Created By: MetaFour on June 16, 2008
Nuked

Chew Toy vs. Butt Monkey

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What exactly is the difference between the Butt Monkey and The Chew Toy? As best I can tell, the only difference is that The Chew Toy is a milder Butt Monkey who the audience loves because of their misery. Which seems to me like a rather subjective distinction.

Either we need to figure out a better distinction and make it clear in the articles themselves, or just lump the two.
Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • June 16, 2008
    Nate the Great
    In examining the two articles I'm forced to agree.
  • June 16, 2008
    Known Unknown
    Butt Monkey is when the character is the... well... buttmonkey of the group. The other members of the group comedically treat him like crap, and he always gets the short end of the hockey stick, always gets stuck with the chest, and never gets to do nuthin'. They're the guy whose car the main characters borrow, accidentally wreck, and then leave inconspicuously.

    The Chew Toy is, on the other hand, the universes bitch. While getting stuck with the check, a waiter might trip and knock his credit card out the window, forcing him to do dishes for a month. Or, when his car won't start, he'll get out an kick it or something, and, on cue, it'll roll down the road on it's own, crashing into a truck, while rolling over his foot. If a random bit of space debris hasn't fallen on top of it already.

    See the difference?

    They overlap, but, at their cores, they're supposed to be different.
  • June 16, 2008
    MetaFour
    As they're written, neither article does a very good job of making that distinction. But if the Hive Mind agrees that's the difference between the two, I'll add a note to that effect to both articles. We'll probably have to relocate examples as well.
  • June 17, 2008
    SAMAS
    It should also be mentioned that The Chew Toy is often an audience favorite due to their suffering. basically, their focus is in comparison to The Woobie, not the Butt Monkey.
  • June 17, 2008
    Medinoc
    The way I see it, the Chew Toy is more prone to die/be mauled than the Butt Monkey.

    Kenny is a Chew Toy...
  • June 17, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    How is Leon Mc Nichols (Bubblegum Crisis) classed?
  • June 17, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    A lot of the examples seem to be the same.

    Honestly I don't see a difference. Lump 'em together, I say.
  • June 18, 2008
    Fanra
    I see the difference. Just adjust the descriptions and move any examples that are in the wrong place.
  • June 18, 2008
    MetaFour
    Are we going by Known Unknown's definition then?
  • June 18, 2008
    EponymousKid
    Wait, isn't that The Woobie?
  • June 18, 2008
    MetaFour
    It seems that the difference between The Woobie and The Chew Toy (as it's currently defined) is in the fans' reaction (or at least the reaction the writers want the fans to have): we laugh at The Chew Toy, but we feel sorry for The Woobie.
  • June 19, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    To me there is are two clear distinctions, the Butt monkey often (but not always) is in some way flawed in a way that makes the audience feel less empathy to them (fat, stupid, ugly, weak, old, lazy, cowardly) also is deliberately taken advantage of/abused by the "hero" or protagonist.

    Screech = buttmonkey

    Gaylord Fokker in "Meet the Parents" = chew toy (actually about 90% of Ben Stiller's role are as the buttmonkey or chew toy)

    "Oz" in "The whole nine yards" = chew toy (Matthew Perry is pretty much Mr.Chew Toy at this point)

    Alan from "Two and a Half Men" = umm...a little of both?
  • June 19, 2008
    Charred Knight
    Looking over everything, the problem I see is that Buttmonkey is a subtrope of Chew Toy, but people keep listing examples of the Chew Toy in Butt Monkey primarly because Butt Monkey is the more popular title. I say we move most of the examples into Chew Toy, and leave the Butt Monkey for examples where a person is only the bitch of the group and not the universe at large. An example is Pip and Cartman from South Park is the Buttmonkey, while Butters and Kenny are the Chew Toy.

    While Butters is constantly made fun of this is only one part of the fact that Butters is constantly the Universe's bitch.

    Also the Battlestar Gallatita examples are clearly examples of The Woobie,
  • June 20, 2008
    MetaFour
    Looking over everything, the problem I see is that Buttmonkey is a subtrope of Chew Toy,

    Going by Known Unknown's definition, wouldn't it be the other way around? The set "mistreated by the entire universe" (The Chew Toy) would include the set "people mistreated by the cast" (The Butt Monkey).
  • June 20, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    Tzintzuntzan: The entry for Butt Monkey pre-dates the entry for Chew Toy, and I don't think there was any argument in it that it has to be the group picking on them. "The character who is always the butt of the demeaning joke or "put him through Hell" plotline." In other words, the universe's bitch.

    AFAICT, the point of the Chew Toy is that we root for them to suffer, unlike The Woobie (who we wish wouldn't suffer) and the Butt Monkey (who is simply whoever suffers).
  • June 20, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    When I looked at the examples, the Butt Monkey had more main characters than the Chew Toy, if that means anything.
  • June 20, 2008
    Charred Knight
    Meta Four: The cast mistreating someone i.e Buttmonkey is just one part of being the Universe's bitch i.e Chew Toy. An example is that while the Cast of South Park treats Butters like shit, his also constantly having bad things happening to him. Making him more of the Chew Toy than Buttmonkey.

  • June 20, 2008
    Bailey
    I found the distinction a bit fuzzy, too. Incidentally, is the trope namer for Butt Monkey (Xander) really an example of either trope?
  • June 20, 2008
    EponymousKid
    As someone who's never really seen that show, but has read all about it on TV Tropes, it seems like he's just kind of a loser.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=jfw6khbt&trope=TheChewToy