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Archived Discussion Narm / Film

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


Charred Knight: Deleted because Army Ants DO THAT, to cross leaves they will form a bridge made of each other so that the rest of their convoy can move along it. They also actually form nests by linking with each other, sometimes you get a huge pile of 2 million ants, all together in a massive ball. They are probably one of the stranger form of ants. So the biggest problem is that the nest scene shouldn't be their.

  • In Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull there is a scene where Big Bad Irina Spalko is hanging from a tree branch over a swarm of army ants. What do the ants decide to do? Climb up over each other to get to her! The ridiculousness of the scene is further enhanced when she crushes the bugs that get to her between her knees.
    • Real life army ants do build structures out of each other like that, even if this example was a little too extreme. Then again, real life army ants don't have nests...

The Stray: I'm reinstating this because, while it may be true (and an example of Reality Is Unrealistic), the fact remains that it still fits. A Narm is a moment that is supposed to be serious, but due to either over-sappiness, poor execution, or the sheer absurdity of the situation, the drama is lost.

Charred Knight: Deleted stuff on the Joker because those scenes mentioned where black comedy. The Joker is at his best when his both muderous and funny. One of the best known is the Joker Fish issue, where he uses Joker Venom to cause all the fish in Gotham Bay to develop Joker smiles, at which point he tries to COPYRIGHT the fish, and is pissed to find that he can't copyright fish, and starts killing the people who told him that.

Seven Of Diamonds: Likewise, deleting this:

  • The "Johanna" song sung by both Sweeney and Anthony juxtaposes "oh my dear, do you look like your mother?" *slices throat* "oh I bet you're beautiful, just like her" *slices another throat*. (paraphrased intentionally)
Because the Soundtrack Dissonance is intentionally funny.
Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: Cut this and put it here. I don't get "deliberate Narm" yet. Trying to be bad is one thing, but you can't try to be unintentionally funny.

  • Killer Clowns from Outer Space in its entirety. This is very deliberate.

Caswin: Was "Are you an angel?" really Narm? You might like it, you might not, you might not like the idea of lil' Anakin, period, but... it just doesn't feel Narmy.
Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: Cut this and put it here. I prefer my Narm unintentional.
  • The film Sin City has a scene in which Gail, after attacking the traitorous prostitute Becky, is slapped by the almost super-humanly strong Manute and flies at least 10 feet in a comically over the top manner.
    • It is Sin City, though. A lot of it's meant to be over the top and silly.

Cy: What the heck is up with this Enchanted example? It's a freaking DRAGON. Who sets the standards for what exactly is biologically-accurate dragon anatomy? I just don't feel 'totally unrealistic dragon' is narm.
Matthew The Raven: Am I the only one who thinks we need to stop with "I was watching a movie and something randomly reminded me of another thing and I laughed, due to no fault in the original material" examples?

It seems like a lot of these things are deliberately funny, often to contrast with drama or horror or otherwise that is taking place elsewhere in the scene. I realize this is subjective, but if you laugh at a line that can't be taken as anything but a joke, is that really narm?

Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: No, it is not Narm.

In that case I would like to nominate the following to be removed, as I believe they were intended to be humorous. The problem is that they might still be too funny, so that they ruin the drama rather than contrast it. That seems like something different from narm to me, though.

"# Cabin Fever - PANCAKES!!!

In Star Trek: Generations, during Worf's promotion scene aboard a holodeck-simulated sailing ship, the moment when Riker, frustrated at Worf's success in maintaining his balance on the ship's plank whilst grabbing his promotion papers, tells the computer to delete the plank, is treated as hilarious by the rest of the crew, but plays to the audience as rather petty. The follow-up a few moments later where Data, attempting to understand their reaction, quite innocently pushes Doctor Crusher over the rail raised an instant uproar of laughter in the theatre, but gets a completely straight-faced "not cool, dude" reaction from his friends and crewmates, managing to instantly establish them to their new cinema-going audience as insufferably self-righteous hypocrites.

Speaking of Sam Raimi, Evil Dead 2 contains more Big Nos than should be legal.

While Will Smith does a fantastic job in I Am Legend, this editor and her friend burst out laughing when he started screaming at a mannequin and held it at gunpoint (it's supposed to show that he's quite nuts).

  • He delivered quite a few lines in a needlessly overdramatic fashion, such as "I like Shrek." and "I was saving that bacon."

The (in?)famous "I drink your... MILKSHAKE!!!" line from There Will Be Blood is either this or a Crowning Moment Of Awesome, depending on personal taste.

In Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull there is a scene where Big Bad Irina Spalko is hanging from a tree branch over a swarm of army ants. What do the ants decide to do? Climb up over each other to get to her! Real life army ants do build structures out of each other like that, but still. The ridiculousness of the scene is further enhanced when she crushes the bugs that get to her between her knees. "

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theorc: Removing the Rocky Horror example. That was intentional comedy and thus does not fit.


Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: Cut this and put it here for now.

  • The epic brawl between Grendel and Beowulf in the 2007 movie was ruined for some viewers by the somewhat excessive game of "Hide the Wiener".
    • Then again, this was probably an intentional Narm, since it's an example of Beowulf's ego making him look silly. The whole film is very tongue-in-cheek. Remember those Femme Fatale heels on Grendel's mother?
      • In the DVD extras, you can see that her feet have ugly, lizard-like toes, and the makers even say on the commentary that her feet are supposed to show that she's a monster. However, you never see anything of them but the heels while watching the movie, for whatever reason.
      • Probably cause Quentin Tarantino wasn't directing.
    • "I...AM...BEOWULF!"

Haven: wordle
Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: Cut this and put it here for now. This scene happens about when one of the leads is making a similar decision...
  • During the finale of Deep Impact, while the tsunami is destroying New York, there is a quick shot of a man in Washington Square park, reading a newspaper, who doesn't notice the wave until it hits him in the back. Everything is wrong about this scene. The wave comes from the wrong direction. The guy fails to hear or feel a tsunami destroying New York City right behind him. Finally, the characters and the news media know that a colossal asteroid is going to strike that day and wipe out humanity. What else could there possibly be to read about in the newspaper?
    • This troper always thought that man was just impressively Bad Ass.
      • Indeed. In this troper's opinion the man knew he was going to die, no matter what, so he decided to die in his favourite location, and not make a big fuss about it. Some main characters opt for a similar fate.

Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: Cut this and put it here. This page is too long to list aversions.

  • Pumpkin is a deliberate attempt to make a movie so full of Glurge that it becomes funny. Unfortunately, it's both too ridiculous to take seriously and not ridiculous enough to be funny. The director tried for Narm, and failed.

Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: Cut this and put it here. A point was missed somewhere.

  • In Knocked Up, a main character's marriage is seriously threatened when his wife catches him... participating with his friends in a Fantasy Baseball league. Whilst the moment itself is played for ironic laughs (she thought he was cheating on her) and it's meant to represent their fragmenting marriage, the sheer seriousness with which the breakup is played is slightly ludicrous considering... well, it's Fantasy Baseball.

Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: Cut this and put it here. That costume was supposed to be ridiculous.


Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: Cut this and put it here, for now. There is a difference between Narm and comic relief.

  • Frenzy is essentially a robot version of the Gremlins.
    • In all fairness, this editor is pretty sure Frenzy was supposed to be comedic.

Caswin: The Terminator examples confuse me. I'm not sure how else to say it. I thought at least one of those scenes was awesome, and this could just be me, but I don't even see the reasoning on how they would fail so hard at drama they would make someone laugh.

Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: I can't help you with the first listing. The second would be Sarah Connor (still a civilian then) giving orders to a soldier; it makes sense in context, but someone with a sufficiently military mind might find it amusing. The third - licking Sarah's stomach - was probably considered a Level Breaker by the person who listed it (my visceral reaction was Squick!) - licking is a strange form of torture, especially if you don't know why it's supposed to be horrifying...


Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: Cut this and put it here. If it's deliberate, it's probably not {{Narm.}} Strangely enough, Watchmen still has an entry...
  • In the new Watchmen movie, a sex scene begins, and on cues... "Hallelujah." (The one Leonard Cohen wrote.) New connotations of David playing something that pleased the Lord.
    • The writers stated that the violence, the overly long sex scene, and the narmy music were all intentional and meant as something of a minor deconstruction of movie tropes. For example, the sex scene starts as your typical Hollywood sex scene, and then about halfway through you get the rather embarrassing understanding that you're not watching a sex scene so much as your watching two people have sex. The whole point was to never pull punches and show the violence and sex and awkwardness of the characters' actions in full detail.
    • As awesome as the rest of the movie was, oh god yes, this scene was so hilariously bad. The scene was about four times longer than it was in the comic; the song definitely didn't help. To clear matters up, we're not talking about the choral Hallelujah chant — we're talking the Leonard Cohen song.

Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: For the record — if the hypertext leads to the movie in the entry, leave it in!

But it needs a page first. The wiki page doesn't look nice with lots of red text, so wait until the said movie has a page on its own, then Wiki Word that movie.


Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: Cut this and put it here. I can't believe it took me this long to notice the "intentional" in this entry. That's not intentional Narm — esp. not if it's every scene; that's Black Comedy.

  • Doom House intentionally invokes this effect in nearly every scene, peaking with Reginald's "LEAVE MY HAPPY HOUSE!" breakdown. Hilarity Ensues.

Caswin: I thought Black Comedy was macabre humor?

Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: It is. I didn't think it was "black narm," though. If it is meant to be funny, then it isn't unintentionally funny (the trope definition). Narm is half intent and half effect.

Caswin: Granted, I can see that intentionally pretending and failing to be dramatic doesn't belong on this page. However, I still don't see the connection to Black Comedy.


Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: Cut this and put it here. I'll take the word of Tim Burton's fans.
  • The scene in the 2007 remake of Sweeney Todd in which Todd flourishes his barber's razor and yells "AT LAST MY ARM IS COMPLETE!" may be concentrated Narm — or is that "AHT LAAAAAAAAAHST! MAI ARM IS COMPLEEEAHT!"?
    • When the main character killed Pirelli, the amount of blood was ridiculous.
    • Almost any scene with Anthony is bound for unintentional hilarity. Just watch his face—especially his eyebrows.
    • The Reveal when Judge Turpin sentences a little boy to death is more funny than shocking.
      • To all the above: given Tim Burton's sense of humor, is it really narm if it's supposed to be funny?
      • This effect is probably the point of the entire film, combined with crosses the line twice.

BritBllt: Restoring these two deletions, whose only explanation was "Narm does not work that way"...

  • The Right Stuff shows how thin the line between a Crowning Moment Of Awesome and Narm can be. One particular moment has a jeep driver surveying the crash site, spotting a distant figure, and asking "is that a man?" Quick cut to Chuck Yaeger walking proudly Out of the Inferno, and then to the other man answering, "you're damn right it is!" Depending on where you are on the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism, your reaction may range anywhere from "hell yeah!" to "oh puh-lease!"
  • At the end of Gran Torino, when Clint Eastwood starts singing about his car. It's supposed to be a solemn, bittersweet ending, but that was just too much.

Because, um, yes, it does. Excessive melodrama ruining a serious moment is exactly what narm's all about, and both of those examples qualify. The only underlying justification I can find for their removal is that they're both well-received films and fans are bound to say "it wasn't excessive, it was just right", but this is a subjective trope. People's definitions of "excessive" and "just right" are going to be different.

But Narm is when that said serious moment made people laugh, not groan. "Oh puh-lease!" is not the kind of reaction that qualifies as Narm. As for the Gran Torino example, it's more of the case of YMMV.

The fact that Narm is subjective is because some narms can be dramatic for some. Just because it's subjective, don't add examples which are meant to be serious and clearly not funny. Excessive melodrama to the point where the audience bursts into laughter when it's supposed to be serious is a narm, nothing else.


Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: I think it's safe to say that this block as a whole isn't narm. Most of it is supposed to be funny, after all. The question is, is this humorous in totality, or is the Data part still narm?

  • In Star Trek Generations, during Worf's promotion scene aboard a holodeck-simulated sailing ship, the moment when Riker tells the computer to delete the plank is treated as hilarious by the rest of the crew, but plays to the audience as petty. The follow-up a few moments later, when Data, attempting to understand their reaction, quite innocently pushes Doctor Crusher over the rail, raised an instant uproar of laughter in the theatre, but gets a completely straight-faced "not cool, dude" reaction from his friends and crewmates, instantly establishing them as insufferably self-righteous hypocrites. The difference suggested by the dialogue is that Riker made a mistake in how he phrased the request ("I believe you meant 'retract plank'"), while Data acted deliberately; the problem is, Riker had said "remove plank" with full authoritative confidence/smugness, and (once the plank was removed) did not act like someone who had made that kind of mistake.
If anything really needs to be deleted, it's all the "X just X" entries. Narm is about ruined dramatic moments; whole movies shouldn't qualify. But I'll leave that level of cleanup to someone else.
Sorry, Goat Boy, but I've removed your examples.
  • Friday The 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter is supposed to be one of the best in the series. Somehow, though, this troper can't stop thinking of "He's killing me! He's killing me!" This is notably averted in the not as appreciated Part V: A New Beginning, where the actors are disturbingly good at dying, especially the redhead, and her death rattle. Palpa-fucking-ble, man.
  • For all the narmy moments in 2012, the one that really made this troper burst out laughing was the last line in Jackson Curtis' amazing novel: "In the end, I guess we all have relatives in..." He forgets what the town was. Probably blocked it out. But the fact that she's impressed with this gives me doubts about her supposed intelligence.

The reasons: a) The Friday The 13th example isn't well explained, b) There are more narmy scenes in 2012 (though YMMV), but that example is not one of them. Also, note that the "burst out laughing" is originally "groan", but Goat Boy, NARM IS A PARTICULARLY SCENE WHICH CAUSES LAUGHTER RATHER THAN DRAMA, NOT GROANING AND ANY OTHER REACTIONS.

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