A reminder of the rules of Fridge Brilliance:
This is a personal moment for the viewer, so every example is signed by the contributor. If you start off with "This Troper", really, you have no excuse. We're going to hit you on the head.
This revelation can come from anywhere, even from this very page.
Also, this page is of a generally positive nature, and a Fridge Brilliance does not have to be Word Of God. In fact, it usually isn't, and the viewer might be putting more thought into it than the creator ever did. This is not a place for personal commentary on another's remark or arguing without adding a Fridge Brilliance comment of your own.
Warning: This page has a high HSQ, or Holy Shit Quotient - however, the HSQ refers less to Crowning Moments Of Awesome and more to the idea of, "Holy Shit, You're Right." You're welcome.
I was rereading Mid-Flinx by Alan Dean Foster and came to a scene where one of the invaders comes across a cluster of beautiful flowers with a magnificent scent. She touches them and when nothing instantly tries to kill her, she decides that they're safe and weaves them into her hair. The narration then says something like 'There was beauty here as well as death'. Before I reread the line, I thought that 'here' referred to the planet. Then it hit me: it was also referring to the flowers, which turn out to be deadly. Awesome double meaning. - Zadia
Word Of God has it that the series is meant as a deconstruction of numerous tropes in men's adventure fiction (including those mentioned above) and a Take That at the fans thereof. Ringo supports a charity that helps rehabilitate girls/women forced into prostitution.
A few years back, I and my friends in English class all repeatedly mocked the poem "The Red Wheelbarrow", which runs as follows if you don't feel like reading that: "So much depends/upon/a red wheel/barrow/glazed with rain/water/beside the white/chickens". It seemed completely pointless; then much later I remembered it and started thinking about just what reason could make a red wheelbarrow so important. Even if it wasn't the intent, I suddenly realized that the poem had forced me to think about something more profound in it. —The Great Unknown
Actually, the back story makes it make more sense. The poet was a doctor who was called to a case on a farm - a small child with pneumonia ended up dying in his bedroom, surrounded by his parents and grandparents. This flies in the face of the natural order, and how things are meant to be. Anyone who has truly lived in the country knows that wheelbarrows don't stay clean and red, and chickens are never clean and white, but in their purest forms, they are. To maintain sanity, the illusion of beauty and order must be also be maintained.
I completely shared the opinion of #The Great Unknown, and just thought it was weird. Years later, when I was just loafing around in my kitchen, it occurred to me, that it was a humourous poem about a wheelbarrow that has run over some chickens, completely massacered them, and thereby become red. It may not be the traditional interpretation, but ever since thinking of it like that, I've never been able to think of the poem without snorting a bit. - Pigeonbrain
The first time I read The Angel's Game, I thought it was alright, your standard sell-your-soul novel, but on the second reading, I realised the 'warrior saviour' that David is writing about in his book is supposed to be his father, who, despite being by all accounts a terrible father and responsible for all of David's issues, represents a Christ-like figure - his initials are JC, he died at the age of thirty-three, and he was killed in error for the sins of another man. Cue all of David's actions in the second half of the book suddenly making a lot more sense. -Fulgaraverde
I was reading HP Lovecraft's The Whisperer In Darkness and happened to notice that at one point in Akeley's last letter, The Outer Ones are briefly referred to as "we" instead of "they" mid-sentence: the specific phrase is "we have rudimentary vocal organs". I don't know if this is present in every printed version of the story, and it could well be the editing mistake I initially took it as... But of course, given the ending, it's entirely possible this could be a revealing slip-up by the real author of the letter, which the narrator himself apparently missed. - Mike K
In Demian by Hermann Hesse, the character Pistorius talks about how his father wanted him to become a priest, but he did not want to. This is all well and good, perfectly fine with the themes of the book, but it has so much more meaning when you realize that Hesse and his father had the exact same situation, that his father wanted him to become a priest against Hesse's own wishes. (0dd1)
I was musing over Fade To Blue, which I found to be a very good book but also very confusing. Then it hit me: Everything about Kenny- his being attractive, popular, able to get any girl he wants and spending lots of time with Aaron Agar- is pretty much Sophie's ideal guy- which makes a hell of a lot of sense once you find out that he is Sophie- he's a virtual life that she lived. Given the chance to be anyone, doesn't it make sense that when choosing to be a guy, she'd make him into the ideal guy, everything she isn't?- Zadia
Additionally: Dennis's father and grandfather died of liver cancer. What profession do the angels persuade (read: force) Dennis to study? Gastroenterology, which among other things involves studying the liver.
The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe ends with the House of Usher collapsing. This occurs for no readily apparent reason. But when I read it a second time for a different class, I discovered something. Amidst the dense, plodding prose, clues are given as to why it happened. The narrator notices that all the stones that make up the building are permeated with lichens. One of the mad Roderick Usher's strange beliefs is that plants are sentient. Are you following here? The lichens did it! They destroyed the house by deliberately compromising the stonework that supported it. - Floyd Pinkerton
The reason the monster from Frankenstein is also called Frankenstein is because he's technically Victor's son. - Um Lovely
He's not called Frankenstein. People just get confused between 'Frankenstein' and 'Frankenstein's Monster'
I know. It's just my theory that that's how the confusion started.
This troper read the Dr. Seuss book "Ten Apples On Top" plot which involves a lion, a dog, and a tiger finding fun in stacking apples on top of their heads and wondered why the irate bear with the mop felt obligated to try an beat the three critters, as he/she didn't have much reason, additionally other folks had a good reason, the birds were just hungry, and they kept knocking the kid with the tennis racket down Then it occured to me, if I were that bear, I'd probably be mad too if I had just discovered that a lion, a dog, and a tiger had just wrecked my kitchen and hijacked my apples. - kablammin45
In the end of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the Green Knight says "I declare you purged, as polished and as pure/as the day you were born, without blemish or blame." The characters are clearly Christian, as they celebrate Christmas and Easter. So that means that they believe everyone is born with Original Sin, the sin of temptation. Which means that if he was restored to the status as when he was born, Gawain still carries the mark of the temptation that got him in trouble in the first place! This explains his continued feelings of immense guilt and his usage of the girdle as a sash and perpetual reminder of his sin.
In Dream Park, the LARPing players don't bother to "behead" the bodies of their slain party members, even after some of those killed earlier in the South Seas Treasure Game are reanimated by the villains and sent to attack them. This seems like an oversight, until you look back at the rules for how the International Fantasy Gaming Society is awarding points for the Game, as those who are "killed out" suffer a loss of half their points, but are also rebated half of that loss (total of 75% points received) if they return as a zombie. That means that preventing a party member from rising from the grave as an undead would be bad sportsmanship, as it'd deprive a fellow-Gamer of the chance to regain those points!
In P.G. Wodehouse's Mike and Psmith, Psmith mentions his school reports from Eton, complaining, "There's a libel action in every sentence." Later in the series, he goes to Cambridge to study law, and Word Of God is that he eventually becomes a lawyer.
The reason why the title character in the Roald Dahl book Matilda has telekinetic powers is because she read so much as a child. She was a bright kid to start with but reading made her even cleverer: it gave her brain power, and, of course, what is telekinesis if not literal brainpower? — evansT
In Of Mice and Men it was established that Lennie likes to touch/break soft objects. One of the things he broke: A hand that was in a glove full of vaseline! That was brilliant foreshadowing!
Finnegans Wake: I was already aware of the pun in the title ("Finn again is awake") referring to the giant of Irish mythology returning from his death at the novel's beginning, with some interpretations being to defend Ireland from ... something. What I hadn't thought of was this: the lack of apostrophe, which I had thought was just a stylistic device conveying the stream of consciousness storytelling of HCE's dreams, can be taken to indicate multiple Finnegans who are all waking up. One of the big thematic concerns of the book is the recurrence and reliving of myth in the everyday lives of ordinary people — who by the novel's end (the morning as HCE's dream ends) are all waking up.