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Needs Help: The Simple Life Is Simple get usage counts

Raven Wilder
Almost every example listed under this trope is a subversion, aversion, or Lampshade Hanging of one variety or another, far outnumbering the straight examples. And one of the few straight examples is actually marked as a subversion by someone who thought this trope meant the exact opposite of what it actually means. This is probably because the trope's description only spends a few sentences describing the trope, then spends several paragraphs talking about how unrealistic it is.

Either we need to add a lot more straight examples and rewrite the description to tone down the "this is unrealistic" stuff, or we need to invert the trope's meaning. If most of our examples are of characters who think farming is simple only to find out they're wrong, then maybe that should be what the trope's about.

edited 13th Jun '13 4:29:13 PM by RavenWilder

"It takes an idiot to do cool things, that's why it's cool" - Haruhara Haruko
 2 Native Jovian, Thu, 13th Jun '13 8:53:21 PM from Orlando, Florida
Io vs Jupiter
I think a large part of the problem is that it's not clear whether the trope is "in fiction, farming is simple, so any idiot can do it as long as they're willing to work hard (in reality, this is untrue)" or "cityfolk think farming is so simple that any idiot can do it if they're willing to work hard, but they're wrong". It may be worth splitting the page and keeping both tropes.
 3 Septimus Heap, Fri, 14th Jun '13 12:46:45 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Another Wizard boy
I would guess that a split is an appropriate response here.

I propose a rename. Having the basis of the name on a show that doesn't have a page here is not a good thing.

edited 14th Jun '13 2:47:00 AM by spacemarine50

 
 5 Another Duck, Fri, 14th Jun '13 1:53:39 AM from Stockholm Relationship Status: Chocolate!
No, the other one.
Isn't the show called that after the phrase was coined that's used for the trope since before TV Tropes?
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 6 Clarste, Fri, 14th Jun '13 5:42:01 AM Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Three Steps
Yeah, "the simple life" is a fairly well-known phrase. I've never even heard of a show named after it, but its existence doesn't surprise because of how popular the phrase is.

 7 Septimus Heap, Fri, 14th Jun '13 5:44:11 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Another Wizard boy
With only 16 wicks and 18 inbounds, this should be easy to split and rename.

 8 kiukiuclk, Fri, 14th Jun '13 8:47:45 AM from 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693 Relationship Status: My TiMER is ticking
Isn't this basically Artistic License - Agriculture?

Instead of splitting, it might be worth going with a type1/type2 type thing, as the number of examples is so small as it is. Maybe call one of them the inversion or something.

 9 Septimus Heap, Fri, 14th Jun '13 8:50:30 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Another Wizard boy
No "type X", though. We have Type Labels Are Not Examples for a reason.

 10 Madrugada, Fri, 14th Jun '13 9:37:53 AM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
I'd say it's two different tropes.

If it's played straight that an agricultural/rural life really is treated as being simple (that usually goes hand in hand with tropes like Mighty Whitey (the protagonist is just that good at everything he does), Artistic License (it works better this way), and the Law of Conservation of Detail (who wants to read about cleaning out the corn crib before the new harvest? Bor-ring!) it has a different effect on the story than it does if the protagonist ( or character) thinks i tis but discovers the hard way that it isn't. That one often is used with coming-of-age, or discovery-of-self stories, and in stories that use The Hero's Journey, it is often one of the obstacles that the hero must overcome.

edited 14th Jun '13 9:38:41 AM by Madrugada

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
Raven Wilder
Yeah, a split does sound like a good idea. Any ideas for what the "farming is harder than they thought" trope should be called?
"It takes an idiot to do cool things, that's why it's cool" - Haruhara Haruko
 12 Septimus Heap, Fri, 14th Jun '13 10:34:56 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Another Wizard boy
I think we should come with descriptions and examples for the two tropes first. I may make two sandboxes for that, although not immediately.

 13 Another Duck, Fri, 14th Jun '13 10:48:12 AM from Stockholm Relationship Status: Chocolate!
No, the other one.
Considering the general knowledge of the phrase itself, I think just The Simple Life would work for when it is simple. That's what it's called, after all.

Now, is the opposite an aversion (Complicated Farmlife), or a subversion (The Simple Life That Isnt)? I think just "farm life that's portrayed realistically" isn't much of a trope. Maybe a Slice of Life-type genre, though. As a subversion it's more clearly a trope (to me, anyway), as it shows how the expectation of it being simple is betrayed/subverted.

[down][down]Isn't that what I said?

edited 14th Jun '13 12:05:40 PM by AnotherDuck

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 14 Madrugada, Fri, 14th Jun '13 10:50:20 AM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
The Simple Life Is Simple for when it is treated as though it is for whatever reason, Farming Is Hard Work for when it isn't.
...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
Raven Wilder
[up][up] "Farm life portrayed realistically" isn't a trope, but "character thinks farm life is simple and gets corrected" is.
"It takes an idiot to do cool things, that's why it's cool" - Haruhara Haruko
 16 Donaldthe Potholer, Fri, 14th Jun '13 12:09:57 PM from Somewhere in (not)Miami
[up]Except the first case is "Farm Life is not portrayed realistically", whether out of a sense of idealism or Conservation of Detail. (The idealism case seems to be more of a Trope than mere CoD.) Hence, the placeholder: Artistic License Agriculture.

Is this exclusively about farming? Or is it any sort of "simple" work, i.e. living off the land? If the latter, then perhaps The Not So Simple Life for the "character thinks it's easy but it isn't" case.

Distinction Time: "Farming is simple!"

edited 14th Jun '13 12:11:58 PM by DonaldthePotholer

 17 Native Jovian, Fri, 14th Jun '13 6:26:09 PM from Orlando, Florida
Io vs Jupiter
I don't think this is really an Artistic License thing; it's not just that they get farming wrong, it's that the work portrays it as simple to do, just requiring lots of hard work. In other words, something like "they put a nitrogen-based fertilizer on their soybeans, and any real farmer knows that soybeans need a phosphorus-based fertilizer!" would be covered under Artistic License Agriculture, but isn't what this trope is about.

I'd call it The Simple Agricultural Life or The Simple Farming Lifestyle or something to that effect — just going with "The Smiple Life" is a bit too broad for the trope we're talking about.
 18 kiukiuclk, Fri, 14th Jun '13 6:27:35 PM from 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693 Relationship Status: My TiMER is ticking
I like Not So Simple Life for the "character thinks it it's easy, but it isn't". Maybe The Deceptively Simple Life?

I'm not sure Artistic License Agriculture is all that useful. Most examples would tend to fall under Artistic License Animal Care or Artistic License Biology(like the nitrogen/phosphorus example above) i would think. It's hard to imagine farm life being portrayed unrealistically without it falling under one of those two.

edited 14th Jun '13 6:28:32 PM by kiukiuclk

Raven Wilder
Actually, I've been thinking, while "character thinks farming is simple and is proven wrong" is definitely its own trope (and The Not So Simple Life is a great name for it, by the way), isn't "character takes up farming with no visible learning curve" already covered by Instant Expert?
"It takes an idiot to do cool things, that's why it's cool" - Haruhara Haruko
 20 Native Jovian, Mon, 24th Jun '13 10:18:28 PM from Orlando, Florida
Io vs Jupiter
Eh, I wouldn't say so. Instant Expert is about the character gaining a skill improbably quickly. This trope would be about farming not needing any skill, just hard work.
Raven Wilder
Hmm, then what about a new trope, something like No Experience Necessary, where someone is shown gaining a job and succeeding at it despite having none of the necessary training or experience? 'Cause I'm pretty sure there are plenty of non-agricultural examples of that.
"It takes an idiot to do cool things, that's why it's cool" - Haruhara Haruko
 22 Native Jovian, Tue, 25th Jun '13 3:55:30 PM from Orlando, Florida
Io vs Jupiter
That's not what the trope is. It's about farming, specifically, not needing anything but hard work. It's the idea that anyone, anywhere, can drop what they're doing when they hear the Call to Agriculture, move out to the country, get themselves some land, and create a working, viable farm with nothing but blood, sweat, toil, and tears.... even though that's nothing like realistic.
Raven Wilder
But farming isn't the only occupation that gets portrayed that way; there are plenty of times in fiction when a character will suddenly get a job and do well at it, with no indication that their lack of training or experience hinders them in any way. So why should farming have the trope all to itself?

edited 25th Jun '13 10:17:09 PM by RavenWilder

"It takes an idiot to do cool things, that's why it's cool" - Haruhara Haruko
 24 Native Jovian, Wed, 26th Jun '13 2:17:26 PM from Orlando, Florida
Io vs Jupiter
For the same reason that Call to Agriculture is about farming specifically instead of being about simple-but-fulfilling jobs in general. There's something symbolic about farming that you don't get with other professions.

Of course, you might be able to make a supertrope that does include other jobs, but farming specifically is still tropeworthy.

edited 26th Jun '13 2:17:34 PM by NativeJovian

Raven Wilder
I'd be more inclined to treat farming as a seperate trope if the current The Simple Life Is Simple page didn't have so few straight examples. If you can find some more examples, then great, I'm on board. But without some indication that this trope happens a lot more with farming than it does with other professions, I don't see much point in splitting it.
"It takes an idiot to do cool things, that's why it's cool" - Haruhara Haruko
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