Misused: Esoteric Happy Ending

Deadlock Clock: 18th Apr 2014 11:59:00 PM
Total posts: [91]
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51 Tuckerscreator6th May 2013 01:23:18 AM from High Charity, the Prophet's Holy City , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Every film should end with a Deus T. rex Machina
Since I added the Rise of the Planet of the Apes example, I guess I might as well explain it, if not necessarily defend it. Sorry if I'm derailing this thread.

For those who haven't seen the movie, the film ends with an upbeat shot of the victorious apes having settled in the San Francisco Redwood Forest gazing majestically towards the sunset. It comes off as esoteric because the tone is triumphant, yet the implication is that they're looking out at the world they're going to conquer. However, given as the mid-credits scene reveals the death of humanity via airborne plague that is treated with horror, I get the feeling that said triumphant shot was meant ironically, and that we were supposed to feel at odds with cheering for the apes that will kill and conquer humans, despite us having sympathized with them throughout the film. Perhaps that should be made more clear in the example, that it was likely invoked.
I hear it's amazing when the famous purple stuffed worm in flap-jaw space with a tuning fork does a raw blink on Hari-Kiri rock.
I'm not sure that anything actually needs to be changed about the definition, here. It's about endings that are presented as happy, but aren't interpreted that way by the audience. Pretty straightforward (although we might want to include a disclaimer a la The Untwist's, where any ending can become unhappy to someone sufficiently determined to see it that way).

There's definitely some misuse, though. Seinfeld is listed, for example, and I don't think that anyone was supposed to believe that "all the main characters get sent to jail" is a happy ending.

I'd suggest rewriting the description to make it clearer (without actually changing the definition) and purging bad examples. I don't think we need to do anything else, here.
I definitely oppose C; I think the resulting A trope would come off as B But More Specific.
It's a completely different thing from Bittersweet Ending or Fridge Horror. It's not bittersweet, it was intended as a completely happy ending. It's not Fridge Horror because the unhappiness is immediately apparent.

It's more like Happy Ending Dissonance, but specifically relating to dissonance between the author's intent and the audience reaction.

The essential point is that the creator intended it as a happy ending, but it is immediately apparent to the audience that it isn't.

Let the Right One In, for example, I would say it's not an Esoteric Happy Ending because the creator fully intended the audience to realize the implications.

edited 28th May '13 9:51:25 AM by skittyoung

55 Willbyr2nd Jun 2013 06:21:37 AM from North Little Rock, AR , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Crowner's hooked.

edited 2nd Jun '13 6:22:44 AM by Willbyr

56 SeptimusHeap2nd Jul 2013 12:14:50 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
Bumping for votes.
57 nrjxll2nd Jul 2013 12:34:22 AM , Relationship Status: Not war
I'm still not sure how this is more than Fridge Horror specifically for endings. The counterexample given didn't really seem like it should be an example at all.

Edit: Now that I look at it again, the leading crowner option would address both of those issues, but only at the cost of making it possible to list literally any ending for anything as an example.

edited 2nd Jul '13 12:45:50 AM by nrjxll

58 SeptimusHeap2nd Jul 2013 12:43:49 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
I guess it depends whether you have to first think about it a little.

Also, I suspect that some people ignore that issue out of annoyance with folks that have watered-down standards for The Same, but More Specific when it comes to Audience Reactions.
A "fridge horror happy ending" would be something that seems like a happy ending at first, but if you think through the implications of it, actually ends up being unhappy. An esoteric happy ending is an ending that is presented as happy (upbeat, triumphal music, all the characters laughing and smiling, etc) but for whatever reason, the audience doesn't see it that way — no Fridge Logic required.
61 Madrugada7th Jul 2013 01:42:40 PM , Relationship Status: In season
And just so you don't have to follow a link...

Esoteric: a. Intended for or understood by only a particular group.

The name is completely divorced from the definition.

The ending of Atlas Shrugged could be considered an Esoteric Happy Ending using the correct definition of "esoteric" — the only people who will put the book down at the end satisfied with the way it ended, are those who follow the same philosophy as Rand did. Everyone else will be dissatisfied, horrified, or let down.

edited 7th Jul '13 1:43:21 PM by Madrugada

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
I think the intent of the name might be that the "particular group" might be "the writers", and possibly those who agree that it's a happy ending, but yeah. TL;DR: "You Keep Using That Word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
63 Noaqiyeum8th Jul 2013 10:02:05 AM from the October Country , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
"Intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest."

I.e. only a small portion of the audience are likely to understand why the ending could be considered happy.
Anyone who looks dangerous is dangerous.

Anyone who doesn't look dangerous is dangerous and sneaky.
64 Madrugada8th Jul 2013 10:05:06 AM , Relationship Status: In season
[up]Yep. That's about the size of it.
...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
65 MyFinalEdits1st Aug 2013 10:34:59 AM from Venezuela , Relationship Status: Only knew I loved her when I let her go
Officially intimidated
This trope should only apply for when the work has no sequels. If it has sequels which indicate that the original "happy ending" was anything but, it's then Happy Ending Override.

For example, those Zelda examples don't fit. OOT's alleged happy ending was already overriden for the worse by its sequels (MM, TWW, TP), so it should be removed.

edited 1st Aug '13 10:36:58 AM by MyFinalEdits

Even the most kindhearted, well-intended person in the world isn't welcome everywhere. Hate, disdain and resentment always find a way.
66 StarSword1st Aug 2013 10:46:21 AM from somewhere in deep space , Relationship Status: In denial
You are of Bajor.
I'm guessing Inferred Holocaust would be an extreme form of A?
67 AnotherDuck1st Aug 2013 10:48:20 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
[up][up]I'd say sequels don't matter. The trope is about a self-contained ending. Whatever happens after that isn't relevant. A sequel can still play up the negative part of the Esoteric Happy Ending, but if that is present in the original ending, it still fits. If it's a new development it doesn't fit.

For that reason, the Zelda games that refer to sequels don't qualify. Or at least those parts of the examples, since you can still define the trope from the games themselves in some of the examples.

edited 1st Aug '13 10:48:28 AM by AnotherDuck

Check out my fanfiction!
So, the top option is at +24 with a 13:1 ratio, and the next highest one is at -8. Seems like we can call that a winner, yes?
69 MyFinalEdits2nd Aug 2013 12:01:29 AM from Venezuela , Relationship Status: Only knew I loved her when I let her go
Officially intimidated
Shouldn't we wait until a deadline comes or something?
Even the most kindhearted, well-intended person in the world isn't welcome everywhere. Hate, disdain and resentment always find a way.
70 SeptimusHeap2nd Aug 2013 12:20:13 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
There is no "deadline" or whatever, and it's been open long enough.
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
[up][up] "Deadline" is basically the Three Rules of Three. In this case, did the votes look the same three days ago? It's a guideline, not a "must always do after". Some crowners run longer, very VERY few go shorter. grin

edited 2nd Aug '13 8:09:43 AM by crazysamaritan

72 crazyrabbits2nd Aug 2013 02:16:55 PM from Mississauga, ON, Canada
The crowner's been hooked for two months. At this point, anyone arguing to keep it running is behind the times. It's gone on long enough, and arguing to keep it open on the off-chance that a flood of new people will suddenly change the course of direction is wishful thinking.

Call it.
Why isn't there an Esoteric Bad Ending trope?
What do you mean?

Expansion has 28 supports and 2 opposes.
75 AnotherDuck19th Aug 2013 11:25:33 PM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
[up][up]Because no one has created one. Possible for reasons.
Check out my fanfiction!

Page Action: Esoteric Happy Ending
2nd Jun '13 2:45:48 AM
What would be the best way to fix the page?
At issue:

Total posts: 91
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