Needs Help: Puss In Boots

Total posts: [40]
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1 Twentington11th Jun 2012 12:22:11 PM from Somewhere , Relationship Status: Desperate
Puss in Boots shares its name with several works the original tale is in the Literature space, and the DreamWorks film is in the Film space.

That said, a quick link check shows that many pages are linking to this in reference to the work, and very few in reference to the trope. That is a major, major problem.

That said, the Puss in Boots trope clearly needs a rename since people apparently aren't realizing that a trope has the same name. Puss in Boots itself can then become a disambiguation page.
This is my signature

2 SeptimusHeap11th Jun 2012 12:48:18 PM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
Yep, clear-cut "rename needed" case. Let's see for alt-names - Submissive Chessmaster?
I was wondering how long it would take for someone to take this to the TRS shop.

As much as I love the character "Puss in Boots" in his various versions, and therefore feel a certain affection for the name, might I suggest two additional problems with the page:

  • The "Puss in Boots" character in the Dreamworks films is arguably at least as well known to 21st century youngsters as the original version who is the Trope Namer. The Dreamworks version of Puss is not really an example of the trope.
  • The defintion really could be written better, and in my opinion depends too much on unexplained and in some places apparently incorrect refererences to other tropes to define this trope. If nothing else, it desperatly needs a better description.

This is also closely related to the idea proposed here for Servile Schemer, about a servant whose chief role in a story is coming up with brilliant plans to help his master and others.

edited 12th Jun '12 6:26:14 AM by Catbert

4 Twentington3rd Jul 2012 12:01:40 PM from Somewhere , Relationship Status: Desperate
Bump. This really REALLY needs a rename.
This is my signature

I was just thinking about this, I don't think the average person knows the original story all that well, just the Have a Gay Old Time nature of the name and the recent Shrek character and movie.

It is related to the Hypercompetent Sidekick, maybe Sidekick By Choice?

edited 3rd Jul '12 12:39:20 PM by KJMackley

6 Xtifr3rd Jul 2012 04:30:57 PM , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
I agree that this needs to be renamed. Single prop crowner here.

edited 3rd Jul '12 4:31:44 PM by Xtifr

Speaking words of fandom: let it squee, let it squee.
Non-indicative name, a name that's shared with something completely unrelated, barely over 100 wicks (35 inbounds) and apparently misuse. That's four strikes. Rename
8 Spark94th Jul 2012 05:37:37 AM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
Looking at the page, I see several of the examples are wrong. People are using it for loyal and highly competent sidekicks while missing the point that the trope requires that the sidekick could easily be boss instead.

For example, Fullmetal Alchemist's Roy Mustang is highly competent and one of the most powerful alchemists in the series. There is absolutely no way that Maes or Riza could replace him.

For another, Harry Potter's Snape is surely powerful, but he's nowhere near as powerful as Dumbledore, and there is absolutely no way that he would be accepted at his various positions (such as leader of the Wizengamot). Note that the school rebels when Snape temporarily becomes headmaster, so he's no acceptable substitute there, either.

I also question the Batman example, and I wonder whether this page really needs real-life examples.

Special trousers. Very heroic.
I think the description could be better written, and a clearer distinction needs to be made between this and Hypercompetent Sidekick. Anyone have any ideas for a description for the trope?
10 Spark94th Jul 2012 09:31:02 AM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
Okay, so how exactly is this not The Same, but More of Hypercompetent Sidekick?
Special trousers. Very heroic.
Puss in Boots: "If the boss is an idiot or otherwise incompetent, this overlaps with Hypercompetent Sidekick."

Hypercompetent Sidekick: "When the boss is competent in his own right and/or when the sidekick actually enjoys being the underling, it's a Puss in Boots."

So the only difference seems to be whether the boss is competent or not. I don't see how that's so crucial. Oh, and the "or when the sidekick actually enjoys being the underling" part directly contradicts "this person is generally pretty happy the way things are."

Seems to me like Puss in Boots and Hypercompetent Sidekick need help in tandem.

12 Spark94th Jul 2012 10:38:41 AM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
Then it's too bad we jumped the gun by putting up a single prop crowner, because merging seems like a viable option to me.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
To do a list of subtle trope distinctions:
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: An underling who is basically the reason the organization runs as well as it does in the first place. The reason may be because the leader is incompetent or just that the leader isn't good with fine details, thus would not be nearly as effective without their sidekick.
  • Puss in Boots: An underling who very well could be in charge if they want to but instead use their skills to boost the reputation of the leader instead. They may do it because of a fierce loyalty to the leader or simply have no ambition of their own accord. Very few Hypercompetent Sidekicks would make good leaders.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: The Dragon who is more of a threat in a general sense than the Big Bad. It's not necessarily that the Big Bad is ineffectual, just that all their plans hinge on the power of The Dragon.

edited 4th Jul '12 11:28:58 AM by KJMackley

If we were to keep a Puss in Boots as a seperate trope, we need a description that relies less on Buffy Speak references to frequently misused tropes and more on straightforward exposition.

Still, I'm not quite sure a clear cut distinction can always be made between Hypercompetent Sidekick and Puss in Boots, especially not if we were to take the current Trope Namer as the guide.

Puss himself was basically an example of a "subordinate" stringing along a hapless farm boy as part an scheme to turn said hapless farm boy into a nobleman.

Puss could not have "easily become the leader" in the sense that as a cat he probably could not have become the nobleman that he was turning his master into, yet at the same time it could be argued that his master never was the leader because all the things that Puss did were purely at his own inituative, and not as the result of any leadership or direction given by his master. The master never shows any competence at anything but playing along with whatever his cat tells him to do.

edited 5th Jul '12 4:45:20 AM by Catbert

15 Spark95th Jul 2012 04:52:34 AM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
That two pages have "subtle distinctions" don't necesarily mean that they should remain on separate pages - especially if those distinctions are so subtle that the average user doesn't see the difference anyway.

I say we scrap the current crowner and start a page action crowner that includes merging as an option.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
16 SeptimusHeap5th Jul 2012 05:04:51 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
KJ's post makes me think that these are sufficiently different once we have scrapped the Trope Namer. So no, we keep the Single Prop crowner for now.
17 Spark95th Jul 2012 05:11:16 AM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
[up] So what you're saying is that because you personally disagree with merging, other people shouldn't be allowed to vote on it?
Special trousers. Very heroic.
18 SeptimusHeap5th Jul 2012 05:14:04 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
No I say that this crowner has already 9 votes and that the "merge" case doesn't sound very strong to me.

But you can always make a Page Action crowner if you think it's necessary - it's subjective after all whether they are the same or no.
And this is why we shouldn't be making crowners so hastily.

Do people prefer a multi-prop?
20 SeptimusHeap5th Jul 2012 07:31:17 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
I'd certainly ask whether there is any overlap in the examples before asking for a crowner switch.
Highly visible
I think the distinction between these tropes is who doing the planing within the Master-Sidekick pair.

Puss in Boots is basicaly The Man Behind the Man with the difference that Puss acts to the benefit of his Master, while The Man... has his own interests in mind.

Hypercompetent Sidekick is when Sidekick is very capable, but he follows his Master's plans. Just does it brilliantly.

edited 5th Jul '12 7:56:57 AM by kundoo

22 ccoa5th Jul 2012 09:40:09 AM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
Got a holler to swap this crowner out for a page action. I don't know if that's necessary - if the single prop is defeated, you can start another crowner for the other options.

However, if someone does want to make a page action crowner to replace it with and there are no objections to that, I'll swap it in and close this one.
Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
I should point out that arguing over the fine details of my list doesn't necessarily invalidate the distinctions. I could have worded it as that they have "skills equal to or greater than the person they are submissive to" rather than saying "could be leader if they so choose" and I think the distinction is still valid. In comparison the Hypercompetent Sidekick is often hypercompetent AS a sidekick and doesn't necessarily outshine the leaders skills. In that way you could compare it to The Peter Principle (promoting someone because of their competence is taking them away from the position they were competent at).

To say it in yet another way, the Hypercompetent Sidekick is better at their own job than anyone else at their own job, the Puss in Boots (Sidekick By Choice) is the reason everyone else is semi-competent including the supposed leader.

edited 5th Jul '12 11:09:45 AM by KJMackley

Highly visible
"sidekick and doesn't necessarily outshine the leaders skills" Doesn't necessary, but what is if he does? How do we distinguish him from Hypercompetent Sidekick then? If he is just better then anyone else in his job, why he is overcompetent? Isn't he just competent? And where's the line when he starts to outshine his boss?

Being able to be a leader is not the definition of Puss in Boots in my opinion (Besides Puss from the story couldn't - he was a cat).

For example, Shego from Kim Possible. She clearly more competent than Drakken and could take over the world by herself (she even did so in AU episode) But she is not Puss in Boots, she is a mix between Hypercompetent Sidekick and Dragon with an Agenda, because she either followed Drakken's ideas, or pursued her own goals. If she took over the world and made Drakken the Emperor of it, then she would be Puss in Boots.

edited 5th Jul '12 12:52:07 PM by kundoo

I look at it as a Venn Diagram thing, try and find some characters that fit only one and not the other. Radar from M*A*S*H just took his job seriously and wasn't about trying to make the leader look good, so he isn't a Puss in Boots. Barney from How I Met Your Mother uses his charisma and confidence so he can help Ted get laid "Have you met Ted?" but on the whole he isn't a Hypercompetent Sidekick (he screws up his own chances at getting laid plenty).

Alternative Titles: Puss In Boots
18th Oct '12 1:02:48 PM
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: 40
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