"She's a wiccan! She's a nun! Can two sisters share an apartment? Find out in
Which is Witch?!"
Also known as One's A Plot
Many TV shows are based around a High Concept
— a simple, intriguing premise that can be explained in one or two sentences — a "hook" which attracts the interest of everyone from producers to advertisers to viewers. One very common way to get a build a high concept is to take two characters who are very different from each other, quirky, or somehow odd, and then team them up to accomplish some objective. In 'the Biz' this is called a "Wunza plot". Put in its simplest form, a Wunza Plot is "One's a [X]; one's a [Y]. Together they [Objective Z]" note
Oddly, even the most bizarre premises can end up rather mundane in execution, with the strange characters — despite initial weirdness — ending up in fairly stock show formats like workplace comedies/dramas, quirky sitcom family hijinks, or, yes, fighting crime
as private detectives or freelance do-gooders.
Animation obviously has great potential for silliness, especially if it's an Animated Adaptation
of a live-action show.
A silly premise isn't always fatal, and the mention of a series below is not necessarily a criticism. With the right casting and writing, some shows which sound totally ridiculous have been hugely successful and even critically acclaimed.
See also In a World
. Compare and contrast with Odd Couple
. A necessary ingredient of They Fight Crime
. Not to be confused with Kudzu Plot
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- The premise of Dirty Pair in which the impulsive tomboyish Kei is paired up with the more cerebral and mannered Yuri. Of course it's all right since They Fight Crime...
- Saint Young Men: Buddha and Jesus share and apartment in Japan. They do ordinary day-to-day stuff.
- Tiger & Bunny. A down-on-his-luck, goofy single father and an icy-cold pretty-boy upstart are paired together as a corporate-sponsored superhero duo. They Fight Crime.
- Referenced in The Sandman: Matthew (a servant of Morpheus who happens to be a raven who used to be a man) describes his brief adventure with the Corinthian (a serial killer with fanged mouths in place of eyes) as being "like a bad TV show." Borders on a Lampshade Hanging, except that unlike most of these examples, the weird team-up was only a small part of a much larger story.
- Angel and the Ape ('60s comic book with revivals in the '80s and '00s): She's a gorgeous super-sleuth who speaks thirteen languages and knows karate. He's a comic book artist who happens to be a talking gorilla. They Fight Crime!
- Sam & Max: Freelance Police: One's a dog. The other's a hyperkinetic lagomorph. They Fight Crime
- G.I. Robot., he's a robot. His buddy's a hard bitten G.I. They fight dinosaurs and Japanese giant robots until the robot is sent into space with military werewolves, vampires, etc. and the comic's creator. Bob Kanigher, man..
- Duplicity: On its movie poster - "She's ex-Cia. He's ex-MI-5, together they are stealing a fortune." She is Julia Roberts, he is Clive Owen.
- Steel Justice: Twenty Minutes into the Future a cop loses his son to a car bomb and the boy is reincarnated as a toy robot dragon. That can shapeshift into a giant robot dragon and help his dad bring his killers to justice. Apparently the purpose was as an extended advert for the toy dragon in question. Perhaps the best bit is that this truly outlandish premise is paired with one of the blandest, most generic titles imaginable.
- The Rush Hour trilogy. According to Roger Ebert, "Wunza legendary detective from Hong Kong, and wunza Los Angeles cop. And wunza Chinese guy, and wunza black guy. And wunza martial arts expert and wunza wisecracking showboat. Neither wunza original casting idea, but together, they make an entertaining team."
- The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries: She's a luscious, highly desirable telepathic barmaid. He's a vampire suffering from anachronistic attitudes.
- Magic Pickle. He's a super-powered pickle. She's a little girl. Together they fight super-powered evil produce.
- The Mediochre Q Seth Series. One's a 400-year-old dracologist with superpowers. One's a 17-year-old Muggle girl. They go on adventures, usually accompanied by a Badass Normal gunman and a stoic Dhampir.
- Before they became a couple in canon, Star Trek: The Next Generation novels sometimes partnered Troi and Worf in whodunnits. She's an empathic psychologist! He's a Proud Warrior Race Guy! They fight crime!
- The Gotrek and Felix novels, set in the Tabletop Game/Warhammer world, began life in very much this way. One's a massively-muscled, shaven-headed, axe-wielding Dwarf in search of a glorious death, the other's a ne'er-do-well poet, minor political agitator and the son of an Altdorf wool merchant. Together they fight... well, anything and everything they can really - glorious deaths are hard to find when you're as good at fighting as Gotrek Gurnisson. The only thing keeping them together, or so Felix says, is a drunken oath Felix swore many years ago to record Gotrek's doom in an epic poem (and Dwarfs take both oathing and drinking very, very seriously). In fact Felix often muses on the situation he's found himself in, and wonders whether he really could go back to a different life if Gotrek did eventually meet his doom, so long have they been adventuring together.
- Very common in Romance Novel blurbs: he's a notorious rake whose father has threatened to disinherit him if he doesn't reform, she's a witty bluestocking men consider too opinionated to be a wife, or what have you.
Live Action TV