Misused: Adorkable

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Not a bug!
It seems like the majority of uses of Adorkable that I see appear to be YMMV fan reactions, instead of being objective and in-universe. I've cleaned up a few of these, but I keep coming across them. Reading the example subpages doesn't exactly encourage me on this one.

So the question I have is if we want to make this a YMMV item, or do we want to engage in some heavy wick cleanup?
Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
I don't think it's a YMMV trope, but I remember thinking recently that the description needs to be tightened up. It's really supposed to be about characters that have social awkwardness and nerdiness played for cute points, but it's not uncommon to see it used to describe a character who is merely embarrassed or the like.
3 RJSavoy14th Mar 2013 08:48:50 AM from Edinburgh , Relationship Status: I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me
It's one of those tropes, like Moe or Badass, that writers certainly aim for but are ultimately an audience reaction. And can happen where it was particularly intended. I think it should just be made YMMV, unless there is some reason to narrow it down to in-universe (for which it might be better to start anew with an "Adorkable Reaction" article).
I think it used to be YMMV as I sometimes see it on YMMV sub-pages. Can you give specific examples of pages or wicks that misuse it? I haven't noticed it myself. But I for sure do see it with zero context a lot, which is problematic in itself, so troper hive mind cannot decide whether it fits or not.
Well, on this page the protagonist is described as adorkable when he's actually kind of a jerk and his eccentricities are played for laughs rather than cute points. Lower down on the page is the awkward, nerdy Shiori whose whole character seems to be basically built around the idea of Adorkable.

So I'd say it's used by people to describe a YMMV reaction, but is not a YMMV trope.

edited 14th Mar '13 7:40:28 PM by Arha

Yeah, this definitely needs a cleanup and a tighter definition. Some misuse I've seen:

  • Jessica Chastain's character in Zero Dark Thiry. At no point in the movie is she sexualized or portrayed as dorky, (though she is portrayed as intelligent).
  • Representative Ashley in Lincoln. Again, in no way sexualized, and it's debatable whether modern definitions of dorky apply to 19th century congressmen.
  • Moss in the IT Crowd. He's definitely a dork, but the show doesn't portray him as attractive - you may well personally find his dorkiness adorable, but that reflects on you, not his portrayal.
  • The Asian character in Sixteen Candles. If he qualifies as a dork, he's an Extroverted Nerd - he is supremely confident and romantically successful.
  • Angelina Jolie. C'mon!

We can't have a trope (or audience reaction) that's "dorky and attractive" or even "dorky therefore attractive." Because everyone (especially if dorky) is considered attractive by some troper. And tropers, many of whom proudly self-identify as nerds, are all too ready to label the objects of their affection as dorky.

We should limit this to those cases where a character is portrayed as attractive because of their awkwardness. We've done similar cleanup with other perverse sexual lust pages.

7 Noaqiyeum14th Mar 2013 08:05:37 PM from the October Country , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
We should limit this to those cases where a character is portrayed as attractive because of their awkwardness.
That sounds like it would overlap with Clumsy Cutie.
Anyone who looks dangerous is dangerous.

Anyone who doesn't look dangerous is dangerous and sneaky.
8 AnotherDuck14th Mar 2013 08:47:05 PM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Clumsy and awkward are different, though. And the latter in this case should refer to social manners, not physical awkwardness. Otherwise the distinction isn't really there in my eyes.
Check out my fanfiction!
Right - I meant social ineptness. But if adorkable overlaps strongly with other tropes (and it may), I would also support making this an exampleless definition page. "The word 'Adorkable' is a portmanteau of 'Adorable' and 'Dork.' Here are some details about the term. For examples, see: Clumsy Cute, Nerds Are Sexy, Weakness Turns Her On."

Or we can have an examples section consisting solely of people explicitly describing / invoking the concept. Stuff like promos of New Girl, which said "[Zoe Deschanel's character] is adorkable!"

I always saw this trope as being Moe, only for dorks. Like despite being dorky and socially awkward you still want to hug and love the character. What misuse is there exactly?

edited 14th Mar '13 9:06:59 PM by MissKitten

If this were just a page for tropers to post about perverse affectionate love, we'd definitely have to cut examples or even cut the page altogether. But the word "adorkable" has been deliberately used in actual ads for shows, so there could be a concept there worth documenting.
12 SeptimusHeap15th Mar 2013 12:02:43 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
To my understanding, this trope exists because adorabiility isn't usually associated with dorkiness.
Not a bug!
Well, the problem is that to clean this up correctly, it would have to be in-universe reactions only (with the possible exception of critics invoking this trope for characters on their shows). Hence why I proposed just making it YMMV, which would be a little simpler on the cleanup end, at least from what I can tell.

Incidentally, comparing it to Moe only strengthens that argument, since Moe itself is YMMV.
Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
I think this is one way a character can be moe, but that doesn't make it YMMV. I mean, is it YMMV that most moe characters tend to be young females? A trait used to build up an audience reaction like moe doesn't make the trope an audience reaction as well.

The name might be adding to the confusion, so let's put that aside for a moment. Now, what is the trope about? It's about a socially awkward character that ends up in situations that emphasize their awkwardness or nerdiness and portray the situation as charming. Whether or not the audience actually thinks it's cute doesn't really come into it.
15 RJSavoy15th Mar 2013 04:23:26 PM from Edinburgh , Relationship Status: I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me
[up] That's probably the best way to approach it, but problems arise when the audience sees it in characters that were never intended that way. As with the one who started off the moë trend.
The trope isn't ymmv, it's the use of awkward mannerisms and behavior to make a character endearing instead of overbearing. "Sexualized" is probably not the right term but certainly all examples need the characters to become attractive because of those mannerisms. If it was ymmv it would basically be Draco in Leather Pants But More Specific.
Wasn't this trope originally YMMV?
18 SeptimusHeap15th Mar 2013 05:04:21 PM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
If it was ymmv it would basically be Draco in Leather Pants But More Specific.

TSBMS doesn't apply there. The logic in @12 works in the YMMV case too.
Not a bug!
On something as subjective as attractiveness, bringing writer/creator intent into it is just asking for trouble.

Ultimately, it boils down to a simple issue. If the way the audience sees it is part of the concept, it's an audience reaction and thus belongs in YMMV. If we want to keep this a trope, it's going to have to be in-universe (as in one character is attractive to other characters because of his or her innate "dorkiness").

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
I think we have a standard of keeping attractiveness tropes fro becoming YMMV audience reactions. That's why pages like Nerds Are Sexy, Amazonian Beauty and Statuesque Stunner are in-universe (though originally, none of them were).
^^ Creator intent is not automatic grounds for YMMMV. After all, we have both Raven Hair, Ivory Skin and Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette. We're supposed to think a Kick the Dog moment is bad or that a Bespectacled Bastard Boyfriend is kind of hot in their abusiveness.
So what's to be done here?
Not a bug!
Well, I'm not sure. It seems a lot of people here think that "this gets X specific reaction from the audience" is neither a problem nor a case for YMMV, despite this being a personal appearance trope (and we have had tons of issues with those before).

So, I guess I'll start a crowner soon (probably tomorrow) and see what comes out of it.
Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
Not a bug!
Crowner made, mod hollered to hook it up.
Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
25 SeptimusHeap20th Mar 2013 02:27:45 PM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
Thumbed down both cleanup options - the YMMV one, because I am not sure what there is to clean up, and the "clarify description" one because I do not already know what the description is going to be.

Page Action: Adorkable 2
9th May '13 7:47:18 AM
What would be the best way to fix the page?
At issue:
Adorkable is frequently used for fetish fuel entries in which contributors describe their personal attraction to characters regardless of how the character is portrayed.

Total posts: 178
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