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Doing Research

"I'm going to the crime scene to see what I can find out. You guys research the Polgara demon."

A new monster has arrived in town and itís already beaten off our heroes once. Is it time to get dangerous?

No. Itís time to hit the books.

Our characters head to the Magical Library to consult the Great Big Book of Everything and the Tomes of Eldritch Lore. They search the Omniscient Database and scan samples with the Everything Sensor, possibly with the help of a Hard Work Montage. Only when all avenues have been exhausted will they summarise their findings and formulate a new plan.

Doing Research is the favourite pastime of Mr. Exposition, The Smart Guy, the Badass Bookworm and The Team Normal, and it is most common on Monster of the Week shows, although Mystery of the Week has its fair share.

Not to be confused with Shown Their Work, which is about writers doing research.


Examples:

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     Literature  

  • Once a book in Harry Potter, generally undertaken by Hermione.
  • Alice's entire purpose as the scholar for The Witch Watch involves doing research and so it's not surprising her first reaction to the situation is to hit the books.

     Live Action TV  

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer involved research nearly every episode, although generally Buffy was patrolling while the other Scoobies hit the books.
    • Angel had the same thing. Fred and Wes traded off or went together for research roles, sometimes with Cordelia joining in, though Gunn occasionally got in on it in season 5.
  • Chloe on Smallville regularly played this role.
  • The science montages in the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Franchise are halfway between this and Hard Work Montage.
  • The title character of Merlin does this very often, usually with the help of his mentor Gaius.
  • Many episodes of Supernatural involve one of them, usually Sam, trying to find out what they might be facing and/or how to kill it by this method.
  • JAG: Bud Roberts often had this role, in the earlier seasons.
  • This is one of Artemus Gordon's responsibilities on The Wild Wild West. He's the one who dives into the books - sometimes piles of them - in order to dig out and correlate any relevant bits of data. He's also usually the one who gets in touch with the "research department" and other sources of information back in Washington, D. C.
  • Every episode of MythQuest. Alex and Cleo's father is lost somewhere inside a myth. Alex and Cleo take turns going into myths to look for him, but they never know what myth they'll be going into until they're in it. That, combined with the fact that changing the outcome of the myth would destroy the real world, means that one of them is constantly doing research about mythology and the specific myths they're in.

     Video Games  

     Western Animation  


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