troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Writer Cop Out
"As usual in these situations, I now lost consciousness, being overcome with horror at the thought of all the descriptive detail that would otherwise have been needed."
Graham Chapman, A Liar's Autobiography

A cop out is when a story builds to a certain climax and the writer suddenly wusses out and chooses a different, less ambitious or less satisfying ending, or worse, chooses not to end the story at all. This may come out of Executive Meddling, Creator Breakdown, lack of talent, or simply an incomprehensible creative choice. Often results in a Broken Base.

According to That Other Wiki, "Cop out is an idiom meaning to avoid taking responsibility for an action or to avoid fulfilling a duty." (Which, of course, is not related in the slightest to the other idiomatic meaning of "cop" as in Cops and Detectives, nor to the film Cop Out.)

Compare with Offscreen Moment of Awesome. Frequently overlaps with Like You Would Really Do It.

Different from an Anticlimax in that a story with a Writer Cop Out can have a climax, just not necessarily the one that would be the most dramatically satisfying. In the right (or wrong) context, a Climactic Battle Resurrection could be the easy way out. It may also be seen as a Writer Cop Out if a film adaptation of a work with a Downer Ending goes for something slightly happier (or vice versa). Expect cries of They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot. The flip side of Author's Saving Throw. Often overlaps with Shaggy Dog Story.

This is a bit of an umbrella trope as there are many different ways to cop out. Some of the most infamous are:


World Of WoobieYMMV/HomepageWhat The Hell, Casting Agency?
World Of WoobieYMMVWhat The Hell, Casting Agency?
Viewers Are MoronsBad Writing Index    

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
9777
1