Main Romantic Plot Tumor Discussion

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12:48:33 PM Jan 15th 2017
  • Members of both the Twilight fandom and hatedom alike note that there is a pretty epic story to be told with the ancient vampire orders and werewolf clans and other sundry elements that are introduced, only to inevitably fall back to Edward and Bella. Word of God is that she was more comfortable writing romance than the dark story.
A question: How can this overshadow main plot when their romance IS the main plot and was all along?
01:23:10 AM Nov 15th 2015
  • This is one of the main reasons why so many people hate Flash Sentry from My Little Pony:Equestria Girls. Twilight, who had never before shown any romantic interest in anyone, bumps into a random guard, bumps into his human counter-part, and she's suddenly crushing on him like mad. It doesn't help that the only noteworthy thing Flash does in the movie is something that anyone else in the cast could've done.

The EG YMMV page says it was an aversion since it didn't overtake the rest of the story, and got increasingly marginalized as the series continued. Designated Love Interest and/or Strangled by the Red String seem to fit the above better.

Any thoughts?
09:01:26 AM May 13th 2016
I agree
09:21:02 AM May 13th 2016
From the description, seems like textbook Strangled by the Red String.
01:12:42 AM Nov 15th 2015
Someone added back The Legend of Korra, despite moderator notices saying not to. Should one or the other be removed?
04:58:05 PM Apr 21st 2015
Does the ben and julie example even count, it doesn't explain how it's a RPT and seems to be about how fans didn't like it and reason why she should have broken up with him. I haven't watch ultimate alien in a while but it didn't seem to be the case.
03:34:31 PM Jul 23rd 2013
Pulled this:

  • Locke and Celes in Final Fantasy VI. Although Celes has shades of The Atoner for her Imperial past and is set up as a Foil to Terra, the game quickly only touches on those two aspects of her character. Instead, her character arc focuses mainly on her relationship with Locke, a man who is almost pathologically obsessed with protecting women thanks to his own unresolved guilt. Instead of either of them getting over these issues, their ending scene still has Celes fixated on Locke and Locke fixated on protecting her. This relationship does nothing to advance either the first or second halves of the plot, either; Locke isn't even a required party member in the latter.

Because seriously? The romantic elements are very subtle at best when they show up and they don't overtake the main plot. I don't know what version of Final Fantasy VI you played, but in the one the rest of the world played, Celes' storyline is maybe 10% her relationship with Locke and 90% trying to find herself in a world gone mad.
07:15:39 PM Jun 30th 2016
I'm thinking about removing a lot of the Tales of ones, because as someone who has played those games, most of the romantic stuff is either very subtle, like Gaius and Muzet, or doesn't overtake the plot, like Natalia or Asch.

Honestly, this page is turning into a place where people just write down relationship plots they don't like.
09:35:39 PM Jul 8th 2013
Took out the Hitchcock example because the movie was explicitly a story about his relationship with his wife during the time period of making Psycho. You can't cry "Romantic Plot Tumor!" simply because you think simply making a movie about Psycho without talking about his wife would be better. As it is, it fails the basic standard where removing the marriage storyline would completely gut the movie.

For goodness sake, the first trailer was more about their back and forth about making the movie in the first place and the theatrical posters prominently feature the two of them.
04:14:44 PM Aug 14th 2012
edited by Rebochan
Pulled this:

  • There are a number of reasons why The Blind Banker is considered the weakest in the three-episode first series of Sherlock, one of them being that an inordinate amount of time is spent on a young museum worker's attraction to a suspect in the case. It adds virtually nothing to the episode (Sherlock and Watson get information from him, though this could have just as easily come from her boss), but the storyline keeps returning to his infatuation with her.

First, the guy's crush isn't the main plot of the episode, so that disqualifies it right away. Second, the only reason it comes up the few times it does is actually to provide information to the viewer about Soo Lin, and later to provide a way for Sherlock to logic out her importance to the case. The guy vanishes from the show as soon as that information is delivered and the story never even tells us whether he found out about what happened to her. Seems like the only reason this is even remotely close to this trope is "There is a guy who has a crush on this girl". And come on, really?
01:57:22 AM Jul 10th 2012
edited by lu127
  • National Treasure would be a much better movie if Ben and Abigail didn't "fall in love." When will people learn that Nic Cage just cannot portray romance?
    • In the sequel, they are separated, which is another excuse for another romance, as he tries to win her over.
  • Caddyshack throws in a minor subplot about how Danny might have gotten his girlfriend pregnant ... oh, wait, she's OK. Never mind.
  • An odd male example, Bliss's love interest in Whip It has only the barest influence on the main plot in triggering a conversation with her mom.
  • Some fans feel this way about the development of Angel and Cordelia's relationship from a familial one to a romantic one.

Pulled these because they don't actually explain if the romance takes over the plot.
07:36:38 PM Jul 9th 2012
  • The most famous example would probably be Anakin Skywalker's relationship with Padme in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. Whether this was the fault of George Lucas's writing or the actors is up for debate; either way, you're left with an almost unwatchable love story that not only takes up a majority of the movie but also takes attention away from the perfectly serviceable assassination plot (although getting in the love story was necessary at some point).

I'm not sure this example fits here. We have in description that "telltale sign of a Romantic Plot Tumor is that you could edit out the romance thread completely and have the story still make sense". As forced the romance between Padme and Anakin seemed, it was necessary for the plot (maybe not for Attack of the Clones itself, but for the whole franshise). They could have try and write it better, but they couldn't get rid of it completely.
07:30:21 AM Jul 10th 2012
Well, that's trope drift. That example was the former trope namer.
03:17:49 PM Jan 2nd 2013
If you think about it, this subplot wasn't actually necessary. It may seem that way in hindsight, given its importance in Revenge of the Sith, but if Attack of the Clones had been written differently, Revenge could have been very different while still getting the job of making Anakin into Darth Vader done. All that was absolutely necessary was to show how Anakin became the father of Luke and Leia. This could have been done a number of different ways, at many different points in the prequels, with a multitude of different characters other than Padme. So while it was necessary to show how Anakin became a father (given that the prequels are, essentially, a character study of Anakin), there was nothing that was forcing THIS SPECIFIC LOVE STORY to happen. And since it very much detracted from the assassination/conspiracy plot of AOTC (although that wasn't written much better), it definitely qualifies as a Romantic Plot Tumor.
09:03:18 PM Jan 19th 2013
edited by Rebochan
Not really. You do have to establish why Anakin would have fallen in love, who the person was, and oh yea, it's kind of important to establish why the end of said relationship would have not only driven the twins into hiding without him ever knowing AND never referencing his wife in any of the three original films.

At bare minimum, you do have to have A love story somewhere. It may suck as a love story, but if you take it out of the plot, you're losing a key plot point because said love story is crucial to setting up where two of the principal characters of the next three chronological films came from and their conflicts for three movies. Oh yea, Padme does quite a BIT more in the movies than just boink Anakin, so that means you can't just go "And they fell in love, the end".

Yea, this wasn't terribly well executed as a love story, but this trope had to change because "Love stories that suck" is not a trope.
09:41:21 AM Jul 8th 2012
edited by lu127
Pulled the following for being Zero Context Examples. They need elaboration.

Examples (taken from all the X-Books) include:
  • Storm and Gambit
  • Cyclops and Psylocke
  • Nightcrawler and Meggan
  • Shadowcat and Pete Wisdom
  • Cypher and Psylocke
  • Storm and Callisto(!)
  • Iceman and Mystique;
  • Havok and the school nurse
  • Rogue and Colossus;
  • Storm and Wolverine.
07:24:18 PM Jun 11th 2012
The Legend of Korra keeps getting thrown on here without actually justifying the supposed "tumor". There's a faction of the fan base that treats any amount of romance on this show as this trope. I'm putting the most recent version here, even though it contains numerous factual errors about the show and obvious fan bias.

  • In The Legend of Korra, the relationship between Mako and Korra seems to be taking priority over the development of more likable characters, such as Bolin or Asami.
    • The worst offender of this is in "Out of the Past", when the only time the viewers are shown that Bolin cares about Korra being missing is when Asami asks him about Mako's extreme worry over Korra. Only four episodes ago, we learned that Bolin is a very caring person who does care about Korra being safe and happy. When Korra returns, Bolin does not react. At all. He is thrown into the background in favor of developing more Mako/Korra romance. Any time Mako is in the scene, everyone else (even the Big Bad) is given less priority in favor of Mako/Korra romance.
      • The worst part of this is that Korra has never said why she likes Mako so much outside of him being good-looking. Mako has never mentioned why he likes Korra other than "she drives him crazy". The feelings he supposedly had magically appeared sometime in episode five, because he was dating Asami before that.

Yea, whoever wrote that is clearly not paying attention to this show.
10:12:26 AM Dec 29th 2012
I think they are paying attention to the show. The relationship could have been removed and the plot would still make sense. If anything, if the relationship was removed, we probably would have had more screen time for all the characters and also more character development.
12:30:01 PM Apr 18th 2011
I removed Bakuman's example largely because whatever you may feel about the romance, it's hardly a dominant part of the plot. The romance between Mashiro and Azuki only really comes to the forefront of the story for more than a chapter in a few cases (in the first volume, when Azuki's torn over the picture book, when Mashiro gets hospitalized, and when Azuki learns that Mashiro also kept secrets from Miyoshi). In most other cases, the manga takes the forefront of the story; notice that during Kaya and Akito's wedding, Mashiro is mainly thinking about whether he should continue writing Tanto, although he does consider that the newly married Akito is unlikely to quit. The romance between the characters, with the exception of Hiramaru and Aoki, is not taking on an increasing part of the plot, as Azuki has not been seen in almost 20 chapters.

In short, considering that the main character and his girlfriend correspond through email, and promise to not see each other until they've fulfilled their promise so that they can fulfill their dreams, the romance cannot be considered the dominant factor in the plot.
07:45:56 AM Oct 16th 2010
It should stay George Lucas Love Story God Damnit he deserves all the scorn he gets.
12:46:26 PM Jun 22nd 2010
Nuked Tom Sloane. Again. Really tired that the Daria/Jane and Daria/Trent shippers can't just get over it and "forgive" the writers for writing a good story instead of their ideal fanfic fantasies.
04:05:53 PM May 15th 2010
edited by Bionicman
Speaking of Metal Gear Solid, playing through MGS 1 has convinced me that the Snake/Meryl relationship belongs here. It takes up a lot of screentime, it's terribly done, it damages the characterizations of all involved, and it is so irrelevant to the plot that it that the later games in the series dropped the relationship. However, I'm not certain if everyone will agree. Any disagreements, or should I put it up?
05:32:01 AM Apr 21st 2010
The Metal Gear Solid example has a redlink for "...some kind of Super Solider plan". Is that a typo or a good pun?
09:31:12 PM Apr 21st 2010
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