Created By: rt2012 on March 15, 2012 Last Edited By: CaveCat on December 26, 2012
Troped

The Finicky One

An extremely uptight character

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Trope
You know the character, the wound up, by-the-book character who has no flexibility or sense of humor. Tends to be a Straight Man or a Butt Monkey at times.

See also: Neat Freak, Nervous Wreck

Compare: The Perfectionist, Obstructive Bureaucrat, Super OCD

Examples:

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[[folder:Anime And Manga]]
  • Chiri Kitsu from Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei must have everything done properly, even if it it's just for cutting a cake in equal slices.
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[[folder:Film]] [[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]] [[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
  • Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory has a thing for making people sign written agreements, is something of a germaphobe and is very picky about where he sits.
  • In Alien Nation the TV series George is offended by the fact that he's called Obsessive-Compulsive. "Another word for that is Anal retentiveness. I don't have an anus!"
  • Mac Taylor has been accused of this on CSINY,though it isn't as pronounced now as the first two or three seasons. He's loosened slightly.
  • Rupert Giles in the early seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and then Wesley when he came in as the Suspiciously Similar Substitute in season 3. Both left it behind by the later seasons of Buffy and Angel. One of the Buffy characters actually lampshaded it, but I forget if it was directed at Giles or Wesley...it was a variant of the old 'stick up your butt' joke.
  • Phil Hartman had a character on Saturday Night Live called "The Anal Retentive" Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs??-guy. He never got a project done because he was so fussy about neatness that he completely forgot what he was doing to stop and tidy up his workstation.
  • Who could forget Lovable Neurotic Adrian Monk, who has turned his obsessive penchant for detail into a helpmate rather than a liability?
  • Monica from Friends. Obsessed with cleanliness, controlling over even the most simple of past times and known to fits of neurotics when the slightest thing is out of place. Her brother Ross has shades of this too.
  • Annie from Community.
  • Wes Mitchell from Common Law, as stated by Travis Marks: "You're anal retentive".
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[[folder:Newspaper Comics]] [[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]] [[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
  • Joanne from RENT admits to making to-do lists in her sleep.
  • Felix Unger from The Odd Couple is the anal retentive poster child due to his obsessiveness with neatness.
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[[folder:Web Original]] [[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
  • Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has been know to start riots and rips in time due to her anal retentiveness.
  • Archibald Asparagus from VeggieTales is often portrayed this way. One time, he cancelled "Silly Songs With Larry", due to Larry's silly song "Song Of The Cebu" not making any sense, and another time, he took over the show from Bob and Larry in an attempt to add culture and class to the show.
  • Rabbit in the Disney versions of Winnie-the-Pooh.
  • Squidward in SpongeBob SquarePants.
  • Mr Herriman in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.
  • Dexter from Dexter's Laboratory.
  • Rebecca Cunningham of TaleSpin occasionally acts as this Depending on the Writer, usually when butting heads with Baloo.
  • Marge takes this to extremes Depending on the Writer in The Simpsons. Naturally this contrasts hard with her slovenly family. Lisa also has this in regards to education, otherwise though she actually often joins Homer and Bart in their laziness.
  • Kyle Brovloski of South Park has shades of this at times, though his foil, and more or less the entire world he lives in is so immoral he doesn't really need that high standards to get wound up over it.
  • Brian increasingly becomes this in Family Guy, albeit to an often hypocritical level (it is frequently lampshaded for all his uptight rants, he is as much of a self serving sleaze as the rest of the family).
  • Simon gradually evolved into this in Alvin and the Chipmunks.
  • Most early depictions of Sally Acorn in Sonic the Hedgehog media, to foil the reckless, fun loving Sonic. In later comics she is more laid back.
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Community Feedback Replies: 32
  • March 15, 2012
    IronLion
    Only one of the examples has any content. Each entry should explain why it's an example.

    Not sure if we have this, but Obstructive Bureaucrat is related.
  • March 15, 2012
    cygnavamp
    • Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic has been know to start riots and rips in time due to her anal retentiveness.
    • Joanne from Rent admits to making to-do lists in her sleep.
    • Felix Unger from The Odd Couple is the anal retentive poster child due to his obsessiveness with neatness.
    • Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory has a thing for making people sign written agreements, is something of a germaphobe and is very picky about where he sits.
  • March 15, 2012
    pawsplay
    C 3 P 0 isn't actually anally-retentive, since he lacks the requisite explosive frustration.
  • March 15, 2012
    TBeholder
    so, there will be full set of "tropes" on freudist slang?
  • March 15, 2012
    kirikomorisan
    Chiri Kitsu from Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei must have everything done properly, even if it it's just for cutting a cake in equal slices.
  • March 15, 2012
    cygnavamp
    ^^^ I dunno. C-3PO does sound off at R2-D2 when he's had enough of his antics. And he seems reluctant to trick the Ewoks into thinking he's a god since that goes against some rule somewhere.
  • March 15, 2012
    pawsplay
    But he carries on stoically. C 3 P 0 is utterly unflappable, eternally convinced that as soon as someone needs some etiquette, he'll show everyone what he's made of.
  • March 16, 2012
    Frank75
    See also: Neat Freak
  • March 31, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In Alien Nation the TV series George is offended by the fact that he's called Obsessive-Compulsive. "Another word for that is Anal retentiveness. I don't have an anus!"
  • March 31, 2012
    chicagomel
    Mac Taylor has been accused of this on CSINY,though it isn't as pronounced now as the first two or three seasons. He's loosened slightly.

    Rupert Giles in the early seasons of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and then Wesley when he came in as the Suspiciously Similar Substitute in season 3. Both left it behind by the later seasons of Buffy and Angel. One of the Buffy characters actually lampshaded it, but I forget if it was directed at Giles or Wesley...it was a variant of the old 'stick up your butt' joke.
  • March 31, 2012
    CaveCat
    • Spoofed in this Garfield strip with "Stewey The Anal-Retentive Elf".
    • Archibald Asparagus from VeggieTales is often portrayed this way. One time, he cancelled "Silly Songs With Larry", due to Larry's silly song "Song Of The Cebu" not making any sense, and another time, he took over the show from Bob and Larry in an attempt to add culture and class to the show.
  • March 31, 2012
    jate88
    Super OCD is also related.
  • March 31, 2012
    TonyG
  • March 31, 2012
    CaveCat
    Phil Hartman had a character on Saturday Night Live called "The Anal Retentive" Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?-guy. He never got a project done because he was so fussy about neatness that he completely forgot what he was doing to stop and tidy up his workstation.

    Who could forget Lovable Neurotic Adrian Monk, who has turned his obsessive penchant for detail into a helpmate rather than a liability?
  • April 1, 2012
    Yora
  • April 1, 2012
    Duncan
    Joanne from Rent is called out for this by her girlfriend in the song "Take Me Or Leave Me".
  • April 1, 2012
    CaveCat
    • Most early depictions of Sally Acorn in Sonic The Hedgehog media, to foil the reckless, fun loving Sonic. In later comics she is more laid back.
  • April 1, 2012
    TonyG
    Dexter from Dexters Laboratory. One TV spot had Dee Dee call him exactly that. (It was later replaced with "just a wee bit obsessive.")
  • April 1, 2012
    aurora369
    I object against using Freudian gobbledygook in trope names. Very much NOT All Psychology Is Freudian, you know.
  • April 1, 2012
    Ekuran
  • April 2, 2012
    Psi001
  • April 5, 2012
    CaveCat
    Bump. You really need to add in the examples that are not there.
  • April 7, 2012
    Psi001
    • Marge takes this to extremes Depending On The Writer in The Simpsons. Naturally this contrasts hard with her slovenly family. Lisa also has this in regards to education, otherwise though she actually often joins Homer and Bart in their laziness.
  • April 7, 2012
    katiek
    Phil Hartman's Anal Retentive Chef sketches from SNL, early 90s. He usually spent three minutes triple-bagging unevenly-cut vegetables.
  • April 13, 2012
    Psi001

    Very often this trope is a Neat Freak. Usually has at least some subtle shades of Super OCD. Prone to neurotic behavior so expect ones paired with less orderly co stars to act as a Nervous Wreck on frequent occasions.
  • April 16, 2012
    aurora369
    For those not familiar with freudism, the trope name looks like it actually has something to do with anus. Not everyone is familiar with Freudist ideas.
  • April 16, 2012
    Hello999
    Annie from Community
  • July 18, 2012
    CaveCat
    Bumping again. Please add the rest of the examples.
  • July 21, 2012
    Bunai
    Wes Mitchell from Common Law, as stated by Travis Marks: "You're anal retentive",
  • December 24, 2012
    CaveCat
    I changed the title of this trope to The Compulsive One, if that's okay with the original proprietor of the trope. Let's see how that works now.
  • December 24, 2012
    Desertopa
    Compulsive means "acting according to compulsions." It doesn't get across the idea of a wound-up, by-the-book character lacking in flexibility or humor at all. It would make more sense as a description of someone suffering from Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny.
  • December 26, 2012
    Psi001
    • Brian increasingly becomes this in Family Guy, albeit to an often hypocritical level (it is frequently lampshaded for all his uptight rants, he is as much of a self serving sleaze as the rest of the family).
    • Simon gradually evolved into this in Alvin And The Chipmunks.

    The Sally Acorn example may belong more in the games or Western Animation section (while she's never in the games, it represents where the franchise itself originated, while the Sonic Satam cartoon is arguably where her uptight persona is most apparent, compared to the comics where she's mostly just a lucid Straight Man).
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=lybvotf2df4h8q1tlq360uwc&trope=TheFinickyOne