You radically altered your previous message after I already responded to it. But here's how I am understanding your distinctions:
- Plot hinges on Alice being irrational: Idiot Ball
- Plot hinges on Alice and Bob being irrational: Not a trope at all, any existing examples of Idiot Plot on these lines are are misuse.
- Plot hinges on Alice, Bob, and Carl being irrational: Not a trope at all, any existing examples of Idiot Plot on these lines are are misuse.
- Plot hinges on Alice, Bob, Carl... and every other character all the way to Zachary being irrational: Idiot Plot
This is pretty faulty. You are only distinguishing between just one
character and the entire cast
of characters and leave absolutely no room for all the gray area in between. This is what I mean by Tropes Are Flexible
. You can't divide this in stark black and white terms as extreme as "one person" and "everybody" and completely leave out everything else in the middle. Most examples of a thing like Idiot Plot
are bound to fall somewhere in that middle, and they're still perfectly fine examples.
It's an idiot plot when you have lots of people being stupid, doesn't have to be literally everyone.
Why, one of the qualifiers you just laid out for identifying misuse is, "the plot does not revolve around everyone being abominably stupid." Earlier,
you even said that the definition of Idiot Plot
must require both the "WHOLE CAST" (the caps are yours) behaving like idiots, as well as "nobody being rational". Now you're going back on this?
This does beg a few questions though. How many people does one have to consider being "lots of people"? And if the plot directly hinges on just one character missing the obviously simple solutions, but no other characters ever call that one idiot out on it and they all just go along with what that idiot is already doing, is that enough to logically conclude that there are, in fact, multiple idiots in the work, anyway?
edited 21st Sep '12 9:36:30 AM by SeanMurrayI