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Complaining: Vanilla Protagonist get usage counts

On Page Action crowners it's standard practice to implement all options that have 2:1 or more, unless they're mutually exclusive.
 
 77 Indirect Active Transport, Mon, 12th May '14 4:47:26 PM from Chicago Relationship Status: Coming soon to theaters
The GOAT?
Lead You Can Relate To? Discuss.
That's why he wants you to have the money. Not so you can buy 14 Cadillacs but so you can help build up the wastes
 78 Rethkir, Mon, 12th May '14 9:05:28 PM from the gap between dimensions Relationship Status: Singularity
[up] Hmm… they seem closely related, though Lead You Can Relate To doesn't seem to be thriving. Second to last paragraph o that trope explains the connection and difference.
Compare Designated Protagonist Syndrome, which is about the more general use of ancillary characters who are more interesting than the lead; First-Person Peripheral Narrator, which is built on some of the same logic as this trope and also involves focusing on a character who isn't actually the protagonist;
Image Source. Please update whenever an image is changed.
[up] Yes, it's related but I see a distinction in terms of focus. I don't think that any writer who use DPS is trying to make the protagonist relatable. It's something like the Inverse of Too Cool to Live. In this case, the protagonist is not supposed to outshine the supporting cast.

Lead You Can Relate To: The Protagonist is modeled after the target audience to better engage them in the story.

Designated Protagonist Syndrome (proposed redefinition): The Protagonist is blander than the rest of cast so that they do not distract from the cast.

edited 13th May '14 8:55:35 AM by ChaoticNovelist

 
 80 Shanghai Slave, Tue, 13th May '14 9:47:09 AM from YKTTW Relationship Status: is commanded to— WANK!
I don't wanna play The Complainer here screw this pretentious disclaimer i am complaining, and probably wrong too, but prop 51 is basically Audience Surrogate meets The Protagonist.

In fact, a lot of examples in Audience Surrogate are already The Protagonist. So what's the difference? other than the fact that Audience Surrogate is written as a disambig and the proposition is an actual description.

maybe just merge this with Audience Surrogate instead.

rereading, it may not be the case. but that's certainly how it reads to me. "character is bland so audience 'can experience the story as him'" vs "protagonist is bland audience can focus on everything else" seems rather similar in purpose.

edited 13th May '14 9:54:53 AM by ShanghaiSlave

Is dast der Zerstorer? Odar die Schopfer?
[up]

Audience Surrogate-No personality at all but the plot focuses on them.

This trope: Possesses a personality but it is less elaborate/more bland etc and the main attractive is the colorful side cast.
 
Bumb!

There is a 7.5:1 ratio for two options, the total votes are over fifteen and the crowner has been in place for over a month. Why hasn't this been called yet?
 
 83 Willbyr, Tue, 20th May '14 7:52:17 PM from North Little Rock, AR Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
With Mod Hat On
Calling for the two winning options: Change the description of the trope to the suggestion in post 51, and Rename the trope to something more clear and less snow-clone-y.
I changed the description, purged misuse, and updated the laconic page. Now for the new name. Below are all the suggested names so far.

•Window Protagonist.

•Vanilla Protagonist.

•Plain Protagonist.

•Foil Protagonist.

edited 21st May '14 1:09:21 PM by ChaoticNovelist

 
 85 Lakija, Wed, 21st May '14 1:42:59 PM from Chicago Relationship Status: Drift compatible
I like Vanilla. It says the protagonists is a baseline that other characters stand out from, but without suggesting this is somehow bad or that it must be used in a narrowly specific way.

 87 the Adeptrogue, Thu, 22nd May '14 4:29:05 AM Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
I think I've also stated my preference for Vanilla Protagonist.

<offtopic>*grumble*justbecausevanilladoesntchangethecolordoesntmeani- tsneutralornoflavor*grumble*</offtopic>

 89 Lakija, Thu, 22nd May '14 1:19:09 PM from Chicago Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Lakija
[up] Sure. But vanilla also means default, regular, no bells and whistles.

And although vanilla ice-cream, i.e. the protagonist here, is delicious all on its own, it is the base of many other great flavors. It plays well with toppings and fixin's, i.e. the supporting cast, without being overwhelmed completely or disallowing the other ingredients from shining through.

I watch the Food Network too much. And now I want some vanilla icecream. :P
It is what it is.
 90 Rebochan, Fri, 23rd May '14 12:01:43 PM from Soaking up Rays
I've got Sunshine!
Yea, I'm all for Vanilla Protagonist.
http://www.f-d-r.com/blog/ - Filthy Digital Ramblings, musings on media.
[up][up]I'm just griping about the fact that vanilla has come to mean "default, regular, no bells or whistles" when it is actually none of those things, but this probably isn't the place to wage that fight...

 92 Lakija, Fri, 23rd May '14 4:26:02 PM from Chicago Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Lakija
The English language is a monster that evolves all the time. After all, awesome is a prime example of word decay.

But we must live with this.

Think of Vanilla then not as default, but as deliciously simple, and elegantly unobtrusive.

edited 23rd May '14 4:28:52 PM by Lakija

It is what it is.
Window Protagonist, Vanilla Protagonist, Plain Protagonist, Foil Protagonist

Observer Protagonist, Unobtrusive Protagonist, Discreet Protagonist, Unnoticeable Protagonist

Let's make a crowner with these.

EDIT

Done. I'll holler for a hook.

edited 28th May '14 7:33:37 AM by ChaoticNovelist

 
Bumbing for votes.
 
Bumb. After six days, Vanilla Protagonist is a clear favorite. I say we call this one.
 
How is this different from Straight Man? That's the term I would use if I was talking about this.

edited 10th Jun '14 9:15:36 AM by FastEddie

Goal: Clear, Concise and Witty
 97 the Adeptrogue, Tue, 10th Jun '14 9:36:13 AM Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Well, if I have to differentiate the two, I'd say...

  • Straight Man: The comedic foil to the resident joker, who doesn't get to do the silly antics themselves but their dynamic with the Plucky Comic Relief's antics makes the act more hilarious. The character doesn't have to be the protagonist or even a main character, and usually have a distinct personality that opposes the Plucky Comic Relief (e.g. The Stoic, Deadpan Snarker, etc).
  • Designated Protagonist Syndrome: The story's protagonist is deliberately not given any distinct personality so that the audience can relate to them better, and to emphasize the supporting characters' quirks.

Okay, I can see that. Like Joseph Heller's Something Happened. That protagonist sort of sleep-walked through his entire life doing nothing but absently observing the changes going on around himself.
Goal: Clear, Concise and Witty
I completed the rename and moved Laconic. When starting with the wicks I saw it was on Audience Reaction. Does this trope still count as one of those?
 
 100 the Adept Rogue, Thu, 12th Jun '14 7:54:08 AM Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Well, it technically shouldn't be, but I think the audience is going to have different opinions about how "relatable" or "non-quirky" a protagonist is.

Oh, and can the comparison to Pinball Protagonist be tweaked? The current write-up seems to imply that Pinball Protagonist is "this trope done badly" — which it is not. (It's about Protagonist's lack of character quirks vs. Protagonist's lack of significant impact to the plot).

Alternative Titles: Designated Protagonist Syndrome
28th May '14 7:30:52 AM
Vote up names you like, vote down names you don't. Whether or not the title will actually be changed is determined with a different kind of crowner (the Single Proposition crowner). This one just collects and ranks alternative titles.
At issue:
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