Garnishing the Story
aka: Everythings Better With X
"Merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative."An element is included in a work, just because the element makes the story better in some way simply for having it, similar to adding spices and seasonings to food. These elements don't drive the plot or have a narrative purpose, and aren't genre staples. They can add to characterization or World Building, but mostly the point of them is that having these elements is so much better than not having these elements. Now even if these elements have some importance to the story, it's similar to a MacGuffin in that the form needn't be any of the elements, but it's still better to have them.
— Pooh-Bah, The Mikado
- A Save the Princess plot could have anyone as the Damsel in Distress, but often it's an actual princess, just because of this trope.
- The all-powerful crystal that the villain wants needn't be in the form of a jewel, but it looks prettier than an all-powerful pine cone.
- We can see fighter planes attack the bad guys, but it's just a bit more exciting to have a Fighter Launching Sequence first.
- Weapons can be cool on their own, but it's even cooler to have them be made of fire, lasers, or some other elements, no matter how impossible.
A Super Trope to
- Babies Make Everything Better — Babies are so much better than without babies.
- Bowties Are Cool — Bowties are so much cooler than without bowties.
- Deep-Fried Whatever — Deep fried is so much better than not deep fried.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Repeating itself in an explanatory sense is much less bearing than not repeating itself.
- Eenie, Meenie, Miny Moai — Moai is so much better than without Moai.
- Everything's Better With Motorcycles — Motorcycles are so much cooler than without motorcycles.
- Everything's Better with Plushies — Plushies are so much better than not having plushies.
- Everything's Better with Princesses — Princesses are so much better than not having princesses.
- Everything's Better with Rainbows — Rainbows are so much better than not having rainbows.
- Everything's Better with Samurai — Samurai are so much cooler than without samurai.
- Everything's Better with Sparkles — Sparkles are so much better than without sparkles.
- Everything's Better with Spinning — Spinning is so much cooler than not spinning.
- Everything's Deader with Zombies — Zombies in works not about them are so much cooler than without zombies.
- Everything's Louder With Bagpipes — Bagpipes are so much more louder than not playing on bagpipes.
- Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry — Jewelry is so much more glamorous than without jewelry.
- Fighter Launching Sequence — Seeing fighter planes and space fighters take off is so much cooler than not seeing them take off.
- Fluffy Fashion Feathers — Clothing with feathers is so much more glamorous than without feathers.
- Frickin' Laser Beams — Lasers are so much cooler than not having lasers.
- Funny Spoon — Spoons funnier than without spoons.
- Gem-Encrusted — Stuff covered in jewels is so much prettier than stuff not covered in jewels.
- Goggles Do Nothing — Goggles are so much better than not having goggles.
- Gold Makes Everything Shiny — Gold is so much prettier than not having gold.
- Gratuitous Disco Sequence — Retro Disco is so much better than without Retro Disco.
- Gratuitous Nazis — Nazi villains are so much more evil than if they weren't Nazis.
- Heńvy MŰtal ▄mlaut — Umlauts are so much more metal than without umlauts.
- Incendiary Exponent — Things on fire are so much more awesome than things that aren't on fire.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons — Dragons in works not about them are so much cooler than without dragons.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Mecha — Mecha in works not about them are so much cooler than without mecha.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja — Ninja in works not about them are so much cooler than without ninja.
- Just for the Heli of It — Throwing in helicopters is so much cooler than not throwing them in.
- Lava Adds Awesome — Something with lava or magma is so much cooler than something without.
- Prepositional Phrase Equals Coolness — Titles with prepositions are so much cooler than titles without prepositions.
- Pretty in Mink — Clothing with fur is so much more glamorous than without fur.
- Pun — Puns are so much better than without puns.
- Rent-a-Zilla — Giant monsters in works not about them are so much cooler than without giant monsters.
- Slime Snails And Mutant Tails — Slime is so much better than no slime.
- Stab the Sky — Holding weapons over the head looks so much cooler than not holding them like that.
- Strawberry Shorthand — Strawberries are so much better than without strawberries.
- Stuff Blowing Up — Explosions are so much better than not having explosions.
- Too Many Belts — Belts are so much better than not having belts.
- Troperiffic — Tropes are so much better than without tropes.
- Watch It Stoned — Characters think watching a show when high is so much better than watching it sober.
- X Makes Anything Cool — Having X is so much better than not having X.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz — Xtreme Letterz are so much Kooler than boring uncool letters.
- Zipperiffic — Zippers are so much better than without zippers.
These animals are so much better than without these animals. Or, depending on the animal, much worse (adds danger and suspense).
- Clucking Funny — Can't go wrong with chickens.
- Dolphins, Dolphins Everywhere — These creatures make everything a splash.
- Everything's Better with Cows — Who can resist a cow?
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs — Dinosaurs are way cooler than without dinosaurs.
- Everything's Better with Llamas
- Everything's Better with Monkeys
- Everything's Better with Penguins — Way cooler with penguins than without.
- Everything's Better with Platypi
- Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods
- Kangaroos Represent Australia — G'day, mate!
- Panda-ing to the Audience — Yeah, panda-monium!
Other languages can be better.
- Altum Videtur — Omnia cum Latina est melius quam omnia sine Latine.
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French — Parler en franšais est beaucoup plus sexy que pas parler en franšais.
- Gratuitous English — Having English is better than having no English.
- Gratuitous Foreign Language — These are better than any native language alone.
- Gratuitous French — Le franšais, c'est bien mieux que pas de franšais.
- Gratuitous German — Mit Deutsch ist alles besser als mit kein Deutsch.
- Gratuitous Italian — Tutto con l'italiano Ŕ meglio di tutto senza italiana.
- Gratuitous Greek — Τα πάντα με την ελληνική είναι καλύτερη από ό, τι χωρίς ελληνικά.
- Gratuitous Japanese — 日本とのすべてが日本語なしすべてよりも優れています。
- Gratuitous Russian — Все с русским лучше, чем все без русского языка.
- Gratuitous Spanish — Todo con espa˝ol es mejor que todo sin espa˝ol.
- Yiddish as a Second Language — .אלץ מיט ייִדיש איז בעסער ווי אַלץ אָן ייִדיש (Read in Backwards)
General Mentions of Elements Enhancing a Story
- In Cinema Snob Reviews Frozen (a fan comic where The Cinema Snob reviews Frozen) Snob says that Pierre Kirby (from the Godfrey Ho Ninja Movies) can make any fight scene better.
- Berserk Abridged noted that a soundtrack by Yoko Kanno can make even the weakest anime seem awesome.