Snowclone: Upper Class Wit

Deadlock Clock: 16th Jan 2014 11:59:00 PM
Total posts: [62]
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1 SantosLHalper9th Nov 2013 09:00:40 PM from The Canterlot of the North
Gentlecolt and Bard
First of all, it's clear that this is a snowclone of Upper-Class Twit. The problem is, it's not so much about a witty upper class guy as it is a mischevous Rake-like figure. Would anyone else object to a rename?

edited 10th Nov '13 10:10:20 AM by SantosLHalper

This is a snowclone of itself?
3 SeptimusHeap9th Nov 2013 11:59:15 PM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
This has 824 inbounds, so I am not at all positive on a rename.
Dragon Writer
...or is the question about Upper Class TWIT?
5 SeptimusHeap10th Nov 2013 12:03:33 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
I think the question is about Upper-Class Wit since there are no name quality concerns coming from snowcloning with Upper-Class Twit.
The page description for Upper-Class Wit defines the trope as Upper-Class Twit plus brains, and I think the title being a snowclone actually helps to convey that meaning. Both tropes are for people who are rich, lazy, and hedonistic, but one's a wit and the other's, well, a twit. I think the title works fine.
7 SeptimusHeap11th Nov 2013 11:17:51 PM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
Yep, I am not seeing the OP's definition either.
8 AnotherDuck13th Nov 2013 05:21:55 PM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
I'd need to see a demonstrated problem to agree to rename this. I don't see anything as it is.
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There is ONE possible problem, which is that it seems like a duplicate trope of Gentleman Snarker.

Both tropes do that thing where they acknowledge that they "often overlap" with each other, but give no detail on how they differ or whether or not that "overlap" is in fact 100%.

edited 14th Nov '13 6:40:30 AM by johnnye

10 theAdeptrogue14th Nov 2013 07:14:29 AM , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
[up]That's what the description says, but the examples don't actually show any overlap between the two tropes.

I think the difference between Upper-Class Wit and Gentleman Snarker is that the former have more of an insufferable behaviour, while the latter feign politeness while snarking.
Not seeing a problem either. Vote for closing the thread.
Upper-Class Wit implies that the character, like his "twit" counterpart, is a member of the Idle Rich; Upper Class Wits don't do much but sit around and snark. Gentleman Snarker lacks the association with laziness and/or hedonism.
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
14 SeptimusHeap17th Nov 2013 10:29:36 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
Aside from the issue that "wit" and "snark" don't look like the same to me, that's not a good reason for cutting.
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
No-one has managed to give an explanation for what "wit" means that "snarker" doesn't. the best distinguishing line is between the "Gentleman" and "Upper Class" (in reference to Upper-Class Twit). The line appears to be Idle Rich and not-Idle Rich.

Both tropes do that thing where they acknowledge that they "often overlap" with each other, but give no detail on how they differ or whether or not that "overlap" is in fact 100%.
If the overlap between tropes is 100%, what's the point of having both?
16 SeptimusHeap17th Nov 2013 10:51:12 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
Is a gentleman the same thing as an "upper-class" person? Why don't the examples overlap? Also, Idle Rich has strong negative associations.

Could we just... not have Death anymore?
1. Yes 2. I don't know. 3. Yes
18 SeptimusHeap17th Nov 2013 11:06:00 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
So, to recap:
  • Gentleman Snarker: He can be very snarky, but so elegantly that it makes him no less of a gentleman. (Seems like the laconic is correct for once).
  • Idle Rich: The rich which live off their wealth.
  • Upper-Class Wit: Charming, witty and brilliant, but doesn't have a job or something along these lines.

I am not sure on the phrasing of the latter bit.
19 SantosLHalper17th Nov 2013 11:14:36 AM from The Canterlot of the North
Gentlecolt and Bard
The Rake character from 18th century fiction seems to be a good place to start re-defining this trope with.
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
And carefully reading the Upper-Class Wit page looking for examples of non-Idle Rich, I'm finding misuse exists. So I imagine the page has been popular because of the snowclone name, not because the trope is distinct from Gentleman Snarker.
"So... Upper-Class Wit is just Gentleman Snarker + Idle Rich? CUT"

But plenty of tropes can be described as trope X + trope Y....

edited 17th Nov '13 12:26:14 PM by MonaNaito

Edit: never mind. I posted without having read the trope description closely!

edited 27th Nov '13 7:45:19 PM by TTurtle

Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Checking examples on the page for Non-Idle Rich misuse.
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Wick Check complete. Haven't run the numbers yet, but I wanted to post the results. I discounted all of the Oscar Wilde characters and the real life examples, because I didn't want to bother researching them, and it was unlikely that people who were famous enough to be known are going to have done not enough to qualify as Idle Rich. So they're not getting counted as either.

     wick check 

Upper-Class Wit: A Snow Clone of Upperclass Twit, a sistertrope, with the only distinction being intelligence and charisma. The Twit is a subtrope to Idle Rich, so the Wit is also expected to belong to the Idle Rich. Gentleman Snarker is not required to be Idle Rich, but otherwise functions the same as the Wit: a financially well-off character who engages in intelligent and witty conversation.

The "ambiguously gay" line is being taken as a requirement in many places.

  • From Eroica with Love: although there's nothing ambiguous about his gayness. ZCE here, the page describes him as a Gentleman Thief. Which are Non-Idle Rich. Thieving staves off Rich Boredom.
  • The titular Count Cain, in every detail. Witty but self-centred and lazy? Check. Living on inherited money, with no real job but an eccentric hobby (in his case, collecting and sometimes using poisons)? Check. Flirtatious ladykiller, yet Ambiguously Bi? Very check. His "no real job" that drives the plot? Poisoning murderers that he's found. That's Rich Idiot with No Day Job.
  • Depending on the Writer, when Bruce Wayne isn't an Upper-Class Twit, he's this. That is Rich Idiot with No Day Job, too.
  • Charles Xavier has shades of this in X-Men: First Class. He's from an extremely wealthy family, attends Oxford and possesses an absolutely brilliant mind— but he prefers to use his mind-reading abilities and genius knowledge of genetics to seduce women and seems more interested in drinking than helping mankind. Even when he starts the team, he still possesses a keen wit and sense of fun (which is not to say he is in any way flippant about his beliefs). Only towards the end, when his friendship with Erik is destroyed and he is left paralyzed, does he truly become the mentor and leader we would come to know and love. Being somewhat lazy (carefree is a better description) about his powers doesn't make someone an Idle Rich. Xavier is subtly working towards making mutants accepted even as a college student.
  • Dr. Seymour Love has access to seemingly unlimited amounts money in The Opening of Misty Beethoven. This is a parody of Pygmalion and My Fair Lady. At one point he takes "the conscience of the king" bit from Hamlet and turns it into a penis joke. Eh, I'll give this one Idle Rich status.
  • Lord John Gray from the Outlander series has some of the trappings of one of these, but as he matures proves to be an Officer and a Gentleman. (And Straight Gay to boot.) One of the Royals Who Actually Do Something, a non-Idle Rich.
  • Several of Saki's young "heroes" are this type (and some are Upper Class Twits). ZCE, page doesn't help. assume correct.
  • P. G. Wodehouse: Psmith, and Uncle Fred, also known as the Earl of Ickenham. And even Bertie Wooster has his moments. Psmith, at least, counts. Bertie is also an Idle Rich. So I'll grant all three.
  • Philo Vance, the hero of S.S. Van Dine's detective stories, is a brilliant polymath who habitually acts like an indolent fop. He has been described as a polymathic Psmith. Very little information. The page, however, tells how Vance has achieved many things, such as the French Cross of War. Obfuscating Stupidity or Rich Idiot with No Day Job, but not Idle.
  • Byerly Vorrutyer from A Civil Campaign fits this trope to a tee. He's Vor-class, "is notoriously without visible means of support", makes sarcastic quips at everyone else's expense, and is very interested in what his newly male cousin looks like without clothes. Subverted in that he's actually a high ranking civilian Imp Sec agent, though he doesn't fit Rich Idiot with No Day Job exactly because his bratty and decadent personality is more then a pose.
  • Lord Peter Wimsey from the eponymous series. Lord Peter keeps up a running stream of babble that makes the uneducated believe him to be an Upper-Class Twit, but which references disparate subjects from the classical canon to campanology. The page explains how he is an example of Idle Rich.
  • Oscar Wilde's Lord Henry in The Picture of Dorian Gray. Counts as an Idle Rich; parties a lot.
  • Harry Potter: James Potter and Sirius Black are portrayed this way, at least before they join the Order. Both are Idle Rich. Being Gentlemen is debatable ;)
  • Jem Harthouse from Dickens' Hard Times, perhaps. He is portrayed as rather clever at times. ZCE, no information on page. Assuming correct.
  • Byron Hockner in Robert Brockway's Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity aspires toward this by attempting to relive the life of Lord Byron. ....ZCE, assuming correct.
  • Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl. He does have a job, but keep in mind that he's an eighteen-year-old hotelier who spends more time drinking, having sex, and playing mind games with everyone he knows. His excuse? "I'm Chuck Bass."
    • He's also not the eternal bachelor, but if he can't have Blair he seems determined to have every prostitute and easy girl in New York instead. Example Indentation issue aside, this example offers a lot in the way of Idle Rich definition, and absent the "wit" criteria. (This trope uses "Wit" specifically for "humour", not "brains".)
  • Warrick Harrow, Mal's client in "Shindig", from Firefly. Despite only showing up in one episode, he managed to out-snark two Upper Class Twits and Badger. Note that Simon is upper-middle class, not upper class. Doctors work for a living, whereas the upper class do not.
    • Actually, to assert that simply because Simon worked as a doctor, he cannot be considered a good subversion to this trope. The elder Tams, judging from how they treated River, seemed more the type of upperclass elitists who crave the prestige of having genius children, and not necessarily the money said successful children can bring to the family fortune. Simon himself genuinely liked being a doctor and had no qualms about emptying his bank in order to save his sister. Another with Example Indentation issues, Warrick and Simon are both Non-Idle Rich. It's clear that Warrick performs business at the parties he attends, and Simon is (as pointed out) an expert doctor.
  • Tyrion "The Imp" Lannister starts off this way in Game of Thrones. He explains in the first episode that he uses it as "armor" against the insults of others. ZCE, but reading the character page makes it clear that Tyrion is Non-Idle Rich.
  • M*A*S*H's Charles has very definite shades of this. ZCE, but I'm familiar with the series. Charles is a fine Gentleman Snarker, and Non-Idle Rich.
  • Many incarnations of the titular character from Blackadder. Another ZCE that I'm familiar with. This one is usually an Idle Rich. If the actual series/seasons aren't given context, then at least the aversions need to be.
  • Professor Elemental, who's home is his castle because his home is a castle, would be one of these. Takes a lot of wit to make up witty rhymes about tea, after all. ZCE, as a Gentleman Adventurer, I think he's an aversion to Idle Rich. Assuming Rich Idiot with No Day Job is an evolution of the GA, then he isn't an Idle Rich, either.
  • Oscar Wilde wrote a lot of these characters, probably because he was one himself. The Author was an Idle Rich? I'm calling Shenanigans.
    • Algernon Moncrieff from The Importance of Being Earnest— in fact, this trope was originally named The Algernon Technically, it was ALMOST Algernon. ZCE, as are the rest of the entries. With Shenanigans called on the idea that the Author was basing these characters off of himself, They're not getting counted in the final total.
    • Lord Darlington and Cecil Graham from Lady Windermere's Fan
    • Lord Henry Wotton, and to an extent Dorian Gray, from The Picture of Dorian Gray
    • Lord Goring from An Ideal Husband
  • Philip from Easy Virtue ZCE, assuming Idle Rich.
  • William Shakespeare also wrote a considerable number of these characters.
    • John Falstaff from Henry IV Part 1. ZCE, page is heavy on the wit, poor in the Idleness. Counting as correct anyway, since I cannot prove misuse.
    • Mercutio from Romeo and Juliet - the cynical, wisecracking variety. If you're familiar with the work, also apparently has nothing better to do than wander around and crash parties. Idle Rich.
    • Petruchio from The Taming of the Shrew - the "I'll Do Anything For a Bet" variety, with a (?) sadistic streak. Insufficient context. Seems to be Idle Rich.
    • Orsino from Twelfth Night - the In Love with Love variety. ZCE. Rich guy ruling a local area? I'll give him the Idle Rich status. Not sure on the wit, though.
    • Benedick (the Deconfirmed Bachelor) and Don Pedro (the prince who'd rather set his subjects up with each other than run the country) in Much Ado About Nothing. Benedick's a sure one for the wit, and Pedro seems to do little ruling, but no proof of misuse to find. Two counts of Idle Rich.
    • Gratiano, and arguably Bassanio, in The Merchant of Venice. Two more counts.
  • Higgins from My Fair Lady—has a Big Fancy House, servants, and a two-story library; is a Brilliant, but Lazy linguistics and speech training expert, and a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. His job is more of a hobby. Another count of Idle Rich.
  • Final Fantasy XII has Balthier, a lovely example of the trope. It turns out he's the son of the Empire's court scientist, and that he ran away from home to escape his mad father, the Emperor's reign, and nobility in general. To his credit, he prefers living as an adventurer and actually knows how to use a sword. He's a Non-Idle Rich. Aside from probably not having money because of running away, he's an adventurer.

  • Real Life Folder: Ignoring all of them.

  • Sterling from Archer. He does work. Most of the plots revolve around him working. Non-Idle Rich.
  • Walter "Doc" Hartford from Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers definitely came from money, judging from his extensive education (including charm school) and mannerisms. And while the other three Rangers indulge in sarcasm from time to time, Doc can probably license his as a deadly weapon. Superhero? Non-Idle Rich.

edited 9th Dec '13 7:45:21 AM by crazysamaritan

25 Odd18th Dec 2013 07:54:04 PM from Nowhere Land , Relationship Status: And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson
Still just awesome like that
I'm gonna be honest, when I saw the trope name, I just thought it meant an upper-class person who happened to be exceptionally witty. Where the hell does the idea of laziness and whatnot come into play? Doesn't seem to make sense to me. I'd vote for a Trope Transplant to make this into something more clear and make the current definition a different name.
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Page Action: Upper Class Wit
15th Jan '14 6:35:06 PM
What would be the best way to fix the page?
At issue:
Upper Class Wit is defined as an Intelligent Upperclass Twit. An Upperclass Twit is defined as a type of Idle Rich.

Gentleman Snarker also exists and covers the same basic demonstration of intelligence (Witty rejoinders), and is not Idle-rich specific.

39 total examples from the page itself. 24 counts of Idle Rich, assuming ZCE as correct use. That's 15/39 misuse, or 38% misuse for Non Idle Rich on the trope page.

Total posts: 62
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