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Name is way too ambiguous: Not So Harmless get usage counts

This trope is supposed to mean "Harmless Villain who Took a Level in Badass." This name is way too broad and leads to a lot of bad wicks resulting from people thinking the trope is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.

Wick check: (The C's)

Well, it doesn't mean they have to Take a Level in Badass, but the appearance of it should be so. For instance, Harmony is a good example (like the other Buffy examples). She doesn't get stronger at all, it's just that she's never really been treated as an actual vampire before that. She is one, and she can be dangerous when she wants to be.

I also see several examples in the trope list I disagree with. There are a lot of examples that appear harmless on first glance, but they never actually act harmless. The moment they start to act, which is often rather close to their appearance, you find out how dangerous they are.

Hellmaster Fibrizo is another, since he's using a straight out disguise, but once it's revealed who he is, no one's doubting his power. In disguise, he wasn't really presented as a villain at all, or even a threat, if I remember it correctly.

Negima's Kurt Gödel is one. He never really had time to be established as a harmless character.

The Yellow Bastard seems a lot more like Not So Incapacitated than Not So Harmless. Closer to Back from the Dead than this trope.

The Lion King has a good example in the hyenas, but Scar isn't. No one doubts he's dangerous and powerful. They doubt that he's evil.

The Men In Black example is mostly just messy and confusing, but probably Not a Subversion. I'd say more like a Discussed Trope, since they're still talking about a shooting range target. They're not talking about tropes, though.

Final Fantasy has a good example in Kefka, but Tonberries and Cactuars aren't. Tonberries in particular only fits this trope as Schmuck Bait. If you don't understand that a high level enemy who spends several turns just walking closer to you is dangerous, you're Genre Blind.

Midna is just not an example.

I have no idea about Qarr from The Order of the Stick. The Monster in the Darkness feels more like a running gag of this trope, though.

Kim Possible has natter. Can see what I can do later on.
The Internet misuses, abuses, and overuses everything.
Well, this died. Seriously, anyone else gonna respond?

edited 3rd Feb '12 2:50:35 PM by MyTimingIsOff

[up] Patience, patience :)

What's the difference between this and From Nobody to Nightmare?
 
From Nobody to Nightmare is more about a gradual character development, the way I understand it. Also, a nobody is less than a villain. It's someone who's not even on the radar.

This trope is about a villain who's depicted as comical relief or otherwise not very dangerous, who in a sudden appearance turn out to be, well, Not So Harmless.
The Internet misuses, abuses, and overuses everything.
Dragon Writer
If this is about villains specifically, the title must reflect that: Not-So-Harmless Villain.

Otherwise the title could refer to any character who is more dangerous than they appear, even a Killer Rabbit.
[up] That's a good idea for a title. I think it could solve a lot of the misuse.
The Internet misuses, abuses, and overuses everything.
 8 Louie W, Wed, 15th Feb '12 6:11:06 PM from Babycowland
Loser
I think Stratadrake's suggestion is a good one too. No Longer Harmless or No Longer Harmless Villain might work as well.

Not So Harmless found in: 962 articles, excluding discussions.

Since January 1, 2011 this article has brought 137 people to the wiki from non-search engine links.
This trope is getting quite a bit of use though, so maybe we should be a bit more cautious about renaming it. That being said, I would be willing to make a rename crowner if that is what other people want.
"irhgT nm0w tehre might b ea lotof th1nmgs i dont udarstannd, ubt oim ujst goinjg to keepfollowing this pazth i belieove iN !!!!!1 d
Rename crowner made. Decent usage stats or not, the wick check clearly shows that the name is misleading.

 10 Best Of, Sat, 18th Feb '12 12:42:39 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
With Mod Hat On
Crowner attached.
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
Needs more votes.

Consensus seems to be favouring a rename so far...
"I even like the idea of a nice man who sees me when I'm sleeping and knows when I'm awake. And that man is Barack Obama." - Bill Maher
 13 shimaspawn, Wed, 22nd Feb '12 6:12:36 AM from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
Calling in favour of a rename.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
 14 Septimus Heap, Wed, 22nd Feb '12 6:15:50 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
A Wizard boy
I've made the alt titles crowner here with the suggestions from the thread.

I added Card Sharking The Villain... the metaphor occured to me while reading over the examples. The author "throws a few hands", then delivers the reveal.
 
 16 Troacctid, Wed, 7th Mar '12 2:44:45 AM from California
Eh, I'm not a fan. It's on the oblique side, and it conflicts with the potential trope where the heroes, not the author, "card shark" the villain. Also, is that really what "card shark" means? Because I thought it was something different.

edited 7th Mar '12 2:45:06 AM by troacctid

Rhymes with "Protracted."
Dragon Writer
A "shark", as in a person who deliberately obscures their real talent, would fall close to / under Obfuscating Stupidity territory.
 18 Septimus Heap, Mon, 12th Mar '12 12:32:27 PM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
A Wizard boy
Hey-ho! You don't rename the tag when you are switching crowners!

Also, a few more votes and we can call it.

 19 ccoa, Tue, 10th Apr '12 5:40:18 AM from the Sleeping Giant
With Mod Hat On
Calling crowner in favor of Not-So-Harmless Villain.
Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
Does it have to be about a villain, or can it be about anyone?
 
 21 lebrel, Tue, 10th Apr '12 3:08:56 PM from Basement, Ivory Tower
Tsundere pet.
[up] We have all kinds of tropes for non-villains and/or the general case; Beware the Silly Ones, Let's Get Dangerous, Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass, Killer Rabbit, etc.
Calling someone a pedant is an automatic Insult Backfire. Real pedants will be flattered.
[up][up]It's an integral part of the trope. It's about someone who didn't seem like a threat actually is one, once they get serious. Keyword being threat.
The Internet misuses, abuses, and overuses everything.
Lurker
I moved the page and added notes to Renamed Tropes and the associated thread. Some help moving the wicks would be appreciated.

 24 tdgoodrich 1, Mon, 16th Apr '12 2:38:04 PM from Atlanta Relationship Status: Californicating
Son, You Gotta Take It On The Chin
On it.
"Polite life will fill you full of cancer." - Iggy Pop

"I've seen the future, brother, it is murder." -Leonard Cohen
 25 tdgoodrich 1, Mon, 16th Apr '12 8:04:25 PM from Atlanta Relationship Status: Californicating
Son, You Gotta Take It On The Chin
Could use some backup moving wicks.
"Polite life will fill you full of cancer." - Iggy Pop

"I've seen the future, brother, it is murder." -Leonard Cohen

Alternative Titles: Not So Harmless
22nd Feb '12 6:14:11 AM
Vote up names you like, vote down names you don't. Whether or not the title will actually be changed is determined with a different kind of crowner (the Single Proposition crowner). This one just collects and ranks alternative titles.
At issue:
Total posts: 38
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