Deus Ex Machina snowclones:

Total posts: [25]
1 DragonQuestZ3rd Apr 2012 12:11:30 PM from Somewhere in California
The Other Troper
Oh boy, does this need help. Deus ex Machina is just getting too many snowclones, several not even actually about the trope. This thread is due to the number of TRS threads about these snowclones.

Now we might not need to rename them all, or even most, but we should still look at them and see what's worth keeping in that form.

Some snowclones include:

How to Stop the Deus ex Machina and Ind ex Machina don't seem to be. The former appears to be about trying to make credible endings, and the latter is an index of tropes about story things that aren't credible.
I'm on the internet. My arguments are invalid.
2 Spark93rd Apr 2012 01:13:11 PM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
Most of these try too hard to be clever and are very unclear as a result. I don't think that's good in a trope name.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
Seeking for Light
I've seen both Deus Angst Machina and Deus Sex Machina used in fan circles off this website, so I'd say they should/can probably stay.
4 lebrel3rd Apr 2012 06:51:39 PM from Basement, Ivory Tower
Tsundere pet.
Diabolus ex Machina is a preexisting term, although there seems to be some variability in what it's used for. Our trope definition is one of the more common usages, so I think we're OK.
Calling someone a pedant is an automatic Insult Backfire. Real pedants will be flattered.
5 setnakhte4th Apr 2012 10:44:15 AM from inside your closet
That's terrifying.
I would say that Diabolus ex Machina is valid, (Diabolus is antonym to Deus, so it makes sense as the name for an inverted version of Deus ex Machina,) and that Diabolus ex Nihilo is valid as well. (Tt does literally mean devil from nothing, which makes sense for the Trope, as well as being different enough from the original that its status as a snowclone is debatable.) As for the others, I like Deus Est Machina, and "est" is close enough to "is" that most people will know what it means, especially from the context of the example. The others are trying to hard and are either puns for the sake of puns, or valid tropes with confusing names.
"Roll for whores."
How to Stop the Deus ex Machina doesn't actually seem to have anything to do with Deus ex Machina. Instead, it's about avoiding an easy and logical solution that would end the story, which I think is almost the opposite of Deus ex Machina. I think that page should be renamed to How To Prevent The Obvious Solution or something similar.
It doesn't bug me
I agree that most of these snowclones need to be renamed. One that especially bothers me is Diabolus ex Nihilo. What's the difference between a devil from the machine, and a devil from nothing?
8 lebrel5th Apr 2012 10:15:53 AM from Basement, Ivory Tower
Tsundere pet.
Diabolus ex Nihilo badly needs a rename, but it does seem distinct from Diabolus ex Machina

Diabolus ex Machina is a poorly-integrated plot twist that makes things worse for the heroes / better for the villains. Diabolus ex Nihilo is a poorly-integrated entity; a terrible evil thing that has no purpose or backstory other than "gets defeated by the heroes". (It seems to be intended as the non-videogame equivalent of Giant Space Flea from Nowhere.) A Diabolus ex Machina may involve a Diabolus ex Nihilo, but it doesn't have to.

edited 5th Apr '12 10:16:14 AM by lebrel

Calling someone a pedant is an automatic Insult Backfire. Real pedants will be flattered.
9 Circeus6th Apr 2012 12:58:52 PM from Montreal, Canada
a quiet one
  • Dead ex Machina
    • Tis one is trouble because it seems to mean "suddenly death!" but it means "suddenly survivor!"
  • Deus Angst Machina
    • As mentioned before, this one seems relatively okay.
  • Deus Ax Machina
    • This is "Axes as improvised weapons", and has no thematic connection to the namer (there is a need for a weapon and the weapon comes in relatively logically)
  • Deus Est Machina (I kind of approve of this name, but I wouldn't mind too much if it got renamed)
    • Could actually use a better name. As is it sounds like "God turns out to be a machine"
  • Deus Ex Homine
  • Deus Exit Machina
    • This is "Shooing out the Gods" (and possibly the literal interpretation of Doing In the Wizard)
  • Deus Ex Nukina
  • Deus ex Scuse Me
    • A Room Shuffle that is almost correctly named (i.e. arbitrary distraction)
  • Deus Sex Machina
    • Arbitrary sex. Probably good to keep
  • Diabolus ex Machina (the one snowclone I fully approve since it's basically the unhappy ending counterpart to the source trope)
    • Most def. a keeper too, as it is almost as old a term as the Deus
  • Diabolus Ex Nihilo
  • Parent Ex Machina
    • "Separation of adults and children" in teen dramas and sitcoms, not necessarily involving the adults as Deus Ex
  • Sidekick Ex Machina

Also the Index' repair page: [1]. This group of tropes CLEARLY needs a mass rename, and possibly the index should be removed.
There are no inconsistencies in the Discworld books; occasionally, however, there are alternate pasts. —Terry Pratchett
Dragon Writer
Deus Angst Machina isn't even remotely related to Deus ex Machina. It's simply "a character's life sucks beyond all belief".

Deus Sex Machina ... I dunno. A better name for that would probably be Insert Sex Here.

edited 7th Apr '12 9:24:37 AM by Stratadrake

11 shimaspawn7th Apr 2012 09:35:51 AM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
Dragon Writer
? The core of the page (after that sultry Example as a Thesis) says:
A Deus Sex Machina is any speculative fiction contrivance for inserting sex where it would otherwise be implausible.
13 shimaspawn7th Apr 2012 10:41:29 AM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
[up] Notices the Speculative Fiction bit in that sentence. If you read that sentence in context with the rest of the trope description and the examples you'll understand it. It's Sex As Applied Phlebotinum. It's not just inserting sex.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
Dragon Writer
I'm not convinced, and nobody's documented how it's actually getting used either.

edited 7th Apr '12 1:00:33 PM by Stratadrake

Not An Avatar
I think Deus Exit Machina and Deus Est Machina are fine.

Deus Angst Machina has become "list every bad thing that happens to a character".
We're not just men of science, we're men of TROPE!
16 Spark916th Apr 2012 01:00:46 AM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
I think we should start by getting rid of the index; it's a Search-Generated Index of tropes that aren't actually related, and removing it may discourage people from making more Snowclones.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
Dragon Writer
An index about the various manifestations of actual deus ex machina may be useful, but seriously needs a non-snowcloney name itself.
How far should I go at this problem?
20 Spark930th Mar 2013 09:16:04 AM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
Yeah, how to tackle this? Can we get consensus to rename several of these trope pages that are Snow Cloned but not actually related to Deus Ex Machina?
Special trousers. Very heroic.
[up]I guess that would work.
Dragon Writer
Like Deus Angst Machina? That name needs to go.
In the source of In Dex Machina, comments say:

Do we want to rename these four? (EDIT: Ave Machina and Deus Ex Homine already have new names.) Something is wrong when a trope is a snowclone of Deus ex Machina, but is not allowed on the index of such snowclones!

I would start with Deus Angst Machina, because we are already chattering about it. Can anyone explain why Deus Angst Machina is named like Deus ex Machina? Here's my best guess:

But this doesn't work! One can't suddenly have a Trauma Conga Line. A sudden source of angst would actually be a Diabolus ex Machina. So I'm joining the opponents who say that Deus Angst Machina is misnamed.

edited 10th May '13 6:52:22 PM by Kernigh

Seeking for Light
[up] In Dex Machina is not an index of Deus ex Machina snowclones, it is an index of "machinas" (e.g. something which suddenly appears out of nowhere to resolve the plot).

And regarding Deus Angst Machina, that's a big enough trope (almost 500 wicks and over a thousand inbounds) that I think it would need to be dealt with in TRS.
25 DRCEQ3rd Jun 2013 04:34:06 AM , Relationship Status: Anime is my true love
Ind ex Machina...? *facepalm* I just got that...
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Total posts: 25