"See, Dad doesn't think the decompression would tear open a hole that big in such a small plane, but obviously Dr. McNinja lives in a world that operates like a Mortal Kombat stage."
Creators are allowed to be inaccurate if the inaccuracy serves the story better than accuracy would.
In a nutshell, the writer is aware that some parts of the show are inaccurate. The history is wrong, or the science is off, or something else. It's easy to assume that the writer didn't bother with research. But they may well have. Often they know that what they are writing is off, and wrote it anyway. Sometimes, it's because it's the way it's always been done in show business
, and the audience wouldn't believe it otherwise
. In some cases, the research couldn't be done because information was lacking, so the artist made an educated guess.
It's about putting the story first
, Tropes Are Tools
and all that.
Telling a good story is what is most important in fictionnote
. Plus, whoever first said "truth is stranger than fiction" didn't know what they were talking about.note
If some things have to be fudged for the sake of a good story, then they will be fudged. If things have to be sped up to stay interesting, they will be. These are changes to ensure Emotional Torque
However, this is a double-edged sword. For the license to work, the story has to be good. A bad story will often look worse for its inaccuracies. There isn't a complete consensus, of course, about which stories are on the right or wrong side of Sturgeon's Law
The license also doesn't allow every
kind of inaccuracy. People still expect characters to be consistent. This cannot be used to excuse Character Derailment
or Contrived Stupidity Tropes
. It also doesn't excuse false claims of accuracy
. It will allow violations of External Consistency
, and sometimes Genre Consistency
, but usually not Internal Consistency
When reading about artistic license on a page, keep in mind that Tropes Are Not Bad
. Someone listing an event of artistic license does not mean the work or use of this trope was bad. Pointing out artistic license is not bad-mouthing a work. If an entry seems especially snarky about it, You Could Always Edit It Yourself
, making it a little less snarky.
Many of these tropes were formerly titled, "You Fail [Subject] Forever," giving the tropes a harsh, derogatory connotation. Superman's abilities in general probably fall under "Artistic License – Physics
," but a statement like "Superman can go twice as far in half the time as someone going twice as fast as him,"note
falls squarely under "You Fail Physics Forever.
Writers, be warned: Using too many of these or taking one to illogical extremes can tug at the audience's Willing Suspension of Disbelief
See also Garnishing the Story
(in that adding to the story is the primary reason for inclusion).
- The Power of Index An element is much stronger than it would realistically be
- Rule of Index Where the license is from how cool/funny/scary/etc. something is