Created By: shimaspawn on June 20, 2011 Last Edited By: Acebrock on January 24, 2015

One-Shot

A usually sequential media, that only has one installment.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
The One-Shot has long been a staple of Comic Books, Manga, and Fan Fic. In media that are almost entirely series, it stands out when something only has one installment. These works are short, sweet, and to the point, but are often overshadowed by larger longer running works.

The term comes from the American Comic's industry, but has since spread to other media. They are normally stand-alones, and are completely self contained, but one shot's as part of a larger shared universe are not unheard of. In that case, they are often part of a Fifth Week Event.

If it's a one-shot fanfic, then it's also a Completed Fic by definition. Compare Stillborn Serial, where further installments were intended, but never issued. Not to be confused with One-Hit Kill or One Shot.


Examples:

Manga
  • The original concept of D.Gray-Man came from a one-shot by the same artist named Zone.

Comic Books
  • Dell Comics' Four Color Comics series was a series of individual issues one-shotted, sometimes with sequel issues.
  • The My Little Pony Micro Series is a series of one shots, each focusing on a different character and a challenge facing them, such as Fluttershy entering an extreme art contest or Twilight dealing with a curmudgeonly librarian.

Fan Fiction
Community Feedback Replies: 26
  • June 20, 2011
    randomsurfer
    ^No it wasn't. It was in an issue of Marvel Super-Heroes (#8 to be exact), an Anthology Comic. It was a one shot story, but not a one shot comic.

    Dell Comics' Four Color series was a series of individual characters/stories one-shotted, sometimes with sequel issues.
  • June 20, 2011
    shimaspawn
    ^ Thanks. The page I found was not clear on that. Someone should change the Squirrel Girl page.
  • June 20, 2011
    suedenim
    I think two different things are getting mixed together here, which may account for the confusion. The above description is basically about the publishing term - a "series" that really isn't one, but a one-shot. That's fairly rare, and in the old days was even rarer. (Various arcane postal regulations made it more sensible to keep a current series going than to end it and launch a new one. A famous example from the '50s had Moon Girl shift from a sci-fi to a straight romance by changing its title first to Moon Girl Romance, then to "A Moon, A Girl... Romance!" With "Romance" in letters about 50 times the size of the other words. :)

    Another type of "One-shot" would be the kind that shows up in publications like DC's Showcase, where each issue had a different feature. One-shot stories, but which were generally used as tryouts (akin to TV pilots) - thus The Flash got his own series after a few Showcase installments, but (for instance) Fireman Farrell did not. Both DC and Marvel had several titles like this in the '70s.

    And then another usage of "one-shot" might simply be a "done-in-one" story - i.e., you can read that one issue, get a complete story, and have no particular need to read earlier or later issues of that publication. Once the overwhelming norm, now (with more focus on continuity and soap-opera-style subplots) less common.
  • June 20, 2011
    shimaspawn
    Interesting analysis. Which version do you think we should use here? Which would be the most useful to categorize. I was trying for the first one. The second sounds like it would be more of Anthology Series, though it also sounds like it's worth documenting.
  • June 20, 2011
    suedenim
    We have Anthology Comic, which turns out to be about something else entirely - comic books where the publication routinely has several different features, not just one. Books like Showcase would have a different feature in every issue, but only one feature.

    To be honest, I'm not sure either "Type 1" or "Type 2" are especially worth documenting. "Type 2" would be easy enough to list all the Showcase and Marvel Premiere type titles, but it wouldn't be all that interesting. And the "Type 1" true one-shots are kind of random and scattershot, not sure what you'd really get out of a list of them. Many would be one-shots In Name Only - effectively part of some bigger storyline or series.
  • June 21, 2011
    Koveras
    The mangaka Natsuneko is a prolific One Shot author.
  • June 21, 2011
    shimaspawn
    Type One was what I was primarily going for when I started this. Stories with only one instalment on the title. All the little one issue comics mostly because they're harder to document. It's not worth making their own work pages for most of them. Having them here could let us list a couple sentences about the plot.
  • June 22, 2011
    jaytee
    One Episode Wonder is at least related.
  • June 22, 2011
    shimaspawn
    ^ Not really. That's a trope for a series.
  • June 22, 2011
    randomsurfer
    A Made For TV Movie can be considered a one-shot TV show (especially if it's a failed Pilot).
  • June 22, 2011
    shimaspawn
    ^ Not really. It lacks the expectation of a larger series that's needed for this trope.
  • June 24, 2011
    randomsurfer
    "They are normally stand-alones, and are completely self contained..." How does a Made for TV movie not fit? Nowhere in the OP does it say that one expects a larger series. (Or if it does maybe I'm just too dense to see it.)
  • June 24, 2011
    shimaspawn
    ^ In media that are almost entirely series, it stands out when something only has one instalment.

    Second line of the description.
  • June 24, 2011
    randomsurfer
    I still don't see why MFTVMs don't count.
  • January 22, 2015
    Acebrock
    Anyone mind if I revive this YKTTW (and perhaps take it over)? I haven't done anything to it yet, aside from search it up before proposing it myself.

    Anyway, things that need to be done on it, as far as I can see:

    • Fix typo in installment
    • Make note that it has nothing to do with One Shot
    • Find more examples (a fanfic example would be the short fanfic Gimme Shelter, which we can start that section with (though, admittedly, I wrote it). I'm sure others can be carried over from Completed Fic, to get a good start. Not familiar enough with manga or comics to add anything there)
  • January 22, 2015
    PistolsAtDawn
    nvm i think u had this alreay
  • January 22, 2015
    robinjohnson
    Compare Stillborn Franchise, where follow-ups were planned, but abandoned after poor reception of the first installment.
  • January 22, 2015
    DAN004
    Many H-manga are one shots.
  • January 22, 2015
    sigh824
    Manga
    • The original concept of D Gray Man came from a one-shot by the same artist named Zone.
  • January 22, 2015
    Acebrock
    I've gone ahead and edited the YKTTW, since no one raised any objections, adding examples and compare and contrast, fixing the typo in installment, etc. If Shima takes issue, I will defer to them

    BTW, should we limit fanfiction examples to those that have a page on TV Tropes, as we do on Completed Fic?
  • January 22, 2015
    DAN004
    Shimaspawn is still around, you better ask him first.
  • January 23, 2015
    Acebrock
    Just posting to say I P Med Shima a few hours ago, and am just waiting on a response.
  • January 23, 2015
    Arivne
    ^^ According to their Tropers page, Shimaspawn is female.
  • January 23, 2015
    DAN004
    ^ Sorry, but I hardly care.
  • January 24, 2015
    randomsurfer
    Marvel Comics used to publish Iron Man & Captain America stories in the Anthology Comic Tales Of Suspense and Hulk & Sub Mariner stories in Tales To Astonish. In 1968 the two titles were renamed to Captain America and The Incredible Hulk, and those two characters took over the books (while keeping the same numbering). Iron Man and Sub-Mariner got their own books starting with new #1 issues. To finish off the charaters' stories from Suspense and Astonish Marvel published a one-shot titled Iron Man & Sub-Mariner.
  • January 24, 2015
    ZuTheSkunk
    If we were to list all one-shot fanfics, this page would rival Encyclopedia Britannica in length...
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=qwlypfei8y25eiha0qf527d8