshine the Swans at their recital.
  • November 11, 2013
    Paycheckgurl
    An episode of Victorious had the guys join ballet class in order to meet girls. Unfortunately, all the other guys in their school had the same idea, and the class had no females besides the instructor.
  • November 11, 2013
    Bisected8
    Often part of a Billy Elliot Plot.
  • November 11, 2013
    randomsurfer
  • November 11, 2013
    CaveCat
    I remember this being the Plot Point of an episode of Recess as well as an episode of The Snorks, but I can't seem to remember the details since it's been a long time since I've last seen those two shows. If anyone has any more details about those two specific episodes, I'd really appreciate it.
  • November 11, 2013
    Koveras
    I am tempted to suggest Ballet Time as a title, but I think I'll burn in hell for this. :-(
  • November 11, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ That'd work as a redirect.
  • November 17, 2013
    SKJAM
    • Lois Lane went undercover as a ballerina in an issue of Superman Family—she'd had lessons as a child, but her more recent martial arts training proved the key to successfully completing the assignment.
  • November 18, 2013
    kjnoren
    I'd prefer a trope name and description that put focus on the role of the ballet in the plot, instead of ballet appearing in a specific type of work. We already have a general trope started for ballet appearing all sorts of works: Ballet.

    Going to the ballet show/rehearsal is a different trope than an individual trying out ballet is a different trope than putting up a ballet show.
  • November 18, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    Hit me with some ideas. I've already known from the start that the description could use some polishing.
  • November 18, 2013
    Snicka
    • The Babar episode "The Show Must Go On", with a female ostrich ballet dancer who is The Prima Donna.
  • December 17, 2013
    gallium
    Live-Action TV
    • In Cheers episode "Dance, Diane, Dance", Diane follows her dream and auditions for the Boston ballet. She is terrible.
  • December 17, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    kjnoren's here too. kinda expected that...

    Film
    • In Despicable Me, Gru's adopted trio of little girls are in ballet class for an upcoming recital for Swan Lake. and the girls want him to come see it, but he has doubts because the date conflicts with his own plans. this becomes an important subplot in the latter half of the movie because it represents a turning point in Gru's character development. character wise, he was, at first, adverse to even letting them go to class. then at the end, he went through hoops and turns just to be in their dance recital. personality wise, he was at first too "evil" to care about little things like the girls' own personal lives, then at the end he warmed up enough to them to the point he'll give up his dreams for them and protect them at all costs, and he also got his spacesuit colored pink. because real foster fathers wear pink.

    I await the name suggestion conversation.
  • December 18, 2013
    kjnoren
    @shanghaislave:

    1. Please try to keep personal comments separate between each YKTTW
    2. I'm still not sure you've grokked the way I think of tropes
    3. That said, ballet is a different type of activity than dancing, and thus there are different considerations for the name
    4. The goal is to find the best concept and a fitting name for it, not choosing a trope name only out of habit

    ETA: Stupid brainfart in #3, from writing too late. Should be "camping", not "dancing".
  • December 18, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    And like I said, I'm all ears as to what possibilities you'd like to offer as far as that's concerned.
  • December 18, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    1. nothing personal. simply Exact Words. can see why you'd see it as that though.

    2. maybe i don't, but i'd rather agree to disagree.

    3. yeah, it's about as distinct as "hip hop dance off". but in the end, "episode" will be tho only word we'll most likely change.

    4. of course.
  • December 18, 2013
    kjnoren
    Remember, this is just me thinking aloud here. We do have Ballet, and it serves two purposes right now: to describe and index actual ballets and famous peformers (the main purpose), and to list works that concerns themselves with performing, rehearsing, and training ballet (secondary purpose). Right now, that limits itself to works where those three play a major part.

    So on the very highest level, Ballet could be split in two: one about the performance of ballet (ie ballet as in the media) and one about using ballet as the topic or setting of a work, or establish something about a character (ie ballet as a trope).

    Then ballet is a continuous activity. A character is unlikely to just perform in a ballet. A lot of their life will be taken up with training, rehearsals, and then occasional performances. The alternative is that the character does this as a one-off activity, and then quits. This means the one-off activity will play out differently in a Negative Continuity work than in a work with an established continuity (whether it's weak or strong).

    I think going to a ballet performance should be kept separate. To me, that's falls more into a social activity with posh overtones—see At The Opera Tonight, though that one might put too much emphasis on the social activities amongst the audience during the performance (though that might be me reading too much into that trope).

    For myself, I think I'd prefer to do the high-level split. I think that would be the simplest in terms of concept and clarity. Perhaps Doing The Ballet for ballet-as-trope, while ballet-as-media stays on Ballet.
  • December 18, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    ...I'm sorry. I don't think I quite got all that. Could you please explain more simply what you're getting at? (I think the above is a bit complex for me to take in at the moment, but then again, that's just me personally.)

    And somehow I get the feeling that you and Shanghai Slave seem to have had run-ins before. Just a casual observation.
  • December 18, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ nah, just a disagreement. ctrl F chairs. which is why i was expecting him here as well. but that's not relevant at all so let's drop the subject.

    i'd try to explain what he's getting at, but unfortunately my brain can't process Wall Of Text at the moment. and no, that's not a potshot against him, i've a couple of long PM's i've yet to respond to exactly because of it.

    just to be on topic, I still feel "Episode" covers anything from arc to standalone series, as it has long since meant "X is part of the overall story" as opposed to "definition of X" (which is what Ballet is.)
  • December 18, 2013
    kjnoren
    ^^ The main question to me is that what you view the concept of the trope to be.

    Right now, we lack a proper "presence of ballet in a work" trope. That's one path to take. In effect, it would break off an underdeveloped part of Ballet and make it independent. The trope would cover the examples listed here, those listed under "Works with major involvement of ballet" in Ballet, and one-offs like Dawns Ballet in "Buffy The Vampire Slayer S 6 E 7 Once More With Feeling".

    Another path would be to focus on the contrast between the ballet part and the other parts of the work—here I grab onto your mention of "stark contrast" in the description, which I interpret that the ballet part serves a specific purpose in the story or characterisation. In that case, the role that the ballet plays in the story should be present in the trope name.

    ^ Even if you interpret "episode" that way, that doesn't mean everyone does it. It also broadens to meaning of the word "episode" so much that I think it makes it next to unusable.

    I consider "episode" a borderline Loaded Trope Word, and care should be taken when using it in trope names.
  • December 18, 2013
    douglasg
    An unforgettable Colin Blakely as Watson in Billy Wilder's The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.
  • December 18, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^^ I well, that's where we can't really agree. i'll just wait and see what happens to this one.

    ^ Zero Context Example. how is it relevant other than you can't forget it?

    Western Animation
  • December 18, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    ^^^ What would the appropriate names be for each respective path?
  • December 18, 2013
    kjnoren
    For "people doing ballet in-work", I think Doing The Ballet would fit. Makes no assumptions in the name about the type of story or work.

    For the contrast part, that would depend on the role that the ballet would play in the story. If it's a plot device, eg in setting up a ballet performance, then maybe Preparing The Ballet. If it's for characterisation, and maybe conflict with family or friends, Dreams Of Ballet or something with Ballerina might work. And so on.

    All suggestions are just that, suggestions.
  • December 18, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    Let's see what the others think about the new name...
  • December 18, 2013
    kjnoren
    Might be an idea to drop a note in Trope Talk or Ask The Tropers about the split from Ballet, but I don't think it needs a TRS thread. The description and laconic should also be adjusted to fit.

    Live action TV:

  • December 18, 2013
    Patachou
    In many episodes it will be a boy taking up ballet. He will be ridiculed by the others, but still shine through in the end.

    Another typical plot element is having a male character appear in female ballet dress. Good for cheap laughs.
  • December 18, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    "doing the ballet" is a bad name. it sounds like doing a single dance step/move.

    kinda like saying "doing the cripwalk" or "doing the headspin".

    also violates No New Stock Phrases.

    i think Ballet Of Relevance or Balle Of Girlyness are better names. the latter being a specific subtrope, unfortunatly.
  • December 18, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    I figured someone would think Doing The Ballet was a bad trope name sooner or later.
  • December 18, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    So i assume you knew it was bad but went with it anyway?

    btw, i suggest just use Ballet Episode as a name for now to keep suggestions of names coming, then once this gets 4 hats or so, start a crowner including all suggested names.

    it gets confusing if a YKTTW keeps changing names for those who don't bookmark it.
  • December 18, 2013
    LongLiveRock
    Don't forget the Doug episode where he (accidentally) signs up for the lead role in a school ballet.
  • December 18, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
  • December 18, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    If it's all right with you guys, I'd like to create a Sandbox page for what Ballet will look like when we've finished with this and possibly another YKTTW that doesn't exist yet (Ballet Of Girliness looks to be a good subtrope so far).
  • December 18, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    marked several People Sit On Chairs and Zero Context Example.

    "character x does the ballet" is not a trope. it must be explained why the character doing ballet is story/character relevant.

    the best minimalist example up there is The Flintstones one. where "an episode shows fred got his twinkletoes bowling move from ballet" explains the most important thing you need to know about why there was a ballet episode.
  • December 18, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    I've fixed most of the marked examples; did I fix them enough?
  • December 18, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ Yes. Good job. Though gotta say i'm amazed how even a single additional sentence gives quite a context.
  • December 18, 2013
    kjnoren
    @shanghaislave: Perhaps Doing The Ballet is a name that could stand improvement (on second thought, yes, it can be improved), but how does it violate No New Stock Phrases?

    But more importantly, how is an example a case of People Sit On Chairs? Now, if it's decided to go with Ballet Episode, then the example doesn't fit. That's why I didn't offer it earlier.

    Right now, I get the impression that you throw random TV Tropes guidelines at most anything I say and sees if it sticks.

    @ryanasaurus0077: Sandboxes are often a good idea, and need no permission from anyone.

    That said, asking about any possible split in Ask The Tropers or the Trope Talk forum is probably a good idea.

    Last, I'd recommend you to decide on the scope (or the concept) of where you want the trope to end up first, and then decide on a name. Going at it the other way has a tendency to make people talk around in circles, since everyone works towards different goalposts.

    (I'm also not a fan of the gather-hats-and-then-make-crowner approach, since that will carry a bias towards the trope named used during the process. That doesn't mean it's necessarily a bad idea, but one need to be aware of the confirmation bias.)
  • December 19, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ I linked to PSOC instead of ZCE because the example were simply "character X does Ballet" and other variations, and that is context, but not relevant. If "a character does a dance" is somehow a trope then why don't we have a page for Dancing, since that would be the "supertrope"? this page is about ballet being involved in the plot. that is, it either is a backdrop for a plot or is actively part of the plot.

    it violates No New Stock Phrases because although it doesn't have any pronouns, it sounds like part of a dialog like "He be doin the Headspin dawg!". and DO REMEMBER that english is not my first language so i could obviously be wrong. Hanlons Razor my friend.

    And now you're the one bringing animosity here. my first comment here which you saw as a potshot against you was simply me expecting you to be here because the draft had "episode" in the title. there is nothing to read between the lines. and now here you are throwing random accusations against me.
  • December 19, 2013
    DAN004
    Do we want this to end up like Camping Episode? :/

    Really, we seem to have a problem with thematic episode tropes...
  • December 19, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    ^^^ I already forwarded it to ATT, but nobody's responded yet.
  • December 19, 2013
    kjnoren
    ^ People Sit On Chairs applies to tropes, not to examples.

    I think you are putting in a way to broad interpretation of No New Stock Phrases (which does violate Clear Concise Witty). Yes, "doing the ballet" can be used in dialogue. So can any trope name, the guideline is about trope names should not be possible to be read as dialogue.

    I have no idea which first language you have, neither do I care; I only know what you write.

    Yes, you DID throw a potshot at me, with the unstated implication that "I know this guy, he's a pain in the ass". Maybe you didn't mean it that way, but it sure read that way. Especially since it wasn't addressed to me, but to the rest of the tropers. If I were reading your behaviour to me in a negative light, I can quite easily interpret is as a constant low-key niggling harassment meant to provoke a harsh reaction from me. I do not believe that is the correct reading, but you're edging closer to that line.
  • December 19, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    ^ I believe you meant to put in three arrows pointing up, so as to indicate who you're talking to, because I know you weren't talking to me there.
  • December 19, 2013
    kjnoren
    Correct, sorry about that - I spent some time between starting to write it and actually posting it.

    Cool on the post to ATT, usually one should wait at least a full day before one starts to expect a decent response.
  • December 19, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^^
    • 1. Very well, then the ones I marked are ZCE.
    • 2. Well, that makes sense. It really did hit me as a dialogue though, so pardon the mistake.
    • 3. fair enough, but i just noticed you seem to single out my choice of words as a reason why my points are invalid. so i went and played that card. ( I really am a non-native speaker, by the way)
    • 4. Not a potshot, more like a warning. and it's more like "this guy is very opinionated". I don't find you annoying at all. Though i admit I did say that to illicit a "you trying to be funny? it's not working" reaction, In our culture, such "potshots" usually get that reaction, so i expected the same here. but instead, you went ahead and made some crass assumptions that i'm just randomly attacking your points.
  • December 19, 2013
    kjnoren
    Found your post to ATT now, and I'm afraid it will just confuse people. My thought would've been to simply ask about what to do with Ballet. Keep as-is with a narrow trope created here, expand Ballet, or break off the works that are not actual ballets into a general trope created here.

    The internal workings of a specific YKTTW are not really interesting for the question of how to handle Ballet.
  • December 19, 2013
    kjnoren
    ^^ Fair enough. Just remember that trying to be funny at someone's expense is seldom funny in the real world, and is next to impossible to get "right" on the Internet. Especially in one's non-native language.

    Sorry for snapping at you.

    Now, to the topic at hand, and the only definition of "episode" that I could find here on TV Tropes, in Episodes: "Tropes that apply to a particular single episode of a TV show". Is that what we want to create here?
  • December 19, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    Now that you mention it, I used the word "episode" for want of a better term.
  • December 19, 2013
    kjnoren
    Then I think the next order should be to decide the scope of the trope, or its concept. I think that's usually best expressed by the laconic of the trope. Going from the most inclusive to the least (order is of course partly subjective), we get

    1. The presence of ballet in a work, as training, rehearsal, or performance (Dancing The Ballet or similar)
    2. Ballet is used for characterisation or character conflict of type X (like Ballett Of Girlyness or Dreams Of Ballet)
    3. Trying out to dance or train ballet (the current laconic)

    If you decide to go with option 1, we also need to decide on how to handle Ballet.

    My preference is to go for the widest (most inclusive) practical trope, so I favour option 1, but it's your call as the sponsor after taking advise from other tropers.

    I wouldn't make a trope based on some presence of ballet in a work, but not too much/little. Would lead to eternal boundary judgments.
  • December 19, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    Well, if we were to go for Door #1, I'd consider Despicable Me a gray area, considering the circumstances.
  • December 19, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
  • December 20, 2013
    darkapothem2000
    I think it might also be helpful (both in determining the scope and beefing up the description) to flesh out the ways in which ballet functions in fiction, and in this trope specifically... that is, how does the element of ballet in a work or episode help us explore something like character or theme?

    A few thoughts on how ballet might come into play otherwise non-ballet related fiction:
    • A tough character wants or needs to explore their sensitive side - whether by their own choice or at the urging of others - and takes up ballet.
      • Alternatively, one or more people discover that the tough character does ballet, and their perceptions of the tough character are changed.
    • A traditionally masculine character wants or needs to immerse themselves in the "girls' world" and decides to take a ballet class... (maybe they followed a crush into the studio, maybe they're settling a bet, or maybe they're forced into it)
    • A male character secretly enjoys ballet and/or other "girly" things but doesn't want to reveal to his traditionally masculine friends.
    • A dreamy, idealistic character (usually a little girl) dreams of being in the ballet and signs up for class... but learns it isn't as glamorous and dreamy as they expected.
    • A character with no previous interest in ballet discovers a unique talent for it, and has to decide what to do with their talent.

    ^^^ My own vote would be for option 2. Even though I could see how calling it Ballet Episode might be problematic, I like the idea of the trope being specifically for the introduction of ballet into non-ballet centered fiction.

    I hope this is helpful? Hope I'm not stepping on anyone's toes and would love to contribute here any way I can.
  • December 20, 2013
    kjnoren
    Just to be clear, option 2 is not one single option, it's one for each possible characterization or conflict.

    So Ballet Of Girlyness would be one trope, and Dreams Of Ballet would be another, and there would doubtless be more. In some cases (like in Billy Elliot) two or more of these could overlap.

    The art of troping lies in making the tropes broad enough to show a pattern and attract examples, narrow enough to be interesting.
  • January 4, 2014
    ryanasaurus0077
    I've just added a couple of Eurocult examples, both from well-known Italian horror directors.
  • January 11, 2014
    ryanasaurus0077
    BTW why is the Buffy episode a chair? I'd like to know, because I honestly don't see how the ballet in "Once More with Feeling" is a chair.
  • January 12, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    I was the one who added that, it's actually Zero Context Example.

    I used chairs initially due to it being about "things that happen with no story meaning", which is how the example was written: someone does ballet in the episode, that's it.
  • January 12, 2014
    Chabal2
    Unseen Academicals: Part of Nutt's football training involves taking the University team to the ballet, much to the surprise of everyone else. He says it's to help them learn poise and balance.
  • January 14, 2014
    HellKillUsAll
    An other Simpsons example has Lisa being forced by Marge to live her dream of being a ballerina (she tried out as an adult, but her leg got stuck in place while practicing), where she discovers that the ballerina take up smoking to make themselves better. Homer and Bart steal the cigarettes before the big recital, causing them all to breakdown in front of everybody, followed by Lisa denouncing the art of ballet.
  • February 7, 2014
    ryanasaurus0077
    Added an example from Shugo Chara.
  • February 22, 2014
    ryanasaurus0077
    Any help on the description, guys?
  • May 5, 2014
    NESBoy
    Another Flintstones example:

    • In "My Fair Freddy" (one of the very last episodes of the series), Barney and the Great Gazoo stage a charm school for Fred in the garage (with Gazoo promising not to use his magic for once) after Fred and Wilma find themselves accepted into a Country Club. Fred ends up dancing ballet in tights and a small tutu as part of the class. Unknown to them all, Wilma and Betty see Fred doing this and Wilma is touched by Fred's intentions, but eventually this attracts a crowd of people around Bedrock (including the Loyal Order of Water Bufflos), who discreetly watch Fred. Fred eventually ends his ballet and discovers the crowd watching him, driving him into Shameful Shrinking.
  • May 5, 2014
    randomsurfer
    InTerminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles Cameron the Terminator has an affinity for ballet, and in at least one episode she's taking ballet lessons.
  • May 5, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    In one The Odd Couple episode, Felix gets involved in a production of Swan Lake. He even forces Oscar into dancing one of the roles.
  • May 28, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Bump.
  • June 6, 2014
    ryanasaurus0077
    What's keeping the hats away? I mean, we've got a bunch of examples, a verbose description, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera... what's the sticking point here that's holding this back?
  • September 13, 2014
    Prfnoff
    Added a hat and bumped this.
  • October 11, 2014
    ryanasaurus0077
    Just discovered an example from the manga version of Urusei Yatsura. As always, the series plays it for laughs.
  • October 11, 2014
    ryanasaurus0077
    Barring any further objections, launching by the end of the day.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable