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Ambiguous Name: When She Smiles get usage counts

The trope is, "A plain or unremarkable person's smile makes them lovely, " but it seems like most of the examples don't use it that way. I think it would really clear things us if it was called Good Looking Only When She Smiles. Beautiful Smile isn't good enough because the examples understand that it's a beautiful smile and Transforming Smile isn't good enough because the examples make it sound like it's about the character transforming from unhappy to happy.

Edit: Link to Trope Talk and the YKTTW of misuse called Glimpse of Happiness.

edited 14th Sep '13 10:32:20 AM by lexicon

 2 Grounder, Sat, 14th Sep '13 11:12:50 AM Relationship Status: All is for my lord
I'd like to thank the academy...
Stated wanted name is probably a bit too long.

 3 0dd 1, Sat, 14th Sep '13 2:05:24 PM from Nowhere Land
Just awesome like that
I'll admit, I only got the name of the trope because I used to listen to the song that named it nonstop when I was younger and have half the lyrics memorized. No one else is going to get what the trope means right away.

What about the dialogue in the page image, "Cute When You Smile" or something like that? Or "Smiling Makes You Beautiful" (though this one seems a bit too long).

I looked at its quotes page for ideas, and a lot of the quotes seem to have variations of the statement "I'm in heaven when you smile" in them...which doesn't quite seem to fit as I understood it. Reading the description, it seems like it's more like "this person is always mopey or average, but when the person smiles, everyone gets happy" or something like that. Is that correct? If so, maybe Calming Smile, Peaceful Smile, Pacifying Smile...something like that could work, maybe.
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 4 Another Duck, Sat, 14th Sep '13 5:51:58 PM from Stockholm Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
I think any name that's just about a nice smile will harm more than help, relative to the current, as that's exactly what a lot of the misuse is about.
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 5 nrjxll, Sat, 14th Sep '13 6:17:48 PM Relationship Status: Not war
I said this in the Trope Talk thread, but in my experience this is primarily a non-visual trope. Saying as much in the description might help with the misuse.

I really don't see any misuse from the examples I am familiar with, but there are a lot of Zero Context Examples of "Character from Show." Overall it looks like most of the examples understand it is about the transforming power of a friendly expression. I don't see much problem with the name, as when you read the trope it makes perfect sense.

 7 Madrugada, Sat, 14th Sep '13 9:37:10 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
The problem is a lot of the examples are of characters who aren't "plain or unremarkable to start with, but beautiful when they smile." They characters who are already attractive to begin with. That's the problem the name is causing. It's misleading people who don;t rread the page into thinking it is simply "prettier when she smiles".
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
Why can't the trope be expanded so all the misuse is good? What's wrong with "already attractive person becomes even more so when (s)he smiles" if "plain/unattractive person becomes attractive when (s)he smiles" is okay?

 9 Septimus Heap, Sun, 15th Sep '13 12:52:27 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
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I would want to be sure that the smile makes a difference on already attractive people.

Expanding this to be "prettier when she smiles" would make it Audience Reaction and People Sit on Chairs. A "plain/unattractive person becomes attractive when (s)he smiles" works because the smile signifies attractiveness. Not all the misuse even mentions being good looking. What they do all mention is some sort of transformation. "Smile changes something about the person" doesn't work for a page.

The only way to be sure that the smile makes a difference on already attractive people is if the narrator or another character tells us that the character is generally attractive, but more attractive when smiling. I don't think that applies to any of the examples listed on the page.

Most of these "beautiful only under certain conditions" tropes need to be put under Informed Attractiveness. The Audience Reaction is sometimes included, by justifying that another character is attracted to the transformed character.

This trope needs to inform us that the character is unattractive before, and then attractive after. In non-visual medium, visual Informed Attributes are more accepted.
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[up][up] Well, it would obviously have to be in-universe (and there's still a lot of audience reaction misuse), but "prettier when she smiles" seems valid to me, whether she was pretty in the first place or not.
 13 0dd 1, Sun, 15th Sep '13 6:26:35 PM from Nowhere Land
Just awesome like that
I just want to be clear, is this trope supposed to be about how people feel the person looks when they smile, or about the effect it has on the people themselves beyond just the perceived attractiveness of the smiler? Because people seem to think it's the former whereas the description seems to imply it's the latter (e.g. Alice rarely smiles, but her rare smile is so wonderful that it causes both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to sign a nonaggression pact).

edited 15th Sep '13 6:27:53 PM by 0dd1

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This trope is supposed to be about how people feel the person looks when they smile. A normally unremarkable person smiles and becomes gorgeous. "The key element is that the smile adds a lot." Being happy makes her look cute, lovely, etc.

 15 0dd 1, Mon, 16th Sep '13 1:18:23 AM from Nowhere Land
Just awesome like that
But then there's this bit in the description that doesn't seem to mesh well with that really at all: "…it's something about the sheer happiness in that smile that makes whoever's watching immediately feel welcome, or better, and very often want to make them smile again. Preferably a lot. Depending on the application, can lead to Love at First Sight, a Love Epiphany, or a heartwarming moment."
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 16 sl1m, Mon, 16th Sep '13 3:46:01 AM from Johannesburg, SA
Sl1m
As far as the description goes, I think that anything describing how the smile makes someone else feel should be removed - leaving only how it makes the person more attractive. It should also really only apply to characters that go from unattractive to attractive when they smile and not characters who become more attractive when they smile (its well understood that smiling makes virtually anyone more attractive).

Many of the examples are unclear and involve audience reaction because, unless the smile's beautifying effect is lampshaded (like in the picture), whether the smile makes the person attractive or not is subjective to the audience. Thus I would suggest that there be some sort of In-Universe criteria for evaluating this trope in the description.

As far as the name goes, perhaps "Embellishing Smile"? (where embellish means to make beutiful)
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anything describing how the smile makes someone else feel should be removed
That's actually Show, Don't Tell for "they look attractive". The writer doesn't have to say character A looks attractive if character B is saying that they immediately want to see another smile by A.
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 18 0dd 1, Mon, 16th Sep '13 8:17:15 AM from Nowhere Land
Just awesome like that
I dunno, that's a highly subjective interpretation.
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That's the flaw with Show, Don't Tell; if you don't do a good job at it, it won't convey what you want. That's why Telling is easier. Showing someone has a tattoo is a subjective way to show they're tough. It doesn't work for everyone.
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 20 the Adeptrogue, Mon, 16th Sep '13 9:24:25 AM Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
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[up] But I think this trope is harder to show. A tattoo have its own stigma/image of toughness IRL. Without a description/lampshade, won't the trope seem like it's about smiling people?

edited 16th Sep '13 9:24:54 AM by theAdeptrogue

Tattoo is show, Informed Bad Ass is tell.

it's something about the sheer happiness in that smile that makes whoever's watching immediately feel welcome, or better, and very often want to make them smile again. Preferably a lot. Depending on the application, can lead to Love at First Sight, a Love Epiphany, or a heartwarming moment.
is show, Informed Attractiveness is Tell.
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Informed Attractiveness is a trope for works, not trope pages. This wiki does not need reams of Purple Prose that do more to mislead about what the trope is actually about than illuminate it. Just tell us what it is and get out. That's why Example as a Thesis and Self-Demonstrating Article are discouraged and Trope Co. has been ghettoized for ages.

I'm sorry, what is it you think I'm saying? I'm not sure what it is, because your post was random.
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 24 0dd 1, Mon, 16th Sep '13 11:04:27 PM from Nowhere Land
Just awesome like that
Not really random—it's pretty relevant to whether or not we need that bit of text in the trope page's description, since it is something that's doing little but muddling what the actual definition is.
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I don't think the lines where it mentions Love at First Sight and Love Epiphany are necessarily bad. Attractiveness is part of romantic love.

"Embellishing Smile" is an idea, but it sounds the same as saying, "Smiling Makes You Beautiful." It doesn't mention being plain or unremarkable beforehand and neither do most of the (shoehorned) examples. I think the only way to include that is calling it something along the lines of Unattractive When Unsmiling.

Page Action: When She Smiles
23rd Jan '14 6:58:54 PM
What would be the best way to fix the page?
At issue:
Total posts: 79
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