I have to say, I've generally been confused by Refuge in Audacity whenever I run across it. I'm still a bit fuzzy as to whether it applies to in-character behavior, "creator" behavior (e.g., the South Park guys or Howard Stern write something offensive/provocative), or both.
Laconically, the trope is: material so offensive it ceases to be offensive. I think the text over-complicates this straightforward idea by trying to draw a distinction between the audience not taking offense and other characters not taking offense. And then blurs the line between offensive and daring / outrageous.
These are very different scenarios: the audience is responding to a work: here audacity means the creator daring to introduce offensive elements.
In-world, the characters are responding to the actions of other characters. Here audacity is easy to interpret as any outrageous act, regardless of how offensive another character finds it — particularly given the way the trope is currently worded.
The distinction between Refuge in Audacity and Crosses The Line twice should be clarified too. It was stated in the other thread, but interpretations of the former in this thread seem incompatible with said distinction.
It seems like a lot of people are interpreting this trope to mean something that's over-the-top and an extreme level, rather than someone getting away with doing something outrageous because it's so over the top. As such, a lot of the examples listed on the various pages for this trope don't really fit. For instance, the Indiana Jones entries: the scene in Last Crusade where he punches the Nazi officer on the Zeppelin is a good example of this trope. The scene in Crystal Skull where he gets in the refrigerator is not, unless you're arguing that Spielberg is using this trope in real-life on the audience (and even then, I don't really buy it).
The entry on Warhammer 40k is another example where this doesn't work. Simply having a bunch of over-the-top stuff in the game doesn't make this refuge in audacity, because there's no "refuge." It's just audacious.
The Video Games section needs cleanup- a lot of these are simply "crazy things happen in this game!" Things that probably fall more under Refuge in Cool, Rule of Cool or Rule of Funny rather than this trope, I mean.
I don't really trust in my ability to weed out the good ones though so it might be better left to someone else.
edited 16th Oct '11 11:04:25 AM by InsanityPrelude
IMO, the first line of the description seems to give a clear definition: "Characters can get away with outrageous acts by making them overblown to the point of absurdity. Toning them down to realistic levels would be more offensive, either to logic or to morality."
Both this and Crosses the Line Twice seem awfully confusing. The laconic descriptions are pretty much the same ("So offensive it's not offensive" and "So offensive it's funny"). Crosses the Line Twice is about excessive violence...except when it isn't. Refuge in Audacity has a description which, at first, sounds like "writer puts in so many offensive things that collectively it's unoffensive/funny" but most of the examples are "character does something so outrageous that other characters don't know what to do about it" and the last parts of the description contradict the part about Getting Crap Past the Radar. It's a real mess.
I think maybe we should throw out the excessive violence requirement, and make Refuge in Audacity for in-universe "character does confusingly ridiculous thing" examples and Crosses the Line Twice for the "so offensive or disgustingly violent that viewers think it's harmless or funny" stuff. I think it was meant to be that way in the first place, but a lot of things that would have gone in Crosses the Line Twice ended up in the other one because they weren't about violence.
I think Refuge in Audacity is a reaction that you have when something pushes the line to the point where your confused as to whether you should be offended, or congratulating the person for their courage and/or stupidity in going ahead and doing what they are doing.
Crossing the Line Twice is pushing a joke that is offensive to the point where everyone forgets how offensive it is and starts laughing.
Wow. This has to be the most messily defined trope I've ever seen. I thought the meaning was supposed to be "character does something that's wrong but also so utterly outrageous that they don't get in trouble for it, because people either (a) can't believe it actually happened, or (b) are so floored by the fact that it did happen that they can't even think about punishing it." However, parts of the description and many of the examples make it seem like a confused mish-mash of that, Crosses the Line Twice, and Getting Crap Past the Radar. And it's not even a YMMV trope!
In the crowner for this thread, it seems like there was a consensus that this trope should only be for things that happen in-universe? Does that viewpoint still hold sway? If so, can I go ahead and start editing the trope page into something more coherent?
"It takes an idiot to do cool things, that's why it's cool" - Haruhara Haruko
It sounds to me like this is the supertrope for crosses the lines twice, testosterone poisoning and several others. You take somethign that would normally be seen as poor taste or trite or cliched and take it to such absurd levels that it can't be taken seriously.