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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Your Obedient Serpent grants that this could be folded into the Anvilicious page, but the examples there all convey some degree of corn or cheese. I do confess that I'm hard-pressed to think of another example besides The Day The Earth Stood Still for Anvils that Need Dropping.

That Other 1 Dude: Could The Boondocks count? It's pretty openly an Author Tract, and it's fairly well done. "Thank You For Not Snitching" is a pretty good example, especially the last line, which would be a Script Wank if it weren't so damn funny.

Ununnilium: In my opinion, no. I don't share the strip's own belief in its messages' importance.


  • The Counter Strike machinima The Leet World does this later in the series with Ahmed's hax addiction. Frustrated with his lack of skills, Ahmed starts taking Hax, which increase his speed and accuracy until he's nearly unstoppable. But then, he find that he needs to take more hax each time to get the same effect. He starts hallucinating, and becomes paranoid about the rest of the housemates. When he tries to go without them he suffers from nausea and crippling headaches. Cortez and Wustheimer have also had past experiences with hax, and make it clear how bad they are.
    Cortez: Ah, yes, but you know how Hax can ruin a man. You have seen it, no? Did you watch him die of the shakes? I've heard they can last for days. And then the bleeding comes...

...yeah, I don't see how this counts. It doesn't even seem to be an Aesop.

Matthew The Raven:

  • This editor has always found those two Orwell novels to be not just overblown, but just plain irritating. In Animal Farm Orwell's lambasting the Soviet Union goes well beyond an accurate portrayal of the faults there and travels into terror-ridden scare-story. The USSR was by no means good, but it wasn't the Satanfest Orwell portrays it to be.

Removed because we don't need a Justifying Edit for Stalinism, especially since he or she doesn't actually support it with facts and it undermines the entry. And 1984 was a dystopian satire of all Totalitarianist regimes, and Animal Farm was a nearly event-for-event-character-for-character allegory of the early Soviet Union.

Ununnilium: Okay, people have been putting in examples that don't really fit into this entry. These need to be good works with a moral that's not only strong, but delivered Anviliciously, and where a large part of the quality comes from this direct message. Taking out all non-Anvilicious examples:

  • Dr Strangelove is pretty moral-tastic, but its black humor stops it from becoming preachy.
  • Fantastic Racism. Period.
  • Terry Pratchett tend to have a pretty clear message in most of his books - for instance, Going Postal has some rather cutting things to say about what a completely free economy really leads to. His books are all the better for it.

Also, Conversation In The Main Page:

  • [HistoryGeek] Actually, it was written before the Irish potato famine, or Britain, and was a comment in general on the English regime in Ireland: by the time of the famine much later, it was much less common to treat Irish people like they were animals in what was then Britain.[/HistoryGeek] Your point still stands, though.
    • Except save your true love.
    • No, she was saved. She was kept from being turned completely into a genocidal tool of the anti-Spirals. True, she still died, but she was saved too.

  • Drascin: While we're on the TTGL entry, I'm going to put back at least some mention of the main message of the series, you know - believe in yourself, believe in your friends, and know that the impossible is there for you to get it. The quote by Irving's not bad, but that's only the moral of the last episode, not the one in the other 25 episodes. I'd say it's necessary.

And finally, good information, but not something that belongs in this trope:

  • This troper would like to note that it was, ironically, not a Christmas film at all.
    • Even more ironically, it was a money-losing box-office flop. It took off because the studio sold rights to show the bomb of a film cheaply to early TV stations.

"A fair amount of people, however, would debate on whether this anvil really needed to be dropped.

Gattsuru : Is this, at all, meaningful? There are a fair number of people that find the The Day The Earth Stood Still was both pointlessly preachy and unrealistic to the point of being irritating, and people that think Brave New World would be a utopia rather than a disutopia if actually applied *right*. At least if the description on the top of the page is correct, the question is not whether people agree with the anvil, just whether the work is effective because of the anvil.

Austin: Actually, the trope title and page description make it sound like "It may have been anvilicious, but it's a message that needed to be said", as opposed to the book being good because it's anvilicious.

Lale: The WALL-E example still belongs because it comes across as a highly unsubtle Aesop but in a good way, regardless of what was intended. An accidental anvil but an anvil nonetheless. And yet, everybody loves it.
Andrew: Can we get a consensus to cut out the Brazilian cartoonist at the bottom of the page? Reasonable people can disagree about the wisdom of the artist's points, but it just seems like serious Flame Bait. For example, speaking only personally, I don't particularly think a cartoon portraying Alan Dershowitz masturbating to war footage deals with any sort of anvil that needs to be dropped.

Anonymous lurker: I intentionally included links to Forgiveness series and cartoons like the one about child soldiers in order to not give impression about "flame bait". One of my reasons for linking to the cartoon about Dershowitz was that I found it hilarious in its shamelessness. While I can understand why someone would find it inappropriate, I would like to give a reminder that it isn't necessary to agree politically with someone to find his/her work funny and entertaining. For example, I personally like Faithmouse (especially after Dan Lacey's "comeback" at The Something Awful Forums). However, if it bothers you, you have my permission to remove the link to "hard at work" cartoon.

Yaguar: I'll join the consensus to drop it, and I'd go further to say Kill It with Fire.

Charred Knight: That's Refuge in Audacity, like someone else said this isn't Dropping any Anvils its just being stupid, and politically incorrect for laughs. Its not the least bit thoughtful.

Anonymous lurker: When you take into account much of the history (and criticism) concerning Alan Dershowitz, I wouldn't be surprised if there was notable amount of people believing that cartoon involved anvil in need of dropping. I actually had some reservations about adding entry about Latuff on this page. Since "dropping anvils in need of dropping" (at least from artist's viewpoint) probably is common aspect in political cartoons with intentional exaggerations and caricatures, it doesn't necessarily make sense to single out an individual artist. So, I have been thinking about replacing this entry with reference to political cartoons in general in a manner which allows other users to add examples of political cartoonists using this approach successfully (even if they disagree with the exact politics of cartoonist). There is reason why I prefer Dan Lacey's political cartoons over those from RHJunior.

Admiral_Kelly ...

Removed this inappropriate piece of crap by some cartoonist who has no knowledge of the Iraq War AT ALL. Disagree with the Iraq War? Okay, fine. Portray the US military as a bunch of murdering thugs invading a peaceful nation and these criminal terrorist (who, in reality, attack Iraqi civilians as much as US soldiers) as patriots? NO. Flamebait, indeed.

Anonymous lurker: I won't stand in your way. However, I thought that one of the advantages of Iraqi snipers was that their tactic was to target American soldiers while avoiding civilian casualties. Also, Latuff has referred to destruction caused by Iraqi activity in his cartoons.

Admiral_Kelly Removed Uncle Toms Cabin as an example because, although the anti-slavery message is dead-on, the play highly exaggerated how slavery was handled in a majority of the south.

{{Ingonyama:}} I'm a little confused...How is "Hotel California" an Anvil, much less one that needs to be dropped?

Removed Princess Mononoke on account of being surprisingly -not- Anvilicious. Yes, there's a Green Aesop, but it's far more nuanced and subtle than one would get from reviews.

Nornagest: Rewrote the following —

Anyone who thinks Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale isn't relevant hasn't read enough transcripts of actual far-right Fundamentalist Christian sermons.

...because the effectiveness of the media as media, not the veracity of the message, is the issue at stake here. The Rule Of Cautious Editing Judgment also applies.

Janitor: It would be nice to mention what anvil is dropped by the novel. People like me who haven't read it have no idea. As it is, it says nothing about the trope.

Nornagest: How's that?

Cliché: Does the Ayn Rand example really count, considering the many that oppose the anvil? It's especially ironic to compare it to 1984 because George Orwell held vastly different political views.

Prfnoff: I agree with this (the Dystopia in Anthem is too obviously caricatured for didactic purposes, and Atlas Shrugged doesn't give a good explanation for how a bunch of villainous bureaucrats could take over America), and so I changed the example. Also pulling this example. RENT isn't so much Anvilicious as insufferably (IMO) self-righteous (and contains some gratuitously cynicism directed at Christmas):

  • RENT, being firmly on the idealistic side of the scale, is often called cheesy or "high-school stuff" by the adults in this troper's hometown. However, the theme of "love in the face of poverty and illness" wouldn't strike half as close to home if the characters were in their thirties. Teenagers' friends are largely the center of their world, so it's only natural that they become close-knit, but if you age them up to even their mid/late-twenties, that same theme closeness would be bordering on Narm. And considering the Crapsack World mentality today, songs like "La Vie Boheme A/B" (and "Seasons of Love," too) are a great excuse to start singing at the drop of a hat with some friends.

Gattsuru: Atlas Shrugged mostly assumes that a bunch of villainous bureaucrats had already taken over America. Rand was not exactly an FDR fan, and while she exaggerates a bit, it's not as different from reality as the average Joe today things.

Removing "Look up, Hannah" because it doesn't describe what it's talking about. It just links to a Youtube video, which is totally useless to some of us tropers. If someone wants to put it back in, at least mention what happens in the video and why it's relevant to this page.
Zeke: This page is in desperate need of cleanup. Are we just gonna list every anti-war or pro-environment example we can think of? Here's an obvious one that I've pulled:
  • Evan Almighty: Despite what certain members of the Republican party would have you believe, it's kinda silly to think that faith in God and environmentalist sentiments are incompatible with each other.
First, I'm pretty sure no one has ever said they are — imaginary Republicans who hate everything nice, maybe, but not real people. In fact, Christian churches tend to be heavily into environmental causes these days. Second... this is a movie so good it's okay for it to be Anvilicious? Evan Almighty? Can we lower the bar any further, or is it already just sitting on the ground?

Inkblot: I say we just put this place into the Sugar Wiki and let it be the tumor it´s turning into.

Wascally Wabbit: Was this ever anything but gushing about Aesops you like? Sugar it or whip it.

fleb: Exterminate.

Nezumi: Personally, I'm reluctant to outright remove something that will create 102 red links when it's gone, unless there's a lot more pressing reason than "It's promoting things you like, and that annoys me." Moving it to the Sugar Wiki with other "promoting things you like" tropes is fully appropriate, however.

Praetyre: Kill it. This is An Aesop Done Well, and implicitly violates Tropes Are Not Bad.

Dragon Quest Z: No, that is just how some poorly done examples make it seem. This is about messages that won't come across if the story is too subtle, and the description needs to make that more clear.

fleb: The name clouds up that definition, since it doesn't say why the anvils need to be dropped. It's easily read as "...because the Aesop is important/I agree with it" instead of "because the alternative would be counter to the story's effectiveness." (Drugs Are Bad Discussion, for example.) And even that's a hopelessly subjective definition, because people will see things-that-they-agree-with as having An Aesop that's essential to the story quality.
The Sugar Wiki, like Darth Wiki before it, is all about being an Anti-Role Model. They represent everything that shouldn't even be on this wiki. Delete.

Blork: "This is about messages that won't come across if the story is too subtle" - Making any message too subtle will prevent it from coming across clearly and anviliciousness will always make it more obvious. I see nothing about this that isn't Anvilicious Done Well. Delete

Charred Knight: If we delete this than we need to rewrite Anvilicious because that has negative connatations. As for the Darth Wiki and Sugar Wiki being pure evil, I will point out that this isn't wikipedia, and its because this isn't Wikipedia that I post here. I could go to the far more important wikipedia, but the fact that all my work would be deleted is why I don't. I don't need to see this place becomes a place where "shouldn't be a part of this" becomes more important than just having fun.

ninjacrat: Everybody drink!

(Er, needless to say, but the purpose of this wiki is to compile an interesting collection of storytelling devices, not to have fun. Having fun is important! Everybody should intend to have fun! But it sure ain't the purpose of the site, and it sure ain't more important than staying on topic.)

('The far more important wikipedia'? Heh. People really think of this place as 'like wikipedia, but with a higher bullshit tolerance'? Cuz that's just alarming.)

Dragon Quest Z: If the founders of this site agree with Darth Wiki and Sugar Wiki, and they are clearly separated from actual tropes by being in the Just for Fun index, I would honestly like to tell fleb to shove it. Those sections have a few dozen pages compared to thousands of pages that are actual tropes. I don't think these are really hurting this site.

Oh, and I agree with blork's reasoning. This probably should be moved to Sugar Wiki.

Luc: I just removed the "Examples" section entirely, since that seems to be the problem, namely, the same thing that happened to The Un-Twist: Good trope, horrifically bad example section.

Tzintzuntzan: I only just discovered the cutlist debate (and the removal of examples), and it makes me a sad panda, because it's a very legitimate trope: that sometimes, being subtle is not the best thing for a story. Being blatant and Anvilicious can be a valid artistic choice, and one that works very well. It's especially important because Anvilicious is one of those things where it's easy to forget that Tropes Are Not Bad. And given all the sneers that show up in the various Aesop pages, it's an important reminder: just because it had a moral, the story is not Ruined FOREVER. This isn't Sugar Wiki material.

Trouble is, as pointed out, the trope has suffered horrible drift, from "Anvilicious sometimes works well as an artistic choice" to "Anvilicious is okay if the moral is important enough." Is it possible to just reword the opening and re-allow examples? Or would the drift just take it over again?

Rothul: Sugar Wiki it or remove examples.

Luc: I'd suggest Sugar Wiki-ing the examples section, but leaving the body of the trope here. But I'm also the guy who performed the Example Sectionectomy, so what do I know?

Luc: Survived the cutlisting, apparently due to my Example Sectionectomy.

Sean Tucker: I moved the examples to Anvils That Needed to Be Dropped.

(random passer-by) This question my disturb some, but it needs to be asked. Do any anvils need to be dropped? Is this wiki about television and the visual media as entertainment, or is it about television and the visual media as agitprop? If the two cannot be separated, that's already Orwellian and rather frightening, in my opinion.


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