Bart Simpson:Alan Moore! You wrote my favorite Radioactive Man comics. Alan Moore: Oh, really? You liked how I made your favorite superhero a heroin-addicted jazz critic who's not radioactive? Bart Simpson: I don't read the words, I just like it when he punches people.
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha was initially intended to be a cute little spinoff for people Just Here For the cute little sister from Triangle Heart 3: Sweet Songs Forever. Halfway through the first season, which had by then pulled more viewers than the Toraha 3 OVA released around the same time had, the game cast starts to fade out and the plot gets complicated. By the end, Nanoha is the only game cast member with a major role, the universe has made many major breaks with the originals, and most people seeking the Triangle Heart games and OVAs are Just There For Nanoha.
Happiness! is an anime that was originally a Visual Novel. Most agree it's a fairly mediocre high school drama with a really generic magic system attached. It doesn't matter though, because nearly everyone watches it to see Jun, who steals every single scene he's in.
While the manga has a bit more existent plot, pretty much the only reason most people watch Kanokon is because it should have just been titled Fanservice: The Anime.
That describes any Ecchi, especially Panty Fighters, that have a little more substance, either in story complexity, character depth or animation quality. Any given viewer may have a different Godzilla.
Many watchers of Black Butler stick around simply for the sheer awesomeness that is Sebastian. He is after all, one hell of a butler.
And a lot of others came for the apparent Ho Yay that fans always boast about.
The film adaptation of "Buddha" by Osamu Tezuka seems to be shaping up to be this, due to the soundtrack including "Scarlet Love Song" by X Japan.
A lot of people watched Elfen Lied for the gore, fan service, and Gorn. On a similar occasion, people check out the When They Cry series for the gore but typically stay for other reasons.
How many fans of Axis Powers Hetalia actually have read or watched a majority of the series? You're in here for the fandom, Ho Yay, and the fact the series is based upon Bishōnen and Bishojo personified masses of land.
Other fans watch it for the history, though. Though they still probably haven't read the majority of the comic and are really just looking for Fanfic Fuel.
An amusing inversion in the Digimon series. There are plenty of fans who ignore the Digimon and prefer to focus in the interaction between the humans. Then again, as the anime is a rare positive example of a Human Focused Adaptation, this is understandable.
For most fans they come to watch Digimon digivolve.
Gundam: Despite the complicated plots and the overbearing characters, people still watch the show just to see giant robots beat each other up.
Lampshaded when during one promotion where each cover in one particular month featured Wolverine whether or not he even appears in the story. On some (such as the short-lived adaptation of Laurel K. Hamilton's Stephanie Blake series) the cover (always showing Wolvie teaming up with the comic's hero(es)) there was a small disclaimer, obviously suggested by Marvel's legal counsel that read "Wolverine does not actually appear in this comic."
Also parodied by The Sensational She-Hulk, where they have a cover of Wolverine and a couple of other heroes at the charge and the blurb "Wolverine is on this comic!"... and a crumpled bottom having been pushed up by Jen, who looks at the reader while glibly saying "Note the cover doesn't say he's actually in this comic!"
Similarly, a lot of publicity for 2000AD revolves around the fact that it's the magazine that originated Judge Dredd. Dredd is on roughly 98% of covers nowadays, and the title on the cover used to have the subtitle Featuring'JUDGE DREDD', a tradition continued by the iOS app.
Probably the biggest complaint about the live-action Transformers movies is the focus on the humans. Optimus Prime doesn't even get introduced in the first movie until an hour in. There are subplots that lead to nothing and very scatological humans. Revenge of the Fallen is a little better, offering flashy fights in the beginning, middle and end, but all the time between that is just waffle.
At least one person appears to have been interested in the film only because of Megan Fox.
This is something the Transformers producers have long failed to grasp. Fans are just here for the robots, and it's an extremely rare human who catches on with viewers of any age. The adults who were annoyed by Spike and Daniel may be the Periphery Demographic now, but they were kids when they first watched. With the newer series, for every Sari, there's three Sams or Kickers whose not-remotely-interesting home lives are only unwanted interruptions to the giant-robot-armies-at-war thing everyone really came for, and any scene with them will be considered Filler. The humans who do get popular are never the Tagalong Kids who get all the screentime... and it's hard to know if the kids liked Simmons or Fowler as much as we do.
Human characters like Simmons or Lennox get something of a free pass, since any screen time they get is always plot relevant and involves the Transformers, whereas Sam stopped being relevant or interesting after he left for college at the beginning of Revenge of the Fallen.
Transformers Prime challenges even the movieverse at first(!) with its attention to Jack's home life and Miko's love of being In Harm's Way. There's a lot - an awful lot - of time spent on Jack angsting about how his time with the 'bots is interfering with his mundane life, even though there's really no need for him to be with the Autobots. By season two, though, this is massively scaled back, with the story mostly about the Transformers' battles, with the humans occasionally helping out. Miko has come especially far, from rushing headlong into danger explicitily because it's fun and not caring about endangering everyone to actually being part of the solution, and you really see the kids being the Autobots' guides to an unfamiliar world.
In general, if you have a favorite B-movie actor and plenty of time and/or disposable income on your hands, you'll watch droves of otherwise unwatchable films just to catch a glimpse of your hero - and that goes double if you're a horny male and the "star" is a sexy babe. Take AnnaNicoleSmith, for instance. How many boys aged 14 to 25 watched the DTV movie To the Limitjust to see her naked body - when she wasn't even the main character in that film, and in fact it was a sequel to an earlier film, Da Vinci's War, which she wasn't in and which was made before most people had even heard of her?
The Godzilla franchise, which probably became famous only for the monster fights (hence the trope title).
Most action films score very low on plot originality, character development or any kind of message. Audiences simply want to see explosions (or "'splosions," in the common vernacular), people fighting each other or fast paced special effects.
Most romantic drama films and comedies are extremely predictable, yet women and couples just want to see a romantic story on a fairy tale level to leave the cinema with a happy feeling.
Alexander was a somewhat boring, overly long and drawn out film. A large amount of people watched it for that one scene with Rosario Dawson.
A larger amount probably came looking only for the battle sequences, which given who it is about is understandable.
A LOT of Japanese people only watch Hollywood films because they find the American actor/actresses in them attractive.
A lot of audiences in general seem to like movies more for the costumes and set design than for the actual plot.
Slasher-style horror movies (Friday the 13th and whatnot) typically attract people for the murderer. The trope Developing Doomed Characters was invented purely to describe the miserable time before the murderer starts knifing co-eds. Because seriously, who sat down to watch the engaging social life at Camp Crystal Lake?
Averted in the first Halloween 1978. It features no gore and actually focuses on the characters.
The "Plot" such as it is, of most Friday the 13th movies, serves only as a vehicle to deliver (usually Teen) Victims to Jason. This is further confirmed by the "Jump to a Death" option present on the home DVD versions.
In fact, Halloween III: Season of the Witch was a huge flop because the star of the series, Michael Myers, wasn't in it. Today the film is re-evaluated for it's original story and atmosphere, but back in 1982 audiences simply wanted to watch Myers kill people and nothing more complicated or original than that.
In the Japanese film Always Zoku San Choume No Yuuhi (Always Sunset on Third Street 2), Godzilla himself makes a brief cameo appearance in the first 2 minutes of the film in a dream sequence and in CGI form, Many Godzilla fans don't know what this film is about or even care, all they want to see is Godzilla as this is his most recent appearance as of 2010.
This could apply to Spider Man himself. Since the first movie, the biggest complaint is that there is too much of Peter Parker and his moping and talky-talky, and not enough of Spider-Man beating up bad guys and making quips. Those complaints were addressed in The Amazing Spider-Man.
A criticism of the first Hulk movie was Ang Lee's attempt to add the daddy issues backstory, while most people just wanted to see HULK SMASH.
The fact that Bruce had major "daddy issues" was canon from the comics, though exactly which issues those were mutated unrecognizably 'twixt comic and screen (along with most other elements other than anger = big green monster).
The issues presented weren't the problem, it was that Lee tried to make them the whole movie and not just a small part of Hulk. Like Spider-Man above, less whine more hero.
Rotten Tomatoes even summarizes the consensus of the movie as "Too much talking and not enough smashing."
Ironically, many ''Skinemax' films go the opposite direction, with as few as two or three sex scenes (tastefully obscured sometimes, at that!) in a two hour movie about the most boring and trite corporate/scientific espionage imaginable. Makes a good insomnia cure though!
While a lot of people won't admit it, social stigmas related to nudity and sex means many people's only exposure to such is through generic action movies. The watchers are not especially interested in the story at all, they're just there for the nudity, sex and violence. This means movies are released with this in mind, leading to Viewers Are Morons, which pisses off the other group.
Ironically, this can (and does) happen with quite a lot of highbrow films that feature nudity. Many, especially in the 50s and 60s when nudity in mainstream film was illegal, patiently sat through incomprehensible art films they wouldn't have otherwise.
Same issue comes up with nudist resorts in Real Life. People are so stigmatized to nudity only being in late-night movies and pornography that they don't realize that there are family-friendly nudist resorts out there which are not only intended to be non-sexual but go out of their way to keep the wrong element out. (For instance wearing underwear around is frowned upon at nudist resorts. It may seem odd to the non-nudist, but it makes sense when you realize lingerie is underwear, and a short look at porn shows half-dressed people are considered sexier than simply naked people)
Milla Jovovich is a compelling reason to watch many things - Zoolander (as Katinka) and The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc to name two.
The fact that Ms. Jovovich appears in The Fifth Element wearing nothing but a little packing tape certainly doesn't hurt that film's appeal, either.
Inverted with her role in the Resident Evil movies, as many fans were displeased that established characters such as Jill Valentine and Leon Kennedy were pushed back in favor of Jovovich. It hasn't stopped the movies from being successful, though.
This is an interesting dilemma with the original The Pink Panther movies. The bulk of viewers only watch them for Peter Sellers and, to a lesser extent, the animated title sequences. (The series has been outright criticized by critics such as James Berardinelli as having little merit beyond them.) Now, Sellers' Inspector Clouseau may be the lead character, but over the course of the nine films...
Clouseau is actually a Breakout Character. In the first film, David Niven's thief Sir Charles Lytton/The Phantom is the lead. In the fourth film, Return of the Pink Panther, Sir Charles returns (played by Christopher Plummer) and takes up a big chunk of the film in a distracting, unfunny subplot.
The third film, Inspector Clouseau, replaces Sellers with Alan Arkin and drops all the other established characters.
The seventh film, 1982's Trail of... is actually a Clip Show of deleted scenes from the fifth film and greatest hits from the others because Sellers died in 1980.
The eighth film, Curse of... features a Replacement Scrappy lead, Detective Clifton Sleigh (Ted Wass).
Later, the success of the 2006 Steve Martin reboot was arguably a case of Just Here For Steve Martin, considering the sequel's disappointing performance.
Fans of Anthony Stewart Head, Sarah Brightman, Paul Sorvino, Alexa Vega, Paris Hilton, Bill Mosely, and/or Nivek Ogre went to see Repo! The Genetic Opera based solely on their appearances therein. Almost all of them are now devoted fans of the movie.
Fans of Yoshiki Hayashi did the same. Their mileage varies widely: some are devoted fans of the film, others... not so much.
Arguably Paris Hilton drove away more of the film's potential audience than she attracted (House Of Wax 2005, anyone?). Which is a shame, because she performs her role in Repo perfectly.
The films starring Sonja Henie were to watch her skate.
Some people went for the massive hellstorm of special effects that is the last quarter of the movie.
How about Yoda wielding a lightsaber? As the film wore on in theaters commercials started airing saying "who da man? Yoda man" to capitalize on what was certainly the film's largest draw.
For most they come to watch the space battles, or the Jedi fight scenes.
Bound is probably a compelling modern film-noir classic. But people only watch it for certain scenes.
On that note, Wild Things: Denise Richards gets 'em out, makes out with Neve Campbell in a swimming pool and they have a threesome with Matt Dillon. Yes there was a plot, and it wasn't half bad either. The sequels have a similar reputation, except for the "plot" part.
And some viewers were disappointed to learn Neve Campbell didn't "get 'em out".
German Neo-Nazis often bought tickets for American History X just to see the violence scenes during the first ten minutes. After that, they left the cinema again.
The first album by Procol Harum includes a song titled "Salad Days (Are Here Again)", and the track listing on the back cover says that this song is "From The Film 'Separation'". Separation is an obscure art film which remained unavailable for a long time after its initial (limited) theatrical run in 1968, leaving Procol Harum fans wondering what it was like. In 2009, the film was released on video for the first time, and thus many of those watching it are Just Here For Procol Harum (though maybe Come for the X, Stay for the Y is in effect too).
Back when it was released most teenage girls went to see the film solely because they were so in love with Leonardo DiCaprio. In fact many people only remember the romantic scenes and are completely unaware that the entire story was based on a real life incident.
Many people have seen it multiple times, and still have not seen the beginning. The "Making of" documentary created a lot of interest in the special effects in people who had originally chosen not to sit through the four-hour film.
It's pretty common knowledge that the crow's nest scene (when the look-outs spot the iceberg) occurs just about five minutes into the third hour, when it plays on TV, so when it's on, you can tune in exactly halfway through for the special effects, and skip the romance entirely.
Even easier, the original VHS release came out as two tapes, with the second starting at about the 2 hour point. The second tape is all you need.
Many Trek fans only watched the Star Trek reboot for Leonard Nimoy's performance as Spock. The 90210 re-casting was not a selling point.
Many people also watched it for Zachary Quinto, widely regarded as the best thing in Heroes even at its best, as the new Spock. Other people watched for the space battles.
Many people went to see The Rite for one thing: Anthony Hopkins possessed.
And in Mexico, many went to Watch It for the Meme that spawned thanks to certain national news anchor that interviewed Hopkins.
A lot of people have watched Zabriskie Point solely because of its Pink Floyd connection. note As for More and La Vallée, the main reason that anyone even hears about these films today is that Pink Floyd is still selling the albums (More and Obscured by Clouds) of the music that they wrote for the soundtracks.
Wreck-It Ralph: fans all over the internet are having Nerdgasms over seeing their favourite video game characters make cameos. Subverted for many when the cameos stop coming about halfway through the movie and the audience is hooked on the film's own characters and plot.
A good deal of the interest (at least among adults) in Hotel Transylvania came solely from the fact that Genndy Tartakovsky directed the film. Many people were not interested in the film itself and just wanted to see it because they thought it would help his career if they did.
Though it's still clear that there's more to the appeal than just explosions and cute nerd girls. Several shows have been made over the years attempting to copy specifically those two elements, and none of them have stuck. Apparently actual science is the glue that holds the explosions together.
A classic example is Family Matters, many of whose viewers were less interested in the Winslows than they were in whatever it was Steve Urkel was up to this week. They could have easily redubbed it The Urkel Show and the ratings probably wouldn't have been affected very much.
Depending on your opinion G4Tv is only good for X-Play, Attack of the Show!, Totally Outrageous Behavior or Movies That Don't Suck. Network Decay killed all the other tech or game related shows, replacing them with Cops and Cheaters.
There's also the camp of those who watch it just for Ninja Warrior and its kin.
The largest demographic of people now checking out The Green Hornet TV show are those interested in Bruce Lee's early career.
As Ben Browder found out by conducting a poll at his first Stargate convention, some people started watching Stargate SG-1 when Ben and Claudia joined season 9 and others started watching Farscape after seeing Ben and Claudia on SG-1.
Many people have said that the only reason to watch FlashForward is John Cho.
There are also some LOST fans, or ex-fans, who started watching it simply because they still miss Charlie. ABC probably predicted this.
Many people watch American Idol in the beginning just to see the horrible no talent singers make fools of themselves on national television and seeing the judges(especially Simon Cowell mock them. Everything else after that is just a waste of time.
Likewise, some people only watch Hell's Kitchen to see Gordon Ramsay hurl insults at people and to watch incomptent contestants make complete asses of themsleves.
It is very hard to get non-nerds to watch any part of a space mission except launch and touchdown.
BBC America will readily admit that most of the people who subscribe to their channel are only in it for Doctor Who.
As a tangent to that, when the series 3 DVD of The Sarah Jane Adventures was released, it had a sticker that said, "David Tennant's last recorded scenes as the Doctor." Since he was only in 2 episodes of a 12 episode season, likely that little bit of advertising angered somebody.
More than one person who is less than totally invested in the art of dance has watched So You Think You Can Dance religiously to see incredibly fit, attractive, young people twist and display their bodies in next to no clothing. For that matter, people who are totally invested in the art of dance merely tolerate the extensive air time devoted to the judges' input, contestant background clips and rehearsal footage, not to mention the musical guests and virtually content-free padding during the results shows.
Whenever a starring actor from a well known TV show stars in a new show, fans of that actor's previous show will probably tune in to the new show for the star. For example:
Rizzoli & Isles has a two for one deal: it has Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander. It's plausible that most of Rizzoli & Isles viewers for the first few episodes were fans of the two stars previous shows.
People who watch Dark Angel only for Jensen Ackles, unfortunately often skipping Season One except for "Pollo Loco". At least it's balanced out by those who want to see Jessica Alba.
The 2009 remake of V has had low ratings and poor reviews, but many have agreed that Morena Baccarin's performance carries the show.
Many people watched Unsolved Mysteries soley for the segments on ghosts, aliens, and other supernatural creepiness. Speaking of creepy, some people who might otherwise have skipped over the show did watch it solely for its creepily awesome music score and Robert Stack's scary voice. It's still running today, but minus nearly all of the above.
The short-lived Painkiller Jane TV series departed significantly from its source material and did not perform well enough to merit a second season, But some of us weren't paying attention to all that: we tuned in to see Kristanna Loken have some Les Yay and Bondage Fun once a week. And near the end of the show's run, the producers seemed to catch on...
A lot of fans of Monty Python merely laugh at the silliness and men dressing up as women. The intellectual and satirical references just go right over their head.
Some people started watching American Horror Story in order to catch up when they heard Zachary Quinto would make a guest appearance. He's a pissed off ghost who is tied to the backstory of the house.
Many people watch award ceremonies just for the awards that the shows they like have been nominated for.
Plenty only watch the Spike Video Game Awards for the trailers and announcements.
In April, 2012, ITV premiered a 4 part Titanic mini-series to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of that ship. Around the same time, it was revealed that the next Companion for Doctor Who would be one Jenna-Louise Coleman...who happens to have a supporting role in the aforesaid Titanic mini series. Cue the YouTube clips of her scenes ONLY.
The final two years of Australian Talk Show Rove (previously known as Rove Live) had a segment called Kevin Rudd PM. What was pretty much a Gag Dub of news footage spliced together of then Prime Minster Kevin Rudd as a secret agent. Looking episodes up on YouTube you'll see people saying they only watched the show for this.
If the internet is to be believed, most of the people who watched Hawking after 2010 were just there for Benedict Cumberbatch's performance. Granted, it is a great performance and landed him a BAFTA nomination.
Dateline has been running in some form since 1992. To Catch A Predator ran for a few standalone segments between 2003 and 2007. Now go to the Dateline page and see how many tropes are about just that segment...
TNT's Major Crimes drew from two major audience sources. The first, of course, was the fanbase of the parent show The Closer. The second was this trope being invoked with regards to Major Crimes star Mary McDonnell, who gained some serious star power from her work on Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined). In fact, this started when McDonnell first came on The Closer in its fifth season, as she'd only just left BSG at that point, but the announcement that she'd be headlining a television series again brought quite a bit more of her fanbase on board.
Coupling: Jeff on whether a porn video has a plot -
Well, it's kind of hard to tell isn't it 'cos you tend to fast forward if anyone's dressed.
Jeff: I liked (The Piano). Holly Hunter was naked for most of it.
Sally: She was nude in one scene!
Jeff: Depends how you watch it...
Other Print Media
Many writers have readers who are reading it because they're interested in the time period and/or country where it takes place.
Fu Manchu novels back in the day. No one cared about the heroes, they were just there to see Fu Manchu kick ass.
Some people only subscribe to certain gaming magazines just for the freebies that they provide every so often, such as game demos.
A subscription to Nintendo Power in the late '80s could net you a copy of Dragon Quest I. A full version of a game worth roughly half again (at the time) the value of the subscription. Not a bad promo. Probably brought in a lot of business for the magazine.
There's people who won't read a review to see what the reviewer said, but to just look at the score they gave it.
Amiga Power knew this well, and in their final issue gave Alien Breed 3D 2: The Killing Grounds a score of 98% (one of their highest scores in the entire run of the magazine), adding in the review itself that they'd always wanted to give a fake score and that it was actually only worth 59%.
Let's face it: You've probably bought a periodical that you wouldn't normally care about because a character from some work you're interested in was on the cover. Bonus points if it was an import. Even more bonus points if it's in some foreign language you can't read.
Pornographic mags. Subvertedandlampshaded, as we like to say it's just for the articles... but for a good half the readership, it's closer to "Someone get these words out, they're blocking my pictorials!"
Take a look at the back cover of a Chinese novel that's been translated into Swedish. You'll find that it's written under the assumption that the book's potential readers are looking for a novel to teach them about China as a country, and not just a plot and characters and the other stuff you usually look for in a book. The Cultural Revolution is bound to be mentioned. The book Beijing Doll is just an autobiographical novel about life as a rock music-loving teen, but the Swedish back cover makes sure to mention that it's takes place after The Cultural Revolution, just so that the publishers could include a mention of it. It's very rare to find a back cover text that assumes that the readers just want a good novel and don't care one way or the other about the country where it takes place.
The Australian comedy group Tripod had a song on this subject, with particular reference to the Peter Jackson King Kong film; the refrain, which could easily serve as an alternate trope title: "Get to the fucking monkey."
This happens a lot in rap music. You take a popular or respected rapper and put them on a lesser known or just slightly less popular rapper's song (they might be appearing on every song that summer actually) either dropping a verse or just doing the hook. What'll happen is people completely ignore the rest of the song (unless they happen to enjoy the other rapper or they turn out to be really good) and just skip to the guest portions.
Radiohead fans often demand from the start of the concert that "Creep" be played, then leave as soon as it's over. Radiohead is less than happy with this state of affairs, as documented in another song, "My Iron Lung." It became much less of a problem when OK Computer and Kid A introduced a whole new legion of fans.
According to King Missile frontman Tom S Hall, around 1992 or so, their audiences were entirely made up of people who were either long-time fans or were just here for "Detachable Penis" - they dealt with it by always playing the song live, but deliberately making sure it came very early in the set. Thus, everyone who was just there for their hit would stream out of the club and they could play for the people who were really interested.
Nirvana employed the same tactic with "Smells Like Teen Spirit". They also very seldom performed encores, and when they did, "Teen Spirit" was always part of the main set.
This can happen at double-billed concerts or festivals if you're a fan of only one of the artists playing.
Many classical music concerts often feature the more melodic tunes by popular composers ("William Tell Overture" (Gioacchino Rossini), "The Blue Danube" (Johann Strauss), "Bolero" (Maurice Ravel), "5th symphony" (Ludwig van Beethoven)"Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart),...), because most audiences just want to hear the most famous portions and not the obscure, less danceable work. In fact many well known classical tunes are played as a stand alone piece instead of in the context of the original work. For instance, everyone knows the first part of Beethoven's 5th symphony, but are unaware that there are more, less well known portions to the work.
And if the "William Tell Overture" is on the playlist, take a second look. Many classical stations only play the finale of the overture (a.k.a. The Lone Ranger theme). The full overture is 12 minutes long.
Often happens at concerts of older bands that were once more popular, but are still putting out new material. Fans want to hear the older hits, not the new stuff, especially if the new stuff just isn't up to par.
This is often why Hank Williams III gets concert bookings. He sounds just like his late grandfather Hank Williams Sr. and so starts off every concert by doing some country songs and his grandfather's hits. Once that's done he informs the country fans that the part they came for is done with and that they can leave before launching into the Psychobilly Death Metal songs from his group Assjack that he actually likes to perform.
Hawkwind attribute a large portion of their live audiences from mid-1971 to mid-75 (particularly in Germany) to Stacia, a statuesque brunette standing a little over 6 foot tall, who would dance on stage. note She started off performing naked or in body paint where possible, but moved to more serious, less-exposed performances as the years progressed.
Inverted for a while by Bob Dylan, who went through a phase of playing "All Along the Watchtower" third in the set for no particular reason; although it wasn't the intention, it let people who'd followed him on tour and didn't want to hear it know when they could go for a smoke or toilet break.
Why bother denying it? For several years during the "Attitude" Era and sometime thereafter, WWE showcased their Divas in strip matches (called variously "Evening Gown Matches" or "Bra and Panties Matches") - and many teenage boys tuned in just for that.
In the Attitude era many only watched for The Rock or hardcore matches, and later on, were only interested in Rey Mysterio or John Cena.
The Undertaker is a walking one, especially concerning WrestleMania. It does not help that the last couple WMs have had his match the best match of the night (and some times the only match worth watching).
Michael Jordan. Once he left (and came back, and left and came back, and left and came back) the NBA saw a drop in their ratings that they still haven't fully recovered from.
Subverted, oddly enough, by Chicago Bulls fans. In the Post-Jordan era (after MJ left for the Washington Wizards), The Bulls have been #1 in overall attendance in the NBA, topping the NBA attendance charts most years - even during the Dark Ages in the early 2000's when the team was a laughingstock.
And, to a lesser extent, Kobe Bryant as well.
May as well throw LeBron James here too: As far as Cleveland is concerned, the pre-2003 Cavs only existed to fill the gap between football and baseball. And considering the apocalyptic tone of the coverage of his move to Miami, apparently, many think James was the only reason to be in Cleveland period.
Capitalism: A Love Story had a little segment that stated exactly that.
And let me tell you, when you make the city of Cleveland long for the non-entity Browns and Indians... that's special.
Tiger Woods brought in a lot of new golf fans.
A lot of fans. Nielsens go way down in golf tournaments where Tiger isn't playing, and go way up when he's got a chance to win. This trope could be called Just Here For Tiger.
Yeah, man. I love L.A. Galaxy. Been a fan since 11 January 2007.....what? David Beckham? Oh yeah. What a funny coincidence.
Likewise, Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls.
The Minnesota Lynx had trouble getting butts in the seats before Lindsay Whalen and Maya Moore showed up.
The US women's soccer team sure has gotten a lot more popular since Alex Morgan joined.
It's a well known fact that the Olympics are riddled with Godzillas. Some people only watch for the team sports, some only watch to see their country and don't care about events that don't have a hometown hero, some only watch to see the current big star (e.g., Michael Phelps in 2008), and some just watch for the events where women compete in skimpy outfits. The one universally understood constant is that no one on Earth is actually interested in every single event (and hardly anyone is interested in the non-competition portions of the television coverage).
Two words: Lance Armstrong. Ever since he stopped competing in the Tour de France, American interest in that event has been tepid at best.
How many people who watch NASCAR really know what "track bar adjustment" and "bump drafting" mean, and how many just want to see the big wreck?
How about watching the Super Bowl just for the commercials?
...Or the halftime show.
Often seen in Major League baseball when some player is about to tie or break a record, even if doing so doesn't mean anything for the team since they're out of contention and it might not even matter to the game outcome.
Though, often this reflects more on the networks covering the player and their team and their immediate fan base than it does for sports fans as a whole. Basically, sports news loves reporting on the breaking of records and hometown fans love being able to brag, but no one else interested in baseball or sports really cares too much.
A lot of parks in the MLB have Premium Prices on games featuring specific rival teams and/or the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox (the latter for their name and reputation alone).
Tennis became very popular in Israel for a while when Shakhar Pe'er and the duo Andy and Yoni became prominent Tennis players.
Women's Tennis also had increased ratings in the U.S. when Serena and Venus Williams are playing, in fact the 2001 U.S. Open match between them was moved to prime time because of the positive effects they had on ratings. In men's Tennis, Federer and Nadal usually attract viewers.
Every Game Master who has focused on plots has encountered this. The entire joke about The Munchkin File's archetypes reveals three of the four are there just for Godzilla. The Loonie is there for a laugh, The Real Man is there to put the hurt on something in a power fantasy, and the Munchkin is there just for whatever gives the most plusses. Other RPG guides talk about players who just want to play out their personal fantasy over and over, those who like outfoxing the GM's best antagonists, and gamers who are there just to hang with their friends.
This happens in war games with extensive historical backgrounds or in universe mythologies. Some players are trying to recreate the Roman Legio XX, refight Midway, or celebrate the Expanded Universe of their favorite setting. Others just want things to die and could care less about any of the supposed backdrop. And some players want the big win so bad, they'll try to make the most deadly force the rules allow, real-world doctrine (for historical games), in-universe fluff, or even sportsmanship be damned.
This is the origin of modern musical theatre. Some people were putting on a play, the ballet house next door burnt down, so they offered the ballerinas a part in their show. They threw together some songs and dance numbers et voilà, they had created a five and a half hour abomination against all that has ever been held as art: The Black Crook. But, having women in pants, which, in an age where women wore skirts, was considered very sexy.
Similarly, the modern burlesque evolved out of a segment of the minstrel shows devoted to parody of famous works. After the minstrel show disappeared and its segments were scattered the burlesque continued as parody, but as more and more women entered it playing men's parts, more and more men showed up to see women in pants. Wasn't long before they just gave up the pretense and started giving the audience exactly what they wanted.
A selling point of many major "spectacle" musicals are the huge special effects set-pieces:
The Mountaintop is a play centered on the civil rights activist Martin Luther King which took a new perspective on him. But a lot of people simply watch it to see Samuel L. Jackson play as Martin Luther King.
This happens a lot when Hollywood actors do theatre. To be fair, many of them are talented actors who are well worth watching, and any production that can afford to have them is probably of a high standard. Even if you came for the actor, there's a good chance you'd stay for a lot of other reasons.
Leo Gallagher made the Sledge-O-Matic closer into such a signature routine that he had to get the courts to stop his brother from performing it. Given the splatter protection fans came up with so they could see the "carnage" up close and protect their outfits, it's clear they were just there for it.
Let's just get straight to the point and say that any multiplayer-oriented game falls into this.
id Software made the decision with the Quake series to move towards competitive multiplayer-only gaming. They eventually abandoned single-player entirely with Quake 3. When they tried to return with Doom 3, half the fandomhated it.
It's worth noting that Doom already implemented a deathmatch mode, but it was also strongly designed with co-op in mind, making deathmatch only an extra. Quake fans disliked Doom 3 for it's focus on singleplayer. Doom fans disliked Doom 3 for not making it co-op.
Likewise with Epic Games. In the Unreal franchise, the SP side of the franchise was left with Unreal II The Awakening, (2002) so pretty much everything which was left was the multiplayersideof it. Arguably, it took until the creation of another franchise (2006) for them to make people to play single-player games and focus on the story. And even then, most of the people were more interested in the multiplayer rather than the singleplayer or the story of the game.
Valve had made its impression with a story-rich single-player game, but with even deepening story through Half-Life 2 + Episodes, they left behind the survival horror that brought many players back. However, many returned just to see "Gordon Smash", and later "Dog Smash", and of course Alyx shoot.
The Boss Battle is such a core and dramatic gameplay element many gamers will want to skip right to them rather than breaking them up with less awesome levels.
Likewise, the Driver series doesn't really need a story either. It's just an unlimited supply of interactive Chase Scenes for many.
But Grand Theft Auto IV insisted on thrusting the story on the player, with occasionally harsh wake-ups from the escapist fun. This is why Saints Row 2 sold itself as a refreshing break from the wangstmire. There's story, but players who are only here for the fast cars, gunsgunsguns and explosive sociopathy can race right over such speedbumps.
Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball is often considered one of the better volleyball simulators on the market, not that there are many to begin with. Most people only played it for the Fanservice. (Naturally, the sequels focused on fanservice at the expense of gameplay.) Mind you, given that it was created as the videogame equivalent of a fanserviceyBeach Episode (with minigames where you buy bikinis for the other characters), the players who are just there for the volleyball are probably the ones who fit this trope.
Many played Kingdom Hearts just to see the Final Fantasy and/or Disney characters, particularly the latter, which is more heavily emphasized in-game and in advertising. The original elements, story and characters usually actually only draw in folks from the Fandom, though at this point it's an established enough series for the original elements to be the main draw. And speaking of the original elements, a Vocal Minority of fans are only in it for Organization XII
And by the way, those who pre-ordered Ys vs Sora no Kiseki crossover game, would be presented with Falcom's best soundtrack collection album arrange version. Not to say the game itself is not desirable enough but many bought it for that. One of 2channel users can't says it any better than this:
"The game is just bonus, the soundtrack is the real deal"
Same deal with Okami. The whole game was chock-full of absolutely awesome music, not to mention the extensive & vibrant Scenery Porn.
There are fans of Marvel Ultimate Alliance that couldn't tell you anything about the story if you held a gun to their head... they just play to break things and hurt people.
And of course, Deadpool, who gets all the best lines of the first game and is even more advertised for the second.
Grand Chase advertisement: "GRAND CHASE HAS ONE OF THE MOST "SKILL BASED" PVP SYSTEMS EVER! Wait... there's dungeons too? WHO CARES? NEW TOURNAMENT! CASH IN NOW TO BE THE BEST!!"
Similarly, all the Dungeons & Dragons Online advertisements make it seem like you start at level 20 and fight epic creatures right from the get-go.
Warcraft III: When Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars came out, some people bought it only for that and other custom maps, others stick purely to the latter, the majority doesn't care either way. Rumors of a story-heavy campaign mode remain unconfirmed.
Or, alternatively, they just play the games to get to the specific level where their favourite characters appear.
Many, many Wii fans don't even buy extra games for the Wii; they're just in it for Wii Sports.
Given the Wii's attach rate (number of games sold to the total number of systems), this is demonstrably false. Either that, or there are a small number of Wii gamers who buy 300+ games for their system...
Most Wii Play sales can be attributed to the 40 dollar controller (that was somewhat hard to locate in the system's early life) included free with a 50 dollar game.
Which seems to have encouraged Nintendo to do it more, with Wii Fit and Wii Sports Resort coming with the balance board and the Motion Plus, respectively. It's certainly working.
Xbox Live's Gamerscore system has resulted in "achievement whores", players who buy games strictly to milk their achievements and then never touch them again.
There is a game based on Avatar The Last Airbender that has a total of 5 achievements worth 1,000 Gamerscore, which you can unlock within the first five minutes of playing the game. The game has a thriving aftermarket on Amazon and in game stores on the basis of this alone.
For console gaming, some people may get a video game console just to play a few specific games that appeal to them and nothing else.
Playing Space Channel 5 Part 2? There's a good chance you're playing it just for Purge.
Rule of Rose features an interesting inversion to the usual trend, as the fans of the game typically consider the mediocre gameplay completely uninteresting compared to the complex Mind Screw storyline, and dig out the most minute details for further speculation about the character motives. Elitism isn't dead.
Many people only get Starcraft for the multiplayer ability.
Interestingly, the free-to-play Starter Edition of StarCraft II includes full access to the Terrans... but only the Terrans, and only on certain maps/match types.
Left 4 Dead has grafitti all over the maps to give subtle cues on what had happened before the survivors arrived without giving too much away. However, most people prefer to just blaze through the maps and kill zombies.
Soulcalibur II is one of the few titles (if not the only major release) to sell more on the Gamecube than the Xbox or Playstation 2. Why? It included Link as a playable character.
Soulcalibur V seems to be aiming for a repeat performance, but with greater magnitude. Why? Ezio Auditore as the game's guest.
One of the Namco Bandai producers would admit that this was part of why Ezio was picked, since he was so popular in the West where they want the series to do well.
Let's be honest here, people: No-one cares about the storyline or gameplay or anything of Bullet Witch, you just want to shoot stuff.
Many play SimCity just for the disasters. Since monster attacks have been one such disaster, including one in Tokyo in The Sixties, this is a literal invocation of this trope.
For its sister series The Sims people often play it either to just kill people in horrible ways, make their Sims miserable, or to make their character Really Get Around.
Alternatively, they play just to be able to play as characters they like (true for a lot of games with Character Customization) or have a popular Game Mod.
Chances are that niche games which happened to include game demos for more popular products count here. Zone Of The Enders with its Metal Gear Solid 2 demo, most definitely (though ZOE managed to find its audience with 2nd Runner), and to a less successful extent, Tobal No. 1 with its demo for Final Fantasy VII.
Tim Schafer was aggravated when he was playing his game Brütal Legend online, only to find a player send him a message "surrendur plz," which meant the player was just trying to trade wins for achievements without trying to play. Tim Schafer tweeted "surrender plz? SURRENDUR PLZ? Is that what I go online for? To be asked to surrendur plz at my own game?!"
A good bit of the reaction to Pokémon Conquest and "day one buy" reactions to this were solely because of how out-there the crossover idea was.
Speaking of Pokemon, while the storylines in the main games have gotten more complex and detailed, people still buy the games because they still want to catch, train and battle with the eponymous monsters.
Most people that buy ARMA II only get it in order to play the Day Z mod that turns the game into a zombie survival horror game.
The Super Smash Bros. franchise seems to have been created just for this trope alone. Despite that the Brawl installment has an actual story in the single player campaign, no one cares what happened or how the characters even came to meet each other. People just want to play as their favorite Nintendo mascots and beat the crap out of each other.
For the Furry Fandom, any game that has a non human character will usually get the attention of furry enthusiasts.
Forza Horizon has something of a Excuse Plot, people don't care as they mostly play it for the cars and customization options for said cars.
School Days actually features plenty of endings where the cheerful, well-adjusted protagonists live happily ever after... but no one cares about those. Most people playing School Days just want its infamous Bad Ends in which one or more characters are brutally murdered.
Just as with Generator Rex, Ben 10 had people who just stuck around to watch Grandpa Max be incredibly awesome. Or to watch Ben transform into an alien.
Taken to the extreme in a cutaway gag: It seems that Peter only went to The Phantom of the Opera to see the Phantom's deformity, and shouts at the actor playing him to hurry up. "Come on, show the gross half of your face so I can get out of here! That nose better be piggy!"
The episode "Jerome Is the New Black" is this to fans. No one cares about the plot or the titular character, they just want to Quagmire give Brian a "The Reason You Suck" Speech
There's also a smaller, but never the less existing group that watches only for Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot, and within that subset, a fair portion who watch only for either Grumpy Bear or Wonderheart Bear.
Many people watched Who Framed Roger Rabbit? just to see some their favorite cartoon characters in the same scene (Donald and Daffy, Mickey and Bugs).
Even you don't know or care about the film The Nostalgia Critic is reviewing, it's fun to see him break down in tears and/or rage over it.
Likewise, you don't need to be familiar with whatever The Angry Video Game Nerd is reviewing (and it's likely you often won't; he's done some pretty obscure games) to enjoy the resultant emotional meltdown.
And, similar to The Escapist above, it's likely that most visitors of Channel Awesome will only watch the videos of a handful of reviewers and, if it weren't for the yearly anniversary specials, may not even know that certain reviewers exist.
Also talking of The Nostalgia Critic, apparently this was one of the reasons he brought the show back. Sure he started a new one, but most people apparently came to the site to watch the episodes, and ad revenue dropped after the show ended.
Someone once commented that he only watched a 20-minute-long Cinema Snob review for a 1-minute-long Linkara cameo. The Snob was not amused.
In the webcomic The Dreamer, a lot of people just read it for Nathan Hale and Alexander Hamilton.
Brental Floss of YouTube fame has done lots of skits and other videos on his channel, but what really got him to high popularity was his "X With Lyrics" series where he makes up a song based on the chosen video game. Nowadays, most people who look up Brental Floss only look for his lyrics series.
There are two categories of Homestuck fans: those who are just here for the trolls, and those who look down on them.