Main Marysue Discussion

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11:35:58 PM Mar 17th 2015
Is a "sliding scale of Author Avatar vs Mary Sue" a possible trope? It seems Creator's Pet might fit neatly in the middle. Furthermore: Can a Mary Sue actually work, considering the quality of the story?
05:03:07 AM Mar 18th 2015
A new Sliding Scale trope will almost certainly not be approved, let alone if it involves a Mary Sue trope as well.

As for your second question, I guess it depends upon how you define "Mary Sue".
05:49:48 AM Mar 18th 2015
As far as can see, it is somewhat opinionated. The character of Galahad (the "chaste" knight in the Arthurian cycle) can be defined as a Purity Sue, and is stated to be one. This probably means that this works, as far as William of Malmesbury or his copycats are concerned. It is, as you say, a matter of perspective. Even the eponymous character Little Dorrit, or Little Nell, has some Sue traits. Thad doesn`t make the characters shallow. Maybe The Ingenue can end up a Mary Sue if she is written badly.
08:48:32 AM Mar 18th 2015
I'd say a shining example of a Mary Sue working is Leslie Knope from Parks and Rec's later seasons. She's impossibly effective, loved, her flaws are glossed over/played for laughs, and fans love her for it.
11:42:45 AM Oct 2nd 2014
In the "controversies" section:

Has this ever been a controversy? Ever? I've never seen someone argue otherwise. Probably the most famous "Mary Sue" is Wesley, after all.
12:38:19 PM Oct 2nd 2014
Yes, there has been controversy. Especially since we have Marty Stu.
01:06:07 PM Oct 2nd 2014
What are the details of the argument that there can be female Mary Sues but not male? Because I have seriously never seen anyone suggest that, and I've been involved in fan fiction for a good seven years now.
10:26:09 PM Jun 19th 2015
Part of the problem here is that these articles make many claims about Mary Sue and Marty Stu without lending any examples to back them up. Now, if you go through enough pages on the wiki, you'll likely run into a few cases where the labels apply but you won't have the description right there to directly compare with and most likely, neither did the troper who made the entry.

It's like a game of telephone meets Show, Don't Tell. As for it, I've never come across the suggestion a male couldn't be a Mary Sue either. I've seen more female "Mary Sues", but only in the sense they were directly referencing the Trope Namer. There seem to be just as many Thanos of Titans and God Kamen Riders as there are Ultraviolet Alices from Resident Evil. On this very wiki has Rey Mysterio(Jr?) been related to a Mary Sue.
12:43:54 PM Dec 19th 2013
>>Mary Sue as Infallible Character

I think it's more accurate to say that an Infallibility Sue is a character who is never seriously challenged by the difficulties set before her (whether physical, social, or otherwise), rather than that she simply never fails. While there are many characters who never or very rarely fail — say, Sherlock Holmes, for example — they are not Sues because their success is only after great effort is spent on the project. By contrast, a Mary Sue doesn't have to work at it to succeed. Difficulties are discovered and just as quickly dismissed, whether through gimmicks, expertise, or sheer power.

In other words, I don't think ultimate success is the real test here; the distinction is in how much time and effort the character must spend to attain that success. (And we're not talking about time spent moping in a morass of self-doubt. We're talking about time spent actively trying to find a solution.)
08:49:16 PM Nov 24th 2013
edited by
Is there a term for a Fan Fic writer taking a minor Canon character and using them as a Mary Sue? I could see it happening if a fan saw some small role character as seeming kind of like them.
08:29:19 PM Dec 27th 2014
I believe that would go under Character Defilement.
10:38:38 PM Jun 19th 2015
Possession Sue, at least on this website.
04:35:29 AM Oct 13th 2013
Is there such a trope as 'Sue-by-association' ('I Sue You', if you like)? I'm thinking where a character is considered a sue purely by their interaction with another character, who is also a sue, possibly in a game of one-upmanship (the best example I can think of at the moment is Makoto Nanaya from BlazBlue, as a result of her screwing Hazama's plans; he's considered a sue, now she is for actually beating him. There are plenty of others, but ones I'm familiar with are probably too obscure to go into specifics). This is all subject to personal opinion of course.
02:03:36 PM Nov 13th 2012
I know nothing of editing or discussing cause i dont normally edit wiki's so pardon if i step on any feet here. I came to the mary sue page actually looking for a trope that I thought would be there, which in my own head I call emo-sue. basically I characterize it as the fact that there are a lot of the "I'm dark, I love coffins and death, and I ooze angst" type characters around. I dont know if I just looked over it, but if there is not such a page as this would someone please be kind enough to creat one (not funny enough or literate enough in what ever sort of formatting you guys use here to do it myself.)
06:18:12 AM Nov 20th 2012
That could refer to the Anti-Sue, the Villain Sue, or the Jerk Sue.
02:06:15 PM Jul 3rd 2012
edited by captainsandwich
I have a feeling a sufficient number of mary sues are Creator's Pet for there to be a link to each others pages (i would do this myself, but i don't the clearance to edit a locked page)
02:08:10 PM Jul 3rd 2012
never mind there is a mary sue index and Creator's Pet is already on it. I would delete the waste of space that is this and the previous post, but i don't know how.
05:51:48 AM Feb 6th 2014
It might be more correct to say that a Mary Sue is a character the creator is _in love_ with. They come up as blandly perfect because that's how smitten people see their love interests. They get the character the creator most likes because that lets the creator hook up with their lovely Sue by proxy. And there are aspects of self-insertion because people tend to insert their own - real or imagined - good qualities into how they see their objects of interest.

This might not go over so well with people who write Gary Stues ;^)...

So: A Mary Sue is a character in a story that's a love letter to said character. Which is why the character is so hard to define, and why you can't stop a Sue from being a Sue by changing the character. And it neatly explains why some of the strongest characters out there are blatant Mary Sues (like Conan the Barbarian): a love letter by a skilled author can harness all that passion to produce something truly epic.
11:27:29 AM Apr 9th 2012
edited by Stoogebie
Is it possible to totally subvert this a la Broken Ace in that she's a character who's beautiful, multi-talented, and friggin insane? Not just kinda off insane, like Loony Fan armed with a meat cleaver insane.
10:09:02 PM Dec 9th 2011
The entry for Jerk Sue uses some pretty sexist language. Could somebody change "bitch" to "asshole" and "I have constant PMS" to "I rage over the littlest things," or something like that?

Gendered insults aren't classy at all, and blaming a girl's shitty personality on her uterus is a sexist as it gets.
12:33:18 PM Dec 14th 2011
These are quotes. It is a JerkSue after all.
11:25:53 AM Apr 9th 2012
Yeah, so? Guys can be dicks too you know.
06:19:52 AM Nov 20th 2012
I agree. We should change it. In fact, I came to the discussion page specifically to suggest it get changed.
06:56:50 PM Dec 8th 2011
The Entry for Marty Stu and Mary Sue says to list examples on their respective subpages. Each subpage, however, states not to add examples. Why is this?
07:37:00 PM Jun 14th 2012
I'd like to second this question. It seems to negate the purpose of defining a trope when examples of said trope (everything that actually gives it substance) are disallowed.
10:46:48 AM Aug 21st 2012
This question requires an answer. Who do we have to poke to get one?
11:06:03 AM Dec 8th 2012
I'm not one of the people that made the decision, but I can take a guess.

Once you try to go outside of fan fiction where a self insert will be incredibly obvious, Mary Sue becomes an incredibly messy thing to define and identify. You get a longer an longer list of examples, that are more and more examples of "competent character that I don't like", rather than a Mary Sue. At some point after enough entries that varied widely from person to person, someone said "Enough!" and removed all examples, and commanded that future examples go on a "Your Mileage May Vary" tab where they properly belong.

The "list examples on their respective subpages" is just a hold over from when there were examples on the subpages.
10:12:46 AM Dec 8th 2011
I think everyone who edits this page needs to take a look at this essay with an open mind:

08:23:09 AM Dec 9th 2011
edited by Reimen
Very interesting essay, even for people who can't edit this article.
05:47:18 AM Dec 11th 2011
edited by MentalMouse
CBG's article seems to take a very narrow reading of what I found to be an impressively nuanced article. Compare these articles:

And following up on those:

None of those authors seem to have a problem with recognizing some Mary Sue accusations as inappropriate and even sexist. I propose adding the following paragraph to the section "Mary Sue as Protagonist You don't Like":

It's worth thinking twice before accusing a protagonist of being a Mary Sue, as many of the "star quality" features of a Mary Sue are also normal to protagonists in general. In particular, it's increasingly common for a female protagonist to be accused, simply for being a powerful and/or strong female character. This is simply sexism, and should be challenged as such: While there is a lot of leeway to the concept, merely being a strong or dominant female is not sufficient to qualify as a Mary Sue.
05:59:35 AM Dec 11th 2011
Alternatively, my suggestion above could be a section titled "Sexist Dismissal" under "Not a Mary Sue".
10:13:35 AM Dec 21st 2011
I remember once I proposed the idea that the Mary Sue could be related with creating strong female characters. The answers I got were "NO it's about self-inserting in a story it has nothing to do with creating strong female leads." Guess I was right after all. I agree with Mental Mouse.
06:23:48 AM Apr 3rd 2012
It is an interesting essay except she misses the mark a little on her 'I just described Batman' example. Batman, despite his fan following, is not a universally-loved character within the setting. Particularly after the Tower of Babel story (Cliff's Notes version — Someone steals Batman's "how to beat up a rogue Justice League" plans, uses them against a League that didn't know they existed, Batman makes a big show of ragequitting during the vote that was going to eject him from the League). CBG's overall point is pretty valid, but it might be better to find an example of a character who isn't written by someone knew on a regular basis.
07:31:53 PM Feb 26th 2013
While I would never write this way (I write the Professional Wrestling Fan Fiction series Fanfic/TheJWL), I sometimes imagine myself in wrestling situations of the past as a wrestler who gets free reign to tell off anyone I don't like. Understand that, in these situations, I see myself dragging a garbage can full of weapons with me, as a Lampshade Hanging on the fact that I would be walking into situations where I'd almost definitely get my ass kicked. Maybe this character would be a "Marty Stu-Pid."
12:14:07 AM Sep 29th 2011
edited by khalini
Can someone add Republic Of Mary Sue to the list of Mary Sue types on this page?
10:19:22 PM Aug 28th 2011 basically a Mary Sue is every single fictional character that has more depth than a cardboard cutout?
04:26:23 PM Sep 12th 2011
edited by drdeathray
Nope, the cardboard cutout has more depth than the Mary Sue.....and not every fictional character. An idealized character, but without an identity of its on. For example when see a "normal" character we can tell him/her apart by saying : "Oh look it's the cheerful one, or the shy one, or the loud one, or the broody one etc". When you see a Mary Sue/Marty Stu you just don't know where to put it, it doesn't have any flaws to tell him/her apart, no characterization, just...nothing. It's not Jack-of-All-Stats, who's good at everything but best at nothing, more like good at everything and best at everything. Then its the author that keeps praising this characters qualities, qualities the reader,or the viewer just can't see.
03:57:50 PM Jul 6th 2011
Regarding the deluge of different definitions... I was always under the impression that a Mary Sue, essentially, was a thinly-veiled wish fulfilment character. That's a broad thing, so it could mean ridiculous superpowers, it could mean the rest of the characters treat them differently, could refer to any of the ideas flagged up as "disparate," and while it's rarely all of above it's always some.

I'm kind of surprised not to see the phrase "wish fulfilment" in the article, is effectively what I'm saying, as it's a fairly neat and tidy way of more or less explaining a concept that's been skirted around but not once nailed on the head. People argue that Mary Sues take many forms because wish fulfilment takes many forms - nothing to do with a lack of consensus.

Or maybe that's just me presenting another conflicting argument! Who knows? Just thought I'd throw it out there.
02:17:26 PM Jul 2nd 2011
There is a reference to Wil Wheaton who has a page on but it isn't linkified as it isn't written as Wil Wheaton - can this be fixed?
04:58:15 AM Jun 16th 2011
This article seems written as its real aim was not to explain a concept to the reader, but to cautiously reflect a political consensus among disagreeing tropers. It may be just an impression, but atm the article strikes me as rather unhelpful to a reader who hasn't read about Mary Sue and just wants to find out. Way too many words wasted on disclaimers for the information actually conveyed, and I wonder if a major rewrite is in order.

No consensus on definition? Well, Laconic Wiki managed just fine...
03:26:08 AM May 25th 2011
What do they call OBJECTS such as weapons and armor that fit under the same catagory as Mary Sues?
02:49:00 PM Mar 4th 2012
02:04:25 PM May 6th 2012
Better question: How the fuck can a piece of armor be a Mary Sue?
01:52:58 PM Nov 18th 2010
I think the question of whether or not a well written and realistic Author Avatar qualifies as a Mary Sue is rather stupid and causes unnecessary confusion.

One of the main traits of a Mary Sue is that it's a self-insert character/Author Avatar who exists for sake of wish-fulfillment. I think the wish-fulfillment part is the most important part here. If the Author Avatar is realistically written then there's no way it can be a Mary Sue.

In short: Just because a Mary Sue is usually a self-insert character does NOT mean that every self-insert character is a Mary Sue.
09:42:59 PM Sep 30th 2010
I've been thinking about the Mary Sue thing for a while, and I think I came up with a good summarization; If the character in question can basically be summed up as "They're sort of like Jesus, except..." then it's most likely a Mary Sue. Just to clarify, I mean that they are treated by other characters as if they were Jesus, and anyone who dislikes them is treated like a pharisee.
01:54:03 AM Sep 27th 2010
edited by Hitler,Lick
09:52:34 AM Sep 27th 2010
Considering we've deleted that non-joke about four times so far, how about... no.
02:05:01 AM Sep 7th 2010
Request for an edit to the page: Could an admin change the line:
  • Can you have a male Sue? On this one, at least, there's agreement in theory — few people would actually say all Sues are female — but female characters still tend to face more scrutiny.


  • Can you have a male Sue? On this one, at least, there's agreement in theory — few people would actually say all Sues are female — but female characters still tend to face more scrutiny, due to the fact that Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls.

(In other words, add "due to the fact that Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls." to the line in question)

Luc "Explain your reasoning" French
10:43:48 AM Aug 21st 2012
And a request for an edit of the last sentence:

'Unfortunately, this has almost become a full circle clich from people trying to avoid being declared a Mary Sue that they make a mediocre "Middle class comfort" character.'

At minimum, this needs a comma before the "that".
06:28:35 PM Jul 18th 2010
I have a gripe with the phrase "TV Tropes Wiki doesn't get to set what the term means." It sounds like a direct confrontation to the editors here. I understand that's probably why the page is locked in the first place, but you could say "There is no single definition of what a Mary Sue is exactly," which would get the same point across without sounding so standoffish
02:47:41 PM Mar 4th 2012
It is why the page was locked, sadly. When I did my revision (which is very close to the page's current state), I left it there, but if I'd had my wits about me I would've potholed it to the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment, which would've helped clarify somewhat.
08:40:51 AM Jul 4th 2010
If I could, I'd add an additional definition that seems to get used implicitly a lot on this very wiki. (I haven't formulated it exactly in my mind yet, but it's roughly "Mary Sue as a character whom the story treats in a biased way," which shares elements of the many existing definitions but is identical with none of them.)
12:50:02 AM Jun 24th 2010
edited by DrSakuyaPhD
It is this troper's opinion that "exceptionally talented in an implausibly wide variety of areas" or a smaller portion of that should be potholed to Universal Drivers License, but the article's editing is locked. :<
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