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Misused: Creators Pet
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Misused: Creators Pet get usage counts

 1 Rebochan, Thu, 5th Jul '12 10:59:39 PM from Soaking up Rays
I've got Sunshine!
I've noticed there's been an issue with Creator's Pet for some time as a lot of people seem to get the impression it's either "The Scrappy but worse" or "The Scrappy but with a big role". Even with what appear to be some pretty clear criteria, I've seen attempts to add entries on other works pages that are missing one or more of the criteria. Going through the page itself, there seems to be a lot of examples that are missing the criteria as well.

While my first thought is to conduct a cleanup and only keep that which is clearly hitting all four rules, or do that AND a tighter pass at the trope definition so less people are confused. I think there may still be some holdovers from when the trope was still The Wesley that are making things a little muddier for newer tropers.
http://www.f-d-r.com/blog/ - Filthy Digital Ramblings, musings on media.
 2 Rebochan, Thu, 5th Jul '12 11:06:06 PM from Soaking up Rays
I've got Sunshine!
aaaaand I'm sorry, I totally had a brainfart and screwed up the post title >_<
http://www.f-d-r.com/blog/ - Filthy Digital Ramblings, musings on media.
94. Grandmaster of Shark
I don't think that it is an issue of muddy definitions and more one of a personal agenda. The criteria are pretty strict already, we just need to actually enforce them. But when people hold a grudge against a certain character, and with a Creator's Pet, this is always the case, they like to express that on the page. So this is more a problem of Square Peg Round Trope. People want to add to the page, regardless of the definition.

edited 6th Jul '12 1:38:54 AM by eX

Well, a general cleanup would be a good idea.

Anything else that can be done? Due to the trope's nature (and above explanation), I don't think changing the definition or name would help.
The Internet misuses, abuses, and overuses everything.
Dragon Writer
But when people hold a grudge against a certain character, and with a Creator's Pet this is always the case, they like to express that on the page.
Really now?

 6 Nohbody, Fri, 6th Jul '12 9:49:36 AM from Somewhere in Dixie Relationship Status: Mu
Just zis guy
^ One of the defining points of Creator's Pet is that the character is a scrappy. e X didn't say anything about whether the grudge was reasonable or not.
I think we have too many scrappy tropes. why do we have this one?

 8 Septimus Heap, Fri, 6th Jul '12 10:06:38 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Another Wizard boy
Because excessive author favoritism is often both cause and consequence of scrappydom.

 9 ccoa, Fri, 6th Jul '12 10:22:20 AM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
Because people like to complain.

I think what we need here is an organized clean-up effort. I don't know what else we can do to make the trope clearer - people are already not reading the description and I don't think a rename will help.
Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
94. Grandmaster of Shark
Really now?

As Nohbody said, that the character has a negative reputation is one of the requirements for the trope, so yes, really now. And what I am saying is that this leads to people trying to force this on a character, to make them "objectively bad". It's the same phenomenon we have with badass or other overused positive tropes.

I think the biggest problem is the second point. Unless we actually have Word of God that a character is favored by a writer, this is going to be controversial, since a lot of people will simply assume that it is the case, just because a hated character gets screen time at all.

edited 13th Jul '12 12:29:30 PM by eX

 11 Rebochan, Fri, 6th Jul '12 3:50:18 PM from Soaking up Rays
I've got Sunshine!
In the case of the second criteria, I see a lot of people claim that a character is "favored" simply because the writing staff isn't sharing the same overbearing hatred for a character certain parts of the fandom does. I mean, if it's a main character with The Scrappy status, it's silly to expect the writers to evict the character, storyline problems be damned.
http://www.f-d-r.com/blog/ - Filthy Digital Ramblings, musings on media.
 12 lu 127, Fri, 6th Jul '12 8:49:51 PM from the Forest of Thorns Relationship Status: Loves me...loves me not
Well, we could just do a dedicated cleanup and lock the subpages as la Complete Monster.
小さく揺れた向日葵
 13 Rebochan, Fri, 6th Jul '12 10:45:08 PM from Soaking up Rays
I've got Sunshine!
I'm definitely willing to participate in a clean up as my schedule permits. As I said, due to the topic's level of controversy, I didn't want to start one on my own lest I cause other problems.
http://www.f-d-r.com/blog/ - Filthy Digital Ramblings, musings on media.
 14 Fighteer, Fri, 13th Jul '12 8:18:59 AM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
I drove the initial rename of this trope from The Wesley and in the process I worked on defining the specific criteria for it. If people are continuing to misuse the trope for any character they don't like, then it definitely needs a cleanup again.

Edit: Rebochan, I just saw the little scuffle between you and QueenofSwords over CreatorsPet.Live Action TV. That example did have a comment saying to leave it alone. Please don't pull stuff like that.

edited 13th Jul '12 8:23:00 AM by Fighteer

Ironically, the pursuit of the definition of happiness does not appear to be a happiness-maximizing behavior.
 15 Septimus Heap, Fri, 13th Jul '12 8:20:56 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Another Wizard boy
What is particularly annoying about Creator's Pet is the potholing. It works like a Zero-Context Example, thus it waters down the trope.

I almost wish there was some way to set a page's tech so that it breaks any potholes leading to it.

 16 Rebochan, Fri, 13th Jul '12 11:33:28 AM from Soaking up Rays
I've got Sunshine!
I apologize, but I don't know where that note came from or why. As I mentioned on Ask The Tropers, the entry in question seems to be missing 3 out of 4 criteria, so I'm not sure why there's a "don't edit this" note.
http://www.f-d-r.com/blog/ - Filthy Digital Ramblings, musings on media.
 17 nrjxll, Fri, 13th Jul '12 2:44:16 PM Relationship Status: Not war
I think a Complete Monster style cleanup might be a good idea, but the fact that one of the criteria is basically impossible to measure would make very difficult to implement.

 18 Rebochan, Fri, 13th Jul '12 3:22:48 PM from Soaking up Rays
I've got Sunshine!
Well, here's our current criteria list, as quoted from the page:

Keep in mind that this isn't "The Scrappy with a big role", nor is it the Canon Sue, although there's a lot of overlap in both cases. The Creator's Pet is a combination of being:

  • Hated by fans (The Scrappy)
  • Loved (or worshipped) by the writers
  • Put into big scenes for no reason (Character Focus)
  • Talked up by the other characters (Character Shilling)

Unless it meets all of these criteria, then it doesn't fit.

It seems like this is a YMMV trope, but having four hardlined criteria to qualify makes it a stricter trope.
http://www.f-d-r.com/blog/ - Filthy Digital Ramblings, musings on media.
 19 Rebochan, Sun, 15th Jul '12 4:14:35 PM from Soaking up Rays
I've got Sunshine!
Well, there doesn't seem to be a lot of movement, though everyone seems to agree the page needs work. I can start trying to set up sandbox pages if needed, but I already expressed concern about unsigned notes for examples that do not fit the criteria.
http://www.f-d-r.com/blog/ - Filthy Digital Ramblings, musings on media.
How are we supposed to know the "Loved (or worshipped) by the writers" without knowledge from the writers themselves?

 21 Rebochan, Sun, 15th Jul '12 7:10:49 PM from Soaking up Rays
I've got Sunshine!
Some writers are more open than others. Wesley, the former Trope Namer, was pretty obviously Gene Roddenberry's stand-in due to not just his name, but comments from the creative staff.
http://www.f-d-r.com/blog/ - Filthy Digital Ramblings, musings on media.
 22 ccoa, Mon, 16th Jul '12 8:02:50 AM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
I don't think it'd be a bad thing to restrict this to instances where you have a Word of God. It really can't be a Creator's Pet if the creators don't love the character.

Although instances where the character is named for or modeled on the creator or someone dear to the creator is probably a good enough indication.
Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
I don't know if we should require explicit word of god. If the writer all-of-a-sudden starts sticking a new character into every other scene, and having the entire plot revolve around them, do we need any more confirmation than that?

Dragon Writer
^ That right there is relatively objective; the character analogue of a Plot Tumor. Which may or may not be what Character Focus already handles.

edited 16th Jul '12 8:19:00 AM by Stratadrake

 25 Fighteer, Mon, 16th Jul '12 8:27:18 AM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
It tends to be fairly obvious when a minor character suddenly gets vastly more screen time and Character Shilling then they notionally deserve. However, that alone does not qualify them for this trope. It is also necessary that the character be The Scrappy, which means that a large portion of the fanbase feel that they are a detriment to the work.

The debate on this trope seems to have focused a bit on the whole "beloved by the creator" thing, but we need to remember that Tropes Are Not Bad, and just because a character is the author's favorite doesn't mean it's a bad character.

After all, good old Wesley Crusher wouldn't have been the original Trope Namer if Gene Roddenberry's favoritism towards him hadn't been detrimental to the show.

edited 16th Jul '12 8:28:28 AM by Fighteer

Ironically, the pursuit of the definition of happiness does not appear to be a happiness-maximizing behavior.
Total posts: 354
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