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Makes Just as Much Sense in Context

"My first thought when I heard that was, 'I am so going to quote that out of context,' but on reflection it doesn't make a whole lot of sense in context either."
Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, Heavenly Sword Demo review, Zero Punctuation, in response to the line "We may need you to play twing-twang".

Sometimes, when describing an event in a work, we resort to It Makes Sense in Context.

Sometimes, though, an event is just as nonsensical in context as it is when summarized, and we say it Makes Just As Much Sense In Context.

Closely associated with Mind Screws, Gainax Endings and Ice Cream Koans.

Compare these related tropes:

  • A Big Lipped Alligator Moment is the intersection of this and padding. A plot point that Makes Just As Much Sense In Context may or may not be padding; it could be vital to the plot.
  • Fridge Logic occurs when something appears to make sense in context, until you examine it more closely. This fails to make sense in context, and when examined more closely.
  • Voodoo Shark is a Sister Trope; a patch over a plot hole creates another plot hole. This trope doesn't require that the weirdness be an attempt to fix an earlier weakness.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs? and Widget Series is the whole show; this is just one case.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere is when a game's boss has no relationship to anything else included in the game or its backstory, generally being blatantly out of place, setting, and even genre.
  • A Gainax Ending is when the ending of a work makes no sense in or out of context; this trope doesn't have to be at the end.
  • The Plot Demanded This Index - Something happens to push the story because logic can't.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Advertising 

     Anime & Manga  

  • Near the end of the first Hellsing anime, the main villain catches Alucard's bullets with his head by phasing it. He then sends the bullet flying back down the barrel of the gun, somehow causing it to explode all the bullets into Alucard and reduce him to a pile of blood. Then again, this is a show about gun-wielding vampires.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei is already pretty bizarre, but there's this one scene where the eponymous teacher, Itoshiki Nozomu, walks on a beach towards the ocean, looks up, sees a giant squid with Big Ol' Eyebrows emerge from the water ... and tenderly mumbles "Mother".
  • Episode 7 of Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai has Karura bent on world domination, throwing cakes at people in the streets because he wants to ejaculate, but was unable to.
  • The Mochi strips in Axis Powers Hetalia, which feature Estonia's new pets: rice cakes that look and (sort of) act like other nations. In one strip, Mochicanada ate Mochimerica's daddy, a Lettuce that wanted to take over the world, and was proclaimed to be "The greatest country!". And that was one of the less nonsensical strips! There's also the end of the Hetalia Bloodbath 2010, which managed to be this, heartwarming, and awesome at the same time. Also, Godzilla-sized Rome singing opera. And regular-sized Rome distracting aliens with The Power of Rock.
  • The generally absurd nature of One Piece makes it a frequent sufferer of this trope. e.g. "The geezer-tree and... a unicorn are having a drink!" And sometimes putting things in-context makes them even worse. Except when you actually read them themselves.
  • Dead Leaves pull a few of these at times. At one point, Pandy fights off her opponent by giving birth to a winged baby with handguns that sacrifices itself to stop a giant moon-destroying caterpillar.
  • Studio Gainax. If someone is trying to explain any of their series and you find yourself confused as all get out, don't worry. They often don't make any more sense to the person explaining them.
  • Being a Gag Series, Gintama is frequently subject to this (And it almost always gets lampshaded by somebody).
    • In the Gender Bender arc, Kagura is transformed into a male by a light, but she turns into an old man, with a scar. When Gintoki ask her how she even got that scar since it doesn't make any sense, she says she got it when she realized that she had something ugly between her legs when she woke up from her nap, and she ripped it of, which caused her to get the scar, it's over her eye not between her legs! Then she wants to warn a friend of hers, and Sadaharu, her male dog, has become a horse..!
    • In the "Freaky Friday" Flip arc, the gang spends much of their time chasing a formerly dead cat that was brought back to life when half of Hijikata's soul accidentally flew up its butt, which also granted it sentience and the physique of a bodybuilder. Then Hasegawa as Sadaharu gets his soul transferred into a pile of poop, only somehow transform into an anthropomorphic pile of poop with arms, legs, and his face after he gets his sunglasses back.
  • More or less the entirety of Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita, which features such bizarre sequences as skinless chickens plotting to Take Over the World.
    • The scarier part is when some of the things that only looked like this trope suddenly start to make sense on the fourth rewatch.

     Film 

  • The infamous rapping dog scene from Titanic: The Legend Goes On is this in spades. The uncut edition vaguely justifies it by having the dog rap about how the animals are going to throw a party and he wants them to steal food for it (which we see the animals doing in later scenes), but the announcement for the party and the fact that it's expressed via a rap number comes right the flip out of nowhere.
    • Also where the dog got the basketball jersey from, why the background is suddenly a city in some of the shots, why all the other animals were suddenly there...
  • This infamous montage of clips from The Wicker Man remake. Watching these scenes in their proper context within the movie doesn't subtract from their sheer randomness and ridiculousness at all.
    • If anything it just makes them make less sense. Contrast the original, which still has a lot of very weird stuff going on but it's pretty internally consistent as part of the island's pagan fertility rituals.
  • In Willy Wonka's flashback in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Willy decides to run away from home after an argument with his dad. Wilbur responds, "I won't be here when you get back." Neither is the house.
  • In Troll 2, the ghost of the grandfather stops time to allow the protagonist to urinate on his family's dinner (the need to keep the family from eating the dinner is properly set up, but it's never been hinted that the ghost had this power). This may make some viewers wonder why he didn't just toss the food out.
    • Or the wooden man being chainsawed in the crotch and laughing. Or the love scene where two people eating corn together makes it start popping. Really, a lot of the movie seems out of place when lined up with the actual plot.
  • The rooster in The Hangover was never explained (Word of God is they got it to feed the tiger, though).
  • The movie Rockula is about a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire who needs to stop his girlfriend from dying and being reincarnated every 22 years, only to be constantly murdered by a pirate with a rhinestone peg-leg wielding a ham bone. He also starts a rock band with Bo Diddly, gets blood deliveries from the Red Cross, can turn into a Muppet-bat, his mother is Toni Basil, and he has a sentient talking reflection that may or may not be the trapped ghost of Elvis.
  • Rubber is about a tire named Robert that comes to life and kills people with his psychic powers. While being watched by spectators who act like they're watching the movie themselves.
  • The films of David Lynch.
  • Antichrist has a ton of stuff that makes no sense: the talking fox, the biblical allusions, the constellations that don't exist, the ending with faceless women, the very title...
  • The early surrealist films of Luis Buńuel and Salvador Dali. Being surrealist, they are intended to be symbolic in a sort of incomprehensible dream logic way.

     Live-Action TV  

  • The "Hurley" bird in LOST was only explained in the DVD-only epilogue.
  • There's got to be a reason why the entirety of one Jam sketch was two men in underwear shooting each other in the ass, but no one can think of one. And the rest of the sketches don't make a whole lot more sense.
  • The infamous Star Trek: Voyager episode Threshold, in which traveling at warp 10 causes people to mutate into large salamanders and have salamander babies together before being returned completely to normal. There's something about "evolution" in there, but beyond that...
    • It actually makes even less sense in context, given that among other things, the fictional science of Star Trek warp drive says that warp 10 is infinite speed (achieving it would mean occupying all points in the universe simultaneously) and thus requires infinite power output. Yet somehow an underpowered shuttlecraft is able to do it, with no explanation as to how. And then there's the opening scene of the episode, in which they run a computer simulation of the warp 10 test... even though given that nothing has ever reached warp 10, there should be no data to enter into the simulation. Small wonder, then, that the people in charge of the series, including the script writer for that episode, officially disowned that episode.
    • Even worse, the distant finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation (which was written long before Threshold) shows ships exceeding warp 10 without any lizard-people or infinite energy, though this probably signifies a renumbering of the scale. (Which had been done once before; it was TNG that introduced the warp scale that tops out at warp 10. In the original series, warp 10 was achievable but somewhat unsafe for the Enterprise under normal circumstances, and significantly exceeded under a few abnormal circumstances.)
    • In TNG, nothing like the "infinite speed" thing was ever mentioned - it was more like TOS, where warp 9.something was as fast as the engines could push the ship - they just didn't put a warp number to the speeds outside forces sometimes pushed the ship to (see: Q sending them to Borg space.) as they did in TOS. Warp 10 being "infinite speed" is part of Threshhold's ridonkulousness - if warp ten is infinite speed, whatever that means, it makes warp one a tenth of infinity, warp two two tenths of infinity and so on, making your scale... not much of one at all. Reference books with no choice but to acknowledge everything ever aired, even if the writers no longer do, say that the scale was changed at some point (allowing for Threshhold to happen) and changed back at some point after (allowing for "All Good Things..." and warp 13.) The makers of the actual shows just continue to pretend "Threshhold" never happened - the viewer is encouraged to do the same by a Discontinuity Nod later on.
      • In the TNG Technical Manual, the warp speed scale is shown to be logarithmic-ish. Warp 1 is c, warp 2 is 10c, warp 3 is 39c, up to warp 8 at 1024c and warp 9 at 1516c. An OOC note explains that they had to re-draw it to make warp speeds fast, but not so fast they could cross the whole galaxy in months. The warp curve exponent increases gradually up to about warp 9.6, then sharply until warp 10, where the exponent reaches infinity. The double-digit warp factors quoted in All Good Things are probably a re-numbering of the scale in the warp 9.6 to warp 9.999 range, subspace radio transmits at warp 9.9997, and things like Q play in the warp 9.9999+ range. Even with all that though, Threshold is bollocks.
  • There was a very strange case on Cops where a man walked in on his mother having sex with his wife. As if this itself isn't ridiculous, he doesn't know how to react, so he calls the police hoping they can do something about this. His mother, seeing that he's calling the police, stabs him in the hand. When they get there, they arrest his mother while his wife screams after the car "She's 61 years old! You can't do that to her!"
  • The Prisoner, a much-lauded spy show from The Sixties, always had a weird, psychedelic feel to it, but nobody was prepared for the finale. If you really want it spoiled, you should know that everyone dances to "Dem Bones", the villain turns out to be a chimp who turns out to be the hero, and then there's a gunfight set to "All You Need Is Love", a rocket takes off, and the hero teams up with a supporting villain, a little person, and a mod and they steal a truck. The kicker is that if you pay attention to it in terms of themes, rather than plot, it's not without meaning. It's just... very peculiar in how it communicates those themes.
  • Ah, Twin Peaks. Sure, for the most part, it was a reasonably straightforward murder mystery with soap opera aspects. But then every so often there'd be a denim-clad demon named BOB (all caps) and his former best friend who cut off his arm to get rid of a tattoo he didn't like and the arm turned into a little person who dances a lot, a teleporting horse, an extradimensional conspiracy revolving around creamed corn, a murdered woman's soul getting caught inside a dresser drawer, a seemingly-crazy woman whose best friend is a chunk of wood which is implied not only to be sentient, but also to have psychic powers, and David Bowie and Chris Isaak as FBI agents who accidentally travel through time. And the normal stuff just made the weird stuff seem even weirder.
  • The Young Ones: From the airplane crashing into the house, random unexplained time travel into the middle ages, Vampires in the post, random cartoon violence, a genie in a kettle that is boiled alive when one of them makes tea, Macbeth witches in the hallway, a roller disco in the bedroom, the very random cut scenes that don't have any meaning and the fact that the entire episode is held together, if at all, by a very loose plot thread.
    Matchbox: Don't look at me, I'm irrelevant...

     Music  

     Video Games  

  • "Donk-Donk", one of the minigames in Rhythm Heaven Fever, is so bizarre that the description in the English version of the game admits it's hard to describe. It involves what appear to be anthropomorphic tuning forks piloting a rocket propelled by their own rocking motion across a landscape of giant flowers and pink clouds, with a green cartoon octopus stuck to the underside of the rocket along for the ride. That's weird even for a Widget Series.
    • "Working Dough" is arguably just as weird. Four sentient blobs of dough work in a factory with a Game And Watch, headbumping power pellets onto a conveyor belt to give a space ship enough power to escape Earth's gravity. "Working Dough 2" is even weirder, as it takes place in a bamboo forest with the dough blobs resting in teapots, the space ship is now a large tea-sipping geisha doll, and the space rabbits from the GBA installment appear.
  • Puyo Puyo is this unleaded. For instance, SUN's plot is about green-haired Satan enlarging the sun so he can have a longer summer and be surrounded by women in bikinis. In Fever 2, Primp Town apparently has a forest, an ocean, some ruins, and a desert all in walking distance. Not to mention that, half the time, people attack each other for no good reason!
  • Most of the reasons you're given to go out and roll things up in the Katamari Damacy series.
  • Every microgame in the WarioWare series.
  • In Pokémon Vietnamese Crystal, a poorly translated bootleg of Pokemon Crystal Version, many of the very odd quotes that the NPC's say make little or no sense. See the quotes page on this game for some examples.
  • Drakengard has a real doozy. After fighting their way through 3 different endings, each varying in serious levels of depressing, the player has a chance at experiencing the fourth ending. Rather than confront the final boss of the game, the boss' brother crushes her, causing the Gods possessing her to destroy the world... with giant, terrible infants. The characters remarkably take this in a fair enough stride, all things considered, although the ending is not positive.
    • And after collecting all 65 weapons hidden within the game (each often with their own horrible requirements to get), the player finally gets to experience the fifth and final ending of Drakengard. Where the same as above happens, but the main character and his dragon wind up dragging the true final boss through a dimensional gateway. To Shinjuku, Japan. In 2003. And then they engage in a rhythm battle above Tokyo in a game that had once been hack-and-slash gameplay. Even the relevant characters wind up seriously confused for the few lines of dialogue they have.
  • A lot of scenes from Mother3 would leave you scratching your head, but if you play the whole game beginning to end, you'll probably be even MORE confused. Why does Ionia hold Lucas' head underwater near his crotch to teach him PSI? Why do the Oxygen Supply Machines look like big-lipped male mermaids who supply oxygen via a kiss? Why is there a living bass guitar in the attic of Club Tittiboo that attacks you for no reason? The list goes on. And on.
    • Arn's Winter Quest (a hack of Earthbound), in its entirety.
  • The Beethoven Level from Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp. It starts off with Dirk being chased by a cat around Beethoven's house. Seems OK, right? Well, then the piano starts flying, the cat turns into a fire breathing demon-cat, Beethoven briefly turns into Elton John, you have to scramble over flying violins and music notes, and before everything comes crashing down Beethoven's coat is set on fire. And there is no explanation whatsoever.
  • Castle Crashers has a particularly bizarre ending to a bizarre game. The fourth princess ends up being a clown. She then does a silly dance while pink weasels appear on the screen. No explanation for this is ever given.
    • The Clown is Likely supposed to be Tricky the Clown, a character from various Newgrounds videos. Castle Crashers does have alot of Newgrounds references after all.

    Visual Novels 
  • The characters of Little Busters! are prone to this. Most noteably is Haruka, who spouts odd lines all the time. Other examples include Kengo summarizing Masato's life as "I brought you mayonaisse", Masato somehow interpreting things as being about muscles and just about everything Kyosuke says.

    Web Comics 
  • Homestuck is extremely fond of things that Make Sense In Context, but when Andrew Hussie feels like trolling the fans, sometimes we get this trope. A great example is an extended sequence in which, immediately after another character had died, Rufio from the movie Hook dies and Andrew Hussie's Author Avatar tearfully mourns his death...by kissing his corpse on the lips. The whole thing might make a bit more sense when you realise that it's a well-established law of Sburb that if one player kisses a dead player with a live dreamself they come back to life, but neither of them are Sburb players, the event doesn't seem to take place in Sburb anyway, and the whole thing was never foreshadowed beforehand nor alluded to afterwards...so it really doesn't make any more sense in context at all.
    • Not an example, but worth noting is that during an archive binge, Rufio's actor read that part of the comic while drunk. The reaction was priceless.
    • Also immediately lampshaded in-series, as John sees the event from Skaia and wonders what the hell he's looking at.
  • Frederick The Great loves this trope. One story arc consists of the heroes attempting to rescue the German version of Arthur Sullivan from wage slavery in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in order to prevent a Cthulhu-worshiping version of W.S. Gilbert from exploding Ireland.
  • The First Word has no dialogue until the first word appears at the very end, so lack thereof can to some pretty confusing, difficult to explain scenarios. For instance, all of evolution getting summarized midway through the comic, a girl whose mind can time travel, and a caveman's glowing blue penis.
  • The page image is from Two Guys and Guy. TGAG being a status quo gag-a-day webcomic, we never do learn the context.

    Web Original 
  • In The Nostalgia Critic, Rob is sometimes a dinosaur.
    Rob: I'm a dinosaur.
  • Onision. His most well-known example is probably the Banana Song, in which he combines an Ear Worm, a banana costume, and as many wacky video filters as possible.
  • Harry Partridge is never thinking what you're thinking. Oh, and all hail Stephen, king of the lesbians!, as well as The Justin Bieber Show.
  • In "Ultimate Muscle Roller Legend", two gay men in their underwear ride each other like scooters and segways chasing down a girl driving a transforming steamroller. They finally blow her up by pulling down their underwear revealing a baby head that shoots lasers. This is all that's given as a description:
    Deep in the forest lived Billy and his charming companions. They peacefully honed their bodies and listened to music there. But a wave of development came upon the forests. One who would turn all to road. Kagamine Rin had come. Billy must stop the construction before all is turned to road.
  • The entire series of asdfmovies are this, probably because it's a blend of Rapid-Fire Comedy and Surreal Humor.
    "I AM PUNCHING YOUR SALAD!"
    "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO"
  • The RubberFruit video "Soldier thinks the sentry is american" described as:
    "A young Engineer has just built its first sentry, and is very proud of himself. However, he is interrupted by the appearance of a Stupid Faice Soldier. The Soldier insists that the sentry is an American, but the Engineer disagrees. This enrages the Soldier, who eats the Engineer with the help of a special bacteria called Francis. Attracted by the commotion, a Pedospy appears and attempts to hump the Soldier to death. Before he can do this, however, the mother Engineer returns and eats them both."
  • Often the case of the stories on What the Fuck Is Wrong with You?. Especially the live episodes.
  • While the vast majority of Code Ment is certainly absurd in its humour, it is simple in its explanation. The suicidal Oompa Loompas on the other hand, are just there.
  • Rainbow Dash Reads Homestuck: Rarity decides to join the blog. This was set up as expected. What was not set up was the askers spontaneously deciding she was a taco and driving the poor mare temporarily insane.
    • Later Rarity accidentally gets Rainbow involved in an argument between two alternate universe Twilights on whether pillows are adequate sexual/romantic partners. Granted, this happened on April Fool's day...
  • EQUESTRIA GIRLS, the absurdist youtube parody of the humanized-pony movie, has this in spades due to its production style being a magnet for Throw It In.
    • For instance, Brad - the most eligible bachelor in town - is a cutout of Nicolas Cage, purple Volvo sedans often fall from the sky, apples are sentient, Pinkie Pie's pet alligator Gummy becomes a Super Saiyan, and The Great One - this world's God equivalent (we think) - is the giant floating head of Shaquille O'Neil.
  • JulianSmith.tv, "You In Five Minutes": Julian finds clones of himself who claim to be him a few minutes in the future. The clone who claims to be Julian in an hour is black, looks nothing like him, and unleashes magical powers in fury upon learning Julian's mail package is empty. Cut to Julian in a car with friends, with no mention of the clones at all.
  • In one episode of Oddity Archive, Ben cuts to a clip from SCTV of five guys singing "Who Made The Egg Salad Sandwiches". If you watch the original sketch, the song is just as much of a non-sequitur as it is on OA.

    Western Animation 
  • In the South Park episode "A Million Little Fibers", Oprah's anus and vagina argue with each other (they each have a different British accent) until one of them pulls a gun and takes some people hostage.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Moon Farm", the main characters decide to fly an army of cows to the moon because of an ancient scroll containing a lost verse to "Hey Diddle Diddle" which claims that ice cream made from moon cow milk is the greatest in the universe. We don't know, and it's clear that many of the characters don't either.
    • Also, Candace's running gag of hallucinating (possibly) a talking zebra that calls her Kevin.
    • The cameos of the Giant Floating Baby Head also make no sense at all.
  • Invader Zim. "I'm in a bear suit!"
    • "It was meee! I was the turkey all along!"
  • Pinky and the Brain: any of Pinky's answers to the question, 'Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?'
  • The Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "1+1 = Ed". Watching it may leave you wondering if the production team spent the story planning stage frolicking in a kiddie pool full of LSD.
  • The ending of the Adventure Time episode "The Other Tarts". The psychotic Tart Toter bursts into the castle, brandishing a chicken and a squirrel in place of tarts, foaming at the mouth. He says: "This cosmic dance bursting with decadence and withheld permissions twists all our arms collectively, but... If sweetness can win, (and it can!), then I'll still be here tomorrow to high-five you, yesterday, my friends. Peace." As he says this, the camera zooms in on his deranged, foaming face, and fades to the Tart Toter's delusion of drifting through space, surrounded by sweets, and LSP is in the space background, taking a donut. All of a sudden, it cuts back to the castle, where Finn cringes, and the episode ends.
    • The whole episode "A Glitch is a Glitch", appropriately premiered on April Fools' Day.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Hearts and Hooves Day" features an appearance by the Jelly Pony, who's...well, just see for yourself. Yeah...

    Real Life 

It Runs on NonsensoleumAbsurdity AscendantMind Screw
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alternative title(s): Makes Spanish Hat Balloons In Whistle Side; Makes No More Sense In Context; It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context; Makes No Sense In Context; It Makes As Much Sense In Context; Makes As Much Sense In Context; Makes Even Less Sense In Context; It Makes Even Less Sense In Context
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