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Scrappy Episode

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A largely hated episode in an otherwise popular series.

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
pidget_spinner on Sep 10th 2018 at 4:43:01 PM
Last Edited By:
pidget_spinner on Sep 13th 2018 at 7:13:38 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

In a long-running series, sooner or later there's bound to be a few bad eggs. These are the scrappy episodes, episodes that for some reason rub wrong with the fan-base to the point where often even the creators admit to hating it. Common elements include:

The list goes on. Usually Filler. May be a Torture Chamber Episode or BLAM Episode. Note: This is not a personal complaints section, there are other places for that. Please limit examples to entries that have amassed a degree of infamy for their near-unanimously negative reception.

Examples:

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     Film - Live-Action 
  • While all the Star Wars prequels are divisive, The Phantom Menace, panned for its flat characters, dull story, awkward dialogue, and overdose of CGI, gets the most hate, with some recommending just not watching it at all.

     Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5: "Grey 17 Is Missing". JMS admits to writing it while sick and basically drunk on cold medicine. Interestingly, while the A-Plot the episode is named after is a Bizarro Episode about Garibaldi dealing with a cult on a "missing" level of the station who want to achieve enlightenment and then be killed by the Universe's most perfect predator (a stunt guy in a bad rubber suit), the B-Plot is a Myth Arc important story about Delenn taking command of the Rangers and Marcus fighting off her challenger for the role. Had it been called "Denn-sha" instead, it would likely be remebered as just an episode with a weak B-Plot, instead of a Scrappy Episode.
  • "Stranger in a Strange Land" from Lost was infamous for its main plot not advancing the story much and its flashback plot creating an Actor-Inspired Element that never mattered before and never matters again, leading to it being considered by the fans and creators alike as the low point of the whole series.
  • Early Stargate SG-1 episodes "Emancipation" and "Hathor" are widely disliked to the point of being Canon Discontinuity. "Hathor" is only referenced in later episodes in Broad Strokes, "Emancipation" is never referenced at all ("Emancipation" was penned by the same person responsible the similarly bad Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Code Of Honor").
  • The season two episode "The Lost Sister" in Stranger Things is largely hated by fans, though not for anything actually in it so much the fact that it disrupted the pacing the season and contained little plot relevance.
  • Supernatural, being a Long Runner, has more than a few generally disliked episodes, but one that particularly stands out is "Bugs", mainly for the Ass Pull conclusion - the characters are attacked by a swarm of bugs, and try to escape into a house, only for the bugs to follow them, leaving them huddled and defenseless... when suddenly the sun rises and everything's okay. Even though just previously, it had barely been evening. When the main characters in a later season encounter the writer of a book series that seems to cover the events of the show, he winces. "I mean, Hell is one thing, but bad writing..."
     Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the most commonly cited worst episode is "The Great Divide", due to its lack of relevance to the broader plot, one-dimensional characters, and Family-Unfriendly Aesop. This was referenced later in the show when the characters watched a play about their adventures - when the crew arrive at the canyon, they pause for a moment, and then agree: "...let's keep flying."
  • The It's a Wonderful Plot episode "It's a Wishful Life" in Fairly OddParents consists of Timmy seeing what things would be like if he was never born and discovers that his friends, family, and society as a whole are all better off. It end with Timmy un-doing the wish, and he's the only person who's happier as a result. The episode was mostly panned due to its unusually mean-spirited attitude towards Timmy (which even the episode's creators admitted went a little too far) and Esoteric Happy Ending.
  • The Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode, "Everybody Knows It's Bendy" is one of, if not the most hated episode of the series. Throughout the episode, Bendy, a new imaginary friend does bad things and blames them on Bloo, Wilt, Coco, and Eduardo, and Frankie and Mr. Herriman believe him the entire time. Adding to it is that Frankie and Mr. Herriman act out of character towards the imaginary friends. While they might believe that Bloo did the bad things due to his reputation as a troublemaker, Wilt, Coco, and Eduardo know all the house rules and obey them. Bloo sets up a trap to expose Bendy as the fraud that he is, flooding the house as a result. Bloo admits that he set up the trap as his plan to expose Bendy, as a result, getting him blamed and Bendy still getting off scot-free. Many fans hated the episode, and so did Lauren Faust, who wrote it. This was also why Bendy was not seen again after this episode.
  • The infamous "Arnold Betrays Iggy" in Hey Arnold! is this so much that even the creator hated it. Reasons for the enormous amount of hate include Arnold suffering despite not truly doing anything wrong, the plot being unrealistic and contrived, and people acting out of character.
  • The Loud House: The episode "No Such Luck" is deemed the fans' most hated due to the plot of Lincoln's family treating him cruelly, including kicking him out of the house, because of a lie.
  • One episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic which often pops up on "worst episode" lists is "The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well". In this episode, Rainbow Dash, after pulling off several heroic acts in a single day, suffers from a case of inflated ego. When more trouble arises, she focuses more on showing off than actually rescuing those who need her, only to be upstaged each time by the titular character of the episode. At the end, it's revealed that Mare-Do-Well is actually the rest of the main cast taking turns wearing a disguise in order to teach her a lesson in humility. Rainbow Dash's fans dislike how she comes across as an egocentric jerk who fails to understand the lesson Mare-Do-Well was trying to teach her until it was explicitly spelled out for her, and other fans dislike how her friends fail to simply tell her upfront about these issues (one of her friends, Applejack, is known for her Brutal Honesty and would have no problem saying these things).
  • The Simpsons:
    • "The Principal and the Pauper" is one of the most notorious episodes in the series due to the revelation that Principal Skinner is actually an impostor named Armin Tamzarian, which essentially threw nine seasons' worth of character development out the window. It was later made fun of in at least a couple of further episodes. The episode is commonly cited to be the moment when the show Jumped the Shark.
    • "Homer vs. Dignity" was criticized for the scene where Homer is apparently raped by a panda, which fans saw as the point where the show resorted to South Park-style shock humor to stay relevant.
    • "The Boys of Bummer" is hated by fans due to its morbid plot involving literally all of Springfield harassing a 10-year-old boy for losing a baseball game, even after he tried to commit suicide because of it.
  • While South Park has always been a dark show, the ending of "Stanley's Cup" was too dark even for the fans tastes. The episode sets up Stan becoming a Pee Wee hockey team coach and pushed into a situation where he has to win a vital game to ensure a terminal player has the hope to recover. Eventually this ends up with Stan setting up young children against professional adult players, the Pee Wee team not only losing but brutally hurt during gameplay and the sick player passing away due to despair.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: There are many post-2005 episodes that fans consider the terrible, but "One Coarse Meal" and "A Pal for Gary" are the ones most frequently cited due to dark themes and characters acting needlessly cruel.
  • In Steven Universe, the episode "Rocknaldo" is this for several reasons, the biggest of which being that it focuses on Ronaldo, The Scrappy, deciding to become a Crystal Gem. Additionally, marketing for this episode featured a bloodstone, leading fans to speculate that the episode would introduce a new Gem, but they were disappointed to find out that it was mostly just Filler revolving around one of the least popular characters in the series, with no new Gems introduced.

Feedback: 87 replies

Sep 10th 2018 at 4:46:02 PM

I am aware of the typo in the name. I had previously tried to submit this, but it didn't show up anywhere I looked. When I tried to resubmit it, I got a message claiming that that title already exists, but I can't find it anywhere.

Sep 10th 2018 at 4:46:05 PM

Your Hey Arnold example lacks context. Also, the italics are around the word 'in', instead of the title of the work.

Sep 10th 2018 at 4:50:01 PM

I think this is covered in Dethroning Moments.

Sep 10th 2018 at 4:55:57 PM

^^ Here's the context to the Hey Arnold example; In "Arnold Betrays Iggy", Arnold finds out that Iggy, the most popular kid in school wears bunny pajamas. Iggy is embarrassed, and makes Arnold promise not to tell. When Arnold's friends find out through extremely accurate guessing, Iggy believes Arnold told them and cuts off his friendship. Throughout the episode, Arnold grovels at Iggy's feet, doing various nice things for him, but Iggy decides the only way he can forgive Arnold is for Arnold to walk out of his apartment wearing his bunny pajamas. Arnold does so, suffering humiliation as a result. Only then does Iggy realize that he went too far, and he begs for Arnold to forgive him, but now Arnold treats Iggy the same way Iggy treated him.

Sep 10th 2018 at 4:58:52 PM

The dethroning moments thing isn't really a trope so much as a forum

Sep 10th 2018 at 5:05:51 PM

Western Animation

  • The Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends episode, "Everybody Knows It's Bendy" is one of, if not the most hated episode of the series. Throughout the episode, Bendy, a new imaginary friend does bad things and blames them on Bloo, Wilt, Coco, and Eduardo, and Frankie and Mr. Herriman believe him the entire time. Adding to it is that Frankie and Mr. Herriman act out of character towards the imaginary friends. While they might believe that Bloo did the bad things due to his reputation as a troublemaker, Wilt, Coco, and Eduardo know all the house rules and obey them. Bloo sets up a trap to expose Bendy as the fraud that he is, flooding the house as a result. Bloo admits that he set up the trap as his plan to expose Bendy, as a result, getting him blamed and Bendy still getting off scot-free. Many fans hated the episode, and so did Lauren Faust, who wrote it. This was also why Bendy was not seen again after this episode.

Sep 10th 2018 at 5:49:56 PM

But it is very close to Dethroning Moment, too close for comfort as it might attract a lot of complaining

Sep 10th 2018 at 5:54:55 PM

That one is in the Darth Wiki, which is Just For Fun and the article is just random tropers posting moments that they felt sucked and a format more like a forum than a trope

Sep 10th 2018 at 6:15:44 PM

This Audience Reaction should (at least in theory) require evidence that the episode is widely disliked by a large portion of the fanbase, unlike Dethroning Moment which is just people venting their frustrations even if they're the only person who feels this way.

  • One episode of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic which often pops up on "worst episode" lists is The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well. In this episode, Rainbow Dash, after pulling off several heroic acts in a single day, suffers from a case of inflated ego. When more trouble arises, she focuses more on showing off than actually rescuing those who need her, only to be upstaged each time by the titular character of the episode. At the end, it's revealed that Mare-Do-Well is actually the rest of the main cast taking turns wearing a disguise in order to teach her a lesson in humility. Rainbow Dash's fans dislike how she comes across as an egocentric jerk who fails to understand the lesson Mare-Do-Well was trying to teach her until it was explicitly spelled out for her, and other fans dislike how her friends fail to simply tell her upfront about these issues (one of her friends, Applejack, is known for her Brutal Honesty and would have no problem saying these things).

Sep 10th 2018 at 6:34:31 PM

This is so subjective it cannot help but to degenerate into Flame Bait.

Sep 10th 2018 at 7:28:28 PM

The only thing separating this from Dethroning moments is that some examples are hated by the creator... but that's what Creator Backlash is for.

As mentioned, there should be evidence, as in links and stories that demonstrate a fandom collectively hating one episode above the rest.

Sep 10th 2018 at 7:40:02 PM

  • The Loud House: The episode "No Such Luck" is deemed the fans' most hated due to the plot of Lincoln's family treating him cruelly, including kicking him out of the house, because of a lie.
  • Sponge Bob Square Pants: There are many post-2005 episodes that fans consider the terrible, but "One Coarse Meal" and "A Pal for Gary" are the ones most frequently cited due to dark themes and characters acting needlessly cruel.
  • The Simpsons:
    • "The Principal and the Pauper" is one fo the most notorious episodes in the series due to the revelation that Principal Skinner is actually an impostor named Armin Tamzarian, which essentially threw nine seasons' worth of character development out the window. It was later made fun of in at least a couple of further episodes.
    • "Homer vs. Dignity" was criticized for the scene where Homer is apparently raped by a panda, which fans saw as the point where the show resorted to South Park-style shock humor to stay relevant.
    • "The Boys of Bummer" is hated by fans due to its morbid plot involving literally all of Springfield harassing a 10-year-old boy for losing a baseball game, even after he tried to commit suicide because of it.

Sep 10th 2018 at 8:30:45 PM

When I saw this in the launch pad, I immediately thought of the episode "Stranger in a Strange Land" from Lost, and I looked up some proof: https://nerdist.com/worst-of-the-best-lost-stranger-in-a-strange-land/

"Stranger in a Strange Land" from Lost was infamous for its main plot not advancing the story much and its flashback plot creating an Actor Inspired Element that never mattered before and never matters again, leading to it being considered by the fans and creators alike as the low point of the whole series.

Sep 10th 2018 at 8:38:10 PM

Do you think there should be a limit to how many episodes can be listed for a series? Otherwise certain series might get flooded for it.

Sep 10th 2018 at 8:44:55 PM

I'd limit it to three. If things get flooded, it's probably just plain a bad show

Sep 10th 2018 at 10:12:32 PM

I agree we should have a 3 episode limit for this Audience Reaction and it should be monitored so it doesn't devolve into excessive complaining.

Sep 10th 2018 at 10:32:21 PM

Avatar The Last Airbender: "The Divide" revolves around two Snobs Vs Slobs tribes who need to cross a canyon without attacking each other due to a decades-old rivalry. Aang gets them to cooperate by telling them their rivalry is based on a very distorted version of a childhood game their founders used to play, but the end of the episode shows that he made that up. Referenced in-universe during "The Ember Players" (which functions as a kind of Take That Us) where the play's cast decides to simply skip over the canyon.

Sep 10th 2018 at 11:14:23 PM

Isn't this largely a matter of opinion, and examples should thus be filed under Dethroning Moment Of Suck?

Sep 10th 2018 at 11:15:20 PM

  • StarTrekTheNextGeneration: The fans hate it because it's awful and borderline racist. Jonathan Frakes, years later, referred to this episode as a racist piece of shit. He really wasn't wrong on either count. He's not alone among the cast.

Sep 10th 2018 at 11:49:11 PM

  • In Avatar The Last Airbender, the most commonly cited worst episode is The Great Divide, due to its lack of relevance to the broader plot, one-dimensional characters, and Family Unfriendly Aesop. This was referenced later in the show when the characters watched a play about their adventures - when the crew arrive at the canyon, they pause for a moment, and then agree: "...let's keep flying."

  • Supernatual, being a Long Runner, has a lot, but one that is often referenced within the show itself is Bugs, mainly for the Ass Pull conclusion - the characters are attacked by a swarm of bugs, and try to escape into a house, only for the bugs to follow them, leaving them huddled and defenceless... when suddenly the sun rises and everything's okay. Even though just previously, it had barely been evening. When the main characters in a later season encounter the writer of a book series that seems to cover the events of the show, he winces. They lived through 'Bugs'? "I mean, Hell is one thing, but bad writing..."

Sep 11th 2018 at 12:05:35 AM

That Next Generation episode is Code of Honor.

Sep 11th 2018 at 12:33:07 AM

@Bouken Dutch: This is for episodes the fanbase hates, not episodes or moments one person hates.

Speaking of that, we probably need to put on the warning label that this is not Dethroning Moment Of Suck so it doesn't become a clone of it.

Now for my suggestion!

  • While South Park has always been a dark show, the ending of Stanley's Cup was too dark even for the fans tastes. The episode sets up Stan becoming a Pee Wee hockey team coach and pushed into a situation where he has to win a vital game to ensure a terminal player has the hope to recover. Eventually this ends up with Stan setting up young children against professional adult players, the Pee Wee team not only losing but brutally hurt during gameplay and the sick player passing away due to despair.

Sep 11th 2018 at 7:40:20 AM

Anyone have any examples from anime?

Sep 11th 2018 at 7:49:28 AM

Yeah, no.

There are some... actual solid examples here. Surprisingly, really. "Principal and the Pauper" is largely considered where the series rot started to kick in, "The Lost Sister" is universally derided for being a Cliche Storm BLAM Episode, and "The Great Divide" is so abhorred that it's referenced in the show... but this is just going to be a complaint magnet, and will absolutely be Flame Bait.

See, your defense that "it's separate from DMOS, that's Darth Wiki" misses the point of why it's Darth Wiki. It's such a toxic concept that it kinda has to be there. Making a "DMOS, but not on Darth Wiki" defeats the purpose.

Maybe, maybe, maybe I can get behind this if it required credible sources for an entry, but that doesn't seem like it's worth the effort.

Sep 11th 2018 at 8:28:13 AM

I don't see how it attracts any more flame bait than The Scrappy

Sep 11th 2018 at 8:29:23 AM

See Growing The Beard and Jumping The Shark for when this happens to every episode before or after a certain point.

Sep 11th 2018 at 8:52:45 AM

^^ My thoughts exactly. The fact of the matter is that there's a big difference between the subjective "this installment sucks and this is why" (which is what DMOS is for) and the objective "this installment was negatively received to an infamous extent and this is why" (which is what this proposal is for). I understand why most of us are wary around potential Flame Bait, but I don't believe that avoiding it with a 50 ft. pole is the answer. Besides, we already have a few tropes that discuss potentially flame bait-y polemics in an objective and reasonable manner (The Scrappy, Seasonal Rot, Sequelitis, So Bad Its Horrible, Complete Monster), so it stands to reason that doing the same for this sort of thing is not beyond the wiki's abilities.

Sep 11th 2018 at 10:51:15 AM

I agree that there has to be credible sources for each, or else we'll run into shoe-horns, conflict and complaining. If there's some reasonable way of judging the episode's poor status among the fanbase beyond the word of a fan writing the entry, that'd help a lot to judge if the example is valid or not.

Sep 11th 2018 at 10:54:31 AM

Western Animation

  • The Thomas The Tank Engine episode, "Wonky Whistle" is often considered the worst episode of the series. Thomas takes massive levels of dumbass in the episode, such as leaving the Steamworks without his whistle being properly fixed while the workmen are still on him (keep in mind that he could have injured them), scaring several animals with his wonky whistle, thinking people are saying hello to him when they're trying to warn him about his whistle, and not even recognizing the sound of his own wonky whistle. Neil Ben, the episode's writer, has actually commented on The Engine Inspector's review of the episode, saying that while he was amazed he got recognized for it, he still finds it a real shame, as the script he wrote looked very different to the final product, and he has done pretty amazing things in his career before and since.

Sep 11th 2018 at 10:57:24 AM

^^^^ "It won't be any worse than The Scrappy" is roughly the worst defense of anything I've seen. The Scrappy has been repeatedly said to be grandfathered in. It also has an entire thread dedicated to cleaning up examples. If "The Scrappy" was proposed now, it would absolutely be shot down by administration.

Sep 11th 2018 at 2:03:34 PM

This is essentially Worst Episode, or in other words, a natural complaint magnet.

Sep 11th 2018 at 5:43:25 PM

^ Please think of it less as a trope to complain and more as a trope to acknowledge common complaints. I get that most other tropes like it are in through the Grandfather Clause, but they manage to effectively function with a reasonable degree of objectivity.

Sep 11th 2018 at 5:52:33 PM

^ Thatís a great idea, but it will almost inevitably undergo massive decay into complaining. Those other tropes only function due to a constant upkeep effort.

Sep 11th 2018 at 6:06:19 PM

^ Exactly, and do we really need this one? At least The Scrappy is a character; this is just "Fans hate an episode".

Sep 11th 2018 at 6:11:52 PM

Rule Of Cautious Editing Judgment exist to help subjective stuff like this stand.

Sep 11th 2018 at 6:32:19 PM

It's always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to launching stuff like this, and I would rather not take the (very likely) chance that the ROCEJ will be ignored and this'll undergo decay into a complaint magnet that will require lots of cleanup pretty quickly.

Sep 11th 2018 at 11:00:15 PM

You know, I feel we might need to turn this into one episode per series to help prevent trope decay. Allowing multiple episodes might cause this trope to be more vulnerable to being a Complaint Magnet.

However, that might also cause an edit war. Man this trope be sensitive yo...

Sep 12th 2018 at 12:32:09 AM

I have mixed feelings about this. I'm leaning more towards bombing it because it seems like Seasonal Rot and Parvum Opus fit the concept behind this trope more broadly and with less Flame Bait. Look at how many disagreements are in this writeup already.

Sep 12th 2018 at 3:45:20 AM

^ Seasonal Rot means that the quality of the whole season declines, while this just happens to a single episode.

Parvum Opus is cut for some reason. (I guess, not even having it for just the definition's sake means something special, right?)

Sep 12th 2018 at 6:45:30 AM

^ Why... would it mean something special? It's not really an actual term. When the sixth result on Google is TV Tropes, generally it means we're defining something, not identifying something. What few other definitions are out there didn't even match the TVT definition. Making it a definition page (for a term we made up) is silly and just encouraging people to link to it.

Moreover, "for some reason"? The cut page links to a TRS thread that... more or less shows why this page is a bad idea.

Sep 12th 2018 at 7:06:08 AM

  • Early Stargate SG 1 episodes Emancipation and Hathor are widely disliked to the point of being Canon Discontinuity. Hathor is only referenced in later episodes in Broad Strokes, Emancipation is never referenced at all (Emancipation was penned by the same person responsible the similarily bad Star Trek The Next Generation episode Code Of Honor).

  • While all the Star Wars prequels are divisive, The Phantom Menace gets the most hate, with some recommending just not watching it at all.

Sep 12th 2018 at 1:58:45 PM

Sep 12th 2018 at 8:33:56 AM

"Please think of it less as a trope to complain and more as a trope to acknowledge common complaints."

I'm sorry but that makes no sense. My perspective on this makes no difference so whether I think of it one way or another has no effect on its status as a complaint magnet. Moreover, everybody's POV here has the same effect.

This Audience Reaction is asking tropers to write down their complaints about an episode from a show they like. It's calling for people to say their peace about something they don't like. In the past, such articles have proven to be complaint magnets. What's remarkable here is that there seems to be many tropers who aren't aware of that? Like, this is making a call to action for people to make complaints.

Sep 12th 2018 at 8:43:21 AM

It's a Distinction Without A Difference. "A place to document complaints" is functionally identical to "a place to complain."

Sep 12th 2018 at 8:59:11 AM

Also, I'm not sure if anyone's mentioned Fighteer's call for a moratorium on Audience Reaction articles (see here).

Sep 12th 2018 at 9:09:53 AM

I think one of the metrics that could be used to keep this from becoming Complaining About Shows You Dont Like is if the work itself acknowlodges the episode as subpar. Either directly (as in the Supernatural example, where what's implied to be God Himself apologizes for the bad writing) or in the case of the Stargate examples, a normally continuity-heavy show just never referencing them again, quietly forgetting they ever happened.

Sep 12th 2018 at 9:29:03 AM

^ If that's the case, the entire description needs to be rewritten, most of the examples need to be cut, and it probably needs a new name. What you're describing is not the trope as it is now.

Sep 12th 2018 at 9:40:13 AM

^ Not saying it's the only metric, but just that when a work indulges in Take That Us it's a sure sign you're dealing with a Scrappy of some form or another.

Sep 12th 2018 at 9:43:48 AM

^ If it's not a requirement for an example, then it's meaningless as a defense against complaining, because its absence wouldn't be grounds to cut an example.

Sep 12th 2018 at 10:05:31 AM

Sure it does. If, for instance, it is decided a Scrappy Episode must be the subject of at least one of: A Take That Us later in the series, Creator Backlash that the episode didn't turn out as well as hoped, or Memetic Mutation related to its badness among the fanbase, then an example with none of those things doesn't qualify.

Sep 12th 2018 at 10:10:20 AM

The creators themselves, out of universe, acknowledging it was bad would also be a sign it's a Scrappy Episode.

^Dude. He's just saying a Take That Us is one of many possible signs, not a guaranteed sign. There are many tropes where there are a list of sample examples, but every actual example doesn't have to hit every single one of the samples.

Sep 12th 2018 at 10:22:11 AM

Most of these metrics, short of requiring actual reliable citations, kinda make this redundant. There's a Take That Us? Well then, put it there. It's considered a BLAM Episode? Well put it there. The creator themselves complain about it? Creator Backlash.

@Water Blap: I didn't mention that because it came across as more "Man, I wish we could just put a moratorium on Audience Reactions" rather than "As a mod, we're calling for a moratorium."

Sep 12th 2018 at 10:47:05 AM

I think a simple disclaimer should suffice:

Note: This is not a personal complaints section, there are other places for that. Please limit examples to entries that have amassed a degree of infamy for their near-unanimously negative reception.

I think that's what we're missing here: the difference between personal ire and total infamy. If we can establish that distinction, that should be all we need to make this work.

Sep 12th 2018 at 10:59:10 AM

^ That won't help. A single disclaimer isn't enough; I can easily see this garnering an eventual clean-up thread because people keep trying to shoe-horn episodes without either proving they're extremely disliked amongst the fanbase. It's the same thing going on with The Scrappy.

And I agree with ^^ Larkman's post there.

Sep 12th 2018 at 12:19:27 PM

I agree that these "metrics" make this redundant.

Regarding the possible moratorium, it was similarly said about appearance tropes until there was a surge of appearance tropes and then the mods enforced a moratorium.

Sep 12th 2018 at 12:26:03 PM

^ I agree. Any attempt to make the definition restrictive enough to avoid it becoming a complaint magnate will just make to redundant or useless.

The only workable solution would be the model used by Complete Monster and Magnificent Bastard, where every new entry must be approved, but that was implemented for those tropes only because they couldn't be cut because they had become too widely used, and thus fell under the Grandfather Clause. There's no sense in making a new trope that will immediately need a massive, sustained clean-up effort.

Sep 12th 2018 at 12:54:46 PM

^^^ So I guess that what's holding this back is a potential case of, to put it simply, bad apples spoiling the whole thing?

Sep 12th 2018 at 12:58:06 PM

It's more "we don't feel like eating poisoned apples."

You speak as if it's a goal for TV Tropes to be a repository for complaints. It, emphatically, is not. Complaining About Shows You Dont Like is a bit broader than I believe you think it is. There's a reason there's a forum thread for "Removing complaining, bashing and other negativity from the wiki."

Sep 12th 2018 at 1:28:08 PM

I definitely think there's room for this. There's another example of a Scrappy Episode, Jeremiah Crichton from the first season of Farscape. While I personally like the episode (and it's the first full episode of Farscape I managed to catch from beginning to end), the cast, crew, pretty much everyone involved hated it, and it's considered by fans one of the show's weakest entries. But what makes this tropeworthy, I think, is a comment (I think) Rockne S. O'Bannon made on the commentary track for this episode. He talked about working on (if I remember correctly) Quincy ME, and was looking at one episode that was finished but not yet broadcast with the showrunner, and it was not very good. The showrunner asked Rockne point-blank "What do you think of this episode," and Rockne replied "I don't think it's very good." The showrunner replied "It sucks. But out of 24 episodes in a season, you'll get one that sucks, and one that deserves an Emmy. What you do with the other 22 determines if you get another season."

There are some episodes, even of otherwise outstanding shows, that just don't come together right for a variety of reasons. That's verifiable, and the fans and creators tend to agree when they just miss mark and turn in something subpar. That these episodes exist is not in question, so Tv Tropes should try and note that. I'd hate to mark it No Examples Please, but I think we can do this in a way that will make it not a terrible thing to have on the site.

Sep 12th 2018 at 1:38:51 PM

A creator disliking an episode is quite different from the fans disliking it (and I think is unnecessary to split from Creator Backlash).

Sep 12th 2018 at 8:57:21 PM

^Agree. Since the original The Scrappy is about fan-based negativity, this should be too. A good example: The Futurama episode "Jurassic Bark". Even the show's Tear Jerker page acknowledges that the producers got hate mail over it.

Sep 12th 2018 at 8:58:45 PM

^ What? I was under the impression that episode was widely well regarded.

Sep 12th 2018 at 9:21:57 PM

Er...really not the point I was trying to make.

Honestly, the defenses I see for this seem like grasping at straws. You guys are aware that it's potentially going to be a mess, and the bottom line is, 'fan complaint magnets' should not be tropes. I agree with what was said above that there's no meaningful distinction between 'I, a fan, dislike this episode for reasons XYZ' and 'I commonly see other fans hating on this episode for reasons XYZ' — either way, you're just going to be listing negativity. "Complaints made by more people" are still complaints. To reiterate: the only reason The Scrappy is still around is Grandfather Clause and there's a whole thread dedicated to cleaning it up, which means that it is most definitely not a model we should be emulating now.

Some people have pointed out some possibly tropeworthy things:

  • The creators have said they specifically do not like an episode (eg. Farscape). This is Creator Backlash.
  • The creators are aware of the reception of an episode and take a jab at it in later works (eg. Avatar: the Last Airbender). This is Self Deprecation.
  • The episode is out of place in general. This is Something Completely Different or its subtropesnote .

Note how these have to do with the creators themselves (trivia) or the content that's in the work (actual tropes). Not fan dislike.

Sep 12th 2018 at 9:10:02 PM

^ I agree. The only defense for this trope is "It won't be any different from The Scrappy" which is a trope with a cleanup thread dedicated to it because it's so badly misused. Or people claim that if there's a strict criteria it'll be okay- which the Magnificent Bastard and Complete Monster threads show isn't the case in general- ignoring that all the criteria already fits under other tropes.

Sep 12th 2018 at 10:06:53 PM

My opinion is that if people come to the wiki trying to figure out which entries in a series are widely reviled by fans, there are plenty of existing pages on the site that would provide them with that information (Jumping The Shark, Creator Backlash, Bizarro/BLAM episode, and yes, the Dethroning Moment of Suck pages on Darth Wiki). If we were to allow examples on Scrappy Episode, it would definitely require an ongoing cleanup effort, and I just don't think that the page would be valuable enough to the site to justify that.

Sep 12th 2018 at 10:31:25 PM

^Another good point. A vast majority of the people who go through the wiki aren't editors.

Sep 13th 2018 at 4:08:24 AM

Sep 13th 2018 at 5:29:36 AM

  • Police Camera Action had several episodes that were disliked:

    • The 1999 episode "Monster Drivers" was disliked by the fandom for Pacing Problems and being generally seen as a Bizarro Episode.
    • The 2001 episode "Smash & Grab" (an episode about exactly whst is stated) was also disliked, despite having two cool cars in it because of slow pacing and the Race Against The Clock theme.
    • Of the 2007 Soft Reboot series, "Off to the Crushers" was disliked by fans for having a Clueless Aesop on unroadworthy vehicles and for the way it dealt with the serious topic of motorists who drive without insurance. As it were, it's only referred to in Broad Strokes in later Clip Show episodes in 2008.

Sep 13th 2018 at 6:28:22 AM

Sorry, but I give this one a bomb. You just know that a trope like this is going to attract edit wars due to people having different opinions about what is a bad episode and what isn't, and why a certain episode should be listed. People can list their examples of what they believe to be a bad episode on the Dethroning page, which is explicitely stated to be based on opinion rather than facts.

Sep 13th 2018 at 10:38:12 AM

Could anyone giving this draft hats explain their reasoning?

Sep 13th 2018 at 11:23:03 AM

The "Party Dress" episode of Everybody Loves Raymond is particularly disliked by fans of the series.

Sep 13th 2018 at 12:26:35 PM

Thing is... In the best case scenario of this trope not causing problems, it still doesnt add any value to the site. Like, I haven't heard a convincing argument why we need it.

Sep 13th 2018 at 1:24:12 PM

TBH, there hasn't been a convincing argument in favor of this at all. I think many of those hats are sympathy hats rather than legit.

Sep 13th 2018 at 1:31:13 PM

^ If no-one else will, I guess it's up to me.

Take, for example, "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven" or "the Boys of Bummer". With-or-without personal investment, you can tell that there is a clear consensus among the audience that they are some of the shows' major low points, for an understandable reason. As a result, their foul reception gains a certain infamy beyond several fans complaining about it, and this bad reputation permeates nearly every mention of the episode. At some point, viewers are going to want an outside perspective on why there is such vitriol associated with these installments.

Sep 13th 2018 at 1:37:17 PM

But these examples are almost always written by fans, not at all an objective outsider's perspective. There are plenty of places to go for opinions and a discussion on these sort of episodes, but TV Tropes is not it

Sep 13th 2018 at 1:45:17 PM

^^ Have to point out that you're not helping, considering our own page says that "Not All Dogs Go To Heaven" is generally considered So Okay Its Average among most viewers.

Sep 13th 2018 at 1:53:43 PM

Copy/Pasting my reply from eighteen posts up:

I definitely think there's room for this. There's another example of a Scrappy Episode, Jeremiah Crichton from the first season of Farscape. While I personally like the episode (and it's the first full episode of Farscape I managed to catch from beginning to end), the cast, crew, pretty much everyone involved hated it, and it's considered by fans one of the show's weakest entries. But what makes this tropeworthy, I think, is a comment (I think) Rockne S. O'Bannon made on the commentary track for this episode. He talked about working on (if I remember correctly) Quincy ME, and was looking at one episode that was finished but not yet broadcast with the showrunner, and it was not very good. The showrunner asked Rockne point-blank "What do you think of this episode," and Rockne replied "I don't think it's very good." The showrunner replied "It sucks. But out of 24 episodes in a season, you'll get one that sucks, and one that deserves an Emmy. What you do with the other 22 determines if you get another season."

There are some episodes, even of otherwise outstanding shows, that just don't come together right for a variety of reasons. That's verifiable, and the fans and creators tend to agree when they just miss mark and turn in something subpar. That these episodes exist is not in question, so Tv Tropes should try and note that. I'd hate to mark it No Examples Please, but I think we can do this in a way that will make it not a terrible thing to have on the site.

Sep 13th 2018 at 1:55:52 PM

This pretty much exactly the same thing as Parvum Opus, which was for rampant complaining. If we are going to launch this trope, it needs extreme standards to ensure it won't descend into "I think this thing sucks". Like, a series can only have one episode and it has to be considered exceedingly bad by the standards of the series. Parvum Opus descended into people listing stuff like "the worst episode of this season", "the worst episode by this writer", and "the worst episode during the show's golden age".

What's going to happen if someone tries to list an episode that's only considered slightly worse than other episodes. For example, some might say "Not All Dogs Go To Heaven" is the worst Family Guy episode, while others may say "Seahorse Seashell Party", or "Screams of Silence" or any other episode that's just as controversial. Do we list all of them, or do we only list one? How do we determine which one is the worst? Is it an episode that jumps the shark, has the lowest audience ratings on fansites, or just whichever feels right. I just see this causing a lot of headaches in the future, like Parvum Opus did.

Because you just know someone's going to add something like The Last Jedi as a Scrappy Episode even though it has a lot of fans.

Sep 13th 2018 at 2:07:34 PM

Honestly, I agree with everyone who says that this audience reaction doesn't really add much to the wiki. It's pretty much inevitable that it'll devolve into complaining, and policing this thing is probably more trouble than it's worth.

Sep 13th 2018 at 2:13:03 PM

This seems more like a potential source of complaining than anything else.

Sep 13th 2018 at 2:18:41 PM

Any other hatters have a reasoning? I'm honestly curious

Sep 13th 2018 at 2:37:27 PM

@Erik Modi: And I already replied that creators thinking an episode is subpar is covered by Creator Backlash. Iíve not yet seen something that justifies the fan dislike.

Sep 13th 2018 at 3:33:06 PM

I am blocking this proposal as we think it is a terrifically bad idea. We need more complaint tropes like we need a hole in the head.

Sep 13th 2018 at 3:54:52 PM

@Synchronicity And you completely missed the point of my reasoning, which not just about creators thinking the episode is bad, but about creators and fans both agreeing when an episode was not so good as it could have been for whatever reason.

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