troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Intro Dump

"Hi, Bob, glad you could make it. Look, here come Ted and Sarah and Sean and Drew and Dan and Erin. You already know Ron and Jeremy and Mary Sue and Peter and Ben and Steve. Come sit down next to Ken and Eric and Lee, and then Jim and Frank and Maxwell and Aerith can call the meeting to order."

Named by TFWiki, an Introdump is a type of Infodump specific to a large ensemble show, in which hordes of characters are introduced and immediately all referred to by name. They may be new characters, they may be old characters being reintroduced after a break, but they're all standing in a line and they're all perfectly happy to say their own names.

Intro Dump is a cross between Dramatis Personae and Everyone Meets Everyone in the middle of a scene. It's different than Avengers Assemble because everyone is already in one place. Sometimes each character will say their own name during a Training Montage. Other times, the head of their Cast Herd segment will call everyone by name - and always by the order they're already standing in.

May be called as a sub-process during the bridge of an Expository Theme Tune. If the characters introduced are from a Merchandise-Driven work, then it's a Product Promotion Parade. Also see Theme Tune Roll Call.


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • This happens in Mahou Sensei Negima! in the form of Negi's class register, including the class' clubs and special notes on certain students. The new teacher himself wonders how he'll remember all this. (he figures it out by the next volume)
  • The first episode of the second season of Queen's Blade has Nanael looking through her magical book and listing off every major character from the first season to quickly get the audience back up to speed.
  • This is parodied in episode 17 of Seto no Hanayome when a group of 8 gang leaders are introducing themselves to Akeno. After the third one, a card pops up explaining that they're just going to skip right to the last one.
  • Banner of the Stars: The intro shows pictures of the various military commanders involved in the campaign, along with their name, rank, title, and fleet commanded
  • In episode 7 of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann when Kamina and Simon meet their soon to be allies.
  • At the end of the English opening of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl: Galactic Battles, there is a scene dedicated to Ash's party Pokémon (of the time) suddenly shouting out their names. Later on, starting with the episode "The Lonely Snover!", said Introdump is removed in favor of a revised, updated opening that includes scenes from the Japanese openings of "High Touch!" and "Pillars of Friendship!".
  • Played for Laughs in the first episode of Haiyore! Nyarko-san W, in which Nyarko explains the central premise of the series (that the gods of the Cthulhu Mythos were aliens and H.P. Lovecraft's works were based on stories they told him) and she, Cuuko, and Hasuta identify themselves. Mahiro asks what they heck they're doing, and Nyarko explains that they're playing Call of Cthulhu.

Comic Books
  • G.I. Joe was particularly fond of this one, in both the comics and cartoons.
  • Transformers did this quite blatantly (and quite often) in the Marvel comics, almost always as part of a Product Promotion Parade.
    • In the live action movie has a scene where the Decepticons perform a roll-call for Megatron across America, and the scene in "exposition alley" where Prime introduces the other Autobots to Sam and Mikaela.
    • This was even parodied by the IDW book when it had a story done in the style of the Marvel series.
  • X-Men comics usually averted this only by spreading it around: Chris Claremont used Talking Is a Free Action to have everyone announce who they were and what they could do - just not all at once.
  • ElfQuest does this in the first issue; while the characters are in different areas, they're all called with "sending" (telepathy) and drawn in a single panel, each with their name. The only ones absent are the chief who calls them and the few characters who'd been introduced in the Universe''.

Fanfiction

Film
  • In The Sound of Music, Captain Von Trapp has trained his children to march around and introduce themselves at the sound of a whistle: "Liesl! Friedrich! Louisa! Kurt! Brigitta! Marta! Gretel!"
  • The opening credits of The Dirty Dozen has a roll call of all the "Dozen" as they stand before Major Reissman (Lee Marvin). An MP reads each members name and his prison sentence while his face is in closeup.
  • Serenity has a particularly elegant one to introduce viewers unfamiliar with Firefly to nine people with varied personalities and some significant backstories who already know each other and live in a star system distant from Earth That Was with its own considerable history, including a Great Offscreen War. A lot to get through without resorting to something like an Opening Scroll.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I does this in the second scene in an infodump meant to cover plot holes left by the previous movies; Bill Weasley in particular manages to claw his way out of the memory hole.
  • The first Clash of the Titans movie has Zeus address all the gods by their name and what they are god of just so the audience won't be confused.
  • Morpheus does this in The Matrix when he introduces Neo to the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar. It gets a minor subversion, though. Since Morpheus has been going in the order everyone is standing in as the camera pans across them, the viewer naturally assumes that Tank is The Big Guy lurking in the background between two other characters. In fact, Tank is the considerably smaller guy on his right, the big guy is his older brother Dozer.
  • Turkish Star Wars starts with one, and none of it makes any sense at all. Apparently there's a wizard, who wants to destroy the Earth, which has apparently already been destroyed but is also protected by a force field of human brains. There's actually even more exposition in this Intro Dump, including about our heroes, but you get the picture by now.
  • John Carter has this once the hero gets to Mars. Too many alien terms and people are introduced (at times with the explanation only coming later), to the point the viewer might feel Lost in Medias Res.
  • Happens in universe to Karen Hill at her own wedding in Goodfellas. Fortunately for her, almost everyone she was introduced to was either {Paul, Paulie, Pete} or {Marie, Mary}.
  • Most Bring It On movies have a roll-call song, used to introduce the characters that make the cheer squad. The third one even had an emberassing "ghetto" version of it, being set in an Inner City School, lead by none other then Solange Knowles.
  • The show inside the movie/musical Main/Hairspray features a very fast paceAd version of a roll call in the song "Nicest Kids in Town". It featuers some character establishing moments - Amber stealing screen time, Link as the star of the show, flaunting his trademark pelvic gyrations, and in the second time - features Tracy as the underdog new star of the show.

Live-Action TV

Literature
  • The Baby Sitters Club does this in the beginning of each book, to the point where the first two chapters are completely formulaic- the first chapter will establish the main character and the plot, the second chapter will be a club meeting and will describe each character. It's easy to just skip the first two chapters and still comprehend what's going on.
  • Ditto with Animorphs. In fact, most serial Scholastic books probably begin with an introdump.
  • In Chapter 3 of Nine Princes in Amber, the amnesiac main character stumbles onto a deck of cards bearing the images of his 12 living siblings. This simultaneously jogs his memory and serves to allow the author to name each sibling, physically describe them, and tell the reader what the protagonist thinks about them.
  • After the second book in the The House of Night series, this happens in every book. Usually with the same stock descriptors, such as describing Jack and Damien as gay, describing Erin and Shaunee being exactly alike except for their race, describing Zoey's best friend Stevie Rae, and in later books, describing Aphrodite.
  • Doctor Who Expanded Universe:
    • The Doctor Who Target novelisations tend to start with a quick rattling-off of the name and backstory of the companion and a physical description of the Doctor. Due to the formulaic nature of the books and the need to quickly and transparently establish which Doctor the story is about, the physical descriptions are kept almost identical (no Left Field Description to speak of), leading to fandom in-jokes and quick code-phrases used to establish Doctor identity even in much more carefully-crafted bits of the Expanded Universe - especially the Fourth Doctor's 'all teeth and curls' and 'beaky' nose and the Fifth Doctor's 'pleasant, open face'.
      • This is spoofed in The Pirates series of books, which always introduces the Pirate Captain on the second or third page as 'all teeth and curls and with a pleasant, open face', which at least makes for some fun Comic Book Fantasy Casting mental images if you get the Shout-Out. Some books (like In An Adventure With Communists) make it more obvious that this is actually how the Captain himself likes to describe his appearance in writing or conversation, emphasising his hackiness.
      • This is also spoofed in the fanzine "Five Hundred Eyes", which made a write-a-Terrance Dicks-intro generator table:
        [Somewhere in the space-time continuum there was a police box which was not a police box at all.] [Inside was a large ultra-modern control room. By a many-sided central console] was [a tall man with a flopped hat jammed on top of a mop of curly brown hair]. The man was that mysterious traveller in time and space known as the Doctor.
    • The Virgin New Adventures series starts off with the Seventh Doctor rattling off to Ace his identity, her identity, her real name, her background, the premise of Doctor Who itself, key locations like the TARDIS and Gallifrey, and even adds in a Cameo from the Fourth Doctor (the most iconic Doctor, easily recognised by even non-fans) in the form of a recorded message so the Doctor can explain to Ace and the reader that he and that person are the same character.

Theatre
  • The first third of the musical Starlight Express is one giant IntroDump, where each of the 20+ characters gets at least a verse to introduce themselves.
  • In the original production of Starmites, the eponymous band of heroes had four members aside from their leader, and they briefly introduced themselves to AscendedFangirl Eleanor in their We Are Song. Four names, each followed by "At your service, miss!" isn't so bad and is a pretty concise introduction, but subsequent youth theater productions have expanded the mites' ranks to sometimes as many as twenty kids. And they all say their names in the song. Every. Last. One of them.
  • The song "Jacob & Sons" in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (originally the opening number) introduces all 12 sons by name.
  • "It Sucks to Be Me" introduces the residents of Avenue Q along with their various grievances.
  • After the audition in A Chorus Line is narrowed down to the principal cast, Zach has them go down the line and introduce themselves.
  • The dress rehearsal at the beginning of The Phantom of the Opera partially serves as an excuse to introduce the new managers to several other principal cast members (and vice versa).

Video Games
  • Metal Gear Solid's opening cutscene has Colonel Campbell reel off to the player the names of the terrorists, their roles, the hostages (including Meryl), their roles, and the support team and their roles.
    There are six members of FOXHOUND involved in this terrorist activity. Psycho Mantis, with his powerful psychic abilities. Sniper Wolf, the beautiful and deadly sharpshooter. Decoy Octopus, master of disguise. Vulcan Raven, giant and shaman. And Revolver Ocelot, specialist in interrogation and a formidable gunfighter. And finally, in charge of them, FOXHOUND's squad leader... Liquid Snake.

Visual Novel
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni has the infamously long airport scene, just after the opening credits, where most of the Ushiromiya family is introduced through cheerful mundane conversations (although the names and explanations are given in the narration rather than the dialogues). Both the anime and manga adaptations removed the scene, putting bits of it on the boat, during the lunch on Rokkenjima, or even in Episode 2. The story get to the point much faster as a result.

Webcomics

Western Animation
  • The Futurama movie Bender's Big Score begins with a role call of the main cast - just in case viewers forgot who was who in the years since the show went off the air, or for the benefit of some poor schlub who bought the DVD without seeing the show first.
  • In Superfriends, Lex Luthor would frequently introdump the Legion of Doom. This was memorably parodied in a Cartoon Network commercial.
  • The Backyardigans has an expository opening song which begins with the five main characters introducing themselves.
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! had an Introdump during its opening sequence as well, with the six members of the eponymous Hyperforce (if Chiro counts as one) shouting out their names.
  • The first episode of Metalocalypse quotes the not-very Expository Theme Tune: "Gentlemen: Skwisgar Skwigelf, taller than a tree. Toki Wartooth, not a bumblebee. William Murderface Murderface Murderface.Pickles the Drummer, doodeley-doo, ding-dong, doodeley-doodeley-doo. Nathan Explosion. I'm afraid that's all we know, gentlemen."
  • Transformers, as pictured above. Heck, their wiki has a page just for this.
    • Any episode of the Transformers Generation 1 cartoon introducing a new subgroup will have a scene where all of them gets a line or two and says their name (such as "Heavy Metal War" where Scrapper feels the need to call out all the Constructicons instead of just saying "We're all here.")
    • Beast Wars opening 2 parter has LOTS of this. First the Maximals picking their own new names (Based off their beast modes). Every transformation sequence in the two parter is also this, with a character being zoomed upon, saying his name and activation code as he transforms.
    • Transformers Animated has a scene in the first episode where most of the Decepticons are named and show off their personalities.
    • Transformers: Robots In Disguise does this in "Battle Protocol!" while the Autobot Brothers are responding to Optimus Prime.
    • The opening sequence to every episode of Transformers Cybertron has Optimus Prime announce six Autobots' names - these six only form the main team at the start of the series, meaning it gets less useful as time goes by.
  • Parodied in the The Simpsons episode The Twisted World of Marge Simpson. Cletus buys 300 pretzels to feed his children, and then proceeds to call them all out of the house by name... all twenty-six of them. Cletus' children, of course, aren't consistent from episode to episode, with only a few appearing more than once.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes begins its second season premiere with Dr. Doom's assistant delivering him information about the Avengers and their powers.
  • "Just Like Their Names" from the United States English dub of The Smurfs and the Magic Flute (and "Personality" from the United Kingdom English dub) is Papa Smurf's Introdump of the Smurfs to Johan and Peewit set in song.

Real Life
  • Meeting any group of new people and being told each of their names in turn. The Centipede's Dilemma often makes this harder than it otherwise would be, if you panic about being socially obligated to remember all these names. That's why good icebreaking sessions usually either make a game out of it or encourage people to meet each other one by one or in small groups so they have a chance to match a personality to each name/face.

It Gets BetterPacing ProblemsLost in Medias Res
Introduction by HookupCharacter Introduction IndexLast Episode New Character
InfodumpExpositionIt Gets Better
Everybody's Dead, DaveImageSource/Comic BooksTransformers
Instant Messenger PigeonJust for PunI Resemble That Remark

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
45314
1