Misused: Dead Little Sister

Total posts: [78]
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This is one of those tropes that seems really badly misused and I think most people know it, so I think it's time to bring it up. This trope always seems to be used for actual dead little sisters. Or older ones, or brothers, or whatever. What it isn't used for is the event that turned a character to cynicism or villainy.

  1. Acceptable Religious Targets: Context indicates that it's being used to indicate someone turning cynical about God.
  2. Accidental Murder: Incorrect. It had the opposite effect that the trope is normally supposed to require.
  3. Ace Attorney: Prosecutors and Law Enforcement Officers: From what I can recall of the game, this one is correct, but it sounds like a coincidence.
  4. Ace Attorney: Witnesses and Other Characters: Correct.
  5. A Certain Magical Index Gods Right Seat: Correct.
  6. A Certain Magical Index Magicians: This looks correct.
  7. A Christmas Carol: I... think this is right. Context indicates that it's another coincidental case of getting it right.
  8. Action Genre Hero Guy: I think this is correct, but context makes it hard to tell and I don't watch enough action movies.
  9. A Glad Day: This looks correct.
  10. Alas, Poor Villain: Correct.
  11. Alive: The Final Evolution: Looks right.

Misused, so far as I can tell:
  1. A-GENTS: Seemingly refers to an actual dead younger sibling.
  2. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: Goes on about him losing family members, no mention of this affecting his behavior.
  3. Absit Omen: Mentions an event where his family died and that he doesn't like to talk about it.
  4. A Castle of Silence and Bones: Misused, just mentions people dying
  5. Ace Attorney: Defense Attorneys and Assistants: Misuse, apparently. Just mentions an actual dead little sister.
  6. Ace Combat: The Equestrian War: Merely speaks about a dead family member.
  7. A Certain Magical Index Academy City Residents: Wrong. I can't remember if she even knows her sister is dead.
  8. Additional Evil Overlord List Cellblock A: Super robot heroes tend not to be very antiheroic, so I'd call this misuse.
  9. Adults Are Useless: Incorrect, refers to parents mourning a dead child.
  10. AdventureQuest Worlds: It's a character trope for the dead character, so if it's right it would only be a coincidence.
  11. Ĉon Flux: Just talks about an actual dead little sister.
  12. Afro Samurai: Dead Little Sister to more than one person? Sounds like misuse.
  13. Agarest Senki: Seems to be talking about an actual dead older sister.
  14. A Growing Affection: Talks about an actual dead sibling. Looks wrong.
  15. Aishiteru: No context.
  16. Akai Ito: Describes a character becoming a Broken Bird, not becoming less heroic.
  17. Alex Rider: No clue what this pothole is indicating, but in this context it would be hard for it to be right.
  18. Alias: Clearly referring to a person, not an event. Wrong.
  19. Alice: Madness Returns: No context.
  20. Alien: Clearly referring to a person, not an event. Wrong.
  21. Aliens: Infestation: Clearly referring to a person, not an event. Wrong.
  22. Allohistorical Allusion: Seems to merely refer to an actual dead little sister.
  23. A Long, Long Sleep: Seems to merely be referring to dead people, not events.
  24. Alundra: Clearly referring to a person, not an event. Wrong.
  25. Always Having Juice: Zero context.
  26. American Gods: It's wrong.
  27. American Idol: Can't be right. Refers to real people.
  28. American McGee's Alice: Clearly referring to a person, not an event. Wrong.
  29. Americas Next Top Model Cycle Sixteen: Can't be right. Refers to real people.
  30. Americas Next Top Model Cycle Ten: Can't be right. Refers to real people.
  31. Amnesia: The Dark Descent: Clearly referring to a person, not an event. Wrong.

  1. Ace Combat: The Equestrian War: This one looks like it might be right, but I can't tell and it looks like a coincidence.
  2. Adventures in Comaland: I can't tell. It looks wrong but hey it might be right.
  3. A Father to His Men: I can't tell. It looks like it might be right.
  4. After War Gundam X: This might be right.
  5. Age of Apocalypse: Unclear.
  6. A Good Show: Problems don't necessarily mean morality taking a turn for the worse. Unclear.
  7. Aisle: Zero context, which I would normally count wrong, but the wording indicates an understanding of the trope.
  8. Alan Furst: Unclear.

I am assuming by default that zero context means misuse here based on the pattern of usage I've seen on other pages. I've included details to show my own personal judgments on those cases and notifications of where I've made this decision in case you disagree with my methods. Looking above, I can see examples that only got the trope correct by coincidence. I think the sheer ambiguity is a good indication that something is badly wrong here.

By my count, 62% misuse, 22% correct and 16% unclear.

edited 7th Feb '13 9:12:10 PM by Arha

2 nrjxll7th Feb 2013 10:07:13 PM , Relationship Status: Not war
...I actually did not know any of this, and now that I do, I want to attack whoever originally named this trope, because it's got to be one of the most misleading trope names ever. Just... wow. I'm almost at a loss for words.

Obviously, a Trope Transplant would be the order of the day here, but I think we might already have the original meaning somewhere else.
3 AnotherDuck7th Feb 2013 10:42:30 PM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
You forgot to WikiWord the title. Tsk. wink note 

The description seems clear enough. It clearly defines an event, and not a character. The character it mainly speaks of is the one who had her sister die, and not the actual dead sister.

I think the name is to blame, so a rename would be in order. Transplant if a sister who dies is a proper trope of its own. There are roughly 2000 wicks and between a quarter and a third of that inbounds, though.

Anything else? Well, other than cleaning it up and stuff.

edited 7th Feb '13 10:48:04 PM by AnotherDuck

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Yeah, this is a crappy one. I suppose we could do a transplant, since it seems easier to get rid of future misuse.

It's also a haven for Zero Context Examples. Bleh.
5 SeptimusHeap8th Feb 2013 04:53:53 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
Transplant. Quickly hopefully - I've seen that renames tend to stall out the longest when too much time passes until crowner calling.

Is a dead sibling really a trope, though?
Crowner. Let's get this one done quickly.

Alternate names?
7 AnotherDuck8th Feb 2013 05:29:25 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Disillusioning Event, Cynicism Catalyst?


edited 8th Feb '13 6:28:14 AM by AnotherDuck

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8 Willbyr8th Feb 2013 05:47:43 AM from North Little Rock, AR , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
[tup] to Cynicism Catalyst, if [up] is meant to be two separate suggestion.

Also, this makes me realize that we completely misinterpreted the trope when we did the recent IP thread for it...

edited 8th Feb '13 5:50:14 AM by Willbyr

9 SeptimusHeap8th Feb 2013 05:49:33 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
Cynicism Catalyst sounds the best to me.

By the way, Arha, your crowner is a Single Proposition crowner for a rename. While I have to say that I don't feel that "dead sibling" is a trope, I just wanted to point that out.
If we want to try a transplant, we need a Page Action.

Also, there is also Jade-Colored Glasses and where it falls on the scale.
11 SeptimusHeap8th Feb 2013 06:09:39 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
I am not sure if a Page Action crowner is a good idea. It would essentially be "is a dead sibling a trope" question, and that is probably better addressed by discussion than by crowner.
12 Willbyr8th Feb 2013 06:15:55 AM from North Little Rock, AR , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
[up][up] Seems to me that Jade-Colored Glasses is a process while this trope is one specific event...sort of the Cynicism Event Horizon, if you will.
13 AnotherDuck8th Feb 2013 06:30:39 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Reading Jade-Colored Glasses makes me think it's basically just a character with those glasses on. That is, a character with a cynical outlook, often in contrast to everyone else. I'm not even sure if it needs to be justified, though if it's not it'd probably be closer to Grumpy Bear.

Mainly unrelated, I think the pun on Jade-Colored Glasses is bad, since jade is generally thought of as a green, which has another association.

edited 8th Feb '13 6:33:09 AM by AnotherDuck

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Well, after we get this renamed we can worry about whether dead siblings is a trope. You could use it as a source of angst, I guess. Right now I just don't think the examples really follow enough of a pattern beyond the basic 'dead relative' to really mean anything.

I like Cynicism Catalyst.

edited 8th Feb '13 7:00:52 AM by Arha

15 SeptimusHeap8th Feb 2013 07:01:48 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
The "are dead siblings a trope" discussion needs to happen before a rename. After all, it decides on what we make on the examples that are just dead siblings.
Okay. Then no, 'dead sibling' is not a trope. 'Dead siblings make you angsty' could be a trope, but that's not how it's being used.

Page action crowner. Add any other options you feel should be on there.

edited 8th Feb '13 8:03:36 AM by Arha

17 AnotherDuck8th Feb 2013 08:04:30 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
I think Dead Siblings Make You Angsty would be too close to Cynicism Catalyst anyway. While it's technically about a person that creates an effect, it's functionally similar to an event, if you consider how the trope is used.

I do think a lot of the Zero Context Examples can potentially be correct ones, but it's impossible to tell. Should they be removed or as per ZCE policy be commented out?
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18 SeptimusHeap8th Feb 2013 08:14:09 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
On the page? Commented out.

In the wicks? Deleted.
Well, angst and cynicism aren't quite the same thing and a Cynicism Catalyst doesn't need to be the death of a sibling. Still, if that's not a trope is there anything we can salvage here?
20 AnotherDuck8th Feb 2013 08:34:29 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
"Has a dead sister" is meaningless in itself. What it means for the person who had the sister is actually relevant, though, which is usually either this or provides motivation to not let it happen again.

I don't have much confidence that your average troper will be able to sufficiently distinguish angst from cynicism. Point is moot in my opinion, though.

edited 8th Feb '13 10:21:11 AM by AnotherDuck

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21 Xtifr8th Feb 2013 09:28:19 AM , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
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Dead sibling as a motivation would take it out of chairs territory. It's also what I would have assumed the trope meant from its name.
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22 SeptimusHeap8th Feb 2013 09:32:57 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
That might be worth creating, but is any of these wicks about that?
23 shimaspawn8th Feb 2013 10:25:16 AM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
There's The Lost Lenore that is about dead love interests as a motivating factor for a character. I suppose we could do a supertrope for a dead person being a motivating factor for a character.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
24 AnotherDuck8th Feb 2013 10:48:20 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Considering it would be pretty much a direct sister trope of The Lost Lenore, I don't see a problem with it. Reading the definition of The Lost Lenore, I'd assume pretty much the same for Dead Little Sister. They'd be very similar, but there's still a significant thematic difference depending on the protagonist's relationship to the dead character. There are several examples that fall under that definition as well.

Like this one, which is a ZCE under that definition, but exactly claims to use the trope:

  • Dias's motivation in Star Ocean EX was literally his dead sister.
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Is dead sibling different enough from dead love interest though?

Alternative Titles: Dead Little Sister
18th Feb '13 6:15:34 AM
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: 78
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