Misused (Single Prop Crowner 08/17/13): Early Bird Cameo

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I regularly see people use it as "A Chekhov's Gunman, introduced in blink-and-you-miss-it manner, episodes ahead of their actual involvement". Even page description says that trope is misused.

However it is exactly what name suggests. It says nothing about adaptation, it says about cameo of an early bird. I think such counter-intuitive name should be changed.
Dragon Writer
Previous TRS discussion (same problem, no resolution)
3 Xtifr16th Jul 2012 09:50:19 PM , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
If misuse can be shown, I'd support renaming (and possibly making the current name a redirect to Chekhov's Gunman, if that really is how it's being misused, as the earlier discussion suggested). However, we really need to establish that there is a problem, and quantify it, before doing anything drastic. The previous discussion seems to have skipped that step. Volunteers for a wick check?
The polyamorous time-traveler may have trouble with a pair o' doxies.
"However it is exactly what name suggests. It says nothing about adaptation, it says about cameo of an early bird. I think such counter-intuitive name should be changed."

What is this paragraph trying to say? It contradicts both itself and the article.
Misuse examples: I just found it on Phineas and Ferb "The Fireside Girls" part. I also recently removed one from Gravity Falls - related page, but I forgot which one. It's also somewhere on Avatar: The Last Airbender page in relation to Azula appearance in the opening.
6 Twentington17th Jul 2012 03:39:47 PM from Somewhere , Relationship Status: Desperate
Not a serious issue.
This is my signature

I just clicked on a few random wicks and checked them, and I think they were all wrong. A more thorough check might be needed, but i see an issue.
Dragon Writer
Previous thread saw some agreement that there is misuse, but the problem is we need numbers. Pick a range and manually review what you find. (Sorted by context - i.e. correct/unknown/misuse - is preferable since it makes the ratio easy to see)
Shouldn't this be simple? Just automatically mark any work without any adaptations as wrong, and simply look at the ones that do?
Dragon Writer
If I may fetch the "the" range of the alphabet - which is a total of 105 links:

Seemingly correct

  • (91 of 105 pages)

Concern of misuse

  • The Castle of Cagliostro: "As Lupin and Jigen drive away from the Casino with their loot, sharp-eyed viewers can spot the top of Goemon's head and the end of his sword in the back seat of the car amidst the cash. Do all those cars suddenly falling to bits earlier make sense now?"
  • The Elder Scrolls In-Universe Books: "The Daedric Lord Jyggalag has actually been mentioned in the Lore since Daggerfall (in the book On Oblivion, where he was listed along with the other Daedric Princes), but we didn't learn anything about him apart from his name until the Shivering Isles expansion pack of Oblivion not only established him as the Prince of Order, but provided his on-screen debut in an Elder Scrolls game."
  • Film.The Grey: "All of the main survivors appear in the bar at the beginning of the film, including Diaz who (very much in-character) starts a minor brawl."
  • The Haunted Mansion: "The Haunted Mansion show building just sat around in New Orleans Square for a few years before the attraction opened. The only sign something was brewing was an advertisement on the door asking for ghosts to apply for residency."
  • Film.The Hobbit: "So far, we've got confirmation of Frodo, Saruman, Galadriel, Legolas, and Sauron (at least in voice). Radagast the Brown is an odd case: he was in the book, but his role in the film version of Fellowship was filled by a moth Gandalf used to summon Gwaihir, Lord of Eagles."
  • The Matrix: "Part of the Architect's room (some of the monitor screens) is seen as far back as near the beginning of the first movie, right before the Agents interrogate Neo."
  • Wrestling.The Miz: "Arguably the character of The Miz, when he first appeared in The Real World." (Not Arguable)

Specifically misuse for Chekhov's Gun / man

Zero context

Not my best check, but that was a lot more pages than I was expecting and I decided to pack it in early (documenting a wick check takes far too damned long as it is).

edited 18th Jul '12 10:06:21 AM by Stratadrake

I will note that all eight or so America's Next Top Model examples must be wrong. :)
12 Twentington27th Aug 2012 04:32:10 AM from Somewhere , Relationship Status: Desperate
Bump. Is this stale?
This is my signature

Oh, this is still here. Rename?
14 Noaqiyeum22nd Oct 2012 06:19:52 PM from empty rooms and silent halls , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
To be honest, I kind of think Early-Bird Cameo makes a better name for 'character makes appearances well before they are properly introduced or made important' than Chekhov's Gunman does, which seems like it may contribute to the problem. Chekhov's Gunman isn't even a proper parallel to Chekhov's Gun - if it were, it would be something more like 'a minor side character is introduced and, much later, turns out to play a role in resolving the main plot', whereas Early-Bird Cameo is more along the lines of 'a character makes appearances well before they are properly introduced'.
Sing a song of sickness

A socketful of eyes
Dragon Writer
^ The distinction being that an Early-Bird Cameo still does not (necessarily) become important to the main plot in the way that Chekhov's Gunman does.
To clarify the slightly vague trope description, let's consider the following examples:

Jabba's appearance in the 1997 remastered edition of Episode IV: counts (because in the original releases Jabba is mentioned but not seen until later)

Obi Wan Kenobi in Episodes I, II and III: counts (along with Yoda, the droids, and everything else that counts as a "character" and appears in both the original and prequel trilogies, because )

The [[Manga/Bleach Bleach]] example in which Shinji Hirako appears on a cover art page long before being introduced as a character: doesn't count (because it's just a cover art page and not an "appearance", and anyway it's talking about the original form of the work and not any sort of adaptation)

The Naboo celebration scene added to the 2004 edition of Star Wars Episode VI: This one is really complicated and hinges on whether or not that the word "chronolically" in the trope description applies solely to the setting's internal chronology. By this interpretation, Naboo and Gungans and such elements were "first introduced" in the prequels, set years earlier, so it doesn't count. But since the Episode VI itself was released before the Gungans' introduction, their appearance in Episode VI is "chronologically earlier" in terms of real-world time.

Furthermore, how does this trope apply to reboots? When the Professor appears in X-Men: First Class, that seems like it should count as an example, because it's "chronologically earlier" than his "initial" appearance in both the original format and the films' chronology (which is presumably what's being used, to the extent that anything is considered canonical in that mess). But when Bane appears in The Dark Knight Rises, it probably shouldn't count as an example, because Bane hadn't yet appeared at all in the Dark Knight chronology, which is presumably more important than the comics' internal chronology, and in any case the two are discontiguous so even if the Dark Knight were explicitly set in a given year and Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1 were set in a later year (somehow) it probably wouldn't count because the two of them "aren't the same Bane" or something. And let's not forget to mention the ultimate extension of this confusion: Old Spock, whose appearance manages to simultaneously occur several years before his introduction (in the "source" work) and some years after his first scene in this work despite having canonically experienced the events depicted in both some hundred years prior.
I don't think the issue is so much the definition as it's keep getting misued used as Chekhov's Gunman.
18 Noaqiyeum2nd Nov 2012 08:04:05 AM from empty rooms and silent halls , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
[up][up][up] Exactly - or half, at least, I guess. A Chekhov's Gunman has a direct role in resolving the plot. The Early-Bird Cameo need not. The other half is that a cameo is, by definition, an almost blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, a type of Meaningful Background Event, while a Chekhov's Gunman arguably has to be given at least some kind of special attention by the narrative, like its namesake Chekhov's Gun.

For examples:
  • The pickpocket in The Adventures of Tintin is a Chekhov's Gunman, but not an Early-Bird Cameo - he is the Over the Shoulder POV of the opening montage and it's established that Thomson and Thompson are after him, but later he steals the wallet with the papers in it.
  • In Baccano!, Ronnie Sukiart gets little screentime and no focus before the revelation that he was the demon who created the elixir of immortality on the Advenna Avis. Interesting to the audience and clears up a loose end in the backstory? Yes. Precedes him becoming a viewpoint character for longer than that scene, or solving or spoiling any of the three main plots? No. Early-Bird Cameo, but not Chekhov's Gunman (and not a consequence of adaptation).
  • I can think of two ways in which a character could be both:
    • In series - they are first mentioned or seen in passing, then later introduced as a minor character, then become directly engaged in the plot. For instance - Fallon, in The Prestige, first appears simply as Borden's nameless assistant. Then Angier and Mrs. Borden identify him and become concerned with him, and only in the climax is it revealed that he knows and is the secret behind Borden's masterpiece, the Real Transported Man.
    • In parallel - they only appear as a Meaningful Background Event before becoming directly engaged in the plot. (Not thinking of a good example at the moment, but there's probably one on one page or the other.)

edited 2nd Nov '12 8:05:51 AM by Noaqiyeum

Sing a song of sickness

A socketful of eyes
Dragon Writer
...while a Chekhov's Gunman arguably has to be given at least some kind of special attention by the narrative, like its namesake Chekhov's Gun.
That detail tends to be easily missed. Just because something is visible to the audience doesn't necessarily qualify it as a Chekhov's Gun - in many cases the detail is noticed in-universe then dismissed because it's not important at the time.
20 Noaqiyeum3rd Nov 2012 03:49:35 PM from empty rooms and silent halls , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
Actually, being brought to the audience's attention is the important part - if you take special time to make sure your audience knows there's a gun on the mantlepiece in Act One, you should fire it in Act Three or at least do something with it eventually. It's just that 'being visible to the audience if they're paying attention' is not at all the same as 'being brought to their attention'. The first is a cameo and the second is foreshadowing.
Sing a song of sickness

A socketful of eyes
Dragon Writer
The irony is that the Trope Namer for a Chekhov's Gun concerns any element included in production (e.g. putting a loaded gun on the set), whether it's noted in-universe or not. That automatically lends a Chekhov's Gun to a "hey, look, you can see this here!" sort of mentality....
23 Noaqiyeum20th Dec 2012 02:31:33 AM from empty rooms and silent halls , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
[up] I think that's why I lean against making a distinction based on in- and out-of-universe, in favour of a distinction based on 'cameo' versus 'focus'.
Sing a song of sickness

A socketful of eyes
I think we need to rename the page to something like Early Bird Adaptation Cameo or Appeared Earlier In The Adaptation, and put all Type 2 examples into Production Foreshadowing.

edited 6th Jan '13 4:23:59 PM by universalperson

The types are going to leave. Type Labels Are Not Examples is a really annoying problem. I guess Early Bird Adaptation Cameo could work...
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what goes up, must come down

Single Proposition: Early Bird Cameo
16th Aug '13 3:37:01 PM
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