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Genre Savvy / Webcomics

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The solution to incompetent guards.

  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Elan the bard sometimes suffers from being too genre savvy.
    • While all the characters are Genre Savvy to some extent, Elan is clearly more Savvy than the rest of them; unfortunately, his status as Cloud Cuckoolander means that the others are only inclined to dismiss his concerns in their moments of Genre Blindness, only to learn too late that they really should have paid attention. Eerily, he can come off as a Genius Ditz these days.
      Elan: Fight, Fight, Fight, Fight, the urge to say "I told you so!"
    • Tarquin may as well be the Greek God of this trope. He tops them all by deducing the fact that he MUST be able to run an evil empire successfully because heroes need something to thwart. From #763:
      Tarquin: You're a bard, right? How many stories have you heard in which a single hero vanquishes a wicked empire?
      Elan: I dunno... dozens, I guess.
      Tarquin: What is the one thing they all have in common? The one fact they all share?
      Elan: The hero always wins!
      Tarquin: Arguable. No, the one thing they all have in common is this: the wicked empire exists. It has existed for some time, and will continue to exist if no heroes intervene. Don't you see, Elan? The rules of drama to which you subscribe as a bard tell us that such tyrannies can exist — indeed, must exist — and persist long enough that no one realistically thinks that they can be defeated. Else, where's the drama in a hero opposing them? And if such kingdoms are necessary, why shouldn't I rule one?
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    • He takes it even further when he points out that if Elan defeats him, it will be the greatest story ever and he'll become a legend, making it clear to Elan that no matter whether he's overthrown or not, Tarquin wins.
      Tarquin: That's the beauty of it all, my son. If I win, I get to be a king. If I lose, I get to be a legend.
      • Elan then turns this back on him by simply dropping the plotline entirely.
      • Ultimately, Tarquin could be viewed as a deconstruction of the idea. He tends to treat people like plot elements or narrative pieces instead of like people, and thus is cruel and vengeful to people who don't fit the "story structure." He even kills his son Nale, commenting that he was just cluttering up the narrative (though his main reason for killing him was unrelated) and almost immediately afterwards tries to turn Elan into the main protagonist by killing the rest of the order and chopping off his hand. His resulting arrogance leaves him drastically Wrong Genre Savvy. He's got it right that he and everyone else present are characters in a story, but he thinks he's the Big Bad and Elan's the hero when it's actually Xykon and Roy respectively.
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    • Elan's mentor Julio Scoundrel does this as well, and a big part of what he taught Elan was how to weaponize it. When they part ways he states that he sincerely hopes they never meet again since that would invoked the Mentor Occupational Hazard; however, at the most dramatically appropriate moment he comes back anyway for the sheer pleasure of defying the trope. Apparently Julio and Tarquin clashed many times, but despite their similarities neither thinks the other is more than a minor side character in their personal stories.
  • Sidney, the protagonist of Grrl Power, has this as one of her main defining characteristics. She is the shared owner of a Comic Shop who is thrust into a world where actual super heroes and villains are becoming public knowledge for the first time. Her life as a die-hard comic/fantasy/sci-fi geek has prepared her more than most for this eventuality. Sometimes it comes in handy, such as identifying a villain's weakness, but she has the occasional bout of Wrong Genre Savviness, and there are times when she seizes up due to "Tropelock", where all of her options lead to a possible negative outcome. Fortunately, these instances rarely amount to more than a quick gag before she makes the sensible choice.
    Sidney (thinking): But I should at least tell Maxima...but what if she becomes Dark Maxima one day?
  • Cherry Blossomfeather, of RPG World, has an uncommon lack of genre blindness. While it's eventually justified, she's largely a way for the author to poke fun at RPG tropes.
  • Karn from Adventurers!! is extremely Genre Savvy about computer RPGs despite his general stupidity. Good for him that he lives in such a game.
  • Meji from Errant Story is quite up-to-date on her tropes. Among the more notable examples is her awareness of the dangers of Superpower Meltdown ("All the stories that starts like this ends with 'And then his head exploded...'") and her instant recognition of the sheer number of tropes involved in the backstory of the Amraphel siblings. Ellis, as well as several minor characters, also gets in on the action from time to time, but she's a step ahead of them — at one point, she deliberately invokes Deus ex Machina. Literally 'invokes'...
  • Sam Sprinkles, from Zebra Girl, is a former cartoon actor who is way too Genre Savvy for his own good, and has a tendency to get very, very mouthy with people over their role in the story. Take, for example, this conversation (just after the lights have gone out while the gang is making plans to fight a town full of vampires):
    Crystal: This is it, everyone, we're under attack!
    Wally: No! Honey, shhh. It's probably nothing. Just the wind knocking a limb into the power lines! Guys, it happens all the time around here. I'll go check and be back in two minutes!
    Sam: Holy God, Wally. You're asking for it. Crystal's right, we all know what kind of movie we're in, let's just assume the trouble is monster related!
  • Knowledge Is Power: EmJay is about to ask David to pretend to be her boyfriend, but remembering how poorly that goes in fiction, changes her mind. Whereupon it happens anyway.
  • Gold Coin Comics is Genre Savvy, such as when Theo tells Lance they can't buy higher quality armor because the game developers wouldn't allow it, or their lower job class levels.
  • Mel of Explorers Of Souls is a perfect example of this trope. Back in her human form, she played Pokémon Mystery Dungeon (whose world she later found herself in), and knows all the tropes and cliches of the brand of fanfiction she found herself in. See for yourself.
  • The latest arc of MSF High revolves around the fact that the "pocket-universe" in which the story takes place conforms to genre rules. This is exploited by many students most recently in the form of the "runner", an anime girl who will run everywhere eyes closed with an armload of books in the hopes of causing a romantic comedy style collision.
  • Pip from Sequential Art is rather Genre Savvy on what happens when you go up into the attic to investigate a strange sound.
    Pip: I watch horror films. I should not be doing this without a chainsaw handy...
  • Pibgorn: Who am I to deny trite formula?
  • Orwing Battler in Lovecraft Is Missing is a pulp writer who basically finds himself in another pulp writer's universe. Naturally, he feels like he's in one of his own stories and will occasionally comment on the action.
  • Blue Hat from Gengame tends to make a lot of decisions based on genre conventions. Justified in that it's a video game in which the mechanics of her character are somewhat based around genre conventions.
  • In Tripp, Poe's suggestion to disguise themselves in Narvan robes is born from watching a lot of Luke's blu-ray collection and noticing that most successful heroes are the ones who can infiltrate their targets.
  • Since Knights of Buena Vista is about a roleplaying group, the players are this, even knowing immediately that a baron NPC is a villain since Aristocrats Are Evil.
  • In ShootAround, surviving a Zombie Apocalypse is mostly a matter of genre-savvyness; for the most part, Adults Are Useless because they don't know the genre.
  • The POV characters of Star Mares, whether or not they are actually aware of being characters in a story, nevertheless all act as though they are - the catch being that each of them has a different idea of what sort of story they're in. Moontear, for instance, behaves like the heroine of a bad fanfic, while Cookiecutter acts like the protagonist of a videogame (with godmode enabled). While the comic itself is fairly generous with genre emulation, all of them are wrong on one crucial point: they aren't the heroes of the story.


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