Wait till you see the centuple one. Fun fact:
3 is a constant prelude to itself, an ode to destruction forever building to greater crescendos, an orgy of cartoon violence that keeps on inviting new participants instead of slowing down and catching its breath. Each new weapon marks a leap upwards in the scale of its increasingly absurd onslaught of enemies and crumbling scenery, and each time you’ll think "good grief, this is ridiculous. There’s no way it can top this." But it does. It always does.
— Rock Paper Shotgun
Some series push themselves up and over the top, surpassing the bar they just set themselves a few episodes ago. Then they do it again. And again. And again.
This isn't meant to be confused with the buildup to season finales or a plot climax, but rather a consistent escalation in events that always exceeds what a viewer would expect. When this is done well, a new Moment Of Awesome
is, at any given moment, just around the corner. When done poorly, what would constitute as a Moment of Awesome can feel ordinary, or even absurd.
Not to be confused with Up to Eleven
, where a series, group, or artist make a point of topping whatever was the latest, greatest thing (including if it was their own thing). To make a Serial Escalation is to create an enormous stack of such occurrences, generating a series of events that top the prior consecutively.
For events that are impossible, go to Beyond the Impossible
Related to Sequel Escalation
, Exaggerated Trope
, Logical Extreme
, Lensman Arms Race
, Sorting Algorithm of Evil
, Power Creep