YMMV Questionable Content Discussion

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03:58:06 PM Nov 12th 2017
I wish to dispute Winslow's new chassis being listed under Unfortunate Implications on factual grounds. May calls Winslow "privileged" purely because his connection to Hannelore gives him wealth and influence that May doesn't have, and whiteness and maleness are clearly non-factors (Winslow's hardly "whiter" than May given that both fall under Amazing Technicolor Population, and as mentioned, he gets his wealth from the unambiguously-female Hannelore). The storyline doesn't imply that privileged people are inherently bad, either - in fact, Winslow is portrayed sympathetically throughout, and May gets called out on her hostility and apologizes.
05:38:40 AM Nov 13th 2017
Pulled it. It honestly didn't really seem to have a point, had natter, and Unfortunate Implications requires citations which that did not have.
05:12:29 AM Mar 17th 2016
edited by Larkmarn
So this was under Acceptable Targets:
  • There is a notable Double Standard at work within the strip, in relation to the author's differing attitudes towards men's and women's consumption of alcohol. The male characters can drink several beers, and this is depicted as an amusing and even socially lubricatory way to pass the time. Faye, on the other hand, is depicted as an alcoholic, because she drinks whiskey. For the sake of comparison, five US pints of regular-strength beer, about what any one of the guys would drink in a typical evening, contains slightly more alcohol than Faye's favoured way of drinking alcohol, a US half-pint of whiskey. The author later decided that generally sensible and hard-headed Faye needed to be made into an example of the evils of alcohol abuse by making her drink at work. This got her fired, and she later went on the wagon. The notion of Functional Addict appears not be available to anyone.

I'm a bit confused, what's the target? Women? Specifically women who drink? Alcoholic women?

Because really, the Double Standard thing doesn't really work given plenty of times women drinking is depicted as a positive (Marigold coming out to drink was a good thing, Claire being a whiskey natural is a good thing, even Emily drinking so much she passed out and someone cut her hair was a positive development, etc), and plenty of times that men binge drinking is bad (Marten getting hammered after some breakup was bad, at least). It depended on context. The only double standard I see is "drinking with friends is good, but Drowning Your Sorrows alone is bad."

Not to mention the Character Derailment bit. Not only is that Flame Bait, but... really? How's that derailment? Faye being a heavy drinker is something that's been part of the strip for a while. Remember the time she headbutted Marten in the nads and then vomited? Yeah...

Not to mention the gross speculation. Precisely how much they drink is pure speculation.
02:26:42 PM Jun 16th 2015
edited by LuciaMoore
Cut this line under Anvillicious:

  • The strip seems to believe that occasional binge-drinking is identical to chronic alcoholism.

The only character that was treated like an alcoholic was Faye, who was stated by several characters to get very drunk "almost every night," and who had stashes of booze throughout the house in hidden locations, not the behavior of a simple "binge drinker."

Lo' and behold, she ends up drinking herself into the ER and now she's going to a support group for alcoholism.
05:21:32 AM Jun 17th 2015
Faye's alcoholism storyline is pretty Anvilicious, though. The example seems more like it's going for Narm, though.

Going to readd it with proper context.
12:54:06 PM Dec 22nd 2017
I agree with the original post. Faye has a clinical problem with alcohol, including hiding bottles, drinking at work and being unable to control her drinking under stress. That isn’t “occasional binge drinking” or the sort of binge drinking which sometimes happens in a group.

09:08:30 AM May 13th 2015
The Base Breaker paragraph about Claire, really? How is this not just outright Complaining About Shows You Don't Like?
10:13:30 AM May 13th 2015
Because... it's not? Like at all?

First off, it's not complaining about QC so that's a perfectly random choice of tropes there.

Secondly, it's not even complaining, just acknowledging the two sides of the broken base. Documenting someone as having complaints isn't complaining, especially since the entry doesn't choose a side.
11:49:11 AM Oct 16th 2014
edited by
Regarding this edit war:

It's a bit overly negative, but I'd say it counts because, Ship Tease or no, I can't think of any situations where Marten expressed any romantic interest in Claire earlier. It did seem rather "well, he likes her now, so yep, this is happening." From the Strangled by the Red String page: "In more borderline cases, this can happen even when the two characters have shown interest in each other, in some form or another; it's the placement, pacing and timing that are off. An audience tends to know the kind of emotional process a person goes through when entering a romantic relationship, and will not be happy past a certain line of too little of this process and too much conveniently dramatic payoff" seems to fit this pretty well. Claire's had plenty of moments where she's clearly been interested in Marten, but Marten's feelings seem to come from nowhere.

Also, it does lead to the consequences listed on the page, leading to somewhat Narm-y moments and accusations of being brought to Relationship Sue levels (the idea that Claire is suddenly so perfect a fit that Marten takes the lead like he did led me personally to see shades of Relationship Sue).

I've nothing against the pairing and am interested in seeing where it goes, but it seems like Strangled by the Red String is valid.

I'm also slightly worried that people might claim it doesn't count because they like the pairing personally, kinda like the flipside of the "Refrain from using this trope to whine about a pairing that you personally don't like" bullet point.
11:54:52 AM Oct 16th 2014
The example writeup looks valid to me, yes.
01:48:13 PM Oct 16th 2014
"this can happen even when the two characters have shown interest in each other, in some form or another; it's the placement, pacing and timing that are off. An audience tends to know the kind of emotional process a person goes through when entering a romantic relationship, and will not be happy past a certain line of too little of this process and too much conveniently dramatic payoff"

Taking this into consideration, this trope is so broadly defined that it's essentially meaningless. Suddenness is no longer required, it just has to "feel off" for someone, and it fits. Despite the warning that it should not be used to whine about pairings, with a definition like this, it's unavoidable.

So, I haven't got any counter-arguments, there are no counter-arguments to this. Any romance that is not perfectly written, any romance where there's anything problematic about the "placement, pacing and timing" can be shoehorned into this. All right, have at it.
03:01:35 PM Oct 16th 2014
Could you cite any buildup on Marten's end? The reason I think it's valid is I can't think of any instance of Marten showing anything even resembling interest on his end. There's plenty from Claire, but everything before they hooked up really seemed like a one-sided crush.
04:08:46 PM Oct 16th 2014
That's the thing. I've been told that there was build up but unless them just knowing each other for a while counts as such, then I don't think there is any.
12:46:23 AM Oct 17th 2014
I've said it, I don't care anymore. Add it back, I won't remove it.
12:50:47 AM Oct 17th 2014
edited by
Edit: I appear to have been ninja'd, but I'd like to leave my comment here if possible.

I believe that the reason a lot of YMMV tropes are defined as such is due to their broadness and subjectivity. In part, I do agree that Strangled By The Red String is overreacting a bit, because the comic has spent assloads of time in the past doing all that relationship buildup stuff, having Sickingly Sweet Sweethearts etc. with other couples.

However, I'm under the impression that the YMMV page is a place for subjective examples in the first place. Like I've gone through some YMMV and disagreed severely with some examples, some things which have seemed to have missed the point of the work entirely, but I haven't deleted the example and said "Nononono you are WRONG sir/madam" - because the tag YMMV means "you might not view the same example in the same light as someone else". Think the phrase "I disagree with your opinion, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it".

Given that it isn't factually wrong and doesn't try to cite anything which hasn't happened in the comic, it should be able to stay - and Strangled By The Red String is a subjective trope, so you can't say whether someone's views on a romance is incorrect. The opinion expressed may not be common, but it doesn't mean that it's an opinion so insignificant that it doesn't deserve to be present on this page. The possibility of someone feeling this way is very real.

@buildup on Marten's end: At the very least, there's this strip from the Wedding storyline. He's at least down with the idea enough to not disturb Claire's sleep, though the interpretation can be seen as subjective.

And just quickly, while I'm here - was there any way that Unfortunate Implications could have been saved? The information present in the example was useful, just written in a way frowned upon by the wiki. Could we reinstate the example/s if they're reworded to remove the Word Cruft and Example Indentation? Feel free to ignore this if it's just going to cause trouble in this discussion - it isn't exactly related to the topic at hand, but personally I see it as the loss of an informative and entertaining example.
01:44:22 AM Oct 17th 2014
Yes, YMMV pages record people's opinions. Merely disagreeing with them is not a sufficient removal reason..

About Unfortunate Implications, these require offsite citations now.
11:35:27 AM Oct 17th 2014
edited by
I thought that while Strangled by the Red String is ultimately subjective, it has some objective qualifications; the romance has to be sudden and undeveloped. A more thorough reading of the page made me realize that it has no objective qualifications whatsoever, except one; it has to refer to a romance.

I didn't remove it because I thought the romance was not badly written; I removed it because it definitely wasn't sudden, and I thought that is needed. But it isn't, so whatever. It might was well be renamed to "Romance I Don't Like".
11:59:55 AM Oct 17th 2014
And being "Romance I Do Like" doesn't disqualify it, either.

In any case, it sounds like we're about in agreement it can be put back on.
03:07:11 AM Oct 18th 2014
edited by
"Comes out of nowhere" is still misleading though. Marten may or may not have shown signs of being attracted to Claire, but Claire did show plenty of signs of being attracted to Marten.
07:25:12 AM Oct 18th 2014
Since I first added the trope, I figure I should at least weigh in and own up to it. Admittedly, yes, I should have justified better why I think it fits Strangled by the Red String — I think I went too enthusiastically for brevity and efficiency and lost something in the translation to the interwebs.

Marten's been a character from "Day One". Claire was introduced in strip #2203 (credit to The Wiki Rule) and rapidly became and has remained a Creator's Favorite in the now 612 strips since then. Yes, as people have said upthread, she has shown feelings for Marten, but on the other hand he has only been "just friends" in return and at least once explicitly said he wasn't romantically interested in any of the interns, as much as he may be an Unreliable Narrator.

Now, over all the numerous and longer-standing romantic options populating QC, this is the one Jeph is going to put front-and-centre for the foreseeable future? I know, by and large, younger people (like me, I'm 26) seem to get into and out of relationships more quickly and suddenly than past generations did; it's just a gradual shift in societal attitudes. Marten has had at least two brief flings (Padma and Delilah) and attempted another (Lt. Potter) since he broke up with Dora, for instance, so it's plausible. Not too long ago, Jeph just said he was "trolling you all real hard now" when he had Marten and Claire attending Marten's dad's wedding. This just smacks to me of "here is this brand-new character, you will like her or else, and now the lead protagonist is going to fall head-over-heels for her just because she's so awesome".

I am only a casual reader of QC and I don't follow its forums, Twitter accounts, etc., but that said, if it comes across as jarring, sudden and out-of-the-blue to me, I am very willing to bet there are others who feel likewise and even more strongly about it.
07:50:55 AM Oct 18th 2014
Creator's Favorite is when the creator explicitly says that the character is their favorite, which I don't think is the case here. Marten is not an Unreliable Narrator or any other kind of narrator. The comic doesn't have a narrator.

Relationship Sue and all the other Mary Sue tropes also became meaningless a long time ago. They're freely applied to any character that is depicted positively. No wonder that examples are not allowed on the trope pages.

So, you don't even know what the actual fandom thinks, but you still project your feelings to it. For the record, the reaction of the forums was overwhelmingly positive. I'm starting to see why Jeph hates TV Tropes.
11:58:11 AM Oct 18th 2014
edited by
That's the beauty of Tvtropes. I can have an opinion even if a lot of the fandom doesn't agree and not be persecuted for it. If Jeph doesn't like Tvtropes because almost all of the content on his work page praises the work but a small amount has some people not liking some parts of his work, than great. Let's give him a medal.
04:40:10 AM Oct 19th 2014
edited by
Exactly, since when do I have to reflect what the "overwhelming" majority thinks? This is why YMMV pages exist, and I refuse to subscribe to groupthink for its own sake.

To respond to the trope-specific arguments:
  • Claire is absolutely a Creator's Favorite — note I didn't go to the more negative Creator's Pet. Jeph wrote well before she entered QC that she was "showing up in his sketchbook" all the time. Now she's front-and-centre on such a constant basis that even Marten is basically a Decoy Protagonist.
  • Marten was an Unreliable Narrator in-universe since he could have answered that question any way he wanted. I simply assume he was answering truthfully that he had no serious feelings for any of the three interns, because typically he doesn't lie.
  • The various "___ Sue" tropes — I don't think Claire really fits them either, hence how I haven't tried adding any to the YMMV page. She has flaws, she has negative traits, she's not "perfect"; but she has enough attributes of a Canon Sue (or even Black Hole Sue) that, as above, QC as a comic is starting to revolve around her rather than anyone else.

I guess it remains to be seen, really, but so far, Jeph has already ended Faye and Angus, and it's not a stretch to imagine that it's to devote more screentime to Claire and Marten. Dora and Tai and Marigold and Dale's relationships are Out of Focus lately too. Exactly what am I supposed to conclude?
04:23:13 AM Oct 20th 2014
You don't, it's just funny that you write that "it can easily come across as this", without even bothering to check if there are any other people who feel this way. Of course, the YMMV pages are always loaded with weasel words. I think they exist mainly to keep off the whining from the main pages.

"Jeph wrote well before she entered QC that she was "showing up in his sketchbook" all the time." Does that mean that she's his favorite character? I don't think so.

"Marten was an Unreliable Narrator in-universe since he could have answered that question any way he wanted." Marten wasn't any kind of a narrator. He was simply answering a question, he was not narrating the story.

"The various "___ Sue" tropes — I don't think Claire really fits them either" I think she does, because they are so diluted that they mean nothing at all, and any character can be shoehorned into them.
06:42:19 AM Oct 20th 2014
Okay, great.
09:31:38 PM Oct 20th 2014
You know what? I'm done splitting hairs on a dead horse. I get it, you don't like that I disagree with you. Get over it.
02:22:56 PM Dec 1st 2012
Somebody added this line under Acceptable Targets a few days ago:

  • Also, anyone Republican or remotely conservative.

I'm questioning if that's true. I mean, yes, the characters are obviously social liberals, but I haven't seen any bashing of conservatives, other than Angus mentioning one time he was talking to Al Gore and "that Coulter bitch."
10:10:15 AM Sep 13th 2013
While I get the feeling Jeph would be okay with bashing those groups given the comic's liberal slant and Jeph's newsposts, I can't think of any actual real instances in it where it happens.

This was a good cut.
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