Wiki Headlines
We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here.

main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Narm Charm: Literature
  • X-Wing Series: Certainly the newbie Tatooine pilot Gavin Darklighter's response to seeing Coruscant for the first time was narmy, but it helps illustrate just how young the kid is.
    "It's just a city, the whole thing, one big, huge, really big city. It's all city."
  • New Jedi Order: Gilad Pellaeon's Badass Boast to Yuuzhan Vong Brrith Vorrik, after he defeats him at the Battle of Efsandia:
    You may win the occasional battle against us, Vorrik, but the Empire will always strike back.
  • To many, it's what makes the charm of The Count of Monte Cristo.
  • Frank Peretti, a Christian horror writer, is very adept at the use of Narm Charm. Apparently, he realizes that his plots are extremely outlandish, and in order to avoid Narm he cranks up the absurdity of his situations Up to Eleven and lets you know it's okay to laugh through witty prose, thereby leading to situations — such as a town erupting into terrifying/hilarious chaos around a false Messiah — that are bizarre, hilarious, and somehow, really, really terrifying. Unfortunately, this does not translate well into the film versions of his work.
  • Little Women plots a course through Mary Sues, wildly extravagant and sentimental prose, Aesops (some of them rather questionable) in nearly every chapter... and comes out as a gripping romantic drama with a deserved place in the highest pantheon of American literature.
  • In the Czech movie, Koyla, part of the plot involves Koyla's grandmother dying, Louka tells him that she is only sleeping as the boy is only five years old at the time. Later in the movie, there is the scene where Kolya is in the bath, uses the shower head like a telephone and tries to speak with his grandmother. It seems a bit ridiculous, but is genuinely sad because of how very upset he.
  • Discussed with an internal example in Star Trek: Klingon Empire. The old animated show "Battlecruiser Vengeance" is this for many Klingons (and it's a nice wink to actual fans of Original Series Star Trek too). One particular episode presents the Klingon hero repelling a Federation boarding party. The episode was produced during the height of tensions between the empire and the Federation, and the party consists of ridiculous, inaccurate computer-generated images of Federation member races. Specifically, the Andorian is more green than blue and has overlong antennae, the Vulcan's ears are too pointed, the Tellarite looks more like an actual boar, the Betazoid has fully blacked-out eyes instead of simple dark irises, the Human has eyes too large and a mouth too small, the Trill has spots covering her entire body, and the Denobulan has misplaced ridges. In the minds of many "modern" fans, the inaccuracy just adds to the joy of it.
  • Harry Potter: This trope can definitely apply to the ending of the 7th book; after all the crap that The Trio has been through, you can't help but feel happy that everything turned out okay (for the most part) in the end... unless you're a fanatic Shipper and the ending defied your OTP; in that case, the ending of the series was your worst nightmare come true.
    • "I'll join you when hell freezes over!" is one of the cheesiest cliches out there. But considering that this is Neville Longbottom saying it to Voldemort's face, and suddenly you don't feel like laughing anymore.
    • And the ever-famous, ever-badass, "NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!" courtesy of Molly Weasley.
    • Harry has a speech in the first book where he asks Ron and Hermione if Voldemort will leave their families alone if Gryffindor wins the House Cup, which is mostly irrelevant to the rest of what he was saying and somewhat sticks out from the rest of the serious speech.
      • This could be more interpreted as "do you honestly think this petty school competiton will matter when the world's most evil wizard takes over," not "maybe if we win this competition everything will be okay."
  • 1984. This conversation was used in the climax of the story. At first it seems to be a trivial discussion about counting fingers, but it's actually about a man being tortured into changing his perspective in order to see things that aren't there. Some might say it's worse than Room 101 itself.
    O'Brien: "How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?'"
    Winston: "Four! Five! Four! Anything you like."
    • Room 101 itself works as an example. We've seen how lesser works have made the "your worst nightmare come to life" less scary than it should. Indeed, at first glance, the idea that, after months of the most devious psychological and physical torture known to man, the thing that breaks Winston is "give up your love, or get your face eaten by rats", still kinda sounds like something out of a Saw movie. But when you read it... it works, dammit.
  • Thud! somehow manages to make the line "THAT! IS! NOT! MY! COW!" bad-ass.
  • Pellaeon, in the New Jedi Order, delivering a Shut Up, Hannibal! that ends "You may win the occasional battle against us, Vorrik, but the Empire will always strike back."
  • From Lord of the Flies, the line "Roger sharpened a stick at both ends" should, by all rights, be laughable (what, is he going to trip and fall on it or something?) In context, however, it's the sign of the boys' complete degeneration into unbridled savagery.
FilmNarm CharmLive-Action TV

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
Privacy Policy