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[[quoteright:347:[[WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/uglybarnacle6_6743.jpg]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:347: The most unforgettable scene from TheFilmOfTheBook.]]-]

->''"Once, there was an ugly barnacle. He was so ugly that everyone died. The end..."''
-->-- '''The first and last lines, and {{ArcWords}} for the story as a whole'''

"The Ugly Barnacle" is a classic ShortStory in the Pacific Literary Canon, the authorship of which is generally attributed to one Peter F. Patrick (then using the pen name 'Patrick Star'). According to legend, 'Star' improvised "The Ugly Barnacle" in an attempt to cheer up a friend who believed himself to be suffering from a case of ''The Ugly'' or ''The French Disease'' as it was then known[[note]] He in fact simply had [[YouNeedABreathMint a bad case of halitosis]] after eating a home-made "sundae" of sorts, though halitosis truly was a key indicator of the actual affliction [[/note]]. Unfortunately, the tale failed to console him in any manner whatsoever.

Despite the fact that ''Barnacle'' failed to accomplish its initial and indeed primary goal, it eventually found its way to the intellectual community of the Département ''Bikini des Basses Terres''. There many came to hail the story for its [[TrueArtIsAngsty harsh realism]], innovative use of {{minimalism}}, and [[RoundedCharacter detailed characterization]]. Slowly but surely, the story came to spread from its cradle within the nurturing environment of the ''Bikini des Basses Terres'' (where it was subject to some refinement, the story as most know it in fact being the ''Third Edition'') to grace the entire world with its compelling narrative and execution.

An animated film adaptation of the tale, also titled ''The Ugly Barnacle'', was produced in 2000. Unusually, the movie is both a [[TheFilmOfTheBook Film Of The Book]] and a {{Biopic}}, as it focuses on both the legendary story and the events surrounding its creation. The film managed to avoid many problems commonly faced by page-to-screen adaptations, a fact which many critics attributed to P.F. Patrick's extensive personal engagement with the film-making process, and the script-writing and casting+design in particular. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2U8yfKM9nY Experience this work of art here, albeit dubbed over in English,]][[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Osc04vpIz98&feature=related and now in Castilian]]. Unfortunately the original French is not available, as the Département ''Bikini des Basses Terres'' Ministère de la Défaite claims exclusive French-language broadcast rights and has a very well-funded anti-piracy sub-office.

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!!This short story provides examples of:

* AffectionateParody: Subverted. This story isn't even remotely affectionate towards Literature/TheUglyDuckling.
* AmbiguousSituation: A number of tantalizing details are left out. We aren't told, for instance, how or why [[spoiler: everyone dies, nor whether or not that includes the barnacle itself]]. Similarly, the barnacle's relationships with the rest of the cast are quite vague.
* AllJustADream: Sort of. In the end, [[spoiler:it turns out to to be a story Patrick was telling to [=SpongeBob=] himself.]]
* TheAloner: [[spoiler:If the barnacle didn't die in the end, he probably became one of these]].
* AndManGrewProud: One interpretation of the barnacle, of how it became ugly enough to [[spoiler: kill everyone]] and of how, and why, we still tell its harrowing tale.
* AntiHero: [[WildMassGuessing Possibly.]]
* AnyoneCanDie: And [[spoiler:everyone does in the end]].
* ApocalypseHow: Could be Species Extinction, could also be Total Extinction, the latter depending on whether you interpret [[spoiler:everyone dying as including things like plant life and bacteria.]]
** It does specifically say [[spoiler: ''everyone'' and not 'everything'', which heavily implies that non-sentient life survived]]
* ApocalypseWow: See above.
* ArtifactOfDoom: Another interpretation of the barnacle.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: The barnacle is referred to as male, yet most actual barnacles are hermaphrodites.
* TheBadGuyWins: The ending ''could'' be this, assuming the barnacle is evil.
* BadPowersBadPeople: Possibly.
* [[PersonOfMassDestruction Barnacle of Mass Destruction]]
* BeautifulVoid
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: And conversely, ugliness equals evil.
** Possibly [[InvertedTrope inverted]] if one considers the Barnacle to be the hero of the story and everyone else to be irredeemable bullies.
** Alternately, it could be an [[ExaggeratedTrope exaggeration]] by showing the aforementioned counterpart to the trope.
* BeigeProse: The barnacle's plight is narrated in the most blunt manner possible.
* BeyondTheImpossible: It shouldn't be possible for someone to be [[spoiler: so ugly that everyone dies]], yet the ugly barnacle [[spoiler: does it]].
* BigBad: The barnacle's ugliness.
* BittersweetEnding: Another interpretation of the ending. [[spoiler: Everyone died but at least they don't live in a world with an ugly barnacle.]]
* BlackComedy: To some, the story is a hilarious nihilistic take on children's stories.
* BookEnds: The first three and last three lines are identical.
* BrownNote
* CharacterTitle: The titular Ugly Barnacle.
* ChekhovsGun: Early in the story, Patrick mentions that the barnacle is ugly. The barnacle's ugliness [[spoiler:kills everyone]] later on.
* CosmicHorrorStory: If mere ''barnacles'' are enough to [[spoiler: KillEmAll]], imagine [[NightmareFuel what other things in the ocean are able to do]]... [[spoiler:Not a lot, since they're all dead.]]
* CrapsackWorld and/or CrapsaccharineWorld: In the Barnacleverse, ''the existence of a single unattractive crustacean'' is enough to [[spoiler:trigger the Apocalypse.]] Despite this, Patrick narrates the tale like a bedtime story, and originally told it as an attempt to ''cheer up'' [[WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants Spongebob]].
* CruelTwistEnding: Without giving too much away, the ending is pretty merciless.
* CurbStompBattle: Nobody had any chance of stopping the Barnacle from [[spoiler: killing everyone.]]
** Technically unspecified.
* {{Doorstopper}}: Possibly one of the harshest inversions of this trope ''in the history of fiction.''
* DeathByChildbirth: [[spoiler:Given the fate of most of the other characters, it stands to reason that the barnacle's parents were among the first to pass.]]
* {{Deconstruction}}: Of the traditional fairy tale where the hero can overcome his or her challenges through believing in him or herself. Instead, [[spoiler:everyone died]].
* DownerBeginning: "Once there was an ugly barnacle..."
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:"He was so ugly that everyone died. The end."]]
* DrivenToSuicide: One of the [[EpilepticTrees many]] interpretations of how [[spoiler:everyone died.]]
** And, depending on you definition of [[spoiler:"everyone"]], this may include [[spoiler:the barnacle itself.]]
* EldritchAbomination: How else to describe a being that can apparently [[spoiler:kill everyone]] by its mere appearance and/or presence?
* TheEnd: The words that conclude the story.
* TheEndingChangesEverything: Admit it, you thought [[spoiler: it was going to involve the barnacle overcoming its ugliness, didn't you?]]
* EnemyToAllLivingThings: The barnacle. So very, very much.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: The barnacle.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: It's a story about a (maybe ''the'') barnacle that is ugly.
* EyelessFace: RealLife Barnacles do not have eyes, or even ''any'' kind of identifiable facial features, so the reader can assume that the same applies to The Ugly Barnacle, and may be part of what makes it ugly enough to [[spoiler: kill everyone.]]
* FanFicFuel: See the FanFic Recs tab at the top of the page.
* FingerPokeOfDoom: The Barnacle's mere ''appearance'' is enough to [[spoiler: kill everyone.]]
* FracturedFairyTale
* FramingDevice: [[spoiler:The rest of the episode of ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'']].
* FurryConfusion: The barnacle in the story is presumably anthropomorphic, yet ordinary barnacles exist in the universe this story is set in.
** This was never explicitly stated in the story, however, so it is currently unknown whether the barnacle is anthropomorphic or, indeed, if he is in fact [[WildMassGuessing the only remaining barnacle in the story's universe.]]
* GainaxEnding: The story starts off so happy, [[spoiler:and then everyone dies]].
* GambitRoulette: Assuming that the barnacle's actions were deliberate, there was really no way to guarantee that it would be potent enough to [[spoiler:kill everyone.]]
* GenreShift: The viewer was promised an uplifting tale of someone overcoming their appearance issues. They get it...for one sentence.
* {{Gonk}}: [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstructed.]]
* GreyAndGrayMorality: We're never told whether the Barnacle was good or evil, nor are we told the allegiance of Everybody. This means that depending on how you look at it, it could be a great victory, a great tragedy, or neither that [[spoiler: Everybody died.]]
* TheGrotesque: The barnacle.
* HappilyEverAfter: [[SubvertedTrope Subverted.]]
* [[spoiler:TheHeroDies: Assuming he was a hero. Patrick did say that ''everyone died'', so shouldn't that include the barnacle itself?]]
** It's not specified '''who''' the hero is, but assuming one existed, [[spoiler:we can safely assume he/she died]].
* HeroKiller: Assuming he's not meant to be TheHero, [[spoiler:the barnacle]] is this.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler:Assuming "everyone" includes the barnacle, his ugliness was enough to do himself in.]]
* InfantImmortality: Averted. [[spoiler:'''Everyone''' dies.]]
* InformedDeformity: We're told that the protagonist is ugly, and we're told of the ramifications of his ugliness, but it is never made clear exactly what features he has that make him so ugly.
** FridgeBrilliance: It's possible that if we were told, [[spoiler:we would die]].
* InvincibleHero: It's difficult to do anything with a "hero" who can [[spoiler:and did]] go up against ''anyone'' and [[spoiler:kill them]].
* InvincibleVillain: If the barnacle was in fact a VillainProtagonist, then any hero would not be able to stand against it, for [[spoiler: he would just kill them along with everybody else]].
* KillEmAll: The ugly barnacle was so ugly that [[spoiler:everyone died]].
* TheJuggernaut: Nobody was capable of stopping the barnacle, [[spoiler:thus, everyone died]].
* KillerRabbit: The barnacle. Were you really expecting it to [[spoiler:kill everyone]] in the story's ''second sentence?''
* TheLawOfConservationOfDetail: Patrick doesn't include many non-essential details about the cast.
* {{Machinima}}: In Super Scribblenauts, one can type in 'Nuclear Ugly Barnacle', which creates an ugly barnacle, and then [[spoiler: everybody dies.]]
* MikeNelsonDestroyerOfWorlds: There's never any evidence that the barnacle ''intends'' to [[spoiler:kill everyone]].
* AMillionIsAStatistic: [[spoiler:''Everyone'' dies.]]
* MindScrew: After the ending, we're left with a great big pile of unanswered questions. Just how did the Barnacle's ugliness [[spoiler: kill everyone]]? Did the Barnacle himself [[spoiler: die]]? Literally nothing is ever explained.
* {{Minimalism}}
* MoodWhiplash: At first, it sounds like a charming fairy tale. ''At first.''
* NeverSayDie: Averted. In fact, it's used at least once every fifteen words.
* NighInvulnerability: Considering that you can't even go near the barnacle without [[spoiler:dying]]...
* NobodyPoops: Either played straight or averted, depending on whether you count [[spoiler:the emptying of bowels after death]].
* NoDialogueEpisode: At no point in the story does a character speak.
* NoHuggingNoKissing: The story features no romance at all, and instead focuses on the tragedy of [[spoiler:everyone dying]].
* NominalImportance: The story's protagonist, the ugly barnacle, is the only character to get a name.
* NoNameGiven: The main character is simply known as "the barnacle" or "the ugly barnacle".
* ObliviouslyEvil: How some people view the barnacle.
* OffstageVillainy: Assuming that the barnacle is evil.
* OhCrap: Presumably the thoughts of [[spoiler:everyone]] before [[spoiler:they died]].
* OmnicidalManiac: [[spoiler:One interpretation of the barnacle itself.]]
* OnceUponATime: Averted. The closest the story comes to using the phrase is "Once there was an ugly barnacle."
* TheScapegoat: The story does not actually say that the barnacle, or its ugliness, was responsible for everyone dying, so this is another interpretation.
* SeldomSeenSpecies: Name ''one'' other story with a barnacle as a protagonist. Ironically one of the main reason barnacles rarely appear (their ugliness) is a central part of this story.
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3lo90ElO9Q "A Marine Crustacean of the Subclass Cirripedia Which, To Its Own Misfortune, Was Quite Repugnant"]], the adaptation for Verbose audiences.
* ShootTheShaggyDog
* ShortStory: [[ExaggeratedTrope Taken to its logical extreme]].
* ShroudedInMyth: The only source we know of concerning the barnacle is [[spoiler: [[TheDitz one Patrick]] [[UnreliableNarrator Star]].]]
* SoundtrackDissonance: The soundtrack would suggest this to be a much more upbeat story than it is.
* SpiritualSuccessor: To the saga of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCzsEgUcWfU Kevin the Hamster]].
* StarfishAliens: Perhaps the reason why the barnacle was so ugly was that it was from a different planet? Everyone can be quick to assume that anything not like them is ugly. Also the storyteller is a starfish.
* SwordOfDamocles: The threat of the barnacle is enough to stop anyone from doing anything. ''Ever.''
* ThirteenIsUnlucky: The actual story, discounting the "The End" tag, is exactly thirteen words long, and you can't get much unluckier than having [[spoiler:everyone die]].
* TrailersAlwaysLie: It was set up in a way to make it seem as if it is an uplifting tale about someone overcoming the stigma of being ugly. [[spoiler: Instead, we get a KillThemAll DownerEnding.]]
* {{Troperiffic}}: The story is only 13 words long (15 if you count TheEnd), but it has 104 tropes, plus another 25 under [[YMMV/TheUglyBarnacle YMMV]] and [[Characters/TheUglyBarnacle 27 character tropes]], averaging out to 12.00 (or 10.40) tropes ''[[UpToEleven per word]]''.
* TrueBeautyIsOnTheInside: [[SubvertedTrope Apparently, not so much.]]
* TruthInTelevision: In RealLife, Barnacles ''are'' [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CornishBarnacles.JPG quite ugly]]. Not enough to [[spoiler: kill everyone]], but their repulsive anatomy [[note]] They have ''prehensile penises''[[/note]] and lack of any identifiable features, including [[EyelessFace eyes]] or even a ''face'', were obviously a fitting inspiration for something as exceedingly hideous as The Ugly Barnacle.
* TwistEnding: Be honest: [[spoiler:Were you expecting the barnacle to kill everyone?]]
* UltimateLifeForm: Arguably, the barnacle, as it was able to [[spoiler:kill everyone]].
* UndeadAuthor: If [[spoiler:everyone died]], then how did Patrick [[SoleSurvivor survive to tell the story]]? And how did [=SpongeBob=] survive to hear it?
* UnreliableNarrator: The story was initially told by [[spoiler: ''[[TheDitz Patrick]] [[WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants Star]]'']]. Of ''course'' he would get some details wrong. And it didn't even help the person he was telling it to!
* VillainProtagonist: Possibly.
* WalkingWasteland: ''Technically'' averted. Barnacles can't walk.
* WhamEpisode: The story starts off calm and unassuming.[[spoiler:The second sentence changes everything in a DarkerAndEdgier fashion with a KillEmAll conclusion.]]
* WhamLine: One near the very end that completely changes the direction the story was heading.
-->[[spoiler:He was so ugly that everyone died.]]
* WhatMeasureIsANonCute: Surprisingly averted. Not only is the barnacle portrayed sympathetically, but the story even implies that it's possible for barnacles to be cute.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: The Barnacle.
* YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm: [[spoiler:Well, you can't do it and ''survive...'']]

--->"That didn't help at all!"
----