Ongoing Obvious Omission YKTTW Discussion

Ongoing Obvious Omission
Nobody Poops - for 180 episodes!
Motion To Discard
(permanent link) added: 2011-07-19 04:27:38 sponsor: BuckRivera (last reply: 2012-02-23 16:26:49)

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Needs More Examples. Needs a Better Name. Possible candidates: Elephant Shaped Hole In The Living Room, Elephant Shaped Hole, Conservation Of Missing Detail. Input's welcome.

Every detail is important. That's called the Law of Conservation of Detail. Relevant plot information is revealed on a need-to-know basis - because there are limits to the running time of the work and the audience's attention span. But what if time becomes less of an object, if, say, your show becomes a Long Runner or gives rise to an Expanded Universe? Does it still make sense that Nobody Poops if your show has gone on for five years and has seen more and more Filler material, Slice of Life stories and Lower Deck Episodes? When it seems increasingly unlikely that a given topic that pertains to the kind of situations the characters often get in has never been broached?

What had started out as an omission for the sake of the Law of Conservation of Detail or the Rule of Cool has now become an Elephant in the Living Room, a conspicuous Artifact in spite - or one could argue because - of the convention that only the details actually shown are important. With more and more installments being churned out, the probability increases that not only the audience will call shenanigans but the people in charge, too, will want to address the missing detail, if only for laughs. Possible ways to deal with this include:

Alternatively, the omission may be addressed out-of-universe by Word of God. There's always the possibility, however, that it never gets addressed and thus remains in Audience Reaction territory, should it be impossible to ascertain whether the writers used the trope deliberately or not.

See There Are No Indexes for popular candidates for this trope. Compare Forgotten Phlebotinum. Contrast with Just Eat Gilligan (where the omission is necessary). Find solace in Bellisario's Maxim.


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