Created By: kuyanJ on September 12, 2011 Last Edited By: kuyanJ on October 27, 2012

Odd Row Out

one row of a Theme Table is special

Name Space:
Page Type:
Would this be better as a page or as an Internal Subtrope in Theme Table? Or neither?

Often, one set of corresponding-to-each-other things in a Theme Table- a row, if it were set out as an actual table- is supposed to be more special and exciting than the other such sets. If each row has a hero, one will be the odd hero out. If each has a corresponding plot coupon, one will be special, with the special hero having the special plot coupon.

Generally it will be more powerful or important, since Power Equals Rarity. Sometimes the other rows of the table will all be united against this one. If the rows of the table feature in the story one at a time, this one will feature in The Climax. Sometimes this row might be omitted when the rows of the table are listed.

Sometimes a Theme Table with a lot of rows manages to have two of these, where one might or might not be specialer than the other. If a theme table doesn't have many rows to start with, however, adding specialty to too many will just raise the normal level of variation between rows. Which can make the table more interesting than one where every row isn't much more than a Palette Swap, but isn't this trope.


Fan Fiction

  • In the Homestuck fanfic The Game And Those Who Play, each character has a "class" and an "aspect" which indicate their destiny and give them powers. Each chapter is named for the class and aspect of it's main character. The Heir class (and now the Muse class, but so far we've only seen one of those) grants more power than the other classes. They also seem to grant Medium Awareness. The Heir chapters each form the climax of the chapters with their aspect and are in first rather than second person.


  • In Keys to the Kingdom, Lord Sunday has a Key which is more powerful than the other Keys. He is the Architect's son and officially head of the Trustees. He rules a part of the House which contains one hill of special cosmic importance and the rest of which doesn't seem to have a purpose beyond pleasing Sunday (every other trustee's part of the House is more functional- for example Mister Monday's is devoted to recording what happens on Earth). And the book where the protagonist faces him has some departures from the series' normal formula.

  • The Sundering has two, each about as special; the seven great shapers are split into two groups who are enemies of each other- the ones lead by Haomane live in Haomane's land, which has been separated from the other six lands. Satoris alone lives in the lands of the other six shapers. Also, Satoris is the only great shaper who didn't create a race of lesser shapers

  • In Incarnations of Immortality, Good and Evil are not normally known to be Incarnations, have more authority than the other incarnations, and live in Heaven and Hell rather than Purgatory. Also, the book about Evil being replaced is based around a replacement that occurred long before the rest of the series, while Good isn't replaced until the very end.

  • In The Land Of Oz, the Emerald City has authority over the rest of Oz, is in the centre rather than on one side, and the magician who rules it is a fraud.

Live-Action Television

Video Games

Web Comics

  • In Homestuck, Jade's row might be this among the original four kids; She was "awake" before the game, her land has frogs as a theme, and her prototyping is especially disastrous, among other things. All the kids have enough unusual going on for them that Jade isn't far above the rest in specialness, 'though.
    • The trolls have a lower normal level of specialness, so it's pretty clear that Aradia is special there- she's a ghost, doesn't prototype her lusus, apparently lacks a dream self, and her ancestor arrives on Alternia after her instead of before her, and is recruited by Lord English. Karkat is also a bit special, with unusual colouration and an unusual ancestor.
    • Snowman, Scratch and Lord English are clearly special members of the Felt; They correspond to unusual pool balls and the cue whereas the normal felt members correspond to normal pool balls. Scratch and Snowman appear to be of different species from the rest of the Felt. So far Scratch and Snowman are the only members of the Felt to interact with the kids or appear outside of the intermission and [o] pages. Scratch and English are much more powerful than the others and lack numbers. Scratch doesn't appear in the first intermission. And so on.
  • In Problem Sleuth, the Mobster Kingpin is the Big Bad while the other characters in his column are the heroes and rerolls his stats occasionally rather than always having one he specialises in. Each row has a key, and MK's is the MacGuffin. That row also lacks a type candy since MK is diabetic, and that row's race in the fantasy world, the Clowns, have a permanent secretariat in the U.N. like body Problem Sleuth sets up in the fantasy world.

Western Animation

Community Feedback Replies: 9
  • September 15, 2011
  • September 19, 2011
  • September 24, 2011
  • September 30, 2011

    is it okay to keep bumping a YKTTW like this?
  • September 30, 2011
    If you click the pencil icon to edit the OP and then save changes, even if you don't change anything, that bumps the entry. Opinion varies as to how much of that is a good thing; but it's generally better than a bunch of replies, all of which are "bump."
  • October 28, 2011
    As the Theme Table entry states, Heart in Captain Planet.
  • July 30, 2012
    Video Games
  • October 10, 2012
    • Real Life: The Periodic Table of Elements has two rows that are separated from the rest of the table due to how infrequently (if ever)they are encountered, but not artificially made. These two groups are called the Lathanide and Actinide groups. These groups contain the largest atomic orbitals ever, and incredible atomic masses as well.
  • October 11, 2012
    ^my understanding is that while the lathanides and actinides are normally represented as rows of their own for convenience, they're normally classified as being in periods six and seven respectively. If anything in the periodic table is an example, I'd say it's the noble gasses, even 'though they're a column rather than a row, or period one, which contains only two elements one of which is hydrogen.