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All There in the Manual
aka: Its All There In The Manual
Above: You see how epic and tragic the Save the Princess plot is. Below: You probably pressed "Start" before this text even showed up.
"The name of this world is Nalthis, by the way. Mistborn takes place on a world called Scadrial, and Elantris on a world known as Sel. See the fun things you learn by reading annotations?"

Information not mentioned within the show and only found in other material related to the franchise. The difference between this and normal merchandising is that this information may be relevant to understanding the plot and thus making the audience wonder why the writers didn't put it in the show to begin with.

For example, many anime OVAs based on a manga begin with a One We Prepared Earlier situation and rarely explain themselves under the assumption an OVA (being an occasional test run for a series) will typically be watched by someone who has read the original manga.

Other information can be found in text novels, video games, radio dramas, and image songs, as the entire franchise is treated as a package. Though if you don't have the money for all that, your best bet is Wikipedia. When done to extremes, Crack Is Cheaper.

Fairly common in anime and mostly unknown in American shows, although it seems to be steadily picking up speed with shows like LOST. However, it's very common in American comic books because of the assurance the stereotypical fan is obsessive enough to collect supplemental material (see Ultimate Universe). This also applies to the elaborate backstories many video games of the 1980s provided in accompanying comic books or novellas.

If this material is necessary to progress in a video game or work on fanfiction, it becomes a Guide Dang It. If the manual contains information that the player isn't supposed to know until some playing, it's Spoiled By The Manual. All There in the Script is a subtrope of this, referring specifically to names. When it's all there in an In-Universe book, see Great Big Book of Everything.

A common response to people who complain about a movie not making sense or not utilising a seemingly easy solution to solve their problem is that they should have read the book. Whether or not this is fair varies with some considering that a movie should stand on its own and others feeling that if you care enough to complain you should care enough to read.

Compare Deleted Scene. Not to be confused with Read the Freaking Manual, which refers to the oversight of not reading the manual despite it containing practical information.

Examples


Continuity TropesCanon UniverseCanon
Alt TextParatextAnonymous Author
Acting In The DarkCreator SpeakAll There in the Script
What the Hell, Hero?Overdosed TropesCall Back
Randomly DropsFake DifficultyCamera Screw
Affably EvilJustForFun/Tropes of LegendAlpha Bitch
Deserted IslandShockingElimination/SurvivorSpotlight-Stealing Squad
Zelda II: The Adventure of LinkImageSource/Video GamesGood Bad Translation
Star WarsAwesome/Video GamesPlayStation

alternative title(s): Its All There In The Manual; All In The Manual
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