Rename (New Crowner 2.6): The Wonka

Deadlock Clock: 10th Jan 2013 11:59:00 PM
Total posts: [128]
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Bunny-Ears Lawyer vs The Wonka

I don't see the difference between these tropes; it feels like someone just wanted to say how a lot of characters were similar to Willy Wonka without realizing (or without caring) that we already had a trope for it. Willy Wonka's a Bunny Ears Lawyer, that's all.

The two tropes try to make a distinction between each other, but they both present different distinctions. Bunny Ears Lawyer says:

"For a Bunny Ears Lawyer who has few physical quirks but often baffles his colleagues with his overexcited monologues and odd mannerisms, try The Wonka"

This is wrong — Bunny Ears Lawyer says nothing about being limited to physical quirks up until that point, and 'odd mannerisms' are one of the key characteristics of a Bunny-Ears Lawyer. But more than that, it defines The Wonka as a subset of Bunny-Ears Lawyer — basically, a Bunny Ears Lawyer whose specific quirks are a lot like Willy Wonka. Not much of a trope, but let's go look at The Wonka...

Speech patterns are mentioned there, but only midway through the article. Most of the examples don't actually share the speech patterns — almost none that I can recognize, which isn't surprising, since, in my opinion, it's not a distinct subtrope.

But anyway, it says:

"Compare with Bunny-Ears Lawyer, who is similarly eccentric; but also commonly self-aware and deliberately pushing limits."

Totally different from the distinction made in Bunny-Ears Lawyer (and again, not something that's actually part of Bunny Ears Lawyer.)

Am I missing something here? It feels like The Wonka is just a mess, a bunch of stray randomly-chosen Bunny-Ears Lawyer characters that were put on the wrong page by mistake. I can't see any characters there that wouldn't fit on Bunny-Ears Lawyer, nor can I see any particular common traits to them that would differentiate them from other Bunny Ears Lawyers.

edited 19th May '11 1:00:31 AM by Aquillion

2 shimaspawn19th May 2011 06:14:04 AM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
I think if we were to make a distinction between the two, The Wonka needs to be the boss. You can't fire him because he's the guy in charge. The Bunny-Ears Lawyer keeps his job because he's just better at it than everyone else. The Wonka keeps his job because it's his company.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
That's a much better and clearer distinction.
Looking at the two trope pages, I think shimaspawn really described the distinction between the two tropes well. From what I can tell, Bunny-Ears Lawyer is about respecting someone's ability in a certain field despite what may be weird personality quirks (i.e. a bunny ears lawyer would be good at law). The Wonka, on the other hand, tends to be in a position of high authority and is also defined by being associated with new and innovative ideas and usually is a freakish loner. I do not get the impression from Bunny-Ears Lawyer that the eccentricities of such a person necessarily make him or her similar to The Wonka in those respects.

edited 19th May '11 10:11:23 AM by LouieW

"irhgT nm0w tehre might b ea lotof th1nmgs i dont udarstannd, ubt oim ujst goinjg to keepfollowing this pazth i belieove iN !!!!!1 d
5 Laukku19th May 2011 10:44:19 AM from Finland , Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
Looking at the laconics, the distinction seems to be that a Wonka has a specific quirk: Using weird logic and being a Cloud Cuckoo Lander, whereas a Bunny-Ears Lawyer could have any quirk.

edited 19th May '11 10:45:55 AM by Laukku

6 shimaspawn19th May 2011 11:24:43 AM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
Don't trust laconics. Laconics are wrong and bad more often then they're right. They tend to be made up by people who just skim the tropes instead of someone who actually read the things.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
Dragon Writer
Laconics can be guilty of overgeneralization. Try to summarize a trope too quickly and you lose important details.
8 NoirGrimoir19th May 2011 10:41:06 PM from San Diego, CA , Relationship Status: Anime is my true love
Rabid Fujoshi
I can see, and agree with the presented differentiation.

  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: A character who is eccentric and maybe even crazy, but he's kept around because he's so good at what he does.
  • The Wonka: A character who is eccentric, and maybe even crazy, but he could never be fired because he's the boss, or not really working for anyone to begin with.

Also The Wonka tends to border more towards Cloud Cuckoo Lander than Bunny-Ears Lawyer does, and are usually half delusional visionaries. Bunny-Ears Lawyer tends to be a bit more lucid, more eccentric then crazy.

edited 19th May '11 10:47:03 PM by NoirGrimoir

SPATULA, Supporters of Page Altering To Urgently Lead to Amelioration (supports not going through TRS for tweaks and minor improvements.)
Welcome, traveller, welcome to Omsk
This kind of thing is why I hate character-named tropes.
It does not matter who I am. What matters is, who will you become? - motto of Omsk Bird
10 HersheleOstropoler21st May 2011 07:22:35 PM from BK.NY.US , Relationship Status: Less than three
You gotta get yourself some marble columns
[up]This has nothing to do with the derivation of the name, the problem at the top is two tropes with descriptions that seemed to clash — names didn't really come up.

If anything, the name "The Wonka" does encapsulate the important part.
The child is father to the manOedipus
Doesn't look fixed yet. Just wanted to agree with shimaspawn and summarize my take on it: The Wonka runs things (pirate ship, chocolate factory, TARDIS, etc) in a Cloud Cuckoo Lander way but successfully, often due to also being a genius. The Bunny-Ears Lawyer on the other hand is valued/kept around by others because they are successful despite their eccentricity. And a plain old Cloud Cuckoo Lander isn't necessarily known for competence, success, or leadership (not that these traits are banned for one) - Depp's Mad Hatter is one example on this page that I feel is simply the latter and is thus misplaced.
13 DonaldthePotholer19th Jul 2011 10:07:04 AM from Somewhere in (not)Miami
Successful despite? Or successful because of? There may be a distinction there, and could be at the core of separating The Wonka from C.C.L. EDIT: AND Bunny-Ears Lawyer. i.e.:

A Bunny-Ears Lawyer is eccentric but the eccentricity is not vital to his success. Is often either a hyper-competent or the Class Clown who can still do his job well.

A Wonka's eccentricity is the secret of his/her success: His/her abnormal viewpoint allows him/her to think outside of the warehouse in such a way as to pick up ideas that become rather obvious in hindsight, but were not seen at the time due to the blinders placed by either the Corporate Culture or Society at Large.

edited 19th Jul '11 10:16:49 AM by DonaldthePotholer

14 HersheleOstropoler19th Jul 2011 10:15:53 AM from BK.NY.US , Relationship Status: Less than three
You gotta get yourself some marble columns
At the risk of having to turn in my Splitter card, can "successful despite" and "successful because of" not coexist in the same trope? Or the same character, for that matter? It seems to me the essence of Bunny-Ears Lawyer is that the success is a bigger argument in favor of keeping the person around than the eccentricity is against; it doesn't matter if or how the two are related.
The child is father to the manOedipus
15 DonaldthePotholer19th Jul 2011 10:20:49 AM from Somewhere in (not)Miami
My edited distinction above (which may have been self-ninjaed) boils down to this:

For a Bunny-Ears Lawyer, eccentricity is irrelevant to the ability to do the job or succeed at it. (Aside from the quirk's existance making the B.E.L. more endearing than a normal stuffed shirt.)

For a Wonka, eccentricity is integral to the ability to do the job/their success at doing it.

EDIT: Essentially, a B.E.L.'s hyper-competence does not directly depend on those quirks (which may be suffered in exchange for the hyper-competence). A Wonka's success does.

edited 19th Jul '11 10:22:55 AM by DonaldthePotholer

16 CaissasDeathAngel19th Jul 2011 10:21:45 AM from Dumfries, SW Scotland , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
[up] Agreed. With BEL it's a cost/benefit ratio that sees the benefit of having them around far too great and tangible against the inconvenience/annoyance of the person's quirks. While those quirks might be technically sufficient grounds for a firing, the cost of doing so would be far too great due to the lost benefits.

With The Wonka that legal capacity to fire them often won't actually be there, as they'll be the ones in charge.
My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
17 DonaldthePotholer19th Jul 2011 10:28:44 AM from Somewhere in (not)Miami
Actually, my argument is the essentialness of the quirk towards how that person does his job EDIT: is what separates the two Tropes.

True, a Wonka who is not a Boss would be likely to get fired or quit when his "helpful" ideas are not adopted, but when he decides to Start His Own, interesting times are ahead.

A Bunny-Ears Lawyer who Starts His Own would get some success based off of the (unrelated) quirk, but would also be more stable than a Wonka who does so, as the B.E.L.'s core model would still be based off of the same rules as his contemporaries. The Wonka's core model would not be.

edited 19th Jul '11 10:29:08 AM by DonaldthePotholer

On another thread (Crazy Awesome), we're in the middle of splitting off an Insanity Has Advantages trope, which would cover the "successful because of his quirks" trope. That one has little to do with Wonka; there's no real evidence that his success had much to do with his sanity. Simply defining it as "Bunny-Ears Lawyer in charge, where he can't be fired" seems simplest.
19 DonaldthePotholer19th Jul 2011 10:47:12 AM from Somewhere in (not)Miami
Excellent point, Discar.

Still, though, Fridge Logic makes me wonder now if The Wonka is necessary once we launch Insanity Has Its Advantages.

Every "Wonka" would require Craziness Has Its Advantages as a character trait. Otherwise, when they Start Their Own, they would fail. (Unless they had Protection from Editors (or Shareholders, Voters, etc.))
Does a Wonka have to be successful, though (going by the whole boss/non-boss distinction)?
Wonkas likely have to be succcessful to stay in bussiness.

On the notion of 'Insanity has advantages' in relation to the Wonka, I think both are Valid. IHA is actually being crazy, like Murdock from The A-Team. People who are actually insane would have trouble running a bussiness. The Wonka is more of a Cloud Cuckoo Lander; they have odd thought patterns but they're not actually crazy.

On a third note, I support the idea that the essential distinction between The Wonka and the Bunny Ears Lawyer is the former can't be fired because they're the boss and the latter wins a cost-beneift analysis.
22 Tyoria21st Jul 2011 09:41:59 AM from Portland, Oregon
rationally insane
I tended to think of the Wonka as being more of a creator-type, often very visionary. The Bunny-Ears Lawyer does what no one else does quite as well, The Wonka does what nobody'd thought of doing before. (Which actually seems to go pretty well with boss vs. subordinate.)

Also they seem slightly more oblivious to/slow to recognize danger, when they don't outright revel in it.
23 tricksterson22nd Jul 2011 09:48:34 AM from Behind you with an icepick , Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Never Trust
I thought the basic difference between Wonka and BEL was the Wonka is an authority figure whose oddness conceals or is part of a cunning mind. As witness the trope namer when it turns out the whole tour was a Batman Gambit to winnow out his successor.
24 EyesUnblinded2nd Sep 2011 07:14:49 PM , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
I agree with the statements above, but I think another distinction that could be closer is:

The Wonka: A differently sane person with their own logic. Could also state that they are not (always) geniuses, but can give an original view on most topics.

Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Someone who is basically 'normal', as in, no (or little) eccentric logic, but has that very noticable quirk when doing something they are an expert it.

Basically, what I think is that while the Bunny-Ears Lawyer's eccentric-ness is shown only when they're working, The Wonka's 'eccentric button' is on 24/7.
25 shimaspawn2nd Sep 2011 07:23:36 PM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
[up] That distinction isn't held by either the descriptions or any of the examples so I have no idea where it's coming from.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick

Single Proposition: The Wonka 2
6th Feb '12 6:38:37 AM
Vote up for yes, down for no.
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Total posts: 128
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