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AgProv
topic
03:00:11 PM Jul 30th 2013
Then there's the fantasy equivalent of the trope: in Discworld/The Last Hero, the Disc is under threat of extinction: if the Gods are attacked, the magical field that sustains the world vanishes, the planet dies. With the brains of a whole planet to pick from, one that has at least three superpowers, the mission that saves the Disc is a 100% Ankh-Morporkian affair... the other nations are reduced to anxious diplomats querulously demanding to know what Ankh-Morpork intends to do about it.

Did Terry Pratchett mean this deliberately, as a wry comment on "America Saves The World" movies like "Independence Day"?
MrDeath
10:07:36 AM Mar 17th 2014
Well, I don't know that it's 100% Ankh-Morporkian. Leonard may reside within the city, but he's still Leonard De Quirm.
brundlefly
topic
03:37:58 PM Jun 27th 2012
In case this is ever unlocked, there's an early example in Garrett Putman Serviss' EDISON'S CONQUEST OF MARS from 1898, an unofficial sequel to WAR OF THE WORLDS. Early on in the book:

"It was a proud day for America. Even while the Martians had been upon the earth, carrying everything before them, demonstrating to the confusion of the most optimistic that there was no possibility of standing against them, a feeling—a confidence had manifested itself in France, to a minor extent in England, and particularly in Russia, that the Americans might discover means to meet and master the invaders."
SeptimusHeap
01:33:06 AM Jun 28th 2012
^There is a forum thread that is linked from Locked Pages to make such requests.

Locked Pages is linked from the padlock icon.
DCC
topic
02:24:56 PM Jun 15th 2012
Er, considering how the page lists mostly subversions, shouldn't the trope be "America Doesn't Save The Day"?
skteosk
topic
04:08:09 PM Jun 2nd 2012
Don't know if this is locked permanently or if anyone reads these, but I was going to add to the Star Trek example the infamous episode of Star Trek:Voyager where Janeway reels off a list of pioneers and includes Neil Armstrong but not Yuri Gagarin or, indeed, anyone else who isn't American.
Camacan
moderator
topic
11:11:05 PM Dec 7th 2011
Needs a re-write, if it is an example. If America doesn't save the day, not an example. If a subversion is supplied, how is America set up as if they are about to save the world?

  • In the Max Brooks book World War Z
    • America doesn't precisely save the day, but the American ambassador decides to go on the offensive against the zombies to "restore humanity's self-confidence" rather than waiting for the ghouls to rot away. The conclusion of the operation to clear the zombies from the continental US is declared to be V-Day by the US government; however, many people outside America consider the war to have ended when China was cleared. In any event, there are still tens of millions of zombies at large in the ocean and in the polar regions, and some nations (such as Iceland) remain uninhabitable. This was lampshaded by the narrator for that section of the novel, who says that if it was some stupid American movie, it would have resulted in the Slow Clap. Instead, everyone just stares at the American ambassador like he was insane and erupts into violent argument. However, the plan is accepted when the American president tries to convince the members of the importance of attacking.
    • Its also subverted earlier in the novel when describing the battle of Yonkers. The US Govt in an effort to calm public hysteria plans a massive attack against the zombies using huge amounts of tanks, aircraft, and high tech weapons. Unfortunately poor planning and a serious case of Idiot Ball, whether the ball was held by a general or politician is unknown, leads to a massive defeat and the beginning of a rout that doesn't end until the Government retreats to Hawaii.
Nulono
02:19:21 PM May 8th 2012
"the American president is an incompetent Bush parody who you later have to kill"

This should say "whom".
GrigorII
topic
11:27:41 AM Nov 6th 2011
It may be worth mentioning that in non-American productions, it is likely that it will be their own country the hero, for similar reasons (that is, in anime "Japan saves the day"). The trope, however, would be basically the same, just with a change of country.
karkared
topic
12:19:46 AM Aug 4th 2011
Hello, may we include the tabletop wargame "VOR The Maelstrom" here ? In this game just about every nation in the world gets bounced back a century SAVE for the North American Union and its archenemy Russia. The UN self-dissolves for no reason, Poland calls in the Union for protection (Europe is nonexistant). China and India get a line each, then vanish with their billion citizens and armies. And then the Union starts building a worldship fleet to save Humanity.
Joesolo
07:46:59 PM Aug 8th 2011
i think you have to figure out who locked it and asked them. That sounds like a good example to me though,
SeanEBlog
topic
05:50:26 PM Jul 30th 2011
The Japanese organization that X-COM is modeled after was called "Kiryu Kai", when the lock is removed from this article, someone please fix the "can't remember the name" in X-COM's entry under video games.
ablackraptor
topic
08:35:59 AM Jul 29th 2011
I personally think Captain America needs to be added to the comic section. While to some extent he avoids some of the common problems with this trope, such as often teaming up with non-American heroes, but his entire gimick is this trope. An example of this trope being played well, as while a couple times this trope will annoy non-Americans, I, a non-American Troper, agree that Captain America is cool.
TheAntiTed
topic
11:17:34 AM May 28th 2011
Just a Face and a Caption. Seriously, that picture only makes sense to Axis Powers Hetalia fans. Otherwise, its just a dude saying he'll do some saving of somebody. The "america" written on the side doesn't really help you to realize that its an anthropomorphic representation of the country. Maybe if it was Uncle Same or something.
Stoogebie
11:59:12 AM Jul 30th 2012
It would work much better if somebody captured a screenshot from the anime, complete with subtitles "I'm the hero", and maybe a caption mentioning Moe Anthropomorphism or Nations as People. Considering the anime shows the U.S. flag right behind him, it might serve to make it a little clearer to the audience - even if they aren't aware of the Nations as People aspect, they'd assume from the flag and the blond hair and blue eyes that he's an American. Anyone care to use the screenshot idea?
SuiCaedere
07:24:28 PM Nov 6th 2013
edited by 190.174.31.122
There's also the word AMERICA in all caps included.

We could also add the previous panel from that strip above it so it would make more sense, like this:

FastEddie
moderator
07:32:46 PM Nov 6th 2013
Please don't use right-to-left manga panels. Nobody gets it that doesn't read manga. It excludes a whole lot of people.
Zaptech
topic
01:14:36 PM May 13th 2011
Can we get the page unlocked, at least for a little bit, to clear out the natter? There's a lot of conversation on the page that needs to get cleared away, and I would do it but I can't because of the locking.
JimCambias
topic
08:24:29 AM Mar 20th 2011
I think it would be fair to note that a country which spends more on armed forces than everyone else put together, and which has bases and treaty arrangements with a bewildering number of countries around the world, is indeed likely to get involved in something like an alien invasion or intervention against a supervillain. In other words, there is some Truth in Television here.

Consider the recent strikes against Libya: France and Britain decided to declare a no-fly zone . . . and asked the US to help take out air-defense sites before sending their planes in.
MrSchade
topic
02:30:22 AM Dec 5th 2010
So about the page picture, is it just me or does it seem very much like its Just a face and a caption? I think we need either a better page image or none.
Anaheyla
12:59:20 PM Dec 11th 2010
Thats why God invented the Image Pickin' forums. Or someone did anyway. It probably wasn't God.
Stoogebie
12:00:47 PM Jul 30th 2012
I suggest use the anime screenshot (see above), since it's a lot clearer even for people not keen on the show being referenced.
93.232.159.137
topic
03:21:18 AM Jul 19th 2010
It is interesting to note, about the movie U-571, that it explicitely set out to "show a correct version of what happened wit subs in WW 2" and set the record straight on what "that other boat movie" (Das Boot/The Boat of course) wronged - and then failing history forever with quite a lot of jingoism.
TrevMUN
topic
11:22:51 PM Apr 30th 2010
edited by TrevMUN
Responding to Barano's response in this edit he made (which I reverted):

reason: Oh come on. Most of the world's industrial and military power was crippled, except for the US? Right. And it's shown that there's communication around the world so obviously they could've reached foreign scientists/military personnel/etc. if the writer wanted to. (And no, I'm not some anti-American troll. Face it, the movie plays this trope very straight. Even Armageddon had that Russian guy!)
29/Apr/10 at 10:28 AM by Barano 86.101.155.109
Changed line 44 from:
* Occurs in many of Roland Emmerich's films, especially Independence Day. Everyone who took part in devising the plan to save the world was American. There was no international committee or involvement of the global scientific community. Considering the movie is taking place over a grand total of three days, during which the entire world is reeling from a massive coordinated strike that crippled most of the world's industrial and military power, this might be justifiable. The film is still considered Snark Bait internationally.
To:
* Occurs in many of Roland Emmerich's films, especially Independence Day. Everyone who took part in devising the plan to save the world was American. There was no international committee or involvement of the global scientific community. In fact, every non-American country was shown waiting for the Americans to do something. The film is considered Snark Bait internationally.

"Most of the world's industrial and military power was crippled, except for the US? Right."

I don't recall the film saying the United States military was spared from the alien invasion. We're shown a clip of El Toro torn to bits by attack ships as context. In fact, General William Grey says the American military was reduced to fifteen percent of its total manpower. Go take a look at the order of battle for the American armed forces some time. That is a massive, massive blow.

The U.S. was suffering just as much as the rest of the world. That's why, you know, the tropers who wrote the example specified entire world was reeling from an alien attack.

"And it's shown that there's communication around the world so obviously they could've reached foreign scientists/military personnel/etc. if the writer wanted to."

"There's communication around the world" does not imply there's *reliable* communication around the world, something very clearly established early on in the film.

Your statement also ignores the fact we're talking about Area 51, which in the film was pictured as being a top-secret facility with a massive underground complex, known only to the head of the CIA and not the president or his chiefs of staff.

By the time they were aware of its existence, and by the time a civilian computer specialist came up with his crazy idea, the situation was extremely dire and getting worse with clockwork regularity. General Grey mentions that in just a day and a half, every major city on the planet would be completely destroyed by the aliens.

There wasn't time for the scientists at Area 51 to consult the international scientific community, much less the American scientific community! Snarkers often overlook that—the Area 51 personnel didn't even consult with other surviving American research facilities or military bases concerning the trojan horse virus plan!

The only communication made worldwide was the coded message entailing what they were planning.

Why does pointing all this out matter? Because the whole final battle and events leading up to it was a Darkest Hour moment for the United States and everyone else. It was only by the luck of having a scout craft crash in Roswell, New Mexico that the United States even had any kind of ace up its sleeve.

Speaking of which, the whole scene where General Grey tells his morse code team to broadcast how to bring the alien ships down—that was only after Russell Casse kamikaze'd the ship in its weak point. Beforehand, the American fighters were doing what everyone else was probably doing—pumping missiles into the ships at random, without knowing the weak point.

"In fact, every non-American country was shown waiting for the Americans to do something."

I think that's just what people want to see out of the scenes involving non-American forces. They weren't so much "waiting around" as being shown in the middle of trying to regroup their forces (recall that they were trying to gather scattered forces and mentioned there may have been some more hiding in the Golan Strait Heights). The British officer's "it's about bloody time" comment sounds more like a "The Americans are late to the party again" jab rather than "Finally, the Americans will rescue us!"

"Face it, the movie plays this trope very straight. Even Armageddon had that Russian guy!"

To quote the Justified Trope page, "remember that a trope being justified is not about it ultimately being good or bad or effective or ineffective—it's about whether or not it makes sense from an in-universe point of view. A trope can be perfectly justified and still ruin a show."

The state of the world, the tactics of the alien invasion, and the nature of Area 51 gave perfect in-universe sense for this film's usage of America Saves the Day. Whether or not you think the movie was good is a completely different matter.
DougS.Machina
11:43:14 PM Apr 30th 2010
edited by DougS.Machina
@Trev-MUN:

The British officer's "it's about bloody time" comment sounds more like a "The Americans are late to the party again" jab rather than "Finally, the Americans will rescue us!"

I always thought it was more like "Thank God someone's figured out a plan to fight them."
Hadri
02:18:23 AM May 1st 2010
But why justify it at all? It doesn't really serve to illuminate the example. America saving the day may be totally justified but inserting the line makes the example read awkwardly. It was fine the way it was; there's not really a purpose in adding to it.
TrevMUN
12:39:08 AM May 2nd 2010
edited by TrevMUN
"I always thought it was more like "Thank God someone's figured out a plan to fight them."

That's another way to take the line, yes—but remember that, for the British, the idea that the United States always jumps in on a crisis at the very last minute is almost as prevalent as the American idea that the U.S. saved everyone's asses in WWII. There's some examples of that in the Cultural Posturing section.

So with the kind of tone in the British commander's voice, it's pretty easy to hear the "it's about time those Yanks joined the rest of us in fighting these aliens" subtext.

"But why justify it at all? It doesn't really serve to illuminate the example. America saving the day may be totally justified but inserting the line makes the example read awkwardly. It was fine the way it was; there's not really a purpose in adding to it."

It was fine the way it was written before Barano made edits. There's not really a purpose in deleting the justification.

If you're going to get picky and say "there's no need to include justifications," you're going to be spending a lot of time removing those mentions from every trope example in the wiki—for example, the Armegeddon example later down this page, which also includes justifications.

And if it's not done for all of them and only the ID 4 example, then doesn't that speak of a certain personal opinion of the tropers themselves concerning this one specific movie?

Remember, again, that a Justified Trope is a legitimate method of playing with the basic thing, and if it does receive viable in-universe justification, then it shouldn't be removed. Tropes Are Not Bad, and justifying a trope does not make it good either. It just means that the trope getting played makes sense in-universe, whether or not you love the movie or hate it.
Hadri
05:40:37 AM May 2nd 2010
I guess I'm saying that while I wouldn't have deleted it myself I didn't have a problem with the reason for the deletion. Too many pages on this wiki are way, way too long because people keep adding justifications like this.
TrevMUN
topic
04:40:48 PM Apr 18th 2010
edited by TrevMUN
Trev-MUN: I've noticed this trope has been getting hit earlier this month by a troll trying to slip in Misplaced Nationalism-based Take Thats.

reason: more data, less condescendence
03/Apr/10 at 08:22 PM by 190.232.6.250
Changed lines 15 from:
This often happens because the US military ''pays'' films to do so. If you show them in a very positive light, they'll let you borrow top notch military planes, ships, and tanks to film, which would normally cost you millions to get access to. So long as you make sure that evil military general is French, and the army that stops him aren't, you go a long way towards making your film within your budget. Not that this is an uncommon practice or restricted to America.

Occasionally, even non-American productions will refer to this trope (although usually to subvert it), but are also likely to have their own country save the day instead. Again because the audience will want to identify with the heroes and the actors available will be of that given nationality.
To:
A common cause of this trope is nazionalism, and probably the most alarming aspect of it that explains how stunts as the war on Iraq could be pulled off. Few others countries apply it to the same extent, if any, no other countries go as far as taking the word for a whole continent "America" as synonymous for their own country alone. This often happens because the US military ''pays'' films to do so. If you show them in a very positive light, they'll let you borrow top notch military planes, ships, and tanks to film, which would normally cost you millions to get access to. So long as you make sure that evil military general is French, and the army that stops him aren't, you go a long way towards making your film within your budget. Not that this is an uncommon practice or restricted to the United States but it really makes you wonder.

Occasionally, even non-Usanian productions will refer to this trope (although usually to subvert it), but are also likely to have their own country save the day instead. Again because the audience will want to identify with the heroes and the actors available will be of that given nationality.

"Less condescendence?" Yeah, right. Let's be honest, this was an earnest attempt at demonizing real-life Americans while downplaying the idea that the trope is just as "bad" when used by works in other nations.

Thankfully, edenfalling took care of the "Usanian" parts, and a few of the other tropers have dismantled the introduction along the way. I've gone ahead, though, and reverted the whole paragraph back to what it was before 190.232.6.250 got a hold of it.

Looking up this guy's edits I see that he's been doing this very same thing on other article pages, too.

At America Wins the War (thankfully deleted by Charred Knight):
reason: none given
03/Apr/10 at 08:29 PM by 190.232.6.250
* HBO's "The Pacific" is full of this... It gives more importance to the war at the pacific that it ought and attributes heroism to a bunch of guys that won only because some Gay, I mean, Enola Gay, threw a major blastard into the fry... And yeah, I mean the Japanese were so superior at war that it ended when a frightened General said "Just Nuke 'em"

At Independence Day (thankfully deleted by Caswin):
reason: none given
03/Apr/10 at 08:11 PM by 190.232.6.250
Changed lines 8 from:
Humans fight back, with U. S. Marine pilot Steven Hiller (Will Smith) and a computer programmer David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) pulling together a plan to save the human race.

Needless to say, this is one of the most trope-filled movies of all time. Which is not to say that it's not completely awesome. What Plot Holes exist are covered up with outstanding visual effects, likeable characters and just being honest entertainment. It falls just short of hanging lampshades on everything it can, while being entirely aware of just how silly it is.
To:
Humans fight back, with U. S. Marine pilot Steven Hiller (Will Smith, interestingly sounding much like Hitler) and a computer programmer David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) pulling together a plan to save the human race.

Needless to say, this is one of the most trope-filled movies of all time. Which is not to say that it's not completely awesome... Its so awfully nazionalistic its Snark Bait to many but to others what Plot Holes exist are covered up with outstanding visual effects, likeable characters and just being honest entertainment. It falls just short of hanging lampshades on everything it can, while being entirely unaware of just how silly it is.

At Snark Bait (thankfully deleted by DEFCON1):
reason: none given
03/Apr/10 at 07:30 PM by 190.232.6.250
Added line 69:
*Independece Day. From the trash can of nazionalism gone to its worst it defines snark bait.
Added line 80:
* Harry Potter. Its the kind of garbage where Cerberus is degraded into Fluffy that justifies haters everywhere...

In Throw-Away Country (thankfully deleted by Peteman):
03/Apr/10 at 06:18 PM by 190.232.6.250
Added line 85:
*** obviously the retards that created such a nazionalistic film couldn't care any better about geography, its Hollywood Atlas all over again, raised to eleven!

My guess is that these edits were written by a Spanish or Portugese-speaking troll, given the unwarranted, hateful, and extremely ignorant snark in all these edits, not to mention the repeated usage of the portmanteau of nazi + nationalism to describe any sort of pride Americans have for their country, or the rant on this article about the United States of America supposedly pretending that it's the only nation on "the continent."

My reason for that? Spanish and Portugese-speaking nationals are taught that North and South America are one continent. They use the equivalent of "United Stateser" to refer to Americans in Spanish and Portugese. Single Issue Wonks from those countries just love bashing the United States with claims that it and everyone who lives there is Eagleland Type #2 ... and they do it because they neither know nor care that the English-speaking world refers to "the Americas" as two continents, and that the demonym for U.S. citizens ("American") developed naturally out of British usage for "people of European descent living in British America" dating back as far as the 1640s, before the nation was even founded (which, might I add, was the first country in the Americas founded out of European colonies—long before Gran Colombia).

Suffice to say, I've seen so much ignorant ranting from people on this subject that seeing a troll use this article's introduction as a Troper Tract to rant about how much Americans suck, how evil their government and national policies are, all because the English language does not kowtow to their personal expectations, infuriates me.
TrevMUN
02:28:00 AM May 24th 2010
edited by TrevMUN
And if that weren't enough, a troll by the name of Blurgle stopped by this trope to slip in Misplaced Nationalism take thats as well in a long series of edits, summarized here:

17/May/10 at 07:52 AM by Blurgle 174.5.77.139
Changed lines 15 from:
This trope describes any instance where, because the story was made for American audiences, the writers create a world-wide problem to be solved by Americans (and typically Americans alone). The reason for this is simple. The movies are made for Americans and most Americans want to see other Americans as the heroes; also, most of the available actors are American. Whether or not the problem actually starts in the USA doesn't matter. Americans always save the day when this trope is invoked.

This often happens because the US military ''pays'' films to do so. If you show them in a very positive light, they'll let you borrow top notch military planes, ships, and tanks to film, which would normally cost you millions to get access to. So long as you make sure that evil military general is French, and the army that stops him aren't, you go a long way towards making your film within your budget. Not that this is an uncommon practice or restricted to America.
To:
This trope describes any instance where the writers create a world-wide problem that can only be solved by Americans. The reason for this isn't as simple as you'd think. The trope panders to the belief held by many Americans (or at least the belief Hollywood thinks most Americans hold) that Americans are vastly superior human beings in every imaginable way to those lazy, greedy, cowardly, weak, effeminate, utterly stupid slime-scum subhuman foreigners. It's an extremely, extremely nasty trope, one of the nastiest around, and one that shouldn't be excused away by claiming that Americans can only tolerate other Americans as heroes.

This trope has caused Americans to believe a number of things that are just plain wrong. Many Americans are convinced beyond dissuasion that America is the only source of foreign aid and, even stranger, that programs like Lend-Lease were donations instead of loans that were repaid with interest. It also causes Americans overseas to expect deferential, obsequious fawning from all foreigners, even those whose ancestors sacrificed their lives to help America (Lafayette, anyone?). Naturally, they don't see that the anger they engender is caused by this "worship me, you inferior slime" attitude, and prefer to attribute any hostility to "jealousy" or "ungratefulness".

America sometimes saves the day because the US military ''pays'' films to do so. If you show them in a very positive light, they'll let you borrow top notch military planes, ships, and tanks to film, which would normally cost you millions to get access to. So long as you make sure that evil military general is French, and the army that stops him aren't, you go a long way towards making your film within your budget. Not that this is an uncommon practice, but in the modern day it is absolutely restricted to America - no other country can justify budgeting taxpayer funds in such a way.

As I discovered a few days ago, he did this in the America Wins The War trope as well. Only I didn't know he'd spread his vitriol to other pages, and turned this trope into their personal soapbox on how oh-so-ignorant-and-wrong those "American rednecks" are.

Originally I thought this guy was a Brit given his edit on America Wins the War—since he echoes the sentiments of other British trolls that try to assert that Americans were villains during WWII, saddling the Allies with massive war debts to the point of treating them like post-WWI Germany (which is highly inaccurate)—but it seems that Blurgle is Canadian given their IP (Winnipeg, Manitoba).

I still think they're a troll trying to turn TV Tropes into a battleground of Misplaced Nationalism, though, given that many Canadians think they know everything about Americans, and that Americans know nothing about anything. I'm going to be checking this guy's edits to see what else he's defaced with his Dan Browned crap.
Stoogebie
09:55:22 AM Jun 14th 2012
Whoa. Um...well, this guy's a piece of work, to say the least. But while I fully agree with your sentiments, I don't think it's fair to say "many Canadians think they know everything about Americans, and that Americans know nothing about anything". Don't get me wrong, I've come across at least one such Canadian, who managed to spill into Hypocrisy, but it's not fair to combat one nasty stereotype with another stereotype. Then again, I almost think this Blurgle guy is the same asshole I mentioned earlier (his tone certainly sounds the same, and gives off the same vibe).
WillBGood
09:57:00 AM Mar 17th 2014
Suggested edit: change

the US military ''pays'' films to do so.

to

the US military pays films to do so.

so the italics work properly.

back to Main/AmericaSavesTheDay

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