Created By: neoYTPism on June 20, 2011 Last Edited By: neoYTPism on July 17, 2011

Unfinished Analogy

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"If horse racing is the sport of kings, then surely bowling is... a very good sport as well!"
- Homer, from The Simpsons

Do We Have This One?? Oh, and I am open to title suggestions.

This is when the earlier part of a statement seems to suggest an analogy, but the ending of the statement suggests the analogy is being scrapped.

Compare/contrast with Metaphorgotten, which had an analogy that ended up not making sense when completed. In Unfinished Analogy, on the other hand, the analogy never came together in the first place.
Community Feedback Replies: 25
  • June 20, 2011
    dalek955
  • June 22, 2011
    neoYTPism
    Not quite. Metaphorgotten implies that you continue talking about the subject you are using as an analogy. This implies that someone is starting an apparent setup for an analogy and not following through on it.
  • June 22, 2011
    Aielyn
    Analogy Existence Failure?

    After all, it seems to be about when someone attempts an analogy, and it just doesn't work, leaving them unable to complete the analogy. Hence the quote - he tried to create an analogy with the case of horse racing, but the analogy didn't actually exist, so he couldn't finish it.
  • June 23, 2011
    ArtisticPlatypus
    I think Discontinued Analogy is a decent title. If I had to throw in a title suggestion as well I'd say Subverted Analogy.
  • June 23, 2011
    Ryusui
  • June 23, 2011
    neoYTPism
    I will go with Analogy Existence Failure for now, if only for there being so many tropes with the existance-failure naming pattern already.
  • June 23, 2011
    ArtisticPlatypus
    I think Discontinued Analogy was more accurate, and slightly more creative, frankly.
  • June 24, 2011
    neoYTPism
    ... well, we will see how others see it as time goes on.
  • June 25, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Analogy Existence Failure would be a Bad Snowclone from Critical Existence Failure, because it's a completely unrelated concept.
  • June 25, 2011
    Aielyn
    It is an existence failure. They're not snowclones because "X Existence Failure" isn't a tvtropes meme, but a more common phrase. Hence why you have Critical Existence Failure, Author Existence Failure, Bowel Existence Failure, Suspect Existence Failure, and also Story Existence Failure (which redirects to Anthropic Principle), none of which are actually related to each other, outside of the fact that they all involve the failure of something to exist.

    Bad Snowclones occur when tvtropes memes are used incorrectly. Since existence failure isn't a tvtropes meme, it's not an issue.
  • June 25, 2011
    foxley
    Can you give us an actual example of what you mean and how it differs from Metaphorgotten?
  • June 25, 2011
    Aielyn
    There is an example of what he means - read the Homer Simpson quote given. And as he pointed out in comments, Metaphorgotten is effectively the exact opposite of this trope. In Metaphorgotten, the speaker continues with a metaphor well beyond any reasonable bounds, making for absurd statements. In this trope, the speaker begins an analogy, only to find that there's no real way to complete it, so they end with a bland and generic observation rather than saying what makes it an analogue.

    Metaphorgotten: "Life is like a chocolate; sweet and bitter, with a creamy nougat centre that melts in your mouth".

    This trope: "If life is a chocolate, then you are... a guy eating chocolate".

    In the former case, the speaker creates the metaphor, but then takes it too far, forgetting that it was just a metaphor. In the latter case, the speaker begins to create an analogy, but fails to finish the analogy, resorting instead to making a relatively meaningless observation that has nothing to do with the original intent of the analogy. Just remember, Metaphorgotten is about where the character forgets that it's a metaphor, not where they forgot what the metaphor was going to be part way through making it.
  • July 3, 2011
    neoYTPism
    Well said @ Aielyn
  • July 3, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Unfinished Analogy would work fine then.
  • July 4, 2011
    MorganWick
    I think Metaphorgotten is used to cover this, so we'd need to make sure it wasn't intended to and/or is primarily used for the definition claimed for it.
  • July 4, 2011
    Aielyn
    Looking again at Metaphorgotten, I think what is distinct about this trope in a more general sense is that this one involves ending the metaphor entirely and just reverting back to a generic continuation, whereas Metaphorgotten is where it becomes even stranger, whether the analogy is completed or not.

    Let me give you an example from a classic metaphor (one that's mentioned on the Metaphorgotten page): "You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs". A metaphorgotten version would be something like either "You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, and they're even tastier when the right vegetables are added." or "You can't make an omelette without blending a cat."

    On the other hand, if we suppose the person was trying to form an analogy of omelettes with tropes, an Analogy Existence Failure would go something like this: "You can't make an omelette without... screwing up some trope ideas." The analogy never actually came together in the first place, whereas Metaphorgotten had an analogy, that ended up not making sense when completed.
  • July 7, 2011
    Frank75
    Examples?
  • July 9, 2011
    neoYTPism
    I only have one specific example so far, and it is in the initial YKTTW entry @ Frank

    Yeah, it needs more examples, but others could add examples themselves.
  • July 9, 2011
    Aminatep
    Sherlock Holmes versus Moriarty, Aristotle versus MASHY SPIKE PLATE!!! - Whitley, Portal 2
  • July 10, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Does This Count?
    • From Seinfeld, "The Contest." George's mother wants him to go to a psyciatrist because she caught him having A Date With Rosie Palms. He refuses, and talks about it with Jerry.
      George: You know, if everyone who did that had to go see a psychiatrist.. (Laughing, he snorts)
      Jerry: (Waits for the rest of the sentence) ..Yeah?
      GEORGE: (Defensively) Whatever.

  • July 10, 2011
    Micah
    We already have to work pretty hard to keep Metaphorgotten and Dissimile differentiated. Adding yet a third trope in roughly the same part of example-space seems fraught with peril.
  • July 10, 2011
    Aminatep
    How can you not differentiate between Metaphorgotten and Dissimile?

    Dissimile: Life is like an apple - life is the form of existence of organic beings, and apple is a fruit that grows on trees.

    Metaphorgotten: Life is like an apple - it is small, it grows on trees and has seeds inside.

  • July 10, 2011
    Aielyn
    That example doesn't quite make sense, since Metaphorgotten usually involves an initially-valid metaphor, but it's taken too far. Life isn't like an apple at all, which is what makes it a Dissimile. The fact is, Metaphorgotten, Dissimile, and Unfinished Analogy are three related, but non-overlapping tropes. I already gave an example of Metaphorgotten vs Unfinished Analogy. I'll restate them, and add an example of Dissimile.

    Metaphorgotten: "Life is like a chocolate; sweet and bitter, with a creamy nougat centre that melts in your mouth".

    Unfinished Analogy: "If life is a chocolate, then you are... a guy eating chocolate".

    Dissimile: "Life is like a chocolate, except that it's colourful, rarely sweet, and isn't something you'd want to have more than one of".
  • July 10, 2011
    Micah
    I'm not saying their definitions overlap; I'm saying that, empirically, examples of Metaphorgotten frequently need to be pruned from Dissimile, and the other way around isn't all that uncommon either. Adding a third thing that also can be confused with both of them is just going to make that worse, and this doesn't look common enough to me to be worth the trouble.
  • July 13, 2011
    neoYTPism
    ^ I don't think this is "between the two" so much as outside the two; the analogy just does not come together here, and it seems to come together wrong in the other tropes.
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