Main Strangled By The Red String Discussion

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04:51:08 PM Apr 1st 2018
I take issue with the Grim Fandango example. As I understood the game, Manny became obsessed with finding Meche primarily because she was his ticket to getting out of his dead-end job and because he felt personally responsible for her wandering off into the dangerous wilderness after he brought her to the Land of the Dead. Yes, there was a bit of a forced romance plot between the two of them, but his obsessive search for her still feels justified.

Agree? Disagree?
07:13:35 AM Jun 6th 2017
  • Arrow
    • Season One's Laurel/Oliver was the biggest case: You see Oliver hopelessly pining for her in the island flashbacks and in present day is desperate to make amends for his past mistakes and brushes off everyone else's needs whenever Laurel needs him. However given he cheated on Laurel with her now-deceased sister, Laurel hates him in present day, they fight bitterly whenever they see other and you never see any positive moments of their past relationship, it's hard to believe they'd ever want to be around each other or that Oliver's attraction to her is driven by anything but guilt.
Laurel and Oliver were a couple before he even got on the island. They weren't exacly healthy couple since Oliver cheated on her left and right, but a couple nevertheless. Taken at face value that would've been Why Would Anyone Take Him Back?
  • Season Two is generally considered the best season, but it does have one glaring issue, with the Start of Darkness given for Slade Wilson caused by the loss of the woman he loved, Shado. Except, despite knowing Shado for several months and regularly interacting with her, we never actually see the two bond in any real romantic way. Slade regularly hits on her and makes several flirty comments, but he seemed to be going out of his way to support her relationship with Oliver. Then, when he's dying, Slade confesses to being in love with her...despite it indicating that he was Happily Married to another woman back home, and Shado being nearly half his age. It seems the only reason he even fell for her was because she was the only woman on the island.
Shado and Deathstroke were never a couple. Sure there were hints he has crush on her, but it was one sided. While Deathstroke's Start of Darkness was partially his love for Shado it was in equal parts this, Insane Troll Logic and getting crazy from Mirakuru.
  • Felicity and Oliver are an interesting case. They knew each other for some time prior, forged a very strong partnership and friendship, and were close enough that they were a Fan-Preferred Couple. During Season 1 Felicity was clearly physically attracted to Oliver and frequently dropped accidental sexual innuendos around him but there weren't hints of deep romantic feelings. Come Season 2, they get a fair amount of shippy moments with regular No Sense of Personal Space, Longing Looks, jealousy on both sides (when Isabel/Sara and Barry show up respectively), Oliver telling Felicity he couldn't be with anyone because of his dangerous life and several characters bringing up how Felicity obviously likes Oliver. However there wasn't any exploration into how deep these feelings were and whether they would genuinely consider a relationship, and Oliver dated Sara for the second half of the season. But at the end of Season 2 and the beginning of Season 3 Oliver is completely in love with Felicity and wants it all with her, even though his feelings were always more ambiguous. Although the groundwork was there, the writers skipped a few steps to lead up to the Relationship Upgrade.
The example pretty much explain itself why it's not an example. There was clearly enough Ship Tease for this to be pulled out of this teritory.
  • Diggle and Lyla are something of a subversion. Lyla's introduced as a former war buddy of Diggle's, and when they meet again in Season 2 they express romantic interest in one-another. Then when Lyla is trapped in a Russian Gulag and needs extraction, Diggle reveals that Lyla is actually his wife and the two separated after leaving Afghanistan due to issues returning to civilian life, despite never mentioning this about her previously. The instance with the Gulan lead to them rekindling their relationship, and half a season later they have a kid together and are getting re-married. Despite that, they work rather well as a Beta Couple.
Again they were couple all along. They simply needed to fix things, being something of a Decon-Recon Switch of Battle Couple.
03:16:42 PM Sep 30th 2015
Also, I've seen a few critics of the Korrasami ship have accused it of being like this. What's the mods' stand on this?
12:44:58 AM Oct 1st 2015
We don't care, really.
02:58:45 PM Sep 30th 2015
edited by DeeChan87
Okay, I'll gladly admit that I'm pretty biased against it, but I think a case should be made to put Naru Hina on here (shots fired). Let me explain. The main idea of the trope is to point out that a ship was pulled out of nowhere. That's Naru Hina. There's little evidence of it, at least on Naruto's side. For the most part, his attention was focused on Sakura, and though I'm loath to say it (since I hate that pairing), Sasuke.

If you look in the manga, the relationship was portrayed as a pure, if comical, Stalker with a Crush, or at least just a one-sided obsession, since Hinata's stalker tendancies are exaggerated by detractors. The movie is one thing, but it was put in after the fact. I've even seen detractors argue the NaruHina ship is the female equivalent of "Nice Guy Syndrome". I mean, it's their interpretation, so make that of what you will.

Here's the thing about the movie, retcon or not aside, is that it makes Naruto instantly fall in love with Hinata after seeing that she was friends with him as a little kid. I don't even know how he could just fall in love like that. Personally, I think it's a retcon, but that doesn't matter.

It should at least be given a one sentence mention, with a Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement disclaimer.
01:20:27 PM Aug 18th 2016
edited by NNinja
I 100% agree. That you're biased ;). While most couples in Manga's finale fall here, this couple is not one of them. First of all the finale didn't even show them to be a couple in the first place. They had no on-screen panel together in that chapter and the only thing to suggest they were a couple is that Himawari kinda looked similar to Naruto. For all we know she could be result of one-night stand, Bed Trick by Hinata, or some LEGO Genetics experiment by someone (fanfic writers, make me proud!). but ok, for the sake of argument let's assume they were indeed a couple by the end of the manga. Is it really as asspulled as you claim? from Hinata's side i don't think i need to convince anyone, she was in love with him from the begginning. From Naruto's side while he was for most part interested in Sakura there were warm feelings towards Hinata as well, while his feelings towards Sakura seem less and less important to him. When Nagato almost killed Hinata the result was Traumatic Superpower Awakening, when later Sasuke almost killed Sakura Naruto wasn't even angry that Sakura was attacked, but that Sasuke attacked a teammate. I could probably point out a few other scenes, but the best one would probably be the big Ship Tease moment after Naruto landed on receiving end of Hinata's Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!. The potential and buildup was there, so no, it's not qualified for this trope.

As for the movie, while i don't like everything the movie did(the scene where Naruto's crush on Sakura was portrayed as rivalry with Sasuke was just dumb) but i think you're misinterpreting this particular scene. The point wasn't to make Naruto fall in love with Hinata, but to realise that he was in love all along.
12:35:36 PM Jul 17th 2015
edited by RainFairy
The Aquarion EVOL example seems to have been written solely to bash Mikono/Amata and try to present Zessica/Amata and Kagura/Mikono as "better options", rather than anything else. Will mention it on the page just in case, but with a smaller blurb:

  • Aquarion Evol:
    • Kagura and Zessica. Both spent all the story chasing after their respective love interest, and never had any single interaction in the entire show. Come the final episode, both of them get rejected (in Kagura's case is more of a Character Derailment to make him give up Mikono) and suddenly they are interested in each other. It all looked very forced, starting with Kagura suddenly saying he thinks Mikono and Amata make a lovely couple, when one episode ago he was fighting Amata over her and screaming about never giving her up to anyone. It was obvious they did this to get them out of the Official Couple's way, but for it to make sense you'd have to forget everything about Kagura and Zessica's whole character and everything that happened before.
    • Mikono and Amata count too. The entire show is about how their pure love magically solves everything away, but their relationship looks anything but romantic. Mikono spends most of the show being indecisive whether she wants Kagura or Amata, without ever giving a thought about how her indecisiveness causes Amata pain and makes Kagura all the more dangerous. She is also much kinder and understanding to Kagura than with Amata himself too, who has to apologize to Mikono over her jealousy streaks and constantly has to spy on her to know what she thinks, because she refuses to explain him why is she defending the person that is trying to kill him. This is all more jarring when you take in account Zessica, who does worry over Amata's well being and spends the entire show trying to catch his attention, all in vain. In the end, it feels Amata and Mikono are a couple by the writers' demand, and not because they have any real relationship going on.

01:35:57 PM Jul 17th 2015
edited by Larkmarn
Without knowing the source, the first example seems valid except for the parabomb and Character Derailment link.

The second doesn't make sense because this is about sudden, poorly done Relationship Upgrades. If their romance is a large part of the show, then it's not an example, no matter how poorly done it is.

EDIT: Just restored the first example, because the replacement example in there was really poorly done and broke a bunch of rules.
06:49:01 AM Aug 7th 2014
This is the entry for Avatar: the Last Airbender that's been deleted twice already:

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Sokka and Yue have a big dramatic scene about how Yue's Arranged Marriage means they can't be together in the same episode they meet. The next two episodes are mostly taken up by more important stuff, and Yue performs a Heroic Sacrifice at the end, but despite that Sokka treats Yue as his great lost love and angsts about her throughout the series.
    • Sokka and Suki are slightly better, but until the second half of season 3 they only met twice, once in season 1 and once in season 2, and got little interaction in each. It's especially evident in "The Serpent's Pass", where they go from "hey I remember you" to "I like you but I lost my last girlfriend and I'm scared it will happen again" to "let's make out", with no transition between them.
    • Zuko and Mai have no interaction in the second season, aside from a flashback set about six years earlier, but come season 3 premiere suddenly they're a couple. Eventually their past is discussed in a comic side story.

There have been a few objections raised, so I'll address them here:

1. To start off, as the description says qualifying for this trope does not mean automatically mean a couple is bad. The trope is not a comment on the quality of the relationship, merely how it was handled by the work in question. 2. Love at First Sight doesn't mean a couple doesn't qualify. Indeed it can make a couple qualify for the trope more if there isn't anything else behind the relationship. 3. We can only go on what's presented in the work. Side materials, Word of God, and/or unspoken implications can be mentioned, but don't disqualify what happens in the work. 4. Just because it happens to couples in real life doesn't mean a fictional couple doesn't qualify, because in real life there isn't some omnipotent being controlling the actions of the couple (unless you believe in soul mates or related concepts).

I don't want to get into an edit war, so before I re-add the entry I'm going to wait for any counters to the above or further objections anyone might have. If after a week there's been no further explanation for why it's deleted, I'll re-add the entry and hopefully that will be that.
06:54:29 AM Aug 7th 2014
While these examples seem fairly weak to me, Sara Jaye has been edit warring them. I'll report it to Ask The Tropers.
07:02:51 AM Aug 7th 2014
edited by
I think it applies for all three. Maybe not Sokka and Suki, but Sokka and Yue wind up having most of their development after the aforementioned dramatic scene, and Zuko and Mai seriously came out of left field.

Also, the examples as written hardly sound like complaining. They're actually pretty even-handed.
12:36:36 PM Aug 8th 2014
edited by
Ah, no, those are definitely complaining. At worst, they're seriously misrepresenting the events in the show to try and complain about couples they don't like.

Also, for what it's worth, let's break these down:

  1. Sokka and Yue are pretty obviously the first time either of them has actually had a relationship. Yue being emotional about not actually being allowed to pursue a relationship of her own free will is not this trope, it's a woman recognizing that she's bound by the choices of other people and having a breakdown. Then she basically dies. No crap Sokka has issues over that - the show takes place over a timespan of what, six months? Less? He also doesn't "angst throughout the series" - it happens only twice, in the second season, when Yue's death was at most what, three weeks ago? And these instances were directly related to the fact that she died when she was under his protection. I think a guy is allowed to be sad over a girl he dated dying when it pretty much just happened and something is happening that dredged it up.
  2. Sokka and Suki met right at the start of the series. When they meet again, in universe, it's been only a few weeks. When they meet yet again in Season 3, it's still not really been that much time. Also, no, they don't go straight from "I lost my last girlfriend" to "Let's make out" with no transition. They go from "I lost my last girlfriend a month ago and I'm scared it will happen again" to "Break Suki out of prison" to "Now that I've had time to grieve and you've survived a life-threatening encounter, we can actually have a relationship." Time frame - about six months total? And that "making out" is the indication that they've started a relationship, which is perfectly expected given the history they have.
  3. Uh, Zuko and Mai may not be directly interacting in season 2, but there was far more than just a flashback that indicated they'd had a long history together before Season 3. So it makes sense that when he goes back home, he follows up on it. Also, they're shown to be on really shaky ground during that season - which is pretty appropriate for two people that have history but not much else. Zuko runs out on her and Mai is hard-pressed to actually help him out when he needs it - and when she does state that she loves him more than she fears Azula, it's meant to show less that Mai really loves him and more that Mai does in fact have feelings and that both she and Ty Lee are no longer going to be Azula's flunkies just because she threatens them. This is even with me ignoring that there's side media that further elaborates on what their relationship is like and I suppose I don't even need to point out that Zuko and Mai broke up in the comics which really keeps them out of this trope because having a shaky relationship that eventually ends would seem to suggest the story is NOT implying they're a great, perfect couple.
04:07:36 PM Jun 24th 2014
I feel like the definition is a bit long and padded out for something so simple. I'm sure you could cut a few paragraphs and not lose anything.
09:02:05 PM Sep 28th 2013
edited by
Concerning Liara in the Mass Effect series...

Even if the provided evidence was valid and relevant (which it isn't), it still fails to meet the basic definition. There is no canonical relationship unsupported by the evidence. Shepard and Liara's relationship is not romantic if Liara is not romanced. If anything, this is somewhat of an inverse of the trope. Whereas the trope is a relationship unsupported by content within the rest of the story, what the entry describes is evidence within the story but no actual relationship. On that alone, it doesn't meet the definition.

Now then, to address the evidence.

First of all, Aetheyta's dialogue is a bug. And such bugs shouldn't be acknowledged as canonical content. They're bugs. The entry seems to even acknowledge this by mentioned she 'often' says Liara and Shepard instead of just saying she says it outright. So that shouldn't be factored into anything.

Secondly, the entry says it's 'assumed' Shepard is attractive to Liara in ME 1. I'm nearly certain this is false. Ashley and Kaidan ask if Shepard is attracted to Liara, but Shepard is free to say he or she isn't. In any case, characters assuming something is not the same at all as the narrative assuming something.

Despite the player being able to be rude to Liara in dialogue, the two are canonically friends, which is established by their actions throughout the series. And of course, this is true with a wide range of characters. Regardless of how much the player might hate them and want to shoot them in the face, Shepard allows them on ship, works with them, and fights alongside them. Even if that could be interpreted as Shepard putting duty over personal concerns, there are actions throughout the series clearly dependent on Shepard at least somewhat liking characters and vice-versa. The player can be rude to just about every character, but they still get along. Ultimately, content the narrative conclusively shows trumps the player's desire and ability to roleplay.

03:45:37 AM Sep 29th 2013
You say it is a "bug" with Aetheyta, but how is it a bug? The only time Aetheyta will not speak of a relationship is if you import one from ME 2, a relationship imported from ME 1, or no confirmed relationship, will assume Liara is girlfriend. The Paragon Interrupt, in which Shepard will close Liara "my girl", is evidence of this, an assumption of a relationship when there isn't one.

Regarding Ashley and Kaidan in ME 1, I recommend you play it again without getting Liara first. If you establish a relationship with Ashley or Kaidan, then get Liara on board, there will be a romantic confrontation between that person and Liara, it will be forced as if you romanced both of them: Liara will argue, Shepard will have to mediate, that he/she didn't want to hurt people's feelings. And this happens regardless of how you treat Liara. That's assuming a relationship (by the narrative, since Shepard is assumed to be romantically interested in her given what he/she says)

In regards to your third response, that's actually the trope, albeit in a non-romantic way. An established relationship (even friendship) unsupported by any evidence.

Further, if you believe Liara to be an inverse of the trope, a fairly unique situation, you should not remove the definition, you should call it an inverse. Inverted Trope examples are valid on this board. I'd disagree with that assertion: The relationship is the evidence that was provided, despite the fact that none of it means romance in nature.
12:58:26 AM Sep 30th 2013
Matt620, your claim that them being friends and NOT romantic is this trope but platonic is you straight up admitting this entry does not fit this trope. This is explicitly a romance trope.

I'm sorry, you're stretching this trope so far out of the range of possibility - Shepherd does not romance Liara unless the player intends her to (yea, Fem!Shep forever here.) Having more opportunities to romance with her (which isn't entirely true either and the "confrontation" scene is non-romantic if you've had a chance to turn Liara down) is not this trope.
03:56:06 AM Sep 30th 2013
The same thing happens with romance. The platonic part is a little much, but Aetheyta and Shepard *WILL* say that Liara and Shepard are dating when they aren't. And the romance confrontation of ME 1 *WILL* happen with Liara assumed to have expressed an interest. That's the trope: Bringing Liara on the ship, treating her with hostility and suspicion, then before you even leave the comm room, a romance confrontation happens where Ash/Kaidan and Liara are both assumed to have been flirted with (by Shepard, no less)

Even if you disagree with that assertion about how it extends to non=romance, you cannot deny the first two, which are exclusive to a romance.
08:45:51 PM Sep 30th 2013
edited by
It's not the same.

No matter how rude and hostile Shepard is to Liara, they're still clearly on good terms. Shepard allows her on the ship. Hugs her on Illium. Fights the Broker with her. Dives for her when the Broker throws the desk. Liara in turn recovers Shepard's body, stays alongside him or her, talks to Shepard often.

All of those things canonically happen. Shepard and Liara are canonically friends. There's no way to justify all of those actions otherwise.

And they don't just happen with Liara. Not matter how rude Shepard is to Anderson, they're still on good enough terms for Anderson to leave Shepard his apartment. No matter how ugly Shepard is to Miranda, Jacob, Garrus, Jack, and Grunt, they all still stay on the ship. They relationship canonically isn't bad enough for Shepard to kick them off, even if the responses indicate as much. Regardless of how poorly Shepard treats various characters, they usually get along and help each other regardless.

It's an inevitably and necessary discrepancy of the player character being free to feel however s/he wants but events occurring regardless of those feelings.

So although there might be a trope here, it's a trope that needs to be clearly defined as a result of the fundamental contradiction between a fixed story within an RPG video game and a player character with 'free' feelings. Not a result of any kind of writing mistake.

As for Aetheyta, it's a bug because it's not supposed to happen. Aetheyta is only supposed to mention Liara and Shepard being together if they are actually together.

08:15:23 PM Oct 1st 2013
edited by
You're getting off topic, nothing in your statement addresses the topic. You only say it's a bug that Aetheyta does it, and provide no proof to say it's so. I just did it with a Shepard that didn't romance anyone over the series of the game, and it comes out: Shepard and Liara are dating. We also see scenes that are exclusive to love interests given to Liara, and the same dialogue plays out regardless of whether Shepard and Liara are dating, or they aren't. Such as the pre-Extended Cut giving Liara the last thought, or Liara showing up at the Citadel and flirting with you if you're in a romance with Steve.

Further, when Liara is brought on the ship in ME 1, she and Shepard are assumed to be in a relationship. You have to actually tell the game that you don't want a relationship with her in order to drop it, otherwise, you get a relationship confrontation.

These are facts. Further, that's not the way relationships work in real life. That's an assumed relationship on the part of the game, the narrative, and Shepard (the dialogue shows this). That is the trope. If you want to say they're bugs, prove it with Word of God, who can confirm bugs. Otherwise, it's intentional.
10:11:24 PM Oct 3rd 2013
edited by
If Liara asks Shepard if s/he's interested, that's Liara asking Shepard something. Not the game. Not the narrative. Liara. When Shepard replies that s/he is or isn't, that's Shepard telling Liara something. Not the game. Not the narrative.

Even if the game did 'assume' there was a relationship, (which it doesn't), it's not the trope. The narrative 'assumes' Shepard and Anderson have a father-son or father-daughter relationship. The narrative 'assumes' that Shepard is on good terms with pretty much every squadmate. And those things happen regardless of how nasty the player is to those characters.

Liara and Shepard are canonically friends, and have canonically gone through many adventures together. Even if the narrative did establish that Shepard and Liara were together even if the player chose someone else or chose not to romance anyone (which it doesn't), it wouldn't be the trope since the romance is perfectly justified. Just like Anderson and Shepard have a warm relationship regardless of how nasty the player is, Liara and Shepard might have a romantic relationship regardless of how nasty the player is.

Of course, that's not the case. Because if Liara and Shepard are not together, they aren't together. Whatever subtext is in the series, the final word of the narrative is that Shepard is together with whoever he or she is together with.
04:32:16 PM Oct 4th 2013
edited by
David, I'm sorry, that makes no sense, and I don't think you've listened to what I've written. It is true that you can "tell" Liara you aren't interested, however, if you do not (as in, you don't talk to her at all about romance), the game assumes you are in a relationship with her. That's not Shepard or the narrative agreeing to anything, the default state is the two are in a relationship, and you have to go out of your way to stop it (That's the trope). You'll have a romantic confrontation where you have to choose after defeating several of the story missions, and Shepard will say such things as "I didn't mean for both of you to get hurt." That's the trope.

You've actually admitted it in your previous post. You say the romance is perfectly justified because they go on adventures together, but Shepard also does this with Wrex and there's no romance between them. Doing something with another person doesn't mean you're in a relationship. There's no flirting, no gift-giving, no shared feelings, none of the stuff you'd expect from normal relationships. You don't have to say one word to Liara after you bring her on the ship, and you're assumed to be in a relationship with her.

That's the trope. There's no backstory of a relationship between them, you play it out over the game, and no romantic things need to be said, and bam, instant relationship.

Stop telling us about an assumption of friendship: We're talking about the assumed relationship, which is a fact.

Unless you have something to stop that instance (The ME 1 instance of instant assuming Liara is in a relationship with Shepard by the narrative) then the trope is in full force, and you're just edit-warring and offering no justification. All of the other parts (Aetheyta, hugging Liara in ME 2, warm greetings in ME 3) are part of it, but that's where the trope is in full effect.
04:19:49 PM Oct 6th 2013
edited by
There is no assumed relationship.

The game presenting Liara as the most obvious option for a love interest does not equate to an 'assumed relationship.'

Liara openly asking if Shepard is interested when other love interests have to be sought out a little more does not equate to an 'assumed relationship.'

The idea that the player has to 'go out of their way' to not have a relationship with Liara is just absurd. You're not going to convince anyone of anything with nonsense like that. And even if it was true, no, it isn't the trope at all.

There might be an example of the trope in Liara having a relationship confrontation with Shepard after being brought on the ship. But that's a big might, and depends much on the dialogue of the scene. Does Liara say anything that explicitly assumes a relationship or does she merely tell Shepard she's interested? Even if it is an example, it needs to be very clear that it's a result of the scripting of the game. That since relationship confrontations are only scripted to occur after the second and third major missions, recruiting Liara later necessitates the confrontation to happen immediately so the player doesn't miss out on the opportunity to romance her entirely.

Having played ME 1 and not romanced Liara, I can say for certain that the idea of the game assuming Liara and Shepard are in a relationship by default is flatly wrong. So the relationship confrontation is the only evidence I see here, if it is worthy evidence at all.
02:01:31 PM Oct 7th 2013
edited by
David, I've just told you exactly how it happens, and the only reasons you're giving for, well, anything at all is "Because I said so!" Deliberate, reasonable examples, such as "Shepard is assumed to be in a relationship with Liara as soon as she comes on the ship, and one must speak to her to stop it" are perfectly valid reasons for the trope (the definition of which is: Two characters get a Relationship Upgrade without any of the in-betweens.)

In regards to the example you are given, the answer is no, Liara says nothing that would imply a relationship of any kind. She asks why the geth would come to kill her, and if Matriarch Benezia is involved. That's it.

After the conversation is over (which is what I'm talking about), and before you leave the comm room, you are given a relationship confrontation with Ashley/Kaidan, where the scene that plays is the relationship confrontation.

That's actually the trope: A relationship is assumed even though there was absolutely zero buildup to it. There was no sexual banter, flirting, shared feelings. Nothing to assume anything other than the fact that she's present.

Liara hasn't even been on your ship for five minutes and already it's assumed you've flirted with her and expressed an interest in her. And it's not just assumed by Ashley/Kaidan, it's assumed by Liara and Shepard (Shepard's diplomatic response being "I never wanted both of you to get hurt")

You've not answered anything, just stated that it doesn't exist because you say so. No examples provided how it doesn't fit the trope at all. Unless someone else is going to weigh in on this conversation, I'm going to put it back on the list, modified so as to avoid any mention of platonic feelings, but it's going back up.
11:49:30 PM Oct 8th 2013
First of all, the reasoning I'm giving is that you're attempting to falsely equate one thing with another. Several things into another, as a matter of fact. Secondly, I conceded that the ME 1 confrontation might be an example, so your tirade is unnecessary.

Don't put any examples up without first posting them here.

In regards to your earlier post claiming that I need Word of God evidence to prove something is a bug and not intentional, no, I don't. I simple need to indicate it as the most plausible explanation. Consider the Aetheyta example. If the developers intentionally wanted Liara and Shepard to be in a relationship regardless of the player's choice, why are their countless bits of dialogue throughout the series that correctly identify Shepard's love interest? Why are multiple love interests an option at all?

I would advise you keep that in mind.

Now, I want to make sure I understand your claims perfectly clearly. You are claiming to me that if the player never speaks to Liara aside from the mandatory conversations in ME 1, it will automatically be assumed that the two are in a relationship?

04:31:00 AM Oct 9th 2013
Pretty much, yeah. You can also talk to Liara about non-romantic things (such as the "Investigate") options asking her about asari culture or Benezia. Bam, relationship. David, I've been constantly repeating myself.

That's it, no sexual banter, no shared feelings, no gift-giving, no anything that assumes a relationship. You don't do it to Ashley or Kaidan, nothing happens.

The only "equations" I'm mentioning, David, is that Aetheyta states Shepard and Liara are in a relationship when they are not (and Shepard agrees). This is a fact. You are the one equating that is a bug, not me. You are the one who needs to provide proof that it is. I'm also stating that you get a relationship (and relationship conflict, if it so arises) with Liara despite showing zero romantic interest in her, and that you must actively tell the game you don't want a relationship with her in order to stop it.

That's the trope: Asking an alien about their culture is not romantic banter. Asking an Alien about The Dragon they have as a mother is not romantic banter. Putting her on the ship because she's in danger if she's not is not romantic banter. There is no relationship, full stop.
07:46:22 PM Oct 9th 2013
edited by
In the course of this discussion, you've gone through about a half-dozen different explanations for why Liara supposedly fits the trope.

First it's because Liara and Shepard are supposedly in a relationship even if Shepard is rude to her. (False.)

Then it's because Aetheyta sometimes mentions Liara and Shepard being in a relationship, which is first of all due to a bug, and secondly not near enough to presume a relationship where it's made clear no such relationship exists elsewhere throughout the story.

Then it's because the player must go 'out of their way' to not romance Liara. Completely untrue for one thing, and not the trope for another.

Next you upped the ante and claimed Shepard must romance Liara fully regardless of what the player says or does, which is laughably untrue.

And now you're claiming that a legitimate, player chosen, bug-free romance of Liara is the trope because there supposedly wasn't enough build up. Which has nothing whatsoever to do with what has been discussed up to this point.

You topped all of this off by putting in an entry with the ridiculous claim that Shepard is 'forced' to romance Liara no matter what. Not only that, you have the audacity to claim you're 'repeating yourself' when in reality you're attempting to give a different explanation every time and have failed to stick to your reasoning.

It's clear to me that you're simply grasping at straws trying to justify putting a character you don't like into a 'bad writing' trope. You have effectively pissed away any credibility at this point. I'm withdrawing my concession that a trope might exist. That concession was based on evidence you provided, and you've proven to me you can't be relied on to be truthful.
01:39:46 PM Oct 10th 2013
In the course of this discussion, David, you've done utterly nothing but talk about irrelevant topics (Shepard and Liara's friendship), offered baseless accusations with no reasons other than "Because I said so!"

All of those "differences" you've mentioned are the trope. Just because you like the character doesn't mean it's poorly written. You've also not even answered a damn thing other than your hyperactive whining.

I've given crystal-clear examples on what happens so that you can check for yourself if you don't believe me.

Also, I never said one "must" romance Liara, I said the romance is started regardless of your choices, with all it entails (such as love interests asking about it if you question them, or relationship conflicts). You're making massive jumps in Insane Troll Logic, which I guess is more than you've given before. I've stuck to the reasoning (in which Shepard and Liara are assumed to be romantic) and stated that in many different ways.

You, by contrast, have whined like a child and thrown temper tantrums. Does anyone else have anything relevant to discuss, because arguing with you is like playing chess with a pigeon.
02:07:58 PM Oct 10th 2013
Guys, keep it cool.
03:00:40 PM Mar 11th 2013
I personally find the Anakin and Padme scenario perfectly plausible. But at any rate it's not supposed to be necessarily an entirely healthy romance, it does help lead Anakin to falling to The Dark Side.

And it actually never occurred to me we where supposed to know Padme was Luke and Leia's mother just because she plays a role vaguely analogous to Leia's. By that Logic Jar Jar should been the Droid's father.
11:42:24 PM Jan 30th 2012
edited by Lilwik
I'm thinking of changing the wording on type 3:

3. Roy and Missy do interact very frequently, maybe having romantic chemistry or even Unresolved Sexual Tension, but when they fall in love, it's done in a clumsy or poorly written way that doesn't make their getting together seem believable.

This seems to imply that type 3 is bad. Why must it be poor writing or even clumsy writing? Surely an illogical relationship upgrade could be done deliberately in an effort to achieve some effect. That's not clumsiness. And I think we should reserve judgement about whether the writing is poor for specific cases and not just declare that all of type 3 is poor writing.

09:28:02 AM Jun 15th 2012
Honestly, the disclaimer that "this trope is not bad, honest!" is utterly undone by the tone of the page, which implies that every one of these couples is awful due to this trope.
10:51:16 AM Nov 22nd 2011
Okay, to whomever deleted my entry on Mai and Zuko, I'm sorry but... "Shipping war"? I clearly mentioned that despite the fact that relationship was forced, it was well handled. Also, the post below was not an argument, it was a minor correction.
06:00:00 AM Dec 9th 2011
Actually, I agree with the example being deleted. Remember that this trope doesn't just mean that couple came out of nowhere. It's that the romance has to be laid on too thickly. You even said in the example that it was given a realistic feel because it came in short, small doses. That right there means it doesn't fit the trope.
01:54:46 PM Jul 21st 2011
Pulled Squall and Rinoa since it kept getting pulled in the past for not qualifying and the current entry was really, really bad (and no, using a Caustic Critic as a source isn't good enough).
03:33:23 PM Jul 1st 2011
The Harry Potter example stays because this is a YMMV trope.

Okay, I know the Harry/Ginny pairing from the Harry Potter series has been a source of debate on this board, and some tropers insisted it shouldn't be here because they believe it was foreshadowed.

However, this is a YMMV trope, and the whole point of of YMMV tropes is that only some may agree that they apply to a particular example. This means that only some of the fandom has to agree that Harry and Ginny fit this trope in order for it to count as an example.
04:44:23 AM Jul 3rd 2011
edited by TripleElation
You're right that we should keep the example (note that I supported this position in the discussion above, even before this was YMMV). Maybe I was too quick to delete it, and I apologize; I failed to notice that since the discussion where we defaulted to removing it, this has become a YMMV trope, which means a lot more flexibility on what stays.

But even YMMV has standards, and we should be trying to characterize the mileage varying, not pass rulings on who's right and who's wrong. You can't just state things you know aren't universally agreed upon and expect the example to remain intact.

The tone, for one, was definitely not neutral. It starts "Some of the hate against them as a couple...", which is obviously trying to convey the impression that there's some huge critical mass of such hate in the fandom (polls say: not even remotely). Then it proceeds to pile on some very controversial accusations (no meaningful interaction since book 2? Even now, after all these years, I can hear the ghost of the fandom's collective consciousness writhe in response, "CHOOOCOLATEEE IN THE LIBRAAARRRYYYY!"). In short, it wasn't being fair. I rewrote it in an effort to make it fairer. I imagine there's a lot of work still to be done on that front.

Also, @Fallen Legend: You do not get to remove YMMV examples wholesale without discussion. Quoting some part of the fandom which thinks it's not an example does not equal "the example admitting it is not an example". I restored what you removed, and if you want to discuss the removal of these examples properly- go ahead. But I do not recommend unilaterally removing them again.
06:41:56 AM Apr 1st 2011
Should X-Men: Evolution be added here? The Avalanche/Kitty relatioship came out of no where, in the first season Avalanche had NO feelings for Kitty, the closest the had to a 'Relationship' was he tried to use her powers for personal gain and reffered to her as 'Pretty Kitty' during a fight (Just before trying to smash her into a wall with a wave or concrete). In the second season he's inexplicably in love with her with no explanation, and she, while at first not even remotely attracted, falls for him after he saves her life... From an falling rubble during a riot HE CAUSED. Both his atraction to her and the 'development' of their relationship was poorly written and came out of no where.
05:46:01 AM Jan 16th 2011
Part of the problem here is the "Red String of Fate" is such a specific concept, yet this trope isn't really that related to it. A clarification: The result is that the two characters go through a leap of characterization all the way to Relationship Upgrade without any of the usual in-betweens. What exactly is meant here by "the usual in-betweens"?

06:46:49 AM Jan 16th 2011
edited by TripleElation
The Romance Arc.

Obviously you're not going to have all of the bells and whistles in there, but you get the gist. Between Hi and They Do you have to go through a stage or two, and there's your list of what that stage or two may be.
09:25:56 AM Jan 16th 2011
As for the name- I agree we should change it (we have a few good redirects), but the last time I tried to bring this up on the Trope Repair Shop it didn't go through.
09:12:13 AM Dec 28th 2010
This page nowhere mentions the "red string" or how the characters involved are being strangled by it. As such, the relation of the page title to the content is opaque to those who aren't familiar with the reference already.

Reading the recent "rename" thread for this page it is evident that in the past there was an explicit connection to the Red String of Fate, but that has apparently gotten removed.
12:13:52 PM Jan 7th 2011
Sorry, that was my fault- when I rewrote the description I kind of completely forgot that most people don't know what the red string is. In my defense, this reference was also missing from the description I replaced. Added the metaphor.
11:07:16 PM Oct 29th 2010
edited by SpellBlade
Wow, this page needs a lot of policing. I can't find the repair shop thread concerning what to do with it, either. Anyone have a link?
11:17:45 PM Oct 29th 2010
edited by SpellBlade
Also, why is the YMMV banner missing when most of the page's curators agree it's subjective?
06:13:09 AM Oct 30th 2010
I agree, it really needs one since really, a pairing with a poor set up really can be in the eye of the beholder.
08:54:44 AM Oct 30th 2010
The banner was taken off by Fast Eddie.

This is not subjective trope. The title may seem that way, but it isn't. It's not about "poor setup", it's about when a couple goes straight from "hi" to Relationship Upgrade.

08:46:50 PM Oct 30th 2010
Okay, that's understandable.
10:42:39 PM Oct 30th 2010
I'd recommend keeping a watchful eye on the page in case someone tries to sneak in the former. We may even need to add a large disclaimer to the page, underlining its definition.
10:19:08 AM Dec 11th 2010
Gwen and Kevin from Ben 10?
08:37:28 PM Oct 27th 2010
Is anyone else amused at the endless serious of edit wars over Avatar, when inevitably a still angsty Zutara shipper will try and scream that the writers didn't appreciate the pure love of two people with nothing in common?
06:57:07 AM Oct 28th 2010
More annoyed, personally.

Then again, people who rage over ships tend to annoy me in general.
10:38:07 PM Oct 29th 2010
Just read the entry. It was ridiculously slanted
09:20:47 PM Nov 20th 2011
Nuked Zuko/Mai. AGAIN.
11:02:32 AM Sep 28th 2010
Per discussion in the Trope Repair Shop and crowner, I've moved the bulk of examples in this trope (with some trims and tweaks) to a new trope at Suddenly Soulmates. Strangled by the Red String will be back up soon as a trope directly about Bad Writing, perhaps on the Darth Wiki.
09:30:03 AM Oct 28th 2010
Looks like Trope Repair Shop has overruled you, and left us with yet another unsolved problem.

This crowner seems to indicate there's a lot of support for splitting of "Designated Love Interest", whatever that is. I've made up a definition based on what the title sounds like, so let's see if Wiki Magic can take it from here.
03:03:16 PM Oct 28th 2010
Yeah, I know that the Trope Repair Shop has overruled me. When I did this I was under the impression that I had reasonable consensus to do it. Nobody has bothered to make a single serious argument in support of keeping this specific name for this specific trope, but, well, vox populi vox dei.
06:33:37 PM Sep 15th 2010
Is there a reason why the Harry Potter entry keeps getting deleted? I know because of the series nefarious Ship To Ship Combat it'll always be a prime target, but the reason it was deleted was because, and I quote, "take it to fan preferred couple." I'm sorry, but that was a rather crappy explanation.
02:35:25 PM Jan 6th 2011
Because it doesn't fit. Strangled by the Red String is for pairings that go from no hints to definitely together. HBP shows Harry's feelings for Ginny shifting from friendship to romance. The start of the relationship might be abrupt, but that's teenagers for you. Please stop adding it back in.
03:25:26 PM Jan 6th 2011
edited by TripleElation
"shifting" as in "going the full scale transformation in the duration of a second" and "that's teenagers for you" means it's a Justified Trope. Yes, this isn't the textbook case, and it has foreshadowing and a built-in Unrequited Love Switcheroo and whatnot, which is why the example said "have shades".

Listen, back in my jolly day I hung out on the perimeter of the hardcore H/G crowd (you know, Sugar Quill, Gryffindor Tower, the Fiction debate thread...) and even we would freely admit that it blindsided us. The only way we saw it coming was laborious analysis of really backwards considerations plus heavy-duty Shipping Goggles, and even then we only knew that it may possibly hopefully be coming, not how or why it was going to get started. I think I'd be on steady ground saying even half a setence prior to the Wham Line featuring the chest monster we were still none the wiser. And this is crazy shippers; what this was probably like for the regular reader is, well, left as an exercise.
09:42:37 PM Jan 13th 2011
To whomever removed this again, would you please take the argument here? The whole point of discussion pages is to avert edit warring.


"It's not really "straddling the line" if there's plenty of evidence this was going to happen. An entry either is definitely this trope, or it isn't."

Well, fine, I should've put it up as an "abnormal" example or some such. Yes, something can be this trope if there's plenty of evidence that it's going to happen. The trope is about Relationship Upgrade sans the character development that leads up to it. Having tropes and Word of God that seem to point in the direction of something happening is not the same as development.
12:04:03 AM Jan 14th 2011
edited by Rebochan
Sorry, this trope is "This romance comes out of nowhere", yet it was foreshadowed for years in the story itself. I don't do shipping, I find it a waste of time, but even I saw that romance coming a mile away. I keep taking it out because it's just not this trope and not liking how she wrote the romance doesn't make it an example. Now please stop adding Harry Potter entries.

There are no "abnormal" or "almost" examples, something either is this trope, or something actually classified as a trope example like a subversion (it's not) an aversion (obviously not notable if it was) or an inversion (not sure what that would be here, but none the less...)
12:12:21 AM Jan 14th 2011
edited by TripleElation
If I didn't make myself clear earlier, as far as I can see this is this trope. A honest-to-God example. Just an atypical one.

Liking or not liking anything has nothing to do with it. This is not a YMMV trope. This is about lack of development. That a lot of people saw it coming a mile away has nothing to do with anything. People seeing a romance coming correlates with development, but it doesn't flat-out imply it, as is demonstrated here.

The trope: Friends-> BAM -> Relationship Upgrade. This is exactly what happened with Harry and Ginny. How is this not an example? There's no need to get value judgments involved in it; Tropes Are Not Bad. It was probably done this way to avert Romantic Plot Tumor.
01:53:37 AM Jan 14th 2011
Because that's not how it turns out in the books. It happens a little fast, but there's plenty of warning and people seeing it come together from hints earlier in the series already disqualifies it.

Unfortunately, since this is not currently a subjective trope, where I'd be okay with the Harry/Ginny example, it's more rigid.
02:31:42 AM Jan 14th 2011
Hm. Well, I'm willing to concede this. The rule on tropes like these is usually that if something is too contested to stay on a page it should stay off.
12:50:52 AM Mar 18th 2011
edited by jackrabbit7617
This trope is not synonymous with bad couples, although most of them are. There can be good examples of being Strangled By The Red String, and this is one of them. It is in fact possible for characters to become a couple with little to no interaction before and still be a great couple.

Look, I admit I love Harry and Ginny as a couple, but the sad truth is that this trope applies to them, regardless of how good of a couple they are. Before I read the book, I had it spoiled for me that they hook up, and I actually though that it made perfect sense. However, this was before I had read the 3rd, 4th, and 5th books. After that I then found myself puzzled.

Harry and Ginny are definitely this trope. I do not know how anyone not wearing Shipping Goggles can deny this. Yes, it could have been predicted after Book 2, but Rowling screwed up on having it done well. There were hints in Order of the Phoenix, but none of them are recognizable except in retrospect.

Now, it is true that most of the 6th book does build up to it which does soften how bad it is, but only having it built up in one book when the past three books completely ignored it does not excuse it. By that logic many of the other examples on the page wouldn't count. So if a whole season of a TV series was spent building up a relationship between two characters who had rarely interacted over the course of the past several seasons, does that mean it wouldn't fall under this trope?
04:57:46 AM Mar 18th 2011
edited by TripleElation
That depends. Whether a couple falls under this trope depends on what stages, if any, of the Romance Arc they actually go through. I guess time is a factor (you can't believably squeeze it all into an episode), but a season should be enough, so generally the answer is no, what you describe doesn't fall under the trope.

Actually, I think that now that the Romance Arc page has been fleshed out we can look at things more objectively. With Harry and Ginny we do get to see how Boy Meets Girl and do get one (implicit) She Is Not My Girlfriend scene, and they go on to become Just Friends. The next thing we know, Nothing Is the Same Anymore- we have a Green-Eyed Epiphany that induces an Unrequited Love Switcheroo. In other words the problem is with the Will They or Won't They? phase. Namely, that it was so faint that the question wasn't even Will They or Won't They? but rather "Do they have a Will They or Won't They? thing going on to begin with?". We had two Romantic False Leads and exactly one Moment Killer (no chocolate allowed in the library!), and that's it.

Given that this pairing had ridiculous effort put into in on every other front- just check how many tropes on the Love Tropes index apply to it— it's an excellent case study of how much that phase matters in a romance. The execution on everything else is great, but that part is missing, and you have people feeling cheated out of something.

Is this bona fide red string strangulation? It's hard to tell. Certainly it's not a typical example. Maybe using this more precise analysis we can write about them on a page in an objective way that doesn't make judgment calls about whether development was "good enough".
02:39:49 PM Jun 6th 2011
Forgot to mention. This is YMMV trope, which means some of the fandom feels it fits this while the rest may not. Only part of the fandom feeling this way is all that is required for it to fit this trope. You don't delete an example just because you feel it doesn't fit there. Hence, the entire point of YMMV.
12:27:38 AM Jul 12th 2010
Concerning the trope picture: Is is really a good idea for a trope picture to be an aversion of the very trope it's supposed to be describing?
03:17:02 PM Jul 15th 2010
I think so. Normally its a good idea to avoid it, but its rare enough to find a picture that pertains to this trope at all (at least outside of context) that I think this needs to be up.
12:49:31 PM Jul 20th 2010
I disagree with making an exception. There are plenty of other tropes that don't have pictures for the same reason.
07:17:54 PM Apr 1st 2010
Jeez... I can't believe this doesn't have a "Subjective Trope" banner at the top. Anyone object to me adding one?
07:32:26 PM Apr 1st 2010
To be honest, until you mentioned it, I never thought of it like that. But in thinking of a response, I can't come up with a single reason why not. I'd be for it if there are no other objections.
10:11:07 AM Jul 12th 2010
Well...nobody ever add it. So I did. Because...yea, this is subjective as hell. One person's "TWOO WUV!" is another person's "WTF?!".
07:00:07 PM Jan 6th 2011
No subjective trope banner. Why? Because a lot of it can be done by the Author on purpose and is not all what the viewer sees.
06:11:43 PM Mar 30th 2010
For the bit on Total Drama Island I removed: The trope isn't a blanket statement for all bad relationship writing. Gwen/Trent don't qualify, as a) they were already a couple and b) the failures of their relationship were leading to a breakup. It may have been a clumsy way to do it, but that doesn't make it an example of this trope.

Courtney/Duncan might count, though the amount of tension between them beforehand makes it a somewhat problematic designation there as well. (Again, Courtney acting crazy during the relationship doesn't make it qualify.)
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