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The Monster of the Week
has just arrived in town, and there's only one thing to do...
Before our Heroes can fight, they - or more commonly, the resident Smart Guy
- are going to have to check the reference books
to find out all about the monster
and how to fight it
. This often occurs in a library
, although recently computers
are becoming more popular.
Since watching people read isn't that interesting, the process is normally shown as a montage
or summarised by one character
. In-universe, the process can take anything from a few minutes to several weeks.
Sub-trope of Exposition
where the original source of the useful information is shown. Often the place where Chekhov's Lecture
is heard, and where the writers Show Their Work
(or lack of it
Not to be confused with Shown Their Work
, in which the author displays their researching skills. This trope occurs entirely within universe.
- Frequently occurs in Harry Potter. Generally undertaken by Hermione, but Ron and Harry are frequently roped into helping. Notable examples include researching Polyjuice Potion, the maker of the Philosopher's Stone, and searching for a way to breath underwater.
- In Twilight, Bella researches vampires online.
- Call of Cthulhu. This is a standard procedure for Investigators, because understanding what's going on requires careful study of old records, newspapers, and so on. Failing to do so would either prevent the physical part of the investigation from occurring or result in the deaths of the PCs.
- In later arcs of Exit Fate, a certain ancient library plays a large role for this purpose.
- In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door Your first partner Goombella can literally do this in battle should you choose her Tattle ability.
- Sokka does this during The Library episode, in Avatar: The Last Airbender, where he happens upon a burnt piece of parchment titled, "The Darkest Day in Fire Nation History". Sokka does some digging and eventually learns that there was a solar eclipse which left the firebenders powerless... and that the next one was only three months away. Armed with this information, he begins to plan an invasion to coincide on the same day: the Day of "Black Sun".
- In an episode of Teamo Supremo, a touristic guide becomes a supervillain and defeats the Teamo with her knowledege of local landmarks (not as dumb as it sounds - she knew perfectly all the territories where they fought). The Teamo only defeats her after an intensive study of the local history and geography.